4th grade- African Clay Animal Masks

The fourth grade will be learning about the history of mask-making around the world.  We will learn that, historically, masks were made for ceremonial purposes.

We will learn that the Mukenga Mask, from the Kuba people, is used in funeral ceremonies.  This mask combines different animals to represent qualities that a person would want during life.  Would you like to fly, run quickly, or be strong?  Which animals have qualities that you would like to possess?

This link is from the Art Institute of Chicago.  Click the image to learn about the Mukenga mask and create your own multi-animal mask.

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We will design and create 3-D clay masks that represents animal qualities we’d like to possess. Here are student examples:

**Here’s the link for this rubric.

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ART in ACTION:  The Dogon tribe (Mali, Africa) is dancing a in funeral ceremony. The ceremony is meant to connect the Dogon people with the afterlife and honors people who’ve died.  Music, art, and dance are all visible in this ceremony. What animals do their masks represent?

Clay Rules

Steps (more info below photo steps):

  • Step 1: Choose one or two animals with qualities you would want. Ms. Baird would like to be taller and wise, so a giraffe-turtle combination would be great.
  • Step 2: The modeling clay masks are practice. You need to roll your clay up and put it away at the end of class.
  • Step 3: WRITE your name/class on the back of your mask with a Sharpie. Listen for directions on how to gently place your mask up to dry.
  • Step 4: Paint your mask. Don’t forget to give clues about your animals.
  • Step 5: Write your reflection and fill out your rubric. Hole punch the corner of each. Attach your reflection & rubric to your string. You only need 1 piece of string for your mask. Pull each end through the hole and tie a knot like you’re tying your shoe. Look at the example.