Art School | Masks Around the World
Masks have been around for a very long time, the most ancient mask being dated back 9000 years! Masks have many purposes and have been used for protection, disguise, performance or entertainment. Depending on where you are in the world, the reason you see a mask or wear one will be different. In some places in Africa masks are used in religious ceremonies or to represent animals, whereas in Latin America you might find masks used in entertainment or at carnivals or dances. In China masks were sometimes used at weddings to pray for good luck and a lasting marriage, or you might see them in a play. However in Korea masks may have been used in war by soldiers.
Not only are the purposes for these masks different depending on the place, but also the materials they were made from differ. Ancient masks were made from leather, animal skins, feathers, wood, fur, leaves, copper, gold, clay, bones, and many many more supplies I bet you can think of. We are only scratching the surface, so feel free to pick a country and study that culture’s uses for masks and how they made them.
Today we are going to take all this inspiration to create our very own mask. You’ll need a paper mask, we picked ours up at our local craft store but you can cut one out of heavy cardstock. The supplies for your mask are up to you, but they might include crayons, markers, paint, glue, feathers, and leaves.
You can start by sketching out or drawing any specific qualities you’d like to include. If your mask is designed to intimidate you may want to include some scary facial features and use bold colors.
If you are looking to have a mask used in a performance or theatre, ask yourself if you’d like it to be funny or serious? Feel free to use multiple elements in your mask, you can combine crayons and paint, feathers, go wild!
Once the mask dries, reattach the elastic backing and have a try at wearing your masterpiece.