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The Meaning Behind the Mask
time! From ritual dancers to superheroes, the many faces of
masks are revealed in this lesson. After exploring the world
of African masks and storytelling, your students will be eager
to create masks that tell stories of their own.
In this unit, students explore the cultural significance of
masks. After recalling some of the contexts in which masks
are worn in the United States-e.g., Halloween, Mardi Gras,
the circus, parades, plays, or costume parties-students discuss
the use of masks in stories. Students then investigate the
role masks play in ceremonies and on special occasions in
various African cultures. Students will see pictures of African
masks online, pointing out the similarities and differences
between masks of different regions.