The Topic:

Easier - A mask is anything used to hide, protect, or cover part or all of the face. Masks are worn as a part of a costume or a disguise. Some masks are worn to protect such as a catcher's mask in baseball or a gas mask.
Harder - Masks are worn to protect or disguise the face. Most masks worn to disguise are in the form of an animal or another person. Protective masks serve a specific purpose. For example, a welder wears a steel mask with a special lens to shield their eyes from the intense light produced by welding. Disguise masks include ceremonial masks, theatrical masks, burial and death masks, and festival masks.
Masks are made of varied materials including paper, cloth, grass, leather, metal, shell, and carved of wood or stone. They can be painted with symbolic designs and vivid colors. Some masks have realistic human or animal features, while others provide a grotesque appearance.
Mask Appeal - Part 1 from
Through the creative facial casting of our inner selves, from ancient civilizations to present day rituals, masks have possessed and revealed the world's culture.
Related Webpages at
2) Mask Appeal - Part 2
3) Contemporary Mask Makers
4) Cultural Masks
5) Mask Making
6) Modern Masks and Mask Makers
Mask of Venice
This site includes an essay with historical images and footnotes on the significance of the mask and the masque in the Old Republic of Venice.
This comprehensive website provides information about artists, galleries, horror/Halloween, lesson plans, materials, and paper mâché. There's also a mask art gallery, bibliographic database, and an atlas of various world cultures at the site.
Masks That Link Craft And History by L.S. Bryan
This brief article highlights an exhibit of Mexican masks (Follow the link at the bottom of the page).
Other Mask Exhibits:
2) Art of the African Mask from Bayly Art Museum, University of Virginia
3) Dancing Demons - Ceremonial Masks of Mongolia from The Asia Society
4) Javanese Mask Collection from The Field Museum, Chicago
5) Masks of Africa: The Primitive Face from the Museum of Ancient and Modern Art
6) Masks: The World in Me from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
7) Noh Mask Exhibition
8) Transformation Mask by R. Hunt
9) U'Mista Potlatch Collection
10)Yupik Masks from Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History
After visiting several of the websites for masks, complete one or more of these related projects.
Make A Mask. Before you get started, you may get some great ideas and instructions at sites like the following. A few words of caution: Care should be exercised to ensure that a person's hair and eyes are not damaged.
1) How I Make Paper Mâché Masks... by P. Messer
2) Make A Mask from PBS: Africa for Kids
3) Make A Plaster Mask
4) Make an African Mask
5) Make An Insect Mask from PBS's Alien Empire
6) Make Your Own Helmet from Cleveland Museum of Art
7) Mask Making Basics (Liquid latex) from Special Effect Supply Co.
8) Mask Making from
9) Mask Making from Ideas
10)Milliner's Approach to Maskmaking: Part I by J. Cardone, Yale School of Drama
11)Transformation Masks (Clay)
12)Wood Masks
Complete A Masks WebQuest. Follow or adapt the procedures found at one of the following webQuest sites:
1) Africa: Masks, Myths, and Legends (Grade 7) by L. Russo, J. Sack, A. Shelton, & J. Vaszily
2) Mask-Making: A WebQuest (Grades 9 - 12) by M. Schimmer
3) Masks (Grade 7) by A. Misiaszek's%20Webquest/title.htm
4) Masks
5) Masks for Professor Who by L. Gardner (Grades 6-8)
Write A Story About A Mask. Historically, masks have been used in many cultures. Today they still have many uses. Write a story that involves a mask. Illustrate you story and share your finished project with family and schoolmates.
Create A Mural of Masks. Using a large posterboard or sheet of art paper as the background, create a mural of masks. You could limit your mural project to include only original designs, or if you prefer, use patterns that represent historical masks. You might even visualize masks of the future. Your mural could stretch across history and show masks and how they have been used through the ages. Another mural mask theme could be to illustrate as many different types of masks as possible.
Websites By Kids For Kids
Mask of Korea (1999 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
This website gives the history and explanation of each Korean masks.
More Websites for Masks
African Masks
Study carefully the Chokwe Female Mask and the Benin Chest Mask. Notice how different they are.
Related Websites:
2) Magical Faces of Africa: African Masks
3) Many Faces of Africa
4) Masks and Masquerades in Africa from Africana
5) Masks and Secret Societies
6) Primitive Face: Masks of Africa
Carnival from Italian Fix
Italy's Carnevale is synonymous with fun, cheer and transgression.
Other Related Websites:
2) Carnival Masks
3) Indigenous Dance / Drama / Carnival Masks from MesoAmerica
Noh Masks by S.D. Carter
In Noh, players perform standardized roles or 'types' -- an old man, a warrior, a woman in love, a demon, and so on -- rather than what in the West we refer to as 'characters,' which helps to explain the importance of masks in the Noh tradition.
Related Websites:
2) Background to Noh - Kyogen
3) Introduction and History (Noh)
4) Japanese Noh Theatre
5) Noh Mask Effect: A Facial Expression Illusion
6) Noh Mask Gallery
7) Process of Making A Noh Mask
Masks in Ancient Greek Theater
This brief site explains the origins of the use of masks in ancient Greek theater.
Related Websites:
2) Ancient Greek Mask Interactive View
3) Types of Masks Used In Greek Tragedy by K. Pela
Masks by G. Ulrich from LORE Magazine, Milwaukee Public Museum
This article provides the history of masks from an anthropological perspective.
Related Articles on Masks:
2) African Art: Masking
3) Mask from Encarta Encyclopedia
Websites For Teachers
Mask&emdash;A West African Ceremonial Object by S.L. Mullen from Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute
The mask is an exciting and intriguing phenomenon, for under its cover, the wearer becomes free to become someone else.
Related Lesson Sites:
2) Meaning Behind the Mask from EDSITEment
3) Traditional African Masks
Masks (Grades K-8) from KinderArt
Here is a fun way for your students to make false faces.
Related Websites from KinderArt:
2) Paper Mâché Masks - Maskmania (Grade K)
3) Plaster Face Masks (Grade 3-5)
Masks and More Masks! (Grades 6-8)
This lesson is one of a series developed for the Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London, CT which has a large mask collection.
Related Lesson:
2) Meaningful Masks
3) More than Masks
Masks: The Face Tells the Story (Grades 9-12) by C. DeBuse from ArtsEdNet
The purpose of this lesson is to develop an understanding of the universal appeal of mask making. After investigating uses of masks in various cultures, students will create masks that relate to their own experiences.
Masks: The Art of Revealing and Concealing by A. O'Leary
Here are three mask-making activities for the classroom.
Paper Masks (Grade 4) by M. Buchanan
Mask work can be used at any time in a drama curriculum, and can be just as easily tied to other areas of study. The masks used in this lesson plan are designed to be simple to make.
Power of Masks by Curriculum Corporation
Students explore the idea of masks, from facial expressions and mime, through face painting and tattooing to more formal masks. They design and build a mask for themselves.
Why Do People Wear Masks? from Teacher's Corner
This lesson plan first examines examples of masks. Students then design their mask, make a paper mâché model, and then decorate it.
Theatre mask
skits & plays
paper mâché
burial mask
welding mask
liquid latex
animal mask
face mask
fencing mask
secret society
surgical mask
wood carving
hockey mask
Greek theater
gas mask
Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 2/02.