African Tribal Mask

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Learn about the rich history of African culture by creating a traditional African tribal mask. It will look authentic when you create a wood grain texture with Crayola Color Sticks.


  1. 1. African tribal masks are an important part of traditional African culture. They have a spiritual or religious meaning and are used during traditional African ceremonies. Get some pictures of African Tribal masks from the internet or books to use as a reference.
  2. 2. MAKE RUBBING PLATES For younger children, this step can be completed by an adult ahead of time.
  3. 3. Use Crayola Scissors to cut several pieces of poster board into medium-size pieces about 4 x 10 inches (10 x 25 cm).
  4. 4. Print from the computer or copy from a book a wood grain pattern. Cut out the wood grain pattern with scissors and glue onto a piece of cut poster board. Trace over the lines in the wood grain pattern with Crayola School Glue and air-dry completely overnight.
  5. 5. MAKE TEXTURED WOOD GRAIN DESIGNS Use the flat side of a Color Stick to color a piece of construction paper with several lighter shades of brown. Place the colored construction paper on top of each of the rubbing plate and use the flat side of a dark brown color stick to rub over the paper until the wood grain image appears. Fill several sheets of construction paper with wood grain rubbings.
  6. 6. Carefully cut a piece of cardboard into a large circle. For younger children, this step can be completed by an adult ahead of time.
  7. 7. Lay the wood grain rubbings side by side and glue them into one long sheet by overlapping the edges about 1 inch (2.5 cm).
  8. 8. Cut the wood grain paper to fit onto the cardboard circle. Depending on the size of the cardboard, you may need to piece together several pieces to cover the cardboard. Glue the wood grain paper to the cardboard with a Crayola Glue Stick.
  9. 9. Use Color Sticks to color over the wood grain rubbings to create a traditional African Tribal mask design.


Students explore African art by region. Compare and contrast regional art from Mali, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Gabon, Botswana, Tanzania and Egypt.

Students research and reproduce traditional African patterns found in textiles like mudcloths and kente cloths.

Assessment: Students create rubbing plates and produce textured wood grain designs. Students reproduce an authentic African Tribal mask.


Students research the use of African Tribal masks in African culture.

Students reproduce a traditional African Tribal mask.

Students understand texture as an element of art. Texture rubbings give the illusion of texture in a composition.


Grades 1 to 3
Grades 4 to 6
Grades 7 to 12


Social Studies
Visual Arts


Multiple Sessions

curriculum standards links

US: Research U.S. Standards
UK: Research UK Standards
Canada: Research Canada Standards

safety guidelines

Adult Assistance is required for this arts & crafts project.

Scissors—ATTENTION: The cutting edges of scissors are sharp and care should be taken whenever cutting or handling. Blunt-tip scissors should be used only by children 4 years and older. Pointed-tip scissors should be used only by children 6 years and older.

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