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Sacred Masks

Episode:74Te Papa Collection:Pacific Cultures

Suggested curriculum levels:3 – 6

Curriculum connections:English: Listening, Reading, and Viewing, The Arts: Understanding the Arts in Context, Social Sciences: Identity, Culture, and Organisation

Description:Learn about the Eharo dance masks from Papua New Guinea.

Questions for students

  1. What is a 'masquerade'? Find out where and when the idea originated. Identify some examples of the use of the idea in different cultures.
  2. Explain in your own words what these masks are like. Who made them? When and where were they made? What materials did the makers use?
  3. What cultural practices were the masks used for? What is meant by 'initiation'? Do we have any initiation processes these days? If so, what are they?
  4. Why does the presenter say the masks in Te Papa's collection are rare? How do you think the museum might have obtained these masks?
  5. Using the concept of a mask to symbolise transition to adulthood, design a mask that would be relevant in your present-day context. What materials and images would you use? Would the masks be worn or displayed in some other way? Use the 'Ideas' response template to record your ideas as you refine them and plan your mask.

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