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African Tribal Masks


Around the World is a section here on LearnCreateLove that I created with the intent to update frequently, and one country at a time. That hasn’t really worked out for us, so now I’m going to share the bits and pieces from different cultures and countries that we’ve made. Today I’m sharing African Tribal Masks.


This craft was inspired by our recent trip to the zoo. Our zoo has an Africa section with chimpanzees, bongo drums, little mud huts the kids can play in, and a set of tribal masks. We talked about how the masks were used to represent or honor ancesors, animals, or a special person. Most masks were made from wood, pottery, textiles, copper or bronze. They were detailed with carvings, feathers, seashells, etc. I also explained how the mask maker in the village is considered very special – he is supposed to be in contact with the spirit world. African masks are highly stylized because they are supposed to capture the “essence” of the spirit and not be very realistic.


Though our masks are only made with cardstock and paint, it was a fun activity. We will be making more African crafts in the future, for sure! Print the crafts below. *NOTE: The paints, paintbrushes, and popsicle sticks we used for this craft were given to us by our friends at CraftProjectIdeas.com!

Directions – Print (below), paint, cut out, & paste on a craft/popsicle stick (preferrably jumbo-sized). I cut out the eye holes for my daughter. I just poked my scissors through the center of the eye hole, and cut out the inside. Very simple! She did the rest. I definitely recommend using cardstock paper for these. Regular paper cannot be used properly as a mask! If you are just using these printables as coloring sheets, normal printer paper will be fine.

Open & Print: African Tribal Masks

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