browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.

Ancient Peruvian Mask Making with Connie Clay Maker (Part I of IV)

Posted by on January 28, 2012

“On January 24th, the Grade Three Bloggers had a BLAST with the one, the ONLY … the magnificent … Connie the Clay Maker!  She is the only person we know that can make Ancient Peruvian masks!”  (Kaylee)

The ONE … the ONLY … Connie Clay Maker!

“If you have NEVER made a Peruvian mask, it is really FUN!  Yesterday, the class was lucky enough to get Connie the Clay Maker to come in and show us how to make them!”  (Ava)

“You ask WHY?  Because we are studying Peru of course!”  (Mya)

This adventure in mask making prompted many MORE questions about Peruvian culture, and MANY of these AMAZING Grade Three Bloggers took it upon themselves to research DEEPER into WHY the Incans made masks.  Thank you to Jesse for finding an incredible site which tells us about how masks were used, and SO much MORE!  One of our Bloggers created a short PowerPoint to share his discoveries.  Thank you, Eric, for helping us to learn that “the Incas used wood, feathers, cotton, and other materials to make all kind of masks.  And, they used the masks to celebrate the silver God, the sun and water.”  We EVEN discovered that the Incas used these masks, sometimes, in the SAME manner that the ancient EGYPTIANS did … as DEATH masks for important people!  (Thanks, Thalia, Julia and Sophie G., for finding THAT incredible information!)  We have ALSO discovered that masks are STILL important in the Peruvian culture.  They are used in MANY celebrations to this day.

Recording the adventure in our journals!

What follows is a “patch work” of writing and thoughts from the class … a little GLIMPSE into our reflections on Part I of a four part journey.  See if you can hear our voices … our enthusiasm … as this adventure unfolds!

Materials and Paper Rolling Techniques!

“When we came in from recess, everyone was trembling with excitement!  We were surprised at how much stuff was sitting on our desks!”  (Sophie G.)

“I saw the supplies all ready to go … newspaper, masking tape, strong paper plates!  Don’t forget perseverance and … your BRAIN!”  (Larissa)

“Before we started the masks we read a Peruvian Mask book to get some ideas.”  (Zack)

WOW! They even put mask designs on WATER jugs!

“First, Connie showed us how to roll up the newspaper.  Wow, I can’t believe I actually survived that!!!”  (Natasha)

Rolling the paper is the TOUGH part ... PERSEVERANCE helps!!!

“Connie told us to roll up some newspaper and tape it on the sides and the middle.”  (Damian)

“It (the newspaper) had to be nice and skinny or it would not work.”  (Max)

“I had trouble rolling it up but Zack helped me roll it up!”  (Alexia)

“I was not good at rolling newspaper at first but later I was professional at rolling the newspaper!”  (Jun)

You can DO it!!!

“We had to use very extreme plates.  Not like those old school plates, those flabby ones!”  (Eric)

“The eyes were hard.  You had to round it like a circle and use masking tape and you had to put it on the top (of the paper plate).”  (Rijul)

“Many people thought that the tape was VERY hard to work with because it was SO sticky … when we were taping we didn’t want ANY tunnels!”  (Martin)

“At last … it is not so hard!”  (Julia)

“Connie kept stealing my tape but she ALWAYS ripped some MORE for me!”  (Brenden)

HEY?!? WHO keeps stealing my TAPE?!?

“You need to put your paper plate on the table and shape your newspaper eyes, ears, mouth and nose.”  (Jesse)

“After that comes the fun part.  It is to make the … MOUTH.  How you make the mouth is get a newspaper then you take the ends and tape them together.  After, we shape it kind of like a sideways oval.”  (Thalia)

“You place your eyes, nose, mouth and eyebrows on a HARD paper plate!”  (Sophie H.)

Remember ... no TUNNELS ... the tape must be SNUG against the plate AND the newspaper you are attaching!

“You can make two different noses:  round noses or like our noses!”  (Tormod)

“I just can’t wait until we paint it!”  (Zahra)

Sadly, two of us missed out on the opportunity to do the first part of making Peruvian Masks with Connie, because:

“Yesterday, I woke up as sick as a piece of Swiss cheese that had been left in the sun too long!”  (Galen)

THAT must have been really, REALLY sick!  Don’t feel TOO badly for us, though, because we got caught up the VERY next day, with the help from some pretty amazing student mentors who knew JUST what they were doing!  Thanks to Martin for generously giving up your GYM time to help our students through this FIRST leg of mask making!  What a THOUGHTFUL guy!

“She is coming back on Friday … WITH CLAY!!!”  (Natasha)

I can't WAIT to work with the CLAY on FRIDAY!

Keep checking BACK … Part II of the mask story is SOON to follow!

We wonder:

  • Do you know any interesting facts about WHY the Incan culture made masks?
  • Have you ever seen ancient Incan masks in a museum?  What were they like?
  • Is there anything ELSE you would like us to tell you about making the FORM to create a mask?

6 Responses to Ancient Peruvian Mask Making with Connie Clay Maker (Part I of IV)

  1. Sarah K

    Wow, Grade 3 Bloggers! I loved how you described your mask work! Your comments were so informative, but also really funny! I feel like I could make a mask myself because you gave me such clear instructions of every step. Can’t wait to see what happens next!

  2. Laurie Renton

    Hi Sarah! Thank you SO much for your WONDERFUL comment because we really ENJOYED it and it made us all feel SPECTACULAR!!! We have learned a LOT about writing posts, and when we write, we work REALLY hard to put some HUMOUR into it because we like to … go fishing … and … REEL in the READER!!! We try to make it interesting so that people don’t fall asleep on their KEYBOARDS!!! Do you THINK you MIGHT make a mask now that you have our instructions and photographs of the process? If you DO decide to make a mask … we would LOVE to see your PICTURES … post them in your comment … if you take any! We won’t be able to write about Part III of Ancient Peruvian Mask Making until the middle of February … because we can’t PAINT them until then. But, keep checking back … because we will have MORE posts about OTHER things BEFORE then! Natasha and Damian on behalf of The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  3. Rosa

    I am so proud that you help other people. What do you want me to do to help you?

    • Laurie Renton

      Hi Rosa. Thank you for your thoughtful comment. It makes us feel pretty proud to know that we are making a difference on a completely different continent. You could help by trying to make small differences right where you live – even a smile will help to brighten someone’s day! Let us know how it goes! 🙂

  4. Nataly

    I LOVE to do creative things too and they are my favorite! And these creative projects are awesome!!!

    • Laurie Renton

      Hi Nataly! We had a lot of fun making our Peruvian masks. Have you ever made a mask out of clay? 🙂

Leave a Reply