Ap art history 

"Africa-Inspired Masks"

After exploring the art of various African tribes and nations, students in Mr. Ghassan’s Advanced Art History course chose one of the masks they learned about, explained how it inspired them, and then created their own masks based on one of the design elements or principles found in their chosen mask. Each mask holds a deep personal significance to each student. 

May Alzaben

The dark colors reflect my grandmother’s dark ending to life, and the bright red glitter on the sides of her face symbolize the beginning of a new era; her beautiful afterlife. Initially, I began painting in light colors, but as I continued painting, I noticed myself using darker colors. The mask itself includes scarification marks, messy, integral brushstrokes, a blue halo and fiery red circle in the middle, black auspicious eye-shadow reflecting her beauty , the mark on her chin that is representative of all Palestinian women. I included the geometric shapes to elaborate on her religion, Islam. The red Circle representing eternity, the black and square heaven and the blue triangle representing her strength. Teta May loved wearing golden jewels and ostentatious outfits, but she was kind and humble at heart, brave and daring in the mind and soul. The marks the brush strokes create that effect and the clippings represent mini tubular headpieces as a symbol of the small hairs she hoped she would form during her time with cancer. I’m not an artist, but this mask if very important to me because it is meant and worn for her. I , May, named after Teta May, am the mask’s wearer. I wear it to honor her and only her, and everything she has ever been through. It is no question that May lived a difficult life, but she raised 6 beautiful children in Saudi, fell in love with someone who never left her side, and left the world too young. She imprinted a scorching mark in her granddaughter’s heart, and the mask is for her, only her.

Amean Hamdan

The ID of the following mask is: Fortune Ram Mask. L.A Rams Fans (Figueroa st. California). C. 2019. Cardboard, spray paint, acrylic paint. Description of ID: The location on the mask is the Rams stadium, and that is where the majority of the fans would go to in order to bring good luck for the team. The Fortune Ram mask is a cardboard hand-made mask that was made with spray paint, acrylic paint and styrofoam. The Fortune Ram mask represents a Ram, which is the mascot for the ‘Los Angeles Rams’ from the NFL. The colors used on the mask are all the colors of the Los Angeles Rams uniform, and the yellow design on the mask is also the same design sheep rams have on their faces. The yellow design on this mask connects to the Aka elephant mask because the elephant mask has patterns that were the same as leopards, and the Fortune Ram Mask has a design that is the same as a sheep ram. This mask was created on December 13 by Amean Hamdan, and it was handmade using sharp knives, paint brushes, and hot glue. The Ram horns on the mask represent the power of the football team, and it connects to the Aka Elephant mask, because the elephant ears on the side of that mask represents the elephant, and the importance and the power it carried. The Fortune Ram mask is meant to be worn by fans whenever the Los Angeles Rams are playing, and it is meant to bring goodluck to the players. This mask is believed to be more powerful when worn with other people, and people would perform rituals such as special dances, special songs, and cheering. When the Rams are playings, all the fans in the stadium would wear the mask and start cheering as much as possible in order to bring good luck to the team. People who aren't at the stadium would also gather up with friends, and they would all wear the mask as they all cheered and celebrated together. The mask has a cut out shape on the mouth so that the fans can be audible when they cheer, and it also has a lightweight design so that the fans can wear it for the duration of a 2.5 hour game. The idea of the Fortune Ram Mask being worn in unity with a group of people to worship the football team connects to the Aka Elephant mask, because that mask is also meant to be worn in a group of people, for social harmony.

Dina Dawood 

The Wyurri Mask. Sunde Society, Mende people. 18th to 20th century CE. Clay and pigment. The Wyurri mask is a dark wooden mask that is ornamented with bright symbols that emphasize face features like the forehead, cheeks, eyes and nose. It is molded in a very realistic way which symmetrically distributes measurements of the face. This mask was used in ceremonies that departed young men into their hunting journeys. A part of the transition of a boy to a man was to go on a hunting trip and return with goods for their tribe. This mask was worn in the farewell ceremony prior to the hunting trip to wish those men a successful and safe first journey. The mask is worn by the young men along with a red coat that covers their shoulders up to their knees. the mask has several  symbols that ornament it colorfully. the well defined eyes symbolize the eyes of an eagle; it wishes for the young voyagers good luck when it comes to preying in their hunt. The forehead is decorated with an african Flame Lily. It is a symbol for understanding the beauty of nature in order to benefit from it. The flames drawn on the forehead symbolize resistance and power that is needed for the first journey. The Mende people are a large tribe in Africa. Men are separated into two laboring systems based on their social status. Some pursue agriculture and some go on hunting journeys. The Mende people were known for their advanced hunting techniques and weaponry. They are also an important center of trade to import leathers and jewelry made from animal bones and teeth. This mask is an inspiration of the Bundu mask as it celebrates the transformation of the boys in the tribe to becoming men. It also idealizes the importance of hunting to the tribe’s economy and culture. 

Faris Abbas

(Hajabbas Mask. Ap Art Historians (modern day Jordan) Faris Abbas. 21st century CE. Gold, wood, silver, rope and mascara). Faris Abbas created this mask out of rare materials like gold and silver. It displays symmetry and a frequent use of geometric shapes. He also used rope and mascara to elaborate on specific symbols and representations. The crown-like head piece is a representation of unity and variety, as the shape used to create the crown is half of the unity and variety symbol, which Abbas applied himself. The shape that surrounds the mouth is the symbol of strength and individual power. The consistent use of the V on the chin represents the day and month the artist’s mother was born in, which introduces the amount of influence the artist’s mother had on his art. The artist had understood life through his mother’s eyes. She taught him to be wide-eyed and understanding, hence the use of the black mascara around the eyes. The use of the crown taught him to be open-minded to all aspects of life. The use of the silver pearls around the eyes represents the importance and value Abbas’s mother had to him. The messy ropes represent the rough patches in time the artist’s mother went through to raise him, as it was a tough job to do individually. The use of red lipstick represents the boldness and fearlessness she had, despite the fact that there was more than that inside where at times, she couldn’t do it all on her own. The name of the artwork “Hajabbas” is the integrating of the artist’s last name, as well as his mother's last name. This piece is worn by all who appreciate what their loved ones have done for them and sacrificed for them. It is worn in celebration and in mourning because it appreciates both the ups and downs that we experience with our loved ones. Duality.

Fathia Salma Aulia 

The Mother Mask. Fathia Aulia. Late 2019. Wood, Metal, Gold, pigment, earthen fiber. The mother mask of Fathia Aulia was used during the late 2019. The artist, Fathia Aulia, made the mask in order to honor her grandmother who birthed her mother who birthed Aulia successfully. Moreover, the mask was also a symbol of respect toward women who were courageous and brave of bearing children and raising them. The mask is made out of wood and was carved meticulously to achieve a smooth surface, and it has geometric shapes, with the motif of circles, that is undoubtedly symmetrical on each side. The mask depicts an ideal woman and with this specific mask made by Aulia, it has great association with her grandmother. The eyes of the mask are covered by circular metals to depict the importance of a graceful and elegant woman in society. The mask has a small lip with a gold upper lip and white lower lip to convey the idea that women are highly respected and honoured. The upper part of the mask is sewn with earthy fiber to portray hair which was popular among women. The gold crescent moon on the forehead symbolizes wisdom and woman’s greatness of spirituality, perhaps it symbolizes Aulia’s grandmother’s spirituality. The mask has a motif of a circle. Circle was seen as a symbol of continuity and flourishment, with it being put ubiquitously on the mask, suggests that women is the one that continues the society by giving birth and raising a new generation of children. The mask was danced in a slow and subtle manner by the grandchildren of the women dedicated to. Additionally, the mother mask was inspired by the pwo mask judging by both having the motive of circles; the pwo mask symbolizes the spiritual realm of a woman while the mother mask symbolizes the continuity women brings to the generation. And, both masks are also dedicated to elderly women who have successfully given birth.

Karma Al Hashemi 

The Mask I designed is a mask which truly represents that state of my thoughts and inner self. KARMA tribe. Early 21stcentury CE. Black and Blue ink, cardboard, acrylic paint. The elements used to create my mask really help with allowing one to understand the meaning of my mask, since I used really fine lines, with a thin tip, so that my doodles and patterns could appear very delicate. The function of this piece would be that it is meant to be worn during times of fear and negativity either in one’s external surroundings or because of internal conditions. The blue and the evil eye represent the negative and jealous energy that any society or environment emits. The content of this piece would also be that it has so much negative space and all the patterns are highly compacted and fill many of the masks space especially in the area of the head, this represents ones thoughts and how complex the human mind is. The context of this mask is that it is made for anyone who decides to be enlightened and open their minds to a life where they are protected and wouldn’t want bad feelings and intentions to manifest and take over their lives. 

Elizabeth Chapman 

Inspired by the Aka Elephant Masks from Bamileke, I have titled my mask the Lily Flower Mask as it is created for my mother. As my mother loves flowers, my mask includes a black flower outline on the center forehead with four petals that symbolize her four children. The mask also features hanging beads that begin from the nose to embody different points within her life as well as show a connection to her family. The mask's simple, dark blue color is reminiscent of the beads from the Aka elephant mask and leaves the mask with a calm, subdued aura surrounding it. Finally, my mask would be worn during special family events where all members of the family would gather and the eldest sibling would wear the mask to honor our mom. For all that mothers do for their children, this mask is to celebrate their life and to thank them. 

Ramzi Muammar 

The Aka elephant mask inspired me to design my mask, the elephant mask takes the stylized shape of an elephant and which we can see are found on the sides of the mask. That inspired me to not limit my design to only the mask itself but to add other pieces in which I can expand my design. Also, the elephant mask was made to emphasize the complete power of the king, where in my design I wanted to create a mask that showed the power of a king of the people and protector of the people. The elephant mask also focuses greatly on the elephant where I have added elephant features to my mask, but I have focused on making it mainly human. The idea of my mask is not to make the person wearing it great because he is another animal, but because he is that person and also partly that animal. My mask was also inspired by the movie black panther, more specifically the Ekoi peoples which were one of the cultures that inspired the creation of the movie. The Ekoi peoples which are found in modern day Ejagham, Nigeria, use the Nsibidi language which I incorporated the languages symbols onto my mask to read out many words such as “unity”, “prevent danger” and “war”. These symbols were also found in the movie black panther. Also seeing that the person who would wear the elephant mask would also sometimes wear rare leopard pelts, I added some panther like features onto my mask that would combine the elephant and the panther which I found to be a unique mix. The colors I chose are also meant to represent many things: yellow: security and the future, red: suffering and war, blue: water and the flow of life and black: the borders of life and the paths of life.

Sultan Hallaq 

My mask, titled Portrait Mask of Anvar Kulov, (Sultan Hallaq, Portrait Mask of Anvar Kulov, Jordan, 2019 C.E., paper, paint, cloth yarn) is a dedicated mask to my late maternal grandfather. It consists of a lilac face color with Kazakh patterns and a ring of yarn around the mask. It reflects the inspirations of the Mblo mask of Moya Yanso in its inclusion of abstracted symbolism over realism, which is seen with the Kazakh patten, face color, and yarn strings. The pattern symbolizes the cultural bond with Kazakhstan, a historically a nomadic region, which explains the intercultural elements. The lilac color represents an exaggerated color of what faces look like in the cold steppe. The yarn symbolizes facial hair, stemming from masculine gender roles. During his life, my grandfather was a sculptor and artist, which is why I chose to create this art piece for him. However, living in soviet-era Kazakhstan, much of his cultural identity was erased. Unlike the Mblo mask’s function of being part of a performance, this mask serves to directly express Kazakh culture. It is a symbol of heritage, a metaphor for the mask he couldn’t show in the midst of the authoritarian regime.  

Jumanah Al-Rawajfeh 

The ID of my mask is: Lion Mask. Jordanians (Jordan, crossroad of Asia, Africa, and Europe). 20th century CE. Cast, colored papers, and strings. My artwork is composed of simple materials, white paper, paint, and strings. It contains symmetrical and geometrical shapes. The Lion Mask has a small round head. Lions have been the best to be compared with because it has been always seen as a symbol of unique power and authority. The mask also symbolizes the privilege of the wearer, King’s Academy’s community. The black area around the eyes symbolizes tiredness. I used some black to show that it lacks when it is compared with the colorfulness of the students’ souls and minds. The black has come into life because it is surrounded with a huge energy. This mask is used to remind and emphasize the potential of the King’s Academy students to change the world into a better one. It is also to present the united one hand of the school. At King’s, staff, faculty, and students wear this mask in the community day. In this time, all the King’s community take photos together, eat together, and usually dance. I connected my mask to the African Aka Elephant Mask in terms of content. Both masks symbolize the privilege of the wearer. For the Elephant Mask, people were privileged by the wealth that they were in because of the trade from Venice and the Middle East. They were also privileged by their unity and king who was able to dominate and rule their society. Similarly, for the Jordanian Lion Mask, people wear it to recognize how much grateful and thankful they are because they are privileged to study at King’s Academy.

Lana Abduljawad 

Baha Falcon mask. Bahrain. C. 2019 C.E. Pearls, cloth, falcon feathers. The mask is made out of rare falcon feathers, Bahraini pearls, and cloth. The pearls are a famous item from bahrain and one of its treasured items. The red pearl represents peace, the blue pearl represents the ocean as Bahrain is an island, the brown pearl represents the desert as Bahrain is a desert island, the gold pearl represents wisdom as the only people allowed to wear the mask are kings. The mask consists of 100 feathers from over 50 different falcons. The use of falcon feathers shows the importance of the person wearing it as it represents regal power. The mask symbolizes a falcon which is the national bird of Bahrain. The people who make the masks are prestigious pearl divers that are renowned in mask making. The masks are used in the coronation of the new king, where millions of people are able to see it.

Maria Al-Sawalha 

Mask of Blazing Fire is a mask that was inspired by the Himba peoples. It was created on December 14th of 2019 using paper, cardboard, and paint. The dominant color was black hints of red, green, yellow, and brown (earthy tones). The mask was a part of a sacred ritual which involved huddling around the holy fire, Okuruwo, once a year to ward off evil spirits. The fire, via the smoke, symbolizes a connection with their ancestors, who are in direct communication with their God. Worn by the fire-keeper, the spirit of the founding ancestor come to life once mask is put on to take unwanted spirits back to land of dead. It is meant to portray the ancestors but is not a self-portrait. The marks on the ends of the cheeks and flames on top of the head symbolize the fire that is the center of ritual. The eyes are closed to represent both the calmness and strength of the goddess. This mask was used only during this ritual and was then kept within the Himba leader’s protection until the following year where it is taken out and used. There is a clear link between my mask and the Portrait Mask (Mblo) of Moya Yanso in terms of content and function. Both masks have ears, closed eyes, and a small mouth. I took the triangular pieces from the sides of the portrait mask to create a pattern around the eyes of mine. The portrait mask and the Mask of Blazing Fire were both used in ceremonies and rituals. They have power to act with simply their presence–– communicate with ancestors and spirits. They were both embodiments of significant and valued people.

Dima Al-Gburi 

I created the tagoldifeir mask. Dima aljuboori. 2019 CE. Cardboard, string, fabric, glitter, plastic pearls, turquoise beads.For the Form of the mask, the base of the mask is made out of cardboard and string to hold it in the back. It is Covered in fabric (hessian (burlap) formed from jute, hemp, or other natural fibers). It is decorated with pearls, turquoise beads, steel thread and gold leafs and thread. As for the content, the brown fabric it symbolizes humbleness, The white pears that are used in the flower symbolize peace, The gold pears symbolize beauty, The brown pearls symbolizes harmony and protection and the turquoise beads symbolize strength, While the golden leafs they symbolize one’s connection to nature as well as power and dominance.The gold leafs also symbolize a linos mane which symbolizes strength since the lion is considered to be the king of the jungle. The pattern of the gold thread symbolizes a giraffes pattern since the giraffe is tall which symbolizes that the queen is above everyone, and finally the lips are made out of steel to show that the queen mouth is always closed and it only opens to spread wise words. The context of this mask is that it was created for one of the earliest queens in Africa, her real name is unknown but she was known as the “fair gold queen” she was very powerful and strong. She ruled her kingdom while her husband took care of her daughter. She passed down the crown to her daughter and her grand daughter and all the women of the family and so on. Who ever wore the crown must also wear the specific cape that the “fair gold queen ” wore it with. The only person that could wear the mask was the current queen. The people that were all living during the reign of that queen were all living a simple luxurious life since all of the important necessities were handed out to them as a gift from the queen. And the women were more dominant and empowered than the men and they would go to work while the men stayed at home. Because of that mask the lion and the elephant were considered holy animals and were taken care of. The function of this mask was at first used as a mask to show the characteristics of the mother queen but after her deathly was used in spiritual ceremonies and dances that are used to connect the people to the founding queen. This links to the “Aka elephant mask’ since both masks use beads to convey the meaning using symbolism and both of them symbolize two animals my mask symbolizes a lion and has a giraffe print, while the “Aka elephant mask” symbolizes an elephant and has a leopard print. Both masks represent strength, royalty, dominance, and power. 

Yiran Zhao 

I designed and created my own mask, and I called it “Outlier”, meaning breaking through the standards and boundaries of reality, living as what your inner self looks like. I drew the face by myself in my dorm in a late evening with my brain full of memories. Visually, it is very symmetrical, just like the Female (Puo) Mask, and it was made of hard paper and painted by watercolor paints. It looks like a bisexual human face, depicted with male’s hairstyle and brushy eyebrows, meanwhile contains curled eyelashes and huge round earrings, indicating the facial appearance of female. This concept of bisexuality is somhow inspired by the Female (Puo) Mask, since the female masks were worn by males. I painted double colored eyeshadows in order to emphasize and abstract the eyes, which the Female (Puo) Mask also did so by painting huge eyes with light yellow pigments. The face is covered by dense crevices and cracks, symbolizing the moment of breakthrough and the struggle of antinomy. Since the Female (Puo) Mask used the shape of mouth as a symbol to convey the message that there is no need for an ideal woman to speak out, I used a similar strategy to cover the two corners of the mouth by two huge yellow circles, trying to convey the message that the person’s mood is not determined and can have multiple emotions at the same time. Contextually, I was inspired by the Female (Puo) Mask because the mask shows the ideal woman and the ideal virtues so that the women can see themselves in the mask as it was being performed for them. I designed this mask for myself because I want to depict the ideal “Yiran” on the mask and see “myself” through the mask. I can still remember that when I was pretty young, I was as naughty as a little boy, climbing on the trees alone and playing sports with other boys till late evening. I live as “myself” freely without caring about other’s opinions on me. Honestly, I wished myself to become a boy because I thought boys have less vexations than girls do. I’ve never played BARBIE toys but owned lots of toy cars and robots. I was so confident when I was presenting my true self to others. However, as I am “forced” to grow up, I become more and more sensitive and cares so much about how others think of me. I start restricting myself and learn how to become a “good girl”, I become more and more quiet and try to be smiling all the time. I designed this mask with cracks because it represents me breaking through all constraints and standards; I added male features to try to become “a little boy” again.; I hided the corners of my mouth because I wish I can stop smiling all the time. Even though the process of growing up is both sweet and sour, I still decided to make this mask for the purpose of justifying my “inner self” as a “legitimate” outlier.

Muhamad Hamshari 

The mask I have designed is the Mini-Hamshari Mask. Hamshari tribe (TulKarm). Early 21st century CE. Cardboard, Spray Paint, Paint, Graphite, Beads, Faux Leather, toothpick, Woven Cloth, and Clay. The elements used to create the form of my mask are as followed: it is a premade make mold made out of an easily manipulated piece of cardboard. The carboard was cut into a branch like form. The mask symmetrical, and clay was used for the eyes. The color on the cardboard is acrylic paint, and the leaves were plucked from my garden. The content of the artwork explains and brings meaning to the form. The branched like form at the chin is meant to symbolize the Hamshari family tree. Everyone in the Hamshari family is from TulKarm. The closed eyes symbolize the passing of an elder male relative who was all knowing; therefore, his eyes are closed. The beads surrounding the eyes are mean to symbolize the rocks found near the Hamshari river. The braided hair symbolizes health and long life. This mask would’ve been worn by the oldest male son of the elder whop passed away. If the elder did not have children, then it would be worn by the eldest male family relative. The mask would’ve been worn in a dance. The dance is preformed when the mask bearer dances around a plate of halal killed lamb in a field of grass. Later, the mask would be set on fire, and the ashes would be dumped into the river. These masks are the most important artifacts in the Hamshari culture. This mask was only intact and not damaged because Palestine was occupied by invaders and the ceremony could not be completed. 

Haneen Alsadi 

The ID for my mask is: Mask of Beauty. Haneen Alsadi. Jordan (Madaba). C. 21 century. leaves, and feathers. This is a mask is worn by women and men before marriage. They should ware these masks whenever they see the person, they are going to marry so that if they loved each other the love will be based on their personalities and their morals that’s why they don’t see each other until they are married. My inspired mask has closed eyes that represent not to judge others by looks, so a person would judge the person that he/she is going to marry based on their ethics and not based on how beautiful they are. However, I connected this to the Bundu mask because it has a small mouth and small ears that suggest not to gossip and not to hear gossiping and this gave me the idea of closing the eyes of my mask. The cracked mouth represents less talking and more listening as the mouth is tired of talking and it’s time to use the ears. This is what people should do when meeting the person they want to marry, they should listen to each other carefully to know what their personality is like. That’s why the mask has big ears that suggest listening deliberately to the other person so they would see whether the things the other person says are meaningful or not. The flowers on the face and the leaves suggest nature because at the end we are all humans and we are part of this nature. We all have our unique beauty. 

Haya AlMajali 

“Portrait mask (AlMajali). Jordanian Peoples. December 2019. Cardboard and pigment.” The form of this artwork encompasses the oval shaped face of the mask, pointed nose, and closed mouth carved from cardboard. Black, red and green pigments were used to create this mask, and the curved marks around the hairline represent curly hair. The content of this artwork presents an idealized portrait mask of a Jordanian woman named Saja AlMajali, known for her fierceness and pursuit of justice within the community. Her small mouth symbolizes her intelligence, and her prominent eyelashes represent her femininity. The colors red, green and black derive from the Jordanian flag which is where she was born. The seven-pointed star on her forehead refers to the seven verses of Al-Fatiha. They represent faith in one God, humanity, humility, national spirit, virtue, social justice, and aspiration (all traits she possesses). The stars intertwined in her hair represent hairclips which she uses to tame her curly hair.  As for the context, the mask was carved by her granddaughter in Amman, the city where Saja lives. She works as a Foreign Affairs Minister and travels to other countries to establish a positive reputation for herself and Jordan. The function of this mask is to be performed by a younger member of the family during traditional friday lunch amongst the tribe members in order to honor a respected member of the Majali tribe, celebrate their achievements and aspire to become like them. The link that connects my mask to my chosen African mask is that it was created and performed by me to my aunt, to honor her achievements of becoming a foreign affairs minister of Jordan and display my respect and affection. 

Jalil Fanous 

The Black and Red Mask. Form: Black face mask, with a black marker, black shoe shine, and red ribbons. Content: A black mask with one close red eye, and curly red ribbons dangling from the side. Context: I made this when I was sitting on my bed in my room. Function: This mask is meant to scare people. I scared my brother and my cousin with it. The Female Pwo Mask was what inspired the looks of this mask. They both are very minimalistic with the incorporation of two colors. However, the Pwo mask has both eyes closed to show how reassured the ancestors/women are. However, my mask has one small open eye because as the Ryoan-ji garden suggests, there is more space for enlightenment, as well as one should always strive for more. Meaning that a person, though on a different level of spirtuality, can achieve greater. 

Mohammed Qutaifan 

Scorpio Mask, the People of Q (West Africa), 1333, CE. Black Onyx Gems, Wood base. Unlike the elephant mask,  it was Intended to worship the elephant,as this animal was always seen as a symbol of sovereignty and royal authority. I wanted to base my mask off of a scorpion, as my horoscope is a scorpio. A scorpion is seen as a symbol of  passion, dominance, defense, transformation, rebirth and ardency. People born under this totem are not the ones to mess around with since their characters are highly sensitive and defensive. The scorpion mask is made out of balck beads, which is similar to the elephant mask showing the relationship between the living and the dead, as some scorpion bites could lead to death. The scorpio mask is worn during death ceremonies, while the person is being buried. The way people are buried is similar to scorpions when they hide, the central body area is covered, however the hands and feet are shown.  

Rakan Abu Tayeh 

ID: Gemini Lover. Rakan AbuTayeh. 2019 CE, Paper mask mold, acrylic paint, sharpie, shells, beads, and gold plated stings. This mask is called Gemini Lover. It holds the ideal of someone very dear to the artist’s heart. It is in a way a portrait mask of their soul. The artist chose the color beige to describe an attribute that this person has. This attribute is subtlety. This person is not loud nor does he stick out negatively. Instead he’s subtle and pleasant. The crown represents the preciousness of this person. The beads represent his character. The green beads represent his humor. The white beads represents the goodness of his heart. The red beads represent the passion and love the artist feels towards the person. The artist assigned each bead to a memory he had with this person. The black beads with gold exterior represent moments of affection they had. The blue hanging beads represent the beauty of this person. The grey shells represent the time they’ve spent together. And the big middle shell is a symbol of eternal love. The left eye has an intricate pattern of ivy in the shape of a butterfly wing, to represent the beauty of this person. The right eye has a purple spark to represent the ethics of this person. The forehead cheekbones and chin have jordanian bedouin tattoo shapes to represent the origin of the person who this mask was made for. The left cheek has the gemini sign on it to represent the zodiac of the person, which the artist believes determines a lot of this person’s attributes. The nose has a moon on it because the artist thinks of this person everytime he sees the moon. The left side of the forehead has a motif that is meant to represnt love.

Reema Zubaidi 

The ID of the mask is the following: ID:  Obinrin onisẹpo mẹta, Madaba Jordan 2019. cardboard, markers. The form of the mask is made up of cardboard, and markers were used to color the mask. The content of the mask is it has different patterns that are used to enlarge the colors that are used in the mask. 3D colors are in the mask to give the mask its own perception of significance and uniqueness. The context of the mask is that the id Obinrin onisẹpo mẹta in Yoruba means the three-dimensional woman. In conjunction with that, the mask is made in Madaba, Jordan in 2019, and the mask is inspired by Female Pwo mask. And the function of the mask is that the different colors symbolize feminism, and also the mask is emphasizing the interconnecting relationship that is between women and societies such as that the colors pink and blue are symbolizing the bonds and relationship that each man and woman have nowadays; as that’s been influenced by the Female Pwo mask, and that is that mask is highlighting, the connection is that both masks have the same function and that is honoring women, and showing how the societies in Africa respect women, and both masks are depicting a female. But the difference is that Yoruba is from Nigeria and Chokwe is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Ahmad Younis 

ID: King Younis Mask. Palestinian peoples (Middle East). c. 2019 CE. Cardboard, ink, and glitter. When you see the Younis mask, you think what the hell is this, but there is more to it than what meets the eye. Instead of having two eyes like a normal mask, once worn, the person has 5 eyes. Two of them is the wearer’s, and two of them are symbols. The eye at the forehead symbolizes protection from the “evil eye” which is popular in middle eastern culture. Since only those privileged enough to be know Younis would wear this during the annual celebration of Younis, he needed the evil eye symbol for protection against “hassad” which is an Arabic word meaning envy. Many people would envy Younis and his perfection, so this eye would protect him from that. Around the eye is a the triangles which form a larger triangle, showing how multiple factors play in his one rule around the kingdom. The two triangles on the sides are striped in purple, which is the royal color. The striped lines are supposed to represent a tiger, showing the power of the ruler. The other eye is the eye of Horus, represents the royal power of Younis, and good health of the royal, prestigious king. This is also put on the mask to symbolize the culture affect previous civilizations on present day Middle East. The eye of Horus guarantees the good health and royal power of Younis. The last symbol is the Hamsa, which is another Middle Eastern symbol. It is used in multiple faiths and cultures throughout the Middle East, showing the diversity of Younis and how he incorporated multiple cultures and religions into his celebration. The hand symbolizes the hand of God, and is supposed to bring good health and fortune, so that King Younis could rule happily and healthy for many years. The red line that's running all around the top of the head, symbolizes the hardships and the blood that was put by the king in order to rule his empire. This mask was made by the nobles (King Younis’ associates) in order to celebrate the great king. The purple colors show us that there was trade in order to obtain these colors, as the markers that they used were made in America. Also, King Younis was the all time favorite ruler of the Middle East. This mask was used for honoring and celebrating the king. This would be work by one of the nobles and danced around Younis himself while singing Younis’ favorite songs. 

Hanae Yoshida

Sunshine Mixed With A Little Hurricane Mask. Hanaé Yoshida (inspired by Chokwe peoples), Madaba, Jordan. Late 2019. Tempera paint, nail laquer, glitter glue, micro-glitter, ribbon, aluminum foil on cardboard. This mask is symmetrical and has stylized features including a slim, contoured nose, thin closed eyes and lips, and a high forehead. The eyes are outlined by two large circles outlined in blue glitter dots. Scarification is present. There is major color contrast between the ombréd yellow and orange skin and the dappled blue circles. The mask also features teal ribbons and lightning bolts as hair. The closed eyes and lips symbolize that women do not owe anyone their words, feelings, emotions, or attention. They also symbolize inner reflection and self love. The yellows and oranges represent the love, happiness, peace, and good vibes that every woman can radiate. The blues and lightening represent the passion, anger, sadness, and power every woman is entitled to feel. It also represents the idea that women can take the world by storm. This mask was inspired by Hanaé Yoshida’s senior quote “Sunshine mixed with a little hurricane”, which is taken from Brad Paisley’s song “Perfect Storm”. Ms. Yoshida found inspiration in the female (Pwo) masks of the Chokwe peoples from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which celebrated women as supernatural beings for their power to give birth to children. In the early 21s century, as in centuries past, men often expect or demand women to constantly be gentle, passive, and smiling, calling women derogatory slurs if women show any other emotion than agreement and happiness. Ms. Yoshida’s mask elects to contradict that sexism, affirming instead that women are powerful, goddess-like beings who are entitled to feel any way they wish. Most of the world in 2019 is patriarchal, but with this mask, Ms. Yoshida shows her support for a more egalitarian, empowered global culture. The mask is used as part of a costume in ceremonial dances celebrating young women’s achievements such as college and job acceptances, engagements, promotions, and childbirth. The mask was danced by males to celebrate their daughters, wives, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, and other female relatives.

Roufei Shang

My mask is called the Ma Horse Mask. It’s created in Jordan in 2019 CE, while the culture belongs to China. It’s made of paper cardboard, paint, and cloth. It has multiple colors on the face in order to represent different parts of a horse’s face. The light brown takes up the major part of the face, and the darker brown represents the horsehair. The gold represents honor and nobility, and it was often used by the imperial family in Ancient China. Gold is also the color of the sun, which comes from the nature, also represents warmth and happiness. The “ma” in the name of the mask is how to say horse in Chinese. Horses were the major transportation during ancient times, and it also helped soldiers to protect their homes and countries. This mask could be originally used in wars, and the mask could protect the wearer’s face and the cloth could protect the wearer’s neck. Nowadays, however, China is a peaceful country with no wars going on. Thus, the modern use of the mask would be used during ceremonies to commemorate and honor the animal horse, and its good qualities. During the ceremonies, embroidery carpets with horse patterns are also presented. Every mask is specific to a specific horse, and mine is the horse that is on my grandmother’s embroidery. However, only people who have horses as their zodiac signs are allowed to wear the masks, and they should only wear the ones that belong to them specifically. 

Hannah Szeto

The ID of my mask is: Applicant mask. Hannah Szeto. December 2019 CE. Hard paper, pigment (markers), string. This mask is made of hard paper and string, with markers for color. It is not naturalistic and incorporates stylized designs to represent the mixed energy of college applications. Below the eyes are red triangles symbolizing the eye bags and bloodshot eyes of applicants after staying up slaving over supplements or schoolwork. There are 3 black lines in the middle of the forehead, representing both the applicant’s increased stress level and their parents’ worry for them. On the cheeks are pink circles, representing life, that blood is still flowing through applicants’ bodies even as they struggle with senior year. At the bottom along the jawline is a depiction of the top of a phoenix’s wings and head, a representation of the applicant, who will ‘rise again’ after this process and live senior year to its fullest. During the height of the 2019 college application season, I created this mask to make a dazzling art history summative and to vent all my thoughts about the college application process into this mask. This mask, beyond its original function of giving me a cathartic release, is for instructing rising seniors about the triumphs and defeats, the epic highs and lows of the college application process. It is a warning of the pressures they will face and put upon themselves, as well as a celebration of their hard work and that despite all the challenging forces, this is just another stage in their prosperous lives. This mask would be worn by a former senior as they recounted their experiences to rising seniors. I really appreciated the idea of passing on wisdom, and my mask functions in a similar way. College is an important subject to pass on knowledge about, and this mask portrays both the good and bad parts of the college process. 

Siraj Abu Namous

ID: The Beaded Mask. Siraj Abu Namous. 2019. Canvas, beads, acrylic paint, spray paint, glue. This mask was inspired by the Aka elephant mask. As I was born and raised in Jordan and my culture managed to shape the person I am today, I decided to design it in a way that will represent my culture as it played a fundamental role in my life. I aimed to keep the essence of the original Aka elephant mask while incorporating the four colors of the Jordanian flag (white, red, black and green) using acrylic paint. 

Duanduan Lin

The Yin-Yang Mask. Duanduan Lin. 2019 CE. Cardboard and a marker. This mask has two contrasting sessions on each of the left and right side. The right side of the mask mainly leaves the white base empty. The perfectly shaped eyebrow, the appropriately positioned beauty spot, as well as the pale color allow the right side of the mask to represent the ideal beauty that modern society declares, specifically through social medias. The left side of the mask aims to demonstrate the infinite kinds of possibility and potentials modern women possess. As the Bundu mask takes on natural motifs including the chrysalis, the Ying-Yang Mask also references nature. The veins and flower shapes that spread the left face grow from a wrinkle under the left eye, implying that the aging of women brings wisdom and prosperity to the women’s soul, so no one should be ashamed of their aging appearance. The shapes on the forehead represents sun and moon, symbolizing women’s power of duality, yin and yang, that enable them to be both tender and strong. These lines also resemble wrinkles on the forehead, praising, again, the aging of women. Female elderlies in a community wear this mask to silently convey to younger girls that they do not need to submit to a single standard that any society imposes. Grown women, with the mask, remind young girls of the diversity and potential of their inner strength when they are not afraid to discover who they truly are. The Bundu mask inspires the making of the Ying-Yang mask. As the Bundu mask teaches young girls how to be a good wife in a patriarchal community, Ying-Yang mask is seem as a modern version of it that tells the girls to be like whoever they want despite multiple expectations that their community might push them to meet.