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Lesson ideas

Art and design KS12

* Design and make your own carnival mask that reflects your life. Use real and imagined creatures and images that could show people in Bolivia how different your carnival would be from theirs. Some costumes use tinsel for silver, light bulbs and plastic eyes on springs.


* Look at the British Museum's travelling selection of masks

( and then make a cross-cultural mask, combining the characteristics of the Bolivian mask with items such as customised motorcycle helmets and sports headgear. (Baseball and fencing headgear were exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art, New York, alongside masks from other cultures.) Music KS23

* Create a percussion piece for miners to dance to at a carnival in Bolivia, using objects from school or home.

* Search for carnival music from around the world and make a short tape recording.

Humanities KS23

* Find out about carnivals in countries such as Brazil, America (the Mardi Gras in New Orleans) and the UK (the Notting Hill Carnival).

* Find out about the miners who worked in these countries during the Industrial Revolution and the illnesses they suffered. A traditional date in the calendar of the UK labour movement is the Durham Miners' Gala, but it isn't celebrated with the fantastic costumes and dances found in Bolivia. The 119th gala took place in July 2003. For more information visit the Durham Mining Museum website (

Literacy KS23

* Imagine this mask as a cartoon character with a life of its own. Its first home is in the miners' world of the Andes, but then it is suddenly taken to London and brought face-to-face with you, the museum visitor, and placed among other museum exhibits.


* Country Studies has history and background information about Bolivia: http:countrystudies.usbolivialEnjoy Bolivia features details about festivals:

* has an article about the world's largest mine in Potosi, Bolivia: boliviapotosi.html

* The BootsnAll site has stories about miners' lives and includes an article about a drunken wedding:


* Masks: The Art of Expression

Edited by John Mack

British Museum Press pound;15.99

* Masks

By Judy Lindsay

British Museum Press pound;5.99

Eight masks to press out and wear.

* Africa: masks and masquerade is a resource for KS1 using the Sainsbury African Galleries collections. For more information contact the British Museum Education Department

Tel:020 7323 8511

lMasquerade: schemes of work for art in the primary school

By Judy Carn, Ruth Elia and Trilby Lawlor, Visual Learning Foundation

pound;30 (including pamp;p)


* The British Museum has masks from all over the world, an exhibition on the Mexican Day of the Dead, and on Masquerade, which includes work by sculptor Sokari Douglas Camp. For details visit livinganddying

* The Horniman Museum ( in south London has masks from Bolivian carnivals.

* Other museums with mask collections include the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford ( and museums in Brighton, Ipswich, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

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