Visual Art Paper 1, Nov/Dec. 2012  
Questions: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Main
General Comments
Question 5

 (a)       Define Mask.
(b)        Describe any type of West African mask.
(c)        Explain mask as an art form in West Africa.



This question  attracted majority of the candidates and most of these candidates responded appropriately to it. However, a few candidates could not give the required responses and this made them to lose most of the available marks. Such candidates should have responded to the question thus:
(a)        A covering for the face, worn by somebody to conceal his or her identity.

(b)       -           face mask:                   the kind of masks that covers only the face

          -           helmet mask:               the type of mask that covers the entire head.

-            headdress:                   a type of mask usually attached to the head and
                                                                        covering part of the face.
-           pendant mask:             worn by King as symbol of authority as pendant
                                                            resting on the chest.


(c)        -           belief in the supernatural has motivated the creation and sustenance of
                                    many West African traditional masks.
-           these beliefs incorporate some elements of magic, animism and religion.
-           rituals involving the use of masks are done to exert control over the uncertainties of life.
-           with rituals, West Africans aimed at harnessing positive forces from ancestors and gods.
-           masks were meant to serve as a means of communication between the world of man and the supernatural.
-           masks are worn during festivals, celebrations and ceremonies, whose purpose are to cleanse, honour, entertain, initiate, bless, etc.
-           masks are worn to disguise the identity of the wearer.
-           most masks in Africa are carved in wood and decorated with paints, beads, cloth, raffia, etc.
-           by itself, a mask is considered ineffective until it is imbued with powerful spiritual force and worn by someone in full costume and danced with the accompaniment of music and drum.

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