Submitted by: Jill Hanson-Fahnoe, Blake Lower School, Highcroft Campus UNIT: Art of the Inca - Foil Tooling - Masks Lesson: Inca Gods - Foil Tooled Mask Grade level: Elementary (grades 4 through 6)
These masks were made by fourth graders at The Blake School, Highcroft Campus. As part of their classroom social studies they learned about South America. During art class they explored the art of the Inca, a lost civilization from Peru. They looked at hand-crafted Inca objects made of metal- taking a close look at gold and silver masks unearthed from Inca tombs. Through these they learned about the Inca people's awesome craftsmanship. They thought their use of design was very good - like patterns, geometric shapes and symbols.
Next they drafted a design for a mask of their own - combining what they knew about the Inca people with what they knew about their style of art, and threw in a bit of imagination as well! The ideas were then embossed into and then cut from a sheet of metal foil. Some of them "antiqued" masks to make them look like they were tarnished or old. Students then wrote about the meaning of their masks - showing an understanding of Incan culture.
Present background information on the Inca and Inca gods. Optional: Present the Sun in Art - give a short overview of cultures and worship of Sun God. Make connections to science.
Show examples of Inca gold - and metal tooling. Discuss the Inca gold masks
Demonstrate foil tooling techniques - working both sides of the metal
"Goddess of Silver"
"God of the Sun" "God of Water"
Here are the stories written by these students:
"Goddess of Silver"
I am the goddess of silver. I rule the world
with silver. I am made of silver and will be beautiful until the
end of the world. I make the light when the earth moves. When you
sleep I sleep. When I am asleep the god of gold takes care of you.
He makes the sand for the sandman. I'm getting sleepy now, so it's
time for the gold god to take over. Good night!
Grade 4, The Blake School
"Incan Sun God"
I am an Incan Sun God. My people cherish me.
They say that I save them from famine after thunderstorms. They
decided to put me in the sun temple by a window to catch the
sunlight. The light makes me shine and sparkle. Instead of being
made of bronze or copper, I am made of gold. The moon goddess is
made of silver. She is my wife. According to the other gods in the
temple, she gave birth to the earth. Thank you for reading my
Grade 4, The Blake School
"God of Water"
I made this mask at
Highcroft. I used simple shapes because it is supposed to be a
mask from the Age of Incas. The mask represents the god of water.
It can make rivers in the deserts and can also make water appear
anywhere. It helps animals because it is the giver of water..
Grade 4, The Blake School
Objectives: Students will
Show an understanding and awareness of Inca culture and religion
Show an appreciation for art of the Inca - discuss artifacts
Create a mask showing design concepts of the Inca - pattern, repetition - adornment
Demonstrate craftsmanship intooling and cutting foul
"The central god of the Incan
religion was the sun-god, the only god that had temples built for
him. The sun-god was the father of the royal family. There were
many gods among the Incas, but the sun-god outshone them all. The
Incas also believed that there was a heaven, a hell, and a resurrection of the body after death." -From Civilizations
"The Incas revered the Sun as
the sole universal God who creates and sustains everything through
his light and power. They believed that the Sun was the 'natural
father of the first Inca, Manco Capac, and of his wife, Mama Ocllo
Huaco, as well as all of their descendants who were sent to
Earth for the benefit of all people.'" - Religion
and Ceremonies of the Inca (Archive) This is a student project - home
Peru: Art from the Chavin to the Incas - Included in the book are the important sites and landscapes representative of the three major ecological levels of Peru, as well as a general view and a historical perspective of the pre-Columbian cultures of Peru.
Tiwanaku: Ancestors of the Inca - This book examines the arts, with an emphasis on textiles, and culture in scholarly essays that also discuss the city's religion, layout, and architecture, as well as the contemporaneous Wari civilization in Peru. Photographs and drawings abound, including aerial views and documentation of portrait ceramics and gold discs. Despite its importance to Incan culture, Tiwanaku is too little known, a lack this surpassing volume will help correct.
Submitted by: Tammi Fox Unit: Empire of the Incas Lesson Plan: "M" IS FOR MONKEY Grade: K-2
(We first looked at, discussed, and sketched the monkey vessels in the gallery. Some of the monkeys were
wearing headbands and/or had geometric designs on them, and most
were in a human-like pose. This simple lesson can be done with any animal.)
Draw a large monkey or vessel in the shape
of a monkey, then trace line drawing with Sharpie. Geometric
designs can be added. Color with oil pastels. (I made my sample by
repeating the letter "M" all over the monkey to create an
implied texture, but the students just had fun experimenting with
the oil pastels and mixing new colors.
Submitted by: Tammi Fox Unit: Empire of the Incas Lesson Plan: JAGUARS Grade: K-2
(We first drew step-by-step jaguars together
by following the steps from a How to Draw Animals book. Then we
looked through animal books and sketched jaguars in various
positions, such a leaping, running, sitting on a tree limb, etc.
Then we made sketches from the wooden and ceramic jaguars in the
gallery. We also discussed jaguars’ unique spots: the
"rosettes" have spots in the center, unlike leopards’ spots.)
Draw and cut out each part of the jaguar
separately (body, legs, tail, a larger circle and overlapped
smaller circle to form the head, and ears). Glue together. Paint.
They let their imaginations run wild, and very few of them
actually used "normal" jaguar colors!
Submitted by: Tammi Fox Unit: Empire of the Incas Lesson Plan: PRINTING WITH ANIMALS Grade: K-2
(We first sketched animal vessels in the gallery.)
Etch a drawing of an animal into a flat
piece cut from the tray. Use scraps from the styrofoam tray to
make stamps. We made jaguar spots/rosettes, but Inca influenced
geometric designs can be a theme for the stamps. Do test prints,
and use the proper technique for printing (inking up a brayer,
placing the paper on top of the printing plate, etc.) and pull a
print in the center of the paper, or several prints depending on
sizes of paper and printing plate. Use stamping technique (dip in
paint) to make a border with the stamps.
Submitted by: Tammi Fox Unit: Empire of the Incas Lesson Plan: Mummy Bundle: MUMMY HEAD Grade: K-2
Fold felt over and sew the 2 long sides.
Turn inside out. Stuff and shape the head, then tie yarn around
the neck. (The body can be stuffed and sewn shut, but I leave it
open like a hand puppet.) Paint the face. Complete the mummy
bundle with TUNIC, HEADBAND, and WOVEN BELT.
Submitted by: Tammi Fox Unit: Empire of the Incas Lesson Plan: Mummy Bundle: HEADBAND Grade: K-2
Cut white paper into a large strips- length
and width will vary depending on size of MUMMY HEAD. Draw and
color geometric designs. Glue feathers. Staple together so it
slips onto the top of the MUMMY HEAD.
Submitted by: Tammi Fox Unit: Empire of the Incas Lesson Plan: Mummy Bundle: TUNIC Grade: K-2
Cut an "X" opening in the center of both
the blue and red felt. Position the red felt in the center of the
blue felt, turn it so it makes a diamond (rhombus), and glue it in
place. With pencil and ruler, draw a square grid on white felt to
make 10 squares (approx 1 ½- 2 inches each). Paint a geometric
design on each square, cut them apart, and glue on the front side
of the tunic. Stick the MUMMY HEAD through the "X" hole, add WOVEN BELT.
Submitted by: Tammi Fox Unit: Empire of the Incas Lesson Plan: Mummy Bundle: WOVEN BELT Grade: K-2
Make a loom from the mat board by cutting 4
notches at each short end, then warp with the string, and tape
down the ends. Wire should be cut in a length in which it can be
woven across once, and then bent to wrap around the back. Of
course every other row should be alternated (under/over, then
over/under), but it’s OK if several wires in a row do not
alternate from the ones next to them, as this is a difficult
concept for some students and the belt can be completed
regardless. Wrap the completed belt around the TUNIC and secure
with a few wires which are cut long enough to wrap several times
NOTE from Tammi: I taught a week-long
art camp at the Orlando Museum of Art during the summer of 2004.
These lessons were done with 5 through 7 year olds. The theme was
"Empire of the Incas". These lessons were appropriate based on
the artifacts in the museum. They have many animal vessels,
including a case dedicated to jaguars and another dedicated to
monkeys. Though all of these lessons can be adapted in many ways,
and most of the activities are things we’ve all done many times,
I put this together all in one place because I was stumped at
first when handed the Inca theme and hope that putting this on the
internet will help some one else who is handed an Inca unit and
doesn’t know where to start! I did not include the objectives in
the lessons, though many visual art benchmarks are covered
throughout the unit through the use of a wide variety of materials
and techniques, and of course the obvious cultural connections.
Feel free to contact me with questions- put "Empire of the
Incas" in the subject line (email: [email protected])