05 Dec 2013

Mfuwe Animal Masks

0 Comment

The Mfuwe Workshop group has recently completed their latest project, the Animal Masks. These were exhibited in the “Untamed” exhibition last month. All proceeds are channeled back directly to the children who made them. Here is a write up from Pam about the project while it was still underway:


1. Godbish collected all the kids together in Bishedi Village at his house and described the project to them. They discussed the aim and also he showed them some gule wamkulu or nyau footage that he had. Although Nyau isn’t practiced locally there is an occasional ‘performance’ so most of these kids have seen some of this masking .

2. 9 groups were formed. Each group named themselves. Animals were chosen. They went off to research their animals.

3. They collected litter. Along with Godbish and under his direction they all decided that a wire framework should be constructed first on which to attach the litter.

First weekend workshops – Saturday and Sunday at Bishedi Village Godbish’s house.

At this first workshop wire structures were made, each animal discussed, drawings made, and the wire structures started.

As the workshops progressed we showed them some Mali and West African illustrations of masks with the injunction that they should not get too locked into the naturalistic animal but that could use their imaginations and let their animals become something of fantasy if they wanted.  They were really inspired by this and many of them then wanted to expand their ideas and so now they needed to collect more litter.

They begged Godbish to be allowed to continue to work on their pieces through out the week after school in the afternoons. I wasn’t involved in this, but they all progressed and created as they modified and added to their original idea.

It was really nice to see this.”