African Art Projects-Simple to do, Educational and Fun

Create a construction paper flag of one of the countries in Africa.
See Link below for inspiration.

Create a faux "Kisii" sculpture from an Ivory Soap Bar. Really, 
first soften the Ivory Soap with a little water and thin use
sculpture tools for a butter knife to cut the "sculpture,"
into various animals shpes.  Need inspiration?  See the link
below which will show you real Kisii sculpture and give you the African
symbolic meaning of the animals that you can create.

Write a letter using beads.  Yes that's right!  The Zulu's of
Nbebele tribe living in Zimbabwe have used a color code to
send messages for a very long time.  The design, color, and
placement of the beads are an integral part to the understanding
of the message and proverbs.  See Links below.

The Ashanti are known for their gold weights are popular collector's
items and are fun to make.  Small sculptural figures can be created
from clay and painted with gold acrylic.  Gold weights convey
moral lessons and proverbs as well as being used for currency.
Sound odd?  Think about our own dollar bill-can you find the statement
on it-"In God we Trust."  See link below for examples of Ashanti
Gold Weights.

The Masai of Kenya have long been known for their warrior abilities
and the traditional red, black, and white shield can be easily 
created from cardboard, paint, beads, cowrie shells, and bells.

Rock Paintings of the Tanzania area are plentiful.  Rock paintings
can be ceated by drawing with charcoal onto a flat smooth rock.
First prime the rock with lard or vegetable shortening.  You can
also carve into a plaster of paris mixture poured into a recyled
plastic meat tray.  Let the plaster of paris dry.  Draw onto
a sheet of paper.  Lay the paper on top of the dry plaster of
paris and retrace drawing.  Brush any excess plaster of paris
from the drawing and paint the entire drawing a grey wash.  You've
got a "faux" incised etching.

African children are known for their ability to recycle old tin
cans into fantastic toys.  Try it.  What can you create from
an old discarded soup can?  M-m-m remember Andy Warhol, oh 
but that's a different story all together.

African Art and Educational Links for Projects

Teacher Guide to Africa
Sponsored by the San Francisco Art Museum-A good place to start
Art Teacher on the Net
Zulu Love Letter Symbols and Meaning
Crate your own symbolic zulu love letter (See Project Suggestion above)
Zulu Bead Homepage
You will find lots of information about Zulu Beads here
100 Site to Zimbambwe
Information about the East African Masai Peoples
Good overview of this region
East African Bibliography
Overview of Books about the Art & Architecture of East Africa
Teaching and Learning about Eastern Africa
Very Comprehensive Site
Nairobi Art
You will find the Kisii Sculpture and Masai Shield here
Interactive Clicable Map of Africa
You will find it easy to find examples of art from all over Africa on this map
African Proverbs
Create a Felt Applique Banner using these proverbs as inspiration
Akan Gold Weights
Learn about the history of the Ashanti Goldweights and then create your own

Do you have other ideas?

This page has focused on the arts of East Africa since the art of West Africa is so plentiful. Any other ideas for projects related to the Eastern part of the Continent?

Art Teacher on the Net