Death Masks

I hope that our project would be relevant to anyone walking into the museum. I imagine people visiting the museum are expecting to see something professional, academic, and relevant to the displays. Because we are talking about death, people would most likely be expecting it to be somewhat depressing. I would like our project to take a lighter look at death while retaining an overall academic and respectful tone. I think our project will relate to the audience by discussing a topic that everyone has experience with and many people are interested in. The lighter tone will help the topic be appealing to people and perhaps be more entertaining as well. I hope to make my section of the project bring understanding about an unusual western tradition that people may not have known about before. One of the main subjects I’m focusing on is death masks, which might seem like an unusual or even morbid practice today. I want our project to help people see certain traditions and rituals in a different way and to broaden their understanding of all our topics. People should walk away with not only a deeper understanding of our topics, but also empathy for beliefs and customs different from their own. Even though some of the customs could seem unusual to outsiders, if we are careful in our research and explanation it will help visitors relate to other cultures are practices of a different time period.   

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4 thoughts on “Death Masks

  1. I am really looking forward to your presentation. The only thing I know about death masks are the ones done in the American colonial period, and even that is not much. I’m not all that clear on the reason for the death masks in the first place, so learning that will be interesting.
    I am really curious about the different materials and appearances of death masks from different places. What kind of variety of cultures will you be looking at? Are you going to keep to a specific time period and what was around then, or are you going to look at a couple cultures and that’s it?

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  2. I like the fact that you are trying to lighten up the topic of death so that people don’t leave the museum depressed, but what steps are you taking to do this? I think it will be interesting to see how different cultures deal with death and what customs they have regarding it. That’s a topic that I’m not too familiar with outside of American customs, and I’ll be intrigued as to why masks play a role in the traditions.

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  3. I am looking forward to where you take this idea of masks. I think it is interesting since people do take death seriously. Have you thought about including some of the cultures that have holiday’s that they celebrate for the dead? I know there is Day of The Dead which is a Mexican holiday, in which they celebrate the death of their loved ones, not like celebrating that they are dead necessary but rather celebrating the life that they had. I think it would be interesting if you included something along those lines.

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  4. I agree the aspect of death is quite depressing, but I think that it is supposed to be to any “normal” person. However, displaying death with a lighter mood is definitely a great idea. I like the idea of presenting the lighter aspects that different cultures have, such as the Dia de los Muertos. I don’t think that death should be such a bad thing, I think that people shouldn’t focus on the fact of people being gone but instead on the time that they did have with them.

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