Cyber Studio: Transformation Mask

Create your own Transformation Mask inspired by the Sea Bear Transformation Mask by Don Svanvik (ca. 2000) in MAM's gallery. If you want to learn more about Native American Art at MAM, join us in Sunday Studio this month to create a totem pole project! 

Transformation masks were used in ceremonies by Native American tribes, such as the Kwakwaka'wakw, in the Pacific Northwest, to tell stories about ancestors and their heroic deeds. 

This mask tells the story of Alikwamae, a young boy who was given special powers by Kumugwe, the Chief of the Undersea Kingdom, in order to help his people. He was given the ability to transform into any animal from the Undersea World, including the sea bear. 


Gather your supplies: 

  • Pencil 
  • Eraser 
  • Assorted Colored Paper 
  • Scissors 
  • Glue stick


Then follow these steps: 

  1. Tri-fold a 9x12” piece of paper. 
  2. Draw the head of your favorite animal on a seperate piece of paper. Cut out.  
  3. Draw, cut, and glue down details onto the head image.
  4. Cut completed image in half. Glue down on the tri fold seam.
  5. Open the tri-fold and write a fantastical story about your special animal! Or, you can create a personal portrait on the inside.