TRIBAL MASK-MAKING - Instant Teamwork

Identity. Branding. CV. Have you updated your profile?

In our 24 hour media world the value of  ‘personal branding‘ is demonstrated by the success of TV stars from Davina (Mcall) to David (Attenborough). How we look, how we dress, the face we present to the world is all important if we want people to take us seriously. For many of us our professional face is in fact a Mask.

Our Mask-Making and Totem sessions take this concept further – to deliver an absorbing and satisfying experience of individual expression in service of team identity. Call us to find out more.

African masks often represent dramatic portraits of spirit beings, departed ancestors, and invisible powers that control society. The African masks that we see on the walls of Western museums were originally part of whole performance pieces, consisting of elaborately costumed dancers, vibrant music, and highly stylised dances. These events were complex,  ceremonial and usually gave expression to important social, religious, and moral values for the whole community.

Totems are entities that watch over or assist a group of people, such as a family, clan or tribe. For example in Zimbabwe totems are used to embody the unity, collective pride and hopes and aspirations of a clan.

In this Tribal Mask-Making session we take a realistic view of teamwork. The metaphor here is individual diversity in service of the whole vision/strategy.

Consequently some members of the group will be working solo for some of the time on their mask or section of the totem. However, in a parallel with most work structures, the aim is to combine working individually with fitting into the vision and strategy of the whole team or organisation.

The challenge is to allow creativity to flow, while adhering to an agreed structure: Freedom within a Framework.

At a deeper level, individuals experience producing a personal contribution to the whole, without knowing the exact outcome. The end result reveals the power of individual effort rooted in personal values, to create a cohesive vision that everyone can buy into.

The session may begin with a 30 minute warm-up of either Team Drumming (West African djembes), Team Chanting (African field songs) or World Percussion. Groups may then create a totem in small teams based on and depicting collective values that link to the desired outcomes of the day. There can be several teams and totems, so everyone has this opportunity.

We provide all art materials, paper, equipment, coveralls and direction – so that everybody leaves with a sense of achievement.

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Instant Teamwork were highly skilled in creating a safe enjoyable space, so that we quickly felt free to take risks.
Lianne O’Connor, HR, Alliance and Leicester