Learn about the history of the Vejigante character.
Be able to distinguish between the three different interpretations of carnival in Puerto Rico and cite their influences.
Discuss the influences of other cultures on their own culture.
Make the papier-mach? mask the Ponce Vejigante wears.
Learn about the music and dance associated with the festivals.
Hold their own carnival celebration.
Six 45 minute sessions
(This unit could be done in conjunction with the art teacher who would conduct Parts III-V.)
The Legend of the Vejigante Video and Activity Book
Acrylic or Poster Paints
Part I (45 minutes)
Talk briefly about carnival as the celebration before the beginning of Lent. Discuss the roots of this ritual as a "farewell to the flesh" or giving up of meat during the fasting period. See if students can name some carnival celebrations (Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Fasching in Germany, Carnaval in Brazil).
Introduce the character of the Vejigante. Post some illustrations from the activity book. Have students give descriptive words about the Vejigante (demonic, animal-like, festive, colorful, etc.) and write them on chart paper.
On a map of Puerto Rico point out the three towns where celebrations are still held (Lo?za, Hatillo, and Ponce).
Tell how the Spanish came to the island in 1495 and, upon discovering its wealth of natural resources, renamed it Puerto Rico or "rich port." Discuss how the Spanish, finding the island ideal for sugar cane farming (important for the rum trade), needed workers and brought slaves from Africa who settled in Lo?za.
Look at the ways in which the slaves incorporated the new Catholic religion introduced to them while protecting their own African deities (through song, dance, duality of idols, etc.). Compare with the ways slaves in the southern US adapted.
Listen to a tape of bomba music and hear how the African rhythms (drums, guiro) combine with Spanish instruments (cuatro, guitar).
Part II (45 minutes)
Tell students they will be watching a video that will illustrate some of the things they discussed in the last session and give an overview of the mask they will be making in the next session. Show the video The Legend of the Vejigante.
Ask students to discuss the rituals they observed in the video. What are some other religious holidays that are also public celebrations (Easter, Halloween, Christmas)? What are the rituals and symbols associated with these holidays?
Have the students try to learn one of the call and response chants found in the festivals.
Hand out a page from the activity book for students to color to decorate the room.
Part III (45 minutes)
Hand out the poster board, scissors, templates, and masking tape. Explain that today you will construct the basic structure of the mask. Use the video to review the instructions.
Play bomba music and post the illustrations to inspire the students while they work.
Part IV (45 minutes)
Use this session to apply the papier-mach? to the cardboard masks. Again use the video to review the procedures.
Note that it is advisable to have several days between these sessions to allow sufficient drying time.
Part V (45 minutes)
Use this session to let the students paint and decorate their masks. Encourage them to add their individual touch.
Part VI (45 minutes)
Have students create their own carnival. Let the students suggest ways to make the event come alive. They could conduct a parade down the hallways, dance to bomba music, lead the call and response chants, hand out candy, chase the younger children with their vejigas, etc.
Vejigante Lesson Plan ? Exit Studio 1996.
Lesson Plan may be used on an individual basis at no charge. However reproduction, redistribution, or resale is strictly prohibited.
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Lesson Plan for "Ta?no"
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Added on: Oct 09, 2002 | Hits: 868