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Make Your Own

Mythic Mask or Puppet

Garuda shadow puppet with stick and a Barong face mask and costume

Garuda shadow puppet from Thailand and Barong mask and costume from Indonesia

For thousands of years, people all over the world have told fantastic stories of mythic creatures through music, dancing, plays, and art.

You can too! Create your own masks and puppets and bring the mythic creatures to life in a performance. How does your creature act? What happens to it?

Make a Mask

What You'll Need

  • a Mythic Mask paper pattern
  • scissors
  • crayons, markers, or paint
  • hole punch
  • 2 strings, each at least 10 inches long

Kappa mask, Japan

What To Do

  • Download and print a mask from the choices below. Or draw your own creature mask. 
  • Color in the mask.
  • Cut out the mask along the outlines. Cut out the eye holes. 
  • Punch a hole on each side where the ears would be.
  • Tie a string to each hole. 
  • Put the mask on your face and have a friend tie the two strings around the back of your head.

Choose a Mask

Download a PDF of the mask you would like to make.

Barong
This shaggy, lion-like mythic creature comes to life during performances in Bali, Indonesia. Barong is full of mischief, but always saves the day.

Cyclops
This one-eyed giant came from Greek myths. Some say cyclops were talented blacksmiths to Greek gods. Others say they were ugly, stubborn creatures.

Kappa
Ancient Japanese legends say this scaly green creature snatched humans into its water lair. But today the kappa is seen as friendly and cute.

Make a Puppet

Chinese paper cut dragon puppet on 2 sticks

Dragon shadow puppet, China

What You'll Need

  • a Mythic Puppet paper pattern
  • scissors
  • crayons, markers, or paint
  • rulers, sticks, or chopsticks
  • tape

 

What To Do

  • Download and print a puppet from the choices below. Or draw your own creature puppet. 
  • Color in the puppet.
  • Cut it out along the outlines.
  • Tape one or two sticks (or rulers or chopsticks) to the back of the puppet.

Choose a Puppet

Download a PDF of the puppet you would like to make.

Asian Dragon
The dragon king was a popular character in shadow puppet shows in Beijing, China. He lives in a palace at the bottom of the sea with his servants, the lobsters and shrimp.

Garuda
In shadow puppet shows in Thailand, the bird-man Garuda battles his archenemy, the snakelike Naga.

Pegasus
In Greek myths, this white, winged horse is a loyal companion to heroes as they battle monsters.

Image Credits:

Photos: Garuda shadow puppet, barong costume, kappa mask, dragon shadow puppet: AMNH / Denis Finnin; Illustrations: Sean Murtha