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Ethiopia: Activity

Try making this craft from Ethiopia!

Christianity has flourished in Ethiopia since the 4th century, and the Christian artisans of Ethiopia have contributed much to the country's culture. One thing crafters have long been known for is a special elaborate silver cross, called a maskal.

Many Ethiopians wear simple versions of this cross as necklaces, and more elaborate ones are carried in church services. You can cut one out of aluminum foil or silver foil wrapping paper.

Materials needed:

  • Construction paper
  • Heavy duty aluminum foil (or silver foil wrapping paper)
  • Scrap paper
  • Scissors

1) Cut eight inch squares of scrap paper and aluminum foil.

2) Place a piece of foil on top of the scrap paper, and fold the pieces into quarters, with the foil on the outside. (The scrap paper keeps the foil from sticking together when it is being unfolded. If you use silver foil wrapping paper, you will not need the scrap paper layer.)

3) Cut a basic cross shape, then cut geometric shapes from the middle, as you would when cutting out snowflakes (refer to the diagram for help).

4) Carefully unfold the cross, discard the scrap paper and glue the silver foil cross onto a dark-colored piece of construction paper. Now you have a maskal!

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