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Masks

Himalayan Masks
 
Traditional Nepalese Masks and Tibetan Masks can be devided into two sorts: "tribal" masks which belong to the ethnic groups such as Gurung, Magar, Tharu, Rai etc and which are also referred to as "shaman's" masks; and "classical" masks which represent Hindu and Buddhist gods and goddesses.
The classical Nepali masks always represent deities or demons and never the dead or the ancestors. Masks are most often used in processions and in rituals and sometimes serve as ornamental motifs for decorating a temple or home.
 
The masks which are used in ritual dances are made of such materials as papier mache, wood plastered with clay and linen, and are painted in lively colours. So, such masks are never old as they can't survive long in such climate. Besides, according to tradition many masks are supposed to be destoryed after use and be re-made the following year. The oldest known Nepali masks date from the 17the century. The deities represented by masks are numerous: Shiva, Bhairava, Ganesh, Kumari, Varahi, Durga, Laxmi, Sima and Duma, these last two are said to be popular names for lion and tiger.  historically, masks were made ritually by members of the caste of painters. The images have to be made in accordance with the prescriptions laid down in local manuals of iconography.  If the rules are not respected, a deity can become a demoniacal force. There are a considerable number of books of iconographic drawings, one of the earliest is from the first half of the 15th century. 
 
Himalayan Trade appreciates the beauty and inspiration that Nepalese Masks and Tibetan Masks can provide.  We sell a comfortable variety of Himalayan masks made of different materials.