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This is a fantastic example of the traditional wooden tantric Buddhist dance mask from the border area of Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh (a state in the North East frontier of India). This is a product of the Buddhist cultural diaspora that spans the Himalayas and though the peoples and cultural groups undoubtedly have their own unique characteristics, to the eye of the average Westerner, they would be called "Tibetan". To discern the subtleties that distinguish the various "tribes" requires more than passing familiarity. There is however a set of core cultural beliefs that in the vast Tibetan border zone, has as its axis Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism.

One common tradition among all the Vajrayana Buddhists is the "cham" dances. Known to many as "Lama dances" these are characterized by monks or lamas dressed in elaborate costumes and wonderful masks that range in expression from the comical, to the sublime, to the horrific. This particular mask certainly leans towards the latter and is indeed quite menacing. It is wood with the remnants of paint, and the dancer wore the mask up and a bit back on the head using the leering, fanged mouth hole to peer out from. It also has wool and cotton hair that hangs in "bangs" over the eyes, this type of hair is typical of the masks of Bhutan and the surrounding area. Its a fine and rare mask the would be a gem in any mask or Himalayan ethnographic collection.
 

 

ITEM NAME:   Vajrayana Buddhist Mask
ITEM CODE:   HMM-33
PRICE:   Email 
SHIPPING:  
STATUS:   Available
PEOPLE/REGION:    Bhutan / Arunachal

MATERIALS:   

Wood with wool and cotton yarn

AGE:   

Early 20th C. or before

SIZE:   

9" wide
10" high
 

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