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Featured here is a "classical" Himalayan mask, meaning it came from one of the two major world religions found in the Himalayas - in this case Tantric Buddhism, and also that its form adheres to prescribed iconographical specifications. This tantric mask came from Bhutan.

The mask depicts a wrathful protective deity, whose aggressive countenance reflects his unwavering dedication to protecting the Buddhist Dharma and its adherents. In other words, these haughty gods and their retinues were bound by oath to serve Buddhism. To this day at certain points in the lunar calendar, monks and lamas don ornate robes and a variety of masks and perform meticulously choreographed tantric dances known as "cham" in Tibetan and related dialects. The purpose of these dances is two-fold, first, to pay tribute to the protector deities and the founders of Tibetan style Buddhism who bound them by oath in the first place (Padmasambhava). Secondly the dances invoke the protectors to obliterate obstacles and misfortune that might otherwise trouble the local community.

The mask is old and well used and while it is in good shape, it does have extremely minor paint loss here and there. Generally, condition is excellent, with good patina indicative of genuine age. The yak tail hair is tied on with leather cord.

ITEM NAME:   Vajrayana Buddhist Mask
PRICE:   Email 
STATUS:    Available


Wood with polychrome, yak tail hair


Circa 1st half 20th c


9-1/2" x 11" (not including yak tail hair)

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