Masks of Assam

Masks of Assam

With the tribal art and folk elements forming the base of Assamese culture, masks have found an important place in the cultural activities of the people. Masks have been widely used in folk theatres and bhaonas, with the materials ranging from terracotta and pith to metal, bamboo, and wood. In the bhaonas, masks are a must, especially for those playing the parts of mythological characters like Hanuman, Ravana, Garuda, and Jatayu. These masks are made from different materials varying from place to place. Similarly, among the tribals, too, the use of masks is varied and widespread, especially in their colourful dances, which again revolve chiefly around tribal myths and folklore. Such traditional masks have of late found their way to the modern-day urban drawing rooms as decorative items and wall-hangings, thus providing employment opportunities to those who have been making them traditionally.

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