Wooden mask, Bhutan, 1850-1920

Made:
1850-1920 in Bhutan
maker:
Unknown

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License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Wooden mask, carved and painted skull, Bhutan, 1850-1920

A smiling skull has been carved and painted on to this wooden mask. For centuries, masks like this one have been worn by monks or village elders in Bhutan, a land-locked country in south-east Asia. The masks are worn during ritual dances of saints, princesses, gods and demons at religious festivals or tsechus. The dances commemorate the triumph of Buddhist doctrines over evil. Those who attend the festivals are believed to gain merits and blessings, good karma and good luck.

Details

Category:
Oriental Medicine
Object Number:
A193924
type:
mask
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • costume
credit:
Glendining
status:
Loan: Wellcome Trust

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