India & Himalayas

9 Mahakalas on 1 plaque

Q:  Here are some pictures and info about a wood mask. I bought it at an estate sale in Maine a week ago. The mask is light in weight. Has a red wax seal on back. Mask measures 20 inches high X 13 inches width X 6 inches depth. Can you give me some info on it? Joel, 1396

A:  This is a decorative wall hanging from Nepal. The use of Mahakala masks and the red wax seal tell us where it was made. The Indians south of Nepal use 10-headed masks of King Ravana for their Chau dances, but I’ve not heard of 9 Mahakalas. I believe this unusual item was made strictly for the tourist trade.  C

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