India & Himalayas

Chhau mask needs headdress

Q:  Here is one of the Chhau masks Karen gave me, sans headpiece or crown. Would appreciate anyone giving me an idea of how I can get a headpiece for the mask. Thanks, Mickey  1336

A:  Purulia, India, has a rich folk culture and is the birth place of the martial arts dance of Bengal called Chhau. In this tradition the dancers are men that are usually armed. This character is supposed to be a woman who would wear something pretty on her head. This missing headpiece could be purchased in India, but that is something I know nothing about? The cover photo of my book, Masks of the World, is a Chhau mask from Sharon Lowen. It also is missing a headpiece! Both this mask and the one on my book are made of strong papier mache and can be used for many performances.  A

One Comment

  • Amrish Vaidya

    Hi, that’s a mask from a chhau dance from Seraikela, which is another chhau centre in East India. The more colourful and dynamic masks with elaborate head gear come from Purulia. Nice piece!

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