India & Himalayas

Contempororary Kali masks from India

Q: I acquired this mask from a Nepali in India. It is a decorative mask, but very beautiful. I have not encountered another Kali mask like this one. It is hand-carved and hand-painted, and measures roughly 32″ from top to bottom. David, 1710

A: Two years ago (3/26/2018) we posted two traditional Kali masks from the last century. We know that art is beginning to go out of style, but there are still places where masquerade continues to thrive. Many are in India. David has sent a fine example, and I found two others on Google. As folk art continues, notice that it evolves with newer designs and materials.

These three masks would be sold on the streets for use in present-day India. Of course, anyone can buy them, including you, but most are made for the classic Hindu dances, celebrations, and for display in Indian homes. Therefore I give them an A rather than a C. I am hopeful that some collectors will become interested in the wide array of Indian masks, most of which are still so inexpensive. A

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