India & Himalayas

Old man mask from NE India

This is an old man character used in a Buddhist cham ceremony. It comes from the Monpa area in Arunachal Pradesh, in northeast India. Obviously old and used many times by the monks, it is rare in style and something a museum would want to own. 11 inches high.

Wikipedia has this to say. The cham dance is a lively masked and costumed dance associated with some sects of Tibetan Buddhism and Buddhist festivals. The dance is accompanied by music played by monks using traditional Tibetan musical instruments. The dances often offer moral instruction relating to compassion for sentient beings and are held to bring merit to all who perceive them.

Chams are considered a form of meditation and an offering to the gods. The leader of the cham is typically a musician, keeping time using some percussion instrument like cymbals, the one exception being Dramyin Cham, where time is kept using dramyin. A+

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