India & Himalayas

Sinhalese mask from Sri Lanka

Rrakasa Mask
Sri Lanka
Wood, pigment
Early 20th Century
7 inches
A stunning mask by any measure, this demon portrayal was used to heal through exorcism.
Thomas Murray

I think it is important for collectors to know that the unique masks we think of as Sri Lankan comes from the Sinhalese people who occupy the southern and central parts of the island. A majority of Sinhalese people adhere to Theravada Buddhism rather than Hinduism.The origins of the Sri Lankan Civil War lie in the continuous political rancor between the majority Sinhalese and the minority Tamils who live in the north. The roots of the modern conflict go back to British colonial rule when the country was known as Ceylon. The Tamil are Hindu and their masks look Indian.



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