India & Himalayas

Sri Lankan healing mask

aaaMystrySolvd-936Q:  I purchased this mask at an online auction over 10 years ago for around $60. It was listed as a large mask from India, over 100 years old.  It is old, and big (21″H x 11″W x 9″D), but I’m not sure it’s Indian or over 100 years old. It’s completely hollowed out in back and has eye holes, so it could have been worn, but it’s vey heavy.  It also has holes in the “bun” on top, with nails driven into it, and holes and nails around the perimeter of the mask.  I’m sending these photos in hopes that you, or someone that follows your blog, might be able to shed more light on this interesting mask.  Dan, 936

A:  Very nice mask.  It is apotropaic, which means it is meant to ward off evil, especially in the case of sickness or wounds. There are a number of different designs, each of which focuses on a particular health issue. Whether this one is aimed at broken nose, or some other deformity, I’m not sure. But I am sure this is an old, used healing mask that is in very good condition. The older Sri Lankan masks are often large and heavy.  A+

One Comment

  • Madrason

    when worn, (pregnant) women touched it in order for their children not to get the specific masktype disfiguration , sri lanka, sanni mask

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