Q: Hello Bob, here’s a mask which comes from Sri Lanka. I found it in Tangalle, which is on the South coast if the island. It looks a bit ancient. Just wanted to share it with you… Maillard, 848
A: I thought we ought to share this beautiful mask with our visitors. Sri Lanka has a long history of masquerade which includes several different types of masks (this one is a Kolam), each of which can represent hundreds of different characters. They are usually very brightly colored where as this one is more subtle in its coloring and especially well carved. I would have to look closely to tell whether its nice patina is the result of old age or the antiquing process.
Maillard wrote in today with the following message:
“Here’s the rear of my mask. It’s 20 cm high and 17 cm wide.”
From the rear I can tell this carving was made only to hang on the wall. It was sculpted by a skilled craftsman for sale to a discerning segment of the tourist trade.