India & Himalayas

Jeweled bronze Mahakala

Q:  I’m an art teacher and received this mask from my mother in law who had got it for me in an estate sale of someone who was a world traveler and collector of many things on his travels. I think it is Tibetan Buddhist but not sure. Masks aren’t my forte but I wanted to show my students.  Annie, 1307

A:  It could be Tibetan or Nepalese, but calling it Himalayan is accurate. It is a popular Buddhist god called Mahakala. Many of these masks are made of carved wood or papier mache instead of beautiful bronze embedded with brightly colored glass beads. As you can see on the second photo this mask can be comfortably worn on the face. Of course, most of them are sold as decorative wall hangings.  B

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