India & Himalayas

Nice Mahakala mask from Tibet

Q:  I collect different items that I like. I started with african masks and continue with others. Here I would like to show one of the three masks that I prefer (guess they are from Nepal). They are made of strong papier mache.  Monica, 1497

A:  Mahakala is a tantric Buddhist deity of the Vajrayana tradition. He is one of the most important protector of dharma, and considered to be the wrathful and fierce emanation of Avalokiteshvara and Cakrasaṃvara. Mahakala is also worshiped by Hindus as an ultimate manifestation of Lord Shiva  and consort of Kali (Maha-Kali) representing the destructive power of Brahman.

The common element of the Mahakala mask are the five skulls decorating his crown, symbol of the transmutation of the five negative emotions. His face is meant to frighten bad spirits away from the place he protects and to keep away negative energy, thoughts and actions.

This Mahakala is special because it is authentic. Papier mache is the most common material of construction. You can see it has been used. I’m especially impressed by the handsome design and color choices.  A

 

 

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