Exact Match
Title Mask
Accession Number 64.1306
Title2 Mask depicting an animal
Museum Name National Museum, New Delhi
Gallery Name Anthropology
Object Type Anthropology
Main Material Wood
Manufacturing Technique Carved
Country India
Origin Place Bonai, Odisha
Period / Year of Work 20th century CE
Tribe Bhuiya
Dimensions Ht. 25.5 cms
Detailed Description Bhuyia masks are worn for divination before the annual ceremonial hunt. This mask is made of Trewia nudiflora wood and is blackened with oil. It has eye slits but no aperture for the mouth. On a Sunday near the full moon of Chait (April-May), Kalya Deo and Durga come upon two unmarried Bhuiya youths and inspired them to dress up. They put on masks and ornaments, and dance. While they are dancing, the bystanders ask them whether the annual ceremonial hunt (held everywhere at this season) will be successful or no; if the boys reply favourably, a party sets out for the forest. The masked boys also have the task of choosing the leader of the hunt, who has to worship the bows and arrows before they are used and leads the way into the forest. (Elwin, The Tribal Art of Middle India, p.138)
Brief Description This is a mask of the Bhuiya community, generally used during hunting expedition. It depicts a feline animal.