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Clay mask of Mahakali image
Clay mask of Mahakali image

Clay mask of Mahakali

The mask of Mahakali seems quite frightening. That is also adorned with the paintings of osseins. The green jewel in the apex of her nose introduces her as one of the major deities of the Navadurga dance. Similarly, the third eye of her relates her to Lord Shiva. In the Nava Durga dance, she posses a vital role.
SKU: Mask002 Category: Khwopaa (the masks)
Khwopaa (the masks) Masks blend mysticism, drama, and beliefs of cultures. The making of clay masks has evolved into a craft with values of ritual, tradition, and even market as seen in Kathmandu Valley. The making of Clay masks in Kathmandu Valley. Masks are a union of sacred rituals, depicting various deities in various manifestations of passion and compassion. Over the centuries craftsman has evolved features from these sacred stories of faith using shape, rhythm, and poise for expression. The traditional festival dances of Kathmandu Valley have kept alive the ancient practice of sacred mask dances. Various dance troupes follow an elaborate system of blending mysticism, rituals, and entertainment to use the masks. The popular masked dances are during such festivals as Karik Nach in Patan, Nava Durga dance in Bhaktapur, Mahakali Danc at Kathmandu during Indra Jatra. Sacred duties based on the various castes are a part of most of these dance traditions. How are they prepared? The clay is kneaded and is beaten adding little by little cotton in it. This somehow makes the masks quite light. After that, it is flattened making the circumference a bit more than the size of the embossed pattern.  A piece of cloth is also placed on the top of the mould before putting the flattened clay into it so that it would be easier to lift it off after drying. Those moulds are made of plaster of Paris and clay, sometimes even by cement. The clay is then dampened with water so as to make it slippery and easy to shape. The extra clay from the sides is cut off to avoid cracking of the edges and keep the cloth free for pulling off the mask. Then, the masks are dried in the moulds for a minimum of 3 hours and up to 24 hours. After taking off from the moulds, the masks are again dried for a day but in a sun. The edges of those masks are then cut symmetrically and the Nepalese hand-made paper is stuck inside and outside of the mask. That is then covered by white primer and finally, after that, the colouring and polishing are done.


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