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Mask of Swet Bhairav image
Mask of Swet Bhairav image

Mask of Swet Bhairav

SKU: BKT002 Category: Khwopaa (the masks)
Making of Nava Durga masks, just like its performances, is not an easy task to do. The process of making Nava Durga Masks is regulated by a set of rituals that sanctifies the materials as being above the ordinary. These masks have a continual life force or energy independent of whether they are worn or are in residence at a specific site or god-houses.   They are the focal point of the Nava Durga Dance ceremonies that are performed from Dashain, in late September or early October until Bhagasti in June in Nepal, especially in Bhaktapur. Each year the masks are made anew by the special mask-maker, surnamed Chitrakar (Chitrakar literally means the painter in the Nepali language), in the four weeks preceding Dashain.   However, all of these masks are informed with a meaning that they have a tantric significance that is esoteric and cannot be fully read by non-initiates or outsiders. But the masked performances are internationally directed to the non-initiated public (the great majority of the population). Also, these folk levels of meaning have socio-cultural importance in themselves.   The mask maker himself says that being the maker of Nava Durga masks is more difficult than being a priest. Cause, the priest can read in his texts what the characteristics of the gods and goddesses must be but the artist has to create them. Because the masks are the main markers of the Nava Durga dance ceremonies and the process of making them is heavily ritualized, they really have a lot of significance in the lives of local personages of Bhaktapur.


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