Mask- The Other Face

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Item Code: NAC368
Publisher: National Book Trust, India
Author: Bharati DebiAnshu Prokash Nandan
Language: English
Edition: 2017
ISBN: 9788123758978
Pages: 48 (Illustrated Throughout In B/W & Color)
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 7.0 Inch X 9.5 Inch
Weight 160 gm
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Fully insured
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Shipped to 153 countries
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More than 1M+ customers worldwide
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100% Made in India
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23 years in business
Book Description
Back of the Book

Masks have been used since ancient times for religious, cultural and entertainment purposes. An essential element in many rituals and festivals, the mask extends its power and mystery for the wearer as well as the audience.

This interesting book brings together the various types of masks used in the different states of India. Complemented with colourful illustrations, it presents the art of making, wearing and acting a mask as can be seen in the rituals and ceremonies of various communities in India.

Bharati Debi retired as an anthropologist from the Anthropological Survey of India in 2004. She has done extensive research on middle class women in Kolkata. Dr Bharati Debi has also co-authored many books on field investigations among the tribes and castes, as well as among the rural and urban people.

Anshu Prokash Nandan served the Anthropological Survey of India as an anthropologist for more than three decades. He has published the first ethnographic survey of Nicobarese living on the island. Shri Nandan has also contributed a number of articles on the life of tribes in India in various journals and books.

Foreword

Documentation of both our tangible and intangible cultural heritage remains an important area of academic interest to the anthropologists since long. Tangible aspects of culture encompass expressions and testimony of human creation. These are produced indigenously for specific use and not for marketing. These are closely connected with the history and cultural heritage of a community.

A mask, though apparently a tangible cultural heritage, has many specific socio-cultural and religious functions towards perpetuation of important intangible heritage of culture.

The vast geographical area of India, with her varied cultural backgrounds, does not usually facilitate the people to be conversant with each other’s rich heritage. The lack of proper awareness or even inadequate knowledge may lead to a kind of cultural distance.

This brief yet important documented account, put together by Dr Bharati Debi and Shri A.P. Nandan on the types of masks used by different communities in India, along with a brief outline of material used, craftsmanship, geographical distribution and cultural functions of each mask; is an important attempt to highlight traces of unity in Indian culture, in spite of her apparent cultural diversity. Complemented with excellent photographs and illustrations, the book depicts creative excellence of the people of India.

The book aims to inspire people of diverse cultural backgrounds to appreciate each other’s culture and also help in increasing awareness about the importance of one’s own tangible heritage as a component of national culture.

Introduction

Mask is a form of disguise. It is worn to hide the identity of a person and in his place establish a new identity of another being according to the mask’s feature. Mask is a replica of face. On some special occasions mask is seen to cover the entire body. It actually acts as an instrument of transfiguration.

As a cultural object, mask has been used throughout the world especially in North and South America, England, France, Greece, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Africa, Mongolia, China, Japan, Cambodia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Nepal and India, in all periods since the Stone Age. Mask has had a varied appearance in its use as well as in symbolism. The earliest evidence of mask, however, comes from a Paleolithic cave painting of Trois Freres in southern France, dating back to 30,000 years approximately.

Practically, every material has been used for making a mask. There are masks of gold, silver, copper, brass, bronze, ivory, stone (both precious and common), wood, bamboo splits, plaster, fibre, shell, grass, hay, feather, bark, cane, clay, terracotta, plastic, porcelain, papier mache and simple pigments.

Perhaps direct application of colour on the face to hide one’s own identity preceded the wearing of a mask.

Mask could either be very large and heavy, or even tiny and light weight, depending upon the nature, material and size of a mask. Chinese dragon-mask is so large that it is worn by several persons. Small mask is not worn but used as a symbolic one.

Different characters—visible or invisible, real or imaginary—are represented by mask. Mask recreates popular personalities, animals, monsters, supernatural spirits, deities, totemic beings, comic figures, witches, ghosts, etc. making of a mask is often preceded by some religious observations. It can also be prepared by others living in the same social milieu or outside.

Mask plays an important role, whether in amusement and entertainment, or dance, drama, etc. It is associated with ceremonies having religious, social and magical significance. In the tribal society extensive use of mask reveals the magical power of a mask.

The present treatise deals with the kind of masks used in India by the people of rural belt and the tribals in particular.

Contents

Acknowledgements v
Foreword vii
List of Photographs/Sketches ix
Introductionxi
Classification 1
Material 3
Form 8
Size 12
Play & Game 14
Drama 16
Mask Dance 18
Festival Dance 21
Ritual Dance 23
Decoration 32
Others 33
Appendix 35
**Contents and Sample Pages**








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