Devi-worship, especially worship of Her wrathful form such as Kali and Mahishasuramardini, are a major part of Bengal life. A Devi Kali mask such as this one is to be found in almost every home of the Eastern Delta region. It is a reflection of the twin, contradictory qualities of serenity and aggression, beauty and ferocity, tranquility and wrath. In a society known for its matriarchal nuances, it is proof of the adage that art imitates life.
It is a simple wall-hanging fashioned from brass; and while simplicity is the defining trait of these mask sculptures produced in the region, the work has been executed with perfect symmetry and attention to detail. For example, the details on the spire of Her crown as well as on either side of it. The uncontainable ringlets of hair that line Her gracious brow at the rim of the crown. The handsomely drawn features of Her face - the wisdom swimming in Her eyes, the shapeliness of Her nose and mouth and ears, the lifelike undulation of Her cheeks.
The tongue of bloodthirsty Kali springs forth from Her mouth. Its gold-creme colour sets off the deep, earthy monotone of the rest of the sculpture. A bejewelled choker decorates Her neck. The appendages to the crown that sits on either side of Her face are characteristic of the iconography of the region.
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