Masks of Sri Lanka

Colourful painted masks were the first thing that caught my attention in Sri Lanka. During my visit there, I saw them often and in innumerable shapes and colors.

After talking to a few locals, we figured out that its a popular craft of Sri Lanka and traditionally made for one of their folk dance forms. Some of these masks depict evil and some are characters from stories told through the dance.

Our curiosity led us to a mask museum and then two workshops while driving through the coastal road. It was quite exciting to see the craft in process and a huge collection of masks depicting so many different emotions.

 

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Mask Shop
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Mask Museum
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At first, it felt horrifying to see a sharp tool covering the eye of a face… even though I knew it was just a wooden mask. In the chaotic workshop, sundry tools and paints were spread around the floor with semi finished masks and other wooden objects.
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I found this along with a few other semifinished wooden masks in a workshop located inside an old cottage facing the ocean.
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Masks being painted in a small workshop near the museum.
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Finished masks waiting for the bright paints to dry off
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The relatively peaceful smiling face stood out in a shop filled with scary angry masks

 

 

 

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