TITLE: Kali Mask
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Asia
COUNTRY: India
SUBREGION: Unknown, probably Uttar Pradesh or West Bengal
ETHNICITY: Bengali
DESCRIPTION: Kali (Durga) Mask
MAKER: Unknown
CEREMONY: Vijayadashmi Festival; Dussehra Festival
AGE: ca. 1960s
MAIN MATERIAL: paper maché
OTHER MATERIALS: paint

During Vijayadashmi and Dussehra festivals, the Ramlila story is frequently reenacted by masked actors. The Ramlila is a story of the god avatar Rama, similar to the story told in the Ramayana.

This mask represents Kali, a god who leapt from Durga’s brow in order to kill certain demons, but became so battle raged that she began killing everything in her path until Shiva stopped her by throwing himself under her feet. Kali is considered another side of Durga, but destructive and evil, and so she appears black and ferocious, with fangs.