Devils, Demons, Clowns, and Ghosts
Throughout Asia and Pacific regions, masks associated with history, politics, and religious and secular ceremonies acknowledge the passage from one stage of life to another and strengthen ties with family, community, and the nation.
Since earliest time, masks have been used to communicate the stories, morals, and teachings of most of the world’s religions. From India and Tibet, masks interpreting Hindu, Buddhist, and other religious themes spread across most parts of Asia and beyond.
In the South Pacific, Oceania, and the Americas, masks used in ancient rites and rituals expressed forms of good and evil, ancestor spirits, and ghosts. The arrival of Christian moral doctrines and the Catholic Church inspired vast production of masks portraying characteristics of good and evil in the forms of devils, angels, demons, and saints.
Themes of good and evil and portrayal of religious characters and spirits are expressed in many of the masks of Southeast Asian and Oceania. Animistic spirits portrayed in the masks of Borneo and New Guinea continue ancient beliefs and are popular among collectors around the world.
Exhibits a demon alone in the jungle who has his freedom to play move and be happy according to the program at Ancak Saju Ubud Palace in Bali, 2008.
Padyani is a modern form of a ritual dance( Kolam thullal) performed by the magico-medicine men of kerala (particularly Tinta sect of Ganaka community ) . Earlier this elaborate and expensive event was carried out to heal the illnesses not amenable to medical modalities of intervention.
In Latin America, mask-making traditions from pre-Columbian times continue to the present. Masked dramas recounting the rites and rituals of the Maya, Inca, and Aztecs continue, sometimes merged with the stories and images of Christianity and the Conquests of the Americas. Devil masks created from tin by migrant peasant-miners became associated with symbols of liberation in dances they performed. Similar devil masks are worn throughout the Andes in celebrations expressing themes of liberation.
Tirana devil-mask depicted in this dance-ceremony is from Chile. In the city of La Tirana the spirit of Catholic devotion is mixed with the Andean tradition. About 80,000 people came to worship the Virgen del Carmen, patron saint of Chile, during religious festivals full of faith and colour.
Frequently, clowns and buffoons have roles in dance dramas that tell the tales of individuals, societies, and communities throughout Asia and Pacific regions. These masked characters, often ugly by local standards, may insult local officials, make normally inappropriate sexual gestures, and perform scandalous acts in front of peers and community. Masks provide the wearer tremendous license to stretch or break local social convention, and such behaviour serves as a release for accumulated community tension.
Tago masks represent the ghosts of important ancestors. Every ten to twelve years, a year-long series of ceremonies remind each clan of its ancestral connections, Tami Island, Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea purchased, 1888