Detail Photos

The Himalayas are home to a very rich and diverse variety of tribal and shamanic art. Yet, this aspect of Himalayan culture is under appreciated and indeed, little known. The shamanic and tribal art of the Himalayas has only begun to make it presence felt in the tribal art world within the last 20 to 25 years. Even up to the present the fantastic tradition of middle hills art and ritual is constantly over shadowed by the better known Hindu and Buddhist art, for which the area is so renowned.

This fantastic old mask originates in the area of Solu in Nepal's middle hills. It is wood with animal fur hair and remnants of pigment. A rich, tactile multilayered patina has evolved.  The Rai ethnic group of the Solu area are characterized by a strong and unique religious and cultural tradition.  They bury their dead rather than cremate for instance, and their own religion and shamanic tradition are still vibrant.  Rai shaman actually wear masks themselves during rituals, and while mask use in the shamano-tantric tradition of the Nepalese middle hills is very common, it is notable when the shaman himself wears the masks, rather than being worn by others as some aspect of the rites.


ITEM NAME:   Himalayan Mask
PRICE:   Email 
PEOPLE/REGION:    Nepal middle hills - Rai - Limbu people


Wood with pigments and animal hair, nails, metal, cloth.


circa late 18th early 19th c


6" wide
10" tall

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