Painted Sinhalese face mask, Sri Lanka, 1771-1910.
4 0 c m
 
29cm
actual image size: 21cm x 32cm

Painted Sinhalese face mask, Sri Lanka, 1771-1910.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

Description

A polychrome wooden disease mask in the form of a human face, worn during healing and exorcism rituals. In some forms of traditional medicine, healing powers lie in people's belief in supernatural powers. In societies in which illnes is believed to be caused by the presence of evil spirits, a medicine man or shaman performs rituals, often involving dancing and chanting, to rid the body of spirits. Masks play important roles in religious, healing, exorcism and funerary rituals.
 

Image Ref.

10296687
 

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