History of
Indian Crafts
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Indian Crafts >> Masks
Indian Crafts - Masks
History of Masks

Since ancient time, masks have been connected with rituals. A person wearing a mask of a deity was believed to be bestowed with the power or spirit of that particular deity. There is an old belief that evil spirits can be chased once they are made visible, which is done through masks. They are also used to present animals and birds in vivid and lively form. They are used to project the celestial beings and Demons in dramas.In present time, costumes have a great aesthetic advantage apart from stage design and choreography, costumes are an integral part of visual language of theatrical medium.
Fine Art
Performing art has been an important media to narrate the epics and Puranas.Rural life characters generally, dress up like heroes ofyesteryears to enact the shows on the stage.Ramlila performances which is done annually 9 days before celebration of Dussehra in various part of UP gives an ample scope for making crafts related to this performance.Generally, costumes and jewellery are cheap ostentatious with bold motifs and designs. Ample use of zardozi embroidery is done to decorate the costumes and the mukuts (head gears) of the performers.The craft involved are painting craft zardozi embroidery making of masks and wood papers metals etc.Mathura is known for making the mukuts.Large masks depicting animals and human models are made at Ram Nagar.
The fabric to be embroidered is fixed on a wooden frame and stretched tightly. Design is traced on it and with the aid of a needle, zari, stones, salma, sitara etc. is embedded on to it. In case the fabric is to be printed, then it is done with various colours by a brush.
Basic Material : Wood, paper, metal sheets, pith, cloth,clay.
Decorative Material : Zari, stones, salama, sitara, beads, sequins.
Colouring Material : Colours.
Needle, brush
Masks depicting animals and human models, Ramlila masks.

Indian Crafts : History of Masks