Ritual mask – Tiger
  See it in the Museum
Chapel
Orientation 3
Wall object 4

ABR 081

 Code: ABR 081

  Country: Tibet

  Style:

  Date: 1700 - 1800

  Dimensions in cm WxHxD: 28.5 x 30 x 21

  Materials: painted wood

Ritual mask of a tiger
 
Masks play an important role in the religious traditions of the Himalayas. Masked ritual dances of the Tibetan cultural era (Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, Mongolia, etc.) are called cham. They are performed on certain occasion, during festival times, and are an integral part of Buddhist ritual practices. These ritual dramas often last during several days and are usually performed by monks, accompanied by ritual music.
Cham dances can be purely ritual, illustrating visions of accomplished masters, or didactic, conveying moral values to the general audience. They can sometimes be punctuated with humoristic episodes.

This mask represents a tiger. Animal-headed characters often represent secondary deities assisting the protagonists performing the ritual.

Usually, dance masks have no holes in the eyes but at the level of the mouth, the dancer not being allowed to look through the deity’s eyes.