Chhau Dance Masks
Performers in eastern India use these types of masks during dance drama, known as Chhau. Typically, dancers perform Hindu epic stories of good and evil, but in 2020 some groups re-envisioned the characters’ roles as powerful COVID-19 warriors fighting against the virus. At the same time, as a result of the pandemic, mask makers created new designs and half-masks with three-layer cotton inserts to protect wearers. Now, makers sell these masks to supplement their incomes as the performing arts industry recovers.
Distributed by Kala Chaupal Trust – Culture Masks, India
Designed in Purulia, West Bengal, India
Made in Purulia, West Bengal, India
Painted papier mâché
Royal Ontario Museum