The wood used for these masks come from the Peepal tree (Ficus Religiosa) also known as the 'bodhi tree'. This tree is considered sacred in Nepal, Tibet, India and all over Asia and it is famous because it is the same specie of the tree under which lord Buddha attained enlightenment. Because of this the cutting of the tree is done after a ritual and in specific days of the year only. The wood of the Peepal tree is soft and quite light so the masks can be worn without any difficulties.
The process of carving the masks can take few hours to days depending on the size and complexity of the design. Once the carving is complete the mask must dry to the sun for a week or two making sure that both sides are exposed evenly. This process may require more time during the monsoon season because of the higher humidity and less sunshine. Once properly dried the masks are carefully decorated and painted by master Lama's wife Maya Tamang. Then after two or three days each artwork is exposed to the 'smoking process' that soften the colors and gives to the masks an antique look.
The powerful and characteristic style of traditional Masks is drawn from diverse cultures: from shamanism and village myths to the classical traditions of Buddhism and Hinduism.
Tibetan and Nepalese Masks depict numerous Buddhist and Hindu deities in a style characterized by elaborate symbolic decorations and ornaments.
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