Mask of Mandarava

Masks such as this represent the personages of the great Vajrayana teacher Padmasambhava and his consort Mandarva. The famous monastery at Hemis, near Leh in Ladakh, has a special celebration of the Padmasambhava festival where eight aspects of the great tantric master parade wearing eight different types of masks representing various aspects of the guru. They impersonate his characteristics and become the character. They are accompanied by music and chanting. Vajrayana Buddhism is a branch of Mahayana Buddhism that promoted ritual worship practices using mystical incantations. Padmasambhava is one of the two great Buddhist teachers who arrived in Tibet in the 18th century at Samye, where the first Tibetan Buddhist monastery was established.

Date/Period
Late 19th century
Region
Tibet
Dimension
Object size: H 27 x L 21 x W 14 cm
Accession No.
1998-01475
Material
Polychrome painted wood
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum
Category
Woodcarving

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