a mask making workshop

“…Asuras who live under the earth…are hostile to humans and hence deemed demons.” Jaya: an illustrated retelling of the Mahabharata by Devdutt Pattanaik.

Last month, I participated in a Cherial Mask Making workshop, conducted by National Award-winning Artist M. Madhu and organized by the Happy Hands Foundation.

Cherial masks are a folk art, made using an unusual medium mix of tamarind seed powder and sawdust and in keeping with Indian tradition, are painted with bright and vibrant colours. The masks are used as accompaniments to story-telling based on popular folklore. You can see examples of traditional Cherial masks and read about the process here.

I used the technique to make a mask of my own, inspired by the description of Asuras, as given in the Mahabharata (see quote above).

Asura

Asura: Front

Asura

Asura: Back

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