28/02/2009

Monkey mask. NEPALESE AND INDIAN folk and tribal MONKEY MASKS. Hanuman crowned mask. ETHNOFLORENCE COLLECTION AND PHOTO ARCHIVE.

Nepalese and Indian  Monkey masks.  

ETHNOFLORENCE COLLECTION AND PHOTO ARCHIVE.

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Nepalese monkey masks in the Exhibition Voyage en Mongolia, Musee International du Carnaval et du Masque of Binche.  Photo courtesy Arts Premier  Collection Bruxelles. 

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Nepalese monkey mask at Musee de la Castree of Cannes (FRA) (Photo Ethnoflorence 2009 - Ethnoflorence Himalayan Archive).

 

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Nepalese monkey mask. Photo Ethnoflorence, Ethnoflorence Himalayan Archive.

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Nepalese monkey mask at  the  James Cohan Gallery (New York 533 W, 26th street) in the exhibition "Mask". Photo Courtesy Evan P. Cordes http://www.pheezy.com/ .

 

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Monkey mask and terracotta elephant. Photo Ethnoflorence, Ethnoflorence Himalayan Archive.

 

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N3 Newari Monkey mask (?)

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N.4 Nepalese Monkey mask.

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Nepalese monkey mask in Modigliani style. Photo Ethnoflorence, Ethnoflorence Himalayan Archive.

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N.5 Nepalese or Northern Indian  crowned Hanuman mask.

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Hanuman Art Mythology and Folklore.

 

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Monkey face in the top of a lute.

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N9 Hanuman crowned mask. Frontal view.

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Nepalese monkey mask. Photo Ethnoflorence, Ethnoflorence Himalayan Archive.

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From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanuman .

Hanumān, (Tamil : அனுமன்), known also as 'Anjaneya' (son of Anjana) or Maruti , is one of the most popular concepts of devotees of God (bhakti) (devotion to God) in Hinduism and one of the most important personalities in the Indian epic , the Ramayana . His most famous feat, as described in the Hindu epic scripture the Ramayana , was leading a monkey army to fight the demon King  Ravana .

Hanuman was born to Anjana , a female vanara in the Brahmagiri hills near Trimbakeshwar , Maharashtra. According to the legend, Anjana was an apsara  or a celestial being, named 'Punjikasthala', who, due to a curse, was born on the earth as a female vanara. The curse was to be removed upon her giving birth to an incarnation of Lord  Shiva  It is also said that Hanuman was born on Anjaneya Hill, in Hampi , Karnataka, near the Risyamukha mountain on the banks of the Pampa, where Sugreeva and Sri Rama met. There is a temple that marks the spot.

Along with Kesari, her husband, Anjana performed intense prayers to Shiva to beget Him as her Child. Pleased with their devotion, Shiva granted them the boon they sought. The Valmiki Ramayana, (Yuddha Kanda) states that Kesari is the son of Brihaspati and that Kesari also fought on Rama's side in the war against Ravana.

Different stories are told explaining Hanuman's birth. One is that at the time that Anjana was worshipping Lord Shiva, elsewhere, Dashrath, the king of  Ayodhya , was performing the Putrakama Yagna  in order to have children. As a result, he received some sacred pudding, payasam , to be shared by his three wives, leading to the births of  Rama, Lakshmana,Bharata, and Sharughna . By  divine ordinance, a kite snatched a fragment of that pudding and dropped it while flying over the forest where Anjana was engaged in worship. Vayu,the Hindudeity of the wind, delivered the falling pudding to the outstretched hands of Anjana, who consumed it. Hanuman was born to her as a result.

Being Anjana's son, Hanuman is also called Anjaneya (pronounced Aanjanèya), which literally means "arising from Anjani".

Sri Aurobindo states that "vanara" does not refer to "monkey": "Prajapati manifests as Vishnu Upendra incarnate in the animal or Pashu in whom the four Manus have already manifested themselves, and the first human creature who appears is, in this Kalpa, the Vanara, not the animal Ape, but man with the Ape nature", i.e. primitive man such as Homo erectus.

Hanuman, in one interpretation, is also considered as the incarnation of Shivaor reflection of Shiva. Others, such as followers of Dvaitaconsider Hanuman to be the son of Vayuor a manifestation of Vayu, the god of wind. When Ravana tried to enter the Himalayas (the abode of Shiva) Nandi stopped him and Ravana called Nandi a monkey. Nandi in return cursed Ravana that monkeys would help destroy him. Shiva, to give respect to His devotee, took the form of Hanuman.

References to Hanuman in classical literature could be found as early as those of 5th to 1st century BC in Panini's Astadhyayi, Abhiseka Nataka, Pratima Nataka, and Raghuvamsa (Kalidasa).

As a child, assuming the sunto be a ripe mango, he once took flight to catch hold of it to eat. Indra, the king of devasobserved this and therefore threw the Vajra(thunderbolt) at Hanuman, which struck his jaw. He fell back down to the earth and became unconscious. Upset, Vayu went into seclusion, taking the atmospherewith him. As living beings began to be asphyxiated, Indra withdrew the effect of his thunderbolt, and the devas revived Hanuman and blessed him with multiple boons. A permanent mark was left on his chin (hanuh in Sanskrit)   explaining   his name.

On ascertaining Surya, the Hindu deity of the sun, to be an all-knowing teacher, Hanuman raised his body into an orbit around the sun and requested that Surya accept him as a student. Surya refused, claiming that as he always had to be on the move in his chariot, it would be impossible for Hanuman to learn effectively. Undeterred by Surya's refusal, Hanuman enlarged his body, placed one leg on the eastern ranges and the other on the western ranges, and with his face turned toward the sun made his request again. Pleased by his persistence, Surya accepted. Hanuman then moved (backwards, to remain facing Surya) continuously with his teacher, and learned all of the latter's knowledge. When Hanuman then requested Surya to quote his "guru-dakshina" (teacher's fee), the latter refused, saying that the pleasure of teaching one as dedicated as him was the fee in itself. Hanuman insisted, whereupon Surya asked him to help his (Surya's) spiritual son Sugriva. Hanuman's choice of Surya as his teacher is said to signify Surya as a Karma Saakshi, an eternal witness of all deeds. Hanuman was mischievous in his childhood, and sometimes teased the meditating sages in the forests by snatching their personal belongings and by disturbing their well-arranged articles of worship. Finding his antics unbearable, but realizing that Hanuman was but a child, (albeit invincible), the sages placed a mild curse on him by which he became unable to remember his own ability unless reminded by another person. It is hypothesised that without this curse, the entire course of the Ramayana war might have been different, for he demonstrated phenomenal abilities during the war. The curse is highlighted in Kishkindha Kanda and Sundara Kanda whenjambavantha reminds Hanuman of his abilities and encourages him to go and find Sita.

 The specific verse that is recited by Jambavantha is :

पवन तनय ब्ल पवन समाना बुद्धि विवेक विज्ञान निधाना | कवन् सो काज कठिन जग माही जो नहि होय तात तुम्ह पाहीं ||

Rough translation:

You are as powerful as the wind (Hanumanji was the son of Pawan, God of wind);

You are intelligent, illustrious & an inventor.

There is nothing in this world that’s too difficult for you;

Whenever stuck, you are the one who can help.

The Sundara Kanda, the fifth book in the Ramayana, focuses mainly on the adventures of Hanuman and the story is as follows.

 Meeting Rama

Hanuman meets Rama during the latter's 14-year exile in the forest. With his brother Lakshmana, Rama is searching for his wife Sita who had been abducted by Ravana. Their search brings them to the vicinity of the mountain Rishyamukha, where Sugriva, along with his followers and friends, are in hiding from his elder brother Vali, with whom he had quarrelled over a mistake.

Having seen Rama and Lakshmana, Sugriva sends Hanuman to ascertain their identities. Hanuman approaches the two brothers in the guise of a brahmin. His first words to them are such that Rama says to Lakshmana that none could speak the way the brahmin did unless he or she had mastered the Vedas. He notes that there is no defect in the brahmin's countenance, eyes, forehead, brows, or any limb. He points out to Lakshmana that his accent is captivating, adding that even an enemy with sword drawn would be moved. He praises the disguised Hanuman further, saying that sure success awaited the king whose emissaries were as accomplished as he was.

When Rama introduces himself, Hanuman reveals his own identity and falls prostrate before Rama, who embraces him warmly. Thereafter, Hanuman's life becomes interwoven with that of Rama. Hanuman then brings about a friendship and alliance between Rama and Sugriva; Rama helps Sugriva regain his honour and makes him king of Kishkindha. Sugriva and his vanaras, most notably Hanuman, help Rama defeat Ravana and reunite with Sita.

In their search for Sita, a group of Vanaras reaches the southern seashore. Upon encountering the vast ocean, every vanara begins to lament his inability to jump across the water. Hanuman too is saddened at the possible failure of his mission, until the other vanaras and the wise bear Jambavantha beginto extol his virtues. Hanuman then recollects his own powers, enlarges his body, and flies across the ocean. On his way, he encounters a mountain that rises from the sea, proclaims that it owed his father a debt, and asks him to rest a while before proceeding. Not wanting to waste any time, Hanuman thanks the mountain and carries on. He then encounters a sea-monster, Surasa, who challenges him to enter her mouth. When Hanuman outwits her, she admits that her challenge was merely a test of his courage. After killing Simhika, a rakshasa, he reaches Lanka.

 Locating Sita

Hanuman reaches Lanka and marvells at its beauty. He also regrets that it might be destroyed if Rama does battle with Ravana. After he finds Sita sitting depressed in captivity in a garden, Hanuman reveals his identity to her, reassures her that Rama has been looking for her, and uplifts her spirits. He offers to carry her back to Rama; but she refuses his offer, saying it would be an insult to Rama as his honour is at stake. After meeting Sita, Hanuman begins to wreak havoc, gradually destroying the palaces and properties of Lanka. He kills many rakshasas, including Jambumalli and Akshaa. To subdue him, Ravana's son Indrajituses the Brahmastra. Though immune to the effects of this weapon Hanuman, out of respect to Brahma, allows himself be bound. Deciding to use the opportunity to meet Ravana, and to assess the strength of Ravana's hordes, Hanuman allows the rakshasa warriors to parade him through the streets. He conveys Rama's message of warning and demands the safe return of Sita. He also informs Ravana that Rama would be willing to forgive him if he returns Sita honourably. Enraged, Ravana orders Hanuman's execution, whereupon Ravana's brother Vibheeshana intervenes, pointing out that it is against the rules of engagement to kill a messenger. Ravana then orders that Hanuman's tail be lit afire. As Ravana's forces attempted to wrap cloth around his tail, Hanuman begins to lengthen it. After frustrating them for a while, he allows it to burn, then escapes from his captors, and with his tail on fire he burns down large parts of Lanka. After extinguishing his flaming tail in the sea, he returns to Rama.

 Lifting a mountain

When Lakshmana is severely wounded by Indrajit during the war against Ravana, Hanuman is sent to fetch the Sanjivani, a powerful life-restoring herb from the Dronagiri mountain in the Himalayas, to revive him. Ravana realises that if Lakshmana dies, a distraught Rama would probably give up, and so has his uncle Kalnaimi tempt Hanuman away with luxury. Hanuman is tipped off by a crocodile (actually a celestial being under a curse) and kills Kalnaimi. When he is unable to find the specific herb before nightfall, Hanuman takes the entire Dronagiri mountain to the battlefield in Lanka, thus helping others find the herb to revive Lakshmana. An emotional Rama hugs Hanuman, declaring him as dear to him as his own beloved brother Bharat.

 The Patala incident

In another incident during the war (which brought about Hanuman's Panchamukha form), Rama and Lakshmana are captured by the rakshas, Mahiravana (and his brother Ahiravana), a powerful practitioner of black magic and the dark arts, who holds them captive in his palace in Patalpuri or Patala (the nether world). Mahiravan keeps them as offerings to his deity. Searching for them, Hanuman reaches Patala whose gates are guarded by a young creature called Makardhwaja (known also as Makar-Dhwaja or Magar Dhwaja), who is part reptile and part Vanara.

The story of Makardhwaja's birth is said to be that when Hanuman had extinguished his burning tail in the ocean, a drop of his sweat had fallen into the waters and eventually become Makardhwaja, who perceives Hanuman as his father. When Hanuman introduces himself to Makardhwaja, the latter asks his blessings, but fights him to fulfill the task of guarding the gate. Hanuman defeats and imprisons him to gain entry.

Upon entering Patala, Hanuman discovers that to kill Mahiravana, he must simutaneously extinguish five lamps burning in different directions. Hanuman assumes the Panchamukha or five-faced form of Sri Varaha facing north, Sri Narasimha facing south, Sri Garuda facing west, Sri Hayagriva facing the sky and his own facing the east, and blows out the lamps. Hanuman then rescues Rama and Lakshmana. Afterwards, Rama asks Hanuman to crown Makardhwaja king of Patalpuri.

 Bharata's vow

When the war ends, Rama's 14-year exile has almost elapsed. Rama then remembers Bharata's vow to immolate himself if Rama does not return to rule Ayodhya immediately, on completion of the stipulated period. Realising that it would be a little later than the last day of the 14 years when he would reach Ayodhya, Rama is anxious to prevent Bharata from giving up his life. Hanuman therefore flies to Ayodhya to inform Bharata that Rama is on his way home.

 Honours

Shortly after he is crowned Emperor upon his return to Ayodhya, Rama decides to ceremoniously reward all his well-wishers. At a grand ceremony in his court, all his friends and allies take turns being honoured at the throne. Hanuman approaches without desiring a reward. Seeing Hanuman come up to him, an emotionally overwhelmed Rama embraces him warmly, declaring that he could never adequately honour or repay Hanuman for the help and services he received from the noble Vanara. Sita, however, insists that Hanuman deserved honour more than anyone else, and asks him to seek a gift. Upon Hanuman's request, Sita gives him a necklace of precious stones adorning her neck. When he receives it, Hanuman immediately takes it apart, and peers into each stone. Taken aback, many of those present demand to know why he is destroying the precious gift. Hanuman answers that he was looking into the stones to make sure that Rama and Sita are in them, because if they are not, the necklace is of no value to him. At this, a few mock Hanuman, saying his reverence and love for Rama and Sita could not possibly be as deep as he implies. In response, Hanuman tears his chest open, and everyone is stunned to see Rama and Sita literally in his heart.

 Hanumad Ramayana

 

After the victory of Rama over Ravana, Hanuman went to the Himalayas to continue his worship of the Lord. There he scripted a version of the Ramayana on the Himalayan mountains using his nails, recording every detail of Rama's deeds. When Maharishi Valmiki visited him to show him his own version of the Ramayana, he saw Hanuman's version and became very disappointed.

When Hanuman asked Valmiki the cause of his sorrow, the sage said that his version, which he had created very laboriously, was no match for the splendour of Hanuman's, and would therefore, go ignored. At this, Hanuman discarded his own version, which is called the Hanumad Ramayana.

Maharishi Valmiki was so taken aback that he said he would take another birth to sing the glory of Hanuman which he had understated in his version. Later, one tablet is said to have floated ashore during the period of Mahakavi Kalidasa, and hung at a public place to be deciphered by scholars. Kalidasa is said to have deciphered it and recognised that it was from the Hanumad Ramayana recorded by Hanuman in an extinct script, and considered himself very fortunate to see at least one pada of the stanza.

 After the Ramayana war

After the war, and after reigning for several years, the time arrived for Rama to depart to his heavenly abode. Many of Rama's entourage, including Sugriva, decided to depart with him. Hanuman, however, requested to remain on earth as long as Rama's name was venerated by people. Sita accorded Hanuman that desire, and granted that his image would be installed at various public places, so he could listen to people chanting Rama's name. He is one of the Chiranjivins of Hinduism.

 In the Mahabharata

Hanuman is also considered to be the brother of Bhima on grounds that both have the same father, Vayu. During the Pandavas' exile, he appears disguised as a weak and aged monkey to Bhima in order to subdue his arrogance. Bhima enters a field where Hanuman is lying with his tail blocking the way. Bhima, unaware of his identity, tells him to remove it. In return, Hanuman tells him to remove it himself. Bhima tries this, but is unable to do it despite his great strength and therefore inquires into Hanuman's identity, which is then revealed. Upon Bhima's request, Hanuman is also said to have enlarged himself and shown him the same size in which he had crossed the sea to go to Lanka, looking for Sita.

More significantly, during the great battle of Kurukshetra, Arjuna entered the battlefield with a flag displaying Hanuman on his chariot. The incident that led to this was an earlier encounter between Hanuman and Arjuna, wherein Hanuman appeared as a small talking monkey before Arjuna at Rameshwaram, where Sri Rama had built the great bridge to cross over to Lanka to rescue Sita. Upon Arjuna's wondering aloud at Sri Rama's taking the help of monkeys rather than building a bridge of arrows, Hanuman challenged him to build such a bridge capable of bearing him alone, and Arjuna, unaware of the monkey's true identity, accepted. Hanuman then proceeded to repeatedly destroy the bridges made by Arjuna, who decided to take his own life. Vishnu then appeared before them both, chiding Arjuna for his vanity and Hanuman for making Arjuna feel incompetent. As an act of penitence, Hanuman decided to help Arjuna by stabilising and strengthening his chariot during the imminent great battle. Legend goes that Hanuman is one of the three people to have heard the Bhagwad Gita from Krishna, the other two being Arjuna and Sanjaya.

 Presence in the present age

 

There have been numerous prophetswho claimed to have seen Hanuman in modern times, notably Madhvachary(13 Century A.D.), Tulsidas (16th century), Sri Ramdas Swami (17th century)and Raghavendra Swami (17th century), Swami Ramdas (20th century).

Others have also asserted his presence wherever the Ramayana is read (in Sanskrit, not translated):

यत्र यत्र रघुनाथ कीर्तनम् तत्र तत्र क्रित मस्तक अन्जलिं बष्पावरी परीपूर्ण लोचनम् मारुतिं नमश्च राक्षस अंतकम्।

Which means:

That wherever the deeds of Sri Rama are sung,
At all such places does Hanuman cry tears of devotion and joy,
At all such places does his presence remove the fear of demons.

This can be found in many other texts like Vinaya Patrika by Tulsidas, Mahabharta by Ved Vyasa, Anand Ramayan and many others with slight variation in language/Sentence. Even the places where holy function of Ramayanpath is taking place, there is a special puja and space (or asan) reserved for Hanuman.

 Temples and worship

 
 
 

Admired for his great strength, Hanuman was traditionally prayed to by wrestlers and boxers in India and South east Asia.  There are numerous temples for Hanuman, and his images are usually installed at all temples where images of avataras of Vishnu are installed. Hanuman temples can be found in many places for the reason that the area and the surroundings are free from rakshasas and 'evils'. This was a presentational 'Varam' to him by Rama and Sita. Hanuman idols are found on mountain roads because it is believed that he protects people from accidents.

Sankat Mochan Shri Hanuman Mandir, located in the Punjab town of Phillaur, is Asia's tallest temple of lord Hanuman ji. The total height of temple is 121 feet and Hanuman ji statue's height is 67 feet. This is a very famous temple in Punjab, people from all over the world come to see it.

Ragigudda Anjaneya temple is a Hanuman temple located in JP Nagar Bangalore. The temple is located on a hillock.

The Hanuman temple at Nerul, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India is situated inside SIES complex. The Hanuman idol is 33 feet (10 m) tall and is installed on a pedestal of height 12 feet (4 m), bringing the total height to 45 feet (14 m). In the picture shown, Hanuman has silver coverings (Silver Kavasam).

Similarly, a 32 feet (10 m) idol of Sri Anjaneyar was entrenched in 1989 at Nanganallur in chennai, India. The distinguished factor of the idol is that it was molded out of a single rock.

Other large Lord Hanuman idols:

A 30 foot Murti of Anjaneyaswamy, in Ponnur near Guntur in Andhra Pradesh.

An 85-foot (26 m) Karya Siddhi Hanuman murthi was installed at Carapichaima-Trinidad and Tobago, by Avadhoota Dattapeetham Pontiff Sri GanapathiSachchidananda. (Tallest in the Western hemisphere and second tallest in the world)

 Panchamukha Hanuman

 
 

Sri Panchamukha Anjaneya Swami was the main deity of Sri Raghavendra Swami. The place where he meditated on this five-faced form of Hanuman is now known as Panchamukhi, wherein a temple for him has been built. There is also a shrine for Panchamukha Anjaneya Swami at Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu, India. A 40 feet (12 m) tall monolithic green granite murti of Sri Panchamukha Hanuman has been installed in Thiruvallur, also in Tamil Nadu. This place was known as Rudravanam in olden times when many saints and seers had blessed this place with their presence. The Panchamukha Hanuman Ashram itself was established by a saint called Venkatesa Battar.

Hanuman assumed this form to kill Mahiravana, a powerful rakshasa black-magician and practitioner of the dark arts during the Ramayana war. Mahiravana had taken Lord Rama and Lakshmana captive, and the only way to kill him was to extinguish five lamps burning in different directions, all at the same instant. Hanuman assumed His Panchamukha form and accomplished the task, thus killing the rakshasa, and freeing Rama and Lakshmana.

This form of Hanuman is very popular, and is also known as Panchamukha Anjaneya and Panchamukhi Anjaneya. (Anjaneya, which means "son of Anjana", is another name of Hanuman).

A 67 foot Murti of Lord Hanuman Ji has been installed at Sankat Mochan Shri Hanuman Mandir, located in the Punjab town of Phillaur.

A 40 foot Murti of Sri Panchamukha Hanuman has been installed at Tiruvallur, near Chennai, India.

A 36 foot Murti of Sri Panchamukha Hanuman has been installed at Panchavatee,Pondicherry, called as Viswaroopa Jayamangala Panchamukha Sri Anjaaneyaswamy.

A 32 foot Murti of Adhivyadihara Sri Bhaktha Anjaneyaswamy,Nanganallur,Chennai which is molded out of a single rock.

A 3 foot Murti of Sri Panchmukha Hanuman has been installed at OKapi farm 15.7 kms west of Lusaka Zambia from New Mumba Road. While the mandir is under construction, daily puja is offered in the mornings and evenings.

Every Face of Sri Panchamukha Hanuman has significance —

  • Sri Hanuman faces east. He grants purity of mind and success.
  • The Narasimha faces south. He grants victory and fearlessness.
  • The west facing Garuda removes black magic and poisons.
  • The north facing Varaha, showers prosperity, wealth.
  • The Hayagriva mukha faces the Sky. But since we cannot see it, it is usually tilted and shown above Hanuman's face. Hayagriva gives Knowledge and good children.

Relation with Shani

In the Hindu faith, Hanuman and Ganesha are two gods not afflicted by Shani. There is also a belief that all the planets are under the control of Hanuman's tail. Whoever worships Hanuman is granted fortitude and strength.

In the Ramayana,Hanuman is said to have rescued Shani, that is, the planet Saturn, from the clutches of Ravana. In gratitude, Shani promised Hanuman that those who prayed to him (Hanuman) would be rescued from the painful effects of Saturn, which in Hindu astrology, is said to produce malefic effects on one's life when one is afflicted "negatively" with Saturn.

Another version of the encounter between Lord Hanuman and Shani Bhagavan is that the latter once climbed on to Lord Hanuman's shoulder, implying that he (Hanuman) was coming under the effects of the influence of Shani. At this, Hanuman assumed a large size, and Shani was caught painfully between Hanuman's shoulders and the ceiling of the room they were in. As the pain was unbearable, Shani requested Hanuman to release him, promising that if a person prayed to Hanuman, he (Shani) would moderate the malefic effects of his influence on that person; following this, Hanuman released Shani.

One more version of the story behind why Lord Shani stays away from those who remember the Lord Ram's name. Once Lord Hanuman was sitting silently absorbed in deep meditation of Lord Rama. Lord Shani passed by and he felt to tease Hanuman. He started teasing Hanuman by pulling his tail, and pinching. Hanuman warned him to go away as he is his Guru's (Lord Sun) son, and so he respects him. When Shani did not hear, then Hanuman started to give him a good thrashing. In the end, Shani pleaded to leave him and Hanuman took a promise from him that Shani will never ever go near a devotee who is meditating on Lord Rama.

There is a spiritual interpretation of the relation between Lord Hanuman and Lord Shani. The former is said to be a symbol of selflessness, while the latter is symbolic of ego and pride. Thus, to counter the karma borne out of selfish action, one must be humble like Lord Hanuman. This is particularly true for those who are said to be experiencing the evil effects of "elnati shani" (in tamil) - a period of about seven and half years when Saturn (Lord Shani) is supposed to afflict the sign in which "planet," the moon is placed in the natal chart of a person.

 

INDIAN FOLK ART BIBLIOGRAPHY (work in progress)

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Grigson W. THE MARIA GONDS OF BASTAR London 1938.
Gross N. SHISHA EMBROIDERY: TRADITIONAL INDIAN MIRROR WORK WITH INSTRUCTIONS AND TRANSFER PATTERNS New York, Dover Publ. 1981.
Gupta P.L. GANGETIC VALLEY TERRACOTTA ART. Varanasi 1972.
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Hall, M. INDIAN TEXTILES FROM THE EMBROIRER'S GUILD COLLECTION London 1986.
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Haque Z. TERRACOTTA DECORATIONS OF LATE MEDIOEVAL BENGAL: PORTRAYAL OF A SOCIETY Dacca 1980.
Haque Z. Gathana Jewellery of Bangladesh. Dhaka 1984.
Harris H. MONOGRAPH ON THE CARPET WEAVING INDUSTRY IN SOUTHERN INDIA, Madras 1908.

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Jacobs Julian THE NAGAS: THE HILL PEOPLES OF NORTHEAST INDIA: SOCIETY, CULTURE AND THE COLONIAL ENCOUNTER, London, New York 1990.
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Jain, Jyotindra THE MASTER WEAVES, FESTIVAL OF INDIA IN BRITAIN, ROYAL COLLEGE OF ART, Bombay 1982.
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Jayakar, Pupul THE EARTHEN DRUM: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE RITUAL ARTS OF RURAL INDIA, New Delhi: National Museum 1980.
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Jayaswal Vidula KUSHANA CLAY ART OF GANGA PLAINS: A CASE STUDY OF HUMAN FORMS FROM KHAIRADIH, Delhi 1991.
Jayaswal, Vidula and Kalyan Krishna AN ETHNO-ARCHEOLOGICAL VIEW OF INDIAN TERRACOTTAS: A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THE PRESENT AND PAST TERRACOTTA TRADITIONS OF GANGETIC PLAINS, Delhi 1986.
Jehangir Art Gallery, Bombay CREATIVE CRAFTS OF INDIA: THE MAGIC OF MAKING, Bombay 1989.
Jerath, Ashok FOLK ART DUGGAR New Delhi 1983.
Johnstone D.C. MONPGRAPH ON WOOLEN MANUFACTURES OF THE PUNJAB, Lahore 1886.
Joshi, O.P. PAINTED FOLKLORE AND FLOKLORE PAINTERS OF INDIA: A STUDY WITH REFERENCE TO RAJASTHAN, Delhi 1976.
Juliusson THE GONDS AND THEIR RELIGION, Stockholm, 1974.
Justin, Anstice THE NICOBARESE, Calcutta 1990.
Kahn Muhammad H. TERRACOTTA ORNAMENTATION IN MUSLIM ARCHITECTURE OF BENGAL, Dhaka 1988.
Kala, Satish Chandra TERRACOTTA FIGURINES FROM KAUSAMBI MAINLY IN THE COLLECTION OF THE MUNICIPAL MUSEUM, Allahabad, 1950.
Kaul S.K. TRIBAL ART AND HANDICRAFTS, Delhi 1979.
Khanna Sudarshan Dynamic Folk Toys, New Delhi 1983.
Kinsley David HINDU GODDESSES, VISION OF THE DIVINE FEMININE IN THE HINDU RELIGIOUS TRADITION, California 1986.
Knizkova Hana "The folk coloured drawing of the Kalighat style. From the Naprestek Museum collection" ANNALS OF THE NAPRESTEK MUSEUM, Prague 1964.
Knizkova Hana THE DRAWINGS OF THE KALIGHAT STYLE: SECULAR THEMES, Prague 1975.
Knizkova P. INDIAN GLAZED CERAMICS OF THE 19th AND EARLY 20th CENTURIES. Prague 1981.
Koppar D.H. TRIBAL ART OF DANGS, Baroda 1971.
Koppar D.H. FORGOTTEN ART OF INDIA, Baroda, 1989.
Kothari, Komal "The Shrines: an expression of social needs" GODS OF THE bYWAYS: WAYSIDE SHRINES OF RAJASTHAN, MADHYA PRADESH AND GUJARAT, Oxford, 1982.
Kramrisch Stella DRAVIDA AND KERALA IN THE ART OF TRAVANCORE, Ascona 1953.
Kramrisch Stella UNKNOWN INDIA: RITUAL ART IN TRIBE AND VILLAGE, Philadelphia, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1968.
Kramrisch Stella THE HINDU TEMPLE, Calcutta 1946.
Kramrisch Stella EXPLORING INDIA'S SACRED ART: SELECTED WRITINGS OF STELLA KRAMRISCH, Barbara Stoler Miller Ed., Philadelphia 1983.
Kramrisch Stella "The Ritual Arts of India" ADITI: THE LIVING ARTS OF INDIA, Washington, D.C. Smithsonian Inst. Press 1985.
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Krasa, M. ORISSA FOLK-PAINTINGS, Prague 1967.
Krishnan M.V. CIRE PERDUE IN INDIA, New Delhi 1976.
Kumar, Pramod FOLK ICONS AND RITUALS IN TRIBAL LIFE, New Delhi 1984.
Lal Lakshmi THE WARLIS:TRIBAL PAINTINGS AND LEGENDS, Bombay 1985.
Larsen, Jack Lenor THE DYERS ART: IKAT, BATIK, PLANGI, New York 1976.
Lerner, Martin THE FLAME AND THE LOTUS: INDIAN AND SOUTHEAST ASIAN ART FROM THE KRONS COLLECTIONS, New York 1984.
Levi-Strauss Monique THE CASHMERE SHAWL, New York 1988.
Lewis, A.B. BLOCK PRINTS FROM INDIA FOR TEXTILES, Chicago 1924.
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Mahapatra, Sitakant TRIBAL WALL PAINTINGS OF ORISSA, Orissa 1991.
Maity, P.K. POPULAR CULTS, LEGENDS, AND STORIES IN ANCIENT BENGAL, 1971.
Maity, P.K. FOLK-RITUALS OF EASTERN INDIA, New Delhi 1988.
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Manchada Omi A STUDY OF THE HARAPPAN POTTERY, Delhi 1972.
Manohar, Aashi TRIBAL ARTS AND CRAFTS OF MADHYA PRADESH, Ahmedabad 1996.
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Markevitch, Elizabeth INDIAN JEWELLERY (BIJOUX INDIENS), Switzerland 1987.
Mate, M.S. TEMPLES AND LEGENDS OF MAHARASHTRA, Bombay 1962.
Mate M.S. DECCAN WOODWORK, Poona 1967.
Maury, Curt FOLK ORIGINS OF INDIAN ART, New York 1969.
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Meerwarth A.M. THE ANDAMANESE, NICOBARESE AND HILL TRIBES OF ASSAM, Gauhati 1919.
Mehta, Rustam J. MASTERPIECES OF INDIAN TEXTILES, Bombay 1970.
Mehta Ushkant EXHIBITION OF FOLK AND TRIBAL ARTS OF GUJARAT, Bombay 1971.
Michell George LIVING WOOD: SCULPTURAL TRADITIONS OF SOUTHERN INDIA, Bombay 1992.
Misra, Umesj Chandra TRIBAL PAINTINGS AND SCULPTURES, Delhi 1989.
Mitra, Sanat Kumar, FOLK LIFE AND LORE OF WEST BENGAL: AN ILLUSTRATED MONOGRAPH, Calcutta 1981.
Mittal ANDHRA PAINTINGS OF THE RAMAYANA, 1969.
Mittal, Jagdish INDIAN FOLK PAINTINGS: 15th TO 19th CENTURY FROM THE COLLECTION OF JAGDISH AND KAMLA MITTAL MUSEUM OF INDIA ART, HYDERABAD, New Delhi 1990.
Mohanty, B.C. PATA PAINTINGS OF ORISSA, New Delhi 1984.
Mohanty, B.C. IKAT FABRICS OF ORISSA AND ANDRHA PARADESH, Ahmedabad, Calico Museum of Textiles 1974.
Mohanty, B.C BLOCK PRINTING AND DYEING OF BAGRU, Rajasthan, Ahmedabad, 1983.
Mohanty, B.C NATURAL DYEING PROCESSES OF INDIA, Ahmedabad 1987.
Mookerjee, Ajit INDIAN PRIMITIVE ART, Calcutta 1959.
Mookerjee, Priya PATHAWAY ICONS: THE WAYSIDE ART OF INDIA, New York 1987.
Mookerji D.N. A MONOGRAPH ON GOLD AND SILVER WORK IN THE BENGAL PRESIDENCY, Calcutta 1905.
Morrel, Anne THE TECHNIQUES OF INDIAN EMROIDERY, London 1994.
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Mukherjee S.C. THE TERRACOTTA OF ATPUR, Calcutta 1960.
Mukhopadhyay S. CATALOGUE OF EMBROIDERED TEXTILES FROM CUTCH AND KATHIAWAR IN THE INDIAN MUSEUM, Calcutta 1983.
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Murphy, Veronica and Roseamary Crill TIE-DYED TEXTILES OF INDIA: TRADITION AND TRADE, New York 1991.
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Naga Inst. of Culture THE ARTS AND CRAFTS OF NAGALAND, Kohima 1968.
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Oman, John Campbell CULTS, CUSTOMS AND SUPERSTITIONS OF INDIA, New York 1975.
Osumi Yamezo PRINTED COTONS OF ASIA: THE ROMANCE OF TRADE TEXTILES. Tokyo 1963.
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Pal, Pratapaditya BRONZES OF KASHMIR, New York 1975.
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Pandey, B.P. BANARAS BROCADES: STRUCTURE AND FUNCTIONING, Varanasi 1981.
Pani, Jiwan LIVING DOLLS: STORY OF INDIAN PUPPETS, New Delhi 1986.
Pani, Jiwan WORLD OF OTHER FACES: INDIAN MASKS. New Delhi 1986.
Patna Museum TERRA-COTTA FIGURINES IN PATNA MUSEUM, Patna 1961.
Paulson, Joyce FROM RIVER BANKS AND SACRED PLACES: ANCIENT INDIAN TERRACOTTAS, Boston 1977.
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Perumal, A.N. FOLK ARTS OF THE TAMILS, Madras 1983.
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Sahoo, B. ARTS AND ARTISANS OF ORISSA, Bhubaneswar 1981.
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Saksena, J. MANDANA, A FOLK ART OF RAJASTHAN, New Delhi 1985.
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Shah Haku VOTIVE TERRACOTTAS OF GUJARAT, Ahmedabad 1985.Shirali Aditi TEXTILE AND BAMBOO CRAFTS OF THE NORTH-EASTERN REGION, Ahmedabad 1983.
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Singh, Miam G. FESTIVALS, FAIRS, AND CUSTOMS OF HIMACHAL PRADESH, New Delhi 1992.
Sinha B.P. SEMINAR ON POTTERIES IN ANCIENT INDIA: PAPERS AND PROCEEDINGS, Patna 1969.
Sivaramamurti C. INDIAN BRONZES, SOUTH INDIAN BRONZES, Bombay 1962.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WORK IN PROGRESS ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

20/09/2008

Himalayan masks from Rajbansi, Dhimal, Newar People, in a private Florentine collection. Nepalese mask, nepalese masque, nepalese maske, nepalese cultural artifacts, folk art, folk art and popular culture artifacts. ETHNOFLORENCE PHOTO ARCHIVE.

Himalayan masks in a private Florentine Collection. (WORK IN PROGRESS)

Immagine 124

N1 Kali mask. Frontal view. Courtesy GL Collection Florence (Italy)

Iconographic comparation in possible with other Kali masks of Ethnoflorence Collection,  interesting and unique is the ancient black crying Kali mask on :
http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/post/5844563/himalaya... , the patina of this mask is analogous to that of the Fang reliquary. 3 Kali masks are edit also on http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/post/5977909/differen... . and http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/post/6194834/ancient-... .

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Frontal view detail.

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Crown detail.

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Side A view.

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Side A view detail.

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Side B view.

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Side B view detail.

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Back side view.

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N2 Kali mask. Courtesy GL Collection Florence (Italy).

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Frontal view detail.

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Side A view .

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Side B view.

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Back side view.

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Back side view.

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N3 Himalayan Crowned mask. Courtesy GL Collection Florence (Italy).

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Crown and forehead detail.

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Frontal view.

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Below frontal view.

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Side A view.

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Side B view.

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N4 Newari paper-mache painted mask. Courtesy GL Collection Florence (Italy).

 

Another interesting Newar masks edited by Ethnoflorence  on : http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/post/6214510/newari-c... and http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/post/5894170/nepalese...  and on http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/post/5930510/newar-de... .

 

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Frontal view.

 

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Forehad detail.

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Forehead detail.

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Side A view.

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Side B view.

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Back side view.

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N5 Male mask. Courtesy GL Collection Florence (Italy).

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Male mask detail.

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Side A view.

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Side B view.

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Side B view detail.

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Back side view.

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N6 Nepalese monkey mask. This mask is of the same hand of the N5. Courtesy GL Collection Florence (Italy).

Ethnoflorence has edited a group of four primitive style masks of the same hand or maybe of the same workship see more on http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/post/5914557/four-wes...- , maybe from Western Nepal - Imachal Pradesh.

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Frontal view.

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Forehead detail.

 


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Below frontal view.

 

 

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Side A view.

 

 

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Side B view. An interesting monkey mask is edited by Ethnoflorence on http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/post/5927268/himalaya... .

 

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A really interesting monkey mask was showed by the  James Cohan Gallery (New York 533 W, 26th street) in the exhibition "Mask". Photo Courtesy Evan P. Cordes http://www.pheezy.com/ .

The drama proceeds to metamorphoses, demon into priest into seductress into ape into queen into hog, as though we are in some Nietzschean world where behind every mask there are only more masks…What resolution could be possible?"

– Alphonso Lingis in Excesses: Eros and Culture, 1983

James Cohan Gallery is pleased to announce an upcoming exhibition that explores the many forms and uses of masks throughout history and the influence they lend to contemporary artists. MASK will be comprised of a collection of over 40 masks assembled by Joseph G. Gerena Fine Art, dating from 700 BCE through the 20th century and representative of all continents and many cultural traditions. These masks will be shown alongside works by over 30 contemporary artists, including several specifically commissioned for the exhibition.

Masks conceal, protect and disguise. They give us the courage to speak freely, help us transcend physical limitations, add mystery and power to our rituals, amplify or hide our emotions, frighten, entertain, intimidate, humiliate, and even protect us from noxious gases and flying balls. The simplest covering can have a profound effect on both the wearer and viewer, simultaneously concealing and revealing. As Oscar Wilde summarized, "Give a man a mask and he'll tell you the truth."

The tradition of masks and masking offers limitless exploration; several contemporary artists have turned to the form to investigate issues of identity, power and provocation at a time when the bounds between real and assumed identities are becoming more indistinct. As political theorist Yaron Ezrahi has expressed, speaking of current world conflicts, "(Ski) masks are the uniform of the new armies of the 21st century and the new kind of violence, which no longer distinguishes between war against the stranger and war against the members of your own society. Just as this new war doesn't have a front, it doesn't have a face. It doesn't have boundaries."

Newly commissioned works include pieces by Olaf Breuning, Folkert de Jong, Yun-Fei Ji, Tony Oursler, Alison Elizabeth Taylor and William Villalongo. Other contemporary artists included are: Acconci Studio, Matthew Barney, Miriam Berkley, Jonathan Borofsky, Ulla von Brandenburg, Matthew Buckingham/Joachim Koester, Nick Cave, Willie Cole, Dick Evans, Phyllis Galembo, Caron Geary, Hans Haacke, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Jürgen Klauke, N'dilo Mutima, IngridMwangiRobertHutter, Bill Owens, RAMMELLZEE, Markus Schinwald, Andres Serrano, Cindy Sherman, Yinka Shonibare, MBE, Jeff Sonhouse, Reena Spaulilngs, Vibeke Tandberg, Rosemarie Trockel, Richard Tuttle and Gillian Wearing.

We are grateful to Joseph Gerena, whose wide-ranging collection so beautifully traces the historical root system of masks and masking. This exhibition was curated by Elyse Goldberg and Ginger Cofield and comes accompanied by a brochure with essays by Eleanor Heartney and Joseph Gerena.

For further information please contact Jane Cohan at Jane Cohan at
jane@jamescohan.com or
212 714 9500. For images of included works, please visit
www.jamescohan.com.

About this exhibition read also on http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2008/01/10/arts/0111-MAS... .

About the lecture at Rubin Museum of Art "The Shamans mask and the invention of Culture" read on http://chelseaartgalleries.com/RMA+_28Rubin+Museum+of+Art...

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Back side view.

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N7 Nepalese monkey mask. Courtesy GL Collection Florence (Italy).

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Forehead detail view.

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Below frontal view.

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Side A view.

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Side B view.

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Back side view.

(WORK IN PROGRESS )





 

 

 

 

10/09/2008

2 Himalayan Ravana Demon masks from Rajbansi people. Nepalese demon mask, nepalese demon masque,nepalese maske. ETHNOFLORENCE COLLECTION.

ETHNOFLORENCE

2008

VINTAGE EDITION

Interesting, complete and rare Himalayan Ravana Demon mask. Indian or Nepalese  Terai.

 

 

 

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Imposing the  frontal view of this demon  mask with "10 heads".

 

 

For a comparation with the Newary people Demon mask style see on http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/post/6214510/newari-c... .

For a comparation with another Hindu denon mask of the same region see on: http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/post/5936779/himalaya... .

 

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Frontal view detail.

 

 

 

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Frontal view side A.

 

 

 

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 Frontal view side B.

 

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Central face detail view.

 

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Detail.

 

 

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The style of the chin, not balanced with the prospetic axe of the face,  its really similar whit the same detail of an handle mask of King or Hero from Himachal Pradesh.

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See more on : http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/post/5887534/himachal... .

 

 

The verticality that spirit both the masks is obvious.

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Side A face 1. The style of the eyes and the patina  of this and follow  group of demon heads is similar with the style of a Kali mask of Ethnoflorence Collection edited on http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/post/6194834/ancient-....

 

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For a stylistic comparation se more on http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/post/6194834/ancient-...

 

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Side A face 2.

 

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Side A face 3.

 

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Side A face 4.

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Side B face 1.

 

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Side B face 2.

 

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Side B face 3.

 

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Side B face 4.

 

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Side B face 5.

 

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Central back side view.

 

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Back side detail view.

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Back side B view detail.

 

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Back side B view detail.

 

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Back side B view detail.

 

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Back side A view detail.

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Back side A view detail.

 

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Ravana mask n2.

 

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Frontal view crown detail.

Among the Ethnoflorence collection of   himalayan crowned  mask I suggest a visit to an understanding black kali crying mask, something of really unique and  similar to a Fang reliquary, see more on http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/post/5844563/himalaya... .

 Complitely different the style of a crowned male  mask of King or Hero from Himachal Pradesh, see more on http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/post/5887534/himachal... .

For a more classic view of the Kali masks iconography see the comparation of three items on http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/post/5977909/differen... .

 

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3/4 view of the same detail.

 

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Frontal view detail.

 

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Below frontal view.

 

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Side A view.

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Side A view detail.

 

 

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Side A detail view.

 

 

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Side B view.

 

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Side B detail view.

 

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Side B detail view.

 

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Back side view.

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Back side view detail.

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Back side view detail.

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Below back side view.

 


GetAttachment2

Ravana mask at American Museum of Natural History, New York http://www.amnh.org/home/  (photo Ethnoflorence, Ethnoflorence Archive)

GetAttachment3

Ravana mask at American Museum of Natural History, New York http://www.amnh.org/home/ (photo Ethnoflorence, Ethnoflorence Archive)

 

From Wikipedia:

 

 

Ravana, also transliterated as Raavana, Ravan or Raavan, (Devanagari: रावण Rāvaṇa;Kannada: ರಾವಣ Raavana;Tamil: இராவணன் Raavanan; Khmer: Krong Reap; Malay: Rawana; Lao: Hapkhanasouane; Thai: ทศกัณฐ์ Thotsakan, lit. the person with ten necks;Sinhala: රාවණා) was a mythical king of rakshasas (demons), with great supernatural power, who is said to have ruled Lanka about 6000 years ago.

He plays a major role in Hindu mythology, especially in the Ramayana, where he is mainly depicted negatively as a brute, and most infamously as having kidnapped Rama's wife Sita and being killed by her husband.

This depiction is, however, open to other interpretations. Ravana is also mentioned as a great scholar, a capable ruler and a devoted follower of Shiva, and he has his apologists and staunch devotees within the Hindu traditions. The actual meaning of "10 headed" shows the positive side of Raavana: he possesses very thorough knowledge in 4 vedas, and 6 upanishadas, which made him as powerful as 10 scholars.

Ravana is also said to have authored Ravana Sanhita, a powerful book on the Hindu astrology, also known as Kaali Kitab. Ravana possessed a thorough knowledge of Ayurveda and political science. He is said to have possessed the nectar of immortality, which was stored under His navel, thanks to a celestial boon by Brahma

 

Ravana was born to his father Brahmin sage known as Vishrava and his wifemother , the daitya princess Kaikesi. He was born in the Devagana gotra, as his grandfather, sage Pulastya, was the one of the six human sons of Brahma. Kaikesi's father, Sumali (or Sumalaya), king of the Daityas, wished her to marry the most powerful being in the mortal world, so as to produce an exceptional heir. He rejected the kings of the world, as they were less powerful than him. Kaikesi searched among the sages, and finally chose Vishrava, the father of Kubera. Ravana was thus partly Daitya and partly Brahmin.

His brothers were Vibhishana and Kumbhakarna. Through his mother, he was related to the daityas Maricha and Subahu. Kaikesi also produced a daughter, Meenakshi ("girl with fish like eyes"), although later she was dubbed the infamous Shoorpanakha "winnow-like nails".

His father Vishrava noted that while Ravana was aggressive and arrogant, he was also an exemplary scholar. Under Vishrava's tutelage, Ravana mastered the Vedas and the holy books and also the arts and ways of Kshatriyas (warriors). Ravana was also an excellent veena player and the sign of his flag had a picture of veena on it. Sumali, his grandfather, worked hard in secret to ensure that he retained the ethics of the Daityas.

The Ramayana tells the Ravana had close connections with region of the Yadus, which included Gujarat, parts of Maharashtra and Rajasthan up to Mathura south of Delhi. Ravana is believed to be the related to Lavanasura also regarded as a Rakshasa, of Madhupura (Mathura) in the region of the Surasenas, who was conquered & killed by Shatrughana, youngest brother of Rama.

After worshipping a Shiva Linga on the banks of the Narmada, in the more central Yadu region, Ravana was captured and held under the control of King Kartavirya Arjuna, one of the greatest Yadu kings. It is very clear from the references in the Ramayana, That Ravana was no commoner among the Humans or Asuras, a great chanter of the Sama Veda.

It is mentioned in the One of the Chapters of the Srimada Bhagvata, that Sita was actually his Daughter. During one of the Ceremonial Yagna By Lord Shiva. Ravana was given the Boon Water,which he was told to give to Mandodari, While on way back to his Kingdom, Both the Husband & wife slept in a Lonely Forest. During the Night, Ravana felt Thirsty. So he drank that Water & was Impregnated, While on the way back next day, He coughed ferociously & Seeta is said to have landed in Janakpur, The Kingdom of King Janaka, Who while Ploughing in ceremony after performing the Yagan for the Rains in his Drought Hit Kingdom, struck a metal Veassel with the lowest Blade of the Plough Calles Seet, This is How Seeta's Name Originated.

 Tapas to Brahma

Following his initial training, Ravana performed an intense penance to Brahma (the creator god), lasting several years. Pleased with his austerity, Brahma offered him a boon. Ravana asked for immortality, which Brahma refused to give, but gave him the celestial Nectar of immortality. The nectar of immortality, which was stored under his navel, according to which he could never be Vanquished till the Nectar was dried out.

Ravana then asked for absolute invulnerability and supremacy before gods and heavenly spirits, other demons, serpents, and wild beasts. Contemptuous of mortal men, he did not ask for protection from these. Brahma granted him these boons, and additionally great strength by way of knowledge of divine weapons and sorcery.

 King of Lanka

 

He plays a major role in Hindu mythology, especially in the Ramayana, where he is mainly depicted negatively as a brute, and most infamously as having kidnapped Rama's wife Sita and being killed by her husband.

This depiction is, however, open to other interpretations. Ravana is also mentioned as a great scholar, a capable ruler and a devoted follower of Shiva, and he has his apologists and staunch devotees within the Hindu traditions. The actual meaning of "10 headed" shows the positive side of Raavana: he possesses very thorough knowledge in 4 vedas, and 6 upanishadas, which made him as powerful as 10 scholars.

Ravana is also said to have authored Ravana Sanhita, a powerful book on the Hindu astrology, also known as Kaali Kitab. Ravana possessed a thorough knowledge of Ayurveda and political science. He is said to have possessed the nectar of immortality, which was stored under His navel, thanks to a celestial boon by Brahma.

After winning these boons, Ravana sought out his grandfather, Sumali, and assumed leadership over his army. He then set his sights on capturing the island city of Lanka.

Lanka was an idyllic city, created by the celestial architect Vishwakarma for Kubera, the treasurer of the gods. Kubera had generously shared all that he owned with Ravana and the latter's siblings, who were Kubera's half-brothers and half-sister through his stepmother Kaikesi. However, Ravana demanded Lanka wholly from him, threatening to take it by force. Vishrava, their father, advised Kubera to give it up to him, as Ravana was now undefeatable.

Although Ravana usurped Lanka, he was nevertheless regarded as a benevolent and effective ruler. Lanka flourished under his rule, to the extent that it is said the poorest of houses had vessels of gold to eat and drink off, and hunger was unknown in the kingdom.

 Devotee of god Shiva

 

Following his conquest of Lanka, Ravana encountered Shiva at his abode in Kailash. Here Ravana attempted to uproot and move the mountain on a whim. Shiva, annoyed by Ravana's arrogance, pressed his littlest Finger on Kailash, pinning him firmly and painfully under it. His ganas informed Ravana of whom he had crossed, upon which Ravana became penitent. He composed and sang songs praising Shiva, and is said to have done so for years until Shiva released him from his bondage.

Pleased with his resilience and devotion, Shiva gave to him the divine sword Chandrahas ("Moon-blade"). It was during this incident that he acquired the name 'Ravana', meaning "(He) Of the terrifying roar", given to him by Shiva - the earth is said to have quaked at Ravana's cry of pain when the mountain was pinned on him. Ravana in turn became a lifelong devotee of Lord Shiva and is said to have composed the hymn known as Shiva Tandava Stotra.

After Ravana had been give the Celestial juice of Immortality by Brahma, he went on to please Shiva. He cut his head & put it as sacrifice for pleasing Shiva, but Shiva replaced his head with a new one. This was repeated Nine times, on which Shiva was happy & pleased with Ravana's resilience & devotion. Thus he also got name Dassa-sheesha.

 Emperor of the Three Worlds

 

His abilities now truly awe-inspiring, Ravana proceeded on a series of campaigns, conquering humans, celestials and other demons. Conquering the netherworld completely, he left his son Ahiravana as king. He became supreme overlord of all asuras in the three worlds, making an alliance with the Nivatakavachasand Kalakeyas, two clans he was unable to subdue. Conquering several kingdoms of the human world, he performed the suitable sacrifices and was crowned Emperor.

Kubera at one point chastised Ravana for his cruelty and greed, greatly angering him. Proceeding to the heavens, Ravana fought and defeated the devas, singling out his brother for particular humiliation. By force he gained command over the gods, celestials, and the serpent races. At the time of the Ramayana, set several hundred years later, Ravana is shown as dominating all human and divine races - so much so that he can command the Sun's rising and setting.

Ravana was known for his virility and his aggressive conquests of women. Ravana had several wives, foremost of whom was Mandodari - daughter of Mayasura and an apsara named Hema.

Mandodari was renowned for her wisdom and grace as well as beauty and chastity. She is often compared to Sita, one of the most beautiful woman described in Indian spiritualism.

In addition to his wives, Ravana maintained a harem of incredible size, populated with women whom he captured in his many conquests, many of them accepted and lived happily in his harem for his great manhood, power, and knowledge of different subjects. Ravana was known force himself upon any woman who rejected his advances. Two significant encounters occurred that would shape the course of the Ramayana.

The first was the encounter with the sage-woman Vedavati. Vedavati had been performing penance with the intention of winning Lord Vishnu as her husband. Ravana met her at her hermitage, her beauty enhanced by the austerities she had performed. She, however, rejected his advances. Ravana molested her, up which she stated that she would be the cause of his fall. Vedavati is said to have been reborn as Sita, causing Ravana's death and winning Vishnu (as Rama) as her husband.

The second was his encounter with the apsara Rambha, upon whom he forced himself. Rambha was betrothed to Kubera's son, but her plea that she was like a daughter to him did not deter Ravana. Angered at this, Kubera's son cursed Ravana, stating that his ten heads would fall off if he forced himself upon any woman thereafter. This curse is said to have protected Sita's chastity while she was Ravana's captive for nearly a year.

 Depiction in other Scriptures, as Vishnu's cursed doorkeeper

 

In the Bhagavata Purana, Ravana and his brother, Kumbakarna were said to be reincarnations of Jaya and Vijaya, gatekeepers at Vaikuntha, the abode of Vishnu and were cursed to be born in Earth for their insolence.

These gatekeepers refused entry to the Sanatha Kumara monks, who, because of their powers and austerity appeared as young children. For their insolence, the monks cursed them to be expelled from Vaikunta and to be born on Earth.

God Vishnu agreed that they should be punished, but agreed to mitigate their curse. He asked them whether they wanted seven births as devotees of Vishnu or three births as enemies of the Lord. Since they wanted to return as soon as possible, they agreed to be born in three births as evil-doers. As according to the Vishnu Puarana, once Narada wanted to get the Shape & form of Lord Vishnu, so that he could marry a Princess on whom he had developed infatuation (although it was a Vishnu's mesmerisation. On desperate request of Narada, Lord Vishnu actually made him look like a monkey. Narada straightaway went to the Swayamvara of that Princess. The princess is said to have passed Him three times, when he didn't still realise why he was rejected(as he believed that he looked Like Lord Vishnu). Other Princesses present there made fun out of his Appearance & told him to just have a look at himself before looking at the Princess. He went to a nearby fountain & looked in the water. He was furious to find that, he infact looked like a monkey. Lord Vishnu was also present there. Narada cursed him saying that in 'Treta Yuga his beloved wife will get kidnapped by a Demon. He will be compelled to seek help from the monkeys. The two Door Keepers of Lord Vishnu, Jai & Vijay, were also present there laughed uncontrollably at Narada's plight.Enraged he hurled another curse at them as, hat they should live on Earth as Demons at that time. Just then when the princess put the Swayamvara Garland on Vishnu's neck and she came to her real incarnation as Goddess Lakshmi. On this Narada realised his mistake and asked for apology from Lord Vishnu. Upon which Vishnu said that, it was bound to happen. Jai & Vijay pleaded to Lord Narada to forgive them. But a curse could never be taken back, so he limited the Curse to Three Lives. Lord Vishnu came to their rescue & said that he would each time he bring them Mokhsha by Killing them & that they would be back in his service after that.

In the first birth,in kritaYuga Jaya and Vijaya were born as Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyaksha. Vishnu incarnated as Varaha and Narasimha and killed them both. In Treta Yuga they were born as Ravana and Kumbhakarna and were killed by Rama. Then in Yuga. In their final birth, they were born as Shishupala and Dantavakra, and killed by Sri Krishna. After the end of three births, they returned to Vaikunta.

 Ravana's family

 

This section deals with many members of Ravana's family. Since they are hardly mentioned outside the Ramayana, not much can be said about them. They are presented here as they are in the Ramayana, which is viewed by some as being only the point of view of Rama devotees, but is the most complete account of the story that is known.

Ravana was married to Mandodari, the daughter of the celestial architect Maya. He had seven sons from his three wives:

  1. Indrajit
  2. Prahasta
  3. Atikaya
  4. Akshayakumara
  5. Devantaka
  6. Narantaka
  7. Trishira

Ravana's paternal grandfather was Pulastya, son of Brahma. Ravana's maternal grandfather was Malyavan, who was against the war with Rama, and his maternal grandmother was Tataki. Ravana also had a maternal uncle, Maricha.

Ravana had six brothers and two sisters:

  1. Kubera - the King of North direction and the Guardian of Heavenly Wealth. He was an older half-brother of Ravana: they were born to the same father by different mothers.
  2. Vibhishana - A great follower of Sri Rama and one of the most important characters in the Ramayana. As a minister and brother of Ravana, he spoke the Truth without fear and advised Ravana to return Kidnapped Sita and uphold Dharma. Ravana not only rejected this sane advice, but also banished him from his kingdom. Vibhishana sought protection from Sri Rama, which was granted without hesitation. He is known as a great devotee of Sri Rama.
  3. Kumbhakarna - One of the most jovial demons in Hindu mythology. When offered a boon by Brahma, he was tricked into asking for unending sleep! A horrified Ravana, out of brotherly love, persuaded Brahma to amend the boon. Brahma mitigated the power of the boon by making Kumbhakarna sleep for six months and being awake for rest six months of a year (in some versions, he is awake for one day out of the year). During the war with Sri Rama, Kumbhakarna was awakened from his sleep. He tried to persuade Ravana to follow Dharmic path and return Sita; seek mercy of Sri Rama. But he too failed to mend the ways of Ravana. However, he fought on the side of Ravana and was killed in the battlefield. Before dying he met Vibhishana and blessed him for following path of righteousness.
  4. Khara - King of Janasthan. He protected the northern kingdom of Lanka in the mainland and his kingdom bordered with the KosalaKingdom, the kingdom of Rama. He was well-known for his superior skills in warfare.
  5. Dushana - Viceroy of Janasthan.
  6. Mahiravan - King of the Underworld ruled by the rakshasas by Ravana and Demon King Maya.
  7. Kumbhini - sister of Ravana and the wife of the demon Madhu, King of Mathura, she was the mother of Lavanasura. She was renowned for her beauty and later retired to the sea for penance.
  8. Surpanakha - the evil sister of Ravana. She was the ultimate root of the kidnapping of Sita Devi. She was the one who instigated her brothers to wage a war against Rama. 
  9.  Ravana Temples

Despite Valmiki's portrayal of Ravana  as a villain, there are several temples where he is worshipped. Ravana is considered most revered devotee of Lord Shiva. The images of Ravana are seen associated with lord Shiva at some places.

There is a huge Shivalinga in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh, supposedly installed by Ravana himself, with a statue of Ravana near by. Both Shivalinga and Ravana are worshiped by the fishermen community there.

In Sri Lanka, a thousand years ago, King Walagamba is said to have constructed cave temples for Ravana in the Ella Valley.

Thousands of Kanyakubja Brahmins of the village Ravangram of Netaran, in the Vidisha District of Madhya Pradesh, perform daily puja (worship) in the Ravan temple and offer naivedyam / bhog (a ritual of sacrifice to the Gods. Centuries ago King Shiv Shankar built a Ravana temple at Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. The Ravana temple is opened once in a year, on Dashehra Day, to perform puja for the welfare of Ravana.

A Jain temple in Alvar, Rajasthan is called the Ravan Parsvanath Temple. The legend says that Ravana used to worship Parsvanath daily. While Ravana was on tour to Alvar he realized that he forgot to bring the image of Parsvanath. Mandodari, Ravana's wife, is said to have made an image of Parsvanath immediately. And hence the Ravan Parsvanath temple at Alvar.[7]

Ravana is said to have married Princess Mandodari at a place about 32 kilometers away from Jodhpur, which is now called Mandor. There is a mandap (altar or pavilion) where Ravana is said to have married Mandodari, and which the local people call Ravan Jee Ki Chanwari.

At the altar can also be found the images of Saptamatri (Seven Mothers) flanked by Ganesha and Veera Bhadra. The Saptamatri images are said to precede the time of the Pratihara Dynasty (founded in the 6th Century AD) and are in fact reminscent of the images of seven female deities of Harappa - the oldest civilization in India. In the nearby stepwell, a stone bears a script that resembles the Harappan script.

The Dave Brahmins of Mudgal Gotra, Jodhpur/Mandor, said to be Dravida Brahmins who were originally from Gujarat, claim to be the descendants of Ravana. The say that since time immemorial they are performing the shraddh (death anniversary) of Ravana on Dashehra Day every year. They offer pind daan and take a bath after that ritual. They recently erected a Ravan temple in Jodhpur, where daily puja is performed.

There is a theory, that points the southern part of Sri Lanka as the Capitol of Ravana hence the name Ruhuna came to existence. "Ruhuna" may of have derived from the word's Ravana Pura or Rohana Pura.

 Popular Culture

Ravana has been depicted as a cybernetic being possessing great powers in the Virgin Comics series Ramayana 3392 AD. In this series, Ravana is shown to be devoid of any human feeling and only embodies pure evil.

In an animated television film named after the Ramayana, Ravana is a luxury-loving, arrogant emperor who kidnaps Sita (as suggested above) to punish Rama for the mutilation of Shoorpanakha. He is mostly shown as an ordinary man, albeit with pointed ears and the ability to change shape. When he is angry or combating Rama, he assumes the commonly perceived features of multiple heads and (except in the first such scene) twenty arms.

Ashok K. Banker, a novelist who wrote a fantasy series featuring the Ramayan's basic storyline and characters, depicted Ravana as a dar lord capable of projecting himself into inanimate objects, of demonicpossession, and of other feats of magic. Nearly all the legends described above are ascribed to him, but his character undergoes some significant changes throughout the series. He is at first depicted as an archvillain, but evolves gradually into a thing of smaller scale, ultimately to the point of seeming fully human despite his ten heads. When he goes to face Rama for the last time, Ravana is fully aware that he will die in this battle and seems to know the histories of all of his own previous incarnations. He is shot down dramatically and dies with elegance.

Rama has also been depicted in the original(but non-canon) "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" novel, "Resurrecting Ravana" by Ray Garton. In the novel, Gile's old foe Ethan Rayne cons the granddaughter of Benson Lovecraft out of a statue of Ravana, planning to resurrect the God with the aid of the Rakshasa, lesser demons which induce close friends to argue and eventually brutally kill each other.

 

02/09/2008

Nepalese mask. Ancient Nepalese Lata mask, Rajbansi or Dhimal People (second edition enlarged photos). Nepalese Mask. Nepalese masque. ETHNOFLORENCE COLLECTION.

Ancient Nepalese Lata mask.  I have started to collect Indian and Himalayan folk and tribal art 15 years ago, still today I am astonished of the antiquity, genuinity and quality of the pieces that the really few collectors in this field have collected in the general indifference of Museums and Public Institutions. But perhaps, this has been also our lucky opportunity. To collect without points of reference has been sure difficult,  some times discouraging, maybe was better to continue to being a e  collector of  African Traditional Art, but with which result… in terms of authenticity and innovation of own collection?

 

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Frontal view. First edition on http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/post/5863840/himalaya... .

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Forehead view detail.

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Frontal view detail.

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Below frontal view detail.

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Below frontal view detail.

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Frontal view side A.

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Frontal view side B.

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Side A view.

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Side A view detail.

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Side A view detail.

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Side A view detail.

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Side A view detail.

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Side B view.

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Side B view detail.

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Side B view detail.

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Side B view detail.

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Top of the mask.

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Top of the mask side panoramic view.

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Base of the mask.

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Back side view.

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Above back side view.

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Above back side view detail.

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Back side view detail.

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Back side A view.

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Back side A view detail.

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Back side B view.

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Back side B view detail.

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Below back side view.

 

29/08/2008

Ancient kali mask from Rajbansi or Dhimal people.

ETHNOFLORENCE

INDIAN AND HIMALAYAN

FOLK AND TRIBAL ARTS

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2008 - 2016

Photo Courtesy of Mr Sam Singer

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SAN FRANCISCO TRIBAL ART SHOW

2008

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Ancient Kali mask from Terai. Iconographic comparation in possible with other Kali masks of Ethnoflorence Collection,  interesting and unique is the ancient black crying Kali mask on :
http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/post/5844563/himalaya... , the patina of this mask is analogous to that of the Fang reliquary. 3 Kali masks are edit also on http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/post/5977909/differen... .

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 Frontal view.

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Frontal view detail.

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Forehead view.

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Forehead view detail.

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Frontal view detail.

 

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Eye and patina detail view.

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Eye and patina detail view.

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Side A view. From a plastic view point  this Kali  mask is connoted from a strong push towards the verticality.

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Side A detail view.

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Side A detail view.

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Side A detail view. The patina in crust of this old Kali Mask is extraordinary, and it would make happy also the most refined collectors of  African masks.

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Side A detail view.

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Side B view.

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Side B view detail.

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Side B view detail.

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Side B, another strong detail.

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Back side view.

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Back side view.

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Back side view.

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Base of the mask view.

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We  often speaks about  the verticality of the African  masks , ethnoflorence prefers to confront the plastic of this ancient Kali mask with that of an other himalayana mask, also this connoted from a strong vertical push (and a really hard wood).

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This  powerful mask does not come neither from Africa or from Oceania, but from the himalayana region.

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Detail.

 

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Another side view.

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Side view detail.

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Back side view.

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Back side view.

 

 

 

28/08/2008

Himalayan repainted bear mask. Terai Rajbansi people.

ETHNOFLORENCE

2008 VINTAGE EDITION

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Imposing Himalayan bear repainted mask. Terai region Rajbansi people.

 

For a comparation see : http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/post/5851990/southern... .

 

 

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Frontal view. From the imposing proportions this mask has been repainted with a red color. The lack of the  holes at he height of the eyes makes us to understand as who wore this mask could see through the wide opening of the mouth. The artifact therefore was worn like one elmet mask.

 

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Frontal view.

 

 

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Frontal view detail.

 

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 Forehead detail. Over the forehead of the mask has been carved a kind of crown from a  really minimal style.

 

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Impressive detail of the mouth.

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Comparable with the same detail of another really ancient and powerfull mask of  Ethnoflorence collection http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/post/5851990/southern... .

 

 

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Side A frontal view  detail.

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Side B frontal view detail.

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 Side A view.

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 Side A view detail.

 

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 Side A view detail.

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 Side A view detail.

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 Side B view.

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Side B view detail.

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Side B view detail.

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Mouth detail.

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Mouth detail.

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 Mouth detail.

 

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 Mouth detail.

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 Mouth detail.

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 Back side view.

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Top side view.

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 Back side view detail.

 

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Side A view detail.

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12/08/2008

Terai male crowned mask. Rajbansi or Dhimal People.

ETHNOFLORENCE

2008 VINTAGE EDITION

ANCIENT

TERAI CROWNED MALE MASK

 

 Interesting the style of the mounth, something similar, maybe the same subject, but in a more primitive and brut style we edited on: http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/post/6085721/nepalese... .

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Frontal view.  

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Frontal view, for a direct comparation of the different styles. http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/post/6085721/nepalese... .

 

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Frontal view detail.

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Forehead detail view.

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Below frontal view detail.

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Frontal view side A.

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Frontal view side B.

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Side A view.

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Side A detail view.

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Side B view.

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Side B detail view.

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Base of the mask.

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Base of the mask detail view.

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Top of the mask.

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Top of the mask detail view.

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3/4 Back side view.

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Back side original restauration detail view.

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Back side original restauration detail view.

 

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Back side view detail A.

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Back side B detail view.

29/07/2008

Himalayan deformed mask. Nepal.

ETHNOFLORENCE

2009 EDITION

HIMALAYAN DEFOMED MASK

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26/06/2008

Himalayan crowned mask. Nepalese or Indian Terai

ETHNOFLORENCE

2008

MASK

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(Inventory no.24)

HIMALAYAN CROWNED MALE MASK

Himalayan crowned male mask. Terai. Masque couronnè de l'Himalaya. Terai. Mannliche gekronte Himalajamaske. Mascara del Himalaya coronada.  Гималайская коронованная маска мужского пола. ヒマラヤ戴冠させた男性のマスク。 terai区域ネパール . Maschera maschile coronata della regione himalayana, Terai.  

Interesting the plastic iconography of this imposing crowned mask. Traces of color on natural patinated wood. This mask testifyes how much rich and various can be the iconographic repertoire of the Terai area. 

Among the Ethnoflorence collection of   himalayan crowned  mask I suggest a visit to an understanding black kali crying mask, something of really unique and  similar to a Fang reliquary, see more on http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/post/5844563/himalaya... .

 Complitely different the style of a crowned male  mask of King or Hero from Himachal Pradesh, see more on http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/post/5887534/himachal... .

For a more classic view of the Kali masks iconography see the comparation of three items on http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/post/5977909/differen... .

Two interesting and old crowned mask are recently edited on http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/post/6265565/himalaya... .

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 Himalayan crowned mask. Nepalese or Indian Terai.Interesting, and very used  crowned mask of the Terai region . The mask has been repainted and introduces an interesting original restauration.The circumstance that the restauration was also repainted, it makes us think that this mask, despite an evident damage, it was still used. Particular importance of the mask for its ethnic group of origin? Impossibility to replace it? Examining the top of the mask we can also notice an impressive state of deterioration of the wood. Also the back side of the mask introduces a strong state of usury of the wood. In my opinion a kali mask.

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A fracture on the side of the mask was covered with fabric and repainted along with the rest of the mask.

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Unusual but really interesting the crowned mask edited on http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/post/5848801/southern... .

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Side A 3/4 detail view.

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An Iconographic comparation in possible with other Kali masks of Ethnoflorence Collection,  interesting and unique is the ancient black crying Kali mask on :
http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/post/5844563/himalaya... , the patina of this mask is analogous to that of the Fang reliquary.

3 Kali masks are edit also on http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/post/5977909/differen... .

Another interesting Kali mask is edited on http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/post/6194834/ancient-... .

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Photo of the mask from our old archive.

 

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 Frontal view of the mask.

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Frontal view detail. Important patina of the mask.

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Side view detail.

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Rastouration detail view. The  lacking part of the mask was restored covering it with a piece of cloth, attacked  to the wood with nails, and therefore
repainted with purple color and gold spots.

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Top side view.

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Back side view. Exceptional state of usura and patina.

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23/06/2008

Unusual Himalayan crowned mask. Terai Kali mask(?)

ETHNOFLORENCE

2009

MASK

GetAttachment7

(Inventory no.11)

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UNUSUAL CROWNED HIMALAYAN MASK

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(ENGL)Unsual Himalayan crowned mask. Very interesting the stylistic surrender of the crown,  the detail of the prominent tongue make us think to a Kali mask (?).(FRA) Exceptionnel  masque  couronne du Himalaya, Très intéressant la reddition stylistique de la couronne, le détail du langage est-ce que  nous fait penser à un masque Kali (?).