Masks : Sri Lankan Mask

Sri Lankan Mask

Kolam Mask from Sri Lanka

This Sri Lankan mask does not represent a specific individual but instead depicts a character from a masked performance, one of many personas in the ceremonial folk drama called Kolam. Many centuries old and still performed today, Kolam has three main types of characters; the supernatural, the human, and the animal. For the viewing audience, human masks often portray recognizable characters from Sri Lankan society, such as the king and queen, the soldier, the traveling merchant, the moneylender, or the villager. This mask would transform its wearer into a merchant. Carved from blocks of wood, Kolam masks are brightly painted with unique patterns of colors based on sex, age, and position in society.