The masks are made out of neem and fig trees by the local Sutradhar community. It made of a single piece of bamboo stick.

Bagpa is called Bagchham by the Buddhist guru lamas of Tamang. Wow, really! Some people say that the name Chhau is derived from the word ‘Chhauni’ meaning a military camp where the dance evolved from the martial art. I heard about chaau dance but never got an opportunity to visit.

But the main act was perhaps the slaying of Ravan by Ram.

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He smiles...."How are they made?". Thank you so much Soumendu! There were several acts, each one depicting a mythological or folk story.

The mask dance organised within the month of mid-April to mid-July. We explored some parts of Purulia the next day before returning back to Kolkata. The Chhau mask is a traditional cultural heritage of Purulia in the Indian state of West Bengal. Although these days, Chhau dance is being performed at various places as stage performances, the actual charm and magic of the dance can only be understood when performed in their traditional stage.

We visited Purulia just to experience this mad magic of Chhau dance performance. Holes are made under the eyes of the mask for the wearer to see. In Gomira mask dance Mahiraban is a mythical character in the epic Ramayana.

The masks are then decorated with beads, glittery ribbons, artificial flowers and leaves. This specific mask is of the Purulia type and portrays a god named Durga or Shakti, the principal form of the Hindu warrior goddess.

The Chhau masks are the most important ensemble of the dance performance. Gita Karmakar, a female artist from Bankura has been awarded the President’s award. The remaining positions are almost same as the Chhawk.

Traditionally, the chhau dance is held during mid-march when one agricultural circle ends and a new circle begins.

'Tobka', the third stage means stylized movements.

Even the female characters are played by male members.

Purulia Chhau dance follows the Tandava form of Indian classical dance and the performers were mostly Shaivites (followers of Lord Shiva). Chhau masks are also a perfect gift item. You can buy our Chhau masks and use them for the Chhau dance being organized locally in your area. Your IP: Once dried, the first layer of earth is removed by buffing.

 sarees   |   Cotton Silk Saree  |    In 2010 the Chhau dance was inscribed in the UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Nicely explained! In Seraikella and Purulia Chhau it is known as 'Chhalli'. Bamnia is only 5 km from Jhalda.

And yes, we love the Himalayas too.

[8], The Gambhira dance is performed all over the Malda district of North Bengal during the festival of Chaitra Sankranti.


The Chhau masks have also been presented with the Geographical Identification (GI) tag by the Geographical Indication Registry and Intellectual Property India along with other handicrafts like Dokra, Pattachitra and Madurkathi. I was totally awed by the large masks the dancers were wearing.

Such beautiful colors. Six masks uses in the dance where the first four are used directly in the dance and the other two are absolutely ritualistic. YOU MAY ALSO LIKE :BASCON OR BASAR CONFLUENCE. Now that when I travel a lot, I always wanted to see a Chhau dance performance in the place of its origin, Purulia. YOU MAY ALSO LIKE : A GUIDE TO THE KUMBH MELA AT PRAYAGRAJ (ALLAHABAD). The making of a mask goes through various stages.

The Seraikella Chhau, Mayurbhanj Chhau, and Purulia Chhau are the three different variations of Chhau dance performed in three different states of Eastern India. it was, for the onlookers... whose attention had been completely captured... leaving them mesmerized and smiling, out of their otherwise tedious routeins... Mostly busy in agricultural activities people of the village have fewer means of entertainment. They epitomize roots of Indian culture, represent epic characters, and are in a way revered by the makers of these Chhau masks.

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