The Masks of Nepal

is rich in hand craved wooden materials. Mask is one of them. There are various categories of mask found in Nepal according to different and . The main types are listed below:

  • Ethnic
  • Folk
  • Cultural
  • Deity
  • Demons
  • Ghosts
  • Shaman
  • Ritual
  • Exorcist
  • Bhairav

Ethnicity, Mask Possession, and Mask Dances

The Spatial Distribution of Ethnic Communities in Nepal is Gurung, Pahadi Castes Brahmin, Kshatriya, and Dalit, Kiranti, Rai, Limbu Newar Other Castes Tamang Bhotia, , Thakali etc

  • The ethnic and caste groups who developed the culture of the mask were the agrarian groups. They include Newar, Magar, Gurung, Rai, Limbu, Sherpa and other Himalayan people of Tibetan origin
  • Tharu and other Tarai communities
  • Shaman practitioners of all ethnic groups
  • Hindus, Buddhists, and folk religious groups
  • Tantric, Exorcists and other practitioners

There are various festivals related to mask according to ethnicity and culture. Various kinds of Hindu and Buddhist mask dances are performed as part of religion. The rules of ritual are strictly followed. Ethnic mask dances, which are rich in content and spectacular. Demonic are used in various folk dances and open- theater.

 Typology of NEPALI

  • Religious Masks
  • Folk Masks
  • Deity Masks
  • Ethnic Masks
  • Cultural Masks
  • Dance Drama Masks
  • Exorcist Masks
  • Festival Masks
  • Ritual Masks
  • Shaman Masks

Aesthetic Of Nepali Masks

The Mask Properties Masks are made of Metal [ Brass, Copper, Iron ] Terracotta Leaves Cloth Straw Paint. Some of the properties of Nepali Masks are listed below:

  • The very rich tradition of ‘Mask culture and heritage.
  • Several hundred types of masks exist.
  • Lively cultural roles and religious as well as folk significance.
  • Ethnic diversity led to developing varied forms of masks with diverse features.
  • Most ethnic groups have indigenous masks culture, which they perform in specified days round the year.
  • Nepali masks are religious, folk, cultural, festival, Shaman, an exorcist.
  • Ethnic features are visible in designs and expressions.
  • Masks are colorful or without color or one color mostly black.
  • Masks reflect the worldview and identity of the group.
  • Used in festivals, ceremonies, , practices etc.
  • Spectacular with profound iconography, pattern, expression, and the role assigned so far.
  • Patterns and performances reflect the cultural uniqueness and ethnic identity.

 The Masks of of Tantric

Masks of Gods Shiva Indra Varahi


Masks of Bhairab

Mask of Navadurga

Tiger Lion Mask

Newar Masks Gorgon Lakhe


Masks of Hanuman

Mask of Ten-headed Ravana

Pig mask from Tarai

Monkey mask from Tarai

Gurung Masks

Magar Masks

Thakali Mask Western Mid Himalaya


Demons and Ghosts Middle Hills


Ghost Local demons Demons and Ghosts



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About sadiksha

Namaste! I am a Nepali Art Dealer specialized in Mandala and Thangka paintings. I love to write articles about the monastic culture of the Himalayas.

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