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Seraikella Chhau Mask

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making of the Chhau mask

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Seraikella Chhau Mask

  1. 1. The Mask<br />Photography : Aruvi & Shanthini Sarah<br />
  2. 2. Chhau Mask<br />Chhau means mask - the most essential element in the dance-drama from which it derives its name.<br />
  3. 3. RajkumarSudhendra - renowned Chhau dancer <br />“When I put on the mask I become impersonal. It is easier to slip into the body of another character. Expression does not follow from my face to my body, but its transmitted from my body to my face”<br />
  4. 4. Mask making process<br />
  5. 5. The dark clay used for making the mask is found on the banks of the river Kharkai<br />
  6. 6. The clay model of the character is fixed on a small wodden plank and cooled for 2-3 days to harden it.<br />
  7. 7. The clay model is covered with the wet cloth after moulding.<br />
  8. 8. The nose and eyes are fashioned by sharp steel instruments like ‘ChotaKarni’, ‘Badhni’, ‘topi’, and nongly)<br />
  9. 9. Each mask is first visualised by studying the character it is to represent, and then given shape and substance<br />
  10. 10. The ash powder called ‘Rakh/rakhi’ is sprinkled on it so that the actual mask doesn’t stick to the mould <br />
  11. 11. A layer of paper(in bits) is pasted over the mould covering it completely <br />
  12. 12. Next a thin layer of clothes(in bits) is applied on to the previous layer<br />
  13. 13. This process of ‘clothes on paper on clothes’ is repeated number of times according to the required thickness of the mask <br />
  14. 14. The clay is pounded, strained, dissolved in water and made as thick paste to apply on the layers <br />
  15. 15. After the model is dry, the clay is scooped out from the hollow of the mask, by the ‘Karni’ <br />
  16. 16. The mask is scrubbed, polished, and painted with ‘Tuli’ (brush). <br />
  17. 17. The stylized contours of the eye-brows, eyes and mouth are painstakingly painted to bring in the distinctive character with which a particular mask is associated<br />
  18. 18. Almost all the masks are made with flat pastel shades that gives them a naïve quality of frankness, simplicity and boldness <br />
  19. 19. The whole technique of Seraikella Chhau dance has evolved and taken shape around the special feature of the mask. The dance will certainly loose its effectiveness, beauty and originality without masks<br />
  20. 20. The face behind the mask - famous mask makers<br />
  21. 21. ‘Shilpakushal’ Prasanna Kumar Mahapatra, renowned mask maker<br />The art of mask making is highly skillful job, confined to a few, often handed down from father to son<br />
  22. 22. KanhaiMahrana, mask maker and architect<br />
  23. 23. BasanthkumarBarik, mask maker & teacher in government Chhau academy, Seraikella<br />
  24. 24. BasantkumarBarikmoulding the clay, Mask making centre, Government Chhau academy, Seraikella<br />
  25. 25. SushanthokumarMahapatra, Mask maker and Architect<br />Mahapatra’s family is known as the pioneers of mask making in Seraikella<br />
  26. 26. Sumith Kumar Mahapatra , mask maker<br />SushantoMahapatra overlooking at his son who is collecting the clay for the mask <br />
  27. 27. Holes are made on both the sides and thick black twine is tied in to that. This twine is used to fix up the mask on the face of the artist<br />
  28. 28. Women practicing mask making in the mask centre, government Chhau academy, Searikella.<br />Women are mostly involved in mask making than the dance. <br />
  29. 29. Nabik & Nabikani(boat man and women used in Nabik composition)<br />
  30. 30. Lord ganesha<br />
  31. 31. Yakha & Yakhani (male and female in Meghdooth composition)<br />
  32. 32. Ardhanarishwarar(Lord Shiva)<br />
  33. 33. Krishna mask<br />
  34. 34. Mayur mask (peacock used in Mayurbanj composition)<br />
  35. 35. Thank you<br />

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