Wooden Masks of West Bengal

Wooden masks of West Bengal are an important part of the social and cultural activities of the state. The artisans are present in Purulia who make wooden masks for the chhou dancers and so are present in Malda where the masks are used by the Gambhira dancers. The hilly areas of Darjeeling and Tibet also use masks in their devil dances and other religious festivals. Chhou masks are distinct as they represent the gods, goddess and characters from the mythology and history. Over the years the wooden masks have evolved into an admirable craftsmanship with its exquisite design and finish. The artisans for chhou masks are mostly located in and around Charida and Bagmundi of Purulia district. The masks of hilly areas is carved out of soft wood and painted vividly representing the evil spirits of the mountains and the demons.