The bird-god ‘Garuda’ is a half-human half-eagle being from India’s Hindu mythology. He is considered to be the ‘mythical mount’ of Lord Vishnu, the ‘Preserver’. This mask shows the head of ‘Garuda'. On his forehead ‘Garuda’ bears the white V-sign of Lord Vishnu. Placed upon it is a colourful, painted ‘crown’. The big beak of the bird-god is red.
Masks are an integral part of the mukh-bhaona performances of Majuli Island in Assam. Masks are a medium of creative expression used in different performances held during festivals, and in the Vaishnavite narrative theatre called the Bhaona. Deeply embedded in the bhakti movement, the origin of the Bhaona form of theatre is ascribed to the great Vaishnava saint, preacher and reformer Srimanta Sankaradeva. The mask or mukha forms an important component of the Bhaona performance, which helps in making the play attractive, expressive and in putting the message across.
Samaguri sattra is a sattra, rather a grihast or a family run sattra, a very well renowned sattradhikar famous for his exquisite work of mask making. Located 15kms from Kamalabari is Majuli where the artists make various puranic or mythological characters. Interesting how they built up a mask from natural things ,bamboo ,clay and cow dung.The masks of Majuli have a uniqueness.
These are made of clay, bamboo, cloth etc. Despite the size of the masks these are quite light in weight. Masks are made on all the characters of the Mahabharata, Ramayana, and Puranas.