When the demon Hiranyaksha stole the earth (goddess Bhudevi) and hid her in the primordial waters, Vishnu appeared as Varaha to rescue her. The battle between Varaha and Hiranyaksha is believed to have lasted for a thousand years. Varaha finally slew the demon and retrieved the Earth from the ocean, lifting it on his tusks, and restored Bhudevi to her place in the universe.
In the Vishnu Purana, Varaha represents yajna (sacrifice), as the eternal upholder of the earth. His feet represent the Vedas (scriptures). His tusks represent sacrificial stakes. His teeth are offerings. His mouth is the altar with tongue of sacrificial fire. The hair on his head denotes the sacrificial grass. The eyes represent the day and the night. His coarse hair represents sexual prowess. The head represents the seat of the Brahmin (priest). The mane represents the hymns of the Vedas. His nostrils are for oblation. His joints represent the various ceremonies. The ears are said to indicate rites (voluntary and obligatory). Thus, Varaha is the embodiment of the Supreme Being who brings order amidst chaos in the world by his sacrifice.
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.