An ethnic Kali mask intricately crafted by the artisans of West Bengal. Kali means "black" but has, by folk etymology, come to mean "force of time (kala)." Kali is today considered the goddess of time and change. Kali is represented as the consort of god Shiva, on whose body she is often seen standing. She is associated with many other Hindu goddesses like Durga.Â The colors and intricate work classify the mask as a splendid effort by the artist. This mask is traditionally used in dance performances or put up outside houses to ward off demons. This hand-crafted tribal Kali wooden mask could be one of the most exotic items you own.Â
This wooden, wonderfully crafted mask is hand-made and hand-painted in West Bengal. The masks are made from locally available wood such as Gamar trees, Mango. The mask making begins with cutting the log of wood, given the sizes of masks, the initial piece of wood is about 18â€³ to 24â€³ long. This is then immersed in water for seasoning, which renders the wood soft and thus, subsequent cutting and crafting becomes easier. The final procedure involves fine chiseling of the entire mask. Once the mask is complete, then comes finishing; the first step to which is smoothening of the mask, which is done by using sand papers of various grades. Next, the mask gets a coat or two of varnish, which provides smoothness to the mask and ensures durability.Â These masks were painted with natural dyes. Red dye was made from â€˜Segunâ€™, green from â€˜Seemâ€™ (a form of bean), violet from â€˜Jamunâ€™, and black from â€˜Jiaâ€™ tree. The craftsman had to gather the material, grind it, and mix with water and strain through cloth before use.
The mask easily hangs on the wall using a single nail or screw via the attached hangar on the back. A wonderful and colorful addition to any room, and a great housewarming gift for both friends and family.Â