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Mask making of West Bengal

For the visitors to Surajkund crafts fair, an initiative by Haryana Tourism to promote Indian handloom and handicrafts, Apna Ghar from West Bengal was a new experience. It is a mud hut modelled on those found in the Purulia district of West Bengal. It is in this hut that Nepal Chandra Sutradhar, the master mask maker from the state resided with his family.

These masks made of clay, wood and paper are used in the performance of Chhau, a traditional dance of West Bengal. The masks are mainly of Puranic characters, gods, goddesses and animals.

In West Bengal, there is a mask making season. It starts from the months of January- February until the Chaitra-Baisakh Gajan Festival, which is the peak season of Chauu dance.