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Mask Dances of Ladakh Jammu and Kashmir

This video features mask dances of Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir. Mask dances are an important part of Ladakh's religious and cultural life. All major Ladakhi monasteries hold annual dance festivals. The most famous among them is the world-famous festival at the Hemis monastery, a leading centre of the Drukpa tradition of Buddhism.

The performers, elaborately dressed and wearing brilliantly colourful and exotic masks, enact a story of good winning over evil. The masks often resemble legendary creatures or illustrate the various moods of the gods. There are at times as many as 15-20 performers on the open-air stage with the audience sitting as close as possible. The performers mix with the crowd and bless the onlookers.