Gomira : The traditional wooden mask dance

January 9, 2019
contest: CHANGE in Wood Culture - Environment
$ 4800
Gomira : The traditional wooden mask dance /media/flashcomm?action=mediaview&context=normal&id=48814
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The craft of Gomira dance masks is practiced in a specific area in North Dinajpur district of West Bengal, in and around the village of Mahisbathan. Historically the masks were made from ‘pure woods’ such as neem, as per Hindu mythology. Later locally available and cheaper wood such as mango, pakur, kadam, gamhar and teak came to be used. The wood is usually purchased from a nearby sawmill or sometimes cut from a tree by the craftsman himself. The village craftsmen are very conscious of the environment and always plant one tree for trees cut down, usually of the same species. Originally the Gomira masks were painted with natural dyes.
The scene for the Gomira dance is an open field, known as Gomirar Tola, which is normally situated beside a holy place, called thaan. The thaan is committed to Shakti gods and situated underneath a banyan tree, a little separation from the village. In spite of the fact that it is alluded to as a dance, the execution isn't classified through explicit real developments or motions. The developments are unconstrained, instinctual and adlibbed by the artists who regularly go into a condition of daze amid the execution, which is called bhor. It is trusted that while encountering bhor, the artist ends up controlled by the qualities of the divinity whose veil he is wearing. Over the years, the gomira mask has gained recognition and emerged as a small-scale cottage industry.

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