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IGRMS series theme ‘Chamunda Kali’ became popular amongst visitors

Friday - May 24, 2019 3:01 pm , Category : BHOPAL


Bhopal, May 24 (WTN): Under the popular museum series ‘Exhibit of the Month’ of Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, a traditional object is displayed in the appearance for a whole month. The exhibit for the month of May is the exhibit for the month of May, 2019 - “Chamunda Kali” (A Wooden Gambhira mask of Goddess Kali) from Polia and Deshi communities of Dinajpur, Jalpaiguri and Koch Bihar districts of West Bengal has become popular in amongst visitors coming to the museum. This exhibit of the month has been curetted by Dr. Soma Kiro, Assistant Curator.

Craft and Craftsmanship - Masks of the Dinajpur, Jalpaiguri and Koch Bihar districts of West Bengal are prepared by the craftsmen of Polia and Deshi communities using the wood of Gamir. Use of mask is strictly confined to the member of these communities. The uniqueness of the masks is the provision of slit openings for eyes below the painted lower margin of the eyes instead of the usual circular opening. One of the features of the Gamira mask is its ferocious expression.  The Gamira masks consist of Shiknidhal, Chamunda, Mashan Kali, Buri Bura, Bagh Mashan, masks of different animals like tiger, bear, etc. They are made of Gamir wood for the mask is specially preferred for the convenience of carving. Gamar Wood is the principal material of Gamira mask. The local craftsman prepares the mask by carving wood with the help of iron tools and produces the required shape of a specified mask. Sand paper is used to smooth the surface of the mask. Natural colors such as Ash, Vermilion, white and saffron colored clay and vegetable color are used for coloring the mask. The smooth finishing of the mask indicates the craftmanship of the maker.

Cultural Significance - The art form of Gambhira began somewhere 150 years ago, with a festival called as Gambhira utsav which was prevelant in Rarh Bengal. The three day festival was divided into two parts the Choto Tamasha where children used to perform on the first day and Baro Tamasha where elders used to perform. The festival was celebrated to worship Lord Shiva of Hindu religion. The festival was organized by Koch, Rajbanshi and Deshipoli community of Malda, Dinajpur, Jalpaiguri of Cochbehar region during Chaitra Sankranti (mid April). The Gambhira dance is performed all over the Malda district of North Bengal during the festival of Chaitra Sankranti. Sometimes they were also made the mask of clay. The three dimensional crowns are the specialty of these masks. Thus over the time scale of hundred /thousand years mostly became a popular prop in Bengali culture. This mask is used to depict various epic characters of animal such as tiger and deer as well as of Gods and Goddess to act out mythological stories. Popularly known as Mukha Khel meaning the game of masks this particular dance form is dedicated to Gramchandi believed to be the savior of the village. – Window To News