A handcrafted four guardian animal mask set used in the Bhutanese sacred mask dances. Tiger, Snow Lion, Garuda, and Dragon are four powerful guardians and auspicious animals known as Tak, Seng, Chung, and Druk.
They are featured in one of the most sacred mask dances called “Dance of the Drums of Dramitse, ” (locally, Dramitse Nga Cham). This performance comprises 16 performers dressed wearing exotic masks representing real and mythic animals. The vulture-headed Garuda, the Dragon, the Snow Lion, and the Tiger are among them. These animals represent attributes such as alertness, vision, trust, joy, and power. The dance is believed to depict visions of the heavenly court of Padmasambhava.
The Tiger (Tak) symbolises unconditional confidence, disciplined awareness, kindness, and modesty. It is known for its power to protect from bad spirits and evil.
The Snow Lion (Seng) indicates unconditional happiness, clear and accurate thinking, and a precise mind.
The Druk (Dragon) represents accomplishments, tranquillity, elegance, and kindness. The dragon roars in the sky, breaking us out of delusion and giving awareness to things we can’t see.
Garuda with a vulture head (Chung) represents liberation from hopes and anxieties. It is thought to be a cure for ailments caused by harmful spiritual influences.
How is it made?
These delicate crafts are made by young art school students. It involves a complex process where the native pinewood is dried naturally for several months. The artisans then shape the mask’s rough outline before moving on to precision carving of the shapes and features. Finally, painters paint the masks in various steps according to a certain specification.
Weight: 988 grams (447 grams each)
Materials: Wood and Paints
About the Producer:
Kelzang handicrafts produce exquisite Bhutanese textiles & crafts since 1995.
Kelzang Wangmo aka Jambay, the founder is from Khoma village in Lhuntse which is famed for the exquisite -Kishutharas- the “skirt” part of the traditional attire.
She was only ten when she started weaving in her village. At 16 she moved to Thimphu with her family and started weaving and selling Kiras and Ghos with her two sisters
Nowadays Jambay designs most of the textiles at her shop and has women weaving for her in Thimphu as well as in Lhuntse. She has won several awards for their designs from the Royal Textile Academy.