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Demon masks from the Emerald Isle

Demon masks from the Emerald Isle
Photo Credit: Outlook Traveller

These demon masks from Sri Lanka were part of old dance rituals to ward off the evil eye

Amit Dixit
December 24 , 2015
Less than 1 Min Read

It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s the Garuda. But this king of birds is no mere plaything. For centuries, Sri Lanka’s demon masks have been used by witch doctors in cathartic dance rituals to fend off the evil eye and cure diseases. Originally, masks were only vegetable-dyed. The price of revival is enamel paint, and bright, cheery demons. Ambalangoda town, 90 km south of Colombo on the Galle Road, is the mask capital of the emerald isle. You can get a teeny one for Sri Lankan Rs 50. It’s all skywards from there.


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