Raja Kolam Mask

Raja Kolam Mask

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Whilst the Kolama (comedy) performance proceeds the most important event is the entrance of two characters the King and the Queen. The men fan the King with yak tails and minsters who attend on the King also wear masks. The masks have been created to suit these various characters. The faces of the King and Queen are very large. It is difficult to dance while wearing this mask. The mask of the Queen, about four or five feet in height, though it is not a large as the mask of the King, has a number of carvings on it. The majestic mask of the king with many beautiful carvings on it, is one that draws admiration in the mind. Because of their size and creative beauty, the face of the King and Queen stand out among all other masks.

Among the Raja Kolama Royal comedy) faces, the hereditary mask belonging to the family of T. W. Gunadasa of ambalangoda,takes a special place.

It is very attractive and large in size. The faces of the King and Queen are very large and beautiful. The upper portion has been carved exquisitely to which pieces of glass have been fastened. This is to show the grandeur and majesty of the King and his fame. On both sides of the face are Makara (Cupid) Thorana(pandals). The moustache has been curled upwards. On two sides of the chin are beards. Among these masks that of the King and Queen belonging to the hereditary family of Wijesuriya, are also very beautiful.

In presenting information about the mask of the King, Bandu Wijesuriya concludes that among Buddhist faces, this indicates Nirvana. The faces depicted in theses masks all represent characters that existed from time to time during various governing regimes of this country, as can be discerned.

At the same time some of the characters that were unacceptable to the Sinhalese have been very viciously ridiculed. It can bring out the characteristics of various individuals.

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Kolam Masks of Sri Lanka