But only a few of these forms are performed, some of which are Naga Raksha (cobra mask), Gurulu Raksha (Mask of the Bird) and Maru Raksha (Mask of the Demon of Death). These masks also have different uses to them like healing or spiritual uses.
They are made to represent different types of demons.
Oldest of them are animal and demonic ( or animal-cum-demonic, human-cum-demonic).
They also allow for flip up and flip down capability for ease of use!
It provides most of the same protection of a paper or cloth face mask.
Ambalangoda is known for their traditional mask carvings and dancing.
The present institution known as Ariyapala & Sons which passed through their fifth generation mask carving and dancing is very cultural in Ambalangoda.
Some of these practices are directly connected with ancestor worship as evidence from the na-Yaku cult.
These attempts at invoking the supernatural, are evident in other part of the world were hunter •gatherer societies still exists.It is indeed a puzzle as to how the Sri Lankan masks have a short history in an ancient civilization that has to date traces of hunter-gatherer type of society.The present-day Veddas, who are considered to be the primeval ancestors of the Sinhalas, have preserved various ritual ceremonies and ritual practices involving mime, facial and body painting.The masks can be different shapes and sizes, but the looks of the masks depend on the ritual or dance it is used in.Mask carving is a local tradition at the southern coastal region of Sri Lanka in Ambalangoda.Sorry about the absence of this editorial last week, but my school work was piling up, and I knew it would continue to do so if I put it off to write this, so I did my work instead.