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Wooden mask of Dinajpur is part of a ritual dance practiced by the local community. In last three or four decades, the masks have found a new market as a decorative craft. Masks of Ravana, Bhadra Kali, Narasimha, Bibhishan, Tiger, Hanuman etc. are made. Kushmundi Block in Dakshin Dinajpur and Kaliaganj block in Uttar Dinajpur are hubs of wooden mask making. The crafts person at Kushmundi are closely knit unit wherein artists reside around Mahisbathan. There are around 186 crafts person residing in 21 villages across 8 GPs of two blocks. The artisans have a society with maximum male artisans. Women generally do not get involved in making the Craft. Issues and challenges at a glance: Absence of Ready Market High Cost of Traditionally made larger masks. Lack of availability of  quality diversified products Lack of demand.                            (Link to ....Impact Study....)

The ecstatic gomira dance masks of Dakshin Dinajpur District have ensured from animistic practices of the Desi and Poli communities of the Rajbangshis. It is usually organized within the months of Baishak-jhaistha-Ashar, corresponding to mid April to mid-july. Thus the craft of Gomira mask making, is its pristine form, created to the needs of the dancers.

[Stories and myth behind-  The wooden masks are traditionally objects of devotion and worship. Thus the craft of Gomira mask making in its pristine form created to the need of the Gomira dancers and any villager wishing to give a mask as an offering to the village deity. Most Gomira face masks have subsidiary characters crafted along the periphery of the main character. So, the mask is a composite of a principal character surrounded by the subsidiary characters, both of which always have a mythical link between them. For example, the character of Dasarath always accompanies the mask of Jatayu.]



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