With the tribal art and folk elements forming the base of Assamese culture, masks have found an important place in the cultural activities of the people. They have been widely used in folk theatres and bhaonas, with the materials ranging from terracotta and pith to metal, bamboo and wood.

In the bhaonas, masks are considered to be a must, especially for those playing the parts of mythological characters – Hanuman, Ravana, Garuda, and Jatayu, to name a few. Different materials are used in the make of these masks, varying from place to place. Similarly, among the tribal communities, the use of mask is varied and widespread, especially in their colourful dances, which again revolve chiefly around tribal myths and folklore. Such traditional masks have of late found their way to the modern-day urban drawing rooms as decorative items and wall-hangings, thus providing employment opportunities to the traditional makers.


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