Mask of Bhairava
India (Jammu and Kashmir, ancient kingdom of Kashmir)
This object is from a rare group of early Brahmanical masks. The small fangs seen rising from the corners of the open mouth and the exposed upper teeth identify this deity as Bhairava, a wrathful form of Shiva. Such masks were employed as temporary fixtures during worship and used to enliven processional icons in the Brahmanical cultures of northwestern India and the territories of Gandhara in Pakistan.
This artwork is meant to be viewed from right to left. Scroll left to view more.