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    Jatra Masks

    Map Academy

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    Makeup and face painting used for occasionally accompanied with masks, jatra masks are used for jatra performances.

    The makeup style is not as elaborate or time-consuming as in Yakshagana or Kathakali, but nevertheless creates a mask-like effect. A thick, rosy base is generally used for faces. The eyes of the character being represented are then framed with concentric circles of paint, along with long curved brows and elaborate lashes. The hero and other male characters of a jatra play may have facial hair painted onto their faces. Comedic characters may be given more distinguishing features to identify them easily on stage, like a mole or an exaggerated moustache. Mask-like objects, like demonic faces, are used occasionally. In Bangladeshi jatras, performed in areas like Tangail and Narail, masks are used for characters like the Kalnagini snake or tigers of the forest.

    Jatra masks are made traditionally by members of the Malakar, Sutradhar (carpenters), Karmakar and Kumar (potters) communities. Paper pulp, wood, cloth and Indian cork are used to make them, with colours and designs added in afterwards. Today, they are also manufactured for collectors or for home decor.

    Jatra remains popular in the Indian states of West Bengal and Odisha.



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