THE TREASURES OF SATRAS
The biggest river island in the world, Majuli is located on the river Brahmaputra in Assam and is formed by Brahmaputra in the south and the Kherkutia Xuti joined by the river Subansiri in the north. Making you feel at peace with nature, it is home to many migratory birds.
Masks, also known as 'mukhas', are said to be the base of the Assamese culture and tradition and Majuli is considered to be the home of masks.
The traditional Assamese masks are made from a variety of materials, ranging from terracotta and bamboo to wood, pith and metals. They usually represent the local gods and goddesses, characters of ancient epics like the Mahabharata or historical figures.The size of Assamese masks may vary from those that cover the whole body and measure one hundred and seventeen inches by sixty four inches to the ones that only cover the face. Depending on the size, these masks are divided into three types - Cho mask, Lotokoi mask Mukh mask.
Usually earth or vegetable colors are used to give the final touch to the traditional Assamese masks, with the most common colors being those of red and yellow.
The skill of making the masks is generally passed down either from one generation to the next or in a satra, under the guidance of a teacher. In Assam, mask making an extensive process, which involves splitting of bamboo strips to form the frame, pasting layers of clothes dipped in clay and finally drying them under the sun. The normal time required for completing a mask is around 10 to 15 days.