The gigaku dance is a performance art coming originally from China in the 7th and 8th centuries. It evolved through time as part of the Japanese cultural system. The masks are considered of great art value reflecting an ancient period. It was a bold art form with large masks. This mask is the image of Kongara Rekishi, one of the imposing figures at the gates of a temple. The large, coarse form of the face and nose and distended forehead all project a figure of power and menace. This of course is the role of a guardian figure. This mask was made as a work of art in the 19th century. This mask is made of hinoki wood covered with colored lacquers with human hair projecting from the jowls as whiskers. It is a masterpiece of carving and expressiveness.
Age: Edo - Meiji Period 19th century.
Size: Approximately 14 x 16 x 10 inches.
Media: Lacquer over wood.