Masks of Orissa # 4

The Animal Mask Dance is a peculiar folk dance of Orissa, that involves dancers wearing masks of animals. Mostly prevalent in the village of southern Orissa, especially in Ganjam district, this form of dance is performed while the idols are taken out into the lanes, during the Thankurani Yatra. Also, the dancers perform in marriage processions. Two people fit themselves into a cane frame and camouflage as the respective animals. The legs of the men resemble the legs of the animals. The Animal Mask Dance – Chaiti Ghoda Dance, common among the Kaibarta caste, is performed to appease the caste-deity – Vasuli Devi.

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