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Ratha Yatra Ceremonial Mask

Experience the sheer captivation of a truly extraordinary 19th-century polychrome ceremonial mask from Orissa, Eastern India. Preserved in its original condition, this remarkable artifact bears traces of red and yellow pigmentation with black pigment detailing, adding to its allure. The highly sculptural nature of this mask invokes a sense of wonder and imagination, pushing the boundaries of what is expected. Once mounted on a wall, it effortlessly seizes attention as a prominent focal point, be it in a room or an enfilade. Prepare to be transported beyond the realm of the ordinary, as this vivid and bold masterpiece commands an awe-inspiring presence that is truly unmatched.

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One significant festival celebrated in the state of Odisha (formerly known as Orissa) in eastern India during the 19th century was the Ratha Yatra or the Chariot Festival. Ratha Yatra is still celebrated today and is one of the most famous and grand festivals of Odisha.

Ratha Yatra is dedicated to Lord Jagannath, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, along with his siblings Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra. The festival involves the pulling of huge and elaborately decorated chariots containing the idols of the deities through the streets of Puri, a coastal town in Odisha.

During the 19th century, the Ratha Yatra festival in Puri was already a well-established and revered tradition. The chariots, known as “rathas,” were constructed anew each year using specific types of wood and were decorated with vibrant colours, intricate carvings, and various traditional motifs.

The festival would begin with the ceremonial installation of the deities on their respective chariots. The idols were then placed in the chariots, and thousands of devotees would gather to witness and participate in the grand procession. The chariots would be pulled by the devotees, who considered it an honor and a sacred act to have the opportunity to touch the ropes and pull the chariots.

The procession would move through the streets of Puri, accompanied by music, chanting, and religious rituals. Devotees would sing devotional songs, dance, and offer prayers throughout the procession. It was believed that pulling the chariots and having darshan (sight) of the deities during Ratha Yatra was highly auspicious and would bestow blessings and spiritual merits.

The festival of Ratha Yatra has a deep cultural and religious significance in Odisha. It symbolises the journey of the deities from the main temple, Jagannath Temple, to the Gundicha Temple, their aunt’s home. The chariot pulling represents the devotion and service of the devotees, while the deities’ visit to their aunt’s home signifies a familial bond and a break from the routine.

During the 19th century, Ratha Yatra would attract a large number of devotees from various parts of Odisha and beyond. The festival was not only a religious event but also a social and cultural gathering, with people coming together to celebrate, exchange greetings, and partake in community feasts.

Ratha Yatra continues to be celebrated in Odisha with great enthusiasm and pomp. It has evolved over time, but the essence of the festival remains the same, promoting devotion, unity, and the cultural heritage of the region.

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Please email us or call +44 (0)207 6920 897

Two 19th Century Ratha Yatra Ceremonial Masks

Stock Number: 24553

A rare Ratha Yatra or the Chariot Festival ceremonial carved wooden polychrome mask from Orissa in Eastern India, 19th Century
  • Height: 65 cm (25.5 inches)
  • Width: 35 cm (13.8 inches)
  • Depth: 25 cm (9.8 inches)

£9,000

This unique piece is subject to availability.
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Dimensions

Approximate Dimensions

  • Height: 65 cm (25.5 inches)
  • Width: 35 cm (13.8 inches)
  • Depth: 25 cm (9.8 inches)

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Our description of any item on the website, any condition report and any other statement made by us (whether orally or in writing) about any item, including about its nature or condition, artist, period, materials, approximate dimensions, or provenance are our opinion and not to be relied upon as a statement of fact.

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In the UK Online sales of this kind are known as ‘distance selling’. We offer a refund to customers if you’ve told us within 3 days of receiving the goods that you want to cancel. You have another 14 days to return the goods once you’ve told us of your intention. A refund will be issued within 14 days of receiving the goods back in the same condition. Return shipping should be the same level as received with insurance, we recommend using the same shipper at your cost. If needed we will help organise suitable shipping.

We will refund the purchase price, excluding delivery costs and taxes, within 14 days of the safe receipt of items in the same condition as supplied. The liability for any damage incurred during transit will remain with the sender. We recommend that adequate insurance is placed on items when returning them to us.

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We extend these Return terms to our international clients.

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We will ship worldwide however the costs vary between countries so please email us for a quote. Depending on the item we will recommend the most suitable method.

Our preferred international shipping methods include fine art shippers Gander and White, Art Logistics, Cadogan Tate for items over £5,000. For Fedex, DHL or UPS shipments we expertly pack in-house in wooden crates or heavy duty cardboard – Suitable for most items under £5000. If you have your own shippers we are very happy to coordinate with them.

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All items are sent fully insured at the invoice value.

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Where required we will oversee the completion of all export licenses for high-value items. We will also arrange for CITES paperwork for materials of endangered species including ivory, tortoiseshell, stuffed birds etc.

DELIVERY TIMES

This is dependent on the size and value of the object, all items are checked over and polished before shipping and will generally have wooden crates made. This all takes time so expect 10 – 20 working days for delivery unless the item is small in which case 2-3 days from order.

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