X76.181 Mask

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Object Name: Mask

Artist: Unknown

Cultural Group: Sinhala peoples

Place of Origin: Southern Province, Sri Lanka

Date: Mid-20th century

Dimensions: L: 9.5 in, H: 15.5 in, D: 9 in

Materials Used: Wood, paint

Credit Line and Accession Number: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Museum Purchase. X76.181

Category:
Description

The Vedda (or Vedi, meaning ”hunter” in the Sinhala language) are the indigenous peoples who inhabited Sri Lanka at the time that Prince Vijaya led the Sinhala peoples to the island (about 2,500 years ago). In modern times, they have been largely absorbed into mainstream Sinhala culture, but some small groups still maintain a traditional way of life in remote forest areas. Although Vedda society is egalitarian with no chiefs or kings, ironically it is represented in Sinhala drama by Vedi Raja, the Vedda King.

Source: Gallery wall text, Fowler in Focus: Masks of Sri Lanka, 2009

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