Bahurupi | Dying Folk Culture of Bengal

A Bahurupi is a street performer, dressed up in various characters in different times and it is considered one of the ancient professions. For most performances, there is a story structured into the persona of the performer himself within his make-up, costume and role. Historically, these bohurupis would dress up as Hindu gods, goddesses, or mythical characters like Ram, Shiva, Kali, and so on and perform in front of Kings and zamindars. My first encounter with a bahurupi happened through one such immensely popular literary work titled Srikanta by ‘Katha shilpi’ Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay. Continue reading Bahurupi | Dying Folk Culture of Bengal

Mukhosh | Masks of Bengal

I was travelling to Ranchi from Kolkata. I saw traditional Bengali masks were being displayed at the departure terminal of the Kolkata airport. It’s a nice way to promote the ancient craft of mask-making in Bengal. Throughout the world, masks are used for their expressive power as a feature of masked performance — both ritually and in various theatre traditions. Continue reading Mukhosh | Masks of Bengal