Mask of the Cobra Demon
An antique Naga Raksha (Cobra Demon) mask at the National Museum, Colombo. These demon masks are used in rituals, dances, and as household ornaments, to ward off evil. The word “Raksha”, like “Yaka”, refers to demons, but also to two of the mythical Sinhalese tribes said to have once inhabited the island and were believed to be demons and shape shifters. More likely they were worshippers of demons or forest spirits rather than supernatural beings themselves. Shot on assignment for Serendib magazine. My photo story on the Colombo National Museum, Katu Ge, ran in the October 2017 issue.