In the 1980s, enigmatic wood masks, similar to those worn by Siberian and Eskimo shamans, began to appear in Parisian galleries that specialized in exotic art. Only the customary red wax affixed to the objects indicated that their origin was in fact Nepal. Art lovers, fascinated by the masks'' expressions and the thickness of patina, enthusiastically began to collect them, though they were still shrouded in mystery. In this beautifully photographed book, Bertrand Goy and Max Itzikovitz set out to uncover the history of the masks and to determine their place in Nepalese culture. The authors also investigate western Nepal''s unsophisticated, anthropomorphic wood sculptures, which can be seen today in temples, on bridges, and on the outskirts of villages. No one knows if these are protective effigies or tribute to divinities from an antiquated religion. With an insightful text and striking imagery, this book attempts to pull back the veil on one of the world''s most cryptic art forms.
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