An Indian ceremonial mask of Shurpanakha, 19th century

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An Indian ceremonial mask of Shurpanakha

India, 19th century

made of wood and covered in fabric and painted.


H. 34 cm



Shurpanakha is the sister of Ravana, King of Lanka. she met the exiled Prince Rama of Ayodhya, during a visit to the Forest of Panchavati, and was instantly smitten. Rama kindly rejected her advances, telling her that he was faithful to his wife Sita. Rejected, Suparnika then approached his younger brother, Lakshmana, who reacted in a harsh and cruel manner and said she was not what he desired in a wife. Humiliated and envious Shurpanakha attacked Sita but was thwarted by Lakshmana, who cut off her nose and left ear and sent her back to Lanka.

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