Making facesMaking Faces . Self and Image Creation in a Himalayan Valley.

Alka Hingorani
Honolulu, University of Hawai Press, 2013.147 pages, index, ill.

The new book about the mohras, the masks or busts in metal (usually silver or brass) which represent the gods and goddesses of Hindu pantheon explores a new aspect of the objects: how they are made by local artists. The author studied the region of Kullu (Himachal Pradesh)and the introduction gives a general frame about the history , the significance of Dashera festival in the local context and the time when the deities “travel”. The deities represented by mohras travel on the same ratha or palkhis (chariot) for few weeks. They have a collective identity and the author has emphasized that “the material and ritual biographies of such objects are important” (p.9).