Masking Demons

For the maestro in this Sri Lankan centre of devil masks and puppets, the tsunami signalled a warning from the gods — and he is taking it very, very seriously. For the maestro in this Sri Lankan centre of devil masks and puppets, the tsunami signalled a warning from the gods — and he is taking it very, very seriously. Master sculptor and musician, Bandu Wijesooriya, 70, is assembling a team of devil dancers, occult scientists, poets and musicians to exorcise evil spirits and appease the deities in the hope tourists will return, and not the tsunamis.

“We had taken the sea for granted, abused it, ill-treated it — and this is what we get,” Wijesooriya said, referring to the December 26 sea surge that killed nearly 31,000 people and left a million homeless.


Lankan mask painter L. A. R. Nandana, 39,

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