Contents: Foreword. Introduction. Theme 1: Mind, Man and Self: 1. Masks and metaphysics in the ancient world: an anthropological view/A. David Napier. 2. Mind, immortality and art/Subhash Kak. 3. The ‘Self’ and the ‘Other’ in early Indian tradition/Aloka Parasher-Sen. 4. Mask: a question of self-identity—What tradition reveals modernity conceals/S.C. Malik. 5. Becoming a mask: facial make-up and the transformation of identities/Paul Bouissac. 6. Mind the elephant: a sacred science view of reality/Baidyanath Saraswati. 7. The distinction between soul and Persona : a psychological understanding according to the work of C.G. Jung/Rashna Imhasly. Theme II: Mask in the Ancient World: 8. Mind, man and mask in prehistoric art/Emmanuel Anati and Ariela Fradkin Anati. 9. Archaeology of masks: Indian evidence/B.M. Pande. 10. The mask in Hellenic classical theatre/Alexander Adamopoulos. 11. Persona, Larva, Masca: masks, identity and cognition in the cultures of Europe/Cesare Poppi. 12. From face to interface: journey of Prosopon and Mukharaga to virtual reality/Bharat Gupt. Theme III: Mask and its Expressions: 13. Sri Lankan masks: categories, usages and interactions/M.H. Goonatilleka. 14. Guru, Tshen-gay Chham dance/C.T. Dorji. 15. Viewing the world through the masks of Assam/Pradip Jyoti Mahanta. 16. Myth and manifestation/A.K. Das. 17. Dan forest spirits: masks in Dan villages/Eberhard Fischer. 18. The masks of the Winternight/Inger Zielfelt. 19. Men and masks in Kathmandu Valley/Anne Vergati. 20. Mask as an ancient structural motif in Indian art/M.C. Joshi. 21. Identity and impersonation in Teyyam: masquerade of Pottan Teyyam as subversion/Sudha Gopalakrishnan. 22. Masks of West Bengal : an anthropological study/Sabita Ranjan Sarkar. 23. The use of masks in Japanese Noh theatre/Andrew T. Tsubaki. 24. The mask-making : craftsmanship and the power to make the mask alive/Soedarso Sp. 25. Thoughts supporting the short demonstration/Dadi D. Pudumjee. 26. Mask glances/Michael Meschke. 27. Mask without masks/M.K. Raina. 28. Mask transformation in Balinese performing arts/I. Nyoman Catra. 29. Fasnacht in basle: a total work of art created anew every year/Edith Schweizer Volker. 30. Masks in the ritual performing arts of the west coast of South India/Balan Nambiar. Theme IV: Mask and its Social Role: 31. European Lenten carnivals: a feast at the crossroad/Donatella Bernstein. 32. Masks and artists in alpine Switzerland: Paul Klee, Adolf Wolfli and Adolf Dietrich/Balz Baechi. 33. Dramatic content of Tantric Buddhist art and ritual/D.C. Bhattacharyya. 34. Unmasking the mask of Adharma: the celebration of Guru Padmasambhava at the Hemis Festival, Ladakh/Madhu Khanna. 35. Masque et societe en cote D’Ivoire precoloniale/Georges Niangoran-Bouah.
"Various cultures have comprehended the Universe—its space, time, form, primal elements and the incessant movement of chaos and order—through the ‘Mind’, a unique faculty that allows us to reflect and communicate innumerable world—views. An ancient hymn from India describes Man’s first conscious reflection on creation as: "…the contemplative Mind conceives of everything from nothing…only Mind was there.. neither existent nor nonexistent..That the Truth is hidden in a golden jar… That which covers the Truth, the Mind and the man, is the Mask."
This hymn illustrates from only one traditional culture among so many all over the world that have certain distinct paradigms which form their basic ground of existence. From this theoretical base several questions may be raised within the contemporary cultural context when alternative ways of future scenarios are being considered: Who is Man? What is the person/self? The answers maybe given in terms of Purusa (Cosmic Man)—in India; in Greece the word Prosopon and the Latin word Persona assumed the meaning of personage. Thus Mind, Man and person are closely interlinked; and in this context there are diverse concepts, notions and paradigms to the query—"What is Mask"?
It is clear to all that the Mask has the power to reveal as also the power to conceal the ‘self/self’. The papers in this edited volume were presented during an International Seminar, Rupa-Pratirupa: Mind, Man and Mask, held in February, 1988. It was part of the ongoing programme of the IGNCA which had earlier taken up such themes as Time (Kala), Space (Akasa), Form (Akara), Primal elements (Prakrti), Chaos and order (Rta-Rtu) and Sound (Dhvani).
This Seminar reflects a turning point in the series since it now deals directly with the human being and how humankind has attempted to move into the inner realm of the self, self and the Mind of Man. Contributors have responded from the view-point of their own field of specialisation and reflect views of many diverse cultures and societies." (jacket)
[S.C. Malik also wrote Indian Civilization: The Formative Period and Understanding Indian Civilization : A Framework of Enquiry.]