© 2023 Dr Margaret Sheppard

Home Tovil Pattini Dancers Officiants

Costumes and Masks

The Costumes and Masks worn by the Eduras (Healers), Officiants and Tovil Dancers for the Tovil and during the other curing ceremonies are very colourful and follow a long and historic tradition. The masks are made of a lightweight wood by specialist mask makers - there are several of these located near the Mask Museum area at Ahumgama on the West Coast. These mask makers also supply the tourist market which is becoming increasingly important to them to preserve the traditional carving skills, as the Tovil curing dance ceremonies become rarer. Costumes appear to be made by local dressmakers often close relatives of the Tovil Dance practitioners.

During a curing ceremony, the dancers change several times for the different Watches (stages) of the ceremony, The costumes also vary according to the type of the ceremony being enacted. See other sections of this website such as “Dances” and “Pattini Ceremonies” for fuller details of these ceremonies).

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