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Tsam (cham) mask crafts are important part of Tsam complex dance ritual of religion and culture for symbolizing the presence of gods, demons and deities of nature in Mongolia.
Known in the religious scriptures as four acts, there are four creative deities with each has its own duties, colors and depiction. For instance, healer deities are white, deities who disseminate knowledge and length of life are yellow, deities of wealth are red and deities who defeat the unconquerables are black. For Tsam performance, masks are made in accordance with these colors, as well as principals and rules for Tsam mask craft making, maintained from generations to generations.
Tsam masks for formidable group of deities are depicted with shapes of the sun and the moon on it and five shapes of skulls on top of it, characterizing the victory over five poisons - anger, delusion or ignorance, desire, pride and jealousy. Masks for deities with calm characters are crafted with relaxed face of the head of calm deities on it and decorated with pentagon-shaped norov diamonds on top of it. The masks usually have earrings made of gold and yellow color materials with embroidered decoration falling down behind ears.
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