While masks are used in theatre for many different purposes, in Hayavadana masks represent a character’s incompleteness. For each character that has a mask, the mask represents the incompatibility between the character’s head and body. In the puja to Ganesha, a mask is brought out that represents the god, who has the head of an elephant and the body of a boy. The actors portraying Devadatta, Kapila, and Hayavadana also have masks, because their heads are (or become) incongruous with their bodies. Though the masks also make the audience members aware that they are watching a play because they go against a more realistic presentational style, they also remind the audience that the characters wearing them strive for a more complete human existence.
Masks Quotes in Hayavadana
O single-tusked destroyer of incompleteness, we pay homage to you and start our play.
[Devadatta enters and sits on the chair. He is a slender, delicate-looking person and is wearing a pale-coloured mask. He is lost in thought. Kapila enters. He is powerfully built and wears a dark mask.]