A Fire devil – Raksha mask is a mask that Sri Lankans use a lot in festivals and cultural dances. Raksha means “demon” and the masks are apotropaic which means that it is intended to ward off evil. They are painted in vibrant colours, with bulging eyes and protruding tongues and they depict various types of demons.
Raksha masks are the final aspect of the Kolam ritual, and they are a tribute to the Rakshasas, a race that earlier ruled Sri Lanka and could assume 24 different forms. But only a few of these forms are performed, some of which are Naga Raksha (cobra mask), Gurulu Raksha (Mask of the Bird) and Maru Raksha (Mask of the Demon of Death).