This was written before trekking in Mustang, between the villages on the old trade route between Tibet and Nepal that was used for hundreds of years by caravans of sheep and goats carrying salt and wool.
The spirits of the mountains and forests must be appeased for the village to prosper. These masks are being used in the Cham, or masked, dance festivals at monasteries in the Buddhist region of Ladakh, northern India.
Shamanist masks are used throughout the India Himalaya and Nepal. They represent animals, ancestors, deities and are worn at masked dance ceremonies so the wearer can to connect with the spirit, deity or caricature.