Sri Lanka has a rich culture of theatre called Kolam and exorcism called Thovil which make use of actors, exorcists, masks, music and dance. The Sanni Yakuma is the best known exorcism ritual, in which numerous Sanni (disease) demons are portrayed by exorcists wearing elaborate masks. Occasionally the full complement of 18 possible disease demons is represented in the Daha Ata Sanniya (18 diseases) ritual, but usually a smaller number are used according to which demons are thought to be causing a person’s affliction. The exorcism ends with the appearance of an exorcist wearing the mask of the chief demon called Maha Kola (the terrific or all encompassing one), which usually incorporates miniature representations of the other 18 demons.
Maha Kola Mask, Sri Lanka