9 August 2011

'Devil Dancing' at the Powell Cotton Museum

A display of Sri Lankan ‘Devil Dancing’ Masks at the Powell Cotton Museum, Quex Park, Birchington, Kent CT7 0BH has led to a forthcoming visit by Sri Lankan dancers, and even the High Commissioner.

The collection of masks at the Museum was bought 100 years ago in 1911 at Stevens Auction House in Covent Garden London by our founder, Major Percy Powell Cotton.  At the time the masks were said to be better than the collection at the British Museum!

They have been used in gallery displays previously but have not been seen by visitors for quite a few years.  They are dramatic and colourful  and this year it was decided they warranted their own display.  They are proving very popular with our visitors and the associated childrens’ activities have made the gallery a busy place.

The Museum had a recent visit from a representative of the Sri Lankan Tourism Office in London, who was certainly very impressed by what he saw.

 As a result, on Sunday 14th August at 2 p.m., the Museum will be welcoming dancers and the Sri Lankan High Commissioner.  The dancers will perform classical and masked Sri Lankan dance and then ceremonially process to the Gallery to formally open the exhibition.  Local mayors and councillors will attend to greet the High Commissioner.  Sri Lankan tea will be served.

It all goes to prove you never know what will happen when you bring things out of a cupboard……

The exhibition will run until the end of October.
Hazel Basford
Archivist, The Powell Cotton Museum

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