The Garuda Demon

This typical Sinhalese ritual masks, The Gurulu (Garuda Raksha) is the portrait of a mythical solar bird devouring a snake large mythical bird with eagle -like features. It is used in a Raksha Dance (Demon Dance) to frighten away the cobra demon. Garuda is decorated with the enemy snakes, as if they were a sort of a trophy. The dance is apotropaic, its purpose being to magically avert the real danger that snake bite poses to the villagers.

The sharp features of the eagle like bird is said to bring protection and good luck.