Tak, Seng, Chung and Druk are four powerful and auspicious animals, namely Tiger, Snow Lion, Garuda and Dragon. These animals symbolize qualities like awareness, vision, confidence, joy and power. They can avert untoward situations in life.
The Tiger (Tak) stands for confidence, dignity, discipline and modesty. The animal is relaxed yet can get furious when the situation demands. The animal stands for vigour. Guru Rinpoche brought Buddhism to Bhutan hundreds of years ago, riding on the back of a flying tigress. Thus, this powerful animal remains a symbol of great reverence.
The Snow-lion (Sengge) stands for vitality, dignity and purity. Its body and mind represent the vibrant energy of goodness and a natural sense of delight.
The Garuda symbolizes power and courage; as the king of all birds, its presence averts illness and evil spells cast by the Nagas or the local deities.
The Dragon (Druk) symbolizes achievements, calmness, elegance, and generosity; when it roars in the sky, it opens our eyes and awakens to all the world's delusions. It is indestructible and energetic and holds in its hand's precious gems that stand for wealth, prosperity and perfection. In its entire splendour, the Dragon also represents the country Bhutan – Druk Yul – the Thunder Dragon Land.
To make these delicate crafts is a complex process; the native pinewood has to be dried naturally for several months. Afterwards, the artisan starts to shape the rough form of the mask and then proceed with the precision carving of the contours and details. Finally, the masks are painted in several steps according to a given specification by painters.