The Gurulu (Garuda Raksha) is the portrait of a mythical solar bird devouring a snake. The snake that is located above the bird face is called Naga. Gurulu is decorated with the enemy snakes as if they were a trophy. According to Hindu and Buddhist mythology, it is said that this bird was a "vehicle" on which Hindu God Vishnu rode. The mask is said to bring protection and good luck.
Contrary to its name, these masks are often used in ancient forms of dancing, while others are used in stage dramas or to ward off evil spirits. Originally belonging to families in Amblangoda, a small coastal town in southern Sri Lanka, this mask-making tradition has now spread across the island.