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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Handicrafts In Sri lanka


Sri Lanka have a large verity of traditional handy crafts and tradition of making handicraft is as old as it’s nation. according to Mahavansa (The great chronicle) when the prince Vijaya from India landed in Sri Lanka in the 6th century BC he met Kuveni spinning cotton. Our ancient kings looked after the craftsmen and encouraged them and it was the main reason for it's development.


Mask is an ornamental facial decorative wear used in entertainment and dancing. Early man used masks in rituals, Dramas, Cureing of sickness. It is believed that mask provide curative benefits for physiological problems.
Use of mask in Sri Lanka as old as Sinhala nation and there are three main verities and used the wood call “Diya Kanduru” ( nux vomica or Blazar) .Reason for using Diya Kanduru is for it’s lightness,Durability,no cracking,no insect attacking and easy to carve.

1) Sanni mask
Sanni means sickness and there are 18 sicknesses hence there are 18 sanni masks.

2) Kolam mask
Kolam mask used more in dramas and commonly seen Southern part of Sri Lanka.
“Aatha Kolama, Arachchi Kolama, Police Kolama, Jasaya and Lenchina are some of them.

3) Raksha mask
Used in many functions and features comes as Gurula Mask (Gurula is a mythical bird), Cobra mask, Peacock mask…etc.

Dumbara mats

A unique Sri Lankan handicraft in the form of a wall hanging mainly produced in a village call Henawala in the dumbara valley of Kandy. Hense the name given and woven by a class of people call Kinnara. They extract fiber of a plant somewhat similar to Jute and weave it in a primitive horizontal loom.


The village call Pallehapuwita of Matale District is famous for Lac work.Lac is a form of vax obtained from a species of insect in the past.these vax mixed with colors and applied it on wooden objects with the help of a hand driven lathe.nowadays imported wax called shallack is used instead of Lac obtained from insects and produce Powder bowls,vases,Walking sticks,Jewelery boxes …etc.

One of the oldest crafts in Sri Lanka and belong to a particular social group still 75% of Sri Lankan' s use clay pots and fans for cooking. apart from pots and fans they also make terracotta figures, Carved vases …etc. The best of these product could be seen or bought at Molagoda off Kegalle on the Kandy road.

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