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Traditional Mask Carving and Painting


Masks, thought to have healing and protective powers, have been crafted for centuries in Sri Lanka, originating from villages as part of ancient ceremonies and spirit-cleansing rituals. This workshop in Kolam mask carving takes place at Sithuvili, a boutique arts and crafts gallery in the Fort. The workshop is hosted by Janaka, an artisan craftsman, and is designed to provide an in-depth insight into traditional Sri Lankan mask making. As part of the experience, you will learn about the history of masks in Sri Lanka, their practical uses and representations, and be shown the age-old techniques and tools used to carve the masks by the in-house carvers. Kolam masks are typically carved from ‘Kaduru’, a light, and easy to carve wood much like better-known Balsa.

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