Angels & Demons: Mask-making in Sri Lanka

Mask Making in Sri Lanka
IMAGE: SRI LANKA – VILLA

Mask making is a tradition in Sri Lanka. Many Sri Lankan mask craftsmen engaged in their trade, along the coastal areas of the island. Among all the places, the Ambalangoda area on the South Western coast of Sri Lanka is well-known for its gifted mask artists. One of the best places to get an idea of this fascinating craft is the Ambalangoda Mask Workshop and Museum.

Mask making is an interesting process…

Kaduru, a tree which is soft and hence easy to carve, needs to be selected. The trunk will be completely dried before being cut into pieces. The basic shapes of the masks are carved using various tools. The wood is then smoked. The purpose of this is to prevent damage from insects. Then the seasoned wood is carved into elegant faces with various expressions. Lastly, the masks are colored with paints and treated in a traditional way, ensuring durability.

At the Museum, visitors can leisurely keep a watch of traditional mask craftsmen busy at work and they can also view the masks put on display. These masks portray various vibrant characters such as demons, gods, heroes and villains who appear in traditional mask dances. You will have the opportunity to be lost in a world of bygone charms.

Stay at one of our Wadduwa Hotels and visit the Ambalangoda Mask Workshop and Museum.