Arts & Crafts
Owing to its long, rich history, the Arts & Crafts in Sri Lanka have been evolving through the course of time.
Its pivotal position on the ancient Silk Route made Sri Lanka a crossroad of cultural and trade exchange of the West and the East. India and China’s record have proven the cultural, political and trade exuberance of this island.
In many ways Sri Lankan arts is an inspiration of its long and lasting Buddhist tradition which in turn absorbed and adopted countless regional and local tradition for thousand of years, evolving to be a unique variant of Sri Lankan arts. Unsurprising, most of Sri Lankan arts originated religious beliefs, represented in many artistic forms such as painting, sculpture, architecture, and so on.
With a history of more than 2500 years, Sri Lanka is a country that boasts its own unique style of arts and crafts. There is a strong and undying connection between religion with local art, paintings, sculptures and other fine creations mastered by the articulately skilled artisans.
Most arts and crafts in Sri Lanka are distinctive due to the various tools, mechanics and materials used to produce the final masterpiece. Local arts and crafts can be categorised as Architecture, Handicrafts, Sculpture and Paintings.
Sri Lankan architecture is heavily based on religious beliefs and it has been one of the most influential factors in the creation of many historical monuments and magnificent temples. Hinduism apart from Buddhism has also played its role in creating a unique facet of architectural styles in Sri Lanka. Furthermore, as result of the Portuguese, Dutch and British rule the many early colonial buildings add to the charm and elegance of the country’s uniqueness.
Sri Lanka boasts a wide range of handicrafts, created by skilled craftsmen who have been practicing for centuries. Some handicrafts even dates back to the very early days of the country. The most famous local handicrafts include silverware, coir products, pottery, lacquer ware, masks, lace, batiks, handloom and woodcarvings.
Most handicrafts have their own importance and history. For instance, masks made out of light wood were used to cure diseases. Batiks, although originated in Indonesia has developed in to a unique work of art in Sri Lanka. The finest batik pictures and Fresco Batiks are made in Kandy.
Sri Lanka is also world renowned for its intricate jewellery designs which is also an important revenue earner for the country. The two main jewellery making traditions originate from Kandy and Galle.
The craft of pottery is one of the oldest in the country and has been around since ancient days where clay pots were used for cooking. Handloom textiles are also a significant handicraft industry in the country.
Sri Lanka is a place where arts and crafts is simply captivating and anyone who visits this breathtaking island destination can get there hands on and even take home a priceless piece of Sri Lankan art and craft.