There is plenty to see and experience in Sri Lanka from history to wildlife and beaches to culture. Travelling south along the coast from the capital, Colombo, you will encounter all of these. You will find, arriving in the popular seaside town of Bentota, hotel choices are plentiful and ideally located along the beach. Heading inland, you will find the Madu Ganga River, Sri Lanka’s second largest wetland, which is home to numerous wild creatures. Observe the mighty river flowing into the sea at Balapitiya from the nearby Shinagawa Beach Balapitiya, a prestigious ‘Small Luxury Hotel’ of the world.
Puppets and puppetry played an important role in Sri Lanka’s culture for centuries. However, it is seen less and less with urbanisation and is now primarily found in rural areas of Ambalangoda. Puppeteers who practice this art form today mainly hail from Ambalangoda and Mirissa in the country’s south and Kandy in Sri Lanka’s Central Province.
Traditional puppet shows follow a handful of stories that are meant to be thought provoking. The puppeteers cleverly manipulate the puppets to elicit humor, fear and
sympathy from the audience. Each of these plays uses about ten puppeteers. Musicians play traditional musical instruments like the drum and seraphina in the background, as well as making speeches and singing songs. The standard height of a puppet is about four feet and they weigh between five and ten kilograms. The ones representing royalty or nobility are made to stand taller and weigh more.
Ariyapala and Sons is famous mask and puppet maker in the town of Ambalangoda. Their workshop that is open to observers and the Ariyapala Mask Museum holds an extensive collection of masks and puppets, many are made from a light, pliable timber called ‘Kaduru’. The museum and workshop complex also features a souvenir shop with a number of replicas for sale.
Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world. Google+