Showing posts with label Sri Lanka.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sri Lanka.. Show all posts

Friday, February 2, 2018

Braving an elephant, Sri Lanka.

Going under the belly of an elephant, repeating it three times is supposed to make an infant brave, in later life. This was being done at Saman Dewale courtyard, Rathnapura. It cost each parent Rs.100/=.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

The agony of Queen Kuweni

The story of 'Thonigala' - We went on a trip to this place. A youngish girl of the area took us round. I asked her about the origin of the name 'Thonigala'. She repeated the legends related by the elders of the area. The name 'Thonigala' referred to the 'Lathoni' - 'anguished wail' - of 'Kuweni' the Veddah Queen, at this rock, when King Vijaya threw her out of his residence, to accommodate a Princess from Southern Madura. King Vijaya had brought her to the banks of this lake, drawn a line on the granite rock by the side of the lake and commanded Kuweny not to step beyond that line. The heart rending wail of Kuweny, abandoned with her young son and daughter, gave the name to 'Thonigala'.
Kuweny, who was a queen of the 'Yakkas' had enticed Vijaya and later married him. She had let down her tribe and helped Vijaya to defeat them. When Kuveny after being thrown out of Vijaya's household had tried to go back to her tribe. The Yakkas had stoned her to death. Her son and daughter by Vijaya were rescued by Kuweni's uncle. Legends had it that the son and daughter were the origin of the 'Veddhas' of Ceylon. The young guide corrected this part of the story and claimed that all of us in present Sri Lanka were the descendants of "Yakas'. I was reminded of the epithet 'Yaka' used to refer to any acquaintance in Sinhalese as 'Ey Yaka'. A recently appointed laborer at the Kynsey road Medical Faculty, coming from Bibile, was sent with a letter by a member of the academic staff, to be delivered to the Vice-Chancelor in his office, a short distance away. He came back with the letter undelivered and told the Professor, 'Ey Yaka ehey naa' - that Yaka is not in the office. I think that all of us must accept the fact that we are all descendants of Yakas. Quite a few place names and legends in Sri Lanka are associated withe Yakas eg. 'Yaka bendi Ela' etc. I will leave you to discover them.

 The rock where a line was drawn by King Vijaya

 The earthh bund of one of the tanks

 The longest Brahmi inscription dated to the 1st Century AD at Thonigala

 A second Brahmi inscription.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The 'Robinson Casket', Ivory 15th Century AD, Sri Lanka.

The 'Robinson Casket' is one of a group of at least nine solid ivory caskets made in Kotte, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), and sent by the kingdom's rulers to Portugal as diplomatic gifts, in some cases to mark specific historical or religious events. It is believed to have been made about 1557 to commemorate the King of Kotte's conversion to Christianity and the birth of a grandson and heir to the King of Portugal, hence the choice of Christian motifs and symbols of birth and rebirth that are intricately carved throughout the casket. The piece is among the earliest examples of Ceylonese art made for western consumption, and it illustrates beautifully how local craftsmen interpreted European forms and motifs and married them to their own decorative traditions. The casket is named after Sir John Charles Robinson, Superintendent of Art Collections for the South Kensington Museum (renamed the V&A in 1899), who acquired it in Lisbon before 1888.
Please click on web-link below :-…/the-robinson-casket-casket-…/

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Haputhale road, Sri Lanka.


Old Haputhale road and present highway.
Listen to the old song a carter is singing to his bullocks, dragging his loaded cart, up the Haputhale Hill climb.

Bara Bage / C.T. Fernando
Click on the web-link below with your speakers on:-

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Life in the 1950s in Sri Lanka.

Photos taken with a box camera in the 1950s. Village children of Handapangoda, Wellawaya, at a school sports meet in Wellawaya, touring the Island on Vespa scooters and 'Mini skirt' fashion in Puwakpitiya, Sri Lanka.
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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Artisans' work at the 'Dalada Maligawa', Kandy, Sri Lanka.

Decorated pillars, Dalada Maligawa, Kandy, Sri Lanka. The work of artisans residing in the Kandyan Kingdom. 1. 'Naari-latha' - A mythological creeper supposed to grow in the Himalayas.The flowers from this creeper depict all the beauty and allure of a damsel. They are supposed to draw away the men who perform 'Tapas' in the Himalayas, by their beauty.
2. 'Et-kanda-lihiniya - A mythological bird said to be capable of carrying off an elephant and eating it.
3. 'Simha' - A lion
4. ? Boar.
5. ? Lotus.
6 & 7 'Inverted Lotus' on the top of pillars