Origins in the native culture
and colonial influences
As with other countries and places, the art in Sri
Lanka has its origins in the native culture, as well as subsequent influences by its colonial masters, the
Portuguese and the British.
Sri Lankan art
Sri Lankan art is mainly influenced by Buddhism,
introduced to Sri Lankan people in the 2nd century. More than 70% of Sri Lankans are Buddhists, while the other
religions are Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity.
Other influences in Sri Lankan art come from the
native people and the early settlers who were mainly colonialists like the Portuguese. Sri Lankan traditional art
has been passed down from father to son. They specialize in many kinds of arts and crafts, such as music, dance and
Handmade clay figurines and pottery at a market stand in Sri
(Image by Freeimages.com)
Hand made art in Sri
Handmade art is made from wood, coconut shells,
brass, bamboo, and clay. Handmade artists craft products such as pottery, jewelry, wooden masks, and batiks. Wooden
masks in Sri Lanka have spiritual purpose as they are used to perform healing rituals. They are colorfully designed
and wooden masks specialists are found in Southern Province.
Although originating in Java, Indonesia, batiks
can also be found in Sri Lanka. Batiks are garments that are unique and usually colorful, made using manual dyeing
technique. Each batik has a unique tie and dye pattern. Batik colours usually represent 3 major Hindu
Jewellery making is also a dominant art in Sri
Lanka and is still being actively practiced. This is done using brass, bamboo, wood and precious stones. Pottery is
also a common Sri Lankan art. Products which include vases and ornaments are popular with
The Sri Lankan traditional art is also portrayed
in the architecture. It can be seen in unique architecture, such as the Polonnaruwa's royal palace. Sri Lanka also
has numerous caves and temple paintings.
Another major part of Sri Lankan art is
music. The community takes time to entertain
with dancers and singers who are colorfully dressed. One of key elements in Sri Lankan music is the array of
traditional instruments like the drums.
Sri Lankan art is show cased in the sports,
festivals and food feasts of the Sri Lankan people. The art has helped to sustain inter-community understanding by
bringing people from different regions of the island country together, fostered peace among the people through
dance and music, instilled a sense of belonging, and helped in reconciling warring groups on the
© 2013 This article is copyrighted and property of Lotus Sunrise
Designs. All rights reserved.
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