Visit an arts and crafts shop hidden in Galle Fort and learn the history of mask making in Sri Lanka before your host guides you through creating your own.
Masks are used more for performance and ritual in modern day Sri Lanka but their past is rooted in ancient beliefs and the ideology that they have healing and protective powers. Learn the fascinating and age-old techniques from your host in Kolam where masks are usually made from a light wood called “Kaduru”. Follow your host’s guidance and observe his techniques as together you mould your creation using traditional and sustainable resources such as recycled paper, kithul (treacle), kurundu (cinnamon), clay, broken tiles, bees wax and even cow dung!
Now a main trader with Barefoot since 1999, your host has always been involved in craft beginning with his parents who worked in the batik industry in his home town of Ambalangoda. Before crafting with pulp, he learnt traditional Sinhala motifs and ornamental styles adopted in the arts at college and initially was interested in creating and painting pottery in his own style.