Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sri Lanka Continued...

Traditional Mask Carving

We started with a small downstairs museum.
This display shows the graduated stages of how the mask takes shape
starting with a block…from right to left
The cool thing is that they ACTUALLY wear these in dances 
that act out various dramas and stories, many of which have life lessons hidden within, 
much like traditional Native American stories and dances

an ornate king's mask

 a set of masks for one of the many traditional stories

 I think these were outfits/masks for a story about soldiers

a king & queen story

 the "good demons"

 Not sure what came over me, but I couldn't get myself to take a photo of the bad demons…
they creeped me out! At least this is consistent with my aversion to scary movies.

These are the healing demons. Each mask represents a different ailment,
 and the dance they do with it is said to heal the person of that ailment, be it physical or mental. The mask in the center has a small version of each of them on the sides.

a craftsman/artist at work...

and passing the skills down to the next generation...

 another talented artist…the women do the painting using "all natural" & permanent dyes
 which we would learn more about at another wood carving place 

Angie playing with the merchandise upstairs in the shop...
 These things are heavy...I can't even imagine dancing with one on!
This one was my favorite

 This one went up to  my chest…too big to pick up and play with

 Sooooo many masks and other carved wood items!

An array of souvenirs…we had to do our part to support these hardworking, talented people! Betchya wish you knew who bought what eh? te-he...

just a big, beautiful bouquet at our hotel main house

On to the next place…
a stop along the road with coconut juice and monkeys and cute little kids

the view from our hotel room

also the local washing spot

Elephant Ride

Monkeys at a temple…
 oops…not these monkeys

Here we go...

More wood carving, but different items…
This display shows all of the different types of local woods in descending levels of density, 
ebony- teak-mahogany-bamboo-balsa
Dad would have LOVED this place! He definitely passed his appreciation for wood on to me. 

Here a man is demonstrating how they make these permanent all natural dyes. 
They start with this one very orange colored wood, shave some off, and put the shavings in a small glass of water. It turns a vibrant fushia! Then he rubs a thin layer of lime (yes, the fruit) onto the blade of a small knife. Before dipping it into the water, he asks what color we think it will turn when he's about to stick it into the glass. See the dark purple left-over stains on the counter? 
He squeezes the rest of the lime wedge into the glass, turning it vibrant yellow.
The comes a small scoop of a white powder - it was something simple and basic, I forget what - and it turns another vibrant color. I was so enthralled by this demo, that I completely forgot to take pictures until I was leaving a bit later and saw them giving a small family this same demo, when I snapped this one photo. I really wish I'd filmed the whole thing. It was truly amazing!

 They also had full size dining room table and chair sets. Again, I should have snapped some photos of the big furniture, but I was completely mesmerized by this place and the woodworking skills surrounding me. I think it had a similar effect on me as visiting Santa's workshop would have 
on a small child.

More coming on Sri Lanka...

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