"Mal Yahan Nateema"

These photos were taken at the dewolmaduwa that held at Ambalangoda in December 2010.Dewol madu are very beautiful cultural and traditional events that are very sacred to Sri Lankans. These events mostly held in southern province, and also in western province.At the beginning of "Dewol maduwa" theres a dance called "Mal Yahan Nateema". This dance is to invite the gods to the altar that made by banana trees using traditional arts and that altar is called as "Mal Yahana". The gods are vary between two traditions called "Benthara" and "Mathara". In "Benthara" tradition "Mal Yahan Nateema" is for four gods called "Natha, Wishnu, Katharagama & Paththini" and mainly for god "Natha"But in "Mathara" tradition "Mal Yahan Nateema" is for god "Suuniyam".The lines sang by dancers during this dance is to praise the gods.


"Thelme Dance"

"Thelme" this word express the idea "The oil serve" in sinhala. This dancers are dancing with oil cones, thats why its called as Thelme. They are dancing for Dolos deviyan (twelve gods). Dancers shows their talents during this dance and it will be a fascinating moment when they begin to reach their maximum. Photos below shows how a dancer gets ready for the event and some shots during the dance.


"Handa Samayama"

This is an interesting dancing event that called "Handa Samayama" at Dewol maduwa. This dance is for five evils called "Bali kaama, Bili Kaama, Honthu Kaama, Pulutu Kaama and Rathi kaama" Handa samayama and its praying are to satisfy these evils and to send them back, This dance is specially for the evil called "Rathi Kaama" and to others there are some prayings and rituals during this dance.


"Wahala Nateema"

This is the most adventurous, dangerous and the exciting part of Dewol Maduwa. This dance is to satisfy the god called "Mangara", This dancer is dancing nearly 1 hour in trance, there are few people to protect him while dancing because he is in trance and hi is stark. At the end he throw resin everywhere to drive away the evil spirits.

If you wish to visit a "Dewol maduwa" remember to take care of yourself from resin at the end of this event, because the dancer is in trance.

Special thanks for Mr. Rumesh chanaka who invited us for this event and gave information about these dancings. Mr. Priyankara who is posing in Thelme dressing photos. And Mr.Mahawaththa a leading dancer in this event that helped us a lot.


Processions (Perahera)

Primitive man lived in communities alone the rivers. they had agriculture based economy. they had a close relationship with the nature. some of the things in nature became their Gods From the beginning the man was afraid of over abundance of nature. E.G. : floods, drought and wind etc…they thought that there are super natural powers behind these and started offering things. as a results different dancing forms developed.

Concept of dancing in Sri Lanka starts with “Kohombakankariya” in 4th century B.C. during the period of pandukabhaya. people used dancing in retails, to get rid of natural disasters, sickness …etc. during Anuradhapura period also there had been dancing as Mahavamsa (The great chronicle of Sri Lanka) speak of procession of the tooth relic. At the end of polonnaruwa period lots of Indian influence came in to our dancing. Kandy had an independent form of dancing yet with Hindu influence. In the south during the period of king kavantissa(1st century B.C.) a dancing form was developed and there fore you can see lot of dancing and retails in the south. during the period of kotte also a dancing form developed and we now call it “Sabaragamuwa dance "

Today you can find three main dancing form in Sri Lanka


  1. Kandyan Dancing.
  2. Low country Dance.
  3. Sabaragamu Dancing.
  4. Baratha Natyam.


Only men take part in Kandyan dancing and the drum called “udarata beraya” or “gataberaya” accompany the dance. Low country (Pahatharata) dance has a lot of dramas in it “maru sanniya”, “giri devi”, “shanthi karma” are some of them. ”kolam” too comes under this but with masks. The drum called “pahatha rata beraya” or"yak beraya” or “thovil beraya” accompany the dance. In Sabaragamuwa dancing mainly men take part and ladies too allowed “sindu mathraya, gaman mathraya, yakpada mathraya, patu thala mathraya are some of them. The drums called “daula” or “thammattama” accompanied the dance and also have Bharata Natyam in Sri Lanka.

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