|English||Mango friends Puppet Society|
|Category||Community organization / society|
Education and Training
Ambalangoda in the south coast of Sri Lanka is renowned as a treasury of traditional Sri Lankan folk art, folk dramas and ancient rituals passed down from generation to generation. The town is made famous for devil dancing employing masks; mask making, puppet show showcasing important aspects of the local culture. The traditional puppeteers of Ambalangoda are well versed in Nadagam dance forms as well. The English word ‘’puppet’’ is used as ‘’Rukada’’ in Sinhala language. Podisirina Gurunnanse was the first puppeteer in Sri Lanka to bring credit to the country on the folk art of puppetry (introduced string puppetry in Sri Lanka). He is credited with introducing not only screens to the Sri Lankan puppet stage, but also the popular Nango Hami and Sellan Lama characters who sometimes perform introductory acts to the main play. Since then, Gate Mudalier Solomon Dias Bandaranaike, Mudalier N. Wickramaratne, Dr. Hewavitharana, F.R. Senanayake, P. de S. Kularatne and Professor G.P. Malalasekara were some of the prominent people who recognised the value of the traditional folk art of puppetry. They never failed to extend their cooperation to promote puppetry in Sri Lanka. With the participation of an efficient group of puppeteers from Ambalangoda, Podisirina Gurunnanse formed the “Dakshina Lanka Puppeteers.”
There are several types of puppets in Sri Lanka. This classification is made in terms of the media and the nature of playing. Among the different types of puppets. Thread puppet (Nool rukada), Club puppet (Riti rukada), Shadow puppet (Sevaneli rukada), Hand puppet (Ath rukada) and Finger puppet (Angili rukada) are very famous. They can be classified as two – dimensional and three – dimensional in terms of their visual angle. The classification of puppet is mainly dependent on the versatility of the artist or player.
Due to the dominance of television the puppetry art in the society is almost in a dying stage and it needs to revitalize. That’s why the puppetry groups in Ambalangoda developed a society ‘Puppeteers of Lanka’ and established a traditional puppetry museum near Ambalangoda. The idea was developed by Mr. Ganwari Supun Gamini.
|Contact Information (Organization)|
|Address||No.26/1, Pokuna Road, Wathugedara, Sri Lanka.|