Puppets have been used since the earliest times to communicate the needs and needs of human societies as one of the oldest known arts of over 3,000 years. There are several places to watch a puppet show in Sri Lanka. Dehiwala Traditional Puppet Art Museum is one of them.
Although the museum has been in existence since late 2006, it is fast becoming a tourist attraction as well.Sri Lankan puppetry has its own heritage and is largely due to the myths and legends that the country is known for. The stories of Kalagola and Diktala and Sirisangabo, as well as characters such as Jasaya, Lenchina and Nonchi Akka, are well known. The Jataka Katha (Buddhist story) has a big impact on the creations of puppeteers who make it easy for their characters to come to life in the form of folklore.
Before embarking on a tour of the museum, office staff should be asked to turn on the lights and music. The Adventure of the Traditional Puppet Art Museum begins with a long corridor full of colorful, simply designed puppets. At the entrance, you are greeted by two figures, a man and woman dressed in national costumes with an osari, and their hands clasped with ayoba or wangam. It is a preview of the wonderful and fascinating things that are the home of the museum; In the same small corridor are the puppets, suspended from the ceiling, on the lower wall.
For more information on the amazing world of puppetry, check out the corridor’s billboard Also, Mr. Sarath Abeygunawardena, the founder of the museum, has created the museum with his own funds to preserve Sri Lanka’s puppet heritage.The corridor leads to a number of small rooms and is a museum-wide puppet collection. Some of these colorful creations come together to tell a story, greedy Kalagolla and his beautiful wife Diktala, who were conspiring against him, and of Aleppola, who was convicted of treason by the last king of Sri Lanka. There are depictions of some Jataka tales such as King Sirisangabo who donated his head for the good of his people. They have a huge collection of masks – some of them really scary, but wearing them is also possible. The museum works with about 20 local artists to create puppets for the puppet shows at the museum. The museum has won several awards and has traveled abroad to exhibit Sri Lankan puppets around the world.
The museum has many visits from school visitors and now the entrance costs Rs. 50 (Rs. 150 per exhibition). If you want to learn more about puppets, they are even willing to give you lessons. Visit the Traditional Puppet Art Museum in Dehiwala to get a glimpse of the rich culture of puppet art and storytelling in Sri Lanka.