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OSense O-Sense

On one of our earliest field trips, we came across a beautiful mat with a most unusual design of a peacock.

Craft Instructress Mrs. L.A. Ranmenika of Galatara (Alawwa) most graciously allowed us to take photographs of this unique work of art. On further visits to in the Eastern Province, we were able to see rare designs of “Wedding Mats” (Mappliai) from Oddamawadi near Valacchenai. The Palmyra weavers of Mulativu are now being instructed to combine new colors to weave baskets. Fabric Weavers in Marathemunai, in the Eastern Province and Thalagune, in the Kandyan Region venture into new products for a larger market. Young academics from the University of Moratuwa and the Academy of Design develop new designs to sustain the industries engaged in weaving in many pockets of Sri Lanka.

The final fabric design cannot be seen, when the warp and weft are set up on the loom, just as the rich cultural fabric of Sri Lankan Discourse Communities was not visible, when a team of academics from the University of Kelaniya headed by Prof. Manique Gunasekara planned the project in 2012 enhancing a most flexible and meticulous methodology.

Samkathana is a work in progress, and today on the 22nd of May 2015 we launch the website.

The project has been conceptualized not only for academics to collect data, present at conferences and write research papers, but for all who are interested in understanding the interweaving of many cultures in Sri Lanka.

Just as the background song is the version of a ballade from the times of the last King of Kandy, preserved in the repertoire of the Bawas of the Eastern Province, Samkathana documents the threads hidden in faraway places of Sri Lanka, before the threads perish with time and also show case to the world how the communities have developed strategies to sustain their own tradition with new design ideas.