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Sunday, 9 February 2014

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NCC to re-open wood-carving village

The Ministry of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprises will open the reconstructed traditional wood carving village in Horana on Tuesday. It was revived by the National Craft Council (NCC).

NCC Chairman Buddhi Keerthisena said that four small villages, Olaboduwa, Batuwita, Bandarawatte and Mawgama in the Kalutara district have been integrated under this traditional wood-carving development program. In the 2012 Budget, the government allocated Rs.1.9 million for the program and the village mainly produced traditional wooden masks. Over 40 traditional craftsmen get direct benefits while hundreds of others get indirect benefits down the supply chain mainly through links with the tourism industry. The NCC has upgraded industry infrastructure of the village and has set up craft workshops, provided machinery and equipment, supply channel for raw materials and transportation facilities, under the reconstruction program.

The NCC's craft production development project focuses on quality improvement of products and also provides promotional and marketing facilities.

Masks have been in use in Sri Lanka since antiquity for commercial and other purposes. There are three mask carving traditions, Ambalangoda, Matara and Rigama, passed down from generation to generation. This reconstructed craft village represents Rigama tradition which has a 130-year history. Today these wooden crafts have local and overseas demand.

-GW

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