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Sabaragamuwa Dance Traditions

Sabaragamuwa Dance Traditions

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Sabaragamuwa Dance Traditions
Those of the Veddah tribe also known as the ‘Sapara’ tribe mostly lived in the region called Sabaragamuwa, named after them. Because of its ancient history the dance traditions of the veddahs are older than considered to be much older than other dance traditions in the country. Not as advanced as the low and up country dance traditions, the Sabaragamuwa dance tradition still plays the most vital role at certain cultural and traditional festive occasions. They are:
The Perehera, Yaktovil, Kirimadu, Pahanmadu, Gam-madu, Clergy processions and festival drums, are some of these.
There are certain features that are unique to the Sabaragamuwa dance tradition:
Hands and feet formations
Musical instruments and style of play
Singing style
The costumes
A two-way positioning of the hands is required in the Sabaragamuwa tradition. The palm of one hand is turned inward facing self and the other palm will be turned outward. This formation requires much skill that only comes with practice. The training is carried out in twelve stages called ‘Thei Wattam’. Only an experienced tutor will poses the necessary skills to train others. Usually the training period requires 3-4 months.

Costumes used in Sabaragamuwa dance Tradition

According to ancient records the dancer is required to adorn a costume similar to that worn by god Saman of the Saman Devalaya,


Sri lanka Cultural Dance

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