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Kandiyan dancing

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The begining Kandyan dancing relates its origins in the ritual known as the Kohomba Kankariya, which is performed to propitiate the deity known as Kohomba to relive the King Panduwasdev from a sickness called Divi Dosha. The ritual broke the spell on a bewitched King.

The same sickness killed King Vijaya cursed by Yaksha princess Kuweni. The Kohomba Kankariya was conducted for 60 days. for the Many dances performed in Kohomba kankariya can be seen in the Kandy Perahere,

There are 18 main dances in Kandyan Style which
display the dancing of Birds and Animals.

Mayura Wannama - The dance of the Peacock
Hanuma Wannama - The dance of the Monkey
Gajaga Wannama - The dance of the Kings Tusker
Kirala Wannama - The dance of the crying Kirala Bird
Ukusa Wannaa - The dance of the Eagle
Sinharaja Wannama - The dance of the Tortoise and Lion
Turanga Wannama - The dance of the Horse
Uraga Wannama - The dance of the Snake
Musaladi Wannama - The dance of the Rabbit
Sawula Wannama-
Eeradi Wamnam- The dance of the soldier


Ves Dance. The most popular udarata form of dance originated from an ancient purification ritual, the Kohomba Kohomba Kankariya. The dance was propitiatory, never secular, and performed only by males. The elaborate ves costume, particularly the headgear, is considered sacred and is believed to belong to the deity Kohomba.

Naiyandi Dance. Dancers in Naiyandi costume perform during the initial preparations of the Kohomba Kankariya festival, during the lighting of the lamps and the preparation of foods for the demons. The dancer wears a white cloth and white rurban, beadwork decorations on his chest, a waistband, rows of beads around his neck, silver chains, brass shoulder plates, anklets, and jingles. This is a graceful dance, also performed in Maha Visnu (Vishnu) and Kataragama Devales temples on ceremonial occasions.

Uddekki Dance. Uddekki is a very prestigious dance. Its name comes from the uddekki, a small lacquered hand drum in the shape of an hourglass, about seven and half inches (18 centimeters) high, believed to have been given to people by the gods. The two drumskins are believed to have been given by the god Iswara, and the sound by Visnu; the instrument is said to have been constructed according to the instructions of Sakra and was played in the heavenly palace of the gods. It is a very difficult instruments to play. The dancer sings as he plays, tightening the strings to obtain variations of pitch.

Pantheru Dance. The pantheruwa is an instrument dedicated to the goddess Pattini. It resembles a tambourine (without the skin) and has small cymbals attached at intervals around its circumference. The dance is said to have originated in the days of Prince Siddhartha, who became Buddha. The gods were believed to use this instrument to celebrate victories in war, and Sinhala kings employed pantheru dancers to celebrate victories in the battlefield. The costume is similar to that of the uddekki dancer, but the pantheru dancer wears no beaded jacket and substitutes a silk handkerchief at the waist for the elaborate frills of the uddekki dancer.


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