Two distinct experiences — one immersive, the other informative — of the way of life in the coastal South.
Mask Making – If the wearing and making of mask tickles your fancy, then this one’s for you. Nestled within the Galle Fort is the host’s workshop. He says traditional masks are mostly used for dance performances and storytelling, now. But can you believe their origin lies in ancient local beliefs surrounding their healing and protective qualities? You can closely observe the delicate technique used by the host in carving masks from the ‘Kolam’ tradition of Southern Sri Lanka. The wood used, ‘Kaduru’, is light and ideally suited to make them. Watch his precise technique and follow him carefully to mould an original piece of your own! What’s more, you get to use a list of traditional and sustainable materials to make yours, including recycled paper, kithul (treacle), kurundu (cinnamon), clay, broken tiles, beeswax, and even cow dung.
We’ll leave you to yourself for a few hours, thereafter. Perhaps you’ll chose to have lunch at one of the trendier spots within the Fort, or head back to your hotel for a bout of relaxation before your next Southern experience.
The drop in temperature in the evening is perfect for this experience: a leisurely guided walk, through the criss-cross patterned streets within the Galle Fort, rich in colourful bits of information about the Fort’s history.
Battles & Bastions – Best to meet your host in the evening for this experience, to escape the searing daytime heat! From how the city of Galle was named, to its colonial legacy involving, firstly, the Portuguese, then the Dutch, and the English finally, the Battles & Bastions experience is chock-full of pieces of invaluable information. Gently walk through streets and roads bearing interesting names inspired by specific events and people. Stop for awhile and stand in awe before historic buildings that have stood the test of time. The host offers a lot of insight into the evolution of the Fort from times of battle past, and its place as an important stop for Eastern traders, to what it is now. You’ll get to climb the bastion overlooking the famed international cricket ground in Galle, which offers a panoramic view of this bustling Southern city in every direction. The experience involves stories galore: some real, some mythical,but they’re all captivating. The host will, also, narrate personal accounts of the destruction left in the wake of the 2004 Tsunami. The evening is brought to an appropriate end beside the postcard perfect Lighthouse in Galle.
The day is done but the experience will linger.
Includes : Materials, tools, refreshments, mask & your host.
Children : Older kids will find interesting.
Times : Starts at 0900 hours & ends at 1700 hours.
To wear/bring : Light, cool clothing, sunscreen & water.