Ariyapala Mask Museum
The hand-carved masks of Ariyapala are the colourful and revealing face of Sri Lanka’s cultural and historical attachment to the mysteries of dance, legend and exorcism.
At its centre is the Ariyapala Mask Museum, complete with dioramas and explanatory insights into an age-old occupation passed down over the generation from father to son—and the occasional daughter!
The museum, workshop and library complex, which is linked to one of Sri Lanka’s oldest mask manufacturers, illustrates how these amazing masks are used in storytelling, processions and festivals.
Used by villagers for devil-dance rituals, the masks have four broad classification: gods, human beings, demons and animals, all with their own particular motifs and extravagant visual cues.