An Overview Of The Brass Industry In Sri Lanka

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Brass Industry in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is famous for many industries worldwide. Brassware is top of the chart due to its historical and cultural importance in the country. Sri Lanka has advanced the traditional art of working with brass. These fantastic brass products are adored not merely by the locals but also by the majority of visitors that come to Sri Lanka as great mementos and home furnishings. The brass industry in Sri Lanka is a major manufacturing sector that competes in the global market to earn more foreign revenues for the country.

Brass industry in Sri Lanka: Let us take a look back!

The historic brass industry in Sri Lanka is thought to have begun during the period of the Aryans, who introduced various traditional industries from India circa 200 BC. Nearby museums have an extensive collection of brass artifacts from the Anuradhapura era (200 BC to 900 AD). These prove how affluent this country was in fields like the gold industry. With a wide range of goods and artwork showcasing their sector’s caliber, it has grown to be a prominent industry in the nation.

How do Sri Lankans use products of the brassware industry?

In Sri Lanka, the majority of families own many brass items.

Most home things are customary brass products, and a few opulent pieces are handed down as relics from generation to generation. Traditional Sri Lankan homes require some components, such as the traditional oil lamps mentioned. Products made of brass are also said to bring luck and be highly beneficial for households. The brass industry grew and developed due to these convictions for centuries, and the tradition still exists today. 

Buddhist culture has initiated the golden era with the impacts of brass products, eminent witnesses of their culture. There are many products used for domestic as well as in religious purposes, especially in Buddhist temples. Hindus also worship several bronze statues of gods.

Among those products, oil lamps, goblets, vases, bowls, and trays are prominent examples of embedded carvings. Because they offer a touch of glitz, importance, and riches to any environment, traditional decorative items like oil lamps, elephants, ashtrays, and vases are used.

Brass industry in Sri Lanka

Both joyful and melancholy events call for the usage of brass oil lamps. Up to 2 meters high, large lamps are typically decorated with an animal like a rooster, peacock, or swan on top. A Sri Lankan home may accommodate six or seven of these tall lamps at once. Any tourist that visits Sri Lanka is impressed by them, regardless of the number of goods offered. They are that beautiful. For years, people have employed them for celebratory occasions and celebrations, such as the inauguration ceremony or the Sri Lankan New Year Aluth Avurudu.

Brass Industry in Sri Lanka – Which areas are famous for brassware in Sri Lanka?

In several central Sri Lankan areas, making copper and brass products has been a traditional craft since ancient times. Numerous communities along the Kandy-Colombo route, including Pilimathalawa, Embeelmigama, and Gadaladeniya, are proud of their processing of top-quality copper and brass products.

An area called Pilimathalawa, which is closer to Kandy, is well known for its ancient brassware. Pilimathalawa brass smiths are descendants of the traditional artisan‘s caste called ‘navandanno ‘. The traditional artisan community in the Narammala, Hendessa, and Kiriwawula regions has long preserved this small-scale brass business. Pilimathalawa is situated in the Kandy district of the Yatinuwara Divisional Secretariat and runs the Central Province.

The distance to Pilimathalawa from Kandy City is 12 kilometers. The established sales locations for the Pilimathalawa brass industry are along the Gadaladeniya Paranapattiya Road, Gadaladeniya Road, and Kandy Colombo Main Road. Kiriwawula, Handessa, was the original location of the historic brassware company. 

How do Sri Lankans make brassware?

Brass is a man-made metal. It is made by adding copper and zinc. In Sri Lanka, casting and forging are used to make brass products. Artisans use these techniques to create a wide variety of copper items. Brass items are more appealing and expensive when engraved using conventional and contemporary techniques.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of brass industry in Sri Lanka?

There is increasing growth in the brass industry due to the frequent use of brassware in households, festivals, and events. The brass industry brings a massive foreign income to the country annually. It also promotes the unique Sri Lankan culture to the entire world.

But due to the need for more competencies to adapt to new technologies, the brass manufacturing sector is at risk. The abundance of skilled workers in modern Sri Lanka is another risky industry. Inherited people not practicing the skills of creating brassware is yet another risk to the industry.

products of the brassware industry

Brassware the major tourist attraction

The process of making brassware draws tourists to the towns that manufacture brass. In most parts of Sri Lanka, countless factories and stores produce and sell brass goods to locals and visitors. There are numerous retail stores in Colombo, Galle, and other significant cities where the exceptional craftsmanship of Sri Lanka’s skilled manufacturers is displayed.

Due to the tourists’ keen interest in experiencing this traditional craft through home-use purchases, these small companies and plants boost Sri Lanka’s souvenir appeal to tourists. Another tourist attraction of brass is the brass products price in Sri Lanka. Any tourist visiting Sri Lanka can see the brass price in Sri Lanka range from an affordable 250 Rs brass betel leaf tray to a 20,000 Rs Brass oil lamp. (0.68 USD to 54.42 USD)

Nattarampota village became famous for ‘Dambarang’

Nattarampota village is one prominent source of ‘Dambarang’ (brass) products. The A26 route takes you to Nattarampota Brassware Village in 30 minutes (from Kandy). It takes ten minutes to go from Degaldoruwa Raja Maha Viharaya to Sirimalwatte. A lot of brassware artisans live in this village. Businesses are selling a variety of brassware objects, such as candlesticks, trays, jewelry boxes, oil lamps, bells, and more.

Additionally, it is a great location to acquire brass souvenirs and other customized goods. On the pillars of temples, you may find beautiful sculptures of elephants and other monuments. This tour takes you to a town where skilled artisans work to produce a variety of brass goods, including oil lamps, ornaments, trinkets, and many other items. This trip will be a fantastic learning opportunity and a once-in-a-lifetime event.

Conclusion

The abundance of products with a separate culture and vivid hues makes the brass industry in Sri Lanka a vital tourist draw. The sector is growing incredibly toward the local market with the support of the Sri Lankan government. 

Brass decorations, more than any other metallic relic, play a crucial role in every Sri Lankan home. From the brass kitchen utensils used daily to the brass coins used in transactions, brass goods have become ornamental things for many locals or an inherited legacy from their ancestors. Both play a crucial part in blending with Sri Lankan heritage and culture.

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