Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Udarata Netum

"Ves" dance, the most popular, originated from an ancient purification ritual, the Kohomba Yakuma or 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.

Only toward the end of the nineteenth century were ves dancers first invited to perform outside the precincts of the Kankariya Temple at the annual Kandy Perahera festival. Today the elaborately costumed ves dancer epitomizes Kandyan dance.
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.

The word "vannam" comes from the Sinhala word "varnana" (descriptive praise). Ancient Sinhala texts refer to a considerable number of "vannams" that were only sung; later they were adapted to solo dances, each expressing a dominant idea. History reveals that the Kandyan king Sri Weeraparakrama Narendrasinghe gave considerable encouragement to dance and music. In this Kavikara Maduwa (a decorated dance arena) there were song and poetry contests.

It is said that the kavi (poetry sung to music) for the eighteen principal vannams were composed by an old sage named Ganithalankara, with the help of a Buddhist priest from the Kandy temple. The vannams were inspired by nature, history, legend, folk religion, folk art, and sacred lore, and each is composed and iterpreted in a certain mood (rasaya) or expression of sentiment. The eighteen classical vannams are gajaga ("elephant"), thuranga ("hourse") , mayura ("peacock"), gahaka ("conch shell"), uranga ("crawling animals"), mussaladi ("hare"), ukkussa ("eagle"), vyrodi ("precious stone"), hanuma ("monkey"), savula ("cock"), sinharaja ("lion"), naga ("cobra"), kirala ("red-wattled lapwing"), eeradi ("arrow"), Surapathi (in praise of the goddess Surapathi), Ganapathi (in praise of the god Ganapathi), uduhara (expressing the pomp and majesty of the king), and assadhrusa (extolling the merit of Buddha). To these were added samanala ("Butterfly"),bo (the sacred bo tree at Anuradhapura, a sapling of the original bo tree under which Buddha attained enlightenment), and hansa vannama ("swan"). The vannama dance tradition has seven components.


MAYURA NATUMA (Peacock Dance)
In this dance, the girls depict the graceful movements of the peacock which according to mythology is the bird that transports Skanda, the War-God of Ceylon, worshipped by Buddhists and Hindus alike.

The name of the dance, is derived from the musical instrument used, the Pantheru, which is close akin to the tambourine. Rhythm is also provided by the accompanying drums. The dance itself shows Sinhala warriors on their way to battle. The Pantheru is manipulated with great skill and dexterity by the dancers who create a series of vigorous acrobatic and rhythmic forms.

A South Sri Lanka mask dance with the Raksha (devil) masks symbolizing the fight between a cobra and a bird. This dance is used to exorcise demons from the possessed and is still believed to be effective psychiatric treatment in Sri Lanka.

A dance popular in all parts of the country, particularly during festivals In which both male and female dancers participate. Each dancer has two sticks and the sound of the sticks sticking each other together with those of the accompanying drums provide the rhythm for the -'dancers

A traditional folk dance which uses the Raban, an Instrument similar to the drum. The popular Ath Raban (Hand Rabana) is almost, one foot in diameter and is both played and wielded in a variety of forms by the male and female dancers. Raban playing is accompanied by singing too.

A dance sequence performed for general immunity from evil influences as well as for healing specific ailments. It is a p

A traditional dance( 18 SANNIYA)

The "Daha Ata Sanniya" is a traditional dance ritual held to exorcise 18 types of diseases from the human body. Though an extremely colourful and vibrant pageant, most Sri Lankans do not get the chance of witnessing it, due to the performance's exorbitant costs and the long duration.Justify Full
The origin of this Shanthi Karmaya (blessing) took place in the times of ancient kings and was performed in the southern and western parts of the country. According to the story, while King Sankapala was at war, his wife who was pregnant had a sudden craving for a certain variety of mango. As she ate it, her maid of honour too had wanted a piece of the fruit, but had been refused by the Queen. Angry at this refusal, the maid cursed her and when the King returned after the war, told him that the Queen had conceived out of wedlock. The story was believed and the Queen was sliced in two with a sword. The baby was born and ate off his mother and so, a devil was born. As the story goes, lead by this devil, 18 other devils were created and they in turn came to towns and cities and began to spread in the form of diseases. It is to counter this type of sickness that the Daha Ata Sanniya originated.

'Daha Ata Sanniya" will be performed in two sections where the first part will consist of seven palis, while the second part will be performed as the 18 sannis.

The mask known as Dahaata Sanniya or ‘eighteen disease’ is studded with 18 diseased faces atop a pair of their gods and two spirits one the spreader of pain through disease and other the saviour is placed vertically apart. Prof. M.H. Goonatilleka explained that in folk religion this is in vogue. He explained that "Pritiatory magical and therapeutic effects of mask and attendant rituals of Sri Lanka are still not forgotten in the remote parts of the country. The dancer donning demon masks may not be aware of the significance of ritual transformation and the assumption of the role of the disease-causing demon."

Those eighteen masks are:

01. Buta Sanniya which is associated with derangement, distortion and listlesness of limbs;
02. Jala Sanniya relates with vomitting, dysentry etc;
03. Gulma sannya refers to lack of appetite, swelling of the abdomen ;
04. Kana Sanniya relates with blindness;
05. Kora Sanniya and
06. Bihiri Sanniya relate with Lameness and Deafness respectively;
07. Vata Sanniya is related with Flatulence provoked by aerial humour;
08. Slesma Sannya is associated with Phlegmatic diseases;
09. Pneumonia is represented with mask Kola Sanniya;
10. Maru Sanniya is wallowing and contortions in the eyes etc.
11. Amukku Sanniya relates with running with the head tilted to the left trembling of the limbs;
12. Golu is Dumbness;
13. Vevulum Sanniya is associated with shivering and feats;
14. Gini Jala Sanniya is about burning sensation,headache and fatigue;
15. Pissu or Kapala Sanniya is related with madness and delirium;
16. Demala Sanniya is also related with madness with distortion of the body;
17. The Naga Mask is related with swelling of the faces and peeling of skins and
18. Deva Mask is related with epidemics and infectious diseases

Aukana Pilimaya


Some 30km northwest of Golden Dambulla Rock Temple, the village of Aukana located close to the large ancient Kala Wewa rainwater reservoir, is home to the most perfectly preserved ancient statue in Sri Lanka. The perfect & elegant 12m-high standing Buddha is adored all over the island to such an extent, that several full scale copies have been erected in the island: Colombo, Dondra, Ratnapura, and Trincomalee. The statue was erected in the same period as those at Polonnaruwa's Gal Vihara & Lankatilaka Vihara as well as Buduruwagala & Maligawila all of which emphasis on Buddha's superhuman, transcendal powers.

Bless you
Unlike other great statues in the island which are carved in "Abhaya Mudra" (Have no fear), the Aukana statue is in the "Asisa Mudra", the blessing position, with the right hand turned sideways to the viewer. The figure is carved in the round, narrowly connected at the rear to the rock.

The perfect Buddha statue
Carved out of the living rock with supreme assurance, Aukana Buddha is a magnificent image. His expression is serene & from his curled hair there sprouts the flame called siraspata signifying the power of supreme enlightenment. Although the statue is large & stands straight up with feet firmly planted on the lotus stone pedestal, the body retains a graceful quality enhanced by beautifully flowing drapery clinging to the body.

The tallest Buddha statue in the world
The magnificent free-standing statue carved out of a single rock is the tallest Buddha statue in existence today. Following the destruction of similar but much larger statues at Bamiyan in Afghanistan, the Aukana Buddha has gained even greater significance in the Buddhist World.

The whole of cultured world was horrified at the savagery & barbarity inflicted upon the colossal Bamian Buddha statues carved from the cliffs that dominate the dusty plains in the heart of Hindu Kush which have watched serenely for 15 centuries as the fortunes of the city beneath them waned from Silk Road metropolis to remote Afghan backwater.

In honor of the destroyed & in defiance of intolerant, China quietly goes with its own form of defiance: in their territory, carving, sculpting, erecting two statues similar in every conceivable way, to the two Buddha Statues destroyed by Taliban. In the ancient times Bamiyan, the region where Mahayana Buddhism originated, was known as Vokkana or Avakana. Do we have a clue to the name Aukana? In Sinhalese there is no such word as Aukana meaning sun eating as erroneously proclaimed.

Best time to see
The best time to see the magnificent statue is at the crack of dawn when the first rays of sun light up the east-facing statue's finely carved features.
From the down of the industrial revolution the human community has constantly producing a vast amount of relatively substances.This included refuse from food stuffs,various chemical substances and many kinds of packaging.These kinds of substances can be categorized as solid waste as waste cannot be put in to any practical use it was a traditional ritual which involved the collecting and dumping the waste into may be ones neighbors back yard.this would have solved the problem had the population density been low,but in a small country these measure is hardly practical.Hence waste management has become one of the most acute problems in our country today
Before one attempts to solve such a serious problem it is wise to get a rough idea of the composition of waste In our locality almost 80% of waste or organic substances which bio degrade almost automatically. A bout 10%-or 15% non recyclable plastic are present in the waste which poses the most threat to the environment and the balance is made up of recyclable materials such as paper ,glass and many metal items.
A proper waste management system should be initiated in ones home. The 1 st stage of the process is reduction.This can be done by following a few guide lines

1) Carrying your own bag when going shopping insted of buying a bag each and every time you visit the shop
2) Refusing to buy items which have too many wrappers.
3) Refusing from buying products in plastic packages.

Following these guidelines will certainly reduce the volume of waste (non recyclable) emitted to the environment.Reusing bags or bottles will help reduce quantity of waste while the recycling process can also be helpful.In order to have a recycling process a method of collection of recyclable items should be formed .A good example is the paper & bottle collector system in which is the costumer is paid for the quantity of refuse collected & the collector is paid for his load at a collection center .This is a most successful method of collection..Ones the materials is collected it can be put in to the recycling process.
The next stage of waste management is the treatment of waste.All the waste should be collected and transported to a treatment plant,where after a separation of recyclable materiel the balance can be either incinerated of biologically processed .Since the local waste comprises of about 80% Organic matter is it rather unprofitable to have incineration facilities which is also costly. But the biological process can be considered the ideal method of waste treatment.This involved micro-organism which survive on this waste having to
digest the waste.Such a method is not only cost effective but also a clean method of treatment.Another way of treatment is composting which is quite cheep & also leaves you with a high quality manure .Even after these processes we are left with about 10% of waste which can neither be recycled nor put to any other method of management .Therefor this reminder has to go in to a land fill.The reminder should be taken to the land fill site and dumped the dump area should be covered with a layer of earth which helps reduce the small & leaves a clean look at end of the day.
Following this process can help reduce the waste and also provide an environmentally friendly method of solid waste management.This will not only be an answer to a growing need of land hill sides of so let us all wake up and give a helping hand in managing this acute problem in order to presence the beauty of this country and the whole world for the future generations to experience.


Horton Place is historically significant as the residence of two families who are identified with service to their community. Dr. Alfred Robinson's dental surgery in Horton Place served the community until shortly before his death in 1896. In 1901, Charles Webster, businessman and community leader, purchased the property. The Webster family and its descendants continue to own the property to the present day, preserving the historical and architectural continuity of the site.

In 1797, the Crown granted 210 acres of land to Thomas Phillips. Thomas Hind acquired the land from Thomas Phillips by deed poll in1803. Mr. Hind sold the township lot to Jacob Hollingshead in the same year. Robert Pen rose Irwin purchased 140 acres from the Hollingshead Family in 1853, and proceeded to subdivide the land.

In 1874 Dr. Alfred Robinson, a local dentist, bought 5/8 of an acre of Irwin's land on Yonge Street. Dr. Robinson was born in England in 1831. On coming to Canada he settled first in Bond Head before establishing his dental practice in Aurora in the mid1860's. He purchased the commercial property on the south-west corner of Yong e and Wellington Streets (2 Yonge Street South) for use as his surgery and moved his family into a house on Mosley. According to a notice in the Aurora Banner on August 28, 1868, Dr. Robinson was in his office in Aurora on the 1st and the 16th of each month. On other days he made his services available to other communities such as Newmarket, Stouffville, Richmond Hill and Nobleton. Dr. Robinson decided to purchase the land on Yonge Street just south of The Manor, at that time the residence and medical practice of Dr. Frederick Strange. Dr. Robinson's intention was to build a house on this land that would serve as both a residence and a dental surgery.

It is likely that the house and barn were constructed in 1875, as the Robinson family moved from their house on Mosley in February of 1876. It is interesting to note that families who were fortunate enough to have sufficient property and the proper facilities kept their own livestock. The Aurora Banner of January 8, 1886 tells us that Dr. Robinson has secured "one of the celebrated Jersey cows from the herd of Capt. Rolph, Glen Roche Farm." The family named their new home Horton Place, after the Robinson family's ancestral home in Yorkshire, England.

Dr. Robinson and his wife, Mary Martin, raised six children in Horton Place. Two of their daughters, probably Mary Henrietta and Ellen Louisa, ran a private school in the 1880's and 1890's. They also taught French and dancing. The Robinson's youngest, Roy, was sickly as a child and was schooled at home, probably by his sisters. Dr. W. John McIntyre, the current owner of Horton Place and local historian, advises that it was not uncommon for unmarried women to operate private schools at that time, often in their own homes. The blackboard used in the school is still in the house. Their daughter Annie married the manager of the Aurora branch of the Federal Bank, William H. Nelson, in 1886.

In 1884, Dr. Robinson changed the ownership of the house from his name to his wife Mary's. Dr. Robinson retained his office at Horton Place until his death after a year-long illness in 1896. He was buried in the Aurora Cemetery. Following Dr. Robinson's death, the dental facilities were leased to Dr. C. J. Rodgers. By 1897 he rented the residence as well until 1901, when the property was sold to Charles Webster.

Charles Webster was born in 1873 in Thorn hill, on a farm on Yong e Street. After his father's death, the family moved to Aurora. In 1899 he married Della Petch, born in 1875 in Aurora. The Aurora Banner of February 22, 1967 tells us that when Della Webster was a little girl she "dreamed of living in the 'house on the hill', owned then by Dr. Robinson the district dentist. Her dream came true and the gingerbread decked brick house was her home for over 60 years." Charles Webster notes in his diary that on November 2, 1901 they had their first meal and spent their first night in Horton Place. Charles and Della Webster had two children: Elinor Elizabeth, born in 1909 and Mary Margaret Adele, born in 1916.

Both the Websters were civic-minded people. Charles Webster served on town council, the Library Board, the Public School Board, and the Board of Trade. Della Webster was a prominent Liberal Party organizer for many years

Charles Webster was manager of the Under hill Shoe Factory for a short time. However, his longest association was as manager of the Fleur y Agricultural Implement Works on Wellington Street from the 1890's to his death in 1938. James Johnston in Aurora: Its Early Beginnings tells us that the Fleur y plow works, founded in 1859, was the most important industry in early Aurora, and was responsible to a large degree for the growth of the community. At the height of its success, it employed 200 men in its buildings located on Wellington Street West. The village fathers, grateful for the contribution the company made to Aurora business and development, honoured the company by including a Fleur y plow as part of the Village crest. Joseph Fleury the founder, born in King Township of French-Canadian descent, came to Aurora in 1859. Working as a blacksmith, he set up business in partnership with Thomas Pearson. Together they developed the cast-beam plow, but when the partnership broke up, Fleury built his own shop. His father, Alex Fleur y sold his farm and put the proceeds into his son's business. Joseph's brother Milton also came into what would become largely a family business. By 1900, Fleur y plows were competitive on a world basis. Many families moved to Aurora in order to work in the foundry. The company operated in Aurora until 1939, when it merged operations with Fleur-Bis sell, and moved to Elora.

Charles Webster owned the property until his death at 65 in 1938. He was killed while crossing the street in front of his home by a car travelling northbound on Yonge Street. Mr. Webster was buried in the Aurora Cemetery. Della Webster, his widow, assumed ownership of the property.

In 1950, Mary Margaret Adele, Charles and Della Webster's daughter, married William Ogilvie McIntyre, and along with Della Webster, lived together in Horton Place. Mary Margaret and William McIntyre had two children, William John (known as John) born in 1951 and Mary Elizabeth (known as Mary Beth) born in 1956. William McIntyre died in1974 and was buried in the Aurora Cemetery. Mary Beth lived in Horton Place until her marriage in 1983.

In 1984, Mary Margaret McIntyre, finding the house too much to care for on her own, moved out of Horton Place into a condominium nearby. Her son, Dr. W. John McIntyre moved back to his family home in the same year.

The Webster family and its descendants continue to own Horton Place to the present day. Following the death of Mary Margaret McIntyre in December 2000, Margaret's son, Dr. W. John McIntyre, assumed ownership of the residence and continues to live in the house.

Dr. McIntyre continues the Webster tradition of service to his community. He has served on the Aurora heritage committee (Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee) for about 15 years. The history of Aurora has been the subject of several books written by Dr. McIntyre. He has served on the Aurora Historical Society since about 1967, including several terms as president. Since 1985 he has been the archivist for Trinity Church, Aurora. While not involved in community service Dr. McIntyre is Chair of the Department of English and General Education, Faculty of Technology, at Seneca College.On March 4 1987, Horton Place was designated under the Ontario Heritage Act for its historical and architectural significance.