Two distinct types of lac-work are done in Sri Lanka. One of the techniques is found in Matale district, in the central part of the country at a distance of about 160 kilometres from Colombo; the other technique is from the southern part of the country. The lac work from Matale is the more distinctive one of the two; however, in neither styles is there any use of the brush. This is distinct from other kinds of lac-work: lacquer varnish work from Japan makes use of the brush, while in the island-country of Maldives next to Sri Lanka, lac is applied by turning, but incised after that, a process that is also used in the lac boxes made in Sindh in Indian sub-continent.
Hapuvida in Matale district is held to be the place of origin of this craft; here it has been in existence for nearly a century. Unlike in the neighbouring Kandy district and in Matara district in the southernmost tip of the island-country, where the craft is no longer practised actively, lac-work remains an active craft in Matale even today.
Share on Facebook