The lake (Wewa), Pagoda (degeba), Village (gama) and the Buddhist temple (Pansala) were considered as the inheritance of Sinhalese. The villagers honoured monks offering them the greatest respect. As the ancient village was originated centring the lake and the paddy field, livelihood of the dwellers was farming. The paddy fields were given a godly respect by the village folk, thus the rituals and prohibitive precepts were highly considered and practices without fail. They considered it as paying their gratitude to the fields for nourishing and keeping them alive.
The inhabitants of “Nuwara Kalaviya” considered even “nature” a godhead and followed several rituals that are called “Kem Pahan” which means a sort of magic like conduct. Offering Gods for different purposes and special events of the paddy fields and their own lives was also a habituation. A prominence was especially given to the Gods like “Ganesh” “Ayyanayake” and Kadawara”.
Also the village folk respected the lake itself. For example, as they were strongly mingled with nature, they tended to call the village lake by a name of a tree that they liked most. Later some of the hamlets were also called by the name given to its lake. Accordingly, even today we can find such names originated by the names of trees like “Diulwewa, Kelegama, Palugas Wewa, Lolugaswewa Rathmalgaha Wewa” & “Kumbukgaha Wewa”.
The identity of such a primitive and native village, together with its grandeur, Gradually started to change with time as almost all the other sub-cultures in many other regions of the country too, were subjected to changes. These unavoidable changes influenced the ordinary life style of villagers, their rituals, the day to day equipment and tools, clothing and even their dwellings. It is true that no force can touch hold these gradual cultural changes by any means.
However, intention was to up hold our primitive, native and traditional hamlet concept while fostering nature. The effort to offer this pleasant concept to the future generation flourished as the “ Purana Gama”
Leave a Reply ·