Cave paintings in Sri Lanka
This is evidenced by the discoveries made by various researchers that our ancestors were able to draw cave paintings. During the period when Sri Lanka was a British colony, English national officers were employed in various activities in the country. They have come across these cave paintings by chance while doing their work in various parts of our country as well. Later there was an attachment to it and further reports were written.
The first such official we meet is the first Commissioner of Archeology, H.W. C. P. Mr. Bell. In 1897, while on duty in the North Central Province, he came across cave paintings in the caves of Kanaththegodakala and Arangodagala. He then did further research on it.
Most of the cave paintings in Sri Lanka are painted by Veddas who lived in the past. Several prehistoric Stone Age man paintings are also found in various parts of the country. Some of the features found in cave paintings in Sri Lanka.
Human and animal images are common. Elephants, tigers, lions, crocodiles, polygamous deer, deer, peacocks, monkeys and thalagoya are some of such animals. The trunk of the elephant is very well drawn. If there is an image of a dotted animal, it represents a tiger. According to John Steele, if a long line is an image cut in two horizontal lines, it represents a thalago. Bows and arrows represent the traditional hunting profession. In some paintings, people draw tame animals together. Ex: – Tantirimale Billawa Cave, Kandurupokuna, even some of the paintings depicting people climbing on top. Often male and female figures are indistinguishable. They are drawn almost identically. But in other caves in the world this feature is distinguished.
Cave drawing technique
The materials used for drawing and coloring are ash, clay, milk, lime, etc. The index finger is used as a brush for drawing. Researchers also say that sticks with finely chopped edges were used to paint the paintings. Gummy sticky plant juice mixed with color and coated. Those paintings are the ones that last a long time. Some paintings are painted by mixing ash with a little saliva. The mixture is placed on the hand and applied to the painting. According to Mr. Seligman, those varieties do not last long. This method was used by the Vedda people about two centuries ago.