Dance costumes of Sri Lanka

Today I want to take you to Sri Lanka again and show you some of its dancing costumes which impressed me no less than the dances themselves. They are striking, colourful, unsual in style, and once seen can't be forgotten.
One of the most impressive from my point of view is so called ves costume, the common dance costume for most of the Kandyan dances. It consists of a large white loincloth, which is wrapped to form a kind of pair of loose trousers. The upper body is bare, except the large breast ornament, a kind of beaded net, constructed of small seashells and silver beads. The arm and shoulder decorations are also made of silver, like the impressive tiara-like headgear with its large ear ornaments. According to studies, it is believed that the outfit was simpler in older times - the tiara was in the form of a naga snake and now it has seven protruding “leaves” or “flames”. It was during the two last centuries that the outfit gradually got its present, spectacular shape.

The costume with its ornaments was originally regarded as sacred and kept in a temple. There are still many magical beliefs connected to it. The ves crown, in particular, has been venerated and until rather recent times a dancer was allowed to wear it only after a ceremony in which he was initiated and blessed as a mature dancer.

For another type of dances, so called low contry dances, different masks depicting characters in the form of birds, demons, reptiles etc are worn.This form of dance is performed to appease evil spirits which cause sickness.


  1. Beautiful photos, all the costumes are so evocative and a great source of inspiration, I'd love to make some clothes with the same shapes!
    Thank you!

  2. Interesting costumes and very unique! I bet each of them has a meaning to it :)

  3. Amazing post!! :)
    Would you like to follow each other? :)



  4. eye popping colors this is so inspiring! i wish i could travel more to see such beauty with my own eyes!

  5. Very ethnic characteristics of Dance Costumes, beautiful, thank you for sharing.

  6. Hello, Can you kindly send me a web site where I can place an order for ethnic sri lankan dance costumes please. Thank you!

    1. I do not think they are for sale yet in the internet. you should probably contact some person in SL to make these and courier it to you..

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