The road that leads from Commercial Colombo to Cultural Kandy is a known way that directs to many tourist attractions. Thus, there is no chance that your camera would miss the colors and patterns of the splendid captions laying along the way. Down this road is quite a spectacle where you’ll see many vendors with ‘’Eye-catching ‘’stalls either side of the road, with full of fruits, sweets, corns, king coconut, cashew, leather goods, souvenirs, crafts and of course the small roadside shops crammed with Cane wares will be one of the displays which you will be amazed.
The small town we take you around now is called as’’Wewaldeniya’’ where ‘’Wewal ‘stands as the local term for ‘’Cane’’ and so as Wewaldeniya can be introduced as the biggest outdoor studio with an overwhelming collection of different shapes and sizes of numerous cane products.
Cane industry has been a booming industry sustaining the economy of Sri Lanka in many ways. Mostly it says that cane products last around even 15 years which is certainly a proven eco-friendly concept. Also, rather than the plastic equals canewares seizing the buyers by its beauty, design and durability, where most luxury hotels also are now willing to purchase cane products to adorn their premises.
You have an elaborate collection to choose from small baskets, caskets, furniture such as chairs, bookshelves, sofas, tables, cupboards, rack etc. And using cane goods for weddings has also been trending, spacing up the market for cane product vendors currently.
Creativity of the design undoubtedly bids the value to the product in cane market where each and every work carry, number of tears and sweat shed by the labors for their immense hard work. The creativity and the quality always lay on perfecting skill which is lasting from years and years practice and passing from one generation to another and cane weaving has been one of the primary living sources to many families in the country.
The raw materials for cane industry are bringing all the way from Monaragala which is located around 350km away from Wewaldeniya in Sri Lanka. At Monaragala, the cane palms are grown bountifully, mostly in muddy orchards with full of thorns. There are 2 types of cane known as kukul wewel – the thinner cane used for weaving and intricate crafts – and ma wewel – the thicker and stronger cane used to form the bases of items of furniture.
The process of the weaving is not that pliable as a cane. Rows of cane must lay out to dry well where can get ample of heat for drying. The secret for long lasting cane work is solely depending on the prevention can make to associate the cane with liquid and moisture as the moisture caused to rot the cane. After the drying process, mostly at the houses where cane weaving is in retail practice, canes are being split, bent, twisted and knotted.
After the cane gains ample of pliability, it is sending through a bending machine called achchuwa. After cooling, the cane is bent into the required shape. A skilled craftsman with years of experience and agile fingers could naturally sense how to plait the cane to create an ornamental masterpiece.
However, there is no lacking of the challenges facing by this creative industry. Mainly, as canes are not cultivated commercially in Sri Lanka there is a shortage to supply required amount of raw material for industry need which has unwillingly made the industry to fetch for alternatives imported substitutes from the countries like Malaysia and Indonesia are replacing the market those couldn’t afford by rural craftsmen. Therefore, profiting from the industry is indeed a challenge. Further since the daily wage for a labor is low, there is a trend that most young generation shifting to other factories. Therefore, the necessity of the related authorities be more proactive in redeeming this beautiful industry has become a must in ‘’To Do’’ Bucket.
If you would be privileged to visit one of the ateliers of a local craftsman who is weaving a raw cane to unbelievable masterpiece, the best memory you could capture will the supreme satisfaction bustling in the eyes of these incredible artists.