1.2. Ritual of Kohomba Kankariya
The origin of the Kohomba Kankariya ritual is said to be coming from King Panduvasdev, successor to King Vijaya, at a time where he was afflicted by an incurable disease. The remedy for this was known only to a King Malehi, who lived in India who was not born of a woman but of a flower.
The Supreme God Sakra himself had devised a method of luring King Malehi into Sri Lanka. The chief of the Asuras, Rahu, took the form of a boar and laid waste in the garden of King Malehi. When King Malehi chased the boar - as far as Sri Lanka and struck it with his golden sword, the boar turned into stone.
Once King Malehi cured King Panduvasdev, he ordained and decreed that the story of his healing should be re-enacted periodically to ensure general prosperity and freedom from the disease. Dancers in Ves headgear represented the King of the Flower, King Malehi. It was also decreed that the dancers and drummers participating in these ceremonies to be given extensive lands and settled in separate villages. Since then, they had been the keepers of the traditional arts, handing down the traditions of the ritual, the dances and the drums that go into making Kandyan dance from one Parampara to another.
The set dialogue between the drummer and the dancers entertain the rural folk in this highly stylized ritual, known as the Kohomba Kankariya.
Watch short video of Kohomba Kankariya being performed by clicking on the following link: