Capturing Sri Lanka’s Ancient, Almost Lost Martial Art-BY ZINARA RATHNAYAKE                                   Traditional combat takes place to the rhythm of Sinhala war drums. Source:ttlasobscura When Portuguese colonizers came to Sri Lanka in the early 16th century, it set off decades of warfare. Prominent in these battles were local warriors who practiced angampora, a traditional martial art that had been used to protect the island for millennia, involving unarmed combat, weaponry, and incantations. The Portuguese came to occupy part of the island and were followed by the Dutch and then the British, who finally conquered what was then known as Ceylon in 1815. Following the Uva-Wellassa uprising, also known as the Great Liberation War, in 1817 and 1818, Governor Robert Brownrigg banned angampora, figuring that a populace trained in hand-to-hand combat would be more difficult to control. The ...

Read More →