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seek out an ancient industry striving to survive: cane craftsmanship

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Speak to any Sri Lankan, and you will realise that at some point in their life they have purchased at least one item from Weweldeniya – a small village enroute to Kandy. After passing Cadju Gama, a village known for cashew production, one will come across a collection of cane shops on either side of the road.

 

Transforming cane into furniture and other caneware, is a skill passed down through the generations since ancient times. Cane weaving is practised in a number of villages in Sri Lanka, however due to factors such as imported cane products and other substitutes like cheap plastic furniture, the cane industry is in decline.

 

As recent as a decade ago, Weweldeniya was a bustling village with many flocking around the street vendors and the entire village involved in the cane industry. Today, the story has taken a different turn, as only a very few make this their bread and butter as cane craftsmen. Not all is lost though, and visitors can take part in an exclusive excursion to visit this humble village to learn more about the traditional art, connect with the villagers and help support their community as we try to slowly re-establish an ancient industry back to its glory days.

 

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