Anabera kolama / Panikkala

Panikkala Panikkala Panikkala

The official announcement drum beaters Kolama (comic performance)

This character is known as the panikkalaya or panikkirala (barber or official baber). Although it is the chief duty of this person to beat the drum and spread various official announcements and orders, he is depicted as an old person. The drum beaters mask is created to show both the character and duties of the drummer.

 For this purpose the information contained in the following poem has been utilized.

Wearing on his head a cloth headdress
The colour of blond hair,
Disgusting to look upon with legs swollen
by elephantitis
Hanging his drum by his shoulder
And taking the stick in his hand
Displaying the caste from which
Is descended.
With no detail left out about this fellow
Limping on his swollen legs
Saliva dripping from his beard
Comes he to the assembly falling now and again
In height half normal size
Mucus from his eyes and
Saliva from his mouth pouring out
False teeth protruding
Look at the official drummer
Announcer as he comes
Hands and feet shivering
Head, mouth and chin shaking
Drum on his shoulder, comes asking
For permission to enter.

The mask maker has been very successful in cleverly depicting the aged decaying and aged appearance of the official drummer announcer. The mask should display and open mouth, spaces between teeth, drunkards’ eyes, a long beard and pointed teeth belonging to the official drummer announcer kolama(comedy). In the early period, in the official drummer announcement’s mask there was turban belonging to the face which was fixed round the head and face and was created out of wood, but today the turban is fitted only to the front of the face. This type is to be found in plenty today. There were two masks used for his two sons called Chukkiniyala and Dunguruwa, and in the Ambalangoda region, several sons with mask were introduced to the audience.

Panikkala Panikkala Panikkala

【LK94008317: Panikkala. Text by Lakpura™. Images by Google, copyright(s) reserved by original authors.】
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