FOLK MUSEUM COMPLEX, a project the late author long had in mind,
has been brought to fruition by The Martin Wickramasinghe Trust.
It consists of five main sections, viz;
1. The house in which Martin Wickramasinghe was born.
2. The Hall of Life.
3. The Samadhi, where his ashes have been interred
4. The Museum of Folk Culture.
5. The restored eco-environment.
The Birth Place
The house in which Martin Wickramasinghe was born
has been partly renovated, whilst preserving its original architecture.
A part of the the rear section of the house is thought to be nearly
200 years old.
Bedroom in the
of the author.
The Trust has recreated the rooms of the house, including the room
in which he was born, with original furniture and many of the late
author’s personal belongings strategically places so as to give
a visitor the impression that Wickramasinghe has left the house
for a stroll along the Koggala beach, and will soon be back.
The Hall of Life
The Hall of Life is like an extension of the house where Martin
Wickramasinghe was born. In it Martin Wickramasinghe’s life and
times are presented thorough photographs, paintings, sketches, souvenirs,
awards and memorabilia. Copies of published works and several pages
from hand written manuscripts are also found here. It is a place
where one can browse for hours reading the captions, his hand written
manuscripts, and thus try to build an image of the man and the author.
His ashes are interred in a grass covered mound to the right of
the house. It is surmounted by a wedge shaped rock from the Koggala
reef, where he spent many hours as a child, studying its marine
life. The Samadhi is symbolic of his rooted-ness in the rural culture
that nurtured his intellect and intuition.
The Museum of Folk Culture
The Martin Wickramasinghe Museum of Folk Culture, is a large, spacious
high-roofed building situated close to the entrance of the complex.
The museum currently holds over a thousand artifacts of Sri Lankan
rural life, providing a vast and unique storehouse of knowledge
of local folk culture and folk technology going back several centuries.
The museum, attracts many local and foreign visitors. The elegantly
displayed artifacts are a unique store-house of knowledge of our
local folk culture and folk technology going back hundreds of years.
The Museum includes many sections representative of folk technology
and way of life, amongst which Buddhist religious artifacts, folk
religious practices, the evolution of the Sinhala alphabet, writing
utensils, village agricultural, fishing, pottery, and metallurgical
technologies, folk dance and puppetry, including a unique collection
of masks, musical instruments and drums, folk games, artifacts associated
with traditional social interaction traditional lace making, costumes,
jewellery, and many other exhibits of interest.
The Restored Eco - Environment
Little remains today of the picturesque Koggala described vividly
in Martin Wickramasinghe’s writings. Yet the seven acres of land
round the birth place of the author, restored and transformed into
an enchanting rural landscape, is a haven for quiet contemplation.
There is an Ambalama surrounded by grass-covered knolls shaded by
trees. Here a tired visitor may relax and picnic in these restful
surroundings, seated on the comfortable benches proveded.
The Folk Museum is open everyday from 9.00
a.m to 5.00 p.m.
The Folk Museum Complex is managed by ”The Martin Wickramasinghe