Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Modernized Traditional Paddy Seed Storage bin (“Wee Bissae”)

A really nice Modernized Traditional Paddy Seed Storage bin (“Wee Bissae”) on the way to to Sri Bodhirukaramaya RajaMaha Vihara in Wellewa.

Excerpt from the FAO on Wee Bissae
  • The paddy seeds were stored for next year's crop in closely woven large cane baskets (Wee bissae). Storage bins called ‘Atuwa’ were made of strong hardwood obtained from Jack tree (Artocarpus heterophyllus) for large quantities. In the home of a farmer (Anamaduwa area), an about three meters high traditional seed storage bin (“Bissae”) was kept in the courtyard. It was made of closely woven bamboo, with a protective cover of clay with cowdung (“Goma Meti”), to insulate it against the external temperature and humidity variations and against the growth of various saprophytic fungi and insects. The dried seeds were mixed with Neem (‘Kohamba’) leaves for added protection against harmful insects. A small thatch covered the bin, which was kept on a wooden base, about a meter high. This bin could store 85 bushels (45 bags) of paddy.
  • Such traditional paddy storage bins have almost gone out of use. The paddy is now kept in bags made of waterproof synthetic material, which are usually stored within the home. The paddy bags are also being stored under large tailored waterproof tarpaulin housing.
Please read the FAO article. Lots of info on traditional Sri Lankan Eco friendly Agriculture management

Temple for Aged and Destitute Monks

A couple of weeks back went for dear friends Dana which was given to the Sri Bodhirukaramaya RajaMaha Vihara in Wellewa, situated 3km inland from the 18th-km post on the Kurunegala-Polgahawela Road. Not too much of the "Rajamaha" left in the temple except for the paintings dating from the late 18th century. Its a temple for aged and destitute monks and about 30 samaneras who are orphaned or from destitute families.

Excerpt from an article in the Nation
  • As he reminisces, one day, while he was walking in Kurunegala town, he was shocked to notice an old monk abandoned on a pavement. Since no one had taken care of him even on the second day, Ven. Amilasiri Thera had eventually decided to bring him to his temple, where he would take care of the destitute monk, together with his student samanera monks. This place which started with Ven. Amilasiri Thera’s personal endeavour, now shelters more than 80 monks. Presently, eight ailing monks are receiving treatment and care, while two other monks are being housed at another two temples, because of insufficient room, as mentioned by Ven. Chandivimala Thera, a student of Ven. Amilasiri Thera.
The hospital donated recently (after the December 2009 article in the Nation)
Paintings from the late 18th Century. The hand was fixed recently with plaster of Paris.

All the faces have the same look. Apparently its temple tradition to for the painter have his likeness painted all/some of the faces. Not quite anonymous, just no signature.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Knuckles or Dumbara Mountain Range

These photos should illustrate why its called the Knuckles. Its the knuckles of a closed fist. The whole range is given the same name.
The Sinhala word for this mountain range is Dumbara Kanduwetiya. i.e. Dum=Smoke/Mist Bara= Heavy/Laden Kanduwetiya= Mountain Range. i.e. A direct translation would be Mist Laden Mountain Range.

Below two photos: View from West (Near Hulu Ganga, MadolKelle) looking east

Below Two photos: View from East (Tennekumbura, Kandy, Mahiyangana Road) looking West

A Kavaiya Fish, Climbing Perch

The Climbing Perch. This guy lives in the well and was kept in a glass of water, while the well was cleaned up. Apparently they can live for a few days out of water. Found in water around paddy fields and streams in Sri Lanka. They were abundant many years ago and now their numbers have depleted due to pesticides in the waterways. During the rainy season, it will swim upstream. (info from Karunaratne Weerasooriya).

See here for complete list of Sri Lankan fresh water fish.
Apparently "the kavaiya is a fish and ergo a flag with a kavaiya depicted on it is the Makara Kodiya."

Koiya a Lagoon fish

A deaf and dumb individual who comes to catch fish from the Lagoon. The black color fish is a Koiya, very common in the Lagoon. The other probably is a fish that swam in from the ocean.

Pigeon (Dove) Orchid (Paraviya Mal)

The Paraviya Mal in bloom.
Excerpt from Spot.Lk
  1. This wild orchid is commonly known as the ‘Paraviya’ or pigeon orchid in Sinhala. Its flower bears scent that penetrates through the garden air! It can be established by attaching a plant to a tree trunk or branch. It prefers shade, mild warmth and moisture.
    Once established it needs little extra care. Sad to say, it flowers only a few times a year and the flowers last just one day. As the flower unfurls early in the morning swarms of honeybees flock around for nectar – a scene to watch!

Finally got around to having a personal blog

As the Blog title says Odds and Ends, there is no central theme to this blog. This is a a blog to share ideas, little practical tips and photos I have taken.