To take home with you experiences of the adventures and thrills of your visit to Sri Lanka, it takes more than a photography or video which tend to lose the texture and clarity in time. To save this inevitable loss, souvenirs help treasure them for much longer periods. Knowing the value of these products, souvenir shops have come up with collections of all types new and antique that a traveller would cherish for life along with printed and laminated photos and even albums.
The art and craft segment in Sri Lanka is geared to this effect in many forms. Paintings on cloth (batik) and wood are widely sold besides straw and coir products that add to the novelty. Painted straw mats are unique products in fact.
Wood carvings too entice the eyes. They depict local and colonial traditions crafted with ingenuity. Metalwork has been the medium for exhibiting the craftsman’s skill throughout Sri Lankan history and it is no surprise that they fill any shelf in these outlets. Designs of animals especially the elephants, plants, humans etc are found in them. The size and the weight do not matter much to carry about.
Masks also can be a craze for some and these are mostly found on the south western coastal city of Ambalangoda.
Porcelain and ceramic ware are also now designed with Sri Lankan scenery and images that could be taken back to adorn your homes and offices. They are abundantly found in tourists’ shops particularly at the State run ‘Laksala’ in all major cities for moderate prices. There are then the ebony and ivory product dextrously crafted sometimes small gemstones embedded. However, you need to consult the authorities with regards to permits or taxes imposed on some of these items when taking abroad.
Jewellery and costume ornaments are the other major segments for souvenirs but it is discussed elsewhere.