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Elephant costumes for Kandy Perahera of Sri Lanka

Ritual Arts/Crafts

Elephant costumes for Kandy Perahera of Sri Lanka

Dressing up of elephants for the Kandy Esala Perahera festival in Sri Lanka is practiced by artisans the region. The parade lasting over 10 days in this festival is centered around the tooth relic of Buddha housed in Kandy’s Sri Dalada Maligawa temple. During the procession the casket is placed on the back of one of the few specially selected elephants marching through the streets. The elephant is dressed elaborately in sequined outfits covering the entire body, trunk and ears of the animal. Almost 27 meters of material is required to stitch the same, the garment is embroidered with traditional Kandyan designs that include motifs of swans and lotus flowers. The process of creating the attire requires roughly two month.

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