Folk Art are essentially related to the Social Life of a Community and arises from comples and Organic roots. In Sri Lanka as in any other Country, the Origin, development and functional validity of Folk Arts are the result of processes no t necessarily validity of Folk Arts are the result of processes not necessarily bounded by Religion, Ethnic grouping, Caste or any such, overarbitrary, socio-cultural Cultural Categories. Sri Lankans have been able to preserve the vigour and creativity of their arts and Crafts in a meaningful way, despite or many innovations and adoptions.
One of these traditional art forms is the Sri Lankan Rural theatrical performances commonly reffered to as the NADAGAMA in Sinhala and Natakam in Tamil. Looked at historically, these while essentially non-formalistic in natnre, shows a gradual Transition from a theatrical spectrical spectacle or didactic pageant to a more Complex and Finished Dramatic performances.
The Sinhalese Nadagama as it developed in the 18th and 19th Centuries and Survived into the 20th had a distinctive form and structure. An operatic theatrice, the Nadagama represents a Creative departure from earlier theatrical enactments such as processional displays, group Dances performed by an ebsemble of dancing Girls, ritualperformances which included dramatic interludes or group singing. At the same time, the Sinhalese Nadagama is not a mere Dance Drama, the type found in the South Indian Folk theatre.
However, despite much scholarly attention spread over a period of time, the History of the Sinhalese Nadagama is still beset by conflicting Views and doubtful ascriptions. This book is an attempt to meet this need, endeavouring to lay bare the Roots of the Sri Lankan Nadagama Tradition by examining the Complex history of its Origin and development.