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Images of the Female in Sri Lankan Art by Sirima Kiribamune

In the words of the Convenors of the South Asia Dialogue what is attempted at this meeting is exploring “the shared perceptions of our artists in the way they reflect certain values and attitudes of fundamental concern to our societies”. My presentation is related to only a small part of this vast exploratory field and has to do with looking at how pre-modern Sri Lankan creative artists have addressed the issue of the position of women in society. The values and attitudes reflected in these creations need to be placed in the wider context of south Asia so that the present discussions can lead to a combined exploration of the roles and status of women in our societies... Download full article.

Women and Social Identity in Ancient and Early Medieval Sri Lanka (3rd Century B.C. to the 10th Century A. D.) by Sirima Kiribamune

Despite numerous chronicles which purport to span the history of Sri Lanka from the mid 6th century B.C. to modern times and the availability of inscriptions engraved on stone dating back to the 3rd century B.C. Sri Lanka’s historical record is not immune to the traditional complaint of all historians of ancient times. The admixture of myth and legend, garbled facts ,gaps in the record, fragmentary evidence, sectarian bias and an uneven distribution of the evidence in terms of time and space are the main issues one grapples with in trying to understand the island’s past. But to the historian of women there is yet another dilemma, for in Sri Lanka as in most other countries, women have to be viewed through the eyes of men... Download full article.