Written by Yasas Ratnayake
I must admit, we have heavily promoted the opinion that Angampora: A Nation’s Legacy in Pictures will be a groundbreaking work. But can we justify it?
Of course we can.
What’s the point of saying something if you don’t mean it? So to cut the chase short, let me elucidate on the content of the book, the key feature of this one-of-a-kind work.
First, let me give you some context into the content. Angampora: A Nation’s Legacy in Pictures was inspired by the book “Helaye Satan Rahasa: Angampora”, a thorough work of research about the art of Angam by Deshamanya Ajantha Mahanthaarachchi, which was published in Singhalese in 2012.
A research book in its essence, “Helaye Satan Rahasa” was mostly text intensive and offered never-before seen insights into Angampora’s lost knowledge, but left the fantastic imagery of the art to the imagination of the reader. The true action and drama behind the story evaded the reader, which is why Angampora: A Nation’s Legacy in Pictures becomes more pertinent since it offers readers a stunning pictorial narrative, giving life to the research through real-life photographs of the art in motion.
In its present state, Angampora: A Nation’s Legacy in Pictures contains approximately 400 pages of stunning photographs. Please do not get us wrong because all 400 pages do not contain images of fighting manoeuvres alone. The book explores the origins and influence of the art in multiple disciplines of arts and crafts of Sri Lankan culture in 14 chapters.
I must reiterate the point that much of the content will reveal an unseen side to Sri Lankan culture, and its groundbreaking quality shines through due to the very fact that most of this information will be presented for the first time. Angampora: A Nation’s Legacy in Pictures will contain the following chapters:
- History – An exploration of the scattered archaeological evidence about an ancient art
- Surviving by Adaptation – The evolution of the art after its banning by the British
- Keepers of the Art – The people who kept the art alive through the centuries
- Training – A thorough exposition of Angam training from initiate to master level
- Combat – Hand to Hand Combat, Locks & Grips, Weapon Combat, and Traditional Combat Rituals
- Weapons – The deadly weapons used in the art of Ilangam or weapon combat
- Pressure Points – The secret and deadly art of pressure points in Angam combat
- Maya Angam – Arcane esoteric practices that have been passed down since ancient times
- Medicine – Ancient remedial practices that survive to this day
- Meditation – The various spiritual exercises that mould the minds of Angam fighters
- Animals and Angam – Combat and training with elephants, horses, and buffaloes
- Drums – The importance and role of traditional drums in Angam
- Angam Armour – Sophisticated armours used by our ancients
- Award Ceremonies – The ceremonial ascension of Angam fighters
This collection of information and photographs were painstakingly sourced over the years, and our effort was to bring everything together to create a unveiling of that buried knowledge in a fashion fitting of its long heritage. We have not released any of the photographs inside the book to the public because we wanted to create an unforgettable impact among readers. But the promise we have made remains the same: a book like none other is on its way.
Prepare to witness a groundbreaking work.