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Souce: Sheneller - Angampora - Lost ancient martial art of Sri Lanka

The word Angampora is derived from the words “ANGAM” which translates as “body” and “PORA” which means “fighting”. Many sources claimed that angampora has a history more than 5000 years. Due to this, the history of Angampora is not very clear and hasn’t documented well. Its history is largely based on folklore. Angampora is mentioned in many mythological stories about King Ravana. Many people believe that Angampora was introduced/ originated by king Ravana. According to the contemporary experts in Angampora history, there have been six subject areas related to Angampora Education. Namely, Angampora (Unarmed combat), Elangampora (Armed combat), Maya Angam (Black and white magic), the Art of Dancing and Drumming, Herbal Medicine and Astrology.

This art was outlawed and systematically driven to decline after the establishment of British rule. It was kept alive in secret by families of practitioners, and a vestige of an ancient time has survived to this day. The ban on Angampora in Sri Lanka was lifted lately by the Minister of Sports.

There is a great deal of interest in this art today and it was developed mainly because of mass media. For example, two teledramas which based on Angampora, became very popular during the 90’s and the early 2000’s. That two teledramas were “Dadubasnamanaya” (දඬුබස්නාමානය) and “Akala Sandhya” (අකාල සන්ධ්‍යා) directed by Jayantha Chandrasiri. So basically, many of the ideas that have been developed today regarding Angampora can be pointed out as those formed by the modern media. But it is certainly an amazing culture which shows Sri Lankan form of fighting to the world.


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