A goviya worships rice upon the kamatha or threshing floor
A goviya worships rice upon the kamatha or threshing floor

Agriculture is not an occupation; it is a way of life, closely interwoven with other activities. Every stage in the cultivation cycle—from plowing and sowing, to weeding and harvesting—is accompanied by ceremonies involving song, music and dance. Kandyan dancing has its origins in the Kohomha Kankariya ritual, which is performed in the village after the harvest.

Significantly it is the goviya, or the village priest, who initiates the most important agricultural activities. When the time is auspicious, he steps into the field, singing to the buffaloes as he ploughs: Ohoooo, amma. . .ohooo appo ohooo.' Ohooo" is the sound of the ocean amma is mother, and appo the father. The chant is taken up by every goviya. The season has arrived and rural Lanka reverberates with the sound of her children making giant offerings.

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