- (Sinhalese: appearance) A type of folk theater from southernSri Lanka. The form apparently developed from ancient fertility rites;the few surviving plays have pregnancy as a recurring theme. The playsare preceded by ceremonial dancing and chanting to honour the godsand to introduce the stock characters, who wear masks to indicatetheir status. The masks are ornate and are usually removed when thedialogue begins.
Kolam performances last all night; they were once animportant focus for village life.