Sri Lanka is a land that embraces a rich cultural heritage with a written legacy of over 2500 years. Archaeological evidence further ratifies that Sri Lankans are descended from a dignified creative generation with a great civilization. In a nation with such a magnificent history, it is no longer a secret that arts and crafts have flourished prominently. There are solid evidences that Sri Lankans were involved in the cotton based textile industry as far back as the 6th century BC. Besides, the “Mahindagamanaya” (the arrival of Arahanth Mahinda thero) which founded to initiate all methodical constructions, has served as the chief source of inspiration to the cultural and social achievements of the country. Since then, Sri Lanka takes pride in its extensive variety of handicrafts which have been evolved throughout this long history bringing distinctive Sri Lankan identity to the island.
For centuries, agriculture has been a staple of nations’ economy and society. Tradition of making handicrafts was primeval and integrated with this livelihood which provided all the tools and equipment needed from the kitchen for a rural lifestyle. The designs of these tools and equipment always embellished the creativity embodied with paintings or carvings which highlighted the unique aesthetic thinking of people. History has shown that Sri Lankans were always passionate to create something worth by using clay, metal, wood, stone or any other material by adding value further.
Handicrafts do not simply shoulder the burden of a country’s economy. It features of a greater socio-cultural value which contains unique features which reflect the characteristics of an advanced culture as well as a civilized society. Amid this long history, various arts and crafts evolved and developed as traditional industries that are practiced indeed today. Most importantly these industries are driven in an eco-friendly and healthy manner. Based on all these factors, the National Crafts Council was established under the Parliament Act No. 35 of 1982 with the objective of preserving the local identity of the handicraft industry for the future with a view of promoting, developing, fostering and uplifting the lives of artisans.
Founded on the ‘Visions of Prosperity and Splendour’ ; ten-pronged policy and united with the policy of a ‘Technology-based Society’, the ‘Lak Shilpa‘ website was created in collaboration with the National Crafts Council and the Society of Computer Science of Faculty of Applied Sciences in University of Sri Jayewardenepura, as per the prerequisite by the State Ministry of Industries. The main objective of Lak Shilpa website is to empower the craftsmen spread across Sri Lanka by giving the utmost worth and financial value that can be given nationally and internationally to their products as well as to elevate the pride of Sri Lankan handicrafts to the international level. Here all the artisans spread all over the country are registered under the National Crafts Council and solutions are provided to existing legal barriers and other influences to promote their products. Especially craftsmen are given the opportunity to sell and purchase their products via Lak Shilpa website through the National Crafts Council allowing them to reach great heights with a competitive edge.