Two ‘Ammas’ with a special Dalada role

By L.B.Senaratne

On the rare occasions when the Sacred Tooth Relic is taken out for exposition, two white-clad female dignitaries are always in attendance, and they are closely involved in the sacred rituals connected with this special religious event.

Referred to as “Alathaya Ammas” and hailing from Lewella, these two women play a role that their female ancestors have enacted for generations.

Over the years, these women have served at the Sri Dalada Maligawa on Wednesdays and Saturdays and on days of special religious significance. The present incumbents in the role of “Alathaya Ammas” are W. G. Loku Menike and U. G. Loku Menike.

The “Alathaya Ammas” are allowed into the inner sanctum of the Sri Dalada Maligawa, which is usually open only to members of the Maha Sangha. The rituals the women conduct in the sanctum are a closely guarded secret.

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Two ‘Ammas’ with a special Dalada role


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