Language: Sinhalese
Source: Standard literature


Dẹla or "net" is the Sinhalese term for a decorative motif that consists of a mesh of lines resembling a net.1


Dela work on Sinhalese cane

Dẹla lacquer work decoration on a Sinhalese cane.
Sold by Mandarin Mansion in 2020.


Spine decor on Sinhalese knife

The spine of a Sinhalese knife, decorated with dẹla.
Listed at Mandarin Mansion.


The "netting" on the knife above is done with lozenges, each with an engraving in the center. Coomaraswamy suggests these are either stylized feathers or pineapple skin.2


Further reading

Article: Sinhalese lacquer work

1. See Ananda K. Coomaraswamy; Medieaval Sinhalese Art, Pantheon Books, New York, Second Edition of the 1908 original, 1956. Pages 216-217.
2. Ibid.

Do you have anything for sale?

I might be interested in buying it.

Contact me

With classic cinnabar red, yellow, green and black lacquered decoration.


A very fine example retaining its original lacquered shaft.


Description An antique Sinhalese walking cane,


Often called piha-kaetta, these knives were mainly made by the King's Workshops.


With carved horn hilt and characteristic finger guard.


Rarely seen today, a commoner's example with carved, bone hilt.