Language: Sinhalese
Source: Standard literature

Description

Gal-bindu (ගල් බින්දු) is the name for a decorative motif that consists of diamond-shaped spots.1

Gal means "stone" and bindu means drop, spot or speck.2

The pattern is alternatively referred to as simply bindu.

 

Gal-bindu

Gal-bindu lacquerwork decoration on the shaft of a Sinhalese patisthānaya.
Sold by Mandarin Mansion in 2019.

 

According to Coomaraswamy, a related pattern is called binduva (බිඳුව) or "drops" which looks like this:

Binduva

Binnduva lacquerwork decoration on the shaft of a Sinhalese patisthānaya.
Sold by Mandarin Mansion in 2019.

 

In a Sinhalese-English dictionary of 1892, bindu and binduva are said to be synonymous so perhaps the appearance of both patterns under different names in Coomaraswamy's work was unintentional.2

 

Overview of Sinhalese decorative lacquer work

 

Lacquered staff

Upper part of a lacquered staff.
From colored drawings by Ethel M. Coomaraswamy.

The above image shows two sections of Sinhalese lacquered staffs. The decorative motifs are as follows:

A. Vẹlpota or pāhaḍe vẹlpota
B. Ādāra-koṇḍu
C. Gal-bindu (ගල් බින්දු) or mori binduva
D. Kola vẹla ("leafy branch") or kaḷas-dangaya
E. Pāhaḍe or palā peti
F. Lanu-dangaya
G. Patura
H. Bō-kola ("bō-leaf")
K. Binduva (බිඳුව) or tani binduva3

 

Notes
1. See Ananda K. Coomaraswamy; Medieaval Sinhalese Art, Pantheon Books, New York, Second Edition of the 1908 original, 1956. Page 216-217.
2. Benjamin Clough; A Sinhalese-English dictionaryWesleyan mission press, Colombo, 1892. Page 423.
3. Ananda K. Coomaraswamy; Medieaval Sinhalese Art, Pantheon Books, New York, Second Edition of the 1908 original, 1956. Explanation of plate XXIV.

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