Language: Sinhalese


Liya-vẹla is a type of decorative work that literally means "vegetable ornament". It is one of the hallmarks of Sinhalese work and is found executed in all materials including wood, ivory, horn, silver, gold, and iron, and even embroidery.

It consists of scrollwork of repetitive floral motifs, usually linked in an elongated series.


Liya-vela on a Sinhalese kasthane sword Liya-vela on the silver-clad forte of a Sinhalese kasthané.



Ananda K. Coomaraswamy; Medieval Sinhalese art: being a monograph on medieval Sinhalese arts and crafts, mainly as surviving in the eighteenth century, with an account of the structure of society and the status of the craftsmen, Second Edition, Pantheon Books, New York, 1956. Pages 98-99.


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


With carved horn hilt and characteristic finger guard.


Of nice quality, with unusual openwork silver bolster with serapendiya.


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


With gold koftgari decorated hilt.


The hilt with remains of silver plating.