Sri Lanka Sports


PORAPOL GAHIMA (Coconut Fighting)

The coconut is symbolic of prosperity, and the nut was orginallt utilized fora purely religious ceramany in honor of the goddess Pattini, the consort of the hindu god Shiva, the term "Pattini"signifying "Wife". Every district Would be divided in to either anorthern and Southern section, or as the left and right banks of the river, and, these contest Were staged between the two to ward off disease or ensure fertility to crops. The northern section was termed the "udu pila" the southern, the "yati pila", and if the former Won it protended a continuation of the sicknes. The captains or "Pol vattadiyas" of the two teams, having celected their heaps of coconut, stand on opposite side of a line drawn in the sand.

A coconut from the yati pila heap is hurled at the face of the striker of the udu pila team who it with a nut held both hands. This is continued untill the striker,s nut cracks with the impact of a coconut hurled from the yati pila Captian be come the striker.
This continues untill all the nuts of one team have been cracked, Whereupon it is adjudged to be the loser. The pitch is 50 feet long. From this religious ceremony arose the common betting game Which varies throughout the country

source: from the book of some sinhala combative, field and aquatic sports and games
            by P.E.P. Deraniyagala 2003 / 2004