Sri Lankan folk music is rhythmic, layered and lilting. It combines the beat of the drum with the chink of tiny cymbals, and the call of the flute with the crescendo of a strong pair of lungs. This pulsing music is made by a whole host of traditional instruments, which are in turn made with local materials using traditional methods.
The hakgediya is a type of conch shell (the shell of a large marine gastropod mollusk) which is used as a kind of trumpet in the traditional ritualistic music and religious folk art-music of Sri Lanka, which has been somewhat influenced by Indian music. The hakgediya is an aerophone, or Susira (wind instrument or aerophone in the language of Pali). This instrument was used mainly in Theravada Buddhist artistic rituals which also involved other categories of instruments such as Ghana, Avanaddha, and Tat (idiophones, membranophones and chordophones respectively).
Below we’ve featured ten of the instruments you’re less likely to encounter outside of the country, but Sri Lankan musicians also use interesting international sound-making contraptions like harmoniums and sitars.