The Mutukuda (Royal Pearl Umbrella)

The Mutukuda  (Royal Pearl Umbrella)



The Mutukuda  (Royal Pearl Umbrella) 


The white umbrella was a symbol of royal rank and a vital component of the pancha kakudha bhanda or the five exclusive insignia of royalty. The white umbrella was used by Kings and other royalty including royal army commanders and also used in wars and royal ceremonies. It is usually referred to as Svetacchatra and sometimes also as Dhavala chatra .

The white pearl umbrella or the Mutukuda has been used by the Kauravas from time immemorial. The Mahabharata relates that these were even taken on to the battle field by the Kauravas. The Kauravas of Sri Lanka use the pearl umbrella to date at funerals, along with other royal insignia such as swords, trident, Sun & Moon flag, Makara flag, whisks and lamps.

No other community in Sri Lanka uses such royal symbols at their funerals. In the past, these symbols were also used at Karáva weddings and other family functions, but these customs are almost lost now.


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