Sculpture & Decorative Arts

Excavation in Maldives have revealed a number of statues in the region. Most of the Statues in Maldives are pre-Islamic and are associated with its earlier Hindu and Buddhist traditions.

Photo Source: Photo Source: Maldives National Museum

Excavation in in Ali Alif Atoll also revealed a Giant Buddha Statue, which had been carefully buried and preserved underground for nearly 800 years. (Pictured Below)

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However, there have been a number of incidence of vandalism in Maldives. The destruction of the Gaint statue of Buddha found in the Thoddu is but one example. More recently in  February 2012, a group of Islamic extremists forced their way into the National Museum in Malé and attacked the museum’s collection of pre-Islamic sculptures, destroying nearly the entire collection of thirty Hindu and Buddhist sculptures dating from the 6th to 12th centuries. To read more about the incident please click here:,10753,0,0,1,0#.UfeeU41gc_8

The Maldives National Museum houses a number of impressive statues from Maldives’s past, for further details please click here:

Decorative Art in Maldives

Stone Carving: Corals have been used as a material in construction of mosque (see the details of the coral mosques of Maldives here), walls, tombstones and in mound. Raw corals are easier to work with and most cases corals are left in the sea and part by part are removed and taken to work with.

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Laajehun (Lacquer Work): Laajehun is made from the combination of juices from trees. The use of lacquer travelled to Maldives via China and Japan. Over the year’s Maldivian craftsman have mastered the use of lacquer and use it for a variety of purposes, and this is applied to a number of objects that inspire the decorative art tradition of Maldives, these include: Wood and metallic, Skin and bone of animal and birds, egg shells, paper products, glass, mud products.


on Maldives Culture
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