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Adam's Peak (7352 feet) and Tea Plantations

Adam's Peak (7352 feet) and Tea Plantations

Photographer: Unknown

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1885

Shelfmark: Photo 430/5(6)

Item number: 43056

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of Adam's Peak and tea plantations in Sri Lanka, taken by an unknown photographer in the 1880s. The mountain of the Holy Footprint or Sri Pada, in the Ratnapura district, has been a place of pilgrimage for hundreds of years for Buddhists, Muslims and Hindus as it is believed that Buddha, Adam or Shiva left his footprint on the mountain-top. Tea became the most important crop on the island after the failure of the coffee plantations in the1880s. The success of Sri Lanka as a premier exporter of tea was achieved at enormous cost with aggressive deforestation, as the landscape in the image attests, and is a continuing problem in the country today. The ferry on the furthest bank of the river in the photograph is made from two catamarans bound together with a platform and side-rails attached. Out-rigger canoes or catamarans were originally rafts of three or four logs lashed together and their name comes from the Tamil 'Kattu' (binding) and 'Maram' (wood).

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