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The Malays made a small but important contribution to Sinhalese society by way of pastimes. One such is the rabana, a large circular drum played by women during the Sinhala New Year to the accompaniment of songs known as raban pada. This item has its origins in the Malay rebana, especially the type known as rebana ubi. The Malay term itself seems to derive from the Arabic rabbana ‘Our Lord’, which figures prominently in Islamic devotional music sung to the accompaniment of the drum.

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