Click here for Veddahs, or "Wild Men" of Ceylon, one of the lowest types of the human race.  The Graphic, June 14, 1884.  Editor.
An Unorthodox Reading of Kandy Period Texts1

Professor Gananath Obeyesekere


Let me start by saying that this lecture is a by-product of my current field-work in the somewhat remote parts of Vellassa and Bintänna.  I am working in this region because it is little known anthropologically and historically and I have always felt that a study of the small village shrines and ritual practices of this area might help us understand the manner in which the Vadda worship of dead ancestors, known as nä yakku (yakku having no negative connotation) is articulated with the Sinhala Buddhist belief in selected ancestral heroes who have been subsequently deified in what is sometimes known as the band_ra cult, generally constituting a conglomerate of twelve major gods known as dolaha deviyo.  In addition, this was the region which saw in 1917-18 the first major resistance against British colonial rule and hence Vellassa has special significance in our historical annals.  A large part of the Vellassa and adjoining regions, for example the Monaragala district and the region south of tea country of Namunukala, were known traditionally as vädi rata or even as mah_ vädi rata.  However, there are no longer any Vaddas in the vädi  rata; the residents there claim to be Sinhala Buddhists.  Hence one of the issues that I am investigating is whatever happened to the Vaddas?  In some of the remoter areas of this region informants will volunteer opinions to say that they were Vaddas before they became Sinhala; and they have a plethora of myths that relate to their origins in the Vijaya-Kuveni marriage and many others.  I am sure Dr. Mendis would have been delighted with this information because he was one of the first historians to critically reflect on the early myths of the Mahavamsa and examine their historical salience.  Hence let me start off with the Vijaya myth, which most of you know, and which records the origin of the Vaddas and vindicates their connection as well as separated-ness from the Sinhalas.

Vijaya, as we know from the Mah_vamsa but not from the older Dipavamsa, married the demoness Kuveni who helped him to vanquish her own kinfolk, the yakkhas.   Vijaya later abandoned her for a legitimate union with a princess from Madurai in the Tamil country.  Kuveni herself was killed by her kinfolk; but her two children fled to the hills near the fastnesses of the god Saman and it is from them that the Vaddas were descended.  As for the Sinhalas they are a product of the union between the Vijaya and his followers and the women of the Tamil country which of course means, according to the Mah_Vamsa, that the Sinhalas are a product of a genetic intermixture between a possibly north or eastern Indian group of men who landed in Sri Lanka and Tamil women from Madurai, an interconnection that continued, with ups and downs, right through history.

After the origin myth of Vaddas and Sinhalas the Mahavamsa is singularly silent about the former who seem to disappear from Pali chronicles.  And therefore I shall begin my account with the history which deals with these forgotten and misunderstood peoples of our history, the so-called "aboriginal" peoples living nowadays in rather poor conditions in the area of Bintanna and Maha Oya.  But surely these people had a past, a history if you want to call it that.  There are no "peoples without history" but only peoples whose histories have been forgotten or ignored or simply impossible to reconstruct because of the few records they left behind.  I therefore want to practice what I call a "restorative" analysis wherein I resurrect the Vadda voices from the past, to depict their presence in history and the complexity of their life-ways prior to their final and sad dispersal, and perhaps the extermination of some of them, during the fateful rebellion against the British in 1817-18, and the less fateful but nevertheless harsh confrontation with agricultural development in the Mahavmäli zone.  It is unfortunate that we know the Vaddas only from their remnants in the Maha Oya-Bintanne area and that is because as a thoroughly colonized nation we have absorbed the colonial view of the primitive Vadda that in turn has set an indelible stamp on our knowledge of them.  Hence I want to initially deal with what Friedrich Nietzsche would call the "genealogy" of the primitive Vadda.

Mr. Charles Stevens meets some Veddahs and conciliates them.
The Graphic, November 26, 1887.

Surprised by a wild elephant during the exhumation of the body of a dead Veddah.
The Graphic, November 26, 1887.


The most important Western representation of the Vadda that set the stamp for later characterizations comes from Robert Knox who for the first time in 1681 typologized the Vadda as the "wild man."2

Of these there be two sorts, Wild and Tame. ... For as in these Woods there are Wild Beasts, so Wild Men also.  The Land of Bintan is all covered with mighty Woods, filled with abundance of Deer.  In this Land are many of these wild men: they call themselves Vaddahs, dwelling near no other Inhabitants.  They speak the Chingulayes [Sinhala's] Language. ... They never till the ground for Corn, their Food being only Flesh.3

Knox has a wonderful picture captioned as "A Vaddah or Wild Man" with his bow and arrow and dagger, smoking a huge pipe and wearing a thick loin cloth.  He then goes on to describe the tame Vaddas who owe service obligations to the king, especially tusks, honey and wax and deer's flesh which they bring to the gabadage or royal store-house.  In Knox the fundamental distinction is between wild and tame based, we now know, on a primordial European distinction between nature and culture, the wild ones living in a state of nature without the benefits of culture.4  Hence, says Knox, they are also called Ramba-Vaddahs or hairy Vaddas who, as children of nature, "never shew themselves."5  He had fleeting glimpses of them when he was running away from the Kandyan kingdom, but he could not possibly have had a close look.  Consequently, Knox's representation the wild Vadda must be seen as a product of his fertile imagination as he conveyed it to the engraver of his text.   But what is the significance of the caption "Wild Man"?  I suggest that Knox invented this portrait of the wild man because that is something his late 17th century English public expected to hear.

Neither Knox nor the later scholarly endeavors on the so-callled primitive peoples can be understood outside the larger European context of the fascination with the "wild man."  Richard Bernheimer in his book, Wild Men in the Middle Ages has beautifully documented this European obsession.  Hayden White, and more recently Roger Batra, has recently reexamined this topic.6  And Margaret Hodgen has demonstrated that after the so-called voyages of discovery, the human monsters and wild men of the European middle-ages was being foisted on the savage, on occasion providing a rationale for the extermination of native peoples.  When Columbus traveled into the new world of the Carribean, he did not find any monstrous beings.  Yet he had hesitant references to Amazonians, to a tribe without hair and, in another interesting European representation of wildness, to tailed men or homo caudatus in a remote part of Cuba.7  These ideas sometimes affected physical perception: thus in 1560 the Spanish thought they saw giant men in Patagonia which is the land of "patagones" or "big feet."8  As late as 1765 the English circumnavigator Byron claimed to have seen giants in Patagonia.  It was Wallis and Carteret who a few years later disabused the English public regarding Patagonian giants.9  The popular ideas of the wild man also affected science and other forms of literature.  For example, the great Linneaus in his System of Nature not only classified the world's fauna and flora but also typologized humans into homo sapiens and homo monstrosus, and among the former were wild men.  Even religious reformers like John Wesley were influenced by similar notions of savages as wild men, not fully human.10

The image of the Vadda as the wild man continued into colonial texts both Portuguese and Dutch, though the former did indicate that while Vaddas were no doubt hunters, if not gatherers, they were also fierce warriors.  These colonial texts generally resulted in a narrowing of the Vaddas as primitive peoples.  Early anthropology enshrined this view of the Vadda in 1881 in one of the first standard texts by Sir Edward Tylor: "In the forests of Ceylon are found the Veddas or 'hunters', shy wild men who build bough huts, and live on game and wild honey."11  Parallel with the cultural typification of the Vadda as primitive went a physical typification by very distinguished physical anthropologists such as the Doctors F. and P. Sarasin and Rudolf Virchow, who in grand style measured their scalps, took body measurements, characterized the shape of their noses and hair and systematically defined the Vadda in physical terms.12   The wild Vadda was now given identifying physical features through what one feminist scholar has felicitously labeled the "calipers of the patriarchs."   It was now possible to talk confidently of the Vaddoid type in contrast to the Sinhala (without seriously examining whether there were Sinhalas who shared these features).  These physical anthropologists and early colonial historians were the first to define the Vaddas as "aborigines," though their studies were totally demolished by one of the most discerning of colonial historians, Henry Parker, who wrote sympathetically about Vaddas.  Though respectful of Virchow and others, Parker says that the wild Vaddas he knew had hair "no more frizzly than that of ordinary Sinhalese. ... [It] is tied in a knot at the back of the head, exactly like that of all Sinhalese. ... There is nothing in the figure (except the smaller height), the features, or the ordinary coiffure, and very little in the average colour of the skin, to distinguish the Vadda from many low-caste Kandians found in the northern and north-west Sinhalese districts.13  Some colonial historians thought that Vaddas wore leafy garments to cover their nudity which is a detail intrinsic to the European conception of the wild man.14  Vaddas were never nude; and in any case branches were hardly a sensible way to cover ones nudity.  Again it was Parker who showed that when Kandyan Sinhalas and Vanniyars stalked animals they used to disguise themselves by wearing such twigs or branches round their waists, as the Vaddas also probably did.15

Perhaps as a result of early psuedo-scientific studies the Vaddas achieved a kind of popular notoriety.  Many Europeans wanted to see the Vadda as a specimen of the wild man, or a copy of the primitive Australian aborigine, from the comfort of the Government Rest (Guest) House, for it was widely believed, on the flimsiest evidence, that the Vaddas were culturally, genetically and physiologically related to the Australian aborigines.   The Seligmanns noted in their classic work on the Vaddas:

The Veddas have long been regarded as a curiosity in Ceylon and excite almost as much interest as the ruined cities, hence Europeans go to the nearest Rest House on the main road and have the Danigala Veddas brought to them.  Naturally the Veddas felt uncomfortable and shy at first, but when they found that they had only to look gruff and grunt replies in order to receive presents they were quite clever enough to keep up the pose.  In this they were aided by the always agreeable villagers ever ready to give the white man exactly what he wanted.  The white man appeared to be immensely anxious to see a true Vedda, a wild man of the woods, clad only in a scanty loin cloth, carrying his bow and arrows on which he depended for his subsistence, simple and untrained, indeed, little removed from the very animals he hunted.16

Naturally the European curiosity was satisfied by the Nilgala headrnen who brought Vaddas properly attired as wild men to show them to the European.  The Vaddas of Dambana were also easily accessible from the Government Rest House at Alutnuvara.   The Seligmanns somewhat unfairly called them "show Veddas" because they "have been sent for so often by white visitors that they have learnt certain tricks, which they show directly they see a European."17  Village Vaddas were also not exempt from these performances of what I would call "self- primitivization."  Parker notes that photos of village Vaddas were exhibited in Kandy to "represent men with wild unkempt frizzly locks; but I have never seen anything of the kind in their own districts, and it is probable that the heads of those who have been so portrayed have been 'made up' specially to increase their wild appearance," a fact confirmed, says Parker, by their Sinhala neighbors.18   Both the Danigala and Dambana Vaddas were no longer exclusively hunters; they had for a long time taken to hena or swidden cultivation, even keeping cattle, and lived in close contact with neighboring Sinhalas.  In the early part of the 20th century a few continued to use bows and arrows; others had shotguns, while yet others borrowed guns from the Sinhala.19  A picture that appeared in the New York Times sometime ago by Viveca Stegborn, a Vadda rights activist, showing Vaddas of Maha Oya carrying bows and arrows and in a stalking posture must very likely have been posed to convey the idea of "indigenous people" living close to nature and now being threatened by extermination - a hugely successful ploy as far as the UN committee on the rights of indigenous people were concerned.  Today's Vaddas, unlike their predecessors, are abysmally poor archers; I can vouch that for a fact from our personal knowledge of them in the field.

It seems the Vaddas of Dambana and Danigala (no longer a Vadda enclave) had taken over the persona of the wild man expected of them by the European.  Theirs was a mimesis of savageness: half naked, carrying a bow and arrow and displaying its uses, gruff, morose, distant and glum.  Some colonial observers even said that the Vaddas did not have a language; others that the Vaddas did not laugh.  All this was simply a phenomenon of Vaddas acting the wild man role, but done so well as to fool Europeans; and I am sure that Vaddas, like good actors, enjoyed playing that role.  Thus the Vadda as a "wild man" was being created for the European by the not-so-wild Vaddas.   Soon this image was being perpetuated for those Sinhala middle class people who, in their own mimesis of colonialism, have imbibed much of the Vadda mythology created by the European.  I have seen Dambana Vaddas during the 1950s and 1960s line the road to Mahiyangana carrying their bows and arrows waiting to perform their act of wildness, at which they were now past-masters.  They also demonstrated to the awed Sinhalas the nature of their strange language, now known as vädi basava or "Vadda language," helping thereby to further distance Vadda from Sinhala.  Today both Sinhala and foreign tourists line up to take photographs of the present Vadda chief, a lone symbol of a vanishing primitive "tribe," along with fellow "aborigines" or _div_si in his own no-longer-very-primitive environment.

The first modern work on the ethnography of the Vaddas was that of the Seligmanns in their classic study The Veddas published in 1911 based on actual fieldwork.   Yet, although they made acute observations on Vadda religion the Seligmanns too were paradoxically caught in the dilemma of representing the "true," "pure," or "genuine" Vadda.20  For them "show Vaddas" were phony Vaddas whereas true Vaddas displayed unique physical and cultural characteristics.  Right through this important book the Seligmanns are concerned with "pure Vaddas," some of whom are "purer" than others, pure and purer being defined in terms of three criteria, namely, physical appearance, blood and cultural integrity.  Thus the Seligmanns have a three-fold classification: Vaddas, Village Vaddas and Coast Vaddas, and only the first are the true Vaddas.  The coast Vaddas are the least interesting because "they have much Tamil blood in their veins, and though often taller than pure Veddas, some still retain an appearance which suggests their Vedda origin."21  The Seligrnanns give short shrift to village Vaddas in general and are especially harsh on those, like the Malgode Vaddas of Sorabora, who have "dropped their old Vedda customs so entirely that the local Sinhalese no longer look upon them as true village Veddas."22  Finally the Seligmanns are totally dismissive of those Vaddas who are "half-bred" and "degenerate" and "will soon be entirely lost among the Sinhalese."23

Given their interest in the "real" Vadda, one would have thought that the Seligmanns would be able to deal with them at length, but there weren't many left.   The Danigala Vaddas were physically pure but culturally Sinhala; and the Kovil Vannamai were "badly off and in varying conditions of ill health and malnutrition."  The Seligmanns report that "after visiting so many decaying or degenerate communities a refreshing state of affairs was found at Sitala Vanniya."   This was the only group that represented both physical and cultural integrity but unfortunately for the Seligmanns there were only four families left!24  It seems that the Seligmanns' construction of Vadda culture and society was based on these four families supplemented by imaginative reconstructions of "genuine" Vadda culture from the other groups they visited.  They could not for a moment recognize that those not-so-pure, play-acting Vaddas who lived by pastoralism, swidden (hena) cultivation and hunting might have important information on their own life-ways than those poverty-sticken hunting and cave dwelling Vaddas they studied for their ever-elusive purity of blood and culture.


This picture of Vadda primitivism is not entirely false and it is no doubt the case that small groups of hunters, both Vadda and Sinhala, did live in the conditions depicted by colonial historians.  Yet the popular idea of the Vaddas as a homogenous primitive group of hunters and gatherers living in Bintanna, a heavily forested area when the Seligmanns did field work, would have been dispelled if they ventured into the Anuradhapura district.  We now know from James Brow's pioneer study Vedda Villages of Anuradhapura (1978) that here were different kinds of Vaddas, living in about sixty communities, practising agriculture, just like their Sinhala neighbors.   They were also formally Buddhist and yet their self-identification was not Sinhala but Vadda and interestingly they thought that their professional identity was that of "hunter," even though hunting was no longer their main occupation.25

The best place to reexaniine Vadda primitivism is Bintanne which Knox and everyone else believed was the habitat of the wild Vaddas.  In early British times Bintanne was a desolate place and the famous stupa at Mahiyangana was in disrepair.  But let us go back into the corridors of time and memory and have another look at Bintanne in the early 17th century when it was mostly known as Bintanne-Alutnuvara in both indigenous and Dutch colonial texts.  When the two names are conjoined, the term does not refer to a wilderness region but to the important city of Alutnuvara.  The term Bintanna means "the plains" or "the flat country" and is etymologically equivalent to Mahiyangana.  But why, one might ask, the name Alutnuvara?

Alutnuvara means "the new city" and is an alternative capital of the kings when the "the old city" of Kandy was threatened by the Portuguese and later the Dutch.  The Kandyan kings had several such alternative residences such as Diyatilaka-nuvara, now known as Hanguranketa, and Nilambe near Galaha but the major alternative capital was Alutnuvara.26  Dutch accounts from around 1602 show it as a place where "the old Emperors used to hold court as it is a beautiful city where there are many large streets, beautiful buildings and wonderful pagodas or heathen temples and among others there is one whose base is 130 paces round, extraordinarily beautiful, very tall .... In it is also a beautiful and large palace of the Emperor full of beautiful buildings within.  Here the best galleys and sampans of the Emperors are made.  Here are also many shops but no market, stone monasteries and a great many bamboo [bark?] houses which stretch for a mile or two in distance along the river.27  Another says it is "one of the most beautiful cities of the entire island where everything that one thinks of can be obtained."  Then, as well as now, Bintanna-Alutnuvara was a place where Vaddas met Sinhala Buddhists, but Vaddas were probably the dominant population here.  Because it was an alternate capital Alutnuvara was a way station for embassies from the east coast ports, especially Batticaloa and Trincomalee, traveling to Kandy.  Hence another account from such a Dutch embassy gives a vivid description of the temple rituals and processions including bare-breasted women dancers whom I suspect were Vadda women associated with the Saman devale and honoring their own deities housed therein.  "The most beautiful maidens, ere the procession goes out and comes in again, perform many wondrous feats with dancing; they are all with naked bodies bare above, the arms, hands and ears half adorned with gold and precious stones; below they have handsome embroidered clothes."28   The Saman devale at Ratnapura had a tradition of dancing women which was first recorded by the Portuguese historian Femao de Queyroz in 1630; from his castigation of the "profanity of heathenism" and "that shameful practice" one might justifiably infer that the dancers were bare-breasted (which is nothing unusual because in everyday life women at that time were bare-breasted anyway.)29

When the need arose the kings sent their families to Bintanna-Alutnuvara to be guarded by the Vaddas of that region because of their fierce loyalty.  Rajasinha II, one of the greatest of the Kandyan kings, was born here, as attested both by Knox and also in the last book of the Mah_vamsa.30  It is not likely that the Vaddas, at least those who served the king, were the shirtless savages of the European and bourgeois imagination.  There is at least some confirmation of well-dressed Vaddas from de Queyroz writing in 1688:

Though these people are so wild, in no other has the King of Candea greater confidence, for in men left to their own nature, where shrewdness grows there grows malice.  The Bedas of Vilacem [Vellassa] have in their keeping the treasure of that King, for which he chooses twelve of these men, and as a distinction he given them twelve ear-rings of silver and canes with ornaments of silver with garments different from the others, that they may be known and respected; and they come by night to speak with the King on what concerns his service.  In the straits of war, as on the occasions when the Portuguese entered Candea, the Kings entrust to them their wives, and they have made for them houses in their fashion in these jungles and woods, very clean and with many flowers; and as they have little elegance, they must have done it on the instruction of the same Kings.  For a space of twelve leagues of inaccessible thickets from Vilacem to the first Chain of mountains of Baticalou, they must have built about fifty houses, on thwart the other, where our arms neither reached nor were able to cause any damage, because of the careful watch they kept, and because of the incredible ruggedness of those places, sought for and varied on purpose.31

It seems that twelve was the standard number for such groupings; a Dutch account of 1762 mentions "two Adigar brothers [visting Kirinde in Ruhuna] together with a few minor Kandyan chiefs ... were escorted by twelve Vaddas and fourteen other bowmen composing the bodyguard of the Adigars."32  And other accounts substantiated Queyroz's view that Vaddas had easy access to the king and familiarly referred to him as "cross-cousin" or massina:

Once a year the Vedas send two deputies with honey and little presents to the king.   When they arrive at the gate of the palace, they send word to his majesty that his cousins wish to see him.  They are immediately introduced.  They then kneel, get up, and inquire of the king, rather familiarly, about his health.  The king receives them well, takes their presents, gives them others, and orders that certain marks of respect be shown them on their retiring form the palace.33

Lest you imagine that well-dressed Vadda soldiers were an exclusive Kandyan period phenomenon let me refer you to their regiment in the army of Parakramabahu 1 (1 153-1186): "He [the king] trained many thousands of hunters [vy_dha, that is, Vaddas] and made them skilled in the use of their weapons, and gave them swords, black clothes and the like"34


I now want to demonstrate the presence of Vaddas in virtually every part of the nation after the 16th century during the period of the Kotte, Kandy and Gampola kings.  I will use what I call "intermediate texts," mostly palm leaf manuscripts from this period written in simple Sinhala by local intellectuals and sometimes ordinary literate citizens rather than the classic histories written by monks.  I will initially deal with ritual texts from such post harvest ceremonies like the kohomb_ kank_riya.  Then 1 will use the following intermediate texts: kadaimpot or "boundary books" that demarcate the boundaries of the island and also of regions and districts;35 vamsa kath_ especially a short text known as vadi vamsaya and a much longer one, vanni rajavaliya; then I will sample a fascinating and enormously prolific genre known as vitti pot, or "stories about episodes or events;" and finally, I shall briefly refer to a few lekam rniti or land-tenure registers.  Especially famous ones like the sabaragamuva hi lekam mitiya are well-known to scholars though few have used thern.36   Incidentally, all of these intermediate texts give us invaluable information on the migration of different kinds of people to Sri Lanka mostly from southern India (not necessarily Tamil Nadu) but also from Southeast Asia.  We are in the process of transcribing a few of these texts and I will only present a sampling from the ones I am familiar with.

An  adventure while gathering honey - Leap or Starve.
The Graphic, November 26, 1887.

The Veddah with his axe encounters and defeats bruin.
The Graphic, Nov ember 26, 1887

1. My first example is a ritual text known as vaddan andagahima, or "roll-call of the Vaddas," sung during the well-known ritual of the kohomba kankariya which suggests that the Vadda territory was practically coterminous with that of the Kandyan Sinhalas.  In two texts of vaddan andagdhima, one edited by Charles Godakumbura and the other by Mudiyanse Disanayake, over ninety Vadda villages are mentioned.  The Vaddas of Bintanna are not included, presumably because they were unknown to the composers of these texts37'  No reference is made to Vaddas living in Sri Lanka's Sabaragamuva province either, which according to the Mahavamsa account was where Kuveni's children went.  Some of the Vadda areas are familiar to those living in and around the modern city of Kandy such as Asgiriya, Bogambara and Hantana while others are well known to many of us: Batalagala, Gomiriya, Maturata, Hunnasgiriya, Lower Dumbara, Kotmale, Nuvara Eliya, Kehelgamuva and Uragala.   Needless to say these are all Sinhala (and estate Tamil) areas today.  These lists are by no means exhaustive: but they are almost always from the area around Kandy, the North Central Province, the Dumbara and Kotmale valleys and Uva.  Lest die-hard empiricists think that the evidence from the kohomb_ kank_riya is of little value I might add that the kingdom of Kandy itself was founded by Vikramabahu (c. 1474-1511) in what was known as "Katupulle bada Senkandha naine Srivardhanapura" a highfaluting name for what was earlier called the village of Katupulla and ruled by a Vadda chief known as Katupulle Vadda.  Equally interesting is the fact that the Kandyan kings had a kind of police force known as katupulle atto which I am sure was constituted by the Vaddas of that name.38

2. My second sampling is from the matale kadaimpota ("the book of boundaries of the Matale district"), and I will use Abeywardene's edition.  For us Matale would be unthinkable as a habitat for Vaddas because its present inhabitants are mostly Sinhala, followed by later immigrants into the region, Muslims and estate Tarnils. Yet the matale kadaimpota written around the mid 17th century presents an entirely different picture.  In this account the king of Matale, Vijayapala, the older brother of Rajasinha II, summoned Niyarepola Alahakon Mohottala, and asked him to name the denizens (lit. men and animals) of Matale and the reply was: "Lord, there are only three [noble] houses in the rata of Matale" and when the king asked what these houses were, "Lord, there is Kulatunga Mudiyanse of Udupihilla, Vanigasekere Mudiyanse of Aluvihara, Candrasekere Mudiyanse of Dumbukola [Dambullal], [and then also] Gamage Vadda and Hampat Vadda of Hulangamuva, and when the king asked who are there in the lands beyond (epita rata), Lord on the other side of the steep waters (hela kandura) of Biridevela, there is Kannila Vadda guarding (hira kara hitiya) at Kanangamuva, and He'rat Banda guarding at Nikakotuva, and Maha Tampala Vadda guarding at Palapatvala, Domba Vadda guarding at Dombavela gama, Valli Vadda (a female?) guarding at Vallivela, Mahakavudalla Vadda guarding at Kavudupalalla, Naiyiran Vadda [some texts Nayida] guarding at Narangamuva, Imiya Vadda guarding at Nalanda, Dippitiya Mahage [a female] guarding an area of nine gavuvas in length and breath in the district known as Nagapattalama, and Makara Vadda and Konduruva employed in the watch of the boundary (kadaima), Mahakanda Vadda guarding the Kandapalla [today's Kandapalla korale], Hempiti Mahage guarding Galevela, Baju Mahage guarding the Udasiya Pattuva of Udugoda Korale, Minimutu Mahage guarding the [same] Pallesiya Pattuva, Devakirti Mahage guarding Melpitiya ..."39

The text then goes on to mention that outside of these vadi vasagam (some versions say vddi vamsa), there are the many Brahmins who had arrived long ago with the sacred bo tree and are now settled in this district.

Parker mentions a related document from the same period which gives the same list but adds a few more: The Vadda chief of Hulangomuva, Yahimpat Vadda, and Kadukara of Bibile (in the Matale district).40 Other versions of this text also have extra information. These are special lists and do not indicate the true extent of the Vadda presence in this district because they mention only Vaddas guarding the frontier.  We get a glimpse of the larger picture from Archibald Lawrie's A Gazetteer of the Central Province written in the 1890s41." He lists about thirty more villages which were Sinhala when he made his inquiries but, according to local traditions, were once peopled with Vaddas.  Let me briefly refer to a few:

1. Ambanpola: in Asgiriya Pallesiya Pattuva, Matale South, the name of which is derived from Ambanpala Vadda.  "The inhabitants are descended from Konara Vedda and Dahaneka Vedda, descendants of Ambanpala."42  Even in Lawrie's time only the tradition of the founders remained because his notes suggest that the village was occupied by Kandyan upper castes.43

2. Ambitiyava [Embitiyawa]: in Asgiri Udasiya Pattu, Matale South; the vasama or headrnan's division includes Dorakumbura, Matalepitiya, and Naldeniya villages.   "The tradition is that it derives its name from Embi, a Vedda woman, who was the first settler."44

3. Galagama: Asgiriya Pallesiya Pattuva, Matale South, in Yatavatta vasama.   Lawrie recorded a long and fascinating history, most importantly that the village was founded by "the daughter of King Wira Parakrama Bahu [c. late 15th century], of Nevugala Nuwara, alias, Galagama Nuwara, who was married to a Vedda king of the city of Opaigala."

4. Pottota-vela: in Gaugala Udasiya Pattu, Matale East, now a small village of farmers but which was "first settled by a Vedda named Huwan-kumaraya ["noble prince"], who covered his house with bark ."45 The name of the founder suggests a high status Vadda.46

5. Puvakpitiya: in Gangala Udasiya Pattu, Matale East, which in Lawrie's time included Vellalas, aristocratic families and castes of Pannayo, Weavers, Washers and Smiths.   Yet, "the original settler was a Vedda named Hapu Ratnekala. He first planted arecanut trees [in this area?]."47 The name of the village Puvakpitiya means  "field of arecanut trees."

6. Madavala: in Gampahasiya Pattuva, Matale South which has a tradition that "a Vedda named Herat Bandara formed this village," which once again implies a Vadda with a Sinhala type name.48

7. Udugama: in Gampahasiya pattuva, Matale South.  The vasama includes the following villages: Udugama, Ellepola, Madagama and Golahenvatta. "Herat Bandara, son of the Vedda King of Opaigala, was the original settler." Thus the Vadda king's son is a Bandara (a Kandyan aristocrat) and settled in a Sinhala area; or the Sinhala area was also originally Vadda.  In Lawrie's time it was a multicaste village including Vellalas and Mudaliperuva; perhaps the latter were descendants of Herat Bandara.49   The royal Vaddas of Opaigala are mentioned in other intermediate texts also.

Finally, consider that, according to Lawric, virtually all of Laggala Pallesiya Pattu consisting of 155 square miles was originally Vadda and especially the villages of Hanvalla, Kelanvela, Ranamure, Galgedivela, Maraka, Himbiliyakada, Oggomuva, and Uduvelvela. During the course of my own field work in the late 1950s and early 60s the tradition was that many of the villages of Laggala Udasiya Pattu were also once Vadda.

Consider the implications of this information.  The Vaddas mentioned above have names which suggest a variety of social backgrounds: you have Vaddas that have lineage names like Gamage associated with members of the ordinary farmer (govigama) caste in many parts of the Sinhala country. There are names that might well be unique to Vaddas of this region because they are not recognizably Sinhala ones, for example, Imiya Vadda, Makara, Hampat, Konduruva.  One Vadda, Herat Banda, has a straightforward Sinhala name; and in Lawrie's list there are two Vaddas named Herat Bandara which normally one would think were simply Sinhalas of "good families."  Three Vaddas have the word "Maha" or chief or a similar term attached to their names suggesting persons of great importance, such as Huwan Kumaraya, "Noble Prince."  Then there is Kadukara ("sword-weilding Vadda") of Bibile whose name suggests expertise in swordsmanship - an interesting finding because Seligmann says that Vaddas simply did not have swords (even though Vadda derived rituals I have witnessed have sword dances). Most fascinating are the five Vadda "Mahages", that is, women who are heads of presumably Vadda villages and also engaged like their male counterparts as guards at watch posts, contradicting all of the latter day information of Vadda women as shy creatures kept under strict protection by their menfolk.  The tradition of female Vadda chiefs is indirectly confirmed by Lawrie who mentions a Vadda woman Ambi as the founder of Arnbitiyava village.  Now for the final thrust: Lawrie refers to a Vadda King of Opaigala who married the daughter of a Sinhala king, Vira Parakrama Bahu, a strategic alliance between two kings. His son was significantly named Herat Bandara in Sinhala style and he founded the village of Udugama and was perhaps the ancestor of distinguished Kandyan aristocrats, the Udugamas and Ellepolas.  It therefore seems, that as far as the Vaddas of Matale are concerned, they were as internally differentiated as the Sinhalas though they probably did not have anything approximating the latter's caste system; and some were clearly already adopting high status Sinhala narnes.50

What about occupational and economic differentiation in Lawrie's list? The term Vadda comes from vy_dha to pierce, that is to hunt, but it is wrong to think that this was their exclusive occupation.  Lawrie provides some hints that Vaddas were also agriculturalists as, for example, the founder of a village who was the first to cultivate arecanuts.  Other reports hint at agriculture as this note by Lawrie indicates: "The tradition is that a Vedda of Weragama in Bintenna shot an elk, which after receiving the wound ran as far as the swamp of Iriyagolla and fell down there.  The Vedda followed in the track of the elk and secured it.  The Vedda, seeing the mira was capable of being asweddumized [that is, brought under cultivation], mentioned it to the King of Sitawaka, who said, 'Thou had'st better asweddumize and settle there.'   He did so."51  Here is a therne 1 shall take up later, that of Sinhala kings of this period engaged in opening lands for agricultural development, in this case aided by a Vadda. I would think that the Vaddas who had Sinhala names like Herat Bandara would have also practiced agriculture in addition to hunting as much as the Sinhalas of this area belonging to the farmer caste practised hunting in addition to agriculture during that very period.

3. My third example is from a text known as the vddi vamsaya ("the Vadda dynasty") and deals with an event in the kingdom of Gampola.  The text says that in the Vadipattuva of Migahagoda a daughter of a Vadda named Na Hami married Didiya Tulane Mativalagedera Srimattu.  She had ten sons and one daughter, Sangiti.  The sons were under the employ of King Vira Parakkan of Gampola (also known as Kundapola, the latter a Tamil gotra name, probably a minor raja of Tamil origins living as a Sinhala king.)  The Vadda sons were all employed by the king as warriors.  The following heroic deeds were performed on behalf of the king by these Vaddas:

1 . When the king's elephant went mad and attacked and killed people the king ordered it to be killed and his tusks brought to him.  This was done by the first son, Kala hami and the pleased king delimited a special area and gave him the village of Kalalpitiya.

2. The second son informed the king of a treasure trove in Kalatota village; the king gave him Paranavela village in recognition of his services.

3. The third son found a picture or statue of a king where there bee hive; he collected the honey and the picture and was given Daliya village.

4. The fourth son Rusi Hami killed a homed sambhur and brought it to the king who gave him Verigama village.

5 . The fifth Vilahami informed the king that there was silver in Hindagoda gala and the king gave him Halanagama.

6. The sixth Nimalahami with his sister Sangiti's husband and his brother (that is, his two massinas) straightened a tree that had fallen across the palace and they were given Viyangoda.

7. While out hunting in the Digana forest the seventh found a rock with a peacock engraved on it indicating a treasure.  The pleased king gave Maha-ala gama.

8. Because the king had an enemy known as Nayaka Bandara he ordered his enemy's head chopped off and brought to him which the eighth son obligingly did and he was given Galaulla gama.

9. The king's dakum pandura (gifts offered to the king by his subjects) 9 was being stealthily robbed by Kapuru Bandara who rode a mima (or miva, buffalo).   His head was also given to the king by the last two sons Tika Hami and Bala Hami who were given Galgoda gama.

The details and boundaries or sima of these villages are given.  The ten brothers collectively went to the king with dakum panduru of lots of bolu mas (the back cut) of several sambhur deer.  They said they wanted a palantiya, that is, a new honorable sumame or v_sagama name.  The king asked the king of the Vaddas (vaddi raj_) to find ten women from any group as brides for the ten Vaddas. The Vidda king procured for them ten women with such lineage names as Mudiyanse, Nayide, Rajapaksa, Karasinha, Abeysinha and lesser vasagamas such as Deva kula, Dura and Sudu Hakuru.  These Vaddas then were given a new palantiya name: Pendi Duraya (which nowadays might suggest low status but certainly was not the case in Kandyan times).   I leave you to assess the significance of this text but it does indicate I think a process where one Vadda family breaks away from a larger lineage and is given a new name and caste status. Vadi vamsaya illustrates another feature of these types of texts: the focus is on some special service performed for the king but this ignores the larger context.  More likely these were warriors in the service of the king and the titles and honors recognize this fact but the literary convention is to mention one outstanding act only.

4. The fourth example is from the vanniye kadaim pota ("the boundary book for the Vanni"), the disputed area very much in the news today.  It deals with an event (vitti) in the life of Panikki Vadda, an elephant catcher for King Bhuveneka Bahu of Sitavaka (circa mid 1511 century), and living in Eriyava, near Galgamuva in the Kurunagala district. He was obviously an important person for his adventures are repeated in four other intermediate texts, including the vanni r_j_valiya and a verse ballad.  When Panikki Vadda captured a tusker for the king, the latter granted him lordship of the four Vanni districts or pattus, namely, Puttalam Pattu, Munessaram Pattu, Demala Pattu, and the Wanni Hat Pattu, and honored him with the title "Bandara Mudiyanse."52 One of his assistants is named as Dippitigama Liyana Vadda Lekam (also known as Nikapitigama Liyana Vadda) no doubt a scribe who was part of this chief's entourage.  Other texts indicate that the latter was granted the chieftain-ship when Panikki Vadda died.  Panikki Vadda had twelve chiefs under his command called panikki r_las and this text, as well as another vitti pota, gives a list of these panikki r _las, the soldiers in their command (which numerically were not many) and detailed descriptions of the lands they were given for services rendered to the king.  As with the Matale Vaddas these villages are now Kandyan Sinhalas.  It can be assumed that the descendants of these distinguished Vaddas became Bandara Vaddas and then merged with the Sinhala Bandara aristocracy.   Panikki Vadda himself was deified at his death and he is still propitiated in rituals over a vast area of Bintanna- Vellassa that I am familiar with from my fieldwork.

5. I will briefly draw your attention to the final example from land-tenure registers or lekam miti. I haven't begun to study these yet in any detail but I have read two texts of these land tenure registers from Pata and Uda Dumbara from 1798 and 1819.   These give lists of families of Vaddas living in this region with documentation of the nature of their houses, the lands they cultivate, the cattle they own and the names of members of their families.  In Udispattuva, also in Dumbara, there are references to 36 families of Vaddas living in nine villages, presumably alongside Sinhala castes.   Similar lekam miti for Maturata korale mentions 25 families of dada vadi durayi ("hunter-vaddas of the dura caste[?]". I doubt that it is possible to identify any of these families as Vadda today.

I want to make it clear that the Vaddas were everywhere in this island, and not only in the places listed by me earlier.  Thus the Parevi Sandesaya written in the mid-15th century refers to daughters of Vaddas in the area below the Sumanakuta Peak (Samanalakanda, Sri Pada) where, according to the Vijaya myth, the son and daughter of Kuveni originally settled down .53 This is in the present- day Sabaragamuva province; the etymology of that word means "the country of the sabaras" or "hunters" and identical with the etymology of Vadda.  It is therefore not surprising to find plenty of references to place names in Sabaragamuva that indicate previous Vadda presence: vddi pangu ("Vadda land share"), vddi kumbura ("Vadda rice fields"), vadivatta ("Vadda gardens") and vadd_gala ("Vadda rock") where a Sinhala village is now located.  The Paravi Sandesaya also mentions groups of Vadda men and women in the area south of Colombo, around Potupitiya and Kalutara.54 There were a lot more in this same general area as late as 1805 because one British observer reported having seen "[Vadda] tribes who inhabit the west and southwest quarters of the island between Adam's Peak and the Raygam and Pasdan cories [korales] ... and are much less wild and ferocious than those who live in the forests of Bintan."55 One of the most interesting place names on the border of Sabaragamuva and the Southern Province ("Ruhuna" in the old political geography) is known as habarakada, "the gateway of the sabaras (hunters)." In the 1960s, when I did fieldwork in this area, the tradition was strong that this was where Vaddas and Sinhalas met to barter and trade. I also have ritual texts that postdated the 15th century which say that it is a bad omen if you see a Vadda coming from the direction of Rubuna, the southemmost province of Sri Lanka.  Finally, the evidence of the Seligmanns and more recently the work by Jon Dart suggest that Tamil-speaking Vaddas were found in parts of the Vanni and the Northern Province, a presence marked in some Dutch maps of Sri Lanka.56


Vadda loyalty to the Kandyan king is seen with extreme clarity and detail when the Sinhalas and Vaddas of Vellassa and Viyaluya began their revolt against the British in 1817 and which soon spread all over the Kandyan provinces in the most serious challenge to British rule ever mounted in Sri Lanka .57 The rebellion itself began over local issues related to the district of Vellassa in and around the region near the modern town of Bibile.58  The Muslim traders who were loyal to the British lived in three villages in this area but they were as always under the control of Sinhala chiefs.  When Governor Brownrigg in a tactical move to control local chiefs gave the Muslims their own chief or Muhandiram the Sinhala nobility in the area harassed them. This anti-Muslim movement later lead to resistance against British rule itself when there emerged a claimant to the throne, Dorai Svami, who was believed to be in the direct line of descent from the Nayakkar kings.  He wore the robe of a Buddhist monk and proclaimed himself king in the Kataragama dev_le, demanding the sword and regalia left by the deposed king and when these were granted he toured the area of Vellassa in royal style.59 At Pubbare he was received as royalty and he exchanged his robe "for a white and a colored cloth, a fine shawl, and a red turban embroidered with gold which Kivulegedera [a Vadda chief] produced."60  Soon the notorious D'Oyly, the government resident in Kandy and master spy for the British, found that Dorai Svami was in Kokagala, the sacred peak for the Vaddas in the Bintanna area, under the protection of Kivulegedera Mohottala.  "There the Prince proclaimed that Kataragama Deviyo had given him the Kingdom which foreigners had seized, and that he was the third in line in descent from Raja Sinha, imprecating on himself the God's vengeance if what he stated was untrue."61 The Rate Rala of Maha Badulugama prostrated himself before the Prince and swore allegiance while Kivulegedera Mohottala was proclaimed Disava of Valapana, the area west of his own division of Viyaluva.

Who was Kivulegedera? He belonged to a distinguished line of Bandara Vaddas and he was also a Mohottala, that is, an important Kandyan official.  Kivulegedera itself is a village in Viyaluya, a district adjacent to both Vellassa and Valapane.  It is one of the most beautiful villages I have seen in the dry zone, ringed by mountains on one side and fed by a perennial stream (kivula).  What is striking from the point of view of this paper is that throughout the rebellion the Prince sought refuge in this wild country under the protection of the Vaddas and was escorted by them.  During the height of the rebellion when D'Oyly sent his stooge, Udugama Unnanse, a Buddhist monk and spy for the British, to seek the Prince, the latter not only gave this monk permission to visit him but he even "furnished him with an escort of Vaddo."  The claimant's palace itself was a makeshift affair but it was still considered a temporary capital or a "gamanm_lig_va" or "circuit palace" with much of the symbolic meanings attached to the "city" of the king.

The next phase in the British search for Dorai Svami was when D'Oyly ordered John Sylvester Wilson, the Resident of Badulla and a thoroughly decent colonial officer, to seek information about him.  Wilson dispatched a party of Muslirns who proceeded to Dankumbura in Bintanna only to learn that the "stranger," as the claimant to the throne was called, was eight miles north in Keheulla with an armed guard of two hundred Vaddas.  But the British force was confronted at Bakinigaha by a large force of Sinhalas who captured the Muslim chief.  He was taken to the Prince and sentenced to death.  When Wilson was informed of this disaster he himself went into this area and once again had to deal with armed Sinhala villagers under local chiefs.  Wilson tried to negotiate with them but they would have none of it.  He sent his force back and retired into the stream nearby in order to defecate.  There he was killed by Sinhala arrows: a not very-glorious way of dying, a not-very-glorious way of killing.  Yet, who shot Douglas Sylvester Wilson is as much of a point of honor for Sinhala people in this area just as who killed Captain Cook was for Hawaiians.62 To this day various Sinhala families in Vellassa vie with each other for that somewhat dubious honor.63 A week after Wilson's death the Prince "assumed the name Viravikrama Sri Kirti and appointed the Household officials whom court etiquette rendered necessary."64

Simon Sawers, D'Oyly's trusted second in command, was sent to Badulla on 27 October, 1817 to oversee matters.  The well-known Kandyan chief Kappitipola Nilarne was also sent by D'Oyly to Badulla and another chief Dulvava was sent to Valapane, the region which was given to Kivulegedera by the Prince.  Kivulegedera's people chased Dulvava away and tore his banner to shreds and destroyed the mail station that connected this region with Kandy.

The British strategy was to isolate the region and this was done by the infamous Major Macdonald who with four detachments moved from Badulla, Kandy and Bintanna and met on the 31st at Haunsanvella, near the place of Wilson's death.  He engaged in a massive destruction of villages and their crops.  There was only one casualty on the British side, a man who was shot when Kivulegedara's house in Viyaluva was being burnt down.65

As Pieris rightly pointed out scorched earth tactics, though well-known in Europe and practiced in colonial warfare, were unthinkable for Kandyans for whom destroying crops were almost acts of sacrilege.  On November 1 st Molligoda and Millava joined the British troops under Macdonald and marched from Bintanna with no opposition, "crowds appearing before the Adikar to claim protection from him." Yet the Prince eluded capture. In a proclamation dated 1 November 1817, Brownrigg urged the punishment of those "acting, aiding, or in any manner assisting in the rebellion which now exists in the Provinces of Oowa, Walapona, Wellassa and Bintanna ... according to Martial Law either by death or otherwise, as to them shall seem right and expedient."66

Kappitipola's fate was different from Dulvava's.  He left Badulla as an emissary of the British to deal with the situation in Vellassa but he was captured by Vaddas at Alupota, a Muslim village, on November 1, 1817.  According to one local history I gathered in the field it was again Kivulegedera who headed the Vaddas.  Apparently Kappitipola was effectively surrounded by a force of Sinhalas and Vaddas and they refused to let him leave.  The details of the negotiations between Kappitipola and those who captured him are not clear; what is clear is that Kappitipola, from being the agent of the British government, now became the leader of the rebellion.  With Kappitipoia's involvement the rebellion ceased to be a local one and became a national movement in 1818.

For our purposes I want to deal with the arrival of Dorai Svami with Kappitipola near Alutvela (where a temporary palace was erected).  Dorai Svami appeared in full panoply just as was the case with any Sinhala monarch.  Paul E. Pieris has a vivid description of this event but let me refer to his discussion of the ceremonial role of the Vaddas in this formal portrayal of the official structure of the Kandyan state.   "The royal parasol, headdresses, and other insignia were brought out and arranged after which a hundred and fifty armed Vaddo came swifly and silently out of the woods and took up their station. The horanava sounded again and a procession emerged with the arms of the Gods . ... ... The Chiefs now ranged themselves according to precedence, and out of the forest the King [Dorai Svami] appeared covered in white draperies from head to foot and guarded by a hundred Vaddo, crossing the threshold of the building at eight paya [Sinhala "hours"] before dark, which was probably the auspicious nakata, while the Vaddo stationed themselves around it.   Five paya later the Chiefs assembled again before the Sarasvati Mandapa and on the Prince showing himself at a window prostrated themselves in homage before him."67

The details of the suppression of the rebellion are not germane for the present argument except to mention the extraordinary show of force and brutality by which it was crushed. As late as 1896 the British judge Archibald Lawrie could give some details on the ruined temples and devales in the Central Province during this fateful period and write about the event itself: "The story of the English rule in the Kandyan country during 1817 and 1818 cannot be related without shame. In 1819 hardly a member of the leading families, the heads of the people, remained alive; those whom the sword and the gun had spared, cholera and smallpox and privations had slain by hundreds."68   The pax britannica that followed the rebellion was erected on this terrifying base.

Kivulegedera himself, along with the other leaders, was captured and executed while large numbers of lesser leaders were deported, sometimes without trial, to Mauritius, the penal colony of the time. After his death he was deified as Kivulegedera Punci Alut Deviyo ("the younger new god of Kivulegedera"). According to Paul E. Pieris, Kivulegedera Mohottala was the last and seventh of a distinguished line of deified Bandara Vaddas.69 Both this deity and his father, also a deity, are to this day propitiated in communal rituals among the Sinhalas and Vaddas in the Bintanna, Vellassa and Viyaluya region.  However, few today seem to think that Kivulegedera was a Vadda at all; he has been transformed into a fully Sinhalized hero of the resistance.


In the course of my field work it struck me that those Sinhalas who live, or used to live, in the same ecological zone with the Vaddas practised similar rituals because they shared a similar form of life.  The Vaddas, however, did not subscribe to Buddhism; the movement from Vadda to Sinhala is part of a larger movement in Sri Lankan history whereby those who were identified as "hunters" moved towards rice cultivation.   This applied to the Sinhalas as well as to the Vaddas.  With rice cultivation, it was possible to become more Buddhist, because one no longer needed hunting for subsistence.  Needless to say hunting, like other professions that involved killing, was viewed as a low form of existence in Buddhist orthodoxy.  The first and most important shift in that larger movement is swidden or hena cultivation and the raising of cattle.  Swidden and cattle- raising obviously could coexist with hunting as was the case with many Sinhalas and Vaddas living in similar zones; but they could also coexist with rice cultivation which then becomes a three-fold occupation most consonant with being Buddhist.

It is however a mistake to think that with rice cultivation and pastoralism there was a suspension of hunting. the colonial period the agricultural areas were surrounded by large forests and people used the resources of these forests for their livelihood, and this included hunting.  Thus, in the vast area of Bintanna-Vellassa-Viyaluya-Valapane and practically the whole of Uva people to this day pride themselves as consumers of dada mas (game), "flesh from the hunt."  Knox mentions that Sinhalas were not meat eaters in the agricultural areas wherein he was confined.  But he simply stated an ideal.  This ideal did not entail the eating of domestic animals but even Knox was engaged in selling meat from the hunt.  Though the ideal that hunting was un-Buddhist is believed by those Sinhalas in my fieldwork area, they nevertheless persist in eating dada mas, the most favorite being the flesh of the deer or sambhur.  The ideal of venison as the "pure meat" is so strong that even ritual specialists (kapur_las) in much of this area will abstain from eating fish and nieat before and during a ritual performance, the only exception being venison.  Prior to the recent enbourgeoisment of Kataragama venison was even given to the deity as part of his adukku (ritual meal).  What happens with a greater commitment to Buddhist practice is not so much the giving up of eating dada mas but the giving up of hunting as an acceptable form of life.  Yet, hunting continued even in the more Buddhist parts of the country in the last century by specially gifted vedikk_rayo, "hunters with guns." The opposition between hunting and agriculture is expressed not only in Buddhist doctrinal and historical texts but also in many popular ritual texts which mention deities and culture heroes who affected shifts from hunting to agriculture and sometimes frorh hunting to pastoralism among both vaddas and Sinhalas.

The charter myth for this opposition is known to most Buddhists and is first presented in the Mah_vamsa which relates how the Buddhist saint (arahant) Mahinda flew through the air and landed in the mountain of Mihintale where King Devanampiyatissa (250-2 1 0 BCE) was out hunting deer.  Not only was the king converted but the place where this archetypal wrong act occurred became a meditation site for the first monks and a center of Buddhist worship and pilgrimage. This event in turn is based on an earlier prototypic one of Asoka who also renounced the hunt, intrinsic to the life-style of Indian royalty, and instead substituted it with pilgrimages to sites associated with the Buddha's life and dispensations.70 But the fact remains that, in spite of this affirination of the Asokan ideal, high caste Sinhalas were also consumers of dada mas in the Kandyan provinces of that period. And although there is an "eternal recurrence" of idealized Asokan "myth models" in Buddhist history the earlier kingly ideals also continued to exist.  Thus, one of the greatest of Buddhist kings, Parakramababu 1 (1153- 1186), adopted the ksatriya ideal of hunting: the Mah_vamsa describes him engaged in the hunt accompanied by his chief queen and courtiers out to kill that pure animal, the sambhur, just as Devanampiyatissa did with the deer .71 It should also be remembered that the family and kinfolk of Parakramabahu were both Hindu and Buddhist, practicing both Brahmanic and Buddhist rituals including he upan_yana initiation into Hindu life, in this case whereby one became a Ksatriya. Though Buddhist kings in general desisted from hunting, we know from the evidence of both Knox and popular Kandyan period texts that the Vaddas performed a crucial royal duty or r_jak_riya as providers of dada mas for the royal table.

The vast rice growing areas in ancient times embraced the great hydraulic civilizations of the dry zones which in my view were colonized primarily by Sinhala-Buddhists with the hunters confined to forests or brought into the production of grain and cattle (pastoralism). After the abandonment of the old rajarata in the 14th century the Vadda presence in the region would surely have increased, such that Knox had fleeting glimpses of them when he was attempting to escape. But Sinhalas could as easily become Vaddas with the decay of the agricultural civilizations just as much as Vaddas could become Sinhalas with the development of agriculture in once-forested areas.   In fact this is what happened in the Uva-Vellassa region: the area is studded with archeological sites of enormous significance (though almost totally neglected in archaeological studies).  By the 13th century this civilization connecting Ruhuna with the rajarata went into decline and its agricultural base became a habitat of hunters and hena cultivators, some of whom became Vaddas.  Between the 14th and 15th centuries profound historical changes were taking place in Sri Lanka with the formation of new kingdoms outside the old hydraulic zones especially in the Kandyan area in the central highlands; and also in the movement to the coastal areas with Kotte as a capital that captured the new sea trade with Arabs and later with European powers.

The development of these once forested areas into rice cultivation paralleled the growing outreach of Buddhism and that of the great guardian gods who were protectors of both Buddhism and the secular realm.  The poetry of this period shows not only the paths that interconnected the low country but also the many great Buddhist temples and shrines for the guardian gods.  With the bringing of this region into rice cultivation and subsidiary pasto ralism (such as buffalos needed for agriculture) hunting ceased to he the prime and valued form of life.  This shift is expressed in texts such as those pertaining to the goddess Pattini who is par excellence the deity presiding over the ritual cycle known as the gammaduva, a ritual of thanksgiving among farmers, practiced in the rice cum cattle raising areas of today's Western, Southern and Sabaragamuva Provinces.  Side by side with this powerful movement leading to the growth of rice cultivation, Vaddas were gradually drawn into the dominant economy.   Ipso facto they were also drawn into a hegemonic Buddhism, fostered by intermarriage with the Sinhala.

The preceding discussion helps us to understand. the phenomenon of Bandara Vaddas and their relation to the political order and the emerging agrarian economy.  Remember that Lawrie's list mentions two kinds of Vadda aristocrats: the one belonging to local Vadda royalty, like the king of Opaigala and Huwan Kumaraya; the other belonging to the Bandaras, that is, to the Kandyan aristocracy.  In fact, the son of the Vadda king of Opalgala was called Herat Bandara and founded a village. In my oral histories I have four lineages of Bandara Vaddas who claim to have migrated from Kandy during politically troubled times and settled in the Vellassa-Nilgala region after having married Vadda wives of lower status.  The m_tale kadaimpota as well as my own field notes show how Vadda variges (kin groups) became converted into Mudali peruva aristocratic v_sagamas or patrilineages, such that clan names like Tala Varige eventually became Tala Bandara and then were further transformed into such highfaluting names as Herat Mudiyanse and Disanayaka Mudiyanse - this name changing paralleling the movement from hunting to agriculture and then into Buddhism.  Another group called itself Konara Mudiyanse, perhaps originally belonging to the widely dispersed lineage of the Konara Vaddas mentioned in Lawrie's Gazetteer.  All these originary Vaddas are now Sinhala. Some of you will be surprised to know. that members of the late Professor Senaka Bibile's family proudly claim their descent from Maha Kaira Vadda who was settled in the Bibile area by Rajasinha 1 of Sitavaka. Thus the case of Kivulegedera Mohottala mentioned earlier is not an isolated one; his was one of the many lineages of Bandara Vaddas scattered throughout the Vadda country both among the wild and the tame! The preceding examples of Bandara Vaddas show that they were honored by the Sinhala kings for services rendered to them and incorporated into the political structure of their respective kingdoms. According to my current thinking, the historic role of Vadda and Sinhala Bandaras was to open up the dense forested areas of the Kandyan kingdom for rice cultivation under the patronage of the Sinhala and Nayakkar kings.


I want to conclude this discussion by addressing the implications of the physical omnipresence of the Vaddas, if not their demographical significance, in a tentative manner.  Let me emphasize that as far as Sri Lanka was concerned there were no "indigenous peoples," no "aborigines," no "wild men" and "tribes" of the Western imagination.  I am as much an aborigine as Tisa Hami and as genetically and culturally hybrid.  Further, unlike in many parts of the world colonized by Europeans, there was no forcible extermination of Vaddas by Buddhist and Hindu rulers., Nor, until recently, when Sinhalas have mimicked colonial practice, were the Vaddas seen as an inferior group. They were feared and respected even if they were outside the pale of Buddhist civilization.72 There is no doubt that that civilization was a hegemonic one but not necessarily an intolerant one, as far as the Vaddas were concerned.  The kings were Buddhist and defenders of the Buddhist faith.   But there has been no instance, as far as I know, of "internal colonization" through violence, or a forcible absorption of Vadda conununities into the Buddhist polity.73 The presence of Vaddas as different and yet sin-iilar to the Sinhalas and living in close propinquity to them is recognized in several symbolic performances in Sinhala society in the recent past.  There is a short rite known as the vadi d_ne or "the almsgiving of the Vaddas" performed during the Sinhala post-harvest rituals of both the kohomb _ kank_- riya and the gammaduva which recognized this separation and unity.  A similar sense of exclusion and inclusion is dramatically recognized in the wonderful enactment known as the vadi perahara performed annually in Mahiyangana .74

Nowadays, we are accustomed to think that the main structural opposition in history is between Sinhalas and Tamils.  Yet, this appositional relationship is a historically contingent one, that is, it depends on particular historical circumstances such that periods of Sinhala-Tarnil opposition might be followed by alliances expressive of amity; or both opposition and amity n-fight co-exist in the same time span; at other times neither opposition nor amity seem to matter and both communities went on living and partly living. By contrast, as the Mah_vamsa clearly recognizes, the opposition between Vaddas and Sinhalas was much more stable and permanent though not a hostile one . Right through history, even whenVaddas practised agriculture, they were depicted as a different ethnic group, that is, as hunters.  Though I cannot discuss the issue here Vaddas in general were not Buddhists either but practised the ancestral cult of na yakku.   Eventually they do become Sinhalas and Buddhists (and Hindus in the Tarnfl areas) but, according to the texts that I mentioned earlier, this is no different from the manner in which different migrant groups, mostly from South India, eventually become Sinhala and Buddhist, the more passionately patriotic being the more recent arrivals.

But the question remains that even if Vaddas have been assimilated into Sinhala and Buddhism why the drastic reduction in numbers in the 19th and 20th centuries? I am afraid the details are not entirely clear.  When the British came on the scene the so-called wild Vaddas or those who lived mostly by hunting and gathering were confined for the most part to the palu rata or "desolate lands," the plains of the Vanni, the Bintanna.  Many had been physically decimated by an epidemic of fever (perhaps the flu) around 1809, according to oral histories.  And after the rebellion of 1818 those Sinhalas and Vaddas living in the vast area known as the Vadi Rata and Maha Vadi Rata died during the resistance or fled elsewhere, some to the hills and others to the Batticaloa district where many of them became absorbed into the Tamil communities in that area.   Coffee and later tea took over the wild country where many Vaddas lived, especially the area of Namunukula right down to Passara.  What happened to them and many others living in the hill country is anybody's guess.

A final word: as with the relations between Tamils and Sinhalas it is obvious that the constant genetic and cultural interchange between communities must disillusion us against stereotying and essentializing identities constructed over a long historical period. Take the case of the Vadda-Sinhala cultural interchanges.  Vaddas have Kataragama who is a Hindu and Buddhist deity as one of their own; and there is the great god Saman whom many Vaddas of the Mahiyangana-Maha Oya area claim was one of their own ancestors before he foolishly invited the Buddha to these shores.  Saman is also the younger brother of their own mother goddess Maha Lokuvo or Maha Kiriamma, and yet he is also a major deity of the Sinhalas.  The great Vadda gods were, until very recent times, also propitiated by the Sinhalas who at best would substitute the word'deviyo' (god) for Yaka. Thus Kande Yaka becomes Kande Deviyo.  I have showed in another paper that the mortuary rites in the practical religion of Buddhists are very likely derived from Vadda ideation.75 These cultural interchanges facilitated movement from Vadda to Buddhist paralleling the movement from hunting to agriculture, as well as the other way around. This form of hybridity does not abolish the distinction between Vadda and Buddhist; only that at a particular historical conjuncture, the distinction becomes fuzzy such that Buddhist infortnants living in what was historically Vadda country even now proudly affirm their Vadda ancestry.  But this affirmation of hybridity is not that of our postmodem situation where one can self-consciously affirm one's fragmented and hybridized identity.   The Sri Lankan historical conjuncture is but a phase in a larger movement from Vadda to Buddhist, accelerated in our own times where the dominance and new hegernonic intolerance of Buddhism cannot be gainsaid, quite unlike in the past where Buddhists also could become Vaddas.  In this situation I think it is the role of the analyst to excavate the past and hold up to critical reflection the hybrid nature, not just of Vaddas and Sinhalas, but of our human condition in general.  In the current political situation in Sri Lanka where identities are congealed and sometimes fanatically affirmed I think it our scholarly duty to point out the historically contingent bases on which such fixed conceptions are grounded, even if many remain indifferent to what we say and turn a blind eye on such "restorative" research.


1. I want to acknowledge the help of my research assistants, Mr. H G Daya Sisira and Ms. Aparna Fernando.  I am also indebted to Dr. Wimalaratne, Director of the Sri Lankan archives for the help he extended to us; and to Ms. Ramani Hettiaracchi who first pointed out to me the palm leaf manuscripts lying mostly unused in the University of Peradeniya library.  The Vadivamsaya, which I mention in this paper, is from that collection.   I am also grateful for the Wenner Gren Foundation for sponsoring my Vellassa field project and the International Centre for Ethnic Studies in Colombo for supporting my study of "intermediate texts."
I also want to apologize for being unable to systematically employ diacriticals in this text.
2. Robert Knox, An Historical Relation of the Island of Ceylon, Glasgow: James MacLehose and Sons, 1911 [1681].
3. Ibid., 98.
4. Ibid., pp. 98-99; James Brow, Vedda Villages of Anuradhapura, Seattle: The University of Washington Press, 1978, p.13.
5. Ibid., p.101. Ramba is derived from the Vadda word, rombio, according to the Seligmanns and is related to the Sinhala loma, "hairy."  See C G Seligmann and Brenda Z Seligmann, The Veddas, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 191 1, p.437.  I am however not entirely persuaded by this etymology but can offer no other explanation except that Knox had to depict the Vadda as "hairy" since this is a characteristic feature of the model that he employed, that of the European "wild man" of the middle ages.   "Ramba" in Sinhala means "banana" and the smooth peeled bark of this tree is also called "ramba," as in "ramba torana."  A more hairless example could scarcely be found!  See endnote 6.
6. Richard Bernheimer, Wild Men in the Middle Ages, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1952.  Bernheimer has a neat summary of the wild man on the basis of his depictions in art, literature and sculpture:
It is a hairy man curiously compounded of human and animal traits, without however sinking to the level of an ape.  It exhibits upon its naked anatomy a growth of fur, leaving bare only its face, feet, and hands, at times its knees and elbows, or the breasts of the female of the species.  Frequently the creature is shown wielding a heavy club or mace, or the trunk of a tree; and, since its body is usually naked except for a shaggy covering, it may hide its nudity under a strand of twisted foliage worn around the loins. (p.1)
This literature has been recently reviewed in two important essays by Hayden White: "The forms of wildness: archaelogy of an idea" and "The noble savage theme as fetish" in Tropics of Discourse: Essays in Cultural Criticism, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1978, pp. 156-182, 183-96.  See also: Mary Campbell, The Witness and the Other World, Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1988.  Roger Batra in Wild Men in the Looking Glass, Ann Arbor: Michigan University Press, 1994, has reexamined this topic, though I am not persuaded by his thesis that the European experiences in the Americas lead to the erosion of the idea of the "wild man."
7. Margaret Hodgen, Early Anthropology in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, - Philadelphia: University of Philadelphia Press, 1964, pp. 1 8- 1 9.
8. Helen Wallis, "The Patagonian Giants," Appendix iii, Byron's Journal and His Circumnavigation 1744-66, ed., R.E. Gallagher Cambridge: Cambridge University Press for the Hakluyt Society, 1964, p.185.
9. R.E. Gallagher, Byron's Journal, p. 186.
10. Wesley thought that the American Indians possessed no religion, laws or conceptions of civil society and murdered their fathers, mothers and children.  Asians and even savage Europeans were not exempt: "What say you to thousands of Laplanders, Samoiedes and Greenlanders, all of whom live in the high northern latitudes? Are they sheep or oxen? Add to these the myriad of human savages, that are freezing in the snows of Siberia ... To compare them with horses or any of our domestic animals would be doing them too much honour." Cited in Margaret Hodgen, Early Anthropology, pp. 366-67.
11. E B Tylor, Anthropology: An Introduction to the Study of Man, London: Macmillan and Co., 1881, p. 164.
12. For a good discussion of these issues, see James Brow, Vedda Villages, chapter 1, "The Ethnological Context", pp. 3-39.
13. Henry Parker, Ancient Ceylon: An Account of the Aborigines and of Part of the Early Civilization, London: Luzac and Co., 1909, p. 44.
14. See endnote 6.
15. Ibid., pp. 38-39.
16. Seligmann and Seligmann, The Veddas, p. 39.
17. Ibid., p. 49.
18. Ibid., p. 44.
19. Ibid., p. 52.
20. This criticism has been powerfully made by James Brow in Vedda Villages; and more recently in the articles by John Dart, C R de Silva and K N O Dharmadasa in their respective articles in The Vanishing Aborigines, editors, K N O Dharmadasa and S W R de A Samarasinghe, New Delhi: Vikas, 1990.
21. Seligmann and Seligmann, The Veddas, p. 29.
22. Ibid., p. 53.
23. Ibid., p. 45.
24. Ibid., pp. 37-44.
25. For details see Janies Brow Vedda Villages of Anuradhapura, pp. 3-39.
26. See also Valentijn in Francois Valentijn's Description of Ceylon, translated and edited by Sinnappah Arasaratnam (London: The Hakluyt Society, 1978), pp. 152-53.
27. In Sinnappah Arasaratnam, Francois Valentijn, p. 153. There is a puzzle pertaining to the shipbuilding industry in these Dutch accounts.  Donald Ferguson who translated "The Visit of Spilbergen to Ceylon in May, 1602" in JRAS, CB, vol., XXX, has a footnote on p. 398 where he says that these were "purely State and pleasure boats for local use, as they would not have gone farther down the Mahaweliganga, and certainly not upwards." Yet we do not know whether the river was not navigable downstream at that time.  In fact the author of the Dutch text (p. 371) says that the king of Matecalo builds ships in the bay.  Maybe there is a connection here.  Alternatively, it is possible that the Dutch mistook the nature of the shipbuilding.  It might have seen a sima, an area where Buddhist ordinations took place because ordinations were sometimes held in "ships."  This hypothesis seems plausible when we consider that this was a place full of monasteries.   The precedent for such sima comes from the reign of Parakrama Bahu I: "Every year he brought the Great Community to the river bank, made them take up their abode in a garden there while he with his dignitaries paid them respect.  Then after firmly anchoring ships in the stream he had a charming rnandapa of beautiful proportions erected on them.  Then when he had given to the bhikkhus costly robes and all kinds of articles of use, the wise Prince made them hold the ceremony of admission into the Order." Wilhelm Geiger, Culavamsa, (Colombo: Department of Information, 1953), p.104.
28. For more fascinating details see, Donald Ferguson, "The Visit of Spilbergen," pp.379ff.
29. Father Fernao De Queyroz, The Temporal and Spiritual Conquest of Ceylon, vol., 1, trans., S G Perera, Colombo: Government Printer, 1930 [1688], p.42.
30. Here is Robert Knox: "Thirdly, The city [after Kandy and Nilambe] Allout-neur on the North East to Cande.  Here this King was born, here also he keeps great store of Corn and Salt, etc, against time of War or Trouble.  This is Situate in the Countrey of Bintan, which Land, I have never been at .....  In these woods is a sort of Wild People Inhabiting, whom we shall speak of in their place."   The editor's note says: "Raja Sinha was born (when the Portuguese invaded Kandy, twice within six months, Sept. 1611 and March 1612) and forced his parents to flee to Alutnuvara."  Robert Knox, An Historical Relation of the Island of Ceylon (second edition), editor, J H O Paulusz, Vol., 2, Dehiwela: Tisara Press, 1989 [1681], pp.25-26.
This is confirmed in Mahavamsa chapter 96 (Wilhelm Geiger, Culavamsa, part II, p.232 on Senarat fleeing from the Portuguese: "Then he left the city [having sequestered the toothrelic in a safe place in Dumbara].  Moveable goods, the sons of the former king and the admirable Mahesi, excellent by wealth and virtue, who was pregnant, he took carefully with him in a litter and betook himself to Mahiyangana.   While he sojourned in this town the Queen bore under a particularly favorable constellation, a splendid son, dowered with brilliant marks."
31. Father Fernao de Queyroz, The Temporal and Spiritual Conquest, pp. 17- 18.
32. Secret Minutes of the Dutch Political Council 1762, Edited and translated, J H O Paulusz, Colombo: Government Press, August 1954, p.101
33. Joseph Joinville, "Bedas or Vedas" In "On the Religion and Manners of the People of Ceylon" Asiatic Researches, vol., 7, pp.434-35.
34. I chose the translation by L C Wijesinha, The Mahavamsa, part two, New Delhi: Asian Educational Services, 1996 [1882].  Wilhelm Geiger objects to Wijesingha's translation of sattikalambara into satti-kala-ambara, "swords, black clothes".  His translation reads: "Many thousand Vyadhas too he brought together, (men) who understood their task and gave them what was fitting for them: spears, drums and the like."  Culavamsa, trans., Wilhelm Geiger, 69: 10, pp.283-84.  My translation of the Sinhala translation of the Mahavamsa/Culavamsa by Sumangala and Batuvantudave reads: "Having trained several thousand Vaddas in [military] arts, they were given black clothes and other things they desired."  The Mahavamsa: From the thirty-seventh chapter, translated into Sinhala by H Siri Sumangala and Don Andris de Silva Batuvantudave, fifth edition, Colombo: Vidyadarsa Press, 1930, pp.141-42.
35. The pioneer work on kadaim pot was done by H A P Abeyawardana, Kadaim-pot vimarsanaya, Colombo: Ministry of Cultural Affairs, 1978, pp.223-31, my translation.
36. Though scholars writing in English and professional historians have neglected these "intermediate text' they have been sometimes taken seriously by scholars writing in Sinhala, the most notable example being P M P Abhayasinha, Udarata Vitti.
37. Charles Godakumbure, Kohombakankariya [Sinhala], Colombo: Government Press,1963, pp. 90-91; Mudiyanse Dissanayake, "AVadda connection seen in the dance traditions of upcountry [Kandyan] rituals" [Sinhala] in, Cyril C Perera, Gunasena Vitana and Ratnasiri Arungalia, eds.,  A Critical Review of the Work of A V Suraveera, Colombo: S Godage, ? pp.414-36; and also a discerning study by the same author, Kohomba Yak Kankariya saha Samajaya, [Kohomba Demon Ritual and Society], Kelaniya: Shila Printing Works, 1988.
38. Nihal Karunaratna, Kandy Past and Present, Colombo: Ministry of Cultural Affairs, 1999, p.6.  See P M P Abhayasinha, Udarata Vitti, Colombo: M D Gunasena, 1998, p.64
39. H A P Abeyawardana, Kadaim-pot vimarsanaya, Colombo: Ministry of Cultural Affairs, 1978, pp.223-31, my translation.
40. H Parker, Ancient Ceylon, pp.101-02.
41. Archibald Campbell Lawrie, A Gazetteer of the Central Province of Ceylon (excluding Walapane), (Colombo: Government Printer, 1896)
42. Ibid., p.39.
43. A C Lawrie has reference to Ambanpola Nilame who married into the Talgahagoda family of aristocrats.  Ambanpola Nilame himself must have been a descendant of Ambanpola Vadda, see reference to Talgahagoda, in Vol. 2, p.810.
44. Ibid., p.224.
45. I suspect that normal houses in this area were wattle and daub and covered with straw or grasses (iluk).  However, bark houses were common in Vadda territory of Vellassa and Bintanne at one time; perhaps Huvan-kumaraya had a regular adobe house but roofed it in the Vadda style with bark.
46. A C Lawrie, Gazetteer, p.744.
47. Ibid., p.752.
48. Ibid., p.515.
49. Ibid., p.852.
50. A neat example of this shift comes from the Matale Kadaimpota which refers to Kulatunga Mudiyanse of Udupihilla.  Udupihilla, now practically a suburb of the town of Matale, was founded by Vaddas and the present farmer castes are their descendants, according to Lawrie, vol., 2, p.858.  It seems likely that Kulatunga Mudiyanse of   Udupihilia, a Sinhala aristocrat, is a descendant of Vaddas.
51. Ibid., p.947.
52. I am using Henry Parker's translation of this text in Ancient Ceylon, pp.101-02; see also Abeyawardana, Kadaim-pot vimarsanaya, pp.21-22.
53. Gananath Obeyesekere, The Cult of the Goddess Pattini, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984, p.304; for other references see, pp.310-06.
54. See, K N O Dharmadasa, "Veddas in the history of Sri Lanka," in Vanishing Aborigines, p.43.
55. Robert Percival, An Account of the Island of Ceylon, London: C and R Baldwin, 1805, p.284, cited in James Brow, Vedda Villages, p.13.
56. I refer to a map in my possession which was originally published in 1722 by Guillaume de L'Isle (or Delisle), the younger, who was a member of the Academic Royal des Sciences; it was reissued by the Dutch map company of Johannes Covens and Cornelius Mortier (1721-78).  The area marked in this map is just north of Trincomalee and up to the eastern tip of the Jaffna peninsula and referred to as "pays de Bedas;" west of this region is the "pays de Vannias - Malabares." I assume other maps have this feature also.
57. The account of the rebellion is available in Paul E Pieris, Sinhale and the Patriots, New Delhi: Nawrang, 1995 [1950], pp.276ff, and much of the relevant documents are found in Tennakoon Vimalananda, The Great Rebellion of 1818 (Colombo: M D Gunasena and Co., 1970).  I have collected many oral narratives on this event from Vellassa and the adjoining regions but for present purposes I will present Pieris's account.
58. Of Vellassa itself Pieris says: "Vellassa is nearly a thousand miles in extent, and there the Prince's chief adherents were the Vaddo, who always ranked among the most loyal and trusted servants of the King; probably they had not forgotten that they had fought in Parakrama Bahu's armies with distinction."
59. The British later found out that the claimant was not Dorai Svami at all but an ex-Buddhist monk named Vilbave.  However, the British did not know this till very late; neither did the Vaddas nor the Sinhalas who all recognized him as Dorai Svami.   In my mind whether or not Dorai Svami was Vilbave is not yet conclusively proved.
60. Paul E Pieris, Sinhale and the Patriots, p.188.
61. Ibid., p. 189.
62. See Gananath Obeyesekere, The Apotheosis of Captain Cook: European mythmaking in the Pacific, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992.
63. Wilson had suffered greatly when his young wife died on May 24th 1817, a few months before his own death.
64. Ibid., p.196.
65. Ibid., pp.201-02.
66. Ibid., p.203.
67. Ibid., pp.277-78.
68. Lawrie's Gazetteer, vol., 1, p.203
69. These were, according to the information given to Pieris, as follows:
lhala Walawwe Alut Deviyo
Pahala Walawwe Deviyo
Dissa Bandara Deviyo
Patabendi Alut Deviyo
Kadavata Alut Deviyo
Punchi Alut Bandara Deviyo.
70. See, John S. Strong, The Legend of King Asoka [Asokavadana], (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1983), pp.119-25.
71. Mahavamsa, chapter 70, 32-45 in Wilhelm Geiger, Culavamsa, part 1, pp.290-91.
72. For more evidence on this subject, see K N O Dharmadasa, "Veddas in the History of Sri Lanka", in K N O Dharmadasa and S W R de A Samarasinghe, The Vanishing Aborigines, p.37.
73. I borrow the notion of 'internal colonization' from Eugen Weber who I think got it from Franz Fanon.  See Eugen Weber, Peasants Into Frenchmen, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1976, pp.490-96.
74. For details see my paper "Where have all the Vaddas gone?" in Neluka Silva, editor, Hybrid Island, forthcoming.
75. See endnote 73