East Coast Veddas
“The Coast Vaeddas do not know when they came or how they came, but they say that long ago their ancestors came from the Gala, far beyond the hills to the west. They also sometimes say they came from Kukulu-gammaeda and spread out along the Coast.”
Sri Lanka’s Indigenous Wanniya-laeto: A Case History
Sri Lanka’s indigenous inhabitants, the Veddas or Wanniya-laeto (‘forest-dwellers’) as they call themselves, preserve a direct line of descent from the island’s original Neolithic community dating from at least 14,000 BC and probably far earlier according to current scientific opinion.
The Wanniya-laeto operate within a radically different conceptual framework from that of the local administrators who wield power over Wanniyalaeto land and interests. For instance, the Wanniyalaeto do not entertain modern notions of real estate belonging to individuals, but believe that they and their ancestor-spirits belong to the forests of the Wanni which they inhabit and protect.
Wanniyala-Aetto Cave Art
Vedda cave drawings such as those found at Hamangala provide graphic evidence of the sublime spiritual and artistic vision achieved by the ancestors of today’s Wanniyala-Aetto people. Most researchers today agree that the artistes most likely were the Wanniyala-Aetto women who spent long hours in these caves waiting for their menfolk’s return from the hunt.
Sri Lanka’s Last Indigenous People
By Zinara Rathnayake The Veddas were traditionally forest dwellers, who foraged, hunted and lived in close-knit groups in caves in the dense jungles of Sri Lanka. But most people haven’t heard of them. “This is our cave,” said the man. He was tall with curly, shoulder-length hair and his lower lip was caked red with […]
Indigenous Lanka: Consensus for Survival
Indigenous cultures are helping to save the world’s environment Long, long ago, according to the word of the Buddha in the Agganna Sutta, the earth’s inhabitants all lived in bliss, knowing no discrimination between such opposites as male and female, rich and poor, good and bad, ruler and subject. The very earth itself was delightfully […]