SOME ETHNO-ARCHAEOLOGICAL OBSERVATIONS ON THE SUBSISTENCE STRATEGIES OF THE VEDDAS IN SRI LANKA

Journal Title: Social Affairs - Year 2016, Vol 1, Issue 4

Abstract

Veddas are considered to be the indigenous people of Sri Lanka. A century ago, the Veddas were scattered across the Eastern Province, and some parts of the North-Central and Uva Provinces, although at present they are confned to Bintanne that stretches to some parts of the Uva and Eastern provinces. This paper explores the subsistence pattern of the Veddas in Sri Lanka in relation to their old equipment and practices. It builds on ethno-archaeological interpretations drawing from archaeological evidence from Prehistoric to Historical periods. Evidence of interaction of humans, technology, faunal and floral resources found from archaeological sites in relation to subsistence was interpreted through the method of ethnographic analogy. Evidence suggests that during the historical period, the Veddas lived in various parts of Sri Lanka including Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Ratnapura, Buttala, Tambalagam pattu, Kattakulam pattu, Bintannae, Nilgala and Batticaloa. They bartered deer hide, dried flesh, cotton and honey for rice, Kurrakkan (Elusine coracana) , tobacco, salt, clothes and iron arrow heads a century ago. The existence of charred bones and arrow head type of bone tools shows the practice of hunting during the protohistoric and early historic periods. The Veddas did not adopt Sinhalese mode of life up till the 19th century. However, acculturation is gradually taking place at least in the lifestyle of Veddas in Dambana at present. Especially the Anuradhapura Veddas who lived outside the Bintanne area do not seem to possess traditional Vedda livelihoods, and maintain a lifestyle comparable with the Sinhalese Buddhist culture. Based on the above evidence, the paper concludes that the subsistence patterns of Veddas prior to the last century are quite comparable with similar evidence found from the Mesolithic, Proto and the Early Historic periods in Sri Lanka, though a certain decline in the distinction between Vedda culture and the dominant culture may at present be observed.

Authors and Affiliations

R. M. M. Chandraratne

Keywords

Related Articles

REVIEW OF RESEARCH STUDIES AND LITERATURE ON SOCIAL WORK HIGHER EDUCATION IN INDIA

In this paper the researcher has made an effort to bring together relevant literature pertaining to studies on social work higher education. Empirical studies and research articles published on social work education in...

POVERTY, YOUTH AND POLITICS; A THREE DIMENSIONAL VIEW OF YOUTH IN SLUM AREAS OF SOLAPUR CITY

The present study is an empirical study conducted in selected slum areas of Solapur city in the Maharashtra State of India. The study was conducted to fnd out the relationship between poverty, politics and youth develo...

CULTURAL TRANSFORMATION IN SRI LANKA AND ITS IMPACT ON THE REGIONAL CULTURAL LANDSCAPE

The process of cultural transformation in South Asia has witnessed many phases both in terms of political power and religion. Presently the Islamic faith seems to be forming the newest phase of cultural transformation...

FOR A SUSTAINABLE TRADITION OF RESEARCH IN THE PERADENIYA FACULTY OF ARTS

This paper traces the establishment and subsequent evolution of the University of Peradeniya, particularly in relation to its original mandate as the University of Ceylon. In this regard, it focuses on the most signifc...

PERADENIYA ACADEMICS OF THE EARLY DAYS AND THEIR CONTRIBUTION TO SINHALA STUDIES

The contribution of the University of Peradeniya to the theatre and literary arts is well known. The ‘Golden Era’ of Peradeniya was characterized by a succession of truly phenomenal works in the felds of fction, poetry...

Download PDF file
  • EP ID EP31421
  • DOI -
  • Views 202
  • Downloads 1

How To Cite

R. M. M. Chandraratne (2016). SOME ETHNO-ARCHAEOLOGICAL OBSERVATIONS ON THE SUBSISTENCE STRATEGIES OF THE VEDDAS IN SRI LANKA. Social Affairs, 1(4), -. https://europub.co.uk/articles/-A-31421