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terminations Gutta (Gupta), Sēna, Dēva, Mitta (Mitra), and Nāga. As regards their characteristic names, therefore, the Wanniyas and also the Vaeddas have simply retained the custom of pre-Christian times.
At the Census of 1901 the total number of all classes of Vaeddas, including, I presume, the Wanniyas, was found to be 3,971. The numbers obtained at the two preceding decennial enumerations were so defective that no conclusions can be based upon them regarding the increase or decrease of the
Little is known of the Vaeddas of the first of the three classes, who are almost inaccessible in their wild forests.1 Formerly they were accustomed to lead a more or less wandering life, which in the case of each little family party was confined to a definite tract of forest, sleeping in caves at the foot of the hills, or under trees. They still make use of the caves, but their village neighbours informed me a few years ago that all now build huts in the forests and inhabit them at times when they are distant from their cave shelters. Those whom I have seen were indistinguishable from the Village Vaeddas; they appeared to be healthy and well nourished. According to Mr. Nevill, they change their quarters from time to time when the game and 'Iguanas' (large terrestrial lizards) of their neighbourhood are killed or driven away. So far as my own limited observation extends, I quite agree with Mr. Nevill that the Forest Vaeddas and the wilder Village Vaeddas are the same people. It is a mistake to suppose that all Village Vaeddas are of more mixed descent than the Forest Vaeddas; many are simply Forest Vaeddas who have settled down in recent times in more or less permanent hamlets.2
Clothing. They are a wild-looking race, wearing a minimum of clothing, which consists, in the case of the men, of a small rag or strip of calico suspended in front from a bark string tied round the waist, and when hunting a larger strip of discoloured
1 Dr. C. G. Seligmann, accompanied by Mrs. Seligmann, has succeeded in finding some families of these Forest Vaeddas, and is about to publish an exhaustive account of them and their customs and beliefs. See the footnote at the end of this chapter.
cloth which is passed round the abdomen in three or four folds, forming a narrow flat band about four inches wide. It is recorded that in the early part of last century some Vaeddas wore a short skirt made of the liber or fibrous inner bark of the Riti tree (Antiaris innoxia), like the material of the bark bags which they still prepare for household purposes. It may be considered certain that where these trees were found this must have formed the general costume of the wilder individuals at a time when cotton cloth was unobtainable; and I was told that a very few of the poorer people still employ it for the same purpose.
Some have also been reported to wear green leafy twigs suspended from a bark string tied round the waist; but this may have been merely a hunting device to avoid notice of their cloth by wild animals. I have seen the Wanniyas using this primitive costume on such occasions, but only as a temporary expedient. Mr. Nevill mentioned that he was informed that in ancient times leaves were so worn as clothing in districts where there were no Riți trees. Only the poorest among them wore this dress, and that not from choice but necessity. He considered that there is no reason to suppose that they ever went about in a state of nudity. I never heard that any of them have worn skins. The account of the natives at the time of Wijaya's arrival would lead one to suppose that some at least wore clothing which the newcomers did not consider primitive.
When in the forests, the Village Vaeddas of the interior, as well as the Wanniyas, dress in the same manner as the ordinary Forest Vaeddas, and roll up their cloth and fasten it round the abdomen like them. The females of both classes have similar clothing, a short skirt of cotton fastened round the waist and reaching to the knees or below them. When visiting other villages the men wear a similar cloth from the waist to the knees or below them.
1 Ribeyro, whose work was written in 1685, stated that those who lived in the forests north of Trincomalee (? Wanniyas) wore the skins of animals, but he does not say that he ever saw them. Knox would not be likely to omit mentioning the custom if it had been practised in his time.
The Tamil-speaking or Coast Vaeddas dress like Tamil villagers, with a cloth reaching from the waist nearly to the ankles; the women wear a long calico robe which is passed round the body under the arm-pits and hangs straight down nearly to the feet. It is the ordinary costume of the village Tamil women of northern Ceylon, and is singularly ungraceful. General Description.-I may premise that as regards Anthropology, so far as it relates to the scientific description of the human body, I possess neither qualifications nor knowledge, and I have therefore collected no information beyond that of a casual observer who is well acquainted with the other races of Ceylon.
The skin of the first two classes of Vaeddas is commonly of a dull dirty-looking dark reddish-brown colour, which may be termed a dark walnut hue. There is nearly always a distinct reddish tint in it. The difference between it and the colour of some low-caste Kandian Sinhalese is so slight that I am unable to define it; I should say that it consists chiefly in the duller appearance of the Vaedda skin. Many of the Coast Vaeddas and a few of the Village Vaeddas and Forest Vaeddas are much darker than this, and of a brownish-black colour, this shade evidently indicating a mixture with Dravidian blood.
Mr. Nevill considered that the Vaeddas belong to a light brown race, and the Sinhalese to a light yellow race, and he even thought that both the Sinhalese and Vaeddas' are of one original colour, yellow, with an olive tint.' This does not account for the reddish hue of the Vaeddas, which can almost always be seen in a full light, and sometimes very conspicuously. It has reddish-brown or reddish-purple shadows. It is often present in the skins of Kandian Sinhalese, some few of whom are even of a clear dull copper-red colour. This tinge is never seen in the skins of Tamils, and is hardly observable among Telugus, at any rate those of low castes; but I have noticed it very plainly in several Kanarese from Maisūr, some of whom are of a clear copper-red colour. The pale brownish-yellow tint of Sinhalese is only found in the members of families of what is now thought to be the purest descent, such as those of many of the leading chiefs; it is the colour
of those who most closely represent the original settlers from the valley of the Ganges, and is far from being the average colour of the race who comprise the Kandian or Low-country Sinhalese of the present day, which is much nearer a dark walnut tint. In the ordinary Kandian villager all shades are found from clear copper-red through varieties of reddishbrowns to the deepest blacklead black, but the tints at the extremes of the scale are uncommon.
The height of the Village Vaeddas is less than that of the ordinary northern Kandian villagers, and in the case of the men averages probably five feet, or an inch more, the Sinhalese being two inches or three inches taller. Recorded measurements of Forest Vaeddas show that they, or many of them, are much shorter than this, and vary between four and five feet, but always above the lower figure.
Although their figure is always very slight, with narrow hips and weak-looking calves and thighs, the Vaeddas are active and lithe in the forests, and can thread their way for many hours among the trees and jungle without apparent fatigue. When alone one morning in thick forest remote from any villages, I met a party of Vaeddas who were in search of honey. In reply to my inquiry regarding their hamlet, they informed me that it was quite near ' a tank (reservoir) which was four miles away, but I afterwards learnt that the place was several miles beyond it. They had made the journey that morning, and probably would return also, through a forest full of undergrowth.
Nearly three hours later, as I was returning along the path after visiting the reservoir, I sat down at the side of a tiny streamlet of clear water, fresh from a neighbouring spring, in order to get a drink, and enjoy a quiet pipe under the cool shade of the tall forest trees, when suddenly one of the party, an intelligent young fellow with a pleasant countenance, stepped out of the thick bushes and joined me. He had left the others some distance away, and had come on for a drink. I gave him the contents of my tobacco pouch, and found him quite communicative and acquainted with Sinhalese, which he spoke intelligently, although he addressed me as Umba,
you, an expression which is usually applied only to inferiors. He stated that they only knew and visited the people of one small settlement several miles away. No others lived within some hours' journey from their huts. He laughed at the fears which some Tamils had expressed to me regarding the demons who were supposed to infest that part of the forest, though he admitted that it was full of them. These people were apparently true Vaeddas, but not now the Forest Vaeddas, who are, I believe, unacquainted, or only slightly acquainted, with ordinary Sinhalese. In physical appearance and colour they resembled Kandian Sinhalese of some low castes. Their ancestors were Forest Vaeddas in the first half of last century. Vaeddas have not the slightest negroid appearance. Their jaws are not prognathous, the facial angle is good, like that of the Kandian Sinhalese, and according to my observation their noses are usually straight and rather well-formed, though somewhat wide at the nostrils. They have not very large orifices. Mr. Nevill said that they are 'squat, with no bridge to them'; evidently they are of two types. Mr. F. Lewis, of the Forest Department, has informed me that the Village Vaeddas whom he has seen had commonly straight noses and somewhat thick lips. In the case of those whom I have observed the lips were perhaps thinner than those of the Sinhalese. The cheek bones are always somewhat prominent, but this may be partly due to the absence of superfluous flesh on the face. The eyes are rather deep set, but otherwise resemble those of Kandians. Some faces are practically hairless below the eyes, and there is rarely more than a very sparing growth of hair on the face, a very thin short moustache and a little short hair on the chin being all that is usually present. In this respect, also, they resemble many Kandian Sinhalese, but not Low-country Sinhalese, who are a distinctly hairy race, and often have thick beards, hairy chests, and a central line of hair down to the navel, which is said to be thought a mark of beauty. This is quite uncommon among Kandian Sinhalese, and apparently totally absent among the Vaeddas. A few Vaeddas have more beard than others, but it is always thin; such a feature may indicate some mixture in their