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with Vaeddas; but the mere recollection and repetition of it prove that the Vaedda and his hearers had a good acquaintance with numbers, including simple addition and subtraction, otherwise they could not understand the point in it. It is too long to be given in full here. It relates the adventures of a Gamarāla, or minor village headman (who is often the butt of folk-story jokes), who being anxious to eat some cakes, after a quarrel with his wife over them, took some rice and asked the women at another house to prepare them for him.
It then continues as follows: 'Having given them a little rice, he said, “Make and give me five cakes (Kaewun) out of this, please." The people of the house replied, "Very well," and taking a little of the rice fried some cakes. The woman who fried them then looked into the account. "For the trouble of pounding the rice and grinding it into flour, I want ten cakes," she said. "Also for the oil and Coconuts 1 I want ten cakes; and for going for firewood, and for the trouble of frying the cakes, I want ten cakes." So that on the whole account for cooking the cakes it was made out that the Gamarāla must give five cakes.
'Next day the Gamarāla, having eaten nothing at home, came to eat the cakes. Having sat down, "Where are the cakes?" he asked. Then the woman who fried the cakes said, "Gamarāla, from the whole of the rice I fried twentyfive cakes. For pounding the rice and grinding it into flour I took ten cakes. For the oil and Coconuts I took ten cakes. For going for firewood, and for the trouble of frying the cakes ten more having gone, still the Gamarāla must bring and give me five cakes."
'Then the Gamarāla thought, "Ada! What sort of a cake-eating has happened to me!""
It is evident that the persons who can enjoy such a story as this have as good an acquaintance with numbers as the ordinary Kandian villager.
There is also among the Sinhalese and Tamils of the villages in the jungle a laconic mode of expression which closely ap
1 Scraped Coconut was put inside them, and they were fried in Coconut oil.
proximates to the Vaeddas' talk without using numbers. For instance, if a drove of wild pigs or a herd of deer cross the path, these villagers would rarely draw attention to them by uttering more than the single word "Pigs," or "Deer" (pl.). If a man fire at some birds and miss them, his comrade does not say, "You missed them; all three have flown away"; but merely Giyā, “gone.' It is nearly the same in some parts of India. In the folk-tales, the European man-eating giant exclaims when he scents the youth hidden in his house, "Fee, fi, fo, fum! I smell the blood of an Englishman"; but the laconic Eastern ogre only says, Mānush-gandah, "Mansmell" !
In the same way the Vaedda finds the simple plural a sufficient numerical expression. He is not conversational, but very laconic; he says no more than is necessary. The intelligence of his hearers easily supplies the blanks in his speech, which consists of concise statements of simple facts, or opinions upon matters with which all who are present are conversant. Thus he needs few nouns, and still fewer verbal forms, and practically no abstract expressions, except such adjectives as good, bad, and the like. The ordinary conversation of the Wanniyas and of the Kandians of the more secluded jungle villages is nearly similar.
Gestures.-When a gesture will convey his meaning, the wilder Vaedda uses it in preference to spoken language. If the thumbs be placed side by side, and the forefingers be raised and curled forward until their tips approach each other, he thinks that any one will understand that this must mean a buffalo's horns, and therefore a buffalo.
The head is often utilised for this purpose. Instead of saying Otta,' there,' or Oba, on that side,' a slight inclination of the head sideways fully expresses his meaning. A similar movement implies 'yes,' or 'very well,' when an affirmative answer is expected, just as the least shake of the head suffices for a negative, as with us. Anything in front is indicated by the chin, the head being tilted slightly backward.
A double nasal grunt conveys various ideas according to its tone; it means 'yes,'' is it so,' 'no' or ' do not,' in which
senses it is used by the Sinhalese. A near approach to it is the affirmative aspirate Hă, which is also in constant use by the Kandian Sinhalese, but not those of the Low-country; it is noteworthy that I found it (as well as the Sinhalese affirmative ehe) nearly equally employed by the inhabitants of the Gambia valley, in West Africa.
When out in the forests, the Wanniyas and Vaeddas call to each other by an exact imitation of the bleating cry of the small Hornbill (Tockus gingalensis). This does not disturb any animals, of course. The former race, and probably the Vaeddas, are also on such occasions accustomed sometimes to utter the grunt of the Buffalo. I think this is done if a slight rustle be made when game is near, so as to allay any suspicion which it might arouse. It may have other meanings, and it
is also a call to each other when near at hand. I do not remember hearing them imitate any other animal.
Domestic Animals.-The Vaeddas are said by Mr. Nevill to keep only Dogs as their domestic animals, but I was informed by the Sinhalese headmen of their districts that many of the Village Vaeddas also possess Buffaloes. A few Wanniyas have some fowls, as well as Buffaloes, Black-cattle, and Dogs.
The dogs are trained for hunting, and will track any wounded animals, or follow up unwounded ones, through the thickest jungle; they are specially taught to catch the small Mouse-deer, or Miminnā' (Meminna indica), and the Iguana," and Mr. Nevill says also Porcupines and Hares. He found that from three to five are generally maintained by each Village Vaedda household.
Well-trained dogs of this kind, of no particular breed, sharpsnouted, pointed-eared, little bigger than an Airedale terrier, in colour commonly yellow-brown or black, the ordinary nondescript dogs that are seen in every village, are wonderfully intelligent in the forest. I have myself seen a small pack, the general set of curs that are found about cooly huts in the jungle, perform a feat that astonished me.
I was then engaged in the restoration of an ancient tank or reservoir, which had an embankment a mile in length, and
covered 170 acres. A party of earthwork labourers were excavating soil in the jungle at the low side of the embankment, at about half-way from each end. On going to work one morning the men startled three Axis deer that were grazing close to their working-place, and the dogs belonging to these coolies at once set off by themselves in pursuit of them. They followed them for some hours, gradually bringing them close round the upper side of the reservoir, as we could hear by an occasional faint yelping which reached our ears across the water; and after a chase of several miles through the thickest thorny jungle, they finally drove the exhausted animals completely round the reservoir, and into the very spot from which they had commenced the hunt; and their masters killed all three there.
The same or similar dogs were greatly interested in a tame Leopard which I had at that time, and parties of three or four of them, or on rare occasions single individuals, made periodical visits to my quarters, a mile from their homes, to inspect it. On their arrival they sat on their hams at a very safe distance, and watched the Leopard for some considerable time, finally trotting back after, as a rule, behaving in the manner customary when dogs meet with odorous corners or objects.
A trained dog of this description will lie flat on the ground, with his ears, if they be not cropped close to avoid injury by thorns, laid close to his head; and in this attitude and on his own initiative draw himself forward by his forelegs until he has passed completely under heaps of thorny bushes that have been piled up for burning, and seemed to have no passage through which such an animal could crawl. These are favourite hiding-places for the Mouse-deer and Forest Hares. One hunter with a gun assured me that with a single trained dog in a leash, to prevent its too rapid progress, he was certain to kill any wounded Sambar deer that he followed up.
Such dogs as these are invaluable assistants to the hunters in the dense forests of Ceylon, and an old Wanniya informed me that four which he kept had run down and captured many Sambar deer for him. As Mr. Nevill remarked, the dogs act as guards of the huts as well as the camp, and when they are
present their masters know that they will have ample notification of the approach of strangers, whether bipeds or quadrupeds.
We are told by Mr. Nevill that in former times the [Village] Vaeddas kept Buffaloes which were trained for use in hunting; they are still employed for the purpose by some few Sinhalese and Tamils. The animal obeys orders communicated to it by means of a string which passes through the septum of the nose, and the archer stalked his game behind it, shooting either over or under it, as occasion required. They are now trained to allow use of firearms.' 1 A gentleman who had been out shooting with one informed me that he experienced no difficulty in approaching various kinds of game in this manner, round the sides of open grass plains. The time selected for the purpose is a bright moonlight night, when the animals can be seen at a considerable distance.
Mr. Nevill also learnt that when they had them the Vaeddas used milk taken from the Buffalo cows; and he remarked that well informed old Sinhalese have told me that the Unapāna Vaeddas, and allied clans, used to ride Buffaloes, the wife sitting beside her husband. This is mentioned in one widely known song also.'
A very few Vaeddas who grow rice must make use of either their own or borrowed Buffaloes in its cultivation, for converting the surface of their rice fields into mud prior to sowing, by trampling it continuously while wet. Some Wanniyas also use them for the same purpose; at a hut in one of their hamlets the mud hole in which the animals wallowed was so close to the door that the occupants could hardly avoid passing through part of it on entering or leaving the house. When I asked one of the occupants if they did not get malarial fever in such a site his reply was characteristic. "Why not?" he said; "we do get it." He added that they were considering the advisability of moving their quarters, and abandoning the site to the Buffaloes.
Games.-I made no inquiry regarding the games played by either the Wanniyas or Vaeddas. Mr. F. Lewis has informed
1 The Taprobanian, Vol. i, p. 191.