Vedda

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Vedda

 

the ancient inhabitants of Ceylon, who played an important role in the formation of its modern ethnic composition. They live mainly in the eastern regions of the island. Population is approximately 800 people. They speak the Sinhalese language, although some speak the Tamil language. They have become highly assimilated with the Sinhalese and the Tamils. The ancient beliefs have disappeared, and they now profess Buddhism and Hinduism. Most of the Veddas are engaged in slash-and-burn farming and fishing, supplementing these with hunting and gathering. Exogamous tribal groups, or “Waruge,” and survivals of matriarchy are preserved in the social organization of the Veddas.

REFERENCES

Narody Iuzhnoi Azii. Moscow, 1963.
Kochnev, V. I. Naselenie Tseilona. Moscow, 1965.
Seligmann, C. G., and B. L. Seligmann. The Veddas. Cambridge, 1911.

V. I. KOCHNEV