Sri Lanka’s Aborigines’, or the Veddha’s meaning “people of the forest” of Sri Lanka has a history much older than prince Vijaya’s landing in 5th century BC and the origins of the Sinhala race. Archaeological evidence suggest that modern Veddha’s Neolithic ancestors inhabited this island as far back as 10,000 BC with. Once roaming the Great Plains’ of the north central region to the central mountains, today the remaining Veddha population are confined to Dambana which is close to Maduru oya sanctuary.
They are essentially hunter gatherer forest dwellers without much change in their life style from Stone Age to modern times. The language used by them is an ancient dialect of Sinhala, staple diet being venison, Veddha’s are allowed to hunt legally to sustain themselves within certain areas, are also expert fisherman. Veddha’s also collect bee’s honey and exchange it with the locals for axe blades and cloth.