The Vedda people are Sri Lanka’s indigenous population, linked closely to the aboriginal people of the island, who live in small forest communities away from urban life and the rest of the inhabitants of Sri Lanka. The Veddas of Sri Lanka are shrouded in mythology: their existence was first documented in the Mahavamsa in the 5th century AD, where they are said to be the descendants of King Vijaya (the first Sinhala king) and Kuveni, a native ‘yakka’ (devil) that was already on the island when Vijaya arrived. The Veddas refer to themselves as ‘forest-dwellers’ and inhabit mud houses hidden in several distinct forest areas across the island. Whilst many have modernised and integrated into the local communities, a few remain that still live a separate, traditional way of life without electricity and internet etc.
This opportunity to go on a walk with Gal Oya’s Vedda chief is a unique experience which offers travellers the chance to connect closely to a core part of Sri Lanka’s history and culture, and gain an insight into this fascinating, fading community which is on the brink of extinction. Discover their unique language as they chant songs during the walk; learn about the natural medicines they have developed; explore their ritual customs and unique religion, and see their traditional methods of hunting and storing food.
*This experience is only available in conjunction with a stay at Gal Oya Lodge. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.