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Title: Sinhalese Folklore Notes - Ceylon
Author: Perera, Arthur A.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                        SINHALESE FOLKLORE NOTES



                           ARTHUR A. PERERA,
                           Advocate, Ceylon.





The Sinhalese beliefs, customs and stories in the present collection
were contributed by the writer to the Indian Antiquary fourteen years
ago in a series of articles under the title of "Glimpses of Sinhalese
Social Life"; they are now offered, amplified and rearranged, to the
student of folklore in Ceylon, as a basis for further research. The
writer has adopted the scheme of classification in the Folklore
Society's Hand Book of Folklore.


                                                        Westwood, Kandy,
                                                    10th February, 1917.


    Belief and Practice.

        Chapter.              PAGES

         1. The Earth and the Sky                          1
         2. The Vegetable World                            4
         3. The Animal World                               6
         4. Human Beings                                  11
         5. Things made by man                            13
         6. The Soul and another Life                     14
         7. Superhuman Beings                             15
         8. Omens and Divination                          21
         9. The Magic Art                                 23
        10. Disease and Leech-craft                       25


        11. Social and Political Institutions             26
        12. Rites of Individual Life                      32
        13. Occupations and Industries                    36
        14. Festivals                                     40
        15. Games, Sports and Pastimes                    43

    Stories, Songs and Sayings.

        16. Stories                                       47
        17. Songs and Ballads                             51
        18. Proverbs, Riddles and Local Sayings           54


    Glossary of Sinhalese Folk terms from the Service
    Tenure Register (1872).




Various beliefs are held by the peasantry about the hills, rocks,
boulders and crags scattered about the island.

Samanala Kanda (Adam's Peak) which contains the sacred foot print
of the Buddha was in prehistoric times sacred to the god Saman who
still presides over the mountain. Pilgrims to the Peak invoke his
aid in song for a safe journey; and when they reach the top, cover
the foot print with four yards of white cloth, pay obeisance to it,
recite the articles of the Buddhist Faith, and make a silver offering
at the shrine of the Saman Deviyo, which is close by. When worship
is over the pilgrims greet each other and sound a bell ringing as
many peals as they have visited the Peak.

No lizard is heard chirping within the shadow of Hunasgiriya Peak
in Pata Dumbara for when the Buddha, on his aerial visit to Ceylon,
wished to alight on this mountain a lizard chirped and he passed on
to Adam's Peak.

Ritigal Kanda (Sanskrit Arishta) in the Nuvara Kalâviya district,
S.E. of Anuradhapura and Rummas Kanda (modern Buona Vista) in the
Galle district are associated with the Hanuman tradition. It was from
Ritigal Kanda that Hanuman jumped across to India to carry the joyful
message that he had discovered Sita in Ceylon, and when Lakshman was
wounded and a medicinal herb was required for his cure, Hanuman was
sent to the Himalayas to fetch it; on the way the name and nature of
the plant dropped from his memory; whereupon he snapped a portion
of the Himalayas and brought it twisted in his tail and asked Rama
to seek for the herb himself. Buona Vista is that portion of the
mountain and valuable medicinal herbs are still to be found there.

Râvanâ Kotte,--the stronghold of Râvanâ (king of the Rakshas)--was
off Kirinda in the Hambantota District and is now submerged. The Great
Basses are what is left of this city; the golden twilight seen there of
an evening is the reflection of the brazen roofs of the submerged city.

Dehi Kanda opposite the Dambulla rock caves in the Matale district is
the petrified husk of the rice eaten by the giants who made the caves.

Near Sinigama in Wellaboda pattu of the Galle district is shewn a
crag as the petrified craft in which Wêragoda Deviyo came to Ceylon
from South India.

When a severe drought visited the island, an elephant, a tortoise,
a beetle, an eel, a goat and a she elephant went in search of water
to the tank Wenêru Veva near Kurunegala. A woman who saw this kept
a lump of salt before the foremost of them, the elephant; while he
was licking it she raised a screen of leaves to conceal the tank
from the intruders' view and began to pray; and the gods answered
by petrifying the animals, the screen and the lump of salt, all of
which are still visible round Kurunegala.

"Panduvasa, the seventh king of Ceylon, was visited by the tiger
disease, a complicated malady of cough, asthma, fever and diabetes in
consequence of Wijeya, the first king, having killed his old benefactor
and discarded mistress, Kuvêni, when, in the shape of a tiger, she
endeavoured to revenge her slighted charms. The gods taking pity on
Panduvasa, consulted by what means he might be restored to health, and
found that it could not be effected without the aid of one not born of
a woman. The difficulty was to find such a person. Rahu being sent on
the service, discovered Malaya Rajâ, king of Malva Dêsa, the son of
Vishnu, sprung from a flower. Rahu changing himself into an immense
boar, laid waste the royal gardens to the great consternation of the
gardeners, who fled to the palace and told what was passing. The king,
who was a keen sportsman, hastened to the spot with his huntsmen, whom
he ordered to drive the boar towards him. The boar, when pressed, at
one bound flew over the head of the king, who shot an arrow through him
in passing, but without effect, the animal continuing his flight. The
king, irritated, instantly gave pursuit with his attendants in the
direction the beast had taken, and landed in Ceylon at Urâtota (Hog
ferry) near Jaffna; the boar alighted near Attapitiya. A piece of
sweet potato that he brought from the garden in his mouth and which
he here dropt was immediately changed, it is said into a rock, that
still preserves its original form, and is still called Batalagala
or sweet potato rock. The king came up with the beast on the hill
Hantana near Kandy, instantly attacked him sword in hand, and with
the first blow inflicted a deep gash. On receiving this wound, the
boar became transformed into a rock which is now called Uragala, is
very like a hog, and is said to retain the mark of the wound. The
king, whilst surprised and unable to comprehend the meaning of
the marvels he had just witnessed, received a visit from Sakra,
Vishnu and other gods who explained the mystery that perplexed him,
and the object in view in drawing him to Ceylon--he alone, not being
born of woman, having it in his power to break the charm under which
Panduvasa laboured. Malaya Rajâ complying with the wishes of the gods,
ordered the Kohomba Yakku dance to be performed which, it is said,
drove the sickness out of the king into a rock to the northward of
Kandy, which is still called the rock of the Tiger sickness." [1]

"The spirit of Kuvêni is still supposed to haunt the country and
inflict misfortune on the race of the conqueror by whom she was
betrayed. Kuvenigala is a bare mountain of rock on which are two
stones, one slightly resembling a human figure in a standing attitude,
the other looking like a seat. It is on this that traditions assert,
the Yakinni sometimes appears and casts the withering glance of
malignant power over the fair fields and fertile Valley of Asgiriya--a
sequestered and most romantic spot in the Matale District." [2]

Rocks with mystic marks indicate the spot where treasures are concealed
and lights are seen at night in such places.

When the owner of a treasure wanted to keep it safe, it is said that
he dug two holes in some lonely jungle and at night proceeded to
the spot with a servant carrying the treasure; after the treasure
was deposited in one hole, the master cut his servant's throat and
buried him in the other to make him a guardian of his treasure in
the form of a snake or demon.

The earth goddess (Mihi Ket) supports the world on one of her thumbs
and when weary shifts it on to the other causing an earthquake.

The four cardinal points are presided over by four guardian deities
(Hataravaran Deviyô).

Sea waves are three in number which follow each other in regular
succession. The first and the largest is the brother who fell in love
with his sister and who, to conquer his unholy passion, committed
suicide by jumping into the sea. The next is his mother who jumped
after her son, and the last and the smallest is the daughter herself.

The sky in the olden times was very close to the earth, and the stars
served as lamps to the people; a woman who was sweeping her compound
was so much troubled by the clouds touching her back when she stooped
to sweep that she gave the sky a blow with her ikle broom saying
'get away' (pala). The sky in shame immediately flew out of the reach
of man.

The rainbow is the god Sakra's bow (Devidunne) and portends fair
weather; when any calamity is approaching Budures (Buddha's
rays) appear in the sky--"a luminous phenomenon consisting of
horizontal bands of light which cross the sky while the sun is in the
ascendant." The twilight seen on hill tops is the sunshine in which
the female Rakshis dry their paddy.

Lightning strikes the graves of cruel men; thunder induces conception
in female crocodiles and bursts open the peahen's eggs.

Children sing out to the moon "Handahamy apatat bat kande ran tetiyak
diyo."--(Mr. Moon do give us a golden plate in which to eat our rice).

When the new moon is first observed it is lucky to immediately after
look on rice, milk or kiss a kind and well to do relative.

The spots in the moon represent a hare to signify to the world the
self-sacrifice of Buddha in a previous existence.

In each year the twelve days (Sankranti) on which the sun moves from
one sign of the zodiac to another, are considered unlucky. There
are twenty seven constellations (neket) which reach the zenith at
midnight on particular days in particular months; and their position is
ascertained from an astrologer before any work of importance is begun.

The sun, moon, and Rahu were three sons of a widowed mother whom
they left at home one day to attend a wedding. When they returned she
inquired what they had brought with them; the eldest angrily replied
that he had brought nothing, the second threw at her the torch which
had lighted them on the way, but the third asked for his mother's
rice pot and put into it a few grains of rice, which he had brought
concealed under his nails and which miraculously filled the vessel. The
mother's blessing made the youngest son the pleasant and cool moon,
while her curses made the second the burning sun and the eldest the
demon Rahu who tries to destroy his brothers by swallowing them and
causing an Eclipse.



Trees which grow to a large size like the Nuga (ficus altissima),
Bo (ficus religiosa), Erabadu (erythrina indica), Divul (feroma
elephantum) are the abodes of spirits and villagers erect leafy
altars under them where they light lamps, offer flowers and burn
incense. Before a wood-cutter fells a large tree he visits to it
three or four days previously and asks the spirit residing there to
take its abode elsewhere; otherwise evil will befall him.

On the way to Adam's Peak there are to be found sacred orchards where
a person may enter and eat any quantity of fruit but will not be able
to find his way out if he tries to bring any with him.

The Bo tree is sacred to Buddha and is never cut down; its leaves
shiver in remembrance of the great enlightenment which took place
under it. His three predecessors in the Buddha hood--Kassapa,
Konâgama, Kakusanda--attained enlightenment under the nuga, dimbul
and the sirisa.

The margosa tree is sacred to Pattini and the telambu tree to Navaratna
Wâlli. Each lunar asterism is associated with a particular tree.

Homage is paid to an overlord by presenting him with a roll of 40
betel leaves with the stalk ends towards the receiver. Before the
betel is chewed, its apex and a piece of the petiole of the base are
broken off as a cobra brought the leaf from the lower world holding
both ends in its mouth. It is also considered beneath one's dignity
to eat the base of the petiole.

The flowering of a tala tree (corypha umbraculifera) is inauspicious to
the village. A cocoanut only falls on a person who has incurred divine
displeasure; it is lucky to own a cocoanut tree with a double stem.

A king cocoanut tree near the house brings bad luck to the owner's
sons. When a person dies or a child is born a cocoanut blossom is
hung over him.

The person who plants an arekanut tree becomes subject to
nervousness. The woman who chews the scarred slice of an arekanut
becomes a widow. If a married woman eats a plantain which is attached
to another, she gets twins.

An astrologer once told a king that a particular day and hour were so
auspicious that anything planted then would become a useful tree. The
king directed the astrologer's head to be severed and planted and this
grew into the crooked cocoanut tree. Pleased with the result he got his
own head severed and planted and it grew into the straight areka tree.

Red flowers (rat mal) are sacred to malignant spirits and white flowers
(sudu mal) to beneficient spirits. Turmeric water is used for charming
and sticks from bitter plants are used as magic wands. The Nâga darana
root (martynia diandra) protects a man from snake bite.

It is auspicious to have growing near houses the following:--nâ
(ironwood), palu (mimusops hexandra), mûnamal (mimusops elengi), sapu
(champak), delum (pomegranate), kohomba (margosa), areka, cocoanut,
palmyra, jak, shoeflower, idda (wrightia zeylanica), sadikka (nutmeg)
and midi (vitis vinifera) while the following are inauspicious:--imbul
(cotton), ruk (myristica tursfieldia), mango, beli (aegle marmelos),
ehela (cassia fistula), tamarind, satinwood, ratkihiri (accacia
catechu), etteriya (murraya exotica) and penala (soap berry plant).

Persons taken for execution were formerly made to wear wadamal

The dumella (Trichosanthes cucumerina) and the kekiri (zhenaria
umbellata) are rendered bitter, if named before eating. Alocasia yams
(habarale) cause a rasping sensation in the throat when they are
named within the eater's hearing.

When a person is hurt by a nettle, cassia leaves are rubbed on the
injured place with the words "tôra kola visa netâ kahambaliyâ visa
eta." (Cassia leaves are stingless but prickly is the nettle). Cassia
indicates the fertility of the soil; where diyataliya (mexitixia
tetrandra) and kumbuk (terminalia tomentosa) flourish a copious supply
of water can be obtained.

The bark of the bo tree and of the Bômbu (symplocos spicata) prevent
the contagion of sore eyes when tied on the arms.

In the beginning the only food used by man was an edible fungus like
boiled milk which grew spontaneously upon the earth. As man fell
from his primitive simplicity this substance disappeared and rice
without the husk took its place. But when man became depraved the
rice developed a covering and ceased to grow spontaneously forcing
men to work.

A poor widow had a daughter who married a rich man. One day she
went to her daughter's and asked for a little rice to eat. Though
the pot of rice was on the fire, the daughter said she had none to
give and the mother went away. The daughter found the rice in the
pot had turned into blood and she threw it away. The god Sakraya in
revenge reduced the daughter to beggary and the mother and daughter
on the god's advice dug where the pot of rice had been emptied and
found the batala yam (bata rice and lê-blood). Thereafter the batala
(Edulis batatas) became the food of the poor.

That the jak fruit may be eaten by the people, the god Sakrayâ came
to earth as a Brahmin, plucked a fruit and asked a woman to cook it
without tasting. The smell was so tempting that she stealthily ate a
little of it and was called a thievish woman (hera, thief; and liya
woman.) The fruit is consequently called heraliya.

A king once directed a jeweller to work in gold a design similar to
the club moss; the goldsmith found this so hard that he went mad and
the moss is called the jeweller's curse (badal vanassa).

The butterfly orchid inflames one's passion and is called the "yam
that killed the younger sister" (nagâ meru ale) as a sister once
accidentally tasted it and made amorous gestures to her brother who
killed her.

If a person approaches the mythical Damba tree without a charm he
will be killed. The celestial Kapruka gives everything one wishes
for. The unknown Visakumbha is an antidote for poison and is eaten
by the mungoose after its fight with the cobra. Kusa grass (sevendrâ)
exists both on earth and in heaven.

The imaginary Kalu nika twig floats against the current, cuts in two
the strongest metal; when eaten rejuvenates the old; and to obtain
it the young of the etikukulâ (jungle fowl) should be tied by a metal
chain when the parents will fetch the twig to release their young.



The presence of bats in a house indicates that it will be soon
deserted. Medicinal virtues are ascribed to the flesh of monkeys. To
look at a slender loris (una hapuluva) brings ill luck and its eyes are
used for a love potion. The lion's fat corrodes any vessel except one
of gold; its roar which makes one deaf is raised three times--first
when it starts from its den, next when it is well on its way, and
last when it springs on its victim. It kills elephants but eats only
their brain. The unicorn (kangavêna) has a horn on its forehead with
which it pierces the rocks that impede its progress.

If a dog howls or scratches away the earth before a house it presages
illness or death; if it walks on the roof, the house will be deserted,
if it sleeps under a bed it is a sign of the occupant's speedy death.

A bear throws sand on the eyes of its victim before pouncing on him,
and it does not attack persons carrying rockbine (Galpahura).

When a person is bitten by a mouse, the wound is burnt with a heated
piece of gold. A mouse after drinking toddy boasts that it can
break up the cat into seven pieces. A kick from a wild rat (valmiyâ)
produces paralysis.

The porcupine (ittêvâ) shoots its quills to keep off its antagonists
and hunts the pengolin (kebellevâ) out of its home and occupies
it himself.

A cheetah likes the warmth of a blaze and comes near the cultivator's
watch fire in the field, calls him by name and devours him; it
frequents where peacocks abound; it does not eat the victim that falls
with the right side uppermost. Small pox patients are carried away by
this animal which is attracted by the offensive smell they emanate;
when the cheetah gets a sore mouth by eating the wild herb mîmanadandu,
it swallows lumps of clay to allay its hunger; its skin and claws
are used as amulets; the female cheetah gives birth only once and has
no subsequent intercourse with her mate owing to the severe travail;
the cheetah was taught by the cat to climb up a tree but not to climb
down; in revenge it always kills its tutor but is reverent enough not
to make a meal of the body which it places on an elevated spot and
worships. One in a thousand cheetahs has the jaya-revula (lucky side
whiskers) which never fails to bring good fortune if worn as an amulet.

The cheetah, the lizard and the crocodile were three brothers,
herdsmen, skilled in necromancy; as the animals they were looking after
refused to yield milk, the eldest transformed himself into a cheetah,
and the evil nature of the beast asserting itself he began to destroy
the flock and attack the brothers; the youngest took refuge on a tree
transforming himself into a lizard and the other who had the magical
books turned himself into a crocodile and jumped into a river; these
three have ever since lived in friendship and a person who escapes
the crocodile is killed if a lizard urinates on him when sleeping;
a crocodile's victim can free himself by tickling its stomach and
trying to take away the books concealed there.

A cat becomes excited by eating the root of the acolypha indica
(kuppamêniya) and its bite makes one lean; its caterwauling is
unlucky. The grey mungoose bites as an antidote a plant not identified
called visakumbha before and after its fight with the cobra; when it
finds difficulty in fighting the cobra, it retires to the jungle and
brings on its back the king of the tribe, a white animal, by whom or
in whose presence the cobra is easily killed.

The hare gives birth to its young on full moon days, one of them has
a crescent on its forehead and dies the first day it sees the moon
or invariably becomes a prey to the rat snake.

When a tooth drops, its owner throws it on to the roof saying squirrel,
dear squirrel, take this tooth and give me a dainty one in return
(lenô lenô me data aran venin datak diyô).

Goblins are afraid of cattle with crumpled horns; a stick of the leea
sambucina (burulla) is not used to drive cattle as it makes them lean;
the saliva from the mouth of a tired bull is rubbed on its body to
relieve its fatigue, and bezoar stones (gôrôchana) found in cattle
are prescribed for small pox. In the olden time the ox had no horns
but had teeth in both its jaws, while the horse had horns but had
no teeth in its upper jaw; each coveted the other's possessions and
effected an exchange; the ox taking the horns and giving the horse
its upper row of teeth; cart bulls are driven with the words 'jah,'
'pita,' 'mak,' 'hov'.--move, to the right, to the left, halt.

Wild buffaloes are susceptible to charms.

Deer's musk prolongs a dying man's life.

An elephant shakes a palm leaf before eating it as bloodsuckers may
be lurking there to creep inside its trunk. A dead elephant is never
found for when death approaches the elephant goes to a secluded spot
and lays itself down to die. Children who are made to pass under an
elephant's body become strong and are free from illness.

When the keeper says 'hari hari,' the elephant moves; 'ho ho' it stops,
'dhana' it kneels; 'hinda', it lies down; 'daha', it gets up; 'bila'
it lifts the fore foot; 'hayi,' it lifts its trunk and trumpets.

A shower during sunshine denotes the jackal's wedding day; a jackal
always joins the cry of its friends, otherwise its hair will drop off
one by one; a jackal's horn (narianga) is very rare and it gives the
possessor everything he wishes for and when buried in a threshing
floor increases the crop, a hundred fold. The jackals assisted
by the denizens of the woods once waged war against the wild fowls
(welikukulô) who called to their aid a party of men one of whom seized
the king of the jackals and dashed him on a rock and broke his jaw;
as the king received the blow he raised the cry, apoi mage hakka (Oh my
jaw), which could still be heard in the jackal's howl. The wild fowls
are still the enemies of the jackals. The jackals and the crabs have
also a feud between them; a jackal once deceived a crocodile on the
promise of getting the latter a wife and got himself ferried across
the river for several days till he had consumed the carcase of the
elephant on the other bank. A crab undertook to assist the crocodile
to take revenge, invited the jackal to a feast and suggested to him
to go to the riverside for a drink of water. The jackal consented but
on seeing his enemy lying in wait killed the crab for his treachery.

Dark plumaged birds like the owl, the magpie robin and the black bird
bring ill luck and are chased away from the vicinity of houses. The
cry of the night heron (kana-koka) as it flies over a house presages
illness and that of the devil bird (ulamâ) death. The devil bird was
in a previous birth a wife whose fidelity her husband suspected and
in revenge killed their child, made a curry of its flesh and gave it
to the mother; as she was eating she found the finger of the infant
and in grief she fled into the forest, killed herself, and was born
the devil bird.

Crows are divided into two castes which do not mate, the hooded
crows and the jungle crows; they faint three times at night through
hunger and their insatiate appetite can only be temporarily appeased
by making them swallow rags dipped in ghee; they hatch their eggs in
time to take their young to the Ehela festival held in honour of the
godlings during July and August. A crow seldom dies a natural death,
and once in a hundred years a feather drops. As no one eats its flesh
it sorrowfully cries kâtka (I eat every body). The king crow was once
a barber and it now pecks its dishonest debtor, the crow.

The presence of sparrows in a house indicates that a male child will
be born and when they play in the sand that there will be rain. Once
upon a time a house, where a pair of sparrows had built their nest
caught fire; the hen sparrow flew away but the male bird tried to save
their young and scorched his throat; this scar can still be seen on
the cock sparrow.

A house will be temporarily abandoned if a spotted dove (alukobeyiyâ)
flies through it; this bird was once a woman who put out to dry some
mî flowers (bassia longifolia) and asked her little son to watch them;
when they were parched they got stuck to the ground and could not
be seen; the mother thought the child had been negligent and killed
him in anger; a shower of rain which fell just then showed to her the
lost herbs and in remorse she killed herself and was born the spotted
dove, who still laments. "I got back my mî flowers but not my son,
Oh my child, my child" (mimal latin daru no latin pubbaru putê pû pû).

Parrots are proverbially ungrateful; sunbirds boast after a copious
draught of toddy that they can overthrow Maha Meru with their tiny

The great difficulty of the horn-bill (kendetta) to drink water is
due to its refusal to give water to a thirsty person in a previous
existence. The common babbler hops as he was once a fettered
prisoner. The red tailed fly catcher was a fire thief, and the white
tailed one a cloth thief.

A white cock brings luck and prevents a garden from being destroyed
by black beetles. When a hen has hatched the shells are not thrown
away but threaded together and kept in a loft over the fireplace till
the chickens can look after of themselves. Ceylon jungle fowls become
blind by eating strobilanthes seed when they may be knocked down with
a stick.

The cuckoo searches for its young, ejected from the crow's nest,
crying koho (where) and its cry at night portends dry weather.

The plover (kiralâ) sleeps with her legs in the air to prevent
the sky falling down and crushing her young; her eggs, when eaten,
induce watchfulness.

Peacocks dance in the morning to pay obeisance to the Sun God,
and they are not kept as pets in houses as the girls will not find
suitors. Peahens conceive at the noise of thunder and hence their love
for rain. Some say that the peacock once fell in love with the swan
king's daughter and when going to solicit her hand borrowed the pitta's
beautiful tail which he refused to return after winning his bride; the
peahen pecks at the male bird's train during the mating season, angry
at the deception practised on her while the pittâ goes about crying
"avichchi" (I shall complain when the Maitri Buddun comes.) Others
say that the peacock stole the garments while pittâ was bathing.

The cry of the pittâ (avichchya) presages rain; and it is thought to
be a sorrow stricken prince mourning for his beautiful bride Ayittâ
and hence his cry.

Leeches are engaged in measuring the ground. Snails were persons who
in a previous birth used to spit at others; their slime when rubbed
on one's body makes one strong. Worms attack flowers in November and
are influenced by charms.

Retribution visits one who ruthlessly destroys the clay nest of the
mason wasp (kumbalâ); a ran kumbalâ builds a nest with lime when a
boy is to be born in the house and a metikumbalâ with clay when a girl.

Winged termites issue in swarms in the rainy season and prognosticate
a large catch of fish. Spiders were fishermen in a previous existence
and the mantis religiosa (dara kettiyâ) a fire-wood thief.

Bugs infest a house when misfortune is impending and crickets (reheyyô)
stridulate till they burst.

It is lucky to have ants carrying their eggs about a house, but it
is unlucky for the head of the house when large black ants enter it.

When a person is in a bad temper it is sarcastically said that a
large sized red ant has broken wind on him.

The small red myriapod (kanvêyâ) causes death by entering the ear.

Every new born child has a louse on its head which is not killed but
thrown away or put on another's head.

As the finger is taken round the bimûrâ (a burrowing insect,) it dances
to the couplet "bim ûrâ bim ûrâ tôt natâpiya, mât nattanan." (Bimûrâ
bimûrâ, you better dance and I too shall dance.)

Butterflies go on a pilgrimage from November to February to Adam's
Peak against which they dash themselves and die in sacrifice.

Centipedes run away when their name is mentioned; they are as much
affected as the man they bite.

The black beetle is the messenger of death to find out how many
persons there are in a house; if it comes down on three taps from an
ikle broom its intentions are evil; it is seldom killed, but wrapt
in a piece of white cloth and thrown away or kept in a corner.

The presence of fire flies in a house indicate that it will be broken
into or deserted; if one alights on a person, some loss will ensue;
if it is picked up, anything then wished for will be fulfilled;
the fireflies had refused to give light to one in need of it in a
previous existence; their bite requires "the mud of the deep sea and
the stars of the sky for a cure"--a cryptic way of saying "salt from
the sea and gum from the eye."

A crocodile makes lumps of clay to while away the time; it throws
up its prey as it carries it away and catches it with its mouth;
its female becomes pregnant at the sound of thunder without any
cohabitation; at certain times of the year the crocodile's mouth is
shut fast; whenever its mouth opens, its eyes close.

The flesh of the iguana is nutritious and never disagrees. The
kabaragoya is requisitioned to make a deadly and leprosy-begetting
poison which is injected into the veins of a betel leaf and given to
an enemy to chew; three of these reptiles are tied to the three stones
in a fireplace facing each other with a fourth suspended over them;
a pot is placed in the centre into which they pour out their venom
as they get heated.

The blood-sucker indicates by the upward motion of its head that girls
should be unearthed, and by the downward motion that its inveterate
tormentors the boys should be buried. Chameleons embody the spirits
of women who have died in parturition.

The cry of frogs is a sign that rain is impending and the fluid they
eject is poisonous; if frogs that infest a house be removed to any
distance, they always come back; a person becomes lean if a tree-frog
jumps on him.

A python swallows a deer whole and then goes between the trunks of
two trees growing near each other to crush the bones of its prey;
its oil cures any bad cut or wound.

Venomous reptiles are hung up after they are killed or are burnt.

The cobra is held sacred and rarely killed; when caught it is enclosed
in a mat bag with some boiled rice and floated on a river or stream;
a person killing a cobra dies or suffers some misfortune within seven
days. Some cobras have a gem in their throats which they keep out to
entice insects; they kill themselves if this be taken from them which
can be done by getting on to a tree and throwing cowdung over the
gem. Cobras are fond of sandal wood and the sweet smelling flowers
of the screw pine, and are attracted by music. Their bite is fatal
on Sundays. Martynia diandra (nâgadarana) protects a man from the
bite of the cobra.

There are seven varieties of vipers; of these the bite of the nidi
polangâ causes a deep sleep, and of the le polangâ a discharge of
blood. When her skin is distended with offspring, the female viper
expires and the young make their escape out of the decomposing body.

Cobras and vipers keep up an ancient feud; during a certain hot season
a child was playing inside a vessel full of water and a thirsty cobra
drank of it without hurting the child; a thirsty viper met the cobra
and was told where water was to be found on the viper's promise that
it will not injure the child; as the viper was drinking the water,
the child playfully struck it and the viper bit him to death; the
cobra who had followed the viper killed it for breaking its promise.

The green whip snake (ehetullâ) attacks the eyes of those who approach
it and the shadow of the brown whip snake (hena kandaya) makes one
lame or paralytic.

A rat snake seldom bites, but if it does, the wound ends fatally only
if cowdung is trampled on.

The aharakukkâ (tropidonoms stolichus) lives in groups of seven and
when one is killed the others come in search of it.

A mapila (dipsas forstenii) reaches its victim on the floor by several
of them linking together and hanging from the roof.

The legendary kobô snake loses a joint of its tail every time it
expends its poison, till one joint is left, when it assumes wings
and the head of a toad; with the last bite both the victim and the
snake die.



It is considered unlucky to lie down when the sun is setting; to sleep
with the head towards the west or with the hands between the thighs;
to clasp one's hands across the head or to eat with the head resting
on a hand; to strike the plate with the fingers after taking a meal; to
give to another's hand worthless things like chunam or charcoal without
keeping them on something, and for a female to have a hairy person.

It is thought auspicious to eat facing eastwards, to gaze at the full
moon and then at the face of a kind relative or a wealthy friend;
to have a girl as the eldest in the family; to have a cavity between
the upper front teeth: and if a male to have a hairy body.

If a person yawns loud the crop of seven of his fields will be
destroyed; a child's yawn indicates that it is becoming capable of
taking a larger quantity of food.

If a person bathes on a Friday it is bad for his sons, if on a Tuesday
for himself; if he laughs immoderately he will soon have an occasion
to cry; if he allows another's leg to be taken over him he will be
stunted in his growth; if he passes under another's arm he will cause
the latter to get a boil under the armpit, which can be averted by
his returning the same way.

If a person eats standing, or tramples a jak fruit with one foot only
he will get elephantiasis; if he eats walking about he will have to
beg his bread; if he gazes at the moon and finds its reflection round
his own shadow his end is near.

If the second toe of a female be longer than the big toe she will
master her husband; if the left eye of a male throbs, it portends
grief, the right pleasure--of a female it is the reverse.

If the eyebrows of a woman meet she will outlive her husband; if of
a man he will be a widower; if a male eats burnt rice his beard will
grow on one side only; if the tongue frequently touches where a tooth
has fallen the new tooth will come out projecting; if an eye tooth
be extracted it will cause blindness.

A sneeze from the right nostril signifies that good is being spoken
of the person, from the left ill; when an infant sneezes a stander
by says "ayi-bôvan" (long life to you).

If a child cuts its upper front teeth first, it portends evil to its
parents; a child sucks its toe when it has drunk seven pots of milk.

An infant whimpers in its sleep when spirits say that its father is
dead as it had never seen him, but smiles when they say its mother is
dead as it knows she has nursed it only a little while before. Mothers
hush crying children by calling on the kidnapping goblin Billâ or

A person who dangles his legs when seated digs his mother's grave. As
one with a hairy whorl on his back will meet with a watery death,
he avoids seas and rivers.

Everyone's future is stamped on his head; flowers on the nails signify
illness and the itching sensation in one's palm that he will get money.

It is bad to raise one's forefinger as he takes his handful of rice
to his mouth as he thereby chides the rice.

No one takes his meal in the presence of a stranger without giving him
a share as it will disagree with him. If any envious person speaks
of the number of children in another's family or praises them the
party affected spits out loud to counteract the evil.

Two people who are the first born of parents are never allowed to
marry as their children rarely live. The dead body of a first male
child of parents who are themselves the first born of their parents
is regarded as having magical powers and sorcerers try to obtain it;
if this be done the mother will not bear any more children; to prevent
this it is buried near the house. When a mother's pregnancy desires
are not satisfied the child's ears fester.

Pollution caused by a death lasts three months, by child birth one
month, by a maid attaining puberty fourteen days, and by the monthly
turn of a woman till she bathes.

Every person has in a more or less degree on certain days an evil
eye and a malevolent mouth; to avoid the evil eye black pots with
chunam marks and hideous figures are placed before houses; children
are marked between the eyes with a black streak, chanks are tied
round the forehead of cattle, branches of fruit are concealed with
a covering made of palm leaves and festive processions are preceded
by mummeries. Serious consequences befall a person who recites
ironically laudatory verses written by a person with a malevolent
mouth. Assumption of high office and marriage ceremonies are fraught
with ill to the persons concerned owing to the evil eye and malevolent

The kalawa (principle of life,) in man rises with the new moon from
the left toe and travels during the lunar month up to the head and
down again to the right foot. Any injury however slight to the spot
where it resides causes death. Its movements are reversed in a woman,
in whom it travels up from the right toe and comes down on the left
side. The course it takes is (1) big toe of foot; (2) sole of foot;
(3) calf; (4) knee cap; (5) lingam; (6) side of stomach; (7) pap; (8)
armpit; (9) side of neck; (10) side of throat; (11) side of lip; (12)
side of cheek; (13) eye; (14) side of head; (15) other side of head;
(16) eye; (17) side of cheek; and so on till the big toe of the other
foot is reached.



Houses are not built with a frontage towards the South-East for fear
of destruction by fire as it is known as the fire quarter (ginikona).

A lucky position of the constellations (neket) is ascertained before
the first pillar of a house is erected, before a door frame of a new
house is set or a new house is tiled, before a new house is entered
or a fire kindled or furniture taken in or before a tree is planted
or a well dug.

When several deaths take place in a dwelling house, it is
deserted. Whole villages are sometimes deserted in case of an epidemic.

The fire that is first kindled in a new house is arranged in the main
room and over it is placed a new pot full of milk resting on three
stones or three green sticks placed like a tripod. As the milk begins
to boil, pounded rice is put into it.

The goddess of fortune is said to leave a dwelling house which is
not swept and kept clean.

As a newly married couple crosses the threshold a husked cocoanut is
cut in two.

To avoid the evil eye black pots with white chunam marks and hideous
figures are placed before houses and in orchards.

When a child is born, if it be a boy a pestle is thrown from one side
of the hut to the other, if a girl an ikle broom.

All the personal belongings of a dead man are given away in
charity. Paddy is not pounded in a house where a person has died as
the spirit will be attracted by the noise.

When the daily supply of rice is being given out, if the winnowing
fan or the measure drops, it denotes that extra mouths will have to
be fed. If a person talks while the grain is being put into the pot,
it will not be well boiled.

In the field things are not called by their proper names, no sad news
is broken and a shade over the head is not permitted.

In drawing toddy from the kitul tree, (caryota urens) a knife which
has already been used is preferred to another.

If a grave be dug and then closed up to dig a second, or if a coffin
be too large for the corpse, or if the burial be on a Friday there
will soon be another death in the family.



When a person dies everything is done to prevent the disembodied
spirit being attracted to its old home or disturbed. Even paddy is
not pounded in the house as the sound may attract it.

The day after burial the dead man's belongings are given away in
charity and an almsgiving of kenda (rice gruel) to priests or beggars
takes place. A little of the kenda in a gotuwa (leaf cup) is kept on
a tree or at a meeting of roads and if a crow or any other bird eats
it, it is a sign that the deceased is happy; otherwise it indicates
that it has become a perturbed spirit. Seven days after, there is
an almsgiving of rice when a gotuwa of rice is similarly made use of
for a further sign. Three months after is the last almsgiving which
is done on a large scale; relatives are invited for a feast and all
signs of sorrow are banished from that day.

The object of this last almsgiving is to make the disembodied spirit
cease to long for the things he has left behind and if this be not
done the spirit of the dead person approaches the boundary fence of
the garden; if the omission be not made good after six months it takes
its stand near the well; when nine months have elapsed it comes near
the doorway, and after twelve months it enters the house and makes
its presence felt by emitting offensive smells and contaminating food
as a Peretayâ or by destroying the pots and plates of the house and
pelting stones as a gevalayâ or by apparitions as an avatâré or by
creating strange sounds as a holmana; it is afraid of iron and lime
and when over boisterous a kattadiya rids it from the house by nailing
it to a tree, or enclosing it in a small receptacle and throwing it
into the sea where it is so confined till some one unwittingly sets
it free when it recommences its tricks with double force. A woman who
dies in parturition and is buried with the child becomes a bodirima;
she is short and fat, rolls like a cask, kills men whenever she can;
if a lamp and some betel leaves be kept where she haunts she will be
seen heating a leaf and warming her side; the women chase her away
with threats of beating her with an ikle broom; if shot at she turns
into a chameleon (yak katussâ). If a person dreams of a dead relative
he gives food to a beggar the next morning.



The three sources of superhuman influence from which the Singhalese
peasantry expect good or ill are (1) the spirits of disease and
poverty; (2) tutelary spirits of various grades and (3) the planetary

There are several important spirits of disease such as Maha Sohona,
Riri Yakâ, Kalu Kumâra Yakâ, Sanni Yakâ.

Maha Sohona is 122 feet high, has the head of a bear with a pike in
his left hand and in his right an elephant, whose blood he squeezes
out to drink; he inflicts cholera and dysentery and presides over
graveyards and where three roads meet and rides on a pig. In ancient
times two giants Jayasena and Gotimbara met in single combat; the
latter knocked off the head of Jayasena when the god Senasurâ tore
off the head of a bear and placed it on Jayasena's body who rose up
alive as the demon Maha Sohona.

Riri Yakâ has a monkey face, carries in one hand a cock and a club in
the other with a corpse in his mouth, is present at every death bed,
haunts fields and causes fever flux of blood and loss of appetite,
and has a crown of fire on his head. He came into the world from the
womb of his mother by tearing himself through her heart.

Kalu Kumâra Yakâ is a young devil of a dark complexion who is seen
embracing a woman; he prevents conception, delays childbirth and
causes puerperal madness. He was a Buddhist arhat with the supernatural
power of going through the air. In one of his aerial travels, he saw
a beautiful princess and falling in love with her lost at once his
superhuman powers and dropped down dead and became the demon Kalu
Kumâra Yakâ.

Sanni Yakâ has cobras twisting round his body with a pot of fire
near him, holds a rosary in his hand, causes different forms of coma,
rides on a horse or lion, has 18 incarnations and forms a trinity with
Oddi Yakâ and Huniam Yakâ. He was the son of a queen put to death by
her husband who suspected she was unfaithful to his bed. As the queen
who was pregnant was being executed, she said that if the charge was
false the child in her womb will become a demon and destroy the King
and his city. Her corpse gave birth to the Sanni Yakâ who inflicted
a mortal disease on his father and depopulated the country.

When any of these demons has afflicted a person the prescribed form
of exorcism is a devil dance. In the patient's garden, a space of
about 30 square feet is marked out (atamagala) and bounded with lemon
sticks. Within the enclosure, raised about 3 feet from the ground,
is erected an altar (samema) for the offerings (pidenitatu). The
shape of the altar depends on the afflicting demon--triangular for
Riri Yakâ, rectangular for Sanni Yakâ, semicircular for Kalu Kumâra
Yakâ and square for Maha Sohona.

The offerings consist of boiled rice, a roasted egg, seven kinds
of curries, five kinds of roasted seed, nine kinds of flowers,
betel leaves, fried grain, powdered resin and a thread spun by a
virgin. There are the usual tom tom beaters; and the exorcist and his
assistants are dressed in white and red jackets, with crown shaped
head ornaments, and bell attached leglets and armlets, and carrying
torches and incense pans.

The ceremony consists of a series of brisk dances by the exorcist,
and his men, at times masked, in the presence of the patient to the
accompaniment of a chant (kavi) giving the life history of the devil,
with a whirling of the blazing torches. This lasts from evening till
dawn when the exorcist lies on his back and calls on the devil to cure
the patient (yâdinna); incantations follow (mantra), and the sacrifices
are offered. For the Riri Yakâ a cock which had been placed under the
altar or tied to the foot of the patient is killed and thrown into
the jungle; for the Kalu Yakâ an earthen pot which had been placed on
the altar is broken; for the Sanni Yakâ the offerings are conveyed
in a large bag to a stream or river and thrown into the water; for
the Maha Sohona the exorcist feigns himself dead to deceive the devil
and is carried with mock lamentations to a burial ground.

The spirits of poverty--Garâ Yakku--are twelve in number viz., (1)
Molan Garavva; (2) Dala Râkshayâ, (3) Yama Râkshayâ; (4) Pûranikâ;
(5) Ratnakûtayâ; (6) Nîla Giri; (7) Nanda Giri; (8) Chandra Kâvâ;
(9) Mârakâ; (10) Asuraya; (11) Nâtagiri; (12) Pelmadullâ. They haunt
every nook and corner of a house, destroy crops, make trees barren,
new houses inauspicious, send pests of flies and insects, reduce
families to abject poverty, and are propitiated by a dance called
Garâ Yakuma. A shed (maduva) is put up for it and round it is a
narrow altar, with a platform in front (wesatte). On the altar are
placed four kinds of flowers, betel leaves, some cotton, a spindle,
a cotton cleaner, a shuttle, a comb, a little hair, a looking glass,
a bundle of gurulla leaves, two burning torches and a few cents. Men of
the Oli caste dressed in white and red and at times masked dance from
evening till morning within the shed and on the platform. Late at night
an oblation is made in leaf-cups of seven different vegetables cooked
in one utensil, boiled rice, cakes and plantains. At day break the
dancers stretch themselves on the ground and receive nine pecuniary
offerings; they then rise up and conclude the ceremony by striking
the roof of the shed with a rice pounder.

The tutelary deities are of three grades viz., (1) Gods; (2) Godlings
and (3) Divine Mothers. The Gods are Maha Deviyô; Natha Deviyô;
Saman Deviyô; Kateragama Deviyô; and the Goddess Pattini.

Maha Deviyô is identified with Vishnu, and is the guardian deity of
the island, and is a candidate for the Buddhahood; a miniature weapon
in gold or silver is placed at his shrine as a votive offering.

Natha Deviyô is the future Maitri Buddha and is now biding his time
in the Tusita heaven; Kandyan sovereigns at their coronation girt
their swords and adopted their kingly title before his shrine.

Saman Deviyô is the deified half brother of Rama, who conquered
Ceylon in prehistoric times, and is the guardian spirit of Adam's
Peak; pilgrims while climbing the sacred hill to worship Buddha's
foot-print, call on him to aid their ascent. A miniature elephant in
gold or silver is the usual votive offering to him.

Kateragama Deviyô is the most popular of the gods; a prehistoric
deity, to whom a miniature peacock in gold or silver is the customary,
votive offering. He is said to be the six faced and twelve handed
god Kandaswamy who on his homeward return to Kailâsa after defeating
the Asuras halted at Kataragama in South Ceylon; here he met his
consort Valli Ammâ whom he wooed in the guise of a mendicant; when
his advances were scornfully rejected, his brother assuming the head
of a man and the body of an elephant appeared on the scene and the
terrified maiden rushed into her suitor's arms for safety; the god
then revealed himself and she became his bride. The god Ayiyanâr
invoked in the forests of Ceylon is said to be his half brother.

Pattini is the goddess of chastity.

The three eyed Pândi Raja of Madura had subjugated the gods and was
getting them to dig a pond near his royal city when, at Sakraya's
request, Pattini who resided in Avaragiri Parvata became conceived
in a mango fruit. After it was severed from the tree by an arrow of
Sakraya, it remain suspended in the air and on Pândi Râja looking
up to observe the wonder, a drop of juice fell on the third eye in
the middle of his forehead by which he lost his power and the gods
were liberated. Pattini was found inside the mango as an infant of
exquisite beauty sucking her thumb. When she grew up she performed
wonders and ultimately disappeared within a Kohomba tree (margosa). An
armlet or a miniature mango fruit in gold or silver is placed at her
devala as a votive offering.

These deities are worshipped in separate devâla which are in charge
of Kapurâlas who have to bathe daily and anoint themselves with lime
juice, avoid drinking spirits and eating flesh, eggs, turtle or eel
and keep away from houses where a birth or death has taken place. A
dewala consists of two rooms, one being the sanctum for the insignia
of the god--a spear, bill hook or arrow--and the other being the
ante room for the musicians; attached to the devala is the multengê
(kitchen). On Wednesdays and Saturdays the doors of the dewala are
opened; the Multengê Kapurâla cooks the food for the deity; the Tevâva
Kapuralâ offers it at the shrine on a plantain leaf enclosed with
areka-flower-strips, and purified with saffron water, sandal paste and
incense. Before and after the meal is offered, drums are beaten in the
ante room. In return for offerings made by votaries the Anumetirâla
invokes the god to give relief from any ailment, a plentiful harvest,
thriving cattle, success in litigation, and children to sterile
mothers. Punishment to a faithless wife, curses on a forsworn enemy
and vengeance on a thief are invoked by getting the Kapurâla to break
a pûnâ kale--a pot with mystic designs,--or to throw into the sea or a
river a charmed mixture of powdered condiments. Once a year, when the
agricultural season begins, between July and August, the in-signia of
the gods are carried on elephants in procession through the streets
accompanied by musicians, dancers, temple tenants and custodians of
the shrine. The festival begins on a new moon day and lasts till the
full moon when the procession proceeds to a neighbouring river or
stream where the Kapurâla cuts the water with a sword and removes a
potful of it and keeps it in the dewala till it is emptied into the
same stream the following year and another potful taken.

The well-known godlings are (1) Wahala Bandâra Deviyô alias Dêvatâ
Bandâra; (2) Wirâmunda Deviyô; (3) Wanniya Bandâra; (4) Kirti Bandâra;
(5) Menik Bandâra; (6) Mangala Deviyô; (7) Kumâra Deviyô; (8) Irugal
Bandâra; (9) Kalu Veddâ alias Kalu Bandâra; (10) Gangê Bandâra;
(11) Devol Deviyô; (12) Ilandâri Deviyô; (13) Sundara Bandâra; (14)
Monarâvila Alut Deviyô; (15) Galê Deviyô; (16) Ayiyanar Deviyô.

The godlings are local; those which are worshipped in one country
district are not sometimes known in another. Their insignia together
with a few peacock feathers are sometimes kept in small detached
buildings called kovil with representations of the godlings rudely
drawn on the walls. A priest called a Yakdessa is in charge of a kovil
and when people fall ill "they send for the Yakdessa to their house,
and give him a red cock chicken, which he takes up in his hand, and
holds an arrow with it, and dedicates it to the god, by telling him,
that if he restore the party to his health, that cock is given to him,
and shall be dressed and sacrificed to him in his kovil. They then
let the cock go among the rest of the poultry, and keep it afterwards,
it may be, a year or two; and then they carry it to the temple, or the
priest comes for it: for sometimes he will go round about, and fetch
a great many cocks together that have been dedicated, telling the
owners that he must make a sacrifice to the god; though, it may be,
when he hath them, he will go to some other place and convert them
into money for his own use, as I myself can witness; we could buy
three of them for four-pence half penny. When the people are minded
to inquire any thing of their gods, the priests take up some of the
arms and instruments of the gods, that are in the temples upon his
shoulder; and then he either feigns himself to be mad, or really is so,
which the people call pissuvetichchi; and then the spirit of the gods
is in him, and whatsoever he pronounceth is looked upon as spoken by
God himself, and the people will speak to him as if it were the very
person of God." [3]

Galê Deviyô or Galê Bandâra, also called Malala Bandâra is the god of
the rock and is propitiated in parts of the Eastern Province, Uva and
the Kurunegalle district, to avert sickness, bad luck and drought. "In
these districts, in all cases, the dance, which is a very important
part of the proceedings, and indispensable in the complete ceremony,
takes place on a high projecting crag near the top of a prominent
hill or on the summit of the hill, if it is a single bare rock. On
this wild and often extremely dangerous platform, on some hills a
mere pinnacle usually hundreds of feet above the plain below, the
Anumetirâla performs his strange dance, like that of all so called
devil dancers. He chants no song in honour of the ancient deity but
postures in silence with bent knees and waving arms, holding up the
bill hooks--the god himself for the time being. When he begins to
feel exhausted the performer brings the dance to an end, but sometimes
his excitement makes it necessary for his assistant to seize him and
forcibly compel him to stop. He then descends from his dizzy post,
assisted by his henchmen, and returns to the devâla with the tom toms
and the crowd." [4]

The spirits of the forest, invoked by pilgrims and hunters are Wanniyâ
Bandâra, Mangala Deviyô, Ilandâri Deviyô and Kalu Bandâra alias Kalu
Veddâ. Kaluwedda is a demon supposed to possess power over the animal
race. "When a person, more commonly a public hunter, shoots an animal,
whether small or large, he, without uttering a single word, takes
on the spot three drops of blood from the wound, and smearing them
on three leaves makes them into the shape of a cup, and offers them
on the branches of a tree, clapping his hands, and expressing words
to this effect, "Friend Kaluwedda, give ear to my words: come upon
the branches, and receive the offering I give to thee!" The effect
of this superstition is supposed to be, that the hunter will seldom
or never miss his game. [5]"

Manik Bandâra is the spirit of gem pits and Gange Bandâra is the
spirit of streams and rivers.

"The malignant spirit called Gange Bandâra, Oya Bandâra, Oya Yakka,
etc. is properly an object of terror, not of worship; and under
very many different appellations the identity is easily perceived:
he is the representative or personification of those severe fevers,
to which, from some occult causes, the banks of all Ceylon rivers are
peculiarly liable. The manner of making offerings to the Gange Bandâra
is by forming a miniature double canoe, ornamented with cocoanut leaves
so as to form a canopy: under this are placed betel, rice, flowers,
and such like articles of small value to the donor, as he flatters
himself may be acceptable to the fiend, and induce him to spare those
who acknowledge his power. After performing certain ceremonies, this
propitiatory float is launched upon the nearest river, in a sickly
season. I have seen many of these delicate arks whirling down the
streams, or aground on the sand banks and fords of the Ambanganga
(Matale East)." [6]

Ayiyannar Deviyô is the god of tanks and he is propitiated under a
tree by the bund of a tank, by throwing up in the air boiled milk
in a hot state. Sundara Bandâra extends his protection to those who
invoke him before sleeping.

Wîramunda Deviyô is a spirit of agriculture and rice cakes made of the
new paddy is offered to the godling on a platform on which are placed
husked cocoanuts, flowers, plantains, a lighted lamp, a pestle and
a mortar. Gopalla is a pastoral godling who torments cattle at night
and afflicts them with murrain. Devol Deviyô is a South Indian deity
who came to Ceylon in spite of the attempts to stop him by Pattini
who placed blazing fires in his way. Masked dances of a special kind
involving walking over fire take place in his honour. Kirti Bandara,
and Monaravila Alut Deviyô are two lately deified chieftains, the
former lived in the reign of king Kirti Siri (1747-1780), the latter
is Keppitipola who was beheaded by the British in 1818.

Wahala Bandara Deviyô alias Devatâ Bandara is a minister of Vishnu
and is invoked when demon-possessed patients cannot be cured by the
ordinary devil dance. At his devâla in Alut Nuwera, 11 miles from
Kandy, the Kapurâla beats the patient with canes till the devil is
exorcised. With him is associated Malwatte Bandâra, another minister
of Vishnu.

The peace of the home is impersonated in seven divine mothers who are
said to be manifestations of the goddess Pattini. Their names vary
according to the different localities. They are known in some places
as:--(1) Miriyabedde Kiri Amma or Beddê Mehelli; (2) Pudmarâga Kiri
Amma (3) Unâpâna Kiri Amma; (4) Kosgama Kiri Amma; (5) Bâla Kiri Amma;
(6) Bôvalagedere Kiri Amma; (7) Indigolleve Kiri Amma.

Navaratna Valli is the patroness of the Rodiyas and is said to have
been born from the Telambu tree. Henakanda Bisô Bandâra was born of
a wood apple and is invoked as the wife of Devatâ Bandâra.

A thank offering is made to the divine mothers when children are
fretful, when a family recovers from chicken pox or some kindred
disease, when a mother has had an easy confinement. Seven married
women are invited to represent them and are offered a meal of rice,
rice cakes, milk, fruits and vegetables; before eating they purify
themselves with turmeric water and margosa leaves; a lamp with seven
wicks in honour of the seven divine mothers are kept where they are
served; after the repast they severally blow out a wick by clapping
their hands and take away what is left of the repast. Before a house is
newly occupied the seven divine mothers are invoked by ceremoniously
boiling rice in milk; a fire is made in the main room and over it
is kept a new pot full of milk resting on three green sticks placed
like a tripod. As the milk begins to boil pounded rice is put into
it. The person superintending the cooking wears a white cloth over his
mouth. Seven married women are first served with the cooked milk-rice
on plantain leaves, and afterwards the others present.

The mystery of the jungle is impersonated in the Beddê Mehelli.

After a successful harvest or to avert an epidemic from the village
a ceremonial dance (gammadu) for which the peasantry subscribe takes
place for seven days in honour of the gods, godlings and divine
mothers. A temporary building, open on all sides, and decorated with
flowers and fruits is erected on the village green, and a branch of
the Jak tree is cut ceremonially by the celebrant and carried into
the building and placed on the east side as a dedicatory post with a
little boiled rice, a cocoanut flower, two cocoanuts and a lamp. Altars
are erected for the various deities and on these the celebrant places
with music, chant and dance their respective insignia, all present
making obeisance. Water mixed with saffron is sprinkled on the floor,
resin is burnt and a series of dances and mimetic representations of
the life history of the deities take place every night. On the last
day there is a ceremonial boiling of rice in milk and a general feast.

Planetary spirits influence the life of a person according to their
position in the heavens at the time of his birth, and an astrologer for
a handful of betel and a small fee will draw a diagram of 12 squares,
indicating the twelve signs of the Zodiac and from the position of the
9 planets in the different squares will recommend the afflicted person
a planetary ceremony of a particular form to counteract the malignant
influence. Representations (bali) of the nine planetary spirits, of the
12 signs of the Zodiac, the 27 lunar asterisms, the 8 cardinal points,
the 7 intervals of time, and the 14 age periods are made of clay and
are placed erect on a large platform of split bamboo measuring about
12 square feet--the arrangement varying according to the advice of the
astrologer;--and on the floor is drawn an eight-sided or twelve-sided
figure where the celebrant dances and chants propitiatory verses in
honour of the planets. The afflicted person sits the whole time during
the music, dance and chanting before the images holding in his right
hand a lime connected by a thread with the chief idol, and near him are
2 cocoanut flowers, boiled rice, a hopper, 7 vegetable curries, limes,
cajunuts, betel, raw rice, white sandalwood and hiressa leaves. At
intervals a stander-by throws portions of an areka flower into a
koraha of water with cries of 'ayibôvan' (long life).

The Sun (Iru) rides on a horse entwined with cotton leaves (imbul)
with an emblem of good luck (Sirivasa) in hand and propitiated by
the Sânti Mangala Baliya; sacred to him is the ruby (manikya).

Mercury (Budahu) rides on an ox with a chank in hand, entwined with
margosa leaves (Kohomba) and propitiated by the Sarva Rupa Baliya;
the emerald (nîla) is sacred to this planet.

Mars (Angaharuva) rides on a peacock with an elephant goad (unkusa)
in hand, entwined with gamboge leaves (kolon) and propitiated by the
Kali Murta Baliya; the coral (pravala) is sacred to this planet.

Rahu rides on an ass with a fish in hand entwined with screw pine
leaves (vetakeyiyâ) and is propitiated by the Asura Giri Baliya;
the zircon (gomada) is sacred to Rahu.

Kehetu rides on a swan with a rosary in hand, entwined with plantain
leaves (kehel) and is propitiated by the Krishna Râksha Baliya;
the chrysoberyl (vaidurya) is sacred to Kehetu.

Saturn (Senasurâ) rides on a crow; with a fan in hand entwined with
banyan leaves (nuga) and is propitiated by the Dasa Krôdha Baliya;
the sapphire (indranîla) is sacred to this planet.

Venus (Sikurâ) rides on a buffalo with a whisk (châmara) in hand,
entwined with karanda leaves (galidupa arborea) and is propitiated by
the Giri Mangala Baliya; the diamond (vajra) is sacred to this planet.

Jupiter (Brahaspati) rides on a lion with a pot of flowers in hand,
entwined with bo leaves and is propitiated by the Abhaya Kalyâna
Baliya; the topaz (pusparâga) is sacred to Jupiter.

The moon rides on an elephant with a ribbon in hand entwined with
wood apple leaves (diwul) and propitiated by the Sôma Mangala Baliya;
pearls (mutu) are sacred to the moon.



One will not start on a journey, if he meets as he gets out a beggar,
a Buddhist priest, a person carrying firewood or his implements of
labour, if a lizard chirps, a dog sneezes or flaps his ears. Nor will
he turn back after once setting out; if he has forgotten anything it
is sent after him, he never returns for it. That the object of his
journey may be prosperous he starts with the right foot foremost
at an auspicious moment, generally at dawn, when the cock crows;
his hopes are at their highest if he sees on the way a milch cow,
cattle, a pregnant woman or a person carrying a pitcher full of water,
flowers or fruits.

Thieves will not get out when there is the handa madala (ring round
the moon) as they will be arrested.

The day's luck or ill-luck depends on what one sees the first thing
in the morning; if anything unlucky be done on a Monday, it will
continue the whole week.

If a crow caws near one's house in the morning, it forebodes sickness
or death, at noon pleasure or the arrival of a friend, and in the
evening profit; if it drops its excrement on the head, shoulders or
on the back of a person it signifies happiness but on the knee or in
step a speedy death.

A lizard warns by its chirp; if it chirps from the East pleasant
news can be expected, from the South news of sickness or death,
from the North profit and from the West the arrival of a friend. If
a lizard or a skink (hikenellâ) falls on the right side of a person,
he will gain riches, if on the left he will meet with ill luck.

A snake doctor finds out what kind of reptile had bitten a person by a
queer method; if the person who comes to fetch him touches his breast
with the right hand it is a viper; if the head it is a mapila; if the
stomach a frog; if the right shoulder with the left hand a karavalâ,
(bungarus coerulus); if he be excited a skink; and if the messenger
be a weeping female carrying a child it is a cobra.

Something similar to crystal gazing is attempted by means of a
betel leaf smeared with a magical oil; a female deity (Anjanan Devi)
appears on the leaf and reveals what the gazer seeks.

A professional fortune teller (guru) when a client comes to consult
him, measures the client's shadow, divides it into three equal parts
and after some calculations informs him whether a lost article will
be found, a sick person will recover or any enterprise will fail
or succeed.

Dreams that prognosticate a good future are kept secret, but bad ones
are published. When a bad dream is dreamt it is advisable to go to a
lime tree early in the morning, mention the dream and ask the tree to
take to itself all the bad effects. Dreams at the first watch of the
night will be accomplished in a year, at the second watch in eight
months, at the third watch in five months, and at the dawn of day in
ten days.

If a person dreams of riding on a bull or an elephant, ascending the
summit of a mountain, entering a palace, or smearing himself with
excrement he will obtain an increase of wealth.

If a person dreams that his right hand was bitten by a white serpent
he will obtain riches at the end of ten days.

If a person dreams of a crane, a domestic fowl, an eagle or crows,
he will get an indulgent wife.

If a person dreams of the sun or moon, he will be restored from

If the teeth of an individual in his dream fall out or shake his wealth
will be ruined or he will lose a child or parent but if his hands be
chained or bound together he will have a son or obtain a favour.

If a female clothed in black embraces a man in his dream it foretells

If a person dreams of an extensive field ripe for the sickle, he will
obtain rice paddy within ten days.

If a person dreams of an owl, a beast in rut or being burnt he will
lose his habitation.

If a person dreams of nymphs dancing, laughing, running or clapping
their hands, he will have to leave his native land.



Words of Power called Mantra are committed to memory and used for
various purposes. Jugglers utter them to raise a magic veil over the
eyes of the spectators, and sorcerers to detect thefts, to induce love,
to remove spells to cure possession and to inflict disease or death.

Mantra are uttered to keep away animals. Elephants are frightened by
"Om sri jâtâ hârê bhâvatu arahan situ." A dog takes to its heels when
the following is muttered thrice over the hand and stretched towards
it "Om namô budungê pâvâdê bat kâpu ballâ kikki kukkâ nam tô situ. Om
buddha namas saka situ."

As a preventive against harmful influences, a thread spun by a virgin,
and rubbed with turmeric is charmed over charcoal and resin-smoke
and tied round one's arm, waist or neck, having as many knots as the
number of the times the charm has been repeated.

Amulets (yantra) made of five kinds of metal (gold, silver, copper,
brass, iron) are similarly worn for avoiding evil and these are either
pentacle shaped, crescent shaped or cylindrical enclosing a charmed
ola leaf, charmed oil or charmed pills.

To win a girl's affections the lover has only to rub a charmed
vegetable paste over his face and show himself to the girl, or give
her to eat a charmed preparation of peacock's liver, honey and herbs
or make her chew a charmed betel leaf, or sprinkle on her some charmed
oil, or wear a charmed thread taken from her dress.

To detect a theft, a cocoanut is charmed, attached to a stick and
placed where a thief has made his escape, and while the operator holds
it he is led along to the thief's house. Persons suspected of theft are
made to stand with bared backs round an ash plantain tree and as it is
struck with a charmed creeper, the culprit gets an ashy streak on his
back. They are also asked to touch a charmed fowl in turn and the fowl
begins to crow as soon as the thief touches its body. The names of the
suspected persons are sometimes written on slips of paper and placed on
the ground with a cowrie shell opposite each slip, and as soon as the
mantra is uttered the shell opposite the thief's name begins to move.

Charmed branches are hung up by hunters and wayfarers near dangerous
spots. If charmed slaked lime be secretly rubbed on the lintel of a
man's house before he starts out shooting, he will not kill any bird,
and if rubbed on the threshold he will not kill any fourfooted animal.

A person under the influence of a charm is taken to a banyan tree
with his hair wrapped round the head of a cock; the hair is cut off
with a mantra, the bird nailed to the tree and the patient cured.

The charm known as Pilli is used to inflict immediate death; the
sorcerer procures a dead body of a child, animal, bird, reptile or
insect and goes at dawn, noon or midnight to a lonely spot where
three roads meet or to a grave yard and lying on his back utters a
mantra; the dead body becomes animated and it is given the name of
the intended victim with directions to inflict on him a fatal wound:
to stab, strangle, bite or sting him.

The charm called Angama causes the victim to throw up blood and it
affects within seven hours; the sorcerer takes some article that the
intended victim had worn or touched, goes to a lonely spot, charms it
and touches the victim, or fans him with it or stretches it towards
him, or keeps it in the hand and looks at his face or blows so that
the breath may light on him or leaves it in some accessible place
that it may be picked up by him.

The charm known as the Huniama is frequently practised and it
takes effect within intervals varying from a day to several years;
the sorcerer makes an image to represent the intended victim; nails
made of five kinds of metal are fixed at each joint, and the victim's
name written on a leaf, or a lock of his hair, or a nail paring, or a
thread from his dress inserted in its body; the image is charmed and
buried where the victim has to pass and if he does so, he falls ill
with swelling, with stiffness of joints, with a burning sensation in
his body or with paralysis.

A Pilli or Angama charm can be warded off if the victim himself be a
sorcerer when by a counter charm he can direct the operator himself
to be killed or injured.

A Huniama charm can be nullified by getting a sorcerer either to cut
some charmed lime fruits which have come in contact with the patient
or to slit with an arekanut cutter a charmed coil of creepers placed
round the patient's neck, shoulders and anklets or to keep a charmed
pumpkin gourd on the sorcerer's chest while lying on his back and
making the patient cut it in two with a bill hook, the parts being
thrown into the sea or a stream; or to break up a charmed waxen figure
and throw the pieces into boiling oil.



Serious maladies are inflicted by spirits or induced by the vitiation
of the triple force (vâta, pita, sema) which pervades the human
body. In the former case they are cured by devil dances and in the
latter by drugs. There are, however, numerous minor complaints where
folk-remedies are employed.

A cure for boils is to procure without speaking from a smithy water in
which the red hot iron has been cooled and apply it to the affected

For whooping cough is given gruel made of seven grains of rice
collected in a chunam receptacle (killôtê) without uttering a word
from seven houses on a Sunday morning.

To cure a sprain a mother who has had twins is asked to trample the
injured place, without informing any one else, every evening for a
couple of days.

A touch with a cat's tail removes a sty, and a toothache is cured
by biting a balsam plant (kûdalu) uprooted with the right hand,
the face averted.

When one is hurt by a nettle, cassia leaves (tôra) are rubbed on the
injured place with the words "tôra kola visa neta kahambiliyâva visa,
etc." (Cassia leaves are stingless but prickly is the nettle).

A firefly's bite requires "the mud of the sea and the stars of the sky"
to effect a cure--a cryptic way of saying salt and the gum of the eye.

Ill effects of the evil mouth and evil eye are dispelled by various
means:--either a packet made of some sand trodden by the offender is
taken three times round the head and thrown into a pot of live coals;
or a receptacle containing cocoanut shell ashes, burnt incense,
and a few clods of earth from a neighbouring garden is buried in
the compound.

Patients suffering with small pox or a kindred disease are kept in a
separate hut, cloth dyed in turmeric and margosa leaves are used in
the room; and after recovery an infusion of margosa leaves is rubbed
on their heads before they are bathed.

A string of coral shows by the fading of its colour that the wearer is
ill; to prevent pimples and eruptions a chank is rubbed on the face,
when washing it.

When there is a difficult child-birth the cupboards and the doors
in the house are unlocked. For infantile convulsions, a piece of the
navel cord is tied round the child's body.

If one has warts on his body, stones equal in number to them are tied
to a piece of rag and thrown where three roads meet; the person who
picks up the packet and unties it gets the warts and the other becomes
free of them.

When a person gets a hiccough, he gets rid of it by holding up his
breath and repeating seven times "ikkayi mâyi Gâlugiya, ikka, hitalâ
man âvâ" (Hiccough and I went to Galle; he stayed back and I returned).

Extreme exhaustion will ensue if the perspiration from one's body is
scraped off; the cure is to swallow the collected sweat.



A village community occupy a well defined settlement (wasama) within
which are the hamlets (gan), and in each hamlet live a few families who
have their separate homesteads (mulgedera) with proprietary interests
in the arable land and communal rights in the forest, waste and pasture
land. A group of such settlements comprise a country district (rata,
kôrale, pattu).

There are two types of village settlements, in one there are the free
peasant proprietors cultivating their private holdings without any
interference, and in the other the people occupy the lands subject
to an overlord, and paying him rent in service, food or money or in
all three.

All communities whether free or servile had, in ancient times to
perform râjakariya for 15 to 30 days a year; in time of war to guard
the passes and serve as soldiers, and ordinarily to construct or
repair canals, tanks, bridges and roads. These public duties were
exacted from all males who could throw a stone over their huts; the
military services were, in later times, claimed only from a special
class of the king's tenants.

The people had also to contribute to the Revenue three times a year,
at the New Year festival, (April) at the alutsâl festival (January)
and the maha or kâtti festival (November) in arrack, oil, paddy, honey,
wax, cloth, iron, elephant's tusks, tobacco, and money collected by
the headmen from the various country districts. The quantity of paddy
(kathhâl) supplied by each family depended on the size of the private
holding; but no contribution was levied on the lands of persons slain
in war or on lands dedicated to priests. When a man of property died,
5 measures of paddy, a bull, a cow with calf, and a male and female
buffalo were collected as death dues (marral.)

The people are divided into various castes and there is reason to
believe that these had a tribal basis. The lower castes formed tribes
of a prehistoric Dravidian race (the Rakshas of tradition) who drove
into the interior the still earlier Australoid Veddahs (the Yakkhas
of tradition). The higher castes of North Indian origin followed,
and frequent intercourse with the Dekkan in later historical times led
to the introduction of new colonists who now form the artisan castes.

A caste consists of a group of clans, and each clan claims descent
from a common ancestor and calls itself either after his name, or the
office he held, or if a settler, the village from which he came. The
clan name was dropped when a person became a chief and a surname which
became hereditary assumed. The clan name was however, not forgotten
as the ancestral status of the family was ascertained from it. The
early converts to Christianity during the Portuguese ascendancy in
Ceylon adopted European surnames which their descendants still use.

The various castes can be divided socially into five groups. The first
comprising the numerically predominating Ratêettô who cultivate fields,
herd cattle and serve as headmen.

The second group consists of the Naides who work as smiths, carpenters,
toddy drawers, elephant keepers, potters, pack bullock drivers,
tailors, cinnamon peelers, fish curers and the like.

The Ratêetto and the Naide groups wear alike, and the second group are
given to eat by the first group on a rice table of metal or plaited
palm leaf about a foot high, water to drink in a pot and a block of
wood as a seat; they have the right to leave behind the remains of
their meals.

The third group are the Dureyâs who work as labourers besides attending
to their special caste duties--a kandê dureyâ makes molasses, a
batgam dureyâ carries palanquins, a hunu dureyâ burns coral rock in
circular pits to make lime for building; a valli dureyâ weaves cloth
and a panna dureyâ brings fodder for elephants and cattle.

The fourth group consists of professional dancers, barbers and
washers. Of the professional dancers, the Neketto dance and beat drums
at all public functions and at devil and planetary ceremonies, while
the inferior Oli do so only at the Gara Yakum dance. The washers are of
different grades; Radav wash for the Rate Ettô, Hinnevo for the Naides,
Paliyo for the Dureyâs, barbers and Nekettô, and Gangâvo for the Oli.

The Dureyâs and the group below them were not allowed to wear a
cloth that reached below their knees and their women except the Radav
females were not entitled to throw a cloth over their shoulders.

The Dureyâs were given to eat on the ground on a plaited palm leaf;
water to drink was poured onto their hands and they had to take away
the remains of their meal. The fourth group had to take away with
them the food offered.

The fifth group consists of the outcastes; the Kinnaru and the Rodi
who contest between themselves the pride of place. The Kinnaru are
fibre mat weavers who were forbidden to grow their hair beyond their
necks, and their females from wearing above their waist anything more
than a narrow strip of cloth to cover their breasts. The Rodi are
hideworkers and professional beggars; the females were prohibited
from using any covering above their waists.

A guest of equal social status is received at the entrance by the
host and is led inside by the hand; on a wedding day the bridegroom's
feet are washed by the bride's younger brother before he enters the
house. Kissing is the usual form of salutation among females and
near relatives and among friends the salutation is by bringing the
palms together.

When inferiors meet a superior they bend very low with the palms
joined in front of the face or prostrate themselves on the ground;
when they offer a present it is placed on a bundle of 40 betel leaves
and handed with the stalks towards the receiver.

A guest always sends in advance a box of eatables as a present; when
the repast is ready for him he is supplied with water to wash his
face, feet and mouth; and the host serves him with rice and curry,
skins the plantains for him, and makes his chew of betel. The males
always eat first and the females afterwards; and they drink water by
pouring it into their mouths from a spouted vessel (kotale).

At the guest's departure, the host accompanies him some distance--at
least as far as the end of the garden. When a person of distinction,
a Buddhist priest or a chief visits a house, the rooms are limed and
the seats are spread with white cloth.

An inferior never sits in the presence of a superior, and whenever
they meet, the former removes the shade over his head, gets out of
the way and makes a very low obeisance.

Seven generations of recognised family descent is the test of
respectability, and each ancestor has a name of his own: appa, âtâ,
muttâ, nattâ, panattâ, kittâ, kirikittâ (father, grand father, great
grand father, etc.)

The system of kinship amongst the Sinhalese is of the classificatory
kind where the kin of the same generation are grouped under one
general term.

The next of kin to a father or mother and brother or sister are the
fathers' brothers and the mothers' sisters, and the mothers' brothers
and the fathers' sisters; of these the first pair has a parental
rank and is called father (appa) or mother (amma) qualified by the
words big, intermediate or little, according as he or she is older
or younger than the speaker's parents; their children are brothers
(sahodarya) and sisters (sahodari) to the speaker and fathers and
mothers to the speaker's children.

The second pair becomes uncle (mamâ) and aunt (nenda) to the speaker
qualified as before; their children are male cousins (massina) and
female cousins (nêna) to the speaker, and uncles and aunts to the
speaker's children.

Those who are related as brothers and sisters rarely marry, and a
husband's relations of the parental class are to his wife, uncles,
aunts and cousins of the other class and vice versâ.

These terms are also used as expressions of friendship or endowment
and also to denote other forms of kinship. The term 'father'
is applied to a mother's sister's husband, or a step father;
'mother' to a father's brother's wife or a step mother; 'uncle'
to a father's sister's husband or a father-in-law. 'Aunt' to a
mother's brother's wife or mother-in-law. 'Brother' to a wife's or
husband's brother-in-law or a maternal cousin's husband; 'Sister'
to a wife's or husband's sister-in-law or a maternal cousin's wife,
"male cousin" to a brother-in-law or a paternal cousin's husband;
"female cousin" to a sister-in-law or a paternal cousin's wife.

The terms son, daughter, nephew, niece, grandson, grand daughter,
great grandson and great grand daughter include many kinsfolk of the
same generation. A son is one's own son, or the son of a brother (male
speaking), or the son of a sister (female speaking); a daughter is
one's own daughter, the daughter of a brother (M. S.) or the daughter
of a sister (F. S.); a nephew is a son-in-law, the son of a sister
(M. S.) or the son of a brother (F. S.); a niece is a daughter-in-law,
the daughter of a sister (M. S.) or the daughter of a brother (F. S.);
a grandson and grand daughter are a 'son's' or 'daughter's' or a
'nephew's' or 'niece's' children, and their sons and daughters are
great grand sons and great grand daughters.

Land disputes and the petty offences of a village were settled by the
elders in an assembly held at the ambalama or under a tree. The serious
difficulties were referred by them in case of a freehold community
to the district chief, and in the case of a subject community to the
overlord. A manorial overlord was invariably the chief of the district
as well.

The paternal ancestral holding of a field, garden and chena devolves
on all the sons, but not on sons who were ordained as Buddhist Priests
before the father's demise, nor on daughters who have married and
left for their husbands' homes.

A daughter, however, who lived with her husband at her father's
house has all the rights and privileges of a son, but the husband
has no claim whatsoever to his wife's property, and such a husband is
advised to have constantly with him a walking stick, a talipot shade
and a torch, as he may be ordered by his wife to quit her house at
any time and in any state of the weather.

A daughter who lives in her husband's home can claim a share in the
mother's property only if the father has left an estate for the sons
to inherit; she has, however, a full right with her brothers to any
inheritance collaterally derived.

She will not forfeit her share in her father's inheritance if
she returns to her father's house, or if she leaves a child in her
father's house to be brought up or if she keeps up a close connection
with her father's house.

After her husband's death she has a life interest on his
acquired property, and a right to maintenance from his inherited
property. Failing issue, she is the heir to a husband's acquired
property, but the husband's inherited property goes to the source
from whence it came.

A child who has been ungrateful to his parents or has brought
disgrace on the family is disinherited; in olden times the father in
the presence of witnesses declared his child disinherited, struck a
hatchet against a tree or rock and gave his next heir an ola mentioning
the fact of disherision.

There is no prescribed form for the adoption of a child who gets all
the rights of a natural child, but it is necessary that he is of the
same caste as the adopted father, and that he is publicly acknowledged
as son and heir.

Illegitimate children share equally with the legitimate their
fathers' acquired property, but not his inherited property which goes
exclusively to the legitimate children.

Polyandry was a well established institution in Ceylon; the associated
husbands are invariably brothers or cousins. Polyandry was practised
to prevent a sub-division of the ancestral property and also owing to
the exigencies of the râjakâriya (feudal service); when the brothers on
a farm were called out for their fifteen days' labour, custom allowed
one of them to be left behind as a companion to the female at home.

Divorces are obtained by mutual consent; a husband forcibly removing
the switch of hair off his wife's head was considered a sufficient
reason for a separation. If a woman left her husband without his
consent it was thought illegal for her to marry till the husband
married again.

Contracts were made orally or in writing in the presence of witnesses,
sanctioned by the imprecation that the one who broke faith will
be born a dog, a crow or in one of the hells, and the contract was
expected to last till the sun and moon endure. Representations of a
dog, a crow, sun and moon are to be found on stones commemorating a
royal gift. If a man contracts by giving a stone in the king's name
it is binding and actionable.

A creditor forced the payment of his debt by going to the debtor's
house and threatening to poison himself with the leaves of the
niyangalâ (gloriosa superba) or by threatening to jump down a steep
place or to hang himself; on which event the debtor would be forced
to pay to the authorities a ransom for the loss of the creditor's life.

The creditor at times sent a servant to the debtor's house to live
there and make constant demands till payment was made; and at times
tethered an unserviceable bull, cow or buffalo in the debtor's garden,
who was obliged to maintain it, be responsible for its trespass on
other gardens, and to give another head of cattle, if it died or was
lost in his keeping.

When a man died indebted, it was customary for a relative to tie
round his neck a piece of rag with a coin attached and beg about the
country till the requisite sum was collected.

When a debt remained in the debtor's hands for two years it doubled
itself and no further interest could be charged. A creditor had the
right to seize, on a permit from a chief, the debtor's chattels and
cattle or make the debtor and his children slaves. A wife, however,
could only be seized if she was a creditor and came with her husband
to borrow the money, and the creditor could sell the debtor's children
only after the debtor's death. A man could pawn or sell himself or
his children. Children born to a bond woman by a free man were slaves,
while children born to a free woman by a bond man were free. If seed
paddy is borrowed, it is repaid with 50 percent. interest at the
harvest; if the harvest fails, it is repaid at the next successful
harvest, but no further interest is charged.

If cattle be borrowed for ploughing, the owner of the cattle is given
at the harvest paddy equal to the amount sown on the field ploughed.

The King alone inquired into murder, treason, sacrilege, conspiracy
and rebellion; he alone had the right to order capital punishment or
the dismemberment of limbs; his attention was drawn to a miscarriage
of justice by the representation of a courtier, by the aggrieved
persons taking refuge in a sanctuary like the Daladâ Mâligâva, by
prostrating in front of the King's palace and attracting his attention
by making their children cry, or by ascending a tree near the palace
and proclaiming their grievances.

The petitioners were sometimes beaten and put in chains for troubling
the King.

For capital offences, as murder and treason, the nobility was
decapitated with the sword; the lower classes were paraded through
the streets with a chaplet of shoe flowers on their heads, bones
of oxen round their necks, and their bodies whitened with lime, and
then impaled, quartered and hanged on trees, or pierced with spear
while prostrate on the ground, or trampled on by elephants and torn
with their tusks. Whole families sometimes suffered for the offences
of individuals.

Outcaste criminals like the Rodiyas were shot from a distance as
it was pollution to touch them. Female offenders were made to pound
their children and then drowned.

The punishments for robbing the treasury, for killing cattle, for
removing a sequestration, and for striking a priest or chief consisted
of cutting off the offender's hair, pulling off his flesh with iron
pincers dismembering his limbs and parading him through the streets
with the hands about the neck.

Corporal punishment was summarily inflicted with whips or rods while
the offender was bound to a tree or was held down with his face to
the ground; he was then paraded through the streets with his hands
tied behind him, preceded by a tom tom beater and made to declare
his offence.

Prisoners were sent away to malarial districts or kept in chains or
stocks in the common jail or in the custody of a chief, or quartered in
villages. The inhabitants had to supply the prisoners with victuals,
the families doing so by turns, or the prisoners went about with
a keeper begging or they procured the expenses by selling their
handiwork in way-side shops built near the prison. The prisoners had
to sweep the streets and were deprived of their headdress which they
could resume only when they were discharged.

Thieves had to restore the stolen property or pay a sevenfold fine
(wandia); till the fine was paid, the culprit was placed under
restraint (velekma): a circle was drawn round him on the ground,
and he was not allowed to step beyond it, and had to stay there
deprived of his head covering exposed to the sun, sometimes holding
a heavy stone on his shoulder, sometimes having a sprig of thorns
drawn between his naked legs.

A whole village was fined if there was a suicide of a sound person, if
a corpse was found unburied or unburnt, or if there was an undetected
murder. In case of the breach of any sumptuary law, the inhabitants
of the offender's village were tabooed and their neighbours prohibited
from dealing or eating with them.

Oaths were either mere asseverations on one's eyes or on one's mother
or imprecations by touching the ground or by throwing up handful
of sand or by raising the hand towards the sun, or by touching a
pebble, or appeals to the insignia of some deity, or to the Buddhist
scriptures or to Buddha's mandorla. The forsworn person was punished
in this world itself except in the last mentioned two instances when
the perjurer would suffer in his next birth.

There were five forms of ordeal, resorted to in land disputes and the
villagers were summoned to the place of trial by messengers showing
them a cloth tied with 3 knots.

The ordeal of hot oil required the adversaries to put their middle
fingers in boiling oil and water mixed with cow dung; if both parties
got burnt the land in dispute was equally divided; otherwise the
uninjured party got the whole land.

The other four modes consisted of the disputants partaking of some rice
boiled from the paddy of the field in dispute, breaking an earthen
vessel and eating of a cocoanut that was placed on the portion of
the land in question, removing rushes laid along the boundary line in
dispute, or striking each other with the mud of the disputed field;
and the claim was decided against the person to whom some misfortune
fell within 7 to 14 days.

There were two other forms which had fallen into disuse even in ancient
times owing to the severity of the tests viz. carrying a red hot iron
in hand seven paces without being burnt, and picking some coins out
of a vessel containing a cobra without being bitten.



When a mother is pregnant she avoids looking at deformed persons, or
ugly images and pictures, fearing the impression she gets from them
may influence the appearance of her offspring; during this delicate
period she generally pounds rice with a pestle, as the exertion is
supposed to assist delivery, and for the same purpose a few hours
before the birth of the child all the cupboards in the house are
unlocked. For her to cling to, when the pains of child-birth are
unbearable, a rope tied to the roof hangs by the mat or bedside.

The water that the child is washed in after birth is poured on to the
foot of a young tree, and the latter is remembered and pointed out
to commemorate the event; a little while after the infant is ushered
into the world a rite takes place, when a drop of human milk obtained
from some one other than the mother mixed with a little gold is given
to the babe (rankiri kata gânavâ), and the little child's ability to
learn and pronounce well is assured.

When the sex of the child is known, if it be a boy a pestle is thrown
from one side of the house to the other; if a girl, an ikle broom;
those who are not in the room pretend to find out whether it is a
she or a he by its first cry, believing it is louder in the case of
the former than of the latter. The cries of the babe are drowned by
those of the nurse, lest the spirits of the forest become aware of
its presence and inflict injury on it.

At the birth of the first born cocoanut shells are pounded in a mortar.

The mother is never kept alone in the room, a light is kept burning in
it night and day, and the oil of the margosa is much used in the room
for protection; care is taken that the navel cord is not buried and
a little of it is given to the mother with betel if she fall severely
ill. Visitors to the lying-in-room give presents to the midwife when
the child is handed to them, especially if it is the first-born one.

A month after birth, the babe, nicely dressed and with tiny garlands
of acorus calamus (wadakaha) and allium sativum (sudu lûnu) tied
round its wrists and lamp-black applied under the eye-brows, is for
the first time brought out to see the light of day (dottavadanavâ);
and it is made to look at a lamp placed in the centre of a mat or
table, with cakes (kevum) made of rice-flour, jaggery, and cocoanut
oil, plantains, rice boiled with cocoanut milk (kiribat), and other
eatables placed around it. The midwife then hands round the little
child to the relatives and gets some presents for herself.

The rite of eating rice (indul katagânavâ or bat kavanavâ) is gone
through when the child is seven months old; the same eatables are
spread on a plantain-leaf with different kinds of coins, and the
child placed among them; what it first touches is carefully observed,
and if it be kiribat it is considered very auspicious. The father or
grandfather places a few grains of rice in the child's mouth, and
the name that is used at home (bat nama) is given on that day. The
astrologer, who has already cast the infant's horoscope and has
informed the parents of its future, is consulted for a lucky day and
hour for the performance of the above observances.

The children are allowed to run in complete nudity till about five
years and their heads are fully shaved when young; a little of the
hair first cut is carefully preserved. From an early age a boy is
sent every morning to the pansala, where the village priest keeps his
little school, till a certain course of reading is completed and he
is old enough to assist the father in the fields. The first day he
is taught the alphabet a rite is celebrated (at pot tiyanava), when
a platform is erected, and on it are placed sandal-wood, a light,
resin, kiribat, kevum, and other forms of rice cakes as an offering
to Ganêsâ, the god of wisdom, and the remover of all obstacles and
difficulties. At a lucky hour the pupil washes the feet of his future
guru, offers him betel, worships him, and receives the book, which he
has to learn, at his hands, and, as the first letters of the alphabet
are repeated by him after his master, a husked cocoanut is cut in
two as an invocation to Ganêsâ. A girl is less favoured and has to
depend for her literary education on her mother or an elder sister;
more attention, however, is paid to teach her the domestic requirements
of cooking, weaving and knitting, which will make her a good wife.

On the attainment of the years of puberty by a girl she is confined to
a room, no male being allowed to see her or be seen by her. After two
weeks she is taken out with her face covered and bathed at the back of
the house by the female inmates, except little girls and widows, with
the assistance of the family laundress, who takes all the jewellry on
the maiden's person. Near the bathing-place are kept branches of any
milk-bearing tree, usually of the jak tree. On her return from her
purification, her head and face, still covered, she goes three times
round a mat having on it kiribat, plantains, seven kinds of curries,
rice, cocoanuts, and, in the centre, a lamp With seven lighted wicks;
and as she does she pounds with a pestle some paddy scattered round the
provisions. Next, she removes the covering, throws it on to the dhôbî
(washerwoman) and, after making obeisance to the lamp and, putting
out its wicks by clapping her hands, presents the laundress with money
placed on a betel leaf. She is then greeted by her relatives, who are
usually invited to a feast, and is presented by them with valuable
trinkets. Everything that was made use of for the ceremony is given
to the washerwoman. In some cases, till the period of purification is
over, the maiden is kept in a separate hut which is afterwards burnt
down. Girls who have arrived at the age of puberty are not allowed to
remain alone, as devils may possess them and drive them mad; and till
three months have elapsed no fried food of any sort is given to them.

The 'shaving of the beard' is the rite the young man has to go
through, it is performed at a lucky hour and usually takes place a
few days before marriage; the barber here plays the important part the
laundress did in the other. The shavings are put into a cup, and the
person operated on, as well as his relatives who have been invited,
put money into it; this is taken by the barber; and the former are
thrown on to a roof that they may not be trampled upon.

Marriages are arranged between two families by a relative or a trusted
servant of one of them, who, if successful, is handsomely rewarded
by both parties. The chances of success depend on the state of the
horoscopes of the two intended partners, their respectability which
forms a very important factor in the match, the dowry which used
to consist of agricultural implements, a few head of cattle, and
domestic requisites, together with a small sum of money to set the
couple going, and, if connected, the distance of relationship. Two
sisters' or brothers' children are rarely allowed to marry, but the
solicitation of a mother's brother's or father's sister's son is
always preferred to that of any other.

A few days before the marriage, the two families, in their respective
hamlets, send a messenger from house to house to ask, by presenting
betel, the fellow-villagers of their own caste for a breakfast; and
the guests bring with them presents in money. Only few, however, are
invited to the wedding; and the party of the bridegroom, consisting
of two groomsmen, an attendant carrying a talipot shade over him,
musicians, pingo-bearers, relatives and friends, arrives in the
evening at the bride's village and halts at a distance from her
house. A messenger is then sent in advance with a few pingo-loads of
plantains, and with betel-leaves equal in number to the guests, to
inform of their arrival; and when permission is received to proceed,
generally by the firing of a jingal, they advance, and are received
with all marks of honour; white cloth is spread all the way by the
washerwoman, and at the entrance a younger brother of the bride
washes the bridegroom's feet and receives a ring as a present. A sum
of money is paid to the dhôbi (washerwoman) as a recompense for her
services. They are then entertained with music, food and betel till the
small hours of the morning, when the marriage ceremony commences. The
bride and bridegroom are raised by two of their maternal uncles on to
a dais covered with white cloth, and having on it a heap of raw rice,
cocoanuts, betel leaves and coins. A white jacket and a cloth to wear
are presented by the bridegroom to the bride; betel and balls of boiled
rice are exchanged; their thumbs are tied together by a thread, and,
while water is poured on their hands from a spouted vessel by the
bride's father, certain benedictory verses are recited. Last of all,
a web of white cloth is presented by the bridegroom to the bride's
mother; and it is divided among her relatives.

In connection with this presentation it is said that if the
mother-in-law be dead, the web should be left in a thicket hard by
to appease her spirit.

On the day after the wedding the married couple return to their future
home with great rejoicing, and on their entering the house a husked
cocoanut is cut in two on the threshold.

The tokens of virginity are observed by the bridegroom's mother,
and the visit of the parents and relatives of the bride a few days
after completes the round of ceremonies.

There is a peculiar custom fast disappearing, and almost totally
extinct, called Kula Kanavâ, that is, making one respectable by eating
with him. If a member of a family makes a mésalliance he is cast
out of his clan, and should he want his children and himself to be
recognized and taken back by the relatives, the latter are induced to
attend and partake of a feast given by him at his house. The 'making
up' takes place when very many years have elapsed, and only if the
wife who was the cause of the breach is dead. The difference due to
marriage with another caste or nationality is never healed up.

Even in the presence of death, ceremonies are not wanting; if the
dying patient is known to have been fond of his earthly belongings,
and seems to delay in quitting this life, a few pieces of his furniture
are washed and a little drop of the water given to him. A lamp is
kept burning near the corpse, the body is washed before burial and a
piece of cotton or a betel-leaf is put into its mouth. All the time
the body is in the house nothing is cooked, and the inmates eat the
food supplied by their neighbours (adukku).

No one of the same village is told of the death, but all are expected
to attend the funeral; the outlying villages, however, are informed
by a relative who goes from house to house conveying the sad news.

The visitors are given seats covered with white cloth; and the betel
for them to chew are offered with the backs of the leaves upwards as
an indication of sorrow. Some times only the relatives come, while
friends leave betel at a distance from the house and go away fearing
pollution. It may be observed that, according to the Sinhalese belief,
pollution is caused by the attaining of puberty by a maiden which
lasts fourteen days; by the monthly flow of a woman which lasts till
she bathes; by child-birth which lasts one month; and by death which
lasts three months.

Friends and relatives salute the body with their hands clasped in
the attitude of prayer, and only the members of the family kiss
it. The route along which the funeral proceeds is previously strewn
with white sand, and the coffin is carried by the closest relatives,
with the cloth to be given to the priests for celebrating the service
thrown on it, over white foot-cloth spread by the dhôbi, and preceded
by the tom-tom beaters with muffled drums. Lights are carried by the
coffin and a shade is held over the head of it.

The service commences with the intoning of the three Refugees of
Buddhism and the Five Vows of abstinence by one of the priests,
and they are repeated after by those present, all squatting on the
ground. The cloth, referred to, is then given to be touched by the
bystanders in order to partake of the merits of the almsgiving;
one end of it is placed on the coffin, and the other is held by the
priests. They recite three times the Pali verse that all organic and
inorganic matter are impermanent, that their nature is to be born and
die, and that cessation of existence is happiness; and while water
is poured from a spouted vessel into a cup or basin, they chant the
lines that the fruits of charity reach the departed even as swollen
rivers fill the ocean and the rain-water that falls on hill-tops
descends to the plain. A short ex tempore speech by a priest on the
virtues of the deceased completes the service.

If it be a burial, the grave is by the roadside of the garden with
a thatched covering over it. Two lights are lit at the head and the
foot of the mound, the bier in which the coffin was carried is placed
over it, and a young tree planted to mark its site.

In a cremation, the coffin is first carried with music three times
round the pyre, and the latter is set fire to by the sons or nephews
with their faces turned away from it. Those assembled leave when the
pyre is half burnt; and, on the following day, or a few days after,
the ashes are collected and buried in the garden of the deceased, over
which a column is erected, or they are thrown into the nearest stream.

The party bathe before returning to the house, and are supplied by the
dhôbi with newly-washed clothes; during their absence the house is well
cleansed and purified by the sprinkling of water mixed with cow-dung;
and the visitors before leaving partake of a meal either brought from
some neighbour's or cooked after the body had been removed.



In the olden time, people were occupied according to their caste,
but now they pursue any vocation they choose, carefully avoiding the
inauspicious hours.

One man works at his field or goes hunting and honey gathering; a
second fishes at the village stream with a rod made of the midrib of
the kitul leaf; a third slings his basket of garden produce at the ends
of a kitul shaft and carries them on his shoulders to towns or village
fairs; a fourth climbs the palm trees with his ankles encircled by
a ring of cocoanut leaf and picks the fruit with his hand; a fifth
taps for toddy the blossoms of several cocoanut trees by coupling
their crowns with stout ropes to walk upon and the straight boughs
with smaller ropes to support himself; a sixth brings for sale from
the county straw and firewood in single or double bullock carts and
a seventh transports cocoanuts, salt, and dried fish to centres of
trade by pack bullocks or in flat bottomed boats.

The women either make molasses from the unfermented toddy; or plait
mats of dyed rushes in mazy patterns; or earn a pittance by selling
on a small stand by the roadside the requisites for a chew of betel;
or hawk about fruits and vegetables in baskets carried on their heads;
or keep for sale, on a platform in the verandah, sweetmeats and other
eatables protected from the crows which infest the place by a net;
or make coir by beating out the fibre from soaked cocoanut husks;
or attend to their domestic duties with a child astride their hips;
or seated lull their infant child to sleep on their outstretched legs.

Various ceremonies are performed in the sylvan occupations of hunting
and honey gathering.

"Hunting parties of the Kandian Sinhalese of the North Central Province
perform a ceremony which is very similar to that of the Wanniyas [7]
and Veddahs [8] when about to leave their village on one of their
expeditions in the forest. Under a large shady tree they prepare a
maessa, or small covered shrine, which is raised about three feet
off the ground, and is open only in front; it is supported on four
sticks set in the ground. In this they offer the following articles if
available, or as many as possible of them:--one hundred betel leaves,
one hundred arekanuts, limes, oranges, pine apples, sugar cane, a head
of plantains, a cocoanut, two quarts of rice boiled specially at the
site of the offering, and silver and gold. Also the flowers of the
arekanut tree, the cocoanut, and ratmal tree. All are purified by
lustration and incense, as usual, and dedicated. They then light a
small lamp at the front of the offering, and remain there watching
it until it expires, differing in this respect from the practice
of the Wanniyas, who must never see the light go out. Before the
light expires they perform obeisance towards the offering, and
utter aloud the following prayer for the favour and protection of
the forest deities, which must also be repeated every morning during
the expedition, after their millet cake, gini-pûva, has been eaten,
before starting for the day's hunting:--

This is for the favour of the God Ayiyanâr; for the favour of the Kiri
Amma, for the favour of the Kataragama God (Skanda) for the favour
of Kalu Dêvatâ; for the favour of Kambili Unnæhæ; for the favour of
Ilandâri Dêvatâ Unnæhæ; for the favour of Kadavara Dêvatâ Unnæhæ; for
the favour of Galê Bandâra; for the favour of the Hat Rajjuruvô. We
are going to your jungle (uyana); we do not want to meet with even
a single kind of [dangerous] wild animals. We do not want to meet
with the tall one (elephant), the jungle watcher (bear), the animal
with the head causing fear (snake), the leopard. You must blunt the
thorns. We must meet with the horn bearer (sambar deer), the deer
(axis), the ore full of oil (pig), the noosed one (iguâna), the
storehouse (beehive). We must meet about three pingo (carrying-stick)
loads of honey. By the favour of the Gods. We ask only for the sake
of our bodily livelihood [9]".

The jungle attached to a village was the game preserve of its
inhabitants; game laws were concerned with the boundaries of the
village jungle, and with rights of ownership of the game itself. One
half of the game killed by a stranger belonged to the village, and
the headman of the village was entitled to a leg and four or five
pounds of flesh of every wild animal killed by the villagers.

For regulating the time and manner of fishing in sea, old communal
rules have been legalised and are now in force. Fishing with large nets
(mâdel) begins about 1st October and ends by May 31st in each year;
the number of boats and nets to be used in each inlet is limited;
the boats and nets are registered and every registered boat and net
is used in the warâya (inlets) by rotation in order of register;
the turn of each net and boat begins at sunrise and ends at sunrise
of the next day; the headman who supervises these is called the
mannandirâle. Whenever koralebabbu, bôllo, ehelamuruvo and such other
fish come into the warâya, so long as these swarm in the inlet they
should be caught by rod and line and nothing else; when they are
leaving the inlet, the headman in consultation with at least six
fishermen appoint a date from which boru del or visi del may be used;
on no account are mahadel allowed to be used [10].

Each of the boats with its nets belongs to several co-owners and "on a
day's fishing the produce is drawn ashore, is divided in a sufficient
number of lots, each estimated to be worth the same assigned value,
and these lots are so distributed that 1-50 goes to the owner of the
land on which the fish are brought to shore, 1\4 to those engaged
in the labour, 1-5 for the assistance of extra nets etc., rendered
by third parties in the process of landing and securing the fish,
which together equal 47-100 and the remaining 53-100 go to the owners
of the boat and net according to their shares therein" [11].

Owners of cattle have brand marks to distinguish the cattle of their
caste and class from those of others; individual ownership is indicated
by branding in addition the initial letters of the owner's name.

Herdsmen who tend cattle for others are entitled in the case of the
bulls and the he buffaloes they tend to their labour, in the case of
cows and she buffaloes to every second third and fifth calf born,
and in the case of calves to a half share interest in the young
animals themselves.

"At the first milking of a cow there is a ceremony called kiri
ettirima. The cow is milked 3 different mornings successively,
when the milk is boiled, and poured into three different vessels,
till the whole is coagulated. On the fourth day, butter from each
vessel is preserved in a clean basin, to form the principal part
of the ceremony at a convenient time. From that day the milk may be
used, but with particular care never to throw the least milk, or any
water that might have washed the milk basons, out of doors. When
the convenient time has arrived a bunch of plantains is prepared,
cakes are baked, three pots of rice are boiled, a vegetable curry,
and a condiment are prepared by an individual who must manifest all
cleanness on the occasion, even to the putting a handkerchief before
his mouth to present the saliva from falling into the ingredients. All
these preparations are brought to an apartment swept and garnished
for the purpose where the kapuva cleanly clothed enters and burns
sandarac powder, muttering incantations with the intent of removing
all evil supposed to rest upon the family, and of bringing down a
blessing upon them and their cattle.

Next the kapuva takes 7 leaves of the plantain tree and lays 5 of
them in order on the table, canopied, and spread with white cloth, in
honour of the gods Wiramunda deviyo, Kosgama deviyo, Pasgama deviyo,
Combihamy, and Weddihamy; and the other 2 are put on piece of mat on
the ground in honour of the washer and the tom tom beater supposed
to have attended these supernatural beings. Over all these leaves the
boiled rice from one of the pots is divided, then from the second and
third. He afterwards does the same with the curry, and the condiment,
cakes, plantains etc., prepared for the performance. He then pretends
to repeat the same process by way of deception making a motion, and
sounding the ladle on the brim of the pots, as if rice and other
ingredients were apportioned the second time etc., to satisfy the
gods and the two attendants.

The kapuva next takes a little of every ingredient from all the leaves,
both on the table and on the ground, into a cup (made of leaves),
and supporting it over his head marches out from the apartment,
closing its door; and he conveys it either to the fold of the cattle,
or to some elevated place where he dedicates and offers it to the
many thousands of the demons and their attendants who are supposed
to have accompanied the above particular gods, praying them, by
means of incantations, to accept the offering he has brought before
them. From hence he returns to the door of the apartment he had closed,
and knocking at it, as if to announce his entrance, he opens it and
mutters a few more incantations, praying the gods to allow them,
(including himself and the members of the family) to partake of the
remnants that have been offered in their honour. After these ceremonies
are performed, the kapuva, with all the rest, partakes of everything
that was prepared, and the owner of the cow may from this day dispose
of the milk according to his own pleasure." [12].

Rural rites differing in details in different localities are observed
by the Singhalese peasantry in their agricultural pursuits. [13]

In all places a lucky day for ploughing is fixed in consultation with
an astrologer. It is considered unfortunate to begin work on the 1st or
2nd day of the month, and after the work is begun it must be desisted
from on unlucky days such as the 7th, 8th, 9th, 13th, 14th and 21st.

Sowing is also commenced at a lucky day and hour pronounced by the
astrologer to be the most favourable. In a corner of the field,
on a mound of mud where are placed a ginger or a habarala plant
(arum maculatum), a cocoanut or an areka flower and some saffron,
is sown a handful of the first seed and dedicated to the gods; and
after that the entire field is sown.

To drive away insects from the growing rice, charm-lamps are lighted
at the four corners of the field or a worm is enclosed in a charmed
orange and buried there or a fly or grub is fumigated with charmed
resin smoke and bidden to depart or a cultivator sounds a charmed
bell metal plate with a kaduru stick crying to the flies "yan yanta"
(please go).

When the reaping time comes the portion of rice dedicated to the gods
is first reaped by some person who is not a member of the proprietor's
family. It is kept apart on an elevated place till the reaping of the
rest of the field is done when it is cooked and ceremonially offered
to the kapurâla.

The threshing is done on a floor specially prepared; when the crop
is ripe a small pit is made in the centre of the threshing floor
in which are placed a margosa plant, and a conch shell containing a
piece of the tolabu plant (crinum asiaticum) and of the hiressa (vitis
cissus quadrangularis), a piece of metal, charcoal and a small grain
sheaf. Besting on these is an ellipsoidal luck stone (arakgala), round
which are traced with ashes three concentric circles bisected by lines
and in the segments are drawn representations of a broom, a scraper,
a flail, a measure, agricultural implements and Buddha's foot print.

At the lucky hour the cultivator walks three times round the inner
circles of the threshing floor with a sheaf on his head, bowing to the
centre stone at east, north, west and south and casts down the sheaf
on the centre stone prostrating himself. The rest of the sheaves are
then brought in and the threshing begins.

The harvest is brought down on a full moon day and some of the new
paddy is husked, pounded, boiled with milk and offered to the gods
in a dêvala or on a temporary altar under a tree by the field, and
followed by a general feasting.

Persons cultivating their fields with their own cattle, implements,
seed paddy and the like receive the whole produce less the payments
of the watchers (waravêri) and the perquisites of the headman.

When the fields are given out to be cultivated for a share of the
produce, if the field owner supplies the cultivator with the cattle,
implements of labour, and seed paddy the produce is divided equally
by the owner and the cultivator; if the field owner supplies nothing
he only gets 1\4 of the produce.

When an allotment of field is owned by several co-owners, it is
cultivated alternately on a complicated system called tattumâru [14].

There is a jargon used in Ceylon by hunters and pilgrims travelling
in forests [15], by the outcaste rodiyas who go about begging and
thieving [16]; and by cultivators while working in their fields
[17]. This jargon has many words used by the Veddahs [18].



The entering of the sun into Aries is celebrated as the new year's
day; the ephemeris of the year is drawn up by the village astrologer
and the necessary information for the observance of the festive rites
is obtained by presenting him with sweetmeats and a bundle of forty
betel leaves.

As the sun is moving into the sign Aries all cease from work
and either visit temples or indulge in games till a lucky moment
arrives when every family welcomes the new year with the strains of
the rabâna. Special kinds of sweetmeats and curries are cooked and
eaten, cloth of the colour recommended by the astrologer are worn,
calls exchanged, the headman visited with pingo-loads of presents,
and a commencement made of the usual daily work.

At an appointed hour, the people anoint themselves with an infusion
of oil, kokun leaves (swietenia febrifugia), kalânduru yams (Cyprus
rotundus) and nelli fruits (Phylanthus emblica) and an elder of the
family rubs a little of it on the two temples, on the crown of the
head, and on the nape of the neck of each member, saying:--

            Kalu kaputan sudu venaturu
            Ehela kanu liyalana turu
            Gerandianta an enaturu
            Ekasiya vissata desiya vissak
            Maha Brahma Râjayâ atinya
            Âyibôvan âyibôvan âyibôvan.

"This (anointing) is done by the hand of Maha Brâhma; long life to you,
long life to you, long life to you! may you, instead of the ordinary
period of life, viz., 120 years, live for 220 years; till rat-snakes
obtain horns, till posts of the Ehela tree (Cassia fistula) put on
young shoots, and till black crows put on a plumage white."

While being annointed the person faces a particular direction, having
over his head leaves sacred to the ruling planet of the day, and at
his feet those sacred to the regent of the previous day. For each
of the days of the week, beginning with Sunday, belong respectively
the cotton tree (imbul), the wood-apple (diwul), the Cochin gamboge
(kollan), the margosa (kohomba), the holy fig-tree (bo) Galidupa
arborea (karanda) and the banyan (nuga).

This rite is followed by the wearing of new clothes, after a bath
in an infusion of screw-pine (wetake), Suffa acutangula (wetakolu),
Evolvulus alsinoides (Vishnu-krânti), Aristolochia indica (sapsanda),
Crinum zeylanicum (godamânel), roots of citron (nasnâranmul), root of
Aegle marmelos (belimul), stalk of lotus, (nelum dandu), Plectranthus
zeylanicus (irivériya), Cissompelos convolvulus (getaveni-vel)
Heterepogon hirtus (îtana) and bezoar stone (gorôchana).

This festival is also observed at the Buddhist temples when milk is
boiled at their entrances and sprinkled on the floor.

The birthday of the Founder of Buddhism is celebrated on the
full-moon day of May (wesak). Streets are lined with bamboo arches,
which are decorated with the young leaves of the cocoanut-palm;
tall superstructures (toran) gaily adorned with ferns and young king
cocoanuts bridge highways at intervals; lines of flags of various
devices and shapes are drawn from tree to tree; booths are erected at
every crossing where hospitality is freely dispensed to passers-by;
and at every rich house the poor are fed and alms given to Buddhist
priests. Processions wend their way from one temple to another with
quaintly-shaped pennons and banners, and in the intervals of music
cries of sâdhu, sâdhu, are raised by the pilgrims.

The Kandy Perahera Mangalaya, begins at a lucky hour on the first
day after the new moon. "A jack-tree, the stem of which is three
spans in circumference, is selected beforehand for each of the four
déwâla--the Kataragama, Nâtha, Saman, and Pattini; and the spot where
it stands is decorated and perfumed with sandalwood, frankincense,
and burnt resin, and a lighted lamp with nine wicks is placed at the
foot of the tree. At the lucky hour a procession of elephants, tom-tom
beaters and dancers proceed to the spot, the tree is cut down by one
of the tenants (the wattôrurâla) with an axe, and it is trimmed, and
its end is pointed by another with an adze. It is then carried away
in procession and placed in a small hole in a square of slab rock,
buried in the ground or raised platform in the small room at the back
of the déwâla. It is then covered with a white cloth. During the five
following days the procession is augmented by as many elephants,
attendants, dancers, tom-tom beaters and flags as possible; and it
makes the circuit of the temples at stated periods. The processions
of the several temples are then joined by one from the Daladâ,
Mâligâva (the temple of the Sacred Tooth of Buddha), and together
they march round the main streets of Kandy at fixed hours during the
five days next ensuing. On the sixth day, and for five days more,
four palanquins--one for each déwâla are added to the procession,
containing the arms and dresses of the gods; and on the last day
the bowl of water (presently to be explained) of the previous year,
and the poles cut down on the first day of the ceremony. On the
night of the fifteenth and last day, the Perahera is enlarged to the
fullest limits which the means of the several temples will permit,
and at a fixed hour, after its usual round, it starts for a ford in
the river near Kandy, about three miles distant from the temple of
the Sacred Tooth. The procession from the Mâligâva, however, stops
at a place called the Adâhana Maluwa, and there awaits the return of
the others. The ford is reached towards dawn, and here the procession
waits until the lucky hour (generally about 5 A. M.) approaches. A few
minutes before its arrival the chiefs of the four temples, accompanied
by a band of attendants, walk down in Indian file under a canopy of
linen and over cloth spread on the ground to the waterside. They enter
a boat and are punted up the river close to the bank for some thirty
yards. Then at a given signal (i. e., at the advent of the lucky hour)
the four jack poles are thrown into the river by the men on shore,
while each of the four chiefs, with an ornamental silver sword, cuts a
circle in the water; at the same time one attendant takes up a bowl of
water from the circle, and another throws away last year's supply. The
boat then returns to the shore, the procession goes back to Kandy, the
bowls of water are placed reverently in the several déwâla, to remain
there until the following year; and the Perahera is at an end." [19]

During the time of the kings, it was on this occasion that the
provincial governors gave an account of their stewardship to their
over-lord and had their appointments renewed by him.

When the rainy months of August, September and October are over
and the Buddhist monks return to their monasteries from their vas
retreats, is held the Festival of Lights (Kârtika Mangalya). The
Buddhist temples are illuminated on the full moon day of November by
small oil-lamps placed in niches of the walls specially made for them;
in the olden times all the buildings were bathed in a blaze of light,
the Royal Palace the best of all, with the oil presented to the king
by his subjects. This festival is now confined to Kandy.

The Alut Sâl Mangalya, the festival of New Rice, is now celebrated to
any appreciable extent only in the Kandian Provinces, the last subdued
districts of the island. In the villages the harvest is brought home
by pingo-bearers on the full-moon day of January with rural jest and
laughter, and portions of it are given to the Buddhist priest, the
barber and the dhobi of the village; next the new paddy is husked,
and kiribat dressed out of it.

In the capital, in the time of the kingdom, this festival lasted for
four days; "on the first evening the officers of the royal stores
and of the temples proceeded in state from the square before the
palace to the crown villages from which the first paddy was to be
brought. Here the ears of paddy and the new rice were packed up for
the temples the palace and the royal stores by the Gabadânilamés and
their officers. The ears of paddy carefully put into new earthenware
pots and the grain into clean bags, were attached to pingos. Those
for the Mâligâva (where the Sacred Tooth was kept) were conveyed on
an elephant for the temples by men marching under canopies of white
cloth; and those for the palace and royal stores by the people of the
royal villages of respectable caste, well dressed; and with apiece
of white muslin over their mouths to guard against impurity. This
procession, starting on the evening of the next day (full-moon day)
from the different farms under a salute of jingals and attended by
flags, tom-tom beaters, etc., was met on the way by the 2nd Adigar
and a large number of chiefs at some distance from the city. From
thence all went to the great square to wait for the propitious
hour, at the arrival of which, announced by a discharge of jingals,
the procession entered the Mâligâva where the distribution for the
different temples was made. At the same fortunate hour the chiefs
and the people brought home their new rice. On the next morning the
king or governor received his portion consisting of the new rice and
a selection of all the various vegetable productions of the country,
which were tasted at a lucky hour." [20]



On festive days itinerant songmen amuse the village folk at open
places and greens; they keep time to a dance by skilfully whirling
metal-plates or small tambourines on their fingers or pointed stakes,
by striking together sticks, by tossing earthen pots up in the air
and catching them and they eulogize the hamlet and its people in
extempore couplets with the refrain, "tana tanamda tânênâ, tanâ,
tamda, tânênâ, tana tanamda, tana tanamda, tana tanamda, tânênâ."

The people also enjoy themselves on the merry-go-round (katuru
onchillâva)--a large revolving wheel on a tall wooden superstructure
with seats attached; at theatrical representations called kôlan netum,
rûkada netum, and nâdagam; at games of skill and at divers forms of
outdoor games.

Kôlan netuma is a series of mimetic dances of a ludicrous character
by actors dressed like animals and demons, wearing masks and sometimes
perched on high stilts.

The rûkada netuma is a marionette show of the ordinary incidents
of village life--usually of the adventures of a married couple,
a hevârala (a militia guard) and his wife Kadiragoda lamayâ; the
former goes to the wars and returns with his eyes and ears off only
to be beaten by his wife who soon after falls ill with labour pains,
and devil dancers are requisitioned to relieve her; Pinnagoda râla
is the clown of the show.

The nâdagama is a dramatic play and for its performance a circular
stage is erected with an umbrella-shaped tent over it; round it
sits the audience, who, though admitted free, willingly contribute
something into the collection-box brought by the clown (kônangiya)
at the end of the play. Before the drama begins, each of the actors,
in tinselled costume, walks round the stage singing a song appropriate
to his character. The piece represented is based on a popular tale
or an historical event.

Games of skill and chance are played on boards made for that
purpose. [21]

In Olinda Keliya a board having seven holes a side is used; only
two can take part in the game, and each in turn places olinda seeds
(abrus precatorius) in the holes and the object of the opponent is
to capture the other's seeds according to certain rules. [22]

In Pancha Keliya dice and six cowries are used; the latter are taken
into the player's hand and dropped, and the shells which fall on the
reverse side are counted and the dice moved an equal number of places
on the board and the game continues till all the dice reach the other
end of the board.

In Deeyan Keliya sixteen dice representing cows and four dice
representing tigers are placed on a board and the cows have to get
from one side to the other without being intercepted and captured by
the tigers.

Some of the outdoor games played by adults are of the ordinary kind,
and others of a semi-religious significance.

The ordinary outdoor games are Buhu Keliya, Pandu Keliya, Lunu Keliya,
Muttê, Hâlmelê and Tattu penille.

In Buhu Keliya there are several players who place their balls,
(made of any bulbous root hardened and boiled till it becomes like
rubber), round a pole firmly fixed to the ground; to this pole is
attached a string about 5 feet long held by a player whose endeavour
is to prevent the others getting possession of the balls without being
touched. The person touched takes the place of the guarding player
and when all the balls are taken away the last guard is pelted with
them till he finds safety in a spot previously agreed upon.

In Pandu Keliya the players form into two sides, taking their stand
100 yards apart with a dividing line between; the leader of one party
throws a ball up and as it comes down beats it with his open palm
and sends the ball over the line to the opposing side. If the other
party fails to beat or kick it back, they must take their stand where
the ball fell and the leader of their party throws the ball to the
other side in the same way. This goes on till one party crosses the
boundary line and drives the other party back.

In Lunu Keliya there are two sets of players occupying the two sides
of a central goal (lunu) about 30 or 40 yards from it; a player from
one side has to start from the goal, touch a player of the other
side and regain the goal holding up his breath; if he fails he goes
out and this goes on till the side which has the greatest number of
successful runners at the end is declared the winner.

In Mutté (rounders) a post is erected as a goal, and one of the players
stands by it and has a preliminary conversation with the others:--



Q.--Dehikatuvada batukatuvada--Is it a lime-thorn or a brinjal-thorn?


Q.--Man endada umba enavada--should I come or would you come?

A.--Umbamavaren--you had better come.

As soon as the last word is uttered, the questioner gives chase, and
the others dodge him and try to reach the post without being touched;
the one who is first touched becomes the pursuer.

In Halmele there is no saving post, but the area that the players
have to run about is circumscribed; the pursuer hops on one leg and is
relieved by the person who first leaves the circle or is first touched.

Before starting he cries out--Hâlmelé A.--Kanakabaré.

Q.--Enda hondê? (May I come?).

A.--Bohama hondayi (All right).

In Tattu penilla also called Mahason's leap, a figure in the shape
of H is drawn; a player guards each line and the others have to
jump across them and return without being touched; it is optional to
leap over the middle line and is only attempted by the best players,
as the demon Mahason himself is supposed to guard it.

The outdoor games with a semi-religious significance are Polkeliya,
Dodankeliya and ankeliya.

In Pol Keliya the villagers divide themselves into two factions called
yatipila and udupila and the leaders of the two parties take a fixed
number of husked cocoanuts and place themselves at a distance of 30
feet and one bowls a nut at his adversary who meets it with another
in his hand. This goes on till the receiver's nut is broken when he
begins to bowl. The side which exhausts the nuts of the other party
is declared the winner.

Dodan Keliya is a game similar to the Pol Keliya the oranges taking
the place of the cocoanuts.

In An Keliya a trunk of a tree is buried at the centre of an open space
of ground; a few yards off is placed the log of a cocoanut tree about
20 feet high in a deep hole large enough for it to move backwards and
forwards and to the top of it thick ropes are fastened. The villagers
divide themselves into two parties as in Pol Keliya, and bring two
forked antlers which they hook together and tying one to the foot of
the trunk and the other to that of the log pull away with all their
might till one of them breaks.

In all these semi-religious games the winning party goes in procession
round the village and the defeated side has to undergo a lot of abuse
and insult intended to remove the bad effects of the defeat.

Children in addition to their swings, tops, bamboo pop-guns, cut water,
bows and arrows, water squirts, cat's cradles and bull roarers have
their own special games.

They play at hide and seek, the person hiding giving a loud 'hoo'
call that the others may start the search; or one of them gets to an
elevated place and tauntingly cries out "the king is above and the
scavenger below" and the others try to drag him down.

Several children hold their hands together forming a line and one of
them representing a hare comes running from a distance and tries to
break through without being caught; or one of them becomes a cheetah
and the rest form a line of goats holding on to each other's back. The
cheetah addresses the foremost goat saying "eluvan kannayi man âvê." (I
have come to eat the goats) and tries to snatch away one of the players
at the back; who avoids his clutches singing "elubeti kapiya sundire"
(go and eat the tasty goat dung); if one is caught he has to hold
on to the back of the cheetah and the game continues till all are
snatched away.

When the children are indoors they amuse themselves in various ways.

They hold the backs of each other's hands with their thumb and
fore-finger, move them up and down singing "kaputu kâk kâk kâk,
goraka dên dên dên, amutu vâv vâv vâv, dorakada gahê puvak puvak,
batapandurê bulat bulat, usi kaputâ, usî," and let go each other's
hold at the end of the jingle, which means that "crows swinging on a
gamboge-tree (goraka) take to their wings when chased away (usi, usi),
and there are nuts in the areca-tree by the house and betel-creepers
in the bamboo-grove." They also close their fists and keep them one
over the other, pretending to form a cocoanut-tree; the eldest takes
hold of each hand in turn, asks its owner, "achchiyé achchiyé honda
pol gediyak tiyanavâ kadannada?" (grandmother, grandmother, there is a
good cocoanut, shall I pluck it); and, when answered, "Oh, certainly"
(bohoma hondayi), brings it down. A mimetic performance of husking
the nuts, breaking them, throwing out the water, scraping the pulp
and cooking some eatable follows this.

They twist the fingers of the left hand, clasp them with the right,
leaving only the finger-tips visible and get each other to pick out
the middle finger.

They take stones or seeds into their hands and try to guess the number,
or they take them in one hand, throw them up, catch them on the back
of the hand, and try to take them back to the palm.

They keep several seeds or stones in front of them, throw one up and
try to catch it after picking up as many seeds or stones as possible
from the ground.

They hold the fingers of their baby brothers saying "this says he
is hungry, this says what is to be done, this says let us eat, this
says who will pay, this says though I am the smallest I will pay"
and then tickle them saying "han kutu."

They keep their hands one over the other, the palm downwards, and
the leader strokes each hand saying, "Aturu muturu, demita muturu
Râjakapuru hetiyâ aluta genâ manamâli hâl atak geralâ, hiyala getat
bedâla pahala getat bedâlâ, us us daramiti péliyayi, miti miti daramiti
péliyayi, kukalâ kapalâ dara pillê, kikili kapalâ veta mullê, sangan
pallâ," (Aturu muturu demita muturu; the new bride that the merchant,
Râjakapuru, brought, having taken a handful of rice, cleansed it
and divided it to the upper and lower house; a row of tall faggots;
a row of short faggots; the cock that is killed is on the threshold;
the hen that is killed is near the fence; sangan pallâ); one hand is
next kept on the owner's forehead and the other at the stomach and
the following dialogue ensues:--

Q.--Nalalé monavâda--What is on the forehead?


Q.--Elwaturen hêduvâda--Did you wash it in cold water?


Q.--Giyâda--Did it come off?


Q.--Kiren hêduvâda--Did you wash it in milk?


Q.--Giyâda--Did it come off?


(The hand on the forehead is now taken down).

Q.--Badêinne mokada--What is at your stomach?

A.--Lamayâ--A child.

Q.--Eyi andannê--why is it crying?

A.--Kiri batuyi netuva--For want of milk and rice.

Q.--Kô man dunna kiri batuyi--Where is the milk and rice I gave?

A.--Ballayi belalî kêvâ--The dog and the cat ate it.

Q.--Kô ballayi belali--Where is the dog and the cat?

A.--Lindê vetuna--They fell into the well.

Q.--Kô linda--Where is the well?

A.--Goda keruvâ--It was filled up.

Q.--Kô goda--Where is the spot?

A.--Ândiyâ pela hittevvâ,--There ândiyâ plants were planted.

Q.--Kô ândiyâ pela--Where are the ândiyâ plants?

A.--Dêvâ--They were burnt.

Q.--Kô alu--Where are the ashes?

A.--Tampalâ vattata issâ--They were thrown into the tampalâ
(Nothosocruva brachiata) garden.

Then the leader pinches the other's cheek and jerks his head backward
and forward singing "Tampalâ kâpu hossa genen (give me the jaw that
ate the tampalâ).



Story telling is the intellectual effort of people who have little
used or have not acquired the art of writing. A story is told for
amusement by mothers to their children, or by one adult to another,
while guarding their fields at night in their watch hut or before
lying down to sleep after their night meal. At each pause during the
narration, the listener has to say "hum" as an encouragement to the
narrator that he is listening; and every tale begins with the phrase
"eka mathaka rata" (in a country that one recalls to mind) and ends
with the statement that the heroes of the Story settled down in their
country and the narrator returned home.

Stories are roughly classified as (1) myths, (2) legends and (3)
folk tales.

(1) "The myth," says Gomme, "is the recognisable explanation of some
natural phenomenon, some forgotten or unknown object of human origin,
or some event of lasting influence."

The crow and the king crow were uncle and nephew in the olden time;
they once laid a wager as to who could fly the highest, each carrying a
weight with him, and the winner was to have the privilege of knocking
the loser on the head; the crow selected some cotton as the lightest
material, while his nephew carried a bag of salt as the clouds looked
rainy. On their way up, rain fell and made the crow's weight heavier
and impeded his flight while it diminished the king crow's burden
who won the victory and still knocks the crow on his head.

The water fowl once went to his uncle's and got a load of arekanuts to
sell; he engaged some geese to carry them to the waterside and hired
a wood pecker's boat to ferry them over; the boat capsized and sank
and the cargo was lost, the geese deformed their necks by carrying
the heavy bags, the wood pecker is in search of wood to make another
boat and the waterfowl still complains of the arekanuts he had lost.

(2) A legend is a narrative of things which are believed to have
happened about a historical personage, locality or event.

A cycle of legend has clustered round king Dutugemunu who rolled
back the Tamil invasion of Ceylon in the 4th Century B. C., and
he is to the Singhalese peasantry what king Arthur has been to the
Celts. The old chronicles, based on the folklore of an earlier period,
place his traditional exploits in Magam Pattu, Uva and Kotmale. His
mother was Vihâre Devi; she was set afloat in a golden casket by her
father Kelani Tissa to appease the gods of the sea, who, incensed by a
sacrilege act of his, were submerging his principality of Kelaniya;
the princess drifted to the country of Hambantota and its ruler
Kavantissa rescued her and made her his queen. The coast on which she
landed is still remembered as Durâva and has the ruins of a vihare
built to commemorate her miraculous escape.

Dutugemunu was her eldest son and when she was pregnant she longed to
give as alms to the Buddhist priesthood a honey comb as large as an ox,
to bathe in the water which had washed the sword with which a Tamil
warrior had been killed, and to wear unfaded waterlilies brought from
the marshes of Anuradapura. The town of Negombo supplied the first
and the warrior Velusumana procured the other two. Astrologers were
consulted as to the meaning of these longings and they predicted,
to quote the words of the old chronicler "the queen's son destroying
the Damilas, and reducing the country under one sovereignty, will
make the religion of the land shine forth again."

When Dutugemunu was a lad, he was banished from his father's court for
disobedience and he passed his youth among the peasantry of Kotmale
till his father's death made him the ruler of Ruhuna.

Dutugemunu had a band of ten favourite warriors, all of whom have
independent legends attached to their names; along with them, riding
on his favourite elephant Sedol, he performed wonders in 28 pitched

He died at an advanced age, disappointed in his only son Sali,
who gave up the throne for a low caste beauty. The peasantry still
awaits the re-birth of Dutugemunu as the chief disciple of the future
Maitri Buddha.

(3) A folk tale is a story told mainly for amusement, deals with ideas
and episodes of primitive life and includes elfin tales, beast tales,
noodle tales, cumulative tales and apologues.

Elfin tales deal with the magical powers and the cannibalistic nature
of the Râkshas.

A Gamarala's wife, while expecting a baby, weaves a mat bag to collect
the kekira melons when the season is on. The Gamarâla goes out every
day, enjoys the kekira himself without informing his wife that the
melons are ripe. The wife discovers that the kekira is ripe from a
seed on the Gamarala's beard. Both go out to collect the kekira melons
and fill the mat bag, when the wife gives birth to a girl. They decide
to carry the bag of kekira home and throw the child into the woods as
it is a girl. A male and female crane see this and carry the child to
a cave. The cranes get a parrot, a dog and a cat to be companions of
the girl who all grow up together and the girl is called 'sister' by
the pets. The cranes leave the girl to dive for some pearls to adorn
her and before departing advise her not to leave the cave as there is
a cannibalistic Rakshi in the woods; they also ask her to manure the
plantain tree with ash, to water the murunga tree and to feed her pets
especially the cat. The cat gets a less allowance of food than usual
and in anger puts out the fire by urinating on it. The girl goes out
to fetch fire and comes to the Rakshi's cave and meets her daughter,
who tries to keep the girl till her mother comes by promising to give
her fire, if she would bring water from the well, break firewood and
pound two pots of amu seed. The girl does all this work before the
Rakshi arrives and the daughter gives her live coals in a cocoanut
shell with a hole in it, so that the ashes dropped all along her
way. On the Rakshi's return she is told of the girls' departure and
she follows up the ash track and reaches the cave. The Rakshi sings
out to the girl that the crane father and crane mother have come with
the pearls and to open the door. The dog and the cat warn her from the
outside and the Rakshi kills them and goes away leaving her thumb nails
fixed to the lintel and her toe nails to the threshold. The cranes
return and on the parrot's advice the girl opens the door and comes
out but gets fixed by the nails and swoons away. The cranes think she
is dead, but on removal of the nails the girl recovers. They dress up
the girl beautifully, cover her with a scab covered cloth, tell her
that she is too grown up to live with them and bid her farewell. The
girl travels through the woods, becomes tired and meets the Rakshi;
she asks the Rakshi to eat her up but the Rakshi contemptuously passes
her by saying "I do not want to eat a scab covered girl; I am going
to eat a beautiful princess." The girl arrives at a king's palace
and is employed as a help mate to the cook. She used to remove her
scab covered cloth only when she went out to bathe, and a man on a
kitul tree tapping for toddy saw her beauty and informed the king who
forced her with threats to remove her scab covering and married her.

In beast tales the actors are animals who speak and act like human

A hare and a jackal sweep a house-compound; they find two pumpkin
seeds and plant them; the jackal waters his creeper with urine and the
hare waters his from the well; the jackal's creeper dies; the hare
generously agrees to share the pumpkin with his friend; the jackal
proposes a ruse to obtain the other requisites for their meal; the
hare lays himself on the road as if dead; pingo bearers pass carrying
firewood, cocoanuts, rice, pots; as each pingo carrier passes, the
jackal cries out "keep that pingo down and take away the dead hare;
as they do so the hare scampers away and the jackal runs away with the
pingos; the jackal places the food on the fire and asks the hare to
fetch stalkless kenda leaves, the hare goes in search and the jackal
cooks and eats the whole meal leaving a few grains of rice for the
hare; the jackal places a cocoanut husk under his tail to act as a
stopper for his over-filled stomach; the hare returns without the
leaves and shares the remnants of the meal with the jackal; at the
jackal's request the hare strokes the jackal's back and removes the
cocoanut husk and is besmeared with excretion; the hare runs to a
meadow, rolls on the grass and returns quite clean; the jackal asks
him how he became so and the hare replies that the dhoby has washed
him; the jackal runs to the riverside and asks the dhoby to make him
also clean; the dhoby takes him by his hind legs and thwacks him on
the washing stone till he dies, saying "this is the jackal who ate
my fowls."

The noodle tales describe the blunders of fools and foolish husbands.

Twelve men went one day to cut fence sticks and they made twelve
bundles. One of them inquired whether there were twelve men to carry
the bundles. They agreed to count and only found eleven men. As
they thought that one man was short, they went in search of him to
the jungle. They met a fellow villager to whom they mentioned their
loss. He arranged the bundles in one line, and the men in another
and said "now you are alright; let each one take a bundle of sticks
and go home" which they did as no one was missing.

The people of Rayigam Korale threw stones at the moon one moonlight
night to frighten it off as they thought it was coming too near and
there was a danger of its burning their crops; they also cut down a
kitul tree to get its pith and to prevent its falling down, one of
them supported it on his shoulder and got killed.

The country folks of Tumpane tried to carry off a well because they
saw a bee's nest reflected in the water; the men of Maggona did the
same but ran away on seeing their shadows in the well.

The Moravak Korale boatmen mistook a bend in the river for the sea,
left their cargo there and returned home; and the Pasdum Korale folk
spread mats for elephants to walk upon.

In cumulative tales there is a repetition of the incidents till the
end when the whole story is recapitulated.

A bird laid two eggs which got enclosed between two large stones. The
bird asked a mason to split open the stones; the mason refused and the
bird, asked a wild boar to destroy the mason's paddy crop. The wild
boar refused and the bird asked a hunter to shoot the wild boar. The
hunter refused and the bird asked the elephant to kill the hunter as
the hunter will not shoot the wild boar and the wild boar will not
destroy the mason's paddy, and the mason will not split open the
stones. The bird asked a bloodsucker to creep into the elephant's
trunk, but the bloodsucker declined. The bird then asked a wild-fowl
to peck at the bloodsucker as the bloodsucker would not creep up
the elephant's trunk, as the elephant would not kill the hunter; as
the hunter would not shoot the wild boar, as the wild boar would not
destroy the paddy crop of the mason who would not split the stones
which enclosed the birds' eggs. The wild-fowl refused and the bird
asked a jackal to eat the wild-fowl. The jackal began to eat the fowl,
the fowl began to peck at the bloodsucker, the bloodsucker began
to creep up the elephants' trunk; the elephant began to attack the
hunter; the hunter began to shoot at the wild boar; the boar began
to eat the mason's paddy; the mason began to split the stones, and
the bird gained access to her two eggs.

Apologues are narratives with a purpose, they point a moral and are
serious in tone.

The moral "be upright to the upright; be kind to the kind, and
dishonest to the deceitful" is illustrated by the following tale. A
certain man having accidentally found a golden pumpkin gave it to a
friend for safe keeping. When the owner asked for it back his friend
gave him a brass one; and he went away apparently satisfied. Sometime
after the friend entrusted the owner of the pumpkin with one of his
sons, but when the father demanded the son back, he produced a large
ape. Complaint was made to the king who ordered each men to restore
what each had received from the other.



The ordinary folk songs of the country are called sivupada and can be
heard sung in a drawn out melody by the peasants labouring on their
fields or watching their crops at night, by the bullock drivers as
they go with their heavy laden carts; by the elephant keepers engaged
in seeking fodder, by the boat men busy at their oars, by the women
nursing their infants, by the children as they swing under the shady
trees, and by the pilgrims on their way to some distant shrine.

For rhythmic noise women and girls sit round a large tambourine placed
on the ground and play on it notes representing jingle sounds like
the following:--

    Vatta katat katat tâ
    Kumbura katat katat tâ
    Vatta katat kumbura katat katat katat katat tâ.
    Attaka ratumal, attaka sudumal
    Elimal dolimal, rênkitul mal
    Rajjen tarikita rajjen tâ.

Oxen are encouraged to labour in the threshing floor by songs [23]

    On, leader-ox, O ox-king, on,
    In strength the grain tread out.
    On, great one, yoked behind the king,
    In strength the grain tread out.
    This is not our threshing floor,
    The Moon-god's floor it is.
    This is not our threshing floor
    The Sun-god's floor it is.
    This is not our threshing floor,
    God Ganesha's floor it is.
                "On, leader ox, etc."

    As high as Adam's Sacred Peak,
    Heap the grain, O heap it up;
    As high as Mecca's holy shrine,
    Heap the grain, O heap it up;
    From highest and from lowest fields,
    Bring the grain and heap it up;
    High as our greatest relic shrine,
    O heap it up, heap it up.
                "On, leader ox, etc."

The cart drivers still sing of a brave Singhalese chieftain who fell
on the battle field:--

    Pun sanda sêma pâyâlâ rata meddê
    Ran kendi sêma pîrâlâ pita meddê
    Mâra senaga vatakaragana Yama yudde
    Levke metindu ada taniyama velc medde

    (Like full orb'd moon his glory shone,
          his radiance filled the world
    His loosen'd hair knot falling free in
          smoothest threads of gold.
    Mâra's host beset him--no thought was
          there to yield;
    To-day Lord Levke's body still holds the
          lonely field. [24])

The elephant keepers strike up a rustic song to the accompaniment of
a bamboo whistle.

    Etun tamayi api balamuva bolannê
    Kitul tamayi api kotaninda dennê
    Ratê gamêvat kitulak nedennê
    Etun nisâmayi api divi nassinê.

    (It is elephants that we must look after, O fellows.
    From where can we get kitul for them.
    No village or district supplies us with kitul.
    It is owing to elephants that we lose our lives.)

The following are specimens of a river song, a sea song and a tank

    Malê malê oya nâmala nelâ varen
    Attâ bindeyi paya burulen tiyâ varen
    Mahavili ganga diyayanavâ balâ varen
    Sâdukêredî oruva pedana varen.

    (Brother, brother pluck that nâ flower and come.
    The branch will break, step on it lightly and come.
    See how Mahavili ganga's waters flow and come.
    Raising shouts of thanks row your boat and come).

    Tan tan tan talâ mediriyâ
    Tin tin tin ti lâ mediriyâ
    Ape delê mâlu
    Goda edapan Yâlu
    Vellê purâ mâlu.

    (Tan tan tan talâ mediriyâ
    Tin tin tin ti lâ mediriyâ
    There is fish in our nets
    Pull it to the shore, friends
    The shore is full of fish.)

    "Sora bora vevê sonda sonda olu nelum eti.
    Êvâ nelannata sonda sonda liyô eti
    Kalu karalâ sudu karalâ uyâ deti
    Olu sâlê bat kannata mâlu neti.

    (The Sora bora tank has fine white lotus flowers
    To pluck them there are very handsome women
    After cleaning and preparing, the blossoms will be cooked
    But alas there are no meat curries to eat with the lotus rice).

Pilgrims on their way to Adam's Peak sing the following first verse
and as they return the second.

1.  Devindu balen api vandinda
    Saman devindu vandavanda
    Muni siripâ api vandinda
    Apê Budun api vandinda.

(To worship our Buddha, to worship His footprint, may god Saman help
us, may his might support us).

2.  Devindu balen api vendô
    Saman devindu vendevô
    Munisiripâ api vendô
    Apê budun api vendô.

    (We have worshipped our Buddha;
    We have worshipped his foot print;
    The god Samen helped us;
    His might supported us).

A mother amuses her children by pointing out the moon and asking them
to sing out Handa hamy apatat bat kanda rantetiyak diyô diyo (Mr. Moon,
do give us a golden dish to eat our rice in); or she makes them clap
their hands singing appuddi pudi puvaththâ kevum dekak devaththâ
(clap, clap, clap away with two rice cakes in your hands); or she
tickles them with the finger rhyme kandê duvayi, hakuru geneyi, tôt
kâyi, matat deyi, hankutu kutu. (Run to the hills, bring molasses,
You will eat, you will give me, hankutu kutu); or she swings them to
the jingle "Onchilli chilli chille malê, Vella digata nelli kelê;"
or she rocks them to sleep with the following lullabies:--

    Umbê ammâ kirata giyâ
    Kiri muttiya gangé giyâ
    Ganga vatakara kokku giyâ,
    Kokku evith kiri bivvâ,
    Umba nâdan babô

    (Your mother went to fetch milk
    The milk pot went down the river
    The cranes surrounded the river
    The cranes came and drank the milk
    You better not cry, my baby.)

    Baloli loli bâloliyê
    Bâla bilindu bâloliyê
    Kiyamin gi neleviliyê
    Sethapemi magê suratheliyê

    (Darling darling little one
    Darling little tender one
    Sleeping songs do I sing
    Sleep away my fond little one.)

    Radâgedere kosattê
    Eka gediyayi palagattê
    Êka kanta lunu nettê
    Numba nâdan doyi doyiyê.

    (The jak tree at the washer's house
    Bore only one fruit
    There is no salt to eat with it
    You better not cry, but sleep, sleep)

    Vandurô indagana ambê liyannan
    Vendiri indagana hâl garannan
    Petiyô indagana sindu kiyannan
    Tala kola pettiya, gangê duvannan.

    (The monkeys are engaged in cutting up a mango
    Their mates are engaged in washing the rice
    Their young ones are engaged in singing songs.
    The palm leaf box is drifting in the river.)

The following is a specimen of a love song.

    "Galaknan peleyi mata vedunu gindarê
    Vilaknan pireyi net kandulu enaserê
    Malak vat pudami numba namata rubarê
    Tikakkat nedda matatibunu âdarê.

    (If I were a stone my passion's heat would have split me.
    If I were a pond my weeping tears would have filled me.
    O my darling, I shall offer a flower to your memory.
    Is there nothing left of your old love for me).



A proverbial saying is said to state a fact or express a thought in
vivid metaphor while a riddle to describe a person or thing in obscure
metaphor calculated as a test of intellectual ability in the person
attempting to solve it.

Proverbial sayings are divided, according to their form into direct
statements and metaphorical statements.

The following are examples of direct statements:--

The quarrel between the husband and the wife lasts only till the pot
of rice is cooked.

A lie is short lived.

One individual can ruin a whole community.

What is the use of relations who do not help you when your door
is broken.

Poverty is lighter than cotton.

Metaphorical statements are more numerous and are best considered
according to the matter involved such as honesty, thrift, folly,
knavery, natural disposition, ingratitude, luck, hypocrisy; and the
following are some typical examples:--

When the king takes the wife to whom is the poor man to complain.

You may escape from the god Saman Deviyo but you cannot escape his
servant Amangallâ.

There is certain to be a hailstorm when the unlucky man gets his
head shaved.

The teeth of the dog that barks at the lucky man will fall out.

On a lucky day you can catch fish with twine; but on an unlucky day
the fish will break even chains of iron.

The water in an unfilled pot makes a noise.

You call a kabaragoyâ a talagoya when you want to eat it.

It is like wearing a crupper to cure dysentery.

Like the man who got the roasted jak seeds out of the fire by the
help of a cat.

Like the man who would not wash his body to spite the river.

Like the man who flogged the elk skin at home to avenge himself on
the deer that trespassed in his field.

Like the villagers who tied up the mortars in the village in the
belief that the elephant tracks in the fields were caused by the
mortars wandering about at night.

Though a dog barks at a hill will it grow less.

It is like licking your finger on seeing a beehive on a tree.

It is not possible to make a charcoal white by washing it in milk.

The cobra will bite you whether you call it cobra or Mr. Cobra.

Riddles are either in prose or verse.

As examples of prose riddles the following may be mentioned:--

What is it that cries on this bank, but drops its dung on the other
(megoda andalayi egoda betilayi)--A gun.

What is the tree by the door that has 20 branches and 20 bark
strips; twenty knocks on the head of the person who fails to solve
it. (dorakadagahe atuvissayi potu vissayi netêruvot toku vissayi)--10
fingers and 10 toes.

What is it that is done without intermission (nohita karana vedê)--the
twinkling of the eye.

The following are examples of verse riddles.

The Eye--

    "Ihala gobê pansiyayak pancha nâda karanâ
    Pahala gobê pansiyayak pancha nâda karanâ
    Emeda devi ruva eti lamayek inda kelinâ
    Metûn padê têruvot Buduvenavâ."

    (On the upper shoot there are 500 songsters
    On the lower shoot there are 500 songsters
    Between them is an infant of divine beauty.
    If one can solve this he will become a Buddha).

The Cobra.

    Vel vel diga eti
    Mal mal ruva eti
    Râja vansa eti
    Kêvot pana neti.

    (Long like a creeper
    Beautiful like a flower
    Of royal caste
    With a deadly bite).

The Pine Apple.

    Katuvânen ketuvânen kolê seti
    Ratu nûlen getuvâveni malê seti
    Tun masa giya kalata kukulek seti
    Metun padê têru aya ratak vatî

    (The leaf is beautifully encased
    The flower is worked with red thread
    And this becomes like a chicken in three months
    The one who can solve this deserves a country.


REGISTER (1872.)


ABARANA: Insignia of a Deviyo; vessels of gold and silver, etc.,
in a Dewala.

ADAPPAYA: Headman amongst the Moors; a term of respect used in
addressing an elder.

ADHAHANA-MALUWA: A place of cremation; especially the place where
the bodies of the kings of Kandy were burnt and where their ashes
were buried.

ADIKARAMA: An officer of the Kataragama Dewala next in rank to the
Basnayake Nilame.

ADIPALLA OR WARUPALLA: The lower layers of the stacked paddy on the
threshing floor allowed to the watcher as a perquisite.

ADUKKU: Cooked provisions given to headmen or persons of rank.

ADUKKU-WALANKADA: A pingo of earthenware vessels for cooking or
carrying food for headmen, etc.

AGAS: First-fruits; ears of paddy cut as alut-sal, i.e., for the
thanksgiving at the harvest home.

AHARA-PUJAWA: The daily offering of food in a Vihare; before noon
the mid-day meal is carried to the Vihare, and placed in front of
the image of Buddha; it is then removed to the refectory or pansala,
where it is consumed by the priests or by the servitors.

AHAS-KAMBE: The tight-rope (literally air-rope) used for rope-dancing
which is a service of certain tenants of the Badulla Dewale.

AKYALA: Contribution of rice or paddy on the occasion of a procession
at a Dewala; first fruits offered for protection of the crop by
the Deviyo.

ALATTIBEMA: A ceremony performed at the door of the sanctuary in a
Dewale; the waving to and fro of an oil lamp by females, who repeat
the while in an undertone the word ayu-bowa, long life (lit. may your
years increase).

ALGA-RAJAKARIYA: Service at the loom.

ALAGU: A mark to assist the memory in calculation (Clough); a tally,
e. g. in counting cocoanuts one is generally put aside out of each 100;
those thus put aside are called alagu.

ALIANDURA: The morning music at a temple.

ALLASA: A present, a bribe, a fee paid on obtaining a maruwena-panguwa.

ALUT-AWRUDU-MANGALYAYA: Festival of the Sinhalese new year; it falls
in the early part of April.

ALUT-SAL-MANGALYAYA: The festival of the first fruits; the harvest

ALWALA-REDDA: A cloth fresh from the loom.

AMARAGE OR AMBARAGE: Covered walk or passage between a Dewala and
the Wahalkada or porch.

AMUNA: A dam or anicut across a stream; a measure of dry grain equal
to about 4-1/2 bushels, sometimes 5 bushels.

ANAMESTRAYA: A shed in which to keep lights during festivals. In
some temples these sheds are built permanently all round the widiya
or outer court; in others they were mere temporary structures to
protect the lights from wind and rain.

ANDE: Ground share given to a proprietor.

ANDU-GIRAKETTA: An arecanut-cutter of the shape of a pair of pincers;
it forms the penuma or annual offering of the blacksmiths to their

ANKELIYA: The ceremony of pulling horns or forked sticks to propitiate
Pattini-deviyo in times of epidemics; according to ancient legends,
it was a pastime at which the Deviyo and her husband Palanga took
sides. They are said to have emulated each other in picking flowers
with the forked sticks the husband standing at the top and the wife
at the foot of a tree. The ankeliya as its name imports partakes more
of the nature of a village sport than of a religious ceremony. There
are two sides engaged, called the uda and yati-pil. It is conducted
in a central spot in the midst of a group of villages set apart for
the particular purpose, called anpitiya, and commenced on a lucky
day after the usual invocation by the Kapurala, who brings with
him to the spot the Halan a kind of bracelet the insignia of the
Deviyo. The two Pil select each its own horn or forked stick; the
horns or sticks are then entwined--one is tied to a stake or tree,
and the other is tied to a rope, which is pulled by the two parties
till one or other of the horns or sticks breaks. The Pila which owns
the broken horn is considered to have lost, and has to undergo the
jeers and derision of the winning party. If the Yatipila which is
patronized by the Deviyo (Pattini) wins, it is regarded as a good
omen for the removal or subsidence of the epidemic. The ceremony
closes with a triumphal procession to the nearest Dewale. A family
belongs hereditarily to one or the other of the two Pil.

ANPITIYA: The spot or place where the above ceremony is performed.

ANUMETIRALA: A respectful term for a Kapurala, one through whom the
pleasure of the Deviyo is known.

ANUNAYAKA UNNANSE: A priest next in rank to a Maha-Nayaka or chief
priest, the sub-prior of a monastery.

APPALLAYA: The earthen ware vessel flatter than an atale, q. v.

ARALU: Gall-nuts.

ARAMUDALA: Treasury, or the contents of a treasury; the reserve fund.

ARANGUWA: An ornamental arch decorated with flowers or tender leaves
of the cocoanut tree.


ARRIKALA: One-eighth portion.

ASANA-REDI: Coverings of an asanaya; altar cloth.

ASANAYA: Throne, altar, seat of honor.

ATALE: A small earthenware-pot usually used in bathing.

ATPANDAMA: A light carried in the hand, formed generally of a brass
cup at the end of a stick about two feet long. The cup is filled with
tow and oil.

ATAPATTU-WASAMA: The messenger class. A holding held by the atapattu
people. The service due from this class is the carrying of messages,
keeping guard over treasure or a temple or chief's house, and
carrying in procession state umbrellas, swords of office etc.,
watching threshing floors and accompanying the proprietor on journeys.

ATAPATTU MOHOTTALA: Writer over the messenger class.

ATAWAKA: The eighth day before and after the full moon. The first is
called Pura-atavaka and the second Ava-atavaka.

ATTANAYAKARALA: Custodian; storekeeper; overseer corresponding in
rank to Wannakurala, q.v.

ATUGE: A temporary shed or outhouse for a privy.

ATUPANDALAYA: A temporary shed or booth made of leaves and branches.

ATUWA: Granary.

AWALIYA: The same as Hunduwa or Perawa, which is one-fourth of a seer.

AWATEWAKIRIMA: Ministration; Daily service at a Dewala.

AWATTA: An ornamental talipot used as an umbrella.

AWULPAT: Sweetmeats taken at the end of a meal.

AWRUDU-PANTIYA: New year festival, a term in use in the Kurunegala

AWRUDU-WATTORUWA: A chit given by the astrologer shewing the hour
when the new year commences, and its prognostics.

AYUBOWA: "Live for years", a word used by way of chorus to recitals
at Bali ceremonies.


BADAHELA-PANGUWA: The tenement of land held by a potter. His service
consists of supplying a proprietor with all the requisite earthenware
for his house and bath, and his lodgings on journeys, for his
muttettuwa, for cooking, and for soaking seed paddy, for festivals,
Yak and Bali ceremonies, weddings, etc. The supplying of tiles and
bricks and keeping the roof of tiled houses waterproof, giving penum
walan to tenants for the penumkat, and making clay lamps, and kalas
for temples. The potter also makes a present of chatties as his penum
to proprietor and petty officers. When the quantity of bricks and
tiles to be supplied is large, the proprietor finds the kiln, shed,
clay and firewood. Kumbala is another name by which a potter is known.

BADAL-PANGUWA: The holding held by smiths, called likewise
Nawan-panguwa. Under the general term are included: Achari
(blacksmiths), Lokuruwo (braziers) and Badallu (silver or gold
smiths). The blacksmith supplies nails for roofing houses, hinges,
locks, and keys for doors, all kitchen utensils, agricultural
implements, and tools for felling and converting timber. His penuma
consists of arecanut cutters, chunam boxes, ear and tooth picks, at
the forge he is given the services of a tenant to blow the bellows,
and when employed out of his house he is given his food. The Lokuruwa
mends all brass and copper-vessels of a temple, and generally takes
part in the service of the other smiths. The silver and goldsmiths work
for the proprietor in their special craft when wanted, and in temples
mend and polish all the sacred vessels, do engraving and carving work,
decorate the Rate (car of the deviyo) and remain on guard there during
the Perahera, attend at the Kaphitawima, and supply the silver rim
for the Ehala-gaha. The goldsmiths present penum of silver rings,
carved betel boxes, ornamental arrow-heads, etc. The smith tenant
also attends and assists at the smelting of iron. In consideration
of the value of the service of a smith, he generally holds a large
extent of fertile land.

BAGE: A division; a term used in Sabaragamuwa for a number of villages
of a Dewala in charge of a Vidane.

BAKMASA: The first month of the Sinhalese year (April-May).

BALIBAT NETIMA: A devil-dance performed for five days after the
close of the Perahera by a class of persons superior to the ordinary
yakdesso (devil dancers) and called Balibat Gammehela, supposed to
be descendants of emigrants from the Coast.

BALI-EDURO: The persons who make the clay images for, and dance
at, a Bali-maduwa which is a ceremony performed to propitiate the
planets. The performance of Bali ceremonies is one of the principal
services of tenants of the tom-tom beater caste.

BALI-EMBIMA: The making of images for a Bali ceremony.

BALI-ERIMA: The performance of the above ceremony. Note the peculiar
expression Bali arinawa not Karanawa.

BALI-KATIRA: Sticks or supports against which the images at a Bali
ceremony are placed.

BALI-TIYANNO: Same as Bali-eduro.

BAMBA-NETIMA: In the processions at a Diya-kepima there is carried a
wickerwork frame made to represent a giant (some say Brahma); a man
walks inside this frame and carries it along exactly in the same way
as "Jack-in-the green." The service of carrying it in procession is
called Bambanetima.

BAMBARA-PENI: Honey of one of the large bees. A pingo of this honey
is given to the proprietor of the lands in which it is collected.

BANA-MADUWA: A large temporary shed put up for reading Bana during
Waskalaya, q. v.

BANA-SALAWA: A permanent edifice attached to a wihare for reading Bana.

BANDARA: Belonging to the palace. It is now used of any proprietor,
whether lay or clerical, e. g., Bandara-atuwa means the proprietor's

BANKALA WIYANA: A decorated cloth or curtain, so called, it is
supposed, from being imported from Bengal.

BARAKOLAN: Large masks representing Kataragama Deviyo, used in dancing
at the Dewala Perehara.

BARAPEN: Remuneration given to copyists. Hire given for important
services, as the building of wihares, making of images, etc.

BASNAYAKE NILAME: The lay chief or principal officer of a Dewale.

BATAKOLA: The leaves of a small species of bamboo used for thatching

BATGOTUWA: Boiled rice served out or wrapped up in a leaf. Boiled
rice offered up at a Yak or Bali ceremony.

BATTANARALA: The Kapurala who offers the multen (food offering).

BATWADANARALA: The same as Battanarala.

BATWALANDA: Earthenware vessel for boiling rice in. It is as large
as a common pot but with a wider mouth.

BATWALAN-HAKURU: Large cakes of jaggery of the shape of a "Batwalanda"
generally made in Sabaragamuwa.

BATWEDA: Work not done for hire, but for which the workmen receive

BATWI: Paddy given by the proprietor as sustenance to a cultivator
in lieu of food given during work.

BEMMA: A Wall, a bank, a bund.

BEHET-DIYA: A lotion made of lime juice and other acids mixed with
perfumes for use at the Nanumura mangalyaya, when the priest washes
the sacred reflection of the head of Buddha in a mirror held in front
of the image for the purpose.

BETMERALA: The officer in charge of a number of villages belonging
to a temple, corresponding to a Vidane, q.v.

BIN-ANDE: Ground share; Ground rent.

BINARAMASA: The sixth month of the Sinhalese year (September-October).

BINNEGUNWI: Paddy given as sustenance during ploughing time.

BISOKAPA: See Ehelagaha. It is a term in use in the Kabulumulle
Pattini Dewale in Hatara Korale.

BISSA: A term in use in the Kegalle District for a granary round in
shape, and of wickerwork daubed with mud.

BINTARAM-OTU: Tax or payment in kind, being a quantity of paddy,
equal to the full extent sown, as distinguished from half and other
proportionate parts of the sowing extent levied from unfertile
fields. Thus in an amuna of land the bintaram-otu is one amuna paddy.

BODHIMALUWA: The Court round a bo-tree, called also Bomeda.

BOJANA-SALAWA: The same as arasalava.

BOLPEN: Water used at a temple for purposes of purification.

BULAT-ATA: A roll of betel consisting of 40 leaves forming the common
penuma to a proprietor at the annual festival corresponding to the
old English rent day. It is a mark of submission and respect, and is
therefore greatly valued.

BULAT-HURULLA: A fee given to a chief or proprietor placed on a roll
of betel. The fee given annually for a Maruvena panguwa.

BULU: One of the three myrobalans (Clough).


CHAMARAYA: A fly-flapper, a yak's tail fixed to a silver or other
handle, used to keep flies off the insignia of a deviyo or persons
of distinction.


DADAKUDAMAS: A compound word for meat and fish.

DAGOBE OR DAGEBA: Lit. Relic chamber. A Buddhist mound or stupa of
earth or brick sometimes faced with stone, containing generally a
chamber in which is preserved a casket of relics.

DALUMURE: A turn to supply betel for a temple or proprietor.

DALUMURA-PANGUWA: The holding of tenants, whose special service is that
of supplying weekly or fortnightly, and at the festivals, a certain
quantity of betel leaves for the "dalumura-tewawa" immediately after
the multen or "ahara-pujawa" and for the consumption by the officers
or priests on duty. This service was one of great importance at the
Court of the King, who had plantations of betel in different parts of
the country, with a staff of officers, gardeners, and carriers. At
present the tenants of this class in Ninda villages supply betel
to the proprietor for consumption at his house and on journeys. In
some service villages the betel is to be accompanied with a quantity
of arecanuts.

DALUPATHKARAYA: A sub-tenant; a garden tenant; one who has
asweddumised land belonging to a mulpangukaraya. In some Districts
the dalupathkaraya is called pelkaraya.

DAMBU: Tow; rags for lights. The supplying of dambu at festivals in
a temple or for a Bali ceremony at a chief's house forms one of the
principal services of a dhobi.

DAN-ADUKKUWA: Food given by a tenant of a vihare land to the incumbent
as distinguished from "dane" given to any priest for the sake of merit.

DANDUMADUWA: A timber-shed; a timber room. Every temple establishment
has an open long shed for timber and building materials etc., and
its upkeep forms one of the duties of the tenants.

DANE: Food given to priests for merit; alms: charity.

DANGE: Kitchen of a Pansale.

DANKADA: Pingo of food given to a priest.

DARADIYARA: Fuel and water the supplying of which forms the service
of the Uliyakkarawasam tenants.

DASILIKAMA: An assistant to a Lekama or writer. The term is peculiar
to Sabaragamuwa.

DAWULA: The common drum.

DAWULKARAYA: A tenant of the tom-tom beater caste, playing on a dawula
at the daily service of a Vihare or a Dewale, and at the festivals.

DAWUL-PANGUWA: The tenement held by tenants of the tom-tom beater
caste. In temples their service comes under the kind called the
Pita-kattale (out-door-service). At the daily tewawa, at festivals,
at pinkam, and on journeys of the incumbent, they beat the hewisi
(tom-toms). On their turn of duty in a temple, they have to watch
the temple and its property, to sweep and clean the premises, to
gather flowers for offerings, and to fetch bolpen (water for temple
use). The services of a Hewisikaraya are required by a lay proprietor
only occasionally for weddings, funerals, yak and bali ceremonies,
and on state occasions. This class of persons is employed in weaving
cloth, and their penuma consists of a taduppu cloth or lensuwa. In
all respects the services of the Dawulkarayo resemble those of
the Tammattankarayo, a portion of the same caste, but who beat the
Tammattama instead of the Dawula.

DEHAT-ATA: A roll of betel leaves given to a priest. A respectful
term for a quid of betel.

DEHET-GOTUWA: Betel wrapped up in the leaf of some tree.

DEKUMA: A present given to a chief or incumbent of a temple by a
tenant when he makes his appearance annually or oftener, and consists
of either money, or sweetmeats, or cloth, or arecanut-cutters, etc.,
according to the tenants trade or profession or according to his caste.

DELIPIHIYA: A razor. One of the "atapirikara" or eight priestly
requisites viz., three robes an almsbowl, a needle case, a razor, a,
girdle, and a filter.

DEPOYA: The poya at full moon.

DEWALAYA: A temple dedicated to some Hindu Deviyo or local
divinity. The four principal dewala are those dedicated to Vishnu,
Kataragama, Nata and Pattini Daviyo. There are others belonging to
tutelary deities, such as the Maha Saman Dewalaya in Sabaragamuwa
belonging to Saman Dewiyo the tutelary deviyo of Siripade, Alutunwara
Dewale in the Kegalle District to Dedimundi-dewata-ban-dara, prime
minister of Vishnu etc.

DEWA-MANDIRAYA: Term in Sabaragamuwa for the "Maligawa" or sanctuary
of a Dewale.

DEWA-RUPAYA: The image of a Deviyo.

DEWOL OR DEWOL-YAKUN: Foreign devils said to have come from beyond
the seas and who according to tradition landed at the seaside village
called Dewundare near Matara and proceeded thence to Sinigama near
Hikkaduwa. Pilgrims resort to either place and perform there the vows
made by them in times of sickness and distress.

DIGGE: The porch of a Dewalaya. It is a building forming the
ante-chamber to the Maligawa or sanctuary where the daily hewisi is
performed and to which alone worshippers have access. It is a long
hall, as its name signifies, and it is there that the dance of the
women at festivals, called Digge-netima, takes place.

DISSAWA: The ruler of a Province.

DIWA-NILAME: Principal lay officer of the Dalada-maligawa. The term
is supposed to have had its origin from the highest dignitary in the
kingdom holding amongst other functions the office of watering the
Srimahabodinvahanse or sacred Bo-tree in Anuradhapura,

DIWEL: Hire or remuneration for service.

DIYAGE: A bath room. The putting up of temporary sheds, or the upkeep
of permanent structures as well as supplying water, forms part of
the menial services of the Uliamwasam tenants.

DIYA-KACHCHIYA: Coarse cloth bathing dress which it is the duty
of the dhobi to supply at the bath. It is also called Diyaredi or

DIYAKEPUMA: The ceremony of cutting water with golden swords by the
Kapurala of the Dewale at the customary ford or pond at the close of
the Perehera in July or August.

DIYATOTA: The ford or ferry where the above ceremony is performed.

DOLAWA: A palanquin.

DOTALU-MAL: The flowers of the dotalu-tree, a small species of the
arecanut-tree used in decorations.

DUMMALA: Powdered resin used at a yak or bali ceremony to give
brilliancy to the light.

DUNUKARAWASAMA: The military class. Literally, archers. The lands
forming the holding of the Dunukarawasam tenants. Their chief services
at present are the carrying of letters and messages, keeping guard at
the Walauwe (house) of the proprietor, watching the threshing floor,
fetching buffaloes for work and accompanying the proprietor on journeys
of state bearing the mura awudaya (lance).

DUNUMALE-PENUMA: The penuma (present) given in the mouth of Nawan
(February) by tenants to the high priest of the Sripadastane (Adam's
Peak) so called after an incumbent of that name.

DURUTUMASE: The tenth month of the Sinhalese year (January-February).

DUREYA: A headman of the Wahumpura Badde or Paduwa caste. Also a
general name for a palanquin bearer.

DURAWASAMA: The office of Dureya or headman of the Durayi. The
tenement of land held by their class. Their services resemble those
of the Ganwasama the difference being that instead of cooked they
give uncooked provisions, and vegetables or raw provisions instead
of sweet-meats for the penuma to the landlord.


EBITTAYA: A Boy. A priest's servant.

EDANDA: A plank or trunk thrown across a stream. A log bridge.

EHELA-GAHA: A post or tree set up at a Dawale at a lucky hour in
the month of Ehela as a preliminary to the Perahera. Compare the
English May-pole.

EHELA-PEREHARA: Vide Perahera.

ELAWALUKADA: A pingo of vegetables, which is the penuma given to
proprietors by the tenants of the lower castes.

ELWI: A kind of paddy grown on all hill sides under dry cultivation.

EMBETTAYA: A barber.

EMBULKETTA: A kitchen knife. It is the penuma given by blacksmith

ETIRILLA: Cloth spread on chairs or other seats out of respect to a
guest or headman. (Clough) It is the service of a dhobi tenant.

ETULKATTALAYA: The inner room or sanctuary of a Dewale, called
also the Maligawa and Dewamandiraya. The term is also applied to
all the officers having duties in the sanctuary, such as Kapurala,
Batwadanarala, Wattorurala, etc.


GAHONI: Ornamental covers made of cloth to throw over penuma.

GALBEMMA: Stone-wall. Rampart.

GAL-LADDA: A smith. A stonemason.

GAL-ORUWA: A stone trough for water, called also Katharama.

GAMANMURE: A turn of attendance at festivals, which in the of case
tenants living in remote villages is frequently commuted for a
fee. Hence the term.

GAMARALA: The headman of a village, generally an hereditary office
in the family of the principal tenant.

GAMMADUWA-DA: The day of an almsgiving at a Dewale to conciliate the
Deviyo in times of sickness.

GAMMIRIS: Pepper corn.

GANWASAMA: Sometimes written Gammasama. The tenement held by a
Ganwasama, the superior class of tenants in a village. Their panguwa
supplies the proprietor with persons eligible for appointment
to the subordinate offices in a village such as Vidane, Lekama,
and Kankanama. The Ganwasama people are often of the same social
standing as the proprietor and sometimes are related to him. They
are generally the wealthiest people in the village and hold the most
fertile lands. Consequently they have to make heavy contributions
in the shape of adukku and pehidum to the proprietor and his retinue
on his periodical visits, to his officers coming on duty and to his
messengers dispatched with orders to tenants. They also have to give
the Mahakat monthly, the Penumkat at festivals, and Dankat during Was,
and to feed the workmen in the Muttettuwa and officers superintending
the work. In the same manner as the Uliyam-wasama has to provide all
the ordinary labour in a village so the Ganwasama has to provide all
that is required for strangers visiting the village and generally to
discharge the duties of hospitality for which the Kandyan villages
are celebrated. This entails upon the Ganwasama the necessity of
setting apart a place called the Idange for lodging strangers. The
whole charge of the Muttettu work devolves on the Ganwasama which also
has to superintend and assist in building work at the proprietor's
house attend, at his house on festive and other occasions in times
of sickness and at funerals bringing penumkat and provisions. A
Ganwasama tenant has to accompany the proprietor on his journeys
on public occasions, and to guard his house in his absence. A woman
of the panguwa has likewise to wait on the lady of the house and to
accompany her on journeys. The Ganwasama takes the lead in the annual
presentation of the tenants before the proprietor. In temple villages,
in addition to the above services performed to the lay chief, the
Ganwasama has to superintend and take part in the preparations for,
and celebration of, the festivals.

GANGATAYA: The leg of an animal killed in the chase given to the
proprietor of the land. Sometimes more than one leg is given.

GANLADDA: An owner of land. Sometimes applied to small proprietors, and
sometimes to proprietors of inferior castes, e. g., the proprietors of
the village Kotaketana (smiths and wood-carvers) are always so styled.

GANMURE: Watching at a temple, or the period of service there taken
in turns by villages.

GANNILE: The service field in a village held by the Gammahe or the
village headman for the time being. Field held by a small proprietor
and cultivated for him by his tenants.

GANPANDURA: Tribute for land. Ground rent.

GAN-PAYINDAKARAYA: A messenger under an inferior headman.

GARA-YAKUMA: A devil dance performed in some districts at the close
of important undertakings such as construction of buildings at the
close of the Perehera for the elephants, etc.

GEBARALA: A storekeeper whose duty it is to measure the paddy, rice,
oil etc., received into and issued out of a temple gabadawa (store).

GEWATU-PANAMA: Payment for gardens. Garden rent, as the name implies,
originally a fanam.

GIKIYANA-PANGUWA: Tenement held by tenants whose service consists
in singing at Dewale on "Kenmura" days and on festivals, and in the
performance of the Digge-netima, which latter is a service performed by
women. The songs generally relate to the exploits of the Dewiyo. The
men sing and play on cymbals, drums, etc., and the women dance. The
ordinary tom-tom-beater is not allowed to play for dancers of this
class, which is supposed to be of Tamil origin.

GILANPASA: The evening meal of Buddhists priests restricted to
drinkables, as tea, coffee, etc. solid food is prohibited after

GODA-OTU: Literally, tax on high lands. Tax on chenas.

GODAPADDA: A messenger under a headman of the low-castes. The term
is in use in the Matale Districts.

GORAKA: The fruit of the gamboge tree dried. It imparts to food a
delicate acid, and is chiefly used in seasoning fish.

GOYIGANAWA: Smoothing the bed of a field, being the last process
preparatory to sowing.



HAKDURE: A service of blowing the conch-shell or horn in the daily
service of a Dewalaya.

HAKGEDIYA: A chank. A conch-shell.

HAKPALIHA: The carrying of the conch-shell and shield in procession
which forms one of the services of the tenants of temple villages.

HAKURU-ESSA: A cake of jaggery. Half a "mula" (packet).

HAKURUKETAYA: A ball of jaggery. It is of no definite size.

HAKURUMULA: A packet of two cakes of jaggery.

HAKURUPATTAYA: Balls of jaggery wrapped up in the sheath of the branch
of an arecanut tree.

HALUPAINDAYA: Officer in charge of the sacred vestments of a Dewale.

HAMBA: Paddy belonging to a temple of the king.

HAMBA-ATUWA: The granary belonging to a temple or the king.

HAMUDA-WALE-MURAYA: The mura by tenants of Pidawiligam under the
Dalada Maligawa.

HANGIDIYA: A head-smith.

HANGALA: The piru-wataya (lent-cloth) given by dhobies to Kapuwo
and Yakdesso.

HANNALIYA: A tailor; large Dewala and Wihara establishments have
tenants to sew and stitch the sacred vestments, curtains, flags,
etc., and to assist in decorating the car.

HARASKADAYA: A cross stick in an arch, supplied by tenants for
decorations at festivals.

HATMALUWA: A curry made of seven kinds of vegetables and offered with
rice at a Bali ceremony.

HATTIYA: A hat shaped talipot carried on journeys by female attendants
of ladies, answering the double purpose of a hat and an umbrella.

HAYA-PEHINDUMA: Provisions given to a temple or person of rank,
consisting of six neli (seru) of rice and condiments in proportion.

HELAYA: A piece of cloth of twelve cubits.

HELIYA: A large round vessel with a wide mouth for boiling rice,
paddy, etc.

HEMA-KADA: Food offering in a Dewala similar to the Ahara-pujawa at a
Vihare. It is carried by the proper Kapurala, called Kattiyana-rala,
pingo-fashion, and delivered at the door of the sanctuary to the
officiating Kapurala.

HENDA-DURE: The evening hewisi (music) at a Dewale.

HENDUWA: Elephant-goad.

HEPPUWA: A box, a basket. The term is in use in the Kegalle District
in connection with a penuma of sweetmeats called Kevili-heppuwa just
as in other Districts it is called Kevili-pettiya.

HEWAMUDALA: Payment in lieu of the services of a tenant of the Hewasam
or military class.

HEWAWASAMA: The tenement held by the Hewawasama. The military
class. Their services at present are those of the Atapattuwasama
and consist in carrying messages and letters etc., accompanying the
proprietor on journeys, carrying his umbrella or talipot and keeping
guard at halting places attending to the service of betel, guarding the
proprietor's house, watching threshing floors, attending at funerals
and setting fire to the pyre. They present a penuma of sweetmeats and
receive as funeral prerequisites a suit of clothes. Persons of their
wasama, as those of the Ganwasama, are chosen for subordinate offices.

HEVENPEDURA: A mat made of a kind of rush.

HEWISI-MANDAPPAYA: The court where the Hewisi (music) is performed
in a Vihare corresponding to the Digge in a Dewale.

HILDANE: The early morning meal of Buddhist priests, generally of

HILEKAN: Registers of fields.

HIMILA: Money given by a proprietor as hire for buffaloes employed
in ploughing and threshing crops.

HIRAMANAYA: A cocoanut scraper. It is an article of penuma with
blacksmith tenants.

HIROHI-NETIMA: Called also Niroginetima. It is a dance at the
procession returning from the Diyakepima of the Saragune Dewale in
the Badulla District.

HITIMURAYA: The turn for being on guard at a temple or a chief's
house. It consists generally of fifteen days at a time, nights
included. The tenant both on entering upon and on leaving his muraya,
appears before the incumbent or chief with the penuma of a roll of
betel, and when on mure has the charge of the place and its property,
clears and sweeps the premises, attends to ordinary repairs, fetches
flowers in temples and goes on messages. He receives food from
the temple.

HIWEL: Coulters, the providing of which forms one of the services of
a blacksmith tenant.

HIWEL-ANDE: Cultivators' share of the produce of a field being half of
the crop after deducting the various payments called "Waraweri" which
are (1) Bittara-wi (seed-padi), as much as had been sown and half as
much as interest; (2) Deyyanne-wi, 4 or 5 laha of paddy set apart for
the Dewiyo, or boiled into rice and distributed in alms to the poor;
(3) Adipalla, the lower layers of the stacked paddy; (4) Peldora,
the ears of com round the watchhut which together with Adipalla are
the watcher's prerequisites (5) Yakunewi, paddy set apart for a devil
ceremony. Besides the above, "Akyala" (first-fruits) is offered to
the Deviyo for special protection to the crop from vermin, flies, etc.

HULAWALIYA: The headman of the Rodi. The Rodi tenants are very few in
number and are found in but very few villages. They supply prepared
leather for drums and ropes of hide halters, thongs and cords for
cattle and bury carcases of dead animals found on the estate to which
they belong.


IDANGE OR IDAMA: The principal building where visitors of rank are
lodged in a village.

IDINNA: Called also Usna. A smith's forge.

ILLATTATTUWA: A betel-tray. The penuma given by a tenant engaged in
carpentry or by a carver in wood.

ILMASA: The eighth month of the Sinhalese year (Nov. Dec.)

IRATTUWA: A word of Tamil extraction and applied to a kind of native
cloth originally made by the Mahabadde people and at present by the
tom-tom beater caste.

IRILENSUWA: A striped handkerchief given as a penuma by tenants of
the tom-tom beater caste.

ISSARA: The individual share or strip of land in a range of fields
cultivated by the shareholders in common.

ITIPANDAMA: A wax candle.

ITIWADALA: A lump of wax. In the honey-producing jungle districts
as Nuwarakalawiya, Matale North etc., honey and itiwadal are dues to
which a proprietor is entitled.


JAMMAKKARAYA: A low-caste man. This is the sense in which the word
is at present used in the Kandyan country but is proper meaning is
a man of caste--of good birth.


KADA: A load divided into two portions of equal weight and tied to
the two ends of a pole, which is balanced on the shoulder, called in
Ceylon a "pingo" and in India a "bhangy."

KADAKETTA: a razor.

KADAPAIYA: A long bag or purse called also Olonguwa.

KADA-RAJAKARIYA: A pingo-load of village supplies given to the king by
the Ganwasam. The Gamarala had to deliver it in person in Kandy. The
chiefs, lands exempted from tax for loyalty to the British Government
were not relieved of the pingo duty. (See proclamation of 21st November
1818, Clause 22).

KAHADIYARA: Sprinkling water used by a Kapurala in ceremonies.

KAHAMIRIS: Saffron and chillies.

KAHATAPOTU: Bark of the saffron tree used in dyeing priests' robes.

KALAGEDIYA OR KALAYA: A pot, the ordinary vessel used by

KALALA: Carpets, or mats made of a kind of fibre (Sanseviera

KALANCHIYA: A Tamil word for an earthenware spitting pot.

KALA-PANDAMA OR KILA-PANDAMA: A branched torch with generally three
lights sometimes, six see ATPANDAMA.

KALAS: Earthenware lamps with stands for decorations.

KAMMALA: A forge. A smithy.

KAMMALKASI: Payment in lieu of service at the smithy.

KAMATA: A threshing-floor.

KANGAN: Black cloth given to attendants at funerals.

KANHENDA: An ear-pick.

KANKANAMA: An overseer.

KANKARIYA: A devil ceremony.

KANUWA: A post.

KAPHITUNDAWASA: The day on which a pole is set up in a Dewale for
the Perehera, see Ehelagaha.

KAPURALA: A dewala-priest. The Office is hereditary.

KARANDA: A tree, the twigs of which are in general use amongst Buddhist
priests by way of tooth brushes. The village of Tittawelgoda has to
supply annually 2000 of these tooth-brushes to the Dambulla monastery.

KARANDU-HUNU: Chunam to offer with betel at the sanctuary.

KARAKGEDIYA: A portable wicker basket for catching fish open at both
ends and conical in shape used in shallow streams.

KARAWALA: Dried fish, the usual penuma of Moor tenants.

KARIYA KARANARALA: Officer second in rank to the Diwa Nilame in the
Dalada Maligawa. The office is restricted to a few families and the
appointment is in the hands of the Diwa Nilame, who receives a large
fee for it at the yearly nomination. As the Diwa Nilame's deputy,
the Kariyakaranarala attends to all the business matters of the
Maligawa and is entitled to valuable dues from subordinate headmen
on appointment.

KASAPEN: Young cocoanuts generally given as penuma.

KATARAMA: Same as Galoruwa.

KATBULATHURULU: Penuma consisting of pingoes and money with betel.

KATGAHA: Sometimes called Kajjagaha. The same as Ehelagaha q.v.

KATHAL: The pingo-loads of rice due to the king by way of the Crown
dues on all lands cultivated with paddy, except those belonging to the
Duggenewili people or class from which the King's domestic servants
were taken.

KATMUDALA: Money payment in lieu of the above.

KATTIYANAMURAYA: The turn for the tenant of a kapu family to perform
the service of carrying from the multenge (Dewale kitchen) to the
Maligawa (the sanctuary) the multen-kada or daily food offering.

KATUKITUL: Wild prickly kitul the flowers of which are used in

KATUPELALI: Rough screens made of branches as substitutes for walls
in temporary buildings.

KATU-PIHIYA: A small knife of the size of a penknife with a stylus
to it.

KAWANI: A kind of cloth.

KATTIYA: A general term for a festival, but in particular applied to
the festival of lights in Nov.-Dec. called Kattimangalaya.

KEDAGAN: A palanquin fitted up (with sticks) for the occasion to take
the insignia of a Deviyo in procession.

KEHELMUWA: Flower of the plantain.

KEKULHAL: Rice pounded from native paddy.

KEKUNA-TEL: Common lamp oil extracted from the nuts of the Kekuna tree;
the oil is largely used in illuminations at festivals and given as
garden dues by tenants.

KEMBERA: The beating of tom-toms on Kenmura days.

KENDIYA-WEDAMAWIMA: The carrying in procession of the Rankendiya or
sacred-vessel containing water after the Diyakepima.

KENMURA: Wednesdays and Saturdays on which are held the regular
services of a Dewale.

KERAWALA: Half of a pingo. Half of a panguwa.

KETIUDALU: Bill-hooks and hoes. Agricultural implements supplied by
the proprietor for work in the Muttettu fields. He supplies the iron
and the smith tenant makes the necessary implements, assisted by the
nilawasam tenants who contribute the charcoal.

KEVILI-HELIYA: A chatty of sweetmeats given as penuma.

KEVILI-KADA: A pingo of sweetmeats given as penuma by high caste

KEVILI-KIRIBAT: Sweetmeats and rice boiled in milk.

KEVILI-HEPPUWA: See heppuwa.

KEVILI-TATTUWA: See heppuwa.

KEWUN: Cakes, sweetmeats.

KEWUN-KESELKAN: Sweetmeats and ripe plantains.

KILLOTAYA: A chunam-box given as a penuma by smith tenants.

KINISSA: A ladle, a common cocoanut spoon.

KIRI-AHARA OR KIRIBAT: Rice boiled in milk and served on festive

KIRIMETI: Pipe-clay. The supplying and preparation of clay for the
Badaheleya (potter) when making bricks and tiles for a proprietor
forms one of the duties of every tenant of a temple village, and of
the tenants of the Nila or Uliyam pangu in a chief's village.

KIRIUTURANA-MANGALYAYA: The ceremony of boiling milk at a Dewale
generally at the Sinhalese new year and after a Diyakepima.

KITUL-ANDA-MURE: The half share of the toddy of all kitul trees tapped,
which is the due of the proprietor. The trees are tapped by Wahumpura
tenants by who are also called Hakuro, and the toddy is converted
into the syrup from which hakuru (jaggery) is made.

KITUL-PENI-MUDIYA: A small quantity of kitul syrup carried in a leaf
and served out to tenants in mura.

KODI: Flags.

KOLALANU: Cords for tying sheaves.

KÔLAN: Masks worn in dancing in Dewala festivals.

KOLMURA: A rehearsal at the Nata Dewala by the Uliyakkarayo before
the Perehera starts.

KOMBUWA: A bugle, a horn. It is blown at the Tewawa or service at a
Dewale. There are special tenants for this service.

KORAHA: A large wide-mouthed chatty used as a basin.

KONA: The year's end. The Sinhalese new year (April).

KOTAHALU: The cloth worn by a young female arriving at puberty, which
is the perquisite of the family dhobi, with other presents given at
the festivities held on the occasion.

KOTALE: An earthenware vessel with a spout given as a penuma by the
potter to petty officers.

KOTTALBADDE VIDANE: The headman of smith villages.

KOVAYA: An earthenware crucible. A socket for candles.

KOVILA: A small temple. A minor Dewale.

KÛDE: A basket to remove earth, sand, etc.

KUDAYA: An umbrella.

KUDAMASSAN: Small fishes cured for curry.

KULU: Winnowing fans made of bamboo.

KUMBAL-PEREHERA: Preliminary Perehera at a Dewale when the insignia are
carried in procession round the inner Court for five days, followed
by the Dewale Perehera for five days twice a day round the Widiya,
and the Randoli or Maha Perehera for five days.

KUMBAYA: A post, a pole for arches in decorations.

KUMARIHAMILLA: Ladies of rank.

KUMARA-TALA-ATTA: A talipot of state. An ornamental talipot carried
in processions by tenants of superior grade.

KUNAMA: The palanquin carried in procession at the Perehera containing
inside the insignia of a Deviyo. It is also called Randoliya.

KURUMBA: The same as Kasapen.

KURU: Hair-pins.

KURU-KANDA: A candle stick made of clay, called also Kotvilakkuwa.

KURAPAYIYA: The same as Kadapayiya.

KURUNIYA: One eighth of a bushel or four seer.

KURUWITALE: Spear used at elephant kraals.



LAHA: The same as Kuruniya.

LANSA-MURE: The turn of service of the Hewawasam tenants; it is now
taken also by the Atapattu class.

LATDEKUMA OR LEBICHCHAPENUMA: Present of money or provisions given
to the proprietor by his nominee on appointment to an office.

LEGUNGE: The dormitory. A priest's cell.

LENSUWA: A handkerchief.

LEKAMA: A writer. A clerk, out of courtesy styled Mohottala.

LEKAM PANGUWA: The tenement held by the Lekam pangu tenants. The
panguwa was originally Maruwena, but in course of time, in most
instances, it has become Paraveni. The Lekam tenant besides doing
duty as writer to the proprietor of Ninda villages superintends his
working parties and harvesting operations and appears before him at
the annual presentations of the tenants, accompanies him on important
journeys, attends on him and supplies him with medicines when sick, and
occasionally guards the house in his absence. In temple villages where
there is no resident Vidane, the Lekama does all the duties of that
officer, besides keeping an account of the things received into and
issued out of the Gabadawa, arranges and superintends all the services
of the tenants, in which capacity it is that he is styled Mohottala.

LIYADDA: The bed of a field. A terrace.

LIYANABATA: Food given by a cultivator to tho Lekam on duty at a
threshing floor.


LIYAWEL: Ornamental flower work in carvings or paintings generally
found in Wihare and which it is the duty of the Sittaru (painters)
to keep in order. The service is valuable and large and valuable
pangu have consequently been allotted to this class. The cost of the
pigments is borne by the temples.

LUNUKAHAMIRIS: Salt, saffron, and chillies. The three principal
ingredients which give flavour to a curry. Hence in enumerating the
articles which make up a pehinduma or dankada, mention is always
made of Lunukahamiris or Sarakku or Tunapahe, general terms for


MADAPPULURALA: Title of an officer in the Nata Dewale who performs
duties analogous to those of a Wattoru-rala such as sweeping out the
Maligawa cleaning and tending its lamps, etc.

MADDILIYA: A Tamil drum used in the Kataragama Dewale in the Badulla

MADOL-TEL: Lamp-oil extracted from the nuts of the Madol.

MADU-PIYALI: The nuts of the Madugaha, broken into pieces dried and
converted into flour for food.

MAGUL-BERE: The opening tune beaten on tom-toms at the regular hewisi
(musical service) at the daily service and at festivals.

MAHADANE: The midday meal of the priests before the sun passes the

MAHA-NAYAKA-UNNANSE: The highest in order amongst the Buddhist
priesthood. The Malwatte and Asgiriya establishments in Kandy have
each a Mahanayake before whom the incumbents of the subordinate Wihara
belonging to the respective padawiya (see or head monastery) have
to appear annually with penumkat and ganpanduru consisting chiefly
of rice.

MAHA-PEREHERA OR RANDOLI-PEREHERA: The last five days of the Perehera
(in July) when the insignia are taken in procession out of the
precincts of a Dewalaya along the principal streets of the town.

MAHA-SALAWA: The chief or great hall.

MAHEKADA: The pingo of raw provisions, chiefly vegetables and lamp oil,
given regularly once a month to a temple or chief by the tenants of
the mul-pangu in a village, namely the Ganwasama, Durawasanaa, etc.

MALIGAWA: Palace. The sanctuary of a Dewale where the insignia are
kept. In Dewala only the officiating Kapurala can enter it. Even its
repairs such as white washing, etc. are done by the Kapurala.

MALU-DENA-PANGUWA: Lands held by the tenants generally of the Nilawasam
class, whose duty it is to supply a temple with vegetables for curry
for the multen service. A quantity sufficient to last a week or two is
provided at one time, and this is continued all the year through. The
vegetables supplied are of different sorts, consisting of garden and
henaproduce and greens and herbs gathered from the jungle.

MALU-KESELKEN: Green plantains for curries, as distinguished from
ripe plantains.

MALUPETMAN: The courtyard of a temple with its approaches.

MALWATTIYA: A basket or tray of flowers. One of the duties of a
tenant in mura at a temple is to supply a basket of flowers morning
and evening for offering in front of the image of Buddha or in front
of the shrine.

MAKARA-TORANA: An ornamental arch over the portal of a Vihare formed
of two fabulous monsters facing each other. These monsters are said to
be emblems of the God of Love (Kama). They are a modern introduction
borrowed from modern Hinduism.

MAKUL: Clay used in whitewashing.

MALABANDINA-RAJAKARIYA: The term in use in the Matale District for
the services of putting up the pole for the Perehera, so called from
flowers being tied to the pole when it is set up.

MALASUNGE: A small detached building at a Vihare to offer flowers
in. These buildings are also found attached to private houses, where
they serve the purpose of a private chapel.

MANDAPPAYA: Covered court or verandah.

MANGALA-ASTAKAYA OR MAGUL-KAVI: Invocation in eight stanzas recited
at Dewale as a thanks giving song.

MANGALYAYA: A festival, a wedding. The four principal festivals are
the Awurudu (old year) the Nanumura (new year), the Katti (feast of
lights) in Il (November) and the Alutsal (harvest home) in Duruta
(January). Some reckon the old and new year festivals as one, and
number the Perehera in Ehala (July) amongst the festivals. In Ninda
villages it is at one of the festivals, generally the old or new
year, that the tenants appear with presents before the proprietor
and attend to the ordinary repairs of his Wala, awwa. In temple
villages they likewise present their penuma, repair and clean the
buildings, courts-compounds and paths, put up decorations, join in
the processions, and build temporary sheds for lights and for giving
accommodation to worshippers on these occasions. They pay their
Ganpandura, have land disputes etc. settled and the annual officers
appointed. Tenants unable to attend by reason of distance or other
causes make a payment in lieu called Gamanmurakasi.

MANNAYA: Kitchen knife. Knife commonly used in tapping Kitul.

MASSA: An ancient Kandyan coin equal to two groats or eight
pence. Massa is used in singular only; when more than one is spoken of
"Ridi" is used.

MEDERI OR MENERI: A small species of paddy grown on hen. Panic grass

MEDINDINA MASE: The twelfth month of the Sinhalese year (March-April.)

MEKARAL: A long kind of bean.

METIPAN: Clay lamps supplied by the potter for the Katti-Mangalyaya.

METIPANDAMA: A bowl, made of clay to hold rags and oil, used as
a torch.

MINUMWI: Remuneration given to the Mananawasam tenants for measuring
paddy. The rate is fixed by custom in each village but varies
considerably throughout the country.

MINUMWASAMA OR PANGUWA: The office of a Mananna or the holding held
by the Manana people; their primary service as their name denotes is
measuring out paddy given to be pounded as well as the paddy brought
in from the fields and rice brought in after being pounded, but as
the office has come to be held by low caste people and by Vellala
of low degree the service has become analogous to those of the
Uliyakkara-Wasam class such as putting up privies, mudding walls,
carrying palanquins, baggage Penumkat and Adukkukat and serving
as torch bearers at festivals. The Mananna is as much the Vidane's
messenger as the Attapattu Appu is the messenger of the proprietor. He
together with the Lekama keeps watch at the threshing floor, takes care
of the buffaloes brought for ploughing and threshing and assists the
Vidane, Lekama, and Kankanama in the collection of the dues such as,
Ganpandura etc.

MIPENI: Honey. It is given as a sort of forest dues by tenants of
villages in the wild districts.

MIRIS: Chillies given as a rent or proprietor's ground share of hena
land cultivated with it.

MOHOTTALA: The same as Lekama q. v.

MOLPILLA: The iron rim of a pestle or paddy pounder.

MUDUHIRUWA OR MUDUWA: A ring. It is the penuma given by silver-smiths
and gold-smiths.

MUKKALA: Three-fourths. A Tamil word used by certain tenants in the
Seven Korala for three-fourths of the service of a full Panguwa.

MULTEN OR MURUTEN: Food offered to a Deviyo in a Dewale by a Kapurala
daily, or on Kenmura days. The Muttettu fields of the Dewalaya
supply the rice for it, and the tenants of the Malumura-panguwa
the vegetables. It is cooked in the temple, mulutenge or kitchen,
sometimes as often as three times a day. It is carried from the kitchen
with great ceremony on a Kada by the proper Kattiyanaralas. All thus
engaged in cooking, carrying and offering it should be of the Kapu
family, by whom it is afterwards eaten.

MULTEN-MEWEDAMAWIMA: The carrying of the Multen Kada from the Multenge
(kitchen) to the sanctuary. The term is in use in the Badulla District.

MUN: A sort of pea forming one of the chief products of a hena,
and largely used as a curry.

MURA-AMURE: An ordinary turn and an extraordinary turn of service. A
term applied to a holding which, in addition to its proper or ordinary
turn of service, has to perform some extra service on account of
additional land attached to the mulpanguwa. The term is used in
Kurunegala District.

MURA-AWUDAYA: A lance. The weapon in the hands of the Hewawasam or
Dunukara tenant on guard.

MURA-AWUDA-RAJAKARIYA: The service of a guard holding a lance.

MURAGEYA: Guard-room.

MURAYA: A general term for the turn of any service. The Muraya is of
different lengths, 7, 10, or 15 days being the common periods of each
mura. In some mura the tenant receives food, in the others not.

MUSNA: Broom; brush.

MUTTEHE-PENUMA: presents of sweetmeats or raw provisions given
by tenants of some villages in the Sabaragamuwa District after the
harvesting of a middle crop between the ordinary Yala and Maha crops,
known as the Muttes harvest.

MUTTETTUWA: A field belonging to the proprietor, whether a chief
or temple, and cultivated on his account jointly by tenants of
every description. The proprietor usually finds the seed-paddy,
and bears all costs of agricultural implements, and sometimes gives
the buffaloes; the service of the tenants is reckoned not by days,
but by the number of the different agricultural operations to which
they have to contribute labour, and they are accordingly spoken of as
"Wedapaha" and "Weda-hata," which are--1, puran ketuma or puran-hiya
(first digging or first ploughing); 2, dekutuma or binnegunhiya
(the second digging or ploughing); 3, wepuruma (sowing including the
smoothing of the beds); 4, goyan-kepuma (reaping including stacking);
and 5, goyan-medima (threshing including storing). These admit of
sub-divisions. Hence the number of agricultural operations differ in
different districts. All the tenants take a part in the cultivation,
and are generally fed by the proprietor or by the Ganwasam tenants on
his behalf. The sowing of the seed-paddy is the work of the Gammahe
as requiring greater care, and irrigation that of the Mananna, unless
special arrangements are made for it with a Diyagoyya who is allowed
in payment, a portion of the field to cultivate free of ground-rent,
or the crop of a cultivated portion. The Muttettu straw furnishes
thatch for buildings, the tying and removing of which is also a service
rendered by the tenants. The services of the different classes of the
tenantry on an estate are centred in its Muttettu field. Hence the
passing of the Muttettuwa from the family of the landlord into the
hands of strangers is invariably followed by the tenants resisting
their customary services in respect of the Muttettu. They have
generally succeeded in such resistance. See first Report of the
Service Tenure Commission P. 9. "In only a few cases have estates
been sold away from the families of the local chiefs, and in these
cases with the almost invariable result of the loss of all claim to
service by disuse, the Kandyan tenant being peculiarly sensitive as
to the social status of his Lord. A few years ago one of the leading
Advocates in Kandy acquired three estates, and after several years'
litigation, he was compelled to get the original proprietor to take
back the largest of the three, and the claim to services from the
other two had to be abandoned. On the original proprietor resuming
procession, the tenants returned to their allegiance."

MUTTIYA: The same as heliya (q.v.)

MUTU-KUDE: Umbrella of State, made of rich cloth, and carried in
procession by one of the higher tenants over the insignia of the
Deviyo, or over the Karanduwa of the Maligawa which is borne on
an elephant.


NAMBIRALA OR NAMBURALA: A headman corresponding to an overseer. It
is a term in use in Moorish villages in the Kurunegala District.

NANAGEYA: A bath-house. On the visit of the proprietor or some
other person of rank, the nanage and atuge (privy) are put up at the
lodging prepared for him by a tenant of the Uliyam or Nila panguwa,
or by the mananna of the village.

NANU: Composition generally made of lime juice, and other acids
for cleansing the hair. In temples it is made of different fragrant
ingredients the chief of which is powdered sandal-wood.

NANUMURA-MANGALYAYA: The festival immediately following the Sinhalese
new year on which purification with nanu is performed (see above).

NATA-DEWALE: The temple of Nata Daviyo, who is said to be now in the
Divyalokaya, but is destined when born on earth to be the Buddha of
the next kalpa under the name Mayitri Buddha.

NATANA-PANGUWA: It is one and the same with the Geekiyana-panguwa
q. v. The service of this section of the Geekiyana-panguwa is the
Digge-netima by females on the nights of the Kenmura days and of
festivals. They likewise perform the Alattibema and dance during the
whole night of the last day of the Perehera and one of their number
accompanies the Randoli procession. Dancing taught by the matron of
the class, called Alatti-amma or Manikkamahage. This panguwa is also
called the Malwara-panguwa. One of favourite dances of the Alatti
women is "Kalagedinetima" (dancing with new pots) the pot used at
which becomes the dancer's perquisite.

NAVAN-MASE: The eleventh month of the Sinhalese year (February-March.)

NAYYANDI-NETIMA: The dance of the Yakdesso (devil-dancers) during
Perehera in Dewale.

NAYAKE-UNNANSE: Chief priest.

NELIYA: A seer measure.

NELLI: One of the three noted myrobalans (Clough).

NELUNWI: Paddy given as hire for weeding and transplanting in a field.

NEMBILIYA: A vessel used in cleansing rice in water previous to being
boiled. It is of the size and shape of a large "appallaya" but the
inside instead of being smooth is grooved, or has a dented surface
to detain sand and dirt.

NETTARA-PINKAMA: The festival on the occasion of painting-in the eyes
of a figure of Buddha in a Vihare. The offerings received daring
the ceremony are given to the artificers or painters as their hire
(see Barapen.)

NETTIPALE: A penthouse, or slanting roof from a wall or rock.

NETTIMALE: The ornamental head dress of an elephant in processions.
NIKINIMASE: The fifth month of the Sinhalese year (August-September).

NILAKARAYA: A tenant liable to service, more particularly the term
is applied to tenants doing menial service.

NILAWASAMA: The tenement held by the Nilawasam tenants. The services,
as those of the Uliyakwasam embrace all domestic and outdoor work of
various and arduous kinds some of which, as those already enumerated
under the Minumwasama, are the supplying of fuel and water to the
kitchen and bath, the pounding of paddy, the extracting of oil,
the mudding of walls and floors, the dragging of timber and other
building materials, the preparation of clay and the supplying of
firewood for the brick and tile kiln, blowing the bellows for the
smith and supplying him with charcoal for the forge, the breaking
of lime stones, the cutting of banks and ditches, putting up fences,
clearing gardens, sweeping out courtyards and compounds, joining in
all agricultural operations on gardens, fields, and hen, removing
the crops, tying straw and assisting in thatching, the carrying of
palanquins and baggage on journeys, conveying to the proprietor the
penumkat, adukkukat, pehindumkat, mahekat, wasdankat, etc., supplied by
the other tenants, joining in the preparations for festivals, carrying
pandam in processions, and serving at the proprietor's on occasions,
of importance such as weddings, funerals, arrival of distinguished
visitors, and at Yak and Bali ceremonies. Nilawasam tenants for
the most part, are of a low caste or belong to the lower classes
of the Vellala caste. Hence their yearly penuma to the proprietor,
instead of being a kada of sweetmeats consists of vegetables and a
contribution of raw or uncooked articles of food. Besides services
as above, rendered to the proprietor, the Nilawasam tenants work for
the proprietor's Vidane, and for the Ganwasama, a few days in fields
and hen and carry their baggage on journeys.

NILA-PANDAMA OR KILA-PANDAMA: The same as Kalapandama. q. v.

NINDAGAMA: A village or lands in a village in exclusive possession
of the proprietor. Special grants from kings are under sannas.

NIYANDA: A plant, the fibres of which are used in making cords,
strings for curtains and hangings and carpets or mats.

NIYAKOLA: The leaves of a shrub used for chewing with betel.

NULMALKETE: A ball or skein of thread.


OTU: Tax, tythe.

OLONGUWA: A long bag or sack having the contents divided into two
equal portions so as to fall one before and one behind when the bag
is slung over the shoulder.

ORAK-KODIA OR OSAKKODIYA: Small flags on arches or on sticks placed
at intervals.


PADALAMA: A floor, foundation.

PADIYA: Water to wash the feet on entering the sanctuary of a Dewale.

PADUWA: A palanquin bearer. This class carries the palanquins of males,
those of females being carried by Wahunpura tenants.

PAHALOSWAKADA: Full-moon day.

PALLEMALERALA: The chief officer of the Pallemale (lower temple in
the Dalada Maligawa.)

PANAMA: A fanam, equal to one-sixteenth part of a rupee.

PANALELI: Horns cut into shape for combs, and given as penum.

PANDAMA: A torch, candle, see atpandama.

PANDAM-DAMBU: It is sometimes written Dâmbu. The same as Dambu q. v.

PANGUWA: A holding, a portion, a farm.

PANGUKARAYA: The holder of a panguwa, a tenant, a shareholder.

PANHARANGUWA: An ornamented arch or support for lights at festivals
in temples.

PANIKKILA OR PANIKKALA: Elephant keeper. He has the charge of temple
elephants used in processions, in which service he is assisted by a
grass-cutter allowed by the temple, and is besides fed when on duty
at a temple.

PANIKKIYA: The headman of the tom-tom beater caste. A barber.

PANMADUWA: The festival of lights occasionally held at a Dewale in
honour of Pattini Deviyo, in which all the tenants of a village join
and contribute to the expenses.

PANPILI: Rags for lights or lamps. The same as Dambu.

PANSALA: The residence of a priest. Lit. hut of leaves.

PANTIYA: An elephant stall. A row of buildings. A festival.


PATA: A measure corresponding to a hunduwa. One-fourth of a seer. The
same as Awaliya.

PATABENDI: Titled. There are in some villages a superior class of
tenants called Patabendo, doing nominal service, such as occasionally
guarding the proprietor's house. In temple villages, however, they
perform services similar to those of the Ganwasama.

PATHISTHANAYA: A lance with an ornamented handle, carried in
processions or on journeys of state by the Hewawasam or Atapattu

PATHKADAYA: A priest's kneeling cloth or leathern rug.

PATHKOLAYA: A piece of a plantain leaf used instead of a plate. It
is called Pachchala in Sabaragamwua. In temples there is a special
tenant to supply it for the daily service.

PATHTHARAYA: The alms bowl of a priest, sometimes of clay but generally
of iron or brass, or, rarely of silver.

PATTAYA: The sheath of an arecanut branch. It is very commonly used
by way of a bottle for keeping jaggery or honey in.

PATTINIAMMA: The female attendant in the Pattini Dewale.

PATTINI-NETUMA: Dance held by Nilawasam tenants in charge of
temple cattle, who serves at the giving of fresh milk called
"Hunkiri-payinda-kirima" and at the "Kiri-itirima" ceremony of boiling
milk in Dewale at the new year, and sprinkling it about the precincts,
in expression of a wish that the year may be a prosperous one.

PATTIRIPPUWA: An elevated place, or raised platform in the Widiya of
Dewale, as a resting place for the insignia during procession.

PAWADAYA OR PIYAWILLA: A carpet or cloth spread on the ground by the
dhobi on duty for the Kapurala to walk upon during the Tewawa, or at
the entry of a distinguished visitor into the house of the proprietor.

PEDIYA: A dhobi. A washerman.

PEDURA: A mat. It is given for use at a threshing floor or for a
festival or public occasion by tenants as one of their dues.

PEHINDUM: Uncooked provisions given to headmen, generally by low
class tenants.

PELA: A shed, a watch-hut.

PELDORA: Perquisite to the watcher of a field, being the crop of the
paddy around the watch-hut. See Hiwelande.

PELELLA: A screen made of leaves and branches to answer the purpose
of a wall in temporary buildings.

PELKARAYA: A sub-tenant. See Dalu pathkaraya. The Mulpakaraya (original
or chief tenant) frequently gets a person to settle on the lands of
his panguwa, in order to have a portion of the services due by him
performed by the person so brought in, who is called the pelkaraya;
lit. cotter.

PELLAWEDAGAMAN: The service turns of tenants. A term in use in the
Kegalle District.

PENPOLA: A priest's bath.

PENUMA: The same as dekuma. q. v.

PENUM-KADA: A pingo of presents, provisions, vegetables, dried fish
or flesh, chatties, etc., given annually or at festivals by tenants
to their landlords.

PENUMWATTIYA: Presents carried in baskets.

PERAWA: A measure equal to one-fourth of a seer, in use in the
Kurunegala District, corresponding to a Hunduwa.

PERAHANKADA: A piece of cloth to strain water through, used by priests,
being one of their eight requisites. A filter; vide "delipihiya" supra.
PEREHERA: A procession; the festival observed in the month of
Ehela (July), in Dewale, the chief ceremony in which is the taking
in procession, the insignia of the divinities Vishnu, Kataragama,
Nata and Pattini for fifteen days. All the Dewala tenants and
officers attend it; buildings and premises are cleansed, whitewashed,
decorated, and put into proper order. The festival is commenced by
bringing in procession a pole and setting it up at the Temple in a
lucky hour. This is done by the Kapurala; during the first five days
the insignia are taken in procession round the inner court of the
Dewale; the five days so observed are called the Kumbal-Perehera,
from Kumbala, a potter, who provided the lamps with stands called
Kalas generally used in some Dewala at the festival. During the next
five days, called the Dewala Perehera the procession goes twice daily
round the Widiya or outer court of a Dewale. During the third or last
five days, called the Maha or Randoli-perehera the procession issues
out of the temple precincts, and taking a wider circuit passes round
the main thoroughfare of a town. The festival concludes with one of
its chief ceremonies, the Diyakepima, when the insignia are taken in
procession on elephants to the customary ferry which is prepared and
decorated for the occasion; and the Kapurala, proceeding in a boat
to the middle of the stream, cuts with the Rankaduwa (golden sword)
the water at the lucky hour. At that very instant the "Rankendiya"
(the gold goblet) which is first emptied of the water preserved in it
from the Diyakepima of the previous year, is re-filled and taken back
in procession to the Dewala. It is customary in some temples for the
tenants to wash themselves in the pond or stream immediately after
the Diyake-pima. This is a service obligatory on the tenants. After
the conclusion of the Perehera, the officers and tenants engaged in
it, including the elephants, have ceremonies, for the conciliation of
lesser divinities and evil spirits, performed called Balibat-netima,
Garayakunnetima and Waliyakun-netima. The Perehera is observed in all
the principal Dewala such as Kataragama, the four Dewala in Kandy,
Alutnuwara Dewale and Saman Dewale in Sabaragamuwa etc. The following
notice of the Kandy Perehera is taken from a note to the first report
of the Service Tenures Commission:--"The most celebrated of these
processions is the Perehera, which takes place at Kandy in Esala
(July-Aug.) commencing with the new moon in that month and continuing
till the full moon. It is a Hindu festival in honor of the four deities
Natha, Vishnu, Kataragama (Kandaswami) and Pattini, who are held in
reverence by the Buddhists of Ceylon as Deviyo who worshipped Goutama
and are seeking to attain Nirwana. In the reign of King Kirtissiri
(A. D. 1747-1780) a body of priests who came from Siam for the purpose
of restoring the Upasampada ordination objected to the observance of
this Hindu ceremony in a Buddhist country. To remove their scruples,
the king ordered the Dalada relic of Buddha to be carried thenceforth
in procession with the insignia of the four deities. Nevertheless,
the Perehera is not regarded as a Buddhist ceremony."

PERUDAN: Food given to priests according to turns arranged amongst

PETAWILIKARAYA: A tavalan driver. It is the Moor tenants who perform
this service.

PETHETIYA: A vessel for measuring an hour. A small cup of brass or
silver, or sometimes a cocoanut shell, having a small hole in the
bottom, is put to float in a basin of water, the hole is made of
such a size that the water which comes through it will be exactly
sufficient to make the cup sink in the space of a Sinhalese hour or
peya, equal to twenty-five minutes or one-sixtieth part of a day.

PETMAN: Foot-paths. They are to be kept free of jungle by the tenants,
with whom it is a principal duty.

PILIMAGEYA: Image-repository, the chamber in Wihare for images.

PILLEWA: A bit of high land adjoining a field, called also "Wanata".

PINBERA: The beating of tom-tom, not on service but for merit at
pinkam at the poya days, or after an almsgiving.

PINKAMA: In a general sense, any deed of merit, but more particularly
used for the installing of priests in "Was" in the four months of
the rainy season (July to November) for the public reading of Bana.

PIRIWEHIKADA: A pingo made up of "piriwehi" wicker baskets filled
with provisions or other articles.

PIRUWATAYA: A cloth, towel, sheet etc., supplied by the dhobi and
returned after use.

PITAKATTALAYA: The exterior of a Dewale or the portion outside
the sanctuary. It is also a term applied to all the classes of
tenants whose services are connected with the exterior of a Dewale,
as distinguished from the Etul-kattale, tenants or servants of the

PIYAWILLA: The same as Pawadaya. q. v.

POKUNA: A pond, or well, or reservoir of water, resorted to at a
Perehera for the Diyakepuma.

POLÉ: The present given to the Vidane of a village by a sportsman on
killing game within the village limits. It is about four or five pounds
of flesh. In some districts the custom of giving the pole, apart from
the Gangate, has ceased to exist, but it is kept up in Sabaragamuwa.

POLGEDIYA: The fruit of the cocoanut tree.

POLWALLA: A bunch of cocoanuts used in decorations, and the supplying
of which forms a service.

PORODDA: The collar of an elephant.

POSONMASA: The third month of the Sinhalese year (June-July).

POTSAKIYA: The button fastened to the end of a string used in tying
up and keeping together the ola leaves and wooden covers of native

POTTANIYA: A bundle larger than a "mitiya."

POYAGEYA: A detached building at a Wihare establishment within proper
"sima" (military posts). It is used as a confessional for priests
on poya days, as a vestry for convocations and meetings on matters
ecclesiastical, and for holding ordination and for worship.

PUJAWA: An offering of any kind--e. g. food, cloth, flowers, incense,

PULLIMAL: Ear-rings.

PURAGEYA: The scaffolding of a building or the temporary shed put
up to give shelter to the workmen and protection to the permanent
structure in course of erection.

PURANA: A field lying fallow, or the time during which a field lies

PURAWEDIKODIYA: A flag. A term used in the Four Korale.

PURAWASAMA: See Ganpandura. A term in use in the Kurunegala District
for ground rent.

PURUKGOBA: Tender cocoanut branch for decorations. It is called
Pulakgoba in Sabaragamuwa and Pulakatta in Matale.

PRAKARAYA: A rampart, a strong wall.


RADA-BADDARA-RAJAKARIYA: Dhoby service. It consists of washing weekly
or monthly the soiled clothes of a family, the robes, curtains, flags,
and vestments of a Temple; decorating temples with viyan (ceilings)
for festivals and pinkam, and private houses on occasions of weddings,
Yak or Bali ceremonies, and arrival of distinguished visitors; the
supplying on such occasions of "Piruwata" for wearing, "etirili" or
covers for seats, tables etc., "piyawili" or carpets, and "diyaredi"
or bathing dresses; the making of "pandam" torches and "panweti"
wicks and the supplying of "dambu" tow. The "Heneya" (dhobi) has
also to attend his master on journeys carrying his bundle of clothes
and bathing requisites. He supplies the Kapurala and Yakdessa with
piruwata, the former weekly when on duty at a Dewale and the latter for
dancing at festivals. He gives piruwata for the Muttettu, for serving
out the food, for penum-kat and tel-kat as covers, and for the state
elephant during festivals. The penuma he presents consists generally
of a piece of wearing apparel or of a "sudu-toppiya" (Kandyan hat)
or in some cases of Panaleli (horns for combs.) His prerequisites
vary according to the occasion calling forth his services. Thus
at the Sinhalese new year besides the quota of sweetmeats and rice
given on such an occasion every member of the family ties up a coin
in the cloth he delivers to him for washing. At "kotahalu" (occasion)
of a female attaining puberty, festivities the dhoby is entitled to
the cloth worn by the young woman and to her head ornaments, and at
a funeral to all the clothes not allowed to be burnt on the pyre.

RADAYA: A washerman of an inferior grade.

RADALA: A chief, an officer of rank.

RAHUBADDA: A general term for small temples or dependencies of the
Kandy Pattini Dewale. It is sometimes used of a kind of dancers. It is
also sometimes taken as one of the nine "Nawabadda" the nine trades,
which are, possibly, the following, but it is difficult to find any
two Kandyans who give precisely the same list: 1, Kottal, smiths; 2,
Badahela, potters; 3, Hakuru, jaggery makers; 4, Hunu, lime burners;
5, Hulanbadde, or Madige, tavalam-drivers, who are always Moors; 6,
Rada, dhobies; 7, Berawa tom-tom-beaters; 8, Kinnaru, weavers; 9,
Henda or Rodi, Rodiyas.

RAJAHELIYABEMA: The distribution of rice boiled at a Dewale at the
close of the Perehera, among the servitors who took part in the

RAJAKARIYA: Service to the king. The word is now used indiscriminately
for services done to a temple or Nindagam proprietors, or for the
duties of an office.

RAMBATORANA: An arch in which plantain trees form the chief decoration.

RAN-AWUDA: The golden sword, bow, and arrows etc., belonging to a
Dewale. The insignia of a Deviyo.

RANDOLIYA: A royal palanquin, the palanquin in which the insignia
are taken in procession during the Maha Perehera.

RANHILIGE: The royal howdah in which the insignia are taken in
processions on the back of an elephant.

RANKAPPAYA: A plate made of gold. See ranmandaya.

RANMANDAYA: A circular plate or tray for offerings in the sanctuary
of a Dewale.

RATHAGEYA: The building for the car used in processions.

REDIPILI: Curtains, coverings, etc. of a temple; clothes.

RELIPALAM: Decorations of an arch made of cloth, tied up so as to
form a kind of frill.

RIDISURAYA: Rim of silver by a smith tenant for the Ehela tree.

RIDIYA: An ancient coin equal to eight-pence, or one-third of a rupee.

RIPPA: Called also Pattikkaleli are laths forming building material
annually supplied by tenants.

RITTAGE: Resting place for the insignia during the procession round
the courts of a Dewalaya. See Pattirippuwa.


SADANGUWE-PEHINDUMA: A pehinduma given by a village in common, not
by the tenants in turns. The term is in use in Sabaragamuwa.

SAMAN DEWALE: Temple of Sumana or Saman deviyo, the tutelary god of
Sripadastane. The one in Sabaragamuwa is the richest and largest of
the Dewale dedicated to this Deviyo.

SAMUKKALAYA: A cover for a bed or couch forming a travelling requisite
carried by a tenant for the use of his superior.

SANDUN-KIRIPENI-IHIMA: A sprinkling of perfumes at festivals to denote
purification, tranquility.

SANNI-YAKUMA: A species of devil-dance to propitiate demons afflicting
a patient.

SARAKKU: Curry-stuff. Drugs.

SARAMARU-MOHOTTALA: A mohottala over service villages, holding his
office during the pleasure of the head of the Dewale.

SATARA-MANGALYAYA: The four principal festivals in the year. See

SATTALIYA: An ancient coin equal to about one and-a-half fanam,
or two-pence and a farthing.

SEMBUWA: A small brazen pot generally used on journeys for carrying
water or for bathing. The service of carrying it on journeys devolves
on the dhoby.

SEMENNUMA: Remuneration given originally to an irrigation headman,
which in lapse of time began to be given to the proprietor, and called
"Huwandiram" or "Suwandirama". When given to a Dewale, it is sometimes
called Semennuma.

SESATA: A large fan made of talipot or cloth and richly ornamented,
with a long handle to carry it in processions. It was once an emblem
of royalty.

SIHILDAN: Priest's early meal at daybreak. The same as Hildana q. v.

SINHARAKKARA-MUHANDIRAMA: A rank conferred on the headman over the
musicians of a temple.

SINHASANAYA: A throne. An altar, A seat of honor. It is also a name
given to the "Pattirippuwa."

SITTARA: A painter. He is a tenant generally of the smith caste, and
mends and keeps in repair the image and paintings of temples. The
temple supplies the requisite pigments and food during work. The
completion of an image or a restoration or construction of a Vihare
is observed with a pinkama; and the offerings of moneys, etc., for
a certain number of days are allowed as perquisites to the painters
and smiths in addition to the hire agreed upon called "Barapen"
(q. v.) The painter, likewise, supplies ornamented sticks as handles
for lances, flags, etc., and presents to the head of the temple a
penuma of an ornamented walking-stick or betel tray.

SIWURUKASI OR SIWURUMILA: Contribution for priests' robes, being a
very trifling but a regular annual payment during the Was Season,
and given with the usual dankada.

SRIPADASTANE: The place of the sacred foot-step-Adam's peak. It
is yearly frequented by crowds of pilgrims, has a separate temple
establishment of its own, presided over by a Nayaka Unnanse, and held
in great veneration second only to the Dalada Maligawa or shrine of
the eye-tooth of Buddha.

SUDUREDI-TOPPIYA: The white hat commonly worn by Kandyan headmen
forming the annual penuma of a dhoby tenant.

SUWANDIRAMA: See Semennuma.


TADUPPUREDDA: Country-made cloth of coarse texture, which forms with
the tenants of the tom-tom beater caste their annual penuma to the

TAHANCHIKADA OR TAHANDIKADA: A ponumkada given to a Dissawa. A term
in use in the Kegalle District.

TALA: Sesamum.

TALA-ATU-MUTTUWA: Two talipots sown together and ornamented. It is
used as an umbrella, and on journeys of the proprietor it is carried
by the proper tenant, generally of the Atapattu class.

TALAM-GEHIMA: To play with the "Taliya" cymbals as an accompaniment
to the tom-tom.

TALATTANIYA: An elder in a village.

TALIGEDIYA: A large earthen-ware pot.

TALIMANA: Blacksmith's apparatus for a pair of bellows generally made
of wood, sunk in the ground and covered with elk-hide.

TALIYA OR TALAMA: A kind of cymbal.

TALKOLA-PIHIYE: A small knife with a stylus to write with.

TAMBALA: A creeper, the leaves of which are used with betel.

TAMBORUWA: A tambourine.

TANAYAMA: A rest-house. A lodging put up on the occasion of the visit
of a proprietor or person of rank to a village.

TANGAMA: Half a ridi, equal to one groat or four-pence.

TANTUWAWA: Any ceremony such as a wedding, a devil-dance, a funeral,

TATUKOLA: Pieces of plantain leaves used as plates. The same as
Patkola q. v.

TATTUMARUWA: The possession of a field in turns of years; a system
leading often to great complications e. g., a field belongs to A and
B in equal shares, and they possess it in alternate years. They die
and leave it to two sons of A, and three sons of B. These again hold
in Tattumaru (A1, A2) (B1, B2, B3,). In fourteen years the possession
is A1, B1, A2, B2, A1, B3, A2, B1, A1, B2, A2, B3, A1, B1, and so
on. A1 leaves two sons, A2 lives, B1 has three sons, B2 has four sons
and B3 has five. A2 gets his turn after intervals of four years,
but A1a and B1b have to divide A1's turn. Each therefore gets his
turn after intervals of eight years, but each of the B shareholders
gets his turn at intervals of six years and B1a, B1b, B1c now have
a turn each at intervals of eighteen years, B2a, B2b, B2c, B2d, at
intervals of twenty-four years, B3e at intervals of thirty years,
as in the following table:--

            1   A1a        11   A2        21   A1b
            2   B1a        12   B3b       22   B2d
            3   A2         13   A1b       23   A2
            4   B2a        14   B1c       24   B3d
            5   A1b        15   A2        25   A1a
            6   B3a        16   B2c       26   B1b
            7   A2         17   A1a       27   A2
            8   B1b        18   B3c       28   B2a
            9   A1a        19   A2        29   A1b
           10   B2b        20   B1a       30   B3e

TAWALAMA: Pack-bullock.

TELGEDI: Ripe or dry cocoanuts to express oil from.

TEMMETTAMA: A kettle-drum. One of the five musical instruments of
a temple.

TEMMETTANKARAYA: A tenant playing on the Temmettama and belonging to
the tom-tom beater caste. His service is in requisition for the daily
services of a temple at its festivals, perehera, and pinkama and when
the incumbent proceeds on journeys of importance such as ordinations,
visits to the prior, and pinkam duties. Under a lay proprietor,
the Temmettankaraya attends at weddings, Yak and Bali ceremonies,
funerals, and on journeys on state occasions. He occasionally assists
in agricultural and building works, and presents a penuma of a towel
or piece of cloth with betel. At the four festivals in temples he
takes a part in all the preparations and decorations.

TETAMATTUWA: A towel or piece of cloth to rub the body dry after a
bath, which it is the service of the dhoby to supply.

TETIYA: A metal dish used for the purposes of a plate.

TEWAWA: The daily service of a Dewale, morning, noon, and evening,
when muruten is offered.

TIRALANU: Cords for curtains.

TIRAPILI: Curtains.

TITTAYAN: A kind of small fresh-water fish having bitter taste. It
is dried and given with other articles as penum.

TORANA: An ornamental arch put up on public and festive occasions.

TUPPOTTIYA: A cloth of ten yards worn round the waist. The ordinary
wearing cloth of a Kandyan.

TUTTUWA: A pice, equal sometimes to 3/8d. sometimes one half-penny;
when it contains four challies it is called the "Mahatuttuwa."

TUWAYA-TUNDAMA: A towel given by the tom-tom beater tenants as
a penuma.


UDAHALLA: A hanging basket of wicker-work.

UDAKKIYA: A small kind of drum carried in the hand and used to play
for dance music. Its use is not restricted to any caste.

UDUWIYANA: A canopy held over the muruten in the daily service of
a Dewale, or over the insignia at processions, or over any sacred
thing taken in procession, such as Alutsal, Nanu, Bana books, Relics,
etc. The word also means ceilings put up by the dhoby.

UGAPATA: Vegetables, jaggery, or kitul-peni etc., wrapped up in leaves,
generally in the sheath of the arecanut branch. Six ugapat make a kada,
or pingo-load.

ULIYAMWASAMA: The holding of land by the Uliyamwasam tenants who
perform all kinds of menial service. The same as Nilawasam q. v.

UL-UDE: Trousers worn by dancers.

UNDIYARALA: A Dewala messenger.

UNDUWAPMASA: The ninth month of the Sinhalese year (December-January).

UPASAKARALA: Persons devoted to religious exercises.

UPASAMPADAWA: The highest order of Buddhist priests. The ceremony of
admission into the order.

USNAYA: A smith's forge. The same as idinna. q.v.

UYANWATTA: A park, a garden. The principal garden attached to a temple
or to the estate of a proprietor, the planting, watching, gathering
and removing the produce of which forms one of the principal services
of tenants.


WADANATALAATTA: A richly ornamented talipot. In ancient times its
use was restricted to the court of the king and to temples; but now
it is used by the upper classes on public occasions, being carried
by the Atapattu tenants. The same as Kumaratalatta. q.v.

WAHALBERE: The same as Magulbere. q.v.

WAHALKADA: The porch before a temple or court.

WAHUNPURAYA: A tenant of the jaggery caste, which supplies the upper
classes with domestic servants, chiefly cooks. This class has to
accompany the proprietor on journeys and carry the palanquin of female
members of the proprietor's family. When not engaged as domestics the
Wahumpurapangu tenants supply jaggery and kitul-peni. They likewise
supply vegetables, attend agricultural work and carry baggage.

WAJJANKARAYA: A tom-tom-beater. A general term for a temple
musician. The five wajjan of which a regular Hewisia is made up are:
1, the Dawula (the common drum); 2, the Temettama (kettle-drum) 3,
the Boraya (drum longer than a Dawula) 4, the Taliya (cymbals) and 5,
the Horanewa (the trumpet.)

WADUPASRIYANGE: The same as "Anamestraya."

WAKMASE OR WAPMASE: The seventh month of the Sinhalese year (Oct. Nov.)

WALANKADA: A pingo of pottery, usually ten or twelve in number,
supplied by the potter as a part of his service, either as a penumkada
or as the complement of chatties he has to give at festivals, etc.

WALAN-KERAWALA: Half a pingo of pottery.

WALAWWA: A respectful term for the residence of a person of rank. The

WALIYAKUMA: Called also "Wediyakuma." The devil-dance after a
Diyakepuma. See "Hiro hinetima."

WALLAKOTU: Sticks, the bark or twigs of which are used in place of
string. It is supplied by tenants for Yak or Bali ceremonies.

WALLIMALE: A poem containing the legends of Valliamma, the wife
of Kataragama.

WALUMALGOBA: The cluster of young fruit the flower and the sprout
(tender branch) of the cocoanut tree used in decorations, and supplied
by tenants.

WANATA: A clearing between a cultivated land and the adjacent
jungle. The same as "Pillowa".

WANNAKURALA: An accountant. Tho officer of a temple whose duties
correspond to those of a Dewala Mohattala or Attanayakarala.

WAPPIHIYA: A knife little larger than a Wahunketta (kitchen knife)
with the blade somewhat curved.

WARAGAMA: A gold coin varying in value from six shillings to seven
shillings and sixpence.

WASAMA: An office. A service holding.

WASKALAYA: The season in which priests take up a fixed residence,
devoting their time to the public reading and expounding of Bana. It
falls between the months of July and October. Sometimes a resident
priest is placed in Was in his own Pansala, which means that he is to
be fed with dan provided by the tenantry during the season of Was. The
practice originated in the command of Buddha that his disciples should
travel about during the dry season as mendicant monks, but that in the
rainy season they should take shelter in leaf huts. The modern priests
now desert their substantially built monasteries to take up their
residence for the Was-lit: rainy season--in temporary buildings. The
object of the original institution was to secure attention during
part of the year to the persons living near the monastery--in fact
that for this period the monks should serve as parish priests.

WAS-ANTAYA: The close of the Was-season.

WATADAGE: Temporary sheds for lights, sometimes called "Pasriyangewal"
or "Wadupasriyangewal."

WATAPETTIYA: A circular flat basket to carry adukku and penum in.

WATATAPPE: Circular wall round a temple.

WATTAKKA: The common gourd generally grown on hen.

WATTAMA: A round or turn. In Nuwarakalawiya it is applied to the turn
in a Hewisimura service.

WATTIYA: A flat basket for carrying penum, flowers etc.

WATTORURALA: The tenant whose duty it is to open and close the doors
of the sanctuary in a Dewale, to sweep it out, to clean and trim
the lamps, to light and tend them, and to take charge of the sacred
vessels used in the daily service.

WENIWEL: A creeper used as strings for tying.

WESAK: The second month of the Sinhalese year (May-June).

WESIGILIYA OR WESIKILIYA: A privy for priests.

WESMUNA: A mask worn at a Devil or other dance.

WIBADDE-MOHOTTALA: The writer who keeps the account of the paddy
revenue of a temple.

WIDANE: The superintendent of a village or a number of villages. The
agent of a proprietor.

WIHARAYA: A Buddhist temple (from the Sanskrit vi-hri to walk about),
originally the hall where the Buddhist priests took their morning walk;
afterwards these halls were used as temples and sometimes became the
centre of a whole monastic establishment. The word Wihara or Vihara
is now used only to designate a building dedicated to the memory of
Gautama Buddha, and set apart for the daily offering of flowers,
and of food given in charity. To the Wihara proper there has been
added in modern times an image-house for figures of Buddha in the
three attitudes standing as the law-giver, sitting in meditation,
reclining in the eternal repose of unbroken peace and happiness;
and these figures now form prominent objects in every Wihara, and it
is before these figures that pious Buddhists make their offerings
of rice, flowers, money, etc. It should not be confounded with the
"Pansala" which signifies the monastic buildings as distinguished
from the temple or place of worship around which they are clustered.

WILKORAHA: A large chatty used in soaking seed paddy.

WITARUMA: An inferior Vidane, but the office has lost its original
dignity. The duties formerly consisted of mere general superintendence
of Muttettu-work and carrying of messages to Hewawasam tenants. The
Vitaranna now is only a common messenger doing ordinary service as
a petty overseer.

WIYADAMA: Anything expended or issued for use, whether money or
stores. It is generally used for provisions given to a headman or
person of rank.

WIYAKOLAMILA: Hire of buffaloes employed in threshing paddy.

WIYANBENDIMA: The hanging up by the dhoby of clean cloths in temples
for festivals or in private houses on festive and other occasions.

WIYAN-TATTUWA: A canopy; a coiling.


YAKDESSA: A tenant of the tom-tom beater caste who performs Devil

YAKGE OR YAKMADUWA: The shed in which is performed a devil ceremony.

YAKADAMILA: Hire or cost of agricultural implements for Muttettu
cultivation, given by a proprietor.

YAKADAWEDA: Hard-ware. Blacksmith's work.

YALA: The second or the smaller of the two yearly harvests. The
season for it varies according to the facilities which each part of
the country has in respect of irrigation. Sometimes the word is used
in a general sense to mean a crop.

YAMANNA OR YAPAMMU: Smelters of iron. Their service consists of giving
a certain number of lumps of iron yearly, the burning of charcoal
for the forge, carrying baggage, assisting in field work, and at
Yak or Bali ceremonies. They put up the Talimana (pair of bellows)
for the smith, and smelt iron.

YATIKAWA: A Kapurala's incantation or a pray uttered on behalf of a
sick person.

YATU: Half lumps of iron given as a penum by the Yamana tenants.

YOTA: A strong cord or rope.


[1] An account of the Interior of Ceylon (1821) Page 119 Davy.

[2] Eleven Years in Ceylon (1841), Vol. II, p. 81 Forbes.

[3] An Historical Relation of Ceylon 1681 Page 75 (Knox)

[4] Ancient Ceylon (1909) pp. 191, 196 (Parker)

[5] The Friend (Old Series) Vol. IV. (1840-1841) p. 189. (David
de Silva.)

[6] Eleven years in Ceylon (1841) Vol. II, page 104 (Major Forbes.)

[7] Taprobanian (1887) vol. 2 p. 17 (Neville).

[8] The Veddas (1911) p. 252 (Seligmann).

[9] Ancient Ceylon (1909) p. 169. (Parker).

[10] Govt. Gazette No. 6442 of 19th May 1911.

[11] The Aryan village in India and Ceylon (1882) p. 205 (Phear).

[12] The Friend (old series) Vol. IV (1840-1841) p. 211. David de Silva

[13] Vide:--

The friend (old series) (1840-1841) Vol. IV p. 189 (David de Silva).
J.R.A.S. (Ceylon) (1848-1849) Vol. II No. 4 p. 31 (R. E. Lewis).
J.R.A.S. (Ceylon) (1880)      Vol. VI No. 21 p. 46 (Ievers).
J.R.A.S. (Ceylon) (1883)      Vol. VIII No. 26 p. 44 (Bell).
J.R.A.S. (Ceylon) (1884)      Vol. VIII No. 29 p. 331 (J. P. Lewis).
J.R.A.S. (Ceylon) (1889)      Vol. XI No. 39 p. 17 (Bell).
J.R.A.S. (Ceylon) (1905)      Vol. XVIII No. 56 p. 413 (Comaraswamy).
J.R.A.S. (Great Britain) (1885) Vol. XVII p. 366 (Lemesurier).
Taprobanian (1885) Vol. I p. 94 (Neville).
Orientalist (1887) Vol. III p. 99 (Bell).
Spolia Zeylanica (1908) (Parson).
North Central Province Manual (1899) p. 181 (Ievers).
The Book of Ceylon (1908) p. 382 (Cave).

[14] Vide glossary in the appendix.

[15] For hunter's jargon vide Taprobanian Vol. 2 p. 19.

[16] For Rodi jargon vide Taprobanian Vol. 2 p. 90.

[17] For cultivator's jargon vide Taprobanian Vol. 1 p. 167.

[18] For Veddi dialect vide Taprobanian Vol. 1 p. 29.

[19] J.R.A.S.(C. B.) 1881 Vol. VII p. 33.

[20] Illustrated Supplement to the Examiner (1875) Vol. I p. 8.

[21] J. R. A. S. (C. B.) vol. V. No. 18 p. 17 (Ludovici.)

[22] Ancient Ceylon (1909) p. 587 (Parker.)

[23] From Revd. Moscrop's translation of the song of the Thresher in
the "Children of Ceylon", p. 53.

[24] From Mr. Bell's translation in the Archæological Survey of
Kegalle, p. 44.

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