Who are the Väddas? Where do they come from? Where have they gone?
While many continue to accept the storyline represented by colonial era thinkers that of the romantic and benign image of Väddas as children of nature living in tune or harmony with their environment. Anthropologist Gananath Obeyesekere brings back into our contemporary discourse the voices of Väddas silenced by history or misrepresented in Western scholarship, dispelling the prevailing view of primitive hunters and gatherers living in isolated pockets in the wilds of Bintanna.
In this bold and captivating account, drawing on his research conducted during the periods 1999-2001 and 2007-2009, Obeyesekere presents an alternative narrative of these Väddas of Sri Lanka with a fresh look at their crucial role in society. Further, Obeyesekere cautions that they are a disappearing “tribe” that may soon vanish from the world’s ethnological museum.
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