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Reading: Forest and Fire: A Study into the Forest and Fire: A Study into the Meaning of Vanni

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Forest and Fire: A Study into the Forest and Fire: A Study into the Meaning of Vanni

Author:

Anura Manatunga

Senior Lecturer, Department of Archaeology, University of Kelaniya, LK
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Abstract

The Vanni is a distinct caste group in medieval Sri Lanka and is still considered a sub-caste among the Govigama/ Vellala castes of the island. They enjoyed elite status in the forest clad settlements in the peripheral regions which were also known as the Vanni, after the masters of the regions. The Vanni chieftains were autonomous or semi- autonomous rulers of the Vanni principalities which were numerous, but covered a larger area of the island when considered collectively.

The origin of the Vanni caste and the formation of the Vanni principalities are among the lesser understood factors of Sri Lankan history. The present study looks into the possibilities and investigates the origin of the Vanni caste both in India and the Sri Lanka. The aspects of the formation of the Vanni principalities and the rise of the Vanni caste into an elite group in the peripheral regions of the island will also be investigated in this study.

Key Words: Medieval Sri Lanka; South India; Peripheral principalities; Caste groups; Forest regions; Vanni

Sri Lankan Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences Vol.1(1) July 2009

How to Cite: Manatunga, A., 2010. Forest and Fire: A Study into the Forest and Fire: A Study into the Meaning of Vanni. Sri Lanka Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 1(1), p.None.
Published on 09 Dec 2010.
Peer Reviewed

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