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Mahiyangana - Dambana

Mahiyangana - Dambana

The Veddahs are the indigenous people of Sri Lanka and have traditionally been hunter gatherers, who have derived their livelihood from hunting, fishing, chena cultivations and collecting indigenous medicinal plants from the jungles. The last stronghold of the local Veddahs is the remote village of Dambana in the Badulla District which borders the Maduru Oya National Park which is home to around 300 families. Today, hunting restrictions have meant that they are more reliant on agriculture as their main livelihood and the influences of modern society have resulted in eroding the cultures and traditions of the Veddah community whose population is on the decline. Visitors to Dambana get the chance of meeting the Veddahs, and to learn about their traditions and lifestyle. One can see the Veddahs perform the “Kiri Koraha” a traditional dance which is to invoke the blessings of the gods. The Vedda Museum located in the village is also worth a visit which has a collection of artifacts, paintings, photographs that outline the history and culture of these noble people.

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