Vedda - Kinship



Kin Groups and Descent. The Seligmanns' claim that the Bintenne Veddas practiced matrilineal descent has been strongly challenged by other researchers. The Anuradhapura Veddas reckon kinship bilaterally. Above the level of the household their significant kin groups are the village Community, all the members of which consider one another to be their kin, and the variga, a largely endogamous grouping that includes all the Anuradhapura Veddas. The Coast Veddas also reckon kinship bilaterally, but they do not recognize variga as a cultural category for regulating descent and Marriage. They do, however, see themselves as related to all other Veddas in the vicinity and generally marry among themselves, forming loosely structured kindred groups. Traces of matrilineal descent and clan organization have also been noted among the Coast Veddas.


Kinship Terminology. Kinship terminology is Dravidian, both among the Sinhala-speaking and the Tamil-speaking Veddas.


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