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No verification of this information, and a google search on the term turns up zilch. However, the reference to "Wanniyala-Aetto" in the main Sri Lanka article existed before any vandalism. So this might well be a case of our vandal friend actually writing something more or less correct. --Joakim Ziegler

Google does find some pages (here). The term appears to be correct, but someone should check the details. --Zundark, 2001 Dec 26
What google finds seem to be what other sites extracted from wikipedia; this is becoming annoying so many sites starting to duplicate the same content either from WordNet or Wikipedia; this has the effect of kind of spamming Google.
As for the term, it's correct. I'm a sri lankan, and in Sinhala language, 'Wanniya' means 'forest' and 'aetto' means either 'person' or 'people'. The language of theirs is very close to sinhala, the native language of majority in Sri Lanka. But the name 'wanniyale-aetto' is not common in Sinhala, because the generally used word is 'Veddahs', both by sinhala and English writers who wrote a lot about them during the british rule. One of the most notable is Dr. R. L. Spittle.
If you search google for 'Veddah', you can get a lot of related information. This is not intelectual bullying in fact; just the majority usage became dominent. After all, we don't call Finland 'Helsinki' or Japan 'Nippon' right?
'Wanniyaa' (jungle-guy) is also used among them as a first name. The current tribal leader is 'Uru Warige Wanniya' (Wanniya of the boar family) so named because their great grand ancestor was born in a pit dug by a wild boar.
--Greenleaf, 2004 Sep 16


I deleted the picture becaue it was NOT a picture of veddahs. it was a picture of a local viggale (see the picture itself calls itself a 'native village' and great majority of the natives were not veddahs.) it is a picture of a traditional (most probably agricultural) village. You can see, guys clad in full white loose robes couldn't have been practical hunter-gatherers. He looks very much like a villege leader, a local doctor or a school teacher at that time. Compare this with real vedda pictures in [1] at the time of that picture. Greenleaf 03:07, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

Sinhala / Sinhalese[edit]

Please just stop this silly edit war. --Pjacobi 07:28, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

  • per Pjacobi that could easily get both of u blocked --JAranda | watz sup 07:30, 2 November 2005 (UTC)
    • Done already. The anon was warned, and Hottentot is experienced enough to know that revert warring is wrong. --Pjacobi 07:40, 2 November 2005 (UTC)


After looking for the hits, I'll suggest the following intro re naming:

  • The Wanniyala-Aetto, literally forest beings (this is the name they call themselves; the common English name is Veddas from Sinhalese (1), transliterated (2))

Someone please volunteer the Sinhala name in Sinhala script, this will go at "(1)", the scholarly transliteration will go at "(2)". And whether it will be "Sinhala" or "Sinhalese" will follow the WP:RM process of Sinhala.

Pjacobi 08:06, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

Done. Thank you for pointing this out. Honestly, I feel that there need not be a silent 'h' at the end, but I'm strongly opposed to the anon user's change 'veddha' because in most Sinhala words, 'da' is used along for the sound of 'ද', (which, by the way, sounds like 'the' in English). Use of 'dha' is generally reserved for a more stressed but sparingly used 'ධ' (as in cases like Anuradhapura.
Hottentot did have a reasonable argument though, about Google results. Another issue is, Wanniyale-Aetto is not the most popular name for them - I did raise this issue a year ago; I don't see why the most popular name must not be used as the article name, as in the case with aborigines. I'm not forcing Sinhala on veddahs, but most early English writers, most notable being Robert Knox [2][3] and Dr. RL Spittel, used the word "vadda" in some form of spelling. Wikipedia itself is responsible for most top Google results for Wanniyala-Aetto. One of the most comprehensive website lobbying for veddahs is named, showing there is not any fundamental opposition for that name. Greenleaf 05:11, 3 November 2005 (UTC)
Using Wanniyala-Aetto as the main page and linking Vedda to it makes little sense, especially given that many Veddas speak Tamil, and that Wanniyala-Aetto means nothing to them; also, almost all published sources use "Vedda" or "Veddha" - thus the page should be renamed back--Jdart 10 June 2006

Relation to Sinhala[edit]

I deleted the part "It is very likely they originally spoke an unrelated language before the arrival of the ancestors of the Sinhalese." just because i could not find any source which says this - this can be original research as well. The next sentence says that most words, especially those related to forest, are not found in any other language. This does not suggest in any way that the origin of the language has to be some totally strange language - if they had a different original language, then that fact must be reflected at more basic words: not on "forest-related words" which could well have been added later, even in the case that Vadda lore was true on that they and sinhalese are descendents of Kuweni - something I don't personally believe. I'm not saying that vedda language is derived from Sinhala, because there's no proper evidence/common sense reasoning to say that either - except for common words. IMHO, there's no evidence/citations in the article to say "it's very likely" so I think it'd be better off without the conclusion, unless somebody provides some evidence. Greenleaf 06:17, 3 November 2005 (UTC)

I found this article on the Vedda language:


Tamil Speaking Veddas in Ampara[edit]

This article implies that the Veddas are the anscestors of the sinhalese. that all Veddas are in some way releted to the sinhalese. which is wrong.

there is nothing on this article about the Tamil Speaking Veddas in the Ampara district. i.e the "East Coast Veddas"

I have read the article. Well, Sri Lanka was probably mostly Vedda or Veddoid before the arrival of the Indo-Aryans. As well, the Indo-Aryans were probably a smaller population that settled the island although their language and culture dominated; their genes did not necessarily. It would make sense that the most of the Sinhala would be in fact Aryanized Veddas genetically speaking. Of course, I have not seen genetic studies that have compared the Sinhala with Northern Indians or other groups. Imperial78
Also, many Vedda no no longer speak Vedda, but Sinhala or Tamil. The Ethnologue has 300 speakers out a population of 2,500. Imperial78

Origin of the Veddas[edit]

Hello. I find it astonishing that there is hesitation about stating that the Vedda spoke a language not Indo-Aryan and not Dravidian before the arrival of those groups. There is agreement in today's scientific community that the Veddas belong to the aboriginal population of South Asia which is genetically related to the Aborigines of Australia. Some argue that their languages belonged to the Munda group or to the Austronesian group, so that is uncertain, but what's certain is that they spoke languages unrelated to those of the later immigrants from the North (Aryans, Dravidians). There is literature on that, drawing on linguistics as well as on anthropology. I feel that both the Vedda's relationship with the Aborigines and the unrelatedness of their original language with that of the newcomers need be stated in the article. There might be a section on certain groups of "wild" Sinhalese living (or who used to live) in the Northern forests who are often taken for Veddas but are not - maybe that is the reason for some of the confusion related to this subject? I could try to find out more on this particular point. The above said however to my knowledge is general opinion today. Krankman 14:47, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

If you want to do some research on their likely original language and quote a scholary work, that would be great. There is one book I know of on the Vedda language, but I forget the title and author at the moment. lol. You can probably find it on some interlibrary loan database. Yes, the Vedda spoke some other language (or languages) before the arrival of later groups, but how many languages were spoken on Sri Lanka before these later arrivals? It is such a large island, I doubt if only one language was spoken there perhaps not even just one language family either. Compare this to Tasmania, which had many languages before the arrival of the Europeans. From what is left of the pre-Indo-Aryan language, there is not enough to relate it to any known language, but it would be interesting to include such data. Imperial78
Thanks for the answer! Wow, that idea about the original languages of Ceylon belonging to maybe even different families is completely new to me, but not implausible. I only know Geiger's writings and this and that about the subject. However I do employ myself with Sinhala and Sri Lankan history, so eventually I may be able to contribute something. I'll write myself a note to look into the matter when I have the time. Greetings, Krankman 23:42, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

DNA studies[edit]

The DNA studies bit is not backed by references. I have retained this but there seems to be some dispute over whether ancient and early historical Veddas are related to modern-day Sinhalese. There are Tamil-centric web pages that cite sources claiming Veddas are related to Tamils. It is a somewhat politically charged question given the current situation in the country. Perhaps this section should be omitted unless it can be backed up with references. --JDart 10 June 2006

If such a thing exists I think it would be very interesting to include, because judging from the pictures the Veddas do not resemble the Negritos of Southeast Asia or Andamanese, who are generally held to be the Neolithic inhabitants of Asia. They look much more like Austronesian peoples. It would not be surprising if the latter arrived in Sri Lanka much later than 18,000 years ago but before the Sinhala/Tamil people, since Austronesians did make it throughout Indonesia and to Madagascar. KarlM 21:42, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
Excuse me, can You point me to some sources that say that "it is generally held that only the Negritos and the Andamanese were the Neolithic inhabitants of Asia"? YOMAL SIDOROFF-BIARMSKII (talk) 13:55, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
Upon what evidence do we group Veddas under Australoid? Kortoso (talk) 17:26, 21 March 2016 (UTC)

Name of the article[edit]

Current name of the article seems problematic. Wanniyala-Aetto is the name of the current leader of Veddas. So my idea is this article should be change as, Veddas or Veddahs --♪♫ ĽąĦĩŘǔ ♫♪ walkie-talkie 14:46, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

I agree. Far more logical. So how do we change it? Matt Oid 13:53, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
The name of the article should be the, "Vedda people".----DarkTea© 03:27, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
I agree that Vedda people is a better title, but I think your reasoning is wrong. As far as I am aware, Wanniyala-Aetto means something like "forest people" in Sinhalese and is a name used by the Veddas for themselves. The name of the current leader is not Wanniyala-Aetto according to the article, but either Uru Warige Wanniya or Uruwarige Wannila Aththo – which moreover need not even be a name at all, but could as well be a title. (My Sinhalese is unfortunately non-existent, so I find it hard to be sure if the name has a transparent meaning.) --Florian Blaschke (talk) 21:42, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

autonomy or reservation[edit]

Do they have autonomy or reservation?--Kaiyr (talk) 08:57, 14 December 2014 (UTC)