Veddah Chief of Rathugala Veddah Clan

 Veddha Chief



By Tharindu Amunugama

Meet Danigala Maha Bandaralage Suda Wanniyalaeththo, the current chieftain of Rathugala clan of veddahs,who are originally from Danigala in Galoya.They had to relocate due to construction of Senanayake reservoir and making of Galoya sanctuary ( I think it was in 1950s). This is one of the remaining veddah lineages along with the ones you find in Vanni and the less distinct coastal veddahs.

Their roots and heritage are not well preserved as that of tissahamy’s clan in Dambana. Its a real tragedy that the customs and heritage of these people will be lost to future generations because it’s as rich as or even better than that of veddahs in Dambana. Perhaps his children may enter the humdrum daily grind and wont have any veddah traces at all. I felt that this man was quite sad about loss of their heritage /lack of government support to preserve it and of his current position as a powerless chief who cant do much to revert the decay. In the pic he seems like a king who was once powerful but has lost it all now. When I met him he was engaged in masonry , building his modern house.

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Tharindu Amunugama is into investment banking and loves to trail off the beaten tracks of  Sri Lanka with a camera and bare necessities. He loves to keep things simple and spontaneous and spends time engaging with the communities and people he meets on his travels.

This seek-a-story-you-shall-find approach is a great way of capturing the story images of our peoples while respectfully sharing with awareness the discovery and insight  into ways of humanity that are not blogging their days away.


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