The second group consists of the Naides who work as smiths, carpenters, toddy drawers, elephant keepers, potters, pack bullock [ 33 ] drivers, tailors, cinnamon peelers, fish curers and the like. The fourth group consists of professional dancers, barbers and washers. Of the professional dancers, the Neketto dance and beat drums at all public functions and at devil and planetary ceremonies, while the inferior Oli do so only at the Gara Yakum dance.
The fourth group had to take away with them the food offered. The fifth group consists of the outcastes; the Kinnaru and the Rodi who contest between themselves the pride of place. The Kinnaru are fibre mat weavers who were forbidden to grow their hair beyond their necks, and their females from wearing above their waist anything more than a narrow strip of cloth to cover their breasts. The Rodi are hideworkers and professional beggars; the females were prohibited from using any covering above their waists.
Kissing is the usual form of salutation among females and near relatives and among friends the salutation is by bringing the palms together. When inferiors meet a superior they bend very low with the palms joined in front of the face or prostrate themselves on the ground; when they offer a present it is placed on a bundle of 40 betel leaves and handed with the stalks towards the receiver.
A guest always sends in advance a box of eatables as a present; when the repast is ready for him he is supplied with water to wash his face, feet and mouth; and the host serves him with rice and curry, skins the plantains for him, and makes his chew of betel. The males always eat first and the females afterwards; and they drink water by pouring it into their mouths from a spouted vessel kotale.
When a person of distinction, a Buddhist priest or a chief visits a house, the rooms are limed and the seats are spread with white cloth. An inferior never sits in the presence of a superior, and whenever they meet, the former removes the shade over his head, gets out of the way and makes a very low obeisance. The system of kinship amongst the Sinhalese is of the classificatory kind where the kin of the same generation are grouped under one general term.
These terms are also used as expressions of friendship or endowment and also to denote other forms of kinship. The terms son, daughter, nephew, niece, grandson, grand daughter, great grandson and great grand daughter include many kinsfolk of the same generation. Land disputes and the petty offences of a village were settled by the elders in an assembly held at the ambalama or under a tree.
The serious difficulties were referred by them in case of a freehold community to the district chief, and in the case of a subject community to the overlord. A manorial overlord was invariably the chief of the district as well. A child who has been ungrateful to his parents or has brought disgrace on the family is disinherited; in olden times the father in the presence of witnesses declared his child disinherited, struck a hatchet against a tree or rock and gave his next heir an ola mentioning the fact of disherision. There is no prescribed form for the adoption of a child who gets all the rights of a natural child, but it is necessary that he is of the same caste as the adopted father, and that he is publicly acknowledged as son and heir.
Polyandry was a well established institution in Ceylon; the associated husbands are invariably brothers or cousins. If a woman left her husband without his consent it was thought illegal for her to marry till the husband married again. Contracts were made orally or in writing in the presence of witnesses, sanctioned by the imprecation that the one who broke faith will be born a dog, a crow or in one of the hells, and the contract was expected to last till the sun and moon endure.
Representations of a dog, a crow, sun and moon are to be found on stones commemorating a royal gift. When a man died indebted, it was customary for a relative to tie round his neck a piece of rag with a coin attached and beg about the country till the requisite sum was collected. A man could pawn or sell himself or his children.
Sri Lanka Marriage Proposals (Brides)
Children born to a bond woman by a free man were slaves, while children born to a free woman by a bond man were free. If seed paddy is borrowed, it is repaid with 50 percent. If cattle be borrowed for ploughing, the owner of the cattle is given at the harvest paddy equal to the amount sown on the field ploughed.
For capital offences, as murder and treason, the nobility was decapitated with the sword; the lower classes were paraded through the streets with a chaplet of shoe flowers on their heads, bones of oxen round their necks, and their bodies whitened with lime, and then impaled, quartered and hanged on trees, or pierced with spear while prostrate on the ground, or trampled on by elephants and torn with their tusks.
Whole families sometimes suffered for the offences of individuals. Outcaste criminals like the Rodiyas were shot from a distance as it was pollution to touch them. Female offenders were made to pound their children and then drowned. Corporal punishment was summarily inflicted with whips or rods while the offender was bound to a tree or was held down with his face to the ground; he was then paraded through the streets with his hands tied behind him, preceded by a tom tom beater and made to declare his offence.
Prisoners were sent away to malarial districts or kept in chains or stocks in the common jail or in the custody of a chief, or quartered in villages. The inhabitants had to supply the prisoners with victuals, the families doing so by turns, or the prisoners went about with a keeper begging or they procured the expenses by selling their handiwork in way-side shops built near the prison. The prisoners had to sweep the streets and were deprived of their headdress which they could resume only when they were discharged.
Thieves had to restore the stolen property or pay a sevenfold fine wandia ; till the fine was paid, the culprit was placed under restraint velekma : a circle was drawn round him on the ground, and he was not allowed to step beyond it, and had to stay there deprived of his head covering exposed to the sun, sometimes holding a heavy stone on his shoulder, sometimes having a sprig of thorns drawn between his naked legs.
A whole village was fined if there was a suicide of a sound person, if a corpse was found unburied or unburnt, or if there was an undetected murder. The forsworn person was punished in this world itself except in the last mentioned two instances when the perjurer would suffer in his next birth.
Mahesh’s Rath Yatra: 623 years of history and an iron chariot
There were five forms of ordeal, resorted to in land disputes and the villagers were summoned to the place of trial by messengers showing them a cloth tied with 3 knots. The ordeal of hot oil required the adversaries to put their middle fingers in boiling oil and water mixed with cow dung; if both parties got burnt the land in dispute was equally divided; otherwise the uninjured party got the whole land. The other four modes consisted of the disputants partaking of some rice boiled from the paddy of the field in dispute, breaking an earthen vessel and eating of a cocoanut that was placed on the portion of the land in question, removing rushes laid along the boundary line in dispute, or striking each other with the mud of the disputed field; and the claim was decided against the person to whom some misfortune fell within 7 to 14 days.
There were two other forms which had fallen into disuse even in ancient times owing to the severity of the tests viz.
When a mother is pregnant she avoids looking at deformed persons, or ugly images and pictures, fearing the impression she gets from them may influence the appearance of her offspring; during this delicate period she generally pounds rice with a pestle, as the exertion is supposed to assist delivery, and for the same purpose a few hours before the birth of the child all the cupboards in the house are unlocked. For her to cling to, when the pains of child-birth are unbearable, a rope tied to the roof hangs by the mat or bedside.
When the sex of the child is known, if it be a boy a pestle is thrown from one side of the house to the other; if a girl, an ikle broom; those who are not in the room pretend to find out whether it is a she or a he by its first cry, believing it is louder in the case of the former than of the latter. The cries of the babe are drowned by those of the nurse, lest the spirits of the forest become aware of its presence and inflict injury on it.
The mother is never kept alone in the room, a light is kept burning in it night and day, and the oil of the margosa is much used in the room for protection; care is taken that the navel cord is not buried and a little of it is given to the mother with betel if she fall severely ill. Visitors to the lying-in-room give presents to the midwife when the child is handed to them, especially if it is the first-born one. The midwife then hands round the little child to the relatives and gets some presents for herself.
The children are allowed to run in complete nudity till about five years and their heads are fully shaved when young; a little of the hair first cut is carefully preserved. From an early age a boy is sent every morning to the pansala, where the village priest keeps his little school, till a certain course of reading is completed and he is old enough to assist the father in the fields.
A girl is less favoured and has to depend for her literary education on her mother or an elder sister; more attention, however, is paid to teach her the domestic requirements of cooking, weaving and knitting, which will make her a good wife. On the attainment of the years of puberty by a girl she is confined to a room, no male being allowed to see her or be seen by her. Near the bathing-place are kept branches of any milk-bearing tree, usually of the jak tree.
On her return from her purification, her head and face, still covered, she goes three times round a mat having on it kiribat, plantains, seven kinds of curries, rice, cocoanuts, and, in the centre, a lamp With seven lighted wicks; and as she does she pounds with a pestle some paddy scattered round the provisions. She is then greeted by her relatives, who are usually invited to a feast, and is presented by them with valuable trinkets.
Everything that was made use of for the ceremony is given to the washerwoman. In some cases, till the period of purification is over, the maiden is kept in a separate hut which is afterwards burnt down. Girls who have arrived at the age of puberty are not allowed to remain alone, as devils may possess them and drive them mad; and till three months have elapsed no fried food of any sort is given to them. The shavings are put into a cup, and the person operated on, as well as his relatives who have been invited, put money into it; this is taken by the barber; and the former are thrown on to a roof that they may not be trampled upon.
Marriages are arranged between two families by a relative or a trusted servant of one of them, who, if successful, is handsomely [ 40 ] rewarded by both parties. The chances of success depend on the state of the horoscopes of the two intended partners, their respectability which forms a very important factor in the match, the dowry which used to consist of agricultural implements, a few head of cattle, and domestic requisites, together with a small sum of money to set the couple going, and, if connected, the distance of relationship.
A few days before the marriage, the two families, in their respective hamlets, send a messenger from house to house to ask, by presenting betel, the fellow-villagers of their own caste for a breakfast; and the guests bring with them presents in money. They are then entertained with music, food and betel till the small hours of the morning, when the marriage ceremony commences.
The bride and bridegroom are raised by two of their maternal uncles on to a dais covered with white cloth, and having on it a heap of raw rice, cocoanuts, betel leaves and coins. In connection with this presentation it is said that if the mother-in-law be dead, the web should be left in a thicket hard by to appease her spirit. On the day after the wedding the married couple return to their future home with great rejoicing, and on their entering the house a husked cocoanut is cut in two on the threshold.
The difference due to marriage with another caste or nationality is never healed up. Even in the presence of death, ceremonies are not wanting; if the dying patient is known to have been fond of his earthly belongings, and seems to delay in quitting this life, a few pieces of his furniture are washed and a little drop of the water given to [ 41 ] him. A lamp is kept burning near the corpse, the body is washed before burial and a piece of cotton or a betel-leaf is put into its mouth. All the time the body is in the house nothing is cooked, and the inmates eat the food supplied by their neighbours adukku.
No one of the same village is told of the death, but all are expected to attend the funeral; the outlying villages, however, are informed by a relative who goes from house to house conveying the sad news. The visitors are given seats covered with white cloth; and the betel for them to chew are offered with the backs of the leaves upwards as an indication of sorrow. Some times only the relatives come, while friends leave betel at a distance from the house and go away fearing pollution.
It may be observed that, according to the Sinhalese belief, pollution is caused by the attaining of puberty by a maiden which lasts fourteen days; by the monthly flow of a woman which lasts till she bathes; by child-birth which lasts one month; and by death which lasts three months.
Friends and relatives salute the body with their hands clasped in the attitude of prayer, and only the members of the family kiss it. Lights are carried by the coffin and a shade is held over the head of it. The service commences with the intoning of the three Refugees of Buddhism and the Five Vows of abstinence by one of the priests, and they are repeated after by those present, all squatting on the ground. The cloth, referred to, is then given to be touched by the bystanders in order to partake of the merits of the almsgiving; one end of it is placed on the coffin, and the other is held by the priests.
They recite three times the Pali verse that all organic and inorganic matter are impermanent, that their nature is to be born and die, and that cessation of existence is happiness; and while water is poured from a spouted vessel into a cup or basin, they chant the lines that the fruits of charity reach the departed even as swollen rivers fill the ocean and the rain-water that falls on hill-tops descends to the plain.
A short ex tempore speech by a priest on the virtues of the deceased completes the service. If it be a burial, the grave is by the roadside of the garden with a thatched covering over it. Two lights are lit at the head and the foot of the mound, the bier in which the coffin was carried is placed over it, and a young tree planted to mark its site.
In a cremation, the coffin is first carried with music three times round the pyre, and the latter is set fire to by the sons or nephews with their faces turned away from it. Those assembled leave when the pyre is half burnt; and, on the following day, or a few days after, the ashes are collected and buried in the garden of the deceased, over which a column is erected, or they are thrown into the nearest stream.
In the olden time, people were occupied according to their caste, but now they pursue any vocation they choose, carefully avoiding the inauspicious hours. One man works at his field or goes hunting and honey gathering; a second fishes at the village stream with a rod made of the midrib of the kitul leaf; a third slings his basket of garden produce at the ends of a kitul shaft and carries them on his shoulders to towns or village fairs; a fourth climbs the palm trees with his ankles encircled by a ring of cocoanut leaf and picks the fruit with his hand; a fifth taps for toddy the blossoms of several cocoanut trees by coupling their crowns with stout ropes to walk upon and the straight boughs with smaller ropes to support himself; a sixth brings for sale from the county straw and firewood in single or double bullock carts and a seventh transports cocoanuts, salt, and dried fish to centres of trade by pack bullocks or in flat bottomed boats.
The women either make molasses from the unfermented toddy; or plait mats of dyed rushes in mazy patterns; or earn a pittance by selling on a small stand by the roadside the requisites for a chew of betel; or hawk about fruits and vegetables in baskets carried on their heads; or keep for sale, on a platform in the verandah, sweetmeats and other eatables protected from the crows which infest the place by a net; or make coir by beating out the fibre from soaked cocoanut husks; or attend to their domestic duties with a child astride their hips; or seated lull their infant child to sleep on their outstretched legs.
Various ceremonies are performed in the sylvan occupations of hunting and honey gathering.
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Under a large shady tree they prepare a maessa, or small covered shrine, which is raised about three feet off the ground, and is open only in front; it is supported on four sticks set in the ground. In this they offer the following articles if available, or as many as possible of them:—one hundred betel leaves, one hundred arekanuts, limes, oranges, pine apples, sugar cane, a head of plantains, a cocoanut, two quarts of rice boiled specially at the site of the offering, and silver and gold.
Also the flowers of the arekanut tree, the cocoanut, and ratmal tree. All are purified by lustration and incense, as usual, and dedicated. They then light a small lamp at the front of the offering, and remain there watching it until it expires, differing in this respect from the practice of the Wanniyas, who must never see the light go out.
We are going to your jungle uyana ; we do not want to meet with even a single kind of [dangerous] wild animals. We do not want to meet with the tall one elephant , the jungle watcher bear , the animal with the head causing fear snake , the leopard. You must blunt the thorns. We must meet about three pingo carrying-stick loads of honey. By the favour of the Gods. The jungle attached to a village was the game preserve of its inhabitants; game laws were concerned with the boundaries of the village jungle, and with rights of ownership of the game itself.
One half of the game killed by a stranger belonged to the village, and the headman of the village was entitled to a leg and four or five pounds of flesh of every wild animal killed by the villagers. For regulating the time and manner of fishing in sea, old communal rules have been legalised and are now in force. Herdsmen who tend cattle for others are entitled in the case of the bulls and the he buffaloes they tend to their labour, in the case of cows and she buffaloes to every second third and fifth calf born, and in the case of calves to a half share interest in the young animals themselves.
The cow is milked 3 different mornings successively, when the milk is boiled, and poured into three different vessels, till the whole is coagulated. On the fourth day, butter from each vessel is preserved in a clean basin , to form the principal part of the ceremony at a convenient time. When the convenient time has arrived a bunch of plantains is prepared, cakes are baked, three pots of rice are boiled, a vegetable curry, and a condiment are prepared by an individual who must manifest all cleanness on the occasion, even to the putting a handkerchief before his mouth to present the saliva from falling into the ingredients.
All these preparations are brought to an apartment swept and garnished for the purpose where the kapuva cleanly clothed enters and burns sandarac powder, muttering incantations with the intent of removing all evil supposed to rest upon the family, and of bringing down a blessing upon them and their cattle. Next the kapuva takes 7 leaves of the plantain tree and lays 5 of them in order on the table, canopied, and spread with white cloth, in honour of the gods Wiramunda deviyo, Kosgama deviyo, Pasgama deviyo, Combihamy, and Weddihamy; and the other 2 are put on piece of mat on the ground in honour of the washer and the tom tom beater supposed to have attended these supernatural beings.
Over all these leaves the boiled rice from one of the pots is divided, then from the second and third. He afterwards does the same with the curry, and the condiment, cakes, plantains etc. He then pretends to repeat the same process by way of deception making a motion, and sounding the ladle on the brim of the pots, as if rice and other ingredients were apportioned the second time etc.
The kapuva next takes a little of every ingredient from all the leaves, both on the table and on the ground, into a cup made of leaves , and supporting it over his head marches out from the apartment, closing its door; and he conveys it either to the fold of the cattle, or to some elevated place where he dedicates and offers it to the many thousands of the demons and their attendants who are supposed to have accompanied the above particular gods, praying them, by means of incantations, to accept the offering he has brought before them.
From hence he returns to the door of the apartment he had closed, and knocking at it, as if to announce his entrance, he opens it and mutters a few more incantations, praying the gods to allow them, including himself and the members of the family to partake of the remnants that have been offered in their honour. After these ceremonies are performed, the kapuva, with all the rest, partakes of everything that was prepared, and the owner of the cow may from this day dispose of the milk according to his own pleasure.
In all places a lucky day for ploughing is fixed in consultation with an astrologer. It is considered unfortunate to begin work on the 1st or 2nd day of the month, and after the work is begun it must be desisted from on unlucky days such as the 7th, 8th, 9th, 13th, 14th and 21st. Sowing is also commenced at a lucky day and hour pronounced by the astrologer to be the most favourable.
In a corner of the field, on a mound of mud where are placed a ginger or a habarala plant arum maculatum , a cocoanut or an areka flower and some saffron, is sown a handful of the first seed and dedicated to the gods; and after that the entire field is sown. The threshing is done on a floor specially prepared; when the crop is ripe a small pit is made in the centre of the threshing floor in which are placed a margosa plant, and a conch shell containing a piece of the tolabu plant crinum asiaticum and of the hiressa vitis cissus quadrangularis , a piece of metal, charcoal and a small grain sheaf.
At the lucky hour the cultivator walks three times round the inner circles of the threshing floor with a sheaf on his head, bowing to the centre stone at east, north, west and south and casts down the sheaf on the centre stone prostrating himself. The rest of the sheaves are then brought in and the threshing begins.
Gazette No. IV — p. David de Silva Ambalangeda. Special kinds of sweetmeats and curries are cooked and eaten, cloth of the colour recommended by the astrologer are worn, calls exchanged, the headman visited with pingo-loads of presents, and a commencement made of the usual daily work. While being annointed the person faces a particular direction, having over his head leaves sacred to the ruling planet of the day, and at his feet those sacred to the regent of the previous day.
For each of the days of the week, beginning with Sunday, belong respectively the cotton tree imbul , the wood-apple diwul , the Cochin gamboge kollan , the margosa kohomba , the holy fig-tree bo Galidupa arborea karanda and the banyan nuga. This festival is also observed at the Buddhist temples when milk is boiled at their entrances and sprinkled on the floor. The birthday of the Founder of Buddhism is celebrated on the full-moon day of May wesak. Streets are lined with bamboo [ 47 ] arches, which are decorated with the young leaves of the cocoanut-palm; tall superstructures toran gaily adorned with ferns and young king cocoanuts bridge highways at intervals; lines of flags of various devices and shapes are drawn from tree to tree; booths are erected at every crossing where hospitality is freely dispensed to passers-by; and at every rich house the poor are fed and alms given to Buddhist priests.
It is then covered with a white cloth. During the five following days the procession is augmented by as many elephants, attendants, dancers, tom-tom beaters and flags as possible; and it makes the circuit of the temples at stated periods. The ford is reached towards dawn, and here the procession waits until the lucky hour generally about 5 A. A few minutes before its arrival the chiefs of the four temples, accompanied by a band of attendants, walk down in Indian file under a canopy of linen and over cloth spread on the ground to the waterside.
They enter a boat and are punted up the river close to the bank for some thirty yards. Then at a given signal i. During the time of the kings, it was on this occasion that the provincial governors gave an account of their stewardship to their over-lord and had their appointments renewed by him. The Buddhist temples are illuminated on the full moon day of November by small oil-lamps placed in niches of the walls specially made for them; in the olden times all the buildings were bathed in a blaze of light, the Royal Palace the best of all, with the oil presented to the king by his subjects.
This festival is now confined to Kandy. In the villages the harvest is brought home by pingo-bearers on the full-moon day of January with rural jest and laughter, and portions of it are given to the Buddhist priest, the barber and the dhobi of the village; next the new paddy is husked, and kiribat dressed out of it. The ears of paddy carefully put into new earthenware pots and the grain into clean bags, were attached to pingos. This procession, starting on the evening of the next day full-moon day from the different farms under a salute of jingals and attended by flags, tom-tom beaters, etc.
At the same fortunate hour the chiefs and the people brought home their new rice. On the next morning the king or governor received his portion consisting of the new rice and a selection of all the various vegetable productions of the country, which were tasted at a lucky hour. VII p. Before the drama begins, each of the actors, in tinselled costume, walks round the stage singing a song appropriate to his character. The piece represented is based on a popular tale or an historical event.
Games of skill and chance are played on boards made for that purpose. In Deeyan Keliya sixteen dice representing cows and four dice representing tigers are placed on a board and the cows have to get from one side to the other [ 50 ] without being intercepted and captured by the tigers.
Some of the outdoor games played by adults are of the ordinary kind, and others of a semi-religious significance. In Buhu Keliya there are several players who place their balls, made of any bulbous root hardened and boiled till it becomes like rubber , round a pole firmly fixed to the ground; to this pole is attached a string about 5 feet long held by a player whose endeavour is to prevent the others getting possession of the balls without being touched.
The person touched takes the place of the guarding player and when all the balls are taken away the last guard is pelted with them till he finds safety in a spot previously agreed upon. In Pandu Keliya the players form into two sides, taking their stand yards apart with a dividing line between; the leader of one party throws a ball up and as it comes down beats it with his open palm and sends the ball over the line to the opposing side.
If the other party fails to beat or kick it back, they must take their stand where the ball fell and the leader of their party throws the ball to the other side in the same way. This goes on till one party crosses the boundary line and drives the other party back. In Lunu Keliya there are two sets of players occupying the two sides of a central goal lunu about 30 or 40 yards from it; a player from one side has to start from the goal, touch a player of the other side and regain the goal holding up his breath; if he fails he goes out and this goes on till the side which has the greatest number of successful runners at the end is declared the winner.
As soon as the last word is uttered, the questioner gives chase, and the others dodge him and try to reach the post without being touched; the one who is first touched becomes the pursuer. In Halmele there is no saving post, but the area that the players have to run about is circumscribed; the pursuer hops on one leg and is relieved by the person who first leaves the circle or is first touched.
The outdoor games with a semi-religious significance are Polkeliya, Dodankeliya and ankeliya. In Pol Keliya the villagers divide themselves into two factions called yatipila and udupila and the leaders of the two parties take a fixed number of husked cocoanuts and place themselves at a distance of 30 feet and one bowls a nut at his adversary who meets it with another in his hand. The side which exhausts the nuts of the other party is declared the winner. Dodan Keliya is a game similar to the Pol Keliya the oranges taking the place of the cocoanuts.
In An Keliya a trunk of a tree is buried at the centre of an open space of ground; a few yards off is placed the log of a cocoanut tree about 20 feet high in a deep hole large enough for it to move backwards and forwards and to the top of it thick ropes are fastened. The villagers divide themselves into two parties as in Pol Keliya, and bring two forked antlers which they hook together and tying one to the foot of the trunk and the other to that of the log pull away with all their might till one of them breaks. In all these semi-religious games the winning party goes in procession round the village and the defeated side has to undergo a lot of abuse and insult intended to remove the bad effects of the defeat.
A mimetic performance of husking the nuts, breaking them, throwing out the water, scraping the pulp and cooking some eatable follows this. They twist the fingers of the left hand, clasp them with the right, leaving only the finger-tips visible and get each other to pick out the middle finger. They take stones or seeds into their hands and try to guess the number, or they take them in one hand, throw them up, catch them on the back of the hand, and try to take them back to the palm.
They keep several seeds or stones in front of them, throw one up and try to catch it after picking up as many seeds or stones as possible from the ground. Story telling is the intellectual effort of people who have little used or have not acquired the art of writing. A story is told for amusement by mothers to their children, or by one adult to another, while guarding their fields at night in their watch hut or before lying down to sleep after their night meal.
The crow and the king crow were uncle and nephew in the olden time; they once laid a wager as to who could fly the highest, each carrying a weight with him, and the winner was to have the privilege of knocking the loser on the head; the crow selected some cotton as the lightest material, while his nephew carried a bag of salt as the clouds looked rainy. A cycle of legend has clustered round king Dutugemunu who rolled back the Tamil invasion of Ceylon in the 4th Century B.
The old chronicles, based on the folklore of an earlier period, place his traditional exploits in Magam Pattu, Uva and Kotmale. Dutugemunu was her eldest son and when she was pregnant she longed to give as alms to the Buddhist priesthood a honey comb as large as an ox, to bathe in the water which had washed the sword with which a Tamil warrior had been killed, and to wear unfaded waterlilies brought from the marshes of Anuradapura. The town of Negombo supplied the first and the warrior Velusumana procured the other two.
Dutugemunu had a band of ten favourite warriors, all of whom have independent legends attached to their names; along with them, riding on his favourite elephant Sedol, he performed wonders in 28 pitched battles. He died at an advanced age, disappointed in his only son Sali, who gave up the throne for a low caste beauty. The peasantry still awaits the re-birth of Dutugemunu as the chief disciple of the future Maitri Buddha.
Both go out to collect the kekira melons and fill the mat bag, when the wife gives birth to a girl. They decide to carry the bag of kekira home and throw the child into the woods as it is a girl. A male and female crane see this and carry the child to a cave. The cranes leave the girl to dive for some pearls to adorn her and before departing advise her not to leave the cave as there is a cannibalistic Rakshi in the woods; they also ask her to manure the plantain tree with ash, to water the murunga tree and to feed her pets especially the cat.
The cat gets a less allowance of food than usual and in anger puts out the fire by urinating on it. The girl does all this work before the Rakshi arrives and the daughter gives her live coals in a cocoanut shell with a hole in it, so that the ashes dropped all along her way. The Rakshi sings out to the girl that the crane father and crane mother have come with the pearls and to open the door.
The dog and the cat warn her from the outside and the Rakshi kills them and goes away leaving her thumb nails fixed to the lintel and her toe nails to the threshold. The cranes think she is dead, but on removal of the nails the girl recovers. They dress up the girl beautifully, cover her with a scab covered cloth, tell her that she is too grown up [ 55 ] to live with them and bid her farewell.
She used to remove her scab covered cloth only when she went out to bathe, and a man on a kitul tree tapping for toddy saw her beauty and informed the king who forced her with threats to remove her scab covering and married her. Twelve men went one day to cut fence sticks and they made twelve bundles. One of them inquired whether there were twelve men to carry the bundles. They agreed to count and only found eleven men. As they thought that one man was short, they went in search of him to the jungle. They met a fellow villager to whom they mentioned their loss.
The people of Rayigam Korale threw stones at the moon one moonlight night to frighten it off as they thought it was coming too near and there was a danger of its burning their crops; they also cut down a kitul tree to get its pith and to prevent its falling down, one of them supported it on his shoulder and got killed. The Moravak Korale boatmen mistook a bend in the river for the sea, left their cargo there and returned home; and the Pasdum Korale folk spread mats for elephants to walk upon. In cumulative tales there is a repetition of the incidents till the end when the whole story is recapitulated.
A bird laid two eggs which got enclosed between two large stones. The wild [ 56 ] boar refused and the bird asked a hunter to shoot the wild boar. The wild-fowl refused and the bird asked a jackal to eat the wild-fowl. Apologues are narratives with a purpose, they point a moral and are serious in tone.
A certain man having accidentally found a golden pumpkin gave it to a friend for safe keeping. When the owner asked for it back his friend gave him a brass one; and he went away apparently satisfied. Sometime after the friend entrusted the owner of the pumpkin with one of his sons, but when the father demanded the son back, he produced a large ape. Complaint was made to the king who ordered each men to restore what each had received from the other.
The ordinary folk songs of the country are called sivupada and can be heard sung in a drawn out melody by the peasants labouring on their fields or watching their crops at night, by the bullock drivers as they go with their heavy laden carts; by the elephant keepers engaged in seeking fodder, by the boat men busy at their oars, by the women nursing their infants, by the children as they swing under the shady trees, and by the pilgrims on their way to some distant shrine.
For rhythmic noise women and girls sit round a large tambourine placed on the ground and play on it notes representing jingle sounds like the following:—. Oxen are encouraged to labour in the threshing floor by songs 1. O heap it up, heap it up. The cart drivers still sing of a brave Singhalese chieftain who fell on the battle field:—. The elephant keepers strike up a rustic song to the accompaniment of a bamboo whistle. To worship our Buddha, to worship His footprint, may god Saman help us, may his might support us. Your mother went to fetch milk [ 59 ]. A proverbial saying is said to state a fact or express a thought in vivid metaphor while a riddle to describe a person or thing in obscure metaphor calculated as a test of intellectual ability in the person attempting to solve it.
Proverbial sayings are divided, according to their form into direct statements and metaphorical statements. The quarrel between the husband and the wife lasts only till the pot of rice is cooked. Metaphorical statements are more numerous and are best considered according to the matter involved such as honesty, thrift, folly, knavery, natural disposition, ingratitude, luck, hypocrisy; and the following are some typical examples:—.
On a lucky day you can catch fish with twine; but on an unlucky day the fish will break even chains of iron. It is like wearing a crupper to cure dysentery. Like the man who flogged the elk skin at home to avenge himself on the deer that trespassed in his field. Like the villagers who tied up the mortars in the village in the belief that the elephant tracks in the fields were caused by the mortars wandering about at night.
As examples of prose riddles the following may be mentioned:— [ 61 ]. What is it that cries on this bank, but drops its dung on the other megoda andalayi egoda betilayi —A gun. What is the tree by the door that has 20 branches and 20 bark strips; twenty knocks on the head of the person who fails to solve it. The leaf is beautifully encased. AGAS : First-fruits; ears of paddy cut as alut-sal, i. AHARA-PUJAWA : The daily offering of food in a Vihare; before noon the mid-day meal is carried to the Vihare, and placed in front of the image of Buddha; it is then removed to the refectory or pansala, where it is consumed by the priests or by the servitors.
In some temples these sheds are built permanently all round the widiya or outer court; in others they were mere temporary structures to protect the lights from wind and rain. Make sure you share the video with your friends and don't forget to subscribe. LakHandahana Match making software helps to do horoscope matching for both local and overseas horoscopes. The rate of people who get their horoscopes matches vs who don't have the lowest divorce rate in the world.
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