Vedda – Sri Lanka

Photography Project by Jose Jeuland

Another travel and documentary photography project Jose undertook in 2016 was a trip to Sri Lanka, where he had the honor of meeting The Vedda. One of the last indigenious tribes in Sri Lanka, The Vedda, or “Forest People”, live on reservations in the Sri Lankan forests.

 

Originally hunters and gatherers, The Vedda in Sri Lanka hunt game with weapons like bows and arrows, and gather wild plants and honey for food. The Vedda’s diet is rich in meat with venison one of their favorite staples.

Archeological and anthropological studies have shown that The Vedda date as far back as the stone age. Naturally however, The Vedda have found it difficult to escape the long arm of modern influence. Their numbers are dwindling and the future of this minority indigenious tribe in Sri Lanka is uncertain.

Travel and Documentary Photography of The Vedda

 

Jose and his wife Shanthi Jeuland, set out on a travel and documentary photography trip to photograph and document The Vedda in 2016. On the bus journey to Gal Oya National Park, by a stroke of chance, they met the Vedda Chief on the same bus ride.

Settling down in the lodge, Jose was thankful that the lodge’s naturalist spoke Sinhalese and was able to translate and through the naturalist, was able to communicate with the Vedda people.

The Vedda Chief was very hospitable and showed Jose and Shanthi around in his village. They learnt how the Vedda re-planted medicines which they foraged for in the jungle, and how they trapped animals for food. He also showed them the cave where he and his ancestors used to live.

For all the Vedda communities they visited, most of the Vedda seem to be in good health and lead physically active lives till old age. They seem to be stress-free and relatively happy, and generous to share with tourists and strangers who wish to visit their way of life.

Contact Information

To contact Jose regarding his photography projects, commissioning new photography projects, contributions to editorials or other matters, you may reach him through his contact page or through his Creative Studio arm at studio@cococreativestudio.com.