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Paulo Freire

The Global Legacy

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Edited By Michael A. Peters and Tina Besley

This collection is the first book devoted to Paulo Freire’s ongoing global legacy to provide an analysis of the continuing relevance and significance of Freire’s work and the impact of his global legacy. The book contains essays by some of the world’s foremost Freire scholars – McLaren, Darder, Roberts, and others – as well as chapters by scholars and activists, including the Maori scholars Graham Hingangaroa Smith and Russell Bishop, who detail their work with the indigenous people of Aotearoa-New Zealand. The book contains a foreword by Nita Freire as well as chapters from scholars around the world including Latin America, Asia, the United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia. With a challenging introduction from the editors, Michael A. Peters and Tina Besley, this much-awaited addition to the Freire archive is highly recommended reading for all students and scholars interested in Freire, global emancipatory politics, and the question of social justice in education.
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Chapter Nineteen: The Changing Life Patterns of the Veddhas of Sri Lanka: Translocation from a Forest Environment to an Agricultural Settlement

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CHAPTER NINETEEN

The Changing Life Patterns of the Veddhas of Sri Lanka: Translocation from a Forest Environment to an Agricultural Settlement

ASOKA JAYASENA AND SUSILA KUMARI EMBEKKE

INTRODUCTION

The accelerated Mahaweli Development Scheme was undertaken by the government of Sri Lanka in 1983. Under this scheme, several Veddha families were induced by the government of Sri Lanka to abandon their traditional forest homelands in the Dambana region and to move into newly created colonization scheme in Zone C of the Accelerated Mahaweli Development Scheme (AMDS). This chapter focuses on the life patterns of the Veddha families since their translocation from their forest environment to an agricultural settlement.

Veddhas and Theories About Their Origin

Veddhas refer to themselves as wanniyalaiatto, meaning “forest dwellers.” They are an indigenous group of people living in Sri Lanka. They have lived in Sri Lanka for thousands of years as a group, preserving their ethnic identity. Seligmann (1911) has described the Veddhas as “one of the most primitive” racial groups. It is believed that the Veddhas have descended from the union of Prince Vijaya, ← 285 | 286 → considered as the founding father of the Sinhala nation, with Kuveni, the Yakka princess who befriended him and helped him to vanquish the Yakka clan, who are still considered to be the earliest inhabitants of Sri Lanka. The island’s chronicle Mahavansa, written in the 6th century A.D., narrates the story of Vijaya, who arrived from India with five...

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