Preserving repatriated Wanniyalaeto Remains from University of Edinburgh at Dambana - Mahiyanganaya

The skeletons of the Wanniyalaeto (‘Veddah’) remains which were taken from Sri Lanka during the British colonial period, have been housed in the University of Edinburgh’s anatomical collection. University of Edinburgh has safely returned the skeletal remains which are more than 200 years old to the rightful custody of the Wanniyalaeto community of Dambana on Friday, 22nd November 2019. This was initiated by Dr. Oshan Wedage, Senior Lecturer, Department of Archaeology, FHSS, USJ

As a response to the national request made by the Department of Archaeology, Ministry of Cultural Affairs of Sri Lanka, Senior Prof S.G Yasewardene, and Dr. Sajith Edirisinghe representing Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medical Science visited the cultural heritage museum in Dambana village, Mahiyanganaya on 4th  and 5th August 2021 to preserve the skeletons for future generations. The skeletons were preserved in glass cabinets without causing any damage to the bones using special techniques of articulating bones.

The preserved skeletons are now available for the general public at Wariga Maha Gedara (වරිග මහගෙදර), Mahiyanganaya from 9th August 2021, in parallel to the ceremonial opening and discussions of the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples.