159 As in South India, these mercantile co n"'fl'nitiea wereengaged in providing charitable services andin patronising religious institutions. The VT.rakkoi or Vrakkofiyar were another mercantile community found inCeylonin about the twelfth century. They are recorded inthe VIha 1kaa inscription to have associated themselves with the Cetis in tkirg certain steps to protect a town They are mentioned in a few South Indian inscriptions, too, but do not seem to have been a prominent trading comnnznity The Akkkras andthe va zkk ras appear to have been two ofthe non-mercantile Dravidian communities that were inthe islandin this period. The 1Akak1ras are frequently mentioned inthe records ofthe AiffflXuvar but it haø not been possible to find out the nature oftheir profession. An akakk.ra, in T41, is a dandy or a masquerader and is derived from the Sanskrit word a.figa (=body) Perhaps they were professional entertainers who specialised in masque. The Avaakr rae do not find mention inthe South Indian inscriptions but are referred 1. See supra, p. JS7. 2. M.E.R. for 1910, No. U of 1910. 3. Nadras Tamil Lexicon, I, p. 18.
160 to inthe V 1kala and VihirhThna epigraphe. The name is derived from am (Skt. meaning market or bazaar Perhaps the 4va 4akkras were those who were responsible for the maintenance of markets and other public places. The Valkai of our inscriptions are the eighteen castes of South India who were categorized under this name. The term occurs inthe Jaik1cra inscription as well, along with the term It.Aki This clearly shows that the South Indian caste system was maintained b.mong theDravidiana inCeylon, too. The Valafijiyar andthe } ndEis as well as some ofthe laikkras were Valakai comnmnities But no information is available regarding the number and names ofthe Va1a.kai castes inthe island. There is no information at all regarding the activities ofthe 4aciAkams (young lions). It is not possible to conjecture from the name the nature oftheir profession. The Koñga-vias appear to have been a community given to military pursuita The name means 'swordsmen of Koigu'. They may have been a class of sword fighters who were among the mercenary communities 1. Madras Tamil Lexicon, I, P. 21+9. 2. See supra, p. I3- 3. See enpra, p. I^3- 1+. E.A.Nilk2nta Sastri, 'A Tamil Merchant-guild in Sumatra', p. 319.