314 sources. It is, therefore, difficult to say when this caste originated We are inclined to think that the name Vanni originated in India and not inCeylon. In the first place, it occurs inthe South Indian sources earlier than intheCeylonese works Secondly, it is unlikely that a Sinhaleae caste with the name Vanni migrated to South India or that the term vanni was introduced from Ceylon to designate a caste in South India. But the converse is possible. Further, the absence of traditions inthe island regarding the origins ofthe Vannis andtheir prevalence in South India may also point inthe same direction. Finally, the Tamil chronicles ofCeylon refer to the migration ofthe Vannis from the Tamil country to Ceylon. It seems, therefore, not justifiable to say that the name was applied to a class of chieftains or a group of Sinhalese inCeylon because they were living in. the forest regions. It appears that the term Vanni became current for chieftains inthe abandoned regions of Rjaraha andin. the forest tracts ofsewhere after Vanni chiefs from South India established themselves inthe northern parts of 1. In the Kallam the Vaiyars are said to have been created as a result of a miraculous conversion of twelve boars into hiimin beings. Some take this to indicate their origin as subordinates under the Chlukyas whose emblem was the boar. Cf., Hindu Organ, Jaffna, 8.1.23 and S.Gnanapragasar, Y ppa-vaipava-vi arcane, p.kl. This is mere speculation. 2. See infra, .
315 ofCeylon. It is even possible that the term was introduced into the island before the Vanni chiefs went there, inthe same manner as South Indian administrative terms came to be introduced But this seems unlikely since vanni is not a term used in esimilar sense but rather a name that was applied to a caste or comzminity. The earliest occurrence ofthe term is perhaps intheinscription No.556 of 1919, which appears to belong to the time of Rjarja Ca The basis of this surmise is the reference to one Pottappicca in this inscription. Presumably he is the same as the Pottappicca who figures in other records ofthe time of Rjarja I The term that occurs in our inscription is vanniyapparru, meaning the area or region ofthe Vaiyars. A more definite occurrence ofthe term • • o-p• • • • If is in einscription of Rjendra I. The reference here is to a certain Vaiya Rva (Rva the Vaiya). After this a number of persons with the name Vaiya are mentioned inthe epigraphs ofthe time of Rjdhirja II, Ku1ttufLga III, and avarma 1. Cf., meykppar, m1si, mutten, etc. 2. }.E.P. for 192 , No.556 of 1919. 3. Cf., LA.NilRknta Sastri, The Cas, p. 505. If. LE.R. for 1 98, p. 2.