Yalman, Nur. Under the bo tree: studies in caste, kinship, and marriage in the interior of Ceylon

Table of Contents

Publication Information

Untitled Section: ...

Part I: Orientation

1 Introduction

Structural Change In Time And Space

Conditions Of Field Work

2 The Kandyan Sinhalese


The Kandyan Kingdom

The Ecology Of The Dry Zone

Part Ii: Terutenne 3 A Village In The Highlands

A Description Of The Community

Administration And Notables

Religious Institutions

4 The Economy Of The Dry Zone Village

The Ownership Of Land

Forms Of Agriculture

The Cultivation Of Paddy

Chena Cultivation

Garden Lands

Cash Crops

The Money Economy


Salaries And Other Incomes

5 Caste

Caste Among Buddhists

The Low Castes

The Tom-tom Beaters

The Washermen (henea Or Radaw)

The Blacksmiths (achari Or Kammal Kariyo)

The Potters (valan Karayo, Pandita, Or Kumbalu)

The High-caste Goyigama (cultivators)

The Hamlet Of Galpitiya

Low Country Settlers

The Symbols Of Caste

Part Iii: Kinship And The Micro-caste 6 The Constitution Of The Nuclear Family

The Ge

The Question Of Incomes

The Joint Family

Ge: The Commensal Unit

The Formation Of The Ge

The Architecture Of A Ge Dwelling

The Division Of Labor: Rights And Obligations Of Husband And Wife

Polyandry And The Ge

Fraternal And Nonfraternal Polyandry

Is Kandyan Polyandry “true” Polyandry? Who Is The Father?

“polygyny” And The Ge

Other Relatives In The Ge

Dwellings With Plural Ge

Kinsmen Who Live Together

7 Patterns Of Inheritance And Descent

The Locality Of Marriage

The Significance Of Residence At Marriage

Deega And Binna

The Matrilocal Son-in-law

Wealth And Binna

The Incidence Of The Types Of Marriage


Testaments And The Rules Of Inheritance

The Inheritances Of The Sons

The Inheritances Of Binna And Deega Daughters

The Position Of The Daughter Among Laborers

The Concept Of Marriage And Inheritance

Inheritance Disputes

Changes Up And Down The Social Scale

Theories Of Descent And Caste Status

The Dogmas Of Conception

Contradictions In Ideas Of Descent

Blood, Status, And Ancesiry


Changing Of Gedara Names


8 The Marriage Alliance


The Nature Of The Alliance

The Need For New Allies

The Feud In Terutenne

The Disruptive Effect Of Wealth

The Concept Of Marriage And The Celebration Of Weddings

Arrangement Of A Match


The Ceremony And Conspicuous Gift Exchange

Some Basic Ceremonial Patterns

The Details Of A Wedding In Terutenne

The Elimination Of The Ceremony

The Ceremony As An Expression Of Wealth And Social Distance

The Permanent Categories Of Affinity: The “cross-cousins”

Hypergamy And Dowry

Status And Marriage Portions

The Principle Of Hypergamy

“hypergamy” Within And Outside The Caste

The Joking Behavior Of Massina

Avoidance Between Brothers-in-law


Caste Climbing And Role Of Affines


9 The Structure Of The Micro-caste

The Boundaries Of The Kindred

The Pavula In Helagama Hamlet

Cooperation And The Identity Of The Pavula

Stresses In The Pavula

The Question Of Endogamy

Social Distance And Pollution

The Reinterpretation Of Wamsa

Equality And Endogamy

Feasts And The Act Of Eating Together

The Kindred And The Castes

Micro-castes In South India And Ceylon

The Categories Of Kinship And The Rules Of Marriage

The Range Of The Rules Of Marriage

The Form Of The Terminology

The Situation In The Urban Areas

Part Iv: The Logic Of Structure In Ceylon: From The Bilateral To The Patrilineal 10 A Visit East: Uva Province

Makulle Watta

The Temples

The Economy

Caste In Makulle Watta

Kinship And Marriage

The Marriage Ritual


Iv. The Origin Of Spouses Of Settlers

11 More On Bilaterals: The Northwestern Province

The Design Of A Tank Village: Vilawa

The Founding Of The Village

The Returns On Land

Kinship And Marriage

Kindred And Land

Women And Land

Marriage Rites In Vilawa

12 The Patrilineal Hypergamous Variant: The South Coast

The Low Country


The Marriage Ceremony Among The Karava


Part V: Logical Categories And Empirical Discoveries 13 The Tamil Moorish System: The Matrilocals


The Ceremony


The Implications Of Matrilocality

Other Forms Of Marriage

The Household

The Muslims And The Kandyans

Conclusion: The General Structure

14 The Articulation Of Structures: Panama

The Village

Miscegenation In Panama

Panama Kinship



The Separation Of Communities



15 On The Eastern Littoral: The Matrilineal Hypergamous Variant

Patrilateral Kinship?

Part Vi: Variations On A Theme 16 The Cross-cousin In South India

The Transformation Of Models

The Todas

Tanjore Adi Dravida And Brahman

Tanjore Brahman

Further Tamil Evidence

The Malabar Coast

North Nayar

North Tiyyar

The Tiyyar Of Cochin

The Matrilineal Castes Of Cochin And Hypergamy

Other Evidence From Malabar


Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.

Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records

Title: Under the bo tree: studies in caste, kinship, and marriage in the interior of Ceylon

Published By: Original publisher Berkeley, Calif. ; Los Angeles, Calif. ; London, England: University of California Press ; University of California Press, Ltd.. 1971. xiii, 405 p. ill., maps

By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication Nur Yalman

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: Human Relations Area Files, 1997. Computer File

Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis. Sinhalese (AX04)

Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF Marriage (580); Kinship (600); Kin groups (610);

Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document This is an analysis of Sinhalese kinship systems, which generally add to the findings of Tambiah and Leach on the same subject. Yalman divides the book into three sections, with the first introducing Sri Lanka in general, the second treating marriage and kinship in different communities, and the third comparing Sinhalese kinship structure with that of South India. The book is a theoretical contribution to social anthropology, especially in the author's dealings with the principles of social sturcture and the rules of transformation that produce other structures.

Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents 4

Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits. ax04-004

Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs. Monograph

Language: Language that the document is written in English

Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. 387-400) and index

Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document 1954-1956

Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data Social Anthropologist-4,5

Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection. Dubravka Schmalzbauer ; John Beierle ; 1969-1972

Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date). not specified

Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site) Sri Lanka

LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings Sinhalese (Sri Lankan people)


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