Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg


>Costume Studies
>>1817 Sinhalese vidane
Subject: විදානෙ vidane chief / headman
Culture: Sinhalese
Setting: colonial resistance, Kandy kingdom, Sri Lanka 18th - early 19thc

Context (Event Photos, Primary Sources,Secondary Sources, Field Notes)

* Muttukumaru 1987 p106-107
"The Chiefs for their part found that the arrangement in the Act of Settlement which gave sovereignty to the British brought into being officials in whom was vested the right to carry that sovereignty through.  The power of such officials would inevitably redound to the detriment of their own power, whatsoever the praseology in the Act to safeguard such rights and power.  In many ways, the new officials had taken the place of the old chiefs.
    "The people were disturbed for independent reasons.  Those in the three, four and seven Korales and in Sabaragamiwa, now found that their chiefs continued in control of those areas.  The people in other provinces who had no quarrels with their chiefs, found that their chiefs had been supplanted by the officials of the British.
    "The outcome of the disappointment felt by the chiefs and the people was the rebellion which broke out in 1818 known in history as the Uva Rebellion.  There does not appear to have been a preassigned plan to precipitate the rebellion.  Davy thinks that it was a spontaneous outburst following the deposition of the King and the removal of the outward trappings of kingship and regal authority which dispensed summary justice.  To this, the the chiefs contributed their chagrin that their own trappings of of office were being eroded by British officials."




* Racinet 1988 p106
"Kandien nobles. Despite the attempted abolition of the caste system by the English, costume often reflects the old caste system.
"The comboye, worn by both men and women, is the most important article of national costume. It consists of a piece of material wrapped around the hips and fastened with a belt, whose size is an indication of status.
    "The beret is also a mark of nobility and is forbidden to ordinary people, as are gold and silver jewellery."


* Richardson/Bennett 2015 p77
"The characteristic sword of Sri Lanka is the kastane, with its short, curved (and often imported) blade, and dragon-headed hilt.  Some surviving examples can be dated to the 17th century, where they had a brief vogue as fashionable swords in England and the Netherlands; the Parliamentarian Colonel Alexander Popham was evidently proud to wear one in his great equestrian portrait formerly preserved at Littlecote House."

* Coe/Connolly/Harding/Harris/LaRocca/Richardson/North/Spring/Wilkinson 1993 p


* Coe/Connolly/Harding/Harris/LaRocca/Richardson/North/Spring/Wilkinson 1993 p