Return of the Ancestors

Sharing an Intangible Heritage

  • Kavinda Bibile (Autor/in)
  • Carola Krebs (Autor/in)
  • Maria Schetelich (Autor/in)

Identifier (Artikel)


The following paper presents a project in progress to reprocess and restitute photographs, diary entries, and publications of the German anthropologist Egon von Eickstedt, whose research trip to then Ceylon in the 1920ies made an important contribution to the historiography of Sri Lanka’s indigenous people and their contribution to the country’s history. The paper was written in a multi-perspective way by three different authors (Dr. Maria Schetelich, Indologist, and Carola Krebs, ethnologist and custodian of South Asia collections at the GRASSI Museum of Ethnology Leipzig) and it mainly gives the word to a representative of a community of origin, Mr. Kavinda Bibile, to whom the files and records stored in Germany were made accessible. The concerned museum collection comprises 280 artefacts, 400 photographs, diaries and numerous publications written in German.

Keywords: Bibile; Veddah; Egon von Eickstedt; intangible heritage; history of Sri Lanka


Bibile, Veddah, Egon von Eickstedt, intangible heritage, history of Sri Lanka