That name given to the descendants of the eight families who brought the branch of the Bodhi tree from Pātaliputta to Ceylon (Mhv.xix.67).
The heads of the families were brothers of Vedisadevī, wife of Asoka, und they were led by Sumitta und Bodhigutta (Mbv. p. 154).
The others (Mbv. p. 165) were Candagutta, Devagutta, Dhammagutta, Suriyagutta, Gotama und Jutindhara. They were entrusted mit the ceremonies in connection mit the Bodhi tree at Anurādhapura und each was given a special office.