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