Monday, July 31, 2006

The original father of Dravidian speakers-II

Though I have speculated that aya(looks like most of these words had unstressed original forms) could be the original father, it is difficult to overlook apa. Unfortunately apa is the universal father
accroding to this database.

Borean (approx.) : HVPV
Meaning :
Eurasiatic :
Afroasiatic :
Sino-Caucasian :
Austric :
PAA *bʔa / *ba, Tai *bo, PAN *aba 'father'
Amerind (misc.) :
*ipa 'man' (R 456)
African (misc.) :
Bantu *-bààbá 'father'.
Reference : ND 5; GE 28 *papa (+ NS).

Now let us consider 'aya'
Proto-Dravidian : *ája-
Meaning :
an elder relative (father's brother; grandfather; father)
Proto-South Dravidian:
Proto-Telugu :
Proto-Kolami-Gadba :
Proto-Gondi-Kui :

"aya" could be observed in only Dravidian languages.

Let us consider 'ata'
Borean (approx.) : HVTV
Meaning : elder male relative, father
Eurasiatic :
*ʔVṭV (cf. also *tajV)
Afroasiatic :
*tVy- (?) (cf. also *ʔad- ˜ *daʔ- )
Sino-Caucasian :
NC *dājV
Austric :
Amerind (misc.) :
? *taq 'maternal uncle' (R 804) [+ A]
African (misc.) : Bantu *-tààtá 'father'.

Just like apa, ata is also universal father.

Let us consider 'aja' or 'aca' or 'azz'
Eurasiatic: *ʔacwV
father, ancestor
*äćä (cf. also *ićä; *iśV)
ND 797 *Hać̣/c̣^[i] 'father, ancestor'. Cf. also Ur. *ćečä 'uncle' - probably just reduplicated, but Dolg. ND 2145 *seǯA compares it with Kartv. *śiʒ́e- 'son-in-law' (+ some ECush.).

More Eastern but conspicuously absent from Indo-European. However, the linguists there believe this could not possibly be an equivalent of 'arya'.
Courtesy : Starling database.

It should be noted here that only Hindu malayalees use(South of Kasaragod) 'aca' for father at present. In Karnataka, aja is grandfather. As I have mentioned previously both apa and tand (formal word for father) have become derogatory in Kerala. Curiously, grandfather in Malayalam is appoppa( apa's apa) and father's sister is appacci(apa's woman) though common sense tells us that those should be accocca or acchacci. Probably, this tells us the vulgarization of apa that part of Hindu society could be quite new and this could be further seen in the fact that Christians and Malayalee Hindus in North(mostly living amongs Tulu/Kannada speakers) still call their fathers apa.

Again, I speculated that many of the relationship terms show incestuous past. But this does not look like the case. In my opinion, ammavan (amma + avan) in Malayalam is amma's man probably indicating the old brother-sister marital relationships. But more rational explanation could be that masculine and feminine gender "in relative of" relationships represent blood relationships and not marital relationships.
amma -> ammavan (amma's brother avan -> he -> man)
apa -> appacci ( appa's sister acci -> woman, previously honorific "lady" also, similar is the case with anna and anni where 'anni' was lady, a honorific)
ata -> atte ( ata -> father ; atte -> father's sister)
Of course, there are too many exceptions to make this a rule.

We can make two interesting observations in the above cases;
1. grandfather in Malayalam is appoppa (apa's apa)
2. amma's brother in Malayalam is ammavan but in Kannada maava; the initial 'a' is lost.

Based on these we can construct another lost father in non-Tamil, Malayalam Dravidian languages and that is 'ata'.

Starling database considers 'tata' is an independet word for grandfather or father. I consider grandfather is primary and father is secondary here.

If the present day Malayalam appoppa show the oldest way of calling ones grandfather; then we can be sure that;
ata father gave rise to atata which became tata( ammavan -> maava) and this could be found among most of the other Dravidian languages too.

So we have a universal father apa -> widely used.
Another universal father ata -> almost extinct(except for Tamil muslim communities, as a reader commented)
Eastern father aca -> Only Malayalees
Exclusive Dravidian father aya -> almost extinct (except for few rural communities in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu).

I will stop it here since I have confused myself enough.

Monday, July 17, 2006


Bhagavathi is the main goddess in Kerala temples. Here I am trying to explain her entry into spirit worshipping Malayalee society and her higher position over the spirits in the temple.

Kali and Haplogroup R2 people:
Along with rice farming, Y-Haplogroup R2 people brought Kali, an idol goddess, to Malabar(Kerala and Tulu Nadu) regions from Eastern part of India. This Kali was the main goddess of Tantriks(before they became part of either Buddhists or Vaidiks).

Tara and Bhagavathi:
As I have mentioned earlier, just as Tibetan Shamans became part of Buddhism, these Tantriks also became part of Buddhism taking their goddess into Buddhism. The Kali by this time came to be known as Tara in Eastern regions both in Vaidikism and Buddhism(however, the name Kali still used in Vaidikism). I am not sure if Tara in Vaidikism is because Buddhist Tantriks joining Vaidikism or Tantriks -> Vaidik Tantriks -> Buddhist Tantriks (Vajrayana) sequence or
Tantriks(Kali to Tara conversion) -> Vaidik Tantriks and Buddhist Tantriks(simultaneous). But I am inclined to think it should be Buddhist Tantriks joining Vaidiks(most probably Saivites), a pattern that was repeated in Malabar region too.

In the region of Malabar, as Tantriks became part of Buddhism Kali became Bhagavathi. When these Tantriks embraced Vaidikism, Bhagavathi also became "pure and higher". This could be seen in the community temples of Kerala where spirits along with Serpent(which is again a spirit) have shrines outside the Bhagavathi shrine and are mere protectors and equated with Shiva's Ganas. However, in their tribal past Malayalees worshipped spirits(never in idol format) as supreme divine beings. This tradition continued in their Tharavadus, joint family houses, where Korati, a spirit goddess was worshipped.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Buddhism and Jainism in South India - 2

In my opinion, the historians who work on Buddhism and Jainism in South Indian society should take the following considerations.

1. Non-overlapping of the events
-> Chronological order of the events. I believe the initial evidences could be found around 2nd century BCE and final around 12-13th century CE. While making qualitative interpreatations one should be careful not to overlap the centuries.
-> Settlement remains. One can find evidences of settlement all parts of the region. But one has to be sure whether all those settlements point towards the same period. I mean people move and start a new settlement. A settlement in North during first century CE, Central third century CE, East 5th century CE , South 8th century CE in a region, does not give any clues in 21st century.

2. Implementation of caste system.
-> If you read assertions like Jains or Buddhists imparted the education regardless of the caste one wonders if the society had already been divided along the caste lines since the beginning of the civilization in South India. In my opinion, implemenation of caste system in South Indian society is not uniform and very complicated. Probably, Tamil Nadu might have had caste system around 3-4th century CE (during reign of Pallavas) but it could be as late as 13-14th century in Kerala. Identification of people with various Varnas does not mean implementation of caste system but can only be ascertained by the evidences of rules and regulations they had to follow which had been enforced with the help of rulers.

Anyway, in my previous entry, I mentioned that somehow Tantriks joined Vaidiks. However, it seems in South Indian society Buddhists, Jains, Tantriks, Shaivas and Vaishnavas used to study Vedas, Vedantas along with other religous texts. Probably, this gives clues for how caste consciousness might have creeped into Buddhists, Jains and Tantriks. Now I believe the holocaust of Buddhists and Jains in South India is not a physical process but an intellectual corruption brought about by their access to Vaidik literature. Probably, this would also explain the ease with which Jains of Karnataka embraced Vaishnavism. Vaishnavas of Ramanuja were strong proponents of Vedas and did not accept Shaivas as part of the Vaidik religion. By this time, the strongest opponents of Jains were Shaivas and not Vaidiks(Unlike Tamil Nadu Shaivas of Karnataka rejected Vedas, initially). Anyway, initial non-casteist form of Vaishnavism lost over time and endogamous nature appeared as dictated by Vaidik literature.

Note: In one of the studies(Sahoo et al. 2006), Y-Haplogroup H formed around 45% of Vaishnavas of Karnataka(Tamil speaking Iyengars), unlike Vaishnavas of Tamil Nadu whose Haplogroup frequency matched with other Brahmin caste, Iyers(in another study, Sengupta et al. 2006). Though it might probably support the assumption that native Jains merged their identities with Tamil Vaishnavas, we have to be careful considering the small size of the sample(17).

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The original father of Dravidian speakers

Who is he? Is it Na(ya)na as the Telugus call their father? Or is it Ayya? Is it Appa? Is it Amme? Is it Acca?

Looks like the oldest form is Ayya. Telugu nana is bit surprising. And why majority Malayalee Hindus consider appa as derogatory? In fact, the Malayalee Hindus of Kasaragod always called their fathers appa (they were surrounded by Tuluvas who called their father amme) and for Kasaragod Malayalees acca was uncle! But Malayalee Christians use both appa and acca(ya). Many Malayalee muslims use abba, which definetely points towards Arabic influence.

I wonder if all of them are cognates. Is there some kind of metathesis on work in addressing terms of ones relatives?

eg. amma - mama
anna - nana (I thought this is in fact real Telugu father but another blogger thinks it should be nayana)
annayya - nayana (this is bit complicated, I just wanted to fit the curve)
atta - tata - dada
akka - kaka
acca - caca
appa - papa
abba - baba

Buddhist holocaust of Kerala

In India, every person has had a glorious past. Glorious Vedic, Buddhist, Dravida and probably non-patriarchal past. I will restrict myself to Buddhist past of Kerala.

Just other day, I came across a comment that Buddhists were all holocausted in Kerala. Since this part of the history is a constructed from archeological evidences and not recorded in the history, in print or in visual media, I think I can question this without being labelled as a holocaust denier.

I do have serious problems with glorious Buddhist past theory. Whenever, some of the propagandists from Kerala portray Buddhism as something secular, egalitarian and noble, I laugh. Just show that to me in the past Sri Lankan society.

Malayalee society before 7th century:
It seems Malayalees became agrarian society around 7th century CE. Well, Kerala society existed even before that. So what could have been the main communities of Proto-Malayalees. I can think of only tribals and fishermen. Tribals, could be spirit worshippers or shamans. What about fishermen, probably idol worshippers, worshipping the goddess of the sea and probably Tantriks. So what happens when Buddhist preachers visit such a society? For that, we have to understand the spread of Buddhism in pure Shamanist Tibetan society.

Shamans and Buddhism:
A member at Quetzalcoatl Anthropology forum mentioned that Tibetans got Shamanic religion from Burushos which was later supplanted by Buddhists from South Asia(Or is it from China, I forgot). Initially, Shaman priests were barred from practicing the religion. However, Buddhism being more egalitarian when it comes to education these Shamanist priests could merge their religion and could give rise to a synthesis of Buddhism and Shamanism, claiming back their priestly position. So there is no relation with Buddhism and Shamanism.

Tantriks and Buddhism in Kerala:
Among fishermen and tribals who could be the most advanced community? I think it should be fishermen. Just as in Tibet, the Tantrik fishermen also got educated because of Buddhism. However, unlike Tibet their Tantrik religion remained dominant and Buddha was lost. Again there is no relationship between Buddhism and Tantra.

South Indian society and religious wars:
In South India, many rulers were Jains until probably 12-13th century. The most of the religious wars were between Jains and Saivites(in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka) and between Jains and Buddhists(in Andhra Pradesh). At least, these were recorded in the history. I don't have any idea if any Andhra Pradesh Brahmins are known as Tantris. So I am not sure what happened to Buddhists of Andhra Pradesh. Since Jains were mostly rulers and elite in all of the South Indian society their numbers remained small or they were absorbed into Vishnuism of later centuries(as both had common enemies in Saivas). It should be noted here that Buddhists were never rulers of South Indian society.

Kerala Buddhists or most probably only Tantriks:
I don't think Tantriks of Kerala knew the story of Pushyamitra Shunga of 2nd century BCE. Also, since I don't believe Buddhists were ever rulers of Kerala society those Tantriks had any identity. The rulers could be mostly from the Shamanic tribals. As Vaidiks migrated to Kerala society something happened and all the Tantriks got merged with them. Of course, just like those Shamanist priests of Tibet, they continued to control the temples of Kerala but changing its character. I believe there could be a Jain holocaust in South India(which again I don't believe) but never Buddhist holocaust.

1. Pattars in Kerala society. From the article;
They(Tamil Brahmins) held themselves higher than Malabar Brahmins and Namboothiris, who they say sprang from fisherman elevated to Brahminical dignity by Parusuraman.

Rise of patriarchal society -ii

This poster assumes patriarchy arrived on the Indian horizon along with Aryans. I am not so sure. At Quetzalcoatl discussion forum : Tribes/nomads least bothered about purity of women. But sedentary population overly. Indus valley was sedentary. It must be patriarchal.

South Indian matriliny:
One thoery : The tribes that took up agriculture late remained matrilineal. Agriculture arrived in Kerala around 7th century much later than any other parts of India. Another example, a Tamil community called Pallar that left their tribal life to mainstream agrarian life remained matrilineal for much part of the history.

You find matrilineal communities among Tuluvas, Malayalees. But very few Kannada and Tamil communities. And not yet a recorded Telugu community. Some believe Andhra is the urheimat of Dravidian speakers. It could also be the first South Indian region to become agrarian society(because of Austro-Asiatic Haplogroup R2 rice farmers from the East) which spread to Tamil Nadu and Karnataka regions and last reaching Tulu Nadu and Kerala. The geographical locations of these regions of course support this view.

Why were Aryans not culprits?
First, they were nomadic. Second, the present genetic studies show their numbers might be very small. Were they from Eastern Europe then where are Haplogroup I and N lineages? Were they from Western Europe then where are Haplogroup R1b lineages? Were they from Western Asia then where is Haplogroup E3b lineage? Haplogroup R1b is present. But only among non-Brahmin castes. Third, I do not believe Hinduism is just a blend of Vedic and native beliefs. In my opinion, it also has a very strong Semitic character.

PS: Anyway, I am not really sure what that blogger wanted to say. The way she mixes the things is very interesting. While Aditi was definitely a Vedic figure; the unclean menstrual blood concept in South Indian society was(the untouchables were called H(P)oleya where h(p)ole in old Kannada meant menstrual blood) used as an indication of native origin of purity-pollution concepts, the basis of caste concepts.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Origins of Indians : Version 4.0

Autochthonous Dravidians:
My journey to trace the origins of South Indian religious worships has taken me to its tribal roots and not to that of Indus valley. The common deity of Indus valley people was goddess in idol format. I did not find any evidence of linga or yoni in Kerala, Tulu Nadu religious practices. The majority of Kerala temples are dedicated to Bhagavathi, a female goddess again in idol format.

But things are more complicated than this. Bhagavathi is a Devi(goddess) and not a Daiva(spirit). The real spirit goddess is Korati. However, she is not worshipped in Sthana(Bhagavathi temples). All the spirits and Naga(Serpent spirit) have their shrines outside the main Bhagavathi temple as these are considered low. Korati is considered a part of Bhagavathi. And Korati was worshipped in symbol format ( a rectangular wooden piece, a long sickle and something else that I forgot). So it is obvious that all the idol goddesses even in this region are in fact much later phenomenon. The worship of spirits and serpent by the non-tribals in fact show continuity of their tribal religious practices. I do not think even tribals along South-West of India worship linga and yoni. That is more or less North-East phenomenon.

In my opinion, any connection between South Indians and Indus valley could be found only in their deep common ancestry in Southern Central Asia, predating the period of Indus valley. When the Indus vally civilization flourishing, South Indians were still tribes and probably started their civilization independent of Indus valley.

Interestingly, Korati was the main deity of the matrilineal houses(Tharavadu) or illam houses. Only the female head of the family could enter the shrine and offer prayers; no male members and females of other Tharavadus were allowed inside. I believe like most of the Hindu purity-pollution beliefs, even the entry to sanctum sanctorum was a cheap and perverted copy and manipulation of old native matrilineal traditions.

My maternal grandmother