Thursday, July 14, 2011

Rise of patriarchal society - VII_a

I have discussed how matrifocal tradition viewed semen as nurture and equated it with the rain. This idea was in contrast to patrifocal idea of the womb as nurture and its identification with the earth. As an example for matrifocal ideas getting mixed with patriarchal gods, I had talked about northern Indian tradition of women stripping to please the rain god, Indra.

Now, it appears this tradition could be found in Dravidian lands too. I wonder whether the idea was again a syncretization of the older matrifocal world view with the later partrifocal ideas independently in  South or it came to South because of the northern migrations.

The article doesn't say who the aroused rain god is. Most likely Indra and not Varuna.

Newspaper article h/t: Nirmuka Facebook page.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Origins of Indians: Version 8.4.1

Coastal Migration Theory and I:
In my previous post on the subject, I discussed how a new finding of admixture between Homo Sapiens and the Denisovans in Siberia bolster my claims of the northern route (that didn't touch India) of early Homo Sapiens. A new study has now completely discarded the idea of Modern Humans mating with an Erectus branch in SE Asia thus further strengthening the fact that all admixture in Melanesians can only be attributed to their Neanderthal infested northern route than to the Erectus infested southern route.

From the study:

Homo erectus went extinct in Africa and much of Asia by about 500,000 years ago, but appeared to have survived in Indonesia until about 35,000 to 50,000 years ago at the site of Ngandong on the Solo River. These late members of Homo erectus would have shared the environment with early members of our own species, Homo sapiens, who arrived in Indonesia by about 40,000 years ago.

The existence of the two species simultaneously has important implications for models about the origins of modern humans. One of the models, the Out of Africa or replacement model, predicts such overlap. However, another, the multiregional model, which posits that modern humans originated as a result of genetic contributions from hominin populations all around the Old World (Africa, Asia, Europe), does not. The late survival of Homo erectus in Indonesia has been used as one line of support for the Out of Africa model.

However, findings by the SoRT Project show that Homo erectus' time in the region ended before modern humans arrived there. The analyses suggest that Homo erectus was gone by at least 143,000 years ago -- and likely by more than 550,000 years ago. This means the demise of Homo erectus occurred long before the arrival of Homo sapiens.

"Thus, Homo erectus probably did not share habitats with modern humans," said Indriati.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Original Father of Dravidian Speakers - Va

I don't think 'appe' and 'appUppa' has anything to do with matrilineal bond between Tuluvas and Malayalis. Since the word 'abbe' is also observed in literary Kannada (mostly Jain) and in the personal names of many Kannada Jain queens, that shows Jain influence in Kannada, Tulu and Malayala regions. Since Tulu region was under Jain rulers until 20th century, 'appe' probaby became a common term. Whereas, in Kannada region by 12th century all Jain ruling classes have vanished thus the elite word 'abbe' didn't become part of common parlance. I don't think there were any Jain rulers in Kerala region (not sure of the Tamil kings of the past), however, the influence could have been there as merchant classes generally patronized Jinaism.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Original Father of Dravidian Speakers - V

Now my daughter calls her maternal grandfather 'appa' as she can't pronounce 'appUppa.. The word  appuppa literally means father's father thus I guess the usage for a mother's father is strange. Another intriguing factor we need to observe is the structure of the terms used for maternal grandparents.

mother's father -> appUppa
mother's mother -> ammUmma
Compare them with paternal grandparents
father's father -> achchachcha
father's mother -> achchamma

If maternal grandparents followed the similar structure as that of paternal grandparents then,
mother's father should have been ammappa
mother's mother -> ammamma

So, it clearly shows that pre-words appa and amma in maternal grandparents didn't mean post-words appa and amma. We probably need to hark back on the Tulu-Malayali shared cultural background to understand this.

In Tulu (as I have discussed elsewhere), the word for mother is 'appe' and father 'amme'. Thus it's very clear that maternally Tuluva-s and Malayali-s were connected before, thus the antique word for mother has been retained in Malayalam as 'appUppa'. What about the second word which obviously meant 'father' as in many Dravidian languages. It's still a mystery why appa is father in other Dravidian languages and mother in Tulu. The difference is in parallel to matrilineal and patrilineal distinctions of Tuluva-Malayalis on the one hand and the rest of the Dravidians on the other.

Whatever be the reasons behind appe-amme dichotomy between partilineal and matrilineal Dravidians, we can confidently say that appUppa is a throwback to Tuluva-Malayali shared history (observed in many cultural aspects even today) of the past. That still leaves me to explain the construction appe+appa.

In my opinion, 'appa' came to Malayali society as a honorific (just like achcha) likely from Tamil region. We need to note that 'ajja', Kannada equivalent of 'achcha', is a term for grandfather in Karnataka. It is possible that both 'appa' and 'achcha' that came as honorifics in Dravidian society replaced the original term for father in Dravidian lands.

I suppose the original maternal grandfather and grandmother
appe+appa -> appEppa -> appUppa
appe+amma -> appEmma -> ammUmma ( a case of over correction in later centuries)