A hill in Kanyakumari district named after Tiruvalluvar: Revered as ancient king among the Kaani of Kanyakumari district – Tamil Nadu

Tiruvalluvar, the king

S. PADMANABHAN
It is interesting to learn that a hill in Kanyakumari district is named after Tiruvalluvar | To read the full article, click here >>

Heard of a hill dedicated to Tiruvalluvar? The Kanyakumari Historical and Cultural Research Centre recently brought to light the existence of Valluvan Kal Potrai in Koovaikkadu hamlet, Surulodu panchayat, Kalkulam taluk, Kanyakumari district. The author, along with two others, went to the hilltop to speak to the 105-year-old leader of the Kaanis, Kaaliyan Kaani. […]

According to Kaaliyan Kaani, locals call him Moottukaani, Tiruvalluvar was a king who had ruled the area in ancient days. Both the king and his queen were fond of the Kaanis’ honey and Thinai (little millet) flour. The place where Tiruvalluvar was said to have taken rest is called Valluvan Kal Potrai and the adjoining hill was named after his wife as Valluvathi Potrai.

The inhabitants started worshipping him after his death and the footprints carved atop the Valluvan hill is revered by them. An inscription on the wall of a well at Koovaikkadu has the name of `Tiruvalluvar Kal Malai’ engraved on it. Tiruvalluvar is believed to have lived in a place surrounded by four kinds of land — kurinji (mountainous), mullai (pastoral), marutham (agricultural) and neithal (maritime). Tirukkural mentions the techniques people had employed in all the four kinds of land. […]

Also, Tiruvalluvar’s birth place, Tirunayanarkurichi, lies between Muttom sea and an irrigation tank called Periyakulam. This is contrary to the popular belief that he belonged to Chennai or Madurai as held by some.

Source: The Hindu : Entertainment Chennai / Land & People : Tiruvalluvar, the king
Address: http://www.thehindu.com/fr/2005/04/29/stories/2005042900020300.htm
Date Visited: Fri Jul 14 2017 18:18:39 GMT+0200 (CEST)

Thiruvalluvar’s kingdom found, say researchers

Hindustan Times, April 28, 2005

A historical research centre here has claimed to have identified and located the ancient territorial unit, believed to have been ruled by Tamil saint-poet Thiruvalluvar  | To read the full article, click here >>

A historical research centre here has claimed to have identified and located the ancient territorial unit, believed to have been ruled by Tamil saint-poet Thiruvalluvar, who lived 2000 years ago, in the hilly tracts of Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu.

A three-member team of the Kanyakumari Historical and Cultural Research Centre, headed by its General Secretary Dr S Padmanabhan, had discovered a hill named after the poet and recorded several facts from a tribal leader, which are reflected in ‘Thirukkural‘, a treatise authored by Thiruvalluvar.

A release from the Centre said that the ‘Valluvanadu’ had appeared in a copper plate inscription of the ninth and 10th century AD. The recent field research undertaken by the team confirmed that Thiruvalluvar was born in Thirunayanarkurichi in the erstwhile Valluvanadu and not Mylapore in Chennai or Madurai.

The team interviewed the head of the Kaani tribes, named ‘Kaliyan Kaani’ and locally known as Moottukaani, aged about 105, and recorded several new facts, which are reflected in the Thirukkural, it said. […]

“The study of Kaani settlement reveals that their lifestyle and mode of worship reflects Thirukkural. It also confirmed the existence of four kinds of land as classified by Tholkappiyar, another ancient poet,” the release said. […]

Source: Thiruvalluvar’s kingdom found, say researchers | india | Hindustan Times
Address: http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/thiruvalluvar-s-kingdom-found-say-researchers/story-A1GNIWlv4smxLrr2hQ5TpK.html
Date Visited: Fri Jul 14 2017 18:29:54 GMT+0200 (CEST)

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Posted in Anthropology, Cultural heritage, Maps, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Press snippets, Revival of traditions, Seasons and festivals, Southern region, Storytelling, Tribal elders, Worship and rituals | Tagged | Comments Off on A hill in Kanyakumari district named after Tiruvalluvar: Revered as ancient king among the Kaani of Kanyakumari district – Tamil Nadu

Online-learning support for endangered dialects: “A gateway to understanding different world views” – UK

MATT BURGESS, Wired.com, Monday 17 July 2017

Inky Gibbens aims to keep dying dialects alive with her online-learning service | To read the full article, click here >>

Inky Gibbens is on a mission to save the world’s dying languages – by taking them online. “My maternal grandparents come from Siberia and they spoke an endangered language called Buryat,” says Gibbens, 31. “The only way I could learn the language was by going to Siberia.” Inspired by her experience, in August 2016 she founded Tribalingual to let anyone use simple online tools to keep struggling languages alive.

The need is acute: the United Nations lists 2,465 languages as endangered and, since 1950, at least 230 have become extinct. Based in Cambridge, Tribalingual offers ten-week courses to give people a grounding in five languages: Ainu (Japan); Mongolian; Quechua (South America); Gangte (northeast India); and Greko (southern Italy).

Gibbens, who is supported by the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Social Innovation, hopes Tribalingual customers will have a handle on their chosen language after the course. “Ten weeks is a good amount of time for somebody to learn a basic conversation,” she says. […]

Tribalingual isn’t the only attempt to track and revive endangered languages. Unesco has collected data and provides an atlas of those at risk from extinction. This information can be used to help struggling languages. […]

“We’re trying to preserve cultures through the medium of language,” she says. “It’s a kind of gateway to understanding different world views. We want a world that is diverse and colourful.” […]

Three Tribalingual languages to master

Ainu, Japan

Once widespread, it’s now only spoken on one island.
Quechua, South America
The main language of the Incas, it’s still widely used.
Greko, Italy
A Greek variety now only spoken by about 300 people.

Source: Thousands of dialects are dying out – but now you can learn them online | WIRED UK
Address: http://www.wired.co.uk/article/inky-gibbens-tribalingual
Date Visited: Wed Aug 09 2017 19:14:04 GMT+0200 (CEST)

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Documentary on the matrilineal Khasi Tribe: A social order where women are dignified and not discriminated against – Meghalaya

TBI Blogs: A Look at the Matrilineal Khasi Tribe in Meghalaya, and the Women Who Are Its Custodians

Filmmaker Aditya Seth demystifies the traditions and culture of the matrilineal Khasi tribe of Meghalaya, as they discover their place in a fast-changing world. | To read the full article with images, click here >>

[…] In his latest 60-minute documentary, ‘Are They Better Off’, screened recently at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Mumbai, multiple award-winning director, Aditya Seth has highlighted these amazing “Meghalayan values,” even as he tries to explore the slowly diminishing Khasi culture, and the challenges the tribe faces today. […]

“We have grown up in an environment where sex selection is rampant, so it was intriguing to learn that there is actually a social order where women are dignified and not discriminated against. To me, this was very fascinating and I decided to go to Meghalaya and see how things work there.”

Under the matrilineal system, the family lineage is passed on through the mother’s clan line, or ‘kur,’ and the youngest daughters are the Khatduhs, or the custodians of the ancestral property. “The reason being that they will logically live the longest,” says Seth, who has portrayed the system and its socio-political complexities through the lives and experiences of his three female protagonists – 52-year-old Hulda Kynta, 29-year-old Selinda Kharbuki and 23-year-old Jubelee Kharmujai. […]

Today, the Khasi community can take immense satisfaction from the fact that they don’t give or take dowry, their women have inheritance rights and they are also comparatively freer than their counterparts in the rest of the country. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are better off. Things are slowly taking a turn on account of education and economic compulsions, among other things, which are creating the conditions for change.

Of the different factors that are influencing change in their traditional system, migration is perhaps the most significant. “That’s why I have dealt with this concern and explored the links between migration and culture. Since the youth is moving to the cities for education, or in search of more lucrative work opportunities, Khasi grandparents and parents fear that their next generation will not take forward their traditions,” shares Sethi, who took two years to make the film. […]

In one of the scenes, amidst the earthy sounds of the beating drums, reminiscent of the Nongkrem Dance Festival, performed to appease the all-powerful Goddess Ka Blei Synshar for a rich harvest and prosperity of the people, the camera focuses on a Khasi woman who says, poignantly, “When they look at a matrilineal system, the country looks at it through one lens – that the women here are better off, powerful, decision-makers… but they are wrong.” From her, the frame shifts to a Khasi man who says, “We don’t want patriarchy but patriliny just for the Khasi male to shoulder some responsibility.”

Clearly, there’s a struggle of mindsets at play now, one that is making the elders uncomfortable. […]

So where, on the one hand, women continue to enjoy greater social mobility and a protected inheritance, they find themselves denied their political rights. The men, too, see themselves as outsiders in the family and are prone to adultery and drug addiction to “deal with this situation.” These, undoubtedly, are complicated times for them.

Source: A Look at the Matrilineal Khasi Tribe in Meghalaya, and the Women Who Are Its Custodians
Address: http://www.thebetterindia.com/70021/matrilineal-khasi-tribe-meghalaya/
Date Visited: Fri Jul 14 2017 17:50:15 GMT+0200 (CEST)

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Living in a symbiotic relationship with other communities: The Shompen, one of India’s particularly vulnerable tribal groups – Nicobar Islands

Shiv Sahay Singh, The Hindu, Kolkata: November 01, 2015 | To read the full article, click here >>

The Anthropological Survey of India (AnSI) has come up with the first authentic demographic database of the Shompen tribe — one of the least known particularly vulnerable tribal groups (PVTGs) in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The study is the result of over 40 days of intensive fieldwork undertaken by AnSI researchers in the Great Nicobar Island. One of the most significant findings is that contrary to the earlier belief that Shompens are a homogeneous tribe, the study revealed that the group is heterogeneous with even differences in their dialect (the spoken language is known as Shompenese).

During the study, the researchers came across 78 members of the tribe. Anthropologists say the Shompen population could be between 200 and 300. […]

The researchers found that Pandanus (a tropical plant found in the islands), whose fruits resemble the woody pineapple, is the staple food of the Shompens. Mr. Ghosh said that hunting of wild pigs, monkeys, monitor lizards and sometimes pythons are common among the tribe.

Geographically, the tribe can be classified into four different groups depending on their location in the Great Nicobar Island — namely north-eastern, western, southern and central groups.

However, in these different locations, there are different subgroups based on their relationship within the tribe, group dynamics, appearance and the spoken language. 

Different groups of Shompens have developed different levels of symbiotic relationship — particularly a barter system with the Great Nicobarese who are coastal dwellers and categorised as a Scheduled Tribe and others who have settled on the island. […]

“Marriage by capturing women from different groups and sub-groups is one of the customs of the Shompen society. This custom of marriage by capture may be one of the reasons for the mutual hostilities between different groups,” the researchers said.

What makes the Shompens distinct from the four other PVTGs of Andaman and Nicobar Islands — Jarawas, Great Andamanese, Onges and Sentinelese — is that they are the only tribe in the region with Mongoloid features. The other PVTGs have Negroid features.

Anthropologists are of the opinion that the understanding and knowledge about Shompens is still scanty and more scientific research is required. […]

Source: The less known Shompens of Great Nicobar Island – The Hindu
Address: http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/shompens-men-outnumber-women/article7827582.ece
Date Visited: Tue Apr 18 2017 11:00:24 GMT+0200 (CEST)

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Posted in Anthropology, Customs, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Figures, census and other statistics, Government of India, Languages and linguistic heritage, Misconceptions, Names and communities, Organizations, Photos and slideshows, Press snippets, Social conventions, Women | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Living in a symbiotic relationship with other communities: The Shompen, one of India’s particularly vulnerable tribal groups – Nicobar Islands

“Another India”: A rare exhibition about 100 million people of indigenous or Adivasi backgrounds who are marginalised (till April 22, 2018) – University of Cambridge – United Kingdom

another_india_cambridge_2017-18Explorations and Expressions of Indigenous South Asia8 March 2017 to 22 April 2018 | Enlarge and view more photos here >>

‘Another India is the only India we Adivasis know. Another India is our India.’
– 
Ruby Hembrom Adivasi writer & publisher, 2017

Another India is a unique exhibition exploring the heritage of India’s minority Adivasi (‘original inhabitants’) or Indigenous communities through the collections of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. | Learn more >>

Source: Another India | The Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge
Address: http://maa.cam.ac.uk/anotherindia/
Date Visited: Mon Jul 10 2017 14:02:04 GMT+0200 (CEST)

Hindustan Times, 9 March 2017

Hundreds of objects acquired from colonial India have been put on display at an exhibition at the University of Cambridge focusing on India’s indigenous people. […]

The exhibition, described as a groundbreaking event at the university’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, features objects brought to Britain by the anthropologist and Indian Civil Service officer, John Henry Hutton, who was deputy commissioner of Assam (then including the Naga Hills) in the early 20th century. […]

Mark Elliott, the exhibition curator, said: “This is an exhibition about the India – or the many Indias – that most people in the UK don’t know. It’s about 100 million people of indigenous or Adivasi backgrounds who are marginalised by majority populations and the state.

“We didn’t want to do a show about Bollywood, saris and curry, but instead highlight a massive body of marginalised people – numbering nearly twice the population of the UK – who to a great extent aren’t seen as having culture, heritage and history of their own.”

Among the historic objects is a coin necklace from the “Criminal Tribes” settlement in Maharashtra which was collected by Maguerite Milward in 1936. Milward went on an expedition to make portrait sculptures of indigenous and Adivasi men and women. […]

Ruby Hembrom, a writer and activist who worked closely with Elliott and MAA to plan the exhibition, said: “Another India is the only India we Adivasis know. Identity is belonging and we belong to this India. We belong to the objects of this India and belong to the feelings they trigger and emotions they evoke.”

He added, “The India that ‘others’ use is the one where we are confronting hatred, racism, sexism, exploitation, brutality, dehumanisation and stereotyping in our everyday lives. No matter how much we’ve talked of or engaged in social and political change, very little has changed for us. This is not the India our ancestors sacrificed for, or hoped for us, and this is not the one we want for our descendants.”

Another India is part of the University of Cambridge’s “India Unboxed” programme of events organised as part of the UK-India Year of Culture 2017.

Source: Nagas, tribes focus of Cambridge exhibit on India’s marginalised | world-news | Hindustan Times
Address: http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/nagas-tribes-focus-of-cambridge-exhibit-on-india-s-marginalised/story-D95O49uZ9i02ylJfNvvYKI.html
Date Visited: Mon Jul 10 2017 13:40:50 GMT+0200 (CEST)

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