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363. Deciphering Tulu-nadu place names

The readers would observe that many of the Tulu Place names may not convey, on the face of it, any specific meaning or apparent meanings...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

242. Sharing the bounty


Archeo-botanical evidences suggest the existence of agricultural practices in the major river basins of southern India since ca.3000 BC. Before the well developed farming cultures, early tribes resorted to hunting operations on a community scale as a means of earning food for the tribes.
After the hunting expeditions involving the able bodied hunters from the community, the ancient tribes apparently devised procedures of sharing the bounties among the beneficiaries to overcome unwarranted disputes and hassles.
Apparently, the Divine forces were invoked to oversee such arbitrations of sharing the bounties collected during hunting or fishing expeditions.
Panjikall
Panjikall is a village in Bantval Taluk on Bantval- Mudabidri   road. There several are other hamlets in the Karavali carrying this place name besides this village. Writer Ravi Anchan describes in one of his essays the significance of Panjikall. The Panji-kall (=boar+stone), according to him, is a large stone named after Panjurli, the Boar Spirit, where the ancient tribes shared their bounties collectively after an hunting or fishing expedition. The Boar Spirit of Panjurli is one of the oldest Spirit deities believed by the ancient tribes of Karavali.
It seems the original significance of the Panjikall or the boar stone has been forgotten in some areas and replaced by an alternate legend conceived later .in many areas. In some areas for example near Vitla, Bantval Taluk, there is another hamlet known by the same name of Panjikall. Here the local people ascribe the said ‘boar stone’ as vestige of the site where the Boar Spirit vanished.
Ajakall
Another place- name and word known as ‘Ajakall’ is also associated with the above described custom of sharing the hunting/ fishing bounties. Tulu Lexicon states that the origin and meaning of the word ‘aja’ in ‘Ajakal’ is not clearly known. However under the word entry in the same lexicon ‘aja’ we find that Aja=Brahma. Brahma or the Bermer is one of the earliest Gods worshipped by Tulu and other Dravidians. Evidences of Brahma worship may have been lost in other parts of southern India, but is still live in the Tulunadu. Even today the main deity in Garodies (ancient Gymnasia) of Tulunadu is the God Bermer  or the ancient form of Brahma I, a warrior seated on horse.
(Brahma I, represents the original concept of Brahma (Bermer) prevalent among ancient Indians. It was derived from the legend of Abraham that prevailed in the northwestern India during ca. 2000 BC. The Indian ‘Brahma’ was modeled after the legendary hero ‘Abraham’. Abraham was also considered or revered as forefather of Jews and Moslems in Arab countries. Later in the history probably after 500 BC the concept of Brahma II was evolved to represent four headed creator God seated on giant lotus emanating from the navel of Lord Vishnu.)
Thus we can conclude that in southern India ‘Ajakal’s devoted to Lord Brahma. The hunting or fishing bounties were shared among the members of the community invoking the name of popular God of that time period.
Azhikkal
Ajakal concept was not exclusive to Tulunadu or Karavali. It was prevailing in other parts of southern India also. For example, Azhikkal is a coastal port and fishing harbor near Kannur in Kerala. The name Ajakal has been slightly modified to ‘Azhikkal’ in Malayalam.
There may be similar place-names all over India, whose original meaning and significance has been long forgotten!
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Books for Reference

  • A Comparative Study of Tulu Dialects By Dr. Padmanabha Kekunnaya. Govinda Pai Reserach Centre, UDupi. 1994
  • Koti Chennaya: Janapadiya Adhyayana. By Dr. Vamana Nandavar. Hemanshu Prakashana ,Mangalore.2001.
  • Male kudiyaru. Dr B. A.Viveka Rai and D.Yadupathi Gowda, Mangalore University,1996.
  • Mogaveera Samskriti By Venkataraja Punimchattaya. Karnataka Sahitya Academy.1993.
  • Mugeraru:Jananga Janapada Adhyayana. By Dr Abhaya Kumar Kaukradi.Kannada & Culture Directorate,Bangalore & Karnataka Tulu Academy, Mangalore,1997.
  • Puttubalakeya Pad-danagalu. Ed: Dr B.A.Viveka Rai,Yadupati Gowda and Rajashri, Sri Dharmasthala Manjunatheswara Tulu Peeta. Mangalore University.2004
  • Se'erige. Ed:Dr K.Chinnapa Gowda.Madipu Prakashana,Mangalagangotri,2000.
  • Studies in Tuluva History and Culture.by Dr P Gururaja Bhat (1975).Milagres College,Kallinapur,Udupi.
  • Taulava Sanskriti by Dr.B.A.Viveka Rai, Sahyadri Prakashana,Mysore 1977
  • TuLu naaDu-nuDi By Dr.PalthaDi Ramakrishna Achar, Puttur.
  • TuLu NighanTu. (Editor in Chief: Dr U.P.Upadhyaya, Govinda Pai Research Centre,Udupi. Six volumes. 1988 to 1997
  • Tulu Patero-A Philology & Grammar of Tulu Language by Budhananda Shivalli.2004.Mandira Prakashana Mangalore. p.317. (The book is in Tulu Language using Kannada script)
  • TuLunadina ShasanagaLa Sanskritika Adhyayana. By Shaila T. Verma (2002) Jnanodaya Prakashana,Bangalore, p.304.(Kannada)
  • Tuluvala Baliyendre. Compiled by N.A.Sheenappa Hegde,Polali,Sri Devi Prakashana,Parkala,1929/1999

A Coastal estuary

A Coastal estuary
Holegadde near Honavar,Uttara Kannada dist, Karnataka

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