Friday, May 29, 2009

187. Immigrant red tribes: ‘Kemm’s!

Earlier we have discussed the historical ethnonyms based on the signature place-names of white immigrants known as ‘Bell’s or ‘Boll’ tribes whose footprints are surviving in the place names of a series of villages in Tulunadu and also elsewhere in the peninsular India. Besides the Bells we have a distinct signature of a ‘reddish’ tribe known as ‘Kemm’ in Tulunadu. These have been preserved in a series of fossil village names.
‘Kemm’s ('Kem' or 'kemp'=red colour) apparently were a reddish-skinned European immigrants who entered and settled in several parts of Tulunadu during the less distinct historical period. The ‘Kemm’tribes were distinct from ‘Bell’s or the whites. Possibly the word ‘Bell’s (whites) referred to fair-skinned Mediterranean immigrant tribes. Here below are some of the places in Tulunadu named after the Kemm tribes.
Kem+ta+Ur=Kemtur (Near Udupi)
Kemma+anu=Kemmaanu>Kemmannu (near Kalyanpura)
Kem+ra+al=Kemral (near Kinnigoli)
Kemm+inje=Kemminje (near Puttur)
Kemm+male=Kemmale (near Puttur)

One hill range in Chikamagalur district known for Iron ores bears the name: Kemmannu gundi!

Viswanath comments:
I think that the village was given the name as 'Kemmraal' because of Nature's bounty in the form of either red flower, supposedly lotus from lotus-ponds spread over the village, or ruby or red sand. In earlier years, we could see lotus ponds everywhere but the necessary evil, named development, has destroyed the (natural) topography wantonly. In support, I repeat my comments in e-Mails of 6th & 7th July 2008 and reproduce them below:
Please refer Tulu Lexicon (p-904) for Kemmral. Kem (=red) + maraal (=ruby or flower. So it is a village famous for ruby studded jewel(le)ry. Alternatively, a village where a kind of red coloured flowers are growing naturally. (6.7.08)

It is proper to disjoin (dissect) Kemmraal as Kem (=Kempu, red) + araal (flower, i.e. fully blossomed flower). It amounts to red lotus (kempu allipoo). so the village was abounding with lotus-ponds all over; alternatively, red coloured sand (kem + maraal).(7.7.08)
Note the Tulu word 'allipoo', meaning water-borne flower.
Please add this as comments or as additional information in the Post itself.
Some more thoughts on Kemmraal:
1) Picking up your line of thought, I may analyse the word as: Kemmerena(red coloured peoples) +al (Chief or Lord)>Kemmera+al>Kemmraal (just like Vellal in Tamilnadu).
2) Secondly, the village might have been named after the person called Kemara (+ Ballal).
3) During British suzerainty, in local tongue it was described as a rule by 'Kempu Jana' (red skinned people). Otherwise, who else could be this tribe? As a remote chance, could we say (jokingly), they are 'Red Indians' of America?


Blog Archive

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 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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