Saturday, July 18, 2009
199. Mane: an earthen podium
Analysis of Toponyms of the Tulunadu or the Karavali essentially tend to throw special light on the origin and evolution of certain common Dravidian words. Let us discuss the evolution of a common Kannada word ‘mane’ which simply represents house in present day parlance, with the help of analysis of certain relevant Tulu toponyms.
We have discussed the Tulu spatial suffix –aNu (Muddanu, Belmanu) and its variants like –aNe (Perne, Marne) and -ana (Kanyana) in an earlier post.
The word aNe has also survived in usages like 'aNekatta' (=dam) etc.
Like the word ‘manja’ (ma+anja= elevated land) was derived from the root word ‘anja’(=land), the word maNe(ma+aNe=elevated platform or podium) has been derived from the suffix –aNe during early Tulu and other Dravida usage.
Since during later days the word ‘maNe’ was applied to wooden planks used as low lying seats,it appears that originally the word was employed to designate earthen podium or platform constructed probably under the shade of a tree.In primitive evolving farming cultures,this was possibly a resting place under the shade and this served as the earliest concept of dwelling house in primitive villages. Further evolution replaced the shade of tree with constructed roof and this was again called ‘mane’ as in Kannada.Thus the word ‘maNe’ forms the older Tulu version of the Kannada equivalent word ‘mane’. The word ‘mane’ has survived in Kannada even till to date while the Tulu word ‘maNe’(usage as dwelling house) has become nearly extinct except in toponyms and words like 'maNegara'(=revenue inspector)!
The suggestion that the word ‘maNe’ originally represented a podium or later a dwelling structure constructed out of earthen material (soil) is supported by its relation to the word ‘maNNu’ (=soil). Also note that the Tulu verb ‘maNpu ‘ or ‘māNpu’ (=to construct) was derived from the root ‘maN’ (of ‘maNe’). The earliest dwelling houses were constructed from the earthen (wet soil )material. The Tulu verb ‘maNpu ‘was in later days modified to ‘malpu’(=to do).
Another interesting revelation from the study of toponyms is that during the early farming days the ‘maNe’ dwelling structures were not common and only the rich or the leader of the village afforded it! It was somewhat like the early version of ‘Guttu’ houses of later landlords! This aspect can be realized when we analyse toponyms like Urmane, Manel, Karimanel,Manur, Mānur etc.
(Ur or oor+maNe). Urmane represented a dwelling house (probably the only one)in the ancient village. Presently , Urmane is the name of a hamlet near Konaje in Mangalore taluk.
(maNe+al) = A dwelling house on the bank of a river. Manel is a hamlet on the bank of Nethravati River in Mangalore Taluk.
Karimanel (< Karumanel)
(Karu+ mane+al ).= A house on the elevated bank of a river.Karimanel is a village in Belthangadi taluk.
(maNe+ur). A village named after a house! There are several villages designated Manur and Maanur in the Karavali.
Māni (pronounced ‘maaNi’) a village on the Mangalore-Bangalore road(NH48) could be a variant or distorted version of the word maNe.
Though 'maNe' is now used in its narrowed meaning as 'a legged wooden structure of low height, capable of seating one person or keeping picture of Gods at Puja time', its use in its strictest sense (in Tulunadu) is still current in word like 'maNegarlu or MaNegara (a Land Revenue Officer).
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- Tuluvala Baliyendre. Compiled by N.A.Sheenappa Hegde,Polali,Sri Devi Prakashana,Parkala,1929/1999
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