Sunday, April 25, 2010

238. Dark, forest and bay

Fusion of several coexisting subcultures that had independent languages during the course of human historical evolution must have created eventually not only varied evolutionary set of meanings for each word, but also several similar sounding words having dissimilar meanings.
As an example of this, we may consider the word kār:
The common meaning of the word ‘kār’ in Tulu language is leg. (Equivalent: kāl in Tamil, Kannada). This word ‘kar’(1) (=limb, leg) has been considered to have origins in ancient Sumerian word ‘garro’. Tulu has also another kār (2) (verb: ‘kāruni’) which means exude or seep. For example, seepage of toddy liquid from the toddy palm (Kannada: kāru= vomit).
However, kār (3) in many place names means dark, dark colored or black. Kari= black, soot, carbon.
Note: Variants of kār (3) can be seen in kār (4)=rock,[kar>kal=stone],(5)kar = forest and kār (6) = cloud or rain.
(kār =forest (5) because it is dark(3); kār= cloud/rain(6) because rainy clouds are dark.)
I. Dark villages
Obviously there is a disadvantage in having several possible meanings for a single word (like kār) as we may be unable to ascertain unequivocally the originally intended meaning a village name.
Check the following place names:
Kārgal= (kār+kal) Dark colored rocks.
Karoor=(kar+oor). A Dark village. (Dark colored because of the black soils?)
Karadi =(kar+aDi). Dark (=black soil?) or forest settlement.
Kāradka =(kār+aDka). Dark, tree covered (ancient) burial field.
Karinje= (kar+inje). Dark rocky area.Karinje village is near Mudabidre, Mangalore Taluk. Alternately, the word 'kārinja' also represents the name of a wild flowering plant.
Kārinja= (kār+inja). Forest area. Kārinja is a dark,large granitic hill, with a famous temple on top, in Bantval Taluk.
Kārkala= (kar+kala). Dark colored rocky plot (because of blackened rock outcrops).In Tulu, Karakla is known as Kārla (kar=dark,rocky + la= habitation beside water body of lake)
Ajekār= (aje+kār). Lands (adjoining) a dark forest.
The word Kannada has been considered by some as derived from ‘Karnad’ or ‘Karunadu’.
Kārnādu= (kār+nāDu). Dark (black soil) cultivated area. Originally the Kannada Kingdoms during the history flourished in the expansive black soil covered cultivable planar regions of northern Karnataka. Hence the name kar+nāD=dark soil cultivated area.
However,an alternate school of thought by Sham Baa Joshi has suggested possible derivation of the same word 'Kannada' as (Kanna+ Da), the region of Kannar tribes.

II. Saline bay
The word kār has another set of meanings relevant to (7) Sea coast, (8) Saline bay or estuary or saline streamlet. The related Prakrit (?) words are ‘khār’ or ‘khāri’(=bay or saline).
Thus the following place names could be related to this set of meanings:
Kadekar: (kaDe+kār).End part of a saline bay or stream. There are at least two Kadekar localities one near Udyavara, Udupi another near Jeppu, Mangalore.
Kāramogaru: (Kara+mogaru). A Saline river bank. Karamogaru locality is located on the northern bank of Gurupura River, Gurupura village

Kārnād= (kār+nāD). A saline stream beside a cultivable area. The place Karnad near Mulki has been made famous by author Girish Karnad. Historically, Karnad is associated with the name of freedom fighter par excellence Karnad Sadashiva Rao. A main road in Central Mangalore carries his name (though now known in abridged form as 'K.S.R. Road'. The original saline streamlet of River Shambavi(Mulki) beside Karnad has apparently changed position during the course of history.
Karnire= (kar+nire). Saline waters. A village beside Baluknje, near Mulki and Padubidri.
Kārkada. (kār+kaDa). A ferry point across a saline bay or tributary. Karkada is on the West coast, near Saligrama, Kundāpur taluk.

III. Calf pen
There is possibly one more 'kar' (8) =pen for calves, the word being derived from Toda language. There are distinct signatures of Toda cattle breeding tribes in Tulunadu as evidenced by place names such as Todar.Apparently, the Kannada word 'karu' for calf is derived from this source.
Karopādi =karo+pāDi. A settlement of cattle breeders and calf pens.

- With H.Vishwanath.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

237. Madhu and Maddu

Are the words ‘madhu’ (=honey), ‘madira’(=spirit) and ‘maddu’ (medicine) etc are related in origin or derived from a common ancient root?
While travelling from Bantval to Guruvayankere on a routine journey , my mind happened to brood over the place name ‘Maddadka’ ( pron: ‘maddaDka’). The spatial suffix ‘aDka’ refers to a field with trees (aD+ka) used as burial field in ancient days. Then what is ‘madda’?
Maddadka and Maddur
We can see that ‘madd’ prefix has been used in several place-names such as ‘Maddur’ (a town near Mandya on Mysore-Bangalore road). ‘Maddya’ (madd+iya) village near Surathkal, Mangalore, sometimes confused as ‘Madhya’(=central) also carries the prefix ‘madd’. The Madhur or Madavoor towns Kerala also have this prefix.There is a Madh island in Mumbai. Madanoor is a village in Surapur Taluk, Gulabrga district.
But these are not the only ones: The famous ancient towns of ‘Madhurai ‘in Tamilnadu and ‘Mathura’ in Gujarath also belong to this group. Are the ‘madda’ and ‘madhu’ in these place names related? Does the word ‘madda’ represents the ‘maddu’ the medicine or something else?
Maddadka, =madda+adka
Madavoor =mada+oor.
Madanoor = madana+oor.
Madhya, =madd+iya
Madhur =madh+ur
Mardu.> maddu
Thus we arrive at a point where we compare Dravidian word ‘maddu’(=medicine) with Sanskrit ‘madhu’(=honey). The Tulu word ‘mardu’(=herbal medicine) appears to be an old form of ’maddu’ (=medicine). The origin of ‘mardu’ may be ‘mara+du’ or derived from the tree or plants. The root word ‘mad(du)’ is also apparently shared by the root word ‘med’ in the Latin word ‘medicine’.
Check some of the words connected with ‘matt’ and ‘madd’ (relevant to aspects of mind like intellect, spirit and enthusiasm)cited in Tulu Lexicon:
.mata=1.opinion, doctrine; 2.semen, testicles (of cattle);
.mati=intellect, common sense, consciousness.
.mattu= intoxication, arrogance.
.mMatsara= envy, jealousy.
.matsya=[mat+sya] fish.
.mada= pride, arrogance, passion. spirit, enthusiasm, ego
Madana=cupid, God of love and sexuality.
.madey= screen to hide, partition.
.madapu= to forget
.madipu= to think, to reason, to evaluate
.madime= wedding, bondage of marriage .
.madumaye, madumal= bridegroom, bride; persons getting into marital bondage.
.madhu= honey, sugar, sweet, spirit.
.madira= intoxicating liquid, spirit.
.madhura=sweet taste or feeling.
.madya= spirit, intoxicating liquid.
.maddu=medicine. (note: ‘med’ in medicine).
.mardu= herbal medicine (mara+du).

The interconnected relationship among these words suggest possibly borrowing of roots and words between Dravidian and Sanskrit.
A related word is 'maDi'(=clean). The maDDi/maD could represent muddy soil- place or marshy area.
MaDivaala/maDDele = washerman, who cleans soiled cloths or 'maDD(i)' or 'mala' from clothes. MalaD in Mumbai is marshy sea-coastal area and 'Mud Island' is a nearby place. Mal/mala is also means rocky highland. There is a place-name in Sinhala: 'Maddaka'lappu'. Tamilnet analyzes the place name as muddy lagoon: 'madda'(=muddy)+'kaLappu' (=lagoon or backwaters).
Madgaon (Goa) possibly means a village with a pond or marsh.
Thus,in Tulu/Kannada usage:
maDu= a lake or pond.
Madaka or 'madaga'= muddy or marshy lake or pond.

Apparently, more insights on the 'madhu /madd' place names, from the stand point of historical evolution of words, are desirable.If you have any alternate or additional insights please send your inputs.
Mada tribes
The ancient towns Mathura and Madurai appear to have been based on the word ‘madhu’(= honey or spirit) while Dravidian place names Maddur, Maddadka etc seem to have been based on ‘maddu’, the medicine. However, the later analysis looks somewhat untenable as such a style of naming places is not in tune with usual Dravidian place names.
Commenter Akhtarali has pointed out possible links to Medes tribes, also known sometimes as Māda. A grandson of Noah was called Madai . That leads us to conclude that ‘Madda’ or ‘Māda’ tribes made their presence in Dravidian lands of southern India. Māda is a common tribal name in Kannada areas even now, often confused as a corrupt form of Mahadeva. And even the ancient words ‘Madha/Madh’ in place names ‘Madhura/Matura’ might be related to the variants of the ethnonym : 'mada',‘madda’ or ‘māda’.
There is another Indian ethnonym connected to ‘Meir Rajputs’ also known as ‘Medes’. Some of the surnames of Meir Rajputs like Bagel, Odar are shared by Munda tribes also. Their surnames Dhuma Gund, Manj(a), etc are some of the common names among tribes of Tulunadu. This makes us ponder if Meir Rajputs and Mera tribes of Dravidian territory were related tribes during ancient days.

- With H.Vishwanath

Saturday, April 10, 2010

236. Large villages

Size matters. Our ancestors had a special word for large villages. A number of villages have been named with prefix ‘peru’ or ‘peri’ (=large) indicating the expansive size of the area covered by the village.
Note some of the commonly known large villages around us:
Peradi= [pera+aDi]. A large settlement.
Perne= [peru+ Ne.] (Ne=area). Perne is a village near Uppinangadi on NH 48
Pernankila= [Per+Na+ank+ila.] (Na=area, ank=open field; ila= dwelling zone). Pernakila is a village near Udupi.
Perga =[Per+ga.] (ga=village area), The ‘ga’ appears to be the root word of later evolved word ‘gaon’(=village). The place name ‘Perga’ has become ‘Herga’ in the due course due to influence of Kannada.
Permanki= [per+ma+anki.] (‘manki’= elevated area; ‘ma’= elevated, raised; ‘anki’= open field/area)
Peramannur= [per+ maNN+oor]. (maNN=elevated flank of river, soil/sediment filled area
Peraje = [peri+aje]. Anje.>aje(=field). A large field.
Peraabe = [pera+be]. A large habitation. The spatial suffix '-be' apparently is an variant of -va or -ve, as in Belve.
Permude=[Peru+mude]. The word 'mude'('mu'=front, 'de'=area) appears to be a variant of 'munde'(=mogaru),a river flank area.
Perur= [Peru+ur].A large village.
Peruvaje = [Peru+va+aje]. A large field area of habitation.
Peruvayi = [Peru+ va + ayi]. A large area of habitation.
Periadka= [per+ia+adka].( ‘peria’=larger, large area; ‘adka’=aD+ka= field with trees; adka=ancient burial ground)
Peramogaru=[pera+mogaru].A large river plain. (‘mogaru’= a river plain or flank) . The village name has been distended to ‘Paēra mogaru’ (‘pEra’=milky) by inadvertent usage.
Perla =[peri+la]. A large settlement beside a river/stream. ‘ala’=stream, area beside stream.
Perlaguri==[peri+la+ guri]. A deep valley beside a large settlement beside a river/stream.
Perlampadi= [Peri+la+am+paadi].A large settlement beside a river with cattle grazing fields.
Perdala= [peri+Da+ala]. A large area beside a stream.( ‘Da’=area; ‘ala’=stream, area beside stream).
In Kannada areas, the 'peri' prefix has become 'hiri' or 'hirey'. For example:
Hiriadka described above under Periadka.
Hiregutti = A large hilly aaea (Uttara Kannada).
Hiriyur= A large village. Chitradurga district.
Hiremagalur= Elder daughter's village.

It is possible that some of the familiar words ,like peri /peru, we use in our language could be an ancient word shared by cultures in distant parts of the globe. One of the common explanation science provides is migration of early human tribes on continental scale.
Peru’ is name of a large country in South America. One of the meanings attributed to the country name Peru is ‘land of abundance’. The ‘abundance’ and the ‘large size’ seems related properties, suggesting a possible common ancestry for the word ‘Per’ or ‘Peru’.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

235. Maroon leaves of Chākote

Western Ghats or the Sahy ādri ranges display a variety of fauna and flora. In sylvan parts of Sullia Taluk that seamlessly merges into Sahy ādri you can see a strange tree that sports pinkish maroon leaves especially during the spring. Local folks call it ‘Ch ākote’ ( ‘t ‘pronounced as in ‘tea’). The tree is also known as Chakate, S ākote, Sagade, T ākate or Akate. Tulu Lexicon identifies the tree (vol 3, p. 1216) as Indian Squill or ‘Schleinchera oleosa’ belong to Sapindaceae family. The tree is also known by similar names in Tamil and Telugu regions.
Apart from the tree, the name of the tree itself sounds a bit strange, tempting us to ponder if this is an alien word borrowed from a languages other than Tulu.

T ākode
To add to the mystery there is a place known as ‘T ākode’ near Mudabidri town on the way to Bantval. The meaning of the place name is difficult to decipher and it appears that the word ‘T ākode’ could be a variant of the name of the tree Ch ākote.
Readers having better insight on the origin of these words may kindly post their comments.

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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