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Dravidians are native speakers of any of the Dravidian languages. There are around 245 million native speakers of Dravidian languages.[2] They form the majority of the population of South India. Dravidian-speaking people are natively found in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan,[3] Nepal, Maldives, and Sri Lanka.[4] The third century BCE onwards saw the development of large Dravidian political states: Chola, Pandyan, Rashtrakuta, Vijayanagara, Chera, Chalukya and a number of smaller states. The Western Ganga, Eastern Ganga, Kadamba, Hoysala, Pallava, Kalabhra, Satavahana, Andhra Ikshvaku, Vishnukundina, Western Chalukya, Eastern Chalukya, Kakatiya, Mysore, Jaffna and the Nayakas were established by the Dravidian people. Medieval Tamil guilds and trading organisations like the "Ayyavole and Manigramam" played an important role in the Southeast Asia trade.[5] Traders and religious leaders travelled to Southeast Asia and played an important role in the cultural Indianisation of the region. Locally developed scripts such as Grantha and Pallava script
Pallava script
induced the development of many native scripts such as Khmer, Javanese Kawi script, Baybayin, and Thai. Dravidian visual art is dominated by stylised Temple architecture in major centres, and the production of images of stone and bronze sculptures. The Nataraja
Nataraja
sculpture from the Chola period has become notable as a symbol of Hinduism.

Contents

1 Etymology 2 Origins

2.1 Ancestral components 2.2 Proposed agricultural origins

3 History

3.1 Indus Valley Civilisation

3.1.1 Dravidian identification 3.1.2 Decline and migration 3.1.3 Dravidian and Indo-Aryan interactions

4 Dravidian culture

4.1 Language 4.2 Religious belief 4.3 Architecture and visual art 4.4 Theatre, dance and music 4.5 Costume 4.6 Martial arts and sports

4.6.1 Traditional weapons

4.7 Ethnic groups

4.7.1 List of Dravidian people
Dravidian people
based on population

5 See also 6 Notes 7 References 8 Sources 9 External links

Etymology[edit] The Sanskrit
Sanskrit
word drāviḍa is used to denote the geographical region of South India.[6] It was coined by Adi Shankaracharya
Adi Shankaracharya
(509 BCE-477 BCE) when he was questioned as to where he had come from by locals in Mandhata, to which he proclaimed himself to be a "Drāviḍa Śiśu," with shishu meaning 'child' or 'child of' and dravida being a sandhi word combining the elements dravya, meaning water, and vida, meaning meeting place. Therefore, drāviḍa could be interpreted as meaning "the place where the three waters meet" with those "three waters" being the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, and the Bay of Bengal.[7][8] Southern Brahmins are known as Pancha Dravida while northern Brahmins are known as Pancha Gauda, denoting geographical region. In Prakrit, words such as "Damela", "Dameda", "Dhamila" and "Damila," which later evolved from "Tamila," could have been used to denote an ethnic identity.[9] Epigraphic evidence of an ethnic group termed as such is found in ancient India
India
where a number of inscriptions have come to light datable from the 6th to the 5th century BCE mentioning Damela or Dameda persons. The Hathigumpha inscription
Hathigumpha inscription
of the Kalinga ruler Kharavela
Kharavela
refers to a T(ra)mira samghata (Confederacy of Tamil rulers) dated to 150 BCE. It also mentions that the league of Tamil kingdoms had been in existence for 113 years by that time.[10] In Amaravati in present-day Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
there is an inscription referring to a Dhamila-vaniya (Tamil trader) datable to the 3rd century CE.[10] Another inscription of about the same time in Nagarjunakonda
Nagarjunakonda
seems to refer to a Damila. A third inscription in Kanheri Caves
Kanheri Caves
refers to a Dhamila-gharini (Tamil house-holder). In the Buddhist
Buddhist
Jataka
Jataka
story known as Akiti Jataka
Jataka
there is a mention to Damila-rattha (Tamil dynasty). Thamizhar is etymologically related to Tamil, the language spoken by Tamil people. Southworth suggests that the name comes from tam-miz > tam-iz 'self-speak', or 'one's own speech'.[11] Zvelebil suggests an etymology of tam-iz, with tam meaning "self" or "one's self", and "-iz" having the connotation of "unfolding sound". Alternatively, he suggests a derivation of tamiz < tam-iz < *tav-iz < *tak-iz, meaning in origin "the proper process (of speaking)."[12] The term Thamizhar was likely derived from the name of the ancient people Dravida > Dramila > Damila > Tamila > Tamilar.[13] While the English word Dravidian was first employed by Robert Caldwell in his book of comparative Dravidian grammar based on the usage of the Sanskrit
Sanskrit
word drāviḍa in the work Tantravārttika by Kumārila Bhaṭṭa,[6] the word drāviḍa in Sansrkit has been historically used to denote geographical regions of Southern India
India
as whole. Some theories concern the direction of derivation between tamiẓ and drāviḍa; such linguists as Zvelebil assert that the direction is from tamiẓ to drāviḍa.[14] The modern word Dravidian is devoid of any ethnic significance, and is only used to classify a linguistic family of the referred group.[9] Origins[edit] The origins of the Dravidians are a "very complex subject of research and debate." [15] They may have been indigenous to the Indian subcontinent,[16][17][18] but origins in, or influence from, West-Asia have also been proposed.[19][20][21][22][23] Although in modern times speakers of the various Dravidian languages have mainly occupied the southern portion of India, Dravidian speakers must have been widespread throughout the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
before the Indo-Aryan migration into the subcontinent.[24] According to Carole Davies, "many academic researchers have attempted to connect the Dravidians with the remnants of the great Indus Valley Civilisation, located in Northwestern India,"[15] most noteworthy Asko Parpola,[23] who did extensive research on the IVC-scripts.[23][25] The Brahui population of Balochistan
Balochistan
in Pakistan
Pakistan
has been taken by some as the linguistic equivalent of a relict population, perhaps indicating that Dravidian languages
Dravidian languages
were formerly much more widespread and were supplanted by the incoming Indo-Aryan languages.[26] The Dravidian influence is also noted to have been found in ancient civilisations of India. The Ancient Dravidians are considered to be the direct ancestors of the Tamils, Malayalees, Telugus, Canarese.[27] Ancestral components[edit] See also: ANI and ASI, Peopling of India, and Genetics and archaeogenetics of South Asia Reich et al. (2009) discerned two major ancestral components in India,[28][29][30] namely the Ancestral North Indians (ANI) who are "genetically close to Middle Easterners, Central Asians, and Europeans," and the Ancestral South Indians (ASI) which are clearly distinct from ANI[28] and "not closely related to groups outside the subcontinent."[31] Basu et al. (2016), discerned two additional components, Ancestral Tibeto-Burmese (ATB) and Ancestral Austro-Asiatic (AAA), noting that the ASI and the AAA were early settlers of India
India
who differentiated after their arrival in India.[32][note 1] The ANI and ASI mixed in India
India
between 4,200 and 1,900 years ago (2200 BCE-100 CE), whereafter a shift to endogamy took place,[30] possibly by the enforcement of "social values and norms" by the "Hindu Gupta rulers."[34] Northern Indians and higher castes are more related to West Eurasians, while southern Indians and lower castes are less related to West Eurasians.[35] Moorjani et al. (2013) describe three scenarios regarding the bringing together of the two groups:

migrations before the development of agriculture (8,000–9,000 years before present (BP); migration of western Asian people together with the spread of agriculture, maybe up to 4,600 years BP; migrations of western Eurasians from 3,000 to 4,000 years BP.[36]

Proposed agricultural origins[edit] See also: Proto-Dravidian, Dravidian homeland, Neolithic revolution, Fertile Crescent, Demic diffusion, and Origins of Mehrgahr According to Gallego Romero et al. (2011), their research on lactose tolerance in India
India
suggests that "the west Eurasian genetic contribution identified by Reich et al. (2009) principally reflects gene flow from Iran
Iran
and the Middle East."[37] Gallego Romero notes that Indians who are lactose-tolerant show a genetic pattern regarding this tolerance which is "characteristic of the common European mutation."[38] According to Romero, this suggests that "the most common lactose tolerance mutation made a two-way migration out of the Middle East less than 10,000 years ago. While the mutation spread across Europe, another explorer must have brought the mutation eastward to India
India
– likely traveling along the coast of the Persian Gulf where other pockets of the same mutation have been found."[38] Asko Parpola, who regards the Harappans to have been Dravidian, notes that Mehrgarh (7000 BCE to c. 2500 BCE), to the west of the Indus River
Indus River
valley,[39] is a precursor of the Indus Valley Civilisation, whose inhabitants migrated into the Indus Valley and became the Indus Valley Civilisation.[22] It is one of the earliest sites with evidence of farming and herding in South Asia.[40][41] According to Lukacs and Hemphill, while there is a strong continuity between the neolithic and chalcolithic (Copper Age) cultures of Mehrgarh, dental evidence shows that the chalcolithic population did not descend from the neolithic population of Mehrgarh,[42] which "suggests moderate levels of gene flow."[42] They further noted that "the direct lineal descendants of the Neolithic inhabitants of Mehrgarh are to be found to the south and the east of Mehrgarh, in northwestern India
India
and the western edge of the Deccan plateau," with neolithic Mehrgarh showing greater affinity with chalocolithic Inamgaon, south of Mehrgarh, than with chalcolithic Mehrgarh.[42] Narasimhan et al. (2018) conclude that ANI and ASI were formed in the 2nd millennium BCE.[43] They were preceded by a mixture of AASI (ancient ancestral south Indians, that is, hunter-gatherers), and Iranian agri-culturalists who arrived in India
India
at ca. 4700-3000 BCE, and "must have reached the Indus Valley by the 4th millennium BCE."[43] According to Narasimhan et al., this population, which probably was native to the Indus Valley Civilisation, "contributed in large proportions to both the ANI and ASI," which took shape during the 2nd millennium BCE. ANI formed out of a mixture of "Indus_Periphery-related groups" and migrants from the steppe, while ASI was formed out of "Indus_Periphery-related groups" who moved south and mixed with hunter-gatherers.[43] History[edit] Indus Valley Civilisation[edit]

The Pashupati seal from the Indus Valley Civilization

Main articles: Indus valley civilisation
Indus valley civilisation
and Substratum in Vedic Sanskrit Dravidian identification[edit] The Indus Valley civilisation
Indus Valley civilisation
(2,600-1,900 BCE) located in Northwestern Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
is often identified as having been Dravidian.[44] Cultural and linguistic similarities have been cited by researchers Henry Heras, Kamil Zvelebil, Asko Parpola
Asko Parpola
and Iravatham Mahadevan as being strong evidence for a proto-Dravidian origin of the ancient Indus Valley civilisation.[45][46] The discovery in Tamil Nadu of a late Neolithic (early 2nd millennium BCE, i.e. post-dating Harappan decline) stone celt allegedly marked with Indus signs has been considered by some to be significant for the Dravidian identification.[47][48] Yuri Knorozov
Yuri Knorozov
surmised that the symbols represent a logosyllabic script and suggested, based on computer analysis, an underlying agglutinative Dravidian language as the most likely candidate for the underlying language.[49] Knorozov's suggestion was preceded by the work of Henry Heras, who suggested several readings of signs based on a proto-Dravidian assumption.[50] Linguist Asko Parpola
Asko Parpola
writes that the Indus script and Harappan language are "most likely to have belonged to the Dravidian family".[51] Parpola led a Finnish team in investigating the inscriptions using computer analysis. Based on a proto-Dravidian assumption, they proposed readings of many signs, some agreeing with the suggested readings of Heras and Knorozov (such as equating the "fish" sign with the Dravidian word for fish, "min") but disagreeing on several other readings. A comprehensive description of Parpola's work until 1994 is given in his book Deciphering the Indus Script.[52] Decline and migration[edit] Paleoclimatologists believe the fall of the Indus Valley Civilisation and eastward migration during the late Harappan period was due to climate change in the region, with a 200-year long drought being the major factor.[53][54][55] The Indus Valley Civilisation
Indus Valley Civilisation
seemed to slowly lose their urban cohesion, and their cities were gradually abandoned during the late Harappan period, followed by eastward migrations before the Indo-Aryan migration into the Indian subcontinent.[54] Dravidian and Indo-Aryan interactions[edit] The Dravidian language influenced the Indo-Aryan languages. Dravidian languages show extensive lexical (vocabulary) borrowing, but only a few traits of structural (either phonological or grammatical) borrowing from Indo-Aryan, whereas Indo-Aryan shows more structural than lexical borrowings from the Dravidian languages.[24] Many of these features are already present in the oldest known Indo-Aryan language, the language of the Rigveda
Rigveda
(c. 1500 BCE), which also includes over a dozen words borrowed from Dravidian. The linguistic evidence for Dravidian impact grows increasingly strong as we move from the Samhitas down through the later Vedic
Vedic
works and into the classical post- Vedic
Vedic
literature.[56] This represents an early religious and cultural fusion[57][note 2] or synthesis[59] between ancient Dravidians and Indo-Aryans.[60][58][61][62] According to Mallory there are an estimated thirty to forty Dravidian loanwords in Rig Veda.[63] Some of those for which Dravidian etymologies are certain include ಕುಲಾಯ kulāya "nest", ಕುಲ್ಫ kulpha "ankle", ದಂಡ daṇḍa "stick", ಕುಲ kūla "slope", ಬಿಲ bila "hollow", ಖಲ khala "threshing floor".[64]:81[64] While J. Bloch and M. Witzel believe that the Indo-Aryans moved into an already Dravidian speaking area after the oldest parts of the Rig Veda
Rig Veda
were already composed.[65] According to Thomason and Kaufman, there is strong evidence that Dravidian influenced Indic through "shift", that is, native Dravidian speakers learning and adopting Indic languages.[66] According to Erdosy, the most plausible explanation for the presence of Dravidian structural features in Old Indo-Aryan is that the majority of early Old Indo-Aryan speakers had a Dravidian mother tongue which they gradually abandoned.Erdosy (1995:18) Even though the innovative traits in Indic could be explained by multiple internal explanations, early Dravidian influence is the only explanation that can account for all of the innovations at once. Early Dravidian influence accounts for several of the innovative traits in Indic better than any internal explanation that has been proposed.[67] According to Zvelebil, "several scholars have demonstrated that pre-Indo-Aryan and pre-Dravidian bilingualism in India
India
provided conditions for the far-reaching influence of Dravidian on the Indo-Aryan tongues in the spheres of phonology, syntax and vocabulary."[68] With the rise of the Kuru Kingdom
Kuru Kingdom
a process of Sanskritization started which influenced all of India, with the populations of the north of the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
predominantly speaking the Indo-Aryan languages.[69] Dravidian culture[edit] Language[edit] Main article: Dravidian languages

Dravidian language tree

The most commonly spoken Dravidian languages
Dravidian languages
are Tamil (தமிழ்), Telugu (తెలుగు), Kannada (ಕನ್ನಡ), Malayalam (മലയാളം), Brahui (براہوئی),Tulu (ತುಳು),Gondi and Coorg. There are three subgroups within the Dravidian language family: North Dravidian, Central Dravidian, and South Dravidian, matching for the most part the corresponding regions in the Indian subcontinent. Dravidian grammatical impact on the structure and syntax of Indo-Aryan languages is considered far greater than the Indo-Aryan grammatical impact on Dravidian. Some linguists explain this anomaly by arguing that Middle Indo-Aryan and New Indo-Aryan were built on a Dravidian substratum.[70] There are also hundreds of Dravidian loanwords in Indo-Aryan languages, and vice versa. According to David McAlpin and his Elamo-Dravidian hypothesis, the Dravidian languages
Dravidian languages
were brought to India
India
by immigration into India from Elam, located in present-day southwestern Iran.[20][71] In the 1990s, Renfrew and Cavalli-Sforza have also argued that Proto-Dravidian
Proto-Dravidian
was brought to India
India
by farmers from the Iranian part of the Fertile Crescent,[19][72][73][note 3] but more recently Heggerty and Renfrew noted that "McAlpin's analysis of the language data, and thus his claims, remain far from orthodoxy", adding that Fuller finds no relation of Dravidian language with other languages, and thus assumes it to be native to India.[74] Renfrew and Bahn conclude that several scenarios are compatible with the data, and that "the linguistic jury is still very much out."[74] As a proto-language, the Proto-Dravidian language
Proto-Dravidian language
is not itself attested in the historical record. Its modern conception is based solely on reconstruction. It is suggested that the language was spoken in the 4th millennium BCE, and started disintegrating into various branches around 3rd millennium BCE.[75] According to Krishnamurti, Proto-Dravidian
Proto-Dravidian
may have been spoken in the Indus civilization, suggesting a "tentative date of Proto-Dravidian
Proto-Dravidian
around the early part of the third millennium."[76] Krishnamurti further states that South Dravidian I (including pre-Tamil) and South Dravidian II (including Pre-Telugu) split around the eleventh century BCE, with the other major branches splitting off at around the same time.[77] Religious belief[edit] See also: Dravidian folk religion, Hinduism, Śramaṇa, Jainism, Buddhism, Charvaka, Ājīvika, and Indus Valley Civilization Ancient Dravidian religion constituted of a non- Vedic
Vedic
form of Hinduism in that they were either historically or are at present Āgamic. The Agamas are non- Vedic
Vedic
in origin [78] and have been dated either as post- Vedic
Vedic
texts [79] or as pre- Vedic
Vedic
compositions.[80] The Agamas are a collection of Tamil and Sanskrit
Sanskrit
scriptures chiefly constituting the methods of temple construction and creation of murti, worship means of deities, philosophical doctrines, meditative practices, attainment of sixfold desires and four kinds of yoga.[81] The worship of tutelary deities, sacred flora and fauna in Hinduism
Hinduism
is also recognized as a survival of the pre- Vedic
Vedic
Dravidian religion.[82] Dravidian linguistic influence on early Vedic
Vedic
religion is evident; many of these features are already present in the oldest known Indo-Aryan language, the language of the Rigveda
Rigveda
(c. 1500 BCE), which also includes over a dozen words borrowed from Dravidian. The linguistic evidence for Dravidian impact grows increasingly strong as we move from the Samhitas down through the later Vedic
Vedic
works and into the classical post- Vedic
Vedic
literature.[56] This represents an early religious and cultural fusion[57][note 2] or synthesis[59] between ancient Dravidians and Indo-Aryans that went on to influence and shape Hinduism, Sramana, Jainism, Buddhism, Charvaka, and Ājīvika.[60][58][61][62]

Sage Agastya, father of Tamil literature

Ancient Tamil grammatical works Tolkappiyam, the ten anthologies Pattuppāṭṭu, and the eight anthologies Eṭṭuttokai shed light on early ancient Dravidian religion. Seyyon was glorified as the red god seated on the blue peacock, who is ever young and resplendent, as the favored god of the Tamils.[83] Sivan was also seen as the supreme God.[83] Early iconography of Seyyon[84] and Sivan[85][86][87] and their association with native flora and fauna goes back to the Indus Valley Civilisation.[88][89] The Sangam landscape
Sangam landscape
was classified into five categories, thinais, based on the mood, the season and the land. Tolkappiyam mentions that each of these thinai had an associated deity such as Seyyon in Kurinji-the hills, Thirumaal in Mullai-the forests, and Kotravai in Marutham-the plains, and Wanji-ko in the Neithal-the coasts and the seas. Other gods mentioned were Mayyon and Vaali who are all major deities in Hinduism
Hinduism
today. This represents an early religious and cultural fusion[57][note 2] or synthesis[59] between ancient Dravidians and Indo-Aryans, which became more evident over time with sacred iconography, traditions, philosophy, flora and fauna that went on to influence and shape Indian civilisation.[60][58][61][62]

Meenakshi Amman temple, dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi, tutelary deity of Madurai
Madurai
city

Throughout Tamilakam, a king was considered to be divine by nature and possessed religious significance.[90] The king was 'the representative of God on earth’ and lived in a "koyil", which means the "residence of a god". The Modern Tamil word for temple is koil (Tamil: கோயில்). Ritual worship was also given to kings.[91][92] Modern words for god like "kō" (Tamil: கோ "king"), "iṟai" (இறை "emperor") and "āṇḍavar" (ஆண்டவன் "conqueror") now primarily refer to gods. These elements were incorporated later into Hinduism
Hinduism
like the legendary marriage of Shiva to Queen Mīnātchi who ruled Madurai
Madurai
or Wanji-ko, a god who later merged into Indra.[93] Tolkappiyar refers to the Three Crowned Kings as the "Three Glorified by Heaven", (Tamil: வாண்புகழ் மூவர், Vāṉpukaḻ Mūvar ?).[94] In the Dravidian-speaking South, the concept of divine kingship led to the assumption of major roles by state and temple.[95] The cult of the mother goddess is treated as an indication of a society which venerated femininity. This mother goddess was conceived as a virgin, one who has given birth to all and one, and were typically associated with Shaktism.[96] The temples of the Sangam days, mainly of Madurai, seem to have had priestesses to the deity, which also appear predominantly a goddess.[97] In the Sangam literature, there is an elaborate description of the rites performed by the Kurava priestess in the shrine Palamutircholai.[98] Among the early Dravidians the practice of erecting memorial stones "Natukal and Viragal’' had appeared, and it continued for quite a long time after the Sangam age, down to about the 16th century.[99] It was customary for people who sought victory in war to worship these hero stones to bless them with victory.[100] Architecture and visual art[edit] Main article: Dravidian Architecture

Nataraja, example of Chola Empire
Chola Empire
bronze has become notable as a symbol of Hinduism.

Typical layout of Dravidian temple architecture, 9th century A.D

Throughout Tamilakam, a king was considered to be divine by nature and possessed religious significance.[90] The king was 'the representative of God on earth’ and lived in a "koyil", which means the "residence of a god". The Modern Tamil word for temple is koil (Tamil: கோயில்). Titual worship was also given to kings.[91][92] Modern words for god like "kō" (Tamil: கோ "king"), "iṟai" (இறை "emperor") and "āṇḍavar" (ஆண்டவன் "conqueror") now primarily refer to gods.[93] Tolkappiyar refers to the Three Crowned Kings as the "Three Glorified by Heaven", (Tamil: வாண்புகழ் மூவர், Vāṉpukaḻ Mūvar ?).[94] In the Dravidian-speaking South, the concept of divine kingship led to the assumption of major roles by state and temple.[95] Mayamata and Manasara shilpa texts estimated to be in circulation by the 5th to 7th century AD, are guidebooks on the Dravidian style of Vastu Shastra
Vastu Shastra
design, construction, sculpture and joinery technique.[101][102] Isanasivagurudeva paddhati is another text from the 9th century describing the art of building in India
India
in south and central India.[101][103] In north India, Brihat-samhita by Varāhamihira
Varāhamihira
is the widely cited ancient Sanskrit
Sanskrit
manual from the 6th century describing the design and construction of Nagara style of Hindu temples.[104][105][106] Traditional Dravidian architecture
Dravidian architecture
and symbolism are also based on Agamas. The Agamas are non- Vedic
Vedic
in origin[78] and have been dated either as post- Vedic
Vedic
texts [79] or as pre- Vedic
Vedic
compositions.[80] The Agamas are a collection of Tamil and Sanskrit
Sanskrit
scriptures chiefly constituting the methods of temple construction and creation of murti, worship means of deities, philosophical doctrines, meditative practices, attainment of sixfold desires and four kinds of yoga.[81] Chola style temples consist almost invariably of the three following parts, arranged in differing manners, but differing in themselves only according to the age in which they were executed:[107]

The porches or Mantapas, which always cover and precede the door leading to the cell. Gate-pyramids, Gopuras, which are the principal features in the quadrangular enclosures that surround the more notable temples. Gopuras are very common in Dravidian temples. Pillared halls (Chaultris or Chawadis) are used for many purposes and are the invariable accompaniments of these temples.

Besides these, a south Indian temple usually has a tank called the Kalyani or Pushkarni – to be used for sacred purposes or the convenience of the priests – dwellings for all the grades of the priesthood are attached to it, and other buildings for state or convenience.[107] Theatre, dance and music[edit] Main articles: Carnatic music, Ancient Tamil music, Music of Kerala, Music of Tamil Nadu, Music of Andhra Pradesh, and Cinema of South India

Kathakali
Kathakali
is the traditional theater form of Kerala.

A Kuchipudi
Kuchipudi
dancer.

Literary evidence of traditional form of theatre, dance and music dates back to the 3rd century BCE.[108] Ancient literary works, such as the Cilappatikaram, describe a system of music.[108] The theatrical culture flourished during the early Sangam age. Theatre-dance traditions have a long and varied history whose origins can be traced back almost two millennia to dance-theatre forms like Kotukotti and Pandarangam, which are mentioned in an ancient anthology of poems entitled the Kalingathu Parani.[109] Dance forms such as Bharatanatyam are based older temple dance forms known as Catir Kacceri as practised by courtesans and a class of women known as Devadasis.[110] Carnatic music
Carnatic music
originated in the Dravidian region. With the growing influence of Persian and Sufi music on Indian music, a clear distinction in style appeared from the 12th century onwards. Many literary works were composed in Carnatic style and it soon spread wide in the Dravidian regions. The most notable Carnatic musician is Purandara Dasa
Purandara Dasa
who lived in the court of Krishnadevaraya
Krishnadevaraya
of the Vijayanagara
Vijayanagara
empire. He formulated the basic structure of Carnatic music and is regarded as the Pitamaha (lit, "father" or the "grandfather") of Carnatic Music. Kanakadasa
Kanakadasa
is another notable Carnatic musician who was Purandaradasa's contemporary. Each of the major Dravidian languages
Dravidian languages
has its own film industry like Kollywood
Kollywood
(Tamil), Tollywood (Telugu), Sandalwood (Kannada), Mollywood (Malayalam). Kollywood
Kollywood
and Tollywood produce most films in India.[111]

Performing Arts of Andhra Pradesh

Kuchipudi Vilasini Natyam Tholu Bommalata

Performing Arts of Kerala

Koodiyattam Mohiniyattam Kathakali

Performing Arts of Tamil Nadu

Parai Attam Mayilattam Thiru Koothu Bharatanatyam Kavadi Attam Oyilattam

Performing Arts of Karnataka

Yakshagana Togalu Gombeyaata Veeragase Kamsaale Dollu kunitha Pooja kunitha Buta kola Somana kunitha

Costume[edit] Dravidian speakers in southern India
India
wear varied traditional costumes depending on their region, largely influenced by local customs and traditions. Martial arts and sports[edit]

Kalaripayattu
Kalaripayattu
martial art form which originated during the Sangam period from Kerala

Main articles: Kalaripayattu, Kuttu Varisai, Varma Kalai, Silambam, Adithada, and Malyutham In Mahabaratha
Mahabaratha
was mentioned, that Bhishma
Bhishma
claimed that Southerns are skilled with sword-fighting in general and Sahadeva
Sahadeva
was chosen for the conquest of the southern kingdoms, because of his swordman skills.[112] In South India
South India
various types of martial arts are practiced like Kalaripayattu
Kalaripayattu
and Silambam. It is speculated that Bodhidarma
Bodhidarma
was a sixth century Pallava
Pallava
prince, who became a Buddhist monk, although the credibility of the same is debatable.[113] Some modern hypothesis claim that he introduced Kalaripayattu
Kalaripayattu
in China, which contributed to the development of modern-day Kung Fu
Kung Fu
and Karate in Japan.[114] In ancient times there were fights ankam, public duels to the death, to solve disputes between his opposing rules.[115] Among some communities, young girls received preliminary training up until the onset of menses.[115] In vadakkan pattukal ballads, at least a few women warriors continued to practice and achieved a high degree of expertise.[115] Sports like Kambala, Jallikattu, Kabaddi, Vallam Kali, Lambs and Tigers are parts of Dravidian culture. Traditional weapons[edit] Weapons used in Kalaripayattu.

Valari
Valari
(throwing stick) Maduvu
Maduvu
(deer horns) Surul Vaal (curling blade) Vaal (sword) + Ketayam (shield) Itti or Vel
Vel
(spear) Savuku (whip) Various types of stick Kattari (fist blade) Veecharuval (battle Machete) Silambam
Silambam
(long bamboo staff) Kuttu Katai (spiked knuckleduster) Katti (dagger/knife) Vil (bow) Tantayutam (mace) Soolam (trident) Theekutchi (flaming baton) Yeratthai Mulangkol (dual stick) Yeretthai Vaal (dual sword)

Ethnic groups[edit] The largest-Dravidian ethnic groups are the Telugus
Telugus
from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the Tamils
Tamils
from Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore, the Kannadigas
Kannadigas
from Karnataka, the Malayalis
Malayalis
from Kerala, and the Tulu people
Tulu people
from Karnataka. Certain communities of Marathis
Marathis
from Maharashtra
Maharashtra
are considered as Scytho-Dravidians.[116][117] List of Dravidian people
Dravidian people
based on population[edit]

Name Countries with significant populations Population Notes

Telugus  India  Malaysia  Singapore  Mauritius 85.1 million[118] They belong to the central Dravidian subgroup. Telugus
Telugus
are native to Andhra Pradesh, Telangana
Telangana
and Puducherry.

Tamils  India  Malaysia  Singapore  Sri Lanka  Mauritius 75 million[119] They belong to the south-Dravidian linguistic subgroup. Tamils
Tamils
are native to Tamil Nadu, Puducherry
Puducherry
and Northern-eastern Sri Lanka, but are also found parts of Kerala, Karnataka
Karnataka
and Andhra Pradesh, although they are also widespread throughout in many countries like South Africa, Singapore
Singapore
and Malaysia[120].

Kannadigas  India 37.9 million[121] Kannadigas
Kannadigas
belong to the south-Dravidian subgroup. Kannadigas
Kannadigas
are native to Karnataka
Karnataka
in India
India
but considerable population is also found in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana
Telangana
and Kerala.

Malayalis  UAE  India  Qatar  Bahrain  Kuwait  Saudi Arabia  Oman

32.2 million[121] Malayalis
Malayalis
belong to the south-Dravidian linguistic subgroup, and are native to Kerala
Kerala
and Lakshadweep, but are also found in Puducherry
Puducherry
and parts of Tamil Nadu. They are also found in large numbers in Middle East countries as migrant workers.

Brahuis  Pakistan  Afghanistan 2.5 million Brahuis belong to the north-Dravidian subgroup. The majority are found in Balochistan, Pakistan, with smaller numbers in Southwestern Afghanistan.

Tuluvas  India 2 million (approx.) They belong to the south Dravidian subgroup, and are found in coastal Karnataka
Karnataka
in India.

Gondis  India 1.3 million (approx.) Gondi belong to the central Dravidian subgroup. They are spread over the states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar
Bihar
and Odisha.

See also[edit]

Dravidian languages Dravidian University (dedicated to research and learning of Dravidian languages)

Notes[edit]

^ Basu et al. (2016): "The absence of significant resemblance with any of the neighboring populations is indicative of the ASI and the AAA being early settlers in India, possibly arriving on the “southern exit” wave out of Africa. Differentiation between the ASI and the AAA possibly took place after their arrival in India."[33] ^ a b c Lockard: "The encounters that resulted from Aryan migration brought together several very different peoples and cultures, reconfiguring Indian society. Over many centuries a fusion of Aryan and Dravidian occurred, a complex process that historians have labeled the Indo-Aryan synthesis."[57] Lockard: " Hinduism
Hinduism
can be seen historically as a synthesis of Aryan beliefs with Harappan and other Dravidian traditions that developed over many centuries."[58] ^ Derenko: "The spread of these new technologies has been associated with the dispersal of Dravidian and Indo-European languages in southern Asia. It is hypothesized that the proto-Elamo-Dravidian language, most likely originated in the Elam
Elam
province in southwestern Iran, spread eastwards with the movement of farmers to the Indus Valley and the Indian sub-continent."[73]

Derenko refers to: * Renfrew (1987), Archaeology and Language: The Puzzle of Indo-European Origins * Renfrew (1996), Language families
Language families
and the spread of farming. In: Harris DR, editor, The origins and spread of Agriculture and Pastoralism in Eurasia, pp. 70–92 * Cavalli-Sforza, Menozzi, Piazza (1994), The History and Geography of Human Genes.

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

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