Maritime contacts Sangam period Tamilakam Cheras Ays Ezhil Malai Confluence of religions Venad - Kingdom of Quilon Calicut Kolattunadu Cochin Minor principalities Portuguese period Dutch period Rise of Travancore
Other topics Geography
Economy Architecture Forts
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SANGAM PERIOD (Tamil : சங்ககாலம், Sangakālam ,
* 1 History * 2 Literary sources
* 3 Culture
* 3.1 Religion * 3.2 Calendar * 3.3 Festivals * 3.4 Arts
* 4 People * 5 See also
* 6 References
* 6.1 Notes * 6.2 Bibliography
History of Tamil Nadu
According to Tamil legends, there were three Sangam periods, namely
Head Sangam , Middle Sangam and Last Sangam period. Historians use the
Main articles: Sources of ancient Tamil history and Sangam literature
There is a wealth of sources detailing the history, socio-political environment and cultural practices of ancient Tamilakam, including volumes of literature and epigraphy.
Tamilakam's history is split into three periods; prehistoric, classical (see Sangam period) and medieval. A vast array of literary, epigraphical and inscribed sources from around the world provide insight into the socio-political and cultural occurrences in the Tamil nation. The ancient Tamil literature consists of the great grammatical work Tolkappiyam, the ten anthologies Patthupattu, the eight anthologies Ettuttogai, the eighteen minor works Pathinenkeelkanaku and the five great epics, Silappadikaram, Manimegalai, Sivaga-Cindamani, Valayapathi and Kundalakesi.
Economy of ancient Tamil country , Agriculture
in ancient Tamil country , and
Industry in ancient Tamil country
Main article: Ancient Tamil religion
The religion of the ancient
Tamils closely follow roots of nature
worship and some elements of it can also be found in Tamil Shaiva
Siddhanta traditions. In the ancient
The most popular deity was
The ancient Tamil calendar was based on the sidereal year similar to the ancient Hindu solar calendar, except that months were from solar calculations, and originally there was no 60-year cycle as seen in Sanskrit calendar. The year was made up of twelve months and every two months constituted a season. With the popularity of Mazhai vizhavu, traditionally commencement of Tamil year was clubbed on April 14, deviating from the astronomical date of vadavazhi vizhavu.
* PONGAL,பொங்கல் the festival of harvest and spring,
thanking Lord INDIRAN and Lord EL (the sun), comes on January 14/15
* PERUVAENIL KADAVIZHA, the festival for wishing quick and easy
passage of the mid-summer months, on the day when the Sun or El stands
directly above the head at noon (the start of Agni Natchaththiram) at
the southern tip of ancient Tamil land. This day comes on April 14/15
* MAZHAI VIZHAVU, aka INDHIRA VIZHA, the festival for want of rain,
celebrated for one full month starting from the full moon in Ootrai
(later name-Cittirai) சித்திரை and completed on the
full moon in Puyaazhi (Vaikaasi) (which coincides with Buddhapurnima
). It is epitomised in the epic Cilapatikaram in detail.
* PUYAAZHI(VAIKAASI) VISAAGAM and THAI POOSAM,
தைப்பூசம் the festivals of Tamil God 's birth and
accession to the THIRUPPARANKUNDRAM KOODAL Academy, coming on the day
before the full moons of Puyaazhi and Thai respectively.
* SOORNAVAI VIZHA, the slaying of legendary Kadamba
Ancient Tamil music
Musicians, stage artists and performers entertained the kings, the nobility, the rich and the general population. Groups of performers included:
* Thudian, players of the thuda, a small percussion instrument * Paraiyan, who beat maylam(drums) and performed kooththu, a stage drama in dance form, as well as proclaiming the king's announcements * Muzhavan, who blew into a muzhavu, a wind instrument, for the army indicating the start and end of the day and battlefield victories. They also performed in kooththu alongside other artists . * Kadamban who beat a large bass-like drum, the kadamparai, and blew a long bamboo, kuzhal, the cerioothuthi (similar to the present naagasuram). * PaaNan, who sang songs in all pann tunes (tunes that are specific for each landscape) and were masters of the yaazh, a stringed instrument with a wide frequency range.
Together with the poets (pulavar) and the academic scholars (saandror), these people of talent appeared to originate from all walks of life, irrespective of their native profession.
The people were divided into five different clans ("kudes") based on their profession. They were;
* Mallars- the farmers. * Malavars- the hill people who gather hill products, and the traders. * Nagars- people in charge of border security, who guarded the city walls and distant fortresses. * Kadambars- people who thrive on forests. * Thiraiyars- the seafarers.
All the five kudis constituted a typical settlement, which was called
an "uru". Later each clan spread across the land, formed individual
settlements of their own and concentrated into towns, cities and
countries. Thus the Mallars settled in
* Poruppas (the soldiers), Verpans (the leaders of the tribe or
weapon-ists), Silambans (the masters of martial arts or the arts of
fighting), Kuravar (the hunters and the gatherers, the people of
foothills) and Kanavars (the people of the mountainous forests) in
* Kurumporai Nadan-kizhaththis (the landlords of the small towns
amidst the forests in the valleys), Thonral-manaivi (the ministers and
other noble couples), Idaiyars (the milkmaids and their families),
Aiyars (the cattle-rearers) in Mullai.
* Mallar or Pallar (the farmers and warriors), Vendans (Chera, Chola
Pandya kings were called as "Vendans"), Urans (small landlords),
Magizhnans (successful small scale farmers), Uzhavars (the farm
workers), Kadaiyars (the merchants) in Marutham.
* Saerppans (the seafood vendors and traders), Pulampans (the
vegetarians who thrive on coconut and palm products), Parathars or
Paravas (people who lived near the seas-the rulers, sea warriors,
merchants and the pirates), Nulaiyars (the wealthy people who both do
fishing and grow palm farms) and Alavars (the salt cultivators) in
* Palai symbolises the dry arid lands and scorching deserts of Tamil
country where nothing except for the hardy and war-like perseverant
tribes native to those lands can survive. It is also the only land
among all five lands of the
Political map of South India, 210 B.C.E.
* ^ Wilson, A.Jeyaratnam. "Sri Lankan Tamil Nationalism: Its
Origins and Development in 19th and 20th Centuries". "They had earlier
felt secure in the concept of the Tamilakam, a vast area of
"Tamilness" from the south of Dekhan in India to the north of Sri
Lanka...". Google. Retrieved 2012-04-28.
* ^ "Early Interactions Between South and Southeast Asia:
Reflections on Cross Cultural exchange". "originally imported from
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