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385. Kāpri-gudda and Kāpri-deva

The heritage land of Tulunadu has preserved many vestiges of ancient cults in the form of Spirit worships. However, during the course of...

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

391. ‘Palke’ in Tulu Place Names


Toponymy, i.e. the study of place names world-wide, contains generic terms in most of the place names.  They describe invariably geographical features, as a suffix.   Elsewhere we have analysed some Tulu generic terms, such as aal/la, ba/va/ya, bar, war, wal, kuppe, kar, kuda, kal, kod/kodu/godu, mancha etc. in our earlier Posts.  ‘Palke’ is another generic term which can be added to this list.  Some of the Tulu Place Names cited below, having ‘palke’ as a suffix, may explain the geographical significance.  

Palla, Palike>Palke
It means:
1.       Dead woods and other waste substances, drained to sea through rivers, scattered by action of sea currents and washed ashore by waves. 
’palke booruni’ is a sign of subsiding of sea from roughness (Read our Post: 389 of 16th September).  It is a marine incident witnessed in summer monsoon after a stormy weather with rough sea.
2.       A valley, slope, or low lying area between mountains or hills.
3.       A place where a dead body is placed on floor.
4.       A mat (made of leaves or grass)
5.       A dead body (= ಪುಣ) itself.  One must have heard the swearing words in Tulu when one keeps things for himself beyond ones needs or demands for more):  Daane undu ninna palkeda adik paaderena (ದಾನೆ ಉ0ದು ನಿನ್ನ ಪಲ್ಕೆದಡಿಕ್ ಪಾಡೆರೆನ)It is a custom to burn in the pyre and/or throw away things connected to the departed soul. 

6.       Base word for Palike is ‘pal or palla’ in Tulu, Kannada and other South Indian languages.  ‘Palla’ means Pit, Hole, Depth, Low ground or spot, shallow stream, pond, ditch, hollow, etc.   ‘Palike’ has the meaning of: valley, declivity, pond and ditch    (See Dravidian Etymological Dictionary).   In Toda language also ‘pal’ means ‘valley’.  In Barakur-Kannada Palli, Balli or Pali means a long rice field. Pallamu in Telugu means:  pit, low ground, dale, wet land and wet crop.
In Southern States (Kerala and Tamil Nadu) ‘palike’ is called as ‘chakara’.  A source (now seen by the writer) tells: “A Chakara is a peculiar marine phenomenon in which a large number of fish and prawns throng together during a particular season as a result of mud bank formation.  It is derived from (Sanskrit word) Chakra (Disc) which has similar meaning   of ‘palke’ in Tulu”. 
It is seen that some stretches of a river are deep because of eddy currents.  Such area is called Chakra Teertha. Similarly, sea currents create declivity near shore-line, which also results in sand-banks.

Tulu Place Names
Native readers may comprehend meanings of some place names given below.  These are commonly found in Tulu Nadu (now Dakshina Kannada and Udupi Districts).   

Manjara palke:  The village is in Karkala Taluk, Udupi. The place is also known as ‘Kedinje’ (kedu+inje = a place with many ponds).
Aremajaalu palke:  It is in Mangaluru.  We think that it is half-terraced (ಅರೆಮಜಲು/ಅರೆಮಜಾಲು) area with ‘palke’ below.
Barry palke:   It is a hamlet in Mangaluru (See our Post: 390 – Valencia in Mangaluru).  This place is popularly known as ‘Gorigudda (Hill of burial)’ in local tongue even today.
Kocharla Palke:  It means: ‘a valley of Kochar Tribes’.  It is a place name of a hamlet in Ajekar, Belthangadi Taluk, Dakshina Kannada) (See Post: 272/04.06.2011 - Kochar Tribes).
Chittal palke:  The writer has found a reference to this hamlet in ‘Tulu Nada Garodigala Samskritka Adhyayana, 1990’, a cultural study of Garodi Shrines vis-a-vis Folklores related thereto, penned by Bannanje Babu Amin and Mohan Kotian (Ref. Page-314: Thingale Garodi in Karkala Taluk).   We think that Chitteripalke (Chita+Eri) also refers to Chitalpalke (Chita+al+palke), i.e. a locality ear-marked for crematorium or burial as is ‘adka’ (= a barren place on the periphery/edge/boundary of a village, i.e. a marginal place in Tulu language).

Other Sub-villages with ‘Palke‘
We have picked up following places from ‘Revenue Villages, Hamlets and Towns of Udupi and Dakshina Kannada’:
Karkal:  Majal palke, Dadal/Dodal Palke
Dakshina Kannada: Nejaarpalke, Tailapake (Taluk ?)
Bantwal: Palike, Mada palke, Kuntala palke, Shanti palke, Raja palke, Uppara palke, Achari palke, Gadi palke.
Belthangadi: Bejada palke.  Dappada palke, Nelya palke, Kontu palke, Kanthavara palke,
Mangalore:   Dompada palke, Murkolthu palke, Muchchara palke.   

‘Palke’ in other Indian State
We have reason to believe that other Indian states must have place names with Pal or Palke too.  We shall feel thankful if readers bring such place names to our notice.

Conclusion
It is assumed that ‘palke’ sub-villages are undeveloped or under-developed localities in earlier days. Landscape of land is being changed or destroyed by human actions in the name of development, which may lead to change in place name.  As an example, we may cite ‘Barry palke or Gorigudda’ in Mangaluru, which is now an elite urban place with modern buildings.  Such changed topography may also lead to man-made disasters.  So the past and present topography of a village may not be the same.
We may be able to add to above-mentioned list if readers inform such place names, which they know.  We value very much these feed-backs from them.  Thus, we will be able to substantiate our statements.

References
1.       Tulu Lexicon (page:1962)
2.       Dravidian Etymological Dictionary, Entry No .4016, page 357 under Pallam).

- Hosabettu Vishwanath, Pune

Camp: Udyavara, Udupi; 14th October, 2017 

Saturday, September 30, 2017

390. Valencia in Mangaluru

One of the localities in Kankanādi area in the southern part of Mangaluru city (formerly: Mangalore) is known as Valencia. Very few of our readers may be aware of the history relating to how the place name was derived.
In fact, the Valencia happens to be   the name of a famous metropolitan city located in the east coast of Spain in Europe.

A website of the Valencia Church of  Mangaluru throws light on the history of this place and the origin of the interesting place name. The hilly area surrounded by dense vegetation was also known as Beary-palke or Gorigudda. The old name  Gorigudda reveals that   it was used for burial of the dead bodies.

In the beginning of the 20th century, there was no church for the villagers of Kankanādi and Jeppu region. People had to depend on   Milagres   or Rosario churches for their religious needs. The Madras Government of the period sanctioned 5.73 Acres of land in an area used for burial ground in Beary - palke   or Gorigudda   in the Kankanādi village. Accordingly, the Muncipal  council  handed over the  land to Bishop of  Mangaluru.  Initially, Rosario cathedral erected boundary walls around the burial ground and later the Milagres parish authorities renovated the cemetery in the year 1923 followed by erection of a wooden cross in the premises by the  Rosario administration in the year 1928.

Later in the year 1935, Bishop  V.R.  Fernandes approved the proposal for building a church in  the  Beary palke   cemetery plot. He decreed that the new church be named in honour of St. Vincent Ferrar, a European Saint, who hailed from the city of Valencia in Spain. The foundation of the church was laid on September 24, 1942 and the construction was completed and religious ceremonies were begun since January 1944.

The rest is part of the history. Along with growth of the Mangaluru city, the name of the church spread to the entire surrounding area which is now  known as Valencia. Along with Valencia the old name Gorigudda also survives even to date.

Reference

http://www.valenciachurch.org/

Saturday, September 16, 2017

389. ‘Palke booruni’ – a sign of sea subsiding from roughness


Nature plays an important role in traditional occupations or professions of a region.  As we observe, ‘geographical niches’ have conditioned everyday life of inhabitants therein from pre-historic ages.  We observe such conditioning of people living on coastlines too.
Recently, there was a news-item in Kannada vernacular newspaper (Udayavani, 21st July, 2017).  It reported sighting of ‘kadaluda madi’ (wastes of sea in form of woody substances), washed ashore at Malpe beach.  This is a phenomenon observed during July-August.    This is a natural process how the sea cleans itself by throwing out the ‘madi’ to shoreline.  This coincides with the process of calming of the sea after a stormy weather.

Palke booruni
Returning of calmness to sea after the stormy summer monsoon (May end to July-August) is called ‘Palke booruni’ In Tulu.  Ferocious tidal waves subside, yielding place to normal waves.  This is a condition when sea water is placid and calm.  Waves are not so threatening to fisher-folk for venturing into sea by boats.
Heavy rain water washes down all kinds of tid bits  of wood, logs and leaves, fruits and seeds like pallekkayi and akrot,( apricot: with heart-shaped nut with brown-yellow hard outer-cover) from forest areas to rivers through ‘pallas’ (water collected naturally at low lying areas), canals and streams.  These pieces of forest waste are drained into sea when these rivers debauch into sea near the  sea-river mouth  (estuary) known as  aluve or alivey in Tulu.

Factors of Palke
Calmness of sea water occurs for various reasons.  The factors are:
1.Action of under-currents of sea makes erosion at bank and creates ‘barakane’ (sand-walls) at the bank. Normally a shore-parallel depression develops in the sea bed,  quite close to the shore.  This is called a fault in geological parlance or gundi-barakane booruni in Tulu parlance.
These pits or ponds are not found in entire stretch of coastline.  At some place sea bed is flat near shore.This can be understood by the fact that ‘palke booruni’ is not uniform in the entire stretch of shoreline though ‘madi’ is scattered on beachline.

2.In some coastal villages, water-bodies (i.e. canals, streams and rivers) are running parallel to sea coastline.  As observed by the writer during his native high school days, the chance of occurrences of ‘palke booruni’ is more at this stretch than at other places.  In other areas sea is rough at the same time. He observed such palke occurrence in Chitrapur area, i.e. the stretch of coast between Hosabettu and Baikampadi.  Storm water drainage used to flow through  a ‘Bailare’ (a flood zone) and drained to Gurupura River near Kulur-Panambur before implementation of the Projects of Fertilizer Plant and New Mangalore Harbour at Panambur.  This natural canal was bye-passed to sea near Baikampadi thereafter (Read our Post: Debacle of a place called Bailare’).

Reminiscences
Formative years of the writer are spent in a coastal village.  He used to play a game of ‘pallekkayi’, collected from the sea-shore.  One more memory connected with sea is collecting of small coins while there are ‘barakanes’.  Coins, which are thrown into sea as offering on certain religious rituals, surface on such sand-wall.  While returning from school, we children used to take beach route to home. I noticed in later life pallekkayi and akrot are included in ‘Bālaguti’ along with other roots and fruits/seeds like Badām (almond).

Spawning of fish
Monsoon is fish-spawning time.   Fish thrive in such deeper ponds, filled with woody substances.  Hence ‘palke booruni’ is harbinger of fishing season.

Cast-net (Beesana) Fishing
Cast-net fishing is common during this period as sea waves are sober at ‘palke booruni’ places.  So country boats venture into sea to catch fish by throwing round nets (beesanigeda bale).   Boats from neighbouring villages too throng to this stretch of calm sea.  These boats are pushed through shallow shore waters.  Common catch is ‘etti’ (prawns), kuruchi, a thorny fish and nangu, a flat fish.
At times, kai-ramponi type of fishing is also carried on (a smaller version ramponi, which is now extinct).   The catch is called as ‘kare meenu’, which is a common name for group of fish thriving near shore (= kare).

Rituals
On full-moon day of August (Shravan Pournami), fisher-folk worship the sea and throw coconuts to the sea, praying the Sea God to bestow them with bountiful catch of fish.  This ritual is called ‘Samudra Pooje or Poojan’.  Fishing season starts from this day.
This day of ritual is known by many names as Nārikela or Nālikera Pournami (i.e. Coconut Day or Nāriel Pournima in Hindi-speaking Belt), and Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi.  This day sisters tie sacred threads to wrist of their brothers or brotherly friends. This sacred knot of sisterly-brotherly love is believed to protect their brothers. They do ‘arati’ (waving of sacred light) to their brothers,   apply vermilion ‘Tilak’ on their foreheadsand feed them with sweetmeats.   This is a symbolic ritual when brothers vow to protect their sisters.  They give presents to their sisters.

Conclusion
As I observe, ‘palke or palike’ is nothing but pieces of woody substances drained to sea through rivers.  So ‘palke’ is same as ‘madi’.  While ‘madi’ has a narrow meaning ‘palke’ has a wider connotation as is explained in foregoing paragraphs.  Another meaning of palke(palike) is ‘a valley, slope or low lying area on mountainous or hilly area’.  Depth on sea-shore, created by slippage action as aforesaid, can be compared to the other meaning of  palke(palike).
Action of Nature is instrumental in undisturbed fish spawning, thereby balancing the fish production against the rigorous fish harvesting of previous year.  This ensures a steady flow of catch to fishermen. Intensive or excessive fishing is detrimental to fisher-folk as well as the Nation.

-Hosabettu Vishwanath, Pune

September 15, 2017

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

388. Kundar bari- lineage

Kundar d pronounced as in the) is one of the ‘bari’ genetic lineages existing in Tulunadu since times immemorial. The surname Kundar or Kundaran was popularized several decades ago by an Indian cricketer Budhi Kundaran who originally hailed from a Mogaveera (Marakala) family of Udupi region of coastal Tulunadu. Incidentally, the term “Kundaran” in Old Tulu and Old Kannada meant a person from Kundar tribe. The bari lineage surname also exist among Bunts, in the form of “Kunda” or “Kundade”, (Indira Hegde, 2009) though it might be less common or has been eventually obliterated in other Tulu communities.

Kundra
However it is interesting to note that bari lineage Kundar (or its variants) is not just exclusive to Tulunadu or coastal Karnataka. A popular bollywood actress hailing from Tulunadu, Shilpa Shetty is married to a Rajastani gentleman known as Raj Kundra. The surname “Kundra” in his name apparently is a  regional variant of the surname “Kundar”.

Ancient Kunda tribe
In the past posts, I have explained that our surnames are mostly derived from our or genetic lineages, known regionally as bari (bali or gotra ). And that the bari or lineage system in India existed before the invention and adoption of castes and communities that disunited and separated even peoples of   same lineage!  In other words, the people eventually absorbed into different communities (and also different  languages and religions) have faithfully  retained their (known) original genetic tags as surnames, wherever possible.
Thus the pan Indian presence of Kunda, Kundar, Kundra etc related surnames lead us to deduct that there existed an ancient tribe, widespread in ancient India, by the name of Kunda or Kundar. But, how is it possible to arrive at such a deduction?

Kunda villages in India
Like most of the ancient tribes the Kunda tribes have left a large number of villages (and hamlets) named after them. The data gathered by the census of India gives us a glimpse of the spread of ethnonyms of village names in different parts of  India. The census data for 2011 reveals that there are some 897 villages spread in different States of India carrying the tags of the assimilated ancient tribe of Kunda. (The number does not include hamlets which have not been considered in the census). The State-wise distribution of Kunda village names are as follows: Andhra Pradesh (27), Arunachala Pradesh (8), Assam (17), Bihar (27), Chattisgarh (22), Gujarat (39), Haryana (4), Himachal Pradesh (27), Jammu & Kashmir (6), Jharkhand (64), Karnataka (47), Kerala(1),, Madhya Pradesh (139), Maharashtra(46), Orissa (96),Punjab(4), Rajasthan (100), Tamilnadu (17), Uttar Pradesh (135), Uttara Khand (34), and West Bengal (37).
Some of the ethnonym styles of the Kunda villages in above regions are like these:
Kunduru, Kundar, Kundol, Kundchar, Kundulia, Kundrol, Kundru,Kundi, Kunda, Kund, Kundhal, Kundala, Kundal, Kundawada, Kundeli, Kundia, Kundari, Kundum, Kundral, Kundahalli, Kundli, Kundo, Kundpani, Kundiya, Kundgol, Kundla, Kunduni, Kundarsi, Kundada, Kundil, Kunding, Kundan, Kundaram, Kundrudi,  Kundanpalle,…Kundapur... etc.

Gold : Prospecting and Smelting
The expansive spread of the Kunda tribes as evident from the ethnonyms prevailing  in different States of India suggests their proliferation all over the land in ancient days.

And what could have been the nature of work profession engaged by these tribes?  The ancient   term “kunda” refers to (1) gold and  to (2) smelting.  The metal gold being one of the fond objects of possession as well as transaction throughout the history, it appears that these tribes were involved in the discovery and smelting of the metal gold.  Probably, a large number of people in ancient India were interested in and made themselves proficient in discovering and gathering native gold nuggets from the lodes of gold ores. Placer deposits of gold possibly enticed these prospectors to unravel more varieties of small to substantially large gold occurrences and deposits. The art of smelting gold rich ores was also developed in the due course. Subsequently the art of panning for gold particles in flowing streams and rivers could also have been associated with these tribes. After gold, the metal copper also attracted people because of its utility in vessel and weapon making. Thus art of smelting the copper rich ores was also developed.

A statistical relationship (correlation) between the existence of number of Kunda villages to gold and copper ore deposit bearing regions in India can be noticed if you review the list of Kunda villages cited above.

Kunda- kundavuni
An interesting word retained in Tulu language apparently throws light on the   ancient art of smelting for metals like gold copper and iron. The usage in Tulu is the verb form of the word kunda: The Tulu term “kundavuni” ( d pronounced as in the) refers to boiling a liquid till it solidifies. The same word also existed in Kannada as we find the sweetmeat kunda popular in Belgaum region. The kunda  in Belgaum is a sweetened, boiled and desiccated form of milk solids.Delicate works the gold artisans like fixing precious stones on gold ornaments is called 'kundana'.  
 The artisans are called as 'kundanagāra'. The word kundu in Kannada also means to decrease and related to the process of evaporation and desiccation as also found in the prevailing  Tulu word kundavuni.

Reference

Indira Hegde, Dr. (2009) Bantaru-Ondu Samajo Sanskritika Adhyayana. (in Kannada). Revised edition,  Kannada Pustaka Pradhikara  Bengaluru-560002, p. xviii+480.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

PLAGIARISM

This note is only for plagiarists !
We find that some persons have developed the ugly habit of "copying and pasting" posts originally published in this blog, as if their own contributions, without any  acknowledgment of the original source. In our opinion this amounts to height of indecency if not insult to the original contributors. We believe that the knowledge  is an universal property and every one is entitled to seek knowledge. We opine that there is no possible harm in reproducing any good write-ups under creative commons in the interest of dissemination of knowledge, provided that some due respect is given to the original contributor by simply acknowledging the actual source  in the de facto reproduced article.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

387. Dr. B Vasantha Shetty and the Barakuru


Recently the Karnataka Tulu Sahitya Academy, Mangaluru, has published an important thesis on the history of Tulunadu compiled by (1984)  Late Dr. B. Vasantha Shetty (1950-1997) entitled “ Barakuru: A Metropolitan city of antiquity-its history and culture.”

Dr. B. Vasantha Shetty
Dr. B. Vasantha Shetty was the Vice Principal and the Head of the Department of History and Archeology at St Marys Syrian College, Brahmavara, Udupi at the time of compiling and submitting the thesis (1984) under the guidance of Prof. Dr A.Y. Narasimha Murthy, Prof & Head, Department of Postgraduate studies and research in Ancient History and Archeology, University of Mysore at Mysore. It is sad to note that the promising historian Dr. Vasantha Shetty expired (1997) in his young age. With his rather premature death, the field of Tulu studies has lost an important researcher.

Barakanuru
Vasantha Shetty reports that the earliest documented form of name as found in the inscription (dated ca  11th Century CE) located in the Hosala Durga /Mahalakshmi temple for the town was Barakanuru. In support of this conclusion he cites two epigraphs located in areas outside the district,  dated 1122 and 1135 CE relating to the period of Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana, which also refer  to this place as  Barakanuru. Arab historian Rashi-ud-Din in his compiled work (1310) referred to this port as Fakanur, which appears to be a corrupt form of Barakanuru.  Near Barakuru there is deep pit in the river known as Barakana-gundi (or Barakana-baligundi).

Bāraha kanyāpura
The application of the name Bāraha kanyāpura  for the place appears around 1155 CE as found in an inscription of the period during the reign of Alupa King Kavi Alupendra. The Sanskritized place name Bāraha kanyāpura apparently has been associated with the legends of Bhutala Pandya. The legendary Bhutala Pandya is said to have married 12 Jaina maidens; the incident appear to have modified the name of the city to Bāraha kanyāpura.
 The data presented by Vasantha Shetty in the book leads us to infer that the legend of Bhutala Pandya was created by certain Alupa Kings with the help of royal poets of the period. However, the legends apparently do not have the support of corroborative historical evidences. Though some of the royal records and Alupa inscriptions of ca 1254-1261 CE,  period express the place name  as Bāraha kanyāpura, the foreign historians descriptions (like Fakanur or Bacanur) as well as the coins minted during the period appear to have continued to mention the place as  Barakanura gadhyana. Similarly,  contemporaries of Alupas like  the Ballala rulers who occupied Barakuru did not accepted the use of  the name of Baraha Kanyapura suggesting that the legends of Bhutala Pandya were not appealing to other rulers of the period.

Barakuru
In spite of entry of Baraha Kanyapura in contemporary official Alupa records, many common people as well as other rulers stuck to the old name of Barakanur. An inscription of Virapandyadeva-Alupendradeva dated 1257 mentioned the town “Bakur” probably due to engravers confusion or mistake. Later inscriptions of the same ruler mentions the name of the capital as Baraha-Kanyapura. However, Hoysala ruler Ballala III who married Chikkayi Tayi of Alupa lineage and  shared authority over the Alupa capital issued inscriptions in 1334 CE  carried the place name as Barakuru. Inscriptions issued by Chikkayi Tayi  in 1334 CE also carried the name of Barakuru. Other Alupa rulers like Kulashekaradeva continued the name of Baraha Kanyapura in his inscriptions of 1339 and 1345 CE.
Further the capital was acquired by Vijayanagara rulers who also preferentially adopted the name of Barakuru only. Similarly further rulers like Nayakas of Keladi also continued with the name of Barakuru, derived from the old name of Barakanuru.
  Alupas in Barakuru
Vasantha Shetty reports that the first record of Alupa ruling in Barakuru dates back to 1139 CE (Saka 1062), in the inscription attributed to Kavi Alupendra and found at Panchalingeshwara  temple, Kotekeri, Barakuru.  The said inscription mentions Tolahas of Suralu. Also mentioned in the record is the Gadyana, the Alupa coin in vogue in that period.    The  Barakuru became the capital city of Alupas with effect from the year 1155 CE during the reign of  King Kavi  Alupendra, who ruled from the  palace of Bāraha-kanyāpura, as recorded in another inscription in the area. Kavi Alupendras queen was known as Pandya-Mahādevi.

Hoysalas in Barakuru
One of the surprising historical data we find as evident in an undated inscription of Kotekeri, Barakur is regarding the joint rule of Vira Jagadevarasa (of Hoysala/Santara descent)  and Pattamāhadevi (and her son Pandya-Devarasa of  Alupa descent) in Barakuru.
During the reign of Alupa ruler Soyideva, Hoysala King Ballala III married Alupa princess Chikkayi Tāyi, and exercised  Hoysala authority over the Barakuru. An inscription dated 1336 CE at Mudukeri, Barakuru suggests that Chikkayi Tāyi, Senior queen of Vira Ballala Devarasa ruled over Barakuru at that time.

Vijayanagara rule
The Vijayanagara Kings based in Hampi deputed Governors to rule the Barakuru province. Inscriptions of the period  found at Barakuru, represent the reign of Vijayanagara Kings from Bukka I and there on wards.

Reference

Vasantha Shetty, B, Dr (2006). Barakuru: A Metropolitan city of antiquity its history and culture. (Thesis  submitted for doctoral degree in 1984).  Published by Karnataka Tulu Sahitya Academy, Tulu Bhavana, Urva Stores, Mangaluru-575006  p.xvi+ 296. (Price:  Rs.800.)

Thursday, July 20, 2017

386 . ‘Amba pāđuni’ – A catchword of action in Tulu

Folkways!  It denotes the ways of living, thinking and acting in a human group, built up without conscious design but serving as compelling guides of conduct.  So, it is descriptive of a unique characteristic of a social group.

Aamba/Ambe Paaduni
When I came across the term mentioned in the introductory para, I remembered the phrase ‘Amba/Ambe Pāđuni’(ಅಂಬ/ಅಂಬೆ ಪಾಡುನಿ) in Tulu.  Even a half century or so after its near extinction, the Ramponi and its high-spirited cry of action ‘Amba/Ambe’ in Ambe Pāđuni’ has been haunting my mind. It is more so because of the inscrutable sound of concord for moving and lowering the Ramponi  boat, called Pađavu' (ಪಡಾವು), to sea and pulling it up from sea.
A ‘kontala (ಕೊಂತಲ = small boat) is sent to the sea, manned by two or three skilled and experienced  persons, with keen eyes, to look out for shoals of fish, moving towards break-water area.  On discovering the shoals, the headman signals to men waiting on shore, gesturing the length and breadth of shoals and showing the direction for covering the nets.  Normally, it is a secret signal so as not to be understood by rival Ramponi’s kontala.  The call of ‘amba’ stirs the members resting in shades of groves on the shore. Commotion and enthusiasm ensue on the discovery.  Ethically, as an unwritten law of the community, rival ramponi is not allowed to snatch these shoals detected by the first one but sometimes small skirmishes arise due to misunderstanding.

History of Ramponi
The coastal fishing method of ‘Ramponi’ style was more powerful, vigorous and popular. It was giving livelihood to all, besides the community people. It was successful up to the last leg of 20th Century.  It is documented that this method of catching fish was introduced in the first decade of 20th Century in Goa by Ramponi, a Portuguese missionary and hence the name ‘Ramponi’ for this fishing method. It may be true that such type of catching shoals of fish was originated in Goa but we deduce that the random fishing (without waiting for shoals of fish) must have been there even earlier in western coastal belt. We see that small version, named ‘Kairamponi’, is still extant.
The introduction of mechanized boats for fishing proved a death-knell for traditional shoreline fishing.  This is mainly because of fall in shoals of fish coming shore-ward because of disturbance.
‘Ramponi Fund’ is an organization, created on unique co-operative principle (when no co-operative laws were in place then). It is for coastal fishing and managing its moneys for the benefit of its members, including Hamgamies (temporary workers without contributing to stock of the Fund).
We do not wish to burden the article with descriptive sketch as our purpose is to explain the meaning of ‘amba or ambe paaduni’.  How the system works can be visualized by reading the Book: ಮೊಗವೀರ ಸಮಾಜ – ಒಂದು ಅಧ್ಯಯನ (Mogaveera Community – A Study)’.  It is also available on Internet, both in Kannada and English.

Etymology
The phrase is not known outside the world of fisherfolk and the people connected with them.  This vocabulary of Tulu language is now included in the Tulu Lexicon; thanks to the Compilers!  But we differ with the Lexicon as it generalized the meaning whereas it has a specific connotation.  Let us explore the distinctive description.

Amba paaduni = Rowers’ song (TL Vol.1, pg. 27)
Amba/Ambe/Ambo = Bellowing, lowing, a cry, noise, cry of a cow.  In children’s vocabulary, ‘amba’ means cow.
Amba also means:  Divine Mother like Goddess Bhavani or Mahalakshmi.
Ambe Kaar Paaduni (Tulu Lexicon, page 31) & Ambgaalikku, Ambalikku Ambegalisu (Kannada) = Child’s crawl on hands and knees.  Eg. ಆನೆ ಮರಿಯವೊಲಂಬೆಗಲಿಸಿ ನಡೆದ ಕೃಷ್ಣಮ್ (Aane mariyavolambegalasi nadeda  Krishnam = Krishna crawled (awkwardly) like a child-elephant).
English equivalent to ‘Amba Pāduni:
Yo-heave-ho = It is a chant shouted by sailors to maintain a steady rhythm when hauling something together.  So, it is a cry in rhythm formerly used by sailors while pulling or lifting together.

Clearly, rhythmic   songs of rowers and sailors are different from Amba-yali utterances in ‘Amba Pāduni’.  These are exhorting utterances for pushing, pulling, raising or lifting of such big boats loaded with nets for lowering it to sea.  It is a speech for action by a skilled leader, showing high spirits. To avoid striking of padāvu (resting on logs of wood called  ’ dade/tade) to sandy ground, he moves around up and down to goad members to start and stop as and when necessary. The boisterous sound is full oflife, vitality or high spirits.
The bending, lifting or raising and pushing, using human body is like a child’s awkward crawl, measuring up in unison to the catchword utterances. The 'Amba' call is met with 'Hi Josh, Hi Josh' by men concentrating their energy by backing the Padaavu on both sides to raise and push. When padaavu starts moving, the echoing sound ‘yaali yaali’ (ಯಾಲಿ, ಯಾಲಿ) continues. Visualize this unified action from the picture, put   elsewhere in this article.

Tulu & Kannada Catchword Chants
O aalambeyaali, Elambe yaali, Aile yaali, Chambon embar yaali, Javanere marji yaali, Bandor baare yaali, Jor javana yaali, Kiniyaan maareyaali,C hiniyaanmaarae yaali, Yaalsolama yaali, Yaalre salama yaali, Deen solama yaali, Kaabanre (Captain) baage yaali, etc.
Reflecting on these utterances, we can infer that they are like an echolalia, i.e. the imitation by a baby of the vocal sounds produced by others.  It is not worthwhile to divine any meanings to such expressions.  Nevertheless, we can deduce some story occurred in the past.  There were instances in coastal history of rubbing shoulders with strangers with fisherfolk by drawing inference from words like, Aile (Mackeral in Byari Bhase), Din, Dinre, or Dinar, Alla, Solom or Salaam (Arabs), Kiniyaan (Kenya), Chin (Cheena), kaabarne or captain (of foreign  ships of marine trade of yore), etc. Later, new ‘Amba’ chants were coined to make fun on idiosyncrasies of people in a village or neighbouring villages.  These are based on dress, appearances and peculiar habits.

Summing up
‘Amba’ is invoking per se the mother’s love.  Readers are best judges to decide whether this statement comports with facts. ‘Amba, amba, amba paadula (ಅಂಬ, ಅಂಬ, ಅಂಬ ಪಾಡುಲ) is just like a call of loving mother, putting food or other attractive things in front of her child.  When she moves her child sitting on lap or legs, she repeats the word: aane, aane (ಆನೆ, ಆನೆ = elephant), bale aane, aane.   Accustomed to this expression, child moves to and fro without the help of mother.   Fisherfolk considers rivers and seas as ‘Gangamāta’ (Mother Ganga) and naturally, some of them regionally have assumed Gangamatastha, Gangakula or Gangaputra as caste names. 
“Every day begins with an act of courage and hope, getting out of bed.”  This is an aphorism by the renowned US Aphorist Mason Cooley (b. 1927).  This aptly applies to these toilers of sea, who are not slugabeds.

References
1. ‘Folkways’: Dictionary.com (based on Random House Dictionary).   It is a term used by W.G. Sumner in his Book of the same Title (1907).
2.  Ambegaalikku: Kannada Champu Nudigannadi by Dr. P.V. Narayana
3.  Mason Cooley: Columbia World of Quotations.

-Hosabettu  Vishwanath (Pune)

July 19, 2017

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 Culture.by 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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