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Primal Folk Tradition in Malayalam Literature A painting of Kurumbar Tribe “Every group bound together or by common interests and purposes, whether educated.

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Presentation on theme: "Primal Folk Tradition in Malayalam Literature A painting of Kurumbar Tribe “Every group bound together or by common interests and purposes, whether educated."— Presentation transcript:

1 Primal Folk Tradition in Malayalam Literature A painting of Kurumbar Tribe “Every group bound together or by common interests and purposes, whether educated or uneducated, rural or urban, possesses a body of traditions which may be called its folklore. Into these traditions enter many elements, individual, popular, and even "literary," but all are absorbed and assimilated through repetition and variation into a pattern which has value and continuity for the group as a whole” (McHale 21). What is folklore?

2 There are more than 50 tribal communities in different parts of Kerala. All of them belonging to Dravidian family.

3 Characteristics of Tribal Songs * Description of the life of the people (beliefs, myths, rituals, dress, games, emotions, bravery, rivalry, occupation, relationships and so on) * Use of images from the local environment * Immense use of Dravidian words * Description of Natural environment * Repetition * Rhythmic

4 Literature of Mudugar Introducing Mudugar Mudugar are a tribal community living in the Nilagiri biosphere in a place called Attappady situated between Coimbatore and Palakkad. They are a Dravidian tribe speaking a Creole, a mixture of Tamil and Malayalam languages. They are less in number when compared to the dominant tribal community in the place called Irular, who are later settlers. However, both Mudugar and Kurumbar, though speak different languages, share close relationship with each other.

5 Song – 1 Vava maGane

6 Song - 1 vaavaa maGaane karumalai muDuGaa kallu poTi piRantanoo kallu poTTi pirantanoo kaalamaakaaNDu piRantanoo vaavaa maGaane ennu* maGe piRaantu* saametaTTukku kiDaati saametaTukku* kiDaati raayitaTTukku kiDaati vaavaa maGaane ennu* maGe piRaanthu* annaavellaam veteeno annaavellaam veteeno arivellaam veteeno vaavaa maGaane ennu maGe piRaantu* puuvellaam veteeno pouuvellaam veteeno puuvellaam veteeno vaavaa maGaane enna maGe piRaantu* munnakkai ninteeno munnakkai ninteeno balakkai ninteeno vaavaa maGaane Sung by Sindhu of Thundoor Hamlet Translated by Rayson K. Alex Oh! My muDuGa son My black-hill muDuGa child, Are you born of the fissured rock, like your ancestors? Oh! My muDuGa son My son was first laid on a bed of caama leaves Then on a bed of raaGi leaves. Oh! My muDuGa son My son was gifted with all kinds of food, With all kinds of rice. Oh! My muDuGa son He was presented with all kinds of flowers Oh! My muDuGa son Everyone stood beside him to hold his hand Oh! My muDuGa son

7 Word-meanings vaavaa = a lullaby word, (come) maGaane = oh! son karumalai = black hill muDuGa = a muDuGa boy kallu* = stone poTTi = fissure piraantano = are you born? Piraantu* = when born kaalamaakaaNDu* = ages passing by ennu maGa = my son saametaTTukku* = a bed of caama leaves kiDaati = laid raayitaTTukku* = a bed of raaGi leaves veteeno = to keep, to give annavellaam = everything to eat arivellaam = rice and everything munnakkai = to take the first hand ninteno = stood balaakkai = right hand puuvellaam = all kinds of flowers

8 caama field with ripe caama heads

9 raaGi field with ripe raaGi heads

10 malleesvaran, the rock deity of muDuGer

11 A model of saameettaTTu*

12 Song – 2 Paambu Kee

13 Song - 2 paambu* kee oola tambi taNyaaLe siimaavaa oola tambi laallaalee laallaalee laalee laalee paambu* kee oola tambi kallaaLe siimaavaa oola tambi laallaalee laallaalee laalee laalee paambu* kee oola tambi meeraaLe siimaavaa oola tambi laallaalee laallaalee laalee laalee paambu* kee oola tambi muTTyaale siimaavaa oola tambi laallaalee laallaalee laalee laalee Sung by Vasantha of Thundoor Hamlet Translated by Rayson K. Alex Oh snake My little brother snake, come through the waters like coconut leaves Oh snake My little brother snake, come through the stones like coconut leaves Oh snake My little brother snake, come through the trees like coconut leaves Oh snake My little brother snake, come through the wood stumps like coconut leaves Oh snake

14 Word-meanings paambu* = snake oola = coconut leaves tambi = little brother kee = a colloquial way of calling someone taNyaaLe = through the waters siimaavaa = oh! Come kallaaLe = though the stones meeraaLe = though the woods muTTyaale = through the wood stumps

15 Priest of muDuGer holding a snake-staff

16 Copulation of snakes in a stream in aTTappaaDi

17 Song – 3 etu*kketu*kku* vantaatu*

18 Song - 3 etu*kketu*kku* vantaatu* maGaane toovennyaare kaNakkaakku* vantaatu* lavva toovennyaare etu*kketu*kku* vantaatu* maGaane toovennyaare kaalu*kku* vantaatu* lavva toovennyaare etu*kketu*kku* vantaatu* maGaane toovennyaare santikku* vantaatu* lavva toovennyaare etu*kketu*kku* vantaatu* maGaane toovennyaare toodekku* vantaatu* lavva toovennyaare etu*kketu*kku* vantaatu* maGaane toovennyaare iDippu*u*kku vantaatu* lavva toovennyaare etu*kketu*kku* vantaatu* maGaane toovennyaare maaru*kku* vantaatu* lavva toovennyaare ennamaaGe saaminaa toovennyaare itileentu* kaaNuvee toovennyaare etu*kketu*kku* vantaatu* maGaane toovennyaare sivyaalu*u*kku* vantaatu* lavva toovennyaare ennamaaGe saaminaa toovennyaare itileentu* kaaNuvee toovennyaare etu*kketu*kku* vantaatu* maGaane toovennyaare kaavu*u*tu vantaatu* lavva toovennyaare ennamaaGe saaminaa toovennyaare itileentu* kaanNuvee toovennyaare etu*kketu*kku* vantaatu* maGaane toovennyaare koDu*kku*u*kku vantaatu* lavva toovennyaare ennamaaGe saaminaa toovennyaare itileentu* kaaNuvee toovennyaare etu*kketu*kku* vantaatu* maGaane toovennyaare

19 neju*kku* vantaatu* lavva toovennyaare ennamaaGe saaminaa toovennyaare itileentu* kaaNuvee toovennyaare etu*kketu*kku* vantaatu* maGaane toovennyaare mattu*u*kku vantaatu* lavva toovennyaare etu*kketu*kku* vantaatu* maGaane toovennyaare niGaadiu*kku* vantaatu* lavva toovennyaare etu*kketu*kku* vantaatu* maGaane toovennyaare kaNNu*u*kku* vantaatu* lavva toovennyaare etu*kketu*kku* vantaatu* maGaane toovennyaare emmeekku* vantaatu* lavva toovennyaare etu*kketu*kku* vantaatu* maGaane toovennyaare netiikku* vantaatu* lavva toovennyaare etu*kketu*kku* vantaatu* maGaane toovennyaare ucciikku* vantaatu* lavva toovennyaare Geeru* Geeru* Geeru* Geeru* Geeru*

20 Upto what has the water come up, oh my son? It has covered my feet, dear mother! Upto what has the water come up, oh my son? It has covered my legs, dear mother! Upto what has the water come up, oh my son? It has covered my knees, dear mother! Upto what has the water come up, oh my son? It has covered my thighs, dear mother! Upto what has the water come up, oh my son? It has covered my waist, dear mother! Upto what has the water come up, oh my son? It has covered my shoulders, dear mother! Upto what has the water come up, oh my son? It has covered my neck, dear mother!

21 Upto what has the water come up, oh my son? It has covered my jaw, dear mother! My son is becoming a deity Now on we’ll see him with river deity Upto what has the water come up, oh my son? It has covered my lips, dear mother! Upto what has the water come up, oh my son? It has covered my nose, dear mother! Upto what has the water come up, oh my son? It has covered my eyes, dear mother! Upto what has the water come up, oh my son? It has covered my eyebrow, dear mother! Upto what has the water come up, oh my son? It has covered my forehead, dear mother! Upto what has the water come up, oh my son? It has covered my head, dear mother! Geeru* Geeru* (mother says, “let water flow over his head”) Sung by Valli of Thundoor Hamlet Translated by Rayson K. Alex

22 Word-meanings etu*kketu*kku* = till where vantaatu* = came maGaane = son toovennyaare = a meaningless word used for the completion of rhythm like lala lale santikku* = knee lavva = mother (another form of “avva”) kaNakkaakku* = feet toodekku* = thighs iDippu*u*kku = waist kaalu*kku* = legs ennamaaGe = my son saaminaa = is god itileentu* = from now on kaaNuvee = will see ucci= pate neti = forehead emmee = eyebrow kaNNu*= eyes niGaadi = nose mattu* = lips koDu*kku*= jaw kaavu*u*tu = neck maaru* = breast sivyaalu*u* = shoulder Geeru = sound of water flowing

23 An Arial view of River bhavaani flowing through aTTappaaDi

24 References Ellen McHale, "Fundamentals of Folklore.” John Suter, ed., Working with Folk Materials in New York State: A Manual for Folklorists and Archivists. Ithaca, NY: New York Folklore Society, 1994. Mudugar Kurumbar Research Centre, Attappady, funded by World Oral Literature Project, University of Cambridge, London. 2010-2012.


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