Smearing the Drums

N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Sat Jan 20 17:21:20 EST 2001

>Does "vaLLuyir" refer to the drum or to the sound it
>produces, although according to commentary "peritAka
>olikkum taNNumai" (u ve ca pub. p.560).

Regarding the sound produced by taNNumai drums:

maTivAyt taNNumai ta_laGku kural kETTa  (naRRiNai 298:3)

maRappaTai nuvalum arikkural taNNumai
in2n2icai kETTa tun2n2aru maRavar  (puRam 270:8-11)

In the 14-15th century, AruNagirinAthar
describes the taNNumait tALam well:

   "taritarit taritari taritari riririri
   taTutaTu TuTTuTu TuTuTuTu TuTuTuTu
   takutaku takutaku tattaku takuven2a"

Regarding the interpretation that mA could
refer to mAvu='flour', and the bards getting
calves and so, the taNNumai drums could
have been covered with calf-hide, instead
of the mature leather, pl. refer to
p. 114-117, tami_lar icai, Int. Inst. of
Tamil Studies, 1984.

N. Ganesan

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