Solar genealogy (Re: Dr. P. Claus' query)

nas_ng at nas_ng at
Fri Jul 7 18:09:43 UTC 1995

July 7, 1995

These are references  relating to Dr. Peter Claus's query on castes 
claiming descent from Sun, Moon etc.,
     kulam, kUTTam, kiLai of Tamil castes
      (Solar genealogy of a Chola king)

Lot of material on tamil castes are be found in Edgar Thurston etc.,

Ancient sangam literature shows the beginning of today's caste system.
George Hart, Early evidence of caste in South India
in Paul Hockings (ed.), Dimensions of social life: Essays in honor
of David G. Mandelbaum, Berlin, 1988

When castes grow in power, they claim descent from Moon, Sun etc.,
Colin Mackenzie manuscripts (late 18th century) of Land Lords/Zamindars 
show that trend. Four volumes were published in 1981 (Dept. of Archaeology,
Madras.) Also see,
George W. Spencer, Sons of the Sun: The Solar Genealogy of a Chola King,
Asian Profile, vol. 10, no. 1, Feb. 1982, p. 81-95.

The different kulams or kuuTTams of Kongu Vellalas are excellently described
in Ti. Em. Kaliyappa, konku vellalar varalARu, 4th edition, 1992,
Coimbatore, 174 p. Lots of info on Mudaliyars by M. Mines book, on tEvars
from some papers by Anthony Good, on Kongu Vellalas by Brenda Beck's writings,
etc., Karkattar/ Saiva Pillais' kiLais are described in the commentary
to kArmaNTala catakam by cIrkAzi muttut tANTavarAya piLLai in 1923 etc.,
N. Subrahmanian, The brahmin in the tamil country, Madurai, 1989, 206 p.
has good data on Iyers. nakarattAr/nATTukkOTTai cheTTiars are grouped 
according to the temple they go to (9 temples in Ramnad district like n^Emam, 
mAttuR, piLLaiyArpaTTi, iraNiyUr ..)

n. ganesan
nas_ng at


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