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pclaus at pclaus at
Mon Sep 18 23:30:07 UTC 1995

Date: September 18, 1995 
Indology List
indology at
Dear Members
In the Tulu-speaking area of coastal Karnataka the term paatri is
used in reference to non-brahman 'priests'. The term puujaari is
also used in reference to non-brahman 'priests' and the
distinction is often that the paatri, in addition to performing
rituals, serves as a possession vehicle for deities. 
I am interested in opinions you might have as to the derivation
of the term paatri (which the Manner Tulu-English dictionary
gives as paatiri).  There seems to me to be several possible
leads with cognates in other languages. 
1) (Sanskrit?) paatre (paatra): a vessel, a drinking vessel
2) (Sanskrit) paati (as in paati-vrata): having to do with being
chaste, worthy (paatrata)
3) (Telugu) paatara (or something like that): falling, dancing
about, frenzied.
Any of these could fit the case, it seems to me.
Can anyone give me the latest thought on the derivation of the
word puuja?  Is it from a Dravidian or Indo-European?  Related to
what root concepts?
Peter J. Claus                        
pclaus at

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