Brahman divisions

zydenbos at zydenbos at
Thu Jun 5 20:52:44 UTC 1997

Replies to msg 05 Jun 97: indology at
(pclaus at

 pce> This has been a useful discussion of internal Brahman
 pce> sub-division and the "historical" traditions associated
 pce> with them.  

 pce> Even so, it would
 pce> be interesting, as Robert Zydenbos suggests, to collect
 pce> and compare motifs from the (internally significant)
 pce> legendary history of the splits.  These, too, speak to
 pce> something meaningful. 

 pce> There must
 pce> be something of a genre to what they created, one which
 pce> utilized motifs and themes and stories over and over.
 pce> Perhaps the core set is that of their own internal
 pce> ranks and divisions. Is there such a literature?

Over the past years I have been collecting "what brahmins say about other
brahmins", which is usually pejorative and often silly, but in interesting
ways. In Karnataka, stereotypical images about the other group are often
summarized in short rhymes or puns on the name of the other caste. For
instance, I have often heard "Kamme endare hemme" ("Kamme means 'pride'"), a
catchphrase which expresses the supposedly arrogant airs which Kammes have
about them (significantly, I have never heard this from the mouth of a Kamme).
Some of these statements are quite vicious. Because the speakers are aware of
this viciousness, it can be difficult to have people give examples. (But this
is indeed interesting.)

Robert Zydenbos
zydenbos at

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