Maharashtra potters, warriors, and brahmins

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Sun Jun 21 15:39:28 UTC 1998

In preparing a posting on "Re: Tampering with History", I came across the
following in Madhav Deshpande's Sanskrit and Prakrit, 1993, p.115.

"Karve' (1968) also attempts to show that the Des'astha Rgvedi Brahmanas share
with certain non-Brahmana castes, i.e., certain Maratha and Kumbhar groups,
certain blood-group characteristics. The historical implications of this study
are unclear, and we may simply say that there is a great deal of similarity of
various features across the caste-boundaries."

This is very interesting. If my impression of Marathas being the dominant
land-owning warrior/agricultural elite is correct, then here we seem to have
an amazing corroboration of my theory regarding potters, chieftains, and
brahmins. The Maratha-Kumbhar situation parallels the Tamil case of Vellalas
and Velkovar/Velar.  Moreover, Maharashtra, as we have discussed earlier, was
part of the land of the vELs. It is also interesting that Rgvedi brahmins are
the brahmins in this study. Is there any information about the history of
caste exclusivity of these brahmins? Any geneological information on Des'astha
Rgvedi brahmins will be appreciated.

If Karve's research is accepted as valid by biologists or anthropologists even
today, then this will be a nice confirmation of what I have theorized based on
textual and linguistic evidence.

I will appreciate any more information/updates on this.

S. Palaniappan

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