Original Dravidian Homeland

Lars Martin Fosse lmfosse at ONLINE.NO
Sat Jun 12 23:56:53 UTC 1999

B. N. Hebbar wrote:

> I  need  your  informed  opinions,  comments,  observations  etc.  on
> the  following:
> According  to  Prof. N.Subramaniam  (who  has  been  given  the  title
> "Historian  of  the  Tamils"  by  Prof. R. Sathyanathaier)  says  in
> book  "The  History  of  Tamilnad  to  AD  1336": "The  Dravidian
> speech  was  introduced  into  South  India  by  a  group  of  people
> who  migrated  from  the  original  home,  i.e. from  the  Eastern
> Mediterranean  region  to  South  India.  When  exactly  this  occurred
> it  is  difficult  to  say."  (p.22)
> Also,  Dr. David  W. McAlpin  has  written  a  tract  entitled
> "Proto-Elamo-Dravidian:  The  Evidence  and  its  Implications"
> (American  Philosophical  Society,  Philadelphia:1981)  seems  to  imply
> that  the  Dravidians  have  connections  outside  India.
> Since,  the  "Aryan  migration"  theory  was  being  so  hotly
> discussed,  I  am  curious  to  know  if,  in  the  light  of  the
> above,  the  "Dravidian  migration"  theory  had  any  connections  and
> implications  to  the  "Aryan"  one.

The latest theory I have seen concerning this matter is given by Bernard Sergent in his recent book "Genèse de l'Inde". On the basis of physical anthropological material as well as cultural and linguistic, he claims that the Dravidians migrated from Africa and ended up in India after a stay in the Mediterranean area. The alleged similarities between Dravidians and Uralian languages is supposed to have come about through the mechanisms of area linguistics, indicating that at least some Dravidians and some Uralians lived in the same area for long enough to influence each other's language. Incidentally, Sergent does not believe that the Harappans were Dravidians - that is, except for the population in the south of the IVC area. Again, his reasons are anthropological. (He does not suppose that the IVC culture was monolingual).
The Dravidians are supposed to have reached India before the 8th millennium. BTW: anthropologically they are Mediterranean, and therefore what we might term black whites. The question then becomes: were they white originally only to become black, or is it rather vice versa? According to Sergent, it is the whites who have lost their original black color - I assume due to the bleaching northern climate :-). 

Best regards,

Lars Martin Fosse

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