Language of Harappan Civilization; funerary pottery eviden

C.R. Selvakumar selvakum at VALLUVAR.UWATERLOO.CA
Wed Mar 17 19:43:11 UTC 1999

   Chandra's connection of 'poRi' (eye of peacock feather)
   is interesting.
   The word poRi is specifically used because it is iridescent.
   (poRi means shining like spark). Chandra's quote from kuRuntokai
   clearly shows that the word is used also for the iridescent blue neck
   (where there are no eye-like 'spots').

   'oL poRi' really means iridescent.


*"oL poRi eruttu" (kuRuntokai: 242:2)
*poRi = spot; eurttu = neck (here, of a cock)
*"poRi mayir eruttin2 kuRu naTaip pETai" (kuRuntokai:154:4)
*poRi = soptted; mayir = hair; eruttu = neck
*(here, of a hen)
*"poRi mayir vAraNam" {cilappatikAram: 4:77)
*poRi = spot;
*mayir = feather;
*vAraNam = cock

    It may be interesting to note that the *trefoil* seen in
    the Harappan pictures could mean, 'mU', meaning three,
    if the language is more like proto tamil/dravidian.
    The word 'mU' means 'three' but it also means 'old,
    chief, elder, wise'.
    The word 'mUvA' (mU + A)means 'not becoming old, without ending'.
    - the 'A' at the end denoting a negative.
    mUkkan means chief(of a tribe), mUttOr means 'elderly, wise';
    mUppu means 'old age'. Therefore the meaning of 'three' and
    'old,chief, wise' may have some significance.
    I find it interesting that
    in slide 162 <>
    the antelope, tentatively identified as Blackbuck, has a tail
    which looks like a trident (in addition to the trefoil motifs
    above the antelope). There seems to be some emphasis on 'three'
    (which could also relate to old/dead assuming proto-dravidian?)
    In Tamil mukkaN (mu+kaN) refers to 'three-eye' = Lord Siva.
    The 'circle' in the trefoil looks more like 'eye or
    a spot-on-peacock-feather or a leaf' with sharp end.
    Antelope is also associated with Siva. Siva is also connected
    with grave and death.
    (these are all purely speculative, and I'm not claiming that
    there is necessarily any connection)

    A Blackbuck is called 'marai' in Tamil. It is so called because
    its antler/horn has a screw-like shape (marai means twisted;
    the tamil word for 'twisted' is murukku).
    Even today it(Blackbuck) is called marai-mAn'.
    (I've seen Blackbucks in Indian Institute of
    Technology, Madras/Chennai campus; but not with three-fold tail :-)).
    Another name for the antelope  is 'maraiyaa'. Here 'aa' means
    In tamil 'mari, maRai' mean die. maarakam (Ta.) means death.
    Considering that motifs are in funerary urns etc., these may have
    some significance.

    Another fact is that the so-called 'mutumakkaL tAzhi' (urn where
    old/dead people are kept; 'mutu' here could mean old/dead)
    are found in Tamil Nadu.

*In connection with the funerary aspects, it might be also worth
*mentioning that the Tamil god murukan2
*is the lord of  midnight, the last division of the day as per
* the ancient akam tradition which assigns that division of the day to
*kuRiJci one the five terrains.  In general murukan2 is associated with
*the terminal portion of events such as a concert or the temple's activities.
*At big temples such as the vaittIswaran2 kOvil, the sixth and the last
*pUja offering is started with murukan2's image even though he is not the
*main deity of the temple.
*Even now, when a concert ends, compositions on murukan2 are sung;
*not only that, these song are usaully set to pentatonic melodies
*such as madhyamAvati or curuTTi associated with the kuRiJci theme
*and derived from the kuRiJcip pAlai, the heptatonic parent melody.

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