Kaladi and Sankara

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Mon Nov 15 00:22:49 UTC 1999

In a message dated 11/13/99 7:36:24 PM Central Standard Time, 
selva_selvakumar at HOTMAIL.COM writes:

>    Many communitites of non-brahmins have 'kOttiram'
>    (same as gotra).In fact sEkkizaar is itself a kOttiram.
>    The tamil word kOttiram comes from kO, meaning 'head'
>    'leader', 'king'. Many kOttiram names end in 'kizaar',
>    'Uraar' etc.Examples are cenkunRam kizaar, sEkkizaar,
>     cEtUraar, pukazUraar etc.

The organization of ethnic groups including Tamil non-brahmins into exogamous 
clans/lineages is well-known. They are called kiLai (among maRavar, pANar, 
etc.), kUTTam (kavuNTar), kOyil (Chettiar), etc. I do not deny that. I was 
specifically referring to the brahminical gotras.  As for the non-brahmin 
"gotra" names mentioned above, except cEkkizAr, all others are derivatives of 
place names. In other words,  they indicate the place they were from or where 
they were landowners originally. cEkkizAr as a veLLALa "gotra" name seems to 
have an interesting history.

It seems to have been just another given name (not an exogamous "gotra" name) 
as it occurs in the following inscriptions.

SII 19, no. 78
"cEkkizAn2 cattimalaiyAn2Akiya cOzamuttaraiyan2..." (belongs to Uttama 
Chola's 3rd year)

Obviously, muttaraiyar were not veLLaLas and so here cEkkizAn2 is only a 
given name.

SII 5, no. 473
"...puravuvari tiNaikkaLam cEkkizAr coRpaTi" (belongs to Kulottunga I)
Here, we have the official designation "puravuvari tiNaikkaLam" (office of 
revenue accounts) and the given name "cEkkizAr". One cannot expect this to be 
a "gotra" name since no other component of the usual naming convention is 
present. This possibly could refer to cEkkizAr of periyapurANam before his 
promotion as a minister.

Only in the following inscription, the status of cEkkizAr as a "gotra" name 
can even be considered.

SII 8, no.226
"…cERkizaiyAn2 kayilAya[muTaiyAn2] pUvaNamuTaiyAn2um...cEkkizAn kayilAyan 
tiruppUvaNamu(u)TaiyAn2um...cEkkizAn kayilAyan tiruppUvaNamu(u)TaiyAn2um..." 

(belongs to Rajaraja II)

In this, two variants are found in the name of the same person.  Only if we 
assume that the correct form of the first component of the name is cEkkizAn2, 
then one can see a possible lineage name followed bythe father's name and the 
given name. But  even this usage seems to have come into existence only after 
the poet-minister cEkkizAr became famous since RajarAja II is later than 
periyapurANam's author. In any case, this type of naming seems to be an 
exception resulting from the fame of cEkkizAr.

S. Palaniappan

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