SV: SV: SV: Kinship systems

Lakshmi Srinivas lsrinivas at YAHOO.COM
Sat Oct 14 02:26:38 UTC 2000

--- Swaminathan Madhuresan <smadhuresan at YAHOO.COM>
> --- "V.C.Vijayaraghavan" <vijay at VOSSNET.CO.UK>
> wrote:

> I do not know how the Tamil classification, not
> found in any other
> language groups, of "Idangai/valngai" will be
> "better candidates for
> ethnicity".

Re Right Hand-Left Hand:

This classification *is* found in other groups. Refer
for example, the Kannada terms "balagey" and "edagey"
and the Telugu terms "kAMpulu" and "paJcANulu" used
for the Right Hand-Left Hand caste division. (cf. B
Stein, Peasant State and Society in Medieval South
India, pp 174-5).

> In India or elsewnhere in the world, it
> is not used in academia.

Actually the concept of Right-Left Hand Castes seeems
to be a heavily discussed concept even in academia.
Stein in his book cited above has a fairly long
chapter titled "Right and Left Hand Castes" (pp.
173-214). Stein says that this has been "the subject
of serious scholarly speculation for almost a
Also, Brenda Beck's "Peasant Society in Konku" (Univ
of British Columbia, 1972) which is said to use this
concept as a central organizing principle, might be of
interest to you.

Stein quotes a long list of scholars on this topic
incl Dumont, Arjun Appadorai, McKim Marriott, CS
Srinivasachari, R Narasimha Rao etc etc.

Thanks and Warm Regards,


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