SV: SV: SV: Kinship systems

Swaminathan Madhuresan smadhuresan at YAHOO.COM
Mon Oct 16 13:18:29 UTC 2000

 >Scholars can only study ethnic identities (if they  so choose). Scholars
 >cannot  fabricate one for some people to whose society, culture and
 >traditions, they have no allegiance whatsoever - which will come only by
 >being an 'insider'

 Scholars can come from anywhere; To study ethnic Gonds, it is not
 necessary to be born with Gondi, a Dravidian language/dialect as
 mother tongue. It is normal to get good observations when foreigners
 write about the details or viewpoints which may be missing in native
 narratives. A particular case is Indian history which will be lot poorer
 without Greek, Chinese or Arab visitors.

 >BTW, I am not saying that idangai/valangai 'is' the ethnic identity of
 >medieval south Indians. All I am saying you can look at ethnic identities
 >only in their own terms and in their own words as expressed in literature or
 >other historical documents.

 The problem is many ethnics incl. Gonds are pre-literate. No literature
 of their own or historical documents from their own hands exist.

 >If idangai/valangai is not good enough for you and only some Sanskrit word is

 >good enough,  that is not the issue. But you must respect dead people by
 >calling them as they called themselves.

 As Historians say, history begins with writing. Many ethnic groups' dead
 have left us with no writings at all.

Do You Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Messenger - Talk while you surf!  It's FREE.

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list