References to CaNDaala

George Hart ghart at SOCRATES.BERKELEY.EDU
Sun Sep 16 17:39:08 UTC 2001

I am looking a bit further into the institution of caste (jaati),
which I have shown is documented in Tamil Sangam literature.  The
evidence is, in my opinion, conclusive that jaati is pre-Aryan and
existed in prehistoric South India (and probably at a very early time
in the rest of South Asia).  In my view, the defining feature of the
caste system is the lowest castes (dalits), who play the role of
priests and intermediaries with the spirit world in old Tamil and
even in many areas of modern South Asia.  I am interested in locating
the earliest references to CaNDaalas and other very low castes in
Sanskrit/Prakrit/Pali.  Thanks.  George Hart

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