George Hart glhart at BERKELEY.EDU
Mon Nov 5 17:26:57 UTC 2007

The word pantal (or pantar) -- the t is voiced -- occurs many times in  
Sangam literature, 1-3rd CE.  It is definitely a Dravidian word.  DED  
3299 lists cognates, with almost the same meaning, in almost every  
central and southern Dravidian language.  That means it probably goes  
back 3000 or more years, to before these languages separated --  
especially as the cognates do not seem to be borrowings.  Emeneau once  
told me that of all the Indo-Aryan languages, Bengali and its close  
relatives seem most affected by a Dravidian substratum, so it's  
scarcely surprising that a Dravidian word crops up in Bengali.  George  

On Nov 5, 2007, at 9:03 AM, Richard Salomon wrote:

> If my memory is correct, this term is also used in Bengal in  
> reference to the elaborate displays which are erected each year for  
> Durga-puja. So perhaps not Dravidian, or at least not exclusively so.
> Richard Salomon
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Ute Huesken" <ute.huesken at URZ.UNI-HEIDELBERG.DE 
> >
> To: <INDOLOGY at>
> Sent: Saturday, November 03, 2007 3:09 PM
> Subject: pandal
> Dear list members,
> I need some help with the etymology and usage of the term "pandal" (or
> pantal, in Tamil).
> "pandal" is usually rendered as "a temporary roof, a shed, booth,  
> shelter,
> or triumphal arch, esp. for temporary use (at a festival, etc.); a  
> marquee;
> a tent or booth for a marriage."
> The Madras Tamil Dictionary says:
> pantalpirittal the ceremony of removing the pandal erected for  
> marriage, etc.
> pantalvaricai money presented to the bride and bridegroom at the  
> marriage pandal
> From Northern Tamil Nadu I am familiar with the ritual "pantalkal",  
> the
> worship of the first pole of a pandal at an auspicious moment,  
> before the
> pandal is erected. Moreover, here the term pandal seems not to be  
> restricted
> to marriage tents or -marquees, but to all temporary roofs erected  
> at any
> auspicious occasion; not only for domestic rituals, but also for  
> temple
> festivals.
> Regards,
> Ute Huesken

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