Pu ṟam 332.5-6

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan palaniappa at AOL.COM
Wed Oct 3 06:12:39 UTC 2012

Dear Indologists,

I am intrigued by the words "maṅkala makaḷir" in the following lines.

maṅkala makaḷiroṭu mālai cūṭṭi
iṉkural irumpai yāḻoṭu tatumpa (Puṟam 332.5-6)

Interpreting "maṅkala makaḷir" as 'auspicious women' or 'women who are not widows' does not seem to make sense. If the women are supposed to sing as is usually interpreted, one cannot expect ordinary women to be able to sing to the accompaniment of lutes. This kind of singing requires significant training in music which is not expected of the women of the household depicted in the poem.  What is more likely is the women who sing to the accompaniment of lutes were bardic women such as viṟaliyar or pāṭiṉiyar. 

Thanks in advance for any comments.



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