தமிழ்நாடு அறக்கட்டளை மாநாட்டுச் சொற்பொழிவுகள்: (1) குறவஞ்சி நாடகம் (2) சிந்து சமவெளியில் கொற்றவையும், விடங்கரும்

Special Lecture at Tamil Nadu Foundation Convention, 2012
Hilton Houston North on Saturday, May 26, 2012

Kuravanji Dance Dramas: Perspectives on Landscapes and Social Life in 18th and 19th century Tamil Nadu

Dr. Indira Viswanathan Peterson
David B. Truman Professor of Asian Studies
Mount Holyoke College

The Kuravanji, the drama of the wandering Kuratti fortune-teller, is the most popular among the Tamil literary genres that arose and flourished in the 18th and 19th centuries. Written by court poets for Palaiyakkarars and other rulers of small kingdoms, Kuravanji dramas were performed by devadasi dancers at courts and temples. These dramas glorify the patron-king, his town (uur), and the god of the temple, but their central characters, the Kuravanji, a nomadic fortuneteller from the hills, and her birdcatcher husband (Kuluvan), are marginal, “folk” figures from the wilderness, whose activities are described in detail, in relation to the hill and field landscapes and to the upper-class characters. In this lecture I show that the Kuravanji drama’s innovative treatment of Tamil landscapes, and its focus on new and marginal social identities, embody an imaginative response to changing social relations and relations between person and land in the 18th century, an era of migrations and fragmented polities in Tamilnadu. Kuravanjis were written not only in the Tirunelveli region (e.g., Kurralak kuravanji of Tirikutaracappa Kavirayar, 1715), but also at the Thanjavur Maratha court.  The Christian poet Thanjavur Vedanayaka Sastri wrote the allegorical Bethlehem Kuravanji (1820), describing the Bible lands and teaching planetary astronomy through the travels of the Kuratti fortune-teller. The Kuravanji drama represents a flexible, creative, Tamil combination of geography, social history and ethnography. The drama’s perspectives on place and identity are expressed in enduring metaphors of the relationship of human beings with Tamil landscapes.   At the same time, they are embedded in 18th-century social realities and express new geographical visions of an expanding world .

Prof. Indira Peterson's  bio-data:

            Indira Viswanathan Peterson is David B. Truman Professor of Asian Studies at Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts. She has a B.A. in English Literature from Bombay University, and A.M. and Ph.D. degrees in Sanskrit and Indian Studies from Harvard University. She has held a number of research fellowships, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the German Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

            Indira Peterson specializes in Indian literature in Sanskrit and Tamil, Hinduism, and South Indian cultural history and performing arts. She is also a performer of Carnatic vocal music. Peterson is the author of Poems to Shiva: The Hymns of the Tamil Saints (Princeton, 1989; first major translation and study of the Tevaram hymns), and Design and Rhetoric in a Sanskrit Court Epic: The Kiratarjuniya of Bharavi (Albany, 2003), the study of a classical Sanskrit poem. Her other books are: George Michell and Indira Peterson, The Great Temple at Thanjavur: A Thousand Years. 1010 – 2010 (Mumbai: Marg, 2010), on the Brihadisvara temple; Performing Pasts: Reinventing the Arts in modern South India, co-edited with Davesh Soneji (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2008), on Carnatic music and Bharata Natyam dance; and Tamil Geographies: Cultural Constructions of Space and Place in South India, co-edited with Martha Selby (Albany, 2007). Indira Peterson is editor of Indian literature (500 B.C. to the present) in the Norton Anthology of World Literature (2001). She has just completed Scholar-king of Tanjore: Serfoji II and the Shaping of Indian Modernity, a biography of the Raja Serfoji of Thanjavur.  She is writing a book on the Kuravanji dramas of Tamilnadu, and has translated the Kuraalak kuravanji and other kuravanji plays. She has also translated portions of Kalaimani’s Tamil novel Thillana Mohanambal, and plans a complete translation of the work.


விடங்கர் - கொற்றவை வழிபாடு
Dravidian religion and culture in Indus Valley Civilization

   Dr. N. Ganesan
TNF Convention, Hilton Houston North, Sunday - May 27, 2012

Abstract: The Indus valley Bronze Age saw the flourishing of the largest agriculture based civilization in the ancient world, and reached its classical era about 4200 years ago. The seals unearthed throughout the 20th century CE cover a wide geographical area of the Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) and the glyptic art featured in the IVC seals show the importance of land and aquatic fauna in the cultural life. The characteristic fish sign pointing to the Dravidian language spoken by the elite Harappans has long been explored from the days of Fr. H. Heras, SJ. However, the importance of crocodiles in IVC culture is just coming to light. Ananda K. Coomaraswamy was the first scholar to show that makara in the earliest stages referred to the Indian crocodile. This illustrated slide show and lecture explores the importance of the crocodile as an equivalent of Proto-Varuṇa portrait in the IVC religion, and its relationship with the tiger-goddess, Proto-Durgā by analyzing the linked imagery in IVC art. A Dravidian etymology for the Sanskrit word, makara from (i) the names of the marsh crocodile in all the Dravidian languages, and (ii) the names of the crocodile in Sindh and Gujarat regions is offered. In particular, it is shown that the names in South Munda languages prevalent in Orissa are loan words from Dravidian, and they do not form part of the Austroasiatic heritage. Sangam Tamil literature references on the three species of Indian crocodiles are discussed.

Speaker's bio-data:
Dr. Naga Ganesan, PhD is a specialist in Structural Dynamics of Large Space Structures. He has worked
in the Space industry for 25 years in Houston. Dr. N. Ganesan hails from Pollachi, Tamil Nadu and he stood first in Tamil and Mathematics in many State level  competitions during his school and collegiate years. His first degree is B.E. (Hons) in Mechanical Engineeing from College of Engineering, Guindy in 1981. He has worked as a technical expert for many Space Shuttle Missions since the 90s until the last Space Shuttle mission. He has contributed to the Unicode encoding of several Indian scripts for use in the Web including Tamil and Grantha scripts. One of his main interests is Tamil prabandhams and their print history. His latest paper on Indus religion has been published in Prof. V. I. Subramonium Memorial Souvenir, 2011,
International School of Dravidian Linguistics, Govt. of Kerala, Tiruvananthapuram. His paper with illustrations on Indus religion involving crocodile cult can be downloaded as a PDF from:

See you all at the Tamil Nadu Foundation Annual Convention, 2012 at Hilton, Houston North!

ஓவியக்கவிஞர் அமுதோன் என்கிற அமுதபாரதியின் மரபுக்கவிதை

தாயுமானவன் என்ற இயற்பெயர் கொண்ட ஓவியக்கவிஞர் அமுதோன் சித்திரம் வரைவதில் சிறந்தவர். ஏராளமான தமிழ்நூல்களுக்கு வடிவமைப்புச் செய்தவர். ஹைக்கூ கவிதை முன்னோடி. அமுதபாரதி என்ற பெயரில் பல மரபுக் கவிதைகள் யாத்துள்ளார். ஓவியக்கவிஞர் என்று கண்ணதாசனால் பாராட்டப்பெற்றவர்.

கவிமாமணி இலந்தை ராமசாமி அவர்களின் சந்தவசந்தம் குழுவில்  பாரதியார் திருவள்ளுவர் சிந்தனைத் திரட்டு (பேரா. தி. வேணுகோபாலன், 1992) நூல் முழுமையும் கிடைக்கிறது.  பாரதி என்ற தலைப்பின் கலிஃக்ராபியில்
அழகாக பா என்னும் முதலெழுத்தில் பேனாவை அமைத்துள்ளார் சைத்ரீகர் அமுதபாரதி!

                            பன்னிரு சீர் விருத்தம்

எளிதான சொல்வளைவில் புதிதான பொருள்விளைவில்
                        இனிதான கவிநெய்தவன்!
                        இதுவேஎன் வழியென்றும் பொதுவாகும் உணவென்றும்
                        எல்லார்க்கும் நெறிசெய்தவன்!
மெலிதான மேகத்தின் வேகத்தில் உருவாகும்
                        மழையாக அருள்பெய்தவன்!
                        மெல்லோசை வல்லோசை நல்லோசை யாவிலும்
                        மேவியே மனங்கொய்தவன்!
வலிதான உடல்வாகும் வளமான பொருள்வாகும்
                        வாழ்க்கையின் நலமென்றவன்!
                        வாளா விருப்பவர் தூளாய் விடக்குறிக்
                        கோளாய் குரல்தந்தவன்!
புலிஓடி வருவதென புயல்வேகம் பொழிவதென
                        போர்ப்பாடல் பலகண்டவன்!
                        பலகோடி நூறாண்டு பெயர்வாழும் நிலையாக
                        புகழ்சுப்ர மணிபாரதி!
                                                                   ~ கவிஞர் அமுதபாரதி, 1992

அமுதபாரதியும் நானும்
      சிறகு இராமச்சந்திரன்

இந்தக் காட்டில்
எந்த மூங்கில்

தின்ற பழங்கள்
மிஞ்சிய கொட்டைகள்
ஓ! எத்தனை மரங்கள்!
                ~ அமுதபாரதி

இந்த நாட்டில்
எந்த மனிதன்
அடுத்த அமுதோன்?

காணொளியில் இருப்பவர்கள் பாரதி நூல்களைத் தொகுத்து வெளியிட்ட சீனி விஸ்வநாதன், அமுத பாரதி: