Page:Pre-Aryan Tamil Culture.djvu/48

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fasten his belt, those that clothe him, those that supply arecanut and betel leaves and those that put on his armour.[1] This looks like a genuine list of the persons immediately round the king.


Dress

The cotton plant is a native of India and the Indians of the later stone age learnt to spin the cotton fibre into thread, nūl,[2] iḻai,[3] saraḍu,[4] toḍar,[5] nuvaṇam,[6] panuval,[7] piśin,[8] and to weave cotton yarn into long pieces of cloth. The idea of cloth was no doubt suggested by pannādai[9], also called neyyari[10] which the people wore, besides hides, before the invention of cotton-weaving. Pannāḍai is the web at the bottom of a young palmyra or cocoanut leaf and was used as cloth in very ancient times, for maravuri,[11] tree-flay, also called aśini,[12] iṛaiñji,[13] śīram,[14] sīrai,[15] is one of the forms of dress which possesses the holiness of hoary antiquity and is patronized by sacred ascetics and pilgrims. The supply of cotton was abundant and weavers wore endless lengths of cotton cloth, tugil,[16] which they cut into short pieces, aṛuvai,[17] tuṇi,[18] tuṇdu[19] before winding round their persons. The number of words meaning dress is very great: āśāram,[20] āsiḍai,[21] āḍai,[22] iḍaidal,[23] ilakkāram,[24] uḍukkai[25] uḍai,[26] eḍagam,[27] oliyal,[28] (specially used for melāḍai, cloth worn over the shoulder), kandai,[29] kattiyam,[30] kappaḍam,[31] kalai,[32] kāḍagan,[33] kāṇḍam,[34] kāḻagam,[35] kūṛai,[36] (now used for cloth, presented to the bride during marriage), kōḍi[37] (now used for cloth, unwashed, straight from the hands of the weaver or the vendor), śambaran,[38] sāḍi,[39] siṛṛil,[40] śirai,[41] śūḍi,[42] śēlai,[43] tānai[44] (also mèlaḍai), tūśu,[45] tūṭṭi,[46] tūriyam,[47] tōkkai,[48] miḍiyal,[49] puḍavai,[50] (now restricted to the long piece of cloth worn by women), paḍām,[51] paṭṭam;[52] and many others. All these words meant cloth woven of the fibre of cotton. Those woven of silk were called karambu,[53] paṇi,[54] paraṇam,[55] pāḷidam,[56] and woollen cloth, mayiragam,[57] vayiriyam.[58] The fewness of the names of silk and woollen cloth shows that weaving in these was scarce. Cloth dyed in various colours, śāyam toytta,[59] was freely used. Indeed decoration being the chief aim of Indian art, as will be explained later, plain white cloth was considered as fit for occasions of mourning and for being worn by women in permanent mourning, i.e., widows. Hence dyed cloth and that decorated with flowers on the borders and throughout the body of the cloth was the usual wear. A much decorated cloth,

  1. சாகதுபூக கசசாடை பாக்கிபை சுஞசுகருெ
    யாயாத விவரெண்ம ராயத்தோர்—வேந்தாக்கு
    மாசனம பாரப்பார் மருத்தர் வாழ்நிமித்த ரோடமைச்ச
    (Symbol missingTamil characters) op. cit. p. 144.

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  17. (Symbol missingTamil characters) from root (Symbol missingTamil characters) to cut.
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