Animal Symbols

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This paper aims to understand the evolution of tiger in the culture of Tamils by critically analyzing various rock arts of Tamil Nadu in one hand. On the other hand, tries to critically answer the question that why tiger been given importance during the early stone age than other wild animals by Tamils.
Early man who lived in the caves expressed his feelings by the way of drawing paintings or lines on the rocks. Amongst, portraits of animals were given importance. Drawings of animals were classified as Mantra, Rituals and hunting scenes which had been noticed in many rocks scattered across Tamil Nadu. Paintings such as hunting of a solitary man as well as group of men carved on the rocks been noticed at Mallapadi, Chethavarai,
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Rituals were performed praying for agility and safety, prior to venturing for hunting. For instance, the Chola Kings had bow & arrow, the Pandya Kings had tiger and the Chera Kings had fish respectively as their symbols. Similarly, the ancient people had the portrayal of different animal symbols representing their Clans. They had the ritual of keeping those animal symbols in their homes as well as praying centers for worshipping. Those symbols which represent their clans were found noticed at Thiramalai, Mallasamuthiram, Kutralapadai, Pothigaimalai, Perumukkal, Thalapatti, Thiramalpadi and Attakudal in Tamil Nadu. The tribal at the Pothigai Hills called “Kaanikaran” maintain their clan’s symbol and the practice of worshipping it even till…show more content…
Many stone sculptures were found at Pandavar Panda even till today portraying memoirs of brave warriors. The word “Pandavar Panda” belongs to Telugu language. In Tamil Panda means “rock”. Mr. Mathivanan, the archaeologist of the Indus Valley claimed that the above place was supposed to be called as “Mandavar Parai”, because the word “Mandavar” in course of bygone years had been pronounced as “Pandavar”. Hence, during Stone Age onwards, the hunter who had braved death was buried in a grave yard with Hero Stone, and in course of time the village assumed the same name. The portraits of sculptures at Mandavar Parai depicted that the hunter who killed the wild tiger, which intruded into the village and scared the people, was honoured by keeping him on a dead tiger above a chariot. A procession was also taken in which floral garlands and prizes were offered to the hunter. This was practiced as a culture by ancient Tamils. Hence, the hunter who killed the tiger was honoured by way of arranging a festival called “Puli Mangalam”. This festival is in practice even till today at “Kudagu

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