Dravidians

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Dravidians

(drəvĭd`ēəns), name sometimes given to the peoples of S and central India and N Sri Lanka who speak Dravidian languagesDravidian languages
, family of about 23 languages that appears to be unrelated to any other known language family. The Dravidian languages are spoken by more than 200 million people, living chiefly in S and central India and N Sri Lanka.
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. They are so called for purely linguistic reasons; the peoples are of varying racial types. It is thought that Dravidian-speaking peoples may have been spread throughout the Indian subcontinent before the invasions of the AryansAryan
, [Sanskrit,=noble], term formerly used to designate the Indo-European race or language family or its Indo-Iranian subgroup. Originally a group of nomadic tribes, the Aryans were part of a great migratory movement that spread in successive waves from S Russia and Turkistan
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.

Dravidians

 

peoples inhabiting for the most part southern India and speaking Dravidian languages. The Dravidian peoples include the Telugu, or Andhra (44 million, 1967 estimate), the Tamils (40 million, some of whom also live on Ceylon and in Malaysia, Burma, and other countries of Southeast Asia), the Malayalam (19.5 million), the Kanarese, or Kannada (21 million), the Tulu (about 1 million), and a number of minority groups which have to a large extent preserved their tribal structure and which live mainly in the mountain and forest regions, such as the Toda, Kota, Kurumba, and Badaga. Several Dravidian peoples live in central India: the Oraons, or Kurukhs (1.3 million), and the Kandhs and Gonds (together about 3 million). The Brahui (0.6 million), who live in Pakistan and the neighboring regions of Afghanistan, also speak a Dravidian language. The religion of most Dravidians is Hinduism, although some are Christians and Muslims; many elements of tribal religions have been preserved in the mountain and forest regions. The Dravidians are believed to have constituted the ancient (pre-Aryan) population of India. According to many scholars, the Harappa civilization was created by the ancestors of the Dravidians between 3000 and 2000 B.C. As early as the first millennium B.C. the Dravidians had their own states in southern India (Andhras, Pandya, Chola, and Chera). In the course of their development the Dravidians created a highly advanced culture (literature, art, theater). In the 17th and 18th centuries the British colonialists seized the areas settled by the Dravidians and began to repartition their lands, destroying the ethnic territory of the Dravidian peoples. During the struggle for national self-determination the Dravidians, like other major Indian peoples, demanded that states be formed out of their ethnic territory. The borders of these states were finally established in 1956: the Tamils live primarily in the state of Tamil Nadu (Madras), the Teluga in the state of Andhra Pradesh, the Kanarese in the state of Mysore, and the Malayalams in the state of Kerala.

REFERENCE

Narody Iuzhnoi Azii. Moscow, 1963. (Bibliography, pages 893-94.)

N. R. GUSEVA

References in periodicals archive ?
According to the revised edition of the Dravidian Etymological Dictionary, compiled by Thomas Burrow and Murray B.
The Self-Respect Movement or Dravidian Movement in southern India was founded in 1925 by EV Ramaswamy.
My question is, are the Dravidian and Aryan races mere colonial constructs, inventions of prejudiced scholars, or are they ethnic realities recognized in Anthropology?
Devsena (Karthika Nair), the heir apparent and an unparalleled warrior, born in matriarchal society will be seen heading the Dravidian clan to defend it from the ambush of the Aryans, who in search of SaptSindhu were willing to leave no stone unturned.
There are patterned vowel losses in Elamitic while Dravidian stem vowels tend to be very stable.
The language is now considered the parent language of 7,000 Dravidian languages spoken in the Deccan in India.
Like the two major Dravidian parties, BJP is banking on the emotive issues of fishermen and Sri Lankan Tamils to connect with the electorate.
That leaves the BJP with possible support from one of the two Tamil Nadu-based Dravidian parties, the AIADMK and the DMK besides Naveen Patnaik's Biju Janata Dal and Shiv Sena despite its preference for Sushma Swaraj as PM.
Dravidians form the predominant ethno-linguistic group in southern India and the northern and eastern regions of Sri Lanka.
After a brief discussion of some of the most basic features of Dravidian ('local') and Australian ('global') systems, I shall argue that sections, which are the principal devices inherent in Dumont's and Viveiros de Castro's 'global' formula, neither reproduce terminological structure nor act as mechanisms involved in pragmatic kin-recognition.
His celebrated Grammar of the Dravidian or South Indian Family of Languages (1856) sought to demonstrate that Tamil (as well as Malayalam, Kannada, and Telugu) had an antiquity as great as Sanskrit and other classical languages.
While northern India shows the impact of Aryans, Greeks and Moghuls as well as Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism and Islam, Tamil Nadu has remained the home of Dravidian Hinduism.