Origins of Tamils?[Where are Tamil people from?]PART:72

Compiled by: Kandiah Thillaivinayagalingam]

The ancient science of cosmetology is believed to have originated in Egypt and India,but the earliest records of cosmetic substances and their application dates back to about 2500 and 1550 B.C,to the Indus valley civilization.where We came to know that Woman applied lipstick by 2000 BC.There is evidence of highly advanced ideas of self beautification and a large array of various cosmetic usages both by men and women,in ancient Tamilakam too.Significantly,the use of cosmetics was directed not only towards developing an outwardly pleasant and attractive personality,but towards achieving merit,Longevity with good health.For example,the men and women of Sangam age were fond of using oil,aromatic scents,coloured powders and paints,while the sandal paste was heavily applied on their chests.Kurunjippaaddu clearly said in line 107-108 that "The hero was handsome with oiled,curly hair, on which fragrant pastes and perfumes had been rubbed."sandal paste is believed to cool the body’s temperature.Purananuru 3 confirmed the use of sandal paste as cosmetic substance-"Your broad chest is smeared across with sandal paste and your feet are adorned with golden anklets".Tamil women of the early centuries were not wearing blouses and they covered their breasts only with the ornamental paste of sandalwood and even some time,according to sangam literature,women had pictures drawn on their bodies in coloured patterns.This is called
toyyil.Kurunthogai 276 question - "Somebody  painted bright thoyyil designs on her beautiful, budding breasts. without knowing it will sweep others eye. What happen to her if I appeal in the court of the king?"The Tamil women have also other ways of adding to their beauty.From the very early days the habit of putting Collyrium to the eye is very familiar (Kanmai).Purananuru 89 confirm this beautification-"O Virali[female musician] with a bright forehead,kohl[an ancient eye cosmetic] decorated eyes,delicate nature and lifted loins wearing splendid jewels!".There is no tamil function without flowers whether it is a happy or sad.Pattinapalai (10:110), refers to the gender-wise differences  even in the making of garlands for adornment.Another important custom is to have Kumkum pottu/Bindi on the fore head.We can find this in early period as well,

In Purananuru 147,the poet advising the hero[King] while he is living other lady than his wife that If you want to award me please join with your wife.Yesterday,I met her. She is suffering loneliness without your company.Your presence will make her to dress her hair oiling, bathing and flower decoration.
"King of Aviyars!  Grant me the gift of you going
to your wife today, the beautiful dark woman, who,
yesterday, stood alone in despair listening to the
sweet sounds of rain drops, tears dripping from her
pretty, streaked, moist eyes, her hair without oil,
so that her hair can be adorned with flowers, after
being washed perfectly, to shine like sapphire gems".[Purananuru 147]

In Kurunthokai 5,the heroine asked her friend "Is this how love sickness is, my friend? My kohl-lined eyes refuse to sleep"

"Is this how love sickness is, my friend?
The lord of the delicate shores,
……….where residing herons sleep in the
……….sweet shade of punnai trees,
……….which bloom when the breaking
……….waves spray their sweet mist,
has left me.
My kohl-lined eyes that resemble flowers
with many petals refuse to sleep."

Pictures on seals and other artefact show us how some Indus people dressed.It was hot all year round,so people did not need thick clothes to keep warm.The dress of men and women consisted of two pieces of cloth-one resembling a dhoti,covering the lower part,and the other worn over the left shoulder and under the right arm.However,many workmen probably just wore a loincloth,which looked a bit like baggy shorts.Women wore dresses that probably covered much of the body though some might have been topless.Both men and women wore jewellery,especially beads and arm-bangles.Some women had elegant hairstyles,with braids and beads.Some arranged their hair in headdresses shaped like fans.The discovery of a large number of spindles showed that they knew weaving and spinning.Similarly it was concluded, by the discovery of needles and buttons,that the people of this age knew the art of stitching.Some buttons were carved into geometric shapes and had holes pierced into them so that they could be attached to clothing by using a thread.However,the button,in fact,was originally used more as an ornament than as a fastening,It is made of a curved shell.
During the sangam period also we find that except for nobles and kings,men were usually satisfied with just two pieces of cloth-one below the waist and another adorning the head like a turban.Women used cloth only to cover below the waist.The tribal population was not in a position to do that even.The tribal women used leaves and barks to cover themselves.Only the upper strata of society of ancient tamilakam used dress of fine muslin and silk.In Purananuru 189,the poet advising that whether you are a king or ordinary man,both of you can eat only a certain quantity per day and can wear Only two cloths:one on lower and the other on upper of your body.All other basic enjoyments are also equal.Then what is the use of having wealth? So, the purpose of wealth is helping the poor.

                                   "Between those who rule with white umbrellas,

not sharing with others this earth surrounded by
clear waters, and an uneducated man who stalks
fast animals in the middle of the night and during
the day without sleeping, there is everything
in common:  the need for a measure of food to eat
and two sets of clothes.
So, the purpose of wealth is charity.  If one thinks
of enjoying wealth themselves, many matters will fail!"[purananuru 189 ]



Post a Comment