Page:Origin and spread of the Tamils.djvu/39

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.




28 ORIGIN AND SPREAD OF THE TAMILS the different parts of South India, and in the march of time got mingled with the indigenous tribes. But I question the theory that these immigrants were Dravidians. The theory of the Pre-Dravidians and ProtoDravidians is a myth of the 20th century. Neither the archaeologist nor the historian of South India could furpish tangible proof of a displacement of peoples and of culture from one age to the other either by a catastrophe or other causes. On the other hand, there is every thing in favour of continuity of paleolithic culture passing peacefully to neolithic, the neolithic to iron culture. The archaeological finds clearly indicate a regular progress of culture. It is wrong to say that the jungle and hill tribes are ethnically different from the Dravidians of South India as we understand by the term today. Students of the Anthropogeography of the Deccan know that five types of culture persisted in this land since the Neolithic times. Of these, the types of people who embraced hunting and fishing are the earliest, belonging to the lowest Paleolithic Age. Continuous living down the ages in forests and coastal regions respectively has resulted in their developing peculiar modes of life and mental habits. The question of pigmentation need not disturb us for it is to be attributed to the climatic environment and to some extent the nature of occupation pursued. The introduction and extension of agriculture could not and should not mean abandonment of primitive economic pursuits. Men placed in a certain evironment plied their old trade and kept up their standards of living