Page:Origin and spread of the Tamils.djvu/62

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SPREAD OF TAMIL CULTURE ABROAD 51 were played as sacred music. When the incense was being burned hand-bells were sounded, accompanied by cymbals, the temple girls (Devaļāsis) danced before the altar. Another feature of ancient civilization was the prevalence of a matrilineal system adopted by the followers of the cult of the Mother Goddess. It was the Marumakkattāyam - system even now prevalent in Malabar as against the Makkattāyam in other parts of the country. The Marumakkattāyam was once in all South India, South Europe, Asia Minor, Mesopotamia and Egypt. The system was another link that connected South India with the rest of the ancient world. As in Egypt, descent in Crete was through the female line. If we tackle the problem from the point of view of dress, here again we find unquestionable parallels. Men in Crete and Egypt wore waist cloth only. They further put on sandals or high boots. They also had long hair ordinarily hanging down at the back of the head. With regard to the method of doing the hair, we have an interesting evidence. Okkur Māsattiyar, a poetess of the Tamil land praises a Tamil lady who, on the country's call, sent her only son to the field of battle. At that time she dressed his long hair gathering it up in a bun or knot, after the fashion of ancient Sumer. Though Mohenjo Daro affords varied styles of hair dressing, still all point to wearing long hair. The evidence of the Puranantiru shows the much condemned