Page:Origin and spread of the Tamils.djvu/91

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80 ORIGIN AND SPREAD OF THE TAMILS themselves started to send their wares so far as possible up the western coast of India in the order to find a more crowded market of Greeks, Syrians, Arabians, Persians, Sakas, Andhras, Kushans. Ceylon, too, adopted the same methods and was seldom visited by “Roman" subjects. The Cera Kingdom was more fertile, more peaceful, more easily reached by western merchants than were other Tamils, and places like Barbaricon, Barygaza, were more easily reached by Persians, Arabians, Syrians, Palmyrenes, Kusbans, and so on, than were any of the Tamil Kingdoms. The Periplus shows that in his time the pearls of the more southern Tamil Slates and tortoise shell from various sources were brought to the Malabar marts in order to find a market, that the iron and steel of India (chiefly the central district, not the Sind town, of Haiderabad) was exported solely from North-West India, that the products of Ceylon (and especially the sapphires of Ceylon, Burma, and Siam) were brought to the marts of Malabar which were in touch with the East Coast of India." (See Warmington, op. cit., pp. 277-917.) 7. The ancient Tamils distinguished three kinds of boats. These were those for fishing craft, those for river craft and those for overseas. Taking up the boats used for fishing purposes we find indigenous types of canoe both in Malabar and Travancore, with the exception of cargo lighters of Arab design and soake-boats meant for water festivals in Travancore resembling the Phoenician type of armed galley. Beyond the Cape, over a hundred miles, the Paravas (fishermen, by profession) use boat catamaran and boat canoe resembling Malabar dug-out canoe. These are of two or three logs of wood secured by coir ropes. The boat canoes are named vallams, by which term the Mesopotamenan Arab styla all boats of canoe-form. In the largest cancer seven or right men sail, all for fishing.