Page:Pre-Aryan Tamil Culture.djvu/50

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48 sacramentally pure, when folded after being washed and dried. Such cloth was unfolded and worn, a long piece around the waist and another, round the trunk, loose and graceful, beautiful to look at and allowing the air and the sun to kiss the skin and destroy the innumerable germs that get lodged in it and destroy its health. The supply of cotton being unlimited and the patience of the weavers being inexhaustible, there was no temptation, such as existed in wool-wearing countries, to cut up cloth so as to make small bits go a long way, and to prepare stitched clothes. Not that the needle (usi, 1 ilai-vangi,?) or its use in stitching, Lunnal, tazyal, 4 was unknown, but in addition to the objection that stitched clothes reveal too much the human anatomy, there was no necessity to use them when cloth was plentiful. Indeed whole cloth, without a tear, mended or unmended, becaine in popular estimation sacramentally pure, and stitches of any kind rendered cloth unfit for use on ceremonial occasions. Ladies who in all respects preserve ancient orthodoxy intact, do not wear stitched cloth on such occasions. The jacket, the only form of stitched clothes ladies wear, has got the non-Tamil name of ravikkai; & it was possibly introduced into the country by Yavana (Greek and Roman) ladies that formed the bodyguard of Indian kings two thousand years ago, or later by the Muhammadans. Whatever its origin, it is worn only on secular occasions and even then only by young women, who are allowed greater lapses into heterodoxy of conduct than elderly ladies. Serving men and soldiers wore coats, fattaż,7 kuppayam, 8 taippai, mey ppai, 10 the latter two karanappeyar, indicating that a coat was a late introduction in the lives of the Tamils. The absence of stitched clothes among the Indians struck that accurate foreign student of Indian manners, A1 Bērūni, as so peculiar, that he remarks that the Indians wore turbans for trousers,' a long piece of unstitched cloth appealing to the Muslim imagination as being fit only for turbans. The Tamils did not wear turbans as a rule, their unshaved head serving as sufficient protection against the sun ; but in the cotton districts where the summer sun is so fierce, men wore huge turbans and tight fore-lap cloth. This latter, kachchu, 11 kachchai, 12 kovanam, 13 is the only absolutely indispensable garment for the Tamil people, and is woven with decorative lines, athwart and along, even to-day in parts of South India. Apparently the turban was not universal ; only one name for it is traceable-pagai, 14 or pagu, 15 often with talai, 16 prefixed to it, it is not possible to guess why. There remain kudai, 17 umbrella, made of palm leaves and fixed to a stick or clapped on the head like a hat, and seruppu, 18 leather sandals and kuradu, 19 wooden sandals, for the feet, both also being referred to by the compound word midiyadi,20 possible faz '* or paon was not 1ாசி. இழைவங்கி, துன்னல், ® Jud. A poor man's rags are described in Porunarārruppadai, 80-81, as cloth stitched, full of threads other than those with which it was woven and wet with sweat. வேரொடு சனைந்த வேற்றிழை நுழைந்த, துன்னத் சிதா அர். 7சட்டை . குப்பாயம். உதைப்பை, 10 QURU. 11,.. 19C:record. 1.ures, 12,8m. 15 uro. 16 stou. 17 . 18Q-TOY 197pR. 20