Page:Pre-Aryan Tamil Culture.djvu/57

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'Hard-eyed hunters fix closely woven nets on the thorns of the hedges of fields in Pālaī land and drive into them rabbits which have long ears like the outer petals of the thorny-stalked lotus, they then proceed along with dogs whose jaws are wide-open, beat the shrubs and hunt the rabbit and eat them'.[1]

Trials of strength by wrestling was also a common amusement among the Tamils; the following is a description of maṛpor, wrestling[2]:—

In Āmūr which produces sweet and strong liquor he overcame the great strength of the wrestler; he bent one of his knees and planted it on his adversary's chest; with the other leg he defeated the tactics, bent the back of his rival; as an elephant which tries to eat a bamboo, he hammered his rival's head and feet and conquered him: may Tittan the heroic father of the wrestler see the sight, whether it would please him or not.

Means of Transport

Walking was the only means of transport in nomad times. Modern anthropological opinion is coming round to the view that the Stone Age man was a great wanderer from the earliest times and that there was much intercourse between Asia and Africa on the one hand, and Europe and even America on the other, if not as much as there is in these days of the steam engine. The primitive nomad, hide-clad or skyclad, shouldered his tools and walked from country to country and spread the different stages of palæolithic culture all over the world. The motive for this travel was perhaps quest for food and the necessity for avoiding climatic rigour; or perhaps it was merely due to wanderlust and to the non-development of house building and of the habit of storing wealth, and living in one place to guard it from enemies. With the building of permanent habitations and the development of a love of luxury man began to make vehicles. The earliest kind of vehicle was the cart, vaṇḍil[3] also called ūrdi,[4] oḻugai[5], śagaḍu[6], śāḍu,[7] vaiyam.[8] Vaṇḍil now shortened into vaṇḍi literally means the bent place, from root of vaḷ to bend, whence vaḷai[9] to surround, to besiege,

  1. பகுவாய ஞமலியொடு பைம்புத வெருக்கித்
    தொகுவாய் வேலித் தொடர்வலை மாட்டி
    முள்ளரைத் தாமரைப் புல்லிதழ் புரையு
    நெடுஞ்செவிக் குறுமுயல் போக்கற வளைஇக்
    கடுங்கட் கானவர் கடறுகூட் டுண்ணு

    Perumbāṇāṛṛuppaḍai, 112-117.

  2. இனிகடுங் கள்ளி னாமூ ராங்கண்
    மைந்துடை மல்லன மதவலி முருக்கி
    யொருகான் மார்பொதுங் கின்றே யொருகால்
    வருதார் தாங்கிப் பின்னெதுங் கின்றே
    நல்கினும் நல்கா னாயினும் வெல்போரப்
    போரருந் தித்தன் காண்கதி லம்ம
    பசித்துப் பனைமுயலும யானை போல
    விருதலை யொகிய வெற்றிக்
    களம்புகு மல்லற் கடந்தகு நிலையே.

    Puṛam. 80.

  3. வண்டில்
  4. ஊர்தி
  5. ஒழுகை
  6. சகடு
  7. சாடு
  8. வையம்
  9. வளை