Page:Pre-Aryan Tamil Culture.djvu/67

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65 kum patti, 1 into which was poked a Sulundu, 2 stalk sometimes tipped with sulphur. Salt was manufactured on a large scale. Salt-fields have several names : uppalam," alakkar, 4 uvarkkalam, s uvalagam,& kali.? These names prove that salt-manufacture was an extensive industry, a fact which we could have inferred otherwise also, because the large use of vegetable food and especially of curries of innumerable kinds and of the many varieties of pickies to tempt the palate and satisfy its craving and to render rice and pulses tasty, requires the free use of salt. The food of Northern and Southern India has remained unchanged for five thousand years and more. But the necessities of modern commerce have begun to alter it in many respects. Old ways of preparing foodstuffs and cooking them are giving way to new ones; the old methods of boiling and pounding paddy with the hand preserved the proteids and vitamins necessary for health and strength; but the new methods of hulling by machinery and polishing unboiled paddy are giving rise to the widespread diseases of civilization--tuberculosis and diabetes and to general enfeeblement. The old custom of eating leafcurry and fruits cooked with their skins is giving way to modern refinements in cookery, and tinned provisions are taking the place of freshly made ones, so that the health of the people is steadily degenerating. The old forms of food were the result of thousands of years of experience, whereas the new ones, supposed to raise the standard of living, are really refined methods of committing slow suicide. S in cookertooked with theinent. The olation--tubercaddy are The ones, so that the honed provisions giving way AGRICULTURE Says Prof. G. Elliot Smith, I suppose most people would be prepared to admit that the invention of agriculture was the beginning of civilization. It involved a really settled society and the assurance of a food supply. Hence it created the two conditions without which there could have been no real development of arts and crafts and the customs of an organized form of society.'8 Prof. Smith is of opinion that agriculture was developed in Egypt with the sowing of barley about ten thousand years ago and thence spread to other parts of the world. At about the same or perhaps a few millenniums earlier, as stone tools testify, the cultivation of paddy and the weaving of cotton began in the plains of South India. Hence the rise of Indian agriculture was not consequent on its development in Egypt. Agriculture was the main industry of Ancient India, as it is to-yay. It was carried on chiefly in the lower reaches of rivers where irrigation by means of canals is possible. Thus in the Sola country, Sonadu,9 the fertile delta of the Kāviri, even to-day the granary of South India and the island of Ceylon, was the main scene of agricultural operations. In the Pandya nādu, in the valleys of the Vaigai and the Tāmraparņi wet cultivation was carried on. In the Sēra nādu which looked up to the sky for irrigation, the strig of coast west of the ghats where the rain it raineth every day during the monsoons, was devoted to this early industry of Indian man. In உவர்க்க ளம், உவர்கம், 75'. கும்பட்டி, சேந்து. 3உப்பளம். *Nature, Jan. 15, 1927, p. 8. Gere.