21 September, 2019

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Angampora – 5000 Years Of Combat Tradition – A Response

By P. Soma Palan

P. Soma Palan

I refer to the article under the heading “Angampora – 5000 Years Of Combat Tradition” by Mr. Dishan Joseph (DJ) in the Sunday Observer of 10th March. I wish to express my contrary views to his proposition that Angampora is a traditional “indigenous Martial Art of Sri Lanka that has withstood the test of time”, as stated by him, for following reasons:

1. By the word “indigenous”, it is presumed that he implies that it is an original Sinhala Martial Art form and it has 5000 years of combat tradition. This contradicts ancient historical facts. 5000 years would mean, either inclusive of the CE (Christian era) or 2500 years BC (before CE). Considering the claim of the Mahavamsa that the Sinhala race was founded by Vijaya only in 500 BC, then, Angampora could not be an indigenous Sinhala martial Art form, because there was no Sinhala race in existence, at that period of time. Therefore, those who practiced Angampora martial art could only be non- Sinhala inhabitants of Lanka from pre-Vijayan time. DJ also says that “some say that King Ravana was well versed in this defensive art as well as being a practitioner of Ayurveda”. This is quite true. Ravana was, additionally, an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva, and a Hindu Tamil. Even Ravana’s grandfather King Pulasthi, his brother Kumbarkarnan, King Moothasive and his son Devanambiya tissan, were all Dravidian Hindu kings.

2. Therefore, it is clear that the so-called “Angampora” martial art was practiced by the  ancient Dravidian Tamils and/or the Telugus. In the post- Devanambiya period , this martial art form would have been continued by the converted Hindus to Buddhism, who adopted the ethnic label, Sinhalese.

3. DJ gives the etymological break-up of the word Angampora. The word “Angam” he says means the body and “Pora” means fight. He presumes this is a Sinhala word. DJ states that Angampora  “has a 5000 years of combat tradition”. The claim it is a Sinhala word and 5000 years of combat tradition, are self-contradictory. Because, there was no Sinhala written language, alphabet and grammar, then. Sinhala language evolved only around 7th century A.D. Further, the Sinhala race is said have been founded by Vijaya only in 500 BC, as per the Mahavamsa chronicle. Thus the name of the martial art “Angampora” is an adaptation of the Tamil word “Angampor”. Tamil meaning of the word “Angam” is limbs of the body (not the body) and the word “por” means fight. The word “por” has been transmuted to “pora”, by the Sinhalese. That is, fighting with limbs (legs and hands). The truth is that, this martial art form is not indigenous to Lanka, but a South Indian Martial art form. Since the indigenous inhabitants of Lanka, since the time of King Pulasthi to King Devambiya tissan were a mix of Dravidians (Tamils,

Telegus, Malayalees, Kannada etc), Angampor, as a martial art, was practiced by them, from the time Lanka separated from the mainland, South India. Moreover, the existence of another variation of this South Indian martial art, called “Angampudi, which is a form of combat using limbs in “Pudi”, meaning ,“holds and locks”, which is akin to modern day Indian Wrestling, reinforces  the proposition that “Angampora” referred to by the Sinhalese, is in actual fact, is of South Indian origin.

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  • 8
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    Are you going to say we borrowed every thing from India, religion, culture, food and now all import (80%) of items are from India, so why not this dance lone.. History is a funny thing to note.. It can be interpreted in many ways… Tamils read it differently from Sinhalese: Humanity will never agree upon any thing. Tamils have got caste ? why not Sinhalese? It tell you all Tamils have had connection with South India while Sinhalese from somewhere else? .

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      Siw hela ( Elu, Pali ) or Sinhala (Sanskrit ) means four tribes : Rasksha, Naga, Yakka and Deva. Whose ruler about 5000 years ago was Ravana , the son Of Pulastys . Ravana is an Raksha King who ruled the Nagas. Nagas being modern Tamils and south Indians. This is why the people of Kerala state and Tamil Nadu believe they came from a sunken Landmass called Kumari Kandam.; of which Sri Lanka is a remaining fragment.
      Siw- Hela or Sinhala survived this devastation. The British who needed a policy to rule the island as well as India. Created a Indo-Aryan – Dravidian divide. . Pitting the so-called Aryan- Buddhist against the Dravidian Tamils.
      The real history of Lanka remains in olu leaf manuscripts written in Pali, Elu, Sanskrit and medieval Sinhala. All of which the” Kulu suddha” Colombo people cannot read. So these Kulu sudda’s accept what ever the British master’s wrote. And worst of all Tamils cannot understand the language of the nation that they live in and go to British and Kulu suddha scholarship to justify their opinions. The history of Ceylon is found in Sabaragamuwa, Matale, Nuwara Eliya and the Kandyans Highlands. Unfortunately these people cannot write in English.
      Sinhala did not come from India – they were already on the island ,while the south Indians ” Dravidian” Came from Lanka. Most of it Submerged

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        niro

        “Siw hela ( Elu, Pali ) or Sinhala (Sanskrit ) means four tribes : Rasksha, Naga, Yakka and Deva”

        Can you please cite some reliable/authentic reference to your story?
        Which lexicon says Siw hela means 4 tribes? Can you provide us a link? How did “Siw hela” (four tribes) become “Sinhala”?

        First of all, there is no any historical evidence to prove that the term ‘hela’ was used to denote any race or country. On the other hand the term ‘Siw hela’ cannot be seen in any of the ancient inscriptions in Sri Lanka or in any of the ancient literary works. Rasksha, Naga, Yakka, and Deva tribes living in Sri Lanka from ancient time is a mystery because there is NO archeological/epigraphic evidence what so ever to prove it.

        On the other hand, if you read all the ancient Indian (Hindu, Buddhist & Jain) texts such as the Vedas, Upanishads, Ramayana, Mahabaratha, Jataka, Bagawath Geetha, etc, etc, you will find that in every text (both North and South Indian) the tribes Rasksha, Yakksha, Naga, Deva and many more are mentioned not as Sri Lankans but as Indians. In Tamil Nadu you will find even place names such as Nagakovil, Nagapatinam, etc where Nagas lived. How did the Indian Yaksha, Naga, Deva get into the Mahavamsa? The Mahavamsa author has done a copy-and-paste job. He has taken the Indian Rasksha, Yakksha, Naga, Deva tribes and converted them into native Sri Lankans. The only tribe original to Sri Lanka is the Veddas. The Sinhalese are nothing but Indians and mostly South Indians.

    • 7
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      The so called ancient Sinhalese martial art Angampora had been introduced by Tamil mercenaries from Kerala. In fact, Angampora was heavily influenced by Tamil Martial art that was famous in Tamil Nadu and Kerala (Kerala = then it had been called Tamil Sera Kingdom). The Tamil Kerala mercenaries had been assimilated into Sinhala ethnic group and also the martial art.

      The word Angampora could be divided into two separated words as Angam + Por.
      Here, the words’ meaning in Tamil

      Angam = Body parts / Body
      Por = War / Combat

      That means Body combat or combat using body parts.

      The members and /or masters of this martial art school have been called ‘Panik Rala’ in Sinhala.
      The word ‘Pani’ means ‘work’ in Tamil. In Malayalam they have been called ‘Panikkers’ (Pani + Kers). The ancient Tamils of Kerela who settled in Sri Lanka and got converted into Sinhalese also practiced these martial arts.

      The Sinhala Tele-drama Dandubasnamanaya (available on Utube) gives a clear picture of how the Sinhalese were connected to the Kerala Tamils and how the martial art practiced by the Kerala Tamils were introduced to the Sinhalese. In Tamil it is also known as Varma adi.

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        south Indian was not allowed here due to two reasons. one is Demala sanni or cholora & vasoori second reason stolen of crown like Ekara did. only the merchants with few servants allowed. Then how come Tamil or Kerala culture & technologies bring here without experts ???. Can you please explain ???? if you want to see Sinhala scriptures in BC period. Exactly First century BC go & see Abeyagiriya. That was built by king Valagamba’s body guards called Karavo clan. people. You can see sinhala Notices. That means language existed even before first century BC.

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          Ranjith (SPARROW)
          The best example is you, a Kochi convert. Your ancestors were brought from Kerala (Kochi) and settled in the South for fishing. Most of those fishermen were also very good Sorcerers. If you read the books written by the Sinhala Historians such as Professor K.M. de Silva (A History of Sri Lanka), Dr. Paul E. Pieris (extracts from the Portuguese tombo records), Professor Gananath Obeyesekere (Buddhism, Ethnicity, and Identity) and many others, you will get to know in full detail how your ancestors were brought and settled in down south, how they became Buddhists (to hide their original low caste) and how they became Sinhalese (got converted to hide their low caste identity). All the original Sorcerers books were in Malayalam, what you have today is translated from Malayalam to Sinhala. Your great great grandparents were speaking Malayalam, today you speak Sinhala because your great grandparents got converted to Sinhala Buddhists. However, you still eat Malayalam cuisines (food) without knowing.

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            In 1st century BC king walagamba’s body guards were Karawo soldiers. At that time little after Merchant ELARA’s conspiracy robbing Sinhala kingdom. Gamunu took it back with Karawo soldiers help. As such there was no possibility of bringing down crowd from south India for any reason. If our great grand fathers language was Malayalam. there must be any ruins of it in our present day language vocabulary but no such ruins can be found. As I said earlier our ancient kings kept our community separated from others due to leakage of martial arts to others. As such we should speak same language so far. Even though Dutch & Portuguese converted some areas to Christianity.they kept same rules as their local soldiers were converted Christians under the name of Lascarine . Lascarine means Indigenous militia. Either Portuguese or Dutch had no big say in Malabar coast. As such in that time even bringing down of people from Kerala was not a possibility. But coromendal coast Dutch were very powerful. They brought slave laborers from Andra Now called Jaffna Tamils. I do not need any bullshit academic goons writing to talk on my ancestry. My uncle professor Siripala Leelarathnay done it for us with ancient documents held by my father. Our Cuisines are not Malayalam. They were & are ancient Austronesian cuisines. go and see Sakalaya areas in Madagascar or Malagasy republic sakalaya region. thank you .

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        The art of the Pallavas, Volume 2 of Indian Sculpture Series. G. Wittenborn, 1957. p. 2.
        “Several different indigenous clans lived in the island of Sri Lanka during the pre-Vijaya era (before 505 BCE). These clans of Sri Lanka and the mystical kingdom of Lanka were mentioned in the great epics of Mahabaratha, Mahavamsa, Manimekalai, Ramayana and Sangam. [1] It is believed that four main clans lived in Sri Lanka before king Vijaya explored the island. The four clans are Yaksha (Yakku), Naga, Deva, and Raksha (Rakus)[2] . It is believed that these names were attributed metaphorically to indicate their profession: Yaksha people were believed to inhabit in the mountains where they had used monsoon wind to mould iron, Raksha people were supposed to be farmers who used the steel products of the yaksha people in their farming endeavours (the name Raksha is derived from the two syllables ra + kus, in Sinhalese kus means “stomach”; rakus literally means the people who fulfill hunger or the people who provide rice, the staple food of the Sinhalese people), the Naga people were believed to be traders, the Deva people were the rulers, the people who used to be the link between the Raksha people and yaksha people. The religion of the natives is known that the Naga culture were serpent-worshippers and the Yakka culture were demon worshippers. Even today, the Sri Lankan culture has some elements that originated from the culture of the Yakkas and Nagas. “

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          Niro

          There is no archeological or epigraphic (inscriptions) evidence what so ever to prove that the four tribes Yaksha, Naga, Deva, and Raksha lived in the island. The one and only source that talks about Yaksha, Naga, Deva, and Raksha in ancient Sri Lanka is the Mahavamsa. However, even the Mahavamsa calls them non-humans.

          In the Indian Hindu, Buddhist and Jain texts, ‘Yaksha’ are referred to as chthonic semi-divine beings, half god and half demon. They live under the earth in the Himalayas where they guard the wealth of the earth. They are led by Kubera, the god of wealth.

          In the Indian Hindu, Buddhist and Jain texts, ‘Naga’ are referred to as a primeval race of divine serpent-people that play an important part in religion. They are half human and half snake, and are still worshipped as the bringers of fertility. Nagas are believed to live in palaces (Patala) in the underground city Bhogavati. They are considered the protectors of springs, wells and rivers. Their ruler is Sesha.

          In the Indian Hindu, Buddhist and Jain texts, ‘Deva’ is referred to in exalted beings of various types. Hinduism recognizes three types of devas: mortals living on a higher realm than other mortals, enlightened people who have realized God, and Brahman in the form of a personal God. In Buddhism, devas are gods who live in the various realms of heaven as rewards for their previous good deeds, but they are still subject to rebirth.

          In the Indian Hindu, Buddhist and Jain texts, ‘Raksha/Rakus’ is referred to as mean growling like beasts, and as insatiable cannibals that could smell the scent of human flesh. Generally they could fly, vanish, and had Maya (magical powers of illusion), which enabled them to change size at will and assume the form of any creature. They were led by Ravana, their king.

          Continued…

          • 0
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            Deva or theva

            For your ignorance you don’t know that there are so many epigraphic referances about yaksha or yaka & naga or naka people in SL

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              Latha,

              Where?
              For your info, there is nothing what so ever. If you have found any epigraphic referances or if you know anyone who found it please give us the link. Tell us who found it, when, where and where is it mentioned. yaka & naga are only mentioned in the Pali chronicles and clearly depicted as mythical creatures.

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          Continued from above…

          Niro

          Even in the Buddhist scriptures, they are mentioned as non-humans. For example, in the Mahasamaya sutta in the sutta pitika, it is mentioned that when Buddha was living in the great forest at Kapilavatthu, both good and evil non-humans came to see him. Here, Buddha says, so many Yakkhas, Nagas, Rakshas, Asuras, Supannas, devas and Brahamas got together and so the Arahants of Buddha rejoiced with them, the non-humans.

          However, centuries later in the island known today as Sri Lanka, the Mahavihara monks including the Mahavamsa author who seems to be very knowledgeable (well versed) in the Indian (Sanskrit and Pali) texts has done a copy, paste and modify job to bring these Non-Human (Indian) tribes as Sri Lanka’s natives.

          It is true that several different indigenous clans lived in the island of Sri Lanka during the pre-Vijaya era. From the archeological/epigraphic evidence it is clear that during the early historic period the tribes that lived in the island of Lanka were Demadas, Kabojas/kambojas, Milekas, Muridis, Merayas and Jhavakas (not Yaksha, Naga, Raksha and Deva) and the ruling clan was Lambakannas and Moriyas. Yaksha, Naga, Raksha and Deva were only mentioned in the Mahavamsa as non-human beings. Even the Indian Hindu and Buddhist (Sanskrit and Pali) texts refer to them as non-human.

          Myths, fallacies, fictions, concoctions and lies should be challenged, don’t just believe them as gospel.

          • 2
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            The Sinhalese of Ceylon and The Aryan Theory ( 1961 )
            Letters of a Tamil father to his son
            Samuel Livingstone
            His final conclusions are that the Sinhalese are a Dravidian race, who never came from outside, but have been occupying this island from time immemorial, and that their language too has been Dravidian from the very beginning.

            • 0
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              Niro

              What is said about the Sinhalese is correct.

              The Dravidians were the original people of South Asia who later occupied Southern India and Sri Lanka. The Dravidians were occupying this island (and South India) from time immemorial (when exactly they settled is not known) and the language of this (South India-Sri Lanka) region was also Dravidian from the very beginning. They were devotees of Lord Siva (Saivaism is a sect of Hinduism/Brahmanism prevalent in South India – Sri Lanka region before Buddhism). The numerous occurrences of the personal name Siva in the Pali chronicles and in the early Brahmi stone inscriptions also support this. As per Ramayana, even the Yaksha king Ravana was believed to be a Dravidian chieftain and a strong devotee of Lord Siva.

              Everything changed in Sri Lanka due to the North Indian Emperor Asoka who sent Buddhist missionary monks led by his son Mahinda Thero to the island and converted the Saivaite Dravidian King Muta Siva’s second son Tissa (brother of Maha Siva) to Buddhism in the 2nd century BC (Tissa/Tisa is the Buddhist name, his real Saiva Dravidian name is not known). Emperor Asoka gave Tissa a title Devanampiya for accepting Buddhism. Buddhism in Sri Lanka was actually a North Indian conspiracy organized by the North Indian Emperor Asoka and his son Mahinda with the support from the local stooge Tissa (second son of Saivaite King Muta Siva) who seized the Anuradapura throne (with Asoka’s support) which rightly belonged to his elder brother Abhaya.

              Following the king Devanampiya Tissa, a large number of Saivaite Dravidian tribes in the island embraced Asoka’s Buddhism, Aryanised/Prakritised their speech, learned to write using Asoka Bhrami script, adopted the Lion symbol (the Indian Lion which represents the accomplishment of Buddha) and the Dhamma Chakra (also called the Asoka Chakra), accepted the Asoka Buddhist culture and implemented Asoka’s technology to build Stupas, Chaityas, Viharas, Sangharama, and so on. This is how the Sinhala race originated in Sri Lanka.

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                Continued from above…

                To create the Sinhala-Buddhist society in the 5th century AD (several centuries after Devanampiya Tissa and Asoka’s Buddhist conspiracy), the Mahavihara monks including the Mahavamsa author (biased towards North India due to Buddhism and Pali) have imagined/visualized a mass ‘Aryan migration’ from North India during the proto-historic period. This myth created the foundation for the authoritative history of the island, conditioning the minds of the people from generation to generation and it still continues to the future generation. In reality, there is no objective evidence of an Aryan migration from North India. Even though the Sinhala language, religion and culture are Indo-Aryan (meaning North Indian), the ethnic structure of the Sinhalese in Sri Lanka is quite similar to South Indian (Dravidian).
                Many renowned Scholars have engaged in research on the ancient history of Sri Lanka for many years, conducting Archaeological excavations. The latest Archeological and Genealogical discoveries in Sri Lanka using modern technology show that not only the Flora and Fauna but the people of these two regions (South India and Sri Lanka) are of the same stock and closely connected.

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          Both Sinhalese and Sri Lankan Tamils are claiming that ‘yaksha’, ‘naga’, ‘deva’, ‘raksha’are actually the ‘Hela’ or ‘Eela’ tribes of ancient Sri Lanka and are the ancestors of present day Sinhalese (Hela) or Sri Lankan Tamils (Eela). The fact is, tradition came over the Indian Ocean to this country due to trade and migrations. ‘yaksha’, ‘naga’, ‘deva’, ‘raksha’, ‘ravana’, etc are Indo-Aryan mythology which was adopted to the island history by the authors of the Pali Chronicles. They are not indigenous to the island. In the Pali Chronicles itself, they are clearly depicted as mythical creatures. The concept of yaksha-naga-deva-raksha mythology is a widespread phenomenon that was shared across south Asia. It was part of the package we got when the Indian Tradition came over the Ocean. Even the terminologies, ‘yaksha’, ‘naga’, ‘deva’, ‘raksha’ are derived from Sanskrit. On the otherhand, the term ‘Hela’ or ‘Eela’ cannot be seen in any of the ancient inscriptions of Sri Lanka. The adoption of ‘Naga’ names during the early period was a fashion among local people (including kings) who had adopted the Indian Tradition.

    • 5
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      Critical thinking,
      For your info, every single “indigenous” food item can be found in India. This includes kavum, kokis, halapa, pittu, aappa, , you name it . Culture? Buddhism, Kandyan dancing, even the dancer’s clothes . Quite clearly the Sinhalese are not from “somewhere else”.

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      critical? You are not! Look at your discovery! ‘Tamils have got caste’. What do you call yours? Get it into your empty head: You are wasting your precious life over meaningless arguments.

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      Sri-lankischen Tamilischer ( De) , they did‘t come from Tamil Nadu? Srilankan /Jaffna Tamils came from Africa/ ancient Sumerian, in Jaffna Tamil / some Sinhala words came from ancient Sumerian Dynasty, for example- Gama( Sumerian)= Gama gani( Sinhala)= Gamam ( Tamil), now days nearly (10, countries) use this ( Gama) , ) Gama ( Itali)= Village ( Englisch)
      Next- Watha Aru( Sumerian) = Wathu Aru ( Sinhala ) = Aru( Tamil )= River —= ( English),= Aru ( Summer, Akkadian, Ur—3, Elamist, Kürzlich, Hüttan. Mayan, Tamilan) , lot more to go,

  • 7
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    SP says “By the word “indigenous”, it is presumed that he implies that it is an original Sinhala Martial Art form and it has 5000 years of combat tradition. There is no such implication in DJ’s article and it is only SP seeing through his Tamilian green eyes who has come up with the preposterous suggestion that Ravana is of Tamil origins. Next SP may say that everything under the sun including Pluto (the planet – not the dog) is of Tamil origin.

    • 9
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      edwin rodrigo, you are a gamaya bugger who sees everything as Tamil and Sinhala. I am not sure how a village buffoon like you end up with a western name. Racists on both sides will never allow this beautiful nation to flourish. Idiots will always play the race card and keep the fire burning. While the masses suffer, the racist trumpet will play.

      • 2
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        Tamil from the north, you call yourself ‘Tamil from the north’. Does it mean that there were ‘Tamil from the South’ too and you want to clearly distinguish yourself from them. No wonder, because all the Tamils from the South’ are Sakkilyas. But to tell you the truth they are more noble than the Brahmins from the North.
        .
        Oh, by the way, when did I bugger you? If I remember right, I have never buggered any Brahmins from the North. Not that I dislike them but the Thalathel smell is unbearable.

  • 0
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    Soma Palau say —(5000) years old Sinhala ( Angam + Pora / por ) body fight/ English, when did —Mahawamsa — written ? , After Jesus Born, and ancient times there was Tamil words mixed with Sinhala, Not only Sinhala lived in Srilanka, if you want ( 10,000, ,K.M) away there were Sinhala words( help of Tamil resech) , I tell Tütan Kai Mugan ( was a Tamil specking King) for example- this Name there was anther lived ( Tüten Kha Mugan ) in a land( Ancient Sumerian land), when ( Ella & Kai Mugan ) fighter and Ellala killed, for that King Tüten Kai Mugan — made a Statue For / Stone For Ellala, why north were Tamil speakers, that time no Tamil/ Sinhala, ( in 1970/80- Ex, Mahinda,went to UNO, Geneva:, today Tamils ( M.P)s going, what was happening now it reply to us,

  • 9
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    Taking what is Tamil and corrupting it to make it as theirs is the real Sinhala tradition. Angampora is just another example.

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      How is Angampora Tamil?

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        Sachoo explain what it is? Does it matter whether it is Tamil or Sinhala?

        • 0
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          Ask the author of this piece

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      The Sinhala culture and civilization is 100% BORROWED!

      The Sinhalese are experts in importing or borrowing everything from others, corrupting the names and then calling them their own.

      The Sinhalese people are from India (North & South), ‘Buddhism’ that the Sinhalese follow came from India. Sinhala language is nothing but Indo-Aryan Sanskrit/Prakrit and Pali with a heavy mixture of Tamil words. The Sinhala script was borrowed from the Indian Grantha script. The name of the country ‘Lanka’ was borrowed from the Indian epic Ramayana. The name of their race ‘Sinhala’ was borrowed from the Indian epic Mahabaratha.

      The Sari was borrowed from India, and the style of wearing sari by the early Kerala women was exactly what the Sinhalese women wear now. The Osari/Osariya (sari that the Sinhalese women wear) came from Kerela.

      Even the so called Kandiyan traditional dress is not exactly the traditional cultural dress of Sinhalese but a borrowed, altered version of medieval Portuguese dress.

      Most of the food the Sinhalese cook/eat including the sweet meats such as the Kavum is Kerala’s cultural cuisines. The traditional food in Kerela is exactly similar to the Sinhalese food, pol sambol, aapa, idiappa, pittu, pol rotti and so on.

      Sinhala Religious practices such as the Pattini deity worship (as well as the worship of Natha, Vishnu, Kataragama, Saman and Vibhishana) were also introduced to Sri Lanka from India.

      What the Sinhalese call Sinhala medicine is actually Ayurveda medicine brought to Sri Lanka from Kerela. Even today the Ayurvedic doctors (Wickramarachi et al) in Sri Lanka used to go to Kerela for further higher studies.

      All the ancient structures (including the advanced irrigation technology) is from South India (Tamil). The terms used in irrigation, together with their definitions, from the ‘Ancient Irrigation Works’, by R.L.Brohier reveals an important fact, they are Tamil derivatives and none of them are Indo-Aryan Prakrit or Pali or Sinhala.

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        What are the advanced irrigation works in TN?

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          Deva
          All advanced civilizations are predominantly based on borrowed material.
          What matters is how one uses it to advantage.
          Incidentally, linguists are almost unanimous that Sinhala is Indo-Aryan, perhaps an early Prakrit.
          Language and ethnicity need not coincide.
          *
          Sach
          Do you know that TN has for very long been producing a surplus of rice. Much of the surplus goes to Kerala?

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          sach

          The development of wet rice cultivation, a rudimentary tank system, and iron technology were common features of development for both Sri Lanka and South India/Tamil Nadu in the ancient past. For example, the Grand Anicut, also known as the Kallanai (considered one of the oldest water-diversion or water-regulator structures in the world, still in use) is an ancient dam built across the raging river Kaveri in the 2nd century BC in the state of Tamil Nadu.

          Much like the tank cascades of Tamil Nadu, tanks in Sri Lanka’s dry zones too are interconnected in series or parallel links within a single micro-catchment in which water is continuously recycled. While the ancient rice irrigation technology in Tamil Nadu has metamorphosed, the small tank irrigation systems managed by village communities in Sri Lanka’s dry zone is the only ancient irrigation culture that continues to exist even today.

          The tanks and fields, which were the main support of the kings, their armies and a large body of priests and monks, were damaged frequently either by wars between rival kings or through natural forces as well as sheer neglect. Repairs to these tanks and the maintenance of irrigation and cultivation could not be affected without the aid of specially trained men from the Tamil country. Sir James Emerson Tennent, Colonial Secretary to the British Government of Ceylon (1845-1850) tells us even during his time, the expertise/services from Tamil country had to be obtained for repairing tanks in the North Central Province.
          Those who designed and built tanks and constructed large irrigation works (Tank fed irrigated cultivation of rice) in the ancient past and possessed all the knowledge necessary for the purpose were Tamil-speaking people.

          The terms used in irrigation, together with their definitions, from the ‘Ancient Irrigation Works’, by R.L.Brohier reveals an important fact, they are Tamil derivatives and none of them are Indo-Aryan Prakrit.

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        Continued from above…

        Tell us one thing (just one thing) that the Sinhalese have which is not imported or borrowed or copied from others. Other than the Sinhala language that was developed in Sri Lanka by the Old Dravidian tribes after they got converted to Buddhism by the Indian King Asoka who gave them the Prakrit/Pali language to speak, religion and culture to practice, Brahmi script to write, technology to build Buddhist structures, and an Indian Lion symbol to the flag, what did the so called Sinhala people develop as a civilization? Everything you do and follow are from either North or South India.

        All the well-known Sri Lankan musicians/singers (including Amaradeva) went to India to learn music. The so called Sinhala Baila music is borrowed from the Portuguese music and African Kaffiringa.

        The Sinhala New Year that the Sinhalese celebrate is borrowed from the Tamil Hindus. The Theravada Buddhist calendar is a lunar one. Each month starts with the new moon, peaks at the full moon and then wanes until the next new moon which signifies the start of the succeeding month. The first month of the Buddhist lunar year is `Bak`. The first day of the lunar month of Bak never falls on the 14th of April. On the other hand, the Tamil Hindu solar calendar by contrast follows the signs of the traditional zodiac and commences when the sun enters the sign of Mesha or Aries on the 14th of April each year.

        If not for the British who built the highways, railways, schools, universities, hospitals and so on, the great Sinhala-Buddhist nation will be wearing amude, chewing bulath (betal) and travelling in Gon Karatte (Bullock Carts), gobbling Veda-Mahathaya’s guli, studying at the Pirivena (temple schools), and holding a Pandama.(Koppara Lamp) in the night.

        Nothing in Sinhala is original, everything including the people were from outside, imported or borrowed or copied.

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          D
          The irrigation network in Sri Lanka comprising tanks and canals was far more complex than any in the whole of India. Tank irrigation was perfected to maximize the use of the rainfall in the Dry Zone. That is no mean achievement.
          The Dagabas of Sri Lanka are architectural marvels, although not of much utility value.
          *
          Do not be so sure about the Tamil New Year being “all Tamil”. If something is Hindu, it definitely has a Brahminical source.
          90% of the current Tamil word-stock is of Sanskrit or European origin, let alone Persian and Arab borrowings.
          The Tamil script was evolved from a version of Brahmi with origins outside India. Tamil writing started around 3 to 5 centuries before Christ.
          There is nothing to be ashamed about borrowing.
          The point is that Sinhalese adapt to modernity faster and better than Tamils
          Sinhala modernized faster than Tamil. So did Malayalam in several respects.
          *
          By the way, you say: “The so called Sinhala Baila music is borrowed from the Portuguese music and African Kaffiringa.”
          Baila is distinct from Kaffiringa.

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        you wish! – problem is where ever you turn, you encounter references to “sinhale”, Seylan, serendip, mainly in Indian sources– now how to erase all this history — mm let me try

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        Well said Deva. The Sinhala borrowed even the Sivalingam that you guys worship and hid it between their legs under the sarong.

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        Glad to read your article on the Sinhalese. So, they, the Sinhalese, have borrowed everything from Kerala, Tamil Nadu and the rest of India? Great. That is why the Sinhalese built a culture and a great civilisation. They built magnificent cities of Auradhapura and Polonnaruwa, world famous Sigiriya, and all the great tanks. All these were destroyed by South Indian Tamil invaders. You boast about Tamils being in this Island before the Sinhalese. If so why didn’t they build these cities and irrigation works? Can you tell me what tanks were built by any Tamil king? Also can you tell me who were the Tamil kings ruling your mythical “Homeland” and from which period to which period in history?
        The Sinhalese adapted to the prevailing trends, became more open, cast aside archaic beliefs and entertained liberal ideas, whereas you live in a mythical world of Ramayana, deeply stooped in a repressive caste system even in this 21st century. That is the difference between the unenlightened Tamil and the enlightened Sinhalese.

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          John
          “Sinhalese built magnificent cities of Auradhapura and Polonnaruwa, world famous Sigiriya, and all the great tanks.”
          The kingdoms of Anuradapura and Polonnaruwa were NEVER known as ‘Sinhala’ kingdoms and the kings who ruled these kingdoms never called themselves ‘Sinhala’ Kings. Can you please show us any authentic archeological or epigraphic evidence to prove that the Sinhalese built magnificent cities of Auradhapura and Polonnaruwa. Neither the Deepawamsa nor the Mahavamsa or any stone inscriptions or any other historical artefacts calls the Anuradapura kingdom as Sinhala kingdom or built by the Sinhalese. Anuradapura was ruled by the Tamil king Rajendra Chola before the kingdom was moved to Polonnaruwa. It was Rajendra Chola who created/built the Polonawara kingdom (moved the kingdom to Polonawara).
          Sigiriya was built by Kassapa. Who is Kassapa? He was Dhatusena’s son born to the Tamil Pallava wife. He was a half Tamil. However, Dhatusena’s favourite son Moggallan fled to Tamil Nadu and returned with a huge Tamil army and defeated his half-Tamil/Pallava step brother Kassapa in 491 AD.
          Please read your own history before talking bull crap.

          The so called great culture and a great civilization of the Sinhalese is all imported or borrowed or copied.

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            Deva’s reply to my comments is a classic example of the distortion of the history of this country by racists who do not want to accept that this country from Jaffna to Dondra was ruled by Sinhala kings. You have no shame to say that ” It was Rajendra Chola who created/built the Polonawara kingdom (moved the kingdom to Polonawara).” For your information: After defeating Chola ruler,( the South Indian invader) by the Sinhala king Vijayabahu I, the latter moved the kingdom to Polonnaruwa to avoid further attacks by South Indian invaders as it was a more strategic place than Anuradhapura. Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa are replete with Dagobas, Buddhist Monasteries, Buddhist temples and stone inscriptions in the old Sinhala language. Do you also say that Chola king built these Budhist edifices and endowed them to the Sinhalese Buddhists? Most ridiculous!! I quote these facts with authenticity. I request you to read the research papers Prof. Karthigesu Indrapala produced for his Ph.D thesis, in which he notes that the Sinhalese were the original inhabitants of Jaffna. I met him at Peradeniya University in the 1960’s and after opening the Jaffna University he moved there as a lecturer of history, but he was victimised by his own people for saying the truth about Sri Lankan history. To learn about true history of this country I invite you to read history books written by Dr. K.M.de Silva, Prof. Paranavithana & Nicholas, and also a book written by a Tamil, Dr. Benedict, a past pupil of my alma-mater, who is now domiciled in the UK. All these authors have done extensive research on history and you can be rest assured that you will be reading facts and not fiction.

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              John,
              You should be ashamed of yourself for uttering rubbish. What you are talking about is not history but bull crap. Please learn your basics, just read the Mahavamsa. It was the Cholas who shifted the capital to Polonnaruwa and ruled for 53 years. Polonnaruwa was named as Jananathapuram by the Cholas. King Vijayabahu I eventually defeated the Chola monarch Kulottunga I to take over the Polonnaruwa Kingdom.
              You are talking about the PhD student K. Indrapala’s 1965 thesis which he himself says is obsolete. In his recently published book, he says his 1965 PhD thesis (with full of assumptions and hypothesis) was presented as the first major attempt to bring together all available evidence on the subject and admits that it was in no way a complete study.

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          Tamils are highly imaginative and creative. They even made Gods out of donkeys and monkeys. Some Gods look like crabs with 6 faces and 12 arms.
          .
          While all that is going on, what did the Sinhalas do? They stole the Sivalingam and hid it somewhere that only Tamil women can reach.

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    A raving lunatic! Bloody Raavanaa! What a joke!!

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    Surprise, surprise In his essay writer did not mention Vedda community is Darvadian lot. Except that Tamils think all the things in here are Darvadian products. They purposely ignore the existence of communities called Austronesian lot from south east Africa to far east up to Hawaii Island. Those are not Darvadian. Their language family has nothing to do with Proto Darvadian. Even our language ELU or proto Sinhalese was an Austronesian family language. After arrival of Buddhism with Arahath Mahinda Our language ELU gone through various changes and become Indo ariyan family language. Likewise Angan fighting arts too is a product of Austronesian art. it prohibit usages of metal things. only the branches of trees or natural products can be used alone with fighters own body part. latter when south Indian enemies arrived fighters did not have options but to resort to metal weapons like sword & sharp metal knife called Kirchcha pihiya. As per fighting art that knife in various sizes.Soldiers used one type and officers used another type. Swords were in standard for all. Angan derived from seen animals fighting each other using its body parts .Same way human tried to use their body parts in that art. But time to time used to use branches of some particular trees. Usage of metal things came to effect only after south Indian Darvadians invasions.as they were heavily armed with metal tools. I know that art & history of that art as I am from martial or Militia race of Sinhalese .Further I know my ancestors were Austronesian.First they landed south shores of the Island may be more than hundred thousand years ago. Sakkiliyar brought here by Dutch can say or fabricate various stories but truth is otherwise.

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      Ranjith (SPARROW)
      Your ancestors came from Kerala (Kochi) and settled in Matara. All the Sorcerers in down south (low country) are from Kerela (Kochi). All the Sorcerers in down south Sri Lanka chant in old Malayalam language. All the Kattadiyas in down south, specifically Matara are also from Kerela (Kochi) and what they chant is Malayaala Manthara. Today they have modified their Kochi names into Sinhala along with Sinhala Ge names. Names we now consider Sinhala, like Kodippili, Samarappili, Samarakkodi, Sembukutti, Kuruppu, Samaradivakara, Samarasinghe, Tennakoon, Wijekoon, and many more are all Kochi names. All the family names ending with Suriya are fishermen brought from Kochi, but they are also good Sorcerers.

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        LaLa Tell me who brought them you or your grand parents ? I red all the Sorcerers book but could not find any Malayalam paragraph or letters. But None brahamic letters. But books actually thalapath says South Indians or darvadians are carriers of deadly deceases like cholera & Vasoory. and advise not to stay facing udu Sulanga or winds coming through them. How-come that be if we or our ancestors brought by you or your grand parents from Kerala. we do not have kattadiyas in down south but have Aduras or Yakaduras. Upcountry might have kattadiyas came with Nayakker queens & their families. Further our sorcery books says Darvadians are traditional historical Foes of ours as such use your Kinissa always whenever sighted them. Kinissa means weapon we are suppose to carry in our hips. to use it means Kill them as & when sighted them.

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        further I must say In our village there were no any other people lived except for our cast. and few dody families, one Kamahal family. As such we did not have chance to communicate with others. If you brought us from Kerala. Still we must speak Malayalam as our native language. As such young boys & girls should speak Malayalam as their mother tongue like you & estate Tamils speak Tamils as your mother tongue still.

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    Angampora was banned in Sinhale by British colonial ‘Awajathakayo’ but according to available information no such ban took place in India. That could mean Angampora was not practiced in India.

    • 2
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      A non sequitur. Angampora was banned in Sri Lanka by the British because of the use of this matial art by the Kandyans in the 1817-1818 rebellion.

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    If anyone says Angampora is 5000 years old that is a ridiculous lie. It falls into the
    same category of Tamil nationalists saying Tamil is the oldest language, english, japanese, korean came from Tamil, Harappa is Tamil, fake Tamil civilisation in Sri Lanka kind of jokes.
    Angampora was influenced/ or even founded in Sri Lanka by the martial arts in Kerala which is again different from Tamil Nadu. For Tamil mythomaniacs, Kerala is/was not Tamil.
    Between it is such an irony one of the fake historians aka Tamil mythomaniac Tamil nationalists is trying to set the record straight.

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    You are making a lot of spelling errors, there was no Devanbiya deesan, it was Devanampiya Thissa. I wonder how this man would try to tamilise Devanampiyathissa’s grand son Sadda Thissa. Would you try Saddan deesan :D…..

    Tamil is a very recent ethnicity which was created by the British in 1800. Tamil used to be just a language. That is exactly why British, Portugese and Dutch called people who call Tamils today as Malabaris. There are different jathis even in TN today. It is just their language is Tamil. Tamil ethnicity was a product of British manipulations and of course Tamil nationalism is a result of it.

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    When did Sinhala as an ethnicity formed? We dont know. The oldest source we have for that is Deepavamsa which was written prior to Mahavamsa where it talks about Sihala basa and Sihala people. Mahavamsa has the origin story of the Sinhalese like the one Romans have. Almost all ancient communities have hard to believe origin stories.

    Tamil mytho maniacs need to grow up and learn history before correcting ridiculous claims by other mytho maniacs.

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    I heard someone saying BALANGODA MANAYA is more that 40 000 years [are Y Kidding me] old…for the Middle Class Sinhalese that must be a real Kick A ss news Interestingly United State is Only Less than 300 Years Old….most of us Are Here because of the Things That have Done for Humanity……

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    All this is bullshit. This ancient art came from China.

  • 2
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    OK, so how many battles the south Indians won against Portugese, Dutch and English with their sop called ‘original form,’ of Angampora? I haven’t heard of any. Please educate me if possible. But Sinhalese could never be concurred by Europeans in a war. Any explanation?

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      Wicky,
      PLEASE do not display your ignorance in public. You personally may not have heard of South Indian victories against Europeans, but that is due to ignorance. Look up the capture of Anjengo fort by the Rani of Attingal and the defeat of a Dutch force by Marthanda Varma.

  • 1
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    Further I must say In our villages except for few doby or cloth cleaners families and one kamhal family no other cast people lived as such you or your grand parents brought us here we still speak Tamil or Malayalam as our mother tongue. like you and estate Tamils do.

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      Ranjith the bird brain,
      You don’t speak Malayalam for the same reason that Chinese Americans speak English and not Chinese. But you still have your original Kerala names, as the Chinese have theirs. Oh, by the way, don’t you know Ranjith is not a Sinhala name?

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    Good to hear that Angampora is now legal. Our boys will need to fight Islamic terrorism in Sri Lanka.

  • 0
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    Glad to read your article on the Sinhalese. So, they, the Sinhalese, have borrowed everything from Kerala, Tamil Nadu and the rest of India? Great. That is why the Sinhalese built a culture and a great civilisation. They built magnificent cities of Auradhapura and Polonnaruwa, world famous Sigiriya, and all the great tanks. All these were destroyed by South Indian Tamil invaders. You boast about Tamils being in this Island before the Sinhalese. If so why didn’t they build these cities and irrigation works? Can you tell me what tanks were built by any Tamil king? Also can you tell me who were the Tamil kings ruling your mythical “Homeland” and from which period to which period in history?
    The Sinhalese adapted to the prevailing trends, became more open, cast aside archaic beliefs and entertained liberal ideas, whereas you live in a mythical world of Ramayana, deeply stooped in a repressive caste system even in this 21st century. That is the difference between the unenlightened Tamil and the enlightened Sinhalese.

  • 0
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    Another rant by a historian of the “ancient Tamil-speaking world” school, when everything was of Dravidian origin.

  • 0
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    Somapalen states several falsehoods to appropriate the Sinhalese traditional martial arts Angampora.
    Anybody with access to a Tamil dictionary can find out that there are no such words as Angampor or Angampora or Angam in Tamil.
    https://dsalsrv04.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/app/tamil-lex_query.py?qs=angampor
    Do the search for angampora and angam also and see the results.
    Search results = 0 in all cases

    Also there is no south Indian martial arts called as Angampudi:
    https://www.google.com/search?client=opera&q=Angampudi&sourceid=opera&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

    It looks like a pure invention by Somapalen.

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    As evident from the Tamil lexicon there is no such word as Angam in Tamil.
    The situation with these words is that there are two different Indo-Aryan words, namely Anga (aṅga) and Anka (aṅka) borrowed into Tamil and Tamilized as Ankam (அங்கம்).

    The Tamil lexicon gives many meanings for Ankam, among others limb and body.
     
    அங்கம் aṅkam, n. < aṅga. 1. Limb, member, organ, as of the body; 2. Body;
    அங்கம் aṅkam, n. < aṅka. 1. Mark, sign; … 7. Battle, fight;
    (Ref. page 2 Madras Tamil Lexicon)
     
    Somapalen says “Tamil meaning of the word “Angam” is limbs of the body (not the body)” , which as the Tamil lexicon entries show is a false claim.

    Anga is an Indo-Aryan word, which forms the root of a whole range of words. Anybody interested can find the entries in Comparative Dictionary of the Indo-Aryan Languages (CDIA). To mention only what is relevant to the discussion, one can see under the headword áṅga which is the entry number 114 of CDIA:
    áṅga – limb; body
    Pali – aṅga – limb
    Prakrit – aṁga – limb, body;
    Sinhalese – an̆ga (අඟ) , än̆ga (ඇඟ)
    Note that the sound ä (ඇ) is not present in Dravidian or other Indo-Aryan and the sound n̆ which is termed pre-nasalized stop is also peculiar to Sinhalese.

    In Sinhalese áṅga is also used as a loanword from Sanskrit in the same form and as in CDIA as än̆ga. Wilhelm Geiger however derived än̆ga from aṅgin, as Turner mentions, but that’s besides the point here.

    As everybody can see, the word Anga is not Tamil, the Tamil word Ankam is borrowed from a Sanskritic source into Tamil.

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    Now lets look at the word Pora. According to entry number 8419 in Turner’s Indo-Aryan dictionary, the Sinhalese word pora is derived from Sankrit Paura.
    Under the headword paura among other meanings these meanings are given:
    – ʻprince engaged in war in certain circumstancesʼ
    – for Sinhalese: pora ʻfighter, wrestlerʼ

    The available evidence is that according to accredited linguists pora is an inherited word in Sinhalese, and not a Tamil loanword. (However it could be speculated that the Sinhalese word pora is actually a Tamil loanword, given the nature of the word, i.e a word used in connection of violence and war, and the frequency of its occurrence in Dravidian languages compared to the Indo-Aryan languages).

    When it comes to the actual fighting method, i.e Angampora as a martial art – it looks very similar to Kalaripayattu martial arts of Kerala and a lay person’s guess would be that Angampora and Kalaripayattu are connected. According to several sources including Wikipedia, Kalaripayattu is practiced mainly by two communities in Kerala namely the Nayars and Ezhavars (Elavars). Elavars also called Thiyya (meaning islanders) claim descent from the Sinhalese. It is probable that the Sinhalese who migrated to Kerala and later became identified as Elavars took with them the knowledge of Sinhalese martial arts, and developed it further in Kerala. Sinhalese literary sources mention Sinhalese kings employing warriors and soldiers from south India. Therefore it is also probable these warriors and soldiers from Kerala and Tamilnadu who later got assimilated into the Sinhalese population brought the art with them and developed it here, in other words – Angampora could be a line of south Indian martial arts that got indigenized as the Sinhalese Angampora. Which ever way one looks at it, Angampora is most certainly NOT what Somapalen claims it is.

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