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#199225 - 04/19/11 10:30 AM pariah
Mowgli Offline
stranger

Registered: 04/19/11
Posts: 1
To explain why drummers were members of the lowest caste - Drumming was an occupation performed by the Dalit or untouchable caste because drums were made from the tanned hides of animals and therefore associated with death. Therefore, the task of beating on them with bare hands fell to the Dalit caste, who performed the "unclean" occupations having to do with death and human waste.

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#199226 - 04/19/11 10:57 AM Re: pariah [Re: Mowgli]
LukeJavan8 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 6784
Loc: Land of the Flat Water
Makes perfect sense in a caste-like situation.

WELCOME MOWGLI
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#199231 - 04/19/11 03:35 PM Re: pariah [Re: Mowgli]
BranShea Offline
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Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 5284
Loc: Netherlands, the Hague
Thanks for this information (Earliest documented use: 1613.)
Does this mean Mowgli, that before 1613 Dalit was the general word for the untouchable caste ? Has pariah replaced this word Dalit which you write with capital D , while pariah is written without a capitial ? I know very little about this. Was the untouchable caste only one tribe?
By the way, on the photo the drummer is beating the drum with two sticks.


Edited by BranShea (04/19/11 03:39 PM)

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#199233 - 04/19/11 07:09 PM Re: pariah [Re: BranShea]
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
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That "earliest documented use" is probably the earliest use in English and has nothing to do with the Indian caste system.

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#199243 - 04/20/11 09:21 AM Re: pariah [Re: Faldage]
zmjezhd Offline
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Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 3290
Loc: R'lyeh
the Indian caste system

In the Oldest Sanskrit text (the Rig Veda), there are four divisions, from highest to lowest, in the caste system (varṇa 'covering, color'): brāhman 'priest', kṣatriya 'warrior', vaiṣya 'merchant, artisan', and śūdra 'laborer'. The split and proliferated in post-Vedic times. Brahmin is related to Latin flamen 'priest' and Kshatriya is related to Iranian shah and English chess.
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#199259 - 04/21/11 01:16 AM Re: pariah [Re: Faldage]
Candy Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 1705
Loc: down under
Originally Posted By: Faldage
That "earliest documented use" is probably the earliest use in English and has nothing to do with the Indian caste system.


Thats a good point, Faldage.

I have read that the word pariah may come from the Tamil word parai and parayar "to tell something".

In early days announcements were made in public places and attention was sought be beating the drum. These broadcasts were usually made by men from the lower casts. So you can see how the two became to mean the same, pariah and low cast.

And maybe the messages were not always good news.....
Like the saying, 'shoot the messenger' maybe the pariah became the outcast because of the announcements he made.

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#199266 - 04/21/11 08:08 AM Re: pariah [Re: Mowgli]
goofy Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/08
Posts: 132
According to the OED Online, "pariah" is from Tamil பறையன் paṟaiyaṉ "(hereditary) drummer" from பறை paṟai "drum".

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#199267 - 04/21/11 09:55 AM Re: pariah [Re: goofy]
zmjezhd Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 3290
Loc: R'lyeh
from பறை paṟai "drum"

Took a quick look in Burrow's Dravidian Etymological Dictionary (brick & mortar version, but also online): entry 4033. Corroborated, although it also means a measure and a member of the Paraiya caste.
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#199273 - 04/21/11 11:31 AM Re: pariah [Re: zmjezhd]
Avy Offline
old hand

Registered: 06/23/00
Posts: 724
I can't contribute to this discussion, because I do not know much about caste. In modern cosmopolitan daily life in India, it is not much of an issue.
Edit: Sorry luke edited this after you replied to it. Never serves to refer to the P word.


Edited by Avy (04/22/11 12:03 PM)

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#199276 - 04/21/11 01:16 PM Re: pariah [Re: Avy]
LukeJavan8 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 6784
Loc: Land of the Flat Water
How sad!
But it is good to hear that it is not of daily relevance.
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