It is generally to be supposed that the culture of Indian Tribals is even older than the culture of Brahmins.
Some brahman customs to note : Even today on traditional brahmin occasions like upanayanams, people wear white woven cloth soaked in turmeric and un-stitched. Stitched clothes are strictly considered untraditional at meal times, by traditional brahmins. And then there is the sacred thread and the sacred fire and the technology of making fire using arani sticks. There is the custom of nitya agni hotram and everyone getting fire for daily use from the agnihotri. So, besides the advanced Sanskrit language and the Vedas and Upanishads, there is weaving, agriculture and fire and animals like horses and cows, as well as food like ghee, soma and grain, in the culture preserved and developed by the brahmins.
Does technology indicate period ? : Since many tribals are contemporary with us and our TVs and Computers, we may conclude that they are not temporally earlier to us. Their culture has possibly accepted less influence from outside cultures than ours has, and therefore is closer in form to their traditional culture. They have fire, bows and arrows and animal skin cloths.
Therfore they may have similarly co-existed with the ancient brahmins and not pre-dated them!
As per one of the variants of their collective memories, fire was created when God Puluga made the sun sit on a heap of sticks, after which he sent the sun back into the sky. ”The Andamanese could not make fire themselves but had to nurse it carefully in special containers they carried around with them on their frequent wanderings. If the fire was allowed to go out through carelessness or accident, a new flame had to be sought from a friendly neighbouring sect or a natural fire caused by lightning had to be awaited.” This reminds me of the nityagnihotram custom.
Interestingly ‘pulagam’ is the telugu word for ‘pongal’ made to please the sun on makara Sankranthi day.
Another variant of the story involves a “hill of fire” (volcano), an arrow and a bird (kingfisher).
Just as the Nagas of our Puranas are people and not actual snakes, I would think that the lizards, cats and kingfishers of their puranas, may have represented human tribes. Thus talking animals or lizards marrying cats should have no problems in being understood.
They had one original language “A-Pucikwar” (aapah ki wah?). Originally Puluga lived on the islands and taught people to how to use fire, hunt etc. The first person he created was Tomo (Tama?) followed by a lady Chan Elewadi. Tomo was dark, tall and bearded and lived to a ripe old age among the people. When the population increased, Puluga interfered again and had them all equipped with weapons, implements, fire and their own language before they scattered in pairs all over the country. All there present languages derive from that one original language. The people of this second diversion are again described as long-lived, tall men with large beards. (like our Rishis).
Again here you have an out-of-”here” memory. The collective memory of the Indians here is that they descended directly from the first humans created by Puluga and that they spread out. This is similar to the memory of the mainland Indians also, who have only memory of being ‘descended’ here and going elsewhere and not of “arriving” here.
After a while Puluga sent a flood without warning. (We have not only the Matsya Avatar Flood of Vaiwaswatha Manu in the Andhra-Dravida Desa , but also several Pralaya Katha floods of the east coast, marked by temples and sthala puranas.) The people were angry enough to want to kill him, but later were made to understand that it was because of their own errors the flood had been sent. They were careful thereafter and never saw Puluga again.
P.S. : Some variants say the first person was born in a bamboo and his name was Jutpu (jatapa?)
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