Yavanar Lamps – Anna Villaku , Paavai Vilakku


Every time I tell any of my friends that Kuthu villaku is probably imported from Greece or Rome, they give me a surprising look.  Lighting Swan lamp, Anna villaku has become an Indian tradition.  Be it starting a new store or hosting an international dignitary, it starts with lighting the swan lamp. But these Swan lamps were very popular imports from Greece and Rome. Sangam Literature has reference to these imports…

——————————————————————————————————
Follow Karka Nirka Blog in

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Karka-Nirka/353094691592

Twitter – https://twitter.com/KarkaNirka

——————————————————————————————————

Perumpannatrupadai:

யவனர் ஓதிம விளக்கின் உயர்மிசைக் கொண்ட

Yavana – swan – lamp – high – upper part (mast of ship) – have

‘Swan lamps of the Yavanas on the tops of ship masts’

Nedunalvadai

யவனர் இயற்றிவினை மாண் பாவை
கை ஏந்தும் அகல் நிறைய நெய் சொரிந்து
பரூஉத்திரி கொளீஇய குரூஉத்தலை நிமிர் எரி
அறு அறு காலை தோறு அமைவரப் பண்ணிப்
பல் வேறு பள்ளி தொறும் பாய் இருள் நீங்க
பீடு கெழு சிறப்பின் பெருந்தகை அல்லது
ஆடவர் குறுகா அருங்கடி வரைப்பின் (101 – 107)

Beautiful Paavai lamps, created by excellent craftsmanship of Yavanas,

with their hands holding the hallow area filled with plenty of oil/ghee,

fat wicks with head lit up, standing tall and burning.

When ever the lights across different places in the palace

get extinguished they were set right all through the morning

to dispel the spreading darkness.

No male other than the greatness filled splendorous noble man (king)

could approach this place (Queen’s quarters) with strict protection.

Poet: Nakkirar

Translated by Palaniappan Vairam Sarathy

As seen in the above lines, it is very clear that Paavai lamps and Swan lamps were products of Yavanas. These products were imported during times of Sangam age and slowly the Yavanas (Greeks/Romans) settled in Tamil Nadu (as they did across India). They had their own quarters and shops (Silapathikaram has reference for their quarters). So they could have setup shops and did a ‘make in India’ transition. This skill would have eventually passed on to Indian blacksmiths.

More about Yanvas would come up in my upcoming blogs.


Reference:

Learn Sangam Tamil

Patum Thogaiyum – Tamilvu.org


யவனர் இயற்றிவினை மாண் பாவை
yavana – created – action – excellent – girl/doll
கை ஏந்தும் அகல் நிறைய நெய் சொரிந்து
hand – bare – beautiful – hollow part of lamp – filled – ghee – abundant
பரூஉத்திரி கொளீஇய குரூஉத்தலை நிமிர் எரி
fat – wick – to be lit up – hot – head – stand – burn
அறு அறு காலை தோறு அமைவரப் பண்ணிப்
extinguish – extinguish – morning – all through – set – do
பல் வேறு பள்ளி தொறும் பாய் இருள் நீங்க
many – different – place – occur – spread- darkness – remove
பீடு கெழு சிறப்பின் பெருந்தகை அல்லது
greatness – filled – splendour – noble man – anyone
ஆடவர் குறுகா அருங்கடி வரைப்பின்
man – not approachable – great – protection – place

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: