In Hundred Tamil Folk and Tribal Tales we have a rich variety of tale-types of a major South Indian oral tradition. Sujatha Vijayaraghavan’s lucid English translation here beacons a serious engagement in Indic studies. It locates this body of work at the interface between folklore, anthropology, sociology and public culture of a by-gone era. This handy collection provides an easy access to the cultural registers and linguistic mores of a tribal/folk population at a crucial juncture of colonial modernity. Furthermore, she translates not merely the tales as she finds them in the Tamil original (naatupura kathai kalanjiyam), but distinguishes and recognises the tribal tale, otherwise unnoticed in a proverbial ocean of Indian folklore. As a vibrant vein of wit and wisdom in Dravidian lives and traditions, the tribal-tale receives the first-ever straight look in these pages.
Excerpt from the Preface of
the General Editor to the Tamil Volumes
2. The Foolish King
3. Who Can Be Trusted?
4. Has the Merchant Gone Mad?
5. How Did You Reach Here Before Me?
6. Speak After You Look Before and Behind You
7. The Taali and the Koorai Saree
8. The Story of Sleepy-Head
9. About Giving Alms
10. A Knock with the Pestle
13. The God Who Tested His Wife
14. The Woman Who Pushed Her Husband into the River
15. In the Guise of a Chaste Woman
16. When Are You Going to Die?
17. Neither Mother nor Father
18. Serving Food in a Clay Bowl
19. The Clay-Doll Mother-in-law
20. The Girl Who Laughed at the Moon
21. The Mendicants
22. The Mondi’s Tale
23. I am Going to Sneeze!
24. What Was Not Seen
26. Her Father’s Gesture of the Hand
27. A Tale of Lies
28. A Beating with the Broom
29. The Sesame-Oil Trader’s Daughter
30. Kapila, the Cow
31. The Sparrow’s Arrogance
32. The Pleasure with Madhavi
33. Don’t Lose Sight of Your Work
34. Karuppsami’s Origin
35. The Boon of a Child
36. The Elephant Trader
37. The Rice-Cake Granny’s Tale
38. For Whom is the Bride?
39. The Smart One
40. The Tale of the Kurumbagownderu
41. “Thillalae, Did the Song Come!”
42. The Story of Ayyanar
43. Lava Kusa
46. The Debt
47. Neither Live nor Die
48. You Man of Poor Wisdom!
49. The Seven Virgins
50. Athiri Badcha . . . Grab!
51. The Tale that Never Ended
52. Half-Hag, Three-Fourths Hag, Whole-Hag
53. The Dowry from Mother
54. Goat or Dog?
55. The Tale of Tales
56. The Origin of the Potters
57. Kamban’s Oath
58. The Story of Rahu and Ketu
59. The Story of Bhogar
60. The Woodcutter’s Greed
61. How the Mendicant Became a Householder
62. Listen, Donkey, Listen!
63. The Paramour-Crow that Went to Tiruchendur
64. The Story of the Brahmin
65. The Daughter-in-law Who Chewed Rice Grain
67. Go to Kasi if You Will, but Your Karma Follows You
68. How Vishavaidyam Began
69. The Story of Kathakali
70. The Story of the Kurup Community
71. It Is All for the Good
72. The Story of the Great Thief
73. The Fisherman and the Ghost
74. Is This Earth?
75. Plucking Grass from the Coconut Tree
76. How the Rat Was Set Afire
77. The Theft of the Jewel Box
78. How Maadasami Bought Bulls
79. Small Kaani, Big Kaani
80. The Lazy Fellow
81. The Fools
82. The Hasty Woman
83. The Creator’s Knot
84. The Coward’s Trick
85. The Story of the Lame Ghost
86. The Tale about the Fish that Laughed
87. The Story of the Colt
88. Fish Kozhambu
89. The Deaf Family
90. Ponnusami the Wise
91. The Tale of the Nuts
92. Catch the Tuft
93. The Tale of the Mirror
94. The Story of the Potter and the Washerman
95. The Story of the Stout Stick
96. The Tale of the Solar Eclipse
97. The Mother-in-law and the Daughter-in-law
98. How the Deity of Vellingiri Came into Being
99. When Cows Could Speak
100. How the Elephant Came into Being