Telangana

Gonds may have migrated from Indus Valley

CRUCIAL LINK TO THE PAST: The photograph found in a cave in Hampi. Photo: Special Arrangement.  

“On the goddess Kotamma temple woollen market way there is a rocky roof shelter for shepherds and sheep to stay at night up to morning.” This innocuous sounding statement could actually be a revolutionary find linking the adivasi Gond tribe to the Indus Valley civilisation, which flourished between 2500 B.C. and 1750 BC.

The sentence emerged after a set of 19 pictographs from a cave in Hampi were deciphered using root morphemes of Gondi language, considered by many eminent linguists as a proto Dravidian language. Eleven of the Hampi pictographs resemble those of the civilisation, according to Dr. K.M. Metry, Head and Dean, Social Sciences, Kannada University, Hampi; Dr. Motiravan Kangali, a linguist and expert in Gondi language and culture from Nagpur, Maharashtra; and his associate Prakash Salame, also an expert in Gondi.

They were in Utnoor to participate in the 4th National workshop on standardisation of Gondi dictionary when they spoke to The Hindu about their study of the pictographs. Though the ‘discovery’ is yet to be authenticated, Dr. Metry and his associates are very optimistic about their work.

“Instead of looking at the painting from an archaeological or purely linguistic point of view, we took the cultural way to decipher the pictographs. Gondi culture being totemic, has a lot of such symbols also associated with Ghotul schools,” said Dr. Metry.

“Gondi is a proto Dravidian language and gives enough scope for studying the pictographs though its root morphemes,” observed Dr. Kangali. “Application of the root morphemes helped us in deciphering the 19 pictographs,” he added.

If the discovery stands the scrutiny of experts in the field, it would mean that the Gonds living in central and southern India could have migrated from the Indus Valley civilisation. “Meanwhile, we will continue with our work applying it to other paintings in the Hampi area to establish a Gondi-Harappan link,” the Professor said.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Oct 19, 2020 1:29:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/gonds-may-have-migrated-from-indus-valley/article6698419.ece

Next Story