The Role of Hair in Tamil Society

சங்க காலச் சமுதாயத்தில் கூந்தல்

Keywords: Sangam Literature, Make-up, Thalaivan, Thalaivi, Admirer, Sacrificing, Grooming, Loose Hair


Intertwined in both joyous and sorrowful experiences of Tamil people, the hair of women registers a special status in the Tamil society since time immemorial. Tamil people’s beliefs, customs and religious practices bear witness to the primary role played by hair in the lives of Tamil women.While well groomed hair is seen as a good omen, women with loose and ungroomed hair are looked as bad omen. Well groomed hair of Tamil women symbolises their families’ well-to-do status. The long and decorated hair of Tamil women had their admirers and husbands spellbound. The spellbound Thalaivan even forgets to earn money which is the duty of a male. Instead, he celebrates the beautiful hair of his Thalaivi. In the same way, Thalaivi forgets to care her hair when her Thalaivan separates from her. Thalaivi goes to extreme of sacrificing her hair when her Thalaivan dies. Tamil society celebrates hair in a special way. This article sheds light on the special status given to hair in the Tamil society

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