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Mapping Migrations of South Indian Weavers before, during and after the Vijayanagar Period: Thirteenth to Eighteenth Centuries

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Chapter Summary

This chapter offers a longue duree overview of weaver inter-regional migrations in medieval South India, taking up for study the period from the thirteenth to the eighteenth centuries which more or less coincides with the era of the Vijayanagar Empire. Beginning with the maternal native place of the author, the Kongu region, the mapping of the textile industry and weaver migrations is largely based on the reminiscences and narratives of the weavers themselves. The Chola state at the height of its power in around the twelfth-thirteenth century encouraged new settlements within the core region of Cholamandalam, comprising Tanjavur and Tiruchirapalli districts. The most mobile weaving community in the medieval period seems to be that of the Pattunulkarar. The chapter has made a modest attempt to map the migrations of some of the weaving communities of South India which constitute traditional weaving castes in the medieval period.

Keywords: Jayankonda Cholamandalam; Kongu region; medieval period; Vijayanagar empire; weaver migrations



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