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Part of the Encyclopedia of Indian Religions book series (EIR)


The literary corpus of Sangam Literature (Tamil literature of the academies) is collected in two anthologies Ettutokai (Eight Anthologies) and Pattupattu (Ten Songs). It is believed that the poetry of Sangam belonged to the period 110 A.D. to 250 A.D.. Tolkappiyam, written by Tolkappiyar, is a codified grammatical text of the literary conventions of the Sangam Age. The poetic conventions that Tolkappiyar identified in the Sangam works is collectively called tinai [6]. The basic meaning of tinai is “to join” (inai – to join). The meaning can be extended to “any specific place on earth,” “a household,” and “a family” [5]. T.K. Venkatasubramanian considers tinai as signifying three aspects of the people and land: [1] Five geographic divisions of the land, [2] The conduct, behavior, occupation, and religion of people belonging to the five divisions of the land, and [3] The presentation of socio-geographic particulars of the land and people on their arts and literatures [7].


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Correspondence to Rayson K. Alex .

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Alex, R.K. (2018). Tinai . In: Jain, P., Sherma, R., Khanna, M. (eds) Hinduism and Tribal Religions. Encyclopedia of Indian Religions. Springer, Dordrecht.

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  • Print ISBN: 978-94-024-1036-5

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