IFP is digitising a set of palm leaf manuscripts that lay bare the sordid practice in 15th century
The Hindu – March 18 2017
By S. Senthalir
Kaadi and his younger brother Tavasi from Mathur village in Madurai are taking their seven children to be sold. In dire need of money, they yell “kollvar ullaro” as they walk along the streets looking for a prospective buyer. They stop at Velliyankunram village when Kanaka Ramaiah Gounder responds “kollvar ullen” (a buyer here).
It is August (Tamil month of Avani) 17, 1448. At the corner where four streets meet in Velliyankunram village, a scribe etches on a palm leaf the servitude agreement that records that the brothers, belonging to an untouchable community (teentantori toti) from Mathur, are selling their seven children to Kanaka Ramaiah Gounder of Velliyankunram for 37 coins.