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The early dwellers of the Kurinji came to be known as Kuravar. He protected himself from the elements by living in caves. He also took shelter behind boulders, and found water in the mountain streams, natural springs, and stone pits.

The Kuravar was a hunter-gatherer. He lived off fruits, nuts, and roots (such as tapioca), and edible leaves. He sucked nectar from flowers and raided bee hives for their honeycomb. He also gravitated towards hunting.

The ready supply of flints led to the invention of the first axe-heads for clubbing, spears for stabbing, and scrapers for cutting and skinning. He speared deer and wild boar, and trapped prey animals such as monkeys. Meat became part of his diet and grew in importance, surpassing even fruits and roots.

Animals trapped in forest fires gave him the first taste of roasted meat which he found agreeable to his palate. This led him on the quest for making fire at will. He observed dry bamboo stems which swayed in the wind, rubbed together, and smoked, and ignited. He discovered the mystery of making fire at will.

Bamboo was abundant and led to another important invention: bow and arrow. This weapon allowed him to discharge projectiles from a reasonably safe distance, thus enhancing his hunting prowess and protection against predators.

*** Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018 ***

(Note: Treat these posts on Ancient Indian history as highly simplified introductions to a complex, often conflicting, and vague period mired in the mists of antiquity.)

Next week: the first divisions of labour and rise of the matriarchal family structure.

***