Adjective, derived from Drāviḍa, applied to the languages and cultural forms associated with the peoples of South India, principally the inhabitants of Tamil Nadu (dominant language: Tamil), Andhra Pradesh (Telugu), Karnataka (Kannada), and Kerala (Malayalam). It is deduced by linguists that classical (and so modern) Dravidian languages originated from an ancient, less differentiated tongue, no longer extant, referred to as Proto-Dravidian. Some scholars have argued that the undeciphered Indus valley seals are in a Dravidian language. If true, this would lend force to the suggestion that the earlier inhabitants of the Indian subcontinent were driven south, or absorbed into the newly arrived Vedic Sanskrit- (and therefore Indo-European-) speaking Āryan population. Whatever the original position, what is now designated ‘Hinduism’ is, at its most inclusive, the result of a complex amalgam of, and interplay between, Dravidian- and Āryan-derived cultures.
Subjects: Linguistics — Religion.