Rural/Oral literature in Telugu – The Moonlight song (2)

The specialty of the village songs is that they hold lots of cultural information. Vocabulary specific to the region where the songs are sung naturally finds place in the song. Customs and related cultural aspects can also be found aesthetically incorporated in the song.

The following village song, though only in six lines – so far as it is available now – has some cultural information in each line of the song. The cultural life that reflects in the song makes it too dear and too good to ignore.

akkalammaku saarepoeya vennelaaroe, ipuDu
lekkaleani kadupu laaye vennelaaroe,
kuMdulamma puNyaana vennelaaroe
namduniki koDuku kalge vennelaaroe
poMgaLLu peTTedamu vennalaaroe, maMchi
boenaamu mudde laMdi vennelaaroe…

అక్కలమ్మకు సారెపోయ వెన్నెలారో, ఇపుడు
లెక్కలేని కదుపు లాయె వెన్నెలారో,
కుందులమ్మ పుణ్యాన వెన్నెలారో
నందునికి కొడుకు కల్గె వెన్నెలారో
పొంగళ్ళు పెట్టెదము వెన్నలారో, మంచి
బోనాము ముద్దె లంది వెన్నెలారో…

When presents made to akkalamma[1]
Oh moonlight maids, now
There are any number of herds, oh moonlight maids,
With the blessings of kuMdulamma[2], oh moonlight maids
NanduDu is blessed with a son, oh moonlight maids
We will offer sweetened rice, oh moonlight maids
Bearing in hands fine pots of food and lotus pistils
Oh moonlight maids…

[1] & [2] – akkalamma and kuMdulamma are names of village goddesses to whom offerings are made by villagers for fulfillment of their wishes on occasions and during celebrations during a year.

The word ‘kadupu’ (కదుపు) here means ‘a herd of sheep’ or ‘a herd of cattle’. It generally means ‘a herd’.

The word ‘poMgaLLu’ (పొంగళ్ళు) is the plural form of the word ‘poMgali’ which means ‘rice cooked in milk and jaggery. When offerings are made to a village goddess by groups of women with this food in satisfaction and a gratitude of thanks giving to the goddess, the process becomes ‘poMgaLLu peTTuTa’ which means ‘offering made with poMgaLLu’…

The word ‘mudde’ (ముద్దె) has two meanings – (1) the pistil of a lotus and (2) a trinket for the ear. Here the first meaning has been taken since in days past in occasions of celebratory offerings village women used to hold in their hands the offerings and the pistils of lotuses as signs of auspiciousness.

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