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(1,109 words)

Author(s): Sigrist, Christian
1. Term Pariahs (a simplified form of Tamil paraiyar, sing. paraiyan, “drummer”) were originally the members of a caste in South India (in Tamil Nadu and Kerala) made up of lower workers who earned their living as (at one time slave) farm laborers, though some also as drummers or handlers of animal carcasses. Their work, and especially their cutting of flesh, made them ritually unclean (U. von Ehrenfels; Cultic Purity). Along the line of Sanskrit etymology the Abbé de Raynal (1713–96) at the end of the 1…