Saturday, May 17, 2008

Revisiting Gondwana

Gondwana is the Southern super-continent that later broke up into Antarctica, Madagascar, India, Australia and Africa. No. It was not because of a family dispute, dude. Experts attribute it to continental drift. You know that thing we all do. Imagine it on a global scale. Get the drift, right?

Historians say a geologist named Edward Suess labeled this pre-drift land mass as Gondwana. I did a google-check on Ed's reasoning. It appears he flipped for a word that cued the indigenous people who might have occupied the land mass. Gondwana is supposed to have been a Sanskrit word that means Land of the Gonds. Considering what Gondwana has come to mean (a cut-and-paste landmass that later broke up into many continents), I feel this explanation doesn't do justice to the super-continent theory. I have a different take.

There's a tamil word called Gond. It means glue. There's another tamil word called vanam which means forest. When you add them together, you get 'a forest that was glued together'. Doesn't that derivation add more punch to the word Gondwana?


Obiewan said...

wow - coool ! ur theory has my vote..

Srinivasa Kumar Swarna said...

There is a tribe by the name Gond who were the first settlers of this super continent. They migrated to the plate that became India after the drift. In memory of they being the Adivadis of this land, it is called the Gondwana, the grove of the Gonds.