NCERT Class 7 History Chapter 9: The Making of Regional Cultures YouTube Lecture Handouts

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NCERT Class 7 History Chapter 9: The Making of Regional Cultures

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How to Associate People?

  • Language

  • Food

  • Culture

  • Clothing

  • Dance and Music

  • Regional cultures are product of intermingling of local traditions with ideas from other parts of subcontinent


  • Chera kingdom of Mahodayapuram

  • Established in 9th Century

  • In present day Kerala

  • Language: Malayalam

  • Script: Malayalam

  • Earliest example of using regional language in official records

  • Temple theatre of Kerala got stories from Sanskrit epics

  • 1st literary work in Malayalam dated to 12th century

  • 14th century: Lilatilakam, deals with grammar and poetics, was composed in Manipravalam – literally, “diamonds and corals” refers to languages, Sanskrit & regional language

Jagannatha Cult

  • Devotee of Vishnu

  • Puri, Odisha

  • Make wooden image of deity

  • Temple erected in 12th century by Anantavarman, Ganga Dynasty ruler

  • In 1230, king Anangabhima III dedicated his kingdom to deity and proclaimed himself as the “deputy” of the god

  • Temples gained importance


  • 19th century in Rajasthan (called Rajputana in British times)

  • Linked to ideals and aspirations of rulers

  • Prithviraj – ideal of hero – stories recorded in poems and songs

  • Dramatic situations & strong emotions – loyalty, friendship, love, valour, anger, etc.

  • Women were involved in valor

  • Sati or immolation of widows on funeral pyre of their husbands


  • In North India

  • Derived from katha (word used in Sanskrit)

  • Katha were caste of story tellers in North India

  • Evolved as dance in 15th – 16th century – Spread of Bhakti Movement

  • Legends of Radha-Krishna enacted in folk plays - rasa lila (combined folk dance with basic gestures of kathak story-tellers)

  • Performed in Mughal courts

  • Developed in two gharanas (Jaipur & Lucknow)

  • Under Wajid Ali Shah, last Nawab of Awadh it grew rapidly

  • By 19th century it spread to Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh

  • Viewed as disfavor by British administrator

  • Recognized as one of six “classical” forms of dance in the country after independence

Classical: Performed based on the rules, other classical forms include

  • Bharatanatyam (Tamil Nadu)

  • Kathakali (Kerala)

  • Odissi (Orissa)

  • Kuchipudi (Andhra Pradesh)

  • Manipuri (Manipur)

Miniature Paintings

  • Small-sized paintings

  • Done with water color on cloth or paper

  • Earlier once on palm leaves and wood

  • In Western India – illustrated Jaina teachings

  • Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan – painters in there rule illustrated manuscripts with historical accounts – in brilliant colors depicted social life

  • Painters moved from Mughal court to regional centers in Deccan & Rajput courts in Rajasthan

  • Mythology and poetry were depicted at centers like Mewar, Jodhpur, Bundi, Kota and Kishangarh

  • Common in HP – 17th century – painting called Basohli - most popular text painted was Bhanudatta’s Rasamanjari – artists moved to hills by Nadir Shah Invasion & conquest of Delhi in 1739

  • Kangra School of painting (HP) – 18th Century – Miniature paintings with Vaishnavite traditions, soft colors including cool blues and greens, and a lyrical treatment of themes


  • Language: Bengali – derived form Sanskrit texts

  • But early Sanskrit texts (mid-first millennium BCE) suggest that people of Bengal did not speak Sanskriti languages

  • 4th-3rd BC – ties between Bengal & Magadha (South Bihar) Developed – brought Sanskrit

  • 4th Century – Guptas in North Bengal & links with Mid-Gangetic valley became strong

  • 7th Century: Chinese traveller Xuan Zang observed that languages related to Sanskrit were in use all over Bengal

  • 8th century: Under Palas

  • 14th-16th Century: Ruled by Sultans (independent of rulers in Delhi)

  • 1586: Akbar conquered Bengal suba (Persian was language of administration, Bengali developed as a regional language)

  • 15th century: Bengali dialects got united by literary language in West Bengal. Modern Bengali includes non-Sanskrit words and words from tribal language, Persian etc.

Early Bengali literature divided into two categories:

  • Indebted to Sanskrit includes translations of Sanskrit epics, Mangalakavyas (literally auspicious poems, dealing with local deities) and bhakti literature such as biographies of Chaitanyadeva (leader of Vaishnava bhakti movement) – has manuscripts

  • Non-Sanskrit: Nath (yogic practices) literature such as songs of Maynamati and Gopichandra (son of Maynamati), stories concerning worship of Dharma Thakur (worshipped in stone or wood), and fairy tales, folk tales and ballads – circulated orally, common in eastern Bengal where Brahmans influence was weak

Pirs & Temples

  • 16th Century: People migrated from less fertile areas of West Bengal to more dense and forested areas of SE Bengal

  • Cleared forests – started rice cultivation

  • Local communities & shifting cultivators merged with new peasant community

  • It coincided with establishment of Sultanate (Mughal) rule & capital at Dhaka – officials received land & established mosques

  • Pirs: Had supernatural powers, people respected them, community leaders. Included saints or Sufis, daring colonizers and deified soldiers, various Hindu and Buddhist deities and even animistic spirits.

  • 15th -19th Century: Temple building in Bengal. Many of the modest brick and terracotta temples in Bengal were built with support of “low” social groups like Kolu (oil pressers) and Kansari (bell metal workers)

  • European Trading Communities – created new economic opportunities

  • Temples began to copy double-roofed (dochala) or four-roofed (chauchala) structure of thatched huts

  • Four-roofed structure: four triangular roofs placed on the four walls move up to converge on a curved line or a point. Temples were usually built on a square platform – interior was plain & outer wall was decorated

  • Temple excellence - Vishnupur in Bankura district of West Bengal

  • Fish: Traditional food along with rice for Bengalis

  • Terracotta plaques on walls of temples and viharas (Buddhist monasteries) depict scenes of fish being dressed and taken to the market in baskets

  • Bengal Brahmanas – were allowed to eat fish due to popularity in local diet – permitted under Brihaddharma Purana, 13th century Sanskrit text from Bengal

Nation –State in Europe

  • Till 18th century – were subject to empire - Austro-Hungarian Empire

  • After late 18th century: Identify themselves as member of community with common language – French or German

  • 19th Century: Rumania school textbooks began to be written in Rumanian rather than Greek

  • In Hungary, Hungarian was adopted as official language instead of Latin.

  • Created consciousness among people that each linguistic community was a separate nation – later strengthened by movements for Italian and German unification in late 19th century.

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