Vengalarajan Katai:The new mythology of a caste in charge
Vengalarajan Katai, a heroic folk narrative, is a highly popular narrative among the'people ofTirunelveli and Kanyakumari districts. The story is sung, even today, in Villuppattu (bow song) performance. The narrative eulogizes the genealogy ofNadars, a caste community, whose traditional occupation is palmyra climbing. The story is constructed through a skilful blending ofhistory/psuedo history and myth, reality and imagination. It constitutes the perceptions and expressions of a folk mind influenced by the socio-cultural change that took place among the Nadars in the middle of the nineteenth century. Hence, before going into the text, a brief discussion of social change is appropriate.