செம்மான் என்பது தமிழ்நாடு அரசு வெளியிட்டுள்ள தமிழ்நாடு சாதிகள் பட்டியலில் ஆதிதிராவிடர் பட்டியலின் கீழ் இடம் பெற்றுள்ள சாதிகளுள் ஒன்றாகும். இவர்கள் பறையர் சமூகத்தின் ஒரு பிரிவு.▼
தமிழ்நாடு சாதிகள் பட்டியலில்
ஆதிதிராவிடர் பட்டியலின் கீழ் இடம் பெற்றுள்ள
ஒன்றாகும். இவர்கள் பறையர் சமூகத்தின் ஒரு பிரிவு.
Name, Identity, Origin and History:
In the whole of India, Semman is a Scheduled Caste only in the Madras State as it existed prior to the States Reorganisation in 1956 (i.e.) throughout the present Madras State except Kanyakumari District and Shencottah taluk of Tirunelveli District, Malabar Dis trict of Kerala State, Kollegal taluk and South Canara district of Mysore State (Census of India, Paper No. 2, 1960, Registrar Gene ral, India, New Delhi, pp. 88 and 89). In these parts they were classified as Depressed Class in 1921 and 1931 Censuses, Scheduled Caste according to the "Government of India (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1936", "Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tri bes), Order, 1950" and "Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Lists Modification Order, 1956". Tolmestri, Tondaman and Semma ravan are considered to be synonyms for Semman (Census of India, 1961, Volume IX Madras, Part V. A(i), Appendix I, Page 438).
In his Madras Census report of 1891 Steward observes that "Semmans are an insignificant caste of Tamil leather workers found only in the districts of Madura and Tinnevely. The Semmans are, in fact, a sub-division of the Paraiyans and they must have been the original leather-workers of the Tamil tribes. The immigrant Chakki liyans have, however, now taken their place."
In 1914, Sri M. Srinivasa Ayyangar has written that "The Semman is another important sub-division of the Paraiyas, whose existence is almost unknown outside the districts of Madura and Tirunelveli. It was once a numerous caste of Tamil leather workers. (புகன்ற தோற்றுன்னர் செம்மான்). Since the immigration of the Telugu and Canarese Madigas or Chakkiliyans, some time after the fifteenth or sixteenth century, the Semmans have almost entirely given up their traditional occupation and adopted, like the Panans, menial services in villages and tailoring and lime selling in towns". ("Tamil Studies" N. Srinivasa Ayyangar M.A., 1914, p. 85). Tamil term Semman ( i LD IT ir) means leather worker. It could therefore be reasonably inferred that this caste derives its name from its traditional occupation of leather working.
The present study was made of the leather working section of Semmans in Palayamcottah, a municipal town of Tirunelveli District. Semmans were living there on a piece of Government land
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