Ammanaikai – An ancient play tool for women
Ammanaikai is known as a play tool for women in the ancient time. At the same time ball is a play tool used by men. Ammanaikai is used to play as a ball throwing method. There is a note on ‘Silappathikara’(one of the famous literary creation in Tamil) about this Ammanaikai that the heroine of Silappathikara Kannaki used to play this. Therefore till now we can see this Ammanaikai at Kannaki Goddess temples. This play tool is considered as holy ritual object. It has bells inside. They make sound when Ammanaikai is played.
There is a worthy saying in ‘Thiruvasaham’ about Ammanaikai as ‘Thiruammanai’ a religious poetic creation.
“Amkanan Anthanan Aai Araikuvi Veedu Arullum
Amkarunai Vaarkalelei Paduthum kaan Ammanaai”
These lines are in direct Tamil version. It cannot be translated to get the actual effect. But the meaning of these lines is The Almighty God has his third eye and more wisdom. He calls me to give me the holy blessing. I want to praise god with this Ammanai.
Lines of Ammanai
Ammanai carries out the meaning of mother, Directress, play tool and fire. It can be identified as a mixture of different parts of speech, stanzas formed lines and typical Tamil Feminine Kids song. Ammanai lines are like a ballad. It carries out the story of praising god. The use of word ‘Ammanai’ was observed initially in ‘Silappathihara’
Ammanai lines have the special features as question and answering form and builds up a story. One who starts to throw first asks the question to the opponent and the other person throws back Ammanaikai with the answer in poetic lines.