About Silambam
Silambam History
Silambam, is a traditional Dravidian Martial art based on stick fighting. This style supposedly originated from the Kurinji some 5,000 years ago. The Narikuravar of the Kurinji Hills used a staff called Silambamboo as a weapon to defind themselves aganist wild animals, and also to display their religious festivals. Silambam was patronized by the ancient Chola, Chera and Pandya kings of south India during the Sangam period. It has been extensively used by Maravar pada of Travancore army. The references to "Silapathikaram" in Tamil Sangam Literature dating back to the 2nd century refer to the sale of Silambam staves, sword, pearls and armor to foregin traders. The ancient trading center at the city of Madurai was renowned globally and said to be thronged by Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians among other who had regular sea trade with the ancient Tamil Kings. The silambam staff was one of the matrial art weapons, which was in great demand with the visitors. The king veerapandiya kattabomman (1760-1799) relied mainly on their prowess in silambam in their warfare with the British Army. The Thandu padai who were the soldiers of foot regiments armed themselves with Silambam. Much of the vast techniques and style in silambam have been lost due to various innovation of the Tamilnadu, especially the British. The use of guns means the stick has lost much of its combat superiority. Also, the British who ruled for nearly 200 years completely banned the art.