امروزه مردمی که به این نژاد تعلق دارند حدود یکچهارم جمعیت هند را تشکیل میدهند و اکثراً در جنوب هندوستان زندگی میکنند. سریلانکا، پاکستان، نپال و مالدیو کشورهای دیگری هستند که دراویدیها در آنجا اقلیت قابل ملاحظهای را شکل میدهند. البته پس از مهاجرت آریائیان در حدود سه تا چهار هزار سال پیش به شبه قاره هند، رفته رفته در بخشهای بزرگی از هندوستان آمیزش گستردهای میان آریائیان روشنپوست و دراویدیان تیرهپوست صورت گرفت و امروزه بیشتر هندیان از تبار آمیخته این دو نژاد هستند.
دراویدیان حدود شش هزار سال پیش از سوی شمال به شبهقاره هند وارد شده بودند. پیش از حرکت به سوی جنوب، یک شاخه از آنها به سوی غرب کوچیدند. تیرهٔ براهویی ساکن در بلوچستان پاکستان و ایران، از تبار همین شاخه از دراویدیان است.
فرضیاتی هم در مورد ارتباط زبانهای دراویدی با زبان عیلامی مطرح شدهاست. وجود یک زبان مشترک که زبانهای دراویدی و ایلامی از آن منشعب شدهاند، به معنای نیای مشترک ساکنان بومی ایران و هندوستان غیر از آریاییان به این سرزمین است.
Dravidians are native speakers of any of the Dravidian languages. There are around 245 million native speakers of Dravidian languages. They form the majority of the population of South India. Dravidian-speaking people are natively found in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Maldives, and Sri Lanka.
The third century BCE onwards saw the development of large Dravidian political states: Chola, Pandyan, Rashtrakuta, Vijayanagara, Chera, Chalukya and a number of smaller states. The Western Ganga, Eastern Ganga, Kadamba, Hoysala, Pallava, Kalabhra, Satavahana, Andhra Ikshvaku, Vishnukundina, Western Chalukya, Eastern Chalukya, Kakatiya, Mysore, Jaffna and the Nayakas were established by the Dravidian people.
Medieval Tamil guilds and trading organisations like the "Ayyavole and Manigramam" played an important role in the Southeast Asia trade. Traders and religious leaders travelled to Southeast Asia and played an important role in the cultural Indianisation of the region. Locally developed scripts such as Grantha and Pallava script induced the development of many native scripts such as Khmer, Javanese Kawi script, Baybayin, and Thai.
Dravidian visual art is dominated by stylised Temple architecture in major centres, and the production of images of stone and bronze sculptures. The Nataraja sculpture dating from the Chola period has become notable as a symbol of Hinduism.
The Sanskrit word drāviḍa is used to denote the geographical region of South India. It was coined by Adi Shankaracharya (788 CE-820 CE) when he was questioned as to where he had come from by locals in Mandhata, to which he proclaimed himself to be a "Drāviḍa Śiśu," with shishu meaning 'child' or 'child of' and dravida being a sandhi word combining the elements dravya, meaning water, and vida, meaning meeting place. Therefore, drāviḍa could be interpreted as meaning "the place where the three waters meet" with those "three waters" being the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, and the Bay of Bengal. Southern Brahmins are known as Pancha Dravida while northern Brahmins are known as Pancha Gauda, denoting geographical region.
In Prakrit, words such as "Damela", "Dameda", "Dhamila" and "Damila," which later evolved from "Tamila," could have been used to denote an ethnic identity. Epigraphic evidence of an ethnic group termed as such is found in ancient India where a number of inscriptions have come to light datable from the 6th to the 5th century BCE mentioning Damela or Dameda persons. The Hathigumpha inscription of the Kalinga ruler Kharavela refers to a T(ra)mira samghata (Confederacy of Tamil rulers) dated to 150 BCE. It also mentions that the league of Tamil kingdoms had been in existence for 113 years by that time. In Amaravati in present-day Andhra Pradesh there is an inscription referring to a Dhamila-vaniya (Tamil trader) datable to the 3rd century CE. Another inscription of about the same time in Nagarjunakonda seems to refer to a Damila. A third inscription in Kanheri Caves refers to a Dhamila-gharini (Tamil house-holder). In the Buddhist Jataka story known as Akiti Jataka there is a mention to Damila-rattha (Tamil dynasty).
Thamizhar is etymologically related to Tamil, the language spoken by Tamil people. Southworth suggests that the name comes from tam-miz > tam-iz 'self-speak', or 'one's own speech'. Zvelebil suggests an etymology of tam-iz, with tam meaning "self" or "one's self", and "-iz" having the connotation of "unfolding sound". Alternatively, he suggests a derivation of tamiz < tam-iz < *tav-iz < *tak-iz, meaning in origin "the proper process (of speaking)." The term Thamizhar was likely derived from the name of the ancient people Dravida > Dramila > Damila > Tamila > Tamilar.
While the English word Dravidian was first employed by Robert Caldwell in his book of comparative Dravidian grammar based on the usage of the Sanskrit word drāviḍa in the work Tantravārttika by Kumārila Bhaṭṭa, the word drāviḍa in Sanskrit has been historically used to denote geographical regions of Southern India as whole. Some theories concern the direction of derivation between tamiẓ and drāviḍa; such linguists as Zvelebil assert that the direction is from tamiẓ to drāviḍa. The modern word Dravidian is devoid of any ethnic significance, and is only used to classify a linguistic family of the referred group.
The origins of the Dravidians are a "very complex subject of research and debate."  They may have been indigenous to the Indian subcontinent, but origins in, or influence from, West-Asia have also been proposed.
Although in modern times speakers of various Dravidian languages have mainly occupied the southern portion of India, Dravidian speakers must have been widespread throughout the Indian subcontinent before the Indo-Aryan migration into the subcontinent. According to Carole Davies, "many academic researchers have attempted to connect the Dravidians with the remnants of the great Indus Valley Civilisation, located in Northwestern India," most noteworthy Asko Parpola, who did extensive research on the IVC-scripts. The Brahui population of Balochistan in Pakistan has been taken by some as the linguistic equivalent of a relict population, perhaps indicating that Dravidian languages were formerly much more widespread and were supplanted by the incoming Indo-Aryan languages. The Dravidian influence is also noted to have been found in ancient civilisations of India. The Ancient Dravidians are considered to be the direct ancestors of the Tamils, Malayalees, Telugus, Canarese.
Reich et al. (2009) discerned two major ancestral components in India, namely the Ancestral North Indians (ANI) who are "genetically close to Middle Easterners, Central Asians, and Europeans," and the Ancestral South Indians (ASI) which are clearly distinct from ANI and "not closely related to groups outside the subcontinent." Basu et al. (2016), discerned two additional components, Ancestral Tibeto-Burmese (ATB) and Ancestral Austro-Asiatic (AAA), noting that the ASI and the AAA were early settlers of India who differentiated after their arrival in India.[note 1] The ANI and ASI mixed in India between 4,200 and 1,900 years ago (2200 BCE-100 CE), whereafter a shift to endogamy took place, possibly by the enforcement of "social values and norms" by the "Hindu Gupta rulers." Northern Indians and higher castes are more related to West Eurasians, while southern Indians and lower castes are less related to West Eurasians.
Moorjani et al. (2013) describe three scenarios regarding the bringing together of the two groups:
Proposed agricultural origins
According to Gallego Romero et al. (2011), their research on lactose tolerance in India suggests that "the west Eurasian genetic contribution identified by Reich et al. (2009) principally reflects gene flow from Iran and the Middle East." Gallego Romero notes that Indians who are lactose-tolerant show a genetic pattern regarding this tolerance which is "characteristic of the common European mutation." According to Romero, this suggests that "the most common lactose tolerance mutation made a two-way migration out of the Middle East less than 10,000 years ago. While the mutation spread across Europe, another explorer must have brought the mutation eastward to India – likely traveling along the coast of the Persian Gulf where other pockets of the same mutation have been found."
Asko Parpola, who regards the Harappans to have been Dravidian, notes that Mehrgarh (7000 BCE to c. 2500 BCE), to the west of the Indus River valley, is a precursor of the Indus Valley Civilisation, whose inhabitants migrated into the Indus Valley and became the Indus Valley Civilisation. It is one of the earliest sites with evidence of farming and herding in South Asia. According to Lukacs and Hemphill, while there is a strong continuity between the neolithic and chalcolithic (Copper Age) cultures of Mehrgarh, dental evidence shows that the chalcolithic population did not descend from the neolithic population of Mehrgarh, which "suggests moderate levels of gene flow." They further noted that "the direct lineal descendants of the Neolithic inhabitants of Mehrgarh are to be found to the south and the east of Mehrgarh, in northwestern India and the western edge of the Deccan plateau," with neolithic Mehrgarh showing greater affinity with chalocolithic Inamgaon, south of Mehrgarh, than with chalcolithic Mehrgarh.
Narasimhan et al. (2018) conclude that ANI and ASI were formed in the 2nd millennium BCE. They were preceded by a mixture of AASI (ancient ancestral south Indians, that is, hunter-gatherers), and Iranian agri-culturalists who arrived in India at ca. 4700-3000 BCE, and "must have reached the Indus Valley by the 4th millennium BCE." According to Narasimhan et al., this population, which probably was native to the Indus Valley Civilisation, "contributed in large proportions to both the ANI and ASI," which took shape during the 2nd millennium BCE. ANI formed out of a mixture of "Indus_Periphery-related groups" and migrants from the steppe, while ASI was formed out of "Indus_Periphery-related groups" who moved south and mixed with hunter-gatherers.
Indus Valley Civilisation
The Indus Valley civilisation (2,600-1,900 BCE) located in Northwestern Indian subcontinent is sometimes identified as having been Dravidian. Cultural and linguistic similarities have been cited by researchers Henry Heras, Kamil Zvelebil, Asko Parpola and Iravatham Mahadevan as being strong evidence for a proto-Dravidian origin of the ancient Indus Valley civilisation. The discovery in Tamil Nadu of a late Neolithic (early 2nd millennium BCE, i.e. post-dating Harappan decline) stone celt allegedly marked with Indus signs has been considered by some to be significant for the Dravidian identification.
Yuri Knorozov surmised that the symbols represent a logosyllabic script and suggested, based on computer analysis, an underlying agglutinative Dravidian language as the most likely candidate for the underlying language. Knorozov's suggestion was preceded by the work of Henry Heras, who suggested several readings of signs based on a proto-Dravidian assumption.
Linguist Asko Parpola writes that the Indus script and Harappan language are "most likely to have belonged to the Dravidian family". Parpola led a Finnish team in investigating the inscriptions using computer analysis. Based on a proto-Dravidian assumption, they proposed readings of many signs, some agreeing with the suggested readings of Heras and Knorozov (such as equating the "fish" sign with the Dravidian word for fish, "min") but disagreeing on several other readings. A comprehensive description of Parpola's work until 1994 is given in his book Deciphering the Indus Script.
Decline and migration
Paleoclimatologists believe the fall of the Indus Valley Civilisation and eastward migration during the late Harappan period was due to climate change in the region, with a 200-year long drought being the major factor. The Indus Valley Civilisation seemed to slowly lose their urban cohesion, and their cities were gradually abandoned during the late Harappan period, followed by eastward migrations before the Indo-Aryan migration into the Indian subcontinent.
Dravidian and Indo-Aryan interactions
The Dravidian language influenced the Indo-Aryan languages. Dravidian languages show extensive lexical (vocabulary) borrowing, but only a few traits of structural (either phonological or grammatical) borrowing from Indo-Aryan, whereas Indo-Aryan shows more structural than lexical borrowings from the Dravidian languages. Many of these features are already present in the oldest known Indo-Aryan language, the language of the Rigveda (c. 1500 BCE), which also includes over a dozen words borrowed from Dravidian. The linguistic evidence for Dravidian impact grows increasingly strong as we move from the Samhitas down through the later Vedic works and into the classical post-Vedic literature. This represents an early religious and cultural fusion[note 2] or synthesis between ancient Dravidians and Indo-Aryans.
According to Mallory there are an estimated thirty to forty Dravidian loanwords in Rig Veda. Some of those for which Dravidian etymologies are certain include ಕುಲಾಯ kulāya "nest", ಕುಲ್ಫ kulpha "ankle", ದಂಡ daṇḍa "stick", ಕುಲ kūla "slope", ಬಿಲ bila "hollow", ಖಲ khala "threshing floor".:81 While J. Bloch and M. Witzel believe that the Indo-Aryans moved into an already Dravidian speaking area after the oldest parts of the Rig Veda were already composed.
According to Thomason and Kaufman, there is strong evidence that Dravidian influenced Indic through "shift", that is, native Dravidian speakers learning and adopting Indic languages. According to Erdosy, the most plausible explanation for the presence of Dravidian structural features in Old Indo-Aryan is that the majority of early Old Indo-Aryan speakers had a Dravidian mother tongue which they gradually abandoned.Erdosy (1995:18) Even though the innovative traits in Indic could be explained by multiple internal explanations, early Dravidian influence is the only explanation that can account for all of the innovations at once. Early Dravidian influence accounts for several of the innovative traits in Indic better than any internal explanation that has been proposed. According to Zvelebil, "several scholars have demonstrated that pre-Indo-Aryan and pre-Dravidian bilingualism in India provided conditions for the far-reaching influence of Dravidian on the Indo-Aryan tongues in the spheres of phonology, syntax and vocabulary."
With the rise of the Kuru Kingdom a process of Sanskritization started which influenced all of India, with the populations of the north of the Indian subcontinent predominantly speaking the Indo-Aryan languages.
The most commonly spoken Dravidian languages are Tamil (தமிழ்), Telugu (తెలుగు), Kannada (ಕನ್ನಡ), Malayalam (മലയാളം), Brahui (براہوئی), Tulu (ತುಳು), Gondi and Coorg. There are three subgroups within the Dravidian language family: North Dravidian, Central Dravidian, and South Dravidian, matching for the most part the corresponding regions in the Indian subcontinent.
Dravidian grammatical impact on the structure and syntax of Indo-Aryan languages is considered far greater than the Indo-Aryan grammatical impact on Dravidian. Some linguists explain this anomaly by arguing that Middle Indo-Aryan and New Indo-Aryan were built on a Dravidian substratum. There are also hundreds of Dravidian loanwords in Indo-Aryan languages, and vice versa.
According to David McAlpin and his Elamo-Dravidian hypothesis, the Dravidian languages were brought to India by immigration into India from Elam, located in present-day southwestern Iran. In the 1990s, Renfrew and Cavalli-Sforza have also argued that Proto-Dravidian was brought to India by farmers from the Iranian part of the Fertile Crescent,[note 3] but more recently Heggerty and Renfrew noted that "McAlpin's analysis of the language data, and thus his claims, remain far from orthodoxy", adding that Fuller finds no relation of Dravidian language with other languages, and thus assumes it to be native to India. Renfrew and Bahn conclude that several scenarios are compatible with the data, and that "the linguistic jury is still very much out."
As a proto-language, the Proto-Dravidian language is not itself attested in the historical record. Its modern conception is based solely on reconstruction. It is suggested that the language was spoken in the 4th millennium BCE, and started disintegrating into various branches around 3rd millennium BCE. According to Krishnamurti, Proto-Dravidian may have been spoken in the Indus civilization, suggesting a "tentative date of Proto-Dravidian around the early part of the third millennium." Krishnamurti further states that South Dravidian I (including pre-Tamil) and South Dravidian II (including Pre-Telugu) split around the eleventh century BCE, with the other major branches splitting off at around the same time.
Ancient Dravidian religion constituted of a non-Vedic form of Hinduism in that they were either historically or are at present Āgamic. The Agamas are non-Vedic in origin  and have been dated either as post-Vedic texts  or as pre-Vedic compositions. The Agamas are a collection of Tamil and Sanskrit scriptures chiefly constituting the methods of temple construction and creation of murti, worship means of deities, philosophical doctrines, meditative practices, attainment of sixfold desires and four kinds of yoga. The worship of tutelary deities, sacred flora and fauna in Hinduism is also recognized as a survival of the pre-Vedic Dravidian religion. Dravidian linguistic influence on early Vedic religion is evident; many of these features are already present in the oldest known Indo-Aryan language, the language of the Rigveda (c. 1500 BCE), which also includes over a dozen words borrowed from Dravidian. The linguistic evidence for Dravidian impact grows increasingly strong as we move from the Samhitas down through the later Vedic works and into the classical post-Vedic literature. This represents an early religious and cultural fusion[note 2] or synthesis between ancient Dravidians and Indo-Aryans that went on to influence and shape Hinduism, Sramana, Jainism, Buddhism, Charvaka, and Ājīvika.
Ancient Tamil grammatical works Tolkappiyam, the ten anthologies Pattuppāṭṭu, and the eight anthologies Eṭṭuttokai shed light on early ancient Dravidian religion. Seyyon was glorified as the red god seated on the blue peacock, who is ever young and resplendent, as the favored god of the Tamils. Sivan was also seen as the supreme God. Early iconography of Seyyon and Sivan and their association with native flora and fauna goes back to the Indus Valley Civilisation. The Sangam landscape was classified into five categories, thinais, based on the mood, the season and the land. Tolkappiyam mentions that each of these thinai had an associated deity such as Seyyon in Kurinji-the hills, Thirumaal in Mullai-the forests, and Kotravai in Marutham-the plains, and Wanji-ko in the Neithal-the coasts and the seas. Other gods mentioned were Mayyon and Vaali who are all major deities in Hinduism today. This represents an early religious and cultural fusion[note 2] or synthesis between ancient Dravidians and Indo-Aryans, which became more evident over time with sacred iconography, traditions, philosophy, flora and fauna that went on to influence and shape Indian civilisation.
Throughout Tamilakam, a king was considered to be divine by nature and possessed religious significance. The king was 'the representative of God on earth’ and lived in a "koyil", which means the "residence of a god". The Modern Tamil word for temple is koil (Tamil: கோயில்). Ritual worship was also given to kings. Modern words for god like "kō" (Tamil: கோ "king"), "iṟai" (இறை "emperor") and "āṇḍavar" (ஆண்டவன் "conqueror") now primarily refer to gods. These elements were incorporated later into Hinduism like the legendary marriage of Shiva to Queen Mīnātchi who ruled Madurai or Wanji-ko, a god who later merged into Indra. Tolkappiyar refers to the Three Crowned Kings as the "Three Glorified by Heaven", (Tamil: வாண்புகழ் மூவர், Vāṉpukaḻ Mūvar ?). In the Dravidian-speaking South, the concept of divine kingship led to the assumption of major roles by state and temple.
The cult of the mother goddess is treated as an indication of a society which venerated femininity. This mother goddess was conceived as a virgin, one who has given birth to all and one, and were typically associated with Shaktism. The temples of the Sangam days, mainly of Madurai, seem to have had priestesses to the deity, which also appear predominantly a goddess. In the Sangam literature, there is an elaborate description of the rites performed by the Kurava priestess in the shrine Palamutircholai.
Among the early Dravidians the practice of erecting memorial stones "Natukal and Viragal’' had appeared, and it continued for quite a long time after the Sangam age, down to about the 16th century. It was customary for people who sought victory in war to worship these hero stones to bless them with victory.
Architecture and visual art
Throughout Tamilakam, a king was considered to be divine by nature and possessed religious significance. The king was 'the representative of God on earth’ and lived in a "koyil", which means the "residence of a god". The Modern Tamil word for temple is koil (Tamil: கோயில்). Titual worship was also given to kings. Modern words for god like "kō" (Tamil: கோ "king"), "iṟai" (இறை "emperor") and "āṇḍavar" (ஆண்டவன் "conqueror") now primarily refer to gods. Tolkappiyar refers to the Three Crowned Kings as the "Three Glorified by Heaven", (Tamil: வாண்புகழ் மூவர், Vāṉpukaḻ Mūvar ?). In the Dravidian-speaking South, the concept of divine kingship led to the assumption of major roles by state and temple.
Mayamata and Manasara shilpa texts estimated to be in circulation by the 5th to 7th century AD, are guidebooks on the Dravidian style of Vastu Shastra design, construction, sculpture and joinery technique. Isanasivagurudeva paddhati is another text from the 9th century describing the art of building in India in south and central India. In north India, Brihat-samhita by Varāhamihira is the widely cited ancient Sanskrit manual from the 6th century describing the design and construction of Nagara style of Hindu temples. Traditional Dravidian architecture and symbolism are also based on Agamas. The Agamas are non-Vedic in origin and have been dated either as post-Vedic texts  or as pre-Vedic compositions. The Agamas are a collection of Tamil and Sanskrit scriptures chiefly constituting the methods of temple construction and creation of murti, worship means of deities, philosophical doctrines, meditative practices, attainment of sixfold desires and four kinds of yoga.
Chola style temples consist almost invariably of the three following parts, arranged in differing manners, but differing in themselves only according to the age in which they were executed:
Besides these, a south Indian temple usually has a tank called the Kalyani or Pushkarni – to be used for sacred purposes or the convenience of the priests – dwellings for all the grades of the priesthood are attached to it, and other buildings for state or convenience.
Theatre, dance and music
Literary evidence of traditional form of theatre, dance and music dates back to the 3rd century BCE. Ancient literary works, such as the Cilappatikaram, describe a system of music. The theatrical culture flourished during the early Sangam age. Theatre-dance traditions have a long and varied history whose origins can be traced back almost two millennia to dance-theatre forms like Kotukotti and Pandarangam, which are mentioned in an ancient anthology of poems entitled the Kalingathu Parani. Dance forms such as Bharatanatyam are based older temple dance forms known as Catir Kacceri as practised by courtesans and a class of women known as Devadasis.
Carnatic music originated in the Dravidian region. With the growing influence of Persian and Sufi music on Indian music, a clear distinction in style appeared from the 12th century onwards. Many literary works were composed in Carnatic style and it soon spread wide in the Dravidian regions. The most notable Carnatic musician is Purandara Dasa who lived in the court of Krishnadevaraya of the Vijayanagara empire. He formulated the basic structure of Carnatic music and is regarded as the Pitamaha (lit, "father" or the "grandfather") of Carnatic Music. Kanakadasa is another notable Carnatic musician who was Purandaradasa's contemporary.
Each of the major Dravidian languages has its own film industry like Kollywood (Tamil), Tollywood (Telugu), Sandalwood (Kannada), Mollywood (Malayalam). Kollywood and Tollywood produce most films in India.
Dravidian speakers in southern India wear varied traditional costumes depending on their region, largely influenced by local customs and traditions.
Martial arts and sports
In Mahabaratha was mentioned, that Bhishma claimed that Southerns are skilled with sword-fighting in general and Sahadeva was chosen for the conquest of the southern kingdoms, because of his swordman skills. In South India various types of martial arts are practiced like Kalaripayattu and Silambam. It is speculated that Bodhidarma was a sixth century Pallava prince, who became a Buddhist monk, although the credibility of the same is debatable. Some modern hypothesis claim that he introduced Kalaripayattu in China, which contributed to the development of modern-day Kung Fu and Karate in Japan.
In ancient times there were fights ankam, public duels to the death, to solve disputes between his opposing rules. Among some communities, young girls received preliminary training up until the onset of menses. In vadakkan pattukal ballads, at least a few women warriors continued to practice and achieved a high degree of expertise.
Weapons used in Kalaripayattu.
The largest-Dravidian ethnic groups are the Telugus from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the Tamils from Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore, the Kannadigas from Karnataka, the Malayalis from Kerala, and the Tulu people from Karnataka. Certain communities of Marathis from Maharashtra are considered as Scytho-Dravidians.
List of Dravidian people based on population