NCERT Class 7 History Chapter 9 - The making of Regional Cultures

Chapter 9 The making of Regional Cultures

Question and Answers
Question 1: Mention the role of the Cheras in the development of Malayalam.
Answer:
The Chera kingdom of Mahodayapuram was established in the ninth century in the south-western part of the peninsula, part of present-day Kerala. It is likely that Malayalam was spoken in this area. The rulers introduced the Malayalam language and script in their inscriptions.
 
Question 2: Why did Minstrels proclaim the achievements of the heroes?
Answer:
Minstrels used to recite poems and songs which depicted the stories of the “Rajputs” heroic deeds. By reciting such poems and songs these minstrels inspired others to follow the examples of Rajputs. Ordinary people were also attracted by these stories.

Question 3: Why did the conquerors try to control the temple of Jagannatha at Puri?
Answer:
The temple of Jagannatha at Puri gained importance as a centre of pilgrimage. Its authority in social and political matters also increased. Hence, conquerors tried to establish control over the temple. They felt that this would make their rule acceptable to the local people.

Question 4: Give a detailed description of Kathak, a popular dance form of North India.
Answer:
The term Kathak is derived from Katha, a word used in Sanskrit and other languages for story. The Kathaks were originally a caste of story-tellers in temples of north India, who beautified their performances with gestures and songs. Kathak began evolving into a distinct mode of dance in the 15th and 16th centuries with the spread of the Bhakti movement. the legends of Radha-Krishna were enacted in folk plays known as rasa lila, which combined folk dance with the basic gestures of the Kathak story-tellers. Kathak was performed in the Mughal court. Here, it acquired its present features and developed into a form of dance with a distinctive style. Afterwards, it developed in two traditions known as gharanas-one in the courts of Rajasthan, Jaipur and the other in Lucknow. Kathak grew into a major art form only under the patronage of Wajid Ali Shah, the last Nawab of Awadh. By the third quarter of the 19th century it was firmly established as a dance form not only in these two regions but also in the adjoining areas of present-day Punjab, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. Emphasis was laid on intricate and rapid footwork, elaborate costumes as well as on the enactment of stories. Although most British administrators never favoured Kathak, it survived and continued to be performed by courtesans. It was recognised as a classical dance form after the country got independence.

Question 5: What are miniature? Explain.
Answer:
Miniatures or small-sized paintings are generally done on cloth or paper using water colours, although the earliest were done on palm leaves and wood. The Mughals used them mainly to illustrate historical accounts of battles, scenes from the court, lives of people, etc. They were also used to illustrate Jain texts.

Question 6: Why were temples built in Bengal?
Answer:
Temples and other religious structures were often built by individuals or groups who were becoming powerful, to demonstrate their power and proclaim their piety. Temples were built in Bengal to house the local deities who had gained the recognition of the Brahmanas.
 
Question 7: Who were pirs? What was their position in the society?
Answer:
Pirs were spiritual leaders having supernatural powers. They also functioned as teachers and adjudicators. When early settlers in Bengal sought some order and assurance in the unstable conditions of the new settlements pirs favoured them and gave them full moral support. People viewed them as respectful figures. The cult of pirs became very popular and their shrines can be found everywhere in Bengal.
 
Question 8: How did Bengali developed as a regional language?
Answer:
Bengali is said to have been derived from Sanskrit but early Sanskrit texts derived it. From the fourth-third centuries BCE, commercial ties developed between Bengal and Magadha which may have led to the growing influence of Sanskrit. During the fourth century, the Gupta rulers established political control over north Bengal and began to settle Brahmanas in this area. Thus, the linguistic and cultural influence from the mid-Ganga valley became stronger.
In the seventh century, the Chinese traveller Xuan Zang observed that languages related to Sanskrit were in use all over Bengal. From the eighth century, Bengal became the centre of a regional kingdom under the Palas. Between the 14th and 16th centuries, Bengal was ruled by Sultans. In 1586, when Akbar conquered Bengal, it formed the nucleus of the Bengal Suba, While Persian was the language of administration, Bengali developed as a regional language.
By the 15th century, the Bengali group of dialects came to be united by a common literary language based on the spoken language of the western part of the region, now known as West Bengal. Thus, although Bengali is derived from Sanskrit, it passed through several stages of evolution. A wide range of non-Sanskrit words, derived from tribal languages, Persian and European language, have become part of modem Bengali.
 
Question 9: What are important architectural features of the temple of Bengal?
Answer:
Important architectural features of the temples of Bengal are:
1. Temples of Bengal began to copy the double-roofed structure of the thatched huts.
2. In a comparatively more complex four-roofed structure, four triangular roofs were placed on the four walls to move up to converge on a curved line or a point.
3. Temples were usually built on a square platform.
4. The interior was relatively plain but the outer walls of many temples were decorated with paintings, ornamental tiles or terracotta tablets.

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