Tamil’s Cruel Cock Fight! ( Post No.3442)

Written by London swaminathan


Date: 12 December 2016


Time uploaded in London:-19-59


Post No.3442



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Tamils have been organising Ram fight, buffalo fight and cock fight for the past 2000 years ago. A poet by name garbage cock (Kuppaik koziyaar) had used a simile of fighting cocks in the garbage. The commentators described the cock fight organised for the public and the useless fight among cocks in the garbage. The heroine of the poem compares her condition to a cock which fights in the garbage Kuruntokai Verse No.305 by Kuppaik Koziyaar.

Kamban who wrote Ramayana in Tamil gives a list of recreational activities in the Kingdom of Kosala and one of them is cock fight. Actually, he attributed everything that was common in the Chola country to the Kingdom of Kosala. Kamban describes the cocks fitted with knifes fighting with one another in detail (Balakandam, Kamba Ramayan).

How the cocks are trained:

Probably there is not a people on the face of the earth, whether rich or poor, cultured or uncultured, white or black that does not find time for recreation or amusement. Tamils have several amusements and recreational activities and one of them is the barbarous and cruel cock fighting.  This is a common thing in almost all the villages. The fighting cocks are of two types – the country breed and the Moghul breed. the Moghul breeds are fine, strong and well-made birds. They are kept in separate places, and not allowed to see each other. if a villager is a well to do man, he keeps five or six of these cocks. if he is a big landlord, he keeps about a dozen, and he engages a special man to look after them. His duty is to feed them both morning and evening, and to give them water at noon. Besides this he must spend ten or fifteen minutes with each cock in the evening in wetting their necks well with cold water, and specially in pressing with both his hands the neck of each cock. He takes each cock to the tank, and dis the whole body well into water, and lets it swim for a while. This kind of preparation goes on for some time before the owner ventures to take them to the fighting ground. The country breeds are also prepared in the same manner, except for rubbing of the necks.


The spot for fighting will be fixed according to the convenience of the villagers. The parties always chose a place where there is plenty of water and shade, and as far as possible away from a village. To this fighting amusement the fair sex and the Brahmins do not go, but the men of all ages are exceedingly fond of it. Some of them travel miles in order to see the cock fight.


The fight commences at 10 O’clock in the morning. A pair of cocks is set up Each of these belongs to a different party, and generally they do not care to fix matches between cocks of the same village. One of these fights is known as Vetrukaal por; the other is called Kathi por. In the former the cocks are engaged in without having any double edged, small knife attached to their right legs; but in the latter kind they have the knives, and this makes it a most cruel and terrible scene.  Soon after these cocks are set up, they severely wound each other, and one of them dies or runs away, the fight is ended. The defeated cock is always presented to the owner of the conqueror.

In the case of the cocks fighting without a knife, one of the cocks either must die or run away. The owner of the cock which conquers its opponent is entitled to the defeated cock or to a certain sum of money.


If a man in a village has a champion cock, it rouses the envy of the people of other villages, who spends a lot of money in purchasing a proper match to it. There is a great deal of skill shown by the men who catch the cocks with knives, even while they are flying against each other. Sometimes, the men are severely wounded while thus attempting catch the cocks. This must be regarded as a most cruel and degrading way of getting amusement.

Source: Kamba Ramayanam, Sangam Literature, Indian Village Folk by T B Pandian, year 1897.