Saturday, December 15, 2007

59. The less evolved ancient tribes

Some of the Early tribes resisted development and remained in forest phase or hunter-gatherer phase for a prolong time, leading to gaping socio-cultural differences between the evolved and the poorly evolved. These less evolved tribes constitute the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes of present generation.
The District Gazetteer of South Kanara (1973) enlists the following scheduled castes and tribes in Dakshina Kannada (formerly South Canara).
The scheduled castes: (1) AdiAndhra, (2) AdiDravida, (3) AdiKarnataka, (4) Ajila, (5) Arunthathiyar, (6) Baira, (7) Bakuda, (8) Bandi, (9) Bellara/i (10) Chakkaliyan, (11) Chalavadi, (12). Chamar (Muchi), (13) Chandala, (14) Cheruman, (15) Devendra, (16) Kulathan , (17) Godagali, (18) Godda, (19) Gosangi , (20) Holeya , (21) Jaggali, (22) Jambuvulu, (23) Kadaiyan, (24) Kalldi, (25) Karimpalan, (26 ) Koosa, (27) Kuduban, (28) Kuruvan, (29) Madrai, (30) Madiga, (31) Maila, (32)Mala, (33) Mavilan (34) Moger, (35) Mundala, (36) Nalke, (37) Nayadi, (38) Pagadi, (39) Pallan, (40) Pamabada, (41) Panchama, (42) Pannaiandi, (43) Paraiyan, (44) Puthinai Vannan, (45) Rancyar, (46) Samagar, (47) Sambai (48) Sapayi (49) Seman (50) Thoti (51) Tiruvalluvar, (52) Valluven , ( 53) Bathada, (54) Hasti , (55) Paravan.
The following are the scheduled tribes enlisted:
(1)Adiyan, (2) Aranadan (3) Irular (4) Kadar (5) Kammara (6) Kattunayakan (7) Konda kapu (8 ) Konda reddis (9) Koraga (10) Kota (11) Kudiya/ Malekudiya (12 ) Kurichchan (13 ) Kuruman (14) Mahamalasar (15) Malasar (16) Maleya kandi (17 ) Maranthi (18) Mudugar (19) Palliyan (20) Paniyan (21) Pulavan (22) Shologa (23) Toda .
Similar list of tribes exist in the neighbouring Kerala also.( Madhava Menon et al (2002) People of India : Kerala : Volume XXVII.Anthropological Survey of India)

Notes on Early Tribes/languages
1. The ‘Koosa’ tribe may be ‘Kosar’ tribes of Karavali described in the Tamil Sangam literature.

2. The Karavali ‘Bakuda’ and 'Bathuda' tribes may be equivalent/variants of ‘Bathudi’ tribe of Chotanagpur.

3. The ‘Bellari’ language, originally might have been a variant of the Munda language, but apparently changed with time by induction of Tulu words and was later considered as a variant of Tulu rather than Munda.(Refer Manjunath’s post on Bellari). There are several places in Karavali and Karnataka mainland having names such as ‘Bellara’ or ‘Bellari’.

4. Several tribal/sub-language names have remained as place names. These ancient cultural vestiges include Bellara/Bellari, Parenki, Gadaba (Kadaba), Kharawar, etc.

5. Many place names with unknown or unexplainable meanings in the current languages in Karavali and other parts of Karnataka/southern India may have been inherited from the Early Munda substratum language and culture that existed earlier.

The native Early Munda languages prevalent in southern India before ca.800-600BC, appear to have merged with the Early Dravidian and Early Tulu languages. The vestiges of these native languages in southern India are on the way to gradual extinction due to overprinting impact of cultural changes.


  1. i guess i am what you would call an example of what is happening to Tulu today. never having lived in Mangalore, i can speak tulu, but only when it is mixed with a whole lot of english, and get confused at times when a speech is given in tulu.And today im desperately trying to get back to my roots.
    your work is very intresting. i was wondering if you could help me with information regarding tribes of dakshin kannada.
    please do reply, you will be helping another urbanite who is plain confused.

  2. Kabini,Welcome to the blog!
    Tell me more about you and nature of your work.I shall be only glad to share whatever data I do have or explore eventually.

  3. well i am intrested in the clothes and jewelery of the tibals of dakshin kannada.ive gone through several books and many google "searches" but with no success.
    my intrest was sparked this summer when i saw a tribal woman near mangalore (we were driving from Mumbai to Mangalore)she wore simply a large piece of cloth knotted around her neck and a load of beaded chains around her neck.she was father told me she belonged to the Nayak tribe of north karnataka.
    i would love it if you could send me pictures or links to pictures of tribals of dakshin kannada.

    P.S. please try to change the colour of the fonts (the ones which say "post a comment" etc.)its very light and very hard to read.

  4. Kabini,
    1. The 'comments' font color was not accessible for 'editing' in the blogger layout. So temporarily I have changed the post body color.
    2.You were referring to 'Halakki' tribes of North Kanara. Some published Halakki photos are posted in
    3.Your blog is also nice, especially the way you give importance to the compilation of details. Your 'About me' is almost blank!

  5. um um um......this is intresting, i dont have blog!!!!
    we have an occasion where we are expected to be dressed in clothes traditional to us. and i find it hard to believe that tuluva women always wore plain simple saris.
    any ideas what kind of clothing is supposedly our "own"?

  6. 'Tradition' is chronologically evolutionary in nature and a very long duration.For stage and occasions of celebratory nature,select the better looking Tulu attires from the last two centuries.Possibly,the bridal attire with jewellary would be apt for the occasion.

  7. would you have pictures of such clothings? i tried looking online and on the kamath website, i found a truckload and dint know how to sort through it. would you have any specific pictures?

  8. sorry,right now I do not have the pictures to describe it.What I suggest you is visit any of the rural/traditional Tulu weddings,where you find the bride dressed in rich silk with numerous golden ornaments that adorn not only neck, ear and forearm but also forehead,upper arm and hip.Altogether they make up a gorgeous sight, probably reserved for the royal princesses in the past.
    For stage shows, I believe, most of these accessories may be available on hire.


Blog Archive

Books for Reference

  • A Comparative Study of Tulu Dialects By Dr. Padmanabha Kekunnaya. Govinda Pai Reserach Centre, UDupi. 1994
  • Koti Chennaya: Janapadiya Adhyayana. By Dr. Vamana Nandavar. Hemanshu Prakashana ,Mangalore.2001.
  • Male kudiyaru. Dr B. A.Viveka Rai and D.Yadupathi Gowda, Mangalore University,1996.
  • Mogaveera Samskriti By Venkataraja Punimchattaya. Karnataka Sahitya Academy.1993.
  • Mugeraru:Jananga Janapada Adhyayana. By Dr Abhaya Kumar Kaukradi.Kannada & Culture Directorate,Bangalore & Karnataka Tulu Academy, Mangalore,1997.
  • Puttubalakeya Pad-danagalu. Ed: Dr B.A.Viveka Rai,Yadupati Gowda and Rajashri, Sri Dharmasthala Manjunatheswara Tulu Peeta. Mangalore University.2004
  • Se'erige. Ed:Dr K.Chinnapa Gowda.Madipu Prakashana,Mangalagangotri,2000.
  • Studies in Tuluva History and Dr P Gururaja Bhat (1975).Milagres College,Kallinapur,Udupi.
  • Taulava Sanskriti by Dr.B.A.Viveka Rai, Sahyadri Prakashana,Mysore 1977
  • TuLu naaDu-nuDi By Dr.PalthaDi Ramakrishna Achar, Puttur.
  • TuLu NighanTu. (Editor in Chief: Dr U.P.Upadhyaya, Govinda Pai Research Centre,Udupi. Six volumes. 1988 to 1997
  • Tulu Patero-A Philology & Grammar of Tulu Language by Budhananda Shivalli.2004.Mandira Prakashana Mangalore. p.317. (The book is in Tulu Language using Kannada script)
  • TuLunadina ShasanagaLa Sanskritika Adhyayana. By Shaila T. Verma (2002) Jnanodaya Prakashana,Bangalore, p.304.(Kannada)
  • Tuluvala Baliyendre. Compiled by N.A.Sheenappa Hegde,Polali,Sri Devi Prakashana,Parkala,1929/1999

A Coastal estuary

A Coastal estuary
Holegadde near Honavar,Uttara Kannada dist, Karnataka

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