Saturday, January 16, 2010

222. Bunt and Nadava Evolution: An outline

In view of the revival of interest in Tulu people relating to their history and heritage as evident from the several recent comments that have been posted to this blog and from the several publications that have come out, a summary conspectus on the evolution of the Bunts and the Nadavas appears apt. A few of the recent comments posted on the topic of ‘Bunts & Nairs’ run like this:

1. “I am a bunt originally from udupi and the paddanas I have heard mention us the bunts as nagavansham kshatriya the original nagaradhakas (serpent worshippers) who came from the serpent kingdom of akshikshetra in the north (Badakaye in tulu). Akshikshetra is somewhere in Uttarakhand near Nepal-Tibet border. There Newars or Newari people are known to be serpent worshippers. Do we have a connection to them? Also many of us bunts at least I have slight mongoloid features not very prevalent, but you can observe many of us bunts not all have slightly smaller eyes like B.R.Shetty or Ajit Shetty of Jannsen Pharmaceuticals or even Aishwarya Rai who eyes are slightly smaller and curved .This again points to Scythian Naga origins what say? Bunts are also the comeliest people in south India. Some of us bunts are tanned but never dark.”

2).”The Nadavaru of Ankola, Kumta are not related to the Bunts. They do not practice matrilineality and serpent worship which is integral to bunts, nairs culture. I have seen these nadavaru trying to show relation to us bunts but they are not related expect that Naadava and nadavaru sound similar. But Bunt Nadava and Nadavaru are completely different”

3). “The Bunts and Nairs definitely do not have north Indian connection , the reason being in north India Hinduism was very strong , the nairs and bunts embraced Hinduism very late basically after the brahmins came down to south. This is the reason why inspite the bunts and nairs being warriors by profession were never considered as Kshatriyas by the brahmins but shudras.”

Related genetically
Tulu pāDdana songs, especially, Koraga ‘Urals’ known to pronounce philosophically that the Nadava, Billava and Mogaveera people are the children of the sisters. Since the pāDdanas are composed by some of the aboriginal tribes of the land who have hereditarily witnessed a large span of the bygone history, there may be certain elements of truth in the said dictum. At the same time, as a consequence of periodical immigrations various assimilations have possibly been introduced in most of these communities during the complex course of evolution. Essentially, time and space, with attendant natural factors, have introduced numerous variations, apart from several lines of synthesis, among the various Tulu communities.

Nadava, Bunt and Nair
The tripartite caption basically suggests that it is a composition of at least three groups naturally during the course of historical progression. However, in reality, there could be more than these three individual community units that assimilated or merged with these in the historical past. While this is appears rather explicit in the case of Nadava-Bunts-Nairs, this could be the case with every other Tulu community or even every other group in the world.
Many apparent and obvious facts have been camouflaged during the progressive course of evolution of various communities. The sequential order of Nadava- Bunt- Nair appears to be the actual chronological order of formation of the community, which is one of the major Tulu Diaspora.

NāDava: Origin & antiquity
Nadava, as the word analysis explains, basically represents the cultivator or the farmer. The word ‘naDu’ is to plant seedlings. And the word ‘nāDu’ derived from the root ‘naDu’ originally meant cultivated area. In the course of time, the scope of the meaning of the word ‘nāDu’ was expanded to signify country, a cultivated and evolved area as compared to kāDu the forest. This meaning is obvious when we compare the word ‘nāDu‘(na+aDu) with ‘kāDu’ (ka+aDu). In these words the suffix ‘aDu’ represents area with trees or plants. Compare ‘aDu’ with plain ‘Da’. The latter suffix means area or locality in Munda languages. It is well known that the ‘kāDu’(=forest) areas were converted to ‘nāDu’( cultivated area) with introduction of systematic agriculture during the course of evolution.
Many of the Tulu researchers are searching for Nadava-Bunt roots in various royal families like Shatavahana, Rastrakuta, Chalukya, Jat etc, who lived and reigned during the period 2nd Century CE to10th Century CE or so. The origin of Nadava clan is much more older dating back to not less than ca. 3000 BC in the peninsular India.
It has been deciphered that the agriculture was introduced in the Nile River Valley during 6000 BC. Similar archeo-botanical AMS carbon datings on fossil seed grains recovered from the ash-mounds of Ballary region,Karnataka reveal that during the period 2500-1800 BC pulses like horse-gram(‘kudu’), black-gram('urdu’) and red-gram(‘togori’) were grown in the peninsula(Fuller & Harvey,2006). Note that ‘kuDu’ (=ku+Du =’good crop’; horse gram) was one of the earliest and widely grown pulse in southern India.
One of the interesting facts revealed by archeo-botanical research in southern India is that rice was unknown or not grown in the peninsula up to ca 800-600 BC! It has been suggested that Dravidian immigrant tribes brought the rice cultivation to southern India. Linguists are confused regarding the identity of the agricultural tribes that lived in the peninsula during the period 3000-1000 BC. Fuller & Harvey (2006) and Southworth, for example, have based their analysis and inferences considering that the tribes liveearly natives as Dravidians. However, extensive place names in Tulunadu (and also Karnataka) suggest that widespread clans of Munda tribes were living in these regions in the past.
It has been deduced (especially, in this blog, based on place name analysis) that Munda –Gond Group of tribes lived in different parts of the peninsula, till the immigration of Dravidian tribes. The Dravidian tribes invading from the north introduced the rice cultivation here. Thus ancient the words Da, aDu, kāDu, nāDu, kudu etc must have been originally from the language of early Munda tribes.
Therefore, the earliest NāDava farmers in this terrain were from the Munda, Gond and other ancient tribes. Numerous village names bearing signature of ancient tribes of Aria, Bage, Banna, Bella (Vellar>Ballal), Baira, Bhil, Bonda, Gadaba, Gonda, Idiya, Irava, Kalavar, Kakke, Kannar, Kol, Kosa, Koti, Koya, Kotru, Kukke, Marava, Mande, Munda, Moolya, Pani, Panaba, Yedava and other tribes suggest that these lived once upon a time in the region now known as Tulunadu.
With immigration of Dravidians into the peninsula, and with passage of time, there has been cultural, lingual and genetic assimilation of preexisting and immigrant tribes. Original Munda words, customs and culture have been assimilated into Dravidian languages. In other words Dravidian languages including Tulu grew and evolved on a platform of Munda words and language. Words cited earlier like aDu, Da, kaDu, naDu, kudu, paDi, paDa, vaDa, VaDi, baDa baDi etc were originally from Munda Gond languages but absorbed seamlessly later into the Dravidian.
The surnames and lineage names of Nadavas suggest selective assimilation of several ancient tribes into their folds. Some of the ancient customs prevalent among Nadavas, based on ancient Munda-Gond traditional practices and beliefs also suggest the theme of socio-cultural assimilation during the prolonged course of evolution.
Keshav Shetty Adur (2007) for example cites the custom of ‘moori deepini’ as suggestive of moolya derivation of some nadava clans. The ’moori’ is a small earthen pot.It is being worshipped in some Ballal families as a form of divinity. It is possible that the ‘moori’ (=earthen pot) represents the original and primitive form of ‘kalasha’ pooja, which evolved subsequently to replace the ancient earthen vessel with a metal (usually copper or brass) pitcher.
And other streams of Nādava farmers were spread all over the peninsula. Kaviraja Marga describes Nādava from Kannada region. With time the word ‘nāDu’ (cultivated land) attained meaning of country or state and the word ‘nāDava’ (farmer) acquired the additional meaning of a citizen.

An alternate term for the Tulu Nadava is ‘Okkelme’. Rural folks still use the word to denote Nādava farmers. The word ‘Okkel’ originally meant a farm house, since ‘okku’ =to dig the earth. And the ‘Okkelme’ was the farmer who resided in the farm house near his agricultural fields. With passage of time the word ‘okkel’ has evolved to mean occupied residence or occupant of a house.
In Siri paDdana, Birmu Malava expains that he belongs to Ariya-bannar lineage and Okketti caste. The form Okketti may the older version of the usage Okkelme.

Nadava youth were also drawn as soldiers during wars. Some of the soldiers from Karavali were taken to northern Karnataka and Andhra for combating with enemies. And similarly there have been periodic influx of soldiers from the Malnad and upland areas during events of major wars in the Karavali. The soldiers settled in the Karavali and mostly mixed with the local population.
With the background of farmer-soldier profession Nadavas became close to rulers of the land and slowly evolved to become landlords, the owners of Guthu, Barike and Boodu. With time they also became merchants as evident from the widespread surname ‘Shetty’ (derived from the word ‘Sheshti’, the merchant). Assimilation of affluent Jain merchants immigrants from upghat regions into Nadava communities possibly introduced surnames like Shetty and Shresti.
Nadava communities like others have undergone a sequence of theological modifications that have affected the land. To begin with, Nadavas from Munda communities were Spirit and Naga worshippers. Subsequently, they were swayed by the tenets of Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism. Thus they have inherited essence and footprints of several religions in the land. And the interplay of religions possibly kept them outside the shackles of chaturvarna, sensu stricto. Since they were farmers, landlords, warriors and merchants, at different levels in time and space there is no justification in pondering if they were exclusively of ‘kshatriya’ (warrior class) anytime.

The Kings and overlords of Tulunadu employed martially trained, well built young men as trusted personal assistants who acted as professional body guards and warriors, apart from carrying out miscellaneous jobs entrusted to them.
"Bunt" or ‘banta’, (pronounced ‘banT’ or ‘banTa’) as the word explains, stands for a trusted assistant. Apparently bunt was a occupational term in the past rather than a caste indicator. Koti – Chennayya, the twin Tulu heroes, hailing from the Baidya -Billava community, were described as ‘bantas’ in the folklore. They served Tulu Chieftains as personal assistants or henchmen. Many of the native gymnasia (known as ‘Garodi’s) that trained soldiers were run by Billava people.
The word Bantu apparently is derived originally from African sources. The word ‘Bantu’ in African languages means people. African Bantus migrated to different areas from homeland in tune with periods of adversity. It appears that the word ‘bunt’ or ‘buntu’ could have travelled to the Indian peninsula along with Dravidian migrants from the African continent in the past. Analogy of the meanings the original African word ‘bantu’ (=people, persons) and the Tulu word ‘bant’ (=aide, assistant) may be noted.
Genetic studies have confirmed that early man originated in African continent and migrated to various parts of the world. There have been several cycles of emigration of people from African continent. Of these the migration of Dravidians fro Mediterranean region to NW Indian (ca 2000-1700 BC) and further to southern India (ca 800-400 BC) appears to be prominent markers that have left several significant socio-cultural imprints.
Immigration of people from Africa and Mediterranean region possibly took place in several stages, with each stage having several intermediate halts on the way. The well built Scythian and Mediterranean physical features attributed to Bunts and other Tulu people were possibly derived from the immigrants.
That the word ‘bunt’ was a occupational term is also evident by the fact that soldiers brought from upland peninsular areas after 16th century CE ( for fighting war with local chieftains) were called ‘Parivar Bunts’. They have also settled in Tulunadu as ‘Parivar Bunts’ but have not assimilated with native Bunts. The ‘Parivar’ tag is a modification of the original word ‘paravar’ which represents marine fisher-folks.
The word ‘bunt’ as a community indicator is more prevalent in southern part of Tulunadu. The professional ‘bunts’ in the past could have adapted to agriculture and farming in the war- free peace periods, leading to matrimonial alliance with Nadava families.

Bant villages in India
There are three official Bant villages in Tulunadu: Bantawal, Bantra (Puttur Taluk) and Bantakal (Udupi Taluk).  There are also a number of hamlets in the coastal districts having the name of Bant, of which the statistics is not readily available. 
But if you think “Bant” villages bearing the name of “Bant” or “Banta” are exclusive to Tulunadu, you are wrong.
In fact, there are some 155+   Bant villages in different parts of India (The number excludes the names of hamlets and settlements beginning with prefix of  Bant. ) as per Census data for 2011. The list includes village names such as Bant, Banta, Bantara, Bantera, Bantoli, Bantpura, Bantikhera, Bantari,  Bantor, Bantwa, Bantwara, Bantwada, Bantwadi, Bantavaram, Banthu, Banthla, bantupalle, Bantkhani, Bantikula, Bantow, Bantail, bantahalli, Bantarahalli, Bantenahalli, Bantiganahalli, Bantihal, Bantugram, Bantugaon, Bantakunta, eetc. These villages are distributed in Orissa (34), Uttar Pradesh (34), Assam (14), Rajsthan (13), Andhra Pradesh (11), Gujarat (10), Karnataka (10) Jharkhand(7), Uttarakhand (7), West Bengal (6), Bihar(5), Himachal Pradesh (3), Madhya Pradesh (2) and Maharashtra (1).
One aspect that we can understand from the distribution of ancient Bant village names is that Bant(u) was an ancient tribe  that was fairly well distributed in various parts of India. Another inference is that some of the original ancient Bantu tribes might have immigrated to India from their African homelands in the remote antiquity in search of better pastures.
the names of hamlets and settlements beginning with prefix of  Bant. ) as per Census data for 2011. The list includes village names such as Bant, Banta, Bantara, Bantera, Bantoli, Bantpura, Bantikhera, Bantari,  Bantor, Bantwa, Bantwara, Bantwada, Bantwadi, Bantavaram, Banthu, Banthla, bantupalle, Bantkhani, Bantikula, Bantow, Bantail, bantahalli, Bantarahalli, Bantenahalli, Bantiganahalli, Bantihal, Bantugram, Bantugaon, Bantakunta, eetc. These villages are distributed in Orissa (34), Uttar Pradesh (34), Assam (14), Rajsthan (13), Andhra Pradesh (11), Gujarat (10), Karnataka (10) Jharkhand(7), Uttarakhand (7), West Bengal (6), Bihar(5), Himachal Pradesh (3), Madhya Pradesh (2) and Maharashtra (1).

One aspect that we can understand from the distribution of ancient Bant village names is that Bant(u) was an ancient tribe  that was fairly well distributed in various parts of India. Another inference is that some of the original ancient Bantu tribes might have immigrated to India from their African homelands in the remote antiquity in search of better pastures.

Several researchers have proposed that the Neyer community from sub-Himalayan or Tibetan region migrated to southern India and settled in Kerala as Nairs. Apart from analogy of the words ‘Neyer’ and ‘Nair’, the Nairs probably brought with them art (dance-drama forms of Yakshagana, Kathakali and Bayalata) and architecture (pyramidal roof structure) from north to south. The costumes of Yakshagana and Kathakali have retained northern dress code elements in spite of being popular in the south. Similarly the pyramidal house roof designs of the Karavali and Kerala reflect and mimic the Nepali or Tibetan pyramidal temple roof designs. Some of these cultural and archetectural features could have been brought to by Buddhists also.It is said Nairs migrated to south along with Brahmins, probably during the reign of Kadamba King Mayura Varma. The assimilation of Nairs with Tulu Nadava-Bunt community in Karavali in the past has been dealt in the earlier post by Kawdoor Narayana Shetty.
It is speculated that the matrilarcheal system and the ‘aliya-kattu’ (property inheritance to sister’s son or nephew inheritence) came into practice after the advent of Nairs into Karavali and Kerala. Specific polyandrous and joint family conditions as prevalent with Nambudaries, wherein identification of children was dubious, might have paved way for introduction of the Nephew inheritance or aliya-kattu system among Malayalis which was later adopted by the adjacent Tulu communities as a consequence of propagation of the legend of mythical Bhootala Pandya.
Thus the mongoloid facial features, referred in the comment, were possibly genetically derived from northern Neyer or Buddhist sources. Even the Natha Jogis (of Kadri and other areas) had cultural connections with Nepal since ca. 8th Century CE.The Brahmins and Nairs possibly came together from the North during Kadamba period. Their arrival into Tulunadu and Kerala gave special impetus to the growth of Hinduism in these areas which gradually replaced the foundations of Buddhism in the region.

Uttara Kannada Nadavas
Five Nadava families from Kundapur area migrated to Kumta -Ankola region some 500 years ago according to the legends prevalent among Nadava families of Uttara Kannada. Apart from the ancestral memories of the people emigrated, similarities in language and customs of the two regions support this legend. Nadava Nayaks probably emigrated from upghat areas along with royal armies.
Apparent absence of matrilineality or deeper Naga worship among them may not be enough factors to separate Uttara Kannada Nadavas from the Dakshina Kannada Nadavas. The migrated Nadavas naturally have adjusted to the Vedic customs of the region where they settled. They worship Tirupati Venkataramana as family God like most people of Uttara Kannada, while southerners predominantly worship variants of Goddess Durga or God Shiva.
The Kannada Nadavas have lineage (balli) names generally distinct and different from Tulu Nadavas.
There are several relic features that imply the interplay of the rudiments of matrilineal system among the Uttara Kannada Nadavas also in their cultural backdrop, such as:
1. Nadavas of Kundapaur and Ankola region, apart from the language, share certain similar matrilineal septa (‘balli’) systems (like Ajji bali, Kujji bali, Chandi bali, Dāri bali, Dāni bali, Kyandagi bali, Rāni bali, Hole bali, Ane bali, Segi bali, Settibali,Tolera bali and Siri bali etc) to prove their common origin.
2. Bride is brought to the marriage hall by her maternal uncle.
3. Traditionally, the dowry (‘tira’) is paid to the bride. The custom of offering ‘tara ’(=bride price) also existed formerly among most of the Tulu communities. The custom was inherited from the ancient ancestors of Munda -Gond tribes.
4. The Nadava parents give a share of their property to their daughters also.
The family bonds and social interactions among the migrated Nadavas are rather well knit and intimate. This could be because they were a small group to begin with. Further, since the Nadava parents lived together probably there was no necessity of perpetuating the matrilineal or aliya-kattu customs.

Absence of Chaturvarna
The absence of well defined Chaturvarna among Tulu tribes has been a matter of debate. The early spread of Buddhism in the region (ca.300 BC to 700 CE) super-imposed on a older Spirit-Naga worshipping tribal environment encouraged perpetuation of a classless society in Tulunadu and Kerala. Even with the advent of Brahmins and Nairs into the Tulunadu it was not possible to enforce a society divided into Chaturvarna as in the North because the local population was not willing to accept it.
People switched over to the tenets of Hinduism but the native Alupa rulers did not believe in the efficiency of four layered caste system. Besides, neither the Alupa rulers nor the Nadava-Bunt alliance were full time warriors. Nadavas were farmers or landlords during the peace times. During war time they recruited ‘bunts’ trained in native martial arts and the wars were fought with the help of warrior ‘bants’ who also hailed from diverse communities. For example, in the ancient Tulu society, Billava youths (Bhil tribes, traditional archers; bhil=bow) were strong in the field of war-craft. Most of the ‘Garodi’ institutions (native gymnasia of Tulunadu) were run and maintained by Billavas. Some of the Billava were the ‘baidya’s who practised indigenous system of medicine that evolved into Ayurveda subsequently. Another section of Billava used to resort to the occupation of toddy tapping. Thus Tulu communities followed diverse trades that eluded them the exclusive classification of Chaturvarna.
The Alupa power and wealth was based on sea-faring merchant boats (called ‘Pandi’-s) and prided themselves as ‘Pandya’ Kings, the term ‘Pandya’ or ‘Pandia’ being a Pandi owner. The Alupa (‘Aluper’ in Tulu, originally hailed from ‘Alupe’ village near Mangalore) were essentially rich merchants. Thus the Alupa were probably from the sea-faring fisher-folks and not typical war loving ‘kshatriya’s as defined by the Chaturvarna system adopted and followed by north Indian Kings.

Bunt-Jain conversions
 Conversions from Bunts to Jains and vice versa in the Karavali during the mideval period has been noted by several researchers.Basically the presence of some of the common surnames shared among Jains and Bunts, serve evidence for the conversions that occurred in the past.It seems that in general  the subjects opted to convert into the religion/community of the ruler to appease him. Or the rulers preferred that his subjects should adopt to the religion of the ruler. Monks and religious leaders powerful during the regal period also played  amajor role in converting the kings as well as his subjects.

Evidence from lineages
Modern genome studies provide scientific evidences to decipher aspects of evolution, migration and dispersal of communities. Detailed genetic studies on various Tulu and Karavali communities have not been attempted so far. However, in the absence of detailed genome studies, the available information from the lineages (known as bari [Tulu] , bali [Kundapura] or baLLi [Ankola]) provide us preliminary evidences on the genetic evolution of Tulu communities such as Nadavas.

Nadava 104 surnames
According to Sacchidananda Hegde (2009) there are 32 Bari and 104 surnames among Tulu Nadavas. It is possible that many septa/lineage names and surnames among Tulu Nadavas have been lost during the course of evolution or have not been accounted so far.
Adyanthaya,Adapa,Alva,Ajila,,Ajiri,Attar,Arasa,Athikari,Adasu,Ariga,Athri,Banga,Banta,Ballala,Baari,Binnaje,Baaga,Bhandari,Bunnala,Budale,Branna,Baitani,Bhoja,Binnani,Chavuta,Dore,Gaambir,Gavuda,Hegde,Horuva,Kadaba,Kambli,Kakva,Kayya,Kaariyala,Kaava,KundahegdeKaajava,Kantiva,Kille,Kella,Kalle,,Kotari(Kotriyal),Konde,KurlaHegde,Kudre,KundaaDe,Maddala,Marte,Mallala,MaaNa,MāNayi,Malli,Malyal,Mārla,MāDa,MārDi,Moola,Marala,Munda,Munder,Mudva,Muraayya,Mukkala,MeNava,MelanTa,MenDa,Nādava,NayiriHegde,Nanaya,Naik,NoanDa,Pakkala,PaDyar,PaTla(shetty),PayyaDe,Palayi,Pāla(PaDyala),PānDi,Pegde,PergaDe,Poonja,PoovaNi,Raja,Rai,Shetty(Shettyal),Shettavala,Sheba,Sheka,Shenava,Sanakaya,Shresta, Santha,Samani, Samantha, Sorafa, Sulaya, SooDa, Servegara, Semitha, Tunga, Tolar, Vāla and Varma.

Banta/ Nadava baris'
Sacchidananda Hegde (2009) reports 32 bari /lineages among Tulu Nadavas and 14 balli/lineages among Kannada Nadavas. According to him the prevalent Tulu Nadava (Bant) bari lineages are:


The list above may not be comprehensive. Keshava Shetty Adur (2007) for example, cites additional lineages like Koyarannaya, Odarannaya etc. Shekar (2009) has documented Aysaranna, Bavunt, Binnara, Dangalanna, Gundlanna, Gulavelananna, Kabaranna, Kādanna, Kamberanna, Kelakachadara, Kodanaganna, Koraganna, Narayanna, Puttabari, Shettar, Taranna, Taralanna, Tolar, etc., lineages. (The interchangeable suffix –anna (=brother) or –annaya have been traditionally added to the lineage names for showing respect.)

Banta baris /Nadava Balis
(compiled after Dr. Indira Hegde, 2004):

1. Abbe/Apya
2  Ammannya/Ammanna
3. Ariya/Ariya bannaya  [ : > Ariga?  ]*
4. Ajiranna/Ajirannaya   > Ajiri
5. Uppinakule/Uppannaya  [> Uttar bali> Huttinabali ?]
6. Ullittaya
7.  Airanna/Airannaya
8.  Odeyar/Odarannaya/Oddannaya
9.  Kadira/Kadirabannaya
10. Kadamba> Gadaba/Kadaba
11. Kabara/Kabarabannaya  [> Salanna bali ]
12. Karmaram,/Karmara bannaya
13. Kayya/Kayara/kayyarannaya   [ < Koira?]
14. Karmaram/Karmarannaya
15. Kavudichi
16. Kadyannaya/Kadarannaya
17. Kinjhanna
18. Kundar/Kundarannaya
19. Kumarannaya/kumaran/ Kochati bali
20. Kella/Kellarannaya
21. Kodange/Kodangannaya
22. Kommi/Komati/Kombisetti >   [< Kom ? ]
23. Kongaru/Kongarannaya
24. Koriannaya
25. Kochusetti/ Kochati bannaya
26. Gujar/Gorjara/Gujarannaya/   < Gurjar
27. Guvellannaya/ Kovela blai        [> Coelho ? ]
28. Gundar/Gundarannaya
29. Chanda/Chandra/Chandra bannaya
30. Charpadi/Charpadi bannaya
31. Chittan
33. Jaji bali/ Chojarannaya
34. Talaranna/Talrannaya
35. Tolar/Tolaha
36. Nandar/Nandarannaya
37. Nattanna/Nattannaya
38. Narayana bali
39. Nayanar
40. Nallim bali/Nalannaya
41. Naga bali/Tolar bali
42. Nadavar bali/Nadrannaya/Nadarnnaya
43. Navaram bali
44. Navatam/ Mantu bali
45. Nelapadi bali/Nelapadi bannaya
46. Pangola/Pangolabannaya   [< Pangala?]
47. Putra/Putra bannaya
48. Pular/Pulisetti/Pulatabamnnaya/Pullyottu
49. Pergade
50. Peyr
51. Bangara/angarabannaya
52. Bandaranna
53. Bagi setti Bagattanaya
54. Baale
55. Bunnala /Binnani /Bunnarannaya
56. Bermar./ Bermarannaya/Bermati bannaya
57. Belana
58. Mayila/Mayiala bannaya
59. Raanoji
60. Salava/Salannaya/Talyannaya
61. Siri bali/Siriya bannaya
62. Setti bali/
63.  Pongarannaya/Pongara/Hangaru bali
64. Haavina bali
65.  Hasina bali

* [Notes  within the brackets above  are the possible derivations suggested by the  blogger]

Nadavas of Uttara Kannada have the concept of ancestral house known as "mane" similar to "taravad" or "bari" or "bali" . One of the "mane" (=house) is "Hanumana mane".

Genetic composition
It is evident from the available data that Nadava community has undergone complex evolutionary history. A simple single source model of genetic derivation cannot logically answer the complex evolution the community has undergone during the last 5000 years.
The available lineage and surname data can be tentatively classified into possible composite derivations from (1) Ancient tribes (2) Immigrant Tulu and other tribes (3) Religious associations and (4) Designations and Occupations.

1. Lineages suggestive of derivation from ancient tribes:
Bhagyatannaya, Gondarannya, Kādanna, Kallarannaya, Karmarannaya, Kochatbannaya, Kongannaya, Koraganna, Kotirannaya, Koyarannaya, Nandarannaya, Saliyannaya .
1a. Surnames suggestive of derivation from ancient tribes: Ajila, Baga, Kayya (Koya), Kella, Kalle, Kadamba, Konde, Marla, Moola, Munda, Muria, Tolar.

2. Common bari lineages shared by various Tulu tribes such as Nadava, Mogaveera and/or Billavas:
Ammannaya, Anchannaya, Bangarannaya, Kanchannaya, Kunderannya, Putrannaya, Tingalannaya.

2a. Lineages suggestive of other immigrants from North:
Bannaya, Gujjarannaya.

2b. Surnames suggestive of immigrants from Northern India:
Adhikari, Attari, Banga, Baari, Budale, Gambhir, Kakva, Kothari, Pal, Sooda, Sheka, Nair, Nair Hegde, Poonja, Soraf. etc.

3. Surnames indicative of former religions: Baitani, Samani.

4. Surnames indicative of designations: Alva, Arasa, Athikari, Ballala, Bhandari, Bhoja, Dore, Hegde, Kothari, Nayaka, Pergade, Rai, Raja, Samantha, Varma.

4a. Surnames indicative of occupations: Banta, Gauda, Malli, Pandi, Shetty, Shresti.
In the early period (3000-200 BC), where documented historical data is extremely meager and largely hazy, it seems many tribal clans were ruling the terrain.

For exaample, Bage clan of Munda tribes apparently ruled in some parts of the peninsula. The place name ‘Bagal kote’ suggests that it was a fort of 'Bage' people. Koraga tribes during the antiquity were said to be rulers in certain areas. Kosars who have been mentioned in the Tamil Sangam literature might have been the Koosa tribes.

The Bunts, Nadava as well as other Karavali communities offer scopes for detailed genetic studies that may unravel signatures of successive interleaved strings of migration, assimilation and evolution during the past history.


Fuller, Dorian & Emma L. Harvey (2006)
The archaeobotany of Indian pulses: identification, processing and evidence for cultivation. Environmental Archaeology 2006 Vol. 11 No 2 pp-219-246.(Avaialble in the net).

Indira Hegde, Dr.(2004) " Ondu Samajo-Samskrutika Adhyayana " (Kannada).( A treatise on Bunts Socio-culture). Second Edition,2009; Kannada Pustaka Pradhikara, Bangalore,xviii+480 p.

Keshava Shetty. K. Adur (2007). “Puratana Tulunadina Janangagala hinnele mattu Sambandhagalu”. [Kannada.] (=The background and relations of ancient tribes of Tulunadu). A Kairali Publication. 83 p.

Nayak, N.R., Dr. (2001) “Uttara Kannada Jilleya Nadavara Sanskriti” (Kannada).[=The culture of Nadavas of Uttara Kannada].Janapada Prakashana. Honnavara. 134 p.

Sacchidananda Hegde, B. (2009). “Tulu Nadavaru”. (Kannada). A Yugapurusha Publication. Kinnigoli. 284 +xxiv p.

Sacchidananda Hegde, B. (2010). “Tulu Bhase-TuluNadu:.Purana Janapadagalalli Tulunadavaru". (Kannada). New Wave Books. Bangalore. 208 +iv p.

Shekar, Dr. (2009) Bantaru: Baduku mattu Badalavane. Shrusti Publication, Bangalore, 404 p.

® partly updated: 09-01-2017.


  1. By population genetics, Mundas have Y-Haplogroup O2a(40-80%) that they share with their linguistic cousins in SE Asia. Indo-Aryans have R1a1(35-50%), that they share with their linguistic cousins in Eastern Europe. I haven't seen any war-like Dravidian specific lineages. And as of now, population genetics it is very clear that Mundas are not part of Dravidian population. If anything Dravidians predominantly have H, L1, R2 that are South Asia specific (>95%).

    If it is required to find a native population who gave glory to the war-like Dravidians(we don't know their lineages) by becoming their victims, then it has to be Y-haplogroup H. They are certainly not Munda. None of the Y-haplogroup H tribe speak any other isolated languages. Almost all of them are Dravidians.

    Of course, when it comes maternal lineages, it is almost impossible to distinguish tribal Dravidians from mainstream Dravidians. It's true that all Dravidians and Mundas are sisters children.

      Banas are the Northern cousins of Villavar dynasties of Tamil Nadu. While the Villavar dynasties ruled ancient Tamilakam Banas ruled Karnataka Andhra and North India. Banas share the Pandya and Kulasekhara titles with their Villavar cousins.
      1) Villavar
      2) Vanavar
      3) Malayar
      And their seagoing cousins
      4) Meenavar
      The Villavar aristocracy called Nadazhwar are derived from all the four subgroups of Villavars. Madurai Kanchi described the splendour of the palaces of Perumbanar (Villavar). Madurai Kanchi also mentions Santor, the Villavar aristocrats.
      The ancient Tamil coins displayed the Hill, Bow and Arrow and Fish insignia of various subgroups of Villavars.
      1) Chera (Villavar Vanavar)
      2) Chola (Vanavar Villavar Thirayar)
      3) Pandya (Maran Vanathirayar Perumbanar Maveli Enathy)

      The Villavar Aristocracy had the titles Villavar, Nadalvar(Nadavar Nadar), Santor ( Santar) Panickan or Nadappanickan

      1) BANA PANDYAS of KADAMBA KINGDOM of Banavasi in Uttara Kannada and its subgroups
      a) NURUMBADA PANDYAS of Rattepalli (Rattihalli)
      b) SANTARA PANDYAS of Humcha-Hosagunda, Kalasa and Karkala (Pandya Nagari)

      2)ALUPAS (Alupa + Arasu) PANDYAN KINGDOM of Takshina Kannada

      Banas of Andhrapradesh and Northern Tamilnadu formed the Bana Kingdom. In Tamil literature they were called as either Banas or Vanar. Sannamur, Kolar and Perumbanappadi were their centres.
      The Bana titles were Mahabali, Banajiga and Balija

      In the North India each state has Banpur (Bhanpur Banandavghar) from where Banas ruled. Banas could be of Dravidian stock.
      Megasthenes around 260 BC wrote about a Pandyan Kingdom at Mathura (Vada Mathurai) at the banks of Yamuna and they were relatives of PANDION OF MODURA (Madura).
      Tikamgarh was ruled by Bana kings in the ancient times. Bana kings of Tikamgarh ruled with the title Pandyas of Tikamgarh. Kundeshwar was the captial of the Bana Pandyas.
      Bagwar Rajputs emerge from the Pandyas of Tikamgarh.

      The Titles of Banas of Karnataka
      Bana Billava (Villavar)
      Nadavara Nador ( Nadalvar, Nadar)
      Santara (Santor, Santar)
      Alva (Alvar)

      Banavasi Kingdom ruled the Uttara Kannada the areas of South of Goa in ancient times it was called Gokarna.
      Santara Kingdom was founded by a Prince from the Mathura Kingdom called Jindaditta at 690 ad. Santaras ruled from Santalige in Banavasi. Santara rulers were Jains but in the late 15th century they had leanings towards Veera Shaiva sect of Hinduism. Santaras ruled from Billeswar hill at Humcha. Channa Giri near Agastya Giri was another important city.
      897 VIKRAMA SANTARA 1 built a Jain temple for BAHUBALI at Guddada Basti.
      1147 VIKRAMA SANTARA 11
      1062 Trilokyamalla VIRA SANTARA built a Jain temple for Parsvanatha and Padmavathi, Jain deities at
      1160 SANTARA JAGADEVA 1 defeated Kadamba Banavasi kingdom

      In 1209 Facing opposition Santaras shifted their kingdom from Humcha to kalasa in Chikmagalore district and later at 14th century to Karkala in South Kanara. Karkalas old name was PANDYA NAGARI. They were called as SANTARA VEERA PANDYAS and after their conversion to Hinduism they adopted the title Bhairarasa Odeyar (Wodiyar Udayar). Some of the old Santaras of Humcha still ruled Humcha until 1320 ad.
      1300 SANTARA VEERA PANDYA built Jain Basadis at Karkala.
      at the insistence of his Guru Lalitakeerti the pontiff of Karkala Jaina Math installed a large statue of BAHUBALI (Gomatheswara) on the rocky hill of Karkala. He is also the most famous Santara Pandyan dynasty ruler.
      1586 END OF SANTARA DYNASTY when Keladi Venkatappa Nayaka defeated the last Santara Pandya ruler of Karkala.

      1065 MALEYA PANDYA A Vira Gal indicates Billaya the senior General of Banavasi Nadu.


      Uchangi Pandya dynasty came to an end when Hoysala Ballala invaded and defeated its last ruler in 1207 ad.

      1178 TO 1184 VIJAYA PANDYA

      Nadavara were Kshatriya aristocracy who descended from Bana Kingdoms of Karnataka. Nadavara shifted their loyalty to Vijayanagar kingdom leading to the fall of Bana-Pandya kingdoms of Uttara Kannada. The Nadavaras of Uttara Kannada descend from the Kadamba, Bana Pandyas of Nurumbada and the Santara Pandyan Kingdoms. Nadavara had been Jains and many were converted to Hinduism in the 17th and 18th centuries.

      The Northern Nadavara of Uttara kannada are Patriarchal while their southern counterparts Nadavaras of Alupas Pandyan kingdom were Matriarchal. The Kannada speaking Nadavara of Mangalore have become subcastes of Naga Bunts and have adopted Matriarchy

      Alupas Pandyan emblem was double fish. King was called Banapperumal. They shared the Kulasekhara title of Villavars. Nadavar of Alupas Pandyan kingdom mixed with the slave warriors called Bunts (Buntaru) who were of Naga stock brought from Ahichatra in Nepal (Now in Uttarkhand Rampur). The Kannada speaking Nadavara are now a subcaste of Matriarchal Bunts who speak Tulu. Billavas role in laterday alupas Pandyan kingdom is not clear. The Naga Bunts were originally brought by Kadamba king Mayuravarma who is credited with bringing Nagas and Aryans to Kadamba kingdom in 345 AD. In the latedays Nagas migrated to Alupas Kingdom. The Naga mixed Banas would attack their Villavar cousins eventually leading to downfall of both dynasties.
      Keralolpathi mentions a Banapperumal attacking Kerala with a 350000 strong Nair army. Thus the Tamil Later Chera Villavar kingdom came to an end in 1102 after the attack of Banapperumal ( Bhanu Vikrama Kulasekharapperumal according to Kerala legends). Kulasekhara (1102-1120 ad ) might have ruled from Valarpattinam near Kannur. His successor who was the brother of Tulu king Kaviraja simhan (Kavi Alupendra) declared himself to be Cheraman Perumal thus establishing a short lived Tulu Chera dynasty. Various Tulu Bunt subcastes such as Nayara Menava Kuruba and Samantha became prominent after this attack. The last (Tulu) Cheraman Perumal(1120-1156) faced opposition from his own army when he executed his trusted general Pada Mala Nair.

      The Tulu Cheraman Perumal or Banapperumal left for Arabia after dividing the Chera country among his supporters. Samanthas a Bunt subgroup who were of Naga stock and originally from Ahichatra became rulers of Kerala. Udayavarman Kolathiri a Samantha Kshatriya of Naga stock was crowned by the leaving Tulu Cheraman Perumal with the title Cheraman Vadakkan Perumal.
      Pandyans of Madurai subjucated Kerala and ruled until 1310 but after that period the Bunt subgroups the Samanthas, Nayara, Menava and Kuruba became dominant in Kerala with Delhi support. Four Tulu Samantha rulers were appointed in Kerala after Malik Kafurs invasion in 1310. Kolathiri of Kannur, Samuthiri of Kozhikode, Perumbadappu of Kochi, and Attingal Queen in Travancore Kindgom
      The Portuguese Dutch and British further protected theTulu-Nepalese Samantha dynasties of Kerala by providing them with Spice money and weapons. Europeans also encouraged their Barbaric customs.
      The last Vilarvattom dynasty with its Panicker martial trainers joined the Portuguese eventually loosing their identity. In the mid 15th century the Vilarvattom king ruling over Chendmangalam who had become a Christian sent a letter to Pope through Edessa which was forwarded to Portuguese king (Lisbon papers). But Portuguese never bothered to reinstall them as rulers. Vallikada Panickers, a dynasty of Generals led the Portuguese and Dutch armies. Panikkan or Panikkanadan was a Villavar title of Martial arts and War elephant trainers. Vlllikada Panickers, Maranadu Panickers, Kumbanadu Panickers, Mylottu Panickers are important Christian Panickers. Rattepalli originally a Bana title is owned by some Christian Panickers of Kerala.

      Alaga Kon a Chera prince from Vanjipura (Kodungaloor) migrated to Sri Lanka who built the Jeyavardhanapura Kotte near Colombo and started a new dynasty after 1310. Sadasiva Panickan an elephant trainer was a migrant from Kerala married the sister of king Parakrama Bahu of Kotte. Sadasiva Panickars son was Sempaha perumal (1452) alias Sapumal Kumarayya who defeated and ruled over Northern Arya Chakravarthi Kingdom and eventually became king of Kotte (Colombo) with title Buveneka Bahu VI.


      The Samantha rulers of Kerala installed after the invasion of Malik Kafur in 1310 were not related to the Earlier Chera Villavar rulers.
      Villavar Cheras were Tamils
      Samantha are Bunt subgroup of Tulunadu. Bunts in turn were migrants from Ahichatra in Nepal in 345 a.d.
      Tamil Chera dynasty promoted Tamil. Chera wrote with Vattezuthu and Kolezhuthu ancient forms of Tamil.
      The Samanthas wrote with Tigalari script a form of Tulu language. Modern Malayalam is written with Tigalari script. Their language contained Prakrit, Sanskrit words because of their Northern origin.
      Chera Kings had Tamil titles such as Villavar Kon Vanavar Kon Malayar Kon
      Samantha Kings never had Tamil titles. They added Birth star as a prefix to their names. Eg Moolam Thirunal Anizham Thirunal etc
      Villavar Kings were Patrilnieal
      Samanthas were Matrilineal
      Villavars had Tamil culture
      Samanthas had Tulu-Nepalese culture
      Villavar Kings married from Villavar dynasties and other Kshatriya dynasties
      Samantha Queens courted in a brief ceremony called Kootirupu with Nambuthiriis

      The Tulu-Nepalese dynasty of Samantha rulers though of Naga stock and ethnically different from Villavar continued to use Chera and Pandyan titles such as Kulasekhara Perumal Villavar and Vanchibala along with the Delhi Sulthante given title Shamsher Jung.
      Nambuthiris claim descent from Parasu Raman (Bhargava Raman) a Brahmin warrior who killed all the Kshatriyas. Parasu Raman belonged to the Chedi Kingdom, the presentday Bundelkhand (Uttarpradesh, Madhyapradesh). Nambuthhiris claim that they belong to the Bhargava Kulam. The Matriarchal Samantha-Nambuthiri dynasties continue to claim that they descend from Bhargava Kulam as well as Pandyas and Cheras.

      The Banas of Uttara Kannada, the NADAVARA joined the Vijayanagara armies.
      The Alupas Pandyas of Dakshina Kingdom merged with Nagas eventually attacking Chera Kingdom
      The Banas of Andhrapradesh and Perumbanappadi eventually merged with Naickers of Naga stock. The Balija Naickers attacked the Chola and Pandyan kingdoms leading to fall of all the Villavar kingdoms.
      Balija-Nayak Kingdoms were installed in Tamil Nadu in the place of Chola Pandyan Kingdoms. Briefly Banas were installed at Madurai as rulers by the Vijayanagara Naiks in the 15th century. After this Banas also disappear from history.

  2. Scattered genetic haplogroup studies have left several gaps to be understood.If Munda have 48% of O2a Y-haplogroup distribution, what is the composition of rest of the 52%?
    Dravidians may have also Gond signatures of H. The Gonds have been classified under Dravidians, based on the present status and structure of their languages.However, there is a strong possibility,according to my perceptions,that the older Munda and Gond signatures underlying the present linguo-cultural Dravidian platform have been altered or evolved with time in tune with the dominant and superposed Dravidianism.This has happened in Maharastra, wherein a later superposed Indo-Aryan linguo-cultural layer has engulfed and (grammatically)modified the older Dravidian lingual base.
    After all, our linguists are classifying languages based on the present status of their grammatical structure. Grammatical structure of a region alters or 'evolves' with time in favour of the dominant culture, as proven by the Maharastra case history.
    Ancient Place-name clues in Tulunadu and rest of the peninsula are so strong that the existence of an older substratum,, made up of Munda- Gonda fabric, under the present cover of Dravidianism cannot be ignored.

  3. Scattered genetic haplogroup studies have left several gaps to be understood.

    No, Indian tribes have been widely studied. Only non-tribal study has been random.

    First of all, your linguistics based on place names does not follow any rules. Pick a word, type on Google search and compare with similar sounding words from different linguistic groups. Absolutely no requirement of sound changes. With this methodology, how can I agree with your challenge to traditional methodology?

    And few times even when the word is reconstructed in PD, you would assign it to the Munda languages. How can that be accepted?

    And again Mediterranean signature of Dravidians is very low (10%, Y-Haplogroup J2b) and comparable to Indo-European signature from Central Asia/East Europe (10%). But considering the fact that we don't have other Mediterranean markers like J2a, G2 in similar frequencies that appears to be one of the oldest migrations may even go back to 5000 BCE (or older) to North West of the subcontinent. But there is no proof that they spoke a Dravidian language. Why should one accept such an elite dominance from a small population when there is no isolated languages in the Dravidian realm? And some of those Dravidian tribes in Central India have always lived remotely without any outside influence.

    Mundas have Dravidian and IE male lineages that make 20-60% of their population. That is expected considering their small size. Also, some of the Dravidian tribes in their close vicinity have small frequencies of O2a lineages. But the fact is Dravidian tribes in South don't have any Munda lineage.

  4. And I have also made this point before that, Munda is an exonym. Their self-identity is 'Hodoko'. Also, Gond is an exonym their self-identity is 'Koitor'.

    This being the case, it's not implausible that the mainstream Dravidians and assimilated Prakrit speakers in South to call the tribal Dravidians or their habitation with these names.

  5. The term "Munda" appears to be derived from a Sanskritic root meaning "substantial, wealthy," later "head," hence "headman"; it was thus originally a term applied by outsiders, a usage that became especially consolidated under the British regime.

    Read more:

  6. I am not challenging your traditional methods of linguistics.Nobody need to believe in my layman methods if they cannot. I am just looking for answers to the loopholes in our knowledge. Traditional linguistics, with all respects to devoted scholars, has not answered many of my questions on strings of unsolved history, I have encountered so far.
    Okay, Munda or Gonda are the name given by outsiders.But what about those numerous village names with self-identity surnames?Why shall Tulu or any other Dravidians borrow surnames from older tribals if they do not have any relations?
    Munda word is of Sanskrit origin? Fine, then what about Toda word Mund which means a hamlet? Is not Munda, the head of a hamlet?
    And where did you get the PD? Do you accept that all the PD reconstructed so far are perfect? How can you be ever sure that none of those words could have been acquired from an earlier layer of civilization that lived in the region? Why one layer, there could have been several superposed layers since the ascent of early man.
    Okay, Mundas are O2a. What is the age of origin of O2a? What is the evolutionary trend of O2a? What was it before O2 was evolved? What it became in the succeeding course of time?

  7. ok this blog has serious factual errors which i would like to contest the bunts(Tuluva bunts and kundagannada speaking nada bunts) as well as the malayali nairs,their proof of existence in tulunadu(udupi,mangalore.kasaragod)and kerala are both from inscriptions of 9 th century C.E,bunts are described as warriors along with shivalli brahmins in the inscriptions of chokipali and nairs are described as nagara kshatriyas from inscriptions found in kerala also from the same period.the keralolpathi of the namboodiris and the gramapadhati of tulu brahmins,which details the history of brahmin families describes both bunts and nair communities as naga soldiers who migrated along with brahimns from Ahichatra/Ahikshetra,now this place ahichatra was the capital of northern panchala mentioned in mahabharata and the remains of this place have been discovered in Ramnagar village of Aonla tehsil of Bareilly district in Uttar Pradesh,not on the nepal-tibet border.Ahichatra literally in sanskrit means the land of the serpents.hence bunt nair association with serpent worship as well as their ksatriya status from nagavanshi descent.secondly genetic studies on both bunts and nairs conducted in boston as well as the namboodiris show them to have scythian blood,now scythian were invading tribes who ruled from centuries in the north and the serpent was their totem as also certain clans among them were matrilineal or matriarchal.let me remind you the namboodiri brahmins families from payyanur in kerala also practice matrilineality unlike any other brahmins though other namboodiri brahmins have shifted to patrilineality.and the brahmins refusal to accept kshatriya status of bunts and nairs was more of a power game which is amptly described by this quote from (The Penny Cyclopaedia of the Society), in which the author argues:
    "The Kshatriya, or military class is said by the Brahmins to be extinct. But the Rajpoots and the Nairs in the Deccan in all probability belong to this class, though the Brahmins assert that they are only Sudras." brahmins all over india state that parashurama exterminated the kshatriyas in threta yuga hence there are no kshatriyas left.thus rajputs and jats in north as well as bunt nairs raju in south are not considered kshatriyas by orthodox brahmins and this is plain power game.and again i don't agree with with linguistic origin of names and hence trying to prove the relation between the Bunts(Tuluva bunts and kundagannada speaking nada bunts of kundapura also called nadava sometimes)/nairs to the nadavaru of north canara who neither practice matrilineality serpent worship or have any idea of their varna status

  8. nadavaru might be dominant caste but there is nothing common between them and bunt/nairs either language nadavaru of north canara speak nadava kannada which is more like marathi or konkani or religion they worship venkatesha while bunt,nairs,nambooditi are shaiva/Shakta and have simlar customs like serpent worship and bhuta kola/theyyam etc also bunts nairs never were invovlved in trade here is a quote proving that This is what the historian Francois Pyrard says about Nairs/Bunts: "As for them, they are all nobles and meddle with neither handicraft nor trade, nor any other exercise, but that of arms, which they always carry.
    The etymology of the bunt surname shetty who have given is also wrong shetty is anglicised from the word ''Shetray''(which is how the surname shetty is still pronounced in tulu) meaning nobility or person of higher ranking in tulu which itself is again the corruption of the sanskrit word ''Kshartiya''(warrior) and it has no connecion to sheshti as you say.and again almost all bunt and nair surnames have north indian connection related to jats who also worship serpents as well as punjabi communties of khatri/arora. examples shetty-sethi,rai-rai,nair-nayyar/nayar/nair gambhir and so on.bunts nairs might hav a minor mixing of blood with previous ruling clans of the south precisely the Vellalas of tamil nadu who again claim chandravanshi kshatriya status and have their own legends of north indian origins.the bunt/nair surnames ballal(from vellala) and pillai are common with the fact is the brahmins as well ruling upper caste clans in south bunts nairs have non dravidian origins.this is proven from the presence of blue and green iris(eye colour) among these communities as well very sharp comely features which show scythian/aryan out of india origins.bunt(tuluva and kundagannada speaking nadava or nada bunts) and nairs are completely distict from nadavaru of north canara who have no cultural similarities.their customs and language resemble more like konakanis.

  9. Padmanabhan,
    Especially,I enjoyed your original translation of: 'kshatriya'(warrior) > 'shetray'!(noble trader).
    Other data given by you are broadly known and have been documented.The apparent confusion is possibly due to lack of appreciation of the fact that history is 3-dimensional and the essential products of history were evolutionary in nature.

  10. History is change and evolution in time.
    My family is Mudiraju, which is called also as Bunt or Bunt-lu in telugu. Mudiraju is only a stock of people. My grandparends use to talk in Kannada, Today whereever our family is settled , they adopted the state language, eg- Kannada in Karnataka, Marati- in Maharastra, Telugu in Andhra.
    Most of our family members are very fair in colour or have light skin. Only change is constant in passage of time.

  11. You are right! History has been a constant change along with the passage of time and often it is difficult to distinguish and recognize the end products from the starting products! This applies not only to communities but also to languages,legends and customs.

  12. i admire the effort you have put but i agree partly with padmanabhan the blog has some factual errors.guess using linguistics to trace genealogy is a bad idea.british people have surnames like bunt and mcnair.are these people also related to the bunt community of tulu nadu and nair community of kerala.ofcourse not right? point was culture is ever changing but genetics do not.i recently read a genetic study result of bunts which says they have scythian blood.similar results came out for nairs too.i think this blog should publish more articles on the tulu language it's phonology and grammar then indulge in such wild speculation.think origin of communities is best left to an anthropologist who uses gentics.

  13. Well Shashi, thank you for your considered opinion.However please note that genetic/ genome studies on Tulu/Karavali people is scanty at present.We shall wait for realistic genome studies. For the time being, I wish, some guess works- based not exclusively on linguistics-should not hurt our sentiments! After all, all assumptions and hypotheses so far floated need to be revised till a solid theory emerges.

  14. Well one more angle we have to look for is the link between Jains and Bunts as Dakshina Kannada was ruled by Jains and Bunts were the caretakers of Jains. Is it true. Is there any common factor in the genetics of both the communities.

  15. Yes. Bunt-Jain conversions are evident in the history and has been highlighted by many of our researchers.(Probably I have also recorded in some older posts herein.)

    1. Hi I am Mr. Sanjeev gaonkar, Kannada Nadava. From, Belekeri Ankola,
      Whatever you say defiantly there is relation between Uttar Kannada Ankola and Kumata Nadavas and Tulu Nadavas. Because in my Relatives only there is Family name Like Kodical ( Please note Kodical is a place name in Mangalore). Also my grand mother ( my Mother Mother) use to tell me that there husband family is from AlinSantan Nadava ( Tulu Nadava) after migrated to Ankola and Kumata, they might have adopted to new environment
      As my grandmother use to say because of South Canara Nadavas started drinking Alcohol we Nadavas stopped offering marriages to South Canara Nadavas. But many of Ankola and Kumata Nadavas migrated from South Canara only.
      Also please be remember there is indication that we Nadavaru are converted from Jainisam to Hinduisam- In my birth place only our Gramdevata name is Jainbeer.

    2. It is nice that you chose to comment on the issue. (Since I have personal knowledge of Ankola Nadavas.) I agree that what you have suggested are all true. I have also observed Jain roots in Ankola. I am aware of the legends surviving among Ankola Nadavas that about five family of Nadavas migrated to Kumta-Ankola some 500 years ago from Kundapur region. The present Nadavas are said to the offsprings of these migrants.
      I have also noted that some of the words of Nadava Kannada (of Ankola) are related to Tulu words. The Bommaiah God of Ankola is the Bermer Spirit in Tulunadu.
      There are several interesting points for studies in and around Ankola.. I may write and cover some of these things/ aspects in my future posts.

  16. Hi I am Mr. Sanjeev gaonkar, Kannada Nadava. From, Belekeri Ankola,
    Whatever you say defiantly there is relation between Uttar Kannada Ankola and Kumata Nadavas and Tulu Nadavas. Because in my Relatives only there is Family name Like Kodical ( Please note Kodical is a place name in Mangalore). Also my grand mother ( my Mother Mother) use to tell me that there husband family is from AlinSantan Nadava ( Tulu Nadava) after migrated to Ankola and Kumata, they might have adopted to new environment
    As my grandmother use to say because of South Canara Nadavas started drinking Alcohol we Nadavas stopped offering marriages to South Canara Nadavas. But many of Ankola and Kumata Nadavas migrated from South Canara only.
    Also please be remember there is indication that we Nadavaru are converted from Jainisam to Hinduisam- In my birth place only our Gramdevata name is Jainbeer.

  17. Hi It is Nadavaru or Nadava, not Nadvara,

    As I know Pandyas are not comming in Uttar Kannada, Kadmbas ruled most part of South India, Full Karnataka, some part of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh Maharastra (Till Ajantha Yellora) and Goa.

    Kadamba Dynasty ruled till Bangalore by defeating Pallavas. Yes Nadavaru was also Jains. because of some reasons to become

  18. Thank You Sanjeev
    Yes it is Nadavaru or Nadava.
    Pandya surname need not be exclusive to those families from Tamilnadu. Some Kings in Tulunadu also subscribed to that title during the history. Possibly Pandya were families connected with ancient shipping trade. (Note that Pandi means a large boat used for carrying merchandise in olden days).

    Sanjeev, I am looking for Tulu words in Nadava Kannada (of Ankola. Can you please help me enlisting such common exclusive words in Tulu and Nadava Kannada?

  19. Ezhavas Nadars who are Shanars are not Villavars.They are Billavars which means B-suffix Izhavars or Iravas it means islanders of srilanka. There is no single evidence of these toddy tapper community having the evidence of BOw or Archery who means for Villavars.
    They are slaves of chera and pallava and chola who brought and buy from ceylon.

    The orginal occupation is liquour distellers.

  20. Ezhavas Nadars who are Shanars are not Villavars.They are Billavars which means B-suffix Izhavars or Iravas it means islanders of srilanka. There is no single evidence of these toddy tapper community having the evidence of BOw or Archery who means for Villavars.
    They are slaves of chera and pallava and chola who brought and buy from ceylon.

    The orginal occupation is liquour distellers.


  21. SHANAN One 374 of the good qualities of Sir Thomas Munro, formerly Governor of Madras, was that, like Rama and Rob Roy, his arms reached to his knees, or, in other words, he possessed the kingly quality of an Ajanubahu, which is the heritage of kings, or those who have blue blood in them. I This particular anatomical character have met with myself only once, in a Shanan, whose 173 21 cm.). height was (-{- and span of the arms 194 cm. Rob Roy, it will be remembered, could, cm. without stooping, tie his garters, which were placed two inches below the knee. For a detailed account of demonolatry among the Shanans, I would refer the reader to the Rev. R. Tinnevelly (afterwards Bishop) Caldwell's now scarce Shanans (1849), written when he was a young and impul' ' sive missionary, and the publication of which I believe that the learned and kind-hearted divine lived to regret. Those Shanans who are engaged in the palmyra (Borassus flabellifer) forests in extracting the juice of the palm-tree climb with marvellous activity and dexterity. a proverb that, if you desire to climb trees, you must be born a Shanan. A palmyra climber will, it has been calculated, go up from forty to is There fifty trees, each forty to is The story told by high, three times a day. Bishop Caldwell of a man who was fifty feet sitting upon a leaf-stalk at the top of a palmyra palm in a high wind, when the stalk gave way, and he came down to the ground safely and quietly, sitting on the leaf, which served the purpose of a natural parachute. Woodpeckers are called Shanara kurivi by birdcatchers, The Hindus," because they climb trees like Shanars. the Rev. (afterwards Canon) A. Margoschis writes,* * Christianity " and Caste, 1893. 375 " SHANAN

  22. 2015
    Census Superintendent, " the claim of the Shanans to enter the 1901, writes, temples, in spite of the rules in the Agama Shastras that toddy-drawers are not to be allowed into Hindu them ; but the pretensions of the community date back * Administration Report, 1899. SHANAN Travancore, because female Christian converts belonging to it gave up the caste practice of going about without an upper cloth." On this point Mr. G. T. Mackenzie informs us * that " in the first quarter of the nineteenth century, the riot from 1858, when a occurred in female converts to Christianity in the extreme south ventured, contrary to the old rules for the lower castes, to clothe themselves above the waist. This innovation was made the occasion of disturbances. for threats, violence, and in series Similar disturbances arose from the thirty same cause nearly years later, and, 1859, Sir Charles Trevelyan, Governor of Madras, interfered, and granted permission to the women of the lower castes to wear a cloth over the breasts and shoulders. The was issued by the Maharaja of following proclamation Travancore hereby proclaim that there is no objection tQ Shanan women either putting on a jacket : We like the Christian Shanan women, or to creeds dressing in coarse cloth, selves round with it as the Mukkavattigal (fisherwomen) do, or to their covering their bosoms in any manner of all Shanan women and tying them- " of high castes." Shortly after 1858, pamphlets began to be written and published by people of the caste, setting out their claims to be whatever, but not like women In 1874 they endeavoured to establish a Kshatriyas. right to enter the great Minakshi temple at Madura, and they have since claimed to be allowed to wear the sacred thread, and to have palanquins at their but failed, weddings. They say they are descended from the Chera, in Chola and Pandya kings Kshatriyas legal ; they have styled themselves labelled their schools papers ; ; Kshatriya academy got Brahmans * of the less particular Christianity in Travancore, 1901. SHANAN kind to do purohit's work ; 366 for had poems composed on their kingly origin gone through a sort of incomplete parody of the ceremony of investiture with the ; them sacred thread ; talked much in but ignorantly of their to sign documents on festive occapalanquins at Nazareth in Tinnevelly, for sions." [During my stay the purpose of taking measurements of the Shanans, I gotras ; and induced needy persons agreeing to carry them received a visit from some elders of the community from arrived in palanquins, and bearing weapons of old device.] Their boldest stroke was to aver that Kuttam, who the coins commonly known as Shanans' cash were struck ' by sovereign ancestors of the caste. The author of a pamphlet entitled Bishop Caldwell and the Tinnevelly


  23. In a petition to myself from certain Shanans of Nazareth, signed by a very large number of the com" Short account of the munity, and bearing the title Cantras or Tamil Xatras, the original but down-trodden royal race " of Southern India," they write as follows. humbly beg to say that we are the descendants of the Pandya or Dravida Xatra race, who, shortly after the universal deluge of Noah, first disafforested and colonized this land of South India under the guidance of Agastya Muni. The whole world was destroyed by flood about We B.C. 3100 (Dr. Hale's calculation), when Noah, otherwise called Vaivasvata-manu or Satyavrata, was saved with his family of seven persons in an ark or covered ship, which rested upon the highest mountain of the Aryavarta country. rapidly replenished Hence his the whole earth was by descendants. One of his grandsons (nine great Prajapatis) was Atri, whose son Candra was the ancestor of the noblest class of the Xatras " ranked above the Brahmans, and the first illustrious monarch of the post-diluvian world." Apparently," the Census Superintendent continues, "judging from the Shanan's own published statements of their case, they rest their claims chiefly upon etymological derivations of their caste name Shanan, and of Nadan and Gramani, and names are, their two usual titles. Caste titles little however, of recent origin, and SHANAN 368 can be inferred from them, whatever their meaning may be shown to be. Brahmans, for example, appear to have borne the titles of Pillai and Mudali, which are now only used by Sudras, and the Nayak kings, on the other hand, called themselves Aiyar, which is now To this day exclusively the title of Saivite Brahmans. the cultivating Vellalas, the weaving Kaikolars, and the semi-civilised hill tribe of the Jatapus use equally the title of Mudali, and the Balijas and Telagas call themselves Rao, which is properly the title of Mahratta Brahmans. exercised. literature at Regarding the derivation of the words Shanan, Nadan and Gramani, much Shanan all

  24. In the inscriptions of Rajaraja Chola (A.D. 984-1013) toddy-drawers are referred to as Iluvans. According to Pingalandai, a dictionary of the loth or names of the toddy-drawer castes are To these the ChudaPalaiyar, Tuvasar, and Paduvar. mani Nikandu, a Tamil dictionary of the i6th century, century, the nth adds Saundigar. Apparently, therefore, the Sanskrit word Saundigar must have been introduced (probably by the Brahmans) between the nth and i6th centuries, and is a Sanskrit rendering of the word From Iluvan. Saundigar to Shanan is nqt a long step in the corruption The Shanans say that Shanan is derived of words. from the Tamil word Sanrar or Sanror, which means the learned or the noble. But it does not appear that the Shanans were ever called Sanrar or Sanror in any of the Tamil works. The two words Nadan and Gramani mean the same thing, namely, ruler of a country or of a village, the former being a Tamil, and the latter a Sanskrit word. Nadan, on the other hand, means a man who man who lives in the country, as opposed to Uran, the title resides in a village

  25. SHANAN by the Shanans derivation It is is 370 in climbing palm-trees." The latter also given by Vellalas. worthy of note that the Tiyans, or Malabar toddy-drawers, addressione another, and are addressed by the lower classes as Shener, which form of Shanar.* is probably another The whole Shanans is story of the claims and pretensions of the out at length in the judgment in the case (1898) which was heard on appeal Kamudi temple And I may approbefore the High Court of Madras. set priately quote from the judgment. " There is no sort even suggests a probability that the Shanars are descendants from the Kshatriya or warrior castes of Hindus, or from the Nor is there Pandiya, Chola or Chera race of kings. of proof, nothing, say, that we may any distinction to be drawn between the Nadars and the ' ' Shanars. Shanar is the general name of the caste, just as Vellala and Maravar designate castes. Nadar is a assumed by certain members or families of the caste, just as Brahmins are called Aiyars, Aiyangars, and Raos. All Nadars are Shanars by caste, unless indeed they have abandoned caste, as many of them have by becoming Christians. title, mere more or less honorific, ' ' The Shanars have, as a class, from time immemorial, been devoted to the cultivation of the palmyra palm, and to the collection of the juice, and manufacture of liquor There are no grounds whatever for regarding them as of Aryan origin. Their worship was a form of demonology, and their position in general social estimation appears to have been just above that of Pallas, Pariahs, and Chucklies (Chakkiliyans), who are on all from it. hands

  26. nadavaru of south kanara and north kanara are defitely same they may be branches ofa tree of i want mention that uppu nadavar of ankola are migrated from south kanara about 600-700 years back while coming they brought lord shankar narayan from south kanara and established in tenkankeri near ankola.this reflects that there is link between bunts and nadavar of uttar kannada.tulundavar ,uppunadavar and torkenadavar are groups of nadavar of karnataka.these are not of different caste.particularly torke nadavar and uppunadavar are endogamous groups of nadavar.but unfortunately they are having the feel that they are of different caste.

  27. Thank You Keshav Naik,
    Any idea why the Ankola group is called Uppu-Nadava? Or is it Upa-Nadava?

  28. i am very much thankful for your positive response for my comment mr ravindra reason for calling a group as uppunadavar and another group as torke nadavar is to be investigated but from bakads profile of india it is defined as"uppunadavar and torke nadavar are two endogamous groups of nadavar"according to me name torkenadavar is not derived from village torke but name to the particular village came due to the reason that inhabitants of that place are torke is my more thing what i have observed is thatin habitants of villages vannalli kadie and chittargi of kumta are called as nadavaronly instead calling them as uppunadavar.mostly where both the groups are staying in a common area inorder to identify the group they may be called as uppunadavar and torke nadavar.but as my opinion is concerned it is necessary have united nadavar forum of uttar kannada.then we can think of south kanara nadavar to be united.even in this regard if i get chance present paper on nadavar in some occassion like nadavar habbain north kanara iam prepared

  29. Keshav Naik, I suggest that you write a guest post on Uttara Kannada Nadavaru in this blog, summarizing all the available data on the topic.

  30. The bunts and Nair's Are same . they r considered as shudras by brhmins in varna. The naga tradition were adopted from Kannada people when Nair's were made to stay in Mysore region. It is even said that Nair's and bunts were brought from north part of India. Rastrakuttos are the one who brought them to south. Nair's and bunts show saka origin similar to Punjabi's. This is what I came know when I was reading about naga nadu that is Mysore region.


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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