Diversity in the Kodagu Land…

The beautiful land of Coorg is home not only to Kodavas, but to other communities as well. These are known by different names. These names come from the area of Coorg they are residing in, or from their occupation.

So who are these other Kodava speakers? Amma Kodavas is one such group who reside in the Southern part of Coorg and follow few Brahmin customs. One might wonder what makes this sect of Kodavas different from the others who are living in other parts of Kodagu. Well, the Amma Kodavas are vegetarians unlike others. Moreover, they are teetotallers and read the vedas. These people are a result of inter caste marriages between Brahmins and Kodavas in the earlier times.
Apart from this group, there are several other Kodava speakers, such as the Heggades who are cultivators from Malabar, the Aiyiris who are artisians, the Medas, whose key occupation is mat weaving, the Binepatta who are wandering musicians and the Kavadi who are again cultivators. All these groups follow Kodava customs and rituals.
The Kudiyas, who lived in the Western Ghats, speak a variation of the Kodava language. The Yeravas are another group of people speaking the Yerava dialect which again is a variation of the Kodava language. These people are largely farm labourers in occupation. There is a group of Kodava Gowdas too. This ethnic group resides in some areas of Dakshin Karnataka. Apart from this, Coorg is home to a number of Brahmin and Lingayat groups too. Added to this, they also have a sizeable Tibetan refugee population.
Reading through this, one might wonder how a small land like Coorg is home to such ethnic diversity! The diversity however, doesn’t end here. India’s very own Scotland has a considerable Muslim and Christian population too. Muslims of South Western origins are known popularly as Maaple.
During the reign of Tipu Sultan, a number of Kodava Hindus were converted into Islam. Such people are now known as the Kodava Maaple. A small, but sizeable number of Mangalorean Christians can also be found in Coorg. Such is the diversity of Coorg. These are just some of the ethnic groups who are living in Kodagu. There are many more, and each of these groups contribute in their own way to the rich culture of Coorg.


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