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group of people arrived, they went first to the temple
door, saluted the god, and went to the basement of the
car to venerate the deceased, and then proceeded to
dance for an hour, received their supplies of rice, etc.,
and cleared off. Thursday and Friday were the grandest


days. Nearly three thousand females, and six thousand
males, assembled on Thursday. To crown all the con-
fusion, there appeared nearly a thousand Badagas armed
with new mamotis (spades). They came on dancing for
some distance, rushed into the crowd, and danced round
the car. These Badagas belonged to a gang of public
works, local fund, and municipal maistries. On the last
day a sheep was slaughtered in honour of the deity.
The musicians throughout the festivities were Kotas
and Kurumbas. The dancing of the men of three score
showed that they danced to music, and the stepping
was admirable, while the dancing of young men did not
show that they had any idea of dancing, or either taste
or knowledge of music. They were merely skipping
and jumping. This shows that the old art of the Badaga
dance is fast decaying." The cot is eventually burnt
at the burning-ground, as if it contained a corpse.

A kind of edible truffle (Mylitta lapidescens) is
known as little man's bread on the Nllgiris. The
Badaga legendary name for it is Pandva-unna-buthi, or
dwarf bundle of food,* i.e., food of the dwarfs, who are
supposed once to have inhabited the Nllgiris and built
the pandu kulis or kistvaens.

The story goes that Lord Elphinstone, a former
Governor of Madras, was anxious to build a residence at
Kaiti. But the Badagas, who had on the desired site a
sacred tree, would not part with the land. The Gover-
nor's steward succeeded in making the Badaga headman
drunk, and secured, for a rental of thirty-five rupees
annually, the site, whereon a villa was built, which now
belongs to the Basel Mission.!

* Report, Government Botanic Gardens, Nilgiris, 1903.
t E. Schmidt. Reise nach Sudindien, 1894.



In a recent work,* Mr. A. H. Keane, in a note on
the " Dravidian Aborigines," writes as follows. " All
stand on the very lowest rung of the social ladder, being
rude hillmen without any culture strictly so called, and
often betraying marked negroid characters, as if they
were originally Negroes or Negritos, later assimilated in
some respects to their Dravidian conquerors. As they
never had a collective racial name, they should now be
called, not Dravidians or proto-Dravidians, but rather
pre-Dravidians, as more collectively indicating their true
ethnical relations. Such are the Kotas, Irulas, Badagas,
and Kurumbas." It may be pointed out that the
Badagas and Kotas of the Nllgiri plateau are not "wild
tribes," have no trace of negroid characters, and no
affinities with the Kurumbas and Irulas of the Nllgiri
slopes. The figures in the following table speak for
themselves :


Nasal Index.


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Badaga ...




























Badagi. The carpenter sub-division of Panchalas.

Badhoyi.- The Badhoyis are Oriya carpenters and
blacksmiths, of whom the former are known as Badhoyi,
and the latter as Komaro. These are not separate
castes, and the two sections both interdine and inter-

The World's Peoples, 1908.


marry. The name Badhoyi is said to be derived from
the Sanskrit vardhaki, which, in Oriya, becomes bar-
dhaki, and indicates one who changes the form, i.e., of
timber. Korti, derived from korto, a saw, occurs as the
name of a section of the caste, the members of which
are wood-sawyers. Socially, the Badhoyis occupy the
same position as Doluvas, Kalinjis, and various other
agricultural classes, and they do not, like the Tamil
Kammalans, claim to be Viswakarma Brahmans, de-
scended from Viswakarma, the architect of the gods.

The hereditary headman is called Maharana, and, in
some places, there seem to be three grades of Maharana,
viz., Maharana, Dondopato Maharana, and Swangso
Maharana. These headmen are assisted by a Bhollo-
bhaya or Dolobghara, and there is a further official called
Agopothiria, whose duty it is to eat with an individual
who is re-admitted into the caste after a council meeting.
This duty is sometimes performed by the Maharana.
Ordinary meetings of council are convened by the
Maharana and Bhollobhaya. But, if a case of a serious
nature is to be tried, a special council meeting, called
kulo panchayat, is held in a grove or open space outside
the village. All the Maharanas and other officers, and
representatives of five castes (panchapatako) equal or
superior to the Badhoyis in the social scale, attend such
a council. The complainant goes to the Swangso
Maharana, and, giving him fifty areca nuts, asks him to
convene the council meeting. Punishment inflicted by
the caste council usually assumes the form of a fine, the
amount of which depends on the worldly prosperity of
the delinquent, who, if very indigent, may be let off with a
reprimand and warning. Sometimes offences are con-
doned by feeding Brahmans or the Badhoyi community.
Small sums, collected as fines, are appropriated by the


headman, and large sums are set apart towards a fund for
meeting the marriage expenses of the poorer members
of the caste, and the expenditure in connection with
kulo panchayats.

Concerning the marriage ceremonies, Mr. D.
Mahanty writes as follows. " At a marriage among the
Badhoyis, and various other castes in Ganjam, two pith
crowns are placed on the head of the bridegroom. On
his way to the bride's house, he is met by her purohit
(priest) and relations, and her barber washes his feet, and
presents him with a new yellow cloth, flowers, and kusa
grass (also called dharbha grass). When he arrives
at the house, amid the recitations of stanzas by the
priest, the blowing of conch shells and other music, the
women of the bride's party make a noise called hulu-
huli, and shower kusa grass over him. At the marriage
booth, the bridegroom sits upon a raised ' altar,' and the
bride, who arrives accompanied by his maternal uncle,
pours salt, yellow-coloured rice, and parched paddy
(rice) over the head of the bridegroom, by whose side
she seats herself. One of the pith crowns is removed
from the bridegroom's forehead, and placed on that of
the bride. Various Brahmanical rites are then per-
formed, and the bride's father places her hand in that of
the bridegroom. A bundle of straw is now placed on
the altar, on which the contracting parties sit, the bride-
groom facing east, and the bride west. The purohit
rubs a little jaggery over the bridegroom's right palm,
joins it to the palm of the bride, and ties their two hands
together with a rope made of kusa grass (hasthagonti).
A yellow cloth is tied to the cloths which the bridal pair
are wearing, and stretched over their shoulders (gonti-
yala). The hands are then untied by a married woman.
Sradha is performed for the propitiation of ancestors,


and the purohit, repeating some mantrams (prayers),
blesses the pair by throwing yellow rice over them. On
the sixth day of the ceremony, the bridegroom runs
away from the house of his father-in-law, as if he was
displeased, and goes to the house of a relation in the
same or an adjacent village. His brother-in-law, or
other male relation of the bride, goes in search of him,
and, when he has found him, rubs some jaggery over
his face, and brings him back." As an example of the
stanzas recited by the purohit, the following may be
cited :

I have presented with my mind and word, and also
with kusa grass and water.

The witnesses of this are fire, Brahmans, women,
relations, and all the devatas.

Forgive this presentable faithful maid.

I am performing the marriage according to the
Vedic rites.

Women are full of all kinds of faults. Forgive
these faults.

Brahma is the god of this maid.

By the grace of the god Vasudeva, I give to thee
the bridegroom.

The Badhoyis are Paramarthos, and follow the
Chaitanya form of Vaishnavism. They further worship
various village deities. The dead are cremated. The
corpse of a dead person is washed, not at the house,
but at the burning-ground.

The most common caste title is Maharana. But, in
some zemindaris, such titles as Bindhani Rathno, and
Bindhani Bushano, have been conferred by the zemin-
dars on carpenters for the excellence of their work.

The carpenters and blacksmiths hold inams or rent-
free lands both under zemindars and under Government.


In return, they are expected to construct a car for the
annual festival of the village deity, at which, in most
places, the car is burnt at the conclusion of the festival.
They have further to make agricultural implements for
the villagers, and, when officials arrive on circuit, to
supply tent-pegs, etc.

Bagata. The Bagatas, Bhaktas, or Baktas are a
class of Telugu fresh-water fishermen, who are said to
be very expert at catching fish with a long spear. It is
noted, in the Madras Census Report, 1901, that "on the
Dasara day they worship the fishing baskets, and also
(for some obscure reason) a kind of trident." The
trident is probably the fishing spear. Some of the
Bagatas are hill cultivators in the Agency tracts of
Vizagapatam. They account for their name by the tradi-
tion that they served with great devotion (bhakti) the
former rulers of Golgonda and Madugula, who made
grants of land to them in mokhasa tenure. Some of
them are heads of hill villages. The head of a single
village is called a Padal, and it may be noted that Padala
occurs as an exogamous sept of the Kapus, of which
caste it has been suggested that the Bagatas are an
offshoot. The overlord of a number of Padals styles
himself Nayak or Raju, and a Mokhasadar has the title
of Dora. It is recorded, in the Census Report, 1871,
that " in the low country the Bhaktas consider them-
selves to take the rank of soldiery, and rather disdain
the occupation of ryots (cultivators). Here, however (in
hill Madugulu in the Vizagapatam district), necessity
has divested them of such prejudices, and they are com-
pelled to delve for their daily bread. They generally,
nevertheless, manage to get the Kapus to work for
them, for they make poor farmers, and are unskilled in


It is recorded, in the Gazetteer of the Vizagapatam
district, that " Matsya gundam (fish pool) is a curious
pool on the Macheru (fish river) near the village of
Matam, close under the great Yendrika hill, 5,188 feet
above the sea. A barrier of rocks runs right across the
river there, and the stream plunges into a great hole and
vanishes beneath this, reappearing again about a hun-
dred yards lower down. Just where it emerges from
under the barrier, it forms a pool, which is crowded with
mahseer of all sizes. These are wonderfully tame, the
bigger ones feeding fearlessly from one's hand, and even
allowing their backs to be stroked. They are protected
by the Madgole zamindars who on several grounds
venerate all fish and by superstitious fears. Once, goes
the story, a Brinjari caught one and turned it into curry,
whereon the king of the fish solemnly cursed him, and
he and all his pack-bullocks were turned into rocks,
which may be seen there till this day. At Sivaratri,
a festival occurs at the little thatched shrine near by,
the priest at which is a Bagata, and part of the ritual
consists in feeding the sacred fish.

" In 1901, certain envious Bagatas looted one of
the villages of the Konda Malas or hill Paraiyans, a
pushing set of traders, who are rapidly acquiring wealth
and exalted notions, on the ground that they were
becoming unduly arrogant. The immediate cause of the
trouble was the fact that at a cockfight the Malas' birds
had defeated the Bagatas'."

In a note on the Bagatas, Mr. C. Hayavadana Rao
writes that the caste is divided into exogamous septs or
intiperulu, some of which occur also among the Kapus,
Telagas, and Vantaris. Girls are married either before
or after puberty, and the custom, called menarikam,
which renders it a man's duty to marry his maternal


uncle's daughter, is the general rule. An Oriya or
Telugu Brahman officiates at marriages, and the bride is
presented with jewelry as a substitute for the bride-price
(voli) in money. It is noted, in the Census Report,
1901, that, at a wedding, the bridegroom is struck by his
brother-in-law, who is then presented with a pair of new
cloths. The Bagatas are both Vaishnavites and Saivites,
and the former get themselves branded on the arm by a
Vaishnava guru, who lives in the Godavari district. The
Vaishnavites burn their dead, and the Saivites bury them
in the customary sitting attitude. Satanis officiate for
the former, and Jangams for the latter. Both sections
perform the chinna and pedda rozu (big and little day)
death ceremonies. The hill Bagatas observe the Itiga
Ponduga festival, which is celebrated by the hill classes
in Vizagapatam.

Bahusagara (many seas). Recorded, in the Madras
Census Report, 1901, as a synonym of Rangari. The
Rangaris are tailors and dyers, and the signification of
the name is not clear.

Baidya. See Vaidyan.

Bainedu. The Bainedu, or Bainedi, as they are
called in the Census Report, 1901, are the musicians and
barbers of the Malas and Madigas. At the peddadi-
namu death ceremony of the Gamallas, a Mala Bainedu
takes part in the recitation of the story of Ankamma,
and in making the designs (muggu) on the ground.

BairagL -The Bairagis are a class of religious men-
dicants, who roam about all over India, and are for the
most part recruited from North Indian castes. They
are followers of Ramanand, who founded the order at
the end of the fourteenth, or beginning of the fifteenth
century. According to common tradition, the schism
of Ramanand originated in resentment of an affront


offered him by his fellow disciples, and sanctioned by
his teacher. It is said that he had spent some time in
travelling through various parts of India, after which he
returned to the math, or residence of his superior. His
brethren objected to him that in the course of his pere-
grinations it was impossible he could have observed that
privacy in his meals, which is a vital observance of the
Ramanuja sect ; and, as Raghavanand admitted the
validity of the objection, Ramanand was condemned to
feed in a place apart from the rest of the disciples. He
was highly incensed at the order, and retired from the
society altogether, establishing a schism of his own.*

The name Bairagi is derived from the Sanskrit vai-
ragya (vi 4- rag), denoting without desire or passion,
and indicates an ascetic, who has subdued his passions,
and liberated himself from worldly desires. The Bairagis
are sometimes called Bavaji or Sadhu.

The Bairagis are Vaishnavites, and bear the Tengalai
Vaishnava mark (namam), made with sandal-paste or
gopi, on the forehead. Bairagis with a Vadagalai mark
are very rare. The Bairagis wear necklaces of tulsi
(Ocimwn sanctum] beads or lotus (Nehtmbium specio-
snm) seeds. Every Bairagi cooks his food within a
space cleansed with cow-dung water by himself or his
disciple, and will not leave the space until he has
finished his meal. The Bairagis are not particular
about screening the space from the public gaze. They
partake of one meal daily, in the afternoon, and are
abstainers from flesh dietary. They live mainly on alms
obtained in the bazars, or in choultries (rest-houses for
travellers). They generally carry with them one or two

* H. H. Wilson, Essays and Lectures, chiefly on the Religion of the Hindus,



brass vessels for cooking purposes, a salagrama stone
and a conch-shell for worship, and a chillum (pipe)
for smoking ganja (Indian hemp) or opium. They are,
as a rule, naked except for a small piece of cloth tied
round the waist and passed between the thighs. Some
wear more elaborate body-clothing, and a turban. They
generally allow the beard to grow, and the hair of the
head is long and matted, with sometimes a long tail
of yak or human hair tied in a knot on the top of the
head. Those who go about nearly naked smear ashes
all over their bodies. When engaged in begging, some
go through the streets, uttering aloud the name of
some God. Others go from house to house, or remain
at a particular spot, where people are expected to give
them alms.

Some Bairagis are celibates, and others married.
They are supposed to be celibates, but, as Dr. T. N.
Bhattacharjee observes,* the " monks of this order have
generally a large number of nuns attached to their con-
vents, with whom they openly live as man and wife."
The Bairagis are very particular about the worship of
the salagrama stone, and will not partake of food with-
out worshipping it. When so doing, they cover their
head with a piece of cloth (Ram nam ka safa), on which
the name Rama is printed in Devanagiri characters.
Their face and shoulders are stamped, by means of brass
stamps, with the word Rama in similar characters. For
the purpose of meditation, the Bairagi squats on the
ground, sometimes with a deer or tiger skin beneath
him, and rests his hands on the cross-piece of his yoga-
dandam, or bent stick. A pair of tongs is stuck in the
ground on his right side, and sometimes fire is kept

* Hindu Castes and Sects.


near it. It is noted by Mr. J. C. Oman* that "a most
elaborate ritual has been laid down for the guidance of
Bairagis in the daily routine of the indispensable busi-
ness and duties of life, prescribing in minute detail how,
for example, the ascetic should wash, bathe, sit down,
perform pranayam (stoppage or regulation of respira-
tion), purify his body, purge his mind, meditate on
Vishnu, repeat the Gayatri (hymn) as composed for
the special use of members of the sect, worship Rama,
Sita, Lakshman, Bharata, and Satringah, together with
Rama's bows and arrows, and, lastly, the monkey god

The Bairagis have a guru or priest, whom they call
Mahant. Some visit the celebrated temple near Tirupati
and pay their respects to the Mahant thereof.

Baisya. A sub-division of Koronos of Ganjam.

Baita Kammara. The name, meaning outside
blacksmiths, applied to Kamsala blacksmiths, who
occupy a lowly position, and work in the open air or
outside a village.t

Bajantri. A synonym of Mangala, indicating their
occupation as professional musicians.

Bakta.- See Bagata.

Bakuda. A sub-division of Holeya.

Balanollu. Balanollu and Badranollu are names of
gotras of Ganigas, the members of w r hich may not cut
Erythroxylon monogynum.

Balasantosha. The Balasantosha or Balasanta
vandlu (those who please children) are described in the
Kurnool Manual as ''ballad reciters, whose chief stories
are the Bobbili katha, or the story of the siege of the
fort of Bobbili in Vizagapatam by Bussy ; the Kurnool

* The Mystics, Ascetics, and Saints of India, 1903.
t Madras Census Report, 1901.


Nabob's katha or the story of the resumption of Kurnool
by the English ; and the tale of the quarrels between
Ganga and Parvati, the two wives of Siva."

Balegara (bangle man). An occupational sub-
division of Banajiga.

Balija. The Balijas are described by Mr. Francis *
as being " the chief Telugu trading caste, scattered
throughout all parts of the Presidency. It is said to
have two main sub-divisions, Desa (or Kota, a fort) and
Peta (street). The first of these includes those, whose
ancestors are supposed to have been the Balija (Nayak)
kings of Madura, Tanjore and Vijayanagar, or provincial
governors in those kingdoms ; and to the second belong
those, like the Gazulu (bangle sellers) and Perike (salt-
sellers), who live by trade. In the Tamil districts
Balijas are known as Vadugans (Telugu people) and
Kavarais. The descendants of the Nayak or Balija
Kings of Madura and Tanjore claim to be Kshatriyas
and of the Kasyapa (a rishi) gotra, while the Vijaya-
nagar Rais say they are lineal descendants of the sage
Bharadwaja. Others trace their ancestry to the Kaura-
vas of the Mahabharata. This Kshatriya descent is,
however, not admitted by other castes, who say that
Balijas are an offshoot of the Kammas or Kapus, or that
they are a mixed community recruited from these and
other Telugu castes. The members of the caste none
of them now wear the sacred thread, or follow the Vedic
ritual. The name Kartakkal (governors) was returned
by those who claim to be descendants of the Nayak
Kings of Madura and Tanjore."

In a letter submitted, from Coimbatore, to Mr.
Francis in connection with the census, 1901, it was

* Madras Census Report, 1901.


stated that " the Balija people are Kshatriyas of the
Lunar Race, as can be proved by a reference to the
Bahgavatham, Vishnupuranam, and Brahmmandapura-

nam, etc In this connection, it will be

interesting to note that one Sevappa Naidu married
Murthiammal, sister-in-law to Achuta Deva Rayulu
of Narapathi Samasthanam of Vijayanagar, and as a
marriage portion or dowry received the territory of
Tanjore, over which he ruled as king for a long period.
It was at this time that the celebrated Tirumalay Naidu
of Madura took as wife one of the daughters of Sevappa
Naidu's family. Tirumalay's grandson, one Chockalinga
Naidu, married Mangammal, daughter of Vijiaragavulu
Naidu, a grandson of the said Tanjore Sevappa Naidu.
It will thus be seen that the Naidu rulers of Tanjore,
Trichinopoly, and Madura, were all relations of Narapathi
Samasthanam of Vijianagar. That these Narapathies
of Vijianagaram were Kshatriyas of the Lunar Race can
be clearly seen by a reference to Manucharithra, Parija-
thapaharanam, Prouda Prabanda Kavi Charitra, etc.,
and that they were direct descendants of the great
Andra Kings can be proved with equal satisfaction by
referring to Colonel Mackenzie's MSS., in the introduc-
tion of A. D. Campbell's Telugu Grammar, and James
Prinsep's Useful Tables of Andra Kings will show that
the Andras were immediate descendants of the well-
known Yayathi Raja of the Lunar Race."

" The Balijas," Mr. H. A. Stuart writes,* " are the
trading caste of the Telugu country, but they are now
found in every part of the Presidency. Concerning the
origin of this caste several traditions exist, but the
most probable is that which represents them as a recent

Madras Census Report, 1891.


offshoot of the Kapu or Reddi caste. The caste is rather
a mixed one, for they will admit, without much scruple,
persons who have been expelled from their proper caste,
or who are the result of irregular unions. The bulk
of the Balijas are now engaged in cultivation, and this
accounts for so many having returned Kapu as their main
caste, for Kapu is also a common Telugu word used
for a ryot (farmer). It is not improbable that there
was once a closer connection than now between the
Kapus and the Balijas, and the claim of the Balijas to
belong to the Kapu caste may have a foundation in fact.
In their customs there is very little difference between
the Kapus and Balijas. Their girls are married both
before and after puberty. The re-marriage of widows
is forbidden. They eat flesh, and alcohol is said to be
freely indulged in [There is a proverb ' If a man be
born a Balija, he must crack the arrack bottle ']. Like
the Bogams and Sanis, the Balija females usually wear
a petticoat instead of the long robe of ordinary Hindus.
The general name of the caste is Naidu." " The Balija
Naidu," it has been said,* " is to be met with in almost
every walk of life railway station-masters, head coolies,
bakers, butlers, municipal inspectors, tappal (post) run-
ners, hawkers, and hotel-keepers. The title Chetti is
by some used in preference to Naidu." It is noted in
the Bellary Manual that the Balijas " have by common
consent obtained a high place in the social system of
South India. Some are land-owners, residing on and
working their own property with the help of members
of inferior castes ; but the majority live by trade." At
Tirupati, a number of Balija families are engaged in
the red sanders wood (Pterocarpus santalinus), carving

* A Native : Pen and Ink Sketches of South India.

137 BALI J A

industry. Figures of swamis (deities), mythological
figures, elephants, and miniature temple cars with flying

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