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where they are met by the caste people, who are
presented with betel, a cheroot, and a pot of jaggery
(crude sugar) water as cool drink. The sacred threads
worn by the bride and bridegroom are removed at the
conclusion of the marriage ceremonies. The remarriage
of widow r s is permitted, and a younger brother may
marry the widow of an elder brother, or vice versa.
Divorce is also allowed, and a divorcee may remarry.
Her new husband has to pay a sum of money, a portion
of which goes to the first husband, while the remainder
is devoted to a caste feast. The dead are burnt, and the
chinna rozu (little day) death ceremony is observed.

Goda-jati (wall people). A sub-division of Kammas.
The name has reference to a deadly struggle at Gandi-
kota, in which some escaped by hiding behind a wall.

Goda-poose (wall polishing). An exogamous sept
of Tsakala.


GOdari. Recorded, in the Madras Census Report,
1901, as Telugu leather- workers in Ganjam and Vizaga-
patam. They are stated, in the Vizagapatam Manual,
to make and sell slippers in that district. Godari is, I
gather, a synonym of Madiga, and not a separate caste.

Goddali (spade or axe). An exogamous sept of
Odde and Panta Reddi.

Godomalia (belonging to, or a group of forts). A
sub-division of Bhondari, the members of which act as
barbers to Rajahs who reside in forts.

Golaka. Recorded in the Madras Census Report,
1901, as a name meaning bastard, and clubbed with the
Moilis, or temple servants in South Canara descended
from dancing-girls. In the Mysore Census Report,
1901, it is defined as a term applied to the children of
Brahmans by Malerus, or temple servants.

GOli (Portulaca oleracea : a pot-herb). An exoga-
mous sept of Gauda.

Golkonda. A sub-division of Tsakala.

Golla. "The Gollas," Mr. H. A. Stuart writes,*
" are the great pastoral caste of the Telugu people.
The traditions of the caste give a descent from the god
Krishna, whose sportings with the milk maids play a
prominent part in Hindu mythology. The hereditary
occupation of the Gollas is tending sheep and cattle,
and selling milk, but many of them have now acquired
lands and are engaged in farming, and some are in
Government service. They are quiet, inoffensive, and
comparatively honest. In the time of the Nabobs, this
last characteristic secured to them the privilege of
guarding and carrying treasure, and one sub-division,
Bokhasa Gollas, owes its origin to this service. Even

* Manual of the North Arcot district.


now those who are employed in packing and lifting bags
of money in the district treasuries are called Gollas,
though they belong to other castes. As a fact they do
hold a respectable position, and, though poor, are not
looked down upon, for they tend the sacred cow. Some-
times they assert a claim to be regarded as representatives
of the Go-Vaisya division. Their title is Mandadi, but
it is not commonly used." Mr. Stuart writes further *
that " the social status of the Gollas is fairly high, for
they are allowed to mix freely with the Kapu, Kamma,
and Balija castes, and the Brahmans will take buttermilk
from their hands. They employ Satanis as their priests.
In their ceremonies there is not much difference between
them and the Kapus. The name Golla is generally
supposed to be a shortened form of Sanskrit Gopala "
(protector of cows). The Gollas also call themselves
Konanulu, or Konarlu, and, like the Tamil Idaiyans,
sometimes have the title Konar. Other titles in common
use are Anna, Ayya, and occasionally Nayudu.

In the Manual of the Kurnool district, it is stated
that the Gollas " keep sheep, and sell milk and ghi
(clarified butter). They eat and mess with the Balijas,
and other high caste Sudras ; but, unlike their brethren
of the south, in the matter of street processions, they
are classed with goldsmiths, or the left-hand section.
When any one is reduced to poverty, the others give
him each a sheep, and restore his flock. They occa-
sionally dedicate their girls to Venkatesa as Basavis "

It is noted, in the Gazetteer of the Vizagapatam
district, that " in the country round Madgole, legends
are still recounted of a line of local Golla chieftains, who

* Madras Census Report, 1891.


gave their name to Golgonda, and built the forts, of
which traces still survive in those parts ". Each Telugu
New Year's day, it is stated, Gollas come across from
Godavari, and go round the Golla villages, reciting the
names of the progenitors of the fallen line, and exhibiting
paintings illustrative of their overthrow.

" At Vajragada (diamond fort) are the ruins of a very
large fortress, and local tradition gives the names of
seven forts, by which it was once defended. These are
said to have been constructed by the Golla kings. A
tale is told of their having kidnapped a daughter of the
ruler of Madgole, and held out here against his attacks
for months, until they were betrayed by a woman of their
own caste, who showed the enemy how to cut off their
water-supply. They then slew their womenkind, says
the story, dashed out against the besiegers, and fell to a
man, fighting to the last."

Concerning the Gollas of Mysore, I gather * that
"there are two main divisions in this caste, viz., Uru
(village) and Kadu (forest). The two neither intermarry,
nor eat together. A section of the Gollas, by guarding
treasure while on transit, have earned the name of
Dhanapala. In fact, one of the menial offices in
Government treasuries at the present day is that of
Golla. The caste worships Krishna, who was born in
this caste. The Kadu Gollas are said to have originally
immigrated from Northern India, and are still a nomadic
tribe, living in thatched huts outside the villages. Some
of their social customs are akin to those of the Kadu
Kurubas. It is said that, on the occurrence of a child-
birth, the mother with the babe remains unattended in a
small shed outside the village from seven to thirty days,

* Mysore Census Report, 1901.




when she is taken back to her home. In the event of
her illness, none of the caste will attend on her, but
a Nayak (Beda) woman is engaged to do so. Marriages
among them are likewise performed in a temporary shed
erected outside the village, and the attendant festivities
continue for five days, when the marriage couple are
brought into the village. The Golla is allowed to marry
as many wives as he likes, and puberty is no bar to
marriage. They eat flesh, and drink spirituous liquors.
The wife cannot be divorced except for adultery. Their
females do not wear the bodice (ravike) usually put on
by the women of the country. Nor do they, in their
widowhood, remove or break the glass bangles worn at
the wrists, as is done in other castes. But widows are
not allowed to remarry. Only 98 persons have returned
gotras, the chief being Yadava, Karadi, Atreya, and
Amswasa. The first two are really sub-sects, while
Atreya is the name of a Brahmin Rishi." Yadava, or
descendant of King Yadu, from whom Krishna was
descended, also occurs as a synonym for Idaiyan, the
great Tamil shepherd class.

Concerning the Adivi, or forest Gollas, Mr.
F. Fawcett writes as follows.* " The people of every
house in the village let loose a sheep, to wander whither
it will, as a sort of perpetual scapegoat. When a woman
feels the first pains of labour, she is turned out of the
village into a little leaf or mat hut about two hundred
yards away. In this hut she must bring forth her
offspring unaided, unless a midwife can be called in to be
with her before the child is born. For ninety days the
woman lives in the hut by herself. If any one touches
her, he or she is, like the woman, outcasted, and turned

* Journ. Anth. Soc., Bombay, I, 1 888.


out of the village for three months. The woman's
husband generally makes a little hut about fifty yards from
her, and watches over her ; but he may not go near her on
pain of being outcasted for three months. Food is
placed on the ground near the woman's hut, and she
takes it. On the fourth day after parturition, a woman
of the village goes to her, and pours water on her, but
she must not come in contact with her. On the fifth
day, the village people clear of stones and thorny bushes
a little bit of ground about ten yards on the village side
of the hut, and to this place the woman removes her hut.
No one can do it for her, or help her. On the ninth,
fifteenth, and thirtieth days, she removes the hut in the
same way nearer to the village, and, again, once in each
of the two following months. On the ninetieth day, the
headman of the village calls the woman to come out
of the hut. The dhobi (washerman) then washes her
clothes. She puts on clean clothes, and ; the headman
takes her to the temple of their tutelary deity Junjappa,
where the caste pujari breaks cocoanuts, and then accom-
panies her to her house, where a purificatory ceremony
is performed. Junjappa, it is said, takes good care of
the mother and child, so that death is said to be

It is stated * that, in the Chitaldrug district of
Mysore, " the wife of the eldest son in every family is
not permitted to clean herself with water after obeying
the calls of nature. It is an article of their belief that
their flocks will otherwise not prosper."

Writing in the early part of the last century about the
Gollas, Buchanan informs us that " this caste has a parti-
cular duty, the transporting of money, both belonging

* Mysore Census Report, 1891.


to the public and to individuals. It is said that they
may be safely intrusted with any sum ; for, each man
carrying a certain value, they travel in bodies numerous
in proportion to the sum put under their charge ; and
they consider themselves bound in honour to die in
defence of their trust. Of course, they defend them-
selves vigorously, and are all armed ; so that robbers
never venture to attack them. They have hereditary
chiefs called Gotugaru, who with the usual council settle
all disputes, and punish all transgressions against the
rules of caste. The most flagrant is the embezzlement
of money entrusted to their care. On this crime being
proved against any of the caste, the Gotugaru applies to
Amildar, or civil magistrate, and having obtained his
leave, immediately causes the delinquent to be shot.
Smaller offences are atoned for by the guilty person
giving an entertainment."

The Golla caste has many sub-divisions, of which
the following are examples :

Erra or Yerra (red). Said to be the descendants
of a Brahman by a Golla woman.

Ala or Mekala, who tend sheep and goats.

Puja or Puni.

Gangeddu, who exhibit performing bulls.

Gauda, who, in Vizagapatam, visit the western
part of the district during the summer months, and
settle outside the villages. They tend their herds, and
sell milk and curds to the villagers.



Racha (royal).

Peddeti. Mostly beggars, and considered low in
the social scale, though when questioned concerning
themselves they say they are Yerra Gollas.



At the census, 1901, the following were returned as
sub-castes of the Gollas :

Dayyalakulam (wrestlers), Per ike Muggalu or
Mushti Golla (beggars and exorcists), Podapotula (who
beg from Gollas), Gavadi, and Vadugayan, a Tamil
synonym for Gollas in Tinnevelly. Another Tamil
synonym for Golla is Bokhisha Vadugar (treasury
northerners). Golla has been given as a sub-division of
Dasaris and Chakkiliyans, and Golla Woddar (Odde) as
a synonym of a thief class in the Telugu country. In a
village near Dummagudem in the Godavari district, the
Rev. J. Cain writes, * are " a few families of Basava
Gollalu. I find they are really Kois, whose grandfathers
had a quarrel with, and separated from, their neighbours.
Some of the present members of the families are anxious
to be re-admitted to the society and privileges of the
neighbouring Kois. The word Basava is commonly
said to be derived from bhasha, a language, and the
Gollas of this class are said to have been so called in
consequence of their speaking a different language from
the rest of the Gollas."

Like many other Telugu castes, the Gollas have
exogamous septs or intiperu, and gotras. As examples
of the former, the following may be quoted :

Agni, fire.
Avula, cows.
Chinthala, tamarind.
Chevvula, ears.
Gundala, stones.
Gurram, horse.
Gorrela, sheep.
GSrantla, henna (Law-
sonia alba).

Kokala, woman's cloth.
Katari, dagger.
Mugi, dumb.
Nakkala, jackal.
Saddikudu, cold rice or food.
Sevala, service.
Ullipoyala, onions.
Vankayala, brinjal (Solatium

* Ind. Ant. VIII, 1879.


Some of these sept names occur among other classes,
as follows :

Avula, Balijas, Kapus, and Yerukalas.

Chinthala, Devangas, Komatis, Malas, and Madigas.

Gorantla, Padma Sales.

Gorrela, Kammas, Kapus.

Gurram, Malas, Padma Sales, and Togatas.

Nakkala, Kattu Marathis, and Yanadis.

Those who belong to the Raghindala (Ficus religiosa)
gotra are not allowed to use the leaves of the sacred fig
or pipal tree as plates for their food. Members of the
Palavili gotra never construct palavili, or small booths,
inside the house for the purpose of worship. Those
who belong to the Akshathayya gotra are said to avoid
rice coloured with turmeric or other powder (akshantalu).
Members of the Kommi, Jammi, and Mushti gotras
avoid using the kommi tree, Prosopis spicigera, and
Strychnos Nux-vomica respectively.

Of the various sub-divisions, the Puja Gollas claim
superiority over the others. Their origin is traced to
Simhadri Raju, who is supposed to have been a descend-
ant of Yayathi Raja of the Mahabaratha. Yayathi had
six sons, the last of whom had a son named Kariyavala,
whose descendants were as follows :

Penubothi (his son),
Avula Amurthammayya,

Kalugothi Ganganna,

OH Raju,

Simhadri Raju.


Peddi Erunuka Noranoka P5H

Raju. Raju. Raju, Raju.

The Gollas are believed to be descended from the
four last kings.
11-19 B


According to another legend, there were five
brothers, named Poli Raju, Erranoku Raju, Katama
Raju, Peddi Raju, and Errayya Raju, who lived at
Yellamanchili, which, as well as Sarvasiddhi, they built.
The Rajas of Nellore advanced against them, and killed
them, with all their sheep, in battle. On this, Janaga-
mayya, the son of Peddi Raju, who escaped the
general slaughter, made up his mind to go to Kasi
(Benares), and offer oblations to his dead father and
uncles. This he did, and i _the gods were so pleased with
him that they transported him in the air to his native
place. He was followed by three persons, viz., (i)
Kulagentadu, whose descendants now recite the names
of the progenitors of the caste ; (2) Podapottu (or
juggler), whose descendants carry metal bells, sing, and
produce snakes by magic ; (3) Thevasiyadu, whose
descendants paint the events which led to the destruction
of the Golla royalty on large cloths, and exhibit them to
the Gollas once a year. At the time when Janagamayya
was translated to heaven, they asked him how they were
to earn their living, and he advised them to perform the
duties indicated, and beg from the caste. Even at the
present day, their descendants go round the country
once a year, after the Telugu New Year's day, and
collect their dues from Golla villages.

By religion the Gollas are both Vallamulu (Vaishna-
vites) and Striramanthulu (Saivites), between whom
marriage is permissible. They belong to the group of
castes who take part in the worship of Ankamma. A
special feature of their worship is that they place in a
bamboo or rattan box three or four long whip-like ropes
made of cotton or Agave fibre, along with swords,
sandals and idols. The ropes are called Virathadlu, or
heroes' ropes. The contents of the box are set beneath



a booth made of split bamboo (palavili), and decorated
with mango leaves, and flowers. There also is placed a
pot containing several smaller pots, cowry shells, metal
and earthenware sandals, and the image of a bull called
bolli-avu (bull idol). When not required for the purpose
of worship, the idols are hung up in a room, which may
not be entered by any one under pollution.

Some Kama Gollas earn their living by selling
poultry, or by going about the country carrying on their
head a small box containing idols and Virathadlu.
Placing this at the end of a street, they do puja (worship)
before it, and walk up and down with a rope, with
which they flagellate themselves. As they carry the
gods (Devarlu) about, these people are called Devara

As the Gollas belong to the left-hand section, the
Pedda Golla, or headman, has only a Madiga as his

At the marriages of Mutrachas, Madigas, and some
other classes, a form of worship called Virala puja is
performed with the object of propitiating heroes or
ancestors (viralu). A kindred ceremony, called Ganga
puja, is carried out by the Gollas, the expenses of which
amount to about a hundred rupees. This Ganga worship
lasts over three days, during which nine patterns, called
muggu, are drawn on the floor in five colours, and
represent dhamarapadmam (lotus flower), palavili
(booth), sulalu (tridents), sesha panpu (serpent's play ?),
alugula simhasanam (throne of Sakti), Viradu perantalu
(hero and his wife), Ranivasam (Rani's palace), bonala
(food), and Ganga. The last is a female figure, and
probably represents Ganga, the goddess of water, though
one of the Golla ancestors was named Gangi Raju.
The patterns must be drawn by Madigas or Malas.


Three Pambalas, or Madigas skilled in this work, and
in reciting the stories of various gods and goddesses,
commence their work on the afternoon of the third day,
and use white powder (rice flour), and powders coloured
yellow (turmeric), red (turmeric and chunam), green
(leaves of Cassia auriculata\ and black (charred rice
husk). On an occasion when my assistant was present,
the designs were drawn on the floor of the courtyard
of the house, which was roofed over. During the
preparation of the designs, people were excluded from
the yard, as some ill-luck, especially an attack of fever,
would befall more particularly boys and those of
feeble mind, if they caught sight of the muggu before
the drishti thiyadam, or ceremony for removing the evil
eye has been performed. Near the head of the figure
of Ganga, when completed, was placed an old bamboo
box, regarded as a god, containing idols, ropes, betel,
flowers, and small swords. Close to the box, and on the
right side of the figure, an earthen tray, containing a
lighted wick fed with ghl (clarified butter) was set. On
the left side were deposited a kalasam (brass vessel)
representing Siva, a row of chembus (vessels) called
bonalu (food vessels), and a small empty box tied up
in a cloth dyed with turmeric, and called Brammayya.
Between these articles and the figure, a sword was laid.
Several heaps of food were piled up on the figure, and
masses of rice placed near the head and feet. In addi-
tion, a conical mass of food was heaped up on the right side
of the figure, and cakes were stuck into it. All round
this were placed smaller conical piles of food, into which
broomsticks decorated with betel leaves were thrust.
Masses of food, scooped out and converted into lamps,
were arranged in various places, and betel leaves and
nuts scattered all over the figure. Towards the feet


were set a chembu filled with water, a lump of food
coloured red, and incense. The preparations concluded,
three Gollas stood near the feet of the figure, and took
hold of the red food, over which water had been sprin-
kled, the incense and a fowl. The food and incense were
then waved in front of the figure, and the fowl, after it
had been smoked by the incense, and waved over the
figure, had its neck wrung. This was followed by the
breaking of a cocoanut, and offering fruits and other
things. The three men then fell prostrate on the
ground before the figure, and saluted the goddess. One
of them, an old man, tied little bells round his legs, and
stood mute for a time. Gradually he began to perspire,
and those present exclaimed that he was about to be
possessed by the spirit of an ancestor. Taking up a
sword, he began to cut himself with it, especially in the
back, and then kept striking himself with the blunt edge.
The sword was wrested from him, and placed on the
figure. The old man then went several times round
the muggu, shaking and twisting his body into various
grotesque attitudes. While this was going on, the bride-
groom appeared on the scene, and seated himself near
the feet of the figure. Throwing off his turban and
upper cloth, he fell on the floor, and proceeded to kick
his legs about, and eventually, becoming calmer, com-
menced to cry. Being asked his name, he replied that
he was Kariyavala Raju. Further questions were put
to him, to which he made no response, but continued
crying. Incense and lights were then carried round the
image, and the old man announced that the marriage
would be auspicious, and blessed the bride and bride-
groom and the assembled Gollas. The ceremony con-
cluded with the burning of camphor. The big mass of
food was eaten by Puni Gollas.


It is stated in the Manual of the Nellore district that,
when a Golla bridegroom sets out for the house of his
mother-in-law, he is seized on the way by his com-
panions, who will not release him until he has paid a
piece of gold.

The custom of illatom, or application of a son-in-law,
obtains among the Gollas, as among the Kapus and
some other Telugu classes.*

In connection with the death ceremonies, it may be
noted that the corpse, when it is being washed, is made
to rest on a mortar, and two pestles are placed by its
side, and a lighted lamp near the head.

There is a proverb to the effect that a Golla will not
scruple to water the milk which he sells to his own father.
Another proverb refers to the corrupt manner in which
he speaks his mother-tongue.

The insigne of the caste at Conjeeveram is a silver
churning stick.f

Gollari (monkey). An exogamous sept of Gadaba.

Gomma. Recorded by the Rev. J. Cain as the
name for Koyis who live near the banks of the Goda-
vari river. Villages on the banks thereof are called
gommu ullu.

Gonapala (old plough). An exogamous sept of

Gondaliga. The Gondaligas are described, in the
Mysore Census Report, 1901, as being mendicants "of
Mahratta origin like the Budabudikes, and may perhaps
be a sub-division of them. They are worshippers of
Durgi. Their occupation, as the name indicates, is to
perform gondala, or a kind of torch-light dance, usually

* See C. Ramchendrier, Collection of decisions of High Courts and the Privy
Council applicable to dancing-girls, illatom, etc., Madras, 1892.
t J- S. F. Mackenzie, Ind. Ant., IV, 1875.



performed in honour of Amba Bhavani, especially after
marriages in Desastha Brahman's houses, or at other
times in fulfilment of any vow."

Gone (a sack). An exogamous sept of Mala. The
G6ne Perikes have been summed up as being a Telugu
caste of gunny-bag weavers, corresponding to the Janap-
pans of the Tamil country. Gunny-bag is the popular
and trading name for the coarse sacking and sacks made
from jute fibre, which are extensively used in Indian
trade.* Gone is further an occupational sub-division of

The Gonigas of Mysore are described, in the Census
Report, 1901, as sack- weavers and makers of gunny-
bags, agriculturists, and grain porters at Bangalore ; and
it is noted that the abnormal fall of 66 per cent, in the
number of the caste was due to their being confounded
with Ganigas.

Gonjakari. A title of Haddi.

Gonji ( Glycosmis pentaphylla}. An exogamous sept
of Mala.

Gopalam (alms given to beggars). An exogamous
sept of Togata.

Gopalan (those who tend cattle). A synonym of

Gopopuriya. -A sub-division of Gaudo.

Gorantla (Lawsonia alba : henna). An exoga-
mous sept of Golla and Padma Sale. The leaves of this
plant are widely used by Natives as an article of toilet
for staining the nails, and by Muhammadans for dyeing
the hair red.

Gorava. A synonym of Kuruba.

Goravaru. A class of Canarese mendicants.

* Yule and Burnell. Hobson-Jobson.

GORE 298

Gore. Recorded, at times of census, as a synonym
of Lambadi. Gora means trader or shop-keeper, and
trading Lambadis may have assumed the name.

Gorige (Cyamopsis psoralioides). An exogamous.

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