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' The name is a curious approximation to that of the western bard, and their
offices are nearly similar. No Hindu Raja is without his bhats. Haidar, although
not a Hindu, delighted to be constantly preceded by them, and they are an appendage
to the state of many other Musalman chiefs. They have a wonderful facility in
speaking improvisatore, on any subject proposed to them, a declamation in measures,
which may be considered as a sort of medium between blank verse and modulated
prose ; but their proper profession is that of chaunting the exploits of former days in
the front of the troops while marshalling for battle, and inciting them to emulate the
glory of their ancestors. — Jl'ilks, in 1810.



COMMERCIAL CLASS



245



their ordinary employment, they have descended into the mendicant
class. They are principally worshippers of Vishnu.

The Dancers and Singers follow, composed of Natuva (1,804) and
Kaikola (5,672). The subdivisions are Binkali Kaikola, Bogavaru,
Devadasi, (layaka, Lokabalike, Nayaksani. The women dance and
sing ; the men are musicians and accompany them on various instru-
ments. Nearly all the Kaikola are in ^lysore District : those that
speak Kannada are of Lingayit connection and called Basavi. The
Natuva are most numerous in Kolar and Mysore Districts : those who
speak Telugu are of the Telugu Banajiga caste. The females are
generally prostitutes and attached as dancing girls to Hindu temples.
The class is recruited either from those born in it or those adopted
from any of the Hindu castes. Sometimes the parents of a girl have
dedicated her to a temple even before her birth ; in other cases good-
looking girls are purchased from parents who are too poor to maintain
them.

The last professional group is the Chitari, who are classed as
Rachevar, and composed of Chitragara, also called Bannagara (912),
mostly in Mysore, Tumkur and Chitaldroog Districts, and Jinagara
(3,728), nearly all in Shimoga District. They are painters, decorators
and gilders, and make trunks, palanquins, lacquer toys and wooden
images for temples, cars, etc.

The Commercial class (C) consists entirely of Merchants and Traders.
The following are the principal divisions according to strength, with
their distribution. There are also 161 Baniya, 2 Miiltani, and i Jat,
all in the Civil and Military Station of Ijangalore ; S3 Marvadi, and 71
Cujarati.










c


u


c


S>


u


'S


Caste.


PC






p


X


Shimo


3
21,052


3



Lingayita


19,700


6,139


21,289


91,257


39,006


49,333


44,297


Banajiga ...


2«,437


36,296


12,408


17,811


3w35


6,709


5,115


4,224


Komati ...


4,766


8,890


5>304


3,210


1,766


1,175


1,338


2,605


Nagarla ...


5,289


3.004


315


439


77


7,966


5,223


651


Miulali


1,625


714


380


1,305


167


229


225


492


Jainaand S'ravaka


lOS


18


305


230


6S


2,974


43


200


Ladar


53


18


134


1,185


91


II


338


216



Of the 292,073 l.ingdyita, forming 62 per cent, of the trading com-
munity, 222,389 are returned by that name alone and i)reponderate in
Mysore District. Other divisions are Linga Banajiga (37,322), most
numerous in Chitaldroog and Hassan Districts ; Sajjana (30,424),



246 E THNO G RA /'// V

more than half in Shimoga District; Sthaladava (1,243), "C-arly all in
Bangalore District ; l\anchamasale (182), nearly the whole in the Civil
and Military Station of Bangalore; Hirehasube (loi), almost all in
Mysore District; and K6risetti (52), all in Tumkur District. Further
subdivisions are Badagalava, Bannadava, Basale, Bavane, Gada Lin-
gayita, Gaddigeyava, J6ti Banajiga, Kannadiga, Kanthapavade, Kaikola,
M(^lpdvadc, Nfrume'linava, Petemane, T6gasetti, and Turukane
Banajiga. In the rural parts they are perhaps engaged more in agri-
culture than in trade.

The Banajiga number 114,735, ^'""^ form 24 per cent, of the
traders. The strongest section is that of Telugu Banajiga (59,495), the
greater number in Kolar and Bangalore Districts, as are also those put
down simply as Banajiga (17,779). The Setti (14,875) are most
numerous in Tumkur District and the Civil and Military Station of
Bangalore. The Dasa (7,925) are chiefly in Mysore District. The
Bale (5,378), makers and vendors of glass bangles, are chiefly in the
Civil and Military Station of Bangalore. The Yele (3,601), or betel-leaf
sellers, are most numerous in Mysore and Tumkur Districts. De'vadiga
(2,31 5), bangle-sellers, nearly all in Shimoga District, and the rest in
Kadur District; Nayadu (1,141), most numerous in Bangalore and
Chitaldroog Districts ; Huvvadiga (905) or flower-sellers, nearly all in
Kadur District ; Arale (340) or cotton-sellers, mostly in Mysore and
Bangalore Districts; Sukhamanji (313), nearly all in Bangalore
District, and the rest in Kolar District ; and Muttarasu (7), all in the
Civil and INIilitary Station of Bangalore, make up the remaining chief
sections. The minor subdivisions are A'di, Aggada, A'kuleti, Bherisetti,
Banta, Bidara, De'sayi, Dharmaraju, Gajulabalji, Gandhudibalji,
Gerballi, Gaudu, Ganga, Kalayi, Kamme, Kannada, Kapali, Kavare,
Kempti, Kempu, Kolla, Kotta, Lingabalji, Marasi, Mudusarebalji,
Miirusire, Mutta, Muttaraju, Pagadala, Pasaluvate, S'ivachara, Soliya-
setti, Virasaggada, and Yellamma. The principal occupations of
Banajigas are agriculture, labour and trade of all kinds.

The Kbmati (29,054) and Nagarta (22,964) are principally found in
towns and large trade centres. Both claim to be ^'aisyas, and the
former are specially considered to be such. The Komati subdivisions
are Kannada, Myada, Setti, Trikarma, Tuppada, and Yavamanta. The
majority are worshippers of S'iva and a few of ^'ishnu, but the chief
object of reverence is the goddess Kanyaka Parames'vari. All eat
together and intermarry. They deal in cloth and, except spirits, in all
kinds of merchandise, especially money and jewels, but never cultivate
the ground nor become mechanics. The Nagarta, besides 4, 297 only
so named, chiefly in Bangalore and Kolar Districts, are subdivided into



ARTISANS 247

Ay6dhyanagara (39), all in Bangalore District; Bheri (229), nearly all
in Kolar District; Namadhari (15,428), mostly in Shimoga and Kadur
Districts; and Vais'ya (2,971), most numerous in Bangalore and Kolar
1 )istricts. There are also minor sections called S'ivachar and Vaishnava.
Of the Nagarta some are worshippers of Vishnu and others of S'iva :
of the latter a part wear the linga and others not. The three sects do
not intermarry or eat together. They are dealers in bullion, cloth,
cotton, drugs and grain, but do not cultivate the ground or follow any
handicraft trade, though some act as porters.

The Mudali (5,437) or Mudaliyar, with the subdivision Agamudi,
are of Tamil origin, from Arcot, Vellore and other places, the
offsjiring of traders, servants and contractors who followed the
progress of British arms. The majority are in the cities of Bangalore
and Mysore. They are a thriving and money-making class, and
many of them are employed under (iovernment : they also engage
in trade of all kinds, and as contractors for buildings and other public
works.

Of the Jaina (1,981) and S'rdvaka (1,962) the great majority of the
former and the whole of the latter are in Shimoga District, and probably
represent a very ancient trading community of those parts. The Ladar
(2,046) are traders from the Mahratta country, and are principally
settled in the Mysore District.

The Baniya are wealthy money-lenders from other parts. Their
divisions are Agarvala, Bakkal, Jaman, Multani, and Oswal. The
Mdrvddi (Dodaya and Kumbi), Gujardti and Multdni zxe. traders from
the countries after whose names they are called. The Marvadi deal in
pearls and cloths. The (iujarati are small money-lenders, and also
trade in jewels, cloths and other articles.

The class Artisan and \'illage Menial (D) includes the following : —



Smiths, Carpenters and Masons ...


Pdnchala


"3,731


Barbers


Niiyinda ...


37,296


Tailors


Darji


10,664


Weavers and Uyers


Neyi^ara, Coniga


88,413


Washermen...


Agasa


85,671


Cowherds, iSrc.


Ciolla


128,995


Shepherds


Kuruba


346,768


(Jilpressers ...


Caniga


35, 80S


I'otters


Kumbara ..


40,809


Salters


Uppara


89,123


Cold-lace makers


Sarige


15


Fishermen


Besta


99,897


Toddy drawers


I''sore.




1


c



2




c


U,


^


2


K


IS
12,107


u:


Ic
U


Panchala


14,105


9,688


9,685


37,448


1.3,588


8,745


8,365


Nayinda


7,971


8,559


3,807


8,401


2,979


2,828


923


1,828


Darji


3,668


574


908


1,457


511


2,090


734


722


Neyigara


24,492


8,696


8,109


10,224


12,808


6,674


10,236


7,174


Agasa ...


11,447


10,327


10,323


19,435


10,456


13,103


4,186


6,394


Colla


20,430


20,022


38.237


5,445


5,212


3,995


4,149


15,892


Kurul)a ...


41,407


35,304


38,186


115,805


40,730


23,683


26,255


25,398


Ganiga ...


5,909


5,790


3,305


15,634


2,259


547


1,092


1,272


Kunil)ara


4,306


3,962


3,183


16,136


Z^m


3,281


4,oiS


2,610


Uppara ...


1,516


3,127


11,568


34,717


8,566


10,956


10,000


8,673


Sarige ...


10


5




















Besta


8,357


3,910


4,201


59,550


7,628


7,290


4,102


4,859


I\liga


2,569


1,708


5,348


8,450


2,757


10,944


3,882


4,279


Holeya


81,369


57,665


23,616


173,003


87,055


38,000


51,291


8,491


Madiga ...


46,329


39,661


48,324


24,179


11,190


23,043


10,453


37,142



The Panchala, as their name implies, embrace five guilds of artisan.s,
namely, .Agasale, or goldsmiths ; Kanchugara, brass and copper smiths ;
Kammdra, blacksmiths ; Badagi, carpenters ; and Kalkutaka, stone-
masons. They profess to be descended from the five sons of Vis'va-
karma, the architect of the gods, who severally adopted these pro-
fessions. The various trades are not confined to particular families,
but may be followed according to the individual inclination. The
Panchala wear the triple cord and consider themselves equal to the
Brahmans, who, however, deny their pretensions. The goldsmiths are
the recognized heads of the clan and have a caste jurisdiction over the
rest.

The Agasale, or Akkasale proper (63,578), and goldsmith Panchala
(31,958) have also subdivisions called Bailu Akkasale or Rotvad (337),
Pattar or Pattari (747), Oja or Vajar (737), and Jalagara (258), as w^ell
as A'chari, Arava Panchala, Manu, Maya, Panchagrama, Sajjana, Sonar,
Sonajiband, Vaivaghni, Vis'va, Vis'vabrahma, and ^'is'vaghni. Some
are followers of S'iva and others of Vishnu, but the difference in
religion is no bar to intermarriage or social intercourse. The most
influential members are among the S'aivas and wear the linga, but they
do not associate with any other linga-wearers. The Jalagara are the
people who wash the sand of streams for gold. The majority are
returned from Mysore IMstrict.

The Kanchugara (369) or brass and copper smiths are divided
between the Bangalore and Mysore Districts. The section called



ARTISANS 249

Gejjegdra (27) are all in Mysore, These make the small round bells
used for tying about the heads or necks of bullocks. Dancing girls
also bind them to the ankles when dancing, and postal runners have a
bunch at the end of the rod on which they carry the mail bags, the
jingle giving notice of their approach.

The Kammara (6,250) or blacksmiths, include Eailu Kammara,
Ka]lar and Karman. The Kammara is a member of the village cor-
poration, and in addition to working in iron often acts as a carpenter as
well. In the repair of carts and agricultural implements his services
are constantly in demand.

The Badagi (8,643) or carpenters, and Gaundar (3), the latter
confined to the Civil and Military Station of Bangalore, have sections
called Panchachara, Gudigara, S'ilpi and Vis'vakarma. The Badagi is
also a member of the village corporation, but the profession of
carpentry is now taken up by other castes, such as Kunchitiga and
Wokkaliga, not to mention Musalmans. The Gudigara are specially
the producers of the beautiful sandal-wood carving for which the
Mysore country is famous. They are settled in Shimoga District,
chiefly at Sorab. S'ilpi are properly sculptors, and might be classed
among masons.

The Ndyinda or barbers, also called Hajam, include a number of
sections, namely, Balaji, Bajantri, Bengali, Karnata, Kelasi, Konda,
Kondamangala, Mangala, Nata, Natamangala, Reddi, S'ilavanta,
Teluga and Uppina. The Nayinda is a member of the village
corporation. They speak both Kaiinada and Telugu, and are generally
employed as musicians as well as barbers : in the former capacity they
are in great requisition at feasts and marriages. They include wor-
shippers of both Vishnu and S'iva, the S'ilavanta being Lingayits.

'Y\iQ Darji ox tailors, besides 4,817 so returned, include Shimpi or
Chippiga (12), Namdev (3,566) and Rangare (2,269). '^^c latter are
also dyers and calico-printers. The Darji are immigrants from the
Mahratta country and specially worship Vitth6ba or Krishna.

The Neyigdra (86,986) are weavers proper, the G6niga (1,426) being
specially sack weavers and makers of gunny bags {goni). The main
divisions of the former are Devanga (49,006), Togata or Dandasetti
(i3>3oo). '"^dle or Saliga (10,255), Bihmagga (9,946), Seniga (105),
Patvegar (3,174), Khatri (946), and Saurashtraka (254). In these are
included minor sections called Jada, Kuruvina, Padmamurikinati,
Padmasale, Pattasale, Patnulukar, Sakunasale, and Singundi.

The Kannada Devanga are weavers who wear the linga, but they
have no intercourse with the Linga Banajiga. They worship S'iva and
I\irvati, and their son Ganes'a, who is a special patron of their looms.



2 50 ETJIXOGRAPIIY

There arc also 'rdugu Dcvanga, who are of two sects, one of whom
worship Vishnu and the other S'iva, l)ut the latter do not wear the
linga. This difference of religion is no bar to intermarriage, and the
wife adopts the religion of her husband. The Togata, most numerous
in the eastern Districts, are of Telugu origin and worshippers of S'iva
in the form of his consort Chaudes'vari. They manufacture the
coarse kinds of cloth that are worn only by the poorer classes. The
Sdle or Saliga are also Telugu by origin, and comprise the Padmasale
or Pattasale, who are worshippers of Vishnu, and the S'akunasale, who
arc worshippers of S'iva and wear the linga. The two sects do not
intermarry. The Bilimagga, most numerous in Mysore District, call
themselves Kuruvina Banajiga, and regard the former designation as
a nickname. They are an indigenous caste and speak Kannada :
worshippers of S'iva. The Seniga, confined to Kolar and Bangalore
Districts, are a wealthy caste of weavers, immigrants from the lower
Carnatic, and speak Kannada. They specially manufacture cloths for
female wear, of superior kind and high value. They are Lingayits by
religion, but are not friendly with the other Lingayits.

The Patvegar, of whom the majority are in Bangalore District, are
silk weavers and speak a language allied to Mahratti. They worship
all the Hindu deities, but especially the S'akti or female energy, to
which a goat is sacrificed on the night of the Dasara festival, a
Musalman officiating as slaughterer, for which he receives certain fees.
After the sacrifice the family of the Patvegar partake of the flesh.
The caste have the reputation of not being over cleanly in their habits.
The Khatri, all but two being in the Bangalore District, are also silk
weavers, and in manners, customs and language are akin to the
Patvegars, but do not intermarry with them, though the two castes eat
together. They claim to be Kshatriyas. The Saurashtraka, commonly
known as Patnuli or J^'inikhanvala, are, all but 7, in the Bangalore Dis-
trict. They manufacture superior kinds of cotton and woollen carpets,
and also shawls of cotton and silk mixture. They are worshippers of
Vishnu.

The Gbniga (1,205), ^^ already described above, are sack weavers.
More than a half are in the Bangalore District. Other divisions are
Janapa (32) and Sadhuvams'astha (189), the latter all in Tumkur
District. Some are agriculturists, and some grain porters.

The Agasa or Asaga are washermen. They are divided into
Kannada Agasa and Telugu Agasa, who neither eat together nor
intermarry. But there are numerous subdivisions, named Belli,
Dhobi, Halemakkalu, Iraganti Madivali, Kapusakalavadu, Madivali,
Morasu, Murikinati, Padata, Sakalavadu, Tamil and Vannan. The



ARTISANS 251

Agasa IS a member of the village corporation and his office is
hereditary. Besides washing he bears the torch in public processions
and at marriages. The class seldom follow any other profes-
sion than that of washing. Both men and women wash. Their
proper beasts of burthen are asses, and these are sometimes employed
in carrying grain from one place to another. Their principal object
of worship is Ubbe, the steam which causes the garments to swell out
in the pot of boiling water in which dirty clothes are steeped.
Animals are sacrificed to the god with the view of preventing the
clothes being burnt in the Ubbe pot. Under the name of Bhume
Deva there are temples dedicated to this god in some large towns,
the services being conducted by pujaris of the Agasa caste. They
also worship \"ishnu and other gods. Their gurus are Satanis.

The Golla are cowherds and dairymen. The Kadu or forest Golla
(21,820) are distinct from the U'ru or town (lolla (15,618) and other
(lolla (82,357) who belong to villages, and the two neither eat together
nor intermarry. The subivisions of the caste are very numerous and
are returned as follows : — Alia, Arava, Bokkasada, Bigamudre,
Chapprada, Ch61iya, Doddi, Edaiyar, Gauli or Kachche (lauli, Gaulbans,
Gayakavadi, G6pala, Gudejangaliga, Halu, Jambala, Kankar, Kannada,
Karadi, Karma, Karne, Kavadiga, Kempu, Kilari, Kolalu, Konar,
Kuduchappara, Kuri, Mande, Nalla, Namadakula, Nayi, Pata, Pata-
yadavalu, Puja, Punagu, Piiri, Raja, Salja, Sambdra, Sonnan, Svari,
Tellapusala, Telugu, Yadayar, Yakula, and Yadavakula. They worship
Krishna, who is said to have been born in the caste. Formerly they,
or a section of them, were largely employed in transporting money,
both public and private, from one part of the country to another, and
are said to have been famed for their integrity in such matters. From
this circumstance they are also called Dhanapdla or treasury guards.
The Kadu Golla are mostly in Tumkur District, and a good many in
Chitaldroog District. They live in thatched huts outside villages and
are inclined to be nomadic. vSome of their customs resemble those
of the Kddu Kuruba.

The Kuruba are shepherds and weavers of blankets or camblets
{kainbli). The Kddu Kuruba have already been noticed under forest
and hill tribes. The remaining great body of the civilized are divided
into two tribes, the Hande Kuruba and Kuruba proper, who have no
intercourse with one another. The latter worship Bire Devaru and
are Sivites. Their priests are Brahmans and Jogis. The caste also
worship a box, which they believe contains the wearing apparel of
Krishna, under the name of Junjappa. The subdivisions of the caste
are Bane, Banige, Banni, BelH, Bi'rappana A\'okkalu, Bydlada,



252 ETffNOGRAJ'JIY

(laiujakula, Ilalc, I lalh', 1 hilu, Hcggade, Hosa, Jadi, Jattedcvara,
Kanibali, Kanakaiyanajati, Kannacja, Kenchala, Kotta, Kuri, Maji,
Majjana, Majjige, Pata, S'ale, Sdvanti, Suggala, and Toppala. 'I'he Halu
Kuruba (191,087), Hande Kuruba (7,944), and Kambali Kuruba (7,792),
are mostly weavers of kamblis. Tarts of Chitaldroog and the town of
KoLar are noted for the manufacture of a superior kind of a fine
texture Hke homespun. The women spin wool.

The Ganiga are oilpressers and oilmongers. They are known by
different names, according to the special customs of their trade, sucli
as Hegganiga, those who yoke two oxen to the stone oil-mill ;
Kiruganiga (principally in Mysore District), those who make oil in
wooden mills ; Wontiyettu Ganiga, those who use only one bullock in
the mill. They are also known collectively as Jdtipana or Jotinagara,
the light-giving tribe. The other subdivisions are Kannada, Telugu and
Setti. There is a small section called Sajjana, who wear the linga and
have no intercourse with the others. But the caste generally includes
worshippers both of Vishnu and Siva.

The Kumbdra are potters and tile-makers, and members of the
village corporation. Of the two main divisions of Kannada and
Telugu, the former claim to be superior. The subdivisions are
Gaudakula, Gundikula, Kos'ava, Kulala, Navige, S'alivahana, Tamil
and Vadama.

The Uppdra or saltmakers are so called chiefly in the eastern
Districts ; in the southern they are called Uppaliga and in the western
Melusakkare. There are two classes, the Kannada and the Telugu.
The former are principally engaged in making earth-salt, and the latter
as bricklayers and builders. The well to-do or Sreshtha also undertake
public works on contract and the erection of ordinary Hindu houses.
They are both Vishnuites and S'lvites.

The small body of Sarige or gold-lace makers are Rachevar by caste.
They are all in the Bangalore and Kolar Districts.

The Besta are fishermen, boatmen and palanquin-bearers. This is
their designation principally in the east ; in the south they are called
Toreya, Ambiga and Parivara ; in the west Kabyara and Ciange-
makkalu. Those who speak Telugu call themselves Bhoyi. There
are some other smaller sections of inferior rank, named Belli,
Bhoja, Chammadi, Kabbaliga, Palaki, Palyapat, Rayaravuta and
Sunnakallu. The latter are lime-burners, Many of the females are
cotton-spinners and some of the men are weavers of cloth. There are
also some in the employment of Government as peons and in other
capacities. jNIost of the caste are worshippers of Siva.

The Ti/iga are toddy-drawers, their hereditary occupation being to



OUTCASTES 253

extract the juice of palm-trees and to distil si^irits from it. In the
Malnad they are known as Halepaika (15,000), and were formerly
employed as soldiers under the local rulers. Many of them are now in
household service. Most of them also hold land, and are agriculturist.s.
The other subdivisions are Bilva, Devar, Sigroyidalu, Telugu Sanar,
Tenginahdle. They worship all the Hindu deities, as well as S'aktis,
and especially the pots containing toddy.

The Holeya and Mddiga form the great body of outcastes. The
former have already been described above (p. 215). These, in addi-
tion to their duties as village watchmen, scouts and scavengers, are
employed as field-hands, and in all kinds of manual labour. They also
make various kinds of coarse cotton or woollen cloths in hand-looms,
while the Aleman furnish recruits for the Barr sepoy regiments. There
are two tribes, Kannada and Telugu Holeya, who eat together but do
not intermarry. Their subdivisions are very numerous, but the follow-
ing are said to be the principal ones :— Kannada, Gangadikara,
Maggada, Morasu, Telugu, Tigula and Tamil Holeya or Pareya. The
minor sections are Agani, Aleman, Balagai, Bellikula, Bhiimi, Chakra,
Chalavadi, Chambula, Chavana, Chillaravar, Dasari, Collate, Jhadmali,
Jintra, Joti, Kalu, Karnataka, Kapu, Konga, Kurupatte, L6k6ttara-
pareya, Madya, Mala, Masalu, ]\Iattige, Nagaru, Nallar, Pale, Pa]li,
Panne, Pasali, Rampada, Roppada, vSambu, Sangu, Sara, S'idlukula,
S6mes'a, Tanga, Tangaja, Tirukula, Tude, T6ti, Uggranada, Vadaga,
Valange, Yanne, ^'arka, Velagi, Vellala, Va]luvar, Veluva, Vanniyar,
Vi'rabhagna and A'lrasambu.

They are regarded as unclean by the four principal castes, and
particularly by the Brahmans. In the rural parts, especially, when a
Holeya has to deliver anything to a Brahman, he places it on the
ground and retires to a distance, and when meeting one in a street or
road he endeavours to get away as far as possible. Brahmans and
Holeyas mutually avoid passing through the quarters they respectively
occupy in the villages, and a wilful transgression in this respect, if it
did not create a riot, would make purification necessary, and that not
only on the part of the higher caste but even on the part of the lower.



Online LibraryB. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) RiceMysore: a gazetteer compiled for government (Volume 1) → online text (page 30 of 98)