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"Kanni-Mangala" : a microcosm of Coorg identity toward an alternative interpretation and analysis of… Owsanecki, Peter Franz 1984

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c  (  "KANNI-MANGAIA" : A MICROCOSM OF COORG IDENTITY Toward a n a l t e r n a t i v e I n t e r p r e t a t i o n and A n a l y s i s o f t h e Coorg M a r r i a g e Ceremony by P e t e r F r a n z Owsanecki B.A., The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia,  1982  A THESIS SUBMITTED I N PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Anthropology)  We a c c e p t , t h i s t h e s i s a s c o n f o r m i n g to the required  standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA F e b r u a r y 1984  (c) P e t e r F r a n z Owsanecki, 1984  -1  In p r e s e n t i n g requirements  this thesis f o r an  of  British  it  freely available  agree t h a t  in partial  advanced degree a t  Columbia,  Library  shall  for reference  and  study.  I  f o r extensive copying of  understood that for  h i s or  be  her  g r a n t e d by  f i n a n c i a l gain  the  s h a l l not  be  of  further this  this  It  P e t e r F. Owsanecki )  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date  DE-6  (3/81)  March 5 t h , 1984  Columbia  my  thesis  a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my  ANTHROPOLOGY AND SOCIOLOGY .  thesis  is  permission.  Department of  make  head o f  representatives.  copying or p u b l i c a t i o n  the  University  the  f o r s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may by  the  I agree that  permission  department or  f u l f i l m e n t of  written  A B S T R A C T S r i n i v a s , who has w r i t t e n t h e o n l y a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l monograph on t h e Coorgs o f S o u t h I n d i a , p r o p o s e s t h a t t h e y a r e " s a n s k r i t i z e d " , t h a t i s , t h a t t h e y a d o p t e d H i n d u c o n c e p t s and b e l i e f s i n o r d e r t o r a i s e t h e i r r e l i g i o u s and s o c i a l s t a t u s t o t h a t o f t h e K s h a t r i y a - V a r n a .  Conceptualizing the  m a r r i a g e ceremony a s a "microcosm" o f Coorg i d e n t i t y , t h i s t h e s i s a r g u e s for  t h e i r "multiple" r e a l i t y i n which aspects o f a d i s t i n c t ethnic i d e n t i -  t y a r e combined w i t h a l i m i t e d s e t o f adopted i d e o l o g i c a l n o t i o n s f r o m H i n duism. Based on t h e s t r u c t u r a l l y opposed c o n c e p t s o f " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " and " e t h n i c i d e n t i t y " t h e Coorg m a r r i a g e ceremony i s a n a l y z e d a c c o r d i n g t o f o u r " s y m b o l i c complexes"  (cosmic c o n n e c t i o n s , w a r r i o r / r u l e r a t t i t u d e s ,  f a r m e r / h o u s e h o l d e r symbolism and e x p r e s s i o n s o f k i n - r e l a t i o n s ) w h i c h , i n t u r n , a r e s e e n as r e p l i c a t i o n s o f t h e make-up o f Coorg s o c i a l s t r u c ture. I t i s a r g u e d t h a t Coorg r e l i g i o u s symbolism  d i s p l a y s a mix between  two a b s t r a c t n o t i o n s o f o r d e r : t h a t o f " r e s p e c t " , d e f i n i n g c u l t u r e s p e c i f i c e x p r e s s i o n s o f s o c i o - r e l i g i o u s a c t i o n s and t h a t o f " p u r i t y " , u s e d a s a means t o v i s u a l i z e r i t u a l and w i t h i t , s o c i e t a l s t a t u s w i t h r e s p e c t t o o u t s i d e H i n d u communities.  F u r t h e r , t h i s t h e s i s argues t h a t  s y m b o l i c r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s o f power and a u t h o r i t y o u t w e i g h t h o s e w h i c h d e a l w i t h r e l i g i o u s n o t i o n s , thus emphasizing the s p e c i f i c  "character"  o f Coorg s o c i a l i d e n t i t y , a s a group o f w a r r i o r s and landowners who more i m p o r t a n c e t o t h e maintenance and p e r p e t u a t i o n o f t h e i r  attach  intra-cultural  r i t u a l and s o c i a l s o l i d a r i t y t h a n t o a s p e c t s o f i n t e g r a t i o n w i t h i n t h e H i n d u  -iiifold.  However, t h e Coorgs a d o p t e d a l i m i t e d number o f H i n d u c o n c e p t s  and b e l i e f s i n o r d e r t o enhance t h e i r p o l i t i c o - e c o n o m i c p o s s i b i l i t i e s with regard to socio-religious sequence,  they  s t a t u s and m a t e r i a l w e a l t h .  As a c o n -  d e v e l o p e d a " d u a l i s t i c " i d e n t i t y w h i c h a l l o w s them  t o o p e r a t e on an e x t e n d e d , b i l a t e r a l l e v e l o f u n d e r s t a n d i n g . The t h e s i s c o n c l u d e s w i t h some remarks on t h e a p p l i c a b i l i t y o f i n t e r p r e t i n g the s o c i o - c u l t u r a l  r e a l i t y o f Coorgs f r o m a " H i n d u - c e n t r i c " p o i n t  o f v i e w and a r g u e s f o r t h e n e c e s s i t y o f a l t e r n a t i v e s t u d y o f non-mainstream H i n d u  societies.  approaches t o w a r d t h e  -ivT A B L E  OF  C O N T E N T S  ABSTRACT  i i  ACKNOWLFJDGEMENTS INTRODUCTION: A. B. C. D. E.  v i i Foreword Methodological Remarks The Ethnographic Data "Sanskritization" Reviewed The "Kanni-Mangala": An Overview  1 4 9 14 26  CHAPTER I: THE COSMIC CONNECTION. A. Prologue 39 B. Cosmic Connections Reflected i n the "K-M"... 40 C. Summary 58 CHAPTER I I : WARRIOR/RULER ATTITUDES. A. Prologue B. Coorg Notions o f Power Reflected C. Summary  60 62 81  CHAPTER I I I : FARMER/HOUSEHOLDER SYMBOLISM. A. Prologue B. Aspects o f Growth and Prosperity C. Summary  83 86 94  CHAPTER TV: THE KINSMAN A. Prologue B. Kin-Symbolism within the "Kanni-Mangala" C. Summary  96 99 110  CHAPTER V: COMPARATIVE IMPLICATIONS A. Prologue B. The Karnataka Brahmin Marriage Ceremony C. Comparative Analysis C i . Resemblances C i i . Differences C i i i . Discussion  112 114 130 133 137 141  CONCLUSION  148  FOOTNOTES  150  BIBLIOGRAPHY  160  -vL I S T  OF  T A B L E S  TABLE A - M e t h o d o l o g i c a l F l o w - C h a r t  7  TABLE B - S y m b o l i c Complexes w i t h i n t h e "Kanni-Mangala"  33  TABLE C - Cosmic C o n n e c t i o n s M a g n i f i e d  42  TABLE D - E x t e n s i o n o f MURTA  52  TABLE E - Coorg Power E x p r e s s i o n s  63  TABLE F - G r o w t h / P r o s p e r i t y Symbolism  87  TABLE G - K i n - S y m b o l i s m TABLE H - S y m b o l i c Codes w i t h i n t h e K a r n a t a k a Brahmin TABLE I - C o r r e l a t i o n o f "segments o f e x a m i n a t i o n "  101 weddingl20 132  -viLIST  OF  FIGURES  FIGURE 1: The Structural Make-Up of the "Kanni-Mangala"  37  FIGURE 2: Cosmic Connection through MURTA  46  FIGURE 3: The Structural Make-Up of the Brahmanic wedding...129 FIGURE 4: Aspects of "Sanskritization" vs "Ethnic Identity".142 FIGURE 5: Coorg "Multiple Reality"; A Scheme  147  -vii-  A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S  I w i s h t o t h a n k t h e members o f my committee, D r . Ken B u r r i d g e , D r . E l v i W h i t t a k e r a n d Dr. Judy Pugh f o r t h e i r g u i d a n c e and s u p p o r t d u r i n g t h e w r i t i n g o f my t h e s i s .  I am g r a t e f u l t o Dr. Brenda Beck f o r h e r h e l p i n t h e i n i t i a l  p e r i o d o f c o n c e p t u a l i z i n g and e x p l i c a t i n g t h i s work. I a l s o would l i k e t o t h a n k my c o l l e a g u e s and f r i e n d s f o r t h e i r i n t e r e s t , empathy and p a t i e n c e . I want t o acknowledge t h e a s s i s t a n c e o f Maureen Braam, who was k i n d enough t o t y p e much o f t h e f i n a l copy o f t h i s t h e s i s . Dr. I.M. Muthanna was i n s t r u m e n t a l i n p r o v i d i n g me w i t h v a l u a b l e i n f o r m a t i o n o n t h e Coorgs; my t h a n k s t o him. F i n a l l y and most i m p o r t a n t l y , I would l i k e t o thank my p a r e n t s :  with-  o u t t h e i r l o v e a n d s u p p o r t I would n o t have been a b l e t o do t h i s work.  INTRODUCTION  A.  FOREWORD:  The  t o p i c o f t h i s t h e s i s r e f l e c t s a p r o b l e m t h a t I was f o r c e d t o  c o n s i d e r i n t h e c o u r s e o f my l i b r a r y r e s e a r c h on t h e Coorgs o f S o u t h India:  i t was t h e p r o b l e m o f u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h e i r s o c i o - c u l t u r a l r e a l i t y  b o t h i n terms o f t h e i r i d e n t i t y a s a n e t h n i c g r o u p , and i n terms o f t h e i r a f f i l i a t i o n w i t h t h e H i n d u c a s t e system.  The o b j e c t i v e o f my  r e s e a r c h d e r i v e d f r o m y e t a n o t h e r p r o b l e m t h a t I e n c o u n t e r e d when s t u d y i n g t h e e t h n o g r a p h i c m a t e r i a l on t h e C o o r g s :  although there are  some d a t a d e s c r i b i n g t h e i r r e c o r d e d h i s t o r y , s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n , e c o n omy, a n d r e l i g i o n , o n l y M.N. S r i n i v a s a t t e m p t e d t o d e t e r m i n e t h e i r s o c i o - c u l t u r a l p o s i t i o n w i t h i n t h e wider Hindu context.  I n h i s mono-  g r a p h R e l i g i o n and S o c i e t y among t h e Coorgs o f S o u t h I n d i a (1952), he p r o p o s e d t h a t t h e Coorgs c a n be c o n s i d e r e d t h e y , i n f a c t , c l a i m t o be K s h a t r i y a s .  a s c a s t e Hindus and t h a t  Although o r i g i n a l l y outside t h e  H i n d u f o l d , t h e Coorgs "adopted" H i n d u c u l t u r e and r e l i g i o n i n o r d e r t o r a i s e t h e i r s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l s t a t u s t o t h e p r e s e n t p o s i t i o n . The o l d e r s o u r c e s , however, do n o t m e n t i o n t h i s f a c t .  Moreover,  t h e y s t a t e t h a t Coorg c u l t u r e and s o c i e t y was v e r y d i f f e r e n t f r o m t h a t o f t h e i r n e i g h b o u r s and t h a t t h e y had formed a c l o s e d c u l t u r a l u n i t t h a t s t r e s s e d t h e maintenance o f t h e i r own s o c i o - c u l t u r a l r e a l i t y a s w e l l a s t h e i r r e l i g i o n despite the influence of outside forces  (see:  Connor 1870,  -2Pd.ce 1878, and Richter 1870).  7After checking the more recent sources  (Census of India 1901, 1931, 1941, 1971; Mysore State Gazetteer Iyer 1948; Muthanna 1953, 1974,  1982  1965;  (private interviews); Subbayya 1978;  and several a r t i c l e s i n the "Indian A n t i q u i t y " ) , I found that the Coorgs were never d i r e c t l y c l a s s i f i e d as a caste, but frequently^ references were made "as to t h e i r c u l t u r a l d i s t i n c t n e s s . I t seems that Srinivas' i n t e r p r e t a t i o n was influenced by h i s subj e c t i v e epistemology  (he i s a Brahmin himself), and, t o some extent,  coloured by h i s attempt to superimpose the (Radcliffe-Brownian) functional paradigm onto Coorg data.  Resulting from h i s analysis of Coorg r e l i g i o n  and society, he introduced, besides other things, the concept of "Sanskritization".  He proposed tnat the Coorgs were a t y p i c a l example of t h i s  process and stated that t h e i r r e a l i t y resembled, to a great extent, "sanskrit i c Hindu" c u l t u r a l and r e l i g i o u s conceptions. Concentrating my own research on the re-study of the ethnographic material on the Coorgs, I discovered several weaknesses i n Srinivas' approach.  This l e d me to attempt a new formulation of Coorg r e a l i t y i n  order to avoid "Hindu-centric" notions when t r y i n g to understand society.  For me,  this  the Coorgs are not necessarily a t y p i c a l example of a  "sanskritized" society; instead, they seem to display c l e a r tendencies of ethnic behavior, and to base t h e i r s o c i o - c u l t u r a l r e a l i t y more on aspects of t h e i r own t r a d i t i o n a l cosmology and s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l independence than on aspects of Hindu world-view.  Moreover, when they d i d adopt Hindu concepts,  a modification of these concepts allowed them to maintain t h e i r own  societal  norms as w e l l , and to thus broaden t h e i r c u l t u r a l and r i t u a l p o s i t i o n within the South Indian context.  -3As a f i r s t s t e p toward an a l t e r n a t i v e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f Coorg r e a l i t y I chose t o t a k e t h e i r m a r r i a g e ceremony under c l o s e s c r u t i n y .  I t can  be argued t o r e f l e c t Coorg w o r l d - v i e w i n t h e f o r m o f a s y m b o l i c "microcosm". In.all  t h e e t h n o g r a p h i c a c c o u n t s t h a t I have s t u d i e d , t h e s o - c a l l e d " K a n n i -  Mangala"  ( V i r g i n M a r r i a g e ) i s t h e most f r e q u e n t l y m e n t i o n e d c u l t u r a l i n s t i -  t u t i o n w i t h i n Coorg s o c i e t y .  Y e t , t h i s ceremony has n e v e r been i n t e r p r e t e d  o r a n a l y s e d by an a n t h r o p o l o g i s t t o any c o n s i d e r a b l e d e g r e e . T h i s t h e s i s i n v e s t i g a t e s t h e Coorg m a r r i a g e ceremony i n d e t a i l and p r o v i d e s a q u a s i " m i c r o s c o p i c v i e w " as t o how t h e Coorgs s y m b o l i c a l l y e x p r e s s t h e i r r e a l i t y i n terms o f t h e i r a f f i l i a t i o n t o a d i s t i n c t s e t o f c u l t u r a l norms and how t h e s e norms r e f l e c t t h e i r e t h n i c i d e n t i t y as w e l l as H i n d u cosmology a t l a r g e . The i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and a n a l y s i s o f t h e Coorg m a r r i a g e ceremony  should  g e n e r a t e i n f e r e n c e s a b o u t t h e u n d e r l y i n g s t r u c t u r e and t h e s y m b o l i c e x p r e s s i o n s c o n t a i n e d i n t h i s "microcosm".  This, i n turn, w i l l lead to  new d e d u c t i o n s as t o where t h e Coorgs a r e p o s i t i o n e d w i t h i n t h e S o u t h Indian c u l t u r a l mosaic.  I n a d d i t i o n , t h i s a p p r o a c h a v o i d s t h e superimpo-  s i t i o n o f a p r e - f a b r i c a t e d t h e o r e t i c a l and c o n c e p t u a l framework.  I t uses  a l l a v a i l a b l e d a t a w h i c h r e f l e c t t h e s p e c i f i c ways i n w h i c h t h e Coorgs e x p r e s s t h e i r own s o c i o - c u l t u r a l p o s i t i o n by r e f e r e n c e t o t h e s y m b o l i c r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s encoded i n t h e i r m a r r i a g e ceremony.  -4B.  METHODOLOGICAL REMARKS:  The t h e o r e t i c a l framework o f t h i s t h e s i s i s b a s e d o n two competing propositions,  (a) S r i n i v a s , who a r g u e s f o r t h e " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " o f 1  t h e C o o r g s , and (b) my own, s t r e s s i n g t h a t t h e Coorgs m a i n t a i n e d and extended t h e i r e t h n i c i d e n t i t y through t h e adoption o f " u s e f u l " Hindu c o n c e p t s , b u t t r a n s f o r m e d • them i n o r d e r t o e n s u r e t h e i r own p o l i t i c o economic s u p e r i o r i t y i n Coorg d i s t r i c t .  The i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and a n a l y s i s  o f t h e Coorg m a r r i a g e ceremony v i e w e d a s a c u l t u r a l "microcosm" s h o u l d y i e l d r e s u l t s w h i c h c a n be u s e d t o d e t e r m i n e t h e r e l a t i v e v a l i d i t y  of  both propositions. "Sanskritization" i s defined, according t o Srinivas the attempt o f r i t u a l l y i n f e r i o r groups i n s i d e  (1952: 30) a s  (and/or o u t s i d e ) H i n d u i s m  t o r a i s e t h e i r s t a t u s b y becoming h i g h e r c a s t e s , t h r o u g h t h e a d o p t i o n of " S a n s k r i t i c Hindu concepts". "Ethnic i d e n t i t y " i s defined as a term which r e f e r s t o t h e notion o f m a i n t a i n i n g c u l t u r e - s p e c i f i c emblemsj s u c h a s r e l i g i o n , s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n , customs, and language i n o r d e r t o e n s u r e d i s t i n c t c u l t u r a l boundaries w i t h n e i g h b o u r i n g communities.  I n t h i s context, then, the  c o n c e p t s o f " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " and " E t h n i c I d e n t i t y " a r e seen a s s t r u c t u r a l o p p o s i t i o n s b a s e d on t h e dichotomy o f " r i t u a l s t a t u s " ( t h e a d o p t i o n o f Brahman r i t u a l s — world-view —  and w i t h i t , Brahman cosmology and  w i t h o u t m o d i f i c a t i o n ) , and " n o n - r e l i g i o u s  (secular)  power" ( t h r o u g h t h e c o n s c i o u s r e f u s a l t o adopt Brahman r i t u a l s , o r t h e i r adoption w i t h obvious m o d i f i c a t i o n s ) .  -5The d i s t i n c t i o n between " s a n s k r i t i c " and " e t h n i c " p r o c e s s e s w h i c h o p e r a t e on a b i l a t e r a l , i n t e r c u l t u r a l l e v e l d i s p l a y s i t s c o n t r a s t i v e expressions through the p r o p o s i t i o n which d e f i n e s " s a n s k r i t i c behaviour" a s t h e s h a r e d i n t e r and i n t r a - c a s t e i d e n t i t y w i t h i n H i n d u i d e o l o g y ( g e n e r a l l y b a s e d on t h e n o t i o n o f h i e r a r c h y encompassed by t h e p u r i t y / p o l l u t i o n c o n c e p t ) and w h i c h s e e s " e t h n i c b e h a v i o u r " as d i s p l a y i n g a d i s t i n c t group i d e n t i t y i n r e l a t i o n t o t h e s u r r o u n d i n g (encompassing) i d e n t i t i e s and v a l u e s o f t h e n e i g h b o u r i n g c u l t u r e .  Ethnic behaviour  i s seen h e r e a s a r e s p o n s e t o t h e c u l t u r a l s t a n d a r d s o f t h e macro (Hindu) c u l t u r e w h i c h a r e n o t ( o r o n l y p a r t i a l l y ) a p p r e c i a t e d i n a p a r t i c u l a r sub-milieu. I n t h i s s e n s e , t h e t e r m " t r a n s f o r m a t i o n " becomes c r u c i a l t o my a n a l y s i s , f o r i t d e t e r m i n e s t h e c a t e g o r i z a t i o n o f Coorg m a r r i a g e r i t e s t o e i t h e r t h e " s a n s k r i t i c " , o r t o t h e " e t h n i c " complex:  the higher  t h e degree o f m o d i f i c a t i o n and t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f a g i v e n " e x a m i n a t i o n unit"  ( = a r e c o g n i z e d r i t u a l segment o f t h e m a r r i a g e ceremony) i n  r e s p e c t t o a Hindu " c o n t r o l u n i t " , the b e t t e r the evidence f o r p r o p o s i tion  (b) ( = " E t h n i c I d e n t i t y " ) and v i c e v e r s a . A t t h i s p o i n t , I w o u l d l i k e t o i n t r o d u c e a number o f c o n t r o l -  v a r i a b l e s , w h i c h w i l l h e l p t o c l a r i f y my d i s c u s s i o n i n t h e f o r t h c o m i n g d a t a - c h a p t e r s , as w e l l as o u t l i n e t h e q u a l i t a t i v e t e s t i n g p r o c e d u r e w h i c h I c o n d u c t i n C h a p t e r V. C o n c e p t u a l i z i n g t h e "Kanni-Mangala" as b e i n g t h e c a r r i e r o f c u l t u r e s p e c i f i c s t a t e m e n t s w h i c h s e r v e t o r e i n f o r c e t r a d i t i o n a l l y approved manif e s t a t i o n s o f r e a l i t y , i t s h o u l d be p o s s i b l e t o make i t t h e s u b j e c t o f a "micro-ethnography" o f Coorg c u l t u r e .  S i n c e i t i s my  objective  -6-  u l t i m a t e l y t o deduce p a t t e r n s o f Coorg i d e n t i t y w h i c h a r e encoded i n t h e "Kanni-Mangala", i t seems t o be a s e n s i b l e t a s k t o o r g a n i z e t h e i n v e s t i g a t i o n a c c o r d i n g t o " s y m b o l i c complexes" w h i c h r e p l i c a t e t h e b a s i c make-up o f Coorg s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e .  Consequently,  I selected  f o u r s u c h "complexes" f r o m t h e e t h n o g r a p h i c m a t e r i a l a v a i l a b l e , and d e a l w i t h e a c h one i n a d i f f e r e n t c h a p t e r .  The f o u r complexes a r e  defined as f o l l o w s : (1)  THE COSMIC CONNECTION (Chapter I ) ; d e a l s w i t h c e r e m o n i a l r e f e r e n c e s t o v i t a l f o r c e s and e s s e n c e s , a s p e c t s o f r e f i n e ment and p u r i f i c a t i o n , t h e s e p a r a t i o n o f t h e mundane from t h e c o s m i c , and a l l o t h e r p h i l o s o p h i c a l m a t t e r s c o n c e r n i n g t h e r e l a t i o n o f man t o e x t e r n a l f o r c e s .  (.2) WARRIOR/RULER ATTITUDES (Chapter I I ) ; d e a l s w i t h r e f e r e n c e s t o t h e c o n c e p t o f power ( f i g h t i n g a b i l i t y , t e r r i t o r i a l dominance) , and t h e g e n e r a l s o c i a l s t a t u s and o t h e r m a t t e r s r e l a t e d t o t h e Coorg's p o l i t i c a l and h i e r a r c h i c a l r o l e i n t h e district. (3)  FARMER/HOUSEHOLDER SYMBOLISM (Chapter I I I ) ; r e l a t e s t o a s p e c t s o f p r o s p e r i t y , abundance, g r o w t h , and p r o d u c t i v i t y . I t d e a l s w i t h r e f e r e n c e s t o a g r i c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t i e s and r e f e r e n c e s t o t h e h o u s e h o l d u n i t , h o u s e h o l d space and o t h e r a s s o c i a t e d r o l e s .  (4)  THE KINSMAN (Chapter I V ) ; r e f e r s t o k i n - t e r r i t o r i e s , k i n - g r o u p s , d e s c e n t , a n d t h e need t o s h a r e o r h e l p p e r s o n s i n such c a t e g o r i e s . A f t e r r e l a t i n g e a c h o f t h e c e r e m o n i a l a c t i o n s , e v e n t s , and o b j e c t s ,  etc.  (the " r i t u a l segments" i . e . "segments o f e x a m i n a t i o n " )  t o one  (or more) o f t h e " s y m b o l i c complexes" a s d e f i n e d above, I c r e a t e  a  d a t a - b a s e s u f f i c i e n t f o r d e t a i l e d i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and a n a l y s i s .  The  r e s u l t s w i l l t h e n be compared w i t h a t y p i c a l brahmanic m a r r i a g e  ceremony  ( t h a t o f t h e K a r n a t a k a Brahmins), i n o r d e r t o u n d e r l i n e r e s e m b l a n c e s (adoption without m o d i f i c a t i o n = evidence f o r t h e " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " o f t h e s e a s p e c t s o f Coorg marriage)., d i f f e r e n c e s ( a d o p t i o n w i t h o b v i o u s m o d i f i c a t i o n s o r r e f u s a l t o adopt c e r t a i n Brahman r i t u a l s a l t o g e t h e r  -7= evidence f o r c u l t u r e - s p e c i f i c expressions i n the  "Kanni-Mangala"),  and, f i n a l l y , t o d i s c u s s p o s s i b l e t r a n s f o r m a t i o n s w h i c h d e t e r m i n e  the  degree o f e t h n i c i d e n t i t y v i s - a - v i s t h e brahmanic model. F o r t h e p u r p o s e o f t e s t i n g t h e v a r i a b i l i t y o f t h e "segments o f e x a m i n a t i o n " w i t h i n t h e Coorg m a r r i a g e ceremony i n r e l a t i o n t o t h e m a r r i a g e ceremony o f t h e K a r n a t a k a Brahmins, I assume t h a t t h e r e s u l t s o f t h i s a n a l y s i s can be d e f i n e d a s b e i n g symptomatic, t h a t i s , f o r other h i g h - c a s t e Hindu ccmnunities i n South I n d i a . any d e v i a t i o n f r o m t h e " c u l t u r a l  normative,  I n o t h e r words,  (Hindu) norm" can be i n t e r p r e t e d as  the " r a t i o o f d i g r e s s i o n from the Hindu idiom".  Srinivas  1  proposition  o f t h e " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " o f t h e Coorgs s u g g e s t s , i n t h i s c o n t e x t , t h a t t h e i r " r a t i o o f d i g r e s s i o n " i s low.  T h i s means t h a t he a s s e r t s t h a t t h e  Coorgs a d o p t e d h i g h - c a s t e H i n d u cosmology and i d e o l o g y t o a c o n s i d e r a b l e extent.  My p r o p o s i t i o n o f Coorg c u l t u r a l d i s t i n c t i v e n e s s , on t h e o t h e r  hand, f a v o r s a " h i g h d i g r e s s i o n r a t i o " , t h a t i s , i f t h e Coorg a d o p t e d brahamic (or g e n e r a l l y Hindu) c o n c e p t s , t h e y m o d i f i e d and  transformed  them i n o r d e r t o " f i t " i n t o t h e i r d i s t i n c t r e a l i t y . The t e s t i n g o f b o t h p r o p o s i t i o n s a g a i n s t t h e r e s u l t s o f t h e d a t a c h a p t e r s s h o u l d p r o v i d e us w i t h a " p r o b a b i l i t y - r a t i o " o f t h e i r " f i t " w i t h r e g a r d t o t h e " n o r m a t i v e " H i n d u model.  relative  Table A provides a  " f l o w c h a r t " o f t h e development, d i s c u s s i o n , and t e s t i n g o f b o t h p r o p o s i t i o n s on t h e example o f t h e "Kanni-Mangala": TABLE A.: STEP I :  Methodological  "Flow-chart"  S r i n i v a s ' p r o p o s i t i o n o f " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " (put f o r e w o r d i n h i s Coorg book) i s c o n t e s t e d by my p r o p o s i t i o n o f Coorg " e t h n i c i d e n t i t y " ( f o r m u l a t e d f r o m a d d i t i o n a l e v i dence found i n t h e e t h n o g r a p h i c m a t e r i a l ) . SELECTION OF ETHNOGRAPHIC DATA-BASE FOR DISCUSSION, ANALYSIS, AND TEST OF BOTH PROPOSITIONS.  -8STEP I I : The Coorg "Kanni-Mangala" i s chosen f o r q u a l i t a t i v e a n a l y s i s . A number o f r i t u a l segments o f t h e l a r g e r wedding p r o c e e d i n g s ("segments o f e x a m i n a t i o n " ) a r e used as t h e u n i t s o f a n a l y s i s . F o r c o m p a r a t i v e p u r poses a randomly s e l e c t e d sample o f a h i g h - c a s t e H i n d u m a r r i a g e ceremony ( t h a t o f t h e n e i g h b o u r i n g K a r n a t a k a Brahmins) i s a n a l y s e d s i m u l t a n e o u s l y ( i n C h a p t e r V) . CONTROLLED UNDER THE FOUR "SYMBOLIC COMPLEXES", THE "SEGMENTS OF EXAMINATION" ARE QUALITATIVELY ANALYSED (CHAPTER I - I V ) . :  STEP I I I :  The r e s u l t s o f t h e a n a l y s i s (conducted i n c h a p t e r s I t h r o u g h IV)" a r e c o r r e l a t e d w i t h t h e c o m p a r a t i v e m a t e r i a l and t e s t e d a g a i n s t b o t h p r o p o s i t i o n s . Example:  a)  The K a r n a t a k a Brahmin ceremony c o n t a i n s t h e use o f t h e " s a c r e d f i r e " .  b)  The Coorg ceremony c o n t a i n s t h e use o f t h e " s a c r e d f i r e " (which i t d o e s n ' t ) . G i v e n t h a t i t does = s u p p o r t f o r " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " ( a d o p t i o n / s h a r e d usage w i t h o u t m o d i f i c a t i o n ) .  bi)  The Coorg ceremony c o n t a i n s t h e use o f " s a c r e d lamps" (which i t d o e s ) . = s u p p o r t f o r t h e "ethnic" proposition i . e . difference i s s t r e s s e d (adoption/usage w i t h m o d i f i c a t i o n ) .  bii)  Coorg ceremony c o n t a i n s no r e f e r e n c e t o t h e " s a c r e d f i r e " e t c . (which i t d o e s n ' t ) . = no support f o r " s a n s k r i t i c " o r "ethnic" p r o p o s i t i o n ( u n l e s s e v i d e n c e c a n be found f o r t h e r e f u s a l o f t h i s whole complex, s u g g e s t i n g a third kind of relationship = p o l i t i c a l ethnic i t y ( p o l i t i c a l confrontation stressed)).  THE RESULTING CORRELATIONS AND ANALOGIES SERVE AS A BASIS FOR THE DETERMINATION OF THE "RELATIVE VALIDITY" OF BOTH PROPOSITIONS. STEP IV: D e d u c t i o n o f f i n a l . r e s u l t s f o l l o w e d by a summary o f t h e i r i m p l i c a t i o n s on t h e a l t e r n a t i v e u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f Coorg reality.  -9The r e s u l t s o f t h i s i n q u i r y s h o u l d p r o v i d e u s e f u l i n d i c a t i o n s a b o u t how t h e Coorgs s y m b o l i c a l l y e x p r e s s t h e i r s o c i o - c u l t u r a l r e a l i t y , and s h o u l d g i v e new answers t o t h e q u e s t i o n s :  a r e t h e Coorgs  "sanskrit-  i z e d " H i n d u s , i s " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " a u s e f u l concept:' w i t h w h i c h t o e x -  p l a i n marginal Hindu r e a l i t i e s ?  I f t h e Coorgs a r e " s a n s k r i t i z e d " , o r  have e m u l a t e d c e r t a i n H i n d u customs and b e l i e f s t h e y emulate them?,  (a) t o what e x t e n t d i d  (b) what a r e p o s s i b l e m o t i v a t i o n s f o r t h i s e m u l a t i o n ? ,  (c) how d i d t h e y emulate them?  F u r t h e r , c a n t h e Coorgs be c o n s i d e r e d  t o be an " e t h n i c g r o u p " ? , a n d , i f y e s , t o what e x t e n t i s t h i s e t h n i c i t y r e p l i c a t e d i n t h e i r r e a l i t y ? , o r , f i n a l l y , c a n we s e e t h e Coorgs a s a group w i t h " m u l t i p l e r e a l i t i e s " , t h a t i s , do t h e y d i s p l a y a s p e c t s o f e t h n i c i t y as w e l l as aspects o f e m u l a t i o n o f Hindu concepts? S r i n i v a s d i d n o t answer t h e s e q u e s t i o n s (he d i d n o t even pose same o f them  —  n o r d i d anybody e l s e , f o r t h a t m a t t e r ) .  I f i t i s possible  t o answer t h e s e q u e s t i o n s , o r t o g i v e i n d i c a t i o n s t h a t c a n l e a d t o p o s s i b l e answers, and i f . t h e s h o r t c o m i n g s o f my e x p o s i t i o n do n o t o u t -  :  w e i g h t h e p o s i t i v e a t t r i b u t e s , I c a n be s a t i s f i e d .  C.  THE ETHNOGRAPHIC DATA:  A BRIEF SYNOPSIS:  Coorg i s a t i n y , mountainous p r o v i n c e i n South I n d i a .  I t shares  b o r d e r s w i t h K a m a t a k a ( f o r m e r l y M y s o r e ) , South Canara and M a l a b a r . I t s l e n g t h i n t h e n o r t h - s o u t h d i r e c t i o n i s a b o u t 60 m i l e s and i t s w i d t h i n t h e east-^west d i r e c t i o n i s c l o s e t o 40 m i l e s .  The t o t a l a r e a  c o v e r s 1,593 s q u a r e m i l e s , o f w h i c h one t h i r d c o n s t i t u t e s r e s e r v e - f o r e s t . The W e s t e r n Ghat M o u n t a i n s p a s s t h r o u g h Coorg and r e a c h peak h e i g h t s o f  -105,300 f e e t .  The c e n t r a l p a r t o f C o o r g forms a w i d e p l a t e a u w i t h a n  a v e r a g e e l e v a t i o n o f 3,500 f e e t .  However, u n t i l v e r y r e c e n t l y , t h e  d i s t r i c t was q u i t e i s o l a t e d f r o m i t s s u r r o u n d i n g a r e a s .  Srinivas  notes that: The i n a c c e s s a b i l i t y o f Coorg, w i t h i t s s t e e p m o u n t a i n s , dense f o r e s t s , a n d heavy r a i n f a l l , c o n t r i b u t e d t o t h e maintenance a n d e l a b o r a t i o n o f t h e d i s t i n c t i v e mode o f l i f e and c u l t u r e o f Coorgs. The L i n g a y a t R a j a s , who saw c e r t a i n p o l i t i c a l a n d m i l i t a r y advantages i n t h e n a t u r a l i s o l a t i o n o f Coorg t r i e d t o i n c r e a s e i t (....). They c l o s e d dcwn••.certain r o a d s l e a d i n g t o M e r c a r a (the main c i t y i n C o o r g ) , and p r o h i b i t e d t r a v e l l i n g b y them ( S r i n i v a s 1952: 6 ) . A l t h o u g h i t s g e o g r a p h i c a l i s o l a t i o n was n o t a b s o l u t e , i t h e l p e d t h e Coorgs t o m a i n t a i n t h e i r s e p a r a t e n e s s v i s - a - v i s t h e i r H i n d u n e i g h bours. I t i s n o t c l e a r where t h e Coorgs o r i g i n a t e .  The e a r l i e s t r e f e r e n c e  t o Coorg b y name i s i n a document d a t i n g f r o m t h e y e a r 1174 A.D. w h i c h p r a i s e s t h e m i l i t a r y a b i l i t i e s o f t h e "Kodavas" (the o r i g i n a l name o f t h e C o o r g s ) , f o r f i g h t i n g a g a i n s t a n i n t r u d i n g f o r c e ( S r i n i v a s 1952: 1 0 ) . The l i t e r a t u r e o n t h e Coorgs o f f e r s s e v e r a l v i e w s a s t o where t h e y m i g h t have come from, o r whether t h e y c a n be c o n s i d e r e d i n d i g e n o u s t o t h e a r e a . B u t t h e r e i s no p r o o f p r o v i d e d f o r any o f t h e s e i d e a s .  I ti s possible  t h a t t h e Coorgs h a d s e t t l e d i n t h e a r e a b e f o r e 1000 A.D. and t h a t t h e y had b r o u g h t c e r t a i n c u l t u r a l t r a i t s f r o m o u t s i d e S o u t h I n d i a .  Accord-  i n g t o D r . M u t h a n n a ^ , t h e Coorgs s h a r e some s o c i a l a n d c u l t u r a l  traits  w i t h t h e a n c i e n t A r a b s and P e r s i a n s . However, i t i s e q u a l l y p o s s i b l e t h a t t h e Coorgs were n o t i m m i g r a n t s t o t h e a r e a , and were p r o b a b l y a p a r t o f a l a r g e r r e l a t i v e l y p o p u l a t i o n o f South I n d i a i n t h e d i s t a n t p a s t .  indigenous  A s a p a r t i c u l a r segment  -11o f t h i s l o c a l p o p u l a t i o n came t o dominate t h e t e r r i t o r y c a l l e d C o o r g , t h e y a l s o began t o r e s t r i c t t h e i r m a r r i a g e a l l i a n c e s t o t h o s e who were i n t h e same economic and s o c i a l  stratum.  Since i t i s n o t t h e o b j e c t i v e o f t h i s t h e s i s t o determine t h e o r i g i n s o f t h e Coorgs i n h i s t o r i c a l and d e v e l o p m e n t a l  terms, b u t r a t h e r  t o i n v e s t i g a t e how t h e Coorgs e x p r e s s t h e i r i d e n t i t y , t h i s b r i e f h i s t o r i c a l d e s c r i p t i o n s h o u l d s u f f i c e , a s i t i s m e r e l y p r e s e n t e d t o i n t r o d u c e some o f t h e background i n f o r m a t i o n n e c e s s a r y t o u n d e r s t a n d  the following  p r o b l e m - e x p o s i t i o n w h i c h forms t h e c o r e o f t h i s r e s e a r c h . F o c u s i n g a g a i n o n t h e s y n o p t i c p r e s e n t a t i o n o f Coorg h i s t o r y , we a r r i v e a t t h e 1 6 t h c e n t u r y , when t h e C o o r g s , f o r t h e f i r s t t i m e , came i n c l o s e c o n t a c t w i t h t h e L i n g a y a t s e c t (a r e l i g i o u s o f f - s h o o t o f H i n d u i s m ) . (2) One p a r t i c u l a r L i n g a y a t p r i e s t - p o l i t i c i a n  managed t o b r i n g t h e Coorg  c h i e f s under h i s a u t h o r i t y o n t h e c o n d i t i o n t h a t he a l l o w e d them t o keep most o f t h e i r p o l i t i c a l and economic autonomy ( S r i n i v a s 1952: 1 2 ) . Under t h e subsequent r u l e o f t h e L i n g a y a t s t h e Coorgs e s t a b l i s h e d t h e m s e l v e s a s t h e a r i s t o c r a c y , m o n o p o l i z i n g t h e army a n d i n t e r m a r r y i n g w i t h t h e r o y a l f a m i l y i n o r d e r bo m a i n t a i n and s t r e n g t h e n t h e i r s t a t u s i n t h e a r e a . I n t h e l a t e 1 8 t h c e n t u r y , d u r i n g t h e i n v a s i o n and b r i e f r e i g n o f t h e M u s l i m s , t h e Coorgs e a r n e d h i g h r e c o g n i t i o n f o r t h e i r f e a r l e s s way o f f i g h t i n g . (3) D u r i n g t h a t p e r i o d , t h e y a d o p t e d some I s l a m i c customs a s w e l l . I t i s n o t s u r p r i s i n g t h a t t h e B r i t i s h , upon t h e i r a r r i v a l i n t h e a r e a i n 1843, c o n s i d e r e d t h e Coorgs a s b e i n g members o f t h e K s h a t r i y a c a s t e . A l t h o u g h t h e i n t r o d u c t i o n o f B r i t i s h r u l e changed t h e c h a r a c t e r o f Coorg ( t h e B r i t i s h v a l u e d t h e a r e a f o r c o f f e e p l a n t a t i o n s ) , t h e Coorg p e o p l e were a b l e t o  -12-  m a i n t a i n t h e i r s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e as w e l l as t h e i r r i t u a l i d i o m i n i t s basic  forms. P o l i t i c a l l y , by t h e t i m e o f t h e L i n g a y a t r e i g n we  f i n d t h e Coorgs  r u l i n g t h e m s e l v e s t h r o u g h "Nayaks" (= r u l e r o f p e o p l e ) ,  as w e l l as  a c k n o w l e d g i n g t h e supremacy o f "the L i n g a y a t R a j a s .  approximately  30,000 members o f Coorg s o c i e t y were o r g a n i z e d (= s u b - r e g i o n s ) e a c h one headed by a Nayak.  The  i n t o t w e l v e "Kombus"  A Kombu c o n s i s t e d o f a  number o f "Nads" (= v i l l a g e s - c l u s t e r s ) , and e a c h v i l l a g e ( U r ) headed by a v i l l a g e headman.  E a c h Ur, i n t u r n , was  headed by a p a t r i a r c h .  composed o f numerous "Okkas"  These Okkas, o r p a t r i l i n e a l j o i n t f a m i l y  estates,  r e p r e s e n t e d t h e n u c l e u s o f t h e s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e f o r t h e Coorgs. law o f i n h e r i t a n c e was  p a t r i l i n e a l , and o n l y men  heads o f t h e s e Okkas.  M a r r i a g e was  w i t h r e s p e c t t o Coorg s o c i e t y .  The  could function  The as  Okka-exogamous, and endogamous Coorg k i n s h i p s y s t e m was  typified  (4) by P r o f . Emeneau  as b e i n g o f t h e D a k o t a - I r o q u o i s k i n d .  E v e r y Okka had an a n c e s t r a l house b u i l t on t h e commonly owned ancestral estate.  A l l t h e members o f an Okka were descended f r o m a  common a n c e s t o r and had an O k k a - s p e c i f i c  name.  T h e i r major l i f e - c y c l e  r i t u a l s i n c l u d e d b i r t h , i n i t i a t i o n r i t e s , m a r r i a g e ( b e i n g t h e by most i m p o r t a n t o n e ) , w o r s h i p p e r s , had as w e l l .  and f u n e r a l r i t e s .  The  Coorgs were a n c e s t o r  s n a k e - d e i t i e s , b u t w o r h s i p p e d some  T h e i r r e l i g i o n c e n t e r e d on t h e a n c e s t o r c u l t ,  Hindu  deities  w h i c h can  p a r a l l e l e d w i t h t h e f a m i l y c u l t , and t h e community c u l t , w h i c h t h e w o r s h i p o f snake d e i t i e s and The the land.  far  be  includes  some H i n d u d e i t i e s .  Coorgs were t h e dominant group i n t h e d i s t r i c t , owning most o f They were m a i n l y r i c e c u l t i v a t o r s  and  f r u i t , vegetable  and  -13c o f f e e growers. F o r c e n t u r i e s , t h e Coorgs d i d n o t a l l o w Brahmins i n t h e i r  district,  and s i n c e t h e y were p o w e r f u l and v i o l e n t , no o t h e r H i n d u c a s t e was a b l e t o e s t a b l i s h i t s e l f among t h e Coorgs.  U n t i l t h e B r i t i s h r u l e , t h e Coorgs  had s l a v e s ("Untouchable j u n g l e t r i b e s " ) , w h i c h w e r e , f o r t h e l o n g e s t t i m e , t h e o n l y s i g n i f i c a n t group o f non-Coorgs i n t h e d i s t r i c t . The e t h n o g r a p h i c m a t e r i a l s u g g e s t s t h a t t h e Coorgs were n e v e r r e a l l y c o n c e r n e d w i t h H i n d u i s m ( o r any o t h e r i d e o l o g y ) a n d d i d n o t c o n s i d e r r i t u a l s t a t u s a s b e i n g s u p e r i o r t o s o c i o - e c o n o m i c power.  In addition,  t h e y were w a r r i o r s and t h u s i n a p o s i t i o n o f power (and s t a t u s ) i n r e l a t i o n t o t h e i r Hindu neighbours. egalitarian political, ritual  Besides, i n t h e i r  (more o r l e s s )  and s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e , t h e Coorgs d i s p l a y -  ed numerous o t h e r non-Hindu a t t r i b u t e s , w h i c h o u t w e i g h t h e b o r r o w i n g s f r o m Hinduism.  Dr. Muthanna, a C o o r g h i m s e l f , makes i t c l e a r t h a t t h e  Coorgs were n e v e r i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t h e H i n d u c a s t e system.  In his  o p i n i o n , t h e Brahmins made t h e t e r m ( c a s t e ) " b i g " i n o r d e r t o e x p l o i t the other, r i t u a l l y lower,  castes./  To C o o r g s , I ~ emphasize., c a s t e does n o t have any meaning a t a l l . I c o n s i d e r them a s a g r o u p with t r i b a l origins, that lived i n their h i l l y r e g i o n b y t h e i r own l a w s . The L i n g a y a t s , o f c o u r s e , i n f l u e n c e d us. B u t we a d o p t e d o n l y what we found t o b e h e l p f u l f o r u s — W e d i d n o t d i s c a r d o r change o u r customs; we i n c o r p o r a t e d some customs f r o m t h e H i n d u s , t h e P e r s i a n s , t h e A r a b s . We a r e n o t c o n c e r n e d w i t h " S a n s k r i t i c H i n d u i s m " , a s y o u c a l l i t , we h a d no need t o do t h a t . We r u l e d o u r own c o u n t r y , and when t h e B r i t i s h came, we i n v i t e d * them t o h e l p u s t o modernize o u r economy. To my q u e s t i o n , whether t h e Coorgs c o n s i d e r t h e m s e l v e s a s K s h a t r i y a s , Dr. Muthanna r e p l i e d :  -14K s h a t r i y a means " M a r t i a l - P a c e " . Mo d o u b t , i n t h e t i m e s o f t h e R a j a s , t h e Coorgs were t h e predominant coirmunity t h e r e ( i n C o o r g d i s t r i c t ) when t h e R a j a s m a s t e r e d t h e i r s e r v i c e s and t h e Coorgs j o i n e d t h e ^armyi,....); y o u know, i n t h o s e days t h e y ( ^ o u n g h t ) f o r t h e i r c o u n t r y , and a u t o m a t i c a l l y t h e y became " M a r t i a l s " . I d o n ' t h o l d t h e Coorgs a r e K s h a t r i y a s . These c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s came a c c o r d i n g t o t h e need o f t h e r u l e r s . When t h e r u l e r s wanted p e o p l e t o f i g h t , even Brahmins were r e c r u i t e d . I n Mysore H a i d e r M i and h i s s o n T i p p u S u l t a n a s k e d t h e Brahmins t o g e t i n t o t h e army, y o u know, and t h e y d i d (.....). L a t e r , t h e B r i t i s h made t h e Coorgs b i g , a s t h e y made t h e S i k h s b i g i n o r d e r t o h e l p them t o f i g h t t h e f o r c e s t h a t opposed B r i t i s h r u l e . The Coorgs l o o k e d l i k e K s h a t r i y a s t o o t h e r s and t h e y d i d n o t o b j e c t . B u t t h i s does n o t make them H i n d u s , e x c e p t i n t h e p o l i t i c a l sense where we have t o c o n s i d e r them a s I n d i a n s who have a r e l i g i o n t h a t i s - i n some, r e s p e c t s c l o s e t o t h e Hindu r e l i g i o n . . . . How c o u l d M.N. S r i n i v a s , who s p e n t a p p a r e n t l y  four years doing f i e l d -  work among t h e C o o r g s , be a b l e t o draw a p i c t u r e o f t h e Coorgs t h a t l e d t o t h e genesis o f t h e concept o f " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " ? A b r i e f look a t h i s book  on  t h e Coorgs  and t h e c o n c e p t o f " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n "  should c l a r i f y the question.  D.  "SANSKRITIZATION" REVIEWED:  A t t h e t i m e when M.N. S r i n i v a s was a g r a d u a t e s t u d e n t a t t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f Bombay, t h e d i v i s i o n o f l a b o u r between I n d o l o g i c a l S t u d i e s o f H i n d u s o c i e t y b y s o c i o l o g i s t s and f i e l d w o r k b a s e d s t u d i e s o f t r i b a l s o c i e t i e s b y a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s w h i c h h a d g e n e r a l l y c h a r a c t e r i z e d t h e work (7) o f t h e e a r l i e r g e n e r a t i o n o f s c h o l a r s , was d e c l i n i n g .  Srinivas'  a d v i s o r , P r o f . G.S. Ghurye, s u g g e s t e d f i e l d w o r k among t h e C o o r g s , i n o r d e r t o s t u d y t h e i r r e l i g i o n and s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n .  S r i n i v a s agreed  -15and started t o c o l l e c t data among the Coorgs i n 1940.  Because o f i l l -  health, however, he needed four years t o complete h i s fieldwork, and during that time he had t o r e s o r t t o short "hit-and-run" t r i p s to c o l l e c t h i s data (Madan 1978:  3). In 1944, Srinivas presented h i s  "rather massive (900 typed pages) Ph.D. Dissertation a t the University of Bombay" ( i b i d : 2). Since Srinivas was " e s s e n t i a l l y interested i n the reconstruction o f the t r a d i t i o n a l culture o f the Coorgs" (Srinivas 1966:  149), we can assume that h i s Thesis was e s s e n t i a l l y a description  of t h e i r c u l t u r a l and s o c i a l r e a l i t y .  Later, when he came t o Oxford,  where.... "Prof. Radcliffe-Brown's teaching greatly modified (his) approach to the study of human society,... (he) started t o apply some of h i s ideas regarding material  the i n t e r r e l a t i o n o f r e l i g i o n and society t o the  (he) had already gathered" (Srinivas 1952: x i i i ) .  Radcliffe-  Brown s t h e o r e t i c a l framework transformed the Coorg material and "brought 1  sense t o i t " propositions:  ( i b i d 1966:  149), g i v i n g r i s e to two major t h e o r e t i c a l  the spread o f "Sanskritic Hinduism" h o r i z o n t a l l y as w e l l  as v e r t i c a l l y , and the concept o f " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " .  How Srinivas was  able t o deduce general t h e o r e t i c a l and conceptual propositions  from only  one corpus o f data i s puzzling; however, h i s concepts gained popularity i n a n t h r o p o l i g i c a l c i r c l e s and influenced the understanding o f Coorg reality  considerably.  As might be expected, Srinivas stressed the s i m i l a r i t i e s between Coorg r e l i g i o n and society and that o f "Sanskritic Hindu" communities, and explained them through the Hindu idiom.  But he f a i l e d t o examine  those aspects which are d i s t i n c t l y d i f f e r e n t from Hindu world-view. a Hindu, and e s p e c i a l l y , as a Brahmin, Srinivas interpreted Coorg  As  -16r e a l i t y as an emulation o f Brahmanic world-view.  As Pocock says  r i g h t l y , i n the Coorg book.... "the inadequacy o f r i g i d functionalism i s underlined by a 'Hindu-centric' attitude towards the treatment of ethnographic data..." (.1978: 60). Events, s o c i a l action and s o c i a l change can be studied from quite d i f f e r e n t points o f view, and any given r e a l i t y can be recounted d i f f e r ently by d i f f e r e n t investigators.  In the case of the Coorgs, S r i n i v a s  conceptualized and described t h e i r r e a l i t y through a "Brahmanical" paradigm. C. Parvathamma c r i t i c i z e s h i s treatment o f the Coorg data severely:  "(Srinivas) gives a d e t a i l e d account o f t r a d i t i o n a l Hinduism,  i t s values and impact, and discusses an o l d and widespread s o c i a l process, christening i t "Sanskritization", which i s a concept loaded with brahmanical values  ....  S r i n i v a s ' major concern i n the Coorg book  i s to bring t o l i g h t how a f o r e s t t r i b a l group came under the impact of Hindus and Hinduism.  He h i g h l i g h t s his" own i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f Coorg  society", (1978: 91) ....and, I might add, generalized the r e s u l t s without further proof. One more point should be stressed here:  "After incorporating the  f u n c t i o n a l i s t paradigm i n t o a corpus of data that was c o l l e c t e d a l most eight years e a r l i e r and under a d i f f e r e n t frame of reference, Srinivas analyzed i t yet under another one" (Mayer 1978: 42). These d i f f i c u l t i e s seem to b o i l down to the problem o f o b j e c t i v i t y . Srinivas t e l l s us that h i s being a Brahmin d i d influence h i s observations and understanding o f the Coorgs i n several ways... "but what follows t h i s promising confession, i s i n e f f e c t devoted t o a s e l f defensive r e action to i t "  (Pocock 1978: 61).  -17The v a l u e o f t h e c o n c e p t o f " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " - t o q u o t e Mayer a g a i n - l i e s i n what i t produced (and n o t , what i t r e p r e s e n t s ) : "Through i t , S r i n i v a s was a b l e t o f o c u s t h e a t t e n t i o n o f h i s c o l leagues on t h r e e major aspects o f s o c i e t y : r a n k i n g and g r o u p i n g t h r o u g h e m u l a t i o n  the f l e x i b i l i t y o f caste  .... ; t h e d i v e r s i t y o f what  S r i n i v a s c a l l s " m u l t i p l e c u l t u r e s " (1966: 14) i n any l o c a l  situation;  and y e t , r u n n i n g t h r o u g h t h e s e v a r i a t i o n s , t h e e x i s t e n c e o f c e r t a i n common v a l u e s "  ( i b i d : 41). I t i s unfortunate that S r i n i v a s d i d not  see Coorg c u l t u r e as " m u l t i p l e " , when he w r o t e h i s book. for  One r e a s o n  t h i s l i e s probably i n the trend, o f Indian Anthropology  around  the middle o f t h e century t o e x p l a i n m u l t i - c u l t u r a l t r a d i t i o n s o f I n d i a i n terms o f q u a l i t a t i v e s t u d i e s o f c a s t e g r o u p s , c a s t e m o b i l i t y , and s o c i a l change w i t h i n t h e c a s t e system.  Non-mainstream H i n d u groups  were s t u d i e d w i t h r e f e r e n c e t o H i n d u c o n c e p t s a r c h y and r i t u a l s t a t u s .  s u c h as s o c i a l h i e r -  R e g a r d l e s s o f t h e c h a r a c t e r o f t h e examina-  t i o n - u n i t , i t depends m a i n l y o n t h e r e s e a r c h e r ' s v i e w s on how a p a r t i c u l a r community c o u l d and s h o u l d be v i e w e d . that.  Dumont (1970: 211) n o t e s  "non-Hindus> who f u n c t i o n w i t h i n t h e p a r a m e t e r s o f H i n d u  .  s o c i a l o r d e r , have a c q u i r e d t h e b a s i c ' p s y c h o l o g i c a l d i s p o s i t i o n s ' o f Hindus:  Hindu world-view  permeates and encompasses everyone who  p a r t i c i p a t e s i n Hindu c i v i l i z a t i o n t o t h e e x t e n t t h a t t h e i d e o l o g y o f non-Hindu g r o u p s f u n c t i o n s o n l y i n a m o d i f i e d form".  However,  " i t i s n o t o n l y m i s l e a d i n g , b u t e r r o n e o u s t o i n f e r t h a t an u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e i n s t i t u t i o n s o r p r i n c i p l e s o f c a s t e enables us t o understand how non-Hindu groups i n I n d i a o r g a n i z e t h e m s e l v e s i n t e r n a l l y and  -18externally"  ( J a c o b - P a n d i a n 1979: 142).  Many o f t h e s e (non-Hindu) groups a r e nob homogeneous; h i s t o r i c a l l y and c u l t u r a l l y t h e y a r e d i v e r s e , h a v i n g e s t a b l i s h e d d i s t i n c t i v e a d a p t a t i o n s t o d i f f e r e n t p o l i t i c o - e c o n o m i c e n v i r o n m e n t s , and t h e k i n d s o f r e l a t i o n s h i p s t h a t e x i s t between Hindus and (and m a r g i n a l Hindus) v a r y g r e a t l y . t h a t two f e a t u r e s o f c a s t e —  non-Hindus  J a c o b - P a n d i a n goes on t o s a y  endogamy and h i e r a r c h i c a l r a n k i n g  —  t h a t a r e found among non and m a r g i n a l H i n d u groups may r e s u l t from t h e use o f t h e c a s t e p r i n c i p l e s d e r i v e d f r o m t h e H i n d u h i e r a r c h i c a l scheme and t h e i d e o l o g y o f p u r i t y and p o l l u t i o n .  On t h e o t h e r hand,  i n t e r n a l endogamy and h i e r a r c h i c a l r a n k i n g among non and m a r g i n a l Hindus i n I n d i a may have t h e i r l o c i i n r e f e r e n c e t o a l i e n o r i n d i g enous o r i g i n s , and i n c l a s s w i t h r e f e r e n c e t o s o c i o - e c o n o m i c s t a t u s r a t h e r than r i t u a l s t a t u s ( i b i d : 242).  Hindus and non-Hindus  (and  m a r g i n a l Hindus) "know; how t o f u n c t i o n " i n t h e H i n d u s o c i a l e n v i r o n ment, w h i c h i s n o t t o s a y t h a t t h e y s h a r e e a c h o t h e r ' s w o r l d v i e w s and e t h o s ( i b i d : 243). I . Ahmad (1972: 172-77) s t r e s s e s t h a t " s c h o l a r s have seldom i n v e s t i g a t e d i n d e t a i l t h e non-Hindu  (marginal-Hindu) t r a d i t i o n s o f  I n d i a " , and p o i n t s o u t " t h a t t h e r e i s a pronounced tendency among . s o c i o l o g i s t s t o equate H i n d u s o c i e t y w i t h I n d i a n s o c i e t y " .  Jacob-  P a n d i a n s u p p o r t s t h i s v i e w when he p o s t u l a t e s t h a t " H i n d u - c e n t r i s m stems f r o m a f a l l a c i o u s a s s u m p t i o n t h a t i n o r d e r f o r t h e s o c i o c u l t u r a l s y s t e m t o p e r s i s t , t h e component p a r t s must have s h a r e d v a l u e s and/or n o r m a t i v e consensus  (.....) .  From t h i s p o i n t o f v i e w ,  -19i t i s l o g i c a l t o i n f e r t h a t i n order f o r Hindu o r Indian s o c i e t y t o p e r s i s t , t h e s o c i a l groups w h i c h a r e c o v e r e d b y t h e s o c i e t a l b l a n k e t must t h e m s e l v e s be composed o f t h r e a d s w h i c h u l t i m a t e l y make up t h e b l a n k e t "  ( i b i d : 143).  I n o t h e r words, because t h e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n i s made t h a t  there  e x i s t s a s i n g l e e n t i t y c a l l e d "Hindu s o c i e t y " , i t becomes n e c e s s a r y t o e x p l a i n how i t e x i s t s , and t h e e x p l a n a t i o n i s t h a t H i n d u and nonH i n d u ( m a r g i n a l Hindu) groups b e l i e v e i n and a r e m o t i v a t e d b y t h e p r i n c i p l e s , p a t t e r n s , worldview, ethos, e t c . o f Hindu s o c i e t y . then  And  J a c o b - P a n d i a n s u g g e s t s a v e r y s e n s i b l e "way o u t " o f t h i s  a p p a r e n t dilemma: ....When one l o o k s d e e p l y enough, one c a n always see t h e o p e r a t i o n o f t h e s e "movers" i n H i n d u s o c i e t y (....)•. I s u g g e s t ( ) t h a t , although t h e grand t h e o r i e s o f c a s t e , Hindu s o c i a l order, o r " s o c i e t y i n I n d i a " may p r o v i d e i n t e l l e c t u a l s a t i s f a c t i o n t h a t t h e e s s e n c e o f H i n d u o r I n d i a n mind h a s been c a p t u r e d i n a s i n g l e f o r m u l a , such t h e o r i e s a r e not s u f f i c i e n t t o e x p l a i n t h e m u l t i f a c i o u s conc e p t u a l and b e h a v i o u r a l systems t h a t c o - e x i s t w i t h i n t h e p o l i t i c o - g e o g r a p h i c a l boundary o f I n d i a (. ). We must l o o k c l o s e l y t o t h e d i s t i n c t i v e c u l t u r a l t r a d i t i o n s t h a t emerge and f u n c t i o n i n d i f f e r e n t p o l i t i c o - e n v i r o n m e n t s , we must examine how t h e s e t r a d i t i o n s e n a b l e t h e i r u s e r s t o c o e x i s t i n a p o l y - c u l t u r a l s o c i a l c o n t e x t (. ) A c i v i l i z a t i o n a l complex w h i c h we i d e n t i f y a s "Hindu" o r " I n d i a n " i s composed o f m u l t i p l e l i n g u i s t i c and r e l i g i o u s c u l t u r a l t r a d i t i o n s , and t h e s i m i l a r i t i e s i n t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n o f groups occur as a product o f t h e u n i v e r s a l l y a p p l i c a b l e p r i n c i p l e s o f boundary maintenance, o r a s B a r t h (1969) p u t s i t "the s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n o f c u l t u r a l d i f f e r e n c e s " , r a t h e r than as a r e s u l t o f a u n i q u e l y Hindu paradigm o p e r a t i n g a t m i c r o and macro l e v e l s — ( i b i d : 1 4 5 ) .  S r i n i v a s i s doing only the l a t t e r .  He a t t e m p t s a " t e x t u a l -  c o n t e x t u a l " a n a l y s i s o f H i n d u i s m , u s i n g t h e Coorg r e l i g i o u s and s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e as an example; however, he does n o t d e f i n e t h e i r l o c u s i n s i d e t h e I n d i a n c u l t u r a l c o n t e x t , b u t o n l y - and t h a t r a t h e r i m p l i c i t l y - t h e i r r e l a t i v e p o s i t i o n " i n s i d e " the Hindu worldview.  "Coorgs formed a compact u n i t i n r e l a t i o n t o o t h e r  They p o s s e s s e d w e a l t h and power, t h e y l i k e d d a n c i n g ,  castes.  competitive  games, i n v o l v i n g t h e e x e r c i s e o f s k i l l and s t r e n g t h , h u n t i n g , and soldiering"  ( S r i n i v a s 1952: 3 3 ) . I n t e r p r e t i n g t h e s e f e a t u r e s  t h r o u g h t h e H i n d u p a r a d i g m he s t a t e s : ....In t h e Vedic o r c l a s s i c a l c a s t e system these v i r t u e s are a t t r i b u t e d t o K s h a t r i y a s , t h e c a s t e o f w a r r i o r s and k i n g s , who a r e n e x t o n l y t o t h e Brahmins i n t h e h i e r a r c h y . The resemblances between t h e V e d i c K s h a t r i y a s and t h e Coorgs a r e s t r i k i n g i n d e e d i n t h e m a t t e r o f v a l u e s , and i t i s u n d e r s t a n d a b l e t h a t Coorgs should regard themselves as K s h a t r i y a s . B u t t h e c l a s s i c a l K s h a t r i y a s , as one o f t h e " t w i c e - b o r n " c a s t e s , were e n t i t l e d t o p e r f o r m c e r t a i n r i t u a l s a t Which s a c r e d v e r s e s - m a n t r a s - f r o m t h e Vedas were r e c i t e d b y t h e p r i e s t s . Coorgs do n o t p e r f o r m any o f t h e s e r i t u a l s and V e d i c mantras a r e n o t r e c i t e d when a Coorg i s g i v e n a name, o r marries, o r dies ( i b i d : 33). Here he s t o p s h i s - i n t e r p r e t a t i o n w i t h o u t any f u r t h e r m e n t i o n a s t o (8)  why t h e Coorgs:  1.  "regard themselves as K s h a t r i y a s "  n o t r e c i t e mantras". ^  ,  2.  "do  A s i m p l e answer t o t h i s w o u l d be t h a t t h e  Coorgs c a n n o t be r e g a r d e d a s " s a n s k r i t i z e d H i n d u s " because t h e y d i d not adopt these c r u c i a l Hindu concepts.  But again, S r i n i v a s prefers  t o o m i t t h i s p a r t o f C o o r g r e a l i t y and c o n c e n t r a t e s  on t h e e l a b o r a t i o n  o f h i s t h e o r e t i c a l p r o p o s i t i o n s o f the, s p r e a d o f " s a n s k r i t i c H i n d u i s m "  -21The Coorg d i s c u s s i o n i s r e d u c e d t o h i g h l i g h t i n g h i s c o n c e p t u a l assumptions w i t h m a t e r i a l t h a t a l m o s t e x c l u s i v e l y d e a l s w i t h a s p e c t s o f Coorg r e a l i t y t h a t c o u l d be seen as a d o p t i o n s from H i n d u i s m . Moreover, S r i n i v a s t o o k p a i n s t o s t r e s s t h e s i m i l a r i t i e s between C o o r g r e l i g i o n and s o c i e t y and " S a n s k r i t i c H i n d u i s m " , t r i e d t o f i n d t h o s e a s p e c t s w h i c h c o u l d be " s a n s k r i t i z e d " and a b s o r b e d i n t o H i n d u i s m , and t h u s was p r e o c c u p i e d w i t h t h e r e p l i c a t i o n o f H i n d u r e a l i t y i n t o Coorg w o r l d v i e w . . " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " p e r s e , b e i n g the v e h i c l e o f S r i n i v a s ' main argument i n h i s Coorg book, d e s e r v e s some a t t e n t i o n .  L e t me  recall  h i s d e f i n i t i o n once more: The c a s t e s y s t e m i s f a r from a r i g i d s y s t e m i n w h i c h t h e p o s i t i o n o f e a c h component c a s t e i s f i x e d f o r a l l t i m e . Movement has always been p o s s i b l e , and e s p e c i a l l y so i n t h e m i d d l e ranges o f t h e h i e r a r c h y . A low c a s t e was a b l e , i n a g e n e r a t i o n o r two, t o r i s e t o a h i g h e r p o s i t i o n i n t h e h i e r a r c h y by a d o p t i n g v e g e t a r i a n i s m and t e e t o t a l i s m , by S a n s k r i t i z i n g i t s r i t u a l and pantheon. I n s h o r t , i t t o o k o v e r , as f a r as p o s s i b l e , t h e customs, r i t e s , and b e l i e f s o f t h e Brahmins (. ). T h i s p r o c e s s has been c a l l e d " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " (1952: 3 0 ) . L a t e r , i n 1955, he adds more brahmanic u n d e r c u r r e n t s t o t h e  initial  concept: As t h i s p r o c e s s ( o f " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " ) was common t o a l l c a s t e s e x c e p t t h e h i g h e s t , i t meant t h a t t h e b r a h m a n i c a l customs and ways o f l i f e s p r e a d among a l l H i n d u s . . . . The e n t i r e way o f l i f e o f t h e t o p c a s t e s seeps down t h e h i e r a r c h y (....). The l a n g u a g e , c o o k i n g , c l o t h i n g , j e w e l l e r y , and way o f l i f e o f t h e Brahmins s p r e a d e v e n t u a l l y t o t h e e n t i r e s o c i e t y . . . .  -22The n o n - b r a h m a n i c a l c a s t e s adopt n o t o n l y brahmanical r i t u a l , but a l s o c e r t a i n brahm a n i c a l i n s t i t u t i o n s and v a l u e s (1956: 482-84). L u c y C a r r o l l s t r e s s e s t h e c o n t r a d i c t i o n s and a m b i g u i t i e s o f S r i n i v a s ' c o n c e p t when she s t a t e s t h a t " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " i s e q u i v a l e n t t o s o c i a l , c u l t u r a l and r i t u a l e m u l a t i o n  o f Brahmins (1977: 3 5 7 ) . She goes o n t o  say t h a t " i n a n a t t e m p t t o r e — d e f i n e h i s d e f i n i t i o n i n o r d e r t o t a k e i n t o a c c o u n t (a) t h e f a c t o r o f t h e dominant c a s t e ; and (b) t h e c r i t i c i s m t h a t " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " emphasizes a  b r a h m a n i c a l model, w h i l e ,  i n f a c t , a R a j p u t o r K s h a t r i y a o r V a i s h y a model m i g h t be emulated i n many c i r c u m s t a n c e s ;  and (c) t o subsume under one c o n c e p t t h e p r o c e s s  t h a t h a d l e d t o t h e coming o f s u c h terms a s " R a j p u t i z a t i o n " , " T r i b a l i z a t i o n " , and s o f o r t h  (.....), S r i n i v a s d e f i n e s " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n "  now s i m p l y a s a p r o c e s s , w i t h o u t any r e f e r e n c e t o t h e v a l u e s  that  many be t r a n s m i t t e d t h r o u g h t h a t p r o c e s s a n d w i t h o u t any d i s t i n c t i o n between r i t u a l and s e c u l a r v a l u e s "  ( i b i d : 358). According t o l a t e r  v e r s i o n s o f S r i n i v a s ' c o n c e p t , t h e " p a c e - s e t t i n g " groups do n o t have t o be Brahmins, o r even " t w i c e - b o r n " proximal t o Hindu ideology.  c a s t e s , b u t a n y group i n s i d e o r  " S i n c e t h e r e f e r e n c e group need n o t b e  r i t u a l l y h i g h , i t w o u l d appear, t h a t " h i g h " i n t h e d e f i n i t i o n a l s t a t e ment r e f e r s t o p o l i t i c a l and/or economic power, i . e . t h a t t h e g r o u p b e i n g emulated i s a s e c u l a r e l i t e w h i c h may o r may n o t b e o f h i g h o r even r e s p e c t a b l e r i t u a l s t a t u s " ( i b i d : 358). C o u l d one, then-, t e r m t h e i n f l u e n c e Coorg s o c i a l and r i t u a l c o n cepts had on neighbouring "Sanskritization"?  H i n d u c a s t e and u n t o u c h a b l e groups a s  -23S r i n i v a s w r i t e s i n h i s C o o r g book t h a t . . . " A l l t h e o t h e r c a s t e s i n C o o r g p r o x i m i t y e x c e p t t h e Brahmins, K o m t i , and L i n g a y a t s acknowl e d g e d t h e dominance o f t h e Coorgs by t a k i n g o v e r t h e i r customs and manners and i n seme c a s e s even t h e i r speech" (1952: 3 2 ) .  He a l s o  m e n t i o n s t h a t Kannada O k k a l i g a s and T u l u Gaudas t r i e d t o p a s s f o r Coorgs. I t appears t h a t the t r e n d  o f " l o w e r " groups t o a d o p t t h e  customs and c o n c e p t s o f " h i g h e r " g r o u p s , i s a g e n e r a l phenomenon, b u t S r i n i v a s s t i c k s t o h i s Brahmanic " H i n d u - c e n t r i s m "  when he s t a t e s  t h a t " ( t h e o t h e r ) models a r e i n d e e d i m p o r t a n t b u t n o t as i n f l u e n t i a l as t h e B r a h m a n i c a l  as a few K s h a t r i y a s and a l m o s t a l l V a i s h y a s  f o l l o w the Brahmanical  model r e g a r d i n g d i e t , r i t u a l , and  i m p o r t a n t r e l i g i o u s i d e a s " (1966: 2 5 ) .  certain  "Sanskritization",  then,  r e p r e s e n t s an a t t e m p t t o a c q u i r e t h e t r a d i t i o n a l symbols o f  (Hindu)  h i g h s t a t u s , namely t h e customs, r i t u a l , i d e a s , b e l i e f s , and  life  s t y l e of the l o c a l l y h i g h e s t c a s t e " ( i b i d : 28). we have t o a s k o u r s e l v e s i f " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n "  Upon r e f l e c t i o n ,  i s r e a l l y nothing  but  " t h a t phenomenon common t o a l l s o c i e t i e s where t o a g r e a t e r o r l e s s e r degree t h e p l e b i a n s f o l l o w t h e s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l l e a d o f t h e e l i t e , e m u l a t i n g t h e l a t t e r t o t h e e x t e n t t h a t t h e i r own  finan-  c i a l r e s o u r c e s and t h e p r e s e n c e and absence o f s o c i a l s a n c t i o n s supporting e l i t i s t prerogatives permit" Srinivas,  ( C a r r o l l 1977:  359).  t h e n , i s r e a l l y t a l k i n g about a s o c i a l and  ritual  p r o c e s s t h a t r e p r e s e n t s b o t h t h e d e s i r e f o r and t h e achievement o f a g e n e r a l m o b i l i t y upwards, and, d e p e n d i n g on t h e r e f e r e n t o f t h i s  m o b i l i t y (the group t h a t i s e m u l a t e d ) , t h i s p r o c e s s can d i s p l a y r i t u a l or politico-economic tendencies.  Thus, t h e c o n c e p t o f  " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " as used by S r i n i v a s i s t o o vague and ambiguous and t o o o n e s i d e d f o r i n t e r p r e t a t i v e and a n a l y t i c a l u t i l i t y i n c o n temporary a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l r e s e a r c h .  One  possible explanation for  i t s p o p u l a r i t y i n a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l c i r c l e s i n the l a s t t h i r t y years may  w e l l be found i n t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p between t h e c o n c e p t o f "San-  s k r i t i z a t i o n " and t h e a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l model o f I n d i a n s o c i e t y . " T h i s model, m o d i f i e d and r e f i n e d though i t has been,  nonetheless  b a s i c a l l y d e r i v e s from the c l a s s i c a l Brahmanical t e x t s .  Its central  component and c h i e f r e f e r e n t i s c a s t e ; i t s t r e s s e s harmony, o r d e r , co-operation,  i n t e g r a t i o n and s t a b i l i t y ; i t s t r e s s e s t h e i m p o r t a n c e  of r i t u a l values  (....).  The  " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " complex d e f i n e s , l i m i t s ,  and p l a c e s a p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n on s o c i a l change i n India...  I t over-  emphasizes r i t u a l f a c t o r s and s u s t a i n s t h e v i e w o f s o c i a l change i n I n d i a as u n i q u e and t h a t c u l t u r a l l y bound terms l i k e " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " a r e n e c e s s a r y t o d e s c r i b e i t because o f  (....) "the i m p o r t a n t  fact  t h a t t h e s o c i a l h i e r a r c h y i s a l s o t h e h i e r a r c h y o f r i t u a l p u r i t y and pollution"  ( S i n g e r 1968:  x i ) . C a r r o l l , however, c o n t e n d s t h a t  "social  and r i t u a l h i e r a r c h y a r e n o t n e c e s s a r i l y , o r even u s u a l l y , c o i n c i d e n t " (1977:  367).  A t t h i s p o i n t i t seems s a f e t o say t h a t t h e c o n c e p t o f " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " as d e v e l o p e d from t h e Coorg d a t a shows s e v e r a l weaknesses: f i r s t , i t d i s p l a y s i d e o l o g i c a l o n e s i d e d n e s s on t h e p a r t o f S r i n i v a s which l e d t o the c r e a t i o n o f a "Hindu-centric"  (and more so  "Brahmanical")  c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n o f t h e dynamics o f s o c i a l change among the (and  i n India generally);  second, the c o n c e p t i s s p e c u l a t i v e  t h e r e f o r e becomes l e s s a r e s e a r c h h y p o t h e s i s and position;  and  t h i r d , the c u l t u r e - s p e c i f i c  more an  t e r m i n o l o g y and  conceptualiand  i m p l y i n g t h a t s o c i a l change (a l a " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " )  u n i q u e l y and  s o l e l y H i n d u ( C a r r o l l 1977:  Coorgs as an i n d e p e n d e n t s o c i o - c u l t u r a l  unit displaying  a  I n s t e a d o f e m u l a t i n g H i n d u c o n c e p t s , I p r o p o s e t h a t the " t r a n s f o r m e d " a d o p t e d customs and  culture-specific l a n g u a g e , and  mould.  the  specific  e t h n i c i t y t h a t s e r v e s as a p r i m a r y "emblem" i n t e r n a l l y and  " m o d i f i e d " and  is  369).  I p r o p o s e , t h e r e f o r e , as a w o r k i n g h y p o t h e s i s , t o v i e w  t i t y , and  and  ideological  z a t i o n o f the phenomenon i n h i b i t s c r o s s c u l t u r a l c o m p a r i s o n a n a l y s i s by  Coorgs  externally.  Coorgs  concepts to f i t t h e i r  Their d i s t i n c t social structure,  religion,  s e p a r a t e n e s s , however, o p e r a t e as emblems o f t h e i r i d e n -  t h e i r p o l i t i c o - e c o n o m i c a l power a l l o w e d them t o m a i n t a i n  t h i s i d e n t i t y , r e g a r d l e s s o f the degree and ment w i t h o t h e r c u l t u r a l and  ideological  kind of t h e i r  involve-  models.  Thus, the e t h n i c i t y o f the C o o r g s , w h i c h s e p a r a t e d them f r o m any  o t h e r community i n t h e a r e a m i g h t be e x p l a i n e d as t h e p r o d u c t o f  the  a s s o c i a t i o n between t h e i r r e l a t i v e g e o g r a p h i c a l i s o l a t i o n ,  p o l i t i c o - e c o n o m i c dominance, and w o u l d a l l o w us t o see i d e o l o g y , r i t u a l l y and v a l i d a t e d by any i s tolerated  —  the  t h e i r f l e x i b l e cosmology.  This  Coorgs as b e i n g i n d e p e n d e n t f r o m H i n d u  c u l t u r a l l y , and  o t h e r a u t h o r i t y but i f not  their  accepted —  t h e i r s t a t u s as b e i n g  t h e i r own;  by Hindus and  not  t h i s s t a t u s , however, non-Hindus a l i k e .  R e t u r n i n g t o t h e main t a s k o f t h i s t h e s i s , I s h a l l now  con-  c e n t r a t e on t h e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and a n a l y s i s o f t h e Coorg m a r r i a g e ceremony v i e w e d as a " c r y s t a l i z a t i o n " - (a m i n i a t u r e , as i t were) o f the  s o c i o - r e l i g i o u s s y m b o l i c " l a n d s c a p e " o f Coorg c u l t u r e and s o c i e t y .  E.  THE  !'KANNI-MANGALA" :  AN OVERVIEW.  M a r r i a g e , f o r Coorgs (as w e l l as f o r most o t h e r South I n d i a n s o c i e t i e s ) r e p r e s e n t s t h e most i m p o r t a n t ceremony i n any p e r s o n ' s life.  T r a d i t i o n a l l y , the Coorg  m a r r i a g e ceremony had a p r e d o m i n a n t l y  communal c h a r a c t e r . L a t e r , t h e s o - c a l l e d " c l o t h - m a r r i a g e s " were p r a c t i c e d i n Coorg.  K i t t e l writes:  ....a man gave a c l o t h t o a g i r l , and s h e , a c c e p t i n g i t , became h i s w i f e w i t h o u t f u r t h e r c e r e m o n i e s . He m i g h t d i s m i s s h e r a t any t i m e w i t h o u t b e i n g under t h e l e a s t o b l i g a t i o n o f p r o v i d i n g e i t h e r f o r her or f o r the c h i l d r e n born d u r i n g t h e i r connection. ( K i t t e l , i n I y e r 1848: 4 1 ) . A c c o r d i n g t o Dr. M u t h a n n a ^ ^ ^ , by t h e t i m e o f t h e L i n g a y a t R a j a s , t h e Coorgs had r e f i n e d t h e i r m a r r i a g e ceremony t o t h a t o f a c i v i l  contract  ceremony w i t h some r e l i g i o u s symbolism, m a i n l y t h a t o f r i t u a l e x p r e s s i o n s o f s o l i d a r i t y and r e s p e c t .  I t became c l a s s i f i e d a s one o f t h e  many Mangalas, o r " a u s p i c i o u s c e r e m o n i e s " .  Subsequently, d i f f e r e n t  types o f marriage developed, o f which the f i r s t , one i s t h e "Kanni-Mangala" o r ( V i r g i n - M a r r i a g e ) . the  and most i m p o r t a n t Other types are  "widow-remarriage", and t h e " d i v o r c e - r e m a r r i a g e " . The "Kanni-Mangala" u s u a l l y t a k e s p l a c e soon a f t e r t h e c o u p l e  -27has reached e a r l y a d u l t h o o d .  This f i r s t marriage  (= " V i r g i n  Marriage")  b r i n g s t o g e t h e r n o t o n l y two p e r s o n s , b u t - and t h i s i s more i m p o r t a n t - a l s o two k i n - g r o u p s .  B o t h come t o g e t h e r t h r o u g h t h e a c q u i s i t i o n  o f two common o b j e c t s o f i n t e r e s t .  "When a m a r r i a g e  takes p l a c e ,  t h e r e i s a change i n t h e s o c i a l p e r s o n a l i t i e s o f t h e b r i d e and t h e groom.  I t g i v e s them new r i g h t s and o b l i g a t i o n s .  symbolized i n the marriage r i t u a l :  Some o f t h i s i s  f o r instance, the b r i d e  (almost)  l o s e s h e r r i g h t s t o h e r n a t a l Okka a n d a c q u i r e s them, i n s t e a d ( f u l l y ) i n h e r c o n j u g a l Okka" ( S r i n i v a s 1952:  92).  The t i e between t h e two  Okkas i s r i t u a l i z e d i n a s p e c i a l ceremony a n d emphasizes t h e  political,  economic, and p e r s o n a l o b l i g a t i o n s w h i c h r e s u l t f r o m t h e new bond. . . . . A c t i v i t i e s f o r t h e "Kanni-Mangala" b e g i n when a young man e x p r e s s e s h i s d e s i r e t o marry. ther together  Then, h i s f a t h e r o r e l d e r b r o (12)  w i t h a s p e c i a l f a m i l y f r i e n d , c a l l e d Aruva  ,  goes t o t h e Okka o f t h e young woman where t h e a r r i v a l i s e x • pected.  A s i m p l e ceremony, c a l l e d Mangala K u r i p a i s c o n d u c t e d  as a s i g n o f a n i r r e v e r s i b l e c o n t r a c t between t h e two f a m i l i e s . Soon a f t e r t h i s i n i t i a l s t e p , t h e l o c a l a s t r o l o g e r s e l e c t s an a u s p i c i o u s day f o r t h e performance o f Mangala, a n d a n e v e n more a u s p i c i o u s p a r t o f t h e d a y f o r t h e performance o f M u r t a , w h i c h c o n s t i t u t e s t h e r i t u a l l y most i m p o r t a n t p a r t o f Mangala. The h o u s e ( s ) i n w h i c h t h e Mangala t a k e s p l a c e i s c l e a n e d , and a d e c o r a t e d p a v i l l i o n o f f i v e p i l l a r s , one o f w h i c h i s t h e b r a n c h o f a m i l k - e x u d i n g t r e e , i s e r e c t e d i n f r o n t o f t h e house, very c l o s e t o t h e f r o n t veranda.  The i n v i t e d g u e s t s o f t e n h e l p  w i t h t h e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f t h i s marriage I n the'evening'-of  pavillion.  t h e f i r s t day ( c a l l e d T r u Kuduve), b e f o r e  t a k i n g m e a l s , f o l k s o n g s c o n n e c t e d w i t h t h e wedding a r e c h a n t e d b y e l d e r s i n honour o f t h e b r i d e and groom.  A s i m i l a r program t a k e s  p l a c e i n b o t h Okkas a l m o s t s i m u l t a n e o u s l y .  -28I n t h e bride-groom's  house, (the same t a k e s p l a c e i n  t h e b r i d e ' s house) t h e wedding p a r t y i n t h e company o f t h e groom p r o c e e d s  from t h e c e n t r a l h a l l , where t h e groom w o r s h i p -  ped t h e s a c r e d lamp ( N e l l u k i B o l u k ) , t o t h e K a i m a t a , o r p l a c e where t h e a n c e s t o r s a r e w o r s h i p p e d ,  c a r r y i n g a l i g h t which  had been k i n d l e d w i t h t h e flame o f t h e s a c r e d lamp.  The groom  i g n i t e s an e a r t h e n lamp t h e r e and i n v o k e s t h e b l e s s i n g o f t h e ancestors. The groom i s d r e s s e d i n t h e t r a d i t i o n a l C o o r g costume, a b l a c k knee-^.ong c o t t o n d r e s s i n g gown t h a t i s s e c u r e d a t t h e w a i s t w i t h a t a s s e l l e d red silk' sash. i s t i e d around h i s head. red  A kerchief, also red,  The b r i d e wears a r e d s a r e e and  a  kerchief. Low c a s t e m u s i c i a n s b e a t tom-toms and p l a y p i p e s i n f r o n t  o f t h e house, and young p e o p l e dance t o t h e i r  music.  When t h e groom t a k e s h i s f o o d , two o r t h r e e c l o s e f r i e n d s , i n c l u d i n g h i s b e s t man,  j o i n him and e a t t o g e t h e r .  The b r i d e , i n  h e r home, i s accompanied by h e r b r i d e ' s maid and f r i e n d s .  The  f o o d ( d i f f e r e n t t y p e s o f r i c e p u d d i n g s and r i c e - m e a t c u r r y ) i s served w i t h water, m i l k , or a l c o h o l . The n e x t m o r n i n g ( s t i l l c o n s i d e r e d t h e f i r s t day o f t h e wedding),  t h e groom i s shaved r i t u a l l y by t h e b a r b e r .  o n l y , he i s shaved w i t h m i l k i n s t e a d o f w i t h w a t e r .  This time The  bride,  i n h e r n a t a l home, undergoes a s i m i l a r ceremony c a l l e d "the wearing o f bangles".  L a t e r , both prepare t o take a r i t u a l bath  seconded by t h e b e s t man  o r t h e b r i d e ' s m a i d , who  b r o t h e r and s i s t e r - i n - l a w .  are g e n e r a l l y  Three m a r r i e d women i n i t i a t e  the  b a t h i n b o t h c a s e s by p o u r i n g t h r e e v e s s e l s e a c h on t h e heads o f t h e groom and t h e b r i d e .  Widows have no a c c e s s t o any o f t h e s e  r i t e s . ; L a t e r , t h e groom i s d r e s s e d i n h i s f u l l C o o r g costume (the  same as t h e e v e n i n g b e f o r e p l u s j e w e l l e r y , ornaments, h i s  t r a d i t i o n a l Coorg dagger and sword, and h i s turban}  The b r i d e  wears a r e d s i l k s a r e e , a r e d k e r c h i e f , r e d v e i l , j e w e l l e r y f o r h a i r , neck, hands, f e e t , and t o e s .  The g r o a n , t h e n , i s c o n d u c t e d t o t h e p l a c e where M u r t a i s t o be h e l d .  The p a r t y i s accompanied by t h e band, and  two e a r t h e n lamps on c o p p e r p l a t e s a r e c a r r i e d b y two g i r l s  (13) w a l k i n g o n e i t h e r s i d e o f t h e groom.  The B a t t e - P a t  or  wedding song i s sung b y Coorg men, g i v i n g a n a c c o u n t o f t h e immediate happenings.  The b e s t man d i r e c t s t h e groom t o t h e  c e n t e r o f t h e p a v i l l i o n where t h e t h r e e - l e g g e d Coorg s t o o l i s positioned  ( f l a n k e d b y two e a r t h e r n lamps) and w a l k s h i m a -  round t h e s t o o l and t h e lamps t h r e e t i m e s clock-^wise. Then t h e groom s i t s down o n t h e s t o o l .  Three m a r r i e d women s t e p  f o r w a r d and p e r f o r m a s e t o f s o l i t a r y r i t e s  (= Murta)  first.  L a t e r , t h e r e s t o f t h e assembled g u e s t s f o l l o w . Murta c o n s i s t s o f t h e f o l l o w i n g r i t e s :  first,  each  p e r f o r m e r w o r s h i p s t h e lamps o n e i t h e r s i d e o f t h e groom (by b e n d i n g o v e r and t o u c h i n g h i s / h e r f e e t t h r e e t i m e s w i t h f o l d e d h a n d s ) , t h e n he/she w o r s h i p s t h e sun; a f t e r t h a t , he/she p i c k s . up some r i c e from a copper p l a t e w i t h b o t h hands and f i n a l l y s p r i n k l e s - t h e r i c e o n t h e head o f t h e groom.  Then m i l k i s  o f f e r e d t o t h e groom from a cup w h i c h he s i p s t h r o u g h a s p o u t , a few d r o p s a t a t i m e .  B e f o r e he/she t u r n s away, t h e groom  p r o s t r a t e s t h r e e t i m e s i f he/she happens t o be an e l d e r .  Then  t h e groom i s b l e s s e d b y each o f them. A f t e r Murta i s over, t h e guests a r e taken t o e a t lunch. They l e a v e t h e house i n t h e a f t e r n o o n , and w i l l n o t r e t u r n unt i l t h e n e x t day. That n i g h t , s h o r t l y a f t e r m i d n i g h t , t h e groom c e r e m o n i o u s l y s e t s o f f t o t h e Okka o f t h e b r i d e .  He i s accompanied by h i s  wedding p a r t y , i n c l u d i n g f r i e n d s , r e l a t i v e s o f b o t h s e x e s , and h i s Aruva. dawn.  The p a r t y i s e x p e c t e d t o r e a c h t h e b r i d e ' s house b y  A f t e r a r i t u a l g r e e t i n g , some p l a n t a i n stumps i n f r o n t  o f t h e g i r l ' s house a r e c u t i n two b y one b l o w o f t h e Coorg w a r sword.  E i t h e r t h e groom h i m s e l f o r a member o f h i s f a m i l y p e r -  forms t h i s r i t e , s y m b o l i z i n g t h e p h y s i c a l s t r e n g t h o f t h e groom's  -30Okka.  Then, one m a r r i e d woman ( p r e f e r a b l y t h e s i s t e r o f  t h e groom) hands o v e r a s m a l l b a s k e t f u l l o f e d i b l e s t o the b r i d e ' s p a r t y .  A f t e r some more f o r m a l i t i e s , t h e groom  and t h e b r i d e a r e c o n d u c t e d t o t h e p l a c e where M u r t a i s h e l d . T h i s Damphati-Murta (the second Murta) i s p e r f o r m e d a l most a t dawn and has b o t h t h e b r i d e and t h e groom as i t s objects.  L a t e r , t h e groom h i m s e l f p e r f o r m s - y e t a n o t h e r  M u r t a on h i s f u t u r e w i f e , and o f f e r s h e r a few g o l d r i n g s and c o i n s w h i c h were g i v e n t o him e a r l i e r by h i s mother. A f t e r o f f e r i n g t h i s g i f t , t h e groom r a i s e s t h e b r i d e o f f t h e s t o o l and l e a d s h e r i n t o a room nearby.  With t h i s ,  the  r e l i g i o u s p a r t o f t h e Manqala i s o v e r . The a c t u a l l e g a l i z a t i o n - d f t h e m a r r i a g e i s t h r o u g h t h e Sammanda ceremony.  symbolized  B e f o r e t h i s ceremony, t h e  b r i d e i s n o t y e t m a r r i e d ; a f t e r i t , she i s a member o f husband's Okka, even i f h e r husband s h o u l d d i e b e f o r e p h y s i c a l consummation o f t h e m a r r i a g e .  her the  D u r i n g t h e Sammanda  ceremony, e l d e r s f r o m t h e two Okkas s t a n d i n two rows f a c i n g each other.  C o n f i r m a t i o n o f oaths, the pledge o f  possession  o f t h e husband's house by t h e b r i d e and o t h e r r i g h t s a r e a f f i r m e d by t h e two A r u v a s ( o r f a m i l y f r i e n d s ) . Sammanda t h a t d e f i n e s and c l a r i f i e s t h e new  I t i s the  structural situa-  t i o n w h i c h has come i n t o e x i s t e n c e t h r o u g h t h e wedding. b r i n g s home t o t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s t h a t a new  "It  legal situation  has a r i s e n , t h a t an i n d i v i d u a l has been t r a n s f e r r e d f r o m Okka t o another" ( S r i n i v a s 1952:  129).  This i s  one  symbolized  by t h e t r a n s f e r o f p e b b l e s by t h e b r i d e ' s A r u v a t o t h e groom's Aruva.  The p e b b l e s ''represent  'pieces o f gold' through which  t h e b r i d e buys h e r s e l f membership i n t h e husband's Okka. Handing o v e r t h e p e b b l e s t o t h e groom's A r u v a Aruva symbolizes  by t h e b r i d e ' s  the t y p i c a l p l e d g e o f p o s s e s s i o n .  It is a  t o k e n f o r s e a l i n g t h e b r i d e ' s r i g h t s i n t h e husband's p r o p e r t y . Out o f t w e l v e p e b b l e s , one remaining  i s r e t a i n e d t o i n d i c a t e the b r i d e ' s  connection w i t h her n a t a l family.  In f a c t , i f the  -31b r i d e happens t o be d i v o r c e d l a t e r , she h a s t h e r i g h t t o r e t u r n t o h e r n a t a l home. the f r o n t a l breast-knot  The e l e v e n p e b b l e s a r e l a t e r t i e d t o o f thebride's  saree.  I n t h e meantime h e r b o x e s , b e d v e s s e l s e t c . a r e c a r r i e d f r o m h e r room i n t o t h e main h a l l . A f t e r t h e Sammanda ceremony i s o v e r , t h e groom s t r e t c h e s h i s r i g h t hand t h r o u g h a gap i n t h e d o o r and t a k e s t h e b r i d e o u t o f t h e room where he had remained f o r t h e d u r a t i o n o f Sammanda.  The e n t i r e p a r t y t h e n moves o u t o f t h e m a i n h a l l  amidst cheers,  a p p l a u s e , and m u s i c .  Whenever t h e c o u p l e  c r o s s e s a t h r e s h o l d , t h e y a r e reminded t o p u t t h e i r r i g h t foot f i r s t .  A t t h e t h r e s h o l d o f t h e veranda, t h e brother o f  t h e b r i d e ' s mother d e t a i n s h e r f o r a moment.  The b r i d e i s  a l l o w e d t o p r o c e e d , o n l y i f he i s o f f e r e d a s o v e r e i g n b y t h e groom's p a r t y . saree.  T h i s c o i n he t i e s l a t e r t o a c o r n e r o f h e r  T h i s r i t u a l i n d i c a t e s t h e m o r a l r i g h t he h a s on t h e  girl. B u t now, t h e b r i d e l e a v e s h e r n a t a l home a s a new memb e r o f h e r husband's f a m i l y .  Some t i m e a f t e r t h e a r r i v a l o f  t h e b r i d e i n h e r husband's Okka a s e r i e s o f r i t e s a r e p e r formed i n o r d e r t o show t h a t she now s h a r e s c e r t a i n r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s i n h e r new home. to the nearest  She c a r r i e s a b a s k e t f u l l o f manure  f i e l d and on h e r r e t u r n fetches a p o t o f water  f r o m t h e w e l l a f t e r she h a s p e r f o r m e d Ganga P u j a .  IJpon h e r r e -  t u r n t o t h e house t h e g u e s t s d e p a r t s l o w l y . A f t e r t h e f i r s t meal w i t h h e r husband t h e l a s t r i t u a l o f t h e "Kanni-Mangala" t a k e s p l a c e : by t h e e l d e r s o f h e r new Okka. couple leaves f o r the n u p t i a l s .  i t i s t h e naming o f t h e b r i d e Shortly thereafter the bridal W i t h t h i s , t h e wedding i s o v e r .  Some t i m e a f t e r t h e wedding, t h e young c o u p l e f o r m a l l y pays a v i s i t t o a l l i t s close relatives.  I t i s a l s o u s u a l t o under-  take a pilgrimage t o the holy r i v e r Kaveri during the f i r s t Sankramana month o f O c t o b e r a f t e r t h e wedding.  Here t h e c r e a t i o n  o f t h e new bond i s r e c o g n i z e d b y t h e young c o u p l e t h r o u g h t h e  -32-  expression of t h e i r s o l i d a r i t y .  With t h i s pilgrimage the  new r i t u a l , s o c i a l , and i n d i v i d u a l bond has found i t s f u l l (14) manifestation. F o r t h e sake o f c l a r i t y I d e v i s e d t h e f o l l o w i n g T a b l e i n o r d e r t o a l l o t t o each o f t h e a c t i o n s and e v e n t s  (Table B ) ,  ( t h a t happen c h r o -  n o l o g i c a l l y d u r i n g t h e two days o f t h e "Kanni-Mangala"),  one  (or more)  s y m b o l i c r e f e r e n c e s t h a t c o i n c i d e w i t h t h e " s y m b o l i c complexes " a s out e a r l i e r  (on page 6 ) .  The o b j e c t i v e o f t h i s p r o c e d u r e  laid  i s to establish  t h e d a t a - b a s e f o r each o f t h e c o n s e c u t i v e c h a p t e r s , t h a t i s , t o l o c a t e c e r e m o n i a l r e f e r e n c e s t h a t p o i n t towards r e l i g i o u s a t t i t u d e s  ("cosmic  c o n n e c t i o n s " i n C h a p t e r I ) , o t h e r s t h a t p o i n t towards w a r r i o r a t t i t u d e s ( i n C h a p t e r I I ) , and so f o r t h . I am aware t h a t my s u b j e c t i v e v i e w i s , t o some e x t e n t , r e f l e c t e d i n t h e c h o i c e o f t h e methodology, t h e d e f i n i t i o n o f t h e f o u r s y m b o l i c complexes, and t h e s e l e c t i o n o f t h e v a r i o u s c e r e m o n i a l r e f e r e n c e s w i t h i n t h e s e f o u r complexes; however, I have t r i e d t o r e d u c e my  interpretational  freedom t o t h e most o b v i o u s r e l a t i o n s h i p s between t h o s e s y m b o l i c e x p r e s s i o n s and t h e i r c o r r e s p o n d i n g s y m b o l i c complexes w h i c h "make sense".  -33-  TABLE B:  The S y m b o l i c Complexes Encoded i n t h e "Kanni-Mangala"  CHRONOLOGY PREPARATORY ACTIONS:  CEREMONIAL REFERENCES  sometime b e fore the . wedding ditto one day b e f o r e -the Mangala  THE WEDDING DAY I :  SYMBOLIC COMPLEXES (1) (2) (3) (4)  *  Mangala K u r i p a astrologer selects a u s p i c i o u s time cleaning o f the house; e r e c t i o n o f m a r r i a g e pan-^ dal  *  * *  *  —, * worship o f sacred lamp b y groom/bride worship o f ances^ tors a t the Kaimata  *  *  t r a d i t i o n a l dress e a r l y evenincJ  *  *  *  *  *  f i r s t meal f groom/bride (separately) Q  *  *  *  *  *  *  mid-night to next morning r e s t morning  r i t u a l shaving; "wearing o f bangles"  *  r i t u a l bath  * *  dressing M u r t a #' 1 noon  common l u n c h  *  *  *  -34-  TABLE B c o n t ' d :  CHRONOLOGY DAY I I :  CEREMONIAL REFERENCES  SYMBOLIC COMPLEXES (1) (2) (3) (4)  shortly after mid-night  groom t r a v e l s t o b r i d e ' s Okka  dawn  r e c e p t i o n o f groom's p a r t y : a. g i f t o f food b. war-sword rite  e a r l y morning  *  *  Murta # 2  *  M u r t a #'3  *  *  *  *  *  *  C h e e l a Pana (money g i f t t o b r i d e )  *  groom t a k e s of bride  *  possession  *  Sammanda noon  *  *  b r i d e l e a v e s n a t a l home: mother' s b r o t h e r symbolism crossing o f threshold with right foot f i r s t  *  *  1  >  e a r l y e v e n i n g ; a r r i v a l a t husband's Okka: c o n c l u d i n g r i t e s a. b r i d e c a r r i e s manure b. p e r f o r m s Ganga P u j a c. f e t c h e s w a t e r  *  *  SOME TIME AFTER:  (See Legend - page 35)  *  *  *  * *  naming o f t h e b r i d e evening  *  consummation o f m a r r i a g e couple v i s i t s r e l a t i v e s Kaveri pilgrimage  *  *  1  -35Legend:  (1)  i n c l u d e s a l l r e f e r e n c e s t o (a) v i t a l f o r c e s and e s s e n c e s , (b) p u r i f i c a t i o n , (d) s e p a r a t i o n o f t h e mundane f r o m t h e c o s m i c , (d) other p h i l o s o p h i c a l matters, r e f e r e n c e s t o (a) power, (b) (.2) = t h e "RULER" complex: dominance, (c) f i g h t i n g a b i l i t y , (d) g e n e r a l s o c i a l s t a t u s , (.3) = t h e "FARMER" complex: r e f e r e n c e s t o (a) p r o s p e r i t y , abundance, growth; (b) h o u s e h o l d unit/space, etc. (4) - t h e "KINSMAN" complex: r e f e r e n c e t o (a) k i n - t e r r i t o r i e s , k i n - g r o u p s , d e s c e n t ; (b) r o l e s r e lated to (a). = t h e "COSMIC" complex:  B e f o r e c o n t i n u i n g f u r t h e r , i t w i l l be h e l p f u l t o p o i n t o u t t h a t t h e f u n c t i o n o f t h e "Kanni-Mangala" i s c l e a r l y r e p l i c a t e d i n i t s structure.  I t s f u n c t i o n i s t o secure the perpetuation o f the s o c i e t y  t h r o u g h t h e c r e a t i o n o f t h e new p e r s o n a l bond (between t h e groom and t h e b r i d e ) a s w e l l a s o f t h e s o c i a l bond (between t h e Okkas) o n a c u l t u r e - s p e c i f i c ceremonial  level.  The most o b v i o u s s t r u c t u r a l f e a -  t u r e o f t h e Coorg m a r r i a g e ceremony, t h e n , h i g h l i g h t s t h i s d u a l i t y between male and f e m a l e , t h e two d i f f e r e n t k i n - g r o u p s ,  the r e l i g i o u s  and p o l i t i c o - e c o n o m i c symbolism, and f i n a l l y , d i s p l a y s t h e t r a n s f o r m a t i o n from t h e d u a l i t y t o a (temporary) m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f some k i n d o f unity. As n o t e d e a r l i e r , t h e "Kanni-Mangala" l a s t s u s u a l l y f o r two days. On t h e f i r s t day, t h e c u l t o f t h e Okka i s t h e f o c a l p o i n t o f t h e ritual activities.  Each f a m i l y —  separately —  gathers w i t h  and f r i e n d s a n d w o r s h i p s t h e p e r s o n t h a t i s about t o m a r r y .  relatives The second  day b r i n g s t h e m e r g i n g o f t h e two s o c i a l u n i t s (Okkas) t h r o u g h t h e combined w o r s h i p o f t h e b r i d e and t h e groom b y b o t h f a m i l i e s .  In  -36t h e Sammanda ceremony, t h e new bond i s l e g a l i z e d .  T h i s i s a neces-  s a r y p r a c t i c e , s i n c e t h e bond i s n o t i r r e v o c a b l e .  The two A r u v a s ,  (15) or family friends,  o f f i c i a t e t h e Sammanda ceremony.  They a r e  members o f " f r i e n d l y " Okkas a n d f u l f i l l numerous r i t u a l and s o c i a l f u n c t i o n s w i t h i n t h e Coorg f a m i l y and community c u l t .  As f a r a s t h e i r  r o l e i n t h e wedding ceremony i s c o n c e r n e d , i t i s t h e y who i n i t i a t e and c o n c l u d e t h e l e g a l a s p e c t s ( t h e Mangala K u r i p a and t h e Sammanda) of i t .  I n t e r e s t i n g l y enough, t h e A r u v a s c o n d u c t o n l y t h e c o n t r a c t u a l  ceremonies i n t h e "Kanni-Mangala", t h o s e w h i c h u l t i m a t e l y make t h e wedding l e g a l . The g e n e r a l s t r u c t u r e o f t h e Coorg wedding ceremony, t h e n , i s a re-enactment o f t h e s o c i a l o r d e r , s y m b o l i z e d t h r o u g h a s p e c i f i c s e t o f r i t e s and ceremonies t h a t show p a r t l y r e l i g i o u s o v e r t o n e s a n d t h a t i s p a r t l y a d r a m a t i z e d form o f p r o f a n e ( s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l ) ends (see t h e diagrammatic r e p r e s e n t a t i o n i n F i g u r e 1' - on page 3 7 ) . The s t r u c t u r e o f t h e "Kanni-Mangala" emphasizes — anything —  more t h a n  t h e f u n c t i o n o f marriage as an important l i n k i n t h e  s o c i e t a l make-up o f Coorg:  i t p r e p a r e s t h e i n d i v i d u a l s and t h e i r  r e s p e c t i v e f a m i l i e s f o r t h e new p e r s o n a l and k i n - b o n d t h r o u g h marriage.  The f i r s t day f e a t u r e s p r e p a r a t o r y a c t i v i t i e s w h i c h a r e  d e s i g n e d t o e n a b l e t h e b r i d e and groom t o c a r r y o u t t h e major w h i c h w i l l f o l l o w o n t h e n e x t day.  rituals  I n t h e presence o f t h e i r f a m i l y ;  and c l o s e f r i e n d s t h e b r i d e and groom ( s e p a r a t e l y ) c o n f i r m t h e i r r e l i g i o u s a f f i l i a t i o n b y w o r s h i p p i n g t h e s a c r e d lamp, and t h e i r a n c e s t o r s ; b y t a k i n g a meal w i t h s p e c i a l f r i e n d s t h e y s h a r e once more  FIGURE 1:  The structural make-up of the "Kanni-Mangala".  DAY II  DAY I  DICHOTOMY  worship of sacred.J : lamp i worship of ancestors-* f i r s t meal ritual shaving-: : : ritual bath-: : «  ritual dressing MURTA # 1" 1  MURTA # 3SAMMANDA right foot f i r s t MOBR retains bride •» \  -38(and f o r t h e l a s t t i m e a s u n m a r r i e d  individuals) the security o f  t h e i r own k i n and r e f e r e n c e g r o u p , and f i n a l l y , b y s h a v i n g , b a t h i n g , and d r e s s i n g , t h e y r e a c h a p o s i t i o n - r i t u a l l y and s o c i a l l y - t h a t e n a b l e s them t o be t h e o b j e c t o f w o r s h i p i n t h e f i r s t M u r t a ceremony. The n e x t day, however, b r i n g s t h e j o i n i n g o f t h e two young people  (and t h e two f a m i l i e s ) w h i c h i s f i r s t s y m b o l i z e d b y t h e  groom and h i s p a r t y t r a v e l l i n g t o t h e b r i d e ' s house.  After pre-  s e n t i n g t h e g i f t o f f o o d t o a member o f t h e b r i d e ' s p a r t y , t h e groom d i s p l a y s h i s (and h i s f a m i l y ' s ) m a r t i a l q u a l i t y b y c u t t i n g t h e p l a n t a i n stumps w i t h one b l o w o f h i s w a r - k n i f e .  After  these  e x p r e s s i o n s o f g o o d w i l l and s t r e n g t h , t h e m e r g i n g o f t h e two k i n g r o u p s t h r o u g h t h e i r r e p r e s e n t a t i v e ( t h e b r i d e and groom) i s v i s u a l i z e d i n t h e second M u r t a ceremony where, f o r t h e f i r s t and o n l y t i m e , t h e couple i s worshipped by both f a m i l i e s . his  Then t h e groom w o r s h i p s  f u t u r e w i f e i n t h e t h i r d Murta, s i g n i f y i n g h i s devotion.  t h i s , t h e u n i t y i s e s t a b l i s h e d on a r e l i g i o u s p l a n e .  With  The l e g a l i z a -  t i o n o f t h i s u n i t y , however, i s c o n f i r m e d t h r o u g h t h e Sammanda c e r e mony (the most i m p o r t a n t ceremony o f t h e e n t i r e wedding) where t h e c o - r i g h t s t o t h e p r o p e r t y o f t h e groom's Okka a r e g i v e n t o t h e b r i d e (now b e i n g h i s young w i f e ) and t o t h e groom  (now b e i n g t h e husband).  The u n i t y i s l e g a l , t h e u n i t y o f t h e c o u p l e and o f t h e k i n - g r o u p s . The s o c i e t a l c o n d i t i o n s a r e r e - e n a c t e d and s a t i s f i e d .  -38a-  C H A P T E R  T H E  C O S M I C  I  C O N N E C T I O N  -39-  A.  PROLOGUE:  When human b e i n g s d e v e l o p a sense o f o r d e r t h e y c r e a t e a powerf u l d e v i c e f o r t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n and maintenance o f t h e s o c i a l and r e l i g i o u s s t r u c t u r e i n which they l i v e . comes i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d i n v a r i o u s ways:  T h i s sense o f o r d e r b e be i t on t h e s o c i a l and  p o l i t i c a l l e v e l a s "law", "custom", and " a p p r o p r i a t e b e h a v i o u r " , o r o n t h e r e l i g i o u s - p h i l o s o p h i c a l l e v e l where we e n c o u n t e r  i t as  t h a t w h i c h one m i g h t c a l l " u l t i m a t e t r u t h " t h a t s i g n i f i e s and p r e s c r i b e s t h e c o r r e c t and o r d e r e d way o f t h e i n t e r a c t i o n s w i t h t h e d i v i n e powers and t h e m o r a l c o n d u c t o f man (Douglas 1966: 7 ) . F o r a c u l t u r e t o have a r e c o g n i z a b l e c h a r a c t e r , a p r o c e s s o f d i s c r i m i n a t i o n and e v a l u a t i o n must have t a k e n p l a c e .  T h i s works  t h r o u g h a h i e r a r c h y o f g o a l s and v a l u e s w h i c h t h e community c a n a p p l y a s a g e n e r a l g u i d e t o a c t i o n i n a wide v a r i e t y o f c o n t e x t s . C u l t u r a l i n t o l e r a n c e i s e x p r e s s e d b y a v o i d a n c e , d i s c r i m i n a t i o n , and p r e s s u r e t o conform.  I n t h e c o n t e x t o f Coorg s o c i e t y t h e s e g o a l s and  values d i s p l a y a mix o f c u l t u r e - s p e c i f i c  (indigenous) and borrowed s o c i o -  r e l i g i o u s conceptions. I n t h i s c h a p t e r , I am concerned w i t h t h e importance  t h e Coorgs  a s s i g n t o t h e i r r e l i g i o - p h i l o s o p h i c a l n o t i o n o f order as expressed i n t h e i r m a r r i a g e ceremony.  I want t o i d e n t i f y t h o s e s y m b o l i c  refer-  ences w h i c h r e f l e c t c o n c e r n w i t h ( e i t h e r g r o u p - s p e c i f i c o r shared) n o t i o n s a b o u t such t h i n g s a s t h e importance o f a u s p i c i o u s t i m e s and  -40p l a c e s , t h e w o r s h i p o f a b s t r a c t f o r c e s (as seen i n t h e sun,  sacred  lamps, a f l a m e , e t c . ) , and c o n c e p t s about p u r i f i c a t i o n and r e f i n e ment.  F i n a l l y , I want t o d e t e r m i n e t o what e x t e n t t h e Coorgs s h a r e  general Hindu cosmological  symbolism and r e f e r t o i t i n t h e i r own  religious reality.  B.  COSMIC CONNECTIONS REFIJiCTED I N THE "KANNI-MANGALA"  As l a i d o u t i n T a b l e B, a number o f r i t u a l a c t i o n s and e v e n t s i n t h e m a r r i a g e ceremony c o n c e n t r a t e philosophical  on t h e re-enactment o f r e l i g i o -  themes t h a t r e l a t e i n some way o r a n o t h e r t o t h e C o o r g  n o t i o n t h a t t h e r e e x i s t s a s u p e r i o r a b s t r a c t p l a n e , some k i n d o f a "grand o r d e r o f t h i n g s " t h a t h a s t o be f o l l o w e d i n o r d e r t o make s o c i e t y work. The  '  t e r m Mangala, f o r i n s t a n c e , p o i n t s t o t h i s v e r y n o t i o n .  It  means " a u s p i c i o u s ceremony" ( f o r m e r l y , a ceremony o f any k i n d t h a t i n c r e a s e d t h e r i t u a l and s o c i a l s t a t u s o f i t s o b j e c t s ) w h i c h s i g n i f i e s t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f a s u p e r i o r r e a l i t y and i t s l i n k t o d e s i r a b l e s o c i e t a l p a t t e r n s o f behaviour.  P e o p l e a r e t h e o b j e c t s o f Mangala,  and i t i s t h e Mangala t h a t changes t h e s o c i a l s t a t u s o f t h e p e r s o n s on w h i c h i t i s p e r f o r m e d , i n c r e a s i n g t h e r e s p e c t g i v e n t o them. F o r i n s t a n c e , a man who  k i l l e d a t i g e r s i n g l e h a n d e d l y was e n t i t l e d  t o a s p e c i a l Mangala, a s was a woman who had g i v e n b i r t h t o t e n children,  a l l o f whom l i v e d ( S r i n i v a s  1952:71).  Although there-were  many, k i n d s o f Mangala, i t i s , nowadays, s o l e l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h m a r r i a g e .  -41When a v i r g i n g i r l i s m a r r i e d t o a n unwed man she i s e n t i t l e d (as i s t h e groom) t o a Mangala, a n " a u s p i c i o u s ceremony", t h a t marks t h e i n c r e a s e i n h e r (and h i s ) r i t u a l and s o c i a l s t a t u s .  Mangala  p e r s e , t h e n , i s t h e o n l y t y p e o f " a u s p i c i o u s ceremony" p e r f o r m e d by t h e C o o r g s . Using Table C as a matrix f o r t h e f o l l o w i n g d i s c u s s i o n , I now want t o c o n c e n t r a t e o n t h o s e s p e c i f i c c e r e m o n i a l  references  w i t h i n t h e "Kanni-Mangala", w h i c h d e a l e x c l u s i v e l y w i t h Coorg c o n c e r n s r e g a r d i n g p h i l o s o p h y and cosmology. G e n e r a l l y s p e a k i n g , t h e "Kanni-Mangala" i s a h i g h l y r i t u a l i z e d v i s u a l i z a t i o n o f two c e n t r a l themes: p e r s o n s (and two k i n - g r o u p s )  t h e b r i n g i n g t o g e t h e r o f two  on a r e l i g i o u s l e v e l  (through t h e  t h r e e M u r t a s and t h e i r r e l a t e d r i t e s ) , and o n a p o l i t i c o - e c o n o m i c l e v e l t h r o u g h t h e Sammanda ceremony.  S r i n i v a s calls.;  t h e Sammanda-  p a r t t h e "non-Mangala p a r t " (1952: 7 2 ) ; I however, do n o t a g r e e w i t h this distinction.  Mangala s t a n d s f o r t h e e n t i r e m a r r i a g e ceremony,  and n o t o n l y - a s S r i n i v a s w o u l d have i t - f o r t h a t what he c a l l s t h e " r i t u a l l y important  (Mangala) p a r t " ( i b i d : 7 2 ) . A s we w i l l s e e l a t e r ,  t h i s dichotomy between r e l i g i o u s and c o n t r a c t u r a l a s p e c t s o f t h e "Kanni-Mangala" s e r v e s a s a m a j o r d i s t i n c t i o n between Coorg and Brahmanic c o s m o l o g i c a l i d e a s .  F o r now, I want t o c o n c e n t r a t e o n t h e  M u r t a ceremony, w h i c h i s t h e c e n t r a l r i t u a l o f t h e r e l i g i o u s p a r t o f Mangala.  I t i s t h i s M u r t a ceremony, t h a t n e c e s s i t a t e s the. enactment  of c e r t a i n preliminaryorites.  I f we c o n c e i v e t h e a n c e s t r a l e s t a t e a s  a r e p l i c a t i o n o f t h e cosmic o r d e r , then t h e p r e p a r a t i o n o f t h e p a r t i -  -42-  TABLE C:  Cosmic c o n n e c t i o n s  P h i l o s o p h i c a l and C o s m o l o g i c a l Concerns (a)  —  (b)  : C e r e m o n i a l A c t i o n s and References - the role o f astrology i n determining "auspicious" time f o r t h e wedding... - w o r s h i p o f t h e s u n , f i r e (lamps e t c . as r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s o f cosmic f o r c e s - c o n s t r u c t i o n o f "sacred spaces" as l o c i o f " a u s p i c i o u s " c e r e monies - t h e r o l e o f t h e a n c e s t r a l es-. t a t e as a sacred l o c a t i o n per se...  R e p l i c a t i o n o f t h e cosmic o r d e r i n human r e a l i t y :  —  C o n n e c t i o n between p u r i t y and p e r s o n a l order:  magnified.  -i  - p u r i f i c a t i o n s o f house... - purification of participants: r i t u a l shaving, v " r i t u a l bath, r i t u a l dressing... - t h e use o f r i c e , m i l k , m a t e r i a l s and c o l o u r s , a s w e l l a s g e s t u r e s w h i c h convey p u r i t y / r e s p e c t . . . - M u r t a symbolism... - Ganga P u j a and K a v e r i P i l g r i m a g e  -43c i p a n t s f o r t h e performance o f M u r t a , and t h e l o c a t i o n i n w h i c h i t i s performed, are important.  P u r i t y o f body and c l o t h e s i s a p r e -  r e q u i s i t e f o r t h e p a r t i c i p a t i o n o f a l l o b j e c t s as w e l l as s u b j e c t s i n t h e coming e v e n t s .  I n a u s p i c i o u s n e s s (which i s n o t n e c e s s a r i l y  e q u a l l e d w i t h i m p u r i t y ) o f p e r s o n s and t h i n g s , as w e l l as t i m e s , endangers t h e s u c c e s s o f t h e e n t i r e wedding.  Moreover, t h e an-  c e s t r a l e s t a t e , and e s p e c i a l l y t h e a n c e s t r a l house (the " s t a g e " o f t h e wedding "performance", a s i t were) i s c o n s i d e r e d " s a c r e d " (auspicious): C e r t a i n p a r t s o f t h e house a r e more s a c r e d t h a n t h e o t h e r s . The c e n t r a l h a l l i s v e r y sacred. In the western w a l l of the c e n t r a l h a l l i s a n i c h e i n w h i c h b u r n s an e a r t h e n o r m e t a l lamp (...) . The lamp b u r n s w i t h the l i p f a c i n g east, the sacred d i r e c t i o n . T h i s lamp i s c a l l e d N e l l u k i B o l u k . It is l i t e v e r y m o r n i n g and e v e n i n g by a woman o f t h e house who s a l u t e s i t a f t e r l i g h t i n g i t (...). The Tug B o l u k , o r h a n g i n g lamp, i s hung f r o m t h e c e i l i n g o f t h e c e n t r a l h a l l , and i s s a l u t e d on a l l r i t u a l o c c a s i o n s ( S r i n i v a s 1952: 76). U s u a l l y , the c e n t r a l h a l l i s the l o c a t i o n f o r the Murta ceremony.  However, i n r e c e n t t i m e s , a m a r r i a g e p a n d a l i s e r e c t e d i n  f r o n t o f t h e m a i n v e r a n d a o f t h e house, t o accommodate a l l t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s and g u e s t s .  N e v e r t h e l e s s , t h e p l a c e where M u r t a i s p e r f o r m e d  l i e s i n t h e c e n t e r o f t h e a n c e s t r a l e s t a t e and i s c o n s i d e r e d t h e most s a c r e d p a r t o f t h e e n t i r e p r o p e r t y . B e f o r e M u r t a c a n t a k e p l a c e t h e e n t i r e house i s c l e a n e d and i t s w a l l s a r e colour-washed.  T h i s can be seen as a r e s t o r a t i o n o f t h e  -44general order of things.  F u r t h e r , b e f o r e Murta  (and f o r t h a t m a t t e r ,  Mangala i n g e n e r a l ) c a n t a k e p l a c e , an a u s p i c i o u s t i m e s h o u l d be s e l e c t e d by t h e l o c a l a s t r o l o g e r .  S r i n i v a s s t a t e s t h a t t h e Coorgs  use K a n i y a s , a s t r o l o g e r s and m a g i c i a n s from M a l a b a r who have been s e t t l e d i n Coorg f o r a l o n g t i m e .  The Coorg b e l i e v e t h a t :  ...every i m p o r t a n t t a s k must be begun i n an a u s p i c i o u s moment o r i t w i l l f a i l . O n l y t h e K a n i y a knows t h e a u s p i c i o u s and i n a u s p i c i o u s moments, arid t h i s i s r e v e a l e d t o h i m by h i s knowledge o f a s t r o l o g y . . . A . w e d d i n g has t o be performed on an a u s p i c i o u s day a t an a u s p i c i o u s h o u r , and i f t h e r e a r e horoscopes f o r t h e boy and t h e g i r l , t h e y a r e examined t o f i n d o u t i f t h e y a r e m u t u a l l y c o m p a t i b l e (1952: 3 9 ) . The Coorgs, t h e n , b e l i e v e , t h a t t h e r e i s a " r i g h t " t i m e i n w h i c h the f o r c e s o f the universe - which are r e p l i c a t e d i n the f o r c e c r e a t e d t h r o u g h t h e u n i o n o f two p e r s o n s i n m a r r i a g e - a r e p o s i t i v e . T h i s means t h a t t h e c h o i c e o f an a u s p i c i o u s t i m e f o r t h e " K a n n i Mangala" and i t s M u r t a s i s r e g a r d e d as b e i n g o f c o n s i d e r a b l e imp o r t a n c e f o r t h e a b i l i t y t o r e g e n e r a t e and p e r p e t u a t e human l i f e and p r o s p e r i t y .  The c o n n e c t i o n between boy and g i r l  (and t h e i r  r e s p e c t i v e f a m i l i e s ) i s apt t o regenerate the b e l i e f i n the i n s e p a r a b i l i t y between t h e s u p e r n a t u r a l power o f t h e u n i v e r s e and t h e ordinary l i f e - f o r c e of  man.  F i n a l l y , b e f o r e M u r t a c a n t a k e p l a c e , t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s have t o be i n a c e r t a i n s t a t e o f r i t u a l p u r i t y . shaved  The groom i s r i t u a l l y  (whereas t h e g i r l goes t h r o u g h a r i t e c a l l e d "the w e a r i n g o f  b a n g l e s " ) , b o t h r e c e i v e a r i t u a l b a t h , and b o t h a r e d r e s s e d i n r i t u a l l y clean clothes.  -45B e f o r e s h a v i n g , t h e groom s a l u t e s t h e s a c r e d w a l l - l a m p t h e n s i t s down on t h e t r i p o d s t o o l w h i c h i s p l a c e d on a  and  mat:  N e a r t h e mat i s a d i n i n g d i s h c o n t a i n g m i l k , and a h a r v e s t b a s k e t c o n t a i n i n g same r i c e , a c o c o n u t , a bunch o f p l a n t a i n s , and b e t e l l e a v e s and a r e c a - n u t s . Water may n o t be u s e d f o r s h a v i n g on t h i s o c c a s i o n . M i l k i s u s e d i n s t e a d . The s h a v i n g s a r e p u t i n t o t h e d i n i n g d i s h , and l a t e r , t h e b a r b e r empties t h e d i s h a t the f o o t o f a milk-exuding t r e e . A d i s t i n c t i v e form o f s h a v i n g p r e v a i l s a t marriage ( — ) . The f r o n t o f t h e head i s shaved i n such a manner t h a t i t l e a v e s two 'horns' above t h e t e m p l e s , formed by t h e shaved p a t c h e s . T h i s form o f s h a v i n g i s c a l l e d 'Kombanjavara', w h i c h means 'hornshave '. (...) The h a r v e s t - b a s k e t c o n t a i n i n g r i c e , e t c . , and t h e b e l l - m e t a l d i n i n g d i s h , and t h e s c a r f a t t h e groom's w a i s t , a r e g i v e n as g i f t s t o t h e b a r b e r , ( i b i d : 8 0 ) . W h i l e t h e groom i s b e i n g shaved, t h e b r i d e ( i n h e r n a t a l home) undergoes a s i m i l a r r i t u a l .  The b r i d e ' s b r o t h e r ' s w i f e removes a  t h i n w i s p o f h a i r from t h e b r i d e ' s head, and p a r e s h e r n a i l s . a r e p u t i n t o a d i n i n g - d i s h and mixed w i t h m i l k .  These  L a t e r , the d i n i n g -  d i s h i s emptied a t t h e f o o t o f a m i l k - e x u d i n g t r e e . S h o r t l y a f t e r t h i s r i t e o f s h a v i n g t h e groom and p a r i n g , t h e n a i l s o f the b r i d e , both are ready t o take the p u r i f y i n g bath: The b e s t man o r t h e b r i d e ' s m a i d , as t h e c a s e may be, (...) conduct t h e b a t h . Three m a r r i e d women i n i t i a t e i t by p o u r i n g t h r e e v e s s e l s e a c h on t h e heads o f b r i d e and groom. ( ) Widows have no a c c e s s t o any o f t h e s e r i t e s (Muthanna 1953: 324) . Immediately  a f t e r t h e b a t h , t h e b r i d e and groom a r e r i t u a l l y  d r e s s e d i n t h e i r t r a d i t i o n a l Coorg costume; now t h e y a r e f i t t o a c t  -46-  as t h e o b j e c t s o f M u r t a , where t h e y a r e w o r s h i p p e d b y t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e f a m i l i e s and c l o s e f r i e n d s . These t h r e e s e t s o f p r e p a r a t o r y r i t e s and a c t i v i t i e s mark t h e d e p a r t u r e from t h e o r d i n a r y day-to-day r e a l i t y towards a r i t u a l l y higher  (cosmic) p l a n e on w h i c h t h e M u r t a i s c o n c e p t u a l i z e d and  performed.  Here t h e c o n n e c t i o n between r e l i g i o u s i d e a s and t h e  social reality i s visualized.  As F i g u r e I I shows, i t i s t h e r i t u a l  s p e c i f i c i t y o f the three preparatory a c t i v i t i e s that defines the e l e v a t e d l o c u s o f t h e M u r t a ceremony:  FIGURE I I :  R e a l i z a t i o n o f t h e "cosmic c o n n e c t i o n " between t h e " u l t i m a t e o r d e r " and t h e "day-to-day r e a l i t y " t h r o u g h Murta.  COSMIC PLANE  M U R T A "cosmic connection" M A N G A L A  (2)  (1)  (3)  ORDINARY REALITY  (1) (2) (3)  .astrologer coordinates "auspicious time" f o r t h e performance o f Mangala and M u r t a . . p u r i f i c a t i o n o f l o c a l e i n w h i c h Mangala and M u r t a take place. .purification of participants.  -47Murta s t a r t s central hall  when t h e g r o a n o r t h e b r i d e p r o c e e d s t o t h e  (or t h e marriage p a n d a l ) .  There, a t h r e e - l e g g e d  s t o o l i s s i t u a t e d , f l a n k e d b y two b e l l - m e t a l  lamps.  The groom ( b r i d e ) t h r i c e w a l k s around t h e t r i p o d s t o o l and (the) lamps b e f o r e s i t t i n g down (on t h e s t o o l ) . C i r c u m a m b u l a t i o n i s c l o c k w i s e (...) . I n f r o n t o f t h e s i t t i n g groom i s a n o t h e r s u c h s t o o l c o v e r e d w i t h a r e d s i l k c l o t h . An e a r t h e n lamp b u r n s i n a m e t a l d i n i n g - d i s h w h i c h i s k e p t o n t h e s t o o l b e f o r e t h e groom. The lamp r e s t s on a t h i r d bed o f r i c e spread i n s i d e t h e dish. (Besides) t h e e a r t h e n lamp, a K i n d i f u l l o f m i l k i s kept ( w i t h i n easy r e a c h ) . A K i n d i i s a b e l l metal v e s s e l w i t h a l o n g spout a t t h e s i d e . E a c h o f t h e assembled r e l a t i v e s s i n g l y p e r f o r m s M u r t a o n t h e groom ( b r i d e ) . Three m a r r i e d women, close r e l a t i v e s o f the (object o f Murta), are r e q u i r e d t o p e r f o r m i t b e f o r e anyone e l s e ( ) . The mother, o r (a) s e n i o r m a r r i e d woman, b e g i n s by s p r i n k l i n g r i c e o n t h e two b e l l - m e t a l lamps on e i t h e r s i d e o f t h e groom ( b r i d e ) , and t h e n s a l u t e s them. The sun-god i s s a l u t e d a f t e r t h r o w i n g some r i c e backwards, o v e r t h e s h o u l d e r s . Then, ( t h e woman) d e p o s i t s some r i c e s u c c e s s i v e l y a t t h e j o i n t s o f knees and e l b o w s , s h o u l d e r s , a n d on t h e head o f t h e groom. The (woman) t h e n h o l d s t h e s p o u t e d v e s s e l b e f o r e t h e groom a n d he s u c k s i n a l i t t l e m i l k through t h e spout. A f t e r t h i s , she p r e s e n t s t h e (groom) w i t h a g o l d o r s i l v e r c o i n . The groom s a l u t e s h e r b y t o u c h i n g h e r f e e t w i t h b o t h h i s hands and c a r r y i n g t h e l a t t e r b a c k t o h i s f o r e - h e a d . T h i s i s done t h r i c e . The woman t h e n b l e s s e s h i m b y t o u c h i n g h i s head a n d s a y i n g , 'may y o u l i v e l o n g ' , o r 'may y o u l i v e h a p p i l y ' . A f t e r t h e woman i s f i n i s h e d , t h e r e s t o f t h e assembled g u e s t s f o l l o w h e r example (Muthanna 1953: 325; S r i n i v a s 1952: 7 4 ) .  A f t e r t h e " i n d i v i d u a l " M u r t a (performed s e p a r a t e l y o n t h e groom and t h e b r i d e ) , t h e e x a c t r i t u a l i s r e p e a t e d o n t h e c o u p l e  (second  Murta) and, f i n a l l y , o n t h e b r i d e by t h e groom ( t h i r d M u r t a ) . M u r t a marks t h e a t t a i n m e n t  Each  o f a s u c c e s s i v e l y h i g h e r r i t u a l and  social position. The o b j e c t ( s ) o f M u r t a a r e - a t t h i s p a r t i c u l a r moment i n t h e i r l i f e - i n c l o s e p r o x i m i t y w i t h t h e " u l t i m a t e powers" o f t h e u n i v e r s e and become, i n t u r n , s u p e r n a t u r a l t h e m s e l v e s .  Surrounded b y t h e  s a c r e d lamps w h i c h r e p r e s e n t c o s m i c f o r c e s , a s w e l l a s b y t h e l i f e g i v i n g powers o f r i c e and m i l k , t h e y . a r e r e p l i c a t i o n s o f t h e c o s m i c body "en m i n i a t u r e " ; t h i s i s s y m b o l i z e d b y t o u c h i n g t h e knee, h i p , and s h o u l d e r - j o i n t s o f t h e groom's (and t h e b r i d e ' s ) body. I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o n o t e t h a t t h e Coorgs do n o t u s e p r i e s t s f o r t h e r e l i g i o u s p a r t o f t h e i r marriage.  Usually, the p r i e s t (or  any o t h e r t y p e o f r e l i g i o u s s p e c i a l i s t ) f u n c t i o n s a s t h e m e d i a t o r between t h e s u p e r n a t u r a l r e a l m and t h e o r d i n a r y human r e a l i t y and his  a c t i o n s a r e regarded as m a n i f e s t a t i o n s o f these connections.  In  t h e C o o r g c a s e , t h e f a m i l y members and c l o s e f r i e n d s o f t h e b r i d a l couple perform t h e r i t u a l a c t i o n s t h a t a r e designed  t o add t o , and  u n d e r l i n e , t h e a u s p i c i o u s n e s s o f t h e p a r t i c u l a r ceremony i n q u e s t i o n . They a c t o u t t h i s r o l e communally, t h u s s t r e s s i n g t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f t h e f a m i l y (and t o some e x t e n t , t h e community) c u l t , w h i c h r e p r e s e n t s a m a j o r p a r t o f Coorg r e l i g i o u s p r a c t i c e s .  To r e t u r n once more t o t h e p r i e s t - i s s u e :  i t appears, t h a t  t h i s t e r m i s n o t e a s i l y a p p l i c a b l e w i t h r e s p e c t t o Coorg r e l i g i o u s reality.  I n c o n t r a s t t o t h e Hindu conception o f p r i e s t s , as being  t e a c h e r s and r e l i g i o u s s p e c i a l i s t s who p l a y a paramount r o l e a s guardians o f Hindu i d e o l o g y , thus occupying t h e t o p p o s i t i o n i n the s o c i a l h i e r a r c h y o f c a s t e , t h e —  more o r ^ l e s s —  egalitarian  s t r u c t u r e o f C o o r g s o c i e t y a p p e a r s t o work t h r o u g h a s e t o f s o l i d a r i t y r u l e s t h a t r e i n f o r c e s the r e l i g i o u s notions o f the connection between r e a l w o r l d s and non-matter w o r l d t h r o u g h t h e c o n t i n u o u s s t r a t i o n o f m u l t i l a t e r a l expressions o f respect.  demon-  Respect i s g i v e n  t o a l l p e r s o n s and o b j e c t s w h i c h command r e s p e c t , t h a t i s , w h i c h a r e c o n s i d e r e d t o be e i t h e r a u s p i c i o u s (through M a n g a l a ) , o r c o n v e r s l y , r e s p e c t i s w i t h e l d from those b e i n g i n a u s p i c i o u s (not i n t h e p o s i t i o n t o have a Mangala p e r f o r m e d on them, i . e . a l l p e r s o n s (and t h e i r s p i r i t s ) o r o b j e c t s w h i c h , b y d e f i n i t i o n , do n o t d e s e r v e respect).  And, f i n a l l y , r e s p e c t i s g i v e n b y a l l members o f t h e  community, t h u s , r e i n f o r c i n g t h e more t a n g i b l e c h a r a c t e r o f C o o r g cosmological ideas.  The o n l y r i t u a l s p e c i a l i s t s  (but n o t n e c e s s a r i l y  b e i n g o f t h e r e l i g i o u s s o r t , a s , f o r i n s t a n c e , t h e Brahmin p r i e s t s ) a r e t h e A r u v a s , who d e a l w i t h o r g a n i z a t i o n a l and c o n t r a c t u a l m a t t e r s o f Coorg i n t e r - c l a n r e l a t i o n s . On t h e w h o l e , t h e o n l y marked "cosmic c o n n e c t i o n " i n t h e " K a n n i Mangala" i s e s t a b l i s h e d t h r o u g h t h e M u r t a ceremony and i t s c o n n e c t e d rites.  However, t h e e n t i r e r e l i g i o u s symbolism i s r e s t r i c t e d t o t h e  re-enactment o f t h e s o c i a l o r d e r on a r e l i g i o u s p l a n e .  Srinivas calls  -50them " s o l i d a r i t y r i t e s " , and t h e e n t i r e r e l i g i o u s i d i o m o f t h e f a m i l y c u l t c e n t e r s around them.  However, t h e s e s o l i d a r i t y  d i s p l a y some r e l i g i o u s o v e r t o n e s .  F o r i n s t a n c e , t h e lamp i s a  symbol o f s o l i d a r i t y , a s w e l l a s " a u s p i c i o u s n e s s " g i v i n g f o r c e ) and " s a c r e d n e s s " from  rites  (positive  life-  (which I s e e h e r e a s an a d o p t i o n  Hinduism): . . . ( i t s y m b o l i z e s ) t h e s t r e n g t h o f t h e Okka, and i t s sudden e x t i n c t i o n r e f e r s t o t h e decay and e x t i n c t i o n o f t h e Okka (=sign o f " i n auspiciousness"). I t also refers t o the withd r a w a l o f t h e p r o t e c t i v e power o f t h e a n c e s t o r s , and t o t h e c o s m i c f o r c e s (= s i g n o f "sacredness") who a r e i n v o k e d w h i l e s a l u t i n g t h e lamp. (...). The d o m e s t i c lamp, a s l o n g a s i t i s b u r n i n g , s t a n d s f o r u n i t y , s t r e n g t h , and p r o t e c t i v e power ( S r i n i v a s 1952: 8 8 ) .  T h i s symbolism, a c c o r d i n g t o S r i n i v a s , c a n be e x t e n d e d t o f i r e i n g e n e r a l and e x p l a i n s t h e " a u s p i c i o u s n e s s " and " s a c r e d n e s s " k i t c h e n s t o v e and —  ofthe  t o some e x t e n t — , t h e s u n .  A l l other s o l i d a r i t y r i t e s  (the s p r i n k l i n g o f r i c e , t h e u s e  o f m i l k , t h e money g i f t , g e n e r a l l y , t h e s a l u t a t i o n i n f r o n t o f t h e o b j e c t ( s ) o f Murta) w i l l be d i s c u s s e d e x t e n s i v e l y i n C h a p t e r I V ("The Kinsman"); f o r now i t s u f f i c e s t h a t t h e r e i s a c o n n e c t i o n b e tween t h e " a u s p i c i o u s n e s s " and t h e " s a c r e d n e s s "  o f Coorg s o l i d a i r t y  rites. Assuming t h a t what we c a l l "Coorg r e l i g i o n " i s b a s i c a l l y a system o f s o l i d a r i t y r i t e s t h a t concentrate on ancestor-worship  and o n t h e  maintenance o f t h e s o c i a l o r d e r between t h e members o f t h e community, t h e i n f e r e n c e w o u l d h o l d t h a t t h o s e r e l i g i o u s a c t i v i t e s , w h i c h go  -51beyond t h i s l i m i t e d b e l i e f - s y s t e m a r e a d o p t i o n s o u t s i d e cosmology.  f r o m a more complex  The i n c l u s i o n o f c o n c r e t e p h i l o s o p h i c a l n o t i o n s  a b o u t t h e make-up o f a s u p e r n a t u r a l u l t i m a t e r e a l i t y , w h i c h t o some e x t e n t —  —  s e r v e s a s a n e x p l a n a t o r y p r i n c i p l e ' a s t o how  human r e a l i t y s h o u l d be p e r c e i v e d , a s w e l l a s n o t i o n s o f p u r i t y and p o l l u t i o n v i e w e d a s a s o c i e t a l i m p o s i t i o n o f o r d e r b y way o f r e l i g i o u s l y d e f i n e d s e p a r a t i o n - r u l e s , p o i n t toward t h e mixed r e l i g i o u s i d e o l o g y o f t h e Coorg p e o p l e . The Coorg n o t i o n o f r e s p e c t , s o i m p o r t a n t i n terms o f t h e i r r e l i g i o u s and s o c i a l r e a l i t y , appears on a d i f f e r e n t l e v e l , t o b e s i m i l a r t o t h e Hindu n o t i o n o f p u r i t y .  P u r i t y i s o r d e r , and t h e  members o f any g i v e n s o c i e t y w i t h i n t h e H i n d u f o l d a r e e x p e c t e d and obligated t o respect t h i s order.  However, r e s p e c t i s n o t n e c e s s a r i l y  a religious notion, while purity i s c l e a r l y r e l i g i o u s l y defined. R e s p e c t p o i n t s towards a s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l archy  (profane) n o t i o n o f h i e r -  (status), while purity refers t o religious hierarchy  status).  (ritual  The s u p e r i m p o s i t i o n o f t h e n o t i o n o f r i t u a l s t a t u s o n t o  t h e n o t i o n o f r e s p e c t i n t h e C o o r g c a s e i s an a m p l i f i c a t i o n o f C o o r g p o s s i b i l i t i e s t o i n t e r a c t w i t h o u t s i d e (Hindu) g r o u p s , f o r whom r i t u a l s t a t u s i s "encompassing" ( t o u s e Dumont's term) and t h u s s u p e r i o r (to) s o c i a l s t a t u s . The e x a m i n a t i o n  o f t h e r e l i g i o u s p a r t o f t h e "Kanni-Mangala"  s u p p o r t s my a s s u m p t i o n t h a t t h e Coorgs i n c o r p o r a t e d H i n d u cosmology i n a l i m i t e d f a s h i o n , a n d e x t e n d e d i t s symbolism t o a r r i v e a t a more complex l e v e l o f i n t e r p r e t a t i v e p o s s i b i l i t i e s w h i c h do n o t n e c e s s a r i l y  -52c o n t r a d i c t H i n d u e x p e c t a t i o n s w h i l e a t t h e same t i m e s a t i s f y i n g t h o s e o f t h e i r own s o c i e t y .  TABLE D:  Table D h i g h l i g h t s these f a c t s :  E x t e n s i o n o f M u r t a ceremony t h r o u g h a d o p t i o n o f H i n d u cosmological ideas.  MURTA RITUALS  HINDU CC6M0L0GICAL IDEAS - use o f a s t r o l o g y t o d e t e r m i n e "auspicious" time (optional) - p u r i f i c a t i o n o f house ( p r e s c r i b e d ) - e r e c t i o n o f marriage pandal (optional)  - w o r s h i p o f s a c r e d lamps - worship of ancestors - r i t u a l shaving (essential) - r i t u a l bath (essential) - r i t u a l dressing i n t r a d i t i o n a l costume - w o r s h i p o f t h e sun - u s e o f r i c e and m i l k - the three circumambulations (essential) - touching the body-joints w i t h r i c e (essential) - s a l u t a t i o n and b l e s s i n g - performance o f 3 M u r t a s - c r o s s i n g the threshold w i t h r i g h t foot f i r s t (optional) - Ganga P u j a ( o p t i o n a l )  I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o see t h a t t h e f o u r e s s e n t i a l r i t e s are  (which  o f t e n used i n h i g h - c a s t e Hindu marriage ceremonies, but are not  f r e q u e n t l y e v i d e n c e d i n m a r g i n a l o r non-Hindu c o m m u n i t i e s ) , c o n c e n t r a t e on t h e n o t i o n o f v i s u a l i z i n g r i t u a l p u r i t y i n t h e H i n d u s e n s e , and, c o n s e q u e n t l y , p o i n t t o t h e C o o r g n o t i o n t o see t h e m s e l v e s as b e i n g o f  h i g h s t a t u s as w e l l . The a d o p t i o n o f t h e p u r i t y - s t a t u s r e l a t e d r i t e s  ( r i t u a l shaving,  r i t u a l bath) p r o b a b l y s e r v e d a s a v e h i c l e t o n d n i m i z e t h e c o n c e p t u a l gap  between t h o s e o u t s i d e groups ( i n t h i s c a s e , t h e L i n g a y a t s )  w i t h whom t h e Coorgs i n t e r m a r r i e d . I , t h e r e f o r e , t e n d t o b e l i e v e , t h a t t h e Coorgs were — than anything — Hindu r i t e s .  p o l i t i c a l l y m o t i v a t e d when t h e y adopted  more  these  F i r s t , r i t u a l p u r i t y and r e l i g i o - p h i l o s o p h i c a l  symbolism h e l p e d them t o a t t a i n t h e s t a t u s o f a r i s t o c r a t s and second, i t h e l p e d them t o s e p a r a t e t h e m s e l v e s from a l l t h o s e c a s t e groups t h a t were, b y d e f i n i t i o n , r i t u a l l y i n f e r i o r .  According t o  ( i n  h i s t o r i c a l data  they maintained t h e i r s t a t u s by u n d e r l i n i n g t h e  d i f f e r e n c e between t h e m s e l v e s and a l l o u t s i d e r s , b y i m p o s i n g o r d e r e x t e r n a l l y through t h e i r s u p e r i o r  ( r i t u a l and p o l i t i c a l ) s t a t u s .  It  i s p o s s i b l e t h a t t h e Coorgs p r o t e c t e d t h e i r r i t u a l s t a t u s from t h e p r o f a n a t i o n t h r o u g h i n f e r i o r i n f l u e n c e ; i f t h i s was t h e c a s e one c o u l d argue t h a t t h i s p r o t e c t i o n e x p r e s s e d t h e s t r u c t u r a l d i s t a n c e i n t h e form o f s e p a r a t i o n i n two ways:  power was e s t a b l i s h e d  t h r o u g h t h e a f f i n i t y w i t h r i t u a l p u r i t y , and power was m a i n t a i n e d through d i s t a n c e from t h e source o f i m p u r i t y .  The C o o r g s ,  then,  p r a c t i c e d these p u r i t y r i t e s mainly i n t h e context o f warding o f f any a m b i g u i t y a t t h e i r e x t e r n a l b o u n d a r i e s .  Internally, their  n o t i o n o f r e s p e c t t o o k on r e l i g i o u s c h a r a c t e r t h r o u g h t h e superimposition  o f t h e p u r i t y / p o l l u t i o n c o n c e p t w h i c h l e d t o an e x -  pansion o f the r i t u a l idiom o f the family c u l t .  The whole s o c i e t y  -54came t o s n a r e a r e l i g i o u s and p o l i t i c o - e c o n o m i c i d e n t i t y i n r e l a t i o n t o t h e o u t s i d e w o r l d , t h u s d e f i n i n g t h e a c t i o n s and n o n - a c t i o n s o f t h e i n t e r n a l and e x t e r n a l sphere o f Coorg L e t u s t a k e a n o t h e r l o o k a t T a b l e C:  life. asserting that the  e n t r i e s under "Murta r i t u a l s " r e p r e s e n t t h e b a s i c markers o f Coorg t r a d i t i o n a l r e l i g i o u s symbolism w i t h i n t h e i r m a r r i a g e ceremony, t h e n o n l y two s e t s o f r e f e r e n c e s e x p r e s s c o n c e r n w i t h "cosmic" r e l a t i o n ships:  t h e w o r s h i p o f t h e s a c r e d lamp and t h e sun on t h e one hand,  and t h a t o f t h e o b j e c t s o f M u r t a ( t h e b r i d e and t h e groom) and t h e a n c e s t o r s on t h e o t h e r hand.  W h i l e t h e w o r s h i p o f t h e lamp and  t h e s u n d e n o t e s same k i n d o f r e s p e c t f o r an i m p e r s o n a l l i f e - g i v i n g f o r c e , t h e worship o f t h e bride/groom as w e l l as t h e ancestors d i s p l a y s a k i n d o f p e r s o n a l r e s p e c t t h a t i s d i r e c t e d toward t h e i r s u p e r n a t u r a l p o s i t i o n w i t h i n t h e r e a l m o f t h e day-to-day  reality.  I n Coorg r e a l i t y , t h e f l a m e o f t h e s a c r e d lamp s t a n d s f o r t h e u n i t y and s o l i d a r i t y o f t h e h o u s e h o l d - u n i t , w h i l e t h e s u n s y m b o l i z e s the grand l i f e - g i v i n g f o r c e .  The w o r s h i p o f t h e o b j e c t s o f M u r t a ,  however, i s b a s e d on t h e b e l i e f t h a t o r d e r e d r e l a t i o n s w i t h f a m i l y and community r e q u i r e c o n c r e t e and a b s t r a c t forms o f r e s p e c t d e p e n d i n g on t h e p a r t i c u l a r p o s i t i o n o f e a c h p e r s o n i n t h e community,, as w e l l a s whether t h e p e r s o n i n q u e s t i o n i s t h e o b j e c t o f M u r t a o r not.  On a s l i g h t l y more a b s t r a c t l e v e l , t h e Coorgs b e l i e v e t h a t t h e  w o r s h i p (= d i s p l a y o f r e s p e c t ) o f t h e a n c e s t o r s w i l l keep t h e e v i l l f o r c e s o f t h e s p i r i t s o f t h e dead i n check.  -55I t appears t h a t t h e Coorg n o t i o n o f r e s p e c t  (and I see i t h e r e  as b e i n g t h e m a j o r c a r r i e r o f r e l i g i o u s and p h i l o s o p h i c a l i d e a s ) i s maintained  and r e - i n f o r c e d b y t h e c o n s c i o u s knowledge o f i t s  polar opposition:  d i s r e s p e c t . D i s r e s p e c t i s m i s c o n d u c t and i m p l i e s  t h e d r e a d o f s o c i e t a l and r e l i g i o u s r e p e r c u s s i o n s .  But dread i s  l i k e f e a r , w h i c h i m p l i e s , i n t u r n , t h e awareness o f t h e p o s s i b i l i t y of negative experience.  I f negative experience  i s equalled with  s u f f e r i n g , i t c a n b e s e e n a s b e i n g t h e p r i c e one has t o pay f o r t h e v i o l a t i o n o f order.  The Coorg f a m i l y c u l t , t h e n , d e f i n e s and e x -  p r e s s e s a system o f v a l u e s t h a t i s based on t h e n o t i o n o f r e s p e c t , w h i c h i s seen as a p o w e r f u l s o c i e t a l mode o f e v a l u a t i o n w h i c h t r a n scends human r e a l i t y w i t h a b s t r a c t c o s m o l o g i c a l  ideas.  T h i s Coorg n o t i o n .of r e s p e c t .can b e l i n k e d t o what .'. S r i n i v a s c a l l s " a u s p i c i o u s n e s s " i n h i s Coorg book ( S r i n i v a s 1952: 70ff).  G e n e r a l l y , t h e t e r m Mangala means " a u s p i c i o u s ceremony":  p e o p l e a r e i t s o b j e c t s , and t h e y undergo a change i n s o c i a l and r i t u a l status.  I t s performance i n c r e a s e s t h e i r r e l a t i v e p o s i t i o n  w i t h i n t h e community.  A l t h o u g h m a r r i a g e i s t h e o n l y Mangala t h a t  i s s t i l l p e r f o r m e d , i n o l d e n t i m e s t h e v a r i o u s k i n d s o f Mangala (the e a r - b o r i n g , h o u s e - b u i l d i n g , pregnancy, t i g e r , e t c . ) a l w a y s had something t o do w i t h l i f e - r e l a t e d a c t i o n s o r e v e n t s . l i f e - r e l a t e d n e s s was seen a s b e i n g " a u s p i c i o u s " .  This  On t h e o t h e r hand,  d e a t h and any f o r m o f d e v i a n c e , was p e r c e i v e d a s b e i n g " i n a u s p i c i o u s " . The r e l a t i o n between l i f e  ( p r o s p e r i t y , h e a l t h , s u c c e s s , e t c . ) and  " a u s p i c i o u s n e s s " v s . d e a t h ( s i c k n e s s , d e v i a n c e , e t c . ) and " i n a u s p i c i o u s -  -56n e s s " , i s w e l l d e f i n e d i n t h e Coorg c a s e . R e s p e c t , t h e n , b e i n g t h e r e f e r e n t f o r some k i n d o f o r d e r , i s C o o r g - s p e c i f i c , and has t o be d i v o r c e d f r o m t h e n o t i o n o f p u r i t y / p o l l u t i o n i n Dumont's terms. Superimposed on t h i s C o o r g - s p e c i f i c system o f o r d e r we f i n d cosmological adoptions  f r o m H i n d u i s m w h i c h seem t o have been i n t e -  g r a t e d i n t o Coorg w o r l d - v i e w a s a reponse t o i n t e r - c u l t u r a l r e l a t i o n s w i t h H i n d u communities i n t h e p r o v i n c e . The Coorgs u s e a s t r o l o g y t o d e t e r m i n e t h e t i m e when t h e " a u s p i c i o u s " Mangala ceremony s h o u l d t a k e p l a c e .  Thus, t h e y acknow-  l e d g e t h e f a c t t h a t t h e movement o f p l a n e t a r y b o d i e s  influences  human a c t i o n s i n one way o r a n o t h e r , and t h a t what i s " s a c r e d " i s a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f t h e s u p e r n a t u r a l powers w i t h human r e a l i t y . Nevertheless,  " . . . n o t a l l Coorgs have h o r o s c o p e s , and m a r r i a g e s a r e  f r e q u e n t l y a r r a n g e d w i t h o u t r e s o r t i n g t o t h e (...) a s t r o l o g e r " ( S r i n i v a s 1952: 3 9 ) . One may i n f e r , t h e r e f o r e , t h a t t h e Coorgs use a s t r o l o g y a s a "back-up" system and t h e y r e s o r t t o i t o n l y when i n doubt.  A s i m i l a r a t t i t u d e i s d i s p l a y e d towards t h e u s e o f t h e  marriage p a v i l i o n .  A s my i n f o r m a n t a s s u r e d me, t h e Coorgs a r e a -  ware t h a t t h e m a r r i a g e p a v i l i o n r e p r e s e n t s a s a c r e d space f o r H i n d u s . The C o o r g s , however, u s e i t m a i n l y f o r m a t t e r s o f c o n v e n i e n c e , when t h e c e n t r a l h a l l o f t h e house i s t o o s m a l l f o r t h e performance o f M u r t a . I t i s n o t t h e Mandappa —  t h e r e p l i c a t i o n o f t h e c o s m i c space —  that  makes t h e l o c a t i o n " s a c r e d " , i t i s t h e p r e s e n c e o f t h e v a r i o u s lamps and t h e t h r e e - l e g g e d  stool  (which a r e s y m b o l i c r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s o f t h e  Coorg f a m i l y c u l t ) t h a t makes t h e p a v i l i o n  (and f o r t h a t m a t t e r ,  any space i n w h i c h t h e s e i t e m s a r e l o c a t e d ) a u s p i c i o u s . The Coorgs a l s o use a s p e c t s o f t h e H i n d u p u r i t y / p o l l u t i o n c o n c e p t i n t h e i r m a r r i a g e ceremony (and i n t h e i r c o s m o l o g y ) .  They  b e l i e v e : i n t h e c o n c e p t s o f Karma and Dharma, t h u s do n o t  encourage  r e l a t i o n s between t h e m s e l v e s and " . . . o t h e r c a s t e s " (Muthanna 1953: 316).  They b e l i e v e i n r e b i r t h , "  reborn i n the w o r l d " ( i b i d : 318).  but discourage the idea of g e t t i n g I n a d d i t i o n , they perform Pujas,  do n o t k i l l cows, and f a c e t h e e a s t when w o r s h i p p i n g t h e sun-god. I n Coorg w o r l d - v i e w , t h e a p p l i c a t i o n o f t h e p u r i t y / p o l l u t i o n concept i s besides o t h e r t h i n g s necessary t o c l a r i f y t h e i r r e l a t i o n t o t h e o u t s i d e (Hindu) w o r l d . F o r t h e Coorgs, m i l d i m p u r i t y i s t h e i r n a t u r a l r i t u a l According t o Srinivas are  status.  (1952: 1 0 8 ) , P o l e ( p o l l u t i o n ) and M a d i  r i t u a l o p p o s i t i o n s and d i f f e r f r o m t h e normal r i t u a l  (purity)  status.  Death p o l l u t i o n i s t h e h i g h e s t form o f r i t u a l p o l l u t i o n , f o l l o w e d by b i r t h p o l l u t i o n . M a d i c a n be a c h i e v e d t h r o u g h a s i m p l e b a t h (the w a s h i n g o f hands and f a c e ) and t h e change o f c l o t h e s .  I f a Coorg g e t s d e f i l e d b y (17)  t h e t o u c h o f a l o w - c a s t e p e r s o n , b y c o n t a c t w i t h impure m a t t e r etc.,  he l o s e s h i s temporary r i t u a l s t a t u s , b u t o n l y f o r a s l o n g as  he does n o t c o n d u c t a p u r i f i c a t i o n b a t h .  I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o note,  t h a t a Coorg w i l l n e v e r g e t i r r e v e r s i b l y d e f i l e d . The p u r i t y / p o l l u t i o n r u l e s , i t seems, a r e d e - r i t u a l i z e d t o same degree.  The c u l t o f t h e Okka h o l d s t o g e t h e r t h e f a m i l y and i t s  -58p o l i t i c a l and econcmic u n i t y t h r o u g h t h e n o t i o n o f r e s p e c t a s one system o f o r d e r , and t h e o b s e r v a n c e o f a v o i d a n c e r u l e s i n i n t e r c a s t e r e l a t i o n s h i p s p o i n t s t o t h e u s e o f a n o t h e r system o f o r d e r , t h a t o f p u r i t y / p o l l u t i o n w i t h i t s i m p l i c a t i o n s on h i e r a r c h y a n d s o c i a l distance.  C.  SUMMARY:  I n t h i s p a r t o f t h e t h e s i s I have a r g u e d t h a t t h e r e l i g i o u s symbolism d i s p l a y e d i n t h e Coorg "Kanni-Mangala" shows a m i x b e tween two a b s t r a c t n o t i o n s o f g e n e r a l o r d e r :  the notion o f respect  w h i c h d e t e r m i n e s t h e i n t e r n a l mode o f a c t i o n s a n d n o n - a c t i o n s i n t h e family c u l t ; which f u r t h e r defines "auspiciousness"  with-  as a  l i f e - r e l a t e d a b s t r a c t f o r c e and " i n a u s p i c i o u s n e s s " a s i t s d e a t h r e l a t e d o p p o s i t i o n ; a n d w h i c h makes up t h e b a s i c f o r m o f t h e Mangala. The second one i s t h e emphasis on p u r i t y a s a means t o v i s u a l i z e ritual —  and w i t h i t —  s o c i e t a l s u p e r i o r i t y . I n t h e Coorg c a s e  t h i s works m a i n l y e x t e r n a l l y , t h a t i s , i n r e l a t i o n t o o u t s i d e (Hindu) communities. As r e f e r e n c e s o f t h e s e two n o t i o n s o f a b s t r a c t o r d e r I i d e n t i f i e d t h e w o r s h i p o f t h e s a c r e d lamps ( r e p r e s e n t i n g t h e u n i t y a n d p r o s p e r i t y o f t h e f a m i l y u n i t ) , o f t h e s u n (the u l t i m a t e l i f e - g i v i n g f o r c e ) , the worship o f t h e ancestors  (respect o f the negative  forces  o f d e a t h - r e l a t e d i n f l u e n c e s ) , and t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f s a l u t a t i o n and b l e s s i n g (respect f o r t h e intra-Okka m a n i f e s t a t i o n s o f order) on t h e  -59one hand, and t h e r i t u a l i m p l i c a t i o n s o f t h e a d o p t e d a s p e c t s  of  the p u r i t y / p o l l u t i o n concept ( r i t u a l shaving, r i t u a l bath; c l o c k wise ciromiambulations, hand.  t o u c h i n g t h e b o d y - j o i n t s ) on t h e  other  I asserted that p u r i t y i s equalled with s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l  n o t i o n s o f s u p e r i o r i t y ; I a l s o a s s e r t e d t h a t t h e use o f t h e p u r i t y / p o l l u t i o n c o n c e p t a s s i s t s t h e Coorgs t o d e f i n e t h e i r r e l a t i v e s o c i o c u l t u r a l p o s i t i o n w i t h i n the wider South-Indian  cultural  context.  -59a-  C H A P T E R  W A R R I O R / R U L E R  I I  A T T I T U D E S  -60-  A.  PROLOGUE:  I s h a l l p r o c e e d now w i t h my i n v e s t i g a t i o n o f t h o s e s y m b o l i c e x p r e s s i o n s w i t h i n t h e Coorg m a r r i a g e ceremony w h i c h s t r e s s t h e n o n - r e l i g i o u s a s p e c t s o f o r d e r , t h o s e a s p e c t s w h i c h have t o do w i t h t h e i r n o t i o n s o f power and dominance, and t h e i r g e n e r a l s o c i a l status i n the d i s t r i c t . One o f t h e problems w h i c h a r i s e s i n d e a l i n g w i t h t h e c o n c e p t of  power i s t h a t i t i s a n a b s t r a c t i o n and t h e r e f o r e somewhat e l u s i v e .  N o n e t h e l e s s , i t i s based o n r e a l and c o n c r e t e c i r c u m s t a n c e s w h i c h are  symptomatic f o r any g i v e n s o c i a l system.  Power does n o t e x i s t  i n i t s e l f - and o f i t s e l f , b u t i s based o n an e m p i r i c a l r e a l i t y and must be c o n s i d e r e d i n t h i s way.  A n o t h e r p o i n t i n c a s e i s t h a t power  has t o be seen i n r e l a t i o n a l t e r m s . T h i s i s t o s a y t h a t a n i n d i v i d ual or  o r a group c a n o n l y be r e g a r d e d a s p o w e r f u l t o t h o s e w i t h l e s s no power a t a l l . Power, i n t h i s c o n t e x t , i s d e f i n e d a s t h e a b i l i t y t o command  r e s o u r c e s , b o t h human and m a t e r i a l , and i s d e r i v e d from c o n v e n t i o n a l l y s a n c t i o n e d r i g h t s o v e r t e r r i t o r y , and i n c l u d e s ( i n t h i s case) the  a b i l i t y t o display force i norder t o maintain a c e r t a i n position  w i t h i n a s o c i a l sphere.  Power, and w i t h i t , dominance, t r a n s l a t e s  i n t o a c e r t a i n a s c r i b e d s t a t u s which i s s y m b o l i c a l l y expressed i n emblematic form.  -61I n t h e C o o r g c a s e , power i s seen a s t h e r e f e r e n t t h a t comb i n e s a s p e c t s o f o w n e r s h i p o f l a n d and commodities w i t h  expressions  o f a u t h o r i t y v i s u a l i z e d t h r o u g h a s e t o f c u l t u r e - s p e c i f i c emblems which r e f e r t o t h e i r m a r t i a l q u a l i t i e s . tions of politico-economic  These synonymous  manifesta-  power (dominance and a u t h o r i t y ) r e s u l t  i n a s u p e r i o r s t a t u s v i s - a - v i s non-Coorgs. I t e n d t o b e l i e v e t h a t t h e Coorg n o t i o n s o f power s e r v e a s p r i m a r y emblems o f t h e i r e t h n i c i d e n t i t y and have t o be d i s t i n g u i s h e d f r o m H i n d u n o t i o n s o f power a s u n d e r s t o o d b y Dumont (1970) and M a r r i o t t (1976).  Dumont has c o n c e p t u a l i z e d  power i n terms o f a  politico-economic  s e c u l a r r e a l m b u t s e e s i t encompassed b y a  l a r g e r m o r a l - r e l i g i o u s realm, i n which the o p p o s i t i o n o f the pure (18) and t h e impure i s o f fundamental i m p o r t a n c e .  M a r r i o t t and  (19) others  have argued f o r a m o n i s t i c c o n c e p t o f power i n w h i c h " a l l  b e i n g s a r e g r a d a b l e b y power ( s a k t i ) , and power i s u n d e r s t o o d t o be synonymous w i t h b o t h r e l i g i o u s v i r t u e and w o r l d l y dominance" ( M a r r i o t t 1976: 1 1 3 ) . I c o n t e n d t h a t t h e Coorgs e x p r e s s t h e i r n o t i o n o f power i n y e t a n o t h e r way: i t i s t r u e , t h e i r n o t i o n o f " r e s p e c t " c a n be d e f i n e d r e l i g i o u s l y a s w e l l a s s o c i a l l y , b u t i t does n o t n e c e s s a r i l y d e r i v e from, c o i n c i d e w i t h , o r  encompassed b y a r e l i g i o u s i d e o l o g y .  For  Coorgs, i t seems, power i s s t r i c t l y c o n f i n e d t o t h e " s e c u l a r " r e a l m , t o t h a t w h i c h d e f i n e s t h e i r s t a t u s i n r e l a t i o n t o o u t s i d e groups and which f i n d s i t s expressions  i n s y m b o l i c (and a c t u a l ) r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s o f  t h e i r dominant r o l e a s w e a l t h y landowners and m i l i t a r y s p e c i a l i s t s , w h i c h  -62established  t h e i r t e r r i t o r i a l and p o l i t i c a l dcminance i n t h e  f i r s t place. In t h i s chapter I take a c l o s e look a t symbolic representat i o n s o f Coorg power and dcminance w h i c h d e f i n e a n d e x p r e s s  those  a s p e c t s o f t h e i r i d e n t i t y , and w h i c h a r e d i s p l a y e d i n t h e " K a n n i Mangala" .  B.  COORG NOTIONS OF POWER EXPRESSED I N THE "KANNI-MANGALA"  T a b l e B (on page 33-34) d i s p l a y s numerous c e r e m o n i a l r e f e r e n c e s under t h e " s y m b o l i c complex # 2 " w h i c h can be o r g a n i z e d i n t o t h r e e categories:  f i r s t , t h o s e r e f e r e n c e s w h i c h d e a l w i t h power i n r e -  lation to their socio-economic  f i g h t i n g a b i l i t y , second t h o s e w h i c h show t h e i r dominance t h r o u g h d e s c r i p t i o n s o f p r o p e r t y  ownership  and f a m i l y w e a l t h , a n d t h i r d r e f e r e n c e s t o t h e i r s o c i a l s t a t u s and p o l i t i cal  r o l e i n t h e d i s t r i c t w i t h r e s p e c t t o t h e non-Coorg members o f  t h e community. The d i s c u s s i o n i s o r g a n i z e d i n accordance w i t h T a b l e E on page 63. The Coorgs have a c o l o u r f u l and w e l l - d e f i n e d m i l i t a r y tion.  tradi-  D u r i n g t h e c o u r s e o f t h e i r r e c o r d e d h i s t o r y t h e r e a r e numerous  references t h a t g i v e evidence o f t h e i r m a r t i a l q u a l i t i t e s . t i m e s w h i c h preceeded t h e L i n g a y a t r u l e , t h e p a t r i l i n e a l f a m i l y u n i t s (Okkas) f r e q u e n t l y f o u g h t  I n the  joint  a g a i n s t each o t h e r i n o r d e r  to secure t h e i r l o c a l s u p e r i o r i t y , o r t o s e t t l e i n t e r - f a m i l y feuds. A f t e r t h e L i n g a y a t R a j a s h a d managed t o c e n t r a l i z e t h e p o l i t i c a l and economic segments o f Coorg s o c i e t y under t h e i r r e i g n , t h e Coorgs more  -63-  TABLE E:  A s p e c t s o f Coorg power e x p r e s s i o n s .  ASPECTS OF POWER 1)  FIGHTING ABILITY:  2) TERRITORIAL DOMINANCE AND FAMILY WEALTH:  '3)  SOCIO-POLITICAL STATUS EXPRESSIONS:  SYMBOLIC REFERENCES - t r a d i t i o n a l Coorg d r e s s : dagger, sword- M u r t a symbolism: taking possession o f the bride - R i t u a l o f "cutting the p l a n t a i n stumps" w i t h t h e Coorg sword. - r i t u a l shaving: the "horn-style" o f shaving the groom's f o r e h e a d . - t r a d i t i o n a l Coorg d r e s s : turban, cloth-materials ( s i l k , wool, c o t t o n ) j e w e l l e r y and o r n a ments. - M u r t a symbolism: money g i f t s . - Sammanda symbolism: the t r a n s f e r o f ownership r i g h t s i n p r o p e r t y and commodities .  - t r a d i t i o n a l Coorg d r e s s : t h e o v e r a l l appearance ( a r i s t o c r a t i c symbolism) . e x c l u s i o n o f h i g h - c a s t e Hindu emblems such a s " t a l i s " , " s a c r e d t h r e a d s " , 'feacred. a s h e s " , " o i l s " , - e x c l u s i o n o f p r i e s t s , the "sacred fire", etc. - M u r t a symbolism: marriage pandal, p u r i t y / p o l l u t i o n - Sammanda symbolism: c o n t r a c t u a l character;; d e s c r i p t i o n o f w e a l t h and o w n e r s h i p .  -64o r l e s s u n i t e d and f o u g h t i n t h e R a j a s ' a r m i e s a g a i n s t o u t s i d e aggressors ( e s p e c i a l l y the Muslims).  L a t e r , under B r i t i s h R u l e ,  t h e y became famous f o r t h e i r f e a r l e s s and c r u e l way o f f i g h t i n g . Lewis R i c e t e l l s us: ....these mountaineers had a c o n s i d e r a b l e s h a r e o f i n t r e p i d i t y and p e r s e v e r a n c e ; s t r a t a g e m ent e r e d l a r g e l y i n t o t h e i r system o f t a c t i c s , i n war t h e y were r e m a r k a b l e f o r t h e i r p r e d a t o r y h a b i t s , and t h e i r n e i g h b o u r s a c c u s e d them on t h o s e o c c a s i o n s t o add c r u e l t y t o p i l l a g e . L i k e t h e modern g u e r i l l a , though t h e y were unable t o contend openlyiwith r e g u l a r t r o u p s , they intercepted t h e i r s u p p l i e s , cut o f f t h e i r communications, and h a r r a s s e d them by s u r p r i s e s , a s p e c i e s o f w a r f a r e a d m i r a b l y adapted t o second t h e n a t u r a l d i f f i c u l t i e s t h a t a h i l l y c o u n t r y must p r e s e n t . An i n t i m a t e knowledge o f i t , a s t r i c t o b e d i e n c e , and a s i n g u l a r d e v o t i o n t o t h e i r c h i e f (Raja) accompanied by a r e m a r k a b l e attachment t o t h e i r w i l d s and an e q u a l g a l l a n t r y i n d e f e n d i n g them, may i n some measure perhaps have compensated t h e want o f m i l i t a r y s k i l l s ( R i c e i n S r i n i v a s 1952: 1 5 ) . Up t o t h e i n t r o d u c t i o n o f f i r e a r m s , t h e Coorg war-sword ( V o d i k a t h i ) , an a p p r o x i m a t e l y t h r e e  f°°tiong and s l i g h t l y c u r v e d  b r o a d - b l a d e d weapon, w h i c h r e p r e s e n t e d an e x c e l l e n t i n s t r u m e n t f o r man-to-man combat, was t h e p r i m a r y symbol o f t h e i r m a r t i a l t r a d i tion.  I t was used t o g e t h e r w i t h t h e s h o r t dagger and a r o u n d ,  medium-sized s h i e l d .  The Coorgs had a c e r t a i n s t y l e o f f i g h t i n g  and i t s r o u t i n e i s s t i l l r e - e n a c t e d i n v a r i o u s war-dances, w h i c h Dr. Muthanna c a l l s "the m i l i t a r y d r i l l o f t h e Coorgs" 1953:  (Muthanna  270). Between 1860 and 1 9 4 0 ^ ^  t h e Coorgs formed t h e m a j o r i t y o f  t h e manpower o f B r i t i s h Army U n i t s w h i c h were s t a t i o n e d i n Coorg district.  A f t e r I n d i a ' s Independence, many Coorgs e n l i s t e d i n t h e  -65newly formed I n d i a n Army and a c o n s i d e r a b l e number o f them became o f f i c e r s and d i p l o m a t s .  Two  Coorg o f f i c e r s , however, became famous,  and made C o o r g and i t s p e o p l e w i d e l y known w i t h i n and India's One  outside  borders. o f t h e s e two  i n d i v i d u a l s was  G e n e r a l C a r i a p p a , who  assumed  t h e c h a r g e o f Commander-in-Chief o f t h e I n d i a n Army i n 1949; o t h e r was  the  L t . G e n e r a l Thimmayya, t h e Army Commander (Western Command)  and a p p o i n t e d  c h a i r m a n t o a number o f i n t e r n a t i o n a l m i l i t a r y commis-  s i o n s between 1949 According  and 1954  (Muthanna 1953:  286).  t o S r i n i v a s , a d i s t i n c t system o f l a n d t e n u r e  by t h e L i n g a y a t R a j a s was  devised  the b a s i s o f t h e i r m i l i t a r y t r a d i t i o n .  The  s o - c a l l e d "jamma system" gave a l l Coorg Okkas b i r t h - r i g h t s , t h a t i s , h e r e d i t a r y ownership o f the a n c e s t r a l land i n r e t u r n f o r t h e i r m i l i tary services.  Srinivas writes: The "jamma" t e n u r e was v e r y l i g h t i n terms o f ( o b l i g a t i o n s ) , b e i n g o n l y f i v e rupees o r a hundred " b h a t t i s " o f wet l a n d . A hundred " b h a t t i s " o f wet l a n d means an a r e a o f l a n d p r o d u c i n g a hundred " b h a t t i s " o f paddy.... The a r e a o f l a n d g r a n t e d v a r i e d a c c o r d i n g t o the f e r t i l i t y of the s o i l . . . . A l o n g w i t h t h e a s s e s s e d r i c e - f i e l d s went .two u n a s s e s s e d s t r e t c h e s o f l a n d : one was bane, t h e h i g h l a n d a d j a c e n t t o t h e r i c e f i e l d s and c l o t h e d w i t h j u n g l e from which the c u l t i v a t o r ' s j o i n t f a m i l y obtained i t s supply of f u e l , timber, and f o r e s t produce; and t h e o t h e r was b a r l i k e , a l o w - l y i n g pasture f o r the c u l t i v a t o r ' s c a t t l e . L e g a l l y , "jamma" l a n d was i m p a r t i a b l e , i n a l i e n a b l e , and c o u l d n o t be s u b l e t w i t h o u t t h e p e r m i s s i o n o f t h e R a j a , and most i m p o r t a n t , p e o p l e h o l d i n g l a n d on t h e "jamma" t e n u r e were l i a b l e t o be c a l l e d up f o r m i l i t a r y service.  -66"Jamma" t e n u r e c o n f e r r e d a d o u b l e p r e s t i g e o n t h e h o l d e r i n a d d i t i o n t o t h e undoubted e c o nomic advantage . I ts i g n i f i e d that the h o l d e r had h i s r o o t s i n C o o r g , and t h e d u t y of rendering m i l i t a r y service t o the state i n t i m e s o f emergency c o n f e r r e d o n h i m t h e second t y p e o f p r e s t i g e ( S r i n i v a s 1952: 1 7 ) . I t i s n o t s u r p r i s i n g , t h a t t h e Coorgs were c o n s i d e r e d t h e most p o w e r f u l community i n t h e d i s t r i c t a s t h e y h a d been a b l e t o (a) e s t a b l i s h t h e m s e l v e s a s t h e m i l i t a r y s p e c i a l i s t s i n t h e a r e a , (b) had been a b l e t o market t h e i r s k i l l s , t h u s o b t a i n i n g h e r e d i t a r y ownership r i g h t s i n t h e l a n d on which —  and o f f w h i c h —  they  l i v e d , and (c) b y making t h e m s e l v e s i n d i s p e n s i b l e f o r t h e maint e n a n c e and p e r p e t u a t i o n o f t h e s t a t e p o l i t i c a l l y a s w e l l a s e c o n o m i c a l l y , t h e y formed b y f a r t h e most i n f l u e n c t i a l and domina n t community i n Croog.  Under t h e L i n g a y a t s , t h e Coorgs were t h e  a r i s t o c r a c y , o n w h i c h t h e R a j a depended a l m o s t e n t i r e l y .  Later,  when t h e B r i t i s h t o o k o v e r , t h e Coorgs became even more p o w e r f u l , as t h e y were t h e f i r s t who adopted modern t e c h n o l o g y w h i l e maint a i n i n g t h e i r t r a d i t i o n a l dominant  role.  R e f l e c t i o n s o f these w a r r i o r / r u l e r a t t i t u d e s , therefore, a r e much more f r e q u e n t t h a n t h o s e w h i c h b e a r r e l i g i o u s  symbolism.  R i g h t f r o m t h e b e g i n n i n g o f t h e a c t u a l m a r r i a g e ceremony, t h e groom and t h e b r i d e a r e d r e s s e d i n t h e i r t r a d i t i o n a l Coorg costume, r e (22) sembling " a r i s t o c r a t i c " a t t r i b u t e s .  The groom's u n i f o r m - l i k e  d r e s s i s made o f c o t t o n , w o o l , and s i l k , w h i l e t h e b r i d e ' s C o o r g s t y l e d s a r e e i s made o f pure s i l k .  I n a d d i t i o n t o t h i s , b o t h wear  -67j e w e l l e r y and ornaments o f g o l d , s i l v e r , i v o r y , and p r e c i o u s stones.  The t r a d i t i o n a l Coorg d r e s s g i v e s ample e v i d e n c e o f t h e i r  w e a l t h and s t a t u s , f o r m i n g a d i s t i n c t emblematic e x p r e s s i o n o f their identity.  A b r i e f d e s c r i p t i o n o f the p a r t i c u l a r s o f the  groom's and t h e b r i d e ' s f u l l t r a d i t i o n a l costume w i l l u n d e r l i n e t h e above s t a t e m e n t s : The p r i n c i p a l d r e s s o f t h e Coorg man c o n s i s t s o f a l o n g c o a t o f d a r k c o l o u r e d c o t t o n , open i n f r o n t and r e a c h i n g b e l o w t h e knees. The s l e e v e s end b e l o w t h e elbow and show t h e arms o f a w h i t e s h i r t (...). (The c o a t ) i s f o l d e d a c r o s s and c o n f i n e d a t t h e w a i s t by a r e d o r b l u e s i l k s a s h wound:, s e v e r a l t i m e s around t h e w a i s t , and k n o t t e d a t t h e l e f t f r o n t . On t h e r i g h t f r o n t , t h e Coorg s h o r t k n i f e i s s t u c k t o t h e s a s h h a v i n g an i v o r y o r s i l v e r h a n d l e , and f a s t e n e d w i t h s i l v e r c h a i n s . The l a r g e b r o a d - b l a d e d (war) k n i f e i s p l a c e d a t t h e back, where i t i s c a r r i e d i n a b r a s s c l a s p w i t h i t s p o i n t d i r e c t e d towards t h e l e f t s h o u l d e r . L i k e t h e K u k r i o f t h e Gurkhas, i t i s a f o r m i d a b l e weapon f o r hand-to-hand f i g h t i n g . ( ). The head d r e s s i s a r e d ( s i l k ) k e r c h i e f and t h e b e a u t i f u l l y f a s h i o n e d t u r b a n , r a t h e r f l a t and l a r g e a t t h e t o p and c o v e r i n g a p o r t i o n o f t h e back o f t h e neck... ( I y e r 1948: 60-61). The b r i d e wears a u n i f o r m o f r e d s i l k : . a r e d s i l k s a r e e , a r e d s i l k f u l l s l e e v e d C o o r g b l o u s e , and a r e d s i l k s c a r f w h i c h i s t i e d around h e r head. She wears b a n g l e s , n e c k l a c e s , e a r - r i n g s , and a l s o o r n a ments on h e r a n k l e s , f e e t , and t o e s . ( S r i n i v a s 1952: 86) . As mentioned e a r l i e r , t h e Coorgs c o n s t i t u t e d t h e a r i s t o c r a c y under t h e L i n g a y a t s ( S r i n i v a s 1952:  18).  I t i s , therefore not  s u r p r i s i n g t h a t t h e i r t r a d i t i o n a l costume b e a r s emblems o f t h i s superior s o c i a l status.  A somewhat-similar  symbolism (where t h e  b r i d e and groom a r e compared w i t h a r o y a l o r k i n g l y c o u p l e ) c a n a l s o be  -68observed w i t h i n Hindu r e a l i t y .  Hocart  (1927: 100) has p o i n t e d o u t  t h a t t h e r e i s a s i m i l a r i t y between r o y a l c o n s e c r a t i o n s and wedding ceremonies.  Dumont and Pocock (1959: 33) s t a t e t h a t "sometimes t h e  b r i d e g r o o m i s compared t o t h e k i n g , sometimes t h e b r i d a l p a i r i s i d e n t i f i e d w i t h a d i v i n e couple.'!  A p f f e l M a r g l i n (1978:15) n o t e s  that i n Puri certain a r t i c l e s are p a r t i c u l a r l y associated with k i n g s h i p . . . " among t h e s e a r e t h e w h i t e and b l a c k u m b r e l l a . . . . " However, h e r e r e l i g i o u s n o t i o n s a r e emphasized i n o r d e r t o s e p a r a t e t h e b r i d a l c o u p l e f r o m t h e r e a l m o f t h e day-to-day r e a l i t y . I n t h e Coorg c a s e , I t e n d t o b e l i e v e t h a t t h e " a r i s t o c r a t i c " symboli s m i s an e x p r e s s i o n o f t h e i r s u b j e c t i v e " s e l f - d e s c r i p t i o n " a s a s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l l y s u p e r i o r group.  T h i s r i s i w h y thel_gr6om:has t h e  dagger^, t h e sword and t h e white! umbrella:' h e l d o v e r h i m . The b r i d e w e a r s . r e d s i l k and c o t t o n and has a w h i t e u m b r e l l a h e l d o v e r h e r a s well.  T o g e t h e r , t h e y s h a r e t h e most b a s i c and s y m b o l i c a l l y e x -  pressive colours: The groom h i s person.  r e d , w h i t e , and b l a c k .  c o n c e n t r a t e s a l l t h e v i s i b l e symbols o f power on  He, i n d e e d , l o o k s l i k e a s t r o n g and dominant person,  commanding r e s p e c t f r o m anybody i n h i s community.  This attitude i s  u n d e r l i n e d t h r o u g h t h e r i t u a l o f c u t t i n g t h e p l a n t a i n stumps a t t h e b r i d e ' s house. 327)  T h i s r i t u a l i s c a l l e d "Bale Birudu"  (Muthanna 1953:  and g i v e s t h e groom t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f e x h i b i t i n g h i s  t i o n and p h y s i c a l s t r e n g t h . t h e p l a n t a i n stumps i n h a l f .  determina-  W i t h one b l o w o f h i s war-sword, he c u t s D r . Muthanna c i t e s an anecdote f r o m  Coorg f o l k l o r e w h i c h e x p l a i n s t h e r i t u a l :  Manmatha, god o f b e a u t y and l o v e , wanted t o m a r r y R a t h i , t h e t h e n most b e a u t i f u l p r i n c e s s who had been b e t r o t h e d t o a n o t h e r p r i n c e . T h e i r m a r r i a g e had a l r e a d y been a r r a n g e d and t h e r e f o r e Manmatha went (dressed) as a b r i d e g r o o m t o R a t h i ' s house and c h a l l e n g e d h i s r i v a l s u i t o r . I n t h e f i g h t t h a t ensued, Manmatha k i l l e d h i s opponent and m a r r i e d R a t h i , t h e queen o f h i s c h o i c e (Muthanna 1953: 327),. I t i s o b v i o u s t h a t t h e Coorgs a s s i g n g r e a t i m p o r t a n c e t o t h e i r a b i l i t y t o i n f l u e n c e r e a l i t y through conscious a c t i o n s o f aggression.  Rather than s u b m i t t i n g t o a p r e - g i v e n o r d e r o f t h i n g s ,  t h e h e r o o f t h i s anecdote "Kanni-Mangala")  (and t h e groom r e - e n a c t s t h i s i n t h e  t a k e s h i s own a c t i o n s w h i c h a r e d e s i g n e d t o change  t h e outcome o f t h e p l o t t o h i s advantage.  The p l a n t a i n stumps  s y m b o l i z e o p p o s i n g f o r c e s , and when t h e groom c u t s them i n h a l f , he d e s t r o y s them and i s f r e e t o t a k e p o s s e s s i o n o f t h e b r i d e .  He  does t h i s a f t e r t h e t h i r d M u r t a , when he l i f t s h e r o f f t h e t h r e e l e g g e d s t o o l and l e a d s h e r t o t h e k i t c h e n i n w h i c h she has t o w a i t u n t i l t h e Sammanda ceremony i s o v e r .  A g a i n , t h e groom l e a d s h e r  o u t o f t h e k i t c h e n and away f r o m h e r n a t a l home t o h i s Okka.  As  mentioned e a r l i e r , t h i s a c t o f t a k i n g p o s s e s s i o n o f t h e b r i d e ( r a t h e r t h a n r e c e i v i n g t h e " g i f t o f t h e b r i d e " a s i s customary i n H i n d u weddings) t o g e t h e r w i t h t h e d i s p l a y o f h i s m a r t i a l  abilities  s u g g e s t s t h a t power i s synonymous t o p h y s i c a l and m i l i t a r y s t r e n g t h and i s e x p r e s s e d t h r o u g h t h e w e a r i n g o f " s i g n s o f a g g r e s s i o n " (the sword and dagger) and t h r o u g h t h e s y m b o l i c re-enactment o f an "aggressive" r i t e .  Thus, I p r o p o s e t h a t t h e above mentioned a s p e c t s o f power c o r r e l a t e w i t h Coorg s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l m a n i f e s t a t i o n s o f a u t h o r i t y (through m i l i t a r y " p h y s i c a l " s t r e n g t h ) and m a n i f e s t a t i o n s o f  aggres-  s i o n (through an i d e o l o g y b a s e d on t h i s a u t h o r i t y ) , and a r e c o n f i n e d t o t h e male a c t o r .  N e v e r t h e l e s s , i t i s t h e b r i d e who  i s the object  o f a l l t h e s e s y m b o l i c enactments o f power, and i t i s t h e b r i d e , who  u l t i m a t e l y i s an i n t e g r a l p a r t o f t h i s power.  t h e Coorg man  Without a w i f e ,  i s n e i t h e r i n the p o s i t i o n t o o b t a i n a u t h o r i t y , nor  able t o exercise i t . Power, as I have d e f i n e d i t , a l s o means c o n t r o l .  I t transcends  s e v e r a l a s p e c t s o f t h e r e a l i t y o f t h e Croogs and o p e r a t e s on i n d i v i d u a l and communal l e v e l .  an  As mentioned e a r l i e r , t h e Coorgs  were a b l e t o s e c u r e b i r t h r i g h t s on t h e l a n d on w h i c h (and o f f (23) which) t h e y l i v e d .  I t i s asserted  , t h a t t h e Coorgs as a s o c i e t y  own o v e r 85% o f t h e a v a i l a b l e t e r r i t o r y i n t h e d i s t r i c t w h i c h makes them the overwhelmingly  dominant g r o u p i n t h e a r e a .  Dominance i n t h i s  c o n t e x t i s seen as t h e r e s u l t o f o w n e r s h i p o f a h i g h p e r c e n t a g e o f t h e a v a i l a b l e t e r r i t o r y and t h e c o n t r o l o f movable and p r o p e r t y by one group. working  immobile  By owning t h e means o f p r o d u c t i o n and  the  f o r c e (they had s l a v e s ) , t h e Coorgs managed t o a c c u m u l a t e  c o n s i d e r a b l e w e a l t h , w h i c h i n t u r n s e r v e d as a p r i m a r y emblem o f their superior social status vis-a-vis a l l outsiders.  In order to  a p p r e c i a t e t h e fundamental d i f f e r e n c e s between Coorg and non-Coorg s o c i a l r e a l i t i e s , i t i s necessary t o take a quick look a t the v i l l a g e  -71situation i na  H i n d u community v s t h a t i n a Coorg "Ur".  U s u a l l y , a system o f m u l t i l a t e r a l exchange w h i c h c u t s a c r o s s s u b c a s t e l i n e s and t h a t a l l o w s t h e e s t a b l i s h m e n t  and t h e maintenance  o f r e l a t i o n s between h i e r a r c h i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t j a t i s  (the " j a j m a n i -  (24) system") p r e v a i l s i n H i n d u communities. d i d n o t use t h i s k i n d o f s o c i a l regulant.  The C o o r g s , however, They were t h e owners  and o p e r a t o r s o f t h e i r f a m i l y e s t a t e s and u s e d s l a v e s a s t h e i r work f o r c e .  A c c o r d i n g t o S r i n i v a s , t h e s e s l a v e s were d i v i d e d i n -  t o two c l a s s e s , one p r a e d i a l a n d t h e o t h e r p e r s o n a l : ....The ( p r a e d i a l ) s l a v e s c o u l d n o t be s o l d a p a r t f r o m t h e l a n d o n w h i c h t h e y worked, a n d when l a n d was s o l d , t h e y went w i t h i t a u t o m a t i c a l l y . The p e r s o n a l s l a v e s , on t h e o t h e r hand, c o u l d be s o l d o r mortgaged, and h a d t o move w i t h t h e i r m a s t e r s wherever t h e l a t t e r went. They were, i n f a c t , t h e movable p r o p e r t y o f t h e i r m a s t e r s ( S r i n i v a s 1952: 2 1 ) . I n t e r e s t i n g l y enough, t h e r e l a t i o n s between Coorgs and t h e i r s l a v e s i s s a i d t o have been c l o s e , and a l t h o u g h t h e y were c o n s i d e r e d t o be o f l o w e r s t a t u s , t h e y were members o f t h e househ o l d , and t h u s i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t h e C o o r g Okka.  In opposition t o  H i n d u c o m m u n i t i e s , t h e r e was no q u e s t i o n who was i n c h a r g e i n Coorg. A f t e r t h e B r i t i s h h a d a b o l i s h e d s l a v e r y , t h e Coorgs q u i c k l y changed f r o m t h e i r t r a d i t i o n a l " f e u d a l " mode o f p r o d u c t i o n t o t h e newly i m p o r t e d W e s t e r n s t y l e w h i c h f o r c e d them t o pay wages t o t h e i r former s l a v e s .  A l t h o u g h t h e change f r o m t h e t r a d i t i o n a l mode o f  production t o t h e "westernized"  one t r i g g e r e d a number o f s o c i o -  economic and p o l i t i c a l developments r e g a r d i n g communal o w n e r s h i p o f l a n d , w e a l t h d i s t r i b u t i o n , and p o l i t i c a l i n f l u e n c e w i t h i n Coorg  d i s t r i c t , t h e Coorgs managed t o r e m a i n t h e dominant group f o r most o f t h e 1 9 t h and w e l l i n t o t h e 2 0 t h c e n t u r y . I t i s n o t s u r p r i s i n g t h a t s y m b o l i c r e f e r e n c e s t o t h i s dominance a r e f r e q u e n t i n t h e Coorg m a r r i a g e ceremony. The f i r s t r e f e r e n c e t o C o o r g n o t i o n s o f t e r r i t o r i a l i s e x p r e s s e d d u r i n g t h e r e l i g i o u s p a r t o f t h e wedding. groom i s r i t u a l l y  affinity When t h e  shaved,  ....the f r o n t o f t h e head i s shaved i n such a manner t h a t i t l e a v e s two "horns" above t h e t e m p l e s , formed b y t h e shaved p a t c h e s . This mode o f s h a v i n g i s c a l l e d "Kombanjavara" w h i c h means "horn shave" ( S r i n i v a s 1952: 8 0 ) . (25) The t e r m Kombu, a c c o r d i n g t o D r . Muthanna. meanings:  , has s e v e r a l  i t r e f e r s t o " e x t e n s i o n " , " h o r n " , b u t i s a l s o t h e name  f o r a t r u m p e t - l i k e m u s i c a l i n s t r u m e n t t h a t t h e Coorgs used f o r communications.  Watchmen w o u l d sound t h i s trumpet whenever t h e  R a j a v i s i t e d t h e a r e a , and t h e r e g i o n i n w h i c h t h e sound o f t h e Kombu. w o u l d be h e a r d was l a t e r a l s o c a l l e d Kombu.  Incidentally,  a Kombu (one o f o r i g i n a l l y f i v e ) c o n s t i t u t e d t h e l a r g e s t i n d i v i d u a l l y r e c o g n i z e d p o l i t i c a l u n i t ( c o n s i s t i n g o f s e v e r a l "Nads", which,:'in t u r n , c o n s i s t e d o f s e v e r a l " U r ' s " , o r v i l l a g e s ) w i t h i n the Coorg d i s t r i c t .  A l t h o u g h t h e r e i s no r e f e r e n c e i n t h e l i t e r a -  t u r e w h i c h s u g g e s t s a c o n n e c t i o n between t h e t e r r i t o r i a l Kombu and t h e s t y l e o f s h a v i n g  (Kombanj a v a r a ) , i t i s p o s s i b l e t o s e e t h e  s y m b o l i c "horns" a s e x p r e s s i o n s o f t e r r i t o r i a l power, o r power i n general.  -73The t r a d i t i o n a l Coorg costume, however, g i v e s more ample e v i d e n c e o f t h e i r power and w e a l t h . shirt,  The groom wears a f i n e c o t t o n  a w o o l e n c o a t , a s i l k s a s h , and a t u r b a n .  dressed i n pure s i l k .  The b r i d e i s  I n a d d i t i o n , b o t h wear j e w e l l e r y on  the  head, around t h e neck, t h e w r i s t s , and a n k l e s , as w e l l as on f i n g e r s and t o e s . precious stones.  T h i s j e w e l l e r y i s made o f g o l d , s i l v e r , The  their  and  s h e a t h o f t h e groom's dagger i s d e c o r a t e d  w i t h gems, and even t h e c l a s p w h i c h s e c u r e s t h e war-sword on groom's back i s made o f b r a s s .  Dr. Muthanna showed me h i s wedding  costume and I have t o a d m i t t h a t I was and s t y l e o f i t .  the  i m p r e s s e d by t h e f i n e q u a l i t y  The ornaments and j e w e l l e r y o f t h e b r i d e ( I had  t h e chance t o see some o f Mrs. Muthanna's j e w e l l e r y as w e l l )  are  c o l o u r f u l and e x p e r t l y c r a f t e d , and d e f i n i t e l y d i f f e r e n t f r o m h i g h c a s t e Hindu counterparts. The t u r b a n , b e i n g r a t h e r f l a t on t h e t o p and  pre-modelled  ( t h a t i s , i t i s permanent, n o t f r e s h l y wound) l o o k s l i k e a crownl i k e h a t o f w h i t e and g o l d s i l k .  The r e d k e r c h i e f s o f t h e groom  and t h e b r i d e a r e made o f s i l k and when worn o v e r t h e t u r b a n t h e v e i l add t o t h e " a r i s t o c r a t i c " appearance o f t h e b r i d a l S i m i l a r t o H i n d u weddings, t h e custom o f g i v i n g money  and couple. gifts  to the b r i d a l couple p r e v a i l s i n Coorg: Everyone who p e r f o r m s M u r t a t o t h e ( b r i d e and groom) s h o u l d g i v e a m o n e y - g i f t , and t h e t h r e e m a r r i e d women (who i n i t i a t e t h e Murta) a r e exp e c t e d t o g i v e a g o l d c o i n each...  A t t h e wedding t h e mother o f t h e b r i d e (or groom) , and t h e groom w h i l e p e r f o r m i n g M u r t a t o t h e b r i d e , have t o g i v e a p u r s e c o n t a i n i n g s e v e r a l c o i n s , one o f w h i c h s h o u l d be a g o l d c o i n . . . On t h e second d a y o f m a r r i a g e , when t h e b r i d e v i s i t s t h e groom's house, she g i v e s a money g i f t t o e v e r y i n f a n t i n h e r c o n j u g a l Okka. L a t e r , t h e groom does t h e same i n h e r n a t a l Okka.... ( S r i n i v a s 1952: 95-6). Besides:: t h e f a c t  t h a t t h e money g i f t c o n s t i t u t e s a s o l i d a r i t y  r i t e and, o n some o c c a s i o n s , may be g i v e n i n r e t u r n f o r s e r v i c e s (as i n t h e c a s e o f t h e A r u v a ) , o r may be u s e d f o r s e a l i n g a c o n (27) tract,  i t i s t h e emphasis o n t h e g o l d t h a t i s i n t e n d e d t o sym-  b o l i z e w e a l t h and n o t n e c e s s a r i l y a " s a t s i f a c t o r y s p i r i t u a l and r i t u a l c o n d i t i o n " ( S r i n i v a s 1952: 9 6 ) . R e t u r n i n g t o s y m b o l i c r e f e r e n c e s t o p r o p e r t y o w n e r s h i p and m a t e r i a l w e a l t h , t h e Sammanda ceremony g i v e s e v i d e n c e o f how i m p o r t a n t t h e s e a s p e c t s o f power a r e f o r Coorgs.  The Sammanda  ceremony, w h i c h c o n s t i t u t e s t h e p r o f a n e l e g i t i m i z a t i o n o f t h e new kin-bond as w e l l as t h e establishment  (or strengthening) o f p o l i t i c o -  economic t i e s between t h e two Okkas, c o n f e r s membership r i g h t s t o the b r i d e . E l d e r s f r o m t h e two Okkas s t a n d i n two rows f a c i n g e a c h other.  The c o n f i r m a t i o n o f o a t h s , t h e p l e d g e o f p o s s e s s i o n o f  t h e husband's house b y t h e b r i d e and o t h e r r i g h t s a r e a f f i r m e d by t h e two A r u v a s , o r f a m i l y f r i e n d s : B r i d e ' s Aruva:  "The p e o p l e o f b o t h Nads, men o f t h e house, r e l a t i v e s and f a m i l y members, a r e t h e y a l l s t a n d i n g i n two rows?"  Groom's A r u v a :  "They s t a n d . "  -75B r i d e ' s Aruva"  "To t h e maid .. .A...  o f t h e A l p h a Okka whom  we a r e about t o g i v e i n m a r r i a g e t o t h e y o u t h ...B... o f t h e B e t a Okka, w i l l y o u g i v e t h e g i r l Sammanda Okka?  i n t h e p r o p e r t y o f t h e groom's  W i l l you g i v e her r i g h t s i n the Beta  Okka's l a n d w h i c h y i e l d s 1,000  B u t t i e s o f paddy,  i n the ten p l o t s o f pasture, i n the c a t t l e shed, t e n p a i r s o f b u l l o c k s , t h e house, g a r d e n , t e n m i l k cows, m i l k i n g r e c e p t a c l e s o f bamboo, t h e paddy f l a t , i n t h e b e l l - m e t a l d i s h t h a t leans against the w a l l , i n the wall-lamp, i n the l o a d o f s a l t , i n the k i t c h e n stove, i n the buried treasures, i n thread, pieces o f c l o t h , n e e d l e s , a n d i n e v e r y t h i n g f r o m one t o one hundred, w i l l y o u g i v e h e r a l l t h e s e Groom's A r u v a :  "We g i v e . "  Bride-!s A r u v a :  "On  rights?"  the marriage o f our c h i l d servants  will  c a r r y goods o n t h e i r heads w o r t h a 1,000 B i r a n s o r c o i n s i n a b o x w o r t h 500 B i r a n s . I f t h i s i s l o s t who i s r e s p o n s i b l e ? " Groom's A r u v a :  " I am."  Bride's Aruva:  "Who a r e you?"  Groom's A r u v a "  " I b e l o n g t o t h e Gamma Okka a n d I am t h e f a m i l y f r i e n d o f the Beta  Bride's Aruva:  Okka."  "Are y o u t h e f a m i l y f r i e n d a t t a c h e d t o t h e i r l a n d (Mannaruva), o r have y o u been c o n t r a c t e d w i t h money f o r t h e o c c a s i o n  (Ponnaruva)?"  Groom's A r u v a :  " I am b o t h . "  Bride's Aruva:  "Here t a k e t h e s e t w e l v e p i e c e s o f g o l d . " (He o f f e r s h i m t w e l v e p e b b l e s b u t r e t a i n s one f o r himself.)  -76-  Groom's /Aruva:  "I have received eleven pieces of gold. If your innocent child, the g i r l that i s married to our boy, complains that the rice i s too hot, the curry too pungent, that her father-in-law is abusive, her mother-in-law i s niggardly, that her husband i s impotent or she cannot stay i n her husband's house because the people are poor, and thus complaining she goes back to her natal home, who i s the person to be held responsible for t e l l i n g her what i s right and what i s wrong, and for providing us (who have gone to fetch her) with funds for our return journey, with servants for company and torches to light our way?"  Bride's Aruva:  "I am."  Groom's Aruva:  "Who are you?"  Bride's Aruva:  "I belong to the Delta ,Okka and I am the family friend of the Alpha Okka."  Groom's Aruva:  "Are you the family friend attached to their land, or have you been contracted with money for the occasion?"  Bride's Aruva:  "I am both."  Groom's Aruva:  "Here take this witness money."  (He pays three  coins to the bride's Aruva.) Bride's Aruva:  "If our young g i r l comes to some misfortune, who is the family friend to be held responsible for sending her to her natal Okka with servants for company and torches for the road?"  Groom's Aruva:  "I am."  Bride's Aruva:  "Here take this witness money."  (He hands one  coin to the groom's Aruva.) ... Handing over the symbolic pebbles to the bride's Aruva signifies the typical pledge of possession. I t i s a token for seal-  -77ing the bride's r i g h t s f o r the husband's property.  Out o f  the twelve pebbles one i s retained t o indicate the bride's connection with her n a t a l Okka.  In f a c t , i f the bride hap-  pens t o be divorced l a t e r , she has the r i g h t t o return t o her n a t a l hone.  The eleven pebbles are l a t e r t i e d t o the  f r o n t a l breast-knot o f her saree.  (Srinivas 1952: 136-8;  Muthanna 1953: 323-4). Although the Sammanda ceremony focuses  on the transference o f  ownership-rights t o the bride, and concentrates on the contractual character o f the Coorg marriage ceremony, the stress on references to t e r r i t o r y and material ownership i s apparent.  Rather than de-  pending on the moral code o f a r e l i g i o u s l y sanctioned unity with her husband, the bride acquires l e g a l r i g h t s i n the common property of her husband's family.  She shares with him what seems t o be o f  ultimate importance f o r any adult Coorg:  the defined and acknow-  ledged r i g h t s i n a l l f i x e d and movable property o f the Okka which includes wet-land, pastures, c a t t l e , the ancestral house and i t s garden, the a g r i c u l t u r a l equipment, house-hold u t e n s i l s , a l l sacred objects, and the e n t i r e family "treasure".  In opposition t o the  Hindu couple, the Coorg husband and wife share equal power p o s i t i o n s with respect t o ownership r i g h t s , which has important implications on t h e i r m a r i t a l r e l a t i o n s .  The personal t i e s are strengthened  through t h i s i n t e r n a l dependency, f o r , i f the marriage does not l a s t , both loose these co-rights simultaneously. On a d i f f e r e n t l e v e l , the very f a c t that there i s t e r r i t o r y and f a m i l i a l wealth t o share, and, that t h i s wealth i s considerable  i n comparison t o neighbouring  c o m m u n i t i e s , g i v e s ample i n d i c a t i o n  a b o u t t h e s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l s t a t u s t h e Coorgs a s c r i b e t o t h e m s e l v e s and convey t o a l l o u t s i d e r s . I t i s n o t s u r p r i s i n g t h a t t h e "Kanni-Mangala" d i s p l a y s nume r o u s s y m b o l i c r e f e r e n c e s t o C o o r g n o t i o n s o f power ( a u t h o r i t y and dominance) and t h a t t h e Sammanda ceremony r e g u l a t e s t h e m a t e r i a l a s p e c t s o f power d i s t r i b u t i o n i n t e r n a l l y a s w e l l a s e x t e r n a l l y . As mentioned b e f o r e , t h e s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n o f Coorg s o c i e t y i s b a s e d o n t h e Okka.  I n h i s t o r i c a l t i m e s t h e numerous Okkas f r e -  q u e n t l y f o u g h t a g a i n s t each o t h e r , d e s t r o y e d e a c h o t h e r s and k i l l e d o f f e n t i r e f a m i l i e s .  fields,  I n order t o avert e x t e r n a l aggres-  s i o n , i t was w i s e t o e s t a b l i s h f r i e n d l y and, i f p o s s i b l e , c l o s e r e l a t i o n s w i t h a s many n e i g h b o u r i n g  Okkas a s p o s s i b l e .  The e s t a b l i s h -  ment o f "unions" o f Okkas t h r o u g h i n t e r m a r r i a g e s e c u r e d t h e peace and p r o s p e r i t y i n t e r n a l l y and i n c r e a s e d t h e p o l i t i c a l and economic, as w e l l a s t h e m i l i t a r y p o t e n t i a l o f t h e s e " u n i o n s " e x t e r n a l l y . I t i s p o s s i b l e t o s e e t h e Sammanda ceremony a s a r i t u a l i z a t i o n o f these notions. (28) Dr. B u r r i d g e  s u g g e s t e d t h a t C o o r g l o o k e d v e r y much l i k e t h e  S c o t t i s h H i g h l a n d s m i g h t have l o o k e d i n t h e M i d d l e Ages w i t h numerous f o r t r e s s e s scattered i n a h i l l y area w i t h a r i s t o c r a t s f i g h t i n g f o r t h e i r k i n g a s w e l l a s a g a i n s t each o t h e r . and swords e x h i b i t i n g  D i s t i n c t costumes, s h i e l d s  t h e i r s u p e r i o r s t a t u s as a c l a s s o f landed  a r i s t o c r a t s t h a t d i d n o t m i x w i t h anybody b u t t h e m s e l v e s .  Marriage,  -79f o r t h i s m a t t e r , was t h e o n l y l i n k t h a t p r o v i d e d a more o r l e s s s e c u r e and p o s i t i v e b i l a t e r a l c o n n e c t i o n between two f a m i l y u n i t s . F o r Coorgs, i t seems, p o l i t i c a l and economic a s p e c t s a r e o f more i m p o r t a n c e t h a n r e l i g i o u s o r t h o d o x y . contact  w i t h ' - o u t s i d e ccmmunities  S i n c e t h e y d i d n o t have t o have  (other than w i t h those low  c a s t e and t r i b a l g r o u p s t h a t were t h e i r s l a v e s ) , t h e i r f o c u s was on t h e maintenance and e x p a n s i o n o f t h e i r power t h r o u g h t h e e s t a b l i s h ment o f a c l o s e network o f i n t r a - s o c i e t a l k i n - t i e s , w h i c h were achieved mainly through marriage.  And, s i n c e r e l i g i o u s v a l u e s  were n e v e r h i g h l y s t r e s s e d , t h e c o n t r a c t u a l p a r t o f t h e m a r r i a g e ceremony g a i n e d more i m p o r t a n c e .  The "Kanni-Mangala"  t h u s , combines  t h e n o t i o n s o f r e l i g i o u s and d a i l y l i f e , t h e s a c r e d and t h e p r o f a n e i n t h e M u r t a and Sammanda r i t u a l s . The o v e r a l l appearance o f t h e b r i d a l c o u p l e d u r i n g t h e two days o f t h e m a r r i a g e ceremony, and t h e d i s t i n c t s t r u c t u r e o f t h e wedding p r o c e d u r e s a r e symptomatic Coorgs.  o f the c u l t u r a l identity o f  The s y m b o l i c e x p r e s s i o n s i n t h e i r d r e s s ( t h e " a r i s t o -  c r a t i c " symbolism;  the martial  emblems), t h e f r e q u e n t r e f e r e n c e s t o  t h e i r a u t h o r i t y and dominance, g i v e a  symbolic  "self-description"  o f what t h e Coorgs c o n s i d e r t o be o f g r e a t e s t i m p o r t a n c e i n t h e i r social reality. Based on t h e i r t e r r i t o r i a l dominance and t h e i r f i g h t i n g  ability,  t h e Coorgs had n o t t o be c o n c e r n e d w i t h t h e q u e s t i o n o f s t a t u s p e r s e as l o n g a s t h e y were a b l e t o a v o i d i d e o l o g i c a l i n f l u e n c e s f r o m H i n d u -  -80ism.  However, once t h e Brahmins were a b l e t o i n f i l t r a t e , and  more and more H i n d u s u b - c a s t e s had s e t t l e d i n t h e v i c i n i t y , Coorgs were f o r c e d t o a d j u s t t o t h i s new  the  situation.  A c c o r d i n g t o S r i n i v a s , t h e Coorgs were a t r i b e t h a t g o t " S a n s k r i t i z e d " , and, t h u s , came t o s h a r e common b e l i e f s and v a l u e s (29) w i t h t h e i r H i n d u n e i g h b o u r s . B u t Coorg a c c o u n t s agree w i t h t h i s a s s e r t i o n .  do n o t  Moreover, t h e y s t a t e t h a t t h e Brahirdns  a t t e m p t e d t o " s a n s k r i t i z e " them by t r y i n g t o e s t a b l i s h H i n d u r e l i g i o u s c o n s c i o u s n e s s i n Coorg d i s t r i c t ; by " c r e a t i n g " myths and f o l k t a l e s i n o r d e r t o a c c o u n t f o r Coorg "Hindu background", by p l a c i n g them w i t h i n t h e K s h a t r i y a V a r n a on grounds o f t h e i r w a r r i o r t r a d i t i o n ; and, f i n a l l y , b y s t r e s s i n g t h a t t h e i r r i t u a l  complexes  c o i n c i d e w i t h those o f " S a n s k r i t i c Hinduism". Be t h a t as i t may, w i t h t h e emergence o f H i n d u i m m i g r a n t s i n t h e a r e a , t h e Coorgs seemed t o have became more s t a t u s c o n s c i o u s t h u s . f o r m i n g a s t r o n g e r sense o f community  identity.  Rather than  a d o p t i n g H i n d u i d e a s (as c o u l d be e x p e c t e d i n t h e c a s e o f t h e i r "Sanskritization"),  t h e y u s e d t h e i r c u l t u r e - s p e c i f i c emblems t o s e t  themselves a p a r t from the o u t s i d e r s .  There a r e , o f c o u r s e , c e r t a i n  customs and b e l i e f s w h i c h s u p p o r t S r i n i v a s '  p o s t u l a t i o n s , b u t when  one l o o k s c l o s e r a t t h e way i n w h i c h t h e Coorgs use them, one i s h a r d - p r e s s e d t o a s s e s them a s " e m u l a t i o n s " . For  i n s t a n c e , t h e status-emblems on t h e i r wedding d r e s s (which  i s t h e i r t r a d i t i o n a l costume a s w e l l ) i s n o t n e c e s s a r i l y an a d o p t i o n  -81from h i g h c a s t e Hindu marriage dress-codes. v i s u a l i z a t i o n o f t h e i r socio-cultural.","  I t i s , rather, a  (and p o l i t i c o - e c o n o m i c )  p o s i t i o n , which i s superior, thus " a r i s t o c r a t i c " . A l t h o u g h t h e Coorgs a s s i g n some i m p o r t a n c e t o t h e i r  religious  s t a t u s , i t d i d n o t l e a d them t o a d o p t s u c h h i g h c a s t e H i n d u s t a t u s emblems as " t a l i s "  (marriage n e c k l a c e s s y m b o l i z i n g t h e u n i t y b e -  tween two m o r t a l p e r s o n s and t h e m a l e / f e m a l e c o s m i c u n i t ) , o r t h e wearing o f "sacred threads"  (which i s i n s t r u m e n t a l f o r e x p r e s s i n g  t h e membership t o t h e " t w i c e - b o r n c a s t e s " ) .  They a l s o e x c l u d e  p r i e s t s f r o m t h e i r wedding (and any o t h e r r e l i g i o u s  rituals).  The absence o f t h e s e i m p e r a t i v e c o s m o l o g i c a l and H i n d u "markers" and t h e s t r e s s on c u l t u r e - s p e c i f i c  ideological  aspects  of  " p r o f a n e " , m a t e r i a l i s t i c n o t i o n s o f power and dominance l e a d s  me  t o b e l i e v e t h a t the Coorgs, w h i l e t o l e r a t i n g the co-existence o f a d i f f e r e n t world-view,  emphasize t h e i r own  "sense o f r e a l i t y "  t h r o u g h c o n t r a s t i v e , b u t n o t e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t s y m b o l i c measures.  C.  SUMMARY  The t h r u s t o f my argument i n t h i s p a r t o f t h e t h e s i s comes m a i n l y f r o m my c o n v i c t i o n t h a t t h e s y m b o l i c r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s o f power and a u t h o r i t y o u t w e i g h t h o s e w h i c h d e a l w i t h r e l i g i o n and p h i l o s o p h y , t h u s u n d e r l i n i n g a s p e c i f i c , " c h a r a c t e r i s t i c " ' o f Coorg social identity : 1  i t i s t h e i r p r e - o c c u p a t i o n w i t h t h e m a r t i a l way  o f l i f e w h i c h t r a n s c e n d s t h e i r b e l i e f , r i t u a l , and myth  (Srinivas  -821952:  240), and w h i c h d i d f o r m t h e base o f a l l t h e i r power.  The  Coorgs managed t o add t e r r i t o r i a l dominance t o t h e i r m i l i t a r y a u t h o r i t y and t h u s were a b l e t o c o n t r o l and e c o n o m i c a l l y .  the area  politically  Their superior status vis-a-vis  H i n d u communities was  neighbouring  d e t e r m i n e d by t h i s p o l i t i c o - e c o n o m i c power  s i t u a t i o n , and n o t , as i t w o u l d have been i f t h e Coorgs were t o be c o n s i d e r e d a c a s t e , t h r o u g h r i t u a l l y d e f i n e d  hierarchical  ranking. The fact.  s y m b o l i c r e f e r e n c e s i n t h e "Kanni-Mangala" u n d e r l i n e  I n terms o f s t a t u s r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s , t h e Coorgs  this  highlight  t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f t h e i r p o l i t i c o - e c o n o m i c doirunance-emblems, w h i l e t h e i r c o n c e r n w i t h r e l i g i o u s l y d e f i n e d s t a t u s r e f e r e n c e s i s much l e s s obvious.  P o l i t i c o - e c o n o m i c power i s n o t "encompassed" by  cosmology; i t i s a r e s u l t o f p u r e l y " s e c u l a r " c i r c u m s t a n c e s .  On  t h e b a s i s o f t h i s p r o p o s i t i o n i t w o u l d be d i f f i c u l t i n d e e d t o i n c o r p o r a t e t h e Coorgs i n t o t h e t r a d i t i o n a l c a s t e system, o r even, as S r i n i v a s  d o e s , a t t r i b u t e t o them " s a n s k r i t i c "  behavior.  -82a-  C H A P T E R I I I  F A R M E R / H O U S E H O L D  S Y M B O L I S M  -83-  A.  PROLOGUE  The Coorgs were and s t i l l a r e p r i m a r i l y a g r i c u l t u r a l i s t s and c o n s e q u e n t l y depend d i r e c t l y on t h e i r l a n d .  The c u l t i v a t i o n  and e x p l o i t a t i o n o f t h e a n c e s t r a l r i c e f i e l d s i s t h e i r prime concern, f o r i t i s the b a s i s o f t h e i r m a t e r i a l wealth. R i c e i s e s s e n t i a l t o t h e Coorg's s u r v i v a l and f o r m e r l y i t was a l s o t h e c h i e f s o u r c e o f w e a l t h . I t s c u l t i v a t i o n i s t h e most i m p o r t a n t a c t i v i t y i n w h i c h t h e Okka, t h e n u c l e a r u n i t o f Coorg s o c i e t y , i s engaged, and t h e a x i s round w h i c h r e v o l v e ( a l l ) other a c t i v i t e s . A long drought as w e l l as e x c e s s o f r a i n i s l i k e l y t o r u i n t h e crop ( — ) . Proper r a i n i n s u f f i c i e n t q u a n t i t i e s means a good c r o p , and abundance o f r i c e means f o o d , w e a l t h , and t h e a b i l i t y t o make s a c r i f i c e s t o a n c e s t o r s and f e s t i v a l s i n honour o f d e i t i e s . I t g i v e s one t h e means w i t h w h i c h one c a n g e t one's sons and d a u g h t e r s m a r r i e d , t o keep one's s e r v a n t s , t o g i v e t h e f e a s t s w h i c h have t o be g i v e n , and t o p e r f o r m other obligations. ( S r i n i v a s 1952: 233) The paramount importance o f r i c e a s a f o o d s o u r c e and means o f m a t e r i a l and s o c i o - c u l t u r a l p r o s p e r i t y i s r e f l e c t e d i n Coorg d a y - t o day l i f e .  W h i l e t h e male members a r e e n t i r e l y p r e o c c u p i e d w i t h t h e  c u l t i v a t i o n o f t h e f i e l d s and t h e s u p e r v i s i o n o f t h e s e r v a n t s who do much o f t h e manual work, t h e women o f t h e Okka c o n c e n t r a t e t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s around t h e a n c e s t r a l house and t h e many h o u s e h o l d connected w i t h i t .  duties  U s u a l l y t h e y e a r b e g i n s i n A p r i l o r May, when  i t i s time f o r t h e f i r s t plowing o f t h e r i c e f i e l d s .  Between May and  -84J a n u a r y Coorg men a r e p r e o c c u p i e d w i t h p l o w i n g , sowing, t r a n s p l a n t i n g , and o t h e r n e c e s s a r y a c t i v i t i e s t h a t a r e d e s i g n e d t o y e i l d a r i c h crop.  The h a r v e s t i n g season s t a r t s i n J a n u a r y and  marks t h e end o f t h e w o r k i n g c y c l e and t h e b e g i n n i n g o f t h e f e s t i v a l , h u n t i n g , a n d m a r r i a g e season.  S r i n i v a s notes t h a t the surplus  r i c e was s o l d i n M a l a b a r e v e r y summer..." and t h i s n e c e s s i t a t e d t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n o f t h e a n n u a l c a r a v a n i n w h i c h e v e r y Okka i n t h e village participated"  (1952: 2 2 9 ) .  W h i l e t h e men a r e o u t i n t h e f i e l d s o r away w i t h t h e c a r a v a n , t h e women o f t h e Okka conduct h o u s e h o l d c h o r e s , r e a r c h i l d r e n , and t e n d t h e v e g e t a b l e garden and t h e p o u l t r y sheds. v i s i o n o f t h e most s e n i o r m a r r i e d female  Under t h e s u p e r -  (usually the w i f e o f t h e  p a t r i a r c h ) t h e younger women o f t h e Okka c l e a n t h e a n c e s t r a l house, wash c l o t h e s , p r e p a r e t h e d a i l y m e a l s , and f e e d t h e d o m e s t i c a n i m a l s . They a r e a s s i s t e d b y t h e female s e r v a n t s who a r e t h e w i v e s o f t h e a g r i c u l t u r a l workers.  I n p r e - B r i t i s h t i m e s , t h e s e s e r v a n t s were  a c t u a l l y s l a v e s r e p r e s e n t i n g a p a r t o f t h e "movable p r o p e r t y " o f t h e Coorgs.  They l i v e d i n t h e v i c i n i t y o f t h e a n c e s t r a l house i n t h e i r  own d w e l l i n g s b u t were c o n s i d e r e d p a r t o f t h e j o i n t f a m i l y . The a n c e s t r a l house i s u s u a l l y a n i m p o s i n g s t r u c t u r e o f s t o n e and m o r t a r , w i t h s o l i d , c a r v e d woodwork. . . . . C a r p e n t e r s from M a l a b a r b u i l d them, and Coorg a n c e s t r a l houses c o n s e q u e n t l y resemble g r e a t l y t h e houses o f w e l l - t o - d o N a y a r s . The house i s u s u a l l y s i t u a t e d o n a n e l e v a t i o n , and a narrow, h i g h - w a l l e d and w i n d i n g l a n e l e a d s up t o i t . From  -85t h e windows i n t h e upper s t o r y one u s u a l l y obtains a f i n e view o f the surrounding country. F o r m e r l y , i n t h e days when feuds between j o i n t f a m i l i e s were common, and a s u r p r i s e r a i d f r o m a h o s t i l e Okka was a l w a y s a p o s s i b i l i t y , anyone coming w i t h u n f r i e n d l y i n t e n t i o n s exposed h i m s e l f t o v i e w f r o m t h e windows o f t h e a n c e s t r a l house( ) . T h e r e f o r e t h e house was b u i l t l i k e a f o r t r e s s and was a b l e t o s t a n d a s e i g e f o r s e v e r a l days... There i s a k i t c h e n - g a r d e n n e a r t h e main b u i l d i n g and a w e l l o r pond p r o v i d e s w a t e r f o r d o m e s t i c p u r p o s e s . . . . ( i b i d : 49-50). T h i s a n c e s t r a l house, t o g e t h e r w i t h t h e c c r a n u n a l l y owned a n c e s t r a l l a n d i s c o n s i d e r e d " s a c r e d " and h o l d s t h e members o f t h e Okka t o g e t h e r , g i v e s them a s t r o n g sense o f f a m i l i a l i d e n t i t y . i s a l s o t h e c h i e f emblem o f s t a t u s and f a m i l i a l w e a l t h .  It  A well-  m a i n t a i n e d house, p r o d u c t i v e f i e l d s , and i n t e r n a l s t r e n g t h s e c u r e t h e a b i l i t y t o impress o t h e r Okkas and t o e x e r c i s e the v i l l a g e context.  influence within  Moreover, h i g h p r o d u c t i v i t y s e c u r e s m a t e r i a l  w e a l t h , w h i c h , i n t u r n c a n be u s e d as generous c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o f e s t i v a l s , and —  most i m p o r t a n t l y —  t o p u t on e l a b o r a t e weddings.  I n t h i s c o n t e x t , r e f e r e n c e s t o p r o s p e r i t y , growth, p r o d u c t i v i t y  and  abundance w i t h i n t h e m a r r i a g e ceremony g i v e e v i d e n c e o f t h e i r subj e c t i v e " s e l f - e s t i m a t i o n " through a symbolic " s e l f - d e s c r i p t i o n " ,  as  i t were, and more g e n e r a l , can s e r v e a s t h e i n d e x o f t h e i r m a t e r i a l tendencies which, together w i t h a strong f a m i l y - c u l t , c o n s t i t u t e t h e i r p o w e r f u l group i d e n t i t y . This chapter, then, deals w i t h references t o a g r i c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t i e s , w i t h t h o s e w h i c h c o n c e n t r a t e on t h e h o u s e h o l d u n i t , t h e household  space, and r o l e s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h b o t h ; i t a l s o f o c u s s e s on  -86s y m b o l i c e x p r e s s i o n s o f growth and abundance w i t h i n t h e wedding proceedings.  B.  ASPECTS OF GROWTH AND  PROSPERITY SYMBOLIZED I N THE  "KANNI- .'  MANGALA"  The Coorgs, a s do many s o c i e t i e s i n I n d i a and e l s e w h e r e ,  use  t h e m a r r i a g e ceremony t o demonstrate t h a t t h e c r e a t i o n o f a new  bond  w i l l b r i n g new growth, and w i t h i t , p r o s p e r i t y t o t h e f a m i l y .  In  a d d i t i o n , t h e wedding p r o v i d e s a welcome : p o s s i b i l i t y t o g i v e e v i dence o f Coorg w e a l t h and s t a t u s e x p r e s s i o n s .  O r g a n i z e d by t h e i r  r e s p e c t i v e Okkas (and a s s i s t e d by n e i g h b o u r s ) t h e b r i d a l c o u p l e c a n e x p e c t a two-day a f f a i r w h i c h t r a n s f o r m s t h e a n c e s t r a l house i n t o a p a l a c e - l i k e b u i l d i n g i n w h i c h t h e numerous f a m i l y members, f r i e n d s and n e i g h b o u r s , and o t h e r i n v i t e d g u e s t s e n j o y c o n v e r s a t i o n s , c u l i n a r y e x t r a v a g a n c e s , t h e r e c i t a l o f b a l l a d s and f o l k s o n g s , and d a n c i n g . F o r t h e s e two most i m p o r t a n t days i n t h e young p e o p l e ' s l i v e s , t h e y are  t h e c e n t e r o f r i t u a l and communal a t t e n t i o n . U s u a l l y , p r e p a r a t o r y a c t i v i t i e s f o r t h e wedding b e g i n a f t e r  t h e two A r u v a s c o n c l u d e d t h e Mangala K u r i p a , a s h o r t r i t u a l w h i c h  con-  t r a c t u a l l y s e c u r e s t h e engagement o f t h e two young p e o p l e i n q u e s t i o n . B o t h houses a r e c l e a n e d and colour-washed  f o r the occasion.  Since the  a n c e s t r a l e s t a t e s t a n d s f o r t h e m a t r i x o f any Coorg Vs s o c i a l and r e l i g i o u s i d e n t i t y , and s i n c e t h e a n c e s t r a l house, w h i c h s y m b o l i z e s t h e  c e n t e r o f t h e e s t a t e , i s t h e l o c u s o f t h e wedding p r o c e d u r e s , t h e m a r r i a g e ceremony c a n be seen a s a d r a m a t i z e d re-enactment o f t h e apex o f t h e Coorg l i f e - c y c l e .  M a r r i a g e s i g n i f i e s t h e u n i o n o f two  i n d i v i d u a l s and w i t h i t , two k i n - g r o u p s ; i t a l s o s i g n i f i e d t h e c r e a t i o n o f a new and f e r t i l e bond, i n w h i c h new l i f e i s c r e a t e d , a new l i n k i s added t o t h e c h a i n o f c o n t i n u i t y w i t h i n , and w i t h i n t h e e n t i r e s o c i e t y .  t h e Okka  M a r r i a g e i s " s a c r e d " and t h e b r i d a l  couple i s t r e a t e d w i t h t h e h i g h e s t form o f r e s p e c t p o s s i b l e i n Coorg s o c i e t y , f o r i t i s a p t t o g e n e r a t e f a m i l i a l growth and p r o sperity. As done e a r l i e r , l e t u s t a k e a n o t h e r l o o k a t T a b l e B i n o r d e r to  locate^, t h o s e c e r e m o n i a l r e f e r e n c e s i n t h e "Kanni-Mangala" w h i c h  have t o do w i t h a s p e c t s o f growth and p r o s p e r i t y and w h i c h d e a l w i t h r e f e r e n c e s t h a t c o n n e c t t h e s e a s p e c t s w i t h a g r i c u l t u r a l and household a c t i v i t i e s , TABLE F:  (see T a b l e F f o r a s h o r t s y n o p s i s . )  S y m b o l i c r e f e r e n c e s t o growth and p r o s p e r i t y encoded i n t h e Farmer/Householder complex:  a) Concern w i t h a g r i c u l t u r a l and household t o p i c s :  b) R e f e r e n c e s t o growth and prosperity:  - 1 - c l e a n i n g and p r e p a r a t i o n o f t h e house a s t h e " s t a g e " f o r the wedding. - 2 - t h e common m e a l s . -3- M u r t a symbolism (use o f r i c e ) . -4- t h e " g i f t o f f o o d " t o t h e bride's party. -5- Sammanda symbolism. s e e : - 2 - f o r abundance and p r o d u c t i v i t y ; - 3 - f o r growth, f e r t i l i t y ; -4- f o r p r o s p e r i t y ; -5- f o r p r o d u c t i v i t y .  -88As n o t e d e a r l i e r , t h e a n c e s t r a l house i s t h e " s t a g e " on w h i c h t h e m a r r i a g e ceremony i s p e r f o r m e d .  As t h e c e n t e r o f t h e  e n t i r e e s t a t e i t f o c u s e s a l l t h a t , f o r what t h e Coorgs l i v e and work f o r , i n t o one d e f i n e d s p a t i a l s t r u c t u r e ; t h e a n c e s t r a l house i s t h e p l a c e where one i s b o r n , m a r r i e s , and d i e s ; i t a l s o i s t h e p l a c e where one s e t s o u t i n t h e m o r n i n g t o do t h e d a i l y work and where one comes back a t n i g h t t o e a t and r e s t .  The house i s a f o r t r e s s , a  s h e l t e r , an emblem o f t h e s t r e n g t h and p r o s p e r i t y o f t h e Okka. is  It  "sacred". B e s i d e s o t h e r t h i n g s , t h e a n c e s t r a l house i s d i v i d e d i n t o s e v e r a l  spaces w i t h d i f f e r e n t d e g r e e s o f " s a c r e d n e s s " .  The two p l a c e s i n  w h i c h t h e c r u c i a l r i t e s o f t h e m a r r i a g e ceremony a r e p e r f o r m e d a r e b o t h " v e r y s a c r e d " , a c c o r d i n g t o S r i n i v a s (1952: 76-77). They a r e t h e central hall  ( u s u a l l y t h e l o c u s o f Murta):,: and t h e k i t c h e n , t h a t i s ,  t h e e n t r a n c e t o t h e k i t c h e n (always t h e l o c u s o f Sammanda). The c e n t r a l h a l l g e t s i t s " s a c r e d n e s s " f r o m t h e f a c t t h a t i t c o n t a i n s t h e " s a c r e d " w a l l lamp and t h e " s a c r e d " h a n g i n g lamp. lamps' s t a n d f o r t h e u n i t y o f t h e Okka.  These  The k i t c h e n , however, i s  c o n s i d e r e d " s a c r e d " because f o o d i s cooked i n i t .  Food m a i n t a i n s  l i f e and w i t h i t s e c u r e s t h e c o n t i n u a t i o n o f t h e Okka.  I t i s interest-  i n g t o n o t e , t h a t d u r i n g t h e Sammanda ceremony o n l y t h e b r i d e i s i n t h e k i t c h e n w h i l e t h e groom, t o g e t h e r w i t h b o t h A r u v a s and o t h e r f a m i l y members s t a n d o u t s i d e t h e k i t c h e n .  There i s no r e f e r e n c e i n  t h e l i t e r a t u r e a s t o why t h e g i r l r e m a i n s a l o n e i n t h e k i t c h e n ; I  -89assume t h a t t h e k i t c h e n i s c o n s i d e r e d  t o be t h e p l a c e i n w h i c h t h e  g i r l spends much o f h e r t i m e and t h a t , when t h e young husband g r a b s h e r hand and l e a d s h e r away f r o m h e r n a t a l home, one c o u l d a r g u e t h a t he s y m b o l i c a l l y t r a n s f e r s h e r t o t h e k i t c h e n o f h i s own where she, f r o m now  on, w i l l c o n t r i b u t e t o t h e maintenance and  t i n u a t i o n of the d a i l y l i f e . a r r i v e d new  home con-  The r i t e s p e r f o r m e d by t h e f r e s h l y  w i f e i n c l u d e , besides other t h i n g s , t o c a r r y water from  the w e l l t o the k i t c h e n . Be t h a t as i t may,  t h e c l e a n i n g and p r e p a r a t i o n o f t h e  an-  c e s t r a l house g i v e s e v i d e n c e o f t h e c o n c e r n t h e Coorgs g i v e t o  the  h o u s e h o l d u n i t , and c e r t a i n a s p e c t s o f h o u s e h o l d space. A n o t h e r o b v i o u s r e f e r e n c e t o t h e f a r m e r / h o u s e h o l d symbolism i s g i v e n i n t h e d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e meals w h i c h a r e consumed d u r i n g t h e wedding p r o c e e d i n g s .  Three major meals are prepared d u r i n g  the  two days o f t h e wedding:  the f i r s t i s served i n the evening of  the  f i r s t day, s h o r t l y a f t e r t h e groom (and t h e b r i d e ) f i n i s h cestral propitiation i n v i t e d guests, b e s t man.  an-  groom ( b r i d e ) e a t s e p a r a t e l y f r o m t h e  j o i n e d o n l y by two o r t h r e e c l o s e f r i e n d s and  the  T h i s meal c o n s i s t s o f a v a r i e t y o f r i c e c u r r i e s , meat, and  rice-puddings; cohol  The  their  w i t h i t , t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s d r i n k w a t e r , m i l k , and a l -  (Muthanna 1982:  interview 1).  As my  informant  told  me,  t h i s meal i s s i g n i f i c a n t , f o r i t marks t h e change i n s o c i a l s t a t u s o f t h e groom and t h e b r i d e .  I t i s t h e l a s t meal t h e y s h a r e w i t h  f r i e n d s b e f o r e r e t u r n i n g as husband and w i f e .  their  T h i s meal i s u s u a l l y  a q u i t e e m o t i o n a l a f f a i r , and d i s p l a y s , a t t i m e s , c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f  -90a feast.  I t a l s o s i g n i f i e s abundance and w e a l t h .  The second meal i s s e r v e d t o members o f b o t h f a m i l i e s s h o r t l y a f t e r t h e a r r i v a l o f t h e groom's p a r t y a t t h e b r i d e ' s Okka.  However,  t h i s meal has more t h e c h a r a c t e r o f a snack, f o r o n l y r i c e - p u f f s and r i c e - c h i p s a r e s e r v e d w i t h d r i n k s . on a d i f f e r e n t l e v e l :  B u t t h i s meal i s s i g n i f i c a n t  f o r the f i r s t time i t b r i n g s together both  k i n - g r o u p s , and commensality c a n be i n t e r p r e t e d i n t h i s c a s e a s a f i r s t s t a t e m e n t o f u n i t y between t h e two Okkas. of  The  simplicity  t h e meal seems t o c o r r e l a t e w i t h t h e f l a i r o f t h e o c c a s i o n :  two s e p a r a t e k i n - g r o u p s a r e about t o c o n n e c t i n t e r e s t s : t h r o u g h t h e m a r r i a g e o f one o f t h e i r members.  T h i s i s t h e t i m e where s o b r i e t y  and c a r e seems i n p l a c e , s i n c e i t j u s t p r e c e d e s t h e performance t h e l a s t M u r t a and t h e most i m p o r t a n t ceremony o f a l l :  of  t h e Sammanda.  The t h i r d m e a l , and i n my o p i n i o n t h e most i m p o r t a n t one, i s consumed a f t e r t h e young c o u p l e has r e t u r n e d t o t h e groom's Okka. I t i s t h e f i r s t common meal o f t h e young c o u p l e and i t . p r e c e d e s t h e l a s t s i g n i f i c a n t ceremony o f t h e wedding, w h i c h i s t h e naming o f the b r i d e .  One more word about t h i s f i r s t common m e a l .  I t high-  l i g h t s t h e u n i t y o f husband and w i f e and u n d e r l i n e s t h e membership of eat  t h e g i r l i n h e r husband's f a m i l y .  From now on, t h e c o u p l e w i l l  t o g e t h e r e v e r y day e x c e p t on t h o s e r i t u a l o c c a s i o n s where t h e  men  (31) eat  t o g e t h e r , be i t a f t e r t h e h u n t , o r d u r i n g c e r t a i n  festivals.  G e n e r a l l y s p e a k i n g , t h e symbolism e x p r e s s e d i n t h e s e meals i s t h a t o f t h e s o l i d a r i t y o f t h e Okka i n t e r n a l l y , o r b i l a t e r a l l y , and a t  -91the occasion o f t h e lunch t h a t t h e guests take a f t e r t h e f i r s t Murta ( w i t h o u t t h e b r i d e and t h e groom's p r e s e n c e ) , w h i c h d i s p l a y s m u l t i l a t e r a l s o l i d a r i t y through commensality. on w h i c h t h e y l i v e i s e a t e n  The f o o d o f t h e e a r t h  together; t h i s i s a f a c t that s i g n i f i e s  t h e t i e between t h e s o u r c e o f l i v e l i h o o d and s o c i a l r e a l i t y . As mentioned b e f o r e , r i c e was and s t i l l i s t h e c h i e f f o o d s o u r c e f o r t h e Coorgs and i t i s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h l i f e , growth, and prosperity.  An abundance o f r i c e a l l o w s t h e Coorgs t o e a t " w e l l " ,  t o i n v i t e g u e s t s , and t o d i s p l a y t h e i r economic independence. On a d i f f e r e n t l e v e l , t h i s symbolism t a k e s on r e l i g i o u s c o n notations:  r i c e i s used —  n u t s , and b e t e l —  together w i t h milk, water, d i f f e r e n t  t o worship t h e objects o f Murta.  In this r e -  s p e c t , r i c e s t a n d s f o r t h e l i f e - g i v i n g and l i f e - m a i n t a i n i n g f o r c e , and when t h e w o r s h i p p e r t o u c h e s t h e b o d y - j o i n t s o f t h e b r i d e and groom w i t h r i c e , he/she a s s o c i a t e s t h e human body w i t h t h a t o f t h e g r e a t c o s m i c body, and a l s o t r a n s f e r s t h e powers o f growth and productivity  (which a r e i n h e r e n t i n r i c e ) t o t h e human body.  The r i t u a l s p r i n k l i n g o f r i c e on o b j e c t s and p e r s o n s i s u s u a l l y accompanied by s a l u t a t i o n . T h i s s i g n i f i e s t h e bond between t h e a n c e s t r a l l a n d on w h i c h t h e r i c e i s grown and t h e o b j e c t s o f M u r t a w i t h a l l t h o s e who p e r f o r m i t ;  i n o t h e r words a c o n n e c t i o n  i s made b e -  tween t h e f o o d s o u r c e and t h e f o o d consumer. On t h e second d a y o f m a r r i a g e , s h o r t l y a f t e r t h e a r r i v a l o f t h e groom's p a r t y a t t h e b r i d e ' s home, a m a r r i e d woman p r e s e n t s t h e " g i f t o f f o o d " t o a member o f t h e b r i d e ' s p a r t y .  PJLchter  (1870: 137) t e l l s  -92us t h a t t h i s g i f t r e p r e s e n t s  a sample o f t h e groom's economic p r o s -  p e r i t y and i s d e s i g n e d t o c o n v i n c e t h e b r i d a l Okka t h a t t h e g i r l n o t s u f f e r when l i v i n g away f r o m home.  will  T h i s g i f t o f f o o d a l s o sym-  b o l i z e s t h e c r e a t i o n o f an economic t i e between t h e two Okkas. I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o n o t e , t h a t t h e groom's p a r t y c a r r i e s i t s own r i c e and m i l k t o t h e b r i d e ' s house where i t i s u s e d i n t h e M u r t a ceremonies.  ( S r i n i v a s 1952: 9 3 ) .  I n t h e Sammanda ceremony, where membership r i g h t s t o t h e e n t i r e p r o p e r t y o f t h e groom's Okka a r e c o n f e r r e d on t h e b r i d e , we f i n d numerous r e f e r e n c e s  t o t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f t h e Coorg mode o f sub-  s i s t e n c e , t o t h e household u n i t as being t h e center o f t h e day-today r e a l i t y o f i t s members, and t o a s p e c t s o f f a m i l y g r o w t h , economic p r o s p e r i t y , and u n i t y .  I t i s a c o n t r a c t u a l agreement between t h e  two A r u v a s (or f a m i l y f r i e n d s ) , t h a t f o c u s e s on t h e n e c e s s i t y t o secure a s u c c e s s f u l marriage.  The young husband g e t s s p e c i a l c o -  r i g h t s i n h i s n a t a l home w h i c h a r e d e s i g n e d t o p r o v i d e t h e  material  and economic b a s i s f o r a new f a m i l y , w h i l e t h e young w i f e s h a r e s c o r i g h t s w h i c h a l l o w h e r t o f u n c t i o n i n h e r new environment.  Her m a i n  t a s k a s a w i f e i s t o b e a r c h i l d r e n and t o a s s i s t h e r husband w i t h i n t h e h o u s e h o l d u n i t t o g a i n r e s p e c t and s t a t u s .  A s a member o f a l a r g e  j o i n t f a m i l y , t h e w i f e i s s h a r i n g t h e r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t o keep t h e h o u s e h o l d f u n c t i o n i n g , w h i l e t h e husband engages i n t h e management and s u p e r v i s i o n o f t h e a n c e s t r a l f i e l d s and p a s t u r e s .  The sexes a r e g e n e r a l l y s e g r e g a t e d .  S r i n i v a s notes t h a t  t h e r e i s a d i s t i n c t o r g a n i z a t i o n o f h o u s e h o l d space o f w h i c h some i s r e s e r v e d s o l e l y f o r men: ...The o u t e r v e r a n d a s e r v e s a s a c l u b f o r t h e men, and t h e y s i t down o n t h e benches t h e r e , d r i n k i n g , chewing b e t e l , and t a l k i n g . The woman r a r e l y v i s i t t h e v e r a n d a ( f r e q u e n t l y a C o o r g house h a s a s e p a r a t e e n t r a n c e w h i c h e n a b l e s t h e women t o move i n and o u t o f t h e house w i t h o u t b e i n g seen b y t h e men who a r e g a t h e r e d i n t h e v e r a n d a ) . S i m i l a r l y , men r a r e l y j o i n women who a r e presumably s i t t i n g i n t h e k i t c h e n , o r i n one o f t h e i n n e r rooms... .. .When r e l a t i v e s v i s i t a Coorg house, t h e men g u e s t s j o i n t h e men h o s t s i n t h e v e r a n d a , whereas t h e women g u e s t s j o i n t h e women h o s t s i n t h e i n n e r p a r t o f t h e house...( S r i n i v a s 1952: 4 6 ) . From t h i s , i t c o u l d be argued t h a t t h e women's domain i s t h e c e n t e r o f t h e house, t h e k i t c h e n , and t h o s e i n n e r rooms w h i c h t h e y frequent i n t h e course o f the household d u t i e s . i s everything outside: f i e l d s and p a s t u r e s . places.  The men's domain  the o u t e r veranda, the adjacent l a n d , t h e  The domains c o i n c i d e l a r g e l y w i t h t h e work-  However, b o t h , t h e men and t h e women o f t h e Okka, work  ( a l t h o u g h s e p a r a t e d ) toward t h e common g o a l w h i c h i s t o m a i n t a i n t h e l i f e and p r o s p e r i t y o f t h e Okka. Food b r i n g s them a l l t o g e t h e r i n t h e e v e n i n g . when t h e u n i t y o f t h e Okka i s d i s p l a y e d , when b o t h — (32) and d o m e s t i c s p e c i a l i s t s —  s e t t l e down t o r e s t .  I t i s t h e time, agricultural  -94-  C.  SUMMARY  I have argued i n t h i s c h a p t e r t h a t t h e Coorg's m a j o r symb o l i c r e f e r e n c e t o growth, p r o s p e r i t y , and abundance i s r e f l e c t e d i n t h e i r use o f r i c e  (and o t h e r f o o d - s t u f f ) ,  R i c e i s mainly used  i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h r e l i g i o u s themes and forms t h e c o r e symbolism i n t h e t h r e e Murta r i t u a l s . for to  Rice stands f o r l i f e p e r se, b u t a l s o  growth, p r o s p e r i t y , a n d w e a l t h .  I have r e l a t e d t h i s symbolism  t h e o v e r a l l m a r r i a g e ceremony, i n w h i c h c o n s t a n t r e f e r e n c e s  a r e made a s t o t h e c r e a t i o n o f new l i f e t h r o u g h t h e u n i t y between b r i d e and groom; a s t o t h e d i f f e r e n t r o l e s o f t h e man (the p r o v i d e r , t h e d e f e n d e r o f peace and e x t e r n a l u n i t y , t h e m a s t e r o f t h e house) and t h e woman (the d o m e s t i c s p e c i a l i s t , t h e mother, t h e guard o f internal unity), but —  and t h i s i s i m p o r t a n t —  t h a t both r o l e s  complement e a c h o t h e r t o i n s u r e t h e maintenance and p e r p e t u a t i o n of  t h e e n t i r e Okka. On a d i f f e r e n t l e v e l I d e a l t w i t h s y m b o l i c r e f e r e n c e s t o  p r o d u c t i v i t y a n d abundance w i t h i n t h e "Kanni-Mangala". i s t h e c e n t r a l symbol: for  Rice, again,  i t p r o v i d e s t h e w e a l t h t h a t makes i t p o s s i b l e  t h e Coorgs t o d i s p l a y " a r s i t o c r a t i c " a t t r i b u t e s .  p a r t o f any meal t h a t i s s e r v e d o n t h e o c c a s i o n .  I t i s t h e main  I t f i n a l l y serves  as t h e c a r r i e r o f s u p e r n a t u r a l powers w h i c h a r e a p t t o i n f l u e n c e t h e success o f the marriage.  /Although t h e r e i s a c l e a r r e l i g i o u s c h a r a c t e r t o much o f t h e "growth and p r o s p e r i t y " symbolism, i t c o n n e c t s even more s t r o n g l y w i t h t a n g i b l e , m a t e r i a l and s o c i a l norms i n d a y - t o - d a y l i f e . a r e w e a l t h y a g r i c u l t u r a l i s t s w i t h a k e e n sense o f p r o f i t .  Coorgs The  i n t e r n a l u n i t y and t h e c l o s e r e l a t i o n s h i p t o t h e i r a n c e s t r a l l a n d s p r o v i d e s them w i t h a s t r o n g b a s i s f o r a w e l l - o r g a n i z e d d o m e s t i c  life  i n w h i c h c l e a r d i v i s i o n o f l a b o u r and sex s e g r e g a t i o n c o i n c i d e .  The  l a n d and t h e house i s t h e c o r e o f Coorg r e a l t y , i t i s owned communa l l y , maintained  coramunally,  and e n j o y e d and l o v e d communally.  -95a-  C H A P T E R  I V  T H E : K'l N S M A N  -96-  A.  PROLOGUE:  Coorg s o c i e t y i s s t r i c t l y endogamous.  I t c o n s i s t s o f about  500 p a t r i l i n e a l j o i n t f a m i l y groups (Okkas) w h i c h a r e p o l i t i c a l l y organized i n v i l l a g e s  ( u s u a l l y t h r e e t o f o u r Okkas c o n s t i t u t e an  " U r " ) , Nads, (a c l u s t e r o f v i l l a g e s ) , and Kombus (two o r more N a d s ) . Coorg Okkas a r e exogamous. I d e a l l y , a l l t h e members o f a n Okka a r e descended f r o m one common a n c e s t o r .  S r i n i v a s w r i t e s t h a t " t h e Okkas seems t o be s t r o n g e r  and more s h a r p l y s t r u c t u r e d t h a n t h e j o i n t f a m i l y e l s e w h e r e i n S o u t h I n d i a , w i t h t h e p o s s i b l e e x c e p t i o n o f t h e m a t r i l i n e a l "Tarwad" o f t h e N a y a r s , and t h e p a t r i l i n e a l " I l l a m " o f t h e Nambudris"  (1952: 4 9 ) .  (33) I t i s saxd  t h a t t h e Coorg Okka i s a continuum; a t any g i v e n moment o f t i m e t h e Okka i s made up o f a g r o u p o f a g n a t i c a l l y r e l a t e d m a l e s , and t h e i r w i v e s and c h i l d r e n . When t h e o l d e r members o f t h e Okka d i e t h e younger members t a k e t h e i r p l a c e . The dynamic element i n t h e Okka c o n s i s t s i n t h e younger members s u c c e e d i n g t o t h e p o s i t i o n s l e f t v a c a n t by t h e d e a t h s o f t h e o l d e r members.(...) The g e n e r a t i o n - d e p t h o f an Okka m i g h t expand b y a b i r t h , o r c o n t r a c t b y a d e a t h , a segment may c l i n g o n o r s p l i t o f f , b u t i n t h e main t h e r e i s a c e r t a i n c o n s t a n c y o f c o n f i g u r a t i o n w h i c h makes i t an Okka. The members o f an Okka come and go, b u t t h e Okka goes on f o r e v e r . The members a r e l i k e p e o p l e on an e s c a l a t o r , t h o s e o n t h e bottom s t a i r s moving g r a d u a l l y up t o t h e t o p and f i n a l l y d i s appearing. An Okka n o t o n l y l o o k s f o r e w a r d t o t h e f u t u r e b u t a l s o s t r e t c h e s back i n t o t h e p a s t . Each Okka has a d i s t i n c t t r a d i t i o n w i t h w h i c h i t s l i v i n g members  -97a r e a q u a i n t e d . The 'house-song sung ( ) at a n c e s t o r p r o p r i a t i o n s e n a b l e s t h e younger memb e r s t o l e a r n t h e h i s t o r y o f t h e Okka. ( i b i d : 159) 1  M l  t h e members o f t h e Okka l i v e t o g e t h e r i n t h e a n c e s t r a l house  and s h a r e common r i g h t s i n t h e e n t i r e a n c e s t r a l e s t a t e .  I n the times  o f p r e - B r i t i s h Coorg, i t was n o t u n u s u a l t h a t up t o 200 p e o p l e w o u l d l i v e under one r o o f (Muthanna 1974: 2 4 5 ) . S i n c e r e s i d e n c e i s p a t r i l o c a l , g i r l s l e a v e t h e i r n a t a l homes upon m a r r i a g e and become memb e r s o f t h e c o n j u g a l Okka b y c o n t r a c t .  T r a d i t i o n a l r e s t r i c t i o n s on  m a r r i a g e among Coorgs r e q u i r e t h a t a man must n o t m a r r y o u t s i d e t h e l i m i t s o f h i s s o c i e t y and t h e t h e b r i d e and groom must n o t b e l o n g t o t h e same Okka.  I n a d d i t i o n , m a r r i a g e i s f o r b i d d e n t o c o u p l e s who  a r e r e l a t e d b y d e s c e n t from a common female a n c e s t o r t h r o u g h  females  o n l y (Emeneau 1938: 3 3 6 ) . I t a l s o i s p r o h i b i t e d between any two p e r s o n s who a p p l y t o one a n o t h e r b r o t h e r - s i s t e r terms o r terms d e n o t i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p s between d i f f e r e n t g e n e r a t i o n s ( i b i d : 3 3 6 ) . On t h e o t h e r hand, widow and d i v o r c e r e - m a r r i a g e i s p e r m i t t e d and practiced. I f a woman l o s e s h e r f i r s t husband she remains a member o f h e r husband's f a m i l y and cannot l o s e h e r r i g h t s i n t h a t f a m i l y ' s p r o p e r t y except by re-marriage.  I f h e r second husband s h o u l d be a member o f  h e r f i r s t husband's f a m i l y (and o f t e n enough i t i s h i s b r o t h e r ) , r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s o f h e r n a t a l f a m i l y a r e s e n t f o r and t h e y and_-.theerepresentat i v e s o f h e r husband's f a m i l y p e r f o r m a new Sammanda (but no Murta) ceremony.  Through t h i s new m a r r i a g e  (which h a s l e s s r i t u a l v a l u e t h a n  t h e "Kanni-Mangala") she l o s e s t h e r i g h t s she had e n j o y e d from h e r f i r s t m a r r i a g e i n exchange f o r t h e same r i g h t s she g e t s t h r o u g h h e r  -98second m a r r i a g e .  A c c o r d i n g t o P r o f . Emeneau's i n f o r m a n t , t h i s  new Sammanda ceremony i s n e c e s s a r y , "  since her r i g h t s i n her  husband's s i b a r e e s s e n t i a l l y c o - r i g h t s w i t h h e r husband"  (ibid:  335). I f a widow m a r r i e s a man o f a d i f f e r e n t s i b f r o m t h a t o f h e r f i r s t husband, h e r r i g h t s i n h e r f i r s t husband's s i b a r e e x t i n g u i s h e d , and i n h e r f a t h e r ' s house she i s g i v e n t o h e r new husband w i t h t h e Sammanda ceremony. A woman g a i n s a permanent p l a c e i n h e r o r i g i n a l s i b o n l y by d i v o r c e (...). I n such c a s e s t h e A r u v a s o f t h e two f a m i l i e s n e g o t i a t e between t h e two p a r t i e s and i f b o t h f a m i l i e s agree t o d i v o r c e , t h e woman r e l i n q u i s h e s a l l c l a i m s t o a p l a c e i n h e r husband's s i b and may n e v e r r e g a i n i t by a n o t h e r m a r r i a g e i n t o t h e s i b . She r e g a i n s h e r p l a c e i n h e r f a t h e r ' s s i b and keeps i t , u n l e s s , as r a r e l y happens, she s h o u l d be sought i n m a r r i a g e by a n o t h e r man from a n o t h e r s i b ( i b i d : 335). In a l l t h e above mentioned c a s e s t h e c h i l d r e n r e m a i n i n t h e husband's f a m i l y . for  I f t h e y s h o u l d be t o o young t o be a b l e t o f e n d  t h e m s e l v e s , t h e mother may r e t a i n i n c h a r g e o f them u n t i l t h e y  a t t a i n an age when t h e y c a n c a r e f o r t h e m s e l v e s , upon w h i c h t h e y r e t u r n t o t h e i r own  f a m i l y ( i b i d : 336).  M a r r i a g e , t h e n , i s t h e one i n s t i t u t i o n w h i c h f a c i l i t a t e s t h e p e r p e t u a t i o n o f t h e Okka i n i t s t r a d i t i o n a l form by p r o d u c i n g c o n t i n u o u s l y new male descendents who keep t h e f a m i l y l i n e i n t a c t , by m a r r y i n g o f f t h e female d e s c e n d e n t s , who,  and  i n turn, are instrumental  i n t h e c o n t i n u a t i o n o f t h e f a m i l y l i n e i n t o w h i c h t h e y marry. On a d i f f e r e n t l e v e l , t h e k i n - n e t w o r k t h a t i s c r e a t e d t h r o u g h m a r r i a g e w i t h a number o f Okkas i s a p t t o s t r e n g t h e n s o c i a l and e c o nomic r e l a t i o n s between them, and s e r v e s a s one b a s i c f o u n d a t i o n f o r  -99a more g e n e r a l g r o u p - i d e n t i t y . A l t h o u g h t h e r e a r e numerous i m p o r t a n t s o c i o - c u l t u r a l  and  r e l i g i o u s a s p e c t s connected w i t h t h i s p a r t i c u l a r k i n s h i p - s y s t e m , I want t o c o n f i n e my d i s c u s s i o n t o t h o s e c e r e m o n i a l r e f e r e n c e s t o k i n - g r o u p s , d e s c e n t , k i n - t e r r i t o r y , and i n t r a and  inter-Okka  r e l a t i o n s w h i c h a r e s y m b o l i c a l l y e x p r e s s e d i n t h e "Kanni-Mangala". F o r a more e x t e n s i v e t r e a t m e n t o f t h e mechanics o f t h e C o o r g k i n s h i p system and i t s i m p l i c a t i o n s on t h e w i d e r s o c i a l r e a l i t y o f t h i s s o c i e t y , I r e f e r t o t h e w r i t i n g s o f S r i n i v a s (1952), Emeneau  (1938),  Muthanna (1953, 1974), and i n t h e B i b l i o g r a p h y l i s t e d Census and Gazetteer m a t e r i a l .  B.  KIN-SYMBOLISM WITHIN THE  "KANNI-MANGALA":  I t i s not s u r p r i s i n g t h a t references t o the k i n - o r g a n i z a t i o n o f Coorgs a r e f r e q u e n t and a r e found t h r o u g h o u t bolism.  the marriage  sym-  " I t i s i m p o s s i b l e " , w r i t e s S r i n i v a s , " t o imagine a C o o r g  a p a r t f r o m t h e k i n - g r o u p o f w h i c h he i s a member"; and, . . . ( h i s membership) a f f e c t s h i s l i f e a t e v e r y p o i n t and c o l o u r s h i s r e l a t i o n s w i t h t h e o u t s i d e w o r l d . P e o p l e who do n o t b e l o n g t o an Okka have no s o c i a l e x i s t e n c e a t a l l . . . (...). Membership o f an Okka i s a c q u i r e d by b i r t h , and t h e o u t s i d e w o r l d a l w a y s i d e n t i f i e s a man w i t h h i s Okka. H i s a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h h i s Okka does n o t c e a s e even a f t e r d e a t h , because t h e n he becomes one o f a body o f a p o t h e o s i z e d a n c e s t o r s who a r e b e l i e v e d t o l o o k a f t e r t h e Okka o f w h i c h t h e y were members when a l i v e (1952: 1 2 4 ) .  -100I t i s t h i s s t r o n g a s s o c i a t i o n between a s p e c t s o f r e l i g i o n and s o c i e t y w h i c h c h a r a c t e r i z e s t h e s p e c i f i c s t r u c t u r e o f k i n r e l a t e d c u l t u r a l statements.  Coorg i d e n t i t y i s c o n t i n u o u s l y r e -  d e f i n e d and r e - a f f i r m e d on t h r e e d i s t i n c t l e v e l s ' :  one t h a t r e f e r s  t o d e s c e n t , d e a l i n g w i t h a n c e s t o r w o r s h i p and t h e dynamics o f Okka p e r p e t u a t i o n ; a second r e l a t i n g t o one's own k i n - g r o u p and t h o s e kin-groups t h a t are a g n a t i c a l l y r e l a t e d  ( t h r o u g h m a r r i a g e ) ; and a  t h i r d , d e a l i n g w i t h r e f e r e n c e s t o t h e commonly owned k i n - t e r r i t o r i e s . The f o l l o w i n g d i s c u s s i o n f o c u s e s on t h o s e a s p e c t s o f k i n symbolism w h i c h a r e s y m b o l i c a l l y e x p r e s s e d i n t h e  "Kanni-Mangala"  and w h i c h c a n be c l a s s i f i e d w i t h i n t h e above mentioned of  i d e n t i t y expressions.  three levels  (see!.Table G f o r f u r t h e r d e t a i l s . )  I n t h e e v e n i n g o f t h e f i r s t d a y o f t h e wedding t h e groom (and t h e b r i d e ) b e g i n t h e p r e s c r i b e d m a r r i a g e r i t u a l s b y w o r s h i p p i n g t h e s a c r e d lamps i n t h e c e n t r a l h a l l o f t h e a n c e s t r a l house. ing  Accord-  t o S r i n i v a s , t h i s i s t h e f i r s t o f a number o f s o l i d a r i t y r i t e s  w h i c h s y m b o l i z e s t h e s t r e n g t h a n d u n i t y o f t h e groom's k i n - g r o u p . S i n c e t h e s a c r e d lamps a r e l o c a t e d i n t h e c e n t r a l h a l l , w h i c h i s the 5  c o r e o f t h e e n t i r e a n c e s t r a l e s t a t e , and s i n c e t h e f l a m e o f t h e lamps s t a n d f o r l i f e and u n i t y o f t h e Okka, t h i s r i t e i s p e r f o r m e d  first i n  o r d e r t o s e c u r e t h e s u c c e s s o f t h e wedding. The N e l l u k i B o l u k bol  (domestic lamp) i s t h e most i m p o r t a n t sym-  o f k i n - s o l i d a r i t y f o r t h e Coorgs, i t i s w o r s h i p p e d d a i l y b y t h e  women o f t h e house.  I t i s a l s o t h e r e s p o n s i b i l i t y o f t h e women t o  -101TABLE G:  K i n - s y m b o l i s m r e f l e c t e d i n t h e "Kanni-Mangala".  Symbolic L e v e l s  Ceremonial References  L e v e l I : DESCENT:  - w o r s h i p o f a n c e s t o r s b y b r i d e and groom. - w o r s h i p o f s a c r e d lamps a s e x p r e s sion of kin-solidarity. - M u r t a # 1: a f f i r m a t i o n o f k i n solidarity. - M u r t a # 2, # 3: new k i n - l i n k created. - r i t u a l c u t t i n g o f p l a n t a i n stumps (display o f strength o f kin-group) - f i r s t meal (commensality).  Level I I :  - Mangala K u r i p a symbolism ( t h e i n d i c a t i o n o f t h e merging o f two k i n - g r o u p s ) . - a s t r o l o g e r checks horoscopes o f b r i d e and groom ( c o m p a t i b i l i t y ) . - groom's p a r t y t r a v e l s t o b r i d e ' s Okka. - f i r s t common l u n c h . - Murta # 2 , # 3 : ( r i t u a l union o f two p e r s o n s and k i n - g r o u p s ) . - groom t a k e s p o s s e s s i o n o f b r i d e . - Sammanda symbolism ( c o n t r a c t u a l u n i o n o f two p e r s o n s and k i n - g r o u p s ) . - b r i d e ' s j o u r n e y t o groom's Okka. - inauguration o f bride i n conjugal Okka ( c a r r y i n g o f manure; P u j a ) . - naming o f t h e b r i d e . - couple v i s i t s r e l a t i v e s .  KIN-GROUPS:  i  L e v e l I I I : KITSJ-TERRITORIES:  I I i | i i  - c l e a n i n g and p r e p a r a t i o n o f house. - groom's p a r t y t r a v e l s t o b r i d e ' s Okka. - Sammanda (membership r i g h t s a r e c o n ferred t o the bride). - b r i d e t r a v e l s t o groom's Okka.  -102keep t h e lamp b u r n i n g , f o r i t s e x t i n c t i o n would mean t h e w i t h d r a w a l o f i t s p r o t e c t i v e power. A f t e r the bridegroom  (and t h e b r i d e ) has g i v e n r e v e r e n c e t o  t h e d o m e s t i c lamp, he k i n d l e s a l i g h t w i t h t h e f l a m e o f t h e N e l l u k i B o l u k , and c a r r i e s i t t o t h e  Kaimata  where t h e a n c e s t o r s a r e w o r s h i p p e d ) . t i r e wedding p a r t y .  (the p l a c e o u t s i d e t h e house He i s accompanied by t h e e n -  A f t e r h i s a r r i v a l , he i g n i t e s an e a r t h e n lamp  t h e r e and i n v o k e s t h e b l e s s i n g o f t h e a n c e s t o r s . T h i s second s o l i d a r i t y r i t e i s n e c e s s i t a t e d by t h e b e l i e f t h a t o r d e r e d r e l a t i o n s w i t h t h e a n c e s t o r s w i l l keep p o s s i b l e e v i l i n f l u e n c e s i n check. t h e Okka who  A l t h o u g h t h e a n c e s t o r s a r e r e s p e c t e d members o f  a r e g e n e r a l l y i n t e r e s t e d i n t h e peace and p r o s p e r i t y  i f t h e i r d e s c e n d e n t s , when d i s s a t i s f i e d , t h e y a r e a s o u r c e o f f e a r . Iyer writes: ....(The Coorgs b e l i e v e ) t h a t t h e s p i r i t s o f t h e a n c e s t o r s h o v e r i n s i d e and o u t s i d e t h e house and cause e n d l e s s t r o u b l e i n t h e absence o f adequate p r o p i t i a t i o n ( ) . Somet i m e s t h e Coorgs became p o s s e s s e d by t h e s e s p i r i t s o f t h e dead and t h e y e x p r e s s t h e i r d e s i r e s when t h e y a r e sumptously f e d and g i v e n d r i n k (...). E s p e c i a l l y t h e female s p i r i t s are i n c l i n e d t o smite c h i l d r e n w i t h s i c k n e s s and sometimes even a d u l t m a l e s and f e m a l e s o f t h e house. I n f a c t , t h e y a r e always i n c l i n e d t o do harm. W i t h a v i e w t o appease t h e i r w r a t h r i c e , a r r a c k , m i l k , and o t h e r d e l i c a c i e s a r e o f f e r e d on v a r i o u s o c c a s i o n s d u r i n g t h e y e a r t o them ( I y e r 1948: 51) . A f t e r t h e groom (and t h e b r i d e ) has r e t u r n e d t o t h e house he r e t i r e s w i t h a s m a l l number o f c l o s e f r i e n d s and f a m i l y members and t a k e s t h e l a s t common meal a s a b a c h e l o r w i t h them. news h i s k i n - t i e s w i t h them when t h e y s h a r e f o o d .  Once more he r e -  -103L a t e r , when t h e f i r s t M u r t a i s p e r f o r m e d on t h e groom  (and  t h e b r i d e ) , t h e r e l i g i o u s , s o c i a l , and economic s o l i d a r i t y o f t h e own k i n - g r o u p i s s y m b o l i c a l l y e x p r e s s e d once more:  e v e r y member  o f t h e Okka p e r f o r m s a s e r i e s o f r i t e s w h i c h r e a f f i r m h i s membership t o t h e k i n - g r o u p and v i s u a l i z e t h e r e s p e c t t h a t t h i s o c c a s i o n r e quires.  The p e r f o r m a n c e o f M u r t a on t h e groom (and t h e b r i d e ) a l s o  p r o v i d e s him w i t h t h e n e c e s s a r y s t a t u s r e q u i r e d f o r t h e p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h o s e r i t u a l s t h a t s y m b o l i z e t h e m e r g i n g o f h i s and h i s b r i d e ' s f a m i l y t h r o u g h t h e p e r s o n a l bond w i t h h e r . A l l t h e O k k a - i n t e r n a l r i t e s mentioned so f a r have r e l i g i o u s o v e r t o n e s , p o i n t i n g t o t h e c l o s e c o n n e c t i o n between t h e s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e o f t h e Okka and t h e f a m i l y c u l t .  The o n l y c l e a r r e f e r e n c e t o  t h e m a r t i a l c h a r a c t e r o f Coorg k i n - g r o u p s w h i c h f i n d s r i t u a l  ex-  p r e s s i o n i s t h e c u t t i n g o f t h e p l a n t a i n stumps by t h e groom (Or a n o t h e r member o f t h e groom's p a r t y ) ; i t s y m b o l i z e s t h e p h y s i c a l s t r e n g t h and d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t h e groom's Okka. On a more g e n e r a l l e v e l we can i n t e r p r e t t h i s s t r e s s o f Okkai n t e r n a l s o l i d a r i t y a s c o n s t i t u t i n g one o f t h e g o v e r n i n g p r i n c i p l e s o f Coorg r e a l i t y :  as a d i s t i n c t c u l t u r a l u n i t w h i c h i s b a s e d on  the  Okka, t h e Coorgs have t o be a b l e t o r e l y on t h e s t r e n g t h o f t h e k i n group i n o r d e r t o m a i n t a i n t h e i r fundamental i d e n t i t y .  Ties with  o t h e r Okkas a r e e s t a b l i s h e d m a i n l y t h r o u g h m a r r i a g e , b u t a l s o t h r o u g h t h e c u l t i v a t i o n o f f r i e n d s h i p bonds, e s p e c i a l l y between Okkas i n close geographical proximity.  Srinivas explains:  -104The i n s t i t u t i o n o f f a m i l y f r i e n d s h i p (Aruvame) was f o r m e r l y f a r more i m p o r t a n t among Coorgs t h a n i t i s t o d a y . I n a Coorg v i l l a g e houses are s c a t t e r e d over a wide area; ( i n a d d i t i o n t o t h e h i l l y c o u n t r y and dense j u n g l e s ) t h e r e were no good r o a d s , w h i c h i n c r e a s e d t h e d i f f i c u l t i e s o f communication between n e i g h b o u r s . B e s i d e s , f e u d s were common, and h o s t i l e r a i d s f r o m u n f r i e n d l y v i l l a g e s o r Nads were always a p o s s i b i l i t y . Coorgs sometimes had t o g6 g e t up i n t h e m i d d l e o f t h e n i g h t and f i g h t for t h e i r l i v e s . Two Okkas u s u a l l y (...) s t o o d i n t h e r e l a t i o n o f f a m i l y f r i e n d s h i p t o each o t h e r , and were f r e q u e n t l y r e l a t e d my m a r r i a g e . The r e l a t i o n s h i p o f f a m i l y f r i e n d s h i p was between two Okkas and n o t between two i n d i v i d u a l s . (However), t h e headman o f a f r i e n d l y Okka was n o t u s u a l l y t h e m a s t e r o f ceremonies on r i t u a l occasions. In the marriage r i t e s , the Aruva, o r head o f t h e f r i e n d l y Okka (conducts t h e 'Mangala K u r i p a ' and t h e Sammanda ceremony, and i s , i n g e n e r a l , r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the success o f t h e wedding (Muthanna 1953: 322)) ( S r i n i v a s 1952:  56).  M a r r i a g e and f a m i l y - f r i e n d s h i p , t h e n , a r e t h e two t h a t s e r v e as l i n k s between t h e d i f f e r e n t Okkas. siderable "functional" characteristics.  institutions  Both d i s p l a y con-  M a r r i a g e i s c o n t r a c t u a l and  d e s i g n e d t o s e c u r e t h e c o n t i n u a t i o n o f t h e d e s c e n t - l i n e , w h i l e ': f a m i l y - f r i e n d s h i p i s an arrangement t h a t s e c u r e s b i l a t e r a l  ritual,  s o c i a l , and m i l i t a r y a s s i s t a n c e . The f i r s t r e f e r e n c e t o k i n - g r o u p r e l a t i o n s w i t h i n t h e " K a n n i Mangala" i s e x p r e s s e d i n t h e Mangala K u r i p a . for  The two A r u v a s meet  t h e f i r s t t i m e and n e g o t i a t e t h e p a r t i c u l a r s o f t h e wedding i n  question.  A f t e r making s u r e t h a t a l l t h e demands o f t h e two Okkas a r e  met t h e y shake hands and t h u s c o n c l u d e t h e p r e l i i t d n a r y c o n t r a c t u a l ceremony w h i c h s y m b o l i z e s t h e "engagement" o f t h e b r i d e and groom-to-  -105be, a s w e l l a s t h e i r r e v e r s i b i l i t y o f t h e d e c i s i o n s made on t h e side of  t h e two k i n - g r o u p s .  From now on t h e two A r u v a s a r e r e -  s p o n s i b l e f o r t h e e x e c u t i o n o f t h e m a r r i a g e ceremony. S r i n i v a s mentions t h a t t h e Coorgs a r e c o n c e r n e d w i t h a s t r o l o g y as a means t o f o r e - t e l l t h e c o m p a t i b i l i t y o f t h e b r i d a l c o u p l e and t o d e t e r m i n e an a u s p i c i o u s day f o r t h e performance o f t h e " K a n n i (34) Mangala".  I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o note, that c o m p a t i b i l i t y plays  a r o l e i n Coorg c o n s c i o u s n e s s and I t h i n k i t i s n o t wrong t o assume t h a t t h e r e a s o n f o r t h i s c o n c e r n stems f r o m t h e i r p r e - o c c u p a t i o n w i t h d o m e s t i c u n i t y and t h e a b i l i t y t o produce " m a r t i a l " o f f - s p r i n g . The merging o f t h e two p e r s o n s and k i n - g r o u p s f i n d s  clear  e x p r e s s i o n when t h e groom's p a r t y s e t s o u t and t r a v e l s t o t h e b r i d e ' s Okka.  Dr. Muthanna t o l d me t h a t t h e r e a s o n f o r t h e p a r t y t o t r a v e l  a t n i g h t comes from t h e b e l i e f t h a t "competing b r i d e g r o o m s " m i g h t have more t r o u b l e t o d e t e c t t h e " l e g i t i m a t e " groom and endanger t h e (35) wedding. the  Be t h a t as i t may,  w i t h t h e j o u r n e y t o t h e b r i d e ' s Okka  d i s t a n c e between t h e two p e r s o n s and k i n - g r o u p s d e c r e a s e s u n t i l  t h e y "connect", a s i t were, a t dawn.  W i t h t h e performance o f t h e  second and t h i r d M u r t a , b o t h k i n - g r o u p w o r s h i p t h e young c o u p l e s i m u l taneously:  t h e u n i t y o f two i n d i v i d u a l s i s a f f i r m e d by t h e two k i n -  groups w h i c h , t h r o u g h t h e acknowledgement o f t h i s f a c t , u n i t e ( a t l e a s t s y m b o l i c a l l y ) as w e l l . the  The Sammanda ceremony, w h i c h r e p r e s e n t s  "profane" l e g a l i z a t i o n o f the marriage, s t r e s s e s the c o n t r a c t u a l  c h a r a c t e r o f Coorg m a r r i a g e s .  Through Sammanda t h e g i r l l o s e s a l m o s t  -106a l l h e r r i g h t s i n h e r f a t h e r ' s Okka and g a i n s them, i n s t e a d , i n the  Okka o f h e r husband.  to another.  She i s t r a n s f e r r e d from one k i n - g r o u p  A l t h o u g h a f u l l member o f h e r new Okka, she h a s t h e  o p t i o n t o go back ( " t r a n s f e r " ) t o h e r n a t a l Okka i n c a s e o f p h y s i c a l and m e n t a l abuse b y members o f t h e c o n j u g a l k i n - g r o u p , i n c a s e o f impotence on t h e s i d e o f h e r husband, o r i n c a s e o f h i s d e a t h ( i f she d e c i d e s n o t t o r e - m a r r y w i t h i n t h e c o n j u g a l Okka).  On t h e o t h e r  hand, t h e husband has t h e r i g h t t o d i v o r c e h e r i n c a s e o f i n f e r t i l i t y , s e x u a l p r o m i s c u i t y , and o t h e r r e a s o n s . I n t e r e s t i n g l y enough, i t i s t h e r e s p o n s i b i l i t y o f t h e A u r v a s t o a c t a s i n t e r m e d i a r i e s and t o s e t t l e d i s p u t e s between t h e two i n d i v i d u a l s a s w e l l a s between t h e Okkas i n v o l v e d .  S i n c e t h e y do n o t  b e l o n g t o t h e k i n - g r o u p s c o n n e c t e d by m a r r i a g e , b u t a r e members o f " f r i e n d l y " Okkas, t h e y c a n judge more o b j e c t i v e l y , and i f n o t t h a t , t h e n w i t h more e m o t i o n a l d i s t a n c e . When t h e groom t a k e s p o s s e s s i o n o f t h e b r i d e  (by t a k i n g h e r  hand and l e a d i n g h e r away from h e r n a t a l home), he p h y s i c a l l y d i s p l a y s h e r " t r a n s f e r " i n membership.  From t h e t w e l v e p e b b l e s w h i c h  s t a n d f o r o w n e r s h i p i n h e r n a t a l home, she t a k e s e l e v e n ( s t o r e d i n the  f r o n t a l b r e a s t - k n o t o f h e r saree) t o h e r husband's home, w h i l e  one remains i n t h e p o s s e s s i o n o f h e r A r u v a , i n d i c a t i n g t h e -unsevered c o n n e c t i o n t o h e r n a t a l home. T o g e t h e r t h e young p e o p l e t r a v e l back t o t h e husband's Okka where t h e f r e s h , w i f e i s welcomed a s a new member, a p o t e n t i a l mother,  -107and t h e newest a d d i t i o n t o t h e husband's f a m i l y .  To s y m b o l i z e t h a t  she a t t a i n s . n o t o n l y membership r i g h t s b u t a l s o r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s , she p e r f o r m s a few r i t e s w h i c h r e l a t e t o a s p e c t s o f d o m e s t i c a c t i v i t i e s and s t a t u s d e f i n i t i o n s .  She has t o c a r r y a b a s k e t o f manure t o  husband's r i c e f i e l d , and on h e r way  back i s supposed t o p i c k  some w a t e r f r o m t h e w e l l and c a r r y i t t o t h e k i t c h e n .  member  Once she has become a mother, she r i s e s i n  t h e d o m e s t i c h i e r a r c h y and c o n c e n t r a t e s r e n and o t h e r s u p e r v i s o r y The  up  These a c t i v i -  t i e s c o i n c i d e w i t h t h o s e d u t i e s she has t o f u l f i l l as a new o f t h e c o n j u g a l Okka.  her  d u t  on t h e r e a r i n g o f h e r  child-  ies.  f u l l i n t e g r a t i o n i n t o t h e husband's f a m i l y marks a d r a s t i c  change i n t h e s o c i a l p e r s o n a l i t y o f t h e young w i f e .  T h i s i s symbol-  i z e d t h r o u g h t h e "naming ceremony" i n w h i c h t h e g i r l l o s e s h e r o l d name and i s g i v e n a new  O k k a - s p e c i f i c name by- s e n i o r women members  of the conjugal family.  P r o f . Emeneau w r i t e s :  ...A woman upon m a r r i a g e renounces h e r sib-name and h e r c l a i m t o maintenance by h e r f a t h e r ' s s i b , and a c q u i r e s h e r husband's f a t h e r - s i b name and a c l a i m t o t h e maintenance by t h e l a t t e r . Her memb e r s h i p i n t h e new s i b i s o f such a sweeping c h a r a c t e r t h a t she may even l o s e h e r p e r s o n a l name and be c a l l e d a f t e r m a r r i a g e by t h e p e r s o n a l name o f h e r husband's mother, i n c a s e s where e i t h e r o f t h e s e i s dead, and i t i s des i r e d t o p r e s e r v e t h e use o f t h e name i n t h e f a m i l y , i f i t i s n o t u s e d by some o t h e r f e m a l e sib-member whose i n t e r c o u r s e w i t h a new f a m i l y w o u l d be so i n t i m a t e as t o c a u s e c o n f u s i o n (1938: 334), I f a woman s h o u l d g e t d i v o r c e d l a t e r , o r r e t u r n s t o h e r n a t a l Okka as a widow, she l o s e s h e r membership r i g h t s t o t h e c o n j u g a l Okka as w e l l as h e r name.  I n t h a t c a s e , she i s r e f e r r e d t o by h e r i n i t i a l name.  -108Good r e l a t i o n s between t h e young w i f e and h e r m o t h e r - i n - l a w are  h i g h l y s t r e s s e d i n Coorg s o c i e t y : ...In the f i r s t years o f marriage (the r e l a t i o n s h i p between m o t h e r - i n - l a w and d a u g h t e r i n - l a w ) i s even more i m p o r t a n t t h a n t h e husbandwife relationship... The d a u g h t e r - i n - l a w must t r y t o p l e a s e h e r motheri n - l a w (as w e l l a s t h e f a t h e r - i n - l a w ) ; t h i s i s one o f t h e m a i n aims o f h e r l i f e . She must do h e r s h a r e i n t h e d o m e s t i c work under t h e c l o s e s u p e r v i s i o n o f t h e f o r m e r . The i d e a l motheri n - l a w i s one who i s ' l i k e a m o t h e r t o h e r d a u g h t e r - i n - l a w . She i s e x p e c t e d t o be k i n d and p r o t e c t i v e , and she i s u s u a l l y s e n s i t i v e t o what h e r n e i g h b o u r s and o t h e r s s a y about t h e way she t r e a t s h e r d a u g h t e r - i n - l a w ( S r i n i v a s 1952: 1 4 5 ) . 1  In  t h i s c a s e , t h e s o c i a l s e g r e g a t i o n o f t h e sexes works a g a i n s t  a c l o s e p e r s o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p o f husband and w i f e .  B o t h spend  their  days w o r k i n g a p a r t from e a c h o t h e r , and t h a t , under t h e c l o s e s u p e r v i s i o n of e i t h e r the f a t h e r o r the mother-in-law.  Since i t ' i s  not  c o n s i d e r e d p r o p e r t o meet p u b l i c l y d u r i n g t h e day, t h e young c o u p l e has l i t t l e o p p o r t u n i t y t o be t o g e t h e r u n t i l i t i s t i m e t o r e t i r e to  bed l a t e r a t n i g h t ( i b i d : 1 4 5 ) .  G r a d u a l l y , a s t h e y grow o l d e r , t h e  two p e o p l e become more a c q u a i n t e d and d e v e l o p a s t r o n g e r p e r s o n a l bond. However, Coorg m a r r i a g e s a r e n o t based on t h e s t r e n g t h o f p e r s o n a l r e l a t i o n s , b u t on t h e a b i l i t y t o s u c c e s s f u l l y i n t e g r a t e and s u b o r d i n a t e under t h e r u l e s o f t h e Okka. The l a s t r e f e r e n c e t o k i n - g r o u p r e l a t i o n s w i t h i n t h e r i t u a l symbolism o f t h e "Kanni-Mangala" p r e s c r i b e s f o r t h e c o u p l e "to v i s i t a l l r e l a t i v e s i n t h e c o n j u g a l and n a t a l Okka.  T h i s i s done sometime  a f t e r t h e wedding and i s d e s i g n e d t o r e - a f f i r m t h e i n t e r - f a m i l i e s k i n - t i e s .  -109Generally speaking,  f o r Coorgs k i n s h i p d e f i n e s m a i n l y  group and k i n - t e r r i t o r y a f f i l i a t i o n .  Usually, this  descent-  affiliation  i s much s t r o n g e r f o r t h e man t h a n i t i s f o r t h e woman:  w h i l e he  m a i n t a i n s h i s Okka membership t h r o u g h o u t h i s l i f e , she changes h e r ' s upon m a r r i a g e .  I n a d d i t i o n , a woman i d e n t i f i e s h e r s e l f more w i t h  t h e d o m e s t i c a s p e c t s o f Okka a c t i v i t i e s , w i t h t h e a n c e s t r a l house, and e s p e c i a l l y w i t h t h e k i t c h e n and i n n e r rooms.  A man, however, h a s  c l o s e t i e s t o b o t h , t h e house ( b e i n g t h e p l a c e where he was b o r n and where he l i v e s , and w i l l d i e ) , and t h e a n c e s t r a l f i e l d s he works and o f f w h i c h he e x t r a c t s h i s l i v e l i h o o d ) . t i e o f a man w i t h h i s f i e l d s i s e x p r e s s e d  (where  This close  i na ritual:  shortly after  he i s b o r n , t h e u m b i l i c a l c o r d i s b u r i e d i n h i s f a t h e r ' s r i c e  field,  s y m b o l i z i n g t h e u n i t y between d e s c e n t group and k i n - t e r r i t o r y . References t o k i n - t e r r i t o r y a r e — ceremony —  b e s i d e s i n t h e Sammanda  not codified i n r i t u a l actions.  But they a r e evident  t h r o u g h o u t t h e c o u r s e o f t h e wedding p r o c e d u r e s :  t h e importance o f  t h e v a r i o u s p a r t s o f t h e a n c e s t r a l e s t a t e a r e emphasized i n t h e c h o i c e of the central h a l l Sammanda.  (and t h e k i t c h e n ) a s t h e l o c a t i o n o f M u r t a and  The c o r e r i t u a l s o f t h e "Kanni-Mangala" a r e p e r f o r m e d a t  the center o f t h e a n c e s t r a l estate. However, a f t e r t h e groom r e a f f i r m e d h i s s o l i d a r i t y and members h i p i n h i s own Okka, he l e a v e s h i s n a t a l t e r r i t o r y i n o r d e r t o t a k e possession o f the bride.  The a c t u a l m a r r i a g e ceremony t a k e s  o u t s i d e t h e t e r r i t o r i a l b o u n d a r i e s o f h i s Okka.  place  T h e r e , i n t h e Sammanda  r i t u a l , h i s f u t u r e w i f e a c q u i r e s membership r i g h t s i n h i s p a t e r n a l Okka  -110-  a l o n g w i t h o w n e r s h i p r i g h t s i n t h e t e r r i t o r y and p r o p e r t y o f h i s father's estate.  O n l y t h e n she can l e a v e h e r n a t a l t e r r i t o r y t o  l i v e w i t h h e r husband i n h i s t e r r i t o r y . t h e importance  T h i s symbolism u n d e r l i n e s  t h e Coorgs a s s i g n n o t o n l y t o c o s m o l o g i c a l and  social  a s p e c t s o f t h e wedding, b u t a l s o t o t h e p o l i t i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s t h e m a r r i a g e o f two i n d i v i d u a l s b r i n g s a b o u t .  As mentioned e a r l i e r ,  m a r r i a g e b i n d s t o g e t h e r n o t o n l y two p e o p l e , b u t a l s o two Okkas. F r i e n d l y r e l a t i o n s , t h e n , depend on t h e c l a r i f i c a t i o n and z a t i o n o f r e l i g i o u s , socio-economic,  legali-  and p o l i t i c a l t i e s w i t h i n  the context o f the i n s t i t u t i o n o f marriage.  C.  SUMMARY:  I n t h i s c h a p t e r I have argued t h a t c e r e m o n i a l r e f e r e n c e s t o d e s c e n t , k i n - g r o u p s , and k i n - g r o u p r e l a t i o n s w i t h i n t h e s y m b o l i c p r e s s i o n s o f t h e "Kanni-Mangala" p o i n t towards t h e o v e r a l l t h e Coorgs g i v e t o k i n s h i p .  ex-  importance  I t i s the basis of t h e i r s o c i a l organiza-  t i o n , i t d e f i n e s t h e i r group and community i d e n t i t y , and i t r e g u l a t e s a l l i n t e r n a l a c t i v i t i e s r a n g i n g f r o m t h e i r r e l i g i o u s and s o c i a l , t o t h e i r economic and p o l i t i c a l b e h a v i o r .  The p a t r i l i n e a l j o i n t f a m i l y  u n i t s , c o n n e c t e d t h r o u g h m a r r i a g e and f a m i l y f r i e n d s h i p , make up s o c i e t a l network.  However, t h i s network  the  i s " f u n c t i o n a l " r a t h e r than  " o r g a n i c " , f o r i t t i e s t h e v a r i o u s Okkas t o g e t h e r t h r o u g h c o n t r a c t u a l arrangements and n o t t h r o u g h b l o o d - l i n e s .  F a m i l y f r i e n d s h i p can  be  -Illd e s t r o y e d t h r o u g h p e r s o n a l , economic, and p o l i t i c a l d i s a g r e e m e n t s , and m a r r i a g e s c a n be n u l l i f i e d t h r o u g h d i v o r c e . C o n s e q u e n t l y , Coorgs f o c u s much more o f t h e i r s o c i o - c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t i e s on t h e maintenance and p e r p e t u a t i o n o f t h e i r Okkas t h e n on t h e i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n o f i n t r a - s o c i e t a l r e l a t i o n s .  Internal  s o l i d a r i t y i s o f p r i m a r y c o n c e r n ; w i t h i t comes e x t e r n a l o r d e r . I n t h i s c o n t e x t , I have argued t h a t t h e "Kanni-Mangala" i s a symbolic  " s e l f - d e s c r i p t i o n " of a society that, i s , t o a  great  e x t e n t , e t h n o c e n t r i c and c l o s e d t o changes f r o m t h e o u t s i d e . concentrates  It  on t h e p r e s e r v a t i o n o f c u l t u r e - s p e c i f i c norms w h i c h r e -  a f f i r m i t s p a r t i c u l a r w o r l d - v i e w and w h i c h , d e s p i t e i t s e t h n i c o r t h o d o x y , i s f l e x i b l e enough t o s u r v i v e changes i n t h e l a r g e r cultural milieu.  -111a-  C H A P T E R  C O M P A R A T I V E  V  I M P L I C A T I O N S  -112A. PROLOGUE: The i n d e p e n d e n t s t u d y o f t h e s y m b o l i c e x p r e s s i o n s w i t h i n t h e " K a n n i Mangala" r e s u l t e d , i n a . b a s i c "landerstanding" o f how. c e n t r a l a s p e c t s o f Coorg r e a l i t y m i g h t be p e r c e i v e d . Thus, t h e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and a n a l y s i s o f t h e e t h n o g r a p h i c m a t e r i a l a v a i l a b l e o n t h e m a r r i a g e ceremony e n a b l e d us t o ( s u b j e c t i v e l y ) comprehend, how.the Coorgs d e a l . w i t h r e l i g i o u s ,  poli-  t i c a l , economic, and k i n - r e l a t e d - c u l t u r e - c o d e s . I f we do n o t c o n t e s t t h e s u b j e c t i v i t y o f o u r d a t a - b a s e , we c a n c o n c e p t u a l i z e t h e "Kanni-Mangala" a s b e i n g a c a r r i e r o f c u l t u r e - s p e c i f i c s t a t e m e n t s w h i c h r e i n f o r c e t r a d i t i o n a l l y approved m a n i f e s t a t i o n s o f r e a l i ty.  However, t o d e t e r m i n e t h e e x t e n t o f t h i s " c u l t u r a l s p e c i f i c i t y " , we  have t o make o u r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n c o m p a r a t i v e .  T h e r e f o r e , i t seems s e n s i b l e  t o compare t h e "Kanni-Mangala" w i t h t h e m a r r i a g e ceremony o f a h i g h - c a s t e Hindu community i n c l o s e g e o g r a p h i c a l p r o x i m i t y , i n o r d e r t o i d e n t i f y even t u a l s i m i l a r i t i e s and d i f f e r e n c e s i n t h e s t r u c t u r e and c o n t e n t o f b o t h institutions. S i n c e I am i n t e r e s t e d i n d i s c o v e r i n g t o what e x t e n t t h e Coorgs have emulated brahmanic c o n c e p t s and b e l i e f s , I chose t o s e l e c t t h e m a r r i a g e ceremony o f t h e n e i g h b o u r i n g K a r n a t a k a Brahmins f o r d i r e c t comparison. As f a r a s t h e methodology  o f t h i s comparison i s concerned, I w i l l  c o n f i n e m y s e l f t o t h e o u t l i n e o f t h e b a s i c wedding p r o c e e d i n g s o f t h e (36) K a r n a t a k a Brahmins'-  v i s - a - v i s t h a t o f t h e Coorg "Kanni-Mangala".  After  comparing a l l "segments o f e x a m i n a t i o n " (= t h o s e r i t u a l a c t i o n s and e v e n t s which c h a r a c t e r i z e both marriage ceremonies), I intend t o q u a l i t a t i v e l y validate either Srinivas  1  p r o p o s i t i o n which  stresses the "Sanskritization"  -113-  of  t h e . C o o r g s , o r my c o n t e n t i o n w h i c h  ty".  emphasizes t h e i r " e t h n i c i d e n t i -  I w i l l do t h i s i n a c c o r d a n c e w i t h T a b l e A As mentioned  ka) Brahmins  (pp.  7-8).  e a r l i e r , I see t h e m a r r i a g e ceremony o f t h e ( K a r n a t a -  a s b e i n g t h e "normative H i n d u model".  Comparing t h e C o o r g  wedding w i t h t h i s n o r m a t i v e model, I assume t h a t t h e r e s u l t s w i l l the r e l a t i v e v a l i d i t y  of both t h e o r e t i c a l propositions.  I want t o d e t e r m i n e t o what e x t e n t t h e "Kanni-Mangala"  indicate  I n o t h e r words,  d i f f e r s from the  brahmanic m a r r i a g e ceremony. I n t h i s c o n t e x t , I c o n t e n d t h a t any d e p a r t u r e f r o m t h e c u l t u r a l H i n du norm c a n be i n t e r p r e t e d a s t h e " r a t i o o f d i g r e s s i o n f r o m t h e H i n d u idiom".  S r i n i v a s ' p r o p o s i t i o n o f t h e " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " o f t h e Coorgs  s u g g e s t s t h a t t h e i r " r a t i o o f d i g r e s s i o n " i s low.  T h i s means t h a t t h e  Coorgs adopted h i g h - c a s t e H i n d u i d e o l o g y and cosmology t o a c o n s i d e r a b l e extent.  My own p r o p o s i t i o n o f C o o r g c u l t u r a l d i s t i n c t i v e n e s s , on t h e  o t h e r hand, w o u l d f a v o r a " h i g h d i g r e s s i o n r a t i o " , t h a t i s , i f t h e y adopted  brahmanic c o n c e p t s , t h e y m o d i f i e d and/or t r a n s f o r m e d them i n o r d e r  t o . p l a c e them w i t h i n t h e i r d i s t i n c t r e a l i t y . T h i s chapter, then, d e a l s w i t h the comparative a n a l y s i s o f the r e l e v a n t "segments o f e x a m i n a t i o n " marriage ceremonies).  (the symbolic r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s w i t h i n b o t h  The r e s u l t i n g c o r r e l a t i o n s and a n a l o g i e s , a s w e l l  as the d i f f e r e n c e s found, serve as a b a s i s f o r the d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f the r e l a t i v e v a l i d i t y of both propositions.  -114B. DESCPJTTICN OF THE MARRIAGE CEREMONY OF THE KARNATAKA BRAHMINS: Generally speaking,  t h e brahmanic m a r r i a g e ceremony i s a h i g h l y  r i t u a l i z e d v i s u a l i z a t i o n o f t h r e e c e n t r a l r e l i g i o u s and p h i l o s o p h i c a l themes: The f i r s t (theme) i s t h e i d e a t h a t t h e immens i t y o f t h e u n i v e r s e i s r o o t e d i n a groundp r i n c i p l e o f m a l e - f e m a l e d u a l i t y and i n s p i r e d from w i t h i n by t h e . l i f e - f o r c e which springs from t h e i r u n i o n . . . ( . . . . ) . Secondly, t h i s fundamental l i f e - f o r c e i s i d e n t i f i e d w i t h h e a l t h , f e r t i l i t y , and p r o s p e r i t y and u n d e r stood t h a t i t stands i n o p p o s i t i o n t o a l l t h a t b r i n g s d e s e a s e , i l l - f o r t u n e and d e a t h . . . (....). T h i r d l y , t h e combination o f t h e couple's assoc i a t i o n w i t h t h e g r e a t l i f e - f o r c e and t h e f a c t t h a t t h e y a r e p u r i f i e d and p r o t e c t e d by a s p e c i a l a r r a y o f s u p e r n a t u r a l safe-guards, makes them more g o d - l i k e than t h e o r d i n a r y people t h a t surround them. ....The i n t e r e s t i n g p o i n t i s t h a t t h e m a r r i a g e rituals highlight this inseparability of religious i d e a s a n d s o c i a l r e a l i t y i n t h e (Hindu) I n d i a n scene...(....). M a r r i a g e i s a re-enactment o f t h e g r e a t c o s m i c u n i o n o f male and f e m a l e w h i c h h e l p s to perpetuate the l i f e - f o r c e o f the universe. But m a r r i a g e i s . a t t h e same t i m e t h e u n i o n o f a n o r d i n a r y m o r t a l man and woman w h i c h w i l l l e a d t o t h e r e g e n e r a t i o n o f f a m i l y and i n c r e a s e d m a t e r i a l w e l l b e i n g f o r p a r t i c u l a r p e o p l e a t a p a r t i c u l a r moment i n human t i m e (Beck 1964: 178-9). These themes a r e r i t u a l i z e d i n a v a r i e t y o f c e r e m o n i e s t h a t form, together w i t h the expression o f c a s t e - s p e c i f i c v a r i a n t s , the basic s t r u c t u r e o f any H i n d u m a r r i a g e .  Brahmanic m a r r i a g e c e r e m o n i e s , how-  e v e r , a r e t h e most e l a b o r a t e p e r f o r m e d i n S o u t h I n d i a and i g n o r e none of the d e t a i l s  (prescribed in. the Grihya Sutras) which a r e i s o l a t e d by  lower c a s t e s ,  i t i s t h e r e f o r e t h a t t h e f o c u s o f i n t e r e s t among l o w e r  caste-groups concentrates  on t h e emulation  o f t h i s p a r t i c u l a r wedding  -115procedure., . f o r i t v i s u a l i z e s t h e h i g h e s t p o s s i b l e f o r m o f r i t u a l  status  w i t h i n the c o n f i n e s o f Hinduism. The m a r r i a g e ceremony o f t h e K a r n a t a k a Brahmins u s u a l l y l a s t s f o r f o u r days.  The a u s p i c i o u s day on w h i c h t h e m a r r i a g e i s t o b e g i n  i s f i x e d b y t h e a s t r o l o g e r . . The p a r e n t s o f t h e b r i d e , who a r e b u s y w i t h a l l t h e p r e p a r a t i o n s , see t h a t t h e p r e p a r a t o r y r i t e s and Samsk a r a s a r e gone.through b e f o r e . t h e m a r r i a g e . belong t o a d i s t a n t place, they a r r i v e the  g e n e r a l l y a t t h e house o f  b r i d e - e l e c t on t h e e v e n i n g p r e v i o u s t o t h e f i r s t day o f t h e  wedding.  They a r e w e l l r e c e i v e d and. p r o p e r l y housed d u r i n g t h e days  o f t h e wedding. the  I f t h e groom's p a r t y  On t h e morning o f t h e a u s p i c i o u s day, t h e b r i d e and  groom b a t h e and d r e s s t h e m s e l v e s n e a t l y .  i n h e r b e s t , t h e l a t t e r p e r f o r m s Samskaras  The f o r m e r i s adorned and.formally terminates  h i s bachelorhood. ....He t h e n p r e t e n d s t o go on a p i l g r i m a g e t o B e n a r e s , b u t when t h e p r o c e s s i o n p a s s e s t h r o u g h t h e p l a c e a p p o i n t e d f o r t h e p u r p o s e , he i s met by t h e b r i d e ' s p a r e n t s , g e n e r a l l y i n f r o n t o f t h e house. father of the g i r l  The  ( w i t h a c o c o a n u t i n h i s hands) a d d r e s s e s t h e young  p i l g r i m , w i t h a r e q u e s t t o d e s i s t f r o m h i s f u r t h e r j o u r n e y , and p r o m i s e s t h e hand o f h i s d a u g h t e r i n m a r r i a g e ( i n t o k e n o f w h i c h he g i v e s the-cocoanut t o h i s hands).  Then t h e groom's p a r t y i s l e d t o t h e  m a r r i a g e p a n d a l . ( "Mock p i l g r i m a g e " . ) . . . . B e f o r e t h e p a r t y r e a c h e s t h e m a r r i a g e p a n d a l t h e y a r e s t o p p e d and go t h r o u g h a r i t u a l c a l l e d " f o r m a l  selection of the bride"  (Kanyava-  r a n a ) : f o u r Brahmans p r e t e n d i n g t o choose one b r i d e and r e p e a t i n g some M a n t r a s , t h r i c e announce t h a t f o r t h e groom o f s u c h and s u c h a name and G o t r a , ( n a m i n g h i s f a t h e r , g r a n d - f a t h e r , and g r e a t - g r a n d f a t h e r ) t h e y ;  choose t h e b r i d e (naming t h e G o t r a o f h e r father., e t c . ) .  Then t h e f a t h e r  o f t h e g i r l r e p e a t s t h e same once more, and p r o m i s e s t o g i v e h e r i n m a r r i a g e t o t h e groom. ....Then t h e b r i d e g r o o m i s w o r s h i p p e d by t h e b r i d e ' s mother: he i s made t o s t a n d f a c i n g t h e e a s t w h i l e t h e woman b r i n g s w a t e r , m i l k , a l i g h t  -116and some b a l l s o f c o l o u r e d r i c e , and w a l k s round t h e groom s p i l l i n g the l i q u i d .  The l i g h t i s waved and t h e b a l l s thrown o n d i f f e r e n t  s i d e s t o ward o f f t h e e v i l e y e . Then t h e mother o f t h e b r i d e washes his  f e e t w i t h m i l k and w a t e r , and d r i e s them^uo w i t h t h e end o f h e r  cloth.  A f t e r w a v i n g t h e lamp ( A r a t i ) , he i s l e d up t o t h e Mandapam  ( s a c r e d space w i t h i n t h e m a r r i a g e p a n d a l ) . t h e b r i d e has w a i t e d f o r him.  Here, b e h i n d a s c r e e n ,  The groom s t o p s i n f r o n t o f t h e s c r e e n ,  t a k e s some r i c e i n h i s hands (the g i r l h a s r i c e i n h e r hands a s w e l l ) , and w a i t s f o r t h e s i g n a l : t h e Brahmans c h a n t , i n v i t i n g t h e a u s p i c i o u s t i m e , when s u d d e n l y t h e c u r t a i n i s dropped, and t h e c o n j u g a l p a i r throw r i c e on each o t h e r .  The b r i d e i s l i f t e d up t o t h e l e v e l o f t h e  groom's head by h e r mother's b r o t h e r when t h e y see e a c h o t h e r f o r t h e f i r s t time  (the r i t u a l o f " s e e i n g e a c h o t h e r "  (= Mukhadarsanam).  . . . . A f t e r t h i s , t h e groom i s s e a t e d i n t h e Mandapam f a c i n g t h e e a s t , and h i s p a r t y a r e s e a t e d b y him.  The b r i d e ' s f a t h e r washes h i s feet,-  and h i s w i f e d r i e s them w i t h t h e t i p o f h e r c l o t h , and t h e y s p r i n k l e t h e washed w a t e r o n t h e i r own p e r s o n s a s h o l y , because t h e groom i s r e g a r d e d a s g u e s t and a r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f V i s h n u .  Then two v e s s e l s  o f w a t e r a r e p l a c e d i n f r o n t o f t h e groom, one f o r s i p p i n g , and t h e o t h e r f o r w a s h i n g h i s hands.  He does t h i s t h r e e t i m e s .  After this  r i t e , t h e f a t h e r o f t h e b r i d e p l a c e s one s p o o n f u l o f Madhuparka (a t a s t y m i x t u r e o f c u r d s , m i l k , ghee, s u g a r and honey) i n t o t h e hand o f t h e groom. t o him.  A f t e r he a t e t h e f i r s t s p o o n f u l , two more a r e g i v e n  Then he s i p s w a t e r and washes h i s hands.  ....Now, t h e m a r r i a g e p r o p e r c a n b e g i n : The groom s i t s o n a heap o f g r a i n f a c i n g t h e e a s t , and p l a c e s a v e s s e l o f w a t e r b e f o r e him, i n w h i c h some g r a i n s a r e thrown i n . The v e s s e l i s d e c o r a t e d w i t h s a n d a l p a s t e a n d f l o w e r , and c o v e r e d w i t h Darbha g r a s s . A M a n t r a i s c h a n t e d t o p u r i f y i t .  The g i r l i s t h e n  s e a t e d o n t h e w e s t e r n heap o f g r a i n , f a c i n g t h e v e s s e l and h e r h u s band-to-be.  They l o o k a t e a c h o t h e r when a M a n t r a i s c h a n t e d , i n -  v o k i n g peace and p r o s p e r i t y .  The groom t h e n a d d r e s s e s h e r , r e q u e s t i n g  t h a t she may be a p r o p e r w i f e and mother.  He t a k e s t h e Darbha g r a s s  -117and r u b s i t between t h e g i r l ' s brows and s i p s w a t e r .  Then b o t h wash  t h e i r hands w i t h m i l k and t h r o w r i c e a t each other's. heads.  Now t h e  groom c h a n t s a n o t h e r M a n t r a , t e l l i n g t h e g i r l t h a t he w i l l t a k e c a r e of her.  Once more t h e y t h r o w r i c e a t e a c h o t h e r .  ... . A f t e r t h e s e r i t e s  a r i n g o f m a t t e d Darbha g r a s s i s p l a c e d o n t h e  head o f t h e g i r l o n w h i c h y o k e i s p o s i t i o n e d s o t h a t i t s h o l e may be d i r e c t l y a g a i n s t the grass r i n g .  Through t h i s h o l e a p i e c e o f g o l d  and w a t e r a r e dropped w h i l e a M a n t r a i n honour o f I n d r a i s c h a n t e d . A f t e r t h i s b a t h , t h e b r i d e wears new c l o t h e s and s t a n d s i n f r o n t o f t h e groom who s i t s f a c i n g t h e e a s t .  The b r i d e ' s f a t h e r p r e s e n t s  c l o t h e s t o t h e groom, t a k i n g t h e hands o f t h e g i r l , and p l a c e s them on t h e groom's palms; w h i l e h e r mother p o u r s w a t e r above them a l l , w h i c h f a l l s t h r o u g h t h r e e p a i r s o f hands i n t o t h e v e s s e l p l a c e d u n d e r n e a t h ; w h i l e t h i s happens, t h e f a t h e r o f t h e b r i d e c h a n t s : " I g i v e away my d a u g h t e r f u l l y decked w i t h g o l d j e w e l s t o V i s h n u who i s i n t h e f o r m o f t h e groom". his  He t h e n announces t h r e e a n c e s t o r s o f t h e groom,  name and G o t r a a n d g i v e s h i m h i s d a u g h t e r a s L a k s h m i , naming h e r  i n t h e same f a s h i o n .  The groom a c c e p t s h e r w h i l e t h e g i r l ' s f a t h e r  p r e s e n t s a s many p r e s e n t s a s h i s p u r s e c a n a f f o r d . ....The groom t o u c h e s t h e b r i d e ' s stomach and r e c i t e s a p r a y e r f o r t h e production o f off-spring.  Then t h e young c o u p l e s p r i n k l e s w e t r i c e f r o m  t h e i r heads o n e a c h o t h e r , exchange f l o w e r s a n d p r a y t o g e t h e r f o r p r o s perity.  A f t e r t h a t the b r i d e presents t u r m e r i c and f r u i t s t o a u s p i c i o u s  women. ....Now t h e groom p r e s e n t s some c l o t h e s t o t h e b r i d e , a n d t i e s a T a l i (a g o l d e n j e w e l w i t h a s t r i n g t h r o u g h i t ) r o u n d h e r neck w h i c h i s c o n s i d e r e d t o p r o l o n g h e r husband's l i f e , and hence makes h e r a "woman w i t h a l i v i n g husband" (Sumangali).  The husband b l e s s e s h e r w i t h a  l o n g l i f e a n d h e r mother and o t h e r women a d d e a c h a k n o t , g i v i n g t h e i r good w i s h e s a n d b l e s s i n g s w i t h i t . ....The young c o u p l e make a r e s o l u t i o n t o t a k e up c h a s t i t y marriage f o r f o u r days.  (Vrata) o f  They t h r o w r i c e a t each o t h e r a n d t i e a t h r e a d  round t h e w r i s t s (the man t y i n g i t o n t h e g i r l ' s l e f t hand w h i l e she  -118t i e s i t t o h i s r i g h t hand).  Then a s e t o f M a n t r a s i s c h a n t e d i n honour  o f A g n i , V a r u n a , P r a j a p a t i , and o t h e r s t o s e c u r e a l o n g l i f e , peace, and f e r t i l i t y .  domestic  Then t h e w i f e ' s hands a r e washed and smeared  w i t h ghee and c u p p i n g them, she a c c e p t s two h a n d f u l s o f f r i e d paddy f r o m a bamboo p l a t e .  The husband d r o p s ghee on i t and h e l p s h e r t o  make t h e o f f e r i n g t o t h e f i r e w h i l e c h a n t i n g a n o t h e r M a n t r a .  Then  t h e y w a l k around t h e f i r e , he l e a d i n g h e r by t h e hand ("worship o f sacred f i r e " ) .  They do t h i s t h r e e t i m e s .  On t h e i r way around t h e  f i r e , t h e g i r l mounts a s t o n e w h i l e h e r husband c h a n t s "mount t h i s s t o n e and be f i r m a s t h i s s t o n e " . seven heaps o f r i c e . foot repeating:  On e a c h o f t h e s e , t h e husband p l a c e s h e r r i g h t  1. "May V i s h n u c a u s e you t o t a k e one s t e p , f o r t h e  sake o f o b t a i n i n g f o o d ; 2 3  To t h e n o r t h o f t h e f i r e a r e p l a c e d  two s t e p s f o r t h e sake o f g a i n i n g s t r e n g t h ;  f o r t h e s a k e o f solemn a c t s o f r e l i g i o n ; 4."....for t h e sake o f  o b t a i n i n g happiness; 5  f o r t h e sake o f c a t t l e ; 6  f o r the i n -  c r e a s e o f w e a l t h ; 7..•....for t h e sake o f becoming my carapanion".  Then  t h e p a i r p u t t h e i r heads c l o s e and s p r i n k l e w a t e r on t h e i r heads. I n t h e e v e n i n g , t h e p a i r go t o an open p l a c e where t h e husband p o i n t s o u t t h e G r e a t B e a r t o h i s w i f e , and t h e n a s m a l l s t a r by t h e s i d e o f them, h i n t i n g t h a t t h a t s t a r s h o u l d be h e r i d e a l f o r c o n s t a n c y and c h a r a c t e r : she s a y s , "May  I g e t c h i l d r e n w i t h t h e husband  living"  ( b r e a k i n g h e r s i l e n c e s i n c e t h e b e g i n n i n g o f t h e wedding p r o c e e d i n g s ) . .With t h i s t h e m a r r i a g e p r o p e r i s o v e r i n one day; and t h e husband and h i s p a r t y s h o u l d t a k e h i s b r i d e home w i t h t h e f i r e used i n t h e wedding.  B u t f o r c o n v e n i e n c e and p l e a s u r e , t h e p a i r and p a r t y a r e de-  t a i n e d a l o n g w i t h t h e o t h e r g u e s t s i n t h e m a r r i a g e house. ... .On t h e n e x t days p r o c e s s i o n s w i t h t h e b r i d e and t h e groom i n t h e l e a d a r e made around t h e v i l l a g e . games. off  I t i s u s u a l l y a t i m e o f f u n and  B u t i n t h e e v e n i n g o f t h e f o u r t h day t h e young c o u p l e t a k e s  the wristbands, i n d i c a t i n g t h a t c h a s t i t y i s over.  They have an  o i l b a t h t o c l e a n t h e i r body a f t e r f o u r days w i t h o u t a b a t h .  7After t h e  b a t h , t h e e n t i r e m a r r i a g e ceremony i s b r o u g h t t o a c l o s e ; t h e g u e s t s and p a r t i e s d e p a r t t o t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e homes. ....The b r i d e i s t a k e n t o h e r husband's house and she e n t e r s i t w i t h  -119-  her r i g h t f o o t f i r s t .  B o t h s i t i n t h e b e s t p a r t o f t h e house, and  p e r f o r m P r a v e s a Homa, t h e r i t u a l o f e s t a b l i s h i n g t h e d o m e s t i c f i r e . They k i n d l e a f i r e b r o u g h t f r o m t h e f i r e o f t h e m a r r i a g e ceremony and c o n v e r t i t i n t o t h e h o u s e h o l d f i r e .  The husband c h a n t s a M a n t r a  and o f f e r i n g s a r e made t o t h e f i r e , Ganesha, and o t h e r h o u s e h o l d gods. A f t e r p u r i f y i n g two v e s s e l s f o r ghee and r i c e , i t i s b o i l e d and..ghee is... : •.. o f f e r e d t o t h e f i r e .  T a k i n g some r i c e f r o m t h e v e s s e l , t h e husband  offers i t t o Agni.  W i t h t h e r e m a i n i n g r i c e , sometimes a l e a r n e d B r a h -  man i s f e d .  W i t h t h i s l a s t r i t u a l t h e m a r r i a g e ceremony i s o v e r (Mysore T r i b e s a n d C a s t e s , V o l . 1 1 , pp. 329-46).  Most o f t h e symbolism w i t h i n t h e m a r r i a g e ceremony o f t h e K a r n a t a k a Brahmins f o c u s e s o n t h e r e p l i c a t i o n o f " s a n s k r i t i c " modes o f c o n d u c t i n t o the  r e a l i t y o f day-to-day l i f e .  A l t h o u g h t h e r e a r e some r e f e r e n c e s t h a t  p o i n t towards a n i n t e r e s t i n a s p e c t s o f k i n - r e l a t i o n s and s o c i o - e c o n o m i c c o n c e r n s , t h e symbolism i s c l e a r l y e x p r e s s e d t h r o u g h t h e r e l i g i o u s i d i o m . The r i t u a l complexes that-make up t h e b a s i c s t r u c t u r e o f t h i s m a r r i a g e c e r e mony c a n be o r g a n i z e d i n t h e f o l l o w i n g way: f i r s t , t h e r e l a t i o n o f t h e wedding p r o c e e d i n g s t o c H i n d u c o s m o l o g i c a l i d e a s ; second, t h e m i n u t e r e p l i c a t i o n  of  r i t u a l s as prescribed i n the " s a n s k r i t i c " t e x t s ; t h i r d , the association o f the  wedding e v e n t s w i t h c o n c e p t s o f p u r i t y and a u s p i c e ; and f o u r t h , t h e  i m p o r t a n c e o f g i f t exchange (Beck 1964: 4 ) . In order t o e x t r a c t those symbolic expressions w i t h i n t h e Karnataka Brahmin m a r r i a g e ceremony w h i c h c o r r e l a t e more o r l e s s w i t h t h e " u n i t s o f e x a m i n a t i o n " a s deduced f r o m t h e Coorg "Kanni-Mangala", I d e v i s e d t h e f o l l o w i n g T a b l e ( T a b l e H, o n page 120)as t h e m a t r i x f o r a b r i e f a n a l y s i s o f t h e comparative Hindu m a t e r i a l .  -120TABLE H : S y m b o l i c r e f e r e n c e s encoded i n t h e K a r n a t a k a Brahmin m a r r i a g e ceremony.  CHRONOLOGY  CEREMONIAL REFERENCES T  PREPARATORY ACTIONS  some t i m e | a s t r o l o g e r s e l e c t s a u s before the p i c i o u s time wedding. e r e c t i o n o f the marriage p a n d a l ( s a c r e d square)  SYMBOLIC COMPLEXES (1) •(2)T(3)T(4) I  p u r i f i c a t i o n o f house DAY I  morning  r i t u a l bath, shaving, dressing (M) +  , mock p i l g r i m a g e s e l e c t i o n o f b r i d e (M),+ w o r s h i p o f groom by b r i d e ' s mother " s e e i n g each o t h e r " Madhuparka ( i n h o n o r o f groom)_ t a k i n g t h e g i f t o f t h e .. bride^M)_+ tying the T a l i  (M)  r i  +  i  "i  t y i n g the V r a t a threads (M)  +  i i  sacred f i r e / t h r e e circuma m b u l a t i o n s (M) + *' !  ^}§_"2_steps^__(M)_^_  f-  t h e s t o n e and t h e s t a r evening  w o r s h i p p i n g gods (M)+  DAY I I - I V  common m e a l s , g i f t exchange fun and games... I  DAY TV :1 e v e n i n g  the domestic f i r e ( M )  I I T  -i  i  +  i i i  LEGEND: ( 1 ) = c o s m o l o g i c a l i d e a s ; ( 2 ) = s a n s k r i t i c t e x t s ; (4)=gift-giving. ( M ) = r e c i t a l o f Mantras +  *  (3)=piirity/auspice;  -121-  As f o r many o t h e r o c c a s i o n s i n t h e r e l i g i o u s and s o c i a l l i f e o f most H i n d u c u l t u r a l g r o u p s , t h e a s t r o l o g e r i s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r s e l e c t i n g a n " a u s p i c i o u s " t i m e f o r t h e b e g i n n i n g o f t h e wedding p r o c e d u r e s .  The  K a r n a t a k a Brahmins make no e x c e p t i o n : t h e y always use a s t r o l o g e r s , a fact that, according to Srinivas, underlines t h e i r "sanskritic"  ideo-  logy: H i n d u a s t r o l o g y i s b a s e d on t h e i d e a o f Karma and touches H i n d u t h e o l o g i c a l i d e a s a t e v e r y p o i n t ; and, s t r a n g e as i t may seem .to W e s t e r n e r s , a s t r o l o g y i n v o l v e s a knowledge o f astronomy. E v e n t s l i k e an e c l i p s e , and t h e day and p e r i o d o f t i m e when t h e sun p a s s e s f r o m one z o d i a c a l s i g n t o another are s i g n i f i c a n t f o r r i t u a l purp o s e s , and t h e y a r e a l l mentioned i n t h e Panchanga. . . . . A s t r o l o g y may be r e g a r d e d as a " s a n s k r i t i z i n g " a g e n t , and t h e more a t r i b e , l o c a l group, o r c a s t e r e s o r t s t o a s t r o l o g y t h e more do i t s b e l i e f s become " s a n s k r i t i z e d " ( S r i n i v a s 1952: 7 5 ) . A f t e r t h e d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t h e m a r r i a g e day, a p a v i l i o n i s e r e c t e d i n f r o n t o f t h e b r i d a l home.  The s t r u c t u r e s e r v e s two p u r p o s e s :  first,  i t i s t h e l o c a l e i n w h i c h most o f t h e m a r r i a g e r i t e s a r e p e r f o r m e d and second, i t s e r v e s t o p r o v i d e shade f r o m t h e sun d u r i n g t h e l o n g ceremony. The m a r r i a g e p a n d a l r e p r e s e n t s a " s a c r e d " space and i t s c o n s t r u c t i o n r e sembles t h e b a s i c s u p e r s t r u e t u r e o f a H i n d u temple (Dumont 1957:  222).  I t has a s q u a r e b a s i s w i t h a v a r y i n g number o f p o s t s w h i c h h o l d up t h e r o o f .v  Of teh>. i<the::pavilion i s d e c o r a t e d w i t h r e d and w h i t e  f l o w e r s and l e a f s .  ornaments,  "The b r i d a l c o u p l e s i t i n t h e c e n t e r o f t h i s  (temple-  l i k e ) s t r u c t u r e , w h i c h i s s y m b o l i c a l l y u n d e r s t o o d t o encompass t h e f o u r r e g i o n s o f t h e u n i v e r s e i n t h e m i d s t o f abundant r e f e r e n c e s t o c o s m i c f e r t i l i t y , c r e a t i o n and l u s h growth,(Beck 1964: 5 7 ) .  One o f t h e p o s t s i s  -122the  trunk o f a mLlk-exuding t r e e ;  i t symbolizes f e r t i l i t y  and p r o s p e r i t y .  B e c k s u g g e s t s t h a t t h e m i l k - p o s t m i g h t be a r e p l i c a t i o n o f t h e c o s m i c t r e e , w h i c h r i s e s up and s p r e a d s i n a l l d i r e c t i o n s g i v i n g l i f e wherever i t s sap appears  (1964:65).  Be t h a t as i t may,  t h e s y m b o l i c c o n n e c t i o n between t h e m a r r i a g e p a n d a l  and t h e g r a n d c o s m i c o r d e r i s e v i d e n t : i t s s t r u c t u r e resembles a t e m p l e , i t s m i l k - p o s t i s e q u a l e d w i t h t h e l i f e - g i v i n g and l i f e - m a i n t a i n i n g f o r c e s o f the  c o s m i c t r e e , and i t s d e c o r a t i o n s u g g e s t s abundance and w e a l t h . A l l  important r i t u a l s a r e performed here, a t t h i s s a c r e d r i t u a l l y pure p l a c e where two o r d i n a r y p e o p l e j o i n t o g e t h e r i n a h o l y u n i t y . The t h i r d p r e p a r a t o r y a c t i v i t y i n t h e brahmanic m a r r i a g e ceremony i s the  e l a b o r a t e p u r i f i c a t i o n o f t h e house, a l l c o o k i n g u t e n s i l s , t h e p l a c e s  where t h e m a r r i a g e r i t e s w i l l be p e r f o r m e d , and f i n a l l y , t h e p u r i f i c a t i o n of  the people involved.  F o r Brahmins, t h i s p r e - o c c u p a t i o n w i t h b o d i l y and  m e n t a l p u r i t y i s symptomatic the  o f t h e i r r i t u a l s t a t u s and i n s t r u m e n t a l f o r  maintenance o f t h e i r o v e r a l l p o s i t i o n w i t h i n t h e H i n d u c u l t u r a l c o n -  text. The c o n c e p t o f p u r i t y and p o l l u t i o n uses body-imagery m o r a l and p h i l o s o p h i c a l codes o f b e h a v i o r .  torivisualize  The V e d i c s e e r s , f o r example,  see t h e e n t i r e cosmos as a body w h i c h i n t e r n a l i z e s t h e sum o f p h i l o s o p h i cal to  p e r s p e c t i v e s through the grand c o n c e p t i o n o f Rta ( t r u t h ) .  I t i s used  s i g n i f y t h e way o f l i f e w h i c h i s t h e " c o r r e c t and o r d e r e d way o f t h e  c u l t s o f t h e gods and t h e m o r a l c o n d u c t o f man"., ( S a r a f 1969: 160) .  Rta  s t a n d s f o r m o r a l and s p i r i t u a l v a l u e s , b e s i d e s c o n c e p t u a l i z i n g t h e u n i v e r s e as composed o f m u t u a l l y e x c l u s i v e b u t p o l a r c a t e g o r i e s o f t h e p u r e and imp u r e , where r i t u a l p u r i t y becomes synonymous w i t h R t a and r i t u a l p o l l u t i o n  -123s i g n i f i e s A n r t a ••/ The U p a n i s a d i c s e e r s (which c o n c e n t r a t e o n t h e m e t a p h y s i c a l c o n t e m p l a t i o n o f t h e u l t i m a t e r e a l i t y ) acknowledge  t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e o f p h y s i c a l or."  b o d i l y p u r i t y as t h e f i r s t s t e p towards m e n t a l , m o r a l , and s p i r i t u a l The Dharmashastras  piety.  c o n c e p t u a l i z e t h e phenomenon o f r i t u a l p u r i t y a n d  p o l l u t i o n i n two d i s t i n c t ways:(a)bbeyond  the l i m i t a t i o n s o f p h y s i c a l clean-  l i n e s s and u n c l e a n l i n e s s i n t o t h e i r r i t u a l p e r s p e c t i v e s , and ( b ) , a s a s p i r i t u a l p e r s p e c t i v e emerging f r o m c e r t a i n s u b t l e , m e t a p h y s i c a l a b s t r a c t i o n s , ( S a r a f 1969: 1 6 1 ) . R i t u a l p u r i t y and p o l l u t i o n , t h e n , each have two forms; t h e e x t e r n a l p h y s i c a l , and t h e i n t e r n a l - m e n t a l .  B o d i l y , t e r r i t o r i a l , and m a t e r i a l p u r i -  ty s i g n i f i e s e x t e r n a l p u r i t y which can be a t t a i n e d through the instrumental i t y o f e a r t h a n d w a t e r , among o t h e r t h i n g s .  P u r i t y o f t h e mind o r c o g n i -  t i v e p r o c e s s e s , speech and a c t i o n s o r deeds s i g n i f y i n t e r n a l p u r i t y t h e a t t a i n m e n t o f w h i c h depends o n p i e t y and p u r i t y o f t h o u g h t ( I b i d : 1 6 2 ) . In  ( h i g h - c a s t e ) H i n d u e v e r y - d a y l i f e p h y s i c a l and p r o x i m a l p u r i t y i s  o f utmost i m p o r t a n c e .  These t y p e s o f m o r a l - r e l i g i o u s codes d e t e r m i n e t h e  c h a r a c t e r and i n t e n s i t y o f s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n s .  I m p u r i t y , i n t h i s sense,  r e s u l t s f r o m t h e p h y s i c a l c o n t a c t ( o r t h e p r o x i m i t y ) o f impure p e r s o n s a n d matter.  F e a r o f i m p u r i t y l i m i t s t h e s o c i a l i n t e r c o u r s e b y i m p o s i n g taboos  on f o o d and w a t e r , m a r r i a g e , and i n t e r - c a s t e r e l a t i o n s .  The B r a h m i n s ,  b e i n g a t t h e t o p o f t h e c a s t e - h i e r a r c h y ( d u e t o t h e i r r e l i g i o u s s t a t u s and purity),  emphasize  t h i s f a c t more t h a n any o t h e r c a s t e - g r o u p : a l m o s t  e v e r y m a r r i a g e r i t e i s p r e c e e d e d by an a c t o f p u r i f i c a t i o n , w a t e r i s used t h r o u g h o u t t h e ceremony as a p u r i f y i n g a g e n t , and p e r s o n a l p u r i t y i s maint a i n e d t h r o u g h r i t u a l b a t h i n g and t h e w e a r i n g o f r i t u a l l y c l e a n c l o t h e s .  -124The "mock p i l g r i m a g e " i s t h e s y m b o l i c r e - e n a c t m e n t o f t h e t r a d i t i o n a l p i l g r i m a g e o f a Brahman t o B e n a r e s . i n t h e s a c r e d Ganges, thus u n d e r g o i n g h i m t h e r i g h t t o wear  There h e i s supposed t o t a k e a b a t h Upanayana (second b i r t h ) w h i c h g i v e s  the "sacred thread".  This r i t u a l i s considered  n e c e s s a r y b e f o r e m a r r i a g e c a n t a k e p l a c e (Pandey 1949: 2 5 6 ) . I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o s e e t h a t most o f t h e brahmanic m a r r i a g e  rites  a r e d e s i g n e d t o s i g n i f y t h e o r t h o d o x y w i t h w h i c h they l i v e o u t t h e p r e s c r i b e d t r a d i t i o n a l sacred r u l e s o f conduct.  From t h e t h i r t e e n " u n i t s o f  e x a m i n a t i o n " w h i c h I e x t r a c t e d f r o m t h e d a t a o n t h e brahmanic m a r r i a g e  cere-  mony, I found e i g h t r e f e r e n c e s t o c o s m o l o g i c a l i d e a s , t h i r t e e n r e f e r e n c e s t o t h e sacred t e x t , seven r e f e r r i n g e x p l i c i t l y t o aspects o f p u r i t y and a u s p i c i o u s n e s s , and  t h r e e d e a l i n g w i t h t h e n o t i o n o f i'-giving",. ( i n t h e  sense o f " g i v i n g t h e b r i d e " ) . One o f t h e r i t e s w h i c h make r e f e r e n c e t o t h e n o t i o n o f " g i v i n g " , i s what I h a v e c a l l e d " t h e s e l e c t i o n o f t h e b r i d e " ; i t t a k e s p l a c e s h o r t l y a f t e r t h e groom' r e t u r n s w i t h t h e pretended  f r o m h i s "mock p i l g r i m a g e " .  The r i t e d e a l i n g  " s e l e c t i o n o f t h e b r i d e " focuses on t h e f a c t t h a t t h e  f a t h e r o f t h e g i r l g i v e s t h e promise t o p r e s e n t h i s daughter as a " g i f t " t o t h e groom, thus i n i t i a t i n g t h e c r e a t i o n o f a new l i n k i n t h e d e s c e n t l i n e o f t h e groom's f a m i l y .  H e r e we f i n d some r e f e r e n c e t o k i n s h i p and  d e s c e n t , b u t i t i s r a t h e r b r i e f and a g a i n , d e e p l y embedded i n r e l i g i o u s symbolism.  More c e n t r a l , however, i s t h e i n d i c a t i o n o f t h e f a t h e r t o  " g i v e away t h e b r i d e " , f o r i t l e a d s t o t h e c o r e p a r t o f t h e m a r r i a g e  cere-  mony: t h i s i s a s e t o f t h r e e c o n s e c u t i v e r i t e s w h i c h a r e p r e s c r i b e d i n t h e G r i h y a S u t r a s and w h i c h f i n a l i z e t h e m a r i t a l u n i o n b o t h , o n a r e l i g i o u s and societal level.  The f i r s t o f t h e s e c e n t r a l r i t e s i s t h e " g i v i n g away o f  -125the v i r g i n b r i d e " , f o l l o w e d by t h e "three circumambulations  round t h e  s a c r e d f i r e " , and f i n a l i z e d by the r i t u a l o f " t a k i n g seven s t e p s " . A f t e r t h e mother o f t h e b r i d e h a s w o r s h i p p e d t h e groom, a n d t h e f a t h e r has p r e s e n t e d Madhuparka t o t h e young m a n ^ ) , t h e groom i s " f i t " to  "receive t h e g i f t o f the b r i d e " .  T h i s r i t u a l emphasizes t h e need  for continued o f f s p r i n g i n the next generation: I n m a r r y i n g t h e d a u g h t e r t h e f a t h e r makes a ' g i f t ' because t h e c h i l d r e n born t o h e r w i l l b e l o n g t o a n o t h e r l i n e a g e . ''Giving' ' away a g i r l i s considered a great s a c r i f i c e on h i s p a r t and r e l i g i o u s m e r i t i s 'earned' i n r e t u r n . W i t h t h i s added m e r i t t h e f a t h e r hopes t o obt a i n 'the heaven o f Brahma'and a t the-same t i m e to gain 'salvation' f o r h i s ancestors (Beck 1964: 85) . 1  • When t h e groom t a k e s t h e b r i d e b y t h e hand a n d l e a d s h e r t h r i c e around t h e s a c r e d f i r e , he — s i b i l i t y o f her.  f o r t h e f i r s t time —  takes f u l l  respon-  When b o t h s t o p and make o f f e r i n g s t o t h e s a c r e d f i r e ,  they p r a y f o r o f f s p r i n g , h e a l t h , a n d p r o s p e r i t y . The t h r e e circxtmairfoulaf. t i o n s a r e i n c l o c k w i s e d i r e c t i o n w h i c h i n d i c a t e s a u s p i c i o u s n e s s , and • when t h e c o u p l e h o l d each o t h e r w i t h t h e r i g h t hand, t h e y . s y m b o l i z e t h e f o c u s o n r i t u a l purity. The t h i r d r i t u a l w h i c h i s i n s t r u m e n t a l i n brahmanic m a r r i a g e ceremonies i s c a l l e d Saptapadi  (the seven s t e p s ) .  This r i t u a l represents the  c u l m i n a t i o n o f t h e w e d d i n g , and w i t h t h e b r i d e ' s s e v e n t h s t e p t h e u n i o n becomes^irrevocable  (Beck 1964: 1 0 2 ) .  A c c o r d i n g t o The Mysore T r i b e s and C a s t e s , most o f t h e  marriage  r i t e s a r e r e s t r i c t e d t o t h e c u l t o f A g n i , t h e d o m e s t i c god, who i s b e l i e v e d t o be a w i t n e s s throughout t h e i r performance, and i n t h e form  -126of  t h e d o m e s t i c f i r e he i s t o accompany t h e young p a i r t h r o u g h l i f e  352).  (1928:  The a u t h o r goes on t o say t h a t t h e p r i n c i p l e meanings o f t h e most  i m p o r t a n t r i t e s a r e f o c u s e d on t h e observance o f r e l i g i o u s a c t s , t h e maint a n a n c e o f t h e m a r i t a l u n i o n , and t h e c o n t i n u a t i o n o f t h e f a m i l y l i n e : ....The b r i d e ' s hand i s g r a s p e d i n o r d e r t h a t she may be d e l i v e r e d i n t h e power o f h e r husband. She s t e p s o n t h e s t o n e t o a c q u i r e f i r m n e s s . She t a k e s seven steps w i t h him i n order t o e s t a b l i s h f r i e n d s h i p . She e a t s t h e s a c r i f i c i a l f o o d w i t h h i m t o c r e a t e community w i t h h i m . . . ( . . . . ) . The husband l e a d s t h e b r i d e t h r e e t i m e s round t h e newly k i n d l e d f i r e , and i t i s t h e d u t y o f t h e c o u p l e t o m a i n t a i n i t h e n c e f o r t h t h r o u g h o u t t h e i r l i v e s as t h e i r d o m e s t i c fire...(—.). The i n v o c a t i o n s a d d r e s s e d t o gods a r e mostly i n the nature of benedictions...(....). The wedding i s f o l l o w e d by t h r e e days o f a b s t i n e n c e , meant d o u b t l e s s t o e x h a u s t t h e p a t i e n c e and d i v e r t t h e a c t s o f h o s t i l e demons ( I b i d : 3 5 3 ) . G e n e r a l l y s p e a k i n g , t h e u s u a l b r a h m a n i c wedding i n Mysore i s n o t a symbolic expression o f a p a r t i c u l a r c u l t u r a l u n i t , but r a t h e r the  repli-  c a t i o n o f a s p e c i a l i z e d mode o f c o n d u c t w h i c h i s a l m o s t e n t i r e l y d e f i n e d through the r e l i g i o u s i d i o m o f Hinduism.  C u l t u r a l norms a r e e x p r e s s e d i n  r e l i g i o u s terms and s o c i a l r e a l i t y , t o use Dumont's p h r a s e , i s encompassed by t h e H i n d u cosmology. The o v e r a l l s t r u c t u r e o f t h e wedding p r o c e e d i n g s h i g h l i g h t t h i s f a c t : a f t e r the preparatory acts o f arranging the marriage, t h e groom's p a r t y a r r i v e  a t t h e b r i d e ' s house t h e n i g h t b e f o r e t h e wedding;  t h e a c t u a l m a r r i a g e ceremony b e g i n s e a r l y n e x t morning when t h e groom has  to  go t h r o u g h a s e r i e s o f t r a d i t i o n a l l y p r e s c r i b e d r i t e s w h i c h a r e d e s i g n e d t o p r e p a r e h i m f o r t h e t h r e e c r u c i a l r i t u a l s . o f a c c e p t i n g t h e b r i d e as a  "gift",  of  The  t a k i n g r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r h e r , and o f g e t t i n g a c q u a i h t e d w i t h h e r .  u n i t y i s c r e a t e d t h r o u g h t h e r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t o u p h o l d an othodox s e t o f  reli-  g i o u s i d e a s and i t i s m a i n t a i n e d , b e s i d e s o t h e r t h i n g s , t h r o u g h t h e knowledge  -127of i t s i r r e v e r s i b i l i t y .  Dumont w r i t e s :  /Among Brahmans m a r r i a g e t e n d s t o be u n i q u e (monogamous) and i n d i s s o l u b l e . I say ' i t t e n d s ' because t h e d u t y t o have a son makes an i n f e r t i l e u n i o n a l e g i t i m a t e ground f o r e x c e p t i o n s , and t h e man t a k e s a second w i f e i n s u c n a c a s e . /As f o r i n d i s s o l u b i l i t y , i t i s e x p r e s s e d by t h e f a c t t h a t d i v o r c e does n o t e x i s t ( a t most t h e r e c a n be a s e p a r a t i o n ) and by t h e p r o h i b i t i o n a g a i n s t r e m a r r i a g e o f widows. I t i s n o t s u r p r i s i n g t o see t h e i n f e r i o r m a r r i a g e p a r t n e r b e a r i n g t h e whole b r u n t o f i t s i n d i s s o l u b i l i t y , and f u r t h e r m o r e , t h e widow l e a d s , o r u s e d t o l e a d q u i t e r e c e n t l y , a l i f e o f p e n i t e n c e (1970: 110-1). However, n o t a l l Brahmans a r e as o r t h o d o x : i n more " w o r l d l y " a s p e c t s o f t h e i r r e a l i t y  t h o s e who  have i n t e r e s t s  (for instance, non-priestly J a t i s ) ,  t e n d t o emphasize m a r r i a g e as t h e one i n s t i t u t i o n w h i c h c o n n e c t s  representa-  t i o n s o f r e l i g i o u s s t a t u s w i t h advantageous k i n s h i p - e x t e n s i o n s on a s o c i a l  level.  I n summary, t h e n , t h e m a r r i a g e ceremony o f Brahmins i n g e n e r a l , and o f t h e K a r n a t a k a Brahmins i n p a r t i c u l a r , e x p r e s s e s t h e f o c u s on a p a r t i c u l a r s e t o f r e l i g i o u s l y d e f i n e d n o t i o n s t h a t " l i n k t h e domain o f c a s t e w i t h t h a t o f k i n ship"  (Dumont 1970:  110).  As mentioned e a r l i e r , t h e s e e x p r e s s i o n s a r e c o d i -  f i e d i n r i t u a l a c t i o n s and e v e n t s w h i c h h i g h l i g h t t h e c o n n e c t i o n between t h e m a r r i a g e ceremony and H i n d u cosmology ( t h e m a r r i a g e p a n d a l s e e n as t h e r e p l i c a t i o n o f a H i n d u temple; t h e m i l k p o s t s y m b o l i s i n g t h e s a c r e d t r e e ; t h e s q u a r e r e p r e s e n t i n g a s a c r e d space (Mandappa); and t h e s a c r e d f i r e w h i c h s t a n d s f o r a d i e t y ( i n t h i s case, f o r A g n i ) ) .  Another s e t o f symbolic representations  r e f e r s t o t h e c o n n e c t i o n s between t h e m a r r i a g e r i t u a l and t h e s a n s k r i t i c t e x t s (the use o f p r i e s t s o f f i c i a t i n g t h e ceremony; t h e c h a n t i n g o f M a n t r a s ; t h e "mock p i l g r i m a g e " ; t h e t h r e e p r e s c r i b e d c e n t r a l r i t e s : " g i v i n g away t h e b r i d e " ,  -128-  "the the  t h r e e c i r a j m a m b u l a t i o n s " and " t h e seven s t e p s " ; and t h e r e f e r e n c e t o s t o n e and t h e s t a r s ) . F i n a l l y , a s t r o n g emphasis i s g i v e n t o a s p e c t s  o f p u r i t y and a u s p i c i o u s n e s s ( s t r i c t p u r i f i c a t i o n r u l e s ; t h e use o f a number o f emblems and symbols t h a t e x p r e s s a h i g h degree o f p u r i t y and a u s p i c e s u c h as t h e T a l i symbolism, a n o i n t m e n t , t h r e a d s , t h e use o f " s a c r e d g r a s s " , w a t e r and r i c e ; and t h e g i v i n g o f Madhuparka t o t h e groom). The s t r u c t u r e o f t h e brahmanic m a r r i a g e ceremony v i s u a l i z e s  t h i s empha-  s i s on r e l i g i o u s i d e a s w h i c h c a n n o t be s e p a r a t e d from t h e s o c i a l r e a l i t y . The u n i o n o f m a l e and f e m a l e i s a s y m b o l i c re-enactment o f t h e " g r e a t c o s m i c u n i o n o f m a l e and f e m a l e w h i c h h e l p s t o p e r p e t u a t e t h e l i f e - f o r c e o f t h e u n i v e r s e " (Beck 1964: 178).  I n t h i s s e n s e , t h e m a r r i a g e i s a "sacrament" where r e l i -  g i o u s i d e o l o g y d e t e r m i n e s a l l a c t i o n s and n o n - a c t i o n s i m p l i c i t i n , and w i n g from,  v y  this institution.  follo-  The brahmanic m a r r i a g e ceremony i s , a t a l l  t i m e s , l o c a t e d w i t h i n t h i s r e a l m o f " s a c r e d n e s s " (see t h e d i a g r a m m a t i c i l l u s t r a t i o n i n F i g u r e 3 - on page 129).  FIGURE 3:  The s t r u c t u r a l make-up o f t h e brahmanic m a r r i a g e  ceremony.  Madhuparka ( i n honor o f groom) b r i d e ' s mother worships_ groom selection of b r i d e "mock p i l g r i m a g e " -  "SACRAMENTAL" PART OF WEDDING  II II  TRADITIONAL DISPLAY OF SOCIO-RELIGIOUS SYMBOLISM  ii  II DAY I "  1|  DAY I I '  II  •  a  BRIDE'S FAMILY ritual bath, dressing "seeing each o t h e r " "the g i f t o f t h e bride""tying the T a l i " " t y i n g t h e V r a t a threads". "the t h r e e circaimambulationsV"the s e v e n steps"-  II II II II  II i  •-worshipping t h e gods; t h e c h a n t i n g o f M a n t r a s ; common m e a l s ; g i f t exchange; f u n and games...but: c h a s t i t y . e s t a b l i s h i n g t h e domestic fire...  w o r s h i p p i n g t h e gods ••the s t o n e and t h e s t a r  A = astrologer... MP = m a r r i a g e p a n d a l P = purification of house, e t c .  -130-  C. COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE "KANNI-MANGALA" AND THE MARRIAGE CEREMONY OF THE KARNATAKA BRAHMANS:  I t i s t h e o b j e c t i v e o f t h i s p a r t o f my t h e s i s t o c o r r e l a t e a l l  signi-  f i c a n t "segments o f e x a m i n a t i o n " w i t h i n b o t h m a r r i a g e c e r e m o n i e s and t o d e t e r m i n e t o what e x t e n t Coorg r i t u a l a c t i o n s and e v e n t s r e p l i c a t e t h o s e i n t h e Brahmin c o u n t e r p a r t .  found  A s I have e x p l i c a t e d i n my " M e t h o d o l o g i c a l Re-  marks" (pp. 4-9), I f o c u s my i n t e r e s t o n t h e assumption  t h a t both marriage  ceremonies c a n be s e e n a s " m i c r o - e t h n o g r a p h i e s " o f t h e w i d e r  socio-cultural  r e a l i t y o f b o t h " e x a m i n a t i o n - u n i t s " (Coorg s o c i e t y and t h e s u b - c a s t e o f t h e Karnataka Brahmins). c o n t r o l t h e parameters  I n o r d e r t o c l a r i f y t h e p r i n c i p l e s o f my p r o c e d u r e , I o f t h i s analysis according t o the following assertions:  f i r s t , I assume t h a t t h e c e r e m o n i a l r e f e r e n c e s w i t h i n t h e Brahmin m a r r i a g e ceremony r e p r e s e n t —  more o r l e s s —  I am i n accordance w i t h S r i n i v a s  1  t h e " s a n s k r i t i c " H i n d u norm.  Second,  p r o p o s i t i o n t h a t " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " means  t h e e m u l a t i o n o f h i g h - c a s t e ( i n t h i s c a s e brahmanic) H i n d u c o n c e p t s and v a l u e s i n o r d e r t o r a i s e t h e r i t u a l and s o c i a l s t a t u s o f a c u l t u r a l group t o a h i g h e r l e v e l , p r e f e r a b l y t o t h a t l e v e l t h a t i s r e p r e s e n t e d by t h e h i g h e s t s o c i o - r e l i g i o u s status-group w i t h i n a p a r t i c u l a r region.  Third, I assert  t h a t i f t h e Coorgs emulated h i g h - c a s t e H i n d u norms i n o r d e r t o r a i s e t h e i r s o c i o - r e l i g i o u s s t a t u s t h e n t h i s e m u l a t i o n has t o be r e c o g n i z a b l e , t h a t i s , t h e resemblances vious.  between comparable "segments o f e x a m i n a t i o n " has t o be o b -  I n t h i s case, adoption w i t h o u t m o d i f i c a t i o n would g i v e evidence f o r  t h e " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " o f t h e "segments o f e x a m i n a t i o n " i n q u e s t i o n , t h u s u n derlining Srinivas' proposition.  F o u r t h , I a s s e r t '. t h a t d i f f e r e n c e s between  comparable "segments o f e x a m i n a t i o n "  (or t h e n o n - c o m p a r a b i l i t y o f t h e m a t i c a l l y  -131r e l a t e d c e r e m o n i a l r e f e r e n c e s ) w i t h i n t h e "Kanni-Mangala" w o u l d p o i n t toward c u l t u r e - s p e c i f i c e x p r e s s i o n s o f Coorg r e a l i t y t h e c o n t e x t o f t h e m a r r i a g e ceremony).  (at l e a s t w i t h i n  T h i s would s u p p o r t my p r o p o s i -  t i o n o f s e e i n g them as an " e t h n i c group".  F i f t h , I assert that trans-  f o r m a t i o n s o f c e r e m o n i a l r e f e r e n c e s f r o m t h e n o r m a t i v e H i n d u model i n t o t h e s y m b o l i c " p o o l " o f t h e "Kanni-Mangala" a s s i s t i n t h e d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t h e d e g r e e o f Coorg " e t h n i c i d e n t i t y " v i s - a - v i s t h e b r a h m a n i c a l model. As a f i r s t s t e p toward t h i s g o a l , I w i l l c o r r e l a t e t h e "segments o f e x a m i n a t i o n " p r e v i o u s l y d i s c u s s e d , and w i l l o r d e r them a c c o r d i n g t o t h e i r t e m p o r a l c h r o n o l o g y , ( s e e T a b l e I on page 132).  Following t h i s , I w i l l  compare t h o s e segments w h i c h f a l l under t h e h e a d i n g  "Resemblances..." and  " D i f f e r e n c e s " , i n o r d e r t o d e t e n n i n e t h e " r a t i o o f d i g r e s s i o n from t h e H i n d u norm".  T h i s r a t i o s h o u l d g i v e us a -more o r l e s s - a c c u r a t e c h a r a c -  t e r i z a t i o n o f t h e "Kanni-Mangala" w i t h r e s p e c t t o i t s H i n d u c o u n t e r p a r t and s h o u l d l e a d us t o o u r f i n a l d e d u c t i o n s a s t o t h e r e l a t i v e l o c a t i o n o f this  "microcosm" o f Coorg i d e n t i t y .  -132TABLE I : C o r r e l a t i o n o f comparable "segments o f e x a m i n a t i o n " s e l e c t e d from the K a r n a t a k a Brahmin and t h e Coorg m a r r i a g e ceremonies.  CHRONOLOGY • "Segments o f e x a m i n a t i o n " . . KARNATAKA BRAHMINS Preliminary A c t i o n s and Events: .  ,  ,,  . . ,  Central Marriage Rites:  "Segments o f e x a m i n a t i o n " COORGS . .. . .. Mangala K u r i p a  "engagement" astrologer s e l e c t s ausp i c i o u s time (prescribed)  a s t r o l o g e r s e l e c t s ausp i c i o u s time (optional)  c l e a n i n g o f t h e house, e t c . (prescribed)  c l e a n i n g o f t h e house, e t c . (prescribed)  e r e c t i o n o f marriage pandal (prescribed)  e r e c t i o n o f marriage pandal (optional)  r i t u a l bath, dressing  r i t u a l bath, dressing (pr. )  (pr. )  (Coorg)  "mock p i l g r i m a g e " _(pr. )  w o r s h i p o f " s a c r e d lamp"(pr.)  s e l e c t i o n o f b r i d e (pr.)  worship o f ancestors (pr.)  w o r s h i p o f groom ( p r . )  M u r t a # 1 (worship o f groom and b r i d e )  s e e i n g each o t h e r (pr.)  groom t r a v e l s t o b r i d e ' s Okka  Madhuparka ( p r . )  g i f t o f food/war-sword ( p r . )  taking the g i f t o f the bride (pr.).  M u r t a # 2 & 3: t a k i n g possesion of the bride_Jpr.)  t y i n g t h e T a l i (pr.)  money g i f t t o b r i d e ( p r . )  t y i n g t h e V r a t a threads (pr.) sacred f i r e / t h r e e circTJmambus a c r e d l a m p s / t h r e e circumaml a t i o n s (groom and b r i d e ) ( p r . ) b u l a t i o n s (groom & b r i d e j p r . ) Sammanda ( l e g a l i s a t i o n o f marriage) (pr.)  t h e "7 s t e p s " ( n o n - r e v e r s a - ' b i l i t y o f marriage (pr.) s t o n e & s t a r ; common m e a l s ; f u n & games; w o r s h i p o f gods; . MOBR; c h a s t i t y ; ,•  the  e s t a b l i s h i n g t h e domestic f i r e (pr.) Post-marriage Rites  t h r e s h o l d symbolism; MOBR; concluding r i t e s f o r bride:, manure, P u j a , w a t e r . . .  j 1  naming o f t h e b r i d e (pr.)  c o u p l e v i s i t s r e l a t i v e s (pr.) Kaveri Pilgrimage (optional)  -133C i . Resemblances between t h e two " u n i t s o f comparison": A t f i r s t g l a n c e , a c o n s i d e r a b l e number o f Coorg m a r r i a g e r i t e s and a c t i o n s seem t o c o r r e l a t e w i t h t h e n o r m a t i v e H i n d u model.  L e t us look  c l o s e r a n d d i s c u s s t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f s e e i n g them a s " s a n s k r i t i z e d " , t h a t i s , a d o p t e d brahmanic p r o t o t y p e s : 1. "engagement" (Brahmanic) v s Mangala K u r i p a  (Coorg.).  2. u s e o f a s t r o l o g e r (B. and. C ) . 3. p u r i f i c a t i o n o f house (B. and C ) . 4. e r e c t i o n o f m a r r i a g e p a n d a l 5. r i t u a l b a t h  (B. and C ) .  (B. and C ) .  6. r i t u a l d r e s s i n g (B. and C . ) . 7. t h e " t h r e e c i r c u m a m b u l a t i o n s "  (B. and C ) .  8. t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f mother's b r o t h e r (B. and C ) . 9. t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f r i c e , w a t e r , m i l k , e t c . (B. and C ) . 10. t h e w o r s h i p o f gods (B. and C.) 11. t h e common meals (B. and C . ) . ad 1.: I n b o t h samples a h i g h degree o f s u p e r f i c i a l c o r r e l a t i o n i s e v i dent.  B o t h s o c i a l c o l l e c t i v e s emphasize t h e n e c e s s i t y t o t a k e  p r e l i m i n a r y a c t i o n s i n o r d e r t o s e c u r e t h e m a r r i a g e o f one p a r t i c u l a r man w i t h one p a r t i c u l a r woman. i n f o r m a l weddings i n t h e p a s t .  The Coorgs u s e d t o have  Under t h e i n f l u e n c e o f t h e L i n g a -  y a t s they r e f i n e d i t t o the present s t a t e .  T h i s l e a d s me t o b e -  l i e v e t h a t t h e Mangala K u r i p a c o u l d be seen a s a n a d o p t i o n f r o m t h e brahmanic model v i a L i n g a y a t i s m .  However, t h e r i t u a l h a s c o n -  t r a c t u a l c h a r a c t e r : i t i s o f f i c i a t e d b y t h e two A r u v a s who a r e r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t n e l e g a l p a r t o f t h e wedding.  S i n c e t h e brahma-  n i c c o u n t e r p a r t emphasizes t h e e s t a b l i s h m e n t o f a new k i n - b o n d as w e l l a s t h e r e l i g i o u s importance o f i t , I see t h e Coorg r i t u a l as an a d o p t i o n i i form b u t n o t n e c e s s a r i l y i n c o n t e n t  (at l e a s t  n o t w i t h r e g a r d t o t h e r e l i g i o u s symbolism a s u n d e r s t o o d b y Brahmins) Consequently,  I s e e i t a s f o r m a l ADOPTION ICCTHOUT MODIFICATION.  -134-  ad 2.: S r i n i v a s a s s e r t s t h a t t h e u s e o f t h e a s t r o l o g e r f o r t h e d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f a n " a u s p i c i o u s " t i m e f o r t h e wedding i s a s i g n o f " s a n s k r i t i c behavior".  The Coorgs do u s e a s t r o l o -  g e r s , b u t i t i s n o t a p r e s c r i b e d p r a c t i c e ; i f a Coorg f a m i l y w i s h e s t o d i s r e g a r d h i s s e r v i c e s , no r e l i g i o u s o r s o c i e t a l repercussions w i l l follow.  F o r Brahmins, o n t h e o t h e r hand,  t h e s e r v i c e s o f t h e a s t r o l o g e r a r e o f utmost r e l i g i o u s i m portance.  C o n s e q u e n t l y , he a l w a y s d e t e r m i n e s t h e r i g h t t i m e  f o r a Brahman's wedding. t o Hindu c u l t u r e ;  But, a s t r o l o g e r s a r e n o t e x c l u s i v e  o t h e r c u l t u r a l groups w i t h i n t h e g e o g r a p h i -  c a l b o u n d a r i e s o f I n d i a employ them a s w e l l .  Therefore,  I  see t h i s r i t u a l a c t i o n a s a p o s s i b l e , b u t n o t n e c e s s a r y ADOPTION f r o m Hinduism.  ,  ad 3.: The a d o p t i o n o f t h e p u r i t y / p o l l u t i o n c o n c e p t b y t h e Coorgs i s c l e a r l y evident.  W i t h i n t h e c o n t e x t o f t h e "Kanni-Mangala" i t  i s o b s e r v e d w i t h s i m i l a r c a r e a s i n t h e m a r r i a g e ceremony o f t h e K a r n a t a k a (and a l l o t h e r ) Brahinins.  However, Coorg  notions  o f p u r i t y and p o l l u t i o n a r e l i m i t e d a n d somewhat r e l a x e d w i t h r e s p e c t t o t h e i r day-to-day r e a l i t y .  Nevertheless,  the p u r i -  f i c a t i o n r i t e s a r e c l e a r ADOPTIONS WITHOUT MODIFICATION f r o m t h e brahmanic model.  a d 4.: A c c o r d i n g  t o Dr. Muthanna, t h e r e l i g i o u s i m p o r t a n c e o f t h e  marriage pandal i s very l i m i t e d .  I f i t i s used, i t serves as  t h e l o c a t i o n o f M u r t a , t h e most " a u s p i c i o u s " Coorg r i t u a l , b u t Hindu cosmological extent.  symbolism i s n o t r e c o g n i z e d  t o any c o n s i d e r a b l e  I , p e r s o n a l l y , s u s p e c t t h a t t h e Coorgs a d o p t e d t h e m a r r i -  age p a n d a l a s a symbol o f h i g h r i t u a l s t a t u s , b u t t h e r e i s no reference t o t h i s i n the l i t e r a t u r e .  F o r me, t h e u s e o f t h e p a n d a l  i s a n ADOPTION WITHOUT MODIFICATION. ad 5.: The r i t u a l b a t h i s d e s i g n e d t o p u r i f y t h e b r i d e a n d t h e groom, thus r e p r e s e n t i n g another aspect o f t h e Hindu p u r i t y / p o l l u t i o n  -135concept.  I t i s a n ADOPTION WITHOUT MODIFICATION.  a d 6 . : A f t e r t h e r i t u a l b a t h , Brahmins and o t h e r h i g h - c a s t e H i n d u s must wear r i t u a l l y p u r e c l o t h e s . The Coorgs f o l l o w t h i s r u l e .  But  w h i l e t h e h i g h e s t emphasis i s g i v e n t o t h e p u r i t y o f t h e Brahman's wedding d r e s s , t h e Coorg a s s i g n s more i m p o r t a n c e t o t h e emblematic c h a r a c t e r o f h i s t r a d i t i o n a l costume.  Nevertheless, the necessity  t o p u r i f y t h e m a r r i a g e costume p o i n t s t o w a r d t h e ADOPTION WITHOUT MODIFICATION o f t h i s r i t u a l a c t i o n .  a d 7.: A s one o f t h e t h r e e c r u c i a l brahmanic m a r r i a g e r i t u a l s , t h e t h r e e c i r c m i a m b u l a t i o n s a r e r e l i g i o u s "markers" o f any c a s t e H i n d u m a r r i age.  S i m i l a r l y , t h e t h r e e circamiambulations c o n s t i t u t e a m a j o r p a r t  o f t h e Coorg M u r t a .  W i t h o u t a d o u b t , t h i s r i t e i s one o f t h e most  i m p o r t a n t a d o p t i o n s f r o m Hinduism.  Therefore, I see i t as a d e f i -  n i t e ADOPTION WITHOUT MODIFICATION. a d 8.: I n many p a t r i l i n e a l j o i n t f a m i l y g r o u p s t h e mother's b r o t h e r e n j o y s a h i g h degree o f r e s p e c t a n d i s o f t e n r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h e r e l i g i o u s and s o c i a l success o f h i s s i s t e r ' s daughters.  In the  c a s e o f K a r n a t a k a Brahmins and C o o r g s , t h e s t r u c t u r e o f t h e d e s c e n t groups i s i d e n t i c a l .  T h e r e f o r e , I acknowledge t h e c o r r e -  l a t i o n w i t h r e s p e c t t o t h e r i t u a l i m p o r t a n c e o f t h e mother's b r o t h e r i n b o t h s a m p l e ^ b u t h e s i t a t e t o assume a p o s s i b l e a d o p t i o n o f mother's b r o t h e r ' s r i t u a l s i g n i f i c a n c e b y t h e Coorgs.  a d 9.: A g a i n , t h e r i t u a l emphasis o n r i c e , w a t e r a n d o t h e r f o o d - s t u f f s does n o t depend o n H i n d u r e l i g i o u s c o n c e p t s a n d b e l i e f s .  The  Coorgs a r e a g r i c u l t u r a l i s t s who depend o n r i c e , w a t e r , a n d o t h e r c r o p s ; s o do many Brahmins.  However, t h e p a r t i c u l a r symbolism  connected w i t h t h e use o f r i c e , water, m i l k , e t c . w i t h i n t h e cont e x t o f t h e wedding m i g h t r e p r e s e n t a p o s s i b l e a d o p t i o n f r o m t h e brahmanic model.  -136a d 10.: The K a r n a t a k a Brahmins w o r s h i p a v a r i e t y o f H i n d u gods a t t h e o c c a s i o n o f marriage.  The Coorgs r e c e n t l y s t a r t e d t o w o r s h i p some H i n d u  d i e t i e s a s w e l l , b u t a s was t h e c a s e w i t h t h e a s t r o l o g e r , t h i s p r a c t i c e i s not considered a rule.  N e v e r t h e l e s s , i n t h i s c o n t e x t , I see  i t a s a n ADOPTION WITHOUT MODIFICATION.  a d 11.: A t t h e e n d o f t h e f i r s t wedding day t h e Brahmin groom and h i s b r i d e are  a s k e d once more t o s i t s i d e b y s i d e i n t h e c e n t e r o f t h e p a v i l i o n .  T h i s i s t h e t i m e when t h e y e a t t h e i r f i r s t common m e a l t o g e t h e r ; ... " e v e r y o t h e r d a y o f t h e i r m a r r i e d l i f e t h e b r i d e w i l l be e x p e c t e d t o s e r v e h e r husband f i r s t , and s i t down t o e a t b y h e r s e l f o n l y when he has f i n i s h e d "  (Beck 1964: 1 4 9 ) . T h i s symbolism u n d e r l i n e s t h e u n i q u e -  n e s s o f t h e m a r r i a g e ceremony a s a r e l i g i o u s r i t u a l .  I n t h e Coorg  c a s e , t h e common meal s i g n i f i e s n o t o n l y t h e u n i o n between husband and w i f e ( s y m b o l i z e d i n what I have c a l l e d t h e " t h i r d m e a l " a t t h e e n d of  t h e second d a y o f t h e w e d d i n g ) , b u t i s a l s o a n a c t o f s o l i d a r i t y  between t h e members o f t h e k i n - g r o u p ( " f i r s t m e a l " ) , a s w e l l a s b e t ween t h e two f a m i l i e s second M u r t a ) .  ("second m e a l " = common "snack" b e f o r e t h e  Ccmmensality, i n t h i s c o n t e x t , s y m b o l i z e s Coorg •  n o t i o n s o f k i n - s o l i d a r i t y a s w e l l a s n o t i o n s of " u n i t y " d e f i n e d o n a religious level.  And, s i n c e t h e " t h i r d m e a l " r e s e m b l e s t h e b r a h -  manic "common meal" t o a l a r g e d e g r e e , I f e e l s a f e t o s e e i t a s a n ADOPTION WITHOUT MODIFICATION.  From t h e e l e v e n "segments o f e x a m i n a t i o n " w h i c h d i s p l a y r e c o g n i z a b l e resemblances w i t h i n b o t h d a t a - s e t s , e i g h t (# 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 1 1 ) f i t r e a d i l y under t h e heading.  T h i s means t h a t , w i t h i n t h e c o n t e x t o f my d i s -  c u s s i o n , e v i d e n c e o f " s a n s k r i t i c " b e h a v i o r o n t h e p a r t o f t h e Coorgs c o u l d be f o u n d w i t h r e g a r d t o : f i r s t , a c o d i f i e d mode o f c o n d u c t t h a t f o c u s e s o n a p a r t i c u l a r t y p e o f r i t u a l arrangements  (#1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 7, 8, 1 1 ) ;  second, t h e u s e o f t h e H i n d u p u r i t y / p o l l u t i o n c o n c e p t s i g n i f y i n g a p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r e s t i n r i t u a l s t a t u s as d e f i n e d by Hindu r e l i g i o n  (# 3, 5, 6 ) ; and t h i r d ,  -137t h e i m p o r t a n c e t h e Coorgs a s s i g n t o Hindu c o s m o l o g i c a l (#4,  ideas i n general  7, 10, 1 1 ) . However, t h e c o n c e r n o v e r a s t r o l o g y  b r i d e ' s mother's b r o t h e r  (# 2 ) , t h e s p e c i a l r o l e o f t h e  (# 8 ) , t h e u s e o f r i c e , w a t e r , m i l k , , e t c . a s r i t u a l l y  i m p o r t a n t s u b s t a n c e s (# 9) and - t o some e x t e n t - t h e "common m e a l symbolism" (# 11) do n o t n e c e s s a r i l y i n d i c a t e a n a d o p t i o n o f " s a n s k r i t i c " H i n d u c o n c e p t s and  beliefs.  C i i . D i f f e r e n c e s between t h e two " u n i t s o f c o m p a r i s o n " : A t t h i s p o i n t , I want t o d e a l b r i e f l y w i t h t h e d i s c u s s i o n o f t h e i m p l i c a t i o n s o f my f o u r t h a s s e r t i o n w h i c h s t a t e s t h a t . . . " d i f f e r e n c e s between comp a r a b l e "segments o f e x a m i n a t i o n " r e l a t e d ceremonial references)  (or t h e non-comparability o f t h e m a t i c a l l y  w i t h i n t h e "Kanni-Mangala" p o i n t toward c u l -  t u r e - s p e c i f i c e x p r e s s i o n s o f Coorg r e a l i t y ! . . . "which w o u l d s u p p o r t my p r o 1  p o s i t i o n o f s e e i n g them a s an ' e t h n i c g r o u p ' " ( p p . 130-1). F o l l o w i n g t h e f o r m a t e s t a b l i s h e d f o r t h i s c o m p a r i s o n , I w i l l now l i s t t h o s e "segments o f e x a m i n a t i o n " w h i c h I c o n s i d e r comparable, b u t c o n t e x t u a l l y different: a. w o r s h i p o f " s a c r e d  fire"  (B.) v s w o r s h i p o f " s a c r e d  b. w o r s h i p o f groom a s b e i n g g o d - l i k e b r i d e a s o b j e c t s o f r e s p e c t (C.).  lamps" ( C ) .  (B.) v s w o r s h i p o f groom and  c. a n c e s t o r w o r s h i p (B. and C ) . d. t a k i n g " t h e g i f t o f t h e b r i d e " ( r e l i g i o u s symbolism f o r Brahmins) v s t a k i n g " p o s s e s s i o n o f t h e b r i d e " ( c o n t r a c t u a l agreement f o r C o o r g s ) . e. t h e "7 s t e p s " ( n o n - r e v e r s i b i l i t y o f r e l i g i o u s u n i t y f o r B.) v s Saitmanda ( l e g a l i z a t i o n o f m a r r i a g e c o n t r a c t f o r C ) . f . e s t a b l i s h i n g t h e "domestic f i r e "  (B.) v s "naming o f t h e b r i d e " ( C ) .  K e e p i n g t h e above s a i d i n m i n d , I w i l l c o n c e n t r a t e o n t h e e v i d e n c e w h i c h i n my o p i n i o n , does n o t s u p p o r t S r i n i v a s ' p r o p o s i t i o n o f t h e e m u l a t i o n o f  v  -138" s a n s k r i t i c " c o n c e p t s by t h e Coorgs. ad a.: As I have mentioned  e a r l i e r , t h e use o f t h e " s a c r e d f i r e " i s  a b s o l u t e l y e s s e n t i a l i n any Brahmin wedding.  I t i s the w i t -  ness o f a l l t h o s e m a r r i a g e r i t e s w h i c h a r e c o n s i d e r e d t o s e a l t h e u n i o n between t h e c o u p l e .  I t i s the o b j e c t of s a c r i f i c e s  and i t s y m b o l i z e s t h e c o n n e c t i o n between human r e a l i t y t h e c o s m i c energy.  and  The " s a c r e d f i r e " a l s o r e p r e s e n t s A g n i ,  t h e d o m e s t i c god, who watches o v e r t h e i n t e r n a l peace o f t h e newly wed c o u p l e .  The " s a c r e d f i r e " has a c e n t r a l p l a c e i n  t h e brahmanic m a r r i a g e ceremony and i s a t t e n d e d t o by a B r a h min  priest.  The Coorgs, however, do n o t employ Brahmin p r i e s t s , n o r do they k i n d l e a "sacred f i r e " . (the  They w o r s h i p t h e " N e l l u k i B o l u k "  f l o o r lamp) and t h e "Tuk B o l u k "  r i t u a l occasion.  (the h a n g i n g l a m p ) a t  any  F o r them t h e lamps s t a n d f o r t h e u n i t y o f t h e ;  Okka, and r e s p e c t has t o be g i v e n t o them.  I t i s not s u r p r i s i n g  t h a t t h e w o r s h i p o f t h e lamps p l a y s an i m p o r t a n t r o l e i n t h e "Kanni-Mangala".  W i t h r e f e r e n c e t o c a s t e - h i e r a r c h y , Beck  (1964:  74) n o t e s t h a t - . . . " l o w e r c a s t e s (who do n o t have t h e " s a c r e d f i r e " ) f r e q u e n t l y use one o r more lamps as a r e m i n d e r o f t h e s y m b o l i c i m p o r t a n c e o f f i r e " , b u t Dr. Muthanna m a i n t a i n s t h a t t h e lampsymbolism o f Coorgs s h o u l d n o t be c o n f u s e d w i t h t h a t o f t h e " s a c red  fire".  W i t h r e f e r e n c e t o my i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f Coorg r e l i -  g i o u s symbolism i n C h a p t e r I o f t h i s t h e s i s , t h i s s t a t e m e n t makes s e n s e : t h e Coorgs d o n ' t seem t o be concerned w i t h t h e p o s s i b i l i ty  o f b e i n g r e g a r d e d a l o w e r c a s t e f o r amply d i s p l a y i n g t h e i r  lamp-worship; . fire"  on t h e o t h e r hand, t h e y d i d n o t a d o p t t h e " s a c r e d  (as t h e y s h o u l d have i f t h e y wanted t o r a i s e t h e i r s t a t u s  w i t h i n Hinduism), but maintained t h e i r c u l t u r e - s p e c i f i c type o f fire-symbolism.  The g e n e r a l importance o f f i r e a s t h e c a r r i e r o f  r e l i g i o u s meaning i s r e c o g n i z e d c r o s s - c u l t u r a l l y ; c o n s e q u e n t l y , a c o n c l u s i v e answer t o t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f t h e a d o p t i o n o f symbolism w i t h i n Coorg r i t u a l s c a n n o t be g i v e n .  fire-  -139ad b.: When t h e p a r e n t s o f t h e b r i d e honor t h e groom b y w a s h i n g h i s f e e t , b r i n g i n g h i m w a t e r t o d r i n k , and (the f a t h e r ) p r e s e n t i n g him Madhuparka, t h e y acknowledge h i s — tus. of  almost —  god-like sta-  I n f a c t , sometimes t h e groom i s seen a s a m a n i f e s t a t i o n S i v a o r V i s h n u , a s t h e c a s e may be (Beck 1964: 1 4 2 ) . However,  t h e w o r s h i p i s f o c u s e d on t h e groom a l o n e , and a l t h o u g h t h e c o u p l e i s sometimes t r e a t e d  as r o y a l o r s e m i - d i v i n e , t h e g i r l  i s n o t t h e o b j e c t o f i n d i v i d u a l w o r s h i p a t any g i v e n t i m e d u r i n g t h e wedding. T h i s i s n o t t h e c a s e i n Coorg M u r t a s : f i r s t , t h e groom and t h e b r i d e a r e w o r s h i p p e d i n t h e same f a s h i o n b y t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e f a m i l i e s ; l a t e r , t h e y a r e w o r s h i p p e d a s a c o u p l e by r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s of  b o t h k i n - g r o u p s and l a s t l y , t h e groom w o r s h i p s t h e b r i d e a l o n e .  Second, w o r s h i p , f o r Coorgs, means t h e g i v i n g o f r e s p e c t t o t h e two young p e o p l e s i n c e t h e y a t t a i n a h i g h e r s o c i a l s t a t u s w i t h i n Coorg s o c i e t y .  T h i s , however, goes hand i n hand w i t h t h e a t t a i n -  ment o f a n e l e v a t e d r i t u a l s t a t u s f o r t h e d u r a t i o n o f t h e wedding. Here, t h e i n c o r p o r a t i o n o f Hindu c o s m o l o g i c a l i d e a s i s a p p a r e n t : t h e l o c u s o f M u r t a i s " s a c r e d " , and t h e b r i d a l c o u p l e (as w e l l a s a l l o t h e r p a r t i c i p a n t s ) a r e i n r i t u a l l y pure c o n d i t i o n . i n s o c i a l status  The r i s e  (exemplified through t h e a c t o f g i v i n g respect)  i s accompanied by t h e r i s e i n r i t u a l s t a t u s , t h u s c o n n e c t i n g Coorgs p e c i f i c r i t e s w i t h Hindu c o s m o l o g i c a l ideas. a d c . : K a r n a t a k a Brahmins a s w e l l a s Coorgs w o r s h i p t h e i r a n c e s t o r s o n the occasion o f marriage.  B o t h groups s t r e s s t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f  c o n t i n u i n g t h e i r d e s c e n t - l i n e s t h r o u g h t h e f e r t i l e bond between t h e young c o u p l e and b o t h s e c u r e t h e b l e s s i n g s from t h e a n c e s t o r s by p r e s e n t i n g g i f t s t o them.  However, t h e K a r n a t a k a Brahmins  underline the r e l i g i o u s character o f ancestor procreation, while t h e Coorgs, a g a i n , s y m b o l i z e t h e s o l i d a r i t y between t h e e n t i r e family l i n e .  A n c e s t o r - w o r s h i p i s c r o s s - c u l t u r a l l y p r a c t i s e d and  t h u s , c a n n o t be r e g a r d e d a s H i n d u and Coorg  specific.  -140ad d.: One m a j o r d i f f e r e n c e between b o t h m a r r i a g e ceremonies i s m a n i f e s t e d i n t h e way  i n w h i c h t h e b r i d e t r a n s f e r s h e r kin-member-  s h i p : t h e Brahmin f a t h e r g i v e s " t h e g i f t o f t h e b r i d e " t o t h e groom.  T h i s means t h a t she . l o s e s t h e membership i n h e r  kin-group e n t i r e l y .  I t a l s o means t h a t f r o m now on she depends  on h e r a b i l i t y t o p r o d u c e m a l e c h i l d r e n i n o r d e r t o s e c u r e socio-economic group. child  own her  and r e l i g i o u s s t a t u s w i t h i n h e r husband's k i n -  As I have m e n t i o n e d e a r l i e r , t h e f a t h e r g i v e s up h i s ( c o n s i d e r e d t o be a b i g s a c r i f i c e ) when he m a r r i e s h e r o f f ,  b u t i n r e t u r n he g a i n s " r e l i g i o u s m e r i t " f r o m i t . I n t h e Coorg c a s e , m a r r i a g e i s c o n s i d e r e d t o be a c o n t r a c t between two k i n - g r o u p s .  The groom chooses t h e b r i d e , and i f h i s p e r s o n a l  choice i s i n accordance w i t h the p o l i t i c o - e c o n o m i c o b j e c t i v e s of his  f a m i l y , the Aruva conducts the formal procedures  to l e g a l i z e the marriage.  necessary  On a r e l i g i o u s l e v e l , t h e groom " t a k e s  possession o f the b r i d e " , being r e s p o n s i b l e f o r o n l y the personal s u c c e s s o f t h e new bond.  However, t h i s r i t e s i g n i f i e s a more p r o -  f a n e arrangement t h e n a s a c r e d r u l e .  ad e.: F o r Brahmins, t h e "seven s t e p s " c o n s t i t u t e ? "the c u l m i n a t i o n o f t h e m a r r i a g e ceremony. becomes i r r e v o c a b l e "  and w i t h t h e b r i d e ' s l a s t s t e p t h e u n i o n  (Beck 1964:  99).  This r i t u a l i s prescribed  i n t h e s a c r e d t e x t s and s y m b o l i z e s t h e i d e a l mode o f c o n d u c t o f the married couple. The Sammanda ceremony, on t h e o t h e r hand, b e a r s no r e l i g i o u s symbolism.  I t i s t h e l e g a l i z a t i o n o f t h e p e r s o n a l bond, as w e l l as  t h e f o r m a l c o n n e c t i o n between t h e two k i n - g r o u p s .  As l o n g as Sam-  manda i s e n f o r c e d , t h e m a r r i a g e i s c o n s i d e r e d l e g a l and b i n d i n g . ad f . : As s a i d e a r l i e r , t h e f i n a l r i t e p e r f o r m e d i n t h e brahmanic wedding i s the k i n d l i n g o f the domestic f i r e . dence i n t h e young c o u p l e ' s house.  With i t , Agni takes  resi-  A g n i , t h e d o m e s t i c god, has t o  be w o r s h i p p e d r e g u l a r l y i n o r d e r t o s e c u r e d o m e s t i c peace and  pros-  -141perty.  With the establishment o f the domestic f i r e , the  bond i s f u l l y s a n c t i o n e d .  new  '  The f i n a l r i t u a l a c t i o n o f t h e "Kanni-Mangala" i s t h e "naming o f the b r i d e .  W i t h i t , t h e young woman i s f u l l y i n t e g r a t e d i n  h e r c o n j u g a l Okka and s h a r e s a l l t h e r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s w i t h t h e o t h e r m a r r i e d female members o f h e r new  family.  Although dea-  l i n g w i t h t h e i n c o r p o r a t i o n o f t h e new c o u p l e i n t o t h e  domestic  r e a l m , t h i s Coorg r i t u a l s t r e s s e s k i n - r e l a t e d a s p e c t s o f u n i t y , w h i l e t h e brahmanic r i t e f o c u s e s on r e l i g i o u s l y d e f i n e d  domestic  symbolism.  C i i i . Discussion: From t h e e n t i r e number o f "segments o f e x a m i n a t i o n " compared above, o n l y two r i t u a l c a t e g o r i e s c o r r e l a t e i n f o r m and c o n t e x t .  The f i r s t  d e a l s w i t h a s p e c t s o f r i t u a l p u r i t y and a u s p i c e and i s e x p r e s s e d a t t h e p r e p a r a t o r y s t a g e o f t h e wedding p r o c e e d i n g s .  one  mainly  The s e c o n d c a t e g o r y  c e n t e r s around the r e p l i c a t i o n o f Hindu r i t e s which a r e p r e s c r i b e d i n the r i t u a l handbooks. of Murta.  The most i m p o r t a n t i s t h e r i t u a l o f c i r c l i n g  the locus  A l l t n e o t h e r r i t e s c a n n o t e a s i l y be t r a c e d t o t h e i r  "sanskri-  tic" origin.  T h i s l e a d s me  t o b e l i e v e t h a t t h e Coorgs adopted o n l y t h o s e  r i t e s w h i c h conveyed r i t u a l s t a t u s w h i l e f i t t i n g t h e o v e r a l l s t r u c t u r e o f t h e "Kanni-Mangala".  The Coorgs d i d n o t have t o change t h e i r  marriage  ceremony, t h e y expanded i t t o t h e d i s t i n c t d u a l i s t i c form.which g i v e s j u s t i c e t o t h e i r c u l t u r a l i n d i v i d u a l i t y as w e l l as s u g g e s t i n g t h e i r a f f i l i a t i o n w i t h the r e s t o f Hindu South I n d i a . The Coorgs managed t o have a m a r r i a g e ceremony t h a t " l o o k s " v e r y much l i k e a h i g h - c a s t e H i n d u wedding, b u t t h a t " i s " v e r y much c u l t u r e - s p e c i f i c ; As F i g u r e 4 shows, t h e "Kanni-Mangala" d i s p l a y s c o n n e c t i o n s w i t h t h e H i n d u  -142FIGURE 4: A s p e c t s o f "Sanskritization'Vs "ethnic i d e n t i t y " evident i n t h e "Kanni-Mangala":  Mangala K u r i p a astrology purification j  marriage pandal r i t u a l bath & dressing  worship of|lamp ancestor worship MURTA: f o o d  PymH~.1  !  I  i  gn ^  ^^  :  ^^ ^ ^  ^k^JxkkkklJ  T 9r^ ^^^^^' s  s  three circumambulations  auspiciousness/sacredness  g i f t o f food[ war-sword SAMMANDA: s N N N X ^ N X ^ I" t a k i n g " b r i d ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ N S ^ ^ ownership contractual |importance o f MoBr b r i d e s concluding 'rites I 1  r i g h t foot symbilism kin-symboli|m jnaming o f bride visiting tives  rela-  Kaver| pilgrimage  COORG-SPECIFIC=ETHNIC  "SANSKRITIC" HINDU BEHAVIOUR  -143i d i o m w h i l e , a t t h e same t i m e , r e m a i n i n g f i r m l y grounded w i t h i n t h e i r ditional  tra-  world-view.  I do n o t h o l d t h a t t h e Coorgs were a c u l t u r a l group t h a t a t t e m p t e d t o " s a n s k r i t i z e " t h e i r r i t u a l and s o c i a l r e a l i t y .  Moreover, I c o n t e n d t h a t  t h e y d e v e l o p e d a d u a l i s t i c r e a l i t y w h i c h a l l o w e d them t o l i v e a c c o r d i n g t o t h e i r own b e l i e f s w i t h o u t a l i e n a t i n g themselves from t h e s u r r o u n d i n g s o c i o religious  environment.  The s o c i o - c u l t u r a l r e a l i t y o f Coorgs, a c c o r d i n g t o t h e s y m b o l i c e x p r e s s i o n s w i t h i n t h e "Kanni-Mangala",  c e n t e r s - r o u n d t h e dichotomy o f a  p o l i t i c o - e c o n o m i c complex w i t h a m o r a l - r e l i g i o u s complex. H i g h - c a s t e Hindus t i n t h i s c o n t e x t , t h e B r a h m i n s ) , by c o m p a r i s o n , caste^anembership,  concentrate on aspects o f  n o t i o n s o f p u r i t y and p o l l u t i o n , and r i t u a l s t a t u s .  Thus,  p o l i t i c o - e c o n o m i c n o t i o n s a r e s u b o r d i n a n t , and c o n c e p t u a l l y much l e s s i m p o r t a n t t h a n r i t u a l power. As m e n t i o n e d e a r l i e r , t h e s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n o f t h e Coorgs i s b a s e d on t h e Okka, o r p a t r i l i n e a l j o i n t f a m i l y e s t a t e . . I t i s o f utmost t o m a i n t a i n i t s u n i t y and p r o s p e r i t y .  importance  M a r r i a g e i s t h e one i n s t i t u t i o n  which  s e c u r e s t h i s u n i t y t h r o u g h t h e p e r p e t u a t i o n o f t h e d e s c e n t - l i n e . I n a more g e n e r a l s e n s e we c a n i n t e r p r e t t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f t h i s u n i t y a s b e i n g one o f t h e g o v e r n i n g p r i n c i p l e s o f Coorg r e a l i t y : a s a d i s t i n c t c u l t u r a l u n i t , t h e y have t o r e l y o n t h e s t r e n g t h o f t h e i r f a m i l y and k i n - t i e s i n o r d e r t o keep t h e i r r e l a t i v e p o s i t i o n i n r e l a t i o n t o o u t s i d e groups. they  A s an e t h n i c u n i t  s h a r e a common awareness o f t h e i r s o c i o - c u l t u r a l d i s t i n c t i v e n e s s , and  as a n economic power t h e y seek t o m a i n t a i n t h e i r i n t e r n a l s t r e n g t h and w i t h i t t h e i r e x t e r n a l dominance.  T h e i r orthodox, e t h n o c e n t r i c a t t i t u d e mani-  -144f e s t s i t s e l f c l e a r l y i n a number o f s y m b o l i c a c t i o n s w h i c h I have d i s c u s s e d i n C h a p t e r s I I and I V o f t h i s  thesis.  S y m b o l i c a c t i o n s w i t h r e s p e c t t o f o o d occupy a n i m p o r t a n t r o l e w i t h i n t h e "Kanni-Mangala".  B u t , r a t h e r than having r e l i g i o u s overtones, food i s  p a r a l l e l e d w i t h growth and seen a s a m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f w e a l t h . c u l t u r a l i s t s , t h e Coorgs emphazise t h e economic s i g n i f i c a n c e  Being a g r i of food.  This  i s n o t s u r p r i s i n g : w i t h t h e a c q u i s i t i o n o f l a n d , combined w i t h t h e p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l dominance i n t h e d i s t r i c t , t h e Coorgs were bound t o s p e c i a l i z e i n i t s c u l t i v a t i o n and u t i l i z a t i o n , w h i c h , u l t i m a t e l y made them w e a l t h i e r t h a n most o f t h e o t h e r communities i n g e o g r a p h i c a l p r o x i m i t y .  The maintenance  o f t h i s economic power, t h e n , i s one o f t h e m a j o r e f f o r t s o f Coorg d a i l y l i f e and i n f l u e n c e s much o f t h e i r c o n s c i o u s c o n c e p t i o n s . this materialistic notion  I n my o p i n i o n ,  i n combination w i t h t h e i r w a r r i o r t r a d i t i o n , might  w e l l have l e d t o a t y p i c a l m o r a l and r e l i g i o u s complex, i n w h i c h n o t i o n s o f o p p o r t u n i s m and a s p e c t s o f e n t e r p r e n e u r s h i p o u t w e i g h s u c h p h i l o s o p h i c a l i d e a s a s a s c e t i c i s m , r e l i g i o u s o r t h o d o x y , and t h e a t t a i n m e n t o f a r e l i g i o u s l y d e f i n e d concept o f r e a l i t y . U s u a l l y , a s p e c t s o f m o r a l i t y and r e l i g i o n a r e v e r y c l o s e l y r e l a t e d t o each other.  R e l i g i o u s i d e o l o g y o f t e n t r a n s c e n d s c u l t u r a l r e a l i t y and i t i s  p o s s i b l e t o d e t e r m i n e t h e m o r a l a t t i t u d e s o f a s o c i e t y when knowing t h e i r religion.  I n t h e South I n d i a n c o n t e x t , where many s o c i e t i e s u s e t h e H i n d u  i d i o m i n one way o r a n o t h e r , we f i n d t h e Coorgs a s b e i n g d i s t i n c t l y d i f f e r e n t . I t i s d i f f i c u l t t o p l a c e t h e Coorgs w i t h i n t h e H i n d u f o l d when l o o k i n g a t t h e i r w a r r i o r , householder, o r kin-symbolism as expressed i n t h e "KanniMangala".  The o n l y r e a l s u p p o r t f o r S r i n i v a s J  a s s e r t i o n "(of t h e i r " S a n s k r i -  t i z a t i o n " ) stems from t h e i r a d o p t i o n o f t h e p u r i t y / p o l l u t i o n  concept  (which,  -145a s I have s a i d e a r l i e r , i s used o n l y i n a l i m i t e d f a s h i o n ) . On a d i f f e r e n t l e v e l , t h e Coorgs adopted " s a n s k r i t i c " r i t e s and emblems (such a s t h e m a r r i a g e p a n d a l , t h e " t h r e e c i r c u m a b u l a t i o n s " , and t h e w o r s h i p o f H i n d u gods) w h i c h , i n d e e d p o i n t toward t h e i r c o n c e r n w i t h Hinduism. f u s e d t o s u b o r d i n a t e tnemselves  to  Hindu r e a l i t y  However, t h e y r e ., s o c i a l l y and  ideo-  logically. How, t h e n , c o u l d one e x p l a i n t h e p a r t i a l a d o p t i o n o f H i n d u  concepts?  O n e . p o s s i b l e answer i s based on h i s t o r i c a l e v i d e n c e : when t h e Coorgs came i n c o n t a c t w i t h L i n g a y a t i s m t h e y i n t e r m a r r i e d w i t h t h e r o y a l f a m i l i e s and obtained a r i s t o c r a t i c status. r i t u a l idiom then.  I t seems l i k e l y t h a t t h e y e x t e n d e d  their  I t i s e q u a l l y p o s s i b l e t h a t m i s s i o n a r y a c t i o n s on t h e  s i d e o f n e i g h b o u r i n g Brahmins i n f l u e n c e d them.  S r i n i v a s mentions t h a t t h e  "Amma-Coorgs" (a m i n o r i t y o f a p p r o x i m a t e l y 600 s o u l s , a c c o r d i n g t o t h e 1941 C e n s u s ) . . . " a r e h i g h l y brahmanized  i n t h e i r customs and r i t u a l s .  They  a r e v e g e t a r i a n s and t e e t o t a l l e r s , and t h e y c o n s t i t u t e an endogamous u n i t . L i k e t h e Brahmins t h e y wear t h e s a c r e d t h r e a d and o b s e r v e a n n u a l  'Shraddas'  o r a n c e s t o r - f e a s t s a t w h i c h o n l y v e g e t a r i a n f o o d i s o f f e r e d t o t h e dead ancestors"  (1952: 3 4 ) . These "Amma-Coorgs" came t o t h e f o r e f r o n t i n t h e  y e a r s o f t h e r e i g n o f t h e l a s t R a j a o f Coorg when t h e y c l a i m e d t o be " K a v e r i Brahmans" and a t t e m p t e d t o e s t a b l i s h t h e m s e l v e s a s a " p r i e s t l y among t h e m a i n body o f t h e i r own s o c i e t y same t i m e  elite"  (Muthanna 1982: # 2 ) . A t a b o u t t h e  ( c a . 1800 A.D.) a number o f myths "appeared"  i n Coorg f o l k l o r e .  The b y f a r b e s t known i s t h e " K a v e r i - P u r a n a " ; h e r e t h e Coorgs a r e c l a s s i f i e d as  "Ugras"P  8)  — T h e y a r e t h e descendents o f t h e m a r r i a g e o f a K s h a t r i y a p r i n c e and h i s Shudra w i f e . The K a v e r i  -146myth t h u s c l e v e r l y r e c o n c i l e s t h e economic and m i l i t a r y power o f Coorgs w i t h t h e i r l a c k o f c e r t a i n r i t u a l s and t h e i r somewhat c a t h o l i c d i e t a r y . I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o n o t e t h a t S h r i N. Chinnappa c o n s i d e r s t h e a c c o u n t o f t h e o r i g i n o f Coorgs g i v e n i n t h e K a v e r i myth t o be a t r u e , h i s t o r i c a l a c c o u n t (1952: 3 4 ) . As f o r t h e o r i g i n o f t h e "Amma-Coorgs , t h e y m a i n t a i n t o be d e s c e n 11  d a n t s o f a Coorg man and a Brahmin g i r l Dr. Muthanna p u t s o r w a r d f  Brahmins  v e t  ("amma" meaning "mother")  another i n t e r p r e t a t i o n :  ( I b i d : 34).  he a s s e r t s t h a t t h e  (and w i t h them, t h e "Amma-Coorgs") were i n t e r e s t e d i n e s t a b l i s h i n g  t h e i r r i t u a l s u p e r i o r i t y i n the d i s t r i c t .  By " f a b r i c a t i n g " myths w h i c h t e l l  t h e s t o r y o f t h e Coorgs' o r i g i n , t h e y wanted t o e x p l a i n t h a t t h e y , i n f a c t , descended f r o m t h e u n i o n o f two c a s t e - H i n d u s , and t h a t t h e y , t h e r e f o r e , have t o be c o n s i d e r e d as Hindus (1982: # 2 ) . Be t h a t as i t may,  t h e s y m b o l i c e x p r e s s i o n s w i t h i n t h e "Kanni-Mangala"  s u g g e s t t h a t Coorgs use a t l e a s t two r e a l i t i e s when d e a l i n g on an i n t e r n a l (Coorg s p e c i f i c ) and an e x t e r n a l  (inter-societal) level.  T h i s means t h a t  S r i n i v a s was n o t wrong when he a s s e r t e d t h a t t h e Coorgs show a f f i l i a t i o n s w i t h t h e Hindu norm; one c a n n o t e x p e c t t h a t a s m a l l s o c i e t y — f u l and d i s t i n c t —  however power-  c o u l d s u r v i v e w i t h o u t a d o p t i n g seme a s p e c t s o f t h e  surrounding macro-culture.  Where he was wrong, i n my o p i n i o n , was t h e way  i n w h i c h he i n t e r p r e t e d h i s d a t a : he subsumed t h e e n t i r e Coorg r e l i g i o n and s o c i e t y under t h e H i n d u i d i o m and i n t e r p r e t e d i t t h r o u g h t h e H i n d u paradigm. I d i d e x a c t l y t h e o p p o s i t e : v i e w i n g t h e Coorgs as an " e t h n i c g r o u p " , I a t t e m p t e d t o g i v e an a l t e r n a t i v e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f t h e "Kanni-Mangala" seen as a microcosm o f Coorg i d e n t i t y . for  The r e s u l t i n g i m p l i c a t i o n s  (see F i g u r e 5  a diagrammatic representation) g i v e j u s t i c e t o both t h e o r e t i c a l propo-  s i t i o n s a s l a i d o u t a t t h e b e g i n n i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s , b u t , and t h i s i s i m p o r -  -147t a n t , t h e y e x t e n d t h e p o s s i b i l i t y t o u n d e r s t a n d Coorg c u l t u r e as a m i x ( r a t h e r than a r e p l i c a t i o n o f Hindu s o c i o - c u l t u r a l  r e a l i t y ) o f two p r o f o u n d l y d i f f e r e n t  concepts o f c u l t u r a l perception.  FIGURE 5: Scheme o f " m u l t i p l e r e a l i t y " o f Coorg  identity.  " e t h n i c " boundary " s a n s k r i t i c " boundary  -147a-  C O N C L U S I O N  -148I n t h i s t h e s i s I have a t t e m p t e d t o p r o v i d e a n a l t e r n a t i v e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and a n a l y s i s o f t h e Coorg m a r r i a g e ceremony i n o r d e r t o c o u n t e r b a l a n c e S r i n i v a s ' " H i n d u - c e n t r i c " p r o p o s i t i o n w h i c h s t a t e s t h a t t h e Coorgs a r e a " s a n s k r i t i z e d " group.  Depending o n secundary e t h n o g r a p h i c m a t e r i a l ,  I was f o r c e d t o c o n t r o l my i n q u i r y and t o l i m i t my d a t a - b a s e t o a v a l i d a t e d d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h i s c e n t r a l l i f e - c y c l e ceremony. On t h e b a s i s o f a s i m p l e t h e o r e t i c a l framework ( c e n t e r e d o n t h e s t r u c t u r a l l y opposed c o n c e p t s o f " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " and " e t h n i c i d e n t i t y " ) , I e x p l i c a t e d my d i s c u s s i o n o f t h e s y m b o l i c e x p r e s s i o n s "KanniHyiangala" a c c o r d i n g  w i t h i n t h e "microcosm"  t o f o u r " s y m b o l i c complexes" w h i c h , i n t u r n , c a n  be seen a s r e p l i c a t i o n s o f t h e g e n e r a l make-up o f Coorg s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e . I have a r g u e d t h a t t h e r e l i g i o u s symbolism d i s p l a y e d i n t h i s " m i c r o cosm" shows a m i x between two a b s t r a c t n o t i o n s o f o r d e r : f i r s t , t h e n o t i o n o f " r e s p e c t " w h i c h d e t e r m i n e s t h e i n t e r n a l mode o f a c t i o n s and n o n - a c t i o n s w i t h i n t h e t h e c o n f i n e s o f Coorg c u l t u r e . defines "auspiciousness"  This notion o f "respect"  further  a s a l i f e - r e l a t e d a b s t r a c t f o r c e and " i n a u s p i c i o u s -  ness" as i t s d e a t h - r e l a t e d o p p o s i t i o n .  Second, p u r i t y (seen a s an a d o p t i o n  f r o m Hinduism) i s u s e d a s a means t o v i s u a l i z e r i t u a l , and w i t h i t , s o c i e t a l s u p e r i o r i t y w i t h r e s p e c t t o o u t s i d e H i n d u communities. I have a s s e r t e d t h a t t h e s y m b o l i c r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s o f power and a u t h o r i t y o u t w e i g h t h o s e w h i c h d e a l w i t h r e l i g i o n and p h i l o s o p h y ,  thus underlining  t h e s p e c i f i c " c h a r a c t e r " o f Coorg s o c i a l i d e n t i t y : i t i s t h e i r  pre-occupation  w i t h t h e m a r t i a l way o f l i f e w h i c h t r a n s c e n d s t h e i r b e l i e f , r i t u a l and myth, and w h i c h formed t h e base o f a l l t h e i r power. vis  Their superior status v i s - a -  n e i g h b o u r i n g H i n d u communities was d e t e r m i n e d b y t h i s  politico-economic  -149power s i t u a t i o n a s w a r r i o r s and landowners, and n o t t h r o u g h r i t u a l l y d e f i n e d hierarchical  ranking.  I have p u t f o r w a r d  t h a t r i c e i s u s e d as t h e major s y m b o l i c r e f e r e n c e  r e f l e c t i n g abundance, w e a l t h and p r o s p e r i t y . t e r i a l goods and t h e o b j e c t o f w o r s h i p .  I t i s t h e b a s i s f o r a l l ma-  R i c e as a symbol combines  Coorg  n o t i o n s o f r e l i g i o n and s o c i e t y ; i t encompasses Coorg c o n s c i o u s n e s s seen as a u n i t y between a b s t r a c t l i f e - e n e r g y and t a n g i $ b l e d a y - t o - d a y r e a l i t y . F i n a l l y , I have a r g u e d t h a t k i n s h i p i s o f utmost i m p o r t a n c e t o C o o r g s : i t i s t h e b a s i s o f t h e i r s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n , i t d e f i n e s t h e i r group and community i d e n t i t y , and i t r e g u l a t e s a l l i n t e r n a l a c t i v i t i e s r a n g i n g from t h e i r r e l i g i o u s and s o c i a l , t o t h e i r economic and p o l i t i c a l b e h a v i o u r . F o r C o o r g s , i n t e r n a l s o l i d a r i t y i s o f p r i m a r y i m p o r t a n c e ; w i t h i t comes e x t e r n a l order. N e v e r t h e l e s s , t h e Coorgs a d o p t e d H i n d u c o n c e p t s and b e l i e f s i n a  li-  m i t e d way: i t h e l p e d them t o s u r v i v e w i t h i n H i n d u South I n d i a , i t h e l p e d them t o a t t a i n h i g h s t a t u s w i t h r e s p e c t t o Hindus.  The m o t i v a t i o n f o r t h e  a d o p t i o n o f t h e p u r i t y / p o l l u t i o n c o n c e p t and seme p h i l o s o p h i c a l n o t i o n s r e g a r d i n g H i n d u cosmology c a n be seen as p o l i t i c a l r a t h e r t h a n r e l i g i o u s . P a r t i a l i n c o r p o r a t i o n o f H i n d u norms a l l o w e d them t o b l u r :  the  ideological  b o u n d e r i e s between them and a l l o u t s i d e r s and t o m a i n t a i n t h e i r t r a d i t i o n a l i d e n t i t y i n s t r u c t u r e and c o n t e n t . As a consequence o f t h i s p a r t i a l a d o p t i o n o f H i n d u i s m , t h e Coorgs dev e l o p e d a d u a l i s t i c i d e n t i t y w h i c h a l l o w s them t o /oparate on an e x t e n d e d , b i l a t e r a l l e v e l o f r e l i g i o u s p.socio-political  and economic u n d e r s t a n d i n g .  -149a-  F O O T N O T E S  -150-  . INTRODUCTION (1)  D r . I.M. Muthanna, a Coorg h i m s e l f , h a s ^ l i v e d i n Vancouver s i n c e t h e e a r l y s e v e n t i e s . He i s t h e a u t h o r o f 44 books, o f w h i c h 12 a r e a v a i l a b l e i n E n g l i s h . The r e s t , are p u b l i s h e d i n Kannada language. H i s p u b l i c a t i o n s i n c l u d e two works o n Coorg (Coorg - A T i n y Model S t a t e i n S o u t h I n d i a . ( 1 9 5 3 ) , and Coorg Memoirs ( 1 9 7 4 ) ) , a s w e l l as w o r k s on t h e h i s t o r y o f K a r n a t a k a , a n a c c o u n t o f t h e l i f e o f T i p p u S u l t a n , Coorg p o e t r y , e t c . I i n i t i a t e d t h e c o n t a c t w i t h h i m i n e a r l y O c t o b e r 1982 and have met him, s i n c e t h e n , o n numerous o c c a s i o n s . D r . Muthanna a g r e e d t o be my i n f o r m a n t o n any Coorg m a t e r i a l . He a l l o w e d me t o t a p e two n i n e t y - m i n u t e i n t e r v i e w s w h i c h a r e a v a i l a b l e upon r e q u e s t . I n h i s book A T i n y Model S t a t e i n S o u t h I n d i a (1953), he s t a t e s : ...The d i v o r c e customs p r e v a i l among b o t h t h e A r a b s and t h e C o o r g s . B o t h u s e d t o do t h e e a r - b o r i n g o f t h e whole e a r , b o t h d r e s s up c o r p s e s i n t h e same way and b o t h o b s e r v e c i v i l contract marriages. P a r t i a l Gosha i s o b s e r v e d among t h e Coorgs and f o o t - j e w e l s a r e u s e d by b o t h . Therena, M e n d i , and s u c h o t h e r terms c o n n e c t e d t o t h e Coorg customs a r e a l l Arabic, i t i s said. Marrying a brother's wife a f t e r h i s death, o b j e c t i o n t o marry t h e daughter o f one's s i s t e r , u s i n g o f meat a t t h e o c c a s i o n o f wedding and o t h e r f u n c t i o n s a n d t h e resembl a n c e o f B o l a k a t a n d o t h e r Coorg dances e t c . w i t h t h a t o f A r a b i c e q u i v a l e n t s t a k e me t o b e l i e v e that there are Arabic influences i n the manners o f t h e Coorgs. The t r a d i t i o n a l costume o f t h e Coorgs, i n c l u d i n g t h e i r h a i r - d r e s s , a r e s t r i k i n g l y i d e n t i c a l w i t h t h a t o f t h e Arabs. Some A r a b i c words have c r e p t i n t o Coorg language.... I t i s a s s e r t e d t h a t t h e s e p e o p l e m i g h t have m i g r a t e d i n t o t h e S o u t h i n t h e e a r l y days when t h e y were t r a d e r s ; and g o t l o s t i n t h e m o u n t a i n s . B u t a t t h e same t i m e I r e a l i z e t h a t s u c h i d e n t i c a l t r a i t s a r e f o u n d w i t h some p e o p l e s o f N o r t h e r n I n d i a who l i v e i n t h e h i l l - a r e a s o f Assam, N e p a l , o r R a j a s t h a n (1953: 3 0 0 ) .  (2)  Srinivas writes: ....The p r i n c e o f t h e Bednur d y n a s t y who s e t t l e d down as a Jangama o r L i n g a y a t p r i e s t i n H a l e r i i n n o r t h Coorg was an a s t u t e s t r a t e g i s t . He was w e l l aware o f t h e f a c t t h a t a Jangama commanded a g r e a t d e a l o f r e s p e c t f r o m L i n g a y a t s who p r e d c m i n a t e d i n n o r t h Coorg.  -151-  He l i v e d i n a v i l l a g e c o u n c i l house ( C h a v a d i ) , t e a c h i n g c h i l d r e n and p r e a c h i n g t o a d u l t s . P e o p l e v o l u n t a r i l y gave him u n c l e a n e d paddy a t h a r v e s t . L a t e r , when he was c e r t a i n o f h i s h o l d o v e r t h e p e o p l e , he changed t h e v o l u n t a r y c o n t r i b u t i o n t o a compulsory l e v y o f one and a h a l f B h a t t i s ( B h a t t i = 80 Seers) o f r i c e , and a sum o f n i n e Annas and e i g h t p i e s p e r house p e r annum. He a l s o c a l l e d upon h i s f o l l o w e r s t o g u a r d h i s d w e l l i n g i n t u r n s . The watchmen were c a l l e d Cfcavadikaras o r 'men o f t h e C h a v a d i ' , a name w h i c h was l a t e r u s e d f o r t h e R a j a ' s t r o o p s . The p r i e s t p o l i t i c i a n n e x t d e c l a r e d h i m s e l f r u l e r o f H a l e r i and s u r r o u n d i n g Nads, and t h e c h i e f s r u l i n g o v e r s m a l l a r e a s o f Coorg P r o p e r s u b m i t t e d t o h i s a u t h o r i t y on c o n d i t i o n t h a t he a l l o w e d them t o keep t o t h e m s e l v e s t h r e e q u a r t e r s o f t h e revenue c o l l e c t e d by them f r o m t h e i r s u b j e c t s , and pay o n l y a f o u r t h t o him as t h e i r o v e r l o r d . The R a j a ' s a u t h o r i t y c o n t i n u e d t o i n c r e a s e . The t r o u b l e s o m e c h i e f s were g r a d u a l l y e l i m i n a t e d , and o n l y t h o s e who d i d n o t c o n s t i t u t e a t h r e a t t o h i s a u t h o r i t y were a l l o w e d t o s u r v i v e (1952: 1 2 ) . (3)  S r i n i v a s g i v e s some h i n t s a b o u t I s l a m i c d i f f u s i o n i n t o C o o r g , b u t a v o i d s any subsequent e x p l i c a t i o n s . Dr. Muthanna, however, d i s c u s s e s t h i s a s s e r t i o n i n more d e t a i l (1953: 3 0 0 f f ) .  (4)  A c c o r d i n g t o Emeneau, who d i d f i e l d work among t h e Coorgs i n t h e e a r l y t h i r t i e s , t h e k i n s h i p s y s t e m o f t h e "Kodavas" (Coorgs) c a n be d e f i n e d as f o l l o w s : a) There i s no s e l f - r e c i p r o c a t i n g t e r m i n o l o g y . I n Ego's g e n e r a t i o n h i s s i b l i n g s and c l a s s i f i c a t o r y p a r a l l e l c o u s i n s on t h e one hand and h i s c l a s s i f i c a t o r y c r o s s - c o u s i n s on t h e o t h e r hand a r e i n d i c a t e d by terms w h i c h d e n o t e age o l d e r t h a n h i m s e l f and younger t h a n h i m s e l f r e s p e c t i v l e y . C o n s e q u e n t l y , none o f t h e terms used w i t h i n Ego's g e n e r a t i o n a r e s e l f - r e c i p r o c a l s . b) No t e r m i s f o u n d d e n o t i n g an i n d i v i d u a l whose sex i s u n s p e c i f i e d . B u t t h e r e a r e some c o l l e c t i v e s w h i c h c l a s s t h e s e x e s t o g e t h e r . c) S i b l i n g s and c l a s s i f i c a t o r y p a r a l l e l c o u s i n s a r e c l a s s e d t o gether i n each generation. d) I n Ego's g e n e r a t i o n a d i c h o t o m y i s made i n c l a s s i f i c a t i o n on t h e b a s i s o f age e l d e r o r younger t h a n h i m s e l f . I n t h e f i r s t a s c e n d i n g g e n e r a t i o n , Ego's f a t h e r ' s m a l e s i b l i n g s arid p a r a l l e l c o u s i n s a r e p e r m i s s i v e l y d i c h o t o m i z e d on t h e b a s i s o f age e l d e r o r younger t h a n t h e father"*s,and Ego's mother's f e m a l e s i b l i n g s and p a r a l l e l c o u s i n s a r e p e r m i s s i v e l y d i c h o t o m i z e d on t h e b a s i s o f age o l d e r o r  -152-  e) f)  g) h) i)  j) k) 1)  younger t h a n t h e mother's. The f a t h e r i s d i s t i n g u i s h e d f r o m h i s b r o t h e r s , and t h e mother from h e r s i s t e r s . Ego's g e n e r a t i o n and t h e f i r s t a s c e n d i n g g e n e r a t i o n shows a u s e o f terms p e r f e c t l y i n a c c o r d w i t h a s t r i c t system o f c r o s s - c o u s i n marriage. F u r t h e r , no t e r m i n o l o g i c a l d i s t i n c t i o n i s made between s i b l i n g s and c l a s s i f i c a t o r y p a r a l l e l c o u s i n s o f any degree o f r e moteness. C o n s e q u e n t l y , i n t h e f i r s t a s c e n d i n g g e n e r a t i o n t h e r e i s a s e p a r a t e t e r m f o r t h e f a t h e r ' s s i s t e r s and p a r a l l e l f e m a l e c o u s i n s , and t h i s i s u s e d a l s o f o r t h e mother's m a l e c r o s s - c o u s i n s and h e r male s i b l i n g s ' and p a r a l l e l male c o u s i n s ' w i v e s ; similarl y , t h e r e i s a s e p a r a t e t e r m f o r t h e mother's b r o t h e r s and p a r a l l e l male c o u s i n s , and t h i s i s u s e d a l s o f o r t h e f a t h e r ' s m a l e c r o s s c o u s i n s and h i s f e m a l e s i b l i n g s ' and p a r a l l e l f e m a l e c o u s i n s ' husbands. I n Ego's g e n e r a t i o n t h e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n o f c r o s s - c o u s i n a p p l i e s t o a l l t h e c h i l d r e n o f those i n t h e f i r s t ascending generat i o n who a r e c l a s s e d a c c o r d i n g t o t h e p r e c e e d i n g two s e n t e n c e s . I n t h e f i r s t d e s c e n d i n g : g e n e r a t i o n a d i s t i n c t i o n i s made between two g r o u p s , t h e c h i l d r e n o f one's s i b l i n g s o r p a r a l l e l c o u s i n s o f t n e same s e x a s o n e s e l f and o f one's c r o s s - c o u s i n s o f t h e o p p o s i t e s e x a s o n e s e l f , and t h e c h i l d r e n o f one's s i b l i n g s o r p a r a l l e l c o u s i n s o f t h e o p p o s i t e s e x f r o m o n e s e l f and o f one's c r o s s - c o u s i n s o f t h e same s e x a s o n e s e l f . Members o f t h e former a r e p o s s i b l e mates o f members o f t h e l a t t e r . The terms t h a t w o u l d a p p l y t o Ego's mate's r e l a t i v e s i f t h e mate were a c r o s s - c o u s i n a p p l y a l s o t o t h o s e r e l a t i v e s when t h e mate i s not a cross-cousin. A step-mother i s c a l l e d b y t h e same t e r m a s a s i s t e r o f t h e m o t h e r , a s t e p - f a t h e r b y t h e same name a s a b r o t h e r o f t h e f a t h e r . Two c l a s s e s i n t h e f i r s t d e s c e n d i n g g e n e r a t i o n y i e l d one c l a s s o n l y i n t h e second d e s c e n d i n g g e n e r a t i o n ; t h e r e a r e two t e r m s , one f o r each sex, f o r g r a n d c h i l d r e n . F o r these a c o l l e c t i v e term i s found d i s r e g a r d i n g sex. S i m i l a r l y , t h e second a s c e n d i n g g e n e r a t i o n i s d i v i d e d o n l y on t h e b a s i s o f sex. The t h i r d a s c e n d i n g g e n e r a t i o n , l i k e t h e s e c o n d , has two terms d i f f e r e n t i a t i n g sex. F o r t h e t h i r d d e s c e n d i n g g e n e r a t i o n t h e r e a r e no u n i t a r y t e r m s , o n l y p h r a s e s . A l l t h e above s t a t e m e n t s a r e v a l i d whether Ego i s m a l e o r f e m a l e . F o r husband and w i f e t h e r e a r e s e p e r a t e t e r m s , Odeye and P o n n i r e s p e c t i v e l y (Emeneau 1931/1967: 353-6).  (5)  E x c e r p t f r o m I n t e r v i e w # 2 w i t h Dr. Muthanna (November 1982).  (6)  E x c e r p t f r o m I n t e r v i e w # 1 w i t h Dr. Muthanna (October  (7)  T.N. Madan, e d i t o r o f C o n t r i b u t i o n s t o I n d i a n S o c i o l o g y (NS)gives a n i n - d e p t h r e c o u n t o f S r i n i v a s ' academic c a r e e r and t h e s t a t e o f I n d i a n 7Anthropology and S o c i o l o g y a t t h e t i m e when t h e d a t a f o r t h e Coorg book were g a t h e r e d . F o r f u r t h e r d e t a i l s , see C o n t r i b u t i o n s . . . ( 1 9 7 8 : I f f ) .  (8)  My i n f o r m a n t s u g g e s t s t h a t t h e Coorgs were f i r s t c a l l e d " K s h a t r i y a s "  1982).  -153by t h e B r i t i s h who wanted t h e i r s e r v i c e s t o f i g h t a g a i n s t r e b e l l i o u s g r o u p s o n Canara (1837), and who t h o u g h t t h a t t h e Coorgs " f i t t e d t h e d e s c r i p t i o n o f ' M a r t i a l Race' w e l l (Muthanna 1982: I n t e r v i e w # 2 ) . (9)  ...nor employ Brahmin p r i e s t s , n o r wear t h e " s a c r e d t h r e a d " , n o r a r e v e g e t a r i a n s and t e e t o t a l l e r s .  (10)  E x c e r p t f r o m I n t e r v i e w # 2. R i c h t e r , I y e r , S r i n i v a s , Subbayya, e t c . a l s o mention t h i s f a c t i n p a s s i n g b u t I c o u l d n o t f i n d any c l e a r h i s t o r i c a l r e f e r e n c e t o b a c k up t h i s a s s e r t i o n .  (11)  I n t e r v i e w # 2.  (12)  See S r i n i v a s (1952: 56) f o r a d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e g e n e r a l s o c i a l f u n c t i o n o f t h e " f a m i l y - f r i e n d " ( A r u v a ) . F o r t h i s argument i t s u f f i c e s t o s t r e s s t h a t the Aruva i s n o t a r i t u a l s p e c i a l i s t , i . e . , a p r i e s t . . . . ( s e e a l s o p . 36, F o o t n o t e # ( 1 5 ) ) .  (13)  R i c h t e r (1870: 1 3 5 f f ) i s t h e o n l y one who o f f e r s a t r a n s l a t e d v e r s i o n o f t h e B a t t e - P a t . A c c o r d i n g t o him, t h i s i s a " l i t e r a l " t r a n s l a t i o n from t h e — a t t h e time — u n w r i t t e n " o r i g i n a l " : God A l m i g h t y , l i v e a n d r u l e , R u l e a s o u r L o r d a n d God. Rule as Sovereign, oh K i n g ! On t h e s u r f a c e o f t h e e a r t h Coorg i s l i k e a s t r i n g o f p e a r l s , Though one o f t h e s m a l l e s t kingdoms; I n t h i s land they count twelve v a l l e y s , And t h e Nads a r e t h i r t y - f i v e ; B u t i n o u r Nad f o r e v e r , Like a flow'r o f paradise, Blooms t h e name o f A p p a r a n d r a . I n t h i s Apparandra house L i v e d a man o f r e p u t a t i o n . Mandanna, t h e m i g h t y h e r o When he o f f e r e d a p e t i t i o n To t h e r u l e r o f t h e c o u n t r y , F o r a g o o d l y Jamma-land. He r e c e i v e d i t a s a p r e s e n t . F o r h i s money he now bought H o l e y a s t o be h i s s e r v a n t s , And t h e y l a b o u r e d o n h i s farm. B u l l o c k s too, h i s f i e l d s t o plough, He p r o c u r e d f o r heavy money, And c o m p l e t e d a l l h i s l a b o u r s . When he now l i v e d c o m f o r t a b l y , Mandanna, t h e m i g h t y h e r o ,  -154I n h i s mind was m e d i t a t i n g , And w i t h i n h i m s e l f he pondered C o n s t a n t l y t h i s one i d e a : ' I have r i c e and c o s t l y garments b u t no one t o d r e s s and n o u r i s h ; I have p r e c i o u s s t o n e s and j e w e l s B u t where i s t h e w i f e t o wear them? In a household without c h i l d r e n V a i n i s a l l o u r t o i l and t r o u b l e . NoI, t h e r e i s n o t h e r e on e a r t h W i t h o u t w i f e b l i s s o r enjoyment. I f a task i s without water Has i t n o t been dug i n v a i n ? And a g a r d e n w i t h o u t f l o w e r s , Has i t n o t i n v a i n been p l a n t e d ? Who w o u l d l i k e t o e a t c o l d r i c e , V o i d o f c u r d s and v o i d o f s a l t ? Sons must be i n o u r house, And o u r rooms be f u l l o f c h i l d r e n ' . So he t h o u g h t w i t h i n h i m s e l f . And, one l o v e l y Sunday m o r n i n g , When t h e s i l v e r y dew was s p a r k l i n g , t o o k a m e a l and d r e s s e d h i m s e l f ; J o i n e d h i s hands i n a d o r a t i o n To t h e a n c e s t o r s and God. S e n t a man t o c a l l h i s Ar'wa, To c o n d u c t him on t h e j o u r n e y , Took h i s s t i c k adorned w i t h s i l v e r , And t h e n s t a r t e d w i t h h i s f r i e n d , Where between t h e woody mountains Thrones t h e l o f t y K u t t a m a l e ; Wandring t h r o u g h t h e h i l l y c o u n t r y , He went o f f t o seek a w i f e , T i l l h i s s o l e s wore o f f w i t h w a l k i n g . . . . F o r a l o n g t i m e he t r a v e l s f r o m Okka t o Okka i n s e a r c h o f a s u i t a b l e w i f e . F i n a l l y , a f t e r much h a r d s h i p , he a r r i v e s a t a w e a l t h y house and s e e s a b e a u t i f u l young g i r l . He t a l k s t o h e r f a t h e r : ...'.Those (daughters) t h a t went, L e t them be happy! G i v e me h e r , who s t i l l r e m a i n s ' . Spoke a g a i n t o him t h e L a n d l o r d : ' T e l l me, why you c a l l me f a t h e r ? ' Then spoke Mandanna, t h e c l e v e r : ' I have seen y o u r l o v e l y d a u g h t e r T h a t i s why I c a l l you f a t h e r . Evermore w i t h a d m i r a t i o n You b e h o l d t h e s t a t e l y p a l m - t r e e ; I f a t r e e i s p o o r and c r i p p l e d , You f o r g e t t o l o o k upon i t ' . Then t h e f a t h e r spoke a g a i n :  -155'I w i l l l e t y o u have t h e d a u g h t e r , Give a pledge, that you w i l l take h e r . 'Shake, t h e n , hands w i t h me', r e p l i e d Mandanna, and a s a p l e d g e Take f r o m me t h i s p i e c e o f money'. A f t e r t h i s the father sent F o r h i s Ar'wa t o a s s i s t h i m I n t h e wedding ceremony; Women swept t h e house and chambers, f i l l e d the store-room w i t h p r o v i s i o n s , F o r t h e merry wedding f e a s t . Where t h e b e a u t y - b r a z e n lamp From t h e c e i l i n g i s suspended Ar'was a n d n e a r r e l a t i v e s Gome t o g e t h e r f r o m b o t h houses. S t o o d and s e t t l e d t h e engagement And t h e l u c k y d a y o f wedding. Whereupon t h e happy b r i d e g r o o m gave h i s b r i d e a g o l d e n n e c k l a c e As a p l e d g e ; a n d e i g h t days l a t e r , Was t h e wedding c e l e b r a t e d ( T r a n s l a t i o n b y A. G r a e b e r , c a . 1860). 1  Dr. Muthanna t o l d me t h a t N. Chinnappa, a p o l i c e o f f i c i a l , who h a d t r a v e l l e d e x t e n s i v e l y i n Coorg d i s t r i c t , p u b l i s h e d a c o l l e c t i o n o f t r a d i t i o n a l Coorg f o l k songs, t a l e s , and p r o v e r b s i n 1928. H i s work i s c a l l e d " P a t t o l e Palame" a n d i s w r i t t e n i n K o d a v a - d i a l e c t , u s i n g Kannada s c r i p t . I n c i d e n t a l l y , D r . Muthanna i s p r e s e n t l y w o r k i n g a t the t r a n s l a t i o n o f t h e " P a t t o l e Palame" i n t o E n g l i s h . (14)  The d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e e n t i r e "Kanni-Mangala" i s based o n m a t e r i a l c o l l e c t e d from I y e r (1948: 4 1 - 3 ) , S r i n i v a s (1952: 70-100; 124-76), Muthanna (1953: 323-3), Mysore S t a t e G a z e t t e e r (1965: 114-6), and Subbayya (1978: 165-7).  (15)  The two A r u v a s o f f i c i a t e two r i t u a l s w i t h i n t h e r e a l m o f t h e " K a n n i Mangala" : one i s t h e Mangala K u r i p a (the f o r m a l engagement) a n d t h e Sammanda (the p r o f a n e l e g a l i z a t i o n o f t h e m a r r i a g e ) . CHAPTER I  (16)  F o r f u r t h e r d e t a i l s s e e I y e r ( o p . c i t . 1948), M u t h a n n a ( o p . c i t . 1953, 1974), a n d Subbayya (op. c i t . 1978)-under " H i s t o r y o f t h e Coorgs".  (17)  A c c o r d i n g t o D r . Muthanna, "impure m a t t e r " , f o r t h e C o o r g s , e n t a i l s the f o l l o w i n g : e m i s s i o n s c o n n e c t e d w i t h b i r t h and d e a t h ; e m i s s i o n s c o n n e c t e d w i t h m e n s t r u a t i n g women. P h y s i c a l c o n t a c t w i t h "impure m a t t e r " (or i t s c a r r i e r ) p o l l u t e s a Coorg i n d i f f e r e n t - b u t l i m i t e d ways, a n d f o r a l i m i t e d t i m e ( I n t e r v i e w # 2 ) .  -156CHAPTER I I (18)  Homo H i e r a r c h i e s (1970: 65-81).  (19)  McKim M a r r i o t t and Ronald B. Inden, "Caste Systems", Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th ed.(Chicago 1974), Macropaedia I I I , pp. 981-91. Marriott and Inden, "Toward an Ethnosociology of South Asian Caste Systems"(1973). Paper presented a t the IXth International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences;(published 1976 i n : The New Wind: Changing I d e n t i t i e s i n South A s i a , ed. Kenneth A. David, World Anthropological Series; The Hague: Mouton). Inden, Marriage and Rank i n Bengali Culture (1976), Univ. o f C a l i f o r n i a Press, (Berkeley).  (20)  For further d e t a i l , see Muthanna (1953: "A Race o f F i g h t i n g Stock", and 1974 "General Cariappa"; " L t . General ThLmmayya").  (21)  Srinivas continues t o say that: ....The other important tenure i n Coorg was "Sagu", i n which not only was land assessed a t ten rupees per hundred "Bhattis" o f land, being twice the rate f o r "Jamma" land, but also the holder was l i a b l e t o render every type o f service t o the state except m i l i t a r y service. During Richter's time, but f o r f o r t y Coorgs, a l l the people holding land on "Sagu" tenure were non-Coorgs (Ibid: 17).  (22)  " A r i s t o c r a t i c " , i n t h i s context, r e f e r s t o h i s t o r i c a l data which were used by Srinivas i n h i s Coorg book. On page 32 he says: "Coorgs c o n s t i tuted the a r i s t o c r a c y under the Lingayat Rajas, holding important pos i t i o n s i n the administration and very nearly monopolizing the army" .  (23)  Census o f India 1931 (op. c i t . ) .  (24)  The Jajmani system ("jajmani"= tne p r i v i l e g e o f performing the function of domestic p r i e s t , barber, helper on the occasion of a marriage (!) — according to a Hindi d i c t i o n a r y ) . . . "makes use o f hereditary personal r e l a t i o n s h i p s t o express the d i v i s i o n o f labour: each family has a f a mily o f s p e c i a l i s t s a t i t s d i s p o s a l f o r each s p e c i a l i z e d task. Secondl y , i t regulates prestations and counter-prestations i n a way which accords with custom: f o r the usual tasks, repayment i s i n kind: i t i s not made i n d i v i d u a l l y f o r each p a r t i c u l a r prestation but i s spread over the whole year, as i s natural f o r the permanent r e l a t i o n s h i p i n an a g r i c u l t u r a l s e t t i n g : a l i t t l e food may be provided each day,,and there i s always the r i g h t t o a f i x e d quantity o f g r a i n a t harvest time, and f i n a l l y there  -157a r e o b l i g a t o r y p r e s e n t s ( o f t e n o f money) on t h e o c c a s i o n o f t h e m a i n f e s t i v a l s o f t h e y e a r and, above a l l , a t t h e m a j o r f a m i l y ceremonies, w h i c h a r e advantageous o c c a s i o n s f o r t h e " P r a j a " (= s u b j e c t ) o f t h e house. A f a c t w h i c h u n d e r l i n e s t h e l i m i t e d b u t e f f e c t i v e s o l i d a r i t y w h i c h i s t h u s s e t up between "Jajman" (= p a t r o n ) and " P r a j a " i s t h a t i n many r e g i o n s t h o s e who a r e c o n s i d e r e d t h e m a i n s e r v a n t s o f t h e v i l l a g e e n j o y a g i f t o f l a n d f r o m t h e ccanmunal f u n d s w h i c h a r e a t t h e d i s p o s a l o f t h e i r p a t r o n s c o l l e c t i v e l y (Dumont 1970: 98-9). Dr. Muthanna a g r e e d t o t r a n s l a t e p a r t s o f t h e " P a t t o l e Palame" f o r me. Here i s one e x c e r p t f r o m t h e " O l d Kodagu Song D e a l i n g W i t h The D i v i s i o n s Of The Land": . . . I t i s s a i d t h a t l o n g back T h i s u n i t was formed By j u s t t w e l v e Kombus. What a r e t h e s e Kombus? They a r e n ' t t h e b r a n c h e s Of t e a k o r banyon t r e e s , N e i t h e r were t h o s e h o r n s Of b u l l o c k s o r d e e r ; Nor t h o s e a r e l o n g p o l e s Used t o c a r r y p a l a n q u i n s . L i s t e n , oh f r i e n d s , l i s t e n : The Kombu i s a f i n e Conch made o f b r o n z e For blowing o u t i n f r e e z e , To warm up and a l e r t The w o r l d t h a t s l e e p s . I n t h e days o f y o r e When k i n g s r u l e d a l l o v e r , W i t h kingdoms numerous To s e e s c o r e s o f c h i e f s , T h a t H a l e r i c h i e f o f Coorg Kodagu - a s i t was c a l l e d , Got a b r o n z e h o r n blown W i t h a sound c l e a r and s t e r n T h a t was h e a r d f o r m i l e s Up t o c e r t a i n l i m i t s I t was marked - a c o u n t r y , Or a borough i t c o u l d b e ; From t h a t p o i n t o n The b r o n z e was a g a i n blown /And t h a t c e r t a i n l y d i d Mark t h e c o u n t r y - t h e second; Then a g a i n t h e t h i r d And a g a i n t h e f o u r t h , Thus i n a l l formed t w e l v e State d i v i s i o n s t o serve,  -158As c o u n t r i e s o r boroughs Which were p i e c e d i n t o Nads, Smaller pockets o f u n i t s W i t h t h i r t y - f i v e Nads.... (26)  The e n t i r e c h a r a c t e r o f Coorg j e w e l l e r y u n d e r l i n e s t h e i r s t a t u s a n d wealth. W h i l e t h e a v e r a g e H i n d u woman i n S o u t h I n d i a wears f e w p i e c e s o f g o l d a n d p r e c i o u s s t o n e s ( f o r i n s t a n c e , t h e T a l i i s f r e q u e n t l y made o f s t r i n g a n d h a s a g o l d pendant o r a bead a t t a c h e d (Beck 1964: 1 1 4 ) ) , t h e a v e r a g e Coorg woman wears g o l d / s i l v e r e a r - r i n g s , g o l d / s i l v e r c h a i n s , r i n g s , w r i s t b a n d s , a n d f o o t - j e w e l s . H e r T a l i (which h a s no r i t u a l i m p o r t a n c e ) i s made o f p u r e g o l d a n d h a s a pendant o f p r e c i o u s s t o n e s . As m e n t i o n e d e a r l i e r , e v e n men wear, b y c o m p a r i s o n , much j e w e l s a n d o r naments.  (27)  I n t e r v i e w # 2.  (28)  T a l k i n g a b o u t t h e p h y s i c a l d i f f e r e n c e s between Coorgs a n d t h e s u r r o u n d i n g D r a v i d i a n a s m m u n i t i e s , he t o l d me a b o u t h i s e x p e r i e n c e s w i t h t h e Coorgs. F o r him, t o o , i t i s n o t s u r p r i s i n g t h a t t h e Coorgs were c o n s i d e r e d a s members o f t h e K s h a t r i y a c a s t e . They a r e much t a l l e r t h a n t h e D r a v i d i a n s , and t h e d i f f e r e n c e s i n d r e s s and manners a r e s t r i k i n g .  (29)  Muthanna (1953: 13-25), Subbayya (1978: 155-64). CHAPTER I I I  (30)  I was n o t a b l e t o v e r i f y t h i s a s s e r t i o n w i t h r e f e r e n c e t o t h e l i t e r a t u r e .  (31)  D r . Muthanna emphazised t h a t men a n d women u s u a l l y e a t t o g e t h e r . Howe v e r , i f g u e s t s a r e b e i n g e n t e r t a i n e d , men e a t f i r s t — due t o s p a c e l i m i t a t i o n s (Interview # 1 ) .  (32)  I n t e r v i e w # 2. CHAPTER TV  (33)  I n t e r e s t i n g l y enough, t h e n o t i o n o f a "continuum" i n C o o r g r e a l i t y i s c e n t e r e d a r o u n d t h e Okka p e r s e a n d n o t around i t s members; t h a t i s , t h e Okka h a s t o be m a i n t a i n e d t h r o u g h t h e c o n t i n u a t i o n o f t h e d e s c e n t l i n e , and n o t , a s i s t h e c a s e f o r H i n d u s , t h e d e s c e n t - l i n e h a s t o be maintained i n order t o secure a meritable a f t e r l i f e *  (34)  He a l s o m e n t i o n s t h a t Coorgs do n o t a l w a y s u s e a s t r o l o g e r s , moreover, t h a t i t i s a n i n d i v i d u a l . d e c i s i o n i f an a s t r o l o g e r s h o u l d be c o n s u l t e d o r n o t ( S r i n i v a s 1952: 3 9 ) .  -159(35)  See Muthanna (1953: 3 2 7 ) . CHAPTER V  (36)  S r i n i v a s c o n t e n d s t h a t t h e Coorgs a d o p t e d " h i g h - c a s t e H i n d u c o n c e p t s and v a l u e s " . T h i s w o u l d mean t h a t t h e y emulated t h e Brahmanic model, s i n c e no o t h e r " h i g h - c a s t e " communities ( K s h a t r i y a s o r V a i s y a s ) l i v e d i n t h e a r e a . The K a r n a t a k a Brahmins, t h e n , r e p r e s e n t a n adequate " e x a m i n a t i o n - u n i t " f o r c o m p a r a t i v e a n a l y s i s ; t h e y a r e t h e most f r e q u e n t l y f o u n d " h i g h - c a s t e " group i n Southwest K a r n a t a k a .  (37)  Madhuparka (madhu = honey) i s a v e r y t a s t y m i x t u r e o f c u r d s , m i l k , ghee, s u g a r , ajronin a n d honey. I t i s u s u a l l y s e r v e d i n a b r a s s b o w l . To r e c e i v e Madhuparka i s a h i g h honor. I t i s t h e g e s t u r e t r a d i t i o n a l l y made o n l y t o gods and v e r y d i s t i n g u i s h e d men, s u c h a s k i n g s ( S r i n i v a s : 1942: 7 2 ) . To g i v e Madhuparka t o t h e groom i s n o t a r e g i o n a l custom, b u t i s c l e a r l y mentioned i n t h e G r i h y a S u t r a s (Panday 1949: 3 6 6 ) .  (38)  "Ugra means ' s t r o n g , f o r m i d a b l e , t e r r i b l e , v i o l e n t , a n g r y , p a s s i o n a t e , c r u e l , f i e r c e , pungent, h o t , h i g h , n o b l e . I t i s a l s o t h e name o f a mixed t r i b e , descended f r o m a K s h a t r i y a f a t h e r and Shudra mother, and o f M a l a b a r . " ( S a n s k r i t - E n g l i s h D i c t i o n a r y , O x f o r d , 1899, p. 172; i n S r i n i v a s 1952: 3 3 ) .  -159a-  B I B L I O G R A P H Y  -160-  Ahmad, I m t i a z 1972  "For a Sociology o f I n d i a . " S o c i o l o g y , 4: 172-7.  I n : Contributions t o Indian  Appfel-Marglin, Frederique 1978 Concepts o f Power i n H i n d u Thought and A c t i o n . P a p e r p r e s e n t e d a t t h e annual meeting o f t h e American A n t h r o p o l o g i c a l A s s o c i a t i o n i n L o s A n g e l e s ; Nov. 1 4 t h - 1 8 t h 1978 ( u n p u b l i s h e d ) . B a r t h , F r e d r i k (ed.) 1969 E t h n i c Groups and B o u n d a r i e s . Company.  Boston:  L i t t l e , Brown and  Beck, B r e n d a E.F. 1964 "The F.xamination o f M a r r i a g e R i t u a l among S e l e c t e d Groups i n S o u t h I n d i a . " O x f o r d : U n p u b l i s h e d B. L i t t . T h e s i s . C a r r o l l , Lucy 1977  " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " , " W e s t e r n i z a t i o n " , and " S o c i a l M o b i l i t y " : A R e a p p r a i s a l o f t h e R e l e v a n c e o f A n t h r o p o l o g i c a l Concepts t o t h e S o c i a l H i s t o r i a n o f Modern I n d i a . I n : J o u r n a l o f A n t h r o p o l o g i c a l R e s e a r c h , V o l . 33, 4: 355-69.  Connor, L t . 1870  Memoir o f t h e Codagu S u r v e y .  Bangalore:  UBC - M i c r o - f i c h e .  D o u g l a s , Mary 1966  P u r i t y and Danger.  London:  R o u t l e d g e and Kegan P a u l .  Dumont, L o u i s 1970 Homo H i e r a r c h i c u s . C h i c a g o : U n i v . o f C h i c a g o P r e s s . Dumont, L o u i s and P o c o c k , D a v i d F. 1959 "On t h e D i f f e r e n t A s p e c t s o r L e v e l s i n H i n d u i s m . " I n : C o n t r i b u t i o n s t o I n d i a n S o c i o l o g y , 3: 40-54. Emeneau, M.B. 1967 C o l l e c t e d P a p e r s . ( D r a v i d i a n L i n g u i s t i c s , E t h n o l o g y and F o l k t a l e s . ) AnnamaLainagar: Annamalaa U n i v e r s i t y ; ( f i r s t publ i s h e d 1931). Geertz, C l i f f o r d 1973 The I n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f C u l t u r e s . Publishers.  New Y o r k :  B a s i c Books, I n c . ,  -161-  Government o f I n d i a 1901  Census o f I n d i a ; Vol.., X I .  1931  Census o f I n d i a ; V o l . X I I I .  1941  Census o f I n d i a ; V o l . 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