Open Collections

UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

"Kanni-Mangala" : a microcosm of Coorg identity toward an alternative interpretation and analysis of.. 1984

You don't seem to have a PDF reader installed, try download the pdf

Item Metadata

Download

Media
UBC_1984_A8 O97.pdf [ 8.41MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 1.0096389.json
JSON-LD: 1.0096389+ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 1.0096389.xml
RDF/JSON: 1.0096389+rdf.json
Turtle: 1.0096389+rdf-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 1.0096389+rdf-ntriples.txt
Citation
1.0096389.ris

Full Text

c -1 ( "KANNI-MANGAIA" : A MICROCOSM OF COORG IDENTITY 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 and A n a l y s i s o f the Coorg Marriage Ceremony by P e t e r Franz 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 IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Anthropology) We accept, t h i s t h e s i s as conforming t o the r e q u i r e d standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA February 1984 (c) P e t e r Franz Owsanecki, 1984 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the requirements f o r an advanced degree a t the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and study. I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e copying o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the head o f my department o r by h i s o r her r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s understood t h a t copying o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be allowed without my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . P e t e r F. Owsanecki ) Department o f ANTHROPOLOGY AND SOCIOLOGY . The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date March 5th, 1984 DE-6 (3/81) 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 the o n l y a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l monograph on the Coorgs o f South I n d i a , proposes t h a t they are " s a n s k r i t i z e d " , t h a t i s , t h a t they adopted Hindu concepts and b e l i e f s i n order 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 of the Kshatriya-Varna. C o n c e p t u a l i z i n g the marriage ceremony as a "microcosm" o f Coorg i d e n t i t y , t h i s t h e s i s argues f o r t h e i r " m u l t i p l e " r e a l i t y i n which aspects o f a d i s t i n c t e t h n i c i d e n t i - t y are 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 from H i n - duism. Based on the s t r u c t u r a l l y opposed concepts 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 " the Coorg marriage ceremony i s analyzed according t o f o u r "symbolic complexes" (cosmic connections, w a r r i o r / r u l e r a t t i t u d e s , farmer/householder symbolism and expressions o f k i n - r e l a t i o n s ) which, i n t u r n , are seen as r e p l i c a t i o n s o f the make-up o f Coorg s o c i a l s t r u c - t u r e . I t i s argued 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 order: t h a t o f "respect", d e f i n i n g c u l t u r e - s p e c i f i c expressions 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 " , used as 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 Hindu communities. F u r t h e r , t h i s t h e s i s argues t h a t symbolic r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s of power and a u t h o r i t y outweigh those which 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 of w a r r i o r s and landowners who a t t a c h more importance t o the maintenance and p e r p e t u a t i o n o f t h e i r i n t r a - c u l t u r a l r i t u a l and s o c i a l s o l i d a r i t y than t o aspects o f i n t e g r a t i o n w i t h i n the Hindu - i i i - f o l d . However, the Coorgs adopted a l i m i t e d number o f Hindu concepts and b e l i e f s i n order 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 w i t h regard t o s o c i o - r e l i g i o u s s t a t u s and m a t e r i a l wealth. As a con- sequence, they developed a " d u a l i s t i c " i d e n t i t y which a l l o w s them to operate on an extended, b i l a t e r a l l e v e l o f understanding. The t h e s i s concludes w i t h some remarks on the 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 from a "H i n d u - c e n t r i c " p o i n t o f view and argues f o r the n e c e s s i t y o f a l t e r n a t i v e approaches toward the study o f non-mainstream Hindu s o c i e t i e s . - i v - T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S ABSTRACT i i ACKNOWLFJDGEMENTS v i i INTRODUCTION: A. Foreword 1 B. Methodological Remarks 4 C. The Ethnographic Data 9 D. "Sanskritization" Reviewed 14 E. The "Kanni-Mangala": An Overview 26 CHAPTER I: THE COSMIC CONNECTION. A. Prologue 39 B. Cosmic Connections Reflected i n the "K-M"... 40 C. Summary 58 CHAPTER II: WARRIOR/RULER ATTITUDES. A. Prologue 60 B. Coorg Notions of Power Reflected 62 C. Summary 81 CHAPTER III: FARMER/HOUSEHOLDER SYMBOLISM. A. Prologue 83 B. Aspects of Growth and Prosperity 86 C. Summary 94 CHAPTER TV: THE KINSMAN A. Prologue 96 B. Kin-Symbolism within the "Kanni-Mangala" 99 C. Summary 110 CHAPTER V: COMPARATIVE IMPLICATIONS A. Prologue 112 B. The Karnataka Brahmin Marriage Ceremony 114 C. Comparative Analysis 130 Ci. Resemblances 133 C i i . Differences 137 C i i i . Discussion 141 CONCLUSION 148 FOOTNOTES 150 BIBLIOGRAPHY 160 -v- L I S T O F T A B L E S TABLE A - Methodological Flow-Chart 7 TABLE B - Symbolic Complexes w i t h i n the "Kanni-Mangala" 33 TABLE C - Cosmic Connections M a g n i f i e d 42 TABLE D - Ex t e n s i o n o f MURTA 52 TABLE E - Coorg Power Expressions 63 TABLE F - Growth/Prosperity Symbolism 87 TABLE G - Kin-Symbolism 101 TABLE H - Symbolic Codes w i t h i n the Karnataka Brahmin weddingl20 TABLE I - C o r r e l a t i o n o f "segments o f examination" 132 - v i - L I S T OF F I G U R E S 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 - v i i - A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S I wish t o thank the members o f my committee, Dr. Ken Bu r r i d g e , Dr. E l v i Whittaker and Dr. Judy Pugh f o r t h e i r guidance and support d u r i n g the 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 her h e l p i n the 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 thank my collea 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 pa t i e n c e . I want t o acknowledge the a s s i s t a n c e o f Maureen Braam, who was k i n d enough t o type much o f the f i n a l copy o f t h i s t h e s i s . Dr. I.M. Muthanna was in 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 - mation on the Coorgs; my thanks 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 parents: w i t h - out t h e i r l o v e and support I would not have been a b l e t o do t h i s work. I N T R O D U C T I O N A. FOREWORD: The t o p i c of t h i s t h e s i s r e f l e c t s a problem t h a t I was f o r c e d t o con s i d e r i n the course of my l i b r a r y r e s e a r c h on the Coorgs o f South I n d i a : i t was the problem o f understanding 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 both i n terms o f t h e i r i d e n t i t y as an e t h n i c group, and i n terms of t h e i r a f f i l i a t i o n w i t h the Hindu ca s t e system. The o b j e c t i v e o f my re s e a r c h d e r i v e d from y e t another problem t h a t I encountered when studying the ethnographic m a t e r i a l on the Coorgs: although there are some data d e s c r i b i n g t h e i r recorded 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 , econ- omy, and r e l i g i o n , o n l y M.N. S r i n i v a s attempted t o determine 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 the wider Hindu context. I n h i s mono- graph R e l i g i o n and S o c i e t y among the Coorgs o f South I n d i a (1952), he proposed t h a t the Coorgs can be considered as c a s t e Hindus and t h a t they, i n f a c t , c l a i m t o be K s h a t r i y a s . Although o r i g i n a l l y o u t s i d e the Hindu f o l d , the Coorgs "adopted" Hindu c u l t u r e and r e l i g i o n i n order 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 the present p o s i t i o n . The o l d e r sources, however, do not mention t h i s f a c t . Moreover, they 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 very d i f f e r e n t from t h a t o f t h e i r neighbours and t h a t they 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 the maintenance of 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 as w e l l as t h e i r r e l i g i o n d e s p i t e the i n f l u e n c e o f o u t s i d e f o r c e s (see: Connor 1870, -2- Pd.ce 1878, and Richter 1870). 7After checking the more recent sources (Census of India 1901, 1931, 1941, 1971; Mysore State Gazetteer 1965; Iyer 1948; Muthanna 1953, 1974, 1982 (private interviews); Subbayya 1978; and several art i c l e s i n the "Indian Antiquity"), I found that the Coorgs were never directly c l a s s i f i e d as a caste, but frequently^ references were made "as to their cultural distinctness. I t seems that Srinivas' interpretation was influenced by his sub- jective epistemology (he i s a Brahmin himself), and, to some extent, coloured by his attempt to superimpose the (Radcliffe-Brownian) functional paradigm onto Coorg data. Resulting from his analysis of Coorg religion and society, he introduced, besides other things, the concept of "Sanskri- tization". He proposed tnat the Coorgs were a typical example of this process and stated that their r e a l i t y resembled, to a great extent, "sanskri- t i c Hindu" cultural and religious conceptions. Concentrating my own research on the re-study of the ethnographic material on the Coorgs, I discovered several weaknesses in Srinivas' approach. This led me to attempt a new formulation of Coorg r e a l i t y i n order to avoid "Hindu-centric" notions when trying to understand this society. For me, the Coorgs are not necessarily a typical example of a "sanskritized" society; instead, they seem to display clear tendencies of ethnic behavior, and to base their socio-cultural r e a l i t y more on aspects of their own traditional cosmology and socio-political independence than on aspects of Hindu world-view. Moreover, when they did adopt Hindu concepts, a modification of these concepts allowed them to maintain their own societal norms as well, and to thus broaden their cultural and r i t u a l position within the South Indian context. -3- As a f i r s t step 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 take t h e i r marriage 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 world-view i n the form o f a symbolic "microcosm". I n . a l l the ethnographic accounts t h a t I have s t u d i e d , the s o - c a l l e d "Kanni- Mangala" ( V i r g i n Marriage) i s the most f r e q u e n t l y mentioned 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 . Yet, t h i s ceremony has never been i n t e r p r e t e d o r analysed 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 degree. T h i s t h e s i s i n v e s t i g a t e s the Coorg marriage ceremony i n d e t a i l and provides a q u a s i "microscopic view" as t o how the Coorgs s y m b o l i c a l l y express 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 these 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 Hindu 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 the Coorg marriage ceremony should generate i n f e r e n c e s about the u n d e r l y i n g s t r u c t u r e and the symbolic ex- p r e s s i o n s contained i n t h i s "microcosm". T h i s , i n t u r n , w i l l l e a d t o new deductions as t o where the Coorgs are p o s i t i o n e d w i t h i n the South Indian c u l t u r a l mosaic. I n a d d i t i o n , t h i s approach avoids the 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 conceptual framework. I t uses a l l a v a i l a b l e d a t a which r e f l e c t the s p e c i f i c ways i n which the Coorgs express 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 the symbolic r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s encoded i n t h e i r marriage ceremony. -4- B. 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 based on two competing p r o p o s i t i o n s , (a) S r i n i v a s 1 , who argues f o r the " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " o f the Coorgs, and (b) my own, s t r e s s i n g t h a t the Coorgs maintained and extended t h e i r e t h n i c i d e n t i t y through the adoption o f " u s e f u l " Hindu concepts, but transformed • them i n order t o ensure 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 the Coorg marriage ceremony viewed as a c u l t u r a l "microcosm" should y i e l d r e s u l t s which can be used t o determine the r e l a t i v e v a l i d i t y o f both p r o p o s i t i o n s . " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " i s d e f i n e d , according t o S r i n i v a s (1952: 30) as 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 (and/or outside) Hinduism t o r a i s e t h e i r s t a t u s by becoming higher c a s t e s , through the adoption of " S a n s k r i t i c Hindu concepts". "Ethnic i d e n t i t y " i s d e f i n e d as a term which r e f e r s t o the n o t i o n 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 such as r e l i g i o n , s o c i a l organ- i z a t i o n , customs, and language i n order t o ensure d i s t i n c t c u l t u r a l boundaries w i t h neighbouring communities. I n t h i s c o n t e x t , then, the concepts o f " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " and "Ethnic I d e n t i t y " are seen as s t r u c t u r a l o p p o s i t i o n s based on the dichotomy o f " r i t u a l s t a t u s " (the adoption o f Brahman r i t u a l s — and w i t h i t , Brahman cosmology and world-view — without 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" (through the conscious 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 ) . -5- The 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 " processes which operate 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" as the shared 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 Hindu ideology ( g e n e r a l l y based on the n o t i o n o f h i e r a r c h y encompassed by the p u r i t y / p o l l u t i o n concept) and which sees " e t h n i c behaviour" 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 the surrounding (encompassing) i d e n t i t i e s and values o f the neighbouring c u l t u r e . E t h n i c behaviour i s seen here as a response t o the c u l t u r a l standards o f the macro (Hindu) c u l t u r e which are not (or 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 s u b - m i l i e u . I n t h i s sense, the term "tr 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 determines the c a t e g o r i z a t i o n o f Coorg marriage r i t e s t o e i t h e r the " s a n s k r i t i c " , o r t o the " e t h n i c " complex: the higher the 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 given "examination u n i t " ( = a recognized r i t u a l segment o f the marriage 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 - t i o n (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 would 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 , which 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 the forthcoming data-chapters, as w e l l as o u t l i n e the q u a l i t a t i v e t e s t i n g procedure which I conduct i n Chapter V. C o n c e p t u a l i z i n g the "Kanni-Mangala" as being the c a r r i e r o f c u l t u r e - s p e c i f i c statements which serve 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 mani- f e s t a t i o n s o f r e a l i t y , i t should be p o s s i b l e t o make i t the s u b j e c t o f a "micro-ethnography" o f Coorg c u l t u r e . Since i t i s my o b j e c t i v e - 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 which are encoded i n the "Kanni-Mangala", i t seems t o be a s e n s i b l e task t o organize the i n v e s t i g a t i o n according t o "symbolic complexes" which r e p l i c a t e the 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 s e l e c t e d f o u r such "complexes" from the ethnographic 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 each one i n a d i f f e r e n t chapter. The fou r complexes are d e f i n e d as f o l l o w s : (1) THE COSMIC CONNECTION (Chapter I ) ; d e a l s w i t h ceremonial references t o v i t a l f o r c e s and essences, aspects o f r e f i n e - ment and p u r i f i c a t i o n , the s e p a r a t i o n o f the mundane from the cosmic, and a l l other p h i l o s o p h i c a l matters concerning the 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 references t o the concept 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 dom- inance) , and the general s o c i a l s t a t u s and other matters r e - l a t e d t o the 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 the d i s t r i c t . (3) FARMER/HOUSEHOLDER SYMBOLISM (Chapter I I I ) ; r e l a t e s t o aspects o f p r o s p e r i t y , abundance, growth, and p r o d u c t i v i t y . I t deals 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 references t o the household u n i t , household space and other 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 , kin-groups, descent, and the need t o share o r h e l p persons 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 each o f the ceremonial a c t i o n s , events, and o b j e c t s , e t c . (the " r i t u a l segments" i . e . "segments o f examination") t o one (or more) o f the "symbolic complexes" as d e f i n e d above, I c r e a t e a data-base 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 then be compared w i t h a t y p i c a l brahmanic marriage ceremony (that o f the Karnataka Brahmins), i n order t o u n d e r l i n e resemblances (adoption without m o d i f i c a t i o n = evidence f o r the " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " o f these aspects o f Coorg marriage)., d i f f e r e n c e s (adoption w i t h obvious 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 transformations which determine 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 the brahmanic model. For the purpose o f t e s t i n g the v a r i a b i l i t y o f the "segments o f examination" w i t h i n the Coorg marriage ceremony i n r e l a t i o n t o the marriage ceremony o f the Karnataka Brahmins, I assume t h a t the 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 as b e i n g symptomatic, t h a t i s , normative, f o r other high-caste Hindu ccmnunities i n South I n d i a . I n o t h e r words, any d e v i a t i o n from the " c u l t u r a l (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". S r i n i v a s 1 p r o p o s i t i o n o f the " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " o f the Coorgs suggests, i n t h i s c o n text, 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 the Coorgs adopted hig h - c a s t e Hindu 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 ext e n t . 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 the other hand, f a v o r s a "high d i g r e s s i o n r a t i o " , t h a t i s , i f the Coorg adopted brahamic (or g e n e r a l l y Hindu) concepts, they m o d i f i e d and transformed them i n order 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 both p r o p o s i t i o n s a g a i n s t the r e s u l t s o f the data- chapters should provide 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 r e l a t i v e " f i t " w i t h regard t o the "normative" Hindu model. Table A provides a "flow c h a r t " o f the development, d i s c u s s i o n , and t e s t i n g o f both pro- p o s i t i o n s on the example o f the "Kanni-Mangala": TABLE A.: Methodological "Flow-chart" STEP I : 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 foreword i n h i s Coorg book) i s contested 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 " (formulated from a d d i t i o n a l e v i - dence found i n the ethnographic m a t e r i a l ) . SELECTION OF ETHNOGRAPHIC DATA-BASE FOR DISCUSSION, ANALYSIS, AND TEST OF BOTH PROPOSITIONS. -8- STEP 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 the l a r g e r wedding proceedings ("segments o f examination") are used as the u n i t s o f a n a l y s i s . For comparative pur- poses a randomly s e l e c t e d sample o f a high-caste Hindu marriage ceremony (that o f the neighbouring Karnataka Brahmins) i s analysed simultaneously : ( i n Chapter 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 the a n a l y s i s (conducted i n chapters I through IV)" are c o r r e l a t e d w i t h the comparative m a t e r i a l and t e s t e d a g a i n s t both p r o p o s i t i o n s . Example: a) The Karnataka Brahmin ceremony c o n t a i n s the use o f the "sacred f i r e " . b) The Coorg ceremony c o n t a i n s the use o f the "sacred f i r e " (which i t doesn't). Given t h a t i t does = support f o r " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " (adoption/shared usage w i t h o u t m o d i f i c a t i o n ) . b i ) The Coorg ceremony cont a i n s the use o f "sacred lamps" (which i t does). = support f o r the " e t h n i c " p r o p o s i t i o n i . e . d i f f e r e n c e 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 ) . b i i ) Coorg ceremony c o n t a i n s no reference t o the "sacred f i r e " e t c . (which i t doesn't). = no support f o r " s a n s k r i t i c " o r " e t h n i c " p r o p o s i - t i o n (unless evidence can be found f o r the r e f u s a l o f t h i s whole complex, suggesting a t h i r d k i n d o f r e l a t i o n s h i p = p o l i t i c a l e t h n i - c i t y ( p o l i t i c a l c o n f r o n t a t i o n s t r e s s e d ) ) . THE RESULTING CORRELATIONS AND ANALOGIES SERVE AS A BASIS FOR THE DETERMINATION OF THE "RELATIVE VALIDITY" OF BOTH PROPOSITIONS. STEP IV: Deduction 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 the a l t e r n a t i v e understanding o f Coorg r e a l i t y . -9- The r e s u l t s o f t h i s i n q u i r y should provide u s e f u l i n d i c a t i o n s about how the Coorgs s y m b o l i c a l l y express 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 should g i v e new answers t o the questions: are the Coorgs " s a n s k r i t - i z e d " Hindus - , 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 which t o ex- p l a i n marginal Hindu r e a l i t i e s ? I f the Coorgs are " s a n s k r i t i z e d " , o r have emulated c e r t a i n Hindu customs and b e l i e f s (a) t o what exte n t d i d they emulate them?, (b) what are 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 emulation?, (c) how d i d they emulate them? F u r t h e r , can the Coorgs be considered t o be an "e t h n i c group"?, and, i f yes, 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 , can we see the Coorgs as 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 they d i s p l a y aspects o f e t h n i c i t y as w e l l as aspects o f emulation o f Hindu concepts? S r i n i v a s d i d not answer these questions (he d i d not even pose same of them — nor 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 p o s s i b l e t o answer these q u e s t i o n s , o r t o gi v e i n d i c a t i o n s t h a t can l e a d t o p o s s i b l e answers, and i f . the shortcomings o f my e x p o s i t i o n do not out- : weigh the p o s i t i v e a t t r i b u t e s , I can 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 province i n South I n d i a . I t shares borders w i t h Kamataka (formerly Mysore), South Canara and Malabar. I t s l e n g t h i n the north-south d i r e c t i o n i s about 60 m i l e s and i t s w i d t h i n the 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 area covers 1,593 square m i l e s , o f which 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 Western Ghat Mountains pass through Coorg and reach peak h e i g h t s o f -10- 5,300 f e e t . The c e n t r a l p a r t o f Coorg forms a wide p l a t e a u w i t h an average e l e v a t i o n o f 3,500 f e e t . However, u n t i l very r e c e n t l y , the d i s t r i c t was q u i t e i s o l a t e d from i t s surrounding areas. S r i n i v a s notes t h a t : 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 steep mountains, dense f o r e s t s , and heavy r a i n - f a l l , c o n t r i b u t e d t o the maintenance and e l a b o r a - t i o n o f the d i s t i n c t i v e mode of l i f e and c u l t u r e o f Coorgs. The Lingayat Rajas, who saw c e r t a i n p o l i t i c a l and m i l i t a r y advantages i n the 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 roads l e a d i n g t o Mercara (the main c i t y i n Coorg), and p r o h i b i t e d t r a v e l - l i n g by them ( S r i n i v a s 1952: 6 ) . Although i t s geographical i s o l a t i o n was not a b s o l u t e , i t helped the Coorgs t o ma i n t a i n t h e i r separateness v i s - a - v i s t h e i r Hindu n e i g h - bours. I t i s not c l e a r where the Coorgs o r i g i n a t e . The e a r l i e s t r eference t o Coorg by name i s i n a document d a t i n g from the year 1174 A.D. which p r a i s e s the m i l i t a r y a b i l i t i e s o f the "Kodavas" (the o r i g i n a l name o f the Coorgs), f o r f i g h t i n g a g a i n s t an i n t r u d i n g f o r c e ( S r i n i v a s 1952: 10). The l i t e r a t u r e on the Coorgs o f f e r s s e v e r a l views as t o where they might have come from, o r whether they can be considered indigenous t o the area. But there i s no proof provided f o r any o f these i d e a s . I t i s p o s s i b l e t h a t the Coorgs had s e t t l e d i n the area before 1000 A.D. and t h a t they had brought c e r t a i n c u l t u r a l t r a i t s from o u t s i d e South I n d i a . Accord- i n g t o Dr. M u t h a n n a ^ , the Coorgs share some s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l t r a i t s w i t h the a n c i e n t Arabs 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 the Coorgs were not immigrants t o the area, and were probably a p a r t o f a l a r g e r r e l a t i v e l y indigenous p o p u l a t i o n o f South I n d i a i n the d i s t a n t p a s t . As a p a r t i c u l a r segment -11- o f t h i s l o c a l p o p u l a t i o n came t o dominate the t e r r i t o r y c a l l e d Coorg, they a l s o began t o r e s t r i c t t h e i r marriage a l l i a n c e s t o those who were i n the same economic and s o c i a l stratum. Since i t i s n ot the o b j e c t i v e o f t h i s t h e s i s t o determine the o r i g i n s o f the Coorgs i n h i s t o r i c a l and developmental terms, but r a t h e r t o i n v e s t i g a t e how the Coorgs express 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 should s u f f i c e , as i t i s merely presented t o i n t r o d u c e some of the background i n f o r m a t i o n necessary t o understand the f o l l o w i n g problem-exposition which forms the core o f t h i s research. Focusing a g a i n on the 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 the 16th century, when the Coorgs, f o r the f i r s t time, came i n c l o s e c o n t a c t w i t h the Lingayat s e c t (a r e l i g i o u s o f f - s h o o t o f Hinduism). (2) One p a r t i c u l a r Lingayat p r i e s t - p o l i t i c i a n managed t o b r i n g the Coorg c h i e f s under h i s a u t h o r i t y on the c o n d i t i o n t h a t he allowed 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: 12). Under the subsequent r u l e o f the Ling a y a t s the Coorgs e s t a b l i s h e d themselves as the a r i s t o c r a c y , monopolizing the army and i n t e r m a r r y i n g w i t h the r o y a l f a m i l y i n order bo m a i n t a i n and strengthen t h e i r s t a t u s i n the area. I n the l a t e 18th century, d u r i n g the i n v a s i o n and b r i e f r e i g n o f the Muslims, the Coorgs earned 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) During t h a t p e r i o d , they adopted some I s l a m i c customs as w e l l . I t i s n ot s u r p r i s i n g t h a t the B r i t i s h , upon t h e i r a r r i v a l i n the area i n 1843, considered the Coorgs as being members o f the K s h a t r i y a c a s t e . A l - though the 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 the c h a r a c t e r o f Coorg (the B r i t i s h v a l u e d the area f o r c o f f e e p l a n t a t i o n s ) , the Coorg people were ab l e t o - 1 2 - 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 idiom i n i t s b a s i c forms. P o l i t i c a l l y , by the time o f the Lingayat r e i g n we f i n d the Coorgs r u l i n g themselves through "Nayaks" (= r u l e r o f p e o p l e ) , as w e l l as acknowledging the supremacy o f "the Lingayat Rajas. The approximately 30,000 members o f Coorg s o c i e t y were organized i n t o twelve "Kombus" (= sub-regions) each one headed by a Nayak. 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 each v i l l a g e ( U r ) headed by a v i l l a g e headman. Each Ur, i n t u r n , was composed o f numerous "Okkas" headed by a p a t r i a r c h . These Okkas, or 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 s , represented the nucleus o f the s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e f o r the Coorgs. The 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 c o u l d f u n c t i o n as heads of these Okkas. Marriage was Okka-exogamous, and endogamous w i t h r e s p e c t t o Coorg s o c i e t y . The Coorg k i n s h i p system was t y p i f i e d (4) by P r o f . Emeneau as b e i n g o f the Dakota-Iroquois k i n d . Every Okka had an a n c e s t r a l house b u i l t on the commonly owned a n c e s t r a l e s t a t e . A l l the members o f an Okka were descended from a common ancestor 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 , marriage (being the by f a r most important one), and f u n e r a l r i t e s . The Coorgs were ancestor worshippers, had s n a k e - d e i t i e s , but worhsipped some Hindu d e i t i e s as w e l l . T h e i r r e l i g i o n centered on the ancestor c u l t , which can be p a r a l l e l e d w i t h the f a m i l y c u l t , and the community c u l t , which i n c l u d e s the worship o f snake d e i t i e s and some Hindu d e i t i e s . The Coorgs were the dominant group i n the d i s t r i c t , owning most o f the l a n d . They were mainly r i c e c u l t i v a t o r s and f r u i t , vegetable and -13- c o f f e e growers. For c e n t u r i e s , the Coorgs d i d not a l l o w Brahmins i n t h e i r d i s t r i c t , and s i n c e they were powerful and v i o l e n t , no other Hindu c a s t e was abl e t o e s t a b l i s h i t s e l f among the Coorgs. U n t i l the B r i t i s h r u l e , the Coorgs had s l a v e s ("Untouchable j u n g l e t r i b e s " ) , which were, f o r the l o n g e s t time, the o n l y s i g n i f i c a n t group o f non-Coorgs i n the d i s t r i c t . The ethnographic m a t e r i a l suggests t h a t the Coorgs were never r e a l l y concerned w i t h Hinduism (or any other ideology) and d i d not con s i d e r r i t u a l s t a t u s as bein g s u p e r i o r t o socio-economic power. I n a d d i t i o n , they were w a r r i o r s and thus i n a p o s i t i o n o f power (and stat u s ) i n r e l a t i o n t o t h e i r Hindu neighbours. Besides, i n t h e i r (more o r l e s s ) e g a l i t a r i a n p o l i t i c a l , r i t u a l and s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e , the Coorgs d i s p l a y - ed numerous other non-Hindu a t t r i b u t e s , which outweigh the borrowings from Hinduism. Dr. Muthanna, a Coorg h i m s e l f , makes i t c l e a r t h a t the Coorgs were never i n c o r p o r a t e d i n the Hindu c a s t e system. I n h i s o p i n i o n , the Brahmins made the term (caste) " b i g " i n order t o e x p l o i t the o t h e r , r i t u a l l y lower, c a s t e s . / To Coorgs, I ~ emphasize., c a s t e does not have any meaning a t a l l . I c o n s i d e r them as a group w i t h t r i b a l o r i g i n s , t h a t l i v e d i n t h e i r h i l l y r e g i o n by t h e i r own laws. The L i n g a y a t s , o f course, i n f l u e n c e d us. But we adopted o n l y what we found t o be h e l p f u l f o r u s — W e d i d not d i s c a r d o r change our customs; we i n c o r p o r a t e d some customs from the Hindus, the P e r s i a n s , the Arabs. We are not concerned w i t h " S a n s k r i t i c Hinduism", as you c a l l i t , we had no need t o do t h a t . We r u l e d our own country, and when the B r i t i s h came, we i n v i t e d * them t o h e l p us t o modernize our economy. To my q u e s t i o n , whether the Coorgs c o n s i d e r themselves as K s h a t r i y a s , Dr. Muthanna r e p l i e d : -14- K s h a t r i y a means "Martial-Pace". Mo doubt, i n the times o f the Rajas, the Coorgs were the predominant coirmunity there ( i n Coorg d i s t r i c t ) when the Rajas mastered t h e i r s e r v i c e s and the Coorgs j o i n e d the ^armyi,....); you know, i n those days they(^ounght)for t h e i r country, and a u t o m a t i c a l l y they became " M a r t i a l s " . I don't h o l d the Coorgs are 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 acco r d i n g t o the need o f the r u l e r s . When the r u l e r s wanted people t o f i g h t , even Brahmins were r e c r u i t e d . I n Mysore Haider M i and h i s son Tippu S u l t a n asked the Brahmins t o get i n t o the army, you know, and they d i d (.....). L a t e r , the B r i t i s h made the Coorgs b i g , as they made the Sikhs b i g i n order t o h e l p them t o f i g h t the f o r c e s t h a t opposed B r i t i s h r u l e . The Coorgs looked l i k e K s h a t r i y a s t o other s and they d i d not o b j e c t . But t h i s does not make them Hindus, except i n the p o l i t i c a l sense where we have t o co n s i d e r them as Indians who have a r e l i g i o n t h a t i s - i n some, resp e c t s - c l o s e t o the 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 spent apparently f o u r years doing f i e l d - work among the Coorgs, be able t o draw a p i c t u r e o f the Coorgs t h a t l e d t o the genesis o f the 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 the Coorgs and the concept 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 qu e s t i o n . D. "SANSKRITIZATION" REVIEWED: At the time when M.N. S r i n i v a s was a graduate student a t the U n i v e r s i t y o f Bombay, the d i v i s i o n o f labour between I n d o l o g i c a l Studies o f Hindu s o c i e t y by s o c i o l o g i s t s and f i e l d w o r k based s t u d i e s o f t r i b a l s o c i e t i e s by a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s which had g e n e r a l l y c h a r a c t e r i z e d the work (7) o f the e a r l i e r generation o f s c h o l a r s , was d e c l i n i n g . S r i n i v a s ' a d v i s o r , P r o f . G.S. Ghurye, suggested f i e l d w o r k among the Coorgs, i n order t o study 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 -15- and started to collect data among the Coorgs i n 1940. Because of i l l - health, however, he needed four years to complete his fieldwork, and during that time he had to resort to short "hit-and-run" trips to collect his data (Madan 1978: 3). In 1944, Srinivas presented his "rather massive (900 typed pages) Ph.D. Dissertation at the University of Bombay" (ibid: 2). Since Srinivas was "essentially interested i n the reconstruction of the traditional culture of the Coorgs" (Srinivas 1966: 149), we can assume that his Thesis was essentially a description of their cultural and social r e a l i t y . Later, when he came to Oxford, where.... "Prof. Radcliffe-Brown's teaching greatly modified (his) approach to the study of human society,... (he) started to apply some of his ideas regarding the interrelation of religion and society to the material (he) had already gathered" (Srinivas 1952: x i i i ) . Radcliffe- Brown1s theoretical framework transformed the Coorg material and "brought sense to i t " (ibid 1966: 149), giving rise to two major theoretical propositions: the spread of "Sanskritic Hinduism" horizontally as well as vert i c a l l y , and the concept of "Sanskritization". How Srinivas was able to deduce general theoretical and conceptual propositions from only one corpus of data i s puzzling; however, his concepts gained popularity i n anthropoligical circles and influenced the understanding of Coorg re a l i t y considerably. As might be expected, Srinivas stressed the similarities between Coorg religion and society and that of "Sanskritic Hindu" communities, and explained them through the Hindu idiom. But he fa i l e d to examine those aspects which are distinctly different from Hindu world-view. As a Hindu, and especially, as a Brahmin, Srinivas interpreted Coorg -16- re a l i t y as an emulation of Brahmanic world-view. As Pocock says rightly, i n the Coorg book.... "the inadequacy of r i g i d functionalism i s underlined by a 'Hindu-centric' attitude towards the treatment of ethnographic data..." (.1978: 60). Events, social action and social change can be studied from quite different points of view, and any given rea l i t y can be recounted d i f f e r - ently by different investigators. In the case of the Coorgs, Srinivas conceptualized and described their r e a l i t y through a "Brahmanical" paradigm. C. Parvathamma c r i t i c i z e s his treatment of the Coorg data severely: "(Srinivas) gives a detailed account of traditional Hinduism, i t s values and impact, and discusses an old and widespread social pro- cess, christening i t "Sanskritization", which i s a concept loaded with brahmanical values .... Srinivas' major concern i n the Coorg book i s to bring to ligh t how a forest t r i b a l group came under the impact of Hindus and Hinduism. He highlights his" own interpretation of Coorg society", (1978: 91) ....and, I might add, generalized the results without further proof. One more point should be stressed here: "After incorporating the functionalist paradigm into a corpus of data that was collected a l - most eight years earl i e r and under a different 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 of objectivity. Srinivas t e l l s us that his being a Brahmin did influence his observations and understanding of the Coorgs i n several ways... "but what follows this promising confession, i s i n effect devoted to a s e l f defensive re- action to i t " (Pocock 1978: 61). -17- The v a l u e o f the concept o f " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " - t o quote Mayer again - l i e s i n what i t produced (and not , 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 ab l e t o focus the a t t e n t i o n o f h i s c o l - leagues on three major aspects o f s o c i e t y : the f l e x i b i l i t y o f c a s t e r a n k i n g and grouping through emulation .... ; the 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 s i t u a t i o n ; and y e t , running through these v a r i a t i o n s , the e x i s t e n c e o f c e r t a i n common val u e s " ( i b i d : 41). I t i s unfortunate t h a t 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 wrote h i s book. One reason f o r t h i s l i e s probably i n the trend, o f Indian Anthropology around the middle o f the 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 groups, 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 the c a s t e system. Non-mainstream Hindu groups were s t u d i e d w i t h r e f e r e n c e t o Hindu concepts such as s o c i a l h i e r - archy and r i t u a l s t a t u s . Regardless o f the c h a r a c t e r o f the examina- t i o n - u n i t , i t depends mainly on the researcher's views on how a p a r t i - c u l a r community c o u l d and should be viewed. Dumont (1970: 211) notes t h a t . "non-Hindus> who f u n c t i o n w i t h i n the parameters o f Hindu . s o c i a l o r d e r , have a c q u i r e d the 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 the exten t t h a t the id e o l o g y o f non-Hindu groups 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 not o n l y m i s l e a d i n g , but erroneous t o i n f e r t h a t an understanding o f the 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 organize themselves i n t e r n a l l y and -18- e x t e r n a l l y " (Jacob-Pandian 1979: 142). Many o f these (non-Hindu) groups are 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 they are d i v e r s e , having e s t a b l i s h e d d i s t i n c t - i v e adaptations 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 environments, and the kinds 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 non-Hindus (and marginal Hindus) vary g r e a t l y . Jacob-Pandian goes on t o say t h a t two f e a t u r e s o f c a s t e — 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 are found among non and marginal Hindu groups may r e s u l t from the use o f the c a s t e p r i n c i p l e s d e r i v e d from the Hindu h i e r a r c h i c a l scheme and the ideology o f p u r i t y and p o l l u t i o n . On the 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 marginal Hindus i n I n d i a may have t h e i r l o c i i n reference 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 reference t o socio-economic 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 marginal Hindus) "know; how t o f u n c t i o n " i n the Hindu s o c i a l e n v i r o n - ment, which i s not t o say t h a t they share each other's worldviews and ethos ( 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 the 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 out "th a t t h ere i s a pronounced tendency among . s o c i o l o g i s t s t o equate Hindu 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- Pandian supports t h i s view when he p o s t u l a t e s t h a t "Hindu-centrism stems from a f a l l a c i o u s assumption t h a t i n order f o r the s o c i o - c u l t u r a l system t o p e r s i s t , the component p a r t s must have shared values and/or normative consensus (.....) . From t h i s p o i n t o f view, -19- i 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 Ind i a n s o c i e t y t o p e r s i s t , the s o c i a l groups which are covered by the s o c i e t a l b l a n k e t must themselves be composed o f threads which u l t i m a t e l y make up the bl a n k e t " ( i b i d : 143). I n o t h e r words, because the 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 necessary t o e x p l a i n how i t e x i s t s , and the e x p l a n a t i o n i s t h a t Hindu and non- Hindu (marginal Hindu) groups b e l i e v e i n and are motivated by the 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 . And then Jacob-Pandian suggests a very s e n s i b l e "way out" o f t h i s apparent dilemma: ....When one looks deeply enough, one can always see the o p e r a t i o n o f these "movers" i n Hindu s o c i e t y (....)•. I suggest ( ) t h a t , although the grand t h e o r i e s o f c a s t e , Hindu s o c i a l o r d e r , o r " s o c i e t y i n I n d i a " may provide 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 the essence o f Hindu o r In d i a n mind has been captured i n a s i n g l e formula, such t h e o r i e s are not s u f f i c i e n t t o e x p l a i n the m u l t i f a c i o u s con- c 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 the 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 look c l o s e l y t o the 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 these t r a d i t i o n s enable t h e i r users t o co- 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 context (. ) A c i v i l i z a t i o n a l complex which we i d e n t i f y as "Hindu" o r "Indian" 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 the s i m i l a r i t i e s i n the o r g a n i z a t i o n o f groups occur as a product o f the 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 as B a r t h (1969) puts 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 un i q u e l y Hindu paradigm o p e r a t i n g a t micro and macro l e v e l s — ( i b i d : 145). S r i n i v a s i s doing o n l y the l a t t e r . He attempts 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 Hinduism,using the 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 not d e f i n e t h e i r l o c u s i n s i d e the Ind i a n c u l t u r a l c o ntext, but 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 other c a s t e s . They possessed weal t h and power, they l i k e d dancing, c o m p e t i t i v e games, i n v o l v i n g the e x e r c i s e o f s k i l l and s t r e n g t h , hunting, and s o l d i e r i n g " ( S r i n i v a s 1952: 33). I n t e r p r e t i n g these f e a t u r e s through the Hindu paradigm he s t a t e s : ....In the 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 , the c a s t e o f w a r r i o r s and k i n g s , who are next o n l y t o the Brahmins i n the h i e r a r c h y . The resemblances between the Vedic K s h a t r i y a s and the Coorgs are s t r i k i n g indeed i n the matter o f v a l u e s , and i t i s understandable t h a t Coorgs should regard themselves as K s h a t r i y a s . But the c l a s s i c a l K s h a t r i y a s , as one o f the "twice-born" c a s t e s , were e n t i t l e d t o perform c e r t a i n r i t u a l s a t Which sacred verses-mantras-from the Vedas were r e c i t e d by the p r i e s t s . Coorgs do not perform any o f these r i t u a l s and Vedic mantras are not r e c i t e d when a Coorg i s given a name, o r ma r r i e s , o r d i e s ( i b i d : 33). Here he stops 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 mention as t o (8) why the Coorgs: 1. "regard themselves as K s h a t r i y a s " , 2. "do not r e c i t e mantras". ̂  A simple answer t o t h i s would be t h a t the Coorgs cannot be regarded as " s a n s k r i t i z e d Hindus" because they 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 p r e f e r s t o omit t h i s p a r t o f Coorg r e a l i t y and concentrates on the 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, spread o f " s a n s k r i t i c Hinduism" -21- The Coorg d i s c u s s i o n i s reduced t o h i g h l i g h t i n g h i s conceptual assumptions w i t h m a t e r i a l t h a t almost e x c l u s i v e l y d e a l s w i t h as- pects o f Coorg r e a l i t y t h a t c o u l d be seen as adoptions from Hinduism. Moreover, S r i n i v a s took pains t o s t r e s s the s i m i l a r i t i e s between Coorg 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 Hinduism", t r i e d t o f i n d those aspects which c o u l d be " s a n s k r i t i z e d " and absorbed i n t o Hinduism, and thus was preoccupied w i t h the r e p l i c a t i o n o f Hindu r e a l i t y i n t o Coorg worldview.. " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " per se, 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, deserves some a t t e n t i o n . L e t me r e c a l l h i s d e f i n i t i o n once more: The c a s t e system i s f a r from a r i g i d system i n which the p o s i t i o n o f each component c a s t e i s f i x e d f o r a l l time. 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 the middle ranges o f the h i e r a r c h y . A low caste was a b l e , i n a generation 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 the h i e r a r c h y by adopting 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 took over, as f a r as p o s s i b l e , the customs, r i t e s , and b e l i e f s o f the Brahmins (. ). T h i s process has been c a l l e d " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " (1952: 30). L a t e r , i n 1955, he adds more brahmanic undercurrents t o the i n i t i a l concept: As t h i s process (of " 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 except the h i g h e s t , i t meant t h a t the brahmanical customs and ways o f l i f e spread among a l l Hindus.... The e n t i r e way o f l i f e o f the top c a s t e s seeps down the h i e r a r c h y (....). The language, cooking, c l o t h i n g , j e w e l l e r y , and way of l i f e o f the Brahmins spread e v e n t u a l l y t o the e n t i r e s o c i e t y . . . . -22- The non-brahmanical c a s t e s adopt not o n l y brahmanical r i t u a l , but a l s o c e r t a i n brah- manical i n s t i t u t i o n s and values (1956: 482-84). Lucy C a r r o l l s t r e s s e s the 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 ' concept 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 emulation o f Brahmins (1977: 357). She goes on t o say t h a t " i n an attempt 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 order t o take i n t o account (a) the f a c t o r o f the dominant c a s t e ; and (b) the c r i t i - c i sm t h a t " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " emphasizes a brahmanical model, w h i l e , i n f a c t , a Rajput o r K s h a t r i y a o r Vaishya model might be emulated i n many circumstances; and (c) t o subsume under one concept the process t h a t had l e d t o the coming o f such terms as " 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 so 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 simply as a process, without any refer e n c e t o the values t h a t many be t r a n s m i t t e d through t h a t process and without 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 ' concept, the " p a c e - s e t t i n g " groups do not have t o be Brahmins, o r even "twice-born" c a s t e s , but any group i n s i d e o r proximal t o Hindu ideology. "Since the reference group need not be r i t u a l l y h i g h , i t would appear, t h a t "high" i n the 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 the group bein g emulated i s a s e c u l a r e l i t e which may o r may not be 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). Could one, then-, term the i n f l u e n c e Coorg s o c i a l and r i t u a l con- cepts had on neighbouring Hindu c a s t e and untouchable groups as " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " ? -23- S r i n i v a s w r i t e s i n h i s Coorg book t h a t . . . " A l l the o t h e r c a s t e s i n Coorg p r o x i m i t y except the Brahmins, Komti, and Lingayats acknow- ledged the dominance o f the Coorgs by t a k i n g over t h e i r customs and manners and i n seme cases even t h e i r speech" (1952: 32). He a l s o mentions t h a t Kannada Okkaligas and T u l u Gaudas t r i e d t o pass f o r Coorgs. I t appears t h a t the t r e n d o f "lower" groups t o adopt the customs and concepts o f "higher" groups, i s a general phenomenon, but S r i n i v a s s t i c k s t o h i s Brahmanic "Hindu-centrism" when he s t a t e s t h a t "(the other) models are indeed important but not as i n f l u e n t i a l as the Brahmanical as a few K s h a t r i y a s and almost a l l Vaishyas 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 c e r t a i n important r e l i g i o u s i d e a s " (1966: 25). " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " , then, represents an attempt t o a c q u i r e the 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 the customs, r i t u a l , i d e a s , b e l i e f s , and l i f e s t y l e o f 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). Upon r e f l e c t i o n , we have t o ask 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 " i s r e a l l y n othing 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 the p l e b i a n s f o l l o w the s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l l e a d of the e l i t e , emulating the l a t t e r t o the extent t h a t t h e i r own f i n a n - c i a l resources and the presence and absence o f s o c i a l s a n c t ions s u p p o r t i n g e l i t i s t p r e r o g a t i v e s permit" ( C a r r o l l 1977: 359). S r i n i v a s , then, i s r e a l l y t a l k i n g about a s o c i a l and r i t u a l process t h a t represents both the d e s i r e f o r and the achievement o f a g e n e r a l m o b i l i t y upwards, and, depending on the 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 emulated), t h i s process can d i s p l a y r i t u a l o r p o l i t i c o - e c o n o m i c tendencies. Thus, the concept of " 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 too vague and ambiguous and too onesided 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 con- temporary a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l research. One p o s s i b l e e x p l a n a t i o n f o r 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 the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the concept of "San- s k r i t i z a t i o n " and the 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 . "This 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 . I t s c e n t r a l 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, order, 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 the importance o f 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 the view o f s o c i a l change i n I n d i a as unique 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 necessary t o d e s c r i b e i t because o f (....) "the important f a c t t h a t the s o c i a l h i e r a r c h y i s a l s o the h i e r a r c h y o f r i t u a l p u r i t y and p o l l u t i o n " (Singer 1968: x i ) . C a r r o l l , however, contends t h a t " s o c i a l and r i t u a l h i e r a r c h y are not 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 - dent" (1977: 367). A t t h i s p o i n t i t seems saf e t o say t h a t the concept o f " S a n s k r i t - i z a t i o n " as developed from the Coorg data 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 onesidedness on the 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 the dynamics o f s o c i a l change among the Coorgs (and i n I n d i a g e n e r a l l y ) ; second, the concept i s s p e c u l a t i v e and t h e r e f o r e becomes l e s s a r e s e a r c h hypothesis and more an i d e o l o g i c a l p o s i t i o n ; and t h i r d , the c u l t u r e - s p e c i f i c terminology and c o n c e p t u a l i - 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 comparison and a n a l y s i s by 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 " ) i s u n i q u e l y and s o l e l y Hindu ( C a r r o l l 1977: 369). I propose, t h e r e f o r e , as a working hypothesis, t o view the Coorgs as an independent s o c i o - c u l t u r a l u n i t d i s p l a y i n g a s p e c i f i c e t h n i c i t y t h a t serves as a primary "emblem" i n t e r n a l l y and e x t e r n a l l y . I nstead o f emulating Hindu concepts, I propose t h a t the Coorgs "modified" and "transformed" adopted customs and concepts t o f i t t h e i r c u l t u r e - s p e c i f i c mould. T h e i r d i s t i n c t s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e , r e l i g i o n , language, and separateness, however, operate as emblems o f t h e i r i d e n - t i t y , and t h e i r p o l i t i c o - e c o n o m i c a l power allowed 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 k i n d o f t h e i r i n v o l v e - ment w i t h o t h e r c u l t u r a l and i d e o l o g i c a l models. Thus, the e t h n i c i t y o f the Coorgs, which separated them from any other community i n the area might be e x p l a i n e d as the product 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 geographical i s o l a t i o n , t h e i r p o l i t i c o - e c o n o m i c dominance, and t h e i r f l e x i b l e cosmology. This would a l l o w us t o see the Coorgs as b e i n g independent from Hindu id e o l o g y , r i t u a l l y and c u l t u r a l l y , and t h e i r s t a t u s as b e i n g not v a l i d a t e d by any o t h e r a u t h o r i t y but t h e i r own; t h i s s t a t u s , however, i s t o l e r a t e d — i f not accepted — by Hindus and non-Hindus a l i k e . Returning t o the 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 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 the Coorg marriage ceremony viewed 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 symbolic "landscape" of Coorg c u l t u r e and s o c i e t y . E. THE !'KANNI-MANGALA" : AN OVERVIEW. Marriage, f o r Coorgs (as w e l l as f o r most o t h e r South Indian s o c i e t i e s ) represents the most important ceremony i n any person's l i f e . T r a d i t i o n a l l y , the Coorg marriage ceremony had a predominantly communal c h a r a c t e r . L a t e r , the s o - c a l l e d "cloth-marriages" were p r a c t i c e d i n Coorg. K i t t e l w r i t e s : ....a man gave a c l o t h t o a g i r l , and she, 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 ceremonies. He might d i s m i s s her a t any time w i t h o u t b e i n g under the 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 o r 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: 41). According t o Dr. Muthanna^^^ , by the time o f the Lingayat Rajas, the Coorgs had r e f i n e d t h e i r marriage ceremony t o t h a t o f a c i v i l c o n t r a c t ceremony w i t h some r e l i g i o u s symbolism, mainly t h a t o f r i t u a l expres- 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 as one o f the many Mangalas, o r "auspicious ceremonies". Subsequently, d i f f e r e n t types o f marriage developed, o f which the f i r s t , and most important one i s the "Kanni-Mangala" o r ( V i r g i n - M a r r i a g e ) . Other types are the "widow-remarriage", and the "divorce-remarriage". The "Kanni-Mangala" u s u a l l y takes p l a c e soon a f t e r the couple -27- has reached e a r l y adulthood. This f i r s t marriage (= " V i r g i n Marriage") b r i n g s together not o n l y two persons, but - and t h i s i s more import- ant - a l s o two kin-groups. Both come together through the 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 marriage takes p l a c e , t h e r e i s a change i n the s o c i a l p e r s o n a l i t i e s o f the b r i d e and the 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 . Some o f t h i s i s symbolized i n the marriage r i t u a l : f o r i n s t a n c e , the b r i d e (almost) l o s e s her r i g h t s t o her n a t a l Okka and acquires them, i n s t e a d ( f u l l y ) i n her conjugal Okka" ( S r i n i v a s 1952: 92). The t i e between the 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 and emphasizes the p o l i t i c a l , economic, and perso n a l o b l i g a t i o n s which r e s u l t from the new bond. . . . . A c t i v i t i e s f o r the "Kanni-Mangala" begin when a young man expresses h i s d e s i r e t o marry. Then, h i s f a t h e r o r e l d e r b r o - (12) t h e r together 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 the Okka o f the young woman where the a r r i v a l i s ex- • pected. A simple ceremony, c a l l e d Mangala K u r i p a i s conducted as a s i g n o f an i r r e v e r s i b l e c o n t r a c t between the 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 , the 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 the performance o f Mangala, and an even more a u s p i c i o u s p a r t o f the day f o r the performance o f Murta, which c o n s t i t u t e s the r i t u a l l y most important p a r t o f Mangala. The house(s) i n which the Mangala takes p l a c e i s cleaned, and a decorated 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 which i s the branch o f a milk-exuding t r e e , i s e r e c t e d i n f r o n t o f the house, very c l o s e t o the f r o n t veranda. The i n v i t e d guests o f t e n h e l p w i t h the c o n s t r u c t i o n o f t h i s marriage p a v i l l i o n . I n the'evening'-of the f i r s t day ( c a l l e d T r u Kuduve), before t a k i n g meals, folksongs connected w i t h the wedding are chanted by e l d e r s i n honour o f the b r i d e and groom. A s i m i l a r program takes p l a c e i n both Okkas almost simultaneously. -28- I n the bride-groom's house, (the same takes p l a c e i n the b r i d e ' s house) the wedding p a r t y i n the company o f the groom proceeds from the c e n t r a l h a l l , where the groom worship- ped the sacred lamp ( N e l l u k i B o l u k ) , t o the Kaimata, o r p l a c e where the ancestors are worshipped, 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 the flame o f the sacred lamp. The groom i g n i t e s an earthen lamp there and invokes the b l e s s i n g o f the ancestors. The groom i s dressed i n the t r a d i t i o n a l Coorg 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 secured a t the w a i s t w i t h a t a s s e l l e d r e d s i l k ' sash. A k e r c h i e f , a l s o r e d , i s t i e d around h i s head. The b r i d e wears a r e d saree and a r e d k e r c h i e f . Low c a s t e musicians beat tom-toms and p l a y p i p e s i n f r o n t o f the house, and young people dance t o t h e i r music. When the groom takes h i s food, two o r three 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 together. The b r i d e , i n her home, i s accompanied by her b r i d e ' s maid and f r i e n d s . The food ( d i f f e r e n t types o f r i c e puddings and rice-meat curry) i s served w i t h water, m i l k , o r a l c o h o l . The next morning ( s t i l l considered the f i r s t day o f the wedding), the groom i s shaved r i t u a l l y by the barber. This time 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 water. The b r i d e , i n her n a t a l home, undergoes a s i m i l a r ceremony c a l l e d "the wear- i n g o f bangles". L a t e r , both prepare t o take a r i t u a l bath seconded by the b e s t man o r the b r i d e ' s maid, who are g e n e r a l l y b r o t h e r and s i s t e r - i n - l a w . Three married women i n i t i a t e the bath i n both cases by pouring three v e s s e l s each on the heads o f the groom and the b r i d e . Widows have no access t o any o f these r i t e s . ; L a t e r , the groom i s dressed i n h i s f u l l Coorg costume (the same as the evening before 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 red s i l k saree, 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 toes. The groan, then, i s conducted t o the p l a c e where Murta i s t o be h e l d . The p a r t y i s accompanied by the band, and two earthen lamps on copper p l a t e s are c a r r i e d by two g i r l s (13) w a l k i n g on e i t h e r s i d e o f the groom. The Batte-Pat o r wedding song i s sung by Coorg men, g i v i n g an account o f the immediate happenings. The b e s t man d i r e c t s the groom t o the center o f the p a v i l l i o n where the three-legged Coorg s t o o l i s p o s i t i o n e d (flanked by two e a r t h e r n lamps) and walks him a- round the s t o o l and the lamps three times clock-^wise. Then the groom s i t s down on the s t o o l . Three married women step forward and perform a s e t o f s o l i t a r y r i t e s (= Murta) f i r s t . L a t e r , the r e s t o f the assembled guests f o l l o w . Murta c o n s i s t s o f the f o l l o w i n g r i t e s : f i r s t , each performer worships the lamps on e i t h e r s i d e o f the groom (by bending over and touching h i s / h e r f e e t three times w i t h f o l d e d hands), then he/she worships the 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 both 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 on the head o f the groom. Then m i l k i s o f f e r e d t o the groom from a cup which he s i p s through a spout, a few drops a t a time. Before he/she turns away, the groom p r o s t r a t e s t hree times i f he/she happens t o be an e l d e r . Then the groom i s b l e s s e d by each o f them. A f t e r Murta i s over, the guests are taken t o e a t lunch. They leave the house i n the afternoon, and w i l l not r e t u r n un- t i l the next day. That n i g h t , s h o r t l y a f t e r midnight, the groom ceremoniously s e t s o f f t o the Okka o f the 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 both sexes, and h i s Aruva. The p a r t y i s expected t o reach the b r i d e ' s house by dawn. 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 the g i r l ' s house are c u t i n two by one blow o f the Coorg war- sword. E i t h e r the groom h i m s e l f o r a member o f h i s f a m i l y per- forms t h i s r i t e , s y m b o l i z i n g the p h y s i c a l s t r e n g t h o f the groom's -30- Okka. Then, one married woman ( p r e f e r a b l y the s i s t e r o f the groom) hands over a s m a l l basket 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 , the groom and the b r i d e are conducted t o the p l a c e where Murta i s h e l d . This Damphati-Murta (the second Murta) i s performed a l - most a t dawn and has both the b r i d e and the groom as i t s o b j e c t s . L a t e r , the groom h i m s e l f performs - y e t another Murta on h i s f u t u r e w i f e , and o f f e r s her a few g o l d r i n g s and c o i n s which were given 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 , the groom r a i s e s the b r i d e o f f the s t o o l and leads her 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 the Manqala i s over. The a c t u a l l e g a l i z a t i o n - d f the marriage i s symbolized through the Sammanda ceremony. Before t h i s ceremony, the b r i d e i s not y e t married; a f t e r i t , she i s a member o f her husband's Okka, even i f her husband should d i e before the p h y s i c a l consummation o f the marriage. During the Sammanda ceremony, e l d e r s from the two Okkas stand i n two rows f a c i n g each other. Confirmation o f oaths, the pledge o f possession o f the husband's house by the b r i d e and other r i g h t s are a f f i r m e d by the two Aruvas (or f a m i l y f r i e n d s ) . I t i s the Sammanda t h a t d e f i n e s and c l a r i f i e s the new s t r u c t u r a l s i t u a - t i o n which has come i n t o e x i s t e n c e through the wedding. " I t b r i n g s home t o the p a r t i c i p a n t s t h a t a new l e g a l s i t u a t i o n 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 from one Okka t o another" ( S r i n i v a s 1952: 129). This i s symbolized by the t r a n s f e r o f pebbles by the b r i d e ' s Aruva t o the groom's Aruva. The pebbles ''represent 'pieces o f gold' through which the b r i d e buys h e r s e l f membership i n the husband's Okka. Handing over the pebbles t o the groom's Aruva by the b r i d e ' s Aruva symbolizes the t y p i c a l pledge o f possession. I t i s a token f o r s e a l i n g the b r i d e ' s r i g h t s i n the husband's property. Out o f twelve pebbles, one 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 remaining connection w i t h her n a t a l f a m i l y . I n f a c t , i f the -31- b r i d e happens t o be d i v o r c e d l a t e r , she has the r i g h t t o r e - t u r n t o her n a t a l home. 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 the b r i d e ' s saree. I n the meantime her boxes, bed v e s s e l s e t c . are c a r r i e d from her room i n t o the main h a l l . A f t e r the Sammanda ceremony i s over, the groom s t r e t c h e s h i s r i g h t hand through a gap i n the door and takes the b r i d e out o f the room where he had remained f o r the d u r a t i o n o f Sammanda. The e n t i r e p a r t y then moves out o f the main h a l l amidst cheers, applause, and music. Whenever the couple crosses a t h r e s h o l d , they are reminded t o put t h e i r r i g h t f o o t f i r s t . A t the t h r e s h o l d o f the veranda, the br o t h e r o f the b r i d e ' s mother d e t a i n s her f o r a moment. The b r i d e i s allowed t o proceed, o n l y i f he i s o f f e r e d a sovereign by the groom's p a r t y . T h i s c o i n he t i e s l a t e r t o a corner o f her saree. This r i t u a l i n d i c a t e s the moral r i g h t he has on the g i r l . But now, the b r i d e leaves her n a t a l home as a new mem- ber o f her husband's f a m i l y . Some time a f t e r the a r r i v a l o f the b r i d e i n her husband's Okka a s e r i e s o f r i t e s are per- formed i n order t o show t h a t she now shares 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 her new home. She c a r r i e s a basket f u l l o f manure t o the nearest f i e l d and on her r e t u r n fetches a pot of water from the w e l l a f t e r she has performed Ganga Puja. IJpon her r e - t u r n t o the house the guests depart s l o w l y . A f t e r the f i r s t meal w i t h her husband the l a s t r i t u a l o f the "Kanni-Mangala" takes p l a c e : i t i s the naming o f the b r i d e by the e l d e r s o f her new Okka. S h o r t l y t h e r e a f t e r the b r i d a l couple leaves f o r the n u p t i a l s . With t h i s , the wedding i s over. Some time a f t e r the wedding, the young couple f o r m a l l y pays a v i s i t t o a l l i t s c l o s e r e l a t i v e s . I t i s a l s o u s u a l t o under- take a p i l g r i m a g e t o the h o l y r i v e r K a v e r i d u r i n g the f i r s t Sankramana month o f October a f t e r the wedding. Here the c r e a t i o n o f the new bond i s recognized by the young couple through the -32- e x p r e s s i o n of t h e i r s o l i d a r i t y . With t h i s p i l g r i m a g e 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) m a n i f e s t a t i o n . For the sake of c l a r i t y I d e v i s e d the f o l l o w i n g Table (Table B ) , i n order t o a l l o t t o each of the a c t i o n s and events (that happen chro- n o l o g i c a l l y d u r i n g the two days o f the "Kanni-Mangala"), one (or more) symbolic 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 the "symbolic complexes " as l a i d o u t 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 procedure i s t o e s t a b l i s h the data-base f o r each of the consecutive chapters, t h a t i s , t o l o c a t e ceremonial references 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 connections" i n Chapter I ) , o thers 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 Chapter 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 view i s , t o some e x t e n t , r e f l e c t e d i n the c h o i c e o f the methodology, the d e f i n i t i o n o f the f o u r symbolic complexes, and the s e l e c t i o n o f the v a r i o u s ceremonial r e f e r e n c e s w i t h i n these f o u r complexes; however, I have t r i e d t o reduce my i n t e r p r e t a t i o n a l freedom t o the most obvious r e l a t i o n s h i p s between those symbolic expressions and t h e i r corresponding symbolic complexes which "make sense". -33- TABLE B: The Symbolic Complexes Encoded i n the "Kanni-Mangala" SYMBOLIC COMPLEXES CHRONOLOGY CEREMONIAL REFERENCES (1) (2) (3) (4) PREPARATORY ACTIONS: sometime be-fo r e the . wedding Mangala K u r i p a * * d i t t o a s t r o l o g e r s e l e c t s a u s p i c i o u s time * * one day be- for e -the Mangala c l e a n i n g o f the house; e r e c t i o n o f marriage pan-^ d a l * * * THE WEDDING DAY I : e a r l y eveninc t r a d i t i o n a l dress * J - —, worship o f sacred lamp by groom/bride * * worship o f ances^ t o r s a t the Kaimata * * * f i r s t meal Q f groom/bride (separately) * * mid-night t o 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 * d r e s s i n g * Murta #' 1 * * * * * noon common lunch * -34- TABLE B cont'd: CHRONOLOGY SYMBOLIC COMPLEXES 1 CEREMONIAL REFERENCES (1) (2) (3) (4) DAY I I : s h o r t l y a f t e r 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 r i t e * * * e a r l y morning Murta # 2 * * * * Murta #'3 * * * Cheela Pana (money g i f t t o bride) * groom takes possession o f b r i d e * Sammanda * * * noon b r i d e leaves n a t a l home: mother' s b r o t h e r symbol-1 ism c r o s s i n g o f t h r e s h o l d w i t h r i g h t f o o t f i r s t * * > e a r l y evening ; a r r i v a l a t husband's Okka: con 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. performs Ganga Puja c. fetches water * * * * * naming o f the b r i d e * evening consummation o f marriage SOME TIME AFTER: couple v i s i t s r e l a t i v e s K a v e r i p i l g r i m a g e * * (See Legend - page 35) -35- Legend: (1) = the "COSMIC" complex: (.2) = the "RULER" complex: (.3) = the "FARMER" complex: (4) - the "KINSMAN" complex: i n c l u d e s a l l references t o (a) v i t a l f o r c e s and essences, (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 the mundane from the cosmic, (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) dominance, (c) f i g h t i n g a b i l i t y , (d) general s o c i a l s t a t u s , references t o (a) p r o s p e r i t y , abundance, growth; (b) household un i t / s p a c e , e t c . reference t o (a) k i n - t e r r i t o r i e s , kin-groups, descent; (b) r o l e s r e - l a t e d t o ( a ) . Before 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 out t h a t the f u n c t i o n o f the "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 s t r u c t u r e . I t s f u n c t i o n i s t o secure the pe r p e t u a t i o n o f the s o c i e t y through the c r e a t i o n o f the new perso n a l bond (between the groom and the b r i d e ) as w e l l as o f the s o c i a l bond (between the Okkas) on a c u l t u r e - s p e c i f i c ceremonial l e v e l . The most obvious s t r u c t u r a l f e a - t u r e o f the Coorg marriage ceremony, then, h i g h l i g h t s t h i s d u a l i t y between male and female, the two d i f f e r e n t kin-groups, 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 the transforma- t i o n from the 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 u n i t y . As noted e a r l i e r , the "Kanni-Mangala" l a s t s u s u a l l y f o r two days. On the f i r s t day, the c u l t o f the Okka i s the f o c a l p o i n t o f the r i t u a l a c t i v i t i e s . Each f a m i l y — s e p a r a t e l y — gathers w i t h r e l a t i v e s and f r i e n d s and worships the person t h a t i s about t o marry. The second day b r i n g s the merging o f the two s o c i a l u n i t s (Okkas) through the combined worship o f the b r i d e and the groom by both f a m i l i e s . I n -36- the Sammanda ceremony, the new bond i s l e g a l i z e d . T his i s a neces- s a r y p r a c t i c e , s i n c e the bond i s not i r r e v o c a b l e . The two Aruvas, (15) o r f a m i l y f r i e n d s , o f f i c i a t e the Sammanda ceremony. They are members o f " f r i e n d l y " Okkas and 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 the Coorg f a m i l y and community c u l t . As f a r as t h e i r r o l e i n the wedding ceremony i s concerned, i t i s they who i n i t i a t e and conclude the l e g a l aspects (the Mangala K u r i p a and the Sammanda) o f i t . I n t e r e s t i n g l y enough, the Aruvas conduct only the c o n t r a c t u a l ceremonies i n the "Kanni-Mangala", those which u l t i m a t e l y make the wedding l e g a l . The general s t r u c t u r e o f the Coorg wedding ceremony, then, i s a re-enactment o f the s o c i a l o r d e r , symbolized through 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 overtones and t h a t i s p a r t l y a dramatized form o f profane ( s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l ) ends (see the diagrammatic r e p r e s e n t a t i o n i n Fi g u r e 1' - on page 37). The s t r u c t u r e o f the "Kanni-Mangala" emphasizes — more than anything — the f u n c t i o n o f marriage as an important l i n k i n the s o c i e t a l make-up o f Coorg: i t prepares the 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 the new pe r s o n a l and kin-bond through mar- r i a g e . The f i r s t day fea 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 which are designed t o enable the b r i d e and groom t o c a r r y out the major r i t u a l s which w i l l f o l l o w on the next day. I n the 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 the b r i d e and groom (separately) 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 by worshipping the sacred lamp, and t h e i r a ncestors; by 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 they share once more FIGURE 1: The structural make-up of the "Kanni-Mangala". DAY I DAY II DICHOTOMY worship of sacred.J : lamp i worship of ancestors-* first meal ritual shaving-: : : ritual bath-: : « ritual dressing1 MURTA # 1" MURTA # 3- SAMMANDA - right foot first- MOBR retains bride •» \ -38- (and f o r the l a s t time as unmarried i n d i v i d u a l s ) the s e c u r i t y o f t h e i r own k i n and refe r e n c e group, and f i n a l l y , by shaving, b a t h i n g , and d r e s s i n g , they reach 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 enables them t o be the o b j e c t o f worship i n the f i r s t Murta ceremony. The next day, however, b r i n g s the j o i n i n g o f the two young people (and the two f a m i l i e s ) which i s f i r s t symbolized by the groom and h i s p a r t y t r a v e l l i n g t o the b r i d e ' s house. A f t e r p r e - s e n t i n g the g i f t o f food t o a member of the b r i d e ' s p a r t y , the groom d i s p l a y s h i s (and h i s family's) m a r t i a l q u a l i t y by c u t t i n g the p l a n t a i n stumps w i t h one blow o f h i s w a r - k n i f e . A f t e r these expressions of g o o d w i l l and s t r e n g t h , the merging o f the two k i n - groups through t h e i r r e p r e s e n t a t i v e (the b r i d e and groom) i s v i s u a l - i z e d i n the second Murta ceremony where, f o r the f i r s t and o n l y time, the couple i s worshipped by both f a m i l i e s . Then the groom worships h i s f u t u r e w i f e i n the t h i r d Murta, s i g n i f y i n g h i s devotion. With t h i s , the 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 plane. 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 confirmed through the Sammanda ce r e - mony (the most important ceremony o f the e n t i r e wedding) where the c o - r i g h t s t o the pr o p e r t y o f the groom's Okka are g i v e n t o the b r i d e (now being h i s young wife) and t o the groom (now being the husband). The u n i t y i s l e g a l , the u n i t y of the couple and of the kin-groups. The s o c i e t a l c o n d i t i o n s are re-enacted and s a t i s f i e d . -38a- C H A P T E R I T H E C O S M I C C O N N E C T I O N -39- A. PROLOGUE: When human beings develop a sense o f order they c r e a t e a power- f u l device f o r the o r g a n i z a t i o n and maintenance o f the 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 . T h i s sense o f order be- 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: be i t on the s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l l e v e l as "law", "custom", and "appropriate behaviour", o r on the 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 encounter i t as t h a t which one might 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 the c o r r e c t and ordered way o f the i n t e r a c t i o n s w i t h the d i v i n e powers and the moral conduct o f man (Douglas 1966: 7 ) . For a c u l t u r e t o have a re c o g n i z a b l e c h a r a c t e r , a process 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 taken p l a c e . T h i s works through a h i e r a r c h y o f goals and values which the community can apply as a general guide 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 expressed by avoidance, d i s c r i m i n a t i o n , and pressure t o conform. In the context o f Coorg s o c i e t y these goals 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. In t h i s chapter, I am concerned w i t h the importance the 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 marriage ceremony. I want t o i d e n t i f y those symbolic r e f e r - ences which r e f l e c t concern 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) noti o n s about such t h i n g s as the importance o f a u s p i c i o u s times and -40- p l a c e s , the worship o f a b s t r a c t f o r c e s (as seen i n the sun, sacred lamps, a flame, e t c . ) , and concepts 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 determine t o what exte n t the Coorgs share general Hindu cosmological symbolism and r e f e r t o i t i n t h e i r own r e l i g i o u s r e a l i t y . B. COSMIC CONNECTIONS REFIJiCTED IN THE "KANNI-MANGALA" As l a i d out i n Table B, a number o f r i t u a l a c t i o n s and events i n the marriage ceremony concentrate on the re-enactment o f r e l i g i o - p h i l o s o p h i c a l themes t h a t r e l a t e i n some way o r another t o the Coorg n o t i o n t h a t there e x i s t s a s u p e r i o r a b s t r a c t plane, some k i n d o f a "grand order o f t h i n g s " t h a t has t o be f o l l o w e d i n order t o make s o c i e t y work. ' The term 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 . I t means "auspicious ceremony" (formerly, a ceremony o f any k i n d t h a t i n c r e a s e d the r i t u a l and s o c i a l s t a t u s o f i t s objects) which s i g n i - f i e s the importance 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. People are the o b j e c t s o f Mangala, and i t i s the Mangala t h a t changes the s o c i a l s t a t u s o f the persons on which i t i s performed, i n c r e a s i n g the respect g i v e n t o them. For i n s t a n c e , a man who k i l l e d a t i g e r singlehandedly was e n t i t l e d t o a s p e c i a l Mangala, as was a woman who had gi v e n b i r t h t o t e n c h i l d r e n , 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 marriage. -41- When a v i r g i n g i r l i s married t o an unwed man she i s e n t i t l e d (as i s the groom) t o a Mangala, an "auspicious ceremony", t h a t marks the i n c r e a s e i n her (and h i s ) r i t u a l and s o c i a l s t a t u s . Mangala per se, then, i s the o n l y type o f "auspicious ceremony" performed by the Coorgs. Using Table C as a m a t r i x f o r the f o l l o w i n g d i s c u s s i o n , I now want t o concentrate on those s p e c i f i c ceremonial references w i t h i n the "Kanni-Mangala", which d e a l e x c l u s i v e l y w i t h Coorg con- cerns regarding philosophy and cosmology. G e n e r a l l y speaking, the "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: the b r i n g i n g together o f two persons (and two kin-groups) on a r e l i g i o u s l e v e l (through the thr e e Murtas and t h e i r r e l a t e d r i t e s ) , and on a p o l i t i c o - e c o n o m i c l e v e l through the Sammanda ceremony. S r i n i v a s calls.; the Sammanda- p a r t the "non-Mangala p a r t " (1952: 72); I however, do not agree w i t h t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n . Mangala stands f o r the e n t i r e marriage ceremony, and not o n l y - as S r i n i v a s would have i t - f o r t h a t what he c a l l s the " r i t u a l l y important (Mangala) p a r t " ( i b i d : 72). As we w i l l see 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 aspects o f the "Kanni-Mangala" serves as a major d i s t i n c t i o n between Coorg and Brahmanic cosmological i d e a s . For now, I want t o concentrate on the Murta ceremony, which i s the c e n t r a l r i t u a l o f the r e l i g i o u s p a r t o f Mangala. I t i s t h i s Murta ceremony, t h a t n e c e s s i t a t e s the. enactment o f c e r t a i n p r e l i m i n a r y o r i t e s . I f we conceive the a n c e s t r a l e s t a t e as a r e p l i c a t i o n o f the cosmic ord e r , then the p r e p a r a t i o n o f the p a r t i - -42- TABLE C: Cosmic connections magnified. P h i l o s o p h i c a l and Cosmological : Ceremonial A c t i o n s and Concerns References (a) R e p l i c a t i o n o f the cosmic - the r o l e o f a s t r o l o g y i n d e t e r - order i n human r e a l i t y : — — -i mining " a u s p i c i o u s " time f o r the wedding... - worship o f the sun, 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 cos- mic 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 - the r o l e o f the 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... (b) Connection between - p u r i f i c a t i o n s o f house... p u r i t y and pers o n a l - p u r i f i c a t i o n o f p a r t i c i p a n t s : o rder: r i t u a l shaving, v " r i t u a l bath, r i t u a l d r e s s i n g . . . - the 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 , as w e l l as gestures which convey p u r i t y / r e s p e c t . . . - Murta symbolism... - Ganga P u j a and K a v e r i P i l g r i m a g e -43- c i p a n t s f o r the performance o f Murta, and the l o c a t i o n i n which 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 the 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 the coming events. Inauspiciousness (which i s not n e c e s s a r i l y e q u a l l e d w i t h impurity) o f persons and t h i n g s , as w e l l as times, endangers the success o f the e n t i r e wedding. Moreover, the 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 the a n c e s t r a l house (the "stage" o f the wedding "performance", as i t were) i s considered "sacred" ( a u s p i c i o u s ) : C e r t a i n p a r t s o f the house are more sacred than the 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. I n the western w a l l o f the c e n t r a l h a l l i s a n i c h e i n which burns an earthen o r metal lamp (...) . The lamp burns w i t h the l i p f a c i n g e a s t , 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 Boluk. I t i s l i t every morning and evening by a woman of the 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 Boluk, o r hanging lamp, i s hung from the c e i l i n g o f the 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 occa- 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 c e r e - mony. However, i n recent times, a marriage pandal i s e r e c t e d i n f r o n t o f the main veranda o f the house, t o accommodate a l l the p a r t i c i - pants and guests. N e v e r t h e l e s s , the p l a c e where Murta i s performed l i e s i n the c e n t e r o f the a n c e s t r a l e s t a t e and i s considered the most sacred p a r t o f the e n t i r e p r o p e r t y . Before Murta can take p l a c e the e n t i r e house i s cleaned and i t s w a l l s are colour-washed. T h i s can be seen as a r e s t o r a t i o n o f the -44- general order o f t h i n g s . F u r t h e r , before Murta (and f o r t h a t matter, Mangala i n general) can take p l a c e , an a u s p i c i o u s time should be s e l e c t e d by the 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 the Coorgs use Kaniyas, a s t r o l o g e r s and magicians from Malabar who have been s e t t l e d i n Coorg f o r a long time. The Coorg b e l i e v e t h a t : ...every important task 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 . Only the Kaniya knows the 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 him by h i s knowledge o f astrology...A.wedding 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 hour, and i f there are horoscopes f o r the boy and the g i r l , they are examined t o f i n d out i f they are mutually compatible (1952: 39). The Coorgs, then, b e l i e v e , t h a t there i s a " r i g h t " time i n which the f o r c e s o f the u n i v e r s e - 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 through the union o f two persons i n marriage - are p o s i t i v e . T h i s means t h a t the c h o i c e o f an a u s p i c i o u s time f o r the "Kanni- Mangala" and i t s Murtas i s regarded as being of c o n s i d e r a b l e im- portance f o r the a b i l i t y t o regenerate and perpetuate human l i f e and p r o s p e r i t y . The connection 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 the s u p e r n a t u r a l power o f the u n i v e r s e and the o r d i n a r y l i f e - f o r c e o f man. F i n a l l y , b efore Murta can take p l a c e , the 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 . The groom i s r i t u a l l y shaved (whereas the g i r l goes through a r i t e c a l l e d "the wearing o f ban g l e s " ) , both r e c e i v e a r i t u a l bath, and both are dressed i n r i t u a l l y c l e a n c l o t h e s . -45- Before shaving, the groom s a l u t e s the sacred wall-lamp and then s i t s down on the t r i p o d s t o o l which i s p l a c e d on a mat: Near the 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 harvest basket c o n t a i n i n g same r i c e , a coconut, a bunch o f p l a n t a i n s , and b e t e l leaves and areca-nuts. Water may not be used f o r shaving on t h i s o c c a s i o n . M i l k i s used i n - stead. The shavings are put i n t o the d i n i n g d i s h , and l a t e r , the barber empties the 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 shaving p r e v a i l s a t marriage ( — ) . The f r o n t o f the head i s shaved i n such a manner t h a t i t leaves two 'horns' above the temples, formed by the shaved patches. This form o f shaving i s c a l l e d 'Kombanjavara', which means 'horn- shave '. (...) The harvest-basket c o n t a i n - i n g r i c e , e t c . , and the b e l l - m e t a l d i n i n g - d i s h , and the s c a r f a t the groom's w a i s t , are g i v e n as g i f t s t o the barber, ( i b i d : 80). While the groom i s b e i n g shaved, the b r i d e ( i n her 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 wisp o f h a i r from the b r i d e ' s head, and pares her n a i l s . These are put 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 . L a t e r , the d i n i n g - d i s h i s emptied a t the f o o t o f a milk-exuding 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 shaving the groom and paring, the 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 the b r i d e ' s maid, as the case may be, (...) conduct the bath. Three married women i n i t i a t e i t by pouring three v e s s e l s each on the heads o f b r i d e and groom. ( ) Widows have no access t o any o f these r i t e s (Muthanna 1953: 324) . Immediately a f t e r the bath, the b r i d e and groom are r i t u a l l y dressed i n t h e i r t r a d i t i o n a l Coorg costume; now they are f i t t o a c t - 4 6 - as the o b j e c t s o f Murta, where they are worshipped by 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 three s e t s o f preparatory r i t e s and a c t i v i t i e s mark the departure from the 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 h i g h e r (cosmic) plane on which the Murta i s c o n c e p t u a l i z e d and performed. Here the connection between r e l i g i o u s ideas and the s o c i a l r e a l i t y i s v i s u a l i z e d . As Fi g u r e I I shows, i t i s the 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 t h a t d e f i n e s the el e v a t e d locus o f the Murta ceremony: FIGURE I I : R e a l i z a t i o n o f the "cosmic connection" between the "u l t i m a t e order" and the "day-to-day r e a l i t y " through Murta. COSMIC PLANE "cosmic connection" (1) M U R T A (2) (3) M A N G A L A ORDINARY REALITY (1) (2) (3) . a s t r o l o g e r coordinates "auspicious time" f o r the performance o f Mangala and Murta. . p u r i f i c a t i o n o f l o c a l e i n which Mangala and Murta take p l a c e . . p u r i f i c a t i o n o f p a r t i c i p a n t s . -47- Murta s t a r t s when the groan o r the b r i d e proceeds t o the c e n t r a l h a l l (or the marriage pandal). There, a three-legged s t o o l i s s i t u a t e d , f l a n k e d by two b e l l - m e t a l lamps. The groom ( b r i d e ) t h r i c e walks around the t r i p o d s t o o l and (the) lamps before s i t t i n g down (on the s t o o l ) . Circumambulation i s c l o c k w i s e (...) . In f r o n t o f the s i t t i n g groom i s another such s t o o l covered w i t h a r e d s i l k c l o t h . An earthen lamp burns i n a metal d i n i n g - d i s h which i s kept on the s t o o l before the 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 the d i s h . (Besides) the earthen 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 the s i d e . Each o f the assembled r e l a t i v e s s i n g l y performs Murta on the groom (bride) . Three married women, c l o s e 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 perform i t before anyone e l s e ( ). The mother, o r (a) s e n i o r married woman, begins by s p r i n k l i n g r i c e on the two b e l l - m e t a l lamps on e i t h e r s i d e o f the groom ( b r i d e ) , and then 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 throwing some r i c e backwards, over the shoulders. Then, (the 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 the j o i n t s o f knees and elbows, shoulders, and on the head o f the groom. The (woman) then holds the spouted v e s s e l before the groom and he sucks i n a l i t t l e m i l k through the spout. A f t e r t h i s , she presents the (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 her by touching her f e e t w i t h both h i s hands and c a r r y i n g the l a t t e r back t o h i s fore-head. T h i s i s done t h r i c e . The woman then b l e s s e s him by touching h i s head and say i n g , 'may you l i v e l o n g ' , o r 'may you l i v e h a p p i l y ' . A f t e r the woman i s f i n i s h e d , the r e s t o f the assembled guests f o l l o w her example (Muthanna 1953: 325; S r i n i v a s 1952: 74). A f t e r the " i n d i v i d u a l " Murta (performed s e p a r a t e l y on the groom and the b r i d e ) , the exact r i t u a l i s repeated on the couple (second Murta) and, f i n a l l y , on the b r i d e by the groom ( t h i r d Murta). Each Murta marks the attainment o f a s u c c e s s i v e l y higher r i t u a l and s o c i a l p o s i t i o n . The o b j e c t ( s ) o f Murta are - 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 the " u l t i m a t e powers" o f the un 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 themselves. Surrounded by the sacred lamps which represent cosmic f o r c e s , as w e l l as by the l i f e - g i v i n g powers o f r i c e and m i l k , they.are r e p l i c a t i o n s o f the cosmic body "en m i n i a t u r e " ; t h i s i s symbolized by touching the knee, h i p , and s h o u l d e r - j o i n t s o f the groom's (and the br i d e ' s ) body. I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o note t h a t the Coorgs do not use p r i e s t s f o r the r e l i g i o u s p a r t o f t h e i r marriage. U s u a l l y , the p r i e s t (or any other type 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 as the mediator between the sup e r n a t u r a l realm and the o r d i n a r y human r e a l i t y and h i s a c t i o n s are regarded as m a n i f e s t a t i o n s o f these connections. I n the Coorg case, the f a m i l y members and c l o s e f r i e n d s o f the b r i d a l couple perform the r i t u a l a c t i o n s t h a t are designed t o add t o , and u n d e r l i n e , the auspiciousness o f the 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 out t h i s r o l e communally, thus s t r e s s i n g the importance o f the f a m i l y (and t o some extent, the community) c u l t , which represents a major 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 the p r i e s t - i s s u e : i t appears, t h a t t h i s term i s not 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 r e a l i t y . I n c o n t r a s t t o the Hindu conception o f p r i e s t s , as being teachers 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 as guardians o f Hindu i d e o l o g y , thus occupying the top 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 , the — more or^ l e s s — e g a l i t a r i a n s t r u c t u r e o f Coorg s o c i e t y appears t o work through 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 n o t i o n s o f the connection be- tween r e a l worlds and non-matter w o r l d through the continuous demon- 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 r e s p e c t . Respect i s gi v e n t o a l l persons and o b j e c t s which command r e s p e c t , t h a t i s , which are considered t o be e i t h e r a u s p i c i o u s (through Mangala), o r con- 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 the p o s i t i o n t o have a Mangala performed on them, i . e . a l l persons (and t h e i r s p i r i t s ) o r o b j e c t s which, by d e f i n i t i o n , do not deserve r e s p e c t ) . And, f i n a l l y , r e s p e c t i s g i v e n by a l l members of the community, thus, r e i n f o r c i n g the more t a n g i b l e c h a r a c t e r o f Coorg cosmological i d e a s . The o n l y r i t u a l s p e c i a l i s t s (but not n e c e s s a r i l y being o f the r e l i g i o u s s o r t , as, f o r i n s t a n c e , the Brahmin p r i e s t s ) are the Aruvas, 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 matters o f Coorg i n t e r - c l a n r e l a t i o n s . On the whole, the o n l y marked "cosmic connection" i n the "Kanni- Mangala" i s e s t a b l i s h e d through the Murta ceremony and i t s connected r i t e s . However, the 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 the re-enactment o f the s o c i a l order on a r e l i g i o u s plane. S r i n i v a s c a l l s -50- them " s o l i d a r i t y r i t e s " , and the e n t i r e r e l i g i o u s i d i o m o f the f a m i l y c u l t c e n t e r s around them. However, these s o l i d a r i t y r i t e s d i s p l a y some r e l i g i o u s overtones. For i n s t a n c e , the lamp i s a symbol o f s o l i d a r i t y , as w e l l as "auspiciousness" ( p o s i t i v e l i f e - g i v i n g force) and "sacredness" (which I see here as an adoption from Hinduism): . . . ( i t symbolizes) the s t r e n g t h o f the Okka, and i t s sudden e x t i n c t i o n r e f e r s t o the decay and e x t i n c t i o n o f the Okka (=sign o f " i n - a u s p i c i o u s n e s s " ) . I t a l s o r e f e r s t o the w i t h - drawal o f the p r o t e c t i v e power o f the ance s t o r s , and t o the cosmic f o r c e s (= s i g n o f "sacredness") who are invoked w h i l e s a l u t i n g the lamp. (...). The domestic lamp, as l o n g as i t i s burning, stands 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: 88). This symbolism, according t o S r i n i v a s , can be extended t o f i r e i n general and e x p l a i n s the "auspiciousness" and "sacredness" o f the k i t c h e n stove and — t o some extent — , the sun. A l l o t h e r 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 , the use o f m i l k , the money g i f t , g e n e r a l l y , the s a l u t a t i o n i n f r o n t o f the ob 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 Chapter IV ("The Kinsman"); f o r now i t s u f f i c e s t h a t there i s a connection be- tween the "auspiciousness" and the "sacredness" o f Coorg s o l i d a i r t y r i t e s . 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 of s o l i d a r i t y r i t e s t h a t concentrate on ancestor-worship and on the maintenance o f the s o c i a l order between the members o f the community, the i n f e r e n c e would h o l d t h a t those r e l i g i o u s a c t i v i t e s , which go -51- beyond t h i s l i m i t e d b e l i e f - s y s t e m are adoptions from a more complex o u t s i d e cosmology. The i n c l u s i o n o f concrete p h i l o s o p h i c a l n o t i o n s about the make-up o f a sup e r n a t u r a l u l t i m a t e r e a l i t y , which — t o some exten t — serves as an explanatory p r i n c i p l e ' as t o how human r e a l i t y should be pe r c e i v e d , as w e l l as notio n s o f p u r i t y and p o l l u t i o n viewed as a s o c i e t a l i m p o s i t i o n o f order by 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 the mixed r e - l i g i o u s i d e ology o f the Coorg people. The Coorg n o t i o n o f r e s p e c t , so important 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 be s i m i l a r t o the Hindu n o t i o n o f p u r i t y . P u r i t y i s order, and the members o f any gi v e n s o c i e t y w i t h i n the Hindu f o l d are expected and o b l i g a t e d t o r e s p e c t t h i s order. However, re s p e c t i s not n e c e s s a r i l y a r e l i g i o u s n o t i o n , w h i l e p u r i t y i s c l e a r l y r e l i g i o u s l y d e f i n e d . Respect p o i n t s towards a s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l (profane) n o t i o n o f h i e r - archy ( s t a t u s ) , w h i l e p u r i t y r e f e r s t o r e l i g i o u s h i e r a r c h y ( r i t u a l s t a t u s ) . The su p e r i m p o s i t i o n o f the n o t i o n o f r i t u a l s t a t u s onto the n o t i o n o f re s p e c t i n the Coorg case i s an a m p l i f i c a t i o n o f Coorg 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) groups, f o r whom r i t u a l s t a t u s i s "encompassing" (to use Dumont's term) and thus s u p e r i o r (to) s o c i a l s t a t u s . The examination o f the r e l i g i o u s p a r t o f the "Kanni-Mangala" supports my assumption t h a t the Coorgs i n c o r p o r a t e d Hindu cosmology i n a l i m i t e d fashion,and extended 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 which do not n e c e s s a r i l y -52- c o n t r a d i c t Hindu expectations w h i l e a t the same time s a t i s f y i n g those o f t h e i r own s o c i e t y . Table D h i g h l i g h t s these f a c t s : TABLE D: Extension o f Murta ceremony through adoption o f Hindu cosmological i d e a s . MURTA RITUALS HINDU CC6M0L0GICAL IDEAS - use o f a s t r o l o g y t o determine " a u s p i c i o u s " time (optional) - p u r i f i c a t i o n o f house (prescribed) - e r e c t i o n o f marriage pandal (optional) - worship o f sacred lamps - worship o f ancestors - r i t u a l shaving ( e s s e n t i a l ) - r i t u a l b ath ( e s s e n t i a l ) - r i t u a l d r e s s i n g i n t r a d i t i o n a l costume - worship o f the sun - use o f r i c e and m i l k - the three circumambulations ( e s s e n t i a l ) - touching the b o d y - j o i n t s w i t h r i c e ( e s s e n t i a l ) - s a l u t a t i o n and b l e s s i n g - performance o f 3 Murtas - c r o s s i n g the t h r e s h o l d w i t h r i g h t f o o t f i r s t (optional) - Ganga Puja (optional) I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o see t h a t the f o u r e s s e n t i a l r i t e s (which are o f t e n used i n high-caste Hindu marriage ceremonies, but are not f r e q u e n t l y evidenced i n marginal o r non-Hindu communities), concentrate on the 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 the Hindu sense, and, consequently, p o i n t t o the Coorg n o t i o n t o see themselves as being o f h i g h s t a t u s as w e l l . The adoption o f the 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) probably served as a v e h i c l e t o ndnimize the conceptual gap between those o u t s i d e groups ( i n t h i s case, the Lingayats) w i t h whom the Coorgs i n t e r m a r r i e d . I , t h e r e f o r e , tend t o b e l i e v e , t h a t the Coorgs were — more than anything — p o l i t i c a l l y motivated when they adopted these Hindu r i t e s . 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 helped them t o a t t a i n the s t a t u s o f a r i s t o c r a t s and second, i t helped them t o separate themselves from a l l those c a s t e - groups t h a t were, by 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 the d i f f e r e n c e between themselves and a l l o u t s i d e r s , by imposing order 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 . I t i s p o s s i b l e t h a t the 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 the pr o f a n a t i o n through i n f e r i o r i n f l u e n c e ; i f t h i s was the case 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 expressed the s t r u c t u r a l d i s t a n c e i n the 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 through the 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 maintained through d i s t a n c e from the source o f i m p u r i t y . The Coorgs, 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 the context o f warding o f f any ambiguity a t t h e i r e x t e r n a l boundaries. I n t e r n a l l y , t h e i r n o t i o n o f r e s p e c t took on r e l i g i o u s c h a r a c t e r through the sup e r i m p o s i t i o n o f the p u r i t y / p o l l u t i o n concept which l e d t o an ex- pansion o f the r i t u a l i d iom o f the f a m i l y c u l t . The whole s o c i e t y -54- came t o snare 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 the o u t s i d e w o r l d , thus d e f i n i n g the a c t i o n s and non-actions o f the i n t e r n a l and e x t e r n a l sphere o f Coorg l i f e . L e t us take another look a t Table C: a s s e r t i n g t h a t the e n t r i e s under "Murta r i t u a l s " represent the 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 marriage ceremony, then o n l y two s e t s o f references express concern w i t h "cosmic" r e l a t i o n - s h i p s : the worship o f the sacred lamp and the sun on the one hand, and t h a t o f the o b j e c t s o f Murta (the b r i d e and the groom) and the ancestors on the other hand. While the worship o f the lamp and the sun denotes same k i n d o f r e s p e c t f o r an impersonal l i f e - g i v i n g f o r c e , the worship o f the bride/groom as w e l l as the ancestors d i s p l a y s a k i n d o f per 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 the realm o f the day-to-day r e a l i t y . I n Coorg r e a l i t y , the flame o f the sacred lamp stands f o r the u n i t y and s o l i d a r i t y o f the household-unit, w h i l e the sun symbolizes the grand l i f e - g i v i n g f o r c e . The worship o f the o b j e c t s o f Murta, however, i s based on the b e l i e f t h a t ordered 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 concrete and a b s t r a c t forms o f respect de- pending on the p a r t i c u l a r p o s i t i o n o f each person i n the community,, as w e l l as whether the person i n q u e s t i o n i s the o b j e c t o f Murta 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 , the Coorgs b e l i e v e t h a t the worship (= d i s p l a y o f respect) o f the ancestors w i l l keep the e v i l l f o r c e s o f the s p i r i t s o f the dead i n check. -55- I t appears t h a t the Coorg n o t i o n o f re s p e c t (and I see i t here as b e i n g the major 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 ideas) i s maintained and r e - i n f o r c e d by the conscious knowledge o f i t s p o l a r o p p o s i t i o n : d i s r e s p e c t . D i s r e s p e c t i s misconduct and i m p l i e s the dread o f s o c i e t a l and r e l i g i o u s r e percussions. But dread i s l i k e f e a r , which i m p l i e s , i n t u r n , the awareness o f the p o s s i b i l i t y o f negative experience. I f negative experience i s e q u a l l e d w i t h s u f f e r i n g , i t can be seen as bein g the p r i c e one has t o pay f o r the v i o l a t i o n o f ord e r . The Coorg f a m i l y c u l t , then, d e f i n e s and ex- presses a system o f values t h a t i s based on the n o t i o n o f r e s p e c t , which i s seen as a powerful s o c i e t a l mode o f e v a l u a t i o n which 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 cosmological i d e a s . This Coorg n o t i o n .of r e s p e c t .can be l i n k e d t o what .'. S r i n i v a s c a l l s "auspiciousness" i n h i s Coorg book ( S r i n i v a s 1952: 7 0 f f ) . G e n e r a l l y , the term Mangala means "auspicious ceremony": people are i t s o b j e c t s , and they undergo a change i n s o c i a l and r i t u a l s t a t u s . 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 the community. Although marriage i s the o n l y Mangala t h a t i s s t i l l performed, i n olden times the 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 , etc.) always 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 events. T h i s l i f e - r e l a t e d n e s s was seen as being " a u s p i c i o u s " . On the other hand, death and any form o f deviance, was pe r c e i v e d as bein 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 , success, etc.) and "auspiciousness" v s . death ( s i c k n e s s , deviance, etc.) and " i n a u s p i c i o u s - -56- ness", i s w e l l d e f i n e d i n the Coorg case. Respect, then, being the r e f e r e n t f o r some k i n d o f order, 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 from the 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 order we f i n d c osmological adoptions from Hinduism which seem t o have been i n t e - g r a t e d i n t o Coorg world-view as 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 Hindu communities i n the province. The Coorgs use a s t r o l o g y t o determine the time when the "aus p i c i o u s " Mangala ceremony should take p l a c e . Thus, they acknow- ledge the f a c t t h a t the movement o f p l a n e t a r y bodies i n f l u e n c e s human a c t i o n s i n one way o r another, and t h a t what i s "sacred" i s a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f the supern a t u r a l powers w i t h human r e a l i t y . N evertheless, "...not a l l Coorgs have horoscopes, and marriages are f r e q u e n t l y arranged without r e s o r t i n g t o the (...) a s t r o l o g e r " ( S r i n i v a s 1952: 39). One may i n f e r , t h e r e f o r e , t h a t the Coorgs use a s t r o l o g y as a "back-up" system and they 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 the use o f the marriage p a v i l i o n . As my informant assured me, the Coorgs are a- ware t h a t the marriage p a v i l i o n represents a sacred space f o r Hindus. The Coorgs, however, use i t mainly f o r matters o f convenience, when the c e n t r a l h a l l o f the house i s too s m a l l f o r the performance o f Murta. I t i s not the Mandappa — the r e p l i c a t i o n o f the cosmic space — t h a t makes the l o c a t i o n "sacred", i t i s the presence o f the v a r i o u s lamps and the three-legged s t o o l (which are symbolic r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s o f the Coorg f a m i l y c u l t ) t h a t makes the p a v i l i o n (and f o r t h a t matter, any space i n which these items are located) a u s p i c i o u s . The Coorgs a l s o use aspects o f the Hindu p u r i t y / p o l l u t i o n con- cept i n t h e i r marriage ceremony (and i n t h e i r cosmology). They be l i e v e : i n the concepts o f Karma and Dharma, thus do not encourage r e l a t i o n s between themselves and "...other 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 , " but discourage the i d e a o f g e t t i n g reborn i n the w o r l d " ( i b i d : 318). I n a d d i t i o n , they perform P u j a s , do not k i l l cows, and face the e a s t when worshipping the sun-god. I n Coorg world-view, the a p p l i c a t i o n o f the p u r i t y / p o l l u t i o n concept i s besides other 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 the o u t s i d e (Hindu) w o r l d . For the 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 s t a t u s . According t o S r i n i v a s (1952: 108), P o l e ( p o l l u t i o n ) and Madi (p u r i t y ) are r i t u a l o p p o s i t i o n s and d i f f e r from the normal r i t u a l s t a t u s . Death p o l l u t i o n i s the 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 . Madi can be achieved through a simple bath (the washing o f hands and face) and the change o f c l o t h e s . I f a Coorg gets d e f i l e d by (17) the touch o f a low-caste person, by c o n t a c t w i t h impure matter e t c . , he l o s e s h i s temporary r i t u a l s t a t u s , but o n l y f o r as l o n g as he does not conduct a p u r i f i c a t i o n bath. 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 never get 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, are d e - r i t u a l i z e d t o same degree. The c u l t o f the Okka holds together the f a m i l y and i t s -58- p o l i t i c a l and econcmic u n i t y through the n o t i o n o f res p e c t as one system o f order, and the observance o f avoidance 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 the use o f another system o f order, 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 and s o c i a l d i s t a n c e . C. SUMMARY: In t h i s p a r t o f the t h e s i s I have argued t h a t the r e l i g i o u s symbolism d i s p l a y e d i n the Coorg "Kanni-Mangala" shows a mix be- tween two a b s t r a c t n o t i o n s o f general o r d e r : the n o t i o n o f res p e c t which determines the i n t e r n a l mode o f a c t i o n s and non-actions w i t h - i n the f a m i l y c u l t ; which f u r t h e r d e f i n e s "auspiciousness" 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 "in a u s p i c i o u s n e s s " as i t s death- r e l a t e d o p p o s i t i o n ; and which makes up the b a s i c form o f the Mangala. The second one i s the emphasis on p u r i t y as 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 . I n the Coorg case t h i s works mainly 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 references o f these two notion s o f a b s t r a c t order I i d e n t i - f i e d the worship o f the sacred lamps (representing the u n i t y and p r o s p e r i t y o f the f a m i l y u n i t ) , o f the sun (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 the ancestors (respect o f the negative f o r c e s 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 the importance 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 the intra-Okka m a n i f e s t a t i o n s o f order) on the -59- one hand, and the r i t u a l i m p l i c a t i o n s o f the adopted aspects o f 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, touching the body-joints) on the other hand. I a s s e r t e d t h a t p u r i t y i s e q u a l l e d w i t h 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 the use o f the p u r i t y / p o l l u t i o n concept a s s i s t s the 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 c u l t u r a l c o n t e x t . - 5 9 a - C H A P T E R I I W A R R I O R / R U L E R A T T I T U D E S - 6 0 - A. PROLOGUE: I s h a l l proceed now w i t h my i n v e s t i g a t i o n o f those symbolic expressions w i t h i n the Coorg marriage ceremony which s t r e s s the n o n - r e l i g i o u s aspects o f order, those aspects which 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 general s o c i a l s t a t u s i n the d i s t r i c t . One o f the problems which a r i s e s i n d e a l i n g w i t h the concept of power i s t h a t i t i s an 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 . Nonetheless, i t i s based on r e a l and concrete circumstances which are symptomatic f o r any given s o c i a l system. Power does not e x i s t i n i t s e l f - and o f i t s e l f , but i s based on an e m p i r i c a l r e a l i t y and must be considered i n t h i s way. Another p o i n t i n case i s t h a t power has t o be seen i n r e l a t i o n a l terms. T h i s i s t o say t h a t an i n d i v i d - u a l o r a group can o n l y be regarded as powerful t o those w i t h l e s s o r 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 as the a b i l i t y t o command resources, both human and m a t e r i a l , and i s d e r i v e d from convention- a l l y sanctioned r i g h t s over 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 d i s p l a y f o r c e i n order t o maint a i n a c e r t a i n p o s i t i o n 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. -61- I n the Coorg case, power i s seen as the r e f e r e n t t h a t com- bin e s aspects o f ownership 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 through 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 . These synonymous manifesta- t i o n s o f p o l i t i c o - e c o n o m i c 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 tend t o b e l i e v e t h a t the Coorg noti o n s o f power serve as primary 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 from Hindu n o t i o n s o f power as understood by Dumont (1970) and M a r r i o t t (1976). Dumont has co n c e p t u a l i z e d power i n terms o f a p o l i t i c o - e c o n o m i c s e c u l a r realm but sees i t encompassed by 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 the impure i s o f fundamental importance. 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 concept o f power i n which " a l l beings are gradable by power ( s a k t i ) , and power i s understood t o be synonymous w i t h both 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: 113). I contend t h a t the Coorgs express t h e i r n o t i o n o f power i n y e t another way: i t i s t r u e , t h e i r n o t i o n o f "respect" can be d e f i n e d r e l i g i o u s l y as w e l l as s o c i a l l y , but i t does not 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 by a r e l i g i o u s ideology. 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 the " s e c u l a r " realm, t o t h a t which 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 symbolic (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 as wealthy landowners and m i l i t a r y s p e c i a l i s t s , which -62- e s t a b l i s h e d 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 the f i r s t p l a c e . In t h i s chapter I take a c l o s e look a t symbolic representa- t i o n s o f Coorg power and dcminance which d e f i n e and express those aspects o f t h e i r i d e n t i t y , and which are d i s p l a y e d i n the "Kanni- Mangala" . B. COORG NOTIONS OF POWER EXPRESSED IN THE "KANNI-MANGALA" Table B (on page 33-34) d i s p l a y s numerous ceremonial references under the "symbolic complex #2" which can be organized i n t o three c a t e g o r i e s : f i r s t , those references which d e a l w i t h power i n r e - l a t i o n t o t h e i r f i g h t i n g a b i l i t y , second those which show t h e i r socio-economic dominance through d e s c r i p t i o n s o f property ownership and f a m i l y wealth, and t h i r d references 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 - c a l r o l e i n the d i s t r i c t w i t h r e s p e c t t o the non-Coorg members o f the community. The d i s c u s s i o n i s organized i n accordance w i t h Table 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 t r a d i - t i o n . During the course o f t h e i r recorded h i s t o r y there are 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 . I n the times which preceeded the Lingayat r u l e , 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 (Okkas) f r e q u e n t l y fought a g a i n s t each other i n order t o 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 the Lingayat Rajas had managed t o c e n t r a l i z e the 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 , the Coorgs more -63- TABLE E: Aspects o f Coorg power expressions. ASPECTS OF POWER SYMBOLIC REFERENCES 1) FIGHTING ABILITY: - t r a d i t i o n a l Coorg d r e s s : dagger, sword- - Murta symbolism: t a k i n g possession o f the b r i d e - R i t u a l o f " c u t t i n g the p l a n t a i n - stumps" w i t h the Coorg sword. 2) TERRITORIAL DOMINANCE - - r i t u a l shaving: AND FAMILY WEALTH: the " h o r n - s t y l e " o f shaving the groom's forehead. - t r a d i t i o n a l Coorg d r e s s : turban, c l o t h - m a t e r i a l s ( s i l k , wool, cotton) j e w e l l e r y and orna- ments. - Murta 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 pr o p e r t y and commo- d i t i e s . '3) SOCIO-POLITICAL STATUS EXPRESSIONS: - t r a d i t i o n a l Coorg d r e s s : the 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 high - c a s t e Hindu emblems such as " t a l i s " , "sacred threads", 'feacred. ashes", " o i l s " , - e x c l u s i o n o f p r i e s t s , the "sacred f i r e " , e t c . - Murta 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 wealt h and ownership. -64- o r l e s s u n i t e d and fought i n the Rajas' armies 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 Rule, they 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 Rice t e l l s us: ....these mountaineers had a c o n s i d e r a b l e share o f i n t r e p i d i t y and perseverance; stratagem en- t 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 they were remarkable f o r t h e i r predatory h a b i t s , and t h e i r neighbours accused them on those occasions t o add c r u e l t y t o p i l l a g e . L i k e the modern g u e r i l l a , though they were unable t o contend openlyiwith r e g u l a r t r o u p s , they i n t e r c e p t e d t h e i r s u p p l i e s , c u t o f f t h e i r communications, and harrassed them by s u r p r i s e s , a species o f warfare admirably adapted t o second the 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 country must present. An i n t i m a t e knowledge o f i t , a s t r i c t obedience, 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 remarkable attachment t o t h e i r w i l d s and an equal g a l l a n t r y i n defending them, may i n some measure perhaps have compensated the want o f m i l i t a r y s k i l l s (Rice i n S r i n i v a s 1952: 15). Up t o the i n t r o d u c t i o n o f f i r e a r m s , the Coorg war-sword ( V o d i k a t h i ) , an approximately three f°°tiong and s l i g h t l y curved broad-bladed weapon, which represented an e x c e l l e n t instrument f o r man-to-man combat, was the primary symbol o f t h e i r m a r t i a l t r a d i - t i o n . I t was used together w i t h the s h o r t dagger and a round, 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 re-enacted i n v a r i o u s war-dances, which Dr. Muthanna c a l l s "the m i l i t a r y d r i l l o f the Coorgs" (Muthanna 1953: 270). Between 1860 and 1 9 4 0 ^ ^ the Coorgs formed the m a j o r i t y o f the manpower o f B r i t i s h Army U n i t s which were s t a t i o n e d i n Coorg d i s t r i c t . A f t e r I n d i a ' s Independence, many Coorgs e n l i s t e d i n the -65- newly formed In 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 diplomats. Two Coorg o f f i c e r s , however, became famous, and made Coorg and i t s people w i d e l y known w i t h i n and o u t s i d e I n d i a ' s borders. One o f these two i n d i v i d u a l s was General Cariappa, who assumed the charge o f Commander-in-Chief o f the Indian Army i n 1949; the o t h e r was L t . General Thimmayya, the Army Commander (Western Command) and appointed chairman 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- sio n s between 1949 and 1954 (Muthanna 1953: 286). According 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 tenure devised by the Lingayat Rajas was 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 l a n d i n r e t u r n f o r t h e i r m i l i - t a r y s e r v i c e s . S r i n i v a s w r i t e s : The "jamma" tenure 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 area o f l a n d producing a hundred " b h a t t i s " o f paddy.... The area o f l a n d granted 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 o f the s o i l . . . . Along w i t h the assessed r i c e - f i e l d s went .two unassessed s t r e t c h e s o f l a n d : one was bane, the h i g h l a n d adjacent t o the 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 o f f u e l , timber, and f o r e s t produce; and the other 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" lan 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 not be s u b l e t without the permission o f the Raja, and most import- ant, people h o l d i n g l a n d on the "jamma" t e n - ure 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 s e r v i c e . -66- "Jamma" tenure c o n f e r r e d a double p r e s t i g e on the h o l d e r i n a d d i t i o n t o the undoubted eco- nomic advantage . I t s i g n i f i e d t h a t the hol d e r had h i s r o o t s i n Coorg, and the duty o f rendering m i l i t a r y s e r v i c e t o the s t a t e i n times o f emergency c o n f e r r e d on him the second type o f p r e s t i g e ( S r i n i v a s 1952: 17). I t i s not s u r p r i s i n g , t h a t the Coorgs were considered the most powerful community i n the d i s t r i c t as they had been a b l e t o (a) e s t a b l i s h themselves as the m i l i t a r y s p e c i a l i s t s i n the are a , (b) had been a b l e t o market t h e i r s k i l l s , thus 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 the lan d on which — and o f f which — they l i v e d , and (c) by making themselves i n d i s p e n s i b l e f o r the main- tenance and pe r p e t u a t i o n o f the s t a t e p o l i t i c a l l y as w e l l as economically, they formed by f a r the most i n f l u e n c t i a l and domin- ant community i n Croog. Under the L i n g a y a t s , the Coorgs were the a r i s t o c r a c y , on which the Raja depended almost e n t i r e l y . L a t e r , when the B r i t i s h took over, the Coorgs became even more powerful, as they were the f i r s t who adopted modern technology w h i l e main- t a i n i n g t h e i r t r a d i t i o n a l dominant r o l e . 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 , t h e r e f o r e , are much more frequent than those which bear r e l i g i o u s symbolism. Right from the beginning o f the a c t u a l marriage ceremony, the groom and the b r i d e are dressed 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 dress i s made o f c o t t o n , wool, and s i l k , w h i l e the b r i d e ' s Coorg- s t y l e d saree 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 , both wear -67- j 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 precious stones. The t r a d i t i o n a l Coorg dress g i v e s ample evidence o f t h e i r w ealth and s t a t u s , forming a d i s t i n c t emblematic exp r e s s i o n o f t h e i r i d e n t i t y . 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 the 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 the above statements: The p r i n c i p a l dress o f the Coorg man c o n s i s t s o f a long coat o f dark 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 below the knees. The sleeves end below the elbow and show the arms o f a white s h i r t (...). (The coat) i s f o l d e d across and c o n f i n e d a t the w a i s t by a r e d o r b l u e s i l k sash wound:, s e v e r a l times around the w a i s t , and knotted a t the l e f t f r o n t . On the r i g h t f r o n t , the Coorg s h o r t k n i f e i s stuck t o the sash having an i v o r y o r s i l v e r handle, and fastened w i t h s i l v e r c h a i n s . The l a r g e broad-bladed (war) k n i f e i s p l a c e d a t the back, where i t i s c a r r i e d i n a brass 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 the l e f t shoulder. L i k e the K u k r i o f the Gurkhas, i t i s a formidable weapon f o r hand-to-hand f i g h t i n g . ( ). The head dress i s a r e d ( s i l k ) k e r c h i e f and the b e a u t i - f u l l y fashioned turban, r a t h e r f l a t and l a r g e a t the top and c o v e r i n g a p o r t i o n o f the back o f the neck... (Iyer 1948: 60-61). The b r i d e wears a uniform o f r e d s i l k : . a r e d s i l k saree, a r e d s i l k f u l l sleeved Coorg blouse, and a red s i l k s c a r f which i s t i e d around her head. She wears bangles, necklaces, e a r - r i n g s , and a l s o orna- ments on her 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 , the Coorgs c o n s t i t u t e d the a r i s t o c r a c y under the Lingayats ( S r i n i v a s 1952: 18). I t i s , t h e r e f o r e 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 bears emblems o f t h i s s u p e r i o r s o c i a l s t a t u s . A somewhat-similar symbolism (where the b r i d e and groom are compared w i t h a r o y a l o r k i n g l y couple)can a l s o be -68- observed w i t h i n Hindu r e a l i t y . Hocart (1927: 100) has po i n t e d out t h a t there i s a s i m i l a r i t y between r o y a l consecrations and wedding ceremonies. Dumont and Pocock (1959: 33) s t a t e t h a t "sometimes the bridegroom i s compared t o the k i n g , sometimes the 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) notes t h a t i n P u r i c e r t a i n a r t i c l e s are p a r t i c u l a r l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h k i n g s h i p . . . " among these are the white and b l a c k umbrella...." However, here r e l i g i o u s notions are emphasized i n order t o separate the b r i d a l couple from the realm o f the day-to-day r e a l i t y . I n the Coorg case, I tend t o b e l i e v e t h a t the " a r i s t o c r a t i c " symbol- ism i s an ex 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 " as 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 the dagger^, the sword and the white! umbrella:' h e l d over him. The b r i d e wears.red s i l k and c o t t o n and has a white umbrella h e l d over her as w e l l . Together, they share the most b a s i c and s y m b o l i c a l l y ex- p r e s s i v e c o l o u r s : r e d , white, and b l a c k . The groom concentrates a l l the v i s i b l e symbols o f power on h i s person. He, indeed, looks l i k e a s t r o n g and dominant person, commanding r e s p e c t from anybody i n h i s community. T h i s a t t i t u d e i s u n d e r l i n e d through t h e r i t u a l o f c u t t i n g the p l a n t a i n stumps a t the b r i d e ' s house. T h i s r i t u a l i s c a l l e d "Bale B i r u d u " (Muthanna 1953: 327) and g i v e s the groom the 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 determina- t i o n and p h y s i c a l s t r e n g t h . With one blow o f h i s war-sword, he cu t s the p l a n t a i n stumps i n h a l f . Dr. Muthanna c i t e s an anecdote from Coorg f o l k l o r e which e x p l a i n s the r i t u a l : Manmatha, god o f beauty and l o v e , wanted t o marry R a t h i , the then most b e a u t i f u l p r i n c e s s who had been betrothed t o another p r i n c e . T h e i r marriage had a l r e a d y been arranged and t h e r e f o r e Manmatha went (dressed) as a bridegroom t o R a t h i ' s house and challenged h i s r i v a l s u i t o r . I n the f i g h t t h a t ensued, Manmatha k i l l e d h i s opponent and married R a t h i , the queen o f h i s c h o i c e (Muthanna 1953: 327),. I t i s obvious t h a t the Coorgs a s s i g n great importance 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 pre-given order o f t h i n g s , the hero o f t h i s anecdote (and the groom re-enacts t h i s i n the "Kanni-Mangala") takes h i s own a c t i o n s which are designed t o change the outcome of the p l o t t o h i s advantage. The p l a n t a i n stumps symbolize opposing f o r c e s , and when the groom c u t s them i n h a l f , he destroys them and i s f r e e t o take possession o f the b r i d e . He does t h i s a f t e r the t h i r d Murta, when he l i f t s her o f f the t h r e e - legged s t o o l and leads her t o the k i t c h e n i n which she has t o w a i t u n t i l the Sammanda ceremony i s over. Again, the groom leads her out o f the k i t c h e n and away from her 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 possession o f the b r i d e ( r a t h e r than r e c e i v i n g the " g i f t o f the b r i d e " as i s customary i n Hindu weddings) together w i t h the d i s p l a y o f h i s m a r t i a l a b i l i t i e s suggests 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 expressed through the wearing o f "signs o f aggression" (the sword and dagger) and through the symbolic re-enactment o f an "aggres- s i v e " r i t e . Thus, I propose t h a t the above mentioned aspects 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 " strength) and m a n i f e s t a t i o n s o f aggres- s i o n (through an ideology based on t h i s a u t h o r i t y ) , and are c o n f i n e d t o the male a c t o r . Nevertheless, i t i s the b r i d e who i s the o b j e c t o f a l l these symbolic enactments o f power, and i t i s the 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. Without a w i f e , the Coorg man 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 e x e r c i s e 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 aspects o f the r e a l i t y o f the Croogs and operates on an i n d i v i d u a l and communal l e v e l . As mentioned e a r l i e r , the Coorgs were a b l e t o secure b i r t h r i g h t s on the l a n d on which (and o f f (23) which) they l i v e d . I t i s a s s e r t e d , t h a t the Coorgs as a s o c i e t y own over 85% o f the a v a i l a b l e t e r r i t o r y i n the d i s t r i c t which makes them the overwhelmingly dominant group i n the area. Dominance i n t h i s c ontext i s seen as the r e s u l t o f ownership o f a h i g h percentage o f the a v a i l a b l e t e r r i t o r y and the c o n t r o l o f movable and immobile propert y by one group. By owning the means o f production and the working f o r c e (they had s l a v e s ) , the Coorgs managed t o accumulate c o n s i d e r a b l e wealth, which i n t u r n served as a primary emblem o f t h e i r s u p e r i o r s o c i a l s t a t u s v i s - a - v i s a l l o u t s i d e r s . In order t o a p p r e c i a t e the 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 q u i c k l o o k a t the v i l l a g e -71- s i t u a t i o n i n a Hindu community vs 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 which c u t s across sub- ca s t e l i n e s and t h a t a l l o w s the establishment and the 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 Hindu communities. The Coorgs, however, d i d not use t h i s k i n d o f s o c i a l r e g u l a n t . They were the owners and operators o f t h e i r f a m i l y e s t a t e s and used s l a v e s as t h e i r work f o r c e . According t o S r i n i v a s , these 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 and the other p e r s o n a l : ....The (prae d i a l ) s l a v e s c o u l d not be s o l d apart from the l a n d on which they worked, and when l a n d was s o l d , they went w i t h i t automati- c a l l y . The perso n a l s l a v e s , on the ot h e r hand, c o u l d be s o l d o r mortgaged, and had t o move w i t h t h e i r masters wherever the l a t t e r went. They were, i n f a c t , the movable propert y o f t h e i r masters ( S r i n i v a s 1952: 21). I n t e r e s t i n g l y enough, the 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 although they were considered t o be o f lower s t a t u s , they were members o f the house- h o l d , and thus i n c o r p o r a t e d i n the Coorg Okka. I n o p p o s i t i o n t o Hindu communities, t h e r e was no qu e s t i o n who was i n charge i n Coorg. A f t e r the B r i t i s h had a b o l i s h e d s l a v e r y , the Coorgs q u i c k l y changed from 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 production t o the newly imported Western s t y l e which 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 . Although the change from the t r a d i t i o n a l mode o f production t o the "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 re g a r d i n g communal ownership o f la n d , wealth 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 , the Coorgs managed t o remain the dominant group f o r most o f the 19th and w e l l i n t o the 20th century. I t i s not s u r p r i s i n g t h a t symbolic references t o t h i s domin- ance are frequent i n the Coorg marriage ceremony. The f i r s t r e f e r e n c e t o Coorg noti o n s o f t e r r i t o r i a l a f f i n i t y i s expressed d u r i n g the r e l i g i o u s p a r t o f the wedding. When the groom i s r i t u a l l y shaved, ....the f r o n t o f the head i s shaved i n such a manner t h a t i t leaves two "horns" above the temples, formed by the shaved patches. T h i s mode o f shaving i s c a l l e d "Kombanjavara" which means "horn shave" ( S r i n i v a s 1952: 80). (25) The term Kombu, according t o Dr. Muthanna. , has s e v e r a l meanings: i t r e f e r s t o "extension", "horn", but i s a l s o the name f o r a t r u m p e t - l i k e m u s i c a l instrument t h a t the Coorgs used f o r communications. Watchmen would sound t h i s trumpet whenever the Raja v i s i t e d the area, and the r e g i o n i n which the sound o f the Kombu. would be heard was l a t e r a l s o c a l l e d Kombu. I n c i d e n t a l l y , 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 the l a r g e s t i n d i v i d - u a l l y recognized 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 "Ur'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 . Although there i s no reference i n the l i t e r a - t u r e which suggests a connection between the t e r r i t o r i a l Kombu and the s t y l e o f shaving (Kombanj a v a r a ) , i t i s p o s s i b l e t o see the symbolic "horns" as expressions o f t e r r i t o r i a l power, o r power i n gen e r a l . -73- The t r a d i t i o n a l Coorg costume, however, g i v e s more ample evidence o f t h e i r power and wealth. The groom wears a f i n e c o t t o n s h i r t , a woolen coat, a s i l k sash, and a turban. The b r i d e i s dressed i n pure s i l k . I n a d d i t i o n , both wear j e w e l l e r y on the head, around the neck, the w r i s t s , and a n k l e s , as w e l l as on t h e i r f i n g e r s and toes. 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 , and p recious stones. The sheath o f the groom's dagger i s decorated w i t h gems, and even the c l a s p which secures the war-sword on the 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 admit t h a t I was impressed by the f i n e q u a l i t y and s t y l e o f i t . The ornaments and j e w e l l e r y o f the b r i d e (I had the 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 from h i g h - c a s t e Hindu c o u n t e r p a r t s . The turban, being r a t h e r f l a t on the top and pre-modelled (that i s , i t i s permanent, not f r e s h l y wound) looks l i k e a crown- l i k e hat 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 the groom and the b r i d e are made o f s i l k and when worn over the turban and the v e i l add t o the " a r i s t o c r a t i c " appearance o f the b r i d a l couple. S i m i l a r t o Hindu weddings, the custom o f g i v i n g money g i f t s t o the b r i d a l couple p r e v a i l s i n Coorg: Everyone who performs Murta t o the (bride and groom) should g i v e a money-gift, and the t h r e e married women (who i n i t i a t e the Murta) are ex- pected t o g i v e a g o l d c o i n each... A t the wedding the mother o f the b r i d e (or groom) , and the groom w h i l e performing Murta t o the b r i d e , have t o g i v e a purse 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 which should be a g o l d c o i n . . . On the second day o f marriage, when the b r i d e v i s i t s the groom's house, she gives a money g i f t t o every i n f a n t i n her co n j u g a l Okka. L a t e r , the groom does the same i n her n a t a l Okka.... ( S r i n i v a s 1952: 95-6). Besides:: the f a c t t h a t the 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, on some occasions, may be gi 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 the case o f the Aruva), o r may be used f o r s e a l i n g a con- (27) t r a c t , i t i s the emphasis on the g o l d t h a t i s intended t o sym- b o l i z e wealth and not 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: 96). Returning t o symbolic references t o property ownership and m a t e r i a l wealth, the Sammanda ceremony g i v e s evidence o f how im- po r t a n t these aspects o f power are f o r Coorgs. The Sammanda ceremony, which c o n s t i t u t e s the profane l e g i t i m i z a t i o n o f the new kin-bond as w e l l as the establishment (or strengthening) o f p o l i t i c o - economic t i e s between the two Okkas, confe r s membership r i g h t s t o the b r i d e . E l d e r s from the two Okkas stand i n two rows f a c i n g each ot h e r . The c o n f i r m a t i o n o f oaths, the pledge o f possession o f the husband's house by the b r i d e and other r i g h t s are a f f i r m e d by the two Aruvas, o r f a m i l y f r i e n d s : B r i d e ' s Aruva: "The people o f both Nads, men o f the house, r e l a t i v e s and f a m i l y members, are they a l l standing i n two rows?" Groom's Aruva: "They stand." -75- B r i d e ' s Aruva" Groom's Aruva: Bride-!s Aruva: Groom's Aruva: B r i d e ' s Aruva: Groom's Aruva" B r i d e ' s Aruva: Groom's Aruva: B r i d e ' s Aruva: "To the maid .. .A... o f the Alpha Okka whom we are about t o g i v e i n marriage t o the youth ...B... o f the Beta Okka, w i l l you g i v e the g i r l Sammanda i n the p r o p e r t y o f the groom's Okka? 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 which y i e l d s 1,000 B u t t i e s o f paddy, i n the t e n 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 , the house, garden, 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, the paddy f l a t , i n the b e l l - m e t a l d i s h t h a t leans a g a i n s t 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 b u r i e d t r e a s u r e s , i n thread, p i e c e s o f c l o t h , needles, and i n e v e r y t h i n g from one t o one hundred, w i l l you g i v e her a l l these r i g h t s ? " "We g i v e . " "On the marriage o f our c h i l d servants w i l l c a r r y goods on t h e i r heads worth a 1,000 Bi r a n s o r c o i n s i n a box worth 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 ? " " I am." "Who are you?" " I belong t o the Gamma Okka and I am the f a m i l y f r i e n d o f the Beta Okka." "Are you the f a m i l y f r i e n d attached t o t h e i r l a n d (Mannaruva), o r have you been c o n t r a c t e d w i t h money f o r the occasion (Ponnaruva)?" " I am both." "Here take these twelve p i e c e s o f g o l d . " (He o f f e r s him twelve pebbles but r e t a i n s one f o r himself.) -76- Groom's /Aruva: Bride's Aruva: Groom's Aruva: Bride's Aruva: Groom's Aruva: Bride's Aruva: Groom's Aruva: Bride's Aruva: Groom's Aruva: Bride's Aruva: Handing over the fies the typical "I have received eleven pieces of gold. If your innocent child, the g i r l that is married to our boy, complains that the rice is too hot, the curry too pungent, that her father-in-law is abusive, her mother-in-law is niggardly, that her husband is impotent or she cannot stay in her husband's house because the people are poor, and thus complaining she goes back to her natal home, who is the person to be held responsible for telling her what is right and what is 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?" "I am." "Who are you?" "I belong to the Delta ,Okka and I am the family friend of the Alpha Okka." "Are you the family friend attached to their land, or have you been contracted with money for the occasion?" "I am both." "Here take this witness money." (He pays three coins to the 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?" "I am." "Here take this witness money." (He hands one coin to the groom's Aruva.) ... symbolic pebbles to the bride's Aruva signi- pledge of possession. It is a token for seal- -77- ing the bride's rights for the husband's property. Out of the twelve pebbles one i s retained to indicate the bride's connection with her natal Okka. In fact, i f the bride hap- pens to be divorced later, she has the right to return to her natal hone. The eleven pebbles are later tied to the frontal breast-knot of her saree. (Srinivas 1952: 136-8; Muthanna 1953: 323-4). Although the Sammanda ceremony focuses on the transference of ownership-rights to the bride, and concentrates on the contractual character of the Coorg marriage ceremony, the stress on references to territory and material ownership i s apparent. Rather than de- pending on the moral code of a religiously sanctioned unity with her husband, the bride acquires legal rights in the common property of her husband's family. She shares with him what seems to be of ultimate importance for any adult Coorg: the defined and acknow- ledged rights i n a l l fixed and movable property of the Okka which includes wet-land, pastures, cattle, the ancestral house and i t s garden, the agricultural equipment, house-hold utensils, a l l sacred objects, and the entire family "treasure". In opposition to the Hindu couple, the Coorg husband and wife share equal power positions with respect to ownership rights, which has important implications on their marital relations. The personal ties are strengthened through this internal dependency, for, i f the marriage does not last, both loose these co-rights simultaneously. On a different level, the very fact that there i s territory and familial wealth to share, and, that this wealth i s considerable i n comparison t o neighbouring communities, g i v e s ample i n d i c a t i o n about the s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l s t a t u s the Coorgs a s c r i b e t o themselves and convey t o a l l o u t s i d e r s . I t i s not s u r p r i s i n g t h a t the "Kanni-Mangala" d i s p l a y s num- erous symbolic references t o Coorg noti o n s o f power ( a u t h o r i t y and dominance) and t h a t the Sammanda ceremony r e g u l a t e s the m a t e r i a l aspects 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 as w e l l as e x t e r n a l l y . As mentioned b e f o r e , the 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 based on the Okka. In h i s t o r i c a l times the numerous Okkas f r e - quently fought a g a i n s t each o t h e r , destroyed each oth e r s f i e l d 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 . I n order t o a v e r t e x t e r n a l aggres- s i o n , i t was wise 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 as many neighbouring Okkas as 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 through i n t e r m a r r i a g e secured the peace and p r o s p e r i t y i n t e r n a l l y and inc r e a s e d the p o l i t i c a l and economic, as w e l l as the m i l i t a r y p o t e n t i a l o f these "unions" e x t e r n a l l y . I t i s p o s s i b l e t o see the Sammanda ceremony as a r i t u a l i z a t i o n o f these n o t i o n s . (28) Dr. B u r r i d g e suggested t h a t Coorg looked v e r y much l i k e the S c o t t i s h Highlands might have looked i n the Middle Ages w i t h numerous f o r t r e s s e s s c a t t e r e d 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 as w e l l as a g a i n s t each o t h e r . D i s t i n c t costumes, s h i e l d s and swords e x h i b i t i n g 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 not mix w i t h anybody but themselves. Marriage, -79- f o r t h i s matter, was the o n l y l i n k t h a t provided a more o r l e s s secure and p o s i t i v e b i l a t e r a l connection between two f a m i l y u n i t s . For Coorgs, i t seems, p o l i t i c a l and economic aspects are o f more importance than r e l i g i o u s orthodoxy. Since they d i d not have t o have co n t a c t with' - o u t s i d e ccmmunities (other than w i t h those low ca s t e and t r i b a l groups t h a t were t h e i r s l a v e s ) , t h e i r focus was on the maintenance and expansion o f t h e i r power through the 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 , which were achieved mainly through marriage. And, s i n c e r e l i g i o u s values were never h i g h l y s t r e s s e d , the c o n t r a c t u a l p a r t o f the marriage ceremony gained more importance. The "Kanni-Mangala" t h u s , combines the 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 , the sacred and the profane i n t h e Murta and Sammanda r i t u a l s . The o v e r a l l appearance o f the b r i d a l couple d u r i n g the two days o f the marriage ceremony, and the d i s t i n c t s t r u c t u r e o f the wedding procedures are symptomatic o f the c u l t u r a l i d e n t i t y o f Coorgs. The symbolic expressions i n t h e i r dress (the " a r i s t o - c r a t i c " symbolism; the m a r t i a l emblems), the frequent references t o t h e i r a u t h o r i t y and dominance, g i v e a symbolic " s e l f - d e s c r i p t i o n " o f what the Coorgs c o n s i d e r t o be o f g r e a t e s t importance i n t h e i r s o c i a l r e a l i t y . 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 a b i l i t y , the Coorgs had not t o be concerned w i t h the question o f s t a t u s per se as l o n g as they 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 from Hindu- -80- ism. However, once the Brahmins were ab l e t o i n f i l t r a t e , and more and more Hindu sub-castes had s e t t l e d i n the v i c i n i t y , the Coorgs were f o r c e d t o a d j u s t t o t h i s new s i t u a t i o n . According t o S r i n i v a s , the Coorgs were a t r i b e t h a t got " S a n s k r i t i z e d " , and, thus, came t o share common b e l i e f s and values (29) w i t h t h e i r Hindu neighbours. But Coorg accounts do not agree w i t h t h i s a s s e r t i o n . Moreover, they s t a t e t h a t the Brahirdns attempted 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 Hindu r e - l i g i o u s consciousness 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 order t o account f o r Coorg "Hindu background", by p l a c i n g them w i t h i n the K s h a t r i y a Varna 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 , by 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 the emergence of Hindu immigrants i n the area, the Coorgs seemed t o have became more s t a t u s conscious thus.forming a stronger sense o f community i d e n t i t y . Rather than adopting Hindu ideas (as c o u l d be expected i n the case o f t h e i r " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " ) , they used 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 course, c e r t a i n customs and b e l i e f s which support S r i n i v a s ' p o s t u l a t i o n s , but when one looks c l o s e r a t the way i n which the Coorgs use them, one i s hard-pressed t o asses them as "emulations". For i n s t a n c e , the status-emblems on t h e i r wedding dress (which i s t h e i r t r a d i t i o n a l costume as w e l l ) i s not n e c e s s a r i l y an adoption -81- from hi g h c a s t e Hindu marriage dress-codes. I t i s , r a t h e r , a v i s u a l i z a t i o n o f t h e i r socio-cultural."," (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 s u p e r i o r , thus " a r i s t o c r a t i c " . Although the Coorgs a s s i g n some importance t o t h e i r r e l i g i o u s s t a t u s , i t d i d not l e a d them t o adopt such h i g h c a s t e Hindu s t a t u s emblems as " t a l i s " (marriage necklaces symbolizing the u n i t y be- tween two m o r t a l persons and the male/female cosmic u n i t ) , o r the 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 the membership t o the "twice-born c a s t e s " ) . They a l s o exclude p r i e s t s from t h e i r wedding (and any other r e l i g i o u s r i t u a l s ) . The absence of these imperative cosmological and i d e o l o g i c a l Hindu "markers" and the s t r e s s on c u l t u r e - s p e c i f i c aspects o f "profane", 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 leads 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 " through c o n t r a s t i v e , but not e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t symbolic 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 the t h e s i s comes mainly from my c o n v i c t i o n t h a t the symbolic 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 outweigh those which d e a l w i t h r e l i g i o n and philosophy, thus 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 s o c i a l i d e n t i t y 1 : i t i s t h e i r pre-occupation w i t h the m a r t i a l way o f l i f e which transcends t h e i r b e l i e f , r i t u a l , and myth ( S r i n i v a s -82- 1952: 240), and which d i d form the 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 thus were ab l e t o c o n t r o l the area p o l i t i c a l l y and economically. T h e i r s u p e r i o r s t a t u s v i s - a - v i s neighbouring Hindu communities was determined 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 not, as i t would have been i f the Coorgs were t o be considered a c a s t e , through r i t u a l l y d e f i n e d h i e r a r c h i c a l r a n k i n g . The symbolic r e f e r e n c e s i n the "Kanni-Mangala" u n d e r l i n e t h i s f a c t . In terms o f s t a t u s r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s , the Coorgs h i g h l i g h t the importance 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 concern 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 references 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 not "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 " circumstances. On the b a s i s o f t h i s p r o p o s i t i o n i t would be d i f f i c u l t indeed t o i n - corporate the Coorgs i n t o the 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 does, 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 are 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 consequently 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 the 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 the Coorg's s u r v i v a l and formerly i t was a l s o the c h i e f source o f wealth. I t s c u l t i v a t i o n i s the most im- port a n t a c t i v i t y i n which the Okka, the nu c l e a r u n i t o f Coorg s o c i e t y , i s engaged, and the a x i s round which 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 excess o f r a i n i s l i k e l y t o r u i n the 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 crop, and abun- dance o f r i c e means food, wealth, and the a b i l i t y t o make s a c r i f i c e s t o an- 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 the means w i t h which one can get one's sons and daughters married, t o keep one's servan t s , t o g i v e the f e a s t s which have t o be g i v e n , and t o perform other o b l i g a t i o n s . ( S r i n i v a s 1952: 233) The paramount importance o f r i c e as a food source 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 day-to- day l i f e . While the male members are e n t i r e l y preoccupied w i t h the c u l t i v a t i o n o f the f i e l d s and the s u p e r v i s i o n o f the servants who do much o f the manual work, the women of the Okka concentrate t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s around the a n c e s t r a l house and the many household d u t i e s connected w i t h i t . U s u a l l y the year begins i n A p r i l o r May, when i t i s time f o r the f i r s t plowing o f the r i c e f i e l d s . Between May and -84- January Coorg men are preoccupied w i t h plowing, sowing, t r a n s - p l a n t i n g , and other necessary a c t i v i t i e s t h a t are designed 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 January and marks the end o f the working c y c l e and the beginning o f the f e s t i v a l , h u nting, and marriage season. S r i n i v a s notes t h a t the s u r p l u s r i c e was s o l d i n Malabar every summer..." and t h i s n e c e s s i t a t e d the o r g a n i z a t i o n o f the annual caravan i n which every Okka i n the v i l l a g e p a r t i c i p a t e d " (1952: 229). While the men are out i n the f i e l d s o r away w i t h the caravan, the women o f the Okka conduct household chores, r e a r c h i l d r e n , and tend the vegetable garden and the p o u l t r y sheds. Under the super- v i s i o n o f the most s e n i o r married female ( u s u a l l y the w i f e o f the p a t r i a r c h ) the younger women o f the Okka c l e a n the a n c e s t r a l house, wash c l o t h e s , prepare the d a i l y meals, and feed the domestic animals. They are a s s i s t e d by the female servants who are the wives o f the a g r i c u l t u r a l workers. In p r e - B r i t i s h times, these servants 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 the "movable property" o f the Coorgs. They l i v e d i n the v i c i n i t y o f the 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 but were considered p a r t o f the 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 an imposing s t r u c t u r e o f stone and mortar, w i t h s o l i d , carved woodwork. ....Carpenters from Malabar b u i l d them, and Coorg a n c e s t r a l houses consequently resemble g r e a t l y the houses o f w e l l - t o - d o Nayars. The house i s u s u a l l y s i t u a t e d on an e l e v a t i o n , and a narrow, high-walled and winding lane leads up t o i t . From -85- the windows i n the upper s t o r y one u s u a l l y o b t a i n s a f i n e view o f the surrounding country. Formerly, i n the 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 from a h o s t i l e Okka was always a p o s s i b i l i t y , any- one 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 view from the windows o f the a n c e s t r a l house( ). Therefore the 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 stand a s e i g e f o r s e v e r a l days... There i s a kitchen-garden near the main b u i l d i n g and a w e l l o r pond provides water f o r domestic p u r p o s e s . . . . ( i b i d : 49-50). This a n c e s t r a l house, together w i t h the ccranunally owned a n c e s t r a l l a n d i s considered "sacred" and holds the members o f the Okka together, 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 t i s a l s o the c h i e f emblem of s t a t u s and f a m i l i a l wealth. A w e l l - maintained house, pr 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 secure the 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 i n f l u e n c e w i t h i n the v i l l a g e c o n t e x t . Moreover, h i g h p r o d u c t i v i t y secures m a t e r i a l wealth, which, i n t u r n can be used 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 put on e l a b o r a t e weddings. In t h i s c o n t e x t , references 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 the marriage ceremony g i v e evidence o f t h e i r sub- j 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 ge n e r a l , can serve as the index 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 powerful group i d e n t i t y . T h i s chapter, then, d e a l s 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 those which concentrate on the household u n i t , the household space, and r o l e s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h both; i t a l s o focusses on - 8 6 - symbolic expressions o f growth and abundance w i t h i n the wedding proceedings. B. ASPECTS OF GROWTH AND PROSPERITY SYMBOLIZED IN THE "KANNI- .' MANGALA" The Coorgs, as do many s o c i e t i e s i n I n d i a and elsewhere, use the marriage ceremony t o demonstrate t h a t the 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 the f a m i l y . In a d d i t i o n , the wedding provides 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 wealth and s t a t u s expressions. Organized 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 neighbours) the b r i d a l couple can expect a two-day a f f a i r which transforms the 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 which the numerous f a m i l y members, f r i e n d s and neighbours, and other i n v i t e d guests enjoy c o n v e r s a t i o n s , c u l i - nary extravagances, the 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 dancing. For these two most important days i n the young people's l i v e s , they are the 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 , preparatory a c t i v i t i e s f o r the wedding begin a f t e r the two Aruvas concluded the Mangala K u r i p a , a s h o r t r i t u a l which con- t r a c t u a l l y secures the engagement o f the two young people i n q u e s t i o n . Both houses are cleaned and colour-washed f o r the o c c a s i o n . Since the a n c e s t r a l e s t a t e stands f o r the 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 the a n c e s t r a l house, which symbolizes the c e n t e r o f the e s t a t e , i s the l o c u s o f the wedding procedures, the marriage ceremony can be seen as a dramatized re-enactment o f the apex o f the Coorg l i f e - c y c l e . Marriage s i g n i f i e s the union o f two i n d i v i d u a l s and w i t h i t , two kin-groups; i t a l s o s i g n i f i e d the c r e a t i o n o f a new and f e r t i l e bond, i n which 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 the c h a i n o f c o n t i n u i t y w i t h i n , the Okka and w i t h i n the e n t i r e s o c i e t y . Marriage i s "sacred" and the b r i d a l couple i s t r e a t e d w i t h the h i g h e s t form o f respect 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 apt t o generate f a m i l i a l growth and pro- s p e r i t y . As done e a r l i e r , l e t us take another look a t Table B i n order t o locate^, those ceremonial references i n the "Kanni-Mangala" which have t o do w i t h aspects o f growth and p r o s p e r i t y and which d e a l w i t h references t h a t connect these aspects w i t h a g r i c u l t u r a l and house- h o l d a c t i v i t i e s , (see Table F f o r a sh o r t synopsis.) TABLE F: Symbolic references t o growth and p r o s p e r i t y encoded i n the Farmer/Householder complex: a) Concern w i t h a g r i c u l t u r a l and - 1 - c l e a n i n g and p r e p a r a t i o n o f household t o p i c s : the house as the "stage" f o r the wedding. -2- the common meals. -3- Murta symbolism (use o f r i c e ) . -4- the " g i f t o f food" t o the b r i d e ' s p a r t y . -5- Sammanda symbolism. b) References t o growth and see:-2- f o r abundance and p r o d u c t i v i t y ; p r o s p e r 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 . -88- As noted e a r l i e r , the a n c e s t r a l house i s the "stage" on which the marriage ceremony i s performed. As the center o f the e n t i r e e s t a t e i t focuses a l l t h a t , f o r what the 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 ; the a n c e s t r a l house i s the p l a c e where one i s born, m a r r i e s , and d i e s ; i t a l s o i s the p l a c e where one s e t s out i n the morning t o do the d a i l y work and where one comes back a t n i g h t t o eat 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 the s t r e n g t h and p r o s p e r i t y o f the Okka. I t i s "sacred". Besides other t h i n g s , the 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 degrees o f "sacredness". The two p l a c e s i n which the c r u c i a l r i t e s o f the marriage ceremony are performed are both "very sacred", according t o S r i n i v a s (1952: 76-77). They are the c e n t r a l h a l l ( u s u a l l y the l o c u s o f Murta):,: and the k i t c h e n , t h a t i s , the entrance t o the k i t c h e n (always the l o c u s o f Sammanda). The c e n t r a l h a l l gets i t s "sacredness" from the f a c t t h a t i t co n t a i n s the "sacred" w a l l lamp and the "sacred" hanging lamp. These lamps' stand f o r the u n i t y o f the Okka. The k i t c h e n , however, i s considered "sacred" because food i s cooked i n i t . Food maintains l i f e and w i t h i t secures the c o n t i n u a t i o n o f the Okka. I t i s i n t e r e s t - i n g t o note, t h a t d u r i n g the Sammanda ceremony o n l y the b r i d e i s i n the k i t c h e n w h i l e the groom, together w i t h both Aruvas and other f a m i l y members stand o u t s i d e the k i t c h e n . There i s no ref e r e n c e i n the l i t e r a t u r e as t o why the g i r l remains alone i n the k i t c h e n ; I -89- assume t h a t the k i t c h e n i s considered t o be the p l a c e i n which the g i r l spends much o f her time and t h a t , when the young husband grabs her hand and leads her away from her n a t a l home, one c o u l d argue 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 her t o the k i t c h e n o f h i s own home where she, from now on, w i l l c o n t r i b u t e t o the maintenance and con- t i n u a t i o n o f the d a i l y l i f e . The r i t e s performed by the f r e s h l y a r r i v e d new 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, the c l e a n i n g and p r e p a r a t i o n o f the an- c e s t r a l house g i v e s evidence o f the concern the Coorgs g i v e t o the household u n i t , and c e r t a i n aspects of household space. Another obvious ref e r e n c e t o the farmer/household symbolism i s g i ven i n the d e s c r i p t i o n of the meals which are consumed d u r i n g the wedding proceedings. Three major meals are prepared d u r i n g the two days of the wedding: the f i r s t i s served i n the evening o f the f i r s t day, s h o r t l y a f t e r the groom (and the b r i d e ) f i n i s h t h e i r an- c e s t r a l p r o p i t i a t i o n The groom (bride) eat s e p a r a t e l y from the i n v i t e d guests, j o i n e d o n l y by two o r three c l o s e f r i e n d s and the b est man. T h i s meal c o n s i s t s of a v a r i e t y of r i c e c u r r i e s , meat, and rice-puddings; w i t h i t , the p a r t i c i p a n t s d r i n k water, m i l k , and a l - cohol (Muthanna 1982: i n t e r v i e w 1 ) . As my informant t o l d 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 the change i n s o c i a l s t a t u s o f the groom and the b r i d e . I t i s the l a s t meal they share w i t h t h e i r f r i e n d s before r e t u r n i n g as husband and w i f e . T h i s meal i s u s u a l l y a q u i t e emotional a f f a i r , and d i s p l a y s , a t times, c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f -90- a f e a s t . I t a l s o s i g n i f i e s abundance and wealth. The second meal i s served t o members o f both f a m i l i e s s h o r t l y a f t e r the a r r i v a l o f the groom's p a r t y a t the b r i d e ' s Okka. However, t h i s meal has more the 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 served w i t h d r i n k s . But t h i s meal i s s i g n i f i c a n t on a d i f f e r e n t l e v e l : f o r the f i r s t time i t b r i n g s together both kin-groups, and commensality can be i n t e r p r e t e d i n t h i s case as a f i r s t statement o f u n i t y between the two Okkas. The s i m p l i c i t y o f the meal seems t o c o r r e l a t e w i t h the f l a i r o f the o c c a s i o n : two separate kin-groups are about t o connect i n t e r e s t s : through the marriage o f one o f t h e i r members. T h i s i s the time where s o b r i e t y and care seems i n p l a c e , s i n c e i t j u s t precedes the performance o f the l a s t Murta and the most important ceremony o f a l l : the Sammanda. The t h i r d meal, and i n my o p i n i o n the most important one, i s consumed a f t e r t h e young couple has returned t o the groom's Okka. I t i s the f i r s t common meal o f the young couple and i t . precedes the l a s t s i g n i f i c a n t ceremony o f the wedding, which i s the naming o f the b r i d e . One more word about t h i s f i r s t common meal. I t h i g h - l i g h t s the u n i t y o f husband and w i f e and u n d e r l i n e s the membership of the g i r l i n her husband's f a m i l y . From now on, the couple w i l l eat t ogether every day except on those r i t u a l occasions where the men (31) eat t o g e ther, be i t a f t e r the hunt, o r d u r i n g c e r t a i n f e s t i v a l s . G e n e r a l l y speaking, the symbolism expressed i n these meals i s t h a t o f the s o l i d a r i t y o f the 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 -91- the occasion o f the lunch t h a t the guests take a f t e r the f i r s t Murta (without the b r i d e and the groom's presence), which 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. The food o f the e a r t h on which they l i v e i s e a t e n together; t h i s i s a f a c t t h a t s i g n i f i e s the t i e between the source 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 befo r e , r i c e was and s t i l l i s the c h i e f food source f o r the 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 p r o s p e r i t y . An abundance o f r i c e a l l o w s the Coorgs t o eat " w e l l " , t o i n v i t e guests, 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 takes on r e l i g i o u s con- n o t a t i o n s : r i c e i s used — together w i t h m i l k , water, d i f f e r e n t nuts, and b e t e l — t o worship the o b j e c t s o f Murta. I n t h i s r e - spect, r i c e stands f o r the 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 the worshipper touches the b o d y - j o i n t s o f the 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 the human body w i t h t h a t o f the great cosmic body, and a l s o t r a n s f e r s the powers o f growth and p r o d u c t i v i t y (which are inherent i n r i c e ) t o the 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 persons i s usu- 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 the bond between the a n c e s t r a l l a n d on which the r i c e i s grown and the o b j e c t s o f Murta w i t h a l l those who perform i t ; i n o t h e r words a connection i s made be- tween the food source and the food consumer. On the second day o f marriage, s h o r t l y a f t e r the a r r i v a l o f the groom's p a r t y a t the b r i d e ' s home, a married woman presents the " g i f t o f food" t o a member o f the b r i d e ' s p a r t y . PJLchter (1870: 137) t e l l s -92- us t h a t t h i s g i f t represents a sample o f the groom's economic pr o s - p e r i t y and i s designed t o convince the b r i d a l Okka t h a t the g i r l w i l l not s u f f e r when l i v i n g away from home. Th i s g i f t o f food a l s o sym- b o l i z e s the c r e a t i o n o f an economic t i e between the two Okkas. I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o note, t h a t the 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 the b r i d e ' s house where i t i s used i n the Murta ceremonies. ( S r i n i v a s 1952: 93). In the Sammanda ceremony, where membership r i g h t s t o the en- t i r e p r o p e r t y o f the groom's Okka are co n f e r r e d on the b r i d e , we f i n d numerous refe r e n c e s t o the importance o f the Coorg mode o f sub- s i s t e n c e , t o the household u n i t as being the center o f the day-to- day r e a l i t y o f i t s members, and t o aspects o f f a m i l y growth, 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 the two Aruvas (or f a m i l y f r i e n d s ) , t h a t focuses on the 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 gets s p e c i a l co- r i g h t s i n h i s n a t a l home which are designed t o provide the m a t e r i a l and economic b a s i s f o r a new f a m i l y , w h i l e the young w i f e shares co- r i g h t s which a l l o w her t o f u n c t i o n i n her new environment. Her main ta s k as a w i f e i s t o bear c h i l d r e n and t o a s s i s t her husband w i t h i n the household u n i t t o g a i n r e s p e c t and s t a t u s . As a member o f a l a r g e j o i n t f a m i l y , the w i f e i s s h a r i n g the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t o keep the household f u n c t i o n i n g , w h i l e the husband engages i n the management and s u p e r v i s i o n o f the a n c e s t r a l f i e l d s and pastures. The sexes are g e n e r a l l y segregated. 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 household space o f which some i s reserved s o l e l y f o r men: ...The outer veranda serves as a c l u b f o r the men, and they s i t down on the 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 the veranda ( f r e q u e n t l y a Coorg house has a separate entrance which enables the women t o move i n and out o f the house without b e i n g seen by the men who are gathered i n the veranda). S i m i l a r l y , men r a r e l y j o i n women who are presumably s i t t i n g i n the k i t c h e n , o r i n one o f the i n n e r rooms... .. .When r e l a t i v e s v i s i t a Coorg house, the men guests j o i n the men hosts i n the veranda, whereas the women guests j o i n the women hosts i n the i n n e r p a r t o f the house...- ( S r i n i v a s 1952: 46). From t h i s , i t c o u l d be argued t h a t the women's domain i s the center o f the house, the k i t c h e n , and those i n n e r rooms which they frequent i n the course o f the household d u t i e s . The men's domain i s e v e r y t h i n g o u t s i d e : the outer veranda, the adjacent l a n d , the f i e l d s and pasture s . The domains c o i n c i d e l a r g e l y w i t h the work- p l a c e s . However, both, the men and the women o f the Okka, work (although separated) toward the common go a l which i s t o maintain the l i f e and p r o s p e r i t y o f the Okka. Food b r i n g s them a l l together i n the evening. I t i s the time, when the u n i t y o f the Okka i s d i s p l a y e d , when both — a g r i c u l t u r a l (32) and domestic s p e c i a l i s t s — s e t t l e down t o r e s t . -94- C. SUMMARY I have argued i n t h i s chapter t h a t the Coorg's major sym- b o l i c r eference 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 connection w i t h r e l i g i o u s themes and forms the core symbolism i n the three Murta r i t u a l s . Rice stands f o r l i f e per se, but a l s o f o r growth, p r o s p e r i t y , and wealth. I have r e l a t e d t h i s symbolism t o the o v e r a l l marriage ceremony, i n which constant references are made as t o the c r e a t i o n o f new l i f e through the u n i t y between b r i d e and groom; as t o the d i f f e r e n t r o l e s o f the man (the p r o v i d e r , the defender o f peace and e x t e r n a l u n i t y , the master o f the house) and the woman (the domestic s p e c i a l i s t , the mother, the guard o f i n t e r n a l u n i t y ) , but — and t h i s i s important — t h a t both r o l e s complement each other t o i n s u r e the maintenance and pe r p e t u a t i o n of the 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 symbolic references t o p r o d u c t i v i t y and abundance w i t h i n the "Kanni-Mangala". R i c e , again, i s the c e n t r a l symbol: i t provides the wealth t h a t makes i t p o s s i b l e f o r the 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 . I t i s the main p a r t o f any meal t h a t i s served on the occasion. I t f i n a l l y serves as the c a r r i e r o f super n a t u r a l powers which are apt t o i n f l u e n c e the success o f the marriage. /Although there 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 the "growth and p r o s p e r i t y " symbolism, i t connects 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 day-to-day l i f e . Coorgs are wealthy a g r i c u l t u r a l i s t s w i t h a keen sense o f p r o f i t . The i n t e r n a l u n i t y and the 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 lands 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 domestic l i f e i n which c l e a r d i v i s i o n o f labour and sex segregation c o i n c i d e . The l a n d and the house i s the core o f Coorg r e a l t y , i t i s owned commun- a l l y , maintained coramunally, and enjoyed 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) which are p o l i t i c a l l y o rganized 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 "Ur"), 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 Nads). Coorg Okkas are exogamous. I d e a l l y , a l l the members o f an Okka are descended from one common ancestor. S r i n i v a s w r i t e s t h a t "the Okkas seems t o be stronger and more sh a r p l y s t r u c t u r e d than the j o i n t f a m i l y elsewhere i n South I n d i a , w i t h the p o s s i b l e exception o f the m a t r i l i n e a l "Tarwad" o f the Nayars, and the p a t r i l i n e a l " I l l a m " o f the Nambudris" (1952: 49). (33) I t i s saxd t h a t the Coorg Okka i s a continuum; a t any given moment o f time the Okka i s made up o f a group o f a g n a t i c a l l y r e l a t e d males, and t h e i r wives and c h i l d r e n . When the o l d e r members o f the Okka d i e the younger members take t h e i r p l a c e . The dynamic element i n the Okka c o n s i s t s i n the younger members succeeding t o the p o s i t i o n s l e f t vacant by the deaths o f the o l d e r members.(...) The generation-depth o f an Okka might expand by a b i r t h , o r c o n t r a c t by a death, a segment may c l i n g on o r s p l i t o f f , but i n the main t h e r e i s a c e r t a i n constancy o f c o n f i g u r a t i o n which makes i t an Okka. The members o f an Okka come and go, but the Okka goes on f o r e v e r . The members are l i k e people on an e s c a l a t o r , those on the bottom s t a i r s moving g r a d u a l l y up t o the top and f i n a l l y d i s - appearing. An Okka not o n l y looks foreward t o the f u t u r e but a l s o s t r e t c h e s back i n t o the past. 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 which i t s l i v i n g members -97- are aquainted. The 'house-song 1 sung ( ) a t ancestor p r o p r i a t i o n s enables the younger mem- bers t o l e a r n the h i s t o r y o f the Okka. ( i b i d : 159) M l the members o f the Okka l i v e together i n the a n c e s t r a l house and share common r i g h t s i n the 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 not unusual t h a t up t o 200 people would l i v e under one r o o f (Muthanna 1974: 245). Since residence i s p a t r i - l o c a l , g i r l s l e a ve t h e i r n a t a l homes upon marriage and become mem- bers o f the co n j u g a l Okka by 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 marriage among Coorgs r e q u i r e t h a t a man must not marry o u t s i d e the l i m i t s o f h i s s o c i e t y and the the b r i d e and groom must not belong t o the same Okka. In a d d i t i o n , marriage i s forbidden t o couples who are r e l a t e d by descent from a common female ancestor through females o n l y (Emeneau 1938: 336). I t a l s o i s p r o h i b i t e d between any two persons who apply t o one another b r o t h e r - s i s t e r terms o r terms denoting r e l a t i o n s h i p s between d i f f e r e n t generations ( i b i d : 336). On the other hand, widow and d i v o r c e re-marriage i s p e r m i t t e d and p r a c t i c e d . I f a woman l o s e s her f i r s t husband she remains a member o f her husband's f a m i l y and cannot l o s e her 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 her second husband should be a member o f her 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 her n a t a l f a m i l y are sent f o r and they and_-.theerepresenta- t i v e s o f her husband's f a m i l y perform a new Sammanda (but no Murta) ceremony. Through t h i s new marriage (which has l e s s r i t u a l v a l u e than the "Kanni-Mangala") she l o s e s the r i g h t s she had enjoyed from her f i r s t marriage i n exchange f o r the same r i g h t s she gets through her -98- second marriage. According t o P r o f . Emeneau's informant, t h i s new Sammanda ceremony i s necessary, " s i n c e her r i g h t s i n her husband's s i b are e s s e n t i a l l y c o - r i g h t s w i t h her husband" ( i b i d : 335). I f a widow marries a man o f a d i f f e r e n t s i b from t h a t o f her f i r s t husband, her r i g h t s i n her f i r s t husband's s i b are e x t i n g u i s h e d , and i n her f a t h e r ' s house she i s given t o her new husband w i t h the Sammanda ceremony. A woman gains a permanent p l a c e i n her 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 cases the Aruvas of the two f a m i l i e s n e g o t i a t e between the two p a r t i e s and i f both f a m i l i e s agree t o d i v o r c e , the 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 her husband's s i b and may never r e g a i n i t by another marriage i n t o the s i b . She regains her p l a c e i n her 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 should be sought i n marriage by another man from another s i b ( i b i d : 335). In a l l the above mentioned cases the c h i l d r e n remain i n the husband's f a m i l y . I f they should be too young t o be a b l e t o fend f o r themselves, the mother may r e t a i n i n charge o f them u n t i l they a t t a i n an age when they can care f o r themselves, upon which they 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). Marriage, then, i s the one i n s t i t u t i o n which f a c i l i t a t e s the pe r p e t u a t i o n o f the Okka i n i t s t r a d i t i o n a l form by producing con- t i n u o u s l y new male descendents who keep the f a m i l y l i n e i n t a c t , and by marrying o f f the female descendents, who, i n t u r n , are i n s t r u m e n t a l i n the c o n t i n u a t i o n o f the f a m i l y l i n e i n t o which they marry. On a d i f f e r e n t l e v e l , the kin-network t h a t i s c r e a t e d through marriage w i t h a number o f Okkas i s apt t o strengthen s o c i a l and eco- nomic r e l a t i o n s between them, and serves as one b a s i c foundation f o r -99- a more general g r o u p - i d e n t i t y . Although there are numerous important s o c i o - c u l t u r a l and r e l i g i o u s aspects connected w i t h t h i s p a r t i c u l a r kinship-system, I want t o c o n f i n e my d i s c u s s i o n t o those ceremonial r e f e r e n c e s t o kin-groups, descent, 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 which are s y m b o l i c a l l y expressed i n the "Kanni-Mangala". For a more e x t e n s i v e treatment o f the mechanics o f the Coorg 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 the wider 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 the 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 the 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 are frequent and are found throughout the marriage sym- bolism. " 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 , "to imagine a Coorg apart from the kin-group o f which 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 every 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 the out- s i d e w o rld. People who do not belong 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 acquired by b i r t h , and the o u t s i d e world always 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 not cease even a f t e r death, because then he becomes one o f a body o f apotheosized ancestors who are b e l i e v e d t o look a f t e r the Okka o f which they were members when a l i v e (1952: 124). -100- I 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 aspects o f r e l i g i o n and s o c i e t y which c h a r a c t e r i z e s the 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 th r e e d i s t i n c t levels': one t h a t r e f e r s t o descent, d e a l i n g w i t h ancestor worship and the dynamics o f Okka pe 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 kin-group and those 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 (through marriage); and a t h i r d , d e a l i n g w i t h references t o the 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 focuses on those aspects o f k i n - symbolism which are s y m b o l i c a l l y expressed i n the "Kanni-Mangala" and which can be c l a s s i f i e d w i t h i n the above mentioned t h r e e l e v e l s o f i d e n t i t y expressions. (see!.Table G f o r f u r t h e r d e t a i l s . ) In the evening o f the f i r s t day of the wedding the groom (and the b r i d e ) begin the p r e s c r i b e d marriage r i t u a l s by worshipping the sacred lamps i n the c e n t r a l h a l l o f the a n c e s t r a l house. Accord- i n g t o S r i n i v a s , t h i s i s the 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 which symbolizes the s t r e n g t h and u n i t y o f the groom's kin-group. Since the sacred lamps are l o c a t e d i n the c e n t r a l h a l l , which i s the5- core o f the 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 the flame o f the lamps stand f o r l i f e and u n i t y o f the Okka, t h i s r i t e i s performed f i r s t i n order t o secure the success o f the wedding. The N e l l u k i Boluk (domestic lamp) i s the most important sym- b o l o f k i n - s o l i d a r i t y f o r the Coorgs, i t i s worshipped d a i l y by the women o f the house. I t i s a l s o the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y o f the women t o -101- TABLE G: Kin-symbolism r e f l e c t e d i n the "Kanni-Mangala". Symbolic L e v e l s Ceremonial References L e v e l I : DESCENT: - worship o f ancestors by b r i d e and groom. - worship o f sacred lamps as expres- s i o n o f k i n - s o l i d a r i t y . - Murta # 1: a f f i r m a t i o n o f k i n - s o l i d a r i t y . - Murta # 2, # 3: new k i n - l i n k c r e a t e d . - r i t u a l c u t t i n g o f p l a n t a i n stumps ( d i s p l a y o f s t r e n g t h o f kin-group) - f i r s t meal (commensality). L e v e l I I : KIN-GROUPS: - Mangala Ku r i p a symbolism (the i n d i c a t i o n o f the merging o f two kin-groups) . - 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 lunch. - Murta # 2 , # 3 : ( r i t u a l union o f two persons and ki n - g r o u p s ) . - groom takes possession o f b r i d e . - Sammanda symbolism ( c o n t r a c t u a l union o f two persons and kin-groups). - b r i d e ' s journey t o groom's Okka. - i n a u g u r a t i o n o f b r i d e i n c o n j u g a l Okka ( c a r r y i n g o f manure; P u j a ) . - naming o f the b r i d e . - couple v i s i t s r e l a t i v e s . i L e v e l I I I : KITSJ-TERRITORIES: I - c l e a n i n g and p r e p a r a t i o n o f house. I - groom's p a r t y t r a v e l s t o b r i d e ' s i Okka. | - Sammanda (membership r i g h t s are con- i f e r r e d t o the b r i d e ) . i - b r i d e t r a v e l s t o groom's Okka. -102- keep the lamp burning, f o r i t s e x t i n c t i o n would mean the withdrawal o f i t s p r o t e c t i v e power. A f t e r the bridegroom (and the b r i d e ) has g i v e n reverence t o the domestic lamp, he k i n d l e s a l i g h t w i t h the flame o f the N e l l u k i Boluk, and c a r r i e s i t t o the Kaimata (the p l a c e o u t s i d e the house where the ancestors are worshipped). He i s accompanied by the en- t i r e wedding p a r t y . A f t e r h i s a r r i v a l , he i g n i t e s an earthen lamp there and invokes the b l e s s i n g o f the ancestors. This 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 the b e l i e f t h a t ordered r e l a t i o n s w i t h the ancestors 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. Although the ancestors are respected members of the Okka who are g e n e r a l l y i n t e r e s t e d i n the peace and p r o s p e r i t y i f t h e i r descendents, when d i s s a t i s f i e d , they are a source o f f e a r . I y e r w r i t e s : ....(The Coorgs b e l i e v e ) t h a t the s p i r i t s o f the ancestors hover i n s i d e and o u t s i d e the house and cause endless t r o u b l e i n the ab- sence of adequate p r o p i t i a t i o n ( ). Some- times the Coorgs became possessed by these s p i r i t s o f the dead and they express t h e i r d e s i r e s when they are 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 the 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 males and females o f the house. In f a c t , they are always i n c l i n e d t o do harm. With a view t o appease t h e i r wrath r i c e , a r r a c k , m i l k , and other d e l i c a c i e s are o f f e r e d on v a r i o u s occa- s i o n s d u r i n g the year t o them (Iyer 1948: 51) . A f t e r the groom (and the b r i d e ) has returned t o the 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 takes the l a s t common meal as a bachelor w i t h them. Once more he r e - news h i s k i n - t i e s w i t h them when they share food. -103- L a t e r , when the f i r s t Murta i s performed on the groom (and the b r i d e ) , the 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 the own kin-group i s s y m b o l i c a l l y expressed once more: every member of the Okka performs a s e r i e s o f r i t e s which r e a f f i r m h i s membership t o the kin-group and v i s u a l i z e the r e s p e c t t h a t t h i s o c c asion r e - q u i r e s . The performance o f Murta on the groom (and the b r i d e ) a l s o provides him w i t h the necessary s t a t u s r e q u i r e d f o r the p a r t i c i - p a t i o n i n those r i t u a l s t h a t symbolize the merging o f h i s and h i s b r i d e ' s f a m i l y through the p e r s o n a l bond w i t h her. A l l the 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 overtones, p o i n t i n g t o the c l o s e connection between the s o c i a l s t r u c - t u r e o f the Okka and the 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 the m a r t i a l c h a r a c t e r o f Coorg kin-groups which f i n d s r i t u a l ex- p r e s s i o n i s the c u t t i n g o f the p l a n t a i n stumps by the groom (Or another member o f the groom's p a r t y ) ; i t symbolizes the p h y s i c a l s t r e n g t h and determination o f the groom's Okka. On a more general 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 Okka- i n t e r n a l s o l i d a r i t y as c o n s t i t u t i n g one o f the governing 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 which i s based on the Okka, the Coorgs have t o be a b l e t o r e l y on the s t r e n g t h o f the k i n - group i n order t o m a i n t a i n t h e i r fundamental i d e n t i t y . T i e s w i t h other Okkas are e s t a b l i s h e d mainly through marriage, but a l s o through the 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 c l o s e geographical p r o x i m i t y . S r i n i v a s e x p l a i n s : -104- The 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 formerly f a r more important among Coorgs than i t i s today. 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 the h i l l y country and dense jungles) t h e r e were no good roads, which increased the d i f f i - c u l t i e s o f communication between neighbours. Besides, feuds were common, and h o s t i l e r a i d s from 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 get up i n the middle of the n i g h t and f i g h t f o r t h e i r l i v e s . Two Okkas u s u a l l y (...) stood i n the 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 marriage. 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 be- tween two Okkas and not between two i n d i v i d u a l s . (However), the headman o f a f r i e n d l y Okka was not u s u a l l y the master o f ceremonies on r i t u a l o c casions. I n the marriage r i t e s , the Aruva, or head o f the f r i e n d l y Okka (conducts the 'Mangala K u r i p a ' and the 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 of the wedding (Muthanna 1953: 322)) ( S r i n i v a s 1952: 56). Marriage and f a m i l y - f r i e n d s h i p , then, are the two i n s t i t u t i o n s t h a t serve as l i n k s between the d i f f e r e n t Okkas. Both d i s p l a y con- s i d e r a b l e " f u n c t i o n a l " c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . Marriage i s c o n t r a c t u a l and designed t o secure the c o n t i n u a t i o n o f the 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 secures b i l a t e r a l r i t u a l , 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 kin-group r e l a t i o n s w i t h i n the "Kanni- Mangala" i s expressed i n the Mangala K u r i p a . The two Aruvas meet f o r the f i r s t time and n e g o t i a t e the p a r t i c u l a r s o f the wedding i n q u e s t i o n . A f t e r making sure t h a t a l l the demands o f the two Okkas are met they shake hands and thus conclude the p r e l i i t d n a r y c o n t r a c t u a l ceremony which symbolizes the "engagement" o f the b r i d e and groom-to- -105- be, as w e l l as the i r r e v e r s i b i l i t y o f the d e c i s i o n s made on the s i d e o f the two kin-groups. From now on the two Aruvas are r e - s p o n s i b l e f o r the execution o f the marriage ceremony. S r i n i v a s mentions t h a t the Coorgs are concerned 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 the c o m p a t i b i l i t y o f the b r i d a l couple and t o determine an a u s p i c i o u s day f o r the performance o f the "Kanni- (34) Mangala". I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o note, t h a t c o m p a t i b i l i t y p l a y s a r o l e i n Coorg consciousness and I t h i n k i t i s not wrong t o assume t h a t the reason f o r t h i s concern stems from t h e i r pre-occupation w i t h domestic u n i t y and the 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 the two persons and kin-groups f i n d s c l e a r e x p r e s s i o n when the groom's p a r t y s e t s out and t r a v e l s t o the b r i d e ' s Okka. Dr. Muthanna t o l d me t h a t the reason f o r the p a r t y t o t r a v e l a t n i g h t comes from the b e l i e f t h a t "competing bridegrooms" might have more t r o u b l e t o d e t e c t the " l e g i t i m a t e " groom and endanger the (35) wedding. Be t h a t as i t may, w i t h the journey t o the b r i d e ' s Okka the d i s t a n c e between the two persons and kin-groups decreases u n t i l they "connect", as i t were, a t dawn. With the performance o f the second and t h i r d Murta, both kin-group worship the young couple s i m u l - taneously: the 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 the two k i n - groups which, through the acknowledgement o f t h i s f a c t , u n i t e (at l e a s t s y m b o l i c a l l y ) as w e l l . The Sammanda ceremony, which represents the "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 marriages. Through Sammanda the g i r l l o s e s almost -106- a l l her r i g h t s i n her f a t h e r ' s Okka and gains them, i n s t e a d , i n the Okka o f her husband. She i s t r a n s f e r r e d from one kin-group t o another. Although a f u l l member o f her new Okka, she has the o p t i o n t o go back ("transfer") t o her n a t a l Okka i n case o f p h y s i c a l and mental abuse by members of the c o n j u g a l kin-group, i n case o f impotence on the s i d e o f her husband, o r i n case o f h i s death ( i f she decides not t o re-marry w i t h i n the c o n j u g a l Okka). On the o t h e r hand, the husband has the r i g h t t o d i v o r c e her i n case o f i n f e r t i l i t y , s exual p r o m i s c u i t y , and other reasons. I n t e r e s t i n g l y enough, i t i s the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y o f the Aurvas t o a c t as 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 the two i n - d i v i d u a l s as w e l l as between the Okkas i n v o l v e d . Since they do not belong t o the kin-groups connected by marriage, but are members o f " f r i e n d l y " Okkas, they can judge more o b j e c t i v e l y , and i f not t h a t , then w i t h more emotional d i s t a n c e . When the groom takes possession o f the b r i d e (by t a k i n g her hand and l e a d i n g her away from her 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 her " t r a n s f e r " i n membership. From the twelve pebbles which stand f o r ownership i n her n a t a l home, she takes eleven (stored i n the f r o n t a l breast-knot o f her saree) t o her husband's home, w h i l e one remains i n the possession o f her Aruva, i n d i c a t i n g the -unsevered connection t o her n a t a l home. Together the young people t r a v e l back t o the husband's Okka where the fresh, w i f e i s welcomed as a new member, a p o t e n t i a l mother, -107- and the newest a d d i t i o n t o the husband's f a m i l y . To symbolize t h a t she a t t a i n s . not o n l y membership r i g h t s but a l s o r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s , she performs a few r i t e s which r e l a t e t o aspects of domestic 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 basket o f manure t o her husband's r i c e f i e l d , and on her way back i s supposed t o p i c k up some water from the w e l l and c a r r y i t t o the k i t c h e n . These a c t i v i - t i e s c o i n c i d e w i t h those d u t i e s she has t o f u l f i l l as a new member of the c o n j u g a l Okka. Once she has become a mother, she r i s e s i n the domestic h i e r a r c h y and concentrates on the r e a r i n g o f her c h i l d - r en and o t h e r s u p e r v i s o r y d u t i e s . The f u l l i n t e g r a t i o n i n t o the husband's f a m i l y marks a d r a s t i c change i n the s o c i a l p e r s o n a l i t y o f the young w i f e . T h i s i s symbol- i z e d through the "naming ceremony" i n which the g i r l l o s e s her o l d name and i s given 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 c o n j u g a l f a m i l y . P r o f . Emeneau w r i t e s : ...A woman upon marriage renounces her sib-name and her c l a i m t o maintenance by her f a t h e r ' s s i b , and a c q u i r e s her husband's f a t h e r - s i b name and a c l a i m t o the maintenance by the l a t t e r . Her mem- ber s h i p i n the 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 her personal name and be c a l l e d a f t e r marriage by the p e r - son a l name o f her husband's mother, i n cases where e i t h e r o f these i s dead, and i t i s de- s i r e d t o preserve the use o f the name i n the f a m i l y , i f i t i s not used by some other female 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 would be so i n t i m a t e as t o cause co n f u s i o n (1938: 334), I f a woman should get d i v o r c e d l a t e r , o r r e t u r n s t o her n a t a l Okka as a widow, she l o s e s her membership r i g h t s t o the c o n j u g a l Okka as w e l l as her name. In t h a t case, she i s r e f e r r e d t o by her i n i t i a l name. -108- Good r e l a t i o n s between the young w i f e and her mother-in-law 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 mother-in-law and daughter- in-law) i s even more important than the husband- w i f e r e l a t i o n s h i p . . . The daughter-in-law must t r y t o please her mother- i n - l a w (as w e l l as the f a t h e r - i n - l a w ) ; t h i s i s one o f the main aims o f her l i f e . She must do her share i n the domestic work under the c l o s e s u p e r v i s i o n o f the former. The i d e a l mother- i n - l a w i s one who i s ' l i k e a mother 1 t o her daughter-in-law. She i s expected 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 her neighbours and o t h e r s say about the way she t r e a t s her daughter-in-law ( S r i n i v a s 1952: 145). In t h i s case, the s o c i a l segregation of the 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 . Both spend t h e i r days working a p a r t from each o t h e r , and t h a t , under the c l o s e super- v i s i o n o f 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 considered proper t o meet p u b l i c l y d u r i n g the day, the young couple has l i t t l e o p p o r t u n i t y t o be together u n t i l i t i s time t o r e t i r e t o bed l a t e r a t n i g h t ( i b i d : 145). G r a d u a l l y , as they grow o l d e r , t he two people become more acquainted and develop a stronger p e r s o n a l bond. However, Coorg marriages are not based on the 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 , but on the 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 subordinate under the r u l e s o f the Okka. The l a s t r e f e r e n c e t o kin-group r e l a t i o n s w i t h i n the r i t u a l symbolism o f the "Kanni-Mangala" p r e s c r i b e s f o r the couple "to v i s i t a l l r e l a t i v e s i n the 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 the wedding and i s designed t o r e - a f f i r m the i n t e r - f a m i l i e s k i n - t i e s . -109- G e n e r a l l y speaking, f o r Coorgs k i n s h i p d e f i n e s mainly descent- 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 . U s u a l l y , t h i s a f f i l i a t i o n i s much stronger f o r the man than i t i s f o r the woman: w h i l e he maintains h i s Okka membership throughout h i s l i f e , she changes her's upon marriage. 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 the domestic aspects o f Okka a c t i v i t i e s , w i t h the 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 the k i t c h e n and i n n e r rooms. A man, however, has c l o s e t i e s t o both, the house (being the p l a c e where he was born and where he l i v e s , and w i l l d i e ) , and the a n c e s t r a l f i e l d s (where he works and o f f which he e x t r a c t s h i s l i v e l i h o o d ) . T h i s c l o s e t i e o f a man w i t h h i s f i e l d s i s expressed i n a r i t u a l : s h o r t l y a f t e r he i s born, the u m b i l i c a l cord i s b u r i e d i n h i s f a t h e r ' s r i c e f i e l d , s y mbolizing the u n i t y between descent 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 are — besides i n the Sammanda ceremony — not c o d i f i e d i n r i t u a l a c t i o n s . But they are evi d e n t throughout the course o f the wedding procedures: the importance o f the v a r i o u s p a r t s o f the a n c e s t r a l e s t a t e are emphasized i n the choi c e o f the c e n t r a l h a l l (and the kitchen) as the l o c a t i o n o f Murta and Sammanda. The core r i t u a l s o f the "Kanni-Mangala" are performed a t the center o f the a n c e s t r a l e s t a t e . However, a f t e r the 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 member- sh i p i n h i s own Okka, he leaves h i s n a t a l t e r r i t o r y i n order t o take possession o f the b r i d e . The a c t u a l marriage ceremony takes p l a c e o u t s i d e the t e r r i t o r i a l boundaries o f h i s Okka. There, i n the Sammanda r i t u a l , h i s f u t u r e w i f e acquires membership r i g h t s i n h i s p a t e r n a l Okka - 1 1 0 - along w i t h ownership r i g h t s i n the t e r r i t o r y and p r o p e r t y o f h i s f a t h e r ' s e s t a t e . Only then she can leave her n a t a l t e r r i t o r y t o l i v e w i t h her husband i n h i s t e r r i t o r y . T h i s symbolism u n d e r l i n e s the importance the Coorgs a s s i g n not o n l y t o cosmological and s o c i a l aspects o f the wedding, but a l s o t o the p o l i t i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s the marriage of two i n d i v i d u a l s b r i n g s about. As mentioned e a r l i e r , marriage binds together not o n l y two people, but a l s o two Okkas. F r i e n d l y r e l a t i o n s , then, depend on the c l a r i f i c a t i o n and l e g a l i - z a t i o n o f r e l i g i o u s , socio-economic, 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 chapter I have argued t h a t ceremonial r e f e r e n c e s t o descent, kin-groups, and kin-group r e l a t i o n s w i t h i n the symbolic ex- p r e s s i o n s o f the "Kanni-Mangala" p o i n t towards the o v e r a l l importance the Coorgs g i v e t o k i n s h i p . I t i s the 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 ranging 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 behavior. 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 , connected through marriage and f a m i l y f r i e n d s h i p , make up the s o c i e t a l network. However, t h i s network i s " f u n c t i o n a l " r a t h e r than "organic", f o r i t t i e s the v a r i o u s Okkas together through c o n t r a c t u a l arrangements and not through b l o o d - l i n e s . Family f r i e n d s h i p can be - I l l - d estroyed through p e r s o n a l , economic, and p o l i t i c a l disagreements, and marriages can be n u l l i f i e d through d i v o r c e . Consequently, Coorgs focus much more of 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 the maintenance and p e r p e t u a t i o n o f t h e i r Okkas then on the 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 . I n t e r n a l s o l i d a r i t y i s o f primary concern; 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 ntext, I have argued t h a t the "Kanni-Mangala" i s a symbolic " s e l f - d e s c r i p t i o n " o f a s o c i e t y that, i s , t o a great extent, e t h n o c e n t r i c and c l o s e d t o changes from the o u t s i d e . I t concentrates on the 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 which r e - a f f i r m i t s p a r t i c u l a r world-view and which, d e s p i t e i t s e t h n i c orthodoxy, i s f l e x i b l e enough t o s u r v i v e changes i n the l a r g e r c u l t u r a l m i l i e u . -111a- C H A P T E R V C O M P A R A T I V E I M P L I C A T I O N S -112- A. PROLOGUE: The independent study o f the symbolic expressions w i t h i n the "Kanni- Mangala" r e s u l t e d , i n a.basic "landerstanding" o f how. c e n t r a l aspects o f Coorg r e a l i t y might be per c e i v e d . Thus, 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 the ethnographic m a t e r i a l a v a i l a b l e on the marriage ceremony enabled 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 , p o l i - 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 not c o n t e s t the s u b j e c t i v i t y o f our data-base, we can con- c e p t u a l i z e the "Kanni-Mangala" as bein 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 statements which 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 - t y . However, t o determine the exte 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 our i n t e r p r e t a t i o n comparative. Therefore, i t seems s e n s i b l e t o compare the "Kanni-Mangala" w i t h the marriage ceremony o f a high-caste 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 order 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 the s t r u c t u r e and content o f both i n s t i t u t i o n s . Since 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 exte n t the Coorgs have emulated brahmanic concepts and b e l i e f s , I chose t o s e l e c t the marriage ceremony o f the neighbouring Karnataka Brahmins f o r d i r e c t comparison. As f a r as the methodology o f t h i s comparison i s concerned, I w i l l c o n f i n e myself t o the o u t l i n e o f the b a s i c wedding proceedings o f the (36) Karnataka Brahmins'- v i s - a - v i s t h a t o f the Coorg "Kanni-Mangala". A f t e r comparing a l l "segments o f examination" (= those r i t u a l a c t i o n s and events which c h a r a c t e r i z e both marriage ceremonies), I i n t e n d t o q u a l i t a t i v e l y v a l i d a t e e i t h e r S r i n i v a s 1 p r o p o s i t i o n which s t r e s s e s the " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " - 1 1 3 - o f the.Coorgs, o r my c o n t e n t i o n which emphasizes t h e i r " e t h n i c i d e n t i - t y " . I w i l l do t h i s i n accordance w i t h Table A (pp. 7-8). As mentioned e a r l i e r , I see the marriage ceremony o f the (Karnata- ka) Brahmins as being the "normative Hindu model". Comparing the Coorg wedding w i t h t h i s normative model, I assume t h a t the r e s u l t s w i l l i n d i c a t e the r e l a t i v e v a l i d i t y o f both t h e o r e t i c a l p r o p o s i t i o n s . I n o t h e r words, I want t o determine t o what e x t e n t the "Kanni-Mangala" d i f f e r s from the brahmanic marriage ceremony. In t h i s c o n text, I contend t h a t any departure from the c u l t u r a l H i n - du 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". S r i n i v a s ' p r o p o s i t i o n o f the " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " o f the Coorgs suggests 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 the Coorgs adopted h i g h - c a s t e Hindu 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 e x t e n t . My own 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 the other hand, would f a v o r a "high d i g r e s s i o n r a t i o " , t h a t i s , i f they adop- ted brahmanic concepts, they m o d i f i e d and/or transformed them i n order 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 - vant "segments o f examination" (the symbolic r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s w i t h i n both marriage ceremonies). 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 , as 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 determination o f the r e l a t i v e v a l i d i t y o f both p r o p o s i t i o n s . -114- B. DESCPJTTICN OF THE MARRIAGE CEREMONY OF THE KARNATAKA BRAHMINS: Ge n e r a l l y speaking, the brahmanic marriage 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 three 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 the i d e a t h a t the immen- s i t y o f the u n i v e r s e i s rooted i n a ground- p r i n c i p l e o f male-female 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 s p r i n g s 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 under- 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 desease, i l l - f o r t u n e and death... (....). T h i r d l y , the combination o f the couple's asso- c i a t i o n w i t h the g r e a t l i f e - f o r c e and the f a c t t h a t they are 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 su p e r n a t u r a l safe-guards, makes them more g o d - l i k e than the 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 the marriage r i t u a l s h i g h l i g h t t h i s i n s e p a r a b i l i t y o f r e l i g i o u s i deas and s o c i a l r e a l i t y i n the (Hindu) I n d i a n scene...(....). Marriage i s a re-enactment o f the gre a t cosmic union o f male and female which helps t o perpetuate the l i f e - f o r c e o f the u n i v e r s e . But marriage i s . a t the same time the union o f an o r d i - nary m o r t a l man and woman which w i l l l e a d t o the reg e n e r a t i o n o f f a m i l y and in c r e a s e d m a t e r i a l w e l l - being f o r p a r t i c u l a r people a t a p a r t i c u l a r moment i n human time (Beck 1964: 178-9). These themes are r i t u a l i z e d i n a v a r i e t y o f ceremonies t h a t form, together w i t h the expre s s i o n o f c a s t e - s p e c i f i c v a r i a n t s , the b a s i c s t r u c t u r e o f any Hindu marriage. Brahmanic marriage ceremonies, how- ever, a r e the most e l a b o r a t e performed i n South I n d i a and ignore none of the d e t a i l s ( p r e s c r i b e d i n . the G r i h y a Sutras) which are 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 the focus o f i n t e r e s t among lower caste-groups concentrates on the emulation o f t h i s p a r t i c u l a r wedding -115- procedure., . f o r i t v i s u a l i z e s the h i g h e s t p o s s i b l e form of r i t u a l s t a t u s w i t h i n the c o n f i n e s o f Hinduism. The marriage ceremony o f the Karnataka 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 which the marriage i s t o begin i s f i x e d by the a s t r o l o g e r . . The parents o f the b r i d e , who are busy w i t h a l l the p r e p a r a t i o n s , see t h a t the preparatory r i t e s and Sams- karas are gone.through before.the marriage. I f the groom's p a r t y belong t o a d i s t a n t p l a c e , they a r r i v e g e n e r a l l y a t the house o f the b r i d e - e l e c t on the evening previous t o the f i r s t day o f the wedding. They are 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 the days of the wedding. On the morning o f the a u s p i c i o u s day, the b r i d e and the groom bathe and dress themselves n e a t l y . The former i s adorned i n her b e s t , the l a t t e r performs Samskaras and.formally terminates h i s bachelorhood. ....He then pretends t o go on a p i l g r i m a g e t o Benares, b u t when the p r o c e s s i o n passes through the p l a c e appointed f o r the purpose, he i s met by the b r i d e ' s p a rents, g e n e r a l l y i n f r o n t o f the house. The f a t h e r o f the g i r l (with a cocoanut i n h i s hands) addresses the young p i l g r i m , w i t h a request t o d e s i s t from h i s f u r t h e r journey, and p r o - mises the hand of h i s daughter i n marriage ( i n token o f which he g i v e s the-cocoanut t o h i s hands). Then the groom's p a r t y i s l e d t o the marriage pandal. ( "Mock pilgrimage".) ....Before the p a r t y reaches the marriage pandal they are stopped and go through a r i t u a l c a l l e d "formal s e l e c t i o n o f the b r i d e " (Kanyava- r a n a ) : f o u r Brahmans pretending t o choose one b r i d e and r e p e a t i n g some Mantras, t h r i c e announce t h a t f o r the groom of such and such a name and Gotra, ;(naming h i s f a t h e r , grand-father, and great-grandfather) they choose the b r i d e (naming the Gotra o f her father., e t c . ) . Then the f a t h e r o f the g i r l repeats the same once more, and promises t o g i v e her i n marriage t o the groom. ....Then the bridegroom i s worshipped by the b r i d e ' s mother: he i s made t o stand f a c i n g the e a s t w h i l e the woman b r i n g s water, m i l k , a l i g h t -116- and some b a l l s o f coloured r i c e , and walks round the 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 the b a l l s thrown on d i f f e r e n t s i d e s t o ward o f f the e v i l eye. Then the mother o f the b r i d e washes h i s f e e t w i t h m i l k and water, and d r i e s them^uo w i t h the end o f her c l o t h . A f t e r waving the lamp ( A r a t i ) , he i s l e d up t o the Mandapam (sacred space w i t h i n the marriage pandal). Here, behind a screen, the b r i d e has waited f o r him. The groom stops i n f r o n t o f the screen, takes some r i c e i n h i s hands (the g i r l has r i c e i n her hands as w e l l ) , and w a i t s f o r the s i g n a l : the Brahmans chant, i n v i t i n g the a u s p i c i o u s time, when suddenly the c u r t a i n i s dropped, and the co 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 the l e v e l o f the groom's head by her mother's b r o t h e r when they see each other f o r the f i r s t time (the r i t u a l o f "seeing each other" (= Mukhadarsanam). . . . . A f t e r t h i s , the groom i s seated i n the Mandapam f a c i n g the e a s t , and h i s p a r t y are seated by 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 the t i p o f her c l o t h , and they s p r i n k l e the washed water on t h e i r own persons as h o l y , because the groom i s regarded as guest and a r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f Vishnu. Then two v e s s e l s of water a r e p l a c e d i n f r o n t o f the groom, one f o r s i p p i n g , and the other f o r washing h i s hands. He does t h i s t h ree times. A f t e r t h i s r i t e , the f a t h e r o f the b r i d e p l a c e s one spoonful o f Madhuparka (a t a s t y mixture o f curds, m i l k , ghee, sugar and honey) i n t o the hand o f the groom. A f t e r he ate the f i r s t s p o onful, two more are gi v e n t o him. Then he s i p s water and washes h i s hands. ....Now, the marriage proper can begin: The groom s i t s on a heap o f g r a i n f a c i n g the e a s t , and p l a c e s a v e s s e l o f water before him, i n which some g r a i n s are thrown i n . The v e s s e l i s decorated w i t h sandal paste and f l o w e r , and covered w i t h Darbha grass. A Mantra i s chanted t o p u r i f y i t . The g i r l i s then seated on the western heap o f g r a i n , f a c i n g the v e s s e l and her hus- band-to-be. They look a t each other when a Mantra i s chanted, i n - voking peace and p r o s p e r i t y . The groom then addresses her, r e q u e s t i n g t h a t she may be a proper w i f e and mother. He takes the Darbha grass -117- and rubs i t between the g i r l ' s brows and s i p s water. Then both wash t h e i r hands w i t h m i l k and throw r i c e a t each other's. heads. Now the groom chants another Mantra, t e l l i n g the g i r l t h a t he w i l l take care o f her. Once more they throw r i c e a t each o t h e r . ... . A f t e r these r i t e s a r i n g o f matted Darbha grass i s p l a c e d on the head o f the g i r l on which yoke i s p o s i t i o n e d so 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 water are dropped w h i l e a Mantra i n honour o f Indra i s chanted. A f t e r t h i s bath, the b r i d e wears new c l o t h e s and stands i n f r o n t o f the groom who s i t s f a c i n g the e a s t . The b r i d e ' s f a t h e r presents c l o t h e s t o the groom, t a k i n g the hands o f the g i r l , and p l a c e s them on the groom's palms; w h i l e her mother pours water above them a l l , which f a l l s through three p a i r s o f hands i n t o the v e s s e l p l a c e d un- derneath; w h i l e t h i s happens, the f a t h e r o f the b r i d e chants: " I g i v e away my daughter f u l l y decked w i t h g o l d jewels t o Vishnu who i s i n the form o f the groom". He then announces three ancestors o f the groom, h i s name and Gotra and g i v e s him h i s daughter as Lakshmi, naming her i n the same f a s h i o n . The groom accepts her w h i l e the g i r l ' s f a t h e r presents as many presents as h i s purse can a f f o r d . ....The groom touches the b r i d e ' s stomach and r e c i t e s a prayer f o r the pro d u c t i o n o f o f f - s p r i n g . Then the young couple s p r i n k l e s wet r i c e from t h e i r heads on each o t h e r , exchange f l o w e r s and pray together f o r p r o s - p e r i t y . A f t e r t h a t the b r i d e presents turmeric and f r u i t s t o a u s p i c i o u s women. ....Now the groom presents some c l o t h e s t o the b r i d e , and t i e s a T a l i (a golden jewel w i t h a s t r i n g through i t ) round her neck which i s con- s i d e r e d t o prol o n g her husband's l i f e , and hence makes her a "woman w i t h a l i v i n g husband" (Sumangali). The husband b l e s s e s her w i t h a long l i f e and her mother and other women add each a knot, g i v i n g t h e i r good wishes and b l e s s i n g s w i t h i t . ....The young couple make a r e s o l u t i o n t o take up c h a s t i t y (Vrata) o f marriage f o r f o u r days. They throw r i c e a t each other and t i e a thread round the w r i s t s (the man t y i n g i t on the g i r l ' s l e f t hand w h i l e she -118- t i e s i t t o h i s r i g h t hand). Then a s e t o f Mantras i s chanted i n honour o f A g n i , Varuna, P r a j a p a t i , and o t h e r s t o secure a long l i f e , domestic peace, and f e r t i l i t y . Then the w i f e ' s hands are washed and smeared w i t h ghee and cupping them, she accepts two handfuls of f r i e d paddy from a bamboo p l a t e . The husband drops ghee on i t and helps her t o make the o f f e r i n g t o the f i r e w h i l e chanting another Mantra. Then they walk around the f i r e , he l e a d i n g her by the hand ("worship of sacred f i r e " ) . They do t h i s t h ree times. On t h e i r way around the f i r e , the g i r l mounts a stone w h i l e her husband chants "mount t h i s stone and be f i r m as t h i s stone". To the n o r t h o f the f i r e are p l a c e d seven heaps o f r i c e . On each o f these, the husband p l a c e s her r i g h t f o o t r e p e a t i n g : 1. "May Vishnu cause you t o take one step, f o r the sake o f o b t a i n i n g food; 2 two steps f o r the sake o f g a i n i n g s t r e n g t h ; 3 f o r the sake o f solemn a c t s o f r e l i g i o n ; 4."....for the sake o f o b t a i n i n g happiness; 5 f o r the sake o f c a t t l e ; 6 f o r the i n - crease o f wealth; 7..•....for the sake o f becoming my carapanion". Then the p a i r put t h e i r heads c l o s e and s p r i n k l e water on t h e i r heads. I n the evening, the p a i r go t o an open p l a c e where the husband p o i n t s out the Great Bear t o h i s w i f e , and then a s m a l l s t a r by the s i d e of them, h i n t i n g t h a t t h a t s t a r should be her i d e a l f o r constancy and c h a r a c t e r : she says, "May I get c h i l d r e n w i t h the husband l i v i n g " (breaking her s i l e n c e s i n c e the beginning of the wedding proceedings). .With t h i s the marriage proper i s over i n one day; and the husband and h i s p a r t y should take h i s b r i d e home w i t h the f i r e used i n the wedding. But f o r convenience and p l e a s u r e , the p a i r and p a r t y are de- t a i n e d along w i t h the other guests i n the marriage house. ... .On the next days proc e s s i o n s w i t h the b r i d e and the groom i n the l e a d are made around the v i l l a g e . I t i s u s u a l l y a time of fun and games. But i n the evening o f the f o u r t h day the young couple takes o f f 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 bath t o c l e a n t h e i r body a f t e r f o u r days without a bath. 7After the bath, the e n t i r e marriage ceremony i s brought t o a c l o s e ; the guests and p a r t i e s depart 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 taken t o her husband's house and she enters i t w i t h -119- her r i g h t f o o t f i r s t . Both s i t i n the be s t p a r t o f the house, and perform Pravesa Homa, the r i t u a l o f e s t a b l i s h i n g the domestic f i r e . They k i n d l e a f i r e brought from the f i r e o f the marriage ceremony and convert i t i n t o the household f i r e . The husband chants a Mantra and o f f e r i n g s are made t o the f i r e , Ganesha, and other household 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 the f i r e . Taking some r i c e from the v e s s e l , the husband o f f e r s i t t o Agni . With the remaining r i c e , sometimes a le a r n e d Brah- man i s f e d . With t h i s l a s t r i t u a l the marriage ceremony i s over (Mysore T r i b e s and Castes, Vol.11, pp. 329-46). Most o f the symbolism w i t h i n the marriage ceremony o f the Karnataka Brahmins focuses on the 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 conduct i n t o the r e a l i t y o f day-to-day l i f e . Although there are some ref e r e n c e s t h a t p o i n t towards an i n t e r e s t i n aspects o f k i n - r e l a t i o n s and socio-economic concerns, the symbolism i s c l e a r l y expressed through the r e l i g i o u s idiom. The r i t u a l complexes that-make up the b a s i c s t r u c t u r e o f t h i s marriage c e r e - mony can be organized i n the f o l l o w i n g way: f i r s t , the r e l a t i o n o f the wedding proceedings tocHindu cosmological i d e a s ; second, the minute r e p l i c a t i o n o f r i t u a l s as p r e s c r i b e d i n the " s a n s k r i t i c " t e x t s ; t h i r d , the a s s o c i a t i o n o f the wedding events w i t h concepts o f p u r i t y and auspice; and f o u r t h , the importance 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 the Karnataka Brahmin marriage ceremony which c o r r e l a t e more o r l e s s w i t h the " u n i t s o f examination" as deduced from the Coorg "Kanni-Mangala", I devised the f o l l o - wing Table (Table H, on page 120)as the 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 the comparative Hindu m a t e r i a l . -120- TABLE H : Symbolic references encoded i n the Karnataka Brahmin marriage ceremony. CHRONOLOGY CEREMONIAL REFERENCES SYMBOLIC COMPLEXES PREPARA- TORY ACTIONS T some time | a s t r o l o g e r s e l e c t s aus- bef o r e the wedding. p i c i o u s time e r e c t i o n o f the marriage pandal(sacred square) p u r i f i c a t i o n o f house (1) •(2)T(3)T(4) I DAY I morning evening r i t u a l b a t h , shaving, d r e s s i n g (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),+ worship o f groom by b r i d e ' s mother "seeing each other" Madhuparka ( i n honor o f groom)_ t a k i n g the g i f t o f the .. bride^M)_+ t y i n g the T a l i (M) + t y i n g the V r a t a threads (M) + sacred f i r e / t h r e e circum- ambulations (M) + ^}§_"2_steps^__(M)_^_ the stone and the s t a r worshipping gods (M) + r i i i " i i *' ! f- DAY I I - I V I I T DAY TV :1 evening i common meals, g i f t exchange fun and games... I - i i * i i the domestic f i r e (M) + LEGEND: (1)=cosmological i d e a s ; ( 2 ) = s a n s k r i t i c t e x t s ; ( 3 ) = p i i r i t y / a u s p i c e ; ( 4 ) = g i f t - g i v i n g . ( M ) + = r e c i t a l o f Mantras -121- As f o r many o t h e r occasions i n the r e l i g i o u s and s o c i a l l i f e o f most Hindu c u l t u r a l groups, the 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 an " a u s p i c i o u s " time f o r the beginning o f the wedding procedures. The Karnataka Brahmins make no exception: they always use a s t r o l o g e r s , a f a c t t h a t , a c c o r d i n g t o S r i n i v a s , u n d e r l i n e s t h e i r " s a n s k r i t i c " i d e o - l o g y : Hindu a s t r o l o g y i s based on the i d e a o f Karma and touches Hindu t h e o l o g i c a l ideas a t every p o i n t ; and, strange as i t may seem .to Westerners, a s t r o l o g y i n v o l v e s a knowledge o f astronomy. Events l i k e an e c l i p s e , and the day and p e r i o d o f time when the sun passes from 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 pur- poses, and they are a l l mentioned i n the Panchanga. ....Astrology may be regarded as a " s a n s k r i t i z i n g " agent, and the 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 the 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: 75). A f t e r the determination o f the marriage 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 the b r i d a l home. The s t r u c t u r e serves two purposes: f i r s t , i t i s the l o c a l e i n which most o f the marriage r i t e s are performed and second, i t serves t o p r o v i d e shade from the sun d u r i n g the long ceremony. The marriage pandal represents a "sacred" space and i t s c o n s t r u c t i o n r e - sembles the b a s i c s u p e r s t r u e t u r e o f a Hindu temple (Dumont 1957: 222). I t has a square b a s i s w i t h a v a r y i n g number of posts which h o l d up the r o o f .v Of teh>. i<the::pavilion i s decorated w i t h r e d and w h i t e ornaments, flowers and l e a f s . "The b r i d a l couple s i t i n the center o f t h i s (temple- l i k e ) s t r u c t u r e , which i s s y m b o l i c a l l y understood t o encompass the f o u r regions o f the u n i v e r s e i n the midst o f abundant references t o cosmic 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: 57). One o f the posts i s -122- the 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 . Beck suggests t h a t the m i l k - p o s t might be a r e p l i c a t i o n o f the cosmic t r e e , which r i s e s up and spreads 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, the symbolic connection between the marriage pandal and the grand cosmic order i s e v i d e n t : i t s s t r u c t u r e resembles a temple, i t s m i l k - p o s t i s equaled w i t h the 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 cosmic t r e e , and i t s d e c o r a t i o n suggests abundance and wealth. A l l important r i t u a l s are performed here, a t t h i s s a c r ed r i t u a l l y pure p l a c e where two o r d i n a r y people j o i n together i n a h o l y u n i t y . The t h i r d p reparatory a c t i v i t y i n the brahmanic marriage 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 the house, a l l cooking u t e n s i l s , the p l a c e s where the marriage r i t e s w i l l be performed, and f i n a l l y , the p u r i f i c a t i o n o f the people i n v o l v e d . For Brahmins, t h i s pre-occupation w i t h b o d i l y and mental p u r i t y i s symptomatic 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 the 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 the Hindu c u l t u r a l con- t e x t . The concept o f p u r i t y and p o l l u t i o n uses body-imagery t o r i v i s u a l i z e moral and p h i l o s o p h i c a l codes o f behavior. The V e d i c s e e r s , f o r example, see the e n t i r e cosmos as a body which i n t e r n a l i z e s the sum o f p h i l o s o p h i - c a l p e r s p e c t i v e s through the grand conception o f Rta ( t r u t h ) . I t i s used to s i g n i f y the way o f l i f e which i s the " c o r r e c t and ordered way o f the c u l t s o f the gods and the moral conduct o f man"., (Saraf 1969: 160) . Rta stands f o r moral and s p i r i t u a l v a l u e s , besides c o n c e p t u a l i z i n g the u n i v e r s e as composed o f mutually e x c l u s i v e but p o l a r c a t e g o r i e s o f the pure and im- pure, where r i t u a l p u r i t y becomes synonymous w i t h Rta and r i t u a l p o l l u t i o n -123- s i g n i f i e s A n r t a ••/ The Upanisadic seers (which concentrate on the metaphysical contempla- t i o n o f the u l t i m a t e r e a l i t y ) acknowledge the 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 the f i r s t s t e p towards mental, moral, and s p i r i t u a l p i e t y . The Dharmashastras c o n c e p t u a l i z e the phenomenon o f r i t u a l p u r i t y and 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 c l e a n - 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 ) , as a s p i r i t u a l p e r s p e c t i v e emerging from c e r t a i n s u b t l e , metaphysical a b s t r a c t i o n s , (Saraf 1969: 161). R i t u a l p u r i t y and p o l l u t i o n , then, each have two forms; the e x t e r n a l - p h y s i c a l , and the 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 - t y 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 instrumenta- l i t y o f e a r t h and water, among other t h i n g s . P u r i t y o f the mind o r c o g n i - t i v e processes, 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 the attainment o f which depends on p i e t y and p u r i t y o f thought ( I b i d : 162). In (high-caste) Hindu every-day l i f e p h y s i c a l and proximal p u r i t y i s o f utmost importance. These types o f m o r a l - r e l i g i o u s codes determine the ch 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 . Impurity, i n t h i s sense, r e s u l t s from the p h y s i c a l c o n t a c t (or the proximity) o f impure persons and matter. Fear o f i m p u r i t y l i m i t s the s o c i a l i n t e r c o u r s e by imposing taboos on food and water, marriage, and i n t e r - c a s t e r e l a t i o n s . The Brahmins, b e i n g a t the top o f the caste-hierarchy(due t o t h e i r r e l i g i o u s s t a t u s and p u r i t y ) , emphasize t h i s f a c t more than any other caste-group: almost every marriage r i t e i s preceeded by an a c t o f p u r i f i c a t i o n , water i s used throughout the ceremony as a p u r i f y i n g agent, and pers o n a l p u r i t y i s main- t a i n e d through r i t u a l b a t h i n g and the wearing o f r i t u a l l y c l e a n c l o t h e s . -124- The "mock p i l g r i m a g e " i s the symbolic re-enactment o f the 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 Benares. There he i s supposed t o take a bath i n the sacred Ganges, thus undergoing Upanayana (second b i r t h ) w h i c h g i v e s him the r i g h t t o wear the "sacred thread". This r i t u a l i s considered necessary b e f o r e marriage can take p l a c e (Pandey 1949: 256). I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o see t h a t most o f the brahmanic marriage r i t e s are designed t o s i g n i f y the orthodoxy w i t h which they l i v e o u t the pre- 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 the t h i r t e e n " u n i t s o f examination" which I e x t r a c t e d from the data on the brahmanic marriage c e r e - mony, I found e i g h t references t o cosmological i d e a s , t h i r t e e n r eferences t o the 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 auspiciousness, and three d e a l i n g w i t h the n o t i o n o f i'-giving",. ( i n the sense o f " g i v i n g the b r i d e " ) . One o f the r i t e s which make re f e r e n c e t o the n o t i o n o f " g i v i n g " , i s what I have c a l l e d "the s e l e c t i o n o f the b r i d e " ; i t takes p l a c e s h o r t l y a f t e r the groom' r e t u r n s from 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 w i t h the pretended " s e l e c t i o n o f the b r i d e " focuses on the f a c t t h a t the f a t h e r o f the g i r l g i v e s the promise t o present h i s daughter as a " g i f t " t o the groom, thus i n i t i a t i n g the c r e a t i o n o f a new l i n k i n the descent- l i n e o f the groom's f a m i l y . Here 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 descent, b u t i t i s r a t h e r b r i e f and again, deeply embedded i n r e l i g i o u s symbolism. More c e n t r a l , however, i s the i n d i c a t i o n o f the f a t h e r t o "give away the b r i d e " , f o r i t leads t o the core p a r t o f the marriage cere- mony: t h i s i s a s e t o f three consecutive r i t e s which are p r e s c r i b e d i n the Grihy a Sutras and which f i n a l i z e the m a r i t a l union b o t h , on a r e l i g i o u s and s o c i e t a l l e v e l . The f i r s t o f these c e n t r a l r i t e s i s the " g i v i n g away o f -125- the v i r g i n b r i d e " , f o l l o w e d by the "three circumambulations round the sacred 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 the mother o f the b r i d e has worshipped the groom, and the f a t h e r has presented Madhuparka t o the young man^), the groom i s " f i t " t o " r e c e i v e the g i f t o f the b r i d e " . This r i t u a l emphasizes the need f o r continued o f f s p r i n g i n the next generation: I n marrying the daughter the f a t h e r makes a ' g i f t ' because the c h i l d r e n born t o her w i l l belong t o another l i n e a g e . ''Giving'1' away a g i r l i s considered a gr e a t 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 . With t h i s added m e r i t the f a t h e r hopes t o ob- t a i n 'the heaven o f Brahma'and a t the-same time t o g a i n ' s a l v a t i o n ' f o r h i s ancestors (Beck 1964: 85) . • When the groom takes the b r i d e by the hand and leads her t h r i c e around the sacred f i r e , he — f o r the f i r s t time — takes f u l l respon- s i b i l i t y o f her. When both s t o p and make o f f e r i n g s t o the sacred f i r e , they pray f o r o f f s p r i n g , h e a l t h , and p r o s p e r i t y . The three circxtmairfoulaf. t i o n s are i n c l o c k w i s e d i r e c t i o n which i n d i c a t e s auspiciousness, and • when the couple h o l d each other w i t h the r i g h t hand, they . symbolize the focus on r i t u a l p u r i t y . The t h i r d r i t u a l which i s i n s t r u m e n t a l i n brahmanic marriage ceremo- n i e s 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 the wedding, and w i t h the b r i d e ' s seventh s t e p the union becomes^irrevocable (Beck 1964: 102). According t o The Mysore Tribes and Castes, most o f the marriage r i t e s are r e s t r i c t e d t o the c u l t o f Ag n i , the domestic god, who i s be- l i e v e d t o be a witn e s s throughout t h e i r performance, and i n the form -126- of the domestic f i r e he i s t o accompany the young p a i r through l i f e (1928: 352). The author goes on t o say t h a t the p r i n c i p l e meanings o f the most important r i t e s a r e focused on the observance o f r e l i g i o u s a c t s , the main- tanance o f the m a r i t a l union, and the c o n t i n u a t i o n o f the f a m i l y l i n e : ....The b r i d e ' s hand i s grasped i n order t h a t she may be d e l i v e r e d i n the power o f her husband. She steps on the stone t o a c q u i r e firmness. She takes 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 eats the s a c r i f i c i a l food w i t h him t o c r e a t e community w i t h h i m . . . ( . . . . ) . The husband leads the b r i d e three times round the newly k i n d l e d f i r e , and i t i s the duty o f the couple t o m a i n t a i n i t h e nceforth throughout t h e i r l i v e s as t h e i r domestic f i r e . . . ( — . ) . The i n v o c a t i o n s addressed t o gods ar e mostly i n the nature o f b e n e d i c t i o n s . . . ( . . . . ) . The wedding i s f o l l o w e d by three days o f abstinence, meant doubtless t o exhaust the p a t i e n c e and d i v e r t the a c t s o f h o s t i l e demons ( I b i d : 353). G e n e r a l l y speaking, the u s u a l brahmanic wedding i n Mysore i s not a symbolic e x p r e s s i o n 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 , b u t r a t h e r the r e p l i - c a t i o n o f a s p e c i a l i z e d mode o f conduct which i s almost 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 diom o f Hinduism. C u l t u r a l norms are expressed 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 phrase, i s encompassed by the Hindu cosmology. The o v e r a l l s t r u c t u r e o f the wedding proceedings h i g h l i g h t t h i s f a c t : a f t e r the preparatory a c t s o f a r r a n g i n g the marriage, the groom's p a r t y a r r i v e a t the b r i d e ' s house the n i g h t b e f o r e the wedding; the a c t u a l marriage ceremony begins e a r l y next morning when the groom has t o go through 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 which are designed t o prepare him f o r the three 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 the b r i d e as a " g i f t " , o f 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 acquaihted w i t h her. The u n i t y i s c r e a t e d through the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t o uphold an othodox s e t o f r e l i - gious ideas and i t i s maintained, besides other t h i n g s , through the knowledge -127- o f 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 marriage tends t o be unique (monogamous) and i n d i s s o l u b l e . I say ' i t tends' because the duty t o have a son makes an i n f e r t i l e union a l e g i t i m a t e ground f o r exceptions, and the man takes a second w i f e i n sucn a case. /As f o r i n d i s s o l u b i l i t y , i t i s expressed by the f a c t t h a t d i v o r c e does not e x i s t (at most there can be a separation) and by the p r o h i b i t i o n a g a i n s t r e - marriage o f widows. I t i s not s u r p r i s i n g t o see the i n f e r i o r marriage p a r t n e r b e a r i n g the whole brunt of i t s i n d i s s o l u b i l i t y , and furthermore, the widow l e a d s , o r used 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 penitence (1970: 110-1). However, not a l l Brahmans are as orthodox: those who have i n t e r e s t s i n more " w o r l d l y " aspects o f t h e i r r e a l i t y ( f o r i n s t a n c e , n o n - p r i e s t l y J a t i s ) , tend t o emphasize marriage as the one i n s t i t u t i o n which connects r e p r e s e n t a - 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 l e v e l . I n summary, then, the marriage ceremony o f Brahmins i n g e n e r a l , and o f the Karnataka Brahmins i n p a r t i c u l a r , expresses the focus 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 the domain of c a s t e w i t h t h a t o f k i n - s h i p " (Dumont 1970: 110). As mentioned e a r l i e r , these expressions are c o d i - f i e d i n r i t u a l a c t i o n s and events which h i g h l i g h t the connection between the marriage ceremony and Hindu cosmology ( the marriage pandal seen as the r e p l i - c a t i o n o f a Hindu temple; the m i l k post symbolising the sacred t r e e ; the square r e p r e s e n t i n g a sacred space (Mandappa); and the sacred f i r e which stands 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 r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s refers t o the connections between the marriage r i t u a l and the 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 the ceremony; the chanting o f Mantras; the "mock p i l g r i m a g e " ; the three 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 the b r i d e " , -128- "the t h r ee cirajmambulations" and "the seven steps"; and the reference t o the stone and the s t a r s ) . F i n a l l y , a strong emphasis i s g i v e n t o aspects o f p u r i t y and auspiciousness ( s t r i c t p u r i f i c a t i o n r u l e s ; the use of a number o f emblems and symbols t h a t express a h i g h degree o f p u r i t y and auspice such as the T a l i symbolism, anointment, threads, the use o f "sacred g r a s s " , water and r i c e ; and the g i v i n g o f Madhuparka t o the groom). The s t r u c t u r e o f the brahmanic marriage 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 ideas which cannot be separated from the s o c i a l r e a l i t y . The union o f male and female i s a symbolic re-enactment o f the "great cosmic union o f male and female which helps t o perpetuate the l i f e - f o r c e o f the u n i v e r s e " (Beck 1964: 178). I n t h i s sense, the marriage i s a "sacrament" where r e l i - g ious i d e o l o g y determines a l l a c t i o n s and non-actions i m p l i c i t i n , and f o l l o - wing from, v y t h i s i n s t i t u t i o n . The brahmanic marriage ceremony i s , a t a l l times, l o c a t e d w i t h i n t h i s realm o f "sacredness" (see the diagrammatic 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 the brahmanic marriage ceremony. Madhuparka ( i n honor o f groom) b r i d e ' s mother worships_ groom s e l e c t i o n of b r i d e - "mock pilgrimage"- "SACRAMENTAL" PART OF WEDDING DAY I" • a II II ii II 1| DAY I I ' II II II II II TRADITIONAL DISPLAY OF SOCIO-RELIGIOUS SYMBOLISM BRIDE'S FAMILY r i t u a l bath, d r e s s i n g "seeing each o t h e r " "the g i f t o f the bride"- " t y i n g the T a l i " " t y i n g the V r a t a threads". "the three circaimambulationsV- "the seven steps"- II i •-worshipping the gods; the chanting o f Mantras; common meals; g i f t exchange; fun and games...but: c h a s t i t y . e s t a b l i s h i n g the domestic f i r e . . . worshipping the gods ••the stone and the s t a r A = a s t r o l o g e r . . . MP = marriage pandal P = p u r i f i c a t i o n o f house, e t c . -130- C. COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE "KANNI-MANGALA" AND THE MARRIAGE CEREMONY OF THE KARNATAKA BRAHMANS: I t i s the 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 s i g n i - f i c a n t "segments o f examination" w i t h i n both marriage ceremonies and t o de- termine t o what e x t e n t Coorg r i t u a l a c t i o n s and events r e p l i c a t e those found i n the Brahmin counterpart. As I have e x p l i c a t e d i n my "Methodological Re- marks" (pp. 4-9), I focus my i n t e r e s t on the assumption t h a t both marriage ceremonies can be seen as "micro-ethnographies" o f the wider s o c i o - c u l t u r a l r e a l i t y o f both "examination-units" (Coorg s o c i e t y and the sub-caste o f the Karnataka Brahmins). I n order t o c l a r i f y the p r i n c i p l e s o f my procedure, I c o n t r o l the parameters o f t h i s a n a l y s i s according t o the f o l l o w i n g a s s e r t i o n s : f i r s t , I assume t h a t the ceremonial r e f e r e n c e s w i t h i n the Brahmin marriage ceremony represent — more o r l e s s — the " s a n s k r i t i c " Hindu norm. Second, I am i n accordance w i t h S r i n i v a s 1 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 the emulation of high-caste ( i n t h i s case brahmanic) Hindu concepts and valu e s i n order t o r a i s e the 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 higher 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 represented by the 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 r e g i o n . T h i r d , I a s s e r t t h a t i f the Coorgs emulated high-caste Hindu norms i n order 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 then t h i s emulation has t o be r e c o g n i z a b l e , t h a t i s , the resemblances between comparable "segments o f examination" has t o be ob- v i o u s . 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 the " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n " o f the "segments o f examination" i n q u e s t i o n , thus un- d e r l i n i n g S r i n i v a s ' p r o p o s i t i o n . 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 examination" (or the non-comparability o f t h e m a t i c a l l y -131- r e l a t e d ceremonial references) w i t h i n the "Kanni-Mangala" would p o i n t toward c u l t u r e - s p e c i f i c expressions o f Coorg r e a l i t y (at l e a s t w i t h i n the c o n t e x t of the marriage ceremony). T h i s would support my p r o p o s i - t i o n o f seeing them as an " e t h n i c group". F i f t h , I a s s e r t t h a t t r a n s - formations o f ceremonial references from the normative Hindu model i n t o the symbolic "pool" o f the "Kanni-Mangala" a s s i s t i n the determination o f the degree of Coorg " e t h n i c i d e n t i t y " v i s - a - v i s the brahmanical 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 the "segments of examination" p r e v i o u s l y d i s c u s s e d , and w i l l order them according t o t h e i r temporal chronology,(see Table I on page 132). F o l l o w i n g t h i s , I w i l l compare those segments which f a l l under the heading "Resemblances..." and " D i f f e r e n c e s " , i n order t o detennine the " r a t i o o f d i g r e s s i o n from the Hindu norm". T h i s r a t i o should g i v e us a -more o r l e s s - accurate charac- t e r i z a t i o n o f the "Kanni-Mangala" w i t h r e s p e c t t o i t s Hindu co u n t e r p a r t and should l e a d us t o our f i n a l deductions as t o the r e l a t i v e l o c a t i o n o f t h i s "microcosm" of Coorg i d e n t i t y . -132- TABLE I : C o r r e l a t i o n o f comparable "segments o f examination" s e l e c t e d from the Karnataka Brahmin and the Coorg marriage ceremonies. CHRONOLOGY • "Segments o f examination" "Segments o f examination" . . KARNATAKA BRAHMINS COORGS . .. . .. P r e l i m i n a r y A c t i o n s and Events: "engagement" Mangala K u r i p a a s t r o l o g e r s e l e c t s aus- p 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 aus- p i c i o u s time (optional) . , , , . . , c l e a n i n g o f the house, e t c . (prescribed) c l e a n i n g o f the 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) C e n t r a l Marriage r i t u a l bath, d r e s s i n g (pr. ) r i t u a l b ath, d r e s s i n g (Coorg) (pr. ) R i t e s : "mock p i l g r i m a g e " _(pr. ) worship o f "sacred lamp"(pr.) s e l e c t i o n o f b r i d e (pr.) worship o f ancestors (pr.) worship o f groom (pr.) Murta # 1 (worship o f groom and b r i d e ) seeing 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 (pr.) g i f t o f food/war-sword (pr.) t a k i n g the g i f t o f the b r i d e ( p r . ) . Murta # 2 & 3: t a k i n g posses- i o n o f the b r i d e _ J p r . ) t y i n g the T a l i (pr.) money g i f t t o b r i d e (pr.) t y i n g the V r a t a threads (pr.) sacred f i r e / t h r e e c i r c T J m a m b u - sacred lamps/three circumam- l a t i o n s (groom and b r i d e ) (pr.) b u l a t i o n s (groom & b r i d e j p r . ) the "7 steps" (non-reversa- ' b i l i t y o f marriage (pr.) Sammanda ( l e g a l i s a t i o n o f marriage) (pr.) stone & s t a r ; common meals; fun & games; worship o f gods; . MOBR; c h a s t i t y ; , t h r e s h o l d symbolism; MOBR; concl u d i n g r i t e s f o r bride:, • manure, P u j a , water... e s t a b l i s h i n g the domestic f i r e (pr.) the naming o f the b r i d e (pr.) Post-marriage R i t e s j couple v i s i t s r e l a t i v e s (pr.) 1 K a v e r i P i l g r i m a g e (optional) -133- C i . Resemblances between the two " u n i t s o f comparison": A t f i r s t glance, a c o n s i d e r a b l e number o f Coorg marriage 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 the normative Hindu model. L e t us look c l o s e r and d i s c u s s the p o s s i b i l i t y o f seeing them as " s a n s k r i t i z e d " , t h a t i s , adopted brahmanic prototypes: 1. "engagement" (Brahmanic) v s Mangala K u r i p a (Coorg.). 2. use 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 marriage pandal (B. and C ) . 5. r i t u a l bath (B. and C ) . 6. r i t u a l d r e s s i n g (B. and C.). 7. the "three circumambulations" (B. and C ) . 8. the importance o f mother's br o t h e r (B. and C ) . 9. the importance o f r i c e , water, m i l k , e t c . (B. and C ) . 10. the worship o f gods (B. and C.) 11. the common meals (B. and C.). ad 1.: I n both 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. Both s o c i a l c o l l e c t i v e s emphasize the n e c e s s i t y t o take p r e l i m i n a r y a c t i o n s i n order t o secure the marriage 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. The Coorgs used t o have i n f o r m a l weddings i n the pa s t . Under the i n f l u e n c e o f the 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 leads me t o be- l i e v e t h a t the Mangala K u r i p a c o u l d be seen as an adoption from the brahmanic model v i a Lingayatism. However, the r i t u a l has con- 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 by the two Aruvas who are r e s p o n s i b l e f o r tne l e g a l p a r t o f the wedding. Since the brahma- n i c c o u n t e r p a r t emphasizes the establishment o f a new kin-bond as w e l l as the r e l i g i o u s importance o f i t , I see the Coorg r i t u a l as an adoption i i form but not n e c e s s a r i l y i n content (at l e a s t not w i t h regard t o the r e l i g i o u s symbolism as understood by Brahmins) Consequently, I see i t as formal 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 the use o f the a s t r o l o g e r f o r the de- te r m i n a t i o n o f an "au s p i c i o u s " time f o r the wedding i s a s i g n o f " s a n s k r i t i c behavior". The Coorgs do use a s t r o l o - g e r s , but i t i s not 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 wishes 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 f o l l o w . F or Brahmins, on the other hand, the s e r v i c e s o f the a s t r o l o g e r are o f utmost r e l i g i o u s im- portance. Consequently, he always determines the r i g h t time f o r a Brahman's wedding. But, a s t r o l o g e r s are not e x c l u s i v e t o Hindu c u l t u r e ; other c u l t u r a l groups w i t h i n the geographi- c a l boundaries o f I n d i a employ them as w e l l . Therefore, I see t h i s r i t u a l a c t i o n as a p o s s i b l e , but not necessary ADOPTION from Hinduism. , ad 3.: The adoption o f the p u r i t y / p o l l u t i o n concept by the Coorgs i s c l e a r l y e v i d e n t . W i t h i n the context o f the "Kanni-Mangala" i t i s observed w i t h s i m i l a r care as i n the marriage ceremony o f the Karnataka (and a l l other) Brahinins. However, Coorg noti o n s o f p u r i t y and p o l l u t i o n are l i m i t e d and 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 . N e v e r t h e l e s s , the p u r i - f i c a t i o n r i t e s are c l e a r ADOPTIONS WITHOUT MODIFICATION from the brahmanic model. ad 4.: According t o Dr. Muthanna, the r e l i g i o u s importance o f the marriage pandal i s very l i m i t e d . I f i t i s used, i t serves as the l o c a t i o n o f Murta, the most "a u s p i c i o u s " Coorg r i t u a l , but Hindu cosmological symbolism i s not recognized t o any co n s i d e r a b l e extent. I , p e r s o n a l l y , suspect t h a t the Coorgs adopted the m a r r i - age pandal as a symbol o f h i g h r i t u a l s t a t u s , but th e r e i s no refe r e n c e t o t h i s i n the l i t e r a t u r e . For me, the use o f the pandal i s an ADOPTION WITHOUT MODIFICATION. ad 5.: The r i t u a l bath i s designed t o p u r i f y the b r i d e and the groom, thus r e p r e s e n t i n g another aspect o f the Hindu p u r i t y / p o l l u t i o n -135- concept. I t i s an ADOPTION WITHOUT MODIFICATION. ad 6 .: A f t e r the r i t u a l bath, Brahmins and other high-caste Hindus must wear r i t u a l l y pure 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 the h i g h e s t emphasis i s g i v e n t o the p u r i t y o f the Brahman's wedding d r e s s , the Coorg assigns more importance t o the 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. Neve r t h e l e s s , the n e c e s s i t y t o p u r i f y the marriage costume p o i n t s toward the ADOPTION WITHOUT MODIFICATION o f t h i s r i t u a l a c t i o n . ad 7.: As one o f the three c r u c i a l brahmanic marriage r i t u a l s , the three circmiambulations are r e l i g i o u s "markers" o f any c a s t e Hindu m a r r i - age. S i m i l a r l y , the t h r e e circamiambulations c o n s t i t u t e a major p a r t of the Coorg Murta. Without a doubt, t h i s r i t e i s one o f the most important adoptions from Hinduism. Therefore, I see i t as a d e f i - n i t e ADOPTION WITHOUT MODIFICATION. ad 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 groups the mother's b r o t h e r en- jo y s a h i g h degree o f r e s p e c t and i s o f t e n r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the 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. I n the case o f Karnataka Brahmins and Coorgs, the s t r u c t u r e o f the des- cent groups i s i d e n t i c a l . Therefore, I acknowledge the c o r r e - l a t i o n w i t h r e s p e c t t o the r i t u a l importance o f the mother's br o t h e r i n both sample^ but h e s i t a t e t o assume a p o s s i b l e adoption o f mother's br o t h e r ' s r i t u a l s i g n i f i c a n c e by the Coorgs. ad 9.: Again, the r i t u a l emphasis on r i c e , water and other f o o d - s t u f f s does not depend on Hindu r e l i g i o u s concepts and b e l i e f s . The Coorgs are a g r i c u l t u r a l i s t s who depend on r i c e , water, and other crops; so do many Brahmins. However, the p a r t i c u l a r symbolism connected w i t h the use o f r i c e , water, m i l k , e t c . w i t h i n the con- t e x t o f the wedding might represent a p o s s i b l e adoption from the brahmanic model. -136- ad 10.: The Karnataka Brahmins worship a v a r i e t y o f Hindu gods a t the occa- 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 worship some Hindu d i e t i e s as w e l l , but as was the case w i t h the 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 r u l e . Nevertheless, i n t h i s c o n t e x t , I see i t as an ADOPTION WITHOUT MODIFICATION. ad 11.: A t the end o f the f i r s t wedding day the Brahmin groom and h i s b r i d e are asked once more t o s i t s i d e by s i d e i n the center o f the p a v i l i o n . T h i s i s the time when they e a t t h e i r f i r s t common meal together; ... "every o t h e r day o f t h e i r married l i f e the b r i d e w i l l be expected t o serve her husband f i r s t , and s i t down t o e a t by h e r s e l f o n l y when he has f i n i s h e d " (Beck 1964: 149). T h i s symbolism u n d e r l i n e s the unique- ness o f the marriage ceremony as a r e l i g i o u s r i t u a l . I n the Coorg case, the common meal s i g n i f i e s not o n l y the union between husband and w i f e (symbolized i n what I have c a l l e d the " t h i r d meal" a t the end of the second day of the wedding), but i s a l s o an a c t o f s o l i d a r i t y between the members o f the kin-group ( " f i r s t meal"), as w e l l as bet- ween the two f a m i l i e s ("second meal" = common "snack" before the second Murta). Ccmmensality, i n t h i s c o n t e x t , symbolizes Coorg • notion s o f k i n - s o l i d a r i t y as w e l l as notio n s of " u n i t y " d e f i n e d on a r e l i g i o u s l e v e l . And, s i n c e the " t h i r d meal" resembles the brah- manic "common meal" t o a l a r g e degree, I f e e l s a f e t o see i t as an ADOPTION WITHOUT MODIFICATION. From the eleven "segments o f examination" which 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 both 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 the heading. T h i s means t h a t , w i t h i n the con t e x t o f my d i s - c u s s i o n , evidence o f " s a n s k r i t i c " behavior on the p a r t o f the Coorgs c o u l d be found w i t h regard t o : f i r s t , a c o d i f i e d mode o f conduct t h a t focuses on a p a r t i c u l a r type o f r i t u a l arrangements (#1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 7, 8, 11); second, the use o f the Hindu p u r i t y / p o l l u t i o n concept 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 , -137- the importance the Coorgs a s s i g n t o Hindu cosmological ideas i n gene r a l (#4, 7, 10, 11). However, the concern over a s t r o l o g y (# 2 ) , the s p e c i a l r o l e o f the b r i d e ' s mother's br o t h e r (# 8 ) , the use o f r i c e , water, milk,, e t c . as r i t u a l l y important substances (# 9) and - t o some e x t e n t - the "common meal symbolism" (# 11) do not n e c e s s a r i l y i n d i c a t e an adoption o f " s a n s k r i t i c " Hindu concepts and b e l i e f s . C i i . D i f f e r e n c e s between the two " u n i t s o f comparison": 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 the d i s c u s s i o n o f the 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 which s t a t e s t h a t . . . " d i f f e r e n c e s between com- parable "segments o f examination" (or the non-comparability o f t h e m a t i c a l l y r e l a t e d ceremonial references) w i t h i n the "Kanni-Mangala" p o i n t toward c u l - t u r e - s p e c i f i c expressions o f Coorg r e a l i t y ! 1 . . . "which would support my p r o - p o s i t i o n o f seeing them as an 'ethnic group'"(pp. 130-1). F o l l o w i n g the format e s t a b l i s h e d f o r t h i s comparison, I w i l l now l i s t those "segments o f examination" which I consider comparable, but c o n t e x t u a l l y d i f f e r e n t : a. worship o f "sacred f i r e " (B.) vs worship o f "sacred lamps" ( C ) . b. worship o f groom as being g o d - l i k e (B.) vs worship o f groom and b r i d e as o b j e c t s o f r e s p e c t (C.). c. ancestor worship (B. and C ) . d. t a k i n g "the g i f t o f the b r i d e " ( r e l i g i o u s symbolism f o r Brahmins) vs t a k i n g "possession o f the b r i d e " ( c o n t r a c t u a l agreement f o r Coorgs). e. the "7 steps" ( 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.) vs Saitmanda ( l e g a l i z a t i o n o f marriage 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 the "domestic f i r e " (B.) vs "naming o f the b r i d e " ( C ) . Keeping the above s a i d i n mind, I w i l l concentrate on the evidence w h i c h v i n my o p i n i o n , does not support S r i n i v a s ' p r o p o s i t i o n o f the emulation o f -138- " s a n s k r i t i c " c o n c e p t s by the Coorgs. ad a.: As I have mentioned e a r l i e r , the use o f the "sacred 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 of a l l those marriage r i t e s which are considered t o s e a l the union between the couple. 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 symbolizes the connection between human r e a l i t y and the cosmic energy. The "sacred f i r e " a l s o represents A g n i , the domestic god, who watches over the i n t e r n a l peace o f the newly wed couple. The "sacred f i r e " has a c e n t r a l p l a c e i n the brahmanic marriage ceremony and i s attended t o by a Brah- min p r i e s t . The Coorgs, however, do not employ Brahmin p r i e s t s , nor do they k i n d l e a "sacred f i r e " . They worship the " N e l l u k i Boluk" (the f l o o r lamp) and the "Tuk Boluk" (the hanging lamp)at any r i t u a l o c c a s i o n . For them ; the lamps stand f o r the u n i t y o f the 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 the worship o f the lamps p l a y s an important r o l e i n the "Kanni-Mangala". With 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) notes that-..."lower castes (who do not have the "sacred f i r e " ) f r e q u e n t l y use one o r more lamps as a reminder o f the symbolic importance of f i r e " , but Dr. Muthanna maintains t h a t the lamp- symbolism o f Coorgs should not be confused w i t h t h a t of the "sac- re d f i r e " . With 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 ous symbolism i n Chapter I o f t h i s t h e s i s , t h i s statement makes sense: the Coorgs don't seem t o be concerned w i t h the p o s s i b i l i - t y o f being regarded a lower 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; on the other hand, they d i d not adopt the "sacred . f i r e " (as they should have i f they 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 of fire-symbolism. The general importance o f f i r e as the c a r r i e r o f r e l i g i o u s meaning i s recognized c r o s s - c u l t u r a l l y ; consequently, a c o n c l u s i v e answer t o the p o s s i b i l i t y o f the adoption o f f i r e - symbolism w i t h i n Coorg r i t u a l s can not be g i v e n . -139- ad b.: When the parents o f the b r i d e honor the groom by washing h i s f e e t , b r i n g i n g him water 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, they acknowledge h i s — almost — g o d - l i k e s t a - t u s . I n f a c t , sometimes the groom i s seen as a m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f S i v a o r Vishnu, as the case may be (Beck 1964: 142). However, the worship i s focused on the groom alone, and although the couple i s sometimes t r e a t e d as r o y a l o r se m i - d i v i n e , the g i r l i s not the o b j e c t o f i n d i v i d u a l worship a t any g i v e n time d u r i n g the wedding. T h i s i s not the case i n Coorg Murtas: f i r s t , the groom and the b r i d e are worshipped i n the same f a s h i o n by 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 , they are worshipped as a couple by r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s of both kin-groups and l a s t l y , the groom worships the b r i d e alone. Second, worship, f o r Coorgs, means the g i v i n g o f re s p e c t t o the two young people s i n c e they a t t a i n a higher 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 the a t t a i n - ment o f an e l e v a t e d r i t u a l s t a t u s f o r the d u r a t i o n o f the wedding. Here, the i n c o r p o r a t i o n o f Hindu cosmological ideas i s apparent: the l o c u s o f Murta i s "sacred", and the b r i d a l couple (as w e l l as a l l o ther p a r t i c i p a n t s ) are i n r i t u a l l y pure c o n d i t i o n . The r i s e i n s o c i a l s t a t u s ( e x e m p l i f i e d through the a c t o f g i v i n g respect) i s accompanied by the r i s e i n r i t u a l s t a t u s , thus connecting Coorg- s p e c i f i c r i t e s w i t h Hindu cosmological id e a s . ad c.: Karnataka Brahmins as w e l l as Coorgs worship t h e i r ancestors on the o c c a s i o n o f marriage. Both groups s t r e s s the importance 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 through the f e r t i l e bond between the young couple and both secure the b l e s s i n g s from the ancestors by p r e s e n t i n g g i f t s t o them. However, the Karnataka Brahmins u n d e r l i n e the r e l i g i o u s c h a r a c t e r o f ancestor p r o c r e a t i o n , w h i l e the Coorgs, a g a i n , symbolize the s o l i d a r i t y between the e n t i r e f a m i l y l i n e . Ancestor-worship 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 thus, cannot be regarded as Hindu and Coorg s p e c i f i c . -140- ad d.: One major d i f f e r e n c e between both marriage ceremonies i s mani- f e s t e d i n the way i n which the b r i d e t r a n s f e r s her kin-member- s h i p : the Brahmin f a t h e r g i v e s "the g i f t o f the b r i d e " t o the groom. T h i s means t h a t she . l o s e s the membership i n her own kin-group e n t i r e l y . I t a l s o means t h a t from now on she depends on her a b i l i t y t o produce male c h i l d r e n i n order t o secure her socio-economic and r e l i g i o u s s t a t u s w i t h i n her husband's k i n - group. As I have mentioned e a r l i e r , the f a t h e r g i v e s up h i s c h i l d (considered 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 her o f f , but i n r e t u r n he gains " r e l i g i o u s m e r i t " from i t . I n the Coorg case, marriage i s considered t o be a c o n t r a c t between two kin-groups. The groom chooses the 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 h i s f a m i l y , the Aruva conducts the formal procedures necessary t o l e g a l i z e the marriage. On a r e l i g i o u s l e v e l , the groom "takes 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 p e r s o n a l success of the 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 - fane arrangement then a sacred r u l e . ad e.: For Brahmins, the "seven steps" c o n s t i t u t e ? "the c u l m i n a t i o n o f the marriage ceremony. and w i t h the b r i d e ' s l a s t step the union becomes i r r e v o c a b l e " (Beck 1964: 99). This r i t u a l i s p r e s c r i b e d i n the sacred t e x t s and symbolizes the i d e a l mode of conduct o f the m a r r i e d couple. The Sammanda ceremony, on the other hand, bears no r e l i g i o u s sym- bolism. I t i s the l e g a l i z a t i o n o f the p e r s o n a l bond, as w e l l as the formal connection between the two kin-groups. As long as Sam- manda i s enforced, the marriage i s considered 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 , the f i n a l r i t e performed i n the brahmanic wedding i s the k i n d l i n g o f the domestic f i r e . With i t , Agni takes r e s i - dence i n the young couple's house. A g n i , the domestic god, has t o be worshipped r e g u l a r l y i n order t o secure domestic peace and p r o s - -141- p e r t y . With the establishment of the domestic f i r e , the new bond i s f u l l y sanctioned. ' The f i n a l r i t u a l a c t i o n o f the "Kanni-Mangala" i s the "naming o f the b r i d e . With i t , the young woman i s f u l l y i n t e g r a t e d i n her c o n j u g a l Okka and shares a l l the r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s w i t h the o t h e r married female members o f her new f a m i l y . Although dea- l i n g w i t h the i n c o r p o r a t i o n o f the new couple i n t o the domestic realm, 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 aspects o f u n i t y , w h i l e the brahmanic r i t e focuses 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 . D i s c u s s i o n : From the e n t i r e number o f "segments o f examination" 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 form and context. The f i r s t one deals w i t h aspects o f r i t u a l p u r i t y and auspice and i s expressed mainly a t the preparatory stage o f the wedding proceedings. The second category 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 are p r e s c r i b e d i n the r i t u a l handbooks. The most important i s the r i t u a l o f c i r c l i n g the locus of Murta. A l l tne other r i t e s cannot e a s i l y be t r a c e d t o t h e i r " s a n s k r i - t i c " o r i g i n . T h i s leads me t o b e l i e v e t h a t the Coorgs adopted o n l y those r i t e s which 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 the o v e r a l l s t r u c t u r e o f the "Kanni-Mangala". The Coorgs d i d not have t o change t h e i r marriage ceremony, they expanded i t t o the 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 suggesting 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 marriage ceremony t h a t " l o o k s " v e r y much l i k e a high-caste Hindu wedding, but 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, the "Kanni-Mangala" d i s p l a y s connections w i t h the Hindu -142- FIGURE 4: Aspects of " S a n s k r i t i z a t i o n ' V s " e t h n i c i d e n t i t y " e v i d e n t i n the "Kanni-Mangala": Mangala K u r i p a a s t r o l o g y p u r i f i c a t i o n j marriage pandal r i t u a l bath & d r e s s i n g worship of|lamp ancestor worship MURTA: food P y m H ~ . 1 i gn ^ ^ ̂  ^ ̂  ^ ^ ^ k ^ J x k k k k l J ! I T s 9 r ^ s ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ' three circumambulations : 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 c o n t r a c t u a l |importance o f MoBr b r i d e 1 s concluding ' r i t e s I auspiciousness/sacredness r i g h t f o o t symbilism kin-symboli|m jnaming o f b r i d e v i s i t i n g r e l a - t i v e s K aver| p i l g r i m a g e COORG-SPECI- FIC=ETHNIC "SANSKRITIC" HINDU BEHAVIOUR -143- i d i o m w h i l e , a t the same time, remaining f i r m l y grounded w i t h i n t h e i r t r a - d i t i o n a l world-view. I do not h o l d t h a t the Coorgs were a c u l t u r a l group t h a t attempted 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 contend t h a t they developed a d u a l i s t i c r e a l i t y which allowed them t o l i v e a c cording t o t h e i r own b e l i e f s w i thout a l i e n a t i n g themselves from the surrounding s o c i o - r e l i g i o u s 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, according t o the symbolic ex- pr e s s i o n s w i t h i n the "Kanni-Mangala", centers-round the 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. High-caste Hindus t i n t h i s c o n text, the Brahmins), by comparison, concentrate on aspects o f caste^anembership, 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 are subordinant, and c o n c e p t u a l l y much l e s s im- p o r t a n t than r i t u a l power. As mentioned e a r l i e r , the s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n o f the Coorgs i s based on the 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 of utmost importance 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 . Marriage i s the one i n s t i t u t i o n which secures t h i s u n i t y through the p e r p e t u a t i o n o f the d e s c e n t - l i n e . I n a more gen e r a l sense we can i n t e r p r e t the importance o f t h i s u n i t y as being one o f the governing p r i n c i p l e s of 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 , they have t o r e l y on the 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 order 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. As an e t h n i c u n i t they share 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 an economic power they 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- -144- f e s t s i t s e l f c l e a r l y i n a number o f symbolic a c t i o n s which I have d i s c u s s e d i n Chapters I I and IV of t h i s t h e s i s . Symbolic a c t i o n s w i t h r e s p e c t t o food occupy an important r o l e w i t h i n the "Kanni-Mangala". But, 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 as a m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f wealth. Being a g r i - c u l t u r a l i s t s , the Coorgs emphazise the economic s i g n i f i c a n c e of food. T h i s i s not s u r p r i s i n g : w i t h the a c q u i s i t i o n o f l a n d , combined w i t h the p o l i t i - c a l and s o c i a l dominance i n the d i s t r i c t , the 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 , which, u l t i m a t e l y made them w e a l t h i e r than most o f the other communities i n geographical p r o x i m i t y . The maintenance o f t h i s economic power, then, i s one o f the major 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 conscious conceptions. I n my o p i n i o n , t h i s m a t e r i a l i s t i c n o t 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 moral and r e l i g i o u s complex, i n which notions o f opportunism and aspects o f enterpreneurship outweigh such p h i l o s o p h i c a l i deas as a s c e t i c i s m , r e l i g i o u s orthodoxy, and the attainment 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 , aspects o f m o r a l i t y and r e l i g i o n are 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 transcends 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 determine the moral 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 r e l i g i o n . I n the South I n d i a n context, where many s o c i e t i e s use the Hindu idiom i n one way o r another, we f i n d the Coorgs as being 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 the Coorgs w i t h i n the Hindu 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 the "Kanni- Mangala". The o n l y r e a l support 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 adoption o f the p u r i t y / p o l l u t i o n concept (which, -145- as 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 , the Coorgs adopted " s a n s k r i t i c " r i t e s and emblems (such as the marriage pandal, the "three c i r c u m a b u l a t i o n s " , and the worship o f Hindu gods) which, indeed p o i n t toward t h e i r concern w i t h Hinduism. However, they r e - fused t o subordinate tnemselves t o Hindu r e a l i t y ., s o c i a l l y and i d e o - l o g i c a l l y . How, then, c o u l d one e x p l a i n the p a r t i a l adoption o f Hindu concepts? One.possible answer i s based on h i s t o r i c a l evidence: when the Coorgs came i n c o n t a c t w i t h Lingayatism they i n t e r m a r r i e d w i t h the 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 s t a t u s . I t seems l i k e l y t h a t they extended t h e i r r i t u a l i d iom then. I t i s e q u a l l y p o s s i b l e t h a t missionary a c t i o n s on the s i d e o f neighbouring 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 the "Amma-Coorgs" (a m i n o r i t y o f approximately 600 s o u l s , according t o the 1941 Census)..."are h i g h l y brahmanized i n t h e i r customs and r i t u a l s . They are 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 they c o n s t i t u t e an endogamous u n i t . L i k e the Brahmins they wear the sacred thread and observe annual 'Shraddas' o r a n c e s t o r - f e a s t s a t which o n l y v e g e t a r i a n food i s o f f e r e d t o the dead ancestors" (1952: 34). These "Amma-Coorgs" came t o the f o r e f r o n t i n the years o f the r e i g n o f the l a s t Raja o f Coorg when they claimed t o be "Kave r i Brahmans" and attempted t o e s t a b l i s h themselves as a " p r i e s t l y e l i t e " among the main body o f t h e i r own s o c i e t y (Muthanna 1982: # 2 ) . A t about the same time (ca. 1800 A.D.) a number o f myths "appeared" i n Coorg f o l k l o r e . The by f a r best known i s the "Kaveri-Purana"; here the Coorgs a r e c l a s s i - f i e d as " U g r a s " P 8 ) — T h e y are the descendents o f the marriage 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 -146- myth thus c l e v e r l y r e c o n c i l e s the economic and m i l i t a r y power of 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 note t h a t S h r i N. Chinnappa co n s i d e r s the account o f the o r i g i n o f Coorgs g i v e n i n the 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 account (1952: 34). As f o r the o r i g i n o f the "Amma-Coorgs11, they m a i n t a i n t o be descen- dants o f a Coorg man and a Brahmin g i r l ("amma" meaning "mother") ( I b i d : 34). Dr. Muthanna puts forward v e t another i n t e r p r e t a t i o n : he a s s e r t s t h a t the Brahmins (and w i t h them, the "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 which t e l l t he s t o r y o f the Coorgs' o r i g i n , they wanted t o e x p l a i n t h a t they, i n f a c t , descended from the union of two caste-Hindus, and t h a t they, t h e r e f o r e , have t o be considered as Hindus (1982: # 2). Be t h a t as i t may, the symbolic expressions w i t h i n the "Kanni-Mangala" suggest 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 ( i n t e r - s o c i e t a l ) l e v e l . T his means t h a t S r i n i v a s was not wrong when he a s s e r t e d t h a t the Coorgs show a f f i l i a t i o n s w i t h the Hindu norm; one cannot expect t h a t a s m a l l s o c i e t y — however power- f u l and d i s t i n c t — c o u l d s u r v i v e w ithout adopting seme aspects o f the surrounding macro-culture. Where he was wrong, i n my o p i n i o n , was the way i n which he i n t e r p r e t e d h i s d a t a : he subsumed the e n t i r e Coorg r e l i g i o n and s o c i e t y under the Hindu idiom and i n t e r p r e t e d i t through the Hindu paradigm. I d i d e x a c t l y the o p p o s i t e : v i e w i n g the Coorgs as an " e t h n i c group", I attempted 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 the "Kanni-Mangala" seen as a microcosm o f Coorg i d e n t i t y . 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 f o r a diagrammatic re p r e s e n t a t i o n ) 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 as l a i d out a t the beginning o f t h i s t h e s i s , but, and t h i s i s impor- -147- t a n t , they extend the p o s s i b i l i t y t o understand Coorg c u l t u r e as a mix (rather 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 profoundly d i f f e r e n t concepts o f c u l t u r a l p e r c e p t i o n . FIGURE 5: Scheme o f " m u l t i p l e r e a l i t y " o f Coorg i d e n t i t y . " e t h n i c " boundary " s a n s k r i t i c " boundary - 1 4 7 a - C O N C L U S I O N -148- I n t h i s t h e s i s I have attempted t o provide 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 and a n a l y s i s o f the Coorg marriage ceremony i n order t o counter- balance 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 which s t a t e s t h a t the Coorgs are a " s a n s k r i t i z e d " group. Depending on secundary ethnographic 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 data-base 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 the b a s i s o f a simple t h e o r e t i c a l framework (centered on the s t r u c - t u r a l l y opposed concepts 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 ex- p l i c a t e d my d i s c u s s i o n o f the symbolic expressions w i t h i n the "microcosm" "KanniHyiangala" according t o f o u r "symbolic complexes" which, i n t u r n , can be seen as r e p l i c a t i o n s o f the general make-up o f Coorg s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e . I have argued t h a t the 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 "micro- cosm" shows a mix between two a b s t r a c t n o t i o n s o f order: f i r s t , the n o t i o n of "respect" which determines the i n t e r n a l mode o f a c t i o n s and non-actions w i t h i n the the c o n f i n e s o f Coorg c u l t u r e . T h i s n o t i o n o f "respect" f u r t h e r d e f i n e s "auspiciousness" 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 - 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 as an adoption from Hinduism) i s used as 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 Hindu communities. I have a s s e r t e d t h a t the symbolic 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 outweigh those which d e a l w i t h r e l i g i o n and philosophy, thus u n d e r l i n i n g 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 : i t i s t h e i r pre-occupation w i t h the m a r t i a l way o f l i f e which transcends t h e i r b e l i e f , r i t u a l and myth, and which formed the base o f a l l t h e i r power. T h e i r s u p e r i o r s t a t u s v i s - a - v i s neighbouring Hindu communities was determined by t h i s p o l i t i c o - e c o n o m i c -149- power s i t u a t i o n as w a r r i o r s and landowners, and not through r i t u a l l y d e f i n e d h i e r a r c h i c a l r a n k i n g . I have put forward t h a t r i c e i s used as the major symbolic ref e r e n c e r e f l e c t i n g abundance, wealth and p r o s p e r i t y . I t i s the b a s i s f o r a l l ma- t e r i a l goods and the o b j e c t o f worship. R i c e as a symbol combines Coorg noti 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 consciousness 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 day-to-day r e a l i t y . F i n a l l y , I have argued t h a t k i n s h i p i s o f utmost importance t o Coorgs: i t i s the 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 ranging 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 behaviour. For Coorgs, i n t e r n a l s o l i d a r i t y i s o f primary importance; w i t h i t comes ex- t e r n a l order. N e v e r t h e l e s s , the Coorgs adopted Hindu concepts and b e l i e f s i n a l i - m i ted way: i t helped them t o s u r v i v e w i t h i n Hindu South I n d i a , i t helped 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 the adoption o f the p u r i t y / p o l l u t i o n concept 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 Hindu cosmology can be seen as p o l i t i c a l r a t h e r than 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 Hindu norms allowed them t o blur: the i d e o l o g i c a l bounderies 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 content. As a consequence of t h i s p a r t i a l adoption of Hinduism, the Coorgs de- veloped a d u a l i s t i c i d e n t i t y which a l l o w s them t o /oparate on an extended, 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 understanding. -149a- F O O T N O T E S -150- . INTRODUCTION (1) Dr. 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 the e a r l y s e v e n t i e s . He i s the author o f 44 books, o f which 12 are a v a i l a b l e i n E n g l i s h . The res 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 on Coorg (Coorg - A Tiny Model S t a t e i n South India.(1953), and Coorg Memoirs (1974)), as w e l l as works on the h i s t o r y o f Karnataka, an account o f the l i f e o f Tippu S u l t a n , Coorg po e t r y , e t c . I i n i t i a t e d the co n t a c t w i t h him i n e a r l y October 1982 and have met him, s i n c e then, on numerous occasions. Dr. Muthanna agreed t o be my informant on any Coorg m a t e r i a l . He allowed me to tape two ninety-minute i n t e r v i e w s which are a v a i l a b l e upon request. I n h i s book A Tiny Model S t a t e i n South 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 both the Arabs and the Coorgs. Both used t o do the e a r - b o r i n g o f the whole e a r , both dress up corpses i n the same way and both observe c i v i l c o n t r a c t marriages. P a r t i a l Gosha i s observed among the Coorgs and f o o t - j e w e l s are used by both. Therena, Mendi, and such other terms connected t o the Coorg customs are a l l A r a b i c , i t i s s a i d . Marrying a brother's w i f e a f t e r h i s death, o b j e c t i o n t o marry the daughter o f one's s i s t e r , u s i n g o f meat a t the occ a s i o n o f wedding and other f u n c t i o n s and the resemb- lance o f Bo l a k a t and other 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 take me t o be- l i e v e t h a t there are A r a b i c i n f l u e n c e s i n the manners o f the Coorgs. The t r a d i t i o n a l costume o f the Coorgs, i n c l u d i n g t h e i r h a i r - d r e s s , are 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 the 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 these people might have mig- r a t e d i n t o the South i n the e a r l y days when they were t r a d e r s ; and got l o s t i n the mountains. But a t the same time I r e a l i z e t h a t such i d e n t i c a l t r a i t s are found w i t h some peoples o f Northern I n d i a who l i v e i n the h i l l - a r e a s o f Assam, Nepal, o r Rajasthan (1953: 300). (2) S r i n i v a s w r i t e s : ....The p r i n c e o f the Bednur dynasty who s e t t l e d down as a Jangama o r Lingayat 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 the 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 from Lingayats who predcminated 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 (Chavadi), t e a c h i n g c h i l d r e n and preaching t o a d u l t s . People v o l u n t a r i l y gave him uncleaned 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 over the people, he changed the 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) of r i c e , and a sum o f n i n e Annas and e i g h t p i e s per 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 guard 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 the Chavadi', a name which was l a t e r used f o r the Raja's troops. The p r i e s t - p o l i t i c i a n next d e c l a r e d h i m s e l f r u l e r of H a l e r i and surrounding Nads, and the c h i e f s r u l i n g over s m a l l areas o f Coorg Proper submitted 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 allowed them t o keep t o themselves three q u a r t e r s o f the revenue c o l l e c t e d by them from 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 Raja's a u t h o r i t y continued t o i n c r e a s e . The troublesome 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 those who d i d not c o n s t i t u t e a t h r e a t t o h i s autho- r i t y were allowed t o s u r v i v e (1952: 12). (3) S r i n i v a s g i v e s some h i n t s about I s l a m i c d i f f u s i o n i n t o Coorg, but avoids any subsequent e x p l i c a t i o n s . Dr. Muthanna, however, d i s - cusses 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) According t o Emeneau, who d i d f i e l d work among the Coorgs i n the e a r l y t h i r t i e s , the k i n s h i p system o f the "Kodavas" (Coorgs) can 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 terminology. I n Ego's generation 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 cousins on the 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 the other hand are i n d i - c a t e d by terms which denote age o l d e r than h i m s e l f and younger than h i m s e l f r e s p e c t i v l e y . Consequently, none of the terms used w i t h i n Ego's generation are s e l f - r e c i p r o c a l s . b) No term i s found denoting 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 . But t h e r e are some c o l l e c t i v e s which c l a s s the sexes together. 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 cousins a r e c l a s s e d t o - gether i n each gene r a t i o n . d) I n Ego's generation a dichotomy i s made i n c l a s s i f i c a t i o n on the b a s i s o f age e l d e r o r younger than h i m s e l f . I n the f i r s t ascen- d i n g g e n e r a t i o n , Ego's f a t h e r ' s male s i b l i n g s arid p a r a l l e l cousins are p e r m i s s i v e l y dichotomized on the b a s i s o f age e l d e r o r younger than the father"*s,and Ego's mother's female s i b l i n g s and p a r a l l e l c o u s i n s are p e r m i s s i v e l y dichotomized on the b a s i s o f age o l d e r o r -152- younger than the mother's. e) The f a t h e r i s d i s t i n g u i s h e d from h i s b r o t h e r s , and the mother from her s i s t e r s . f ) Ego's generation and the f i r s t ascending generation shows a use of terms p e r f e c t l y i n accord 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 cousins o f any degree o f r e - moteness. Consequently, i n the f i r s t ascending generation t h e r e i s a separate term f o r the f a t h e r ' s s i s t e r s and p a r a l l e l female c o u s i n s , and t h i s i s used a l s o f o r the mother's male c r o s s - c o u s i n s and her male s i b l i n g s ' and p a r a l l e l male cousins' wives; s i m i l a r - l y , t h e r e i s a separate term f o r the mother's brothers and p a r a l l e l male c o u s i n s , and t h i s i s used a l s o f o r the f a t h e r ' s male c r o s s - cousins and h i s female s i b l i n g s ' and p a r a l l e l female cousins' hus- bands. I n Ego's gen e r a t i o n the 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 the c h i l d r e n o f those i n the f i r s t ascending genera- t i o n who are c l a s s e d a c c o r d i n g t o the preceeding two sentences. I n the f i r s t descending:generation a d i s t i n c t i o n i s made between two groups, the 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 cousins o f tne same sex as o n e s e l f and o f one's cr o s s - c o u s i n s o f the opposite sex as o n e s e l f , and the 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 cousins o f the opposite sex from o n e s e l f and of one's cr o s s - c o u s i n s o f the same sex as o n e s e l f . Members o f the former are p o s s i b l e mates o f members o f the l a t t e r . g) The terms t h a t would apply t o Ego's mate's r e l a t i v e s i f the mate were a c r o s s - c o u s i n apply a l s o t o those r e l a t i v e s when the mate i s n ot a c r o s s - c o u s i n . h) A step-mother i s c a l l e d by the same term as a s i s t e r o f the mother, a s t e p - f a t h e r by the same name as a bro t h e r o f the f a t h e r . i ) Two c l a s s e s i n the f i r s t descending generation y i e l d one c l a s s o n l y i n the second descending g e n e r a t i o n ; there are two terms, one f o r each sex, f o r g r a n d c h i l d r e n . For 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 , the second ascending generation i s d i v i d e d o n l y on the b a s i s o f sex. j ) The t h i r d ascending g e n e r a t i o n , l i k e the second, has two terms d i f f e r e n t i a t i n g sex. F o r the t h i r d descending generation there are no u n i t a r y terms, o n l y phrases. k) A l l the above statements are v a l i d whether Ego i s male o r female. 1) F o r husband and w i f e there are seperate terms, Odeye and Ponni r e s p e c t i v e l y (Emeneau 1931/1967: 353-6). (5) Excerpt from I n t e r v i e w # 2 w i t h Dr. Muthanna (November 1982). (6) Excerpt from I n t e r v i e w # 1 w i t h Dr. Muthanna (October 1982). (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 Indian S o c i o l o g y (NS)gives an in-depth recount o f S r i n i v a s ' academic c a r e e r and the s t a t e o f Ind i a n 7Anthropology and Sociology a t the time when the data f o r the Coorg book were gathered. F or f u r t h e r d e t a i l s , see Contributions...(1978: I f f ) . (8) My informant suggests t h a t the Coorgs were f i r s t c a l l e d " K s h a t r i y a s " -153- by the 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 groups on Canara (1837), and who thought t h a t the Coorgs " f i t t e d the 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 , nor wear the "sacred t h r e a d " , nor are vege t a r i a n s and t e e t o t a l l e r s . (10) Excerpt from 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 pa s s i n g but I c o u l d not 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 back 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 the ge n e r a l s o c i a l f u n c t i o n o f the " f a m i l y - f r i e n d " (Aruva). F or 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 not 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, Footnote # (15)). (13) R i c h t e r (1870: 135ff) i s the 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 the Bat t e - P a t . According 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 the — a t the time — u n w r i t t e n " o r i g i n a l " : God Almighty, l i v e and r u l e , Rule as our Lord and God. Rule as Sovereign, oh Ki n g ! On the s u r f a c e o f the 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 of the s m a l l e s t kingdoms; I n t h i s l a n d they count twelve v a l l e y s , And the Nads are t h i r t y - f i v e ; But i n our Nad f o r e v e r , L i k e a f l o w ' r o f pa r a d i s e , Blooms the name o f Apparandra. 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, the mighty hero When he o f f e r e d a p e t i t i o n To the r u l e r o f the country, For a goodly Jamma-land. He r e c e i v e d i t as a present. For h i s money he now bought Holeyas t o be h i s s e r v a n t s , And they laboured on 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 procured f o r heavy money, And completed a l l h i s l a b o u r s . When he now l i v e d comfortably, Mandanna, the mighty hero, -154- I 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 Cons 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 but no one t o dress and n o u r i s h ; I have p r e c i o u s stones and jewels But where i s the w i f e t o wear them? In a household w i t h o u t c h i l d r e n V a i n i s a l l our t o i l and t r o u b l e . No I, there i s not here on e a r t h Without w i f e b l i s s o r enjoyment. I f a task i s w i t h o u t water Has i t not been dug i n v a i n ? And a garden w i t h o u t f l o w e r s , Has i t not i n v a i n been planted? Who would l i k e t o e a t c o l d r i c e , V o i d of curds and v o i d o f s a l t ? Sons must be i n our house, And our rooms be f u l l o f c h i l d r e n ' . So he thought w i t h i n h i m s e l f . And, one l o v e l y Sunday morning, When the s i l v e r y dew was s p a r k l i n g , took a meal and dressed 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 the ancestors and God. Sent a man t o c a l l h i s Ar'wa, To conduct him on the journey, Took h i s s t i c k adorned w i t h s i l v e r , And then s t a r t e d w i t h h i s f r i e n d , Where between the woody mountains Thrones the l o f t y Kuttamale; Wandring through the h i l l y country, 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 . . . . For a l o n g time he t r a v e l s from Okka t o Okka i n search 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 hardship, he a r r i v e s a t a wealthy house and sees a b e a u t i f u l young g i r l . He t a l k s t o her f a t h e r : ...'.Those (daughters) t h a t went, L e t them be happy! Give me her, who s t i l l remains'. Spoke ag a i n t o him the Landlord: ' 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 your l o v e l y daughter That i s why I c a l l you f a t h e r . Evermore w i t h admiration You behold the s t a t e l y palm-tree; I f a t r e e i s poor and c r i p p l e d , You f o r g e t t o look upon i t ' . Then the f a t h e r spoke again: -155- 'I w i l l l e t you have the daughter, Give a pledge, t h a t you w i l l take h e r 1 . 'Shake, then, hands w i t h me', r e p l i e d Mandanna, and as a pledge Take from me t h i s p i e c e o f money'. A f t e r t h i s the f a t h e r sent For h i s Ar'wa t o a s s i s t him In the wedding ceremony; Women swept the 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 , For the merry wedding f e a s t . Where the beauty-brazen lamp From the c e i l i n g i s suspended Ar'was and near r e l a t i v e s Gome together from both houses. Stood and s e t t l e d the engagement And the l u c k y day o f wedding. Whereupon the happy bridegroom gave h i s b r i d e a golden necklace As a pledge; and e i g h t days l a t e r , Was the wedding c e l e b r a t e d ( T r a n s l a t i o n by A. Graeber, ca. 1860). 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 had 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 proverbs i n 1928. H i s work i s c a l l e d " P a t t o l e Palame" and i s w r i t t e n i n Kodava-dialect, u s i n g Kannada s c r i p t . I n c i d e n t a l l y , Dr. Muthanna i s p r e s e n t l y working a t the t r a n s l a t i o n o f the " 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 the e n t i r e "Kanni-Mangala" i s based on m a t e r i a l c o l l e c t e d from I y e r (1948: 41-3), S r i n i v a s (1952: 70-100; 124-76), Muthanna (1953: 323-3), Mysore S t a t e Gazetteer (1965: 114-6), and Subbayya (1978: 165-7). (15) The two Aruvas o f f i c i a t e two r i t u a l s w i t h i n the realm o f the "Kanni- Mangala" : one i s the Mangala K u r i p a (the formal engagement) and the Sammanda (the profane l e g a l i z a t i o n o f the marriage). CHAPTER I (16) F or f u r t h e r d e t a i l s see I y e r ( o p . c i t . 1948), Muthanna(op.cit. 1953, 1974), and Subbayya (op. c i t . 1978)-under " H i s t o r y o f the Coorgs". (17) According t o Dr. Muthanna, "impure matter", f o r the Coorgs, e n t a i l s the f o l l o w i n g : emissions connected w i t h b i r t h and death; emissions connected w i t h menstruating women. P h y s i c a l c o n t a c t w i t h "impure matter" (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 - but l i m i t e d - ways, and f o r a l i m i t e d time (Interview # 2 ) . -156- CHAPTER II (18) Homo Hierarchies (1970: 65-81). (19) McKim Marriott and Ronald B. Inden, "Caste Systems", Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th ed.(Chicago 1974), Macropaedia III, pp. 981-91. Marriott and Inden, "Toward an Ethnosociology of South Asian Caste Systems"(1973). Paper presented at the IXth International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences;(published 1976 i n : The New Wind: Changing Identities i n South Asia, ed. Kenneth A. David, World Anthropological Series; The Hague: Mouton). Inden, Marriage and Rank i n Bengali Culture (1976), Univ. of C a l i - fornia Press, (Berkeley). (20) For further de t a i l , see Muthanna (1953: "A Race of Fighting Stock", and 1974 "General Cariappa"; "Lt. General ThLmmayya"). (21) Srinivas continues to say that: ....The other important tenure i n Coorg was "Sagu", i n which not only was land assessed at ten rupees per hundred "Bhattis" of land, being twice the rate for "Jamma" land, but also the holder was lia b l e to render every type of service to the state except military service. During Richter's time, but for forty Coorgs, a l l the people holding land on "Sagu" tenure were non-Coorgs (Ibid: 17). (22) "Aristocratic", i n this context, refers to hi s t o r i c a l data which were used by Srinivas i n his Coorg book. On page 32 he says: "Coorgs consti- tuted the aristocracy under the Lingayat Rajas, holding important po- sitions i n the administration and very nearly monopolizing the army" . (23) Census of India 1931 (op. c i t . ) . (24) The Jajmani system ("jajmani"= tne privilege of performing the function of domestic priest, barber, helper on the occasion of a marriage (!) — according to a Hindi dictionary)... "makes use of hereditary personal re- lationships to express the division of labour: each family has a fa- mily of specialists at i t s disposal for each specialized task. Second- ly , i t regulates prestations and counter-prestations i n a way which accords with custom: for the usual tasks, repayment i s i n kind: i t i s not made individually for each particular prestation but i s spread over the whole year, as i s natural for the permanent relationship i n an agricul- tural setting: a l i t t l e food may be provided each day,,and there i s always the right to a fixed quantity of grain at harvest time, and f i n a l l y there -157- are o b l i g a t o r y presents (often o f money) on the occasion o f the main f e s t i v a l s o f the year and, above a l l , a t the major f a m i l y ceremonies, which a r e advantageous occasions f o r the " P r a j a " (= subject) o f the house. A f a c t which u n d e r l i n e s the l i m i t e d but e f f e c t i v e s o l i d a r i t y which i s thus s e t up between "Jajman" (= patron) and " P r a j a " i s t h a t i n many re g i o n s those who are considered the main servants o f the v i l l a g e enjoy a g i f t o f l a n d from the ccanmunal funds which are a t the d i s p o s a l o f t h e i r patrons c o l l e c t i v e l y (Dumont 1970: 98-9). Dr. Muthanna agreed t o t r a n s l a t e p a r t s o f the " P a t t o l e Palame" f o r me. Here i s one excerpt from the "Old Kodagu Song D e a l i n g With 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 long back This u n i t was formed By j u s t twelve Kombus. What are these Kombus? They a r e n ' t the branches Of teak o r banyon t r e e s , N e i t h e r were those horns Of b u l l o c k s o r deer; Nor those are lon g poles Used t o c a r r y palanquins. 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 of bronze For blowing o ut 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 the days o f yore When kin g s r u l e d a l l over, With kingdoms numerous To see scores o f c h i e f s , That H a l e r i c h i e f o f Coorg Kodagu - as i t was c a l l e d , Got a bronze horn blown With a sound c l e a r and s t e r n That was heard 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 country, Or a borough i t c o u l d be; From t h a t p o i n t on The bronze was again blown /And t h a t c e r t a i n l y d i d Mark the country - the second; Then again the t h i r d And again the f o u r t h , Thus i n a l l formed twelve S t a t e d i v i s i o n s t o serve, -158- As 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 With 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 and wealth. While the average Hindu woman i n South I n d i a wears few p i e c e s of g o l d and pre c i o u s stones ( f o r i n s t a n c e , the T a l i i s f r e q u e n t l y made of s t r i n g and has a g o l d pendant o r a bead attached (Beck 1964: 114)), the average 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 , wristbands, and f o o t - j e w e l s . Her T a l i (which has no r i t u a l im- portance) i s made o f pure g o l d and has a pendant o f precious stones. As mentioned e a r l i e r , even men wear, by comparison, much jewels and o r - naments. (27) I n t e r v i e w # 2. (28) T a l k i n g about the p h y s i c a l d i f f e r e n c e s between Coorgs and the surroun- d i n g D r a v i d i a n asmmunities, he t o l d me about h i s experiences w i t h the Coorgs. For him, t o o , i t i s not s u r p r i s i n g t h a t the Coorgs were c o n s i - dered as members o f the K s h a t r i y a c a s t e . They are much t a l l e r than the D r a v i d i a n s , and the d i f f e r e n c e s i n dress and manners are s t r i k i n g . (29) Muthanna (1953: 13-25), Subbayya (1978: 155-64). CHAPTER I I I (30) I was not 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 the l i t e r a t u r e . (31) Dr. Muthanna emphazised t h a t men and women u s u a l l y e a t together. How- ever, i f guests are being e n t e r t a i n e d , men e a t f i r s t — due t o space- 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, the n o t i o n o f a "continuum" i n Coorg r e a l i t y i s centered around the Okka per se and not around i t s members; t h a t i s , the Okka has t o be maintained through the c o n t i n u a t i o n o f the descent- l i n e , and not, as i s the case f o r Hindus, the d e s c e n t - l i n e has t o be maintained i n order t o secure a m e r i t a b l e a f t e r l i f e * (34) He a l s o mentions t h a t Coorgs do not always use a s t r o l o g e r s , moreover, t h a t i t i s an 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 should be co n s u l t e d o r not ( S r i n i v a s 1952: 39). -159- (35) See Muthanna (1953: 327). CHAPTER V (36) S r i n i v a s contends t h a t the Coorgs adopted "high-caste Hindu concepts and v a l u e s " . T h i s would mean t h a t they emulated the Brahmanic model, s i n c e no other "high-caste" communities (Kshatriyas o r V a i s y a s ) l i v e d i n the area. The Karnataka Brahmins, then, represent an adequate "examination-unit" f o r comparative a n a l y s i s ; they are the most f r e - q u e n t l y found "high-caste" group i n Southwest Karnataka. (37) Madhuparka (madhu = honey) i s a v e r y t a s t y mixture o f curds, m i l k , ghee, sugar, ajronin and honey. I t i s u s u a l l y served i n a brass bowl. To r e - c e i v e Madhuparka i s a h i g h honor. I t i s the gesture t r a d i t i o n a l l y made on l y t o gods and v e r y d i s t i n g u i s h e d men, such as kin g s ( S r i n i v a s : 1942: 72). To g i v e Madhuparka t o the groom i s not a r e g i o n a l custom, but i s c l e a r l y mentioned i n the Grihy a Sutras (Panday 1949: 366). (38) "Ugra means 'strong, formidable, t e r r i b l e , v i o l e n t , angry, pa s s i o n a t e , c r u e l , f i e r c e , pungent, hot, h i g h , noble. I t i s a l s o the name o f a mixed t r i b e , descended from a K s h a t r i y a f a t h e r and Shudra mother, and of Malabar." ( 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 , Oxford, 1899, p. 172; i n S r i - n i v a s 1952: 33). -159a- B I B L I O G R A P H Y -160- Ahmad, Imtiaz 1972 "For a Sociology o f I n d i a . " 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 , 4: 172-7. A p p f e l - M a r g l i n , Frederique 1978 Concepts o f Power i n Hindu Thought and A c t i o n . Paper presented a t the annual meeting o f the 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 Los Angeles; Nov. 14th-18th 1978 (unpublished). B a r t h , F r e d r i k (ed.) 1969 E t h n i c Groups and Boundaries. Boston: L i t t l e , Brown and Company. Beck, Brenda E.F. 1964 "The F.xamination o f Marriage R i t u a l among S e l e c t e d Groups i n South I n d i a . " Oxford: Unpublished 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 the Relevance o f A n t h r o p o l o g i c a l Concepts t o the 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 Research, V o l . 33, 4: 355-69. Connor, L t . 1870 Memoir o f the Codagu Survey. Bangalore: UBC - M i c r o - f i c h e . Douglas, Mary 1966 P u r i t y and Danger. London: Routledge 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 . Chicago: Univ. o f Chicago Pres s . Dumont, L o u i s and Pocock, David F. 1959 "On the D i f f e r e n t Aspects o r L e v e l s i n Hinduism." I n : C o n t r i b u t i o n s t o Ind 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 Papers. (Dravidian L i n g u i s t i c s , Ethnology 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 pub- l 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 . New York: B a s i c Books, I n c., P u b l i s h e r s . -161- Government of I n d i a 1901 Census o f I n d i a ; Vol.., X I . Madras: Government Press . 1931 Census o f I n d i a ; V o l . X I I I . Madras: Government Press. 1941 Census o f I n d i a ; V o l . XV. Madras: Government Press. 1971 Census o f I n d i a . (1974) Mysore: ,-Govemment Press. Hocart, A.M. 1927 K i n g s h i p . Oxford: Oxford u n i v e r s i t y P r e s s . I n d i a n A n t i q u i t y (Journal o f ) , V o l . I I : 3 8 f f ; V o l . IV: 1 2 f f ; V o l . X: 363. UBC - M i c r o - f i c h e . I y e r , K.L.A. 1948 Coorg T r i b e s and Castes. Madras: Gordon Press . Jacob-Pandian, G. 1978 "The Hindu Caste System and Muslim E t h n i c i t y . " I n : Ethno- h i s t o r y , V o l . 25, 2: 141-57. Madan, T.N. 1978 "M.N. S r i n i v a s * e a r l i e r work and the 'Remembered V i l l a g e ' . " I n : C o n t r i b u t i o n s t o Indian Sociology; (N.S.), 12: I f f . M a r r i o t t , McKim 1976 "Hindu T r a n s a c t i o n s : D i v e r s i t y without Dualism." I n : Bruce Kapferer (ed.) T r a n s a c t i o n and Meaning: D i r e c t i o n s i n the Anthropology of"Exchange and Symbolic Behavior. P h i l a d e l p h i a : ISHI P u b l i c a t i o n s . Mayer, A.C. 1978 'The remembered v i l l a g e : from memory alone ?" I n : C o n t r i - b utions t o I n d i a n S o c i o l o g y ; (N.S.), 12: 4 0 f f . Muthanna, I.M. 1953 Coorg - A Tiny Model S t a t e Of South I n d i a . Mysore: Usha Press. 1974 Coorg Memoirs. Mysore: Usha P r e s s . 1982 On Coorg and Coorgs.(Two tape-recorded i n t e r v i e w s . ) Vancouver: (tapes a v a i l a b l e upon r e q u e s t ) . Mysore S t a t e Gazetteer 1965 Coorg D i s t r i c t . Bangalore: Government Press . -162- Mysore Tribes and Castes 1928 Volume II. Mysore: Univ. of Mysore Press. Panday, R.B. 1949 Hindu Samskaras: A Socio-Religious Study of the Hindu Sacraments. Banaras: Vikrama Publications. Parvathamma, C. 1978 "The remembered village: a brahmanical odyssey." In: Contributions to Indian Sociology (N.S.), 12: 91ff. Rice, L. 1878 Mysore and Coorg., (3 vols.). Bangalore: UBC Micro-fiche. Richter, G. 1870 Manual of Coorg. Mangalore: UBC Micro-fiche. Saraf, S. 1969 "The Hindu Ritual Purity-Pollution Concept." In: Eastern Anthropologist, Vol. 12, 1: 151-75. Singer, M. and Conn, B. (eds.) 1968 Structure and Change i n Indian Society. Chicago: Asia Publishing House. Schutz, Alfred 1962 Collected Papers., (Vol. 1). The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff. Schweizer, Thomas 1978 Methodenprobleme des Interkulturellen Vergleiches. Koln: Bohlau Ver lag. Srinivas, M.N. 1942 Marriage and Family in Mysore. Bombay: New Books Co. 1952 Religion and Society Among the Coorgs of South India. London: Asia Publishing House. 1956 "A Note on Sanskritization and Westernization." In: Far East Quarterly, 15: 481-96. 1962 Caste i n Modern India and Other Essays. Bombay: Asia Publishing House. 1966 Social Change i n Modern India. Berkeley: Univ. of C a l i - fornia Press. Subbayya, K.K. 1978 Archeology of Coorg. Mysore: Geetha Publishers.

Cite

Citation Scheme:

    

Usage Statistics

Country Views Downloads
United States 10 1
China 3 54
France 2 0
Japan 2 0
Norway 1 0
Sweden 1 0
City Views Downloads
Mountain View 9 0
Unknown 4 40
Beijing 3 0
Tokyo 2 0
Ashburn 1 0

{[{ mDataHeader[type] }]} {[{ month[type] }]} {[{ tData[type] }]}

Share

Share to:

Comment

Related Items