One of the unique traditions of Badagas is the naming of their Villages – called hatti (individual village) or Ooru (can be an individual village or a cluster of villages of a ‘commune’).
Generally, the names are based on a topographical feature. Prof.Paul Hockings has elaborated this aspect in his book ‘Ancient Hindu Refugees – Badaga Social History 1550-1975’.
Some of these interesting names and their meanings as mainly given in the above book. Hope to cover all the 380 odd hattis.
1. Aanayhatti – Aanay + Hatti – Elephant + Village
2. Achinakal – Achuna + Kallu – Achu [well proportioned like ‘printed’] + Stone
3. Adikaratti – Athikari + Hatti – Adhigari clan + Village
4. Akasu – Akasu -sky , very high hill
5. Anehatti – Anay + Hatti – Water channel- Bund + Village
6. Aramanehatti – Aranmanay + Hatti – Palace + Village
7. Arebennu – Aray + Bennu – Large flat rock + Upper back [shoulder]
8. Arehatti – Aray + Hatti – Large rock + Village
9. Arekombe – Aray + Kombay – Large rock + Kuruma hamlet [earlier]
10. Asaganathore – Asagana + Thoray – Washerman’s + Riverside
Monisha from K… village writes : “I like Badaga cultural……I loved one boy very sincerely but we didnot have “morai”.We departed [as we could not marry].We want to change this [custom] alone….”
Yes, Monisha, you have raised a fundamental question….this custom of ‘morai’ was followed by Badagas in the olden days when there were not many Badagas and to avoid marriage between very close relatives – literally brothers and sisters. This made plenty of sense, medically also. But over a period of time, this particular ‘custom’ seems to have met with a lot of ‘heart burning’, may be due to its ‘blind’ adherence. Or does morai still make a valid condition for marriage ….more in a detailed article soooon…Wg Cdr JP
Deepak [Kethorai] replies : After going [thro’] some of the customs of our culture,I m sure there is a meaning for every custom and practice that our ancestors followed. But to us it seems different and difficult (I guess) to tag on to those customs into our today’s life style. Even I am eager to know the answer for the question and to know more about the custom of “Morai”………
Shiva adds : I am 27 and into buisness and I have seen many communities all over india. I feel what is said about ‘morai’ is bad and before having an affair with someone peoplel must know about our ‘Morai’. One more thing is that, now a days many Badaga girls running behind other community boys (not only before marriage as well as after marriage); if, things go as it is our community wil get perish soon. A small adivice of mine for our good (soft) girls.. I have seen many Badaga girls who have gone behind other community ppl, nobody seems to be having a good life. So be patient and get married according to our parents wish… Am also unmarried and plz note, its not ‘Ottai Kichu’. Boys can also run behind other community girls but for ‘Sothu Soga’ and ‘Mana Mariyadai’, we are hesitating to do. Girls, please pick up the right choice (rich or poor doesnt matter and please marry our boys and help our community retrieve the good name soon)
Deepak from Kethorai writes :-
Really fantastic… The things like EDHA MANE, DHARSAE PETTI / BALLA, HAGALAE clearly explain how our people had planned and prepared for their life in olden days. Its miserable that we are losing those treasures in today’s busy life. There are somethings like ERAGI METTODHU, BATHA HOKKUDHU which nowadays are just in the stories that our elders (Hetthai,Ayya) tell to us. Our people were clear about what is good and healthy for us. Also the different recipes for different seasons were in such a way to defend ourselves from diseases.
Your work is simply amazing JP. I thank you on behalf of youngsters for letting us know our cultures value.We really feel proud to be Badaga. We are getting to know a lot of things about our civilization. Thanks a ton! Continue your superb work.