Though, comparatively a small community, Badagas have settled in many towns and cities, away from their Hattis -Villages in the Nilgiris, both in India and abroad.
When a death occurs in any family that is settled outside, the first and the most appropriate action would be, to take the dead to his/her hatti in the Nilgiris where the Last Rites – Funeral Ceremony would be conducted by the concerned hatti in the traditional manner.
What happens, if the option of taking the body to the concerned hatti is not possible for some reason?
Is it not possible to conduct the funeral -SAAVU MAADODHU wherever the death has occurred and give a decent and honourable cremation with all the traditional rites like Karu Harachchodhu, Akki Eththodhu etc?
In the followup UPDATES to this post that will be added, let us see how we can go about conducting a traditional Badaga Saavu away from the hattis.
A Badaga funeral at any Hatti(Village) can be broadly divided into the following rites :-
- At Maney (home) மனெ – where the death has occurred.
- At Dhodda Maney (the Sacred/Big House) தொட்ட மனெ – where the body is kept in a decorated Kattilu (cot) for paying homage.
- At Haney (the Village grass ground) ஹணெ – where the most important rites – Karu Harachchodhu (rendering of the Funneral Prayer) கரு ஹரச்சோது, Olay Kattodhu ( formal declaration of Widow/Widower) ஓலெ கட்டோது and Akki Eththodhu (Putting rice/baththa on the face of the deceased) அக்கி எத்தொது take place.
- At Dhoovay (the grave yard) தூவே – where the formal burial (in the olden days only cremation) is carried out followed by Baththa Beerodhu (sowing of millet) பத்த பீரோது
Let us elaborate on each of these rites in the subsequent posts.