Monthly Archives: February 2019

Badagas of the Blue Mountains

Welcome to this site which is all about the

Badagas of the Blue Mountains

Baarivi, Odhivi, Nodivi & Ohridivi

[‘Baarivi, Odhivi, Nodivi & Ohridivi’ in Badaga means ‘Come, Read, See & Listen’]

badaga

1.Badaga Origin [What we DO NOT know about Badagas is more than what we know about them. Such is the mystery of Badaga Origin. Read the complete article here]

2.Badaga Language [“It appears that there are none who know ‘PURE’ Badaga. This is not due to lack of words in Badaga. Lot of Badaga words have been forgotten [due to the influence of Tamil and English] and hence become extinct”.]

3.Badaga Names [What is in a name, a rose smells the same by any other name” so said a great poet. But is it so ? In the context of preserving the culture of a community, the names given to both persons and places can play a very crucial part.]

4.Badaga Songs [Music and Badagas are inseparable. Be it the ever green dance (aatta) numbers, the sad savu (funeral) songs or the beautiful ballads…sky is the limit. For some nice Badaga songs click here

5. Badaga Villages – Hattis [Badagas, generally, refer to their village or hamlet as ‘ HATTI ‘ spread around ‘Nakku Betta’ (the Nigiris). Nakku Betta literaly means four (Nakku) Mountains (betta) though there are many hills around which the villages are located]

6. Hethay Amma History [Hethay Amma is the deity of all Badagas. Hethai Habba is always on the first MONDAY (SOVARA), the most sacred day of Badagas, after the full moon (paurnami – HUNNAWAY ) that falls in (Tamil) Margazhi month, that is the 9th day after eight days of ‘Kolu’]

7.Badaga Jewellery [The main ornaments are the nose ring called ‘ MOOKUTHI ‘ and the ear ring known as ‘CHINNA’ . Chinna , literaly means gold but usually refers to ear rings. The type shown above is worn both by men and women. Of course, the ‘ BELLI UNGARA ‘ [silver finger ring] has a special place in Badaga tradition and considered to have medicinal / health benefits]

8.Badaga Wedding [Badaga customs and traditions are known for their simplicity, adaptibility and practicality. In this respect a Badaga wedding follows a set of simple rules that has been almost the same over the centuries. But for a minor change here and there, it has been almost the same in all the villages spread across the Nakku Betta or the Nilgiri Hills]

9.Badaga Funeral [Ever since I became aware of the verses of ‘Karu Harachodhu’, I felt how nice it would be if these beautiful words could be given in English [ both in script and as translation] so that the present day youngsters could understand one of the most important and significant part (prayer) of Badaga funeral rites]

10.All about Ari Gowder [Rao Bahadur H.B.Ari Gowder, the first Badaga graduate, first Badaga M.L.C & M.L.A for a long time who had brought many reforms in/to Badaga Community including ‘prohibition’ (no alcohol – kudi to Nilgiris in British days itself. Ari Gowder lead the Indian contigent (yes, “INDIAN CONTIGENT) to World Scouts Jumboree held in Europe in the 1930s]

11.First Badaga It will be very interesting [I hope as well as informative & motivating] to list all those BADAGAS who were / are the ’FIRST’in any field.Where I am not sure, I have put a question mark, so that someone may supply the correct or corrected info

12. Rare Photos [..The title says it all ..]

13. Badaga Day [May 15th is celebrated as Badaga day, every year. Many may not be aware that this has been done from 1993 onwards. The Porangadu Seeme (Mainly Kotagiri Area) has been celebrating this day as ‘Ari Gowder Day’ also, in honour of Rao Bahadur H B Ari Gowder…]

14.Badaga Poems [One of the enchanting aspects of Badaga Language is its disarming simplicity. But though the sentences are swathed in sweetness of simple words, it can contain deep expressions of emotions conveyed in the proper usage of rhymes [holla – alla] or pair words [huttu – nattu] apart from other attributes]

15.Badaga Elders [There are a few elderly Badagas spread among our Hattis and Cities who are so well informed about us. May be due to their age or the personal interest and individual atrributes, they know about our origin, customs, culture or anything connected and concerning Badagas. It is a shear blessing to meet them.]

16. Badaga Recipes [Badagas usually grow vegetables in their small patch(es) of land called ‘HOLA’ (see photo) for their regular use apart from other commercial crops like potato, cabbage, carrot and cauliflower etc. These would also include many varities of beans, peas, greens, corn etc]

17.Badaga Proverbs [One of the fascinating and interesting aspect of Badaga [both people & language] is the free use of delightful but deep meaning proverbs called “ DODDARU SHLOKA”. When you engage an elderly Badaga into any conversation, you are sure to hear a lot of these proverbs thrown in to make / emphasis a point]

18.Badaga Calendar [Badaga month should start on the 10th of an English month as far as possible and also to ensure that the number of days in a month is either 30 or 31 days. Since Badagas consider ‘Sovara’ (Monday) as the most auspicious and ‘holy’ day, they have attached a lot of importance to that day]

19.Badaga Script It has always been felt that for a language to survive, it should have its own script. It cannot remain only as a spoken language for long. But of course, the script need not be peculiar and specific one pertaining to that particular language. So too is the necessity of a script for Badaga. Many have attempted to achieve this objective with various degrees of success. But unfortunately, to my knowledge, no records exist. I am no expert on phonetics or languages or much less innovating an unique script. But the urge to have a separate script has convinced me that it is very much possible to ‘ADOPT’ an existing script and ‘ADAPT’ it to Badaga language.

20. Badaga Poetry

21. General

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  • Bravo, Rajamma of Kethorai - Kethorai Rajamma, who made all  those known her , especially the Badagas, very proud by winning an award from the President of India, recently has written to say, Dear Mr.JP…, My earnest greetings..Your efforts for the beautiful bagadas of the … Continue reading
  • Time to change with changing times? - Narmu  writes : “I am new to this site. I am very proud to be a Badaga girl. Our people are very loving, caring and are with humanity to a great extent except when it comes to inter caste marriage. … Continue reading
  • Marrying a person with no MORAY - dharshani raj  (dharshani.ds@gmail.com) asks ‘I want to know if it is wrong in marrying a person with no moray’  This question, though appears to be simple, is an important one since many of us, including the self – appointed GOWDAS … Continue reading
  • Dr.Sundaradevan, the First Badaga IAS officer writes…. - Dr. Sundaradevan Nanjiah  IAS I am a regular visitor to your website for more than a year now.  Please accept my congratulations for a splendid job.  I can appreciate the enormous efforts put in by you single-handedly in gathering so … Continue reading
  • Kinnakorai – the beautiful village ! - Anand.N.R [from Kinnakorai] writes : I have recently visited your website and interested in knowing about us Badagas and our origin. Your website gives us many useful   information about Badagas . I have been to many hattis in Ooty and collected … Continue reading

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Badaga Dictionary

A lot of young friends who visit this website ( truly humbled and thrilled that there are more than 627,000 hits – JP) ask me whether there are any books to 1) learn Badaga language and on 2) Badaga Dictionary.

There are some books on Badaga Language and you can find the list on the page ‘Books on Badaga .

Prof.Paul Hockings
Christiane Raichoor

 Prof.Paul Hockings has brought out ‘A Badaga English Dictionary‘ way back in 1992 along with (late) Christiane Pilot-Raichoor.

Some pages from this book are given below.

See A Badaga _ English DictionaryC 

 

Prof.Paul Hockings informs me that the book A Badaga – English Dictionary was published in 1992, and is 865 pages long. Moreover the fully revised expansion of it is now ready for publication, and will be about 1000 pages long. A shorter and cheaper Student Edition is also planned (13 Feb 2019)

Another very useful and in my opinion a great source of interesting information on Badagaru Dhoddaru Shloka (proverbs) along with dictionary is
Counsel from the Ancients: A Study of Badaga Proverbs, Prayers, Omens and Curses

I understand that Nelikolu Trust is bringing out a Badaga – Tamil – English (authored by Dr.Haldorai) soon. It must be very interesting since Tamil, understood by many Badagas, is included.

 

From Prof.Paul Hockings

(Reproduced)
Dear J.P.
    I found a comment on your website to the effect that “It is ironic that despite research by Western scholars the Badagas are little known overseas”. I think you are altogether too pessimistic about this matter. The Badagas are in fact widely known, and are the subject of articles in four encyclopaedias that can be found today in several hundred libraries worldwide, viz:
Castes and Tribes of Southern India, I: 63-124
Encyclopaedia of the Nilgiri Hills,1: 2-8, 36-39, 91-113, 252-256, 296-301, 327-332, 347-351, 417-421; 2: 524-525, 541-546, 569-571, 577-580, 607-611, 727-730, 758-779, 815-816, 827-829, 980-981, etc.
Encyclopedia of Medical Anthropology, 2: 572-578
Encyclopedia of World Cultures, 3: 14-18
This means that many thousands of students and professional scholars have read about Badagas in these reference books over the past century. The hundreds of articles that have been published on Badagas in popular magazines as well as academic journals reflect (and often quote) the widespread use of these particular resources. A detailed bibliography (Hockings, 1996) has revealed that the Nilgiris region is the most thoroughly studied and documented of any rural part of South Asia, without exception.
    With regards,
         Paul
Dear J.P.,
    I often look at your website, and of course often see a list of “Books about Badagas”, some of which are in Tamil and not easily obtained. The impression you give with that title is that these are the only books available on the subject. But the books which scholars most commonly cite when writing about Badagas are usually missing from your list! You could correct that list most easily by changing the heading to read “selected recent books about Badagas,” unless it would be more accurate to say “Books by Badagas”. 
    For the record, these are the books that are most commonly cited in publications, such as academic articles, about the Badagas (in alphabetical order):
Heidemann, Frank M.
    2006    Akka Bakka: Religion, Politik und duale Souveränität der Badaga in den Nilgiri Süd-Indiens. Berlin: LIT-        Verlag.
Hockings, Paul

    1980    Ancient Hindu Refugees: Badaga Social History 1550-1975.The Hague: Mouton Publishers; New     Delhi: Vikas Publishing House.

    1980     Sex and Disease in a Mountain Community.New Delhi: Vikas Publishing House; Columbia, Mo.: South Asia Books.

    1988     Counsel from the Ancients: A Study of Badaga Proverbs, Prayers, Omens and Curses. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

    1992    A Badaga-English Dictionary (by Paul Hockings and Christiane Pilot-Raichoor).Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter. 

    1996     Bibliographie générale sur les Monts Nilgiri de l’Inde du sud 1603-1996 / A Comprehensive Bibliography for the Nilgiri Hills of Southern India, 1603-1996 / Eine umfassende Bibliographie der Nilgiri-Berge Südindiens, 1603-1996Bordeaux: Université Michel de Montaigne.

    1999    Kindreds of the Earth: Badaga Household Structure and Demography. New Delhi, London and Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications; Walnut Creek, Cal.: AltaMira Press.

    2001     Mortuary Ritual of the Badagas of Southern India. Fieldiana, Anthro­pology, (new series) 32. Chicago: Field Museum of Natural History.
    2012    Encyclopaedia of the Nilgiri Hills. (Paul Hockings, ed.) New Delhi: Manohar Books

    2013    So Long a Saga: Four Centuries of Badaga Social History. New Delhi: Manohar Publishers & Distributors.

Ranga, Nayakulu Gogineni

    1934    The Tribes of the Nilgiris (Their Social and Economic Conditions). Bezwada: Vani Press.

(Whoever wrote the “Badaga” article in Wikipedia seems unaware of this literature.) I have not included here several dissertations, as they are not really publications, and are often difficult to get hold of.
   With best wishes,
    Paul
It is always a pleasure to receive communications from Prof. Paul Hockings, an authority on Badagas, the people and Badaga, the language.
It will be very true to say that he has made Badagas, originally a small tribe living only in the Nilgiris [now, of course, spread around the world] known all over the globe with his well researched books and articles. Many of them can be easily accessed online.
Thank you Paul,
Wg.Cdr. JP
Rejoinder from Prof.Paul Hockings:
Thank you for your quick response, J.P.
You touch on a very important matter, that the Badagas are becoming, shall we say, internatonalised. There are dozens of Badaga families where I live in Silicon Valley, and their children and grandchildren are growing up as Americans, or elsewhere as Australians or Britons.
We social scientists find that the third generation of immigrants in some “new” country get very curious abut their ancestors and the culture too, and want to know more about it. So in a sense you and I are planning to pass on the most accurate description we can to people who need to know the details, but in many cases are not born yet!
There’s no point in lamenting that the old ways are no more, but at least we can try to preserve something in print and photography for those who will need it later on.
As always,
Paul