EVIDENCE-Part 1-An insight into the Origin of Badugas based on various sources.


    (By Bukka Malla)                                                                                           Part- 1
      EVIDENCE-An insight into the Origin of Badugas based on various sources.               
             The following facts and information were gathered from The Nilgiri gazetteer, other relevant books from Docuents preservation centre, Kannerimukku and other libraries, other references from researchers and archeologists like Sri K.A.Neelakanta Sastri, SriT.Balakrishnan Nair and works of Sri K.P.Raju(freedom fighter and historian) based on various sources.
1) Based on Cairns, Barrows and artifacts:
It is an established fact that the origin of human being was in Africa and around Mediterranean sea. Megaliths are mounds with one or more stones over them, formed by ancient people in memory of the dead. There are different types of megaliths like Cairns (stones arranged in circle over mounds) , Barrows and Kistvaens / Dolmens(made of stone slabs into box type structure). The first Megaliths in the world came up in the area around Mediterranean Sea.
  There are different kinds of megaliths in various parts of South India. Sri K.A. Neelakanta Sastri in his book, ‘A history of South India’ says that the megaliths of South India resemble the megaliths found in the areas around Mediterranean sea, Iran and Caucasus area. Sri T.Balakrishnan Nair (researcher and hi storian) says that the Dolmens or Kistvaens are found in abundance in Turkey, Iran, Western Europe , Caucasus(south of Russia) and Kuban river. Of these those found in Caucasus area have round port-holes in the eastern side of stone slab, just like those found in South India(with port holes).
Sri K.P.Raju, historian and freedom fighter in his works based on various sources from old historans and archeologists, including English men like Meadows Taylor, J.W.Breeks, William Ross , Grigg etc, has given the following information: The dolmens in Europe and those in Caucasus with portholes belong to the period before 2000 BC(i.e. 4000yrs before) or ‘Later-Neolithic’ age. But dolmens found in India are of Iron Age.
It is to be noted here that what sri K.P.Raju refers to is regarding Dolmens/Kistvaens with port-holes and which are box type. It is said that the people who formed the round Cairns in South India are the Same (some scholars say that there was no distinction like Arya and Dravida)  as those in the area around Mediterranean sea and they both have elliptical scull.
 Now let us refer some established facts: Paleolithic age is approximately between 1.8million years back to 10000 yrs back. Paleolithic man was mainly hunter gatherer. Neolithic age is around 12000years back to early Iron age(between 2000 &and 1300B.C.) and the Neolithic men started settlements at various places; knew cultivation , pottery, domestication of animals and made rock arts and beads. Iron age is around 1300 BC to 1st Century BC. The burial sites in general, in Africa, Europe, Mesopotamia and Iran are of Neolithic period; this is understandable, because in Paleolithic age (from around 1.8million yrs ago) the Neanderthal human (subspecies of modern man) was nomadic till the Neolithic age (when man started settling down in various places which became villages).
This means that only Dolmens in India are of later-Neolithic or early Iron age. But the age of burial mounds in India are still older like those of Middle East & Europe; when men started settlement in villages (in the Neolithic age) they might have started burying the dead. Another fact is that some cairns and mounds in Europe, Nilgiris and Karnataka (note that what is mentioned here are not Dolmens) contained pottery, beads, and Bronze articles. So we can conclude that these cairns and barrows containing bronze articles belong to Bronze age –i.e. from around 4000BC. Some cairns and barrows of Badugas also contained bronze articles which are still used by them in ceremonies and functions.
The round Cairns and barrows found in Nilgiris and the type of pots and other articles found inside them differ from those found in the plains. But those in Nilgiris are similar to those found in Karnataka. Sri K.P.Raju says that according to Meadows Taylor, an archeologist, the monumental structures like Cairns etc, found in the Nilgiris and Karnataka in India and those in Europe are similar and they are memorials of a particular community people of the old era spread in (some parts of ) the areas of Europe and Asia.
The artifacts in those memorials of Nilgiris differ from those of South Indian Iron age memorials. Those cairns, barrows and dolmens of Nilgiris and Mysore area are similar and their period is between 7th centuary BC and 1st centuary AD.
An earthen pot found in such cairns in Nilgiris (now kept in British Museum in London) has some words written in Brahmi letters. One word read as ‘Aththak’. Their period, based on radio carbon method is around 4th century BC. (i.e., 2500 years before).
Badugar (Badugas) call those monuments as ‘Hokkallu’ and give respect and pray there once in a year. One such ‘Hokkallu’ is situated above an hill west of Kalhatty and east of Halcad estate (near our home) and MalekOtte (once there existed a dilapidated palace of Muddhooriah,brother of Uddhooriah of Kotagiri); still now the people of Kadasole pray once in a year at that ‘Hokkallu bettu gudi’. There is a village of Thodas, ‘ Muthanaad mund’ (the biggest mund/village of Thodas in Nilgiris) near Hokkallu bettu . But they have no connection with the ‘Hokkallu’ and have no claim over it. Likewise other Thodas and Kothas do not claim to have any connection with such cairns and barrows in Nilgiris. It is said that the Badugas objected to the digging of such places by the British people. But Thodas or Kotas didn’t object to it. This proves that those structures belong to ancestral Badugas.
At a place called Kethanowwebetta near Thooneri in Nilgiris, there is a round shaped cairn and in it were found “Juvvikindi” (a brass container which is used by Badugas in temples); such Juvvikindis were also found in other cairns in Nilgiris; also “leaf like mirror” made of bronze were also found (refer- the historian T.Balakrishnan nair). Note that these were made of bronze . In some, apart from Jivvikindi and ‘leaf shaped bronze mirror’, various knives (bettu kathi, soori kaththi) and earthen pots were also found. Bronze age starts around 6000 yrs back and iron age starts around 3000 yrs back. The knives are made of iron. As the knives were not found in some cairns and only bronze materials were found, we can deduce that Qae Badugas were here in Nilgiris around 3000years before (say plus or minus 200yrs).
2) Based on prayer, worship and language:
It is to be noted that Paeranganaadu (Porangaadu) Baduga people say in their prayer that their ancestors brought with them small Juvvikindi (for pooja), leaf shaped brass mirror and a large plate called ‘Thyge’ or ‘Gangwa’. Even a tree found in a mound in 1826 by the British people were said to be older than 500 years; so their age should have been around 700 years. It is said by some Baduga elders that theirs is around 28th to 30th generation. By calculating the years based on generation we can calculate that Qae Badugaru were in Nilgiris before 1500 years; but in fact it may be even before, considering the following facts.
  Consider the following facts: 1). there was no script for their language, Badugu;and they didn’t know any other scripts, 2),the older generation of this indigenous Baduga people didn’t have any ‘effective’ connection with outside people , 3), they were (and are) very innocent and are shy natured and 4) they didn’t even think of keeping record of their ancestral period (they only give emphasis on their cultural values , the ancestral rituals in marriage, death etc, and they orally convey the prayers and slokas to the younger generation; but that too is dying ) . so the actual number of generations so far can’t be calculated. Also they originally did not belong to any so-called religion. They worshiped sun, moon, fire , cow etc. And of course they kept the Juvvikindi and a ‘drop shaped’ (more or less elliptical) stone kept away from their hatties(villages) for purpose of sanctity (such places are called ‘Bana gudi’, temple-in-forest  among trees and bushes and away from
Settlement/village). Later on the British people mentioned them as Baduga Hindu { it is to be noted that Hindu by itself is not a religion but only a way of righteous life(Dharma) }. In their homes they had a ‘omega’ shaped entrance between central room(Idhamane) and the sacred room to the right; such structure has two stand like structure carved in the wall itself in that entrance . Such stands are called ‘Madhilu’ and still now in such old homes brass lamps are kept in Madhilu, lighten up in the morning and night and that ‘light’ is worshiped.
The Cairns and barrows or Hokkallu of Badugas , their way of ancestral worship, and the special sounds of their language{{‘Gan-gwa’ , ‘Hegwa ‘, ‘Kaqwa’, ‘Qwae’ (the actual pronounciation slightly differ from what is written in Inglish, because there are no corresponding words in English or any other South Indian languages) . Badugu seems like OLD Kannada, but Smt. Christiane Pilot Raichoor, a French anthropologist, who studied the phonetics of Badugu(the language of Badugas) says that Badugu is different from Kannada and it is an indigenous one. Badugu language has influenced the language and culture of people who arrived on various later periods(from 1000 back to 500 years back) -like Adhikaris, KaNakkaru, wodeyaru, Kongaru, baedaru, Chetties -  and also that of Thodhavas (Thodas) and ‘KO’ (the language of Kothas); but it is said that the ancient Qae Badugas brought Haaruva and Thoreya along with them for performing of poojas and other helps. It is also said that Haruva men only came and they later married Baduga women. In Adhikari clan(vegitarian lingayats), the elder of the two brothers who arrived first, was given shelter by the Melur Baduga Gowda, as the younger one ditched him as he ate a bird; the elder was also allowed to marry the Baduga girl. The younger shaivite Lingayat Adhikari was given place at the present SOkethore(Sogathore) by the Kollimale' KOtha.                              The Badugas , Thodhavas and Kothas have been living in harmony among themselves.It is said about some incidents(three or four villages) of Baduga men living with a Thoda or Kurumba or Kotha woman (due to this the Baduga women left them and established other villages nearby). They also have been living in close harmony with the nature since their existence in Nilgiris. Only after the infiltration of other communities from the plains after John Sullivan’s arrival (except the Vellala gounda/chetti who brought cloth); due to his efforts in establishing train and road connection with the plains , the life styles of the indigenous people of Nilgiris has changed; and the forest and green cover has been eroding; and their precious culture and language are going towards the death bed. It is in the UN charter and also a must for the human being to preserve not only the forest but also the cultures and languages of different indigenous people.
Based on the age of the cairns and barrows of Nilgiris , the indigenous nature and antiquity of Badugu language and their ancient type of worship of nature we can safely conclude that they were in Nilgiris around 8th centuary BC. (note that 1.even the age of dolmens in South India is 2800yrs.; 2. And the cairns and barrows of Nilgiris belong to Iron age- it is around 3000yrs back)
3) Based on Kistvaens or Dolmens and about invasions:
Some box shaped monuments surrounded by stone slabs called Kistvaens or Dolmens were also there and they were called by Badugas as ‘Moriyaru Mane’ {the house of Moriyaru(Moriyas or Mouryas) }, says Sri K.P.Raju, the historian. The historian S.K.Ayyanar also says so.
In Karnataka also such structures are there and are called ‘Morera Mane’ or ‘Morera Angadi’. It is known history that Mouryas invaded south around 300 BC during the period of Bindusara. The Badugas do not claim them as theirs, unlike cairns and barrows. So those Kistvaens in Nilgiris were used by the Mouryas for temporary stay on their southward invasion. So again it is evident that Badugas were here in Nilgiris well before 2400 or 2500years back.
Hero stones and the later period: After Mouryas(around 300 BC) there were many invasions by various chieftains of other kingdoms from north like Rathas, Kadambas,Gangas, Hoysalas (in medieval time, around 1000AD), Krishnadevaraya (after 1512), Kurumbanadu Raja (kerala), Chickkadevaraya Wodayar(in Feb.1677), and later on by Thippu until 1799 when British defeated him. During such later invasions Badugas might have fought back or resisted that or fought for the herd and in memory of their brave dead men they have erected the ‘veerakallu’ or hero stones . Many such hero stones were found in Masinagudi/Bokkapuram area (just above Bokkapuram on the mountain are the Badugas’ villages of Sholur area; and there are pathways still used by them. Also such pathways (the present existing road constructed by John Sullivan) were there connecting Kalhatty, Kadasole, etc. Another pathway connect to Kookkalthore and other villages in Kothagiri via Siriyur. There was a way from Chamrajnagar to Kothagiri also. According to a message written on a stone in Chamrajnagar , King Kala (it is one of the olden Baduga names) who ruled from the fort at Kookkal defeated twice the chieftain of Hoysala king who tried to invade into Nilgiris around 1010 AD.(ie, thousand years back).
Sri W.Francis says that these were erected by the Badugas ; he also says that at that time of interaction with the Badugas , they told him that these ‘veerakallu’s were erected by their ancestors. [{But it was said that the founders of the hero stones at Thoodhoor and Melur (still they are there in a dilapidated condition) were the ancestoral brothers of Adhikari(they talk in Badugu) who came via Nellithore’ and Thoodhoor.Like them, other sects like Lingayath/kanakka(followers of Basavanna),wodeyars,Kongars,baedars and chetties came at a later period,say thousand of years back. And it is said that Haruva(baduga brahmin) and Thoeya are actually Badugas who were given specific works by the ancestral elder for prayer and for other help respectively and this resulted in present cast system.}] The British people found some Badugas were repairing the hero stones at ‘Achini’ and they were told that they were founded by their ancestors and they pray there. At Betlhada there are many herostones in a line. The figures in them are Sun, moon,human figures and animals. Such figures are still seen in such structures near the Banagudi of Kadasole. But , while the age of cairns and barrows of Badugas are around 2800years back , the age of the Hero stones are of later period –ie, after 3rd or 2nd centuary BC.; because till the Mouryas invasion there were no known hero stone culture.
After the invasions:
After the invasion of Mouryas the Baduga people might have thought of their security and control over villages. Thus the system, of a ‘Gowda’ or leader for every village might have come into being. This disciplined system and their politeness and hospitality are much appreciated by the whole world. Even the UN has appreciated the hospitality of Badugas of Nilgiris and nowhere such high degree of hospitality is found in any other community. In some places like Chamrajnagar , Hekkada deva kote, etc, some stone inscriptions says about Gowda and Gaavunda. For example in one such inscription (1279AD) it says “ Rama Gowda’s son Jakka ‘Gaavunda’…..; another one(1137AD)  says “Bamma Gaavunda’s son ‘Peecha Gowda’……. Note the similarity of the names ‘Gowda’ and ‘Gaavunda’ and their interchanged use, both for son and father. So, both may be same. These words might have come from the word ‘Gaama ooda’, In Old Prakruthi language; Gaama ooda means the important man or head man of village. And many rituals in death , marriage etc, might have come into existence. Still later the practice of ‘The Head of the whole Nilgiris ‘ came into being and the known first such Head was Paadharaja –I of Thooneri village. Paadharaja III , of the same Thooneri village in his period( in 1800s) divided the Nilgiris into four parts , areawise for administration purpose(they are called Thodhanaadu seeme, Paeranganaadu seeme, Maekkunaadu seeme and Kundhe seeme). Still now such practice is there.
Conclusion of their age and relation with Kothas and Thodhavas:
It is evident from the above said informations and facts on the basis of cairns and barrows and the indigenous nature and culture and the sounds of language that the age of Badgugas in Nilgiris can be said with certainty as around 3000 years back.
Though the Kothas and Thoduvas have no connection with the cairns and barrows of Badugas, it is a well known and established fact that all of them lived in harmony with Badugas and respected them and called them ‘appa’(father) with love and respect. Alll three tribes participated in the function of others.(It is said-in some cases like kundhe,thangad etc, when the Baduga lady left her husband due to his infedelity with kurumba/thoda/kotha women, they were given land and hut by the Kotha and Thodhama.And in Sokethore, the Adhikari ancestor brother was given land and baffallows by Kollimale Kotha. So they are respected and invited to participate in Baduga’s festivals.Vide the separate article for such kind of interactions among the tribes etc,). Badugas are good old primitive tribe of NILGIIRS along with Kothas,Thodhavas.(But Kurumba tribes are said to have come later; some Badugas,other than those who were here before King Kala's period, also might have come on various periods-[vide part-2 for the later Badugas & other south Indians] ). This was also recorded by the Brithis People in the GAZATTEER and in their Surveys (every ten years) till independence. (But Kurumba tribes are said to have come later). The British people, wherever they invaded, had the good practice of interacting with the local people and gathered information about them as far as possible (though some shy communities might not have revealed everything) and recorded them.
 Marriage, death rituals and festivals:- In ancient times Baduga bride was brought to the house of bridegroom well before dawn (this was the rule) and entered the house, brought water, ate with them cleaned the place and thus ended mariage;only when she became pregnant, in 7th month a long sacred thread (called KaNNi ) was put around her neck. When one died Kotha is invited to perform the funeral music and for other rituals; ‘death prayer’ is chanted after taking a male or female calf (according to the gender of the dead) around and left out. Badugu months are calculated from the day of New moon. One or two days after the new moon crescent are seen. Therefore, festivals are usually fixed on Mondays, but only after the cresent are seen. The main festivals are:- Kaanikke habba/dhodda habba which is a mark of respect to the herd; Uppattuva habba ; haalu buduva habba; Dhevva habba(mark of respect to cultivated grains- in july/august); kaappu (on Friday) & sakkalathi(on next day-Saturday). And a relatively later origin is ‘Heththe habba’. Now a day’s all Indian festivals are celebrated. Now Baduga is a general term representing all sects as said above; the festivals are common to all; the marriage and death rituals are more or less similar among them all.
             
     The good thing is, the British recorded many information’s; but the wrong they did  was annexation of lacs of acres of land belonging to Badugas. Now a days the present Badugas are under compulsion to part with their left out meager land, due to the heavy inflow of settlers from the plains, encouraged by the govt. may be for political gains. But this erodes the primitive culture and language and natural wealth of the primitive tribes here.
After the Indipendence , the Indian government prepared a list of Tribals in 1950 but left out ‘Badugas’ from the list , though the various survey records from 1812 (i.e, for more than hundred years) recorded Badugas as primitive tribe. Whether it was due to oversight or with vested interest is not known. Badugas were so innocent that no one noticed or questioned it. 
       In 1952the government formed a commission and asked it to include the left-out tribes. The commission submitted the report in 1954 and listed 7 communities in the present TN as tribes and one of them included was Badugas. But, when the approval was given by the government, strangely the name of the 2300  years old Badugas of Nilgiris were not incorporated.
It is the duty of every nation and governments of the world to preserve the culture and language of the tribes, even though the tribes are so innocent to ask for their rights.

 -An insight into the origin of Badugas(British people wrongly pronounced Badagas), their marriage & death rituals and their relation with other tribes. 

             


          
  Note the Badugas near their ancestor's cairns. they are wearing a 'mandare'' (turban) and a seele' (a thick lenghty cloth)around their bare body (note they are not wearing shirt in 1800s and before). But on viewing the ancient sculptures found near the temples of the main villages (vide the photos in gallary) it makes us to assume that the ancient Badugaru did not wear 'seele' but only a mundu (a cloth around their waist) and a headgear. 












- Thanks to Basel mission Depository,Mangaluru and Libraries at Bengaluru & Mysuru, and Jhon Sullivan memorial documentation centre-Kannaerimukku, Late K.P.Raju (freedom fighter and historian/father), my Late grandma(who was Guru to  me through 1960s ) and 85+ and 90+ old Baduga elders who gave valuable informations (for the past  12 to 15 years) as far as they remember and all my friends who helped me in finding the 90year old elders. Special thanks to SATHU, DGM, Corporation bank, Mangaluru and NIJANTH  H.G.,Bengaluru who helped & accompanied in some missions and helped in photography.  

   (some more fotos will follow here and more photos will be posted in a separate page...)













continued in part-2

Comments

  1. ನಮ್ಮ ಭಾಗದಲ್ಲೂ ಇಂತವ ವಿಗ್ರಹಗಳು ತುಂಬಾ ಇದೆ.

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    1. brother, though i can't read this, i can guess some Kannada letters and thus i understand that you mean that such 'silas' are there in your area too; am i right? I also visited some places and found such similar sila-stones. Thank you for your communication. Hope to meet you again. Wish you all good luck.

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