Origin of Mogaveeras
Mogaveera Community
Mogaveera Habitats
Mogaveera Customs
Festivals Observed
Occupations of Mogaveeras
Mogaveera Organizations
Mogaveera Religious Practices
Prominent Mogaveeras
Interpretation of Data
Appreciation of Website / Book


Aliya Santhana Kattu 
Divorce of Marriage
House Warming Ceremony (Illokkel)
Remarriage of Widows/Widowers
Rites on attaining puberty
Child Birth
Rites on death.
Bayake Padunu (Seventh Month Ceremony)

Aliya Santhana Kattu

Aliya Santana Kattu is followed by all Tuluva communities of Dravidian origin. This system appears to have come into existence as in olden days father used to go out of the house for a long period for providing food etc. and mother was the only person who cared for the children. It may also be possible that the men, as they were, not sincere and may have had more than one woman in their life. Therefore, the centre of the family life revolved around mother rather than father. This system was followed in many parts of India and abroad.

History of Development

Aliya Santana Kattu is akin to Marumakkattaya system of Kerala. This system according available records said to have started around 15th century but the proof of its existence become available only in 1840 A.D in the form of stone carvings. One Bhutala Pandya (Owner of Pandi , a large transport ship) said to have codified Aliya Santana Kattu . The often repeated story of Bhutala Pandya who sought to sacrifices human being is not repeated here. But it is sufficient to say that he is credited with codifying Aliya Santhana “Kattu Kattales” which means the Rules and Regulations of this system. The Kattu Kattales deal with social positions, “bali/bari” (which means lineage), inter marriage between balies, management of family properties, ceremonies to be followed on birth, death, lineage, adoption, position & treatment of women in the family etc. Dr. Gururaja Bhatt has given a text of “Bhootala Pandya’s “Kattu-Kattalegalu” in his book “Studies in Tuluva History and Culture”.

Property Rights

The main features of Aliya Santana Kattu   are that the properties of the family were held in the name of the eldest male member of the family but he had only life interest in such properties; i.e. he has the right to administer and enjoy the properties during his life time and had to pass it on to his nephew. The eldest male is required to perform all religious ceremonies in the family “ Bhoothsthana” and also officiate in all other such ceremonies. The properties pass on (devolve) to the lineage determined by his sisters. The lady of the house is the center of family and all activities of the family centers around her. In the olden days these ladies never left their house even after marriage and lived with their husbands in their house. Followers of Aliya Santana Kattu in the States of Kerala and Karnataka had given a dignified life to their women as in the event of breakup of their marriage or death of their husband, women would not become destitute as they had their ancestral family to fall back.

Rules Governing Marriage

Followers of Aliya Santana Kattu followed their mother’s “Bali/Bari” and as such cannot marry a girl from the same Bali. Because of this, the children adopt the Bali of mother and not of the father. Even in cases where Bali (Surname) of the father is adopted (which is done now), for the purpose of marriage, mother’s Bali is ascertained. A second restriction is also followed that the father’s Bali of both bride and bridegroom should not be the same. However, in the Patriarchal system, the second restriction only applies.

Rules on Death

In case of death of a male member, the last rites are performed by his sons according to Patriarchal system. However, the last rites of a male member of the family are performed at the family house (of sister). For female, according to the then prevailing custom, as the female continued to reside in her maternal home, rites are normally performed by her son at her house. On the death of both male and female member, their son will perform all the religious ceremonies. But the offering of food at home as “Mittari/Misari” is always attended by female members of the deceased person.

Changes in Status

Aliya Santana Kattu was modified by Madras Aliya Santhana Act, 1949 which regulated the marriage and inheritance. The Central Government passed Hindu Succession Act, 1956 which regulated the system of inheritance and applicable throughout India. The Madras Aliya Santhana (Mysore Amendment) Act, 1961 modified Madras Aliya Santhana Act, 1949 allowing equal share in properties to all members (including all women/daughters) and also granted the right to seek partition in family property. Thereafter, the male members of family could give their share in Aliya Santana family property to their wife and children.

Present Status

After passing of above stated Acts, the custom of Aliya Santana Kattu is applicable only to family worship at Bhoothasthanas, Moolasthanas , ceremonies of marriage and death etc. The statistical data collected in the year 1990, by Dr. G. R. Krishna (Caste & Tribes of Fishermen) show that 96% Mogaveera families follow Patriarchal system. In other words, only 4% Mogaveera families follow Aliya Santana Kattu in 1990. We are in 2012 and the position may have come near 100% but we still have not officially changed our system which now applies only to religious practices.

House Warming Ceremony (“Illokkel”)

Indigenous Ceremonies

The house warming ceremony used to be held by the head of the family assisted by the people who built the house (carpenters & masons) in the presence of village elders. The outer side of the house used to be decorated by “Thorana” made of leaves of mango/jack-fruit trees woven into a thread made of coir (coconut husk.). No Brahmin priest used to be called and no “Homa”, “Havana”, “Pooja” etc. performed as no Brahmin priest would come into Mogaveera houses in the good old days. Bringing in cow and calf into the new house were not practiced.

External Rites

During the House Warming ceremony in the night, “Kolnine” (made of dried stems wrapped with cotton cloth around) used to be lighted at four corners of the new house and tender coconuts and sliced white cucumbers were placed sprinkling “Kuriniru” (red water prepared by mixing turmeric (“Haldi”) powder and lime. Prayers are offered to family deities and village deities to bless the house and make it safe for living.

Articles taken into New House

Thereafter, “Kadevuna Kallu” (stone grinder), “Thottilu” (child’s cradle), rice “Mudi”, valuables of the family members and other useful things are taken into the new house.

First cooking

 The boiling of milk till it overflows, as a symbol of plenty and prosperity, used to be performed. A simple vegetarian meal is served to the guests.

Treatments of Guests

According to the old custom, on arrival of a guest, water is offered to refresh himself. After welcoming the guest inside the house, a mat is spread for sitting or a “Mane” (low stool) is offered. “Bella Neeru” (a piece of jaggery and water) is placed before the guest in a water jug and a “lota” to quench the thrust. The second item is “Bachhire Poolu” (Betel leaves & areca nut) used to be offered if it is not the time for meal. There was no such practice as offering tea, coffee, cold drinks or snacks. Normally, during the meal time, special fish curry and rice with a glass of toddy (“Kali”) might be served. Seldom hard drinks were served.

Rites on attaining puberty

The girl who entered into adulthood, i.e. on puberty, the ladies from Gurikaras’ house come to the girl’s house and give her first bath and the house is cleaned by performing “Neer Talpunu” (sprinkling water) etc. This is an initiation proceeding to the girl who has attained womanhood to take care of her new physical development and to make her aware that she should conduct herself in a more responsible way. These rites are rarely performed now.


Preliminary Arrangements

Arranging of marriage was the prerogative of the elders. Match making used to take place within known circle only. The first thing attended to is to ascertain the “Bari” which is also known as “Santhana” (Bali/Gothra) is right. This is also known as “Bari Band Kenunu” which is the responsibility of Gurikaras. For details, please refer to “Aliya Santhana Kattu”.

Engagement before marriage

Thereafter, a simple ceremony used to be held for fixing the marriage by confirming the proposal in the presence of Gurikaras /elders from Grama Sabhas of both bride and bridegroom by exchanging “Bachhire Poolu” (Betel leaves & areca nut) between the uncles of bride and bridegroom. There was no exchange of wedding ring in those days. For the sake of convenience, this function is sometimes performed before the marriage is solemnized. The Memorandum of Association of 1926 of Dakshina Kannada Mogaveera Mahajana Sangha emphasized that this ceremony should be simple and should not be a burden to the bride’s family.


The so called Mehndi (Madiranagi) ceremony being the first step of beautifying the body of the bride and bridegroom used to be a simple affair within the family offering prayer to God and serving of vegetarian food. Madiranagi used to be prepared by bringing leaves and madirangi paste prepared at home. With sweet Paad-dana (narrative singing in Tulu –ballads) rendered by elderly people, Madiranagi is allowed to cure. The present day celebration with song, dance, serving of alcohol with non-vegetarian food was not heard of in those days.

Kalasha Neeru Meepini

On the early morning of the day of marriage both bride and bridegroom are given bath in their respective houses known as Kalasha Neeru Meepini by married ladies generally from the houses of Gurikaras . Later, this was turned into Thirtha Snana at a temple.

Madmeda Dompa

Marriage used to take place normally in bridegroom’s house in a temporary shelter called Madmeda Dompa put out by village people covered by coconut leaves woven into mats. Some portion of the Dompa is covered by white cloth and in the middle a coconut with mango leaves are hung which is known as Kodi (an auspicious symbol). Simple decoration with plantain plants at the main gate and mango leaves festoons tied around the place.

Attires of Bride

On the day of marriage, the bride used to wear ornaments from head to toes. These ornaments may be borrowed one or made available by Grama Sabhas specially made for this purpose. On the fore head, Nethi Bothale is placed at the parting of hair and tied over the head by a gold chain. The decorated round pendent is studded with jewels (may be artificial in some cases). On the ears, Bendale, Bugudi (hair locking pin), Muthuda Koppu (pearls studded), used to be worn. On the nose, Muguthi, or later version, Bottu (nose top) used to be worn. On the neck, beginning from gold necklaces, special gold chains, such as, Bajilu Sara, Chakra Sara, etc. used to be worn. On the fore arm, Thola Bhandi (arm band) used to be worn. Various types of gold bangles and matching glass bangles were used. On the finger, gold rings, on the ankles silver Gejja and on the toes special silver rings used to be worn. The silver special rings on the toe are an announcement that the lady is married. Putting a shade of Kajal (home made) on the eyes cannot be forgotten. The much sought after sari used to be Banaras sari and on the waist, a golden (gold plated) Sontada Patti was a must. The hair used to be aesthetically covered by jasmine ( Mallige -Mangalore special) which is known as Jalli Padunu . This art of Jalli Padunu is seldom seen now.

Bridegroom’s Attirs

The ornaments worn by bridegroom consist of ear rings Onty (special ear rings) or Tikki (ear top), gold chains on the neck, gold rings on the fingers, and silver toes rings. The bridegroom wears Kachha and Kurtha and a cap or Mundas (Petha). On the shoulder, a Shaal (Shawl) is placed like a cross-belt.

Special Features

Both bride and bridegroom would carry a small Kinni Katti with Gejje (small knife with jingles made of silver) and a few (five) betel leaves with an areca nut throughout the marriage ceremony. The ‘Best-man’ to guide the bridegroom is generally his brother-in-law and the ‘Bridesmaid’ used to be her sister-in-law. These positions are considered as a privileged one during the marriage ceremony.


The marriage normally used to be held in bridegroom’s house. The Dibbana (Marriaage party) is accompanied by either simple Nadaswara with local band or full Band set with fire-works, such as, Bedi, Garnal etc. At times Talim (of local gym) also joined the marriage party. It appears that the main function of Talim was to guard the marriage party and the bride’s ornaments as in olden days the marriage party travelled by foot and the concentration of the houses on the coastal villages was not what it is now. Further, in many cases, the bride’s ornaments came from Grama Sabha and its safety was also their responsibility. For this purpose, Grama Sabhas used to depute at least twenty to twenty five people to attend the marriage and it used to be their duty to see that the marriage party returns safely back to the bride’s home after the marriage ceremony.

Welcoming Ceremony (Edukonu)

On arrival of Dibbana the welcoming ceremony used to be held outside the marriage mandapam by simple exchange of greetings. On arrival Bella Neeru , (water with jaggery) and Bachhire-Poolu (Betel leaves & areca nuts) are served. The bride-groom is expected to give a small amount to the bride by way of Nechhi Kattunu, in a way a ‘reverse dowry’ system.

Marriage Ceremonies

Exchange of jasmine flower garland between the Bridegroom and Bride takes place first. Thereafter, either the uncle of the bride or the village Gurikara places the hands of the bride on the hands of bridegroom. Afterwards, Dhare Maipunu (Pouring sacred water) performed by the parents’ of the bride and the poured water is collected in a plate by the parents of Bridegroom. These were the main ceremonies. Village Gurikaras assisted by the village Madivawala officiate the marriage ceremony. The present day D.J.’s job is done by an appointed man who announces all the marriage proceedings in advance for the benefit of the guests. For example, announcement is made that Dhare Maipunu Panperoo (main ceremony begins) and the guests respond by Edde Panperoo . Similarly, the gifts given by the guests are also announced and recorded. It used to be an unwritten custom that such gifts are returned when somebody from the giver’s family gets married. Simple vegetarian food (lunch) is served.

Management of Marriage

On the day of marriage, if the feast is for the entire people of the village it is known as Uoorugu Vanas and the responsibility of cooking food and serving is of the villagers. In some cases, one male and one female of each house are invited for such functions.

Posa Madmal Barpini

On the day of marriage, on conclusion of the ceremony, the bride usually goes back to her parents’ house. On an appointed date, newly married bride goes to Bridegroom’s house which is known as Posa Madmal Barpini . There used to be a feast with non-vegetarian food, sweets and Bajile Parnde (beaten rice mixed with jaggery and grated coconut with ripe plantain). The mother-in-law of the bride serves the food, which is known as Mami Balasunu . Bride used to be introduced to her mother-in-law and her cousins who are Maamies (aunties) and father-in-law and told not address them by name.

Thodamane Popini

There used to be a return feast to Bridegroom on his first visit to Bride’s place which is known as Thadamane Popini . Food and other things are similar. However, in some cases, mother-in-law of the bridegroom may give some gift of a gold ring or a gold chain before requesting the bridegroom to take food. Bridegroom is not expected to call mother-in-law and father-in-law by name.

Bayake Padunu (Seventh Month Ceremony) 

The seventh month ceremony (flowering ceremony) on the first pregnancy is called Bayake Padunu and this ceremony is performed at the house of the husband. The Banjinal (pregnant woman) is dressed up like a bride. There used to be at least five types of sweet and each sweet in sets of three or five are served. Non-vegetarian food like chicken, mutton, fish, egg etc., is also served. Boiled egg served to the pregnant lady, was in turn fed to the young boys or girls by the lady depending on whether she wanted a boy or a girl as no scanning facility was available in those days. Among the vegetarian items leafy vegetable known as Nurgeda Thoppu (leaves of drum-stick) with fried and powdered rice is a must as it is believed that drum-stick leaves are supposed to be very nutritious and have medicinal properties. Apart from elaborate food items with lots of sweets served, new sari and ornaments are given by the mother-in-law. Finally by offering a glass of milk, the mother-in-law requests her daughter-in-law to start her lunch. All these functions are officiated by the mother-in-law assisted by the elderly ladies. It is customary to send the pregnant lady to her mother’s home on that day. A sumptuous feast awaits the lady at her parents’ house.  It is also normal practice to stay at her mother’s place for the first delivery of the child.

Divorce of Marriage

The termination of marriage was not easy. However, in extreme cases, the marriage could be terminated by Bara Panpini by the husband. Similarly, in the case of wife, her guardians could intimate the husband with valid reasons that she would like to terminate the marriage. These decisions were subject to scrutiny by their respective village Sabhas in case it is contested. Once accepted, remarriage was possible. Even the widow can also remarry.

Remarriage of Widows/Widowers

The second marriage of widower and widow used to be solemnized normally at night time. Non-vegetarian food is allowed to be served in this function. The second marriage is called Budu Dhare . This ceremony is normally held at the bride’s place and the marriage proceedings are officiated by Gurikaras.

Child Birth

The village midwife assisted by elderly ladies used to perform delivery of the child at home and seldom delivery took place in a hospital. After the delivery of the child, Ghante Bottunu (beating of a metal plate) used to be done to inform the people outside the delivery room that the child is born safely.

Ame on birth of child

On the birth of a child, mother’s family observes Ame for 12 days in which period they generally do not go inside a temple complex. The father alone in his family will observe this restriction as the community is governed by Aliya Santhana Kattu (Matrilineal System). After completing a month, the child and mother formally enter the temple to seek the blessing which is known as Devasthanogu Popini.

Pedmedi Thankunu

The new mother and child used to be given oil massage and hot water bath regularly for a month or so. The special food, such as, Palade, Kashaya, Leha prepared out of selected items used to be given. The fish curry of selected fishes, such as, Kane, Bolingir etc. used to be served as these fishes are said to be harmless.

Thottilu Padunu

Thottilu means cradle and placing the child on the cradle on the 12th day calls for celebration. The elderly ladies sing Shobana songs and bless the child. Either sweets with some other eatable or meal used to be served. Few close relatives also give small presents to the child.

Sannayi Konopini

The child birth is normally used to take place in mother’s parent’s house. The father’s family sends certain nourishing food and some gifts on child birth which is known as Sanneyi Konopini .

Thotlale Popini

The child is normally born in mother’s house and the occasion the child is taken to father’s house is known as Thotlale Popini .

Rites on death

Rite on the day of death

The dead body is placed on the floor placing the head to south side covered with a white cloth. Both arms are placed on the chest and thumbs are tied together. Similarly, both the great-toes are also tied together. This is probably done to ensure the proper alignment of the body. A coconut is split into two and each piece filled with oil is placed on rice on both the sides of head and feet using the same for lighting lamps. Agarbatties are lit and kept on both the ends, probably to ward off any bad smell, if any.

Funeral arrangements

On death the message is passed on to all the families of the village and at least one member from each family attends the funeral rites. Erecting of the funeral pyre and managing all other related arrangements are the responsibilities of the respective village. The village Gurikaras and Madivala attend and direct the proceedings. The village Bhajan group normally performs Bhajans before and during the funeral ceremony. In some villages, free wood is supplied for the purpose of funeral. In a few cases, Grama Sabha advances money for the purpose of funeral service. In other words, village Sabha takes charge of the situation and helps the bereaved family till all functions are performed.

Last Bath etc.

Before the funeral, relatives apply coconut oil and turmeric paste mixed in coconut juice on the dead body before giving hot water bath. At village level, bath rites take place in the court-yard on a matted coconut leaf. In a place like Mumbai, it is done at the bath room or at hall (drawing room). The dead body is properly cleaned and wrapped in a new white cloth and placed on the ground. If a male dies and wife of the deceased is alive, she is allowed to place her Mangala Suthra, glass bangles etc. on the dead body. Now, this is optional and left to the lady concerned. Tulsi Hara is put on the dead body by the widow. If a female dies and husband of the deceased is alive, he applies Kunkum on the fore-head and puts a garland of Tulsi on the dead body. If lady's bridal sari is available the body is wrapped with such sari.

Last Respect

The relatives, particularly, ladies start giving Tulsi Neeru (water given with the help of a branch of Tulsi ) on the mouth of the dead body. In few cases water from river Ganga or tender coconut water are also used for this purpose. This is supposed to be the last drop of water the family gives to the dead person. The youngsters touch the feet of the body as a mark of their respect and pray for the departed soul. This practice of giving Tulsi Neeru is repeated outside the house and also at the cremation ground by different sets of mourners.

Last Journey

The body is kept on a Chatta a stretcher made of bamboo poles and mat. The body is covered with clean white cloth below and on the top. The thumb (of the hand) and toes of the legs are tied to secure the body in place while being transported to cremation ground. The relatives and friends place clothes made of cotton, silk etc. on the body. After this, flowers of different combinations are placed on the body. In some cases, auspicious colors also spread over the flowers. After this, people who cannot accompany the dead body to the crematorium give Tulsi Neeru and their last respect to the departed person.

Funeral Procession

The funeral procession starts with lifting the Chatta by the sons and nephews and the eldest son carry a pot in which fire is ignited which will be used for lighting the funeral pyre. Before leaving the premises, a coconut is taken around the body and broken into pieces. On reaching the cremation ground, a coconut is again taken around the body and smashed into ground. These rites are to ward off the evil, if any, around. The body is placed either on a raised platform near the funeral pyre or on the funeral pyre itself. The people who have not given Tulsi Neeru complete their part here.

Rites at Cremation Ground

The funeral pyre is prepared with sufficient wood. These used to be the task of the villagers in earlier days. In some villages, the wood for cremation is given free of cost or the village Sabha incurs cost of the wood and the cost recovered later. But now all these things are done by cremation ground staff at cities like Mumbai. The cloths and flowers are removed from the dead body except a white cloth. Knots tied on the thumb hand and toes are removed before the fire is lit by the son/sons and other relatives. On satisfying that the dead body is properly consumed by the fire, a prayer meeting is conducted by the relatives and friends before leaving the cremation ground. Relatives will gather Asthi (Bones) for further funeral ceremonies in an earthen pot. Normally, the Asthi is kept outside the house before it is used for subsequent funeral rites.

Saawuda Ganji             

At home, after taking bath, a simple ceremony of Saawuda Ganji (Rice gruel) with coconut chatni is shared by the immediate members of the family. This is probably to feed the family members who may not have taken food after the death in the family. In a few cases, a lamp is lit and a glass of water is kept in the corner of the room where the person expired. Now it is a practice to keep a photo of the deceased and a lamp lighted before in till the final rites are performed.

Kara/Phile on Death

On the death of a member of the family, the entire family is expected to observe Kara/Phile for 16 days during this period they are not expected to visit temple and also not to attend auspicious ceremony. This is observed by families who worship in a common Mane Daiva in spite of the fact they may be residing in different places.

Bonda Kathedi Dipini

If the funeral takes place at village, on the fifth day, the sand/soil (including Asthi ) around the funeral site is gathered into a mound and on the sand/soil/ Asthi mound a Tulsi used to be planted. The son of the departed person carries a tender coconut on his head and places it before the sand/soil mound which is known as Bonda Kadthed Dipini . The Gurikara or an elderly person would say the prayer and the water from the tender coconut are poured on the sand/soil mound by the son. This rite cannot be performed in a city like Mumbai as funeral pyre in cremation ground is being used immediately by other people. However, a few perform this rite at their building compound with limited resources and dispose of the sand, Asthi and remains of tender coconut in nearby sea or in a clean water body.

Rituals on 13th/16th day

Calculation of the 13th/16th day from the date of death is either from the date of death or from the date the funeral takes place which cannot be said with certainty. In the case of the person who is the eldest in the family, the final rites normally take place on or after 16th day. In other cases, the same may be on 13th day. Normally, immediate family members of the deceased person do not enter temple etc. up to 16th day.

Ritual at Home

In the morning, the immediate family members gather to start the last rites by placing Baare (raw plantain) Bambe (stem of plantain plant), Kumbuda, (pumpkin), Ash Gourd (white pumpkin) etc. on a coconut mat and ladies from the family circle around the same cutting the vegetable. These rites are supervised by the ladies from Gurikara houses and lady from village Madivala. Thereafter, the same are cut for the purpose of cooking. The ash gourd and pumpkin are used for Koddel (Saambar) and raw plantain and stem of plantain plant are used for preparing dry vegetables. The Madivala of the village sprinkles water and attends to shaving and haircuts of the family members.

Rituals at the funeral site

On this day, at the site of funeral, a structure called Doope is erected by the Madivala of the village. The Doope i s normally, a small square structure with a roof folding in the top. However, in some case, particularly, in the case of rich and famous, special Doope used to be erected with multiple structures supported by a main pole. This used to be done to show the status of the family.

Doopeda Nuppu

The sons will take bath and wear a clean white dhoti and a Shal (Shawl) covering his upper body. The village Madivala (Barbar) used to be present during these rites. The food prepared by using the vegetables cut in the morning is ceremoniously put on a large plate by all the immediate members of the family. This serving of the food to the departed person is supposed to be the first offering to the departed soul. The son of the departed person sits on the outer step of the house and either widow of the deceased person or the eldest lady of the house, place the food plate on the white cloth covered head of the son. The son of departed person carries food and places it before the Doope . A custom was prevalent earlier in which two sons carried the Doopeda Nuppu in a palanquin. Thereafter, the relatives, one by one place a portion of the food on a plantain leaf placed in the Doope which is known as Doopeg Nuppubadunu. After offering prayer to the departed soul and others, Madiwala would sprinkle water around the Doope and the rituals end. Before entering the house Madivala again sprinkles water on the heads of people to purify them.

Ritual known as Ulai Leppunu

In the night, members of the family of departed person pray to the departed soul to join his ancestors by offering Mithari/ Misiri . In this ritual the non-vegetarian food is also used in Agel and served to family members etc.

Kale Kola

Kale Kola is performed rarely and only by rich people. This ritual is performed only when an elderly person dies. Now, it is not performed except as an exception. Therefore, this is discussed after the normal funeral rituals are first discussed.

Main Purpose

In a case of death of an elderly person who commands lot of respect, all family members wish to see and hear him before the death. In many a cases, this desire of the family members are not fulfilled as the elderly person expires before all could reach his death bed. It is said that Kale Kola is the means in which the ‘Pretha’ (departed soul) of the dead person is invited and his advice can be heard by the family members. This ritual was even earlier performed rarely and that too by rich people as it require lot of money and time.

Preparation for Kale Kola

The main performers are about four Panaras (Pambadas) who are the main Dashan dancers in Kola Seva . They are invited by the bereaved family one day in advance of the day of final rites. They are given Veelya (Betel leaves & areca nut) which is similar to awarding a contract. They are also given Padi food items for their dinner consisting of coconut, vegetables, such as, Bareda Kai (raw plantain), Banbe (middle portion of plantain plant), Karu Kumbuda , (white pompkin), etc. After receipt of these, Panaras start their preparation for next day’s rituals. Paad-danas are sung and they start applying colors and putting on of their respective costumes.

Principal participants

Two persons put on the attires as Bhanta which is similar to the dress code in Kola with red cloths, head gears, shredded coconut leaves tied on the waist and ‘Gaggara’ (a metal object) on their feet. They are the first to come to the designated place and start Narthana (dances) to the tune of music. A few hours later, another participant attiring himself as a ‘horse’ joins the earlier dancers. This continues for a while. Finally, Kale Kola ‘Pretha’ attired in black clothes and black paints (looking like a ghost) first goes around the whole area with deafening roar and shouting imitating a lost soul. Afterwards, Kale Kola ‘ Pretha’ also comes to the designated place and joins them in Narthana for a while.

Assurance & advice to the family

The Narthana ritual is stopped and the Kale Kola ‘Pretha’ starts addressing the family members. The normal practice is to assure the bereaved family that the departed soul would continue to bless the family and exhorts the family to stay together and carry on the family tradition.

Closing rituals

All the four participants in the Kale Kola then proceed to either sea or river to take bath. The bereaved family members can also take bath thereafter. This will normally be over before midday and all the other rituals at home and funeral site will be attended. Final act of Kale Kola ‘Pretha’ is to place two sticks used during the Narthana beside the Doope which is normally a larger.

(incorporating multiple stages) than the normal one. The Kale Kola participants will be paid their agreed compensation. But, all the family members are also expected to give some amount etc. to the participants as the last payment they make to their departed soul.

Present day rituals

After our people accepted the Vedic ways of worship, all the rites relating to the funeral up to the final rites are still performed according to our old customs. However, the 13th/16th day rites are supplemented by Thila Homa in the morning by Brahmin priests. In many a cases the custom of erecting Dhoope etc. is given up as it is not practicable. The last day rites are normally conducted in a temple or at a spacious hall to avoid inconveniences to the family people.

KakkegeNuppu Dipini

Dhoopege Nuppu Dipini is substituted by Kakkege Nuppu Dipini (feeding the crow).  A system of Kakkege Nuppu Dipini is prevalent now. Here, either the food prepared at home or prepared by a contractor at a religious place are ceremoniously placed on a plate and the son of the deceased person carries it into an open place to offer it to crow. The food served is generally vegetarian. At night, the family of deceased generally continues with the ritual known as Ulai Leppunu at home. Here non-vegetarian food is served.

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