Category Archives: Sayee Gettha

Saigeeta Geetha Photos.

Saigeetha Report

January 2013 report

In January, the folk songs were collected.  To understand the stories in those folk songs, or any folk literature, one must know the matriarchal family system  prevailing in Tulunad.

In Matriarchal Family System of Tulunad, the  sisters of a man, children of his sisters, their daughters and daughters’ children are considered as  the family but not  like the Patriarchal Family System where, wife, children, grandchildren of a man  makes a family.  In matriarchal family system, if a man adopts a female child, that child is either considered as his sister or as sister’s daughter or granddaughter and not as his own child.  Here, the matriarchal and patriarchal family systems are totally different from one another.  In the patriarchal family system, father, son and grandson all three are considered as three generations of the same family.  But in Matriarchal Family System, father, son and grandson will be from three different families, because their mothers are from different families.


Brief Story of Karnage Paddana

Mayinda Hegde of Mattar Beedu marries the sister of Maapu Parander, Baare Parandedi  of Malar Beedu.   They did not get any issues, so, they vowed to God Kolyur Shankaranarayana   and their family deity ‘Jumadi’ of Malar Beedu.  After sometime, Baare Parandedi conceived and she wanted her brother to be there with her at the time of her delivery.  As soon as he comes, she gave birth to a baby girl and lost her breath.   Brother of the deceased, Maapu Parander decided to take the child home, because it is his family member which was opposed by his wife.   Ignoring his wife’s opinion, he started bring up the child at Malar Beedu naming her “Karnage”.


One day Maapu Parander went as a jury for a village court at a distant village. He told his niece Karnage to prepare food for him on his return.  She agrees and took the vegetables from the vegetable garden under the supervision of ‘Jumadi’ in the backyard without getting his permission to take.  Jumadi gets angry about her attitude.  Without knowing that she has committed a mistake by ignoring Jumadi, she started cooking the food.  When her uncle returned, she asked him to have the food and started serving it.   Due to the anger of Jumadi, he found stones and hair in the food served for him.  He was angry and slapped on Karnage.  She ran to her room and locked inside where Jumadi eluded (make her to disappear) her.  Jumadi made her flesh to be found on a leaf  to her maternal uncle and says that he felt very bad  of the torture given by her  aunt ‘Kapura’ and that is the reason why he made Karnage to disappear.

In the last part of the folk song, Maapu Parander calls his wife as ‘Kalamma’, but it should be ‘Kapura’ as per Mrs. Bhavani.

Jumadi deity is normally dresses like a lady on the upper part, but considered as the male deity in paddanans.   This reveals the combination of softness towards his devotees and rudeness towards arrogant people.

A detailed description is given about the tasty cooking of Karnage, her style of cooking, the style of Maapu Parander getting ready for food etc in Karnage Paddana.


Brief Story of Pili Chandi Paddana

Manju Poonja of Karambaranna lineage of Bunts Community sells his ornaments and collects the money to get the ruling rights of his area from the King of Puttige Dynasty.  He gets the ruling rights of Tumbejala Guthu, the land of which was very fertile and yields good crops.   Even though he gets very good yield from the paddy field, the whole was robbed by the thieves.  He wanted to protect his assets  from the thieves and asks his brother in law (sister’s husband) to  lend his  family deity ‘Pili Chandi’, which is very powerful and favourite to him against money.  For the sake of money he gives ‘Pilichandi’ to Manju Poonja and later Manju Poonja started performing ritual rites of Pilichandi as his family deity.

In this Paddana, rural agricultural events are very effectively propagated along with the divine power of  ‘Pilichamundi’.


Brief story of Potte Panjurli Paddana

Due to some misunderstanding with his maternal uncle, Duggana Baidya left his maternal house and moves to another village with his family (sisters and sisters’ daughters).  He finds shelter under Korattaya Ballalti with his family deity ‘Potte Panjurli’.  He becomes rich.  He gave shelter to the people of Kudubi Community emigrated from Goa.  The people of Mairodi Guthu who tells the untruth for betel lime container, fell seriously ill due to the divine power of Potte Panjurli.  Duggna Baidya, rushes to Mairodi Guthu ignoring the suggestion of Potte Panjurli, treats them and prays for their recovery.  They are all recovered from their illness and while returning from Mairodi Guthu, Duggana Baidya fells down by the side of the Paddy field and found dead.

Here, we can see the supreme power of the deity as well as the spreading of the family in different ways.   Binding of the deity through magical powers and reviving from the magical power is well described in this Paddana.  It is assumed that this paddana  may be of 15 – 16 century i.e at the time of Portuguese in India, because the reference to the cradling on the Cashew tree and the immigration of Kudubi Community from Goa.


February 2013 report

The Folk Ballads were collected in February.  ‘Addoora Debe’ paddana and was successfully recorded by Mrs.  Bhavani .The Kattadaltaya Paddnana , Kootattaje Ullalti Paddana and paddana of Kings of Udyavara was recorded and the photographs were taken.  After finishing the recording process, she has been dropped to her home.

“Ulavoora Eramane” folk ballad,Panjurli  Paddana,Nagakannika Paddana was recorded later.

As Mrs. Bhavani ‘s presence is needed in the ‘Balandi  Utsav’  at her place, she was not available for recording after February 22nd.  But on Feb. 25th, on the day of festival rituals, I recorded her participation in the community work.  The recording was done after getting the permission to record only “communal rituals for a short period”.  This topic is the part of the field work to be done in the month of April.

The information collected through audio & video recording and from the media is in the process of written form.  First of all, it was written in Tulu language in Kannada script and later the transcription was done.

Brief story and Analysis of the information collected in the month of February:

  1. 1.      Addora Debe:  Deru Baidya of Addoor Sana House went for local cock fighting game at Pural Bari Mandap with his peers.  They had to cross the river to reach the place.  The Boat man/Ferryman agreed to get them to the other side only if they given him the ‘Sasra Bolle’ cock , they are going to win in the game.   It is a custom that the first won cock should be cooked and offered to the deity and the ancestors of the family.  The same is told to the boatman, but he was stuck to his condition.  Finally, Deru baidya agreed if it could be cooked in his pan.  Then the boatman ferried them across the river.

Birumana Baidya puts a condition that, to take part in the cock fighting game, Deru Baidya has to give his sister on marriage to him.  Agreed to the condition, Deru baidya won the game.  While returning, Deru Baidya gives the won cock to the boatman as promised, but the cock flew away from the boiling pot and later it was cooked and offered to the deity and the ancestors of Deru Baidya.

To keep the promise given to Birumana Baidya, Deru Baidya prays deity Jumadi  to bring his sister  Debe, who had already married, from her husband’s house.  As per the directions of Jumadi in her dreams, Debe divorced her husband and came to her brother.  Deru Baidya gives Debe to Brimana Baidya on marriage.

At Birumana Baidya’s house, Debe cooked food and served it using her super natural power.   She started for a reception and while crossing a tunnel, Jumadi   makes her to disappear.

  1. 2.     Kattadaltaya Paddana:

In Kolakebail Family, the head of the Family, Derattikarival finds a hidden treasure pot in his ancestor’s property.  He wanted to give the same to King Ramerullaya.  Instead of gold and diamonds, there was a deity in the treasure.  He placed the deity on the southern side of his house and started worshiping.  Once he owed to the deity that if he provides water for his big field, he would construct a shrine for the deity.  The deity appears in his dreams and instructs him to construct a dam across the river nearby and assures him of strongly preserving the dam.  He gets enough water for his fields.  On this pleasure, he constructed a shrine at the dam itself and called the deity”Kattadaltaya”.



  1. 3.     Kutattaje Ullalti:

In Kutaje family house, the grandfather gets a new born granddaughter.  The child was brought up very carefully.   After owing to the deity, she attains her puberty and after 9 months, she gave birth to a child with super natural powers.  To name the child, they took the baby to the King of Mangalore where he was named as “Bale Bantaalve”.  Just after naming, the baby suddenly grows and while returning he disappears along his mother.

  1. 4.     Kings of Udyavara:

Two brothers who appeared in the middle of seven seas were brought to Udyavara.  When they became young, the shaving ceremony was done by calling a barber from outside.  After that, they started on a tour.   The conflict raised between them was set right by Mudadaya deity.  They obliged to him by giving Mudadaya Deity the same status of them and they are now called as Three Kings of  Udyavara Mada.


1) A lengthy note is given on cock fighting and cooking in Addoora Debe. Debe kept aside her marital life for the sake of her brother, but deru baidya takes her as granted to keep his words. An illustration of marital divorce in tulu culture is given in this text. Here debe had to brief ‘bara’ (divorce) with each and everyone at home and the chief person of the village too.

While regaining the ‘sasra bolle’ cock and twisting the life of debe like anything the supernatural power of ‘jumadi daiva’ is shown.

2) Derattikarival is sincere in offering the treasure pot which he got from the ancestral property to the king. The ballad illustrates the real wish of an agriculturist, to get the land irrigated and in return thanking the almighty through building a temple.

3) Matrilineal system of tulu culture treats a girl child like anything and the kutaje ullalti paddana describes the baby girl as she is the gold of the family and her being itself decorated the lineage. Her unnatural child is also treated as the supernatural one and the king himself treated and recognized it in the society in a better way by naming the child.

4) The illustrations of the seas in the last paddana tell us the heroes might come from some island. The ritual of shaving and cutting hair is also illustrated.  The mediator mundittaya daiva, who made the two brothers rejoin, is also treated as equal with the kings in udyavara mada.The singer’s total involvement in the ballad sung is noted at the time of recording.



Excerpts from March 2013 report

The folk ballads were collated in the second half of March 2013.

On 21st in the afternoon, I went to her place, at the time she was ready and I took her to my house. The collection of folk ballads started by resuming the Siri Epic

On 25th of March, Mr. Amudan came from Chennai with his assistant Karthik, for documentation. In the afternoon we went to collaborator’s house. The information about Pambada community and its occupation was given to him. After shooting the important things and gathering of information we visited my ancestral house Thokur Guthu, the old house which has the history of 1400 years and also the work place of my collaborator’s family.

In the evening of the same day the impersonating of the spirits by collaborator’s elder son and grandson was shown to Mr. Amudan in Paladka, which is 40 Kms. far from Mangalore. The folk epics are not sung at the time of impurity. Therefore the fieldwork was postponed. From 17th February to 27th March the Siri Epic was recorded. The style of recitation of Siri Epic is different from other ballads. The collaborator did not participate in any Siri rituals, but had seen it. She had learnt the ballads from one of her aunts, and with her work companions she used to sing them in paddy fields. There was restriction to sing it for some extent because the impersonators might be impersonated by singing the ballad itself. The collaborator does not have the touch of singing this epic for a long time of more than fifteen years. So she requested a lady who has the experience in Siri rituals, to help her to recall the epic, but could not get it

It is noted that uncollected ballads are there more than the collected ballads with the collaborator. The remaining parts of ‘Udyavara arasu’, ‘Panjurli’ should be collected and ‘Kotichennaya’, ‘Jarandaya’ were not touched yet. The information collected through audio & video recording and from the media is in the process of written form.  First of all, it was written in Tulu language in Kannada script and later the transcription was done. The ballads of “Ulavura Eramane”, “Panjurli” and “Nagakannike” which were collected in the month of February are transliterated and transcribed in this month.

The collaborator said that the ‘Nagakannike’ ballad is sung at the time of Nagamandala. To authenticate it the published ballads were undergone.

Excerpts from April 2013 report

‘Work experience of the Community Elder in her community profession’ was the title of the study for the month of April. It is necessary to go to collaborator’s village festival and find their work there. So I went to Perara Balandi shrine which is in the distance of 25 km. from Mangalore city. February 25th, on the day of festival, and her participation in the community work was recorded.  For this purpose, we had to be there from 5 pm till 11.50 pm. The recording was done after getting the permission to record “only communal rituals for a short period”.Collaborator’s son impersonated ‘balaandi’ deity and collaborator participated in the community occupation. It is said that because of the loud speakers, the folk ballads are not sung by Pambada women nowadays.

In the last week of March I went to the collaborator’s husband’s ancestral house, which is in Perara village with Mr. Amudan and Karthik from Chennai and my son Mr. Pradyoth Hegde. The same day, on 26th evening, we four went to Paladka village, which is 50 km. from Mangalore city. There was the ritual of sending the evil out of the village. Collaborator’s elder son and grandson were participating in the ritual as spirit impersonators. Till 1 am we were there. Mr. Amudan and Mr. Karthik started to Honnavar at 1.00am and both of us towards Mangalore.

On 21st and 22nd April 2013 there was a village festival in Thokur village in Mangalore Taluk where collaborator’s family members perform their community occupation. I went there on 21st afternoon to watch the proceedings of the rituals.

I went to collaborator’s place, pick her and took her to the work place, the village deity ‘Jarandaya’ shrine. Her family members already came directly from their offices. In the evening, the Pambadas start their work of preparing the decorating things for the festival. In the shrine yard itself I interviewed the collaborator to get the information about skilled things made by her community members. By the tender fronds they prepare ‘aNi’ and the ‘tiri’ which is tied around the waist of the spirit impersonator.In the whole night the festival was going on, the son and grandson of the collaborator performed the main roles in the same.

In the morning, after the festival got over, collaborator went to her house with her family members at around 8.30am. The field work was not done after that as the collaborator needed rest. Her age and health are interrupting the study process now and then.

Tulu is a major minority language of Karnataka thickly populated in Coastal Karnataka, northern Kerala. The undivided Dakshina Kannada District of Karnataka and the northern part of Kerala have the single culture, and together they are called as Tulunadu from the ancient period. The borders of Tulunad vary time to time as per the political tendency.

Spirit worship (daivaaaraadhane) is the unique ritual in the whole Tulunadu unlike other places of Karnataka. There are the daivas of the place, house, family, village and group of villages and so on. There are some communities who impersonate the spirits in the yearly of owed rituals. Pambada, Panara, Nalke community have the occupation of spirit impersonating. Pambadas impersonate only the village deities and their family deity.

In the village festival each and every community of the village participate and render their duties there which are rendered by their forefathers. Mostly Bunt manor house (Guthu) takes the leadership of the festival and under the direction of the headman (Yajaman) the festival take place. In the olden days the property was given to the main participants of the rituals called ‘umbali’, so the place name of the collaborator’s is ‘Pambadara kodi’ which had come to them as ‘umbali’. In the special occasions like Krishnashtami, Vinayaka Chaturthi, Parba the community people comes to the manor house to collect rice and coconut to celebrate the festivals. Nowadays after the performance of the village festival, the headman pays the salary for the performers including Pambadas.

As observed in the fieldwork of ‘Thokur bandi’, Pambada takes permission to render his duty as spirit impersonator by taking ‘padiyari’ and ‘ennebuulya’. By keeping ‘sutye’ the worship starts and in my opinion it is the offering to the deity, but not for the vedic god Ganapati.

Pambada starts reciting the folk ballad of the deity ‘jarandaya sandi’ with the beating of the drum called ‘karade’.

After having food, the two men starts facial make up and dress by the red clothe called ‘melangi’ and ‘karangi’. The ‘gaggaradecci’ is performed and it represents the deity is ready to assure the villagers as it protect them from the evil.‘maanyecci’ is performed by the Poojary assisted by the other one and at this time the royal prestige is shown by holding the ‘panca jiitige’, ‘bolgude’ and ‘asurgode’.

The full dressed spirit impersonator comes now. The audience feels they are in the other world with the dim light of the fire torch and the unique dressing of the impersonator with the special background music. In the ‘nudikatt’ the deity assures the protection of the villagers.

‘Bandi’- Jarandaya has Horse chariot and it represents that a warrior or the ruler is worshiped as a protector.

After returning from the place, ‘badikara bali’ was done. Then the ‘nudikatt’ starts. Disputes of the people are judged, moral strength is given and the medicin to some sickness are directed by the deity at this time. All the villages take the ‘buulya’ from the spirit impersonator and by giving the food and drink deity disperse from the human body.

The deity called ‘jumaadi’ is impersonated now and the crocodile chariot is pulled. This represents the spirit had come through the river branch. It is told that only in Thokur the crocodile chariot is there as in other places ‘jumadi’ has the pig chariot.


’Padiyari’ and ‘ennebulya’ represent the responsibility of food and cooling. The body of the community should be looked after by the head man of the village.

The collaborator’s residing place was given as ‘umbali’. The villagers worshipthe spirit of the protectors of their forefathers.For the villagers ‘daivaradhane’ is an entertainment, and also acts as a medicine to cure the sickness and to get the moral strength and the judicial court of the village.





  1. a?i                      : A kind of ornamental halo-like structure made of areca spathes,   cloth, tender   fronds of coconut or metal materials and worn on the back by the spirit impersonator.
  2.  baaloli                : A coconut covered by the tender coconut fronds in a unique style and tied to the top of pendal above the alter. It is believed that this represents the head of the spirit which will be impersonated later.
  3. ennebuulya           : A ritual of appointing or authorizing the impersonator of the deity to perform the ritualistic dance.
  4. ma??ela                : washer man
  5. muga                     : A face mask of the deity made of metal.
  6. mugaTi mu?i         : the wooden holder of ‘muga’ which is used to tie to ‘a?i’ at time of ‘mugatta ecci’
  7. muulya puujaari   : the person who has the duties of bringing the mask and other objects of worship to the place of annual festival of the village deity.
  8. pa?iyari                 : Acceptance of rice as a token of undertaking the responsibility of a ritual performance by spirit impersonators.
  9. pambada               :  a community which has the occupation of participating and impersonating the spirits in the annual rituals of the village deities.

10. panca jiiTige          : A bunch of five torches (made of cloth soaked in oil) fixed to a single handle. To hold this in front of any one represents offering the royal status.

11. puujaari                 : the priest who belongs to toddy drawer (biruva) community.

12. sutye                      : rice and coconut kept on a plantain leaf as the offering to the deity in the auspicious ceremonies.

13. tiri/siri                   : the tender fronds of coconut tree. This is used as the decorating material in the spirit worship of Tulunad.

14. umbali/umboli       : The land granted without rent for the performance of certain services.


27 Community elder Smt. Bhavani

BhavaniName                                   : Bhavani
Husband’s name                 : Guruvappa pambada
Father’s name                      : Aitha Pambada
Mothers’ name                    : Mulli
Marital status                       : Widow
Age                                      : 70 years
Children                                 5 (3 female+2 male)
Languages known               :Tulu, Kannada, Byari

Education                             : Nil
Address                               : ‘Gurukripa’
Pambadara kodi, Padu perara post
Mangalore – 574 142

Contact  numbers :             9481977191/7411727383

She knows the tradition and rituals of the culture of her community along with tuluva culture. The oral literature including the folk stories, folk songs, folk ballads are known. She also knows the folk medicine. The folk arts like making of mats, baskets and some other things prepared by the fronds of coconut tree are known.

She used to help her husband and children in their traditional occupation as a back singer and a helper to prepare the things from tender fronds of coconut tree which is used in the perfomance of bhuta ritual.

She was the resource person for a programme of kannada mattu samskriti ilakhe, karnataka govt. In 2008.

Award: Karnataka janapada academy award in the year 2011