Kodagu: home of the Kodavas shown above in the map of Karnataka, India (in orange)
The Kodava or Coorg language (Kannada script: ಕೊಡವ ತಕ್ಕ್ Kodava takk, meaning 'speech of Kodavas', in the Kodava language) is a Dravidian language and the original language of the Kodagu district in southern Karnataka, India. The term Kodava has two related usages. Firstly, it is the name of the Kodava language and culture followed by a number of communities from Kodagu. Secondly, within the Kodava - speaking communities and region (Kodagu) it describes the dominant Kodava caste. Hence, it is not only the primary language of Kodavas but also of a large number of other castes and tribes in Kodagu. The Kodava language has two dialects: Mendele (spoken in Northern and Central Kodagu, i.e. outside Kodagu's Kiggat naad) and Kiggat (spoken in Kiggat naad, in Southern Kodagu).
Proto Tamil-Kodagu, Origin of Kodagu language (Kodava takk)
Linguistically, Kodava language shows some deviations from other Dravidian languages. For instance, most Dravidian languages have 5 short and 5 long vowels. Kodava has two more vowels, namely the close central unrounded vowel /ɨ/ and the mid central unrounded vowel /ɘ̞/, which can likewise be short and long (Balakrishnan 1976). These peculiarities and distinctness of the language had attracted the attention of scholars from the sixteenth century. However, they did not consider Kodava an independent language. It was considered as a dialect of Kannada, closer to Tulu (Ellis 1816), or closely related to Malayalam and Tamil (Moegling 1855). It was in early 20th century that the philologists and linguists recognized it as an independent language. It is closely related to and influenced by Tulu, Kannada, Malayalam, and Tamil. A majority of the words are common between Kodava and Beary bashe, a dialect which is a mixture of Tulu and Malayalam spoken by the Beary and Belchada community. I
Family histories, rituals and other records were scripted on palm leaves called Pattole (patt=palm, ole=leaf) by astrologers in the ancient times. When Kodava was written, it was usually with Kannada script, sometimes with minor modifications, and sometimes in the Malayalam script as well. The folk songs of the Kodavas, called the Palame (also known as the Balo Patt or Dudi Patt), were orally transmitted across several generations. The language had no significant written literature until the twentieth century. Appaneravanda Hardas Appachcha Kavi, a playwright, and Nadikerianda Chinnappa, a folk compiler, are the two important poets and writers of Kodava language. Other important writers in the language were B D Ganapathy and I M Muthanna.
The Pattole Palame, a collection of Kodava folksongs and traditions compiled in the early 1900s by Nadikerianda Chinnappa, was first published in 1924. The most important Kodava literature, it is said to be one of the earliest, if not the earliest, collection of the folklore of a community in an Indian language. Nearly two thirds of the book consists of folksongs that were handed down orally through generations, sung even today during marriage and death ceremonies and during festivals relating to the seasons and in honour of local deities and heroes. Traditionally known as Balo Pat, these songs are sung by four men who beat dudis (drums) as they sing. Kodava folk dances are performed to the beat of many of these songs. The Pattole Palame was written using the Kannada script originally; it has been translated into English by Boverianda Nanjamma and Chinnappa, grandchildren of Nadikerianda Chinnappa, and has been published by Rupa & Co., New Delhi.
The Kodava Cinema industry is very small. A few movies portraying the native culture and traditions of the Kodavas have been produced in this language. The first Kodava film 'Nada Mann Nada Kool' was directed by S.R.Rajan and produced in the year 1972.
Names of family members
||Appa/ Ayya/ Pappa/ Appayya
||Thatha / Daddappayya
||Avvayya / Avva / Thaayi /Thathi
|Maternal Uncle / Paternal Aunt's husband
||Mama / Mava
|Maternal Uncle's wife / Paternal Aunt
||Mavi / Mayi
|Eldest Paternal Uncle / Eldest Maternal Aunt's husband
||Baliappa / Doddappa
|Eldest Paternal Uncle's wife / Eldest Maternal Aunt
||Baliavva / Doddavva
|Elder Paternal Uncle / Elder Maternal Aunt's husband
|Elder Paternal Uncle's wife / Elder Maternal Aunt
||Bojavva / Bojamma
|Younger Paternal Uncle / Younger Maternal Aunt's husband
|Younger Paternal Uncle's wife/ Younger Maternal Aunt
||Kunjavva / Kunjamma
|Youngest Paternal Uncle / Youngest Maternal Aunt's husband
|Youngest Paternal Uncle's wife/ Youngest Maternal Aunt
||Cheriavva / Cheriamma
||Mavi / Mayi
|brother-in-law (elder) / cross-cousin (elder, brother) / lineal cousin (elder, sister)'s husband
|sister-in-law (elder)/ cross-cousin (elder, sister) / lineal-cousin (elder, brother)'s wife
|brother (elder) / lineal cousin (elder brother) / cross-cousin (elder, sister)'s husband
|sister (elder) / lineal-cousin (elder, sister) / cross-cousin (elder, brother)'s wife
Numbers (1 to 10)
||Curry (English origin from Tamil Karri)
||I will Come (Farewell Greeting)
||How are you?
||Mango (English origin from Malayalam Māṅge)
The Kodava months are named after the Signs of the Zodiac. Thus Cingyaar (from Simha or Lion) is named after the constellation Leo and so on.
Comparative table showing corresponding months of other calendars
|Months in Kodava
||Malayalam calendar (Northern Malabar system)
||Sign of Zodiac
||Edavam / Idavam
The days of the week in the Kodava calendar, like other systems, are based on the names of the planets.
Comparative table showing corresponding weekdays
- R A Cole, "An Elementary Grammar of the Coorg Language"
Times of India
Tue, 26 Jan 2016 22:26:37 -0800
Dheeraj loves Kodagu, and speaks the Kodava language, but since he spent most of his childhood in Army schools, he is more fluent in English and Hindi,"laughs Chengappa. Dheeraj graduated from Delhi University and then joined the Army. Chengappa ...
Mon, 28 Sep 2015 11:34:02 -0700
One morning, I came to a place, known as Kakot Parambu, near the town of Virajpet. Parambu, meaning a holy meadow in the Kodava language, is known for its scenic beauty. The green landscape stretches over a hillock within a gateway and is visible from ...
Thu, 17 Sep 2015 04:33:39 -0700
Souring agents are such a huge part of our culinary traditions. Depending on the state and community, the “pullippu” note varies. Tamarind, kodampuli, kachampuli , kokum… all add that special tang to a dish. It's a taste that Indians acquire from ...
Wed, 29 Oct 2014 23:09:13 -0700
She has also lodged a police complaint accusing the professor of raping her on several occasions by making false promises of marriage. The student, who studies Kodava language under the varsity's Kannada Development Project, alleged that Professor ...
Times of India
Times of India
Sat, 03 Jan 2015 05:39:19 -0800
Swarathama performed fused a famous tribal track in Kodava language in their set, pleasantly surprising the local members from the audience. Solder rocked the audience on stage, at the camp site and many other places of the festival campus, making them ...
Daily News & Analysis
Sat, 12 Nov 2011 19:35:20 -0800
It is an annual fest to celebrate the first harvest of paddy. Under full moonlight, stalks of paddy are cut and joyous gunshots mark the occasion. The Kodava language is a mix of its geographical neighbours with many surprises thrown in. Malayalam ...
Sun, 05 Jan 2014 11:40:03 -0800
Haradasa Appacchha Kavi, popularly known as the Adi Kavi of Kodagu had penned many plays including 'Savithri,' 'Yayathi,' 'Kaveri' and 'Subramanya' in Kodava language. The same were translated to Kannada language by Dr I M Muttanna, who also ...
Mon, 29 Jul 2013 02:51:47 -0700
Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa College, a constituent college of the university at Madikeri, would offer the diploma and post-graduate diploma in Kodava language and culture. Any other colleges affiliated to the university can come forward to offer the ...
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