Badagas

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The Badagas (Tamil: படகா, Badaga: ப:டகா:, Badaga) are an indigenous people inhabiting the Nilgiri Hills of Tamil Nadu, southern India. The term 'Badagu' in old Tamil means 'North', so 'Badaga' should mean 'Northerner'. They form the largest community in the Nilgiri region, with a population of approximately 350,000 encompassing some 370-odd villages and smaller settlements.[1].

They are most likely Dravidian by descent and they are by religion Hindus of the Saiva sect. There is no clear picture of their migration although many research suggest many things like the badaga migration occurred somewhere around 1000 years ago. The first badaga king was known as "Kalarajan".

They are an agricultural people and far the most numerous and wealthy of the hilly area people. Many have relocated to towns and cities of the region, and earn income from urban-style employment.

Their language is Badaga.

Contents

Origin of the Badagas

History of the Badagas

Natives of the Nilgiris

Physical anthropology

As per anthropological research done by Edgar Thurston Badagas had an average cephalic index of 71.7[2] and an average nasal index of 75.6.[3]

Unique Aspects

Traditional Attire

Music and Dance

References

Further reading

  • J. W. Breeks (1873), An Account of the Primitive Tribes of the Nilgiris; Nilgiri Manual, vol. i. pp. 218–228; Madras Journ. of Sci. and Lit. vol. viii. pp. 103–105; Madras Museum Bulletin, vol. ii., no. i, pp. 1–7.
  • Hockings, P. (1988). Counsel from the ancients, a study of Badaga proverbs, prayers, omens and curses. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Hockings, P. (1989). The cultural ecology of the Nilgiris District. In P. Hockings (Ed.), Blue Mountains: The ethnography and biogeography of a South Indian region (pp. 360–376). New Delhi and New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Hockings, P. (1999). Kindreds of the earth: Badaga household structure and demography. New Delhi and Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Hockings, P. (2001). Mortuary ritual of the Badagas of Southern India. (Fieldiana, Anthropology, n.s., 32.) Chicago: Field Museum of Natural History.
  • Jayaprakash.B,. Wg.Cdr.(2009). Badagas of the Blue Mountains [1]
  • Balasubramaniam,B. (2009). Paame - the history and culture of the Badagas of the Nilgiris. Elkon Press,Bangalore [2]

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