Where can we find this community?
The Koraga are a tribal community found mainly in the Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Uttara Kannada, Shimoga and Kodagu districts of Karnataka and the Kasaragod district of Kerala, South India. These Areas in Karnataka are altogether often referred to as Tulu Nadu.
- Government of India has classified this community as a Scheduled Tribe(ST)
- Language: They speak the independent Dravidian language, which is strongly influenced by Tulu, Kannada, Malayalam, languages commonly found in their area.
- Religion: They follow the Hindu religion, they also worship spirits known as Bhutas(a supernatural creature) as well as some devas and a sun god.
- Social system:
- They used to practice a form of matrilineal inheritance known as Aliya Santana, the Koraga may now be patrilineal (Makkala Santana).
- Koraga practice endogamy with regard to their three main subdivisions, the Sappina, Ande and Kappada Koraga.
- Each of the three subdivisions are further divided into clans known as balis, and they do not marry within their own clan
- Cultural practice: Koraga community is known for drum-beating (dollu or dolu beating) and it is one of their important cultural contributions. They used to beat dolu during events such as Kambala
- Ajalu practice: Koraga community were subjected to a practice known as ajalu, which the Government of Karnataka defined as “differentiating Koraga people and persons belonging to other communities, treating them as inferior human beings, mixing hair, nails and other inedible obnoxious substances in the food and asking them to eat that food and to make them to run like buffaloes before the beginning of Kambala.“This practice has been considered to be inhumane and was prohibited in 2000 by the Karnataka Koragas (Prohibition of Ajalu Practice) Act,2000.