NOTES FOR PART 1
Footnotes (as in text
1. The research
reported in this paper was carried out as part of an Economic & Social Research Council project on ‘Popular Performance
and Social Change in Indian Society' (R000239063). Their financial support and practical assistance are gratefully acknowledged,
as also the support of the University of Hyderabad at which it was based, and in particular its Department of Sociology.
2. Yakshagana flourished in court
circles in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and subsequently developed rather differently in the Telugu, Tamil
and Karnataka regions (Satyanarayana 1983,151-52,439-41; Rao & Shulman 1991; Bapat 1998).
This was derived from a performance set up for recording in 1994. The performers were selected members of local troupes and
the version offered appears to have been thought out in terms of the perceived audience and purpose. The original translations
from the Telugu text used here were made by I. Narasaiah. He co-authored the preliminary reading on which the present paper
summary that follows is based mainly on the published text of a three-hour performance (Venkateswarlu 1997; Charsley &
McCormack (1959, pp 123-24) reports a Virasaiva Devipurana from Karnataka which includes a similar narrative. Eggs, with varied
contents and uses for their shells, are a major cosmogonic theme.
The worship of personal lingams, the symbol of Shiva, points to a link with Virasaivism. In a later re-capping of this incident,
one particular lingam protecting his life is distinguished. This also fell down, but he appointed another son, Sangaiah, the
progenitor of the Nulakachandaiah caste gurus, to protect it (Venkateswarlu 1997, 29).
These would be examples of satellite castes: Gouda Jettis are indeed today the tellers of the Toddy Tappers' caste myth
in the region, but other Jettis are not currently known.
Relationships with Gollas - often keen to be known today as Yadavas - are found in a variety of contexts. For the village
performance, a major and essential item of costume, the gajjela lāgu, shorts with bells attached, were borrowed
from Yadavas locally.
10. This is
the subject of Lakshana Parinayam, a yakshagana which is a favourite of Madigas.
Sri Virabrahmam, popularly known as Brahmamgāru, and his doctrines live on as a centre for pilgrimage and one of the
most popular subjects for yakshaganas and other dramatic genres in Andhra Pradesh. [See Chapter 7 below].
12. That Madigas have the service of Brahmans in this
respect is taken for granted.
See Briggs 1953, 44-49, and Parry 1994, 25-26.
[Several notes in the margins, probably in the same hand, follow in the original manuscript: see also notes 15-19 following.
Here:] ‘Puttinchinár : they created, 3rd person plural past tense'.
‘Kudupa: - foetus. kudu munuchu: to assume'.
‘a priest or great personage'.
‘Madi is the goddess of the Chucklars. It is probably Máya or illusion, hence Mádiga or Chucklar'.
18. ‘corruption of Janaka'.
19. ‘Lúlu is the word in the original.
In the Sanskrit Lulupa signifies a buffaloe'.
The meaning is that nothing can be in the world without them.
The meaning is that the Chucklers supplied the Iron Smiths with a pair of bellows.
23. This original word
is said to have been corrupted into ‘Mádiga', a Chuckler.
26. [See pp 34-38:
Perantalu worship is discussed, and the 5-day festival of the village goddess Usuramma at Pokuru, Kandakuru taluk of Nellore
district. The pujari belongs to the Shepherd caste and on the third day there is an impersonation of goddess Gangamma by a
male of of the pujari family] ‘proceeded by a Madiga horn-blower' [and receiving offerings. Kommu vandlu
are the story-tellers who] ‘recite the Shepherds' Purana, and at the close of each line the people shout and throw
a little food into the air for the spirits and demons.' [On the evening of the fifth day,] ‘this time a Madiga being
disguised as a warrior. He enacts scenes from the Purana, his chief feat being to cut off a pith post with a sword. After
this he leaps and dances about the temple while the shopkeepers press him to take presents, hoping thus to secure good luck.
And so comes to a close the worship of Usuramma, with its many sports from the olden times, and its slight touch of a severer
worship' [i.e. hook-swinging and sacrificing].
Endnotes (editorial additions)
a) Jambava and his sons are often called muni, commonly
translated ‘sage', with connotations overlapping with those of the title Rsi (Rishi): Rishi Agastya, for
instance, is also Agastya Muni. In narratives from the Vedas onwards, both are human helpers for the gods, though sometimes
challenging and even alarming them through the power of their austerities. They often have important descendants, sometimes
born of relationships with several different women. See Mitchiner 1982.
b) The assertion in original article and footnote here
need amendment. It is probable that the reference to ‘Basavapurana' points to Pālkuriki Somanātha's
Basava Purāņa, the Telugu classic of the 13th century dealing with the life of Basavēśvara and
the Vīraśaiva devotees of the twelfth century. Its major themes are the challenging of Brahmins and of Vaisnavites
and opposition to caste discrimination. It takes up the latter explicitly in relation to Madigas and Malas and others of low
status (see Narayana Rao 1990; 14-16 and Chapter 7). The significance of terming the third component of the Jamba Purana the
Basava Purana probably relates to the direct challenging of Brahmin pretensions prominent in its latter part.
See Narayana Rao 1990: 246 for an ancient Vīraśaiva model.
d) This is still an interesting observation but, as is usual,
it is not without contrary examples from other regions and other tiimes. Hiebert (1971, pp 135-36) reports more recently from
a village in Mahbubnagar district of Andhra Pradesh that ‘Jamavanthudu, god of the leatherworkers, is ensconced in a
small rock shrine in the Harijan section of the village'. Significantly, however, when household deities there were surveyed,
he did not appear in the list for Madigas. This contrasts with the strong presence of Madel, the equivalent figure in the
Chākili (Washerman) purana, in their list of household deities.
e) This is likely to be Kadiri with its important Laxmi Narasimha
Swamy temple, now in Ananthapur district of Andhra Pradesh.
f) The contents of Vol II, quoted here, date from before
1890 when this volume was bound. The text following was copied from two copper plates obtained from the Session Court at Cicacole
(Srikakulam in the far north of Andhra Pradesh) and translated by A. Soobau Row. No date is available for either the original
copper plates or the translation. The original text has not been located and this 19th century translation is full of eccentricities
and inconsistencies. These are retained here: it would be misleading to try to correct them in the absence of the original.
Bantū: ‘A soldier, a servant, an armed attendant, police officer' (Brown 1852).
Of the first three, male, names, Gamantídu probably represents the main Madiga line, Mástídu
a Madiga satellite caste still known today, and Gosangi Bantoo one represented in the Jamba Puranam but probably not still
existing: see Chapter 4. For Arundhati, Aranjoti, Aranzodi, see the following section of this chapter. Kali is a widely worshipped
goddess, Ganti probably another goddess but not so far identified.
i) vīranam is a double drum used
at weddings (Brown 1852) Jamilika or jamidika is an expressive instrument that looks like a drum, but with
a single skin at the base which is variably tensioned with a cord rather than beaten.
Burabatta seems to be called Maramudi before being given the name Gosangi.
k) See notes f and g above.
varied forms in the text are variations in pronunciation and/or transliteration of one or other of these two forms, Telugu
and Sanskrit. At times they themselves are, as will have been already noted, used interchangeably.
m) Reddy 1989 reports
an ‘Aram Jyothi' folk song from Chittoor district. See Note 15 in Chapter 3 on ‘Significant Others': Brahmins.
See also Jambava's own military connections: (p. 16) and Footnote 26 above.
o) Millet or
finger millet, ragi.
An evergreen Indian shrub with vivid yellow flowers, the bark of which is used in tanning.
& Ananthakrishna Iyer (1931: Vol. 4, pp 165-67) also note the making of drums and their Kannada names: tappate
[the dappu] ‘the characteristic instrument of the caste', and rāmdholu , a big drum, both used for
making proclamations. They note also the implements used in their leather work: rampi (small saw), ari (awl),
goota (peg), uli (chisel), andikallu (stone for cutting on), kodāli (iron mallet),
See the Aranzodhi section preceding for the Madiga Brahmin relationship which provides a model here, also Chapter 4, Brahmins,
A respectful local name for addressing Brahmin men. A street here (vāda) is a single caste area of the village
or town. Mentions of 12 of them here indicates the social distance between Brahmins and Madigas.
in cash or kind due as part of the mutual obligations of farmers to whom the Madiga is providing leather devices for lifting
water and other leather goods.
u) Tangēdu (Cassia auriculata) used
locally as the source of tannins.