A new blogger Ravi Mundkur discusses about evolution of Tulu language and people at his "Tulu Research". In his recent post he discusses about "Bermeru" spirit. A very interesting spirit which sort of cognates with Brahma of Hinduism and generally called Brahma in the literature. I would like to discuss some of the things that I have come across after I wrote about the Tulu Tribes.
I have already discussed that Brahman(sacred words) and Braahmana(priest) have IE roots but Brahma(the god) has Semitic root(Semitic Introgression Theory).
The Tulu god Bermeru was generally depicted as a deity mounted on a horse. However, this was an ancient god in Dravidian regions. The Tamil god Ayyanar (also a deity mounted on a horse) is very similar to Tulu spirit Bermeru. Then we have Sastha of Malayala region(later identified with popular hero god Ayyappa). But I am not sure if Sastha could be equated with Ayyanar. However, all these gods act as protectors.
Considering these facts, I would rather argue that Bermeru is the later name for this deity in Tulu region. In my opinion, it was called Brahma(ru) initially as a matter of Hinduisation(Vaisnava period?) but became Bermeru in the local lingo. However, its original name is lost permanently.