Saturday, March 24, 2007

The position of Tulu Language - III

Bellari:
Bellara is a Scheduled Caste in Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu. Singh reports they speak a dialect of Kannada.

Via Ethnologue.com

Note: Bellari is a dialect/variety of Tulu.

Unfortunately, I have no idea how to pronounce 'bellari'. Anyway, I assume the community is called beLLAra and the language is called beLLAri.

The Scheduled castes or the erstwhile untouchable castes, in my opinion, mainly came from two backgrounds.
1. Purity and pollution: The communities engaged in so-called polluting occupations, ie. leather works, scavenging etc... were made outcasts.
2. Tribal origins: Many tribal communities as they made transition from tribal life to mainstream life were included in outcasts in old caste Indian society.(Ironically, I believe, ritual purity of tribals was higher than untouchables!)

Now, consider the community beLLAri and the district in Karnataka bordering Telugu speaking Andhra Pradesh, baLLAri. Is it not possible that a region getting its name from a tribe or vice versa?

Therefore, in my opinion, along with zeTTi, baMTe even beLLAra came from Telugu region to Tulu region.

7 comments:

bachodi said...

Strange , never heard of them ...
Where exactly bellari is polular? i mean villages or Talloques

Manjunath said...

Well, I came across Bellara in websites when I was searching articles on Dravidian languages. I too have not heard of them growing up in Mangalore/Bantwal. The total population of Bellaras, according to that site, is around 2000(1981 census). And they are spread across three states. So, I don't think they make up conspicuous density in any villages.

Ravi Mundkur said...

Manju
Info about bellari dialect of TuLu is very interesting.Also the fact that these tribes are spread across three States.
One small addition (may be you know already!): There is a village called Bellara in Sullia taluk,Dakshina Kannada district.

Manjunath said...

Ravi:
No, I was not aware of Bellara in Sullia. Is there a way to find out if Bellara community can be found there?

Ellelliyu said...

Hi Manjunath!

I subscribe to what you've been saying about Tulu and Telugu, if the little MangaLuru Kannada I know is a pointer:

------------------------------
M'luru B'luru
Kannada Kannada Telugu
------------------------------
bhOjana ooTa bhOjana
untu ide undi
onTi obne onTari
------------------------------

Ellelliyu said...

Sorry, the table above looks bad!

Manjunath said...

Ellelliyu:

I must say, ooTa and obbane are more common than bhOjana and oNTi in M'luru Kannada. Yes, we say, uNTu. But Kannada dialects in this region, Malayalam (uNDu, iNDu) also use that word. So, probably Proto-SD legacy.