COORG or Kodaga is a British province to the west of Mysore, between lat. 11° 55' and 12° 50' N., and long. 25' and 70° 14' E. It is GO miles long by 40 broad, and its area is 1583 square miles, with a population of 178,302, of whom 77,863 are females. It is a hilly country, culmin ating in mountain ranges, the highest being 5375 feet above the sea. Kodaga is said to mean west.
In 1834 it was ruled over by a raja of the Lin gaet sect of Hindus ; but his cruelties, carried on for a long series of years, brought on a war with the Indian Government, and, after a battle on the 8th April 1834, the country was annexed. Since then, the general population has largely increased by settlers from surrounding districts, but the Coorg are believed to be diminishing.
The numbers' speaking the current languages perhaps best show the original nations of the present inhabitants.:— Canarese,. . . . 92,0791 Konkani, . . . 1,689 Coorgi or Kodaga, . 28,535 Wild dialects, . . 13,853 Malealam, . . . 10,189 English, 514 Tulu, 9,589 Lambani, 111 I findustani, . . 8,513 Gujerati, 58 Tamil, 5,025 Portuguese, . . . . 57 Telugu, 5,008 French, 9 Mahrati, . . . . 3,055 German, 14 The Coorg race have 13 clans, but they arrange themselves into Coorg and Amma Coorg. They are a tall, muscular, broad-chested, well-favoured race of mountaineers, 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 9 inches in height, handsome and well made, far superior in physique to the inhabitants of the plains, whom they greatly despise. They are also far advanced in civilisation, and are very intelligent. They have a Caucasian head, regular features, aquiline nose, with chiselled lips, black eyes, and dark hair. They wear whiskers and moustache, but no beard, have a fair complexion, with intelli gent countenances, and general bold, independent deportment. They follow agriculture, and a few seek other employments ; but, as a rule, they eschew military employ. They believe themselves to be descendants of the daughters of Chandra Varma, king of Matsa Desha, obtained by the intercession of Parvati. Chandra Varma is said to have come originally to Coorg. The vice of drinking has a deep and widely-spread hold upon them. They marry at a ripe age, but the wives of brothers are in common. They are a compact body of mountaineers, who have been lords of the soil from time immemorial. They live in farm houses far apart. The Anima Coorg take among the Coorgs a place similar to that of the Brah mans among Hindus.
The Coorg despise manual labour, and cultiva tion is carried on by the immigrants, the Tamil Vellalar, the Teling Reddi, the Canarese Wakala, and the Malabar Nair, while the Teling Sudra are labourers. The Arambagaru are agriculturists, and the Arambada Kikartiru are dependents on the Arambagar.
The 1881 census return classifies the people as under :— Coors', . . . . 26,558 ' Non-Hindus, . . 56,030 Amma Coorgs, . . . 475, Mahammadans, . 12,541 Brahmans, • . . 2,445 'Native Christians, . 2,637 Rajputs, 4S0 Europeans, . . . . 223 Other Hindus, . . 56,801 , Eurasians 287 Inferior castes and Jabs, 99 tribes, . . . . 21,100 Parsec's, 21 The following tribes have not accepted Hindu ism :— /lalagai Ifoleya, agricul- Malaya Holeya.
turists. Marta do. Kembati, natives of Coorg. l'arava do. Mari Holeya or Moringi, Kukka, coolies from coolies from Malabar. Canara.
Other aboriginal and jungle tribes arc Adigaral, labourers, speak Malealam.
Betta Kuruba, a fowler tribe from Malabar and Canara. Jenn Kuruba, foresters.
rainy, agricultural labourers, speak Tulu.
Yarava, of 2 sections, Paniyar and Panjira, from Wynad.
lloleya, labourers in Coorg, number 32,450. They are ill-favoured, with coarse, stupid features, short in stature, but strong built, with dark or black skin and black, straight hair. They practise demonology. Some of them, as the Badagu, speak Canarese. Others, as the Kembati, speak the Kodaga tongue. They are of small stature, eat beef and other flesh meats. They worship Ryappa devaru and Jamauts.
Tho Yarava of Coorg number 11,894. They came from the 1Vynad and settled in the Yede nalknad and Kiggatnad thinks. They have thick lips, woolly hair, and black complexion. They are labourers. Their language is said to resemble Malealam ; they worship evil spirits, and have no priests.
The Bette Kuruba are well proportioned, with good features. They are fowlers, mat and basket makers. They have a central hut, around which other huts are erected, like the nave of a wheel. All adult males sleep in the central hut. People approaching the huts have to take off their shoes.
Hegade, a small tribe of cultivators in Coorg, of small stature, who follow Coorg customs, but do not eat or intermarry with them.
In the S.W. part of Coorg are the priests of Amma, the goddess of the river Cauvery. They generally retain the old devil-worship of the Dra vidian race, of which they are a branch. They chiefly worship the goddess Cavare Amma or Parvati ; but demon and ancestor worship are common.
The languages prevailing are Coorg, Canarese, Malealam, Tamil, Tuju or Tulu, Urdu, and English. The Coorg or Kodaga language has generally been regarded by some as Canarese, modified by the Tulu. But Mr. Moegling states that it is more nearly allied to the Tamil and Malealam than to the Canarese. It is generally recognised as between Old Canarese and Tulu. It is admirably suited for expressing easy-flowing poetry of a humorous or solemn strain.