Vidyasankar Sundaresan vidya at
Sat Mar 29 01:49:50 UTC 1997

On Fri, 28 Mar 1997, Chandan Raghava Narayan wrote:

> In Kannada, or at least our particular brand of it, the top knot is called
> ju.tu . Any true Kannada speakers can correct me....
> In my own Upanayanam, which happened twelve years ago in Chikamagaluru, I
> was spared this ritual, but endured a "symbolic" cutting of a few
> strands of hair by the village barber, phew.

This has become the most prevalent practice nowadays. A symbolic cutting
followed by a quick shower, and then the rest of the upanayanam ceremony
goes on. One variation (sAmavedins?) insists on a complete shave of the
head before an upanayanam, but the standard version is to shave off an arc
at the front of the head. 

> Amongst many  Iyengars, and Madhavas, the top knot is still worn, but
> differently than the "run-of-the-mill" tail at the top of the head.
> Instead, the front of the scalp is shaved and the rest of the hair is
> allowed to grow long, and then tied up. 

This is the standard "kuDumi" in the Tamil regions. Nowadays, only
professional purohitas and temple priests sport such a knot. 

Among the nambudiris, the knot is tied not behind the head, but
above the forehead. It's called mun-kuDumi. 


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