zydenbos at zydenbos at
Sat Mar 29 00:54:56 UTC 1997

Replies to msg 28 Mar 97: indology at
(cnarayan at

 cbe> In Kannada, or at least our particular brand of it, the top
 cbe> knot is called
 cbe> ju.tu . Any true Kannada speakers can correct me....

Ju.t.tu - long, doubled '.t', otherwise it's perfectly standard Kannada.

 cbe> Amongst many  Iyengars, and Madhavas, the top knot is still
 cbe> worn, but
 cbe> differently than the "run-of-the-mill" tail at the top of
 cbe> the head.
 cbe> Instead, the front of the scalp is shaved and the rest of
 cbe> the hair is
 cbe> allowed to grow long, and then tied up.
 cbe> If anyone can explain this in a more thorough manner,
 cbe> please do so...I
 cbe> would love to hear it!

information, without textual corroboration), there are different styles
according to the Vedic tradition to which the wearer belongs: thus
Atharvavedins were not supposed to have a ju.t.tu at all, but to shave their
heads completely, and the style of the ju.t.tu in the case of the others was
determined by the "saakhaa to which they belonged. (I believe that .Rgvedins
were supposed to wear a broader one than Yajurvedins, but I am not completely

But also, the ju.t.tu was largely a matter of fashion. Still about a hundred
years ago in southern coastal Karnataka, any man could walk around with a
ju.t.tu: brahmin, sudra, Hindu, Jaina, everyone. And still today in Bangalore,
ju.t.tu-s are seen.

Robert Zydenbos
Internet: zydenbos at

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