"Gaudasaraswatha" brahmins speaking Konkani

Christophe Vielle vielle at ORI.UCL.AC.BE
Wed Nov 24 16:36:16 UTC 2004

Thank you very much, dear Madhav Deshpande, for all these very useful
references on the GSB that I am eager to read. Now I find in my own
archives collected from the Indological list, in a discussion about
Nambudiri etc. (1999), this sentence [by a certain B.N.Hebbar - I quote it
such as I have]
"the  ParashurAma  kShetra  includes  the  CitpAvan
(MarAThi-speaking),  SArasvat,  GauDa-SArasvat  (both
KonkaNI-speaking),  Havyak,  KoTa,  (both  "coastal"  KannaDa-speaking)
ShivaLLi  (TuLu-speaking)  and  Nambudiri  (MaLayALam-speaking)
brahmins  referred  to  collectively  as  the  SaptakonkaNa  brahmins."
I do not know on which source this assertion was based.
The same Hebbar was referring to the Sahyaadrikha.n.da of the SkP, but
according to the résumé of Gail (1977: 200-3) the names of the seven
Konkana given there (UttKh 6.48) are the ones of the seven lands ("Kerala,
Tulanga, Sauraa.s.tra, Konkana, Karahaa.ta, Karanaa.ta und Barbara") not
the ones of the different brahmins. When brahmin classification is
concerned, it is the pañca-Gau.da/pañca-Draavi.da one which is used (UttKh
1.2-3),  and in the latter case the brahmins from North India or Gau.das,
among the five groups of which are named the Sarasvatas, can not easily be
identified with the "Konkani" Gau.da-Sarasvatas.

>There is a book on the GSBs by Frank Conlon [A Caste in a Changing World:
>The Chitrapur Saraswat Brahmins, 1977, University of California Press] and
>several important articles by Narendra Wagle (1970: "The History and
>Social Organization of the Gauda Sarasvata Brahmanas of the West Coast of
>India,"  Journal of Indian Hisotry, vol. 48: 8-25. 295-333.  Also see my
>article: "Panca-Gauda und Panca-Dravida.  Umstrittene Grenzen einer
>traditionellen Klassifikation," and its bibliography in Arier und
>Draviden, Konstruktionen der Vergangenheit als Grundlage fur Selbst- und
>Fremdwahrnehmungen Sudasiens, herausgegeben von Michael Bergunder und
>Rahul Peter Das, Verlag der Franckeschen Stiftungen zu Halle, 2002.
>Madhav Deshpande
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Indology on behalf of Christophe Vielle
>Sent: Wed 11/24/2004 8:13 AM
>To: INDOLOGY at liverpool.ac.uk
>Subject:      "Gaudasaraswatha" brahmins speaking Konkani
>Dear colleagues,
>In the useful  little book "Malayalam for beginners" by V.R.
>Prabodhachandran Nayar (Trivandrum, 1999, Swantham Books publ.), I come
>across this (Malayalam - a linguistic profile - Bilingualism p. 72):
>"Pockets of Gaudasaraswatha Brahmins and Chettis ((/ce.t.ti/) who speak two
>different varieties of Konkani are mostly in the districts of Ernakulam and
>Who are these "Gaudasaraswatha" brahmins (coming from Konkan where some
>still remain, I suppose)?  Where could I find something about them?
>Thank you for your help
>Dr. Christophe Vielle
>Centre d'Etudes de l'Inde et de l'Asie du Sud
>Institut orientaliste
>Place Blaise Pascal 1
>B - 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve
>Tel. +32-(0)10-47 49 54 (office)/ -(0)2-640 62 66 (home)
>E-mail: vielle at ori.ucl.ac.be

Dr. Christophe Vielle
Centre d'Etudes de l'Inde et de l'Asie du Sud
Institut orientaliste
Place Blaise Pascal 1
B - 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve
Tel. +32-(0)10-47 49 54 (office)/ -(0)2-640 62 66 (home)
E-mail: vielle at ori.ucl.ac.be

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