Collection Description

Culture Name


Culture Description

In the sixteenth century, the Badaga migrated from the Mysore district to the Nilgiri hills; in the 20th century, they occupied over 300 villages. They practiced swidden cultivation, growing millet and potatoes, and entered into various exchange networks with neighboring tribes. British settlers in the area introduced tea cultivation, which has become a major cash crop.


Select the Culture Summary link above for a longer description of the culture.


Asia --South Asia



OWC Code


Number of Documents


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Number of Pages


Collection Overview

Documents referred to in this section are included in the eHRAF collection and are referenced by author, date of publication, and eHRAF document number.

There are ten documents in the eHRAF Collection of Ethnography Badaga file, eight are written by Paul Hockings, whose fieldwork covers a thirty-year span (1962-1994) and cover the period from 1550 to 1990. Two early sources (Thurston 1909, document no. 1; Sastri 1891-1892, no. 9) round out the file and provide overviews of selected aspects of Badaga society and culture. Hockings's three major works are his dissertation on Badaga sociocultural change (Hockings 1965 (1989), no. 5), a social history (Hockings 1980a, no. 2) and a demography (Hockings 1999, no. 11). He wrote shorter pieces on a salt giving ritual (Hockings 1968, no. 3), folk medicine (Hockings 1980b, no. 4), origin folk tale (Hockings 1987, no. 7), kinship (Hockings 1982, no. 8), and funerary rites (Hockings 2001, no. 10). Hockings is a solid ethnographer in th e British Social Anthropology school tradition and covers Badaga culture from the first contact with Europeans in the early 1800s up to the 1995. His strengths are a thorough analysis of social organization and structure, including kinship, marriage and their associated rituals.

For more detailed information on the content of the individual works in the file, see the abstracts in the citations preceding each document.

This culture summary is from the article, "Badaga," by Paul Hockings. In Paul Hockings (Ed.), Encyclopedia Of World Cultures, Vol. 3. 1992. Boston, Mass.: G. K. Hall & Co. John Beierle wrote the indexing notes and SYNOPSIS in April, 2004.

Overview by

John Beierle

GAUDA-commune headman-category 632

GUDU-tribute payments by Badaga to Toda-category 648

GURU-mother's brother-categories 602 and 604

KOTA-neighboring tribe-categories 533, 628, and 631

KURUMBA-neighboring tribe-categories 628 and 631

MANEGAR-village headman-category 622

MANEVALE-memorial celebration for generation-category 769

SUDDA-purity-category 783

TODA-neighboring tribe-categories 628 and 631

WODERU-priests-category 793

Indexing Notes by

John Beierle

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