Coorgs or the people of Coorg also called as Kodavas are well known for their hospitality and unique culture. Coorg is a land of the generals and beautiful women. Their sense of humour and friendly nature make travellers to visit this place again and again.
Coorgs are brave people and they are the only race in India who are permitted to possess guns without license exempt from the Indian Arms Act. Men and women here are fair complexioned and with long noses. They belong to a martial race.
Women who are both beautiful and highly educated, occupy a main place in the family. There are no dowry system in Coorg unlike other communities in India. The men folk, tall and handsome, mostly look after the coffee estates.
Their customs are unique. Coorgs are Hindus still priests do not perform their marriage rites. Pork is the main dish of this community. Pork, cooked with vinegar derived from wild berries, is a delicacy served at important feasts. Coorgs are fond of Hockey.
Kodavas worship The Holy River Cauvery and their ancestors. Kodavas touching the feet of elders in the community for blessings. Every Coorg name includes their clan/family name by which they are identified.
The Coorgs worship guns too. Their festival Keil Murtha, is solely dedicated to the worship of guns. The harvest festival of Puttari start by firing a gunshot. The language of Coorgs are of Dravidian dialect which is a mixture of Malayalam, Kannada and Tamil languages.
Coorgs are free from caste system. Though Coorgs are Hindus they do not belong to mainstream Hinduism, the Coorgs are warrior class or Kshatriya. they worship ‘Karana’ over other Hindu gods.
The Ceremonial dress of Coorg is entirely different from other Indian traditional wear. Men wear Black knee length overcoat that reaches until elbow with a scarlet sash carrying a silver dagger and a gilded turban.
Women wear Indian sari with the pleats running through the chest from behind and the end of which is clipped with a traditional pin in the right collarbone. These traditional dresses are worn on marriages, festivals or other community gatherings.
There are three major community in Coorg. They are Kodava Mophlas or Kodava Mappilas, Kodagu Gowdas and The Bearys. The Kodava Mappilas earlier called as Indian Muslim Community is the major community in Coorg.
Kodagu Gowdas another major ethnic group in the Coorg are found mainly in Virajpet and Somwarpet taluks. The Bearys are humorous and fun loving community who are mainly found in the main town Mercara.
The Exact origin of Kodava Tribe is unknown. A common theory is that they might be Arabs mainly from Iraq, Yemen or Oman. As per Hindu Mythology a Chandravanshi Kshatriya and son of Emperor of Matsya Desha, was the ancestor of the Kodavas.