Gowdas are the largest tribal group found in the interior villages of Goa
. Agriculture is their main occupation. Gowdas are Hindus and under the influence of Portuguese, some of them were converted into Christianity. Their customs do not allow marrying outside their tribes but permit cross cousin marriages. Traditionally, the property of these tribes is inherited by the wife after her husband's death. Subsequent to her death it is distributed equally between sons and unmarried daughters. Lord Mallikarjuna,another name for Lord Shiva
, is the main deity of the Gowdas.