India | Tamil Nadu


Kothas are the largest of the indigenous clans staying in the Nilgiri Hills, Tamil Nadu. There are seven Kotha villages, known as Keris, in the Nilgiris District. Kothas are also known by different names such as Kotas and Kokkals.

The tribe members manage their livelihood mainly from agriculture. Each settlement has its own land for cultivation. The members are also expert in carpentry, black-smithy and pottery.

Kothas have their own secretive customs and regulations. They speak a rude dialect of Kanarese (a group of Kannada speaking people).

The community members live in thatched huts, which are divided into living and sleeping apartments. In each village, there is a recognized place of worship, which consists of a large square, walled round with loose stones three feet high and containing in its center two pent-shaped sheds.

As musicians, the Kothas played music at Badaga funerals, festivals and other ceremonial occasions. The biggest Kotha festival is the annual Kamatrya feast, which lasts for 12 days.

Updated on 6th January, 2015


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