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South India occupies an enormous portion in India with the states of Kerala ,

Karnataka , AndraPradesh and TamilNadu thereby comprising four states . The most

amazing fact that can be stated here is that all the four states redefine magnanimity and

variety in every domain of existence .Beginning from metropolitan life to the villages

,hills or forests with its multiplicity of social classes , caste and tribes with diverse

language , religion , culture and social systems which contribute to the variety of


Scheduled Tribes (ST ) , Scheduled caste (SC) , Backward Classes (BC) and Other

Backward classes (OBC) are Indian population groupings that are explicitly recognized

by the constitution of India , previously called as “depressed classes” by the British

.According to the 2001 census the 8.2 % of the total population are tribals and 1.17

billion population belongs to the Other Backward Classes. From the 1850s these
communities were loosely referred to as the "Depressed Classes".

The early part of the 20th century saw a flurry of activity in the British

Government to assess the feasibility of responsible self-government for India.

The Morley Minto reforms , Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms Report, and Simon

Commission were some of the initiatives that happened in this context. One of

the hotly contested issues in the proposed reforms was the topic of reservation of

seats for the "Depressed" Classes in provincial and central legislatures.

In 1935 the British passed The Government of India Act 1935, designed to give

Indian provinces greater self-rule and set up a national federal structure.

Reservation of seats for the Depressed Classes was incorporated into the act,

which came into force in 1937. The Act brought the term "Scheduled

Castes" into use, and defined the group as including "such castes, races or

tribes or parts of groups within castes, races or tribes, which appear in Council

to correspond to the classes of persons formerly known as the 'Depressed

Classes', as in Council may prefer." This discretionary definition was

clarified in The Government of India (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1936

which contained a list, or Schedule of castes throughout the British

administered provinces.

After independence, the Constituent Assembly continued the prevailing definition

of Scheduled Castes and Tribes, and gave ( articles 341, 342) the President

of India and Governors of states responsibility to compile a full listing of

castes and tribes, and also the power to edit it later as required. The

actual complete listing of castes and tribes was made via two orders The

Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950, and The Constitution

(Scheduled Tribes Order, 1950 respectively and the later stage the castes

were given more other titles like Backward Class, Other Backward Classes later.

These titles were tagged to the communities based on social

and economic status therby to bring about development in

these communities. The developmental efforts are going on immensely in

many places while layed back in some places . This is the on going

challenge in India .


SIDDI : Born dancers , great athletes who are Lean, tall yet short , dark

,thick lips with curly hair is what you can describe about them . The Siddi

of Karnataka are a tribe of an African descent that has made Karnataka

their home for the last 400 years .They were brought in by Portuguese as

slaves to India, but some ran into the dense forests and made their home

and their own livehood .

GOWLI : Good dancers , mostly cattle rearers who are short , fair

with their own style of rigid cultural practices is what you can say

about them in a line .The Gowli are migrators of Maharastra who

made their own homes initially with cowdung , bamboo ,sticks etc giving

space for cattles the first room in their homes. Although the style of the

homes have changed and are changing ,their love for cattle has not


Karnataka is bordered by the Arabian sea to the west , Goa to the

northwest , Maharastra to the north ,Andra Pradesh to the east, Tamil Nadu to

the southeast and Kerala to the southwest. The state covers an area of

7412(191,976 km ) or 5.83% of the total geographical area of India . It is

the eighth largest Indian state by area , the ninth by population and

comprises 29 districts . Kannada is the official and most widely spoken

language .


The study was on high plaines of green UttarKarnataka , Karwar District

( Mundagud Taluk ) .In the villages Minali and Gunjavathi were the Gowli’s

and Siddi‘s live together unlike other 17 villages which come under

Gunajavathi panchayat.


The communities like Siddi and Gowli were asking for tribal status to the

government . The newspaper article shows that on 23rd April 2006 appeared

for a protest in order to achieve the tribal status. Recently the Siddi were

given but the Gowli’s were layed back.. The cry by Gowli’s for a

tribal status is still echoing in regard to this On June 14th and

15th 2010 a meeting was held in Haliyal and Mr. Guruswami (member of the
Backward Classes Commision ) told the press to that efforts are made to include Gowli

into the Schedule Tribe or Backward Class community.


This study is significant as it does the current need or situational analysis

of the communities ( Gowli and Siddi ) so that developmental authorities

( Government , NGO’s and indigenious community leaders could take up

issues impeding the progress of the communities.


A study on the Gowli and Siddi communities of Minali & Gunjavathi.


 To study their social condition.

 To study their primary health condition

 To study about their education

 To study about their economic and occupation condition

 To explore means and opportunities for the progress of the community.


Research Design : The design is explorative in nature and is aimed to

explore specific objectives and culture of both the Gowli and Siddi

Universe : In Minali 415 families which comprising of 2490 Gowli people

and 32 families of Siddi i.e 116 people.( 2001 census)

In Gujavathi 25 families of Gowli and Siddi each comprising

128 and 140 people .

Sampling size :

The researcher took 50 samples out of the universe of the study .30 samples from Minali

and 20 Gunjavati village .

Sampling Technique :

The researcher took the simple random technique..

Tool of data collection :

A structured interview schedule was formulated . The researcher herself

interviewed the respondents with the maximum help of an interpreter

interpreting from English to Kannada sometime some words in Marathi or

Konkani when needed from a interview schedule in Kannada..

Pilot Study

The purpose of the pilot study was to check the feasibility of the study

in Uttar Karnataka. This was done from 14th – 16th May where the researcher

found that she could not continue the topic she proposed earlier and

understood that she had to change the title of the study.

Pre –test

The researcher conducted the pretest on 4th June 2010 and omitted question no 106,

306,316 as no one was not willing to answer.

Data Collection & Experience

The researcher collected the data from 6th to 13th June each interview schedule lasted

about 35 – 40 minutes .

Secondary data collection :

Secondary data was collected through the internet , books .

Limitations of the study :

Researcher felt lack of time and language a barrier to her research.

As the distance between the house of collecting the data was far apart from each other she

spent more time walking .

Defination for the term community .

A Community is a collection of people within a geographical area

among whom there is some degree of mutual identification,

interdependence or organized activity.


The word Siddi is derived from the Arabic “sayyid” or “saydi”

meaning leader or master. North African's call each other Siddi as a

title of respect. All African-origin people in India were however, called

‘Siddi’ even though they were not all from North Africa. The term seems to

have found currency following a description in a letter written by one

William aboard the S.S.Nepal, a ship that sailed from England to South India

and Ceylon. In the letter he describes the crew of the ship as "composed of

seven English quarter masters and forty three lascar seamen, six English

engineers, thirty-five men(Muslim) and fifteen Sidimen or negroes for coal shifters.

The majority of the Siddis in Karnataka are descendants of Siddhi slaves

who were brought from East Africa (mostly Mozambique ) and Ethiopia to Goa by

the Portuguese , British and the Arabs between the 16th and 19th centuries. During

the Goan inquisition , some of these slaves were freed and some escaped into the forests

of the neighbouring Karnataka state. As the bulk of the Goan inquisition records are

now destroyed, a thorough reconstruction of the Siddhis' history in India and in

Karnataka is very difficult. However, the few records that exist present a picture of

oppression and ill treatment that the slaves were subjected to. A few of them, however,

are also said to have escaped slavery. While most of them were victims of slave trade,
some of them also were imported by the Nawabs in the 15th-16th centuries as

military mercenaries. Others were sailors on the trade routes to the east.


Among Siddhi families in Karnataka, there are Roman Catholics,

Hindus and Muslims. The Haliyal taluk has populations of Muslims

and Christians while the Hindu populations are concentrated in the

Ghat areas of Yellapur and Ankola .


Marriage Practice :

The Christian Siddi marries in church and the muslim Siddis as the

muslim culture hold there is no special identity but the wonderful thing is

there is no dowry system. If the girl wants to spend money he gives , if

the girl want vise versa. Now mostly the girl gets married after the age of

18 years.

Food Practices:

The Siddi’s intake lots of raw onions otherwise its rice and dal . Their

food taste is more with garlic flavour .Muslim Siddis resist pork other than eat

everything . They relish eating monkey.


Gowli’s are a pastoral community , early nomadic in nature , originally

migrated from maharastra and settled in the fringes. Gowlis are excellent

diary men , some sell milk , some are small and marginal farmers and engaged

in cultivation also. Their dwelling are uniquely designed to accommodate

their cattle wealth in frontal region of their home.

Gowlis have migrated only to Karnataka thus far according to the people of

Minali and Gunjavathi . Their mother tongue is Marathi.


They practice Hindusim and perform all the rituals rigidy . The worship

Khandoba .


Marriage :

The marriage happens in front of the girl’s house after which a treat is

Given to the whole family . All other ceremonies happen just like a Hindu

custom. If a girl wears plain green bangles it means she is married. They

consider wearing “plain green bangles” a unique symbol of marriage.


The outstanding part of their culture is that the male give dowry

according to his wealth. Greather his wealth bigger the dowry.

Eating Habits

They eat lots of vegetable compared to that of meat. The squeeze lime on

cooked rice and nibble on onion spontaneously. They eat sambhar and so on ..

They are found chewing paan everytime .

Dressing practice

Though the Gowli women wear saree they have a different style of

wearing . The men are seen with dhothi .


During pregnancy some women are taken to the doctor while many are not.

Even for delivery only during emergency they rush the women to the

hospital . They believe that women who die during pregnancy has committed

sin and will die.