Assisting Foreign Scholar Doing Fieldwork by S.A.Krishnaiah

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Assisting Foreign Scholar Doing Fieldwork by S.A.Krishnaiah

I met Dr.Peter J Claus in the year 1986, where we started our exchange on regional knowledge base regarding the folkloristic materials. Dr. Claus interviewing a family in view of anthropology background, but I was looking the materials in folkloristic perspective and to collect more information to RRC archives. The R R. C has greatly benefited by the contact with Prof Peter J, Claus, Professor of Anthropology from the California State University Hayward, U.S A. Dr. Claus who has made it a mission of his life to study the Tulu culture of Udupi Taluk has visited this place several times, has lived with the people, has observed the culture of the people closely and has studied it with avid interest and passion. It is a kind of spiritual intimacy with the people of this area that must have impelled Dr. Claus to focus his attention to this area. The year 1986 I have witnessed several joint tours with Dr. Claus and The then founder director Prof K..S.Haridasa Bhat always encouraged-with same sincerety and dedication even today I am working for the institutes S. A Krishnaiah, the researcher of R.R.C. who have provided valuable information on folk culture. Here I start a brief survey report how we started.

In March 1986 we both begin to do rerecording of the Urkitotta trance cult and the oracle of the possessed in the ritual ceremony at Nandolige. Again within the span of two months we both arrived at Nandalige, stayed over at Nandolige Sundararam Hegade’s wife house, further we covered the Siri festival of Hiriyadka of Udupi Taluk.

We recorded oracles, words, chanting and singing of the women folk and interviewed them for purpose of documentation. Photographs also taken, they collected few Witht eh help of Hiriyadka Gopala Rao we met very good singer and folk tale narrator, collected Siri Paaddana, in Tulu language from informant Kargi-Payyu atAnjaru village,Hiriyadka. Further we went Nandalike, Urkitottdu, where (May 1986) we happen to see and participated in the ‘Madaranggi’ (henna) songs sung at the wedding ceremony of Billava community. As a participation culture we also stretched our hands tog et henna, this participation attitude is the best way to collect the more information of the folk treasure or mental text of the informants. We recorded Koti-Chennaya Sandhi sung during the ceremony. Beside this I learnt to understand the socio-economic back ground of the informants with the help of Peter J Claus, frequently we have visited Smt Kargi and Payyu of Mundalal community house as though we are the family members with in the Hiriyadak village.

In Augest 1986 Dr. Peter J, Claus recorded ‘paaddana’ of informants from whom he has collected earlier 1975, to study how far the version has undergone changes from time to timer. Being a folklorist S.A. Krishnaiah has assisted /helped in the recording and transcription of the songs.

Further research went on collecting the Siri tales, ‘padddana’, Peter J Claus collected Panara’s song named as ‘Hogalike’ in Kannada during the worship of various forms of Chikku, deities or spirits of Northern region example Kundapur region, Mekkikatte , Siriyara region. The collected songs which contains portion of the Siri story. Specially the Hogalike’ of Marlu Chikku.

In Tulu language impersonators community or the Bhuta dancers identified as Nalke, originally there name is identified as ‘paanara’ community. Nalke singe the songs ‘paaddana’ with a similar story when they perform the ‘Maysandaya Koola’ Peter J Claus opinion that reason for this is because there is a close connection between Siri and Nandi Goona. At Nandolige, Hurmbidottu, , Urkidottu, and other ‘ Siri Alade’-shrines have association of Nandigoona or Maisandaya.

February 2008 22nd is a unique day for us, we the group of students, resource persons (International Folklore Workshop-2008) visited the Hurumbidottu Siri Alade place, well documented in team spirit.

To me and Peter J Claus it is a restudy field trip, after two decades we have witnessed the Hurumbidottu Siri Aayana or festival-where Somayya Parava who recited story during Maisandaya Koola, Panjurli Koola in conjunction with the ‘Siri Jaatre/aayan’ at Hurumbidottu (Near Aladangadi-Sirlal). The connection between Siri and Panjurli explained in the ‘paaddana’ they sing and the lengthy’ nudi’ (oracle) the possessed Parava presents. Peter says that ..’there can be little doubt the story they present is meant to be the Siri story since it proclaims as such publicly and the public there swears by its truth but it differs very considerably from any field song version one might collect..”

There are number of issues have neglected by our own scholars, most important is that one inscription have been found and that too because of the Peter J Claus co-opetration.

The inscription says about two feudal lords or petti kings who entered into a pact in front of 'Soomanatha'. Dr Vasanta Shetty opinion that the inscription doesn’t have dates, but it has traced the kings (Bangaru and Muularu) perhaps came to the compromise around the year 1540 A. D. to 1560 A. D.

The inscription is found on the right side of the temple of 'Nidgallu'. The deity is called 'Lookanatheshvara' it means God Eshvar. Whereas in ‘siri’ epic the name recited as ‘lanke lookanaaDu’. The deity is worshipped as ‘Lookanaath’. Perhaps the same deity identified as ‘Soomanaatha’ during the 16th century period. Eshvara has many names like ‘Lookanaatha’ ‘Jagadiisha’ ‘keilaasanaatha’ ‘niilkantha’ or It is interesting to note that the earliest name of the place was perhaps 'Lookanaadu' and the deity was identified with a special noun 'Lookanatha'. Also one can identify the village named 'Satyanalike' near 'Mundaje'. (Kalmanja village. Beltangadi Tq) The same village might have been called 'Satyanapura' where 'Siri' grew under the care of ‘Satyanapura’

I give sincere my acknowledgment to Dr Vasanta Shetty and Prof Narasihma Murthy for reading the extammpered source of the Nidgal inscription.

A special thanks goes to Peter J, Claus, who supported to continue the fieldwork, RRC director Haridas Bhat, K.S. , also I express my special thanks to Dr Venkatesh Jois (of Keladi Museum curator) who helped in extampering the inscription during my field visit.