In Dakshina Kannada both the groups of Gowdas i.e 'Tulu' and 'Arebhashe' do not prepare meat or any non vegeterian food during marriage and gruhapravesha etc functions. 'Tulu' Gowdas of Puttur seeme invariably conduct Marriage and Gruha Pravesha etc. as per Vadhika Practice. Presence of Brahaman is a must! ( But, to what extent the Brahmin Poojari conducts the vedic rituals in right procedure is a debatable issue, as they look down Gowdas as not worthy of this practice). The Oora Gowda, as well, takes a Dheeksha and wears Yajnopaveetha (As confirmed by Balnadu Babu Gowda). At the time of Marriage, bridegroom's father offers Rs. 10 1/4 to the girls' parents out of this Rs.6 1/4 is to be sent to Gurumatha i.e Sringeri Matha through Oora gowda for Girls Mutheide thanakke (for seeking longer life for the couple. Oora Gowda thus collects such offering during the Marriages held under his jurisdiction and hands over the same to Maagane-Gowda and through him to Kattemane. Kattemane Gowda takes it over to Guru Matha (Sringeri Matha) once in a year and seeks blessings from Mathadhipathi on behalf of married couple.
Oora Gowda occupies an important position in an "JEEVANAVARTHANA- PRACTICES Of Tulu Gowdas of Puttur region. In his absence Othu Gowda takes over his responsibility .Gowdas follow Patriarchial succession procedure. Eldest male member in the joint family is head of the family. Oora gowda of the village is nominated by Kattemae head.
In all functions starting from "Veelya Shastra" up to marriage the oora gowda recites an invocation and declaration in loud voice which states as "Aramanethagledela, Gurumanethagaledala Path Kutumba Padinenmo Baritha Bandhu Bhandhaveradala Kattemanethagledala, Magane Manethagledala, Oora Gowderdala, Ithinchina Binneredla, Bathinanchina Binnerdla kenondu Bangera Baritha aanagla (Name of boy) Nandere baritha ponnagla (name of girl) Thali kattuba panpero". At this moment the gathered relatives and public will declare their assent saying "Edde Karyo Panpero". This declaration is same as the recital in Sullia and Kodagu region which is in Kannada. Here the referece to Aramane and Gurumane is essentially to royalty of Ikkeri and Sringeri MMathadhipathies respectively.
Hathu Kutumba Hadinentu Gothraada Gowdas strictly follow "Patriarchial" practice. Gothra and Bali and family name is derived from the father to the children. Female members of the family do not directly participate in any rituals. Even the cooking for performing rituals is prepared by men folk. Inheritance of property is always to the male children. In cas of husbands death the wife takes over the property as custodian of her minor children. Tilll recently they used to live in joint family structure. Many households used to contain forty to fifty family members thus enjoyed the collective security. Eldest son in the family becomes the Kartha (family head). Marriages anibg Sangothra (Bali) is forbidden as they considered as brother and sister or cousins. This is an approved practice as per scientific fraternity and produces healthy pregnency with better resistance to diseases. Generally there is no 'Dowry' systen among gowdas clan on the other hand boys father offers an kanya shulka to girls parents a sum of rupees 16 1/4.
( This chapter is taken from book Pursuit Of Our Roots by Puttur Anantharaja Gowda. Book contains whole history of Gowdas and their culture. To get a copy of this book by post contact: 8073913336. Price Rs.230-00)