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The Tulu people, known as the Tuluvas, are people who natively speak Tulu and trace their ancestry to Karnataka state of India. Tulu language belongs to Dravidian language family. They traditionally inhabit region of Kanara comprising the districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi in Karnataka. Linguistic minorities are also found in the Kasaragod district of Kerala.[2][3] The Census report of 2011 reported a population of 1,846,427 native Tulu speakers living in India.[1]

Tulu people
Total population
c. 1.8 million
Regions with significant populations
 India1,846,427 (2011 census)[1]
Jain Prateek Chihna.svgJainism
Related ethnic groups
Dravidians · Kannadigas · Konkanis · Kodavas

People and identityEdit

Tulu speakers are divided into various castes. The major Tulu speaking castes are Billavas, Bunts, and Mogaveeras, Kulala's, Devadiga's Shettigar's,Tulu Brahmins etc.[4]


Nagabana: The Nāga deities are worshipped in sacred groves
Ritual dance performing the Buta Kola dance in honour of the deities worshipped by Tulu speakers

Tuluvas follow a matrilineal system of inheritance known as Aliyasantana, where inheritance is from uncle to nephew, except for Brahmins and Vishwakarmas.[5] Other distinctive features include the rituals of Yakshagana, Bhuta Kola, Nagaradhane[6] Aati kalenja and Kambala.[7]

Tuluva New Year is called Bisu parba, which falls on the same day as Baisakhi, Vishu and the Thai New Year.[8]

Tuluva Paddanas are sung narratives, which are part of several closely related singing traditions in Tulu language, Paddans are sung during occasions which describe the evolution of Tulu tribes and Tulu culture.[9]

Prominent TuluvasEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "ABSTRACT OF SPEAKERS' STRENGTH OF LANGUAGES AND MOTHER TONGUES - 2011" (PDF). Indian Census 2011, Government of India. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  2. ^ "Tulu".
  3. ^ "Tulu Nadu, Kasaragod, Kerala, India". Kerala Tourism. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  4. ^ Shetty, Malavika (2010). Telling Stories: Language, Narrative, and Social Life (Identity building through Narratives on a Tulu Call-in Show). Georgetown University Press. p. 95-108. ISBN 9781589016743.
  5. ^ Yogitha Shetty. "Ritualistic World of Tuluva: A Study of Tuluva Women and Siri possession cult". Retrieved 12 December 2010.
  6. ^ "Nagapanchami Naadige Doodadu". 18 August 2007. Retrieved 28 January 2008.
  7. ^ "Connecting with nature". "Deccan Herald". 17 May 2010. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  8. ^ "Star of Mysore". Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  9. ^ Peter J. Claus, "Variability in Tulu Padannas". Retrieved 2011-03-09.

External linksEdit