Image: 19th Century Coorg(Kodava), BMA C-30.69.030
The Ballad was sung by young Coorgs(Kodavas) during the Kailpodh Festival. I have put it as documented by Richter, with edits. 1
To the taste of “Young Coorg” the Kaylmurta is the most glorious of all festivals and the popular song of the Coorg Mountaineer does full justice to this sentiment. 2
Behold a jolly mountaineer !
My home is Coorg, a land so dear;
As none in India, far or near,
I am a happy mountaineer !
High from the hill tops I behold,
The fertile sea coast, bathed in gold,
And rivers seaward flowing clear,
Yet I remain a mountaineer.
The Mysore plateau clearly seen
Is not like Coorg in morning sheen;
Rich forests, fields and gardens here
Delight the wealthy mountaineer.
The Bane Green 3, fair natures park,
I share with kine and singing lark;
I drink from brooks the water clear,
I am a roving mountaineer.
When monsoon storm pass over my home,
Then there’s no time for me to roam;
I plough the fields, plant rice with cheer,
But still remain a mountaineer.
At Kailmurt feast my work is done;
Then to the woods with knife and gun !
I shoot the bison, tiger, deer.
I am a fearless mountaineer !
What enemy dare touch our land !
I join my clan, fight hand to hand;
For Empress, country, with a cheer;
I die, a loyal mountaineer !
- The book which I have has typos and garbled text. I have tried to edit according to my understanding. If anyone has better version , do send across. ↩
- Richter G, 1887, Ethnographical Compedium on the Castes & Tribes found in the Province of Coorg, with a short description of those peculiar to Coorg. p.25 ↩
- Deverakad(The God’s Forest), The Sacred Forests in Coorg, where hunting and gathering is prohibited ↩