KOTI CHENNAYA:

Koti and his brother Chennaya are the historic heroic of Tulund who became spirit after their heroic and tragic death. They are worshipped as cultural heroes and champions of the down-trodden. They were born as twin brothers to a woman Deyi Baidyedi who was of divine birth,  but had to take shelter in a Billava household. The rich ballad and his wicked  minister  ill-treated the heroes. They revolted against the ill-treatment meted out to them, left the country, helped another feudatory king in his war against another king and met with tragic death. The paaddana of Koti Chennaya is a big epic poem ranking with the well known folk epic of the world.

            There are sixty six shrines known as Garadis consecrated to Koti Chennaya in different parts of Tulunad. The shrine at Enmur is considered to be the main shrine. Along with the twin-heroes the sister Kinnidaru is also worshipped. Since the heroes belong to the Billava caste, the Billava priests take the leading role in the rituals. One can come across the shrine of Bermeru also in a Garadi complex. The impersonator of Koti, Chennaya and Kujumba Kaanja do not wear the usual big head-dress ani but wear a comb-shaped crown during the possession dance. A pair of  wooden posts with six bamboo strips covered with white cloth is installed in front of the shrine. This structure, called gurji symbolically represents the tomb of the departed heroes.

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