Introduction / History
The Devanga live in southern India and are weavers by tradition. They trace their origins to the sage Devala Maharishi. They mostly live in Karnataka, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry. Most of them weave silk and cotton clothing. They follow Veerashaivism and Lingayit practices.
The Devanga used to be the same community as the Padmashali but later became two separate people groups when the Devanga began Shivite practices.
In northern Karnataka, the Devanga have two groups who are the Kulachaar Devanga and the Shivachar Devanga. They both worship the goddess Banashankari. In the Godavari region of Andhra Pradesh, most weavers are Devanga people. There are several clans in the state of Mysore. The Devanga of Telangana in Andhra Pradesh have sixty-four exogamous divisions (exogamous means that marriage is with a partner from outside that division).
What are Their Lives Like?
The Devanga have a good reputation for being fine craftsmen in weaving many different types of clothing. They weave superfine cotton clothes which are of good quality. Men usually do the loom weaving and the women yarn and spin the thread. Children help too. They are good business people as they are good at selling the clothes. Some Devanga do other work such as being in the grocery trade.
The Devanga speak Kannada, Telugu and Tamil Malayam. They are Hindus by religion.
Most of the Devanga do not eat vegetables. Those that do are looked at as Brahmins.
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