Chorão (island)

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Chorão
Choddnnem or Chodna
Ilha dos Fidalgos
Island
Location of Chorão (dark blue) in Ilhas de Goa (light blue)
Location of Chorão (dark blue) in Ilhas de Goa (light blue)
Chorão is located in Goa
Chorão
Chorão
Chorão is located in India
Chorão
Chorão
Coordinates: 15°32′50.7″N 73°52′45.8″E / 15.547417°N 73.879389°E / 15.547417; 73.879389Coordinates: 15°32′50.7″N 73°52′45.8″E / 15.547417°N 73.879389°E / 15.547417; 73.879389
Country (1961-present)  India
State Goa
District North Goa
Sub District Ilhas de Goa
Past country (1510-1961)  Portugal
Named for Island of Noblemen (in Portuguese)
Government
 • Type Communidade,
Panchayat
Elevation 8 m (26 ft)
Population
 • Total 5,345[1]
Demonym(s) Chodnekar
Languages
 • Official Konkani
 • Also Spoken Portuguese, English
 • Historical Portuguese
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
Postcode 403102
Telephone Code 0832

Chorão, also known as Choddnnem or Chodna, is an island along the Mandovi River near Ilhas, Goa, India. It is the largest among other 17 islands of Goa. It is located 5 kilometres (3.1 miles) away from the state capital, the city of Panjim and 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) away from the city of Mapusa. Even today, one can visit this area and see the distinct churches, graveyards and buildings all with a Portuguese air.

Chorão is accessible by the ferry from Ribandar, is mainly known for its beautiful bird sanctuary. If you arrive here with your own transport it's worth a ride through the countryside to little Chorão village, with its handful of whitewashed village churches and picturesque Portuguese homes.[2]

Etymology[edit]

Etymologically the Islands name Choddnnem is derived from the Sanskrit word Chuddamonnim.[3][4] Chudda means head wear and Monnim (Mani) signifies some thing worn in the shape of a necklace or a jewel of cylindrical shape.[5][6]

It was the Portuguese who called it Chorão. The Portuguese noblemen found the island a pleasurable place to live and hence the name Ilha dos Fidalgos (Island of Noblemen).

History[edit]

Chorão Island preserves the traces of a very interesting ancient history, Brahmin and Portuguese colonizers.

Early Settlers and History of Chorão[edit]

'The First Wave' of Indo-Aryan migration to Goa happened between the Christian era (4th-3rd century BC to 3rd-4th century AD)this is the generally accepted timeline.Descendants of the pioneers at some stage grew into 96 clans. Ninety Six in Konkani is Shennai, from which comes the surname Shenoy or Shenvi (Sinai in the Portuguese era). Of the 96 Sinai clans 10 families settle in Chorão.[7][8][9][10][11] The Shenvi Brahmins would henceforth go on to dominate the socio-economic and religious sphere of Goan life.[12]

According to Historian José Gerson da Cunha Chorão was a site of an ancient Tirtha "or sacred pool".[13] and was known as Mahakshetra or "Great country or place". The Shenvi Brahmins were much respected, were handsome, well-behaved and skillful, and that in course of time they very naturally multiplied themselves[14]

According to Jesuit Missionary and writer Luís Fróis "These Brahmins are very polite and of keen intelligence. They are fine gentlemen, fair and well proportioned. Possessing many qualities which are not possible to enumerate. The wives of these Brahmins are a reserved type of people, steady in their habits. They are honest, naturally modest in their disposition and are devoted to their husbands whom they serve well. They do not remarry on the death of their husbands and do not use coloured dresses and since the imposition of the law forbidden sati or widow burning they shave their heads even though they may be young. Their Sons are very able men, fair, gentle in their demeanour and of good common sense".[15][16][17]

Chorão had its own ethnic social mores in ancient times. In Goa the Devadasis were called Kalavants. According to P. D Xavier "the Kalavants system might have originated from the widows who ran away and took shelter in the village temples to escape sati, the inhuman practice of burning the widow on her husband”s pyre."[18] The tonsuring of widows was also abolished by the Portuguese like Sati system.[19]

Christianization of Chorão[edit]

The island was Christianised by the Jesuits as they did the adjoining islands of Divar and Salcete. In 1510, this area was one of the first to be conquered by the Portuguese and by 1552, the island of Chorão had a population of just above 3,000, 300 of whom were Christian and by this time, a small church was built. By the end of 1559, over 1,200 had accepted baptism in total. The following year, in 1560, the first bishop from the Jesuit order, Dom João Nunes de Barreto set up residence in Chorão, which eventually became a Noviciate.[20]

Jesuit Missionary and writer Luís Fróis in his letter dated 10 December 1560 says "Most of these Brahmins can speak Portuguese and are happy to learn the doctrine pertaining to Faith and Morals".[21] With incredible brevity the whole of the Island of Chorão prepared itself for the general baptism which was fixed for 8 August 1560. The archbishop along with some priests visited Chorão Island first, followed by Father Melchior Carneiro and the provincial. It being the month of August, a time when it rains heavily, the repairs of the church were hurriedly completed. The Viceroy Dom Constantino of Braganza came with retinue and brought his musicians who played on a variety of instruments like trumpets, drums and charamelas. Viceroy Dom Constantino of Braganza also stood as god-father (sponsor) to the important men of the place treating them with love and affection. This alone was more than sufficient to keep the neophytes happy. As many as possible were baptised that evening.Father Joseph Ribeiro stayed behind and baptized the remaining. In all, therefore the number of the converts reached 1207, the greater part of the people of the Island having already been baptized before.[22][23]

Fróis says that a greater number of those who embraced Christianity in Chorão were Chaudarins (Toddy-Tappers). They also made better Christians and being more homely, were easy to be converted. They made their confession during Lent, some confessed their sins fortnightly, others monthly and six or seven of them every Sunday and they received Communion in the Church of Our Lady of Grace Church (Chorão Island).[24]

Some Chorão women, on the occasion of their baptism, wore some much gold to the extent of astonishing the missionaries. They belong to the caste of Chardo.[25] In 1566 Chorão had 2470 converts and few Brahmins had promised to become Roman Catholics later. In 1582 there were three thousand converts in Chorão and all its inhabitants were Roman Catholics and many came from outside to receive baptism.[26]

Ilha dos Fidalgos[edit]

A large number of magnificent building with storeys rose up surrounded by lovely flower garden and sometimes due to want of space attached to one another. It was here that most of the nobility and rich resided, spending a life of comfort and luxury. This was the reason why Chorão Island became known as Ilha dos Fidalgos (Island of Noblemen).[27]

Tradition has it that when these Fidalgos went for Mass, a special place was set apart to protect their superfine umbrellas, chiefly made of red damask.[28] The fidalgos would be found often lounging near the ferry point on the south-eastern side of the island, waiting for patmarios (sail boats) to cross over to Old Goa or Ribandar. The Fidalgos as well as the common folk took great delight in chewing on snacks available then and gulped down hot tea in the shacks.They enjoyed the freshly steamed merem (snack) and sipped the hot cha (tea) at that spot.[29]

Cheese of Chorão[edit]

Chorão was once famous for its Cheese. Cattle of whatever kind and type, would breed and thrive well on the Island and milk was supplied in abundance. Queijo da Ilha de Chorão (Island Cheese of Chorão) was a wonderful cheese that had been produced since the 16th century. Chorão Cheese was well liked and appreciated by Portuguese Gentry in Goa. Chorão Cheese used to be exported even as far as Macau. Due to immigration of Islanders, this Cheese Industry got extinct in the 19th century.[30]

Forts of Chorão[edit]

Two well equipped fortresses guarded Chorão Island from the incursion of Marathas. The Fortaleza de São Bartolomeu de Chorão( Saint Bartholomew Fort of Chorão) was built in 1720 in the north eastern part of Chorão Island. It had a lovely castle within its enclosures. Among other things it had eleven turrets(tinha onze pecas) and was used for the defense of the fort that surrounded Chorão island and those of Calvim.[31] According to Sketch of the City of Goa by Jose Nicolau da Fonseca, it was probably erected at the same time as the Fort of Naroa. The Saint Bartholomew Fort was abandoned in 1811 and now lies in total ruins.[32]

Epidemics in Chorão Island[edit]

Main Article : Epidemics in Chorão Island

Education Institutions[edit]

In 1559, the Jesuits founded a school in Chorão for the children of the village. It is recorded that the number of them at one time reached 400. Reading, writing and Christian doctrine were taught in this school. According to the belief of the people the school was functioning in a building situated at the western part of the hill built as a residence of the Jesuits by Fr. Dom João Nunes Baretto S.J. Patriarch of Ethiopia. The Konkani language which was a great help for the conversion work was probably taught in this school. It was meant for the Jesuits.[33]

Seminary of Chorão[edit]

Main Article : Real Colégio de Educação de Chorão

Latin School[edit]

According to a decree issued on 19 April 1871 after a resolution had been passed by the Communidade of Chorão on 6 February 1870, it was decided to establish on the Island of Chorão at the expense of the Communidade of Chorão a School of Latin, the payment of the Professor who was to be appointed by the Government of the State.[34]

English School[edit]

In 1944 Fr. Elias Gama wanted to built a new English School in Chorão Island, he could not do it as there was one founded by Mr. Januario Pereira of Boctavaddo, St Barthomews High School, though it was not actually running. It was the merit of Fr. Elias Gama to restart it.On 6 November 1952 new building of School was inaugurated by Dom José da Costa Nunes.The medium is English and the School prepares for the S.S.C examination

Villages[edit]

The Chorão island constituted of three comunidades namely:

Saude is the centre of the island.

Chorão[edit]

This village is located on the south of the island.

Village Church[edit]

Igreja de Nossa Senhora de Graça Our Lady of Grace Church (Chorão Island)

Ambelim[edit]

This village is located on the north west of the island.

Village Church[edit]

Igreja de São Bartolomeu, Chorão St Bartholomew's Church (Chorão Island)

Caraim (Caroi)[edit]

This village is located on the north east of the island.

Village Church[edit]

Capela de Nossa Senhora da Saúde (Chorão Island)

Pseudohistory, Legends and Myths[edit]

  • There are several legends connected to this place. One of them tells about of the islands emerging from diamonds that were thrown away by Yashoda the mother of Lord Krishna.(However, from Geological point of view it can be recognized as nonsensical)
  • The island was said to be a place of learning and said to have a University of Sanskrit (though no archaeological evidence supports this theory)
  • When the Portuguese began the evangelizing of Goa, many Hindus chose to relocate their idols to the villages of Naroa and Marcela (though both places were in Portuguese dominion at the time)
  • It is also thought,that the island had small temples for deities like Ganesh, Mallinath, Devki-Krishna, Santa-purush, Narayan, etc. The main deity Devaki-Krishna and its associated deities of Bhumika Devi, Laxmi Ravalnath, Mallinath, Katyayani, Chandeussor and Dadd-Sancol were taken to Mayem in Bicholim and then relocated to their present location at Marcel.(both places were in Portuguese dominion at the time).
  • On Caroi Vaddo of Chorão, on the banks or river Mandovi, there were temples dedicated to goddess Gaja Lakshmi and Ravalnath.(though no archaeological evidence supports this theory)

Though the Indigenous peoples of Chorão Island who embraced Roman Catholicism in 1560 and their descendants were not familiar with such Myths and Legends since these Myths were created in 19th century by Migrant Hindus, also the Indigenous peoples of Chorão Island were never adherents of Vaishnavism. Most of these Pseudohistory, Myths and Legends has been Debunked and had been written by 19th century Pseudohistorians or Crackpots .

Temples[edit]

Like in all of Goa, the high immigration rate of Hindus from surrounding states like Maharashtra etc. have caused a dramatic change in the demographics, culture and landscape in Chorão. Though immigration was allowed during the secular Salazar regime, it has been put into full gear after the Invasion of Goa by India.

Many temples have been built since the last century. One example is the temple of Shri Devaki Krishna Bhumika Mallinath built on 11 January 1934.

Bird Sanctuary[edit]

The Chorão Island is attractive primarily because of its amazing flora and fauna. Here you will see lots of mangroves – the amazing and beautiful forests growing in the water.

Chorão is also home to the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, in the western part of the island, on an area of 178 hectares. It is the largest bird sanctuary of Goa is located. The reserve has got its name from the famous Indian ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali and now it proudly bears the name of "Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary". The territory of this National Park is inhabited by migratory and local birds of over 400 species. The crocodiles can also be seen among the aquatic inhabitants of Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary.

Notable People of Chorão Island[edit]

Name Occupation
Locu Sinai Naique(Lucas de Sa) Rendeiro Mor(Chief tax collector) & Village Judicial Authority-1548,"The Greatest Giant of Goan Brahmin community" and opened the floodgates to Christianity in Chorão.[35]
Crisna Tanador Mor (Village Judicial Authority), One of the Chief Brahmins of Goa.Helped the Portuguese in Conquest of Bardez and Salcette.[36]
Raul Chatim (Ravala Śeṭī or Roulu Shet) Gaunkar of Caraim, 16th century merchant and a guild head and collaborator with Afonso de Albuquerque and retained a high office in Goa.The first Goan Merchant to visit Portugal whom the King of Portugal gifted honorific mount of a horse.[37]
Vincent Alvares Medical practitioner and Chemist of his Majesty John V of Portugal.[38]
Manuel Caetano Alvares First Goan graduate of the Faculty of Medicine in Portugal.[39]
Braz Fernandes First ever Vice-Consul for Portugal in Bombay.[40]
Rogério de Faria (Roger Faria) Consul of Brazil and Luso-Goan businessman.[41] referred to in Bombay Circles as "Prince Merchant".[42]
Lucas de Lima Theologian, Jurist and Canonist.[43]
Braz Anthony Fernandes Author, Historian and co-founded the Bombay Historical Society in 1925.
Jose Maria Tito Fernandes (Xete) Architect of Capela de Nossa Senhora da Saúde (Chorão Island)[44]
Dr Chicot Vaz Neurophysician.
Fr Anastasio Gomes Theologian.
Renato da Penha Gonsavles Scientist.
Luis Xavier Correia da Graca scholar and jurist.
Augusto da Penha Gonsalves High Court Judge in Angola.
Nancy Rodrigues Miss Universe (1990–91) at the International Contest among the Indians of New York.
Anthony Colaco First Goan to participate and win Gold medal at the Special Olympics 1991 for the Handicapped Minnesota, USA.[45]
Francis Fernandes Finger print expert and a former Police Inspector in North America.
Rev Fr. Sebastiao Xavier De Noronha Missionary in the diocese of Mylapore for 47 years & parish priest of Vailanganni for 32 years where he worked with unabated zeal completely renovated the old small church of OUR LADY OF HEALTH into a magnificent shrine was born in Chorão Goa on 16 July 1865

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • The Island of Chorão (A Historical Sketch) By Francisco Xavier Gomes Catão, Mar Louis Memorial Press, Alwaye (1962)
  • Etimos das Aldeas de Goa, em o Oriente Portuguese,Chantre F.X VAZ, Vol XIII(1916)
  • The Koṅkaṇî Language and Literature By José Gerson da Cunha (1881)
  • An Historical and Archaeological Sketch of the City of Goa By Jose Nicolau Da Fonseca (1878)
  • Goa: Hindu temples and deities By Rui Gomes Pereira, Antonio Victor Couto Published by Pereira, (1978)
  • Conversions and Citizenry : Goa under Portugal, 1510-1610 By Délio de Mendonça (1958)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Population of Chorao Village, Tiswadi, Goa". populationofindia.co.in. 
  2. ^ "Chorao Island, India – Lonely Planet". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 2015-11-25. 
  3. ^ The Island of Chorão (A Historical Sketch) 1962 By Francisco Xavier Gomes Catão page 1 OCLC 29051875
  4. ^ Etimos das Aldeas de Goa, em o Oriente Portuguese,Chantre F.X VAZ, Vol XIII(1916) Page 280
  5. ^ The Island of Chorão (A Historical Sketch) 1962 By Francisco Xavier Gomes Catão page 1 OCLC 29051875
  6. ^ Etimos das Aldeas de Goa, em o Oriente Portuguese,Chantre F.X VAZ, Vol XIII(1916) Page 280
  7. ^ The Koṅkaṇî Language and Literature 1881 By José Gerson da Cunha Page 10 OCLC 606353517
  8. ^ A Socio-Cultural History of Goa from the Bhojas to the Vijayanagara 1999 By V R Mitragotri,Institute Menezes Braganza,Page 52 OCLC 604247154
  9. ^ "Soaring Spirit By Valmiki Faleiro First edition (18 April 2015) ISBN 9380739907 Publisher Goa,1556". Goanet. OCLC 914465029. 
  10. ^ "GAUDD SÀRASWAT BRÀHMINS IN GOA - DR. S M Tadkodkar". konkani savemylanguage. 
  11. ^ Pilgrimage to Temple Heritage by Biju Mathew, Eight Edition Volume 1 Page 207 OCLC 865071684
  12. ^ "THE EVOLUTION OF GAUNCARIA SYSTEM AND A LAND-BASED SOCIO-ECONOMIC ORDER Page 65" (PDF). 
  13. ^ The Koṅkaṇî Language and Literature 1881 By José Gerson da Cunha Page 9 OCLC 606353517
  14. ^ The Koṅkaṇî Language and Literature 1881 By José Gerson da Cunha Page 10 OCLC 606353517
  15. ^ Conversions and Citizenry : Goa under Portugal, 1510-1610 By Délio de Mendonça 1958 Page 357OCLC 50712980
  16. ^ Carta de 13-11-1560.Documentacao vol.VIII Page 91
  17. ^ The Island of Chorão (A Historical Sketch) 1962 By Francisco Xavier Gomes Catão page 25,26,27 OCLC 29051875
  18. ^ "The Church and Society in 16th Century Goa" by P. D Xavier 1988
  19. ^ Some legal aspects of Socio Economic life in Portuguese Goa In Goan Society through the ages By Kamat Pratima 1987, Asian Publication Series, page 94.
  20. ^ Sarasvati's Children: A History of the Mangalorean Christians, Alan Machado Prabhu, I.J.A. Publications, 1999, p.101 OCLC 47965430
  21. ^ The Island of Chorão (A Historical Sketch) 1962 By Francisco Xavier Gomes Catão page 25&27 OCLC 29051875
  22. ^ The Island of Chorão (A Historical Sketch) 1962 By Francisco Xavier Gomes Catão page 27&28 OCLC 29051875
  23. ^ Documentacao vol.VIII Page 92
  24. ^ The Island of Chorão (A Historical Sketch) 1962 By Francisco Xavier Gomes Catão page 21OCLC 29051875
  25. ^ Conversions and Citizenry : Goa under Portugal, 1510-1610 By Délio de Mendonça 1958 Page 357 OCLC 50712980
  26. ^ Conversions and Citizenry : Goa under Portugal, 1510-1610 By Délio de Mendonça 1958 Page 408 OCLC 50712980
  27. ^ The Island of Chorão (A Historical Sketch) 1962 By Francisco Xavier Gomes Catão page 4 OCLC 29051875
  28. ^ The Island of Chorão (A Historical Sketch) 1962 By Francisco Xavier Gomes Catão page 5 OCLC 29051875
  29. ^ "Chew on this part of Chorao’s history". 
  30. ^ The Island of Chorão (A Historical Sketch) 1962 By Francisco Xavier Gomes Catão page 2 OCLC 29051875
  31. ^ The Island of Chorão (A Historical Sketch) 1962 By Francisco Xavier Gomes Catão page3 OCLC 29051875
  32. ^ An Historical and Archaeological Sketch of the City of Goa (1878) Page 50 By José Nicolau Da Fonseca, Thacker & Co Ltd OCLC 4881453
  33. ^ The Island of Chorão (A Historical Sketch) 1962 By Francisco Xavier Gomes Catão page 45 OCLC 29051875
  34. ^ Boletim Official No.34 of 1871.
  35. ^ The Island of Chorão (A Historical Sketch) 1962 By Francisco Xavier Gomes Catão page 30 OCLC 29051875
  36. ^ Goa: A Daughter's Story By Maria Aurora Couto, 2004 Page 196 OCLC 55961312
  37. ^ The Portuguese empire, 1415-1808" By A. J. R. Russell-Wood, Page 105
  38. ^ The Island of Chorão (A Historical Sketch) 1962 By Francisco Xavier Gomes Catão page 82 OCLC 29051875
  39. ^ Health and Hygiene in Colonial Goa, 1510-1961 By Fatima da Silva Gracias Page 176 OCLC 722223179
  40. ^ Bandra It's Religious Secular History, By Braz A. Fernandes, D.K. Parker at "the Fine art Press", Bombay, 1927, page 104-105
  41. ^ Teotónio de Souza (2006). Jerry Pinto, ed. Reflected in Water: Writings on Goa. Penguin Books India. pp. 136–142. ISBN 9780143100812. 
  42. ^ Trade and Finance in Portuguese India: A Study of the Portuguese Country Trade 1770-1840 by Celsa Pinto, Concept Publishing Company (1994), Page 58
  43. ^ The Island of Chorão (A Historical Sketch) 1962 By Francisco Xavier Gomes Catão page 88 OCLC 29051875
  44. ^ The Island of Chorão (A Historical Sketch) 1962 By Francisco Xavier Gomes Catão page 60 OCLC 29051875
  45. ^ "Special Olympians brace for time of their life".