|Regions with significant populations|
|Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala|
|Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam|
|Related ethnic groups|
Devanga (also known as Devanga Chettiar) is a Hindu caste from South India that traditionally followed the occupation of weaving, mostly found in the Indian states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Pondicherry and Tamil Nadu, and also that of Odisha, where they are known as Deras.
Origin and culture
Devangas follow Veerashaivism or Shaivism. While some Devangas wear the yagnopaveetam or janivara, others consider the Viramustis as their traditional preceptors, from whom they take precepts and wear lingam.
Most members of this community were professional weavers and used to mainly produce pure cotton apparel. They were accordingly primarily concentrated around major textile centres in the Godavari district.
They were known for good craftsmanship in weaving clothes of all varieties and they weave superfine quality cotton clothes. Weaving the loom is usually done by men whereas women dye the yarn and spin the thread and children assist tasks such as looming. They are also very good entrepreneurs and expert in marketing of clothes. Some of them are also engaged in trading vegetables, groceries etc.
Punishment for inter-caste marriage
In 2004, the Devanga leaders of a small village in Belagur, Chitradurga district, Karnataka, fined and socially excluded ten families from the community for marrying people outside the caste. The decision was criticised and alleged to be unconstitutional but a similar thing happened to five families in Shivani village, Ajjampura, Chikmagalur district in 2011.
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- Parthasarathi, Prasannan (2001). The Transition to a Colonial Economy: Weavers, Merchants and Kings in South India, 1720-1800. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-52157-042-8.