Gauda and Kunbi

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Gaudas and Kunbis are aboriginal people residing in the coastal Indian state of Goa. They are believed to be the original inhabitants of Konkan. Most follow folk Hinduism but many were baptised to Catholicism by the Portuguese missionaries in last few centuries while still keeping their folk tradition and culture alive.[citation needed]

Kunbis of Goa,ladies wearing dethli

Current social status[edit]

They are categorised as Scheduled Tribes by Government of India along with Velip community. Original Gaud (गौड) community is now known as Gawada (गावडा) community.[1]

Modern organisations[edit]

Gaudas, Kunbis, Velip and another shepherding tribe called the Dhangar, have organised themselves into an aboriginal-focussed network, called The Gauda, Kunbi, Velip and Dhangar Federation (GAKUVED). Another Adivasi-rights resource center, called MAND, also works for their betterment.[2]

Shuddhi movement[edit]

On 23 February 1928, many Catholic Gaudas were re-converted to Hinduism notwithstanding the opposition of the Church and the Portuguese government.[3] This was carried out by a Hindu religious institution from Mumbai known as Masurashram. The converts were given Hindu names but the Portuguese government put impediments in their way to get legal sanction to their new Hindu names.[4] 4851 Catholics from Tiswadi,2174 from Ponda,250 from Bicholim and 329 from Sattari Catholic Gaudas were re-converted to Hinduism after nearly 400 years. The total number of the converts to Hinduism was 7815.[5]


  1. ^ Gazette of India Extra-ordinary part-II, section-I dated 08-01-2003 by Ministry of Law and Justice and Official Gazette of Government of Goa, Supplement Series - I, No.3 dated 17-04-2003.
  2. ^ Mani, Kalanand; Frederick Noronha (2008). Picture-Postcard Poverty: Unheard voices, forgotten issues from rural Goa. Poverty,Rural poor,Social Science / Poverty. Goa1556. p. 9. ISBN 81-905682-8-0. ISBN 9788190568289.
  3. ^ Ghai, R. K. (1990). Shuddhi movement in India: a study of its socio-political dimensions. Commonwealth Publishers. p. 103. ISBN 9788171690428.
  4. ^ Ralhan, Om Prakash (1998). Post-independence India: Indian National Congress, Volumes 33-50. Anmol Publications PVT. LTD. pp. 304–305. ISBN 9788174888655.
  5. ^ Godbole, Shriranga (Goa liberation day anniversary issue, December 2010). Sanskrutik Vartapatra (in Marathi,see chapter:Govyatil margadarshak shuddhikarya). Pune: Sanskrutik Vartapatra. pp. 61–66. Check date values in: |year= (help)