Gauda and Kunbi
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.
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.
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.
On 23 February 1928, many Catholic Gaudas were re-converted to Hinduism notwithstanding the opposition of the Church and the Portuguese government. 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. 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.
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