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1.8.1   Bonded labour

Many Yeravas, before the abolition of bonded labour, were working as bonded labourers. During that period, they were paid an annual labour cost of 5 bai paddy (one bai is equal to 80 seer), mayeku oru cuu bae 'one pair of cloth for rain' and ebueku oru cuu bae 'one pair of cloth for crop'. On the days work men were given 2 seer paddy and women were paid 1.5 seer paddy along with other items needed to prepare the food.

At the end of the year the master used to deduct all the wages he has paid in kind and other payments he has paid in cash from the consolidated annual salary of 5 bai paddy. If he had paid the Yerava in excess, the Yerava was expected to continue to work with the same master.

1.9  Religion

The Yeravas are animists for a long time. The Paniya Yeravas worship, karanga:i of Kutta, goddess of ippimale and a goddess erected by them in the form of a stone of some shape and placed below a tree at the entrance of the village. The Panjiri Yerava folksongs connected with various rituals begin with a remembrance of the gods, the gods thus remembered are pillu 'grass', pu:mi 'land', kallu 'stone', u:rya 'son', candra 'moon' and ka:made:va 'god of love'. In addition, as already pointed out, they worship pu:karimage, ka:appe and karicatte.

Some of the pe:yi 'devils' that are considered lo cast an evil eye on Yeravas are bi:re, kallurui, kuiye, kiiya:e.

Thus, Paniya Yeravas normally worship goddesses and Panjiri Yeravas worship the gods. Both the groups sacrifice male goats and cocks to their gods, goddesses and devils.

The Yeravas celebrate the festivals of the region, or rather we can say that they join in the celebration of the festivals of the region, such as, puttari, cankramana and kailmu:rta. These are celebrated by Kodavas.

1.10  Ethnic groups and interrelationship
In Virarajapet taluk of Kodagu in addition to Paniya Yeravas and Panjiri Yeravas Kurumbas are found. There is not much interaction between Yeravas and Kurumbas. They live in separate hamlets far apart. Since they are busy in earning a livelihood, which further restricts their mobility, there is less opportunity for any encounter. The children of both tribes study together in tribal schools.

Different hierarchies are attributed to each group living in this area.The Kodavas consider Yeravas lower than other kannada speaking so called "untouchables" and Kurumbas living their area in that order. Krishna Iyer (1948) has placed Panjiri Yeravas on the 'top of the social scale over the Paniyairavas. The Paniya Yeravas claim to be superior to Panjiri yeravas: similarly Panjiri Yeravas also claim to be superior Paniya Yeravas. The Kodavas consider Paniya Yeravas as superior to Panjiri Yeravas.

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