Neo-folk, indigenous-itinerant hinduism: the Kodavathees of Singapore

Bittiandra Chand Somaiah

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1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper presents a women-centred study of the religious identities and practices of the diasporic Coorgs of Singapore through interviews and observances of their religious practices, focusing on how these first-generation immigrants have created adaptive techniques of ancestor worship and the worship of Kaveriamma to perform their Coorg identity away from their ancestral homeland. Their spiritual practices in the home are contrasted with their engagements in broader Singaporean Hindu society, where issues of cultural identity and religious practice serve as a lens to comprehend how contemporary diasporic religiosities among Coorg women (Kodavathees) are negotiated. The diasporic Kodavathees have found innovative ways to maintain their religious practices and assert their distinct ethnic identity in Singapore, where being Hindu is often narrowly defined by broad social acceptance of the official ethnic taxonomies of the state.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)520-538
Number of pages19
JournalSouth Asia
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • ancestor worship
  • Coorg
  • Diaspora
  • ecofest
  • indigenous-itinerant Hinduism
  • Kaveriamma
  • Kodavathees
  • neo-folk Hinduism


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