The Bunts are a primarily Tulu speaking Matrilineal Hindu Community hailing from southern coastal Karnataka and also the Kasargod district of Kerala, alternatively known as Tulu Nadu.They belong to the Nagavanshi Kshatriya order of lineage. The word Bunta is derived from the Sanskrit word Bhata meaning powerful man or a warrior, The Tulu equivalent is Bunte or Bunter (plural) which means Protector. Bunts are also referred to as Naadava which means landlord in Tulu. In past the Bunts also controlled Vijayanagara Empire when the Tuluva Dynasty was in power.
Bunts have a little over hundred surnames ,but the most common are Shetty,Rai and Hegde
The List of all are given below
Billava is one of the largest Hindu communities of Tulu and also found among Kannada speaking Kundapura region of Karnataka and some parts of Kerala including Kasargode District. They were previously engaged in Martial Arts (Garadi), practising Ayurveda and racially same as of Ilava (now known as Ezhava) community of Kerala. This community was reformed under Sree Narayana Guru’s teachings.
Mogaveeras are the major fishing community in coastal Karnataka, India. They form one of the largest communities of the Tulu ethnic group. The word 'Mogaveera' is a modernised version of the old word 'Mogeyar'.
They dominate the fishing and marine business in coastal Karnataka. They are distributed all over Kasaragod,South Canara and Udupi Districts. Many have migrated from their native villages to Mumbai, Bangalore etc. Mogaveeras were the first people from South Canara/Udupi to visit Bombay and the coasts of Gujarat & Saurastra in the north and Colombo in the South.The Mogaveera youth are traditionally known for bravery. The naval force of the famed Queen Abbakka of Ullal consisted of brave Mogaveera youth. With the support of the strong navy she could mount a valiant attack against invading Portuguese during the eighteenth century.
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The brahmins who follow Dvaita philosophy founded by Vaishnava saint Sri Madhvacharya ( Poornaprajna or Anandathirta) of Udupi are known as Shivalli Madhwa Brahmins. Not all follow Madhwa's philosophy. Some Shivalli Brahmins follow Advaita philosophy of Adi Sankaracharya and are known as Shivalli Smartha Brahmins. The name helps to distinguish them from other brahmins and indicates their origins in and around Shivalli.
Shivalli Madhwa Brahmins speak Tulu language (with a strong influence of Sanskrit) that is slightly different from the Tulu spoken from other communities in this region. The Shivalli Madhwa Brahmin (brahmana) community has now spread all over the world. Shivalli Madhwa Brahmins are known for their hospitality, sharp intellect and good business acumen.
Every shivalli brahmins belong to a particular gotra. Gotra can be roughly said to be a clan. The gotra are names of great sages or rishi's of Hindu religion. Hence gotra indicates to sage to which a brahmin belongs to. Marriage is not allowed between bride and groom if both belong to same gotra ( Sagotra in Tulu ).This might be to avoid same blood group marriage , as it is believed in old days ,people of same gotra belong to same family. Gotras in Tulu brahmins are as follows
Tuluva Jains or Tulu Jains are a small community of Tulu speaking people who adhere to Jainism and other philosophies associated with it.The community is mainly concentrated in Tulu Nadu region in the Indian states of Karnataka and Kerala.They were traditionally Feudal Lords,who rarely participated in warfare since they adhere to the philosophy of Ahimsa.For Warfare they were mostly dependant on their cousin Bunts.The Tulu Jains trace their lineage through the Nagavanshi order of Kshatriyas.Many erstwhile royalty in the tulu region were jains.