I just came back from Crete and I went through this book of magic of yours.
I was fully aware that it was going to be an outstanding book but THIS one is far beyond any expectation. No matter how hard I tried to find the proper words to express my admiration, contentment, joy and happiness for the bliss of the creation of this book, it was in vain. This book is a proof of the existence of the divine inspiration coming to a person that realy deserves it. You have given to the world and not only to the Kodavas, an unique book to serve people to understand the real values on human traditions, behavior and quality of life, for the best of mankind.
Be always blessed
- Antonios Vasileiadis
Kaveri Ponnapa's work of devotion spanning over a decade and a half has been worth every bit of her effort and dedication
For a Kodava reader like me, it made very intimate reading. The subject has been dealt with love and passion and knowledgeable research, without hyperbole, and leaves the reader enriched and satisfied. For a 'non-Kodava' it offers a valuable insight into this unique and somewhat mystical community.
The Vanishing Kodavas® is a remarkable comprehensive study of Kodava life. Every part of life from the cradle to the grave is clearly mentioned. All Kodavas would do well if they seek to possess this book and assimilate the content to serve as a guide for their young children about their rich history, customs and traditions. The painstaking labour of love of Kaveri Ponnapa must be honoured by all Kodavas. It deserves to be placed along with the illuminating works of Appaneravanda Appacha Kavi and Nadikerianda Chinnappa's Pattole Palame.
- Biddatanda.C. Ponnappa, Napoklu, Kodagu
The Vanishing Kodavas® by Kaveri Ponnapa is a monumental literary achievement in preserving the history and culture of Coorg
The Vanishing Kodavas® by Kaveri Ponnapa is a monumental literary achievement in preserving the history and culture of Coorg, before its rugged people are assimilated into the country's mainstream. The author's labour of love over fifteen years, captured in vivid photographs and a sense of history, is her payback to a community that nurtured her, giving an identity that is losing relevance in a globalized world. Reminding people of who they are – their past, their rich culture, lifestyle, and the aromatic coffee growing on the rolling hills above their forests, is a reminder for the young generation that, the preservation of their precious land and people should be their resolve.
- Lt.Gen.Arjun Ray
The Vanishing Kodavas® – a tribal classic
There have been many books and studies, articles, records, travelogues and folklore on the land of Kodagu (also known as Coorg) and its people the Kodavas (Coorgs).
Kaveri Ponnapa's book 'The Vanishing Kodavas®' is a remarkable and unique book because she has studied and assimilated all the material existing here and there, in India and abroad and combined it with her own insights gathered from a personal reaching out and communication with hundreds of Kodavas and other native inhabitants such as the Poleyas, Kurbas and Amma Kodavas living in remote villages, isolated homesteads as well as in urban towns and cities. The neutral views of the academic outsider blending with the passionate voice of the insider, gives a nearly complete picture, perhaps for the first time, of our beautiful and bountiful land and its amazing people.
The written book is beautifully balanced by stunning photographs of the land and its people. Kaveri Ponnapa has an eye for beauty and has chosen the best in nature and man. Sudeep Gurtu has done full justice to her choice of subjects. He produces a visual treat and brings alive the breathtaking beauty of God's land and the proud bearing and character of its men and women. Every picture tells its own story. Every wrinkle and whisker tells a tale. What is the impact of the book and what does it mean to us? More importantly, what are we going to do to preserve this wonderful land and its people? Whatever Kaveri's motives in writing this book, the most important value of it is in the awakening of feeling for a lost land.
Change is a way of life. It is inevitable. We cannot be frogs in the well. One has to move on and move out. This small community has made an outstanding contribution to the nation and the world. As mentioned by Kaveri Ponnapa it has produced the finest military generals, the bravest soldiers, outstanding chief conservators of forest, upright accountant generals, career diplomats, the finest sportspersons, doctors, scientists, engineers, architects, ambassadors, writers, etc. In addition our small community is contributing a major share to the Indian economy. All this would not have been possible if we had only lived in Coorg growing coffee and paddy and hunting animals.
But living away does not mean forgetting our land and its people. Kaveri Ponnapa has listed many issues threatening our land and its very character and existence. To mention a few, the Timber Mafia axing our trees, small growers selling out to the highest bidder and leaving the land due to spiralling fertilizer prices and rising labour costs and costs of maintaining the infrastructure and hordes of tourists causing environmental and pollution problems. These are a few of the many problems facing us. Since we are a small community living within a small area of habitation, it is easier to control and change our destiny. All it needs is the united will and effort of its people.
'The Vanishing Kodavas®' is a living and thinking book meant to ponder on and act upon. It is not merely a coffee table book or a collector's item. It's a priceless Kodava heirloom to be proudly possessed by every Kodava family.
- Dr. Sabitha Chengapa (Bangalore)
This is a very rare and astounding book of its kind
Though the author has referred to and studied and digested hundreds of books of yore, written on Kodagu, Kodava culture and tradition by renowned European and local historians and research scholars. She has not depended on these books only. She has travelled far and wide in the hilly tracts of the district, knocked on the doors of the old generation, attended the ceremonies, participated in cultural activities where such old and forgotten traditions survive still. Every photograph is self-explanatory. The brief foot-notes do the job of a key.
The title of the book, The Vanishing Kodavas® is very very apt for the present condition of Kodava community and culture. The book gives many examples to support the title, such as the present condition of the ancient ainmane, kaimada, shrines, festivals, language of the present generation etc.
The quality or worth of this book should never be judged by its size, cost or number of pages. It is a treasure of knowledge on vanishing Kodavas.
The study of this book will give impetus to regenerate the spirit of our ancestors and to protect the unique culture and tradition.
Though I am a history student and I have a collection of many history books on Kodagu history, culture and tradition, I could collect many more unknown and unheard stories from this book, and vivid pictures of celebrations in remote Surlabinad. In my personal opinion this book surpasses other books published earlier, in its lucid style of explanation supported by relevant photographs.
The Vanishing Kodavas® is not a book to preserve as a showpiece in the library, but to study and digest each and every line and word. It enriches and enlightens the reader.
- Bachiranianada. P. Appanna ( Kushalnagar, Kodagu)
The Vanishing Kodavas® is not merely a book.
It is tribute of love to a legacy and ancestry of a people who have contributed to the rich diversity of peoples that populate India. Shrouded in mystery, folklore and history, this passionate work of Kaveri Ponnapa will serve for present and future generations of Coorgs to appreciate, study and reflect on the wealth of their heritage. The Vanishing Kodavas® is truly a gem for posterity!
- Wendell Rodricks
It's hard to put down the book
The Vanishing Kodavas® once you start reading – it's awesome and so captivating! One realizes how rich and blessed we Indians truly are. There is such an enormous wealth of culture and so much to admire and learn from. The photographs, the quality of paper and printing are fantastic. You have taken tremendous efforts to bring out this book and the Kodavas will surely be proud that the world now knows a great deal about them. One can simply visualize the beauty of the land of the Kodavas!
- Sarayu Kamath
The Kodava community owes a debt of gratitude to the author of "The Vanishing Kodavas®"
The many-splendoured book is a visual delight. Though a little unwieldy, once the book is opened the aching arms and the aching neck are all forgotten. The author's reverence for the ancient and her love for the land and community shine through the engrossing narration.
What is more relevant is that she refutes many of the misconceptions about the Kodavas with extensive and meticulous research, and impeccable references which are precisely listed beside the text, to substantiate her statements.
As for the photographs, the pristine beauty of Kodagu still exists in parts of the district, inspite of the ravages and vandalism inflicted on it. I wish there was some way of inducing the young people to read the book.
- Dr. Mrs. Chondu Uthaiyya, Mekery Estate, Kodagu
I never knew that history could be made so interesting and absorbing to read!
"The Vanishing Kodavas®" kept me riveted for the last ten days till I finished reading the book.
It is a book to own, to read, to treasure and to gift to loved ones.
A thoroughly researched book written with love and passion. The photographs jump out of the pages, so real, clear and sharp.
The chapters brought together so brilliantly, all aspects, down to every detail. I enjoyed the flow –truly a painting with words.
- Swathy Mandanna, Suntikoppa, Kodagu