As a meticulously compiled history of a community, gradually losing touch with its heritage, The Vanishing Kodavas is equally relevant to both scholars and lay readers. Ponnapa’s easy and lucid writing style steers clear of dense academic theory and jargon of any kind, widening her readership. But perhaps its biggest contribution to contemporary writing on the Kodavas, aside from the wealth of information it contains, is the manner in which it blends the voice of the neutral, observing academic with that of the sensitive, ardent insider in its endeavour to encourage recognition for a community; their culture, history and identities, that are unfortunately, even if inevitably, slipping away.
— Shilpa Vijayakrishnan, Tasveer Journal
In The Vanishing Kodavas Ponnapa has created a volume of work that the reader will read, put away and revisit another day. Few writers can boast of making their work relevant to a general readership as well as to those for whom it will serve as a base for further academic studies.
—Nalini Menon, Hindustan Times
“We all shift cities, countries, continents. We should look at ways to internalise culture and pass it on, carrying it within us,” is Kaveri’s hope for her people. Painstakingly researched over 15 years, the book goes deep into the community’s history, its grand houses, laws of the land, customs, worship, songs of the warriors, the forests and sacred landscapes, coffee, stories of its people.
—Bhumika K, The Hindu
Ponnapa has ably pieced together the unique way of life of the people in this hilly district. The book covers almost all aspects of their life including religion, architecture, hunting and celebrations.
The book bears the stamp of not only the scholarship of the author, the love of labour of a patriotic Kodavathi but also the tremendous research and leg-work that have gone into its making. It has between its 360 pages, 12 chapters devoted to specific subjects, 300 colour and sepia photographs of superb quality and of archival value, most helpful guide to a reader of this kind of a researched book.
The glossary of Kodava words is exhaustive and descriptive to leave no doubt in the mind of a serious reader about the import of those Kodava words and names; the select bibliography authenticates what is researched and will help those who wish to write on Kodavas and Kodagu in future.
—KB Ganapathy, Star of Mysore
…this passionate work by Kaveri Ponnapa will serve for future and present generations of Kodavas to appreciate, study and reflect on the wealth of their heritage. The Vanishing Kodavas is truly a gem for posterity.
—Wendell Rodricks, Fashion Designer & Author
Words from community elders:
The Vanishing Kodavas is a remarkable, comprehensive study of Kodava life…Kodavas would do well…to possess this book and assimilate the content to serve as a guide for their children about their rich history, customs and traditions.
—Biddatanda C. Ponnappa, Napoklu, Kodagu
Though I am a history student, and have a collection of many books on Kodagu history, culture and tradition, I could collect many more unknown and unheard stories from this book….In my personal opinion, this book surpasses other books published earlier, in its lucid style…supported by relevant photographs.
—Bachranianda P Appanna, writer and poet, Kushalnagar, Kodagu
The Vanishing Kodavas is a living and thinking book meant to ponder on and act upon…a priceless Kodava heirloom to be proudly possessed by every Kodava family.
—Dr.Sabitha Chengapa, former faculty Miranda House College, Delhi