History Hour 85 – “Komkanakhyana – A story and Geography of Goa” by Mr. Sammit Khandeparkar held on Friday, 4th July, 2014.

Komkanakhyana was published in 1908- 1909. In the context of the movement to unify a number of historically  related Brahman groups residing mostly on the west coast of India. Today these Groups have achieved a relative unified cooperate identity in the form of ‘Gauda Sarasvata Brahmana’ (GSB) caste. The publisher of the text claims it is a 188 years old. It is written in Marathi. The main text which is the verse form narrates how Parasurama brought the GSB caste along with their family deities from North India to his newly created land of komkana to officiate at a ritual sacrifice. 

He established different families of the GSB caste in Goa (which is in the centre of Komkana) by offering them villages. It goes on to describe how the caste got split into different groups due to accidents, migrations and squabbles. The text conceptualizes the geography of Goa by describing the spatial distribution of these groups. It provides details about the names of the groups, their family backgrounds, their Brahmanical ancestries, and their links with various villages and deities. The text also invokes the memory of polluting interaction with intruding sixteenth-century early modernity in the form of Portuguese colonialists, and it narrates the subsequent migration of GSB families and their family deities to villages in regions beyond Portuguese control. The speaker will read the narrative of the text to elucidate its strategic engagement with the past and its conceptualization of the geography of Goa and neighbouring regions.

Sammit Khandeparkar is a PhD candidate at the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies in Arizona State University, Arizona, USA. His dissertation research is supported by a Junior Research Fellowship of American institute of Indian Studies (AIIS).

Dr. Sammit Khandeparkar
P.C. https://www.independent.academia.edu%2FSammitKhandeparkar

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