The Kudubi is a tribal community living now around Dakshina Kannada district. They are originally from Goa and came here because of the cruel ruling of Portuguese then. Even after shifting their base to Karnataka from Goa, they have continued to celebrate their traditional festival, ‘Holi’ by preserving their unique customs. This community has widely been spread over mulki, Gangolli, Mangalore, Puttige, Sooraalu, kokkarne. During Holi, all the 65 Kudubi families including the children together celebrate the festival within the confines of the ancient traditions.
Before the Holi festival, the Kudubis start to make advance preparations by collecting items required for the festival like the feathers found in the tails of ‘Hatti Mudda’, a bird normally found in the forests during the Holi season, pelts of ‘Harga’ for covering the ‘Gumtas,’ a kind of percussion instruments played with hands, unique shirts with pleats, coats, shawls with linings, anklets and other things. On the ‘Ekadashi’ day, they join together in their Gurkar’s house. They pray to the Lord there, wear the beautiful costumes, and perform their traditional folk dance, ‘Holi Kunita’ (Holi dance) on all the five days of the festival, in their respective villages. They visit the houses of families belonging to their community and perform group dances. Sometimes, people of other communities take religous vows to arrange for the ‘Holi Kunita’ performances of Kudubis in their homes. In such cases, these families invite the Kudubis to perform in their homes.
A day prior to the ‘Holi Hunnime (full moon day)’, they come together in the premises of the local Sooral palace and perform the Holi dance. They then visit Sooral Mahalingeshwar temple and perform the Holi Kunita. On the Holi Hunnime day, they go to the house of their Gurkar, take bath in the tank there, worship the God and end the celebrations pertaining to Holi festival.
During the Holi festival period, the Kudubis stick to the unique customs traditionally handed over to them since generations. During these five days, they do not take bath and consume only vegetarian food. After the Holi festival comes to an end, the families together wander around and hunt for animals. All the Kudubi families follow this practice even now. They group together the animals hunted by them in the house of their Gurkar, where they are distributed among all the families. They have food after offering it to the God first