Ethnicity and surnames of the people of Goa

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The people of Goa are Indo-Aryan and are closely related to the neighbouring Marathi people. The majority of Goa’s population comprises of the Aryan Marathas. The present chief minister of Goa, Pratapsinh Rane belongs to a royal clan of Maratha. The common surnames of Marathas are Rane, Sawant, Kadam, Porob and many others. For a listing of Goan Maratha surnames, see Maratha Clan System. Most of the Goan Marathas are closely related to the Maratha people of the neighbouring region of Sawantvadi, which was a former princely state and is often called the sister-region of Goa. The other major ethnic groups of Goa are Goud Saraswat Brahmins and Christians. The Goud Saraswats trace their lineage to the Saraswati river, although the exact location of which is unknown. The surnames amongst Saraswats include Benegal, Bhat, Shenoy, Pai, Prabhu etc.

Goan Hindus of all castes converted to Catholicism, either through Catholic missionary efforts or as a result of the Inquisition. The new converts to Catholicism adopted Portuguese surnames such as Silva, Souza or Sousa, Pereira, etc. and some Catholic Goans have no Portuguese descent what-so-ever. This is evident in the caste system used by the Catholics. Some Goan Catholics still have records of their original Hindu surnames. Portuguese surnames are also present further down the West Coast in the largely Catholic city of Mangalore, in Karnataka State. Similar surnames are also prevalent in the neighbouring country, Sri Lanka, but with some variations. Most of the Goan Hindus surnames end with “-Kar” suffix, similar to the surnames of Maharashtrian people. eg. Chandavarkar, Usgaonkar, etc. However, some Goan Hindus prefer the “-Car” suffix a konkani version of ‘Kar’, eg. Salgaocar, Caro, Verlecar, Domotcar, Raiturcar, etc. The local influence goes beyond the “Kar” suffix as some traditional Maratha surnames are influenced by konkani eg. Parab to Porob, Kadam turned to Kadoum, etc.

Source: Wikipedia

One Comment

  1. Thanks so much for this informative post. It will come in handy for my script.

    1. Simran on March 30th, 2007 at 5:43 am

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