Tulu researcher from the USA, Prof Peter J Claus no more


Team Udayavani, Dec 31, 2018, 10:07 AM IST

Mangaluru: Prof Peter J Claus (76), who worked as professor emeritus of anthropology in California State University Hayward, a folklore scholar and worked for over three-and-a-half decades with the Tuluvas, studying the Tulu language and culture and published several articles and books on Tuluvas including ‘Paddanas’ has died.

He was suffering from ill health since a few years breathed his last on December 28 in California, USA. He has contributed immensely to Tulu language and culture through in-depth studies.

Prof Claus had visited India in 1967 and conducted a special study on the way of living of people of Tulunadu and the nature here and on submitting his thesis he was awarded a doctorate by the Duke “University in 1970.

Travelling around India, contact with the Karavali

In 1967 he started travelling around India as a researcher and was attracted towards the lifestyle of the people of Tulunadu and the nature here. He came with his family equipped with a small tape, photo reel camera, and silent video recorder on his first trip here. He was conducting research on folklore and got shelter in the house of K S Hegde, father of retired Lokayukta, Justice Santosh Hegde, at Kinnikambla near Bajpe. in 1988-89, he conducted an  international folklore workshop at the regional theatre arts studies centre

Mangalore University professor

Prof Claus applied for fellowship in 1988 and served in the capacity of visiting professor at Mangalore University for a period of 6 months. In 1991 he published the work, ‘Folkloristic and Indian Folklore’. Prof Claus along with Prof B A Vivek Rai, had published a quarterly publication, ‘Karnataka Folklore Newsletter’ in 1989-90.

Initially, Prof Claus got shelter in the house of Chandayya Heggade at Hiriyadka in Udupi. He later came in contact with Dr L C Soans. He depended on Hiriyadka Gopal Rao to understand different facets of Yakshagana.

The professor conducted research on various issues along with S A Krishnaiah and with the support of Prof Ku Shi Haridas Bhat on Siri and other Tulunadu folklores.

He loved Tulu language ardently and left behind a massive collection of information through unpublished Paddanas and notes. a collection of English articles of Prof Claus need to be published, which will help in the study of Tulu language, opinioned Prof B A Vivek Rai.

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