Mangalorean marriage customs and traditions – Kazara Matov


Wedding Pandal ‘kazara matov’

matov entrance


In the wedding week or couple of days before the wedding, preparations were made to erect the wedding pandal ‘matov’ both at the bride’s and the bridegroom’s house and it was essential that all weddings took place in the ‘matov’. A special invitation called ‘matvachi voulik’ was given to the neighbours expert in erecting matovs, inviting them to put up the matovs.  Usually two are erected, one for the main wedding function in the front courtyard and the second one at the side for cooking etc. called the rashyo.

The posts of the matovs had to be of an odd number and were made of stems of aerca-beetlenut1 tree madinut trees (madi) and the roof of leaves of coconut tree.  The front arches were of plantain trees with the bunches of plantains hanging down.  The plantain trees tied to the front posts of the matov seems to be a hindu custom carried over by the catholics as the tree is considered auspicious and a sign of fertility and prosperity.

The rashyo had the newly formed hearths for cooking the roce and wedding feasts. A few days before the wedding the women of the house and neighbourhood gathered to prepare the various spices which were first fried and then ground to a powder for the cooking.  This powder was called karpo.

The traditional kitchen equipment used in the rasshyo were the Ghatno/Vaan, the tondor,  adalo, kail, kailatho, kanthne, koitho, koithi, bornis, etc.

Traditional Kitchen Equipments


The Matov culture continues to exist even in modern cities provided the houses or apartments have sufficient place in the compound or the apartments’ terraces especially for the roce and porthapon ceremonies, if conducted at the homes of the bridal couple. Food however is rarely cooked at home and instead catered.  The modern matovs are built with bamboo and cloth/fabric.

Weddings though, take place in banquet halls, which in most cases must be reserved almost a year in advance.  Roce and Porthapon also in most cases take place in banquet halls.


Previous Post: Wedding invitation Voulik                       Next Post:  Vojem, etc.

References: Severine Silva and Stephen Fuchs & Victor D’sa, S.V.D.: The Marriage Customs of the Christians in South Canara, India




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