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Title: Goykanadi  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Kannada alphabet, Brahmic scripts, Konkani alphabets, Modi alphabet, Konkani language
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Goykānaḍī is an extinct script used in the territory of Goa. This script was also called kandavī and grantha.[1] This script was similar to the Halekannada and Kadamba script and was extensively used to write Konkani and sometimes Marathi. Similarly this was used by the trading Saraswat and Daivajna families along with the Mōḍī script to maintain their accounts.[1][2][3]

Usage and extinction

The inquisition of Goa is seen as a blot in the history of the Konkani language. According to the orders of the Goa inquisition it was an offence to remain in possession of books in the local languages. All books, whatever their subject matter, written in Konkani, Marathi and Sanskrit were seized by the inquisition and burnt on the suspicion that they might deal with idolatry. It is probable that valuable non-religious literature dealing with art, literature, sciences, etc., were destroyed indiscriminately as a consequence. For instance, even before the inquisition orders in a letter dated 24 November 1548, D Fr Joao de Albuquerque proudly reports his achievement in this direction.[4]

Many Konkani manuscripts which are now found in museums in Portugal are Roman transliterations of Kandavi manuscripts of Hindu epics.[5][6] The earliest document written in this script is found in a petition addressed by Ravala Śeṭī, a Gaunkar of Caraim in the islands of Goa, to the king of Portugal. This 15th-century document bears a signature in Konkani which says: Ravala Śeṭī baraha (Translation: writing of Ravala Sethi).[3] It is believed that most of the pre-Portuguese documents and books in Kandevi were burnt by the Portuguese missionaries.[4]


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