Kodavas have distinctive dresses, the men wearing wraparound robes called the Kupya (now only seen at ceremonial occasions), and the women with a distinctive style of wearing the sari. The Kodava woman wears a sari with the pleats at the back and the loose end pinned at the right shoulder. The men have many distinctive practices such as carrying ceremonial knives, and martial war dances.
Boiled rice (koolu) and rice gruel (kanjee) formed the staple food of the Kodavas. The coconut, jackfruit, plantain, mango and other fruits and vegetables were widely used. Ghee was used in well-to-do families and on festive occasions. Rice in the form of Kanji or Koolu was served at meals along with curries and other additional dishes. Non-vegetarian food was not objectionable and alcoholic drinks as a rule weren’t prohibited. Pork, chicken, river fish, were commonly consumed as also were varieties of game meat. Sweet dishes like akki payasa were prepared during festive occasions. Other special dishes included otti (rice roti), paaputtu (similar to idli), noolputtu (rice noodles), thambuttu (a sweet), etc.
Girls and boys from one okka cannot marry within the same okka. However, cousin marriage between children of a brother and sister is accepted (but not between children of two brothers or two sisters). Once married, a girl assumes the okka name of her husband. Unlike many other Hindu communities, a widow is still allowed to participate in happy occasions like the marriages of her children. She is the principal figure to conduct the marriage ceremony that traditionally is conducted without a Brahmin priest. A widow is allowed to remarry and this is a common practice as it is fully accepted