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Title: Castes and Tribes of Southern India - Vol. 6 of 7
Author: Thurston, Edgar, 1855-1935
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                           CASTES AND TRIBES
                                   OF
                             SOUTHERN INDIA

                                   By

                        EDGAR THURSTON, C.I.E.,

   Superintendent, Madras Government Museum; Correspondant Étranger,
    Société d'Anthropologie de Paris; Socio Corrispondante, Societa,
                        Romana di Anthropologia.

                              Assisted by

                          K. Rangachari, M.A.,
                    of the Madras Government Museum.



                           VOLUME VI--P TO S

                        GOVERNMENT PRESS, MADRAS

                                 1909.



                  CASTES AND TRIBES OF SOUTHERN INDIA.

                               VOLUME VI.


P


Palli or Vanniyan.--Writing concerning this caste the Census
Superintendent, 1871, records that "a book has been written by a
native to show that the Pallis (Pullies or Vanniar) of the south are
descendants of the fire races (Agnikulas) of the Kshatriyas, and that
the Tamil Pullies were at one time the shepherd kings of Egypt." At
the time of the census, 1871, a petition was submitted to Government
by representatives of the caste, praying that they might be classified
as Kshatriyas, and twenty years later, in connection with the census,
1891, a book entitled 'Vannikula Vilakkam: a treatise on the Vanniya
caste,' was compiled by Mr. T. Aiyakannu Nayakar, in support of the
caste claim to be returned as Kshatriyas, for details concerning
which claim I must refer the reader to the book itself. In 1907,
a book entitled Varuna Darpanam (Mirror of Castes) was published,
in which an attempt is made to connect the caste with the Pallavas.

Kulasekhara, one of the early Travancore kings, and one of the most
renowned Alwars reverenced by the Sri Vaishnava community in Southern
India, is claimed by the Pallis as a king of their caste. Even now,
at the Parthasarathi temple in Triplicane (in the city of Madras),
which according to inscriptions is a Pallava temple, Pallis celebrate
his anniversary with great éclat. The Pallis of Komalesvaranpettah in
the city of Madras have a Kulasekhara Perumal Sabha, which manages the
celebration of the anniversary. The temple has recently been converted
at considerable cost into a temple for the great Alwar. A similar
celebration is held at the Chintadripettah Adikesava Perumal temple
in Madras. The Pallis have the right to present the most important
camphor offering of the Mylapore Siva temple. They allege that the
temple was originally theirs, but by degrees they lost their hold over
it until this bare right was left to them. Some years ago, there was
a dispute concerning the exercise of this right, and the case came
before the High Court of Madras, which decided the point at issue in
favour of the Pallis. One of the principal gopuras (pyramidal towers)
of the Ekamranatha temple at Big Conjeeveram, the ancient capital of
the Pallavas, is known as Palligopuram. The Pallis of that town claim
it as their own, and repair it from time to time. In like manner,
they claim that the founder of the Chidambaram temple, by name Sweta
Varman, subsequently known as Hiranya Varman (sixth century A.D.) was
a Pallava king. At Pichavaram, four miles east of Chidambaram, lives
a Palli family, which claims to be descended from Hiranya Varman. A
curious ceremony is even now celebrated at the Chidambaram temple,
on the steps leading to the central sanctuary. As soon as the eldest
son of this family is married, he and his wife, accompanied by a
local Vellala, repair to the sacred shrine, and there, amidst crowds
of their castemen and others, a homam (sacrificial fire) is raised,
and offerings are made to it. The couple are then anointed with nine
different kinds of holy water, and the Vellala places the temple
crown on their heads. The Vellala who officiates at this ceremony,
assisted by the temple priests, is said to belong to the family of a
former minister of a descendant of Hiranya Varman. It is said that,
as the ceremony is a costly one, and the expenses have to be paid
by the individual who undergoes it, it often happens that the eldest
son of the family has to remain a bachelor for half his lifetime. The
Pallis who reside at St. Thomé in the city of Madras allege that they
became Christians, with their King Kandappa Raja, who, they say,
ruled over Mylapore during the time of the visit of St. Thomas. In
1907, Mr. T. Varadappa Nayakar, the only High Court Vakil (pleader)
among the Palli community practising in Madras, brought out a Tamil
book on the history of the connection of the caste with the ancient
Pallava kings.

In reply to one of a series of questions promulgated by the Census
Superintendent, it was stated that "the caste is known by the
following names:--Agnikulas and Vanniyas. The etymology of these
is the same, being derived from the Sanskrit Agni or Vahni, meaning
fire. The following, taken from Dr. Oppert's article on the original
inhabitants of Bharatavarsa or India, explains the name of the caste
with its etymology:--'The word Vanniyan is generally derived from the
Sanskrit Vahni, fire. Agni, the god of fire, is connected with regal
office, as kings hold in their hands the fire-wheel or Agneya-chakra,
and the Vanniyas urge in support of their name the regal descent they
claim.' The existence of these fire races, Agnikula or Vahnikula
(Vanniya), in North and South India is a remarkable fact. No one
can refuse to a scion of the non-Aryan warrior tribe the title of
Rajputra, but in so doing we establish at once Aryan and non-Aryan
Rajaputras or Rajputs. The Vanniyan of South India may be accepted
as a representative of the non-Aryan Rajput element."

The name Vanniyan is, Mr. H. A. Stuart writes, [1] "derived from the
Sanskrit vanhi (fire) in consequence of the following legend. In the
olden times, two giants named Vatapi and Mahi, worshipped Brahma with
such devotion that they obtained from him immunity from death from
every cause save fire, which element they had carelessly omitted
to include in their enumeration. Protected thus, they harried the
country, and Vatapi went the length of swallowing Vayu, the god
of the winds, while Mahi devoured the sun. The earth was therefore
enveloped in perpetual darkness and stillness, a condition of affairs
which struck terror into the minds of the devatas, and led them to
appeal to Brahma. He, recollecting the omission made by the giants,
directed his suppliants to desire the rishi Jambava Mahamuni to perform
a yagam, or sacrifice by fire. The order having been obeyed, armed
horse men sprung from the flames, who undertook twelve expeditions
against Vatapi and Mahi, whom they first destroyed, and afterwards
released Vayu and the sun from their bodies. Their leader then assumed
the government of the country under the name Rudra Vanniya Maharaja,
who had five sons, the ancestors of the Vanniya caste. These facts are
said to be recorded in the Vaidiswara temple in the Tanjore district."

The Vaidiswara temple here referred to is the Vaidiswara kovil
near Shiyali. Mr. Stuart adds that "this tradition alludes to the
destruction of the city of Vapi by Narasimha Varma, king of the Pallis
or Pallavas." Vapi, or Va-api, was the ancient name of Vatapi or
Badami in the Bombay Presidency. It was the capital of the Chalukyas,
who, during the seventh century, were at feud with the Pallavas
of the south. "The son of Mahendra Varman I," writes Rai Bahadur
V. Venkayya, "was Narasimha Varman I, who retrieved the fortunes of
the family by repeatedly defeating the Cholas, Keralas, Kalabhras, and
Pandyas. He also claims to have written the word victory as on a plate
on Pulikesin's [2] back, which was caused to be visible (i.e., which
was turned in flight after defeat) at several battles. Narasimha Varman
carried the war into Chalukyan territory, and actually captured Vatapi
their capital. This claim of his is established by an inscription
found at Badami, from which it appears that Narasimha Varman bore the
title Mahamalla. In later times, too, this Pallava king was known as
Vatapi Konda Narasingapottaraiyan. Dr. Fleet assigns the capture of
the Chalukya capital to about A.D. 642. The war of Narasimha Varman
with Pulikesin is mentioned in the Sinhalese chronicle Mahavamsa. It
is also hinted at in the Tamil Periyapuranam. The well-known saint
Siruttonda, who had his only son cut up and cooked in order to satisfy
the appetite of the god Siva disguised as a devotee, is said to have
reduced to dust the city of Vatapi for his royal master, who could
be no other than the Pallava king Narasimha Varman."

I gather, from a note by Mr. F. R. Hemingway, that the Pallis "tell
a long story of how they are descendants of one Vira Vanniyan,
who was created by a sage named Sambuha when he was destroying the
two demons named Vatapi and Enatapi. This Vira Vanniyan married a
daughter of the god Indra, and had five sons, named Rudra, Brahma,
Krishna, Sambuha, and Kai, whose descendants now live respectively
in the country north of the Palar in the Cauvery delta, between the
Palar and Pennar. They have written a Puranam and a drama bearing on
this tale. They declare that they are superior to Brahmans, since,
while the latter must be invested with the sacred thread after birth,
they bring their sacred thread with them at birth itself."

"The Vanniyans," Mr. Nelson states, [3] "are at the present time a
small and obscure agricultural caste, but there is reason to believe
that they are descendants of ancestors who, in former times, held a
good position among the tribes of South India. A manuscript, abstracted
at page 90 of the Catalogue raisonné (Mackenzie Manuscripts), states
that the Vanniyans belong to the Agnikula, and are descended from
the Muni Sambhu; and that they gained victories by means of their
skill in archery. And another manuscript, abstracted at page 427,
shows that two of their chiefs enjoyed considerable power, and
refused to pay the customary tribute to the Rayar, who was for a
long time unable to reduce them to submission. Armies of Vanniyans
are often mentioned in Ceylon annals. And a Hindu History of Ceylon,
translated in the Royal As. Soc. Journal, Vol. XXIV, states that, in
the year 3300 of the Kali Yuga, a Pandya princess went over to Ceylon,
and married its king, and was accompanied by sixty bands of Vanniyans."

The terms Vanni and Vanniyan are used in Tamil poems to denote
king. Thus, in the classical Tamil poem Kalladam, which has been
attributed to the time of Tiruvalluvar, the author of the sacred Kural,
Vanni is used in the sense of king. Kamban, the author of the Tamil
Ramayana, uses it in a similar sense. In an inscription dated 1189
A.D., published by Dr. E. Hultzsch, [4] Vanniya Nayan appears among
the titles of the local chief of Tiruchchuram, who made a grant of
land to the Vishnu temple at Manimangalam. Tiruchchuram is identical
with Tiruvidaichuram about four miles south-east of Chingleput,
where there is a ruined fort, and also a Siva temple celebrated in
the hymns of Tirugnana Sambandhar, the great Saiva saint who lived in
the 9th century. Local tradition, confirmed by one of the Mackenzie
manuscripts, [5] says that this place was, during the time of the
Vijayanagar King Krishna Raya (1509-30 A.D.), ruled over by two feudal
chiefs of the Vanniya caste named Kandavarayan and Sendavarayan. They,
it is said, neglected to pay tribute to their sovereign lord, who
sent an army to exact it. The brothers proved invincible, but one of
their dancing-girls was guilty of treachery. Acting under instructions,
she poisoned Kandavarayan. His brother Sendavarayan caught hold of her
and her children, and drowned them in the local tank. The tank and the
hillock close by still go by the name of Kuppichi kulam and Kuppichi
kunru, after Kuppi the dancing-girl. An inscription of the Vijayanagar
king Deva Raya II (1419-44 A.D.) gives him the title of the lord who
took the heads of the eighteen Vanniyas. [6] This inscription records
a grant by one Muttayya Nayakan, son of Mukka Nayakan of Vanniraya
gotram. Another inscription, [7] dated 1456 A.D., states that, when
one Raja Vallabha ruled at Conjeeveram, a general, named Vanniya Chinna
Pillai, obtained a piece of land at Sattankad near Madras. Reference is
made by Orme [8] to the assistance which the Vaniah of Sevagherry gave
Muhammad Yusuf in his reduction of Tinnevelly in 1757. The Vaniah here
referred to is the Zamindar of Sivagiri in the Tinnevelly district,
a Vanniya by caste. Vanniyas are mentioned in Ceylon archives. Wanni
is the name of a district in Ceylon. It is, Mr. W. Hamilton writes,
[9] "situated towards Trincomalee in the north-east quarter. At
different periods its Wannies or princes, taking advantage of the
wars between the Candian sovereigns and their European enemies,
endeavoured to establish an authority independent of both, but they
finally, after their country had been much desolated by all parties,
submitted to the Dutch." Further, Sir J. E. Tennent writes, [10] that
"in modern times, the Wanny was governed by native princes styled
Wannyahs, and occasionally by females with the title of Wunniches."

The terms Sambhu and Sambhava Rayan are connected with the Pallis. The
story goes that Agni was the original ancestor of all kings. His
son was Sambhu, whose descendants called themselves Sambhukula, or
those of the Sambhu family. Some inscriptions [11] of the time of
the Chola kings Kulottunga III and Raja Raja III record Sambukula
Perumal Sambuvarayan and Alagiya Pallavan Edirili Sola Sambuvarayan
as titles of local chiefs. A well-known verse of Irattayar in praise
of Conjeeveram Ekamranathaswami refers to the Pallava king as being
of the Sambu race. The later descendants of the Pallavas apparently
took Sambuvarayar and its allied forms as their titles, as the Pallis
in Tanjore and South Arcot still do. At Conjeeveram there lives
the family of the Mahanattar of the Vanniyans, which calls itself
"of the family of Vira Sambu."

"The name Vanniyan," Mr. H. A. Stuart writes, [12] seems to have
been introduced by the Brahmans, possibly to gratify the desire of
the Pallis for genealogical distinction. Padaiyachi means a soldier,
and is also of late origin. That the Pallis were once an influential
and independent community may be admitted, and in their present desire
to be classed as Kshatriyas they are merely giving expression to this
belief, but, unless an entirely new meaning is to be given to the term
Kshatriya, their claim must be dismissed as absurd. After the fall of
the Pallava dynasty, the Pallis became agricultural servants under the
Vellalas, and it is only since the advent of British rule that they
have begun to assert their claims to a higher position." Further,
Mr. W. Francis writes [13] that "this caste has been referred to
as being one of those which are claiming for themselves a position
higher than that which Hindu society is inclined to accord them. Their
ancestors were socially superior to themselves, but they do not content
themselves with stating this, but in places are taking to wearing the
sacred thread of the twice-born, and claim to be Kshatriyas. They
have published pamphlets to prove their descent from that caste,
and they returned themselves in thousands, especially in Godavari, as
Agnikula Kshatriyas or Vannikula Kshatriyas, meaning Kshatriyas of the
fire race." "As a relic," it has been said, [14] "of the origin of the
Vannikula Kshatriyas from fire, the fire-pot, which comes in procession
on a fixed day during the annual festivities of Draupadi and other
goddesses, is borne on the head of a Vanniya. Also, in dramatic plays,
the king personæ (sic) has always been taken by a Kshatriya, who is
generally a Vanniya. These peculiarities, however, are becoming common
now-a-days, when privileges peculiar to one caste are being trenched
upon by other caste men. In the Tirupporur temple, the practice of
beating the mazhu (red-hot iron) is done by a dancing-girl serving
the Vanniya caste. The privilege of treading on the fire is also
peculiar to the Vanniyas." It is recorded by Mr. Francis [15] that,
in the South Arcot district, "Draupadi's temples are very numerous,
and the priest at them is generally a Palli by caste, and Pallis take
the leading part in the ceremonies at them. Why this should be so is
not clear. The Pallis say it is because both the Pandava brothers and
themselves were born of fire, and are therefore related. Festivals to
Draupadi always involve two points of ritual--the recital or acting
of a part of the Mahabharata and a fire-walking ceremony. The first
of these is usually done by the Pallis, who are very fond of the great
epic, and many of whom know it uncommonly well. [In the city of Madras
there are several Draupadi Amman temples belonging to the Pallis. The
fire-walking ceremony cannot be observed thereat without the help of
a member of this caste, who is the first to walk over the hot ashes.]

Kuvvakkam is known for its festival to Aravan (more correctly Iravan)
or Kuttandar, which is one of the most popular feasts with Sudras
in the whole district. Aravan was the son of Arjuna, one of the five
Pandava brothers. Local tradition says that, when the great war which
is described in the Mahabharata was about to begin, the Kauravas,
the opponents of the Pandavas, sacrificed, to bring them success, a
white elephant. The Pandavas were in despair of being able to find any
such uncommon object with which to propitiate the gods, until Arjuna
suggested that they should offer up his son Aravan. Aravan agreed
to yield his life for the good of the cause, and, when eventually
the Pandavas were victorious, he was deified for the self-abnegation
which had thus brought his side success. Since he died in his youth,
before he had been married, it is held to please him if men, even
though grown up and already wedded, come now and offer to espouse him,
and men who are afflicted with serious diseases take a vow to marry
him at his annual festival in the hope of thereby being cured. The
festival occurs in May, and for eighteen nights the Mahabharata is
recited by a Palli, large numbers of people, especially of that caste,
assembling to hear it read. On the eighteenth night, a wooden image
of Kuttandar is taken to a tope (grove), and seated there. This is
the signal for the sacrifice of an enormous number of fowls. Every
one who comes brings one or two, and the number killed runs literally
into thousands. Such sacrifices are most uncommon in South Arcot,
though frequent enough in other parts of the Presidency--the Ceded
Districts for example--and this instance is noteworthy. While this
is going on, all the men who have taken vows to be married to the
deity appear before his image dressed like women, make obeisance,
offer to the priest (who is a Palli by caste) a few annas, and give
into his hands the talis (marriage badges) which they have brought
with them. These the priest, as representing the God, ties round
their necks. The God is brought back to his shrine that night,
and when in front of the building he is hidden by a cloth being
held before him. This symbolises the sacrifice of Aravan, and the
men who have just been married to him set up loud lamentations at
the death of their husband. Similar vows are taken and ceremonies
performed, it is said, at the shrines to Kuttandar at Kottattai (two
miles north-west of Porto Novo), and Adivarahanattum (five miles
north-west of Chidambaram), and, in recent years, at Tiruvarkkulam
(one mile east of the latter place); other cases probably occur."

The Pallis, Mr. Francis writes further, [16] "as far back as 1833
tried to procure a decree in Pondicherry, declaring that they were
not a low caste, and of late years they have, in this (South Arcot)
district, been closely bound together by an organisation managed by
one of their caste, who was a prominent person in these parts. In
South Arcot they take a somewhat higher social rank than in other
places--Tanjore, for example--and their esprit de corps is now
surprisingly strong. They are tending gradually to approach the
Brahmanical standard of social conduct, discouraging adult marriage,
meat-eating, and widow re-marriage, and they also actively repress
open immorality or other social sins, which might serve to give the
community a bad name. In 1904 a document came before one of the courts,
which showed that, in the year previous, the representatives of the
caste in thirty-four villages in this district had bound themselves
in writing, under penalty of excommunication, to refrain (except with
the consent of all parties) from the practices formerly in existence
of marrying two wives, and of allowing a woman to marry again during
the lifetime of her first husband. Some of the caste have taken to
calling themselves Vannikula Kshatriyas or Agnikula Kshatriyas, and
others even declare that they are Brahmans. These last always wear
the sacred thread, tie their cloths in the Brahman fashion (though
their women do not follow the Brahman ladies in this matter), forbid
widow remarriage, and are vegetarians."

Some Palli Poligars have very high-sounding names, such as Agni Kudirai
Eriya Raya Ravutha Minda Nainar, i.e., Nainar who conquered Raya
Ravutha and mounted a fire horse. This name is said to commemorate a
contest between a Palli and a Ravutha, at which the former sat on a
red-hot metal horse. Further names are Samidurai Surappa Sozhaganar
and Anjada Singam (fearless lion). Some Pallis have adopted Gupta as
a title.

A few Palli families now maintain a temple of their own, dedicated
to Srinivasa, at the village of Kumalam in the South Arcot district,
live round the temple, and are largely dependent on it for their
livelihood. Most of them dress exactly like the temple Battars, and a
stranger would certainly take them for Battar Brahmans. Some of them
are well versed in the temple ritual, and their youths are being
taught the Sandyavandhana (morning prayer) and Vedas by a Brahman
priest. Ordinary Palli girls are taken by them in marriage, but their
own girls are not allowed to marry ordinary Pallis; and, as a result of
this practice of hypergamy, the Kumalam men sometimes have to take to
themselves more than one wife, in order that their young women may be
provided with husbands. These Kumalam Pallis are regarded as priests
of the Pallis, and style themselves Kovilar, or temple people. But,
by other castes, they are nicknamed Kumalam Brahmans. They claim to
be Kshatriyas, and have adopted the title Rayar.

Other titles, "indicating authority, bravery, and superiority,"
assumed by Pallis are Nayakar, Varma, Padaiyachi (head of an army),
Kandar, Chera, Chola, Pandya, Nayanar, Udaiyar, Samburayar, etc. [17]
Still further titles are Pillai, Reddi, Goundan, and Kavandan. Some
say that they belong to the Chola race, and that, as such, they should
be called Chembians. [18] Iranya Varma, the name of one of the early
Pallava kings, was returned as their caste by certain wealthy Pallis,
who also gave themselves the title of Solakanar (descendant of Chola
kings) at the census, 1901.

In reply to a question by the Census Superintendent, 1891, as to
the names of the sub-divisions of the caste, it was stated that "the
Vanniyans are either of the solar and lunar or Agnikula race, or Ruthra
Vanniyar, Krishna Vanniyar, Samboo Vanniyar, Brahma Vanniyar, and
Indra Vanniyar." The most important of the sub-divisions returned at
the census were Agamudaiyan, Agni, Arasu (Raja), Kshatriya, Nagavadam
(cobra's hood, or ear ornament of that shape), Nattaman, Olai (palm
leaf), Pandamuttu, and Perumal gotra. Pandamuttu is made by Winslow
to mean torches arranged so as to represent an elephant. But the
Pallis derive the name from panda muttu, or touching the pandal,
in reference to the pile of marriage pots reaching to the top of
the pandal. The lowest pot is decorated with figures of elephants
and horses. At a marriage among the Pandamuttu Pallis, the bride
and bridegroom, in token of their Kshatriya descent, are seated on a
raised dais, which represents a simhasanam or throne. The bride wears
a necklace of glass beads with the tali, and the officiating priest
is a Telugu Brahman. Other sub-castes of the Pallis, recorded in the
Census Report, 1901, are Kallangi in Chingleput, bearing the title
Reddi, and Kallaveli, or Kallan's fence, in the Madura district. The
occupational title Kottan (bricklayer) was returned by some Pallis
in Coimbatore. In the Salem district some Pallis are divided into
Anju-nal (five days) and Pannendu-nal (twelve days), according as
they perform the final death ceremonies on the fifth or twelfth day
after death, to distinguish them from those who perform them on the
sixteenth day. [19] Another division of Pallis in the Salem district
is based on the kind of ear ornament which is worn. The Olai Pallis
wear a circular ornament (olai), and the Nagavadam Pallis wear an
ornament in shape like a cobra and called nagavadam.

The Pallis are classed with the left-hand section. But the Census
Superintendent, 1871, records that "the wives of the agricultural
labourers (Pallis) side with the left hand, while the husbands help in
fighting the battles of the right; and the shoe-makers' (Chakkiliyan)
wives also take the side opposed to their husbands. During these
factional disturbances, the ladies deny to their husbands all the
privileges of the connubial state." This has not, however, been
confirmed in recent investigations into the customs of the caste.

The Pallis are Saivites or Vaishnavites, but are also demonolaters,
and worship Mutyalamma, Mariamma, Ayanar, Muneswara, Ankalamma, and
other minor deities. Writing nearly a century ago concerning the Vana
Pallis settled at Kolar in Mysore, Buchanan states [20] that "they are
much addicted to the worship of the saktis, or destructive powers,
and endeavour to avert their wrath by bloody sacrifices. These are
performed by cutting off the animal's head before the door of the
temple, and invoking the deity to partake of the sacrifice. There is
no altar, nor is the blood sprinkled on the image, and the body serves
the votaries for a feast. The Pallivanlu have temples dedicated to
a female spirit of this kind named Mutialamma, and served by pujaris
(priests) of their own caste. They also offer sacrifices to Mariamma,
whose pujaris are Kurubaru."

Huge human figures, representing Mannarswami in a sitting posture,
constructed of bricks and mortar, and painted, are conspicuous objects
in the vicinity of the Lawrence Asylum Press, Mount Road, and in the
Kottawal bazar, Madras. At the village of Tirumalavayal near Avadi,
there is a similar figure as tall as a palmyra palm, with a shrine
of Pachaiamman close by. Mannarswami is worshipped mainly by Pallis
and Beri Chettis. An annual festival is held in honour of Pachaiamman
and Mannarswami, in which the Beri Chettis take a prominent part.

During the festivals of village deities, the goddess is frequently
represented by a pile of seven pots, called karagam, decorated with
garlands and flowers. Even when there is an idol in the temple,
the karagam is set up in a corner thereof, and taken daily, morning
and evening, in procession, carried on the head of a pujari or other
person. On the last day of the festival, the karagam is elaborately
decorated with parrots, dolls, flowers, etc., made of pith (Æschynomene
aspera), and called pu karagam (flower pot).

The Pallis live in separate streets or quarters distinctively known
as the Palli teru or Kudi teru (ryots' quarter). The bulk of them
are labourers, but many now farm their own lands, while others are
engaged in trade or in Government service. The occupations of those
whom I have examined at Madras and Chingleput were as follows:--


    Merchant.
    Cultivator.
    Bullock and pony cart driver.
    Printer.
    Lascar.
    Sweetmeat vendor.
    Flower vendor.
    Fitter.
    Sawyer.
    Oil-presser.
    Gardener.
    Polisher.
    Bricklayer.
    Mason.


Some of the Chingleput Palli men were tattooed, like the Irulas,
with a dot or vertical stripe on the forehead. Some Irulas, it may
be noted en passant, call themselves Ten (honey) Vanniyans, or Vana
(forest) Pallis.

Like many other castes, the Pallis have their own caste beggars,
called Nokkan, who receive presents at marriages and on other
occasions. The time-honoured panchayat system still prevails, and
the caste has headmen, entitled Perithanakkaran or Nattamaikkaran,
who decide all social matters affecting the community, and must be
present at the ceremonial distribution of pansupari.

The Kovilars, and some others who aspire to a high social status,
practice infant marriage, but adult marriage is the rule. At the
betrothal ceremony, the future bridegroom goes to the house of his
prospective father-in-law, where the headman of the future bride must
be present. The bridegroom's headman or father places on a tray betel,
flowers, the bride-price (pariyam) in money or jewels, the milk money
(mulapal kuli), and a cocoanut. Milk money is the present given to
the mother of the bride, in return for her having given nourishment
to the girl during her infancy. All these things are handed by
the bridegroom's headman to the father or headman of the bride,
saying "The money is yours. The girl is ours." The bride's father,
receiving them, says "The money is mine. The girl is yours." This
performance is repeated thrice, and pan-supari is distributed, the
first recipient being the maternal uncle. The ceremony is in a way
binding, and marriage, as a rule, follows close on the betrothal. If,
in the interval, a girl's intended husband dies, she may marry some
one else. A girl may not marry without the consent of her maternal
uncle, and, if he disapproves of a match, he has the right to carry
her off even when the ceremony is in progress, and marry her to a
man of his selection. It is stated, in the Vannikula Vilakkam, that
at a marriage among the Pallis "the bride, after her betrothal, is
asked to touch the bow and sword of the bridegroom. The latter adorns
himself with all regal pomp, and, mounting a horse, goes in procession
to the bride's house where the marriage ceremony is celebrated."

The marriage ceremony is, in ordinary cases, completed in one day,
but the tendency is to spread it over three days, and introduce the
standard Puranic form of ritual. On the day preceding the wedding-day,
the bride is brought in procession to the house of the bridegroom,
and the marriage pots are brought by a woman of the potter caste. On
the wedding morning, the marriage dais is got ready, and the milk-post,
pots, and lights are placed thereon. Bride and bridegroom go separately
through the nalagu ceremony. They are seated on a plank, and five women
smear them with oil by means of a culm of grass (Cynodon Dactylon),
and afterwards with Phaseolus Mungo (green gram) paste. Water coloured
with turmeric and chunam (arathi) is then waved round them, to avert
the evil eye, and they are conducted to the bathing-place. While they
are bathing, five small cakes are placed on various parts of the
body--knees, shoulders, head, etc. When the bridegroom is about to
leave the spot, cooked rice, contained in a sieve, is waved before
him, and thrown away. The bridal couple are next taken three times
round the dais, and they offer pongal (cooked rice) to the village
and house gods and the ancestors, in five pots, in which the rice has
been very carefully prepared, so as to avoid pollution of any kind,
by a woman who has given birth to a first child. They then dress
themselves in their wedding finery, and get ready for the tying of
the tali. Meanwhile, the milk-post, made of Odina Wodier, Erythrina
indica, or the handle of a plough, has been set up. At its side are
placed a grindstone, a large pot, and two lamps called kuda-vilakku
(pot light) and alankara-vilakku (ornamental light). The former
consists of a lighted wick in an earthenware tray placed on a pot,
and the latter of a wooden stand with several branches supporting a
number of lamps. It is considered an unlucky omen if the pot light
goes out before the conclusion of the ceremonial. It is stated
by Mr. H. A. Stuart [21] that in the North Arcot district "in the
marriage ceremony of the Vanniyans or Pallis, the first of the posts
supporting the booth must be cut from the vanni (Prosopis spicigera),
a tree which they hold in much reverence because they believe that
the five Pandava Princes, who were like themselves Kshatriyas, during
the last year of their wanderings, deposited their arms in a tree of
this species. On the tree the arms turned into snakes, and remained
untouched till the owners' return." The Prosopis tree is worshipped
in order to obtain pardon from sins, success over enemies, and the
realisation of the devotee's wishes.

When the bride and bridegroom come to the wedding booth dressed
in their new clothes, the Brahman purohit gives them the threads
(kankanam), which are to be tied round their wrists. The tali is passed
round to be blessed by those assembled, and handed to the bridegroom,
who ties it on the bride's neck. While he is so doing, his sister holds
a light called Kamakshi vilakku. Kamakshi, the goddess at Conjeeveram,
is a synonym for Siva's consort Parvathi. The music of the flute is
sometimes accompanied by the blowing of the conch shell while the
tali is being tied, and omens are taken from the sounds produced
thereby. The tali-tying ceremony concluded, the couple change their
seats, and the ends of their clothes are tied together. Rice is
thrown on their heads, and in front of them, and the near relations
may tie gold or silver plates called pattam. The first to do this is
the maternal uncle. Bride and bridegroom then go round the dais and
milk-post, and, at the end of the second turn, the bridegroom lifts
the bride's left foot, and places it on the grindstone. At the end
of the third turn, the brother-in-law, in like manner, places the
bridegroom's left foot on the stone, and puts on a toe-ring. For
so doing, he receives a rupee and betel. The contracting couple are
then shown the pole-star (Arundhati), and milk and fruit are given
to them. Towards evening, the wrist-threads are removed, and they
proceed to a tank for a mock ploughing ceremony. The bridegroom
carries a ploughshare, and the bride a small pot containing conji
(rice gruel). A small patch of ground is turned up, and puddled so as
to resemble a miniature field, wherein the bridegroom plants some grain
seedlings. A miniature Pillayar (Ganesa) is made with cow-dung, and
betel offered to it. The bridegroom then sits down, feigning fatigue,
and the bride gives him a handful of rice, which his brother-in-law
tries to prevent him from eating. The newly-married couple remain
for about a week at the bride's house, and are then conducted to
that of the bridegroom, the brother-in-law carrying a hundred or a
hundred and ten cakes. Before they enter the house, coloured water
and a cocoanut are waved in front of them, and, as soon as she puts
foot within her new home, the bride must touch pots containing rice
and salt with her right hand. A curious custom among the Pallis at
Kumbakonam is that the bride's mother, and often all her relatives,
are debarred from attending her marriage. The bride is also kept gosha
(in seclusion) for all the days of the wedding. [22]

It is noted by Mr. Hemingway that some of the Pandamuttu Pallis of
the Trichinopoly district "practice the betrothal of infant girls,
the ceremony consisting of pouring cow-dung water into the mouth of
the baby. They allow a girl to marry a boy younger than herself, and
make the latter swallow a two-anna bit, to neutralise the disadvantages
of such a match. Weddings are generally performed at the boy's house,
and the bride's mother does not attend. The bride is concealed from
view by a screen."

It is said that, some years ago, a marriage took place at Panruti
near Cuddalore on the old Svayamvara principle described in the story
of Nala and Damayanti in the Mahabharata. According to this custom,
a girl selects a husband from a large number of competitors, who are
assembled for the purpose.

Widow remarriage is permitted. At the marriage of a widow, the tali
is tied by a married woman, the bridegroom standing by the side,
usually inside the house. Widow marriage is known as naduvittu tali,
as the tali-tying ceremony takes place within the house (naduvidu).

To get rid of the pollution of the first menstrual period, holy water
is sprinkled over the girl by a Brahman, after she has bathed. She
seats herself on a plank, and rice cakes (puttu), a pounding stone,
and arathi are waved in front of her. Sugar and betel are then
distributed among those present.

The dead are sometimes burnt, and sometimes buried. As soon as an
individual dies, the son goes three times round the corpse, carrying
an iron measure (marakkal), wherein a lamp rests on unhusked rice. The
corpse is washed, and the widow bathes in such a way that the water
falls on it. Omission to perform this rite would entail disgrace,
and there is an abusive phrase "May the water from the woman's
body not fall on that of the corpse." The dead man and his widow
exchange betel three times. The corpse is carried to the burning
or burial-ground on a bamboo stretcher, and, on the way thither,
is set down near a stone representing Arichandra, to whom food is
offered. Arichandra was a king who became a slave of the Paraiyans,
and is in charge of the burial-ground. By some Pallis a two-anna
piece is placed on the forehead, and a pot of rice on the breast
of the corpse. These are taken away by the officiating barber and
Paraiyan respectively. [23] Men who die before they are married have
to go through a post-mortem mock marriage ceremony. A garland of arka
(Calotropis gigantea) flowers is placed round the neck of the corpse,
and mud from a gutter is shaped into cakes, which, like the cakes at
a real marriage, are placed on various parts of the body.

A curious death ceremony is said by Mr. Hemingway to be observed by
the Arasu Pallis in the Trichinopoly district. On the day after the
funeral, two pots of water are placed near the spot where the corpse
was cremated. If a cow drinks of the water, they think it is the soul
of the dead come to quench its thirst.

In some places, Palli women live in strict seclusion (Gosha). This
is particularly the case in the old Palaigar families of Ariyalur,
Udaiyarpalaiyam, Pichavaram, and Sivagiri.

The caste has a well-organised Sangham (association) called Chennai
Vannikula Kshatriya Maha Sangham, which was established in 1888
by leaders of the caste. Besides creating a strong esprit de corps
among members of the caste in various parts of the Madras Presidency,
it has been instrumental in the opening of seven schools, of which
three are in Madras, and the others at Conjeeveram, Madhurantakam,
Tirukalikundram and Kumalam. It has also established chuttrams
(rest-houses) at five places of pilgrimage. Chengalvaraya Nayakar's
Technical School, attached to Pachaiappa's College in Madras, was
founded in 1865 by a member of the Palli caste, who bequeathed a
large legacy for its maintenance. There is also an orphanage named
after him in Madras, for Palli boys. Govindappa Nayakar's School,
which forms the lower secondary branch of Pachaiappa's College,
is another institution which owes its existence to the munificence
of a member of the Palli caste. The latest venture of the Pallis is
the publication of a newspaper called Agnikuladittan (the sun of the
Agnikula), which was started in 1908.

Concerning the Pallis, Pallilu, or Palles, who are settled in
the Telugu country as fishermen, carpenters, and agriculturists,
Mr. H. A. Stuart writes [24] that "it seems probable that they are a
branch of the great Palli or Vanniya tribe, for Buchanan refers to the
Mina (fish) Pallis and Vana Pallis." As sub-castes of these Pallis,
Vada (boatmen), Marakkadu and Edakula are given in the Census Report,
1901. In the North Arcot Manual, Palli is given as a sub-division of
the Telugu Kapus. In some places the Pallis call themselves Palle
Kapulu, and give as their gotram Jambumaharishi, which is a gotram
of the Pallis. Though they do not intermarry, the Palle Kapulu may
interdine with the Kapus.

Concerning the caste-beggars of the Pallis, and their legendary
history, I read the following account. [25] "I came upon a noisy
procession entering one of the main streets of a town not far from
Madras. It was headed by spearmen, swordsmen, and banner-bearers, the
last carrying huge flags (palempores) with representations of lions,
tigers, monkeys, Brahmany kites, goblins and dwarfs. The centre of
attraction consisted of some half dozen men and women in all the
bravery of painted faces and gay clothing, and armed with swords,
lances, and daggers. Tom-toms, trumpets, cymbals, and horns furnished
the usual concomitant of ear-piercing music, while the painted men
and women moved, in time with it, their hands and feet, which were
encircled by rows of tiny bells. A motley following of the tag-rag
and bob-tail of the population, which had been allured thither
by the noise and clamour, brought up the rear of the procession,
which stopped at each crossing. At each halt, the trumpeters blew
a great and sonorous blast, while one of the central figures, with
a conspicuous abdominal development, stepped forward, and, in a
stentorian voice, proclaimed the brave deeds performed by them in
the days gone by, and challenged all comers to try conclusions with
them, or own themselves beaten. I was told that the chief personages
in the show were Jatipillays (literally, children of the caste),
who had arrived in the town in the course of their annual tour of
the country, for collecting their perquisites from all members of
the Palli or Padiachi caste, and that this was how they announced
their arrival. The perquisite levied is known as the talaikattu vari
(poll-tax, or literally the turban tax), a significant expression
when it is borne in mind that only the adult male members of the caste
(those who are entitled to tie a cloth round their heads) are liable
to pay it, and not the women and children. It amounts to but one anna
per head, and is easily collected. The Jatipillays also claim occult
powers, and undertake to exhibit their skill in magic by the exorcism
of devils, witchcraft and sorcery, and the removal of spells, however
potent. This operation is called modi edukkirathu, or the breaking of
spells, and sometimes the challenge is taken up by a rival magician
of a different caste. A wager is fixed, and won or lost according
to the superior skill of the challenger or challenged. Entering into
friendly chat with one of the leading members of the class, I gleaned
the following legend of its origin, and of the homage accorded to it
by the Pallis. In remote times, when Salivahana was king of the Chola
country, with its capital at Conjeeveram, all the principal castes of
South India had their head-quarters at the seat of government, where
each, after its own way, did homage to the triple deities of the place,
namely, Kamakshi Amman, Ekambrasvarar, and Sri Varadarajaswami. Each
caste got up an annual car festival to these deities. On one of
these occasions, owing to a difference which had arisen between the
Seniyans (weavers), who form a considerable portion of the population
of Conjeeveram, on one side, and the Pallis or Vanniyans on the
other, some members of the former caste, who were adepts in magic,
through sheer malevolence worked spells upon the cars of the Pallis,
whose progress through the streets first became slow and tedious,
and was finally completely arrested, the whole lot of them having
come to a stand-still, and remaining rooted on the spot in one of
the much frequented thoroughfares of the city. The Pallis put on more
men to draw the cars, and even employed elephants and horses to haul
them, but all to no purpose. As if even this was not sufficient to
satisfy their malignity, the unscrupulous Seniyars actually went to
King Salivahana, and bitterly complained against the Pallis of having
caused a public nuisance by leaving their cars in a common highway to
the detriment of the public traffic. The king summoned the Pallis,
and called them to account, but they pleaded that it was through no
fault of theirs that the cars had stuck in a thoroughfare, that they
had not been negligent, but had essayed all possible methods of hauling
them to their destination by adding to the number of men employed in
pulling them, and by having further tried to accelerate their progress
with the aid of elephants, camels, and horses, but all in vain. They
further declared their conviction that the Seniyars had played them an
ill-turn, and placed the cars under a spell. King Salivahana, however,
turned a deaf ear to these representations, and decreed that it was
open to the Pallis to counteract the spells of their adversaries,
and he prescribed a period within which this was to be effected. He
also tacked on a threat that, in default of compliance with his
mandate, the Pallis must leave his kingdom for good and ever. The
Pallis sought refuge and protection of the goddess Kamakshi Amman,
whose pity was touched by their sad plight, and who came to their
aid. She appeared to one of the elders of the caste in a dream, and
revealed to him that there was a staunch devotee of hers--a member of
their caste--who alone could remove the spells wrought by the Seniyars,
and that this man, Ramasawmy Naikan, was Prime Minister in the service
of the Kodagu (Coorg) Raja. The desperate plight they were in induced
the Pallis to send a powerful deputation to the Raja, and to beg of
him to lend them the services of Ramasawmy Naik, in order to save them
from the catastrophe which was imminent. The Raja was kind enough to
comply. The Naik arrived, and, by virtue of his clairvoyant powers,
took in the situation at a glance. He found myriads of imps and uncanny
beings around each of the car-wheels, who gripped them as by a vice,
and pulled them back with their sinewy legs and hands every time an
attempt was made to drag them forwards. Ramasawmy Naik by no means
liked the look of things, for he found that he had all his work cut
out for him to keep these little devils from doing him bodily harm,
let alone any attempt to cast them off by spells. He saw that more
than common powers were needed to face the situation, and prayed to
Kamakshi Amman to disclose a way of overcoming the enemy. After long
fasting and prayers, he slept a night in the temple of Kamakshi Amman,
in the hope that a revelation might come to him in his slumber. While
he slept, Kamakshi Amman appeared, and declared to him that the only
way of overcoming the foe was for the Pallis to render a propitiatory
sacrifice, but of a most revolting kind, namely, to offer up as a
victim a woman pregnant with her first child. The Pallis trembled at
the enormity of the demand, and declared that they would sooner submit
to Salivahana's decree of perpetual exile than offer such a horrible
sacrifice. Ramasawmy Naik, however, rose to the occasion, and resolved
to sacrifice his own girl-wife, who was then pregnant with her first
child. He succeeded in propitiating the deity by offering this heroic
sacrifice, and the spells of the Seniyars instantly collapsed, and
the whole legion of imps and devils, who had impeded the progress of
the Pallis' car, vanished into thin air. The coast having thus been
cleared of hostile influences, Ramasawmy Naik, with no more help than
his own occult powers gave him, succeeded in hauling the whole lot
of cars to their destination, and in a single trip, by means of a
rope passed through a hole in his nose. The Pallis, whose gratitude
knew no bounds, called down benedictions on his head, and, falling
prostrate before him, begged him to name his reward for the priceless
service rendered by him to their community. Ramasawmy Naik only asked
that the memory of his services to the caste might be perpetuated by
the bestowal upon him and his descendants of the title Jati-pillay,
or children of the caste, and of the privilege of receiving alms at
the hands of the Pallis; and that they might henceforth be allowed the
honour of carrying the badges of the caste--banners, state umbrellas,
trumpets, and other paraphernalia--in proof of the signal victory
they had gained over the Seniyars."

Palli Dasari.--A name for Tamil-speaking Dasaris, as distinguished
from Telugu-speaking Dasaris.

Palli Idiga.--A name given by Telugu people to Tamil Shanans, whose
occupation is, like that of Idigas, toddy-drawing.

Pallicchan.--A sub-division of Nayars, the hereditary occupation
of which is palanquin-bearing. In the Cochin Census Report, the
Pallicchans are recorded as being palanquin-bearers for Brahmans.

Pallikkillam.--An exogamous sept or illam of Tamil Panikkans.

Palua.--A sub-division of Badhoyi.

Pambaikkaran.--An occupational name for Paraiyans, who play on a drum
called pambai.

Pambala.--The Pambalas, or drum (pamba) people, are Malas who act
as musicians at Mala marriages and festivals in honour of their
deities. They also take part in the recitation of the story of Ankamma,
and making muggu (designs on the floor) at the peddadinamu death
ceremony of the Gamallas.

Pammi (a common lamp).--An exogamous sept of Devanga.

Pamula (snake people).--A name for snake-charming Koravas, and Jogis,
who, in the character of itinerant showmen, exhibit snakes to the
public. The name also occurs as an exogamous sept of Mala and Yanadi.

Panam (palmyra palm: Borassus flabellifer.)--A sub-division of
Shanan. It also occurs as a branch or kothu of Kondaiyamkotti Maravans.

Panan.--The Tamil Panans are said, in the Census Report, 1901, to be
also called Mestris. They are "tailors among Tamils in Madura and
Tinnevelly. They employ Brahmans and Vellalas as purohits. Though
barbers and washermen will not eat food prepared by them, they are
allowed to enter Hindu temples." The Malayalam Panans are described
in the same report as "exorcists and devil-dancers. The men also
make umbrellas, and the women act as midwives. In parts they are
called Malayans, and they may be descendants of that hill tribe who
have settled in the plains." In the South Canara Manual, the Panans
are said to be "the Malayalam caste corresponding to the Nalkes and
Pombadas. They are numerous in Malabar, where they are also known by
the name of Malayan. The devils whom they personify are supposed to
have influence over crops, and at the time of harvest the Panans go
about begging from house to house, dancing with umbrellas in their
hands. On such occasions, however, it is only boys and girls who
personify the demons." "The village magician or conjurer," Mr. Gopal
Panikkar writes, [26] "goes by different names, such as Panan, Malayan,
etc. His work consists in casting out petty devils from the bodies of
persons (chiefly children) possessed, in writing charms for them to
wear, removing the pernicious effects of the evil eye, and so on." On
certain ceremonial occasions, the Panan plays on an hour-glass shaped
drum, called thudi.

In an account of the funeral ceremonies of the Tiyans, Mr. Logan
writes [27] that "early on the morning of the third day after death,
the Kurup or caste barber adopts measures to entice the spirit of
the deceased out of the room in which he breathed his last. This is
done by the nearest relative bringing into the room a steaming pot
of savoury funeral rice. It is immediately removed, and the spirit,
after three days' fasting, is understood greedily to follow the odour
of the tempting food. The Kurup at once closes the door, and shuts out
the spirit. The Kurup belongs to the Panan caste. He is the barber of
the polluting classes above Cherumans, and by profession he is also
an umbrella maker. But, curiously enough, though an umbrella maker, he
cannot make the whole of an umbrella. He may only make the framework;
the covering of it is the portion of the females of his caste. If
he has no female relative of his own capable of finishing off his
umbrellas, he must seek the services of the females of other families
in the neighbourhood to finish his for him. The basket-makers are
called Kavaras. Nothing will induce them to take hold of an umbrella,
as they have a motto, Do not take hold of Panan's leg."

In an account of a ceremonial at the Pishari temple near Quilandy in
Malabar, Mr. F. Fawcett writes [28] that "early on the seventh and last
day, when the morning procession is over, there comes to the temple a
man of the Panan caste. He carries a small cadjan (palm leaf) umbrella
which he has made himself, adorned all round the edges with a fringe
of the young leaves of the cocoanut palm. The umbrella should have a
long handle, and with this in his hand he performs a dance before the
temple. He receives about 10 lbs. of raw rice for his performance." It
is further recorded by Mr. Fawcett that, when a Tiyan is cremated, a
watch is kept at the burning-ground for five days by Panans, who beat
drums all night to scare away the evil spirits which haunt such spots.

The following account of the Panans is given in the Gazetteer of
Malabar. "The name is perhaps connected with pan, music. They follow
the makkattayam family system (of inheritance from father to son),
and practice fraternal polyandry. In South Malabar there are said to
be four sub-divisions, called Tirurengan, Kodaketti (umbrella tying),
Minpidi (fish catching), and Pulluvan, of which the last named is
inferior in status to the other three. They are also divided into
exogamous illams or kiriyams. They worship Kali, and inferior deities
such as Parakutti, Karinkutti, Gulikan, and Kutti Chattan. Their
methods of exorcism are various. If any one is considered to be
possessed by demons, it is usual, after consulting the astrologer,
to ascertain what Murti (lit. form) is causing the trouble, to call
in Panans, who perform a ceremony called Teyattam, in which they
wear masks, and, so attired, sing, dance, tom-tom, and play on rude
and strident pipes. Other of their ceremonies for driving out devils
called Ucchaveli seem to be survivals of imitations of human sacrifice,
or instances of sympathetic magic. One of these consists of a mock
living burial of the principal performer, who is placed in a pit
which is covered with planks, on the top of which a sacrifice (homam)
is performed with a fire kindled with jack (Artocarpus integrifolia)
branches. In another variety, the Panan cuts his left forearm, and
smears his face with the blood thus drawn. Panans also take part
with Mannans in various ceremonies at Badrakali and other temples, in
which the performers personate, in suitable costumes, some of the minor
deities or demons, and fowls are sacrificed, while a Velicchapad dances
himself into a frenzy, and pronounces oracles." It is further noted,
in the Gazetteer of Malabar, that "to constitute a valid divorce,
the husband pulls a thread from his cloth, and gives it to his wife's
brother, saying 'Your parisha is over.' It is a traditional duty
of the Panans to furnish a messenger to announce to an Izhuvan (or
Tandan) girl's mother or husband (according to where she is staying)
that she has attained puberty."

In the Census Report, 1901, Anjuttan (men of the five hundred) and
Munnuttan (men of the three hundred) are returned as sub-castes of
the Malayalan Panans.

For the following account of the Panans of Travancore, I am indebted
to Mr. N. Subramani Aiyar. The word is of Tamil origin, and means
a tailor. The title taken by them is Panikkan, the usual honorific
appellation of most of the industrial castes of Malabar. They are
supposed to be one with the Panans of the Tamil country, though much
below them in the social scale. They observe a pollution distance
of thirty-six feet, but keep Mannans and Vedans at a distance of
eight, and Pulayas and Paraiyas at a distance of thirty-two feet from
them. They are their own barbers and washermen. They will eat food
prepared by Kammalans, of whom there is a tradition that they are a
degraded branch. Tiruvarangan, one of the popular sages of Malabar,
who are reputed to be the descendants of a Paraiya woman, is said
to have been a Panan, and the Panans pay him due reverence. In the
Keralolpatti, the traditional occupation of the Panans is said to be
exorcism, and in British Malabar this occupation seems to be continued
at the present day. Umbrella-making is a secondary occupation for
the men. In Travancore, however, the only occupation pursued by the
Panans is tailoring. The tali-kettu celebration takes place before
the girl attains puberty. If this ceremony is intended to signify
a real marriage, the girl is taken to her husband's house on the
fourth day of the first menstrual period, and they remain thenceforth
man and wife. Otherwise a sambandham ceremony has to be performed
either by the tali-tier or some one else, to establish conjugal
relations. Inheritance is mostly paternal. The dead are buried,
and death pollution lasts for sixteen days. The spirits of deceased
ancestors are appeased once a year by the offering of cooked food on
the new-moon day in the month of Karkatakam (July-August). Ancestors
who died from some untoward accident are propitiated in the month of
Avani (August-September) by offerings of flesh and liquor. The latter
ceremonial is termed vellamkuli or water drinking. Small earthen sheds,
called gurusalas or kuriyalas and matams, are erected in memory of
some ancestors.

The following account of the Panans of the Cochin State is extracted
from a note by Mr. L. K. Ananta Krishna Aiyar. [29]

"The Panans give, as the traditional account of their origin, a
distorted version of the tradition as to the origin of the Izhuvans,
which is found in the Mackenzie Manuscripts. The Panan version of the
story is as follows. One day a washerman of Cheraman Perumal chanced
to wash his dress very clean. On being asked by the Perumal as to the
cause of it, the washerman said that it was due to the suggestion of
a handsome carpenter girl, who saw him while washing. The Perumal,
pleased with the girl, desired her to be married to his washerman. The
parents of the girl were duly consulted, and they could not refuse
the offer, as it came from their sovereign. But his fellow carpenters
resented it, for, if the proposal was accepted, and the marriage
celebrated, it might not only place the members of her family under
a ban, but would also bring dishonour to the castemen. To avert the
contemplated union, they resorted to the following device. A pandal
(marriage booth) was erected and tastefully decorated. Just at the
auspicious hour, when the bridegroom and his party were properly
seated on mats in the pandal, the carpenters brought a puppet exactly
resembling the bride, and placed it by his side, when suddenly, by a
clever artifice, the carpenters caused the building to tumble down,
and thereby killed all those who were in it. They immediately left
the Perumal's country, and took refuge in the island of Ceylon. The
ruler was much embarrassed by the disaster to the washerman, and by
the flight of the carpenters, for he had none in his country to build
houses. A few Panans were sent for, and they brought the carpenters
back. On their return, they were given some fruit of the palmyra
palm, which they ate. They sowed the seeds in their own places,
and these grew into large fruit-bearing palms. The Panans possessed
the privilege of keeping these trees as their own, but subsequently
made them over to the Izhuvans, who, in memory of this, give even
to-day two dishes of food to the Panans on all ceremonial occasions in
their houses. They have been, on that account, called by the Izhuvans
nettaries, for their having originally planted these trees.

"There are no titles among the Panans, but one, who was brought for
examination at Trichur, told me that one of his ancestors got the
title of Panikkan, and that he had the privilege of wearing a gold
ear-ring, carrying a walking-stick lined with silver, and using
a knife provided with a style. Kapradan is a title given to the
headman in the Palghat taluk. In Palghat, when the Kapradan dies,
the Raja is informed, and he sends to the chief mourner (the son)
a sword, a shield, a spear, a few small guns with some gunpowder,
a silver bangle, and a few necklaces. As the dead body is taken to
the burial ground, the chief mourner, wearing the ornaments above
mentioned, goes behind it. In front go a few persons armed with the
weapons referred to. Three discharges are made (1) when the dead body
is removed from the house, (2) when it is placed on the ground, (3)
when it is burnt. The next day, the chief mourner pays his respects
to the Raja, with an umbrella of his own making, when the Raja bestows
upon him the title of Kapradan.

"There are magicians and sorcerers among the Panans, who sometimes,
at the request even of the high-caste men, practice the black
art. Some of the Panans, like the Parayans, engage in magical
rites of a repulsive nature, in order to become possessors of a
powerful medicine, the possession of which is believed to confer
the power of obtaining anything he wishes. They also believe in
the existence of a demoniacal hierarchy. Changili Karuppan, Pechi,
Oodara Karuppan, Kali, Chotala Karuppan, Chotala Bhadrakali, Yakshi,
Gandharvan, and Hanuman are the names of the chief demons whom they
profess to control with the aid of mantrams (consecrated formulæ)
and offerings. They also profess that they can send one or more of
these demons into the bodies of men, and cast them out when persons
are possessed of them. They profess to cure all kinds of diseases in
children with the aid of magic and medicines, and all the castemen
believe that harm or even death may be caused to men with the aid of
sorcerers. In such cases, an astrologer is consulted, and, according
to his calculations, the aid of a magician is sought for. When a
person is suffering from what are believed to be demoniacal attacks,
he is relieved by the performance of the following ceremony, called
pathalahomam. A pit about six feet in length, three feet in depth,
and a foot or two in breadth, is dug. A Panan, covered with a new
piece of cloth, is made to lie in the pit, which is filled in with
earth, leaving a small hole for him to breathe. Over the middle of
his body, the earth is raised and made level. A sacred fire (homam)
is made over this with the branches of a jack tree. Near it a large
square is drawn with sixty-four small divisions, in each of which
a small leaf, with some paddy (unhusked rice), rice, flour, and
lighted torches, is placed. Gingelly (Sesamum) seeds, mustard seeds,
grains of chama (Panicum miliaceum), horse gram (Dolichos biflorus),
eight fragrant things, the skin of snakes, dung of the elephant,
milk of the pala tree, twigs of the banyan tree, dharba grass, nila
narakam (Naregamia alata) oil, and ghee (clarified butter) are put
into it until it burns bright. The sick man is brought in front of
it, and the sorcerer authoritatively asks him--or rather the demon
residing in his body--to take these things. The sorcerer puts the
above mentioned substances into the fire, muttering all the while
his mantrams invoking the favour of Vira Bhadra or Kandakaruna. The
significance of these is 'Oh! Kandakaruna, the King of the Devas,
I have no body, that is, my body is getting weaker and weaker, and
am possessed of some demon, which is killing me, kindly help me, and
give me strength.' This done, another operation is begun. A fowl is
buried, and a small portion of the earth above it is raised and made
level. The figure of a man is drawn by the side of it. Three homams
(sacred fires) are raised, one at the head, one in the middle, and
one at the feet. The above mentioned grains, and other substances,
are put into the fire. A large square with sixty-four smaller squares
in it is drawn, in each of which a leaf, with grains of paddy, rice,
and flowers, is placed. Another mantram in praise of the demons already
mentioned is uttered, and a song is sung. After finishing this, a
small structure in the form of a temple is made. A small plantain tree
is placed by the side of it. A padmam is drawn, and a puja (worship)
is performed for the Paradevatha, the queen of demons. The sorcerer
makes offerings of toddy, beaten rice, plantains, and cocoanuts, and
soon turns oracle, and, as one inspired, tells what the deity wishes,
and gives information as regards the departure of the demons from the
body. It is now believed that the patient is free from all demoniacal
attacks. The buried man is exhumed, and allowed to go home.

"In the Palghat taluk, the following form of sorcery is practiced,
which is believed to relieve persons from demoniacal attacks and
disease. If, in the house of any casteman, it is suspected that some
malign influence is being exercised by demons, a Panan is sent for,
who comes in the evening with his colleagues. A homam is lighted with
the branches of the trees already mentioned, and into it are thrown
six kinds of grains, as well as oil and ghee. As this is being done,
Kallatikode Nili, the presiding archdemon, is propitiated with songs
and offerings. The next part of the ceremony consists in bringing
a bier and placing a Panan on it, and a measure of rice is placed
at his head. He is, as in the case of a dead body, covered with a
piece of new cloth, and a small plantain tree is placed between the
thighs. At his head a sheep and at his feet a fowl are killed. He
pretends gradually to recover consciousness. In this state he is
taken outside the compound. The Panan, lying on the bier, evidently
pretends to be dead, as if killed by the attack of some demon. The
propitiation with songs and offerings is intended to gratify the
demons. This is an instance of sympathetic magic.

"Some among the Panans practice the oti (or odi) cult, like
the Parayas. The following medicines, with the aid of magic,
are serviceable to them in enticing pregnant women from their
houses. Their preparation is described as follows. A Panan, who is
an adept in the black art, bathes early in the morning, dresses in a
cloth unwashed, and performs puja to his deity, after which he goes
in search of a Kotuveli plant (Manihot utilissima). When he finds
such a one as he wants, he goes round it three times every day,
and continues to do so for ninety days, prostrating himself every
day before it. On the last night, which must be a new-moon night, at
twelve o'clock he performs puja to the plant, burning camphor, and,
after going round it three times, prostrates himself before it. He
then places three small torches on it, and advances twenty paces in
front of it. With his mouth closed, and without any fear, he plucks
the plant by the root, and buries it in the ashes on the cremation
ground, on which he pours the water of seven green cocoanuts. He
then goes round it twenty-one times, muttering all the while certain
mantrams, after which he plunges himself in the water, and stands
erect until it extends to his mouth. He takes a mouthful of water,
which he empties on the spot, and then takes the plant with the root,
which he believes to possess peculiar virtues. When it is taken to the
closed door of a house, it has the power to entice a pregnant woman,
when the foetus is removed (cf. article Parayan). It is all secretly
done on a dark midnight. The head, hands and legs are cut off, and
the trunk is taken to a dark-coloured rock, on which it is cut into
nine pieces, which are all burned until they are blackened. At this
stage, one piece boils, and is placed in a new earthen pot, with the
addition of the water of nine green cocoanuts. The pot is removed
to the burial-ground. The Panan performs a puja here in favour of
his favourite deity. Here he fixes two poles deep in the earth,
at a distance of thirty feet from each other.

The poles are connected by a strong wire, from which is suspended
the pot to be heated and boiled. Seven fire-places are made, beneath
the wire. The branches of bamboo, katalati (Achyranthes Emblica),
conga (Bauhinea variegata), cocoanut palm, jack tree (Artocarpus
integrifolia), and pavatta (Pavatta indica), are used in forming a
bright fire. The mixture in the pot soon boils and becomes oily, at
which stage it is passed through a fine cloth. The oil is preserved,
and a mark made with it on the forehead enables the possessor to
realise anything that is thought of. The sorcerer must be in a state
of vow for twenty-one days, and live on a diet of chama kanji. The
deity, whose aid is necessary, is propitiated with offerings.

"One of the ceremonies which the Panans perform is called Thukil
Onarthuka (waking thukil, a kind of drum). In the month of Karkadakam
(July-August), a Panan, with his wife, provided with a drum and
kuzhithalam (circular bell-metal cymbals), goes to the houses of
Brahmans and Nayars after midnight, and sings sacred songs. During the
week, they sing standing underneath a banyan tree near the western
gate of the Trichur temple. From the temple authorities they get
five measures of paddy, half a measure of rice, some gingelly oil,
and a cocoanut. For their services in other houses, they receive a
similar remuneration. This is intended to drive evil spirits, if any,
from houses. Another of their festivals is known as Panan Kali. The
traditional account therefor is as follows. Once, when a Panan and
his wife went to a forest to bring bamboos for the manufacture of
umbrellas, they missed their way, night approached, and they could not
return. They began to be frightened by the varieties of noise heard
by them in the wilderness. They collected pieces of dry bamboo and
leaves of trees, and burned them. In the presence of the light thus
obtained, the woman caught hold of a creeper hanging from a tree,
and danced in honour of Bhagavathi, while her husband sang songs
praising her. The day dawned at last, and they found their way home
in safety. In memory of this incident, the Panans organise a party
for a regular play. There are ten male and two female actors, and
the play is acted during the whole night.

"The religion of the Panans consists of an all-pervading
demonology. Their chief gods are Mukkan, Chathan, Kappiri,
Malankorathi, and Kali. Pujas are performed to them on the first of
Medom (April-May), Karkadakam (July-August), Desara, and on Tuesday
in Makaram (January-February). These deities are represented by stones
placed under a tree. They are washed with water on the aforesaid days,
and offerings of sheep and fowls, malar (parched rice), plantains,
cocoanuts, and boiled rice are made to them. Their belief is that
these deities are ever prone to do harm to them, and should therefore
be propitiated with offerings. The Panans also worship the spirits
of their ancestors, who pass for their household gods, and whose
help they seek in all times of danger. They fast on new-moon nights,
and on the eleventh night after full-moon or new-moon.

"The Panan is the barber of the polluting castes above Cherumans. By
profession he is an umbrella-maker. Panans are also engaged in all
kinds of agricultural work. In villages, they build mud walls. Their
women act as midwives.

"As regards social status, the Panans eat at the hands of Brahmans,
Nayars, Kammalans, and Izhuvans. They have to stand at a distance of
thirty-two feet from Brahmans. Panans and Kaniyans pollute one another
if they touch, and both bathe should they happen to do so. They are
their own barbers and washermen. They live in the vicinity of the
Izhuvans, but cannot live in the Nayar tharas. Nor can they take water
from the wells of the Kammalans. They cannot approach the outer walls
of Brahman temples, and are not allowed to enter the Brahman streets
in Palghat."

In the Census Report, 1891, Panan occurs as a sub-division of the
Paraiyans. Their chief occupation as leather-workers is said to be
the manufacture of drum-heads. [30]

Panasa.--The Panasas are a class of beggars in the Telugu country,
who are said to ask alms only from Kamsalas. The word panasa means
constant repetition of words, and, in its application to the Panasa,
probably indicates that they, like the Bhatrazu bards and panegyrists,
make up verses eulogising those from whom they beg. It is stated in the
Kurnool Manual (1886) that "they take alms from the Beri Komatis and
goldsmiths (Kamsalas), and no others. The story goes that, in Golkonda,
a tribe of Komatis named Bacheluvaru were imprisoned for non-payment
of arrears of revenue. Finding certain men of the artificer class who
passed by in the street spit betel nut, they got it into their mouths,
and begged the artificers to get them released. The artificers,
pitying them, paid the arrears, and procured their release. It was
then that the Kamsalis fixed a vartana or annual house-fee for the
maintenance of the Panasa class, on condition that they should not
beg alms from the other castes." The Panasas appear every year in
the Kurnool district to collect their dues.

Pancha.--Pancha, meaning five, is recorded as a sub-division of the
Linga Balijas, and Panchachara or Panchamsale as a sub-division of
Lingayats. In all these, pancha has reference to the five acharas
or ceremonial observances of the Lingayats, which seem to vary
according to locality. Wearing the lingam, worshipping it before
meals, and paying reverence to the Jangam priests, are included among
the observances.

Panchala.--A synonym for Canarese Kammalans, among whom five (panch)
classes of workers are included, viz., gold and silver, brass and
copper, iron, and stone.

Panchalinga (five lingams).--An exogamous sept of Boya. The lingam
is the symbol of Siva.

Panchama.--The Panchamas are, in the Madras Census Report, 1871, summed
up as being "that great division of the people, spoken of by themselves
as the fifth caste, and described by Buchanan and other writers as
the Pancham Bandam." According to Buchanan, [31] the Pancham Bandum
"consist of four tribes, the Parriar, the Baluan, the Shekliar, and
the Toti." Buchanan further makes mention of Panchama Banijigaru and
Panchama Cumbharu (potters). The Panchamas were, in the Department
of Public Instruction, called "Paraiyas and kindred classes" till
1893. This classification was replaced, for convenience of reference,
by Panchama, which included Chacchadis, Godaris, Pulayas, Holeyas,
Madigas, Malas, Pallans, Paraiyans, Totis, and Valluvans. "It is,"
the Director of Public Instruction wrote in 1902, "for Government
to consider whether the various classes concerned should, for the
sake of brevity, be described by one simple name. The terms Paraiya,
low caste, outcaste, carry with them a derogatory meaning, and are
unsuitable. The expression Pancham Banda, or more briefly Panchama,
seems more appropriate." The Government ruled that there is no
objection to the proposal that Paraiyas and kindred classes should
be designated Panchama Bandham or Panchama in future, but it would
be simpler to style them the fifth class.

The following educational privileges according to the various classes
classified as Panchama may be noted:--

(1) They are admitted into schools at half the standard rates of fees.

(2) Under the result grant system (recently abolished), grants were
passed for Panchama pupils at rates 50 per cent. higher than in
ordinary cases, and 15 per cent. higher in backward localities.

(3) Panchama schools were exempted from the attendance restriction,
i.e., grants were given to them, however small the attendance. Ordinary
schools had to have an attendance of ten at least to earn grants.

(4) Panchama students under training as teachers get stipends at
rates nearly double of those for ordinary Hindus.

An interesting account of the system of education at the Olcott
Panchama Free Schools has been written by Mrs. Courtright. [32]

Panchama is returned, in the Census Reports, 1891 and 1901, as a
sub-division of Balija and Banajiga.

Pancharamkatti.--A sub-division of Idaiyan, which derives its name
from the neck ornament (pancharam) worn by the women.

Pandamuttu.--A sub-division of Palli. The name is made by Winslow to
mean a number of torches arranged so as to represent an elephant. The
Pallis, however, explain it as referring to the pile of pots, which
reaches to the top of the marriage pandal (pandal, booth, mutti,
touching). The lowest pot is decorated with figures of elephants
and horses.

Pandaram.--Pandaram is described by Mr. H. A. Stuart [33] as being
"the name rather of an occupation than a caste, and used to denote
any non-Brahmanical priest. The Pandarams seem to receive numerous
recruits from the Saivite Sudra castes, who choose to make a profession
of piety, and wander about begging. They are in reality very lax
in their modes of life, often drinking liquor and eating animal
food furnished by any respectable Sudra. They often serve in Siva
temples, where they make garlands of flowers to decorate the lingam,
and blow brazen trumpets when offerings are made, or processions take
place. Tirutanni is one of the chief places, in which they congregate."

It is recorded, in the Gazetteer of the Trichinopoly district, that
"the water for the god's bath at Ratnagiri is brought by a caste of
non-Brahmans known as Tirumanjana Pandarams, who fetch it every day
from the Cauvery. They say that they are descended from an Aryan king,
who came to the god with the hope of getting rubies from him. The god,
in the guise of a Brahman, tested his devotion by making him fill a
magic vessel with Cauvery water. The vessel would not fill, and the
Aryan stranger in a fit of anger cut off the Brahman's head. The dead
body at once turned into a lingam, and the Aryan was ordered to carry
water for the temple till eternity."

Pandaram is used both as the name of a caste, and of a class composed
of recruits from various castes (e.g., Vellala and Palli). The
Pandaram caste is composed of respectable people who have settled
down as land-holders, and of Sanyasis and priests of certain matams
(religious institutions), and managers of richly endowed temples, such
as those at Tiruvadudurai in Tanjore and Mailam in South Arcot. The
common name for these managers is Tambiran. The caste Pandarams are
staunch Saivites and strict vegetarians. Those who lead a celibate
life wear the lingam. They are said to have been originally Sozhia
Vellalas, with whom intermarriage still takes place. They are initiated
into the Saivite religion by a rite called Dhikshai, which is divided
into five stages, viz., Samaya, Nirvana, Visesha, Kalasothanai, and
Acharya Abhishekam. Some are temple servants, and supply flowers for
the god, while others sing devaram (hymns to the god) during the temple
service. On this account, they are known as Meikaval (body-guard of
the god), and Oduvar (reader). The caste Pandarams have two divisions,
called Abhisheka and Desikar, and the latter name is often taken as
a title, e.g., Kandasami Desikar. An Abhisheka Pandaram is one who
is made to pass through some ceremonies connected with Saiva Agama.

The mendicant Pandarams, who are recruited from various classes,
wear the lingam, and do not abstain from eating flesh. Many villages
have a Pandaram as the priest of the shrine of the village deity,
who is frequently a Palli who has become a Pandaram by donning the
lingam. The females are said to live, in some cases, by prostitution.

The Lingayat Pandarams differ in many respects from the true
Lingayats. The latter respect their Jangam, and use the sacred
water, in which the feet of the Jangam are washed, for washing their
stone lingam. To the Pandarams, and Tamil Lingayats in general, this
proceeding would amount to sacrilege of the worst type. Canarese and
Telugu Lingayats regard a Jangam as superior to the stone lingam. In
the matter of pollution ceremonies the Tamil Lingayats are very
particular, whereas the orthodox Lingayats observe no pollution. The
investiture with the lingam does not take place so early among the
Tamil as among the Canarese Lingayats.

For the following note, I am indebted to Mr. C. Hayavadana
Rao. "Dr. H. H. Wilson [34] is of opinion that the word Pandaram is
'more properly Panduranga, pale complexioned, from their smearing
themselves with ashes. It is so used in Hemachandra's history
of Mahavira, when speaking of the Saiva Brahmans.' A more popular
derivation of the name is from Bandaram, a public treasury. A good many
well-to-do Pandarams are managers of Siva temples in Southern India,
and accordingly have the temple treasuries under their care. It is,
however, possible that the name has been acquired by the caste by
reason of their keeping a yellow powder, called pandaram, in a little
box, and giving it in return for the alms which they receive.

Opinions are divided as to whether the Pandarams are Lingayats or
not. The opinion held by F. W. Ellis, the well-known Tamil scholar and
translator of the Kural of Tiruvalluvar, is thus summarised by Colonel
Wilks. [35] "Mr. Ellis considers the Jangam of the upper countries, and
the Pandaram of the lower, to be of the same sect, and both deny in the
most unequivocal terms the doctrine of the metempsychosis. A manuscript
in the Mackenzie collection ascribes the origin of the Pandarams as
a sacerdotal order of the servile caste to the religious disputes,
which terminated in the suppression of the Jain religion in the Pandian
(Madura) kingdom, and the influence which they attained by the aid
which they rendered to the Brahmans in that controversy, but this
origin seems to require confirmation. In a large portion, perhaps in
the whole of the Brahmanical temples dedicated to Siva in the provinces
of Arcot, Tanjore, Trichinopoly, Madura and Tinnevelly, the Pandaram
is the highest of the temple, and has the entire direction of the
revenues, but allows the Brahmans to officiate in the ceremonial part
according to their own good pleasure, as a concern altogether below
his note. He has generally the reputation of an irreproachable life,
and is treated by the Brahmans of the temple with great reverence,
while on his part he looks with compassion at the absurd trifles
which occupy their attention. These facts seem to point to some former
revolution, in which a Jangam government obtained a superiority over
the Brahmanical establishments, and adopted this mode of superseding
the substantial part of their authority. It is a curious instance
of the Sooder (Sudra) being the spiritual lord of the Brahman, and
is worthy of further historical investigation." Dr. Wilson [36] also
thinks that the Pandarams are Lingayats. Mr. H. A. Stuart [37] says
that they are a class of priests who serve the non-Brahman castes. They
have returned 115 sub-divisions, of which only two are sufficiently
large to require mention, Andi of Tinnevelly and Malabar, and Lingadari
of Chingleput and Tinnevelly. Andi is a quasi-caste of beggars
recruited from all castes, and the Lingadari Pandarams are the same as
Jangams. Pandaram is, in fact, a class name rather than the name of a
caste, and it consists of priests and beggars. Mr. C. P. Brown [38]
thinks that the Pandarams are not Lingayats. 'The Saiva worshippers
among the Tamils are called Pandarams: these are not Vira Saivas,
nor do they wear the linga or adore Basava. I name them here chiefly
because they are often mentioned as being Vira Saivas, whereas in
truth they are (like the Smartas) Purva Saivas, and worship the image
of Siva in their houses.' It must be remarked that Mr. Brown appears
to have had a confused idea of Pandarams. Pandarams wear the linga
on their bodies in one of the usual modes, are priests to others
professing the Lingayat religion, and are fed by them on funeral and
other ceremonial occasions. At the same time, it must be added that
they are--more especially the begging sections--very lax as regards
their food and drink. This characteristic distinguishes them from the
more orthodox Lingayats. Moreover, Lingayats remarry their widows,
whereas the Pandarams, as a caste, will not.

"Pandarams speak Tamil. They are of two classes, the married and
celibate. The former are far more numerous than the latter, and dress
in the usual Hindu manner. They have the hind-lock of hair known as the
kudumi, put on sacred ashes, and paint the point between the eyebrows
with a sandal paste dot. The celibates wear orange-tawny cloths,
and daub sacred ashes all over their bodies. They allow the hair
of the head to become matted. They wear sandals with iron spikes,
and carry in their hands an iron trisulam (the emblem of Siva),
and a wooden baton called dandayudha (another emblem of Siva). When
they go about the streets, they sing popular Tamil hymns, and beat
against their begging bowl an iron chain tied by a hole to one of
its sides. Married men also beg, but only use a bell-metal gong
and a wooden mallet. Most of these help pilgrims going to the more
famous Siva temples in the Madras Presidency, e.g., Tirutani, Palni,
Tiruvannamalai, or Tirupparankunram. Among both sections, the dead are
buried in the sitting posture, as among other Lingayats. A samadhi
is erected over the spot where they are buried. This consists of a
linga and bull in miniature, which are worshipped as often as may be
found convenient.

"The managers of temples and mutts (religious institutions), known
as Pandara Sannadhis, belong to the celibate class. They are usually
learned in the Agamas and Puranas. A good many of them are Tamil
scholars, and well versed in Saiva Siddhanta philosophy. They call
themselves Tambirans--a title which is often usurped by the uneducated
beggars."

In the Census Report, 1901, Vairavi is returned as a sub-caste of
Pandaram, and said to be found only in the Tinnevelly district, where
they are measurers of grains and pujaris in village temples. Vairavi
is further used as a name for members of the Melakkaran caste, who
officiate as servants at the temples of the Nattukottai Chettis.

Pandaram is a title of the Panisavans and Valluvan priests of the
Paraiyans.

A class of people called hill Pandarams are described [39] by the
Rev. S. Mateer as "miserable beings without clothing, implements,
or huts of any kind, living in holes, rocks, or trees. They bring
wax, ivory (tusks), and other produce to the Arayans, and get salt
from them. They dig roots, snare the ibex (wild goat, Hemitragus
hylocrius) of the hills, and jungle fowls, eat rats and snakes, and
even crocodiles found in the pools among the hill streams. They were
perfectly naked and filthy, and very timid. They spoke Malayalam in a
curious tone, and said that twenty-two of their party had been devoured
by tigers within two monsoons." Concerning these hill Pandarams,
Mr. N. Subramani Aiyar writes that they live on the banks of streams
in crevices of rocks, caves, and hollows of trees. They are known to
the dwellers on the plains as Kattumanushyar, or forest men. They clad
themselves in the bark of trees, and, in the rainy and cold seasons,
protect their bodies with plantain leaves. They speak a corrupt form of
Tamil. They fear the sight of other men, and try to avoid approaching
them. A former European magistrate of the Cardamom Hills took some
of them to his residence, but, during their three days' stay there,
they refused to eat or talk. There is a chieftain for every four hills,
but his authority is little more than nominal. When women are married,
the earth and hills are invoked as witnesses. They have Hindu names,
such as Raman, Kittan (Krishna), and Govindan.

In a lecture delivered some years ago at Trivandrum, Mr. O. H. Bensley
described the hill Pandarams as being "skilful in catching fish,
their mode of cooking which is to place the fish on roots on a rock,
and cover them with fire. They keep dogs, and, by their aid, replenish
their larder with rats, mungooses, iguanas (lizard, Varanus), and
other delicacies. I was told that the authority recognised by these
people is the head Arayan, to whom they give a yearly offering of
jungle produce, receiving in exchange the scanty clothing required
by them. We had an opportunity of examining their stock-in-trade,
which consisted of a bill-hook similar to those used by other hillmen,
a few earthen cooking-pots, and a good stock of white flour, which
was, they said, obtained from the bark of a tree, the name of which
sounded like ahlum. They were all small in stature, with the exception
of one young woman, and, both in appearance and intelligence, compared
favourably with the Uralis."

Pandariyar.--Pandariyar or Pandarattar, denoting custodians of
the treasury, has been returned as a title of Nattaman, Malaiman,
and Sudarman.

Pandava-kulam.--A title, indicative "of the caste of the Pandava
kings," assumed by Jatapus and Konda Doras, who worship the
Pandavas. The Pandava kings were the heroes of the Mahabharata, who
fought a great battle with the Kauravas, and are said to have belonged
to the lunar race of Kshatriyas. The Pandavas had a single wife named
Draupadi, whom the Pallis or Vanniyans worship, and celebrate annually
in her honour a fire-walking festival. The Pallis claim to belong to
the fire race of Kshatriyas, and style themselves Agnikula Kshatriyas,
or Vannikula Kshatriyas.

Pandi (pig).--Recorded as an exogamous sept of Asili, Boya, and
Gamalla. Pandipattu (pig catchers) and Pandikottu (pig killers)
occur as exogamous septs of Odde.

Pandito.--Pandit or Pundit (pandita, a learned man) has been defined
[40] as "properly a man learned in Sanskrit lore. The Pundit of the
Supreme Court was a Hindu law-officer, whose duty it was to advise
the English Judges when needful on questions of Hindu law. The office
became extinct on the constitution of the High Court (in 1862). In the
Mahratta and Telugu countries, the word Pandit is usually pronounced
Pant (in English colloquial Punt)." In the countries noted, Pant
occurs widely as a title of Brahmans, who are also referred to
as Pantulu varu. The titles Sanskrit Pundit, Telugu Pundit, etc.,
are still officially recognised at several colleges in the Madras
Presidency. Pandit sometimes occurs as an honorific prefix, e.g.,
Pandit S. M. Natesa Sastri, and Panditan is a name given to Tamil
barbers (Ambattan). In some parts of the Tamil country, Panditar is
used as a name for Madhva Brahmans, because, it is said, many of them
were formerly engaged as pandits at the Law Courts.

Pandito is further the name of "an Oriya caste of astrologers and
physicians. They wear the sacred thread, and accept drinking water
only from Brahmans and Gaudos. Infant marriage is practiced, and widow
marriage is prohibited." [41] I am informed that these Panditos engage
Brahmans for their ceremonials, do not drink liquor, and eat fish and
mutton, but not fowls or beef. The females wear glass bangles. They
are known by the name of Khodikaro, from khodi, a kind of stone,
with which they write figures on the floor, when making astrological
calculations. The stone is said to be something like soapstone.

Pandita occurs as an exogamous sept of Stanikas.

Pandya.--The territorial name Pandya, Pandiya, Pandiyan, or Pandi
has been returned, at recent times of census, as a sub-division of
various Tamil classes, e.g., Ambattan, Kammalan, Occhan, Pallan,
Vannan, and Vellala. Pandiya is further a title of some Shanans. In
Travancore, Pandi has been returned by some Izhavans. The variant
Pandiangal occurs as an exogamous sept of the Tamil Vallambans,
and Pandu as a Tamil synonym for Kapu or Reddi.

Panikkar.--Panikkar, meaning teacher or worker, has been recorded,
in the Malayalam country, as a title of barbers, Kammalan, Maran,
Nayar, Panan, and Paraiyan. In former times, the name was applied,
in Malabar, to fencing-masters, as the following quotations show :--


    1518. "And there are very skilful men who teach this art (fencing),
    and they are called Panicars."--Barbosa.

    1553. "And when the Naire comes to the age of 7 years, he is
    obliged to go to the fencing-school, the master of which (whom
    they call Panical) they regard as a father, on account of the
    instruction he gives them."--Barros.

    1583. "The maisters which teach them be graduates in the
    weapons which they teach, and they be called in their language
    Panycaes."--Castaneda.


A class of people called Panikkan are settled in the Madura and
Tinnevelly districts. Some of them are barbers to Shanans. Others have
taken to weaving as a profession, and will not intermarry with those
who are employed as barbers. "The Panikkans are," Mr. Francis writes,
[42] "weavers, agriculturists, and traders. They employ Brahmans as
priests, but these are apparently not received on terms of equality
by other Brahmans. The Panikkans now frequently call themselves Illam
Vellalas, and change their title in deeds and official papers from
Panikkan to Pillai. They are also taking to wearing the sacred thread
and giving up eating meat. The caste is divided into three vagais or
endogamous classes, namely, Mital, Pattanam, and Malayalam, and each
of these again has five partly exogamous septs or illams (families),
namely, Muttillam, Toranattillam, Pallikkillam, Manjanattillam, and
Soliya-illam. It is stated that the Mital and Pattanam sections will
eat together though they do not intermarry, but that the Malayalam
section can neither dine with nor marry into the other two. They are
reported to have an elaborate system of caste government, under which
eleven villages form a gadistalam (or stage), and send representatives
to its council to settle caste matters; and eleven gadistalams form
a nadu (or country), and send representatives to a chief council,
which decides questions which are beyond the competence of the
gadistalams." The occurrence of Malayam as the name of a sub-division,
and of the Malayalam word illam as that of the exogamous septs, would
seem to indicate that the Panikkans are immigrants from the westward
into the Tamil country.

Panimagan (work children).--A name for Mukkuvans who are employed as
barbers for members of their caste.

Panisavan.--Panisavan is defined in the Salem Manual as "a corruption
of paniseygiravan (panisaivon), literally meaning one who works (or
does service), and is the caste name of the class, whose business it
is to carry news of death to the relations of the deceased, and to
blow the tharai or long trumpet." According to Mr. H. A. Stuart, [43]
Panisavan appears to answer among the Tamilians to the Dasaris or Tadas
of the Telugus. It is a mendicant caste, worshipping Siva. Unlike the
Tadas, however, they often employ themselves in cultivation, and are,
on the whole, a more temperate and respectable class. Their priests
are Brahmans, and they eat flesh, and drink alcoholic liquor very
freely. The dead are generally burned.

There are two classes of Panisavans, of which one works for the
right-hand section, and the other for the left. This division is purely
professional, and there is apparently no bar to intermarriage between
the two classes. The insignia of a Panisavan are the conch-shell
(Turbinella rapa) and tharai, which he supports from the ground by
means of a bamboo pole while he blows it. At marriage processions,
it is his duty to go in front, sounding the tharai from time to
time. On such occasions, and at festivals of the village goddesses,
the tharai is decorated with a string bearing a number of small
triangular pieces of cloth, and tufts of yak's hair. The cloth
should be white for the right-hand section, and of five different
colours for the left. At the present day, the Panisavan is more in
request for funerals than for weddings. In the city of Madras, all
the materials necessary for the bier are sold by Panisavans, who also
keep palanquins for the conveyance of the corpse in stock, which are
let out on hire. At funerals, the Panisavan has to follow the corpse,
blowing his conch-shell. The tharai is only used if the deceased was
an important personage. When the son goes round the corpse with a pot
of water, the Panisavan accompanies him, and blows the conch. On the
last day of the death ceremonies (karmandhiram), the Panisavan should
be present, and blow his conch, especially when the tali (marriage
badge) is removed from a widow's neck. In some places, the Panisavan
conveys the news of death, while in others this duty is carried out by
a barber. In the Chingleput and North Arcot districts, the Panisavans
constitute a separate caste, and have no connection with the Nokkans,
who are beggars attached to the Palli or Vanniyan caste. In South
Arcot and Tanjore, on the other hand, the name Nokkan is used to
signify the caste, which performs the duties of the Panisavan, for
which it seems to be a synonym. The Panisavans of the Tinnevelly
district have nothing in common with those of the northern districts,
e.g., Chingleput and North Arcot, whose duty it is to attend to the
funeral ceremonies of the non-Brahman castes. The main occupations
of the Tinnevelly Panisavans are playing in temples on the nagasaram
(reed instrument), and teaching Deva-dasis dancing. Another occupation,
which is peculiar to the Tinnevelly Panisavans, is achu velai, i.e.,
the preparation of the comb to which the warp threads of a weaving loom
are tied. Socially the Panisavans occupy a lowly position, but they use
the title Pulavar. Their other titles are Pandaram, Pillai, and Mudali.

Paniyan.--The Paniyans are a dark-skinned tribe, short in stature,
with broad noses, and curly or wavy hair, inhabiting the Wynad,
and those portions of the Ernad, Calicut, Kurumbranad and Kottayam
taluks of Malabar, which skirt the base of the ghats, and the Mudanad,
Cherangod, and Namblakod amshams of the Nilgiri district.

A common belief, based on their general appearance, prevails among
the European planting community that the Paniyans are of African
origin, and descended from ancestors who were wrecked on the Malabar
coast. This theory, however, breaks down on investigation. Of their
origin nothing definite is known. The Nayar Janmis (landlords)
say that, when surprised in the act of some mischief or alarmed,
the Paniyan calls out 'Ippi'! 'Ippi'! as he runs away, and they
believe this to have been the name of the country whence they came
originally; but they are ignorant as to where Ippimala, as they
call it, is situated. Kapiri (Africa or the Cape?) is also sometimes
suggested as their original habitat, but only by those who have had
the remarks of Europeans communicated to them. The Paniyan himself,
though he occasionally puts forward one or other of the above places
as the home of his forefathers, has no fixed tradition bearing on
their arrival in Malabar, beyond one to the effect that they were
brought from a far country, where they were found living by a Raja,
who captured them, and carried them off in such a miserable condition
that a man and his wife only possessed one cloth between them, and
were so timid that it was only by means of hunting nets that they
were captured.

The number of Paniyans, returned at the census, 1891, was 33,282,
and nine sub-divisions were registered; but, as Mr. H. A. Stuart,
the Census Commissioner, observes:--"Most of these are not real, and
none has been returned by any considerable number of persons." Their
position is said to be very little removed from that of a slave,
for every Paniyan is some landlord's 'man'; and, though he is, of
course, free to leave his master, he is at once traced, and good care
is taken that he does not get employment elsewhere.

In the fifties of the last century, when planters first began to settle
in the Wynad, they purchased the land with the Paniyans living on it,
who were practically slaves of the land-owners. The Paniyans used
formerly to be employed by rich receivers as professional coffee
thieves, going out by night to strip the bushes of their berries,
which were delivered to the receiver before morning. Unlike the
Badagas of the Nilgiris, who are also coffee thieves, and are afraid
to be out after dark, the Paniyans are not afraid of bogies by night,
and would not hesitate to commit nocturnal depredations. My friend,
Mr. G. Romilly, on whose estate my investigation of the Paniyans was
mainly carried out, assures me that, according to his experience,
the domesticated Paniyan, if well paid, is honest, and fit to be
entrusted with the responsible duties of night watchman.

In some localities, where the Janmis have sold the bulk of their land,
and have consequently ceased to find regular employment for them,
the Paniyans have taken kindly to working on coffee estates, but
comparatively few are thus employed. The word Paniyan means labourer,
and they believe that their original occupation was agriculture as it
is, for the most part, at the present day. Those, however, who earn
their livelihood on estates, only cultivate rice and ragi (Eleusine
coracana) for their own cultivation; and women and children may be
seen digging up jungle roots, or gathering pot-herbs for food. They
will not eat the flesh of jackals, snakes, vultures, lizards, rats,
or other vermin. But I am told that they eat land-crabs, in lieu of
expensive lotions, to prevent baldness and grey hairs. They have a
distinct partiality for alcohol, and those who came to be measured
by me were made more than happy by a present of a two-anna piece,
a cheroot, and a liberal allowance of undiluted fiery brandy from the
Meppadi bazar. The women are naturally of a shy disposition, and used
formerly to run away and hide at the sight of a European. They were
at first afraid to come and see me, but confidence was subsequently
established, and all the women came to visit me, some to go through the
ordeal of measurement, others to laugh at and make derisive comments
on those who were undergoing the operation.

Practically the whole of the rice cultivation in the Wynad is carried
out by the Paniyans attached to edoms (houses or places) or devasoms
(temple property) of the great Nayar landlords; and Chettis and
Mappillas also frequently have a few Paniyans, whom they have bought
or hired by the year at from four to eight rupees per family from a
Janmi. When planting paddy or herding cattle, the Paniyan is seldom
seen without the kontai or basket-work protection from the rain. This
curious, but most effective substitute for the umbrella-hat of the
Malabar coast, is made of split reeds interwoven with 'arrow-root'
leaves, and shaped something like a huge inverted coal-scoop turned
on end, and gives to the individual wearing it the appearance of a
gigantic mushroom. From the nature of his daily occupation the Paniyan
is often brought in contact with wild animals, and is generally a
bold, and, if excited, as he usually is on an occasion such as the
netting of a tiger, a reckless fellow. The young men of the villages
vie with each other in the zeal which they display in carrying out
the really dangerous work of cutting back the jungle to within a
couple of spear-lengths of the place where the quarry lies hidden,
and often make a show of their indifference by turning and conversing
with their friends outside the net.

Years ago it was not unusual for people to come long distance for the
purpose of engaging Wynad Paniyans to help them in carrying out some
more than usually desperate robbery or murder. Their mode of procedure,
when engaged in an enterprise of this sort, is evidenced by two cases,
which had in them a strong element of savagery. On both these occasions
the thatched homesteads were surrounded at dead of night by gangs of
Paniyans carrying large bundles of rice straw. After carefully piling
up the straw on all sides of the building marked for destruction,
torches were, at a given signal, applied, and those of the wretched
inmates who attempted to escape were knocked on the head with clubs,
and thrust into the fiery furnace.

The Paniyans settle down happily on estates, living in a settlement
consisting of rows of huts and detached huts, single or double storied,
built of bamboo and thatched. During the hot weather, in the unhealthy
months which precede the advent of the south-west monsoon, they shift
their quarters to live near streams, or in other cool, shady spots,
returning to their head quarters when the rains set in.

They catch fish either by means of big flat bamboo mats, or, in a
less orthodox manner, by damming a stream and poisoning the water
with herbs, bark, and fruit, which are beaten to a pulp and thrown
into the water. The fish, becoming stupified, float on the surface,
and fall an easy and unfairly earned prey.

It is recorded by Mr. H. C. Wilson [44] that the section of the
Moyar river "stretching from the bottom of the Pykara falls down to
the sheer drop into the Mysore ditch below Teppakadu is occupied
principally by Carnatic carp. In the upper reaches I found traces
of small traps placed across side runners or ditches, which were
then dry. They had evidently been in use during the last floods, and
allowed to remain. Constructed of wood in the shape of a large rake
head with long teeth close together, they are fastened securely across
the ditch or runner at a slight angle with teeth in the gravel. The
object is to catch the small fry which frequent these side places for
protection during flood times. Judging by their primitive nature and
poor construction, they are not effective, but will do a certain amount
of damage. The nearest hamlet to this place is called Torappalli,
occupied by a few fisher people called Paniyans. These are no doubt
the makers of the traps, and, from information I received, they are
said to possess better fry and other traps. They are also accredited
with having fine-mesh nets, which they use when the waters are low."

In 1907, rules were issued, under the Indian Fisheries Act, IV of 1897,
for the protection of fish in the Bhavani and Moyar rivers. These rules
referred to the erection and use of fixed engines, the construction
of weirs, and the use of nets, the meshes of which are less than one
and a half inches square for the capture or destruction of fish, and
the prohibition of fishing between the 15th March and 15th September
annually. Notice of the rules was given by beat of tom-tom (drum)
in the villages lying on the banks of the rivers, to which the rules
applied.

The Paniyan language is a debased Malayalam patois spoken in a curious
nasal sing-song, difficult to imitate; but most of the Paniyans
employed on estates can also converse in Kanarese.

Wholly uneducated and associating with no other tribes, the Paniyans
have only very crude ideas of religion. Believing in devils of all
sorts and sizes, and professing to worship the Hindu divinities,
they reverence especially the god of the jungles, Kad Bhagavadi,
or, according to another version, a deity called Kuli, a malignant
and terrible being of neither sex, whose shrines take the form of a
stone placed under a tree, or sometimes a cairn of stones. At their
rude shrines they contribute as offerings to the swami (god) rice
boiled in the husk, roasted and pounded, half-a-cocoanut, and small
coins. The banyan and a lofty tree, apparently of the fig tribe,
are reverenced by them, inasmuch as evil spirits are reputed to
haunt them at times. Trees so haunted must not be touched, and,
if the Paniyans attempt to cut them, they fall sick.

Some Paniyans are believed to be gifted with the power of changing
themselves into animals; and there is a belief among the Paniyan
dwellers in the plains that, if they wish to secure a woman whom
they lust after, one of the men gifted with this special power goes
to her house at night with a hollow bamboo, and encircles the house
three times. The woman then comes out, and the man, changing himself
into a bull or dog, works his wicked will. The woman, it is believed,
dies in the course of two or three days.

In 1904 some Paniyans were employed by a Mappilla (Muhammadan) to
murder his mistress, who was pregnant, and threatened that she would
noise abroad his responsibility for her condition. He brooded over
the matter, and one day, meeting a Paniyan, promised him ten rupees
if he would kill the woman. The Paniyan agreed to commit the crime,
and went with his brothers to a place on a hill, where the Mappilla
and the woman were in the habit of gratifying their passions. Thither
the man and woman followed the Paniyans, of whom one ran out, and
struck his victim on the head with a chopper. She was then gagged
with a cloth, carried some distance, and killed. The two Paniyans
and the Mappilla were sentenced to be hanged.

Monogamy appears to be the general rule among the Paniyans, but there
is no obstacle to a man taking unto himself as many wives as he can
afford to support.

Apparently the bride is selected for a young man by his parents, and,
in the same way that a wealthy European sometimes sends his betrothed
a daily present of a bouquet, the more humble Paniyan bridegroom-elect
has to take a bundle of firewood to the house of the fiancée every
day for six months. The marriage ceremony (and the marriage knot
does not appear to be very binding) is of a very simple nature. The
ceremony is conducted by a Paniyan Chemmi (a corruption of Janmi). A
present of sixteen fanams (coins) and some new cloths is given by the
bridegroom to the Chemmi, who hands them over to the parents of the
bride. A feast is prepared, at which the Paniyan women (Panichis)
dance to the music of drum and pipe. The tali (or marriage badge)
is tied round the neck of the bride by the female relations of the
bridegroom, who also invest the bride with such crude jewelry as
they may be able to afford. The Chemmi seals the contract by pouring
water over the head and feet of the young couple. It is said [45]
that a husband has to make an annual present to his wife's parents;
and failure to do so entitles them to demand their daughter back. A
man may, I was told, not have two sisters as wives; nor may he marry
his deceased wife's sister. Remarriage of widows is permitted. Adultery
and other forms of vice are adjudicated on by a panchayat (or council)
of headmen, who settle disputes and decide on the fine or punishment
to be inflicted on the guilty. At nearly every considerable Paniyan
village there is a headman called Kuttan, who has been appointed by
Nayar Janmi to look after his interests, and be responsible to him for
the other inhabitants of the village. The investiture of the Kuttan
with the powers of office is celebrated with a feast and dance, at
which a bangle is presented to the Kuttan as a badge of authority. Next
in rank to the Kuttan is the Mudali or head of the family, and they
usually constitute the panchayat. Both Kuttan and Mudali are called
Muppanmar or elders. The whole caste is sometimes loosely spoken of
as Muppan. In a case of proved adultery, a fine of sixteen fanams
(the amount of the marriage fee), and a sum equal to the expenses
of the wedding, including the present to the parents of the bride,
is the usual form of punishment.

The Chemmi or Shemmi is, I am informed, a sort of priest or
minister. He was appointed, in olden days, by the chieftains under whom
the Paniyans worked, and each Chemmi held authority over a group of
villages. The office is hereditary, but, should a Chemmi family fail,
it can be filled up by election.

No ceremony takes place in celebration of the birth of children. One
of the old women of the village acts as midwife, and receives a small
present in return for her services. As soon as a child is old enough
to be of use, it accompanies its parents to their work, or on their
fishing and hunting expeditions, and is initiated into the various
ways of adding to the stock of provisions for the household.

The dead are buried in the following manner. A trench, four or five
feet deep, and large enough to receive the body to be interred, is
dug, due north and south, on a hill near the village. At the bottom
of this excavation the earth is scooped out from the western side on
a level with the floor throughout the length of the grave, so as to
form a receptacle for the corpse, which, placed on a mat, is laid
therein upon its left side with the head pointing to the south and
the feet to the north. After a little cooked rice has been put into
the grave for the use of the departed spirit, the mat, which has been
made broad enough for the purpose, is folded up and tucked in under
the roof of the cavity, and the trench filled up. It has probably
been found by experience that the corpse, when thus protected,
is safe from the ravages of scavenger jackals and pariah dogs. For
seven days after death, a little rice gruel is placed at distance
of from fifty to a hundred yards from the grave by the Chemmi, who
claps his hands as a signal to the evil spirits in the vicinity, who,
in the shape of a pair of crows, are supposed to partake of the food,
which is hence called kaka conji or crow's rice.

The noombu or mourning ceremonies are the ti polay, seven days after
death; the kaka polay or karuvelli held for three years in succession
in the month of Magaram (January-February); and the matham polay
held once in every three or four years, when possible, as a memorial
service in honour of those who are specially respected. On all these
occasions the Chemmi presides, and acts as a sort of master of the
ceremonies. As the ceremonial carried out differs only in degree,
an account of the kaka polay will do for all.

In the month of Magaram, the noombukarrans or mourners (who have lost
relatives) begin to cook and eat in a pandal or shed set apart from
the rest of the village, but otherwise go about their business as
usual. They wash and eat twice a day, but abstain from eating meat or
fish. On the last day of the month, arrangements are made, under the
supervision of the Chemmi, for the ceremony which brings the period
of mourning to a close. The mourners, who have fasted since daybreak,
take up their position in the pandal, and the Chemmi, holding on his
crossed arms two winnowing sieves, each containing a seer or two of
rice, walks round three times, and finally deposits the sieves in the
centre of the pandal. If, among the male relatives of the deceased, one
is to be found sufficiently hysterical, or actor enough, to simulate
possession and perform the functions of an oracle, well and good; but,
should they all be of a stolid temperament, there is always at hand
a professional corresponding to the Komaran or Vellichipad of other
Hindus. This individual is called the Patalykaran. With a new cloth
(mundu) on his head, and smeared on the body and arms with a paste
made of rice flour and ghi (clarified butter), he enters on the scene
with his legs girt with bells, the music of which is supposed to drive
away the attendant evil spirits (payanmar). Advancing with short steps
and rolling his eyes, he staggers to and fro, sawing the air with two
small sticks which he holds in either hand, and works himself up into
a frenzied state of inspiration, while the mourners cry out and ask
why the dead have been taken away from them. Presently a convulsive
shiver attacks the performer, who staggers more violently and falls
prostrate on the ground, or seeks the support of one of the posts
of the pandal, while he gasps out disjointed sentences, which are
taken to be the words of the god. The mourners now make obeisance,
and are marked on the forehead with the paste of rice flour and
ghi. This done, a mat is spread for the accommodation of the headmen
and Chemmi; and the Patalykaran, from whose legs the bells have been
removed and put with the rice in the sieves, takes these in his hands,
and, shaking them as he speaks, commences a funeral chant, which lasts
till dawn. Meanwhile food has been prepared for all present except the
mourners, and when this has been partaken of, dancing is kept up round
the central group till daybreak, when the pandal is pulled down and
the kaka polay is over. Those who have been precluded from eating make
up for lost time, and relatives, who have allowed their hair to grow
long, shave. The ordinary Paniyan does not profess to know the meaning
of the funeral orations, but contents himself with a belief that it
is known to those who are initiated. The women attend the ceremony,
but do not take part in the dance. In fact, the nearest approach to
a dance that they ever attempt (and this only on festive occasions)
resembles the ordinary occupation of planting rice, carried out in
dumb show to the music of a drum. The bodies of the performers stoop
and move in time with the music, and the arms are swung from side to
side as in the act of placing the rice seedlings in their rows. To see
a long line of Paniyan women, up to their knees in the mud of a rice
field, bobbing up and down and putting on the pace as the music grows
quicker and quicker, and to hear the wild yells of Hou! Hou! like
a chorus of hungry dogs, which form the vocal accompaniment as they
dab the green bunches in from side to side, is highly amusing.

The foregoing account of the Paniyan death ceremonies was supplied
by Mr. Colin Mackenzie, to whom, as also to Mr. F. Fawcett,
Mr. G. Romilly, and Martelli, I am indebted for many of the facts
recorded in the present note. From Mr. Fawcett the following account
of a further ceremony was obtained:--

At a Paniyan village, on a coffee estate where the annual ceremony
was being celebrated, men and boys were dancing round a wooden
upright to the music of a small drum hanging at the left hip. Some
of the dancers had bells round the leg below the knee. Close to the
upright a man was seated, playing a pipe, which emitted sounds like
those of a bagpipe. In dancing, the dancers went round against the
sun. At some little distance a crowd of females indulged in a dance
by themselves. A characteristic of the dance, specially noticeable
among the women, was stooping and waving of the arms in front. The
dancers perspired freely, and kept up the dance for many hours to
rhythmic music, the tune of which changed from time to time. There
were three chief dancers, of whom one represented the goddess, the
others her ministers. They were smeared with streaks on the chest,
abdomen, arms and legs, had bells on the legs, and carried a short
stick about two feet in length in each hand. The sticks were held
over the head, while the performers quivered as if in a religious
frenzy. Now and again, the sticks were waved or beaten together. The
Paniyans believe that, when the goddess first appeared to them, she
carried two sticks in her hands. The mock goddess and her attendants,
holding the sticks above the head and shivering, went to each male
elder, and apparently received his blessing, the elder placing his
hand on their faces as a form of salutation, and then applying his
hand to his own face. The villagers partook of a light meal in the
early morning, and would not eat again until the end of the ceremony,
which concluded by the man-goddess seating himself on the upright,
and addressing the crowd on behalf of the goddess concerning their
conduct and morality.

The Paniyans "worship animistic deities, of which the chief is Kuli,
whom they worship on a raised platform called Kulitara, offering
cocoanuts, but no blood." [46] They further worship Kattu Bhagavati,
or Bhagavati of the woods. "Shrines in her honour are to be found at
most centres of the caste, and contain no image, but a box in which
are kept the clothing and jewels presented to her by the devout. An
annual ceremony lasting a week is held in her honour, at which the
Komaran and a kind of priest, called Nolambukaran, take the chief
parts. The former dresses in the goddess' clothing, and the divine
afflatus descends upon him, and he prophesies both good and evil."

Games.--A long strip of cane is suspended from the branch of a tree,
and a cross-bar fixed to its lower end. On the bar a boy sits, and
swings himself in all directions. In another game a bar, twelve
to fourteen feet in length, is balanced by means of a point in a
socket on an upright reaching about four feet and-a-half above the
ground. Over the end of the horizontal bar a boy hangs, and, touching
the ground with the feet, spins himself round.

Some Paniyans have a thread tied round the wrist, ankle, or neck,
as a charm to ward off fever and other diseases. Some of the men have
the hair of the head hanging down in matted tails in performance of
a vow. The men wear brass, steel, and copper rings on their fingers
and brass rings in the ears.

The women, in like manner, wear finger rings, and, in addition,
bangles on the wrist, and have the lobes of the ears widely dilated,
and plugged with cadjan (palm leaf) rolls. In some the nostril is
pierced, and plugged with wood.

The Paniyans, who dwell in settlements at the base of the ghats,
make fire by what is known as the Malay or sawing method. A piece
of bamboo, about a foot in length, in which two nodes are included,
is split longitudinally into two equal parts. On one half a sharp
edge is cut with a knife. In the other a longitudinal slit is made
through about two-thirds of its length, which is stuffed with a
piece of cotton cloth. It is then held firmly on the ground with its
convex surface upwards, and the cutting edge drawn, with a gradually
quickening sawing motion, rapidly to and fro across it by two men,
until the cloth is ignited by the incandescent particles of wood in
the groove cut by the sharp edge. The cloth is then blown with the
lips into a blaze, and the tobacco or cooking fire can be lighted.

At Pudupadi an elephant mahout was jealously guarding a bit of bamboo
stick with notches cut in it, each notch representing a day for
which wages were due to him. The stick in question had six notches,
representing six days' wages.

Average height 157.4 cm. Nasal index 95 (max. 108.6). The average
distance from the tip of the middle finger to the top of the patella
was 4.6 cm. relative to stature = 100, which approximates very closely
to the recorded results of measurement of long-limbed African negroes.

Panjai.--Recorded, in the Madras Census Report, 1901, as a sub-division
of Pandya Vellala. The name Panjai, indicating a poverty-stricken
individual, is usually applied to mendicant Pandarams.

Panjaram.--Panjaram or Pancharamkatti is the name of a sub-division
of the Idaiyans, derived from the peculiar gold ornament, which the
women wear. It is said that, in this division, widow marriage is
commonly practiced, because Krishna used to place a similar ornament
round the necks of Idaiyan widows of whom he became enamoured, and
that this sub-division was the result of his amours with them.

Panjukkara (cotton-man).--An occupational name of a sub-division of
Vellalas, who are not at the present day connected with the cotton
trade. They call themselves Panjukkara Chettis. The equivalent panjari
(pinjari) or Panjukotti occurs as a Tamil synonym for Dudekula
(Muhammadan cotton-cleaners).

Pannadai (sheath of the cocoanut leaf).--A sub-division of Vettuvan.

Pannaiyan.--A title of Alavan.

Pannara.--A sub-division of Mali.

Pannendu Nal (twelve days).--A name for those Pallis who, like
Brahmans, perform the final death ceremonies on the twelfth day.

Pannirendam (twelfth) Chetti.--A section of the Chettis.

Pano.--In the Madras Census Report, 1891, the Panos are described as
"a caste of weavers found in the Ganjam district. This caste is no
doubt identical with the Pans, a weaving, basket-making, and servile
caste of Orissa and Chota Nagpore. The Panos occupy the same position
among the Khonds of Ganjam as the Dombs hold among the inhabitants
of the Vizagapatam hills, and the words Pano and Dombo are generally
regarded as synonyms [See Domb]. The members of the Sitra sub-division
are workers in metal." It is further noted, in the Census Report, 1901,
that the Panos are "an extensive caste of hill weavers found chiefly
in the Ganjam Agency. The Khond synonym for this word is Domboloko,
which helps to confirm the connection between this caste and the Dombas
of Vizagapatam. They speak Khond and Oriya." In a note on the Panos, I
read that "their occupations are trading, weaving, and theft. They live
on the ignorance and superstition of the Khonds as brokers, pedlars,
sycophants, and cheats. In those parts where there are no Oriyas,
they possess much influence, and are always consulted by the Khonds
in questions of boundary disputes." In a brief account of the Panos,
Mr. C. F. MacCartie writes [47] that "the Panos, also known by the
title of Dombo or Sitra in some parts, are supposed to be Paraiya
[Telugu Mala] emigrants from the low country. Their profession is
weaving or brass work, the monotony of which they vary by petty
trading in horns, skins and live cattle, and occasionally enliven
by house-breaking and theft at the expense of the Khonds, who have
an incautious trick of leaving their habitations utterly unguarded
when they go off to the hills to cultivate. [In the Madras Census
Report, 1901, the Sitras are said to be supposed to be the progeny
of a Khond man and a Haddi woman, who manufacture the brass rings
and bangles worn by the Khonds.] The Panos are drunken, immoral,
and dirty in their habits. The Khonds refuse to eat with them, but I
do not find that this objection extends to drinking, at which both
Khond and Pano display surprising capabilities. Panos are also the
professional musicians of the country, and attend weddings, deaths
and sacrifices in this character, for which they are recompensed with
food, liquor, and cloths. The generality of Khond and Pano houses are
constructed of broad sâl (Shorea robusta) logs, hewn out with the axe
and thatched with jungle grass, which is impervious to white-ants. In
bamboo jungles, of course, bamboo is substituted for sâl. The Panos
generally affect a detached quarter, known as Dombo sai. Intermarriage
between Khonds, Panos, and Uriyas is not recognised, but cases do
occur when a Pano induces a Khond woman to go off with him. She may
live with him as his wife, but no ceremony takes place. [A few years
ago, a young Khond was betrothed to the daughter of another Khond,
and, after a few years, managed to pay up the necessary number of
gifts. He then applied to the girl's father to name the day for the
marriage. Before the wedding took place however, a Pano went to the
girl's father, and said that she was his daughter (she had been born
before her parents were married), and that he was the man to whom
the gifts should have been paid. The case was referred to a council,
which decided in favour of the Pano.] If a Pano commits adultery
with a Khond married woman, he has to pay a paronjo, or a fine of
a buffalo to the husband (who retains his wife), and in addition
a goat, a pig, a basket of paddy (rice), a rupee, and a load of
pots. There is close communication between the Panos and the Khonds,
as the former act as the advisers of the latter in all cases of doubt
or difficulty. The Uriyas live apart from both, and mix but little
with either, except on the occasion of sacrifices or other solemn
assemblages, when buffaloes are slaughtered for Panos and Khonds,
and goats or sheep for Uriya visitors. [It is noted, in the Ganjam
Manual, in connection with Khond death ceremonies, that "if a man
has been killed by a tiger, purification is made by the sacrifice
of a pig, the head of which is cut off with a tangi (axe) by a Pano,
and passed between the legs of the men in the village, who stand in a
line astraddle. It is a bad omen to him, if the head touches any man's
legs.] Among the products of the jungles may be included myrabolams
(Terminalia fruits), tasar silk cocoons, and dammer, all of which
are bartered by the finders to trading Panos in small quantities,
generally for salt." In the Ganjam Maliahs, the jungles are said to
be searched by Panos for tasar cocoons, and, just across the border
in Boad, the collection of these cocoons is a regular industry among
them. Small portions of jungle are regularly reserved, and divided
up into small allotments. Each of these is given to a Pano for rent,
and here he cultivates the silkworms, and collects the silk, which
is sent to Berhampur and Sambalpur for manufacture.

The Panos are divided into two distinct sections, viz., the Khonda
Panos who live amidst the Khonds, and the Desa Panos of the plains. The
former have adopted some of the customs of the Khonds, while the
latter follow the customs of the Uriya castes which dwell in the
lowland. The Khond Panos are governed by the Molikos (headmen) of the
Khonds. In some cases, the fines inflicted for breach of caste rules
are rather severe. For example, in the neighbourhood of Baliguda, a
man who is convicted of adultery has to pay two rupees, and give two
buffaloes to the council which tries the case. Further south, for a
similar offence twelve buffaloes are demanded, and the culprit has to
pay twice the amount of the bride-price to the injured husband. The
Desa Panos conform to the standard Uriya type of caste council, and
have a headman called Behara, who is assisted by a Nayako, and caste
servants entitled Bhollobaya or Gonjari.

The marriage ceremonies of the Desa Panos are closely allied to those
of the Dandasis and Haddis, whereas those of the Khonda Panos bear a
close resemblance to the ceremonies of the Khonds. Like Khond girls,
unmarried Khond Pano girls sleep in quarters (dhangadi) specially
set apart for them, and, as among the Khonds, wedding presents in
the form of gontis are given. It is noted with reference to the
Khonds, in the Ganjam Manual, that "the bride is looked upon as a
commercial speculation, and is paid for in gontis. A gonti is one of
anything, such as a buffalo, a pig, or a brass pot; for instance,
a hundred gontis might consist of ten bullocks, ten buffaloes, ten
sacks of corn, ten sets of brass, twenty sheep, ten pigs, and thirty
fowls." At a Khond Pano marriage, the fingers of the contracting
couple are linked together, and an important item of the ceremonial,
which adds dignity thereto, is placing in front of the house at which
a marriage is being celebrated a big brass vessel containing water,
with which the guests wash their feet.

The Panos pay reverence to ancestors, to whom, when a death occurs
in a family, food is offered. In some Pano villages, when a child is
born, it is customary to consult a pujari (priest) as to whether the
grandfather or great-grandfather is re-born in it. If the answer is
in the affirmative, pigs are sacrificed to the ancestors. Some Panos
have adopted the worship of Takuranis (village deities), to whom rice
and turmeric are offered by placing them before the image in the form
of a figure-of-eight. A fowl is sacrificed, and its blood allowed to
flow on to one loop of the figure. In some places, Dharmadevata and
Gagnasuni are worshipped, a castrated goat being sacrificed annually
to the former, and fowls and an entire goat to the latter.

Pano women, who live among the Khonds, tattoo their faces in like
manner, and in other respects resemble Khond women.

I am informed that, on more than one occasion, Panos have been known
to rifle the grave of a European, in the belief that buried treasure
will be found.

Panta (a crop).--A sub-division of Kapu and Yanadi. In the Gazetteer
of South Arcot, Pan Reddi is recorded as a caste of Telugu-speaking
ryots (Kapus).

Pantala.--Recorded, in Travancore, as a sub-division of Samantan. The
name is said to be derived from Bhandarattil, or belonging to the
royal treasury.

Pantari.--Recorded, in the Travancore Census Report, as synonymous
with the Idacheri sub-division of Nayar. Pantrantu Vitan is also
there recorded as a sub-division of Nayar.

Pappadam.--People calling themselves Pappadam Chetti are largely
found in Malabar, living by the manufacture and sale of cakes called
pappadam, which are purchased by all classes, including Nambutiri
Brahmans.

Pappini.--A name for Brahmanis, a class of Ambalavasi.

Pappu (split pulse).--An exogamous sept of Balija.

Paradesi.--Recorded, in the Madras Census Report, 1901, as a class of
Malayalam beggars. The name indicates strangers (paradesa, a foreign
country), and is applied to the White Jews of Cochin, in connection
with whom it occurs in Sirkar (State) accounts and royal writs granted
to them.

Paraiya Tada.--Recorded, in the North Arcot Manual, as a name for
those who are considered impure Valluvans. The name literally means
Paraiya Tadan or Dasari.

Paraiyan.--The Paraiyans or, as they are commonly termed, Pariahs of
the Tamil country number, according to recent census returns, over two
million souls, and a large proportion of those who returned themselves
as Native Christians are said also to belong to this class. For the
following note I am mainly indebted to an account of the Paraiyans
by the Rev. A. C. Clayton. [48]

The late Bishop Caldwell derived the name Paraiyan from the Tamil
word parai a drum, as certain Paraiyans act as drummers at marriages,
funerals, village festivals, and on occasions when Government or
commercial announcements are proclaimed. Mr. H. A. Stuart, however,
seems to question this derivation, remarking [49] that "it is only
one section of Paraiyans that act as drummers. Nor is the occupation
confined to Paraiyans. It seems in the highest degree improbable that
a large, and at one time powerful, community should owe its name to
an occasional occupation, which one of its divisions shares with other
castes. The word Paraiyan is not found in Divakaram, a Tamil dictionary
of the eleventh century A.D., and the word Pulayan was then used to
denote this section of the population, as it is still in Malayalam to
this day." In the legend of the Saivite saint, Nandan is, in the prose
version of the Periya Puranam, called a Pulayan, though a native of
Sholamandalam, which was a distinctly Tamil kingdom. Mr. W. Francis
writes [50] that "the old Tamil poems and works of the early centuries
of the Christian era do not mention the name Paraiyan, but contain
many descriptions of a tribe called the Eyinas, who seem to have
been quite distinct from the rest of the population, and did not
live in the villages, but in forts of their own. Ambur and Vellore
are mentioned as the sites of two of these. They may perhaps have
been the ancestors of the Paraiyans of to-day."

In a note on the Paraiyans, Sonnerat, writing [51] in the eighteenth
century, says that "they are prohibited from drawing water from the
wells of other castes; but have particular wells of their own near
their inhabitations, round which they place the bones of animals,
that they may be known and avoided. When an Indian of any other caste
permits a Paraiya to speak to him, this unfortunate being is obliged
to hold his hand before his mouth, lest the Indian may be contaminated
with his breath; and, if he is met on the highway, he must turn on one
side to let the other pass. If any Indian whatever, even a Choutre,
by accident touches a Paraiya, he is obliged to purify himself in a
bath. The Brahmans cannot behold them, and they are obliged to fly
when they appear. Great care is taken not to eat anything dressed
by a Paraiya, nor even to drink out of the vessel he has used; they
dare not enter the house of an Indian of another caste; or, if they
are employed in any work, a door is purposely made for them; but they
must work with their eyes on the ground; for, if it is perceived they
have glanced at the kitchen, all the utensils must be broken. The
infamy of the Paraiyas is reflected on the Europeans: last are held
in more detestation, because, setting aside the little respect they
have for the cow, whose flesh they eat, the Indians reproach them with
spitting in their houses, and even their temples: that when drinking
they put the cup to their lips, and their fingers to their mouths in
such a manner that they are defiled with the spittle."

Paraiyans are to be found throughout the Tamil districts from North
Arcot to Tinnevelly, and in the southern extremity of the Native
State of Travancore. In the Telugu country the Malas and Madigas and
in the Canarese country the Holeyas take their place.

Some of the most common names of Paraiyan males are--


    Kanni or Kanniyappan.
    Raman or Ramaswami.
    Raju.
    Velu.
    Muttan.
    Mari.
    Kanagan.
    Subban.
    Nondi.
    Tambiran.
    Perumal.
    Viran.
    Sellan.
    Amavasi.


Among females the most common names are Tai, Parpathi, Ammai, Kanni,
Muttammal, Rajammal, Ammani, Selli, Gangammal. In one village,
where the Paraiyans were almost all Vaishnavas, by profession not by
practice, Mr. Clayton found the inhabitants all named after heroes
of the Mahabharata, and dirty naked children answered to the names
of Ikshvakan, Karnan, Bhiman, and Draupadi. It is usual to give
the father's name when distinguishing one Paraiyan from another,
e.g., Tamburan, son of Kannan. In legal documents the prefix Para
denotes a Paraiyan, e.g., Para Kanni, the Paraiyan Kanni, but this
is a purely clerical formula. The Paraiyan delights in nicknames,
and men sometimes grow so accustomed to these that they have almost
forgotten their real names. The following nicknames are very common :--


    Nondi, lame.
    Kallan, thief.
    Kullan, dwarf.
    Vellei, white or light complexioned.
    Kannan, with eyes.
    Muthalai, crocodile.
    Kudiyan, drunkard.


No name, indicating virtue or merit, is given, lest the wrath of
malevolent spirits should be aroused.

At the census, 1891, 348 sub-divisions were returned, of which the
following were strongest in point of numbers :--Amma found chiefly
in Tanjore and Madura; Katti in Salem and Trichinopoly; Kizhakkatti
(eastern) in Salem; Koliyan (weavers) in Chingleput, Tanjore and
Trichinopoly; Konga in Salem; Korava in Coimbatore; Kottai (fort) in
South Arcot; Morasu (drum) in Salem; Mottai in Madura; Pacchai (green)
in Coimbatore; Samban in South Arcot; Sangidum (sanku, conch, or chank
shell) in Coimbatore; Sozhia (natives of the Sozha or Chola country)
in Tanjore and Madura; Tangalan in North and South Arcot, Chingleput,
Salem, and Trichinopoly; and Valangamattu in South Arcot. The members
of the various sub-divisions do not intermarry.

It has been suggested to me that the Morasu Paraiyans, included in
the above list, are Canarese Holeyas, who have settled in the Tamil
country. In the south their women, like the Kallans, wear a horsehair
thread round the neck. As additional sub-divisions, the following
may be noted :--

Aruththukattatha, or those who, having once cut the tali-string, do
not tie it a second time, i.e., those who do not permit remarriage
of widows.

Valai (a net).--Paraiyans who hunt.

Sanku (conch-shell).--Those who act as conch-blowers at funerals.

Thatha.--Thathan is the name given to mendicants who profess
Vaishnavism. Such Paraiyans are Vaishnavites, and some are beggars.

In the Census Report, 1901, Mr. Francis notes that the term Paraiyan
"is now almost a generic one, and the caste is split up into many
sub-divisions, which differ in manners and ways. For example, the
Koliyans, who are weavers, and the Valluvans, who are medicine men and
priests and wear the sacred thread, will not intermarry or eat with
the others, and are now practically distinct castes." As occupational
titles of Paraiyans Mr. Francis gives Urumikkaran and Pambaikkaran,
or those who play on drums (urumi and pambai), and Podarayan or Podara
Vannan, who are washermen. The title Valangamattan, or people of the
right-hand division, is assumed by some Paraiyans.

Mr. Clayton states that he knows of no legend or popular belief
among the Paraiyans, indicating that they believe themselves to
have come from any other part of the country than that where they
now find themselves. There is, however, some evidence that the
race has had a long past, and one in which they had independence,
and possibly great importance in the peninsula. Mr. Stuart mentions
[52] that the Valluvans were priests to the Pallava kings before the
introduction of the Brahmans, and even for some time after it. He
quotes an unpublished Vatteluttu inscription, believed to be of the
ninth century, in which it is noted that "Sri Valluvam Puvanavan,
the Uvacchan (or temple ministrant), will employ six men daily, and do
the temple service." The inference is that the Valluvan was a man of
recognised priestly rank, and of great influence. The prefix Sri is
a notable honorific. By itself this inscription would prove little,
but the whole legendary history of the greatest of all Tamil poets,
Tiruvalluvar, "the holy Valluvan," confirms all that can be deduced
from it. His date can only be fixed approximately, but it is probable
that he flourished not later than the tenth century A.D. It is safe
to say that this extraordinary sage could not have attained the fame
he did, or have received the honours that were bestowed upon him, had
not the Valluvans, and therefore the Paraiyans, been in the circle
of respectable society in his day. This conjecture is strengthened
by the legend that he married a Vellala girl. The same hypothesis
is the only one that will account for the education and the vogue of
the sister of the poet, the aphoristic poetess Avvei.

In the Census Report, 1901, Mr. Francis mentions an inscription of
the Chola King Raja Raja, dated about the eleventh century A.D.,
in which the Paraiyan caste is called by its own name. It had then
two sub-divisions, the Nesavu or weavers, and Ulavu or ploughmen. The
caste had even then its own hamlets, wells and burning-grounds.

There are certain privileges possessed by Paraiyans, which they could
never have gained for themselves from orthodox Hinduism. They seem
to be survivals of a past, in which Paraiyans held a much higher
position than they do now. It is noted by Mr. M. J. Walhouse [53]
that "in the great festival of Siva at Trivalur in Tanjore the headman
of the Pareyars is mounted on the elephant with the god, and carries
his chauri (yak-tail fly fan). In Madras, at the annual festival of
Egatta, the goddess of the Black, [54] now George, Town, when a tali
is tied round the neck of the idol in the name of the entire community,
a Pareyan is chosen to represent the bridegroom. At Melkotta in Mysore,
the chief seat of the followers of Ramanuja Acharya, and at the Brahman
temple at Belur, the Holeyas or Pareyars have the right of entering
the temple on three days in the year specially set apart for them." At
Melkote, the Holeyas and Madigas are said to have been granted the
privilege of entering the sanctum sanctorum along with Brahmans and
others on three days by Ramanuja. In 1799, however, the right to
enter the temple was stopped at the dhvajastambham, or consecrated
monolithic column. At both Belur and Melkote, as soon as the festival
is over, the temples are ceremonially purified. At Sriperumbudur in
the Chingleput district, the Paraiyans enjoy a similar privilege to
those at Tiruvalur, in return for having sheltered an image of the
locally-worshipped incarnation of Vishnu during a Muhammadan raid. It
is noted by Mr. Stuart that the lower village offices, the Vettiyan,
Taliari, Dandasi or Barike, and the Toti, are, in the majority of
Madras villages, held by persons of the Paraiyan caste. Paraiyans
are allowed to take part in pulling the cars of the idols in the
great festivals at Conjeeveram, Kumbakonam, and Srivilliputtur. Their
touch is not reckoned to defile the ropes used, so that other Hindus
will pull with them. With this may be compared the fact that the
Telugu Malas are custodians of the goddess Gauri, the bull Nandi,
and Ganesa, the chief gods of the Saiva Kapus and Balijas. It may
also be noted that the Komatis, who claim to be Vaisyas, are bound
to invite Madigas to their marriages, though they take care that
the latter do not hear the invitation. Mr. Clayton records that he
has heard well-authenticated instances of Brahman women worshipping
at Paraiyan shrines in order to procure children, and states that he
once saw a Paraiyan exorciser treating a Brahman by uttering mantrams
(consecrated formulæ), and waving a sickle up and down the sufferer's
back, as he stood in a threshing floor.

In a note on the Paraiyans of the Trichinopoly district,
Mr. F. R. Hemingway writes as follows. "They have a very exalted
account of their lineage, saying that they are descended from the
Brahman priest Sala Sambavan, who was employed in a Siva temple to
worship the god with offerings of beef, but who incurred the anger
of the god by one day concealing a portion of the meat, to give it to
his pregnant wife, and was therefore turned into a Paraiyan. The god
appointed his brother to do duty instead of him, and the Paraiyans
say that Brahman priests are their cousins. For this reason they wear
a sacred thread at their marriages and funerals. At the festival of
the village goddesses, they repeat an extravagant praise of their
caste, which runs as follows. 'The Paraiyans were the first creation,
the first who wore the sacred thread, the uppermost in the social
scale, the differentiators of castes, the winners of laurels. They
have been seated on the white elephant, the Vira Sambavans who beat
the victorious drum.' It is a curious fact that, at the feast of the
village goddess, a Paraiyan is honoured by being invested with a sacred
thread for the occasion by the pujari (priest) of the temple, by having
a turmeric thread tied to his wrists, and being allowed to head the
procession. This, the Paraiyans say, is owing to their exalted origin."

In times of drought some of the lower orders, instead of addressing
their prayers to the rain god Varuna, try to induce a spirit or
devata named Kodumpavi (wicked one) to send her paramour Sukra to
the affected area. The belief seems to be that Sukra goes away to
his concubine for about six months, and, if he does not then return,
drought ensues. The ceremony consists in making a huge figure of
Kodumpavi in clay, which is placed on a cart, and dragged through
the streets for seven to ten days. On the last day, the final
death ceremonies of the figure are celebrated. It is disfigured,
especially in those parts which are usually concealed. Vettiyans
(Paraiyan grave-diggers), who have been shaved, accompany the figure,
and perform the funeral ceremonies. This procedure is believed to
put Kodumpavi to shame, and to get her to induce Sukra to return,
and stay the drought. Paraiyans are said [55] to wail as though they
were at a funeral, and to beat drums in the funeral time.

The Paraiyans are said by Mr. Francis [56] to have a curious share
in the ceremonies in connection with the annual buffalo sacrifice
at the Kali shrine at Mangalam in South Arcot. "Eight men of this
community are chosen from eight adjoining villages, and one of them
is selected as leader. His wife must not be with child at the' time,
and she is made to prove that she is above all suspicion by undergoing
the ordeal of thrusting her hand into boiling gingelly (Sesamum)
oil. On each of ten days for which the festival lasts, this Paraiyan
has to go round some part of the boundaries of the eight villages,
and he is fed gratis by the villagers during this time. On the day
of the sacrifice itself, he marches in front of the priest as the
latter kills the buffaloes. The Paraiyans of the eight villages have
the right to the carcases of the slaughtered animals."

The Paraiyans know the village boundaries better than anyone else,
and are very expert in this matter, unerringly pointing out where
boundaries should run, even when the Government demarcation stones are
completely overgrown by prickly-pear, or have been removed. Mr. Stuart
records a custom which prevails in some parts of making a Paraiyan
walk the boundaries of a field with a pot of water on his head,
when there is any dispute about their exact position. He thinks that
the only satisfactory explanation of this is that the connection of
the Paraiyans with the soil is of much longer standing than that
of other castes. The admitted proprietary right which Paraiyans
have in the site known as cheri-nattam, on which their huts stand,
is a confirmation of this. These sites are entered as such on the
official village maps. They cannot be taken from the Paraiyans, and
date from time immemorial. Throughout the whole of the Tamil country
it is usual to find that the land allotted for house-site (nattam)
is in two portions in every village (Ur). One part is known by the
Sanskrit name gramam (village), the inhabited place. The other is
called by the Dravidian name cheri (gathering place).

Sometimes the latter is called by the fuller title paracheri (Anglice
parcheri, parcherry), i.e., the gathering place of the Paraiyans. In
the gramam live the Brahmans, who sometimes dwell, in a quarter
by themselves known as the agrahara, and also other Hindus. In the
paracheri live the Paraiyans. The paracheri and the gramam are always
separated, at least by a road or lane, and often by several fields. And
not only is it usual thus to find that, in every village, the Paraiyans
as a community possess a house-site, but there are many cases in which
more than one cheri is attached to a gramam. This seems to repudiate
the suggestion that at some period or periods the higher castes
relegated the Paraiyans to these cheris. Indeed, in some cases, the
very names of the cheris suggest what appears to be the more correct
view, viz., that the cheris had a distinct origin. For instance,
the whole revenue village of Teiyar near Chingleput consists of one
Sudra gramam and seven Paraiyan cheris, each with a name of its own,
Periyapilleri, Komancheri, etc. In other cases, e.g., Ideipalayam in
the north of the district, and Varadarajapuram near Vandalur, only
Paraiyan hamlets exist; there is no gramam. In South Arcot there
are at least two villages, Govindanallur and Andapet, inhabited
only by Paraiyans, where even the Maniyakkaran (munsiff or village
headman) is a Paraiyan. Other instances might be quoted in proof of
the same opinion. And, when the ceremonial antipathy between Brahman
and Paraiyan is examined, it points in the same direction. It is well
known that a Brahman considers himself polluted by the touch, presence,
or shadow of a Paraiyan, and will not allow him to enter his house,
or even the street in which he lives, if it is an agrahara. But it
is not so well known that the Paraiyans will not allow a Brahman to
enter the cheri. Should a Brahman venture into the Paraiyan's quarter,
water with which cow-dung has been mixed is thrown on his head, and
he is driven out. It is stated [57] by Captain J. S. F. Mackenzie
that "Brahmans in Mysore consider that great luck will await them
if they can manage to pass through the Holeya quarter of a village
unmolested, and that, should a Brahman attempt to enter their quarters,
they turn out in a body and slipper him, in former times it is said to
death." Some Brahmans consider a forsaken paracheri an auspicious site
for an agrahara. A very peculiar case is that of the gramam founded
for, and occupied by the clerks of the earliest Collectors (district
magistrates) of the jagir of Karunguli from 1795 to 1825 A.D. These
clerks were Brahmans, and it was called the agraharam. It was deserted
when the head-quarters of the Collector were removed to Conjeeveram. It
is now occupied by Paraiyans, but is still called the agraharam.

The facts, taken together, seem to show that the Paraiyan priests
(Valluvans), and therefore the Paraiyans as a race, are very ancient,
that ten centuries ago they were a respectable community, and that many
were weavers. The privileges they enjoy are relics of an exceedingly
long association with the land. The institution of the paracheri
points to original independence, and even to possession of much of the
land. If the account of the colonisation of Tondeimandalam by Vellalans
in the eighth century A.D. is historic, then it is possible that at
that time the Paraiyans lost the land, and that their degradation as
a race began.

The Paraiyans have long been a settled race. And, though a number of
them emigrate to Ceylon, Mauritius, South Africa, the West Indies,
the Straits Settlements, and even to Fiji, the vast majority live and
die within a mile or two of the spot where they were born. The houses
in which they live are not temporary erections, or intended for use
during certain seasons of the year only. The rudest form is a hut made
by tying a few leaves of the palmyra palm on to a framework of poles
or bamboos. The better class of houses are a series of rooms with low
mud walls and thatched roof, but generally without doors, surrounding
a small courtyard, in which the family goats, buffaloes, and fowls
have their homes. The cooking is done anywhere where it is convenient
either indoors or out, as there is no fear of pollution from the glance
or shadow of any passer-by. Very occasionally the walls of the house,
especially those facing the street, are whitewashed, or decorated with
variegated patterns or figures in red and white. Paraiya women, like
higher caste women, are much given to tracing exceedingly intricate
symmetrical designs (kolam) with rice flour on the smooth space or
pathway immediately before the doors of their houses, it is said,
to prevent the entrance of evil spirits. Mr. S. P. Rice writes to
me that the patterns on the floor or threshold are generally traced
with white powder, e.g., chalk, as rice is too costly; and that the
original object of the custom was not to drive away evil spirits,
but to provide food for the lowest creatures of creation--ants,
insects, etc.

Admissions to the Paraiyan caste from higher castes sometimes
occur. Mr. Clayton records having met an Aiyangar Brahman who was
working as a cooly with some Paraiyan labourers at Kodaikanal on the
Palni hills. He had become infatuated with a Paraiya woman, and had
consequently been excommunicated, and became a Paraiyan.

In every Paraiya settlement a small number of the more important men
are known as Panakkaran (money-man). The application of the term may,
Mr. Clayton suggests, be due to their comparative opulence, or may
have arisen from the custom of paying them a small sum (panam) for
various services to the community. But Panikkar or Panakkar is usually
said to be derived from pani, meaning work. They form a committee
or council to decide ordinary quarrels, and to amerce the damages
in cases of assault, seduction, rape, and adultery. They have power
to dissolve marriages on account of the wife, or if the husband has
deserted his wife. In these cases their authority is really based on
the public opinion of the paracheri, and goes no further than that
public opinion will enforce it. There is no headman in a Paraiya hamlet
corresponding to the munsiff or village magistrate of the Hindu village
(grama). In modern practice the Paraiyans are, for police purposes,
under the authority of the munsiff of the grama, and there is a
growing tendency on their part to refer all disputes and assaults
to the munsiff, or even directly to the police. On the other hand,
cases of a more domestic nature, such as disputes about betrothals,
seduction, etc., are still dealt with, generally acutely and fairly,
by the village council. It should be added that the rank of Panakkaran
is hereditary, and is regarded as honourable.

The Paraiyans, like all the other right-hand castes, come under the
jurisdiction of the Desayi Chettis, who have held a sort of censorship
since the days of the Nawabs of Arcot over some twenty-four of these
right-hand castes, chiefly in North Arcot. The Desayi Chetti has
nominal power to deal with all moral offences, and is supposed to have
a representative in every village, who reports every offence. But,
though his authority is great in North Arcot, and the fines levied
there bring in an income of hundreds of rupees yearly, it is not so
much dreaded in other districts. The punishment usually inflicted is a
fine, but sometimes a delinquent Paraiyan will be made to crawl on his
hands and knees on the ground between the legs of a Paraiya woman as a
final humiliation. The punishment of excommunication, i.e., cutting off
from fire and water, is sometimes the fate of the recalcitrant, either
before the council or the Desayi Chetti, but it is seldom effective for
more than a short time. Mr. K. Rangachari adds that, in certain places,
the Desayi Chetti appoints the Panakkaran, who is subordinate to the
Desayi, and that a man called the Variyan or Shalavathi is sometimes
appointed as assistant to the Panakkaran. He also mentions some other
punishments. The fine for adultery is from 7 pagodas 14 fanams to
11 pagodas, when the wronged woman is unmarried. If she is married,
the amount ranges from 12 pagodas 14 fanams to 16 pagodas. The fine
is said to be divided between the woman, her husband, the members
of council, and the Panakkarans. Formerly an offender against the
Paraiyan community was tied to a post at the beginning of his trial,
and, if found guilty, was beaten. He might escape the flogging by
paying a fine of two fanams per stripe. Sometimes a delinquent is
paraded through the hamlet, carrying a rubbish basket, or is ordered
to make a heap of rubbish at a certain spot. Or a cord is passed from
one big toe over the bowed neck of the culprit, and tied to his other
big toe, and then a stone is placed on his bent back. In some places,
when an unmarried woman is convicted of adultery, she is publicly given
a new cloth and a bit of straw or a twig, apparently in mockery. It
is said that formerly, if the chastity of a bride was suspected,
she had to pick some cakes out of boiling oil. This she had to do
just after the tali had been tied in the wedding ceremony. Her hair,
nails, and clothes were examined, to see that she had no charm
concealed. After lifting the cakes from the oil, she had to husk
some rice with her bare hand. If she could do this, her virtue was
established. In the South Arcot district, according to Mr. Francis,
[58] the Paraiyans "have caste headmen called the Periya (big) Nattan
and the Chinna (little) Nattan or Tangalan (our man), whose posts are
usually hereditary. The Tangalan carries out the sentence of caste
panchayats, administering a thrashing to the accused for example,
if such be the order of the court. Of the fines inflicted by these
assemblies, a fifth is usually handed over to the local Mariamma
shrine, and the remaining four-fifths are laid out in drinks for the
panchayatdars. Until recently, a part of the fine was in some cases,
in these parts, paid to the local poligar."

Excommunicated Paraiyans are said to go to a mythical place called
Vinnamangalam. In some documents signed by Paraiyans, the words
"If I fail to fulfil the conditions of our agreement, I shall go
to Vinnamangalam" are inserted. In all enquiries by the police, the
council, or the Desayi Chetti, the Paraiyan only tells what in his
opinion it is expedient to tell. But evidence given after burning a
piece of camphor is said to be reliable.

The attainment of puberty by girls is a subject of greedy curiosity
to most of the women in a Paraiya village. This has been said to be
due to the fact that "the menstrual fluid is held in horror, dire
consequences being supposed to result from not merely the contact,
but even the very sight of it. Hence the isolation and purification of
women during the menstrual period, and the extreme care and anxiety
with which the first approach of puberty in a girl is watched." The
girl at once begins to wear a covering of some sort, even it be
the most pathetic rag, over her left shoulder and breast. Till
this time, a bit of cotton cloth round her waist has been considered
sufficient. Among the Tangalan Paraiyans, when a girl attains puberty,
she is kept apart either in the house or in a separate hut. Pollution
is supposed to last eight days. On the ninth day, the girl is bathed,
and seated in the courtyard. Ten small lamps of flour paste (called
drishti mavu vilakku), to avert the evil eye, are put on a sieve,
and waved before her three times. Then coloured water (arati or alam)
and burning camphor are waved before her. Some near female relatives
then stand behind her, and strike her waist and sides with puttu
(flour cake) tied in a cloth. This is believed to make her strong. At
the same time other women strike the ground behind the girl with
a rice-pestle. Then presents are given to the girl. In some places
the girl is beaten within the house by her mother-in-law or paternal
aunt. The latter repeatedly asks the girl to promise that her daughter
shall marry her paternal aunt's son.

In marriages among the Paraiyans, difference in religion is of little
moment. A Christian Paraiyan will marry a heathen girl, though it
should be said that she is usually baptised at or about the time of
the marriage. A Christian girl is sometimes married to a heathen
Paraiyan. Mr. Clayton thinks that the fact that certain Paraiyans
paint the namam of Vishnu on their foreheads, while others smear their
foreheads with the ashes of Siva, prevents marriages between them.

The bridegroom must be older than the bride. Subject to this condition,
it is usual for a youth to marry his father's sister's daughter,
or his mother's brother's daughter. A girl should be married to her
mother's brother's son if he is old enough, but not, as among the
Konga Vellalas and some Reddis, if he is a child. In short, Paraiyans
follow the usual Tamil custom, but it is often neglected.

Marriage contracts are sometimes made by parents while the parties most
concerned are still infants, often while they are still children; in
the majority of cases when the girl attains the marriageable age. The
bridegroom may be many years older than the bride, especially when
custom, as noted above, settles who shall be his bride. The bride
has absolutely no choice in the matter; but, if the bridegroom is
a man of some years or position, his preferences are consulted. The
elder sister should be given in marriage before her younger sisters
are married. The arrangements are more or less a bargain. Presents of
clothes, paltry jewels, rice, vegetables, and perhaps a few rupees,
are exchanged between the families of the bride and bridegroom. The
household that seeks the marriage naturally gives the larger gifts. The
actual marriage ceremony is very simple. The essential part is the
tying of a small token or ornament (tali), varying in value from a
few annas to four or five rupees by a turmeric-stained string, round
the neck of the bride. This is done by the bridegroom in the presence
of a Valluvan, who mutters some kind of blessing on the marriage. A
series of feasts, lasting over two or three days, is given to all
the relatives of both parties by the parents of the newly-married
couple. The bride and bridegroom do not live together immediately,
even if the girl is old enough. The exact date at which their life
together may begin is settled by the bride's mother. The occasion,
called soppana muhurtham, is celebrated by another feast and much
merry-making, not always seemly.

The following detailed account of the marriage ceremonies among the
Tangalan Paraiyans was furnished by Mr. K. Rangachari. The parents
or near relations of the contracting parties meet, and talk over
the match. If an agreement is arrived at, an adjournment is made to
the nearest liquor shop, and a day fixed for the formal exchange of
betel leaves, which is the sign of a binding engagement. A Paraiyan,
when he goes to seek the hand of a girl in marriage, will not eat at
her house if her family refuse to consider the alliance, to which the
consent of the girl's maternal uncle is essential. The Paraiyan is
particular in the observation of omens, and, if a cat or a valiyan
(a bird) crosses his path when he sets out in quest of a bride, he
will give her up. The betrothal ceremony, or pariyam, is binding as
long as the contracting couple are alive. They may live together as
man and wife without performing the marriage ceremony, and children
born to them are considered as legitimate. But, when their offspring
marry, the parents must first go through the marriage rites, and
the children are then married in the same pandal on the same day. At
the betrothal ceremony, the headman, father, maternal uncle, and two
near relations of the bridegroom-elect, proceed to the girl's house,
where they are received, and sit on seats or mats. Drink and plantain
fruits are offered to them. Some conversation takes place between
the headmen of the two parties, such as "Have you seen the girl? Have
you seen her house and relations? Are you disposed to recommend and
arrange the match?" If he assents, the girl's headman says "As long as
stones and the Kaveri river exist, so that the sky goddess Akasavani
and the earth goddess Bhumadevi may know it; so that the water-pot
(used at the marriage ceremony), and the sun and moon may know it;
so that this assembly may know it; I ... give this girl." The headman
of the bridegroom then says "The girl shall be received into the
house by marriage. These thirty-six pieces of gold are yours, and
the girl is mine." He then hands betel leaves and areca nuts to the
other headman, who returns them. The exchange of betel is carried out
three times. Near the headmen is placed a tray containing betel nuts,
a rupee, a turmeric-dyed cloth in which a fanam (2 1/2 annas) is tied,
a cocoanut, flowers, and the bride's money varying in amount from seven
to twenty rupees. The fanam and bride's money are handed to the headman
of the girl, and the rupee is divided between the two headmen. On the
betrothal day, the relations of the girl offer flowers, cocoanuts,
etc., to their ancestors, who are supposed to be without food or
drink. The Paraiyans believe that the ancestors will be ill-disposed
towards them, if they are not propitiated with offerings of rice and
other things. For the purpose of worship, the ancestors are represented
by a number of cloths kept in a box made of bamboo or other material,
to which the offerings are made. On the conclusion of the ancestor
worship, the two headmen go to a liquor shop, and exchange drinks of
toddy. This exchange is called mel sambandham kural, or proclaiming
relationship. After the lapse of a few days, the girl's family is
expected to pay a return visit, and the party should include at
least seven men. Betel is again exchanged, and the guests are fed,
or presented with a small gift of money. When marriage follows close
on betrothal, the girl is taken to the houses of her relations,
and goes through the nalugu ceremony, which consists of smearing
her with turmeric paste, an oil bath, and presentation of betel and
sweets. The auspicious day and hour for the marriage are fixed by
the Valluvan, or priest of the Paraiyans. The ceremonial is generally
carried through in a single day. On the morning of the wedding day,
three male and two married female relations of the bridegroom go
to the potter's house to fetch the pots, which have been already
ordered. The potter's fee is a fowl, pumpkin, paddy, betel, and a few
annas. The bride, accompanied by the headman and her relations, goes
to the bridegroom's village, bringing with her a number of articles
called petti varisai or box presents. These consist of a lamp, cup,
brass vessel, ear-ornament called kalappu, twenty-five betel leaves
and areca nuts, onions, and cakes, a lump of jaggery (crude sugar),
grass mat, silver toe-ring, rice, a bundle of betel leaves and five
cocoanuts, which are placed inside a bamboo box. The next item in
the proceedings is the erection of the milk-post, which is made of a
pestle of tamarind or Soymida febrifuga wood, or a green bamboo. To the
post leafy twigs of the mango or pipal (Ficus religiosa) are tied. In
some places, a pole of the Odina Wodier tree is said to be set up,
and afterwards planted near the house, to see if it will grow. Near
the marriage dais a pit is dug, into which are thrown nine kinds of
grain, and milk is poured. The milk-post is supported on a grindstone
painted with turmeric stripes, washed with milk and cow's urine,
and worshipped, with the Valluvan as the celebrant priest. The post
is then set up in the pit by three men and two women. A string with
a bit of turmeric (kankanam) is tied to the milk-post, and to it
and the dais boiled rice is offered. Kankanams are also tied round
the wrists of the bride and bridegroom. The bridegroom's party go to
the temple or house where the bride is awaiting them, bringing with
them a brass lamp, vessel and cup, castor and gingelly oil, combs,
confectionery, turmeric, and betel leaves. The procession is headed
by Paraiyans beating tom-toms, and blowing on trumpets. When their
destination is reached, all take their seats on mats, and the various
articles which they have brought are handed over to the headman, who
returns them. The bride is then taken in procession to the marriage
house, which she is the first to enter. She is then told to touch with
her right hand some paddy, salt, and rice, placed in three pots inside
the house. Touching them with the left hand would be an evil omen,
and every mishap which might occur in the family would be traced to
the new daughter-in-law. The bride and bridegroom next go through the
nalugu ceremony, and some of the relations proceed with the ceremony
of bringing sand (manal vari sadangu). A cousin of the bridegroom and
his wife take three pots called sal karagam and kuresal, and repair to
a river, tank (pond) or well, accompanied by a few men and women. The
pots are set on the ground, and close to them are placed a lamp, and
a leaf with cakes, betel leaves and nuts set on it. Puja (worship)
is made to the pots by burning camphor and breaking cocoanuts. The
Vettiyan then says "The sun, the moon, the pots, and the owner of
the girl have come to the pandal. So make haste and fill the pot
with water." The woman dips a small pot in water, and, after putting
some sand or mud into a big pot, pours the water therein. The pots
are then again worshipped. After the performance of the nalugu, the
bridal couple go through a ceremony for removing the evil eye, called
"sige kazhippu." A leaf of Ficus religiosa, with its tail downwards,
is held over their foreheads, and all the close relations pour
water over it, so that it trickles over their faces; or seven cakes
are placed by each of the relations on the head, shoulders, knees,
feet, and other parts of the body of the bridegroom. The cakes are
subsequently given to a washerman. The parents of the bridal couple,
accompanied by some of their relations, next proceed to an open field,
taking with them the cloths, tali, jewels, and other things which have
been purchased for the wedding. A cloth is laid on the ground, and on
it seven leaves are placed, and cooked rice, vegetables, etc., heaped
up thereon. Puja is done, and a goat is sacrificed to the ancestors
(Tangalanmar). By some the offerings are made to the village goddess
Pidari, instead of to the ancestors. Meanwhile the bridegroom has been
taken in procession round the village on horseback, and the headmen
have been exchanging betel in the pandal. On the bridegroom's return,
he and the bride seat themselves on planks placed on the dais, and
are garlanded by their maternal uncle with wreaths of Nerium odorum
flowers. The maternal uncle of the bride presents her with a ring. In
some places, the bride is carried to the dais on the shoulders or
in the arms of the maternal uncle. While the couple are seated on
the dais the Valluvan priest lights the sacred fire (homam), and,
repeating some words in corrupt Sanskrit, pours gingelly oil into
the fire. He then does puja to the tali, and passes it round, to be
touched and blessed by those assembled. The bridegroom, taking up
the tali, shows it through a hole in the pandal to the sky or sun,
and, on receipt of permission from those present, ties it round the
neck of the bride. Thin plates of gold or silver, called pattam,
are then tied on the foreheads of the contracting couple, first by
the mother-in-law and sister-in-law. With Brahman and non-Brahman
castes it is customary for the bride and bridegroom to fast until
the tali has been tied. With Paraiyans, on the contrary, the rite is
performed after a good meal. Towards the close of the marriage day,
fruit, flowers, and betel are placed on a tray before the couple,
and all the kankanams, seven in number, are removed, and put on
the tray. After burning camphor, the bridegroom hands the tray to
his wife, and it is exchanged between them three times. It is then
given to the washerman. The proceedings terminate by the two going
with linked hands three times round the pandal. On the following day,
the bride's relatives purchase some good curds, a number of plantains,
sugar and pepper, which are mixed together. All assemble at the pandal,
and some of the mixture is given to the headman, the newly married
couple, and all who are present. All the articles which constitute
the bride's dowry are then placed in the pandal, and examined by
the headman. If they are found to be correct, he proclaims the union
of the couple, and more of the mixture is doled out. This ceremony
is known as sambandham kural or sambandham piriththal (proclaiming
relationship). Two or three days after the marriage, the bridegroom
goes to the house of the bride, and remains there for three days. He
is stopped at the entrance by his brother-in-law, who washes his feet,
puts rings on the second toe, and keeps on pinching his feet until he
has extracted a promise that the bridegroom will give his daughter, if
one is born to him, in marriage to the son of his brother-in-law. The
ring is put on the foot of the bride by her maternal uncle at the time
of the marriage ceremony, after the wrist threads have been removed. In
some places it is done by the mother-in-law or sister-in-law, before
the tali is tied, behind a screen.

Polygamy is not common among the Paraiyans, but Mr. Clayton has known
a few instances in which a Paraiyan had two regularly married wives,
each wearing a tali. But it is very common to find that a Paraiyan
has, in addition to his formally married wife, another woman who
occupies a recognised position in his household. The first wears the
tali. The other woman does not, but is called the second wife. She
cannot be dismissed without the sanction of the paracheri council. The
man who maintains her is called her husband, and her children are
recognised as part of his family. Mr. Clayton believes that a second
wife is usually taken only when the more formally married wife has
no children, or when an additional worker is wanted in the house,
or to help in the daily work. Thus a horsekeeper will often have
two wives, one to prepare his meals and boil the gram for the horse,
the other to go out day by day to collect grass for the horse. The
Tamil proverb "The experience of a man with two wives is anguish"
applies to all these double unions. There are constant quarrels
between the two women, and the man is generally involved, often to
his own great inconvenience. It is quite common for a Paraiyan to
marry his deceased wife's sister, if she is not already married.

A Paraiya woman usually goes to her mother's house a month or two
before she expects the birth of her first child, which is born
there. Sometimes a medicine woman (maruttuvacchi), who possesses
or professes some knowledge of drugs and midwifery, is called in,
if the case is a bad one. Generally her barbarous treatment is but
additional torture to the patient. Immediately after the birth of
the child, the mother drinks a decoction called kashayam, in which
there is much ginger. Hence the Tamil proverb "Is there any decoction
without ginger in it?" About a week after the birth, the mother,
as a purificatory ceremony, is rubbed with oil and bathed.

Among Sudras there is a family ceremony, to which the Sanskrit name
Simanta has been assigned, though it is not the true Simanta observed
by Brahmans. It occurs only in connection with a first pregnancy. The
expectant mother stands bending over a rice mortar, and water or
human milk is poured on her back by her husband's elder or younger
sister. Money is also given to buy jewels for the expected child. The
ceremony is of no interest to anyone outside the family. Hence the
proverb "Come, ye villagers, and pour water on this woman's back." This
is used when outsiders are called in to do for a member of a family
what the relatives ought to do. This ceremony is sometimes observed
by Paraiyans. Among Brahmans it is believed to affect the sex of
the child. It should be added that it is firmly believed that, if
a woman dies during pregnancy or in childbed, her spirit becomes an
exceedingly malignant ghost, and haunts the precincts of the village
where she dies.

A widow does not wear the tali, which is removed at a gathering of
relatives some days after her husband's death. "The removal of the
tali of a widow," Mr. Francis writes, [59] "is effected in a curious
manner. On the sixteenth day after the husband's death, another woman
stands behind the widow, who stoops forward, and unties the tali
in such a way that it falls into a vessel of milk placed to receive
it. Adoption ceremonies are also odd. The adoptee's feet are washed
in turmeric water by the adopter, who then drinks a little of the
liquid. Adoption is accordingly known as manjanir kudikkiradu, or the
drinking of turmeric water, and the adopted son as the manjanir pillai,
or turmeric water boy." Paraiya women do not wear any distinctive
dress when they are widows, and do not shave their heads. But they
cease to paint the vermilion mark (kunkumam) on their foreheads,
which married women who are living with their husbands always wear,
except at times when they are considered ceremonially unclean. The
widow of a Paraiyan, if not too old to bear children, generally lives
with another man as his wife. Sometimes she is ceremonially married
to him, and then wears the tali. A widow practically chooses her own
second husband, and is not restricted to any particular relative,
such as her husband's elder or younger brother. The practice of the
Levirate, by which the younger brother takes the widow of the elder,
is non-existent as a custom among Paraiyas, though instances of such
unions may be found. Indeed the popular opinion of the Tamil caste
credits the Paraiyan with little regard for any of the restrictions
of consanguinity, either prohibitive or permissive. "The palmyra palm
has no shadow: the Paraiyan has no regard for seemliness" is a common
Tamil proverb.

It is stated, in the Madras Census Report, 1891, that "the Paraiyans
have been but little affected by Brahmanical doctrines and customs,
though in respect to ceremonies they have not escaped their
influence. Paraiyans are nominally Saivites, but in reality they are
demon worshippers." The Homakulam tank in the South Arcot district
is reputed to be the place where Nanda, the Paraiyan saint, bathed
before he performed sacrifice preparatory to his transfiguration to
Brahmanhood. [60] Brahman influence has scarcely affected the Paraiyan
at all, even in ceremonial. No Paraiyan may enter any Vaishnava or
Saiva temple even of the humblest sort, though of course his offerings
of money are accepted, if presented by the hands of some friendly
Sudra, even in such exclusive shrines as that of Sri Vira Raghava Swami
at Tiruvallur. It is true that Paraiyans are often termed Saivites,
but there are many nominal Vaishnavas among them, who regularly wear
the namam of Vishnu on their foreheads. The truth is that the feminine
deities, commonly called devata, have been identified by Hindus with
the feminine energy of Siva, and thus the Paraiyans who worship them
have received the sectarian epithet. As a matter of fact, the wearing
of the namam of Vishnu, or the smearing of the ashes of Siva, is of
no meaning to a Paraiyan. They are neither Saivites nor Vaishnavites.

Like all other Dravidians, the Paraiyans acknowledge the existence of
a supreme, omnipresent, personal spiritual Being, the source of all,
whom they call Kadavul (He who is). Kadavul possesses no temples,
and is not worshipped, but he is the highest conception of Paraiya
thought. Paraiyans worship at least three classes of godlings or
devata, generally called the mothers (amma). Sometimes they are
worshipped as the virgins (Kanniyamma) or the seven virgins. These
mothers may be worshipped collectively in a group. They are then
symbolised by seven stones or bricks, perhaps within a little
enclosure, or on a little platform in the Paraiya hamlet, or under
a margosa (Melia Azadirachta) tree, or sheltered by a wattle hut,
or even by a small brick temple. This temple is universally known as
the Amman Koil. More usually, one particular mother is worshipped at
the Paraiya shrine. She is then called the grama devata, or village
goddess, of the particular hamlet. The names of these goddesses are
legion. Each village claims that its own mother is not the same as
that of the next village, but all are supposed to be sisters. Each is
supposed to be the guardian of the boundaries of the cheri or gramam
where her temple lies, sometimes of both gramam and cheri. She is
believed to protect its inhabitants and its livestock from disease,
disaster and famine, to promote the fecundity of cattle and goats,
and to give children. In a word, she is called the benefactress of
the place, and of all in it who worship her. The following are a few
of the names of these village tutelary deities:--


    Ellamma, goddess of the boundary, worshipped by Tamil and Telugu
    Paraiyans.

    Mungilamma, bamboo goddess.

    Padeiyattal or Padeiyacchi.

    Parrapotamma, a Telugu goddess supposed to cure cattle diseases.

    Pidariyamma, sometimes called Ellei Pidari.


The symbol of the goddess may be a conical stone, or a carved
idol. Occasionally a rude figure of the bull Nandi, and an iron
trident mark the shrine. A lamp is often lighted before it at night.

The ceremonial of worship of all classes of devata is very simple. The
worshipper prostrates himself before the symbol of the deity,
whether one stone, seven stones, or an image. He anoints it with
oil, smears it with saffron, daubs it with vermilion, garlands it
with flowers (Nerium odorum by preference), burns a bit of camphor,
and circumambulates the shrine, keeping his right side towards it. On
special occasions he breaks cocoanuts, kills fowls, goats or sheep, of
which the two last must be killed at one blow, pours out their blood,
perhaps offers a little money, and goes his way, satisfied that he
has done his best to propitiate the devata whom he has honoured.

Special shrines attain very great fame. Thus the goddess Bavaniyammal
of Periyapalayam, some sixteen miles from Madras, is well known, and
crowds come to her annual festival. Paraiyans, Pallis, and Chakkilians
form the majority of the worshippers, but of late years Sudras and
even Brahmans are to be found at her shrine. The homage rendered to
her is twofold. Her worshippers sacrifice some thousands of sheep on
the river bank outside her temple, and, entirely divesting themselves
of their garments, and covering themselves with bunches of margosa
leaves, go round the temple. Except on the five Sundays, usually in
July and August, on which the festival is held, the shrine is forsaken,
and the goddess is said to be a vegetarian; but on the five festival
Sundays she is said to be as greedy for flesh as a leather-dresser's
(Chakkiliyan) wife.

Two goddesses hold a position distinct from the mothers as a group,
or as tutelary goddesses. These are Gangammal and Mariyattal, and
their peculiarity is that they are itinerant deities. Gangammal
is often described as the goddess of cholera, and Mariyattal,
as the goddess of small-pox, though both diseases are frequently
ascribed to the latter. Mariyattal is worshipped under the names of
Poleramma and Ammavaru by Telugus. For instance, near Arcotkuppam in
the North Arcot district, a festival is held in honour of Gangammal
in the Tamil month Vaikasi (May-June), in which Sudras join. The main
feature of the festival is the boiling of new rice as at Pongal. Men
also put on women's clothes, and perform grotesque dances. In the
same way, in the ten days' festival in honour of Mariyattal held at
Uttaramallur during the Tamil month Avani (August), the goddess is
carried about by washermen (Vannan), who perform a kind of pantomime
(vilas) in her honour. There is a curious belief that these goddesses
(or Gangammal, if they are distinguished) must travel along roads and
paths, and cannot go across country, and that they cannot pass over
the leaves of the margosa or the stems of the plant called in Tamil
perandei (Vitis quadrangularis). Consequently, when cholera is about,
and the goddess is supposed to be travelling from village to village
seeking victims, branches of margosa and long strings of perandei are
placed on all the paths leading into the gramam or cheri. Sometimes,
also, leaves of the margosa are strung together, and hung across the
village street. These are called toranam.

Besides the deities already referred to, there are a number
of ghosts, ghouls, and goblins (pey or pisasu), whom Paraiyans
propitiate. Mathureiviran and Virabadran are, for example, two
well-known demons.

Among Tamil Paraiyans there are families in almost every village,
who hold a kind of sacerdotal rank in the esteem of their
fellows. They are called Valluvans, Valluva Pandarams, or Valluva
Paraiyans. Their position and authority depend largely on their own
astuteness. Sometimes they are respected even by Brahmans for their
powers as exorcists. It is often impossible to see any difference
between the Valluvans and the ordinary Paraiyans, except that their
houses are usually a little apart from other houses in the cheri. They
take a leading part in local Paraiya festivals. At marriages they
pronounce the blessing when the tali is tied round the bride's neck.

In cases of supposed possession by demons, or by the mothers, the
Valluvan is consulted as to the meaning of the portent, and takes part
in driving the spirit out of the victim, sometimes using violence and
blows to compel the spirit to deliver its message and be gone. The
Census Report, 1901, states that Valluvans do not eat or intermarry
with other sections of the Paraiyans. Mr. Clayton is unable to confirm
this, and is inclined to doubt whether it is generally true.

The dead are buried as a rule, but sometimes the corpses are burnt. A
portion of the village waste land is allotted for the purpose. Only
Paraiyans are buried in it. The funeral rites are very simple. The
corpse is carried on a temporary litter of palm leaf mats and bamboos,
wrapped in a cotton cloth, which is a new one if it can be afforded,
and interred or burnt. About the third or fifth day after death,
the pal sadangu, or milk ceremony, should take place, when some milk
is poured out by the next-of-kin as an offering to the spirit of the
deceased. This spirit is then supposed to assume a sort of corporeity,
and to depart to the place of respite till fate decrees that it be
re-born. This ceremony is accompanied by a family feast. On the
fifteenth day after death, another family gathering is held, and
food is offered to the spirit of the dead person. This ceremony is
called Karumantaram, or expiatory ceremony. Occasionally, for some
months after the death, a few flowers are placed on the grave, and a
cocoanut is broken over it; and some attempt is even made to recognise
the anniversary of the date. But there is no regular custom and it is
probably an imitation of Brahmanical usages. The ordinary Paraiyan's
conception of life after death is merely a vague belief that the
departed soul continues its existence somewhere. He has no ordered
eschatology. If a first-born male child dies, it is buried close to
or even within the house, so that its corpse may not be carried off
by a witch or sorcerer, to be used in magic rites, as the body of a
first-born child is supposed to possess special virtues. It is noted
by Mr. H. A. Stuart [61] that "the Tangalans profess to have once been
a very respectable class, and wear the sacred thread at weddings and
funerals, while the other divisions never assume it."

The following note on the death ceremonies of the Paraiyans at
Coimbatore was supplied by Mr. V. Govindan. If the deceased was a
married man, the corpse is placed in a sitting posture in a booth
made of twigs of margosa and milk-hedge (Euphorbia Tirucalli), and
supported behind by a mortar. The widow puts on all her ornaments,
and decorates her hair with flowers. She seats herself on the left
side of the corpse, in the hands of which some paddy (unhusked rice)
or salt is placed. Taking hold of its hands, some one pours the
contents thereof into the hands of the widow, who replaces them in
those of the corpse. This is done thrice, and the widow then ties
the rice in her cloth. On the way to the burial ground (sudukadu),
the son carries a new pot, the barber a pot of cooked rice and
brinjal (Solanum Melongena) fruits and other things required for
doing puja. The Paraiyan in charge of the burial ground carries a
fire-brand. The mats and other articles used by the deceased, and
the materials of which the booth was made, are carried in front by
the washerman, who deposits them at a spot between the house of the
deceased and the burial ground called the idukadu, which is made to
represent the shrine of Arichandra. Arichandra was a king, who became
a slave of the Paraiyans, and is in charge of the burial ground. At
the idukadu the corpse is placed on the ground, and the son, going
thrice round it, breaks the pot of rice near its head. The barber
makes a mark at the four corners of the bier, and the son places a
quarter anna on three of the marks, and some cowdung on the mark
at the north-east corner. The widow seats herself at the feet of
the corpse, and another widowed woman breaks her tali string, and
throws it on the corpse. Arrived at the grave, the gurukal (priest)
descends into it, does puja and applies vibhuti (sacred ashes) to its
sides. The body is lowered into it, and half a yard of cloth from the
winding-sheet is given to the Paraiyan, and a quarter of a yard to
an Andi (religious mendicant). The grave is filled in up to the neck
of the corpse, and bael (Ægle Marmelos) leaves, salt, and vibhuti
are placed on its head by the gurukal. The grave is then filled in,
and a stone and thorny branch placed at the head end. As the son goes,
carrying the water-pot, three times round the grave, the barber makes
a hole in the pot, which is thrown on the stone. The son and other
relations bathe and return to the house, where a vessel containing
milk is set on a mortar, and another containing water placed at the
door. They dip twigs of the pipal (Ficus religiosa) into the milk,
and throw them on the roof. They also worship a lighted lamp. On
the third day, cooked rice, and other food for which the deceased
had a special liking, are taken to the grave, and placed on plantain
leaves. Puja is done, and the crows are attracted to the spot. If they
do not turn up, the gurukal prays, and throws up water three times. On
the seventeenth day, the son and others, accompanied by the gurukal,
carry a new brick and articles required for puja to the river. The
brick is placed under water, and the son bathes. The articles for
puja are spread on a plantain leaf, before which the son places the
brick. Puja is done to it, and a piece of new cloth tied on it. It is
then again carried to the water, and immersed therein. The ceremonial
concludes with the lighting of the sacred fire (homam).

The death ceremonies of the Paraiyan, as carried out in the Chingleput
district, are thus described by Mr. K. Rangachari. The corpse is
washed, dressed, and carried on a bier to the burning or burial
ground. Just before it is placed on the bier, all the relations,
who are under pollution, go round it three times, carrying an iron
measure round which straw has been wrapped, and containing a light. On
the way to the burial ground, the son or grandson scatters paddy,
which has been fried by the agnates. A pot of fire is carried by
the Vettiyan. At a certain spot the bier is placed on the ground,
and the son goes round it, carrying a pot of cooked rice, which he
breaks near the head of the corpse. This rice should not be touched
by man or beast, and it is generally buried. When the corpse has been
placed on the pyre, or laid in the grave, rice is thrown over it by
the relations. The son, carrying a pot of water, goes thrice round it,
and asks those assembled if he may finish the ceremony. On receiving
their assent, he again goes three times round the corpse, and, making
three holes in the pot, throws it down, and goes home without looking
back. If the dead person is unmarried, a mock marriage ceremony,
called kanni kaziththal (removing bachelorhood), is performed before
the corpse is laid on the bier. A garland of arka (Calotropis gigantea)
flowers and leaves is placed round its neck, and balls of mud from a
gutter are laid on the head, knees, and other parts of the body. In
some places a variant of the ceremony consists in the erection of a
mimic marriage booth which is covered with leaves of the arka plant,
flowers of which are placed round the neck as a garland. On the
third day after death, cooked rice, milk, fruits, etc., are offered
to the soul of the departed on two leaves placed one near the head,
the other near the feet of the corpse. Of these, the former is taken
by men, and the latter by women, and eaten. The karmanthiram, or final
ceremony, takes place on the twelfth or sixteenth day. All concerned in
it proceed to a tank with cooked rice, cakes, etc. A figure of Ganesa
(Pillayar) is made with mud, and five kalasam (vessels) are placed near
it. The various articles which have been brought are set out in front
of it. Two bricks, on which the figures of a man and woman are drawn,
are given to the son, who washes them, and does puja to them after an
effigy has been made at the waterside by a washerman. He then says
"I gave calves and money. Enter Kailasam (the abode of Siva). Find
your way to paralokam (the other world). I gave you milk and fruit. Go
to the world of the dead. I gave gingelly (Sesamum) and milk. Enter
yamalokam (abode of the god of death). Eleven descendants on the
mother's side and ten on the father's, twenty-one in all, may they
all enter heaven." He then puts the bricks into the water. On their
return home, the sons of the deceased are presented with new clothes.

It is recorded, in the Gazetteer of the Tanjore district, that, when
a man dies, camphor is not burnt in the house, but at the junction of
three lanes. Some Paraiyans, on the occurrence of a death in a family,
put a pot filled with dung or water, a broomstick and a fire-brand at
some place where three roads meet, or in front of the house, in order
to prevent the ghost from returning. An impression of the dead man's
palm is taken in cow-dung, and stuck on the wall. In some places,
e.g., at Tirutturaippundi, the Paraiyans observe a ceremony rather
like that observed by Valaiyans and Karaiyans on the heir's return
from the burning-ground on the second day. Three rice-pounders and a
chembu (vessel) of water are placed outside the door, and the heir
sits on these, chews a piece of fish, spits thrice, and then goes
and worships a light burning in the house.

Tattooing is practiced on women and children of both sexes, but not on
grown men. With children it is confined to a simple line drawn down
the forehead. Among Paraiyans who have become Roman Catholics, the
device is sometimes a cross. Women, like those of other Tamil castes,
frequently have their arms elaborately tattooed, and sometimes have a
small pattern between the breasts. A legend runs to the effect that,
many years ago, a Paraiyan woman wished her upper arms and chest to
be tattooed in the form of a bodice. The operation was successfully
carried out till the region of the heart was reached, and then a
vulnerable part was punctured by the needles, with the result that the
woman died. Whence has arisen a superstitious objection to tattooing
of the breasts.

Sometimes an arei-mudi, shaped like the leaf of the puvarasa tree
(Thespesia populnea), made of silver or silvered brass, is tied
round the waist of female infants as an ornament. Small, flat plates
of copper, called takudu, are frequently worn by children. One side
is divided into sixteen squares, in which, what look like the Telugu
numerals nine, ten, eleven and twelve are engraved. On the other side
a circle is drawn, which is divided into eight segments, in each of
which a Telugu letter is inscribed. This charm is supposed to protect
the wearer from harm coming from any of the eight cardinal points of
the Indian compass. Charms, in the form of metal cylinders, are worn
for the same purpose by adults and children, and procured from some
exorcist. Similar or the same charms are worn to avoid the baneful
influence of the evil eye. To prevent this from affecting their crops,
Paraiyans put up scarecrows in their fields. These are usually small
broken earthen pots, whitewashed or covered with spots of whitewash,
or even adorned with huge clay noses and ears, and made into grotesque
faces. They are set up on the end of poles, to attract the eye of the
passer-by from the crop. For the same reason more elaborate figures,
made of mud and twigs, in human shape, are sometimes set up. Before
wells are sunk, a charmer (mantirakkaran) is called in to recite
spells and find a likely spot, cocoanuts are broken, and the milk
thereof poured out to propitiate the gods of the place.

The Paraiyans are very largely employed as domestic servants by
Europeans. And it has been said that "so necessary to the comfort of
the public is the Paraiya that orthodox Brahman gentlemen may be seen
employing Paraiya coachmen and syces (footmen). The Christian Paraiya
has become 'Native Christian' caste, and has achieved, among other
things, University honours, the wearing of the surplice, and the rod
of the pedagogue." [62] Vast numbers of Paraiyans are agricultural
labourers. Till a score or so of years ago some were actually bond
serfs, and there are instances on record in quite recent years, which
show that it was no infrequent thing for a Paraiyan to mortgage his
son as security for the repayment of a loan. Some Paraiya families
own much land.

It is noted by Mr. Francis [63] that in the South Arcot district,
"their numbers, and the comparative wealth which ground-nut (Arachis
hypogæa) cultivation has brought them, have caused them to take
a rather better social position here than elsewhere, and they are
actually beginning to copy the social ways of the higher castes,
sometimes burning their dead (though those who have died of cholera
or small-pox are still always buried), marrying their children when
infants, and looking with disfavour on the remarriage of widows."

Current Tamil speech and custom divide the landless labouring Paraiyans
into padiyal and kuliyal. The padiyal is definitely and hereditarily
attached to some land-holding family in the Hindu grama. He can work
for no one else, and cannot change masters. His privilege is that in
times of drought and famine his master must support him. The kuliyal
is a mere day labourer, only employed, and therefore only receiving
pay (kuli) when required. He has no claim for maintenance in seasons
of scarcity, and, though no man's serf, is worse off than the padiyal.

Three communal servants, the grave-digger (Vettiyan), watchman
(Talaiyari), and scavenger (Toti) are all Paraiyans. The Vettiyan
officiates when a corpse is buried or burned. Hence the proverb
against meddling in what ought to be left to some one else:--"Let the
Vettiyan and the corpse struggle together." The Rev. H. Jensen notes
[64] in connection with this proverb that "when fire is applied to the
pyre at the burning-ground, it sometimes happens that the muscles of
the corpse contract in such a fashion that the body moves, and the
grave-digger has to beat it down into the fire. It looks as if the
two were engaged in a struggle. But no one else should interfere. The
grave-digger knows his own work best."

It is noted by Mr. H. A. Stuart [65] that "among the lower class of
Vellam Paraiyans, who are the village totis, the following legend is
current, accounting for the perquisites which they get for performing
the menial work of the village. When Adi Sesha was supporting the
earth, he became weary, and prayed to Siva for assistance. Siva ordered
a Paraiyan to beat upon his drum, and cry 'Let the ripe decay.' The
Paraiyan enquired what should be his reward, and was granted the
following privileges, viz., mankuli (reward for burning corpses),
san tuni (a span cloth), vaykkarisi (the rice in the corpse's mouth),
pinda soru (morsel of boiled rice), and suttu kuli (fee for bringing
firewood). This seemed to the Paraiya very little, and so, to increase
the death-rate and consequently his perquisites, he cried 'Let the
ripe and the unripe decay.' The swami (god) remonstrated with him,
for the result of his cry was that children and the middle-aged among
men died. The man pleaded poverty, and was given four additional
privileges, viz., a merkal to measure grain, a rod to measure the
ground, a scythe to cut grass, and the privilege of carrying the
karagam-pot when annually running over the village boundary. All the
above privileges still belong to the village vettis, who receive fees
for performing the duties referred to in the legend."

Some Paraiyans eat carrion, and Mr. Clayton has known them dig up
a buffalo which had been buried some hours, and eat its flesh. It is
said that even the lowest Paraiyans will not eat the flesh of cows, but
leave that to the leather-dressers (Chakkiliyans). Mr. Stuart, however,
states [66] that "the Konga Paraiyans and the Vellam Paraiyans, who
do scavenging work, will eat cows that have died a natural death,
while Tangalans only eat such as have been slaughtered." In time of
famine, the Paraiyans dig into ant-hills to rob the ants of their
store of grass seed. This is called pillarisi or grass rice.

There are many proverbs in Tamil, which refer to Paraiyans, from
which the following are selected:--


(1) If a Paraiyan boils rice, will it not reach God? i.e., God will
notice all piety, even that of a Paraiyan.
(2) When a Paraiya woman eats betel, her ten fingers (will be daubed
with) lime. The Paraiya woman is a proverbial slut.
(3) Though a Paraiya woman's child be put to school, it will still
say Ayye. Ayye is vulgar Tamil for Aiyar, meaning Sir.
(4) The palmyra palm has no shadow; the Paraiyan has no decency. A
contemptuous reference to Paraiya morality.
(5) The gourd flower and the Paraiyan's song have no savour. Paraiyans
use this saying about their own singing.
(6) Though seventy years of age, a Paraiyan will only do what he
is compelled.
(7) You may believe a Paraiyan, even in ten ways; you cannot believe
a Brahman. Almost the only saying in favour of the Paraiyan.
(8) Is the sepoy who massacred a thousand horse now living in disgrace
with the dogs of the paracheri?
(9) Paraiyan's talk is half-talk. A reference to Paraiya vulgarisms
of speech.
(10) Like Paraiya and Brahman, i.e., as different as possible.
(11) Not even a Paraiyan will plough on a full moon day.
(12) Paracheri manure gives a better yield than any other manure.
(13) The drum is beaten at weddings, and also at funerals. Said,
according to the Rev. H. Jensen, of a double-dealing unreliable person,
who is as ready for good as for evil.
(14) The harvest of the Paraiya never comes home.


The term Paraiya, it may be noted, is applied to the common dog of
Indian towns and villages, and to the scavenger kite, Milvus Govinda.

The Paraiyans are included by Mr. F. S. Mullaly in his 'Notes on
Criminal Classes of the Madras Presidency.' "The local criminals," he
writes, "throughout the Presidency in all villages are the Paraiyas,
and, though they cannot be considered de facto a criminal tribe,
yet a very large proportion of the criminals of the Presidency are
of this caste, notable among them being the Vepur Paraiyas of South
Arcot." For an account of these Vepur Paraiyas and their methods I must
refer the reader to Mr. Mullaly's description thereof. Concerning these
criminal Paraiyans, Mr. Francis writes as follows. [67] "There is one
branch of them in Suttukulam, a hamlet of Cuddalore. They are often
known as the Tiruttu (thieving) Paraiyans. The crimes to which they
are most addicted are house-breaking and the theft of cattle, sheep
and goats, and the difficulty of bringing them to book is increased by
the organised manner in which they carry on their depredations. They
are, for example, commonly in league with the very heads of villages,
who ought to be doing their utmost to secure their arrest, and they
have useful allies in some of the Udaiyans of these parts. It is
commonly declared that their relations are sometimes of a closer
nature, and that the wives of Vepur Paraiyans who are in enforced
retirement are cared for by the Udaiyans. To this is popularly
attributed the undoubted fact that these Paraiyans are often much
fairer in complexion than other members of that caste." It is said
to be traditional among the Vepur Paraiyans that the talis (marriage
badges) of Hindu women and lamps should not be stolen from a house,
and that personal violence should not be resorted to, except when
unavoidably necessary for the purpose of escape or self-defence.

In a kindly note on the Paraiya classes, Surgeon-Major W. R. Cornish
sums them up as follows. [68] "A laborious, frugal, and pleasure-loving
people, they are the very life-blood of the country, in whatever field
of labour they engage in. The British administration has freed them,
as a community, from the yoke of hereditary slavery, and from the
legal disabilities under which they suffered; but they still remain in
the lowest depths of social degradation. The Christian missionaries,
to their undying honour be it said, have, as a rule, persevered in
breaking through the time-honoured custom of treating the Paraiya as
dirt, and have admitted him to equal rights and privileges in their
schools and churches, and, whatever may be the present position
of the Paraiya community in regard to education, intelligence, and
ability to hold a place for themselves, they owe it almost wholly
to the Christian men and women who have given up their lives to win
souls for their great Master."

Paraiyans of Malabar, Cochin and Travancore.--For the following note on
the Paraiyans or Paraiyas of Cochin I am indebted to Mr. L. K. Anantha
Krishna Aiyar. [69] Paraiyas belong to a very low caste of the agrestic
serfs of Cochin, next to Pulayas in order of social precedence. They
will eat at the hands of all castes, save Ulladans, Nayadis, and
Pulayas. But orthodox Pulayas have to bathe five times, and let
blood flow, in order to be purified from pollution if they touch a
Paraiya. In rural parts, a Paraiya's hut may be seen far away on
the hill-side. At the approach of a member of some higher caste,
the inmates run away to the forest. They cannot walk along the public
roads, or in the vicinity of houses occupied by the higher castes. It
is said that they at times steal the children of Nayars, and hide
them in the forest, to bring them up as their own. They are extremely
filthy in person and habits. They very rarely bathe, or wash their
bodies, and a cloth, purchased at harvest time, is worn till it falls
to pieces. They will eat the flesh of cattle, and are on this account
despised even by the Pulayas. They are their own barbers and washermen.

A legend runs to the effect that Vararuchi, the famous astrologer,
and son of a Brahman named Chandragupta and his Brahman wife,
became the King of Avanthi, and ruled till Vikramaditya, the son of
Chandragupta by his Kshatriya wife, came of age, when he abdicated
in his favour. Once, when he was resting under an ashwastha tree
(Ficus religiosa), invoking the support of the deity living therein, he
overheard the conversation of two Gandarvas on the tree, to the effect
that he would marry a Paraiya girl. This he prevented by requesting
the king to have her enclosed in a box, and floated down a river
with a nail stuck into her head. The box was taken possession of by
a Brahman, who was bathing lower down, and, on opening it, he found a
beautiful girl, whom he considered to be a divine gift, and regarded
as his own daughter. One day the Brahman, seeing Vararuchi passing
by, invited him to mess with him, and his invitation was accepted on
condition that he would prepare eighteen curries, and give him what
remained after feeding a hundred Brahmans. The Brahman was puzzled,
but the maiden, taking a long leaf, placed thereon a preparation of
ginger corresponding to eighteen curries, and with it some boiled rice
used as an offering at the Vaiswadeva ceremony, as the equivalent of
the food for Brahmans. Knowing this to be the work of the maiden,
Vararuchi desired to marry her, and his wish was acceded to by the
Brahman. One day, while conversing with his wife about their past
lives, he chanced to see a nail stuck in her head, and he knew her
to be the girl whom he had caused to be floated down the stream. He
accordingly resolved to go on a pilgrimage with his wife, bathing in
rivers, and worshipping at temples. At last they came to Kerala, where
the woman bore him twelve sons, all of whom, except one, were taken
care of by members of different castes. They were all remarkable for
their wisdom, and believed to be the avatar (incarnation) of Vishnu,
gifted with the power of performing miracles. One of them was Pakkanar,
the great Malayalam bard. Once, it is said, when some Brahmans
resolved to go to Benares, Pakkanar tried to dissuade them from so
doing by telling them that the journey to the sacred city would not be
productive of salvation. To prove the fruitlessness of their journey,
he plucked a lotus flower from a stagnant pool, and gave it to them
with instructions to deliver it to a hand which would rise from the
Ganges, when they were to say that it was a present for the goddess
Ganga from Pakkanar. They did as directed, and returned with news of
the miracle. Pakkanar then led them to the stagnant pool, and said
"Please return the lotus flower, Oh! Ganga," when it appeared in his
hand. Pakkanar is said to have earned his living by the sale of the
wicker-work, which he made. One day he could not sell his baskets, and
he had to go starving. A neighbour, however, gave him some milk, which
Pakkanar accepted, and told the donor to think of him if ever he was
in danger. The neighbour had a married daughter living with him, who,
some time after, was dying of snake-bite. But her father remembered
the words of Pakkanar, who came to the rescue, and cured her. One of
Pakkanar's brothers was named Narayana Branthan, who pretended to
be a lunatic, and whose special delight was in rolling huge stones
up a hill, for the pleasure of seeing them roll down. Though the son
of a Brahman, he mixed freely with members of all castes, and had no
scruple about dining with them. A Nambutiri Brahman once asked him to
choose an auspicious day for the performance of his son's upanayanam
(thread ceremony). He selected a most inauspicious day and hour,
when the boy's family assembled and asked Narayana whether the rite
should be celebrated. He told the father to look at the sky, which
became brilliantly illuminated, and a Brahman was seen changing his
sacred thread. The omen being considered favourable, the investiture
ceremony was proceeded with.

The Paraiyas of Malabar and Cochin are celebrated for their knowledge
of black magic, and are consulted in matters relating to theft,
demoniacal influence, and the killing of enemies. Whenever anything is
stolen, the Paraiya magician is consulted. Giving hopes of the recovery
of the stolen article, he receives from his client some paddy (rice)
and a few panams (money), with which he purchases plantain fruits, a
cocoanut or two, toddy, camphor, frankincense, and rice flour. After
bathing, he offers these to his favourite deity Parakutti, who is
represented by a stone placed in front of his hut. Rattling an iron
instrument, and singing till his voice almost fails, he invokes the
god. If the lost property does not turn up, he resorts to a more
indignant and abusive form of invocation. If the thief has to be
caught, his prayers are redoubled, and he becomes possessed, and blood
passes out of his nose and mouth. When a person is ill, or under the
influence of a demon, an astrologer and a magician named by the former
are consulted. The magician, taking a cadjan (palm) leaf or copper or
silver sheet, draws thereon cabalistic figures, and utters a mantram
(prayer). Rolling up the leaf or sheet, he ties it to a thread,
and it is worn round the neck in the case of a woman, and round the
loins in the case of a man. Sometimes the magician, taking a thread,
makes several knots in it, while reciting a mantram. The thread is worn
round the neck or wrist. Or ashes are thrown over a sick person, and
rubbed over the forehead and breast, while a mantram is repeated. Of
mantrams, the following may be cited as examples. "Salutation to god
with a thousand locks of matted hair, a thousand hands filling the
three worlds and overflowing the same. Oh! Goddess mother, out of the
supreme soul, descend. Oh! Sundara Yaksha (handsome she-devil), Swaha
(an efficacious word)." "Salutation to god. He bears a lion on his
head, or is in the form of a lion in the upper part of his body. In
the mooladhara sits Garuda, the lord of birds, enemy of serpents,
and vahana (vehicle) of Vishnu. He has Lakshmana to the left, Rama to
the right, Hanuman in front, Ravana behind, and all around, above,
below, everywhere he has Sri Narayana Swaha. Mayst thou watch over
or protect me."

The Paraiyans are notorious for the performance of marana kriyakal,
or ceremonies for the killing of enemies. They resort to various
methods, of which the following are examples:--

(1) Make an image in wax in the form of your enemy. Take it in your
right hand, and your chain of beads in your left hand. Then burn the
image with due rites, and it shall slay your enemy in a fortnight.

(2) Take a human bone from a burial-ground, and recite over it a
thousand times the following mantra:--"Oh, swine-faced goddess! seize
him, seize him as a victim. Drink his blood; eat, eat his flesh. Oh,
image of imminent death! Malayala Bhagavathi." The bone, thrown into
the enemy's house, will cause his ruin.

Odi or oti cult (breaking the human body) is the name given to a
form of black magic practiced by the Paraiyans, who, when proficient
in it, are believed to be able to render themselves invisible,
or assume the form of a bull, cat, or dog. They are supposed to be
able to entice pregnant women from their houses at dead of night,
to destroy the foetus in the womb, and substitute other substances
for it; to bring sickness and death upon people; and so to bewitch
people as to transport them from one place to another. A Paraiya
who wishes to practice the cult goes to a guru (preceptor), and,
falling at his feet, humbly requests that he may be admitted into
the mysteries of the art. The master first tries to dissuade him, but
the disciple persists in the desire to learn it. He is then tried by
various tests as to his fitness. He follows his master to the forests
and lonely places at midnight. The master suddenly makes himself
invisible, and soon appears before him in the form of a terrible bull,
a ferocious dog, or an elephant, when the novice should remain calm and
collected. He is also required to pass a night or two in the forest,
which, according to his firm belief, is full of strange beings howling
horribly. He should remain unmoved. By these and other trials, he is
tested as to his fitness. Having passed through the various ordeals,
the guru initiates him into the brotherhood by the performance of puja
on an auspicious day to his favourite Nili, called also Kallatikode
Nili, through whose aid he works his black art. Flesh and liquor
are consumed, and the disciple is taught how to prepare pilla thilam
and angola thilam, which are the potent medicines for the working of
his cult. The chief ingredient in the preparation of pilla thilam,
or baby oil, is the sixth or seventh month's foetus of a primipara,
who should belong to a caste other than that of the sorcerer. Having
satisfied himself that the omens are favourable, he sets out at
midnight for the house of the woman selected as his victim, and walks
several times round it, waving a cocoanut shell containing a mixture
of lime and turmeric water (gurusi), and muttering mantrams to secure
the aid of the deity. He also draws yantrams (cabalistic devices)
on the ground. The woman is compelled to come out of her house. Even
if the door is locked, she will bang her head against it, and force
it open. The sorcerer leads her to a retired spot, strips her naked,
and tells her to lie flat on the ground. This she does, and a vessel
made of a gourd (Lagenaria) is placed close to her vagina. The uterus
then contracts, and the foetus emerges. Sometimes, it is said, the
uterus is filled with some rubbish, and the woman instantly dies. Care
is taken that the foetus does not touch the ground, as the potency
of the drug would thereby be ruined. The foetus is cut to pieces,
and smoked over a fire. It is then placed in a vessel provided with
a few holes, below which is another vessel. The two are placed in a
larger receptacle filled with water, which is heated over a fire. From
the foetus a liquid exudes, which is collected in the lower vessel. A
human skull is then reduced to a fine powder, which is mixed with
a portion of the liquid (thilam). With the mixture a mark is made
on the forehead of the sorcerer, who rubs some of it over various
parts of his body, and drinks a small quantity of cow-dung water. He
then thinks that he can assume the form of any animal he likes,
and achieve his object in view, be it murder or bodily injury. The
magic oil, called angola thilam, is extracted from the angola tree
(Alangium Lamarckii), which bears a very large number of fruits. One
of these is believed to be endowed with life and power of motion, and
to be capable of descending and returning to its original position
on dark nights. Its possession can be attained by demons, or by an
expert watching at the foot of the tree. When it has been secured,
the extraction of the oil involves the same operations as those for
extracting the pilla thilam, and they must be carried out within seven
hours. A mark made on the forehead with the oil enables its wearer
to achieve his desires, and to transform himself into some animal.

When a person has an enemy whom he wishes to get rid of, the
Paraiya magician is consulted, and the name of the enemy given to
him. Identifying his residence, the Paraiya starts off on a dark
night, and anyone whom he comes across is at once dispatched with a
blow. The victim comes out of his house in a state of stupefaction,
and the magician puts him to death either by a blow on the head,
or by suffocating him with two sticks applied to his neck. Odi cult
is said to have been practiced till only a few years ago in the rural
parts of the northern part of the State, and in the taluks of Palghat
and Walluvanad in Malabar, and even now it has not entirely died
out. But cases of extracting foetuses and putting persons to death
are not heard of at the present day, owing to the fear of Government
officials, landlords, and others. The story is current of a Nayar
village official, who had two fine bullocks, which a Mappila wished
to purchase. The Nayar, however, was unwilling to part with them. The
Mappila accordingly engaged some men to steal the animals. Availing
themselves of the absence of the Nayar from home, the robbers went
to his house, where they saw a Paraiya and his wife practicing the
odi cult, and compelling a young woman to come out of the house, and
lie on the ground. Catching hold of the Paraiya, the robbers tied
him to a tree, and secured him. The man and his wife were beaten,
and the would-be robbers rewarded with a present of the bullocks.

The Paraiyans have no temples of their own, but worship Siva or
Kali. According to a legend, in Tretayuga (the second age), a Paraiya
named Samvara, and his wife Pulini were living in a forest, and one
day came across a Sivalinga (stone lingam) at a dilapidated temple,
which they kept, and worshipped with offerings of flesh, and by
smearing it with ashes from the burial-ground. On a certain day, no
ashes were available, and the woman offered to have her body burnt, so
that the ashes thereof might be used. With much reluctance her husband
sacrificed her, and performed puja. Then he turned round to offer, as
usual, the prasadam to his wife forgetting that she was dead, and he
was surprised to see her standing before him, receiving his offering
(prasadam), in flesh and blood. Highly pleased with their conduct,
Siva appeared in person before them, and gave them absolution.

In every small village in the rural parts, is a small Bhagavati
temple, to the deity of which the Paraiyas are devotedly attached,
and look to it for protection in times of cholera, small-pox, or other
calamities. Kodungallur Bhagavati is their guardian deity, and they
take part in the festivals (yela) at the shrine. A few days before
the festival, a piece of cloth is given to the Velichapad (oracle),
who dresses himself in it, wears a piece of red cloth round his
neck, a peculiar dress around his loins, and ties a few small bells
(chelamba) round his legs. Accompanied by others with drums and fife
and a basket, he goes to every Nayar house daily for seven days, and
receives presents of paddy, wherewith to defray the expenses of the
festival. During the celebration thereof, the Velichapad and others
go to a shed at a distance from the temple (kavu), some dressed up
as ghosts, and dance and sing, to the accompaniment of a band, in
honour of the deity.

In a note on the Paraiyans of Malabar, Mr. T. K. Gopaul Panikkar writes
[70] that "at certain periods of the year the Paraiyas have to assume
the garb of an evil deity, with large head-dresses and paintings on the
body and face, and tender cocoanut leaves hanging loose around their
waists, all these embellishments being of the rudest patterns. With
figures such as these, terror-striking in themselves, dancing with
tom-toms sounding and horns blowing, representing the various temple
deities, they visit the Nair houses, professing thereby to drive off
any evil deities that may be haunting their neighbourhood. After their
dues have been given to them, they go their ways; and, on the last
day, after finishing their house-to-house visits, they collect near
their special temples to take part in the vela tamasha (spectacle)."

On the first of every month, a ceremony called kalasam is performed
on behalf of the spirits of the departed. Fish, cooked meat, rice,
parched grain, plantain fruits, cocoanuts, toddy, and other things,
are placed on a leaf with a lighted lamp in front of it. A prayer
is then uttered, expressing a hope that the ancestors will partake
of the food which has been procured for them with much difficulty,
and protect the living. One man, becoming inspired, acts the part of
an oracle, and addresses those assembled.

The following story is narrated concerning the origin of the
Elankunnapuzha temple on the island of Vypin. When some Paraiyas
were cutting reeds, one of them discovered a remarkable idol and
fell into a trance, under the influence of which he informed the
Raja of Cochin that the idol originally belonged to the Trichendur
temple in Tinnevelly, and that he must build a shrine for it. This
was accordingly done, and to the Paraiyan who discovered the idol
a daily allowance of rice, and a larger quantity of rice during the
annual temple festival were given. In return, he had to supply cadjan
(palm leaf) umbrellas used at the daily procession, and bamboo baskets
required for washing the rice offered to the idol. These allowances
were received by the Perum or big Paraiyan up to a recent date,
even if he is not receiving them at the present day.

When a Paraiyan woman is delivered, she is secluded for two weeks in
a temporary hut erected at a short distance from the dwelling hut. On
the tenth day, some male member of the family goes to his Brahman or
Nayar landlord, from whom he receives some milk, which is sprinkled
over the woman and her infant. She can then come to the verandah of
her home, and remains there for five days, when she is purified by
bathing. The temporary hut is burnt down.

The dead are buried, and the corpse, after being laid in the grave,
is covered with a mat.

The Paraiyas are engaged in the manufacture of wicker baskets,
bamboo mats, and cadjan umbrellas. They also take part in all kinds
of agricultural work, and, when ploughing, will not use buffaloes,
which are regarded as unclean beasts, the touch of which necessitates
a ceremonial ablution.

Many Paraiyans become converts to Christianity, and thereby receive
a rise in the social scale, and a freedom from the disabilities under
which their lowly position in the social scale places them.

In 1829 several natives of Malabar were charged with having proceeded,
in company with a Paraiyan, to the house of a pregnant woman, who was
beaten and otherwise ill-treated, and with having taken the foetus out
of her uterus, and introduced in lieu thereof the skin of a calf and
an earthen pot. The prisoners confessed before the police, but were
acquitted, mainly on the ground that the earthen pot was of a size
which rendered it impossible to credit its introduction during life.

In 1834 the inhabitants of several villages in Malabar attacked a
village of Paraiyans on the alleged ground that deaths of people and
cattle, and the protracted labour of a woman in childbed, had been
caused by the practice of sorcery by the Paraiyans. They were beaten
inhumanely, with their hands tied behind their backs, so that several
died. The villagers were driven, bound, into a river, immersed under
water so as nearly to produce suffocation, and their own children
were forced to rub sand into their wounds. Their settlement was then
razed to the ground and they were driven into banishment.

The following extract is taken from a note on the Paraiyans of
Travancore by Mr. N. Subramani Aiyar. The Paraiyas may be broadly
divided into two classes, viz., the Tamil-speaking Paraiyas of the east
coast who are found in considerable numbers in the southern taluks,
and the indigenous Paraiyas, who mostly abound in Central Travancore,
avoiding the sea-coast taluks. The latter only are considered here. The
titles owned by some are Velan conferred upon certain families for
their skill in magic; Panikkan; and Muppan. The Paraiyas may be mainly
divided into four divisions, viz., Vellam (water or jaggery?), Vel
(a lance), Natuvile (middle), and Pani (work). The last is considered
to be the lowest in the social scale, and members thereof are not
admitted into the houses of the other divisions. One theory of the
origin of the Paraiyas is that they were formerly one with the Pulayas,
from whom they separated on account of their eating beef. The Paraiyas
have a dialect of their own, with which the Pulayas are not familiar,
and which would seem to be worthy of study. In the Keralolpathi, they
are classed as one of the sixteen hill tribes. Concerning their origin
the following tradition is current. They were originally Brahmans, but,
on certain coparceners partitioning the common inheritance, the carcase
of a cow, which was one of the articles to be partitioned, was burnt as
being useless. A drop of oil fell from the burning animal on to one of
the parties, and he licked it up with his tongue. For this act he was
cast out of society, and his descendants, under the name of Paraiyas,
became cow-eaters. Pakkanar is said to have been born a Paraiyan,
though subsequent tradition honours him with Brahmanical parentage.

The houses of the Paraiyas are, like those of the Pulayas, mean
thatched sheds, with a couple of cocoanut leaves often serving as
the wall between one room and another. The village sites are shifted
from place to place, according to the exigencies of the inhabitants
thereof. The Paraiyas imbibe freely, and toddy is the drink most
scrupulously prescribed for those who are under a vow. Like the
Pulayas, the Paraiyas work in the rice fields and cocoanut gardens,
and are employed in hill cultivation, and the manufacture of
wicker baskets. The sun god is their principal deity, and in his
name all solemn oaths are uttered. It is believed that the Brahman
who originally became a Paraiya cursed Brahma. To remove the evil
effects of the curse, the sun gave to his descendants as objects of
worship forty-eight thousand gods and eight special deities. A certain
portion of the house is regarded as their own, and to them offerings
of beaten rice and toddy are made on the first of every month, and,
if convenient, every Tuesday and Friday. To these deities small
shrines are dedicated, whereat the priests, on the 28th of Makaram
(January-February), become inspired, and answer questions concerning
the future put to them by the assembled Paraiyas. The priests are known
as Kaikkarans, and belong ordinarily to the lowest or Pani division.

Adultery, be it said to the credit of the Paraiyas, is an offence
which is severely punished. The man is fined, and the erring woman
has to jump over a fire which is blazing in a deep pit. This ordeal
recalls to mind the smarthavicharam of the Namburi Brahman.

Pollution, on the occurrence of the first monthly period, lasts for
seven days. The headmen and elders, called Jajamanmar and Karanavanmar,
are invited to attend, and direct four women of the village to take the
girl to a hut erected at a considerable distance from the house. This
hut is called pachchakottilil kutiyiruttuka, or seating a person
within a hut made of green leaves. On the fourth day the girl has a
bath, and the Kaikkaran waves paddy and flowers in front of her. On
the morning of the eighth day the shed is burnt down, and the place
occupied by it cleansed with water and cow-dung. The girl bathes,
and is thus rendered free from pollution. A woman, during her menses,
should remain at a distance of sixty-four feet from others.

The Paraiyas observe two marriage rites, the tali-kettu and
sambandham. The former ceremony must be performed before the girl
reaches puberty, and the tali-tier is her maternal uncle's or
paternal aunt's son. The Kaikkaran invites at least four headmen to
be present, and they prescribe the manner in which the ceremony is
to be performed. The auspicious time for the marriage celebration is
fixed by a Kaniyan (astrologer), and, on the day before the wedding,
the Kaikkaran invites the Paraiyas of the village to be present at
the tunniruttal, or erection of the pandal (booth). All those who
attend are presented with betel, tobacco, and a liberal allowance of
toddy. The next item in the programme is the vachchorukkal, or placing
beaten and cooked rice, flowers, toddy, and other things in the pandal,
under the direction of the Kaikkaran. Some of the assembled males
then sing a song called maranpattu, or song of the god of love. The
bride then becomes inspired, and dances, while the sorcerer rolls
out mystic hymns. On the following morning, the bridegroom goes to
the home of the bride in procession, and is led to a wooden seat
in the centre of the pandal, where he is joined by the bride, who
seats herself on his left. He then ties the minnu (marriage badge)
round her neck, and retires with her to the maniyara, or bedroom,
where they remain together for some minutes. On the final day of the
ceremonies, the bride is bathed.

When a Kaikkaran dies, a conch shell is buried with the corpse. Once
a year, and on some new moon day, offerings are made to all the
deceased ancestors.

The Paraiyas have a dramatic entertainment called Paraiyan Kali,
in which the performer plays his part, standing on a mortar, to the
accompaniment of music.

Paraiyas are required to keep at a distance of 128 feet from Brahmans,
i.e., double the distance required of a Pulaya. But they will not
receive food at the hands of the Pulayas.

In a further note on the "Paraiya Caste in Travancore," the
Rev. S. Mateer writes as follows. [71] "They were formerly bought and
sold like cattle, starved, flogged 'like buffaloes,' made to work
all day for a little rice, and kept at a distance as polluted; and
they still are in a position of subservience and deep degradation,
not vitally differing from that of the Pulayas and Vedars. One
particular characteristic of this caste, and most offensive to
others, is that they eat the flesh of bullocks and cows left dead by
the roadside. They cut it up, and bear it away; what they leave the
vultures and dogs devour. This disgusting practice is to a great extent
disappearing among the Christian castes. The Paraiyas of Nevandrum
(Trivandrum?) district live in clusters of huts, and eat the putrid
flesh of dead cattle, tigers, and other animals. Their girls are
'married' when very young for mere form to their cousins, but, when
grown up, are selected by others, who give them a cloth, and live
with them in concubinage. Cases of polygamy occur, and sometimes also
of polyandry. They eat the seed of Ochlandra Rheedii, which abounds
in an unusually dry season, as does also the bamboo. Jungle roots,
land crabs, and snails form part of their food. Some of them have
enough of rice at harvest time, but seldom at any other period of the
year. They are zealous devil worshippers, their chief demons being
Madan (the cow one), Rathachamandy Mallan (the giant) and Muvaratta
Mallan, Karunkali (black kali), Chavus (departed spirits), Bhutham,
Mantramurtti, and other Murttis (ghosts), with many other evil beings,
to whom groves and altars are dedicated. The souls of their deceased
ancestors are called Marutta (ghosts), for whose worship young cocoanut
leaves are tied at the bottom of a tree, and a small shed is erected on
poles, and decorated with garlands of flowers. Presents of cocoanuts,
parched rice, and arrack are offered, and cocks killed in sacrifice. In
the devil-dancing they use clubs and rattans, bells, handkerchiefs,
and cloths dedicated to their deities. Other castes generally dread
incurring the displeasure and malice of these deities. Sudras and
Shanars frequently employ the Paraiya devil-dancers and sorcerers to
exorcise demons, search for and dig out magical charms buried in the
earth by enemies, and counteract their enchantments; and, in cases
of sickness, send for them to beat the drum, and so discover what
demon has caused the affliction, and what is to be done to remove
it. Sometimes a present of a cow is given for those services. These
pretended sorcerers are slightly acquainted with a few medicines,
profess to cure snake-bite, and can repeat some tales of the Hindu
gods. They also profess to discover thieves, who sometimes indeed
through fear actually take ill, confess, and restore the property. One
priest whom I knew used to pretend that he had a 'bird devil' in his
possession, by which he could cast out other devils. On one occasion,
however, when he made the attempt in the presence of a large concourse
of Sudras and others, he utterly failed, and hurt himself severely by
beating his chest with a cocoanut and leaping into the fire. He soon
after resolved to abandon this course of life, and became a Christian.

"After the wife's confinement, the husband is starved for seven days,
eating no cooked rice or other food, only roots and fruits, and
drinking only arrack or toddy. The shed, in which she was confined,
is burnt down.

"In cases of sickness, the diviner is first consulted as to its
cause. He names a demon, and offerings are demanded of rice, fruits,
flowers, and fowls. Being daily supplied with these articles, the
diviner spreads cow-dung thinly over a small space in the yard,
where he places the offerings on three plantain leaves, invokes the
presence of the demons, dances and repeats mantras, looking towards the
east. He catches the demon that is supposed to come in an old piece of
cloth filled with flowers and parched rice, and carries both demon and
offerings into the jungle, where, again preparing a spot as before,
two torches are set, the food arranged, and, after further mantras,
a fowl is sacrificed. He takes the whole afterwards for himself, gets
a good meal, and is also paid twelve chuckrams (small silver coins)
for the service.

"In cases of small-pox, one who has had this disease is called in to
attend. He takes the patient to a temporary hut in a lonely place,
and is well paid, and supplied with all that he requires. Through
fear, none of the relatives will go near. Should the patient die, the
attendant buries him on the spot, performing the ceremonies himself,
then comes to the house, repeats mantras, and waves his hands round
the head of each to remove further alarm. If a woman with child dies,
she is buried at a great distance away. Occasionally the remains of
an aged man are burnt on a funeral pile, as being more honourable
than burial, and providing some merit to the soul.

"Let us pay a visit to one of the rural hamlets of the Kolam Paraiyans,
a considerable sub-division of this caste. The cattle manure is
saved, but handed over to the Sudra farmers. The Paraiyas plant a
few trees around their settlement as otti (mortgage) and kurikanam
(a kind of tenant right), then pay a sum to the Sudra landowner to
permit them to enjoy the produce, as it is so difficult for them
to get waste lands registered in their own name. Some have cleared
lands, and possess a few cocoanut and betel-nut palms, mangoes,
etc. They may have a few cattle also, and let out a milch cow to the
shepherds at one rupee per month. They grow some vegetables, etc.,
in waste valley lands temporarily cleared and cultivated. They work
in the rice fields, sowing, planting, and reaping, for which they are
paid in paddy. During the slack season they work at making mats of
Ochlandra Rheedii, for which the men bring loads of the reeds from
the hills, and the women do the work of plaiting. This art they are
said to have learnt from the Kanikar hill-men.

"Some Paraiyas in Nanjinad have enjoyed ancestral property for six
generations, and a few still have good properties. Titles were
purchased for money of the Rajas of Travancore, e.g., Sambavan,
an old name for Pandi Paraiyas. The Raja gave to such a headman a
cane, and authority to claim a double allowance of betel, etc. He,
however, had in his turn to give double at funerals and festivals to
his visitors. This head Paraiyan would be met with drums and marks of
honour by his people, and the arrangement would enable the Government
to rule the Paraiyas more easily. It is said that some Raja, fleeing
in war, hid himself in Paraiya huts at Changankadei, and was thereby
saved, for which he gave them a small grant of land producing a few
fanams annually, which they still enjoy. They have a tradition that,
in M.E. 102 (A.D. 927), one Vanji Mannan Raja granted privileges to
Paraiyas. During the war with Tippu, proclamation was made that every
Paraiyan in this district must have a Nayar or master, and belong to
some one or other. All who were not private property would be made
slaves of the Sirkar (Government), which was greatly dreaded on account
of the merciless oppression, and obliged to cut grass for the troops,
and do other services. Many, therefore, became nominally slaves to some
respectable man, asking it as a kindness to free them from Government
slavery. Several respectable families begged the Namburi high priest,
visiting Suchindram and other temples, to call them his slaves,
for which they paid him one fanam a head per annum. This payment is
still kept up. This priest conferred upon them additional benefits,
for in their troubles and oppressions, he wrote to the Government,
requiring from them justice and proper treatment. The slaves of
the Namburi would also be treated with consideration on account of
his sacred position and rank. These families, 'Potty slaves,' still
intermarry only among themselves, as in this case the wife could not
be claimed by a different owner from the husband's.

"Lastly, as to the Paraiyas of North Travancore. Their condition seems
lowest of all, as they enter further into the Malayalam country, and
enjoy fewer opportunities of escape from caste degradation and from
bitter servitude. 'Their own tradition,' the Rev. G. Matthan writes,
[72] 'has it that they were a division of the Brahmans, who were
entrapped into a breach of caste by their enemies, through making them
eat beef. They eat carrion and other loathsome things. The carcases
of all domestic animals are claimed by them as belonging to them by
right. They frequently poison cows, and otherwise kill them for the
sake of their flesh. They are also charged with kidnapping women of
the higher castes, whom they are said to treat in the most brutal
manner. It is their custom to turn robbers in the month of February,
in which month they pretend the wrong was done them, to break into
the houses of the Brahmans and Nairs, and to carry away their women,
children, and property, to which they are actuated more by motives
of revenge than of interest, and to justify which they plead the
injury their caste had received from these parties. In former times,
they appear to have been able to perpetrate these cruelties almost
with impunity, from the fear of which the people still betray great
uneasiness, though the custom has now grown into disuse.'"

Parasaivan.--A title of Occhans, who are Saivites, and priests at
temples of Grama Devatas (village deities). In the Malayalam country
Parasava occurs as a title of Variyar, a section of Ambalavasi. The
word indicates the son of a Brahman by a Sudra woman.

Parava.--The Tulu-speaking Paravas of South Canara are, like the
Nalkes and Pombadas, devil-dancers, and are further employed in
the manufacture of baskets and umbrellas. Socially, they occupy a
higher position than the Nalkes, but rank below the Pombadas. The
bhuthas (devils) whose disguise they assume are Kodamanitaya and the
Baiderukalu, who may not be represented by Nalkes; and they have
no objection to putting on the disguise of other bhuthas. Paravas
are engaged for all kinds of devil-dances when Nalkes are not
available. (See Nalke.)

Paravan.--Concerning the origin of the Parava fishing community of the
south-east coast, the following legends are current. [73] The author of
the Historia Ecclesiastica (published in Tamil at Tranquebar in 1735)
identifies them with the Parvaim of the Scriptures, and adds that,
in the time of Solomon, they were famous among those who made voyages
by sea; but it does not appear that there is any solid foundation
for this hypothesis. It is the general belief among the Paravas that
their original country was Ayodhya, or Oudh; and it appears that,
previously to the war of Mahabharata, they inhabited the territory
bordering on the river Yamuna or Jumna. At present they are chiefly
found in the seaport towns of the Tinnevelly district in the south
of India, and also in some of the provinces on the north-west coast
of Ceylon. With regard to their origin, there is a variety as well
as discordancy of opinions. Some of the Tantras represent them to be
descended from a Brahman by a Sudra woman, while the Jatibedi Nul
(a work of some celebrity among the Tamils) states them to be the
offspring of a Kurava (or basket-maker) begotten clandestinely on a
female of the Chetty (or merchant) tribe. But the Paravas have among
themselves quite a different tradition concerning their origin, which
is founded on mythological fable. They relate that their progenitors
were of the race Varuna (god of the sea), and on the occasion,
when Siva had called Kartikeya (god of arms) into existence, for
destroying the overwhelming power of the Asuras (evil spirits), they
sprang up with him from the sacred lake Sarawana, and were like him
nursed by the constellation Kartika. At the close of the last kalpa,
when the whole earth was covered with a deluge, they constructed a
dhoni or boat, and by it escaped the general destruction; and, when
dry land appeared, they settled on the spot where the dhoni rested;
hence it is called Dhonipura, or the city of the boat. The Paravas
were once a very powerful people, and no doubt derived much of their
ascendancy over other tribes from their knowledge of navigation. They
had a succession of kings among them, distinguished by the title of
Adiyarasen, some of whom seem to have resided at Uttara Kosamangay,
called at that time the city of Mangay, a famous place of Hindu
pilgrimage in the neighbourhood of Ramnad. In the Purana entitled
Valevisu Puranam we meet with the following fable. Parvati, the
consort of Siva, and her son Kartikeya, having offended the deity
by revealing some ineffable mystery, were condemned to quit their
celestial mansions, and pass through an infinite number of mortal
forms, before they could be re-admitted to the divine presence. On
the entreaty of Parvati, however, they were allowed, as a mitigation
of the punishment, each to undergo but one transmigration. And, as
about this time, Triambaka, King of the Paravas, and Varuna Valli
his consort were making tapas (acts of devotion) to obtain issue,
Parvati condescended to be incarnated as their daughter under the
name of Tiryser Madente. Her son Kartikeya, transforming himself
into a fish, was roaming for some time in the north sea. It appears,
however, that he left the north, and made his way into the south sea,
where, growing to an immense size, he attacked the vessels employed
by the Paravas in their fisheries, and threatened to destroy their
trade. Whereupon the King Triambaka made a public declaration that
whoever would catch the fish should have his daughter to wife. Siva,
now assuming the character of a Parava, caught the fish, and became
re-united to his consort. In that section of the Mahabharata entitled
Adiparva it is said that the King of the Paravas, who resided on the
banks of the Jumna, having found an infant girl in the belly of a fish,
adopted her as his own daughter, giving her the name of Machchakindi,
and that, when she grew up, she was employed, as was customary with the
females of the Parava tribe, to ferry passengers over the river. On
a certain day, the sage Parasara having chanced to meet her at the
ferry, she became with child by him, and was subsequently delivered of
a son, the famous Vyasa who composed the Puranas. Her great personal
charms afterwards induced King Santanu of the lunar race to admit her
to his royal bed, and by him she became the mother of Vichitravirya,
the grandsire of the Pandavas and Kauravas, whose contentions for the
throne of Hastinapura form the subject of the Mahabharata. Hence the
Paravas boast of being allied to the lunar race, and call themselves
accordingly, besides displaying at their wedding feasts the banners
and emblems peculiar to it. In the drama of Alliarasany, who is
supposed to have resided at Kudremalle on the north-west coast of
Ceylon, the Paravas act a conspicuous part. We find them employed by
the princess in fishing for pearls off the coast, and that under a
severe penalty they were obliged to furnish her with ten kalams of
pearls every season.

It is noted, in the Madras Census Report, 1901, that "there are
in reality three castes which answer to the name Paravan, and
which speak Tamil, Malayalam, and Canarese respectively. Probably
all three are descended from the Tamil Paravans or Paratavans. The
Tamil Paravans are fishermen on the sea coast. Their head-quarters is
Tuticorin, and their headman is called Talavan. They are mostly Native
Christians. They claim to be Kshatriyas of the Pandyan line of kings,
and will eat only in the houses of Brahmans. The Malayalam Paravans
are shell collectors, lime burners and gymnasts, and their women act
as midwives. Their titles are Kurup, Varakurup, and Nurankurup (nuru,
lime). The Canarese Paravas are umbrella-makers and devil-dancers." It
has been suggested that the west coast Paravas are the descendants
of those who fled from Tinnevelly, in order to avoid the oppression
of the Muhammadans.

In the Census Report, 1871, the Paravas are summed up as being a
fishing caste on the Madura and Tinnevelly coast, who "were found by
the Portuguese, on their arrival in India, to be groaning under the
Muhammadan yoke, and were assisted by the Portuguese on condition of
their becoming Christians. This general conversion, for political
ends, explains why the fishing population of the present day along
the south-east coast is to a considerable extent Roman Catholic." It
is noted by Mr. S. P. Rice [74] that the fishermen "who live in the
extreme south are devout Catholics, and have preserved the Portuguese
names by which their fathers were baptized into the Church, so that,
incongruous as it sounds, Jose Fernandez and Maria Santiago are but
humble folk, catching fish in a primitive way, with no more clothing
on than a small loin cloth and a picture of the Virgin."

Concerning the Paravas, Baldæus [75] writes as follows. "The kingdom of
Trevancor borders upon that of Coulang: All along the Sea-shore inhabit
the Paruas, who being for the most part Christians, you see the Shore
all along as far as Comoryn, and even beyond it to Tutecoryn, full of
little Churches, some of Wood, others of Stone. These People owe their
Conversion to Franciscus Xaverius, he being the first who planted
the Principles of Christianity among them; they being so much taken
with the reasonableness of the Ten Commandments, that they receiv'd
Baptism in great numbers, tho an accidental Quarrel between a Parua
and a Mahometan prov'd a strong Motive to their Conversion.... The
Paruas being sorely oppress'd by the Mahometans, one John de Crus,
a Native of Malabar, but who had been in Portugal, and honourably
treated by John, the then king of Portugal, advised them to seek for
Aid at Cochin against the Moors, and to receive Baptism. Accordingly
some of the chief Men among them (call'd Patangatays in their Language)
were sent upon that Errand to Cochin, where being kindly receiv'd,
they (in honour of him who had given His Advice) took upon them
the Sirname of Crus, a name still retain'd by most Persons of Note
among the Paruas. In short, being deliver'd from the Moorish Yoke,
and the Pearl-fishery (which formerly belong'd to them) restor'd to
the right Owners, above 20,000 of them receiv'd Baptism."

"The commencement of the Roman Catholic Mission in Tinnevelly,"
Bishop Caldwell writes, [76] "dates from 1532, when certain Paravas,
representatives of the Paravas or fishing caste, visited Cochin for
the purpose of supplicating the aid of the Portuguese against their
Muhammadan oppressors, and were baptized there by Michael Vaz,
Vicar-General of the Bishop of Goa. The same ecclesiastic, with
other priests, accompanied the fleet which sailed for the purpose
of chastising the Muhammadans, and, as soon as that object was
accomplished, set about baptizing the Paravas all along the coast,
in accordance with the agreement into which their representatives
had entered. The entire Parava caste adopted the religion of their
Portuguese deliverers and most of them received baptism. Some,
however, did not receive baptism for some cause till Xavier's time,
ten years afterwards. Xavier, on his arrival in the south, could
not speak Tamil, and spent some months in committing to memory Tamil
translations of the Creed, Lord's Prayer, Ave Maria, and Decalogue. He
then proceeded to visit all the villages of the coast, bell in hand,
to collect the inhabitants, and gave them Christian instruction. The
Paravas thus christianised--called generally at that time the Comorin
Christians--inhabited thirty villages, and numbered, according to the
most credible account, twenty thousand souls. These villages extended
all the way along the coast at irregular intervals from Cape Comorin to
the island promontory of Ramesvaram, if not beyond. It does not appear
that any village in the interior joined in the movement." "It appears,"
Mr. Casie Chitty states, "that the Portuguese treated the Paravas
with great kindness, permitted intermarriages, and even allowed them
to assume their surnames, so that we find among them many Da Limas,
Da Cruzs, Da Andrados, Da Canhas, etc. They gave the chief of the
Paravas the title of Dom, and allowed him the exclusive right of
wearing a gold chain with a cross as a badge of nobility. [The name
of a recent hereditary chief or Jati Talaivan or Talaivamore of the
Paravas was Gabriel de Cruz Lazarus Motha Vas.] As soon as the Dutch
took possession of Tutocoryn (Tuticorin) and other adjacent towns
where the Paravas are found, they employed Dr. Baldæus and a few other
ministers of their persuasion to suppress the Roman Catholic faith,
and to persuade the Paravas to adopt their own in its stead; but in
this they met with a total failure, and were once very nearly bringing
on a general revolt. Notwithstanding the intolerance of the Dutch
with regard to the Romish Church, the Paravas still remember them with
gratitude, as they afforded them the means of extensive livelihood by
establishing in their principal town (Tutocoryn) a public manufactory
of cloth, and thus maintaining a considerable working capital."

Concerning the history of the Paravas, and their connection with
the pearl-fisheries on the Indian side of the Gulf of Manaar, much
information is given by Mr. J. Hornell, [77] from whose account
the following extracts are taken. "When the Portuguese rounded Cape
Comorin, they found the pearl fisheries of the Gulf of Manaar in the
hands of the Paravas, whom tradition shows to have had control of
this industry from time immemorial. Of the origin of these people
we know extremely little. We know, however, that in the old days,
from 600 B.C. and for 1,500 years or more thereafter, the country
now comprehended in the districts of Madura and Tinnevelly formed the
great Tamil kingdom of Pandya. And, in the old Tamil work called the
Kalveddu, the position of the pearl-fishing caste to this monarchy is
incidentally mentioned in the following extract: 'Vidanarayanen Cheddi
and the Paravu men who fished pearls by paying tribute to Alliyarasani,
daughter of Pandya, king of Madura, who went on a voyage, experienced
bad weather in the sea, and were driven to the shores of Lanka, where
they founded Karainerkai and Kutiraimalai. Vidanarayanen Cheddi had
the treasures of his ship stored there by the Paravas, and established
pearl fisheries at Kadalihilapam and Kallachihilapam, and introduced
the trees which change iron into gold.' In the Maduraik-kanchi the
Paravas are described as being most powerful in the country round
Korkai. 'Well fed on fish and armed with bows, their hordes terrified
their enemies by their dashing valour.' The Maduraik-kanchi describes
Korkai as the chief town in the country of Parathavar and the seat
of the pearl fishery, with a population consisting chiefly of pearl
divers and chank cutters. [78] When the Pandyan kingdom was powerful,
the Paravas had grants of certain rights from the monarchy, paying
tribute from the produce of the fisheries, and receiving protection
and immunity from taxation in return. The conditions under which the
Paravas lived at the opening of the sixteenth century are graphically
set forth in a report, dated 19th December, 1669, written by Van Reede
and Laurens Pyh, respectively Commandant of the coast of Malabar and
Canara and senior merchant and Chief of the sea-ports of Madura. Under
the protection of those Rajas there lived a people, which had come to
these parts from other countries [79]--they are called Paravas--they
lived a seafaring life, gaining their bread by fishing and by diving
for pearls; they had purchased from the petty Rajas small streaks
of the shore, along which they settled and built villages, and they
divided themselves as their numbers progressively increased. In these
purchased lands they lived under the rule of their own headmen, paying
to the Rajas only an annual present, free from all other taxes which
bore upon the natives so heavily, looked upon as strangers, exempt
from tribute or subjection to the Rajas, having a chief of their own
election, whose descendants are still called kings of the Paravas,
and who drew a revenue from the whole people, which in process of
time has spread itself from Quilon to Bengal. Their importance and
power have not been reduced by this dispersion, for they are seen
at every pearl fishery (on which occasions the Paravas assemble
together) surpassing in distinction, dignity and outward honours all
other persons there. The pearl fishery was the principal resource and
expedient from which the Paravas obtained a livelihood, but as from
their residence so near the sea they had no manner of disposing of
their pearls, they made an agreement with the Rajas that a market day
should be proclaimed throughout their dominions, when merchants might
securely come from all parts of India, and at which the divers and
sutlers necessary to furnish provisions for the multitude might also
meet; and, as this assemblage would consist of two different races,
namely, the Paravas and subjects of the Rajas, as well as strangers and
travellers, two kinds of guards and tribunals were to be established
to prevent all disputes and quarrels arising during this open market,
every man being subject to his own judge, and his case being decided
by him; all payments were then also divided among the headmen of the
Paravas, who were the owners of that fishery, and who hence became
rich and powerful; they had weapons and soldiers of their own, with
which they were able to defend themselves against the violence of
the Rajas or their subjects. The Moors who had spread themselves over
India, and principally along the coasts of Madura, were strengthened
by the natives professing Muhammadanism, and by the Arabs, Saracens,
and the privateers of the Sammoryn, [80] and they began also to take
to pearl-diving as an occupation, but being led away by ill-feeling
and hope of gain, they often attempted to outreach the Paravas,
some of whom even they gained to their party and to their religion,
by which means they obtained so much importance, that the Rajas joined
themselves to the Moors, anticipating great advantages from the trade
which they carried on, and from their power at sea; and thus the
Paravas were oppressed, although they frequently rose against their
adversaries, but they always got the worst of it, until at last in a
pearl fishery at Tutucoryn, having purposely raised a dispute, they
fell upon the Moors, and killed some thousands of them, burnt their
vessels, and remained masters of the country, though much in fear that
the Moors, joined by the pirates of Calicut, would rise against them
in revenge. The Portuguese arrived about this time with one ship at
Tutucoryn; the Paravas requested them for assistance, and obtained
a promise of it, on conditions that they should become Christians;
this they generally agreed to, and, having sent Commissioners with
some of the Portuguese to Goa, they were received under the protection
of that nation, and their Commissioners returned with priests, and a
naval force conveying troops, on which all the Paravas of the seven
ports were baptized, accepted as subjects of the King of Portugal,
and they dwindled thus from having their own chiefs and their own
laws into subordination to priests and Portuguese, who however
settled the rights and privileges of the Paravas so firmly that
the Rajas no longer dared interfere with them, or attempt to impede
or abridge their prerogative; on the contrary they were compelled
to admit of separate laws for the Paravas from those which bound
their own subjects. The Portuguese kept for themselves the command
at sea, the pearl fisheries, the sovereignty over the Paravas, their
villages and harbours, whilst the Naick of Madura, who was a subject
of the King of the Carnatic, made himself master at this time of the
lands about Madura, and in a short time afterwards of all the lower
countries from Cape Comoryn to Tanjore, expelling and rooting out all
the princes and land proprietors, who were living and reigning there;
but, on obtaining the sovereignty of all these countries, he wished to
subject the Paravas to his authority, in which attempt he was opposed
by the Portuguese, who often, not being powerful enough effectually
to resist, left the land with the priests and Paravas, and went to
the islands of Manaar and Jaffnapatam, from whence they sent coasting
vessels along the Madura shores, and caused so much disquiet that the
revenue was ruined, trade circumscribed, and almost annihilated, for
which reasons the Naick himself was obliged to solicit the Portuguese
to come back again. The Political Government of India, perceiving the
great benefit of the pearl fishery, appointed in the name of the King
of Portugal military chiefs and captains to superintend it, leaving
the churches and their administration to the priests. Those captains
obtained from the fisheries each time a profit of 6,000 rix-dollars
for the king, leaving the remainder of the income from them for the
Paravas; but, seeing they could not retain their superiority in that
manner over the people, which was becoming rich, luxurious, drunken,
with prosperity, and with the help of the priests, who protected them,
threatening the captains, which often occasioned great disorders,
the latter determined to build a fort for the king at Tutucoryn,
which was the chief place of all the villages; but the priests who
feared by this to lose much of their consequence as well as of their
revenue, insisted that, if such a measure was proceeded with, they
would all be ruined, on which account they urged on the people to
commit irregularities, and made the Paravas fear that the step was a
preliminary one to the making all of them slaves; and they therefore
raised such hindrances to the work that it never could be completed.

"The Paravas," Mr. Hornell continues, "although the original holders of
the fishery rights, had begun, prior to the arrival of the Portuguese,
to feel the competition of the restless Muhammadan settlers on the
coast, who, coming, as many must have done, from the coast of the
Persian Gulf, knew already all there was to know of pearl-fishing. The
descendants of these Arabs and their proselytes, known as Moros to
the Portuguese, are the Moormen or Lubbais of to-day. Their chief
settlement was Kayal, a town situated near the mouth of the river
Tambrapurni, and which in Marco Polo's time (1290-91) was a great
and noble city. It shared with Tuticorin for fully 500 years the
honour of being one of the two great pearl markets of the coast--the
one being the Moor, the other the Parava, head-quarters.... Menezes,
writing in 1622, states that for many years the fisheries had become
extinct because of the great poverty into which the Paravas had
fallen. Tuticorin, and the sovereignty of the pearl banks and of the
Paravas, passed to the Dutch in 1658.

In the report of the pearl fishery, 1708, the following entries occur
in the list of free stones according to ancient customs:--


    96 1/2 to the Naick of Madura--4 Xtian, 92 1/2 Moorish;
    10 to Head Moorman of Cailpatnam--5 Xtian, 5 Moorish.
    60 to Theuver--60 Moorish.
    185 to the Pattangatyns of this coast--all Xtian stones.


"The 185 stones," Mr. Hornell writes, "given to the Pattangatyns or
headmen of the Paravas was in the nature of remuneration to these men
for assistance in inspecting the banks, in guarding any oyster banks
discovered, in recruiting divers, and in superintending operations
during the course of the fishery.... In 1889, the Madras Government
recorded its appreciation of the assistance rendered by the Jati
Talaivan, and directed that his privilege of being allowed the take
of two boats be continued. Subsequently, in 1891, the Government,
while confirming the general principle of privilege remuneration to the
Jati Talaivan, adopted the more satisfactory regulation of placing the
extent of the remuneration upon the basis of a sliding scale, allowing
him but one boat when the Government boats numbered 30 or less, two for
31 to 60 boats, three for 61 to 90 boats employed, and so on in this
ratio. The value of the Jati Talaivan's two privilege boats in the
1890 fishery was Rs. 1,424, in that of 1900 only Rs. 172." The Jadi
Talaivan is said to have been denominated by the Dutch the prince of
the seven havens. It is noted in the pearl fishery report, 1900, that
"the Paravas are a constant source of trouble, both on the banks and in
the kottoo (shed), where they were constantly being caught concealing
oysters, which of course were always confiscated. Only one Arab was
caught doing this, and his companions abused him for disgracing them."

According to Mr. Casie Chitty, the Paravas are divided into thirteen
classes, viz.:--


    Headmen.
    Dealers in cloth.
    Divers for corals.
    Sailors.
    Divers for pearl-oysters.
    Divers for chanks.
    Packers of cloth.
    Fishers who catch tortoises (turtles).
    Fishers who catch porpoises.
    Fishers who catch sharks and other fish.
    Palanquin bearers.
    Peons, who wait about the person of the Chief.
    Fishers, who catch crabs.


It is noted by Canon A. Margoschis that the Parava females are
famous for the excessive dilatation of the lobes of the ears, and for
wearing therein the heaviest and most expensive gold ear jewels made of
sovereigns. Ordinary jewels are said to cost Rs. 200, but heavy jewels
are worth Rs. 1,000 and even more. The longer the ears, the more jewels
can be used, and this appears to be the rationale of elongated ears.

In a recent account of a Parava wedding in high life, I read [81]
that "the bride and bridegroom proceeded to the church at the head
of an imposing procession, with music and banners. The service, which
was fully choral, was conducted by a priest from their own community,
after which the newly wedded couple went in procession to the residence
of the Jati Talavamore, being escorted by their distinguished host
in person. The Jati Talavamore, who wore a picturesque, if somewhat
antiquated, robe, rode in a gorgeously upholstered palanquin,
with banners, trophies, elephants, and other emblems of his high
office. The bride, who was resplendent with diamonds, was becomingly
attired in a purple Benares sari with gold floral designs, and wore
a superb kincob bodice."

In a note on the Paravans of Travancore, Mr. N. Subramani Aiyar writes
that "they are found in most taluks of the State. The title sometimes
used by them is Kuruppu. The Paravans of Chengannur and Tiruvella call
themselves Chakka, a word supposed by the castemen to be derived from
slaghya or praiseworthy, but perhaps more correctly from Chakku, the
basket carried by them in their hands. The Paravans are divided into
numerous sections. In the south, the Tamil-speaking division follows
the makkathayam, while all the Malayalam-speaking sections follow
the marumakathayam law of inheritance. There is also a difference
in the dress and ornaments of the two sections, the former adopting
the fashion of the east coast, and the latter that of the west. The
Travancore Paravas are really one with the Tamil-speaking Paravas of
the east coast. While most of them became converts to Christianity,
in Travancore they have tried to preserve their separate existence,
as they had already spread into the interior of the country before the
proselytism of St. Xavier had made its enduring mark on the sea-coast
villages. There is a curious legend about the settlement of the Chakkas
in Central Travancore. Formerly, it would appear, they were Sudras,
but, for some social offence committed by them, they were outcasted by
the Edappalli chieftain. They were once great devotees of Sri Krishna,
the lord of Tiruvaranmulai in the Tiruvella taluk. The Paravas say
further that they are descended from a high-caste woman married to an
Izhava. The word Parava is accordingly derived from para, which in
Sanskrit means foreign. The Paravas engage in various occupations,
of which the most important in Central Travancore are climbing palm
trees, catching fish, and washing clothes for Christians, Muhammadans,
and depressed classes of Hindus. In South Travancore they make wicker
baskets, rattan chairs, and sofas. Women, in all parts of the State,
are lime and shell burners. They worship at the Aranmula temple,
and pay special worship to Bhadrakali. Their priest is known as
Parakuruppu, who, having to perform four different functions, is
also entitled Nalonnukaran. It is his duty to preside at marriage
and other rites, to be caste barber, to carry the news of death to
the relations, and to perform the priestly functions at funerals. The
Paravas perform both the tali-kettu and sambandham ceremonies."

Parel Maddiyala.--Barbers of the Billavas.

Parenga.--A sub-division of Gadaba.

Pariah.--See Paraiyan.

Parikimuggula.--Professional tattooing women in the Telugu country. The
name refers to the patterns (parika or muggu), which they carry about
with them, as designs for tattooing or to be drawn on the floor on
occasions of festival and ceremonial.

Parivara.--A sub-division of Bant.

Parivaram.--It is noted, in the Census Report, 1891, that "this is
a caste, which presents some difficulty. Parivaram means 'an army,
a retinue,' and it is alleged that the people of this caste were
formerly soldiers. Parivaram is found as a sub-division of Maravan and
Agamudaiyan, and the Parivaras of Madura and Tinnevelly are probably
either a sub-division or an offshoot of the Maravans. In Coimbatore,
the only other district in which the Parivaras are numerous, they
seem to be a sub-division of Toreyas, a fishing caste, and Mr. Rice,
in his Gazetteer (of Mysore), says that Parivara is a synonym of
Besta." Further, in the Census Report, 1901, it is stated that "the
word Parivaram means 'a retinue,' and was probably originally only an
occupational term. It is now-a-days applied to the domestic servants
and the Tottiya zamindars in the districts of Coimbatore, Trichinopoly,
Madura, and Tinnevelly, who are recruited from several castes, but
have come to form a caste by themselves. The Kotaris of South Canara
are a somewhat parallel case, and probably in time the Paiks among the
Oriyas, and the Khasas, who are servants to the Telugu zamindars, will
similarly develop into separate castes. The caste is said to require
all its members of both sexes to do such service for its masters as
they may require. Persons of any caste above the Paraiyas are admitted
into its ranks, and the men in it may marry a woman of any other caste
with the permission of the zamindar under whom they serve. They do not
habitually employ Brahmans as priests, and in places the head of the
Tottiyan caste conducts their ceremonies. Their titles are Maniyagaran
and Servaigaran. The latter is also used by the Agamudaiyans."

The title Servaigaran or Servaikaran indicates that members of the
caste do servai, or service, and the further title uliyakkaran is
a sign that they do uliyam, or menial work. Servaikaran is also a
title of the Tamil Ambalakarans, Agamudaiyans, Kallans, and Maravans,
and the Canarese Toreyas, some of whom have settled in the Tamil
districts of Madura and Coimbatore. It also occurs as a synonym of
the Canarese Kotegaras.

The illegitimate offspring of Maravans, Kallans, and Agamudaiyans,
are said to become members of the mixed Parivaram caste.

It is recorded, in the Gazetteer of the Madura district, that the
Parivaram caste "is divided into two endogamous sections; the Chinna
Uliyam (little services) who are palanquin-bearers, and have the
title Tevan, and the Periya Uliyam (big services), who are called
Maniyakaran. The Kombai Parivarams, who are the servants of the
Kappiliyan Zamindars of Kombai and Tevaram in the Periyakulam taluk,
are a separate community, and do not intermarry with the others. When
a girl attains maturity, she is kept for sixteen days in a hut, which
is guarded at night by her relations. This is afterwards burnt down,
and the pots she used are broken into very small pieces, as there is
an idea that, if rain-water collects in any of them, the girl will
be childless. Some of the ceremonies at weddings are unusual. On
the first day, a man takes a big pot of water with a smaller empty
pot on top of it, and marches three times round the open space in
front of the bride's house. With him march the happy couple carrying
a bamboo, to which are tied in a turmeric-coloured cloth the nine
kinds of grain. After the third journey round, these things are put
down at the north-east corner, and the marriage pandal is made by
bringing three more poles of the same size. Afterwards the wrists
of the couple are tied together, and bridegroom's brother carries
the pair a short distance. They plunge their hands into a bowl of
salt. Next the husband takes an ordinary stone rolling-pin, wraps it
in a bit of cloth, and gives it to his wife, saying 'Take the child;
I am going to the palace.' She takes it, replying 'Yes, give me the
child, the milk is ready.' This has to be repeated three times in a set
formula. Several other odd rites are observed. Brahmans officiate, and
the bridegroom's sister, as usual, ties the tali. Divorce is allowed
to both sides. Adultery within the caste, or with the Zamindar, is
tolerated. The husbands accept as their own any children their wives
may bear to the Zamindar. Such children are called Chinna Kambalattar,
and may marry with Tottiyans. But adultery outside the caste is most
rigorously prohibited, and sternly punished with excommunication. A
mud image of the girl who so offends is made, two thorns are poked
into its eyes, and it is thrown away outside the village."

Pariyari (doctor).--A name given to Tamil barbers (Ambattan), who
practice as barber-surgeons.

Pariyata.--Five individuals were recorded, at the census, 1901,
under the name Pariyata or Parit, as members of a Bombay caste of
washermen in South Canara.

Parvatha.--Parvatha or Parvathala, meaning hill or mountain, has been
recorded as an exogamous sept of Gamalla, Kapu, Mala, and Medara.

Pasi.--A few members of this Bengal caste of toddy-drawers were
returned at the Madras census, 1901. The name is said to be derived
from pasa, a noose or cord, probably in reference to the sling used by
them in climbing palm trees. [82] Pasi, meaning coloured glass beads,
occurs as a sub-division of Idaiyan, and the equivalent Pasikatti as
a sub-division of Valaiyan.

Pasu.--Pasu (cow) or Pasula has been recorded as an exogamous sept
of Boya, Mala and Madiga, and a sub-division of west coast Pulayans,
who eat beef.

Pasupula (turmeric).--Pasula or Pasupula is an exogamous sept of
Boya and Devanga. Pasupuleti occurs as a sub-division of Balija. See
Arashina.

Patabonka.--A sub-division of Bonka.

Patali.--An occupational name applied to priests of temples and
bhuthasthanas (devil shrines), and Stanikas in South Canara.

Patha (old).--A sub-division of Idiga, and a sept of Togata.

Pathanchitannaya (green pea sept).--An exogamous sept of Bant.

Pathi (cotton).--A sub-division of Kurubas, who use a wrist-thread
made of cotton and wool mixed during the marriage ceremony. Also an
exogamous sept of Gudala and Padma Sale.

Pathinettan.--The Pathinettan or eighteen are carpenters in Malabar,
who "are said to be the descendants of the smiths who remained to
attend to the repairs to the eighteen temples, when the rest of the
community fled to Ceylon, as related in the tradition of the origin
of the Tiyans". [83]

Paththar.--A section of Saivite Chettis, who wear the lingam, and
have separated from the Acharapakam Chettis. They bury their dead in
a sitting posture. A bamboo stick is tied to the kudumi (hair-knot)
of the corpse, and the head pulled by its means towards the surface of
the grave. Paththar is also a name given to goldsmiths by other castes.

Patnaik.--A title of Karnam.

Patnulkaran.--The Patnulkarans are described, in the Madras Census
Report, 1901, as "a caste of foreign weavers found in all the Tamil
districts, but mainly in Madura town, who speak Patnuli or Khatri,
a dialect of Gujarati, and came originally from Gujarat. They have
always been known here as Patnulkarans, or silk thread people. They
are referred to in the inscriptions of Kumara Gupta (A.D. 473)
at Mandasor, south of Gujarat, by the name of Pattavayaka, which
is the Sanskrit equivalent of Patnulkaran, and the sasanam of Queen
Mangammal of Madura, mentioned below, speaks of them by the same name,
but lately they have taken to calling themselves Saurashtras from
the Saurashtra country from which they came. They also claim to be
Brahmans. They thus frequently entered themselves in the schedules
as Saurashtra Brahmans. They are an intelligent and hard-working
community, and deserve every sympathy in the efforts which they
are making to elevate the material prosperity of their members and
improve their educational condition, but a claim to Brahmanhood is a
difficult matter to establish. They say that their claim is denied
because they are weavers by profession, which none of the Southern
Brahmans are, and because the Brahmans of the Tamil country do not
understand their rites, which are the northern rites. The Mandasor
inscriptions, however, represent them as soldiers as well as weavers,
which does not sound Brahmanical, and the Tamil Brahmans have never
raised any objections to the Gauda Brahmans calling themselves such,
different as their ways are from those current in the south. In Madura
their claim to Brahmanhood has always been disputed. As early as 1705
A.D. the Brahmans of Madura called in question the Patnulkarans' right
to perform the annual upakarma (or renewal of the sacred thread) in
the Brahman fashion. [Eighteen members of the community were arrested
by the Governor of Madura for performing this ceremony.] The matter
was taken to the notice of the Queen Mangammal, and she directed her
State pandits to convene meetings of learned men, and to examine into
it. On their advice, she issued a cadjan (palm leaf) sasanam (grant)
which permitted them to follow the Brahmanical rites. But all the
twice-born--whether Brahmans, Kshatriyas, or Vaisyas--are entitled to
do the same, and the sasanam establishes little. The Patnuls point
out that, in some cases, their gotras are Brahmanical. But, in many
instances which could be quoted, Kshatriyas had also Brahmanical
gotras."

It is stated, in the Gazetteer of the Madura district, that the
inscription at Mandasor in Western Malwa "relates how the Pattavayas,
as the caste was then called, were induced to migrate thither from
Lata on the coast of Gujarat by king Kumara Gupta (or one of his
lieutenants), to practice there their art of silk-weaving. The
inscription says many flattering things about the community, and
poetically compares the city to a beautiful woman, and the immigrants
to the silk garments in which she decks herself when she goes to meet
her lover. [The inscription further records that, while the noble
Bandhuvarman was governing this city of Dasapura, which had been
brought to a state of great prosperity, a noble and unequalled temple
of the bright-rayed (sun) was caused to be built by the silk-cloth
weavers (pattavayair) as a guild with the stores of wealth acquired by
(the exercise of their) craft.] On the destruction of Mandasor by the
Mussalmans, the Pattavayas seem to have travelled south to Devagiri,
the modern Daulatabad, the then capital of the Yadavas, and thence,
when the Mussalmans again appeared on the scene at the beginning of
the fourteenth century, to Vijayanagar, and eventually to Madura. A
curious ceremony confirming this conjecture is performed to this
day at Patnulkaran weddings in South India. Before the date of the
wedding, the bridegroom's party go to the bride's house, and ask
formally for the girl's hand. Her relations ask them in a set form
of words who they are, and whence they come, and they reply that
they are from Sorath (the old name for Saurashtra or Kathiawar),
resided in Devagiri, travelled south (owing to Mussalman oppression)
to Vijayanagar, and thence came to Madura. They then ask the bride's
party the same question, and receive the same reply. A Marathi MS.,
prepared in 1822 at Salem under the direction of the then Collector,
Mr. M. D. Cockburn, contains the same tradition. Mr. Sewell's 'A
Forgotten Empire: Vijayanagar' shows how common silk clothing and
trappings were at Vijayanagar in the days of its glory. Most of the
Patnulkarans can still speak Telugu, which raises the inference
that they must have resided a long time in the Telugu country,
while their Patnuli contains many Canarese and Telugu words, and
they observe the feast of Basavanna (or Boskanna), which is almost
peculiar to the Bellary country. After the downfall of Vijayanagar,
some of the caste seem to have gone to Bangalore, for a weaving
community called Patvegars, who speak a dialect similar to Patnuli,
still reside there." Concerning the Patnulis who have settled in
the Mysore Province, it is noted, in the Mysore Census Report, 1891,
that "with silk they manufacture a fine stuff called katni, which no
other weavers are said to be able to prepare. It is largely used by
Mussalmans for trousers and lungas (gowns). It is said that Haider
Ali, while returning from his expeditions against Madras, forcibly
brought with him some twenty-five families of these weavers, who were
living in the Tanjore district, and established them at Ganjam near
Seringapatam, and, in order to encourage silk and velvet weaving,
exempted them from certain taxes. The industry flourished till the
fall of Seringapatam, when most of the class fled from the country,
a few only having survived those troublous times. At present there are
only 254 souls returned to these people, employed in making carpets
in Bangalore."

"The Patnulkars," Mr. H. A. Stuart writes, [84] "say that they were
originally Brahmans, living in a town of Surat called Devagiri,
in which twelve streets were entirely peopled by them. For some
reason, of which they profess themselves to be ignorant, the
residents of one of these streets were excommunicated by the rest
of the caste, and expelled. They travelled southwards, and settled
in Tirupati, Arni, and Vellore, as well as in Trichinopoly, Tanjore,
Madura, and other large towns, where they carried on their trade of
silk-weaving. Another story is to the effect that they were bound to
produce a certain number of silken cloths at each Dipavali feast in
Devagiri for the goddess Lakshmi. One year their supply fell short,
and they were cursed by the goddess, who decreed that they should no
longer be regarded as Brahmans. They, however, still claim to be such,
and follow the customs of that caste, though they refuse to eat with
them. They acknowledge priests from among themselves, as well as from
among Brahmans, and profess to look down upon all other castes. In
religion they are divided into Smartas, Vaishnavas, and Vyaparis,
some among the Smartas being Lingayats. Those who can write usually
employ the Telugu characters in writing their language."

The Patnulkarans, according to one tradition, claim descent from a
certain Brahman sage, known as Tantuvardhanar, meaning literally a
person who improves threads, i.e., manufactures and weaves them into
cloths. This is, it is suggested, probably only an eponymous hero.

In the Manual of the Madura district, the Patnulkarans are described
as "a caste of Surat silk-weavers, whose ancestors were induced to
settle in Madura by one of the earlier Nayakkan kings, or in response
to an invitation from Tirumala Naik, and who have thriven so well that
they now form by far the most numerous of all the castes resident in
the town of Madura. They are very skilful and industrious workmen,
and many of them have become very wealthy. They keep altogether
aloof from other castes, and live independently of general society,
speaking a foreign tongue, and preserving intact the customs of the
land of their origin. They are easily distinguished in appearance
from Tamils, being of a light yellowish colour, and having handsomer
and more intelligent features. They are called Chettis or merchants
by Tamils." In a recent note, [85] the Patnulkarans of Madura are
described as being "exceedingly gregarious; they live together in large
numbers in small houses, and their social status in the country is
quite unsettled. Though they delight to call themselves Saurashtra
Brahmans, the Tamils consider them to be a low caste. Like the
Brahmans, they wear the sacred thread, and tack on to their names such
titles as Iyengar, Iyer, Rao, Bhagavather, Sastrigal, and so forth,
though the conservatives among them still cling to the time-honoured
simple Chetti. Child marriage is the rule, and widow marriage is never
practiced. Hindus by religion, they worship indiscriminately both the
Siva and Vaishnava deities, but all of them wear big Iyengar namams
on their foreheads, even more prominently than do the real Iyengars
themselves. All of them pass for pure vegetarians. The proud position
of Madura to this day as second city in the Presidency is mainly,
if not solely, due to her prosperous and industrious community of
Saurashtra merchants and silk-weavers, who have now grown into nearly
half her population, and who have also come to a foremost place among
the ranks of her citizens. They have their representatives to-day in
the Municipal Councils and in the Local and District Boards. Their
perseverance has won for them a place in the Devastanam Committee of
one of the most prosperous temples in the district. But, in spite of
their affluence and leading position it must be confessed that they
are essentially a 'backward class' in respect of English education and
enlightenment. They are, however, making steady progress. An English
high school for Saurashtra boys, and a number of elementary schools
for girls, are now maintained by the Saurashtra Sabha for the proper
education of their children." In 1906, a member of the community was
appointed a member of the committee of the Sri Kalla Alagar temple
in the Madura district.

In an order of the Director of Public Instruction, in 1900, it was laid
down that "Saurashtras having been recognised (in 1892) as a backward
class falling under Pattunulgars, the manager cannot continue to enjoy
the privileges accorded under the grant-in-aid code to schools intended
for backward classes, if he returns his pupils as Brahmans. If the
pupils have been returned as Saurashtra Brahmans, the manager should
be requested to revise, as no such caste is recognised." A deputation
had an interview with the Director, and it was subsequently ruled that
"Saurashtras will continue to be treated as a backward class. Pupils
belonging to the above class should invariably be returned in future
as Saurashtras, whether the word Brahman is added or not."

In a "History of the Saurashtras in Southern India" [86] it is recorded
that "when the Saurashtras settled in the south, they reproduced the
institutions of their mother country in the new land; but, owing to the
influence of the Southern Dravidians, some of the institutions became
extinct. During their migrations, the men were under the guidance of
their leader, and the process of migration tended to increase the power
of kinship. The people were divided into four heads, called Goundas
(chiefs), Saulins (elders), Voyddoos (physicians), and Bhoutuls
(religious men). Some traces of the division still survive in the
now neglected institution of Goundans. The Goundans were supposed
to be responsible for the acts and doings of their men. The masses
enjoyed the property under the joint undivided Hindu family system
as prescribed in the Code of Manu. The chiefs were the judges in
both civil and criminal affairs. They were aided in deciding cases
by a body of nobles called Saulins. The office of the Saulins is
to make enquiries, and try all cases connected with the community,
and to abide by the decision of the chiefs. The Voyddoos (pandits)
and Bhoutuls (Josis and Kavis also ranked with Voyddas and Bhoutuls)
had their honours on all important occasions, and they are placed in
the same rank with the elders. The Karestuns, or the Commons, are
the whole body of the masses. Their voice is necessary on certain
important occasions, as during the ceremonies of excommunication,
and prayaschittas for admitting renegades, and during periodical
meetings of the community. The Goundans at present are not exercising
any of their powers, except in some religious matters. Saurashtra
Brahmans were originally leading a purely religious life, but now
they have begun to do business of different descriptions fitted to
their position. Their chief occupation is agriculture, but some are
trading, dyeing and weaving; however, it can be safely affirmed that
their business interferes in no way with their religious creed and
ceremonies. The name Patnulgar means silk weavers, and is sometimes
erroneously applied to the Saurashtras too; but, on the contrary,
the term strictly applies to all classes of weavers in Southern
India, called Seniyars, Kaikkolars, Devangas, Kshatris (Khattris),
Parayas, Sengundas, Mudaliars, Saliyurs, Padmasalays, but not to the
Saurashtras in any way. The Saurashtras are now seen as a mercantile
community. They are brave but humble, god-fearing, hospitable, fond
of festivities and amusement. The Saurashtras, it is said, were
originally a class of sun worshippers, from soura meaning sun, but
the term Saurashtra means inhabitants of the fruitful kingdom. Their
religion is Hinduism, and they were originally Madhvas. After their
settlement in Southern India, some of them, owing to the preachings
of Sankaracharya and Ramanujacharya, were converted into Saivites and
Vaishnavites respectively. The Saurashtras belong to the Aksobhya and
Sankaracharya Matas. The Saurashtras, like other nations of India,
are divided into four great divisions, viz., Brahma, Kshatriya, Vaisya
and Sudra. The Vaisyas and Sudras are to be found in almost all towns
and villages, and especially at Tirupati, Nagari, Naranavanam, Arni,
Kottar, Palani, Palamcottah, Vilangudi, and Viravanallur."

The affairs of the Patnulkarans at Madura are managed by a Saurashtra
Sabha, which was started in 1895. Among the laudable objects for
which the Sabha was established, the following may be noted:--

(a) To manage the Madura Saurashtra school, and establish
reading-rooms, libraries, etc., with a view to enable members of the
Saurashtra community to receive, on moderate terms, a sound, liberal,
general and technical education.

(b) To manage the temple known as the Madura Sri Prasanna Venkateswara
Swami's temple, and contribute towards its maintenance by constructing,
repairing and preserving buildings in connection therewith, making
jewels, vehicles and other things necessary therefor, and conducting
the festivals thereof.

(c) To found charitable institutions, such as orphanages, hospitals,
poor-houses, choultries (resting-places for travellers), water-sheds,
and other things of a like nature for the good of the Saurashtra
community.

(d) To give succour to the suffering poor, and the maimed, the lame,
and the blind in the Saurashtra community.

(e) To give pecuniary grants in aid of upanayanams (thread marriages)
to the helpless in the Saurashtra community.

(f) To erect such works of utility as bathing ghauts, wells, water
fountains, and other works of utility for the benefit of the Saurashtra
community.

(g) To fix and raise subscriptions known as mahamais (a sort of
income-tax).

Among the subjects of the lectures delivered in connection with the
Saurashtra Upanyasa Sabha at Madura in 1901 were the life of Mrs. Annie
Besant, the Paris Exhibition of 1900, Mr. Tata and higher education,
Saurashtra bank, Columbus, and the Saurashtra reform hotel.

A few years ago, the Saurashtra community submitted a memorial to
the Governor of Madras to the effect that "as the backward Saurashtra
community have not the requisite capital of half a lakh of rupees for
imparting to their members both general and technical education, the
Saurashtra Sabha, Madura, suggests that a lottery office may be kept
for collecting shares at one rupee each from such of the public at
large as may be willing to give the same, on the understanding that,
every time the collections aggregate to Rs. 6,250, Rs. 250 should be
set apart for the expenses of working the said office, and two-thirds
of the remainder for educational purposes, and one-third should be
awarded by drawing lots among the subscribers in the shape of five
prizes, ranging from Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 125." In passing orders on this
sporting scheme, the Government stated that it was not prepared to
authorise the lottery. It has been well said [87] that the Patnulkarans
have a very strong esprit de corps, and this has stood them in good
stead in their weaving, which is more scientifically carried on,
and in a more flourishing condition than is usual elsewhere.

For the following note on the Patnulkaran weavers of Madura, I am
indebted to Mr. A. Chatterton, Director of Technical Enquiries:--"As
a general rule, they are in a flourishing condition, and much better
off than the Saurashtra weavers in Salem. This is probably due to
the fact that the bulk of the Madura trade is in a higher class of
cloth than at Salem, and the weavers are consequently less affected by
fluctuations in demand for their goods due to seasonal variations. In
various ways the Saurashtras of Madura have furnished evidence that
they are a progressive community, particularly in the attention
which they pay to education, and the keenness with which they are on
the look-out for improvements in the methods of carrying out their
hereditary craft. Nearly all the so-called improvements have been
tried at Madura, and the fact that they have rejected most of them may
be taken to some extent as evidence of their unsuitability for Indian
conditions. Some time ago, one A. A. Kuppusawmy Iyer invented certain
improvements in the native shedding apparatus, whereby ornamental
patterns are woven along the borders, and on the ends of the better
class of silk and cotton cloths. This apparatus was undoubtedly a
material improvement upon that which is ordinarily used by the weaver,
and it has been taken up extensively in the town. It is said that
there are 350 looms fitted with this shedding apparatus, and the
inventor, who has obtained a patent for it, is trying to collect a
royalty of Rs. 1-4-0 a month on each loom. But this claim is resisted
by a combination of the weavers using this shedding apparatus, and a
suit is at the present time (1907) pending in the District Court. One
of the most important weaving enterprises at Madura is the Meenakshi
Weaving Company, the partners of which are Ramachandra Iyer, Muthurama
Iyer, and Kuppusawmy Iyer. Their subscribed capital is Rs. 1,00,000,
of which they are spending no less than Rs. 40,000 on building a
weaving shed and office. The Madura dyeing industry is in the hands
of the Saurashtras, and the modern phase dates back only as far as
1895, when Mr. Tulsiram started dyeing grey yarn with alizarine red,
and, in the twelve years which have since elapsed, the industry has
grown to very large proportions. The total sales at Madura average
at present about 24 lakhs a year. There are from 30 to 40 dye-houses,
and upwards of 5,000 cwt. of alizarine red is purchased every year from
the Badische Aniline Soda Fabrik. The yarn is purchased locally, mainly
from the Madura Mills, but, to some extent, also from Coimbatore and
Tuticorin. The mordanting is done entirely with crude native earths,
containing a large percentage of potassium salts. Drying the yarn
presents considerable difficulty, especially in the wet weather. To
secure a fast even colour, the yarn is mordanted about ten times,
and dyed twice, or for very superior work three times, and between
each operation it is essential that the yarn should be dried. The
suburbs of Madura are now almost entirely covered with drying yards."

In a note on the Patnulkarans who have settled in Travancore,
Mr. N. Subramani Aiyar writes as follows. "The Patnulkarans are
generally of yellowish tinge, and in possession of handsomer and more
intellectual features than the Tamil castes, from which they may be
easily differentiated by even a casual observer. They are, however,
more fair than cleanly. They keep in Travancore, as elsewhere,
aloof from other castes, and live independently of general society,
speaking a foreign language. This they have preserved with astonishing
attachment, and recently a Saurashtra alphabet has been invented, and
elementary books have begun to be written in that dialect. They are a
very conservative class, religious enthusiasts of a very remarkable
order, and skilful and industrious workmen. They take a peculiar
pleasure in music, and many of them are excellent songsters. There
are many kinds of amusement for both men and women, who generally
spend their leisure in singing songs of a devotional nature. They
believe largely in omens, of which the following may be noted:--

Good.--A pot full of water, a burning light, no Brahmans, a Sudra,
a cow, a married woman, and gold.

Bad.--A barber, a patient, a person with some bodily defect, fuel,
oil, a donkey, a pick-axe, a broom, and a fan.

"On entering a Patnulkaran's house, we are led to a courtyard,
spacious and neat, where all the necessary arrangements are made for
weaving purposes. The Patnulkarans live in streets. A male Patnulkaran
resembles a Tamil Vaishnava Brahman in outward appearance, but the
women follow the custom of the Telugu Brahmans alike in their costume
and ornaments. Their jewels exactly resemble those of the Telugu
Brahman women, and indicate a temporary residence of the caste in the
Telugu country on the way from Gujarat to Madura. There is a Tamil
proverb to the effect that, if a male Patnulkaran is seen without his
wife, he will be taken for a Vaishnava Brahman, whereas, in the case
of the Tatan caste, a woman without her husband will be taken for an
Aiyangar. Children wear the karai round the neck. Tattooing prevails
on a very large scale.

"The Patnulkarans may be divided into three classes on a religious
basis, viz., (1) pure Vaishnavites, who wear the vertical Vaishnavite
mark, and call themselves Vadakalas or northerners; (2) those who are
mainly Smartas; (3) Sankara Vaishnavas, who wear gopi (sandal paste)
as their sect-mark. It is to the last of these religious sects that the
Travancore Patnulkarans belong, though, in recent times, a few Smartas
have settled at Kottar. All these intermarry and interdine, and the
religious difference does not create a distinction in the caste. The
chief divinity of the Patnulkarans is Venkatachalapati of Tirupati. The
month in which he is most worshipped is Kanni (September-October), and
all the Saturdays and the Tiruvonam star of the month are particularly
devoted to his adoration. One of their men becomes possessed on any of
these days, and, holding a burning torch-light in his hand, touches
the foreheads of the assembled devotees therewith. The Patnulkarans
fast on those days, and take an image of Garuda in procession through
the street. The Dipavali, Pannamasi in Chittiray, and the Vaikuntha
Ekadasi are other important religious days. The Dusserah is observed,
as also are the festivals of Sri Rama Navami, Ashtami, Rohini,
Avani Avittam, and Vara Lakshmivratam. Formal worship of deities
is done by those who have obtained the requisite initiation from a
spiritual preceptor. Women who have husbands fast on full-moon days,
Mondays, and Fridays. The serpent and the banyan tree are specially
worshipped. Women sing songs in praise of Lakshmi, and offer fruits
and cocoanuts to her. The Patnulkarans have a temple dedicated to
Sri Rama at Kottar. This temple is visited even by Brahmans, and the
priests are Aiyangars. The Acharya, or supreme religious authority of
the Patnulkarans, in Travancore is a Vaishnava Brahman known as Ubhaya
Vedanta Koti Kanyakadana Tatachariyar, who lives at Aravankulam near
Tinnevelly, and possesses a large number of disciples. Once a year
he visits his flock in Travancore, and is highly respected by them,
as also by the Maharaja, who makes a donation of money to him. Elders
are appointed to decide social disputes, and manage the common property
of the caste. In Travancore there are said to be only three families
of Patnulkaran priests. For the higher ceremonies, Brahman priests
are employed.

"A girl's marriage is usually celebrated before puberty, and
sometimes when she is a mere child of four or five. Great importance
is attached to gotras or exogamous septs, and it is said that the
septs of the bride and bridegroom are conspicuously inscribed on the
walls of a marriage house. In the selection of an auspicious hour
(muhurtam) for a marriage, two favourable planetary situations, one
closely following the other, are necessary; and, as such occasions
are rare, a number of marriages take place at one time. A man may
claim his maternal uncle's daughter as his wife, and polygamy is
permitted. The marriage ceremonial resembles the Brahmanical rites
in many points. On the fourth day, a ceremonial observed by Telugu
Brahmans, called Nagabali, is performed. The marriage badge, which
is tied on the bride's neck, is called bottu. [From a note on the
marriage ceremonies among the Patnulkarans of Madura, I gather that,
as among Telugu and Canarese castes, a number of pots are arranged,
and worshipped. These pots are smaller and fewer in number than at
a Telugu or Canarese wedding. A figure of a car is drawn on the wall
of the house with red earth or laterite. [88] On it the name of the
gotra of the bridegroom is written. On the fourth day, the nagavali
(or offering to Devas) is performed. The contracting couple sit near
the pots, and a number of lights are arranged on the floor. The pots,
which represent the Devas, are worshipped.]

"The namakarana, or name-giving ceremony, is performed on the eleventh
day after birth. An eighth child, whether male or female, is called
Krishna, owing to the tradition that Krishna was born as the eighth
child of Vasudeva. Babies are affectionately called Duddu (milk)
or Pilla (child). The annaprasana, or first feeding of the child,
is sometimes celebrated at the end of the first year, but usually as
a preliminary to some subsequent ceremony. Sometimes, in performance
of a vow, boys are taken to the shrine at Tirupati for the tonsure
ceremony. The upanayana is performed between the seventh and twelfth
years, but neither brahmacharya nor samavartana is observed.

"The dead are burnt, and the remains of the bones are collected and
deposited under water. Death pollution lasts only for ten days. The
sradh, or annual ceremony, when oblations are offered to ancestors,
is observed. Widows are allowed to retain their hair, but remove the
bottu. Unlike Brahman women, they chew betel, and wear coloured cloths,
even in old age."

The Patnulkarans have a secret trade language, concerning which
Mr. C. Hayavadana Rao writes as follows. "The most remarkable
feature about it is the number of terms and phrases borrowed from
the craft, to which special meanings are given. Thus a man of no
status is stigmatised as a rikhta khandu, i.e., a spindle without
the yarn. Similarly, a man of little sense is called a mhudha, the
name of a thick peg which holds one side of the roller. Likewise,
a talkative person is referred to as a rhetta, or roller used for
winding the thread upon spindles, which makes a most unpleasant
creaking noise. Kapiniker, from kapini, a technical term used for
cutting the loom off, means to make short work of an undesirable
person. A man who is past middle age is called porkut phillias, which,
in weavers' parlance, means that half the loom is turned."

Patra.--The Patras are an Oriya caste, which is divided into
two sections, one of which is engaged in the manufacture of silk
(pata) waist-threads, tassels, etc., and the other in weaving silk
cloths. The members of the two sections do not interdine. The former
have exogamous septs or bamsams, the names of which are also used as
titles, e.g., Sahu, Patro, and Prushti. The latter have exogamous
septs, such as Tenga, Jaggali, Telaga, and Mahanayako, and Behara
and Nayako as titles. The chief headman of the cloth-weaving section
is called Mahanayako, and there are other officers called Behara and
Bhollobaya. The headman of the other section is called Senapati, and
he is assisted by a Dhanapati. Infant marriage is the rule, and, if a
girl does not secure a husband before she reaches maturity, she must,
if she belongs to the cloth-weaving section, go through a form of
marriage with an old man, and, if to the other section, with an arrow.

The Telugu Patras are summed up, in the Madras Census Report, 1901,
as "a Telugu caste of hunters and cultivators, found chiefly in the
districts of Cuddapah and Kurnool. It has two divisions, the Doras
(chiefs), and Gurikalas (marksmen), the former of which is supposed
to be descended from the old Poligars (feudal chiefs), and the latter
from their followers and servants. This theory is supported by the
fact that, at the weddings of Gurikalas, the Doras receive the first
pan-supari (betel leaf and areca nut). Widows may not remarry, nor
is divorce recognised. They usually employ Brahmans at marriages, and
Satanis at funerals. Though they are Vaishnavites, they also worship
village deities, such as Gangamma and Ellamma. They bury their dead,
and perform annual sraddhas (memorial services for the dead). They
will eat with Gollas. Their title is Naidu."

Patramela.--Patramela, or Patradeva, is the name of a class of
dancing girls in South Canara. Patramela, Mr. H. A. Stuart writes,
[89] is the name by which the Konkani Kalavants (courtezans) are
known above the ghauts.

Patro.--The title of the head of a group of villages in Ganjam, and
also recorded, at times of census, as a title of Alia, Kalinga Komati,
Dolai, and Jaggala. The conferring of a cloth (sadhi) on a Patro
is said to be emblematic of conferring an estate. The Patro, among
other perquisites, is entitled to a fee on occasions of marriage. I
am informed that, in the Ganjam Maliahs, if a Kondh was unable to
pay the fee, he met his love at night beneath two trysting trees,
and retired with her into the jungle for three days and nights.

Patrudu.--The title, meaning those who are fit to receive a gift,
of Aiyarakulu and Nagaralu.

Pattadhikari.--A class of Jangams, who have settled head-quarters.

Pattan.--The equivalent of the Brahman Bhatta. A name by which some
Kammalans, especially goldsmiths, style themselves.

Pattanavada.--A synonym for the Moger fishing caste, the settlements
of which are called pattana.

Pattanavan.--The fishermen on the east coast, from the Kistna to
the Tanjore district, are popularly called Karaiyan, or sea-shore
people. Some Karaiyans have, at times of census, returned themselves
as Taccha (carpenter) Karaiyans.

Pattanavan means literally a dweller in a town or pattanam, which
word occurs in the names of various towns on the sea-coast, e.g.,
Nagapattanam (Negapatam), Chennapattanam (Madras). The Pattanavans
have two main divisions, Periya (big) and Chinna (small), and, in some
places, for example, at Nadukuppam in the Nellore district, exogamous
septs, e.g., Gengananga, Peyananga, Kathananga (children of Ganga,
Peyan, and Kathanar), and Kullananga (children of dwarfs). In the
Telugu country, they go by the name of Pattapu or Tulivandlu.

Some Pattanavans give themselves high-sounding caste titles, e.g.,
Ariyar, Ayyayiraththalaivar (the five thousand chiefs), Ariya Nattu
Chetti (Chettis of the Ariyar country), Acchu Vellala, Karaiturai
(sea-coast) Vellala, Varunakula Vellala or Varunakula Mudali after
Varuna, the god of the waters, or Kurukula vamsam after Kuru, the
ancestor of the Kauravas. Some Pattanavans have adopted the title
Pillai.

The Pattanavans are said to be inferior to the Sembadavans, who will
not accept food at their hands, and discard even an earthen pot which
has been touched by a Pattanavan.

Concerning the origin of the caste, there is a legend that the
Pattanavans were giving silk thread to Siva, and were hence called
Pattanavar, a corruption of Pattanaivor, meaning knitters of silk
thread. They were at the time all bachelors, and Siva suggested the
following method of securing wives for them. They were told to go out
fishing in the sea, and make of their catch as many heaps as there
were bachelors. Each of them then stood before a heap, and called for
a wife, who was created therefrom. According to another story, some
five thousand years ago, during the age of the lunar race, there was
one Dasa Raja, who was ruling near Hastinapura, and was childless. To
secure offspring, he prayed to god, and did severe penance. In answer
to his prayer, God pointed out a tank full of lotus flowers, and told
the king to go thither, and call for children. Thereon, five thousand
children issued forth from the flowers, to the eldest of whom the king
bequeathed his kingdom, and to the others money in abundance. Those who
received the money travelled southward in ships, which were wrecked,
and they were cast ashore. This compelled them to make friends of local
sea fishermen, whose profession they adopted. At the present day, the
majority of Pattanavans are sea-fishermen, and catch fish with nets
from catamarans. "Fancy," it has been written, [90] "a raft of only
three logs of wood, tied together at each end when they go out to sea,
and untied and left to dry on the beach when they come in again. Each
catamaran has one, two or three men to manage it; they sit crouched on
it upon their heels, throwing their paddles about very dexterously,
but remarkably unlike rowing. In one of the early Indian voyager's
log-books there is an entry concerning a catamaran: 'This morning,
6 A.M., saw distinctly two black devils playing at single stick. We
watched these infernal imps about an hour, when they were lost in
the distance. Surely this doth portend some great tempest.' It is
very curious to watch these catamarans putting out to sea. They get
through the fiercest surf, sometimes dancing at their ease on the
top of the waters, sometimes hidden under the waters; sometimes the
man completely washed off his catamaran, and man floating one way
and catamaran another, till they seem to catch each other again by
magic." In 1906, a fisherman was going out in his catamaran to fish
outside the Madras harbour, and was washed off his craft, and dashed
violently against a rock. Death was instantaneous. Of the catamaran,
the following account is given by Colonel W. Campbell. [91] "Of all
the extraordinary craft which the ingenuity of man has ever invented,
a Madras catamaran is the most extraordinary, the most simple, and yet,
in proper hands, the most efficient. It is merely three rough logs of
wood, firmly lashed together with ropes formed from the inner bark of
the cocoanut tree. Upon this one, two, or three men, according to the
size of the catamaran, sit on their heels in a kneeling posture, and,
defying wind and weather, make their way through the raging surf which
beats upon the coast, and paddle out to sea at times when no other
craft can venture to face it. At a little distance, the slight fabric
on which these adventurous mariners float becomes invisible, and a
fleet of them approaching the land presents the absurd appearance
of a host of savage-looking natives wading out towards the ship,
up to their middle in water." "A catamaran," Lady Dufferin writes,
[92] in an account of a state arrival at Madras, "is two logs of wood
lashed together, forming a very small and narrow raft. The rower wears
a 'fool's cap,' in which he carries letters (also betel and tobacco),
and, when he encounters a big wave, he leaves his boat, slips through
the wave himself, and picks up his catamaran on the other side of
it. Some very large deep barges (masula boats), the planks of which
are sewn together to give elasticity, and the interstices stuffed
with straw, came out for us, with a guard of honour of the mosquito
fleet, as the catamarans are called, on either side of them; two of
the fool's cap men, and a flag as big as the boat itself, on each
one." The present day masula or mussoola boat, or surf boat of the
Coromandel Coast, is of the same build as several centuries ago. It
is recorded, [93] in 1673, that "I went ashore in a Mussoola, a boat
wherein ten men paddle, the two aftermost of whom are the Steers-men,
using their Paddles instead of a Rudder: The Boat is not strengthened
with knee-timber, as ours are; the bended Planks are sowed together
with Rope-yarn of the Cocoe, and calked with Dammar so artificially
that it yields to every ambitious surf. Otherwise we could not get
ashore, the Bar knocking in pieces all that are inflexible." The
old records of Madras contain repeated references to Europeans being
drowned from overturning of masula boats in the surf, through which
a landing had to be effected before the harbour was built.

In 1907, two Madras fishermen were invested with silver wrist bangles,
bearing a suitable inscription, which were awarded by the Government
in recognition of their bravery in saving the lives of a number of
boatmen during a squall in the harbour.

The following are the fishes, which are caught by the fishermen off
Madras and eaten by Europeans:--


    Cybium guttatum, Bl. Schn. Seir.
    Cybium Commersonii, Lacep. Seir.
    Cybium lanceolatum, Cuv. & Val. Seir.
    Sillago sihama, Forsk. Whiting.
    Stromateus cinereus, Bloch.--
            Immature, silver pomfret.
            Adult, grey pomfret.
    Stromateus niger, Bloch. Black pomfret.
    Mugal subviridis, Cuv. & Val. Mullet.
    Psettodes erumei, Bl. Schn. 'Sole.'
    Lates calcarifer, Bloch. Cock-up; the begti of Calcutta.
    Lutjanus roseus, Day.
    Lutjanus marginatus, Cuv. & Val.
    Polynemus tetradactylus, Shaw.
    Chorinemus lysan, Forsk.
    'Whitebait.'


The Pattanavans are Saivites, but also worship various minor gods
and Grama Devatas (village deities). In some places, they regard
Kuttiyandavan as their special sea god. To him animal sacrifices
are not made, but goats are sacrificed to Sembu Virappan or Minnodum
Pillai, an attendant on Kuttiyandavan. In Tanjore, the names of the
sea gods are Pavadairayan and Padaithalaidaivam. Before setting out
on a fishing expedition, the Pattanavans salute the god, the sea,
and the nets. In the Tanjore district, they repair their nets once in
eight days, and, before they go out fishing, pray to their gods to
favour them with a big catch. On a fixed day, they make offerings
to the gods on their return from fishing. The gods Pavadairayan
and Padaithalaidaivam are represented by large conical heaps of wet
sand and mud, and Ayyanar, Ellamma, Kuttiyandavar, Muthyalrouthar
and Kiliyendhi by smaller heaps. At the Masimakam festival, the
Pattanavans worship their gods on the sea-shore. The names Jattan and
Jatti are given to children during the Jatre or periodic festival of
the village goddesses.

The Pattanavans afford a good example of a caste, in which the
time-honoured village council (panchayat) is no empty, powerless
body. For every settlement or village there are one or more headmen
called Yejamanan, who are assisted by a Thandakaran and a Paraiyan
Chalavathi. All these offices are hereditary. Questions connected
with the community, such as disrespect to elders, breach of social
etiquette, insult, abuse, assault, adultery, or drinking or eating
with men of lower caste, are enquired into by the council. Even
when disputes are settled in courts of law, they must come before
the council. Within the community, the headman is all powerful, and
his decision is, in most instances, considered final. If, however,
his verdict is not regarded as equitable, the case is referred to a
caste headman, who holds sway over a group of villages. No ceremony
may be performed without the sanction of the local headman, and the
details of ceremonies, except the feasting, are arranged by the
headman and the Thandakaran. In the case of a proposed marriage,
the match is broken off if the headman objects to it. He should be
present at the funeral rites, and see that the details thereof are
properly carried out. It is the duty of the Chalavathi to convey the
news of a death to the relations. Should he come to the shore when
the fishes are heaped up, he has the right to take a few thereof as
his perquisite. The Thandakaran, among other duties, has to summon
council meetings. When the members of council have assembled, he ushers
in the parties who have to appear before it, and salutes the assembly
by prostrating himself on the floor. The parties take a bit of straw,
or other object, and place it before the headman in token that they
are willing to abide by the decision of the council. This formality
is called placing the agreement (muchchilika).

The consent of the maternal uncles is necessary before a pair can
be united in matrimony. When the wedding day has been fixed, the
bridegroom's party distribute grama thambulam (village pan-supari or
betel) to the headman and villagers. The marriage milk-post is made of
Mimusops hexandra, Erythrina indica, Casuarina equisetifolia, the green
wood of some other tree, or even a pestle. In one form of the marriage
ceremony, which varies in detail according to locality, the bridegroom,
on the arrival of the bride at the pandal (booth), puts on the sacred
thread, and the Brahman purohit makes the sacred fire, and pours ghi
(clarified butter) into it. The bridegroom ties the tali round the
bride's neck, and the maternal uncles tie flat silver or gold plates,
called pattam, on the foreheads of the contracting couple. Rings are
put on their second toes by the brother-in-law of the bridegroom
and the maternal uncle of the bride. Towards evening, the sacred
thread, the threads which have been tied to the marriage pots and the
milk-post, and grain seedlings used at the ceremony, are thrown into
the sea. Some Pattanavans allow a couple to live together as man and
wife after the betrothal, but before the marriage ceremony. This is,
however, on condition that the latter is performed as soon as it is
convenient. The remarriage of widows is freely permitted. No marriage
pandal is erected, and the bridegroom, or a female relation, ties the
tali on the bride's neck within the house. Such marriage is, therefore,
called naduvittu (interior of the house) tali. When a woman, who has
been guilty of adultery, is remarried, a turmeric string is substituted
for the golden tali, and is tied on the bride's neck by a woman.

Some Pattanavans have adopted the custom of burying their dead in a
seated posture (samathi). If a corpse is cremated, fire is carried to
the burning-ground by a barber. When the corpse has been laid on the
pyre, rice is thrown over it. The son, accompanied by a barber and a
Panisavan or washerman, and carrying a pot of water on his shoulder,
goes thrice round the pyre. At the third round, the Panisavan or
washerman makes holes in the pot, and it is thrown away. On the day of
the funeral, all the agnates shave their heads. On the following day,
they go to the burial or burning ground with tender cocoanuts, milk,
cakes, etc., and Arichandra, who presides over the burial-ground,
is worshipped. Milk is then poured over the grave, or the remains
of the bones, which are thrown into the sea. On the night of the
fifteenth day, Panisavans blow the conch and horn, and red cloths
are presented to the widow of the deceased by her relations. At about
4 A.M., a white cloth is thrown on her neck, and the tali string is
cut by an old woman. The tali is removed therefrom, and dropped into
a new pot filled with water. Hence, a form of abuse among Pattanavan
women is, May your tali be snapped, and thrown into water. The tali
is removed from the pot, which is thrown into the sea. The tali is
laid on a dish containing milk, and all those who visit the widow
must set eyes on it before they see her.

In the city of Madras, the Pattanavans have the privilege of supplying
bearers at temples, and the atmosphere surrounding them as they carry
the idols on their sturdy shoulders through Triplicane is said to be
"redolent of brine and the toddy shop."

In a judgment of the High Court of Judicature, Madras, it is recorded
that, in the eighteenth century, some boat-owners and boatmen
belonging to the Curukula Vamsha or Varunakula Mudali caste, who were
residing at Chepauk in the city of Madras, had embraced Christianity,
and worshipped in a chapel, which had been erected by voluntary
contributions. In 1799 the site of their village was required for
public purposes, and they obtained in lieu of it a grant of land
at Royapuram, where a chapel was built. Partly by taxes levied on
boatmen, and partly by tolls they were allowed to impose on persons
for frequenting the Royapuram bazar, a fund was formed to provide for
their spiritual wants, and this fund was administered by the Marine
Board. In 1829, a portion of the fund was expended in the erection
of the church of St. Peter, Royapuram, and the fund was transferred
to Government. The administration of the fund has been the source of
litigation in the High Court. [94]

It is noted by Mrs. F. E. Penny that some of the fisherfolk "adopted
Xavier as their special patron saint, and, as time passed, almost
deified him. In the present day, they appeal to him in times of
danger, crying 'Xavier! Xavier! Xavier!' in storm and peril. Even if
they are unfortunate in their catch when fishing, they turn to their
saint for succour."

As a numismatist, I resent the practice resorted to by some fishermen
of melting old lead coins, and converting them into sinkers for
their nets.

Pattapu.--Pattapu for Tulivandlu is a name for Tamil Pattanavans,
who have migrated to the Telugu country. Pattapu also occurs as a
sub-division of Yerukala.

Pattar.--The Pattars are Tamil Brahmans, who have settled in
Malabar. The name is said to be derived from the Sanskrit bhatta. It
is noted, in the Madras Census Report, 1901, that Pattar (teacher)
has been recently assumed as a title by some Nokkans in Tanjore. (See
Brahman.)

Pattariar.--Recorded, in the Madras Census Report, 1901, as a Tamil
corruption of Pattu Saliyan (silk-weaver). Pattariar or Pattalia is
a synonym of Tamil-speaking Saliyans.

Pattegara (headman).--An exogamous sept of Okkiliyan.

Pattindla (silk house).--An exogamous sept of Tota Balija.

Pattola Menon.--Recorded, in the Cochin Census Report, 1901, as a
sub-caste of Nayars, who are accountants in aristocratic families.

Pattukuruppu.--Recorded in the Travancore Census Report, 1901, as
synonymous with Vatti, a sub-division of Nayar.

Pattu Sale.--A sub-division of Sales, who weave silk (pattu) fabrics.

Pattuvitan.--Recorded, in the Travancore Census Report, 1901, as a
sub-division of Nayar.

Patvegara.--The Patvegaras or Pattegaras (pattu, silk) of South
Canara are described by Mr. H. A. Stuart [95] as "a Canarese caste
of silk weavers. They are Hindus, and worship both Siva and Vishnu,
but their special deity is Durga Paramesvari at Barkur. They wear
the sacred thread, and employ Brahmans for ceremonial purposes. They
are governed by a body called the ten men, and pay allegiance to
the guru of the Ramachandra math (religious institution). They are
divided into balis (septs) and a man may not marry within his own
bali. Polygamy is allowed only when a wife is barren, or suffers
from some incurable disease, such as leprosy. The girls are married
in infancy, and the binding portion of the ceremony is called dhare
(see Bant). Widow marriage is not permitted, and divorce is only
allowed in the case of an adulterous wife. They follow the ordinary
Hindu law of inheritance. The dead are cremated. The sradha (memorial)
ceremony is in use, and the Mahalaya ceremony for the propitiation
of ancestors in general is performed annually. Female ancestors are
also worshipped every year at a ceremony called vaddap, when meals
are given to married women. They eat fish but not meat, and the use
of alcohol is not permitted."

In the Mysore Census Report, 1891, the Patvegars are described as
"silk weavers who speak a corrupt Marathi conglomerate of Guzarati and
Hindi. They worship all the Hindu deities, especially the female energy
under the name of Sakti, to which a goat is sacrificed on the night
of the Dasara festival, a Musalman slaughtering the animal. After the
sacrifice, the family of the Patvegar partake of the flesh. Many of
their females are naturally fair and handsome, but lose their beauty
from early marriage and precocity." A few Pattegaras, who speak a
corrupt form of Marathi, are to be found in the Anantapur district.

Pavalamkatti (wearers of corals).--A sub-division of Konga Vellala.

Pavini.--See Vayani.

Payyampati.--Recorded, in the Travancore Census Report, 1901, as a
sub-division of Nayar.

Pedakanti.--Pedakanti or Pedaganti is the name of a sub-division
of Kapu. It is said by some to be derived from a place called
Pedagallu. By others it is derived from peda, turned aside, and kamma,
eye, indicating one who turns his eyes away from a person who speaks
to him. Yet another suggestion is that it means stiff-necked.

Pedda (big).--A sub-division of Boya, Bagata, Konda Dora, Pattapu,
and Velama.

Peddammavandlu.--A fancy name taken by some Telugu beggars.

Pedditi.--A sub-division of Golla, some members of which earn a
livelihood by begging and flattery.

Pegula (intestines).--An exogamous sept of Boya.

Pekkan.--A division of Toda.

Pendukal (women).--A name applied to Deva-dasis in Travancore.

Pengu.--A sub-division of Poroja.

Pennegara.--Konkani-speaking rice-beaters in South Canara.

Pentiya.--The Pentiyas also call themselves Holuva and Halaba or
Halba. In the Madras Census Report, 1901, they are called Pantia
as well as Pentiya, and described as Oriya betel-leaf (panno)
sellers. Their occupation, in the Jeypore Agency tracts, is that
of cultivators. According to Mr. C. Hayavadana Rao, to whom I am
indebted for the following note, numbers of them migrated thither from
Bustar, and settled at Pentikonna, and are hence called Pentikonaya or
Pentiya. Their language is Halba, which is easily understood by those
who speak Oriya. They are divided into two endogamous sections, called
Bodo (big or genuine), and Sanno (little), of whom the latter are said
to be illegitimate descendants of the former. The Bodos are further
sub-divided into a series of septs, e.g., Kurum (tortoise), Bhag
(tiger), Nag (cobra), and Surya (sun). The caste is highly organized,
and the head of a local centre is called Bhatha Nayako. He is assisted
by a Pradhani, an Umriya Nayako, and Dolayi. The caste messenger is
called Cholano, and he carries a silver baton when he summons the
castemen to a meeting. An elaborate ceremony is performed when a
person, who has been tried by the caste council, is to be received
back into the caste. He is accompanied to the bank of a stream,
where his tongue is burnt with a gold or silver wire or ornament by
the Bhatha Nayako, and some offerings from the Jagannatha temple at
Puri are given to him. He is then taken home, and provides a feast,
at which the Nayako has the privilege of eating first. He has further
to make a present of cloths to the assembled elders, and the four heads
of the caste receive a larger quantity than the others. The feast over,
he is again taken, carrying some cooked rice, to the stream, and with
it pushed therein. This ceremonial bath frees him from pollution.

Girls are married either before or after puberty. A man can claim his
paternal aunt's daughter in marriage. The bridegroom's party proceed,
with the bridegroom, to the bride's village, and take up their abode in
a separate house. They then take three cloths for the bride's mother,
three rupees for her father, and a cloth and two annas for each of
her brothers, and present them together with rice, liquor, and other
articles. Pandals (booths) are erected in front of the quarters of the
bridal couple, that of the bridegroom being made of nine, and that of
the bride of five sal (Shorea robusta) poles, to which a pot containing
myrabolams (Terminalia fruits) and rice is tied. The couple bathe,
and the bridegroom proceeds to the house of the bride. The Desari,
who officiates, dons the sacred thread, and divides the pandal into
two by means of a screen or curtain. The couple go seven times round
the pandal, and the screen is removed. They then enter the pandal,
and the Desari links their little fingers together. The day's ceremony
concludes with a feast. On the following day, the bride is conducted to
the house of the bridegroom, and they sprinkle each other with turmeric
water. They then bathe in a stream or river. Another feast is held,
with much drinking, and is followed by a wild dance. The remarriage
of widows is permitted, and a younger brother may marry the widow of
his elder brother. The dead are burnt, and death pollution is observed
for ten days, during which the relatives of the deceased are fed by
members of another sept. On the tenth day a caste feast takes place.

The Pentiyas are said [96] to distribute rice, and other things, to
Brahmans, once a year on the new-moon day in the month of Bhadrapadam
(September-October), and to worship a female deity named Kamilli on
Saturdays. No one, I am informed, other, I presume, than a Pentiya,
would take anything from a house where she is worshipped, lest the
goddess should accompany him, and require him to become her devotee.

The caste title is Nayako.

Peraka (tile).--An exogamous sept of Devanga.

Perike.--This word is defined, in the Madras Census Report, 1901,
as meaning literally a gunny bag, and the Perikes are summed up as
being a Telugu caste of gunny bag (goni) weavers, corresponding to
the Janappans of the Tamil districts. Gunny bag is the popular and
trading name of the coarse sacking and sacks made from the fibre
of jute, much used in Indian trade. It is noted, in the Census
Report, 1891, that "the Perikes claim to be a separate caste, but
they seem to be in reality a sub-division, and not a very exalted
sub-division, of Balijas, being in fact identical with the Uppu (salt)
Balijas. Their hereditary occupation is carrying salt, grain, etc.,
on bullocks and donkeys in perikes or packs. Perike is found among
the sub-divisions of both Kavarai and Balija. Some of them, however,
have attained considerable wealth, and now claim to be Kshatriyas,
saying that they are the descendants of the Kshatriyas who ran away
(piriki, a coward) from the persecution of Parasurama. Others again
say they are Kshatriyas who went into retirement, and made hills
(giri) their abode (puri)." These Perike 'Kshatriyas' are known as
Puragiri Kshatriya and Giri Razu. The Periki Balijas are described, in
the Vizagapatam Manual, as chiefly carrying on cultivation and trade,
and some of them are said to hold a high position at 'the Presidency'
(Madras) and in the Vizagapatam district.

Perike women appear to have frequently committed sati (or suttee) on
the death of their husbands in former days, and the names of those who
thus sacrificed their lives are still held in reverence. A peculiar
custom among the Perikes is the erection of big square structures
(brindavanam), in which a tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) is planted, on
the spot where the ashes of the dead are buried after cremation. I
am informed that a fine series of these structures may be seen at
Chipurapalli, close to Vizianagram. As a mark of respect to the dead,
passers-by usually place a lac bangle or flowers thereon. The usual
titles of the Perikes are Anna and Ayya, but some style themselves
Rao (= Raya, king) or Rayadu, in reference to their alleged Kshatriya
origin.

For the following note on the Perikes of the Godavari district, I am
indebted to Mr. F. R. Hemingway. "Like some of the Kammas, they claim
to be of Kshatriya stock, and say they are of the lineage of Parasu
Rama, but were driven out by him for kidnapping his sister, while
pretending to be gunny-bag weavers. They say that they were brought to
this country by king Nala of the Mahabharata, in gratitude for their
having taken care of his wife Damayanti when he quitted her during
his misfortunes. They support the begging caste of Varugu Bhattas,
who, they say, supported them during their exile, and to whom they
gave a sanad (deed of grant) authorising them to demand alms. These
people go round the Perike houses for their dues every year. The Pisu
Perikes, who still weave gunny-bags, are said not to belong to the
caste proper, members of which style themselves Racha Perikes.

"The Perikes say that, like the Komatis, they have 101 gotras. Their
marriage ceremonies are peculiar. On the day of the wedding,
the bride and bridegroom are made to fast, as also are three male
relatives, whom they call suribhaktas. At the marriage, the couple
sit on a gunny-bag, and another gunny, on which a representation
of the god Mailar is drawn or painted, is spread between them. The
same god is drawn on two pots, and these, and also a third pot, are
filled with rice and dhal (Cajanus indicus), which are cooked by two
married women. The food is then offered to Mailar. Next, the three
suribhaktas take 101 cotton threads, fasten them together, and tie
seven knots in them. The bride and bridegroom are given cloths which
have been partly immersed in water coloured with turmeric and chunam
(lime), and the suribhaktas are fed with the rice and dhal cooked in
the pots. The couple are then taken round the village in procession,
and, on their return, the knotted cotton threads are tied round the
bride's neck instead of a tali.

Some Perikes style themselves Sathu vandlu, meaning a company of
merchants or travellers.

Perike Muggula is the name of a class of Telugu mendicants and
exorcists.

Periya (big).--Periya or Periyanan has been recorded as a sub-division
of Karalan, Kunnuvan, Occhan, and Pattanavan. The equivalent Peru or
Perum occurs as a sub-division of the Malayalam Kollans and Vannans
and Perim of Kanikars. Periya illom is the name of an exogamous illom
of Kanikars in Travancore.

Perugadannaya (bandicoot rat sept).--An exogamous sept of Bant.

Perum Tali (big tali).--A sub-division of Idaiyan, and of Kaikolans,
whose women wear a big tali (marriage badge).

Perumal.--Perumal is a synonym of Vishnu, and the name is taken by
some Pallis who are staunch Vaishnavites. A class of mendicants,
who travel about exhibiting performing bulls in the southern part
of the Madras Presidency, is known as Perumal Madukkaran or Perumal
Erudukkaran. Perumalathillom, meaning apparently big mountain house,
is an exogamous sept or illom of the Kanikars of Travancore.

Pesala (seeds of Phaseolus Mungo: green gram).--An exogamous sept
of Jogi.

Peta (street).--A sub-division of Balija.

Pettigeyavaru (box).--A sub-division of Gangadikara Vakkaliga.

Pichiga (sparrow).--An exogamous sept of Boya and Devanga. The
equivalent Pital occurs as a sept of Mala.

Pichigunta.--The name Pichigunta means literally an assembly of
beggars, who are described [97] as being, in the Telugu country, a
class of mendicants, who are herbalists, and physic people for fever,
stomach-ache, and other ailments. They beat the village drums, relate
stories and legends, and supply the place of a Herald's Office, as
they have a reputation for being learned in family histories, and
manufacture pedigrees and gotras (house names) for Kapus, Kammas,
Gollas, and others.

The Picchai or Pinchikuntar are described in the Salem Manual as
"servants to the Kudianavars or cultivators--a name commonly assumed
by Vellalas and Pallis. The story goes that a certain Vellala had a
hundred and two children, of whom only one was a female. Of the males,
one was lame, and his hundred brothers made a rule that one would
provide him with one kolagam of grain and one fanam (a coin) each
year. They got him married to a Telugu woman of a different caste,
and the musicians who attended the ceremony were paid nothing, the
brothers alleging that, as the bridegroom was a cripple, the musicians
should officiate from charitable motives. The descendants of this
married pair, having no caste of their own, became known as Picchi
or Pinchikuntars (beggars, or lame). They are treated as kudipinnai
(inferior) by Vellalas, and to the present day receive their prescribed
miras (fee) from the Vellala descendants of the hundred brothers, to
whom, on marriage and other festivals, they do service by relating
the genealogies of such Vellalas as they are acquainted with. Some
serve the Vellalas in the fields, and others live by begging." [97]

The caste beggars of the Tottiyans are known as Pichiga-vadu.

Pidakala (cow-dung cakes or bratties).--An exogamous sept of
Devanga. Dried cow-dung cakes are largely used by natives as fuel,
and may be seen stuck on to the walls of houses.

Pidaran.--A section of Ambalavasis, who, according to Mr. Logan [98]
"drink liquor, exorcise devils, and are worshippers of Bhadrakali
or of Sakti. The name is also applied to snake-catchers, and it was
probably conferred on the caste owing to the snake being an emblem
of the human passion embodied in the deities they worship."

Pilapalli.--The Pilapallis are a small caste or community in
Travancore, concerning which Mr. S. Subramanya Aiyar writes
as follows. [99] "The following sketch will show what trifling
circumstances are sufficient in this land of Parasurama to call a new
caste into existence. The word Pilapally is supposed to be a corruption
of Belal Thalli, meaning forcibly ejected. It therefore contains,
as though in a nutshell, the history of the origin of this little
community, which it is used to designate. In the palmy days of the
Chempakasseri Rajas, about the year 858 M.E., there lived at the court
of the then ruling Prince at Ambalappuzha a Namburi Brahman who stood
high in the Prince's favour, and who therefore became an eye-sore to
all his fellow courtiers. The envy and hatred of the latter grew to
such a degree that one day they put their heads together to devise
a plan which should at once strip him of all influence at court,
and humble him in the eyes of the public. The device hit upon was
a strange one, and characteristic of that dim and distant past. The
Namburi was the custodian of all presents made to the Prince, and as
such it was a part of his daily work to arrange the articles presented
in their proper places. It was arranged that one day a dead fish,
beautifully tied up and covered, should be placed among the presents
laid before the Prince. The victim of the plot, little suspecting
there was treachery in the air, removed all the presents as usual
with his own hand. His enemies at court, who were but waiting for an
opportunity of humbling him to the dust, thereupon caused the bundle
to be examined before the Prince, when it became evident that it
contained a dead fish. Now, for a Namburi to handle a dead fish was,
according to custom, sufficient to make him lose caste. On the strength
of this argument, the Prince, who was himself a Brahmin, was easily
prevailed upon to put the Namburi out of the pale of caste, and the
court favourite was immediately excommunicated. There is another and
a slightly different version of the story, according to which the
Namburi in question was the hereditary priest of the royal house,
to whom fell the duty of removing and preserving the gifts. In course
of time he grew so arrogant that the Prince himself wanted to get rid
of him, but, the office of the priest being hereditary, he did not
find an easy way of accomplishing his cherished object, and, after
long deliberation with those at court in whom he could confide, came
at last to the solution narrated above. It is this forcible ejection
that the expression Belal Thalli (afterwards changed into Pilapally)
is said to import.... It appears that the unfortunate Namburi had two
wives, both of whom elected to share his fate. Accordingly, the family
repaired to Paravur, a village near Kallarkode, where their royal
patron made them a gift of land. Although they quitted Ambalapuzha for
good, they seem to have long owned there a madathummuri (a room in a
series, in which Brahmins from abroad once lived and traded), and are
said to be still entitled daily to a measure of palpayasom from the
temple, a sweet pudding of milk, rice and sugar, celebrated all over
Malabar for its excellence. The progeny of the family now count in
all about ninety members, who live in eight or nine different houses."

Pillai.--Pillai, meaning child, is in the Tamil country primarily the
title of Vellalas, but has, at recent times of census, been returned
as the title of a number of classes, which include Agamudaiyan,
Ambalakaran, Golla, Idaiyan, Nayar, Nokkan, Panisavan, Panikkan,
Paraiyan, Saiyakkaran, Sembadavan and Senaikkudaiyans. Pilla is
further used as the title of the male offspring of Deva-dasis. Many
Paraiyan butlers of Europeans have assumed the title Pillai as an
honorific suffix to their name. So, too, have some criminal Koravas,
who pose as Vellalas.

Pillaikuttam.--Recorded, in the Manual of the North Arcot district,
as a bastard branch of Vaniyan.

Pillaiyarpatti (Ganesa village).--An exogamous section or kovil of
Nattukottai Chetti.

Pilli (cat).--An exogamous sept of Chembadi, Mala, and Medara.

Pindari.--In the Madras Census Report, 1901, fifty-nine Pindaris are
returned as a Bombay caste of personal servants. They are more numerous
in the Mysore province, where more than two thousand were returned
in the same year as being engaged in agriculture and Government
service. The Pindaris were formerly celebrated as a notorious class
of freebooters, who, in the seventeenth century, attached themselves
to the Marathas in their revolt against Aurangzib, and for a long
time afterwards, committed raids in all directions, extending their
operations to Southern India. It is on record that "in a raid made upon
the coast extending from Masulipatam northward, the Pindaris in ten
days plundered 339 villages, burning many, killing and wounding 682
persons, torturing 3,600, and carrying off or destroying property to
the amount of £250,000." [100] They were finally suppressed, in Central
India, during the Viceroyalty of the Marquis of Hastings, in 1817.

Pindi (flour).--An exogamous sept of Mala.

Pinjari (cotton-cleaner).--A synonym for Dudekula. Pinjala (cotton)
occurs as an exogamous sept of Devanga.

Pippala (pepper: Piper longum).--An exogamous sept or gotra of Gamalla
and Komati.

Pisharati.--The Pisharatis or Pisharodis are summed up in the Madras
Census Report, 1901, as being a sub-caste of Ambalavasis, which
makes flower garlands, and does menial service in the temples. As
regards their origin, the legend runs to the effect that a Swamiyar,
or Brahman ascetic, once had a disciple of the same caste, who wished
to become a Sanyasi or anchorite. All the ceremonies prior to shaving
the head of the novice were completed, when, alarmed at the prospect
of a cheerless life and the severe austerities incidental thereto,
he made himself scarce. Pishara denotes a Sanyasi's pupil, and as he,
after running away, was called Pisharodi, the children born to him of
a Parasava woman by a subsequent marriage were called Pisharatis. In
his 'Early Sovereigns of Travancore,' Mr. Sundaram Pillay says that
the Pisharati's "puzzling position among the Malabar castes, half
monk and half layman, is far from being accounted for by the silly
and fanciful modern derivation of Pisharakal plus Odi, Pisharakal
being more mysterious than Pisharati itself." It is suggested by him
that Pisharati is a corruption of Bhattaraka-tiruvadi. According to
the Jati-nirnaya, the Bhattarakas are a community degraded from the
Brahmans during the Treta Yuga. As far as we are able to gather from
mediæval Travancore inscriptions, an officer known as Pidara-tiruvadi
was attached to every temple. It is known that he used to receive large
perquisites for temple service, and that extensive rice-lands were
given to the Bhattakara of Nelliyur. It is noted, in the Gazetteer
of Malabar, that "the traditional etymology of the name Pisharodi
refers it to a Sanyasi novice, who, deterred by the prospects of
the hardship of life on which he was about to enter, ran away (odi)
at the last moment, after he had been divested of the punul (thread),
but before he had performed the final ceremony of plunging thrice in a
tank (pond), and of plucking out, one at each plunge, the last three
hairs of his kudumi (the rest of which had been shaved off). But the
termination 'Odi' is found in other caste titles such as Adiyodi and
Vallodi, and the definition is obviously fanciful, while it does not
explain the meaning of Pishar."

The houses of Pisharatis are called pisharam. Their primary
occupation is to prepare garlands of flowers for Vaishnava temples,
but they frequently undertake the talikazhakam or sweeping service
in temples. Being learned men, and good Sanskrit scholars, they
are employed as Sanskrit and Malayalam tutors in the families of
those of high rank, and, in consequence, make free use of the title
Asan. They are strict Vaishnavites, and the ashtakshara, or eight
letters relating to Vishnu, as opposed to the panchakshara or five
letters relating to Siva, forms their daily hymn of prayer. They
act as their own caste priests, but for the punyaha or purificatory
ceremony and the initiation into the ashtakshara, which are necessary
on special occasions, the services of Brahmans are engaged.

The Pisharatis celebrate the tali-kettu ceremony before the girl
reaches puberty. The most important item therein is the joining of
the hands of the bride and bridegroom. The planting of a jasmine
shoot is observed as an indispensable preliminary rite. The events
between this and the joining of hands are the same as with other
Ambalavasis. The bride and bridegroom bathe, and wear clothes touched
by each other. The girl's mother then gives her a wedding garland
and a mirror, with which she sits, her face covered with a cloth. The
cherutali, or marriage ornament, is tied by the bridegroom round the
girl's neck. If this husband dies, the tali has to be removed, and the
widow observes pollution. Her sons have to make oblations of cooked
rice, and, for all social and religious purposes, the woman is regarded
as a widow, though she is not debarred from contracting a sambandham
(alliance) with a man of her own caste, or a Brahman. If the wife
dies, the husband has, in like manner, to observe pollution, and make
oblations of cooked rice. There are cases in which the tali-kettu is
performed by a Pisharati, and sambandham contracted with a Brahman. If
the tali-tier becomes the husband, no separate cloth-giving ceremony
need be gone through by him after the girl has reached puberty.

Inheritance is in the female line, so much so that a wife and
children are not entitled to compensation for the performance of a
man's funeral rites.

No particular month is fixed for the name-giving rite, as it suffices
if this is performed before the annaprasana ceremony. The maternal
uncle first names the child. When it is four or six months old, it
is taken out to see the sun. On the occasion of the annaprasana,
which usually takes place in the sixth month, the maternal uncle
gives the first mouthful of cooked rice to the child by means of
a golden ring. The Yatrakali serves as the night's entertainment
for the assembled guests. Nambutiris are invited to perform the
purificatory ceremony known as punyaha, but the consecrated water is
only sprinkled over the roof of the house. The inmates thereof protrude
their heads beneath the eaves so as to get purified, as the Brahmans
do not pour the water over them. The chaula or tonsure takes place at
the third year of a child's life. The maternal uncle first touches
the boy's head with a razor, and afterwards the Maran and barber do
the same. The initiation into the ashtakshara takes place at the age
of sixteen. On an auspicious day, a Brahman brings a pot of water,
consecrated in a temple, to the pisharam, and pours its contents on
the head of the lad who is to be initiated. The ceremony is called
kalasam-ozhuk-kua, or letting a pot of water flow. After the teaching
of the ashtakshara, the youth, dressed in religious garb, makes a
ceremonial pretence of proceeding on a pilgrimage to Benares, as a
Brahman does at the termination of the Brahmacharya stage of life. It
is only after this that a Pisharati is allowed to chew betel leaf,
and perform other acts, which constitute the privileges of a Grihastha.

The funeral rites of the Pisharatis are very peculiar. The corpse
is seated on the ground, and a nephew recites the ashtakshara, and
prostrates himself before it. The body is bathed, and dressed. A
grave, nine feet deep and three feet square, is dug in a corner of
the grounds, and salt and ashes, representing all the Panchabhutas,
are spread. The corpse is placed in the grave in a sitting posture. As
in the case of a Sanyasi, who is a Jivanmukta, or one liberated from
the bondage of the flesh though alive in body, so a dead Pisharati is
believed to have no suitable body requiring to be entertained with any
post-mortem offerings. A few memorial rites are, however, performed. On
the eleventh day, a ceremony corresponding to the ekoddishta sradh of
the Brahman is carried out. A knotted piece of kusa grass, representing
the soul of the deceased, is taken to a neighbouring temple, where a
lighted lamp, symbolical of Maha Vishnu is worshipped, and prayers are
offered. This ceremony is repeated at the end of the first year. [101]

Some Pisharatis are large land-owners of considerable wealth and
influence. [102]

Pisu Perike.--Perikes who weave gunny-bags.

Pitakalu (dais, on which a priest sits).--An exogamous sept of Odde.

Pittalavadu.--A Telugu name for Kuruvikkarans.

Podapotula.--A class of mendicants, who beg from Gollas.

Podara Vannan.--The Podara, Podarayan or Pothora Vannans are washermen
of inferior social status, who wash clothes for Pallans, Paraiyans,
and other low classes.

Podhano.--Recorded, at times of census, as a title of Bolasi, Gaudo,
Kalingi, Kudumo, and Samantiya. The Samantiyas also frequently give
it as the name of their caste.

Poduval.--Defined by Mr. Wigram [103] as one of the Ambalavasi castes,
the members of which are as a rule employed as temple watchmen. Writing
concerning the Mussads or Muttatus, Mr. N. Subramani Aiyar states
that they are known as Muttatus or Mussatus in Travancore and Cochin,
and Potuvals (or Poduvals) or Akapotuvals in North Malabar. Potuval
means a common person, i.e., the representative of a committee, and
a Muttatu's right to this name accrues from the fact that, in the
absence of the Nambutiri managers of a temple, he becomes their agent,
and is invested with authority to exercise all their functions. The
work of an Akapotuval always lies within the inner wall of the shrine,
while that of the Purappotuval, or Potuval proper, lies outside. From
Travancore, Poduvan or Potuvan is recorded as a synonym or sub-division
of Marans, who are employed at funerals by various castes.

It is recorded, in the Gazetteer of Malabar, that "Pura Pothuvals
are of two classes, Chenda Pothuvals or drum Pothuvals, and Mala
Pothuvals or garland Pothuvals, the names of course referring to the
nature of the service which they have to render in the temple. The
Chenda Pothuvals would appear to be closely connected with the
Marars or Marayars, who are also drummers. Mala Pothuvals follow
marumakkattayam (inheritance in the female line), their women having
sambandham (alliance) with men of their own caste or with Brahmans,
while the men can have sambandham in their own caste, or with Nayar
women of any of the sub-divisions below Kiriyattil. Their women are
called Pothuvarassiar or Pothuvattimar." It is further recorded [104]
that, in some cases, for instance among Mala Pothuvals and Marars
in South Malabar, a fictitious consummation is an incident of the
tali-kettu ; the girl and manavalan (bridegroom) being made to lie
on a bed together, and left there alone for a few moments. Amongst
the Mala Pothuvals this is done twice, once on the first and once
on the last day, and they apparently also spend the three nights of
the ceremony in the same bed-chamber, but not alone, an Enangatti
sleeping there as chaperone. In these two castes, as in most if not
all others, the ceremony also entails the pollution of the girl and
her bridegroom. Amongst the Marars, they are purified by a Nambudiri
after they leave their quasi-nuptial couch. Amongst the Mala Pothuvals,
they are not allowed to bathe or to touch others during the wedding
till the fourth day, when they are given mattu (change of cloths)
by the Veluttedan."

Podala occurs as a Canarese form of Poduval.

Pogandan.--A synonym of Pondan.

Pokanati.--Pokanati or Pakanati is a sub-division of Kapu.

Poladava.--A synonym of Gatti.

Poligar (feudal chief).--A synonym of Palayakkaran. According to Yule
and Burnell, [105] the Poligars "were properly subordinate feudal
chiefs, occupying tracts more or less wild, and generally of predatory
habits in former days. They are now much the same as Zemindars
(land-owners) in the highest use of that term. The Southern Poligars
gave much trouble about a hundred years ago, and the 'Poligar wars'
were somewhat serious affairs. In various assaults on Panjalamkurichi,
one of their forts in Tinnevelly, between 1799 and 1801, there fell
fifteen British officers." The name Poligar was further used for the
predatory classes, which served under the chiefs. Thus, in Munro's
'Narrative of Military Operations' (1780-84), it is stated that
"the matchlock men are generally accompanied by Poligars, a set of
fellows that are almost savages, and make use of no other weapon than
a pointed bamboo spear, 18 or 20 feet long."

The name Poligar is given to a South Indian breed of greyhound-like
dogs in the Tinnevelly district.

Pombada.--A small class of Canarese devil-dancers, who are said,
[106] in South Canara, to resemble the Nalkes, but hold a somewhat
higher position, and in devil-dances to represent a better class of
demons. Unlike the Nalkes and Paravas, they follow the aliya santana
system of inheritance. They speak Tulu, and, in their customs,
follow those of the Billavas. There are two sections among the
Pombadas, viz., Bailu, who are mainly cultivators, and Padarti,
who are chiefly engaged in devil-dancing. The Pombadas are not,
like the Nalkes and Paravas, a polluting class, and are socially a
little inferior to the Billavas. They do not wear the disguises of
the bhuthas (devils) Nicha, Varte, and Kamberlu, who are considered
low, but wear those of Jumadi, Panjurli, Jarandaya, Mahisandeya, and
Kodamanithaya. Ullaya or Dharmadevata is regarded as a superior bhutha,
and the special bhutha of the Pombadas, who do not allow Nalkes or
Paravas to assume his disguise. During the Jumadi Kola (festival),
the Pombada who represents the bhutha Jumadi is seated on a cart,
and dragged in procession through the streets. (See Nalke.)

Pon Chetti (gold merchant).--A synonym of Malayalam Kammalan
goldsmiths.

Pon (gold) Illam.--A section of Mukkuvans.

Pondan.--"There are," Mr. H. A. Stuart writes, [107] "only
twenty-eight persons of this caste in Malabar, and they are all in
Calicut. These are the palanquin-bearers of the Zamorin. They are
in dress, manners, customs, and language entirely Tamilians, and,
while the Zamorin is polluted by the touch of any ordinary Tamilian,
these Pondans enjoy the privilege of bearing him in a palanquin
to and from the temple every day. Now there is a sub-division of
the Tamil Idaiyans by name Pogondan, and I understand that these
Pogondans are the palanquin-bearers of the Idaiyan caste. It seems
probable that the founder, or some early member of the Zamorin,
obtained palanquin-bearers of his own (cowherd) caste and granted
them privileges which no other Tamilians now enjoy."

Pondra.--Pondra, or Ponara, is a sub-division of Mali.

Ponganadu.--Ponganadu and Ponguvan have been recorded, at times of
census, as a sub-division of Kapu. A corrupt form of Pakanati.

Ponnambalaththar.--A class of mendicants, who have attached themselves
to the Kaikolans.

Ponnara.--Recorded, in the Travancore Census Report, 1901, as a
sub-division of Nayar.

Poruvannurkaran.--A class of carpenters in Malabar.

Poroja.--The Porojas or Parjas are hill cultivators found in the Agency
tracts of Ganjam and Vizagapatam. Concerning them, it is noted, in the
Madras Census Report, 1871, that "there are held to be seven classes
of these Parjas, which differ from each other in points of language,
customs, and traditions. The term Parja is, as Mr. Carmichael has
pointed out, merely a corruption of a Sanskrit term signifying a
subject, and it is understood as such by the people themselves, who
use it in contradistinction to a free hill-man. 'Formerly,' says a
tradition that runs through the whole tribe, 'Rajas and Parjas were
brothers, but the Rajas took to riding horses (or, as the Barenja
Parjas put it, sitting still) and we became carriers of burdens and
Parjas.' It is quite certain, in fact, that the term Parja is not a
tribal denomination, but a class denomination, and it may be fitly
rendered by the familiar epithet of ryot (cultivator). I have laid
stress on this, because all native officials, and every one that has
written about the country (with the above exception), always talk of
the term Parja as if it signified a caste. There is no doubt, however,
that by far the greater number of these Parjas are akin to the Khonds
of the Ganjam Maliahs. They are thrifty, hard-working cultivators,
undisturbed by the intestine broils which their cousins in the north
engage in, and they bear in their breasts an inalienable reverence for
their soil, the value of which they are rapidly becoming acquainted
with. The Parja bhumi (land) is contained almost entirely in the
upper level. Parts to the south held under Pachipenta and Madugulu
(Madgole) are not Parja bhumi, nor, indeed, are some villages to
the north in the possession of the Khonds. Their ancient rights to
these lands are acknowledged by colonists from among the Aryans, and,
when a dispute arises concerning the boundaries of a field possessed
by recent arrivals, a Parja is usually called in to point out the
ancient land-marks."

The name Poroja seems to be derived from the Oriya, Po, son, and Raja,
i.e., sons of Rajas. There is a tradition that, at the time when the
Rajas of Jeypore rose into prominence at Nandapur, the country was
occupied by a number of tribes, who, in return for the protection
promised to them, surrendered their rights to the soil, which they
had hitherto occupied absolutely. I am informed that the Porojas,
when asked what their caste is, use ryot and Poroja as synonymous,
saying we are Porojas; we are ryot people.

The Parji language is stated by Mr. G. A. Grierson [108] to have
"hitherto been considered as identical with Bhatri. Bhatri has now
become a form of Oriya. Parji, on the other hand, is still a dialect
of Gondi." The Bhatras are a tribe inhabiting the state of Bastar in
the Central Provinces.

The Porojas are not a compact caste, but rather a conglomerate, made up
of several endogamous sections, and speaking a language, which varies
according to locality. These sections, according to Mr. C. Hayavadana
Rao, to whom I am indebted for much of the present note, are--

(1) Barang Jhodia, who eat beef and speak Oriya.

(2) Pengu Poroja, subdivided into those who eat the flesh of the
buffalo, and those who do not. They speak a language, which is said
to bear a close resemblance to Kondhs.

(3) Khondi or Kondi Poroja, who are a section of the Kondhs, eat beef
and the flesh of buffaloes, and speak Kodu or Kondh.

(4) Parengi Poroja, who are a section of the Gadabas. They are
subdivided into those who eat and do not eat the flesh of buffaloes,
and speak a Gadaba dialect.

(5) Bonda, Bunda, or Nanga Poroja, who are likewise a section of the
Gadabas, call themselves Bonda Gadaba, and speak a dialect of Gadaba.

(6) Tagara Poroja, who are a section of the Koyas or Koyis, and speak
Koya, or, in some places, Telugu.

(7) Dur Poroja, also, it is said, known as Didayi Poroja, who speak
Oriya.

Among the Barang Jhodias, the gidda (vulture), bagh (tiger), and
nag (cobra) are regarded as totems. Among the Pengu, Kondhi and
Dur divisions, the two last are apparently regarded as such, and,
in addition to them, the Bonda Porojas have mandi (cow).

In the Barang Jhodia, Pengu, and Kondhi divisions, it is customary
for a man to marry his paternal aunt's daughter, but he cannot claim
her as a matter of right, for the principle of free love is recognised
among them. The dhangada and dhangadi basa system, according to which
bachelors and unmarried girls sleep in separate quarters in a village,
is in force among the Porojas.

When a marriage is contemplated among the Barang Jhodias, the parents
of the young man carry two pots of liquor and some rice to the parents
of the girl, who accept the present, if they are favourable to the
match. If it is accepted, the future bridegroom's party renew the
proposal a year later by bringing five kunchams of rice, a new female
cloth, seven uddas of liquor, and a sum of money ranging from fifteen
to fifty rupees. On the following evening, the bride, accompanied
by her relations, goes to the village of the bridegroom. Outside his
house two poles have been set up, and joined together at the top by
a string, from which a gourd (Cucurbita maxima) is suspended. As soon
as the contracting couple come before the house, a tall man cuts the
gourd with his tangi (axe) and it falls to the ground. The pair then
enter the house, and the bride is presented with a new cloth by the
parents of the bridegroom. Opposite the bridegroom's house is a square
fence, forming an enclosure, from which the bride's party watch the
proceedings. They are joined by the bride and bridegroom, and the
parents of the latter distribute ragi (Eleusine Corocana) liquor and
ippa (Bassia) liquor. A dance, in which both males and females take
part, is kept up till the small hours, and, on the following day, a
feast is held. About midday, the bride is formally handed over to the
bridegroom, in the presence of the Janni and Mudili (caste elders). She
remains a week at her new home, and then, even though she has reached
puberty, returns to her father's house, where she remains for a year,
before finally joining her husband. In another form of marriage
among the Barang Jhodias, the bride is brought to the house of the
bridegroom, in front of which a pandal (booth), made of six poles,
is set up. The central pole is cut from the neredi chettu (Eugenia
Jambolana). At the auspicious moment, which is fixed by the Disari,
the maternal uncle of the bridegroom sits with the bridegroom on his
lap, and the bride at his feet. Castor-oil is then applied by the
bridegroom's father, first to the bridegroom, and then to the bride. A
feast follows, at which fowls and liquor are consumed. On the following
day, the newly-married couple bathe, and the ceremonies are at an end.

I am informed by Mr. H. C. Daniel that there is a custom among the
Porojas, and other classes in Vizagapatam (e.g., Gadabas, Ghasis,
and Malis), according to which a man gives his services as a goti for
a specified time to another, in return for a small original loan. His
master has to keep him supplied with food, and to pay him about two
rupees at the Dussera festival, as well as making him a present of a
cloth and a pair of sandals. The servant must do whatever he is told,
and is practically a slave until the specified time is over. A man may
give his son as a goti, instead of himself. It is also fairly common to
find a man serving his prospective father-in-law for a specified time,
in order to secure his daughter. Men from the plains, usually of the
Komati caste, who have come to the hills for the purpose of trade,
go by the local name of Sundi. They are the chief upholders of the
goti system, by which they get labour cheap. Mr. Daniel has never
heard of a goti refusing to do his work, the contract being by both
sides considered quite inviolable. But a case was recently tried in a
Munsiff's Court, in which a goti absconded from his original master,
and took service with another, thereby securing a fresh loan. The
original master sued him for the balance of labour due.

The language of the Bonda Porojas, as already indicated, connects them
closely with the Gadabas, but any such connection is stoutly denied
by them. The names Bonda and Nanga mean naked, and bear reference to
the fact that the only clothing of the women is a strip of cloth made
from setukudi or ankudi chettu, or kareng fibre. In a note on the
Bhondas of Jaipur, Mr. J. A. May informs us [109] that the female
attire "consists of just a piece of cloth, either made of kerong
bark and manufactured by themselves, or purchased from the weavers,
about a foot square, and only sufficient to cover a part of one
hip. It is attached to their waists by a string, on which it runs,
and can be shifted round to any side. A most ludicrous sight has
often been presented to me by a stampede among a number of these
women, when I have happened to enter a village unexpectedly. On my
approach, one and all hurried to their respective dwellings, and,
as they ran in all directions, endeavoured to shift this rag round
to the part most likely to be exposed to me." The Bonda women have
glass bead and brass ornaments hung round their necks, and covering
their bosoms. The legend, which accounts for the scanty clothing of
the Bondas, runs to the effect that, when Sita, the wife of Rama, was
bathing in a river, she was seen by women of this tribe, who laughed at
and mocked her. Thereon, she cursed them, and ordained that, in future,
all the women should shave their heads, and wear no clothing except a
small covering for decency's sake. There is a further tradition that,
if the Bonda women were to abandon their primitive costume, the whole
tribe would be destroyed by tigers. The shaving of the women's heads
is carried out, with a knife lent by the village Komaro (blacksmith),
by a member of the tribe. Round the head, the women wear a piece of
bamboo tied behind with strings.

In one form of marriage, as carried out by the Bondas, a young man,
with some of his friends, goes to the sleeping apartment of the
maidens, where each of them selects a maid for himself. The young men
and maidens then indulge in a singing contest, in which impromptu
allusions to physical attributes, and bantering and repartee take
place. If a girl decides to accept a young man as her suitor, he
takes a burning stick from the night fire, and touches her breast
with it. He then withdraws, and sends one of his friends to the girl
with a brass bangle, which, after some questioning as to who sent it,
she accepts. Some months later, the man's parents go to the girl's
home, and ask for her hand on behalf of their son. A feast follows,
and the girl, with a couple of girls of about her own age, goes with
the man's parents to their home. They send five kunchams of rice to
the parents of the girl, and present the two girls with a similar
quantity. The three girls then return to their homes. Again several
months elapse, and then the man's parents go to fetch the bride,
and a feast and dance take place. The pair are then man and wife.

In another account of the marriage customs of the Nanga Porojas, it
is stated that pits are dug in the ground, in which, during the cold
season, the children are put at night, to keep them warm. The pit
is about nine feet in diameter. In the spring, all the marriageable
girls of a settlement are put into one pit, and a young man, who
has really selected his bride with the consent of his parents, comes
and proposes to her. If she refuses him, he tries one after another
till he is accepted. On one occasion, a leopard jumped into the pit,
and killed some of the maidens. In a note on Bhonda marriage, Mr. May
writes [110] that "a number of youths, candidates for matrimony, start
off to a village, where they hope to find a corresponding number of
young women, and make known their wishes to the elders, who receive
them with all due ceremony. The juice of the salop (sago palm) in a
fermented state is in great requisition, as nothing can be done without
the exhilarating effects of their favourite beverage. They then proceed
to excavate an underground chamber (if one is not already prepared),
having an aperture at the top, admitting of the entrance of one at
a time. Into this the young gentlemen, with a corresponding number
of young girls, are introduced, when they grope about and make their
selection, after which they ascend out of it, each holding the young
lady of his choice by the forefinger of one of her hands. Bracelets
(the equivalent of the wedding ring) are now put on her arms by
the elders, and two of the young men stand as sponsors for each
bridegroom. The couples are then led to their respective parents,
who approve and give their consent. After another application of
salop and sundry greetings, the bridegroom is permitted to take his
bride home, where she lives with him for a week, and then, returning
to her parents, is not allowed to see her husband for a period of
one year, at the expiration of which she is finally made over to
him." In a still further account of marriage among the Bondas, I am
informed that a young man and a maid retire to the jungle, and light
a fire. Then the maid, taking a burning stick, applies it to the
man's gluteal region. If he cries out Am! Am! Am! he is unworthy of
her, and she remains a maid. If he does not, the marriage is at once
consummated. The application of the brand is probably light or severe
according to the girl's feelings towards the young man. According to
another version, the girl goes off to the jungle with several men, and
the scene has been described as being like a figure in the cotillion,
as they come up to be switched with the brand.

Widow remarriage is permitted among all the divisions of the Porojas,
and a younger brother usually marries his elder brother's widow.

The Jhodia, Pengu, and Kondhi divisions worship Bhumi Devata (the
earth goddess), who is also known as Jakar Devata, once in three
years. Each village offers a cow, goat, pig, and pigeon to her as
a sacrifice. She is represented by a stone under a tree outside the
village. A casteman acts as pujari (priest), and all the villagers,
including the Janni and Mudili, are present at the festival, which
winds up with a feast and drink. The Bondas worship Takurani in the
months of Chaitra and Magho, and the festival includes the sacrifice
of animals. "Their religious ceremonies," Mr. May writes, "consist
in offerings to some nameless deity, or to the memory of deceased
relations. At each of the principal villages, the Bhondas congregate
once a year in some spot conveniently situated for their orgies, when
a chicken, a few eggs, and a pig or goat are offered, after which they
retire to their houses, and next day assemble again, when the salop
juice is freely imbibed till the intoxicating effects have thoroughly
roused their pugnacity. The process of cudgelling one another with the
branches of the salop now begins, and they apply them indiscriminately
without the smallest regard for each other's feelings. This, with the
attendant drums and shrieks, would give one the impression of a host
of maniacs suddenly set at liberty. This amusement is continued till
bruises, contusions, and bleeding heads and backs have reduced them to
a comparatively sober state, and, I imagine, old scores are paid off,
when they return to their several houses."

The dead are, as a rule, burnt. By some of the Jhodia Porojas, the
ashes are subsequently buried in a pit a few feet deep, near the
burning-ground, and the grave is marked by a heap of stones. A pole
is set up in this heap, and water poured on it for twelve days. On
the fourth day, cooked rice and fish are set on the way leading to
the spot where the corpse was burned. The celebrants of the death
rite then take mango bark, paint it with cow-dung, and sprinkle
themselves with it. The ceremony concludes with a bath, feast, and
drink. Among the Bonda Porojas, some of the jewelry of the deceased
person is burnt with the corpse, and the remainder given to the
daughter or daughter-in-law. They observe pollution for three days,
during which they do not enter their fields. On the fourth day,
they anoint themselves with castor-oil and turmeric, and bathe.

Mr. G. F. Paddison informs me that he once gave medicine to the Porojas
during an epidemic of cholera in a village. They all took it eagerly,
but, as he was going away, asked whether it would not be quicker cure
to put the witch in the next village, who had brought on the cholera,
into jail.

A Bonda Poroja dance is said to be very humourous. The young men tie
a string of bells round their legs, and do the active part of the
dance. The women stand in a cluster, with faces to the middle, clap
their hands, and scream at intervals, while the men hop and stamp, and
whirl round them on their own axes. The following account of a dance
by the Jhodia Poroja girls of the Koraput and Nandapuram country is
given by Mr. W. Francis. [111] "Picturesque in the extreme," he writes,
"is a dancing party of these cheery maidens, dressed all exactly alike
in clean white cloths with cerise borders or checks, reaching barely
half way to the knee; great rings on their fingers; brass bells on
their toes; their substantial but shapely arms and legs tattooed from
wrist to shoulder, and from ankle to knee; their left forearms hidden
under a score of heavy brass bangles; and their feet loaded with
chased brass anklets weighing perhaps a dozen pounds. The orchestra,
which consists solely of drums of assorted shapes and sizes, dashes
into an overture, and the girls quickly group themselves into a couple
of corps de ballet, each under the leadership of a première danseuse,
who marks the time with a long baton of peacock's feathers. Suddenly,
the drums drop to a muffled beat, and each group strings out into a
long line, headed by the leader with the feathers, each maiden passing
her right hand behind the next girl's back, and grasping the left elbow
of the next but one. Thus linked, and in time with the drums (which
now break into allegro crescendo), the long chain of girls--dancing
in perfect step, following the leader with her swaying baton, marking
the time by clinking their anklets (right, left, right, clink; left,
clink; right, left, right, clink; and so da capo), chanting the while
(quite tunefully) in unison a refrain in a minor key ending on a
sustained falling note--weave themselves into sinuous lines, curves,
spirals, figures-of-eight, and back into lines again; wind in and
out like some brightly-coloured snake; never halting for a moment,
now backwards, now forwards, first slowly and decorously, then,
as the drums quicken, faster and faster, with more and more abandon,
and longer and longer steps, until suddenly some one gets out of step,
and the chain snaps amid peals of breathless laughter."

For the following supplementary note on the Bonda Porojas, I am
indebted to Mr. C. A. Henderson.

These people live in the western portion of Malkanagiri taluk,
along the edge of the hills, probably penetrating some distance into
them. The elder men are not in any way distinguishable from their
neighbours. Young unmarried men, however, tie a strip of palmyra leaf
round their heads in the same way as the women of their own tribe, or
of the Gadabas. The women are very distinctly dressed. They all shave
their heads once a month or so, and fasten a little fillet, made of
beads or plaited grass, round them. The neck and chest are covered with
a mass of ornaments, by which the breasts are almost concealed. These
consist, for the most part, of bead necklaces, but they have also one
or more very heavy brass necklaces of various designs, some being
merely collections of rings on a connecting circlet, some massive
hinged devices tied together at the end with string. They wear also
small ear-studs of lead. Apart from these ornaments, they are naked
to the waist. Round the loins, a small thick cloth is worn. This is
woven from the fibre of the ringa (Oriya sitkodai gotsho). This cloth
measures about two feet by eight inches, and is of thick texture like
gunny, and variously coloured. Owing to its exiguity, its wearers are
compelled, for decency's sake, to sit on their heels with their knees
together, instead of squatting in the ordinary native posture. This
little cloth is supported round the waist by a thread, or light chain
of tin and beads, but not totally confined thereby. The upper edge of
the cloth behind is free from the chain, and bulges out, exposing the
upper portion of the buttocks, the thread or chain lying in the small
of the back. It is noted by Mr. Sandell that "the cloth at present
used is of comparatively recent introduction, and seems to be a slight
infringement of the tabu. The original cloth and supporting string were
undoubtedly made of jungle fibre, and the modern colouring is brought
about with cotton thread. Similarly, the Bonda Poroja necklaces of
cheap beads, blue and white, must be modern, and most obviously so
the fragments of tin that they work into their chains. The women are
said to wear cloths in their houses, but to leave them off when they
go outside. It seems that the tabu is directed against appearing in
public fully clothed, and not against wearing decent sized cloths, as
such. The party I saw were mostly unmarried girls, but one of them had
been married for a year. When not posing for the camera, or dancing,
she tied a small piece of cloth round her neck, so as to hang over
the shoulders. This, as far as I could make out, was not because she
was married, but simply because she was more shy than the rest.

"Two houses are kept in the village, for the unmarried girls and young
men respectively. Apparently marriages are matters of inclination,
the parents having no say in the matter. The young couple having
contracted friendship (by word of mouth, and not by deed, as it was
explained to me), inform their parents of it. The young man goes to
make his demand of the girl's parents, apparently without at the time
making any presents to them, contrary to the custom of the Kondhs and
others. Then there seem to be a series of promises on the part of the
parents to give the girl. But the witnesses were rather confused on the
point. I gather that the sort of final betrothal takes place in Dyali
(the month after Dusserah), and the marriage in Magha. At the time
of marriage, the girl's parents are presented with a pair of bulls,
a cloth, and a pot of landa (sago-palm toddy). But no return is made
for them. The father gives the girl some ornaments. The married woman,
whom I saw, had been given a bracelet by her husband, but it was not a
conspicuously valuable one, and in no way indicative of her status." In
connection with marriage, Mr. Sandell adds that "a youth of one village
does not marry a maiden of the same village, as they are regarded as
brother and sister. The marriage pit is still in use, and may last
all through the cold weather. A number of small villages will club
together, and have one big pit." In the case observed by Mr. Sandell,
three of the local maidens were shut up in the pit at night, and
five stranger youths admitted. The pit may be twelve feet across,
and is covered with tatties (mats) and earth, a trap-door being left.

"After childbirth, the mother is unclean for some days. The time is,
I gather, reckoned by the dropping of the navel-string, and is given
as eight to sixteen days. During that period, the woman is not allowed
to cook, or even touch her meals.

"These people say that they have no puja (worship). But at the time of
sowing seed, they sacrifice one egg (for the whole village) to Matera
Hundi, the goddess of harvest, who is represented by a branch of the
kusi or jamo (guava) tree planted in the village. The people have
no pujaris, and, in this case, the priest was a Mattia by caste. He
plants the branch, and performs the sacrifice. At the time of Nua
Khau (new eating; first fruits) a sacrifice of an animal of some kind
is also made to Matera Hundi. Her aid is, they say, sought against
the perils of the jungle, but primarily she is wanted to give them a
good crop. The Bonda Porojas are quite ready to tell the old story of
Sita (whom they call Maha Lakshmi), and her curse upon their women,
whereby they shave their heads, and may not wear cloths. It is stated
by Mr. May that a Government Agent once insisted on a young woman
being properly clothed, and she survived the change only three days. I
understand that this case has been somewhat misrepresented. The cloth
is believed not to have been forced upon the girl, but offered to, and
greatly appreciated by her. Her death shortly afterwards was apparently
not the result of violation of the tabu, but accidental, and due,
it is believed, to small-pox. The people whom I saw had not heard
of this episode, but said that a woman who wore a cloth out of doors
would fall sick, not die. But the possibility of any woman of theirs
wearing a cloth obviously seemed to them very remote. The Bonda Porojas
have a sort of belief in ghosts--not altogether devils apparently,
but the spirits of the departed (sayire). These may appear in dreams,
influence life and health, and vaguely exercise a helpful influence
over the crops. I did not find out if they were propitiated in any way.

"A dead body is washed, tied to a tatty (mat) hurdle, taken outside
the village, and burnt. After eight days (said to be four in the
case of rich men), the corpse-bearers, and the family, sit down to a
funeral feast, at which drinking is not allowed. A pig, fowl, or goat,
according to the circumstances of the family, forms the meal. This
is done in some way for the sake of the departed, but how is not
quite clear.

"The Bonda Porojas live by cultivation, keep cattle, pigs, etc.,
and eat beef, and even the domestic pig. They pride themselves, as
against their Hindu neighbours, in that their women eat with the men,
and not of their leavings, and do not leave their village. The women,
however, go to shandies (markets)."

Pothoria.--Pothoria or Pothriya, meaning stone, is the name of a small
class of Oriya stone-cutters in Ganjam, who are addicted to snaring
antelopes by means of tame bucks, which they keep for the purpose of
decoying the wild ones. They employ Brahmans as purohits. Marriage
is infant, and remarriage of widows is permitted. The females wear
glass bangles.

Pothu.--Pothu or Pothula, meaning male, occurs as an exogamous sept
of Devanga, Medara, and Padma Sale; and Pothula, in the sense of a
male buffalo, as a sept of Madiga.

Potia.--Recorded, in the Madras Census Report, 1901, as Oriya
mat-makers. They are said to be immigrants from Potia in Orissa, who
call themselves Doluvas. The Doluvas, however, do not recognise them,
and neither eat nor intermarry with them.

Potta (abdomen).--An exogamous sept of Boya.

Potti (Tamil, worshipful).--Stated, in the Travancore Census Report,
1901, to be the name applied to all Kerala Brahmans, who do not come
under the specific designation of Nambutiris.

Pouzu (quail).--An exogamous sept of Devanga.

Powaku (tobacco).--An exogamous sept of Mala.

Poyilethannaya (one who removes the evil eye).--An exogamous sept
of Bant.

Pradhano (chief).--A title of Aruva, Benaiyto, Odia, Kalingi, Kevuto,
and Samantiya.

Pranopakari (one who helps souls).--A name for barbers in
Travancore. In the early settlement records, Pranu occurs as a
corruption thereof.

Prathamasakha.--It is recorded, [112] in connection with the village of
Koiltirumalam or Tiru-ambamahalam, that "a new temple has been recently
built, and richly endowed by Nattukottai Chettis. There is, however,
an old story connected with the place, which is enacted at the largely
attended festival here, and in many popular dramas. This relates that
the god of the Tiruvalur temple was entreated by a pujari (priest)
of this place to be present in the village at a sacrifice in his (the
god's) honour. The deity consented at length, but gave warning that he
would come in a very unwelcome shape. He appeared as a Paraiyan with
beef on his back and followed by the four Vedas in the form of dogs,
and took his part in the sacrifice thus accoutred and attended. All
the Brahmans who were present ran away, and the god was so incensed
that he condemned them to be Paraiyans for one hour in the day, from
noon till 1 P.M. ever afterwards. There is a class of Brahmans called
Midday Brahmans, who are found in several districts, and a colony
of whom reside at Sedanipuram, five miles west of Nannilam. It is
believed throughout the Tanjore district that the Midday Paraiyans
are the descendants of the Brahmans thus cursed by the god. They are
supposed to expiate their defilement by staying outside their houses
for an hour and a half every day at midday, and to bathe afterwards;
and, if they do this, they are much respected. Few of them, however,
observe this rule, and orthodox persons will not eat with them, because
of this omission to remove the defilement. They call themselves the
Prathamasakha."

Prithvi (earth).--An exogamous sept of Devanga.

Puchcha.--Puccha or Puchcha Kaya (fruit of Citrullus Colocynthis)
is the name of a gotra or sept of Boyas, Komatis, and Viramushtis,
who are a class of mendicants attached to the Komatis. The same name,
or picchi kaya, denoting the water-melon Citrullus vulgaris, occurs
as a sept or house-name of Panta Reddis and Seniyans (Devangas),
the members of which may not eat the fruit. The name Desimarada has
been recently substituted by the Seniyans for picchi kaya.

Pudamuri (pudaya, a woman's cloth; muri, cuttings).--Defined by
Mr. Wigram as a so-called 'marriage' ceremony performed among the
Nayars in North Malabar. (See Nayar.)

Pudu Nattan (new country).--A sub-division of Idaiyan.

Pu Islam.--See Putiya Islam.

Pujari.--Pujari is an occupational title, meaning priest, or performer
of puja (worship). It is described by Mr. H. A. Stuart [113] as
"a name applied to a class of priests, who mostly preside in the
temples of the female deities--the Grama Devatas or Ur Ammas--and
not in those of Vishnu or Siva. They do not wear the sacred thread,
except on solemn occasions." Pujari has been recorded as a title of
Billavas as they officiate as priests at bhutasthanas (devil shrines),
and of Halepaiks, and Pujali as a title of some Irulas. Some families
of Kusavans (potters), who manufacture clay idols, are also known as
pujari. Puja occurs as a sub-division of the Gollas. Some criminal
Koravas travel in the guise of Pujaris, and style themselves Korava
Pujaris.

Pula.--A sub-division of Cheruman.

Pula (flowers).--An exogamous sept of Boya, Padma Sale and Yerukala.

Pulan.--Barbers of Tamil origin, who have settled in Travancore.

Pulavar.--A title of Occhan and Panisavan.

Pulayan.--See Cheruman and Thanda Pulayan.

Puli (tiger).--Recorded as an exogamous sept or gotra of Balija,
Golla, Kamma, and Medara. The equivalent Puliattanaya occurs as an
exogamous sept of Bant.

Puliakodan.--A class of carpenters in Malabar, whose traditional
occupation is to construct oil mills.

Puliasari.--A division of Malabar Kammalans, the members of which
do mason's work (puli, earth). Paravas who are engaged in a similar
calling are, in like manner, called Puli Kollan.

Pulikkal.--Recorded, in the Travancore Census Report, 1901, as a
sub-division of Nayar.

Puliyan.--A sub-division of Nayar.

Puliyattu.--Recorded, in the Travancore Census Report, 1901, as
synonymous with Pulikkappanikkan, a sub-division of Nayar.

Pullakura (pot-herbs).--An exogamous sept of Idiga.

Pulluvan.--The Pulluvans of Malabar are astrologers, medicine-men,
priests and singers in snake groves. The name is fancifully derived
from pullu, a hawk, because the Pulluvan is clever in curing the
disorders which pregnant women and babies suffer from through the evil
influence of these birds. The Pulluvans are sometimes called Vaidyans
(physicians).

As regards the origin of the caste, the following tradition is
narrated. [114] Agni, the fire god, had made several desperate but vain
efforts to destroy the great primeval forest of Gandava. The eight
serpents which had their home in the forest were the chosen friends
of Indra, who sent down a deluge, and destroyed, every time, the fire
which Agni kindled in order to burn down the forest. Eventually Agni
resorted to a stratagem, and, appearing before Arjunan in the guise
of a Brahman, contrived to exact a promise to do him any favour he
might desire. Agni then sought the help of Arjunan in destroying
the forest, and the latter created a wonderful bow and arrows, which
cut off every drop of rain sent by Indra for the preservation of the
forest. The birds, beasts, and other creatures which lived therein,
fled in terror, but most of them were overtaken by the flames, and
were burnt to cinders. Several of the serpents also were overtaken
and destroyed, but one of them was rescued by the maid-servant of a
Brahman, who secured the sacred reptile in a pot, which she deposited
in a jasmine bower. When the Brahman came to hear of this, he had
the serpent removed, and turned the maid-servant adrift, expelling
at the same time a man-servant, so that the woman might not be alone
and friendless. The two exiles prospered under the protection of the
serpent, which the woman had rescued from the flames, and became the
founders of the Pulluvans. According to another story, when the great
Gandava forest was in conflagration, the snakes therein were destroyed
in the flames. A large five-hooded snake, scorched and burnt by the
fire, flew away in agony, and alighted at Kuttanad, which is said to
have been on the site of the modern town of Alleppey. Two women were
at the time on their way to draw water from a well. The snake asked
them to pour seven potfuls of water over him, to alleviate his pain,
and to turn the pot sideways, so that he could get into it. His
request was complied with, and, having entered the pot, he would
not leave it. He then desired one of the women to take him home, and
place him in a room on the west side of the house. This she refused
to do for fear of the snake, and she was advised to cover the mouth
of the pot with a cloth. The room, in which the snake was placed,
was ordered to be closed for a week. The woman's husband, who did not
know what had occurred, tried to open the door, and only succeeded by
exerting all his strength. On entering the room, to his surprise he
found an ant-hill, and disturbed it. Thereon the snake issued forth
from it, and bit him. As the result of the bite, the man died, and
his widow was left without means of support. The snake consoled her,
and devised a plan, by which she could maintain herself. She was
to go from house to house, and cry out "Give me alms, and be saved
from snake poisoning." The inmates would give, and the snakes, which
were troubling their houses, would cease from annoying them. For this
reason, a Pulluvan and his wife, when they go with their pulluva kudam
(pot-drum) to a house, are asked to sing, and given money.

The Pulluvar females, Mr. T. K. Gopal Panikkar writes, [115] "take
a pretty large pitcher, and close its opening by means of a small
circular piece of thin leather, which is fastened on to the vessel
by means of strings strongly tied round its neck. Another string is
adjusted to the leather cover, which, when played on by means of the
fingers, produces a hoarse note, which is said to please the gods'
ears, pacify their anger, and lull them to sleep." In the Malabar
Gazetteer, this instrument is thus described. "It consists of an
earthenware chatty with its bottom removed, and entirely covered,
except the mouth, with leather. The portion of the leather which is
stretched over the bottom of the vessel thus forms a sort of drum, to
the centre of which a string is attached. The other end of the string
is fixed in the cleft of a stick. The performer sits cross-legged,
holding the chatty mouth downwards with his right hand, on his right
knee. The stick is held firmly under the right foot, resting on the
left leg. The performer strums on the string, which is thus stretched
tight, with a rude plectrum of horn, or other substance. The vibrations
communicated by the string to the tympanum produce a curious sonorous
note, the pitch of which can be varied by increasing or relaxing
the tension of the string." This musical instrument is carried from
house to house in the daytime by these Pulluvar females; and, placing
the vessel in a particular position on the ground, and sitting in
a particular fashion in relation to the vessel, they play on the
string, which then produces a very pleasant musical note. Then they
sing ballads to the accompaniment of these notes. After continuing
this for some time, they stop, and, getting their customary dues
from the family, go their own way. It is believed that the music, and
the ballads, are peculiarly pleasing to the serpent gods, who bless
those for whose sakes the music has been rendered." The Pulluvans also
play on a lute with snakes painted on the reptile skin, which is used
in lieu of parchment. The skin, in a specimen at the Madras Museum,
is apparently that of the big lizard Varanus bengalensis. The lute
is played with a bow, to which a metal bell is attached.

The dwelling-houses of the Pulluvans are like those of the Izhuvans
or Cherumas. They are generally mud huts, with thatched roof, and a
verandah in front.

When a girl attains maturity, she is placed apart in a room. On the
seventh day, she is anointed by seven young women, who give an offering
to the demons, if she is possessed by any. This consists of the bark
of a plantain tree made into the form of a triangle, on which small
bits of tender cocoanuts and little torches are fixed. This is waved
round the girl's head, and floated away on water. As regards marriage,
the Pulluvans observe both tali-kettu and sambandham. In the vicinity
of Palghat, members of the caste in the same village intermarry,
and have a prejudice against contracting alliances outside it. Thus,
the Pulluvans of Palghat do not intermarry with those of Mundur and
Kanghat, which are four and ten miles distant. It is said that, in
former days, intercourse between brother and sister was permitted. But,
when questioned on this point, the Pulluvans absolutely deny it. It
is, however, possible that something of the kind was once the case,
for, when a man belonging to another caste is suspected of incest,
it is said that he is like the Pulluvans. Should the parents of a
married woman have no objection to her being divorced, they give her
husband a piece of cloth called murikotukkuka. This signifies that
the cloth which he gave is returned, and divorce is effected.

The Pulluvans follow the makkathayam law of inheritance (from father
to son). But they seldom have any property to leave, except their hut
and a few earthen pots. They have their caste assemblies (parichas),
which adjudicate on adultery, theft, and other offences.

They believe firmly in magic and sorcery, and every kind of sickness
is attributed to the influence of some demon. Abortion, death of a
new-born baby, prolonged labour, or the death of the woman, fever,
want of milk in the breasts, and other misfortunes, are attributed
to malignant influences. When pregnant women, or even children,
walk out alone at midday, they are possessed by them, and may fall
in convulsions. Any slight dereliction, or indifference with regard
to the offering of sacrifices, is attended by domestic calamities,
and sacrifices of goats and fowls are requisite. More sacrifices
are promised, if the demons will help them in the achievement of an
object, or in the destruction of an enemy. In some cases the village
astrologer is consulted, and he, by means of his calculations, divines
the cause of an illness, and suggests that a particular disease or
calamity is due to the provocation of the family or other god, to whom
sacrifices or offerings have not been made. Under these circumstances,
a Velichapad, or oracle, is consulted. After bathing, and dressing
himself in a new mundu (cloth), he enters on the scene with a sword
in his hand, and his legs girt with small bells. Standing in front
of the deity in pious meditation, he advances with slow steps and
rolling eyes, and makes a few frantic cuts on his forehead. He is
already in convulsive shivers, and works himself up to a state of
frenzied possession, and utters certain disconnected sentences, which
are believed to be the utterances of the gods. Believing them to be the
means of cure or relief from calamity, those affected reverentially bow
before the Velichapad, and obey his commands. Sometimes they resort to
a curious method of calculating beforehand the result of a project,
in which they are engaged, by placing before the god two bouquets of
flowers, one red, the other white, of which a child picks out one with
its eyes closed. Selection of the white bouquet predicts auspicious
results, of the red the reverse. A man, who wishes to bring a demon
under his control, must bathe in the early morning for forty-one days,
and cook his own meals. He should have no association with his wife,
and be free from all pollution. Every night, after 10 o'clock, he
should bathe in a tank (pond) or river, and stand naked up to the loins
in the water, while praying to the god, whom he wishes to propitiate,
in the words "I offer thee my prayers, so that thou mayst bless me
with what I want." These, with his thoughts concentrated on the deity,
he should utter 101, 1,001, and 100,001 times during the period. Should
he do this, in spite of all obstacles and intimidation by the demons,
the god will grant his desires. It is said to be best for a man to be
trained and guided by a guru (preceptor), as, if proper precautions
are not adopted, the result of his labours will be that he goes mad.

A Pulluvan and his wife preside at the ceremony called Pamban Tullal
to propitiate the snake gods of the nagattan kavus, or serpent
shrines. For this, a pandal (booth) is erected by driving four posts
into the ground, and putting over them a silk or cotton canopy. A
hideous figure of a huge snake is made on the floor with powders of
five colours. Five colours are essential, as they are visible on
the necks of snakes. Rice is scattered over the floor. Worship is
performed to Ganesa, and cocoanuts and rice are offered. Incense is
burnt, and a lamp placed on a plate. The members of the family go
round the booth, and the woman, from whom the devil has to be cast
out, bathes, and takes her seat on the western side, holding a bunch
of palm flowers. The Pulluvan and his wife begin the music, vocal and
instrumental, the woman keeping time with the pot-drum by striking
on a metal vessel. As they sing songs in honour of the snake deity,
the young female members of the family, who have been purified by a
bath, and are seated, begin to quiver, sway their heads to and fro in
time with the music, and the tresses of their hair are let loose. In
their state of excitement, they beat upon the floor, and rub out the
figure of the snake with palm flowers. This done, they proceed to
the snake-grove, and prostrate themselves before the stone images
of snakes, and recover consciousness. They take milk, water from a
tender cocoanut, and plantains. The Pulluvan stops singing, and the
ceremony is over. "Sometimes," Mr. Gopal Panikkar writes, "the gods
appear in the bodies of all these females, and sometimes only in those
of a select few, or none at all. The refusal of the gods to enter into
such persons is symbolical of some want of cleanliness in them: which
contingency is looked upon as a source of anxiety to the individual.

It may also suggest the displeasure of these gods towards the family,
in respect of which the ceremony is performed. In either case,
such refusal on the part of the gods is an index of their ill-will
or dissatisfaction. In cases where the gods refuse to appear in any
one of those seated for the purpose, the ceremony is prolonged until
the gods are so properly propitiated as to constrain them to manifest
themselves. Then, after the lapse of the number of days fixed for the
ceremony, and, after the will of the serpent gods is duly expressed,
the ceremonies close." Sometimes, it is said, it may be considered
necessary to rub away the figure as many as 101 times, in which case
the ceremony is prolonged over several weeks. Each time that the
snake design is destroyed, one or two men, with torches in their
hands, perform a dance, keeping step to the Pulluvan's music. The
family may eventually erect a small platform or shrine in a corner of
their grounds, and worship at it annually. The snake deity will not,
it is believed, manifest himself if any of the persons, or articles
required for the ceremony, are impure, e.g., if the pot-drum has been
polluted by the touch of a menstruating female. The Pulluvan, from
whom a drum was purchased for the Madras Museum, was very reluctant
to part with it, lest it should be touched by an impure woman.

The Pulluvans worship the gods of the Brahmanical temples, from a
distance, and believe in spirits of all sorts and conditions. They
worship Velayuthan, Ayyappa, Rahu, Muni, Chathan, Mukkan, Karinkutti,
Parakutti, and others. Muni is a well-disposed deity, to whom,
once a year, rice, plantains, and cocoanuts are offered. To Mukkan,
Karinkutti, and others, sheep and fowls are offered. A floral device
(padmam) is drawn on the floor with nine divisions in rice-flour,
on each of which a piece of tender cocoanut leaf, and a lighted wick
dipped in cocoanut oil, are placed. Parched rice, boiled beans, jaggery
(crude sugar), cakes, plantains, and toddy are offered, and camphor
and incense burnt. If a sheep has to be sacrificed, boiled rice is
offered, and water sprinkled over the head of the sheep before it is
killed. If it shakes itself, so that it frees itself from the water,
it is considered as a favourable omen. On every new-moon day, offerings
of mutton, fowls, rice-balls, toddy, and other things, served up on a
plantain leaf, are made to the souls of the departed. The celebrants,
who have bathed and cooked their own food on the previous day,
prostrate themselves, and say "Ye dead ancestors, we offer what we
can afford. May you take the gifts, and be pleased to protect us."

The Pulluvans bury their dead. The place of burial is near a river,
or in a secluded spot near the dwelling of the deceased. The corpse
is covered with a cloth, and a cocoanut placed with it. Offerings of
rice-balls are made by the son daily for fifteen days, when pollution
ceases, and a feast is held.

At the present day, some Pulluvans work at various forms of labour,
such as sowing, ploughing, reaping, fencing, and cutting timber, for
which they are paid in money or kind. They are, in fact, day-labourers,
living in huts built on the waste land of some landlord, for which they
pay a nominal ground-rent. They will take food prepared by Brahmans,
Nayars, Kammalans, and Izhuvas, but not that prepared by a Mannan
or Kaniyan. Carpenters and Izhuvas bathe when a Pulluvan has touched
them. But the Pulluvans are polluted by Cherumas, Pulayas, Paraiyans,
Ulladans, and others. The women wear the kacha, like Izhuva women,
folded twice, and worn round the loins, and are seldom seen with an
upper body-cloth. [116]

Puluvan.--The Puluvans have been described [117] as "a small tribe
of cultivators found in the district of Coimbatore. Puluvans are
the learned men among the Coimbatore Vellalas, and are supposed
to be the depositaries of the poet Kamban's works. One authority
from Coimbatore writes that the traditional occupation of this
caste is military service, and derives the word from bhu, earth,
and valavan, a ruler; while another thinks that the correct word
is Puruvan, aborigines. Their girls are married usually after they
attain maturity. In the disposal of the dead, both cremation and
burial are in vogue, the tendency being towards the former. They
are flesh-eaters. Their customs generally resemble those of the
Konga Vellalas."

The Puluvans call themselves Puluva Vellalas.

Punamalli.--The name of a division of Vellalas derived from
Poonamallee, an old military station near Madras.

Puni.--A sub-division of Golla.

Punjala (cock, or male).--An exogamous sept of Devanga.

Puppalli.--See Unni.

Puragiri Kshatriya.--A name assumed by some Perikes.

Puramalai, Puramalainadu or Piramalainadu.--A territorial sub-division
of Kallan.

Puranadi.--Barbers and priests of the Velans of Travancore, who are
also called Velakkuruppu.

Purattu Charna.--A sub-division of Nayar.

Purusha.--See Jogi Purusha.

Pusa (beads).--A sub-division of Balija. A sub-division of the
Yerukalas is known as Pusalavadu, or sellers of glass beads.

Pusali.--A title of Occhans, or pujaris (priests) at temples of Grama
Devatas (village deities).

Pusapati.--The family name of the Maharajahs of Vizianagram. From the
Kshatriyas in Rajputana people of four gotrams are said to have come
to the Northern Circars several centuries ago, having the Pusapati
family at their head. [118] The name of the present Maharaja is Mirza
Rajah Sri Pusapati Viziarama Gajapati Raj Manya Sultan Bahadur Garu.

Pushpakan.--A class of Ambalavasis in Malabar and Travancore. "As
their name (pushpam, a flower) implies, they are employed in bringing
flowers and garlands to the temples." [119] See Unni.

Puthukka Nattar (people of the new country).--A sub-division of
Idaiyan.

Putiya Islam.--Pu Islam or Putiya Islam is the name returned mostly
by Mukkuvans, in reference to their new conversion to the Muhammadan
faith.

Putta (ant-hill).--An exogamous sept of Kamma, Kuruba, Mala, Medara,
and Padma Sale. 'White-ant' (Termites) hills are frequently worshipped
as being the abode of snakes.

Puttiya.--A sub-division of Rona.

Puttur.--Recorded, in the Travancore Census Report, 1901, as a
sub-division of Nayar.

Puzhi Tacchan (sand carpenter).--The name of a small section of
Malabar Kammalans.



R


Racha (= Raja).--Racha or Rachu, signifying regal, occurs as the
title of various Telugu classes, for example, Balija, Golla, Kapu,
Konda Dora, Koya, Majjulu, and Velama. Some Perikes, who claim to be
Kshatriyas, call themselves Racha Perikes. Racha is further given as
an abbreviated form of Mutracha.

Rachevar.--It is noted, in the Mysore Census Report, 1901, that "there
are three broad distinctions founded on the traditional occupation,
but there are two main exclusive divisions of Telugu and Kannada
Rachevars. One set, called Ranagare, are military, and most of them
are found employed in His Highness the Maharaja's Rachevar and Bale
forces. The second, consisting of the Chitragaras or Bannagaras, make
good paintings, decorations, and lacquered ware and toys. The last
consists of the Sarige, or gold lace makers. These people claim to
be Kshatriyas--a pretension not generally acquiesced in by the other
castes. They trace their origin to a passage in Brahmanda Purana,
wherein it is said that, for an injury done to a Brahman, they were
condemned to follow mechanical occupations." In connection with recent
Dasara festivities at Mysore, I read that there were wrestling matches,
acrobatic feats, dumb-bell and figure exercises by Rachevars.

In the Tanjore Manual it is noted that the Rachevars are "descendants
of immigrants from the Telugu country, who apparently followed the
Nayak viceroys of the Vijayanagar empire in the sixteenth century. They
are more or less jealous of the purity of their caste. Their language
is Telugu. They wear the sacred thread."

In the city of Madras, and in other places in Tamil country, the
Rachevars are called Razus or Mucchis, who must not be confused with
the Mucchis of Mysore and the Ceded districts, who are shoe-makers,
and speak Marathi. In the Telugu country, there are two distinct
sections of Rachevars, viz., Saivite and Vaishnavite. The Saivite
Rachevars in the Kistna district style themselves Arya Kshatriyalu,
but they are commonly called Nakash-vandlu, which is a Hindustani
synonym of Chitrakara or Jinigiri-vandlu. The Vaishnavites are known
as Jinigiri-vandlu, and are said not to intermarry with the Saivites.

Rafizi.--A term, meaning a forsaker, used by Sunni Muhammadans for
any sect of Shiahs. The name appears, in the Madras Census Report,
1901, as Rabjee.

Ragala (ragi: Eleusine Coracana).--An exogamous sept of Chembadi,
Korava and Madiga. The equivalent Ragithannaya occurs as an exogamous
sept of Bant. Ragi grain constitutes the staple diet of the poorer
classes, who cannot afford rice, and of prisoners in jails, for
whom it is ground into flour, and boiled into a pudding about the
consistency of blanc-mange. The name is derived from raga, red,
in reference to the red colour of the grain.

Raghindala (pipal: Ficus religiosa).--A gotra of Gollas, the members
of which are not allowed to use the leaves of this tree as food-plates.

Rajakan.--A Sanskrit equivalent of Vannan (washerman).

Rajamahendram.--The name, in reference to the town of Rajahmundry in
the Godavari district, of a sub-division of Balija.

Rajamakan.--A Tamil synonym for the Telugu Razu.

Rajavasal.--The name, denoting those who are servants of Rajas,
of a sub-division of Agamudaiyans, which has been transformed
into Rajavamsu, meaning those of kingly parentage. The equivalent
Rajavamsam is recorded, in the Census Report, 1901, as being returned
by some Maravans in Madura and Kurumbans in Trichinopoly. Rajakulam,
Rajabasha, or Rajaboga occurs as a sub-division of Agamudaiyan.

Rajpinde.--See Arasu.

Rajpuri.--The Rajpuris, or Rajapuris, are a Konkani-speaking
caste of traders and cultivators in South Canara. Concerning them,
Mr. H. A. Stuart writes as follows. [120] "The Rajapuris, also called
Balolikars, were originally traders, and perhaps have some claim
to be considered Vaisyas. In social status they admit themselves to
be inferior only to Brahmans. They wear the sacred thread, profess
the Saiva faith, and employ Karadi Brahmans as priests in all their
ceremonies. Their girls should be married before the age of puberty,
and marriage of widows is not permitted. The marriage ceremony
chiefly consists in the hands of the bride and bridegroom being united
together, and held by the bride's father while her mother pours water
over them. The water should first fall on the bride's hands, and then
flow on to those of the bridegroom. This takes place at the bride's
house. A curious feature in the ceremony is that for four days either
the bride or bridegroom should occupy the marriage bed; it must never
be allowed to become vacant. [This ceremony is called pajamadmai, or
mat marriage.] On the fourth day, the couple go to the bridegroom's
house, where a similar 'sitting' on the marriage bed takes place. They
are mostly vegetarians, rice being their chief food, but some use fish,
and rear fowls and goats for sale as food. Many are now cultivators."

It may be noted that, among the Shivalli Brahmans, the mat is taken
to a tank in procession. The bride and bridegroom make a pretence of
catching fish, and, with linked hands, touch their foreheads.

In the Madras Census Report, 1891, Rajapuri Konkanasta is given as
a synonym of the Rajapuris, who are said to be one of the sixty-six
classes of Konkanasta people, who inhabited the sixty-six villages of
the Konkan. In the Census Report, 1901, Kudaldeshkara and Kudlukara
are returned as sub-divisions of Rajapuri. The Kudlukaras are
Konkani-speaking confectioners, who follow the Brahmanical customs.

Rajput.--The Rajputs (Sanskrit, raja-putra, son of a king) have
been defined [121] as "the warrior and land-owning race of Northern
India, who are also known as Thakur, lord, or Chhatri, the modern
representative of the ancient Kshatriya." At the Madras census,
1891 and 1901, the number of individuals, who returned themselves as
Rajputs, was 13,754 and 15,273. "It needs," Mr. H. A. Stuart writes,
[122] "but a cursory examination of the sub-divisions returned under
the head Rajput to show that many of these individuals have no claim
whatever to the title of Rajput. The number of pure Rajputs in this
Presidency must be very small indeed, and I only mention the caste
in order to explain that the number of persons returning it is far
in excess of the actual number of Rajputs." Mr. Stuart writes further
[123] concerning the Rajputs of the North Arcot district that "there
are but few of this caste in the district, and they chiefly reside in
Vellore; a few families are also found in Chittoor and Tirupati. They
assert that they are true Kshatriyas who came from Rajputana with
the Muhammadan armies, and they, more than any other claimants to
a Kshatriya descent, have maintained their fondness for military
service. Almost all are sepoys or military pensioners. Their names
always end with Singh, and in many of their customs they resemble the
Muhammadans, speaking Hindustani, and invariably keeping their wives
gosha. They are often erroneously spoken of by the people as Bondilis,
a term which is applicable only to the Vaisya and Sudra immigrants
from Northern India; but doubtless many of these lower classes have
taken the title Singh, and called themselves Rajputs. Members of
the caste are, therefore, very suspicious of strangers professing
to be Rajputs. Their cooking apartment, called chowka, is kept most
religiously private, and a line is drawn round it, beyond which none
but members of the family itself may pass. At marriages and feasts,
for the same reason, cooked food is never offered to the guests,
but raw grain is distributed, which each cooks in a separate and
private place."

It is noted, [124] in connection with the battle of Padmanabham
in the Vizagapatam district, in 1794, that "no correct list of the
wounded was ever procured, but no less than three hundred and nine
were killed. Of these two hundred and eight were Rajputs, and the
bodies of forty Rajputs, of the first rank in the country, formed a
rampart round the corpse of Viziarama Razu. Padmanabham will long be
remembered as the Flodden of the Rajputs of Vizianagram."

Rakshasa (a mythological giant).--An exogamous sept of Toreya.

Ralla (precious stones).--A sub-division of Balijas who cut, polish,
and trade in precious stones. A further sub-division into Mutiala
(pearl) and Kempulu (rubies) is said to exist.

Ramadosa (Cucumis Melo: sweet melon).--A sept of Viramushti.

Rama Kshatri.--A synonym of Servegara.

Ramanuja.--Satanis style themselves people of the Ramanuja Matham
(religious sect) in reference to Ramanuja, the Tamil Brahman, who
founded the form of Vaishnavism which prevails in Southern India.

Ranaratod.--An exogamous sept of the Kuruvikkarans, who call themselves
Ratodi.

Ranaviran.--A name, meaning a brave warrior, returned by some
Chakkiliyans.

Randam Parisha (second party).--A section of Elayad.

Rangari.--The Rangaris are summed up, in the Madras Census Report,
1891, as being "a caste of dyers and tailors found in almost all the
Telugu districts. They are of Maratha origin, and still speak that
language. They worship the goddess Ambabhavani. The dead are either
burned or buried. Their title is Rao."

In an account of the Rangaris of the North Arcot district,
Mr. H. A. Stuart writes that "Rangari is a caste of dyers, chiefly
found in Walajapet. They claim to be Kshatriyas, who accompanied
Rama in his conquest of Ceylon, from which fact one of their names,
Langari (lanka, the island, i.e., Ceylon), is said to be derived. Rama,
for some reason or other, became incensed against, and persecuted
them. Most were destroyed, but a respectable Kshatriya lady saved
her two sons by taking off their sacred threads and causing one
to pretend that he was a tailor sewing, and the other that he
was a dyer, colouring his thread with the red betel nut and leaf,
which she hurriedly supplied out of her mouth. The boys became the
progenitors of the caste, the members of which now wear the thread. The
descendants of the one brother are tailors, and of the other, the
most numerous, dyers. Their chief feasts are the Dassara and Kaman,
the former celebrated in honour of the goddess Tuljabhavani and the
latter of Manmada, the Indian Cupid, fabled to have been destroyed
by the flame of Siva's third eye. During the Kaman feast, fires of
combustible materials are lighted, round which the votaries gather,
and, beating their mouths, exclaim 'laba, laba', lamenting the death of
Cupid. In this feast Rajputs, Mahrattas, Bondilis, and Guzeratis also
join. The Rangaris speak Marathi, which they write in the northern
character, and name Poona and Sholapur as the places in which they
originally resided. In appearance they do not at all resemble the
other claimants to Kshatriya descent, the Razus and Rajputs, for they
are poorly developed and by no means handsome. Widow remarriage is
permitted where children have not been born, but remarried widows are
prohibited from taking part in religious processions, which seems a
sign that the concession has been reluctantly permitted. In most of
their customs they differ but little from the Razus, eating meat and
drinking spirits, but not keeping their women gosha."

All the Rangaris examined by me at Adoni in the Bellary district were
tailors. Like other Maratha classes they had a high cephalic index
(av. 79; max. 92), and it was noticeable that the breadth of the head
exceeded 15 cm. in nine out of thirty individuals.

In the Madras Census Report, 1901, Bahusagara, Malla or Mulla, and
Namdev are given as synonyms, and Chimpiga (tailor) and Unupulavadu
(dyer) as sub-castes of Rangari.

Raniyava.--The Raniyavas are Canarese-speaking Holeyas, who are found
near Kap, Karkal, Mudibidri, and Mulki in South Canara. They consider
themselves to be superior to the Tulu-speaking Holeyas, such as the
Mari and Mundala Holeyas.

The Raniyavas regard Virabadra Swami as their tribal deity, and also
worship Mari, to whom they sacrifice a buffalo periodically. The bhuta
(devil), which is most commonly worshipped, is Varthe. They profess
to be Saivites, because they are the disciples of the Lingayat priest
at Gurupur.

Marriage is, as a rule, infant, though the marriage of adult girls is
not prohibited. The marriage rites are celebrated beneath a pandal
(booth) supported by twelve pillars. As among the Tulu castes, the
chief item in the marriage ceremony is the pouring of water over the
united hands of the bridal couple, who are not, like the Canarese
Holeyas in Mysore, separated by a screen.

Women who are found guilty of adultery, or of illicit intercourse
before marriage, are not allowed to wear bangles, nose-screw, or
black bead necklaces, and are treated like widows. Men who have been
proved guilty of seduction are not allowed to take part in the caste
council meetings.

On the occasion of the first menstrual period, a girl is under
pollution for twelve days. Eleven girls pour water over her head
daily. On the thirteenth day, the castemen are fed, and, if the girl
is married, consummation takes place.

Married men and women are cremated, and unmarried persons buried. On
the day of death, toddy must be given to those who assemble. Cooked
meat and food are offered to the deceased on the third, seventh, and
thirteenth days, and, on the seventh day, toddy must be freely given.

Rao.--The title of Desastha Brahmans, and various Maratha classes,
Jains, and Servegaras. Some Perikes, who claim Kshatriya origin,
have also assumed Rao (=Raya, king) instead of the more humble Anna
or Ayya as a title.

Rarakkar.--The Rarakkars or Vicharakkars are exorcisers for the
Kuravans of Travancore.

Rati (stone).--A sub-division of Odde.

Ratna (precious stones).--An exogamous sept of Kuruba. The equivalent
Ratnala is a synonym of Ralla Balijas, who deal in precious stones.

Rattu.--A sub-division of Kaikolan.

Ravari.--Recorded, in the Madras Census Report, 1901, as a trading
section of the Nayars. The word is said to be a corruption of Vyapari,
meaning trader. The equivalent Raveri occurs as a class inhabiting
the Laccadive islands.

Ravi Chettu (pipal tree: Ficus religiosa).--An exogamous sept of
Kalingi. The pipal or aswatha tree may be seen, in many South Indian
villages, with a raised platform round it, before which Hindus remove
their shoes, and bow down. On the platform, village council meetings
are often held. It is believed that male offspring will be given to
childless couples, if they celebrate a marriage of the pipal with
the nim tree (Melia Azadirachta).

Ravulo.--It is recorded, in the Madras Census Report, 1901, that
"there are three castes of temple servants among the Oriyas, the
Ravulos, the Malis and the Munis. The Ravulos blow conches (shells of
Turbinella rapa) in the Saivite temples and at Brahmans' weddings, sell
flowers, and regard themselves as superior to the other two. The Malis
do service in Saivite or Vaishnavite temples and sell flowers, but the
Munis are employed only in the temples of the village goddesses. Among
the Ravulos, infant marriage is compulsory, but widow marriage is
allowed, and also divorce in certain cases. A curious account is
given of the punishment sometimes inflicted by the caste panchayat
(council) on a man who ill-treats and deserts his wife. He is made to
sit under one of the bamboo coops with which fish are caught, and his
wife sits on the top of it. Five pots of water are then poured over
the pair of them in imitation of the caste custom of pouring five pots
of water over a dead body before it is taken to the burning-ground,
the ceremony taking place in the part of the house where a corpse
would be washed. The wife then throws away a ladle, and breaks a
cooking-pot just as she would have done had her husband really been
dead, and further breaks her bangles and tears off her necklace,
just as would have been done if she was really a widow. Having thus
signified that her husband is dead to her, she goes straight off to
her parents' house, and is free to marry again. Some Ravulos wear
the sacred thread. They employ Brahmans as priests for religious and
ceremonial purposes. They eat fish and meat, though not beef or fowls,
but do not drink alcohol. Nowadays many of them are earth-workers,
cart-drivers, bricklayers, carpenters and day labourers." It is
further noted, in the Census Report, that Mali is "an Oriya caste of
vegetable growers and sellers, and cultivators. Also a caste belonging
to Bengal and Orissa, the people of which are garland makers and
temple servants. The statistics confuse the two." In an account of
the Ravulos, as given to me, Ravulos, Munis, and Malis are not three
castes, but one caste. The Munis are said to worship, among others,
Munis or Rishis, Sakti, Siva, and Ganesa. A Muni, named Sarala Doss,
was the author of the most popular Oriya version of the Mahabharata,
and he is known as Sudra Muni, the Sudra saint.

Ravulo occurs further as a title of Kurumos who officiate as priests
in Siva temples in Ganjam, and Muni as a title of the Sipiti temple
servants.

Ravutan.--Ravutan, or Rowthan, is a title used by Labbai, Marakkayar,
and Jonagan Muhammadans. The equivalent Ravut or Raut has been recorded
as a sub-caste of Balija, and a title of Kannadiyan.

Raya Rauturu.--The name of certain chunam [lime] burners in Mysore.

Rayan.--A title assumed by some Pallis or Vanniyans, who wear the
sacred thread, and claim to be Kshatriyas.

Rayi (stone).--An exogamous sept of Mala.

Razu.--The Razus, or Rajus, are stated, in the Madras Census Report,
1901, to be "perhaps descendants of the military section of the Kapu,
Kamma, and Velama castes. At their weddings they worship a sword,
which is a ceremony which usually denotes a soldier caste. They say
they are Kshatriyas, and at marriages use a string made of cotton and
wool, the combination peculiar to Kshatriyas, to tie the wrist of the
happy couple. But they eat fowls, which a strict Kshatriya would not
do, and their claims are not universally admitted by other Hindus. They
have three endogamous sub-divisions, viz., Murikinati, Nandimandalam,
and Suryavamsam, of which the first two are territorial." According to
another version, the sub-divisions are Surya (sun), Chandra (moon),
and Nandimandalam. In a note on the Razus of the Godavari district,
the Rev. J. Cain sub-divides them into Suryavamsapu, Chandravamsapu,
Veliveyabadina, or descendants of excommunicated Suryavamsapu and
Razulu. It may be noted that some Konda Doras call themselves Raja
(= Razu) Kapus or Reddis, and Suryavamsam (of the solar race). "In
the Godavari delta," Mr. Cain writes, "there are several families
called Basava Razulu, in consequence, it is said, of their ancestors
having accidentally killed a basava or sacred bull. As a penalty for
this crime, before a marriage takes place in these families, they are
bound to select a young bull and young cow, and cause these two to
be duly married first, and then they are at liberty to proceed with
their own ceremony."

Of the Razus, Mr. H. A. Stuart writes [125] that "this is a Telugu
caste, though represented by small bodies in some of the Tamil
districts. They are most numerous in Cuddapah and North Arcot,
to which districts they came with the Vijayanagar armies. It is
evident that Razu has been returned by a number of individuals who,
in reality, belong to other castes, but claim to be Kshatriyas. The
true Razus also make this claim, but it is, of course, baseless,
unless Kshatriya is taken to mean the military class without any
reference to Aryan origin. In religion they are mostly Vaishnavites,
and their priests are Brahmans. They wear the sacred thread, and in
most respects copy the marriage and other customs of the Brahmans." The
Razus, Mr. Stuart writes further, [126] are "the most numerous class
of those who claim to be Kshatriyas in North Arcot. They are found
almost entirely in the Karvetnagar estate, the zemindar being the head
of the caste. As a class they are the handsomest and best developed
men in the country, and differ so much in feature and build from other
Hindus that they may usually be distinguished at a glance. They seem to
have entirely abandoned the military inclinations of their ancestors,
never enlist in the native army, and almost wholly occupy themselves in
agriculture. Their vernacular is Telugu, since they are immigrants from
the Northern Circars, from whence most of them followed the ancestors
of the Karvetnagar zamindar within the last two centuries. In religion
they are mostly Vaishnavites, though a few follow Siva, and the worship
of village deities forms a part of the belief of all. Their peculiar
goddess is called Nimishamba who would seem to represent Parvati. She
is so called because in an instant (nimisham) she once appeared at
the prayer of certain rishis, and destroyed some rakshasas or giants
who were persecuting them. Claiming to be Kshatriyas, the Razus of
course assume the sacred thread, and are very proud and particular
in their conduct, though flesh-eating is allowed. In all the more
well-to-do families the females are kept in strict seclusion."

In the Vizagapatam district Razus are recognised as belonging to
two classes, called Konda (hill) and Bhu (plains) Razu. The former
are further divided into the following sections, to which various
zamindars belong:--Konda, Kodu, Gaita, Muka, Yenati. The Konda Razus
are believed to be hill chiefs, who have, in comparatively recent
times, adopted the title of Razu.

For the following note on the Razus of the Godavari district, I am
indebted to Mr. F. R. Hemingway. "They say they are Kshatriyas,
wear the sacred thread, have Brahmanical gotras, decline to eat
with other non-Brahmans, and are divided into the three classes,
Surya (sun), Chandra (moon), and Machi (fish). Of these, the first
claim to be descended from the kings of Oudh, and to be of the same
lineage as Rama; the second, from the kings of Hastinapura, of the
same line as the Pandavas; and the third, from Hanuman (the monkey
god) and a mermaid. Their women observe a very strict rule of gosha,
and this is said to be carried so far that a man may not see his
younger brother's wife, even if she is living in the same house,
without violating the gosha rule. The betrothal ceremony is called
nirnaya bhojanam, or meal of settlement. Written contracts of marriage
(subha reka) are exchanged. The wedding is performed at the bride's
house. At the pradanam ceremony, no bonthu (turmeric thread) is tied
round the bride's neck. The bridegroom has to wear a sword throughout
the marriage ceremonies, and he is paraded round the village with it
before they begin. The gosha rule prevents his womenfolk from attending
the marriage, and the bride has to wear a veil. The ceremonies, unlike
those of other castes, are attended with burnt offerings of rice,
etc. Among other castes, the turmeric-dyed thread (kankanam), which is
tied round the wrists of the contracting couple, is of cotton; among
the Razus it is of wool and cotton. The Razus are chiefly employed
in cultivation. Some of them are said to attain no small proficiency
in Telugu and Sanskrit scholarship. Zamindars of this caste regard
Kali as their patron deity. The Razus of Amalapuram specially adore
Lakshmi. Some peculiarities in their personal appearance may be
noted. Their turbans are made to bunch out at the left side above
the ear, and one end hangs down behind. They do not shave any part of
their heads, and allow long locks to hang down in front of the ears."

A colony of Razus is settled at, and around Rajapalaiyam in the
Tinnevelly district. They are said to have migrated thither four or
five centuries ago with a younger brother of the King of Vizianagram,
who belonged to the Pusapati exogamous sept. To members of this and the
Gottimukkula sept special respect is paid on ceremonial occasions. The
descendants of the original emigrants are said to have served under
southern chieftains, especially Tirumala Naick. Concerning the origin
of the village Rajapalaiyam the following legend is narrated. One
Chinna Raju, a lineal descendant of the Kings of Vizianagram, settled
there with others of his caste, and went out hunting with a pack of
hounds. When they reached the neighbouring hill Sanjiviparvatham,
they felt thirsty, but could find no water. They accordingly prayed
to Krishna, who at once created a spring on the top of the hill. After
quenching their thirst thereat, they proceeded westward to the valley,
and the god informed them that there was water there, with which they
might again quench their thirst, and that their dogs would there be
attacked by hares. At this spot, which they were to consider sacred
ground, they were to settle down. The present tank to the westward of
Rajapalaiyam, and the chavadi (caste meeting-place) belonging to the
Pusapatis are said to indicate the spot where they originally settled.

The Rajapalaiyam Razus have four gotras, named after Rishis, i.e.,
Dhananjaya, Kasyapa, Kaundinya and Vasishta, which are each sub-divided
into a number of exogamous septs, named after villages, etc. They are
all Vadagalai or Tengalai Vaishnavites, but also worship Ayanar, and
send kavadi (portable canopy) to Palni in performance of vows. Their
family priests are Brahmans.

The betrothal ceremony of the Razus of Rajapalaiyam is generally
carried out at the house of the girl. On a raised platform within
a pandal (booth), seven plates filled with plantain fruits, betel,
turmeric, cocoanuts, and flowers are placed. A plate containing
twenty-five rupees, and a ravike (female cloth), is carried by a
Brahman woman, and set in front of the girl. All the articles are
then placed in her lap, and the ceremony is consequently called odi
or madi ninchadam (lap-filling).

The girl's hair is decked with flowers, and she is smeared with
sandal and turmeric. A certain quantity of paddy (unhusked rice) and
beans of Phaseolus Mungo are given to the Brahman woman, a portion of
which is set apart as sacred, some of the paddy being added to that
which is stored in the granary. The remainder of the paddy is husked
in a corner of the pandal, and the beans are ground in a mill. On
the marriage morning, the bride's party, accompanied by musicians,
carry to the house of the bridegroom a number of baskets containing
cocoanuts, plantains, betel, and a turban. The bridegroom goes with
a purohit (priest), and men and women of his caste, to a well, close
to which are placed some milk and the nose-screw of a woman closely
related to him. All the women sprinkle some of the milk over his head,
and some of them draw water from the well. The bridegroom bathes,
and dresses up. Just before their departure from the well, rice
which has been dipped therein is distributed among the women. At the
bridegroom's house the milk-post, usually made from a branch of the
vekkali (Anogeissus latifolia) tree, is tied to a pillar supporting
the roof of the marriage dais. To the top of the milk-post a cross-bar
is fixed, to one arm of which a cloth bundle containing a cocoanut,
betel and turmeric, is tied. The post is surmounted by leafy mango
twigs. Just before the milk-post is set up, cocoanuts are offered to
it, and a pearl and piece of coral are placed in a hole scooped out
at its lower end. The bundle becomes the perquisite of the carpenter
who has made the post. Only Brahmans, Razus and the barber musicians
are allowed to sit on the dais. After the distribution of betel, the
bridegroom and his party proceed to the house of the bride, where, in
like manner, the milk-post is set up. They then return to his house,
and the bridegroom has his face and head shaved, and nails pared by
a barber, who receives as his fee two annas and the clothes which
the bridegroom is wearing. After a bath, the bridegroom is conducted
to the chavadi, where a gaudy turban is put on his head, and he is
decorated with jewels and garlands. In the course of the morning,
the purohit, holding the right little finger of the bridegroom,
conducts him to the dais, close to which rice, rice stained yellow,
rice husk, jaggery (crude sugar), wheat bran, and cotton seed are
placed. The Brahmanical rites of punyahavaachanam (purification),
jatakarma (birth ceremony), namakaranam (name ceremony), chaulam
(tonsure), and upanayanam (thread ceremony) are performed. But, instead
of Vedic chants, the purohit recites slokas specially prepared for
non-Brahman castes. At the conclusion of these rites, the bridegroom
goes into the house, and eats a small portion of sweet cakes and
other articles, of which the remainder is finished off by boys and
girls. This ceremony is called pubanthi. The Kasiyatra (mock flight
to Benares) or Snathakavritham is then performed. Towards evening
the bridegroom, seated in a palanquin, goes to the bride's house,
taking with him a tray containing an expensive woman's cloth, the
tali tied to gold thread, and a pair of gold bracelets. When they
reach the house, the women who have accompanied the bridegroom throw
paddy over those who have collected at the entrance thereto, by whom
the compliment is returned. The bridegroom takes his seat on the dais,
and the bride is conducted thither by her brothers. A wide-meshed green
curtain is thrown over her shoulders, and her hands are pressed over
her eyes, and held there by one of her brothers, so that she cannot
see. Generally two brothers sit by her side, and, when one is tired,
the other relieves him. The purohit invests the bridegroom with a
second thread as a sign of marriage. Damp rice is scattered from a
basket all round the contracting couple, and the tali, after it has
been blessed by Brahmans, is tied round the neck of the bride by the
bridegroom and her brothers. At the moment when the tali is tied,
the bride's hands are removed from her face, and she is permitted
to see her husband. The pair then go round the dais, and the bride
places her right foot thrice on a grindstone. Their little fingers
are linked, and their cloths tied together. Thus united, they are
conducted to a room, in which fifty pots, painted white and with
various designs on them, are arranged in rows. In front of them,
two pots, filled with water, are placed, and, in front of the two
pots, seven lamps. Round the necks of these pots, bits of turmeric
are tied. They are called avareti kundalu or avireni kundalu, and are
made to represent minor deities. The pots are worshipped by the bridal
couple, and betel is distributed among the Brahmans and Razus, of whom
members of the Pusapati and Gottimukkala septs take precedence over the
others. On the following day, the purohit teaches the sandyavandhanam
(morning and evening ablutions), which is, however, quite different
from the Brahmanical rite. On the morning of the third or nagavali
day, a quantity of castor-oil seed is sent by the bride's people to
the bridegroom's house, and returned. The bride and bridegroom go,
in a closed and open palanquin, respectively, to the house of the
former. They take their seats on the dais, and the bride is once
more blindfolded. In front of them, five pots filled with water
are arranged in the form of a quincunx. Lighted lamps are placed by
the side of each of the corner pots. On the lids of the pots five
cocoanuts, plantains, pieces of turmeric, and betel are arranged, and
yellow thread is wound seven times round the corner pots. The pots
are then worshipped, and the bridegroom places on the neck of the
bride a black bead necklace, which is tied by the Brahman woman. In
front of the bridegroom some salt, and in front of the bride some
paddy is heaped up. An altercation arises between the bridegroom and
the brother of the bride as to the relative values of the two heaps,
and it is finally decided that they are of equal value. The bridal
pair then enter the room, in which the avireni pots are kept, and
throw their rings into one of the pots which is full of water. The
bridegroom has to pick out therefrom, at three dips, his own ring,
and his brother-in-law that of the bride. The purohit sprinkles water
over the heads of the pair, and their wrist-threads (kankanam) are
removed. They then sit in a swing on the pandal for a short time,
and the ceremonies conclude with the customary waving of coloured
water (arati) and distribution of betel. During the marriage ceremony,
Razu women are not allowed to sit in the pandal. The wives of the more
well-to-do members of the community remain gosha within their houses,
and, strictly speaking, a woman should not see her husband during the
daytime. Many of the women, however, go freely about the town during
the day, and go to the wells to fetch water for domestic purposes.

The Razus of Rajapalaiyam have Razu as the agnomen, and, like other
Telugu classes, take the gotra for the first name, e.g., Yaraguntala
Mudduswami Razu, Gottimukkala Krishna Razu. The women adhere with
tenacity to the old forms of Telugu jewelry. The Razus, in some
villages, seem to object to the construction of a pial in front of
their houses. The pial, or raised platform, is the lounging place
by day, where visitors are received. The Razus, as has been already
stated, claim to be Kshatriyas, so other castes should not sit in their
presence. If pials were constructed, such people might sit thereon,
and so commit a breach of etiquette.

In the Madras Census Report, 1901, Rajamakan is given as a Tamil
synonym for Razu, and Razu is returned as a title of the Bagata
fishermen of Vizagapatam. Razu is, further, a general name of the
Bhatrazus.

Reddi.--See Kapu.

Reddi Bhumi (Reddi earth).--A sub-division of Mala, Mangala, and
Tsakala.

Rela (fig. Ficus, sp.).--A gotra of Medara.

Relli.--See Haddi.

Rendeddu.--A sub-division of Ganigas or Gandlas, who use two bullocks
for their oil-pressing mill.

Rokkam (ready money).--An exogamous sept of Komati.

Rolan.--Rolan, or Roli Cheruman, is a sub-division of Cheruman.

Rona.--The Ronas are a class of Oriya-speaking hill cultivators, who
are said [127] to "hold a position superior in the social scale to the
Parjas (Porojas), from whom, by compulsion and cajolery, they have
gotten unto themselves estates. They are not of very long standing
(in Jeypore). Every Parja village head is still able to point out
the fields that have been taken from him to form the Rona hamlet;
and, if he is in antagonism with a neighbouring Parja village on the
subject of boundaries, he will include the fields occupied by the Rona
as belonging de jure to his demesne." In the Madras Census Report,
1891, it is noted that "the Ronas are supposed to be the descendants
of Ranjit, the great warrior of Orissa. In social status they are
said to be a little inferior to the so-called Kshatriyas. Some of
them serve as armed retainers and soldiers of the native chiefs,
and some are engaged in trade and cultivation."

For the following note I am indebted to Mr. C. Hayavadana Rao. The word
rona means battle. According to a tradition current among the Ronas,
their ancestors, who were seven brothers, came many generations ago
to Nundapur, the former capital of the Rajas of Jeypore, and made
their first settlement in Borra.

The caste is divided into four endogamous divisions, viz.:--


(1) Rona Paiko.
(2) Odiya Paiko, said to rank a little higher than the preceding.
(3) Kottiya Paiko, the descendants of Rona Paikos and women of
    hill tribes.
(4) Pattiya Paik, the descendants of Kottiya Paikos and women of
    hill tribes.


As examples of septs among the Ronas, the following may be cited:--Kora
(sun), Bhag (tiger), Nag (cobra), Khinbudi (bear), and Matsya (fish).

When a girl reaches puberty, she is placed apart in a portion of
the house where she cannot be seen by males, even of the household,
and sits in a space enclosed by seven arrows connected together by
a thread. On the seventh day she bathes, and is presented with a
new cloth. It is customary for a man to marry his paternal uncle's
daughter. At the time of marriage, the bridegroom's party repair to
the house of the bride with a sheep, goat, rice, and a female cloth
with a rupee placed on it, and four quarter-anna bits inserted within
its fold. The cloth and money are taken by the bride's mother, and
the animals and rice are used for a feast. On the following day, the
bride goes to the house of the bridegroom, in front of which a pandal
(booth), made out of nine poles of the neredu tree (Eugenia Jambolana)
has been set up. At the auspicious hour, which has been fixed by the
Desari who officiates, in the absence of a Brahman, at the marriage
rites, the bride and bridegroom take their seats in the pandal with a
curtain between them. The Desari joins their hands together, and ties
to the ends of their cloths a new cloth to which a quarter-anna piece
is attached, betel leaves and nuts, and seven grains of rice. The
curtain is then removed, and the pair enter the house. The knotted
new cloth is removed, and kept in the house during the next two days,
being untied and re-tied every morning. On the third day, the couple
again come within the pandal, and the new cloth is again tied to
them. They are bathed together in turmeric water, and the cloth is
then untied for the last time. The rice is examined to see if it
is in a good state of preservation, and its condition is regarded
as an omen for good or evil. The remarriage of widows is permitted,
and a younger brother usually marries the widow of his elder brother.

There is for all the Ronas a headman of their caste, called Bhatho
Nayako, at Nundapur, who decides offences, such as eating in the house
of a man of inferior caste, and performs the ceremonial cleansing of
a man who has been beaten with a shoe. Divorce and civil suits are
settled by a caste council.

The Ronas worship the deity Takurani. They wear the sacred thread,
and are said to have bought the right to do so from a former Raja
of Jeypore. They also wear a necklace of tulsi (Ocimum sanctum)
beads. The necklace is first tied on by Oriya Brahmans from Orissa,
or Vaishnava Brahmans from Srikurmam in Ganjam, who pay periodic visits
to the community, and receive presents of money and food. Rona Paikos
will eat at the hands of Brahmans only, whereas Puttiya Paikos will
eat in the houses of Koronos, Malis, Kummaras, and Gaudos. All eat
animal food, beef and pork excepted.

Some Ronas are still the armed retainers of the Jeypore Rajas, and
their forefathers were versed in the use of the matchlock. Some Ronas
at the present day use bows and arrows. The caste title is Nayako.

Ronguni.--The Rongunis are Oriya dyers and weavers. The caste name is
derived from rangu, dye. A noticeable fact is that they do not eat
flesh of any kind, but are vegetarians, pure and simple. They have
various titles, e.g., Behara, Daso, Prushti, and Sahu, of which some
practically constitute exogamous septs.

Rottala (bread).--An exogamous sept of Boya.

Rowthan.--See Ravutan.

Rudra.--One of the various names of Siva. A sub-division of Palli.

Rudrakshala (the drupe of Elæocarpus Ganitrus).--An exogamous sept of
Karna Sales. The drupes are polished, and worn as a rosary or necklet
by Saivite Brahmans, Pandarams, Nattukottai Chettis, and others. They
are supposed to be the tears of ecstasy which Siva (Rudra) once shed,
and are consequently sacred to him. They have a number of lobes
(or faces), varying from one to six, divided externally by deep
furrows. Those with five lobes are the most common, but those with
one (eka mukha) or six (shan mukha) are very rare, and have been
known to be sold for a thousand rupees. One form of the drupe is
called Gauri shanka, and is worn in a golden receptacle by Dikshitar
Brahmans at Chidambaram, and by some Pandarams who are managers
of matams (religious institutions). The plate represents a Telugu
Saivite Vaidiki Brahman clad in a coat of rudraksha beads, wearing
a head-dress of the same, and holding in his hand wooden castanets,
which are played as an accompaniment to his songs. Until he became too
old to bear the weight, he wore also a loin-cloth made of these beads.

Runzu.--Runzu, Runza, or Runja is the name of a class of Telugu
mendicants, who beat a drum called runjalu, and beg only from Kamsalas
(q.v.).



S


Sachchari.--A synonym of Relli. Another form of the word Chachchadi.

Sadaru.--A sub-division of Lingayats, found mainly in the
Bellary and Anantapur districts, where they are largely engaged in
cultivation. Some Bedars or Boyas, who live amidst these Lingayats,
call themselves Sadaru. It is noted in the Mysore Census Reports that
the Sadas are "cultivators and traders in grain. A section of these
Sadas has embraced Lingayatism, while the others are still within
the pale of Hinduism."

Saddikudu (cold rice or food).--An exogamous sept of Golla.

Sadhana Surulu.--Sadhanasura is recorded, in the Madras Census
Report, 1901, as a synonym of Samayamuvadu. In a note on this class
of itinerant mendicants, Mr. C. Hayavadana Rao states that, unlike
the Samayamuvaru, they are attached only to the Padma Sale section
of the Sale caste. "They say," he writes, "that their name is an
abbreviated form of Renuka Sakthini Sadhinchinavaru, i.e., those who
conquered Renuka Sakthi. According to tradition, Renuka was the mother
of Parasurama, one of the avatars of Vishnu, and is identified with
the goddess Yellamma, whom the Padma Sales revere. The Sadhana Surulu
are her votaries. Ages ago, it is said, they prayed to her on behalf
of the Padma Sales, and made her grant boons to them. Since that
time they have been treated with marked respect by the Padma Sales,
who pay them annually four annas, and see to their marriages."

Sadhu (meek or quiet).--A sub-division or exogamous sept of Ganiga
and Padma Sale. The equivalent Sadhumatam has been recorded, at
times of census, by Janappans. The name Sadhu is applied to ascetics
or Bairagis.

Sagarakula.--A synonym of the Upparas, who claim descent from a king
Sagara Chakravarthi of the Mahabharata.

Sahavasi.--The Sahavasis are described, in the Mysore Census Report,
1891, as "immigrants like the Chitpavanas. Sahavasi means co-tenant or
associate, and the name is said to have been earned by the community
in the following manner. In remote times a certain Brahman came upon
hidden treasure, but, to his amazement, the contents appeared in
his eye to be all live scorpions. Out of curiosity, he hung one of
them outside his house. A little while after, a woman of inferior
caste, who was passing by the house, noticed it to be gold, and,
upon her questioning him about it, the Brahman espoused her, and by
her means was able to enjoy the treasure. He gave a feast in honour
of his acquisition of wealth. He was subsequently outcasted for his
mésalliance with the low caste female, while those that ate with him
were put under a ban, and thus acquired the nickname."

Sahu.--A title of Bolasis, Godiyas, and other Oriya castes.

Saindla (belonging to the death-house).--A sub-division of Mala.

Sajjana (good men).--A synonym of Lingayat Ganigas.

Sajje (millet: Setaria italica).--An exogamous sept of Devanga.

Sakala.--See Tsakala.

Sakkereya.--Some Upparas style themselves Mel (western)
Sakkereya-varu. Their explanation is that they used to work in salt,
which is more essential than sugar, and that Mel Sakkare means
superior sugar.

Sakuna Pakshi.--For the following note on the Sakuna Pakshi
(prophetic bird) mendicant caste of Vizagapatam, I am indebted to
Mr. C. Hayavadana Rao. The name of the caste is due to the fact that
the members of the caste wear on their heads a plume composed of
the feathers of a bird called palagumma, which is probably Coracias
indica, the Indian roller, or "blue jay" of Europeans. This is one of
the birds called sakuna pakshi, because they are supposed to possess
the power of foretelling events, and on their movements many omens
depend. Concerning the roller, Jerdon writes [128] that "it is sacred
to Siva, who assumed its form, and, at the feast of the Dasserah at
Nagpore, one or more used to be liberated by the Rajah, amidst the
firing of cannon and musketry, at a grand parade attended by all the
officers of the station. Buchanan Hamilton also states that, before
the Durga Puja, the Hindus of Calcutta purchase one of these birds,
and, at the time when they throw the image of Durga into the river,
set it at liberty. It is considered propitious to see it on this day,
and those who cannot afford to buy one discharge their matchlocks to
put it on the wing."

According to their own account, the Sakuna Pakshis are Telagas who
emigrated to Vizagapatam from Peddapuram in the Godavari district.

A member of the caste, before proceeding on a begging expedition,
rises early, and has a cold meal. He then puts the Tengalai Vaishnava
namam mark on his forehead, slings on his left shoulder a deer-skin
pouch for the reception of the rice and other grain which will be
given him as alms, and takes up his little drum (gilaka or damaraka)
made of frog's skin. It is essential for a successful day's begging
that he should first visit a Mala house or two, after which he begs
from other castes, going from house to house.

The members combine with begging the professions of devil-dancer,
sorcerer, and quack doctor. Their remedy for scorpion sting
is well-known. It is the root of a plant called thella visari
(scorpion antidote), which the Sakuna Pakshis carry about with
them on their rounds. The root should be collected on a new-moon
day which falls on a Sunday. On that day, the Sakuna Pakshi bathes,
cuts off his loin-string, and goes stark naked to a selected spot,
where he gathers the roots. If a supply thereof is required, and the
necessary combination of moon and day is not forthcoming, the roots
should be collected on a Sunday or Wednesday.

Salangukaran.--In the Madras Census Report, 1901, Salangaikaran is
returned as a synonym of Karaiyan or Sembadavan fishermen. The word
salangu or slangu is used for pearl fisheries, and Salangukaran is,
I imagine, a name applied to pearl divers.

Salapu.--The Salapus are a small caste of Telugu weavers in
Vizagapatam, for the following note on whom I am indebted to
Mr. C. Hayavadana Rao. The name Salapu seems to be a corruption
of Saluppan, a caste which formerly engaged in the manufacture
of gunny-bags and coarse cloths. The Salapus at the present day
make such cloths, commonly called gamanchalu. Like some other
weaving castes, they claim descent from Markandeya rishi, who was
remarkable for his austerities and great age, and is also known as
Dirghayus. The Salapus will not eat, or intermarry with Sales. The
caste is governed by a headman called Senapati. He decides disputes,
and, on occasions of marriage, receives the first share of betel and
sandal, and is the first to touch the sathamanam (marriage badge)
when it is passed round to be blessed by those assembled. He is,
at marriages, further presented with a rupee. At caste feasts, it is
his privilege to partake of food first.

Like other Telugu castes, the Salapus have intiperulu, or exogamous
septs. Girls are generally married before puberty. The custom of
menarikam, by which a man should marry his maternal uncle's daughter,
is in force. The turmeric ceremony takes place some months before
marriage. Some male and female relations of the future bridegroom
repair to the house of the girl, taking with them a few rupees as the
bride-price (voli). The girl bathes, and daubs herself with turmeric
paste. A solid silver bangle is then put on her right wrist. The
remarriage of widows and divorce are permitted.

The Salapus are divided into Lingavantas and Vaishnavas, who
intermarry. The former bury their dead in a sitting posture, and the
latter practice cremation. Jangams officiate for the Lingavantas,
and Satanis for Vaishnavas. Both sections observe the chinna (little)
and pedda rozu (big day) death ceremonies.

The caste title is generally Ayya.

Salapu.--A form of Sarapu, an occupational term for those who deal
in coins, jewelry, coral, etc.

Sale.--The Sales are the great weaver class among the Telugus, for
the following note on whom I am indebted to Mr. C. Hayavadana Rao.

The name is derived from Sanskrit, Salika, a weaver. The Sales call
themselves Senapati (commander-in-chief), and this is further the
title of the caste headman. They are divided into two main endogamous
sections, Padma or lotus, and Pattu or silk. Between them there are
three well-marked points of difference, viz., (1) the Pattu Sales wear
the sacred thread, whereas the Padma Sales do not; (2) the Pattu Sales
do not take food or water at the hands of any except Brahmans, whereas
the Padma Sales will eat in Kapu, Golla, Telaga, Gavara, etc., houses;
(3) the Pattu Sales weave superfine cloths, and, in some places, work
in silk, whereas Padma Sales weave only coarse cloths. Each section
is divided into a number of exogamous septs or intiperulu. Both speak
Telugu, and are divided into Vaishnavites and Saivites. These religious
distinctions are no bar to intermarriage and interdining.

It is recorded, in the Gazetteer of the Vizagapatam district (1907),
that "on the plains, cotton cloths are woven in hundreds of villages
by Sales, Padma Sales, Pattu Sales, Devangas, and Salapus. The ryots
often spin their own cotton into thread, and then hand it over to the
weavers to be made into cloths, but large quantities of machine-made
yarn are used. In the south, the chief weaving centres are Nakkapalli
and Payakaraopeta in Sarvasiddhi taluk, the Pattu Sales in the latter
of which turn out fabrics of fine thread, enriched with much gold and
silver 'lace,' which are in great demand in the Godavari and Ganjam
districts. At Razam, coloured cloths for women are the chief product,
and in the country round this place the white garments so universal
everywhere give place to coloured dress. The cloths are sold locally,
and also sent in large quantities to Berhampur, Cuttack, and even
Calcutta. Most of the weaving is in the hands of Devangas, but the
dyeing of the thread is done with imported aniline and alizarine
colours by the Balijas of Sigadam in Chipurupalle taluk and Balijapeta
in Bobbili. In Siripuram and Ponduru, the Pattu Sales make delicate
fabrics from especially fine thread, called Pattu Sale nulu, or
silk-weaver's thread, which the women of their caste spin for them, and
which is as fine as imported 1508. These are much valued by well-to-do
natives for their softness and durability. The weaving industry is
on the decline throughout the district, except perhaps in Razam,
and the weaver castes are taking to other means of livelihood. Round
Chipurupalle, for example, the Pattu Sales have become experts in
tobacco-curing, and have made such profits that they are able to
monopolise much of the trade and money-lending of the locality."

Concerning the origin of the Sale caste, it is stated, in the
Andhrapada Parijatamu, that it is the result of an union between
a Kamsala man and a potter woman. According to a current legend,
the celestials (devatas), being desirous of securing clothing
for themselves and their dependents, asked Markandeya Rishi to
supply them with it. He went to Vishnu, and prayed to him. The god
directed him to make a sacrificial offering to Indra, the celestial
king. Markandeya accordingly performed a great sacrifice, and from the
fire issued Bhavana Rishi, with a ball of thread in his hands, which
he had manufactured, under Vishnu's direction, from the fibre of the
lotus which sprang from the god's navel. With this ball of thread he
proceeded to make cloths for the celestials. He subsequently married
Bhadravathi, the daughter of Surya (the sun), who bore him a hundred
and one sons, of whom a hundred became the ancestors of the Padma
Sales, while the remaining man was the ancestor of the Pattu Sales.

The caste worships Bhavana Rishi. At the close of the year, the caste
occupation is stopped before the Sankramanam for ten days. Before
they start work again, the Pattu Sales meet at an appointed spot,
where they burn camphor, and wave it before a ball of thread, which
represents Bhavana Rishi. A more elaborate rite is performed by
the Padma Sales. They set apart a special day for the worship of
the deified ancestor, and hold a caste feast. A special booth is
erected, in which a ball of thread is placed. A caste-man acts as
pujari (priest), and fruits, flowers, camphor, etc., are offered to
the thread.

The Telugu Padma Sales, and Marathi-speaking Sukun and Suka Sales,
are, as will be seen from the following table, short of stature,
with high cephalic index:--


                           Stature. cm.   Cephalic index.

              Padma Sale          159.9              78.7
              Suka Sale           161.1              81.8
              Sukun Sale          160.3              82.2


The Padma and Karna Sales are dealt with in special articles.

Writing in the eighteenth century, Sonnerat remarks that the weaver
fixes his loom under a tree before his house in the morning, and at
night takes it home. And this observation holds good at the present
day. Weaving operations, as they may be seen going on at weaving
centres in many parts of Southern India, are thus described by
Mr. H. A. Stuart. [129] "The process of weaving is very simple. The
thread is first turned off upon a hand-spindle, and then the warp
is formed. Bamboo sticks, 120 in number, are fixed upright in the
ground, generally in the shade of a tope or grove, at a distance
of a cubit from one another, and ten women or children, carrying
ratnams (spindles) in their hands, walk up and down this line,
one behind the other, intertwining the thread between the bamboos,
until 1,920 threads of various colours, according to the pattern
desired, are thus arranged. For this work each gets half an anna--a
small remuneration for walking four miles. To form a warp sufficient
for eight women's cloths, forty miles have thus to be traversed. In
weaving silk cloths or the finer fabrics, the length of the warp is
less than sixty yards. As soon as the threads have been arranged,
the bamboos are plucked up, and rolled together with the threads
upon them. Trestles are then set out in the tope, and upon them
the warp with the bamboos is stretched horizontally, and sized by
means of large long brushes with ragi starch, and carried along by
two men. This having dried, the whole is rolled up, and placed in
the loom in the weaver's house. The weaving room is a long, narrow,
dark chamber, lighted by one small window close to where the workman
sits. The loom is constructed on the simplest principles, and can be
taken to pieces in a few minutes, forming a light load for a man. The
alternate threads of the warp are raised and depressed, to receive
the woof in the following manner. Two pairs of bamboos are joined
together by thin twine loops, and, being suspended from the roof, are
also joined to two pedals near the floor. Through the joining loops
of one pair of bamboos run half the threads, and through those of
the other run the other half. Thus, by depressing one pedal with the
foot and raising the other, one set of threads is depressed, and the
other raised so as to admit of the woof thread being shot across. This
thread is forced home by a light beam suspended from the roof, and
then, the position of the pedals being reversed, the woof thread is
shot back again between the reversed threads of the warp. In this way
about three yards can be woven in a day." Further Mr. J. D. Rees writes
as follows. [130] "As you enter a weaver's grove, it appears at first
sight as if those occupied in this industry were engaged in a pretty
game. Rows of women walk up and down the shady aisles, each holding
aloft in the left hand a spindle, and in the right a bamboo wand,
through a hook at the end of which the thread is passed. Alongside
are split bamboos reaching as high as their hips, and, as they pass,
they unwind the thread from the spindle by means of the wand, and
pass it over each alternate upright. The threads, thus separated,
are subsequently lifted with their bamboo uprights from the ground,
and, while extended from tree to tree in a horizontal position, are
washed with rice-water, and carefully brushed. The threads are now
ready to be made into cloth, and the actual weaving is carried on by
means of primitive hand looms inside the houses."

Weavers, like many other classes in Southern India, are eminently
conservative. Even so trifling an innovation as the introduction
of a new arrangement for maintaining tension in the warp during the
process of weaving gave rise a short time ago to a temporary strike
among the hand-loom weavers at the Madras School of Arts.

For the following note on the weaving industry, I am indebted to
Mr. A. Chatterton. "The hand-weavers may be divided into two great
classes--(1) plain weavers, who weave cloths or fabrics with a single
shuttle, which carries the weft from selvage to selvage; (2) bordered
cloth weavers, who weave cloths in which the threads of the weft of the
portion of the fabric forming the borders are distinct from the threads
of the weft of the main body of the cloth. To manufacture these cloths,
three shuttles are employed, and as yet no successful attempt has been
made to imitate them on the power loom. The bordered cloth weavers do
not suffer from the direct competition of machine-made piece-goods,
and the depression in their branch of the industry is due to changes
in the tastes of the people. [131] In the manufacture of a cloth
from the raw material there are three distinct processes: spinning,
warping, and weaving. Modern machinery has absolutely and completely
ousted hand-spinning; the primitive native methods of warping have
been to a large extent replaced by improved hand-machines, and power
looms have displaced hand looms to some extent; but there is still an
enormous hand-loom industry, some branches of which are in by no means
an unsatisfactory condition. In our efforts to place the hand-weaving
industry on a better footing, we are endeavouring to improve the
primitive methods of indigenous weavers both in regard to warping and
weaving. In respect to weaving we have met with considerable success,
as we have demonstrated that the output of the fly-shuttle loom is
fully double that of the native hand loom, and it is in consequence
slowly making its way in the weaving centres of Southern India. In
respect to warping, no definite solution has yet been effected, and
we are still experimenting. The problem is complicated by the fact
that the output of a warping mill must necessarily be sufficient to
keep at least a hundred hand looms at work, and at the present time
the hand-weaving industry is not organised on any basis, which gives
promise of development into co-operative working on so large a scale as
would give employment to this number of looms. In Madura, Coimbatore,
Madras and Salem, attempts are being made to establish organised
hand-loom weaving factories, and these represent the direction in which
future development must take place. At present all these factories
are running with fly-shuttle looms, and various modifications of
the old types of hand-warping machinery. The only experiments in
warping and sizing are now being conducted, at Government expense,
in the Government weaving factory at Salem, and in a small factory
established privately at Tondiarpet (Madras). A warping machinery,
suited to Indian requirements, has been specially designed for us in
England, and there is no doubt but that it will provide a solution
to the warping question, but whether it will be satisfactory or not
depends upon the efficiency of hank sizing. The superiority of native
cloths is commonly attributed to the fact that they are made in hand
looms, but in reality it is largely due to the methods of sizing
employed by native weavers, and it is still doubtful whether we can
attain the same results by any process which involves the production
of continuous warps of indefinite length. The ordinary native warp
is short, and it is stretched out to its full length in the street,
and the size carefully and thoroughly brushed into it. The warps
which our machines will produce may be thousands of yards in length,
and, if they are successful, will almost entirely do away with the
enormous waste of time involved in putting new warps into a loom at
frequent intervals. That they will be successful in a sense there is no
reasonable doubt, but whether the goods produced in our hand-weaving
factories will be what are now known as hand-woven goods, or whether
they will partake more of the nature of the power-loom productions,
remains to be seen. With the cheap labour available in Southern India,
there is probably a future for hand-weaving factories, but it will
depend almost entirely upon the successful training of the weavers, and
experience shows that they are not easily amenable to discipline, and
have very rigid objections to anything approaching a factory system."

In a speech delivered at Salem in 1906, Sir Arthur Lawley, Governor
of Madras, spoke as follows. "I know something of the prosperity of
the weaving industry in days gone by, and I regret exceedingly to
learn that it is not in so flourishing a condition as at one time
it well claimed to be. Now, we have all of us heard a good deal of
Swadeshi, and the Government is being constantly urged, from time to
time, to do something to foster the industries of this country. We
made a beginning here by setting up a Weaving Institute. We believed
that by doing so we should put within the knowledge of the weavers
of this district methods whereby their output of cloth would be
greater, while the cost was reduced, and that thus their material
prosperity would be considerably advanced. Now it is somewhat of a
surprise, and considerable disappointment to me to learn that this
effort which we have made is regarded with suspicion, if not with
hostility. I am afraid our motives have been misunderstood, because
I need hardly assure you that the idea that the Government should
enter into competition with any of the industries of the country never
suggested itself to us. We desired simply and solely to infuse some
fresh spirit into an industry which was languishing."

In a note on the weaving industry, Mr. E. B. Havell writes thus. [132]
"The principle of the Danish co-operative system as applied to
dairy-farming is the combination of a number of small proprietors for
sending their products to a central factory, in which each of them
has a share proportionate to the quantity of his contributions. In
the management of the factory, each member has an absolutely equal
voice, irrespective of his holdings. Adapting such a system to the
Indian weaving industry, each weaving community would have a central
establishment under its own control, which would arrange the purchase
of material at wholesale rates, prepare warps for the weavers' looms,
and organise the sale of the finished products. The actual weaving
would be carried on as at present in the weavers' houses by the
master weavers and their apprentices. If a system of this kind would
retain the economic advantages of the factory system, and eliminate
its many evils, it is obvious that a factory, owned and controlled
by the weavers themselves, and worked only for their advantage, is
a very different thing to a factory controlled by capitalists only
for the purpose of exploiting the labour of their employees."

As bearing on the general condition of the weaving community,
the following extract from the Report of the Famine in the Madras
Presidency, 1896-97, may be quoted. "Among the people who felt the
distress at the beginning were the weavers. It is a well-known fact
that the people of the weaver castes, as well as Mussalman weavers,
are generally improvident, and consequently poor. In favourable times,
the weavers generally earn fair wages. They, however, spend all they
earn without caring to lay by anything, so that very few of their
caste are in well-to-do circumstances. The same is the case with the
Mussalman weavers. All these weavers are entirely in the hands of the
sowcars (money-lenders), who make advances to them, and get cloths in
return. The cloths thus obtained by the sowcars are exported to other
parts of the country. It may be taken as a general fact that most of
the professional weavers are indebted to the sowcars, and are bound to
weave for them. So long as the seasons are favourable, and sowcars get
indents for cloths from their customers, they continue their advances
to their dependent weavers. But when, owing to any cause, the demand
decreases, the sowcars curtail their advances proportionately, and
the weavers are at once put to difficulty. According to the fineness
and kind of fabrics turned out by the weavers, they may be divided
into fine cloth weavers and silk weavers, and weavers of coarse
cloths. It is the coarse cloth weavers that would be affected with
the first appearance of distress. The consumers of their manufactures
are the poorer classes, and, with the appearance of scarcity and high
prices, the demand for the coarser kinds of cloths would cease. Such
was actually the case at the beginning of the recent distress. The
weavers are, as a class, not accustomed to hard manual labour, nor
are they able to work exposed to heat and sun. If such people are put
on earth-work, they would certainly fail to turn out the prescribed
task, and consequently earn insufficient wages. They would thus be,
as it were, punished for no fault of theirs. This state of things
would last at least for some time, until the weavers got accustomed
to earth-work. Again, these people have, by constant work at their
own craft, attained to a certain degree of skill and delicacy, and,
if compelled to do earth-work during the temporary unfavourable
season, they would certainly lose, to some extent, their skill and
delicacy of hand, and would become unfit, in that degree, for their
accustomed work when favourable season returns. They would thus be put
to inconvenience doubly. During the first part of the distress, their
skill of hand, and delicacy of constitution would stand in their way,
and, after the return of good season, the loss of manual skill and
delicacy would place them at a disadvantage. It can be easily seen
that giving relief to the weavers in their own calling is the most
economical form of relief. In this form of special relief, Government
advances materials to the weavers to be woven into different kinds of
cloths. Government has no doubt to incur a large initial expenditure
in the shape of value of materials, and wages for weavers for making
these materials into cloths. But all the materials are returned woven
into cloths, so that, at the close of the operations, Government has
a stock of cloths, which can be disposed of without difficulty on the
return of favourable times, and the cost incurred recovered. In this
way, Government not only administers relief to a pretty large section
of its poor subjects, but keeps up, with little or no cost to itself,
the industrial skill of this section of the people."

Of proverbs relating to the weaver, one runs to the effect that, "if
you want to narrow the breadth of a river, you should plant reeds on
its margin; and, if you desire to destroy the sanitation of a village,
you should bring weavers to it, and settle them there." When the dyes
have to be fixed, and the dyed twist has to be washed, the weavers
generally resort to running water, and pollute it. The several
processes of twisting and untwisting threads, preparing skeins,
etc., make combined labour a necessity in the weaving industry;
and, wherever one finds a weaver settlement, he must find there a
large number of these people, as is explained by the proverb that
"the Chetti (merchant) lost by partnership, while the weaver came
to grief by isolation." When plying shuttles in the weaving process,
the weavers always use their feet in shifting the warp, by treading
on a press. Thus, if a weaver unfortunately happens to have a sore
on his foot, it means loss to him; or, as the proverb says, "If a
dog gets a sore on its head, it never recovers from it; and even so
a weaver who gets a sore on his foot." [133]

Salige (wire).--A gotra of Kurni.

Saliyan.--The Saliyan weavers of Kornad and Ayyampet, in the Tanjore
district, are a Tamil-speaking class, who must not be confused with
the Telugu Sales. They afford an interesting example of how a limited
number of families, following the same occupation, can crystallise
into a separate caste. They claim to have a Puranam relating to
their origin, which is said to be found in the Sthalapuranam of the
Nalladai temple. They believe that they are the descendants of one
Saliya Maha Rishi, a low-caste man, who did service for one Visakar,
who was doing penance near Nalladai. Through the grace of the rishi
Visakar, Saliya became a rishi, and married two wives. The Saliyans
are said to be descended from the offspring of the first wife, and
the Mottai Saliyans from the offspring of the second.

The Saliyans have taken to wearing the sacred thread, engage
Brahman purohits, and are guided by Brahman priests. They are said
to have had their own caste priests until a Brahman from Sendangudi,
near Mayavaram, accepted the office of priest. It is reported that,
in former days, the Saliyans were not allowed to sell their goods
except in a fixed spot called mamaraththumedu, where they set out
their cloths on bamboos. High-caste people never touched the cloths,
except with a stick. At the present day the Saliyans occupy a good
position in the social scale, and employ Brahman cooks, though no
other castes will eat in their houses.

A curious feature in connection with the Saliyans is that, contrary to
the usual rule among Tamil castes, they have exogamous septs or vidu
(house), of which the following are examples:--


    Mandhi, black monkey.
    Kottangkachchi, cocoanut shell.
    Thuniyan, cloth.
    Kachchandhi, gunny-bag.
    Vellai parangi, white vegetable marrow.
    Ettadiyan, eight feet.
    Thadiyan, stout.
    Kazhudhai, donkey.
    Thavalai, frog.
    Sappaikalan, crooked-legged.
    Malaiyan, hill.
    Kaththan, an attendant on Aiyanar.
    Ozhakkan, a measure.
    Thondhi, belly.
    Munginazhi, bamboo measure.
    Odakkazhinjan, one who defæcated when running.
    Kamban, the Tamil poet.
    Ottuvidu, tiled house.
    Kalli, Euphorbia Tirucalli.
    Sirandhan, a noble person.
    Thambiran, master or lord.
    Kollai, backyard.
    Madividu, storeyed house.
    Murugan, name of a person.


The Saliyans have further acquired gotras named after rishis, and,
when questioned as to their gotra, refer to the Brahman purohits.

The Saliyan weavers of silk Kornad women's cloths, who have settled at
Mayavaram in the Tanjore district, neither intermarry nor interdine
with the Saliyans of the Tinnevelly district, though they belong
to the same linguistic division. The Tinnevelly Saliyans closely
follow the Kaikolans in their various ceremonials, and in their
social organisation, and interdine with them. Saliya women wear three
armlets on the upper arm, whereas Kaikola women only wear a single
armlet. The Saliyans may not marry a second wife during the lifetime
of the first wife, even if she does not bear children. They may,
however, adopt children. Some of the Tinnevelly Saliyans have taken
to trade and agriculture, while others weave coarse cotton cloths,
and dye cotton yarn.

In the Census Report, 1901, Ataviyar is recorded as "a synonym for,
or rather title of the Tinnevelly Sales." Further, Pattariyar
is described as a Tamil corruption of Pattu Saliyan, returned
by some of the Tinnevelly Sales. The Adaviyar or Pattalia Settis
are Tamilians, probably an offshoot of the Kaikolans, and have no
connection with the Telugu Pattu Sales, who, like the Padma Sales,
retain their mother-tongue wherever they settle. It is recorded [134]
in connection with the Saliyar of the Chingleput district, many of
whom are Kaikolans, that "a story is current of their persecution
by one Salva Naik (said to have been a Brahman). The result of this
was that large bodies of them were forced to flee from Conjeeveram
to Madura, Tanjore, and Tinnevelly, where their representatives are
still to be found."

The Adaviyars follow the Tamil Puranic type of marriage ceremonies,
and have a sirutali (small tali) as a marriage badge. The caste deity
is Mukthakshiamman. The dead are always cremated.

Saluppan.--The Tamil equivalent of the Telugu Janappan, which is
derived from janapa, the sunn hemp (Crotolaria juncea).

Samagara.--The Samagaras have been described [135] as "the principal
class of leather-workers in the South Canara district. They are
divided into two endogamous groups, the Canarese Samagaras and the
Arya Samagaras. The latter speak Marathi. Though the Samagaras are
in the general estimation as low a caste as the Holeyas, and do not
materially differ from them in their religious and other ceremonies
and customs, they are, as a rule, of much fairer complexion, and the
women are often very handsome. The tanning industry is chiefly carried
on by the Samagaras, and their modus operandi is as follows. The
hides are soaked for a period of one month in large earthen vats
containing water, to which chunam is added at the rate of two seers
per hide. After the expiry of the above period, they are soaked in
fresh water for three days, in view to the chunam being removed. They
are then put into an earthen vessel filled with water and the leaves
of Phyllanthus Emblica, in which they remain for twelve days. After
this, they are removed and squeezed, and replaced in the same vessel,
where they are allowed to remain for about a month, after which
period they are again removed, washed and squeezed. They are then
sewn up and stuffed with the bark of cashew, daddala, and nerale
trees, and hung up for a day. After this, the stitching is removed,
and the hides are washed and exposed to the sun to dry for a day,
when they become fit for making sandals. Some of the hides rot in
this process to such an extent as to become utterly unfit for use."

The badge of the Are Samagara at Conjeeveram is said [136] to be the
insignia of the Mochis (or Mucchis), a boy's kite.

Samantan.--"This," the Census Superintendent, 1891, writes, "may be
called the caste of Malayalam Rajahs and chieftains, but it is hardly
a separate caste at all, at any rate at present, for those Nayars and
others who have at any time been petty chieftains in the country, call
themselves Samantas. The primary meaning of the word Samanta is given
by Dr. Gundert [137] as the chief of a district." The number of people
who returned themselves as Samantas (including a few Samantan Brahmans)
at the Census, 1881, was 1,611, and in 1901 they increased to 4,351.

In a suit brought against the Collector of Malabar (Mr. Logan)
some years ago by one Nilambur Thachara Kovil Mana Vikrama, alias
Elaya Tirumalpad, the plaintiff entered an objection to his being
said by the Collector to be of "a caste (Nayar), who are permitted
to eat fish and flesh, except of course beef." He stated in court
that he was "a Samantan by caste, and a Samantan is neither a
Brahman, nor a Kshatriya, nor a Vaisya, nor a Sudra." Samantan,
according to him, is a corruption of Samantran, which, he stated,
meant one who performs ceremonies without mantrams. He said that
his caste observes all the ceremonies that Brahmans do, but without
mantrams. And he gave the following as the main points in which his
caste differs from that of the Nayars. Brahmans can take their food
in the houses of members of his caste, while they cannot do so in
those of Nayars. At the performance of sradhs in his caste, Brahmans
are fed, while this is not done in the case of Nayars. Brahmans can
prepare water for the purpose of purification in his house, but not
in that of a Nayar. If a Nayar touches a Samantan, he has to bathe
in the same way as a Brahman would have to do. For the performance
of marriages and other ceremonies in his caste, Malabar Brahmans are
absolutely necessary. At marriages the tali is tied by Kshatriyas. A
Samantan has fourteen days' pollution, while a Nayar has fifteen. He
can only eat what a Brahman can eat. He added that he was of the same
caste as the Zamorin of Calicut. A number of witnesses, including the
author of the Keralavakhsha Kramam, were examined in support of his
assertions. It was noted by the District Judge that no documentary
evidence was produced, or reference to public records or works of
authority made in support of the theory as to the existence of a caste
of Samantas who are not Nayars, and are classed under Kshatriyas, and
above the Vaisyas. The following account is given by the author of the
Keralavakhsha Kramam of the origin of the Samantas. Some Kshatriyas
who, being afraid of Parasu Rama, were wandering in foreign parts,
and not observing caste rules, came to Malabar, visited Cheraman
Perumal, and asked for his protection. On this Cheraman Perumal,
with the sanction of the Brahmans, and in pursuance of the rules laid
down by the Maharajas who had preceded him, classed these people as
members of the Samantra caste. "That this book," the Judge observed,
"can be looked on as being in any way an authority on difficult and
obscure historical questions, or that the story can be classed as more
than a myth, there are no grounds for supposing." No linguistic work
of recognised authority was produced in support of the derivation of
the word Samantan from Samantran, meaning without mantrams.

One exhibit in the case above referred to was an extract from the
report of a commission appointed to inspect the state and condition
of the province of Malabar. It is dated 11th October, 1793, and in it
allusion is made to the 'Tichera Tiroopaar' who is described as a chief
Nayar of Nilambur in the southern division of the country. Evidence was
given to show that Tichera Tiroopaar is the Nilambur Tirumulpad. And,
in a letter from the Supervisor of Malabar, dated 15th November,
1793, allusion is made to Tichera Tiroopaar as a Nayar. Two extracts
from Buchanan's well-known work on Mysore, Canara and Malabar, were
also filed as exhibits. In one Buchanan relates what was told him
by the Brahmans of the history of 'Malayala'. Among other things,
he mentions that Cheraman Perumal, having come to the resolution of
retiring to Mecca, went to Calicut. "He was there met by a Nayar who
was a gallant chief, but who, having been absent at the division,
had obtained no share of his master's dominions. Cheraman Perumal
thereupon gave him his sword, and desired him to keep all that he
could conquer. From this person's sisters are descended the Tamuri
Rajahs or Zamorins." In the second extract, Buchanan sums up the
result of enquiries that he had made concerning the Zamorin and his
family. He states that the head of the family is the Tamuri Rajah,
called by Europeans the Zamorin, and adds: "The Tamuri pretends to be
of a higher rank than the Brahmans, and to be inferior only to the
invisible gods, a pretension that was acknowledged by his subjects,
but which is held as absurd and abominable by the Brahmans, by whom
he is only treated as a Sudra."

An important witness said that he knew the plaintiff, and that he was
a Sudra. He stated that he had lived for two years in the Zamorin's
kovilagom, and knew the customs of his family. According to him
there was no difference between his own caste customs and those of
the Zamorin. He said that Samantan means a petty chieftain, and drew
attention to the 'Sukra Niti,' edited by Dr. Oppert, where a Samantan
is said to be "he who gets annually a revenue of from one to three
lakhs karshom from his subjects without oppressing them." There are,
according to him, some Nayars who call themselves Samantas, and he
added that when, in 1887, the Collector of Malabar called for lists
of all stanom-holders [138] in the district, he examined these lists,
and found that some of the Nayar chiefs called themselves Samantan.

"A consideration of all the evidence," the Judge writes, "appears to me
to prove conclusively that the plaintiff is a Nayar by caste.... What
appears to me, from a consideration of the evidence, to be the safe
inference to draw is that the members of the plaintiff's family, and
also the descendants of certain other of the old Nayar chieftains,
have for some time called themselves, and been called by others,
Samantas, but that there is no distinctive caste of that name, and
that the plaintiff is, as the defendant has described him, a Nayar
by caste." [139]

The Samantans are summed up as follows in the Gazetteer of
Malabar. "Samantan is the generic name of the group of castes
forming the aristocracy of Malabar, and it includes the following
divisions:--Nambiyar, Unnitiri, Adiyodi, all belonging to North
Malabar; and Nedungadi, Vallodi, Eradi, and Tirumulpad, all belonging
to South Malabar. There are also Nayars with the title of Nambiyar
and Adiyodi. Nedungadi, Vallodi and Eradi, are territorial names
applied to the Samantans indigenous to Ernad, Walavanad, and Nedunganad
respectively; or perhaps it may be more correct to say that the tracts
in question take their names from the ruling classes, who formerly
bore sway there. Eradi is the caste to which belongs the Zamorin Raja
of Calicut. It is also the name of a section of Kiriyattil Nayars. The
Raja of Walavanad is a Vallodi. Tirumulpad is the title of a class of
Samantans, to which belong a number of petty chieftains, such as the
Karnamulpad of Manjeri and the Tirumulpad of Nilambur. The ladies
of this class are called Kolpads or Koilammahs. Many Nambiyars in
North Malabar claim to belong to the Samantan caste, but there is at
least reason to suppose that they are properly Nayars, and that the
claim to the higher rank is of recent date. That such recruitment is
going on is indicated by the difference between the number of persons
returned as Samantans in the censuses of 1901 and 1891 (4,351 and 1,225
respectively), which is far above the normal percentage of increase of
population. Kshatriyas wear the punul (thread); Samantans as a rule do
not. Most Kshatriyas eat with Brahmans, and have a pollution period of
eleven nights, indicating that their position in the caste hierarchy
lies between the Brahmans with ten days and the Ambalavasis proper
with twelve. Samantans as a rule observe fifteen days' pollution, and
may not eat with Brahmans. Both follow marumakkatayam (inheritance
in the female line), and their women as a rule have sambandham
(alliance) only with Brahmans or Kshatriyas. Those who belong to the
old Royal families are styled Raja or Tamburan (lord), their ladies
Tamburattis, and their houses Kovilagams or palaces. Some Samantans
have the caste titles of Kartavu and Kaimal. But it does not appear
that there are really any material differences between the various
classes of Samantans, other than purely social differences due to
their relative wealth and influence."

"Tradition," writes the Travancore Census Superintendent (1901),
"traces the Samantas to the prudent Kshatriyas, who cast off the holy
thread, to escape detection and slaughter by Parasu Rama. They are
believed to have then fled to uninhabited forests till they forgot
the Sandhyavandana prayers, and became in certain respects no better
than Sudras. Thus they came, it is said, to be called Amantrakas,
Samantrakas, Samantas, or having no mantra at all. Referring to
this, Mr. Stuart says [140] 'Neither philology, nor anything else,
supports this fable.' From the word Samantra, Samanta can, no doubt,
be conveniently derived, but, if they could not repeat mantras, they
should have been called Amantras and not Samantras. In the Kerala
Mahatmya we read that the Perumals appointed Samantas to rule over
portions of their kingdom. Taking the Sanskrit word Samanta, we may
understand it to mean a petty chief or ruler. It is supposed that
the Perumals who came to Malabar contracted matrimonial alliances
with high class Nayar women, and that the issue of such unions were
given chiefships over various extents of territories. Changes in
their manners and customs were, it is said, made subsequently, by way
of approximation to the Kshatriyas proper. Though the sacred thread,
and the Gayatri hymn were never taken up, less vital changes, as, for
instance, that of the wearing of the ornaments of the Kshatriya women,
or of consorting only with Nambutiri husbands, were adopted. Those who
lived in Ernat formed themselves by connections and alliances into
one large caste, and called themselves Eratis. Those who lived in
Valluvanat became Vallotis. The unification could not assume a more
cosmopolitan character as the several families rose to importance at
different times, and, in all probability, from different sections of
the Nayars."

In the Travancore Census Report (1901) the chief divisions of the
Samantas are said to be Atiyoti, Unyatiri, Pantala, Erati, Valloti,
and Netungati. "The Unyatiris," the Travancore Census Superintendent
writes further, "look upon themselves as a higher class than the rest
of the Samantas, as they have an Aryapattar to tie the tali of their
girls, the other five castes employing only Kshatriyas (Tirumulpats)
for that duty. The word Atiyoti has sometimes been derived from Atiyan,
a slave or vassal, the tradition being that the Kattanat Raja, having
once been ousted from his kingdom by the Zamorin of Calicut, sought
the assistance of the Raja of Chirakkal. The latter is believed
to have made the Kattanat Raja his vassal as a condition for his
territory being restored. The Unnittiris are not found in Travancore,
their place being taken by the Unyatiris, who do not differ from them
materially in any of their manners and customs. The word Unnittiri
means the venerable boy, and is merely a title of dignity. The word
Pantala comes from Bhandarattil, meaning 'in or belonging to the
royal treasury'. They appear to have been once the ruling chiefs of
small territories. Their women are known as Kovilammamar, i.e., the
ladies of palaces or ranis. The Erati, the Valloti, and Netungati are
British Malabar castes, and receive their names from the localities,
to which they may have been indigenous--Ernat, Valluvanat, and
Netunganat. The Zamorin of Calicut is an Erati by caste. [In 1792,
the Joint Commissioners wrote that 'the Cartinaad and Samoory
(the principal families in point of extent of dominion) are of the
Samanth or Euree (cowherd) caste.'] [141] Some of these Eratis, such
as the Raja of Nilambur, are called Tirumulpats. The only peculiarity
with these Tirumulpats is that they may tie the tali of their women,
and need not call other Tirumulpats for the purpose, as the rest of
the Samantas have to do. A title that several Samantas often take is
Kartavu (agent or doer), their females being called Koilpats, meaning
literally those who live in palaces. The Samantas of Manchery and
Amarampalam in Malabar are also called Tirumulpats. The Samantas of
Chuntampattai and Cherupulasseri are called Kartavus. Both Kartas and
Tirumulpats are called by the Sudra castes Tampuran or prince. The
caste government of the Samantas rests with the Namputiri Vaidikas,
and their priesthood is undertaken by the Namputiris. They follow
the marumakkathayam law of inheritance (through the female line), and
observe both the forms of marriage in vogue in the country, namely,
tali-kettu and sambandham. Women wear the three special ornaments of
the Kshatriyas, viz., the mittil or cherutali, entram, and kuzhal. The
chief of these is the mittil, which is used as the wedding ornament. It
has the appearance of Rama's parasu or battle-axe. The houses of
those Samantas, who are or were till recently rulers of territories,
are known as kottarams or palaces, while those of the commonalty are
merely called mathams, a name given to the houses of Brahmans not
indigenous to Malabar. The occupations, which the Samantas pursue, are
chiefly personal attendance on the male and female members of Royal
families. Others are landlords, and a few have taken to the learned
professions." In the Cochin Census Report, 1901, it is stated that
"Samantas and Ambalavasis do not interdine. At public feasts they
sit together for meals. Brahmans, Kshatriyas, Nampidis, and most of
the Ambalavasi castes, do not take water from them. Birth and death
pollution last for eleven days."

In the Madras Civil List of titles and title-holders, the Zamorin
of Calicut, and the Valiya Rajas of Chirakkal, Kadattanad, Palghat,
and Waluvanad, are returned as Samantas.

Samanthi (Chrysanthemum indicum).--An exogamous sept of Kuruba and
Togata. The flowers of the chrysanthemum are largely used for garlands,
etc., in temple worship.

Samantiya.--The Samantiyas are an Oriya caste of agricultural
labourers and firewood sellers. It has been suggested that the caste
name is derived from samantiba, which denotes sauntering to pick up
scattered things. The Samantiyas are one of the castes, whose touch
is supposed to convey pollution, and they consequently live apart in
separate quarters.

All the Samantiyas are said to belong to the nagasa (cobra) gotra. The
headman is called Behara, and he is assisted by an official called
Poricha. There is also a caste servant entitled Dogara. The caste
title is Podhano, which is also frequently given out as being the
name of the caste.

Samantiya women will not eat food prepared by Brahmans or members of
other castes, and they apparently object to cooking in open places
when travelling, and leave this work for the men to perform. An
Oriya Brahman purohit officiates at the marriage ceremonies, which,
with slight variations, conform to the standard Oriya type. The
marriage pandal (booth) is generally covered with cocoanut leaves and
leafy twigs of Eugenia Jambolana and Zizyphus Jujuba. Four lights,
and a vessel of water, are kept on the dais throughout the marriage
ceremonies. The knot, with which the cloths of the bride and bridegroom
are tied together, is untied on the evening of the bibha (wedding)
day, instead of on the seventh day as among many other castes.

Samanto.--A title of Jatapus, and other Oriya castes.

Samaya.--In his 'Inscriptions at Sravana Belgola' in Mysore,
Mr. Lewis Rice refers to the Samaya as "Dasaris or Vaishnava religious
mendicants, invested with authority as censors of morals. No religious
ceremony or marriage could be undertaken without gaining their consent
by the payment of fees, etc. Under the former Rajas the office was
farmed out in all the large towns, and credited in the public accounts
as samayachara. An important part of the profits arose either from the
sale of women accused of incontinency, or from fines imposed on them
for the same reason. The unfortunate women were popularly known as
Sarkar (Government) wives." "The rules of the system," Wilks writes,
[142] "varied according to the caste of the accused. Among Brahmans
and Komatis, females were not sold, but expelled from their caste,
and branded on the arm as prostitutes. They then paid to the ijardar
(or contractor) an annual sum as long as they lived, and, when
they died, all their property became his. Females of other Hindu
castes were sold without any compunction by the ijardar, unless some
relative stepped forward to satisfy his demand. These sales were not,
as might be supposed, conducted by stealth, nor confined to places
remote from general observation; for, in the large town of Bangalore,
under the very eyes of the European inhabitants, a large building
was appropriated to the accommodation of these unfortunate women,
and, so late as 1833, a distinct proclamation of the Commissioners
was necessary to enforce the abolition of this detestable traffic."

Samayamuvaru.--An itinerant class of mendicants attached to the
Sale caste. From a note by Mr. C. Hayavadana Rao, I gather that they
say that the name is an abbreviation of Ranasamayamuvaru, or men of
the day of battle. According to a legend, when Bhavana Rishi, the
patron saint of the caste, was challenged to battle by Kalavasina,
a rakshasa, these people were created, and, with their assistance,
the rakshasa was conquered. In recognition of their services, Bhavana
Rishi made the Sales maintain them. They wander from place to place in
single families, and, when they reach a halting-place, dress up, and
visit the house of the Pedda Senapati (headman), who feeds them for
the day, and gives a chit (note) showing the amount paid by him. At
their visits to Sale houses, Bhavana Rishi is praised. They marry in
the presence of, and with the aid of the Sales.

Samban.--Samban, meaning Samba or Siva, has been recorded as a
sub-division of Idaiyan and Paraiyan. At times of census, Sambuni Kapu
has been returned as the caste name by some Palle fishermen in Nellore.

Sambandham.--Sambandham, meaning literally connexion, is "the term
used by the Nayars [and other castes] of South Malabar to denote that a
man and woman are united by a quasi-matrimonial bond." [143] In Act IV
of 1896, Madras, sambandham is defined as "an alliance between a man
and a woman, by reason of which they, in accordance with the custom
of the community, to which they belong, or either of them belongs,
cohabit or intend to cohabit as husband and wife."

Same (millet: Panicum miliare).--An exogamous sept of Kuruba.

Sami Puli (holy tiger).--An exogamous sept of Kallan.

Sammathi Makkal (hammer-men).--An exogamous section of Kallan.

Sammeraya.--A name for Telugu beggars employed as servants and
messengers by the heads of Lingayat mutts (religious institutions). It
is derived from samme, denoting confederacy or league, and denotes
those who are bound to the rules laid down by Lingayats.

Samolo.--A title of Doluva.

Sampige.--Sampige and Sampangi (champac: Michelia Champaca) have been
recorded as an exogamous sept of Kurni and Odde. Champac flowers are
used in the manufacture of temple garlands.

Samudra.--Samudra, Samudram, or Samudrala, meaning the ocean, has been
recorded as an exogamous sept of Telugu Brahmans, Koravas, Kurubas,
Balijas, and Malas. The equivalent Tamudri occurs as the title of
the Zamorin, who is the sea-king or ruler of Calicut.

Sani.--The Sanivallu, who are a Telugu dancing-girl caste, are
described, in the Vizagapatam Manual, as women who have not entered
into matrimony, gain money by prostitution, and acting as dancers at
feasts. Sani is also a title of the Oriya Doluvas in Ganjam, who are
said to be descended from Puri Rajas by their concubines. The streets
occupied by Sanis are, in Ganjam, known as Sani vidhi. I have heard of
missionaries, who, in consequence of this name, insist on their wives
being addressed as Ammagaru instead of by the customary name Dorasani.

In a note on the Sanis of the Godavari district, Mr. F. R. Hemingway
writes as follows. "In this district, dancing-girls and prostitutes
are made up of six perfectly distinct castes, which are in danger
of being confused. These are the Sanis proper, Bogams, Dommara
Sanis, Turaka Sanis, Mangala Bogams, and Madiga Bogams. Of these,
the Bogams claim to be superior, and will not dance in the presence
of, or after a performance by any of the others. The Sanis do not
admit this claim, but they do not mind dancing after the Bogams, or
in their presence. All the other classes are admittedly inferior to
the Sanis and the Bogams. The Sanis would scorn to eat with any of
the other dancing castes. The Sani women are not exclusively devoted
to their traditional profession. Some of them marry male members
of the caste, and live respectably with them. The men do not, as
among the dancing castes of the south, assist in the dancing, or by
playing the accompaniments or forming a chorus, but are cultivators
and petty traders. Like the dancing-girls of the south, the Sanis
keep up their numbers by the adoption of girls of other castes. They
do service in the temples, but they are not required to be formally
dedicated or married to the god, as in the Tamil country. Those of
them who are to become prostitutes are usually married to a sword on
attaining puberty."

Sani, meaning apparently cow-dung, occurs as a sub-division of the
Tamil Agamudaiyans.

Sanjogi.--The Sanjogis are an Oriya class of religious mendicants,
who wear the sacred thread, and act as priests for Panos and other
lowly people. The name indicates connection, and that they are the
connecting link between ordinary people and those who have given up
earthly pleasures (Sanyasis). The Sanjogis follow the ordinary as
well as the ascetic life. Mr. G. Ramamurti Pantulu informs me that
they are believed to be the offspring of ascetics who have violated
their vow of celibacy, and women with whom they have lived. They make
and sell bead rosaries of the sacred tulsi or basil (Ocimum sanctum)
which are worn by various Oriya castes. Some are cultivators, while
others are beggars. A Sanjogi beggar goes about with a bell on the
thigh, and a coloured pot on the left shoulder. A few are employed
at Oriya maths (religious institutions), where it is their duty to
invite Bairagis and ascetics to a dinner party, and afterwards to
remove the leaf platters, and eat the food which is left.

Sankati (ragi or millet pudding).--An exogamous sept of Boya. Ragi
is the staple dietary of many of the lower classes, who cannot
afford rice.

Sanku.--Sanku, the conch or chank (Turbinella rapa) has been
recorded as a sub-division of Dasaris, Koppala Velamas, and
Paraiyans who act as conch-blowers at funerals, and as an exogamous
sept of Kuruba. Sankukatti, or those who tie the chank, occurs as a
sub-division of Idaiyan. The chank shell, which is regularly collected
by divers off Tuticorin in the Tinnevelly district, is highly prized by
Hindus, and used for offering libations, and as a musical instrument
at temple services, marriages, and other ceremonials. Vaishnavites
and Madhvas are branded with the emblems of the chank and chakram. The
rare right-handed chank shell is specially valued, and purchased for
large sums. A legend, recorded by Baldæus, runs to the effect that
"Garroude (Garuda) flew in all haste to Brahma, and brought to Kistna
the chianko or kinkhorn twisted to the right". Such a shell appears on
the coat-of-arms of the Raja of Cochin and on the coins of Travancore.

Sanno (little).--A sub-division of Bottada, Omanaito, Pentiya,
and Sondi.

Sanror.--A synonym of Shanans, who claim that Shanan is derived from
Sanror, meaning the learned or noble.

Santarasi.--An exogamous sept of Dandasi. The members thereof may
not use mats made of the sedge of this name.

Santha (a fair).--An exogamous sept of Devanga and Odde.

Santo.--A sub-division of Oriya Brahmans and Bhayipuos.

Sanyasi.--"A Sanyasi is literally a man who has forsaken all, and
who has renounced the world and leads a life of celibacy, devoting
himself to religious meditation and abstraction, and to the study
of holy books. He is considered to have attained a state of exalted
piety that places him above most of the restrictions of caste and
ceremony. His is the fourth Asrama or final stage of life recommended
for the three higher orders. ["Having performed religious acts in a
forest during the third portion of his life, let him become a Sanyasi,
for the fourth portion of it, abandoning all sensual affection." [144]]
The number of Brahman Sanyasis is very small; they are chiefly the
Gurus or High Priests of the different sects. These are, as a rule,
men of learning, and heads of monasteries, where they have a number of
disciples under instruction and training for religious discussion. They
are supported entirely by endowments and the contributions of their
disciples. They undertake periodical tours for the purpose of receiving
the offerings of their followers. Since the Sanyasi is considered to
be above all sin, and to have acquired sufficient merit for salvation,
no sradha is performed by the children born to him before he became
an anchorite. [The skull of a Sanyasi is broken after death, as a
guarantee of his passage to eternal bliss. Cf. Gosayi.] The corpse
of a Sanyasi is buried, and never burnt, or thrown into the river.

"The majority of the Sanyasis found, and generally known as such,
are a class of Sudra devotees, who live by begging, and pretend to
powers of divination. They wear garments coloured with red ochre,
and allow the hair to grow unshorn. They often have settled abodes,
but itinerate. Many are married, and their descendants keep up the
sect, and follow the same calling." [145]

Sapiri.--A synonym of Relli.

Sappaliga.--It is noted, in the Madras Census Report, 1901, that
"in some taluks of South Canara they are said to be identical with,
or a sub-caste of Ganiga." The Ganigas are a Canarese caste, of which
the traditional occupation is oil-pressing. In the Manual of the South
Canara district, it is recorded that "Sappaligs appear to be identical
with the Devadigas (temple musicians) in North Canara, though they
are regarded as distinct castes in South Canara. The Sappaligs are,
as the name sappal (noise) implies, a class of musicians in temples,
but a number of them are cultivators." Sappaliga is an occupational
term. The musicians among the Tulu Moger fishing caste are called
Sappaligas, in the same way that those Mogers who are engaged as
oil-pressers are called Ganigas, both being occupational names.

Sara (thread).--A gotra of Kurni.

Saragu (dried or withered leaves).--A sub-division of Valaiyan.

Sarangulu.--Recorded, in the Nellore district, as being sailors. The
name is doubtless equivalent to Serang, which has been defined [146]
as meaning "a native boatswain, or chief of a lascar crew; the skipper
of a small native vessel."

Sarattu (sacred thread).--A sub-division of Kanakkan, members of
which wear the sacred thread.

Sarayi (alcoholic liquor).--A sub-division of Balija.

Sarige (lace).--The name of a class of gold-lace makers in Mysore,
and of an exogamous sept of Kuruba.

Sastri.--In the Madras Census Report, 1901, Sastri (one learned in
the shastras) is described as "unrecognizable. The word is used as a
title by Smarta Brahmans in the Madras Presidency, but the persons
returning it came from Bombay, and were not Brahmans." Sastri is
recorded in my notes as a title of Devangas.

Satani.--The Satanis are described in the Madras Census Report,
1891, as "a class of temple servants very much like the Malis of
Bengal. The word Satani is a corrupt form of Sattadavan, which,
literally means one who does not wear (the sacred thread and tuft
of hair). For temple services Ramanuja classed Vaishnavites into
Sattinavan and Sattadavan. The former are invariably Brahmans,
and the latter Sudras. Hence Satani is the professional name given
to a group of the Vaishnava creed. It is sometimes stated that the
Satanis of the Madras Presidency are the disciples of the famous
Bengali reformer Chaitanya (15th century), from whom, they say, the
term Satani took its origin. But, so far as I can ascertain, this
supposition rests on no better foundation than the similarity in sound
of the two names, and it seems to me more than doubtful. There is no
evidence of Chaitanya having ever preached in the Dravidian country,
and the tenets of the Satanis of this Presidency differ widely from
those of the followers of Chaitanya. The former worship only Krishna,
while the latter venerate Vishnu in the form of Narayana also. The
Satanis, too, have as much reverence for Ramanuja as the followers of
Chaitanya have towards their guru, who is said to be an incarnation
of Krishna. With regard to their religion, it will suffice to say that
they are Tengalai Vaishnavites. They shave their heads completely, and
tie their lower cloth like a Brahman bachelor. In their ceremonies they
more or less follow the Brahmans, but the sacred thread is not worn
by them. Though the consumption of alcoholic liquor and animal food
is strictly prohibited, they practice both to a considerable extent on
all festive occasions, and at sradhs. Drinking and other excesses are
common. Some Satanis bury the dead, and others burn them. The principal
occupations of Satanis are making garlands, carrying the torches during
the god's procession, and sweeping the temple floor. They also make
umbrellas, flower baskets and boxes of palmyra leaves, and prepare
the sacred balls of white clay (for making the Vaishnavite sectarian
mark), and saffron powder. Their usual agnomen is Aiya."

In the Madras Census Report, 1901, the Satanis are summed up as
being "a Telugu caste of temple servants supposed to have come
into existence in the time of the great Vaishnavite reformer Sri
Ramanujacharya (A.D. 1100). The principal endogamous sub-divisions
of this caste are (1) Ekakshari, (2) Chaturakshari, (3) Ashtakshari,
and (4) Kulasekhara. The Ekaksharis (eka, one, and akshara, syllable)
hope to get salvation by reciting the one mystic syllable Om; the
Chaturaksharis believe in the religious efficacy of the four syllables
Ra-ma-nu-ja; the Ashtaksharis hold that the recitation of the eight
syllables Om-na-mo-na-ra-ya-na-ya (Om! salutation to Narayana)
will ensure them eternal bliss; and the Kulasekharas, who wear the
sacred thread, claim to be the descendants of the Vaishnava saint
Kulasekhara Alvar, formerly a king of the Kerala country. The first
two sections make umbrellas, flower garlands, etc., and are also
priests to Balijas and other Sudra castes of the Vaishnava sects,
while the members of the other two have taken to temple service. In
their social and religious customs, all the sub-divisions closely
imitate the Tengalai Vaishnava Brahmans. The marriage of girls after
puberty, and the remarriage of widows, are strictly prohibited. Most
of them employ Brahman purohits, but latterly they have taken to
getting priests from their own caste. They attach no importance to
the Sanskrit Vedas, or to the ritual sanctioned therein, but revere
the sacred hymns of the twelve Vaishnava saints or Alvars, called
Nalayira Prabandham (book of the four thousand songs), which is in
Tamil. From this their purohits recite verses during marriages and
other ceremonies." At the census, 1901, Ramanuja was returned as
a sub-caste of Satani. In the Manual of the North Arcot district,
Mr. H. A. Stuart describes the Satanis as "a mixed religious sect,
recruited from time to time from other castes, excepting Paraiyans,
leather-workers, and Muhammadans. All the Satanis are Vaishnavites,
but principally revere Bashyakar (another name for Ramanuja), whom they
assert to have been an incarnation of Vishnu. The Satanis are almost
entirely confined to the large towns. Their legitimate occupations are
performing menial services in Vishnu temples, begging, tending flower
gardens, selling flower garlands, making fans, grinding sandalwood
into powder, and selling perfumes. They are the priests of some Sudra
castes, and in this character correspond to the Saivite Pandarams."

In the Census Report, 1871, the Satanis are described as being
"frequently religious mendicants, priests of inferior temples,
minstrels, sellers of flowers used as offerings, etc., and have
probably recruited their numbers by the admission into their ranks
of individuals who have been excommunicated from higher castes. As a
matter of fact, many prostitutes join this sect, which has a recognised
position among the Hindus. This can easily be done by the payment of
certain fees, and by eating in company with their co-religionists. And
they thus secure for themselves decent burial with the ceremonial
observances necessary to ensure rest to the soul."

In the Mysore Census Report, 1891, it is noted that Satanis are
also styled Khadri Vaishnavas, Sattadaval, Chatali, Kulasekhara,
and Sameraya. These names, however, seem to have pricked their
amour propre in the late census, and they took considerable pains
not only to cast them off, but also to enrol themselves as Prapanna
Vaishnavas, Nambi, Venkatapura Vaishnavas, etc. The idea of being
tabulated as Sudras was so hateful to them that, in a few places, the
enumerators, who had so noted down their caste according to precedent,
were prosecuted by them for defamation. The cases were of course thrown
out. Further, the Mysore Census Superintendent, 1901, writes that "the
sub-divisions of the Satanis are Khadri Vaishnavas, Natacharamurti,
Prathama Vaishnava, Sameraya or Samogi, Sankara, Suri, Sattadhava,
Telugu Satani, and Venkatapurada. Some are employed in agriculture,
but as a rule they are engaged in the service of Vishnu temples,
and are flower-gatherers, torch-bearers, and strolling minstrels."

The Satanis are also called Dasa Nambis. They are flesh-eaters,
but some have now become pure vegetarians. There are, for example,
at Srivilliputtur in the Tinnevelly district, a large number who have
abandoned a meat dietary. They are connected with the temple of Andal,
and supply flowers and tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) leaves for worship,
carry torches before the goddess during processions, and watch the
gate of the temple during the night. The small income which they
derive from the temple is supplemented by the manufacture and sale of
palmyra leaf baskets, and umbrellas made from Pandanus leaves. As a
class, the Satanis are given to liquor, and all important ceremonial
occasions are made the excuse for copious potations. This weakness is
so well known that, in the north of the Presidency, the term Ramanuja
Matham is used to denote the consumption of meat and drink at death or
sradh ceremonies, just as Saivam signifies vegetarianism. The Satani
mendicant can be recognised by the peculiar flat gourd-shaped brass pot
and palm leaf fan which he carries. The Satanis claim to have sprung
from the sweat of Virat Purusha (lord of the universe). The following
legend is told, as accounting for the removal of the kudumi (tuft of
hair on the head), and wearing the cloth without a fold behind. In
the time of Ramanuja, the Satanis enjoyed certain privileges in the
temples, but, not satisfied with these, they claimed to take rank next
to Brahmans. This privilege was accorded, and, when flowers and other
things used in the worship of the god were to be distributed, they
were handed over to the Satanis. They, however, were unable to decide
who should be deputed to represent the community, each person decrying
the others as being of low caste. Ramanuja accordingly directed that
they should shave their heads, and wear their loin-cloths with a fold
in front only.

In addition to other occupations already noted, Satanis sell
turmeric, coloured powders, and sacred balls of white clay used by
Vaishnavites. Some act as priests to Balijas and Komatis, at whose
death ceremonies the presence of a Satani is essential. Immediately
after death, the Satani is summoned, and he puts sect marks on
the corpse. At the grave, cooked food is offered, and eaten by the
Satani and members of the family of the deceased. On the last day of
the death ceremonies (karmandiram), the Satani comes to the house
of the dead person late in the evening, bringing with him certain
idols, which are worshipped with offerings of cooked rice, flesh,
and liquor in jars. The food is distributed among those present,
and the liquor is doled out from a spoon called parikam, or a broom
dipped in the liquor, which is drunk as it drips therefrom.

Satani women dress just like Vaishnava Brahman women, from whom it
is difficult to distinguish them. In former days, the Satanis used to
observe a festival called ravikala (bodice) utchavam, which now goes
by the name of gandapodi (sandal powder) utchavam. The festival, as
originally carried out, was a very obscene rite. After the worship
of the god by throwing sandal powder, etc., the Satanis returned
home, and indulged in copious libations of liquor. The women threw
their bodices into vessel, and they were picked out at random by the
men. The woman whose bodice was thus secured became the partner of
the man for the day.

For the following note on Satanis in the Vizagapatam district, I am
indebted to Mr. C. Hayavadana Rao. Satani is said to be the shortened
form of Saththadavan, the uncovered man. They are prohibited from
covering three different parts of their bodies, viz., the head with
the usual tuft of hair, the body with the sacred thread, and the waist
with the customary strip of cloth. All devout Satanis shave their
heads completely. [There is a proverb "Tie a knot on the Satani's
tuft of hair, and on the ascetic's holy thread." The Satanis shave
the whole head, and the Sanyasis have no sacred thread.] [147] The
caste is divided into exogamous septs, or intiperulu. The custom of
menarikam, according to which a man marries his maternal uncle's
daughter, is observed. The remarriage of widows and divorce are
not allowed. Attempts have been made by some members of the caste,
in other parts of the Madras Presidency, to connect themselves with
Chaitanya. But, so far as the Vizagapatam district is concerned,
this is repudiated. They are Ramanuja Vaishnavas of the Tenkalai
persuasion. Their gurus are known as Paravasthuvaru--a corruption of
Paravasu Deva, whose figure is on the vimana of the Srirangam temple,
and who must be visited before entering the principal sanctuary. They
live at Gumsur in Ganjam, and have Sadacharulu, or ever-devout
followers, who act as their agents in Vizagapatam. They brand the
shoulders of Satanis with the Vaishnavite emblems, the sankha and
chakra, and initiate them into the mysteries of the Vaishnava religion
by whispering into their ears the word Ramanuja. The Satani learns by
heart various songs in eulogy of Srirangam and its deity, by means
of which he earns his living. He rises in the early morning, and,
after a bath, adorns his forehead and body with the Vaishnavite namam,
ties round his clean-shaved head a string of tulsi (Ocimum sanctum)
beads known as thirupavithram, puts a tulsi garland round his neck,
and takes a fan called gajakarnam, or elephant's ear, in his right
hand. In his left hand he carries a copper gourd-shaped vessel. He
is generally accompanied by another Satani similarly got up. When
begging, they sing the songs referred to above, and collect the rice
which is given to them in their vessels. At the end of their round
they return home, and their wives clean the rice, bow down before
it, and cook it. No portion of the rice obtained by begging should
be sold for money. The Satanis play an important part in the social
life of the Vaishnavites of the district, and are the gurus of some
of the cultivating and other classes. They preside at the final
death ceremonies of the non-Brahman Vaishnavite castes. They burn
their dead, and perform the chinna (little) and pedda rozu (big day)
death ceremonies.

Sathu.--A synonym, meaning a company of merchants or travellers,
of Perike and Janappan.

Saurashtra.--A synonym of the Patnulkarans, derived from the Saurashtra
country, whence they came southward. They also style themselves
Saurashtra Brahmans.

Savalaikkaran.--A Tamil name for fishermen, who fish in the
sea. Savalai or saval thadi is the flattened paddle used for rowing
boats. The Savalaikkarans are more akin to the Pallis or Vanniyans
than to the Sembadavans. Though a large number are agriculturists,
some play on the nagasaram (reed instrument). In the Tinnevelly
district, where Melakkarans are scarce, the temple musicians are either
Savalaikkarans or Panisavans. The agricultural Savalaikkarans use the
title Padayachi, and the musicians the title Annavi. Their marriages
last three days, and the milk-post is made of teak-wood. Widow
remarriage is prohibited. The dead are always buried. Socially they
are on a par with the Maravans, with whom they interdine.

Savali.--A synonym of Budubudike.

Savantiya.--A synonym of Samantiya.

Savara.--The Savaras, Sawaras, or Saoras, are an important
hill-tribe in Ganjam and Vizagapatam.The name is derived by
General Cunningham from the Scythian sagar, an axe, in reference
to the axe which they carry in their hands. In Sanskrit, sabara or
savara means a mountaineer, barbarian, or savage. The tribe has
been identified by various authorities with the Suari of Pliny
and Sabarai of Ptolemy. "Towards the Ganges," the latter writes,
"are the Sabarai, in whose country the diamond is found in great
abundance." This diamond-producing country is located by Cunningham
near Sambalpur in the Central Provinces. In one of his grants,
Nandivarma Pallavamalla, a Pallava king, claims to have released
the hostile king of the Sabaras, Udayana by name, and captured his
mirror-banner made of peacock's feathers. The Rev. T. Foulkes [148]
identifies the Sabaras of this copper-plate grant with the Savaras of
the eastern ghats. But Dr. E. Hultzsch, who has re-edited the grant,
[149] is of opinion that these Sabaras cannot be identified with
the Savaras. The Aitareya Brahmana of the Rig-veda makes the Savaras
the descendants of the sons of Visvamitra, who were cursed to become
impure by their father for an act of disobedience, while the Ramayana
describes them as having emanated from the body of Vasishta's cow to
fight against the sage Visvamitra.

The language of the Savaras is included by Mr. G. A. Grierson [150]
in the Munda family. It has, he writes, "been largely influenced by
Telugu, and is no longer an unmixed form of speech. It is most closely
related to Kharia and Juang, but in some characteristics differs from
them, and agrees with the various dialects of the language which has
in this (linguistic) survey been described under the denomination
of Kherwari."

The Savaras are described by Mr. F. Fawcett [151] as being much more
industrious than the Khonds. "Many a time," he writes, "have I tried
to find a place for an extra paddy (rice) field might be made, but
never with success. It is not too much to say that paddy is grown on
every available foot of arable ground, all the hill streams being
utilized for this purpose. From almost the very tops of the hills,
in fact from wherever the springs are, there are paddy fields; at the
top of every small area a few square yards, the front perpendicular
revetment [of large masses of stones] sometimes as large in area
as the area of the field; and larger and larger, down the hillside,
taking every advantage of every available foot of ground there are
fields below fields to the bottoms of the valleys. The Saoras show
remarkable engineering skill in constructing their paddy fields, and
I wish I could do it justice. They seem to construct them in the most
impossible places, and certainly at the expense of great labour. Yet,
with all their superior activity and industry, the Saoras are decidedly
physically inferior to the Khonds. It seems hard the Saoras should
not be allowed to reap the benefit of their industry, but must give
half of it to the parasitic Bissoyis and their retainers. The greater
part of the Saoras' hills have been denuded of forest owing to the
persistent hacking down of trees for the purpose of growing dry crops,
so much so that, in places, the hills look almost bare in the dry
weather. Nearly all the jungle (mostly sal, Shorea robusta) is cut
down every few years. When the Saoras want to work a piece of new
ground, where the jungle has been allowed to grow for a few years,
the trees are cut down, and, when dry, burned, and the ground is
grubbed up by the women with a kind of hoe. The hoe is used on the
steep hill sides, where the ground is very stony and rocky, and the
stumps of the felled trees are numerous, and the plough cannot be
used. In the paddy fields, or on any flat ground, they use ploughs
of lighter and simpler make than those used in the plains. They use
cattle for ploughing." It is noted by Mr. G. V. Ramamurti Pantulu,
in an article on the Savaras, that "in some cases the Bissoyi,
who was originally a feudatory chief under the authority of the
zemindar, and in other cases the zemindar claims a fixed rent in
kind or cash, or both. Subject to the rents payable to the Bissoyis,
the Savaras under them are said to exercise their right to sell or
mortgage their lands. Below the ghats, in the plains, the Savara has
lost his right, and the mustajars or the renters to whom the Savara
villages are farmed out take half of whatever crops are raised by the
Savaras." Mr. Ramamurti states further that a new-comer should obtain
the permission of the Gomongo (headman) and the Boya before he can
reclaim any jungle land, and that, at the time of sale or mortgage,
the village elders should be present, and partake of the flesh of the
pig sacrificed on the occasion. In some places, the Savaras are said to
be entirely in the power of Paidi settlers from the plains, who seize
their entire produce on the plea of debts contracted at a usurious
rate of interests. In recent years, some Savaras emigrated to Assam
to work in the tea-gardens. But emigration has now stopped by edict.

The sub-divisions among the Savaras, which, so far as I can gather,
are recognised, are as follows:--

A.--Hill Savaras.

(1) Savara, Jati Savara (Savaras par excellence), or Maliah
Savara. They regard themselves as superior to the other divisions. They
will eat the flesh of the buffalo, but not of the cow.

(2) Arsi, Arisi, or Lombo Lanjiya. Arsi means monkey, and Lombo
Lanjiya, indicating long-tailed, is the name by which members of this
section are called, in reference to the long piece of cloth, which
the males allow to hang down. The occupation is said to be weaving
the coarse cloths worn by members of the tribe, as well as agriculture.

(3) Luara or Muli. Workers in iron, who make arrow heads, and other
articles.

(4) Kindal. Basket-makers, who manufacture rough baskets for holding
grain.

(5) Jadu. Said to be a name among the Savaras for the hill country
beyond Kollakota and Puttasingi.

(6) Kumbi. Potters who make earthen pots. "These pots," Mr. Fawcett
writes, "are made in a few villages in the Saora hills. Earthen
vessels are used for cooking, or for hanging up in houses as fetishes
of ancestral spirits or certain deities."

B.--Savaras of the low country.

(7) Kapu (denoting cultivator), or Pallapu.

(8) Suddho (good).

It has been noted that the pure Savara tribes have restricted
themselves to the tracts of hill and jungle-covered valleys. But,
as the plains are approached, traces of amalgamation become apparent,
resulting in a hybrid race, whose appearance and manners differ but
little from those of the ordinary denizens of the low country. The
Kapu Savaras are said to retain many of the Savara customs, whereas
the Suddho Savaras have adopted the language and customs of the Oriya
castes. The Kapu section is sometimes called Kudunga or Baseng, and the
latter name is said by Mr. Ramamurti to be derived from the Savara word
basi, salt. It is, he states, applied to the plains below the ghats,
as, in the fairs held there, salt is purchased by the Savaras of the
hills, and the name is used to designate the Savaras living there. A
class name Kampu is referred to by Mr. Ramamurti, who says that the
name "implies that the Savaras of this class have adopted the customs
of the Hindu Kampus (Oriya for Kapu). Kudumba is another name by which
they are known, but it is reported that there is a sub-division of them
called by this name." He further refers to Bobbili and Bhima as the
names of distinct sub-divisions. Bobbili is a town in the Vizagapatam
district, and Bhima was the second of the five Pandava brothers.

In an account of the Maliya Savarulu, published in the 'Catalogue
Raisonné of Oriental Manuscripts,' [152] it is recorded that "they
build houses over mountain torrents, previously throwing trees across
the chasms; and these houses are in the midst of forests of fifty
or more miles in extent. The reason of choosing such situations is
stated to be in order that they may more readily escape by passing
underneath their houses, and through the defile, in the event of
any disagreement and hostile attack in reference to other rulers or
neighbours. They cultivate independently, and pay tax or tribute
to no one. If the zemindar of the neighbourhood troubles them for
tribute, they go in a body to his house by night, set it on fire,
plunder, and kill; and then retreat, with their entire households,
into the wilds and fastnesses. They do in like manner with any of the
zemindar's subordinates, if troublesome to them. If they are courted,
and a compact is made with them, they will then abstain from any wrong
or disturbance. If the zemindar, unable to bear with them, raise
troops and proceed to destroy their houses, they escape underneath
by a private way, as above mentioned. The invaders usually burn the
houses, and retire. If the zemindar forego his demands, and make an
agreement with them, they rebuild their houses in the same situations,
and then render assistance to him."

The modern Savara settlement is described by Mr. Fawcett as having
two rows of huts parallel and facing each other. "Huts," he writes,
"are generally built of upright pieces of wood stuck in the ground,
6 or 8 inches apart, and the intervals filled in with stones and mud
laid alternately, and the whole plastered over with red mud. Huts are
invariably built a few feet above the level of the ground, often, when
the ground is very uneven, 5 feet above the ground in front. Roofs are
always thatched with grass. There is usually but one door, near one
end wall; no windows or ventilators, every chink being filled up. In
front of the doorway there is room for six or eight people to stand,
and there is a loft, made by cross-beams, about 5 feet from the floor,
on which grain is stored in baskets, and under which the inmates
crawl to do their cooking. Bits of sun-dried buffalo meat and bones,
not smelling over-sweet, are suspended from the rafters, or here and
there stuck in between the rafters and the thatch; knives, a tangi
(battle-axe), a sword, and bows and arrows may also be seen stuck in
somewhere under the thatch. Agricultural implements may be seen, too,
small ones stuck under the roof or on the loft, and larger ones against
the wall. As in Ireland, the pig is of sufficient importance to have
a room in the house. There is generally merely a low wall between the
pig's room and the rest of the house, and a separate door, so that it
may go in and out without going through that part of the house occupied
by the family. Rude drawings are very common in Saora houses. They
are invariably, if not always, in some way that I could never clearly
apprehend, connected with one of the fetishes in the house." "When,"
Mr. Ramamurti writes, "a tiger enters a cottage and carries away
an inmate, the villages are deserted, and sacrifices are offered to
some spirits by all the inhabitants. The prevalence of small-pox in
a village requires its abandonment. A succession of calamities leads
to the same result. If a Savara has a number of wives, each of them
sometimes requires a separate house, and the house sites are frequently
shifted according to the caprice of the women. The death or disease
of cattle is occasionally followed by the desertion of the house."

When selecting a site for a new dwelling hut, the Maliah Savaras place
on the proposed site as many grains of rice in pairs as there are
married members in the family, and cover them over with a cocoanut
shell. They are examined on the following day, and, if they are all
there, the site is considered auspicious. Among the Kapu Savaras,
the grains of rice are folded up in leaflets of the bael tree (Ægle
Marmelos), and placed in split bamboo.

It is recorded by Mr. Fawcett, in connection with the use of the
duodecimal system by the Savaras that, "on asking a Gomango how
he reckoned when selling produce to the Panos, he began to count
on his fingers. In order to count 20, he began on the left foot
(he was squatting), and counted 5; then with the left hand 5 more;
then with the two first fingers of the right hand he made 2 more,
i.e., 12 altogether; then with the thumb of the right hand and the
other two fingers of the same, and the toes of the right foot he made 8
more. And so it was always. They have names for numerals up to 12 only,
and to count 20 always count first twelve and then eight in the manner
described, except that they may begin on either hand or foot. To count
50 or 60, they count by twenties, and put down a stone or some mark
for each twenty. There is a Saora story accounting for their numerals
being limited to 12. One day, long ago, some Saoras were measuring
grain in a field, and, when they had measured 12 measures of some
kind, a tiger pounced in on them and devoured them. So, ever after,
they dare not have a numeral above 12, for fear of a tiger repeating
the performance."

The Savaras are described by Mr. Fawcett as "below the middle height;
face rather flat; lips thick; nose broad and flat; cheek bones high;
eyes slightly oblique. They are as fair as the Uriyas, and fairer
than the Telugus of the plains. Not only is the Saora shorter and
fairer than other hill people, but his face is distinctly Mongolian,
the obliquity of the eyes being sometimes very marked, and the inner
corners of the eyes are generally very oblique. [The Mongolian type
is clearly brought out in the illustration.] The Saora's endurance
in going up and down hill, whether carrying heavy loads or not,
is wonderful. Four Saoras have been known to carry a 10-stone man
in a chair straight up a 3,800 feet hill without relief, and without
rest. Usually, the Saora's dress (his full dress) consists of a large
bunch of feathers (generally white) stuck in his hair on the crown
of his head, a coloured cloth round his head as a turban, and worn
much on the back of the head, and folded tightly, so as to be a good
protection to the head. When feathers are not worn, the hair is tied
on the top of the head, or a little at the side of it. A piece of
flat brass is another head ornament. It is stuck in the hair, which
is tied in a knot at the crown of the head, at an angle of about 40°
from the perpendicular, and its waving up and down motion as a man
walks has a curious effect. Another head ornament is a piece of wood,
about 8 or 9 inches in length and 3/4 inch in diameter, with a flat
button about 2 inches in diameter on the top, all covered with hair
or coloured thread, and worn in the same position as the flat piece
of brass. A peacock's feather, or one or two of the tail feathers
of the jungle cock, may be often seen stuck in the knot of hair on
the top of the head. A cheroot or two, perhaps half smoked, may
often be seen sticking in the hair of a man or woman, to be used
again when wanted. They also smoke pipes, and the old women seem
particularly fond of them. Round the Saora's neck are brass and bead
necklaces. A man will wear as many as thirty necklaces at a time,
or rather necklaces of various lengths passed as many as thirty times
round his neck. Round the Saora's waist, and under his fork, is tied a
cloth with coloured ends hanging in front and behind. When a cloth on
the body is worn, it is usually worn crossed in front. The women wear
necklaces like the men. Their hair is tied at the back of the head,
and is sometimes confined with a fillet. They wear only one cloth, tied
round the waist. During feasts, or when dancing, they generally wear
a cloth over the shoulders. Every male wears a small ring, generally
of silver, in the right nostril, and every female wears a similar ring
in each nostril, and in the septum. As I have been told, these rings
are put in the nose on the eighth or tenth day after birth. Bangles
are often worn by men and women. Anklets, too, are sometimes worn by
the women. Brass necklets and many other ornaments are made in Saora
hills by the Gangsis, a low tribe of workers in brass. The Saora's
weapons are the bow, sometimes ornamented with peacock's feathers,
sword, dagger, and tangi. The bow used by the Saoras is much smaller
than the bow used by any of the other hill people. It is generally
about 3 1/2 feet long, and the arrows from 18 to 21 inches. The bow
is always made of bamboo, and so is the string. The arrows are reeds
tipped with iron, and leathered on two sides only. A blunt-headed
arrow is used for shooting birds. Every Saora can use the bow from
boyhood, and can shoot straight up to 25 or 30 yards."

As regards the marriage customs of the Savaras, Mr. Fawcett writes that
"a Saora may marry a woman of his own or of any other village. A man
may have as many as three wives, or, if he is a man of importance,
such as Gomango of a large village, he may have four. Not that there
is any law in the matter, but it is considered that three, or at
most four, are as many as a man can manage. For his first marriage,
a man chooses a young woman he fancies; his other wives are perhaps
her sisters, or other women who have come to him. A woman may leave
her husband whenever she pleases. Her husband cannot prevent her. When
a woman leaves her husband to join herself to another, the other pays
the husband she has left a buffalo and a pig. Formerly, it is said,
if he did not pay up, the man she left would kill the man to whom she
went. Now arbitration comes into play. I believe a man usually takes
a second wife after his first has had a child; if he did so before,
the first wife would say he was impotent. As the getting of the
first wife is more troublesome and expensive than getting the others,
she is treated the best. In some places, all a man's wives are said
to live together peaceably. It is not the custom in the Kolakotta
villages. Knowing the wives would fight if together, domestic felicity
is maintained by keeping up different establishments. A man's wives
will visit one another in the daytime, but one wife will never spend
the night in the house of another. An exception to this is that the
first wife may invite one of the other wives to sleep in her house
with the husband. As each wife has her separate house, so has she her
separate piece of ground on the hill-side to cultivate. The wives will
not co-operate in working each other's cultivation, but they will work
together, with the husband, in the paddy fields. Each wife keeps the
produce of the ground she cultivates in her own house. Produce of the
paddy fields is divided into equal shares among the wives. If a wife
will not work properly, or if she gives away anything belonging to
her husband, she may be divorced. Any man may marry a divorced woman,
but she must pay to her former husband a buffalo and a pig. If a man
catches his wife in adultery (he must see her in the act), he thinks he
has a right to kill her, and her lover too. But this is now generally
(but not always) settled by arbitration, and the lover pays up. A wife
caught in adultery will never be retained as a wife. As any man may
have as many as three wives, illicit attachments are common. During
large feasts, when the Saoras give themselves up to sensuality,
there is no doubt a great deal of promiscuous intercourse. A widow
is considered bound to marry her husband's brother, or his brother's
sons if he has no younger brothers. A number of Saoras once came to me
to settle a dispute. They were in their full dress, with feathers and
weapons. The dispute was this. A young woman's husband was dead, and
his younger brother was almost of an age to take her to wife. She had
fixed her affections on a man of another village, and made up her mind
to have him and no one else. Her village people wanted compensation
in the shape of a buffalo, and also wanted her ornaments. The men of
the other village said no, they could not give a buffalo. Well, they
should give a pig at least--no, they had no pig. Then they must give
some equivalent. They would give one rupee. That was not enough--at
least three rupees. They were trying to carry the young woman off
by force to make her marry her brother-in-law, but were induced to
accept the rupee, and have the matter settled by their respective
Bissoyis. The young woman was most obstinate, and insisted on having
her own choice, and keeping her ornaments. Her village people had no
objection to her choice, provided the usual compensation was paid.

"In one far out-of-the-way village the marriage ceremony consists
in this. The bride's father is plied with liquor two or three times;
a feast is made in the bridegroom's house, to which the bride comes
with her father; and after the feast she remains in the man's house
as his wife. They know nothing of capture. In the Kolakotta valley,
below this village, a different custom prevails. The following is
an account of a Saora marriage as given by the Gomango of one of the
Kolakotta villages, and it may be taken as representative of the purest
Saora marriage ceremony. 'I wished to marry a certain girl, and, with
my brother and his son, went to her house. I carried a pot of liquor,
and arrow, and one brass bangle for the girl's mother. Arrived at
the house, I put the liquor and the arrow on the floor. I and the
two with me drank the liquor--no one else had any. The father of the
girl said 'Why have you brought the liquor?' I said 'Because I want
your daughter.' He said 'Bring a big pot of liquor, and we will talk
about it.' I took the arrow I brought with me, and stuck it in the
thatch of the roof just above the wall, took up the empty pot, and
went home with those who came with me. Four days afterwards, with the
same two and three others of my village, I went to the girl's father's
house with a big pot of liquor. About fifteen or twenty people of
the village were present. The father said he would not give the girl,
and, saying so, he smashed the pot of liquor, and, with those of his
village, beat us so that we ran back to our village. I was glad of the
beating, as I know by it I was pretty sure of success. About ten days
afterwards, ten or twenty of my village people went with me again,
carrying five pots of liquor, which we put in the girl's father's
house. I carried an arrow, which I stuck in the thatch beside the
first one. The father and the girl's nearest male relative each took
one of the arrows I had put in the thatch, and, holding them in their
left hands, drank some of the liquor. I now felt sure of success. I
then put two more arrows in the father's left hand, holding them in
his hand with both of my hands over his, and asked him to drink. Two
fresh arrows were likewise placed in the left hands of all the girl's
male relatives, while I asked them to drink. To each female relative
of the girl I gave a brass bangle, which I put on their right wrists
while I asked them to drink. The five pots of liquor were drunk by
the girl's male and female relations, and the villagers. When the
liquor was all drunk, the girl's father said 'Come again in a month,
and bring more liquor.' In a month I went again, with all the people
of my village, men, women and children, dancing as we went (to music
of course), taking with us thirty pots of liquor, and a little rice
and a cloth for the girl's mother; also some hill dholl (pulse),
which we put in the father's house. The liquor was set down in the
middle of the village, and the villagers, and those who came with me,
drank the liquor and danced. The girl did not join in this; she was
in the house. When the liquor was finished, my village people went
home, but I remained in the father's house. For three days I stayed,
and helped him to work in his fields. I did not sleep with the girl;
the father and I slept in one part of the house, and the girl and her
mother in another. At the end of the three days I went home. About
ten days afterwards, I, with about ten men of my village, went to
watch for the girl going to the stream for water. When we saw her,
we caught her, and ran away with her. She cried out and the people of
her village came after us, and fought with us. We got her off to my
village, and she remained with me as my wife. After she became my wife,
her mother gave her a cloth and a bangle." The same individual said
that, if a man wants a girl, and cannot afford to give the liquor,
etc., to her people, he takes her off by force. If she likes him,
she remains, but, if not, she runs home. He will carry her off three
times, but not oftener; and, if after the third time she again runs
away, he leaves her. The Saoras themselves say that formerly every
one took his wife by force. In a case which occurred a few years ago,
a bridegroom did not comply with the usual custom of giving a feast
to the bride's people, and the bride's mother objected to the marriage
on that account. The bridegroom's party, however, managed to carry off
the bride. Her mother raised an alarm, whereon a number of people ran
up, and tried to stop the bridegroom's party. They were outnumbered,
and one was knocked down, and died from rupture of the spleen.

A further account of the Saora marriage customs is given by
Mr. Ramamurti Pantulu, who writes as follows. "When the parents of
a young man consider it time to seek a bride for him, they make
enquiries and even consult their relatives and friends as to a
suitable girl for him. The girl's parents are informally apprised of
their selection. On a certain day, the male relatives of the youth
go to the girl's house to make a proposal of marriage. Her parents,
having received previous notice of the visit, have the door of the
house open or closed, according as they approve or disapprove of
the match. On arrival at the house, the visitors knock at the door,
and, if it is open, enter without further ceremony. Sometimes the
door is broken open. If the girl's parents object to the match, they
remain silent, and will not touch the liquor brought by the visitors,
and they go away. Should, however, they regard it with favour, they
charge the visitors with intruding, shower abuse on them, and beat
them, it may be, so severely that wounds are inflicted, and blood is
shed. This ill-treatment is borne cheerfully, and without resistance,
as it is a sign that the girl's hand will be bestowed on the young
man. The liquor is then placed on the floor, and, after more abuse,
all present partake thereof. If the girl's parents refuse to give
her in marriage after the performance of this ceremony, they have
to pay a penalty to the parents of the disappointed suitor. Two or
three days later, the young man's relatives go a second time to the
girl's house, taking with them three pots of liquor, and a bundle
composed of as many arrows as there are male members in the girl's
family. The liquor is drunk, and the arrows are presented, one to each
male. After an interval of some days, a third visit is paid, and three
pots of liquor smeared with turmeric paste, and a quantity of turmeric,
are taken to the house. The liquor is drunk, and the turmeric paste
is smeared over the back and haunches of the girl's relatives. Some
time afterwards, the marriage ceremony takes place. The bridegroom's
party proceed to the house of the bride, dancing and singing to
the accompaniment of all the musical instruments except the drum,
which is only played at funerals. With them they take twenty big
pots of liquor, a pair of brass bangles and a cloth for the bride's
mother, and head cloths for the father, brothers, and other male
relatives. When everything is ready, the priest is called in. One of
the twenty pots is decorated, and an arrow is fixed in the ground at
its side. The priest then repeats prayers to the invisible spirits
and ancestors, and pours some of the liquor into leaf-cups prepared
in the names of the ancestors [Jojonji and Yoyonji, male and female],
and the chiefs of the village. This liquor is considered very sacred,
and is sprinkled from a leaf over the shoulders and feet of the
elders present. The father of the bride, addressing the priest, says
'Boya, I have drunk the liquor brought by the bridegroom's father,
and thereby have accepted his proposal for a marriage between his son
and my daughter. I do not know whether the girl will afterwards agree
to go to her husband, or not. Therefore it is well that you should ask
her openly to speak out her mind.' The priest accordingly asks the girl
if she has any objection, and she replies 'My father and mother, and
all my relatives have drunk the bridegroom's liquor. I am a Savara, and
he is a Savara. Why then should I not marry him?' Then all the people
assembled proclaim that the pair are husband and wife. This done, the
big pot of liquor, which has been set apart from the rest, is taken
into the bride's house. This pot, with another pot of liquor purchased
at the expense of the bride's father, is given to the bridegroom's
party when it retires. Every house-holder receives the bridegroom
and his party at his house, and offers them liquor, rice, and flesh,
which they cannot refuse to partake of without giving offence."

"Whoever," Mr. Ramamurti continues, "marries a widow, whether it is her
husband's younger brother or some one of her own choice, must perform a
religious ceremony, during which a pig is sacrificed. The flesh, with
some liquor, is offered to the ghost of the widow's deceased husband,
and prayers are addressed by the Boyas to propitiate the ghost, so
that it may not torment the woman and her second husband. 'Oh! man,'
says the priest, addressing the deceased by name, 'Here is an animal
sacrificed to you, and with this all connection between this woman
and you ceases. She has taken with her no property belonging to
you or your children. So do not torment her within the house or
outside the house, in the jungle or on the hill, when she is asleep
or when she wakes. Do not send sickness on her children. Her second
husband has done no harm to you. She chose him for her husband, and he
consented. Oh! man, be appeased; Oh! unseen ones; Oh! ancestors, be you
witnesses.' The animal sacrificed on this occasion is called long danda
(inside fine), or fine paid to the spirit of a dead person inside the
earth. The animal offered up, when a man marries a divorced woman,
is called bayar danda (outside fine), or fine paid as compensation
to a man living outside the earth. The moment that a divorcée marries
another man, her former husband pounces upon him, shoots his buffalo
or pig dead with an arrow, and takes it to his village, where its
flesh is served up at a feast. The Boya invokes the unseen spirits,
that they may not be angry with the man who has married the woman,
as he has paid the penalty prescribed by the elders according to the
immemorial custom of the Savaras.

From a still further account of the ceremonial observances in
connection with marriage, with variations, I gather that the liquor
is the fermented juice of the salop or sago palm (Caryota urens),
and is called ara-sal. On arrival at the girl's house, on the
first occasion, the young man's party sit at the door thereof, and,
making three cups from the leaves kiredol (Uncaria Gambier) or jak
(Artocarpus integrifolia), pour the liquor into them, and lay them on
the ground. As the liquor is being poured into the cups, certain names,
which seem to be those of the ancestors, are called out. The liquor
is then drunk, and an arrow (am) is stuck in the roof, and a brass
bangle (khadu) left, before the visitors take their departure. If the
match is unacceptable to the girl's family, the arrow and bangle are
returned. The second visit is called pank-sal, or sang-sang-dal-sol,
because the liquor pots are smeared with turmeric paste. Sometimes
it is called nyanga-dal-sol, because the future bridegroom carries
a small pot of liquor on a stick borne on the shoulder; or pojang,
because the arrow, which has been stuck in the roof, is set up in the
ground close to one of the pots of liquor. In some places, several
visits take place subsequent to the first visit, at one of which,
called rodai-sal, a quarrel arises.

It is noted by Mr. Ramamurti Pantulu that, among the Savaras who
have settled in the low country, some differences have arisen in
the marriage rites "owing to the introduction of Hindu custom, i.e.,
those obtaining among the Sudra castes. Some of the Savaras who are
more Hinduised than others consult their medicine men as to what
day would be most auspicious for a marriage, erect pandals (booths),
dispense with the use of liquor, substituting for it thick jaggery
(crude sugar) water, and hold a festival for two or three days. But
even the most Hinduised Savara has not yet fallen directly into the
hands of the Brahman priest." At the marriage ceremony of some Kapu
Savaras, the bride and bridegroom sit side by side at the auspicious
moment, and partake of boiled rice (korra) from green leaf-cups, the
pair exchanging cups. Before the bridegroom and his party proceed to
their village with the bride, they present the males and females of
her village with a rupee, which is called janjul naglipu, or money paid
for taking away the girl. In another form of Kapu Savara marriage, the
would-be bridegroom and his party proceed, on an auspicious day, to the
house of the selected girl, and offer betel and tobacco, the acceptance
of which is a sign that the match is agreeable to her parents. On a
subsequent day, a small sum of money is paid as the bride-price. On
the wedding day the bride is conducted to the home of the bridegroom,
where the contracting couple are lifted up by two people, who dance
about with them. If the bride attempts to enter the house, she is
caught hold of, and made to pay a small sum of money before she is
permitted to do so. Inside the house, the officiating Desari ties
the ends of the cloths of the bride and bridegroom together, after
the ancestors and invisible spirits have been worshipped.

Of the marriage customs of the Kapu Savaras, the following account
is given in the Gazetteer of the Vizagapatam district. "The Kapu
Savaras are taking to menarikam (marriage with the maternal uncle's
daughter), although the hill custom requires a man to marry outside
his village. Their wedding ceremonies bear a distant resemblance to
those among the hill Savaras. Among the Kapu Savaras, the preliminary
arrow and liquor are similarly presented, but the bridegroom goes at
length on an auspicious day with a large party to the bride's house,
and the marriage is marked by his eating out of the same platter with
her, and by much drinking, feasting, and dancing."

Children are named after the day of the week on which they were
born, and nicknames are frequently substituted for the birth
name. Mr. Fawcett records, for example, that a man was called Gylo
because, when a child, he was fond of breaking nuts called gylo, and
smearing himself with their black juice. Another was called Dallo
because, in his youthful days, he was fond of playing about with a
basket (dalli) on his head.

Concerning the death rites, Mr. Fawcett writes as follows. "As soon
as a man, woman, or child dies in a house, a gun, loaded with powder
only, is fired off at the door, or, if plenty of powder is available,
several shots are fired, to frighten away the Kulba (spirit). The
gun used is the ordinary Telugu or Uriya matchlock. Water is poured
over the body while in the house. It is then carried away to the
family burning-ground, which is situated from 30 to 80 yards from the
cluster of houses occupied by the family, and there it is burned. [It
is stated by Mr. S. P. Rice [153] that "the dead man's hands and feet
are tied together, and a bamboo is passed through them. Two men then
carry the corpse, slung in this fashion, to the burning-ground. When
it is reached, two posts are stuck up, and the bamboo, with the
corpse tied to it, is placed crosswise on the posts. Then below the
corpse a fire is lighted. The Savara man is always burnt in the
portion of the ground--one cannot call it a field--which he last
cultivated."] The only wood used for the pyre is that of the mango,
and of Pongamia glabra. Fresh, green branches are cut and used. No
dry wood is used, except a few twigs to light the fire. Were any one
to ask those carrying a body to the burning-ground the name of the
deceased or anything about him, they would be very angry. Guns are
fired while the body is being carried. Everything a man has, his bows
and arrows, his tangi, his dagger, his necklaces, his reaping-hook
for cutting paddy, his axe, some paddy and rice, etc., are burnt with
his body. I have been told in Kolakotta that all a man's money too is
burned, but it is doubtful if it really ever is--a little may be. A
Kolakotta Gomango told me "If we do not burn these things with the
body, the Kulba will come and ask us for them, and trouble us." The
body is burned the day a man dies. The next day, the people of the
family go to the burning-place with water, which they pour over the
embers. The fragments of the bones are then picked out, and buried
about two feet in the ground, and covered over with a miniature hut,
or merely with some thatching grass kept on the place by a few logs
of wood, or in the floor of a small hut (thatched roof without walls)
kept specially for the Kulba at the burning-place. An empty egg-shell
(domestic hen's) is broken under foot, and buried with the bones. It
is not uncommon to send pieces of bone, after burning, to relations
at a distance, to allow them also to perform the funeral rites. The
first sacrificial feast, called the Limma, is usually made about
three or four days after the body has been burnt. In some places,
it is said to be made after a longer interval. For the Limma a fowl
is killed at the burning-place, some rice or other grain is cooked,
and, with the fowl, eaten by the people of the family, with the usual
consumption of liquor. Of course, the Kudang (who is the medium of
communication between the spirits of the dead and the living) is on
the spot, and communicates with the Kulba. If the deceased left debts,
he, through the Kudang, tells how they should be settled. Perhaps
the Kulba asks for tobacco and liquor, and these are given to the
Kudang, who keeps the tobacco, and drinks the liquor. After the
Limma, a miniature hut is built for the Kulba over the spot where
the bones are buried. But this is not done in places like Kolakotta,
where there is a special hut set apart for the Kulba. In some parts
of the Saora country, a few logs with grass on the top of them, logs
again on the top to keep the grass in its place, are laid over the
buried fragments of bones, it is said to be for keeping rain off,
or dogs from disturbing the bones. In the evening previous to the
Limma, bitter food--the fruits or leaves of the margosa tree (Melia
Azadirachta)--are eaten. They do not like this bitter food, and partake
of it at no other time. [The same custom, called pithapona, or bitter
food, obtains among the Oriya inhabitants of the plains.] After the
Limma, the Kulba returns to the house of the deceased, but it is
not supposed to remain there always. The second feast to the dead,
also sacrificial, is called the Guar. For this, a buffalo, a large
quantity of grain, and all the necessary elements and accompaniments
of a feast are required. It is a much larger affair than the Limma,
and all the relations, and perhaps the villagers, join in. The evening
before the Guar, there is a small feast in the house for the purpose
of calling together all the previously deceased members of the family,
to be ready for the Guar on the following day. The great feature of
the Guar is the erection of a stone in memory of the deceased. From 50
to 100 yards (sometimes a little more) from the houses occupied by a
family may be seen clusters of stones standing upright in the ground,
nearly always under a tree. Every one of the stones has been put up
at one of these Guar feasts. There is a great deal of drinking and
dancing. The men, armed with all their weapons, with their feathers
in their hair, and adorned with coloured cloths, accompanied by the
women, all dancing as they go, leave the house for the place where
the stones are. Music always accompanies the dancing. At Kolakotta
there is another thatched hut for the Kulba at the stones. The stone
is put up in the deceased's name at about 11 A.M., and at about 2
P.M. a buffalo is killed close to it. The head is cut off with an
axe, and blood is put on the stone. The stones one sees are generally
from 1 1/2 to 4 feet high. There is no connection between the size
of the stone and the importance of the deceased person. As much of
the buffalo meat as is required for the feast is cooked, and eaten
at the spot where the stones are. The uneaten remains are taken away
by the relatives. In the evening the people return to the village,
dancing as they go. The Kolakotta people told me they put up the
stones under trees, so that they can have all their feasting in
the shade. Relations exchange compliments by presenting one another
with a buffalo for the Guar feast, and receive one in return on a
future occasion. The Guar is supposed to give the Kulba considerable
satisfaction, and it does not injure people as it did before. But, as
the Guar does not quite satisfy the Kulba, there is the great biennial
feast to the dead. Every second year (I am still speaking of Kolakotta)
is performed the Karja or biennial feast to the dead, in February
or March, after the crops are cut. All the Kolakotta Saoras join in
this feast, and keep up drinking and dancing for twelve days. During
these days, the Kudangs eat only after sunset. Guns are continually
fired off, and the people give themselves up to sensuality. On the
last day, there is a great slaughter of buffaloes. In front of every
house in which there has been a death in the previous two years, at
least one buffalo, and sometimes two or three, are killed. Last year
(1886) there were said to be at least a thousand buffaloes killed in
Kolakotta on the occasion of the Karja. The buffaloes are killed in the
afternoon. Some grain is cooked in the houses, and, with some liquor,
is given to the Kudangs, who go through a performance of offering the
food to the Kulbas, and a man's or a woman's cloth, according as the
deceased is a male or female, is at this time given to the Kudang for
the Kulba of each deceased person, and of course the Kudang keeps the
offerings. The Kudang then tells the Kulba to begone, and trouble the
inmates no more. The house people, too, sometimes say to the Kulba
'We have now done quite enough for you: we have given you buffaloes,
liquor, food, and cloths; now you must go'. At about 8 P.M., the house
is set fire to, and burnt. Every house, in which there has been a death
within the last two years, is on this occasion burnt. After this,
the Kulba gives no more trouble, and does not come to reside in the
new hut that is built on the site of the burnt one. It never hurts
grown people, but may cause some infantile diseases, and is easily
driven away by a small sacrifice. In other parts of the Saora country,
the funeral rites and ceremonies are somewhat different to what they
are in Kolakotta. The burning of bodies, and burning of the fragments
of the bones, is the same everywhere in the Saora country. In one
village the Saoras said the bones were buried until another person
died, when the first man's bones were dug up and thrown away, and the
last person's bones put in their place. Perhaps they did not correctly
convey what they meant. I once saw a gaily ornamented hut, evidently
quite new, near a burning-place. Rude figures of birds and red rags
were tied to five bamboos, which were sticking up in the air about
8 feet above the hut, one at each corner, and one in the centre,
and the bamboos were split, and notched for ornament. The hut was
about 4 1/2 feet square, on a platform three feet high. There were
no walls, but only four pillars, one at each corner, and inside
a loft just as in a Saora's hut. A very communicative Saora said
he built the hut for his brother after he had performed the Limma,
and had buried the bones in the raised platform in the centre of the
hut. He readily went inside, and showed what he kept there for the
use of his dead brother's Kulba. On the loft were baskets of grain,
a bottle of oil for his body, a brush to sweep the hut; in fact
everything the Kulba wanted. Generally, where it is the custom to
have a hut for the Kulba, such hut is furnished with food, tobacco,
and liquor. The Kulba is still a Saora, though a spiritual one. In a
village two miles from that in which I saw the gaily ornamented hut,
no hut of any kind is built for the Kulba; the bones are merely covered
with grass. Weapons, ornaments, etc., are rarely burned with a body
outside the Kolakotta villages. In some places, perhaps one weapon,
or a few ornaments will be burned with it. In some places the Limma
and Guar feasts are combined, and in other places (and this is most
common) the Guar and Karja are combined, but there is no burning
of houses. In some places this is performed if crops are good. One
often sees, placed against the upright stones to the dead, pieces
of ploughs for male Kulbas, and baskets for sifting grain for female
Kulbas. I once came across some hundreds of Saoras performing the Guar
Karja. Dancing, with music, fantastically dressed, and brandishing
their weapons, they returned from putting up the stones to the village,
and proceeded to hack to pieces with their axes the buffaloes that
had been slaughtered--a disgusting sight. After dark, many of the
feasters passed my camp on their way home, some carrying legs and other
large pieces of the sacrificed buffaloes, others trying to dance in a
drunken way, swinging their weapons. During my last visit to Kolakotta,
I witnessed a kind of combination of the Limma and Guar (an uncommon
arrangement there) made owing to peculiar circumstances. A deceased
Saora left no family, and his relatives thought it advisable to get
through his Limma and Guar without delay, so as to run no risk of the
non-performance of these feasts. He had been dead about a month. The
Limma was performed one day, the feast calling together the deceased
ancestors the same evening; and the Guar on the following day. Part of
the Limma was performed in a house. Three men, and a female Kudang sat
in a row; in front of them there was an inverted pot on the ground,
and around it were small leaf cups containing portions of food. All
chanted together, keeping excellent time. Some food in a little leaf
cup was held near the earthen pot, and now and then, as they sang,
passed round it. Some liquor was poured on the food in the leaf cup,
and put on one side for the Kulba. The men drank liquor from the leaf
cups which had been passed round the earthen pot. After some silence
there was a long chant, to call together all spirits of ancestors
who had died violent deaths, and request them to receive the spirit
of the deceased among them; and portions of food and liquor were put
aside for them. Then came another long chant, calling on the Kulbas
of all ancestors to come, and receive the deceased and not to be
angry with him."

It is stated [154] that, in the east of Gunupur, the Savaras commit
much cattle theft, partly, it is said, because custom enjoins big
periodical sacrifices of cattle to their deceased ancestors. In
connection with the Guar festival, Mr. Ramamurti Pantulu writes that
well-to-do individuals offer each one or two animals, while, among
the poorer members of the community, four or five subscribe small sums
for the purchase of a buffalo, and a goat. "There are," he continues,
"special portions of the sacrificed animals, which should, according
to custom, be presented to those that carried the dead bodies to
the grave, as well as to the Boya and Gomong. If a man is hanged,
a string is suspended in the house on the occasion of the Guar, so
that the spirit may descend along it. If a man dies of wounds caused
by a knife or iron weapon, a piece of iron or an arrow is thrust into
a rice-pot to represent the deceased." I gather further that, when a
Savara dies after a protracted illness, a pot is suspended by a string
from the roof of the house. On the ground is placed a pot, supported on
three stones. The pots are smeared with turmeric paste, and contain a
brass box, chillies, rice, onions, and salt. They are regarded as very
sacred, and it is believed that the ancestors sometimes visit them.

Concerning the religion of the Savaras, Mr. Fawcett notes that their
name for deity is Sonnum or Sunnam, and describes the following:--

(1) Jalia. In some places thought to be male, and in others female. The
most widely known, very malevolent, always going about from one Saora
village to another causing illness or death; in some places said to eat
people. Almost every illness that ends in death in three or four days
is attributed to Jalia's malevolence. When mangoes ripen, and before
they are eaten cooked (though they may be eaten raw), a sacrifice of
goats, with the usual drinking and dancing, is made to this deity. In
some villages, in the present year (1887), there were built for
the first time, temples--square thatched places without walls--in
the villages. The reason given for building in the villages was that
Jalia had come into them. Usually erections are outside villages, and
sacrifice is made there, in order that Jalia may be there appeased, and
go away. But sometimes he will come to a village, and, if he does, it
is advisable to make him comfortable. One of these newly built temples
was about four feet square, thatched on the top, with no walls, just
like the hut for departed spirits. A Saora went inside, and showed
us the articles kept for Jalia's use and amusement. There were two
new cloths in a bamboo box, two brushes of feathers to be held in the
hand when dancing, oil for the body, a small looking-glass, a bell,
and a lamp. On the posts were some red spots. Goats are killed close
by the temple, and the blood is poured on the floor of the platform
thereof. There are a few villages, in or near which there are no
Jalia erections, the people saying that Jalia does not trouble them,
or that they do not know him. In one village where there was none,
the Saoras said there had been one, but they got tired of Jalia,
and made a large sacrifice with numerous goats and fowls, burnt his
temple, and drove him out. Jalia is fond of tobacco. Near one village
is an upright stone in front of a little Jalia temple, by a path-side,
for passers-by to leave the ends of their cheroots on for Jalia.

(2) Kitung. In some parts there is a story that this deity produced
all the Saoras in Orissa, and brought them with all the animals of
the jungles to the Saora country. In some places, a stone outside the
village represents this deity, and on it sacrifices are made on certain
occasions to appease this deity. The stone is not worshipped. There
are also groves sacred to this deity. The Uriyas in the Saora hills
also have certain sacred groves, in which the axe is never used.

(3) Rathu. Gives pains in the neck.

(4) Dharma Boja, Lankan (above), Ayungang (the sun). The first name is,
I think, of Uriya origin, and the last the real Saora name. There is
an idea in the Kolakotta country that it causes all births. This deity
is not altogether beneficent, and causes sickness, and may be driven
away by sacrifices. In some villages, this deity is almost the only
one known. A Saora once told me, on my pointing to Venus and asking
what it was, that the stars are the children of the sun and moon, and
one day the sun said he would eat them all up. Woman-like, the moon
protested against the destruction of her progeny, but was obliged to
give in. She, however, managed to hide Venus while the others were
being devoured. Venus was the only planet he knew. In some parts,
the sun is not a deity.

(5) Kanni. Very malevolent. Lives in big trees, so they are never
cut in groves which this deity is supposed to haunt. I frequently
saw a Saora youth of about 20, who was supposed to be possessed by
this deity. He was an idiot, who had fits. Numerous buffaloes had
been sacrificed to Kanni, to induce that deity to leave the youth,
but to no purpose.

"There are many hill deities known in certain localities--Derema,
supposed to be on the Deodangar hill, the highest in the neighbourhood,
Khistu, Kinchinyung, Ilda, Lobo, Kondho, Balu, Baradong, etc. These
deities of the hills are little removed from the spirits of the
deceased Saoras. [Mr. Ramamurti Pantulu refers to two hills, one at
Gayaba called Jum-tang Baru, or eat cow hill, and the other about
eight miles from Parlakimedi, called Media Baru. At the former, a cow
or bull is sacrificed, because a Kuttung once ate the flesh of a cow
there; at the latter the spirits require only milk and liquor. This
is peculiar, as the Savaras generally hold milk in abhorrence.]"

"There is invariably one fetish, and generally there are several
fetishes in every Saora house. In some villages, where the sun is the
chief deity (and causes most mischief), there are fetishes of the sun
god; in another village, fetishes of Jalia, Kitung, etc. I once saw
six Jalia fetishes, and three other fetishes in one house. There are
also, especially about Kolakotta, Kulba fetishes in houses. The fetish
is generally an empty earthen pot, about nine inches in diameter,
slung from the roof. The Kudang slings it up. On certain occasions,
offerings are made to the deity or Kulba represented by the fetish
on the floor underneath it. Rude pictures, too, are sometimes
fetishes. The fetish to the sun is generally ornamented with a rude
pattern daubed in white on the outside. In the village of Bori in the
Vizagapatam Agency, offerings are made to the sun fetish when a member
of the household gets pains in the legs or arms, and the fetish is
said on such occasion to descend of itself to the floor. Sacrifices
are sometimes made inside houses, under the fetishes, sometimes at
the door, and blood put on the ground underneath the fetish."

It is noted by Mr. Ramamurti Pantulu that "the Kittungs are ten
in number, and are said to be all brothers. Their names are Bhima,
Rama, Jodepulu, Peda, Rung-rung, Tumanna, Garsada, Jaganta, Mutta,
and Tete. On some occasions, ten figures of men, representing the
Kittungs, are drawn on the walls of a house. Figures of horses and
elephants, the sun, moon and stars, are also drawn below them. The
Boya is also represented. When a woman is childless, or when her
children die frequently, she takes a vow that the Kittungpurpur
ceremony shall be celebrated, if a child is born to her, and grows
in a healthy state. If this comes to pass, a young pig is purchased,
and marked for sacrifice. It is fattened, and allowed to grow till
the child reaches the age of twelve, when the ceremony is performed.

The Madras Museum possesses a series of wooden votive offerings
which were found stacked in a structure, which has been described to
me as resembling a pigeon-cot. The offerings consisted of a lizard
(Varanus), paroquet, monkey, peacock, human figures, dagger, gun,
sword, pick-axe, and musical horn. The Savaras would not sell them
to the district officer, but parted with them on the understanding
that they would be worshipped by the Government.

I gather that, at the sale or transfer of land, the spirits are invoked
by the Boya, and, after the distribution of liquor, the seller or
mortgager holds a pipal (Ficus religiosa) leaf with a lighted wick
in it in his hand, while the purchaser or mortgagee holds another
leaf without a wick. The latter covers the palm of the former with
his leaf, and the terms of the transaction are then announced.

Concerning the performance of sacrifices, Mr. Fawcett writes that
"the Saoras say they never practiced human sacrifice. Most Saora
sacrifices, which are also feasts, are made to appease deities or
Kulbas that have done mischief. I will first notice the few which do
not come in this category. (a) The feast to Jalia when mangoes ripen,
already mentioned, is one. In a village where the sun, and not Jalia,
is the chief deity, this feast is made to the sun. Jalia does not
trouble the village, as the Kudung meets him outside it now and
then, and sends him away by means of a sacrifice. [Sacrifices and
offerings of pigs or fowls, rice, and liquor, are also made at the
mahua, hill grain, and red gram festivals.] (b) A small sacrifice,
or an offering of food, is made in some places before a child is
born. About Kolakotta, when a child is born, a fowl or a pound or so
of rice, and a quart of liquor provided by the people of the house,
will be taken by the Kudang to the jungle, and the fowl sacrificed
to Kanni. Blood, liquor, and rice are left in leaf cups for Kanni,
and the rest is eaten. In every paddy field in Kolakotta, when the
paddy is sprouting, a sacrifice is made to Sattira for good crops. A
stick of the tree called in Uriya kendhu, about five or six feet
long, is stuck in the ground. The upper end is sharpened to a point,
on which is impaled a live young pig or a live fowl, and over it an
inverted earthen pot daubed over with white rings. If this sacrifice
is not made, good crops cannot be expected. [It may be noted that
the impaling of live pigs is practiced in the Telugu country.] [155]
When crops ripen, and before the grain is eaten, sacrifice is made
to Lobo (the earth). Lobo Sonnum is the earth deity. If they eat the
grain without performing this sacrifice, it will disagree with them,
and will not germinate properly when sown again. If crops are good,
a goat is killed, if not good, a pig or a fowl. A Kolakotta Saora told
me of another sacrifice, which is partly of a propitiatory nature. If
a tiger or panther kills a person, the Kudang is called, and he,
on the following Sunday, goes through a performance, to prevent
a similar fate overtaking others. Two pigs are killed outside the
village, and every man, woman, and child is made to walk over the
ground whereon the pig's blood is spilled, and the Kudang gives to
each individual some kind of tiger medicine as a charm. The Kudang
communicates with the Kulba of the deceased, and learns the whole
story of how he met his death. In another part of the Saora country,
the above sacrifice is unknown; and, when a person is killed by a tiger
or panther, a buffalo is sacrificed to the Kulba of the deceased three
months afterwards. The feast is begun before dark, and the buffalo
is killed the next morning. No medicine is used. Of sacrifices after
injury is felt, and in order to get rid of it, that for rain may be
noticed first. The Gomango, another important man in the village,
and the Kudang officiate. A pig and a goat are killed outside the
village to Kitung. The blood must flow on the stone. Then liquor and
grain are set forth, and a feast is made. About Kolakotta the belief
in the active malevolence of Kulbas is more noticeable than in other
parts, where deities cause nearly all mischief. Sickness and death are
caused by deities or Kulbas, and it is the Kudang who ascertains which
particular spirit is in possession of, or has hold of any sick person,
and informs him what is to be done in order to drive it away. He
divines in this way usually. He places a small earthen saucer, with
a little oil and lighted wick in it, in the patient's hand. With his
left hand he holds the patient's wrist, and with his right drops from
a leaf cup grains of rice on to the flame. As each grain drops, he
calls out the name of different deities, and Kulbas, and, whichever
spirit is being named as a grain catches fire, is that causing the
sickness. The Kudang is at once in communication with the deity or
Kulba, who informs him what must be done for him, what sacrifice made
before he will go away. There is, in some parts of the Saora country,
another method by which a Kudang divines the cause of sickness. He
holds the patient's hand for a quarter of an hour or so, and goes
off in a trance, in which the deity or Kulba causing the sickness
communicates with the Kudang, and says what must be done to appease
him. The Kudang is generally, if not always, fasting when engaged in
divination. If a deity or Kulba refuses to go away from a sick person,
another more powerful deity or Kulba can be induced to turn him out.

A long account of a big sacrifice is given by Mr. Fawcett, of which
the following is a summary. The Kudang was a lean individual of about
40 or 45, with a grizzled beard a couple of inches in length. He
had a large bunch of feathers in his hair, and the ordinary Saora
waist-cloth with a tail before and behind. There were tom-toms with
the party. A buffalo was tied up in front of the house, and was to be
sacrificed to a deity who had seized on a young boy, and was giving him
fever. The boy's mother came out with some grain, and other necessaries
for a feed, in a basket on her head. All started, the father of the
boy carrying him, a man dragging the buffalo along, and the Kudang
driving it from behind. As they started, the Kudang shouted out some
gibberish, apparently addressed to the deity, to whom the sacrifice
was to be made. The party halted in the shade of some big trees. They
said that the sacrifice was to the road god, who would go away by the
path after the sacrifice. Having arrived at the place, the woman set
down her basket, the men laid down their axes and the tom-toms, and a
fire was lighted. The buffalo was tied up 20 yards off on the path,
and began to graze. After a quarter of an hour, the father took the
boy in his lap as he sat on the path, and the Kudang's assistant sat
on his left with a tom-tom before him. The Kudang stood before the
father on the path, holding a small new earthen pot in his hand. The
assistant beat the tom-tom at the rate of 150 beats to the minute. The
Kudang held the earthen pot to his mouth, and, looking up to the sun
(it was 9 A.M.), shouted some gibberish into it, and then danced round
and round without leaving his place, throwing up the pot an inch or so,
and catching it with both hands, in perfect time with the tom-tom,
while he chanted gibberish for a quarter of an hour. Occasionally,
he held the pot up to the sun, as if saluting it, shouted into it, and
passed it round the father's head and then round the boy's head, every
motion in time with the tom-tom. The chant over, he put down the pot,
and took up a toy-like bow and arrow. The bow was about two feet long,
through which was fixed an arrow with a large head, so that it could be
pulled only to a certain extent. The arrow was fastened to the string,
so that it could not be detached from the bow. He then stuck a small
wax ball on to the point of the arrow head, and, dancing as before,
went on with his chant accompanied by the tom-tom. Looking up at
the sun, he took aim with the bow, and fired the wax ball at it. He
then fired balls of wax, and afterwards other small balls, which the
Uriyas present said were medicine of some kind, at the boy's head,
stomach, and legs. As each ball struck him, he cried. The Kudang,
still chanting, then went to the buffalo, and fired a wax ball at
its head. He came back to where the father was sitting, and, putting
down the bow, took up two thin pieces of wood a foot long, an inch
wide, and blackened at the ends. The chant ceased for a few moments
while he was changing the bow for the pieces of wood, but, when he
had them in his hands, he went on again with it, dancing round as
before, and striking the two pieces of wood together in time. This
lasted about five minutes, and, in the middle of the dance, he put
an umbrella-like shade on his head. The dance over, he went to the
buffalo, and stroked it all over with the two pieces of wood, first
on the head, then on the body and rump, and the chant ceased. He then
sat in front of the boy, put a handful of common herbs into the earthen
pot, and poured some water into it. Chanting, he bathed the boy's head
with the herbs and water, the father's head, the boy's head again,
and then the buffalo's head, smearing them with the herbs. He blew
into one ear of the boy, and then into the other. The chant ceased,
and he sat on the path. The boy's father got up, and, carrying the
boy, seated him on the ground. Then, with an axe, which was touched
by the sick boy, he went up to the buffalo, and with a blow almost
buried the head of the axe in the buffalo's neck. He screwed the axe
about until he disengaged it, and dealt a second and a third blow
in the same place, and the buffalo fell on its side. When it fell,
the boy's father walked away. As the first blow was given, the Kudang
started up very excited as if suddenly much overcome, holding his arms
slightly raised before him, and staggered about. His assistant rushed
at him, and held him round the body, while he struggled violently as
if striving to get to the bleeding buffalo. He continued struggling
while the boy's father made his three blows on the buffalo's neck. The
father brought him some of the blood in a leaf cup, which he greedily
drank, and was at once quiet. Some water was then given him, and he
seemed to be all right. After a minute or so, he sat on the path with
the tom-tom before him, and, beating it, chanted as before. The boy's
father returned to the buffalo, and, with a few more whacks at it,
stopped its struggles. Some two or three men joined him, and,
with their axes and swords, soon had the buffalo in pieces. All
present, except the Kudang, had a good feed, during which the tom-tom
ceased. After the feed, Kudang went at it again, and kept it up at
intervals for a couple of hours. He once went for 25 minutes at 156
beats to the minute without ceasing.

A variant of the ceremonial here described has been given to me by
Mr. G. F. Paddison from the Gunapur hills. A buffalo is tied up to
the door of the house, where the sick person resides. Herbs and rice
in small platters, and a little brass vessel containing toddy, balls
of rice, flowers, and medicine, are brought with a bow and arrow. The
arrow is thicker at the basal end than towards the tip. The narrow
part goes, when shot, through a hole in the bow, too small to allow
of passage of the rest of the arrow. The Beju (wise woman) pours toddy
over the herbs and rice, and daubs the sick person over the forehead,
breasts, stomach, and back. She croons out a long incantation to
the goddess, stopping at intervals to call out "Daru," to attract
her attention. She then takes the bow and arrow, and shoots into the
air. She then stands behind the kneeling patient, and shoots balls
of medicine stuck on the tip of the arrow at her. The construction
of the arrow is such that the balls are dislodged from the tip of the
arrow. The patient is thus shot at all over the body, which is bruised
by the impact of the balls. Afterwards the Beju shoots one or two balls
at the buffalo, which is taken to a path forming the village boundary,
and killed with a tangi (axe). The patient is then daubed with blood
of the buffalo, rice and toddy. A feast concludes the ceremonial.

The following account of a sacrifice to Rathu, who had given fever
to the sister of the celebrant Kudang, is given by Mr. Fawcett. "The
Kudang was squatting, facing west, his fingers in his ears, and
chanting gibberish with continued side-shaking of his head. About
two feet in front of him was an apparatus made of split bamboo. A
young pig had been killed over it, so that the blood was received in a
little leaf cup, and sprinkled over the bamboo work. The Kudang never
ceased his chant for an hour and a half. While he was chanting, some
eight Saoras were cooking the pig with some grain, and having a good
feed. Between the bamboo structure and the Kudang were three little
leaf cups, containing portions of the food for Rathu. A share of the
food was kept for the Kudang, who when he had finished his chant,
got up and ate it. Another performance, for which some dried meat
of a buffalo that had been sacrificed a month previously was used,
I saw on the same day. Three men, a boy, and a baby, were sitting
in the jungle. The men were preparing food, and said that they were
about to do some reverence to the sun, who had caused fever to some
one. Portions of the food were to be set out in leaf cups for the
sun deity."

It is recorded by Mr. Ramamurti Pantulu that, when children are
seriously ill and become emaciated, offerings are made to monkeys and
blood-suckers (lizards), not in the belief that illness is caused by
them, but because the sick child, in its emaciated state, resembles
an attenuated figure of these animals. Accordingly, a blood-sucker
is captured, small toy arrows are tied round its body, and a piece of
cloth is tied on its head. Some drops of liquor are then poured into
its mouth, and it is set at liberty. In negotiating with a monkey,
some rice and other articles of food are placed in small baskets,
called tanurjal, which are suspended from branches of trees in the
jungle. The Savaras frequently attend the markets or fairs held
in the plains at the foot of the ghats to purchase salt and other
luxuries. If a Savara is taken ill at the market or on his return
thence, he attributes the illness to a spirit of the market called
Biradi Sonum. The bulls, which carry the goods of the Hindu merchants
to the market, are supposed to convey this spirit. In propitiating
it, the Savara makes an image of a bull in straw, and, taking it
out of his village, leaves it on the foot-path after a pig has been
sacrificed to it.

"Each group of Savaras," Mr. Ramamurti writes, "is under the government
of two chiefs, one of whom is the Gomong (or great man) and the other,
his colleague in council, is the Boya, who not only discharges, in
conjunction with the Gomong, the duties of magistrate, but also holds
the office of high priest. The offices of these two functionaries are
hereditary, and the rule of primogeniture regulates succession, subject
to the principle that incapable individuals should be excluded. The
presence of these two officers is absolutely necessary on occasions
of marriages and funerals, as well as at harvest festivals. Sales
and mortgages of land and liquor-yielding trees, partition and
other dispositions of property, and divorces are effected in the
council of village elders, presided over by the Gomong and Boya, by
means of long and tedious proceedings involving various religious
ceremonies. All cases of a civil and criminal nature are heard
and disposed of by them. Fines are imposed as a punishment for all
sorts of offences. These invariably consist of liquor and cattle,
the quantity of liquor and the number of animals varying according
to the nature of the offence. The murder of a woman is considered
more heinous than the murder of a man, as woman, being capable of
multiplying the race, is the more useful. A thief, while in the
act of stealing, may be shot dead. It is always the man, and not
the woman, that is punished for adultery. Oaths are administered,
and ordeals prescribed. Until forty or fifty years ago, it is said
that the Savara magistrate had jurisdiction in murder cases. He
was the highest tribunal in the village, the only arbitrator in
all transactions among the villagers. And, if any differences arose
between his men and the inhabitants of a neighbouring village, for
settling which it was necessary that a battle should be fought, the
Gomong became the commander, and, leading his men, contested the cause
with all his might. These officers, though discharging such onerous
and responsible duties, are regarded as in no special degree superior
to others in social position. They enjoy no special privileges, and
receive no fees from the suitors who come up to their court. Except
on occasions of public festivals, over which they preside, they are
content to hold equal rank with the other elders of the village. Each
cultivates his field, and builds his house. His wife brings home fuel
and water, and cooks for his family; his son watches his cattle and
crops. The English officials and the Bissoyis have, however, accorded
to these Savara officers some distinction. When the Governor's
Agent, during his annual tour, invites the Savara elders to bheti
(visit), they make presents of a fowl, sheep, eggs, or a basket of
rice, and receive cloths, necklaces, etc. The Bissoyis exempt them
from personal service, which is demanded from all others." At the
Sankaranthi festival, the Savaras bring loads of firewood, yams
(Dioscorea tubers), pumpkins, etc., as presents for the Bissoyi,
and receive presents from him in return.

Besides cultivating, the Savaras collect Bauhinia leaves, and sell
them to traders for making leaf platters. The leaves of the jel-adda
tree (Bauhinia purpurea) are believed to be particularly appreciated
by the Savara spirits, and offerings made to them should be placed
in cups made thereof. The Savaras also collect various articles of
minor forest produce, honey and wax. They know how to distil liquor
from the flowers of the mahua (Bassia latifolia). The process of
distillation has been thus described. [156] "The flowers are soaked
in water for three or four days, and are then boiled with water in an
earthenware chatty. Over the top of this is placed another chatty,
mouth downwards, the join between the two being made air-tight by
being tied round with a bit of cloth, and luted with clay. From a
hole made in the upper chatty, a hollow bamboo leads to a third pot,
specially made for the purpose, which is globular, and has no opening
except that into which the bamboo pipe leads. This last is kept cool
by pouring water constantly over it, and the distillate is forced
into it through the bamboo, and there condenses."

In a report on his tour through the Savara country in 1863, the Agent
to the Governor of Madras reported as follows. "At Gunapur I heard
great complaints of the thievish habits of the Soura tribes on the
hills dividing Gunapur from Pedda Kimedy. They are not dacoits, but
very expert burglers, if the term can be applied to digging a hole
in the night through a mud wall. If discovered and hard pressed,
they do not hesitate to discharge their arrows, which they do with
unerring aim, and always with fatal result. Three or four murders
have been perpetrated by these people in this way since the country
has been under our management. I arranged with the Superintendent of
Police to station a party of the Armed Reserve in the ghaut leading
to Soura country. One or two cases of seizure and conviction will
suffice to put a check to the crime."

It is recorded, in the Gazetteer of the Vizagapatam district, that
"in 1864 trouble occurred with the Savaras. One of their headmen
having been improperly arrested by the police of Pottasingi, they
effected a rescue, killed the Inspector and four constables, and
burnt down the station-house. The Raja of Jeypore was requested to use
his influence to procure the arrest of the offenders, and eventually
twenty-four were captured, of whom nine were transported for life,
and five were sentenced to death, and hanged at Jalteru, at the foot
of the ghat to Pottasingi. Government presented the Raja with a rifle
and other gifts in acknowledgment of his assistance. The country did
not immediately calm down, however, and, in 1865, a body of police,
who were sent to establish a post in the hills, were attacked,
and forced to beat a retreat down the ghat. A large force was then
assembled, and, after a brief but harassing campaign, the post was
firmly occupied in January, 1866. Three of the ringleaders of this
rising were transported for life. The hill Savaras remained timid
and suspicious for some years afterwards, and, as late as 1874,
the reports mention it as a notable fact that they were beginning to
frequent markets on the plains, and that the low-country people no
longer feared to trust themselves above the ghats."

In 1905, Government approved the following proposals for the
improvement of education among the Savaras and other hill tribes in
the Ganjam and Vizagapatam Agencies, so far as Government schools
are concerned:--

(1) That instruction to the hill tribes should be given orally
through the medium of their own mother tongue, and that, when a Savara
knows both Uriya and Telugu, it would be advantageous to educate him
in Uriya;

(2) That evening classes be opened whenever possible, the buildings in
which they are held being also used for night schools for adults who
should receive oral instruction, and that magic-lantern exhibitions
might be arranged for occasionally, to make the classes attractive;

(3) That concessions, if any, in the matter of grants admissible to
Savaras, Khonds, etc., under the Grant-in-aid Code, be extended to
the pupils of the above communities that attend schools in the plains;

(4) That an itinerating agency, who could go round and look after the
work of the agency schools, be established and that, in the selection
of hill school establishments, preference be given to men educated
in the hill schools;

(5) That some suitable form of manual occupation be introduced,
wherever possible, into the day's work, and the schools be supplied
with the requisite tools, and that increased grants be given for
anything original.

Savara.--A name, denoting hill-men, adopted by Male Kudiyas.

Savu (death).--A sub-division of Mala.

Sayakkaran.--An occupational term, meaning a dyer, returned, at times
of census, by Tamil dyers.

Sayumpadai Tangi.--The name, meaning supporter of the vanquished army,
of a section of Kallans.

Sedan.--A synonym of Devanga. At times of census, Seda Dasi has been
returned by Devanga dancing-girls in the Madura district. The following
legend of Savadamma, the goddess of the weaver caste in Coimbatore, is
narrated by Bishop Whitehead. [157] "Once upon a time, when there was
fierce conflict between the men and the rakshasas, the men, who were
getting defeated, applied for help to the god Siva, who sent his wife
Parvati as an avatar or incarnation into the world to help them. The
avatar enabled them to defeat the rakshasas, and, as the weaver caste
were in the forefront of the battle, she became the goddess of the
weavers, and was known in consequence as Savadamman, a corruption of
Sedar Amman, Sedan being a title of the weavers. It is said that her
original home was in the north of India, near the Himalayas."

Segidi.--The Segidis are a Telugu caste of toddy sellers and distillers
of arrack, who are found mainly in Ganjam and Vizagapatam.

For the purposes of the Madras Abkari Act, toddy means fermented or
unfermented juice drawn from a cocoanut, palmyra, date, or any other
kind of palm-tree. It is laid down, in the Madras Excise Manual, that
"unfermented toddy is not subject to any taxation, but it must be
drawn in pots freshly coated internally with lime. Lime is prescribed
as the substance with which the interior of pots or other receptacles
in which sweet toddy is drawn should be coated, as it checks the
fermentation of the toddy coming in contact with it; but this effect
cannot be secured unless the internal lime coating of the toddy pot
or vessel is thorough, and is renewed every time that the pot is
emptied of its contents." It is noted by Bishop Caldwell [158] that
"it is the unfermented juice of the palmyra (and other palms) which
is used as food. When allowed to ferment, which it will do before
midday, if left to itself, it is changed into a sweet intoxicating
drink called kal or toddy." Pietro Della Valle records [159] that
he stayed on board till nightfall, "entertaining with conversation
and drinking tari, a liquor which is drawn from the cocoanut trees,
of a whitish colour, a little turbid, and of a somewhat rough taste,
though with a blending in sweetness, and not unpalatable, something
like one of our vini piccanti. It will also intoxicate, like wine,
if drunk over freely." Writing in 1673, Fryer [160] describes the
Natives as "singing and roaring all night long; being drunk with toddy,
the wine of the Cocoe."

Arrack is a spirituous liquor distilled from the fermented sap of
various palms. In some parts of the Madras Presidency, arrack vendors
consider it unlucky to set their measures upside down. Some time ago,
the Excise Commissioner informs me, the Excise department had some
aluminium measures made for measuring arrack in liquor shops. It was
found that the arrack corroded the aluminium, and the measures soon
leaked. The shopkeepers were told to turn their measures upside down,
in order that they might drain. This they refused to do, as it would
bring bad luck to their shop. New measures with round bottoms were
evolved, which would not stand up. But the shopkeepers began to use
rings of india-rubber from soda-water bottles, to make them stand. An
endeavour has since been made to induce them to keep their measures
inverted by hanging them on pegs, so that they will drain without
being turned upside down. The case illustrates well how important a
knowledge of the superstitions of the people is in the administration
of their affairs.

The Segidis do not draw the liquor from the palm-tree themselves,
but purchase it from the toddy-drawing castes, the Yatas and Gamallas.

They have a caste headman, called Kulampedda, who settles disputes
with the assistance of a council. Like other Telugu castes, they have
intiperulu or house names, which are strictly exogamous. Girls are
married either before or after puberty. The custom of menarikam is
practiced, in accordance with which a man marries his maternal aunt's
daughter. A Brahman officiates at marriages, except the remarriage
of widows. When a widow is remarried, the caste-men assemble, and the
Kulampedda ties the sathamanam (marriage badge) on the bride's neck.

The dead are usually cremated, and the washerman of the village
assists the chief mourner in igniting the pyre. A Satani conducts
the funeral ceremonies.

The Segidis worship various village deities, and perantalammas,
or women who killed themselves during their husbands' lives or on
their death.

The more well-to-do members of the caste take the title Anna.

Sekkan (oil-man).--A synonym of Vaniyan.

Sembadavan.--The Sembadavans are the fishermen of the Tamil country,
who carry on their calling in freshwater tanks (ponds), lakes and
rivers, and never in the sea. Some of them are ferrymen, and the name
has been derived from sem (good), padavan (boatmen). A legend runs
to the effect that the goddess Ankalamman, whom they worship with
offerings of sheep, pigs, fowls, rice, etc., was a Sembadava girl, of
whom Siva became enamoured, and Sembadavan is accordingly derived from
Sambu (Siva) or a corruption of Sivan padavan (Siva's boatmen). Some
members of the caste in the Telugu country returned themselves, at the
census, 1901, as Sambuni Reddi or Kapu. According to another legend,
the name is derived from sembu padavor or copper boatmen. Parvatha
Raja, disguised as a boatman, when sailing in a copper boat, threw
out his net to catch fish. Four Vedas were transformed into nets, with
which to catch the rakshasas, who assumed the form of fishes. Within
the nets a rishi was also caught, and, getting angry, asked the boatman
concerning his pedigree. On learning it, he cursed him, and ordained
that his descendants should earn their living by fishing. Hence the
Sembadavans call themselves Parvatha Rajavamsam. Yet another legend
states that the founder of the caste, while worshipping God, was
tried thus. God caused a large fish to appear in the water near the
spot at which he was worshipping. Forgetting all about his prayers,
he stopped to catch the fish, and was cursed with the occupation
of catching fish for ever. According to yet another account of the
origin of the Sembadavans, Siva was much pleased with their ancestors'
devotion to him when they lived upon the sea-shore by catching a few
fish with difficulty, and in recognition of their piety furnished them
with a net, and directed various other castes to become fish-eaters,
so that the Sembadavar might live comfortably.

Of the Sembadavans of the North Arcot district, Mr. H. A. Stuart
writes [161] that they "act as boatmen and fishers. They have little
opportunity of exercising the former profession, but during heavy
freshes in big rivers they ferry people from bank to bank in round
leather-covered basket coracles, which they push along, swimming
or wading by the side, or assist the timid to ford by holding their
hands. At such times they make considerable hauls. During the rest
of the year they subsist by fishing in the tanks."

"The Sembadavans of the South Arcot district," Mr. Francis writes,
[162] "are fresh-water fishermen and boatmen. Both their occupations
being of a restricted character, they have now in some cases taken to
agriculture, weaving, and the hawking of salted sea-fish, but almost
all of them are poor. They make their own nets, and, when they have
to walk any distance for any purpose, they often spin the thread
as they go along. Their domestic priests are Panchangi Brahmans,
and these tie the tali at weddings, and perform the purificatory
ceremonies on the sixteenth day after deaths."

The Sembadavans consider themselves to be superior to Pattanavans,
who are sea-fishermen. They usually take the title Nattan, Kavandan,
Maniyakkaran, Paguththar, or Pillai. Some have assumed the title Guha
Vellala, to connect themselves with Guha, who rowed the boat of Rama
to Ceylon. At the census, 1901, Savalakkaran (q.v.) was returned as
a sub-caste. Savalalai or saval thadi is the flattened paddle for
rowing boats. A large number call themselves Pujari, (priest), and
wear the lingam enclosed in a silver casket or pink cloth, and the
sacred thread. It is the pujari who officiates at the temple services
to village deities. At Malayanur, in the South Arcot district, all
the Sembadavans call themselves pujari, and seem to belong to a single
sept called Mukkali (three-legged).

Most of the Sembadavans call themselves Saivites, but a few,
e.g., at Kuppam in North Arcot, and other places, say that they
are Vaishnavites, and belong to Vishnu gotram. Even among those
who claimed to be Vaishnavites, a few were seen with a sandal paste
(Saivite) mark on the forehead. Their explanation was that they were
returning from the fields, where they had eaten their food. This they
must not do without wearing a religious emblem, and they had not with
them the mirror, red powder, water, etc., necessary for making the
Vaishnavite namam mark. They asserted that they never take a girl
in marriage from Saivite families without burning her tongue with a
piece of gold, and purifying her by punyavachanam.

The Sembadavans at Chidambaram are all Saivites, and point out
with pride their connection with the temple. It appears that, on
a particular day, they are deputed to carry the idol in procession
through the streets, and their services are paid for with a modest
fee and a ball of cooked rice for each person. Some respect is shown
to them by the temple authorities, as the goddess, when being carried
in procession, is detained for some time in their quarters, and they
make presents of female cloths to the idol.

The Sembadavans have exogamous septs, named after various heroes,
etc. The office of Nattan or Nattamaikkaran (headman) is confined to
a particular sept, and is hereditary. In some places he is assisted
by officers called Sangathikkar or Sangathipillai, through whom,
at a council, the headman should be addressed. At their council
meetings, representatives of the seven nadus (villages), into which
the Sembadavans of various localities are divided, are present. At
Malayanur these nadus are replaced by seven exogamous septs, viz.,
Devar, Seppiliyan, Ethinayakan, Sangili, Mayakundali, Pattam,
and Panikkan. If a man under trial pleads not guilty to the charge
brought against him, he has to bear the expenses of the members of
council. Sometimes, as a punishment, a man is made to carry a basket
of rubbish, with tamarind twigs as the emblem of flogging, and a
knife to denote cutting of the tongue. Women are said to be punished
by having to carry a basket of rubbish and a broom round the village.

Sembadavans who are ferrymen by profession do special worship to
Ganga, the goddess of water, to whom pongal (rice) and goats are
offered. It is believed that their immunity from death by drowning,
caused by the upsetting of their leather coracles, is due to the
protection of the goddess.

The ceremonial when a girl reaches puberty corresponds to that
of various other Tamil castes. Meat is forbidden, but eggs are
allowed to be eaten. To ward off devils twigs of Vitex Negundo,
margosa (Melia Azadirachta), and Eugenia Jambolana are stuck in the
roof. Sometimes a piece of iron is given to the girl to keep. During
the marriage ceremonies, a branch of Erythrina indica is cut, and
tied, with sprays of the pipal (Ficus religiosa) and a piece of a
green bamboo culm, to one of the twelve posts, which support the
marriage pandal (booth). A number of sumangalis (married women)
bring sand, and spread it on the floor near the marriage dais,
with pots, two of which are filled with water, over it. The bride
and bridegroom go through a ceremony called sige kazhippu, with the
object of warding off the evil eye, which consists in pouring a few
drops of milk on their foreheads from a fig or betel leaf. To their
foreheads are tied small gold or silver plates, called pattam, of
which the most conspicuous are those tied by the maternal uncles. The
plate for the bridegroom is V-shaped like a namam, and that for the
bride like a pipal leaf. The bride and bridegroom go through a mock
ceremony representative of domestic life, and pot-searching. Seven
rings are dropped into a pot. If the girl picks up three of these, her
first-born will be a girl. If the bridegroom picks up five, it will
be a boy. Married women go in procession to an ant-hill, and bring
to the marriage booth a basket-load of the earth, which they heap up
round the posts. Offerings of balls of rice, cooked vegetables, etc.,
are then made. After the wrist-threads (kankanam) have been removed,
the bride and bridegroom go to a tank, and go through a mock ploughing
ceremony. In some places, the purohits give the bridegroom a sacred
thread, which is finally thrown into a tank or well.

By some Sembadavans a ceremony, called muthugunir kuththal (pouring
water on the back) is performed in the seventh month of pregnancy. The
woman stands on the marriage dais, and red-coloured water, and lights
are waved. Bending down, she places her hands on two big pots, and
milk is poured over her back from a betel leaf by all her relations.

The Vaishnava Sembadavans burn, and the Saivites bury their dead in a
sitting posture. Fire is carried to the burial-ground by the barber. In
cases of burial the face is covered over by a cloth, in which a slit
is made, so that the top of the head and a portion of the forehead
are exposed. A figure representing Ganesa is made on the head with
ashes. All present throw sacred ashes, and a pie (copper coin) into
the grave, which is then filled in. While this is being done, a bamboo
stick is placed upright on the head of the corpse. On the surface
of the filled-in grave an oblong space is cleared, with the bamboo
in the centre. The bamboo is then removed, and water poured through
the hole left by it, and a lingam made, and placed over the opening.

At Malayanur a ceremony called mayana or smasana kollai (looting the
burning-ground) is performed. The village of Malayanur is famous for
its Ankalamman temple, and, during the festival which takes place
immediately after the Sivaratri, some thousands of people congregate
at the temple, which is near the burning-ground. In front of the stone
idol is a large ant-hill, on which two copper idols are placed, and
a brass vessel, called korakkudai, is placed at the base of the hill,
to receive the various votive offerings. Early in the day, the pujari
(a Sembadavan) goes to a tank, and brings a decorated pot, called
pungkaragam, to the temple. Offerings are made to a new pot, and,
after a sheep has been sacrificed, the pot is filled with water, and
carried on the head of the pujari, who shows signs of possession by
the deity, through the streets of the village to the temple, dancing
wildly, and never touching the pot with his hands. It is believed that
the pot remains on the head, without falling, through the influence
of the goddess. When the temple is reached, another pujari takes up
a framework, to which are tied a head made of rice flour, with three
faces coloured white, black and red, representing the head of Brahma
which was cut off by Siva, and a pot with three faces on it. The
eyes of the flour figure are represented by hen's eggs. The pot is
placed beneath the head. Carrying the framework, and accompanied
by music, the pujari goes in procession to the burning-ground, and,
after offerings of a sheep, arrack, betel and fruits have been made
to the head of Brahma, it is thrown away. Close to the spot where
corpses are burnt, the pujaris place on the ground five conical heaps
(representing Ganesa), made of the ashes of a corpse. To these are
offered the various articles brought by those who have made vows,
which include cooked pulses, bangles, betel, parts of the human body
modelled in rice flour, etc. The offerings are piled up in a heap,
which is said to reach ten or twelve feet in height. Soon afterwards,
the people assembled fall on the heap, and carry off whatever they
can secure. Hundreds of persons are said to become possessed, eat the
ashes of the corpses, and bite any human bones, which they may come
across. The ashes and earth are much prized, as they are supposed to
drive away evil spirits, and secure offspring to barren women. Some
persons make a vow that they will disguise themselves as Siva, for
which purpose they smear their faces with ashes, put on a cap decorated
with feathers of the crow, egret, and peacock, and carry in one hand
a brass vessel called Brahma kapalam. Round their waist they tie a
number of strings, to which are attached rags and feathers. Instead
of the cap, Paraiyans and Valluvans wear a crown. The brass vessel,
cap, and strings are said to be kept by the pujari, and hired out
for a rupee or two per head. The festival is said to be based on the
following legend. Siva and Brahma had the same number of faces. During
the swayamvaram, Parvati, the wife of Siva, found it difficult to
recognise her husband, so Siva cut off Brahma's head. The head stuck
on to Siva's hand, and he could not get rid of it. To get rid of the
skull, and throw off the crime of murder, Siva wandered far and wide,
and came to the burning-ground at Malayanur, where various bhuthas
(devils) were busy eating the remains of corpses. Parvati also arrived
there, and failed to recognise Siva. Thereon the skull laughed,
and fell to the ground. The bhuthas were so delighted that they put
various kinds of herbs into a big vessel, and made of them a sweet
liquor, by drinking which Siva was absolved from his crime. For this
reason arrack is offered to him at the festival. A very similar rite is
carried out at Walajapet. A huge figure, representing the goddess, is
made at the burning-ground out of the ashes of burnt bodies mixed with
water, the eyes being made of hen's eggs painted black in the centre
to represent the pupils. It is covered over with a yellow cloth, and
a sweet-smelling powder (kadampam) is sprinkled over it. The following
articles, which are required by a married woman, are placed on it:--a
comb, pot containing colour-powder, glass bangles, rolls of palm leaf
for dilating the ear-lobes, and a string of black beads. Devotees
present as offerings limes, plantains, arrack, toddy, sugar-cane,
and various kinds of cooked grains, and other eatables. The goddess
is taken in procession from her shrine to the burning-ground, and
placed in front of the figure. The pujari (fisherman), who wears a
special dress for the occasion, walks in front of the idol, carrying
in one hand a brass cup representing the skull which Siva carried in
his hand, and in the other a piece of human skull bone, which he bites
and chews as the procession moves onward. When the burning-ground is
reached, he performs puja by breaking a cocoanut, and going round
the figure with lighted camphor in his hand. Goats and fowls are
sacrificed. A woman, possessed by a devil, seats herself at the feet
of the figure, and becomes wild and agitated. The puja completed, the
assembled multitude fall on the figure, and carry off whatever they
can grab of the articles placed on it, which are believed to possess
healing and other virtues. They also smear their bodies with the
ashes. The pujari, and some of the devotees, then become possessed,
and run about the burning-ground, seizing and gnawing partly burnt
bones. Tradition runs to the effect that, in olden times, they used to
eat the dead bodies, if they came across any. And the people are so
afraid of their doing this that, if a death should occur, the corpse
is not taken to the burning-ground till the festival is over. "In
some cases," Herbert Spencer writes, [163] "parts of the dead are
swallowed by the living, who seek thus to inspire themselves with the
good qualities of the dead; and we saw that the dead are supposed to
be honoured by this act."

Sembunadu.--The name, meaning the Pandya country, of a sub-division
of Maravan.

Semmadi.--A Telugu form of Sembadavan.

Semman.--The Semmans are described, in the Madras Census Report,
1891, as "an insignificant caste of Tamil leather-workers, found only
in the districts of Madura and Tinnevelly (and in the Pudukottai
State). Though they have returned tailor and lime-burner as their
occupations, the original occupation was undoubtedly leather-work. In
the Tamil dictionaries Semman is explained as a leather-worker, and
a few of them, living in out-of-the way villages, have returned
shoe-making as their occupation. The Semmans are, in fact, a
sub-division of the Paraiyans, and they must have been the original
leather-workers of the Tamil tribes. The immigrant Chakkiliyans have,
however, now taken their place." The Semmans are described, in the
Madura Manual, as burning and selling lime for building purposes. In
the Census Report, 1901, the caste is said to have "two hypergamous
sub-divisions, Tondaman and Tolmestri, and men of the former take
wives from the latter, but men of the latter may not marry girls of
the former."

Girls are married after puberty, and divorce and remarriage are freely
allowed. As the caste is a polluting one, the members thereof are
not allowed to use village wells, or enter caste Hindu temples. The
caste title is Mestri.

Sem Puli (red tiger).--A section of Kallan.

Senaikkudaiyan.--The Senaikkudaiyans are betel vine (Piper Betel)
cultivators and betel leaf sellers, who are found in large numbers
in the Tinnevelly district, and to a smaller extent in other parts
of the Tamil country. The original name of the caste is said to
have been Elai (leaf) Vaniyan, for which the more high-sounding
Senaikkudaiyan (owner of an army) or Senaittalavan (chief of an army)
has been substituted. They also called themselves Kodikkal Pillaimar,
or Pillaimars who cultivate betel gardens, and have adopted the title
Pillai. The titles Muppan and Chetti are also borne by members of
the caste.

It is recorded, in the Madras Census Report, 1901, that "the priests of
the Senaikkudaiyans are Vellalas, and occasionally Brahmans. They do
not wear the sacred thread. They burn their dead, and perform annual
sraddhas (memorial services). In 1891, following the Tanjore Manual,
they were wrongly classed with Vaniyans or oil-mongers, but they are
superior to these in social position, and are even said to rank above
Nattukottai Chettis. Yet it is stated that, in Tanjore, Paraiyans
will not enter the Senaikkudaiyans' houses to carry away dead cattle,
and ordinary barbers will not serve them, and food prepared by them
will not be accepted even by barbers or washermen. Somewhat similar
anomalies occur in the case of the Kammalas, and the explanation
may be that these two castes belonged to the old left-hand faction,
while the Pariyans, and the barbers and washermen belonged to the
right-hand. Paraiyans similarly will not eat in the houses of Beri
Chettis, who were of the left-hand faction."

Senapati.--A title, denoting commander-in-chief, said to be sold to
Khoduras, and also occurring as a title of other Oriya castes, e.g.,
Kurumo and Ronguni. Among the Rongunis, the title is practically an
exogamous sept. Senapati is further a name for Sales (Telugu weavers),
the headman among whom is called Pedda (big) Senapati. The headman
of the Salapu weavers, who do not intermarry with the Sales, is also
styled Senapati. It is also a title of the Raja of Sandur.

Sendalai (red-headed man).--Returned as a sub-division of Konga
Vellalas at times of census.

Sengundam (red dagger).--A synonym, connected with a caste legend,
of Kaikolan.

Seniga (Bengal gram: Cicer arietinum).--An exogamous sept of Medara
and Pedakanti Kapu.

Seniyan.--The name Seniyan is generally used to denote the
Karna Sale weavers, but at Conjeeveram it is applied to Canarese
Devangas. Elsewhere Canarese Devangas belong to the left-hand section,
but at Conjeeveram they are classed with the right-hand section. Like
other Devangas, the Conjeeveram Seniyans have exogamous house-names
and gotras, which are interesting inasmuch as new names have been, in
recent times, substituted for the original ones, e.g., Chandrasekhara
rishi, Nilakanta rishi, Markandeya rishi. The Devangas claim Markandeya
as their ancestor. The old house-name Picchi Kaya (water-melon:
Citrullus vulgaris) has been changed to Desimarada, and eating the
melon is tabu. A list of the house-names and gotras is kept by the
headman for reference. The Conjeeveram Seniyans are Lingayats, but are
not so strict as the Canarese Lingayats. Jangams are respected, but
rank after their own stone lingams. In the observance of death rites, a
staunch Lingayat should not bathe, and must partake of the food offered
to the corpse. These customs are not observed by the Seniyans. Until
quite recently, a man might tie a tali (marriage badge) secretly on
a girl's neck, with the consent of the headman and his relatives,
and the girl could then be given in marriage to no other man. This
custom is said to have been very common, especially in the case of a
man's maternal uncle's or paternal aunt's daughter. At Conjeeveram it
was extended to girls not so related, and a caste council was held,
at which an agreement was drawn up that the secret tali-tying was
forbidden, and, if performed, was not to be regarded as binding. The
priest of the Conjeeveram Seniyans is a Vellala Pandaram, who is the
head of the Tirugnana Sambanda Murti mutt (religious institution)
at Conjeeveram.

Servai.--Servai, meaning service, has been recorded as the title of
Agamudaiyans and Valaiyans. Servaikaran or Servaigaran (captain or
commander) is the title of Agamudaiyan, Ambalakaran, Kallan, Maravan,
and Parivaram. It further occurs as the name for a headman among the
Vallambans, and it has been adopted as a false caste name by some
criminal Koravas in the south.

Servegara.--The Servegaras are a caste found in South Canara, and to
a small extent in Bellary. "They are said to be a branch of the Konkan
Marathis of Goa, from whence they were invited by the Lingayat kings of
Nagara to serve as soldiers and to defend their forts (kote), whence
the alternative name of Koteyava (or Kotegara). Another name for them
is Ramakshatri. The mother-tongue of the Servegaras of South Canara is
Canarese, while their brethren in the north speak Konkani. They have
now taken to cultivation, but some are employed in the Revenue and
Police departments as peons (orderlies) and constables, and a few are
shopkeepers. The name Servegara is derived from the Canarese serve, an
army. In religion they are Hindus, and, like most West Coast castes,
are equally partial to the worship of Siva and Vishnu. They wear
the sacred thread. Karadi Brahmans are their priests, and they owe
allegiance to the head of the Sringeri mutt. Their girls are married
before puberty, and the remarriage of widows is neither allowed nor
practiced. Divorce is permitted only on the ground of the unchastity
of the wife. The body of a child under three years is buried, and that
of any person exceeding that age is cremated. They eat flesh, but do
not drink. Their titles are Nayak, Aiya, Rao, and Sheregar." [164]
In the Census Report, 1901, Bomman Valekara is returned as a synonym,
and Vilayakara as a sub-caste of Servegara.

Setti.--See Chetti.

Settukkaran.--A castle title, meaning economical people, sometimes
used by Devangas instead of Setti or Chetti.

Sevagha Vritti.--A sub-division of Kaikolan.

Sevala (service).--An exogamous sept of Golla.

Shanan.--The great toddy-drawing caste of the Tamil country, which,
a few years ago, came into special prominence owing to the Tinnevelly
riots in 1899. "These were," the Inspector-General of Police writes,
[165] "due to the pretensions of the Shanans to a much higher position
in the religio-social scale than the other castes are willing to
allow. Among other things, they claimed admission to Hindu temples,
and the manager of the Visvanatheswara temple at Sivakasi decided to
close it. This partial victory of the Shanans was keenly resented by
their opponents, of whom the most active were the Maravans. Organised
attacks were made on a number of the Shanan villages; the inhabitants
were assailed; houses were burnt; and property was looted. The most
serious occurrence was the attack on Sivakasi by a body of over
five thousand Maravans. Twenty-three murders, 102 dacoities, and
many cases of arson were registered in connection with the riots in
Sivakasi, Chinniapuram, and other places. Of 1,958 persons arrested,
552 were convicted, 7 being sentenced to death. One of the ring-leaders
hurried by train to distant Madras, and made a clever attempt to prove
an alibi by signing his name in the Museum visitor's book. During
the disturbance some of the Shanans are said to have gone into the
Muhammadan fold. The men shaved their heads, and grew beards; and the
women had to make sundry changes in their dress. And, in the case of
boys, the operation of circumcision was performed."

The immediate bone of contention at the time of the Tinnevelly
riots was, the Census Superintendent, 1901, writes, "the claim of the
Shanans to enter the Hindu temples, in spite of the rules in the Agama
Shastras that toddy-drawers are not to be allowed into them; but the
pretensions of the community date back from 1858, when a riot occurred
in Travancore, because female Christian converts belonging to it gave
up the caste practice of going about without an upper cloth." On this
point Mr. G. T. Mackenzie informs us [166] that "in the first quarter
of the nineteenth century, the female converts to Christianity in the
extreme south ventured, contrary to the old rules for the lower castes,
to clothe themselves above the waist. This innovation was made the
occasion for threats, violence, and series of disturbances. Similar
disturbances arose from the same cause nearly thirty years later,
and, in 1859, Sir Charles Trevelyan, Governor of Madras, interfered,
and granted permission to the women of the lower castes to wear a
cloth over the breasts and shoulders. The following proclamation was
issued by the Maharaja of Travancore:--We hereby proclaim that there
is no objection to Shanan women either putting on a jacket like the
Christian Shanan women, or to Shanan women of all creeds dressing in
coarse cloth, and tying themselves round with it as the Mukkavattigal
(fisherwomen) do, or to their covering their bosoms in any manner
whatever, but not like women of high castes." "Shortly after 1858,
pamphlets began to be written and published by people of the caste,
setting out their claims to be Kshatriyas. In 1874 they endeavoured
to establish a right to enter the great Minakshi temple at Madura,
but failed, and they have since claimed to be allowed to wear the
sacred thread, and to have palanquins at their weddings. They say
they are descended from the Chera, Chola and Pandya kings; they have
styled themselves Kshatriyas in legal papers; labelled their schools
Kshatriya academy; got Brahmans of the less particular kind to do
purohit's work for them; had poems composed on their kingly origin;
gone through a sort of incomplete parody of the ceremony of investiture
with the sacred thread; talked much but ignorantly of their gotras;
and induced needy persons to sign documents agreeing to carry them
in palanquins on festive occasions." [During my stay at Nazareth in
Tinnevelly, for the purpose of taking measurements of the Shanans,
I received a visit from some elders of the community from Kuttam,
who arrived in palanquins, and bearing weapons of old device.] Their
boldest stroke was to aver that the coins commonly known as Shanans'
cash were struck by sovereign ancestors of the caste. The author
of a pamphlet entitled 'Bishop Caldwell and the Tinnevelly Shanars'
states that he had met with men of all castes who say that they have
seen the true Shanar coin with their own eyes, and that a Eurasian
gentleman from Bangalore testified to his having seen a true Shanar
coin at Bangalore forty years ago. The coin referred to is the gold
Venetian sequin, which is still found in considerable numbers in the
south, and bears the names of the Doges (Paul Rainer, Aloy Mocen,
Ludov Manin, etc.) and a cross, which the Natives mistake for a toddy
palm. "If," Mr. Fawcett writes, [167] "one asks the ordinary Malayali
(native of Malabar) what persons are represented on the sequin, one
gets for answer that they are Rama and Sita: between them a cocoanut
tree. Every Malayali knows what an Amâda is; it is a real or imitation
Venetian sequin. I have never heard any explanation of the word Amâda
in Malabar. The following comes from Tinnevelly. Amâda was the consort
of Bhagavati, and he suddenly appeared one day before a Shanar,
and demanded food. The Shanar said he was a poor man with nothing
to offer but toddy, which he gave in a palmyra leaf. Amâda drank the
toddy, and performing a mantram (consecrated formula) over the leaf,
it turned into gold coins, which bore on one side the pictures of
Amâda, the Shanar, and the tree, and these he gave to the Shanar as
a reward for his willingness to assist him."

In a petition to myself from certain Shanans of Nazareth, signed by
a very large number of the community, and bearing the title "Short
account of the Cantras or Tamil Xatras, the original but down-trodden
royal race of Southern India," they write as follows. "We humbly
beg to say that we are the descendants of the Pandya or Dravida
Xatra race, who, shortly after the universal deluge of Noah, first
disafforested and colonized this land of South India under the guidance
of Agastya Muni. The whole world was destroyed by flood about B.C. 3100
(Dr. Hale's calculation), when Noah, otherwise called Vaivasvata-manu
or Satyavrata, was saved with his family of seven persons in an
ark or covered ship, which rested upon the highest mountain of the
Aryavarta country. Hence the whole earth was rapidly replenished by
his descendants. One of his grandsons (nine great Prajapatis) was
Atri, whose son Candra was the ancestor of the noblest class of the
Xatras ranked above the Brahmans, and the first illustrious monarch
of the post-diluvian world."

"Apparently," the Census Superintendent continues, "judging from the
Shanan's own published statements of their case, they rest their
claims chiefly upon etymological derivations of their caste name
Shanan, and of Nadan and Gramani, their two usual titles. Caste
titles and names are, however, of recent origin, and little can
be inferred from them, whatever their meaning may be shown to
be. Brahmans, for example, appear to have borne the titles of
Pillai and Mudali, which are now only used by Sudras, and the
Nayak kings, on the other hand, called themselves Aiyar, which
is now exclusively the title of Saivite Brahmans. To this day the
cultivating Vellalas, the weaving Kaikolars, and the semi-civilised
hill tribe of the Jatapus use equally the title of Mudali, and the
Balijas and Telagas call themselves Rao, which is properly the title
of Mahratta Brahmans. Regarding the derivation of the words Shanan,
Nadan and Gramani, much ingenuity has been exercised. Shanan is not
found in the earlier Tamil literature at all. In the inscriptions
of Rajaraja Chola (A. D. 984-1013) toddy-drawers are referred to as
Iluvans. According to Pingalandai, a dictionary of the 10th or 11th
century, the names of the toddy-drawer castes are Palaiyar, Tuvasar,
and Paduvar. To these the Chudamani Nikandu, a Tamil dictionary of
the 16th century, adds Saundigar. Apparently, therefore, the Sanskrit
word Saundigar must have been introduced (probably by the Brahmans)
between the 11th and 16th centuries, and is a Sanskrit rendering of
the word Iluvan. From Saundigar to Shanan is not a long step in the
corruption of words. The Shanans say that Shanan is derived from the
Tamil word Sanrar or Sanror, which means the learned or the noble. But
it does not appear that the Shanans were ever called Sanrar or Sanror
in any of the Tamil works. The two words Nadan and Gramani mean the
same thing, namely, ruler of a country or of a village, the former
being a Tamil, and the latter a Sanskrit word. Nadan, on the other
hand, means a man who lives in the country, as opposed to Uran, the
man who resides in a village. The title of the caste is Nadan, and
it seems most probable that it refers to the fact that the Iluvan
ancestors of the caste lived outside the villages. (South Indian
Inscriptions, vol. II, part 1.) But, even if Nadan and Gramani both
mean rulers, it does not give those who bear these titles any claim
to be Kshatriyas. If it did, all the descendants of the many South
Indian Poligars, or petty chiefs, would be Kshatriyas."

The Census Superintendent, 1891, states that the "Shanans are in
social position usually placed only a little above the Pallas and
the Paraiyans, and are considered to be one of the polluting castes,
but of late many of them have put forward a claim to be considered
Kshatriyas, and at least 24,000 of them appear as Kshatriyas in the
caste tables. This is, of course, absurd, as there is no such thing as
a Dravidian Kshatriya. But it is by no means certain that the Shanans
were not at one time a warlike tribe, for we find traces of a military
occupation among several toddy-drawing castes of the south, such
as the Billavas (bowmen), Halepaik (old foot soldiers), Kumarapaik
(junior foot). Even the Kadamba kings of Mysore are said to have
been toddy-drawers. 'The Kadamba tree appears to be one of the palms,
from which toddy is extracted. Toddy-drawing is the special occupation
of the several primitive tribes spread over the south-west of India,
and bearing different names in various parts. They were employed by
former rulers as foot-soldiers and bodyguards, being noted for their
fidelity. [168]' The word Shanan is ordinarily derived from Tamil saru,
meaning toddy; but a learned missionary derives it from san (a span)
and nar (fibre or string), that is the noose, one span in length,
used by the Shanans in climbing palm-trees." The latter derivation
is also given by Vellalas.

It is worthy of note that the Tiyans, or Malabar toddy-drawers,
address one another, and are addressed by the lower classes as Shener,
which is probably another form of Shanar. [169]

The whole story of the claims and pretensions of the Shanans is
set out at length in the judgment in the Kamudi temple case (1898)
which was heard on appeal before the High Court of Madras. And I may
appropriately quote from the judgment. "There is no sort of proof,
nothing, we may say, that even suggests a probability that the Shanars
are descendants from the Kshatriya or warrior castes of Hindus,
or from the Pandiya, Chola or Chera race of kings. Nor is there any
distinction to be drawn between the Nadars and the Shanars. Shanar is
the general name of the caste, just as Vellala and Maravar designate
castes. 'Nadar' is a mere title, more or less honorific, assumed by
certain members or families of the caste, just as Brahmins are called
Aiyars, Aiyangars, and Raos. All 'Nadars' are Shanars by caste, unless
indeed they have abandoned caste, as many of them have by becoming
Christians. The Shanars have, as a class, from time immemorial,
been devoted to the cultivation of the palmyra palm, and to the
collection of the juice, and manufacture of liquor from it. There
are no grounds whatever for regarding them as of Aryan origin. Their
worship was a form of demonology, and their position in general social
estimation appears to have been just above that of Pallas, Pariahs,
and Chucklies (Chakkiliyans), who are on all hands regarded as unclean,
and prohibited from the use of the Hindu temples, and below that of
Vellalas, Maravans, and other classes admittedly free to worship in
the Hindu temples. In process of time, many of the Shanars took to
cultivating, trade, and money-lending, and to-day there is a numerous
and prosperous body of Shanars, who have no immediate concern with
the immemorial calling of their caste. In many villages they own much
of the land, and monopolise the bulk of the trade and wealth. With
the increase of wealth they have, not unnaturally, sought for social
recognition, and to be treated on a footing of equality in religious
matters. The conclusion of the Sub-Judge is that, according to the
Agama Shastras which are received as authoritative by worshippers of
Siva in the Madura district, entry into a temple, where the ritual
prescribed by these Shastras is observed, is prohibited to all those
whose profession is the manufacture of intoxicating liquor, and the
climbing of palmyra and cocoanut trees. No argument was addressed to
us to show that this finding is incorrect, and we see no reason to
think that it is so.... No doubt many of the Shanars have abandoned
their hereditary occupation, and have won for themselves by education,
industry and frugality, respectable positions as traders and merchants,
and even as vakils (law pleaders) and clerks; and it is natural to
feel sympathy for their efforts to obtain social recognition, and
to rise to what is regarded as a higher form of religious worship;
but such sympathy will not be increased by unreasonable and unfounded
pretensions, and, in the effort to rise, the Shanars must not invade
the established rights of other castes. They have temples of their own,
and are numerous enough, and strong enough in wealth and education, to
rise along their own lines, and without appropriating the institutions
or infringing the rights of others, and in so doing they will have the
sympathy of all right-minded men, and, if necessary, the protection
of the Courts."

In a note on the Shanans, the Rev. J. Sharrock writes [170] that they
"have risen enormously in the social scale by their eagerness for
education, by their large adoption of the freedom of Christianity,
and by their thrifty habits. Many of them have forced themselves
ahead of the Maravars by sheer force of character. They have still
to learn that the progress of a nation, or a caste, does not depend
upon the interpretation of words, or the assumption of a title, but
on the character of the individuals that compose it. Evolutions are
hindered rather than advanced by such unwise pretensions resulting
in violence; but evolutions resulting from intellectual and social
development are quite irresistible, if any caste will continue to
advance by its own efforts in the path of freedom and progress."

Writing in 1875, Bishop Caldwell remarks [171] that "the great majority
of the Shanars who remain heathen wear their hair long; and, if they
are not allowed to enter the temples, the restriction to which they
are subject is not owing to their long hair, but to their caste,
for those few members of the caste, continuing heathens, who have
adopted the kudumi--generally the wealthiest of the caste--are as
much precluded from entering the temples as those who retain their
long hairs. A large majority of the Christian Shanars have adopted
the kudumi together with Christianity."

By Regulation XI, 1816, it was enacted that heads of villages have, in
cases of a trivial nature, such as abusive language and inconsiderable
assaults or affrays, power to confine the offending members in the
village choultry (lock-up) for a time not exceeding twelve hours;
or, if the offending parties are of the lower castes of the people,
on whom it may not be improper to inflict so degrading a punishment,
to order them to be put in the stocks for a time not exceeding six
hours. In a case which came before the High Court it was ruled that
by "lower castes" were probably intended those castes which, prior to
the introduction of British rule, were regarded as servile. In a case
which came up on appeal before the High Court in 1903, it was ruled
that the Shanars belong to the lower classes, who may be punished by
confinement in the stocks.

With the physique of the Shanans, whom I examined at Nazareth and
Sawyerpuram in Tinnevelly, and their skill in physical exercises I
was very much impressed. The programme of sports, which were organised
in my honour, included the following events:--


    Fencing and figure exercises with long sticks of iron-wood
    (Mesua ferrea).
    Figure exercises with sticks bearing flaming rags at each end.
    Various acrobatic tricks.
    Feats with heavy weights, rice-pounders, and pounding stones.
    Long jump.
    Breaking cocoanuts with the thrust of a knife or the closed fist.
    Crunching whiskey-bottle glass with the teeth.
    Running up, and butting against the chest, back, and shoulders.
    Swallowing a long silver chain.
    Cutting a cucumber balanced on a man's neck in two with a sword.
    Falconry.


One of the good qualities of Sir Thomas Munro, formerly Governor of
Madras, was that, like Rama and Rob Roy, his arms reached to his knees,
or, in other words, he possessed the kingly quality of an Ajanubahu,
which is the heritage of kings, or those who have blue blood in
them. This particular anatomical character I have met with myself
only once, in a Shanan, whose height was 173 cm. and span of the arms
194 cm. (+ 21 cm.). Rob Roy, it will be remembered, could, without
stooping, tie his garters, which were placed two inches below the knee.

For a detailed account of demonolatry among the Shanans, I would refer
the reader to the Rev. R. (afterwards Bishop) Caldwell's now scarce
'Tinnevelly Shanans' (1849), written when he was a young and impulsive
missionary, and the publication of which I believe that the learned
and kind-hearted divine lived to regret.

Those Shanans who are engaged in the palmyra (Borassus flabellifer)
forests in extracting the juice of the palm-tree climb with marvellous
activity and dexterity. There is a proverb that, if you desire to
climb trees, you must be born a Shanan. A palmyra climber will,
it has been calculated, go up from forty to fifty trees, each forty
to fifty feet high, three times a day. The story is told by Bishop
Caldwell of a man who was sitting upon a leaf-stalk at the top of a
palmyra palm in a high wind, when the stalk gave way, and he came down
to the ground safely and quietly, sitting on the leaf, which served
the purpose of a natural parachute. Woodpeckers are called Shanara
kurivi by birdcatchers, because they climb trees like Shanars. "The
Hindus," the Rev. (afterwards Canon) A. Margöschis writes, [172]
"observe a special day at the commencement of the palmyra season,
when the jaggery season begins. Bishop Caldwell adopted the custom,
and a solemn service in church was held, when one set of all the
implements used in the occupation of palmyra-climbing was brought
to the church, and presented at the altar. Only the day was changed
from that observed by the Hindus. The perils of the palmyra-climber
are great, and there are many fatal accidents by falling from trees
forty to sixty feet high, so that a religious service of the kind was
particularly acceptable, and peculiarly appropriate to our people." The
conversion of a Hindu into a Christian ceremonial rite, in connection
with the dedication of ex votos, is not devoid of interest. In a note
[173] on the Pariah caste in Travancore, the Rev. S. Mateer narrates
a legend that the Shanans are descended from Adi, the daughter of a
Pariah woman at Karuvur, who taught them to climb the palm tree, and
prepared a medicine which would protect them from falling from the high
trees. The squirrels also ate some of it, and enjoy a similar immunity.

It is recorded, in the Gazetteer of the Madura district, that Shanan
toddy-drawers "employ Pallans, Paraiyans, and other low castes to
help them transport the liquor, but Musalmans and Brahmans have,
in several cases, sufficiently set aside the scruples enjoined
by their respective faiths against dealings in potent liquor to
own retail shops, and (in the case of some Musalmans at least)
to serve their customers with their own hands." In a recent note,
[174] it has been stated that "L.M.S. Shanar Christians have, in many
cases, given up tapping the palmyra palm for jaggery and toddy as a
profession beneath them; and their example is spreading, so that a
real economic impasse is manifesting itself. The writer knows of one
village at least, which had to send across the border (of Travancore)
into Tinnevelly to procure professional tree-tappers. Consequent on
this want of professional men, the palm trees are being cut down,
and this, if done to any large extent, will impoverish the country."

In the palmyra forests of Attitondu, in Tinnevelly, I came across a
troop of stalwart Shanan men and boys, marching out towards sunset,
to guard the ripening cholum crop through the night, each with a
trained dog, with leash made of fibre passed through a ring on the
neck-collar. The leash would be slipped directly the dog scented a
wild pig, or other nocturnal marauder. Several of the dogs bore the
marks of encounters with pigs. One of the party carried a musical
instrument made of a 'bison' horn picked up in the neighbouring jungle.

The Shanans have a great objection to being called either Shanan or
Marameri (tree-climber), and much prefer Nadan. By the Shanans of
Tinnevelly, whom I visited, the following five sub-divisions were
returned:--

1. Karukku-pattayar (those of the sharp sword), which is considered
to be superior to the rest. In the Census Report, 1891, the division
Karukku-mattai (petiole of the palmyra leaf with serrated edges)
was returned. Some Shanans are said to have assumed the name of
Karukku-mattai Vellalas.

2. Kalla. Said to be the original servants of the Karukku-pattayar,
doing menial work in their houses, and serving as palanquin-bearers.

3. Nattati. Settled at the village of Nattati near Sawyerpuram.

4. Kodikkal. Derived from kodi, a flag. Standard-bearers of the
fighting men. According to another version, the word means a betel
garden, in reference to those who were betel cultivators.

5. Mel-natar (mel, west). Those who live in the western part of
Tinnevelly and in Travancore.

At the census, 1891, Konga (territorial) and Madurai were returned as
sub-divisions. The latter apparently receives its name, not from the
town of Madura, but from a word meaning sweet juice. At the census,
1901, Tollakkadan (man with a big hole in his ears) was taken as
being a sub-caste of Shanan, as the people who returned it, and sell
husked rice in Madras, used the title Nadan. Madura and Tinnevelly are
eminently the homes of dilated ear-lobes. Some Tamil traders in these
two districts, who returned themselves as Pandyan, were classified
as Shanans, as Nadan was entered as their title. In Coimbatore,
some Shanans, engaged as shop-keepers, have been known to adopt the
name of Chetti. In Coimbatore, too, the title Muppan occurs. This
title, meaning headman or elder, is also used by the Ambalakaran,
Valayan, Sudarman, Senaikkudaiyan, and other castes. In the Tanjore
Manual, the Shanans are divided into Tennam, Panam, and Ichcham,
according as they tap the cocoanut, palmyra, or wild date (Phoenix
sylvestris). The name Enadi for Shanans is derived from Enadi Nayanar,
a Saivite saint. But it also means a barber.

The community has, among its members, land-owners, and graduates in
theology, law, medicine, and the arts. Nine-tenths of the Native clergy
in Tinnevelly are said to be converted Shanans, and Tinnevelly claims
Native missionaries working in Madagascar, Natal, Mauritius, and the
Straits. The occupations of those whom I saw at Nazareth were merchant,
cultivator, teacher, village munsif, organist, cart-driver, and cooly.

The Shanans have established a school, called Kshatriya Vidyasala,
at Virudupati in Tinnevelly. This is a free school, for attendance at
which no fee is levied on the pupils, for the benefit of the Shanan
community, but boys of other castes are freely admitted to it. It
is maintained by Shanans from their mahimai fund, and the teachers
are Brahmans, Shanans, etc. The word mahimai means greatness, glory,
or respectability.

Shanbog.--The Magane Shanbog takes the place, in South Canara, of the
village Karnam or accountant. There are also temple Shanbogs, who are
employed at the more important temples. When social disputes come up
for decision at caste council meetings, the Shanbog appointed by the
caste records the evidence, and the Moktessor or Mukhtesar (chief
man) of the caste decides upon the facts. In some places in South
Canara Shanbog is used as a synonym for Sarasvat Brahman. In Mysore,
the Shanbog is said [175] to be "the village accountant, with hardly
an exception of the Brahman caste. The office is hereditary. In
some places they hold land free of rent, and in others on light
assessment. In some few places a fixed money allowance is given. In
all instances there are certain fixed fees payable to them in money
or kind by the ryots."

It is noted by Mr. W. Robinson, in a report on the Laccadive islands
(1869), that "the Monegar has the assistance of one of the islanders
as a Karany, to take down depositions, and to read them, for the
character used is the Arabic. In addition to these duties, the Karany
has those of the Shanbogue. He keeps the accounts of the trees, and
the coir (cocoanut fibre) in the islands, and makes out and delivers
the accounts of coir brought to the coast."

Shikari.--Shikari, meaning a sportsman or hunter, occurs as a synonym
of Irula, and a sub-division of Korava. The name shikari is also
applied to a Native who "accompanies European sportsmen as a guide
and aid, and to the European sportsman himself." [176]

Sholaga.--In his account of the Sholagas or Solagas, early in the
last century, Buchanan [177] writes that they "speak a bad or old
dialect of the Karnata language, have scarcely any clothing, and sleep
round a fire, lying on a few plantain leaves, and covering themselves
with others. They live chiefly on the summits of mountains, where
the tigers do not frequent, but where their naked bodies are exposed
to a disagreeable cold. Their huts are most wretched, and consist of
bamboos with both ends stuck into the ground, so as to form an arch,
which is covered with plantain leaves." The up-to-date Sholaga, who
inhabits the jungles of Coimbatore between Dimbhum and Kollegal near
the Mysore frontier, is clad in a cotton loin-cloth, supplemented
by a coat of English pattern with regimental buttons, and smears
himself freely on special occasions, such as a visit to the Government
anthropologist, with sacred ashes in mimicry of the Lingayats.

I gather from a correspondent that the following tradition concerning
their origin is current. In days of yore there lived two brothers in
the Geddesala hills, by name Karayan and Billaya or Madheswara. The
Uralis and Sholagas are descended from Karayan, and the Sivacharis
(Lingayats) from Madheswara. The two brothers fell into the hands
of a terrible Rakshasha (demon), by name Savanan, who made Karayan
a shepherd, but imprisoned Madheswara for not paying him sufficient
respect, and extracted all kinds of menial work from him. Last of all
he ordered him to make a pair of shoes, whereupon Madheswara asked
for his liberty for a few days, to enable him to have the shoes well
made. His request being granted, Madheswara betook himself to the
god Krishnamurti, and asked him for his help in his troubles. The
god was only too happy to assist, and suggested that the shoes
should be made of wax. Helped by Krishnamurti, Madheswara made a very
beautiful-looking pair of shoes. Krishnamurti then ordered him to pile
up and light a huge bonfire on a bare rocky hill east of Geddesala,
so as to make it nearly red-hot. The ashes were then cleared away, so
as to leave no trace of their plot. Madheswara then took the shoes,
and presented them to Savanan, who was much pleased with them, and
willingly acceded to Madheswara's request that he would put them on,
and walk along the rock. But, as soon as he stepped upon it, the
shoes melted, and Savanan fell heavily on the rock, clutching hold
of Madheswara as he fell, and trying to strangle him. Krishnamurti
had assembled all the gods to witness the carrying out of the plot,
and, telling each of them to pile a stone on Savanan's head, himself
rescued Madheswara from his clutches, and all jumped upon the Rakshasha
till no trace of him was left. While this was going on, Karayan was
tending Savanan's herds in the forest, and, when he came to hear
about it, was angry with his brother for not consulting him before
destroying Savanan. Flying from Karayan, who was armed with a knife,
Madheswara implored Krishnamurti's help, by which he was able to leap
from Kotriboli to the hill called Urugamalai, a distance of some ten
miles. The force of the leap caused the hill to bend--hence its name
meaning the bending hill. Finding that the hill was bending, and being
still hotly pursued by his brother, knife in hand, Madheswara again
appealed to Krishnamurti, and was enabled to make another leap of about
five miles to a hill called Eggaraimalai, which immediately began to
subside. Hence its name, meaning the subsiding hill. Thence he fled
to Munikanal, and concealed himself under a rock, closely followed
by Karayan, who slashed the rock with his knife, and left marks which
are visible to this day. From Munikanal he fled to the hill now known
as Madheswaranamalai, and hid in a rat hole. Karayan, not being able
to unearth him, sent for a lot of shepherds, and made them pen their
sheep and cattle over the hole. The effluvium became too strong for
the fugitive, so he surrendered himself to his brother, who pardoned
him on the understanding that, on deification, Karayan should have
prior claim to all votive offerings. To this Madheswara agreed, and
to this day Sivacharis, when doing puja, first make their offerings to
Karayan and afterwards to Madheswara. In connection with this legend,
any one proceeding to the top of Kotriboli hill at the present day is
expected to place a stone upon the rock, with the result that there
are many piles of stones there. Even Europeans are asked to do this.

The Sholagas are said to call themselves men of five kulams,
or exogamous septs, among which are Chalikiri, Teneru, Belleri,
Surya (the sun), and Aleru. By members of the twelve kulam class,
everything is done by twelves. For example, on the twelfth day after a
birth, twelve elders are invited to the house to bless the child. At
a marriage, twelve of the bridegroom's relations go and fetch the
bride, and the wedding pandal (booth) has twelve posts. The parents
of the bridegroom pay twelve rupees to the bride's father, and a tali
(marriage badge) worth twelve annas is tied round the bride's neck. In
case of death, the body is borne on a stretcher made of twelve bamboos,
and mourning lasts for twelve days.

Tribal disputes, e.g., quarrelling and adultery, are decided by
the Yejamana, assisted by a Pattagara and a few leading men of the
community. Under the orders of the two former is the Chalavathi or
village servant. The Yejamana, Pattagara, and Chalavathi must belong
respectively to the Chalikiri, Teneri, and Surya septs.

When a girl reaches puberty, she occupies a separate hut for five days,
and then returns home after a bath. The maternal uncle should present
her with a new cloth, betel leaves and areca nuts, and plantain
fruits. In the formal marriage ceremony, the tali is tied by the
bridegroom inside a booth; the maternal uncle, if he can afford it,
presents a new cloth to the bride, and a feast is held. Sometimes
even this simple rite is dispensed with, and the couple, without any
formality, live together as man and wife, on the understanding that, at
some time, a feast must be given to a few of the community. I am told
that the Sholagas of the Burghur hills have a very extraordinary way
of treating expectant mothers. A few days before the event is expected
to take place, the husband takes his wife right away into the jungle,
and leaves her there alone with three days' supply of food. There
she has to stay, and do the best she can for herself. If she does not
come back at the end of the three days, the husband goes out and takes
her more food. But she may not return to her village till the baby is
born. When one of these unfortunate creatures comes back safely, there
is a great celebration in her honour, with beating of tom-tom, etc.

The dead are buried with the body lying on its left side, and the
head to the south. On their return home from a funeral, those who
have been present thereat salute a lighted lamp. On the spot where
the dead person breathed his last, a little ragi (Eleusine Coracana)
paste and water are placed, and here, on the fourth day, a goat is
sacrificed, and offered up to the soul of the departed. After this
the son proceeds to the burial ground, carrying a stone, and followed
by men selected from each of the exogamous septs. Arrived near the
grave, they sit down, while the son places the stone on the ground,
and they then lift it in succession. The last man to do so is said
to fall into a trance. On his recovery, leaves (plantain, teak,
etc.) corresponding in number to the exogamous septs, are arranged
round the stone, and, on each leaf, different kinds of food are
placed. The men partake of the food, each from the leaf allotted to
his sept. The meal concluded, the son holds the stone in his hands,
while his companions pour ragi and water over it, and then carries it
away to the gopamane (burial-ground) of his sept, and sets it up there.

On the occasion of a death in a Mala Vellala village, the Sholagas
come in crowds, with clarionets and drums, and bells on their legs,
and dance in front of the house. And the corpse is borne, in musical
procession, to the burning-ground.

The staple food of the Sholagas is ragi paste and yams (Dioscorea),
which, like the Uralis, they supplement by sundry jungle animals
and birds. Paroquets they will not eat, as they regard them as their
children.

Their main occupation is to collect minor forest produce, myrabolams,
vembadam bark (Ventilago madraspatana), avaram bark (Cassia
auriculata), deers' horns, tamarinds, gum, honey, soap-nuts, sheekoy
(Acacia Concinna),etc. The forests have been divided into blocks,
and a certain place within each block has been selected for the
forest depôt. To this place the collecting agents, mostly Sholagas
and Uralis, bring the produce, and there it is sorted and paid for
by special supervisors appointed for the work.

In the Coimbatore district the Sholagas are said to collect honey
from rocky crevices. The combs are much larger than those found on
trees, and are supposed to contain twice as much wax in proportion
to the honey. On the Nilgiri hills honey-combs are collected by Jen
Kurumbas and Sholagas. The supply of honey varies according to the
nature of the season, and is especially plentiful and of good quality
when Strobilanthes Wightianus, S. Kunthiana, and other species are
in flower.

It has been said that even wild beasts will scent a Sholaga, and flee
before the aroma.

The Sholagas, who were examined by Dr. Rivers and myself, came to the
conclusion that the object of our enquiry was to settle them in a
certain place near London, and that the wools of different colours
(used for testing colour vision) given to them for selection,
were for tying them captive with. Others said that they could not
understand why the different organs of their bodies were measured;
perhaps to reduce or increase the size of their body to suit the
different works, which they were expected to do near London. It has
been pointed out to me, as an interesting fact, that a similarity
of idea concerning the modification of different organs to suit men
for the doing of special work has been arrived at by the jungle folk,
and by Mr. Wells in his book, 'The first men in the moon,' where the
lunar inhabitants are described as carrying on the practice.

Of the experiences of a Sholaga when out with a European on a shooting
expedition, the following account has recently been given. [178]
"My husband was after a bear, and tracked Bruin to his cave. He had
torches made, and these he ordered to be thrust into the cave in the
hope of smoking the bear out, but, as nothing happened, he went into
the cave, accompanied by a Sholigar carrying a torch. As soon as they
got used to the light, they saw a small aperture leading into an inner
cave, and the Sholigar was told to put the torch in there. Hardly was
this done, when out rushed a large bear, knocking over the Sholigar,
and extinguishing the torch. My husband could not get his gun up in
time to fire, as the bear rushed through the cave into the jungle. Just
as the Sholigar was picking himself up, out rushed another bear. This
time my husband was ready, and fired. To the Sholigar's horror, Bruin
sank down wounded at the entrance to the outer cave, thus blocking the
exit, and keeping both tracker and my husband prisoners. The Sholigar
began whimpering, saying he was the father of a large family, and
did not wish to leave the children fatherless. Soon the bear, though
very badly wounded, managed to get to its feet, and crawl away into
the jungle, so liberating the prisoners."

Concerning the Sholagas of the Mysore Province, [179] I gather
that they "inhabit the depths of the forests clothing the foot and
slopes of the Biligirirangam hills. They cultivate with the hoe small
patches of jungle clearings. Their chief god is Biligiri Rangasvami,
but they also worship Karaiyya, their tribal tutelary deity. Their
principal food is the ragi, which they grow, supplemented by wild
forest produce. They are partial to the flesh of deer, antelope,
pigs, sheep and goats. A few of them have, in recent years, come to
own lands. Like the Jenu Kurumbas, they are perfect trackers of wild
animals. Three kinds of marriage prevail among them. The first is
affected by the more well-to-do, who perform the ceremony with much
éclat under a shed with twelve pillars (bamboo posts), accompanied
by music and festivities, which continue for three days. The second
is more common, and seems to be a modified form of concubinage. The
poorer members resort to the third kind, which consists in the couple
eloping to a distant jungle, and returning home only after the bride
has become a mother. They speak a patois, allied to old Canarese or
Hale Kannada." [180]

Shola Naiker.--A synonym of Jen Kurumbas in the Wynad.

Sibbi Dhompti (brass vessel offering).--A subdivision of Madigas,
who, at marriages, offer food to the god in brass vessels.

Siddaru.--A synonym of Jogi mendicants.

Sika (kudumi or hair-knot).--An exogamous sept of Devanga.

Sikili (broom).--An exogamous sept of Madiga.

Sikligar.--In the Madras Census Report, 1901, eleven individuals
are returned as belonging to an Upper India caste of knife-grinders
(Sikligar). In the Madura Manual, Sikilkarars are described as
knife-grinders, who wander about in quest of work from village
to village.

Sila (stone).--An exogamous sept of Omanaito.

Silam (good conduct).--An exogamous sept of Mala.

Silavant.--In the Madras Census Report, 1901, Silavant is recorded
as meaning the virtuous, and as being a sub-sect of Lingayats. In
the Mysore Census Report, Silavanta is given as a name for Lingayat
Nayindas. For the following note on the Silavantalu or Silevantalu
of Vizagapatam, I am indebted to Mr. C. Hayavadana Rao.

They are a sect of Lingayats, who, though they do not admit it, appear
to be an offshoot of Pattu Sales, who became converts to the Lingayat
religion. They are engaged in the manufacture of fine cloths for males
and females. The religious observances which secured them their name,
meaning those who practice or possess particular religious customs,
have been thus described. In the seventh month of pregnancy, at the
time of quickening, a small stone linga is enclosed in black lac,
wrapped in a piece of silk cloth, and tied to the thread of the linga
which is on the woman's neck. The child is thus invested with the
linga while still in utero. When it is about a year old, and weaned,
the linga is taken off the mother's neck, and replaced by a silver
locket. The linga is tied on the neck of the child. At the beginning
of the twelfth year in the case of boys, and just before the marriage
of girls, this linga is taken off, and a fresh one suspended round
the neck by a guru.

The Silavantalu are divided into exogamous septs, or intiperulu. The
custom of menarikam, whereby a man marries his maternal uncle's
daughter, is the rule. But, if the maternal uncle has no daughter,
he must find a suitable bride for his nephew. Girls are married before
puberty, and a Jangam, known as Mahesvara, officiates at weddings.

The dead are buried in a sitting posture, facing north. The linga is
suspended round the neck of the corpse, and buried with it. Six small
copper plates are made, each containing a syllable of the invocation
Om na ma Si va ya. Two of these are placed on the thighs of the corpse,
one on the head, one on the navel, and two on the shoulders, and stuck
on with guggilam paste. The corpse is then tied up in a sack. The
relatives offer flowers to it, and burn camphor before it. The grave
is dug several feet deep, and a cavity or cell is made on the southern
side of it, and lined with bamboo matting. The corpse is placed within
the cell, and salt thrown into the grave before it is filled in. A
Jangam officiates at the funeral. Monthly and annual death ceremonies
are performed. A samathi or monument is erected over the grave. Such
a monument may be either in the form of a square mound (brindavan)
with niches for lights and a hole in the top, in which a tulsi (Ocimum
sanctum) is planted, or in the form of a small chamber. Relations go
occasionally to the grave, whereon they deposit flowers, and place
lights in the niches or chamber.

The Silavantalu are strict vegetarians and total abstainers. Their
titles are Ayya and Lingam.

Silpa (artisan).--A sub-division of the Kammalans, Panchalas or
Kamsalas, whose hereditary occupation is that of stone-masons. In the
Silpa Sastra, the measurements necessary in sculpture, the duties
of a Silpi, etc., are laid down. I am informed that the carver of
a stone idol has to select a male or female stone, according as the
idol is to be a god or goddess, and that the sex of a stone can be
determined by its ring when struck.

Sindhu.--The Sindhuvallu (drummers) are Madigas, who go about
acting scenes from the Ramayana or Mahabharatha, and the story of
Ankamma. Sindhu also occurs as a gotra of Kurni. The beating of
the drum called sindhu is, I gather, sometimes a nuisance, for a
missionary writes to the paper enquiring whether there is any order
of Government against it, as the practice "causes much crime, and
creates extra work for police and magistrates. Village officials
believe they have no authority to suppress it, but there are some
who assert that it is nominally forbidden."

Singamu-varu.--Singam is described, in the Madras Census Report,
1901, as a class of beggars, who beg only from Sales. They are,
however, described by Mr. C. Hayavadana Rao as a class of itinerant
mendicants attached to the Devangas. "The name," he writes, "is
a variant of Simhamu-varu, or lion-men, i.e., as valourous as a
lion. They are paid a small sum annually by each Devanga village
for various services which they render, such as carrying fire before
a Devanga corpse to the burial-ground, acting as caste messengers,
and cleaning the weaving instruments."

Sinnata (gold).--An exogamous sept of Kuruba.

Siolo.--A small class of Oriya toddy-drawers, whose touch conveys
pollution. The Sondis, who are an Oriya caste of toddy-sellers,
purchase their liquor from the Siolos.

Sipiti.--The Sipitis are described, in the Madras Census Report, 1901,
as "Oriya temple priests and drummers; a sub-caste of Ravulo." In
an account of them as given to me, they are stated to be Smartas,
and temple priests of village deities, who wear the sacred thread,
but do not employ Brahmans as purohits, and are regarded as somewhat
lower in the social scale than the Ravulos. Some of their females are
said to have been unrecognised prostitutes, but the custom is dying
out. The caste title is Muni. (See Ravulo.)

Sir.--A sub-division of Kanakkan.

Sirpadam.--A sub-division of Kaikolan.

Sirukudi.--A nadu or territorial division of Kallan.

Siru Tali.--The name, indicating those who wear a small tali (marriage
badge), of a sub-division of Kaikolan and Maravan.

Sitikan.--Recorded, in the Travancore Census Report, 1901, as an
occupational sub-division of Maran.

Sitra.--See Pano.

Siva Brahmana.--Recorded as a synonym of Stanika.

Sivachara.--It is noted, in the Mysore Census Report, 1901,
that the Lingayats call themselves "Vira Saivas, Sivabhaktas, or
Sivachars. The Virasaiva religion consists of numerous castes. It
is a religion consisting of representatives from almost every caste
in Hindu society. People of all castes, from the highest to the
lowest, have embraced the religion. There are Sivachar Brahmins,
Sivachar Kshatriyas, Sivachar Vaisyas, Sivachar carpenters, Sivachar
weavers, Sivachar goldsmiths, Sivachar potters, Sivachar washermen,
and Sivachar barbers, and other low castes who have all followed the
popular religion in large numbers."

Sivadvija.--The name, denoting Saivite Brahman, by which Mussads like
to be called. Also recorded as a synonym of Stanika.

Sivaratri.--An exogamous sept of Odde, named after the annual
Mahasivaratri festival in honour of Siva. Holy ashes, sacred to Siva,
prepared by Smartas on this day, are considered to be very pure.

Sivarchaka.--The word means those who do puja (worship) to
Siva. Priests at the temple of village deities are ordinarily known
as Pujari, Pusali, Occhan, etc., but nowadays prefer the title of
Umarchaka or Sivarchaka. The name Sivala occurs in the Madras Census
Report, 1901.

Siviyar.--Siviyar means literally a palanquin-bearer, and is an
occupational name applied to those employed in that capacity. For this
reason a sub-division of the Idaiyans is called Siviyar. The Siviyars
of Coimbatore say that they have no connection with either Idaiyans or
Toreyas, but are Besthas who emigrated from Mysore during the troublous
times of the Muhammadan usurpation. The name Siviyar is stated to have
been given to them by the Tamils, as they were palanquin-bearers to
officers on circuit and others in the pre-railway days. They claim
origin, on the authority of a book called Parvatharaja Charithum,
from Parvatharaja. Their main occupations at the present day are tank
and river fishing, but some are petty traders, physicians, peons,
etc. Their language is Canarese, and their title Naickan. They have
eighteen marriage divisions or gotras, named after persons from whom
the various gotras are said to have been descended. On occasions
of marriage, when betel leaf is distributed, it must be given to
members of the different gotras in their order of precedence. In
cases of adultery, the guilty parties are tied to a post, and beaten
with tamarind switches. When a grown-up but unmarried person dies,
the corpse is made to go through a mock marriage with a human figure
cut out of a palm leaf.

Sodabisiya.--A sub-division of Domb.

Soi.--A title of Doluva. It is a form of Sui or Swayi.

Solaga.--See Sholaga.

Soliyan.--Soliyan or Soliya is a territorial name, meaning an
inhabitant of the Chola country, recorded as a sub-division of Karnam,
Idaiyan, Pallan, and Vellala. The equivalent Solangal occurs as an
exogamous sept of Vallamban, and Soliya illam (Malayalam, house)
as an exogamous sept of Panikkans in the Tamil country. Some Pallis
style themselves Solakanar (descendants of Chola kings), or Solakula
Kshatriya. (See Sozhia.)

Somakshatri.--A name sometimes adopted by Canarese Ganigas in South
Canara.

Somara.--Recorded, in the Madras Census Report, 1901, as a small
class of potters in the Vizagapatam hills.

Somari (idler).--A division of Yanadis, who do scavenging work, and eat
the refuse food thrown away by people from the leaf plate after a meal.

Soma Varada (Sunday).--The name of Kurubas who worship their god
on Sundays.

Sonagan.--See Jonagan.

Sonar.--The Sonars or Sonagaras of South Canara are described by
Mr. H. A. Stuart [181] as a goldsmith caste, who "speak Konkani, which
is a dialect of Marathi, and are believed to have come from Goa. The
community at each station has one or two Mukhtesars or headmen,
who enquire into, and settle the caste affairs. Serious offences are
reported to the swamy of Sode, who has authority to excommunicate, or
to inflict heavy fines. They wear the sacred thread. Marriages within
the same gotra are strictly prohibited. Most of them are Vaishnavites,
but a few follow Siva. The dead are burned, and the ashes are thrown
into a river. They eat fish, but not flesh. Their title is Setti." They
consider it derogatory to work in metals other than gold and silver.

In the Madras Census Report, 1901, the Sunnari (or Sonnari) are
described as Oriya goldsmiths (see Risley, Tribes and Castes of
Bengal, Sonar). These goldsmiths, in the Oriya portion of the
Madras Presidency, are, I am informed, Kamsalas from the Telugu
country. Unlike the Oriyas, and like other Telugu classes, they
invariably have a house-name, and their mother tongue is Telugu. They
are Saivites, bury their dead, claim to be descendants of Viswakarma,
and call themselves Viswa Brahmans. They do not eat meals prepared
by Brahmans, or drink water at the hands of Brahmans.

In former times, goldsmiths held the post of Nottakaran (tester) or
village shroff (money-changer). His function was to test the rupees
tendered when the land revenue was being gathered in, and see that
they were not counterfeit. There is a proverb, uncomplimentary to the
goldsmiths, to the effect that a goldsmith cannot make an ornament
even for his wife, without first secreting some of the gold or silver
given him for working upon.

It has been noted [182] that "in Madras, an exceedingly poor country,
there is one male goldsmith to every 408 of the total population; in
England, a very rich country, there is only one goldsmith to every
1,200 inhabitants. In Europe, jewellery is primarily for ornament,
and is a luxury. In India it is primarily an investment, its ornamental
purpose being an incident."

The South Indian goldsmith at work has been well described as
follows. [183] "A hollow, scooped out in the middle of the mud
floor (of a room or verandah), does duty for the fireplace, while,
close by, there is raised a miniature embankment, semi-circular in
shape, with a hole in the middle of the base for the insertion of
the bellows. Crucibles of clay or cow-dung, baked hard in the sun,
tongs and hammers, potsherds of charcoal, dirty tins of water, and
little packets of sal-ammoniac, resin, or other similar substances,
all lie scattered about the floor in picturesque confusion. Sitting,
or rather crouching on their haunches, are a couple of the Panchala
workmen. One of them is blowing a pan of charcoal into flame through an
iron tube some eighteen inches long by one in diameter, and stirring
up the loose charcoal. Another is hammering at a piece of silver
wire on a little anvil before him. With his miserable tools the Hindu
goldsmith turns out work that well might, and often deservedly does,
rank with the greatest triumphs of the jeweller's art."

Sondi.--The Sondis or Sundis are summed up in the Madras Census Report,
1901, as "Oriya toddy-selling caste. They do not draw toddy themselves,
but buy it from Siolos, and sell it. They also distill arrack." The
word arrack or arak, it may be noted en passant, means properly
"perspiration, and then, first the exudation of sap drawn from the
date-palm; secondly, any strong drink, distilled spirit, etc." [184]
A corruption of the word is rack, which occurs, e.g., in rack punch.

According to a Sanskrit work, entitled Parasarapaddati, Soundikas
(toddy-drawers and distillers of arrack) are the offspring of a
Kaivarata male and a Gaudike female. Both these castes are pratiloma
(mixed) castes. In the Matsya Purana, the Soundikas are said to
have been born to Siva of seven Apsara women on the bank of the
river Son. Manu refers to the Soundikas, and says that a Snataka
[185] may not accept food from trainers of hunting dogs, Soundikas,
a washerman, a dyer, pitiless man, and a man in whose house lives a
paramour of his wife.

In a note on the allied Sunris or Sundis of Bengal, Mr. Risley writes
[186] that "according to Hindu ideas, distillers and sellers of strong
drink rank among the most degraded castes, and a curious story in the
Vaivarta Purana keeps alive the memory of their degradation. It is said
that when Sani, the Hindu Saturn, failed to adapt an elephant's head
to the mutilated trunk of Ganesa, who had been accidentally beheaded
by Siva, Viswakarma, the celestial artificer, was sent for, and by
careful dissection and manipulation he fitted the incongruous parts
together, and made a man called Kedara Sena from the slices cut off in
fashioning his work. This Kedara Sena was ordered to fetch a drink of
water for Bhagavati, weary and athirst. Finding on the river's bank a
shell full of water, he presented it to her, without noticing that a
few grains of rice left in it by a parrot had fermented and formed an
intoxicating liquid. Bhagavati, as soon as she had drunk, became aware
of the fact, and in her anger condemned the offender to the vile and
servile occupation of making spirituous liquor for mankind. Another
story traces their origin to a certain Bhaskar or Bhaskar Muni, who
was created by Krishna's brother, Balaram, to minister to his desire
for strong drink. A different version of the same legend gives them
for ancestor Niranjan, a boy found by Bhaskar floating down a river
in a pot full of country liquor, and brought up by him as a distiller."

For the following note on the Sondis of Vizagapatam, I am indebted to
Mr. C. Hayavadana Rao. According to a current tradition, there was, in
days of old, a Brahman, who was celebrated for his magical powers. The
king, his patron, asked him if he could make the water in a tank (pond)
burn, and he replied in the affirmative. He was, however, in reality
disconsolate, because he did not know how to do it. By chance he met a
distiller, who asked him why he looked so troubled, and, on learning
his difficulty, promised to help him on condition that he gave him
his daughter in marriage. To this the Brahman consented. The distiller
gave him a quantity of liquor to pour into the tank, and told him to
set it alight in the presence of the king. The Brahman kept his word,
and the Sondis are the descendants of the offspring of his daughter and
the distiller. The caste is divided into several endogamous divisions,
viz., Bodo Odiya, Madhya kula, and Sanno kula. The last is said to
be made up of illegitimate descendants of the two first divisions.

The Sondis distil liquor from the ippa (Bassia) flower, rice, and
jaggery (crude sugar). There is a tradition that Brahma created the
world, and pinched up from a point between his eyebrows a little mud,
from which he made a figure, and endowed it with life. Thus Suka Muni
was created, and authorised to distil spirit from the ippa flowers,
which had hitherto been eaten by birds.

When a girl reaches puberty, she is set apart in a room within
a square enclosure made with four arrows connected together by a
thread. Turmeric and oil are rubbed over her daily, and, on the
seventh day, she visits the local shrine.

Girls are married before puberty. Some days before a wedding, a sal
(Shorea robusta) or neredu (Eugenia Jambolana) post is set up in
front of the bridegroom's house, and a pandal (booth) erected round
it. On the appointed day, a caste feast is held, and a procession
of males proceeds to the bride's house, carrying with them finger
rings, silver and glass bangles, and fifty rupees as the jholla tonka
(bride price). On the following day, the bride goes to the house of the
bridegroom. On the marriage day, the contracting couple go seven times
round the central post of the pandal, and their hands are joined by
the presiding Oriya Brahman. They then sit down, and the sacred fire
is raised. The females belonging to the bridegroom's party sprinkle
them with turmeric and rice. On the following day, a Bhondari (barber)
cleans the pandal, and draws patterns in it with rice flour. A mat
is spread, and the couple play with cowry shells. These are five
in number, and the bridegroom holds them tightly in his right hand,
while the bride tries to wrest them from him. If she succeeds in so
doing, her brothers beat the bridegroom, and make fun of him; if
she fails, the bridegroom's sisters beat and make fun of her. The
bride then takes hold of the cowries, and the same performance is
gone through. A basket of rice is brought, and some of it poured
into a vessel. The bridegroom holds a portion of it in his hand, and
the bride asks him to put it back. This, after a little coaxing, he
consents to do. These ceremonies are repeated during the next five
days. On the seventh day, small quantities of food are placed on
twelve leaves, and twelve Brahmans, who receive a present of money,
sit down, and partake thereof. The marriage of widows is permitted,
and a younger brother may marry the widow of an elder brother.

The dead are burned, and death pollution lasts for ten days. Daily,
during this period, cooked food is strewed on the way leading to the
burning-ground. On the eleventh day, those under pollution bathe,
and the sacred fire (homam) is raised by a Brahman. As at a wedding,
twelve Brahmans receive food and money. Towards midnight, a new pot
is brought, and holes are bored in it. A lighted lamp and food are
placed in it, and it is taken towards the burning-ground and set down
on the ground. The dead man's name is then called out three times. He
is informed that food is ready, and asked to come.

Men, but not women, eat animal food. The women will not partake of
the remnants of their husbands' meal on days on which they eat meat,
because, according to the legend, their female ancestor was a Brahman
woman.

Among the Sondis of Ganjam, if a girl does not secure a husband
before she reaches maturity, she goes through a form of marriage
with an old man of the caste, or with her elder sister's husband,
and may not marry until the man with whom she has performed this
ceremony dies. On the wedding day, the bridegroom is shaved, and his
old waist-thread is replaced by a new one. The ceremonies commence
with the worship of Ganesa, and agree in the main with those of many
other Oriya castes. The remarriage of widows is permitted. If a widow
was the wife of the first-born or eldest son in a family, she may not,
after his death, marry one of his younger brothers. She may, however,
do so if she was married in the first instance to a second son.

It is noted by Mr. C. F. MacCartie, in the Madras Census Report, 1881,
that "a good deal of land has been sold by Khond proprietors to other
castes. It was in this way that much territory was found some years
ago to be passing into the hands of the Sundis or professional liquor
distillers. As soon as these facts were brought to the notice of
Government, no time was lost in the adoption of repressive measures,
which have been completely successful, as the recent census shows a
great reduction in the numbers of these Sundis, who, now that their
unscrupulous trade is abolished, have emigrated largely to Boad
and other tracts. This is the only case to my knowledge in which a
special trade has decayed, and with the best results, as, had it not
been so, there is no doubt that the Khond population would very soon
have degenerated into pure adscripti glebæ, and the Sundis become
the landlords."

It is recorded, in the Gazetteer of the Vizagapatam district, that
"besides ippa (liquor distilled from the blossom of Bassia latifolia),
the hill people brew beer from rice, samai (the millet Panicum
miliare), and ragi (Eleusine Coracana). They mash the grain in the
ordinary manner, add some more water to it, mix a small quantity
of ferment with it, leave it to ferment three or four days, and
then strain off the grain. The beer so obtained is often highly
intoxicating, and different kinds of it go by different names,
such as londa, pandiyam, and maddikallu. The ferment which is used
is called the saraiya-mandu (spirit drug) or Sondi-mandu (Sondi's
drug), and can be bought in the weekly market. There are numerous
recipes for making it, but the ingredients are always jungle roots
and barks. [187] It is sold made up into small balls with rice. The
actual shop-keepers and still-owners in the hills, especially in the
Parvatipur and Palkonda agencies, are usually immigrants of the Sondi
caste, a wily class who know exactly how to take advantage of the sin
which doth so easily beset the hill man, and to wheedle from him, in
exchange for the strong drink which he cannot do without, his ready
money, his little possessions, his crops, and finally his land itself.

"The Sondis are gradually getting much of the best land into
their hands, and many of the guileless hill ryots into their
power. Mr. Taylor stated in 1892 that 'the rate of interest on loans
extorted by these Sondis is 100 per cent. and, if this is not cleared
off in the first year, compound interest at 100 per cent. is charged on
the balance. The result is that, in many instances, the cultivators
are unable to pay in cash or kind, and become the gotis or serfs
of the sowcars, for whom they have to work in return for mere batta
(subsistence allowance), whilst the latter take care to manipulate
their accounts in such a manner that the debt is never paid off. A
remarkable instance of this tyranny was brought to my notice a few
days since. A ryot some fifty years ago borrowed Rs. 20; he paid back
Rs. 50 at intervals, and worked for the whole of his life, and died
in harness. For the same debt the sowcar (money-lender) claimed the
services of his son, and he too died in bondage, leaving two small sons
aged 13 and 9, whose services were also claimed for an alleged arrear
of Rs. 30 on a debt of Rs. 20 borrowed 50 years back, for which Rs. 50
in cash had been repaid in addition to the perpetual labour of a man
for a similar period.' This custom of goti is firmly established, and,
in a recent case, an elder brother claimed to be able to pledge for
his own debts the services of his younger brother, and even those of
the latter's wife. Debts due by persons of respectability are often
collected by the Sondis by an exasperating method, which has led
to at least one case of homicide. They send Ghasis, who are one of
the lowest of all castes, and contact with whom is utter defilement
entailing severe caste penalties, to haunt the house of the debtor who
will not pay, insult and annoy him and his family, and threaten to
drag him forcibly before the Sondi." A friend was, on one occasion,
out after big game in the Jeypore hills, and shot a tiger. He asked
his shikari (tracker) what reward he should give him for putting him
on to the beast. The shikari replied that he would be quite satisfied
with twenty-five rupees, as he wanted to get his younger brother out
of pledge. Asked what he meant, he replied that, two years previously,
he had purchased as his wife a woman who belonged to a caste higher
than his own for a hundred rupees. He obtained the money by pledging
his younger brother to a sowcar, and had paid it all back except
twenty-five rupees. Meanwhile his brother was the bondsman of the
sowcar, and cultivating his land in return for simple food.

It is further recorded, in the Gazetteer of the Vizagapatam district,
that Dombu (or Domb) dacoits "force their way into the house of
some wealthy person (for choice the local Sondi liquor-seller and
sowcar--usually the only man worth looting in an Agency village,
and a shark who gets little pity from his neighbours when forced to
disgorge), tie up the men, rape the women, and go off with everything
of value."

The titles of the Ganjam Sondis are Behara, Chowdri, Podhano,
and Sahu. In the Vizagapatam agency tracts, their title is said to
be Bissoyi.

Sonkari.--The Sonkaris are a small class of Oriya lac bangle (sonka)
makers in Ganjam and Vizagapatam, who should not be confused with the
Telugu Sunkaris. The men are engaged in agriculture, and the women
manufacture the bangles, chains, chamaras (fly-flappers), kolatam
sticks (for stick play), and fans ornamented with devices in paddy
(unhusked rice) grains, which are mainly sold to Europeans as curios.

Sonkari girls are married before puberty. A man should marry his
paternal aunt's daughter, but at the present day this custom is
frequently disregarded. Brahmans officiate at their marriages. The
dead are cremated. The caste title is Patro.

Sonkuva.--A sub-division of Mali.

Sonti (dried ginger).--An exogamous sept of Asili.

Soppu (leaf).--The name for Koragas, who wear leafy garments.

Sozhia.--A territorial name of sub-divisions of various Tamil classes
who are settled in what was formerly the Chola country, e.g., Brahman,
Chetti, Kaikolan, Kammalan, Pallan, and Vellala.

Srishti Karnam.--A sub-division of Karnam. The name is variously spelt,
e.g., Sristi, Sishta, Sishti. The name Sishti Karanamalu is said to
have been assumed by Oddilu, who have raised themselves in life. [188]

Stala (a place).--Lingayats sometimes use the word Staladavaru,
or natives of a place, to distinguish them from recent settlers.

Stanika.--The Stanikas are summed up, in the Madras Census Report,
1901, as being "Canarese temple servants. They claim to be Brahmans,
though other Brahmans do not admit the claim; and, as the total of the
caste has declined from 4,650 in 1891 to 1,469, they have apparently
returned themselves as Brahmans in considerable numbers." The Stanikas
are, in the South Canara Manual, said to be "the descendants of
Brahmins by Brahmin widows and outcast Brahmin women, corresponding
with Manu's Golaka. They however now claim to be Siva Brahmins,
forcibly dispossessed of authority by the Madhvas, and state that
the name Stanika is not that of a separate caste, but indicates their
profession as managers of temples, with the title of Deva Stanika. This
claim is not generally conceded, and as a matter of fact the duties
in which Stanikas are employed are clearly those of temple servants,
namely, collecting flowers, sweeping the interiors of temples, looking
after the lamps, cleaning the temple vessels, ringing bells, and the
like. Many of them, however, are landowners and farmers. They are
generally Sivites, and wear the sacred thread. Their special deities
are Venkatramana and Ganapati. Dravida Brahmins officiate as their
priests, but of late some educated men of the caste have assumed the
priestly office. The caste has two sub-divisions, viz., Subramania and
Kumbla. Girls must be married in infancy, i.e., before they attain
puberty. Widow remarriage is neither permitted nor practiced. Their
other customs are almost the same as those of the Kota Brahmans. They
neither eat flesh nor drink liquor." It is stated in the Manual that
the Stanikas are called Shanbogs and Mukhtesars. But I am informed that
at an inquest or a search the Moktessors or Mukhtesars (chief men)
of a village are assembled, and sign the inquest report or search
list. The Moktessors of any caste can be summoned together. Some of
the Moktessors of a temple may be Stanikas. In the case of social
disputes decided at caste meetings, the Shanbog (writer or accountant)
appointed by the caste would record the evidence, and the Moktessor
would decide upon the facts.

Of the two sections Subramanya and Kumbla, the former claim
superiority, and there is no intermarriage between them. The members of
the Subramanya section state that they belong to Rig Saka (Rig Veda)
and have gotras, such as Viswamitra, Angirasa, and Baradwaja, and
twelve exogamous septs. Of these septs, the following are examples:--


     Arli (Ficus religiosa).            Konde, tassel or hair-knot.
     Aththi (Ficus glomerata).          Adhikari.
     Bandi, cart.                       Pandita.
     Kethaki (Pandanus fascicularis).   Heggade.


The famous temple of Subramanya is said to have been in charge of the
Subramanya Stanikas, till it was wrested from them by the Shivalli
Brahmans. In former times, the privilege of sticking a golden ladle
into a heap of food piled up in the temple, on the Shasti day or sixth
day after the new moon in December, is said to have belonged to the
Stanikas. They also brought earth from an ant-hill on the previous
day. Food from the heap and earth are received as sacred articles by
devotees who visit the sacred shrine. A large number of Stanikas are
still attached to temples, where they perform the duties of cleaning
the vessels, washing rice, placing cooked food on the bali pitam (altar
stone), etc. The food placed on the stone is eaten by Stanikas, but
not by Brahmans. In the Mysore province, a Brahman woman who partakes
of this food loses her caste, and becomes a prostitute.

At times of census, Sivadvija and Siva Brahman have been given as
synonyms of Stanika.

Sthavara.--Recorded, at times of census, as a sub-division of
Jangam. The lingam, which Lingayats carry on some part of the body,
is called the jangama lingam or moveable lingam, to distinguish it
from the sthavara or fixed lingam of temples.

Subuddhi.--A title, meaning one having good sense, among several
Oriya castes.

Sudarman.--See Udaiyan.

Suddho.--Two distinct castes go by this name, viz., the Savaras who
have settled in the plains, and a small class of agriculturists and
paiks (servants) in the low country of Ganjam. The Suddhos who live
in the hills eat fowls and drink liquor, which those in the plains
abstain from. The caste name Suddho means pure, and is said to have its
origin in the fact that Suddho paiks used to tie the turbans of the
kings of Gumsur. Like other Oriya castes, the Suddhos have Podhano,
Bissoyi, Behara, etc., as titles. The caste has apparently come into
existence in recent times.

Sudra.--The fourth of the traditional castes of Manu. The Sudra Nayars
supply the female servants in the houses of Nambutiris.

Sudra Kavutiyan.--A name adopted by barbers who shave Nayars, to
distinguish them from other barbers.

Sudugadusiddha.--The name is derived from sudugadu, a
burning-ground. In the Mysore Census Report, 1901, they are
described as being "mendicants like the Jogis, like whom they
itinerate. They were once lords of burning-grounds, to whom the
Kulavadi (see Holeya), who takes the cloth of the deceased and a fee
for every dead body burned, paid something as acknowledging their
overlordship." These people are described by Mr. J. S. F. Mackenzie,
[189] under the name Sudgudu Siddha, or lords of the burning-ground,
as agents who originally belonged to the Gangadikara Vakkaliga caste,
and have become a separate caste, called after their head Sudgudu
Siddharu. They intermarry among themselves, and the office of agent is
hereditary. They have particular tracts of country assigned to them,
when on tour collecting burial fees. They can be recognised by the
wooden bell in addition to the usual metal one, which they always
carry about. Without this no one would acknowledge the agent's right
to collect the fees.

Sugali.--Sugali and Sukali are synonyms of Lambadi.

Sugamanchi Balija.--A name said to mean the best of Balijas, and used
as a synonym for Gazula Balija.

Sukka (star).--An exogamous sept of Yerukala. The equivalent Sukra
occurs as a gotra of Oriya Kalinjis.

Sule.--A Canarese name for professional prostitutes. Temple
dancing-girls object to the name, as being low. They call themselves
Vesyas or Besyas, Naiksani, or Naikini (Naik females).

Sullokondia.--The highest sub-division of the Gaudos, from whose
hands Oriya Brahmans will accept water.

Sunar.--See Sonar.

Sundarattan.--A sub-division of Nattukottai Chetti.

Sundi.--See Sondi.

Sunkari.--The Sunkari or Sunkara-vandlu are cultivators, fishermen,
and raftsmen in the Godavari district. According to the Rev. J. Cain
[190] they come from some part of the Central Provinces, and are not
regarded as outcasts, as stated in the Central Provinces Gazetteer.

Sunna Akki (thin rice).--A family name or bedagu of Donga Dasari.

Sunnambukkaran (lime man).--An occupational name for Paravas,
Paraiyans, and other classes, who are employed as lime (chunam)
burners. Sunnapu, meaning shell or quick-lime, occurs as an exogamous
sept of Balija.

Sunnata.--A sub-division of Kurumbas, who are said to make only
white blankets.

Surakkudi.--A section or kovil (temple) of Nattukottai Chetti.

Surti.--The name for domestic servants of Europeans in Bombay, who
come from Surat.

Surya (the sun).--Recorded as a sept of Domb, Kuruba, and Pentiya,
and a sub-division of Ambalakkaran. The equivalent Suryavamsam (people
of the solar race) occurs as a sub-division of Razu, and as a synonym
of the Konda Doras or Konda Kapus, some of whom style themselves Raja
(= Razu) Kapus or Reddis.

Sutakulam.--A name by which the Besthas call themselves. They claim
descent from the Rishi Suta Mahamuni. It has been suggested [191]
as probable that the Besthas gained the name from their superiority
in the culinary art, suta meaning cook.

Sutarlu.--Recorded by the Rev. J. Cain [192] as bricklayers and masons
in the Godavari district.

Suthala (needle).--An exogamous sept of Kamma.

Svarupam.--Svarupam has been defined [193] as "a dynasty,
usually confined to the four principal dynasties, termed the Kola,
Nayaririppu, Perimbadappu, and Trippa Svarupam, represented by the
Kolatiri or Chirakal Rajah, the Zamorin, and the Cochin and Travancore
Rajahs." Svarupakkar or Svarupathil, meaning servants of Svarupams
or kingly houses, is an occupational sub-division of Nayar.

Swayi.--A title of Alia, Aruva, Kalinji, and other Oriya classes.

Swetambara (clad in white).--One of the two main divisions of the
Jains.

Syrian Christian.--The following note, containing a summary of the
history of a community in connection with which the literature is
considerable, is mainly abstracted from the Cochin Census Report,
1901, with additions.

The Syrian Christians have "sometimes been called the Christians of
the Serra (a Portuguese word, meaning mountains). This arose from the
fact of their living at the foot of the ghauts." [194] The glory of the
introduction of the teachings of Christ to India is, by time-honoured
tradition, ascribed to the apostle Saint Thomas. According to
this tradition so dearly cherished by the Christians of this coast,
about 52 A.D. the apostle landed at Malankara, or, more correctly, at
Maliankara near Cranganur (Kodungallur), the Mouziris of the Greeks,
or Muyirikode of the Jewish copper plates. Mouziris was a port near
the mouth of a branch of the Alwaye river, much frequented in their
early voyages by the Phoenician and European traders for the pepper and
spices of this coast, and for the purpose of taking in fresh water and
provisions. The story goes that Saint Thomas founded seven churches
in different stations in Cochin and Travancore, and converted, among
others, many Brahmans, notably the Cally, Calliankara, Sankarapuri,
and Pakalomattam Nambudri families, the members of the last claiming
the rare distinction of having been ordained as priests by the apostle
himself. He then extended his labours to the Coromandel coast, where,
after making many converts, he is said to have been pierced with a
lance by some Brahmans, and to have been buried in the church of
St. Thomé, in Mylapore, a suburb of the town of Madras. Writing
concerning the prevalence of elephantiasis in Malabar, Captain
Hamilton records [195] that "the old Romish Legendaries impute the
cause of those great swell'd legs to a curse Saint Thomas laid upon his
murderers and their posterity, and that was the odious mark they should
be distinguished by." "Pretty early tradition associates Thomas with
Parthia, [196] Philip with Phrygia, Andrew with Syria, and Bartholomew
with India, but later traditions make the apostles divide the various
countries between them by lot." [197] Even if the former supposition
be accepted, there is nothing very improbable in Saint Thomas having
extended his work from Parthia to India. Others argue that, even if
there be any truth in the tradition of the arrival of Saint Thomas
in India, this comprised the countries in the north-west of India,
or at most the India of Alexander the Great, and not the southern
portion of the peninsula, where the seeds of Christianity are said to
have been first sown, because the voyage to this part of India, then
hardly known, was fraught with the greatest difficulties and dangers,
not to speak of its tediousness. It may, however, be observed that
the close proximity of Alexandria to Palestine, and its importance
at the time as the emporium of the trade between the East and West,
afforded sufficient facilities for a passage to India. If the Roman
line of traffic viâ Alexandria and the Red Sea was long and tedious,
the route viâ the Persian Gulf was comparatively easy.

When we come to the second century, we read of Demetrius of Alexandria
receiving a message from some natives of India, earnestly begging for
a teacher to instruct them in the doctrines of Christianity. Hearing
this, Pantænus, Principal of the Christian College of Alexandria,
an Athenian stoic, an eminent preacher and "a very great gnosticus,
who had penetrated most profoundly into the spirit of scripture,"
sailed from Berenice for Malabar between 180 and 190 A.D. He found
his arrival "anticipated by some who were acquainted with the Gospel
of Mathew, to whom Bartholomew, one of the apostles, had preached,
and had left them the same Gospel in Hebrew, which also was preserved
until this time. Returning to Alexandria, he presided over the
College of Catechumens." Early in the third century, St. Hippolytus,
Bishop of Portus, also assigns the conversion of India to the apostle
Bartholomew. To Thomas he ascribes Persia and the countries of Central
Asia, although he mentions Calamina, "a city of India," as the place
where Thomas suffered death. The Rev. J. Hough [198] observes that
"it is indeed highly problematical that Saint Bartholomew was ever
in India." It may be remarked that there are no local traditions
associating the event with his name, and, if Saint Bartholomew
laboured at all on this coast, there is no reason why the earliest
converts of Malabar should have preferred the name of Thomas to that
of Bartholomew. Though Mr. Hough and Sir W. W. Hunter, [199] among
others, discredit the mission of St. Thomas in the first century,
they both accept the story of the mission of Pantænus. Mr. Hough says
that "it is probable that these Indians (who appealed to Demetrius)
were converts or children of former converts to Christianity." If,
in the second century, there could be children of former converts in
India, it is not clear why the introduction of Christianity to India
in the first century, and that by St. Thomas, should be so seriously
questioned and set aside as being a myth, especially in view of the
weight of the subjoined testimony, associating the work with the name
of the apostle.

In the Asiatic Journal (Vol. VI), Mr. Whish refutes the assertions made
by Mr. Wrede in the Asiatic Researches (Vol. VII) that the Christians
of Malabar settled in that country "during the violent persecution
of the sect of Nestorius under Theodosius II, or some time after,"
and says, with reference to the date of the Jewish colonies in India,
that the Christians of the country were settled long anterior to the
period mentioned by Mr. Wrede. Referring to the acts and journeyings
of the apostles, Dorotheus, Bishop of Tyre (254-313 A.D.), says "the
Apostle Thomas, after having preached the Gospel to the Parthians,
Medes, Persians, Germanians, Bactrians, and Magi, suffered martyrdom
at Calamina, a town of India." It is said that, at the Council of
Nice held in 325 A.D., India was represented by Johannes, Bishop of
India Maxima and Persia. St. Gregory of Nazianzen (370-392 A.D.),
in answering the reproach of his being a stranger, asks "Were not
the apostles strangers? Granting that Judæa was the country of
Peter, what had Paul in common with the Gentiles, Luke with Achaia,
Andrew with Epirus, John with Ephesus, Thomas with India, Mark with
Italy"? St. Jerome (390 A.D.) testifies to the general belief in
the mission of St. Thomas to India. He too mentions Calamina as the
town where the apostle met with his death. Baronius thinks that,
when Theodoret, the Church historian (430-458 A.D.), speaks of the
apostles, he evidently associates the work in India with the name of
St. Thomas. St. Gregory of Torus relates that "in that place in India,
where the body of Thomas lay before it was transferred to Edessa,
there is a monastery and temple of great size." Florentius asserts
that "nothing with more certainty I find in the works of the Holy
Fathers than that St. Thomas preached the Gospel in India." Rufinus,
who stayed twenty-five years in Syria, says that the remains of
St. Thomas were brought from India to Edessa. Two Arabian travellers
of the ninth century, referred to by Renaudot, assert that St. Thomas
died at Mailapur.

Coming to modern times, we have several authorities, who testify to
the apostolic origin of the Indian Church, regarded as apocryphal by
Mr. Milne Rae, Sir W. W. Hunter, and others. The historian of the
'Indian Empire,' while rejecting some of the strongest arguments
advanced by Mr. Milne Rae, accepts his conclusions in regard to the
apostolic origin. The Romanist Portuguese in their enthusiasm coloured
the legends to such an extent as to make them appear incredible,
and the Protestant writers of modern times, while distrusting
the Portuguese version, are not agreed as to the rare personage
that introduced Christianity to India. Mr. Wrede asserts that the
Christians of Malabar settled in that country during the violent
persecution of the sect of Nestorius under Theodosius II, or some
time after. Dr. Burnell traces the origin to the Manichæan Thomas,
who flourished towards the end of the third century. Mr. Milne Rae
brings the occurrence of the event down to the sixth century of the
Christian era. Sir William Hunter, without associating the foundation
of the Malabar Church with the name of any particular person, states
the event to have taken place some time in the second century,
long before the advent of Thomas the Manichæan, but considers that
the name St. Thomas Christians was adopted by the Christians in the
eighth century. He observes that "the early legend of the Manichæan
Thomas in the third century and the later labours of the Armenian
Thomas, the rebuilder of the Malabar Church in the eighth century,
endeared that name to the Christians of Southern India." [It has
recently been stated, with reference to the tradition that it was
St. Thomas the apostle who first evangelised Southern India, that,
"though this tradition is no more capable of disproof than of proof,
those authorities seem to be on safer ground, who are content to
hold that Christianity was first imported into India by Nestorian or
Chaldæan missionaries from Persia and Mesopotamia, whose apostolic
zeal between the sixth and twelfth centuries ranged all over Asia,
even into Tibet and Tartary. The seat of the Nestorian Patriarchate
of Babylon was at Bagdad, and, as it claimed to be par excellence
the Church of St. Thomas, this might well account for the fact that
the proselytes it won over in India were in the habit of calling
themselves Christians of St. Thomas. It is, to say the least, a
remarkable coincidence that one of the three ancient stone crosses
preserved in India bears an inscription and devices, which are stated
to resemble those on the cross discovered near Singanfu in China,
recording the appearance of Nestorian missionaries in Shenshi in the
early part of the seventh century."]

As already said, there are those who attribute the introduction of
the Gospel to a certain Thomas, a disciple of Manes, who is supposed
to have come to India in 277 A.D., finding in this an explanation
of the origin of the Manigramakars (inhabitants of the village
of Manes) of Kayenkulam near Quilon. Coming to the middle of the
fourth century, we read of a Thomas Cana, an Aramæan or Syrian
merchant, or a divine, as some would have it, who, having in his
travels seen the neglected conditions of the flock of Christ on the
Malabar coast, returned to his native land, sought the assistance of
the Catholics of Bagdad, came back with a train of clergymen and a
pretty large number of Syrians, and worked vigorously to better their
spiritual condition. He is said to have married two Indian ladies,
the disputes of succession between whose children appear, according
to some writers, to have given rise to the two names of Northerners
(Vadakkumbagar) and Southerners (Thekkumbagar)--a distinction which
is still jealously kept up. The authorities are, however, divided as
to the date of his arrival, for, while some assign 345 A.D., others
give 745 A.D. It is just possible that this legend but records the
advent of two waves of colonists from Syria at different times, and
their settlement in different stations; and Thomas Cana was perhaps
the leader of the first migration. The Syrian tradition explains
the origin of the names in a different way, for, according to it,
the foreigners or colonists from Syria lived in the southern street
of Cranganur or Kodungallur, and the native converts in the northern
street. After their dispersion from Cranganur, the Southerners kept
up their pride and prestige by refusing to intermarry, while the name
of Northerners came to be applied to all Native Christians other than
the Southerners. At their wedding feasts, the Southerners sing songs
commemorating their colonization at Kodungallur, their dispersion
from there, and settlement in different places. They still retain
some foreign tribe names, to which the original colony is said
to have belonged. A few of these names are Baji, Kojah, Kujalik,
and Majamuth. Their leader Thomas Cana is said to have visited the
last of the Perumals and to have obtained several privileges for the
benefit of the Christians. He is supposed to have built a church at
Mahadevarpattanam, or more correctly Mahodayapuram, near Kodungallur
in the Cochin State, the capital of the Perumals or Viceroys of Kerala,
and, in their documents, the Syrian Christians now and again designate
themselves as being inhabitants of Mahadevarpattanam.

In the Syrian seminary at Kottayam are preserved two copper-plate
charters, one granted by Vira Raghava Chakravarthi,and the
other by Sthanu Ravi Gupta, supposed to be dated 774 A.D. and 824
A.D. Specialists, who have attempted to fix approximately the dates
of the grants, however, differ, as will be seen from a discussion of
the subject by Mr. V. Venkayya in the Epigraphia Indica. [200]

Concerning the plate of Vira Raghava, Mr. Venkayya there writes
as follows. "The subjoined inscription is engraved on both sides
of a single copper-plate, which is in the possession of the Syrian
Christians at Kottayam. The plate has no seal, but, instead, a conch is
engraved about the middle of the left margin of the second side. This
inscription has been previously translated by Dr. Gundert. [201]
Mr. Kookel Keloo Nair has also attempted a version of the grant. [202]
In the translation I have mainly followed Dr. Gundert."

Translation.

Hari! Prosperity! Adoration to the great Ganapati! On the day of (the
Nakshatra) Rohini, a Saturday after the expiration of the twenty-first
(day) of the solar month Mina (of the year during which) Jupiter (was)
in Makara, while the glorious Vira-Raghava-Chakravartin,--(of the race)
that has been wielding the sceptre for several hundred thousands
of years in regular succession from the glorious king of kings,
the glorious Vira-Kerala-Chakravartin--was ruling prosperously:--

While (we were) pleased to reside in the great palace, we conferred
the title of Manigramam on Iravikorttan, alias Seramanloka-pperun-jetti
of Magodaiyarpattinam.

We (also) gave (him the right of) festive clothing, house pillars,
the income that accrues, the export trade (?), monopoly of trade, (the
right of) proclamation, forerunners, the five musical instruments,
a conch, a lamp in day-time, a cloth spread (in front to walk on),
a palanquin, the royal parasol, the Telugu (?) drum, a gateway with
an ornamental arch, and monopoly of trade in the four quarters.

We (also) gave the oilmongers and the five (classes of) artisans as
(his) slaves.

We (also) gave, with a libation of water--having (caused it to be)
written on a copper-plate--to Iravikorttan, who is the lord of
the city, the brokerage on (articles) that may be measured with
the para, weighed by the balance or measured with the tape, that
may be counted or weighed, and on all other (articles) that are
intermediate--including salt, sugar, musk (and) lamp oil--and also
the customs levied on these (articles) between the river mouth of
Kodungallur and the gate (gopura)--chiefly between the four temples
(tali) and the village adjacent to (each) temple.

We gave (this) as property to Sêramân-lôka-pperun-jetti, alias
Iravikorttan, and to his children's children in due succession.

(The witnesses) who know this (are):--We gave (it) with the knowledge
of the villagers of Panniyûr and the villagers of Sôgiram. We gave
(it) with the knowledge (of the authorities) of Vênâdu and Odunâdu. We
gave (it) with the knowledge (of the authorities) of Eranâdu and
Valluvanâdu. We gave (it) for the time that the moon and the sun
shall exist.

The hand-writing of Sêramân-lôka-pperun-dattan Nambi Sadeyan, who wrote
(this) copper-plate with the knowledge of these (witnesses).

Mr. Venkayya adds that "it was supposed by Dr. Burnell [203] that
the plate of Vîra-Râghava created the principality of Manigramam,
and the Cochin plates that of Anjuvannam. [204] The Cochin plates
did not create Anjuvannam, but conferred the honours and privileges
connected therewith to a Jew named Rabbân. Similarly, the rights
and honours associated with the other corporation, Manigrâmam, were
bestowed at a later period on Ravikkorran. It is just possible that
Ravikkorran was a Christian by religion. But his name and title give
no clue in this direction, and there is nothing Christian in the
document, except its possession by the present owners. On this name,
Dr. Gundert first said [205] 'Iravi Corttan must be a Nasrani name,
though none of the Syrian priests whom I saw could explain it, or had
ever heard of it.' Subsequently he added: 'I had indeed been startled
by the Iravi Corttan, which does not look at all like the appellation
of a Syrian Christian; still I thought myself justified in calling
Manigrâmam a Christian principality--whatever their Christianity may
have consisted in--on the ground that, from Menezes' time, these grants
had been regarded as given to the Syrian colonists.' Mr. Kookel Keloo
Nair considered Iravikkorran a mere title, in which no shadow of a
Syrian name is to be traced."

Nestorius, a native of Germanicia, was educated at Antioch, where,
as Presbyter, he became celebrated, while yet very young, for his
asceticism, orthodoxy, and eloquence. On the death of Sisinnius,
Patriarch of Constantinople, this distinguished preacher of Antioch
was appointed to the vacant See by the Emperor Theodosius II, and
was consecrated as Patriarch in 428 A.D. The doctrine of a God-man
respecting Christ, and the mode of union of the human and the divine
nature in Him left undefined by the early teachers, who contented
themselves with speaking of Him and regarding Him as "born and unborn,
God in flesh, life in death, born of Mary, and born of God," had, long
before the time of Nestorius, begun to tax the genius of churchmen, and
the controversies in respect of this double nature of Christ had led
to the growth and spread of important heretical doctrines. Two of the
great heresies of the church before that of Nestorius are associated
with the names of Arius and Apollinaris. Arius "admitted both the
divine and the human nature of Christ, but, by making Him subordinate
to God, denied His divinity in the highest sense." Apollinaris,
undermining the doctrine of the example and atonement of Christ,
argued that "in Jesus the Logos supplied the place of the reasonable
soul." As early as 325 A.D. the first OEcumenical Council of Nice
had defined against the Arians, and decreed that "the Son was not
only of like essence, but of the same essence with the Father, and
the human nature, maimed and misinterpreted by the Apollinarians, had
been restored to the person of Christ at the Council of Constantinople
in 381." Nestorius, finding the Arians and Apollinarians, condemned
strongly though they were, still strong in numbers and influence
at Constantinople, expressed in his first sermon as Patriarch his
determination to put down these and other heretical sects, and
exhorted the Emperor to help him in this difficult task. But, while
vigorously engaged in the effectual extinction of all heresies, he
incurred the displeasure of the orthodox party by boldly declaring,
though in the most sincerely orthodox form, against the use of the
term Theotokos, that is, Mother of God, which, as applied to the
Virgin Mary, had then grown into popular favour, especially amongst
the clergy at Constantinople and Rome. While he himself revered the
Blessed Virgin as the Mother of Christ, he declaimed against the use
of the expression Mother of God in respect of her, as being alike
"unknown to the Apostles, and unauthorised by the Church," besides
its being inherently absurd to suppose that the Godhead can be born or
suffer. Moreover, in his endeavour to avoid the extreme positions taken
up by Arians and Apollinarians, he denied, while speaking of the two
natures in Christ, that there was any communication of attributes. But
he was understood on this point to have maintained a mechanical rather
than a supernatural union of the two natures, and also to have rent
Christ asunder, and divided Him into two persons. Explaining his
position, Nestorius said "I distinguish the natures, but I unite my
adoration." But this explanation did not satisfy the orthodox, who
understood him to have "preached a Christ less than divine." The clergy
and laity of Constantinople, amongst whom Nestorius had thus grown
unpopular, and was talked of as a heretic, appealed to Cyril, Bishop
of the rival See of Alexandria, to interfere on their behalf. Cyril,
supported by the authority of the Pope, arrived on the scene, and, at
the Council of Ephesus, hastily and informally called up, condemned
Nestorius as a heretic, and excommunicated him. After Nestorianism
had been rooted out of the Roman Empire in the time of Justinian,
it flourished "in the East," especially in Persia and the countries
adjoining it, where the churches, since their foundation, had been
following the Syrian ritual, discipline, and doctrine, and where
a strong party, among them the Patriarch of Seleucia or Babylon,
and his suffragan the Metropolitan of Persia, with their large
following, revered Nestorius as a martyr, and faithfully and formally
accepted his teachings at the Synod of Seleucia in 448 A.D. His
doctrines seem to have spread as far east as China, so that, in 551,
Nestorian monks who had long resided in that country are said to have
brought the eggs of the silkworm to Constantinople. Cosmos, surnamed
Indicopleustes, the Indian traveller, who, in 522 A.D., visited Male,
"the country where the pepper grows," has referred to the existence
of a fully organised church in Malabar, with the Bishops consecrated
in Persia. His reference, while it traces the origin of the Indian
church to the earlier centuries, also testifies to the fact that,
at the time of his visit, the church was Nestorian in its creed
"from the circumstance of its dependence upon the Primate of Persia,
who then unquestionably held the Nestorian doctrines."

The next heresy was that of Eutyches, a zealous adherent of Cyril in
opposition to Nestorius at the Council of Ephesus in 431 A.D. But
Eutyches, in opposing the doctrine of Nestorius, went beyond Cyril
and others, and affirmed that, after the union of the two natures,
the human and the divine, Christ had only one nature the divine,
His humanity being absorbed in His divinity. After several years
of controversy, the question was finally decided at the Council of
Chalcedon in 451, when it was declared, in opposition to the doctrine
of Eutyches, that the two natures were united in Christ, but "without
any alteration, absorption, or confusion"; or, in other words, in the
person of Christ there were two natures, the human and the divine,
each perfect in itself, but there was only one person. Eutyches was
excommunicated, and died in exile. Those who would not subscribe to
the doctrines declared at Chalcedon were condemned as heretics; they
then seceded, and afterwards gathered themselves around different
centres, which were Syria, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, Cyprus and
Palestine, Armenia, Egypt, and Abyssinia. The Armenians embraced
the Eutychian theory of divinity being the sole nature in Christ,
the humanity being absorbed, while the Egyptians and Abyssinians
held in the monophysite doctrine of the divinity and humanity being
one compound nature in Christ. The West Syrians, or natives of Syria
proper, to whom the Syrians of this coast trace their origin, adopted,
after having renounced the doctrines of Nestorius, the Eutychian
tenet. Through the influence of Severus, Patriarch of Antioch, they
gradually became Monophysites. The Monophysite sect was for a time
suppressed by the Emperors, but in the sixth century there took place
the great Jacobite revival of the monophysite doctrine under James
Bardæus, better known as Jacobus Zanzalus, who united the various
divisions, into which the Monophysites had separated themselves,
into one church, which at the present day exists under the name of
the Jacobite church. The head of the Jacobite church claims the rank
and prerogative of the Patriarch of Antioch--a title claimed by no
less than three church dignitaries. Leaving it to subtle theologians
to settle the disputes, we may briefly define the position of the
Jacobites in Malabar in respect of the above controversies. While
they accept the qualifying epithets pronounced by the decree passed
at the Council of Chalcedon in regard to the union of the two natures
in Christ, they object to the use of the word two in referring to
the same. So far they are practically at one with the Armenians, for
they also condemn the Eutychian doctrine; and a Jacobite candidate
for holy orders in the Syrian church has, among other things, to take
an oath denouncing Eutyches and his teachers.

We have digressed a little in order to show briefly the position
of the Malabar church in its relation to Eastern Patriarchs in
the early, mediæval, and modern times. To resume the thread of our
story, from about the middle of the fourth century until the arrival
of the Portuguese, the Christians of Malabar in their spiritual
distress generally applied for Bishops indiscriminately to one of
the Eastern Patriarchs, who were either Nestorian or Jacobite; for,
as observed by Sir W. W. Hunter, "for nearly a thousand years from
the 5th to the 15th century, the Jacobite sect dwelt in the middle
of the Nestorians in the Central Asia," so that, in response to the
requests from Malabar, both Nestorian and Jacobite Bishops appear
to have visited Malabar occasionally, and the natives seem to have
indiscriminately followed the teachings of both. We may here observe
that the simple folk of Malabar, imbued but with the primitive form
of Christianity, were neither conversant with nor ever troubled
themselves about the subtle disputations and doctrinal differences
that divided their co-religionists in Europe and Asia Minor, and
were, therefore, not in a position to distinguish between Nestorian
or any other form of Christianity. Persia also having subsequently
neglected the outlying Indian church, the Christians of Malabar seem
to have sent their applications to the Patriarch of Babylon, but,
as both prelates then followed the Nestorian creed, there was little
or no change in the rituals and dogmas of the church. Dr. Day [206]
refers to the arrival of a Jacobite Bishop in India in 696 A.D. About
the year 823 A.D., two Nestorian Bishops, Mar Sapor and Mar Aprot,
appear to have arrived in Malabar under the command of the Nestorian
Patriarch of Babylon. They are said to have interviewed the native
rulers, travelled through the country, built churches, and looked
after the religious affairs of the Syrians.

We know but little of the history of the Malabar Church for nearly six
centuries prior to the arrival of the Portuguese in India. We have,
however, the story of the pilgrimage of the Bishop of Sherborne to the
shrine of St. Thomas in India about 883 A.D., in the reign of Alfred
the Great; and the reference made to the prevalence of Nestorianism
among the St. Thomas' Christians of Malabar by Marco Polo, the
Venetian traveller.

The Christian community seem to have been in the zenith of their glory
and prosperity between the 9th and 14th centuries, as, according
to their tradition, they were then permitted to have a king of
their own, with Villiarvattam near Udayamperur (Diamper) as his
capital. According to another version, the king of Villiarvattam was
a convert to Christianity. The dynasty seems to have become extinct
about the 14th century, and it is said that, on the arrival of the
Portuguese, the crown and sceptre of the last Christian king were
presented to Vasco da Gama in 1502. We have already referred to the
high position occupied by the Christians under the early kings, as
is seen from the rare privileges granted to them, most probably in
return for military services rendered by them. The king seems to have
enjoyed, among other things, the right of punishing offences committed
by the Christian community, who practically followed his lead. A more
reasonable view of the story of a Christian king appears to be that
a Christian chief of Udayamperur enjoyed a sort of socio-territorial
jurisdiction over his followers, which, in later times, seems to have
been so magnified as to invest him with territorial sovereignty. We
see, in the copper-plate charters of the Jews, that their chief was
also invested with some such powers.

Mention is made of two Latin Missions in the 14th century, with
Quilon as head-quarters, but their labours were ineffectual, and their
triumphs but short-lived. Towards the end of the 15th, and throughout
the whole of the 16th century, the Nestorian Patriarch of Mesopotamia
seems to have exercised some authority over the Malabar Christians, as
is borne out by the occasional references to the arrival of Nestorian
Bishops to preside over the churches.

Until the arrival of the Portuguese, the Malabar church was following
unmolested, in its ritual, practice and communion, a creed of the
Syro-Chaldæan church of the East. When they set out on their voyages,
conquest and conversion were no less dear to the heart of Portuguese
than enterprise and commerce. Though, in the first moments, the
Syrians, in their neglected spiritual condition, were gratified at
the advent of their co-religionists, the Romanist Portuguese, and
the Portuguese in their turn expected the most beneficial results
from an alliance with their Christian brethren on this coast,
"the conformity of the Syrians to the faith and practice of the 5th
century soon disappointed the prejudices of the Papist apologists. It
was the first care of the Portuguese to intercept all correspondence
with the Eastern Patriarchs, and several of their Bishops expired
in the prisons of their Holy Office." The Franciscan and Dominican
Friars, and the Jesuit Fathers, worked vigorously to win the Malabar
Christians over to the Roman Communion. Towards the beginning of
the last quarter of the 16th century, the Jesuits built a church at
Vaippacotta near Cranganur, and founded a college for the education of
Christian youths. In 1584, a seminary was established for the purpose
of instructing the Syrians in theology, and teaching them the Latin,
Portuguese and Syriac languages. The dignitaries who presided over
the churches, however, refused to ordain the students trained in the
seminary. This, and other causes of quarrel between the Jesuits and
the native clergy, culminated in an open rupture, which was proclaimed
by Archdeacon George in a Synod at Angamali. When Alexes de Menezes,
Archbishop of Goa, heard of this, he himself undertook a visitation
of the Syrian churches. The bold and energetic Menezes carried all
before him. Nor is his success to be wondered at. He was invested with
the spiritual authority of the Pope, and armed with the terrors of the
Inquisition. He was encouraged in his efforts by the Portuguese King,
whose Governors on this coast ably backed him up. Though the ruling
chiefs at first discountenanced the exercise of coercive measures
over their subjects, they were soon won over by the stratagems of the
subtle Archbishop. Thus supported, he commenced his visitation of the
churches, and reduced them in A.D. 1599 by the decrees of the Synod of
Diamper (Udayamperur), a village about ten miles to the south-east of
the town of Cochin. The decrees passed by the Synod were reluctantly
subscribed to by Archdeacon George and a large number of Kathanars,
as the native priests are called; and this practically converted
the Malabar Church into a branch of the Roman Church. Literature
sustained a very great loss at the hands of Menezes, "for this blind
and enthusiastic inquisitor destroyed, like a second Omar, all the
books written in the Syrian or Chaldæan language, which could be
collected, not only at the Synod of Diamper, but especially during
his subsequent circuit; for, as soon as he had entered into a Syrian
Church, he ordered all their books and records to be laid before him,
which, a few indifferent ones excepted, he committed to the flames,
so that at present neither books nor manuscripts are any more to be
found amongst the St. Thomé Christians." [207]

Immediately after the Synod of Diamper, a Jesuit Father, Franciscus
Roz, a Spaniard by birth, was appointed Bishop of Angamali by Pope
Clement VIII. The title was soon after changed to that of Archbishop
of Cranganur. By this time, the rule of the Jesuits had become so
intolerable to the Syrians that they resolved to have a Bishop from
the East, and applied to Babylon, Antioch, Alexandria, and other
ecclesiastical head-quarters for a Bishop, as if the ecclesiastical
heads who presided over these places professed the same creed. The
request of the Malabar Christians for a Bishop was readily responded
to from Antioch, and Ahattala, otherwise known as Mar Ignatius,
was forthwith sent. Authorities, however, differ on this point,
for, according to some, this Ahattala was a Nestorian, or a protégé
of the Patriarch of the Copts. Whatever Ahattala's religious creed
might have been, the Syrians appear to have believed that he was
sent by the Jacobite Patriarch of Antioch. The Portuguese, however,
intercepted him, and took him prisoner. The story goes that he
was drowned in the Cochin harbour, or condemned to the flames of
the Inquisition at Goa in 1653. This cruel deed so infuriated the
Syrians that thousands of them met in solemn conclave at the Coonen
Cross at Mattancheri in Cochin, and, with one voice, renounced their
allegiance to the Church of Rome. This incident marks an important
epoch in the history of the Malabar Church, for, with the defection
at the Coonen Cross, the Malabar Christians split themselves up into
two distinct parties, the Romo-Syrians who adhered to the Church of
Rome, and the Jacobite Syrians, who, severing their connection with
it, placed themselves under the spiritual supremacy of the Patriarch
of Antioch. The following passage explains the exact position of the
two parties that came into existence then, as also the origin of the
names since applied to them. "The Pazheia Kuttukar, or old church,
owed its foundation to Archbishop Menezes and the Synod of Diamper in
1599, and its reconciliation, after revolt, to the Carmelite Bishop,
Joseph of St. Mary, in 1656. It retains in its services the Syrian
language, and in part the Syrian ritual. But it acknowledges the
supremacy of the Pope and his Vicars Apostolic. Its members are
now known as Catholics of the Syrian rite, to distinguish them from
the converts made direct from heathenism to the Latin Church by the
Roman missionaries. The other section of the Syrian Christians of
Malabar is called the Puttan Kuttukar, or new church. It adheres
to the Jacobite tenets introduced by its first Jacobite Bishop,
Mar Gregory, in 1665." [208] We have at this time, and ever after,
to deal with a third party, that came into existence after the advent
of the Portuguese. These are the Catholics of the Latin rite, and
consist almost exclusively of the large number of converts gained by
the Portuguese from amongst the different castes of the Hindus. To
avoid confusion, we shall follow the fortunes of each sect separately.

When the Portuguese first came to India, the Indian trade was
chiefly in the hands of the Moors, who had no particular liking
for the Hindus or Christians, and the arrival of the Portuguese was
therefore welcome alike to the Hindus and Christians, who eagerly
sought their assistance. The Portuguese likewise accepted their offers
of friendship very gladly, as an alliance, especially with the former,
gave them splendid opportunities for advancing their religious mission,
while, from a friendly intercourse with the latter, they expected not
only to further their religious interests, but also their commercial
prosperity. In the work of conversion they were successful, more
especially among the lower orders, the Illuvans, Mukkuvans, Pulayans,
etc. The labours of Miguel Vaz, afterwards Vicar-General of Goa, and
of Father Vincent, in this direction were continued with admirable
success by St. Francis Xavier.

We have seen how the strict and rigid discipline of the Jesuit
Archbishops, their pride and exclusiveness, and the capture and murder
of Ahattala brought about the outburst at the Coonen Cross. Seeing
that the Jesuits had failed, Pope Alexander VII had recourse to the
Carmelite Fathers, who were specially instructed to do their best to
remove the schism, and to bring about a reconciliation; but, because
the Portuguese claimed absolute possession of the Indian Missions,
and as the Pope had despatched the Carmelite Fathers without the
approval of the King of Portugal, the first batch of these missionaries
could not reach the destined field of their labours. Another body of
Carmelites, who had taken a different route, however, succeeded in
reaching Malabar in 1656, and they met Archdeacon Thomas who had
succeeded Archdeacon George. While expressing their willingness
to submit to Rome, the Syrians declined to place themselves under
Archbishop Garcia, S.J., who had succeeded Archbishop Roz, S.J. The
Syrians insisted on their being given a non-Jesuit Bishop, and, in
1659, Father Joseph was appointed Vicar Apostolic of the "Sierra of
Malabar" without the knowledge of the King of Portugal. He came out
to India in 1661, and worked vigorously for two years in reconciling
the Syrian Christians to the Church of Rome. But he was not allowed
to continue his work unmolested, because, when the Dutch, who were
competing with the Portuguese for supremacy in the Eastern seas, took
the port of Cochin in 1663, Bishop Joseph was ordered to leave the
coast forthwith. When he left Cochin, he consecrated Chandy Parambil,
otherwise known as Alexander de Campo.

By their learning, and their skill in adapting themselves to
circumstances, the Carmelite Fathers had continued to secure the
good-will of the Dutch, and, returning to Cochin, assisted Alexander
de Campo in his work. Father Mathew, one of their number, was allowed
to build a church at Chatiath near Ernakulam. Another church was
built at Varapuzha (Verapoly) on land given rent-free by the Raja of
Cochin. Since this time, Varapuzha, now in Travancore, has continued
to be the residence of a Vicar Apostolic.

The history of a quarter of a century subsequent to this is
uneventful, except for the little quarrels between the Carmelite
Fathers and the native clergy. In 1700, however, the Archbishop of
Goa declined to consecrate a Carmelite Father nominated by the Pope
to the Vicariate Apostolic. But Father Anjelus, the Vicar Apostolic
elect, got himself consecrated by one Mar Simon, who was supposed
to be in communion with Rome. The Dutch Government having declined
admission to Archbishop Ribeiro, S.J., the nominee of the Portuguese
King to their dominions, Anjelus was invested with jurisdiction over
Cochin and Cranganur. Thereupon, the Jesuit Fathers sought shelter in
Travancore, and in the territories of the Zamorin. With the capture
of Cranganur by the Dutch, which struck the death-blow to Portuguese
supremacy in the East, the last vestige of the church, seminary and
college founded by the Jesuits disappeared. As the Dutch hated the
Jesuits as bigoted Papists and uncompromising schismatics, several
of the Jesuit Fathers, who were appointed Archbishops of Cranganur,
never set foot within their diocese, and such of them as accepted the
responsibility confined themselves to the territories of the Raja of
Travancore. It was only after the establishment of British supremacy
that the Jesuit Fathers were able to re-enter the scene of their early
labours. An almost unbroken line of Carmelite Fathers appointed by the
Pope filled the Vicariate till 1875, though the Archbishop of Goa and
the Bishop of Cochin now and then declined to consecrate the nominee,
and thus made feeble attempts on behalf of their Faithful King to
recover their lost position.

Salvador, S.J., Archbishop of Cranganur, died in 1777. Five years
after this, the King of Portugal appointed Joseph Cariatil and
Thomas Paramakal, two native Christians, who had been educated at
the Propaganda College at Rome, as Archbishop and Vicar-General,
respectively, of the diocese of Cranganur.

The native clergy at the time were mostly ignorant, and the discipline
amongst them was rather lax. The Propaganda attempted reforms in this
direction, which led to a rupture between the Latin and the native
clergy. The Carmelite Fathers, like the Jesuits, had grown overbearing
and haughty, and an attempt at innovation made by the Pope through
them became altogether distasteful to the natives. Serious charges
against the Carmelites were, therefore, formally laid before the
Pope and the Raja of Travancore by the Syrians. They also insisted
that Thomas should be consecrated Bishop. At this time, the Dutch
were all-powerful at the courts of native rulers, and, though the
Carmelite missionaries who had ingratiated themselves into the good
graces of the Dutch tried their best to thwart the Syrians in their
endeavours, Thomas was permitted to be consecrated Bishop, and the
Syrians were allowed the enjoyment of certain rare privileges. It
is remarkable that, at this time and even in much earlier times,
the disputes between the foreign and the native clergy, or between
the various factions following the lead of the native clergy, were
often decided by the Hindu kings, and the Christians accepted and
abided by the decisions of their temporal heads.

In 1838, Pope Gregory XVI issued a Bull abolishing the Sees of
Cranganur and Cochin, and transferring the jurisdiction to the Vicar
Apostolic of Varapuzha. But the King of Portugal questioned the
right of the Pope, and this led to serious disputes. The abolition
of the smaller seminaries by Archbishop Bernardin of Varapuzha, and
his refusal to ordain candidates for Holy Orders trained in these
seminaries by the Malpans or teacher-priests, caused much discontent
among the Syrian Christians, and, in 1856, a large section of the
Syrians applied to the Catholic Chaldæan Patriarch of Babylon for
a Chaldæan Bishop. This was readily responded to by the Patriarch,
who, though under the Pope, thought that he had a prescriptive right
to supremacy over the Malabar Christians. Bishop Roccos was sent
out to Malabar in 1861, and though, owing to the charm of novelty, a
large section of the Christians at once joined him, a strong minority
questioned his authority, and referred the matter to the Pope. Bishop
Roccos was recalled, and the Patriarch was warned by the Pope against
further interference.

Subsequently, the Patriarch, again acting on the notion that he had
independent jurisdiction over the Chaldæan Syrian church of Malabar,
sent out Bishop Mellus to Cochin. The arrival of this Bishop in 1874
created a distinct split among the Christians of Trichur, one faction
acknowledging the supremacy of the Pope, and the other following the
lead of Bishop Mellus. This open rupture had involved the two factions
in a costly litigation. The adherents of Bishop Mellus contend that
their church, ever since its foundation in 1810 or 1812, has followed
the practice, ritual, and communion of the Chaldæan church of Babylon,
without having ever been in communion with Rome. The matter is sub
judice. They are now known by the name of Chaldæan Syrians. The Pope,
in the meanwhile, excommunicated Bishop Mellus, but he continued
to exercise spiritual authority over his adherents independently of
Rome. In 1887 the Patriarch having made peace with the Pope, Bishop
Mellus left India, and submitted to Rome in 1889. On the departure of
Bishop Mellus, the Chaldæan Syrians chose Anthony Kathanar, otherwise
known as Mar Abdeso, as their Archbishop. He is said to have been
a Rome Syrian priest under the Archbishop of Varapuzha. It is also
said that he visited Syria and Palestine, and received ordination
from the anti-Roman Patriarch of Babylon. Before his death in 1900,
he ordained Mar Augustine, who, under the title of Chorepiscopus,
had assisted him in the government of the Chaldæan church, and he
now presides over the Chaldæan Syrian churches in the State.

In 1868, Bishop Marcellinus was appointed Coadjutor to the Vicar
Apostolic of Varapuzha, and entrusted with the spiritual concerns
of the Romo-Syrians. On his death in 1892, the Romo-Syrians were
placed under the care of two European Vicars Apostolic. We have
seen how the Jesuits had made themselves odious to the native
Christians, and how reluctantly the latter had submitted to their
rigid discipline. We have seen, too, how the Carmelites who replaced
them, in spite of their worldly wisdom and conciliatory policy, had
their own occasional quarrels and disputes with the native clergy and
their congregations. From the time of the revolt at the Coonen Cross,
and ever afterwards, the Christians had longed for Bishops of their
own nationality, and made repeated requests for the same. For some
reason or other, compliance with these requisitions was deferred for
years. Experience showed that the direct rule of foreign Bishops had
failed to secure the unanimous sympathy and hearty co-operation of the
people. The Pope was, however, convinced of the spiritual adherence of
the native clergy and congregation to Rome. In these circumstances,
it was thought advisable to give the native clergy a fair trial in
the matter of local supremacy. Bishops Medlycott and Lavigne, S.J.,
who were the Vicars Apostolic of Trichur and Kottayam, were therefore
withdrawn, and, in 1896, three native Syrian priests, Father John
Menacheri, Father Aloysius Pareparambil, and Father Mathew Mackil,
were consecrated by the Papal Delegate as the Vicars Apostolic of
Trichur, Ernakulam, and Chenganacheri.

The monopoly of the Indian missions claimed by the Portuguese, and the
frequent disputes which disturbed the peace of the Malabar church,
were ended in 1886 by the Concordat entered into between Pope Leo
XIII and the King of Portugal. The Archbishop of Goa was by this
recognised as the Patriarch of the East Indies with the Bishop of
Cochin as a suffragan, whose diocese in the Cochin State is confined
to the seaboard taluk of Cochin. The rest of the Latin Catholics of
this State, except a small section in the Chittur taluk under the
Bishop of Coimbatore, are under the Archbishop of Varapuzha.

Since the revolt of the Syrians at the Coonen Cross in 1653, the
Jacobite Syrians have been governed by native Bishops consecrated by
Bishops sent by the Patriarch of Antioch, or at least always received
and recognised as such. In exigent circumstances, the native Bishops
themselves, before their death, consecrated their successors by the
imposition of hands. Immediately after the defection, they chose
Archdeacon Thomas as their spiritual leader. He was thus the first
Metran or native Bishop, having been formally ordained after twelve
years of independent rule by Mar Gregory from Antioch, with whose
name the revival of Jacobitism in Malabar is associated. The Metran
assumed the title of Mar Thomas I. He belonged to the family that
traced its descent from the Pakalomattom family, held in high respect
and great veneration as one of the Brahman families, the members of
which are supposed to have been converted and ordained as priests
by the apostle himself. Members of the same family continued to hold
the Metranship till about the year 1815, when the family is supposed
to have become extinct. This hereditary succession is supposed
by some to be a relic of the Nestorian practice. It may, however,
be explained in another way. The earliest converts were high-caste
Hindus, amongst whom an Anandravan (brother or nephew) succeeded to
the family estates and titles in pursuance of the joint family system
as current in Malabar. The succession of a brother or a nephew might,
therefore, be quite as much a relic of the Hindu custom. The Metrans
possessed properties. They were, therefore, interested in securing the
succession of their Anandravans, so that their properties might not
pass to a different family. Mar Thomas I was succeeded by his brother
Mar Thomas II, on whose death his nephew became Metran under the title
of Mar Thomas III. He held office only for ten days. Mar Thomas IV,
who succeeded him, presided over the church till 1728. Thomas III and
IV are said to have been consecrated by Bishop John, a scholar of great
repute, who, with one Bishop Basil, came from Antioch in 1685. During
the régime of Mar Thomas IV, and of his nephew Thomas V, Mar Gabriel,
a Nestorian Bishop, appeared on the scene in 1708. He seems to have
been a man without any definite creed, as he proclaimed himself a
Nestorian, a Jacobite, or a Romanist, according as one or the other
best suited his interests. He had his own friends and admirers among
the Syrians, with whose support he ruled over a few churches in the
north till 1731. The consecration of Mar Thomas V by Mar Thomas IV
was felt to be invalid, and, to remedy the defect, the assistance
of the Dutch was sought; but, being disappointed, the Christians had
recourse to a Jewish merchant named Ezekiel, who undertook to convey
their message to the Patriarch of Antioch. He brought from Bassorah
one Mar Ivanius, who was a man of fiery temper. He interfered with
the images in the churches. This led to quarrels with the Metran,
and he had forthwith to quit the State. Through the Dutch authorities
at Cochin, a fresh requisition was sent to the Patriarch of Antioch,
who sent out three Bishops named Basil, John, and Gregory. Their
arrival caused fresh troubles, owing to the difficulty of paying the
large sum claimed by them as passage money. In 1761, Mar Thomas V,
supposed to have died in 1765, consecrated his nephew Mar Thomas
VI. About this time, Gregory consecrated one Kurilos, the leader
of a faction that resisted the rule of Thomas VI. The disputes and
quarrels which followed were ended with the flight of Kurilos, who
founded the See of Anjoor in the north of Cochin and became the first
Bishop of Tholiyur. Through the kind intercession of the Maharaja of
Travancore, Thomas VI underwent formal consecration at the hands of
the Bishops from Antioch, and took the title of Dionysius I, known
also as Dionysius the Great. In 1775, the great Carmelite father Paoli
visited Mar Dionysius, and tried to persuade him to submit to Rome. It
is said that he agreed to the proposal, on condition of his being
recognised as Metropolitan of all the Syrians in Malabar, but nothing
came of it. A few years after this, the struggle for supremacy between
the Dutch and the English had ended in the triumph of the latter,
who evinced a good deal of interest in the Syrian Christians, and,
in 1805, the Madras Government deputed Dr. Kerr to study the history
of the Malabar Church. In 1809, Dr. Buchanan visited Mar Dionysius,
and broached the question of a union of the Syrian Church with
the Church of England. The proposal, however, did not find favour
with the Metropolitan, or his congregation. Mar Dionysius died in
1808. Before his death, he had consecrated Thomas Kathanar as Thomas
VIII. He died in 1816. His successor, Thomas IX, was weak and old,
and he was displaced by Ittoop Ramban, known as Pulikot Dionysius or
Dionysius II. He enjoyed the confidence and good-will of Colonel Munro,
the British Resident, through whose good offices a seminary had been
built at Kottayam in 1813 for the education of Syrian youths. He died
in 1818. Philixenos, who had succeeded Kurilos as Bishop of Tholiyur,
now consecrated Punnathara Dionysius, or Dionysius III.

We have now to refer to an important incident in the history of the
Jacobite Syrians. Through the influence of the British Resident,
and in the hope of effecting the union proposed by Dr. Buchanan,
the Church Mission Society commenced their labours in 1816. The
English Missionaries began their work under favourable circumstances,
and the most cordial relations existed between the Syrians and the
missionaries for some years, so much so that the latter frequently
visited the Syrian churches, and even preached sermons. On the death
of Dionysius III in 1825, or as some say 1827, Cheppat Dionysius
consecrated by Mar Philixenos again, succeeded as Metropolitan under
the title of Dionysius IV. During his régime, there grew up among the
Syrians a party, who suspected that the missionaries were using their
influence with the Metropolitan, and secretly endeavouring to bring
the Syrians under the Protestant Church. The conservative party of
Syrians stoutly opposed the movement. They petitioned the Patriarch of
Antioch, who at once sent out a Bishop named Athanasius. On arrival
in 1825, a large number of Syrians flocked to him. He even went to
the length of threatening Mar Dionysius with excommunication. But the
Protestant missionaries and the British Resident came to the rescue
of the Metropolitan, and exercised their influence with the ruler
of Travancore, who forthwith deported Athanasius. The deportation
of Athanasius strengthened the position of the missionaries. The
British Resident, and through his influence the native ruler, often
rendered them the most unqualified support. The missionaries who
superintended the education of the Syrian students in the seminary,
having begun to teach them doctrines contrary to those of the Jacobite
Church, the cordiality and friendship that had existed between the
missionaries and the Metropolitan gradually gave place to distrust
and suspicion. The party that clung to the time-honoured traditions
and practices of their church soon fanned the flame of discord, and
snapped asunder the ties of friendship that had bound the Metropolitan
to the missionaries. Bishop Wilson of Calcutta proceeded to Travancore
to see if a reconciliation could be effected. But his attempts in this
direction proved fruitless, because the Syrians could not accept his
proposal to adopt important changes affecting their spiritual and
temporal concerns, such as doing away with prayers for the dead,
the revision of their liturgy, the management of church funds,
etc., and the Syrians finally parted company with the missionaries
in 1838. Soon after this, disputes arose in regard to the funds and
endowments of the seminary, but they were soon settled by arbitration
in 1840, and the properties were divided between the Metropolitan and
the missionaries. The missionaries had friends among the Jacobites,
some of whom became members of the Church of England.

The Syrians were rather distressed, because they thought that
the consecration of their Metropolitan by Mar Philixenos was
insufficient. They therefore memorialised the Patriarch of
Antioch. There grew up also a party hostile to the Metropolitan,
and they sent to Antioch a Syrian Christian named Mathew. His
arrival at Antioch was most opportune. The Patriarch was looking
out for a proper man. Mathew was therefore welcomed, and treated
very kindly. He was consecrated as Metropolitan by the Patriarch
himself in 1842, and sent out with the necessary credentials. He
arrived in 1843 as Metropolitan of Malankara under the title of
Mathew Anastatius, and advanced his claims to the headship of the
Church, but Mar Dionysius resisted him, and sent an appeal to the
Patriarch of Antioch, in which he denounced Mathew as one who had
enlisted his sympathies with the Protestant missionaries. Upon this,
the Patriarch sent out one Cyril with power to expel Mathew, and,
with the connivance of Mar Dionysius, Cyril cut the gordian knot by
appointing himself as Metropolitan of Malabar. Disputes arising,
a committee was appointed to examine the claims of Athanasius and
Cyril. The credentials of Cyril were proved to be forged, whereupon
Athanasius was duly installed in his office in 1862, and Cyril fled
the country. Cyril having failed, the Patriarch sent another Bishop
named Stephanos, who contributed his mite towards widening the breach,
and, on the British Resident having ordered the Bishop to quit the
country, an appeal was preferred to the Court of Directors, who
insisted on a policy of non-interference. This bestirred Mar Cyril,
who reappeared on the scene, and fanned the flame of discord. Being
ordered to leave Mar Athanasius unmolested, he and his friends sent
one Joseph to Antioch, who returned with fresh credentials in 1866,
assumed the title of Dionysius V, claimed the office of Metropolitan,
and applied to the Travancore Government for assistance. Adopting
a policy of non-interference, the darbar referred him to the Law
Courts, in case he could not come to terms with Mar Athanasius. The
Patriarch of Antioch himself visited Cochin and Travancore in 1874,
and presided over a Synod which met at Mulanthurutha in the Cochin
State. Resolutions affirming the supremacy of Antioch, recognising Mar
Dionysius as the accredited Metropolitan of Malabar, and condemning
Mathew Athanasius as a schismatic, were passed by the members of the
assembly, and the Patriarch returned to Mardin in 1876. This, however,
did not mend matters, and the two parties launched themselves into a
protracted law suit in 1879, which ended in favour of Mar Dionysius
in 1889. Mar Athanasius, who had taken up an independent position,
died in 1875, and his cousin, whom he had consecrated, succeeded as
Metropolitan under the title of Mar Thomas Anastatius. He died in
1893, and Titus Mar Thoma, consecrated likewise by his predecessor,
presides over the Reformed Party of Jacobite Syrians, who prefer to
be called St. Thomas' Syrians. We have thus traced the history of the
Jacobite Syrians from 1653, and shown how they separated themselves
into two parties, now represented by the Jacobite Syrians under
Mar Dionysius, owing allegiance to the Patriarch of Antioch, and the
Reformed Syrians or St. Thomas' Syrians owning Titus Mar Thoma as their
supreme spiritual head. Thus, while the Jacobite Syrians have accepted
and acknowledged the ecclesiastical supremacy of the Patriarch of
Antioch, the St. Thomas' Syrians, maintaining that the Jacobite creed
was introduced into Malabar only in the seventeenth century after a
section of the church had shaken off the Roman supremacy, uphold the
ecclesiastical autonomy of the church, whereby the supreme control
of the spiritual and temporal affairs of the church is declared to be
in the hands of the Metropolitan of Malabar. The St. Thomas' Syrians
hold that the consecration of a Bishop by, or with the sanction of the
Patriarch of Babylon, Alexandria or Antioch, gives no more validity
or sanctity to that office than consecration by the Metropolitan of
Malabar, the supreme head of the church in Malabar, inasmuch as this
church is as ancient and apostolic as any other, being founded by the
apostle St. Thomas; while the Jacobites hold that the consecration of
a Bishop is not valid, unless it be done with the sanction of their
Patriarch. The St. Thomas' Syrians have, however, no objection to
receiving consecration from the head of any other episcopal apostolic
church, but they consider that such consecrations do not in any way
subject their church to the supremacy of that prelate or church.

Both the Latins and the Romo-Syrians use the liturgy of the Church
of Rome, the former using the Latin, and the latter the Syriac
language. It is believed by some that the Christians of St. Thomas
formerly used the liturgy of St. Adæus, East Syrian, Edessa, but that
it was almost completely assimilated to the Roman liturgy by Portuguese
Jesuits at the Synod of Diamper in 1599. The Chaldæan Syrians also use
the Roman liturgy, with the following points of difference in practice,
communicated to me by their present ecclesiastical head:--(1) They
perform marriage ceremonies on Sundays, instead of week days as the
Romo-Syrians do. (2) While reading the Gospel, their priests turn
to the congregation, whereas the Romo-Syrian priests turn to the
altar. (3) Their priests bless the congregation in the middle of
the mass, a practice not in vogue among the Romo-Syrians. (4) They
use two kinds of consecrated oil in baptism, which does away with
the necessity of confirmation. The Romo-Syrians, on the other hand,
use only one kind of oil, and hence they have to be subsequently
confirmed by one of their Bishops.

The liturgy used by the Jacobite Syrians and the St. Thomas' Syrians
is the same, viz., that of St. James. The St. Thomas' Syrians have,
however, made some changes by deleting certain passages from it. [A
recent writer observes that "a service which I attended at the quaint
old Syrian church at Kottayam, which glories in the possession of
one of the three ancient stone crosses in India, closely resembled,
as far as my memory serves me, one which I attended many years ago at
Antioch, except that the non-sacramental portions of the mass were
read in Malayalam instead of in Arabic, the sacramental words alone
being in both cases spoken in the ancient Syriac tongue.] In regard to
doctrine and practice, the following points may be noted:--(1) While
the Jacobite Syrians look upon the Holy Bible as the main authority in
matters of doctrine, practice, and ritual, they do not allow the Bible
to be interpreted except with the help of the traditions of the church,
the writings of the early Fathers, and the decrees of the Holy Synods
of the undivided Christian period; but the St. Thomas' Syrians believe
that the Holy Bible is unique and supreme in such matters. (2) While
the Jacobites have faith in the efficacy and necessity of prayers,
charities, etc., for the benefit of departed souls, of the invocation
of the Virgin Mary and the Saints in divine worship, of pilgrimages,
and of confessing sins to, and obtaining absolution from priests, the
St. Thomas' Syrians regard these and similar practices as unscriptural,
tending not to the edification of believers, but to the drawing away
of the minds of believers from the vital and real spiritual truths
of the Christian Revelation. (3) While the Jacobites administer the
Lord's Supper to the laity and the non-celebrating clergy in the
form of consecrated bread dipped in consecrated wine, and regard it
a sin to administer the elements separately after having united them
in token of Christ's resurrection, the St. Thomas' Syrians admit
the laity to both the elements after the act of uniting them. (4)
While the Jacobite Syrians allow marriage ceremonies on Sundays,
on the plea that, being of the nature of a sacrament, they ought to
be celebrated on Sundays, and that Christ himself had taken part in a
marriage festival on the Sabbath day, the St. Thomas' Syrians prohibit
such celebrations on Sundays as unscriptural, the Sabbath being
set apart for rest and religious exercises. (5) While the Jacobites
believe that the mass is as much a memorial of Christ's oblation on
the cross as it is an unbloody sacrifice offered for the remission
of the sins of the living and of the faithful dead, the St. Thomas'
Syrians observe it as a commemoration of Christ's sacrifice on the
cross. (6) The Jacobites venerate the cross and the relics of Saints,
while the St. Thomas' Syrians regard the practice as idolatry. (7)
The Jacobites perform mass for the dead, while the St. Thomas' Syrians
regard it as unscriptural. (8) With the Jacobites, remarriage, marriage
of widows, and marriage after admission to full priesthood, reduce a
priest to the status of a layman, and one united in any such marriage
is not permitted to perform priestly functions, whereas priests of
the St. Thomas' Syrian party are allowed to contract such marriages
without forfeiture of their priestly rights. (9) The Jacobite Syrians
believe in the efficacy of infant baptism, and acknowledge baptismal
regeneration, while the St. Thomas' Syrians, who also baptise infants,
deny the doctrine of regeneration in baptism, and regard the ceremony
as a mere external sign of admission to church communion. (10) The
Jacobites observe special fasts, and abstain from certain articles
of food during such fasts, while the St. Thomas' Syrians regard the
practice as superstitious.

The Jacobite Syrian priests are not paid any fixed salary, but are
supported by voluntary contributions in the shape of fees for baptism,
marriages, funerals, etc. The Romo-Syrian and Latin priests are paid
fixed salaries, besides the above perquisites. The Syrian priests
are called Kathanars, while the Latin priests go by the name of
Padres. For the Jacobite Syrians, the morone or holy oil required
for baptism, consecration of churches, ordination of priests, etc.,
has to be obtained from Antioch. The churches under Rome get it from
Rome. Unlike the Catholic clergy, the Jacobite clergy, except their
Metropolitan and the Rambans, are allowed to marry.

The generality of Syrians of the present day trace their descent from
the higher orders of the Hindu society, and the observance by many of
them of certain customs prevalent more or less among high-caste Hindus
bears out this fact. It is no doubt very curious that, in spite of
their having been Christians for centuries together, they still retain
the traditions of their Hindu forefathers. It may sound very strange,
but it is none the less true, that caste prejudices which influence
their Hindu brethren in all social and domestic relations obtain
to some extent among some sections of the Syrian Christians, but,
with the spread of a better knowledge of the teachings of Christ, the
progress of English education, and contact with European Christians,
caste observances are gradually dying out. The following relics of
old customs may, however, be noted:--

(1) Some Christians make offerings to Hindu temples with as much
reverence as they do in their own churches.

Some non-Brahman Hindus likewise make offerings to Christian churches.

(2) Some sections of Syrians have faith in horoscopes, and get them
cast for new-born babies, just as Hindus do.

(3) On the wedding day, the bridegroom ties round the neck of the bride
a tali (small ornament made of gold). This custom is prevalent among
all classes of Native Christians. On the death of their husbands,
some even remove the tali to indicate widowhood, as is the custom
among the Brahmans.

(4) When a person dies, his or her children, if any, and near
relatives, observe pula (death pollution) for a period ranging from
ten to fifteen days. The observance imposes abstinence from animal
food. The pula ends with a religious ceremony in the church, with
feasting friends and relatives in the house, and feeding the poor,
according to one's means. Sradha, or anniversary ceremony for the soul
of the dead, is performed with services in the church and feasts in
the house.

(5) In rural parts especially, the Onam festival of the Malayali
Hindus is celebrated with great éclat, with feasting, making presents
of cloths to children and relatives, out-door and in-door games, etc.

(6) Vishu, or new-year's day, is likewise a gala day, when presents
of small coins are made to children, relatives, and the poor.

(7) The ceremony of first feeding a child with rice (annaprasanam
or chorunu of the Hindus) is celebrated generally in the sixth month
after birth. Parents often make vows to have the ceremony done in a
particular church, as Hindu parents take their children to particular
temples in fulfilment of special vows.

(8) The Syrians do not admit within their premises low-castes, e.g.,
Pulayans, Paraiyans, etc., even after the conversion of the latter
to Christianity. They enforce even distance pollution, though not
quite to the same extent as Malayali Hindus do. Iluvans are allowed
admission to their houses, but are not allowed to cook their meals. In
some parts, they are not even allowed to enter the houses of Syrians.

There are no intermarriages between Syrians of the various
denominations and Latin Catholics. Under very exceptional
circumstances, a Romo-Syrian contracts a marriage with one of
Latin rite, and vice versâ, but this entails many difficulties
and disabilities on the issues. Among the Latins themselves, there
are, again, no intermarriages between the communities of the seven
hundred, the five hundred, and the three hundred. The difference of
cult and creed has led to the prohibition of marriages between the
Romo-Syrians and Jacobite Syrians. The Jacobite Syrians properly so
called, St. Thomas' Syrians, and the Syro-Protestants do, however,
intermarry. The Southerners and Northerners do not intermarry; any
conjugal ties effected between them subject the former to some kind of
social excommunication. This exclusiveness, as we have already said,
is claimed on the score of their descent from the early colonists
from Syria. The Syrians in general, and the Jacobite Syrians in
particular, are greater stricklers to customs than other classes of
Native Christians.

We have already referred to the privileges granted to the Syrians by
the Hindu kings in early times. They not only occupied a very high
position in the social scale, but also enjoyed at different times the
rare distinction of forming a section of the body-guard of the king and
the militia of the country. Education has of late made great progress
among them. The public service has now been thrown open to them, so
that those who have had the benefit of higher education now hold some
of the important posts in the State. In enterprises of all kinds, they
are considerably ahead of their Hindu and Musalman brethren, so that
we see them take very kindly to commerce, manufacture, agriculture,
etc.; in fact, in every walk of life, they are making their mark by
their industry and enterprise. [209]

The following additional information is contained in the Gazetteer of
Malabar. "The men are to be distinguished by the small cross worn round
the neck, and the women by their tali, which has 21 beads on it, set
in the form of a cross. Their churches are ugly rectangular buildings
with flat or arched wooden roofs and whitewashed facades. They have no
spire, but the chancel, which is at the east end, is usually somewhat
higher than the nave. Between the chancel and the body of the church
is a curtain, which is drawn while the priest consecrates the elements
at the mass. Right and left of the chancel are two rooms, the vestry
and the sacristy. At the west end is a gallery, in which the unmarried
priests sometimes live. Most churches contain three altars, one in the
chancel, and the other two at its western ends on each side. There are
no images in Jacobite or Reformed churches, but there are sometimes
pictures. Crucifixes are placed on the altars, and in other parts of
the churches. The clergy and men of influence are buried in the nave
just outside the chancel. The Syrian Bishops are called Metrans. They
are celibates, and live on the contributions of their churches. They
wear purple robes and black silk cowls figured with golden crosses, a
big gold cross round the neck, and a ring on the fourth finger of the
right hand. Bishops are nominated by their predecessors from the body
of Rambans, who are men selected by priests and elders in advance to
fill the Episcopate. Metrans are buried in their robes in a sitting
posture. Their priests are called Cattanars. They should strictly
pass through the seven offices of ostiary, reader, exorcist, acolyte,
sub-deacon and deacon before becoming priests; but the first three
offices practically no longer exist. The priestly office is often
hereditary, descending by the marumakkattayam system (inheritance
in the female line). Jacobite and St. Thomas' Syrian priests are
paid by contributions from their parishioners, fees at weddings,
and the like. Their ordinary dress consists of white trousers, and
a kind of long white shirt with short sleeves and a flap hanging
down behind, supposed to be in the form of a cross. Over this the
Jacobites now wear a black coat. Priests are allowed to marry, except
in the Romo-Syrian community; but, among the Jacobites, a priest may
not marry after he has once been ordained, nor may he re-marry or
marry a widow. Malpans, or teachers, are the heads of the religious
colleges, where priests are trained. Jacobites also now shave clean,
while other Syrian priests wear the tonsure. Every church has not
more than four Kaikkars or churchwardens, who are elected from the
body of parishioners. They are the trustees of the church property,
and, with the priest, constitute a disciplinary body, which exercises
considerable powers in religious and social matters over the members
of the congregation. The Romo-Syrians follow the doctrines and ritual
of the Roman Catholics, but they use a Syriac version [210] of the
Latin liturgy. Jacobites and St. Thomas' Christians use the Syriac
liturgy of St. James. Few even of the priests understand Syriac, and,
in the Reformed Syrian churches, a Malayalam translation of the Syriac
liturgy has now been generally adopted. The Jacobites say masses for
the dead, but do not believe in purgatory; they invoke the Virgin
Mary, venerate the cross and relics of saints; they recognise only
three sacraments, baptism, marriage (which they always celebrate on
Sundays) and the mass; they prescribe auricular confession before
mass, and at the mass administer the bread dipped in the wine; they
recite the Eastern form of the Nicene Creed, and discourage laymen
from studying the Bible. The Reformed Syrians differ from them in
most of these points. The Jacobites observe the ordinary festivals of
the church; the day of the patron saint of each church is celebrated
with special pomp, and on the offerings made on that day the priests
largely depend for their income. They keep Lent, which they call the
fifty days' fast, strictly from the Sunday before Ash Wednesday,
abjuring all meat, fish, ghee, and toddy; and on Maundy Thursday
they eat a special kind of unsweetened cake marked with a cross, in
the centre of which the karnavan of the family should drive a nail,
and drink a kanji of rice and cocoanut-milk (the meal is said to
symbolize the Passover and the Last Supper, and the nail is supposed
to be driven into the eye of Judas Iscariot).

"Amongst the Syrian Christians, as amongst the Mappillas, there
are many survivals of Hindu customs and superstitions, and caste
prejudices have by no means disappeared amongst the various sections
of the community. Southerners and Northerners will not intermarry,
and families who trace their descent from Brahmans and Nayars will, in
many cases, not admit lower classes to their houses, much less allow
them to cook for them or touch them. Most of the Syrians observe the
Onam and Vishnu festivals; the astrologer is frequently consulted to
cast horoscopes and tell omens; while it is a common custom for persons
suffering from diseases to seek a cure by buying silver or tin images
of the diseased limb, which their priest has blessed. Similar survivals
are to be noticed in their social ceremonies. A Pulikudi ceremony,
similar to that of the Hindus, was commonly performed till recently,
though it has now fallen into disuse. Immediately on the birth of a
child, three drops of honey in which gold has been rubbed are poured
into its mouth by its father, and the mother is considered to be under
pollution till the tenth day. Baptism takes place on the fourteenth
day amongst the Southern Jacobites, and amongst other divisions on
the fifty-sixth day. A rice-giving ceremony similar to the Hindu
Chorunnu is still sometimes performed in the fifth or sixth month,
when the child is presented by the mother with a gold cross, if a boy,
or a small gold coin or taluvam if a girl, to be worn round the neck.

"Among the Jacobites early marriage was the rule until comparatively
recently, boys being married at ten or twelve years of age, and girls
at six or seven. Now the more usual age for marriage is sixteen in the
case of boys, and twelve in the case of girls. Weddings take place on
Sundays, and, amongst the Northerners, may be celebrated in either
the bride's or the bridegroom's parish church. On the two Sundays
before the wedding, the banns have to be called in the two churches,
and the marriage agreements concluded in the presence of the parish
priests (Ottu kalyanam). The dowry, which is an essential feature of
Syrian weddings, is usually paid on the Sunday before the wedding. It
should consist of an odd number of rupees, and should be tied up in a
cloth. On the Thursday before the wedding day, the house is decorated
with rice flour, and on the Saturday the marriage pandal (booth), is
built. The first ceremonial takes place on Saturday night when bride
and bridegroom both bathe, and the latter is shaved. Next morning
both bride and bridegroom attend the ordinary mass, the bridegroom
being careful to enter the church before the bride. Now-a-days
both are often dressed more or less in European fashion, and it
is essential that the bride should wear as many jewels as she has
got, or can borrow for the occasion. Before leaving his house,
the bridegroom is blessed by his guru to whom he gives a present
(dakshina) of clothes and money. He is accompanied by a bestman,
usually his sister's husband, who brings the tali. After mass,
a tithe (pathuvaram) of the bride's dowry is paid to the church as
the marriage fee, a further fee to the priest (kaikasturi), and a fee
called kaimuttupanam for the bishop. The marriage service is then read,
and, at its conclusion, the bridegroom ties the tali round the bride's
neck with threads taken from her veil, making a special kind of knot,
while the priest holds the tali in front. The priest and the bridegroom
then put a veil (mantravadi) over the bride's head. The tali should
not be removed so long as the girl is married, and should be buried
with her. The veil should also be kept for her funeral. The bridal
party returns home in state, special umbrellas being held over the
bride and bridegroom. At the gate they are met by the bride's sister
carrying a lighted lamp, and she washes the bridegroom's feet. The
married couple then go to the pandal, where they are ceremonially
fed with sweets and plantains by the priest and by representatives
of their two families, to the accompaniment of the women's kurava
(cry), and in the presence of the guests, who are seated in order of
precedence, the chief persons having seats of honour covered with
black rugs and white cloths (vellayum karimbadavum), traditionally
a regal honour. The bride and bridegroom are then led into the house
by the bestman and bride's uncle, the bride being careful to enter it
right foot first; and the guests are feasted in order of rank. It is
a peculiar custom of the Syrian Christians at these feasts to double
up the ends of the plantain leaves which serve them as plates, and
is supposed to be symbolical of the royal privilege of eating off a
double plate. Until the following Wednesday, the bestman sleeps with
the bridegroom in the bridal chamber, the bride occupying another
room. On Wednesday evening comes the ceremony called nalam kuli,
or fourth day bath. The bridegroom and the bestman, who are in the
bridal chamber, lock the door; the bride's mother knocks and begs the
bridegroom to come out, which he at last does after she has sung a
song (vathilturapattu) celebrating the attractions and virtues of the
bride. The bridegroom and bride then bathe, dress in new clothes,
and go to the pandal, where they perform paradakshinams round a
lighted lamp, and the bridegroom gives cloths to the bride's uncle,
mother, and grand-parents. The married couple are then escorted to the
bridal chamber, which has in the interval been cleaned and prepared for
them. The next morning they have to go to the bridegroom's or bride's
house as the case may be, and there eat together and go through a
ceremonial similar to that which they performed on the wedding day
in the other house. This concludes the marriage ceremonies, but on
Sunday the bridegroom and bride should attend mass together in the
bride's parish church if they were married in the bridegroom's, and
vice versâ. Amongst the Southern Jacobites, the ceremonies are very
similar, but the dowry is not paid till the marriage day, or till the
girl's first confinement. Half the pathuvaram is paid to the priest
instead of a kaikasturi, and the bridegroom puts a ring on the bride's
finger during the marriage service. After the church service, the
couple go to the bridegroom's house, where they are fed ceremonially
by the bride's mother, and the subsequent feast is at the expense of
the bride's people. On Monday morning, the bridegroom is ceremonially
fed by the bride's mother in the bridal chamber (manavalan choru),
and in the evening there is a ceremony called manavalan tazhukkal, in
which the bride and bridegroom are embraced in turn by their respective
parents and relations, after which there is a feast with singing of
hymns. Before the couple leave for the bride's house on Thursday,
there is a big feast, called kudivirunnu, given by the bridegroom to
the bride's people, followed by a ceremony called vilakku toduga, in
which men and women sing hymns and dance round a lighted lamp, which
they touch at intervals. Amongst the Romo-Syrians and the Reformed
sect, the marriage ceremonies have less trace of Hindu ritual; they
do not celebrate weddings on Sundays, and have no nalam kuli ceremony,
but a tali is usually tied in addition to the giving of a ring.

"At funerals (except amongst the Reformed sect) it is usual for
each of the dead man's connections to bring a cloth to serve as
a shroud. Before the body is lowered into the grave, holy oil is
poured into the eyes, nostrils and ears. The mourners are under
pollution, and fast till the day of the second funeral or pula kuli
(purification), and till then masses should be said daily for the
dead. The pula kuli is celebrated usually on the 11th day, but
may be deferred till the 15th, 17th or 21st, or sometimes to the
41st. The mourners are incensed, while hymns are sung and prayers
offered. Each then gives a contribution of money to the priest,
and receives in return a pinch of cummin. A feast is then given to
the neighbours and the poor. On the 40th day there is another feast,
at which meat is eaten by the mourners for the first time. A requiem
mass should be said each month on the day of death for twelve months,
and on the first anniversary the mourning concludes with a feast."

To the foregoing account of the Syrian Christians, a few stray notes
may be added.

It is recorded by Sir M. E. Grant Duff, formerly Governor of Madras,
[211] that "the interesting body known as the Syrian Christians or
Christians of St. Thomas is divided into several groups much opposed
to each other. In an excellent address presented to me they said
that this was the occasion which, for the first time after ages of
separation, witnessed the spectacle of all the different sects of
their community, following divergent articles of faith, sinking for
once their religious differences to do honour to their friend."

Some years ago, the wife of a District Judge of Calicut asked the
pupils of a school how long they had been Christians. "We were," came
the crushing reply, "Christians when you English were worshipping
Druids, and stained with woad." More recently, the master at a
college in Madras called on all Native Christians in his class to
stand up. Noticing that one boy remained seated, he called on him
for an explanation, when the youth explained that he was a Syrian
Christian, and not a Native Christian.

It is noted by the Rev. W. J. Richards that "at the very time that
our King John was pulling out Jews' teeth to make them surrender
their treasures, Hindu princes were protecting Jewish and Christian
subjects, whose ancestors had been honoured by Royal grants for
hundreds of years."

The Southerners say that they can be distinguished from the Northerners
by the red tinge of their hair. A man with reddish moustache, and
a dark-skinned baby with brilliant red hair, whose father had red
whiskers, were produced before me in support of the claim.

As examples of Old and New Testament names occurring, in a changed
form, among Syrian Christians, the following may be cited:--


    Abraham, Abragam.
    Joshua, Koshi.
    Peter, Puthros, Ittiyerah, Itte.
    Paul, Powlos.
    John, Yohan, Sonanan, Chona.
    Titus, Tetos.
    Matthew, Mathai, Mathen.
    Philip, Philippos, Papi, Eippe, Eapen.
    Thomas, Thoma, Thommi, Thommen.
    Joseph, Ouseph.
    Jacob, Yacob, Chako
    Alexander, Chandi.
    Samuel, Chamuel.
    Mary, Maria, Mariam.
    Sarah, Sara.
    Susannah, Sosa.
    Rebecca, Rabka, Raca.
    Elizabeth, Elspeth, Elia, Elacha.
    Rachael, Rachi, Raghael, Chacha.


Syrian Christians take the name of their father, their own name, and
that of their residence. Whence arise such names as Edazayhikkal Mathoo
Philippos, Kunnampuram Thommen Chandi, and Chandakadayil Joseph Chommi.

I have seen some Syrian Christian men tattooed with a cross on the
upper arm, and a cross and their initials on the forearm.

In conclusion, I may, for the sake of comparison, place on record the
averages of the more important physical measurements of Northerner
and Southerner Syrian Christians and Nayars.


                        30 Syrian             40 Nayars.
                        Christians.
                                        Northerner.   Southerner.
     Stature                 165.3         164.8         165.2
     Cephalic length          18.7          18.9          18.7
     Cephalic breadth         14.3          14.1          13.9
     Cephalic index           76.3          74.8          74.4
     Nasal height              4.9           4.9           4.9
     Nasal breadth             3.5           3.5           3.5
     Nasal index              72.3          71.6          71.1


It may be noted that, in his 'Letters from Malabar,' Canter Visscher,
in the middle of the eighteenth century, writes that the St. Thomas'
Christians "keep very strict genealogical records, and they will
neither marry nor in any way intermingle with the new low-caste
Christians, being themselves mostly Castade Naiross, that is, nobility
of the Nayar caste, in token of which they generally carry a sword
in the hand, as a mark of dignity."

It is stated by E. Petersen and F. V. Luschan [212] that "probably a
single people originally occupied the greater part of Asia Minor. They
are still represented as a compact group by the Armenians. The type
resembles the Dissentis type of His and Rütimeyer; the head extremely
short and high, stature moderate, skin dark, eyes dark, and hair dark
and smooth. It extends through the S. half of Asia Minor, N.E. to
the Caucasus, and E. to the Upper Euphrates. The Tachtadschy people,
a hill people living without serious mixture with other peoples,
give measurements closely like the Armenians." [The cephalic index
of Armenians is given by E. Chantre [213] as 85-86.]

In the following table, the averages of some of the more important
measurements of the Syrian Christians and Tachtadschy people are
recorded:--


                    Stature,   Cephalic      Cephalic   Cephalic,
                    cm.        length, cm.   breadth,   index.
                                             cm.

      Syrian           165.3          18.7       14.3        76.3
      Christians,
      Northerner
      Syrian           164.8          18.9       14.1        74.8
      Christians,
      Southerner
      Tachtadschy      168.           17.9       15.3        85.7



NOTES


[1] Manual of the North Arcot district.

[2] Pulikesin II, the Chalukyan King of Badami.

[3] Manual of the Madura district.

[4] South Indian Inscriptions, III, 31, page 82.

[5] In the Oriental Manuscripts Library, Madras.

[6] J. Burgess. Archæological Survey. Tamil and Sanskrit Inscriptions,
No. 11, p. 150.

[7] Ibid. No. 12, p. 152.

[8] History of the Military Transactions of the British Nation in
Indostan, 1861.

[9] Geographical, statistical, and historical description of Hindostan
and the adjacent countries, 1820.

[10] Ceylon, 1860.

[11] South Indian Inscriptions, 1, 86-7, 105, 136, and III, I,
121, 123.

[12] Madras Census Report, 1891.

[13] Madras Census Report, 1901.

[14] Vannikula Vilakkam.

[15] Gazetteer of the South Arcot district.

[16] Gazetteer of the South Arcot district.

[17] Vannikula Vilakkam.

[18] Gazetteer of the Tanjore district.

[19] Manual of the Salem district.

[20] Journey through Mysore, Canara, and Malabar.

[21] Manual of the North Arcot district.

[22] Gazetteer of the Tanjore district.

[23] Gazetteer of the Tanjore district.

[24] Manual of the North Arcot district.

[25] Madras Mail, 1906.

[26] Malabar and its Folk, 1900.

[27] Manual of Malabar.

[28] Madras Mus. Bull., III, 3, 1901.

[29] Monograph, Eth. Survey of Cochin.

[30] A. Chatterton. Monograph on Tanning and Working in Leather, 1904.

[31] Journey through Mysore, etc., 1807.

[32] How we teach the Paraiya, 3rd ed., Madras, 1906.

[33] Manual of the North Arcot district.

[34] Works, 1, 225, foot-note.

[35] History of Mysore.

[36] Op. cit.

[37] Madras Census Report, 1891.

[38] Madras Journ. Lit. and Science, XI, 1840.

[39] Native Life in Travancore.

[40] Yule and Burnell. Hobson-Jobson.

[41] Madras Census Report, 1901.

[42] Madras Census Report, 1901.

[43] Manual of the North Arcot district; Madras Census Report, 1891.

[44] Report on the Methods of Capture and Supply of Fish in the Rivers
of the Nilgiri district, 1907.

[45] Gazetteer of the Malabar district.

[46] Gazetteer of Malabar.

[47] Madras Census Report, 1881.

[48] Madras Mus. Bull., V, 2, 1906.

[49] Madras Census Report, 1891.

[50] Madras Census Report, 1901.

[51] Voyage to the East Indies, 1774 and 1781.

[52] Loc. cit.

[53] Ind. Ant., III, 1874.

[54] The name Black Town was changed to Georgetown to commemorate
the visit of H.R.H. the Prince of Wales to Madras in 1906.

[55] Gazetteer of the South Arcot district.

[56] Gazetteer of the South Arcot district.

[57] Ind. Ant. II, 1873.

[58] Gazetteer of the South Arcot district.

[59] Gazetteer of the South Arcot district.

[60] Gazetteer of the South Arcot district.

[61] Manual of the North Arcot district.

[62] A. P. Smith. Malabar Quart. Review, 1904.

[63] Gazetteer of the South Arcot district.

[64] Classified Collection of Tamil Proverbs, 1897.

[65] Manual of the North Arcot district.

[66] Op. cit.

[67] Gazetteer of the South Arcot district.

[68] Madras Census Report, 1871.

[69] Monograph Eth. Survey. Cochin.

[70] Malabar and its Folk, 1900.

[71] Journ. Roy. As. Soc., XVI.

[72] C.M. Record, 1850.

[73] Origin and History of the Paravas. Simon Casie
Chitty. Journ. Roy. As. Soc., IV, 1837.

[74] Occasional Essays on Native South Indian Life, 1901.

[75] A description of ye East India Coasts of Malabar and Coromandel,
1703.

[76] History of Tinnevelly.

[77] Report on the Indian Pearl Fisheries in the Gulf of Manaar, 1905.

[78] Shell of the gastropod mollusc, Turbinella rapa.

[79] "This," Mr. Hornell writes, "is most improbable. They are more
probably the descendants of Naga fishermen settled in the district
prior to the immigration of Tamil invaders."

[80] The Zamorin of Calicut.

[81] Madras Mail, 1907.

[82] Risley. Tribes and Castes of Bengal.

[83] Gazetteer of the Malabar district.

[84] Manual of the North Arcot district.

[85] Madras Mail, 1907.

[86] By the Saurashtra Literary Societies of Madura and Madras, 1891.

[87] Gazetteer of the Madura district.

[88] A reddish geological formation, found all over Southern India.

[89] Manual of the South Canara district.

[90] Letters from Madras. By a Lady, 1843.

[91] My Indian Journal, 1864.

[92] Our Viceregal Life in India, 1889.

[93] Roe and Fryer. Travels in India in the seventeenth century.

[94] See Civil Suit No. 102 of 1880.

[95] Manual of the South Canara district.

[96] Madras Census Report, 1901.

[97] Manuals of Nellore and Kurnool.

[98] Manual of Malabar.

[99] Malabar Quarterly Review. V, 4, 1907.

[100] Yule and Burnell. Hobson-Jobson.

[101] This note is from an account by Mr. N. Subramani Aiyar.

[102] Gazetteer of the Malabar district.

[103] Malabar Law and Custom.

[104] Ibid.

[105] Hobson-Jobson.

[106] Manual of the South Canara district.

[107] Madras Census Report, 1891.

[108] Linguistic Survey of India, IV, 1906.

[109] Ind. Ant., II, 1873.

[110] Loc. cit.

[111] Gazetteer of the Vizagapatam district.

[112] Gazetteer of the Tanjore district.

[113] Manual of the North Arcot district.

[114] Men and Women of India, February 1906.

[115] Malabar and its Folk, 1900.

[116] This account is mainly based on a note by Mr. L. K. Anantha
Krishna Aiyar.

[117] Madras Census Report, 1891.

[118] Manual of the Vizagapatam district.

[119] Manual of Malabar.

[120] Manual of the South Canara district.

[121] W. Crooke. Tribes and Castes of the North-Western Provinces
and Oudh.

[122] Madras Census Report, 1891.

[123] Manual of the North Arcot district.

[124] Gazetteer of the Vizagapatam district.

[125] Madras Census Report, 1891.

[126] Manual of the North Arcot district.

[127] Madras Census Report, 1871.

[128] Birds of India.

[129] Manual of the North Arcot district.

[130] Twelfth Tour of Lord Connemara, 1890.

[131] See Thurston. Monograph on the Cotton Industry of the Madras
Presidency, 1897.

[132] East and West, VI, 70, 1907.

[133] Madras Mail, 1904.

[134] Manual of the Chingleput district.

[135] Manual of the South Canara district.

[136] Ind. Ant., IV, 1875.

[137] Malayalam and English Dictionary.

[138] Sthanam = a station, rank or dignity. Moore: Malabar Law
and Custom.

[139] Original Suit No. 31, 1887, Court of Calicut. Appeal No. 202,
1888, High Court of Madras.

[140] Madras Census Report, 1891.

[141] See Malabar Quart. Review, II, 4, 1903.

[142] Historical Sketches of the South of India: Mysore.

[143] Moore: Malabar Law and Custom, 1905.

[144] Manu.

[145] Mysore Census Report, 1891, 1901.

[146] Yule and Burnell. Hobson-Jobson.

[147] Rev. H. Jensen. Classified Collection of Tamil Proverbs, 1897.

[148] Ind. Ant., VIII, 1879.

[149] South Indian Inscriptions, II, Part III, 1895.

[150] Linguistic Survey of India, IV, 1906.

[151] Journ. Anthrop. Soc., Bombay, 1, 1901.

[152] The Rev. W. Taylor, Vol. III, 1862.

[153] Occasional Essays on Native South Indian Life, 1901.

[154] Gazetteer of the Vizagapatam district.

[155] See Bishop Whitehead. Madras Museum Bull., Vol. 3, 136, 1907.

[156] Gazetteer of Vizagapatam district.

[157] Madras Museum Bulletin, V, 3, 1907.

[158] Lectures on Tinnevelly Missions, 1857.

[159] Viaggi, 1614-26.

[160] A New Account of East India and Persia, 1698.

[161] Manual of the North Arcot district.

[162] Gazetteer of the South Arcot district.

[163] Principles of Sociology.

[164] Manual of the South Canara district.

[165] Administration Report, 1899.

[166] Christianity in Travancore, 1901.

[167] Madras Museum Bull., III, 3, 1901.

[168] Rice. Mysore Inscriptions, p. 33.

[169] Madras Census Report, 1901.

[170] Madras Mail, 1901.

[171] Ind. Ant., IV, 1875.

[172] Christianity and Caste, 1893.

[173] Journ. Roy. As. Soc., XVI.

[174] Madras Mail, 1907.

[175] L. Rice, Mysore and Coorg Gazetteer.

[176] Yule and Burnell. Hobson-Jobson.

[177] Journey through Mysore, Canara, and Malabar, 1807.

[178] Madras Mail, 1907.

[179] Mysore Census Report, 1891.

[180] Mysore Census Report, 1891.

[181] Manual of the South Canara district.

[182] Madras Census Report, 1881.

[183] A Native. Pen-and-ink Sketches of Native Life in Southern
India, 1880.

[184] Yule and Burnell. Hobson-Jobson.

[185] A Snataka is a Brahman, who has just finished his student's
career.

[186] Tribes and Castes of Bengal.

[187] A very complicated recipe is given in the Manual of the
Vizagapatam district, 1869, p. 264.

[188] Rev. J. Cain, Ind. Ant., VIII, 1879.

[189] Ind. Ant. II, 1873.

[190] Ind. Ant. VIII, 1879.

[191] Manual of the North Arcot district.

[192] Ind. Ant. VIII, 1879.

[193] Wigram, Malabar Law and Customs.

[194] Rev. W. J. Richards. The Indian Christians of Saint Thomas.

[195] A New Account of the East Indies, 1744.

[196] Vide G. Milne Rae. The Syrian Church in India, 1892.

[197] Encyclopædia Britannica, 9th ed.

[198] See Hough, the History of Christianity in India from the
commencement of the Christian Era.

[199] Indian Empire, 3rd edition.

[200] IV. 290-97, 1896-7.

[201] Madras Journ. Lit. and Science, XIII, part, 118. Dr. Gundert's
translation is reprinted in Mr. Logan's Malabar, Vol. II, Appendix XII.

[202] Madras Journ. Lit. and Science, XXI, 35-38.

[203] Ind. Ant., III, 1874.

[204] See article on the Jews of Cochin.

[205] Loc. cit.

[206] Land of the Perumauls: Cochin past and present, 1863.

[207] F. Wrede. Asiatic Researches, VII, 181. Account of the St. Thomé
Christians.

[208] Hunter. Indian Empire.

[209] In the preparation of the above sketch, the following
authorities, among others, were consulted: Sir W. W. Hunter,
Indian Empire and History of British India; J. Hough, History of
Christianity in India; T. Whitehouse, Lingerings of Light in a Dark
Land; G. T. Mackenzie, Christianity in Travancore; F. Day, Land of the
Perumauls; T. Logan, Manual of Malabar; Christian College Magazine,
Madras, Vol. VI; and Judgments of the Civil Courts of Travancore and
Cochin. To the bibliography relating to the Syrian Christians may also
be added L. M. Agur, Church History of Travancore, the Rev. G. Milne
Rae, the Syrian Church in India, and the Rev. W. J. Richards, the
Indian Christians of St. Thomas. The Malabar Quarterly Review, VI,
1 and 2, 1907, may also be consulted.

[210] The Syriac is not a modern Syriac dialect, but is very like
the ancient Aramaic.

[211] Notes from a Diary, 1881-86.

[212] Recherches Anthropologiques dans le Caucase, IV, 1887.

[213] Reisen in Lykien, Melyas, und Kibyratis, II, 1889.





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