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Title: Castes and Tribes of Southern India - Vol. 7 of 7
Author: Rangachari, K., Thurston, Edgar, 1855-1935
Language: English
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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 VII--T to Z

                        Government Press, Madras

                                 1909.



                  CASTES AND TRIBES OF SOUTHERN INDIA.

                              VOLUME VII.


T


Tabelu (tortoise).--A sept of Aiyarakulu, and section of Gazula Kapu
and Koppala Velama.

Taccha Kurup.--Barbers who shave Malabar Kammalans.

Tacchan.--The name of the carpenter sub-division of Kammalans, and
further returned, at the census, 1891, as an occupational sub-division
by some Paraiyans. Taccha Karaiyan has been recorded as a name for some
members of the Karaiyan fishing caste. The Tacchasastram, or science
of carpentry, prescribes in minute details the rules of construction.

Tacchanadan Muppan.--Recorded, in the Madras Census Reports, 1891 and
1901, as a sub-division of Kuricchans, and of Kurumbas of the Nilgiris.

Tadan.--See Dasari.

Tagara.--A section of Poroja.

Takru.--A class of Muhammadan pilots and sailors in the Laccadive
islands. (See Mappilla.)

Talaivan (a chief).--A title of the Maravans. Jadi or Jati Talaivan
is the name of the hereditary chief of the Paravas of Tinnevelly, who,
at times of pearl fisheries, receives a fixed share of the 'oysters.'

Talamala.--A sub-division of Kanikar.

Talayari.--The Talayari (talai, head) or chief watchman, or Uddari
(saviour of the village), is a kind of undepartmental village
policeman, who is generally known as the Talari. Among other duties,
he has to follow on the track of stolen cattle, to act as a guard
over persons confined in the village choultry (lock-up), to attend
upon the head of the village during the trial of petty cases, to
serve processes, and distrain goods. In big villages there are two or
three Talayaris, in which case one is a Paraiyan, who officiates in
the Paraiya quarter. In parts of the Telugu country, the Mutrachas,
who are the village watchmen, are known as Talarivallu, or watchman
people, and, in like manner, the Bedars are called Talarivandlu in
the Kurnool and Bellary districts.

It is noted, in the Gazetteer of the Tanjore district (1906), that
"from the earliest years of the British occupation of the country,
fees were paid to the talaiyari or village watchman. He was probably
survival of a state of society in which kavalgars did not exist, and
his duties were, it seems, to look after the villagers' fields and
threshing floors. At any rate, he continued in existence even after
the abolition of the kaval system (see Maravan), and was declared by
the early Police Regulation (XI of 1816) to be part of the regular
police establishment. Practically he did little real police duty,
and in 1860, when the mufassal police was reorganised, all claims
to the services of the talaiyari as a servant of the State were
formally abandoned, the Inspector-General of Police having reported
that any attempt to utilise the talaiyari body would be fruitless
and unpopular. Talaiyaris still continue to be employed and paid by
the ryots (cultivators) as the private guardians of their crops and
harvested grain. Recently, however, the district was brought into
line with the rest of the Presidency by the creation of a new force
of talaiyaris, who now perform the police duties assigned to such
persons elsewhere. They are provided with lathis (sticks) and badges,
and are a useful auxiliary to the police."

Tali.--"The tali," Bishop Caldwell writes, [1] "is the Hindu sign of
marriage, answering to the ring of European christendom. I have known
a clergyman refuse to perform a marriage with a tali, and insist upon
a ring being used instead. A little consideration will show that the
scrupulous conscience can find no rest for itself even in the ring;
for, if the ring is more Christian than the tali, it is only because
its use among Christians is more ancient. Every one knows that the
ring has a Pagan origin, and that, for this reason, it is rejected by
Quakers." "The custom," Wagner informs us, [2] "of wearing the wedding
ring on the fourth finger of the left hand had unquestionably a Pagan
origin. Both the Greeks and the Romans called the fourth left-hand
finger the medicated finger, and used it to stir up mixtures and
potions, out of the belief that it contained a vein, which communicated
directly with the heart, and therefore nothing noxious could come in
contact with it, without giving instant warning to that vital organ."

The marriage badge, as it occurs in Southern India, is, broadly
speaking, of two types. The one in use among the Tamil castes is oblong
in shape, with a single or double indentation at the base, and rounded
at the top. The corresponding bottu or sathamanam of the Telugu and
Canarese castes is a flat or cup-shaped disc. The tali in use among
various Malayalam castes at the tali-kettu ceremony is a long cylinder.

Tali-kettu kalyanam (tali-tying marriage).--A ceremony gone through by
Nayar girls, and girls of some other Malayalam castes, in childhood. Of
those who gave evidence before the Malabar Marriage Commission, some
thought the tali-kettu was a marriage, some not. Others called it a
mock marriage, a formal marriage, a sham marriage, fictitious marriage,
a marriage sacrament, the preliminary part of marriage, a meaningless
ceremony, an empty form, a ridiculous farce, an incongruous custom,
a waste of money, and a device for becoming involved in debt. "While,"
the Report states, "a small minority of strict conservatives still
maintain that the tali-kettu is a real marriage intended to confer on
the bridegroom a right to cohabit with the bride, an immense majority
describe it as a fictitious marriage, the origin of which they are at
a loss to explain. And another large section tender the explanation
accepted by our President (Sir T. Muttusami Aiyar), that in some
way or other it is an essential caste observance preliminary to the
formation of sexual relations." In summing up the evidence collected
by him, Mr. Lewis Moore states [3] that it seems to be proved beyond
all reasonable doubt that "from the sixteenth century at all events,
and up to the early portion of the nineteenth century, the relations
between the sexes in families governed by marumakkathayam (inheritance
in the female line) were of as loose a description as it is possible
to imagine. The tali-kettu kalyanam, brought about by the Brahmans,
brought about no improvement, and indeed, in all probability, made
matters much worse by giving a quasi-religious sanction to a fictitious
marriage, which bears an unpleasant resemblance to the sham marriage
ceremonies performed among certain inferior castes elsewhere as a
cloak for prostitution (see Deva-dasi). As years passed, some time
about the opening of the nineteenth century, the Kerala mahatmyam
and Keralolpathi were concocted, probably by Nambudris, and false
and pernicious doctrines as to the obligations laid on the Nayars by
divine law to administer to the lust of the Nambudris were disseminated
abroad. The better classes among the Nayars revolted against the
degrading system thus established, and a custom sprang up, especially
in North Malabar, of making sambandham a more or less formal contract,
approved and sanctioned by the Karnavan (senior male) of the tarwad
[4] to which the lady belonged, and celebrated with elaborate ceremony
under the pudamuri (female cloth cutting) form. That there was nothing
analogous to the pudamuri prevalent in Malabar from A.D. 1500 to 1800
may, I think, be fairly presumed from the absence of all allusion
to it in the works of the various European writers." According to
Act IV, Madras, 1896, sambandham means an alliance between a man
and 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.

Tambala.--The Tambalas are summed up, in the Madras Census Report,
1901, as "Telugu-speaking temple priests. Their social position differs
in different localities. They are regarded as Brahmans in Godavari,
Kistna and Nellore, and as Sudras in the other Telugu districts." It
is noted, in the Census Report, that the Tambalas are described by
C. P. Brown as a class of beggars, who worship Siva, and who beat
drums; secular priests, etc. These men are generally Sudras, but
wear the sacred thread. "It is said that, during his peregrinations
in the north, Sankaracharya appointed Tamil Brahmans to perform
temple services in all the Saiva shrines. Hence the Telugu people,
in the midst of whom the Tamilians lived, called them the Tambalas
(Tamils). They are not now, however, regarded as Brahmans, whatever
their original position may have been. They will eat only with
Brahmans. Most of them are Saivites, and a few are Lingayats. The
Smarta Brahmans officiate as their priests at birth, marriage,
and death ceremonies. They do not eat animal food, and all their
religious rites are more or less like those of Brahmans. Their usual
titles are Aiya and Appa."

Tamban.--One of the divisions of Kshatriyas in Travancore. (See
Tirumalpad.)

Tambi (younger brother).--A term of affection in the Tamil country,
used especially when a younger person is being addressed. It is also
recorded as an honorific title of Nayars in Travancore, and a suffix
to the names of Nayar sons of Travancore sovereigns.

Tambiran.--The name for Pandaram managers of temples, e.g., at
Tiruvadudurai in Tanjore and Mailam in South Arcot.

Tamburan.--For the following note on the Rajahs or Tamburans, I
am indebted to the Travancore Census Report, 1901. "They form an
endogamous community of Kshatriyas, and live as seven families in
Travancore. They are distinguished by the localities in which they
reside, viz., Mavelikkara, Ennaikkat, Kartikapalli, Mariappalli,
Tiruvalla, Praikkara, and Aranmula. They are all related by blood,
the connection between some of them being very close. Like the
Koiltampurans, all the members of their community observe birth
and death pollution with reference to each other. Their original
home is Kolattunat in North Malabar, and their immigration into
Travancore, where the reigning family is of the Kolattunat stock, was
contemporaneous, in the main, with the invasion of Malabar by Tippu
Sultan. The first family that came into the country from Kolattunat was
the Putuppalli Kovilakam in the 5th century M.E. (Malabar era). The
Travancore royal family then stood in need of adoption. The then
Rajah arranged through a Koiltampuran of Tattarikkovilakam to bring
from Kolattunat two princesses for adoption, as his negotiations
with the then Kolattiri were fruitless. The Puttuppali Kovilakam
members thus settled themselves at Kartikapalli, the last of whom
died in 1030 M.E. The next family that migrated was Cheriyakovilakam,
between 920 and 930 M.E. They also came for adoption. But their right
was disputed by another house, Pallikkovilakam. They then settled
themselves at Aranmula. The third series of migrations were during
the invasion of Malabar by Tippu in 964 M.E. All the Rajahs living
there at the time came over to Travancore, of whom, however, many
returned home after a time.

The Rajahs, like the Koiltampurans, belong to the Yajurveda section of
Dvijas, but follow the sutra laid down by Baudhayana. Their gotra is
that of Bhargava, i.e., Parasurama, indicating in a manner that these
are Kshatriyas who were accepted by Parasurama, the uncompromising
Brahmin of the Hindu Puranas. They have all the Brahminical Samskaras,
only the Brahmin priest does most of them on their behalf. Chaulam, or
tuft ceremony, is performed along with Upanayanam. The Samavartanam,
or termination of the pupil stage, is celebrated on the fourth day
of the thread investiture. Instruction in arms is then given to the
Kshatriya boy, and is supposed to be kept up until the requisite skill
has been obtained. The tali-tying (mangalya dharanam or pallikkettu of
a Raja lady) is done by a Koiltampuran, who thereafter lives with her
as her married husband. The Kanyakadanam, or giving away of the bride,
is performed by the priest who attends also to the other Sastraic
rites. The males take Sudra consorts. If the first husband leaves
by death or otherwise, another Koiltampuran may be accepted. This is
not called marriage, but kuttirikkuka (living together).

At Sradhas (memorial services), the Karta, or performer of the
ceremony, throws a flower as a mark of spiritual homage at the feet
of the Brahmins who are invited to represent the manes, and greets
them in the conventional form (namaskara). The priest does the other
ceremonies. After the invited Brahmins have been duly entertained,
oblations of cooked rice are offered to the ancestors by the Karta
himself.

They are to repeat the Gayatri ten times at each Sandhya prayer,
together with the Panchakshara and the Ashtakshara mantras.

Their caste government is in the hands of the Nambutiri Vaidikas. Their
family priests belong to the class of Malayala Pottis, known as
Tiruveli Pottis.

Besides the ordinary names prevalent among Koiltampurans, names such as
Martanda Varma, Aditya Varma, and Udaya Varma are also met with. Pet
names, such as Kungaru, Kungappan, Kungoman, Kungunni, Unni and Ampu
are common. In the Travancore Royal House, the first female member
always takes the name of Lakshmi and the second that of Parvati.

Tamoli.--A few members of this North India caste of betel-leaf sellers
have been returned at times of census. I am unable to discover in
what district they occur. Tambuli or Tamuli is recorded as a caste
of betel-leaf sellers in Bengal, and Tamboli as a caste carrying on
a similar occupation in the Bombay Presidency.

Tanamanadu.--A sub-division of Valaiyan.

Tanda.--The word literally refers to a settlement or encampment of
the Lambadis, by some of whom it is, at times of census, returned as
a tribal synonym.

Tandan.--It is recorded, in the Madras Census Report, 1891, that "in
Walluvanad and Palghat (in Malabar) Tandan is a distinct caste. The
ceremonies observed by Tandans are, in general outline, the same
as those of the southern Tiyyans, but the two do not intermarry,
each claiming superiority over the other. There is a custom which
prohibits the Tandan females of Walluvanad from crossing a channel
which separates that taluk from Mankara on the Palghat side." The
Tandans of Malabar are described by Mr. F. Fawcett as a people allied
to the Izhuvans, who observe the custom of fraternal polyandry,
which the Izhuvans abhor.

For the following note on the Tandans of Travancore, I am indebted
to Mr. N. Subramani Aiyar.

The castemen are known as Uralis to the south of Varkallay, and Tandans
to the north of it. In some places to the east of Kottarakaray,
they were popularly termed Mutalpattukar, or those who receive
the first perquisite for assistance rendered to carpenters. In the
days when there were no saws, the rough instruments of the Tandan
served their purpose. Hence some members of the caste were called
Tacchan (carpenter). Tandan is derived from the Sanskrit dandanam or
punishment, as, in ancient times, men of this caste were employed to
carry out the punishments that were inflicted by the authorities upon
offenders. For the execution of such punishments, the Tandans were
provided with swords, choppers and knives. As they were also told off
to guard the villages (ur) of which they happened to be inhabitants,
they acquired the title of Urali. In some places, Tandans are also
called Velans. Males and females have respectively the title Muppan
and Muppatti, meaning an elder. In addressing members of higher castes,
the Tandans call themselves Kuzhiyan, or dwellers in pits.

The Tandans are said to have once belonged to the same caste as the
Izhuvans, but to have fallen away from that position. They must,
in times gone by, have joined the military service of the various
States in Malabar. They were, in some places, given rent-free lands,
called Urali parambu, in return for the duties they were expected to
perform. With the return of peaceful times, their occupation changed,
and the climbing of palm trees, to extract the juice thereof, became
their most important calling. They are also largely engaged in the
manufacture of ropes. Many families still receive the mutalpattu,
or allowance from the carpenters.

The Tandans are divided into four endogamous sections, called Ilanji,
Puvar, Irunelli, and Pilakkuti.

The ornaments of the women are, besides the minnu, wreaths of red
and red and black beads. Nowadays the gold gnattu of the Nayars is
also worn. Tattooing is popular. Even males have a crescent and a dot
tattooed on the forehead, the corresponding mark in females being a
line from the nasal pit upwards. Among the devices tattooed on the
arms are the conch shell, lotus, snake, discus, etc. In their food
and drink the Tandans resemble the Iluvans.

The priests of the Tandans are called Tanda Kuruppus, and they are
also the caste barbers. The chief deity of the Tandans is Bhadrakali,
at whose shrines at Mandaikkad, Cranganore, and Sarkkaray, offerings
are regularly made. At the last place, a Tandan is the priest. The
chief days for the worship of this deity are Bharani asterism in March
and Pattamudayam in April. November is a particularly religious month,
and the day on which the Kartikay star falls is exclusively devoted to
worship. The first Sunday in January is another religious occasion, and
on that day cooked food is offered to the rising sun. This is called
Pogala. Maruta, or the spirit of smallpox, receives special worship. If
a member of the caste dies of this disease, a small shed is erected
in his memory either at his home or near the local Bhadrakali shrine,
and offerings of sweetmeats and toddy are made to him on the 28th of
Makaram (January-February). Chitragupta, the accountant of Yama, the
god of death, is worshipped on the full-moon day in April-May. Ancestor
worship is performed on the new-moon day in July.

A girl's tali-tying ceremony, which is called kazhuttukettu, takes
place when she is between seven and twelve years old. The bridegroom
is a relative called Machchampi. The Kuruppu receives a money present
of 2 1/2 fanams for every tali tied in his presence. Though more than
one girl may go through the ceremony in the same pandal (booth), each
should have a separate bridegroom. The relations between the bride
and bridegroom are dissolved by the father of the former paying the
latter sixteen rasi fanams. The daughter of a man's paternal aunt
or maternal uncle may be claimed as murappen or lawful bride. The
sambandham, or actual marriage, takes place after a girl has reached
puberty. A family is regarded as out-caste, if she has not previously
gone through the tali-tying ceremony.

Only the eldest member of a family is cremated, the rest being
buried. Death pollution lasts for ten days. The anniversary of a death
is celebrated at the sea-shore, where cooked food, mixed with gingelly
(Sesamum) is offered to the departed, and thrown into the sea.

Tandan.--The Tandan is the hereditary headman of a Tiyan tara
(village), and is a Tiyan by caste. He is appointed by the senior
Rani of the Zamorin's family, or by some local Raja in territories
outside the jurisdiction of the Zamorin. The Tandan is the principal
person in the decision of caste disputes. He is expected to assist
at the tali-tying, puberty, marriage and pregnancy ceremonies of
members of the caste. His formal permission is required before the
carpenter can cut down the areca palm, with which the shed in which
the tali is tied is constructed. In cases of divorce, his functions
are important. When a new house is built, a house-warming ceremony
takes place, at which the Tandan officiates. Fowls are sacrificed, and
the right leg is the Tandan's perquisite. He is a man of importance,
not only in many affairs within his own caste, but also in those of
other castes. Thus, when a Nayar dies, it is the Tandan's duty to get
the body burnt. He controls the washerman and barber of the tara, and
can withdraw their services when they are most needed. He officiates,
moreover, at marriages of the artisan classes.

Tangalan.--A sub-division of Paraiyan. The word indicates one who
may not stand near, in reference to their belonging to the polluting
classes.

Tangedu.--Tangedu or Tangedla (Cassia auriculata) has been recorded
as an exogamous sept of Kapu and Padma Sale. The bark of this shrub is
one of the most valuable Indian tanning agents, and is, like myrabolams
(Terminalia fruits), used in the manufacture of indigenous dyes.

Tantuvayan (thread-wearer).--An occupational name used by various
weaving castes.

Tapodhanlu.--The name, meaning those who believe in self-mortification
as wealth, adopted by some Telugu mendicants.

Tarakan.--See Muttan.

Tartharol.--The name, recorded by Dr. W. H. R. Rivers, [5] of a
division of the Todas. Tartal is also given by various writers as a
division of this tribe.

Tarwad.--Defined by Mr. Wigram [6] as a marumakkathayam family,
consisting of all the descendants in the female line of one common
female ancestor.

Tassan.--A Malayalam synonym for the Telugu Dasari.

Tattan.--The goldsmith section of the Tamil and Malayalam Kammalans.

Teivaliol.--The name, recorded by Dr. W. H. R. Rivers, [5] of a
division of the Todas.

Telaga.--"The Telagas," Mr. H. A. Stuart writes, [7] "are a Telugu
caste of cultivators, who were formerly soldiers in the armies of
the Hindu sovereigns of Telingana. This may perhaps account for the
name, for it is easy to see that the Telugu soldiers might come to be
regarded as the Telugus or Telagas par excellence. The sub-divisions
returned under this name show that there has been some confusion
between the Telagas proper, and persons who are members of other Telugu
castes. The Telagas are Vaishnavites, and have Brahmans for their
priests. Their customs closely resemble those of the Kapus. They eat
flesh, but are not allowed to drink liquor. They are usually farmers
now, but many still serve as soldiers, though their further recruitment
has recently been stopped. Their common titles are Naidu and Dora."

In a note on the Telagas and Vantaris (strong men), it is suggested
that they should be classed with the Kapus, of which caste they are
an offshoot for the following reasons:--"(1) Members of the three
classes admit that this is so; (2) a collation of the intiperulu or
septs shows that the same names recur among the three classes; (3)
all three interdine, and intermarriage between them is not rare. A
poor Telaga or Vantari often gives his daughter in marriage to a rich
Kapu. The Telagas and Vantaris are highly Brahmanised, and will have
a Brahman for their guru, and get themselves branded at his hands. A
Kapu is generally content with a Satani or Jangam. Though they do not
differ in their marriage and funeral rites from the Kapus, they usually
marry their girls before puberty, and widow remarriage and divorce are
disallowed. A Kapu is invariably a cultivator; a Vantari was in olden
days a sepoy, and, as such, owned inam (rent-free) lands. Even now
he has a prejudice against ploughing jirayati (ordinarily assessed)
lands, which a Kapu has no objection to do. Similarly, a Telaga takes
pride in taking service under a Zamindar, but, unlike the Vantari,
he will plough any land. Kapu women will fetch their own water, and
carry meals to the fields for their fathers and husbands. The women
of the other classes affect the gosha system, and the men carry their
own food, and fetch water for domestic purposes, or, if well-to-do,
employ Kapus for these services. It may be added that rich Kapus
often exhibit a tendency to pass as Telagas."

Telikula.--The Telikulas are summed up, in the Madras Census Report,
1901, as "a Telugu oil-presser caste, which should not be confused
with Tellakula, a synonym for Tsakala, or with Telli, a caste of Oriya
oil-pressers." Telikula is a synonym for the Ganiga or Gandla caste
of oil-pressers, derived from the oil (gingelly: Sesamum indicum),
whereas the names Ganiga and Gandla refer to the oil-mill. In the
Northern Circars, the name Telikula is used in preference to Ganiga
or Gandla, and the oil-pressers in that part of the country are
known as Telikula-vandlu. The Telikulas are Onteddu, i.e., use a
single bullock for working the oil-mill, whereas, among the Ganigas,
there are both Onteddu and Rendeddu sections, which employ one and
two bullocks respectively.

Tellakula (white clan).--Recorded, in the Census Report, 1901,
as a synonym for Tsakala. According to the Rev. J. Cain, [8] the
Tellakulas are Telugu washermen (Tsakalas), who, in consequence
of having obtained employment as peons in Government offices, feel
themselves to be superior to other members of their caste.

Telli.--The Tellis are the oil-pressers of the Oriya country,
whose caste name is derived from telo, oil. They are apparently
divided into three endogamous sections, named Holodia, Bolodia, and
Khadi. The original occupation of the Holodias is said to have been
the cultivation and sale of turmeric. They may not carry turmeric and
other articles for sale on the back of bullocks, and consequently use
carts as a medium of transport thereof. And it is further contrary to
their caste rules even to assist in loading or unloading packs carried
by bullocks. The Bolodias receive their name from the fact that they
carry produce in the form of oil-seeds, etc., on pack bullocks, bolodo
being Oriya for bullock. The Khadis are mainly engaged in expressing
various oils in oil-mills, and this occupation is also carried on
by some members of the other sections. All Tellis seem to belong to
one gotra, called Karthikeswara. The caste title is Sahu. In social
position the Tellis, unlike the Tamil Vaniyans (oil-pressers), are on
a par with the agricultural castes, and are one of the panchapatako,
or five castes from which individuals are selected to decide serious
issues which arise among the Badhoyis. The headman of the Tellis is
called Behara, and he is assisted by a Bhollobaya, and in some places
apparently by another officer called Pento.

It is considered by the Tellis as a breach of caste rules to sail in a
boat or ship. If a cow dies with a rope round its neck, or on the spot
where it is tethered, the family which owned it is under pollution
until purification has been effected by means of a pilgrimage,
or by bathing in a sacred river. The Holodias will not rear male
calves at their houses, and do not castrate their bulls. Male calves
are disposed of by sale as speedily as possible. Those Holodias who
are illiterate make the mark (nisani) of a ball of turmeric paste
as a substitute for their autograph on documents. In like manner,
the nisanis of the Bolodias and Khadis respectively are the leather
belt of a bullock and curved pole of the oil-mill. Among nisanis used
by other Oriya castes, the following may be noted:--



    Korono (writer caste), style.
    Ravulo (temple servants), trident.
    Bavuri (basket-makers and earth-diggers), sickle.
    Dhoba (washermen) fork used for collecting firewood.
    Brahman, ring of dharba grass, such as is worn on ceremonial
    occasions.



In their marriage ceremonies, the Tellis observe the standard Oriya
type, with a few variations. On the day before the wedding, two young
married women carry two new pots painted white on their heads. To
support the pots thereon, a single cloth, with the two ends rolled
up to form a head-pad, must be used. The two women, accompanied by
another married woman carrying a new winnowing basket, and mokkuto
(forehead chaplet), proceed, to the accompaniment of the music of a
chank shell and pipes, to a temple, whereat they worship. On their
way home, the two girls, according to the custom of other Oriyas
castes, go to seven houses, at each of which water is poured into their
pots. During the marriage ceremony, after the ends of the cloths of the
bride and bridegroom have been tied together, they exchange myrabolams
(Terminalia fruits) and areca nuts. Until the close of the ceremonies,
they may not plunge into a tank (pond) or river, and, in bathing,
may not wet the head.

Most of the Tellis are Paramarthos, and follow the Chaitanya form
of Vaishnavism, but some are Smartas, and all worship Takuranis
(village deities).

Telugu.--Telugu or Telaga is used as a linguistic term indicating a
person who speaks that language. It has, at recent times of census,
been returned as a sub-division of various classes, e.g., Agasa,
Balija, Banajiga, Bedar, Bestha, Devanga, Holeya, Kumbara, Rachewar,
Tsakala, and Uppara. Further, Telugu Vellala appears as a synonym of
Velama, and Telugu Chetti as a synonym of Saluppan.

Ten (honey).--Ten or Jen has been recorded as a sub-division or
exogamous sept of jungle Kurumbas and Holeyas. Some Irulas style
themselves Ten Padaiyachi or Ten Vanniyan, Padaiyachi and Vanniyan
being a title and synonym of the Pallis.

Tendisai (southern country).--Recorded as a division of Vellalas in
the Madura and Coimbatore districts.

Tene (millet: Setaria italica).--An exogamous sept of Holeya.

Tengina (cocoanut palm).--The name of a section of Halepaiks, who
tap the cocoanut for extracting toddy.

Tennam.--Tennam (cocoanut) or Tennanjanar (cocoanut tappers) is
recorded as the occupational name of Shanan. Tenkayala (cocoanut)
occurs as an exogamous sept of Yanadi, and the equivalent Tennang as
a tree or kothu of Kondaiyamkotti Maravans.

Tennilainadu.--A territorial sub-division of Kallan.

Terkattiyar (southerner).--A term applied to Kallan, Maravan,
Agamudaiyan, and other immigrants into the Tanjore district. At
Mayavaram, for example, it is applied to Kallans, Agamudaiyans,
and Valaiyans.

Tertal.--A division of Toda.

Teruvan.--A synonym of the Malabar Chaliyans, who are so called
because, unlike most of the west coast castes, they live in streets
(teru).

Tevadiyal (servant of god).--The Tamil name for Deva-dasis. Tevan
(god) occurs as a title of Maravans.

Teyyambadi.--A section of Ambalavasis or temple servants in Malabar,
the members of which dance and sing in Bhagavati temples, and perform
a song called nagapattu (song in honour of serpents) in private houses,
which is supposed to be effective in procuring offspring. [9]

Thadla.--Thadla or Thalla, meaning rope, is an exogamous sept of
Devanga and Karna Sale.

Thakur.--About a hundred members of this caste are returned, in
the Madras Census Report, 1901, as belonging to a Bombay caste of
genealogists and cultivators. It is recorded, in the Bombay Gazetteer,
that "inferior in rank to Marathas, the Thakurs are idle and of
unclean habits. Though some of them till and twist woollen threads
for blankets, they live chiefly by begging and ballad singing. At
times they perform plays representing events mentioned in the Purans
and Ramayan, and showing wooden puppets moved by strings."

Thalakokala (female cloths).--An exogamous sept of Devanga.

Thalam (palmyra palm).--An exogamous sept or illam of Kanikar.

Thamballa (sword bean: Canavalia ensiformis).--An exogamous sept of
Tsakalas, members of which will not eat the bean.

Thamburi.--A class of people in Mysore, who are Muhammadans, dress
like Lambadis, but do not intermarry with them. (See Lambadi.)

Thanda Pulayan.--For the following note, I am indebted to
Mr. L. K. Ananthakrishna Aiyar. [10] The Thanda Pulayans constitute
a small division of the Pulayans, who dwell in South Malabar and
Cochin. The name is given to them because of the garment worn by the
females, made of the leaves of a sedge, called thanda (apparently
Scirpus articulatus), which are cut into lengths, woven at one end,
and tied round the waist so that they hang down below the knees. The
following story is told with regard to the origin of this costume. A
certain high-caste man, who owned lands in those parts, chanced to sow
seeds, and plant vegetables. He was surprised to find that not a trace
of what he sowed or planted was to be seen on the following day. With
a view to clearing up the mystery, he kept a close watch during
the night, and saw certain human beings, stark naked, come out of a
hole. They were pursued, and a man and a woman were caught. Impressed
with a sense of shame at their wretched condition, the high-caste man
threw his upper garment to the male, but, having nothing to give as a
covering for the woman, threw some thanda leaves over her. The Thanda
Pulayans are also called Kuzhi Pulayans, as they were found emerging
from a pit (kuzhi). The leafy garment is said to be fast going out of
fashion, as Mappillas, and others who own the Pulayans, compel them to
wear cotton cloths. According to the Rev. W. J. Richards, a division of
the Pulayans, who are called Kanna Pulayans, and found near Alleppey,
wear rather better, and more artistically made aprons. [11]

The following legend is current regarding the origin of the Thanda
Pulayans. In the south, the Pulayans are divided into the eastern
and western sections. The former were the slaves of Duryodhana, and
the latter were attached to the Pandus. These formed the two rival
parties in the war of the Mahabaratha, and the defeat of Duryodhana
was the cause of their degradation.

The Thanda Pulayans appear to have been the slaves of the soil till
1854, when they were emancipated. Even now, their condition has not
undergone much material improvement. Though they are left more to
themselves, they still work for farmers or landlords for a daily wage
of paddy (unhusked rice). If they run away, they are brought back,
and punished. There is a custom that, when a farmer or landlord wants
a few Pulayans to work in the fields, he obtains their services on
payment of fifteen to twenty rupees to them, or to their master. When
a Pulayan's services are thus obtained, he works for his new master
for two edangalis of paddy a day. They can obtain their liberation
on the return of the purchase-money, which they can never hope to
earn. Having no property which they can claim as their own, and
conscious perhaps that their lot will be the same wherever they go,
they remain cheerful and contented, drudging on from day to day,
and have no inclination to emigrate to places where they can get
higher wages. The Cherumars of Palghat, on the contrary, enjoy more
freedom. Many go to the Wynad, and some to the Kolar gold-fields,
where they receive a good money-wage. The Thanda Pulayans work, as has
been said, for some landlord, who allows them small bits of land. The
trees thereon belong to the master, but they are allowed to enjoy
their produce during their residence there. When not required by the
master, they can work where they like. They have to work for him for
six months, and sometimes throughout the year. They have little to do
after the crop has been garnered. They work in the rice-fields, pumping
water, erecting bunds (mud embankments), weeding, transplanting, and
reaping. Men, women, and children may be seen working together. After
a day's hard work, in the sun or rain, they receive their wages,
which they take to the nearest shop, called mattupitica (exchange
shop), where they receive salt, chillies, etc., in exchange for a
portion of the paddy, of which the remainder is cooked. The master's
field must be guarded at night against the encroachment of cattle,
and the depredations of thieves and wild beasts. They keep awake by
shouting aloud, singing in a dull monotone, or beating a drum. Given
a drink of toddy, the Pulayans will work for any length of time. It
is not uncommon to see them thrashed for slight offences. If a man is
thrashed with a thanda garment, he is so much disgraced in the eyes
of his fellow men, that he is not admitted into their society. Some
improve their condition by becoming converts to Christianity. Others
believe that the spirits of the departed would be displeased, if they
became Christians.

The Thanda Pulayan community is divided into exogamous illams,
and marriage between members of the same illam is forbidden. Their
habitations are called matams, which are miserable huts, supported on
wooden posts, sometimes in the middle of a paddy field, with walls
of reeds, bamboo mats or mud, and thatched with grass or cocoanut
leaves. A few earthen pots, bamboo vessels, and cocoanut shells
constitute their property. They are denied admission to the markets,
and must stand at a distance to make their purchases or sales.

Pulayan girls are married either before or after attaining puberty,
but there is special ceremony, which is performed for every girl
during her seventh or eighth year. This is called thanda kalyanam,
or thanda marriage. It consists in having the girl dressed at an
auspicious hour in the leafy garment by a woman, generally a relative,
or, in her absence, by one selected for the purpose. The relations and
friends are entertained at a feast of curry and rice, fish from the
backwater, and toddy. Prior to this ceremony, the girl is destitute
of clothing, except for a strip of areca bark.

At the marriage ceremony, the tali (marriage badge) is made of a piece
of a conch shell (Turbinella rapa), which is tied on the bride's neck
at an auspicious hour. She is taken before her landlord, who gives
her some paddy, and all the cocoanuts on the tree, beneath which she
happens to kneel. When the time has come for her to be taken to the
hut of the bridegroom, one of her uncles, taking her by the hand,
gives her into the charge of one of her husband's uncles. On the
third morning, her paternal and maternal uncles visit her at the hut
of the bridegroom, by whom they are entertained. They then return,
with the bride and bridegroom, to the home of the former, where
the newly-married couple stay for three days. To ascertain whether
a marriage will be a happy one, a conch shell is spun round. If it
falls to the north, it predicts good fortune; if to the east or west,
the omens are favourable; if to the south, very unfavourable.

The Thanda Pulayans follow the makkathayam law of inheritance (from
father to son). They have their tribal assemblies, the members of which
meet together on important occasions, as when a woman is charged with
adultery, or when there is a theft case among them. All the members
are more or less of equal status, and no superior is recognised. They
swear by the sun, raising their hands, and saying "By the sun I did
not." Other oaths are "May my eyes perish" or "May my head be cut
off by lightning."

Every kind of sickness is attributed to the influence of some
demon, with whom a magician can communicate, and discover a means
of liberation. The magician, when called in professionally, lights
a fire, and seats himself beside it. He then sings, mutters some
mantrams (prayers), and makes a discordant noise on his iron plate
(kokkara). The man or woman, who is possessed by the demon, begins to
make unconscious movements, and is made to speak the truth. The demon,
receiving offerings of fowls, sheep, etc., sets him or her free. A
form of ceremonial, called urasikotukkuka, is sometimes performed. At
a place far distant from the hut, a leaf, on which the blood of a fowl
has been made to fall, is spread on the ground. On a smaller leaf,
chunam (lime) and turmeric are placed. The person who first sets eyes
on these becomes possessed by the demon, and sets free the individual
who was previously under its influence. In the event of sickness,
the sorcerer is invited to the hut. He arrives in the evening,
and is entertained with food, toddy, and betel. He then takes a
tender cocoanut, flower of the areca palm, and some powdered rice,
which he covers over with a palm leaf. The sick person is placed in
front thereof, and a circle is drawn round him. Outside the circle,
an iron stylus is stuck in the ground. The demon is supposed to be
confined within the circle, and makes the patient cry out "I am in pai
(influence of the ghost) and he is beating me," etc. With the promise
of a fowl or sheep, or offerings thereof on the spot, the demon is
persuaded to take its departure. Sometimes, when the sorcerer visits
a house of sickness, a rice-pan containing three betel leaves, areca
nuts, paddy, tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), sacred ashes, conch and cowry
(Cypræa moneta) shells, is placed in the yard. The sorcerer sits in
front of the pan, and begins to worship the demon, holding the shells
in his hands, and turning to the four points of the compass. He then
observes the omens, and, taking his iron plate, strikes it, while
he chants the names of terrible demons, Mullva, Karinkali, Aiyinar,
and Villi, and utters incantations. This is varied by dancing, to
the music of the iron plate, sometimes from evening till noon on the
following day. The sick person works himself up into the belief that
he has committed some great sin, and proceeds to make confession,
when a small money fine is inflicted, which is spent on toddy for
those who are assembled. The Thanda Pulayans practice maranakriyas,
or sacrifices to certain demons, to help them in bringing about the
death of an enemy or other person. Sometimes affliction is supposed
to be brought about by the enmity of those who have got incantations
written on a palm leaf, and buried in the ground near a house by the
side of a well. A sorcerer is called in to counteract the evil charm,
which he digs up, and destroys.

When a member of the tribe has died an unnatural death, a man, with
a fowl and sword in his hands, places another man in a pit which has
been dug, and walks thrice round it with a torch. After an hour or
two, the man is taken out of the pit, and goes to a distance, where
certain ceremonies are performed.

The Thanda Pulayans worship the gods of Brahmanical temples at a
distance of nearly a quarter of a mile. A stone is set up in the
ground, on which they place tender cocoanuts and a few puttans (Cochin
coins). A temple servant takes these to the priest, who sends in return
some sandal paste, holy water, and flowers. They worship, as has been
already hinted, demons, and also the spirits of their ancestors, by
which small brass figures of males and females representing the pretas
(ghosts) are supposed to be possessed. They worship, among others,
Kandakarnan, Kodunkali, Bhairavan, and Arukola pretas, who are lodged
in small huts, and represented by stones. In the month of May, they
celebrate a festival, which lasts for several days. Chrysanthemum and
thumba (apparently Leucas aspera) flowers are used in the performance
of worship, and paddy, beaten rice, tender cocoanuts, toddy, etc.,
are offered up. There is a good deal of singing, drum-beating
and devil-dancing by men and women, who on this occasion indulge
liberally in toddy. The Pandavas, whom they call Anju Thamburakkal,
are favourite deities. They devise various plans for warding off the
evil influence of demons. Some, for example, wear rolls of palm leaf,
with incantations written on them, round their necks. Others hang
baskets in the rice fields, containing peace offerings to the gods, and
pray for the protection of the crop. Wherever there is a dense forest,
Matan and Kali are supposed to dwell, and are worshipped. From the end
of November to April, which is the slack season, the Thanda Pulayans
go about dancing from hut to hut, and collecting money to purchase
fowls, etc., for offerings. Club-dancing is their favourite amusement,
and is often indulged in at night by the light of a blazing fire. The
dancers, club in hand, go round in concentric circles, keeping time
to the songs which they sing, striking each other's clubs, now bending
to ward off a blow on the legs, or rising to protect the head.

The dead are buried, and lighted torches are set up all round the
grave, on to which the relations of the dead person throw three
handfuls of rice. Near it, squares are made in rice flour, in each
of which a leaf with rice flour and paddy, and a lighted torch or
wick is placed. The chief mourner, who should be the son or nephew,
carrying a pot of water, goes several times round the grave, and breaks
the pot over the spot where the head rests. A few grains of rice are
placed at the four corners of the grave, and a pebble is laid on it,
with mantrams to keep off jackals, and to prevent the spirit from
molesting people. Every morning the chief mourner goes to the grave,
and makes offerings of boiled rice, gingelly (Sesamum indicum) seeds,
and karuka grass. On the fourteenth day, he has an oil-bath, and, on
the following day, the Pulayans of the village (kara) have a feast,
with singing and beating of drums. On the sixteenth day, which is
pulakuli or day of purification, the chief mourner makes offerings
of rice balls, the guests are fed, and make a present of small coin
to the songster who has entertained them. Similar offerings of rice
balls are made to the spirit of the deceased person on the new-moon day
in the month of Kartigam. During the period of pollution, the chief
mourner has to cook his own food. The spirits of deceased ancestors
are called Chavar (the dead), and are said to manifest themselves
in dreams, especially to near relations, who speak in the morning of
what they have seen during the night. They even say that they have held
conversation with the deceased. The Rev. W. J. Richards informs us that
he once saw "a little temple, about the size of a large rabbit-hutch,
in which was a plank for the spirits of the deceased ancestors to come
and rest upon. The spirits are supposed to fish in the backwaters,
and the phosphorescence, sometimes seen on the surface of the water,
is taken as an indication of their presence." [12]

The Thanda Pulayans will not eat with the Ulladans or Parayans, but
stand at a distance of ninety feet from Brahmans and other high-caste
people. They are short of stature and dark-skinned. Like the Cherumans,
the women adorn their ears, necks, arms and fingers with masses of
cheap jewellery.

Thappata (drum).--An exogamous sept of Odde.

Thathan (a Vaishnavite mendicant).--The equivalent of the Telugu
Dasari.

Thatichettu (palmyra palm).--An exogamous sept of Karna Sale and Odde.

Thavadadari.--The name of a section of the Valluvans (priests of the
Paraiyans), who wear a necklace of tulsi beads (thavadam, necklace,
dhari, wearer). The tulsi or basil (Ocimum sanctum) is a very sacred
plant with Hindus, and bead necklaces or rosaries are made from its
woody stem.

Thelu (scorpion).--Thelu and Thela are recorded as exogamous septs
of Padma Sale and Madiga. The Canarese equivalent Chelu occurs as a
sept of Kuruba.

Thenige Buvva.--A sub-division of Madigas, who offer food (buvva)
to the god in a dish or tray (thenige) at marriages.

Thikka (simpleton).--A sub-division of Kuruba.

Thippa (rubbish heap).--An exogamous sept of Karna Sale.

Thogamalai Korava.--Recorded [13] as a synonym of a thief class in
the southern districts of the Madras Presidency. In a recent note on
the Koravas, Mr. F. Fawcett writes that "a fact to be noted is that
people such as the members of the well-known Thogamalai gang, who
are always called Koravas by the police, are not Koravas at all. They
are simply a criminal community, into which outsiders are admitted,
who give their women in marriage outside the caste, and who adopt
children of other castes."

Thogaru (bitter).--An exogamous sept of Musu Kamma.

Thoka (tail).--An exogamous sept of Yerukala.

Thonda (Cephalendra indica).--An exogamous sept of Musu Kamma, and
gotra of Janappans, members of which abstain from using the fruit or
leaves of the thonda plant.

Thumma (babul: Acacia arabica).--An exogamous sept of Mala and Padma
Sale. The bark, pods, and leaves of the babul tree are used by tanners
in the preparation of hides and skins, or as a dye.

Thumu (iron measure for measuring grain).--An exogamous sept of
Mutracha.

Thupa (ghi, clarified butter).--An exogamous sept of Kuruba.

Thurpu (eastern).--A sub-division of Yerukala and Yanadi.

Thuta (hole).--An exogamous sept of Devanga.

Tigala.--Tigala is summed up, in the Madras Census Report, 1901, as
"a Canarese synonym for the Tamil Palli; applied also by the Canarese
people to any Tamil Sudras of the lower castes." In parts of the Mysore
country, the Tamil language is called Tigalu, and the Canarese Madhva
Brahmans speak of Tamil Smarta Brahmans as Tigalaru.

Some of the Tigalas, who have settled in Mysore, have forgotten
their mother-tongue, and speak only Canarese, while others, e.g.,
those who live round about Bangalore, still speak Tamil. In their
type of cranium they occupy a position intermediate between the
dolichocephalic Pallis and the sub-brachy cephalic Canarese classes.

The difference in the type of cranium of the Tigalas and Tamil
Pallis is clearly brought by the following tabular statements of
their cephalic indices:--


a. Tigala--

        68   *
        69
        70
        71   *
        72   *****
        73   ****
        74   *
        75   *
        76   *****
        77   ****
        78   *****
        79   ***
        80   ***
        81   ****
        82   *
        83
        84   **


b. Palli--

        64   *
        65
        66
        67   **
        68   *
        69   *
        70   *
        71   ****
        72   *****
        73   *******
        74   ****
        75   ********
        76   *
        77   *
        78   *
        79   **
        80   *


The Tigalas are kitchen and market gardeners, and cultivate the betel
vine. They apparently have three divisions, called Ulli (garlic or
onions), Ele (leaf), and Arava (Tamil). Among the Ulli Tigalas,
several sub-divisions, and septs or budas named after deities or
prominent members of the caste, exist, e.g.:--


    I. Lakkamma--
            Tota devaru (garden god).
            Dodda devaru (big or chief god).
            Dodda Narasayya.
            Dodda Nanjappa.
    II. Ellamma--
            Narasayya.
            Muddanna.
    III. Sidde devaru.


The Tigalas have a headman, whose office is hereditary, and who
is assisted by a caste servant called Mudre. Council meetings are
usually held at a fixed spot, called goni mara katte or mudre goni
mara katte, because those summoned by the Mudre assemble beneath a goni
(Ficus mysorensis) tree, round which a stone platform is erected. The
tree and platform being sacred, no one may go there on wearing shoes
or sandals. The members of council sit on a woollen blanket spread
before the tree.

Like the Pallis or Vanniyans, the Tigalas call themselves Agni Vanni,
and claim to be descended from the fire-born hero Agni Banniraya. In
connection with the Tigalas who have settled in the Bombay Presidency,
it is noted [14] that "they are a branch of the Mysore Tigalas, who
are Tamil Palli emigrants from the Madras Presidency, and, like the
Palli, claim a Kshatriya origin." The Tigalas possess a manuscript,
said to be a copy of a sasana at Conjeeveram (Kanchi), from which the
following extracts are taken. "This is a Kanchi sasana published by
Aswaththa Narayanswami, who was induced to do so by the god Varadaraja
of Conjeeveram. This sasana is written to acquaint the descendants
of the Mahapurusha Agni Banniraya with the origin, doings, and gotra
of their ancestor Banniraya. This Banniraya sprang from fire, and
so is much beloved by Vishnu the many-armed, the many-eyed, and the
bearer of the chank and chakram, and who is no other than Narayana,
the lord of all the worlds great and small, and the originator of
the Vedas and Vedanta.... All those who see or worship this sasana
relating to Agni Banniraya, who obtained boons from the Trimurthis,
Devatas, and Rishis, and who is the ancestor of the Tigalas, will be
prosperous, and have plenty of grain and children. Those who speak
lightly of this caste will become subject to the curses of Banniraya,
Trimurthis, Rishis, and Devas. The glory of this sasana is great,
and is as follows:--The keeping and worshipping of this purana will
enable the Tigalas of the Karnataka country to obtain the merit of
surapadavi (the state of Devas), merit of doing puja to a thousand
lingams, a lakh of cow gifts, and a hundred kannikadanams (gifts of
virgins for marriage)." The sasana is said to have been brought to
the Canarese country because of a quarrel between the Pallis and the
Tigalas at the time of a Tigala marriage. The Tigalas were prevented
from bringing the various biruthus (insignia), and displaying them. The
sasana was brought by the Tigalas, at an expenditure of Rs. 215,
which sum was subsequently recovered from the Pallis.

Tigala occurs further as the name of a sub-division of Holeya.

Tikke (gem).--A gotra of Kurni.

Ti (fire) Kollan.--A sub-division of Kollan.

Tinda (polluting).--A sub-division of Kanisan. Tinda Kuruppu, meaning
a teacher who cannot approach, is a synonym of the Kavutiyan barber
caste.

Tiperum (ti, fire).--A sub-division of Kollan blacksmiths.

Tiragati Gantlavallu (wandering bell hunters).--Stated, in the Manual
of the Vizagapatam district, to repair hand-mills, catch antelopes,
and sell the skins thereof. In hunting, they use lights and bells.

Tirlasetti (the name of a Balija Chetti).--An exogamous sept of Yanadi.

Tirumalpad.--Tirumalpad has been summed up as "one of the four
divisions of Kshatriyas in Travancore. The term, in its literal sense,
conveys the idea of those who wait before kings. In mediæval times the
Tirumalpads were commanders of armies." By Mr. Wigram [15] Tirumalpad
is defined as a member of a Royal Family. In the Madras Census Report,
1891, it is stated that "there are two Tirumalpads, one a Samanta,
and the other a so-called Kshatriya. The former observes customs and
manners exactly similar to Eradis and Nedungadis. In fact, these are
all more or less interchangeable terms, members of the same family
calling themselves indifferently Eradi or Tirumalpad. The Kshatriya
Tirumalpad wears the sacred thread, and the rites he performs are
similar to those of Brahmans, whose dress he has also adopted. He has,
however, like Nayars, tali-kettu and sambandham separately. His females
take Nambudiri consorts by preference, but may have husbands of their
own caste. Their inheritance is in the female line, as among Nayars
and Samantas. Generally the females of this caste furnish wives to
Nambudiris. The touch of these females does not pollute a Nambudiri
as does that of Nayars and Samantas, and, what is more, Nambudiris
may eat their food. The females are called Nambashtadiri."

For the following note on Tampans and Tirumalpads, I am indebted
to the Travancore Census Report, 1901. "The Tampans and Tirumalpats
come under the category of Malabar Kshatriyas.The word Tampan is a
contraction of Tampuran, and at one time denoted a ruling people. When
they were divested of that authority by the Ilayetattu Svarupam, they
are said to have fallen from the status of Tampurans to Tampans. Their
chief seat is the Vaikam taluk. The Tirumalpats do not seem to have
ruled at all. The word Tirumulpatu indicates those that wait before
kings. There is an old Sanskrit verse, which describes eight classes
of Kshatriyas as occupying Kerala from very early times, namely
(1) Bhupala or Maha Raja, such as those of Travancore and Cochin,
(2) Rajaka or Rajas, such as those of Mavelikara and Kotungallur,
(3) Kosi or Koiltampuran, (4) Puravan or Tampan, (5) Sripurogama or
Tirumulpat, (6) Bhandari or Pantarattil, (7) Audvahika or Tirumalpat,
(8) Cheta or Samanta. From this list it may be seen that two classes
of Tirumulpats are mentioned, namely, Sripurogamas who are the waiters
at the Raja's palace, and the Audvahikas who perform Udvaha or wedding
ceremony for certain castes. Both these, however, are identical people,
though varying in their traditional occupations. The chief seats of
the Tirumulpats are Shertallay and Tiruvalla."

The Tampans and Tirumulpats are, for all purposes of castes, identical
with other Malabar Kshatriyas. Every Tampan in Travancore is related
to every other Tampan, and all are included within one circle of
death and birth pollution. Their manners and customs, too, are
exactly like those of other Kshatriyas. They are invested with the
sacred thread at the sixteenth year of age, and recite the Gayatri
(hymn) ten times thrice a day. The Nambutiri is the family priest,
and (death) pollution lasts for eleven days. The Kettukalyanam, or
tali-tying ceremony, may be performed between the seventh and the
fourteenth year of age. The tali is tied by the Aryappattar, while
the Namputiris recite the Vedic hymns. Their consorts are usually
Namputiris, and sometimes East Coast Brahmans. Like all the Malabar
Kshatriyas, they follow the marumakkathayam system of inheritance
(through the female line). Tampans and Tirumulpats are often the
personal attendants of the Travancore Maharajas, whom they serve with
characteristic fidelity and devotion.The Tirumulpats further perform
the tali-tying ceremony of the Nayar aristocracy.

The names of the Tirumulpats and Tampans are the same as those of other
classes of Kshatriyas. The title Varma is uniformly added to their
names. A few families among these, who once had ruling authority,
have the titular suffix Bhandarattil, which is corrupted into
Pantarattil. The Tampans call themselves in documents Koviladhikarikal,
as they once had authority in kovils or palaces.

Tiruman (holy deer).--An exogamous section of Kallan.

Tirumudi (holy knot).--Recorded, in the Madras Census Report, 1901,
as "bricklayers, whose women are usually prostitutes; found chiefly in
Salem and Coimbatore. They are either Vettuvans or Kaikolans. Kaikolan
women, when they are dedicated to the temple, are supposed to be
united in wedlock with the deity.

Tiruvalluvan.--A sub-division of Valluvan. Tiruvalluvar, the author
of the Kural, is said to have belonged to the Valluva caste.

Tiru-vilakku-nagarattar (dwellers in the city of holy lamps).--A name
assumed by Vaniyans (oil-pressers).

Tiyadi.--A synonym of the Tiyattunni section of Ambalavasis (see Unni).

Tiyan.--The Tiyans, and Izhuvans or Iluvans, are the Malayalam
toddy-drawing castes of Malabar, Cochin, and Travancore. The following
note, except where otherwise indicated, is taken from an account of
the Tiyans of Malabar by Mr. F. Fawcett.

The Tiyans in Malabar number, according to the census returns,
512,063, or 19·3 per cent. of the total population. The corresponding
figures for the Izhuvans are 101,638, or 3·8 per cent. The Tiyans
have been summed up [16] as the middle class of the west coast, who
cultivate the ground, take service as domestics, and follow trades
and professions--anything but soldiering, of which they have an
utter abhorrence.

The marumakkatayam system (inheritance through the female line), which
obtains in North Malabar, has favoured temporary connections between
European men and Tiyan women, the children belonging to the mother's
tarvad. Children bred under these conditions, European influence
continuing, are often as fair as Europeans. It is recorded, in the
Report of the Malabar Marriage Commission, 1894, that "in the early
days of British rule, the Tiyan women incurred no social disgrace
by consorting with Europeans, and, up to the last generation,
if the Sudra girl could boast of her Brahman lover, the Tiyan
girl could show more substantial benefits from her alliance with a
white man of the ruling race. Happily, the progress of education,
and the growth of a wholesome public opinion, have made shameful
the position of a European's concubine; and both races have thus
been saved from a mode of life equally demoralising to each." On
this point, Mr. L. K. Anantha Krishna Iyer writes as follows. [17]
"It is true that there is an elevation both physically and mentally
in the progeny of such a parentage. On making enquiries about this, I
learn from a respectable and educated Tiyan gentleman that this union
is looked upon with contempt by the respectable class of people, and
by the orthodox community. I am further informed that such women and
children, with their families, are under a ban, and that respectable
Tiya gentlemen who have married the daughters of European parentage are
not allowed to enjoy the privileges of the caste. There are, I hear,
several such instances in Calicut, Tellicherry, and Cannanore. Women of
respectable families do not enter into such connection with Europeans."

It is commonly supposed that the Tiyans and Izhuvans came from
Ceylon. It is recorded, in the South Canara Manual, that "it is well
known that both before and after the Christian era there were invasions
and occupations of the northern part of Ceylon by the races then
inhabiting Southern India, and Malabar tradition tells us that some
of these Dravidians migrated again from Iram or Ceylon northwards to
Travancore and other parts of the west coast of India, bringing with
them the cocoanut or southern tree (tengina mara), and being known as
Tivars (islanders) or Iravars, which names have since been altered to
Tiyars and Ilavars. Dr. Caldwell derives Iram from the Sanskrit Simhala
through the Pali Sihala by the omission of the initial S." It is noted
by Bishop Caldwell [18] that there are traces of a common origin of the
Iluvans and Shanars, Shanar (or Shener), for instance, being a title
of honour amongst the Travancore Ilavars. And it is further recorded
[19] that there is a tradition that the Shanars came originally from
Ceylon. The Izhuvans are supposed to derive their caste name from
Izha dwipa (island) or Simhala dwipa (both denoting Ceylon). In a
Tamil Puranic work, quoted by Mr. Anantha Krishna Iyer, mention is
made of a King Illa of Ceylon, who went to Chidambaram in the Tamil
country of Southern India, where a religious discussion took place
between the Buddhist priests and the Saivite devotee Manickavachakar
in the presence of King Illa, with the result that he was converted
to the Saivite faith. From him the Iluvans are said to be descended.

The Tiyans are always styled Izhuvan in documents concerning land,
in which the Zamorin, or some Brahman or Nayar grandee, appears as
landlord. The Tiyans look down on the Izhuvans, and repudiate the
relationship. Yet they cannot but submit to be called Izhuvan in their
documents, for their Nayar or Brahman landlord will not let them have
the land to cultivate, unless they do so. It is a custom of the country
for a man of a superior caste to pretend complete ignorance of the
caste of an individual lower in the social scale. Thus, in the Wynad,
where there are several jungle tribes, one is accustomed to hear
a man of superior caste pretending that he does not know a Paniyan
from a Kurumba, and deliberately miscalling one or the other, saying
"This Paniyan," when he knows perfectly well that he is a Kurumba. It
is quite possible, therefore, that, though Tiyans are written down as
Izhuvans, the two were not supposed to be identical. State regulations
keep the Izhuvans of Cochin and Travancore in a position of marked
social inferiority, and in Malabar they are altogether unlettered
and uncultured. On the other hand, the Tiyans of Malabar provide
Magistrates, Sub-Judges, and other officials to serve His Majesty's
Government. It may be noted that, in 1907, a Tiya lady matriculate
was entertained as a clerk in the Tellicherry post-office.

A divagation must be made, to bring the reader to a comprehension of
the custom surrounding mattu, a word signifying change, i.e., change of
cloth, which is of sufficient importance to demand explanation. When
a man or woman is outcasted, the washerwoman (or man) and the barber
of the community (and no other is available) are prohibited from
performing their important parts in the ceremonies connected with
birth, death, and menstruation. A person who is in a condition of
impurity is under the same conditions; he or she is temporarily
outcasted. This applies to Nambutiris and Nayars, as well as to the
Tiyans. Now the washerwoman is invariably of the Tiyan caste. There are
Mannans, whose hereditary occupation is washing clothes for Nambutiris
and Nayars, but, for the most part, the washerwoman who washes for
the Nayar lady is of the Tiyan caste. A woman is under pollution after
giving birth to a child, after the death of a member of her tarvad, and
during menstruation. And the pollution must be removed at the end of
the prescribed period, or she remains an outcaste--a very serious thing
for her. The impurity is removed by receiving a clean cloth from the
washerwoman, and giving in exchange her own cloth to be washed. This is
mattu, and, be it noted, the cloth which gives mattu is one belonging
to the washerwoman, not to the person to be purified. The washerwoman
gives her own cloth to effect the purification. Theoretically, the
Tiyan has the power to give or withhold mattu, and thus keep any one
out of caste in a state of impurity; but it is a privilege which is
seldom if ever exercised. Yet it is one which he admittedly holds,
and is thus in a position to exercise considerable control over the
Nambutiri and Nayar communities. It is odd that it is not a soiled
cloth washed and returned to the person which gives purification, but
one of the washerwoman's own cloths. So the mattu may have a deeper
meaning than lies in mere change of cloth, dressing in a clean one,
and giving the soiled one to a person of inferior caste to wash. This
mattu is second in importance to no custom. It must be done on the last
day of pollution after birth and death ceremonies, and menstruation,
or the person concerned remains outcasted. It is noteworthy that the
Izhuvans know nothing of mattu.

An Izhuvan will eat rice cooked by a Tiyan, but a Tiyan will not eat
rice cooked by an Izhuvan--a circumstance pointing to the inferiority
of the Izhuvan. A Nayar, as well as a Tiyan, will partake of almost
any form of food or drink, which is prepared even by a Mappilla
(Malabar Muhammadan), who is deemed inferior to both. But the line is
drawn at rice, which must be prepared by one of equal caste or class,
or by a superior. An Izhuvan, partaking of rice at a Tiyan's house,
must eat it in a verandah; he cannot do so in the house, as that
would be defilement to the Tiyan. Not only must the Izhuvan eat the
rice in the verandah, but he must wash the plates, and clean up the
place where he has eaten. Again, an Izhuvan could have no objection
to drinking from a Tiyan's well. Further, there is practically no
mixture in the distribution of Tiyans and Izhuvans. Where there are
Izhuvans there are no Tiyans, and vice versâ. [In a photograph of
a group of Izhuvan females of Palghat eating their meal, which was
sent to me, they are all in a kneeling posture, with the buttocks
supported on the heels. They are said to assume the same attitude
when engaged in grinding and winnowing grain, and other occupations,
with a resultant thickening of the skin over the knees.]

Differences, which might well come under the heading marriage, may be
considered here, for the purpose of comparison between the Tiyans and
Izhuvans. During the preliminaries to the marriage ceremony among the
Tiyans, the date of the marriage having been fixed in the presence of
the representatives of the bride and bridegroom, the following formula
is repeated by the Tandan or headman of the bride's party. Translated
as accurately as possible, it runs thus. "The tara and changati of
both sides having met and consulted; the astrologer having fixed an
auspicious day after examining the star and porutham; permission
having been obtained from the tara, the relations, the illam and
kulam, the father, uncle, and the brothers, and from the eight and
four (twelve illams) and the six and four (ten kiriyams); the conji
and adayalam ceremonies and the four tazhus having been performed,
let me perform the kanjikudi ceremony for the marriage of ... the son
of ... with ... daughter of ... in the presence of muperium." This
formula, with slight variations here and there, is repeated at every
Tiyan marriage in South Malabar. It is a solemn declaration, giving
validity to the union, although, in the way that custom and ritual
survive long after their original significance has been forgotten,
the meaning of many of the terms used is altogether unknown. What,
for instance, is the meaning of muperium? No one can tell. But a few
of the terms are explainable.

Tara. The tara was the smallest unit in the ancient government system,
which, for want of a better term, we may style feudal. It was not
exactly a village, for the people lived apart. Each tara had its
Nayar chieftain, and also its Tiyan chief or Tandan, its astrologer,
its washerman, its goldsmith, and other useful people, each serving
the community for the sake of small advantages. Each tara was its
own world.

Changati (friend). The friends of both parties which negotiated
the marriage.

Porutham (agreement). Examination of the horoscopes of the boy and
girl makes it possible to ascertain whether there is agreement between
the two, and the union will be propitious.

Illam. Here intended to mean the father's family.

Kulam. The name, derived from kula a branch, here denotes the mother's
family.

Twelve illams, ten kiriyams. The word illam, now used exclusively for
the residence of a Nambutiri, is supposed to have been used in days
of old for the house of a person of any caste. And this supposition is
said to find support in the way that a Tiyan coming from the south is
often greeted in South Canara. Thus, a Malabar Tiyan, travelling to
the celebrated temple at Gokarnam in South Canara, is at once asked
"What is your illam and kiriyam?" He has heard these terms used in
the foregoing formula during his own or another's marriage ceremony,
but attached no meaning to them. To the man of South Canara they
have genuine meaning. One should be able to answer the question
satisfactorily, and thus give a proper account of himself. If
he cannot, he gets neither food nor water from the South Canara
Tiyan. This also holds good, to some extent, in the case of a southern
Tiyan visiting the northern parts of the Cherakal taluk of Malabar.

The ten illams of South Malabar are as follows:--


    Tala Kodan.
    Nellika (Phyllanthus Emblica).
    Paraka or Varaka.
    Ala.
    Ten Kudi or Tenan Kudi.
    Padayan Kudi.
    Kannan.
    Varakat.
    Kytat                               inferior.
    Puzhampayi or Bavu


The illams of North Malabar are said to be--


    Nellika.
    Pullanhi.
    Vangeri.
    Koyikkalan.
    Padayam Kudi.
    Tenan Kudi.
    Manan Kudi.
    Vilakkan Kudi.


Marriage is strictly forbidden between two persons belonging to
the same illam. The bride and bridegroom must belong to different
illams. In fact, the illams are exogamous. Members of some of the
illams were allowed certain privileges and dignities. Thus, the men
of the Varakat illam (Varaka Tiyans) were in the old days permitted to
travel in a mancheel (a hammock-cot slung on a pole). They were allowed
this privilege of higher caste people, which was prohibited to the
Tiyans of other illams. But, should one of them, when travelling in a
mancheel, happen to see a Rajah or a Nayar, he was obliged to hang one
of his legs out of it in token of submission. The Varaka Tiyans were
further allowed to wear gold jewels on the neck, to don silken cloths,
to fasten a sword round the waist, and to carry a shield. The sword
was made of thin pliable steel, and worn round the waist like a belt,
the point being fastened to the hilt through a small hole near the
point. A man, intending to damage another, might make an apparently
friendly call on him, his body loosely covered with a cloth, and to
all appearances unarmed. In less than a second, he could unfasten the
sword round his waist, and cut the other down. The well-known Mannanar
belonged to the Varakat illam. Those who know Malabar will recall to
mind the benevolent but strange institution which he initiated. He
provided a comfortable home for Nambutiri women who were thrown out
of caste, and thus in the ordinary course of events doomed to every
misery and degradation to be found in life. On being outcasted,
the funeral ceremonies of Nambutiri women were performed by her own
people, and she became dead to them. She went to the Mannanar, and her
birth ceremonies were performed, so that she might begin life anew
in a state of purity. If, on arrival, she entered by the left door,
she was his wife, if by the front door, his sister. It is said that,
when their chief, Mannanar of the Aramana, is destitute of heirs,
the Tiyans of Kolattanad go in procession to the Kurumattur Nambutiri
(the chief of the Peringallur Brahmans) and demand a Brahman virgin
to be adopted as sister of Mannanar, who follows the marumakkatayam
rule of succession. This demand, it is said, used to be granted by
the Nambutiris assembling at a meeting, and selecting a maiden to be
given to the Tiyans.

Kiriyam is said to be a corrupt form of the Sanskrit word griham
(house), but this seems rather fanciful. There are said to have been
about two kiriyams for each village. The names of only three are known
to me, viz., Karumana, Kaita, and Kampathi. There is a village called
Karumana, near the temple of Lakshmipuram in South Canara. Karumana is
applied as a term to signify a Tiyan during the ordinary devil-dancing
in temples, when an oracular utterance is delivered. The oracle always
addresses the Tiyan as "my Karumana," not as "my Tiyan." The only other
use of the word is in Karumana acharam (the customs of the Tiyans).

Other outward and visible differences between Tiyan and Izhuvan
marriages are these. The South Malabar Tiyan bridegroom, dressed as
if for a wrestling match, with his cloth tied tight about his loins,
carries a sword and shield, and is escorted by two companions similarly
equipped, dancing their way along. The Izhuvan does not carry a sword
under any circumstances. The chief feature of his wedding ceremony
is a singing match. This, called the vatil-tura-pattu, or open the
door song, assumes the form of a contest between the parties of the
bridegroom and bride. The story of Krishna and his wife Rukmini
is supposed to be alluded to. We have seen it all under slightly
different colour at Conjeeveram. Krishna asks Rukmini to open the
door, and admit him. She refuses, thinking he has been gallivanting
with some other lady. He beseeches; she refuses. He explains, and at
length she yields. The song is more or less extempore, and each side
must be ready with an immediate answer. The side which is reduced to
the extremity of having no answer is beaten and under ignominy.

I pass on to the subject of personal adornment of the Tiyans:--


(a) North Malabar, Males--


    1. A horizontal dab made with white ashes on either side of the
    forehead and chest, and on the outside of each shoulder.
    2. Two gold ear-rings (kadakkan) in each ear. A silver chain
    hanging from the sheath of his knife, and fastened with a boss. Two
    tambak (copper, brass and silver) rings on the ring finger of
    the left hand.
    3. A gold kadakkan in each ear, and an iron ring on the ring
    finger of the left hand.
    4. A thorn in each ear (another was similarly ornamented). Not
    married.
    5. A gold ear-ring in each ear. An iron ring on the little finger
    of the left hand. Two silver rings, in which is set a piece of hair
    from an elephant's tail, on the little finger of the right hand.


A few individuals wore brass rings, and some had ear-rings, in which
a red stone was set. Amulets were worn by some in little cylindrical
cases on a string, to protect the wearer against enemies, the evil
eye, or devils. One man wore a silver girdle, to which an amulet in
a case was fastened, underneath his cloth, so that it was not in view
to the public. One individual only is noted as having been tattooed,
with a circular mark just above his glabella. The arms of a good many,
and the abdomen of a few, bore cicatrices from branding, apparently
for the purpose of making them strong and relieving pains.


(b) South Malabar, Males.

In the country parts, the waist cloth is always worn above the
knee. About a third of the individuals examined wore ear-rings. The
ears of all were pierced. Those who were without ear-rings had no
scruples about wearing them, but were too poor to buy them.


    1. Blue spot tattooed over the glabella.
    2. Silver amulet-case, containing fifteen gold fanams, at the
    waist. He said that he kept the coins in the receptacle for
    security, but I think it was for good luck.
    3. Ear-ring (kadakkan) in each ear. A copper amulet-case,
    containing a yantram to keep off devils, at the waist.
    4. Four silver amulet-cases, containing yantrams on a copper
    sheet for curing some ailment, at the waist.
    5. Two gold kadakkans in each ear. A white spot over the glabella.


(c) North Malabar, Females.

In olden days, the women used to wear coloured and striped cloths round
the waist, and hanging to the knees. The breast was not covered. The
body above the waist was not allowed to be covered, except during the
period of death pollution. Nowadays, white is generally the colour to
be seen, and the body is seldom covered above the waist--never one may
say, except (and then only sometimes) in the towns. The Izhuvan women
in Malabar always wear blue cloths: just one cloth rolled tightly
round the waist, and hanging to the knees. Of late, they have taken
to wearing also a blue cloth drawn tight over the breast.

Ornaments. The thodu, which is now sometimes worn by Tiyan women,
is not a Tiyan ornament. The ear-rings, called kathila and ananthod,
are the Tiyan ornaments, and look like strings of gold beads with
pendants. Discs of white metal or lead are used to stretch and keep
open the dilated lobes of the ears, in which gold ornaments are worn
when necessary or possible. Venetian sequins, real or imitation,
known in Malabar as amada, are largely used for neck ornaments. There
is a Malabar proverb that one need not look for an insect's burrow in
amada, meaning that you cannot find anything vile in a worthy person.

Turning now to the subject of marriage. In the ordinary course of
things, a marriage would not be made between a Tiyan girl of South
Malabar and a Tiyan man of North Malabar, for the reason that the
children of such a marriage would inherit no property from the family
of either parent. The husband would have no share in the property
of his family, which devolves through the women; nor would the wife
have any share in that of her family, which is passed on through the
men. So there would be nothing for the children. But, on the other
hand, marriage between a girl of the north and a man of the south is
a different thing. The children would inherit from both parents. As a
rule, Tiyans of the north marry in the north, and those of the south
in the south.

It was generally admitted that it was formerly the custom among the
Tiyans in South Malabar for several brothers--in fact all of them--to
share one wife. Two existing instances of this custom were recorded.

The arrangement of a marriage, and the ceremonial which will now
be described, though pertaining strictly to the Calicut taluk
of South Malabar, are sufficiently representative of a Tiyan
marriage anywhere. There is, however, this difference, that, in
North Malabar, where inheritance through females obtains, and the
wife invariably resides in her own tarwad or family home, there is
never any stipulation concerning a girl's dowry. In South Malabar,
where inheritance is through the males, and where the wife lives in
her husband's house, the dowry in money, jewels, or furniture, is as a
rule settled beforehand, and must be handed over on the wedding day. In
the Calicut taluk, we find an exception to this general rule of South
Malabar, where the subject of the dowry is not usually mentioned. In
North Malabar, gifts of jewels are made in proportion as the bride's
people are wealthy and generous. What is given is in the way of a gift,
and forms no feature in the marital agreement.

The first step to be taken in connection with marriage is examination
of the horoscopes of the boy and girl, in order to ascertain whether
their union will be one of happiness or the reverse. While this is
being done by the Panikkar (Malabar astrologer), the following persons
should be present:--


(a) On the part of the bridegroom--

    1. Tandan, or chief of the tara.
    2. Father, or other elder in the family.
    3. Uncle, i.e., the mother's brother. In Malabar the word uncle
       means maternal uncle.
    4. Sisters' husbands.
    5. Four or more friends or companions.
    6. Any number of relations and friends.


(b) On the part of the bride--

    1. Tandan of her tara.
    2. Father,or other guardian.
    3. Uncle.
    4. Four or more friends.
    5. The astrologer of her tara.
    6. Friends and relations.


The ceremony must be performed at the house of the girl's family. Her
father's consent is necessary, but his presence is not essential
at this or the two subsequent ceremonies in connection with the
marriage. The Tandan, it may be noted, is the caste governmental head
in all matters affecting his own caste and the artisans. He is a Tiyan,
and his office, which is authorised by the local Rajah, or rather by
his senior Rani, is hereditary. In exceptional cases, however, the
hereditary right may be interrupted by the Rani appointing some one
else. The Tandan of the tara is required to assist at every ceremony
connected with marriage, at the ceremony when a girl attains puberty,
at that of tying the tali, and at the fifth and seventh months of
pregnancy. His formal permission is required before the carpenter
can cut down the areca palm, with which the little shed in which the
tali is tied is constructed. In cases of divorce, his functions are
important. When a new house is built, there must be a house-warming
ceremony, at which the Tandan officiates. Fowls are sacrificed, and
the right leg is the Tandan's perquisite. He is a man of importance,
not only in many affairs within his own caste, but also in those of
other castes. Thus, when a Nayar dies, it is the Tandan's duty to get
the body burnt. He controls the washerman and barber of the tara, and
can withdraw their services when they are most needed. He officiates,
moreover, at marriages of the artisan class--carpenters, braziers,
goldsmiths and blacksmiths.

A group of taras forms what is called a desam, the koyma or
"sovereignty" of which is represented by a Nayar tarwad. It is through
the head or Karnavan (really the chieftain) of this tarwad that the
Tandan approaches the Raja in matters of appeal, and the like. The
Tandan is to some extent under his guidance and control, but he
must provide the Tandan with a body-guard of two Nayars on occasions
of marriages. In the old days, it may be mentioned, the Tandans of
the taras within the rule of the Zamorin were always appointed by
his senior Rani. The term Tandan must not be confounded with the
Tandars, a people of the Palghat taluk, who appear to be allied to
the Izhuvans. These Tandars observe the custom of paternal polyandry,
while the Izhuvans abhor it.

The procedure observed in the examination of horoscopes is as
follows. The Tandan of the bride's tara gives a grass or palmyra palm
leaf mat to the astrologer to sit on, and supplies mats or seats for
the bridegroom's party. The common sleeping mat of wild pine leaves,
or a wooden stool, must, on no account, be given for the astrologer
to sit on. It may be day or night when the ceremony takes place,
but, whatever the hour may be, a lamp having five, seven, nine, or
eleven cotton wicks, must be burning in front of the astrologer. The
Tandan's wife puts it in its place. Then the boy's uncle hands over
the boy's horoscope to his Tandan, who passes it on to the girl's
Tandan. The girl's father hands her horoscope to their Tandan, who,
when he has received them both, passes them on to the astrologer. The
two horoscopes should agree on twenty-one points--a requirement
which might prove awkward, were it not that a balance in favour of
beneficent influences is generally allowed to admit of the marriage
taking place. In the case of agreement, the boy's uncle, through
his Tandan, then pays two fanams [20] (eight annas)--one for each
horoscope--to the astrologer. When there is disagreement, the girl's
uncle pays the money. The horoscopes (which have been privately
examined beforehand to make sure of no disagreement) are returned
to their respective owners. After the examination of the horoscope,
there is a feast with plenty of sweetmeats. The next item is the conjee
(rice gruel) ceremony, at which the following should be present:--


(a) On the part of the boy--

    1. Father, his brother, or some one representing him.
    2. Husbands of all married sisters.
    3. Uncle.
    4. Tandan of his tara.
    5. Neighbours and friends.


(b) On the part of the girl--

    1. Uncle.
    2. Relations of married sisters.
    3. Relations of married brothers.
    4. Tandan of her tara.
    5. Astrologer of her tara.
    6. Relations and friends.


The horoscopes are again formally examined by the astrologer, who
announces that their agreement augurs a happy wedded life. The boy's
uncle pays him two fanams. The girl's uncle takes the two horoscopes,
which have just been tied together, from the astrologer, and hands them
to the Tandan of the girl's tara, who passes them on to the Tandan
of the boy's tara. They are handed by him to the boy's uncle. The
astrologer then writes on a palmyra leaf a note for each party to the
marriage, stating the auspicious day and hour for the final ceremony,
the hour at which the bride should leave her house, and the hour for
her arrival at the house of the bridegroom. The following programme
is then gone through. In the verandah, facing east, before the front
door, is spread an ordinary sleeping mat, over it a grass mat, and
over that a plain white cloth which has been washed and is not a new
one. On the floor close by, the following articles are placed:--

A lamp, having an odd number of cotton wicks, which is kept lighted
whatever the hour of day it may be;

A measure, called nazhi, made of jak tree (Artocarpus integrifolia)
wood, filled to overflowing with rice, and placed on a flat bell-metal
plate (talika);

A plain white cloth, washed but not new, neatly folded, and placed
on the metal plate to the right (south) of the rice;

A small bell-metal vessel (kindi), having no handle, filled with water.

The lamp is placed on the south side of the mat, the plate next to it
(to the north), and the kindi at a little distance to the left (the
north). The people who sit on the mat always face the east. The mat
having been spread, the various articles just mentioned are brought
from the central room of the house by three women, who set them
in their places. The Tandan's wife carries the lamp, the eldest
woman of the house the bell-metal plate, and some other woman the
kindi. The Tandan of the boy's tara, the boy's sister's husband,
and a friend then sit on the mat covered with a cloth. If the boy
has two brothers-in-law, both sit on the mat, to the exclusion of the
friend. The senior woman of the house then hands three plates of rice
conjee to the Tandan of the girl's tara, who places them in front
of the three persons seated on the mat. To the right of each plate,
a little jaggery (unrefined sugar) is placed on a piece of plantain
leaf. Each of those seated takes about a spoonful of conjee in his
right hand. The Tandan repeats the formula, which has already been
given, and asks "May the conjee be drunk"? He answers his question by
drinking some of the conjee, and eating a little jaggery. All three
then partake of the conjee and jaggery, after which they rise from
the mat, and the plates and mat are removed. The place is cleaned,
and the mats are again put down, while betel is distributed. The two
Tandans then sit on the mat. The girl's Tandan picks up a bundle of
about twenty-five betel leaves, and gives half to the boy's Tandan. The
Tandans exchange betel leaves, each giving the other four. The boy's
Tandan then folds four fanams (one rupee) in four betel leaves,
which he hands to the girl's Tandan, saying "May the conjee ceremony
be performed"? The Tandans again exchange betel leaves as before,
and distribute them to all the castemen present, beginning with the
uncles of the boy and girl. The proceedings in the verandah are now
over. The next part of the ceremony takes place in the middle room
of the house, where the mats, lamp, and other articles are arranged
as before. The two Tandans sit on the mat with the boy on the right
and the girl on the left, facing east. The boy's uncle stands in
front of the Tandans, facing west, and the girl's uncle behind
them, facing east. The boy's father gives to the boy's uncle two
new plain white cloths, with twenty-one fanams (Rs. 5-4) placed on
them. When presenting them, he says "Let the Adayalam be performed"
three times, and the girl's uncle says thrice "Let me receive the
Adayalam." The Tandans again exchange betel leaves, and distribute
them among the castemen. Then follows a feast, and more betel. The
date of the wedding has now to be fixed. They congregate in the middle
room once more, and the Tandans sit on the mat. The girl's Tandan
shares a bundle of betel leaves with the boy's Tandan, who, taking
therefrom four leaves, places two rupees on them, and gives them to
the girl's Tandan. The boy's party supplies this money, which is a
perquisite of the Tandan. When handing over the leaves and the coins,
the boy's Tandan says "On ... (naming a date) ... and ... (the bride
and bridegroom), and friends, and four women will come. Then you must
give us the girl, and you must prepare the food for that day." The
other Tandan replies "If you bring six cloths and forty-two fanams
(Rs. 10-8) as kanam, and two fanams for the muchenan (the girl's
father's sister's son), the girl will be sent to you." The cloths
should be of a kind called enna kacha, each four cubits in length,
but they are not now procurable. Kanam is a term used in land tenures,
for which there is no precise equivalent in English. It is a kind
of mortgage paid by a tenant to a landlord. The former is liable to
eviction by the latter, when he obtains better terms for his land from
another tenant--a condition of modern growth breeding much mischief and
bad blood. But, when a tenant is evicted, he is entitled, according
to law, to the value of certain improvements on the land, including
eight annas for each tree which he has planted. The kanam is paid by
the boy's sister or sisters. His Tandan addresses his brother-in-law
or brothers-in-law in the words "On ... (mentioning a date), you must
come early in the day, with Rs. 10-8 as kanam," and gives him or them
four betel leaves. Those assembled then disperse. The boy's people may
not go to the girl's house before the day appointed for the marriage.

The next item in connection with a marriage is the issue of invitations
to the wedding. The senior women of the boy's house, and the Tandan,
invite a few friends to assemble at the house of the bridegroom. The
mat, lamp, and other articles are placed in the middle room. The
bridegroom (manavalan) sits on the mat, with a friend on either side
of him. He has previously bathed, and horizontal daubs of sandal paste
have been placed on his forehead, breast, and arms. He wears a new
cloth, which has not been washed. His Tandan has adorned him with
a gold bracelet on his right wrist, a knife with a gold or silver
handle at the waist, and a gold or silver waist-belt or girdle over
the loin-cloth. The bracelet must have an ornamental pattern, as
plain bracelets are not worn by men. The girdle is in the form of a
chain. Besides these things, he must wear ear-rings, and he should have
rings on his fingers. His sister who pays the kanam dresses in the same
style, but her cloths may be of silk, white without a pattern in the
border, and she wears gold bracelets on both wrists. All enjoy a good
meal, and then set out, and visit first the house of the Tandan. He and
his wife walk in front, followed by the boy's elder sisters, if he has
any. Then comes the bridegroom with a friend before and behind him,
with a few women bringing up the rear. At the Tandan's house there
is another meal, and then three, five, or seven houses are visited,
and invitation to the wedding given in person. The proceedings for
the day are then over, and, after three days, the brother-in-law,
uncle, and all others receive invitations.

On the occasion of the marriage ceremony, the barber first shaves the
bridegroom's head, leaving the usual forelock on the crown, which is
never cut. He performs the operation in a little shed to the east
of the house, and a plantain leaf is placed so that the hair may
fall on it. As a rule, the barber sits in front of the person whose
hair he is shaving, while the latter, sitting cross-legged on the
ground, bends forward. But, on this occasion, the bridegroom sits
on a low wooden stool. Close by are a lamp and a measure of rice
on a plantain leaf. The barber also shaves the two friends of the
bridegroom (changathis), and receives a fanam and the rice for his
trouble. The three youths then bathe, smear themselves with sandal
paste, and proceed to dress. The bridegroom must wear round the
loins a white cloth, new and unwashed. Round the top of the loin
cloth he wears a narrow waist-band (kacha) of silk, from 14 to 21
cubits in length, with the ends hanging in front and behind. Over
the shoulders is thrown a silk lace handkerchief. He puts in his ears
gold ear-rings, round the neck a necklace called chakra (wheel) mala,
[21] on the right wrist a gold bracelet, gold rings on the fingers,
a gold or silver chain round the loins, and a gold or silver-handled
knife with a sheath of the same metal. The two companions are dressed
in much the same way, but they wear neither necklace nor bracelet. The
women wear as many ornaments as they please. Sisters of the bridegroom
must wear bracelets on both wrists, a necklace, and a silk cloth
(virali) on the shoulders. The bracelet worn by men is called vala,
and must be made of one piece of metal. Those worn by women are
called kadakam, and must be made in two pieces. When all are ready,
mats, and other things are once more placed in the middle room, and
the bridegroom and his two companions sit on the mats. They at once
rise, and proceed to the little shed which has been erected in the
front yard, and again seat themselves on the mats, which, with the
other articles, have been brought thither from the middle room. Then
the Tandan gives betel to the bridegroom and his two companions, who
must chew it. The Tandan's wife, the elder woman of the house, and the
bridegroom's sisters sprinkle rice on their heads. The Tandan gives a
sword to the bridegroom and each of his companions. The procession then
starts. In front walk two Nayars supplied by the Koyma of the desam
(represented by the Nayar landlord). Then come the Tandan and a few
elders, followed by the Tandan's wife and some of the elder women,
the bridegroom with his two companions, his sisters, and finally
the general crowd. As the procession moves slowly on, there is much
dancing, and swinging of swords and shields. At the bride's house,
the party is received by the wife of the Tandan of the tara holding a
lighted lamp, the oldest woman of the family with a plate containing
a measure of rice and a folded cloth, and another woman, who may be
a friend, with a kindi of water. They sprinkle a little rice on the
heads of the party as they enter the yard. The bridegroom sits on a
mat, close to which the lamp and other articles are set. The bride's
Tandan takes charge of the swords, betel is distributed, and a hearty
meal partaken of. The six cloths, which the bridegroom is required
to bring are in reality three double cloths, one of which is for the
use of the bride. It is the privilege of the bridegroom's sisters and
the Tandan's wife to dress her. Her waist-cloth is tied in a peculiar
way for the occasion, and she is enveloped from head to foot in a
silken cloth, leaving only the eyes visible. The bridegroom, after
his arrival at the bride's house, has to put on a peculiar turban
of conical shape, made of a stiff towel-like material, tied round
with a silk handkerchief. The bridegroom's sister leads the bride
to the little shed (pandal) in the yard, and seats her behind the
bridegroom. The kanam, and the remaining four cloths are then given
by the bridegroom's sister to the bride's mother, and they, having
tied a silk handkerchief across the body like a Brahman's thread,
stand behind the bridegroom, the mother to the right and the sister
to the left. The latter says three times "Let the kanam be given,"
and hands it to the bride's mother, who, as she receives it, says
thrice "Let me receive the kanam." The mother at once hands it
over to her husband, or the senior male member of the family. The
Tandan then places plantain leaves, for use as plates, before the
bridegroom and his two companions, and, facing the bridegroom,
holds a vessel of cooked rice in front of him. The bride's mother,
standing behind him, serves out thrice some rice out of the pot on
to the leaf in front of the bridegroom, and the Tandan does the same
for his two companions. The bride's mother then mixes some plantains,
pappadams (large thin biscuits), sugar, and ghi (clarified butter)
with the rice on the bridegroom's leaf-plate, and offers the food to
him three times. She will not, however, allow him to taste it. It is
taken from his lips, and removed by the washerwomen. The bridegroom's
sister has the same play with the bride. The rice, which has thus been
made a feature of the ceremony, is called ayini. A few days prior
to the marriage, two small bundles of betel leaves, each containing
areca nuts, half a dozen tobacco leaves, and two fanams are given
by the bridegroom to the Nayar chieftain of the desam as his fee for
furnishing an escort. In return for these offerings, he gives a new
cloth to the bridegroom. Three measures of raw rice, ten or twelve
pappadams, plantains, a cocoanut, and some dry uncooked curry-stuff
are given by the bridegroom to each of the Nayars provided as escort
on the eve of the marriage. When they arrive on the scene on the
wedding day, they are given some beaten rice, rice cakes, cocoanuts,
plantains, and a drink of arrack (spirit). When the bride's parents and
relations come for the Vathil ceremony, the same escort is provided,
and the same presents are given. Just as the bridegroom and all are
ready to leave, the bride's father's sister's son called the machunan,
steps forward, and demands two fanams from the bridegroom's party
in return for permission to take away the bride. He gets his money,
and the party starts for the bridegroom's house, after rice has been
sprinkled over the heads of the contracting couple, the sisters of
the bridegroom leading the bride. The swords, which have been returned
by the Tandan, are again used in flourishing and dancing en route.

It is a prevalent custom throughout Southern India that a
girl's father's sister's son has the first right to her hand in
marriage. This obtains not only among the Dravidian peoples, but
also among Brahmans. The Malayalam word for son-in-law (marumakan)
means nephew. If a stranger should marry a girl, he also is called
nephew. But the unmarried nephew, having the first admitted right
to the girl, must be paid eight annas, or two fanams, before he will
allow her to be taken away. The argument is said to be as follows. A
sister pays forty-two fanams as kanam for her brother's wife. When
the product, i.e., a daughter, is transferred to a stranger, the son
claims compensation on his mother's investment at the same rate as
that at which a cocoanut tree is valued--eight annas. At all events,
the nephew has the first right to a girl, and must be compensated
before she can be taken away by another.

At the bridegroom's house, the party is received by the wife of
the Tandan and the lady of the house. Following the bride should
come her parents and other relations, two Nayars representing the
chieftain, and the Tandan of his tara. The formalities with mats and
rice are gone through as before. Rice is sprinkled over the heads,
the Tandan receives the swords, and all sit in the shed. The ayini
rice ceremony is repeated for the bride by the bridegroom's mother
and sisters. The happy pair then proceed to the inner room of the
house, where sweetmeats are served to them. Then is observed, as a
rule, the asaram or gift ceremony. Relations are expected to give 101
fanams (Rs. 25-4), but the poorest of them are allowed to reduce the
gift to 21 fanams (Rs. 5-4), and the others give according to their
means. These gifts are supposed to be repaid with interest. The Tandan
sees that a regular account of all the gifts is made out, and handed
over to the bridegroom, and receives eight annas for his trouble. The
accountant who prepares the accounts, and the person who tests the
genuineness of the coins, each receives a bundle of betel leaves,
four areca nuts, and two tobacco leaves. Betel leaves, areca nuts,
and tobacco, are also given to each giver of gifts. After this, there
is the vatil or house ceremony. Two large bundles of betel leaves
are prepared, each of which contains a thousand or fifteen hundred
leaves, and with them are placed forty or fifty tobacco leaves, and
seventy to a hundred areca nuts. The bride's Tandan pays two or four
rupees as vatil kanam to the Tandan of the bridegroom, who hands
the money to the bridegroom's father. The bridegroom then places
one bundle of betel leaves, with half the tobacco and areca nuts,
before the bride's father, and the other before her mother, and they
are distributed by the Tandan of the girl's tara and his wife among
the men and women who are present. Sweetmeats are then distributed,
and the marriage ceremony is concluded. A formal visit must be made
subsequently by the women of the bride's house to the bridegroom's,
and is returned by the bride and bridegroom. The first visit is
paid by a party consisting of the bride's mother, her uncle's and
brother's wives, the wife of the Tandan, and other relations. They
are expected to bring with them plenty of sweetmeats and bread for
general distribution. When the return visit is made by the bride and
bridegroom, the sister of the latter, and other relations and friends,
should accompany them, and they should take with them a lot of betel
leaves, areca nuts, tobacco, and sweetmeats. This exchange of visits
does not, however, complete those which are de rigueur. For, at the
next Onam and Vishu festivals, the newly married couple should visit
the house of the bride's family. Onam is the beginning of the first
harvest, and Vishu the agricultural new year. On these occasions, the
bridegroom takes with him the inevitable betel leaves, and presents
a new cloth to the parents of the bride and every one else in the
house. When the annual Tiruvathira festival takes place between the
betrothal and marriage ceremonies, the bridegroom is expected to
send to the temple, through his Tandan and one of his own relations,
a quantity of ripe and unripe plantains.

The ceremonies which have been described differ considerably from
those of the Tiyans of North Malabar, where the marumakkatayam law
of inheritance obtains. These are very simple affairs.

In the Calicut taluk, a man can marry only one wife at a time. But,
when a wife is barren, a leper, or suffering from incurable disease,
her husband may, with her formal permission, marry another wife. A
bride may be of any age. Where there is no stipulation as to dowry, it
is a point of honour to give the girl as many jewels as the bridegroom
can afford. Widows may remarry.

Divorce is admissible, when the grounds for it are sufficient. And,
when we find that incompatibility of temper is among these, it is
safe to say that it is fairly easy of accomplishment. No specific
reason need, in fact, be assigned. When it is the man who wishes to
get rid of his wife, he must pay her all her expenses towards the
marriage, as assessed by persons of the caste who fill the rôle
of mediators. He has to give up jewels received from his wife's
family, and must, in some cases, pay the discarded wife something on
account of her loss of virginity--a circumstance, which might make
it difficult for her to obtain another husband. If the wife wishes
to get rid of her husband, she must pay up all his expenses towards
the marriage. The party found to be in the wrong must pay a fee of
five to twenty rupees to the Tandan and all present, the relations
excepted. The amount is distributed then and there. The procedure to
be adopted in effecting divorce is as follows. The Tandans of both
sides, uncles and relations, and sometimes the fathers, assemble at
the house of the wife, the Tandan, or one of the relations. To the
left of a burning lamp are placed two small wooden stools. On one
of these are laid a small towel with four fanams (one rupee) tied
up in a corner of it, and another towel with a little rice and four
fanams tied up in it. Close by is the other stool, on which the wife's
uncle stretches a single thread taken from his own cloth. The husband
carries this stool to the gate, and says three times to the wife's
brother, father, or uncle--"Your sister's (daughter's or niece's)
matrimonial connection is severed." He then blows away the thread,
throws the stool down, and departs for ever. This little ceremony
cannot be performed at the husband's house, as it would involve
perpetual banishment from his own house. The coins in the cloths go
to the Tandans. It is the uncle who gives these cloths, because it
was he who received the two cloths at the conjee ceremony. A marriage
cannot be dissolved unless both parties agree.

A girl is under pollution for four days from the commencement of the
first menstrual period. During this time she must keep to the north
side of the house, where she sleeps on a grass mat of a particular
kind, in a room festooned with garlands of young cocoanut leaves. Round
the mat is a narrow ridge made of paddy (unhusked rice), rice, and
flowers of the cocoanut and areca palms. A lamp is kept burning, near
which are placed the various articles already described in connection
with marriage. Another girl keeps her company and sleeps with her, but
she must not touch any other person, tree or plant. She further must
not see the sky, and woe betide her if she catches sight of a crow or
cat. Her diet must be strictly vegetarian, without salt, tamarinds, or
chillies. She is armed against evil spirits with an iron knife carried
on her person, or placed on the mat. On the first day, she is seated on
a wooden stool in the yard to the east of the house. The fresh spathe
of a cocoanut is cut in front of her. The bunch of blossoms is placed
in a copper pot painted with perpendicular lines of chunam (lime),
and a horizontal line at the top and bottom. The spathe of an areca
palm is similarly treated, and, if the contents of both spathes are
plentiful, it is regarded as a good augury of fertility. The wife of
the girl's uncle, or, if she is married, her husband's sister pours
some gingelly (Sesamum) oil over her head, on the top of which a gold
fanam has been placed. Failing such relations, the wife of the Tandan
officiates. The operation is repeated by two other women, relatives
if possible. The oil is poured from a little cup made from a leaf
of the jak tree (Artocarpus integrifolia), flows over the forehead,
and is received with the fanam in a dish. It is a good omen if the
coin falls with the obverse upwards. Rice is cooked with jaggery,
and given to the girl. The other women partake thereof, and then have
a feast by themselves. The anointing with oil is the only bath the
girl has until the fourth day. On the third day, she is not allowed
to eat rice in any form, but she may partake of any other grain in
the form of cakes. Her uncle's wife, husband's sister, and other
relations, give her presents of cakes and bread. During the night,
the mattu, or cloth-changing ceremony, takes place. First of all,
the washerman comes along with the washerwoman, carrying two washed
cloths. In the front yard of the house a lamp with an odd number of
wicks is burning. In a bamboo basket are a small measure (edangali)
of paddy heaped up on a plantain leaf, a measure of rice on another
leaf, two separate quarter measures thereof, a piece of turmeric,
a little straw, a piece of coir (cocoanut fibre), and a cocoanut. As
soon as he enters, the washerman, using the straw and coir skilfully,
makes a bundle of the contents of the basket, and places it near the
lamp, which is standing on a wooden stool. A cocoanut is cut in half,
and placed, half on each side, by the stool. Thereon is set a flat
bell-metal dish, containing a little rice and seven rolls of betel
leaves and areca nuts. The washerwoman, having received the mattu
from the woman, places it on his head and proceeds to sing a song,
at the conclusion of which he says solemnly three times "Let me place
the mattu." He then places the cloths on the bundle, which is on the
stool. The girl's uncle's wife, and four other women, have by this time
emerged from the middle room of the house, carrying a lighted lamp,
a plate with a measure of rice, and a kindi as before. The uncle's
wife, having covered her breast with a silk cloth, and wearing all her
ornaments, leads the other four women as they walk thrice round the
mattu. She then places a fanam (or a four-anna piece) on the mattu,
lifts the stool, bundle and all, with one hand on the mattu and the
other below the stool, and leads the procession of the women, with
the lamp and other articles, to the room where the girl has been
sleeping. She deposits her burden near the spot where the girl has
laid her head. A general feast then takes place, and the washerman
appropriates the fanam, and the paddy and rice spread in the yard. So
ends the third day of these strange observances. On the fourth day,
the girl bathes in a neighbouring pool, with some ceremonial. Before
she leaves the house, the washerman fixes in the ground a branch
of a certain tree, to the top and bottom of which he ties the two
ends of a long line of thin coir rope or yarn. This is supposed to
represent the bow of Kama, the Indian Cupid. He erects a miniature
temple-like structure of young cocoanut leaves, with the stems
of young plantains near it, by the side of the pool. Close to it,
he places a burning lamp, and a small quantity of rice and paddy,
each on a separate plantain leaf. Near them he sets a cocoanut, which
has been blackened with charcoal, on some rice spread on a plantain
leaf, a cocoanut reddened with turmeric and chunam on raw rice, and
another on a leaf, containing fried paddy. [22] He further deposits
a few plantains, and two other cocoanuts. Before the girl leaves
the house, clad in one of the cloths brought on the previous night,
she is well rubbed all over with oil, and the four or six women [23]
who accompany her are similarly treated. Leading the way, they are
followed by a number of women to the pool, where the girl and her
companions bathe. After the bath, they stand by the side of the pool,
facing east and holding lighted cotton-wicks in their hands, and
go round the miniature temple three times, throwing the wicks into
it. The washerman again breaks out into song, accompanying himself by
striking a bell-metal plate with a stick. When he has finished, and
gone through a little more business on his own account, the girl's
husband or brother (if she is unmarried) appears on the scene. He
holds aloft the coir string, under the lower end of which a cocoanut
has been placed on the ground. The girl passes three times forwards
and backwards without touching it. Two cotton wicks, lighted at both
ends, are laid on the cocoanut, and the girl should cut the wicks and
the cocoanut through, completely severing them, with one blow of a
strong knife or chopper. If she is successful, the omen is considered
good. The girl, with her party, then bathes a second time. As she comes
out of the water, she kicks out backwards like a mule, and sends the
stem with the single cocoanut attached flying into the water with her
right foot. The second mattu cloth is then brought, and she is clad in
it. Then she is full dressed and ornamented and led back to the house
with a silk canopy over her head. She is taken to the middle room,
and cakes and rice are given to her to eat. A feast is then held. The
girl has so far been purified as regards most affairs of life, but she
cannot touch any cooking-vessel until she has undergone yet another
ceremony. This takes place on the seventh or ninth day after the first
appearance of the menses. Every day until then the girl is rubbed with
gingelly oil and turmeric. Three ordinary earthenware cooking-pots are
piled, one above the other, in the kitchen. The uppermost pot contains
cooked rice, the middle one rice boiled with jaggery, and the lowest
curry. The pots must be new, and are marked with perpendicular daubs
of chunam. Seated on a low wooden stool to the west of the pots, the
girl, facing the east, touches each pot with a knife. When the first of
all these menstruation ceremonies has taken place at the house of the
girl's husband, her mother brings some cakes on this last day. If it
has been performed at her father's house, her husband's sister should
bring the cakes. They are distributed among all present, and a small
meal is partaken of. All the expenses of the first, and seventh or
ninth day ceremonies, are borne by the people of the house, who may
be those of the family of the girl's father or husband. The expenses
of the ceremonial of the fourth day are defrayed by the girl's husband
if they have been performed at her father's house, and vice versâ.

The young wife has an easy time of it until the fifth month of
her pregnancy, when she must again submit to becoming the subject
for ceremonial. Then takes place the Belikala, for the purpose of
appeasing some of the many malignant spirits, who are unceasing
in their attempts to destroy infants in the womb. This consists
for the most part of offerings, which are repeated in the seventh
month. They are performed by members of the Mannan (washerman)
and Panan (exorcists and devil-dancers) castes. At the commencement
thereof, there is a feast. A structure, in shape something like a
Muhammadan taboot, [24] about five feet in height, is erected in the
front yard of the house. It is made of stems of young plantain trees,
and festooned with leaves of young cocoanut palms. The floor of the
little edifice, and the ground outside it to the west, are strewn
with charcoal made from paddy husk, on which are made magic squares
of white rice flour, intermingled with red, green, and yellow, each
colour being compounded with specified substances. The squares are
not always the same, but are prepared for each occasion, so as to
suit the particular spirit which is to be invoked and appeased. The
pregnant woman, with six female companions, leaves the middle room
of the house, carrying the usual lamp and other articles, and they
walk seven times round the edifice. Before completing the last round,
each throws into it a burning wick. They then stand to the west of it,
facing east, and sit down. The Mannans invoke the spirit in song,
accompanied by the clang of metal plates beaten with sticks. Drums
must not be used. The music and weird devil-dancing go on more or
less all night, and by morning some of the most nervous of the women,
overcome by the spirit, go into fits. The fees for the devil-dancing
are paid by the pregnant woman's father. Last of all, a live cock is
held against the forehead of the woman, mantrams (magical formulæ)
are repeated, and rice is thrown over her head. If she should have
a fit, the head of the cock is cut off, and the blood offered to the
demon spirit. If, however, she does not suffer from undue excitement,
the cock is simply removed alive. She is left in peace for the next
two months, when she goes to her father's house, at which there is
more devil-dancing at another Belikala ceremony. The fees are paid
by the woman's husband. They vary from five to thirty-two rupees,
according to the cost of the edifice which is erected, and the quality
of the dancing. The invocation of some of the devils requires specially
trained dancers who must be paid high fees. On the morning following
the dance, the tamarind juice drinking ceremony takes place at the
house of the woman's father. The fees in connection with this are
debited to the husband. Taking advantage of an auspicious moment, the
husband and two companions bathe in the early morning, and make a neat
toilette, the husband wearing a necklace. They then go to the nearest
tamarind, and pluck three small leafy twigs, which they bring to the
house. The husband's sister pounds the leaves in a mortar in a little
shed or pandal in the front yard. The juice is then strained through a
new double cloth eight cubits in length by the husband's sisters. If he
has no sisters, this should be done by his and his wife's mothers. Rice
conjee is then prepared with water, in which the tamarind juice has
been mixed. The husband, and his two companions, sit under the pandal,
where the usual lamp and other articles have been placed, with the
wife behind him. Her brother then feeds him thrice with the conjee
from a small gold spoon. The husband's sister feeds the wife in like
manner. One of the three twigs is planted by the husband in the front
yard, and his wife waters it every day until the child is born. In the
ninth month, the husband's sister presents his wife with a couple of
pounds of cummin seed and jaggery. The woman who brings this little
gift should be given some cakes and sweetmeats. During pregnancy,
a woman always wears an amulet concealed within a cylindrical tube
on her neck, to protect her against malignant spirits.

The young wife's child is born at her father's house, where she is
under the care of her mother. When the child is born, the brother of
the newly made mother goes out into the yard, and strikes the ground
three times with the stem of a dry cocoanut palm leaf. If the child
is a boy, he emits a long drawn out ku-u-u-u in high falsetto as he
does so. It is then the duty of the brother and the midwife to go and
inform the father of the event. The midwife receives from him her fee,
and a present of a cloth, and other presents from his sisters. If
the child is a boy, the brother receives a cloth, and, if a girl,
a cloth and a bell-metal plate.

The event of the birth of a child carries with it, as in the case of
death, pollution to every one in the house. This is partially removed
by ceremonies on the third day, and wholly by further ceremonies on the
ninth or eleventh day, whichever happens to be the more auspicious--a
Tuesday for example. Any one coming to the house before the first
ceremonies have taken place must bathe and wash his or her cloth to
remove the pollution. Any one visiting the house after the first, but
before the second ceremony, need not bathe, but cannot eat any food
in the house. The men of the household can get no rice at home until
after the second ceremony has been performed, and they are consequently
compelled to board elsewhere for the time being. A washerwoman carries
out the purification rites, assisted by a barber woman. First of all,
the floors of all the rooms are smeared with cow-dung. All clothes
in use are given to the washerwoman. The women rub their bodies all
over with oil, and the washerwoman brings mattu for them. The barber
woman sprinkles a mixture of cow's milk and karuka grass leaves over
the women, who then go to a pool and bathe. When the milk is about
to be sprinkled, the usual lamp, rice on a metal plate, and kindi of
water are produced. The barber woman takes the rice and one fanam,
and receives also some cocoanut and gingelly (Sesamum) oil. Much
the same things are given to the washerwoman. The second ceremony
is just like the first, but, even after its completion, the women of
the house cannot touch any cooking-vessels until after the fifteenth
day. The ceremony of touching the cooking pots, as at the time of the
first menstrual period, is then performed. These three purificatory
ceremonies must be performed after every birth.

On the twenty-seventh or fortieth day after the birth of a child,
the mother and the infant are taken back to the husband's house,
and cow's milk is for the first time given to the child. This event,
which has all the solemnity of a regular function, takes place in
the middle room, where the lamp, mat and other articles have been
arranged. The child's paternal grandfather, father's elder brother,
or other senior man administers the milk, which has been boiled. A
gold bracelet is dipped in it, and the drops of milk are made to
fall into the child's mouth. As this is being done, the celebrant
whispers in the child's right ear the name which will be formally
given to it in the sixth month. The eldest son is always named after
the paternal grandfather, and the second after the father. In like
manner, the eldest girl is named after its own mother. Relations and
friends take this opportunity to make presents of bracelets and other
articles to the infant. A feast is then held. After the ceremony is
over, the parents of the child's mother have to send about half a
bag of rice flour mixed with jaggery to her husband's house.

For the first six months of its life, a child's food consists of
nature's fount and cow's milk. It is then, before the sixth month is
over, given boiled rice for the first time. The ceremony takes place
either in the middle room of its father's house, or at a temple. The
child's grandfather, or the eldest male member of the family, sits
on a mat, and takes the child in his lap. With a gold ring he applies
honey three times to its mouth, and then gives it a little rice three
times. Female relations who are present follow his example, giving
the child first honey, and then rice. Several women, with the lighted
lamp and other articles, carry the child into the yard, to show it
the sky. They go round a cocoanut tree, and stand before the front
door, facing west. An elder among the women of the house stands at
the front door, calls out the name of the child three times, and asks
it to come inside. The relations give little presents of ornaments,
and there is a feast.

It will be observed that even a child's life is not entirely free from
ceremonial. When it has grown up, it undergoes more of it, and, when it
has lived its course on earth, is the subject of still more ceremonial
long after it is dead. All these affairs involve some expenditure, but
the one which literally runs away with money is marriage. The others
are not extravagances, nor are they as costly as might be implied from
the continual feasting of a large number of people. We must not think
of these feasts as of a banquet at the Carlton, but as simple affairs,
at which simple people are content with simple though pleasing fare.

When a child is provided by nature with teeth, it is the subject
of a little ceremony, during which it is expected to disclose its
natural propensities. The usual mat and other articles are arranged,
and there are in addition a large flat bell-metal plate containing
a rice cake, a knife, a palmyra leaf grantham (book), a cocoanut,
and a gold ornament. The child is let loose, and allowed to pick out
anything from the plate. If it takes the cake, it will be greedy; if
the knife, brave; if the book, learned; if the cocoanut, a landlord;
and, if the gold ornament, rich.

A child's head is shaved in the third or fifth year. The barber, who
performs the operation, is allowed to take away the rice which, with
the lamp, is at hand. He also receives a fanam and a new cloth. The
people of the child's mother bring rice cakes.

The last day of the Dasara festival in the fifth year of a child's
life is that on which instruction in the alphabet begins. A teacher,
who has been selected with care, or a lucky person holds the child's
right hand, and makes it trace the fifty-one letters of the Malayalam
alphabet on raw rice spread on a plate. The fore-finger, which is the
one used in offering water to the souls of the dead and in other parts
of the death ceremonies, must not be used for tracing the letters,
but is placed above the middle finger, merely to steady it. For
the same reason, a doctor, when making up a pill, will not use the
fore-finger. When, later on, the child goes to the village school,
the fifty-one letters are written one by one on its tongue with a
gold style, if one is available. As each letter is formed, the child
has to repeat the sound of it.

The lobes of both a child's ears are bored with a golden pin or a
thorn. The helix of the ear is not bored for the purpose of inserting
ornaments in it, but is sometimes bored as a remedy for disease,
e.g., hernia. Everywhere else in Southern India, it is common for
people of almost every class to have the helix of the left ear bored.

The tali-tying ceremony must be performed before a girl attains
puberty. The Tiyan tali is usually of gold, and worth about
half-a-crown. It is not the one which is worn in every day life, but
the one which is used in the ceremony about to be described. Throughout
Southern India, the tali is the ordinary symbol of marriage among
Hindus, and it is even worn by Syrian Christians. In Malabar, and the
Native States of Cochin and Travancore, it is a symbol of marriage,
with which a girl is ceremoniously adorned, as a rule before she is
affianced. The ceremony occupies three days, on the last of which the
tali is tied. On the first day, a shed or pandal is erected in the
front yard. Within it a similar structure is prepared with the leaves
of an areca palm, which has been cut down at an auspicious moment, and
with the formal sanction of the Tandan of the tara. This inner pandal
is tastefully decorated with pictures and flowers. It is important
to note that this little pandal must not be begun until the first
day of the ceremony. On this day, the carpenter of the tara brings
a low wooden seat, rather long and narrow, made from the pala tree
(Alstonia scholaris), which must be cut at an auspicious moment, for
which he receives one fanam. This seat is called mana. [25] A grass mat
is spread in the middle room of the house, with a white cloth over it,
on which the mana is placed. A lamp, vessel of water, and the usual
paraphernalia are arranged on the ground to the south close by. When
these preliminaries have been completed, the girl is brought by the
uncle's wife to the pandal, and seated on a stool. In front of her,
a lamp, and other things which are a feature in all ceremonials, and
a measure of paddy are placed on the ground, a gold fanam is put on
her head, and over it gingelly oil is poured. As the coin falls from
the forehead, it is caught in a cup. It is important which side falls
uppermost. The girl is then taken to a pool for bathing, and returns
to the pandal. She is conducted to the middle room of the house in
procession, with a silk canopy over her head and women carrying lamps,
etc. She is confined in this room, which is decorated in the manner
described when speaking of the menstruation ceremony, until the third
day. She sleeps on a mat, surrounded by a little ridge of rice and
paddy, cocoanut and areca palm flowers, and near her head is a copper
pot marked with vertical daubs of white. The blacksmith of the tara
brings a little stick, called charathkot, with an iron blade at one
end, which is supposed to represent an arrow of Kama. This the girl
keeps constantly at her side, and carries in her hand when compelled
by nature to leave the room. While confined in the room, she is not
allowed to eat fish, flesh, or salt, or see any animals, especially
a cat, dog, or crow. On the third day, the tali is prepared on the
spot by the village goldsmith. The girl's uncle gives him the gold,
which he melts, and works at in the pandal at an auspicious moment. The
paddy and rice, which, with the lamp and vessel of water, have been
in evidence during the operations, are given to the goldsmith, with a
fanam for his labour. A weaver brings two new cloths, of a particular
kind called mantra-kodi, for which the girl's uncle pays. One is worn
by the girl, and the mana is covered with the other. The girl is taken
to bathe, and, after the bath, is richly dressed and ornamented, and
brought in procession, with a canopy over her head, to the house,
where she is conducted to the inner room. The mana is then placed,
with the cloth near it, on a grass mat in the inner pandal. The
uncle's wife sits on the mat, and the uncle lifts the girl, carries her
three times round the pandal, and deposits her in his wife's lap. The
astrologer, who is present, indicates the moment when the tali should
be tied. The girl's father gives him a fanam, and receives from him a
little rice, called muhurtham (auspicious time). When the psychological
moment has arrived he sprinkles the rice on the girl's head, saying
"It is time." The tali is then tied round the girl's neck by the
uncle's wife. At the upper end of the tali is a ring, through which
the thread passes. The thread which is used for the purpose is drawn
from the cloth with which the mana has been covered. [It is odd that
there are some families of Nayars, who are not allowed to use a tali
with a ring to receive the string, and are therefore obliged to make
a hole in the tali itself.] As soon as the tali has been tied on the
girl's neck, a number of boys burst into song, praising Ganapathi
(the elephant god), and descriptive of the marriage of King Nala
and Damayanti, or of Sri Krishna and Rukmani. Every one joins in,
and the song ends with shouts and hurrahs. A mock feeding ceremony
is then carried out. Three plantain leaves are spread in front of
the girl in the pandal, and rice, plantains, and pappadams are spread
thereon. The uncle's wife offers some of each to the girl three times,
but does not allow her to touch it with her lips. The girl is then
taken to a temple, to invoke the God's blessing.

The description which has just been given is that of the ceremony which
is performed, if the girl has not been affianced. If a husband has been
arranged for her, it is he who ties the tali, and his sister takes
the place of the uncle's wife. Otherwise the ceremony is the same,
with this difference, however, that, when the husband ties the tali,
there can be no divorce, and the girl cannot remarry in the event of
his death.

In North, as in South Malabar, the tali-tying ceremony is always
performed before puberty, and occupies four days. This is the orthodox
procedure. The girl wears a cloth provided by the washerwoman. She is
taken from the middle room of the house to the yard, and there seated
on a plank of pala wood. Placed in front of her are a small measure
of rice and paddy, a washed white cloth, and a small bell-metal vessel
(kindi) on a bell-metal plate. The barber pours cocoanut water on her
head, on which a silver and copper coin have been placed. One of her
relations then pours water from a vessel containing some raw rice
over her head, using two halves of a cocoanut as a spout. The girl
is then taken back to the middle room, where she remains for three
days. There is a feast in the evening. On the fourth day, a pandal is
erected in the front yard, and decorated. The girl is taken to bathe
at a neighbouring pool, preceded by women carrying a lamp, a kindi of
water, and other things which have been already described. During her
absence, the barber performs puja to Ganapathi in the pandal. After
bathing, she cuts a cocoanut in half, and returns in procession,
with a silk canopy over her head, amid music and singing, and enters
the middle room of the house. The barber woman ties a gold ornament
(netti pattam) on her forehead, which she marks with sandal paste,
and blackens her eyes with eye-salve. The uncle's wife, preceded by
women bearing a lamp and other articles, carries the mana, covered with
cloth, from the middle room to the pandal. She walks three times round
the pandal, and places the mana on a grass mat, over which has been
spread some paddy and some rice where the girl will put her foot. The
women who have carried the lamp, etc., return to the room, and escort
the girl to the pandal. She walks thrice round it, and takes her seat
on the mana. The barber hands her a little rice, which she throws on
the lighted lamp, and articles which have been used in the puja to
Ganapathi, and on the post supporting the south-west corner of the
pandal. This post should be of pala wood, or have a twig of that tree
tied to it. More rice is handed to the girl, and she throws it to
the cardinal points of the compass, to the earth, and to the sky. A
small earthen pot containing rice, a cocoanut, betel, and areca nuts,
is placed near the girl. Into this a variety of articles, each tied
up separately in a piece of plantain leaf, are placed. These consist
of a gold coin, a silver coin, salt, rice, paddy, turmeric, charcoal,
and pieces of an old cadjan leaf from the thatch of the house. The
mouth of the pot is then covered over with a plantain leaf tied with
string. The girl sprinkles rice three times over the pot, makes a hole
in the leaf, and picks out one of the articles, which is examined
as an augur of her destiny. Betel leaves and areca nuts are then
passed twice round her head, and thrown away. She next twists off a
cocoanut from a bunch hanging at a corner of the pandal. Then follows
the presentation of cloths called mantra-kodi. These must be new,
and of a particular kind. Each of her relations throws one of these
cloths over the girl's head. Half of them (perhaps ten or twelve)
go to the barber, who, at this point, pours cocoanut water from the
leaf of a banyan tree on her head, on which a silver and copper coin
have been placed. The astrologer is then asked whether it is time
to tie the tali, and replies three times in the affirmative. The
barber woman hands the tali strung on a thread to the girl's uncle's
wife, who ties it round the girl's neck. The barber woman then pours
water on the girl's hands. Three times the water is flung upwards,
and then to the east, west, south, and north. A cotton wick, steeped
in oil, is then twisted round a piece of bamboo, and stuck on a young
cocoanut. The girl is asked if she sees the sun, looks at the lighted
wick, and says that she does. She is then taken to a cocoanut tree,
preceded by the lamp, etc. She walks three times round the tree,
and pours water over the root. The ceremony is now concluded, and
the girl is marched back to the middle room.

A variation of the tali-tying ceremony, as performed in Chavakad
on the coast between Calicut and Cochin, may be briefly described,
because it possesses some interesting features. It is always done
by the intended husband, or some one representing him. Seven days
prior to the beginning of the ceremony, the carpenter of the tara,
with the permission of the Tandan (here called Avakasi), cuts down an
areca palm, and fixes part of it as the south-east post of the booth,
at which the tali will be tied. On the sixth day, the girl is formally
installed in the middle room of the house. The carpenter brings a mana
of pala wood, the cost of which is paid by the father, and does puja
to it. The bridegroom's party arrive. A lamp is lighted in the booth,
which is at this time partly, but not entirely, made ready. Near the
lamp are placed a measure of paddy, half a measure (nazhi) of rice,
a looking-glass, a kindi of water, and a wooden cheppu (a rude vessel
with a sliding cover). The wives of the Tandan and uncle, together
with some other women, bring the girl, and seat her on the mana. The
uncle's wife parts her hair, and places a gold fanam on her crown. The
Tandan's wife then pours a little oil on it over a leaf of the jak
tree three times. The other women do the same. The girl is then taken
to a pool, and bathed. Before her return, the mana should be placed
ready for her in the middle room of the house. In the evening there
is a feast. On the day but one following, the tali is tied. The last
post of the booth is put up, and it is completed and decorated on the
tali-tying day. A lamp, looking-glass, and other things are put in
it. A grass mat is spread on the floor, and a kambli (blanket) and a
whitewashed cloth are placed over it. On either side of it is placed
a pillow. The bridegroom and his party wait in an adjoining house,
for they must not appear on the scene until the psychological moment
arrives. The Tandan of the bridegroom's tara, with a few friends,
comes first, and hands over two cloths and ten rupees eight annas to
the bride's Tandan. The girl is dressed in one of these cloths, and
led to the booth, the bridegroom's sister holding her by the hand. She
sits on the mana, which has been brought, and placed on the cloth,
by her uncle. The bridegroom comes in procession, carried on his
uncle's shoulders. The girl is still a child, and he is only a few
years her senior. His uncle puts him down on the right side of the
girl, after walking thrice round the booth. The girl's uncle's wife
sits close to her, on the other side, on the mana. Her father asks the
astrologer three times if it is the proper time to tie the tali, and is
answered thrice in the affirmative. Then the boy bridegroom ties the
tali on the girl's neck. The boy and girl sing out a chorus in praise
of Ganapathi, and end up with three loud shouts and hurrahs. Then
the boy seats himself on the ground, outside the pillow. The girl is
taken inside the house, and, after a general feast, is brought back,
and seated on the mana, and rice and flowers are sprinkled. No money
is paid to the uncle's son, as at Calicut. The boy bridegroom pays
eight annas to his sister for leading the bride by the hand. When the
marriage has been done by proxy, the boy bridegroom is selected from a
tarwad into which the girl might marry. He stays at the girl's house
for three days, and, on the fourth day, the boy and girl are taken
to a temple. A formal divorce is effected, and the boy is taken away.

It will not be worth while to attempt a description of the marriage
ceremony of the Tiyans of North Malabar, because there is none, or
next to none. There the Tiyans and all classes, including even the
Muhammadan Mappillas, follow the rule of marumakkatayam, or inheritance
through females from uncle to nephew. The children have no right to
their father's property. Either party may annul the marital union
at will, without awarding any compensation; and, as its infraction
is easy and simple, so is its institution. Nor is there any rigid
inquiry as to the antecedents of either party. It is an affair of
mutual arrangement, attended with little formality. Proceeding to the
girl's house, accompanied by a few friends, the intending husband
takes with him a couple of cloths, one for the girl, and the other
for her mother. In parts of North Malabar, the Tiyan women wear an
ornament called chittu (ring) in a hole bored in the top of the helix
of each ear. The holes are bored in childhood, but the chittu is not
worn until the girl forms a marital union with a man. The chittus
are made on the spot at the time, in the marriage pandal erected for
the occasion, the girl's uncle providing the gold. They are never
removed during life, except in cases of dire distress. "To sell
chittu" is equivalent to having become a pauper. It is supposed that,
in olden days, the marriage ceremonies lasted over seven days, and
were subsequently reduced to seven meals, or three and a half days,
and then to one day. Now the bridegroom remains the first night at
the bride's house, and then takes her to his home. Before they leave,
a cocoanut, the outer husk of which has been removed, is placed on
a stool of pala wood, and one of the bridegroom's party must smash
it with his fist. Some of the more orthodox in North Malabar observe
the formality of examining horoscopes, and a ceremony equivalent to
the conjee-drinking ceremony which has been described, called achara
kaliana, and the payment of kanam in the shape of forty-one fanams,
instead of forty-two as in South Malabar. In connection with fanams it
may be noted that the old gold fanam is reckoned as worth four annas,
whereas five silver or velli fanams make a rupee. Everywhere in rural
Malabar, calculations are made in terms of velli fanams thus:--


    10 pice (1/12 of an anna) = 1 velli.
    5 vellis = 1 rupee.


Bazaar men, and those who sell their small stock at the weekly markets
all about the country, arrange their prices in vellis.

When the death of a Tiyan is expected, all the relations draw near, and
await the fateful moment. The person who is about to die is laid on the
floor of the middle room, for it is inauspicious to die on a cot. We
will suppose that the dying man is a parent and a landlord. Each of
the sons and daughters gives him a little conjee water, just before
he passes away. At the moment of death, all the women bawl out in
lamentations, giving the alarm of death. The Cheruman serfs in the
fields join in the chorus, and yell out an unintelligible formula of
their own. Absent relations are all formally invited. From the houses
of the son's wife and daughter's husband are sent quantities of jak
fruits, unripe plantains, and cocoanuts, as death gifts. One half of
the husks of the cocoanuts is removed, and the other half left on the
shell. After the cremation or burial, these articles are distributed
among those present by the Tandan, who receives an extra share for
his trouble. When life is extinct, the body is placed with the head
to the south, and the thumbs and big toes are tied together. It is
then taken out into the yard, washed, bathed in oil, dressed in a new
cloth, and brought back to the middle room. A cocoanut is cut in two,
and the two halves, with a lighted wick on each, are placed at the
head and foot. The house-owner spreads a cotton cloth over the corpse,
and all the relations, and friends, do the same. Any one who wishes
to place a silk cloth on the corpse may do so, but he must cover it
with a cotton cloth. The body is then removed for burial or cremation,
and placed near the grave or funeral pyre. It is the rural rule that
elderly persons and karnavans of tarwads are cremated, and others
buried. The barber, whose function it is to perform the purificatory
rites, now removes, and retains as his perquisite, all the cloths,
except the last three covering the corpse. As it is being borne away
to the place of burial or cremation, water mixed with cow-dung is
sprinkled behind it in the yard. The eldest son, who succeeds to the
property and is responsible for the funeral ceremonies, then tears
crosswise a piece of the cloth which has been placed over the corpse
by the people of the house, and ties it round his forehead. He holds
one end of the cloth while the barber holds the other, and tears off
the piece. The barber then cuts three holes in the remainder of this
cloth covering the body, over the mouth, navel, and pubes. A little
water and rice are poured over a gold fanam through the slit over the
mouth. All who observe the death pollution, i.e., sons, grandsons,
nephews, younger brothers and cousins, offer water and rice in the
same manner, and walk three times round the grave or pyre. The barber
then breaks a pot of water over the grave. No other ceremonial is
observed on this day, on which, and during the night, rice must not be
eaten. If the body has been 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. Early on the second day,
all who are under pollution are shaved. The operation is attended
with some ceremonial, and, before it is commenced, a lighted lamp,
a measure of rice and paddy on a plantain leaf must be at hand. The
paddy and rice are a perquisite of the barber. Those who have been
shaved bathe, and then follows the crow-feeding ceremony. Rice is
boiled in a bell-metal vessel over a hearth prepared with three
young cocoanuts. The eldest son, who tore the cloth of succession
from the corpse, makes the rice into two little balls, places them
on a plantain leaf, and offers them to the spirit of the departed by
pouring libations of water on them over a blade of karuka grass. Men
and women who are under pollution then do the same. The rice balls
are eaten by crows. This little ceremony is performed daily until the
eleventh or thirteenth day, when the period of death pollution comes
to an end. If the eleventh day happens to fall on a Tuesday or Friday,
or on any inauspicious day, the period is extended to the thirteenth
day. When the period of death pollution is partly in one month,
and partly in another, another death in the house within the year is
expected. Preceding the sanchayanam, which occupies the fifth day,
there is the lamp-watching on the previous night. In the south-east
corner of the middle room, a little paddy is heaped up, and on it
is placed a bell-metal plate with an iron lamp having five or seven
lighted wicks on it. Under the lamp is a little cow-dung, and close
to it is a bunch of cocoanut flowers. The lamp must be kept burning
until it is extinguished on the following day. In the case of the
death of a male, his niece watches the lamp, and in that of a female
her daughter, lying near it on a grass mat. The sanchayanam is the
first stage in the removal of death pollution, and, until it is over,
all who come to the house suffer from pollution, and cannot enter their
own house or partake of any food without bathing previously. When the
body has been cremated, the fragments of calcined bones are collected
from the ashes, and carried in procession to the sea, or, if this is
far away, into a river. The members of the family under pollution
then rub their bodies all over with oil, and the barber sprinkles
a mixture of cow's milk over their heads, using a blade of karuka
grass as a spout. They then bathe, and the eldest son alone observe
mattu. The crow-feeding ceremony follows, and, when this is over, the
three cocoanuts which were used as a hearth are thrown away. A large
bell-metal vessel filled with water is now placed in the front yard
before the door of the house. The barber carries the still burning
lamp from the middle room, and sets it on the ground near the pot of
water. The women who are under pollution come from the middle room,
each carrying a lighted wick, walk thrice round the pot, and throw the
wicks into the water. The woman who has watched the lamp puts four
annas into the pot, and the others deposit a few pies therein. The
eldest son now lights a wick from the iron lamp which is about to be
extinguished, and with it lights a lamp in the middle room. The barber
then dips the iron lamp in the water, and picks out the money as his
perquisite. The water is poured on the roots of a cocoanut tree. The
bell-metal vessel becomes the property of the woman who watched the
lamp, but she cannot take it away until she leaves the house after the
pula-kuli ceremony. When the lamp has been extinguished, a woman, hired
for the occasion, is seated on a cocoanut leaf in the front yard. The
Tandan pours oil on her head three times, and she receives a little
betel and two annas. She rises, and leaves the place without turning
back, taking the pollution with her. Betel is then distributed. Those
who provided the death gifts on the day of the death must on this day
bring with them a bag of rice, and about four rupees in money. They
have also to give eight annas to the barber. A folded handkerchief is
first presented to the barber, who formally returns it, and receives
instead of it the eight annas. Before the people disperse, the day of
the pula-kuli is settled. Pula-kuli, or washing away the pollution,
is the final ceremony for putting off the unpleasant consequences of
a death in a family. First of all, the members thereof rub themselves
all over with oil, and are sprinkled by the barber with cow's milk
and gingelly oil. They then bathe. The barber outlines the figure
of a man or woman, according to the sex of the deceased, with rice
flour and turmeric powder, the head to the south, in the middle
room of the house. The figure is covered with two plantain leaves,
on each of which a little rice and paddy are heaped. Over all is
spread a new cloth, with a basket containing three measures of paddy
upon it. The eldest son (the heir) sits facing the south, and with a
nazhi measures out the paddy, which he casts to the south, east, and
west--not the north. He repeats the performance, using the fingers
of the left hand closed so as to form a cup as a measure. Then,
closing the first and fourth fingers firmly with the thumb, using
the left hand, he measures some paddy in the same manner with the two
extended fingers. Rice is treated in the same way. A nazhi of paddy,
with a lighted wick over it, is then placed in a basket. The eldest
son takes the nazhi in his left hand, passes it behind his body, and,
receiving it with his right hand, replaces it in the basket. The wick
is extinguished by sprinkling it with water three times. At the head
of the figure on the floor is placed a clean cloth--the washerman's
mattu. It is folded, and within the folds are three nazhis of rice. On
the top of it a cocoanut is placed. In the four corners a piece of
charcoal, a little salt, a few chillies, and a gold fanam are tied. The
eldest son, who is always the protagonist in all the ceremonies after
death, lifts the cloth with all its contents, places it on his head,
and touches with it his forehead, ears, each side and loins, knees and
toes. He does this three times. The plantain leaves are then removed
from the figure. A little turmeric powder is taken from the outline,
and rubbed on the forehead of the eldest son. He then bows thrice to
the figure, crossing his legs and arms so that the right hand holds the
left ear, and the left the right ear, and touches the ground with the
elbow-joints. It is no joke to do this. All this time, the eldest son
wears round his forehead the strip torn from the cloth which covered
the corpse. There is nothing more to be done in the middle room for
the present, and the eldest son goes out into the yard, and cooks
the rice for the final feed to the crows. Three nazhis of this rice
must be pounded and prepared for cooking by the woman who watched
the lamp on the fourth night after death. Having cooked the rice,
the eldest son brings it into the middle room, and mixes it with some
unrefined sugar, plantains and pappadams, making two balls, one large
and one small. Each of these he places on a plantain leaf. Then some
puja is done to them, and offerings of rice are made over a gold
fanam. The balls are given to the crows in the yard, or, in some
cases, taken to the sea or a river, and cast into the water. When
this course is adopted, various articles must be kept ready ere
the return of the party. These comprise a new pot containing water,
a branch of areca blossoms, mango leaves, a kindi containing a gold
fanam or gold ring, a little salt and rice, each tied up in a piece
of cloth, and a few chillies. The mouth of the pot is covered with a
plantain leaf, and secured. There are also two stools, made of pala
and mango wood. The eldest son sits on one of these, and places his
feet on the other, so that he does not touch the ground. The water in
the pot is sprinkled with mango leaves by the barber to the north,
south, east and west, and on the head of the son. The remainder of
the water is then poured over his head. The barber then sprinkles him
with cocoanut water, this time using areca blossoms, and makes him
sip a little thereof. The barber makes a hole in the plantain leaf,
and picks out the contents. The eldest son bathes, and after the bath
there is a presentation of gifts. The barber, sitting in the verandah
beside the son, first gives to each person under pollution a little
salt and raw rice, which they eat. He then gives them a little betel
leaf and a small piece of areca nut, and receives in return a quarter
of an anna. The eldest son chews the betel which he has received,
and spits into a spittoon held by the barber, whose property it
becomes. Then to the barber, who has been presented with a new mat to
sit on and new cloth to wear before he seats himself in the verandah,
are given an ear-ring such as is worn by Tiyan women, a silk cloth, a
white cotton cloth, and a few annas. If the deceased has been cremated
he is given six fanams, and, if buried, five fanams as the fee for
his priestly offices. On an occasion of this kind, several barbers,
male and female, turn up in the hope of receiving presents. All who
help during the various stages of the ceremonial are treated in much
the same way, but the senior barber alone receives the officiating
fee. It is odd that the barbers of the four surrounding villages are
entitled to receive gifts of new cloths and money. Those under death
pollution are forbidden to eat fish or flesh, chew betel, or partake
of jaggery. The restriction is removed on the pula-kuli day. The last
act for their removal is as follows. The barber is required to eat some
jaggery, and drink some conjee. After this, the eldest son, the Tandan,
and a neighbour, sit on a mat spread in the middle of the house,
and formally partake of conjee and jaggery. The pula-kuli is then over.

It is a sacred duty to a deceased person who was one of importance,
for example the head of a family, to have a silver image of him
made, and arrange for it being deposited in some temple, where it
will receive its share of puja (worship), and offerings of food and
water. The new-moon day of the months Karkitakam (July-August), Tulam
(October-November), and Kumbham (February-March) is generally selected
for doing this. The temples at Tirunelli in Wynad and Tirunavayi, which
are among the oldest in Malabar, were generally the resting-places of
these images, but now some of the well-to-do deposit them much further
afield, even at Benares and Ramesvaram. A silver image is presented
to the local Siva temple, where, for a consideration, puja is done
every new-moon day. On each of these days, mantrams are supposed to
be repeated a thousand times. When the image has been the object of
these mantrams sixteen thousand times, it is supposed to have become
eligible for final deposit in a temple. It is this image which rests
in the temple at Tirunavayi, or elsewhere.

An annual sradh ceremony is performed for the sake of the spirit
of the deceased, at which crows are fed in the manner already
described, and relations are fed. On the night of this day, some
sweetmeats or cakes, such as the deceased was fond of during life,
are offered to the spirit. A lamp is placed on a stool, and lighted
in the middle room of the house, with a kindi of water and a young
cocoanut near it. The cakes or sweetmeats are placed in front of the
stool. Children sprinkle rice over it, and the door is shut for a
quarter of an hour. The individual who feeds the crows should partake
of only one meal, without fish or flesh, on the previous day. Another
ceremony, which is necessary for the repose of the dead, is called
badha-velichatu-variethal, or bringing out the spirit. It cannot be
performed until at least a year after death, for during that period
the spirit is in a sort of purgatory. After that, it may be invoked,
and it will answer questions. The ceremony resembles the nelikala
pregnancy ceremony. The performers are Panans or washermen. Some little
girls are seated in front of a booth in the yard. The celebrant of
the rite sings, invoking the spirit of the deceased. Late at night,
one of the girls becomes possessed by the spirit, and, it is said,
talks and acts just like the deceased, calling the children, relations
and friends by name, talking of the past, and giving commands for the
future conduct of the living members of the family. After this, the
spirit is severed from earthly trammels, and attains heavenly bliss.

The wood used for the purpose of cremation is that of a mango tree,
which must be cut down after the death. A little sandalwood and
cuscus (grass) roots are sometimes added to the pyre. In these days,
when the important and interesting features of ceremonial are fast
disappearing, it is not surprising that dried cakes of cow-dung are
superseding the mango wood.

Among other ceremonies, there is one called kutti puja, which is
performed when a newly built house is taken charge of. Vastu Purusha
is the name of the supreme being which, lying on its back with
its head to the north-east and legs to the south-west, supports
the earth. Or rather the earth is but a small portion of this
vast body. Forests are its tiny hairs, oceans its blood-vessels,
and the wind its breath. In this body are fifty-three deities,
who are liable to disturbance when the surface of the earth is dug,
when trees are felled, foundations laid, and a house built. These
angry beings must be propitiated, or there will be untimely deaths,
poverty, and sickness among the inmates. The ceremony is performed in
the following manner. A square with fifty-three columns is made with
rice flour in the middle room of the house, and each column is filled
with yellow, red, and black powder. A plantain leaf is placed over
it, and a few measures of paddy are set on the top of the leaf. On
this is placed another leaf, with various kinds of grain, plantains,
cocoanuts, and jaggery on it. The carpenter, who is the architect
and builder of the house, then performs puja with flowers, incense
and lights, and the troublesome imp-spirit Gulikan is propitiated
with toddy and arrack, and a fowl which is decapitated for him. Then
all the workmen--carpenters, masons, and coolies--walk thrice round
the house, breaking cocoanuts on the walls and doors, and howling in
order to drive away all evil spirits which may by chance be lurking
about the place. After this, they are all fed until they cry out "We
are satisfied, and want no more." They are given cloths and other
presents, and the chief feature of the ceremony takes place. This
is the formal handing over of the house by the carpenter. He hands
it over to a third person, and never directly to the owner. It is
not always easy to find a third person who is willing to undertake
the responsibility, and who is at the same time suitable for the
Gulikan who is dispossessed of the house, and pursues him henceforth,
following him who first receives charge of the house. He should
be a man who brings luck, cheerful and contented, having a family,
and not labouring under any disorder or sickness of body. There is,
or was a few years ago, an old Nayar living not far from Calicut, who
was much sought after to fulfil the functions of third person on these
occasions, and all the houses he received prospered. The third person
is generally a poor man, who is bribed with presents of cloths, money
and rice, to undertake the job. He wears one of the new cloths during
the ceremony. When the carpenter's ceremonies have been completed,
this man is taken to the middle room of the house, and made to stand
facing the door, with each foot on a plantain leaf. Pieces of the
thatch are tied to the four corners of his cloth. He shuts the door,
opens it, and shuts it again. The carpenter calls from without, asking
him whether he has taken charge of the house. He replies evasively
"Have the carpenters and workmen received all their wages? If they
have, I take charge of the house." The carpenter does not answer the
question, for, if he did so, the mischief would be transferred to
him through the house-owner. So he says "I did not ask you about my
wages. Have you taken charge of the house?" The man inside answers
as before, adding "otherwise not." The carpenter again says "I did
not ask you about my wages. Answer me straight. Have you, or have
you not taken charge of the house?" The man inside replies "I have
taken charge of the house," and opens the door. Taking in his hands
the plantain leaves on which he stood, he runs away as fast as he can
without looking back. This he must not do on any account. The people
pelt him with plantains, and hoot at him as he runs, and water mingled
with cow-dung is sprinkled in his path. After all this, cow's milk is
boiled with a little rice in the house, of which every one partakes,
and the owner assumes charge of his house.

In the pre-British days, a few of the well-to-do families of
Tiyans lived in houses of the kind called nalapura (four houses),
having an open quadrangle in the centre. But, for the most part, the
Tiyans--slaves of the Nayars and Nambutiris--lived in a one-roomed
thatched hut. Nowadays, the kala pura usually consists of two rooms,
east and west.

Toddy-drawing, and every thing connected with the manufacture and
sale of arrack (country liquor) and unrefined sugar, form the orthodox
occupation of the Tiyan. But members of the community are to be found
in all classes of society, and in practically all professions and
walks of life. It is interesting to find that the head of a Tiyan
family in North Malabar bears the title Cherayi Panikar, conferred
on the family in the old days by a former Zamorin. A title of this
kind was given only to one specially proficient in arms. Even in
those days there were Tiyan physicians, bone-setters, astrologers,
diviners, and sorcerers.

It is easy to identify the toddy-tapper by the indurated skin of
the palms, fingers, inner side of the forearms, and the instep. The
business of toddy-tapping involves expert climbing, while carrying
a considerable paraphernalia, with no adventitious aid other than
can be got out of a soft grummet of coir to keep the feet near
together, while the hands, with the arms extended, grasp the palm
tree. The profession is rarely adopted before the age of eighteen,
but I have seen a man who said he began when he was twelve years
old. It is very hard work. A tapper can work about fifteen trees,
each of which he has to climb three times a day. In the northern
districts of the Madras Presidency, among the Telugu population,
the toddy-drawers use a ladder about eight or nine feet in length,
which is placed against the tree, to avoid climbing a third or a
fourth of it. While in the act of climbing up or down, they make use
of a wide band, which is passed round the body at the small of the
back, and round the tree. This band is easily fastened with a toggle
and eye. The back is protected by a piece of thick soft leather. It
gives great assistance in climbing, which it makes easy. All over the
southernmost portion of the peninsula, among the Shanans and Tiyans,
the ladder and waist-band are unknown. They climb up and down with
their hands and arms, using only the grummet on the feet. The Tiyan
toddy-tapper's equipment consists of a short-handled hatchet, about
seven inches square, of thin iron, sheathed in a wooden case, and
fastened to a waist-belt composed of several strings of coir yarn,
to which is hung a small pot of gummy substance obtained by bruising
the leaves of the aichil plant. A vessel holding a couple of gallons,
made out of the spathe of the areca palm, is used for bringing down the
toddy. Tucked into the waist-belt is a bone loaded with lead at either
end, which is used for tapping the palm to bring out the juice. A man
once refused to sell at any price one of these bones--the femur of a
sambar (Cervus unicolor), which had such virtue that, according to
its owner, it would fetch palm juice out of any tree. The garb of
the tapper at work consists of a short cloth round the loins, and
(always during the rains, and often at other times) a head-covering
somewhat pointed in shape, made of the leaves of the cocoanut palm
placed together as in a clinker-built boat, or of a rounded shape,
made out of the spathe of the areca palm. The toddy-tapper should go
through the show of reverence by touching the cocoanut tree with the
right hand, and then applying his hand to the forehead, every time
he prepares to climb a tree.

In connection with toddy-drawing, the following note occurs in
the Gazetteer of Malabar. "The tapper and the toddy shopkeeper are
generally partners, the former renting the trees, paying the tree-tax,
and selling the toddy at fixed prices to the latter. Sometimes the
shopkeeper pays both rent and tax, and the tapper is his servant paid
by the bottle. The trees are rented half yearly, and the rent varies
between Re. 1 and Re. 1-8-0 per tree. They are fit for tapping as soon
as they come into bearing, but four years later and in the succeeding
decade are most productive. They are seldom tapped for more than six
months in the year, and the process, though it shortens the life of the
tree, improves the yield of nuts in the rest of the year. The tapper's
outfit is neither costly nor elaborate. A knife in a wooden case,
a bone weighted with lead (the leg bone of a sambhur for choice),
a few pots, and two small rings of rope with which to climb complete
the tale. Operations begin when the spathe is still enclosed by its
sheath. Once a day the spathe is gently bruised on either side with
the bone, and on the third and following days a thin slice is cut
off the end twice a day. On the fifteenth day drawing begins, and the
bruising ceases. Sheath and spathe are swathed for the greater part
of their length in a thick covering of leaves or fibre; the ends are
still cut off twice or three times a day, but, after each operation,
are smeared with a paste made of leaves and water with the object, it
is said, of keeping the sap from oozing through the wound and rotting
the spathe. The leaves used for this purpose are those of the éechal or
vetti tree, which are said to be one and the same (Aporosa Lindleyana);
but in British Cochin, where the tree does not grow, backwater mud
is utilised. Round the space between the end of the sheath and the
thick covering of leaves a single leaf is bound, and through this
the sap bleeds into a pot fastened below. The pot is emptied once a
day in the morning. The yield of sap varies with the quality of the
tree and the season of the year. In the hot months the trees give
on an average about a bottle a day, in the monsoon and succeeding
months as much as three bottles. In the gardens along the backwaters,
south of Chettuvayi, Messrs. Parry & Co. consider that in a good year
they should get a daily average of three bottles or half a gallon of
toddy per tree. A bottle of toddy sells for three or four pies."

In connection with the coir industry, it is noted, in the Gazetteer of
Malabar, that "the husks of the cocoanuts are buried in pits as near
as possible to the waterline of rivers, backwaters and creeks, and
are left to soak for six months, a year, or even eighteen months--the
longer the better. The colour of the yarn, and thereby the quality,
depends very much on the water in which the husks are steeped. It
should be running water, and, if possible, fresh water. If the water
be salt, the yarn may at first be almost white, but in a damp climate
it soon becomes discoloured and blotchy. As soon as the husks are taken
out of the pits, the fibre is beaten out with short sticks by Tiyattis
(Tiyan females) and women of the Vettuvan caste. It is dried in the
sun for twelve hours, and is then ready for sale to native merchants
at Calicut and Cochin, who in their turn deal with the European
firms. The fibre is twisted into yarn by Tiyattis and other women,
and in that form the greater part of the coir made in Malabar is
exported from Cochin to all parts of the world, but chiefly to the
United Kingdom and Germany."

It has been said that "in North Malabar the preparation of coir is
a regular cottage industry of the most typical kind. Throughout the
year, wherever one goes, one hears the noise of the women hammering
out the fibre, and sees them taking, in the evening, that part of it
which they have rolled into yarn to the nearest little wayside shop,
to be exchanged for salt, chillies, paddy, etc. But, in the north of
the district, nothing of the kind goes on, and the coir is commonly
used as fuel."

It has been already stated that marumakkatayam, or inheritance through
nephews, is the invariable rule in North Malabar, being followed even
by the Muhammadan Mappillas. In South Malabar, where the Tiyans do not
observe marumakkatayam, the property devolves through the sons. All
sons share alike. Daughters have no share. The practice of polyandry,
which still exists in Malabar among the Tiyans (and other classes),
and which was probably once general, tends to prevent dispersion of the
family property. Although theoretically all sons share the property
of their father, it is the eldest son who succeeds to possession
and management of the tarwad property. The others are entitled to
maintenance only, so long as they remain in the same tarwad house. It
is the same among the Izhuvans.

Beef, as in the case of all Hindus, is forbidden as an article of
diet. The staple food is rice with fish curry. The common beverage
is conjee, but this is being supplanted by tea, coffee, lemonade,
and soda-water.

A loin-cloth, which should not reach to the knees, with a Madras
handkerchief on the shoulders, is the orthodox dress of the males,
and a double loin-cloth that of females. Women were not allowed to wear
anything above the waist, except when under death pollution. Any colour
might be worn, but white and blue are most common. A ring, composed
of hollow gold beads, called mani-kathila, is the proper ornament for
a Tiyan woman's ear. Twenty or thirty, with a pendant in the middle,
might be worn. Gold or silver bracelets could be worn. Hollow silver
bracelets were worn by girls until the birth of their first child. But
times have changed, and nowadays Tiyan women wear the ornaments which,
strictly speaking, appertain to Nayar and Brahman women. Their mode of
tying the hair, and even their dress, which is inclined to follow the
fashion of the Christians, has changed. In olden days, a Tiyan woman
could wear an ornament appropriate for a Nayar on a special occasion,
but only with the permission of the Nayar landlord, obtained through
the Tandan, on payment of a fee.

In North Malabar a good round oath is upon Perumal Iswaran, the God
of the shrine at Kotiyur. In South Malabar it is common to swear by
Kodungallur Bhagavati, or by Guruvayur Appan, local deities.

The Tandan is the principal person in the tara, to decide all caste
disputes. In South Malabar, he is, as a rule, appointed by the senior
Rani of the Zamorin. A fee of anything up to 101 fanams (Rs. 25-4-0)
must be paid to this lady, when she appoints a Tandan. When there
is a problem of any special difficulty, it is referred to her for
decision. In territories other than those within the power of the
Zamorin, the local Raja appoints the Tandan, and gives the final
decision in special cases. As we have seen, the Tiyan is always to
some extent subordinate to a Nayar overlord, but he is not bound to
any particular one. He can go where he likes, and reside anywhere, and
is not bound to any particular chief, as is the Nayar. It is noted by
General E. F. Burton, [26] in connection with bygone days, that "such
was the insolent pride of caste that the next (and very respectable)
class of Hindus, the Teers, were not allowed to come near the Nairs,
under penalty of being cut down by the sword, always naked and ready."

In connection with the religion of the Tiyans, I may commence with
an old tradition, which is no doubt from a Brahmanic source. Once
upon a time there were seven heavenly damsels, who used to bathe
every day before dawn in a lake situated in a forest. Siva found
this out, and appeared as a fire on the bank, at which the girls
warmed themselves. Having thus lured them, the God made all of them
mothers. Seven beautiful boys were born, and Siva presented them to
Parvati, who treated them as if they were her own sons. They were taken
to mount Kailasa, and employed in preparing toddy for the mysterious
and wonderful Sakti worship. Daily they brought the toddy at the
moment when it was required for the golden pot. Parvati embraced the
boys all at once, and they became one. On a certain day, this boy sent
the sacred toddy in charge of a Brahman, who became curious to know
the virtues of the mysterious liquid. As he rested on a river bank
thinking about it, he drank a little, and filled the vessel up with
water. Then he reached Kailasa too late for the daily worship. Siva
was angry, and ordered the Saunika boy (Parvati's name for him) to
be brought before him. But the boy had been told what had happened,
and cut off the head of the Brahman, who had confessed to him. Seeing
the boy coming along carrying a Brahman's head, Siva was astonished,
and commanded him to approach nearer. The boy explained that it was
not a heinous crime to cut off the head of one who had prevented
the Sakti worship. Siva said that the killing of a Brahman was the
worst of crimes, and put the perpetrator out of caste. He would not
listen to the boy, who replied that whoever prevented Sakti worship
was a Chandala, and condemned him. The boy asked for death at Siva's
hands. The request pleased the God, who forgave him. The boy had to
remain out of caste, but was initiated into the mysteries of Sakti
worship as the surest means of salvation, and to him was given the
exclusive privilege of performing Sakti worship with liquor. He
was commanded to follow, and imitate the Brahmans in everything,
except in the matter of repeating the sacred mantrams. By tantrams
(signs with the hands) he eventually obtained the merit of making
puja with mantrams. He was the first Tiyan.

It is pretty safe to say that all the ideas of the Tiyans connected
with pure Hinduism--the Hinduism of the Vedas--and of tradition,
of which we see very little in Southern India, and which in Malabar
is more perverted in confused ideas than perhaps elsewhere, those
relating to re-birth, karma, pilgrimages to Benares and distant
temples are borrowed from the Brahmans. In the ceremonies which have
been described, notably in those connected with marriage and death,
we have seen the expression of many Hindu ideas. Not so is all that
relates to offerings to the dead. That is the common property of all
the children of men.

A main feature in the religion of the Tiyan is that it is largely
connected with Sakti worship. Some Brahmans indulge therein, but they
are unable, like the Tiyans, to use arrack in connection with it, and
are obliged to use, instead of this requisite, milk or honey. Siva,
not exactly a Vedic entity, and Sakti, are supposed to be the two
primordial and eternal principles in nature. Sakti is, perhaps, more
properly the vital energy, and Sakti worship the worship of the life
principle in nature. We are not considering the abstract meaning of
the term Sakti; nor are we now thinking of the Siva of Monier Williams
or Max Müller. We are in Malabar, where the Hinduism of the Vedas is
in almost hopeless confusion, and mingled with animism and nearly
every other kind of primitive religious idea. It is not therefore
at all an easy task to represent in words anything like a rational
conception of what the religion of the Tiyan really is. The poor and
ignorant follow, in a blind ignorant way, Hinduism as they know it and
feel it. Their Hinduism is very largely imbued with the lower cult,
which, with a tinge of Hinduism, varied in extent here and there,
is really the religion of the people at large all over Southern
India. The Tiyans have a large share of it. To the actions of evil
and other spirits are attributable most, if not all of the ills and
joys of life. The higher Hinduism is far above them. Nevertheless,
we find among them the worship of the obscure and mysterious Sakti,
which, unfortunately, is practiced in secret. Nobody seems to be in
the least proud of having anything to do with it. In fact, they are
rather ashamed to say anything about it. Those who, so to speak, go
in for it are obliged to undergo preliminary purificatory ceremonies,
before the great mystery can be communicated to them. The mantram,
which is whispered by the guru (religious preceptor) in the ear of
the devotee is said to be "Brahma aham, Vishnu aham, Bhairavu aham"
(I am Brahma, I am Vishnu, I am Bhairavan). It is believed that each
individual is a spark of the divinity. Having in him the potentiality
of the Supreme Being, he can develop, and attain godhood. There is no
distinction of caste in Sakti worship. The devotees may belong to the
highest or to the lowest castes, though I doubt very much whether the
Nambutiri Brahmans indulge in it. The novices, of whatever caste,
eat and drink together during the period of puja. Men and women
participate in the secret rites. A solemn oath is taken that the
mystery of Sakti will not be revealed, except with the permission of
the guru, or on the death-bed. The spirit of the goddess (for Sakti is
thought of as the female principle) must be withdrawn from the body
of the Sakti worshipper when he is at the point of death. A lamp is
lighted beside him. A few leaves of the tulsi plant (Ocimum sanctum),
a little rice, and a lighted wick are given to the dying man. Holding
these things, he makes three passes over his body from head to foot,
and, as it were, transfers the spirit to the next man, at the same time
communicating his wishes about continuing the worship, and so on. When
a man dies before this separation or transfer has been accomplished,
a Brahman must be called in, who, with a silver image representing
the deceased, makes symbolic transference of the Sakti spirit. It
must be done somehow, or the soul of the deceased cannot attain
salvation. It is said that, like many other things in this land,
Sakti worship has undergone degeneration, that such lofty ideas and
feelings as may have once pervaded it have more or less disappeared,
and that the residue is not very edifying. Be this as it may, in
every tara there is a Bhagavati temple for Tiyans, where Tiyans
officiate as priests. The Komaram (oracle) of the Bhagavati temple
is clothed in red, and embellished with red sandal paste mixed with
turmeric. Bhagavati is always associated with various jungle spirits
or gods, whose Komarams always wear black. There is no daily worship
in Tiyan temples, with the exception of a few in the neighbourhood
of Cannanore. But there is an annual celebration of puja during the
mannalam (forty day) period, commencing on the first of the month
Vrischikam (15th November). Lamps are lighted, and worship is begun on
this day, and continued for forty days. At its conclusion, the jungle
gods retire to the jungle until the next year. A death in the family
of a Komaram involves, I believe, some postponement of the rites. The
period is supposed to be first part of the functional activity of the
earth, which ends somewhere about the 21st of June. It is during this
period that Sakti worship is carried on.

The temple of Subramania at Palni in the Madura district is a
favourite objective for Tiyan pilgrims. The subject of pilgrimages
to this temple has been touched on in my note on the Nayars (see
Nayar). The Bhagavati temple at Kodungallur in Cochin territory on the
coast is another favourite place of pilgrimage among the Tiyans. All
classes of people, with the exception of Brahmans, undertake this
pilgrimage. Everyone under a vow, proceeding to the festival,
which takes place in February or March, carries with him a cock,
which is beheaded at the shrine. Under the Perumals, pilgrimage to
Kodungallur was somewhat compulsory. This temple was a fruitful source
of revenue to the State, for not only the Tiyans, but the fisherman
and artisan castes had their own temple in every tara in the land,
and the Muppan--the Komaram--of each temple was under an obligation
to contribute yearly gifts to the temple at Kodungallur. Rent for the
temple lands was set at a nominal figure--a mere pepper-corn rent as
acknowledgment of sovereign right. Rent might not be paid in times of
trouble, but the gifts eked out of superstition were unfailing. It is
not surprising, therefore, that learning and advancement among the
inferior castes did not receive much encouragement from the rulers
of those days.

The temple of Kotiyur in North Malabar is also a shrine to which
Tiyans make pilgrimage. Indeed, it may be said that they follow
Hinduism generally in rather a low form, and that Sakti worship is
perhaps more peculiarly theirs than others', owing to their being
able to use arrack, a product of the palm, and therefore of their own
particular métier. The highest merit in Sakti can be reached only
through arrack. The Sakti goddess, Bhagavati, the Tiyans look upon
as their own guardian spirit.

As instancing the mixture and confusion of religious ideas in Malabar,
it may be mentioned that Mappillas have been known to indulge in
Sakti worship, and Tiyans to have made vows, and given offerings at
Mappilla mosques and Christian churches. Vows to the well-known mosque
at Mambram are made by people of almost every caste. It is not uncommon
to present the first fruit of a jak tree, or the milk of a cow when
it brings forth its first calf, to the local Tangal or Mappilla priest.

In many, perhaps in most Tiyan houses, offerings are made annually
to a bygone personage named Kunnath Nayar, and to his friend and
disciple Kunhi Rayan, a Mappilla. It is probable that they excelled in
witchcraft and magic, but, according to the story, the Nayar worshipped
the kite until he obtained command and control over all the snakes
in the land. The offerings are made in order to prevent accidents
from snakes. The snake god will also give children to the family, and
promote domestic prosperity. Men without offspring worship him. Leprosy
and the death of a child are believed to be the consequence of killing
a snake. There are Mappilla devotees of Kunnath Nayar and Kunhi Rayan,
who exhibit snakes in a box, and collect alms. There is a snake mosque
near Manarghat, at the foot of the Nilgiri hills, which has its annual
festival. The alms are collected ostensibly for this mosque.

An interesting story, which is the legendary account of the
exodus of the artisans from Malabar, and their return with the
Tiyans, is narrated by the Panans. There were, in olden times, five
recognised classes, which includes the Asaris (carpenters), Musaris
(workers in bell-metal), Thattans (goldsmiths), and Perin-Kollans
(blacksmiths). The fifth class is unknown. When an individual of the
artisan classes dies, the Panan of the tara must bring a death gift to
the house, which consists of cocoanuts and jak fruits or plantains. The
Panan places the gift in the yard and repeats a long formula, which
he has learnt by heart. It is very likely that he knows little or
nothing of its meaning. But he reels it off, and at its conclusion
the gifts are accepted. The same formula is also always repeated
among the carpenters, goldsmiths, and blacksmiths during wedding
and tali-tying ceremonies. It relates how the artisans deserted the
land of Cheraman Perumal, and sought an asylum in the country of the
Izhuvans with the island king, and how the Perumal sent the Panan
to bring them back. Every one knows this old story, and believes
it firmly. It must be learnt by heart, and the Panan gives it in
the yard when a member of the artisan classes dies. The story is to
the following effect. During the four Yugams, Kreta, Treta, Dwapara,
and Kali, many kings reigned over the earth. Parasu Raman destroyed
the Kshatriya kings on twenty-one occasions, and was obliged to make
atonement in expiatory ceremonies. He worshipped Varuna, the ocean
god, and recovered from the sea a hundred and sixty kathams of land,
consisting of Kolanad (?), Venad (Travancore), Kanya Kumari (Cape
Comorin), Cheranad, and Malayalam up to Changala Vazhi beyond the
Anaimalai hills. Cheraman Perumal was the ruler of this land, in
which were the four castes. His capital was at Tiruvanja Kolam. One
day, Veluthedan [27] Chiraman was washing the Perumal's cloths in
a tank. He beat the cloths on a stone which was flat on the ground,
and held one of the cloths in his hand. A girl of the carpenter caste,
Ayyesvari by name, was just then going to the tank to bathe after her
monthly period. She called out "Ho! Kammal. [28] That is not the way
to wash cloths. Put a small stone under one end of your washing stone,
so as to make it slope a little. Then hold both ends of the cloth
in your hand, and beat the middle of the cloth on the stone." The
Veluthedan did so, and found that he washed better, and the cloths
were whiter. The Perumal asked him "Were you not washing the cloths
before? Who washed them to-day?" To which the Veluthedan replied
"Oh! Tamburan (chief or lord), a carpenter girl instructed your slave
to-day how to wash cloths properly. May Perumal be pleased to order
the girl to be given to your slave as his wife." Perumal then said
"To whatever caste she may belong, you may take her by force, and
will not lose your caste." Having received the king's permission,
Veluthedan Chiraman concealed himself near the carpenter's house,
and, when the girl opened the door to sweep the yard at dawn, he
seized her, and carried her off to his house. Carpenter Sankaran of
Tiruvanja Kalam went to the Perumal, and complained that Veluthedan
Kammal had carried away his daughter, and disgraced him. He asked the
Perumal whether he would give him an armed guard to rescue her. To
which the Perumal replied "I will not help either party with armed
men. You must fight it out among yourselves." Then the five classes
of artisans consulted one another, and made common cause. The Panans,
Perin Malayans, and Chen (red) Koravans joined the artisans. The
Ven Thachans, Velans, Paravans, Vettuvans, Kanisan Panikars, and the
Pandi Pulluvans of Vellalanad joined the other side. There was war
for twelve years. In the end, the artisans were defeated. They said
among themselves "We have been defeated by the fourteenth caste of
Veluthedan Nayar, who carried away our daughter. Let us leave this
country." So 7,764 families, with the women and children, tied up their
mats, and left Cheraman Perumal's country, and went to Izhuva land,
which was beyond it. They went before the Izhuva king (island king),
and told him their story. Now Cheraman Perumal used to be shaved
every fifteen days. When the barber (Velakathalavan) was sent for,
he came without his knife (razor), as his wife had buried it. He
said "Oh! Tamburan, have mercy on your slave. Your slave's knife
was given to the blacksmith to be mended, and he took it away with
him. He gave me this piece of iron, saying "If you want the knife
made ready for use, you must come to the Izhuva land for it, and we
will mend it on our return." So Perumal had to go without shaving,
and his hair grew like a Rishi's. As there were neither carpenters nor
smiths to make implements, agriculture was almost at a standstill;
and, as there were no goldsmiths, the tali-tying ceremonies could
not be performed. Nor could the rice-giving ceremony be done, for
want of the "neck-rings." Then Cheraman Perumal obtained advice,
and resolved to send the Mannan (washerman of the Tiyans), who was
included in the fourteenth caste, and the Panan, who belonged to the
eleventh caste. The Perumal gave to each of them a thousand fanams,
and told them to go to the Izhuva country, and bring back the Kammalans
(artisans). They wandered over various countries, stopping wherever
they found a house. The Panan, being clever, was able to live by his
wits, and spent no money of his own. The Mannan, on the contrary, spent
all his money. They passed Ramapuri, and reached Trichivampuri. Then
the Mannan asked the Panan for a loan, which was refused. On
Friday at noon, the Mannan left the Panan, saying "The Panan is no
companion for the Mannan." He returned to the Perumal and reported
his failure, and the Panan's refusal to lend him money. The Panan
went on, crossing rivers, canals, and ferries, and at last reached
the Izhuva king's country. He entered the reception hall. At that
moment, the king's goldsmith, who had just finished making a golden
crown for him, had put it on his own head, to test its suitability
for wearing. The Panan thought he was the king, and made obeisance
to him. The Kammalans recognised him. He discovered his mistake too
late, for he had addressed the goldsmith as Tamburan. So, to this
day, the Panans, when addressing goldsmiths, say Tamburan. The Panan
told the Kammalans of his mission, but they refused to return unless
full reparation was made for the abduction of the carpenter girl,
and certain social disabilities were removed. The 7,764 families of
Kammalans asked the Izhuva king his advice, and he said that they
should not go away. So the Kammalans sent the Panan back, and gave
him the following presents, in order to demonstrate to the Perumal
that they were in comfortable circumstances:--


    Gold valam-piri (a sort of string worn over the right shoulder);
    Silver edam-piri (a similar sort of string worn on the left
    shoulder);
    Gold netti-pattam (to be tied on the forehead);
    Gold bracelet;
    Gold ornament for the hair.


The Kammalans sent word to the Perumal that they would not return,
unless they were given a girl in place of the carpenter's daughter,
who had been abducted, and certain privileges were granted to them. At
the same time, they promised the Panan that they would share their
privileges with him, if he was successful. So the Panan returned,
and appeared before the Perumal, who asked him where the Kammalans
were. The Panan removed his gold cap, and put it under his arm, and
replied that they were prosperous, and not anxious to return. Saying
so, he placed before the Perumal the rich presents given by the
Kammalans, and told the king that they would not return, unless they
were given a girl and certain concessions. The Perumal told the
Panan to go back, and invite the Kammalans to return on their own
terms. He said they would catch the first girl they met on the way
to his palace, and all their demands were granted. The Panan arrived
again in the Izhuva country, and told the Kammalans what the Perumal
had said. They went to the Izhuva king, and obtained his permission
to return to their own country. Then they caught an Izhuva boy, and
confined him. The king asked them why they did so. They replied that
they had lived for twelve years [29] as his subjects, and would never
recognise any other king, so they wanted the Izhuva boy to represent
him. The king consented. When they started, the boy began to cry. A
Nasrani, [30] by name Thomma (Thomas), was taken to accompany and
protect the boy. The Kammalans travelled to their own country, and
appeared before Cheraman Perumal. On the way, they found a girl of
the Variar caste plucking flowers, and caught her by the hand. All
the five classes claimed her. At last it was resolved to unite her
with the Izhuva boy, their Tandan, who represented their king, and
treat her as their sister. Cheraman Perumal confirmed his promise,
and granted the following privileges to the Kammalans:--

1. To make ceilings for their houses.

2. To make upstairs houses to live in.

3. To put up single staircases, consisting of one pole, in which
notches are cut, or pegs are stuck alternately, for the feet.

4. To have a gate-house.

5. To perform the tali-tying ceremonies of their girls in a booth
having four posts or supports; to place within it, on a stool, a
looking-glass with a handle, and the Ramayana; and to place a silk
cloth on the girl's head.

6. To do arpu at the conclusion of the tali-tying ceremony
(Vel! Arpu! is yelled out by the boys).

7. To cook rice in copper vessels on occasions of marriage and other
ceremonies, and to serve sugar and pappadams at their feasts.

8. To hold the umbrella and taza (a sort of umbrella), which are
carried in front of processions.

9. To clap hands, and dance.

10. To keep milch-cows for their own use.

Permission was further granted for the Kammalans to wear the following
ornaments.

1. Netti-pattam, worn on the forehead during the tali-tying ceremony.

2. Ananthovi, a ear ornament named after Anandan, the endless,
the serpent on which Vishnu reposes. The serpent is sometimes
represented with its tail in its mouth, forming a circle, an endless
figure. Ananthovi is the central pendant of the ear-ring worn by Tiyan
women among their kathila (ordinary gold ear-rings). It resembles a
serpent in form. It is worn by men of the Tiyan and artisan castes
on special occasions.

3. Waist zone or girdle.

4. Bracelets.

5. Anklet with two knobs, formed of two pieces screwed together.

6. Puli-mothiram, or tiger's claws mounted in gold, worn by children.

7. Podippu, a knot of cotton-thread at the end of the string on which
coins are hung as ornaments.

8. Kalanchi, a gold knob above the podippu, which represents a flower.

9. Necklace.

10. Edakam and madkam-tali, neck ornaments, in one of which are set
twenty-one stones.

11. Cotton thread above the gold thread on the neck.

The Perumal conferred like privileges upon the family (Tiruvarankath)
of the Panan who brought back the Kammalans. He wore all his ornaments,
and made his obeisance to the Perumal. He had, however, taken off
his gold cap. The Perumal said "What you have removed, let it be
removed." So he lost the privilege of wearing a gold cap. The Perumal
blessed the Kammalans, and they returned to their villages. They made a
separate house for the Izhuva boy and the Variar girl, and maintained
them. The Izhuva boy, who was the first Tiyan to come to Malabar,
brought with him the cocoanut, and retained the right to cultivate
and use it. To this day, the people of the serf castes--Cherumans,
Kanakans, and the like--use the word Varian when addressing Tiyans,
in reference to their descent from the Variar girl.

The orthodox number of classes of Kammalans is five. But the artisans
do not admit the workers in leather as of their guild, and say there
are only four classes. According to them, the fifth class was composed
of the copper-smiths, who did not return to Malabar with the others,
but remained in Izhuva land. Nevertheless, they always speak of
themselves as the Aiyen kudi or five-house Kammalans.

There is a variant of the legend of the exodus, told by the Asaris
(carpenters), which is worth narrating. Their version of the story is
repeated among themselves, and not by the Panan, at every marriage
and tali-tying ceremony. They identify the village of the Perumal's
washerman as Kanipayyur. This is the name of a Nambutiri's illam in
the Ponani taluk of Malabar. The Nambutiri is, it may be mentioned,
considered to be the highest extant authority in architecture. Disputed
points relating to this subject are referred to him, and his decision
is final, and accepted by all carpenters and house-builders. The
washerman's stone is said to have been lying flat in the water. The
girl Ayyesvari was also of Kanipayyur, and was carried off as in
the former story. But there was no request for an armed guard to
rescue her. The Perumal was, instead, asked to make the washerman
marry her, and thus avoid disgrace. He consented to do so, and
all the 7,764 families of the five classes of Kammalans assembled
for the wedding. An immense booth, supported on granite pillars,
was erected. The washerman and his party were fed sumptuously. But
the booth had been so constructed that it could be made to collapse
instantaneously. So the Kammalans went quietly outside, and, at a given
signal, the booth collapsed, and crushed to death the washerman and his
friends. After this, the Kammalans fled, and remained one year, eight
months and eleven days in the Izhuva country. Negotiations were carried
on through the Izhuva king, and the Kammalans returned under his
guarantee that their demands would be complied with. The Izhuva king
sent his own men and the Nasrani to the capital of the Perumal. The
story of the exodus and the return was inscribed on granite stone with
solemn rites, and in the presence of witnesses. This was buried at
the northern gate of the Tiruvanchakulam temple on Friday, the eighth
of the month of Kanni. It was resolved that, in any case of doubt,
the stone should be unearthed. And it was only after all this had been
done that the Izhuva king's envoy returned to him. Then the Kammalans
came back to Malabar. According to the carpenters, the copper-smiths
did not return. They say that eighteen families of Asaris remained
behind. Some of these returned long afterwards, but they were not
allowed to rejoin the caste. They are known as Puzhi Tachan, or sand
carpenters, and Patinettanmar, or the eighteen people. There are
four families of this class now living at or near Parpangadi. They
are carpenters, but the Asaris treat them as outcastes.

There is yet another variant of the story of the exodus, which is
obviously of recent manufacture, for a Pattar Brahman is brought in,
and gives cunning advice. We know that the Pattars are comparatively
new comers in Malabar.

The Tiyans have recently been summed up as follows. [31] "The Tiyas
have always been characterised by their persevering and enterprising
habits. A large percentage of them are engaged in various agricultural
pursuits, and some of the most profitable industries of Malabar have
from time out of mind been in their hands. They are exclusively engaged
in making toddy and distilling arrack. Many of them are professional
weavers, the Malabar mundu being a common kind of cloth made by
them. The various industries connected with cocoanut cultivation are
also successfully carried on by the Tiyas. For example, the manufacture
of jaggery (crude sugar) is an industry in which a considerable
number of the Tiyas are profitably engaged. The preparation of coir
from cocoanut fibre is one of their hereditary occupations, and this
is done almost wholly by their women at home. They are very skilful
in the manufacture of coir matting and allied industries. Commercial
pursuits are also common among them. Apart from their agricultural and
industrial inclinations, the Tiyas give evidence of a literary taste,
which is commendable in a people who are living under conditions which
are anything but conducive to literary life. They have among them good
Sanskrit scholars, whose contributions have enriched the Malayalam
literature; physicians well versed in Hindu systems of medicine;
and well-known astrologers, who are also clever mathematicians. In
British Malabar, they have made considerable progress in education. In
recent years, there has been gaining ground among the Tiyas a movement,
which has for its object the social and material improvement of the
community. Their leaders have very rightly given a prominent place
to industry in their schemes of progress and reform. Organisations
for the purpose of educating the members of the community on the
importance of increased industrial efforts have been formed. The
success which has attended the Industrial Exhibition conducted by
the members of the community at Quilon, in 1905, has induced them to
make it a permanent annual event. Some of their young men have been
sent to Japan to study certain industries, and, on their return,
they hope to resuscitate the dying local industries, and to enter
into fresh fields of industry awaiting development. Factories for the
manufacture of coir matting and allied articles have been established
by the Tiyas in some parts of Travancore and Cochin."

In 1906, the foundation stone of a Tiya temple at Tellicherry was
laid with great ceremony. In the following year, a very successful
Industrial Exhibition was held at Cannanore under the auspices of
the Sri Narayan Dharma Paripalana Yogam. Still more recently, it was
resolved to collect subscriptions for the establishment of a hostel
for the use of Tiya youths who come from other places to Tellicherry
for educational purposes.

Tiyoro.--The Tiyoros are described, in the Madras Census Report, 1901,
as "Oriya fishermen, who also make lotus-leaf platters. They have four
endogamous sections, viz., Torai, Ghodai, Artia, and Kulodondia." It
has been suggested that the caste name is a corruption of the Sanskrit
tivara, a hunter. (See Risley, Tribes and Castes of Bengal, Tiyar.)

Toda.--Quite recently, my friend Dr. W. H. Rivers, as the result of
a prolonged stay on the Nilgiris, has published [32] an exhaustive
account of the sociology and religion of this exceptionally
interesting tribe, numbering, according to the latest census
returns, 807 individuals, which inhabits the Nilgiri plateau. I
shall, therefore, content myself with recording the rambling notes
made by myself during occasional visits to Ootacamund and Paikara,
supplemented by extracts from the book just referred to, and the
writings of Harkness and other pioneers of the Nilgiris.

The Todas maintain a large-horned race of semi-domesticated buffaloes,
on whose milk and its products (butter and ney) [33] they still
depend largely, though to a less extent than in bygone days before
the establishment of the Ootacamund bazar, for existence. It has
been said that "a Toda's worldly wealth is judged by the number of
buffaloes he owns. Witness the story in connection with the recent
visit to India of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. A clergyman,
who has done mission work among the Todas, generally illustrates Bible
tales through the medium of a magic-lantern. One chilly afternoon,
the Todas declined to come out of their huts. Thinking they required
humouring like children, the reverend gentleman threw on the screen
a picture of the Prince of Wales, explaining the object of his tour,
and, thinking to impress the Todas, added 'The Prince is exceedingly
wealthy, and is bringing out a retinue of two hundred people.' 'Yes,
yes,' said an old man, wagging his head sagely, 'but how many buffaloes
is he bringing?'"

The Todas lead for the most part a simple pastoral life. But I have
met with more than one man who had served, or who was still serving
Government in the modest capacity of a forest guard, and I have
heard of others who had been employed, not with conspicuous success,
on planters' estates. The Todas consider it beneath their dignity to
cultivate land. A former Collector of the Nilgiris granted them some
acres of land for the cultivation of potatoes, but they leased the
land to the Badagas, and the privilege was cancelled. In connection
with the Todas' objection to work, it is recorded that when, on one
occasion, a mistake about the ownership of some buffaloes committed
an old Toda to jail, it was found impossible to induce him to work
with the convicts, and the authorities, unwilling to resort to
hard remedies, were compelled to save appearances by making him an
overseer. The daily life of a Toda woman has been summed up as lounging
about the mad or mand (Toda settlement), buttering and curling her
hair, and cooking. The women have been described as free from the
ungracious and menial-like timidity of the generality of the sex in
the plains. When Europeans (who are greeted as swami or god) come to a
mand, the women crawl out of their huts, and chant a monotonous song,
all the time clamouring for tips (inam). Even the children are so
trained that they clamour for money till it is forthcoming. As a rule,
the Todas have no objection to Europeans entering into their huts,
but on more than one occasion I have been politely asked to take my
boots off before crawling in on the stomach, so as not to desecrate
the dwelling-place. Writing in 1868, Dr. J. Shortt makes a sweeping
statement that "most of the women have been debauched by Europeans,
who, it is sad to observe, have introduced diseases to which these
innocent tribes were once strangers, and which are slowly but no
less surely sapping their once hardy and vigorous constitutions. The
effects of intemperance and disease (syphilis) combined are becoming
more and more apparent in the shaken and decrepit appearance which
at the present day these tribes possess." Fact it undoubtedly is,
and proved both by hospital and naked-eye evidence, that syphilis has
been introduced among the Todas by contact with the outside world,
and they attribute the stunted growth of some members of the rising
generation, as compared with the splendid physique of the lusty
veterans, to the results thereof. It is an oft-repeated statement that
the women show an absence of any sense of decency in exposing their
naked persons in the presence of strangers. In connection with the
question of the morality of the Toda women, Dr. Rivers writes that
"the low sexual morality of the Todas is not limited in its scope
to the relations within the Toda community. Conflicting views are
held by those who know the Nilgiri hills as to the relations of the
Todas with the other inhabitants, and especially with the train of
natives which the European immigration to the hills has brought in
its wake. The general opinion on the hills is that, in this respect,
the morality of the Todas is as low as it well could be, but it is a
question whether this opinion is not too much based on the behaviour
of the inhabitants of one or two villages [e.g., the one commonly
known as School or Sylk's mand] near the European settlements, and
I think it is probable that the larger part of the Todas remain more
uncontaminated than is generally supposed."

I came across one Toda who, with several other members of the tribe,
was selected on account of fine physique for exhibition at Barnum's
show in Europe, America and Australia some years ago, and still
retained a smattering of English, talking fondly of 'Shumbu' (the
elephant Jumbo). For some time after his return to his hill abode,
a tall white hat was the admiration of his fellow tribesmen. To this
man finger-prints came as no novelty, since his impressions were
recorded both in England and America.

Writing in 1870, [34] Colonel W. Ross King stated that the Todas had
just so much knowledge of the speech of their vassals as is demanded
by the most ordinary requirements. At the present day, a few write,
and many converse fluently in Tamil. The Nilgiri C.M.S. Tamil mission
has extended its sphere of work to the Todas, and I cannot resist
the temptation to narrate a Toda version of the story of Dives and
Lazarus. The English say that once upon a time a rich man and a poor
man died. At the funeral of the rich man, there was a great tamasha
(spectacle), and many buffaloes were sacrificed. But, for the funeral
of the poor man, neither music nor buffaloes were provided. The English
believe that in the next world the poor man was as well off as the
rich man; so that, when any one dies, it is of no use spending money
on the funeral ceremonies. Two mission schools have been established,
one at Ootacamund, the other near Paikara. At the latter I have seen a
number of children of both sexes reading elementary Tamil and English,
and doing simple arithmetic.

A few years ago a Toda boy was baptised at Tinnevelly, and remained
there for instruction. It was hoped that he would return to the hills
as an evangelist among his people. [35] In 1907, five young Toda women
were baptised at the C.M.S. Mission chapel, Ootacamund. "They were
clothed in white, with a white cloth over their heads, such as the
Native Christians wear. A number of Christian Badagas had assembled
to witness the ceremony, and join in the service."

The typical Toda man is above medium height, well proportioned
and stalwart, with leptorhine nose, regular features, and perfect
teeth. The nose is, as noted by Dr. Rivers, sometimes distinctly
rounded in profile. An attempt has been made to connect the Todas
with the lost tribes; and, amid a crowd of them collected together
at a funeral, there is no difficulty in picking out individuals,
whose features would find for them a ready place as actors on the
Ober Ammergau stage, either in leading or subordinate parts. The
principal characteristic, which at once distinguishes the Toda from
the other tribes of the Nilgiris, is the development of the pilous
(hairy) system. The following is a typical case, extracted from my
notes. Beard luxuriant, hair of head parted in middle, and hanging in
curls over forehead and back of neck. Hair thickly developed on chest
and abdomen, with median strip of dense hairs on the latter. Hair
thick over upper and lower ends of shoulder-blades, thinner over
rest of back; well developed on extensor surface of upper arms,
and both surfaces of forearms; very thick on extensor surfaces of
the latter. Hair abundant on both surfaces of legs; thickest on
outer side of thighs and round knee-cap. Dense beard-like mass of
hair beneath gluteal region (buttocks). Superciliary brow ridges
very prominent. Eyebrows united across middle line by thick tuft
of hairs. A dense growth of long straight hairs directed outwards
on helix of both ears, bearing a striking resemblance to the hairy
development on the helix of the South Indian bonnet monkey (Macacus
sinicus). The profuse hairy development is by some Todas attributed
to their drinking "too much milk."

Nearly all the men have one or more raised cicatrices, forming
nodulous growths (keloids) on the right shoulder.These scars are
produced by burning the skin with red-hot sticks of Litsæa Wightiana
(the sacred fire-stick). The Todas believe that the branding enables
them to milk the buffaloes with perfect ease, or as Dr. Rivers puts it,
that it cures the pain caused by the fatigue of milking. "The marks,"
he says, "are made when a boy is about twelve years old, at which age
he begins to milk the buffaloes." About the fifth month of a woman's
first pregnancy, on the new-moon day, she goes through a ceremony,
in which she brands herself, or is branded by another woman, by
means of a rag rolled up, dipped in oil and lighted, with a dot on
the carpo-metacarpal joint of each thumb and on each wrist.

The women are lighter in colour than the men, and the colour of the
body has been aptly described as of a café-au-lait tint. The skin
of the female children and young adults is often of a warm copper
hue. Some of the young women, with their raven-black hair dressed
in glossy ringlets, and bright glistening eyes, are distinctly
good-looking, but both good looks and complexion are short-lived,
and the women speedily degenerate into uncomely hags. As in Maori
land, so in Toda land, one finds a race of superb men coupled to
hideous women, and, with the exception of the young girls, the fair
sex is the male sex. Both men and women cover their bodies with
a white mantle with blue and red lines, called putkuli, which is
purchased in the Ootacamund bazar, and is sometimes decorated with
embroidery worked by the Toda women. The odour of the person of the
Todas, caused by the rancid butter which they apply to the mantle
as a preservative reagent, or with which they anoint their bodies,
is quite characteristic. With a view to testing his sense of smell,
long after our return from Paikara, I blindfolded a friend who had
accompanied me thither, and presented before his nose a cloth, which
he at once recognised as having something to do with the Todas.

In former times, a Badaga could be at once picked out from the other
tribes of the Nilgiri plateau by his wearing a turban. At the present
day, some Toda elders and important members of the community (e.g.,
monegars or headmen) have adopted this form of head-gear. The men who
were engaged as guides by Dr. Rivers and myself donned the turban in
honour of their appointment.

Toda females are tattooed after they have reached puberty. I have
seen several multiparæ, in whom the absence of tattoo marks was
explained either on the ground that they were too poor to afford
the expense of the operation, or that they were always suckling or
pregnant--conditions, they said, in which the operation would not be
free from danger. The dots and circles, of which the simple devices
are made up, [36] are marked out with lamp-black made into a paste
with water, and the pattern is pricked in by a Toda woman with the
spines of Berberis aristata. The system of tattooing and decoration
of females with ornaments is summed up in the following cases:--

1. Aged 22. Has one child. Tattooed with three dots on back of left
hand. Wears silver necklet ornamented with Arcot two-anna pieces;
thread and silver armlets ornamented with cowry (Cypræa moneta)
shells on right upper arm; thread armlet ornamented with cowries on
left forearm; brass ring on left ring finger; silver rings on right
middle and ring fingers. Lobes of ears pierced. Ear-rings removed
owing to grandmother's death.

2. Aged 28. Tattooed with a single dot on chin; rings and dots on
chest, outer side of upper arms, back of left hand, below calves, above
ankles, and across dorsum of feet. Wears thread armlet ornamented with
young cowries on right forearm; thread armlet and two heavy ornamental
brass armlets on left upper arm; ornamental brass bangle and glass
bead bracelet on left wrist; brass ring on left little finger; two
steel rings on left ring finger; bead necklet ornamented with cowries.

3. Aged 35. Tattooed like the preceding, with the addition of an
elaborate device of rings and dots on the back.

4. Aged 35. Linen bound round elbow joint, to prevent chafing of
heavy brass armlets. Cicatrices of sores in front of elbow joint,
produced by armlets.

5. Aged 23. Has one child. Tattooed only below calves, and above
ankles.

The following are the more important physical measurements of the
Toda men, whom I have examined:--


                                  Av.     Max.    Min.
                                  cm.      cm.     cm.

                Stature           169.8   186.8   157.6
                Cephalic length    19.4    20.4    18.2
                Do. breadth        14.2    15.2    13.3
                Do. index          73.3    81.3    68.7
                Nasal height        4.7     4.9     4.6
                Do. breadth         3.6     3.8     3.4
                Do. index          74.9    79.9   70.


Allowing that the cephalic index is a good criterion of racial or
tribal purity, the following analysis of the Toda indices is very
striking:--


    69   **
    70   *******
    71   ***********
    72   *******
    73   **************             [37]
    74   *********************
    75   *********
    76   ******
    77   *
    78   *
    79   *
    80
    81   *


A thing of exceeding joy to the Todas was my Salter's hand-dynamometer,
the fame of which spread from mand to mand, and which was circulated
among the crowd at funerals. Great was the disgust of the assembled
males, on a certain day, when the record of hand-grip for the morning
(73 lbs.) was carried off by a big-boned female, who became the
unlovely heroine of the moment. The largest English feminine hand-grip,
recorded in my laboratory note-book, is only 66 lbs. One Toda man,
of fine physique, not satisfied with his grip of 98 lbs., went into
training, and fed himself up for a few days. Thus prepared, he returned
to accomplish 103 lbs., the result of more skilful manipulation of
the machine rather than of a liberal dietary of butter-milk.

The routine Toda dietary is said to be made up of the following
articles, to which must be added strong drinks purchased at the
toddy shops:--

(a) Rice boiled in whey.

(b) Rice and jaggery (crude sugar) boiled in water.

(c) Broth or curry made of vegetables purchased in the bazar, wild
vegetables and pot-herbs, which, together with ground orchids, the
Todas may often be seen rooting up with a sharp-pointed digging-stick
on the hill-sides. The Todas scornfully deny the use of aphrodisiacs,
but both men and women admit that they take salep misri boiled in milk,
to make them strong. Salep misri is made from the tubers (testicles
de chiens) of various species of Eulophia and Habenaria belonging to
the natural order Orchideæ.

The indigenous edible plants and pot-herbs include the following:--

(1) Cnicus Wallichii (thistle).--The roots and flower-stalks are
stripped of their bark, and made into soup or curry.

(2) Girardinia heterophylla (Nilgiri nettle).--The tender leafy shoots
of vigorously growing plants are gathered, crushed by beating with a
stick to destroy the stinging hairs, and made into soup or curry. The
fibre of this plant, which is cultivated near the mands, is used for
stitching the putkuli, with steel needles purchased in the bazar in
lieu of the more primitive form. In the preparation of the fibre,
the bark is thrown into a pot of boiling water, to which ashes have
been added. After a few hours' boiling, the bark is taken out and
the fibre extracted.

(3) Tender shoots of bamboos eaten in the form of curry.

(4) Alternanthera sessilis.      Pot-herbs.
    Stellaria media.
    Amarantus spinosus.
    Amarantus polygonoides.

The following list of plants, of which the fruits are eaten by the
Todas, has been brought together by Mr. K. Rangachari:--

Eugenia Arnottiana.--The dark purple juice of the fruit of this tree
is used by Toda women for painting beauty spots on their faces.

Rubus ellipticus.       Wild raspberry.
Rubus molucanus.
Rubus lasiocarpus.

Fragaria nilgerrensis, wild strawberry.

Elæagnus latifolia. Said by Dr. Mason to make excellent tarts and
jellies.

Gaultheria fragrantissima.

Rhodomyrtus tomentosa, hill gooseberry.

Loranthus neelgherrensis.      Parasitic on trees.
Loranthus loniceroides.

Elæocarpus oblongus.

Elæocarpus Munronii.

Berberis aristata.        Barberry.
Berberis nepalensis.

Solanum nigrum.

Vaccinium Leschenaultii.

Vaccinium nilgherrense.

Toddalia aculeata.

Ceropegia pusilla.


To which may be added mushrooms.

A list containing the botanical and Toda names of trees, shrubs, etc.,
used by the Todas in their ordinary life, or in their ceremonial,
is given by Dr. Rivers. [38]

Fire is, in these advanced days, obtained by the Todas in their
dwelling huts for domestic purposes from matches. The men who came
to be operated on with my measuring instruments had no hesitation in
asking for a match, and lighting the cheroots which were distributed
amongst them, before they left the Paikara bungalow dining-room. Within
the precincts of the dairy temple the use of matches is forbidden, and
fire is kindled with the aid of two dry sticks of Litsæa Wightiana. Of
these one, terminating in a blunt convex extremity, is about 2' 3''
long; the other, with a hemispherical cavity scooped out close to
one end, about 2 1/2'' in length. A little nick or slot is cut on the
edge of the shorter stick, and connected with the hole in which the
spindle stick is made to revolve. "In this slot the dust collects, and,
remaining in an undisturbed heap, seemingly acts as a muffle to retain
the friction-heat until it reaches a sufficiently high temperature,
when the wood-powder becomes incandescent." [39] Into the cavity in the
short stick the end of the longer stick fits, so as to allow of easy
play. The smaller stick is placed on the ground, and held tight by
firm pressure of the great toe, applied to the end furthest from the
cavity, into which a little finely powdered charcoal is inserted. The
larger stick is then twisted vigorously, "like a chocolate muller"
(Tylor) between the palms of the hands by two men, turn and turn
about, until the charcoal begins to glow. Fire, thus made, is said
to be used at the sacred dairy (ti), the dairy houses of ordinary
mands, and at the cremation of males. In an account of a Toda green
funeral, [40] Mr. Walhouse notes that "when the pile was completed,
fire was obtained by rubbing two dry sticks together. This was done
mysteriously and apart, for such a mode of obtaining fire is looked
upon as something secret and sacred." At the funeral of a female,
I provided a box of tändstickors for lighting the pyre. A fire-stick,
which was in current use in a dairy, was polluted and rendered useless
by the touch of my Brahman assistant! It is recorded by Harkness
[41] that a Brahman was not only refused admission to a Toda dairy,
but actually driven away by some boys, who rushed out of it when
they heard him approach. It is noted by Dr. Rivers that "several
kinds of wood are used for the fire-sticks, the Toda names of these
being kiaz or keadj (Litsæa Wightiana), mors (Michelia Nilagirica),
parskuti (Elæagnus latifolia), and main (Cinnamomum Wightii)." He
states further that, "whenever fire is made for a sacred purpose, the
fire-sticks must be of the wood which the Todas call kiaz or keadj,
except in the tesherot ceremony (qualifying ceremony for the office
of palol) in which the wood of muli is used. At the niroditi ceremony
(ordination ceremony of a dairyman), "the assistant makes fire by
friction, and lights a fire of mulli wood, at which the candidate
warms himself." It is also recorded by Dr. Rivers that "in some Toda
villages, a stone is kept, called tutmûkal, which was used at one
time for making fire by striking it with a piece of iron."

The abode of the Todas is called a mad or mand (village or hamlet),
which is composed of huts, dairy temple, and cattle-pen, and has been
so well described by Dr. Shortt, [42] that I cannot do better than
quote his account. "Each mand," he says, "usually comprises about
five buildings or huts, three of which are used as dwellings, one
as a dairy, and the other for sheltering the calves at night. These
huts form a peculiar kind of oval pent-shaped [half-barrel-shaped]
construction, usually 10 feet high, 18 feet long, and 9 feet
broad. The entrance or doorway measures 32 inches in height and 18
inches in width, and is not provided with any door or gate; but
the entrance is closed by means of a solid slab or plank of wood
from 4 to 6 inches thick, and of sufficient dimensions to entirely
block up the entrance. This sliding door is inside the hut, and so
arranged and fixed on two stout stakes buried in the earth, and
standing to the height of 2 1/2 to 3 feet, as to be easily moved
to and fro. There are no other openings or outlets of any kind,
either for the escape of smoke, or for the free ingress and egress
of atmospheric air. The doorway itself is of such small dimensions
that, to effect an entrance, one has to go down on all fours, and even
then much wriggling is necessary before an entrance is effected. The
houses are neat in appearance, and are built of bamboos closely laid
together, fastened with rattan, and covered with thatch, which renders
them water-tight. Each building has an end walling before and behind,
composed of solid blocks of wood, and the sides are covered in by
the pent-roofing, which slopes down to the ground. The front wall or
planking contains the entrance or doorway. The inside of a hut is from
8 to 15 feet square, and is sufficiently high in the middle to admit
of a tall man moving about with comfort. On one side there is a raised
platform or pial formed of clay, about two feet high, and covered with
sambar (deer) or buffalo skins, or sometimes with a mat. This platform
is used as a sleeping place. On the opposite side is a fire place,
and a slight elevation, on which the cooking utensils are placed. In
this part of the building, faggots of firewood are seen piled up from
floor to roof, and secured in their place by loops of rattan. Here
also the rice-pounder or pestle is fixed. The mortar is formed by a
hole dug in the ground, 7 to 9 inches deep, and hardened by constant
use. The other household goods consist of three or four brass dishes or
plates, several bamboo measures, and sometimes a hatchet. Each hut or
dwelling is surrounded by an enclosure or wall formed of loose stones
piled up two or three feet high [with openings too narrow to permit
of a buffalo entering through it]. The dairy is sometimes a building
slightly larger than the others, and usually contains two compartments
separated by a centre planking. One part of the dairy is a store-house
for ghee, milk and curds, contained in separate vessels. The outer
apartment forms the dwelling place of the dairy priest. The doorways
of the dairy are smaller than those of the dwelling huts. The flooring
of the dairy is level, and at one end there is a fire-place. Two or
three milk pails or pots are all that it usually contains. The dairy
is usually situated at some little distance from the habitations. The
huts where the calves are kept are simple buildings, somewhat like
the dwelling huts. In the vicinity of the mands are the cattle-pens or
tuels[tu], which are circular enclosures surrounded by a loose stone
wall, with a single entrance guarded by powerful stakes. In these,
the herds of buffaloes are kept at night. Each mand possesses a herd
of these animals." It is noted by Dr. Rivers that "in the immediate
neighbourhood of a village there are usually well-worn paths, by which
the village is approached, and some of these paths or kalvol receive
special names. Some may not be traversed by women. Within the village
there are also certain recognised paths, of which two are specially
important. One, the punetkalvol, is the path by which the dairy man
goes from his dairy to milk or tend the buffaloes; the other is the
majvatitthkalvol, the path which the women must use when going to
the dairy to receive butter-milk (maj) from the dairy man. Women are
not allowed to go to the dairy or to other places connected with it,
except at appointed times, when they receive buttermilk."

In addition to the dairies which in form resemble the dwelling-huts,
the Todas keep up as dairy-temples certain curious conical edifices,
of which there are said to be four on the Nilgiri plateau, viz., at the
Muttanad mand, near Kotagiri, near Sholur, and at Mudimand. The last
was out of repair a few years ago, but was, I was informed, going to be
rebuilt shortly. It is suggested by Dr. Rivers as probable that in many
cases a dairy, originally of the conical form, has been rebuilt in the
same form as the dwelling-hut, owing to the difficulty and extra labour
of reconstruction in the older shape. The edifice at the Muttanad mand
(or Nodrs), at the top of the Sigur ghat, is known to members of the
Ootacamund Hunt as the Toda cathedral. It has a circular stone base
and a tall conical thatched roof crowned with a large flat stone, and
is surrounded by a circular stone wall. To penetrate within the sacred
edifice was forbidden, but we were informed that it contained milking
vessels, dairy apparatus, and a swami in the guise of a copper bell
(mani). The dairyman is known as the varzhal or wursol. In front of
the cattle-pen of the neighbouring mand, I noticed a grass-covered
mound, which, I was told, is sacred. The mound contains nothing
buried within it, but the bodies of the dead are placed near it, and
earth from the mound is placed on the corpse before it is removed to
the burning-ground. At "dry funerals" the buffalo is said to be slain
near the mound. It has been suggested by Colonel Marshall [43] that the
"boa or boath [poh.] is not a true Toda building, but may be the bethel
of some tribe contemporaneous with, and cognate to the Todas, which,
taking refuge, like them, on these hills, died out in their presence."

Despite the hypothesis of Dr. Rivers that the Todas are derived from
one or more of the races of Malabar, their origin is buried among the
secrets of the past. So too is the history of the ancient builders
of cairns and barrows on the Nilgiri plateau, which were explored
by Mr. Breeks when Commissioner of the Nilgiris. [44] The bulk of
the Breeks' collection is now preserved in the Madras Museum, and
includes a large series of articles in pottery, quite unlike anything
known from other parts of Southern India. Concerning this series,
Mr. R. Bruce Foote writes as follows. [45] "The most striking objects
are tall jars, many-storied cylinders, of varying diameter with round
or conical bases, fashioned to rest upon pottery ring-stands, or to be
stuck into soft soil, like the amphoræ of classical times. These jars
were surmounted by domed lids. On these lids stood or sat figures
of the most varied kind of men, or animals, much more rarely of
inanimate objects, but all modelled in the rudest and most grotesque
style. Grotesque and downright ugly as are these figures, yet those
representing men and women are extremely interesting from the light
they throw upon the stage of civilization their makers had attained
to, for they illustrate the fashion of the garments as also of the
ornaments they wore, and of the arms or implements carried by them. The
animals they had domesticated, those they chased, and others that
they probably worshipped, are all indicated. Many figures of their
domestic animals, especially their buffaloes and sheep, are decorated
with garlands and bells, and show much ornamentation, which seems to
indicate that they were painted over, a custom which yet prevails in
many parts." Among the most interesting figures are those of heavily
bearded men riding on horses, and big-horned buffaloes which might
have been modelled from the Toda buffaloes of to-day, and, like these,
at funerals and migration ceremonies, bear a bell round the neck.

Two forms of Toda dairy have so far been noticed. But there remains
a third kind, called the ti mand, concerning which Dr. Rivers writes
as follows. "The ti is the name of an institution, which comprises
a herd of buffaloes, with a number of dairies and grazing districts,
tended by a dairy-man priest called palol, with an assistant called
kaltmokh. Each dairy, with its accompanying buildings and pasturage,
is called a ti mad, or ti village. The buffaloes belonging to a ti
are of two kinds, distinguished as persiner and punir. The former are
the sacred buffaloes, and the elaborate ceremonial of the ti dairy
is concerned with their milk. The punir correspond in some respects
to the putiir of the ordinary village dairy, and their milk and its
products are largely for the personal use and profit of the palol, and
are not treated with any special ceremony. During the whole time he
holds office, the palol may not visit his home or any other ordinary
village, though he may visit another ti village. Any business with
the outside world is done either through the kaltmokh, or with people
who come to visit him at the ti. If the palol has to cross a river,
he may not pass by a bridge, but must use a ford, and it appears that
he may only use certain fords. The palol must be celibate, and, if
married, he must leave his wife, who is in most cases also the wife
of his brother or brothers." I visited the ti mand near Paikara by
appointment, and, on arrival near the mand, found the two palols,
well-built men aged about thirty and fifty, clad in black cloths,
and two kaltmokhs, youths aged about eight and ten, naked save for a
loin-cloth, seated on the ground, awaiting our arrival. As a mark of
respect to the palols, the three Todas who accompanied me arranged
their putkulis so that the right arm was laid bare, and one of
them, who was wearing a turban, removed it. A long palaver ensued in
consequence of the palols demanding ten rupees to cover the expenses of
the purificatory ceremonies, which, they maintained, would be necessary
if I desecrated the mand by photographing it. Eventually, however,
under promise of a far smaller sum, the dwelling-hut was photographed,
with palols, kaltmokhs, and a domestic cat seated in front of it.

In connection with the palol being forbidden to cross a river by a
bridge, it may be noted that the river which flows past the Paikara
bungalow is regarded as sacred by the Todas, and, for fear of mishap
from arousing the wrath of the river god, a pregnant Toda woman
will not venture to cross it. The Todas will not use the river water
for any purpose, and they do not touch it unless they have to ford
it. They then walk through it, and, on reaching the opposite bank,
bow their heads. Even when they walk over the Paikara bridge, they
take their hand out of the putkuli as a mark of respect. Concerning
the origin of the Paikara river, a grotesque legend was narrated to
us. Many years ago, the story goes, two Todas, uncle and nephew, went
out to gather honey. After walking for a few miles they separated,
and proceeded in different directions. The uncle was unsuccessful in
the search, but the more fortunate nephew secured two kandis (bamboo
measures) of honey. This, with a view to keeping it all for himself,
he secreted in a crevice among the rocks, with the exception of a
very small quantity, which he made his uncle believe was the entire
product of his search. On the following day, the nephew went alone to
the spot where the honey was hidden, and found, to his disappointment,
that the honey was leaking through the bottom of the bamboo measures,
which were transformed into two snakes. Terrified at the sight thereof,
he ran away, but the snakes pursued him (may be they were hamadryads,
which have the reputation of pursuing human beings). After running
a few minutes, he espied a hare (Lepus nigricollis) running across
his course, and, by a skilful manoeuvre, threw his body-cloth over
it. Mistaking it for a man, the snakes followed in pursuit of the hare,
which, being very fleet of foot, managed to reach the sun, which
became obscured by the hoods of the reptiles. This fully accounts
for the solar eclipse. The honey, which leaked out of the vessels,
became converted into the Paikara river.

In connection with the migrations of the herds of buffaloes, Dr. Rivers
writes as follows. "At certain seasons of the year, it is customary
that the buffaloes both of the village and the ti should migrate from
one place to another. Sometimes the village buffaloes are accompanied
by all the inhabitants of the village; sometimes the buffaloes are only
accompanied by their dairy-man and one or more male assistants. There
are two chief reasons for these movements of the buffaloes, of which
the most urgent is the necessity for new grazing-places.... The other
chief reason for the migrations is that certain villages and dairies,
formerly important and still sacred, are visited for ceremonial
purposes, or out of respect to ancient custom." For the following
note on a buffalo migration which he came across, I am indebted to
Mr. H. C. Wilson. "During the annual migration of buffaloes to the
Kundahs, and when they were approaching the bridle-path leading from
Avalanche to Sispara, I witnessed an interesting custom. The Toda
family had come to a halt on the far side of the path; the females
seated themselves on the grass, and awaited the passing of the sacred
herd. This herd, which had travelled by a recognised route across
country, has to cross the bridle-path some two or three hundred yards
above the Avalanche-Sispara sign-post. Both the ordinary and sacred
herd were on the move together. The former passed up the Sispara path,
while the latter crossed in a line, and proceeded slightly down the
hill, eventually crossing the stream and up through the sholas over
the steep hills on the opposite side of the valley. As soon as the
sacred herd had crossed the bridle-path, the Toda men, having put
down all their household utensils, went to where the women and girls
were sitting, and carried them, one by one, over the place where the
buffaloes had passed, depositing them on the path above. One of the
men told me that the females are not allowed to walk over the track
covered by the sacred herd, and have to be carried whenever it is
necessary to cross it. This herd has a recognised tract when migrating,
and is led by the old buffaloes, who appear to know the exact way."

The tenure under which lands are held by the Todas is summed up as
follows by Mr. R. S. Benson in his report on the revenue settlement of
the Nilgiris, 1885. "The earliest settlers, and notably Mr. Sullivan,
strongly advocated the claim of the Todas to the absolute proprietary
right to the plateau [as lords of the soil]; but another school, led
by Mr. Lushington, has strongly combated these views, and apparently
regarded the Todas as merely occupiers under the ryotwari system in
force generally in the Presidency. From the earliest times the Todas
have received from the cultivating Badagas an offering or tribute,
called gudu or basket of grain, partly in compensation for the land
taken up by the latter for cultivation, and so rendered unfit for
grazing purposes, but chiefly as an offering to secure the favour,
or avert the displeasure of the Todas, who, like the Kurumbas (q.v.),
are believed by the Badagas to have necromantic powers over their
health and that of their herds. The European settlers also bought land
in Ootacamund from them, and to this day the Government pays them the
sum of Rs. 150 per mensem, as compensation for interference with the
enjoyment of their pastoral rights in and about Ootacamund. Their
position was, however, always a matter of dispute, until it was
finally laid down in the despatch of the Court of Directors, dated 21st
January, 1843. It was then decided that the Todas possessed nothing
more than a prescriptive right to enjoy the privilege of pasturing
their herds, on payment of a small tax, on the State lands. The Court
desired that they should be secured from interference by settlers
in the enjoyment of their mands, and of their spots appropriated to
religious rites. Accordingly pattas were issued, granting to each
mand three bullahs (11.46 acres) of land. In 1863 Mr. Grant obtained
permission to make a fresh allotment of nine bullahs (34.38 acres)
to each mand on the express condition that the land should be used for
pasturage only, and that no right to sell the land or the wood on it
should be thereby conveyed. It may be added that the so-called Toda
lands are now regarded as the inalienable common property of the Toda
community, and unauthorised alienation is checked by the imposition of
a penal rate of assessment (G.O., 18th April 1882). Up to the date of
this order, however, alienations by sale or lease were of frequent
occurrence. It remains to be seen whether the present orders and
subordinate staff will be more adequate than those that went before
to check the practices referred to." With the view of protecting
the Toda lands, Government took up the management of these lands in
1893, and framed rules, under the Forest Act, for their management,
the rights of the Todas over them being in no way affected by the
rules of which the following is an abstract:--

1. No person shall fell, girdle, mark, lop, uproot, or burn, or strip
off the bark or leaves from, or otherwise damage any tree growing on
the said lands, or remove the timber, or collect the natural produce of
such trees or lands, or quarry or collect stone, lime, gravel, earth
or manure upon such lands, or break up such lands for cultivation,
or erect buildings of any description, or cattle kraals; and no person
or persons, other than the Todas named in the patta concerned, shall
graze cattle, sheep, or goats upon such lands, unless he is authorised
so to do by the Collector of Nilgiris, or some person empowered by him.

2. The Collector may select any of the said lands to be placed under
special fire protection.

3. No person shall hunt, beat for game, or shoot in such lands without
a license from the Collector.

4. No person shall at any time set nets, traps, or snares for game
on such lands.

5. All Todas in the Nilgiri district shall, in respect of their
own patta lands, be exempt from the operation of the above rules,
and shall be at liberty to graze their own buffaloes, to remove fuel
and grass for their domestic requirements, and to collect honey or
wax upon such lands. They shall likewise be entitled to, and shall
receive free permits for building or repairing their mands and temples.

6. The Collector shall have power to issue annual permits for the
cultivation of grass land only in Toda pattas by Todas themselves,
free of charge, or otherwise as Government may, from time to time,
direct; but no Toda shall be at liberty to permit any person, except
a Toda, to cultivate, or assist in the cultivation of such lands.

In 1905, the Todas petitioned Government against the prohibition by the
local Forest authorities of the burning of grass on the downs, issued
on the ground of danger to the sholas (wooded ravines or groves). This
yearly burning of the grass was claimed by the Todas to improve it, and
they maintained that their cattle were deteriorating for want of good
fodder. Government ruled that the grass on the plateau has been burnt
by the inhabitants at pleasure for many years without any appreciable
damage to forest growth, and the practice should not be disturbed.

Concerning the social organisation of the Todas, Mr. Breeks states
that they are "divided into two classes, which cannot intermarry,
viz., Dêvalyâl and Tarserzhâl. The first class consists of Peiki
class, corresponding in some respects to Brahmans; the second of the
four remaining classes the Pekkan, Kuttan, Kenna, and Todi. A Peiki
woman may not go to the village of the Tarserzhâl, although the women
of the latter may visit Peikis." The class names given by Mr. Breeks
were readily recognised by the Todas whom I interviewed, but they gave
Terthal (comprising superior Peikis) and Tarthal as the names of the
divisions. They told me that, when a Terthal woman visits her friends
at a Tarthal mand, she is not allowed to enter the mand, but must stop
at a distance from it. Todas as a rule cook their rice in butter-milk,
but, when a Terthal woman pays a visit to Tarthal mand, rice is cooked
for her in water. When a Tarthal woman visits at a Terthal mand, she
is permitted to enter into the mand, and food is cooked for her in
buttermilk. The restrictions which are imposed on Terthal women are
said to be due to the fact that on one occasion a Terthal woman, on
a visit at a Tarthal mand, folded up a cloth, and placed it under her
putkuli as if it was a baby. When food was served, she asked for some
for the child, and on receiving it, exhibited the cloth. The Tarthals,
not appreciating the mild joke, accordingly agreed to degrade all
Terthal women. According to Dr. Rivers, "the fundamental feature of
the social organisation is the division of the community into two
perfectly distinct groups, the Tartharol and the Teivaliol [=Dêvalyâl
of Breeks]. There is a certain amount of specialisation of function,
certain grades of the priesthood being filled only by members of the
Teivaliol. The Tartharol and Teivaliol are two endogamous divisions of
the Toda people. Each of these primary divisions is sub-divided into a
number of secondary divisions [clans]. These are exogamous. Each class
possesses a group of villages, and takes its name from the chief of
these villages, Etudmad. The Tartharol are divided into twelve clans,
the Teivaliol into six clans or madol."

When a girl has reached the age of puberty, she goes through an
initiatory ceremony, in which a Toda man of strong physique takes
part. One of these splendid specimens of human muscularity was
introduced to me on the occasion of a phonograph recital at the
Paikara bungalow.

Concerning the system of polyandry as carried out by the Todas,
Dr. Rivers writes as follows. "The Todas have long been noted as
a polyandrous people, and the institution of polyandry is still in
full working order among them. When the girl becomes the wife of a
boy, it is usually understood that she becomes also the wife of his
brothers. In nearly every case at the present time, and in recent
generations, the husbands of a woman are own brothers. In a few cases,
though not brothers, they are of the same clan. Very rarely do they
belong to different clans. One of the most interesting features of
Toda polyandry is the method by which it is arranged who shall be
regarded as the father of a child. For all social and legal purposes,
the father of a child is the man who performs a certain ceremony
about the seventh month of pregnancy, in which an imitation bow and
arrow are given to the woman. When the husbands are own brothers,
the eldest brother usually gives the bow and arrow, and is the
father of the child, though, so long as the brothers live together,
the other brothers are also regarded as fathers. It is in the cases
in which the husbands are not own brothers that the ceremony becomes
of real social importance. In these cases, it is arranged that one
of the husbands shall give the bow and arrow, and this man is the
father, not only of the child born shortly afterwards, but also of
all succeeding children, till another husband performs the essential
ceremony. Fatherhood is determined so essentially by this ceremony
that a man who has been dead for several years is regarded as the
father of any children born by his widow, if no other man has given
the bow and arrow. There is no doubt that, in former times, the
polyandry of the Todas was associated with female infanticide, and
it is probable that the latter custom still exists to some extent,
though strenuously denied. There is reason to believe that women are
now more plentiful than formerly, though they are still in a distinct
minority. Any increase, however, in the number of women does not
appear to have led to any great diminution of polyandrous marriages,
but polyandry is often combined with polygyny. Two or more brothers
may have two or more wives in common. In such marriages, however,
it seems to be a growing custom that one brother should give the bow
and arrow to one wife, and another brother to another wife."

The pregnancy ceremony referred to above is called pursutpimi, or bow
(and arrow) we touch. According to the account given to me by several
independent witnesses, the woman proceeds, accompanied by members
of the tribe, on a new moon-day in the fifth or seventh month of her
pregnancy, to a shola, where she sits with the man who is to become
the father of her child near a kiaz tree (Eugenia Arnottiana). The
man asks the father of the woman if he may bring the bow, and, on
obtaining his consent, goes in search of a shrub (Sophora glauca),
from a twig of which he makes a mimic bow. The arrow is represented
by a blade of grass called nark (Andropogon Schoenanthus). Meanwhile
a triangular niche has been cut in the kiaz tree, in which a lighted
lamp is placed. The woman seats herself in front of the lamp, and,
on the return of the man, asks thrice "Whose bow is it?" or "What
is it?" meaning to whom, or to which mand does the child belong? The
bow and arrow are handed to the woman, who raises them to her head,
touches her forehead with them, and places them near the tree. From
this moment the lawful father of the child is the man from whom she
has received the bow and arrow. He places on the ground at the foot of
the tree some rice, various kinds of grain, chillies, jaggery (crude
sugar), and salt tied in a cloth. All those present then leave, except
the man and woman, who remain near the tree till about six o'clock in
the evening, when they return to the mand. The time is determined, in
the vicinity of Ootacamund, by the opening of the flowers of Onothera
tetraptera (evening primrose), a garden escape called by the Todas
aru mani puv (six o'clock flower), which opens towards evening. [46]
It may be noted that, at the second funeral of a male, a miniature
bow and three arrows are burnt with various other articles within
the stone circle (azaram).

A few years ago (1902), the Todas, in a petition to Government,
prayed for special legislation to legalise their marriages on the
lines of the Malabar Marriage Act. The Government was of opinion that
legislation was unnecessary, and that it was open to such of the Todas
as were willing to sign the declaration prescribed by section 10 of
the Marriage Act III of 1872 to contract legal marriages under the
provision of that Act. The Treasury Deputy Collector of the Nilgiris
was appointed Registrar of Toda marriages. No marriage has been
registered up to the present time.

The practice of infanticide among the Todas is best summed up in the
words of an aged Toda during an interview with Colonel Marshall. [47]
"I was a little boy when Mr. Sullivan (the first English pioneer of the
Nilgiris) visited these mountains. In those days it was the custom to
kill children, but the practice has long died out, and now one never
hears of it. I don't know whether it was wrong or not to kill them,
but we were very poor, and could not support our children. Now every
one has a mantle (putkuli), but formerly there was only one for the
whole family. We did not kill them to please any god, but because it
was our custom. The mother never nursed the child, and the parents
did not kill it. Do you think we could kill it ourselves? Those tell
lies who say we laid it down before the opening of the buffalo-pen,
so that it might be run over and killed by the animals. We never did
such things, and it is all nonsense that we drowned it in buffalo's
milk. Boys were never killed--only girls; not those who were sickly
and deformed--that would be a sin; but, when we had one girl, or in
some families two girls, those that followed were killed. An old woman
(kelachi) used to take the child immediately it was born, and close
its nostrils, ears, and mouth with a cloth thus--here pantomimic
action. It would shortly droop its head, and go to sleep. We then
buried it in the ground. The kelachi got a present of four annas
for the deed." The old man's remark about the cattle-pen refers to
the Malagasy custom of placing a new-born child at the entrance to a
cattle-pen, and then driving the cattle over it, to see whether they
would trample on it or not. [48] The Missionary Metz [49] bears out
the statement that the Toda babies were killed by suffocation.

At the census, 1901, 453 male and 354 female Todas were returned. In a
note on the proportion of the sexes among the Todas, Mr. R. C. Punnett
states [50] that "all who have studied the Todas are agreed upon the
frequency of the practice (of infanticide) in earlier times. Marshall,
writing in 1872, refers to the large amount of female infanticide in
former years, but expresses his conviction that the practice had by
that time died out. Marshall's evidence is that of native assurance
only. Dr. Rivers, who received the same assurance, is disinclined to
place much confidence in native veracity with reference to this point,
and, in view of the lack of encouragement which the practice receives
from the Indian Government, this is not altogether surprising. The
supposition of female infanticide, by accounting for the great
disproportion in the numbers of the sexes, brings the Todas into
harmony with what is known of the rest of mankind." In summarising
his conclusions, Mr. Punnett notes that:--

(1) Among the Todas, males predominate greatly over females.

(2) This preponderance is doubtless due to the practice of female
infanticide, which is probably still to some extent prevalent.

(3) The numerical preponderance of the males has been steadily
sinking during recent years, owing probably to the check which foreign
intercourse has imposed upon female infanticide.

In connection with the death ceremonies of the Todas, Dr. Rivers
notes that "soon after death the body is burnt, and the general
name for the ceremony on this occasion is etvainolkedr, the first
day funeral. After an interval, which may vary greatly in length,
a second ceremony is performed, connected with certain relics of the
deceased which have been preserved from the first occasion. The Toda
name for this second funeral ceremony is marvainolkedr, the second day
funeral, or 'again which day funeral.' The funeral ceremonies are open
to all, and visitors are often invited by the Todas. In consequence,
the funeral rites are better known, and have been more frequently
described than any other features of Toda ceremonial. Like nearly
every institution of the Todas, however, they have become known
to Europeans under their Badaga names. The first funeral is called
by the Badagas hase kedu, the fresh or green funeral, and the term
'green funeral' has not only become the generally recognised name
among the European inhabitants of the Nilgiri hills, but has been
widely adopted in anthropological literature. The second funeral is
called by the Badagas bara kedu, the 'dry funeral,' and this term
also has been generally adopted." The various forms of the funeral
ceremonies are discussed in detail by Dr. Rivers, and it must suffice
to describe those at which we have been present as eye-witnesses.

I had the opportunity of witnessing the second funeral of a woman
who had died from smallpox two months previously. On arrival at a
mand on the open downs about five miles from Ootacamund, we were
conducted by a Toda guide to the margin of a dense shola, where
we found two groups seated apart, consisting of (a) women, girls,
and brown-haired female babies, round a camp fire; (b) men, boys,
and male babies, carried, with marked signs of paternal affection,
by their fathers. In a few minutes a murmuring sound commenced
in the centre of the female group. Working themselves up to the
necessary pitch, some of the women (near relatives of the deceased)
commenced to cry freely, and the wailing and lachrymation gradually
spread round the circle, until all, except little girls and babies
who were too young to be affected, were weeping and mourning, some
for fashion, others from genuine grief. In carrying out the orthodox
form of mourning, the women first had a good cry to themselves, and
then, as their emotions became more intense, went round the circle,
selecting partners with whom to share companionship in grief. Gradually
the group resolved itself into couplets of mourners, each pair with
their heads in contact, and giving expression to their emotions
in unison. Before separating to select a new partner, each couple
saluted by bowing the head, and raising thereto the feet of the other,
covered by the putkuli. [I have seen women rapidly recover from the
outward manifestations of grief, and clamour for money.] From time
to time the company of mourners was reinforced by late arrivals from
distant mands, and, as each detachment, now of men and now of women,
came in view across the open downs, one could not fail to be reminded
of the gathering of the clans on some Highland moor. The resemblance
was heightened by the distant sound as of pipers, produced by the
Kota band (with two police constables in attendance), composed of
four Kotas, who made a weird noise with drums and flutes as they drew
near the scene of action. The band, on arrival, took up a position
close to the mourning women. As each detachment arrived, the women,
recognising their relatives, came forward and saluted them in the
manner customary among Todas by falling at their feet, and placing
first the right and then the left foot on their head. Shortly after the
arrival of the band, signals were exchanged, by waving of putkulis,
between the assembled throng and a small detachment of men some
distance off. A general move was made, and an impromptu procession
formed, with men in front, band in the middle, and women bringing
up the rear. A halt was made opposite a narrow gap leading into the
shola; men and women sat apart as before; and the band walked round,
discoursing unsweet music. A party of girls went off to bring fire from
the spot just vacated for use in the coming ceremonial, but recourse
was finally had to a box of matches lent by one of our party. At this
stage we noticed a woman go up to the eldest son of the deceased,
who was seated apart from the other men, and would not be comforted
in spite of her efforts to console him. On receipt of a summons from
within the shola, the assembled Toda men and ourselves swarmed into
it by a narrow track leading to a small clear space round a big tree,
from a hole cut at the base of which an elderly Toda produced a piece
of the skull of the dead woman, wrapped round with long tresses of her
hair. It now became the men's turn to exhibit active signs of grief,
and all of one accord commenced to weep and mourn. Amid the scene
of lamentation, the hair was slowly unwrapt from off the skull, and
burned in an iron ladle, from which a smell as of incense arose. A
bamboo pot of ghi was produced, with which the skull was reverently
anointed, and placed in a cloth spread on the ground. To this relic
of the deceased the throng of men, amid a scene of wild excitement,
made obeisance by kneeling down before it, and touching it with their
foreheads. The females were not permitted to witness this stage of the
proceedings, with the exception of one or two near relatives of the
departed one, who supported themselves sobbing against the tree. The
ceremonial concluded, the fragment of skull, wrapt in the cloth, was
carried into the open, where, as men and boys had previously done,
women and girls made obeisance to it. A procession was then again
formed, and marched on until a place was reached, where were two
stone-walled kraals, large and small. Around the former the men,
and within the latter the women, took up their position, the men
engaging in chit-chat, and the women in mourning, which after a
time ceased, and they too engaged in conversation. A party of men,
carrying the skull, still in the cloth, set out for a neighbouring
shola, where a kedu of several other dead Todas was being celebrated;
and a long pause ensued, broken eventually by the arrival of the
other funeral party, the men advancing in several lines, with arms
linked, and crying out U, hah! U, hah, hah! in regular time. This
party brought with it pieces of the skulls of a woman and two men,
which were placed, wrapt in cloths, on the ground, saluted, and mourned
over by the assembled multitude. At this stage a small party of Kotas
arrived, and took up their position on a neighbouring hill, waiting,
vulture-like, for the carcase of the buffalo which was shortly to be
slain. Several young men now went off across the hill in search of
buffaloes, and speedily re-appeared, driving five buffaloes before
them with sticks. As soon as the beasts approached a swampy marsh
at the foot of the hill on which the expectant crowd of men was
gathered together, two young men of athletic build, throwing off
their putkulis, made a rush down the hill, and tried to seize one
of the buffaloes by the horns, with the result that one of them
was promptly thrown. The buffalo escaping, one of the remaining
four was quickly caught by the horns, and, with arms interlocked,
the men brought it down on its knees, amid a general scuffle. In
spite of marked objection and strenuous resistance on the part of
the animal--a barren cow--it was, by means of sticks freely applied,
slowly dragged up the hill, preceded by the Kota band, and with a
Toda youth pulling at its tail. Arrived at the open space between
the kraals, the buffalo, by this time thoroughly exasperated, and
with blood pouring from its nostrils, had a cloth put on its back,
and was despatched by a blow on the poll with an axe deftly wielded
by a young and muscular man. On this occasion no one was badly hurt
by the sacrificial cow, though one man was seen washing his legs in
the swamp after the preliminary struggle with the beast. But Colonel
Ross-King narrates how he saw a man receive a dangerous wound in the
neck from a thrust of the horn, which ripped open a wide gash from
the collar-bone to the ear. With the death of the buffalo, the last
scene, which terminated the strange rites, commenced; men, women, and
children pressing forward and jostling one another in their eagerness
to salute the dead beast by placing their hands between its horns,
and weeping and mourning in pairs; the facial expression of grief
being mimicked when tears refused to flow spontaneously.

The ceremonial connected with the final burning of the relics and
burial of the ashes at the stone circle (azaram) are described in
detail by Dr. Rivers.

A few days after the ceremony just described, I was invited to be
present at the funeral of a young girl who had died of smallpox five
days previously. I proceeded accordingly to the scene of the recent
ceremony, and there, in company with a small gathering of Todas from
the neighbouring mands, awaited the arrival of the funeral cortége,
the approach of which was announced by the advancing strains of
Kota music. Slowly the procession came over the brow of the hill;
the corpse, covered by a cloth, on a rude ladder-like bier, borne
on the shoulders of four men, followed by two Kota musicians; the
mother carried hidden within a sack; relatives and men carrying bags
of rice and jaggery, and bundles of wood of the kiaz tree (Eugenia
Arnottiana) for the funeral pyre. Arrived opposite a small hut,
which had been specially built for the ceremonial, the corpse was
removed from the bier, laid on the ground, face upwards, outside
the hut, and saluted by men, women, and children, with the same
manifestations of grief as on the previous occasion. Soon the men
moved away to a short distance, and engaged in quiet conversation,
leaving the females to continue mourning round the corpse, interrupted
from time to time by the arrival of detachments from distant mands,
whose first duty was to salute the dead body. Meanwhile a near
female relative of the dead child was busily engaged inside the hut,
collecting together in a basket small measures of rice, jaggery, sago,
honey-comb, and the girl's simple toys, which were subsequently to be
burned with the corpse. The mourning ceasing after a time, the corpse
was placed inside the hut, and followed by the near relatives, who
there continued to weep over it. A detachment of men and boys, who
had set out in search of the buffaloes which were to be sacrificed,
now returned driving before them three cows, which escaped from their
pursuers to rejoin the main herd. A long pause ensued, and, after a
very prolonged drive, three more cows were guided into a marshy swamp,
where one of them was caught by the horns, and dragged reluctantly,
but with little show of fight, to the strains of Kota drum and flute,
in front of the hut, where it was promptly despatched by a blow on
the poll. The corpse was now brought from within the hut, and placed,
face upwards, with its feet resting on the forehead of the buffalo,
whose neck was decorated with a silver chain, such as is worn by Todas
round the loins, as no bell was available, and the horns were smeared
with butter. Then followed frantic manifestations of grief, amid
which the unhappy mother fainted. Mourning over, the corpse was made
to go through a form of ceremony, resembling that which is performed
during pregnancy with the first child. A small boy, three years old,
was selected from among the relatives of the dead girl, and taken
by his father in search of a certain grass (Andropogon Schoenanthus)
and a twig of a shrub (Sophora glauca), which were brought to the spot
where the corpse was lying. The mother of the dead child then withdrew
one of its hands from the putkuli, and the boy placed the grass and
twig in the hand, and limes, plantains, rice, jaggery, honey-comb,
and butter in the pocket of the putkuli, which was then stitched with
needle and thread in a circular pattern. The boy's father then took
off his son's putkuli, and replaced it so as to cover him from head
to foot. Thus covered, the boy remained outside the hut till the
morning of the morrow, watched through the night by near relatives
of himself and his dead bride. [On the occasion of the funeral of an
unmarried lad, a girl is in like manner selected, covered with her
putkuli from head to foot, and a metal vessel filled with jaggery,
rice, etc., to be subsequently burnt on the funeral pyre, placed for
a short time within the folds of the putkuli. Thus covered, the girl
remains till next morning, watched through the dreary hours of the
night by relatives. The same ceremony is performed over the corpse
of a married woman who has not borne children, the husband acting as
such for the last time, in the vain hope that the woman may produce
issue in heaven.] The corpse was borne away to the burning-ground
within the shola, and, after removal of some of the hair by the
mother of the newly wedded boy, burned, with face upwards, amid the
music of the Kota band, the groans of the assembled crowd squatting
on the ground, and the genuine grief of the nearest relatives. The
burning concluded, a portion of the skull was removed from the ashes,
and handed over to the recently made mother-in-law of the dead girl,
and wrapped up with the hair in the bark of the tud tree (Meliosma
pungens). A second buffalo, which, properly speaking, should have
been slain before the corpse was burnt, was then sacrificed, and
rice and jaggery were distributed among the crowd, which dispersed,
leaving behind the youthful widower and his custodians, who, after
daybreak, partook of a meal of rice, and returned to their mands;
the boy's mother taking with her the skull and hair to her mand,
where it would remain until the celebration of the second funeral. No
attention is paid to the ashes after cremation, and they are left to
be scattered by the winds.

A further opportunity offered itself to be present at the funeral of
an elderly woman on the open downs not far from Paikara, in connection
with which certain details possess some interest. The corpse was, at
the time of our arrival, laid out on a rude bier within an improvised
arbour covered with leaves and open at each end, and tended by some
of the female relatives. At some little distance, a conclave of Toda
men, who rose of one accord to greet us, was squatting in a circle,
among whom were many venerable white-turbaned elders of the tribe,
protected from the scorching sun by palm-leaf umbrellas. Amid much
joking, and speech-making by the veterans, it was decided that,
as the eldest son of the deceased woman was dead, leaving a widow,
this daughter-in-law should be united to the second son, and that
they should live together as man and wife. On the announcement of the
decision, the bridegroom-elect saluted the principal Todas present
by placing his head on their feet, which were sometimes concealed
within the ample folds of the putkuli. At the funeral of a married
woman, three ceremonies must, I was told, be performed, if possible,
by a daughter or daughter-in-law, viz.:--

(1) Tying a leafy branch of the tiviri shrub (Atylosia Candolleana)
in the putkuli of the corpse;

(2) Tying balls of thread and cowry shells on the arm of the corpse,
just above the elbow;

(3) Setting fire to the funeral pyre, which was, on the present
occasion, done by lighting a rag fed with ghi with a match.

The buffalo capture took place amid the usual excitement, and with
freedom from accident; and, later in the day, the stalwart buffalo
catchers turned up at the travellers' bungalow for a pourboire in
return, as they said, for treating us to a good fight. The beasts
selected for sacrifice were a full-grown cow and a young calf. As
they were dragged near to the corpse, now removed from the arbour,
butter was smeared over the horns, and a bell tied round the neck. The
bell was subsequently removed by Kotas, in whose custody, it was said,
it was to remain till the next day funeral. The death-blow, or rather
series of blows, having been delivered with the butt end of an axe,
the feet of the corpse were placed at the mouth of the buffalo. In the
case of a male corpse, the right hand is made to clasp the horns. [It
is recorded by Dr. Rivers that, at the funeral of a male, men dance
after the buffalo is killed. In the dancing a tall pole, called
tadri or tadrsi, decorated with cowry shells, is used.] The customary
mourning in couples concluded, the corpse, clad in four cloths, was
carried on the stretcher to a clear space in the neighbouring shola,
and placed by the side of the funeral pyre, which had been rapidly
piled up. The innermost cloth was black in colour, and similar to that
worn by a palol. Next to it came a putkuli decorated with blue and
red embroidery, outside which again was a plain white cloth covered
over by a red cotton cloth of European manufacture. Seated by the
side of the pyre, near to which I was courteously invited to take a
seat on the stump of a rhododendron, was an elderly relative of the
dead woman, who, while watching the ceremonial, was placidly engaged
in the manufacture of a holly walking-stick with the aid of a glass
scraper. The proceedings were watched on behalf of Government by a
forest guard, and a police constable who, with marked affectation,
held his handkerchief to his nose throughout the ceremonial. The
corpse was decorated with brass rings, and within the putkuli were
stowed jaggery, a scroll of paper adorned with cowry shells, snuff
and tobacco, cocoanuts, biscuits, various kinds of grain, ghi, honey,
and a tin-framed looking-glass. A long purse, containing a silver
Japanese yen and an Arcot rupee of the East India Company, was tied
up in the putkuli close to the feet. These preliminaries concluded,
the corpse was hoisted up, and swung three times over the now burning
pyre, above which a mimic bier, made of slender twigs, was held. The
body was then stripped of its jewelry, and a lock of hair cut off by
the daughter-in-law for preservation, together with a fragment of the
skull. I was told that, when the corpse is swung over the pyre, the
dead person goes to amnodr (the world of the dead). In this connection,
Dr. Rivers writes that "it would seem as if this ceremony of swinging
the body over the fire was directly connected with the removal of the
objects of value. The swinging over the fire would be symbolic of its
destruction by fire; and this symbolic burning has the great advantage
that the objects of value are not consumed, and are available for use
another time. This is probably the real explanation of the ceremony,
but it is not the explanation given by the Todas themselves. They say
that long ago, about 400 years, a man supposed to be dead was put on
the funeral pyre, and, revived by the heat, he was found to be alive,
and was able to walk away from the funeral place. In consequence of
this, the rule was made that the body should always be swung three
times over the fire before it is finally placed thereon." [Colonel
Marshall narrates the story that a Toda who had revived from what
was thought his death-bed, has been observed parading about, very
proud and distinguished looking, wearing the finery with which he had
been bedecked for his own funeral, and which he would be permitted
to carry till he really departed this life.] As soon as the pyre was
fairly ablaze, the mourners, with the exception of some of the female
relatives, left the shola, and the men, congregating on the summit of
a neighbouring hill, invoked their god. Four men, seized, apparently
in imitation of the Kota Devadi, with divine frenzy, began to shiver
and gesticulate wildly, while running blindly to and fro with closed
eyes and shaking fists. They then began to talk in Malayalam, and offer
an explanation of an extraordinary phenomenon, which had appeared in
the form of a gigantic figure, which disappeared as suddenly as it
appeared. At the annual ceremony of walking through fire (hot ashes)
in that year, two factions arose owing to some dissension, and two sets
of ashes were used. This seems to have annoyed the gods, and those
concerned were threatened with speedy ruin. But the whole story was
very vague. The possession by some Todas of a smattering of Malayalam
is explained by the fact that, when grazing their buffaloes on the
northern and western slopes of the Nilgiris, they come in contact
with Malayalam-speaking people from the neighbouring Malabar district.

At the funeral of a man (a leper), the corpse was placed in front of
the entrance to a circle of loose stones about a yard and a half in
diameter, which had been specially constructed for the occasion. Just
before the buffalo sacrifice, a man of the Paiki clan standing near the
head of the corpse, dug a hole in the ground with a cane, and asked
a Kenna who was standing on the other side, "Puzhut, Kenna," [51]
shall I throw the earth?--three times. To which the Kenna, answering,
replied "Puzhut"--throw the earth--thrice. The Paiki then threw some
earth three times over the corpse, and three times into the miniature
kraal. It is suggested by Dr. Rivers that the circle was made to do
duty for a buffalo pen, as the funeral was held at a place where there
was no tu (pen), from the entrance of which earth could be dug up.

Several examples of laments relating to the virtues and life
of the deceased, which are sung or recited in the course of the
funeral ceremonies, are given by Dr. Rivers. On the occasion of
the reproduction of a lament in my phonograph, two young women were
seen to be crying bitterly. The selection of the particular lament
was unfortunate, as it had been sung at their father's funeral. The
reproduction of the recitation of a dead person's sins at a Badaga
funeral quickly restored them to a state of cheerfulness.

The following petition to the Collector of the Nilgiris on the subject
of buffalo sacrifice may be quoted as a sign of the times, when the
Todas employ petition-writers to express their grievances:--

"According to our religious custom for the long period, we are bringing
forward of our killing buffaloes without any irregular way. But,
in last year, when the late Collector came to see the said place,
by that he ordered to the Todas first not to keep the buffaloes
without feeding in the kraal, and second he ordered to kill each
for every day, and to clear away the buffaloes, and not to keep the
buffaloes without food. We did our work according to his orders, and
this excellent order was an ample one. Now this ----, a chief of the
Todas, son of ----, a deceased Toda, the above man joined with the
moniagar of ---- village, joined together, and, dealing with bribes,
now they arose against us, and doing this great troubles on us, and
also, by this great trouble, one day Mr. ---- came for shooting snapes
(snipe) by that side. By chance one grazing buffalo came to him, push
him by his horns very forcely, and wounded him on his leg. By the help
of another gentleman who came with him he escaped, or he would have
die at the moment. Now the said moniagar and ---- joined together,
want to finish the funeral to his late father on the 18th instant. For
this purpose they are going to shut the buffaloes without food in the
kraal on the 18th instant at 10 o'clock. They are going to kill the
buffaloes on the 19th instant at 4 o'clock in the evening. But this
is a great sin against god. But we beg your honour this way. That is,
let them leave the buffaloes in the grazing place, and ask them to
catch and kill them at the same moment. And also your honour cannot
ordered them to keep them in the kraal without food. And, if they
will desire to kill the buffaloes in this way, these buffaloes will
come on us, and also on the other peoples one who, coming to see funs
on those day, will kill them all by his anxious. And so we the Todas
begs your honour to enquire them before the 18th, the said funeral
ceremony commencing, and not to grant the above orders to them."

A Whit Monday at Paikara was given up to an exhibition of sports
and games, whereof the most exciting and interesting was a burlesque
representation of a Toda funeral by boys and girls. A Toda, who was
fond of his little joke, applied the term pacchai kedu (green funeral)
to the corpses of the flies entrapped by a viscous catch'em-alive-oh
on the bungalow table. To the mock funeral rites arrived a party of
youths, as from a distant mand, and crying out U, hah, in shrill
mimicry of their elders. The lad who was to play the leading part
of sacrificial buffalo, stripping off his putkuli, disappeared from
sight over the brow of a low hillock. Above this eminence his bent and
uplifted upper extremities shortly appeared as representatives of the
buffalo horns. At sight thereof, there was a wild rush of small boys
to catch him, and a mimic struggle took place, while the buffalo was
dragged, amid good-tempered scuffling, kicks, and shouting, to the
spot where the corpse should have been. This spot was, in the absence
of a pseudo-dead body or stage dummy, indicated by a group of little
girls, who had sat chatting together till the boy-beast arrived,
when they touched foreheads, and went, with due solemnity, through
the orthodox observance of mourning in couples. The buffalo was slain
by a smart tap on the back of the head with a cloth, which did duty
for an axe. As soon as the convulsive movements and twitchings of the
death struggle were over, the buffalo, without waiting for an encore,
retired behind the hillock once more, in order that the rough and
tumble fight, which was evidently the chief charm of the game, might
be repeated. The buffalo boy later on came in second in a flat race,
and he was last seen protecting us from a mischievous-looking member
of his herd, which was grazing on the main-road. Toda buffaloes, it
may be noted, are not at all popular with members of the Ootacamund
Hunt, as both horses and riders from time to time receive injuries
from their horns, when they come in collision.

While the funeral game was in progress, the men showed off their
prowess at a game (eln), [52] corresponding to the English tip-cat,
which is epidemic at a certain season in the London bye-streets. It
is played with a bat like a broomstick, and a cylindrical piece of
wood pointed at both ends. The latter is propped up against a stone,
and struck with the bat. As it flies off the stone, it is hit to a
distance with the bat, and caught (or missed) by the out fields.

At the Muttanad mand, we were treated to a further exhibition of
games. In one of these, called narthpimi, a flat slab of stone is
supported horizontally on two other slabs fixed perpendicularly in
the ground so as to form a narrow tunnel, through which a man can
just manage to wriggle his body with difficulty. Two men take part
in the game, one stationing himself at a distance of about thirty
yards, the other about sixty yards from the tunnel. The front man,
throwing off his mantle, runs as hard as he can to the tunnel, pursued
by the 'scratch' man, whose object is to touch the other man's feet
before he has squeezed himself through the tunnel. Another sport,
which we witnessed, consists of trial of strength with a heavy
globular stone, the object being to raise it up to the shoulder;
but a strong, well-built-man--he who was entrusted with slaying the
funeral buffalo--failed to raise it higher than the pit of the stomach,
though straining his muscles in the attempt. A splendidly made veteran
assured me that, when young and lusty, he was able to accomplish the
feat, and spoke sadly of degeneration in the physique of the younger
members of the tribe.

Mr. Breeks mentions that the Todas play a game resembling
puss-in-the-corner, called karialapimi, which was not included in
the programme of sports got up for our benefit. Dr. Rivers writes
that "the Todas, and especially the children, often play with
mimic representations of objects from practical life. Near the
villages I have seen small artificial buffalo-pens and fireplaces
made by the children in sport." I have, on several occasions, come
across young children playing with long and short pieces of twigs
representing buffaloes and their calves, and going solemnly through
the various incidents in the daily life of these animals. Todas,
both old and young, may constantly be seen twisting flexible twigs
into representations of buffaloes' heads and horns.

Of Toda songs, the following have been collected:--


    Sunshine is increasing. Mist is fast gathering. Rain may
    come. Thunder roars. Clouds are gathering.
    Rain is pouring. Wind and rain have combined.
    Oh, powerful god, may everything prosper!
    May charity increase!
    May the buffaloes become pregnant!
    See that the buffaloes have calves.
    See that the barren women have children.
    Go and tell this to the god of the land.
    Keygamor, Eygamor (names of buffaloes).
    Evening is approaching. The buffaloes are coming.
    The calves also have returned.
    The buffaloes are saluted.
    The dairy-man beats the calves with his stick.
    Milk has been offered to the bell.
    It is growing dark.
    This is a buffalo with beautiful horns.
    A buffalo stupidly given away by the Badaga.
    A buffalo brought to the Kandal mand.
    Innerovya (name of buffalo).
    Like this buffalo there is no other.
    Parkur (name of a Toda).
    Like him there is no man.
    The sun is shining. The wind is blowing.
    Rain is coming. The trees are in flower.
    Tears are falling. The nose is burning.
    He is coming, holding up his umbrella.
    He is coming, wearing a good body-cloth.
    He is coming, wearing a good under-cloth.
    He (the palol) is coming, wearing a black cloth.
    He is coming, holding his walking-stick of palai wood.
    I have a god. What is to become of me?
    I am inclined to cry, my heart being heavy.
    Oh, my child! Do not cry. It is still crying.
    Thuree. Thuree. See. Be quiet.
    A robust bull buffalo. Ach! Ach!
    A big buffalo not intended for killing. Ach! Ach!
    Is leading the cow buffalo. Ah! Ah!
    Two or three men are driving it. Ah! Ah!


Song in honour of the arrival of the Maharani-Regent of Mysore at
Ootacamund.


    All we Todas go to her house, and dance before her.
    She gives us fifteen rupees.
    She comes near our women, and talks to them.
    She gives cloths to us.
    Next day we take milk, eight bottles in the morning, four in
    the evening.
    Month by month she pays us for our milk.
    She goes back to Mysore, and, when she goes, we stand in a row
    before her.
    She gives us presents; cloths and three rupees.
    The women cut their hair, and stand before her.


Marriage Song.


    Boys and girls are singing.
    Much money are they spending.
    To the girl her father is giving five buffaloes.
    The husband tells his wife that she must curl her hair.
    If her hair is curled, all the people will rejoice.
    The buffalo is slain, and now we must all dance.
    Why are not more people here? More should come.
    My buffalo is big, very big.
    Go quickly and catch it.
    The Todas are all there. They are standing in a row.
    Who will run, and catch the buffalo first?
    To him will a present of five rupees be given.
    I will go and catch it first.
    The Todas are all fighting.
    The Todas are all feasting.
    People give them rice.
    The buffalo is coming. Two men run to catch it by the neck.
    Ten men collect the buffaloes. They pen them in a kraal.
    At one o'clock we take our food.
    The buffalo is running, and I hit it on the back with a stick.
    It swerves aside, but I drive it back to the path.
    Night comes, and we all dance.
    Next morning at ten o'clock we bring out the buffalo, and slay it.
    At four in the morning we wrap rice and grain in a white cloth,
    and burn it.
    At eleven we cut the hair of the boys and girls.
    At four in the morning the priest goes to the temple (dairy).
    He lights the lamp.
    At eight he milks his buffaloes.
    He puts on no cloth.
    He places butter and ghi before the god.
    Then he grazes his buffaloes, and eats his food.
    Then he puts on his cloth.
    At three in the afternoon he goes again to the temple.
    He kindles a fire, and lights the lamp.
    He puts milk in a chatty, and churns it into butter with a cane.
    He mixes water with the butter-milk, and gives it to the women
    to drink.
    He alone may sleep in the temple.
    At four in the morning he lets out the buffaloes to graze.
    At seven he milks them.
    The woman's house is down the hill.
    The priest must not go in unto the woman.
    He may not marry.
    When he is twenty, he may not enter the temple.
    Another is made priest in his stead.


The religious institutions of the Todas, including the elaborate
dairy ritual, and their religion, are described in full detail by
Dr. Rivers. The Todas have been to some extent influenced by Hinduism,
and some visit the temples at Nanjengod in Mysore, Karamadai in
the Coimbatore district, and other shrines, whereat they worship,
present votive offerings, and pray for offspring, etc. Writing in
1872, Mr. Breeks remarked that "about Ootacamund, a few Todas have
latterly begun to imitate the religious practices of their native
neighbours. Occasionally children's foreheads are marked with the
Siva spot, and my particular friend Kinniaven, after an absence of
some days, returned with a shaven head from a visit to the temple
of Siva at Nanjengudi." A man who came to my laboratory had his hair
hanging down in long tails reaching below his shoulders. He had, he
said, let it grow long because his wife, though married five years,
had borne no child. A child had, however, recently been born, and,
as soon as the second funeral of a relation had been performed, he
was going to sacrifice his locks as a thank-offering at the Nanjengod
temple. The following extracts from my notes will serve to illustrate
the practice of marking (in some instances apparently for beauty's
sake) and shaving as carried out at the present day.

(1) Man, aged 28. Has just performed a ceremony at the ti mand. White
curved line painted across forehead, and dots below outer ends thereof,
on glabella, and outside orbits. Smeared with white across chest,
over outer side of upper arms and left nipple, across knuckles and
lower end of left ulna, and on lobes of ears.

(2) Man, aged 21. Painted on forehead as above. Smeared over chest
and upper eye lids.

(3) Man, aged 35. White spot painted on forehead.

(4) Man, aged 30. Hair of head and beard cut short owing to death
of grandfather.

(5) Boy, aged 12. Shock head of hair, cut very short all over owing
to death of grandfather.

(6) Girl, aged 8. Hair shaved on top, back and sides of head, and in
median strip from vertex to forehead.

(7) Boy, aged 6. White spot painted between eyebrows. Hair shaved
on top and sides of head, and in median strip from vertex to
forehead. Hair brought forward in fringe over forehead on either side
of median strip, and hanging down back of neck.

(8) Male child, aged 18 months. White spot painted between
eyebrows. Shaved on top and sides of head.

Todupuzha Vellala.--For the following note, I am indebted to
Mr. N. Subramani Aiyar. Besides the Nanchinad Vellalas, there are,
in Travancore, two sections of the Vellala caste, inhabiting the
mountainous Todupuzha taluk. These are the Tenkanchi and Kumbakonam
Vellalas. The former are known by the popular name of Anjuttilkar,
or the five hundred, and the latter are designated Munnutilkar, or the
three hundred, in reference to the number of families which originally
settled in the taluk. Like the Nanchinad Vellalas, they take the
title of Pillai, and, in special cases, the honorific prefix Kanakku.

The Tenkanchi Vellalas appear to have dwelt originally in the
Tenkasi taluk of the Tinnevelly district, and to have emigrated,
as the legend goes, on account of the demand of a Vaduka ruler for
the hand of a member of their community in marriage. The Vadakkumkur
Rajas were ruling over Todupuzha at the time of their migration,
and afforded them a safe asylum. The Kumbakonam Vellalas believe
that they emigrated to Travancore about the commencement of the
Malabar era from Kumbakonam in the Tanjore district. Both divisions
speak Malayalam, but there are clear indications in their speech
that their mother-tongue was once Tamil, and they always use that
language in their ceremonial writings. The Anjuttilkar women have
adopted the dress and ornaments of the Nayars. Both sections wear
the tuft of hair in front, but the Munnutilkar women do not tie the
hair on the left side like the Nayars and Anjuttilkars, but behind
like the Pandi Vellalas. Nor do the Anjuttilkar women wear a white
dress like the Tenkanchis, but a coloured cloth, sixteen cubits in
length, in orthodox Tamil fashion. Again, while the Tenkanchi women
largely resort to the todu and other Nayar ornaments, the Kumbakonam
women are more conservative, and wear only the pampadam and melidu,
though they sometimes wear jewels, such as the nagapata tali for the
neck. Both sections are Saivites, in the sense that they abstain from
flesh and fish.

Their principal occupation is agriculture. They worship the
two mountain deities Bhadrakali and Durga. In the Kirikkot muri
of the Karikkod property there is a temple dedicated to Siva or
Unnamalanathar, with a large amount of property attached to it. This
belongs to the Tenkanchi Vellalas, and a Malayalam Brahman performs the
priestly functions. The Kumbakonam Vellalas have their own temples,
such as the Ankalamma koil, Annamala matam, Virabhadran koil, etc.,
and worship, besides the principal gods of the Hindu pantheon, such
minor deities as Virabhadran, Karuppan, Bhairavan, Mariamman, and
Muttaramman. The priests of both sections are East Coast Brahmans,
who live in the Todupuzha taluk. As their profession is regarded by
other Brahmans as degrading, they, especially in the case of the
Kumbakonam Vellalas, perform their duties stealthily. The headman
of the Kumbakonam section lives in the Periyakulam taluk of the
Madura district, and, by his order, an image of Siva is worshipped
at their homes.

Divorce is not permitted on any ground, and, in ancient days, widow
remarriage was forbidden. There is a legend that a woman of this caste,
who was a friend of the daughter of a certain Vadakkumkur Rajah, was
so aggrieved at the news of her newly married husband's death that,
at her intercession, the Rajah issued a proclamation permitting
the remarriage of widows. If no husband has been found for a girl
before she reaches puberty, certain propitiatory rites have to be
performed, at which one of her female relations represents her. On
the fourth day of the marriage ceremony, the bride and bridegroom,
before they bathe, rub each other's bodies with oil, and, going to a
large caldron containing water, throw a gold and silver ring into it,
and pick them out three times. Inheritance of both sections is from
father to son (makkathayam). A sambandham alliance does not confer
any rite of inheritance.

The names of both sections are such as are unknown among Nayars,
e.g., Sivalingam, Arunachalam, Chidambaram, Arumukham. The Tenkanchis
are considered to be higher in the social scale than the Kumbakonam
section, as they observe only twelve days' death pollution, whereas
the latter are under pollution for sixteen days. The Tenkanchis may
enter the temple, and, like Nayars, stand on the left side of the
inner shrine, whereas the Kumbakonam Vellalas may proceed only as far
as the balikkalpura, or out-house of the temple, and not enter the
nalambalam. Again, butter-milk is freely received by Brahmans from
the Tenkanchis, but not from members of the Kumbakonam section. While
Pandi Vellalas will not receive food from the Tenkanchis, or give
their daughters in marriage to them, the latter will not intermarry
with the Nanchinad Vellalas.

Togata.--The Togatas are Telugu weavers, most numerous in the
Cuddapah district, who manufacture the coarsest kind of cotton
cloths, such as are worn by the poorer classes. They are generally
Vaishnavites, wear the sacred thread, and have for their priests
Vaishnava Brahmans or Satanis. They eat flesh, and their widows are
allowed to remarry. Writing concerning the Togatas in 1807, Buchanan
states [53] that "widows cannot marry again, but are not expected to
kill themselves. The Panchanga, or village astrologer, attends at
births, marriages, funerals, at the ceremonies performed in honour
of their deceased parents, and at the building of a new house, and
on each occasion gets a fee of one fanam, or eight pence. On other
occasions, when a weaver wants to pray, he calls in a Satanana, who
reads something in an unknown language, and gives the votary some
holy water, which he consecrates by pouring it on the head of a small
image that he carries about for the purpose."

As regards their origin, some Togatas claim to be sons of Chaudesvari,
who threw some rice on to the fire, from which sprang a host of
warriors, whose descendants they are. Others give Puppandaja Rishi
as the name of their ancestor. Concerning Chaudesvari, Mr. Francis
writes as follows. [54] "Connected with the margosa tree (Melia
Azadirachta) is the worship of Chaudesvari, the goddess of the
Togata caste of weavers. She is supposed to reside in margosa trees,
and either the tree itself, or a stone representing the goddess and
placed at its foot, is worshipped by the Togatas at certain seasons,
such as the Telugu New Year Day. Apparently the other weaver castes
take no share in the ceremonies. They consist largely of animal
sacrifices. Nevertheless, a particular class of Brahmans, called
Nandavarikula Brahmans, take a prominent part in the festival. This
name Nandavarikula is derived from the village of Nandavaram in
Kurnool, and doubtless many stories are prevalent there about this
sub-division. The account given at Tadpatri, where they are fairly
numerous, is as follows. Once upon a time, a king from Southern
India went on a pilgrimage with his wife to Benares. While there,
he unwittingly incurred a nameless but heinous pollution. Horrified,
he applied to some Brahmans there to purify him, promising them half
his kingdom in return. They asked for some tangible record of this
promise, and the king called upon the goddess Chaudesvari, who had a
temple near by, to witness his oath. The purification was effected,
and he departed home. Later on the Brahmans came south, and asked for
the fulfilment of his promise. The king declared that he could not
remember having made any such undertaking. The Brahmans accordingly
went to Benares, and asked Chaudesvari to come south, and bear witness
to the king's oaths. She agreed, on the usual condition that they
should go in front, and not look back at her as she came. As happens
in other stories of the same kind, they are said to have broken the
condition. At Nandavaram they looked back, and the goddess instantly
stopped, and remained immoveable. A temple was built for her there,
and the Brahmans remained in the south, and still take part in the
worship of Chaudesvari which the Togatas inaugurate, even though she
is not one of the Hindu pantheon, and delights in animal sacrifice. At
Tadpatri other castes besides the Togatas help at the festival."

Though Chaudesvari is the patron god of the Togatas, they also worship
Poleramma, Ellamma, Kotamma, and other minor deities.

The original occupation of the Togatas is said to have been dyeing,
but, at the present day, owing to the depression in the hand-loom
weaving industry, a large number have taken to cultivation.

Like many other Telugu castes, they have exogamous septs, of which
the following are examples:--


    Patha, old.
    Kambhapu, pillar.
    Nili, indigo.
    Madaka, plough.
    Bana, pot.
    Jilakara, cummin seed.
    Annam, food.
    Mékala, goat.
    Gopalam, alms.
    Samanthi, Chrysanthemum indicum.
    Gurram, horse.
    Perumal, a god.
    Bandari, treasurer?
    Gudditi.


Pujaris (priests) for temple worship are always elected from the
Perumal sept, and caste messengers from the Bandari sept, if they
are represented in a settlement. Torches are generally carried, at
processions, by men of the Gudditi sept. Members of the Gurram sept
are not allowed to ride on horseback.

The panchayat (village council) system is in vogue, but, in some
places, a headman is selected, as occasion requires. In their marriage
and funeral ceremonies, the Togatas closely follow the Telugu standard
Puranic form of ceremonial. The dead are buried in a recumbent
posture. On the last day of the death rites, the Satani gives arrack
(liquor) to the Togatas, as to the Padma Sales, in lieu of holy water
(thirtham).

Tohala.--Recorded, in the Madras Census Report, 1901, as a small
class of Oriya hill cultivators and petty traders in the Ganjam Agency.

Tolagari.--Recorded, in the Madras Census Report, 1901, as a sub-caste
of Mutracha. In the North Arcot Manual the Tolagaris are described
as a small cultivating caste, who were formerly hunters, like the
Palayakkarans.

Tolar (Wolf).--An exogamous sept of Halepaik. The equivalent Tolana
occurs as a sept of Moger.

Tolkollan.--The Tolkollans or Tolans (skin people) are summed up in
the Madras Census Report, 1901, as "leather workers and dyers, and also
gymnasts and teachers of gymnastics. They are also called Vatti Kurup,
Chaya Kurup, and Vil Kurup. Their title is Kurup." The Tolkollans are
stated [55] to be "blacksmiths by caste, who abandoned their hereditary
trade for leather work, and they are chiefly employed by Mappillas. One
peculiar custom in this caste is that two or more brothers may have
one wife in common. Only those in good circumstances indulge in the
luxury of a private wife. The following information furnished by
Mr. S. Vaidyanadha Aiyar, the headmaster of the School of Commerce,
Calicut, gives some information regarding leather work in Malabar:--

(a) Boots and shoes of country make and English pattern.

(b) Harness making.

(c) Native shoes (ceruppu). These are of the special pattern peculiar
to Malabar, and are largely used by all classes of the Hindu and
Mappilla communities. The Arabs who visit this coast once a year
purchase a considerable number to take back with them. The price of a
pair varies from Rs. 1-8-0 to Rs. 5. Those with ornamental gold lace
work cost from Rs. 10 to Rs. 50. These shoes are generally used by
well-to-do Mappillas. White of egg is used to give a creaking sound to
the shoes. This work is mainly done by Tholperunkollans and Mappillas,
and the latter show more skill in finish and ornamental work.

(d) Knife sheaths. Almost every Nayar, Tiyan and Mappilla carries
a knife about a foot in length, and there is a demand for leather
sheaths. These are made by Panans as well as by Tholperunkollans
and Mappillas.

(e) Leather baskets are also made, and are largely used as receptacles
for carrying pepper, paddy (rice), and other grain.

(f) Winnowing fans are made of leather, and are used in pepper and
paddy yards, etc.

(g) Muttu ceruppu (clogs) are leather shoes with wooden soles. These
are largely used during the rainy season."

Tollakkadan (one with a big hole in the lobes of his ears).--Taken,
at the census, 1901, as a sub-caste of Shanan, as those returning
the name, who are vendors of husked rice in Madras, used the Shanan
title Nadan. The equivalent Tollakadu was returned as a sub-division
of Konga Vellala.

Tol Mestri.--A sub-division of Semman.

Tondaman.--It is stated, in the Madras Census Report, 1901, that the
Tondamans are "also called Sunnambukkaran (q.v.), a Tamil caste of
lime (chunam) burners found only in the Tinnevelly district. They are
said to be a branch of the Kallans who migrated to Tinnevelly from
Pudukkottai, or the Tondaman's country. Its members are now drummers
and pipers as well as lime-burners. Brahmans are their purohits,
but they are not allowed to go into Hindu temples. They will eat in
the houses of Maravans. Their title is Solagan." It is noted, in the
same report, that the Semman caste "has two sub-divisions, Tondaman
and Tol-mestri, and men of the former take wives from the latter,
but men of the latter may not marry girls of the former." Tondaman is
the family name of the Raja of Pudukkottai, a Native State surrounded
by the British districts of Tanjore, Madura, and Trichinopoly. The
Raja is the head of the Kallan caste. Copper coins, called amman kasu,
are current only within the State, and their greatest distribution is
during Navaratri or Dusserah, when they are issued to the people with
a dole of rice every day during the nine days of the festival. They
bear on one side the word "Vijaya," meaning victory, or more probably
having reference to our faithful ally Vijaya Ragunatha Tondaman,
in whose reign they were first struck, it is said in 1761, after the
surrender of Pondicherry to the British.

Tondamandalam.--The name of a sub-division of Vellala, derived from
Tondanadu, the ancient Pallava country.

Tonti.--The Tontis are said to be cotton-weavers of Bengal, who have
settled in Ganjam. [56] The name denotes threadmen, and the weaving
of rough white cloths is the traditional occupation of the caste. All
Tontis belong to a single gotra named after Kasyapa, one of the seven
important rishis, and the priest of Parasurama. Various bamsams or
exogamous septs, the names of some of which occur also as titles,
exist, e.g., Biswalo, Dasso, Palo, Bono, Chondo, Parimaniko, Korono,
Behara, and Mahapatro. The marriage and death ceremonies conform to
the standard Oriya type. On the fourth day of the marriage rites, a
Bhondari (barber) is presented with some beaten rice and sugar-candy
in a new earthen pot. These are sold to those who have assembled,
and the proceeds go to the Bhondari. The corpse of a dead person
is washed at the burning ground, instead of, in accordance with the
common custom among other castes, at the house.

Toppa Tali.--A name applied to certain Vaniyans in the North Arcot
district, owing to the peculiar tali (marriage badge) which married
women wear.

Torai.--A title of various Oriya castes.

Toreya.--The Toreyas are a Canarese class, living chiefly in the
Tamil districts of Coimbatore and Salem. They are said to have been
originally fishermen and palanquin bearers, and the name is derived
from turai, a river ghat. Most of them are now cultivators, especially
of the betel vine (Piper betle). Those whom I examined at Coimbatore
were earning their living as betel and sugar-cane cultivators, vendors
of tobacco, bakers, cloth merchants, contractors, petty traders,
and police constables.

By the Coimbatore Toreyas, the following endogamous divisions were
returned:--


    Elai, leaf. Betel cultivators.
    Chunam, lime. Lime burners.
    Gazul, glass bangle. The Toreya caste is said to have originated
    from the bangles of Machyagandhi or Gandhavati, the daughter
    of a fisherman on the Jumna. She was married to king Shantanu
    of Hastinapur, who was one of the ancestors of the heroes of
    the Mahabharata.


Many exogamous septs exist among the Toreyas, of which the following
are examples:--


    Belli, silver. May not wear silver toe-rings.
    Naga, snake. The members of the sept, at times of marriage,
    worship ant-hills, which are the home of snakes.
    Alwar or Garuda.
    Chinnam, gold.
    Kansugaje, small bronze bells, tied to the legs when dancing.
    Urukathi, a kind of knife.
    Vajjira, diamond.
    Vasishta, a Hindu saint.
    Mogila, clouds.


Onne (Pterocarpus Marsupium). Do not mark their foreheads with the
juice from the trunk of this tree.

Kuzhal, the flute played by shepherd boys and snake charmers. If the
sound thereof is heard during a meal, what remains of the food should
be thrown away.

Rakshasa, a giant. Do not celebrate the Dipavali festival in honour
of the victory over, and death of, a rakshasa.

Erumai, buffalo.

The headman of the caste is called Ejaman, who has under him an
officer entitled Dalavayi. The caste messenger bears the name of
Kondikar. These three offices are hereditary. The Ejaman presides at
council meetings which are held at the temple of the caste. The eldest
member of each family is entitled to a seat on the council. Those
who come late to a meeting thereof prostrate themselves before the
assembly. Witnesses before the council have to take an oath, which
is administered by the Kondikar. He makes the witness stand within
a circle drawn on the ground, and makes him repeat the formula
"Before God and the elders assembled, with the sky above and the
earth beneath, I will state only the truth." The Kondikar then takes
up a pinch of earth, and puts it on the head of the witness. For
merely threatening to beat a person with shoes, the offender has
to feed twenty-five castemen. If he takes the shoes in his hands he
must feed fifty, and, if he actually resorts to beating with them,
he has to feed a hundred men. In addition, the culprit has to pay
a small fine, and both parties have to be purified at the temple. A
similar punishment is enforced for beating, or threatening to beat
with a broom. For adultery the guilty person is excommunicated, and
is admitted back into the caste only after the death of one of the
parties concerned. He then has to feed a large number of castemen,
or pay a money fine, and, prostrating himself before the assembly,
he is beaten with a tamarind switch. He further makes obeisance to
the Ejaman, and washes his feet. The Ejaman then purifies him by a
small piece of burning camphor in his mouth.

When a married girl reaches puberty, she is taken to her father's
house, and her husband constructs a hut with branches of Ficus
glomerata. On the last day of her confinement therein, the hut is
pulled down, and the girl sets fire to it. The house is purified, and
the female relations go to the houses of the Ejaman and caste people,
and invite them to be present at a ceremonial. A small quantity of
turmeric paste is stuck on the doors of the houses of all who are
invited. The relations and members of the caste carry betel, and
other articles, on trays in procession through the streets. The girl
is seated on a plank, and the trays are placed in front of her. Rice
flour, fruits, betel, etc., are tied in her cloth, and she is taken
into the house. In the case of an unmarried girl, the hut is built
by her maternal uncle.

Marriage is always celebrated at the house of the bridegroom, as there
is a legend that a Rajah belonging to the Toreya caste had a son, who
was taken to the house of his bride elect, and there murdered. The
bridegroom's father and relations go to the house of the bride, and
make presents of money, cloths, ornaments, etc. They also have to make
obeisance to, and feed five married women sumptuously. Pandals (booths)
are constructed at the houses of both the bride and bridegroom. Five
married women go, on behalf of each of the contracting parties,
to their houses, and pound rice there. On the second day, five such
women fetch water from a tank, and bathe the bride and bridegroom
respectively. The ten women then go to the potter's house, and bring
five decorated pots. Three of these are taken to a tank, and filled
with water. On the following day, the bridegroom and his sister take
the two remaining pots to the tank, and fill them with water. The five
pots are placed in the pandal, and represent the household gods. The
relations of the bridegroom take twelve kinds of ornaments, a new
cloth, flowers, etc., to the house of the Ejaman, and go with him
to the bride's house. She is then bathed, and decked with finery. A
Brahman does puja (worship) and ties on her forehead a mandaikettu or
bashingham (chaplet) made of gold leaf or tinsel. She is then carried
in procession to the house of the bridegroom. Meanwhile, the Brahman
ties a mandaikettu on the forehead of the bridegroom, who puts on the
sacred thread, and sits within the pandal, holding a katar (dagger)
in his hand, and closed in by a screen. The bride goes thrice round
this screen, and the Brahman does puja and gives advice (upadesam)
to the couple. The screen is then lowered slightly, and the bride and
bridegroom garland each other. The bride's parents place a few gingelly
(Sesamum) seeds in the hand of the bridegroom, and pour water thereon,
saying that their daughter belongs to him, and telling him to take care
of her. The tali, after being blessed by those assembled, is given by
the Brahman to the bridegroom, who ties it on the bride's neck. The
screen is then removed, and the couple sit side by side. The sacred
fire is lighted, their hands are linked together, and the ends of
their cloths tied together. They then leave the pandal, and, placing
their feet on a grindstone, look at the pole-star (Arundati). Entering
the pandal once more, they sit therein, and the elders bless them by
throwing rice coloured with turmeric over their heads. On the fourth
day, they again sit within the pandal, and cooked rice, coloured white,
red, yellow, green, and black, on five trays, and nine lighted wicks
on a tray are waved before them. Five married men and women, holding
a string, stand round them in a circle, within which is the bride's
brother with a twig of pipal (Ficus religiosa). The bridegroom places
his hands together, and small rice cakes are placed on the head,
shoulders, bend of the elbows and knees, and between the fingers of
the couple. They are then bathed, and, taking betel in their hands,
bow to the four corners of the earth. The bridegroom makes a namam
(Vaishnavite sect mark), or places vibhuti (sacred ashes) on the
twelve posts of the pandal, and the bride places a little cooked
rice and water before each post, to which camphor is burnt, and
puja done. They then start for the bride's house, but the bride's
sister meets them at the entrance thereto, and will not allow them
to go in until she has extracted a promise that their child shall
marry hers. The bride proceeds to a tank, sowing some paddy (rice)
on the way thither, and brings back a pot of water, with which she
washes her husband's hands and feet. Husband and wife then feed each
other with a small quantity of rice and milk. Their hands are then
cleaned, and the bride's brother puts a gold ring on the finger of
the bridegroom. A tray with betel leaves and areca nuts is brought,
and the bridegroom ties three handfuls thereof in his cloth. The
newly married couple then worship at the temple. On the fifth day,
they carry the earthen pots to a river, and, on their return, five
married women are worshipped and fed. Five men have to come forward
as sureties for the good behaviour of the couple, and declare before
those assembled that they will hold themselves responsible for it. In
the evening the pair go to the bride's house, and rub oil over each
other's head before bathing in turmeric water. On the following day
they repair to the house of the bridegroom.

The corpse of a dead Toreya is placed in a pandal constructed of
cocoanut leaves and stems of the milk-hedge (Euphorbia Tirucalli). Sect
marks are placed on the foreheads of the corpse and the widow. The
son of the deceased dons the sacred thread. The funeral ceremonies
resemble, in many particulars, those of the Oddes. A mound is
piled up over the grave. A Paraiyan places a small twig of the arka
plant (Calotropis gigantea) in three corners of the grave, leaving
out the north-east corner, and the son puts a small coin on each
twig. As he goes round the grave with a water-pot and fire-brand,
his maternal uncle, who stands at the head of the grave, makes holes
in the pot. On the third, fifth, seventh, or ninth day, the widow,
dressed in new cloths, and bedecked with ornaments and flowers, is
taken to the burial-ground, with offerings of milk, ghi (clarified
butter), tender cocoanut, sandal, camphor, etc. Five small stones,
smeared with turmeric and lime, are set up at the head of the grave,
and worshipped. The widow goes thrice round the grave, and seats
herself near the head thereof. Her brother holds up her arms, and one
of her husband's male relations breaks her bangles. She breaks, and
throws her tali on the grave, with the flowers which adorn her. Her
ornaments are removed, and she is covered with a cloth, and taken to
a river, where she is rubbed with cow-dung and bathed. The son and
other relatives go to the temple with butter and other articles. A
Brahman does puja, and shuts the doors of the temple. The son, with
his back to the temple, throws a little butter on the doors, which are
then opened by the Brahman. This is done thrice. On the seventh day,
pollution is removed by sprinkling holy water, and the caste people
are fed. A widow remains in seclusion (gosha) for three months. Sradh
(memorial ceremony) is performed.

The Toreyas worship both Siva and Vishnu, but consider Ayodhya Raman
as their special deity, and sacrifice sheep and fowls to Koriamma.

Toreya.--A sub-division of the Badagas of the Nilgiris.

Tota (garden).--Recorded as a sub-division of cultivating Balijas, and
an exogamous sept of Boya, Chenchu, Vada Balija (or Mila), Mutracha
and Bonthuk Savara. The equivalent Tota occurs as an exogamous sept
of Kapu and Yanadi. Tota Devaru, or garden god, is the name of an
exogamous sept of the Tigala gardeners and cultivators.

Totakura (Amarantus gangeticus).--An exogamous sept of Kamma.

Toththala or Tottadi.--A sub-division of Velama.

Toti.--The Toti or Totti is one of the village communal servants. The
name has been derived from tondu, to dig, or tott, to go round, as
the Toti is the purveyor of news, and has to summon people to appear
before the village council. The functions of this useful person to the
community have been summed up as follows by a district official. [57]
"This individual has all the dirty work of the village allotted to
him. He is of the lowest caste, and hence makes no scruple of doing
any manner of work that he may be called upon to perform. The removal
and sepulture of unclaimed dead bodies, the cleansing of choultries,
rest-houses and the like, where travellers carrying infectious
diseases might have halted, and other gruesome duties are entrusted
to him. In spite of all this, the Toti is one of the most trusted of
the humbler servants of the village community. Considering his humble
status and emoluments, which average between Rs. 3 and Rs. 4 a month,
his honesty with regard to pecuniary matters is wonderful. He may
be trusted with untold wealth, as is often done when he is the sole
custodian of the revenue collections of his village to the tune of
several thousands at a time, when on their way from the collecting
officers to the Government Treasury." Testimony is borne to the
industry of the Toti in the proverb that if you work like a Toti,
you can enjoy the comforts of a king.

In the Madras Census Report, 1891, Toti is returned as a sub-division
of Chakkiliyan. The Toti of Mysore is defined by Mr. L. Rice [58] as
a menial among the village servants, a deputy talari, who is employed
to watch the crops from the growing crop to the granary.

Odiya Toti is a Tamil synonym for Oriya Haddis employed as scavengers
in municipalities in the Tamil country.

Tottiyan.--In the Census Report, 1901, Mr. W. Francis writes that the
Tottiyans are "Telugu cultivators. The Tottiyans or Kambalattans of
the Tanjore district are, however, said to be vagrants, and to live
by pig-breeding, snake-charming, and begging. So are the sub-division
called Kattu Tottiyans in Tinnevelly. The headman among the Tinnevelly
Tottiyans is called the Mandai Periadanakkaran or Servaikaran. Their
marriages are not celebrated in their houses, but in pandals (booths)
of green leaves erected for the purpose on the village common. However
wealthy the couple may be, the only grain which they may eat at
the wedding festivities is either cumbu (Pennisetum typhoideum) or
horse-gram (Dolichos biflorus). The patron deities of the caste are
Jakkamma and Bommakka, two women who committed sati. The morality of
their women is loose. The custom of marrying boys to their paternal
aunt's or maternal uncle's daughter, however old she may be, also
obtains, and in such cases the bridegroom's father is said to take
upon himself the duty of begetting children to his own son. Divorce
is easy, and remarriage is freely allowed. They offer rice and
arrack (alcoholic liquor) to their ancestors. The Kattu Tottiyans
will eat jackals, rats, and the leavings of other people. Tottiya
women will not eat in the houses of Brahmans, but no explanation of
this is forthcoming. The men wear silver anklets on both legs, and
also a bracelet upon one of the upper arms, both of which practices
are uncommon, while the women wear bangles only on the left arm,
instead of on both as usual. Some of the Zamindars in Madura belong
to this caste. The caste title is Nayakkan." At the census, 1901,
Kudulukkaran was returned as a sub-caste of the Tottiyans in Madura and
Tinnevelly. The Urumikkaran, meaning those who play on the drum called
urumi, are said to be Tottiyans in Madura and Paraiyans elsewhere.

"The Tottiyans or Kambalattans," Mr. H. A. Stuart writes, [59] "are
a caste of Telugu cultivators settled in the districts of Madura,
Tinnevelly, Coimbatore and Salem. They are probably the descendants
of poligars and soldiers of the Nayakkan kings of Vijayanagar, who
conquered the Madura country about the beginning of the sixteenth
century. As regards the origin of their caste, the Tottiyans say with
pride that they are the descendants of the eight thousand gopastris
(milkmaids) of Krishna--a tradition which seems to indicate that their
original occupation was connected with the rearing and keeping of
cattle. The most important sub-divisions are Kollar and Erkollar, the
Tamil form of the Telugu Golla and Yerragolla, which are now shepherd
castes, though probably they formerly had as much to do with cattle
as sheep. Another large sub-division is Kille or Killavar, which I
take to be a corruption of the Telugu kilari, a herdman. The bride
and bridegroom, too, are always seated on bullock saddles. They do
not wear the sacred thread. Most of them are Vaishnavites, some of
whom employ Brahman priests, but the majority of them are guided
by gurus of their own, called Kodangi Nayakkan. [It is noted, in
the Gazetteer of the Madura district, that caste matters used to be
settled by the Mettu Nayakkan or headman, and a Kodangi Nayakkan,
or priest, so called because he carried a drum.] Each family has its
own household deity, which appears to be a sort of representation of
departed relations, chiefly women who have burned themselves on the
funeral pile of their husbands, or have led a chaste and continent
life, or died vestals. Their girls are married after they have attained
maturity. Adultery is no crime when committed within the family
circle, but a liaison with an outsider involves expulsion from the
caste. It is said that their newly married girls are even compelled
to cohabit with their husband's near relatives. [It is further said
to be believed that ill-luck will attend any refusal to do so, and
that, so far from any disgrace attaching to them in consequence, their
priests compel them to keep up the custom, if by any chance they are
unwilling. [60]] The pongu tree (Pongamia glabra) is the sacred tree
of the caste. Suttee was formerly very common, and the remarriage
of widows is discouraged, if not actually forbidden. The dead are
generally burned. Both men and women are supposed to practice magic,
and are on that account much dreaded by the people generally. They
are especially noted for their power of curing snake-bites by means
of mystical incantations, and the original inventor of this mode
of treatment has been deified under the name Pambalamman. They are
allowed to eat flesh. The majority speak Telugu in their houses."

The traditional story of the migration of the Tottiyans to the
Madura district is given in several of the Mackenzie manuscripts,
and is still repeated by the people of the caste. "Centuries ago,
says this legend, the Tottiyans lived to the north of the Tungabhadra
river. The Muhammadans there tried to marry their women, and make
them eat beef. So one fine night they fled southwards in a body. The
Muhammadans pursued them, and their path was blocked by a deep and
rapid river. They had just given themselves up for lost when a pongu
(Pongamia glabra) tree on either side of the stream leant forward, and,
meeting in the middle, made a bridge across it. Over this they hurried,
and, as soon as they had passed, the trees stood erect once more,
before the Mussulmans could similarly cross by them. The Tottiyans in
consequence still reverence the pongu tree, and their marriage pandals
(booths) are always made from its wood. They travelled on until they
came to the city of Vijayanagar, under whose king they took service,
and it was in the train of the Vijayanagar armies that they came to
Madura." [61]

The Tottiyans are most numerous in the Madura and Tinnevelly districts,
and include two grades in the social scale. Of these, one consists
of those who are engaged in cultivation, and petty Zamindars. The
other is made up of those who wander about begging, and doing
menial work. Between the two classes there is neither interdining
nor intermarriage. In districts other than Madura and Tinnevelly,
the name Tottiyan is applied by Tamil-speaking castes to the Jogis,
who are beggars and pig breeders, and, like the Tottiyans, speak
Telugu. The following legend is current, to account for the division
of the Tottiyans into two sections. They once gave a girl in marriage
to a Muhammadan ruler, and all the Tottiyans followed him. A large
number went to sleep on one side of a river, while the rest crossed,
and went away. The latter are represented today by the respectable
section, and the begging class is descended from the former. To this
day the Muhammadans and Tottiyans of the Trichinopoly district are
said to address each other as if they were relations, and to be on
terms of unusual intimacy.

In the Madura district, the Tottiyans are apparently divided into
three endogamous sections, viz., Vekkili, Thokala, and Yerrakolla,
of which the last is considered inferior to the other two. Other names
for the Vekkili section are Kambalattar, or Raja Kambalattar. In some
places, e.g., in Tinnevelly, there seem to be six divisions, Thokala,
Chilla or Silla, Kolla, Narasilla, Kanthikolla and Pala. Of these,
Pala may intermarry with Chilla, but the other four are endogamous. As
examples of exogamous septs occurring among the Yerrakollas may be
noted Chikala (broom), and Udama (lizard, Varanus), of which the
latter also occurs as an exogamous sept of the Kapus.

In the neighbourhood of Nellakota in the Madura district,
the Yerrakollas have a group of seven septs called Revala,
Gollavirappa, Kambli-nayudi, Karadi (bear), Uduma, Chila, and
Gelipithi. Intermarriage between these is forbidden, as they are all
considered as blood-relations, and they must marry into a group of
seven other septs called Gundagala, Busala, Manni, Sukka, Alivirappa,
Sikka, and Madha. The names of these septs are remembered by a system
of mnemonics.

In a note on the Tottiyans of the Trichinopoly district,
Mr. F. R. Hemingway writes as follows. "Three endogamous sub-divisions
exist in the caste, namely, the Erra (red) Gollas or Pedda Inti
(big family), the Nalla (black) Gollas or Chinna Inti (small family),
and the Valus, who are also called Kudukuduppai Tottiyans. The Valus
are said to be a restless class of beggars and sorcerers. The red
Gollas are, as a rule, fairer than the blacks (whence perhaps the
names). The women of the former wear white cloths, while those of
the latter do not. Again, they tie their hair in different ways, and
their ornaments differ a good deal. The red women carry no emblem
of marriage at all, while the black women wear the pottu. The reds
allow their widows to remarry, but the blacks do not. Both sections
have exogamous sections, called Kambalams--the reds fourteen, and the
blacks nine. The reds are divided, for purposes of caste discipline,
into nine nadus and the blacks into fourteen mandais. Each village is
under a headman called the Ur-Nayakan, and each nadu or mandai under a
Pattakaran. The former decide petty disputes, and the latter the more
serious cases. The Pattakaran is treated with great deference. He is
always saluted with clasped hands, ought never to look on a corpse, and
is said to be allowed to consort with any married woman of the caste."

The Tottiyans are supposed to be one of the nine Kambalam (blanket)
castes, which, according to one version, are made up of Kappiliyans,
Anappans, Tottiyans, Kurubas, Kummaras, Parivarams, Urumikkarans,
Mangalas, and Chakkiliyans. According to another version, the nine
castes are Kappiliyan, Anappan, Tottiyan, Kolla Tottiyan, Kuruba,
Kummara, Medara, Odde, and Chakkiliyan. At tribal council-meetings,
representatives of each of the nine Kambalams should be present. But,
for the nine castes, some have substituted nine septs. The Vekkiliyans
seem to have three headmen, called Mettu Nayakan, Kodia Nayakan, and
Kambli Nayakan, of whom the first mentioned is the most important, and
acts as priest on various ceremonial occasions, such as puberty and
marriage rites, and the worship of Jakkamma and Bommakka. The Kambli
Nayakan attends to the purification of peccant or erring members of
the community, in connection with which the head of a sheep or goat
is taken into the house by the Kambli Nayakan. It is noted, in the
Gazetteer of the Madura district, that "persons charged with offences
are invited to prove their innocence by undergoing ordeals. These
are now harmless enough, such as attempting to cook rice in a pot
which has not been fired, but Turnbull says that he saw the boiling
oil ordeal in 1813 in Pudukkottai territory. Perhaps the most serious
caste offence is adultery with a man of another community. Turnbull
says that women convicted of this used to be sentenced to be killed
by Chakkiliyans, but nowadays rigid excommunication is the penalty."

The Kambalam caste is so called because, at caste council meetings, a
kambli (blanket) is spread, on which is placed a kalasam (brass vessel)
filled with water, and containing margosa (Melia Azadirachta) leaves,
and decorated with flowers. Its mouth is closed by mango leaves and
a cocoanut.

A correspondent writes to me that "the Zamindars in the western parts
of Madura, and parts of Tinnevelly, are known as Kambala Palayapat. If
a man belongs to a Zamindar's family, he is said to be of the Raja
Kambala caste. The marriage ceremony is carried out in two temporary
huts erected outside the village, one for the bridegroom, the other
for the bride. The tali is tied round the bride's neck by an elderly
female or male belonging to the family. If the marriage is contracted
with a woman of an inferior class, the bridegroom's hut is not made
use of, and he does not personally take part in the ceremony. A dagger
(kattar), or rude sword, is sent to represent him, and the tali is
tied in the presence thereof."

In a zamindari suit, details of which are published in the Madras
Law Reports, Vol. XVII, 1894, the Judge found that the plaintiff's
mother was married to the plaintiff's father in the dagger form;
that a dagger is used by the Saptur Zamindars, who are called Kattari
Kamaya, in the case of inequality in the caste or social position of
the bride; that, though the customary rites of the Kambala caste were
also performed, yet the use of the dagger was an essential addition;
and that, though she was of a different and inferior caste to that of
the plaintiff's father, yet that did not invalidate the marriage. The
defendant's argument was that the dagger was used to represent
the Zamindar bridegroom as he did not attend in person, and that,
by his non-attendance, there could have been no joining of hands,
or other essential for constituting a valid marriage. The plaintiff
argued that the nuptial rites were duly performed, the Zamindar
being present; that the dagger was there merely as an ornament; and
that it was customary for people of the Zamindar's caste to have a
dagger paraded on the occasion of marriages. The Judge found that the
dagger was there for the purpose of indicating that the two ladies,
whom the Zamindar married, were of an inferior caste and rank.

It is recorded, in the Gazetteer of the Madura district, that, when
a Tottiyan girl attains maturity, "she is kept in a separate hut,
which is watched by a Chakkiliyan. Marriage is either infant or
adult. A man has the usual claim to his paternal aunt's daughter,
and so rigorously is this rule followed that boys of tender years are
frequently married to grown women. These latter are allowed to consort
with their husband's near relations, and the boy is held to be the
father of any children which may be born. Weddings last three days,
and involve very numerous ceremonies. They take place in a special
pandal erected in the village, on either side of which are smaller
pandals for the bride and bridegroom. Two uncommon rites are the
slaughtering of a red ram without blemish, and marking the foreheads
of the couple with its blood, and the pursuit by the bridegroom, with a
bow and arrow, of a man who pretends to flee, but is at length captured
and bound. The ram is first sprinkled with water, and, if it shivers,
this, as usual, is held to be a good omen. The bride-price is seven
kalams of kumbu (Pennisetum typhoideum), and the couple may eat only
this grain and horse-gram until the wedding is over. A bottu (marriage
badge) is tied round the bride's neck by the bridegroom's sister."

Concerning the marriage ceremonies of the Yerrakollas, I gather that,
on the betrothal day, kumbu must be cooked. Food is given to seven
people belonging to seven different septs. They are then presented
with betel leaves and areca nuts and four annas tied in a cloth, and
the approaching marriage is announced. On the wedding day, the bride
and bridegroom are seated on planks on the marriage dais, and milk is
sprinkled over them by people of their own sex. A few hours later,
the bridegroom takes his seat in the pandal, whither the bride is
brought in the arms of her maternal uncle. She sits by the side of the
bridegroom, and the Mettu Nayakan links together the little fingers
of the contracting couple, and tells them to exchange rings. This
is the binding portion of the ceremony, and no bottu is tied round
the bride's neck. At a marriage among the Vekkiliyans, two huts are
constructed in an open space outside the village, in front of which
a pandal is erected, supported by twelve posts, and roofed with leafy
twigs of the pongu tree and Mimusops hexandra. On the following day,
the bride and bridegroom are conducted to the huts, the bride being
sometimes carried in the arms of her maternal uncle. They worship the
ancestral heroes, who are represented by new cloths folded, and placed
on a tray. The bridegroom's sister ties the bottu on the bride's neck
inside her hut, in front of which kumbu grain is scattered. Betel and
a fanam (coin) are placed in the bride's lap. On the third day the
bridegroom is dressed up, and, mounting a horse, goes, accompanied
by the marriage pots, three times round the huts. He then enters
the bride's hut, and she is carried in the arms of the cousins of
the bridegroom thrice round the huts. The contracting couple then
sit on planks, and the cousins, by order of the Mettu Nayakan, link
their little fingers together. They then enter the bridegroom's hut,
and a mock ploughing ceremony is performed. Coming out from the hut,
they take up a child, and carry it three times round the huts. This
is, it is said, done because, in former days, the Tottiyan bride and
bridegroom had to remain in the marriage huts till a child was born,
because the Mettu Nayakan was so busy that he had no time to complete
the marriage ceremony until nearly a year had elapsed.

At a wedding among the nomad Tottiyans, a fowl is killed near
the marriage (araveni) pots, and with its blood a mark is made on
the foreheads of the bride and bridegroom on their entry into the
booths. The Vekkiliyans sacrifice a goat or sheep instead of a fowl,
and the more advanced among them substitute the breaking of a cocoanut
for the animal sacrifice.

In connection with marriage, Mr. Hemingway writes that "the Tottiyans
very commonly marry a young boy to a grown woman, and, as among the
Konga Vellalas, the boy's father takes the duties of a husband upon
himself until the boy is grown up. Married women are allowed to bestow
their favours upon their husbands' relations, and it is said to be an
understood thing that a man should not enter his dwelling, if he sees
another's slippers placed outside as a sign that the owner of them
is with the mistress of the house. Intercourse with men of another
caste is, however, punished by expulsion, and widows and unmarried
girls who go astray are severely dealt with. Formerly, it is said,
they were killed."

At a Tottiyan funeral, fire is carried to the burning-ground by a
Chakkiliyan, and the pyre is lighted, not by the sons, but by the
sammandhis (relations by marriage).

The Tottiyans of the Madura district observe the worship of ancestors,
who are represented by a number of stones set up somewhere within
the village boundaries. Such places are called male. According to
Mr. Hemingway, when a member of the caste dies, some of the bones are
buried in this shed, along with a coin, and a stone is planted on the
spot. The stones are arranged in an irregular circle. The circles of
the Yerrakollas are exceedingly simple, and recall to mind those of
the Nayadis of Malabar, but without the tree. The stones are set up
in an open space close to the burning-ground. When a death occurs,
a stone is erected among the ashes of the deceased on the last day
of the funeral ceremonies (karmandhiram), and worshipped. It is
immediately transferred to the ancestral circle. The male of the
Vekkiliyan section of the Tottiyans consists of a massive central
wooden pillar, carved with male and female human figures, set up in
a cavity in a round boulder, and covered over by a conical canopy
supported on pillars. When this canopy is set in motion, the central
pillar appears to be shaking. This illusion, it is claimed, is due
to the power of the ancestral gods. All round the central pillar,
which is about ten feet high, a number of stones of different sizes
are set up. The central pillar represents Jakkamma and other remote
ancestors. The surrounding stones are the representatives of those
who have died in recent times. Like the Yerrakollas, the Vekkiliyans
erect a stone on the karmandhiram day at the spot where the body was
cremated, but, instead of transferring it at once to the ancestral
circle, they wait till the day of periodical male worship, which, being
an expensive ceremonial, may take place only once in twelve years. If
the interval is long, the number of stones representing those who
have died meanwhile may be very large. News of the approaching male
worship is sent to the neighbouring villages, and, on the appointed
day, people of all castes pour in, bringing with them several hundred
bulls. The hosts supply their guests with fodder, pots, and a liberal
allowance of sugar-cane. Refusal to bestow sugar-cane freely would
involve failure of the object of the ceremonial. After the completion
of the worship, the bulls are let loose, and the animal which reaches
the male first is decorated, and held in reverence. Its owner is
presented with cloths, money, etc. The ceremony may be compared with
that of selecting the king bull among the Kappiliyans.

Self-cremation is said [62] to have been "habitually practiced by
Tottiya widows in the times anterior to British domination; and
great respect was always shown to the memory of such as observed the
custom. Small tombs termed thipanjankovil (fire-torch temple) were
erected in their honour on the high-roads, and at these oblations
were once a year offered to the manes of the deceased heroines. Sati
was not, however, compulsory among them, and, if a widow lived at all
times a perfectly chaste and religious life, she was honoured equally
with such as performed the rite." It is noted, in the Gazetteer of
the Madura district, that "sati was formerly very common in the caste,
and the two caste goddesses, Jakkamma and Bommayya, are deifications of
women who thus sacrificed themselves. Every four years a festival is
held in their honour, one of the chief events in which is a bullock
race. The owner of the winning animal receives a prize, and gets
the first betel and nut during the feast. The caste god is Perumal,
who is worshipped in the form of a curry-grinding stone. The story
goes that, when the Tottiyans were fleeing to the south, one of their
women found her grinding-stone so intolerably heavy that she threw
it away. It, however, re-appeared in her basket. Thrown away again,
it once more re-appeared, and she then realised that the caste god
must be accompanying them."

"The Tottiyans," Mr. Hemingway writes, "do not recognise the
superiority of Brahmans, or employ them as priests at marriages or
funerals. They are deeply devoted to their own caste deities. Some of
these are Bommaka and Mallamma (the spirits of women who committed
sati long ago), Virakaran or Viramati (a bridegroom who was killed
in a fight with a tiger), Pattalamma (who helped them in their flight
from the north), and Malai Tambiran, the god of ancestors. Muttalamma
and Jakkamma are also found. Malai Tambiran is worshipped in the
male. The Tottiyans are known for their uncanny devotion to sorcery
and witchcraft. All of them are supposed to possess unholy powers,
especially the Nalla Gollas, and they are much dreaded by their
neighbours. They do not allow any stranger to enter their villages with
shoes on, or on horseback, or holding up an umbrella, lest their god
should be offended. It is generally believed that, if any one breaks
this rule, he will be visited with illness or some other punishment."

The Tottiyans have attached to them a class of beggars called Pichiga
vadu, concerning whose origin the following legend is narrated. There
were, once upon a time, seven brothers and a sister belonging to the
Irrivaru exogamous sept. The brothers went on a pilgrimage to Benares,
leaving their sister behind. One day, while she was bathing, a sacred
bull (Nandi) left its sperm on her cloth, and she conceived. Her
condition was noticed by her brothers on their return, and, suspecting
her of immorality, they were about to excommunicate her. But they
discovered some cows in calf as the result of parthenogenesis, and
six of the brothers were satisfied as to the girl's innocence. The
seventh, however, required further proof. After the child was born,
it was tied to a branch of a dead chilla tree (Strychnos potatorum),
which at once burst into leaf and flower. The doubting brother became
a cripple, and his descendants are called Pichiga varu, and those of
the baby Chilla varu.

Traivarnika (third caste men).--Recorded, in the Madras Census Report,
1901, as a section of Komatis (who claim to be Vaisyas, or members
of the third caste of Manu), who follow the details of Brahmanical
customs more scrupulously than the others. They are described, in
the Vizagapatam Manual, as followers of the Ramanuja faith, who deal
chiefly in gold and silver, and ornaments made thereof.

Triputa (Ipomæa Turpethum, Indian jalap).--A sept of Viramushti.

Tsakala.--The Tsakalas, Sakalas, or Chakalas, who derive their name
from chaku (to wash), are the washermen of the Telugu country, and
also act as torch and palanquin bearers. In the Census Report, 1901,
Tellakula (the white class) is given as a synonym. The Rev. J. Cain
writes [63] that the "Tellakulavandlu are really washermen who,
in consequence of having obtained employment as peons (orderlies)
in Government offices, feel themselves to be superior to their
old caste people. In their own towns or villages they acknowledge
themselves to be washermen, but in other places they disclaim all
such connection." It is noted in the Kurnool Manual (1886) that,
in the Cumbum division, "they serve as palanquin-bearers, and are
always at the mercy of Government officials, and are compelled to
carry baggage for little or no wage. Some are Inamdars (landholders),
while others work for wages."

The ordinary Tsakalas are called Bana Tsakala, in contradistinction to
the Guna or Velama Tsakala. Bana is the Telugu name for the large pot,
which the washermen use for boiling the clothes. [64] The Guna Tsakalas
are dyers. In a note on the Velamas, Mr. H. A. Stuart writes [65]
that "some say they form a sub-division of the Balijas, but this they
themselves most vehemently deny, and the Balijas derisively call them
Guni Sakalavandlu (hunchbacked washermen). The pride and jealousy of
Hindu castes was amusingly illustrated by the Velamas of Kalahasti. The
Deputy Tahsildar of that town was desired to ascertain the origin of
the name Guni Sakalavandlu, but, as soon as he asked the question,
a member of the caste lodged a complaint of defamation against him
before the District Magistrate. The nickname appears to have been
applied to them because in the northern districts some print chintz,
and, carrying their goods in a bundle on their backs, walk stooping
like a laden washerman. This derivation is more than doubtful, for,
in the Godavari district, the name is Guna Sakalavandlu, guna being
the large pot in which they dye the chintzes."

Like other Telugu castes, the Tsakalas have exogamous septs or
intiperu, among which chimala (ant) is of common occurrence. Members
of the gummadi sept do not cultivate, or eat the fruit of Cucurbita
maxima (gummadi), and those of the magili pula gotra avoid the fruit
of Pandanus fascicularis. In like manner, sword beans (Canavalia
ensiformis) may not be eaten by those who belong to the thamballa
gotra.

Among the sub-divisions of the caste are Reddi Bhumi (Reddi earth),
Murikinati, Pakanati (eastern country), Desa, and Golkonda. Of these,
some are also sub-divisions of other Telugu classes, as follows:--

Desa or Desur Balija--Kapu.

Murikinati or Murikinadu--Kamsala, Mangala, Mala and Razu.

Pakanati--Balija, Golla, Kamsala, Kapu, and Mala.

Reddi Bhumi--Mala, Mangala.

At the census, 1891, Odde was recorded as a sub-division of
the Tsakalas, and it is noted in the Vizagapatam Manual (1869)
that the Vadde or Odde Cakali wash clothes, and carry torches
in that district. The name Odde Tsakala refers to Oriya-speaking
washermen. Telugus call the Oriya country Odra or Odde desam and
Oriyas Odra or Odde Vandlu.

Like the Tamil Vannans, the Tsakalas prepare for various castes torches
for processional or other ceremonial occasions, and the face cloth,
and paddy piled up at the head of a corpse, are their perquisite. The
Reddi Bhumi and other sub-divisions wash the clothes of all classes,
except Malas and Madigas, while the Desa and Golkonda sub-divisions
will wash for both Malas and Madigas, provided that the clothes are
steeped in water, and not handed to them, but left therein, to be taken
by the washerman. Every village has its families of washermen, who, in
return for their services, receive an allowance of grain once a year,
and may have land allotted to them. Whenever a goat or fowl has to
be sacrificed to a deity, it is the privilege of the Tsakala to cut
off the head, or wring the neck of the animal. When Kapu women go on
a visit to a distant village, they are accompanied by a Tsakala. At
a Kapu wedding, a small party of Kapus, taking with them some food
and gingelly (Sesamum) oil, proceed in procession to the house of a
Tsakala, in order to obtain from him a framework made of bamboo or
sticks, over which cotton threads (dhornam) are wound, and the Ganga
idol, which is kept in his custody. The food is presented to him,
and some rice poured into his cloth. Receiving these things, he says
that he cannot find the dhornam and idol without a torch-light, and
demands gingelly oil. This is given to him, and the Kapus return with
the Tsakala carrying the dhornam and idol to the marriage house. The
Tsakala is asked to tie the dhornam to the pandal (marriage booth)
or roof of the house, and he demands some paddy (unhusked rice) which
is heaped up on the ground. Standing thereon, he ties the dhornam. At
a Panta Kapu wedding, the Ganga idol, together with a goat and kavadi
(bamboo pole), with baskets of rice, cakes, betel leaves and areca
nuts, is carried in procession to a pond or temple. The washerman,
dressed up as a woman, heads the procession, and keeps on dancing
and singing till the destination is reached. At the conclusion of the
ceremonial, he takes charge of the idol, and goes his way. Among the
Panta Reddis of the Tamil country, the idol is taken in procession by
the washerman, who goes to every Reddi house, and receives a present
of money. At a wedding among the Idigas (Telugu toddy-drawers), the
brother of the bride is fantastically dressed, with margosa (Melia
Azadirachta) leaves in his turban, and carries a bow and arrow. This
kodangi (buffoon) is conducted in procession to the temple by a few
married women, and made to walk over cloths spread on the ground by
the village washerman. The cloth worn by a Kapu girl at the time of
her first menstrual ceremony is the perquisite of the washerwoman.

The tribal deity of the Tsakalas is Madivalayya, in whose honour a
feast, called Mailar or Mailar Pandaga, is held in January immediately
after the Pongal festival. Small models of pots, slabs of stone such
as are used for beating the wet clothes on, and other articles used
in their work, are made in rice and flour paste. After they have been
worshipped, fruits, cooked vegetables, etc., are offered, and a sheep
or goat is sacrificed. Some of its blood is mixed with the food, of
which a little is sprinkled over the pots, stones, etc., used during
washing operations. If this ceremonial was not observed, it is believed
that the clothes, when boiling in the water pot, would catch fire, and
be ruined. The festival, which is not observed by the Desa and Golkonda
Tsakalas, lasts for five or seven days, and is a time of holiday.

At the first menstrual ceremony, the maternal uncle of the girl has
to erect a hut made of seven different kinds of sticks, of which one
must be from a Strychnos Nux-vomica tree. The details of the marriage
ceremony are very similar to those of the Balijas and Kammas. The
distribution of pan-supari, and the tying of the dhornam to the pandal
must be carried out by an assistant headman called Gatamdar. On the
last day, a goat or sheep is sacrificed to the marriage pots. Liberal
potations of toddy are given to those who attend the wedding.

The Tsakalas have a caste beggar called Mailari, or Patam, because
he carries a brass plate (patam) with the figure of a deity engraved
on it. He is said to be a Lingayat.

Tsalla or Challa (butter-milk).--An exogamous sept of Mala.

Tsanda or Chanda (tax or subscription).--An exogamous sept of Kamma
and Medara.

Tulabharam.--In his description [66] of the Tulabharam or
Tulapurushadanam ceremony performed by the Maharajas of Travancore,
Mr. Shungoony Menon explains that the latter word is a compound
of three Sanskrit words, tula (scales), purusha (man), and danam
(gift, particularly of a religious character). And he gives the
following description of the ceremonial, for the performance of
which a Tulamandapam is erected, wherein the scales are set up,
and the weighing and other rites performed. On the eighth day
"after worshipping and making offerings, the Maharaja proceeds to
the Tulamandapam, where, in the south-east corner, he is sprinkled
with punyaham water. Then he goes to the side room, where the 'nine
grains' are sown in silver flower pots, where the acharya anoints
him with nine fresh-water kalasas. Thence the Maharaja retires to
the palace, changes clothes, wears certain jewels specially made
for the occasion, and, holding the State sword in his right hand
and the State shield in his left, he proceeds to the pagoda; and,
having presented a bull elephant at the foot of the great golden
flagstaff, and silks, gold coins, jewels and other rich offerings in
the interior, he walks round by the Sevaimandapam, and re-enters the
Tulamandapam. He walks thrice round the scales, prostrates himself
before it, bows before the priests and elderly relatives, and obtains
their sanction to perform the Tulapurushadanam. He then mounts the
western scale, holding Yama's and Surya's pratimas in his right and
left hand respectively. He sits facing to the east on a circular heavy
plank cut out of fresh jack-wood (Artocarpus integrifolia), and covered
with silk. He repeats mantras (prayers) in this position. The opposite
or eastern scale then receives the gold, both coined and in ingots,
till it not only attains equality but touches the ground, and the scale
occupied by the Maharaja rises high. The Maharaja then comes down, and,
sitting facing to the east, places the gold, the Tulupurusha pratima
and other pratimas, with flowers, sandal paste, etc., in a basin of
water, and, meditating on Brahma or the Supreme Being, he offers the
contents to Brahmans generically." Of the gold placed in the scale,
one-fourth is divided among the priests who conduct the ceremony, and
the remaining three-fourths are distributed among Brahmans. For use
in connection with the ceremony, gold coins, called tulabhara kasu,
are specially struck. They bear on one side the Malayalam legend Sri
Padmanabha, and on the other a chank shell.

In connection with the tulabharam ceremony as performed at the temple
of Kali, the goddess of cholera and small-pox at Cranganore in the
Cochin State, Mr. T. K. Gopal Panikkar writes as follows. [67] "When
a man is taken ill of any infectious disease, his relations generally
pray to this goddess for his recovery, solemnly covenanting to perform
what goes by the name of a thulabharam ceremony. The process consists
in placing the patient in one of the scale-pans of a huge balance,
and weighing him against gold or more generally pepper (and sometimes
other substances as well) deposited in the other scale-pan. Then
this weight of the substance is offered to the goddess. This is to
be performed right in front of the goddess in the temple yard."

In connection with weighing ceremonies, it may be noted that, at Mulki
in South Canara, there is a temple of Venkateswara, which is maintained
by Konkani Brahmans. A Konkani Brahman, who is attached to the temple,
becomes inspired almost daily between 10 and 11 A.M. immediately after
puja (worship), and people consult him. Some time ago, a rich merchant
(a Baniya from Gujarat) consulted the inspired man (Darsana) as to what
steps should be taken to enable his wife to be safely delivered. The
Darsana told him to take a vow that he would present to the god of the
temple silver, sugar-candy, and date fruits, equal in weight to that of
his wife. This he did, and his wife was delivered of a male child. The
cost of the ceremonial is said to have been five thousand rupees.

Tulabina.--The Tulabinas are a class of cotton-cleaners, who are
scattered over the Ganjam district, and said to be more numerous in
Cuttack. It is suggested that the name is derived from tula, the beam
of a balance, and bina (or vina) a stringed musical instrument. The
apparatus used by them in cleaning cotton, which bears a fanciful
resemblance to a vina, is suspended by a rope so that it is properly
balanced, and the gut-string thereof struck with a dumb-bell shaped
implement, to set it vibrating.

Tulasi (Ocimum sanctum, sacred basil).--A sub-division of Velama,
and gotra of Komati. The tulsi plant is planted in Hindu houses and
worshipped by women, and the wood is made into beads for rosaries.

Tulukkar (Turks).--A Tamil name sometimes applied to Muhammadans.

Tuluva.--Tulu, Tuluva, or Tuluvan occurs as the name of a sub-division
of the Tamil Vellalas, and of the Agasas, Billavas, Gaudas, Kumbaras,
and other classes in South Canara. The equivalent Tulumar is recorded
as a sub-caste of Mavilan, which speaks Tulu.

Concerning the Tuluva Vellalas, Mr. H. A. Stuart writes [68] that
these are immigrants from the Tulu country, a part of the modern
district of South Canara. Mr. Nelson is of opinion that these are
the original Vellalas, who were invited to Tondamandalam after its
conquest by the Chola king Adondai Chakravarti. [69]

Tunnaran (tailor).--An occupational sub-division of Nayar.

Tupakala.--Tupakala or Tupaki (gun) has been recorded as an exogamous
sept of Balija, Kavarai, and Yanadi.

Turaka.--Recorded as a sept of Kuruba. It is further a Telugu name
sometimes applied to Muhammadans. There is also a thief class, known
as Bhattu Turaka. (See Bhatrazu.)

Turuvalar.--Recorded in the Salem Manual as a caste name, by which
some of the Vedans call themselves. "The Turuvalar are distinguished
as the Kattukudugirajati, a name derived from a custom among them
which authorizes informal temporary matrimonial arrangements."



U


Udasi.--A few members of this Central India sect of religious
mendicants and devotees have been returned at times of census. It is
said to have been founded three hundred years ago by one Gopaldas.

Udaiya.--Udaiya, meaning lord, is the title of many well-to-do
Lingayats and of some Jains, and Udaiya or Wodeiyar occurs as the name
of a Lingayat sub-division of the Badagas of the Niligiri hills. The
Maharajas of Mysore belong to the Wodeiyar dynasty, which was restored
after the Muhammadan usurpation of Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan. The
name of the present Maharaja is Sri Krishna Raja Wodeiyar Bahadur.

Udaiyan.--It is noted in the Madras Census Report, 1891, that "the
four Tamil castes Nattaman, Malaiman, Sudarman (or Suruthiman), and
Udaiyan are closely connected. The last is probably a title rather
than a caste, and is the usual agnomen of the Nattamans, Malaimans,
and Sudarmans, as also of the potter caste (Kusavan). Nattaman means a
man of the plains, Malaiman a man of the hills, and Sudarman one who
does good, a hero. Nattampadi is another form of Nattaman. Tradition
traces the descent of the three castes from a certain Deva Raja,
a Chera king, who had three wives, by each of whom he had a son,
and these were the ancestors of the three castes. There are other
stories, but all agree in ascribing the origin of the castes to
a single progenitor of the Chera dynasty. It seems probable that
they are descendants of the Vedar soldiers of the Kongu country,
who were induced to settle in the eastern districts of the Chera
kingdom. Additional evidence of the important position they once
held is afforded by the titles Pandariyar, Pandarattar (custodians
of the treasury), which some of them still use. Some of them again
are locally styled Poligars (Palayakkaran) by the ordinary ryots,
and the title Kavalgar is not infrequent."

In a note on the Udaiyans, Malaiyamans, Nattamans, and Sudarmans of the
Trichinopoly district, Mr. F. R. Hemingway writes as follows. "Though,
in the Census Report, 1901, they are shown as separate castes, in this
district they are endogamous sub-divisions of one and the same caste,
namely the Udaiyans. The three sub-divisions are unanimous in saying
that they are the descendants of the three Paraiyan foster-daughters
of the poetess Auvaiyar, all of whom became the wives of the king
of Tirukkoyilur in South Arcot, a certain Daivika, who was warned
that only by marrying these women could he save his family from
disaster. The Chola, Pandya, and Chera kings were present at the
wedding, and, on their blessing the bridegroom and his brides, they
were themselves blessed by the poetess, to whom the Chera kingdom
owes its unfailing rain, the Chola country its rice fields, and the
Pandyan realm its cotton. The poorness of the last blessing is due to
the fact that the Pandya king was slow to offer his good wishes. The
three sub-divisions eat together, and recognise the tie of a common
descent, but do not intermarry. The section called Arisakkara
Nattaman is looked down upon by the rest, and may not intermarry
with any of them. All have well-defined exogamous sub-divisions,
called kanis, derived from places where their different ancestors
are supposed to have lived, e.g., Kolattur, Kannanur, Ariyalur. The
Udaiyans put on sacred threads at marriages and funerals, and some
of them have recently begun to wear them always. They are generally
cultivators, and, with the exception of the Sudarmans, who are
supposed to have a turn for crime, are law-abiding citizens. One
section of the Sudarmans, the Muppans of Kapistalam in Tanjore,
have a bad reputation for criminality. A curious practice is that,
before arranging a marriage, it is customary for the bride's party to
go to the bridegroom's house, to dine with him, and test his health
by seeing how much he can eat. They allow a boy, whose suit for the
hand of a girl within certain degrees of relationship is refused by
her parents, to marry the girl, notwithstanding, by tying a tali
(marriage emblem) round her neck. They also permit the betrothal
of infants, the form observed being to present the child with a new
cloth and a mat, and to apply sacred ashes to its forehead. At their
funerals, the mourning party has to chew some rice and spit it out
on the return from the burning-ground, and, on the sixteenth day,
the widow is made to worship a light, and to touch a salt pot. The
Nattaman women do not, as a rule, cover their breasts. The lobes of
their ears are very distended, and they tattoo their chins and cheeks
in the Paraiyan fashion. This is supposed to be in recollection of
their origin. The Malaiyaman women wear their tali on a golden wire
instead of on a thread."

"The Udaiyans," Mr. Francis writes, [70] are a caste, which is
specially numerous in South Arcot. Most of them are cultivators, and
in Kallakurchi many are also money-lenders on a large scale. They
adopt numerous different titles in an indiscriminate way, and four
brothers have been known to call themselves respectively Nayak, Pillai,
Mudali, and Udaiyan. They have three sub-divisions--Malaiyaman,
Nattaman, and Sudarman--which all admit that they are descended
from one common stock, will usually dine together, but do not
intermarry. Some of the caste, however, are now turning vegetarians,
and these will not only not eat with the others, but will not let
their girls marry them. They do not, nevertheless, object to their
sons taking brides from the meat-eating classes, and thus provide
an interesting, if small, instance of the (on this coast) uncommon
practice of hypergamy. In all general matters the ways of the three
sub-divisions are similar. Sudarmans are uncommon in this district,
and are stated to be chiefly found in Trichinopoly and Tanjore. The
Udaiyans say that the three groups are the descendants of a king
who once ruled at Tirukkoyilur, the first of whom took the hilly
part of his father's country, and so was called Malaiyaman; the
second the level tracts, whence his name Nattaman, and the third was
the scholar of the family, and learned in the holy books (srutas),
and so was called Sudarman. These Udaiyans are the caste from which
were drawn some of the kavalgars (watchmen) who, in pre-British days,
were appointed to perform police duties, and keep the country clear
of thieves; and some of the descendants of these men, who are known
to their neighbours as poligars, and still have considerable local
influence, are even now to be met with. The connection of the members
of the caste with the Vepur (criminal) Paraiyans, which is of course
confined to the less reputable sections among them, seems to have had
its origin in the days when they were still head kavalgars, and these
Paraiyans were their talaiyaris, entrusted, under their orders, with
police duties in the different villages. It now consists in acting as
receivers of the property these people steal, and in protecting them
in diverse ways--finding and feeing a vakil (law pleader) for their
defence, for instance--when they are in trouble with the police. It
is commonly declared that their relations are sometimes of a closer
nature, and that the wives of Veppur 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."

The village of Mangalam in the South Arcot district is "chiefly
interesting on account of its being the only village in the
district where buffalo sacrifices on any scale are still regularly
made. Buffaloes are dedicated to the Kali shrine in Mangalam even
by persons in the Salem, Tanjore and Trichinopoly districts, and the
village is commonly known as Maduvetti Mangalam, or buffalo-sacrificing
Mangalam. When a man or any of his belongings gets seriously sick,
he consecrates an animal to this shrine, and, if the illness ends
favourably, it is sent to its fate at the temple on the date of the
annual sacrifice (May-June). When the buffalo is dedicated, a piece
of saffron-coloured cloth, in which is placed some small coin and
a cadjan (palm) leaf containing an announcement of the dedication,
is tied to its horns, and it is allowed to roam wherever it likes
through the fields. On the day of the sacrifice, fourteen of the
best of the animals which have been dedicated and brought to the
temple are selected, and seven of them are tied to an equal number
of stone posts in front of the goddess' shrine. The pujari (priest),
who is an Udaiyan by caste, then walks down the line, and beheads
them one after the other. The goddess is next taken round on a car,
and, on her return to the temple, the other seven buffaloes are
similarly killed. The animals which are not selected are sold, and
the proceeds paid into the temple treasury. There are two images in
the temple, one of Kali, and the other, which is placed at the back
of the shrine, of Mangalayachi. The latter goddess does not approve
of animal sacrifices, and, while the above ceremonies are proceeding,
a blanket is hung in front of her so that she may not see them." [71]

It is noted by Bishop Whitehead that, a few years ago, an untoward
event occurred in connection with a Pidari festival at a village in the
Trichinopoly district. "The festival had commenced, and the pujari had
tied the kapu (cord dyed with turmeric) on his wrist, when a dispute
arose between the trustees of the shrine, which caused the festival
to be stopped. The dispute could not be settled, and the festival was
suspended for three years, and, during all that time, there could be
no marriages among the Udaya caste, while the poor pujari, with the
kapu on his wrist, had to remain the whole of the three years in the
temple, not daring to go out lest Pidari in her wrath should slay him."

It is recorded, in the Madras Census Report, 1901, that "the Nattamans
say they originally settled in South Arcot, and then spread to Tanjore
and Trichinopoly, and finally to Madura, and this theory is supported
by the fact that they have fifteen exogamous sub-divisions called
kanis or fields, which are all named after villages (e.g., Ariyalur,
Puththur) in the first three of these districts. A man has a right
to marry the daughter of his father's sister, and, if she is given
to another man, the father's sister has to return to her father or
brother the dowry which she received at the time of her marriage,
and this is given to the man who had the claim upon the girl. The
same custom occurs among the Kuravans and the Kallans. The eldest
son in each family has to be named after the god of the village which
gives its name to the kani or sept to which the family belongs, and
the child is usually taken to that village to be named. Marriage is
infant or adult. Widow marriage is forbidden. Brahmans are employed
for ceremonies, but these are not received on terms of equality by
other Brahmans. Both cremation and burial are practised. Vellalas will
eat with Nattamans. The caste title is Udaiyan." Another title is
Nayinar, which is also used by Pallis and Jains. There is a proverb
"Nattumuththinal Nayinar", i.e., when the Nattaman ripens, he is a
Nayinar. At the census, 1901, some Nattamans returned themselves as
Natramiludaiyan, meaning the repository of chaste Tamil; and Ur-Udaiyan
(lord of a village) was given as their caste name. Nattaman also
occurs as a sub-division of the Pallis.

Under the name Nattamadi, the Nattamans are described in the Tanjore
Manual as "peasant population. Some are ryotwari land-holders in
their own right and possess large estates. The word is derived from
nattam, village, and is used in three forms, Nattamakkal, Nattamar,
and Nattamadi. A considerable proportion are converts to the Roman
Catholic religion, and, in the neighbourhood of Vallam, there are
very few who profess any other faith." In the Madura Manual, the
Nattambadiyans are further described as being "usually respectable
cultivators. They are said to have emigrated into the Madura country
not more than about eight years ago. They are an interesting class of
Tamils, inasmuch as very many of them have adopted the Roman Catholic
faith under the leadership of the Jesuit missionaries. They are said to
be a fine race physically; finer even than the Vellalans. They are also
called Udaiyans, and tradition says that they came from the Toreiyur
nadu or district in Tanjore, from a village called Udeiyapaleiyam. They
are chiefly resident in the great zamindaris, and contrast favourably
with the Maravans, being very orderly, frugal, and industrious."

I am informed that Nattaman women will do cooly work and carry food
for their husbands when at work in the fields, but that Malaiman
women will not do so.

The Sudarmans are described, in the Madras Census Report, 1901,
as "cultivators chiefly found in the districts of Tanjore and
Trichinopoly. They are imitating the Brahmans and Vellalas in
their social customs, and some of them have left off eating meat,
with the idea of raising themselves in general estimation; but they
nevertheless eat in the houses of Kallans and Idaiyans. Their title
is Muppan." Some Sudarmans, I am told, have become Agamudaiyans.

Uddari.--A synonym for the village Taliyari.

Uddu (Phaseolus Mungo).--An exogamous sept of Kappiliyan.

Udhdhandra.--A title conferred by Zamindars on some Kurumos.

Uduma.--Uduma or Udumala, meaning the lizard Varanus, has been recorded
as an exogamous sept of Boya, Kapu, Tottiyan, and Yanadi.

Ugrani.--A village servant in South Canara, appointed to watch
the store-rooms (ugrana), e.g., the village granary, treasury, or
bhuta-sthana. In 1907, the powers of village policeman were conferred
on the Ugrani, who now wears a brass badge on his arm, with the words
Village Police in the vernacular engraved on it. It is the duty of
the Ugrani to report the following to the village magistrate:--

1. The commission of grave crimes, such as theft, house-breaking,
robbery, dacoity, accidental deaths, suicides, etc.

2. The existence of disputes in connection with landed property,
likely to give occasion to any fight or rioting.

3. The arrival of Fakirs, Bairagis, or other strangers in the village.

4. The arrival or residence in the village of any person whom the
villagers suspect to be a bad character.

5. The commission of mischief in respect of any public property, such
as roads, road avenues, bridges, cattle pounds, Government trees on
unreserved lands, etc.

Uliyakaran.--A synonym, denoting menial servant, of Parivaram.

Ulladan.--It is recorded, in the Travancore Census Report, 1901,
that "the Ullatans and Nayatis are found in the low country, as well
as on the hills. At a remote period, certain Ullata families from
the plains settled themselves at Talpurakkotta near Sabarimala, and
even to-day pilgrims to Sabarimala consider this place as sacred. In
the low country, the offerings to the same deities as the Ullatans
worship are offered by the Valans. Hence the Ullatans were called by
them Kochchuvalans. The place near Sabarimala where they once dwelt is
known as Kochuvalakkuti, or the cottage of the Kochchuvalan. Most of
these Ullatans have left this place for fear of wild beasts, and are
now straying in the woods with no fixed abode. It is said that they
are the descendants from a Nambutiri woman, who, on being proclaimed
an outcast, said Ullatana, meaning that (the offence for which she
was ostracised) is true. [According to another derivation, the name
is derived from ull, within, and otunnu, runs, and means one who runs
away into the forest at the sight of a member of any of the higher
castes.] They are good hunters, and experts in the collection of wax
and other forest produce. A curious marriage custom, prevalent among
them, is thus related by Dr. Day. 'A large round building is made
of leaves, and inside this the bride is ensconced. All the eligible
young men of the village then assemble, and form a ring round this
hut. At a short distance sits the girl's father or the nearest male
relative with tom-tom in his hands, and a few more musical instruments
complete the scene. Presently the music begins. The young men, each
armed with a bamboo, commence dancing round the hut, into which each of
them thrusts his stick. This continues about an hour, when the owner
of whichever bamboo she seizes becomes the fortunate husband of the
concealed bride. A feast then follows.' [72] They subsist chiefly on
fruits, wild yams, and other forest products, and eke out a wretched
existence. When armed with guns, they make excellent sportsmen."

It is noted by the Rev. S. Mateer [73] that the Ulladans "subsist
chiefly on wild yams, arrowroot, and other esculents, which they find
in the jungle, and for the grubbing up of which they are generally
armed with a long pointed staff. They also further enjoy the fruits
of the chase, and are adepts in the use of the bow and arrow. The
arrow they use has an iron spear-head, and an Ulladan has been known
to cut a wriggling cobra in half at the first shot. They were claimed
as the property of celebrated hill temples, or great proprietors, who
exacted service of them, and sometimes sold their services to Nairs,
Syrians, and others. A few Ulladans in the low country say they or
their fathers were stolen in childhood, and brought down as slaves."

At Kottayam in Travancore, I came across a party of Ulladans carrying
cross-bows. These were said to be used for catching fish in rivers,
lagoons, and tanks. The arrow is between two and three feet in length,
and has an iron hook at one end. Attached to it is a thin but strong
string, one end of which is tied to the hook, while the other end
passes through a small hole in the wooden part of the arrow, and is
fastened to the cross-bar of the bow. This string is about thirty feet
in length, and serves not only to drag the captured fish out of the
water, and land it, but also to prevent the arrow from being lost. The
origin of the cross-bow, which I have not found in the possession of
any other tribe, puzzled me until the word Firingi was mentioned in
connection with it. The use of this word would seem to indicate that
the cross-bow is a survival from the days of the Portuguese on the
west coast, Firingi (a Frank) or Parangi being used by Natives for
European or Portuguese.

For the following note on the Ulladans of the Cochin State, I
am indebted to Mr. L. K. Anantha Krishna Iyer. [74] "Their huts
are situated in the forest of the plains, by the side of paddy
(rice) flats, or in cocoanut gardens remote from those of the
members of the higher castes. Only Christian Moplahs are found in
the neighbourhood. Their huts are erected on short bamboo posts,
the roof and four sides of which are covered with plaited cocoanut
leaves. A bamboo framework, of the same leaves, serves the purpose of
a door. A few plaited cocoanut leaves, and a mat of their own weaving,
form the only furniture, and serve as beds for them at night. Their
vessels in domestic use consist of a few earthen pots for cooking and
keeping water in, and a few shallow earthen dishes, from which they
drink water, and take their food. Some large pieces of the bark of the
areca palm, containing salt, chillies, etc., were also seen by me. What
little they possess as food and clothing is placed in small baskets
suspended from the framework of the roof by means of wooden hooks.

"The caste assembly consists of the elderly members of the caste. There
is a headman, who is called Muppan, and he has an assistant who
is known as Ponamban. The headman has to preside at all marriage
and funeral ceremonies, and to decide all disputes connected with
the caste. The caste assembly meets chiefly to deal with cases of
immorality. The guilty parties are summoned before the assembly. The
headman, who presides, inquires into the matter, and, in the event
of the accused parties confessing their guilt, they are taken before
His Highness the Raja, who is informed of the circumstances. The male
culprit is sometimes beaten or fined. The woman is given some water
or the milk of a green cocoanut, and this is supposed to set her free
from all sin. When a fine is imposed, it is sometimes spent on the
purchase of toddy, which is shared among the castemen present. The
headman gets a few puthans (Cochin coins) for his trouble.

"In religion, the Ulladans are pure animists or demon worshippers. All
cases of sickness, and other calamities, are attributed to the
malignant influence of demons, whom it is necessary to propitiate. They
worship Kappiri, Thikutti, and Chathan, all of whom are represented
by a few stones placed under a thatched roof called kottil. Offerings
of rice flour, sheep, fowls, toddy, rice, cocoanuts and plantains,
are given on Fridays in the month of Kanni (September-October). One
of the castemen acts as Velichapad (oracle), and speaks as if by
inspiration. He also casts out demons from the bodies of women who are
believed to be influenced by them. When he resumes his former self,
he takes half the offerings to himself, allowing the other half for
distribution among the bystanders. They also worship the spirits of
the departed members of their families, who, they think, sometimes
appear to them in dreams, and ask them for whatever they want. They
believe that, in the event of their neglecting to give what is asked,
these spirits will cause serious calamity to their family.

"The Ulladans generally bury their dead in special places called
chotala, but some of them bury the corpse a few yards away from their
huts. The young are buried deep in the ground, while the old ones are
buried not so deep. The dead body is placed on a new piece of cloth
spread on a bamboo bier, which is carried by the relatives to the
grave-yard. The castemen of the neighbourhood, including the relations
and friends of the deceased, accompany the bier to the burial-ground,
and return home after bathing. The members of the family fast for
the night. They observe pollution for fifteen days, and, on the
morning of the sixteenth day, the Thalippan (barber priest) comes
and cleans the huts and its surrounding, and sprinkles cow-dung mixed
with water on the members of the family as they return from bathing,
in order that they may be freed from pollution. They entertain their
castemen on that day. It is a custom among the Ulladans, Pulayas,
and other low classes, that, when they are invited to a feast,
they bring with them some rice, curry stuffs, toddy, or a few annas
to meet the expenses of the feast. Very often the above articles
are obtained as a gift from the charitably disposed members of the
higher castes. At the end of the year, a similar feast is given to
the castemen. Among the Ulladans, the nephew is the chief mourner,
for he usually succeeds to the property of the dead, and proves his
right of ownership by acting as the chief mourner.

"The Ulladans on the sea-coast make boats, and cut timber. Their
brethren in the interior gather honey, and collect minor forest
produce, and sell it to contractors. During the agricultural season,
they engage in every kind of agricultural work, such as ploughing,
sowing, transplanting, reaping, etc. They also graze the cattle of
the farmers. They get a few annas worth of paddy (unhusked rice)
for their labour. For most of the months in the year they are in
a half-starving condition, and resort to eating wild roots, and
animals, which they can get hold of (e.g., rats, tortoises, fish,
or crocodiles). They know where rats are to be found. They thrust
a long stick into their holes, moving it so violently as to kill
them there, or forcing them to come out, when they catch and kill
them. Very often in the rural parts, both men and women are found
with long poles ready to be thrust into any holes there may be by
the side of a fence, or where bamboos are growing luxuriantly. They
also catch crocodiles. They place the carcase of a fowl, sheep, or
other animal, on the bank of a canal, or by the side of a tank where
crocodiles are to be found. Into it is thrust a pointed piece of iron,
fastened to a long cord. When a crocodile comes out of the water to
eat it, or tries to get away with it, the piece of iron is fixed
firmly into its mouth, upon which the Ulladans, who are watching,
approach and kill it with their clubs and knives. They catch fish
by means of bait, and by poisoning the water. They are also very
skilful in spearing fish swimming near the surface. They are more
trackers of game than hunters, and very often accompany Moplahs, who
go out hunting to provide themselves with meat of all kinds for feasts
during their weddings. The Ulladans are engaged only as beaters. For
this service, they are given meals during the wedding, in addition
to three annas worth of paddy for each beater. They are armed with
clubs, and seldom go with dogs, fearing that they may drive away the
game. When any animal is killed in hunting, the right side of the
back of the animal goes to the Government. It is given to the Forest
Officer, who auctions it, and the money obtained is sent to the taluk
treasury. The left side of the back goes to the member of the party
who shoots the animal. He also gets the face with the tongue. The
headman among the Ulladans also gets a share. The remainder of the
carcase is equally divided among the members who have formed the
party. Should any dispute arise regarding the division of the game,
the man who shoots the animal is entrusted with the settlement of the
dispute, and his decision is final. In cases where the hunting party
is organised by the Moplahs, the Ulladans get wages and meals for their
trouble. In places where elephant pits are dug, hunting is forbidden.

"As regards their social status, the Ulladans, like the Nayadis,
form the Chandalas of the plains. Their approach to within a radius
of sixty-four feet pollutes Brahmans, and all higher castes, including
the Sudras (Nayars). The Ulladans cannot walk along the public roads,
or come to the bazaars. Nor can they approach the precincts of any town
or locality where the members of higher castes reside. The Pulayas
and Parayas profess to be polluted by them. It is curious to note
that the Ullada women consider it degrading to go to work like the
Pulaya woman. They say that their husbands have to provide for them."

Ulli (onions or garlic).--A sub-division of the Tigala
market-gardeners. The equivalent Ullipoyala occurs as an exogamous
sept of Golla, and Ulligadda as a sept of Boya and Korava.

Ulumban.--It is recorded in the Gazetteer of Malabar that "an
endogamous sub-caste (of Nayars) of foreign origin are the Ulumbans or
cowherds. According to one tradition, they were originally immigrants
from Dvaraka (Guzerat). Their original occupation still survives in the
privileges of supplying ghee (clarified butter) for the abhishegam or
libation at the great annual festival at the jungle shrine of Kottiyur,
and of supplying butter-milk to the Tiruvangad temple at Tellicherry,
which are exercised by families of this caste; and in the general
privilege of offering milk in any temple without previous ablution."

Uluvala (seeds of horse-gram: Dolichos biflorus).--An exogamous sept
of Boya and Jogi.

Ungara.--Ungara and Ungarala, meaning rings, have been recorded as
exogamous septs of Balija and Kuruba.

Unittiri.--Unittiri, or Unyatiri, meaning, it is said, venerable boy,
has been recorded as a sub-division of Samantam. Unnittan appears,
in the Travancore Census Report, 1901, as a title of Nayars, and is
said to be derived from unni, small, tan, a title of dignity.

Unnekankana.--A sub-division of Kurubas, who tie a woollen thread
(unne kankana) round the wrist at times of marriage.

Unni.--For the following note on the Unnis of Travancore, I am indebted
to Mr. N. Subramani Aiyar. The word Unni, whatever its significance may
have been of old, at present forms the common title of four castes of
the Ambalavasi group, whose manners and custom differ considerably in
their details. They are known, respectively, as Pushpakans, Brahmanis,
Tiyattunnis, and Nattu Pattars, their social precedence being in this
order. Pushpakan comes from pushpa, which in Sanskrit means either
a flower or menses. Brahmanis, more vulgarly known as Pappinis,
are so named because they perform some of the priestly functions of
the Brahmans for the Sudra population of Travancore. Tiyattunnis,
also known as Taiyampatis in British Malabar, are so called from the
peculiar religious service they perform in some Hindu temples. Nattu
Pattars are also known as Pattar Unnis and Karappuram Unnis. Unni means
a child, and is used as an honorific term to denote the male children
of a Nambutiri's household. The reason why these Ambalavasi castes came
to be so called was that they were looked upon as more respectable than
the Nayars, by whom the term must doubtless have been made use of at
first. The Pushpakans are said to be divided into three classes, namely
Pushpakans, Nambiassans, and Puppallis. The first section live only
as far south as Evur in Central Travancore, and are called Nambiyars
in the north. The Nambiyassans live in Cochin and North Travancore,
while the Puppallis are found only towards the south. There are
no sub-divisions among the Brahmanis and Karappuramunnis. But the
Tiyattunnis are divided into two classes, namely the Tiyatinambiyans
of the north, who are generally employed in the temples of Sastha,
and Tiyattunnis proper, who perform a similar function in the shrines
of Bhadrakali. Women are also known as Atovarammamar and Kovillammamar.

Pushpakans are said to have arisen out of the union of a Brahman
woman in her menses with her husband. Parasurama set them apart,
and gave them the occupation of making garlands in the temples of
Malabar. Though this derivation is given in the Keralamahatmya, it may
be more easily believed that Pushpakan is derived from the occupation
of working in flowers. Puppalli, at any rate, is thus derived, and,
as Palli signifies anything sacred, the caste name arose from the
occupation of preparing garlands for deities. Nambiyassans, called
also Nambiyars and Nambis, must have been, as also the Puppallis
and Brahmanis, one with the Pushpakans. In some places, Nambiyassans
are known to have kept gymnasia and military training schools. The
Brahmanis must have undergone some degree of degradation because
of the religious songs which they sang during the marriages of the
Nayars, while those who did not take part therein became, as it were,
a separate sept. Another tradition, accounting for the origin of the
caste, is that, as in primitive ages early marriages prevailed among
the Malayala Brahmans, the family of the Nambutiri who first married
his daughter after puberty was excommunicated, and gave origin to
the Pushpakas. This is untrue, as, in Vedic times, adult marriage
was the rule, and the Nambutiris in this respect have been known
to follow a more primitive custom than the Brahmans of the east
coast. The Tiyattunnis are said to be the descendants of a Bhuta
or demon directed by Siva to sing songs in praise of Bhadrakali,
and appease her anger after the murder of Darika. They must from
the first have formed a distinct section of the Ambalavasis. The
Karappuram Unnis are supposed to have been elevated to their present
status by Cheraman Perumal, one of the rulers of ancient Kerala, as,
though belonging to the Sudra caste, they were obliged on one occasion
to perform Brahmanical service for him. Perumal is believed to have
permitted them to take the title of Unni, and call themselves Pattar,
by which name East Coast Brahmans are known in Malabar. Thus they came
to own the three names Nattu Pattar, Pattar Unni, and Karappuram Unni,
Karappuram or Shertallay being the territory where the sept received
the above-mentioned social elevation from their sovereign. Even now,
many of them reside in the taluks of Ambalapuzha and Shertallay.

The house of a Pushpaka is variously known as pushpakam, pumatum,
or padodakam, the last signifying a place where the water falls
from the feet of the deity, on account of its close proximity to the
temple, where the daily avocation of the Pushpaka lies. The houses
of the Tiyattunnis and Nattu Pattars are only known by the name of
bhavanam. As in the case of the Brahmans, the Pushpanis and Brahmanis
cover their bodies with a piece of cloth, carry an umbrella, and are
accompanied by Nayar servant-maids when they go out in public. The
women have one more fold in their dress than the Nambutiris. The
neck ornament of women is the cherutali-kuttam, and the ear ornament
the katila. Bell-metal bangles are worn round the wrists. Female
Tiyattunnis and Nattu Pattars do not wear the last, and are generally
unaccompanied by Nayar servant-maids when they go out.

Pushpakans are believed to be the most fitting caste for the
preparation of flower garlands to be used in temples. They
also assist in the preparation of the materials for the daily
offering. Nambiyassans were instructors in arms in days of old, and
kalari or gymnasia are owned by them even at the present day. Their
punyaha, or purificatory ceremony after pollution, is performed by
Pushpakans. Brahmani women sing religious songs on the occasion of
marriage among all castes from Kshatriyas to Nayars. In Kumaranallur
and other Bhagavati shrines, women are employed to sing propitiatory
songs, while the men make garlands, sweep the floor of the inner
court-yard and plinth, clean the temple vessels, and carry the lamp
when images are taken round in procession. It is only the first of
these temple services that the Pushpakas do, and their women never
go out to sing on marriage occasions. The word Tiyattu or Teyyatu
is said to be a corruption of Daivamattu, or dancing to please the
deity. According to one tradition, they were degraded from Pushpakas
for undertaking service in the temples. In more orthodox times,
tiyattu could be performed only in temples and Brahman houses, but
now Sudras also share the privilege of inviting the Tiyattunnis to
their homes for this purpose, though the ceremony cannot be performed
in their houses without a previous punyaha. The rite is extremely
popular when epidemic disease prevails. Ganapati and Bhadrakali
are, as a preliminary measure, worshipped, to the accompaniment of
musical instruments. As this has to be done in the noon, it is called
uchchappattu, or noon-day song. In the evening, an image of Bhadrakali
is drawn on the ground with powders of five colours, white, yellow,
black, green and red. At night, songs are sung in praise of that
deity by the Tiyattunni and his followers. A member of the troupe
then plays the part of Bhadrakali in the act of murdering the demon
Darika, and, in conclusion, waves a torch before the inmates of the
house, to ward off the evil eye, which is the most important item
in the whole ceremony. The torch is believed to be given by Siva,
who is worshipped before the light is waved.

The Karappuram Unnis, unlike the other septs of their class, are
mostly agriculturists. The Unnis are all Smartas, but a partiality for
Bhadrakali is manifested by the Tiyattunnis and Brahmanis. All social
matters among the Unnis are superintended by Nambutiri Brahmans,
but, in all that directly touches the social well-being, their own
headmen are the judges. Before entering a Pushpaka's house for the
observation of any ceremony, the Nambutiris insist upon the performance
of punyaha. Though the superiority of Ilayatus is acknowledged,
they are never employed by the Pushpakas for priestly functions. The
Ilayatus are believed to have once been the priests of the Nattu
Pattars, though at the present time learned men from their own sept
are employed for this purpose. The punyaha is, however, performed
through the agency of Nambutiris. The priests of the Nambiyassans,
Tiyattunnis, and Brahmanis are Ilayatus.

Adult marriage prevails, twelve being the earliest age of a girl when
she ceases to be single. On the evening of the day before the wedding,
the bride has a ceremonial bath, and performs the ceremony of growing
a jasmine shoot, the flowers of which she should cull and present as
an offering to the deity. On the marriage day, the bridegroom's party
arrives in procession at the house of the bride, who awaits them with
her face covered, and holding a brass mirror and garland of flowers
in her hands. Her veil is removed, and the contracting couple gaze at
each other. At the auspicious hour their hands are joined, and other
items of the marriage rites carried out. In connection with a Pushpaka
marriage, ammana attam or tossing of metal balls, kaikottikali or
the circular dance, and yatrakali are among the amusements indulged
in. Divorce was common among the Pushpakas in bygone days, but, at
the present time, the marriage tie is usually permanent, and it is
only after the first husband's death that cloths may be received from
a Malayala Brahman in token of sambandham (alliance). The Brahmanis,
however, have not given up the practice of divorce. Nambiyassans,
Puppallis, Pattar Unnis, and Brahmanis follow the marumakkattayam
system of inheritance (through the female line), while the Pushpakas
and Tiyattunnis are makkattayis, and follow the law of inheritance
from father to son. The offspring of a Brahmani by a Pushpaka woman
are regarded as issue in a makkattayam family. As is the custom among
the Nambutiris, only the eldest son marries, the other sons remaining
as snatakas, and contracting alliances with Nayar women. The Illam
Nayars, however, do not give their daughters to the Unnis.

The jatakarma, though not strictly proper, is observed in modern
days. The namakarana takes place, along with the annaprasana, in the
sixth month after birth. The chaula is performed in the third year,
though, among the Nattu Pattars, it is a preliminary ceremony before
upanayana. The proper time for the performance of the upanayana is
between the eighth and sixteenth year. Samavartana takes place on
the fourteenth day after upanayana. Pollution lasts for only ten
days among the Tiyattunnis, whereas the Brahmanis observe twelve,
and the Nattu Pattars thirteen days' pollution. Ten gayatris (hymns)
are allowed to be recited thrice daily.

The Pushpakas are the highest of the thread-wearing sections of the
Ambalavasis, according to their traditional origin as well as their
religious and social practices. The Pattar Unnis are the lowest,
and are only a step higher than the Kurukkals. Consecrated water
and flowers are not given to them directly by the temple priest, but
they may stand on the right side of the stone steps leading to the
inner shrine. This is the rule with all Ambalavasi divisions. Other
Ambalavasis do not receive food from the Unnis. These sections of
the Unnis which have Ilayatus for their priests accept food from
them. As the Pushpakas proper employ only Nambutiris for purificatory
purposes, the latter freely cook food in their houses, as in those
of the Muttatus.

It is recorded by Mr. Logan [75] that the Tiyattunnis or Tiyadis (ti,
fire; attam, play) are "a class of pseudo-Brahmans in Malabar, who
derive their name from the ceremony of jumping through fire before
temples." Mr. Subramani Aiyar writes, in this connection, that "I do
not think Mr. Logan is quite right when he describes the service of
the Tiyattunnis as jumping through fire. It is dancing with lighted
wicks in the hands, to exorcise the genius representing the evil eye,
or as a propitiatory service in temples. It answers to the pallippanna
and kolantullal of the Kaniyans. A figure of Bhadrakali is drawn on the
ground with powders of different colours, and the chief incidents in
the incarnate life of the deity are recited by the Tiyattunnis. After
this, some cocoanuts are broken in two, and lighted wicks are then
placed before the presiding deity if done in a temple as a propitiatory
service, or before any particular individual or individuals, if the
object is to free him or them from the effect of the evil eye."

Uppalavar (salt workers).--A synonym of Alavan.

Uppara.--For the following note, I am mainly indebted to
Mr. C. Hayavadana Rao. Uppiliyan, Uppara, Uppara or Uppaliga,
are different names for a class of people, who followed the same
professional occupation, the manufacture of salt (uppu), in various
parts of Southern India. The Uppiliyans live in the Tamil country,
and speak Tamil; the Upparas in the Telugu country, and speak Telugu;
while the Upparas inhabit the Mysore province and the districts
bordering thereon, and speak Canarese. The Upparas are described by
Mr. H. A. Stuart [76] as "a caste of tank-diggers and earth-workers,
corresponding to the Uppiliyans of the Tamil districts. They resemble
greatly the Oddes (Voddas or Wudders) in appearance, customs,
and manner of earning a living. Their traditional occupation is,
as the name implies, manufacturing earth-salt. They profess to be
Saivites and Vaishnavites, but practically worship village deities,
e.g., Sunkalamma, Timmappa, and Jambulamma." It is possible that the
Uppiliyans, Upparas, and Upparas were originally a homogeneous caste,
the members of which, in course of time, migrated to different parts
of the country, and adopted the language of the locality in which
they settled. The causes, which may have led to the breaking up of
the caste, are not far to seek. The original occupation thereof,
according to the legendary story of its origin, was tank, channel,
and well digging. Southern India depended in days gone by, as at the
present time, mainly on its agricultural produce, and people were
required, then as now, to secure, conserve, and distribute the water,
which was essential for agricultural prosperity. Inscriptions, such
as those quoted by Mr. V. Venkayya, [77] bear testimony to the energy
displayed by former rulers in Southern India in having tanks, wells,
and irrigation channels constructed. Uppiliyans, Upparas or Upparas,
are, at the present day, found all over the Madras Presidency, from
Ganjam in the north to Tinnevelley in the south. From early times
they seem to have, in addition to the work already indicated, been
engaged in bricklaying, house-building, the construction of forts,
and every kind of earth-work.

Writing concerning the Telugu Upparas at the beginning of the
nineteenth century, Buchanan states [78] that "their proper occupation
is the building of mud walls, especially those of forts." A very
important occupation of these people was the manufacture of earth-salt
and saltpetre, of which the latter was an important ingredient in the
manufacture of gunpowder. "Throughout India," Dr. G. Oppert writes,
[79] "saltpetre is found, and the Hindus are well acquainted with all
its properties; it is even commonly prescribed as a medicine. India
was famous for the exportation of saltpetre, and is so. The Dutch,
when in India, traded especially in this article."

The Uppiliyans say that they are descended from a man who was created
to provide salt for the table of their god, but lost the favour
of the deity because his wife bartered the salt for some glass
bangles. In his wrath he put his wife into the oven to kill her,
but she escaped through a hole in the back. As evidence of the truth
of the story, they point to the facts that their women wear no glass
bangles, and that their ovens always have a hole in them. The caste
further traces its descent from a mythical individual, named Sagara,
to whom is ascribed the digging of the Bay of Bengal. His story is
narrated in the Vishnu Purana, [80] and is briefly as follows. Sagara
was son of Bahu, who was overrun by the Haihayas and Talajanghas,
and consequently retired to the forest, where, near the hermitage of
Muni Aurva, one of his queens conceived. A rival queen poisoned her,
so as to prevent her from being delivered of the child. Meanwhile,
Bahu waxed old, and his pregnant wife prepared to ascend the funeral
pyre with him. But the Muni forbade her, saying that she was going
to be the mother of an universal emperor. She accordingly desisted
from the desperate act, and a splendid boy was born, and the poison
expelled along with him. The Muni, on this account, gave him the
name of Sagara, meaning with poison. As he grew up, the boy came
to know of the troubles of his father, and resolved to recover
his kingdom. He put to death nearly the whole of the Haihayas,
and made the others acknowledge his suzerainty. He had two wives,
by one of whom he had a son named Asamanja, and by the other sixty
thousand sons. He subsequently performed the asvamedha or sacrifice
of a horse, which was guarded by his sons. The animal was, however,
carried off by some one into a chasm in the earth. Sagara commanded his
sons to search for the steed, and they traced him by the impressions
of the hoofs to the chasm, which he had entered. They proceeded to
enlarge it, and dug downwards, each for a league. Coming to Patala,
they saw the horse wandering freely about, and at no great distance
from it was Kapila Rishi, sitting in meditation. Exclaiming "This is
the villain who has maliciously interrupted our sacrifice, and stolen
the horse, kill him, kill him," they ran towards him with uplifted
weapons. The Rishi raised his eyes, and for an instant looked upon
them, and they became reduced to ashes by the sacred flame that
darted from him. On learning of the death of his sons, Sagara sent
Amsumat, the son of Asamanja, to secure the animal. He went by the
deep path which his father and uncles had dug, and, arriving at the
place where Kapila was, propitiated him with an obeisance. The Rishi
gave him the horse, to be delivered to his father, and in conferring
the boon which Amsumat prayed for, said that his grandson would bring
down the divine Ganges, whose "waters shall wash the bones and ashes
of thy grandfather's sons," and raise them to swarga. Sagara then
completed his sacrifice, and, in affectionate memory of his sons,
called the chasm which they had dug Sagara. This is still the name
of the ocean, and especially of the Bay of Bengal at the mouth of the
Ganges, which, in accordance with the boon of Kapila, was brought down
to earth by Amsumat's grandson Bhagiratha, from whom it received the
name of Bhagirathi, which it retains to this day. Such is the story
of the origin of the caste, members of which often call it Sagara
kula, or the family of Sagara. As his sons excavated the ocean, so
they dig tanks, channels, wells, etc. In the Mysore Census Reports,
the Upparas are said to be called "Uppara in the eastern, Uppaliga in
the southern, and Melu (west) Sakkre in the western districts. [Some
explain that they work in salt, which is more essential than sugar,
and that Mel Sakkare means superior sugar.] This caste is divided into
the Telugu and Karnataka sub-divisions. The latter make earth-salt,
while the former work as bricklayers and builders. The well-to-do
section of the caste further undertake public works on contract,
and some of them are good architects of ordinary Hindu houses,
which do not call for much scientific precision. There are also
agriculturists and labourers among them." In the Madras Presidency, at
the present day, some members of the caste are well and tank diggers,
house-builders or bricklayers; others are agricultural labourers,
or village servants. A few are earth-work contractors, or, as at
Muthialpet near Conjeeveram, yarn dyers. Some are in the service of
Government as police constables. The women are very hard-working,
and help their husbands at their work. To this fact is said to be
due the high rate at which the bride-price is fixed. The well-kept
roads of the city of Madras are the work of a colony of Upparas,
who have settled there. The following curious custom is recorded by
the Rev. J. Cain in a note [81] on the tank-diggers of the Godavari
district. "A disturbance in a little camp of tank-diggers confirmed a
statement which I heard at Masulipatam as to the manner in which the
tank-diggers divide their wages. They had been repairing the bank of a
tank, and been paid for their work, and, in apportioning the shares of
each labourer, a bitter dispute arose because one of the women had not
received what she deemed her fair amount. On enquiry, it turned out
that she was in an interesting condition, and therefore could claim
not only her own, but also a share for the expected child. This had
been overlooked, and, when she asserted her right to a double portion,
those who had already received their money objected to part with any,
although they acknowledged that the claim was fair and just."

By the Madras Salt Act, 1889, it is enacted that any person who--

(a) removes any salt without or in excess of the permits necessary
by this Act; or

(b) except for agricultural or building purposes, excavates, collects
or possesses salt-earth in any local area where it is contraband
salt; or

(c) manufactures contraband salt in any other way than by excavating
or collecting salt-earth; or

(d) purchases, obtains, possesses, sells or weighs contraband salt
other than salt-earth, knowing or having reason to believe it to be
contraband; or

(e) refines saltpetre without such license as is prescribed by the
Act; or

(f) attempts to commit, or within the meaning of the Indian Penal
Code abets the commission of any of the above acts,

shall on conviction be punishable for every such offence with
imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or with fine not
exceeding five hundred rupees, or with both.

It is noted, in the Gazetteer of the Bellary district, that "at the
time when the Company came into possession of the district, the salt
consumed in it was of two kinds, namely, the earth-salt manufactured
from saline soils by men of the Uppara caste, and the marine salt
made on the west coast. The latter was imported by the Lambadis and
Korachas, who brought it up the ghats by means of large droves of
pack-bullocks. The earth-salt was made in what were known as modas,
which were peculiar to the Ceded Districts, and were especially
common in Bellary. A heap of earth was piled up, and on the top of
it were hollowed out one or more circular basins, some five feet
in diameter and two feet deep. From the bottom of these basins,
channels lined with chunam (lime) ran down to one or more reservoirs
similarly lined. Salt-earth was collected in the places where it
effloresced naturally in the dry months, and taken to the moda on
pack-buffaloes. It was thrown into the basins, and then a quantity
of water was poured upon it. The brine so obtained flowed through the
channels at the bottom of the basins into the reservoirs. From these
it was baled with chatties (pots) into a set of masonry evaporating
pans, carefully levelled and plastered with chunam, where it was
left to be converted into salt by solar evaporation. Each lot of
salt-earth, which was thus lixiviated, was taken from the basins and
thrown outside them, and this process constantly repeated gradually
raised the level of the moda and the basins, which were perpetually
being re-made on the top of it. Some of the modas gradually grew
to be as much as twenty feet in height. When they became too high
for the buffaloes to carry the salt-earth up to their summits with
comfort, they were abandoned, and others started elsewhere. The
earth-salt made in this manner was neither so good nor so strong
as marine salt, but it was much used by the poorer classes and for
cattle, and thus interfered with the profits of the Government salt
monopoly, which was established in 1805. As early as 1806, therefore,
it was proposed to prohibit its manufacture. The chief arguments
against any such step were that it would inflict hardship upon the
Upparas who made the salt, and upon the poorer classes who consumed
it, and, for the next three quarters of a century, a wearisome
correspondence dragged on regarding the course which it would be
proper to pursue. In 1873, Mr. G. Thornhill, Member of the Board of
Revenue, visited the Ceded Districts, to see how matters stood. He
reported that it was not possible to check the competition of the
earth-salt with the Government marine salt by imposing an excise
duty, as the modas were numerous and scattered. For similar reasons,
and also because all the Upparas were very poor, a license-tax was
out of the question. At the same time he calculated that the loss to
Government due to the system was from eight to ten lakhs annually, and,
seeing that Government salt was obtainable in Bellary as cheaply as
in other inland districts, he recommended that the industry should be
gradually suppressed. Government agreed, and ordered that the opening
of new modas should be prohibited, and that those in existence should
be licensed, with reference to their productive capacity, at rates to
increase by annual increments until 1879, when the full duty leviable
on sea-salt should be imposed on their entire produce. These measures,
though they checked the manufacture, failed to entirely protect the
revenue, and, in 1876, the Madras Salt Commission and Board of Revenue
concurred in recommending that the manufacture of earth-salt should
be at once and entirely suppressed. The Government of India agreed,
and in 1880 orders were given that the modas should all be destroyed,
reasonable compensation being paid to their owners. The manufacture
of earth-salt in the district is now entirely a thing of the past,
though in many places the remains of the old modas may still be
seen. Some of the Upparas, however, still go annually to the Nizam's
Dominions in the dry season, and make earth-salt by the old methods
for sale there. Apparently they agree with the Nizam's Government
to pay a certain fee, one-fourth of which is paid in advance,
for the privilege. If the season is sufficiently dry, they make a
small profit, but if, on the other hand, it is wet, manufacture is
impossible, and they lose the amount of the fee, and their labour as
well." A good deal of saltpetre is still made by members of the caste
in various parts of the Madras Presidency by lixiviating the alkaline
efflorescence of the earth. For this purpose, licenses are obtained
annually from the Salt Department. Crude saltpetre is sold for manure
on coffee estates, and also used in the manufacture of fireworks.

Speaking different languages, and living in different parts of the
country, the Uppiliyans, Upparas, and Upparas do not intermarry,
though, where they are found close together, they interdine.

The caste recognises the authority of its headmen, who are called
Periyathanakaran, Ejaman, etc., and are assisted in some places,
for example Madras, by a Jatibidda (son of the caste), who does
the duties of caste peon or messenger, summoning members to a caste
council-meeting, and so on. The usual punishments inflicted by a caste
council are excommunication, fine, and the giving of a caste dinner. I
am informed that, among the Canarese Upparas, a woman found guilty
of adultery is punished as follows. A lock of her hair is cut off,
and she is bathed in cold water, and made to drink a little cow-dung
water. She is then taken to the temple, where the pujari (priest)
sprinkles holy water over her head. A fine is paid by her family. A
man, who is proved guilty of a similar offence, has one side of
his moustache and one of his eyebrows shaved off, and the hair of
his head is removed in three parallel lines. Seven small booths are
constructed of straw, and set on fire. Through this the man has to
pass. He is then plunged into a tank, and, after bathing therein,
he is sprinkled with holy water. I am told that a woman has also to
go through the fire ordeal.

Girls are married either before or after puberty, but usually
after. Among the Uppiliyans and Upparas, it is customary for a man
to claim his paternal aunt's daughter in marriage. The ceremonies in
connection with marriage vary in accordance with the locality. Amongst
the Uppiliyans of Madura, the tali (marriage badge) is usually tied to
the bride's neck by a special woman, resident in her village, called
Sirkari. In some places it is tied, as among some other Tamil castes,
by the bridegroom's sister. Among the Telugu and Canarese sections,
it is tied by the bridegroom himself. By the Upparas of South Canara,
the dhare marriage rite is performed, in which the father of the bride
pours water from a vessel over the united hands of the contracting
couple. I am told that, among some Canarese Upparas, the bridegroom's
head is shaved, and, after bathing, he puts on a double brass wire
corresponding to the sacred thread of the Brahmans, which he wears
for five days. Among the Telugu Upparas there are two sub-divisions,
which are called, according to the amount of the bride-price, Yedu
(seven) Madala and Padaharu (sixteen) Madala, a mada being equal to
two rupees. Some say that mada refers to the modas (heaps of earth)
used in former times. At a marriage among some Uppiliyans, it is
customary for the bride and bridegroom to sit inside a wall made of
piled up water pots, with the ends of their cloths tied together,
while some of the women present pour water from the pots over their
heads. The remarriage of widows is permitted, and I gather that,
among the Upparas, a widow may only marry a widower, and vice versâ.

In a note on the Uppiliyans of the Trichinopoly district,
Mr. F. R. Hemingway states that "some of the marriage ceremonies are
peculiar. They allow an unborn boy to be betrothed to his unborn
cousin. The bride has to be asked in marriage a number of times,
before consent is given, lest it be thought that she is yielding
too easily. The marriage is performed at her house, lest it should
be thought that her parents are forcing her on the bridegroom. The
caste does not use the marriage pole or paligai pots. Instead of the
usual turmeric threads, the wrists of the contracting couple are
tied together with wool. A curious custom among the Tamil section
is that, at the beginning of the ceremonies, both on the first and
second day, three matrons wash their faces in turmeric water, and
the bride and bridegroom are bathed with the water used by them. They
also have unusual observances connected with a girl's attainment of
maturity. A husband may not look into his bride's eyes until this
occurs. When she has at length attained maturity, the husband comes
to his bride's house with a sheep and some vegetables, and kills the
former. His brother-in-law then marks his forehead with the sheep's
blood. The husband eats some plantain and milk, and spits it out at his
bride, who is made to stand behind a screen. If the girl has attained
maturity before her marriage, the Tamil section of the caste make her
walk over seven wooden hoops on the wedding day. The husband has to
give his formal consent to the ceremony, and a washerman has to be
present. The Telugus perform this rite on the last day of the girl's
first menstrual period, and her maternal uncle has to be present. The
Uppiliyans allow the remarriage of widows and divorced women. A man
may not shave until he marries a virgin, and, if he does not do so,
he has to remain unshaved all his life."

The dead are, as a rule, buried. Among the Uppiliyans, who occupy a
higher social position than the Canarese and Telugu sections, death
pollution is observed for seven days. Among the Upparas, the period
of pollution is sixteen days.

Concerning the death ceremonies, Mr. Hemingway writes as
follows. "Widows of the Tamil section never remove their tali, but
leave it till it drops off of itself. When a man dies, his widow
is made to pretend he is still alive, and bathes him with oil, and
puts garlands on him. If a man is to be buried, the chief mourner
pretends to dig the grave. The karumantaram, or final death ceremony,
of the Tamil section consists merely in taking some milk to an erukka
(Calotropis gigantea) shrub on the sixteenth evening, just before the
jackals begin to howl. They pour it over the shrub with the help of
a barber, saying 'Go to Swarga (the abode of Indra), and make your
way to Kailasam (heaven).'"

Some members of the caste are Vaishnavites, and others Saivites. In
some places, the former are branded by their gurus, who are Vaishnava
Brahmans. They also worship various village deities, which vary
according to the place of residence. In the Census Report, 1891,
the worship of Sunkalamma, Jambulamma, and Timmappa is noted.

It is stated by Mr. Hemingway that "the Uppiliyans have a caste
god, named Karuvandaraya Bommadeva. He has no temple, but all the
Uppiliyans in a village join in offering him an annual sacrifice in Tai
(January-February), before the earth is scraped for the first time in
the season for making saltpetre. They use avaram (Cassia auriculata)
flowers and river sand in this worship. They also have three special
caste goddesses, called Tippanjal, who are supposed to be women who
committed sati. They have also Brahman gurus, who visit them every
year, and bless their salt pits."

Concerning the caste organisation of the Uppiliyans, Mr. Hemingway
writes that "when a complaint of a caste offence is made, notice is
sent to the Pattakkaran (headman), and to the whole Uppiliyan community
in the neighbourhood, notifying the accusation and the provisional
expulsion of the accused. A second notice summons the community to
a panchayat (council), which is presided over by at least two or
three Pattakkarans, the caste god being represented by some avaram
flowers, a pot of water, and margosa (Melia Azadirachta) leaves. If
acquitted, the accused is made to touch the water pot in token of his
innocence. If he is convicted, both he and the complainant are fined,
the latter for the purification of his house, if it has been polluted
by the offence. The purification is performed by a man of the Marudur
Nadu called Rettai Vilakkukaran (man of two lights), who eats a meal
in the polluted house, with his hands held behind his back."

It was recently noted that the Upparas are, as a rule, uneducated, and
their ignorance of the three R's often leads to bitter disputes among
themselves and with their employers in disbursing their wages. Some
years ago, one of the Madras Missions opened a school for the benefit
of this backward caste. In 1906, the Hindu Educational Mission of
Madras started a night and day school, Upparapalaiyam Arya Pathasala,
in the Upparapalaiyam quarter of Madras.

There is a Telugu proverb to the effect that one is ruined both ways,
like an Uppara who has turned Sanyasi (ascetic), in reference to
the fact that he neither follows his ancestral occupation, nor is
tolerated in his new calling. The usual caste title is Chetti.

Uppara occurs as a synonym of Kusa Holeya.

Uppu (salt).--A sub-division of Balijas and Koravas, who trade in
salt, which they carry about the country in panniers on donkeys or
bullocks. It is also an occupational sub-division of Komati. The
equivalent Uppa is an exogamous sept of Kelasi. Uppukottei occurs as
a division of Maravan, Upputholuvaru (salt-carriers) as an exogamous
sept of Odde, and Uppiri (salt-earth) as a sept of Kuruba.

Urali.--In the Madras Census Report, 1891, the Uralis are described as
"a caste of agricultural labourers found chiefly in the districts
of Madura and Trichinopoly. The word Urali means a ruler of a
village. Like the Ambalakkarans, they trace their descent from
one Mutturaja, and the only sub-division returned by any number
is Mutracha. They also assert that they were formerly employed as
soldiers. In the Wynad there is a section of Kurumbas called Urali
Kurumbas, and it is not improbable that these Uralis of the Tamil
country are an offshoot of the great Kurumba race." The Uralis are
further summed up in the same report, as "agricultural labourers in
Coimbatore, Trichinopoly, and Madura. There seems to be some connection
between the Uralis and the Ambalakkarans or Muttiriyans. Muttiriyan
is a sub-division of both Urali and Ambalakkaran, and both of these
are found in the same districts. Perhaps the Uralis are an offshoot
of the Tamil Valaiyans, which by change of occupation has transformed
itself into a distinct caste (see Ambalakkaran). The caste is split up
into a number of sub-divisions, called after the name of the tract or
nadu in Trichinopoly which each inhabits. To get back into the caste,
an excommunicated man has to kill a sheep or goat before the elders,
and mark his forehead with the blood. He then gives a feast to the
assembly, and puts part of the food on the roof of his house. If
the crows eat this, he is received back into the caste. [Brahmans
always put out portions of the sraddha offerings in the same way,
and judge whether they are acceptable or not by noting if the crows
eat them or not.] Marriage is infant or adult. A man detected in
an intrigue with an unmarried woman is fined, and has to marry her,
and at the wedding his waist string is tied round her neck instead
of a tali. The well-to-do people of the caste employ Brahmans as
priests, but others content themselves with their own elders. Widows
and divorced women may marry again. The dead are either burned or
buried. The richer members of the caste perform sraddha (memorial
service for the dead). They drink alcohol, and eat fowls, mutton,
pork, fish, rats, etc. In social position they come below the Idaiyans,
Tottiyans, and Kallans. Their title is Kavandan."

For the following note on the Uralis of the Trichinopoly district, I am
indebted to Mr. F. R. Hemingway. "They say that they were originally
Kshatriyas living in 'Alipuram near Oudh,' and left that place in
search of adventure, or in consequence of disputes at home, leaving
their wives behind them, and finally settled in the south, where they
married serving women (pulukkachis). They say that they belong to
the Mutturaja Kuttam, a phrase they cannot explain, and protest that
the Ambalakkarans, who make a similar claim, have no ground for so
doing. They seem to eat with no other caste on equal terms, but will,
of course, accept separate meals from Vellalans. They are split into
seven nadus, which are in effect endogamous sub-divisions. These are
called after villages in the country inhabited by the caste, namely,
Vadaseri, Pilluru, Sengudi, Kadavangudi or Virali, Talakka, Paluvinji
or Magali, and Marungi. The members of the first three of these nadus
are called Vadaseri Uralis, and those of the other four Nattu-simai
Uralis, Kunduva-nattu-tokkadus, or Nandutindis. All of them will
mess together. They say that the nadus were originally intended
to facilitate the decision of caste disputes, and they are still
the unit of self-government. Each nadu has a headman, who exercises
supreme control over the villages included within it. The Uralis also
have a number of exogamous septs called karais by the Vadaseris and
kaniyacchis by the Nattu-simais, which are called after the names of
places. They are generally cultivators, but are said sometimes to be
given to crime. They wear the sacred thread on occasions of marriages
and funerals. The women can be recognised by their dress, the kusavam
being spread out behind, and a characteristic pencil-shaped ornament
(kuchu) being suspended from the neck. Some of their marriage and
funeral customs are peculiar. Among the Nattu-simais, the betrothal is
ratified by the maternal uncle of each of the pair solemnly measuring
out three measures of paddy (rice) in the presence of the other party
at their house. At their funerals, the bier is not brought into the
village, but left outside, and the corpse is carried to it. Among
the Vadaseris, while preparations are being made for the removal of
the body, a Paraiyan woman performs a dance. Among the Nattu-simais
this is done on the Ettu day. On the second day after the funeral,
the relatives of the deceased dip their toes in a mortar full of
cow-dung water placed in front of his house, and put sacred ashes
on the head. The karumantaram, or final death ceremony, is only
performed by the rich. It can take place at any time after the third
day. The Ettu ceremony is similarly performed at any time after the
third day, and is attended with a curious ritual. Both sections of
the caste erect a booth, in which three plantain trees are planted,
and the chief mourner and his cousins stand there all day to receive
the condolences of their friends. From this point the practice of the
two sections differs in small points of detail. Among the Vadaseris,
the friends come one by one, and are asked by the chief mourner,
"Will you embrace, or will you strike your forehead?" In reply, the
friend either closes the open hand of the chief mourner with his own
as a form of embrace, or flings himself on the ground in the booth,
and weeps. Each visitor then goes to a meeting of the nadu which
is being held outside the village, and a Paraiyan and three Uralis
inform the headman who have visited the booth and who have not, and
ask if it may be removed. Permission being given, the plantains are
cut down, and the woman-folk wail round a chembu (vessel) placed
there. All then proceed to the nadu meeting, where a turban is
put on a Paraiyan, a dancing-girl and a Pandaram, and the Paraiyan
(called Nattu Samban) beats his drum, and pronounces a blessing on
the nadu. Finally all repair to the house of the deceased, where the
headman puts three handfuls of kambu (millet) into the cloth of his
wife or some other member of the family, and throws a mortar on the
ground. Punishments for caste offences take some curious forms. A
margosa (Melia Azadirachta) leaf is put on the house of anyone who is
excommunicated. If a man seduces a girl of the caste, an enquiry is
held, and the pair are married. The waist-string of the man is tied
round the neck of the woman, and a Tottiyan is called in to take away
the pollution which they and their relatives have incurred. They are
taken to a tank (pond), where 108 holes have been made by the Tottiyan,
and are made to bathe in every hole, sprinkling the water over their
heads. A sheep is then killed by a Tottiyan and a Chakkiliyan, its
head is buried, and the couple and their relatives are made to walk
over the spot. The blood of the animal is then smeared on their
foreheads, and they all have to bathe again. They are next given
cow's urine to drink, and then once more bathe. After that they are
given milk, and are made to prostrate themselves before the panchayat
(council). Finally they have to give a feast to the panchayat, at which
a part of the food is offered to the crows, and the purification is
not complete till the birds have partaken thereof. The Uralis are
fond of shikar (hunting). On the Sivaratri night, sacrifices are
offered to their family gods, and, on the following day, all the men
of the village go out hunting. They have a head shikari (huntsman),
called Kavettaikaran, who receives every animal which is killed,
cuts off its head, and breaks its legs. The head is given to the man
who killed the animal, and the rest is shared among the castemen."

Of the Uralis who inhabit the hill country of Travancore, the following
account is given in the Travancore Census report, 1901. "The Uralis
are a class of hill tribes resident in the Cardamom Hills. They are
chiefly found in the tracts known as Kunnanat, Velampan, Kurakkanat,
Mannukat, Kalanat, and Periyur. The headman of the Uralis in each
of these areas is called a Kanikkaran. Tradition tells us that they
were the dependents of the kings of Madura, and that their duty was
to hold umbrellas in times of State processions. In ancient times,
many of the parts now included in the Todupuzha taluk belonged to
the kingdom of Madura. Once, when the king came to Neriyamangalam,
the ancestors of these Uralis are said to have accompanied him,
and to have been left there to rule (ali) that locally (ur). The
males dress like the low-country people, with cloths about four
cubits long extending from the hip to the knee. Another cloth, about
one or two cubits in length, is put over the back, one end of which
passes under their right arm and the other over the shoulder, both
meeting in front over the chest, where they are tied together in a
peculiar knot by folding the extremities, thus forming a bag wherein to
contain their wayside necessaries. Females wear two pieces of cloth,
nine and two and a half cubits in length respectively, and folded in
the middle. The larger is the lower garment, and the smaller upper
garment is worn with two ends tied around the neck. Males wear brass
finger and toe-rings, sometimes of silver. Some adorn their necks
with wreaths of beads, from fifteen to thirty in number. Females wear
ear-ornaments known as katumani, which are rings of metal wire, four
or five in number. Males generally allow their hair to grow, the face
alone being now and then shaven. The Uralis eat rice for six months
of the year, and subsist on roots, fruits, and other forest produce
during the remaining half. A large portion of the paddy (rice) that
the Uralis gather by cultivation goes to the low country in exchange
for clothing and salt. The flesh of most animals is eaten, but the
elephant and buffalo are held in such great respect that no Urali ever
ventures to hurt them. Even the approach of the buffalo is religiously
avoided. They begin to fell forest trees in Dhanu (December-January),
and seeds are sown by the end of Metam (April-May). They have
only a katti, which is a kind of chopping knife, for purposes of
ploughing. After cultivation they change their abodes. They put up
huts in the vicinity of the cultivated areas, and use bamboo and
reeds as materials. After leaving the old, and before putting up the
new hut, they live for several days in caves or under trees. They are
very good watchmen, and take great care in putting up fences, weeding,
and protecting cultivation from wild animals. They make excellent mats
of reed. They are clever huntsmen, and are passionately attached to
their hunting dogs. They hoard their grains in wicker baskets called
virivallam. They possess copper and brass vessels, mortar, chopping
knives, sickles, spades, flint and steel. A man after marriage lives
with his wife, apart from his parents. Pollution of a very aggravated
kind is observed during the menstrual and puerperal periods. On these
occasions a separate matam (hut), called the pattu-pandal, is put up
at a distance from the dwelling hut. Here the woman stays for three
days. After bathing on the fourth day, she shifts to another matam
still nearer, and stays there for one or two days. On the seventh day
she rejoins the family. In cases of confinement, twelve days are spent
in the remotest hut, and five days in the nearer one. But for another
period of twenty days the woman is not permitted to touch any one in
the house, or even the roofing of the hut. During these days food is
prepared by others, and given to her. The water in which those who are
confined, and those who are in their menses bathe, is considered to be
defiled beyond remedy. Hence, for bathing purposes some secluded and
out-of-the-way pool, called pattuvellam, is selected. Uralis coming
to the low country hesitate to drink water, on the score that it might
be thus polluted. When the woman delivers herself of her first child,
her husband observes three days' pollution, but none for subsequent
confinements. On all such occasions, the maternal relations of the
woman have to observe five days' pollution. On the eighteenth day after
birth, the eldest member of the family names the child, and bores the
ear. The head of the child is shaved as soon as it is able to walk,
and a tuft of hair is left in front. The corpses of the Uralis are not
burnt, but buried at a sufficient distance from the house. A new cloth
is put into the grave by each relative. After filling in the grave,
they erect a shed over it, within which the chopping knife of the
deceased, a quantity of boiled rice, and some chewing materials (betel
and nuts) are placed. After the lapse of seven years, an offering
of food and drink is made to the departed soul. Death pollution
lasts for sixteen days. The Uralis address their father as appan,
and maternal uncle as achchan. Marumakkathayam is the prevailing
form of inheritance (in the female line). Marriage is settled by the
parents. There is no tali symbol to indicate the wedded state. After
the marriage is settled, the girl is merely sent to the pandal or
hut of the husband. The Uralis intermarry with the Ulladans, and in
rare cases with Muduvans. Remarriage is permitted. An Urali, wishing
to get married into a particular family, has to wed into the family
a girl belonging to his own. The Uralis have a fine ear for music,
and sing many songs in the night before going to bed. Like the Kanis
(Kanikars), they resort to enchantments called cheppuka and chattuka
for the cure of diseases. Their would-be sorcerers have to leave the
community, and wander alone in the forest for a number of months. They
are said to then get into a trance, when their forefathers appear
before them as maidens, and teach them the mystic arts. The Uralis
bear their loads only on the back, and never on the head. They never
go to distant places without their chopping knife. They are good
forest guides." The Uralis are stated by the Rev. S. Mateer [82]
to practice polyandry like the Todas.

Urali is further a synonym of the Tandans of Travancore, in reference,
it is said, to their having been guardians of villages (ur) in former
times. It is also the title of the headman of the Kuravas of Travancore
and a synonym of the Kolayans of Malabar.

Urali.--The Uralis, who form the subject of the present note,
dwell at an altitude of 1,800 feet in the jungles of Dimbhum in the
Coimbatore district, where a forest bungalow, situated on a breezy
ridge overlooking the plains, formed a convenient centre from which
to study both Uralis and the more primitive Sholagas.

The Uralis are familiar with the Badagas, who have a settlement
not many miles distant; the Todas, who occasionally migrate across
the adjacent Nilgiri frontier in search of grazing land for their
buffaloes; and the Kurumbas and Irulas, who inhabit the lower slopes
of the Nilgiris, which run down to Coimbatore. With the civilised
world they are acquainted, as they carry loads to the plains, and run
down to market at the town of Sathyamangalam, which is only seventeen
miles distant from Dimbhum. Like the Nilgiri Badagas, they are clad
in turban, and long flowing body-cloth, white (when new), or striped
with red and blue. The hair is worn long and unkempt, or shaved á
la Hindu with kudimi in mimicry of the more civilised classes. A man
was introduced to us as an expert mimic of the note of the paroquet,
peacock, jungle-fowl and other forest birds; and a small party
improvised, in front of the bungalow, a bird trap cleverly constructed
out of stones, an iron plate from the camp kitchen, bamboo, and rope
made on the spot from the bark of Ficus Tsiela. The making of fire
with flint and steel is fast disappearing in favour of safety matches.

The Uralis say that they are men of seven kulams (i.e., having seven
posts to the marriage booth), and are children of Billayya, while
they describe the Sholagas as men of five kulams and children of
Karayya. They call themselves Uralis or Irulas, and, when questioned,
say that, as Billayya and Karayya are brothers, they may also be called
Sholagas. But there is no intermarriage between Uralis and Sholagas,
though members of the two tribes sometimes interdine. According
to another legend, the Uralis and Sholagas are both descended from
Karayan, and the Sivacharis (Lingayats) from Billaya or Madheswaram
(see Sholaga). They speak a patois of mixed Tamil and Canarese, and
have a number of exogamous septs, the meaning of the names of which is
not clear. They indulge in a large repertoire of nicknames, for the
most part of a personal nature, such as donkey-legged, big-navelled,
pot-bellied, hare-lipped, hairy like a bear or the tail of a mungoose,
toothless, lying, brought up on butter-milk. One man was named Kothe
Kallan (kotha, a stone), because he was born on a rock near Kotagiri.

The majority of the tribe earn a modest livelihood by collecting minor
forest produce, such as myrabolams, wax and honey, and poles for use
as primitive breaks for country carts during the ascent of the ghat
road. These poles are tied to the carts by ropes, and trail behind on
the ground, so that, when the cart stops, the backward course of the
wheels is arrested. Some till the soil, and cultivate various kinds
of food-grains. Others are sheep and cattle owners. A few families
possess land, which is given free of rent by the Forest Department,
on condition that they work for the department whenever their services
are required. As a class they are not inclined to do hard work, and
they appear to get into the clutches of money-lending Chettis. Their
staple food is ragi (Eleusine Coracana). But they eat also sheep,
fowls, goat, deer, pigeons and doves, black monkeys, wild boar,
hare, hedgehogs, paroquets, quails and partridges, jungle-fowl,
woodcock, woodpeckers, and other denizens of the jungle. A man who
was asked whether they eat beef, cats, toads, bears, or white monkeys,
expectorated violently at the mention of each, and the suggestion of
the first three produced the most explosive oral demonstration.

Tribal disputes are referred to a headman, called Yejamana, who must
belong to the exogamous sept called Sambe, and whose appointment is an
hereditary one. To assist him, three others, belonging to the Kalkatti,
Kolkara and Kurinanga septs, whose hereditary titles are Pattagara,
Gouda and Kolkara, are appointed. The Kolkara has to invite people to
the panchayat (tribal council), collect the fines inflicted, and be
present on the occasion of marriages. A woman who, after marriage,
refuses to live with her husband, is punished thus. She is tied to
a tree, and the Kolkaran empties the contents of a hornet or wasp's
nest at her feet. After a few minutes the woman is questioned, and,
if she agrees to live with her husband, she must, in token of assent,
lick a mark made on his back by the Kolkara with fowl's excrement,
saying "You are my husband. In future I shall not quarrel with you,
and will obey you." Even after this ordeal has been gone through,
a woman may, on payment of a fine, leave her husband in favour of
another man of the tribe.

When a girl reaches puberty, she is anointed, decorated with jewelry,
and made to occupy a separate hut for seven days, during which time two
young girls keep her company. On the eighth day, all three bathe in a
pond or stream, and return in their wet clothes to the girl's home,
where they sit on a pestle placed in front of the door. A plantain
leaf is then placed in front of them, on which cooked rice and curry
are spread. A child, aged about eight or nine months, is set in the
girl's lap, and she feeds the infant with a small quantity of rice,
of which she herself swallows a few mouthfuls. Those assembled then
sit down to a meal, at the conclusion of which they wash their hands
in a dish, and the girl throws the water away. The feast concluded,
the spot is sprinkled with cowdung water, and cleaned up by the girl.

Marriage is either infant or adult, but, as a rule, the latter. The
match-making is carried out by the boy's parents, who, with his
other relations, pay two visits, one with and one without the boy,
to the parents of the girl. At the first visit a present of ragi,
and at the second of plantains, rice, and millet pudding is made. The
party must be received with due respect, which is shown by taking
hold of the walking-sticks of the guests on arrival, and receiving
them on a mat spread inside the house. The customary form of salute
is touching the feet with both hands, and raising them, with palms
opposed, to the forehead. Before taking their seats, the guests
salute a vessel of water, which is placed on the mat, surrounded by
betel leaves and nuts. A flower is placed on the top of the stone or
figure which represents the tribal goddess, and, after puja (worship)
has been done to it, it is addressed in the words "Oh, Swami! drop
the flower to the right if the marriage is going to be propitious,
and to the left if otherwise." Should the flower remain on the image,
without falling either way, it is greeted as a very happy omen. On
the occasion of the betrothal ceremony, if the bridegroom's party,
on their way to the bride's village, have to cross a stream, running
or dry, the bridegroom is not allowed to walk across it, but must
be carried over on the back of his maternal uncle. As they approach
the bride's home, they are met by the Kolkara and two other men, to
whom the Kolkara, after receiving the walking-sticks of the guests,
hands them over. Failure to do so would be an act of discourtesy,
and regarded as an insult to be wiped out by a heavy fine. When the
procession arrives at the house, entrance into the marriage booth
is prevented by a stick held across it by people of the bride's
village. A mock struggle takes place, during which turmeric water
is thrown by both sides, and an entrance into the house is finally
effected. After a meal has been partaken of, the bridal party proceed
to the village of the bridegroom, where the bride and bridegroom
are lodged in separate houses. In front of the bridegroom's house
a booth, supported by twelve posts arranged in four rows, has been
erected. The two pillars nearest the entrance to the house are
called murthi kamba. Into the holes made for the reception of these,
after a cocoanut has been broken, ghi (clarified butter), milk, and
a few copper coins are placed. The bridal pair, after an oil bath,
are led to the booth, decorated with jewels and wearing new cloths,
and made to sit on a plank. A cocoanut is broken, and they salute a
vessel placed on a plate. The bridal party then adjourn to a pond or
stream, and do puja to their god. On the return thence the bridal
couple must be accompanied by their maternal uncles, who should
keep on dancing, while cocoanuts are broken in front of them till
the house is reached. The contracting parties then again sit on
the plank with their little fingers linked, while the bride money
(theravu) is paid to the father-in-law, and the milk money (pal
kuli) to the mother-in-law. The tali (a golden disc) is then tied
on to the bride's neck by some female relation of the bridegroom,
and the bride and bridegroom, after saluting those assembled, enter
the house, where the young wife is at once told to cook some rice,
of which she and her husband partake from the same leaf plate.

There exists, among the Uralis, a kind of informal union called
kuduvali. A man and woman will, by mutual agreement, elope into
the jungle, and live there together, till they are discovered and
brought back by their relations. A panchayat (council) is held,
and they are recognised as man and wife if the bride money and fine
inflicted are paid. Failure to pay up would render them liable to
excommunication. To celebrate the event, a feast must be given by
the man; and, if he should die without having fed the community, any
children born to him are considered as illegitimate. In such a case,
the widow or her near relatives are asked to give food to at least
a few before the corpse is removed, so as to legitimatise the children.

The Uralis bury their dead, and the death ceremonies are, to a
certain extent, copied from those of the Badagas. As soon as a member
of the tribe dies, the corpse is anointed, washed, and dressed in
new clothes and turban. On the face three silver coins are stuck,
viz.:--a rupee on the forehead, and a quarter rupee outside each
eye. When all have assembled for the funeral, the corpse is brought
out and placed under a car (teru) of six storeys, made of bamboo and
sticks, covered with coloured cloths and flags, and having at the top
a kalasa (brass vessel) and umbrella. To the accompaniment of a band
a dance takes place around the car, and the procession then moves on
to the burial-ground, where a cow buffalo is brought near the car,
and a little milk drawn and poured three times into the mouth of the
corpse. A cow and one or two calves are taken round the car, and the
calves presented to the sister of the deceased. The car is then broken
up, after the decorations have been stripped off. The corpse is buried
either on the spot, or taken away to distant Nirgundi, and buried
there. On the eighth day after the funeral or return from Nirgundi,
the eldest son of the deceased has his head shaved, and, together
with his brother's wife, fasts. If the funeral has been at Nirgundi,
the son, accompanied by his relations, proceeds thither after tying
some cooked rice in a cloth. On arrival, he offers this to all the
memorial stones in the burial-ground (goppamane), and erects a stone,
which he has brought with him, in memory of the deceased. He then
anoints all the stones with ghi, which is contained in a green bamboo
measure. He collects the rice, which has been offered, and one of the
party, becoming inspired, gives vent to oracular declarations as to
the season's prospects, the future of the bereaved family, etc. The
collected rice is regarded as sacred, and is partaken of by all. Each
sept has its own goppamane, which is a rectangular space with mud
walls on three sides. In cases in which the corpse has been buried
close to the village, the grave is marked by a file of stones. Two
or three years afterwards, the body is exhumed, and the bones are
collected, and placed in front of the house of the deceased. All the
relations weep, and the son conveys the bones to Nirgundi, where he
buries them. On the eighth day he revisits the spot, and erects a
stone with the ceremonial already described.

The Uralis worship a variety of minor deities, and sacrifice sheep
and goats to Palrayan. They observe two annual festivals, viz.:--(a)
Thai nombu, when the whole house is cleaned, and margosa (Melia
Azadirachta) twigs and spikes of Achyranthes aspera are tied together,
and placed in front of the house over the roof, or stuck into the roof
overhanging the entrance. A sumptuous repast is partaken of. This
ceremonial takes place in the month Thai (December-January). (b)
In the month Vyasi (March-April) a large trough is placed close to
a well, and filled with a mixture of salt and water. The cattle,
decorated with leaves and flowers, are brought, one by one, to the
trough, and made to drink the salt water.

Uril Parisha.--A class of Mussad.

Uru.--Ur, Uru, meaning village, is the name of a division of Bedar,
Boya, Golla, Korava, Kuruba, Madiga, and Odde. The Bedars and Boyas are
divided into two main divisions, Uru or those who dwell in villages,
and Myasa (grass-land or forest people) who live away from villages. In
like manner, the Uru Oddes are those who have abandoned a nomad life,
and settled in villages. Among some of the Tamil cultivating classes,
the headman is known as the Ur Goundan.

Ur-Udaiyan (lord of a village).--A synonym of Nattaman.

Urukathi (a kind of knife).--An exogamous sept of Toreva.

Urukkaran, a class of Muhammadan pilots and sailors in the Laccadive
islands. (See Mappilla.)

Urumikkaran.--The Urumikkarans, or those who play on the drum (urumi),
are said [83] to be "Tottiyans in Madura, and Parayans elsewhere." The
Kappiliyans say that they migrated with the Urumikkarans from the
banks of the Tungabadra river, because the Tottiyans tried to ravish
their women. At a Kappiliyan wedding, a Urumikkaran must be present
at the distribution of betel on the second day, and at the final
death ceremonies a Urumikkaran must also be present.

Usira (usirika, Phyllanthus Emblica).--A sept of Komati.

Utla.--Utla or Utlavadu has been recorded as an occupational sub-caste
of Yerukala, and an exogamous sept of Boya and Padma Sale. The name
is derived from utlam, a hanging receptacle for pots, made of palmyra
fibre, which some Yerukalas make and sell. [84]

Uttareni (Achyranthes aspera).--An exogamous sept of Boya.

Uyyala (a swing).--An exogamous sept of Mala, Mutracha, and
Yerukala. During the marriage ceremonies of Brahmans and some
non-Brahman castes, the bride and bridegroom are seated in a swing
within the marriage booth, and songs called uyyala patalu (swing songs)
are sung by women to the accompaniment of music.



V


Vada.--On the coast of Ganjam and Vizagapatam, the sea fishermen
are either Vadas or Jalaris, both of which are Telugu castes. The
fishing operations are carried on by the men, and the fish are sold
by the women in markets and villages. Various Oriya castes, e.g.,
Kevuto, Kondra, Tiyoro, etc., are employed as fishermen, but only in
fresh-water. The Vadas seem to be a section of the Palles, with whom
they will interdine and intermarry. They call themselves Vada Balijas,
though they have no claim to be regarded as Balijas. Sometimes they
are called Kalasis by Oriya people.

Socially the Vadas occupy a low position. Their language is a corrupt
and vulgar form of Telugu. The men wear a conical palm leaf cap, such
as is worn by the Pattanavan fishermen in the Tamil country. In the
presence of a superior, they remove their loin-cloth and place it round
their neck and shoulders as a mark of respect. Among many other castes,
this would, on the contrary, be regarded as an act of impertinence.

Like other Telugu castes, the Vadas have exogamous intiperus, some
of which seem to be peculiar to them, e.g., Mailapilli, Ganupilli,
Sodupilli, Davulupilli. Other intiperus are such as are common to many
Telugu castes. The caste headmen are entitled Kularaju and Pilla,
and the appointments are apparently held by members of particular
septs. At Chatrapur, for example, they belong to the Mailapilli and
Vanka septs. There is also a caste servant styled Samayanodu. The
headmen seem to have more power among the Vadas than among other
Telugu castes, and all kinds of caste matters are referred to them
for disposal. They receive a fee for every marriage, and arrange
various details in connection with the wedding ceremonial. This is
based on the Telugu type, with a few variations. When a young man's
relations proceed to the house of the girl whom it is proposed that he
should marry, the elders of her family offer water in a brass vessel
to their guests, if they approve of the match. During the marriage
rites, the bride and bridegroom sit within a pandal (booth), and the
men of the bridegroom's party exhibit to those assembled betel leaf,
areca nuts, oil, turmeric paste, etc., in which no foreign matter,
such as fragments of paper, rags, etc., must be found. If they are
discovered, a fine is inflicted.

There is exhibited in the Madras Museum a collection of clay figures,
such as are worshipped by fishermen on the Ganjam coast, concerning
which Mr. H. D'A. C. Reilly writes to me as follows. "I am sending
you specimens of the chief gods worshipped by the fishermen. The
Tahsildar of Berhampur got them made by the potter and carpenter,
who usually make such figures for the Gopalpur fishermen. I have found
fishermen's shrines at several places. Separate families appear to have
separate shrines, some consisting of large chatties (earthen pots),
occasionally ornamented, and turned upside down, with an opening
on one side. Others are made of brick and chunam (lime). All that I
have seen had their opening towards the sea. Two classes of figures
are placed in these shrines, viz., clay figures of gods, which are
worshipped before fishing expeditions, and when there is danger from a
particular disease which they prevent; and wooden figures of deceased
relations, which are quite as imaginative as the clay figures. Figures
of gods and relations are placed in the same family shrine. There are
hundreds of gods to choose from, and the selection appears to be a
matter of family taste and tradition. The figures, which I have sent,
were made by a potter at Venkatarayapalle, and painted by a carpenter
at Uppulapathi, both villages near Gopalpur. The Tahsildar tells
me that, when he was inspecting them at the Gopalpur travellers'
bungalow, sixty or seventy fisher people came and worshipped them,
and at first objected to their gods being taken away. He pacified
them by telling them that it was because the Government had heard of
their devotion to their gods that they wanted to have some of them
in Madras." The collection of clay figures includes the following:--

Bengali Babu wears a hat, and rides on a black horse. He blesses the
fishermen, secures large hauls of fish for them, and guards them
against danger when out fishing. It has been observed that "this
affinity between the Ganjam fishermen and the Bengali Babu, resulting
in the apotheosis of the latter, is certainly a striking manifestation
of the catholicity of hero-worship, and it would be interesting to
have the origin of this particular form of it, to know how long,
and for what reasons the conception of protection has appealed to the
followers of the piscatory industry. It was Sir George Campbell, the
Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal, who compelled his Bengali officials,
much against their inclination, to cultivate the art of equitation."

Samalamma wears a red skirt and green coat, and protects the fishermen
from fever.

Rajamma, a female figure, with a sword in her right hand, riding on
a black elephant. She blesses barren women with children, and favours
her devotees with big catches when they go out fishing.

Yerenamma, riding on a white horse, with a sword in her right hand. She
protects fishermen from drowning, and from being caught by big fish.

Bhagirathamma, riding on an elephant, and having eight or twelve
hands. She helps fishermen when fishing at night, and protects them
against cholera, dysentery, and other intestinal disorders.

Nukalamma wears a red jacket and green skirt, and protects the fishing
community against small-pox.

Orusandi Ammavaru prevents the boats from being sunk or damaged.

Bhagadevi rides on a tiger, and protects the community from cholera.

Veyyi Kannula Ammavaru, or goddess of a thousand eyes, represented
by a pot pierced with holes, in which a gingelly (Sesamum) oil light
is burnt. She attends to the general welfare of the fisher folk.

The chief sea goddess of the Vadas seems to be Orusandiamma, whose
image must be made out of the wood of the nim (Melia Azadirachta)
tree. She is supposed to have four arms. Many of the pot temples
set up on the sea-shore are her shrines. On no account should she
be provoked, lest the fishing boat should be upset. She is regarded
as constantly roaming over the sea in a boat at night. Associated
with her is a male deity, named Ramasondi, who is her brother. His
vahanam (vehicle) is an elephant. Orusandi is worshipped separately
by each family. At the time of worship, flowers, two cloths, a fowl,
a goat, and a bottle of toddy or arrack, are carried in procession
to the sea-shore. Before the procession starts, people collect in
front of the house of the person who is doing the puja (worship),
and tie him and the goat to a long post set up in front thereof. A
toy boat is placed before the post, and Ramasondi is invoked by a
person called Mannaru, who becomes inspired by the entrance of the
deity into him. A fowl is sacrificed, and, with the boat on his head,
the Mannaru proceeds towards the shore. Orusandi is then invoked,
but does not come so easily as Ramasondi. Repeated invocations
are necessary before some one becomes inspired. The goat, post,
and a pot shrine for the goddess are taken to the shore. A small
platform is erected there, on which the shrine, smeared with chunam
(lime), is placed, and in it the image is deposited. Worship is then
performed, and the goat sacrificed if it crawls along on all fours
and shivers. If it does not do so, another goat is substituted for
it. As every family sets up its own pot shrine, the number of these
is considerable, and they extend over several furlongs.

The sea goddess Marulupolamma is housed in a small shed made of date
palm leaves. A goddess who is very much feared, and worshipped at the
burial-ground, is Bulokamma. Her worship is carried out at noon or
midnight. She is represented by a pot, of which the neck is removed. In
the sides of the pot four holes are made, into each of which a twig
is inserted. The ends of the twigs are tied together with thread, so
that they represent a miniature pandal (booth). The pot is carried
by a Mannaru, dressed up like a woman in black and white cloths,
together with another pot representing Enuga Sakthi. The former
is carried in the bend of the left elbow, and the latter on the
head. The pots are accompanied in procession to the burial-ground,
and on the way thither some one becomes inspired, and narrates the
following legend:--"I am Bulokasakthi. Ages ago I was in an egg,
of which the upper half became the sky and the lower half the earth,
and was released. The moon was the mark on my forehead, and the sun
was my mirror. Seven gadhis (a measure of time) after my birth,
a west wind arose. By that time I had grown into an adult woman,
and so I embraced the wind, which impregnated me, and, after nine
gadhis, Brahma was born. He grew into a young man, and I asked him to
embrace me, but he refused, and, as a curse, I caused him to become a
stone. Vishnu underwent the same fate, but Siva promised to satisfy
me, if I gave him my third eye, shoulder-bag, and cane. This I did,
and lost my power. Then all the water disappeared, and I was covered
with mud. Siva again caused water to appear, and of it I took three
handfuls, and threw them over my body. The third handful consumed
me, and reduced me to ashes. From these were created Sarasvati,
Parvati, and Bulokamma. I am that Bulokamma. I asked a favour of
Siva. He made me remain within this earth, and, drawing three lines,
said that I should not come out, and should receive offerings of
fowls and goats." At this stage, a chicken is given to the Mannaru,
who bites, and kills it. At the burial-ground worship is performed,
and a goat sacrificed. The goddess being confined within the earth,
no shrine is erected to her, and she is not represented by an image. A
small pandal is erected, and the pot placed near it.

The goddess Kalimukkamma is represented by a paper or wooden mask
painted black, with protruding tongue. With her is associated her
brother Baithari. She is believed to be one of the sisters created
by Brahma from his face at the request of Iswara, the others being
Polamma, Maridipoli, Kothapoli, Jungapoli, Nukapoli, Runjamma, and
Kundamma. The shrine of Kalimukkamma is a low hut made of straw. At
the time of worship to her, a Mannaru, dressed up as a woman, puts on
the mask, and thus represents her. A stone slab, containing a figure
of Kalimukkamma, is carried by a woman. She is the only goddess who
may be represented by a stone. To her pigs are offered.

Peddamma or Polamma is represented by a wooden effigy. Along with
her, Maridiamma is also worshipped. The offerings to Peddamma
consist of a goat or sheep, and a pot of milk. A pig is sacrificed
to Maridiamma. When the people proceed in procession to the place of
worship, a toy cart is tied to the person representing Maridiamma,
and some one must carry a toy boat. At a distance from the house,
the cart is detached, and a pig is killed by an abdominal incision.

Samalamma is a mild goddess, with vegetarian propensities, to whom
animal food must not be offered. She is associated with the aforesaid
Bengali Babu riding on a horse. Her image may only be carried by
young girls, and grown-up women may not touch it.

Of the Sakthis worshipped by the Vadas, the chief is Koralu Sakthi. The
man who performs the worship is tied to a country cart, to which a
central stake, and a stake at each corner are attached. Dressed up in
female attire, he drags the cart, with which he makes three rounds. A
chicken is then impaled on each of the corner stakes, and a pig on
the central stake.

In former times, the images of the deities were made in clay, but it
has been found by experience that wooden images are more durable,
and do not require to be replaced so often. Along with the images
of gods and goddesses, the Vadas place figures representing deceased
relatives, after the peddadinam (final death ceremony).

The Mannarus are very important individuals, for not only do they
perform worship, but are consulted on many points. If a man does not
secure good catches of fish, he goes to the Mannaru, to ascertain the
cause of his bad luck. The Mannaru holds in his hand a string, to which
a stone is tied, and invokes various gods and goddesses by name. Every
time a name is mentioned, the stone either swings to and fro like
a pendulum, or performs a circular movement. If the former occurs,
it is a sign that the deity whose name has been pronounced is the
cause of the misfortune, and must be propitiated in a suitable manner.

Vadakkupurattu.--A synonym, meaning belonging to the north side of
the temple, of Marans in Travancore.

Vadra.--Vadra, Vadrangi, or Vadla is a name of a sub-division of Telugu
Kamsalas, the professional calling of which is carpentering. It is
noted, in the Gazetteer of Tanjore, that "wood-carving of a very
fair quality is done at several places in the Tanjore district by
a class of workmen called car carpenters, from the fact that their
skill is generally exercised in carving images on temple cars. They
are found at Tanjore, Mannargudi, Tiruvadaturai and Tiruvadi, and
perhaps elsewhere. The workmen at the last-named place are Vaddis. The
Vaddis of the Godavari district are also found to do wood-carving,
sometimes with great skill."

Vadugan.--At the census, 1891, 180,884 individuals were returned as
Vadugan, which is described as meaning "a native of the northern or
Telugu country, but in ordinary usage it refers to the Balijas." I
find, however, that 56,380 Vadugars have returned their sub-division
as Kammavar or Kammas, and that the term has been used to denote many
Telugu castes. At the census, 1901, the number of people returning
themselves as Vadugan dropped to 95,924, and the name is defined by
the Census Superintendent as a "linguistic term meaning a Telugu man,
wrongly returned as a caste name by Kammas, Kapus and Balijas in the
Tamil districts." In the Salem Manual, Vaduga is noted as including
all who speak Telugu in the Tamil districts, e.g., Odde, Bestha, etc.

It is recorded, in the Gazetteer of Malabar, that "of the same
social standing as the Kammalans are the Vadugans (northerners),
a makkattayam caste of foreigners found in Palghat and the adjoining
part of Waluvanad. They are divided into two exogamous classes, one of
which is regarded as inferior to the other, and performs purificatory
ceremonies for the caste. They cut their hair close all over the head,
and have no kudumis (hair knot)."

It is noted by Mr. L. Moore [85] that "Xavier, writing in 1542 to
1544, makes frequent references to men whom he calls Badages, who are
said to have been collectors of royal taxes, and to have grievously
oppressed Xavier's converts among the fishermen of Travancore." [86]
Dr. Caldwell, alluding to Xavier's letters, says [87] that these
Badages were no doubt Vadages or men from the North, and is of
opinion that a Jesuit writer of the time who called them Nayars
was mistaken, and that they were really Nayakans from Madura. I
believe, however, that the Jesuit rightly called them Nayars,
for I find that Father Organtino, writing in 1568, speaks of these
Badages as people from Narasinga, a kingdom north of Madura, lying
close to Bishnaghur. Bishnaghur is, of course, Vijayanagar, and the
kingdom of Narasinga was the name frequently given by the Portuguese
to Vijayanagar. There is a considerable amount of evidence to show
that the Nayars of Malabar are closely connected by origin with the
Nayakans of Vijayanagar." (See Nayar.)

Vadugayan (Telugu shepherd).--A Tamil synonym for Golla.

Vagiri or Vagirivala.--See Kuruvikkaran.

Vagiti (doorway or court-yard).--An exogamous sept of Jogi.

Vaguniyan.--See Vayani.

Vaidyan.--Vaidyon or Baidya, meaning physician or medicine-man, occurs
as a title of Kshaurakas, Billavas, and Pulluvans, and, at times of
census, has been returned as an occupational sub-division of Paraiyans.

Village physicians are known as Vaidyans, and may belong to any caste,
high or low. The Vaidyan diagnoses all diseases by feeling the pulse,
and, after doing this for a sufficiently long time, remarks that there
is an excess of vatham, pitham, ushnam, and so on. His stock phrases
are vatham, pitham, ushnam, sleshmam, karakam, megham or meham,
saithyam, etc. Orthodox men and women do not allow the Vaidyan to
feel the pulse by direct contact of the fingers, and a silk cloth
is placed on the patient's wrist. The pulse of males is felt with
the right hand, and that of females with the left. Some Vaidyans
crack the finger and wrist-joints before they proceed to feel the
pulse. Some are general practitioners, and others specialists in the
treatment of fever, piles, jaundice, syphilis, rheumatism, and other
diseases. The specialists are generally hereditary practitioners. In
the treatment of cases, the Vaidyan prescribes powders and pills,
and a decoction or infusion (kashayam) of various drugs which can
easily be obtained at the village drug-shop, or with the help of the
village herbalist. Among these are ginger, pepper, Abies Webbiana,
Acorus calamus, nim (Melia Azadirachta), or Andrographis paniculata
sticks, Alpinia Galanga, etc. If the medicine has to be taken for a
long time, the drugs are compounded together in the form of a lehyam,
e.g., bilvadi, kushpanda, and purnadi lehyam. Some Vaidyans prepare
powders (basmam), such as swarna (gold) basmam, pavala (coral powder)
basmam, or sankha (chank shell powder) basmam. Special pills (mathre),
prepared at considerable cost, are sometimes kept by Vaidyans, and
passed on from generation to generation as heirlooms. Such pills
are usually intended for well-known specific diseases. These pills
are used in very minute quantities, and consequently last for a long
time. A drop of honey or butter is placed on a slab of sandstone, on
which the pill is rubbed. The honey or butter is then administered to
the patient. A standing rule of the Vaidyan is to keep his patient on
a very low diet, such as rice gruel without salt. His usual saying is
"Langanam paramoushadam," i.e., fasting is an excellent medicine. A
well-known treatment in cases of jaundice is the drinking of curds,
in which twigs of Phyllanthus Niruri have been well mashed.

In a very interesting note [88] on couching of the lens as practiced
by native practitioners, Major R. H. Elliot, I.M.S., writes as
follows. "The ignorance and stupidity of the ryot (villager) is so
great that he will not very infrequently try one eye in an English
hospital, and one in a Vaithyan's hands. It is a very common thing for
a native patient to deny ever having visited a native doctor, when he
first comes to hospital. After the other eye has been successfully
operated on, he will sometimes own up to the fact.... Here in the
south, there appear to be two classes of operators, the resident men
who live for long periods in one bazaar, and the travellers who move
continuously from place to place. Both are Mahomedans. The former
appear to get somewhat better results than the latter, and are spoken
of as 'men of experience.' The latter seem never to stop long in one
place. They collect a number of victims, operate on them, and then
move on before their sins can find them out. Both kinds of operators
seem to be innocent of any attempt at securing asepsis or antisepsis;
they use a dirty needle or a sharp wooden skewer; no anæsthetic is
employed; a bandage is kept on for ten days, and counter-irritation
is freely resorted to, to combat iritis, etc. Many of the victims
are ashamed to come to a European hospital after the failure of their
hopes. It has been said that, if the Vaithyan did not get good results,
he would be dropped, and the practice would die out. This remark can
only have come from one who knew nothing of the Indian character, or
the crass ignorance of the lower classes of the people. It is hard
for those who have not lived and worked among them to realise how
easily the ryot falls a dupe to impudent self-advertisement. He is a
simple kindly person, whose implicit trust in confident self-assertion
will bring him to grief for many another generation. The vision of
these poor unfortunate people sitting down in a dusty bazaar to
let an ignorant charlatan thrust a dirty needle into their blind
eyes has evoked the indignation of the English surgeon from the
time of our first occupation of the country. Side by side with a
well-equipped English hospital, which turns out its ninety odd per
cent. of useful vision, there sits in the neighbouring bazaar even
to-day the charlatan, whose fee is fixed at anything from 3d. to 8
shillings, plus, in every case, a fowl or other animal. The latter is
ostensibly for sacrificial purposes, but I understand ends uniformly
in the Vaithyan's curry-pot. Weirdest, perhaps, of all the Vaithyan's
methods is the use of the saffron-coloured rag, with which pus is wiped
away from the patient's inflamed eye. On this colour, the pus, etc.,
cannot be seen, and therefore all is well. It is the fabled ostrich
again, only this time in real life, with vital interests at stake."

It is noted [89] in connection with the various classes of Nambutiri
Brahmans that "the Vaidyans or physicians, known as Mussads, are to
study the medical science, and to practice the same. As the profession
of a doctor necessitates the performance of surgical operations
entailing the shedding of blood, the Mussads are considered as
slightly degraded."

Further information concerning native medicine-men will be found in
the articles on Kusavans and Mandulas.

Vaikhanasa.--Followers of the Rishi Vaikhanasa. They are Archaka
Brahman priests in the Telugu country.

Vairavan Kovil.--An exogamous section or kovil (temple) of Nattukottai
Chetti.

Vairavi.--The equivalent of Bairagi or Vairagi. Recorded, in the Madras
Census Report, 1901, as "a sub-caste of Pandaram. They are found
only in the Tinnevelly district, where they are measurers of grain,
and pujaris in village temples." In the Madura district, Vairavis
are members of the Melakkaran caste, who officiate as servants at
the temples of the Nattukottai Chettis.

Vaisya.--Vaisya is the third of the traditional castes of Manu. "It
is," Mr. Francis writes, [90] "doubtful whether there are any true
Dravidian Vaisyas, but some of the Dravidian trading castes (with
the title Chetti), notably the Komatis, are treated as Vaisyas by
the Brahmans, though the latter do not admit their right to perform
the religious ceremonies which are restricted by the Vedas to the
twice-born, and require them to follow only the Puranic rites. The
Muttans (trading caste in Malabar) formerly claimed to be Nayars,
but recently they have gone further, and some of them have returned
themselves as Vaisyas, and added the Vaisya title of Gupta to their
names. They do not, however, wear the sacred thread or perform
any Vedic rites, and Nayars consider themselves polluted by their
touch." Some Vellalas and Nattukottai Chettis describe themselves
as being Bhu (earth) Vaisyas, and some Gollas claim to be regarded
as Go(cow) Vaisyas. [90] Some Ganigas and Nagartas call themselves
Dharmasivachar Vaisyas, [91] and, like the Canarese Ganigas
(oil-pressers), the Tamil oil-pressers (Vaniyan) claim to rank
as Vaisyas. Vaisya Brahman is noted [92] as being a curious hybrid
name, by which the Konkani Vanis (traders) style themselves. A small
colony of "Baniyans," who call themselves Jain Vaisyas, is said
[93] to have settled in Native Cochin. Vaisya is recorded as the
caste of various title-holders, whose title is Chetti or Chettiyar,
in the Madras Quarterly Civil List.

Vajjira (diamond).--An exogamous sept of Toreya.

Vakkaliga.--See Okkiliyan.

Valagadava.--An occupational name for various classes in South
Canara, e.g., Sappaligas, Mogilis, and Patramelas, who are engaged
as musicians.

Valai (net).--The name, said to indicate those who hunt with nets, of a
section of Paraiyans. The Ambalakkarans, who are also called Valaiyans,
claim that, when Siva's ring was swallowed by a fish in the Ganges,
one of their ancestors invented the first net made in the world.

Valaiyal.--A sub-division of Kavarai, i.e., the Tamil equivalent of
Gazula (glass bangle) Balija.

Valaiyan.--The Valaiyans are described, in the Manual of Madura
district (1868), as "a low and debased class. Their name is supposed
to be derived from valai, a net, and to have been given to them from
their being constantly employed in netting game in the jungles. Many
of them still live by the net; some catch fish; some smelt iron. Many
are engaged in cultivation, as bearers of burdens, and in ordinary
cooly work. The tradition that a Valaiya woman was the mother of
the Vallambans seems to show that the Valaiyans must be one of the
most ancient castes in the country." In the Tanjore Manual they are
described as "inhabitants of the country inland who live by snaring
birds, and fishing in fresh waters. They engage also in agricultural
labour and cooly work, such as carrying loads, husking paddy (rice),
and cutting and selling fire-wood. They are a poor and degraded
class." The Valaiyans are expert at making cunningly devised traps
for catching rats and jungle fowl. They have "a comical fairy-tale
of the origin of the war, which still goes on between them and the
rat tribe. It relates how the chiefs of the rats met in conclave,
and devised the various means for arranging and harassing the enemy,
which they still practice with such effect." [94] The Valaiyans say
that they were once the friends of Siva, but were degraded for the
sin of eating rats and frogs.

In the Census Report, 1901, the Valaiyans are described as "a shikari
(hunting) caste in Madura and Tanjore. In the latter the names
Ambalakaran, Servaikaran, Vedan, Siviyan, and Kuruvikkaran are
indiscriminately applied to the caste." There is some connection
between Ambalakarans, Muttiriyans, Mutrachas, Uralis, Vedans,
Valaiyans, and Vettuvans, but in what it exactly consists remains
to be ascertained. It seems likely that all of them are descended
from one common parent stock. Ambalakarans claim to be descended
from Kannappa Nayanar, one of the sixty-three Saivite saints, who
was a Vedan or hunter by caste. In Tanjore the Valaiyans declare
themselves to have a similar origin, and in that district Ambalakaran
and Muttiriyan seem to be synonymous with Valaiyan. Moreover, the
statistics of the distribution of the Valaiyans show that they are
numerous in the districts where Ambalakarans are few, and vice versâ,
which looks as though certain sections had taken to calling themselves
Ambalakarans. The upper sections of the Ambalakarans style themselves
Pillai, which is a title properly belonging to Vellalas, but the others
are usually called Muppan in Tanjore, and Ambalakaran, Muttiriyan,
and Servaikaran in Trichinopoly. The usual title of the Valaiyans,
so far as I can gather, is Muppan, but some style themselves Servai
and Ambalakaran."

The Madura Valaiyans are said [95] to be "less brahmanised than those
in Tanjore, the latter employing Brahmans as priests, forbidding
the marriage of widows, occasionally burning their dead, and being
particular what they eat. But they still cling to the worship of all
the usual village gods and goddesses." In some places, it is said,
[96] the Valaiyans will eat almost anything, including rats, cats,
frogs and squirrels.

Like the Pallans and Paraiyans, the Valaiyans, in some places, live
in streets of their own, or in settlements outside the villages. At
times of census, they have returned a large number of sub-divisions,
of which the following may be cited as examples:--


    Monathinni. Those who eat the vermin of the soil.
    Pasikatti (pasi, glass bead).
    Saragu, withered leaves.
    Vanniyan. Synonym of the Palli caste.
    Vellamputtu, white-ant hill.


In some places the Saruku or Saragu Valaiyans have exogamous kilais
or septs, which, as among the Maravans and Kallans, run in the female
line. Brothers and sisters belong to the same kilai as that of their
mother and maternal uncle, and not of their father.

It is stated, in the Gazetteer of the Madura district, that "the
Valaiyans are grouped into four endogamous sub-divisions, namely,
Vahni, Valattu, Karadi, and Kangu. The last of these is again
divided into Pasikatti, those who use a bead necklet instead of a
tali (as a marriage badge), and Karaikatti, those whose women wear
horsehair necklaces like the Kallans. The caste title is Muppan. Caste
matters are settled by a headman called the Kambliyan (blanket man),
who lives at Aruppukottai, and comes round in state to any village
which requires his services, seated on a horse, and accompanied by
servants who hold an umbrella over his head and fan him. He holds
his court seated on a blanket. The fines imposed go in equal shares
to the aramanai (literally palace, i.e., to the headman himself),
and to the oramanai, that is, the caste people.

It is noted by Mr. F. R. Hemingway that "the Valaiyans of
the Trichinopoly district say that they have eight endogamous
sub-divisions, namely, Sarahu (or Saragu), Ettarai Koppu, Tanambanadu
or Valuvadi, Nadunattu or Asal, Kurumba, Vanniya, Ambunadu,
and Punal. Some of these are similar to those of the Kallans and
Ambalakarans."

In the Gazetteer of the Tanjore district, it is recorded that the
Valaiyans are said to possess "endogamous sub-divisions called Vedan,
Sulundukkaran and Ambalakkaran. The members of the first are said to
be hunters, those of the second torch-bearers, and those of the last
cultivators. They are a low caste, are refused admittance into the
temples, and pollute a Vellalan by touch. Their occupations are chiefly
cultivation of a low order, cooly work, and hunting. They are also said
to be addicted to crime, being employed by Kallans as their tools."

Adult marriage is the rule, and the consent of the maternal uncle is
necessary. Remarriage of widows is freely permitted. At the marriage
ceremony, the bridegroom's sister takes up the tali (marriage badge),
and, after showing it to those assembled, ties it tightly round the
neck of the bride. To tie it loosely so that the tali string touches
the collar-bone would be considered a breach of custom, and the woman
who tied it would be fined. The tali-tying ceremony always takes
place at night, and the bridegroom's sister performs it, as, if it
was tied by the bridegroom, it could not be removed on his death, and
replaced if his widow wished to marry again. Marriages generally take
place from January to May, and consummation should not be effected
till the end of the month Adi, lest the first child should be born
in the month of Chithre, which would be very inauspicious. There
are two Tamil proverbs to the effect that "the girl should remain in
her mother's house during Adi," and "if a child is born in Chithre,
it is ruinous to the house of the mother-in-law."

In the Gazetteer of the Madura district, it is stated that "at
weddings, the bridegroom's sister ties the tali, and then hurries the
bride off to her brother's house, where he is waiting. When a girl
attains maturity, she is made to live for a fortnight in a temporary
hut, which she afterwards burns down. While she is there, the little
girls of the caste meet outside it, and sing a song illustrative of
the charms of womanhood, and its power of alleviating the unhappy
lot of the bachelor. Two of the verses say:--


    What of the hair of a man?
    It is twisted, and matted, and a burden.
    What of the tresses of a woman?
    They are as flowers in a garland, and a glory.

    What of the life of a man?
    It is that of the dog at the palace gate.
    What of the days of a woman?
    They are like the gently waving leaves in a festoon.


"Divorce is readily permitted on the usual payments, and divorcées
and widows may remarry. A married woman who goes astray is brought
before the Kambliyan, who delivers a homily, and then orders the man's
waist-string to be tied round her neck. This legitimatises any children
they may have." The Valaiyans of Pattukkottai in the Tanjore district
say that intimacy between a man and woman before marriage is tolerated,
and that the children of such a union are regarded as members of the
caste, and permitted to intermarry with others, provided the parents
pay a nominal penalty imposed by the caste council.

In connection with the Valaiyans of the Trichinopoly district,
Mr. Hemingway writes that "they recognise three forms of marriage,
the most usual of which consists in the bridegroom's party going to the
girl's house with three marakkals of rice and a cock on an auspicious
day, and in both parties having a feast there. Sometimes the young
man's sister goes to the girl's house, ties a tali round her neck, and
takes her away. The ordinary form of marriage, called big marriage,
is sometimes used with variations, but the Valaiyans do not like it,
and say that the two other forms result in more prolific unions. They
tolerate unchastity before marriage, and allow parties to marry even
after several children have been born, the marriage legitimatising
them. They permit remarriage of widows and divorced women. Women
convicted of immorality are garlanded with erukku (Calotropis gigantea)
flowers, and made to carry a basket of mud round the village. Men
who too frequently offend in this respect are made to sit with their
toes tied to the neck by a creeper. When a woman is divorced, her
male children go to the husband, and she is allowed to keep the girls."

The tribal gods of the Valaiyans are Singa Pidari (Aiyanar) and
Padinettampadi Karuppan. Once a year, on the day after the new-moon
in the month Masi (February to March), the Valaiyans assemble to
worship the deity. Early in the morning they proceed to the Aiyanar
temple, and, after doing homage to the god, go off to the forest to
hunt hares and other small game. On their return they are met by the
Valaiyan matrons carrying coloured water or rice (alam), garlands of
flowers, betel leaves and areca nuts. The alam is waved over the men,
some of whom become inspired and are garlanded. While they are under
inspiration, the mothers appeal to them to name their babies. The
products of the chase are taken to the house of the headman and
distributed. At a festival, at which Mr. K. Rangachari was present,
at about ten o'clock in the morning all the Valaiya men, women, and
children, dressed up in holiday attire, swarmed out of their huts,
and proceeded to a neighbouring grove. The men and boys each carried
a throwing stick, or a digging stick tipped with iron. On arrival at
the grove, they stood in a row, facing east, and, throwing down their
sticks, saluted them, and prostrated themselves before them. Then all
took up their sticks, and some played on reed pipes. Some of the women
brought garlands of flowers, and placed them round the necks of four
men, who for a time stood holding in their hands their sticks, of which
the ends were stuck in the ground. After a time they began to shiver,
move quickly about, and kick those around them. Under the influence of
their inspiration, they exhibited remarkable physical strength, and
five or six men could not hold them. Calling various people by name,
they expressed a hope that they would respect the gods, worship them,
and offer to them pongal (boiled rice) and animal sacrifices. The
women brought their babies to them to be named. In some places, the
naming of infants is performed at the Aiyanar temple by any one who
is under the influence of inspiration. Failing such a one, several
flowers, each with a name attached to it, are thrown in front of
the idol. A boy, or the pujari (priest) picks up one of the flowers,
and the infant receives the name which is connected with it.

The Valaiyans are devoted to devil worship, and, at Orattanadu in
the Tanjore district, every Valaiyan backyard is said to contain
an odiyan (Odina Wodier) tree, in which the devil is supposed to
live. [97] It is noted by Mr. W. Francis [98] that "certain of the
Valaiyans who live at Ammayanayakkanur are the hereditary pujaris to
the gods of the Sirumalai hills. Some of these deities are uncommon,
and one of them, Papparayan, is said to be the spirit of a Brahman
astrologer whose monsoon forecast was falsified by events, and who,
filled with a shame rare in unsuccessful weather prophets, threw
himself off a high point on the range."

According to Mr. Hemingway, the Valaiyans have a special caste god,
named Muttal Ravuttan, who is the spirit of a dead Muhammadan, about
whom nothing seems to be known.

The dead are as a rule buried with rites similar to those of the
Kallans and Agamudaiyans. The final death ceremonies (karmandhiram)
are performed on the sixteenth day. On the night of the previous day,
a vessel filled with water is placed on the spot where the deceased
breathed his last, and two cocoanuts, with the pores ('eyes') open,
are deposited near it. On the following morning, all proceed to
a grove or tank (pond). The eldest son, or other celebrant, after
shaving and bathing, marks out a square space on the ground, and,
placing a few dry twigs of Ficus religiosa and Ficus bengalensis
therein, sets fire to them. Presents of rice and other food-stuffs
are given to beggars and others. The ceremony closes with the son
and sapindas, who have to observe pollution, placing new cloths on
their heads. Mr. Francis records that, at the funeral ceremonies,
"the relations go three times round a basket of grain placed under
a pandal (booth), beating their breasts and singing:--


    For us the kanji (rice gruel): kailasam (the abode of Siva)
    for thee;
    Rice for us; for thee Svargalokam,


and then wind turbans round the head of the deceased's heir, in
recognition of his new position as chief of the family. When a
woman loses her husband, she goes three times round the village
mandai (common), with a pot of water on her shoulder. After each
of the first two journeys, the barber makes a hole in the pot, and
at the end of the third he hurls down the vessel, and cries out an
adjuration to the departed spirit to leave the widow and children in
peace." It is noted, in the Gazetteer of the Tanjore district, that
"one of the funeral ceremonies is peculiar, though it is paralleled
by practices among the Paraiyans and Karaiyans. When the heir departs
to the burning-ground on the second day, a mortar is placed near the
outer door of his house, and a lamp is lit inside. On his return,
he has to upset the mortar, and worship the light."

Valan.--For the following note on the Valan and Katal Arayan fishing
castes of the Cochin State, I am indebted to Mr. L. K. Anantha
Krishna Aiyar.

The name Valan is derived from vala, meaning fish in a tank. Some
consider the word to be another form of Valayan, which signifies
a person who throws a net for fishing. According to the tradition
and current belief of these people, they were brought to Kerala by
Parasurama for plying boats and conveying passengers across the rivers
and backwaters on the west coast. Another tradition is that the Valans
were Arayans, and they became a separate caste only after one of the
Perumals had selected some of their families for boat service, and
conferred on them special privileges. They even now pride themselves
that their caste is one of remote antiquity, and that Vedavyasa,
the author of the Puranas, and Guha, who rendered the boat service
to the divine Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana, across the Ganges in the
course of their exile to the forest, were among the caste-men.

There are no sub-divisions in the caste, but the members thereof are
said to belong to four exogamous illams (houses of Nambutiris), namely,
Alayakad, Ennalu, Vaisyagiriam, and Vazhapally, which correspond to
the gotras of the Brahmans, or to four clans, the members of each
of which are perhaps descended from a common ancestor. According
to a tradition current among them, they were once attached to the
four Nambutiri illams above mentioned for service of some kind,
and were even the descendants of the members of the illams, but
were doomed to the present state of degradation on account of some
misconduct. Evidently, the story is looked up to to elevate themselves
in social status. I am inclined to believe that they must have been
the Atiyars (slaves) of the four aforesaid Brahman families, owing
a kind of allegiance (nambikooru) like the Kanakkans to the Chittur
Manakkal Nambutripad in Perumanam of the Trichur taluk. Even now,
these Brahman families are held in great respect by the Valans, who,
when afflicted with family calamities, visit the respective illams
with presents of a few packets of betel leaves and a few annas, to
receive the blessings of their Brahman masters, which, according to
their belief, may tend to avert them.

The low sandy tract of land on each side of the backwater is the
abode of these fishermen. In some places, more especially south of
Cranganore, their houses are dotted along the banks of the backwater,
often nearly hidden by cocoanut trees, while at intervals the white
picturesque fronts of numerous Roman Catholic and Romo-Syrian churches
are perceived. These houses are in fact mere flimsy huts, a few of
which, occupied by the members of several families, may be seen huddled
together in the same compound abounding in a growth of cocoanut trees,
with hardly enough space to dry their fish and nets. In the majority
of cases, the compounds belong to jenmis (landlords), who lease them
out either rent-free or on nominal rent, and who often are so kind
as to allow them some cocoanuts for their consumption, and leaves
sufficient to thatch their houses. About ten per cent. of their houses
are built of wood and stones, while a large majority of them are made
of mud or bamboo framework, and hardly spacious enough to accommodate
the members of the family during the summer months. Cooking is done
outside the house, and very few take rest inside after hard work, for
their compounds are shady and breezy, and they may be seen basking in
the sun after midnight toil, or drying the nets or fish. Their utensils
are few, consisting of earthen vessels and enamel dishes, and their
furniture of a few wooden planks and coarse mats to serve as beds.

The girls of the Valans are married both before and after puberty, but
the tali-kettu kalyanam (tali-tying marriage) is indispensable before
they come of age, as otherwise they and their parents are put out of
caste. Both for the tali-tying ceremony and for the real marriage, the
bride and bridegroom must be of different illams or gotras. In regard
to the former, as soon as an auspicious day is fixed, the girl's party
visit the Aravan with a present of six annas and eight pies, and a
few packets of betel leaves, when he gives his permission, and issues
an order to the Ponamban, his subordinate of the kadavu (village),
to see that the ceremony is properly conducted. The Ponamban,
the bridegroom and his party, go to the house of the bride. At the
appointed hour, the Ponambans and the castemen of the two kadavus
assemble after depositing six annas and eight pies in recognition of
the presence of the Aravan, and the tali is handed over by the priest
to the bridegroom, who ties it round the neck of the bride amidst the
joyous shouts of the multitude assembled. The ceremony always takes
place at night, and the festivities generally last for two days. It
must be understood that the tali tier is not necessarily the husband
of the girl, but is merely the pseudo-bridegroom or pseudo-husband,
who is sent away with two pieces of cloth and a few annas at the
termination of the ceremony. Should he, however, wish to have the girl
as his wife, he should, at his own expense, provide her with a tali,
a wedding dress, and a few rupees as the price of the bride. Generally
it is the maternal uncle of the girl who provides her with the first
two at the time of the ceremony.

The actual marriage is more ceremonial in its nature. The maternal
uncle, or the father of a young Valan who wishes to marry, first visits
the girl, and, if he approves of the match for his nephew or son, the
astrologer is consulted so as to ensure that the horoscopes agree. If
astrology does not stand in the way, they forthwith proceed to the
girl's house, where they are well entertained. The bride's parents
and relatives return the visit at the bridegroom's house, where they
are likewise treated to a feast. The two parties then decide on a
day for the formal declaration of the proposed union. On that day,
a Valan from the bridegroom's village, seven to nine elders, and the
Ponamban under whom the bride is, meet, and, in the presence of those
assembled, a Valan from each party deposits on a plank four annas and a
few betel leaves in token of enangu mattam or exchange of co-castemen
from each party for the due fulfilment of the contract thus publicly
entered into. Then they fix the date of the marriage, and retire from
the bride's house. On the appointed day, the bridegroom's party proceed
to the bride's house with two pieces of cloth, a rupee or a rupee and a
half, rice, packets of betel leaves, etc. The bride is already dressed
and adorned in her best, and one piece of cloth, rice and money, are
paid to her mother as the price of the bride. After a feast, the bridal
party go to the bridegroom's house, which is entered at an auspicious
hour. They are received at the gate with a lamp and a vessel of water,
a small quantity of which is sprinkled on the married couple. They
are welcomed by the seniors of the house and seated together, when
sweets are given, and the bride is formally declared to be a member
of the bridegroom's family. The ceremony closes with a feast, the
expenses in connection with which are the same on both sides.

A man may marry more than one wife, but no woman may enter into
conjugal relations with more than one man. A widow may, with the
consent of her parents, enter into wedlock with any member of her caste
except her brothers-in-law, in which case her children by her first
husband will be looked after by the members of his family. Divorce
is effected by either party making an application to the Aravan,
who has to be presented with from twelve annas to six rupees and a
half according to the means of the applicant. The Aravan, in token of
dissolution, issues a letter to the members of the particular village
to which the applicant belongs, and, on the declaration of the same,
he or she has to pay to his or her village castemen four annas.

When a Valan girl comes of age, she is lodged in a room of the house,
and is under pollution for four days. She is bathed on the fourth day,
and the castemen and women of the neighbourhood, with the relatives
and friends, are treated to a sumptuous dinner. There is a curious
custom called theralikka, i.e., causing the girl to attain maturity,
which consists in placing her in seclusion in a separate room, and
proclaiming that she has come of age. Under such circumstances, the
caste-women of the neighbourhood, with the washerwoman, assemble at the
house of the girl, when the latter pours a small quantity of gingelly
(Sesamum) oil on her head, and rubs her body with turmeric powder,
after which she is proclaimed as having attained puberty. She is
bathed, and lodged in a separate room as before, and the four days'
pollution is observed. This custom, which exists also among other
castes, is now being abandoned by a large majority of the community.

In respect of inheritance, the Valans follow a system, which partakes
of the character of succession from father to son, and from maternal
uncle to nephew. The self-acquired property is generally divided
equally between brothers and sons, while the ancestral property,
if any, goes to the brothers. The great majority of the Valans are
mere day-labourers, and the property usually consists of a few tools,
implements, or other equipments of their calling.

The Valans, like other castes, have their tribal organisation, and
their headman (Aravan or Aravar) is appointed by thitturam or writ
issued by His Highness the Raja. The Aravan appoints other social
heads, called Ponamban, one, two, or three of whom are stationed
at each desam (village) or kadavu. Before the development of
the Government authority and the establishment of administrative
departments, the Aravans wielded great influence and authority,
as they still do to a limited extent, not only in matters social,
but also in civil and criminal disputes between members of the
community. For all social functions, matrimonial, funeral, etc.,
their permission has to be obtained and paid for. The members of the
community have to visit their headman, with presents of betel leaves,
money, and sometimes rice and paddy (unhusked rice). The headman
generally directs the proper conduct of all ceremonies by writs issued
to the Ponambans under him. The Ponambans also are entitled to small
perquisites on ceremonial occasions. The appointment of Aravan, though
not virtually hereditary, passes at his death to the next qualified
senior member of his family, who may be his brother, son, or nephew,
but this rule has been violated by the appointment of a person from
a different family. The Aravan has the honour of receiving from His
Highness the Raja a present of two cloths at the Onam festival, six
annas and eight pies on the Athachamayam day, and a similar sum for
the Vishu. At his death, the ruler of the State sends a piece of silk
cloth, a piece of sandal-wood, and about ten rupees, for defraying
the expenses of the funeral ceremonies.

The Valans profess Hinduism, and Siva, Vishnu, and the heroes of the
Hindu Puranas are all worshipped. Like other castes, they entertain
special reverence for Bhagavathi, who is propitiated with offerings
of rice-flour, toddy, green cocoanuts, plantain fruits, and fowls,
on Tuesdays and Fridays. A grand festival, called Kumbhom Bharani
(cock festival), is held in the middle of March, when Nayars and
low caste men offer up cocks to Bhagavathi, beseeching immunity from
diseases during the ensuing year. In fact, people from all parts of
Malabar, Cochin, and Travancore, attend the festival, and the whole
country near the line of march rings with shouts of "Nada, nada"
(walk or march) of the pilgrims to Cranganore, the holy residence of
the goddess. In their passage up to the shrine, the cry of "Nada,
nada" is varied by unmeasured abuse of the goddess. The abusive
language, it is believed, is acceptable to her, and, on arrival at
the shrine, they desecrate it in every conceivable manner, in the
belief that this too is acceptable. They throw stones and filth,
howling volleys of abuse at the shrine. The chief of the Arayan caste,
Koolimuttah Arayan, has the privilege of being the first to be present
on the occasion. The image in the temple is said to have been recently
introduced. There is a door in the temple which is apparently of stone,
fixed in a half-opened position. A tradition, believed by Hindus and
Christians, is attached to this, which asserts that St. Thomas and
Bhagavathi held a discussion at Palliport about the respective merits
of the Christian and Hindu religions. The argument became heated,
and Bhagavathi, considering it best to cease further discussion,
decamped, and, jumping across the Cranganore river, made straight for
the temple. St. Thomas, not to be outdone, rapidly gave chase, and,
just as the deity got inside the door, the saint reached its outside,
and, setting his foot between it and the door-post, prevented its
closure. There they both stood until the door turned to stone, one
not allowing its being opened, and the other its being shut.

Another important festival, which is held at Cranganore, is the Makara
Vilakku, which falls on the first of Makaram (about the 15th January),
during the night of which there is a good deal of illumination both
in and round the temple. A procession of ten or twelve elephants,
all fully decorated, goes round it several times, accompanied by
drums and instrumental music.

Chourimala Iyappan or Sastha, a sylvan deity, whose abode is Chourimala
in Travancore, is a favourite deity of the Valans. In addition, they
worship the demi-gods or demons Kallachan Muri and Kochu Mallan, who
are ever disposed to do them harm, and who are therefore propitiated
with offerings of fowls. They have a patron, who is also worshipped
at Cranganore. The spirits of their ancestors are also held in great
veneration by these people, and are propitiated with offerings on
the new moon and Sankranthi days of Karkadakam, Thulam, and Makaram.

The most important festivals observed by the Valans in common with
other castes are Mandalam Vilakku, Sivarathri, Vishu, Onam, and Desara.

Mandalam Vilakku takes place during the last seven days of Mandalam
(November to December). During this festival the Valans enjoy
themselves with music and drum-beating during the day. At night,
some of them, developing hysterical fits, profess to be oracles,
with demons such as Gandharva, Yakshi, or Bhagavathi, dwelling in
their bodies in their incorporeal forms. Consultations are held as
to future events, and their advice is thankfully received and acted
upon. Sacrifices of sheep, fowls, green cocoanuts, and plantain fruits
are offered to the demons believed to be residing within, and are
afterwards liberally distributed among the castemen and others present.

The Sivarathri festival comes on the last day of Magha. The whole day
and night are devoted to the worship of Siva, and the Valans, like
other castes, go to Alvai, bathe in the river, and keep awake during
the night, reading the Siva Purana and reciting his names. Early on
the following morning, they bathe, and make offerings of rice balls
to the spirits of the ancestors before returning home.

The Valans have no temples of their own, but, on all important
occasions, worship the deities of the temples of the higher castes,
standing at a long distance from the outer walls of the sacred
edifice. On important religious occasions, Embrans are invited to
perform the Kalasam ceremony, for which they are liberally rewarded. A
kalasam is a pot, which is filled with water. Mango leaves and dharba
grass are placed in it. Vedic hymns are repeated, with one end of the
grass in the water, and the other in the hand. Water thus sanctified
is used for bathing the image. From a comparison of the religion of the
Valans with that of allied castes, it may be safely said that they were
animists, but have rapidly imbibed the higher forms of worship. They
are becoming more and more literate, and this helps the study of the
religious works. There are some among them, who compose Vanchipattu
(songs sung while rowing) with plots from their Puranic studies.

The Valans either burn or bury their dead. The chief mourner is
either the son or nephew of the dead person, and he performs the death
ceremonies as directed by the priest (Chithayan), who attends wearing
a new cloth, turban, and the sacred thread. The ceremonies commence
on the second, fifth, or seventh day, when the chief mourner, bathing
early in the morning, offers pinda bali (offerings of rice balls)
to the spirit of the deceased. This is continued till the thirteenth
day, when the nearest relatives get shaved. On the fifteenth day,
the castemen of the locality, the friends and relatives, are treated
to a grand dinner, and, on the sixteenth day, another offering (mana
pindam) is made to the spirit of the departed, and thrown into the
backwater close by. Every day during the ceremonies, a vessel full
of rice is given to the priest, who also receives ten rupees for his
services. If the death ceremonies are not properly performed, the
ghost of the deceased is believed to haunt the house. An astrologer
is then consulted, and his advice is invariably followed. What is
called Samhara Homam (sacred fire) is kept up, and an image of the
dead man in silver or gold is purified by the recitation of holy
mantrams. Another purificatory ceremony is performed, after which
the image is handed over to a priest at the temple, with a rupee or
two. This done, the death ceremonies are performed.

The ears of Valan girls are, as among some other castes, pierced
when they are a year old, or even less, and a small quill, a piece
of cotton thread, or a bit of wood, is inserted into the hole. The
wound is gradually healed by the application of cocoanut oil. A piece
of lead is then inserted in the hole, which is gradually enlarged by
means of a piece of plantain, cocoanut, or palmyra leaf rolled up.

The Valans are expert rowers, and possess the special privilege of
rowing from Thripunathura the boat of His Highness the Raja for his
installation at the Cochin palace, when the Aravan, with sword in hand,
has to stand in front of him in the boat. Further, on the occasion
of any journey of the Raja along the backwaters on occasions of
State functions, such as a visit of the Governor of Madras, or other
dignitary, the headman leads the way as an escort in a snake-boat
rowed with paddles, and has to supply the requisite number of men
for rowing the boats of the high official and his retinue.

The Katal Arayans, or sea Arayans, who are also called Katakkoti,
are lower in status than the Valans, and, like them, live along the
coast. They were of great service to the Portuguese and the Dutch in
their palmy days, acting as boatmen in transhipping their commodities
and supplying them with fish. The Katal Arayans were, in former times,
owing to their social degradation, precluded from travelling along the
public roads. This disability was, during the days of the Portuguese
supremacy, taken advantage of by the Roman Catholic missionaries,
who turned their attention to the conversion of these poor fishermen,
a large number of whom were thus elevated in the social scale. The
Katal Arayans are sea fishermen. On the death of a prince of Malabar,
all fishing is temporarily prohibited, and only renewed after three
days, when the spirit of the departed is supposed to have had time
enough to choose its abode without molestation.

Among their own community, the Katal Arayans distinguish themselves by
four distinct appellations, viz., Sankhan, Bharatan, Amukkuvan, and
Mukkuvan. Of these, Amukkuvans do priestly functions. The castemen
belong to four septs or illams, namely, Kattotillam, Karotillam,
Chempotillam, and Ponnotillam.

Katal Arayan girls are married both before and after puberty. The
tali-tying ceremony, which is compulsory in the case of Valan girls
before they come of age, is put off, and takes place along with the
real marriage. The preliminary negotiations and settlements thereof
are substantially the same as those prevailing among the Valans. The
auspicious hour for marriage is between three and eight in the morning,
and, on the previous evening, the bridegroom and his party arrive at
the house of the bride, where they are welcomed and treated to a grand
feast, after which the guests, along with the bride and bridegroom
seated somewhat apart, in a pandal tastefully decorated and brightly
illuminated, are entertained with songs of the Velan (washerman)
and his wife alluding to the marriage of Sita or Parvathi, in the
belief that they will bring about a happy conjugal union. These are
continued till sunrise, when the priest hands over the marriage badge
to the bridegroom, who ties it round the neck of the bride. The songs
are again continued for an hour or two, after which poli begins. The
guests who have assembled contribute a rupee, eight annas, or four
annas, according to their means, which go towards the remuneration of
the priest, songsters, and drummers. The guests are again sumptuously
entertained at twelve o'clock, after which the bridegroom and his
party return with the bride to his house. At the time of departure,
or nearly an hour before it, the bridegroom ties a few rupees or a
sovereign to a corner of the bride's body-cloth, probably to induce
her to accompany him. Just then, the bride-price, which is 101 puthans,
or Rs. 5-12-4, is paid to her parents. The bridal party is entertained
at the bridegroom's house, where, at an auspicious hour, the newly
married couple are seated together, and served with a few pieces of
plantain fruits and some milk, when the bride is formally declared to
be a member of her husband's family. If a girl attains maturity after
her marriage, she is secluded for a period of eleven days. She bathes
on the first, fourth, seventh, and eleventh days, and, on the last
day the caste people are entertained with a grand feast, the expenses
connected with which are met by the husband. The Katal Arayans rarely
have more than one wife. A widow may, a year after the death of her
husband, enter into conjugal relations with any member of the caste,
except her brother-in-law. Succession is in the male line.

The Katal Arayans have headmen (Aravans), whose duties are the
same as those of the headmen of the Valans. When the senior male or
female member of the ruling family dies, the Aravan has the special
privilege of being the first successor to the masnad with his tirumul
kazcha (nuzzer), which consists of a small quantity of salt packed
in a plantain leaf with rope and a Venetian ducat or other gold
coin. During the period of mourning, visits of condolence from durbar
officials and sthanis or noblemen are received only after the Aravan's
visit. When the Bhagavathi temple of Cranganore is defiled during
the cock festival, Koolimutteth Aravan has the special privilege of
entering the temple in preference to other castemen.

The Katal Arayans profess Hinduism, and their modes of worship,
and other religious observances, are the same as those of the
Velans. The dead are either burnt or buried. The period of death
pollution is eleven days, and the agnates are freed from it by a bath
on the eleventh day. On the twelfth day, the castemen of the village,
including the relatives and friends, are treated to a grand feast. The
son, who is the chief mourner, observes the diksha, or vow by which he
does not shave, for a year. He performs the sradha (memorial service)
every year in honour of the dead.

Some of the methods of catching fish at Cochin are thus described by
Dr. Francis Day. [99] "Cast nets are employed from the shore, by a
number of fishermen, who station themselves either in the early morning
or in the afternoon, along the coast from 50 to 100 yards apart. They
keep a careful watch on the water, and, on perceiving a fish rise
sufficiently near the land, rush down and attempt to throw their nets
over it. This is not done as in Europe by twisting the net round and
round the head until it has acquired the necessary impetus, and then
throwing it; but by the person twirling himself and the net round and
round at the same time, and then casting it. He not infrequently gets
knocked over by a wave. When fish are caught, they are buried in the
sand, to prevent their tainting. In the wide inland rivers, fishermen
employ cast nets in the following manner. Each man is in a boat, which
is propelled by a boy with a bamboo. The fisherman has a cast net,
and a small empty cocoanut shell. This last he throws into the river,
about twenty yards before the boat, and it comes down with a splash,
said to be done to scare away the crocodiles. As the boat approaches
the place where the cocoanut shell was thrown, the man casts his net
around the spot. This method is only for obtaining small fish, and
as many as fifteen boats at a time are to be seen thus employed in
one place, one following the other in rapid succession, some trying
the centre, others the sides of the river.

"Double rows of long bamboos, firmly fixed in the mud, are placed
at intervals across the backwater, and on these nets are fixed at
the flood tide, so that fish which have entered are unable to return
to the sea. Numbers of very large ones are occasionally captured in
this way. A species of Chinese nets is also used along the river's
banks. They are about 16 feet square, suspended by bamboos from each
corner, and let down like buckets into the water, and then after a
few minutes drawn up again. A piece of string, to which are attached
portions of the white leaves of the cocoanut tree, is tied at short
intervals along the ebb side of the net, which effectually prevents
fish from going that way. A plan somewhat analogous is employed on a
small scale for catching crabs. A net three feet square is supported
at the four corners by two pieces of stick fastened crosswise. From
the centre of these sticks where they cross is a string to pull it
up by or let it down, and a piece of meat is tied to the middle of
the net inside. This is let down from a wharf, left under water for a
few minutes, and then pulled up. Crabs coming to feed are thus caught.

"Fishing with a line is seldom attempted in the deep sea, excepting
for sharks, rays, and other large fish. The hooks employed are of two
descriptions, the roughest, although perhaps the strongest, being of
native manufacture; the others are of English make, denominated China
hooks. The hook is fastened to a species of fibre called thumboo,
said to be derived from a seaweed, but more probably from one of the
species of palms. The lines are either hemp, cotton, or the fibre of
the talipot palm (Caryota urens), which is obtained by maceration. In
Europe they are called Indian gut.

"Trolling from the shore at the river's mouth is only carried on
of a morning or evening, during the winter months of the year, when
the sea is smooth. The line is from 80 to 100 yards in length, and
held wound round the left hand; the hook is fastened to the line by a
brass wire, and the bait is a live fish. The fisherman, after giving
the line an impetus by twirling it round and round his head, throws
it with great precision from 50 to 60 yards. A man is always close by
with a cast net, catching baits, which he sells for one quarter of an
anna each. This mode of fishing is very exciting sport, but is very
uncertain in its results, and therefore usually carried on by coolies
either before their day's work has commenced, or after its termination.

"Fishing with a bait continues all day long in Cochin during the
monsoon months, when work is almost at a standstill, and five or
six persons may be perceived at each jetty, busily engaged in this
occupation. The Bagrus tribe is then plentiful, and, as it bites
readily, large numbers are captured.

"Fishing in small boats appears at times to be a dangerous occupation;
the small canoe only steadied by the paddle of one man seated in
it looks as if it must every minute be swamped. Very large fish are
sometimes caught in this way. Should one be hooked too large for the
fisherman to manage, the man in the next boat comes to his assistance,
and receives a quarter of the fish for his trouble. This is carried
on all through the year, and the size of some of the Bagri is enormous.

"Fish are shot in various ways, by a Chittagong bamboo, which is a
hollow tube, down which the arrow is propelled by the marksman's
mouth. This mode is sometimes very remunerative, and is followed
by persons who quietly sneak along the shores, either of sluggish
streams or of the backwater. Sometimes they climb up into trees,
and there await a good shot. Or, during the monsoon, the sportsman
quietly seats himself near some narrow channel that passes from one
wide piece of water into another, and watches for his prey. Other
fishermen shoot with bows and arrows, and again others with cross-bows,
the iron arrow or bolt of which is attached by a line to the bow, to
prevent its being lost. But netting fish, catching them with hooks,
or shooting them with arrows, are not the only means employed for
their capture. Bamboo labyrinths, bamboo baskets, and even men's
hands alone, are called into use.

"Persons fish for crabs in shallow brackish water, provided with
baskets like those employed in Europe for catching eels, but open at
both ends. The fishermen walk about in the mud, and, when they feel a
fish move, endeavour to cover it with the larger end of the basket,
which is forced down some distance into the mud, and the hand is
then passed downward through the upper extremity, and the fish taken
out. Another plan of catching them by the hand is by having two lines
to which white cocoanut leaves are attached tied to the fisherman's
two great toes, from which they diverge; the other end of each being
held by another man a good way off, and some distance apart. On these
lines being shaken, the fish become frightened, and, strange as it may
appear, cluster for protection around the man's feet, who is able to
stoop down, and catch them with his hands, by watching his opportunity.

"Bamboo labyrinths are common all along the backwater, in which a good
many fish, especially eels and crabs, are captured. These labyrinths
are formed of a screen of split bamboos, passing perpendicularly out
of the water, and leading into a larger baited chamber. A dead cat is
often employed as a bait for crabs. A string is attached to its body,
and, after it has been in the water some days, it is pulled up with
these crustacea adherent to it. Persons are often surprised at crabs
being considered unwholesome, but their astonishment would cease,
if they were aware what extremely unclean feeders they are.

"Fish are obtained from the inland rivers by poisoning them, but
this can only be done when the water is low. A dam is thrown across
a certain portion, and the poison placed within it. It generally
consists of Cocculus indicus (berries) pounded with rice; croton oil
seeds, etc."

Valangai.--Valangai, Valangan, Valangamattan, or Balagai, meaning those
who belong to the right-hand faction, has, at times of census, been
returned as a sub-division, synonym or title of Deva-dasis, Holeyas,
Nokkans, Panisavans, Paraiyans, and Saliyans. Some Deva-dasis have
returned themselves as belonging to the left-hand (idangai) faction.

Valayakara Chetti.--A Tamil synonym of Gazula Balijas who sell glass
bangles. The equivalent Vala Chetti is also recorded.

Valekara.--A Badaga form of Billekara or belted peon. The word
frequently occurs in Badaga ballads. Taluk peons on the Nilgiris are
called Valekaras.

Vali Sugriva.--A synonym of the Lambadis, who claim descent from Vali
and Sugriva, the two monkey chiefs of the Ramayana.

Valinchiyan.--See Velakkattalavan.

Valiyatan (valiya, great, tan, a title of dignity).--Recorded, in
the Travancore Census Report, 1901, as a title of Nayar.

Vallabarayan.--A title of Occhan.

Vallamban.--The Vallambans are a small Tamil cultivating class
living in the Tanjore, Trichinopoly, and Madura districts. They are
said [100] to be "the offspring of a Vellalan and a Valaiya woman,
now a small and insignificant caste of cultivators. Some of them
assert that their ancestors were the lords of the soil, for whose
sole benefit the Vellalans used to carry on cultivation. Tradition
makes the Vellambans to have joined the Kallans in attacking and
driving away the Vellalans. It is customary among the Vallambans, when
demising land, to refer to the fact of their being descendants of the
Vallambans who lost Vallam, i.e., the Vallama nadu in Tanjore, their
proper country." Some Vallambans claim to be flesh-eating Vellalas,
or to be superior to Kallans and Maravans by reason of their Vellala
ancestry. They call themselves Vallamtotta Vellalas, or the Vellalas
who lost Vallam, and say that they were Vellalas of Vallam in the
Tanjore district, who left their native place in a time of famine.

Portions of the Madura and Tanjore districts are divided into areas
known as nadus, in each of which a certain caste, called the Nattar,
is the predominant factor. For example, the Vallambans and Kallans
are called the Nattars of the Palaya nadu in the Sivaganga zemindari
of the Madura district. In dealing with the tribal affairs of the
various castes inhabiting a particular nadu, the lead is taken by the
Nattars, by whom certain privileges are enjoyed, as for example in the
distribution to them, after the Brahman and zamindar, of the flowers
and sacred ashes used in temple worship. For the purposes of caste
council meetings the Vallambans collect together representatives from
fourteen nadus, as they consider that the council should be composed
of delegates from a head village and its branches, generally thirteen
in number.

It is noted by Mr. F. R. Hemingway that the Vallambans "speak of
five sub-divisions, namely, Chenjinadu, Amaravatinadu, Palayanadu,
Melnadu, and Kilnadu. The Mel and Kilnadu people intermarry, but
are distinguishable by the fact that the former have moustaches,
and the latter have not. The women dress like the Nattukottai
Chettis. Tattooing is not allowed, and those who practice it are
expelled from the caste. The men generally have no title, but some who
enjoy State service inams call themselves Ambalakaran. The Melnadu
people have no exogamous divisions, though they observe the rule
about Kovil Pangolis. The Kilnadus have exogamous kilais, karais,
and pattams." As examples of exogamous septs, the following may be
cited:--Solangal (Chola), Pandiangal (Pandyan), Nariangal (jackal),
and Piliyangal (tiger).

The headman of the Vallambans is referred to generally as the
Servaikaran. The headman of a group of nadus is entitled Nattuservai,
while the headman of a village is known as Ur Servai, or simply Servai.

Marriage is celebrated between adults, and the remarriage of widows
is not objected to. It is stated [101] that "the maternal uncle's
or paternal aunt's daughter is claimed as a matter of right by a
boy, so that a boy of ten may be wedded to a mature woman of twenty
or twenty-five years, if she happens to be unmarried and without
issue. Any elderly male member of the boy's family--his elder
brother, uncle, or even his father--will have intercourse with her,
and beget children, which the boy, when he comes of age, will accept
as his own, and legitimatise." This system of marriage, in which
there is a marked disparity in the ages of the contracting couple,
is referred to in the proverb: "The tali should be tied at least by
a log of wood." The marriage rites are as a rule non-Brahmanical,
but in some well-to-do families the services of a Brahman purohit
are enlisted. The presence of the Umbalakaran or caste headman at a
marriage is essential. On the wedding day the contracting couple offer,
at their homes, manaipongal (boiled rice), and the alangu ceremony is
performed by waving coloured rice round them, or touching the knees,
shoulders, and head with cakes, and throwing them over the head. The
wrist-threads, consisting of a piece of old cloth dyed with turmeric,
are tied on by the maternal uncle. Cooked rice and vegetables are
placed in front of the marriage dais, and offered to the gods. Four
betel leaves are given to the bridegroom, who goes round the dais,
and salutes the four cardinal points of the compass by pouring water
from a leaf. He then sits down on a plank on the dais, and hands the
tali (marriage badge) to his sister. Taking the tali, she proceeds
to the bride's house, where the bride, after performing the alangu
ceremony, is awaiting her arrival. On reaching the house, she asks
for the bride's presents, and one of her brothers replies that such
a piece of land, naming one, is given as a dowry. The bridegroom's
sister then removes the string of black and gold beads, such as is
worn before marriage, from the bride's neck, and replaces it by the
tali. The conch shell should be blown by women or children during
the performance of manaipongal, and when the tali is tied. The bride
is conveyed to the house of the bridegroom, and sits with him on the
dais while the relations make presents to them.

The messenger who conveys the news of a death in the community is
a Paraiyan. The corpse is placed within a pandal (booth) supported
on four posts, which is erected in front of the house. Some paddy
(unhusked rice) is poured from a winnow on to the ground, and rice
is thrown over the face of the corpse. On the second day rice,
and other articles of food, are carried by a barber to the spot
where the corpse has been buried or burnt. If the latter course
has been adopted, the barber picks out some of the remains of the
bones, and hands them to the son of the deceased. On the third day,
the widow goes round the pandal three times, and, entering within
it, removes her tali string, and new clothes are thrown over her
neck. On the sixteenth day the final death ceremonies (karmandhiram)
are performed. A feast is given, and new cloths are tied on the heads
of those under pollution. Pollution lasts for thirty days.

The Vallambans profess to be Saivaites, but they consider Periya
Nayaki of Velangkudi as their tribal goddess, and each nadu has its own
special deity, such as Vembu Aiyanar, Nelliyandi Aiyanar, etc. In some
places the tribal deity is worshipped on a Tuesday at a festival called
Sevvai (Tuesday). On this day pots containing fermented rice liquor,
which must have been made by the caste people and not purchased,
are taken to the place of worship. On a Friday, those families which
are to take part in the festival allow a quantity of paddy (rice) to
germinate by soaking it in water, and on the following Tuesday flower
spikes of the palmyra palm are added to the malted rice liquor in the
pots. The pots of ordinary families may be placed in their houses,
but those of the Umbalakarans and Servaikarans must be taken to the
temple as representing the deity. Into these pots the flower spikes
should be placed by some respected elder of the community. A week
later, a small quantity of rice liquor is poured into other pots,
which are carried by women to the temple car, round which they go
three times. They then throw the liquor into a tank or pond. The pots
of the Umbalakaran and Servaikaran must be carried by young virgins,
or grown-up women who are not under menstrual pollution. One of the
women who carries these pots usually becomes possessed by the village
deity. At the time of the festival, cradles, horses, human figures,
elephants, etc., made by the potter, are brought to the temple as
votive offerings to the god.

Valli Ammai Kuttam.--A synonym of the Koravas, meaning followers of
Valli Ammai, the wife of the God Subrahmanya, whom they claim to have
been a Korava woman.

Vallodi.--The name denotes a settlement in the Valluvanad taluk of
Malabar, and has been returned as a sub-division of Nayar and Samantan,
to which the Raja of Valluvanad belongs.

Valluvan.--The Valluvans are summed up by Mr. H. A. Stuart [102]
as being "the priests of the Paraiyans and Pallans. Tiruvalluvar,
the famous Tamil poet, author of the Kural, belonged to this caste,
which is usually regarded as a sub-division of Paraiyans. It appears
that the Valluvans were priests to the Pallava kings before the
introduction of the Brahmans, and even for some time after it. [103]
In an unpublished Vatteluttu inscription, believed to be of the ninth
century, the following sentence occurs 'Sri Velluvam Puvanavan, the
Uvac'chan (Oc'chan) of this temple, will employ daily six men for
doing the temple service.' Again, the Valluvans must have formerly
held a position at least equal to that of the Vellalas, if the story
that Tiruvalluva Nayanar married a Vellala girl is true. [104] He
is said to have "refused to acknowledge the distinctions of caste,
and succeeded in obtaining a Vellala woman as his wife, from whom a
section of the Valluvans say it has its descent. As their ancestor
amused himself in the intervals between his studies by weaving,
they employ themselves in mending torn linen, but chiefly live by
astrology, and by acting as priests of Paraiyans, and officiating at
their funerals and marriages, though some refuse to take part in the
former inauspicious ceremony, and leave the duty to those whom they
consider impure Valluvans called Paraiya Tadas. Another section of the
Valluvans is called Alvar Dasari or Tavadadhari (those who wear the
necklace of tulsi beads). Both Saivites and Vaishnavites eat together,
but do not intermarry. Unlike Paraiyans, they forbid remarriage of
widows and even polygamy, and all males above twelve wear the sacred
thread." According to one account, the Valluvans are the descendants of
an alliance between a Brahman sage and a Paraiyan woman, whose children
complained to their father of their lowly position. He blessed them,
and told them that they would become very clever astrologers, and,
in consequence, much respected. At the Travancore census, 1901, the
Valluvans were defined as a sub-division of the Pulayas, for whom
they perform priestly functions.

"Both men and women are employed as astrologers and doctors, and are
often consulted by all classes of people. In many villages they have
the privilege of receiving from each ryot a handful of grain during
the harvest time." [105] Of three Valluvans, whom I interviewed at
Coimbatore, one, with a flowing white beard, had a lingam wrapped up
in a pink cloth round the neck, and a charm tied in a pink cloth round
the right upper arm. Another, with a black beard, had a salmon-coloured
turban. The third was wearing a discarded British soldier's tunic. All
wore necklaces of rudraksha (Elæocarpus Ganitrus) beads, and their
foreheads were smeared with oblong patches of sandal paste. Each of
them had a collection of panchangams, or calendars for determining
auspicious dates, and a bundle of palm leaf strips (ulla mudyan)
inscribed with slokas for astrological purposes. Their professional
duties included writing charms for sick people, preparing horoscopes,
and making forecasts of good or evil by means of cabalistic squares
marked on the ground. Some Valluvans would have us believe that
those who officiate as priests are not true Valluvans, and that the
true Valluvan, who carries out the duties of an astrologer, will not
perform priestly functions for the Paraiyans.

The most important sub-divisions of the Valluvans, returned at times of
census, are Paraiyan, Tavidadari, and Tiruvalluvan. From information
supplied to me, I gather that there are two main divisions, called
Arupathu Katchi (sixty house section) and Narpathu Katchi (forty house
section). The former are supposed to be descendants of Nandi Gurukkal,
and take his name as their gotra. The gotra of the latter is Sidambara
Sayichya Ayyamgar. Sidambara, or Chidambaram, is the site of one of
the most sacred Siva temples. The sub-division Alvar claims descent
from Tiruppan Alvar, one of the twelve Vaishnava saints. In the
Tanjore district, the Valluvans have exogamous septs or pattaperu,
named after persons, e.g., Marulipichan, Govindazhvan, etc.

The Valluvans include in their ranks both Vaishnavites and
Saivites. The majority of the latter, both males and females, wear the
lingam. The affairs of the community are adjusted by a caste council
and there are, in most places, two hereditary officers called Kolkaran
and Kanakkan.

At the betrothal ceremony the bride's money (pariyam), betel, jewels,
flowers, and fruit, are placed in the future bride's lap. The money
ranges from seven to ten rupees if the bridegroom's village is on the
same side of a river as the bride's, and from ten to twenty rupees if
it is on the other side. A small sum of money, called uramurai kattu
(money paid to relations) and panda varisai (money paid in the pandal),
is also paid by the bridegroom's party for a feast of toddy to the
relations. This is the proper time for settling caste disputes by the
village council. On the wedding day, the milk-post, consisting of a
green bamboo pole, is set up, and a number of pots, brought from the
potter's house, are placed near it. On the dais are set four lamps,
viz., an ordinary brass lamp, kudavilakku (pot light), alankara vilakku
(ornamental light), and paligai vilakku (seedling light). The bride and
bridegroom bring some sand, spread it on the floor near the dais, and
place seven leaves on it. Cotton threads, dyed with turmeric, are tied
to the pots and the milk-post. On the leaves are set cakes and rice,
and the contracting couple worship the pots and the family gods. The
Valluvan priest repeats a jumble of corrupt Sanskrit, and ties the
kankanams (threads) on their wrists. They are then led into the house,
and garlanded with jasmine or Nerium flowers. The pots are arranged on
the dais, and the sand is spread thereon close to the milk-post. Into
one of the pots the female relations put grain seedlings, and
four other pots are filled with water by the bridegroom's party. A
small quantity of the seedlings is usually wrapped up in a cloth,
and placed over the seedling pot. Next morning the bundle is untied,
and examined, to see if the seedlings are in good condition. If they
are so, the bride is considered a worthy one; if not, the bride is
either bad, or will die prematurely. The usual nalagu ceremony is next
performed, bride and bridegroom being anointed with oil, and smeared
with Phaseolus Mungo paste. This is followed by the offering of food
on eleven leaves to the ancestors and house gods. Towards evening, the
dais is got ready for its occupation by the bridal couple, two planks
being placed on it, and covered with cloths lent by a washerman. The
couple, sitting on the planks, exchange betel and paddy nine or twelve
times, and rice twenty-seven times. The priest kindles the sacred fire
(homam), and pours some ghi (clarified butter) into it from a mango
leaf. The bridegroom is asked whether he sees Arundati (the pole-star)
thrice, and replies in the affirmative. The tali is shown the sky,
smoked over burning camphor, and placed on a tray together with a
rupee. After being blessed by those present, it is tied round the
neck of the bride by the bridegroom, who has his right leg on her
lap. On the second day there is a procession through the village,
and, on the following day, the wrist-threads are removed.

In some places, the Valluvans, at their marriages, like the Pallis
and some other castes, use the pandamutti, or pile of pots reaching
to the top of the pandal.

The Saivite lingam wearers bury their dead in a sitting posture in
a niche excavated in the side of the grave. After death has set in,
a cocoanut is broken, and camphor burnt. The corpse is washed by
relations, who bring nine pots of water for the purpose. The lingam
is tied on to the head, and a cloth bundle, containing a rupee, seven
bilva (Ægle Marmelos) leaves, nine twigs of the tulsi (Ocimum sanctum),
and nine Leucas aspera flowers, to the right arm. The corpse is carried
to the grave on a car surmounted by five brass vessels. The grave is
purified by the sprinkling of cow's urine and cow-dung water before the
corpse is lowered into it. On the way to the burial-ground, the priest
keeps on chanting various songs, such as "This is Kailasa. This is
Kailasa thillai (Chidambaram). Our request is this. Nallia Mutthan
of the Nandidarma gotra died on Thursday in the month Thai in
the year Subakruthu. He must enter the fourth stage (sayichyam),
passing through Salokam, Samipa, and Sarupa. He crosses the rivers
of stones, of thorns, of fire, and of snakes, holding the tail of
the bull Nandi. To enable him to reach heaven safely, we pound rice,
and put lights of rice." The priest receives a fee for his services,
which he places before an image made on the grave after it has been
filled in. The money is usually spent in making a sacred bull, lingam,
or stone slab, to place on the grave. On the third day after death,
the female relatives of the deceased pour milk within the house into
a vessel, which is taken by the male relatives to the burial-ground,
and offered at the grave, which is cleaned. A small platform, made
of mud, and composed of several tiers, decreasing in size from below
upwards, is erected thereon, and surmounted by a lingam. At the north
and south corners of this platform, a bull and paradesi (mendicant)
made of mud are placed, and at each corner leaves are laid, on which
the offerings in the form of rice, fruits, vegetables, etc., are
laid. The final death ceremonies are celebrated on the seventeenth
day. A pandal (booth) is set up, and closed in with cloths. Within
it are placed a pot and five pestles and mortars, to which threads
are tied. Five married women, taking hold of the pestles, pound some
rice contained in the pot, and with the flour make a lamp, which is
placed on a tray. The eldest son of the deceased goes, with the lamp
on his head, to an enclosure having an entrance at the four cardinal
points. The enclosure is either a permanent one with mud walls, or
temporary one made out of mats. Within the enclosure, five pots are
set up in the centre, and four at each side. The pots are cleansed
by washing them with the urine of cows of five different colours,
red, white, black, grey, and spotted. Near the pots the articles
required for puja (worship) are placed, and the officiating priest
sits near them. The enclosure is supposed to represent heaven, and the
entrances are the gates leading thereto, before which food is placed on
leaves. The eldest son, with the lamp, stands at the eastern entrance,
while Siva is worshipped. The priest then repeats certain stanzas,
of which the following is the substance. "You who come like Siddars
(attendants in the abode of Siva) at midnight, muttering Siva's name,
why do you come near Sivapadam? I will pierce you with my trident. Get
away. Let these be taken to yamapuri, or hell." Then Siva and Parvati,
hearing the noise, ask "Oh! sons, who are you that keep on saying Hara,
Hara? Give out truly your names and nativity." To which the reply is
given "Oh! Lord, I am a devotee of that Being who graced Markandeya,
and am a Virasaiva by faith. I have come to enter heaven. We have
all led pure lives, and have performed acts of charity. So it is not
just that we should be prevented from entering. Men who ill-treat
their parents, or superiors, those addicted to all kinds of vice,
blasphemers, murderers, perverts from their own faith and priests,
and other such people, are driven to hell by the southern gate." At
this stage, a thread is passed round the enclosure. The son, still
bearing the lamp, goes from the eastern entrance past the south and
western entrances, and, breaking the thread, goes into the enclosure
through the northern entrance. The Nandikol (hereditary village
official) then ties a cloth first round the head of the eldest son,
and afterwards round the heads of the other sons and agnates.

The Valluvans abstain from eating beef. Though they mix freely with
the Paraiyans, they will not eat with them, and never live in the
Paraiyan quarter.

The Valluvans are sometimes called Pandaram or Valluva Pandaram. In
some places, the priests of the Valluvans are Vellala Pandarams.

Valluvan.--A small inferior caste of fishermen and boatmen in
Malabar. [106]

Valmika.--Valmika or Valmiki is a name assumed by the Boyas and Paidis,
who claim to be descended from Valmiki, the author of the Ramayana, who
did penance for so long in one spot that a white-ant hill (valmikam)
grew up round him. In a note before me, Valmiki is referred to as
the Spenser of India. In the North Arcot Manual, Valmikulu, as a
synonym of the Vedans, is made to mean those who live on the products
of ant-hills.

Val Nambi.--Recorded, in the Madras Census Report, 1901, as "a
synonym for Mussad. Nambi is a title of Brahmans, and val means a
sword. The tradition is that the name arose from the ancestors of
the caste having lost some of the privileges of the Vedic Brahmans
owing to their having served as soldiers when Malabar was ruled by
the Brahmans prior to the days of the Perumals."

Valuvadi.--The Valuvadis are returned, in the Madras Census Report,
1901, as cultivators in the Pudukottai State. I am informed that the
Valuvadis are a section of the Valaiyan caste, to which the Zamindar
of Nagaram belongs. The name Valuvadi was originally a title of
respect, appended to the name of the Nagaram Zamindars. The name
of the present Zamindar is Balasubramanya Valuvadiar. Thirty years
ago there is said to have been no Valuvadi caste. Some Valaiyans
in prosperous circumstances, and others who became relatives of the
Nagaram Zamindar by marriage, have changed their caste name, to show
that they are superior in social status to the rest of the community.

Vamme.--A gotra of Janappans, the members of which abstain from eating
the fish called bombadai, because, when some of their ancestors went
to fetch water in the marriage pot, they found a number of this fish
in the water contained in the pot.

Vana Palli.--A name, meaning forest Palli, assumed by some Irulas in
South Arcot.

Vandikkaran.--An occupational name for Nayars who work as cartmen
(vandi, cart) for carrying fuel.

Vandula or Vandi Raja.--A sub-division of Bhatrazu, named after one
Vandi, who is said to have been a herald at the marriage of Siva.

Vangu (cave).--A sub-division of Irula.

Vani.--"The Vanis or Bandekars," Mr. H. A. Stuart writes, [107] "have
been wrongly classified in the census returns (1891) as oil-pressers;
they are in reality traders. They are said to have come from Goa,
and they speak Konkani. Their spiritual guru is the head of the
Kumbakonam math." In the Census Report, 1901, it is noted that Vani,
meaning literally a trader, is a Konkani-speaking trading caste, of
which Bandekara is a synonym. "They ape the Brahmanical customs, and
call themselves by the curious hybrid name of Vaisya Brahmans." Hari
Chetti has been returned as a further synonym.

Vaniyan.--The Vaniyans are, Mr. Francis writes, [108] "oil-pressers
among the Tamils, corresponding to the Telugu Gandlas, Canarese
Ganigas, Malabar Chakkans, and Oriya Tellis. For some obscure reason,
Manu classed oil-pressing as a base occupation, and all followers
of the calling are held in small esteem, and, in Tinnevelly, they
are not allowed to enter the temples. In consequence, however, of
their services in lighting the temples (in token of which all of them,
except the Malabar Vaniyans and Chakkans, wear the sacred thread), they
are earning a high position, and some of them use the sonorous title
of Joti Nagarattar (dwellers in the city of light) and Tiru-vilakku
Nagarattar (dwellers in the city of holy lamps). They employ Brahmans
as priests, practice infant marriage, and prohibit widow marriage,
usually burn their dead, and decline to eat in the houses of any
caste below Brahmans. However, even the washermen decline to eat with
them. Like the Gandlas they have two sub-divisions, Ottai-sekkan and
Irattai-sekkan, who use respectively one bullock and two bullocks in
their mills. Oddly enough, the former belong to the right-hand faction,
and the latter to the left. Their usual title is Chetti. The name
Vanuvan has been assumed by Vaniyans, who have left their traditional
occupation, and taken to the grain and other trades."

"The word Vanijyam," Mr. H. A. Stuart informs us, [109] "signifies
trade, and trade in oil, as well as its manufacture, is the usual
employment of this caste, who assert that they are Vaisyas, and
claim the Vaisya-Apuranam as their holy book. They are said to have
assumed the thread only within the last fifty or sixty years, and are
reputed to be the result of a yagam (sacrifice by fire) performed by a
saint called Vakkuna Maharishi. The caste contains four sub-divisions
called Kamakshiamma, Visalakshiamma, Ac'chu-tali, and Toppa-tali, the
two first referring to the goddesses principally worshipped by each,
and the two last to the peculiar kinds of talis, or marriage tokens,
worn by their women. They have the same customs as the Beri Chettis,
but are not particular in observing the rule which forbids the eating
of flesh. A bastard branch of the Vaniyas is called the Pillai Kuttam,
which is said to have sprung from the concubine of a Vaniyan, who
lived many years ago. The members of this class are never found except
where Vaniyans live, and are supposed to have a right to be fed and
clothed by them. Should this be refused, they utter the most terrible
curse, and, in this manner, eventually intimidate the uncharitable
into giving them alms." In the Census Report, 1891, Mr. Stuart writes
further that the Vaniyans "were formerly called Sekkan (oil-mill man),
and it is curious that the oil-mongers alone came to be called Vaniyan
or trader. They have returned 126 sub-divisions, of which only one,
Ilai Vaniyan, is numerically important. One sub-division is Iranderudu,
or two bullocks, which refers to the use of two bullocks in working
the mill. This separation of those who use two bullocks from those
who employ only one is found in nearly every oil-pressing caste in
India. The Vaniyans of Malabar resemble the Nayars in their customs
and habits, and neither wear the sacred thread, nor employ Brahmans
as priests. In North Malabar, Nayars are polluted by their touch, but
in the south, where they are called Vattakadans, they have succeeded
in forcing themselves into the ranks of the Nayar community. A large
number of them returned Nayar as their main caste." In this connection,
Mr. Francis states [110] that followers of the calling of oil-pressers
(Chakkans) are "known as Vattakadans in South Malabar, and as Vaniyans
in North Malabar; but the former are the higher in social status, the
Nayars being polluted by the touch of the Vaniyans and Chakkans but
not by that of the Vattakadans. Chakkans and Vaniyans may not enter
Brahman temples. Their customs and manners are similar to those of
the Nayars, who will not, however, marry their women."

Of the Vaniyans of Cochin, it is stated in the Cochin Census Report,
1901, that "they are Vaisyas, and wear the sacred thread. In regard
to marriage, inheritance, ceremonies, dress, ornaments, etc., there
is practically no difference between them and the Konkanis. But, as
they do not altogether abstain from meat and spirituous liquors, they
are not allowed free access to the houses of Konkanis, nor are they
permitted to touch their tanks and wells. They are Saivites. They
have their own priests, who are called Panditars. They observe
birth and death pollution for ten days, and are like Brahmans in
this respect. They are mostly petty merchants and shop-keepers. Some
can read and write Malayalam, but they are very backward in English
education."

The oils expressed by the Vaniyans are said to be "gingelly (Sesamum
indicum), cocoanut, iluppei (Bassia longifolia), pinnei (Calophyllum
inophyllum), and ground-nut (Arachis hypogæa). According to the
sastras the crushing of gingelly seeds, and the sale of gingelly oil,
are sinful acts, and no one, who does not belong to the Vaniyan class,
will either express or sell gingelly oil." [111]

When a Vaniyan dies a bachelor, a post-mortem mock ceremony is
performed as by the Ganigas, and the corpse is married to the arka
plant (Calotropis gigantea), and decorated with a wreath made of the
flowers thereof.

Vankayala (brinjal or egg plant: Solanum Melongena).--An exogamous sept
of Golla. The fruit is eaten by Natives, and, stuffed with minced meat,
is a common article of Anglo-Indian dietary.

Vanki (armlet).--A gotra of Kurni.

Vannan.--The Vannans are washermen in the Tamil and Malayalam
countries. The name Vannan is, Mr. H. A. Stuart writes, [112]
"derived from vannam, beauty. There is a tradition that they are
descendants of the mythological hero Virabadra, who was ordered
by Siva to wash the clothes of all men, as an expiation of the sin
of putting many people to death in Daksha's Yaga. Hence the Tamil
washermen are frequently called Virabadran. Having to purify all
the filthy linen of the villagers, they are naturally regarded as
a low, unclean class of Sudras, and are always poor. They add to
their income by hiring out the clothes of their customers to funeral
parties, who lay them on the ground before the pall-bearers, so that
these may not step upon the ground, and by letting them out on the
sly to persons wishing to use them without having to purchase for
themselves. In social standing the Vannans are placed next below the
barbers. They profess to be Saivites in the southern districts, and
Vaishnavites in the north. The marriage of girls generally takes place
after puberty. Widow remarriage is permitted among some, if not all,
sub-divisions. Divorce may be obtained by either party at pleasure on
payment of double the bride-price, which is usually Rs. 10-8-0. They
are flesh-eaters, and drink liquor. The dead are either burned or
buried. The Pothara (or Podora) Vannans are of inferior status, because
they wash only for Paraiyans, Pallans, and other inferior castes."

It is noted, in the Madura Manual, that those who have seen the
abominable substances, which it is the lot of the Vannans to make
clean, cannot feel any surprise at the contempt with which their
occupation is regarded. In the Tanjore Manual, it is recorded that,
in the rural parts of the district, the Vannans are not allowed to
enter the house of a Brahman or a Vellala; clothes washed by them
not being worn or mixed up with other clothes in the house until they
have undergone another wash by a caste man.

It is on record that, on one occasion, a party of Europeans, when out
shooting, met a funeral procession on its way to the burial-ground. The
bier was draped in many folds of clean cloth, which one of the party
recognised by the initials as one of his bed-sheets. Another identified
as his sheet the cloth on which the corpse was lying. He cut off the
corner with the initials, and a few days later the sheet was returned
by the washerman, who pretended ignorance of the mutilation, and gave
as an explanation that it must have been done, in his absence, by one
of his assistants. On another occasion, a European met an Eurasian,
in a village not far from his bungalow, wearing a suit of clothes
exactly similar to his own, and, on close examination, found they
were his. They had been newly washed and dressed.

The most important divisions numerically returned by Vannans at times
of census are Pandiyan, Peru (big), Tamil, and Vaduga (northerner). It
is recorded, in the Gazetteer of the Madura district, that Vannan "is
rather an occupational term than a caste title, and, besides the Pandya
Vannans or Vannans proper, includes the Vaduga Vannans or Tsakalas
of the Telugu country, and the Palla, Pudara, and Tulukka Vannans,
who wash for the Pallans, Paraiyans, and Musalmans respectively. The
Pandya Vannans have a headman called the Periya Manishan (big man). A
man can claim the hand of his paternal aunt's daughter. At weddings,
the bridegroom's sister ties the tali (marriage badge). Nambis
officiate. Divorce is freely allowed to either party on payment
of twice the bride-price, and divorcées may marry again. The caste
god is Gurunathan, in whose temples the pujari (priest) is usually
a Vannan. The dead are generally burnt, and, on the sixteenth day,
the house is purified from pollution by a Nambi."

Some Vannans have assumed the name Irkuli Vellala, and Rajakan
and Kattavaraya vamsam have also been recorded as synonyms of the
caste name.

The Vannans of Malabar are also called Mannan or Bannan. They are,
Mr. Francis writes, [113] "a low class of Malabar washermen, who wash
only for the polluting castes, and for the higher castes when they
are under pollution following births, deaths, etc. It is believed
by the higher castes that such pollution can only be removed by
wearing clothes washed by Mannans, though at other times these cause
pollution to them. The washing is generally done by the women, and the
men are exorcists, devil-dancers and physicians, even to the higher
castes. Their women are midwives, like those of the Velakkatalavan
and Velan castes. This caste should not be confused with the Mannan
hill tribe of Travancore."

It is recorded, in the Gazetteer of Malabar, that "the Mannans,
a makkattayam caste of South Malabar, apparently identical with the
marumakkattayam Vannans of the north, are a caste of washermen; and
their services are indispensable to the higher castes in certain
purificatory ceremonies when they have to present clean cloths
(mattu). They are also devil-dancers and tailors. They practice
fraternal polyandry in the south. Mannans are divided into two
endogamous classes, Peru-mannans (peru, great), and Tinda-mannans
(tinda, pollution); and, in Walavanad, into four endogamous classes
called Choppan, Peru-mannan, Punnekadan, and Puliyakkodam. The
Tinda-mannan and Puliyakkodam divisions perform the purificatory
sprinklings for the others."

The services of the Mannan, Mr. T. K. Gopal Panikkar writes, [114]
"are in requisition at the Nayar Thirandukalianam ceremonies on the
attainment of puberty by a girl, when they sing ballads, and have
to bring, for the girl's use, the mattu or sacred dress. Then,
on occasions of death pollution, they have a similar duty to
perform. Among the Nayars, on the fourth, or rarely the third day
after the menses, the woman has to use, during her bath, clothes
supplied by Mannan females. The same duty they have to perform
during the confinement of Nayar females. All the dirty cloths and
bed sheets used, these Mannan females have to wash." Mr. S. Appadorai
Iyer informs us that those Mannans who are employed by the Kammalan,
or artisan class, as barbers, are not admitted into the Mannan caste,
which follows the more honourable profession of washing clothes. The
Mannans perform certain ceremonies in connection with Mundian,
the deity who is responsible for the weal or woe of cattle; and,
at Puram festivals, carry the vengida koda or prosperity umbrella,
composed of many tiers of red, green, orange, black and white cloth,
supported on a long bamboo pole, before the goddess.

It is recorded by Bishop Whitehead [115] that, in various places in
Malabar, there are temples in honour of Bhagavati, at which the pujaris
(priests) are of the Vannan caste. "There is an annual feast called
gurusi tarpanam (giving to the guru) about March, when the hot weather
begins, and the people are at leisure. Its object is to appease the
wrath of the goddess. During the festival, the pujari sits in the
courtyard outside the temple, thickly garlanded with red flowers,
and with red kunkuma marks on his forehead. Goats and fowls are then
brought to him by the devotees, and he kills them with one blow of
the large sacrificial sword or chopper. It is thought auspicious for
the head to be severed at one blow, and, apparently, pujaris who are
skilful in decapitation are much in request. When the head is cut
off, the pujari takes the carcase, and holds it over a large copper
vessel partly filled with water, turmeric, kunkuma, and a little rice,
and lets the blood flow into it. When all the animals are killed, the
pujari bails out the blood and water on the ground, uttering mantrams
(sacred lines or verses) the while. The people stand a little way
off. When the vessel is nearly empty, the pujari turns it upside
down as a sign that the ceremony is ended. During these proceedings,
a number of Vannans, dressed in fantastic costumes, dance three times
round the temple. During the festival, processions are held round the
various houses, and special swords with a curved hook at the end,
called palli val (great or honourable sword), are carried by the
worshippers. These swords are worshipped during the Dusserah festival
in October, and, in some shrines, they form the only emblem of the
deity. The Tiyans have small shrines in their own gardens sacred
to the family deity, which may be Bhagavati, or some demon, or the
spirit of an ancestor. Once a year, Vannans come dressed in fancy
costume, with crowns on their heads, and dance round the courtyard
to the sound of music and tom-toms, while a Tiyan priest presents the
family offerings, uncooked rice and young cocoanuts, with camphor and
incense, and then rice fried with sugar and ghi (clarified butter)."

In an account of the Tiyans, Mr. Logan writes [116] that "this
caste is much given to devil-charming, or devil-driving as it is
often called. The washermen (Vannan) are the high priests of this
superstition, and with chants, ringing cymbals, magic figures, and
waving lights, they drive out evil spirits from their votaries of
this caste at certain epochs in their married lives. One ceremony
in particular, called teyyattam--a corrupt form of Deva and attam,
that is, playing at gods--takes place occasionally in the fifth month
of pregnancy. A leafy arbour is constructed, and in front of it is
placed a terrible figure of Chamundi, the queen of the demons, made
of rice flour, turmeric powder, and charcoal powder. A party of not
less than eighteen washermen is organized to represent the demons and
furies--Kuttichattan (a mischievous imp), and many others. On being
invoked, these demons bound on to the stage in pairs, dance, caper,
jump, roar, fight, and drench each other with saffron (turmeric)
water. Their capers and exertions gradually work up their excitement,
until they are veritably possessed of the devil. At this juncture,
fowls and animals are sometimes thrown to them, to appease their
fury. These they attack with their teeth, and kill and tear as
a tiger does his prey. After about twenty minutes the convulsions
cease, the demon or spirit declares its pleasure, and, much fatigued,
retires to give place to others; and thus the whole night is spent,
with much tom-tomming and noise and shouting, making it impossible,
for Europeans at least, to sleep within earshot of the din."

Vannattan.--A synonym of Veluttedan, the caste of washermen, who wash
for Nayars and higher castes.

Vanni Kula Kshatriya.--A synonym of the Pallis, who claim to belong
to the fire race of Kshatriyas.

Vanniyan.--A synonym of Palli. The name further occurs as a
sub-division of Ambalakaran and Valaiyan. Some Maravans also are
known as Vanniyan or Vannikutti. Ten (honey) Vanniyan is the name
adopted by some Irulas in the South Arcot district.

Vantari.--See Telaga.

Vanuvan.--A name assumed by Vaniyans who have abandoned their
hereditary occupation of oil-pressing, and taken to trade in grain
and other articles.

Varakurup.--Recorded, in the Madras Census Report, 1901, as a title
of Malayalam Paravans.

Varige (millet).--An exogamous sept of Kapu.

Variyar.--For the following note on the Variyar section of the
Ambalavasis, I am indebted to Mr. N. Subramani Aiyar. The name is
believed to be derived from Parasava, which, according to Yajnavalkya
and other law-givers, is the name given to the son of a Brahman
begotten on a Sudra woman, and suggests the fact that the Variyar
is no Brahman, though the blood of the latter may course through
his veins, and though such marriages were regarded as sacraments
in early days. This is the derivation given by Pachumuttalu in
his Keralaviseshamahatmya, who adds that the chief occupation
of the Variyars is to sweep the floor of the temples. In some of
the Asauchavidhis (works on pollution) of Kerala, the commentator
explains the word Parasava as Variya. Many Variyars add the title
Parasava to their name, when writing in Sanskrit. Some derive the
word from varija or one born of water, in accordance with a tradition
that Parasurama created from water a class of persons for special
service in temples, and to take the place of Sudras, who, being
meat-eaters, were ineligible for the same. Others again, like the
late Professor Sundaram Pillay, would take Variyar as being derived
from varuka, to sweep. Recently, some ingenuity has been displayed
in splitting the word into two words, giving it a meaning equivalent
to pseudo-Aryan. The title Asan, or teacher, is possessed by certain
families, whose members have held the hereditary position of tutors in
noblemen's houses. In mediæval times, many Variyar families received
royal edicts, conferring upon them the privileges of being tutors
and astrologers. These special rights are even now possessed by them.

The following legend is narrated concerning the origin of the
Variyars. A Sudra woman removed a bone from within a temple
in obedience to the wish of certain Brahman priests, and was
excommunicated from her caste. The priests, on hearing this, were
anxious to better her condition, and made her the progenitor of a
class of Ambalavasis or temple servants, who were afterwards known
as Variyars. According to another legend, the corpse of a Maran,
which was found inside a Nambutiri's house, was promptly removed by
certain Nayars, who on that account were raised in the social scale,
and organised into a separate caste called Variyar. There is a still
further tradition that, in the Treta Yuga, a Sudra woman had five
sons, the first of whom became the progenitor of the Tiyatunnis,
and the second that of Variyars. A fourth account is given in the
Keralamahatmya. A young Brahman girl was married to an aged man. Not
confident in unaided human effort, under circumstances such as hers,
she devoted a portion of her time daily to preparing flower garlands
for the deity of the nearest temple, and conceived. But the Brahman
welcomed the little stranger by getting the mother thrown out of
caste. Her garlands could no longer be accepted, but, nothing daunted,
she worked as usual, and made a mental offering of the garlands she
prepared, which, through an unseen agency, became visible on the person
of the deity. Though the people were struck with shame at their unkind
treatment of the innocent girl, they were not prepared to take her
back. The Variyan caste was accordingly constituted, and her child
was brought up by the Azhancheri Tambrakkal, and accommodated in the
padippura or out-house at the entrance gate. In the Pasupata Tantra,
the Variyars are called Kailasavasins, or those who live in Kailas,
as they are supposed to be specially devoted to the worship of
Siva. Kailasa is the abode of Siva, whither the blessed go after death.

The Variyars of Travancore are divided into four groups,
called Onattukara, Venattukara, Ilayetattunad (or Ilayathu), and
Tekkumkur. The Venattukaras have the privilege of interdining with the
Onattukaras, and having their ceremonies performed by priests from that
group. But the ceremonies of the Onattukaras appear to be performed
without the Venattukaras being admitted into their midst. The third
and fourth groups take food in the houses of the first and second,
though the reverse seldom happens. The Variyars in British Malabar
are divided into several other groups.

The Variyars are generally well-read, especially in Sanskrit, make
excellent astrologers, and are also medical practitioners. A Variyar's
house is called variyam, as the Pisharati's is known as pisharam.

Married women have the hair-knot on the left side of the head,
like Nayar ladies. They cover the breast with a folded cloth, and
never wear a bodice or other innovations in the matter of dress. The
marriage ornament is called matra, and is in the shape of a maddalam
or drum. Other neck ornaments are called entram and kuzhal. The todu,
or ornament of Nayar women, is worn in the ear-lobes. Women mark
their foreheads, like Nambutiri ladies, with sandal paste.

The Variyars, Pushpakans, and Pisharatis, are said to constitute
the three original garland-making castes of Malabar, appointed by
Parasurama. At the present day, in all the important temples, except
in South Travancore, where Kurukkals perform that function, garlands
can only be prepared by one of these castes. The technical occupation
of a Variyar in a temple is called kazhakam, which is probably derived
from the Dravidian root kazhaku, to cleanse. Kazhakam is of two kinds,
viz., malakkazhakam or garland-making service, and talikkazhakam
or sweeping service, of which the former is more dignified than the
latter. Under the generic term kazhakar are included making flower
garlands for the temple, preparing materials for the offering of food,
sweeping the beli offering, carrying lights and holding umbrellas when
the god is carried in procession, having the custody of the temple
jewels, etc. The Variyar is at the beck and call of the temple priest,
and has to do sundry little services from morning till evening. He is
remunerated with some of the cooked food, after it has been offered to
the deity. The Variyars are to Saivite temples what the Pisharatis are
to Vaishnavite temples. Their prayers are prominently addressed only
to Siva, but they also worship Vishnu, Subramanya, Sasta, Ganesa, and
Bhadrakali. Their chief amusement is the farce called Kuttappathakam,
the hero of which is one Vankala Nikkan, and the heroine Naityar. An
Ilayatu is the stage-manager, and a Pisharati the actor. Parangotan
is the buffoon, and Mappa his wife. In the eighteenth century, a
grand festival lasting over twenty-eight days, called mamangam, was
celebrated in British Malabar. The above characters are represented
as proceeding to this festival, which came off once in twelve years
on the Magha asterism in the month of Magha, and is hence popularly
called Mahamagha.

The Variyar caste is governed in all matters by the Nambutiri Brahmans,
but they have their own priests. The Ilayatus believe that they were
the preceptors of all the Ambalavasi castes in former times, but
were dislodged from that position owing to most of them employing
priests from among their own caste men. Even at the present day,
Ilayatus are known to express their displeasure when they are asked
to drink water from a Variyar's well. As, however, consecrated water
from the Nambutiris is taken to a Variyar for its purification, they
entertain no scruples about cooking their food there, provided they
carry with them the aupasana fire.

Inheritance among the Variyars of Cochin and British Malabar is in
the female line (marumakkathayam). Among the Variyars of Travancore,
chiefly these belonging to the Onattukara section, a kind of qualified
makkathayam prevails, in accordance with which both sons and daughters
have an equal right to inherit ancestral property. The eldest male
member is entitled to the management of the estate in all undivided
families. Partition, however, is largely followed in practice.

The tali-kettu ceremony of the Variyars generally takes place before
a girl reaches puberty, and, in the case of boys, after the ceremony
of Sivadiksha has been performed, that is between the twelfth and
sixteenth years. If the marriage is in the kudi-vaippu form, or,
in other words, if there is an intention on the part of both parties
to treat the marital alliance as permanent, no separate sambandham
need be celebrated afterwards; and, in all cases where marriages are
celebrated between members of the same section, the kudi-vaippu form
is in vogue. If a girl is unmarried when she reaches puberty, she is
not permitted to take part in any religious ceremonies, or enter any
temple until she is married. The first item of a Variyar's marriage is
ayani-unu, when the bridegroom, decked in new clothes and ornaments,
dines sumptuously with his relations. He then goes in procession
to the bride's house, and, after bathing, puts on clothes touched
by the bride. After this some prayers are recited, and a sacrifice
is offered. The bride is then brought to the marriage hall, and, all
the Brahmanical rites are strictly observed. After sunset, some grass
and a leopard's skin are placed on the floor on which white cloth is
spread. The bridegroom, who is seated on the northern side, worships
Ganapati, after which the couple take their seats on the cloth bed
spread on the floor. Lights are then waved in front of them. This
ceremony is known as dikshavirikkuka. In the kudi-vaippu form of
marriage, the bride is taken to the house of the bridegroom, where
the dikshavirippu is observed. Otherwise the marital rite becomes
a mere tali-kattu ceremony, and the girl, when she comes of age,
may receive clothes in token of conjugal connection with another
person. When the first husband dies, clothes may be received from
another Variyar, or a Brahman, whose wife the woman becomes.

Most of the ceremonies observed by Malayali Brahmans are also performed
by the Variyars, the vratas and upanayana being among those which
are omitted. Sivadiksha, as already indicated, is observed between
the twelfth and sixteenth years. The festival lasts for four days,
though the religious rites are over on the first day. At an auspicious
hour, the priest and the Variyar youth put on the tattu dress, or
dress worn for ceremonial purposes, and worship a pot full of water
with incense and flowers, the contents of which are then poured by the
priest over the youth. The priest and a Maran then perform the tonsure,
and the youth bathes. Some Nambutiris are then engaged to perform the
purificatory rite, after which the Variyar wears the tattu as well as
an upper cloth, marks his forehead with ashes and sandal paste, and
decorates himself with jewels, rudraksha (Elæocarpus Ganitrus) beads,
and flowers. Alms are received by the young Variyar from his mother,
and he takes seven steps in a northerly direction which symbolise his
pilgrimage to Benares. It is only after the performance of this rite
that the Variyar is believed to become a grihastha (married person,
as opposed to a bachelor). The funeral rites of the caste have been
elaborated in many places. Death pollution lasts for twelve days,
and the sanchayana (milk ceremony) is observed on the seventh or
ninth day. Anniversary ceremonies are celebrated in memory of close
relations, and others are propitiated by the performance of sradh,
and the feeding of a Variyar on a new-moon day.

In an account of a royal wedding in Travancore in 1906, I read that
"a number of Variyars left the thevarathu koikal, or palace where
worship is performed, for a compound (garden) close by to bring
an areca palm. It is supposed that they do this task under divine
inspiration and guidance. One man is given a small rod by the Potti or
priest in the palace, and, after receiving this, he dances forward,
followed by his comrades, and all wend their way to a compound about
a furlong away. On reaching the spot, they uproot a big areca palm
without the use of any implement of iron, and take it away to the
thevarathu koikal without its touching the ground, to the accompaniment
of music. They then plant it in front of the portico, and do some puja
(worship) after the manner of Brahmans. The function is comparable to
the dhwajarohanam, or hoisting of the flag during temple utsavams. The
Variyars dance round the tree, singing songs, and performing puja. A
piece of white cloth is tied to the top of the tree, to serve as a
flag, and a lamp is lighted, and placed at the foot of the tree."

The Variyars are described, in the Gazetteer of Malabar, as "a caste
whose traditional duty is to sweep the temple precincts (varuga). At
the present day, some members of the caste are important land-owners or
petty chieftains, occupying a very high social position. They generally
follow the marumakkatayam principle, but they have also a form of
marriage called Kudivekkal similar to the Brahman Sarvasvadhanam,
by which the wife is adopted as a member of the family into which
she marries, and her children also belong to it. The Variyar's names
and ceremonies indicate Sivaite proclivities, just as those of the
Pisharodi are tinged with Vishnavism. The Variyar's house is called
a Variyam, and his woman-folk Varassiars. This class is perhaps the
most progressive among the Ambalavasis, some of its members having
received a Western education and entered the learned professions."

Varugu Bhatta.--A mendicant class, which begs from Perikes.

Varuna.--Some Pattanavan fishermen have adopted the name of Varunakula
Vellala or Varunakula Mudali after Varuna the god of the waters.

Vasa (new).--A sub-division of Kurubas, who are said to weave only
white blankets.

Vasishta.--A Brahmanical gotra adopted by Khatris and
Toreyas. Vasishta, one of the seven great Rishis, was the son of
Mitra and Varuna, whose quarrels with Viswamitra are narrated in
the Ramayana.

Vastra.--One division of the Koragas is called Vastra, meaning
cloths such as are used as a shroud for a corpse, which were given to
them as an act of charity, the wearing of new cloths by them being
prohibited. Vastrala (cloth) further occurs as an exogamous sept of
the Karna Sale and Devanga weavers.

Vattakadan.--Recorded as a sub-division of Nayar, the occupation of
which is expressing oil, chiefly for use in temples. Mr. F. Fawcett
writes [117] that, in North Malabar, he has frequently been told by
Nayars of the superior classes that they do not admit the Vattakadans
to be Nayars. According to them, the Vattakadans have adopted the
honorary affix Nayar to their names quite recently. In the Madras
Census Report, 1891, Vattakadan is stated to be a synonym of Vaniyan;
and in the report, 1901, this name is said to mean a Native of
Vattakad, and to be given to the Chakkans.

Vatte (camel).--A gotra of Kurni.

Vatti.--Vatti or Vattikurup has been recorded at times of census as a
sub-division of Nayar, and a synonym of Kavutiyan and Tolkollan. Vatti
is said to mean one who prays for happiness.

Vayani.--The Vayanis, Vayinis, Vaguniyans, or Pavinis, are a section of
Madigas, the members of which play on a single-stringed mandoline, and
go about from village to village, singing the praises of the village
goddesses. Each Vayani has his recognised beat. He plays a prominent
part in the celebration of the annual festival of the village goddess,
and receives a sacred thread (kappu), which is usually tied to his
mandoline, before the commencement of the festival. He regards himself
as superior in social position to ordinary Madigas, with whom he will
not marry. The name Vayani is said to be a corruption of varnane,
meaning to describe. In some localities, e.g., the Chingleput district,
the Vayani enjoys mirasi rights in connection with land.

Vedan.--The Vedans are described by Mr. H. A. Stuart, in the
North Arcot Manual, as having been "formerly hunters and soldiers,
and it is this caste which furnished a considerable and valuable
contingent to the early Hindu kings, and later to the armies of
Hyder and Tippoo. They are supposed by some to be the remnants of the
earliest inhabitants of the peninsula, and identical with the Veddahs
of Ceylon. They are also called Valmikulu, which means those who live
on the products of ant-hills (valmikum)." It is noted, in the Census
Report, 1891, that the two castes Bedar (or Boya) and Vedan were,
"through a misapprehension of instructions, treated as identical in
the tabulation papers. The two words are, no doubt, etymologically
identical, the one being Canarese and the other Tamil, but the
castes are quite distinct." It may be noted that the name Valmika
or Valmiki is assumed by the Boyas, who claim descent from Valmiki,
the author of the Ramayana, who did penance for so long in one spot
that a white-ant hill grew up round him.

In the Madras Census Report, 1901, the Vedans are described as "a
Tamil-speaking labouring and hunting caste, the members of which
were formerly soldiers, and subsequently dacoits. The name means a
hunter, and is loosely applied to the Irulas in some places (e.g.,
Chingleput). There is some connection between the Vedans and Tamil
Vettuvans, but its precise nature is not clear. The Vettuvans now
consider themselves superior to the Vedans, and are even taking to
calling themselves Vettuva Vellalas. Marriage (among the Vedans)
is either infant or adult. Widows may marry their late husband's
brother or agnates. Some employ Brahmans as priests. They either burn
or bury their dead. They claim descent from Kannappa Nayanar, one of
the sixty-three Saivite saints. Ambalakarans also claim to be descended
from Kannappa Nayanar. In Tanjore, the Valaiyans declare themselves to
have a similar origin. The title of the Vedans is Nayakkan." In the
Madura Manual, the Vedans are described as a very low caste, who get
their living in the jungles. They are not numerous now. They appear
to have been naked savages not very long ago, and their civilisation
is far from complete. They are held in the greatest contempt by
men of all classes. They are described further, in the Coimbatore
Manual, as "a very degraded, poor tribe, living by basket-making,
snaring small game, and so on. They speak a low Canarese, and are
as simple as savage. The delight of a party at the gift of a rupee
is something curious." In the Salem district some Vedans are said
[118] to be "known by the caste name Tiruvalar, who are distinguished
as the Kattukudugirajati, a name derived from a custom among them,
which authorises temporary matrimonial arrangements."

The following story in connection with bears and Vedans is worthy of
being placed on record. The bears are said to collect ripe wood-apples
(Feronia elephantum) during the season, and store them in the
forest. After a small quantity has been collected, they remove the rind
of the fruits, and heap together all the pulp. They then bring honey
and petals of sweet-smelling flowers, put them on the heap of pulp,
and thresh them with their feet and with sticks in their hands. When
the whole has become a consistent mass, they feed on it. The Vedan, who
knows the season, is said to drive off the bears by shooting at them,
and rob them of their feast, which is sold as karadi panchamritham,
or bear delicacy made of five ingredients.

The Vedars of Travancore are summed up by the Rev. S. Mateer [119]
as "living in jungle clearings or working in the rice fields, and
formerly sold and bought as slaves. They have to wander about in
seasons of scarcity in search of wild yams, which they boil and eat
on the spot, and are thorough gluttons, eating all they can get at
any time, then suffering want for days. Polygamy is common, as men
are not required to provide for the support of their wives. Some,
who have been converted to Christianity, show wonderful and rapid
improvement in moral character, civilisation and diligence."

For the following note on the Mala (hill) Vedans of Travancore, I
am indebted to Mrs. J. W. Evans. [120] "They live in wretched huts
amid the rice-flats at the foot of the hills, and are employed by
farmers to guard the crops from the ravages of wild beasts. The upper
incisor teeth of both men and women are filed to a sharp point, like
crocodile's fangs. One ugly old man, Tiruvatiran by name (the name of
a star), had the four teeth very slightly filed. On being pressed for
the reason why he had not conformed to Mala Vedar fashion, he grinned,
and said 'What beauty I was born with is enough for me.' Probably
the operation had been more painful than he could bear, or, may be,
he could not afford to pay the five betel leaves and areca nuts,
which are the customary fee of the filer. Any man may perform the
operation. A curved bill-hook, with serrated edge, is the instrument
used. On being asked whether they had any tradition about the custom
of tooth-filing, they replied that it was to distinguish their caste,
and the god Chattan would be angry if they neglected the custom. It
may be noted that tooth-filing is also practiced by the jungle Kadirs
(q.v.). Both males and females wore a cotton loin-cloth, mellowed by
wear and weather to a subtle greenish hue. Red and blue necklaces,
interstrung with sections of the chank shell (Turbinella rapa) adorned
the necks and chests. One woman was of special interest. Her neck
and breasts were literally concealed by a medley of beads, shells,
brass bells, and two common iron keys--these last, she said, for
ornament. Around her hips, over her cloth, hung several rows of
small bones of pig and sambar (Cervus unicolor). The Mala Vedans
find these bones in the jungle. An aged priest said that he used
to perform devil-dancing, but was now too stiff to dance, and had
to labour like the younger men. The Mala Vedans apparently possess
no temples or shrines, but Hindus permit them to offer money at the
Hindu shrines from a distance, at times of sudden sickness or during
other seasons of panic. Their god Chattan, or Sattan, has no fixed
abode, but, where the Mala Vedans are, there is he in the midst of
them. They bury their dead in a recumbent posture, near the hut of the
deceased. The Mala Vedans practice the primitive method of kindling
fire by the friction of wood (also practiced by the Kanakars), and,
like the Kanakars, they eat the black monkey. Their implements are
bill-hooks, and bows and arrows. They weave grass baskets, which are
slung to their girdles, and contain betel, etc."

The more important measurements of twenty-five Mala Vedans examined
by myself were--


                                Max.    Min.    Average.

               Stature (cm.)    163.8   140.8      154.2
               Cephalic index    80.9    68.8       73.4
               Nasal index      102.6    71.1       85.0


The figures show that, like other primitive jungle tribes in Southern
India, the Mala Vedans are short of stature, dolichocephalic,
and platyrhine.

The following menstrual ceremony has been described [121] as occurring
among the Vedans of Travancore. "The wife at menstruation is secluded
for five days in a hut a quarter of a mile from her home, which is
also used by her at childbirth. The next five days are passed in a
second hut, half way between the first and her house. On the ninth
day her husband holds a feast, sprinkles his floor with wine, and
invites his friends to a spread of rice and palm wine. Until this
evening, he has not dared to eat anything but roots, for fear of
being killed by the devil. On the tenth day he must leave his house,
to which he may not return until the women, his and her sister have
bathed his wife, escorted her home, and eaten rice together. For four
days after his return, however, he may not eat rice in his own house,
or have connection with his wife."

Vedunollu.--A gotra of Ganigas, members of which may not cut Nyctanthes
Arbor-tristis. The flowers thereof are much used in Hindu worship,
as the plant is supposed to have been brought from heaven by Krishna
for his wife Satyabhama.

Veginadu.--A sub-division of Komatis, who belong to the Vegi or Vengi
country, the former name of part of the modern Kistna district. The
Vegina Komatis are said to have entered the fire-pits with the caste
goddess Kanyakamma.

Vekkali Puli (cruel-legged tiger).--An exogamous section of Kallan.

Vel (lance).--A sub-division of Malayalam Paraiyans, and an exogamous
sept or sub-division of Kanikars in Travancore. Velanmar (spearmen)
occurs as a name for the hill tribes of Travancore.

Velakkattalavan.--Velakkattalavan or Vilakkattalavan is stated in the
Travancore Census Report, 1901, to indicate chieftains among barbers,
and to be the name for members of families, from which persons
are selected to shave kings or nobles. In the Madras Census Report,
1891, Velakkattalavan is said to be "the name in South Malabar of the
caste that shaves Nayars and higher castes. The same man is called
in North Malabar Valinchiyan, Navidan, or Nasiyan. In dress and
habits the caste resembles Nayars, and they call themselves Nayars in
the south. Many returned their main caste as Nayar. The females of
this caste frequently act as midwives to Nayars. In North Malabar,
the Valinchiyan and Nasiyan follow the Nayar system of inheritance,
whereas the Navidan has inheritance in the male line; but, even amongst
the latter, tali-kettu and sambandham are performed separately by
different bridegrooms. In South Malabar the caste generally follows
descent in the male line, but in some places the other system is also
found." Sudra Kavutiyan is recorded, in the Madras Census Report,
1901, as a synonym of Velakkatalavan.

Velama.--The Velamas, or, as they are sometimes called, Yelamas,
are a caste of agriculturists, who dwell in the Telugu country and
Ganjam. Concerning them Mr. H. A. Stuart writes as follows. [122]
"Who the Velamas were it seems difficult to decide. Some say they form
a sub-division of the Balijas, but this they themselves most vehemently
deny, and the Balijas derisively call them Guna Sakala (or Tsakala)
vandlu (hunch-backed washermen). The pride and jealousy of Hindu
castes was amusingly illustrated by the Velamas of Kalahasti. The
Deputy Tahsildar of that town was desired to ascertain the origin of
the name Guni Sakalavandlu, but, as soon as he asked the question, a
member of the caste lodged a complaint of defamation against him before
the District Magistrate. The nickname appears to have been applied
to them, because, in the northern districts, some print chintzes,
and, carrying their goods in a bundle on their backs, walk stooping
like a laden washerman. This derivation is more than doubtful, for,
in the Godavari district, the name is Guna Sakalavandlu, guna being
the big pot in which they dye the chintzes. Some Velamas say that
they belong to the Kammas, but divided from them in consequence of
a difference of opinion on the subject of gosha, most Velama females
being now kept in seclusion. [In the Kurnool Manual it is noted that
the Velama women are supposed to be gosha, but, owing to poverty, the
rule is not strictly observed.] Both Kammas and Velamas, before they
divided, are said to have adopted gosha from the Muhammadans, but,
finding that they were thus handicapped in their competition with
other cultivating castes, it was proposed that the original custom
of their ancestors should be reverted to. Those who agreed signed a
bond, which, being upon palm leaf, was called kamma, and from it they
took this name. The dissentients retained gosha, and were therefore
called outsiders or Velamas. This does not, however, explain what
the original name of the caste was, and the truth of the story is
doubtful. Since this dispute, the Velamas have themselves had a split
on the subject of gosha, those who have thrown it off being called Adi
or original Velamas, and the others Padma Velamas. The Velamas seem
to have come south with the Vijayanagara kings, and to have been made
Menkavalgars, from which position some rose to be Poligars. Now they
are chiefly the hangers-on of poligars or cultivators. To distinguish
them from the Vellalas in the southern taluks, they call themselves
Telugu Vellalas, but it seems very improbable that the Velamas and
Vellalas ever had any connection with one another. They are styled
Naidus." [The Velamas style themselves Telugu Vellalas, not because
of any connection between the two castes, but because they are at the
top of the Telugu castes as the Vellalas are of the Tamil castes. For
the same reason, Vellalas are sometimes called Arava (Tamil) Velamalu.]

The most important sub-divisions returned by the Velamas at the
census, 1891, were Kapu, Koppala, Padma, Ponneti, and Yanadi. "It
is," the Census Superintendent writes, "curious to find the Yanadi
sub-division so strongly represented, for there is at the present
day a wide gulf between Velamas and Yanadis" (a Telugu forest
tribe). In the Vizagapatam Manual, a class of cultivators called
Yanadulu is referred to; and, in the Madras Census Report, 1901,
it is recorded that entries under the name Yanati "were clubbed with
Yanadi; but it has since been reported that, in Bissam-Acuttack taluk
of the Vizagapatam Agency, there is a separate caste called Yanati
or Yeneti Dora which is distinct from Yanadi." It would appear that,
as in the south, the Velamas call themselves Telugu Vellalas, so in
the north they call themselves Yanatis.

Concerning the Guna Velamas, the Rev. J. Cain writes [123] that "in
years gone by, members of this class, who were desirous of getting
married, had to arrange and pay the expenses of two of the Palli
(fisherman) caste, but now it is regarded as sufficient to hang up a
net in the house during the time of the marriage ceremony." The custom
had its origin in a legend that, generations ago, when all the members
of the caste were in danger of being swept off the face of the earth
by some of their enemies, the Pallis came to the rescue with their
boats, and carried all the Guna Velamas to a place of safety. The
Guna Velamas, Mr. Cain continues, were "formerly regarded as quite
an inferior caste, but, as many members of it have been educated in
Anglo-Vernacular schools, they have found their way into almost every
department and risen in the social scale. Their caste occupation is
that of dyeing cloth, which they dip into large pots (gunas). The term
Guna Tsakala is one of reproach, and they much prefer being called
Velamalu to the great disgust of the Raca (Raja) Velamalu." To the
Raca Velama section belong, among other wealthy land-owners, the
Rajas of Bobbili, Venkatagiri, Pittapur, and Nuzvid. At the annual
Samasthanam meeting, in 1906, the Maharaja of Bobbili announced that
"none of the Velamavaru were working in any of the offices at the time
when I first came to Bobbili. There were then a small number acting
as mere supervisors without clerical work. Only from the commencement
of my administration these people have been gradually taken into the
office, and induced to read at the High School."

For the following note on the Velamas who have settled in the
Vizagapatam district, I am indebted to Mr. C. Hayavadana Rao. The
following sub-divisions of the caste may be noted:--

(1) Pedda or Padma found chiefly in the Bobbili taluk. Those composing
it are said to be the descendants of the military followers and
dependents of Pedda Rajudu, the founder of the Bobbili family, who
received a territorial grant in 1652 from Sher Muhammad Khan, the
Moghul Fauzdar of Chicacole. It is to this sub-division that Orme
refers, when he says [124] that they "esteem themselves the highest
blood of Native Indians, next to the Brahmans, equal to the Rajpoots,
and support their pre-eminence by the haughtiest observances, insomuch
that the breath of a different religion, and even of the meaner
Indians, requires ablution; their women never transfer themselves to a
second, but burn with the husband of their virginity." The remarriage
of widows is forbidden, and women remain gosha (in seclusion),
and wear gold or silver bangles on both wrists, unlike those of the
Koppala section. The title of members of this sub-division is Dora.

(2) Kamma Velama found chiefly in the Kistna district, from which
some families are said to have emigrated in company with the early
Rajas of Vizianagram. They are met with almost solely in the town of
Vizianagram. The remarriage of widows is permitted, but females are
gosha. The title is Nayudu.

(3) Koppala, or Toththala, who do not shave their heads, but tie
the hair in a knot (koppu) on the top of the head. They are divided
into sections, e.g., Naga (cobra), Sankha (chank shell, Turbinella
rapa), Tulasi (Ocimum sanctum), and Tabelu (tortoise). These
have no significance so far as marriage is concerned. They are
further divided into exogamous septs, or intiperulu, of which the
following are examples:--Nalla (black), Doddi (court-yard, cattle-pen
or sheep-fold), Reddi (synonym of Kapu). The custom of menarikam,
by which a man marries his maternal uncle's daughter, is observed. A
Brahman officiates at marriages. Widows are permitted to remarry seven
times, and, by an unusual custom, an elder brother is allowed to marry
the widow of his younger brother. Women wear on the right wrist a
solid silver bangle called ghatti kadiyam, and on the left wrist two
bangles called sandelu, between which are black glass bangles, which
are broken when a woman becomes a widow. The titles of members of this
sub-division are Anna, Ayya, and, when they become prosperous, Nayudu.

In a note on the Velamas of the Godavari district, Mr. F. R. Hemingway
writes that they "admit that they always arrange for a Mala couple
to marry, before they have a marriage in their own houses, and that
they provide the necessary funds for the Mala marriage. They explain
the custom by a story to the effect that a Mala once allowed a Velama
to sacrifice him in order to obtain a hidden treasure, and they say
that this custom is observed out of gratitude for the discovery of
the treasure which resulted. The Rev. J. Cain gives [125] a similar
custom among the Velamas of Bhadrachalam in the Godavari district,
only in this case it is a Palli (fisherman) who has to be married."

There is, a correspondent informs me, a regular gradation in the
social scale among the Velamas, Kammas, and Kapus, as follows:--


    Velama Dora = Velama Esquire.
    Kamma Varu = Mr. Kamma.
    Kapu.


A complaint was once made on the ground that, in a pattah (title-deed),
a man was called Kamma, and not Kamma Varu.

It is noted by Mr. H. G. Prendergast [126] that the custom of sending
a sword to represent an unavoidably absent bridegroom at a wedding
is not uncommon among the Telugu Razus and Velamas.

Velampan (rope-dancer).--Possibly a name for the Koravas of Malabar,
who perform feats on the tight-rope.

Velan.--As a diminutive form of Vellala, Velan occurs as a title
assumed by some Kusavans. Velan is also recorded as a title of
Paraiyans in Travancore. (See Panan.)

For the following note on the Velans of the Cochin State, I am indebted
to Mr. L. K. Anantha Krishna Iyer. [127]

The Velans, like the Panans, are a caste of devil-dancers, sorcerers
and quack doctors, and are, in the northern parts of the State, called
Perumannans or Mannans (washermen). My informant, a Perumannan at
Trichur, told me that their castemen south of the Karuvannur bridge,
about ten miles south of Trichur, are called Velans, and that they
neither interdine nor intermarry, because they give mattu (a washed
cloth) to carpenters to free them from pollution. The Mannans, who
give the mattu to Izhuvans, do not give it to Kammalans (artisan
classes), who are superior to them in social status. The Velans at
Ernakulam, Cochin, and other places, are said to belong to eight
illams. A similar division into illams exists among the Perumannans
of the Trichur taluk. The Perumannans of the Chittur taluk have no
knowledge of this illam division existing among them.

The following story was given regarding the origin of the Velans and
Mannans. Once upon a time, when Parameswara and his wife Parvati were
amusing themselves, the latter chanced to make an elephant with earth,
which was accidentally trodden on by the former, whence arose a man who
stood bowing before them. He was called the Mannan because he came out
of man (earth), and to him was assigned his present occupation. This
tradition is referred to in the songs which are sung on the fourth
day of a girl's first menses, when she takes a ceremonial bath to
free her from pollution.

The Velans are found all over the southern parts of the State, as
their brethren are in the northern parts. They live in thatched huts
in cocoanut gardens, while the Mannans occupy similar dwellings in
small compounds either of their own, or of some landlord whose tenant
they may be.

When a girl attains puberty, she is at once bathed, and located in a
room in the hut. Her period of seclusion is four days. On the morning
of the fourth day, she is seated in a pandal (booth) put up in front
of the hut, and made to hold in her hand a leafy vessel filled with
rice, a few annas and a lighted wick, when a few of the castemen
sing songs connected with puberty till so late as one or two o'clock,
when the girl is bathed. After this, the castemen and women who are
invited are feasted along with the girl, who is neatly dressed and
adorned in her best. Again the girl takes her seat in the pandal
and the tunes begin, and are continued till seven or eight o'clock
next morning, when the ceremony comes to an end. The songsters are
remunerated with three paras of paddy (unhusked rice), twenty-eight
cocoanuts, thirteen annas and four pies, and two pieces of cloth. The
songs are in some families postponed till the sixteenth day, or to
the day of the girl's marriage. Very poor people dispense with them
altogether. The following is a translation of one of the songs.

One day a girl and her friends were playing merrily on the banks of
a river, when one of them noticed some blood on her dress. They took
her home, and her parents believed it to have been caused by some
wound, but on enquiry knew that their daughter was in her menses. The
daughter asked her mother as to what she did with the cloth she wore
during her menses, when she was told that she bathed and came home,
leaving it on a branch of a mango tree. On further enquiry, she knew
that the goddess Ganga purified herself by a bath, leaving her cloth
in the river; that the goddess earth buried it in earth; and that
Panchali returned home after a bath, leaving her dress on a branch of
a banyan tree. Unwilling to lose her dress, the girl went to the god
Parameswara, and implored his aid to get somebody to have her cloth
washed. When muttering a mantram (prayer), he sprinkled some water,
a few drops of which went up and became stars, and from a few more,
which fell on the leaves of a banyan tree, there came out a man,
to whom was assigned the task of washing the cloths of the women in
their courses, wearing which alone the women are purified by a bath.

When a young man of the Velan caste has attained the marriageable
age, his father and maternal uncle select a suitable girl as a wife,
after a proper examination and agreement of their horoscopes. The
preliminaries are arranged in the hut of the girl, and a portion of
the bride's price, fifteen fanams, is paid. The auspicious day for the
wedding is fixed, and the number of guests that should attend it is
determined. The wedding is celebrated at the girl's hut, in front of
which a shed is put up. The ceremony generally takes place at night. A
few hours before it, the bridegroom and his party arrive at the bride's
hut, where they are welcomed, and seated on mats spread on the floor
in the pandal (shed). At the auspicious hour, when the relatives on
both sides and the castemen are assembled, the bridegroom's enangan
(relation by marriage) hands over a metal plate containing the wedding
suit, the bride's price, and a few packets of betel leaves and nuts
to the bride's enangan, who takes everything except the cloth to
be given to the bride's mother, and returns the plate to the same
man. The bridegroom's sister dresses the bride in the new cloth, and
takes her to the pandal, to seat her along with the bridegroom, and to
serve one or two spoonfuls of milk and a few pieces of plantain fruit,
when the bride is formally declared to be the wife of the young man and
a member of his family. The guests assembled are treated to a feast,
after which they are served with betel leaves, nuts, and tobacco. The
rest of the night is spent in merry songs and dancing. The songs refer
to the marriage of Sita, the wife of Rama, of Subhadra, wife of Arjuna,
and of Panchali, wife of the Pandavas. Next morning, the bride's party
is treated to rice kanji (gruel) at eight o'clock, and to a sumptuous
meal at twelve o'clock, after which they repair to the bridegroom's
hut, accompanied by the bride, her parents and relations, all of
whom receive a welcome. The formalities are gone through here also,
and the bride's party is feasted. On the fourth morning, the newly
married couple bathe and dress themselves neatly, to worship the deity
at the local temple. After dinner they go to the bride's hut, where
they spend a week or two, after which the bridegroom returns to his
hut with his wife. It is now that the bride receives a few ornaments,
a metal dish for taking meals, a lamp, and a few metal utensils, which
vary according to the circumstances of her parents. Henceforward, the
husband and wife live with the parents of the former in their family.

Among the Mannans of the northern parts of the State, the following
marriage customs are found to prevail. The bridegroom's father,
his maternal uncle, enangan, and the third or middle man, conjointly
select the girl after due examination and agreement of horoscopes. The
preliminaries are arranged as before, and the day for the wedding is
determined. At the auspicious moment on the wedding day, when the
relatives on both sides and the castemen are assembled at the shed
in front of the bride's hut, the bridegroom's father takes up a metal
plate containing the wedding dress, the bride's price (twelve fanams),
and a few bundles of betel leaves, nuts and tobacco, and repeats a
formula, of which the substance runs thus. "A lighted lamp is placed
in the shed. Four mats are spread round it in the direction of east,
west, north and south. A metal plate, containing rice, flowers and
betel leaves, is placed in front of the lamp, and the elderly members
of the caste and the relatives on both sides are assembled. According
to the traditional custom of the caste, the young man's father,
maternal uncle, enangan, and the middle man conjointly selected the
girl after satisfying themselves with due agreement of horoscopes,
and ascertaining the illams and kriyams on both sides. They have
negotiated for the girl, and settled the day on which the marriage is
to take place. In token of this, they have taken meals in the bride's
family. The claims of the girl for two pieces of cloth for the Onam
festival, two fanams or nine annas for Thiruwatira (a festival in
Dhanu, i.e., December-January), and Vishu, are satisfied, and she is
by the young man taken to the village festival. They have now come
for the celebration of the wedding. There have been times when he
has heard of 101 fanams as the price of the bride, and has seen 51
fanams as the price of the same, but it is now 21 fanams. It thus
varies, and may be increased or diminished according to the will,
pleasure, and means of the parties. With four fanams as the price
of the bride and eight fanams for ornaments, and with the bundles
of betel leaves, nuts, and the wedding dress in a metal plate, may
I, ye elderly members, give it to the girl's parents?" "Shall I,"
answers the girl's father, "accept it?" Receiving it, he gives it
to his brother-in-law, who gives it to the enangan, and he takes
everything in it except the wedding suit, which he hands over to the
bridegroom's enangan, who gives it to the bridegroom's sister, to have
the bride dressed in it. The other portions of the ceremony are the
same as those described above. In Palghat and the Chittur taluk, the
following declaration is made. "According to the customary traditions
of the caste, when a young man of one locality comes to tame a girl
of another locality, and takes her as his wife, ye elderly members
assembled here, may these four bundles of betel leaves, four measures
of rice, two pieces of cloth, and ten fanams be given to the bride's
parents?" "Shall these be accepted?" says the bride's enangan. When
the bride accompanies the bridegroom to his hut, the following formal
statement is made. "Thrash thou mayst, but not with a stick. Thou
mayst not accuse her of bad conduct. Thou mayst not cut off her ears,
breasts, nose and tufts of hair. Thou mayst not take her to a tank
(to bathe), or to a temple (for swearing). Thou mayst keep and protect
her as long as thou wantest. When thou dost not want her, give her
maintenance, and take back the children, for they are thine own."

Polygamy is not prohibited, but is rarely practiced by the Velans and
Mannans. They are very poor, and find it difficult to support their
wives and children born in a single married life. Want of children,
bodily defect or incurable disease, or want of additional hands for
work, may sometimes induce them to take more than one wife. Polyandry
does not prevail among the Velans, but is common among the Mannans
of the northern parts of the State. A Velan woman who loses her
husband may marry another of her caste, if she likes, a year after her
husband's death. The formalities of the wedding consist in the husband
giving two pieces of cloth to the woman who wishes to enter into
wedlock with him. After this she forfeits all claim on the property
of her former husband. Among the Mannans, a widow may marry any one of
her brothers-in-law. A woman committing adultery with a member of her
own caste is well thrashed. One who disposes of herself to a member of
a lower caste is sent out of caste. She may then become a Christian
or Muhammadan convert. If an unmarried young woman becomes pregnant,
and this is known to her castemen, they convene a meeting, and find
out the secret lover, whom they compel to take her as his wife. Very
often they are both fined, and the fine is spent on toddy. Both among
the Velans and Mannans, divorce is easy. A man who does not like his
wife has only to take her to her original home and give charge of
her to her parents, informing them of the circumstances which have
induced him to adopt such a course. A woman who does not like her
husband may relinquish him, and join her parents. In both cases,
the woman is at liberty to marry again.

When a woman is pregnant, the ceremony of pulikuti (drinking of
tamarind juice) is performed for her during the ninth month at the
hut of her husband. The juice is extracted from tamarind (Tamarindus
indica), kotapuli (Garcinia Cambogia), nerinjampuli (Hibiscus
surattensis) and the leaves of ambazhampuli (Spondias mangifera). A
large branch of ambazhampuli is stuck in the ground in the central
courtyard, near which the pregnant woman is seated. The husband gives
her three small spoonfuls, and then seven times with her cherutali
(neck ornament) dipped in the juice. Among the washermen, the woman's
brother gives it three times to her. Should her sister-in-law give it
in a small vessel, she has a claim to two pieces of cloth. After this,
a quarter measure of gingelly (Sesamum) oil is poured upon her head,
to be rubbed all over her body, and she bathes, using Acacia Intsia
as soap. Those of her relatives and the castemen who are invited
are sumptuously fed. Some of them crack jokes by asking the pregnant
woman to promise her baby son or daughter to theirs when grown up. All
bless her for a safe delivery and healthy child.

A woman who is about to become a mother is lodged in a separate room
for her delivery, attended by her mother and one or two grown-up women,
who act as midwives. The period of pollution is fifteen days. For
the first three days the woman is given a dose of dried ginger mixed
with palmyra (Borassus flabellifer) jaggery (crude sugar), and for
the next three days a mixture of garlic and jaggery. Her diet during
the first three days is rice kanji with scrapings of cocoanut, which
are believed to help the formation of the mother's milk. For the next
three days, the juice of kotapuli (Garcinia Cambogia), cumin seeds,
and kotal urikki (Achyranthes aspera), and of the leaves of muringa
(Moringa pterygosperma) is given, after which, for a few more days,
a dose of the flesh of fowl mixed with mustard, cumin seeds and uluva
(Trigonella foenum-græcum) boiled in gingelly oil is taken. She bathes
in water boiled with medicinal herbs on the fourth, seventh, ninth,
eleventh, and sixteenth days. On the morning of the sixteenth day,
her enangathi (enangan's wife) cleans her room with water mixed with
cow-dung, and sweeps the compound. Wearing a mattu (washed cloth)
brought by a washerman, she bathes to be freed from pollution. She
may now enter the hut, and mingle with the rest of the family.

Among Velans and Mannans, the sons inherit the property of their
fathers, but they are very poor, and have little or nothing to inherit.

Velans and Mannans practice magic and sorcery. All diseases that
flesh is heir to are, in the opinion of these people, caused by
malignant demons, and they profess to cure, with the aid of their
mantrams and amulets, people suffering from maladies. The muttering
of the following mantram, and throwing of bhasmam (holy ashes),
in propitiation of the small-pox demon is believed to effect a cure.

(1) Om, Oh! thou, Pallyamma, mother with tusk-like teeth, that in
demoniacal form appearest on the burning ground called omkara, with
burning piles flaming around, with one breast on one of thy shoulders,
and playing with the other as with a ball, with thy tongue stretched
out and wound round thy head, with grass, beans, and pepper in thy
left hand, with gingelly seeds and chama grains in thy right hand,
that scatterest and sowest broadcast the seeds of small-pox; Oh! let
the seeds that thou hast sown, and those that thou hast not sown,
dry up inside, and get charred outside. Be thou as if intoxicated
with joy! Protect thou, protect thou!

(2) Malign influence of birds on children.

Oh! thou round-eyed, short Karinkali with big ears, born from the
third incessantly burning eye of Siva, come, come and be in possession.

If this mantram be muttered sixteen times, and bhasmam thrown over
the body of a child, the operator breathing violently the while,
a cure will be effected. If the mantram be muttered in a vessel of
water the same number of times, and the child bathed in it, the cure
will be equally effective.

(3) To cure fits and fever.

Oh! thou swine-faced mother, thou catchest hold of my enemy, coming
charging me, by the neck with thy tusks thrust into his body; draggest
him on the ground, and standest slowly chewing and eating, thrusting
thy tusks, rubbing again, and wearing down his body, chewing once
more and again; thou, mother that controllest 41,448 demons presiding
over all kinds of maladies, seventy-two Bhiravans, eighteen kinds of
epileptic fits (korka), twelve kinds of muyalis and all other kinds
of illness, as also Kandakaranans (demons with bell-shaped ears),
be under my possession so long as I serve thee.

This mantram should be repeated sixteen times, with bhasmam thrown
on the body of the patient.

(4) Oh! Bhadrakali, thou hast drunk the full cup. Oh! thou that holdest
the sword of royalty in thy right hand, and that half sittest on a high
seat. Place under control, as I am piously uttering the mantrams to
serve thee, all demons, namely Yakshi, Gandharvan, Poomalagandharvan,
Chutali, Nirali, Nilankari, Chuzali, and many others who cause all
kinds of illness that flesh is heir to. Oh! holy mother, Bhadrakali,
I vow by my preceptor.

(5) For devil driving.

Oh! thou, Karinkutti (black dwarf) of Vedapuram in Vellanad, that
pluckest the fruits of the right hand branch of the strychnine tree
(Strychnos Nux-vomica), and keepest toddy in its shell, drinking the
blood of the black domestic fowl, drumming and keeping time on the
rind of the fruit, filling and blowing thy pipe or horn through the
nose. Oh! thou primeval black dwarf, so long as I utter the proper
mantrams, I beg thee to cause such demons as would not dance to dance,
and others to jump and drive them out. Oh! thou, Karinkutti, come,
come, and enable me to succeed in my attempts.

(6) Oh! thou goddess with face. Oh! thou with face like that of a bear,
and thou, a hunter. I utter thy mantrams and meditate upon thee, and
therefore request thee to tread upon my enemies, burst open their
bodies to drink their blood, and yawn to take complete rest; drive
out such demons as cause convulsions of the body both from within
and without, and all kinds of fever. Scatter them as dust. I swear
by thee and my preceptor. Swahah.

(7) For the evil eye.

Salutations to thee, Oh! God. Even as the moon wanes in its brightness
at the sight of the sun, even as the bird chakora (Eraya) disappears
at the sight of the moon; even as the great Vasuki (king of serpents)
vanishes at the sight of chakora; even as the poison vanishes from
his head; so may the potency of his evil eye with thy aid vanish.

(8) To cause delay in the occurrence of menses.

Salutation to thee, Oh! Mars (the son of the goddess Earth).

If this mantram is muttered on a thread dyed yellow with turmeric,
and if the thread be placed on both the palms joined together, and if
the number of days to which the occurrence of the menses should be
delayed be thought of, the postponement will be procured by wearing
it either round the neck or the loins. The thread with a ring attached
to it, and worn round the neck is equally effective.

(9) To prevent cows from giving milk.

Om, Koss, dry up the liquid, kindly present me with thy gracious
aspect. Oh! thou with the great sword in thy hands, the great
trident, dry up the cow's udder even as a tiger, I swear by thee and
my preceptor.

(10) To cause cows to give milk.

Even as the swelling on the holy feet of Mahadeva due to the bite
of a crocodile has subsided and gone down, so go down. I swear by
my preceptor.

(11) To remove a thorn from the sole of the foot.

When Parameswara and Parvathi started on their hunting expedition,
a thorn entered the foot of her lady-ship. It was doubted whether it
was the thorn of a bamboo, an ant, or a strychnine tree. Even so may
this poison cease to hurt, Oh! Lord. I swear by my preceptor.

(12) To effect metamorphosis.

Take the head of a dog and burn it, and plant on it vellakutti
plant. Burn camphor and frankincense, and adore it. Then pluck the
root. Mix it with the milk of a dog and the bones of a cat. A mark
made with the mixture on the forehead will enable any person to assume
the figure of any animal he thinks of.

(13) Before a stick of the Malankara plant, worship with a lighted
wick and incense. Then chant the Sakti mantram 101 times, and mutter
the mantram to give life at the bottom. Watch carefully which way
the stick inclines. Proceed to the south of the stick, and pluck the
whiskers of a live tiger, and make with them a ball of the veerali
silk, string it with silk, and enclose it within the ear. Stand on
the palms of the hand to attain the disguise of a tiger, and, with
the stick in hand, think of a cat, white bull, or other animal. Then
you will, in the eyes of others, appear as such.

(14) Take the nest of a crow from a margosa tree, and bury it at the
cremation ground. Then throw it into the house of your enemy. The
house will soon take fire.

(15) Take the ashes of the burial-ground on which an ass has been
rolling on a Saturday or Sunday, and put it in the house of your
enemy. The members of the family will soon quit the house, or a severe
illness will attack them.

The Velans and Mannans are animists, and worship demoniacal gods,
such as Chandan, Mundian, Kandakaranan, Karinkutti, and Chathan. All
of them are separately represented by stones located underneath a
tree in the corners of their compounds. Offerings of sheep, fowls,
plantain fruits, cocoanuts, parched rice and beaten rice, are made to
them on the tenth of Dhanu (last week in December), on a Tuesday in
Makaram (January-February), and on Kumbham Bharani (second asterism
in March-April). They also adore the goddess Bhagavathi and the
spirits of their departed ancestors, who are believed to exercise
their influence in their families for good or evil. Sometimes, when
they go to Cranganore to worship the goddess there, they visit the
senior male members of the local Nayar, Kammalan and Izhuvan families
to take leave of them, when they are given a few annas with which
they purchase fowls, etc., to be given as offerings to the local
goddess. Wooden or metal images, representing the spirits of their
ancestors, are located in a room of their huts, and worshipped with
offerings on New Moon and Sankranti nights.

The Velans and Mannans either burn or bury the dead. The son is the
chief mourner who performs the funeral rites, and the nephews and
brothers take part in them. Their priests are known as Kurup, and
they preside at the ceremonies. Death pollution lasts for sixteen
days, and on the morning of the sixteenth day the hut of the dead
person is well swept and cleansed by sprinkling water mixed with
cowdung. The members of the family, dressed in the mattu (a washed
cloth worn before bathing) brought by the washerman, bathe to be free
from pollution. The castemen, including their friends and relations,
are invited and feasted. A similar funeral feast is also held at the
end of the year.

The chief occupation of the Velans and Mannans is the giving of
mattu to Brahmans, Kshatriyas, Anthalarajatis, Nayars, Kammalans
and Izhuvans, for wearing before going to bathe on the day on which
they are freed from pollution. A girl or woman in her courses on
the morning of the fourth day, a woman in confinement on the fifth,
ninth, eleventh and sixteenth days, and all the members of a family
under death pollution on the sixteenth day, have to use it. They
bathe wearing the washed cloth, and return it as soon as the bath is
over. It may either belong to the washerman, or have been previously
given to him by the members of the family. He gets an anna or a
measure of paddy for his service to a woman in her menses, and a
para of paddy or six annas for birth and death pollutions. The Velans
give the mattu to all the castes above mentioned, while the Mannans
refuse to give it to the Kammalans, and thereby profess themselves to
be superior in status to them. They wash clothes to dress the idols
in some of the high caste temples. Their washing consists in first
plunging the dirty cloths in water mixed with cowdung, and beating
them on a stone by the side of a tank (pond), canal or river, and
again immersing them in water mixed with wood ashes or charamannu,
after which they are exposed to steam for a few hours, and again beaten
on the stone, slightly moistening in water now and then, until they
are quite clean. They are then dried in the sun, and again moistened
with a solution of starch and indigo, when they are exposed to the
air to dry. When dry, they are folded, and beaten with a heavy club,
so as to be like those ironed. The Velans of the Cranganore, Cochin,
and Kanayannur taluks, climb cocoanut trees to pluck cocoanuts,
and get about eight to ten annas for every hundred trees they go
up. They make umbrellas. Some among them practice magic and sorcery,
and some are quack doctors, who treat sickly children. Some are now
engaged in agricultural operations, while a few make beds, pillows,
and coats. There are also a few of them in every village who are
songsters, and whose services are availed of on certain ceremonial
occasions, namely, on the bathing day of a girl in her first menses,
on the wedding night, and when religious ceremonies are performed, and
sacrifices offered to their gods. Some are experts in drum-beating,
and are invited by low caste people of the rural parts. The Mannans
also follow the same occupations.

The Velans and Mannans eat at the hands of all castes above them,
namely, Brahmans, Kshatriyas, Nayars, and Izhuvans. The former take
food from Kammalans, while the latter abstain from so doing. They do
not eat the food prepared by Kaniyans, Panans, Vilkurups, or other
castes of equal or inferior status. They have to stand at a distance
of twenty-four feet from Brahmans. They have their own barbers, and
are their own washermen. They stand far away from the outer wall
of the temples of high castes. They are not allowed to take water
from the wells of high caste Sudras, nor are they allowed to live in
their midst.

The following note on the Velans of Travancore has been furnished by
Mr. N. Subramani Iyer.

The word Velan has been derived from vel a spear, and also from vela
work. The usual title of the Velans is Panikkan. They are believed
to be divided into four classes, viz., Bharata Velan, Vaha Velan,
Pana Velan, and Manna Velan. While the last of these sections, in
addition to their traditional occupation, are washermen and climbers
of areca palm trees, the Pana Velans take sawing as a supplementary
employment. Some of the members of the first and second classes are
also physicians. This classification is gradually going out of vogue.

The Velans are said traditionally to have been descended from Siva,
who, on one occasion, is believed to have removed the evil effects of
the sorcery of demons upon Vishnu by means of exorcism. As this kind
of injury began to increase among men, a man and woman were created
by this deity, to prevent its dire consequences. In the Keralolpatti,
this caste is mentioned as Velakkuruppu. But at present the Puranadis,
who are the barbers and priests of this class, are known by this
name. A Puranadi means one who stands outside, and is not admitted
as of equal rank with the Velans proper. The Puranadis are not
washermen. Commensal relations exist only between the male members
of the Velans and Puranitis (Puranadi females).

The Velans perform a number of useful services in the body politic of
Malabar. In the Keralolpatti their duty is said to be the nursing of
women in their confinement. In the Kerala-Visesha-Mahatmya, exorcism,
climbing of trees, and washing clothes, are mentioned as their
occupations. There are various kinds of exorcism, the chief being Velan
Tullal and Velan Pravarti. The former is a kind of masque performed by
the Velans for warding off the effects of the evil eye, and preventing
the injurious influences of demons and spirits. Atavi is a peculiar
female divinity worshipped by the caste, by whose help these feats are
believed to be performed in the main. She, and a host of minor gods and
goddesses, are represented by them, and a dance commences. After it is
over, all the characters receive presents. Velan Pravarti, or Otuka,
may either last for eleven days, or may be finished on a minor scale
within three days, and in emergent cases even in one day. A Puranadi
acts as buffoon, and serves the purpose of a domestic servant on
the occasion. This is called Pallipana when performed in temples,
Pallipperu when in palaces, and Velan Pravarti or Satru-eduppu in
the case of ordinary people. This is also done with a view to prevent
the effect of the evil eye. On the first day, a person representing
the enchanted man or woman is placed in a temporary shed built for
the purpose, and lights are waved before him. On the third day, a
pit is dug, and a cock sacrificed. On the fourth day, the Pattata
Bali, or human sacrifice, takes place. A person is thrown into a
pit which is covered with a plank of wood, upon which sacrifices are
offered. The buried person soon resuscitates himself, and, advancing
as if possessed, explains the cause of the disease or calamity. On
the eighth day, figures of snakes, in gold or silver, are enclosed
in small copper vessels, and milk and fruit are offered to them. On
the ninth day, the Velans worship the lords of the eight directions,
with Brahma or the creator in the midst of them. On the tenth day,
there is much festivity and amusement, and the Mahabharata is sung
in a condensed form. The chief of the Velans becomes possessed, and
prays that, as the Pandavas emerged safely from the sorcery of the
Kauravas, the person affected by the calamity may escape unhurt. On
the last day, animals are sacrificed at the four corners of the
compound surrounding the house. No special rite is performed on the
first day, but the Ituvanabali, Kuzhibali, Pattatabali, Kitangubali,
Patalabali, Sarakutabali, Pithabali, Azhibali, Digbali, and Kumpubali,
are respectively observed during the remaining ten days. The Pana,
of which rite the breaking of cocoanuts is the most important item,
completes this long ceremony. It was once supposed that the Bharata
Velans exorcised spirits in the homes of high caste Hindus, the same
work being done among the middle classes by the Vaha Velans, and
among the low by the Manna Velans. This rule does not hold good at
the present day. The Velans are also engaged in the event of bad crops.

Besides standing thirty-two feet apart from Hindu temples, and
worshipping the divinities therein, the Velans erect small sanctuaries
for Siva within their own compounds, called Kuriyala. They worship
this deity in preference to others, and offer tender cocoanuts, fried
rice, sugar, and plantain fruits to him on the Uttradam day in the
month of August.

Velanati (foreign).--A sub-division of Kapus, and other Telugu castes,
and of Telugu Brahmans.

Velanga (wood apple: Feronia elephantum).--An exogamous sept of
Muka Dora.

Velichchapad.--Of the Velichchapads, or oracles, of Malabar, the
following account is given by Mr. F. Fawcett. [128] "Far away in
rural Malabar, I witnessed the ceremony in which the Velichchapad
exhibited his quality. It was in the neighbourhood of a Nayar house,
to which thronged all the neighbours (Nayars), men and women, boys
and girls. The ceremony lasts about an hour. The Nayar said it was
the custom in his family to have it done once a year, but could give
no account of how the custom originated; most probably in a vow,
some ancestor having vowed that, if such or such benefit be received,
he would for ever after have an annual performance of this ceremony
in his house. It involved some expenditure, as the Velichchapad had
to be paid, and the neighbours had to be fed. Somewhere about the
middle of the little courtyard, always as clean as a dinner table,
the Velichchapad placed a lamp (of the Malabar pattern) having a
lighted wick, a kalasam (brass vessel), some flowers, camphor, saffron
(turmeric) and other paraphernalia. Bhagavati was the deity invoked,
and the business involved offering flowers, and waving a lighted wick
round the kalasam. The Velichchapad's movements became quicker, and,
suddenly seizing his sword (nandakam), he ran round the courtyard
(against the sun, as sailors say) shouting wildly. He is under the
influence of the deity who has been introduced into him, and he gives
oracular utterances to the deity's commands. What he said I know not,
and no one else seemed to know or care in the least, much interested
though they were in the performance. As he ran, every now and then
he cut his forehead with the sword, pressing it against the skin
and sawing vertically up and down. The blood streamed all over his
face. Presently he became wilder and wilder, and whizzed round the
lamp, bending forward towards the kalasam. Evidently some deity,
some spirit was present here, and spoke through the mouth of the
Velichchapad. This, I think, undoubtedly represents the belief of
all who were present. When he had done whizzing round the kalasam,
he soon became a normal being, and stood before my camera. The
fee for the self-inflicted laceration is one rupee, some rice,
etc. I saw the Velichchapad about three days afterwards, going to
perform elsewhere. The wound on his forehead had healed. The careful
observer can always identify a Velichchapad by the triangular patch
over the forehead, where the hair will not grow, and where the skin
is somewhat indurated."

Veliveyabadina Razu.--The name, denoting Razus who were thrown out,
of a class said to be descended from Razus who were excommunicated
from their caste. [129]

Veliyam.--Recorded, in the Travancore Census Report, 1901, as a title
of Nayars. In the same report Veliyattu is described as synonymous
with Pulikkappanikkan, a sub-division of Nayar.

Vellaikaran (white man).--A Tamil name for European.

Vellala.--"The Vellalas," Mr. H. A. Stuart writes, [130] "are
the great farmer caste of the Tamil country, and they are strongly
represented in every Tamil district. The word Vellalan is derived from
vellanmai [vellam, water, anmai, management?] meaning cultivation,
tillage. Dr. Oppert [131] considers Vellalan to be etymologically
connected with Pallan, Palli, etc., the word meaning the lord of
the Vallas or Pallas. The story of their origin is as follows. Many
thousands of years ago, when the inhabitants of the world were rude
and ignorant of agriculture, a severe drought fell upon the land, and
the people prayed to Bhudevi, the goddess of the earth, for aid. She
pitied them, and produced from her body a man carrying a plough,
who showed them how to till the soil and support themselves. His
offsprings are the Vellalas, who aspire to belong to the Vaisya
caste, since that includes Govaisyas, Bhuvaisyas, and Dhanavaisyas
(shepherds, cultivators and merchants). A few, therefore, constantly
wear the sacred thread, but most put it on only during marriages or
funerals as a mark of the sacred nature of the ceremony."

The traditional story of the origin of the Vellalas is given as
follows in the Baramahal Records. [132] "In ancient days, when the
God Paramesvaradu and his consort the goddess Parvati Devi resided
on the top of Kailasa Parvata or mount of paradise, they one day
retired to amuse themselves in private, and by chance Visvakarma, the
architect of the Devatas or gods, intruded on their privacy, which
enraged them, and they said to him that, since he had the audacity
to intrude on their retirement, they would cause an enemy of his to
be born in the Bhuloka or earthly world, who should punish him for
his temerity. Visvakarma requested they would inform him in what
part of the Bhuloka or earthly world he would be born, and further
added that, if he knew the birth place, he would annihilate him with
a single blow. The divine pair replied that the person would spring
up into existence from the bowels of the earth on the banks of the
Ganga river. On this, Visvakarma took his sword, mounted his aerial
car, and flew through the regions of ether to the banks of the Ganga
river, where he anxiously waited the birth of his enemy. One day
Visvakarma observed the ground to crack near him, and a kiritam or
royal diadem appeared issuing out of the bowels of the earth, which
Visvakarma mistook for the head of his adversary, and made a cut at
it with his sword, but only struck off the kiritam. In the meantime,
the person came completely out of the earth, with a bald pate,
holding in his hand a golden ploughshare, and his neck encircled
with garlands of flowers. The angry Visvakarma instantly laid hold
on him, when the Gods Brahma, Vishnu and Siva, and the supporters
of the eight corners of the universe, appeared in all their glory,
and interceded for the earth-born personage, and said to Visvakarma
thou didst vow that thou wouldst annihilate him with a single blow,
which vow thou hast not performed; therefore with what justice hast
thou a second time laid violent hands on him? Since thou didst not
succeed in thy first attempt, it is but equitable that thou shouldst
now spare him. At the intercession and remonstrance of the gods,
Visvakarma quitted his hold, and a peace was concluded between him and
his enemy on the following stipulation, viz., that the pancha jati,
or five castes of silversmiths, carpenters, ironsmiths, stone-cutters,
and braziers, who were the sons of Visvakarma, should be subservient to
the earth-born person. The deities bestowed on the person these three
names. First Bhumi Palakudu or saviour of the earth, because he was
produced by her. Second, Ganga kulam or descendant of the river Ganga,
by reason of having been brought forth on her banks. Third, Murdaka
Palakudu or protector of the plough, alluding to his being born with
a ploughshare in his hand, and they likewise ordained that, as he had
lost his diadem, he should not be eligible to sovereignty, but that he
and his descendants should till the ground with this privilege, that
a person of the caste should put the crown on the king's head at the
coronation. They next invested him with the yegnopavitam or string,
and, in order that he might propagate his caste, they gave him in
marriage the daughters of the gods Indra and Kubera. At this time,
the god Siva was mounted on a white bullock, and the god Dharmaraja
on a white buffalo, which they gave him to plough the ground, and from
which circumstance the caste became surnamed Vellal Warus or those who
plough with white bullocks. After the nuptials, the deities departed
to their celestial abodes. Murdaka Palakulu had fifty-four sons by the
daughter of the god Indra, and fifty-two by the daughter of the god
Kubera, whom he married to the one hundred and six daughters of Nala
Kubarudu, the son of Kubera, and his sons-in-law made the following
agreement with him, viz., that thirty-five of them should be called
Bhumi Palakulu, and should till the ground; thirty-five of them named
Vellal Shetti, and their occupation be traffic; and thirty-five of
them named Govu Shetlu, and their employment breeding and feeding
of cattle. They gave the remaining one the choice of three orders,
but he would not have any connexion with any of them, from whence
they surnamed him Agmurdi or the alien. The Agmurdi had born to him
two thousand five hundred children, and became a separate caste,
assuming the appellation of Agmurdi Vellal Waru. The other brothers
had twelve thousand children, who intermarried, and lived together
as one caste, though their occupations were different.... During the
reign of Krishna Rayalu, whose capital was the city of Vijayanagaram or
city of victory, a person of the Vellal caste, named Umbhi or Amultan
Mudaliyar, was appointed sarvadhikari or prime minister, who had a
samprati or secretary of the caste of Gollavaru or cowherds, whose name
was Venayaterthapalli. It so happened that a set of Bhagavata Sevar,
or strolling players, came to the city, and one night acted a play
in the presence of Krishna Rayalu and his court. In one of the acts,
a player appeared in the garb and character of a female cowherd, and,
by mimicking the actions and manners of that caste, afforded great
diversion both to the Raja and his courtiers. But no person seemed
to be so much pleased as the prime minister, which being perceived by
his secretary, he determined on making him pay dear for his mirth by
turning the Vellal caste into ridicule, and thus hurt his pride, and
take revenge for the pleasure he expressed at seeing the follies of
the cowherd caste exposed. For that purpose, he requested the players,
when they acted another play, to dress themselves up in the habit of a
female of the Vellal caste. This scheme came to the ears of the prime
minister, who, being a proud man, was sadly vexed at the trick, and
resolved on preventing its being carried into execution; but, having
none of his own caste present to assist him, and not knowing well how
to put a stop to the business, he got into his palanquin, and went to a
Canardha Shetti or headman of the right-hand caste, informed him of the
circumstance, and begged his advice and assistance. The Shetti replied
'Formerly the left-hand caste had influence enough with Government to
get an order issued forbidding the right-hand caste to cultivate or
traffic; therefore, when we quarrel again, do you contrive to prevent
the ryots of the Vellal caste from cultivating the ground, so that
the public revenue will fall short, and Government will be obliged to
grant us our own terms; and I will save you from the disgrace that is
intended to be put on you. The prime minister agreed to the proposal,
and went home. At night, when the players were coming to the royal
presence to act, and one of them had on the habit of a female of the
Vellal caste, the Canardha Shetti cut off his head, and saved the
honour of the prime minister. The death of the player being reported
to the Raja Krishna Rayalu, he enquired into the affair, and finding
how matters stood, he directed the prime minister and his secretary to
be more circumspect in their conduct, and not to carry their enmity
to such lengths.' Since that time, the Vellal castes have always
assisted the right-hand against the left-hand castes." (See Kammalan.)

At the time of the census, 1871, some Vellalas claimed that they had
been seriously injured in reputation, and handled with great injustice,
in being classed as Sudras by the Municipal Commissioners of Madras
in the classification of Hindus under the four great divisions of
Brahmans, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas, and Sudras. In their petition it
was stated that "we shall first proceed to show that the Vellalas
do come exactly within the most authoritative definition given of
Vysias, and then point out that they do not come within the like
definition of Sudras. First then to the definition of Vysia, Manu,
the paramount authority upon these matters, says in paragraph 90
of his Institutes:--'To keep herds of cattle, to bestow largesses,
to sacrifice, to read the scripture, to carry on trade, to lend at
interest, and to cultivate land, are prescribed or permitted to a
Vysia.'" In the course of the petition, the Vellalas observed that "it
is impossible to imagine that the Vellalas, a race of agriculturists
and traders, should have had to render menial service to the three
higher classes; for the very idea of service is, as it needs must
be, revolting to the Vellala, whose profession teaches him perfect
independence, and dependence, if it be, upon the sovereign alone
for the protection of his proper interests. Hence a Vellala cannot
be of the Sudra or servile class. Besides, that the Vellalas are
recognised as a respectable body of the community will also appear
from the following. There was a ceremony called tulabharam (weighing
in scales) observed by the ancient kings of, at some part of their
lives, distributing in charity to the most deserving gold and silver
equal to the weight of their persons; and tradition alleges that, when
the kings of Tanjore performed this ceremony, the right to weigh the
king's person was accorded to the Vellalan Chettis. This shows that
the Vellalas have been recognised as a respectable body of mercantile
men in charge of weights and measures (Manu 30, chap. 9). So also,
in the Halasya Puranam of Madura, it is said that, when the King
Somasundara Pandien, who was supposed to be the very incarnation
of Siva, had to be crowned, there arose a contention as to who was
to put the crown on his head. After much discussion, it was agreed
that one of the Vellalas, who formed the strength of the community
(note the fact that Manu says that Vysia came from the thighs of
the Supreme Deity, which, as an allegory, is interpreted to mean the
strength of the State) should be appointed to perform that part of the
ceremony. Also, in Kamban's Ramayana, written 1,000 and odd years ago,
it is said that the priest Vasista handed the crown to a Vellala,
who placed it upon great Rama's head."

In 'The Tamils eighteen hundred years ago,' Mr. V. Kanakasabhai
writes that "among the pure Tamils, the class most honoured was
the Arivar or Sages. Next in rank to the Arivar were the Ulavar
or farmers. The Arivars were ascetics, but, of the men living in
society, the farmers occupied the highest position. They formed the
nobility, or the landed aristocracy, of the country. They were also
called Vellalar, 'lords of the flood,' or 'Karalar,' 'lords of the
clouds,' titles expressive of their skill in controlling floods,
and in storing water for agricultural purposes. The Chera, Chola and
Pandyan Kings, and most of the petty chiefs of Tamilakam, belonged to
the tribe of Vellalas. The poor families of Vellalas who owned small
estates were generally spoken of as the Veelkudi-Uluvar or 'the fallen
Vellalas,' implying thereby that the rest of the Vellalas were wealthy
land-holders. When Karikal the Great defeated the Aruvalar, and annexed
their territory to his kingdom, he distributed the conquered lands
among Vellala chiefs. [133] The descendants of some of these chiefs
are to this day in possession of their lands, which they hold as petty
zamindars under the British Government. [134] The Vellala families who
conquered Vadukam, or the modern Telugu country, were called Velamas,
and the great zamindars there still belong to the Velama caste. In the
Canarese country, the Vellalas founded the Bellal dynasty, which ruled
that country for several centuries. The Vellalas were also called the
Gangakula or Gangavamsa, because they derived their descent from the
great and powerful tribe named Gangvida, which inhabited the valley
of the Ganges, as mentioned by Pliny and Ptolemy. A portion of Mysore
which was peopled mostly by Vellalas was called Gangavadi in the tenth
and eleventh centuries of the Christian era. Another dynasty of kings
of this tribe, who ruled Orissa in the eleventh and twelfth centuries,
was known as the Gangavamsa.... In the earliest Tamil grammar extant,
which was composed by a Brahman named Tholkappiyan, in the first
or second century B.C., frequent allusions are made to the Arivar
or Sages. But, in the chapter in which he describes the classes of
society, the author omits all mention of the Arivar, and places the
Brahmins who wear the sacred thread as the first caste. The kings,
he says, very guardedly, and not warriors, form the second caste, as
if the three kings Chera, Chola and Pandy could form a caste; all who
live by trade belong to the third caste. He does not say that either
the kings or the merchants wear the sacred thread. Then he singles
out the Vellalas, and states that they have no other calling than the
cultivation of the soil. Here he does not say that the Vellalas are
Sudras, but indirectly implies that the ordinary Vellalas should be
reckoned as Sudras, and that those Vellalas who were kings should
be honoured as Kshatriyas. This is the first attempt made by the
Brahmins to bring the Tamils under their caste system. But, in the
absence of the Kshatriya, Vaisya, and Sudra castes in Tamilakam, they
could not possibly succeed; and to this day the Vellala does not take
meals at the hands of a Padaiyadchi, who calls himself a Kshatriya,
or a merchant who passes for a Vaisya." In speculating on the origin
of the Vellalas, Mr. J. H. Nelson [135] states that "tradition
uniformly declares them to be the descendants of foreign immigrants,
who were introduced by the Pandyas: and it appears to be extremely
probable that they are, and that an extensive Vellala immigration took
place at a rather remote period, perhaps a little before or after the
colonization of the Tonda-mandala by Adondai Chakravarti. The Vellalas
speak a pure dialect of Tamil, and no other language. I have not heard
of anything extraordinary in the customs prevailing among them, or
of any peculiarities pointing to a non-Tamil origin.... With regard
to the assertion so commonly made that the Pandyas belonged to the
Vellala caste, it is observable that tradition is at issue with it,
and declares that the Pandyas proper were Kshatriyas: but they were
accustomed to marry wives of inferior castes as well as and in addition
to wives of their own caste; and some of their descendants born of the
inferior and irregularly married wives were Vellalans, and, after the
death of Kun or Sundara Pandya, formed a new dynasty, known as that
of the pseudo-Pandyas. Tradition also says that Arya Nayaga Muthali,
the great general of the sixteenth century, was dissuaded by his family
priest from making himself a king on the ground that he was a Vellalan,
and no Vellalan ought to be a king. And, looking at all the facts of
the case, it is somewhat difficult to avoid coming to the conclusion
that the reason assigned for his not assuming the crown was the true
one. This, however, is a question, the settlement of which requires
great antiquarian learning: and it must be settled hereafter."

In the Madras Census Report, 1871, the Vellalas are described
as "a peace-loving, frugal, and industrious people, and, in the
cultivation of rice, betel, tobacco, etc., have perhaps no equals
in the world. They will not condescend to work of a degrading
nature. Some are well educated, and employed in Government service,
and as clerks, merchants, shop-keepers, etc., but the greater part
of them are the peasant proprietors of the soil, and confine their
attention to cultivation." In the Madura Manual, it is recorded that
"most Vellalans support themselves by husbandry, which, according
to native ideas, is their only proper means of livelihood. But they
will not touch the plough, if they can help it, and ordinarily they
do everything by means of hired servants and predial slaves. In the
Sathaga of Narayanan may be found a description of their duties and
position in society, of which the following translation appears
in Taylor's work, the Oriental MSS. The Vellalans, by the effect
of their ploughing (or cultivation), maintain the prayers of the
Brahmans, the strength of kings, the profits of merchants, the
welfare of all. Charity, donations, the enjoyments of domestic life,
and connubial happiness, homage to the gods, the Sastras, the Vedas,
the Puranas, and all other books, truth, reputation, renown, the very
being of the gods, things of good report or integrity, the good order
of castes, and (manual) skill, all these things come to pass by the
merit (or efficacy) of the Vellalan's plough. Those Vellalans who
are not farmers, husbandmen, or gardeners, are employed in various
ways more or less respectable; but none of them will condescend
to do work of a degrading nature. Some of them are merchants, some
shop-keepers, some Government servants, some sepoys, some domestic
servants, some clerks, and so forth." In the Tanjore Manual, it is
stated that "many Vellalars are found in the Government service, more
especially as karnams or village accountants. As accountants they
are unsurpassed, and the facility with which, in by-gone days, they
used to write on cadjan or palmyra leaves with iron styles, and pick
up any information on any given points from a mass of these leaves,
by lamp-light no less than by daylight, was most remarkable. Running
by the side of the Tahsildar's (native revenue officer) palanquin,
they could write to dictation, and even make arithmetical calculations
with strictest accuracy. In religious observances, they are more strict
than the generality of Brahmans; they abstain from both intoxicating
liquors and flesh meat." In the Coimbatore Manual, the Vellalas are
summed up as "truly the backbone of the district. It is they who,
by their industry and frugality, create and develop wealth, support
the administration, and find the money for imperial and district
demands. As their own proverb says:--The Vellalar's goad is the
ruler's sceptre. The bulk of them call themselves Goundans." In the
Salem Manual, the Vellala is described as "frugal and saving to the
extreme; his hard-working wife knows no finery, and the Vellalichi,
(Vellala woman) willingly wears for the whole year the one blue cloth,
which is all that the domestic economy of the house allows her. If she
gets wet, it must dry on her; and, if she would wash her sole garment,
half is unwrapped to be operated upon, which in its turn relieves the
other half, that is then and there similarly hammered against some
stone by the side of the village tank (pond), or on the bank of the
neighbouring stream. Their food is the cheapest of the 'dry' grains
which they happen to cultivate that year, and not even the village
feasts can draw the money out of a Vellalar's clutches. It is all
expended on his land, if the policy of the revenue administration
of the country be liberal, and the acts of Government such as to
give confidence to the ryots or husbandmen; otherwise their hoarded
gains are buried. The new moon, or some high holiday, may perhaps
see the head of the house enjoy a platter of rice and a little
meat, but such extravagance is rare." The Vellalas are summed up by
'A Native,' [136] as being "found in almost every station of life,
from the labourer in the fields to the petty zamindar (landholder);
from the owner of plantations to the cooly who works at coffee-picking;
from the Deputy Collector to the peon in his office." It is recorded,
in the Census Report, 1871, that a Vellala had passed the M.A. degree
examination of the Madras University. The occupations of the Vellalas
whom I examined in Madras were as follows:--


    Cart-driver.
    Bricklayer.
    Cooly.
    Varnisher.
    Painter.
    Watchman.
    Cultivator.
    Gardener.
    Compositor.
    Railway fireman.
    Peon.
    Student.


In an excellent summary of the Vellalas [137] Mr. W. Francis writes
as follows. "By general consent, the first place in social esteem
among the Tamil Sudra castes is awarded to them. To give detailed
descriptions of the varying customs of a caste which numbers, as
this does, over two and a quarter millions, and is found all over
the Presidency, is unnecessary, but the internal construction of the
caste, its self-contained and distinct sub-divisions, and the methods
by which its numbers are enhanced by accretions from other castes,
are so typical of the corresponding characteristics of the Madras
castes, that it seems to be worth while to set them out shortly.

"The caste is first of all split up into four main divisions,
named after the tract of country in which the ancestors of each
originally resided. These are (1) Tondamandalam, or the dwellers in
the Pallava country, the present Chingleput and North Arcot districts,
the titles of which division are Mudali, Reddi and Nainar; (2) Soliya
(or Sozhia), or men of the Chola country, the Tanjore and Trichinopoly
districts of the present day, the members of which are called Pillai;
(3) Pandya, the inhabitants of the Pandyan Kingdom of Madura and
Tinnevelly, which division also uses the title of Pillai; and (4)
Konga, or those who resided in the Konga country, which corresponded
to Coimbatore and Salem, the men of which are called Kavandans. The
members of all these four main territorial divisions resemble one
another in their essential customs. Marriage is either infant or
adult, the Puranic wedding ceremonies are followed, and (except among
the Konga Vellalas) Brahmans officiate. They all burn their dead,
observe fifteen days' pollution, and perform the karumantaram ceremony
to remove the pollution on the sixteenth day. There are no marked
occupational differences amongst them, most of them being cultivators
or traders. Each division contains both Vaishnavites and Saivites, and
(contrary to the rule among the Brahmans) differences of sect are not
of themselves any bar to intermarriage. Each division has Pandarams,
or priests, recruited from among its members, who officiate at funerals
and minor ceremonies, and some of these wear the sacred thread, while
other Vellalas only wear it at funerals. All Vellalas perform sraddhas
(memorial services), and observe the ceremony of invoking their
ancestors on the Mahalaya days (a piece of ritual which is confined
to the twice-born and the higher classes of Sudras); all of them
decline to drink alcohol or to eat in the houses of any but Brahmans;
and all of them may dine together. Yet no member of any of these four
main divisions may marry into another, and, moreover, each of them
is split into sub-divisions (having generally a territorial origin),
the members of which again may not intermarry. Thus Tondamandalam
are sub-divided into the Tuluvas, who are supposed to have come from
the Tulu country; the Poonamallee (or Pundamalli) Vellalas, so called
from the town of that name near Madras; and the Kondaikattis (those
who tie their hair in a knot without shaving it). None of these three
will intermarry. The Soliya Vellalas are sub-divided into the Vellan
Chettis, meaning the Vellala merchants (who are again further split
up into three or four other territorial divisions); the Kodikkals
(betel-garden), who grow the betel-vine; and the Kanakkilinattar, or
inhabitants of Kanakkilinadu. These three similarly may not intermarry,
but the last is such a small unit, and girls in it are getting so
scarce, that its members are now going to other sub-divisions for
their brides. The Pandya Vellalas are sub-divided into the Karkattas
or Karaikatus, who, notwithstanding the legends about their origin,
are probably a territorial sub-division named from a place called
Karaikadu; the Nangudis and Panjais, the origin of whom is not clear;
the Arumburs and Sirukudis, so called from villages of those names
in the Pandya country; the Agamudaiyans, who are probably recruits
from the caste of that name; the Nirpusis, meaning the wearers of the
sacred ashes; and the Kottai Vellalas or fort Vellalas. These last
are a small sub-division, the members of which live in Srivaikuntam
fort (in Tinnevelly), and observe the strictest gosha (seclusion
of females). Though they are, as has been seen, a sub-division of
a caste, yet their objection to marry outside their own circle is
so strong that, though they are fast dying out because there are so
few girls among them, they decline to go to the other sub-divisions
for brides. [See Kottai Vellala.] The Kongas are sub-divided into the
Sendalais (red-headed men), Paditalais (leaders of armies), Vellikkai
(the silver hands), Pavalamkatti (wearers of coral), Malaiyadi (foot
of the hills), Tollakadu (ears with big holes), Attangarais (river
bank), and others, the origin of none of which is clearly known,
but the members of which never intermarry. In addition to all these
divisions and sub-divisions of the Vellala caste proper, there are
nowadays many groups which really belong to quite distinct castes,
but which call themselves Vellalas, and pretend that they belong to
that caste, although in origin they had no connection with it. These
nominally cannot intermarry with any of the genuine Vellalas,
but the caste is so widely diffused that it cannot protect itself
against these invasions, and, after a few generations, the origin of
the new recruits is forgotten, and they have no difficulty in passing
themselves off as real members of the community. The same thing occurs
among the Nayars in Malabar. It may be imagined what a mixture of
blood arises from this practice, and how puzzling the variations in
the cranial measurements of Vellalas taken at random are likely to
become. Instances of members of other castes who have assumed the
name and position of the Vellalas are the Vettuva Vellalas, who are
really Vettuvans; the Puluva Vellalas, who are only Puluvans; the
Illam Vellalas, who are Panikkans; the Karaiturai (lord of the shore)
Vellalas, who are Karaiyans; the Karukamattai (palmyra leaf-stem)
Vellalas, who are Shanans; the Gazulu (bangle) Vellalas, who are
Balijas; the Guha (Rama's boat-man) Vellalas, who are Sembadavans; and
the Irkuli Vellalas, who are Vannans. The children of dancing-girls
also often call themselves Mudali, and claim in time to be Vellalas;
and even Paraiyans assume the title Pillai, and trust to its eventually
enabling them to pass themselves off as members of the caste." The
name Acchu Vellala has been assumed by some Karaiyans, and Pattanavans
call themselves Varunakula Vellala or Varunakula Mudali, after Varuna,
the god of the waters. At times of census, many hill Malayalis return
themselves as Vellalas, in accordance with their tradition that they
are Vellalas who migrated to the hills. Some thieving Koravas style
themselves Aghambadiar Vellala or Pillai, and have to some extent
adopted the dress and manners of the Vellalas. [138] In Travancore,
to which State some Vellalas have migrated, males of the Deva-dasi
(dancing-girl) caste sometimes call themselves Nanchinad
Vellalas. There is a Tamil proverb to the effect that a Kallan may come
to be a Maravan. By respectability he may develop into an Agamudaiyan,
and, by slow degrees, become a Vellala. According to another proverb,
the Vellalas are compared to the brinjal (Solanum Melongena) fruit,
which will mix palatably with anything.

The account of the divisions and sub-divisions of the Vellalas recorded
above may be supplemented from various sources:--

1. Arampukutti, or Arambukatti (those who tie flower-buds). According
to Mr. J. A. Boyle, [139] the name indicates Vellalas with wreaths of
the aram flower, which is one of the decorations of Siva. They are,
he writes, "a tribal group established in a series of villages in
the Ramnad territory. The family tradition runs that they emigrated
five centuries ago from the Tondamandalam, and that the migration was
made in devendra vimanam or covered cars; and this form of vehicle
is invariably used in marriage ceremonies for the conveyance of the
bride and bridegroom round the village. The women never wear a cloth
above the waist, but go absolutely bare on breast and shoulders. The
two rivers which bound this district on the north and south are rigid
limits to the travels of the women, who are on no pretext allowed
to cross them. It is said that, if they make vows to the deity of a
celebrated temple in Tanjore, they have to perform their pilgrimage
to the temple in the most perfect secrecy, and that, if detected,
they are fined. Intermarriage is prohibited 'beyond the rivers.' It
is, with the men, a tradition never to eat the salt of the Sirkar
(Government), or take any service under Government."

2. Chetti. The members of the Vellalan subdivision of Chetti are "said
to be pure Vellalas, who have taken the title of Chetti. In ancient
times, they had the prerogative of weighing the person of kings on
occasion of the Tulabharam ceremony. (See Tulabharam.) They were,
in fact, the trading class of the Tamil nation in the south. But,
after the immigration of the more skilful Telugu Komatis and other
mercantile classes, the hereditary occupation of the Vellan Chettis
gradually declined, and consequently they were obliged to follow
different professions. The renowned poet Pattanattar is said to have
belonged to this caste." [140]

3. Karaikkat or Karkatta. The name is said to mean Vellalas who
saved or protected the clouds, or waiters for rain. Their original
profession is said to have been rain-making. Their mythological origin
is as follows.

"In old times, a quarrel happened between the Raja of Pandya desa and
the god Devendra, and things went to such lengths that the angry god
commanded the clouds not to send down any rain on Pandya desa, so that
the inhabitants were sorely distressed by the severe drought, and laid
their complaints before the Raja, who flew into a rage, marched his
army against Devendra, defeated him in battle, seized on the clouds and
put them in prison, in consequence of which not a drop of rain fell on
any part of the Bhuloka or earthly world, which threw the people into
a great consternation, and the whole with one accord addressed their
prayers to Devendra, the god of the firmament, and beseeched him to
relieve them from their present distress. Devendra sent an ambassador
to the Raja of Pandya desa, and requested that he would release the
clouds, but he refused to do it unless they gave security for their
future good behaviour, and likewise promise that they would never again
withhold the rain from falling in due season on his kingdom. At this
juncture, the Vellal caste of Pandya desa became security for the
clouds, and, from that circumstance, were surnamed Karakava Vellal
Waru, or redeemers of the clouds." [141] In an interesting account
of the Karaikat Vellalas of the Palni hills by Lieutenant Ward
in 1824, [142] it is recorded that "their ceremonies, it is said,
are performed by Pandarams, although Brahmans usually officiate as
priests in their temples. They associate freely with the Kunnavans,
and can eat food dressed by them, as also the latter can eat food
dressed by a Karakat Vellalan. But, if a Kunnavan is invited to the
house of a Karakat Vellalan, he must not touch the cooking utensils,
or enter the cooking-room. Wives are accustomed, it is supposed, to
grant the last favor to their husband's relations. Adultery outside
the husband's family entails expulsion from caste, but the punishment
is practically not very severe, inasmuch as a Kunnavan can always
be found ready to afford protection and a home to the divorcée. A
man who disgraces himself by an illicit connection with a woman of
a lower caste than his own is punished in a similar manner. Formerly
the punishment was in either case death." It is recorded [143] that
"in 1824 the Karakat Vellalas were accustomed to purchase and keep
predial slaves of the Poleiya caste, giving thirty fanams for a male,
and fifty for a female. The latter was held to be the more valuable,
as being likely to produce children for the benefit of her owner." It
is said that, among the Karaikkat Vellalas, a peculiar ceremony,
called vilakkidu kalyanam, or the auspicious ceremony of lighting the
light, is performed for girls in the seventh or ninth year or later,
but before marriage. The ceremony consists in worshipping Ganesa
and the Sun at the house of the girls' parents. Her maternal uncle
gives her a necklace of gold beads and coral, and a new cloth. All the
relations, who are invited to be present, make gifts to the girl. The
women of this section wear this ornament, which is called kodachimani
(hooked jewel), even after marriage.

4. Kondaikatti. Said [144] to consider themselves as the highest and
proudest of the Vellalas, because, during the Nabob's Government,
they were employed in the public service. They are extremely strict
in their customs, not allowing their women to travel by any public
conveyance, and punishing adultery with the utmost severity.

Kondaikatti literally means one who ties his hair in a knob on the top
of his head, but the name is sometimes derived from kondai, a crown,
in connection with the following legend. A quarrel arose between
the Komatis and Vellalas, as to which of them should be considered
Vaisyas. They appeared before the king, who, being unable to decide the
point at issue, gave each party five thousand rupees, and told them
to return after trading for five years. The Vellalas spent one-fifth
of the sum which they received in cultivating land, while the Komatis
spent the whole sum in trading. At the end of the allotted time, the
Vellalas had a bumper crop of sugar-cane, and all the canes contained
pearls. The Komatis showed only a small profit. The king was so pleased
with the Vellalas, that he bestowed on them the right to crown kings.

5. Kumbakonam. Vellalas, who migrated from Kumbakonam in the Tanjore
district to Travancore.

6. Kummidichatti. Recorded, in the Manual of the North Arcot district,
as a sub-division, regarded as low in position, which carried the pot
(chatti) of fire at Vellala funerals. It is said that, in default of
Kummidichattis, ordinary Vellalas now have to carry their own fire
at funerals.

7. Nangudi or Savalai Pillaimar. (See Nangudi.)

8. Tendisai (southern country). They are found in the Coimbatore
district, and it has been suggested that they are only a branch of
the Konga Vellalas.

9. Tenkanchi. Vellalas, who migrated from Tenkasi in the Tinnevelly
district to Travancore. (See Todupuzha Vellala.)

10. Tuluva. Immigrants from the Tulu country, a part of the modern
district of South Canara. Mr. Nelson [145] is of opinion that these
are the original Vellalas, who were invited to Tondamandalam after
its conquest by the Chola King Adondai Chakravarti. They are now
found in all the Tamil districts, but are most numerous in North
and South Arcot and Chingleput. It is noted, in Carr's "Descriptive
and historical papers relating to the Seven Pagodas," that "Adondai
chiefly distinguished Kanchipuram (Conjeeveram) and Tripati as his
place of residence or capital. The era of Adondai is not higher up than
the seventh century of our reckoning. He is said to have brought the
Brahmans from Sri Sailam in Telingana, and certainly attracted a large
colony of Sudra Vellalas, or agriculturists, from Tuluva or northern
Canara." At Conjeeveram, there are a Nattar and a Desayi, whose
authority, in olden times, extended over the whole Presidency. The
Nattar must be a Tuluva Vellala, and the Desai a Ralla Balija. The
two offices conjointly are known as the Nadu Desam. The authority
of these officers has in great measure ceased, but some still go
to the Nadu Desam for appeal. For purposes of caste organisation,
Conjeeveram is regarded as the head-quarters. All sections of the
Tondamandalam Vellalas are divided into twenty-four kottams and
seventy-nine nadus. The latter are subject to the former.

The following legendary account of the Tondamandalam Vellalas is
given in the Baramahal Records. "During the reign of a certain Raja of
Choladesa, a kingdom supposed to have comprised the present provinces
south of the river Kaveri, the countries between the Kistna and
Kaveri were quite a wilderness, in which many families of the Kurbavar
caste or shepherds resided here and there in villages surrounded by
mud walls. On a time, the Raja came forth into the wilds to take the
diversion of hunting, and, in traversing the woods, he came to a place
in the vicinity of the present town of Conjeeveram in the Kingdom
of Arcot, where he met with a Naga Kanya or celestial nymph, fell in
love with her, and asked her to yield to his embraces. She replied,
'If I consent to your proposal, and bear you a son, will you make him
your successor in the kingdom?' He rejoined 'I will,' and she asked
him who should witness his promise. He answered 'the earth and sky,'
but she said that two witnesses were not sufficient, and that there
must be a third. There happened to be a tree called adhonda near them,
and the Raja replied 'Let the fruit of this adhonda tree be the third
witness.' When she was satisfied respecting the witnesses, she granted
the Raja his desires, and, after he had remained with her a short time,
he took his leave, and returned to his metropolis, and, in a little
while, abdicated his throne in favour of his eldest son, who managed
the affairs of the kingdom. To return to the Naga Kanya, she conceived
and brought forth a son, who remained with her three or four years,
and then visited the different Rishis or hermits who resided in the
forest, and learnt from them to use the sword, the bow and arrow,
and the art of war, and obtained from them a knowledge of the whole
circle of sciences. By this time he had attained the age of sixteen
years, and, coming to his mother, he requested her to tell him who was
his father. She answered 'Thy father is the Chola Raja.' He replied
'I will go to him, but who is to bear witness to the truth of your
assertion?' She rejoined 'The earth, sky, and the fruit of the adhonda
tree are witness to what I have told you.' The son plucked one of the
berries of the adhonda tree, hung it by a string to his neck, took
his sword and other weapons, and set out for his father's capital. He
one day took an opportunity of accompanying some of the nobles to the
darbar, and called out to the old Raja 'Behold your son.' The Raja
replied 'I know nothing of thee;' upon which the young man repeated
everything which his mother had told him, but it had no effect on
the Raja. When the son found that his father was determined not to
acknowledge him he challenged him to single combat, but the Raja, not
thinking it proper to accept a challenge from a rash youth, demanded
if he had any witnesses to prove his claim. He answered 'The earth and
sky, and the fruit of the adhonda tree, which I wear suspended from my
neck, are witnesses to the truth of my assertion.' This circumstance
brought the old occurrence to the Raja's recollection, and he owned
his son, and told him that, as he had already abdicated the throne,
he trusted he would not insist upon the fulfilling of the promise
which had been made to his mother, but consent to live in a private
station under the dominion of his elder half-brother. The young man
nobly replied 'I with pleasure waive the performance of your promise,
but point out to me your enemy, and assist me with some troops,
and I will conquer a kingdom for myself.' The Raja gave him an army,
and directed him to subdue the Kurubavaru or shepherds, to clear the
woods, and to form himself a kingdom between the rivers Kistna and
Kaveri. He accordingly advanced into the wilderness, and, without
meeting much opposition, soon subjected the Kurubavaru, who, knowing
nothing of cultivation or sinking of tanks or watering the country
from the rivers, and the conqueror wishing to introduce agriculture
among them, he was obliged to repair to his father, and make known
his difficulties. The Raja was much pleased with the enterprising
spirit of his son, conferred on him the title of Adhonda Chakra,
wrote and permitted him to take with him such of the Vellala caste
as chose to emigrate. The young Raja held out great encouragement,
and got a number of adventurers of that caste to accompany him back,
to whom he gave large grants of waste land, and told them to pitch upon
such spots of ground as met with their approbation, and they fixed upon
the forts, districts, and villages belonging to the Kurubavaru caste,
which consisted of twenty-four forts, eighty-one districts, and one
thousand and nine hundred villages. This country was formerly named
Dandaka Aranya. Dandaka is the name of a famous Rakshasa or Giant,
who is mentioned in the Ramayana, and Aranya signifies a wilderness. It
was also called Dhuntra Nadu, or the middle country, and the new Raja
named it Dhanda Mandalam, or country of the tree dhonda, alluding
to the fruit of the adhonda or dhonda tree, which bore testimony to
his descent. The emigrants of the Vellala caste surnamed themselves
Dhonda Mandala Vellala varu, and are now corruptly called Tondamandala
Vellala varu."

In connection with the sub-divisions of the Vellalas, Mr. Hemingway,
in a note on the Vellalas of the Trichinopoly district, gives some
still further information. "The Kondaikattis are so-called from
the peculiar way in which they used to wear their hair--a custom no
longer observed. They are split into two sections, called Melnadu
and Kilnadu (westerns and easterns). The Dakshinattans (south country
men) are immigrants from Tinnevelly. The members of the Karaikkattar
sub-division in the Udaiyarpalaiyam taluk are rather looked down
on by other Vellalans as being a mixed race, and are also somewhat
contemptuously called Yeruttu-mattu (pack-bullocks), because, in
their professional calling, they formerly used pack-bullocks. They
have a curious custom by which a girl's maternal uncle ties a tali
(marriage badge) round her neck when she is seven or eight years
old. The Panjukkara Chettis live in the Udaiyarpalaiyam taluk. The
name is an occupational one, and denotes cotton-men, but they are not
at the present day connected with the cotton trade. The Solapuram
(or Cholapuram) Chettis are apparently called after the village
of that name in the Kumbakonam taluk of Tanjore. The Solias (or
Cholias) are numerous and ubiquitous. They are generally regarded
as of doubtful descent, since parvenus, who wish to be considered
Vellalans, usually claim to belong to this sub-division. The more
respectable Pandarams, the Thambirans who own temples and matams, and
the Oduvar or Adi Saival, belong to the Sozhia section. The Uttunattu
sub-division is local in origin. Its head-quarters is the country round
Uttatur. The members thereof are the special devotees of the Siva of
that place. The Arunattus (six nadus) are also called Mottai (shaved)
Vellalans, apparently because they always shave their moustache,
and wear only a very small kudumi (hair-knot). Some of their customs
are unlike those of the rest of the caste. They have exogamous septs,
their widows always dress in white and wear no ornaments (a rule not
universally observed in any other sub-division), they never marry
their sister's daughter, and their wives wear the tali (marriage
badge), like the Panta Reddis, on a golden thread. Of their six nadus,
three of which are supposed to have been located on each side of the
Aiyar river, only two are now recognised. These are the Serkudi nadu
in Namakkal taluk and the Omandur nadu of Musiri. The Yelur (seven
villages) Vellalas are very few and far between. There is a small
colony of Tuluvas, engaged in dyeing, at Illuppur. The Malaikandas
are only found near the Ratnagiri hill in the Kulittalai taluk. They
take their name from the fact that they are required to look at the
Ratnagiri hill when they get up in the morning. They are devotees
of the god there. The Kaniyalans (landowners) are scarce, but widely
distributed, since the man who carries the pot of blood, when animals
are sacrificed at festivals to the village goddesses, must belong to
this sub-division. The Kodikkal Vellalans are so-called from their
occupation of betel cultivation, which they still pursue largely."

The Konga Vellalas differ so strikingly from the rest in many of their
customs that a separate account of them is given. (See Konga Vellala.)

It is noted by Mr. Hemingway that some Vellalas "observe a curious
custom (derived from Brahmans) with regard to marriage, which is not
unknown among other communities. A man marrying a second wife after
the death of his first has to marry a plantain tree, and cut it down
before tying the tali, and, in the case of a third marriage, a man
has to tie a tali first to the erukkan (arka: Calotropis gigantea)
plant. The idea is that second and fourth wives do not prosper,
and the tree and the plant are accordingly made to take their places."

A peculiar ceremony, called Sevvai (Tuesday) Pillayar, is performed
by some Vellala women. It is also called Avvai Nonbu, because the
Tamil poetess observed it. The ceremony takes place twice in the
year, on a Tuesday in the months of Thai (February-March) and Audi
(August-September). It is held at midnight, and no males, even babies
in arms, may be present at it, or eat the cakes which are offered. A
certain number of women club together, and provide the necessary rice,
which is measured on the back of the hand, or in a measure similar to
those used by Madras milk-sellers, in which the bottom is fixed high up
in the cylinder. At the house where the ceremony is to be performed the
rice is pounded into flour, and mixed with leaves of Pongamia glabra
and margosa (Melia Azadirachta). The mixture is then made into cakes,
some flat, and some conical, to represent Pillayar (Ganesa). Flowers,
fruits, betel, turmeric, combs, kunkumam (red powder), and other
articles required in connection with the Pillayar worship, are also
taken to the room in which the rites are performed. Of these it has
been impossible to gather an account, as the women refused to describe
them, lest ruin should fall on their families. Some say that, during
the ceremony, the women are stark-naked.

In an account of an annual ceremony at Trichinopoly in connection
with the festival of Kulumai Amman, who is the guardian deity against
epidemics, Bishop Whitehead records [146] that "a very fat pujari
(priest) of the Vellala caste is lifted up above the vast crowd on
the arms of two men. Some two thousand kids are then sacrificed, one
after the other. The blood of the first eight or nine is collected
in a large silver vessel holding about a quart, and handed up to
the pujari, who drinks it. Then, as the throat of each kid is cut,
the animal is handed up to him, and he sucks, or pretends to suck
the blood out of the carcase."

Of proverbs relating to the Vellalas, the following may be cited:--

Agriculture is no agriculture, unless it is performed by the Vellalas.

The Vellala ruined himself by gaudy dress; the courtesan ruined
herself by coquetry and affectation.

Of all the sections of the Sudras, the Vellala is foremost; and,
of all the thefts committed in the world, those of the Kallans are
most notorious.

Though you may face an evil star, never oppose a Vellala.

Though apparently the Vellala will not ruin you, the palm leaf,
on which he writes about you, will certainly ruin you for ever.

In the Madras Census Report, 1891, Vellala is recorded as a caste
of Jains. In this connection, it is noted by Mr. Hemingway that the
Nainans or Nayinars (q.v.) and the Karaikkattans of the Udaiyarpalaiyam
taluk are thought to be descended from Jains who were converted to
the Hindu faith.

Vellan Chetti.--A name, denoting Vellala merchant, taken by some
Vellalas.

Velli (silver).--See Belli.

Velnati.--A sub-division of Kapu, named after the old Velnadu division
of the Telugu country.

Veloma.--Defined as "one of the two classes of Sudras, viz., Anuloma
and Veloma. The term Veloma is applied to those born of a lower caste
male and higher caste female."

Veluttedan.--The Veluttedan is defined in the Madras Census Report,
1891, as "the washerman of the Nayars and higher castes in Malabar. He
calls himself a Nayar, and, in many cases, was returned as of that
main caste, but these have been separated in abstraction. The caste
is called Vannattan in North Malabar. The Veluttedans follow the
marumakkatayam law of inheritance in the north, and makkatayam in the
south. They have tali-kettu and sambandham separately. Their dress
and habits are the same as those of Nayars." In the Madras Census
Report, 1901, Bannata is given as a Canarese synonym for the caste
name. In the Travancore and Cochin Census Reports, 1901, Veluttetan
and Veluthedan are given respectively as an occupational title and
sub-division of Nayars.

For the following note on the Veluttedans of Travancore, I am indebted
to Mr. N. Subramani Aiyar. The name is believed to signify a place
where clothes are bleached. In the early Settlement Records the
designation recorded is Ayavu, in all probability an old synonym for
washing. The South Travancore Veluttedans are said to be divided into
two endogamous septs, Paravur and Attingal, with four exogamous septs
in each; but these distinctions may be said to have now lost their
vigour and force. There is a current tradition that once upon a time
a Brahman was washing cloths for a friend, and was on that account
thrown out of caste by Parasurama. The occupation of the Veluttedans
is washing cloths for all high-caste Hindus down to the Sudras, in
which profession, for neatness and purity at any rate, if not for
promptitude, they stand above the Vannans and Chayakkarans of the
east coast, both of whom have now entered the field in competition
with them, and, at least in the most civilised parts of the State,
not entirely without success. In no case do the castemen receive
cloths from classes lower in social rank than the Sudras, and this
is pointed to with pride as one of the causes which keep them in
their present elevated scale. It need hardly be said that, in their
traditional occupation, the Veluttedans are largely and materially
assisted by their females, the Veluttedathis. They do not live in a
group together, but are conveniently scattered about, so as to avoid
competition one with another. Their main profession is, in many cases,
supplemented by agriculture. There are absolutely no educated men
among them, and, as long as machine-laundries are not introduced
into the country, they have no reason to abandon the profession of
their forefathers in pursuit of alien ones. In the matter of food
and drink, as also in their dress and ornaments, they resemble the
Nayars. Clothes, it may be mentioned, are never bought by Veluttedans,
as they are always in possession, though temporarily, of other peoples'
apparel. Tattooing prevails only in South Travancore. They cannot enter
Brahmanical shrines, but are permitted to stand outside the talakkal
or stone-paved walk round the inner sanctuary, by which the image is
taken in daily procession. Besides standing here and worshipping the
higher Hindu deities, they also engage in the propitiation of the
minor village deities. There are two headmen in each village, who
punish social delinquents, and preside over caste ceremonials. On the
twenty-eighth day after the birth of a child, the name-giving ceremony
is performed, and a thread is tied round the infant's neck. Those
who can afford it celebrate the first food-giving. The tali-tying
and sambandham ceremonies are performed separately, just like
Nayars. The former is known as muhurtham or auspicious occasion. The
marriage badge is called unta minnu or puliyilla minnu. The details
of the marriage ceremony do not differ from those of the Nayars. The
ayani unu, bhutakkalam, appam poli, and avaltitti are all important
items, and, at least in South Travancore, seldom failed to be gone
through. In poor families the mother, without any formal ceremonial,
ties the tali of the girl before she is twelve years old, after an
oblation of cooked food to the rising sun. This is called Bhagavan
tali, or god's marriage ornament. Freedom of divorce and remarriage
exist. The pulikuti (tamarind) is an indispensable ceremonial, to be
gone through by a pregnant woman. Inheritance devolves in the female
line (marumakkattayam). The clothes washed by Veluttedans are used by
Nambutiri Brahmans, without previous washing as on the east coast, for
all religious purposes; and clothes polluted by a member of a low caste
are purified by the Veluttedan sprinkling ashes and water over them.

Vemu (margosa or nim: Melia Azadirachta).--An exogamous sept of
Muka Dora.

Vengai Puli (cruel-handed tiger).--An exogamous section of Kallan.

Veralu Iche Kapulu or Velu Iche Kapulu (those who dedicate their
fingers).--See Morasu.

Veshya (Sansk: Beshya).--A name denoting prostitute, applied to
dancing-girls.

Vetagiri.--A Tamil class found in the Chingleput district. The members
thereof are employed in hunting, cultivation, and the manufacture of
wild date baskets. Their title is Nayakan.

Vettaikaran (hunter).--An occupational name of Boyas, Irulas, and
Koravas, returned at times of census.

Vettile (betel vine: Piper Betle).--A kothu or tree of Kondaiyamkotti
Maravans.

Vettiyan.--Vettiyan is the name applied to one of the officials of
a Tamil Paraiyan settlement, who is also called Toti or Thotti. The
former title is said to be more respectful as an appellation than
the latter, but this is a distinction without a difference. [147]
The name Vettiyan is said to be equivalent to Bittiyan (bitti, for
nothing), or one who does service, e.g., collecting grass, firewood,
etc., without remuneration. Toti is derived from thott, to go round,
as he is the purveyor of news, and has to summon people to appear
before the village tribunal, or from tondu, to dig.

The duties of the Vettiyan are multifarious. He it is who goes round
the rice fields, and diverts the water-courses to the various fields,
according to the rights of the ryots (agriculturists). The Vettiyan
beats the drum for public notices and ceremonies. As a servant of
Government, he has to carry the revenue which has been collected to
the treasury. He is sometimes entrusted with large sums of money, and
has never been known to abscond with it. It is said that the Village
Munsiff will trust the Vettiyan, but not the Taliari, who is never
sent alone with money. The Vettiyan is in charge of the burial ground,
and those who repair thither have to pay him for his services. He is
also the grave-digger, and officiates when a Paraiyan corpse is burnt
or buried. Hence the Tamil proverb against meddling in what ought
to be left to some one else:--"Let the Vettiyan and corpse struggle
together." At a Paraiyan funeral, the Vettiyan, in some places, carries
the pot of fire to the grave. To bring down rain, some of the lower
classes, 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 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,
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.

At Paraiyan marriages certain pots are worshipped, and it is, in some
places, the Vettiyan who says "The sun, the moon, the pots, and the
owner of the girl have come to the marriage booth. So make haste,
and fill the pots with water."

The office of the Vettiyan village official is hereditary, and the
holder of it is entitled to some respect among his brethren, and to
certain emoluments in kind, e.g., grain at the harvest season. There
is a proverb that "whatever may be the wealth of the lord who comes
to rule over him, his duty of supplying him with a bundle of grass
is not to cease." This relates to the demands which were, and perhaps
are still, made on him in rural parts of the country. In some places,
lands, called Vettiyan Maniyam, are given rent-free to Vettiyans.

The Vettiyan is said to possess the right of removing dead cattle from
villages, and in return to supply leather for agricultural purposes. He
is further said to make drum heads and tom-toms from raw hides. [148]

The Vettiyans belong to the right-hand section during disputes between
the right and left hand factions.

Vettuvan.--The Tamil Vettuvans are described, in the Madras Census
Report, 1901, as "an agricultural and hunting caste, found mainly in
Salem, Coimbatore, and Madura. The name means 'a hunter.' They are
probably of the same stock as the Vedans, though the exact connection
is not clear, but they now consider themselves superior to that caste,
and are even taking to calling themselves Vettuva Vellalas. Tradition
says that the Konga kings invited Vettuvans from the Chola and Pandya
countries to assist them against the Keralas. Another story says that
the caste helped the Chola king Aditya Varma to conquer the Kongu
country during the latter part of the ninth century. In paragraph 538
of the Census Report, 1891, reference is made to the belief that the
Vedans are identical with the Veddahs of Ceylon. In connection with
this supposition, it is reported that the Vettuvans worship a goddess
called Kandi-Amman, which may possibly mean 'the goddess of Kandy' (in
Ceylon). Of the endogamous sections into which the caste is divided,
the most numerically important are Venganchi, Kilangu (root), Pasari,
Viragu (firewood), Pannadai (sheath of the cocoanut leaf), and Villi
(bow). They have their own barbers, who seem also to form a separate
sub-division, and are called Vettuva Ambattans or Navidans, both of
which words mean barber. They are said to refuse to serve any one
lower than a Konga Vellala. Nominally they are Hindus, but they are
said to worship the seven Kannimars, or aboriginal goddesses, to whom
the Irulas also pay homage. They eat meat and drink alcohol, though
some of those who are endeavouring to increase their social repute
are taking to vegetarianism. Widow marriage is forbidden. They either
burn or bury the dead, but no ceremonies are performed for deceased
ancestors. Their customs are thus a curious mixture of those followed
by high castes and low ones. Their ordinary title is Kavandan."

Of the Malayalam Vettuvans, who live in Malabar and the southern
portion of the South Canara district, it is recorded, in the Madras
Census Report, 1901, that they are "agricultural serfs, shikaris
(hunters), and collectors of forest produce, who live in the Malabar
jungles. They have two endogamous sub-divisions, called Kodi and
Peringala. The former keep their hair long, and their women wear a
cloth. The latter have top-knots, and their women dress in leaves,
which they wear only round their waists, and renew daily. The latter
are an unclean set of people, who live in rude bamboo and reed huts,
and will eat anything down to carrion. Yet they consider themselves
superior to Cherumans and Pulaiyans, and are careful not to be
polluted by them. This same name is also borne by a class of masons
and salt-workers in the low country in Malabar."

The Malabar Vettuvans are said to have a fantastic legend, showing that
they were not originally as low as they are at the present day in the
social scale. "It is related that one of their tribe went and asked a
high-caste Nayar to give him a daughter in marriage. The Nayar offered
to do so on condition that the whole tribe would come to his place
and dance on berries, each one who fell to be shot with arrows. The
tribe foolishly agreed to the condition, and went and danced, with the
result that, as each one tripped and fell, he or she was mercilessly
shot dead with arrows. A little girl who survived this treatment was
secretly rescued, and taken away by a compassionate Nayar, who married
her into his family. From this union, the present day Vettuvans affirm
their origin is to be traced. Up to this day they hold the caste of
that particular Nayar in very great veneration." [149] The costume of
these Vettuvans has been described as follows. [150] "The men wear a
short loin-cloth, secured round the waist by a belt which is also used
as a sling during hunting expeditions. They also wear brass ear-rings,
and grow a bit of moustache, and a little stumpy beard. The dress of
the women consists of three clusters of long leaves, suspended from
the waist and tied on by a cheap girdle. According to a tribal legend,
when, in the morning of time, costumes were being distributed by the
deity to the various races of the earth, the Vettuva women, being
asked to choose between a costume which needed to be changed daily,
and one which needed to be changed only yearly, readily expressed
a preference for the former, and the deity, considering this an
unpardonable piece of vanity, decreed that thenceforth the women
should dress in leaves gathered fresh every morning. Whenever it is
suggested to them that they should adopt some more lasting apparel,
the Vettuva women answer that they are carrying out the mandate of
the deity, and can abandon their present dress only if the deity
appears in person, and sanctions a change."

On the occasion of a recent visit of the Governor of Madras to South
Canara, a party of Vettuvans was paraded before him. One of the men
was wearing an aluminium coronation medal, and, on being asked by the
Collector who had given it to him, he folded his arms obsequiously,
and replied 'My Tamburan' (landlord).

In a recent note on the leaf-wearing Vettuvans, it is stated that
"they believe that the sun travels, after it has set, through a hole
in the bowels of the earth, and emerges at morning in the east. The
way they calculate time is interesting. A Vettuvan says that his
children were born when his master sowed paddy (rice) on such and
such hills. They are a very truthful lot, of good moral character,
the chastity of their womankind being held very sacred."

The Malabar Vettuvans are summed up by Mr. T. K. Gopal Panikkar [151]
as being "not exactly slaves, but their social position justifies their
classification amongst the slave races. They live on the cocoanut
plantations of the Nairs, and other well-to-do classes. They lead a
hand-to-hand existence on the wages which they obtain for hedging and
fencing cocoanut plantations, plucking cocoanuts, tilling, and other
allied work. They live, with their wives and children, and sometimes
other relations as well, in houses small but more decent-looking
than the mere huts of the other lower classes. In point of caste
restrictions they are certainly better circumstanced; and their
daily contact with the higher classes in the ordinary concerns
of life affords them greater facilities for increased knowledge
and civilisation than their brother citizens of the slave races
enjoy. They are much addicted to toddy-drinking, but their principal
food is rice. Their condition is never so intolerably wretched as that
of the other classes. They are sometimes employed by cultivators for
agricultural purposes. Their females occupy themselves in the fields
during the harvest season, but they also make thatch for houses of
cocoanut leaves woven after a set model during the thatching season
about December or January. Their males wear ear-rings of brass, and
their females adorn themselves with nose, finger, and neck ornaments
of brass or beads. The one piece of cloth supplied annually by the
masters, to whose plantations they are attached, forms the dress both
for males and females, which they tie round their waists. They do
not eat carrion, but are exceedingly fond of fish, the flesh of the
civet, and the rat, and of some other animals not generally eaten by
other classes. They observe death pollution like the higher classes
of Malabar, and the period of observance varies according to the
particular class or caste, to which their masters belong. For instance,
if they belong to a Nair's plantation, such period is fifteen days,
and, if to a Brahmin's, it is ten days; Nairs and Brahmins observing
pollution for these periods respectively. The priests who officiate
at their ceremonials are selected from among their own tribesmen or
Enangers, whose express recognition is necessary to give validity
to the performance of the ceremony. Their marriage customs are very
like those of the Tiyyars, excepting that the feasting and revelry
are not so pompous in their case. Like the Nairs, they retain the
front knot. The only offences of general occurrence among them are
petty cases of theft of cocoanuts, plantains, areca nuts, and roots
of common occurrence. The Vettuvans believe in a Supreme Creator,
whom they name and invoke as Paduchathampuram, i.e., the king who
created us. Likewise, they believe in certain evil deities, to whom
they make offerings at particular times of the year. They are not,
like the other classes, distinguished by loyalty to their masters,
but are a very ungrateful sect, and their very name, viz., Nambu
Vettuvan, has passed into a bye-word for ingratitude of all kinds."

It is recorded, in the Gazetteer of Malabar, that "the Vettuvans of
Chirakkal taluk are a low caste of jungle cultivators and basket
makers, distinguished by the survival amongst their women of the
custom of dressing in leaves, their only clothing being a kind
of double fan-shaped apron of leaves tied round the waist with a
rolled cloth. They live in huts made of split bamboo and thatched
with elephant grass, called kudumbus. The Vettuvans are divided
into fourteen illams, which seem to be named after the house names
of the janmis (landlords) whom they serve. Their headmen, who are
appointed by their janmis, are called Kiran, or sometimes Parakutti
(drummer). Amongst the Vettuvans, when labour begins, the woman is put
in a hole dug in a corner of the hut, and left there alone with some
water till the cry of the child is heard." For the following note on
the Vettuvans of the Cochin State, I am indebted to Mr. L. K. Anantha
Krishna Aiyar. [152]

"The Vettuvans are also called Vettuva Pulayas. They are pure
agricultural labourers, taking part in every kind of work connected
with agriculture, such as ploughing, sowing, weeding, transplanting,
pumping water, and reaping. They are more day labourers. The males
get two edangazhis of paddy (hardly worth 2 annas), and the females
an edangazhi and a half. In times of scarcity, they find it difficult
to support themselves.

"When an unmarried woman becomes pregnant, her parents, as soon as
they become aware of the fact, inform their local headman (Kanakkan
or Kuruppan), who convenes a meeting of the elderly members of
the community for the purpose of summoning the secret lover, and
prosecuting the necessary enquiries. In the event of the confession
of the charge, he is asked to marry her. The matter does not end
there. They go to the local Thandan, and relate to him the incident,
who thereupon gives him water in a vessel (kindi vellam). The woman
is asked to drink this as well as some cow-dunged water, and is then
made to let flow a few drops of blood from the body. After this he
says 'dhosham thirnu' (free from guilt). Should, however, the lover
be unwilling to marry her, he is thrashed and placed under a ban. If
they are related to each other, they are both turned out of caste. The
woman who is freed from guilt can marry again. The Thandan gets as
his perquisite four annas out of the fine imposed, four packets of
betel leaf, eight areca nuts, and three tobacco leaves. Their headman
also has a share of the fine, etc. The balance which then remains is
spent on toddy, and beaten rice for those assembled.

"The Vettuvans profess the lower forms of Hinduism. Their chief gods
are Chevva, Chathan, Karinkutti, Parakutti, Kappiri and Kandakaranan,
and also Namburi Thamburan. They give regular offerings to them,
lest the gods should become angry, and cause serious calamities to the
members of their families. Images of gods are made of bell-metal, and
worshipped in their huts. The deceased ancestors are also worshipped
as gods, to whom are given a different kind of offerings. Toddy is
an indispensable item in their offerings to them. In Ooragam and
its neighbourhood, when I took my notes on the Vettuvans, I was told
that there was no tree-tapping, and that toddy brought to them for
sale was largely adulterated with water, and very costly. Their
gods were very angry, for they were not satisfied with it. They
caused fever, deafness, blindness, and other disorders. They worship
Kali also. Kumbhom Bharani is an important festival to them. On the
morning of this day, tunes are played in honour of the goddess. There
are special songs called Thottampattu. Sacrifices are offered to the
deity very early. A puja (worship) is also performed for the sword,
anklets, and bells worn round the loins, all placed in front of the
deity, and songs are again sung. One of them turns a Velichchapad
(oracle), who speaks as if by inspiration. Wearing the above ornaments,
they go to a temple, in front of which they empty out on a mat a few
paras of paddy, and again play and sing.

"The funeral ceremonies of the Vettuvans are somewhat elaborate. When
a member of the caste breathes his last, his relations, friends,
and other castemen of the kara (settlement) are all informed of
the event. They attend, and take part in the obsequies. The dead
body is bathed, and dressed in a piece of new cloth. Some gold,
rubbed on a stone in water, is poured into his mouth by his sons
and daughters. Karuvanguka, or Gurutvam Vanguka, is an important
ceremony performed by his sons and daughters. It consists in taking
sixteen small bits of plantain leaves, with some rice on each, and
placing them on the forehead, neck, chest, loins, thighs, hands,
legs, feet, etc., washing the last two, and collecting the water,
which is taken in by the members junior to him in the family. After
this, the dead body is placed on the bier, which is carried by four
persons to the grave. The nearest relatives of the family, four in
number, called Bhedakars, with a mundu (cloth) tied round their heads,
walk in front of the procession. The grave is dug, and a new cloth
is spread, and the corpse laid on it. It is filled in with layers of
earth and stones, to prevent dogs and jackals from disturbing the
dead body. All those who have accompanied the chief mourner bathe,
and return home. The members of the family fast for the night. The
eldest son, who is the chief mourner, bathes in the early morning,
and offers the pinda bali (offering of rice) to the spirit of the
departed for fifteen days. On the seventh day, the chief mourner,
and the Enangan, go to the graveyard, and level the slightly raised
part of the grave. A piece of stone, kept near the foot, is taken,
and placed on a leaf. Some toddy, arrack (alcoholic liquor) and water
of the tender cocoanut, are poured over it as offerings. By some
magic, the spirit is supposed to be living in it. It is brought home,
and placed in a cocoanut shell containing oil mixed with turmeric,
and kept outside the hut until the pollution is over. The pollution
lasts for fifteen days, and on the night of the fifteenth day
they fast. On the morning of the sixteenth day, all the castemen
of the kara who are invited bring with them rice, curry-stuffs,
and toddy. Rubbing themselves with oil, they all go to bathe, after
which the Enangan sprinkles cowdunged water, to show that they are
freed from pollution. The stone is also purified by a dip in water,
and then brought home. Those who have assembled are fed, and then
depart. The chief mourner, who has to perform the diksha, does not
shave for a year, bathes in the early morning, and offers the bali
before going to work. This he continues for a year, at the end of
which he gets himself shaved, and celebrates a feast called masam
in honour of the departed. The stone, representing the deceased, is
placed on a seat in a conspicuous part of the hut. An image of wood or
copper sometimes takes its place. It is thenceforward worshipped, and
believed to watch over the welfare of the family. Regular offerings
are given to it on Karkadagom and Thulam Sankranthi, Onam, Vishu,
and the festival day of the local temple.

"The castes below the Vettuvans are Pulayan, Nayadi, and Ullatan. They
consider themselves superior to Pulayas, and are careful not to be
polluted by them. A Vettuvan who is polluted by a Nayadi or Ulladan
fasts for seven days, subsisting on water, tender cocoanuts, and
toddy. On the eighth day he bathes, and takes his regular meals. As the
Vettuvans are Chandalars, any distance less than sixty-four feet will
pollute the higher castes. They stand at a distance of twenty-four feet
from Kammalar. Nayadis and Ullatans stand far from them. Owing to their
disabilities and low wages, many turn either Christians or Muhammadans,
and work for wages of two and a half to three annas a day."

There is a class of people in Malabar called Vettan or Vettuvan, which
must not be confused with the jungle Vettuvan. These people were, it
is said, [153] "once salt-makers, and are now masons, earth-workers,
and quarrymen. They are said to be divided into two classes, the
marumakkattayam (with inheritance in the female line) regarded as
indigenous to Malabar, and the makkattayam (with inheritance from
father to son), said to be immigrants from the south."

Vibhaka Gunta.--Recorded in the Madras Census Report as "a low class of
wandering beggars; clubbed with Mala." Some Malas in the Vizagapatam
district possess gunta manyams, or petty fields, and supplement their
income by begging.

Vignesvara.--A synonym for the elephant god Ganesa, which occurs as
a gotra of Nagaralu. The equivalent Vinayaka is a gotra of Medara.

Vilkurup.--The Vilkuruppu or Vilkollakuruppu are the priests and
barbers of the Malayalam Kammalans, and also makers of umbrellas
and bows (vil) and arrows. In former times they supplied the latter
articles for the Malabar Infantry. Malabar and Travancore are, par
excellence, the home of the palm-leaf umbrella, which still holds
its own against umbrellas of European manufacture, which were, in
1904-1905, imported into India to the value of Rs. 18,95,064. A native
policeman, protecting himself from the sun with a long-handled palm
umbrella, is a common object in towns and villages on the west coast.

Concerning the Vilkurups of the Cochin State, Mr. L. K. Anantha
Krishna Aiyar writes as follows. [154] "In former times, their
occupations were training low caste men to arms and athletic feats,
to use sticks in fighting, and also to the use of bows and arrows, and
pial school teaching. In these days of civilisation, their services
are no longer required for these purposes, and they are employed
in shampooing, umbrella making, and quarrying laterite stones for
building purposes. In Nayar families, during tali-tying ceremonies,
they have to give a bow and a few arrows. During the Onam festival
also, they have to give a bow and arrows to every Nayar house, for
which they get some paddy (rice), curry stuffs, a cocoanut, and some
oil. When they are called in for shampooing, three oils are well
boiled, and cooled. The patient lies on a plank, oil is poured over
him, and every part of his body is well shampooed, and afterwards
he is bathed in water boiled with medicinal herbs. The Vilkurups
eat at the hands of Brahmans, Nayars, Izhuvans, and Kammalans, but
abstain from taking the food of barbers, washermen, Panans, Kaniyans,
and other low castes. They have to stand at a distance of thirty-two
feet from Brahmans and Nayars. Pulayans and Parayans have to stand at a
great distance. They live in localities occupied by the Izhuvans. They
cannot approach the Brahman temples, but have to stand far away from
the outer wall. They are their own barbers and washermen."

Villasan (bowmen).--A synonym of Malayalam Kammalans, who formerly
had to supply bows and arrows for the Travancore army.

Villi.--Villi (bow) or Villiyan (bowmen) has been recorded as a synonym
of the Irulas of Chingleput. Villi also occurs as a sub-division of
Vettuvan, a hunting caste of the Tamil country.

Villu Vedan (huntsmen using bows).--A synonym of Eravallar.

Vilyakara.--Recorded, in the Madras Census Report, 1901, as "a
sub-caste of Servegara or Kotegara." Vilyakara, Valekara and Olekara
are names indicating the occupation of a servant under Government or
a private individual.

Vinka (white-ant: Termites).--An exogamous sept of Jatapu.

Vipravinodi.--In a note on the Vipravinodis, Mr. C. Hayavadana
Rao writes that they are said to be the descendants of a Brahman
by a Lingayat woman. They are Lingayats, and are called Vipravinodi
because they perform acrobatic feats before Vipras, or Brahmans. They
generally travel about the country with their wives and children. One
of their favourite feats is throwing up three stone or wooden balls
in the air, and catching them, or rolling them over various parts
of the body. When they perform before a mixed audience, they call
themselves Naravidya varu, which is said to be an abbreviated form of
Narulu Mechche Vidyalu Chese varu, or those who perform feats which
men praise. The dead are buried in a sitting posture.

Virabhadra.--A synonym of the Tamil washermen (Vannan), whose patron
deity is Virabhadra, from whom they claim descent.

Viragu (firewood).--A sub-division of Vettuvan.

Virakudiyan.--A synonym of Panisavans, who are engaged in blowing
the conch shell on ceremonial occasions.

Virala (heroes).--An exogamous sept of Golla and Kapu.

Vira Magali (a god).--An exogamous section of Kallan.

Viramushti.--For the following account of the Viramushtis in the
Vizagapatam district, I am indebted to Mr. C. Hayavadana Rao.

They are Lingayats, but do not, as a rule, wear the lingam, as it
is the custom to postpone initiation until death, when the linga is
tied on the corpse by a Jangam before it is buried. Those who are
initiated during life wear the linga suspended from the neck. The
Viramushtis seem to have several sub-divisions, e.g., Naga Mallika
(Rhinacanthus communis), the roots of which are believed to cure
snake-bite, Puccha Kaya (Citrullus Colocynthis), Triputa (Ipomoea
Turpethum), and Ramadosa (Cucumis Melo).

Girls are married before or after puberty. The menarikam custom,
according to which a man should marry his maternal uncle's daughter,
is observed. A voli (bride-price) of sixteen rupees, or half a tola
of gold, in the form of jewelry, is given to the bride.

The Viramushtis are professional acrobats and mendicants, and are
attached to the Devangas and Komatis. The following legends are
current to account for their connection with these castes. In days
gone by, there was, in a big town, a great Lingayat mutt (monastery)
named Basavanna Mandiram, presided over by a Jangam priest named
Basavanna. The mutt contained three hundred crores of Lingayat priests,
and great wealth was stored in it. This the Viramushtis guarded against
thieves. A Telaga, Chikayya by name, who was a professional thief,
determined to plunder the mutt, in order to satisfy his mistress. One
night, when the Viramushtis were fast asleep, he entered the mutt,
but, when he saw a number of Jangams engaged in devout worship, he
abandoned his project, and determined to turn Lingayat. Accordingly,
at day-break, he advanced to the place where the head of the mutt
was seated, made known to him who he was, and informed him of his
resolution. Opinions were divided as to the fitness of receiving such
an applicant, but it was finally decided that, if a man repented,
he was a fit person to be received into the Lingayat fold, as the
linga recognises no caste. The linga was accordingly tied on his
neck. From that time Chikayya became a new man and a true Jangam,
and went from place to place visiting sacred shrines. One day he
happened to be at a place where lived a merchant prince, who never
dined except in the company of a Jangam. On the suggestion of his
wife Nilakuntaladevi, an invitation to dine was sent to Chikayya,
who accepted it. After dinner, the merchant went out on business,
and Nilakuntaladevi, noticing what a beautiful man Chikayya was, fell
in love with him. He, however, rejected her advances, and ran away,
leaving his knapsack behind him. Nilakuntaladevi cut off her golden
necklace, and, having placed it in the knapsack, ran after Chikayya,
and threw it at him, asking him to accept it. She then inflicted
several cuts on herself, and, as soon as her husband returned home,
complained that the Jangam had stolen her necklace, and attempted
to ravish her. Information was sent to Basayya, the head of the
mutt, and a council meeting summoned, at which it was decided that
Chikayya should have his head cut off. The order to carry out this
act was given to the Viramushtis, who went in search of him, and at
last found him beneath the shade of a tree overhanging the bank of
a river, engaged in worshipping his linga, which was in his hand. On
searching the knapsack, they found the necklace, and proceeded to cut
off Chikayya's head, which went several hundred feet up into the air,
and travelled towards the mutt, whither the headless trunk followed
on foot. On their return to the mutt, the Viramushtis found that the
three hundred crores of priests had been miraculously beheaded, and
the place was a vast pool of blood. As soon, however, as the head and
body of Chikayya approached, they became re-united, and Siva, appearing
on the scene, translated him to kylas (heaven). At the same time, he
restored the priests to life, and inflicted the following four curses
on the Viramushtis:--(1) they were not to build or use houses, and are
consequently found living under trees outside villages; (2) they were
not to sleep on a cot; (3) they were not to use the wild broom-stick;
(4) they were not to set up permanent ovens for cooking purposes,
but to make impromptu stoves out of three stones. Taking compassion
on them, the Devangas promised to give the Viramushtis a small sum
of money annually, and to contribute towards their marriage expenses.

The Viramushtis are said to have become attached to the Komatis
subsequent to the above incident. The story goes that some
Komatis asked them to delay for three and half hours the march
of Vishnuvardhana Raja, who was advancing with a view to marrying
the daughter of one of them, named Vasavakanya (now deified into
Kanyakamma). This the Viramushtis did by entertaining the Raja
with their acrobatic feats. Meanwhile, the Komatis made a number of
fire-pits, and put an end to themselves. Vishnuvardhana arrived too
late, and had his head cut off. The Viramushtis prayed to Vasavakanya,
inasmuch as they had lost both the Raja, who promised them a grant of
land in return for their performance, and herself, who had promised
to give a lump of gold to each gotra. The Komatis replied in a body
that each family of their caste would in future give the Viramushtis
an annual present of money, and help in defraying the expenses of
their marriages.

In accordance with the above legends, the Viramushtis usually beg
only from Devangas and Komatis. When they approach a village, they
generally halt under a tree, and, early in the morning, dress up as
acrobats, and appear with daggers, sticks, etc., crying Good luck! Good
luck! They caper about as they advance, and, when they reach a Devanga
or Komati house, perform their acrobatic feats, and wind up with a
eulogium of the caste. Money and food are then doled out to them.

Whenever a Devanga, Lingayat Komati, or other Lingayat wants to make
a hero (vira) of a deceased member of his family, he sends for a
Viramushti (or hero-maker), and has a slab planted, with a recognised
ceremonial, at the spot where he is buried.

In a further note on the Viramushtis I am informed that they
correspond to the Virabhadra Kayakams of the Canarese Lingayats,
like whom they dress up, and adorn themselves with small lingams,
the figure of Virabhadra, a sword, a plate bearing a star, and heads
of Asuras (demons). Every important Saivite temple has one or two
Viramushtis attached to it, and they are supposed to be servants of
the god Siva. One of their chief duties is to guard the idol during
processions, and on other occasions. If, during a car procession, the
car will not move, the Viramushtis cut themselves with their swords
until it is set in motion. There is a Tamil proverb that the Siva
Brahman (temple priest) eats well, whereas the Viramushti hurts himself
with the sword, and suffers much. The custom is said to be dying out.

The principal occupation of the Viramushtis is begging from Beri
Chettis, Devangas, Komatis, and washermen. In former days, they are
said to have performed a ceremony called pavadam. When an orthodox
Lingayat was insulted, he would swallow his lingam, and lie flat
on the ground in front of the house of the offender, who had to
collect some Lingayats, who would send for a Viramushti. He had to
arrive accompanied by a pregnant Viramushti woman, pujaris (priests)
of Draupadi, Pachaiamman and Pothuraja temples, a Sembadava pujari,
Pambaikarans, Udukkaikarans, and some individuals belonging to the
nearest Lingayat mutt. Arrived at the house, the pregnant woman would
sit down in front of the person lying on the ground. With his sword the
Viramushti man then made cuts in his scalp and chest, and sprinkled
the recumbent man with the blood. He would then rise, and the lingam
would come out of his mouth. Besides feeding the people, the offender
was expected to pay money as pavadam to the Viramushtis and mutts.

Some Viramushtis style themselves Vastad, or athletes, in reference
to their professional occupation.

Viranattan.--The name denotes those who play on a drum called
viranam. It is recorded, in the Madras Census Report, 1901, that the
Viranattans "were originally temple servants, but now do miscellaneous
day labour. Their females are prostitutes. Their titles are Mestri
and Mudali."

Viranollu.--Viranollu and Viththanollu are gotras of Ganigas, who
may not cut the wood-apple (Feronia elephantum).

Virasaiva.--A synonym for Lingayat. Some Lingayats claim to be
Virasaiva Brahmans.

Visalakshiamma.--Recorded, in the Manual of the North Arcot district,
as a sub-division of Vaniyan. Visalakshiamma is the goddess of Benares,
who is said to be the sister of Minakshi of Madura and Kamakshi of
Conjeeveram. Visalakshi means literally one with beautiful eyes,
and is a name of Parvati, who is described as possessing large and
beautiful eyes.

Viswakarma.--Viswakarma and Viswa Brahman are synonyms for Kammalan,
the members of which class claim descent from the five faces of
Viswakarma, the architect of the gods.

Vitugula-vandlu.--A fanciful name, meaning hunters or gallants,
adopted by Boyas.

Vodari.--See Odari.

Vodda.--See Odde.

Vodo.--A small caste of Oriya basket-makers and cultivators in the
Vizagapatam agency.

Vojali.--See Ojali.

Vokkiliyan (cultivator).--A sub-division of Kappiliyan, and Tamil
form of Vakkaliga. (See Okkiliyan.)

Vudupulavallu.--An occupational name for Balijas, Velamas, etc.,
who paint chintzes.

Vyadha (forest men).--A synonym of Myasa Bedars.

Vyapari.--A trading section of Nayar.

Vyasa (the name of a sage or rishi).--A sub-division of Balija.



W


Wahabi.--The Wahabis are a sect of Muslim revivalists founded by
Muhammad ibn 'Abdu'l Wahhab, who was born in A.D. 1691. Wahabyism
has been defined as the Puritanism of Islam, "hated by the so-called
orthodox Musalmans, as the Lutherans were hated by Leo, and the
Covenanters by Claverhouse." [155] It is recorded, in the Manual of
North Arcot (1895), that since 1806 (the year of the Vellore mutiny)
"two alarms have been raised in the district, both at Vellore, which
is largely inhabited by Muhammadans. The last alarm occurred in
1869. Early in May of that year, anonymous petitions were received
by the Joint Magistrate and the Assistant Superintendent of Police,
stating that the Wahabi Muhammadans of Vellore were in league against
Government, and had arranged a plot for the massacre of all the
European residents, in which the 28th Regiment of Native Infantry, then
stationed at Vellore, was deeply implicated. An East Indian subordinate
of the Public Works Department also reported that he had overheard a
Muhammadan munshi of the Small Cause Court speaking to a shopman of his
faith about the seditious preaching of a certain Khazi. The munshi was
sent for, and described what he said had occurred in a certain mosque,
where sedition had been openly advocated by a Wahabi missionary who had
recently arrived from Hyderabad, as well as by others." It appeared,
from the investigations of the Inspector-General of Police, that the
whole affair had been nothing more than a conspiracy among the orthodox
Muhammadans to arouse alarm regarding the designs of the Wahabis,
and to prevent these sectarians from frequenting their mosques.

Wudder.--See Odde.

Wynad.--Returned, at times of census, as a territorial division
of Chetti. There are at Gudalur near the boundary between the
Nilgiri district and Malabar, and in the Wynad, two classes called,
respectively, Mandadan Chettis (q.v.) and Wynadan Chettis.

The following account of the Wynadan or Wynaadan Chettis is given
in the Gazetteer of the Nilgiris. "They speak Malayalam, and follow
marumakkatayam (inheritance in the female line). They say they were
originally Vellalas from Coimbatore, followed makkatayam (inheritance
from father to son), spoke Tamil, and wore the Tamil top-knot. In
proof of this, they point out that at their weddings they still
follow certain Tamil customs, the bridegroom wearing a turban and
a red cloth with a silver girdle over it and being shaved, and the
woman putting on petticoats and nose-rings. They have headmen called
Kolapallis, subordinate to whom are Mantiris, but these are liable
to be overruled by a nad council. No wedding may take place without
the headman's leave. Two forms of marriage are recognised. In one,
the couple exchange garlands after the Tamil fashion, and the father
(a relic of the makkatayam system) conducts the ceremony. Preliminaries
are arranged by go-betweens, and the chief of the numerous rites is
the placing of a bracelet on the girl's upper arm under a pandal
(booth) before the priest and the assembled relatives. The other
form is simpler. The bridegroom goes to the girl's house with some
men friends, and, after a dinner there, a go-between puts on the
bangle. Before marriage, a tali-kettu ceremony resembling that of
the Nayars is often gone through, all the girls of a family who are
of marriageable age having talis tied round their necks on the same
day by a maternal uncle. Married women are allowed intimacy with their
husbands' brothers. Widows are permitted to marry again. The dead are
usually burnt, but those who have met their deaths by accidents and
epidemics are buried. Water from a vessel containing rice and a gold
coin is poured into a dying person's mouth. Should the spirit of the
dead disturb the dreams of the relatives, a hut for it is built under
an astrologer's directions close to the house, and in this lights
are lit morning and evening, and periodical offerings of food are
made. The Wynaadan Chettis reverence the deities in the Ganapati,
Mahamari and Kalimalai Tambiran temples near Sultan's Battery,
Airu Billi of the Kurumbas, and one or two others. The women wear
in their distended ear-lobes gold discs which are so characteristic
of the Nayars, and many necklaces. They wear two white cloths, tying
one round the waist and another across their breasts."

It is recorded, in the Gazetteer of Malabar, that the Wynad or
Wynaadan Chettis "claim to be Sudras, and are in appearance and
customs very similar to the Nayars. They are polluted by all castes
below Nayars. Their marriage customs seem to be a mixture of east
and west coast practices. They follow the marumakkattayam system,
and perform the tali-kettu kalianam; but this is done on the tenth day
after puberty, and two talis have to be tied on the girl, one by her
maternal uncle, and one by the senior female of her house. They also
celebrate a regular marriage ceremony, at which a bracelet is put on
the bride's right arm, and bride and bridegroom garland each other;
while next morning a kanam or bride-price has to be paid to the
bride's karnavan (senior male in a family). They are bold shikaris
(sportsmen), and tiger spearing is a favourite pastime, closely
connected with their religion.

"The tiger is encircled by a wall of netting six feet high, which is
gradually closed up, and then speared. The carcass is not skinned,
but is stretched on a pole, and hung up as a sacrifice to their deity."



Y


Yadava.--Yadava, meaning descendants of king Yadu, from whom Krishna
was descended, has been recorded as a synonym or title of Idaiyan,
and a sub-division of Golla and Koracha. There is a tradition among
the Idaiyans that Krishna was brought up by their caste.

Yakari.--See Ekari.

Yanadi.--The Yanadis are a dark-skinned, platyrhine tribe, short
of stature, who inhabit the Telugu country. The name has been the
subject of much etymological speculation. Some derive it from a
(privative) and nathu (lord or protector), and it may mean those
who are not included in the ruling or principal caste. Again, it has
been derived from yanam (boat) and adi (means). But the Yanadis are
not known to have plied, nor do they now ply boats at Sriharikota,
their chief place of residence, which is on the coast. The word would
seem to be derived from the Sanskrit anadi, or those whose origin is
not traceable. The people perhaps elongated the vowel-sound, so that
it became Yanadi. In like manner, the Native graduate of the Madras
University talks of himself as being, not a B.A. or M.A., but B.Ya. or
M.Ya. And a billiard-marker will call the game yeighty-yeight instead
of eighty-eight.

The tradition of the Yanadis as to their origin is very vague. Some
call themselves the original inhabitants of the wilds in the
neighbourhood of the Pulicat lake, where they hunted and fished
at will, until they were enslaved by the Reddis. Others say that
the Reddi (or Manchi?) Yanadis were originally Chenchus, a small
but superior class, and that they fled from oppression and violence
from the mountains in the west, and amalgamated themselves with the
common Yanadis. The common deity of both Chenchus and Manchi Yanadis
is Chenchu Devudu. Between the Yanadi and the Chenchu, however,
there is no love lost. They can be seen living close together, but
not intermingling, on the Nallamalais, and they differ in their
social customs. Yanadi Chenchu is said to be the name given by
Brahmans to the Chenchus. [156] The following legend concerning the
Yanadis is narrated by Mackenzie. [157] "Of old, one named Raghava
brought with him sixty families from Pacanatti district, locating
himself with them at Sriharicotta, and, clearing the country, formed
Raghavapuram. The people by degrees spread through a few adjoining
districts. A rishi, who came from Benares, and was named Ambikesvarer,
resided in Mad'hyaranya (or the central wilderness), and there, daily
bathing in a river, paid homage to Siva. These wild people of their
own accord daily brought him fruits and edibles, putting them before
him. At length he inquired of them the reason. They replied that
their country was infested by a terrible serpent, and they wished to
be taught charms to destroy it, as well as charms for other needful
purposes. He taught them, and then vanished away."

It is an advantage for a European to have a Yanadi as a camp servant,
as he can draw water from any caste well. The Yanadi can also wash,
and carry water for Brahmans.

The animistic nature of their religion; the production of fire by
friction; the primitive hunting and fishing stage in which a number
remain; the almost raw animal food which they eat, after merely
scorching or heating the flesh of the game they kill, indicate that the
Yanadis have not yet emerged from a primitive stage of culture. They
make fire by friction with sticks from the following trees:--


    Protium caudatum (konda ragi).
    Bauhinia racemosa (aree chettu).
    Ficus. sp. (kallu jeevee chettu).
    Ptereospermum suberifolium (tada).
    A tree belonging to the Nat. Order Laurineæ.
    Cordia monoica (female tree).


Two sticks are prepared, one short, the other long. In the former a
square cavity is scooped out, and it is held firmly on the ground,
while the long stick is twisted rapidly to and fro in the cavity. No
charcoal powder is used, but a rag, or even dried leaves are set
fire to.

The head-quarters of the Yanadis is the island of Sriharikota in the
Nellore district. Their primitive condition attracted notice in 1835,
when the island came into the possession of the Government, which
endeavoured to ameliorate their position by supplying them with a
liberal allowance of grain, clothing, tobacco, and money, in return
for the jungle produce, which they collected. The demand for labour
naturally rose, and the Government offered to pay to parents 2 annas
6 pies on the birth of a male, and 1 anna 3 pies on the birth of a
female child--a bounty on productivity justified by special local
causes. In 1858, the Government opened a school for the teaching of
Telugu, which was rendered attractive by offers of rice and clothing
to those who attended it. An industrial department gave lessons in
basket-making, and land was assigned for the cultivation of chay-root
(Oldenlandia umbellata), which yields the beautiful red dye formerly
much employed in the dyeing of cotton fabrics, but has had its nose
put out of joint by the introduction of aniline and alizarin dyes. But
the industries proved unsuccessful, and the strength of the school
gradually declined, so that it was abolished in 1877.

At the census, 1891, the Yanadis returned as many as 89 sub-divisions,
of which the two most important numerically were Chenchu and Manchi. A
division into classes exists according to dietary, occupation,
residence, etc. There are, for example, the Reddi Yanadis, the
Challa (refuse-eating), Adavi, and Kappala (frog-eaters). The Reddi
Yanadis are a settled class, employed chiefly as cooks by the Panta
Reddis. They do not mingle with the Challa and Adivi sections,
whom they regard as out-castes. If a Reddi Yanadi woman's husband
dies, abandons, or divorces her, she may marry his brother, and,
in the case of separation or divorce, the two brothers will live on
friendly terms with each other. The Challas are also known as Garappa
(dry-land) or Chatla (tree). They reside in huts on the borders of
villages in the service of the community, and live on jungle produce,
and by snaring and hunting game. The Reddi and Challa Yanadis are
occasionally employed as kavalgars, or village watchmen, in the Kistna
and Godavari districts. In the Venkatagiri Zemindari the Yanadis are
among the recognised servants of the village community as procurers
of charcoal for the blacksmith. The Adavi Yanadis are, as the name
implies, jungle-men. The Manchi or good Yanadis are a small superior
class. The Yanadis of the North Arcot district, it may be noted, are
Chenchu worshippers, and go by that name. They are non-frog-eaters,
and do not permit the Kappala, or frog-eaters, even to touch their
pots. Some Yanadis of the Nellore district feed on the refuse of the
table. The Somari, or idle Yanadis, live in the Kavali taluk of that
district. They do scavenging work, and eat the refuse food thrown
away by people from the leaf plate after a meal.

The following are some of the house-names of families living in
Nellore, Sriharikota, Tada, and Kambakam:--


(a) Manchi Yanadis--

    Bandi, cart.
    Chembetti, hammer.
    Chilakala, paroquet.
    Dhoddi, sheep-fold.
    Igala, house-fly.
    Enthodu, a village.
    Illa, of a house.
    Kathtlula, sword.
    Kanur, a village.
    Kotlu, cow-shed.
    Mekala, goat.
    Manikala, measure.
    Pamula, snake.
    Tenkayala, cocoanut.
    Totla, garden.
    Tupakala, gun.
    Udamala, water-lizard.
    Jandayi, flag.
    Marrigunta, pond near a fig-tree.


(b) Challa Yanadi--

    Nerigi Mekala, a kind of goat.
    Elugu, bear.
    Thirlasetti, name of a Balija Chetti.


All these names represent exogamous septs. In every case, the
house-name was known only to old men and women, and they, as a rule,
did not know the house-names of their neighbours or relations. Many
of the names are derived from villages, or persons of other castes,
on whose land they may live, and are probably new names adopted
instead of the original ones. For the purpose of their register,
Forest officers invent prefixes by which Yanadis with the same family
name can be distinguished, e.g., Kee Chenchugadu, Permadu Budthagadu,
to distinguish them from other Chenchugadus, and Budthagadus. The
same practice is resorted to by planters, who give "estate names"
to their coolies.

Yanadis will not eat with Madigas or Paraiyans, and observe some
principle in partaking of the refuse of the table. Thus, for a Chinna
Yanadi to eat the refuse of the Mondis, Oddes, or Yerukalas, would
involve excommunication, which is always pronounced by a Balija
Chetti, whose decision is final and binding. Restoration to caste
can be secured by undergoing a personal ordeal, by giving a feast,
and promising good behaviour in the future. The ordeal takes the form
of scalding of the tongue with hot gold by the Balija Chetti. It is
curious that there has recently grown up a tendency for members of
other castes to join the Yanadi community. There are instances of
barbers, weavers, fishermen, and even Komatis being admitted into
the Yanadi fold.

The headman, who goes by the name of Kulampedda or Pedda Yanadi,
exercises general social control over a group, known as a guddem,
ordinarily of about twenty huts. He decides social questions,
sometimes on his own responsibility, by excommunicating or fining;
sometimes acting on the advice of a council of his castemen. Until
quite recently, the tribe remained under the guidance of a hereditary
leader of Sriharikota, who wielded immense power. The Paraiyans
have risen superior to the Yanadis as a community, supplying among
themselves their own artisans, weavers, carpenters, barbers, priests,
teachers, etc., while the Yanadis are only just beginning to move in
this direction.

The language of the Yanadis is Telugu, but some words are compounds
of Telugu and Tamil, e.g., artichedi for plantain, pandikutti for pig.

The Yanadis know the forest flora well, and the uses of the various
trees and shrubs, which yield good firewood, etc. They call the roller
(Coracias indica) the milk bird, in the belief that, when a cow goes
dry, she will yield milk if a feather of the roller is put in the
grass for her to swallow. The crow-pheasant (Centropus sinensis)
is to them the prickly-pear crow; florikin the ground peacock; the
fan-tail snipe the pond snipe; and the pin-tail the rice field snipe.

At the census, 1891, 84,339 Yanadis were returned as Hindus, and 549 as
animists. Their places of worship are not temples, but houses, called
devara indlu (houses of the gods), set apart for every centre. They
worship a household god, a village goddess of local importance, and
a deity of wider repute and influence. Chenchu Devudu is invariably
the household god. Poleramma or Ankamma is in charge of a local area
for weal or woe. Subbarayudu, Venkateswaralu, Panchala, Narasimhulu,
and others, are the gods who control destinies over a wider area. The
Yanadis are their own priests. The objects of worship take various
forms: a wooden idol at Sriharikota; bricks; stones; pots of water
with margosa (Melia Azadirachta) leaves; images of gods drawn on
the walls of their houses; or mere handfuls of clay squeezed into
shape, and placed on a small platform erected under an aruka tree,
which, like other Hindus, they hold sacred. They use a red powder,
flowers, turmeric, etc., for worship; burn camphor and incense; and
distribute fruit, dhal (pulse of Cajanus indicus), and the like. In
worshipping ancestors, they resemble the Kurumbas. The house of
the gods is a sanctum, into which no polluting object is allowed to
enter. The most pious perform rites every Friday. At Sriharikota they
do so once a fortnight, or once a month. The ordinary Yanadi only
worships on occasion of a marriage, funeral, etc. A belief lingers
that the pious are en rapport with the deity, who converses with
them and even inspires them. The goddess receives animal sacrifices,
but Chenchu Devudu is a strict vegetarian, whose votaries are bound,
at times of worship, to subsist on a single daily meal of roots and
fruits. The Yanadis, like Hindus, wear sect marks, and are even divided
into Vaishnavites and Saivites. They are supposed, during worship,
to endow inanimate objects, and the spirits of geographical features,
with life and mind, and supernatural powers. Some Yanadis are converts
to Christianity.

The Yanadis live in low conical huts, rudely built of bamboo and
palmyra leaves, grass, or millet stalks, with a small entrance, through
which grown-up people have to creep. The hut affords protection from
the sun and rain, but the Yanadis generally cook, eat, and sleep
outside. The staple food of the Yanadis, apart from bazar purchases,
consists of the following:--

Animals:--Sambar deer, wild goat, bear, porcupine, boar, land tortoise,
hare, bandicoot and jerboa rat, Varanus (lizard), mungoose, and fish.

Vegetables and fruit:--Dioscorea (yams); pith and fruit of Phoenix
sylvestris (date palm); fruit kernel of Cycas circinalis, eaten after
thorough soaking in water; and fruits of Eugenia alternifolia and
Jambolana (black plum), Carissa Carandas and spinarum, Buchanania
acuminata, and Mimusops hexandra.

They are, like the Irulas of Chingleput, very partial to sour
and fermented rice-water, which is kept by the higher classes for
cattle. This they receive in exchange for headloads of fuel. For some
time past they have been stopped by the Forest officers from drinking
this pulusunillu, as it makes them lazy, and unfit for work.

The marriage ceremony is no indispensable necessity. The Adavi
Yanadis, as a rule, avoid it; the Reddi Yanadis always observe it. The
parents rarely arrange alliances, the parties concerned managing
for themselves. Maturity generally precedes marriage. Seduction
and elopement are common occurrences, and divorce is easily
obtained. Adultery is no serious offence; widows may live in
concubinage; and pregnancy before marriage is no crime. By nature,
however, the Yanadis are jealous of conjugal rights, and attached to
their wives. Widowhood involves no personal disfigurement, or denial
of all the emblems of married life.

A widow has been known to take, one after another, as many as seven
husbands. The greater the number of her husbands, the more exalted
is the status of a widow in society, and the stronger her title to
settle disputes on questions of adultery, and the like. Polygamy is
common, and a Yanadi is known to have had as many as seven wives, whom
he housed separately, and with whom he lived by turns. The marriage
ceremony is undergoing change, and the simple routine developing into
a costly ceremonial, the details of which (e.g., the "screen scene")
are copied from the marriage rites of higher castes in the Telugu
country. Until quite recently, the flower of the tangedu (Cassia
auriculata) did duty for the tali, which is now a turmeric-dyed cotton
thread with a gold bottu suspended from it. The auspicious hour is
determined by a very simple process. The hour is noon, which arrives
when a pole, two feet high, stuck vertically on the marriage platform,
ceases to throw a shadow. The pole has superseded the arrow used of
old, and sometimes a purohit is consulted, and gives the hour from
his calendar.

As a punishment for adultery, the unfaithful woman is, at Sriharikota,
made to stand, with her legs tied, for a whole day in the sun, with
a basket full of sand on her head.

The maternal uncle receives a measure of rice, a new cloth, and eight
annas, at the head-shaving ceremony of his nephew. At this ceremony,
which is a borrowed custom, the uncle plucks a lock of hair from the
head of the lad, and ties it to a bough of the aruka tree. The head
is shaved, and the lad worships the village goddess, to whom a fowl
is offered. The guests are feasted, and the evening is spent in a
wild torch-light dance.

At the first menstrual period, a Yanadi girl occupies a hut erected
for the purpose, which must have within it at least one stick of
Strychnos Nux-vomica, to drive away devils. On the ninth day the
hut is burnt down, and the girl cleanses herself from pollution by
bathing. A woman, after confinement, feeds for three days on the
tender leaves, or cabbage of the date palm (Phoenix sylvestris), and
then on rice. Margosa leaves, and sometimes the leaves of other trees,
and the knife with which the umbilical cord was cut, are placed under
the infant's head for six days. A net is hung in front of the door,
to keep out devils. The baby is given a name by the soothsayer, who
pretends to be in communication on the subject with the god or goddess.

The Yanadis pose as prophets of human destinies, and, like the Nilgiri
Kurumbas, pretend to hold intercourse with gods and goddesses,
and to intercede between god and man. Every village or circle has
one or more soothsayers, who learn their art from experts under
a rigid routine. The period of pupilage is a fortnight spent on a
dietary of milk and fruits with no cooked meat, in a cloister in
meditation. The god or goddess Ankamma, Poleramma, Venkateswaralu,
Subbaroyadu, or Malakondroyadu, appears like a shadow, and inspires
the pupil, who, directly the period of probation has ceased, burns
camphor and frankincense. He then sings in praise of the deity, takes
a sea bath with his master, gives a sumptuous feast, and becomes an
independent soothsayer. The ardent soothsayer of old wrought miracles,
so runs the story, by stirring boiling rice with his hand, which was
proof against scald or hurt. His modern brother invokes the gods with
burning charcoal in his folded hands, to the beat of a drum. People
flock in large numbers to know the truth. The word is rangampattedhi
in North Arcot and sodi in Nellore. The soothsayer arranges Chenchu
Devudu and the local gods in a separate devara illu or house of god,
which is always kept scrupulously clean, and where worship is regularly
carried on. The auspicious days for soothsaying are Friday, Saturday,
and Sunday. The chief soothsayer is a male. The applicant presents
him with betel nuts, fruit, flowers, and money. The soothsayer
bathes, and sits in front of his house smeared with black, white,
red, and other colours. His wife, or some other female, kindles a
fire, and throws frankincense into it. He beats his drum, and sings,
while a woman from within repeats the chant in a shrill voice. The
songs are in praise of the deity, at whose and the soothsayer's
feet the applicant prostrates himself and invokes their aid. The
soothsayer feels inspired, and addresses the supplicant thus: "You
have neglected me. You do not worship me. Propitiate me adequately, or
ruin is yours." The future is predicted in song. In these predictions
the rural folk place abundant faith.

The Yanadis bury their dead. The corpse is laid on leaves in front of
the hut, washed and clad. Pelalu (parched rice) is thrown over the
corpse by the son and all the agnates. It is eventually placed on a
bier, covered with a new cloth, and carried to the burial ground, by
the sons, or, in the absence thereof, the sapindas. At a fixed spot
near the grave, on which all corpses are placed, a cross is drawn on
the ground, the four lines of which represent the four cardinal points
of the compass. Close to the corpse are placed betel leaves and nuts,
and a copper coin. All present then proceed to the spot where the grave
is to be dug, while the corpse is left in charge of a Yanadi called
the Bathyasthadu, who, as a rule, belongs to a different sept from
that of the deceased. The corpse is laid on a cloth, face downwards,
in the grave. The eldest son, followed by the other relatives,
throws three handfuls of earth into the grave, which is then filled
in. On their return home, the mourners undergo purification by bathing
before entering their huts. In front of the dead man's hut, two broken
chatties (pots) are placed, whereof one contains ash-water, the other
turmeric-water. Into each chatty a leafy twig is thrown. Those who
have been present at the funeral stop at the chatties, and, with the
twig, sprinkle themselves first with the ash-water, and then with the
turmeric-water. Inside the hut a lighted lamp, fed with gingelly oil,
is set up, before which those who enter make obeisance before eating.

The chinnadinamu ceremony, whereof notice is given by the Bathyasthadu,
is usually held on the third day after death. Every group (gudem)
or village has its own Bathyasthadu, specially appointed, whose duty
it is to convey the news of death, and puberty of girls, to all the
relatives. Tupakis will never nominate a Tupaki as their Bathyastha,
but will select from a Mekala or any sept except their own.

On the morning of the chinnadinamu, the eldest son of the deceased
cooks rice in a new pot, and makes curries and cakes according to his
means. These are made up into six balls, which are placed in a new
basket, and taken to the burial-ground. On reaching the spot where the
cross-lines were drawn, a ball of rice is placed thereon, together with
betel leaves and nuts and a copper coin. The Bathyasthadu remains in
charge thereof, while those assembled proceed to the grave, whereon a
pot of water is poured, and a stone planted at the spot beneath which
the head lies. The stone is anointed with shikai (fruit of Acacia
Concinna) and red powder, and milk poured over it, first by the widow
or widower and then by the relations. This ceremony concluded, the son
places a ball of rice at each corner of the grave, together with betel
and money. Milk is poured over the remaining ball, which is wrapped
in a leaf, and buried over the spot where the abdomen of the deceased
is situated. Close to the grave, at the southern or head end, three
stones are set up in the form of a triangle, whereon a new pot full
of water is placed. A hole is made in the bottom of the pot, and the
water trickles out towards the head of the corpse. This concludes the
ceremony, and, as on the day of the funeral, purification by bathing,
ash-water and turmeric-water, is carried out.

The peddadinamu ceremony is performed on the sixteenth, or some
later day after death. As on the chinnadinamu, the son cooks rice
in a new pot. Opposite the entrance to the hut a handful of clay is
squeezed into a conical mass, representing the soul of the deceased,
and stuck up on a platform. The eldest son, taking a portion of
the cooked rice, spreads it on a leaf in front of the clay image,
before which incense is burnt, and a lamp placed. The image, and the
remainder of the food made up into four balls, are then carried by the
son to a tank (pond). As soon as the relatives have assembled there,
the recumbent effigy of a man is made, close to the edge of the tank,
with the feet towards the north. The conical image is set up close
to the head of the effigy, which is anointed by the relatives as at
the chinnadinamu, except that no milk is poured over it. The four
balls of rice are placed close to the hands and feet of the effigy,
together with betel and money, and the son salutes it. The agnates then
seat themselves in a row between the effigy and the water, with their
hands behind their backs, so as to reach the effigy, which is moved
slowly towards the water, into which it finally falls, and becomes
disintegrated. The proceedings conclude with distribution of cloths
and cheroots, and purification as before. The more prosperous Yanadis
now engage a Brahman to remove the pollution by sprinkling water over
them. During the peddadinamu incessant music and drum-beating has been
going on, and is continued till far into the night, and sometimes the
ceremonial is made to last over two days, in order that the Yanadis
may indulge in a bout of music and dancing.

The Yanadis are expert anglers, catching fish with a triangular net
or wicker basket. They also excel in diving for and catching hold
of fish concealed in crevices of rocks or buried in mud, and assist
European sportsmen by marking down florikin. Those who are unable
to count bring in a string with knots tied in it, to indicate the
number of birds marked. They catch bandicoot rats by a method known
as voodarapettuta. A pot is stuffed with grass, into which fire
is thrown. The mouth of the pot is placed against the hole made by
the bandicoot, and smoke blown into the hole through a small slit
in the pot. The animal becomes suffocated, and tries to escape
through the only aperture available, made for the occasion by the
Yanadi, and, as it emerges, is killed. They are fearless in catching
cobras, which they draw out of their holes without any fear of their
fangs. They pretend to be under the protection of a charm, while so
doing. A correspondent writes that a cobra was in his grounds, and
his servant got a Yanadi, who had charge of the adjoining garden,
to dislodge it. The man was anxious to catch it alive, and then,
before killing it, carefully removed the poison-sac with a knife,
and swallowed it as a protection against snake-bite.

The Yanadis are good shikaris (huntsmen), and devoid of fear in the
jungle. They hold licenses under the Arms Act, and being good shots,
are great at bagging tigers, leopards, porcupines, and other big and
small game. After an unsuccessful beat for spotted deer, a friend
informs me, the Yanadis engaged therein erected a cairn of twigs
and stones several feet high, round which they danced with gradually
quickening step, to the refrain in Telugu 'Nothing comes.' Then, to
the same tune, they danced round it in the opposite direction. The
incantation concluded, the beat was continued and a stag duly appeared
on the scene--and was missed!

They gather honey from bee-hives on hill tops and cliffs which are
precipitous and almost inaccessible, and perilous to reach. The man
climbs down with the help of a plaited rope of pliant bamboo, fastened
above to a peg driven firmly into a tree or other hard substance,
and takes with him a basket and stick. He drives away the bees at the
first swing by burning grass or brushwood beneath the hives. The next
swing takes him closer to the hive, which he pokes with the stick. He
receives the honey-comb in the basket, and the honey flows out of it
into a vessel adjusted to it. When the basket and vessel are full,
he shakes the rope, and is drawn up by the person in charge of it,
who is almost always his wife's brother, so that there may be no foul
play. He thus collects a considerable quantity of honey and wax,
for which he receives only a subsistence wage from the contractor,
who makes a big profit for himself.

The following list of minor forest products, chiefly collected by
Government Yanadis, is given in the Nellore District Gazette:--


    Chay root (Oldenlandia umbellata), which, by a quaint misprint,
    appears as cheroot.
    Kanuga (Pongamia glabra).
    Sarsaparilla (Hemidesmus indicus).
    Nux vomica (Strychnos Nux-vomica).
    Tangedu (Cassia auriculata).
    Soap nut (Sapindus trifoliatus).
    Achilla weed (lichens).
    Ishwarac (Aristolochia indica).
    Vishabuddi (Sida carpinifolia).
    Kukkapala (Tylophora asthmatica).
    Honey.
    Rattan (Calamus Rotang).
    Tamarind (Tamarindus indicus).
    Neredu (Eugenia Jambolana).
    Surati bark (Ventilago Madraspatana).


In the interests of the Yanadis it is laid down, in the Gazette, that
"the Yanadi villages must be encouraged, and the people paid at least
once a week for the produce they collect. This must be done by the
maistry (overseer) going up and down the main ride every day during
the collection season, checking the collections, and paying for them
on the spot. The Yanadis will, of course, camp out in the reserve
when collecting produce, and not return, as heretofore, every three
days to Sriharikota, thus wasting 45 per cent. of their time in the
mere coming and going, apart from the fact that, under the old system,
the produce from some parts of the reserves was never collected at all,
as no one visited them."

The Yanadis dance on festive occasions, at ceremonies, and occasionally
for begging, smearing the body with turmeric, wearing flowers,
singing meaningless songs, and drumming in rude fashion "dambukku,
dambukku." Their only wind instrument is the bag-pipe, but they play
on the snake charmer's reed as an accompaniment. Their dance is full
of indecent suggestion. They have of late trained themselves for the
stage, and there are several troupes of Bhagavathulu.

To the Rev. G. N. Thomssen, of the Telugu Mission, Bapatla, I am
indebted for the following account of a Yanadi dance. "Especially at
night, they love to gather in some part of the jungle where they have
their huts, and, having gathered a pile of palmyra leaves, burn them
one by one as torches, while a number of men and women begin to dance
their quaint, weird jungle dance, which is to represent the experiences
of the hunters in their wanderings. The chief actors, or dancers,
are dressed fantastically. They are almost nude, but dangling from
their loins are palmyra baskets, in which they gather edible bulbs
and roots, dead rats, snakes, etc., which are prized as something to
fill the stomach. Suddenly the actors fell on the ground. One of them
cries out 'thelu' (scorpion). Then the other asks where, and is shown
the place where the scorpion is supposed to have stung the sufferer,
while the choir sing:--


    Alas! the scorpion stings.
    O! O! the scorpion stings.
    Which finger? Ah! the middle one.
    As soon as I was stung,
    The poison into my head ascends.
    Ayo! Ayo! What shall I do?
    Bring down the poison with yilledu.


This chant is kept up for a long time, when suddenly another of the
actors falls on the ground, and writhes like a snake. The Yanadis
are a very supple race, and, when dancing, especially when writhing
on the ground, one sees a display of muscular action that makes one
believe that the human body is capable of all the twists and turns of
a serpent. When the actor is representing the man bitten by a snake,
one hears quaint cries while the snake is sought in the hair, ears,
and nose, basket and loin-cloth. The choir now sings the following:--


    Come down to catch the snake,
    O! snake-charmer, behold the standing snake.
    Be sure the pipe sounds well.
    Come, come, with the big snakes in the basket,
    And the little ones in the lock of your hair.
    When I went down the bank of the Yerracheru,
    And saw the harvest cut,
    The cobra crawled beneath the harvester.
    Ayo! Ayo! Ayo!


To see this action song, and to hear these strange people, is one
of the queerest experiences of native aboriginal life. The dancers,
and the spectators who form the choir, all become very excited, and
even the European, seeing the tamasha (spectacle), is infected with
the excitement. The actors are bathed in perspiration, but the dance
is kept up nevertheless, and only when their large stock of palmyra
leaf torches is exhausted will they stop and take their rest."

In their nomadic life the Yanadis have learnt by experience the
properties and uses of herbs and roots, with which they treat fever,
rheumatism, and other diseases. They have their own remedies for
cobra bite and scorpion sting. It is said that the Yanadis alone
are free from elephantiasis, which affects the remaining population
of Sriharikota.

It is noted by the Rev. G. N. Thomssen that "while it has been
impossible to gather these people into schools, because of their
shyness and jungle wildness, Christian missionaries, especially
the American Baptist missionaries, have succeeded in winning the
confidence of these degraded children of nature, and many of them
have joined the Christian Church. Some read and write well, and a few
have even learned English. We have a small, but growing settlement
of Christianised Yanadis at Bapatla."

To sum up the Yanadi. It is notorious that, in times of scarcity, he
avoids the famine relief works, for the simple reason that he does not
feel free on them. Nevertheless, a few are in the police service. Some
are kavalgars (watchmen), farm labourers, scavengers, stone-masons
or bricklayers, others are pounders of rice, or domestic servants,
and are as a rule faithful. They earn a livelihood also in various
subsidiary ways, by hunting, fishing, cobra-charming, collecting honey
or fuel, rearing and selling pigs, practicing medicine as quacks,
and by thieving. "An iron implement," Mr. F. S. Mullaly writes, [158]
called the sikkaloo kol, is kept by them ostensibly for the purpose of
digging roots, but it is really their jemmy, and used in the commission
of burglary. It is an ordinary iron tool, pointed at both ends, one
end being fitted in a wooden handle. With this they can dig through a
wall noiselessly and quickly, and many houses are thus broken into in
one night, until a good loot is obtained. House-breakings are usually
committed during the first quarter of the moon. Yanadis confess their
own crimes readily, but will never implicate accomplices.... Women
are useful in the disposal of stolen property. At dusk they go round
on their begging tours selling mats, which they make, and take the
opportunity of dropping a word to the women of cheap things for sale,
and the temptation is seldom resisted. Stolen property is also carried
in their marketing baskets to the village grocer, the Komati. Among
the wild (Adavi) Yanadis, women are told off to acquire information
while begging, but they chiefly rely on the liquor-shopkeepers for
news, which may be turned to useful account." [159]

Yanati.--The Yanatis, Yenetis, or Enetis, are a class of cultivators in
the Ganjam and Vizagapatam districts, between whom and the Yanadis some
confusion has arisen. For example, it is noted, in the Madras Census
Report, 1891, that it is curious to find the Yanadi sub-division of
the Velamas so strongly represented, for there is at the present day
a wide gulf between Velamas and Yanadis. Again, in the Census Report,
1901, it is noticed under the heading Yanati that "entries of this
name were clubbed with Yanadi, but it has since been reported that,
in Bissumcuttack taluk of the Vizagapatam Agency, there is a separate
caste called Yanati or Yeneti Dora, which is distinct from either
Yanadi or Konda Dora."

It is said that the Yanatis of Ganjam also go by the name of Entamara
and Gainta or Gayinta.

Yata.--The Yatas are the toddy-drawers of Ganjam and Vizagapatam. The
caste name is a corrupt form of ita, meaning date palm, from
which the toddy is secured. It is noted, in the Gazetteer of the
Vizagapatam district, that "toddy is obtained from the palmyra
(Borassus flabellifer) and date palm (Phoenix sylvestris). The
toddy-drawers are usually of the Yata and Segidi castes. The palmyra
is tapped by cutting off the end of the flower spathe, and the date
palm by making an incision, like an inverted V, close under the crown
of leaves. In the zamindaris, little care is taken to see that date
trees are not over-tapped, and hundreds of trees may be seen ruined,
and even killed by excessive tapping." Many members of the caste are
engaged in the manufacture of baskets and boxes from palm leaves. The
Yatas are said to be responsible for a good deal of the crime in
portions of the Vizagapatam district.

For the following note on the Yatas of the Vizagapatam district, I am
indebted to Mr. C. Hayavadana Rao. They are a Telugu-speaking people,
and the caste is organised on the same lines as many other Telugu
castes. In each locality where they are settled, there is a headman
called Kulampedda, who, with the assistance of the caste elders,
settles disputes and affairs affecting the community. The caste is,
like other Telugu castes, divided up into numerous intiperus or
exogamous septs. The custom of menarikam, according to which a man
marries his maternal uncle's daughter, is the rule. If the girl,
whom a man claims in accordance with this custom, is not given to
him, his mother raises such a howl that her brother is compelled
by the castemen to come to terms. If he still refuses to give up
his daughter, and bestows her on another man, the protest of his
sister is said to destroy the happiness of the pair. Girls are
married before or after puberty. The marriage ceremonies last
over three days, and are carried out either at the house of the
bride or bridegroom, the former if the parents are prosperous and
influential people in the community. A Brahman officiates, and ties
the satamanam on the bride's neck. On the evening of the third day,
at the bride's house, presents called katnam, in the shape of rings,
waist-bands, and a gold bangle for the right upper arm, are given to
the bridegroom. The value of these presents bears a fixed proportion
to that of the voli or bride-price. The pair live for three days at
the bride's house, and then proceed to the house of the bridegroom,
where they stay during the next three days. They then return to the
home of the bride, where they once more stay for three days, at the
end of which the bridegroom returns to his house. The consummation
ceremony is a separate event, and, if the girl has reached puberty,
takes place a few days after the marriage ceremony. The remarriage
of widows is permitted. The satamanam is tied on the bride's neck
by the Kulampedda. Divorce is also recognised, and a man marrying
a divorced woman has to pay twelve rupees, known as moganaltappu,
or new husband's fine. The divorced woman has to return all the
jewellery which was given to her by her former husband.

The dead are cremated, and a man of the washerman caste usually assists
in igniting the pyre. There is an annual ceremony in memory of the
dead, at which the house is cleaned, and purified with cow-dung. A
meal on a more than usually liberal scale is cooked, and incense
and camphor are burnt before the entrance to the house. Food is then
offered to the dead, who are invoked by name, and the celebrants of
the rite partake of a hearty meal.

The usual caste titles are Naidu and Setti.

Yeddula (bulls).--An exogamous sept of Boya and Kapu.

Yedu Madala (seven madalas).--The name of a section of Upparas,
indicating the amount of the bride-price. A madala is equivalent to
two rupees.

Yelka Meti (good rat).--An exogamous sept of Boya.

Yemme.--Yemme, Emme, or Yemmalavaru, meaning buffalo or buffalo
people, has been recorded as an exogamous sept of Bedar or Boya,
Kurni, Kuruba, Madiga, and Vakkaliga.

Yenne (oil).--A sub-division of Ganiga.

Yenuga.--Yenuga or Yenigala, meaning elephant, has been recorded as
an exogamous sept of Kapu, the members of which will not touch ivory.

Yenumala.--Yenumala or Yenamaloru, meaning buffalo or buffalo people,
has been recorded as an exogamous sept of Balija, Boya, Madiga,
and Odde.

Yeravallar.--See Eravallar.

Yerlam.--A division of Kapus, so called after a Brahman girl named
Yerlamma, who was excommunicated for not being married, and bore
children to a Kapu.

Yerra (red).--A sub-division of Golla and Kapu, and an exogamous sept
of Devanga.

Yerudandi.--See Erudandi.

Yogi Gurukkal.--The Yogi Gurukkals are described in the Madras Census
Report, 1891, as "a Malayalam-speaking beggar caste. They are also
priests in Kali temples, and pial schoolmasters. They bury their dead
in a sitting posture (like Sanyasis)." The pial, it may be noted,
is a raised platform under the verandah, or on either side of the
door of a house, in which village schools are held.

The Yogi Gurukkals are scattered about Malabar, and their chief
occupation seems to be the performance of worship to Kali or
Durga. They officiate as priests for Mukkuvans and Tiyans. Among the
Mukkuvans, puja (worship) to Kali at the annual festival has to be done
by a Yogi Gurukkal, whereas, on ordinary occasions, it may be done by
a Mukkuvan, provided that he has been initiated by a Yogi Gurukkal. In
their customs, the Yogi Gurukkals closely follow the Nayars.

It is recorded, in the Gazetteer of Malabar, that "the Yogi Gurukkals
of North Malabar are a caste which, though low in the social scale, is
not regarded as conveying distance pollution. They perform sakti puja
in their own houses, to which no one outside the caste is allowed to
attend; they also perform it for Nayars and Tiyans. They are celebrated
sorcerers and exorcists, and are also schoolmasters by profession."


Zonnala (millet: Sorghum vulgare).--Zonnala, or the equivalent
Zonnakuti, has been recorded as an exogamous sept of Kapu. The Koyis
hold a festival when the zonna crop is ready to be cut, at which a
fowl is killed in the field, and its blood sprinkled on a stone set
up for the purpose.



        Printed by The Superintendent, Government Press, Madras.



AGENTS FOR THE SALE OF MADRAS GOVERNMENT PUBLICATIONS.


IN THE EAST.

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B. Quaritch, 11, Grafton Street, New Bond Street, W., London.
W. Thacker & Co., 2, Creed Lane, E.C., London.


ON THE CONTINENT.

Friedländer & Sohn, 11, Carlstrasse, Berlin.
Otto Harrassowitz, Leipzig.
Rudolf Haupt, 1, Dorrienstrasse, Leipzig, Germany.
Karl W. Hiersemann, Leipzig.
Ernest Leroux, 28, Rue Bonaparte, Paris.
Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, Holland.



NOTES


[1] Ind. Ant. IV, 1875.

[2] Manners, Customs, and Observances.

[3] Malabar Law and Custom, 1905.

[4] Tarwad: a marumakkathayam family, consisting of all the descendants
in the female line of one common female ancestor.

[5] The Todas, 1906.

[6] Malabar Law and Custom.

[7] Madras Census Report, 1891.

[8] Ind. Ant., VIII, 1879.

[9] Gazetteer of Malabar.

[10] Monograph Eth. Survey, Cochin No. 1, 1905.

[11] Ind. Ant., IX, 1880.

[12] Ind. Ant., IX. 1880.

[13] F. S. Mullaly. Criminal Classes of the Madras Presidency.

[14] Monograph, Eth. Survey, Bombay, No. 93, Tigala, 1907.

[15] Malabar Law and Custom.

[16] Lieutenant-General E. F. Burton. An Indian Olio.

[17] Monograph Ethnog. Survey of the Cochin State, No. 10, Izhuvas,
1905.

[18] The Tinnevelly Shanars, 1849.

[19] Madras Census Report, 1871.

[20] A fanam is a small gold coin, worth about four annas, which was
formerly current in Southern India, but is no longer in circulation.

[21] Other kinds of necklaces are the mullapu (jasmine flower) mala,
avil (beaten rice) mala, so called from the shape of the links, mani
mala or bead necklace, and pavizham (coral) mala. These are all worn
by women.

[22] Ordinarily, paddy is partly boiled before it is pounded to remove
the husk. Raw rice is obtained by pounding the paddy, which has not
undergone any boiling.

[23] There must in all be five or seven females.

[24] The taboot is a model of a Muhammadan mausoleum, intended to
represent the tomb of Husain, which is carried in procession during
the Moharram festival.

[25] Manavalan = bridegroom; Manavati = bride.

[26] An Indian Olio.

[27] The washerman of the Nambutiris and Nayars is called Veluthedan.

[28] Nayars are addressed as Kammal by Tiyans and artisans.

[29] The number twelve, so significant in Malabar.

[30] Nasrani (Nazarene) is a term for Christians on the west coast.

[31] Indian Review, Oct. 1906.

[32] The Todas. 1906.

[33] Ney = ghi or clarified butter.

[34] Aboriginal Tribes of the Nilgiri Hills.

[35] Madras Diocesan Magazine, November, 1907.

[36] See Madras Museum Bull., IV, 1896, pl. XII.

[37] Average 73.

[38] Op. cit., Appendix IV, 738.

[39] R. Bache. Royal Magazine, August 1901.

[40] Ind. Ant., III, 1874.

[41] Description of a singular Aboriginal Race inhabiting the summit
of the Neilgherry Hills, 1832.

[42] Op. cit.

[43] A Phrenologist among the Todas, 1873.

[44] J. W. Breeks. Account of the Primitive Tribes and Monuments of
the Nilgiris, 1873.

[45] Catalogue of the Prehistoric Antiquities, Government Museum,
Madras, 1901.

[46] I have seen this plant growing on the grass in front of the
Paikara bungalow.

[47] Op. cit.

[48] Ellis. History of Madagascar.

[49] Tribes inhabiting the Neilgherry Hills. By a German missionary,
1856.

[50] Proc. Cambridge Philosoph. Soc., XII, 1904.

[51] "Puzhutkina--Shall I throw earth?" Rivers.

[52] Called by Breeks ilata, which, Dr. Rivers suggests, is a Badaga
name.

[53] Journey through Mysore, Canara, and Malabar.

[54] Gazetteer of the Anantapur district.

[55] A. Chatterton. Monograph on Tanning and Working in
Leather. Madras, 1904.

[56] Cf. Tanti. Risley, Tribes and Castes of Bengal.

[57] Madras Mail, 1906.

[58] Mysore and Coorg Gazetteer.

[59] Madras Census Report, 1891.

[60] Manual of the Madura district.

[61] Gazetteer of the Madura district.

[62] Manual of the Madura district.

[63] Ind. Ant., VIII, 1879.

[64] Ibid.

[65] Manual of the North Arcot district.

[66] History of Travancore, 1878.

[67] Malabar and its Folk, Madras, 1900.

[68] Madras Census Report, 1891.

[69] Manual of the Madura district.

[70] Gazetteer of the South Arcot district.

[71] Gazetteer of the South Arcot district.

[72] Cf. Nayadi.

[73] Native Life in Travancore, 1883.

[74] Monograph, Eth. Survey, Cochin, No. 9, 1906.

[75] Manual of the Malabar district.

[76] Manual of the North Arcot district.

[77] Archæolog. Survey of India. Annual Report, 1902-1903.

[78] Journey through Mysore, Canara and Malabar. Ed., 1807.

[79] On the Weapons, Army Organization, and Political Maxims of the
Ancient Hindus, with special reference to gunpowder and fire-arms,
Madras, 1880.

[80] Vide F. Hall's edition of H. H. Wilson's Vishnu Purana,
1864. III. 289-303.

[81] Ind. Ant., VIII, 1879.

[82] Native Life in Travancore.

[83] Madras Census Report, 1901.

[84] Madras Census Report, 1901.

[85] Malabar Law and Custom, 3rd ed., 1905.

[86] Father Coleridge's Life and Letters of St. Francis Xavier.

[87] History of Tinnevelly.

[88] Indian Medical Gazette, XLI, 8, 1906.

[89] Cochin Census Report, 1901.

[90] Madras Census Report, 1901.

[91] Mysore Census Report, 1891.

[92] Madras Census Report, 1901.

[93] N. Sankuni Wariar, Ind. Ant. XXI, 1892.

[94] Gazetteer of the Madura district.

[95] Madras Census Report, 1901.

[96] Ibid., 1891.

[97] Gazetteer of the Tanjore district.

[98] Gazetteer of the Madura district.

[99] The land of the Permauls, or Cochin, its past and its present,
1863.

[100] Manual of the Madura district.

[101] Manual of the Madura district.

[102] Madras Census Report, 1891, and Manual of the North Arcot
district.

[103] See Divakaram and Chudamani Nikhandu.

[104] See Life of Tiruvalluvar, in Lazarus' edition of the Kural.

[105] Madras Census Report, 1891.

[106] Gazetteer of Malabar.

[107] Manual of the South Canara District.

[108] Madras Census Report, 1901.

[109] Manual of the North Arcot district.

[110] Madras Census Report, 1901.

[111] Manual of the Tanjore district.

[112] Manual of the North Arcot district; Madras Census Report, 1891.

[113] Madras Census Report, 1901.

[114] Malabar and its Folk, 1900.

[115] Madras Dioc: Magazine, 1906.

[116] Manual of Malabar.

[117] Madras Museum Bull. III, 3. 1901.

[118] Manual of the Salem district.

[119] Native Life in Travancore.

[120] Madras Museum, Bull. III, I, 1900.

[121] Crawley. The Mystic Rose. Fide Jagor. Zeitsch: Ethnol. XI, 164.

[122] Manual of the North Arcot district.

[123] Ind. Ant. VIII, 1879.

[124] History of the Military Transactions in Indostan.

[125] Ind. Ant. VIII, 1879.

[126] Ind. Ant. XX, 1891.

[127] Monograph Eth. Survey of Cochin, No. 12, 1907.

[128] Madras Museum Bull. III, 3, 1901.

[129] Rev. J. Cain, Ind. Ant., VIII, 1879.

[130] Madras Census Report, 1891, and Manual of the North Arcot
District.

[131] Madras Journal of Literature and Science, 188-788, p. 134,
where the etymology of the name Vellala is fully discussed.

[132] Section III. Inhabitants, Government Press, Madras, 1907.

[133] Thondai-nandalap-paddiyam.

[134] The zamindars of Cheyur, Chunampet, etc., in the Chingleput
district.

[135] Manual of the Madura district.

[136] Pen and Ink Sketches of South India.

[137] Madras Census Report, 1901.

[138] M. Paupa Rao Naidu. History of Railway Thieves, 1900.

[139] Ind. Ant. III, 1874.

[140] Madras Census Report, 1891.

[141] Baramahal Records.

[142] Manual of the Madura district.

[143] Manual of the Madura district.

[144] Manual of the North Arcot district.

[145] Manual of the Madura district.

[146] Madras Museum Bull., V. 3, 1907.

[147] Manual of the Salem district, 1883.

[148] A. Chatterton. Monograph on Tanning and Working in Leather, 1904.

[149] Madras Mail, 1907.

[150] Ibid.

[151] Malabar and its Folk, 1900.

[152] Monograph, Ethnological Survey of Cochin, 1905.

[153] Gazetteer of Malabar.

[154] Monograph, Eth. Survey of Cochin.

[155] Ind. Ant., X, 1881, p. 69.

[156] Manual of the Kurnool district.

[157] Catalogue Raisonné of Oriental Manuscripts, III, 1862.

[158] Notes on Criminal Classes of the Madras Presidency, 1892.

[159] This note is based on an article by Mr. Ranga Rao, with
additions.

[160] Agent for sale of the Legislative Department publications.





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