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Title: Castes and Tribes of Southern India - Vol. 4 of 7
Author: 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 IV--K to M

                        Government Press, Madras

                                 1909.



                  CASTES AND TRIBES OF SOUTHERN INDIA.

                               VOLUME IV.


Kori (blanket).--An exogamous sept of Kuruba.

Koriannayya (fowl sept).--An exogamous sept of Bant.

Korono.--Karnam, Mr. H. A. Stuart writes, [1] "includes both
Karnam proper, and also Korono, the accountant caste of Ganjam and
Orissa. The following remarks relate solely to the Uriya Koronos. The
word Korono is said to be derived from kirani, which means a writer
or clerk. The origin of the Koronos is uncertain. One writer says
that they are Kayasts of Northern India, who are of Kshatriya
origin. Mr. R. C. Dutt says, in his History of Ancient India, that,
according to Manu, the Koronos belong to the Kshatriya Vratyas, who
do not perform the religious rites. And, in the Raghuvamsa, the poet
Kalidasa describes Koronos as the offspring of a Vaisya and a Sudra
woman, and he is supported by the lexicographer Amara Sinha. It is
said that the ancestors of the Koronos were brought from Northern
India by Yayatikesari, King of Orissa (447--526 A.D.), to supply the
want of writers and clerks in certain parts of Orissa. The Koronos are
worshippers of Vishnu. Their ceremonies are performed with the aid of
Brahman priests. The remarriage of widows is not permitted. They eat
fish, and the flesh of goats and deer. The Uriya Koronos observe the
gosha system, and carry it to such an extent that, after a girl attains
puberty, she is not allowed to appear before her elder brother. Their
titles are Patnaik and Mahanti."

The heads of the Ganjam villages are, Mr. S. P. Rice informs us,
"called Korono, the doer, and Karji, the manager. The Korono, who is
really only the accountant, but who, by reason of his higher education,
is generally the ultimate authority in the village, appropriates
to himself the title Potonaiko, as his caste distinction. The word
signifies the Naik or head of the town." It has been noted that
"in the Telugu districts, the Karnam is usually a Brahman. Being in
some respects the most intelligent, and the most unpopular man in
the village, he is both feared and hated. Murders of accountants,
though infrequent, are not unknown." Of proverbs relating to Karnams,
the following may be quoted:--


    Even if a thousand pagodas are levied from a village, not even
    a cash will be levied from the Karnam (a pagoda is a gold, and
    a cash a copper coin).

    The Karnam is the cause of the Kapu's (cultivator caste) death.

    The hungry Karnam looks into his old accounts (to worry his
    creditors).

    The co-operation of the Karnam is as necessary as the axles to
    the wheels of a cart.

    One Karnam to one village.

    A quiet Karnam is as little cared for as a tame elephant.

    If a Karnam trusts another, his end is near.

    If an enemy is his neighbour; if another Karnam is his superior;
    if the Kapu bears complaints against him, a Karnam cannot live on.


The Koronos are divided into various sections, e.g., Sishta or
Srishti, Vaisya, Majjula, and Matihansa, some of which wear the sacred
thread. The Vaisyas are not allowed to marry their girls after puberty,
whereas the others may marry them before or after this event. A woman
of the Bhondari caste is employed on the occasion of marriage and
other ceremonies, to perform certain duties, for which her services
are indispensable.

Korra (millet: Setaria italica).--An exogamous sept of Gudala.

Korti.--An occupational name, derived from korto, a saw, of woodsawyers
in Ganjam.

Kosalya.--A sub-division of Mali, named after Kosala, the modern Oudh.

Koshti.--Koshti or Koshta is the name of a weaving and cultivating
caste of Chota Nagpur, a few members of which have settled in the
Madras Presidency (see Risley, Tribes and Castes of Bengal). Koshta is
also the name by which the Khatris of Conjeeveram call the Patnulkaran
silk weavers.

Kota.--According to Dr. Oppert [2] "it seems probable that the Todas
and Kotas lived near each other before the settlement of the latter on
the Nilagiri. Their dialects betray a great resemblance. According to a
tradition of theirs (the Kotas), they lived formerly on Kollimallai,
a mountain in Mysore. It is wrong to connect the name of the
Kotas with cow-slaying, and to derive it from the Sanskrit go-hatya
(cow-killer). The derivation of the term Kota is, as clearly indicated,
from the Gauda-dravidian word ko (ku) mountain, and the Kotas belong to
the Gandian branch." There is a tradition that the Kotas were formerly
one with the Todas, with whom they tended the herds of buffaloes in
common. But, on one occasion, they were found to be eating the flesh of
a buffalo which had died, and the Todas drove them out as being eaters
of carrion. A native report before me suggests that "it is probable
that, after the migration of the Kotas to the hills, anthropology
was at work, and they got into them an admixture of Toda blood."

The Kotas inhabit seven villages (Kotagiri or kokal), of which
six--Kotagiri, Kil Kotagiri, Todanad, Sholur, Kethi and Kunda--are
on the Nilgiri plateau, and one is at Gudalur at the north-west base
of these hills. They form compact communities, and, at Kotagiri,
their village consists of detached huts, and rows of huts arranged
in streets. The huts are built of mud, brick, or stone, roofed with
thatch or tiles, and divided into living and sleeping apartments. The
floor is raised above the ground, and there is a verandah in front
with a seat on each side whereon the Kota loves to "take his siesta,
and smoke his cheroot in the shade," or sleep off the effects of a
drinking bout. The door-posts of some of the huts are ornamented with
carving executed by wood-carvers in the plains. A few of the huts,
and one of the forges at Kotagiri, have stone pillars sculptured with
fishes, lotuses, and floral embellishments by stone-carvers from the
low country. It is noted by Breeks [3] that Kurguli (Sholur) is the
oldest of the Kota villages, and that the Badagas believe that the
Kotas of this village were made by the Todas. At Kurguli there is
a temple of the same form as the Toda dairy, and this is said to be
the only temple of the kind at any Kota village.

The Kotas speak a mixture of Tamil and Kanarese, and speak Tamil
without the foreign accent which is noticeable in the case of the
Badagas and Todas. According to orthodox Kota views, a settlement
should consist of three streets or keris, in one of which the Terkaran
or Devadi, and in the other two the Munthakannans or Pujaris live. At
Kotagiri the three streets are named Kilkeri, Nadukeri, and Melkeri,
or lower, central, and upper street. People belonging to the same keri
may not intermarry, as they are supposed to belong to the same family,
and intermarriage would be distasteful. The following examples of
marriage between members of different keris are recorded in my notes:--


          Husband.    Wife.
          Kilkeri.    Nadukeri.
          Kilkeri.    Melkeri.
          Nadukeri.   Melkeri.
          Melkeri.    Nadukeri.
          Nadukeri.   First wife Kilkeri, second wife Melkeri.


The Kota settlement at Sholur is divided into four keris,
viz.:--amreri, kikeri, korakeri, and akkeri, or near street, lower
street, other street, and that street, which resolve themselves into
two exogamous groups. Of these, amreri and kikeri constitute one group,
and korakeri and akkeri the other.

On the day following my arrival at Kotagiri, a deputation of Kotas
waited on me, which included a very old man bearing a certificate
appointing him headman of the community in recognition of his services
and good character, and a confirmed drunkard with a grog-blossom
nose, who attributed the inordinate size thereof to the acrid juice
of a tree, which he was felling, dropping on it. The besetting
vice of the Kotas of Kotagiri is a partiality for drink, and they
congregate together towards dusk in the arrack shop and beer tavern
in the bazar, whence they stagger or are helped home in a state of
noisy and turbulent intoxication. It has been said [4] that the Kotas
"actually court venereal disease, and a young man who has not suffered
from this before he is of a certain age is looked upon as a disgrace."

The Kotas are looked down on as being unclean feeders, and eaters of
carrion; a custom which is to them no more filthy than that of eating
game when it is high, or using the same tooth-brush week after week,
is to a European. They have been described as a very carnivorous race,
who "have a great craving for flesh, and will devour animal food of
every kind without any squeamish scruples as to how the animal came by
its death. The carcase of a bullock which has died of disease, or the
remains of a deer half devoured by a tiger, are equally acceptable to
him." An unappetising sight, which may be witnessed on roads leading to
a Kota village, is that of a Kota carrying the flesh of a dead buffalo,
often in an advanced stage of putridity, slung on a stick across his
shoulders, with the entrails trailing on the ground. Colonel Ross
King narrates [5] how he once saw a Kota carrying home a dead rat,
thrown out of a stable a day or two previously. When I repeated this
story to my Kota informant, he glared at me, and bluntly remarked
in Tamil "The book tells lies." Despite its unpleasant nature, the
carrion diet evidently agrees with the Kotas, who are a sturdy set
of people, flourishing, it is said, most exceedingly when the hill
cattle are dying of epidemic disease, and the supply of meat is
consequently abundant.

The missionary Metz narrates [6] that "some years ago the Kotas
were anxious to keep buffaloes, but the headmen of the other tribes
immediately put their veto upon it, declaring that it was a great
presumption on the part of such unclean creatures to wish to have
anything to do with the holy occupation of milking buffaloes."

The Kotas are blacksmiths, goldsmiths, silversmiths, carpenters,
tanners, rope-makers, potters, washermen, and cultivators. They
are the musicians at Toda and Badaga funerals. It is noted by
Dr. W. H. R. Rivers [7] that "in addition they provide for the first
Toda funeral the cloak (putkuli) in which the body is wrapped, and
grain (patm or s(=a)mai) to the amount of five to ten kwa. They give
one or two rupees towards the expenses, and, if they should have no
grain, their contribution of money is increased. At the marvainolkedr
(second funeral ceremony) their contributions are more extensive. They
provide the putkuli, together with a sum of eight annas, for the
decoration of the cloak by the Toda women. They give two to five
rupees towards the general expenses, and provide the bow and arrow,
basket (tek), knife (kafkati), and the sieve called kudshmurn. The
Kotas receive at each funeral the bodies of the slaughtered buffaloes,
and are also usually given food."

Though all classes look down on the Kotas, all are agreed that they
are excellent artisans, whose services as smiths, rope and umbrella
makers, etc., are indispensable to the other hill tribes. The strong,
durable ropes, made out of buffalo hide, are much sought after by
Badagas for fastening their cattle. The Kotas at Gudalur have the
reputation of being excellent thatchers. The Todas claim that the
Kotas are a class of artisans specially brought up from the plains
to work for them. Each Toda, Badaga, Irula, and Kurumba settlement
has its Muttu Kotas, who work for the inhabitants thereof, and supply
them with sundry articles, called muttu, in return for the carcasses of
buffaloes and cattle, ney (clarified butter), grain, plantain, etc. The
Kotas eat the flesh of the animals which they receive, and sell the
horns to Labbai (Muhammadan) merchants from the plains. Chakkiliyans
(leather-workers) from the plains collect the bones, and purchase the
hides, which are roughly cured by the Kotas with chunam (lime) and
avaram (Cassia auriculata) bark, and pegged out on the ground to dry.

The Kota blacksmiths make hatches, bill-hooks, knives, and other
implements for the various hill tribes, especially the Badagas, and
also for European planters. Within the memory of men still living,
they used to work with iron ore brought up from the low country,
but now depend on scrap iron, which they purchase locally in the
bazar. The most flourishing smithy in the Kotagiri village is made
of bricks of local manufacture, roofed with zinc sheets, and fitted
with anvil pincers, etc., of European manufacture.

As agriculturists the Kotas are said to be quite on a par with the
Badagas, and they raise on the land adjacent to their villages crops
of potatoes, bearded wheat (akki or rice ganji), barley (beer ganji),
kirai (Amarantus), samai (Panicum miliare), korali (Setaria italica),
mustard, onions, etc.

At the revenue settlement, 1885, the Kotas were treated in the same way
as the Badagas and other tribes of the Nilgiris, except the Todas, and
the lands in their occupation were assigned to them at rates varying
from ten to twenty annas per acre. The bhurty or shifting system of
cultivation, under which the Kotas held their lands, was formally, but
nominally, abolished in 1862-64; but it was practically and finally
done away with at the revenue settlement of the Nilgiri plateau. The
Kota lands are now held on puttas under the ordinary ryotwari tenure.

In former days, opium of good quality was cultivated by the Badagas,
from whom the Kotas got poppy-heads, which their herbalists used for
medicinal purposes. At the present time, the Kotas purchase opium in
the bazar, and use it as an intoxicant.

The Kota women have none of the fearlessness and friendliness of the
Todas, and, on the approach of a European to their domain, bolt out of
sight, like frighted rabbits in a warren, and hide within the inmost
recesses of their huts. As a rule they are clad in filthily dirty
clothes, all tattered and torn, and frequently not reaching as low as
the knees. In addition to domestic duties, the women have to do work
in the fields, fetch water and collect firewood, with loads of which,
supported on the head by a pad of bracken fern (Pteris aquilina)
leaves, and bill-hook slung on the shoulder, old and young women,
girls and boys, may continually be seen returning to the Kotagiri
village. The women also make baskets, and rude earthen pots from
a black clay found in swamps on a potter's wheel. This consists of
a disc made of dry mud, with an iron spike, by means of which it is
made to revolve in a socket in a stone fixed in the space in front
of the houses, which also acts as a threshing-floor. The earthenware
vessels used by the Todas for cooking purposes, and those used in
dairy work, except those of the inner room of the ti (sacred dairy),
are said by Dr. Rivers to be made by the Kotas.

The Kota priesthood is represented by two classes, Munthakannan or
Pujari, and Terkaran or Devadi, of whom the former rank higher than
the latter. There may be more than two Terkarans in a village, but
the Munthakannans never exceed this number, and they should belong
to different keris. These representatives of the priesthood must
not be widowers, and, if they lose their wives while holding office,
their appointment lapses. They may eat the flesh of buffaloes, but
not drink their milk. Cow's flesh, but not its milk, is tabu. The
Kotas may not milk cows, or, under ordinary conditions, drink the
milk thereof in their own village, but are permitted to do so if
it is given to them by a Pujari, or in a village other than their
own. The duties of the Munthakannan include milking the cows of the
village, service to the god, and participation in the seed-sowing
and reaping ceremonial. They must use fire obtained by friction, and
should keep a fire constantly burning in a broken pot. In like manner,
the Terkarans must not use matches, but take fire from the house of
the Munthakannan. The members of the priesthood are not allowed to
work for others, but may do so on their own account in the fields or
at the forge. They should avoid pollution, and may not attend a Toda
or Badaga funeral, or approach the seclusion hut set apart for Kota
women. When a vacancy in the office of Munthakannan occurs, the Kotas
of the village gather together, and seek the guidance of the Terkaran,
who becomes inspired by the deity, and announces the name of the
successor. The selected individual has to be fed at the expense of
the community for three months, during which time he may not speak to
his wife or other woman direct, but only through the medium of a boy,
who acts as his assistant. Further, during this period of probation,
he may not sleep on a mat or use a blanket, but must lie on the ground
or on a plank, and use a dhupati (coarse cloth) as a covering. At
the time of the annual temple festival, neither the Munthakannans
nor the Terkarans may live or hold communion with their wives for
fear of pollution, and they have to cook their food themselves.

The seed-sowing ceremony is celebrated in the month of Kumbam
(February-March) on a Tuesday or Friday. For eight days the Pujari
abstains from meat and lives on vegetable dietary, and may not
communicate directly with his wife, a boy acting as spokesman. On the
Sunday before the ceremony, a number of cows are penned in a kraal,
and milked by the Pujari. The milk is preserved, and, if the omens are
favourable, is said not to turn sour. If it does, this is attributed
to the Pujari being under pollution from some cause or other. On the
day of the ceremony, the Pujari bathes in a stream, and proceeds,
accompanied by a boy, to a field or the forest. After worshipping
the gods, he makes a small seed-pan in the ground, and sows therein
a small quantity of ragi (Elusine Coracana). Meanwhile, the Kotas of
the village go to the temple, and clean it. Thither the Pujari and the
boy proceed, and the deity is worshipped with offerings of cocoanuts,
betel, flowers, etc. Sometimes the Terkaran becomes inspired, and
gives expression to oracular utterances. From the temple all go to
the house of the Pujari, who gives them a small quantity of milk and
food. Three months later, on an auspicious day, the reaping of the
crop is commenced with a very similar form of ceremonial.

During the seed-sowing festival, Mr. Harkness, writing in 1832, [8]
informs us, "offerings are made in the temples, and, on the day of the
full moon, after the whole have partaken of a feast, the blacksmith
and the gold and silversmith, constructing separately a forge and
furnace within the temple, each makes something in the way of has
avocation, the blacksmith a chopper or axe, the silversmith a ring
or other kind of ornament."

"Some rude image," Dr. Shortt writes, [9] "of wood or stone, a rock
or tree in a secluded locality, frequently forms the Kota's object of
worship, to which sacrificial offerings are made; but the recognised
place of worship in each village consists of a large square of ground,
walled round with loose stones, three feet high, and containing in its
centre two [10] pent-shaped sheds of thatch, open before and behind,
and on the posts (of stone) that support them some rude circles and
other figures are drawn. No image of any sort is visible here." These
sheds, which at Kotagiri are a very short distance apart, are dedicated
to Siva and his consort Parvati under the names of Kamataraya and
Kalikai. Though no representation thereof is exhibited in the temples
at ordinary times, their spirits are believed to pervade the buildings,
and at the annual ceremony they are represented by two thin plates of
silver, which are attached to the upright posts of the temples. The
stones surrounding the temples at Kotagiri are scratched with various
quaint devices, and lines for the games of kote and hulikote. The
Kotas go, I was told, to the temple once a month, at full moon, and
worship the gods. Their belief is that Kamataraya created the Kotas,
Todas, and Kurumbas, but not the Irulas. "Tradition says of Kamataraya
that, perspiring profusely, he wiped from his forehead three drops of
perspiration, and out of them formed the three most ancient of the
hill tribes--the Todas, Kurumbas, and Kotas. The Todas were told to
live principally upon milk, the Kurumbas were permitted to eat the
flesh of buffalo calves, and the Kotas were allowed perfect liberty
in the choice of food, being informed that they might eat carrion
if they could get nothing better." According to another version of
this legend given by Dr. Rivers, Kamataraya "gave to each people a
pot. In the Toda pot was calf-flesh, and so the Todas eat the flesh
of calves at the erkumptthpimi ceremony; the Kurumba pot contained
the flesh of a male buffalo, so this is eaten by the Kurumbas. The
pot of the Kotas contained the flesh of a cow-buffalo, which may,
therefore, be eaten by this people."

In addition to Kamataraya and Mangkali, the Kotas at Gudalur, which is
near the Malabar frontier, worship Vettakaraswami, Adiral and Udiral,
and observe the Malabar Onam festival. The Kotas worship further
Magali, to whose influence outbreaks of cholera are attributed, and
Mariamma, who is held responsible for smallpox. When cholera breaks out
among the Kota community, special sacrifices are performed with a view
to propitiating the wrath of the goddess. Magali is represented by an
upright stone in a rude temple at a little distance from Kotagiri,
where an annual ceremony takes place, at which some man becomes
possessed, and announces to the people that Magali has come. The
Pujari offers up plantains and cocoanuts, and sacrifices a sheep and
fowls. My informant was, or pretended to be ignorant of the following
legend recorded by Breeks as to the origin of the worship of the
smallpox goddess. "A virulent disease carried off a number of Kotas of
Peranganoda, and the village was abandoned by the survivors. A Badaga
named Munda Jogi, who was bringing his tools to the Kotagiri to be
sharpened, saw near a tree something in the form of a tiger, which
spoke to him, and told him to summon the run-away Kotas. He obeyed,
whereupon the tiger form addressed the Kotas in an unknown tongue, and
vanished. For some time, the purport of this communication remained
a mystery. At last, however, a Kota came forward to interpret, and
declared that the god ordered the Kotas to return to the village on
pain of a recurrence of the pestilence. The command was obeyed, and
a Swami house (shrine) was built on the spot where the form appeared
to the Badaga (who doubtless felt keenly the inconvenience of having
no Kotas at hand to sharpen his tools)." The Kotas are not allowed
to approach Toda or Badaga temples.

It was noted by Lieutenant R. F. Burton [11] that, in some hamlets,
the Kotas have set up curiously carved stones, which they consider
sacred, and attribute to them the power of curing diseases, if the
member affected be only rubbed against the talisman.

A great annual festival is held in honour of Kamataraya with the
ostensible object of propitiating him with a view to his giving the
Kotas an abundant harvest and general prosperity. The feast commences
on the first Monday after the January new moon, and lasts over many
days, which are observed as a general holiday. The festival is said to
be a continuous scene of licentiousness and debauchery, much indecent
dancing taking place between men and women. According to Metz,
[12] the chief men among the Badagas must attend, otherwise their
absence would be regarded as a breach of friendship and etiquette,
and the Kotas would avenge themselves by refusing to make ploughs or
earthen vessels for the Badagas. The programme, when the festival is
carried out in full detail, is, as far as I have been able to gather,
as follows:--

First day. A fire is kindled by one of the priests in the temple,
and carried to the Nadukeri section of the village, where it is
kept burning throughout the festival. Around the fire men, women,
adolescent boys and girls, dance to the weird music of the Kota band,
whose instruments consist of clarionet, drum, tambourine, brass horn
and flute (buguri).


[**TODO: Verify table]
                    Second day      Dance at night.
                    Third day
                    Fourth day
                    Fifth day


Sixth day. The villagers go to the jungle and collect bamboos and
rattans, with which to re-roof the temple. Dance at night.

The seventh day is busily spent in re-roofing and decorating the
temples, and it is said to be essential that the work should be
concluded before nightfall. Dance at night.

Eighth day. In the morning the Kotas go to Badaga villages, and
cadge for presents of grain and ghi (clarified butter), which they
subsequently cook, place in front of the temple as an offering to
the god, and, after the priests have eaten, partake of, seated round
the temple.

Ninth day. Kotas, Todas, Badagas, Kurumbas, Irulas, and 'Hindus'
come to the Kota village, where an elaborate nautch is performed,
in which men are the principal actors, dressed up in gaudy attire
consisting of skirt, petticoat, trousers, turban and scarves, and
freely decorated with jewelry, which is either their own property,
or borrowed from Badagas for the occasion. Women merely dressed in
clean cloths also take part in a dance called kumi, which consists
of a walk round to time beaten with the hands. I was present at a
private performance of the male nautch, which was as dreary as such
entertainments usually are, but it lacked the go which is doubtless
put into it when it is performed under natural conditions away from
the restraining influence of the European. The nautch is apparently
repeated daily until the conclusion of the festival.

Eleventh and twelfth days. A burlesque representation of a Toda
funeral is given, at which the part of the sacrificial buffaloes is
played by men with buffalo horns fixed on the head, and body covered
with a black cloth.

At the close of the festival, the Kota priests and leading members
of the community go out hunting with bows and arrows, leaving the
village at 1 A.M., and returning at 3 A.M. They are said to have
formerly shot 'bison' (Bos gaurus) at this nocturnal expedition,
but what takes place at the present day is said to be unknown to
the villagers, who are forbidden to leave their houses during the
absence of the hunting party. On their return to the village, a fire
is lighted by friction. Into the fire a piece of iron is put by one
of the priests, made red hot with the assistance of the bellows,
and hammered. The priests then offer up a parting prayer to the god,
and the festival is at an end.

The following is a translation of a description by Dr. Emil Schmidt
[13] of the dancing at the Kota annual festival, at which he had the
good fortune to be present as an eye-witness:--

"During my stay at Kotagiri the Kotas were celebrating the big
festival in honour of their chief god. The feast lasted over twelve
days, during which homage was offered to the god every evening, and a
dance performed round a fire kept burning near the temple throughout
the feast. On the last evening but one, females, as well as males,
took part in the dance. As darkness set in, the shrill music, which
penetrated to my hotel, attracted me to the Kota village. At the end of
the street, which adjoins the back of the temple, a big fire was kept
up by continually putting on large long bundles of brushwood. On one
side of the fire, close to the flames, stood the musicians with their
musical instruments, two hand-drums, a tambourine, beaten by blows on
the back, a brass cymbal beaten with a stick, and two pipes resembling
oboes. Over and over again the same monotonous tune was repeated by the
two latter in quick four-eight time to the accompaniment of the other
instruments. On my arrival, about forty male Kotas, young and old, were
dancing round the fire, describing a semicircle, first to one side,
then the other, raising the hands, bending the knees, and executing
fantastic steps with the feet. The entire circle moved thus slowly
forwards, one or the other from time to time giving vent to a shout
that sounded like Hau! and, at the conclusion of the dance, there was
a general shout all round. Around the circle, partly on the piles of
stone near the temple, were seated a number of Kotas of both sexes. A
number of Badagas of good position, who had been specially invited
to the feast, sat round a small fire on a raised place, which abuts
on the back wall of the temple. The dance over, the circle of dancers
broke up. The drummers held their instruments, rendered damp and lax
by the moist evening breeze, so close to the flames that I thought
they would get burnt. Soon the music began again to a new tune; first
the oboes, and then, as soon as they had got into the proper swing,
the other instruments. The melody was not the same as before, but its
two movements were repeated without intercession or change. In this
dance females, as well as males, took part, grouped in a semicircle,
while the men completed the circle. The men danced boisterously and
irregularly. Moving slowly forwards with the entire circle, each
dancer turned right round from right to left and from left to right,
so that, after every turn, they were facing the fire. The women danced
with more precision and more artistically than the men. When they set
out on the dance, they first bowed themselves before the fire, and
then made left and right half turns with artistic regular steps. Their
countenances expressed a mixture of pleasure and embarrassment. None of
the dancers wore any special costume, but the women, who were nearly
all old and ugly, had, for the most part, a quantity of ornaments in
the ears and nose and on the neck, arms and legs. In the third dance,
played once more in four-eight times, only females took part. It was
the most artistic of all, and the slow movements had evidently been
well rehearsed beforehand. The various figures consisted of stepping
radially to and fro, turning, stepping forwards and backwards, etc.,
with measured seriousness and solemn dignity. It was for the women,
who, at other times, get very little enjoyment, the most important
and happiest day in the whole year."

In connection with Kota ceremonials, Dr. Rivers notes that "once a year
there is a definite ceremony, in which the Todas go to the Kota village
with which they are connected, taking an offering of clarified butter,
and receiving in return an offering of grain from the Kotas. I only
obtained an account of this ceremony as performed between the people
of Kars and the Kota village of Tizgudr, and I do not know whether
the details would be the same in other cases. In the Kars ceremony,
the Todas go on the appointed day to the Kota village, headed by a
man carrying the clarified butter. Outside the village they are met
by two Kota priests whom the Todas call teupuli, who bring with them a
dairy vessel of the kind the Todas call mu, which is filled with patm
grain. Other Kotas follow with music. All stand outside the village,
and one of the Kotas puts ten measures (kwa) of patm into the pocket
of the cloak of the leading Toda, and the teupuli give the mu filled
with the same grain. The teupuli then go to their temple and return,
each bringing a mu, and the clarified butter brought by the Todas is
divided into two equal parts, and half is poured into each mu. The
leading Toda then takes some of the butter, and rubs it on the heads
of the two Kota priests, who prostrate themselves, one at each foot
of the Toda, and the Toda prays as follows:--

May it be well; Kotas two, may it be well; fields flourish may;
rain may; buffalo milk may; disease go may.

"The Todas then give the two mu containing the clarified butter
to the Kota priests, and he and his companions return home. This
ceremony is obviously one in which the Todas are believed to promote
the prosperity of the Kotas, their crops, and their buffaloes.

"In another ceremonial relation between Todas and Kotas, the
kwòdrdoni ti (sacred dairy) is especially concerned. The chief annual
ceremony of the Kotas is held about January in honour of the Kota
god Kambataraya. In order that this ceremony may take place, it is
essential that there should be a palol (dairy man) at the kwòdrdoni ti,
and at the present time it is only occupied every year shortly before
and during the ceremony. The palol gives clarified butter to the Kotas,
which should be made from the milk of the arsaiir, the buffaloes of
the ti. Some Kotas of Kotagiri whom I interviewed claimed that these
buffaloes belonged to them, and that something was done by the palol
at the kwòdrdoni ti in connection with the Kambataraya ceremony,
but they could not, or would not, tell me what it was."

In making fire by friction (nejkol), the Kotas employ three forms of
apparatus:--(1) a vertical stick, and horizontal stick with sockets
and grooves, both made of twigs of Rhodomyrtus tomentosus; (2) a
small piece of the root of Salix tetrasperma is spliced into a stick,
which is rotated in a socket in a piece of the root of the same tree;
(3) a small piece of the root of this tree, made tapering at each
end with a knife or fragment of bottle glass, is firmly fixed in the
wooden handle of a drill. A shallow cavity and groove are made in a
block of the same wood, and a few crystalline particles from the ground
are dropped into the cavity. The block is placed on several layers of
cotton cloth, on which chips of wood, broken up small by crushing them
in the palm of the hand, are piled up round the block in the vicinity
of the grove. The handle is, by means of a half cocoanut shell, pressed
firmly down, and twisted between the palms, or rotated by means of a
cord. The incandescent particles, falling on to the chips, ignite them.

In a report by Lieutenant Evans, written in 1820, it is stated that
"the marriages of this caste (the Kothewars) remind one of what is
called bundling in Wales. The bride and bridegroom being together for
the night, in the morning the bride is questioned by her relatives
whether she is pleased with her husband-elect. If she answers
in the affirmative, it is a marriage; if not, the bridegroom is
immediately discharged, and the lady does not suffer in reputation
if she thus discards half a dozen suitors." The recital of this
account, translated into Tamil, raised a smile on the face of my
Kota informant, who volunteered the following information relating
to the betrothal and marriage ceremonies at the present day. Girls as
a rule marry when they are from twelve to sixteen years old, between
which years they reach the age of puberty. A wife is selected for a
lad by his parents, subject to the consent of the girl's parents;
or, if a lad has no near relatives, the selection is made for him
by the villagers. Betrothal takes place when the girl is a child
(eight to ten). The boy goes, accompanied by his father and mother,
to the house where the girl lives, prostrates himself at the feet of
her parents, and, if he is accepted, presents his future father-in-law
with a four-anna piece, which is understood to represent a larger sum,
and seals the contract. According to Breeks, the boy also makes a
present of a birianhana of gold, and the betrothal ceremony is called
balimeddeni (bali, bracelet, meddeni, I have made). Both betrothal
and marriage ceremonies take place on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Friday,
which are regarded as auspicious days. The ceremonial in connection
with marriage is of a very simple nature. The bridegroom, accompanied
by his relatives, attends a feast at the house of the bride, and the
wedding day is fixed. On the appointed day the bridegroom pays a dowry,
ranging from ten to fifty rupees, to the bride's father, and takes the
girl to his house, where the wedding guests, who have accompanied them,
are feasted. The Kotas as a rule have only one wife, and polyandry is
unknown among them. But polygamy is sometimes practiced. My informant,
for example, had two wives, of whom the first had only presented him
with a daughter, and, as he was anxious to have a son, he had taken
to himself a second wife. If a woman bears no children, her husband
may marry a second, or even a third wife; and, if they can get on
together without fighting, all the wives may live under the same roof.

Divorce may, I was told, be obtained for incompatibility of temper,
drunkenness, or immorality; and a man can get rid of his wife 'if she
is of no use to him', i.e., if she does not feed him well, or assist
him in the cultivation of his land. Divorce is decided by a panchayat
(council) of representative villagers, and judgment given, after the
evidence has been taken, by an elder of the community. Cases of theft,
assault, or other mild offence, are also settled by a panchayat,
and, in the event of a case arising which cannot be settled by the
members of council representing a single village, delegates from
all the Kota villages meet together. If then a decision cannot be
arrived at, recourse is had to the district court, of which the Kotas
steer clear if possible. At a big panchayat the headman (Pittakar)
of the Kotas gives the decision, referring, if necessary, to some
'sensible member' of the council for a second opinion.

When a married woman is known to be pregnant with her first child,
her husband allows the hair on the head and face to grow long,
and leaves the finger nails uncut. On the birth of the child, he
is under pollution until he sees the next crescent moon, and should
cook his own food and remain at home. At the time of delivery a woman
is removed to a hut (a permanent structure), which is divided into
two rooms called dodda (big) telullu and eda (the other) telullu,
which serve as a lying-in chamber and as a retreat for women at
their menstrual periods. The dodda telullu is exclusively used for
confinements. Menstruating women may occupy either room, if the
dodda telullu is not occupied for the former purpose. They remain in
seclusion for three days, and then pass another day in the raised
verandah of the house, or two days if the husband is a Pujari. A
woman, after her first confinement, lives for three months in the
dodda telullu, and, on subsequent occasions, until the appearance of
the crescent moon. She is attended during her confinement and stay in
the hut by an elderly Kota woman. The actual confinement takes place
outside the hut, and, after the child is born, the woman is bathed,
and taken inside. Her husband brings five leafy twigs of five different
thorny plants, and places them separately in a row in front of the
telullu. With each twig a stick of Dodonæa viscosa, set alight with
fire made by friction, must be placed. The woman, carrying the baby,
has to enter the hut by walking backwards between the thorny twigs.

A common name for females at Kotagiri is Madi, one of the synonyms
of the goddess Kalikai, and, at that village, the first male child is
always called Komuttan (Kamataraya). At Sholur and Gudalur this name
is scrupulously avoided, as the name of the god should not be taken
by mortal man. As examples of nicknames, the following may be cited.


    Small mouth.
    Head.
    Slit nose.
    Burnt-legged.
    Monkey.
    Dung or rubbish.
    Deaf.
    Tobacco.
    Hunchback.
    Crooked-bodied.
    Long-striding.
    Dwarf.
    Opium eater.
    Irritable.
    Bad-eyed.
    Curly-haired.
    Cat-eyed.
    Left-handed.
    Stone.
    Stammerer.
    Short.
    Knee.
    Chank-blower.
    Chinaman.


The nickname Chinaman was due to the resemblance of a Kota to the
Chinese, of whom a small colony has squatted on the slopes of the
hills between Naduvatam and Gudalur.

A few days after my arrival at Kotagiri, the dismal sound of mourning,
to the weird strains of the Kota band, announced that death reigned
in the Kota village. The dead man was a venerable carpenter, of
high position in the community. Soon after daybreak, a detachment of
villagers hastened to convey the tidings of the death to the Kotas
of the neighbouring villages, who arrived on the scene later in the
day in Indian file, men in front and women in the rear. As they drew
near the place of mourning, they all, of one accord, commenced the
orthodox manifestations of grief, and were met by a deputation of
villagers accompanied by the band. Meanwhile a red flag, tied to the
top of a bamboo pole, was hoisted as a signal of death in the village,
and a party had gone off to a glade, some two miles distant, to obtain
wood for the construction of the funeral car (teru). The car, when
completed, was an elaborate structure, about eighteen feet in height,
made of wood and bamboo, in four tiers, each with a canopy of turkey
red and yellow cloth, and an upper canopy of white cloth trimmed with
red, surmounted by a black umbrella of European manufacture, decorated
with red ribbands. The car was profusely adorned with red flags and
long white streamers, and with young plantain trees at the base. Tied
to the car were a calabash and a bell. During the construction of the
car the corpse remained within the house of the deceased man, outside
which the villagers continued mourning to the dirge-like music of the
band, which plays so prominent a part at the death ceremonies of both
Todas and Kotas. On the completion of the car, late in the afternoon,
it was deposited in front of the house. The corpse, dressed up in a
coloured turban and gaudy coat, with a garland of flowers round the
neck, and two rupees, a half-rupee, and sovereign gummed on to the
forehead, was brought from within the house, lying face upwards on a
cot, and placed beneath the lowest canopy of the car. Near the head
were placed iron implements and a bag of rice, at the feet a bag of
tobacco, and beneath the cot baskets of grain, rice, cakes, etc. The
corpse was covered with cloths offered to it as presents, and before it
those Kotas who were younger than the dead man prostrated themselves,
while those who were older touched the head of the corpse and bowed to
it. Around the car the male members of the community executed a wild
step-dance, keeping time with the music in the execution of various
fantastic movements of the arms and legs. During the long hours of the
night mourning was kept up to the almost incessant music of the band,
and the early morn discovered many of the villagers in an advanced
stage of intoxication. Throughout the morning, dancing round the car
was continued by men, sober and inebriated, with brief intervals of
rest, and a young buffalo was slaughtered as a matter of routine form,
with no special ceremonial, in a pen outside the village, by blows on
the back and neck administered with the keen edge of an adze. Towards
midday presents of rice from the relatives of the dead man arrived on
the back of a pony, which was paraded round the car. From a vessel
containing rice and rice water, water was crammed into the mouths
of the near relatives, some of the water poured over their heads,
and the remainder offered to the corpse. At intervals a musket,
charged with gunpowder, which proved later on a dangerous weapon in
the hands of an intoxicated Kota, was let off, and the bell on the car
rung. About 2 P.M., the time announced for the funeral, the cot bearing
the corpse, from the forehead of which the coins had been removed,
was carried to a spot outside the village called the thavachivadam,
followed by the widow and a throng of Kotas of both sexes, young and
old. The cot was then set down, and, seated at some distance from it,
the women continued to mourn until the funeral procession was out of
sight, those who could not cry spontaneously mimicking the expression
of woe by contortion of the grief muscles. The most poignant sorrow was
displayed by a man in a state of extreme intoxication, who sat apart
by himself, howling and sobbing, and wound up by creating considerable
disturbance at the burning-ground. Three young bulls were brought from
the village, and led round the corpse. Of these, two were permitted
to escape for the time being, while a vain attempt, which would have
excited the derision of the expert Toda buffalo-catchers, was made by
three men, hanging on to the head and tail, to steer the third bull
up to the head of the corpse. The animal, however, proving refractory,
it was deemed discreet to put an end to its existence by a blow on the
poll with the butt-end of an adze, at some distance from the corpse,
which was carried up to it, and made to salute the dead beast's
head with the right hand, in feeble imitation of the impressive Toda
ceremonial. The carcase of the bull was saluted by a few of the Kota
men, and subsequently carried off by Pariahs. Supported by females,
the exhausted widow of the dead man was dragged up to the corpse,
and, lying back beside it, had to submit to the ordeal of removal
of all her jewellery, the heavy brass bangle being hammered off the
wrist, supported on a wooden roller, by oft-repeated blows with mallet
and chisel delivered by a village blacksmith assisted by a besotten
individual noted as a consumer of twelve grains of opium daily. The
ornaments, as removed, were collected in a basket, to be worn again
by the widow after several months. This revolting ceremony concluded,
and a last salutation given by the widow to her dead husband, arches
of bamboo were attached to the cot, which was covered over with a
coloured table-cloth hiding the corpse from sight. A procession was
then formed, composed of the corpse on the cot, preceded by the car
and musicians, and followed by male Kotas and Badagas, Kota women
carrying the baskets of grain, cakes, etc., a vessel containing
fire, and burning camphor. Quickly the procession marched to the
burning-ground beyond the bazar, situated in a valley by the side of
a stream running through a glade in a dense undergrowth of bracken
fern and trailing passion-flower. On arrival at the selected spot,
a number of agile Kotas swarmed up the sides of the car, and stripped
it of its adornments including the umbrella, and a free fight for the
possession of the cloths and flags ensued. The denuded car was then
placed over the corpse, which, deprived of all valuable ornaments and
still lying on the cot, had been meanwhile placed, amid a noisy scene
of brawling, on the rapidly constructed funeral pyre. Around the car
faggots of wood, supplied in lieu of wreaths by different families
in the dead man's village as a tribute of respect, were piled up, and
the pyre was lighted with torches kindled at a fire which was burning
on the ground close by. As soon as the pyre was in a blaze, tobacco,
cigars, cloths, and grain were distributed among those present, and
the funeral party dispersed, leaving a few men behind in charge of the
burning corpse, and peace reigned once more in the Kota village. A few
days later, the funeral of an elderly woman took place with a very
similar ceremonial. But, suspended from the handle of the umbrella
on the top of the car, was a rag doll, which in appearance resembled
an Aunt Sally. I was told that, on the day following the funeral,
the smouldering ashes are extinguished with water, and the ashes,
collected together, and buried in a pit, the situation of which
is marked by a heap of stones. A piece of the skull, wrapped in
bracken fronds, is placed between two fragments of an earthen pot,
and deposited in the crevice of a rock or in a chink in a stone wall.

The Kotas celebrate annually a second funeral ceremony in imitation of
the Todas. For eight days before the day appointed for its observance,
a dance takes place in front of the houses of those Kotas whose
memorial rites are to be celebrated, and three days before they are
performed invitations are issued to the different Kota villages. On
a Sunday night, fire is lighted by friction, and the time is spent in
dancing. On the following day, the relatives of the departed who have
to perform the ceremony purify the open space in front of their houses
with cow-dung. They bring three basketfuls of paddy (unhusked rice),
which are saluted and set down on the cleansed space. The Pujari and
the rest of the community, in like manner, salute the paddy, which is
taken inside the house. On the Monday, cots corresponding in number to
that of the deceased whose dry funeral is being held, are taken to the
thavachivadam, and the fragments of skulls are laid thereon. Buffaloes
(one or more for each skull) are killed, and a cow is brought near
the cots, and, after a piece of skull has been placed on its horns,
sacrificed. A dance takes place around the cots, which are removed to
the burning-ground, and set on fire. The Kotas spend the night near
the thavachivadam. On the following day a feast is held, and they
return to their homes towards evening, those who have performed the
ceremony breaking a small pot full of water in front of their houses.

Like the Todas, the Kotas indulge in trials of strength with heavy
spherical stones, which they raise, or attempt to raise, from the
ground to the shoulders, and in a game resembling tip-cat. In another
game, sides are chosen, of about ten on each side. One side takes
shots with a ball made of cloth at a brick propped up against a wall,
near which the other side stands. Each man is allowed three shots at
the brick. If it is hit and falls over, one of the 'out-side' picks
up the ball, and throws it at the other side, who run away, and try
to avoid being hit. If the ball touches one of them, the side is put
out, and the other side goes in. A game, called hulikote, which bears
a resemblance to the English child's game of fox and geese, is played
on a stone chiselled with lines, which forms a rude game-board. In one
form of the game, two tigers and twenty-five bulls, and in another
three tigers and fifteen bulls engage, and the object is for the
tigers to take, or, as the Kotas express it, kill all the bulls. In
a further game, called kote, a labyrinthiform pattern, or maze,
is chiselled on a stone, to get to the centre of which is the problem.

The following notes are taken from my case-book:--


    Man--Blacksmith and carpenter. Silver bangle on right wrist;
    two silver rings on right little finger; silver ring on each
    first toe. Gold ear-rings. Languti (cloth) tied to silver chain
    round loins.

    Man--Light blue eyes, inherited from his mother. His children
    have eyes of the same colour. Lobes of ears pendulous from heavy
    gold ear-rings set with pearls. Another man with light blue eyes
    was noticed by me.

    Man--Branded with cicatrix of a burn made with a burning cloth
    across lower end of back of forearm. This is a distinguishing
    mark of the Kotas, and is made on boys when they are more than
    eight years old.

    Woman--Divorced for being a confirmed opium-eater, and living
    with her father.

    Woman--Dirty cotton cloth, with blue and red stripes, covering
    body and reaching below the knees.

    Woman--Two glass bead necklets, and bead necklet ornamented
    with silver rings. Four brass rings, and one steel ring on left
    forearm. Two massive brass bangles, weighing two pounds each, and
    separated by cloth ring, on right wrist. Brass bangle with brass
    and steel pendants, and shell bangle on left wrist. Two steel
    rings, and one copper ring on right ring-finger; brass rings on
    left first, ring, and little fingers. Two brass rings on first
    toe of each foot. Tattooed lines uniting eyebrows. Tattooed on
    outer side of both upper arms with rings, dots, and lines; rows
    of dots on back of right forearm; circle on back of each wrist;
    rows of dots on left ankle. As with the Todas, the tattooed devices
    are far less elaborate than those of the women in the plains.

    Woman--Glass necklet ornamented with cowry shells, and charm
    pendant from it, consisting of a fragment of the root of some
    tree rolled up in a ball of cloth. She put it on when her baby
    was quite young, to protect it against devils. The baby had a
    similar charm round its neck.


In the course of his investigation of the Todas, Dr. Rivers found that
of 320 males 41 or 12.8 per cent. and of 183 females only two or 1.1
per cent. were typical examples of red-green colour-blindness. The
percentage in the males is quite remarkable. The result of examination
of Badaga and Kota males by myself with Holmgren's wools was that
red-green colour-blindness was found to be present in 6 out of
246 Badagas, or 2·5 per cent. and there was no suspicion of such
colour-blindness in 121 Kotas.

Kota (a fort).--A sub-division of Balija, and an exogamous sept
of Padma Sale. The equivalent Kotala occurs as an exogamous sept of
Boya. There are, in Mysore, a few Kotas, who are said to be immigrants
from South Canara, and to be confined to the Kadur district. According
to a current legend, they were originally of the Kota community,
but their ancestors committed perjury in a land-case, and were cursed
to lose their rank as Brahmans for seven hundred years. [14] Kota is
also the name of a section of Brahmans.

Kotari.--A class of domestic servants in South Canara, who claim to
be an independent caste, though some regard them as a sub-caste of
Bant. [15]

Kotegara or Koteyava.--See Servegara.

Koti (monkey).--The name for Koravas, who travel about the country
exhibiting monkeys.

Kotippattan.--The Kotippattans are described, in the Travancore
Census Report, 1901, as "a class of Tamil Brahmans, who, at a very
early age in Malabar history, were declared by society to have lost
the original Brahmanical status. The offence was, it is said, their
having taken to the cultivation of the betel-vine as their chief
occupation. The ordinances of caste had prescribed other duties for
the Brahmans, and it is not unlikely that Sankaracharya, to whose
curse the present position of the Kotippattan is traced, disapproved
of the change. In general appearance as regards thread, position of
hair-tuft, and dress of men as well as women, and in ceremonials, the
Kotippattans cannot be easily distinguished from the Brahman class. Sad
instances have occurred of Brahman girls having been decoyed into
matrimonial alliances with Kotippattans. They form a small community,
and the state of social isolation into which they have been thrown
has greatly checked their increase, as in the case of many other
Malabar castes. Their priests are at present Tamil Brahmans. They do
not study the Vedas, and the Gayatri hymn is recited with the first
syllable known as the pranavam. In the matter of funeral ceremonies,
a Kotippattan is treated as a person excommunicated. The cremation is a
mere mechanical process, unaccompanied by any mantras (sacred formulæ)
or by any rites, anantarasamskara (deferred funeral rites) being done
after the lapse of ten days. They have their annual sraddhas, but no
offerings of water (tarpanam) on the new-moon day. Their household
deity is Sasta. Their inheritance is from father to son. Their
household language is Malayalam. Their chief seat is Vamanapuram,
twenty miles from Trivandrum."

Kotlu (cow-shed).--An exogamous sept of Yanadi.

Kottaipaththu.--A sub-division of Agamudaiyans, who believe that they
are the same as the Kottai (fort) Vellalas of Tinnevelly.

Kottai Vellala.--"The Kottai Vellalas," Mr. J. A. Boyle writes,
[16] have been "shut up within narrow walls, the others between two
rivers. The result of insulation has been the same, and they have
developed from small families into small, but perfectly distinct,
castes. In the centre of the town of Srivaiguntam, in the Tinnevelly
district, is a small fort, composed of a mud enclosure, containing
the houses of a number of families known as Kottai (fort) Vellalas,
who are separated from social intercourse and intermarriage with
other families of the great Vellala caste. The traditional origin
of this settlement is dated nearly a thousand years ago, when their
ancestors were driven by a political revolution from their home in
the valley of the Veigay (the river which flows past Madura). Under
the Pandya dynasty of Madura, these Vellalas were, they allege, the
chamberlains or treasurers, to whom belonged the hereditary dignity
of crowning the newly-succeeded kings. And this is still commemorated
by an annual ceremony, performed in one of the Tinnevelly temples,
whither the heads of families still repair, and crown the head of
the swami (god). Their women never leave the precincts of the mud
enclosure. After seven years of age, no girl is allowed to pass
the gates, and the restriction is supported by the tradition of a
disobedient little girl, who was murdered for a thoughtless breach
of this law. Into the fort no male stranger may enter, though there
is no hindrance to women of other castes to enter. After marriage,
no woman of the caste may be seen by man's eyes, except those of her
husband, father, brothers, and maternal uncles. When the census was
taken, they refused to say how many women there were inside the fort,
and infanticide is not only possible, but most probable; for there
is a suspicious absence of increase in the colony, which suggests
some mode of disposing of the 'useless mouths,' unknown to health
officers and policemen. Until recent times, housed within the fort,
were certain prædial slaves (Kottar, smiths) of inferior social status,
who worked for their masters, and lived in the same rigid seclusion
as regards their women. They have been turned out, to live beyond
the enclosure, but work for their masters."

It is said that, during the days of oppression at the hands of
Muhammadan and Poligar rulers, the Kottai Vellalas had to pay
considerable sums of money to secure immunity from molestation. The
Kottai Pillai, or headman of the community, is reported to possess
the grants made from time to time by the rulers of the country,
guaranteeing them the enjoyment of their customs and privileges. The
fort, in which the Kottai Vellalas live, is kept in good preservation
by Government. There are four entrances, of which one is kept closed,
because, it is said, on one occasion, a child who went out by it to
witness the procession of a god was killed. Brahmans who are attached
to the fort, male members of various castes who work for the inmates
thereof, and Pallans may freely enter it. But, if any one wishes to
speak to a man living in the fort, the Paraiyan gatekeeper announces
the presence of the visitor. Females of all castes may go into the
fort, and into the houses within it.

On marriage and other festive occasions, it is customary for the
Kottai Vellalas to give raw rations to those invited, instead of,
as among other castes, a dinner. The Kottans eat and drink at the
expense of their masters, and dance.

Like the Nangudi Vellalas (Savalai Pillais), the Kottai Vellalas have
kilais (septs) running in the female line, and they closely follow
them in their marriage customs. It is usual for a man to marry his
paternal aunt's daughter. The bridegroom goes in state, with his and
the bride's relations and their respective Kottans, to the bride's
house. Arrived at the marriage pandal (booth), they are welcomed by
the bride's party. The homam (sacrificial fire) is then raised by the
officiating Brahman priest, who blesses the tali (marriage badge),
and hands it to a Kottan female, who passes it on to the elder sister
of the bridegroom, or, if he has no such sister, to a female who takes
her place. She takes it inside the house, and ties it on the neck of
the bride, who has remained within during the ceremony. The contracting
couple are then man and wife. The husband goes to live with his wife,
who, after marriage, continues to live in her father's house. On the
death of her father, she receives half of a brother's share of the
property. If she has no brothers, she inherits the whole property. [17]

Kottai Vellala women wear ordinary jewels up to middle life, when they
replace them by a jewel called nagapadam, which is a gold plate with
the representation of a five-headed cobra. This is said to be worn
in memory of the occasion when a Pandyan king, named Thennavarayan,
overlooking the claims of his legitimate son, gave the kingdom to
an illegitimate son. The fort Vellalas living at Sezhuvaimanagaram
refused to place the crown on the bastard's head. They were
consequently persecuted, and had to leave the country. They decided
to throw themselves into a fire-pit, and so meet their death in a
body. But, just as they were about to do so, they were prevented by
a huge five-headed cobra. Hearing of this marvellous occurrence, the
Pandyan king who was ruling in Tinnevelly invited them to settle at
Srivaiguntam. The fort Vellalas claim that one of the Pandyan kings
gave them extensive lands on the bank of the Vaigai river when they
lived at Sezhuvaimanagaram. They claim further that the ministers
and treasurers of the Pandyan kings were selected from among them.

The dead are usually cremated. The corpses are borne by Kottans, who
carry out various details in connection with the death ceremonies. The
corpses of women are placed in a bag, which is carefully sewn up.

I am informed that, owing to the scarcity of females, men are at the
present day obliged to recruit wives from outside.

The Kottaipaththu Agamudaiyans believe that they are the same as the
Kottai Vellalas.

Kottakunda (new pot).--An exogamous sept of Medara.

Kottan.--An occupational name, meaning bricklayer, returned, at times
of census, by some Pallis in Coimbatore. Some Pallis are also employed
as bricklayers in the City of Madras. Kottan is also recorded as a
title of Katasan.

Kottha.--A sub-division of Kurubas, the members of which tie a woollen
thread round the wrist at marriages.

Kottiya Paiko.--A sub-division of Rona.

Kove (ant-hill).--An exogamous sept of Gangadikara Vakkaliga.

Kovila (Indian cuckoo, Eudynamis honorata).--A gotra of Medara.

Kovilar (temple people).--The name adopted by a section of Pallis
or Vanniyans, who wear the sacred thread, and have temples of their
own, in which they worship. Koil Adiyan (temple servant) has been
returned by some Balijas at times of census. Kovilammamar or Koilpat,
denoting ladies of, or those who live in palaces, is a title of some
Samanta ladies. Kovilagam is the usual term for the house of a Raja
or Tirumalpad, and Koilpantala is recorded, from Travancore, as a
synonym for Koil Tamburan. The Nattukottai Chettis have exogamous
septs, or koils, named after temples, e.g., Mathur koil.

Koya.--The land and boat-owning class of Muhammadans in the Laccadive
islands. The name is said to be a corrupt form of Khoja, meaning a
man of distinction. Mappillas use Koya as a suffix to their names,
e.g., Hassan Koya, Mahomed Koya (see Mappilla).

Koyappan.--Koyappan or Koyavappan are corrupt forms of Kusavan
(Malabar potters).

Koyi.--The Koyis, Kois, or Koyas, are a tribe inhabiting the hills
in the north of the Godavari district, and are also found in the
Malkangiri taluk of the Jeypore Zamindari. They are said to belong
to the great Gond family, and, when a man of another caste wishes to
be abusive to a Koyi, he calls him a Gondia. The Koyi language is
said by Grierson to be a dialect of Gondi. Writing concerning the
Koyis of the Godavari district, the Rev. J. Cain states [18] that
"in these parts the Kois use a great many Telugu words, and cannot
always understand the Kois who come from the plateau in Bustar. A
few years ago, when Colonel Haig travelled as far as Jagdalpuram,
the Kois from the neighbourhood of Dummagudem who accompanied him
were frequently unable to carry on any conversation with many of
the Kois on this plateau. There are often slight differences in the
phraseology of the inhabitants of two villages within a mile of each
other. When two of my teachers, living not more than a mile apart,
were collecting vocabularies in the villages in which they lived, they
complained that their vocabularies often differed in points where they
expected to find no variety whatever." A partial vocabulary of the Koyi
language is given by the Rev. J. Cain, who notes that all the words
borrowed from Telugu take purely Koi terminations in the plural. "Its
connection," he writes, "with the Gond language is very apparent, and
also the influence of its neighbour Telugu. This latter will account
for many of the irregularities, which would probably disappear in
the language spoken by the Kois living further away from the Telugu
country." Mr. G. F. Paddison informs me that all the Gonds whom he
met with in the Vizagapatam district were bholo loko (good caste),
and would not touch pork or mutton, whereas the Koyi shares with the
Dombs the distinction of eating anything he can get in the way of meat,
from a rat to a cow. It is noted by Mr. H. A. Stuart [19] that "the
Khonds call themselves Kui, a name identical with Koi or Koya." And,
in 1853, an introduction to the grammar of the Kui or Kandh language
was produced by Lingum Letchmajee. [20]

It is recorded by the Rev. J. Cain that "until the talukas were handed
over to British rule, the Bhadrachallam Zamindar always kept up a
troop of Rohillas, who received very little pay for their services,
and lived chiefly by looting the country around. In attendance upon
them were one hundred Kois, and one hundred Madigas. Twenty-five Koi
villages form a samutu, and, in the Bhadrachallam taluka, there are
ten samutus. In the territory on the opposite side of the river, which
also belonged to the Ashwa Rau family, there were ten samutus. Each
samutu was bound in turn to furnish for a month a hundred Kois
to carry burdens, fetch supplies, etc., for the above-mentioned
Rohillas. During the month thus employed they had to provide their
own batta (subsistence money). The petty Zamindars of Albaka, Cherla,
Nagar, Bejji and Chintalanada, likewise had their forces of Nayaks and
Kois, and were continually robbing and plundering. All was grist which
came to their mill, even the clothes of the poor Koi women, who were
frequently stripped, and then regarded as objects of ridicule. The Kois
have frequently told me that they could never lie down to rest without
feeling that before morning their slumbers might be rudely disturbed,
their houses burnt, and their property all carried off. As a rule, they
hid their grain in caves and holes of large trees." It is recorded,
in the Vizagapatam Manual, that, in 1857, the headman of Koraturu,
a village on the Godavari river, was anxious to obtain a certain rich
widow in marriage for his son. Hearing, however, that she had become
the concubine of a village Munsiff or Magistrate of Buttayagudem, he
attempted, with a large body of his Koi followers, to carry her off
by force. Failing in the immediate object of his raid, he plundered
the village, and retreated with a quantity of booty and cattle.

Those Koyis, the Rev. J. Cain writes, who live in the plains "have a
tradition that, about two hundred years ago, they were driven from
the plateau in the Bustar country by famine and disputes, and this
relationship is also acknowledged by the Gutta Kois, i.e., the hill
Kois, who live in the highlands of Bustar. These call the Kois who
live near the Godavari Gommu Kois and Mayalotilu. The word Gommu is
used to denote the banks and neighbourhood of the Godavari. Thus, for
instance, all the villages on the banks of the Godavari are called
Gommu ullu. Mayalotilu means rascal. The Gutta Kois say the lowland
Kois formerly dwelt on the plateau, but on one occasion some of them
started out on a journey to see a Zamindar in the plains, promising
to return before very long. They did not fulfil their promise,
but settled in the plains, and gradually persuaded others to join
them, and at times have secretly visited the plateau on marauding
expeditions.... The Kois regard themselves as being divided into
five classes, Perumboyudu, Madogutta, Peregatta, Matamuppayo, and
Vidogutta." The Rev. J. Cain states further that "the lowland Kois
say that they are divided into five tribes, but they do not know
the first of these. The only names they can give are Paredugatta,
Mundegutta, Peramboyina, and Wikaloru, and these tribes are again
sub-divided into many families. The members of the different tribes
may intermarry, but not members of the same tribe."

It is recorded by Mr. F. R. Hemingway [21] that "exogamous septs,
called Gattas, occur in the tribe. Among them are Mudo (third),
Nalo (fourth) or Paredi, Aido (fifth) or Rayibanda, Aro (sixth),
Nutomuppayo (130th), and Peramboya. In some places, the members of
the Mudo, Nalo, and Aido Gattas are said to be recognisable by the
difference in the marks they occasionally wear on their foreheads,
a spot, a horizontal, and a perpendicular line respectively being
used by them. The Aro Gatta, however, also uses the perpendicular
line." It is further noted by Mr. Hemingway that the Racha or Dora
Koyas consider themselves superior to all other sub-divisions, except
the Oddis (superior priests).

It is noted by the Rev. J. Cain that at Gangolu, a village about
three miles from Dummagudem, "live several families who call
themselves Basava Gollavandlu, but on enquiry I found that they are
really Kois, whose grandfathers had a quarrel with some of their
neighbours, and separated themselves from their old friends. Some of
the present members of the families are anxious to be re-admitted
to the society and privileges of the neighbouring Kois. The word
Basava is commonly said to be derived from bhasha, a language,
and the Gollas of that class are said to have been so called in
consequence of their speaking a different language from the rest of
the Gollas. A small but well-known family, the Matta people, are all
said to have been originally Erra Gollas, but six generations ago
they were received into the Koi people. Another well-known family,
the Kaka people, have the following tradition of their arrival
in the Koi districts. Seven men of the Are Kapulu caste of Hindus
once set out on a journey from the neighbourhood of Warangal. Their
way led through dense jungle, and for a very long time they could
find no village, where they and their horses could obtain food and
shelter. At length they espied a small hut belonging to a poor widow,
and, riding up to it, they entered into conversation with her, when
they learned that the whole country was being devastated by a nilghai
(blue bull: Boselaphus tragocamelus), which defied all attempts to
capture it. In despair, the king of the country, who was a Koi of the
Emu family, had promised his youngest daughter in marriage to any man
who would rid the country of the pest. Before very long, the youngest
of the Kapus was out wandering in the neighbouring jungle, and had an
encounter with the formidable beast, which ran at him very fiercely,
and attempted to knock him down. The young man raised a small brass
pot, which he was carrying, and struck the animal so forcible a blow
on the head that it fell dead on the spot. He then cut off its tail,
nose, and one ear, and carried them away as trophies of his victory;
and, having hidden his ring in the mutilated head of the animal,
he buried the body in a potter's pit close to the scene of the
encounter. He and his elder brothers then resumed their journey,
but they had not gone far before they received news from the widow
that the potter, hearing of the death of the animal, had gone to the
king with the tidings, and asserted that he himself was the victor,
and was therefore entitled to the promised reward. The king, however,
declined to comply with his request, unless he produced satisfactory
evidence of the truth of the story. The real victor, hearing all
this, bent his steps to the king's court and asserted his claim,
showing his trophies in proof of his statements, and requesting the
king to send and dig up the carcase of the animal, and see whether
the ring was there or not. The king did so, and, finding everything
as the claimant had asserted, he bestowed his daughter on him, and
assigned to the newly married couple suitable quarters in his own
house. Before very long, the next elder brother of the bridegroom
came to pay him a visit, riding in a kachadala, i.e., a small cart
on solid wooden wheels. He found all the city in great trouble in
consequence of the ravages of a crow with an iron beak, with which
it attacked young children, and pecked out their brains. The king,
deeply grieved at his subjects' distress, had it proclaimed far and
wide that the slayer of this crow should receive in reward the hand
of his youngest remaining daughter. The young man had with him a new
bamboo bow, and so he fitted an arrow to the string, and let fly at
the crow. His aim was so good that the crow fell dead at once, but
the force of the blow was so great that one of the wings was driven
as far south as the present village of Rekapalli (wing village),
its back fell down on the spot now occupied by Nadampalli (loin or
back village), its legs at Kalsaram (leg village), and its head at
Tirusapuram (head village), whilst the remainder fell into the cart,
and was carried into the presence of the king. The king was delighted
to see such clear proofs of the young man's bravery, and immediately
had the marriage celebrated, and gave the new son-in-law half the
town. He then made an agreement with his sons-in-law and their
friends, according to which they were in future to give him as many
marriageable girls as could be enclosed and tied up by seven lengths
of ropes used for tying up cattle, and he was to bestow upon them as
many as could be tied up by three lengths. In other words, he was to
receive seventy children, and to give thirty, but this promise has
never been fulfilled. The victor received the name of Kaka (crow),
and his descendants are called the Kaka people."

The Koyis of the Godavari district are described in the Manual as being
"a simple-minded people. They look poor and untidy. The jungles in
which they reside are very unhealthy, and the Kois seem almost to
a man to suffer from chronic fever. They lead an unsophisticated,
savage life, and have few ideas, and no knowledge beyond the daily
events of their own little villages; but this withdrawal from
civilised existence is favourable to the growth of those virtues
which are peculiar to a savage life. Like the Khonds, they are noted
for truthfulness, and are quite an example in this respect to the
civilised and more cultivated inhabitants of the plains. They call
themselves Koitors, the latter part of which appellation has been
very easily and naturally changed by the Telugu people, and by the
Kois who come most closely into contact with them, into Dorala,
which means lords; and they are always honoured by this title in
the Godavari district. [The Rev. J. Cain expresses doubts as to the
title Dora being a corruption of tor, and points out that it is a
common title in the Telugu country. Some Koyis on the Bastar plateau
call themselves Bhumi Razulu, or kings of the earth.] The villages
are small, but very picturesque. They are built in groups of five or
six houses, in some places even a smaller number, and there are very
rarely so many as ten or fifteen. A clearing is made in the jungle,
and a few acres for cultivation are left vacant round the houses. In
clearing away the wood, every tree is removed except the ippa (Bassia
latifolia) and tamarind trees, which are of the greatest service
to the people on account of their fruit and shade. The Kois do not
remain long in the same place. They are a restless race. Four years
suffice to exhaust the soil in one locality, and they do not take the
trouble to plough deeper, but migrate to another spot, where they make
a fresh clearing, and erect a new village. Their huts are generally
covered with melons and gourds, the flowing tendrils of which give
them a very graceful appearance, but the surrounding jungle makes them
damp and unhealthy. When the cultivation season is over, and the time
of harvest draws on, the whole of the village turns out by families,
and lives on the small wooden scaffoldings erected in the fields, for
the purpose of scaring away the wild animals and birds, which come
to feed on the ripening grain. Deer and wild pigs come by night to
steal it, and herds of goats by day. Tigers and cheetas (leopards)
often resort to the fields of Indian corn, and conceal themselves
among the lofty plants. Poorer kinds of grain are also grown, such
as millet and maize, out of which the people make a kind of porridge,
called java. They likewise grow a little cotton, from which they make
some coarse cloth, and tobacco. The ippa tree is much prized. The
Koyis eat the flowers of this tree, which are round and fleshy. They
eat them either dried in the sun, or fried with a little oil. Oil both
for lights and for cooking is obtained from the nut, from which also
an intoxicating spirit is extracted." I gather that the Koyis further
use the oil for anointing the hair, whereas, in Kurnool, the forest
officers barter with the Chenchus for the fruits, which they will part
with, as they do not require them for the toilette or other purpose.

The cultivation of the Koyis has been described as "of the simplest,
most unprofitable kind. A piece of jungle is selected, and all
the trees, except the fruit-bearing ones, are cut down and burned,
the ashes being used for manure. Then, without removing the stumps
or further clearing, the land is scratched along the top, and the
seed sown. For three or four years the natural fertility of the soil
yields them a crop, but then, when the undergrowth begins to appear
and the soil to be impoverished, being too lazy to plough and clean
it properly or to give it manure, they abandon it, and the land again
becomes scrub jungle."

In a note on cultivation in the Agency tracts of the Godavari district,
F. R. Hemingway writes as follows. [22] "The majority of the hill
Reddis and the Koyas in the Agency carry on shifting cultivation,
called podu, by burning clearings in the forests. Two methods prevail:
the ordinary (or chalaka) podu, and the hill (or konda) podu. The
former consists in cultivating certain recognised clearings for a
year or two at a time, allowing the forest to grow again for a few
years, and then again burning and cultivating them; while, under the
latter, the clearing is not returned to for a much longer period,
and is sometimes deserted for ever. The latter is in fashion in
the more hilly and wilder parts, while the former is a step towards
civilisation. In February or March, the jungle trees and bushes are cut
down, and spread evenly over the portion to be cultivated; and, when
the hot weather comes on, they are burnt. The ashes act as a manure,
and the cultivators think that the mere heat of the burning makes
the ground productive. The land is ploughed once or twice in chalaka
podus before and after sowing, but not at all in konda podus. The seed
is sown in June. Hill cholam and samai are the commonest crops. The
former is dibbled into the ground. Grain is usually stored in regular
granaries (kottu), or in thatched bamboo receptacles built on a raised
foundation, and called gadi. These are not found in Bhadrachalam or
the central delta, where a high, round receptacle made of twisted straw
(puri) is used. Grain is also stored, as elsewhere, in pits."

It is noted by Mr. Hemingway that the houses of the Koyis "are made of
bamboo, with a thatch of grass or palmyra. They are very restless, and
families change frequently from one village to another. Before morning,
they consult the omens, to see whether the change will be auspicious or
not. Sometimes the hatching of a clutch of eggs provides the answer,
or four grains of four kinds of seed, representing the prosperity
of men, cattle, sheep, and land, are put on a heap of ashes under a
man's bed. Any movement among them during the night is a bad omen. The
Koyas proper are chiefly engaged in agriculture. Their character is
a curious medley. They excite admiration by their truthfulness and
simplicity; contempt by their drunkenness, listlessness, and want of
thrift; amusement by their stupidity and their combination of timidity
and self-importance; and disgust by their uncanny superstitions and
thinly veiled blood-thirstiness. Their truthfulness is proverbial,
though it is said to be less characteristic than of yore, and they
never break their word. Their drunkenness is largely due to the
commonness of the ippa tree (Bassia latifolia), from the flowers of
which strong spirit is distilled, and is most noticeable when this
is blossoming. Their laziness is notorious, and their stupidity is
attested by numerous stories. One, vouched for by the Rev. J. Cain,
relates how some of them, being despatched with a basket of fruit and
a note describing its contents, and being warned that the note would
betray any pilfering, first buried the note so that it could not see,
then abstracted some of the fruit, afterwards disinterred the note and
delivered it and the basket, and were quite at a loss, when charged
with the theft, to know how the note could have learnt about it. They
are terribly victimised by traders and money-lenders from the low
country, who take advantage of their stupidity to cheat them in every
conceivable way. Their timidity has on occasions driven them to seek
refuge in the jungle on the appearance of a Hindu in clean clothes,
but, on the other hand, they insist upon, and receive a considerable
measure of respect from lowlanders whom they encounter. They are
perfectly aware that their title Dora means lord, and they insist
upon being given it. They tolerate the address 'uncle' (mama) from
their neighbours of other castes, but they are greatly insulted if
called Koyas. When so addressed, they have sometimes replied 'Whose
throat have I cut?' playing on the word koya, which means to slice,
or cut the throat. When driven to extremes, they are capable of much
courage. Blood feuds have only recently become uncommon in British
territory, and in 1876 flourished greatly in the Bastar State."

Concerning the marriage custom of the Koyis the Rev. J. Cain writes
that "the Koyis generally marry when of fair age, but infant marriage
is unknown. The maternal uncle of a girl has always the right to
dispose of her hand, which he frequently bestows upon one of his own
sons. If the would-be bridegroom is comparatively wealthy, he can
easily secure a bride by a peaceable arrangement with her parents;
but, if too poor to do this, he consults with his parents and friends,
and, having fixed upon a suitable young girl, he sends his father and
friends to take counsel with the headman of the village where his
future partner resides. A judicious and liberal bestowal of a few
rupees and arak (liquor) obtain the consent of the guardian of the
village to the proposed marriage. This done, the party watch for a
favourable opportunity to carry off the bride, which is sure to occur
when she comes outside her village to fetch water or wood, or, it may
be, when her parents and friends are away, and she is left alone in
the house. The bridegroom generally anxiously awaits the return home
of his friends with their captive, and the ceremony is proceeded
with that evening, due notice having been sent to the bereaved
parents. Some of the Koyis are polygamists, and it not unfrequently
happens that a widow is chosen and carried off, it may be a day or
two after the death of her husband, whilst she is still grieving on
account of her loss. The bride and bridegroom are not always married
in the same way. The more simple ceremony is that of causing the woman
to bend her head down, and then, having made the man lean over her,
the friends pour water on his head, and, when the water has run off
his head to that of the woman, they are regarded as man and wife. The
water is generally poured out of a bottle-gourd. (These gourds are
used by the Koyis as bottles, in which they carry drinking water when
on a journey. Very few Koyis stir far from their homes without one of
these filled with water.) Generally, on this all-important occasion,
the two are brought together, and, having promised to be faithful to
each other, drink some milk. Some rice is then placed before them,
and, having again renewed their promises, they eat the rice. They then
go outside the house, and march round a low heap of earth which has
been thrown up under a small pandal (booth) erected for the occasion,
singing a simple love song as they proceed. Afterwards they pay their
respects to the elders present, and beg for their blessing, which
is generally bestowed in the form of 'May you be happy! may you not
fight and quarrel!' etc. This over, all present fall to the task of
devouring the quantity of provisions provided for the occasion, and,
having well eaten and drunk, the ceremony is concluded. If the happy
couple and their friends are comparatively wealthy, the festivities
last several days. Dancing and singing are kept up every evening,
and, when the fun waxes fast and furious, the mother-in-law takes
up her new son-in-law on her shoulders, and his mother her new
daughter-in-law, and dance round as vigorously as age and strength
permit. If the mothers-in-law are not able, it is the duty of the
respective maternal aunts to perform this ludicrous office. When the
bridegroom is a fine strapping young man, this is a duty rather than a
pleasure. Some do not object to run away with the wife of another man,
and, in former years, a husband has been known to have been murdered
for the sake of his wife. Even at present, more disputes arise from
bride-stealing than from any other cause, especially as up to the
present time (1876) the Government officials have not been able to
stop this practice. In the case of a man running away with another
man's wife, the samatu dora (headman), on its being reported to him,
goes to the village where the culprit lives, assembles the headman,
and calls the offender before him. He then fines the man twelve rupees,
and orders him to give another twelve to the husband of the woman whom
he has stolen, and then demands two rupees' worth of liquor, a goat,
and grain for a feast. On these being brought, the night is spent in
feasting and drinking, and the fault is forgiven. In cases of breach
of the seventh commandment, the offender is often placed between two
logs of wood, upon which as many men sit as can be accommodated, and
press it down as long as they can without endangering the unfortunate
man's life. In all the Koi villages there is a large house, where
the young unmarried men have to sleep, and another which the young
unmarried girls have to occupy at night."

It is noted by Mr. Hemingway that, "if a Koya youth is refused by the
maiden of his choice, he generally carries her off by force. But a
boy can reserve a girl baby for himself by giving the mother a pot,
and a cloth for the baby to lie upon, and then she may not be carried
off. Girls who consort with a man of low caste are purified by having
their tongues branded with a hot golden needle, and by being made
to pass through seven arches of palmyra leaves which are afterwards
burnt." (cf. Koraga.) According to Mr. R. E. Enthoven, [23] "the
suggestion seems to be a rapid representation of seven existences,
the outcast regaining his (or her) status after seven generations
have passed without further transgression. The parallel suggested
is the law of Manu that seven generations are necessary to efface a
lapse from the law of endogamous marriage."

In a note on marriage among the Koyis of Vizagapatam, Mr. C. Hayavadana
Rao writes that the parents and other relations of the bridegroom go
to the bride's home with a present (voli) of three or four head-loads
of fermented liquor made from ragi (Eleusine Coracana) seeds, a pair
of new cloths for the girl's father and mother, and a pig. A feast is
held, and, on the following day, the bride is conducted to the home
of the bridegroom. The marriage ceremony is then conducted on lines
similar to those already described.

In connection with birth ceremonies, the Rev. J. Cain writes that
"the Koi women are very hardy, and careless about themselves. After
the birth of a child, they do not indulge in the luxury of a cot, but,
according to their usual custom, continue to lie upon the ground,
bathe in cold water, and eat their accustomed food. Directly the
child is born, it is placed upon a cot, and the mother resumes her
ordinary work of fetching water, wood, leaves, etc., cooking for
the family, and so on. On the seventh day the child is well washed,
and all the neighbours and near relatives assemble together to
name the child. Having placed the child on a cot, they put a leaf
of the mohwa tree (Bassia) in the child's hand, and pronounce some
name which they think suitable. If the child closes its hand over
the leaf, it is regarded as a sign that the child acquiesces, but,
if the child rejects the leaf or cries, they take it as a sign that
they must choose another name, and so they throw away the leaf,
and substitute another leaf and another name, until the child shows
its approbation. If the name chosen is that of any person present,
the owner of that name generally expresses his appreciation of the
honour thus conferred by placing a small coin in the hand of the child,
otherwise the father is bound to do so. This ceremony is followed by
a night of dancing and singing, and the next day the father gives
a feast to his neighbours and friends, or, if too poor for that,
treats the male friends to liquor. Most Kois now name their children
without all the elaborate ceremonial mentioned above."

"The bodies of children," the Rev. J. Cain writes, "and of young
men and young women are buried. If a child dies within a month of
its birth, it is usually buried close to the house, so that the rain
dropping from the eaves may fall upon the grave, and thereby cause the
parents to be blessed with another child in due course of time. With
the exception of the above mentioned, corpses are usually burnt. A
cow or bullock is slain, and the tail cut off and put in the dead
person's hand, after the cot on which the corpse is carried has been
placed upon the funeral pile. If a pujari, or Koi priest, is present,
he not unfrequently claims a cloth or two belonging to the dead
person. The cot is then removed, and the body burnt. Mr. Vanstavern
reports having seen part of the liver of the slain animal placed in the
mouth of the corpse. The friends of the deceased retire, and proceed
to feast upon the animal slain for the occasion. Three days afterwards
they generally return, bringing contributions of cholam (grain), and,
having slain one or more animals, have a second feast. In some parts,
immediately after the corpse is consumed, the ashes are wetted, rolled
into balls, and deposited in a hole about two feet deep, dug on the
roadside just outside their village. Over the hole is placed a slab of
stone, and at the head an upright stone, and, whenever friends pass
by these monuments, they endeavour to place a few leaves of tobacco
on the slabs, remarking at the same time how fond the deceased were
of tobacco in their lifetime. The hill Kois have erected very large
slabs in days gone by, and it is not uncommon to see rows of ten to
fifteen outside the villages close to well-frequented roads, but at
present they seldom take the trouble to put up any monuments. In the
Malkanagiri taluk, the Kois every now and then erect these stones,
and, when encamped in a village, we were struck by the height of one,
from the top of which was suspended an ox tail. On enquiry we found
that it was the tomb of the late headman, who had been enterprising
enough to build some large bunds (embankments), and thus improve his
rice fields. Success attended his efforts, and five crops rewarded
him. But, alas, envious persons plotted his downfall, he became ill,
and called in the diviner, who soon discovered the cause of the fatal
illness in the shape of balls of mud, which had been surreptitiously
introduced into his stomach by some demoness at the instigation
of some foes. Three days after the funeral feast, a second one
is frequently held, and, if means are forthcoming, another on the
seventh and fifteenth days. The nights are always spent in dancing to
the beating of the tom-tom or drum. All believe that these feasts are
necessary for the repose of the spirits of the deceased, and that, if
these are not thus duly honoured, they will wander about the jungle in
the form of pisachas (devils) ready to avenge their friends' neglect
of their comfort by bringing evil upon their children or cattle. If
they are not satisfied as to the cause of the death of any of their
friends, they continue to meet at intervals for a whole year, offer the
sacrificial feasts, and inquire of the diviner whether he thinks that
the spirit of the deceased has been able to associate with spirits
or its predeceased friends, and, when they obtain an answer in the
affirmative, then and then only do they discontinue these feasts."

In connection with death ceremonies, Mr. Hemingway notes that "when a
Koya dies, a cow or bullock is slaughtered, and the tail is cut off,
and put in the dead man's hand. The liver is said to be sometimes put
in his mouth. His widow's tali (marriage badge) is always placed there,
and, when a married woman dies, her tali is put in her mouth. The
pyre of a man is lighted by his nephew, and of a woman by her son. No
pollution is observed by those attending the funeral. The beef of
the slain animal provides a feast, and the whole party returns home
and makes merry. On the eighth day, a pot of water is placed in the
dead man's house for him to drink, and is watched by his nephew. Next
morning another cow is slaughtered, and the tail and a ball of cooked
rice are offered to the soul at the burning ground."

Concerning the death ceremonies in the Vizagapatam district,
Mr. C. Hayavadana Rao writes that the corpses of young children are
buried far away from the home of their parents. It is customary,
among the more prosperous families, to put a few rupees into the
mouth of a corpse before the funeral pyre is lighted. The money is
made to represent the value of the animal sacrificed in the Godavari
district. Death pollution is not observed, but on the eighth day
the relations kill a fowl, and burn it at the spot where the body
was cremated. The ashes of a dead person are carried to a spot set
apart close to the highway. Water is poured over them, and they
are made into small balls. A hole, two or three feet deep, is dug,
into which the balls, a few of the pots belonging to the deceased,
and some money are put. They are covered over with a stone slab,
at one end of which an upright slab is set up. A cow is killed,
and its tail cut off, and tied to the upright slab, to appease the
ghost of the dead person. The remainder of the animal is carried off,
and used for a feast. Ghasias are notorious for opening up these Koyi
sepulchres, and stealing the money buried in them.

Mr. H. Tyler informs me that he came across the burning funeral pyre
of a Koyi girl, who had died of syphilis. Across a neighbouring path
leading to the Koyi village, were a basket fish-trap containing grass,
and on each side thorny twigs, which were intended to catch the malign
spirit of the dead girl, and prevent it from entering the village. The
twigs and trap, containing the captured spirit, were to be burnt by
the Koyis on the following day.

It is noted by Mr. Hemingway that "people who are neither good enough
for heaven, nor bad enough for hell, are born again in their former
family. Children with hare-lip, moles, etc., are often identified as
re-incarnations of deceased relations. Tattooing is common. It is,
for various reasons, considered very important for the soul in the
next world that the body should have been adequately tattooed."

Concerning the religion of the Koyis, the Rev. J. Cain writes that
they say "that the following gods and goddesses were appointed to
be worshipped by Sudras:--Muttelamma, Maridimahalakshmi, Poturazu
and Korrazulu; and the following were to receive adoration from
the Koyis:--Kommalamma, Katurudu, Adamarazu. The goddess Mamili
or Pele must be propitiated early in the year, or else the crops
will undoubtedly fail; and she is said to be very partial to human
victims. There is strong reason to think that two men were murdered
in 1876 near a village not far from Dummagudem, as offerings to this
devata, and there is no reason to doubt that every year strangers
are quietly put out of the way in the Bastar country, to ensure the
favour of this blood-thirsty goddess. All the Koyis seem to hold in
great respect the Pandava brothers, especially Arjuna and Bhima. The
wild dogs or dhols are regarded as the dutas or messengers of these
brothers, and the long black beetles which appear in large numbers
at the beginning of the hot weather are called the Pandava flock of
goats. Of course they would on no account attempt to kill a dhol,
even though it should happen to attack their favourite calf, and
they even regard it as imprudent to interfere with these dutas, when
they wish to feast upon their cattle." The tradition among the Koyis
is that, when the Pandava brothers were in exile, Bhima, whom they
call Bhimador, went hunting in the jungle, and met a wild woman of
the woods, whom he fell in love with and married. The fruit of this
union was the Koyi people. The tradition further states that this wild
woman was not a human being. [24] "A Koi," the Rev. J. Cain continues,
"whom Mr. Alexander met in a village about two miles from Dummagudem,
caused him to infer that the Kois think heaven to be a great fort,
and in it plenty of rice to eat for those who enter it; that hell is
a dismal place, where a crow, made of iron, continually gnaws off the
flesh of the wicked. This must have been that particular Koi's own
peculiar belief, for it certainly is not that of any of the Kois with
whom I so frequently come in contact. The mention of the iron crow
reminds me that, about two years ago, a rumour rapidly spread in some
of the villages that an iron cock was abroad very early in the morning,
and upon the first village in which it heard one or more cocks begin
to crow it would send a grievous pestilence, and at least decimate the
village. In one instance at least, this led to immediate extermination
of all the unfortunate cocks in that village. Last year (1878)
the inhabitants of a village on the left bank of the Godavari were
startled by the tallaris (village peons) of the neighbouring village
bringing about twenty fowls, and ordering them to be sent on the next
village south of Dummagudem. On being asked the reason of this order,
they replied that the cholera goddess was selecting her victims in the
villages further north, and that, to induce her to leave their parts,
some of these villages had sent these fowls as offerings to her, but
they were to be passed on as far as possible before they were slain,
for then she would follow in anticipation of the feast, and so might
be tempted quite out of these regions. The Police, however, interfered,
and they were passed back into the Upper Godavari district."

Writing further concerning the religion of the Koyis, the Rev. J. Cain
adds that "one Sunday afternoon, some Kois came to us from a village
nine miles away, and begged for medicine for a man, whose right
cheek, they said, had been torn away by a tiger, just as if it had
been cut out by a knife. A few days afterwards we heard a story,
which was far more credible. The people of the village were very
anxious for good crops, and resolved to return to the practice of
offering a stranger passing by to the goddess Mamili, and so two
of them were on the look-out for a victim. They soon saw one, and
began to pursue him, but he, a Koi, knowing the former evil repute
of the village, suspected their design and fled, and at last took
refuge up a manchan. They began to ascend too, when he took out of
his belt a knife, and struck at his assailants, and cut away his
right cheek. This caused the two assailants to retreat, and the man
escaped. As human sacrifices are now illegal, a langur monkey is
frequently substituted, and called for occasion Ekuromma Potu, i.e.,
a male with small breasts. This name is given in the hope of persuading
the goddess that she is receiving a human sacrifice. Mutyalamma is the
goddess, who is supposed to preside over small-pox and cholera. When
the villages have determined to appease this dread goddess, they erect
a pandal (booth) outside their village under a nim (Melia Azadirachta)
tree, search all round for the soft earth of a white-ant heap, and
proceed at once to mould this earth into the form of an image of a
woman, tie a cloth or two round her, hang a few peacock's feathers
around her neck, and place her under the pandal on a three-legged
stool, which has been made of the wood of Cochlospermum Gossypium
(silk-cotton tree) for the occasion. They then bring forward a chicken
and try to persuade it to eat some of the grains they have thrown
down before the image, requesting the goddess to inform them whether
she will leave their village or not. If the chicken picks up some of
the grains, they regard it as a most favourable omen, but, if not,
their hearts are immediately filled with dread of the continued anger
of the goddess. They then bring forward two sheep or goats, and then
present to them a dish of toddy, and, if the toddy is drunk by the
animals, they are quite assured of the speedy departure of the plague
which is devastating their village. The sheep are then tied up till
the next morning. In the meantime a sorcerer is brought to the front,
and they enquire of him the determination of the goddess. After this
they return to the village, and they all drink well, and the night
is spent in dancing, in which the women join. The next morning the
pandal and its inmate are removed to a site still farther away from
the village, after which the fowl is killed over the image, on which
some drops of blood are allowed to fall. The sheep then have garlands
hung round their necks, and their heads are adorned with turmeric,
and pots of cold water are poured over them. The deity is at the
same time again asked whether she intends to leave them alone, and,
if she is disposed to be favourable towards them, she replies by
causing the sheep to shiver. The animals are immediately killed,
the left ear and left leg being cut off and placed in the mouth, and
the head cut off and left as an offering before the image. The rest
of the sacrifice is then carried away, to be cooked and enjoyed by
all the worshippers before they reach home, as their wives are not
allowed to partake of the sacrificial feast.

"Another goddess or demoness, of which many stand in dread, is called
a Pida, and her they propitiate in the month of December. All the men
of the village gather together and collect from each house a handful
of cholam, which they give to the wife of the pujari, directing her
to make bread with it for her husband. After he has partaken of it,
they bring pots of warm water and pour it over his head, and then
all in the village spend some time in dancing. A chatty (pot) is
brought after a time, in which are placed leaves of the Diospyros
Embryopteris, and two young men carry it between them, suspended from
a pole cut from the same tree, all around the village. The pujari,
carrying a cock, accompanies them, and also the rest of the men of
the village, each one carrying a staff cut from the above mentioned
tree, with which he strikes the eaves of each house passed in
their perambulations. When they have been all around the village,
they all march off some little distance, and tie up the stick on
which the pot is suspended to two neighbouring trees, and place
their staves close by. The pujari sets to work to kill the cock,
and they all beg the demoness, whom they suppose to have entered the
pot, not to come to their village again. The pujari then cooks and
eats the cock with food which has been supplied him, and the other
worshippers also satisfy the cravings of hunger with food they have
brought with them. On no account do they return home until after dark,
lest the demoness should see the road to their village, and follow
in their wake. Very frequently on these occasions, votive offerings,
promised long before, are sacrificed and eaten by the pujari. It is
not at all uncommon for a Koi to promise the Pida a seven-horned male
(i.e., a cock) as a bribe to be let alone, a two-horned male (i.e.,
a goat) being set apart by more wealthy or more fervent suppliants.

"The Kois acknowledge that they worship the devatalu or the dayyamulu
(demons of the mountains). The Korra Razu is supposed to be the deity
who has supreme control over tigers, and a friend of mine once saw a
small temple devoted to his worship a few miles from the large village
of Gollapalli, Bastar, but it did not seem to be held in very great
respect. There is no Koi temple in any village near Dummagudem, and
the Kois are seldom, if ever, to be found near a Hindu temple. Some
time ago there was a small mud temple to the goddesses Sarlamma and
Kommalamma at Pedda Nallapalli, and the head Koi of the village was
the pujari, but he became a Christian, and the temple fell into ruins,
and soon melted away. A few families have added to their own faith
the worship of Siva, and many of them are proud of the appellation
of Linga Kois." "In times of drought," Mr. Hemingway writes, "a
festival to Bhima, which lasts five days, is held. When rain appears,
the Koyis sacrifice a cow or pig to their patron. Dancing plays an
important part at all these feasts, and also at marriages. The men
put on head-dresses of straw, into which buffalo horns are stuck,
and accompany themselves with a kind of chant."

"There is," the Rev. J. Cain writes, "generally one velpu for each
gens, and in a certain village there is the chief velpu for the
whole tribe of Kois. When any of the inferior velpus are carried
about, contributions in kind or cash are collected by its guardians
almost exclusively from the members of the gens to which the velpu
belongs. When the superior velpu is taken to any village, all the
inferior velpus are brought, and, with the exception of two, are
planted some little distance in front of their lord. There are two,
however, which are regarded as lieutenants of the paramount power,
and these are planted one on each side of their superior. As it
was expressed to me, the chief velpu is like the Raja of Bastar,
these two are like his ministers of state, and the rest are like the
petty zamindars (land-owners) under him. The largest share of the
offerings goes to the chief, the two supporters then claim a fair
amount, and the remainder is equally divided amongst those of the
third rank.... Ancestral worship prevails among the Kois, especially
on the occasions when the velpu of the family is carried round. The
velpu is a large three-cornered red cloth, with a number of figures of
various ancestors roughly cut out of different coloured cloth, white,
green, blue, or yellow, and stitched to the main cloth. Whenever any
important male member of the family dies, a new figure is added to
commemorate his services. It is usually kept in the custody of the
leading man of the family, and taken round by him to all members of
that family once a year, when each member is bound to give an offering
to the velpu. No one belonging to a different family takes any part
in the ceremonies. On the occasion of its being carried round, it is
fixed to a long bamboo ornamented at the top with the hair from the
tail of a yak, and with loudly sounding brass bells. On arriving at a
village where there are a sufficient number of Kois of the particular
family to make it worth while to stay, the priest in charge of the
velpu and his attendant Doli give due notice of their arrival, and,
having planted the velpu in the ground, the night is spent by all
the members of the family to which the velpu belongs in dancing and
making merry to the sound of the drum, which is beaten by the Doli
only. The priest in charge has to fast all night, and keep himself
ceremonially pure. In the morning they all proceed to the nearest
stream or tank (pond), with the velpu in front carried by the priest,
and there bathe, and also enjoy the fun of sprinkling each other
with water to their hearts' content. This done, they come up out of
the water, plant the velpu on the bank, and send for the bullock to
be sacrificed. When this is brought, its legs are tied together, and
it is then thrown on the ground, and the priest (or, if he is weak,
a strong younger man) has to kill it at one blow. It is then cut up,
and, after the attendant priest has received his share, it is divided
amongst the attendant crowd, who spend the rest of the day in feasting
and drinking. As a rule, no act of obeisance or worship is even paid to
the velpu, unless the offering of money to the custodian be regarded
as such. Sometimes a woman very desirous of having a child brings a
cock, throws it down before the velpu and makes obeisance to it, but
this is not a very common custom. The Dolivandlu or Dolollu always
attend the velpu, and are present at all the marriage feasts, when
they recite old stories, and sing national songs. They are not Kois,
but really a section of the Mala caste, although they will not mix
with the rest of the Malas of their own family, excepting when on the
Bastar plateau among the hill Kois. The Kois have very amusing stories
as to how the hair from the tail of the yak is obtained. They say that
the yak is a hairy animal which lives in a country far away, but that
its great peculiarity is that it has only one leg, and that this leg
has no joints in it. Being a very swift animal, it is impossible to
capture it in any ordinary way, but, as it rests at night by leaning
against one particular tree, the hunters carefully mark this tree, and
some time during the day cut the trunk through as far as advisable,
and watch the result. When night comes on, the animal returns to
its resting place, leans against the tree, which is no longer able
to give support to the yak, and both fall to the ground. The hunters
immediately rush in, and seize their prey. A friend has supplied me
with the following reference in 'De Bello Gallico.' They (the hunters)
either undermine all the trees in that place at the roots, or cut them
so far as to leave the external appearance of a standing tree. Then
the elk, which has no knots or joints, comes, leans, as usual, and
down comes tree, elk and all."

Concerning the velpus, Mr. Hemingway writes that "they consist of small
pieces of metal, generally iron and less than a foot in length, which
are kept in a hollow bamboo deposited in some wild and unfrequented
spot. They are guarded with great secrecy by those in charge of them,
and are only shown to the principal worshippers on the rare occasions
when they are taken out to be adored. The Koyas are very reticent
about them. Mr. Cain says that there is one supreme velpu, which is
recognised as the highest by the whole Koya tribe, and kept hidden
in the depths of Bastar. There are also velpus for each gatta, and
for each family. The former are considered superior to the latter,
and are less frequently brought out of their retreats. One of them
called Lakkala (or Lakka) Ramu, which belongs either to the Aro or
Peramboya gatta, is considered more potent than the others. It is
ornamented with eyes of gold and silver, and is kept in a cave near
Sitanagaram in the Bhadrachalam taluk. The others are deposited in
different places in the Bastar state. They all have names of their own,
but are also known by the generic term Adama Razu. Both the gatta and
family velpus are worshipped only by members of the sept or family to
which they appertain. They are taken round the country at intervals,
to receive the reverence and gifts of their adherents. The former
are brought out once in every three or four years, especially during
widespread sickness, failure of crops, or cattle disease. An animal
(generally a young bullock) is stabbed under the left shoulder, the
blood is sprinkled over the deity, and the animal is next killed,
and its liver is cut out and offered to the deity. A feast, which
sometimes lasts for two days, takes place, and the velpu is then put
back in its hiding-place.

"At present," the Rev. J. Cain writes, "the Kois around here
(Dummagudem) have very few festivals, except one at the harvest of
the zonna (Sorghum vulgare). Formerly they had one not only for every
grain crop, but one when the ippa flowers were ready to be gathered,
another when the pumpkins were ripe, at the first tapping of the
palm tree for toddy, etc. Now, at the time the zonna crop is ripe
and ready to be cut, they take a fowl into the field, kill it, and
sprinkle its blood on any ordinary stone put up for the occasion,
after which they are at liberty to partake of the new crop. In many
villages they would refuse to eat with any Koi who has neglected this
ceremony, to which they give the name Kottalu, which word is evidently
derived from the Telugu word kotta (new). Rice-straw cords are hung
on trees, to show that the feast has been observed." In some places,
Mr. Hemingway tells us, the victim is a sheep, and the first fruits are
offered to the local gods, and to the ancestors. Another singular feast
occurs soon after the cholam (zonna) crop has been harvested. Early
on the morning of that day, all the men of each village have to turn
out into the forest to hunt, and woe betide the unlucky individual
who does not bring home some game, be it only a bird or a mouse. All
the women rush after him with cow-dung, mud or dirt, and pelt him
out of their village, and he does not appear again in that village
until the next morning. The hunter who has been most successful then
parades the village with his game, and receives presents of paddy
(rice) from every house. Mr. Vanstavern, whilst boring for coal at
Beddadanolu, was visited by all the Koi women of the village, dressed
up in their lords' clothes, and they told him that they had that
morning driven their husbands to the forest, to bring home game of
some kind or other. This quaint festival is said by Mr. Hemingway to
be called Bhudevi Pandaga, or the festival of the earth goddess. When
the samalu crop is ripe, the Kois summon the pujari on a previously
appointed day, and collect from every house in the village a fowl and
a handful of grain. The pujari has to fast all that night, and bathe
early the next morning. After bathing, he kills the fowls gathered the
previous evening in the names of the favourite gods, and fastens an
ear of samalu to each house, and then a feast follows. In the evening
they cook some of the new grain, and kill fresh fowls, which have
not to be curried but roasted, and the heart, liver, and lights of
which are set apart as the especial food of their ancestral spirits,
and eaten by every member of each household in their name. The bean
feast is an important one, as, until it is held, no one is allowed
to gather any beans. On the second day before the feast, the village
pujari must eat only bread. The day before, he must fast the whole
twenty-four hours, and, on the day of the feast, he must eat only
rice cooked in milk, with the bird offered in sacrifice. All the men
of the village accompany the pujari to a neighbouring tree, which
must be a Terminalia tomentosa, and set up a stone, which they thus
dedicate to the goddess Kodalamma. Every one is bound to bring for the
pujari a good hen and a seer of rice, and for himself a cock and half
a seer of rice. The pujari also demands from them two annas as his
sacrificing fee. Each worshipper then brings his cock to the pujari,
who holds it over grains of rice which have been sprinkled before
the goddess, and, if the bird pecks at the rice, good luck is ensured
for the coming year, whilst, if perchance the bird pecks three times,
the offerer of that particular cock can scarcely contain himself for
joy. If the bird declines to touch the grains, then ill-luck is sure
to visit the owner's house during the ensuing year.

"The Kois have but little belief in death from natural causes. Some
demon or demoness has brought about the death by bringing fever
or small-pox, or some other fell disease, and this frequently at
the instigation of an enemy of the deceased. In days gone-by, the
taking of the ordeal to clear oneself was the common practice, but at
present it is quite the exception. But, if there are very suspicious
circumstances that ill-will has brought about the death, the friends of
the deceased assemble, place the corpse on a cot, and make straight for
the suspected enemy. If he or she is unfortunate enough to be at home,
a trial takes place. A pot is partly filled with water, on the top
of which ghee (clarified butter) and milk are poured, and then it is
placed on the fire. As soon as it begins to boil, stones are thrown
in, and the accused is summoned to take them out. If this is done
without any apparent injury to the unfortunate victim, a verdict of not
guilty is returned; but, if there are signs of the hand being at all
scalded or burnt, the unhappy wight has to eat a bone of the deceased,
which is removed and pounded, and mixed with boiled rice and milk. In
days gone-by, the sentence was death." According to Mr. Hemingway,
when a death occurs, "an enquiry is held as to who is guilty. Some
male member of the family, generally the nephew of the deceased,
throws coloured rice over the corpse as it lies stretched on the bed,
pronouncing as he does so the names of all the known sorcerers who
live in the neighbourhood. It is even now solemnly asserted that,
when the name of the wizard responsible is pronounced, the bed gets
up, and moves towards the house or village where he resides." "For
some months," the Rev. J. Cain continues, "a poor old Koi woman was
living in our compound, because she had been driven out of village
after village in Bastar from the suspicion that she was the cause of
the death of more than one relative, and she was afraid that she might
fall a victim to their just(?) vengeance. The fear that some envious
person will persuade a demon to plague them affects their whole life
and conduct. Over and over again we have been told by men and women,
when we have remonstrated with them on account of their scanty attire
'Yes, it is quite true that we have abundance of clothes at home, but,
if we were always to wear them, some enemy or other would prevail
on a demon to take possession of us, and kill us.' A young Koi was
once employed to teach a few children in his own village, but, alas,
ere long he became unwell of some strange disease, which no medicine
could remove. As a last resource, a diviner was called in, who made a
careful diagnosis of the case, and the illness was declared to have
been brought on by a demoness at the instigation of some enemy, who
was envious of the money which the lad had received for teaching. I
once saw one of these diviners at work, discovering the sickness which
had laid prostrate a strong man. The diviner had in his hand a leaf
from an old palmyra leaf book, and, as he walked round and round the
patient, he pretended to be reading. Then he took up a small stick,
and drew a number of lines on the ground, after which he danced and
sang round and round the sick man, who sat looking at him, evidently
much impressed with his performance. Suddenly he made a dart at the
man, and, stooping down, bit him severely in two or three places in
the back. Then, rushing to the front, he produced a few grains which
he said he had found in the man's back, and which were evidently the
cause of the sickness. In the case of the young man before mentioned,
the diviner produced a little silver, which he declared to be a sure
sign that the sickness was connected with the silver money he was
receiving for teaching. The diviners have to wear their hair long,
like Samson, and, if it falls off or is cut short, their power is
supposed to leave them." It is noted by Mr. Hemingway that in some
parts, when any one falls ill, the professional sorcerer is consulted,
and he reads both the cause and the remedy in a leaf platter of rice,
which he carries thrice round the invalid.

The name Chedipe (prostitute) is applied to sorceresses among
various classes in the Godavari district. She is believed to ride on
a tiger at night over the boundaries of seven villages, and return
home at early morn. When she does not like a man, she goes to him
bare-bodied at dead of night, the closed doors of the house in which
he is sleeping opening before her. She sucks his blood by putting his
toe in her mouth. He will then be motionless and insensible like a
corpse. Next morning he feels intoxicated, as if he had taken ganja
(Cannabis sativa), and remains in that condition all day. If he
does not take medicine from one skilled in treating such cases,
he will die. If he is properly treated, he will be as well as ever
in about ten days. If he makes no effort to get cured, the Chedipe
will molest him again and again, and, becoming gradually emaciated,
he will die. When a Chedipe enters a house, all those who are awake
will become insensible, those who are seated falling down as if they
had taken a soporific drug. Sometimes she drags out the tongue of
the intended victim, who will die at once. At other times, slight
abrasions will be found on the skin of the intended victim, and, when
the Chedipe puts pieces of stick thereon, they burn as if burnt by
fire. Sometimes she will hide behind a bush, and, undressing there,
fall on any passer-by in the jungle, assuming the form of a tiger
with one of the four legs in human form. When thus disguised, she is
called Marulupuli (enchanting tiger). If the man is a brave fellow,
and endeavours to kill the Chedipe with any instrument he may have
with him, she will run away; and, if a man belonging to her village
detects her mischief, she will assume her real form, and answer meekly
that she is only digging roots. The above story was obtained by a
native revenue official when he visited a Koyi village, where he was
told that a man had been sentenced to several years' imprisonment for
being one of a gang who had murdered a Chedipe for being a sorceress.

In the Godavari district, a sorcerer known as the Ejjugadu (male
physician) is believed, out of spite or for payment, to kill another
by invoking the gods. He goes to a green tree, and there spreads
muggu or chunam (lime) powder, and places an effigy of the intended
victim thereon. He also places a bow and arrow there, and recites
certain spells, and calls on the gods. The victim is said to die in
a couple of days. But, if he understands that the Ejjugadu has thus
invoked the gods, he may inform another Ejjugadu, who will carry out
similar operations under another tree. His bow and arrow will go to
those of the first Ejjugadu, and the two bows and arrows will fight
as long as the spell remains. The man will then be safe. The second
Ejjugadu can give the name of the first, though he has never known him.

"The leading man," the Rev. J. Cain writes, "of the Koyi samatu is
called the Samatu Dora, and he is assisted by two others, who are
called Pettandarulu. The duties of the Samatu Dora are to preside over
all meetings, to settle all tribal disputes, and to inflict fines
for all breaches of caste rules, of which fines he always receives
a certain share. The office is not necessarily hereditary, and the
appointment is generally confirmed by the landlord of the majority
of the villages, be the landlord the Zemindar or the Government."

The Koyis say that their dance is copied from Bhima's march after a
certain enemy. The dance is described by Mr. G. F. Paddison as being
"a very merry business. They sing for a couple of beats, and then take
two steps round, and sing again. They first sang to us a song in their
own lingo, and then broke into Telugu 'Dora Babu yemi istavu'--What
will the great man give us? They then burst into a delightful Autolycus
song, 'Will you give us a cloth, a jewel for the hair?' and so on."

For the following account of a dance at the Bhudevi Pandaga festival
at Ankagudem in the Polavaram taluk of the Godavari district, I am
indebted to Mr. N. E. Marjoribanks. "Permission having been given
to dance in our presence, the whole village turned out, and came to
our camp. First came about half a dozen young men, got up in their
best clothes, with big metal ear-rings, basket caps adorned with
buffalo horns and pendants of peacock skins (the neck feathers), and
scanty torn cloths, and provided, some with barrel-shaped tom-toms,
others with old rusty flintlocks, and swords. Next came all the adult
women, two by two, each pair clasping hands, and hanging on to the
next pair by holding their waist-cloths with their free hands. The
young men kept up a steady monotonous beat on their drums, and went
through various pantomimes of the chase, e.g., shooting and cutting
up an animal, or a fight between two bulls. The women sang a chaunt,
and came along slowly, taking one step back after two steps forwards,
copied by the village old men, women, and children. At the camp, the
women went round in this fashion in circles, the pantomime among the
men continuing, and each vying with the others in suggesting fresh
incidents. The women then went through a series of figures. First
the older ones stood in a circle with their arms intertwined,
and the younger girls perched aloft, standing astraddle on their
shoulders. Like this the circle proceeded half round, and then back
again till some of the smaller girls looked as if they would split in
half, their discomfort causing great merriment among the others. Next
all stood in a circle, and jumped round, two steps one way and then
back. This was varied by a backwards and forwards movement, the
chaunt continuing all the time. Inam (present of money) having been
duly disbursed, the double chain of women went round the camp twice,
and made off to the village, all standing and raising a shout twice as
they turned out of the circle to go. The next day, we were told that
the men of the village were all going hunting in the forest. About the
middle of the day, we saw a procession approaching as on the previous
day, but it consisted entirely of women, the drummers and swordsmen
being women dressed up as men. The chaunt and dance were as before,
except that the pantomime abounded in the most indecent gestures and
attitudes, all illustrative of sexual relations. One girl slipped
(or pretended to) and fell. Whereupon, one of those playing a man's
part fell upon her to ravish her. A rescue ensued amidst roars of
merriment, and the would-be ravisher was in process of being stripped
when our modesty compelled us to call an interval. In the evening the
men returned unsuccessful, and, we were told (but did not see it),
were pelted with dung and rubbish. The next day they went out again,
and so did we. Our beats yielded nothing, and we returned to find to
our horror the women of the village awaiting our return. Fortunately
we had noticed some whistling teal on a tank, and had shot some for
the pot. I verily believe this glorious bag was our salvation from
dire humiliation. The same dance and antics were repeated round
the bodies of the two tigers and panther that we shot during our
stay. The Koyis insisted on singeing the whiskers of the beasts,
saying we should never get any more if this was not done. Of course
we reduced the ceremony to the barest form." I gather that, if the
Koyis shoot a sambar (deer) or 'bison,' the head is stuck up on the
outskirts of the village, and there are very few villages, which have
not got one or two such trophies. Besides beating for game, the Koyis
sit up at night over salt-licks or water, and thus secure their game."

It is recorded in the Catalogue Raisonné of Oriental Manuscripts [25]
that "the Coya people reside within their forest boundaries. If any
traveller attempt to pluck fruit from any tree, his hand is fastened
to the spot, so that he cannot move; but if, on seeing any one of
the Coya people, he calls out to that person, explaining his wishes,
and gets permission, then he can take the fruit and move away, while
the Coya forester, on the receipt of a small roll of tobacco leaf, is
abundantly gratified. Besides which, the Coya people eat snakes. About
forty years since, a Brahman saw a person cooking snakes for food, and,
expressing great astonishment, was told by the forester that these were
mere worms; that, if he wished to see a serpent, one should be shown
him; but that, as for themselves, secured by the potent charms taught
them by Ambikesvarer, they feared no serpents. As the Brahman desired
to see this large serpent, a child was sent with a bundle of straw
and a winnowing fan, who went, accompanied by the Brahman, into the
depths of the forest, and, putting the straw on the mouth of a hole,
commenced winnowing, when smoke of continually varying colours arose,
followed by bright flame, in the midst of which a monstrous serpent
having seven heads was seen. The Brahman was speechless with terror
at the sight, and, being conducted back by the child, was dismissed
with presents of fruits."

The Mission school at Dummagudem in the Godavari district, where the
Rev. J. Cain has laboured so long and so well, was primarily intended
for Koyis, but I gather that it has been more successful in dealing
with the Malas. In 1905, the lower primary school at Butchampet in
the Kistna district was chiefly attended by Koyi children.

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

Krishnavakakkar.--The Krishnavakakkars are, in Travancore, practically
confined to the southern taluks of Eraniel and Kalkulam. The caste
name literally means belonging to Krishna, but probably means nothing
more than belonging to the pastoral class, as the titular suffixes,
Ayan and Acchi, to the names of males and females, found in the early
settlement accounts of the State, indicate. In modern times the title
Pillai has been adopted. By some castes, e.g., the Shanars, they are
called Kuruppu.

The tradition is that, in ancient times, a large section of them
migrated from Ambadi, the place of Krishna's nativity and early
childhood, to Conjeeveram, in the vicinity of which place there is
still a village called Ayarpati. Here they resided for some time,
and then seventy-two families, seeking fresh fields and pastures new,
proceeded to Kerala, and presented an image of Krishna, which they
had brought from northern India to the reigning king Maharaja Udaya
Martanda Varma. According to another account, the recipient of the
image was one Pallivana Perumal at an earlier date. The Maharaja,
according to the legend, observing the interesting customs of the
immigrants, and especially their devotion to Krishna, called them
Krishnanvaka, and ordered them to serve in the temple of Krishna
(Tiruvampadi within the pagoda of Sri Padmanabha at Trivandrum). Their
leader was given the title of Ananthapadmanabha Kshetra Pallava
Rayan. This migration is supposed to have occurred in the first year of
the Malabar era. A neet, or royal grant, engraved on a copper plate,
was issued to them, by which they were entrusted with the management
of the temple, and commanded to live at Vanchiyur in Trivandrum. In
the pollution consequent on a birth or death among the seventy-two
families, the image of Krishna, which they had brought, was believed
to share for three days as a distant relation, and, in consequence,
the daily ceremonies at the temple were constantly interrupted. They
were told to remove to a place separated from Trivandrum by at least
three rivers, and settled in the Eraniel and Kalkulam taluks. They
were, as a tax in kind for lands given to them for cultivation,
ordered to supply peas for the Tiruvampati temple. During the reign of
Martanda Varma the Great, from 904 to 933 M.E., successive neets were
issued, entrusting them with diverse duties at this temple. Such,
briefly, is the tradition as to the early history of the caste in
Travancore. The title Pallava Rayan (chief of the Pallavans) seems
to indicate the country, from which they originally came. They must
have been originally a pastoral class, and they probably proceeded
from Conjeeveram, the capital of the Pallavas, to Travancore, where,
being worshippers of Vishnu, they were entrusted with the discharge
of certain duties at the shrine of Krishna in Trivandrum.

The Krishnavakakkar are not strict vegetarians, as fish constitutes
a favourite diet. Intoxicating liquors are forbidden, and rarely
drunk. In respect to clothing and ornaments, those who follow the
makkathayam system of inheritance (from father to son) differ from
those who follow the marumakkathayam system (through the female line),
the former resembling the Vellalas in these matters, and the latter
the Nayars. The only peculiarity about the former is the wearing
of the mukkuthi (nose ornament), characteristic till recently of
all Nayar women in south Travancore, in addition to the ordinary
ornaments of Chettis and other Tamilians. Widows, too, like the
latter, are dressed in white, and the pampadam and melitu in the
ears form their only ornaments. They tie up their hair, not in front
like Nayar women, nor at the back like Tamil women, but in the middle
line above the crown--the result of a blend between an indigenous and
exotic custom. The hair is passed through a cadjan ring secured by a
ring of beads, and wound round it. The ring is decorated with arali
(Nerium odorum) flowers. Tattooing was very common among women in
former times, but is going out of fashion.

They worship both Siva and Vishnu, and special adoration is paid to
Subramaniya, for whose worship a great shrine is dedicated at Kumara
Koil. Sasta, Bhutattan, and Amman have small shrines, called ilankams,
dedicated to them. They live in large groups, each presided over
by a headman called Karyastan, who is assisted by an accountant and
treasurer. The offices are elective, and not hereditary. Their priest
is known as Karnatan or Asan. At present there is apparently only one
family of Karnatans, who live at Mepra in the Eraniel taluk. The female
members of this priestly family are known as Mangalyama, and do not
intermarry or feed with the general community. The marumakkathayam
Krishnavakakkar speak Malayalam, while the makkathayis speak a very
corrupt Tamil dialect intermixed with Malayalam.

The names of the seventy-two houses of the caste are remembered, like
the gotras of the Brahmans, and marriage between members of the same
house are absolutely forbidden. Among the marumakkathayam section,
the talikettu is celebrated in childhood, and supplemented by the
actual wedding after the girl reaches puberty. On the marriage day,
the bridegroom goes in procession to the house of the bride, sword
in hand, and martially clad, probably in imitation of Krishna on
his marriage expedition to the Court of Kundina. On the third day
of the marriage ceremonies, the bride's party go to the house of the
bridegroom with an air of burning indignation, and every effort is made
to appease them. They finally depart without partaking of the proffered
hospitality. On the seventh day, the newly-married couple return to the
bride's house. The custom is said to be carried out as symbolising
the act of bride-capture resorted to by their ancestor Krishna
in securing the alliance of Rukmani. It is generally believed that
fraternal polyandry once prevailed among these people, and even to-day
a widow may be taken as wife by a brother of the deceased husband,
even though he is younger than herself. Issue, thus procreated,
is the legitimate issue of the deceased, and acquires full right of
inheritance to his property. If one brother survives the deceased,
his widow is not required to remove her marriage ornament during life.

The origin of the marumakkathayam custom is alleged to have been that
the first immigrants came with a paucity of women, and had to contract
alliances with the indigenous Travancoreans. At the present day only
about a hundred families follow the law of inheritance through the
female line. Their children are known by the name of the mother's
illam (house). The male, but not the female members of makkathayam and
marumakkathayam sections, will eat together. A daughter, in default
of male issue, succeeds to the property of her father, as opposed to
his widow. The Krishnavakakkar believe that, in these matters, they
imitate the Pandavas. A peculiar feature of their land-tenure is what
is known as utukuru--a system which exists to a smaller extent among
the Shanars of Eraniel and the adjacent taluks. In the ayakkettu or old
settlement register, it is not uncommon to find one garden registered
in the name of several persons quite unconnected with each other by any
claim of relationship. In some instances the ground is found registered
in the name of one person, and the trees on it in the name of another.

The dead are generally cremated, and the ashes taken to the foot of
a milky tree, and finally thrown into the sea. On the sixteenth day,
the Asan is invited to perform the purificatory ceremony. A quantity
of paddy (unhusked rice), raw rice, and cocoanuts, are placed on a
plantain leaf with a cup of gingelly (Sesamum) oil, which is touched
by the Asan, and poured into the hands of the celebrants, who, after
an oil bath, are free from pollution. [26]

Kshatriya.--The second, or ruling and military caste of the four
castes of Manu. In the Madras Census Report, 1891, it is recorded
that "the term Kshatriya is, of course, wholly inapplicable to the
Dravidian races, who might with as much, perhaps more, accuracy
call themselves Turks. There possibly are a few representatives
of the old Kshatriya castes, but the bulk of those who figure in
the returns under this head are pure Dravidian people. The claim
to the title is not confined to the old military classes desirous
of asserting their former position, for we find it put forward by
such castes as Vannias and Shanans, the one a caste of farmers and
labourers, the other toddy-drawers. It is not possible to distribute
these pseudo-Kshatriyas among their proper castes, as 70,394 of them
have given Kshatriya as the sub-division also." It is noted, in the
Madras Census Report, 1901, that "Parasurama is said to have slain
all the Kshatriyas seven times over, but 80,000 persons have returned
themselves as such in this Presidency alone. Strictly speaking, there
are very few persons in the Presidency who have any real title to
the name, and it has been returned mainly by the Pallis or Vanniyas
of Vizagapatam, Godavari, and Chingleput, who say they are Agnikula
Kshatriyas, by the Shanans of Tinnevelly, and by some Mahratis in
South Canara. In Tinnevelly, Kammas and Balijas have also returned
the name." It is further recorded, in the Mysore Census Report, 1901,
that the castes grouped under the head Kshatriya are "the Arasus,
Rajaputs, Coorgs, and Sikhs. To the Arasu section belongs the Royal
Family of Mysore." Some Rachevars style themselves Arya Kshatriyalu.

For the following note on Malayala 'Kshatriyas,' I am indebted
to Mr. N. Subramani Aiyar. There is an old Sanskrit verse, which
describes eight classes of Kshatriyas as occupying Kerala from very
early times, namely, Bhupala or Maharaja, as those of Travancore and
Cochin, Rajaka or Raja, as those of Mavelikkara and Cranganore, Kosi
or Koil Tampuran, Puravan or Tampan, Sri Purogama or Tirumulppad,
Bhandari or Pandarattil, Audvahika or Tirumulppad, and Cheta or
Samanta. The Samantas cannot be looked upon as Malayala Kshatriyas
proper. The indigenous Kshatriyas of Kerala are divided into four
well distinguishable septs, viz., the Koil Pandala, the Raja, the
Tampan; and the Tirumulppad. The total number of Malayala Kshatriyas
in Travancore is 1,575, the largest number living in the taluks of
Tiruvella, Vaikam, and Mavelikara. Tampans live mostly at Vaikam,
and Tirumulppads at Shertallay and Tiruvella. The remaining two septs
are not so much caste septs as isolated groups of families. Koil
Pandala literally means the keeper of the royal treasury. Tampan
is a corruption of Tampuran, the latter being a title directly
applied to the Rajas, while the term Tirumulppad, in its literal
sense, conveys the idea of those who wait before kings. Women are
known as Tumpurattis in the first two, as Tampattis in the third,
and Nampishthatiris in the fourth division. The Pantalam Rajas have
the title of Sriviradhara, and those of Mullanikkadu of Narasimha.

According to immemorial tradition, Koil Tampurans were the nephews of
the Cheraman Perumals or viceroys of Chera, who ruled at Cranganore,
their earliest residence being Beypore in British Malabar, where
three or four families of this sept lived at the beginning of the
Christian era. From one of these families, male members were invited
about 300 M.E., for marrying the ladies of the Venadswarupam, i.e.,
the Travancore royal house. They began to live at Kilimanur in the
Chirayinkil taluk, six miles from Attingal, where the female members of
the royal family permanently resided. In 963 M.E., the year in which
Tipu Sultan invaded Malabar, eight persons, five females and three
males, belonging to the Alyankodu Kovilakam in North Malabar fled,
and found shelter in Travancore. All their expenses were commanded to
be met from the State treasury. As the five women were only cousins
and not uterine sisters, one of them removed herself to the rural
village Kirtipuram near Kandiyur in the Mavelikkara taluk, and thence
to Gramam, a little further in the interior. Another, in course of
time, settled at Pallam in Kottayam, and a third at Paliyakkara
in Tiruvella, while the fourth, having no issue, stayed with the
youngest at the Nirazhi palace of Changanacheri. This last lady gave
birth to five children, being three females and two males. The first
of these branches removed to Anantapuram in Kartikapalli in 1040,
and the second to Chemprol in Tiruvella in 1041, while the third
continued to reside at Changanacheri. After 1040 M.E., three more
Koil Pandala families immigrated from British Malabar, and settled
at Cherukol, Karamma, and Vatakkematham. These, however, are not so
important as the previous ones. As already stated, the Kilimanur Koil
Tampurans were among these the earliest settlers in Travancore, and
a whole property (revenue village) was granted to them in freehold
in 1728 A.D., in recognition of the sacrifice a member of the family
made in saving the life of a Travancore prince from the murderous
attack of the Ettuveetil Pillamar. The first family of Kolasvarupam
Rajas immigrated into Travancore in the fifth century M.E. As the
Travancore royal house then stood in need of adoption, arrangements
were made through a Koil Tampuran of the Tattari Kovilakam to bring
two princesses for adoption from Kolattunad, and the first family of
Rajas, known as the Putupalli Kovilakam, settled at Kartikapalli. The
family is now extinct, as the last member died in 1033 M.E. The next
family that migrated was Cheriyakovilakam between 920 and 930, also
invited for purposes of adoption. These latter lived at Aranmula. The
third series of migrations were during the invasion of Malabar by Tipu
Sultan in 964 M.E., when all the Rajas living at the time went over
to Travancore, though, after the disturbance was over, many returned
home. The Rajas of the Kolasvarupam began to settle permanently
in the country, as they could claim relationship with the reigning
sovereigns, and were treated by them with brotherly affection. There
were only two branches at the beginning, namely, Pallikovilakam and
Udayamangalam. The families of Mavelikara, Ennaykkad and Prayikkara
are divisions of the Chengakkovilakam house. The Udayamangalam house
has branched off into three divisions, Mittil, whose descendants now
live at Mariyapalli, Nedumprum, and Kartikapalli. Naduvilekkovilakam
members live at Perinjel in Aranmula, and Cheriyakovilakam, whose
members are divided into five other families, in the same locality. No
branch of the Udayamangalam house resides in British Malabar. Some of
these branches even now own large estates in that collectorate. There
are two other important families of Rajas in Travancore, viz., those
of Pantalam and Punjat. Both of them are believed to have been related
to the early Pandyan kings. The reason alleged for the immigration
of the Pantalam Rajas into Travancore is the persecution of a Nayak
minister in mediæval times, who compelled them to change their mode of
inheritance from marumakkathayam (in the female line) to makkathayam
(from father to son), and then marry his daughter. They are supposed to
have sojourned at Sivagiri and Tenkasi in the Tinnevelly district on
their way to Travancore. Ilattur in the Shenkottah taluk originally
belonged to them, but was afterwards taken over by Travancore in
default of payment of the annual subsidy. Tampans are believed
by tradition to have had territorial sovereignty in Kerala, until
they were deprived of it by the Ilayetasvarupam kings. This does not
appear to have any basis of truth, as the Ilayetasvarupam kings lived
in Central Travancore, while the Tampans live in the north, where
the former are never known to have led any invasion. In mediæval
times, both Tampans and Tirumalppads were invariably commanders of
armies. With the invasion of Malabar by Tipu Sultan, many sought
refuge in the kingdom of Travancore, and continued to live here after
the passing of the storm.

The Malayala Kshatriyas are as a class learned. Both men and women
are, in the main, accomplished Sanskrit scholars. Mr. Kerla Varma,
C.S.I., Valiyakoil Tampuran, a finished poet and an accomplished
patron of letters, and Mr. Ravi Varma, the talented artist, are both
Koil Tampurans. The houses of the Koil Tampurans and Rajas are known
as kottarams or kovilakams, i.e., palaces, while those of the Tampans
and Tirumalppads are known as kovilakams and mathams. The Malayala
Kshatriyas resemble the Brahmans in their food and drink. The males
dress like the Nambutiris, while the dress and ornaments of the
women are like those of other classes in Malabar There are, however,
three special ornaments which the Kshatriya ladies particularly wear,
viz., cheru-tali, entram, and kuzhal. The Koil Pandalas and Rajas
are landlords of considerable wealth, and a few have entered the
Civil Service of the State. The Tampans and Tirumalppads, besides
being landlords and agriculturists, are personal servants of the
ruling families of Kerala, the latter holding this position to even a
greater extent than the former. The Kshatriya personal attendants of
the Maharajas of Travancore serve them with characteristic fidelity
and devotion.

The Malayala Kshatriyas are a particularly religious community. In
a place within their houses, called tevarappura or the room for
religious worship, the Vaishnavite salagrama and Saivite linga are
kept together with the images of other deities, and Brahmans officiate
at their worship. Ganapati puja (worship), and antinamaskaram are
regularly observed.

As all the Koil Tampurans belong to one sept or gotra, that of
Visvamitra, and all the Rajas to another, that of Bhargava, neither
of these divisions are permitted to marry among themselves. The
Tirumalppads also, with their local divisions such as Ancherri,
Koyikkal, Plamtanam, and Kannezham, own Visvamitra, and hence do not
marry among themselves. As for the Tampans, all the families belonging
to that group trace their descent to a common ancestor, and belong to
the same sept as the Koil Tampurans and Tirumalppads. As a consequence,
while the Koil Tampurattis are married to Nambutiri husbands, the Koil
Tampurans themselves take wives from the families of Rajas. Rajas
may keep Nayar or Samanta ladies as mistresses, the same being the
case with the Tampans and Tirumalppads also. The Ranis of Pantalam
take Nambutiri husbands, while Tampan and Tirumalppad women live
with any class of Brahmans. No Kshatriya lady is permitted to leave
her home for that of her husband, and so no grihaprevesa ceremony
prevails among them. Thirteen is the proper age for marrying girls,
but the marriage may be postponed until the choice of a fit husband
is made. In the branches of the Kolattunad family, girls who attain
puberty as maids are obliged to keep a vow, in honour of Ganapati.

The Tampan and Tirumalppad women, as also those of the Pantalam family,
have their talis (marriage badge) tied by Aryappattars. Remarriage of
widows is permitted. Polygamy is rare. Divorce may take place at the
will of either party, and prevails largely in practice. The Rajas make
a donation of Rs. 50 to 70 as stridhanam, excepting those of Pantalam,
who only pay about Rs. 35.

Some time before the auspicious hour for the marriage of a Koil
Tampuratti, the Brahmanipattu, or recitation of certain Puranic songs
by a female of the Brahmani caste, begins. Four lighted lamps are
placed in the middle of the hall, with a fifth dedicated to Ganapati in
the centre. While these songs are being sung, the bride appears in the
tattu dress with a brass minu and a bunch of flowers in her hand, and
sits on a wooden seat kept ready for the purpose. The songs generally
relate to the conception of Devaki, and the birth of Krishna. Then
a Nayar of the Illam sept waves a pot containing cocoanut, flowers,
burning wicks, etc., before the bride, after which she rises to wash
her feet. At this point the bridegroom arrives, riding on an elephant,
with a sword in his hand, and the procession is conducted with much
ceremony and ostentation. He then bathes, and two pieces of cloth,
to be worn by him thereafter, are touched by the bride. Wearing them,
the bridegroom approaches the bride, and presents her with a suit of
clothes known as the mantrakoti. One of the clothes is worn as a tattu,
and with the other the whole body is covered. The mother of the bride
gives her a brass mirror and a garland, both of which she takes in
her hand to the altar where the marriage is to be performed. After
the punyaha, accompanied by a few preliminary homas or sacrifices
to the fire, by the Nambutiri family priest, the first item in the
ceremony, known as mukhadarsana or seeing each other, begins. The
bride then removes the cloth covering her body. The next events are
udakapurva, panigrahana, and mangalyadharana, which are respectively
the presentation by the bride of water to the bridegroom, his taking
her hand in token of the union, and tying the tali round the neck of
the bride. The next item is the saptapadi (seven feet), and the last
dikshaviruppu, peculiar to the Malayalam Kshatriyas. A particular room
is gaily decorated, and a long piece of white cotton cloth is spread
on the floor. Upon this a black carpet is spread, and a lighted lamp,
which should never be extinguished, placed in the vicinity. The
bride has to remain in this room throughout the marriage. On the
marriage night commences the aupasana, or joint sacrifice to the
fire. On the fourth day are the mangalasnana or auspicious bath,
and procession through the town. On that night consummation takes
place. The procession of the bridegroom (mappilapurappat) to the house
of the bride is a noticeable item. The brother of the bride receives
him at the gate, and, after washing his feet, informs him that he may
bathe and marry the girl. The uduku-purva rite is performed by the
brother himself. When the bridegroom leaves the marriage hall with
the bride, an armed Pandala stops them, and a fixed present is given
to him. Every rite is performed according to the method prescribed by
Bodhayana among the Koil Tampurans and Rajas, the family at Pantalam
alone following the directions of Asvalayana. On the fourth day,
the contracting couple bathe, and wear clothes previously dipped in
turmeric water. At night, while the Brahmani song is going on, they
sit on a plank, where jasmine flowers are put on, and the goddess
Bhagavathi is worshipped. The bride's maternal uncle ties a sword
round her loins, which is immediately untied by the bridegroom in
token of the fact that he is her future supporter. Panchamehani is
a peculiar rite on the fifth day, when an atti (Ficus, sp.) tree is
decorated, and an offering of food made on the grass before it. The
couple also make a pretence of catching fish. In modern times,
the Pantalam Rajas do not patronise the songs of the Brahmani, and,
among them, the panchamehani is conspicuous by its absence.

Women are in theory the real owners of property, though in practice
the eldest male has the management of the whole. There is no division
of property, but, in some cases, certain estates are specially
allotted for the maintenance of specific members. The authorities
of the Malayala Kshatriyas in all matters of social dispute are the
Nambutiri Vaidikas.

When a girl reaches puberty, she is kept in a room twelve feet apart
from the rest for a period of three days. On the fourth day, after
a bath, she puts on a new cloth, and walks, with a brass mirror
in her hand, to her house. Among the Kolattunad Rajas there are a
few additional rites, including the Brahmani's song. The pumsavana
and simanta are performed by the family priest. On the birth of a
child, the jatakarma is performed, when women mix honey and clarified
butter with gold, to be given to the child. On the twelfth day, the
Nambutiri priest performs the namakarna, after a purifying ceremony
which terminates the birth pollution. The eldest child is generally
named Raja Raja Varma. Udaya Varma and Martanda Varma are names found
among the Rajas, but absent among the Koil Tampurans. Martanda Varma
was once exclusively used only among the members of the Travancore
Royal Family. The full style and titles of the present Maharaja of
Travancore are His Highness the Maharaja Sir Sri Padmanabha Dasa
Vanchi Bala Rama Varma, Kulasekhara Kiritapati Sultan Manne Maharaja
Raja Ramaraja Bahadur Samsher Jung, G.C.S.I., G.C.I.E. Raghava Varma
is a name peculiar to the Pantalam Rajas. Women are, as in the case of
Tirumalppads and Tampans, called Amba, Ambika, Ambalika, Mangala, etc.

The annaprasana and nishkramana are performed consecutively on the
same day. The mother takes the child to the foot of a jak (Artocarpus
integrifolia) tree, and, going thrice round it, touches it with the leg
of the child, and then dips a golden ring in the payasa, and applies
it to the child's lips. The same act is then repeated by the maternal
uncle, father, and next of kin. The Yatrakali is attended with much
éclat during the night. The upanayana, or investiture with the sacred
thread, takes place as late as the sixteenth year. As a preliminary
rite on the same day, the chaula or tonsure ceremony is performed. It
is formally done by the Nambutiri priest in the capacity of guru or
preceptor, and left to be completed by the Maran. The priest then
invests the boy with the thread, and, with the sacrificial fire
as lord and witness, initiates him into the Gayatri prayer. All
Kshatriyas are obliged to repeat this prayer ten times morning
and evening. On the fourth day, the youth listens to a few Vaidic
hymns recited by the priest. There is not the prolonged course of
discipline of a Brahmanical Brahmachari, such as the Nambutiris so
religiously observe. The samavartana, or completion of the pupilage
ceremony, takes place on the fourth day. The ceremony of proceeding
to Benares, the pre-eminent seat of learning in ancient days, which is
the natural after-event of the Vaidic pupilage, is then gone through,
as in the case of Brahmans. A would-be father-in-law intercedes, and
requests the snataka to bless his daughter, and settle in life as a
grihastha. The Nambutiri priest then reminds the boy of his duty as
a Kshatriya, and gives him a sword as a symbol of his pre-ordained
function in society. He then becomes a grihastha, and may chew betel
leaf. The Saivite panchakshara, and the Vaishnavite ashtakshara are
also taught, and are invariably recited after the performance of the
daily duties. For girls only the chaula is performed, and that along
with her marriage. On the occasion of birthdays, the family priest
performs the ayushya homa, and shashtipurti, or celebration of the
sixtieth birthday, is also observed as an important religious occasion.

The funeral ceremonies are almost the same as those of Nambutiris. When
a Koil Tampuran dies, he is placed on the bare floor, some hymns
being recited in his ears. The corpse is placed on a stretcher made
of plantain stems, and the head is touched with a razor in token of
shaving. It is bathed, covered with a new cloth, and decorated with
flowers and sandal paste. Kusa grass is received at the hands of
a Maran. The funeral rites are performed by the nephews. Pollution
is observed for eleven days and nights. A religious vow is observed
for a year. The offering to the spirit of the deceased is not in the
form of cooked food, but of presents to Brahmans. All the Malayala
Kshatriyas are adherents of the Yajur-veda. The anniversary of
maternal grandmothers, and even sisters is punctiliously observed. If
a maternal aunt or grandaunt dies without children, their sraddhas
must be performed as for the rest.

The Malayala Kshatriyas hold rank next to the Brahmans, and above the
Ilayatus. They are permitted to take their meal in the same row with
the Brahmans, and receive prasada from the temples directly from the
priest, and standing at the right side of the inner gate.

Further information concerning the Malayala Kshatriyas is contained
in an article by Mr. K. Rama Varma Raja, [27] who concludes
as follows:--"The Kshatriya community is an intermediate caste
between the Brahmin (Namburi) and the Sudra (Nair) classes, and has
affinities to both; to the former in matters of ablution, ceremonies,
food and drink, and to the latter in those of real matrimonial
relations and inheritance, i.e., the constitution and propagation
of the family.... The intermediate caste must be the Aryans more
Dravidianised, or the Dravidians more Aryanised, that is, the Aryans
degraded or the Dravidians elevated, more probably the latter."

It is recorded, [28] in a note on the ancestry of the Rajas of Jeypore,
that "the family chronicles ascribe a very ancient origin to the line
of the Jeypore Zamindars. Beginning with Kanakasena of the solar race,
a general and feudatory of the king of Kashmir, they trace the pedigree
through thirty-two generations down to Vinayaka Deo, a younger son,
who left Kashmir rather than hold a subordinate position, went to
Benares, did penance to Kasi Visvesvarasvami there, and was told by
the god in a dream to go to the kingdom of Nandapuram belonging to
the Silavamsam line, of which he would become king. Vinayaka Deo,
continues the legend, proceeded thither, married the king's daughter,
succeeded in 1443 A.D. to the famous throne of thirty-two steps there,
and founded the family of Jeypore. Vinayaka Deo and his six successors,
say the family papers, had each only one son, and the sixth of them,
Vira Vikrama (1637-69) accordingly resolved to remove his residence
elsewhere. The astrologers and wise men reported that the present
Jeypore was 'a place of the Kshatriya class,' and it was accordingly
made the capital, and named after the famous Jeypore of the north."

The Maharaja of Mysore belongs to the Arasu caste of Kshatriyas.

Kshauraka.--A Sanskrit name for barber, by which barbers of various
classes--Mangala, Ambattan, Kelasi, etc.--are sometimes called. It is
commonly used by Canarese-speaking barbers of the Madras Presidency
and Mysore.

Kshetravasinah (those who live in temples).--A name for Ambalavasis.

Kudaikatti (basket-making).--A sub-division of Palli or Vanniyan. At
the census, 1901, some Koravas also returned themselves as Kudaikatti
Vanniyan.

Kudan.--For the following note on the Kudans, or "Kootans" of the
west coast, I am indebted to Mr. L. K. Anantha Krishna Aiyar [29]:--

The Kootans are agricultural labourers, and take part in every kind of
work connected with agriculture, such as turning the soil, ploughing,
sowing, manuring, weeding, transplanting, and the like. As soon as the
monsoon is over, they work in gardens, turning the soil, watering,
and fencing. They form one of the divisions of the slave castes,
working under some landlord or farmer for a daily wage of an edangazhy
of paddy (unhusked rice) during the rainy months of June, July, and
August and of two edangazhis during the other months of the year. They
receive, for the Onam and Vishu festivals, a para of paddy, some salt,
cocoanuts, oil, and chillies. On the day of the village festival, every
male gets a mundu (cloth) or two, and every female a kacha (cloth)
or two, in addition to toddy and arrack (spirituous liquor), and the
other articles mentioned above. They dress themselves in their cloths,
and are treated to a sumptuous dinner. With shouts of joy, they attend,
and take part in the village festival. When they fall ill, they are
properly looked after by their masters, both on account of their good
feelings towards them, and also of the loss of work they may have to
sustain, should they be laid up for a long time. Whenever a landlord
or farmer has more men than he can afford to give work and wages to,
he generally lends their services to some one else on a pattom of
four paras of paddy a year for a male, and three for a female. The new
master gives them work and wages, and sends them back when they are no
longer wanted. Should a Kootan run away from his master, he is brought
back either by threat or mild word; but, should these fail, there is
no remedy to force him back. In spite of the abolition of slavery
some sixty years ago, the Kootans are in a state of bondage. They
live in small huts with insufficient food, plodding on from day to
day with no hope of improving their condition. Their huts are erected
on four bamboo posts. The roofs are thatched, and the sides protected
by mud walls, or covered with palm leaves. A bamboo framework, with
similar leaves, serves the purpose of a door. There is a verandah in
front. The Kootans have a few earthen and bamboo utensils for domestic
use. They take rice kanji (gruel) prepared the previous night, with
salt and chillies. They have some leisure at midday, during which
they go to their huts, and take kanji with a fish or two boiled in
it, or sometimes with some vegetable curry. At night, boiled rice,
or kanji with fish or curry made of vegetables from their kitchen
garden, form their chief food. All their provisions are acquired by
exchange of paddy from a petty shop-keeper in their vicinity.

They eat and drink at the hands of all castes except Paraiyans,
Pulayans, Ulladans, and Nayadis. In some parts of the State, they
approach the houses of Izhuvas, and no other castes eat with them. They
have to keep at a distance of forty-eight feet from all high-caste
Hindus. They are polluted by Pulayas, Nayadis, and Ulladans, who
have to stand at some distance from them. They may take water from
the wells of Mappillas. They are their own barbers and washermen,
and may approach the temple of their village goddess Kali on some
special days, while, at other times, they have to stand far away.

When a girl attains puberty, she is lodged in a corner of the hut. The
inmates thereof may neither touch nor approach her on the score of
pollution. Four or seven girls, who are invited, bathe the girl on
the first day. The pollution lasts for seven days, and, on the morning
of the seventh day, seven girls take her to a tank (pond) or river to
bathe. A kai-bali is waved round her face, and, as she bathes, it is
floated on the water. On their return to the hut, the girls are fed,
and allowed to depart with a present of an anna each. Their relatives,
and others who are invited, are well entertained. A kai-bali is an
offering held in the hand of a woman, and may take the form of a
sacrificed fowl, plantain fruits, boiled rice, etc.

Girls are generally married after puberty. A Kootan can enter into
a sambandham (alliance) with a woman of his own caste, or with a
Pulaya woman. He has to bathe before he returns to his hut, if he
should stay for the night with a woman of the latter caste. This
proves that he belongs to a caste superior to that of the Pulayas,
and the union resembles that of a Brahman with a Sudra woman. Should
a woman of the Kootan caste mate with a Pulaya, she is at once turned
out of caste. A Kootan, who wishes to enter into a sambandham with
a woman of his own or the Pulaya caste, goes to her hut with one or
two of his relations or friends, to recommend him to the parents of
the woman to permit him to enter into conjugal relations with their
daughter, or form kutikuduka. With their permission, they become a
kind of husband and wife. In most cases, the will of the man and the
woman is sufficient for the union. The woman generally stays with her
parents, and very often her lover comes to her with his wages after
the day's hard work, and stays with her for the night. Should she
wish to accompany him to his hut, she does so with her wages in the
evening. They exercise sexual license even before marriage. If a woman
who has no open lover becomes pregnant, her fault is condoned when she
mentions her lover's name. When one dislikes the other for some reason
or other, they separate, and are at liberty to form new unions. Widows
may remarry, and may even associate with their brothers-in-law. The
Kootans follow the marumakkathayam law of inheritance (in the female
line). They have no property, except sometimes a sheep or a few fowls.

The Kootans believe in magic and sorcery. Mannans and Muhammadan
Mappillas are sometimes consulted, and these dupe them. They profess
the lower forms of Hinduism, and worship the local village deity
(Kali), and the spirits of their ancestors, whom they represent by
means of stones placed on a raised floor under a tree, and to whom
boiled rice, parched grain, toddy, plantain fruits, and cocoanuts
are offered at the Vishu and Onam festivals, and on Karkatakam,
Thulam, and Makara Sankranti. Care is always taken to have the
offerings served separately on leaves, lest the ancestors should
quarrel with one another, and do them harm. Should illness, such
as cholera, small-pox, or fever occur in a family, some fowls and
an anna or two are offered at the temple to the goddess Bhagavathi,
who is believed to be able to save them from the impending calamity.

When a member of the caste breathes his last, the landlord gives
a spade to dig the grave, an axe or knife for cutting wood to
serve as fuel if the corpse is to be burned, a piece of cloth for
covering the dead body, and also some paddy and millet to meet the
funeral expenses. A cocoanut is broken, and placed on the neck of
the corpse, which is covered with the cloth, and carried on a bier
to the burial-ground, which is sprinkled over with water mixed with
turmeric. When the funeral is over, the people who attended it,
including the relatives and friends of the deceased, bathe, and go
to the hut of the dead person, where they are served with kanji and
toddy, after which they depart. The members of the family, and close
relatives of the deceased, fast for the night. In the case of a man
dying, his nephew is the chief mourner, while, in that of a woman, her
eldest son and daughter are the chief mourners, who do not go to work
for two weeks. The chief mourners bathe in the early morning, cook a
small quantity of rice, and offer it to the spirit of the deceased. It
is eaten up by the crows. This is continued for fourteen days, and,
on the fourteenth night, all fast. On the fifteenth morning, they
regard themselves as having been cleansed from the pollution. All the
castemen of the kara (settlement) are invited, and bring with them
rice, curry-stuffs, and toddy. Their Enangan cleans and sweeps the
hut, while the rest go to the grave-yard, turn the earth, and make
it level. They bathe, and the Enangans sprinkle cow-dung water on the
grave. They return home, and partake of a sumptuous meal, after which
they all take leave of the chief mourner, who observes the diksha,
bathes in the early morning, and offers the bali (ball of rice)
before he goes to work. This he continues for a whole year, after
which he gets shaved, and celebrates a feast in honour of the dead.

Kudianavar (cultivator).--A name commonly assumed by Pallis and
Vellalas.

Kudikkar (those who belong to the house).--A name for Deva-dasis
(dancing-girls) in Travancore, who are given a house rent-free by
the Sirkar (Government).

Kudimaghan (sons of the ryot).--A name for Tamil Ambattans.

Kudire (horse).--An exogamous sept or gotra of Vakkaliga and
Kurni. Gurram, also meaning horse, has been recorded as an exogamous
sept of Chenchu, Golla, Mala, Padma Sale, and Togata. Gurram Togatas
will not ride on horseback.

Kudiya.--The Kudiyas or Male (hill) Kudiyas are found at Neriya,
Darmasthala, and Sisila in the South Canara district. Those who
live at the two former places are agrestic slaves of landlords
who own cardamom plantations on the ghats. They live for the most
part in the jungles, beneath rocks, in caves, or in low huts, and
shift from one spot to another. At the season of the cardamom crop,
they come down to the plains once a week with the produce. They are
said to carry off cardamoms to the Mysore frontier, and sell them
fraudulently to contractors or merchants. They make fire traces for
the Forest Department.

Except in stature, the Kudiyas have not retained the characters of a
primitive race, and, as the result of racial admixture, or contact
metamorphosis, some individuals are to be seen with comparatively
light coloured skins, and mesorhine or leptorhine noses. In the matter
of personal names, septs, and ceremonial observances, they have
been much influenced by other castes. They speak a corrupt form of
Tulu, and say that they follow the aliya santana law of inheritance
(in the female line), though some, especially at Sisala and on the
Mysore frontier, follow the law of succession from father to son
(makkala santana). They are not regarded as a polluting class, and
can enter all parts of their landlords' houses, except the kitchen and
dining-room. They are presided over by a headman, called Gurikara, who
inquires into transgression of caste rules, and assists on ceremonial
occasions. Their chief deities are Bhairava, Kamandevaru, and the
Pancha Pandavas (the five Pandava brothers), but they also believe
in certain bhuthas (devils), such as Male Kallurti and Ambatadaiva.

The Kudiyas do not object to marriage between a widowed woman and
her eldest son. Among those attached to a landlord at Neriya, two
such cases were pointed out. In one, there was no issue, but in the
other a son had been born to the mother-wife.

When the arrangement of a match is in contemplation, the father
of the prospective bridegroom goes, accompanied by two women, to
the girl's home, and takes with him betel leaves, areca-nuts, and
gingelly (Sesamum) oil. If the girl's parents consent to the match,
they accept the oil; otherwise they refuse it. The binding part of
the marriage ceremony consists of the bridal couple standing with
their hands united, and the pouring of water thereon by the bride's
father. The Kudiyas who have settled on the plains have adopted the
ceremonial observances of the Bants and other castes. The remarriage
of widows is permitted. There is no elaborate marriage ceremony,
but sometimes the contracting couple stand in the presence of the
headman and a few others, and make a round mark with sandal paste on
each other's foreheads.

If a member of the tribe dies near the settlement, the body is
cremated, and, if far away therefrom, buried. On the third day, a visit
is paid to the place where cremation took place, and the son or some
near relative of the deceased goes round the spot on which the corpse
was burnt three times, and sprinkles rice thereon thrice. Five leaves
of the teak or plantain, or other big leaves, are spread on the ground,
and fowl's flesh, cooked rice, and vegetables are placed thereon, and
the ancestors are invoked in the words "Oh! old souls, gather up the
new soul, and support it, making it one of you." On the sixteenth day,
food is again offered on leaves. In cases where burial is resorted to,
an effigy of the deceased is made in straw, and burnt. On the third
day, the ashes are taken to the grave, and buried.

In a note on the Kudiyas of the plains, it is recorded [30] that
"the dead are either burned or buried, the former being the custom in
the case of rich men. On the seventh day after cremation or burial,
a pandal (booth) is erected over the grave or the place of cremation,
and a bleached cloth is spread on it by the washerman. A wick floating
in half a cocoanut shell full of oil is then lighted, and placed at
each corner of the pandal. The relations of the deceased then gather
round the place, and weep, and throw a handful of rice over the spot."

The Kudiyas are fond of toddy, and eat black monkeys, and the big
red squirrel, which they catch with snares.

Kudiyalu (farmer).--A synonym for Lambadi, apparently used by members
of the tribe who have settled down to agriculture.

Kudlukara.--Kudlukara or Kudaldeshkara is a sub-division of Rajapuri.

Kudubi.--The Kudubis are found mainly in the Kundapur taluk of the
South Canara district. Among themselves, they use Kaluvadi as the caste
name. They say that they are divided into the following sections: Are,
Goa, Jogi, Kodiyal, and Kariya. Of these, the Are, Goa, and Kodiyal
Kudubis are confined to the Kundapur taluk, and the other two sections
are found in villages near Mudbidri. Both the Are and Jogi sections
speak Marathi, and the latter are considered inferior to the former,
who will not eat in their houses. Are women clad themselves in black
or red garments, whereas Jogi women are said to wear white cloths. The
Goa and Kariya Kudubis speak Konkani, and do not mix with the Ares
and Jogis, even for meals. They are much influenced by Brahmanical
priests, by whom they are guided in their ceremonial observances, and
have adopted the dhare form of marriage (see Bant). The Goa Kudubis
say that they emigrated to South Canara owing to the oppression from
which they suffered, bringing with them the sweet potato (Ipomoea
Batatas), cashew nut (Anacardium occidentale), chrysanthemum, and
Indian spinach (Basella alba). Among the Goa Kudubis, an adulterer
has to undergo a curious form of punishment. His head is clean-shaved,
and his moustache removed. He then stands in a pit, and leaf-platters,
off which food has been eaten, are thrown on his head. A money fine
is imposed by the headman. If a woman does not confess her guilt,
she is made to stand in the sun with an iron rod on her shoulders.

The Are Kudubis have exogamous septs, or wargs. Each warg is said
to have its own god, which is kept in the house of some elderly or
respected member of the sept. A corner of the house, or a special
room, is set apart for the god, and a member of the family is
the pujari (priest). He is expected to do puja to the god every
Monday. Ordinarily, rice, fruits, etc., are offered to it; but, during
the big festival in November-December, fowls are sacrificed. Like
other Marathi castes, the Are Kudubis regard the Holi festival. On
the first day, they collect together, and worship the tulsi katte--a
square structure on which a tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) plant is growing. On
the following days, they go about in detached groups, some males being
dressed up as females, with drums and cymbals, and dance and sing. On
the last day of the festival, rice is cooked, offered with liquor to
Kalabhairava, and eaten. The Are Kudubis sometimes worship bhuthas
(devils), e.g., Jettiga, and Hola Hayaguli. Special reverence is
shown to the tulsi plant, and, at almost every house, it is planted
in a brindhavan or katte. To it vegetables and fruits are offered.

Girls are married either before or after puberty. Widows are
allowed to remarry, but may not marry a man of the sept to which her
deceased husband belonged. Marriage ceremonies last over five days,
and commence with the ide karuchi, or betrothal, at the house of the
bride-elect. Pan-supari (betel leaves and areca-nuts) is distributed to
at least one member of each warg present according to a recognised code
of precedence, commencing with the Hivelekar warg, which is considered
superior. On the second day, a post made of the wood of the silk-cotton
tree (Bombax malabaricum) is set up beneath the marriage pandal
(booth). The bridegroom and his party go in procession to the bride's
house, where the contracting couple are decorated with jewels, and
turmeric-dyed strings are tied round their necks. The bride's father
ties a kankanam (thread) on his own wrist. The couple stand facing
each other, with a screen stretched between them. After the exchange
of garlands, their hands are joined, and the screen is removed. They
then go five times round the Bombax post and marriage dais, and sit
down. Dhare water is poured over their united hands by the bride's
father. Rice is then thrown over them, and presents are given. The
proceedings terminate with the waving of coloured water, a light,
etc. The dhare ceremony is celebrated at night. On the third day,
the bridal couple go five times round the Bombax post set up at the
bridegroom's house, and take their seats on the dais. Rice is thrown,
and betel leaves and areca-nuts are distributed. On the fourth and
fifth days, the same items are gone through at the bride's house.

In the case of the remarriage of a widow, the bride and bridegroom
take their seats, and rice is thrown over them. The dhare water is
not poured over their hands. Sometimes, the marriage consists merely
in the holding of a feast.

The dead are buried in a sitting posture, with the legs crossed
tailor-wise. Before the grave is filled in, a small quantity of
cooked rice is put in the mouth of the corpse. On the third day,
a small mound is made over the grave, and food offered to it. The
final death ceremonies take place on the eleventh day, and consist
in the sprinkling of holy water, and giving presents to Brahmans. By
the prosperous members of the community, a caste feast is given on
the twelfth day.

The main occupation of the Kudubis is shifting (kumari)
cultivation. Some, however, are employed in the preparation of cutch
(catechu) from the wood of Acacia Catechu, of which the following
account is given by Mr. H. A. Latham [31] of the Forest Department. "In
South Canara, one of our most profitable sources of revenue is the
extract obtained by boiling the wood of the catechu tree. The tree is
confined to the laterite plateaux in the Coondapur taluk, situated
as a rule within 15 miles of the sea, and gradually dies out as we
proceed southwards, until near Coondapur itself the tree will hardly
grow. It appears again to a small extent in the Kasaragod taluk
80 miles further south, but no extraction is done there now. The
extract is astringent, and, besides the other uses it is put to,
it appears to be a remedy for diarrhoea, dysentery, and diabetes. It
is, however, chiefly used for chewing with pan supari. Locally, it
is used pure in small pieces, the size of a pea, and rolled up with
the other ingredients in the betel leaf to form a chew. In Mysore,
the catechu bought by the merchants from us is dissolved in water,
and the areca-nut is, after being boiled and sliced, steeped in the
solution, and then put out in the sun on mats to dry, this operation
being repeated until sufficient catechu has been taken up to form
a red, shining, semi-transparent film, through which the ruminated
albumen of the areca-nut is just visible; the brighter the red colour
so obtained, the better the quality of the nut. As we sell it, the
catechu is in the shape of hard round balls covered with a whitish
dust, the ashes with which the balls are covered to prevent them
adhering to one another. On breaking, the interior of the balls should
show a vitreous conchoidal fracture similar to quartz, and be of a warm
reddish brown colour. The manufacture of catechu is carried out under
departmental supervision by a contractor, who is paid on the outturn,
and is bound, for the actual boiling, to employ only Kudubis. So far
as the department is concerned, a locality where there are plenty of
catechu trees is selected, and all trees over 6 inches in diameter
are allowed to be cut. The contractor has to engage the Kudubis and
select the site for the ovens, conveniently situated both for water
and firewood, and also as close to the majority of catechu trees as
he can get it. The site usually selected is a rice field, for which
the contractor may have to pay a small rent. Generally, however,
no rent is charged, as the owner is only too glad to have the ashes,
obtained in extracting, to plough into his field. On this field the
encampment is made, consisting of rows of thatched huts made of grass
and bamboos. The first thing to do is to erect the ovens, known as
wolle. These are made by a party of men a fortnight or so before the
main body come. The ordinary soil of the field is used, and the ovens
are built to a height of 18 inches, and placed about 5 yards in front
of the huts at irregular distances, 1 or 2 to each hut. The oven is an
oblong, about 2 feet wide by 3 feet long, with two openings above about
1 foot in diameter, on which the boilers, common ovoid earthenware pots
(madike) are placed. The opening for the fire is placed on the windward
side, and extends to the far side of the second opening in the top of
the oven, the smoke, etc., escaping through the spaces between the
boilers and the oven. The earth forms the hearth. To proceed to the
details of the working, the guard and the watcher go out the first
thing in the morning, and mark trees for the Kudubis to cut, noting
the name of the man, the girth and length of the workable stem and
branches. The Kudubi then cuts the tree, and chips off the sapwood,
a ring about 1 inch wide, with his axe, and brings it into the camp,
where a Forester is stationed, who measures the length and girth of
the pieces, and takes the weight of wood brought in. The Kudubi then
takes it off to his shelter, and proceeds to chip it. In the afternoon
he may have to go and get firewood, but generally he can get enough
firewood in a day to serve for several days' boiling. So much for
the men's work. Mrs. Kudubi puts the chips (chakkai) into the pot
nearest the mouth of the oven, and fills it up with water, putting a
large flat wooden spoon on the top, partly to keep the chips down,
and, lighting her fire, allows it to boil. As soon as this occurs,
the pot is tipped into a wooden trough (marige) placed alongside the
oven, and the pot with the chips is refilled. This process is repeated
six times. The contents of the trough are put into the second pot,
which is used purely for evaporating. The contents of this pot are
replenished from the trough with a cocoanut bailer (chippu) until all
the extract obtained from the chips has been evaporated to a nearly
solid residue. The contents are then poured into a broken half pot,
and allowed to dry naturally, being stirred at intervals to enable the
drying to proceed evenly. The extract (rasa) is of a yellowish brown
colour when stirred, the surface being of rich red-brown. This stirring
is done with a one-sided spoon (satuga). To make the balls, the woman
covers her hands with a little wood ash to prevent the extract adhering
to them, and takes up as much catechu as she can close her hands on,
and presses it into shape. These balls are paid for at Rs. 1-2-0 per
100, and are counted before the Forester next morning, and delivered
to the contractor. This ends the work done by the Kudubis. When the
balls have been counted, they are rolled by special men engaged for
the purpose on a board sprinkled with a little wood ash, and this is
repeated daily for three or four days to consolidate them. After this
daily rolling, the balls are spread out in the receiving shed to dry,
in a single layer for the first day or two, and after that they may
be in two layers. After the fourth or fifth day's rolling, they are
put in a pit, and covered with wood ashes on which a little water is
poured, and, on being taken out the next day, are gone over, and all
balls which are soft or broken are then rejected, the good ones being
put on the upper storey of the stone shed to get quite hard and dry."

Before the commencement of operations, the Kudubis select an Areca
Catechu tree, and place a sword, an axe, and a cocoanut on the
ground near it. They prostrate themselves before the tree, with
hands uplifted, burn incense, and break cocoanuts. The success of
the operations is believed to depend on the good will of a deity
named Siddedevaru. Before the Kudubis commence work, they pray to
him, and make a vow that, if they are successful, they will offer a
fowl. Failure to produce good balls of catechu is attributed to the
wrath of the deity. At the close of the work, if it has prospered,
a kalasam (brass vessel) is set up, and fowls are killed. Sometimes,
goats are sacrificed, cooked food and meat are placed on leaves round
the kalasam, and after worshipping, the viands are partaken of.

Like some other castes, the Kudubis do not eat new rice until after
the Hosthu (new crop) festival. Just before reaping, a few plants are
plucked, laid in the field, and worshipped. The ears are then cut, and
carried to their houses, where they are tied to pillars or to the roof.

There are, among the Kudubis, magicians called Gardi, who are sought
after during illness. To show his magical skill, a Gardi should be
able to cut a single grain of rice in twain with a big knife.

Kudugudukaran.--The Kudugudukarans or Kuduguduppukarans are a mendicant
caste, who beat a small hour-glass-shaped drum while begging from
house to house.

Kudumala (cake).--An exogamous sept of Bonthuk Savara, Gamalla,
and Madiga.

Kudumba.--A sub-division of Savara.

Kudumban.--A title sometimes used by Pallans, the headman among whom
goes by this name.

Kudumi or Kudumikkar.--The Kudumis are mainly found in the sea-board
taluks of Parur, Shertally, and Ambalapuzha, in Travancore. The
name is believed to be a corruption of the Sanskrit Kudumbi,
meaning one connected with a family. By others it is derived from a
Konkani word, meaning Sudra. The popular name for the caste is Idiya
(pounder), in reference to the occupation of pounding rice. Kadiya,
apparently derived from Ghatiyal, or a person possessed, is a term
of reproach. The title Chetti is now assumed by members of the
caste. But the well-known title is Muppan, or elder, conferred on
some respectable families by former Rajas of Cochin. The authority
of the Trippanithoray Muppan is supreme in all matters relating
to the government of the caste. But his authority has passed, in
Travancore, to the Turavur Muppan, who has supreme control over the
twenty-two villages of Kudimis. The belief that the Muppans differ
from the rest of the Kudimis, so as to make them a distinct sept,
does not appear to be based on fact. Nor is it true that the Muppans
represent the most ancient families of Konkana Sudras, who emigrated to
Kerala independently of the Konkanis. Chief among them is the Koratti
Muppan of Trippanithoray, who has, among other privileges, those of
the drinking vessel and lighted lamp conferred on him by the Cochin
rulers. Every Kudumi village has a local Muppan. A few families enjoy
the surname Kammatti, which is believed to be of agricultural origin.

The Kudumis speak a corrupt form of the Konkani dialect of
Marathi. They are the descendants of these Konkana Sudras, who
emigrated from Goa on account of the persecutions of the Portuguese
in the sixteenth century, and sought refuge along with their masters,
the Konkana Brahmans, on the coast of Travancore and Cochin. Most of
them set out as the domestic servants of the latter, but a few were
independent traders and agriculturists. Two varieties of rice grain,
chethivirippu and malarnellu, brought by them from the Konkan, are
still sown in Travancore. One of the earliest occupations, in which
they engaged, was the manufacture of fireworks, and, as they were
bold and sturdy, they were enlisted as soldiers by the chieftains
of Malabar. Relics of the existence of military training-grounds are
still to be found in many of their houses.

On a raised mud platform in the court-yard of the Kudumi's house,
the tulasi (Ocimum sanctum) or pipal (Ficus religiosa) is invariably
grown. Fish and flesh, except beef, are eaten, and intoxicating
liquor is rather freely imbibed. The women wear coloured cloths,
usually black, and widows are not obliged to be clad in white. A
gold mukkutti is an indispensable nose ornament. Tattooing is largely
resorted to by the women.

The occupation of the Kudumis is service in the houses of the Konkana
Brahmans. They also prepare beaten rice, act as boatmen, porters,
and agricultural labourers, clean tanks and wells, and thatch
houses. The Muppans manufacture, and give displays of fireworks,
which have a local reputation at the great Konkani temple of Turavur
in the Shertallay taluk.

They worship at the temples of the Konkana Brahmans, as well as
their own. But they are not pronounced Vaishnavites, like the
Brahmans, as the teachings of Madhvacharya did not reach the
lower ranks of Hinduism. On Sunday only one meal is taken. Maddu
or Madan is their chief minor deity, and water-sheds are erected to
propitiate him. Brahma is adored for nine days in the month of Kumbham
(February-March) from the full-moon day. The pipal tree is scrupulously
worshipped, and a lighted lamp placed beside it every evening.

A woman, at the menstrual period, is considered impure for four
days, and she stands at a distance of seven feet, closing her mouth
and nostrils with the palm of the hand, as the breath of such
a woman is believed to have a contaminating effect. Her shadow,
too, should not fall on any one. The marriage of girls should take
place before puberty. Violation of this rule would be punished by
the excommunication of the family. During the marriage ceremony,
the tulasi plant is worshipped, and the bride and bridegroom husk a
small quantity of rice. The mother of the bridegroom prepares a new
oven within the house, and places a new pot beside it. The contracting
couple, assisted by five women, throw five handfuls of rice into the
pot, which is cooked. They then put a quantity of paddy (unhusked rice)
into a mortar, and after carefully husking it, make rice flour from
it. A quantity of betel and rice is then received by the bride and
bridegroom from four women. The tali is tied round the bride's neck
by the bridegroom, and one of his companions then takes a thread,
and fastens it to their legs. On the fifth day of the marriage rites,
a piece of cloth, covering the breasts, is tied round the bride's neck,
and the nose is pierced for the insertion of the mukkutti.

Inheritance is generally from father to son (makkathayam), but, in a
few families, marumakkathayam (inheritance through the female line) is
observed. Widow remarriage is common, and the bridegroom is generally a
widower. Only the oldest members of a family are cremated, the corpses
of others being buried. The Kudumis own a common burial-ground in
all places, where they reside in large numbers. Pollution lasts for
sixteen days.

The Kudumis and the indigenous Sudras of Travancore do not accept food
from each other. They never wear the sacred thread, and may not enter
the inner courtyard of a Brahmanical temple. They remove pollution
by means of water sprinkled over them by a Konkana Brahman. Their
favourite amusement is the koladi, in which ten or a dozen men execute
a figure dance, armed with sticks, which they strike together keeping
time to the music of songs relating to Krishna, and Bhagavati. [32]

Kudumi.--Concerning the Kudumi medicine-men. I gather [33] that "the
Kudumi is a necessary adjunct to the village. His office implies
a more or less intimate acquaintance with the curative herbs and
roots in the forests, and their proper application to the different
ailments resulting from venomous bites or stings. It is the Kudumi who
procures leeches for the gouty Reddi or the phlegmatic Moodeliar, when
he finds that some blood-letting will benefit their health. He prays
over sprains and cricks, and binds the affected parts with the sacred
cord made of the hair taken from the patient's head. He is an expert
practitioner at phlebotomy, and many old Anglo-Indians domiciled in
the country will recall the Kudumi when his services were in demand to
heal some troublesome limb by the letting of blood. This individual is
believed to possess a magic influence over wild animals and snakes,
and often comes out in public as a dexterous snake-charmer. It is
principally in the case of poisonous bites that the Kudumi's skill
is displayed. It is partly by the application of medicinal leaves
ground into a paste, and partly by exercising his magical powers,
that he is believed to cure the most dangerous bites of snakes and
other venomous animals."

The Kudumi often belongs to the Irula or Jogi caste.

Kudumi.--The kudumi is the tuft of hair, which is left when the head
of Hindus is shaved. "For some time past," Bishop Caldwell writes,
[34] "a considerable number of European missionaries in the Tamil
country have come to regard the wearing of the tuft as a badge of
Hinduism, and hence require the natives employed in their missions
to cut off the kudumi as a sine quâ non of their retention of mission
employment". The kudumi, as the Bishop points out, would doubtless have
been admired by our grandfathers, who wore a kudumi themselves, viz.,
the queue which followed the wig. "The Vellalas of the present day,"
he continues, "almost invariably wear the kudumi, but they admit
that their forefathers wore their hair long. Some of the Maravars
wear the kudumi, and others do not. It makes a difference in their
social position. The kudumi, which was originally a sign of Aryan
nationality, and then of Aryan respectability, has come to be a sign
of respectability in general, and hence, whilst the poorer Maravars
generally wear their hair long, the wealthier members of the caste
generally wear the kudumi. The Pallars in Tinnevelly used to wear their
hair long, but most of them have recently adopted the kudumi, and the
wearing of the kudumi is now spreading even among the Pariahs. In
short, wherever higher notions of civilization, and a regard for
appearances extend, the use of the kudumi seems to extend also". Even
a Toda has been known to visit the Nanjengod temple at the base of
the Nilgiris, to pray for offspring, and return with a shaved head.

Kudumo.--See Kurumo.

Kukkundi.--Kukkundi or Kokkundia is the name of a small class of Oriya
cultivators and fishermen, who are said to be expert in spearing fish
with a long spear.

Kukru.--Kukru or Kukkuro, meaning dog, occurs as the name of a sept
of Bottada, Domb, and Omanaito. The equivalent Kukkala is a sept of
the Orugunta Kapus and Boyas.

Kulala.--Some members of the potter caste style themselves Kulala
vamsam, as being a more dignified caste name than Kusavan, and claim
descent from Kulalan, the son of Brahma.

Kulanji.--A sub-division of Maran.

Kulappan.--A synonym of Kusavan.

Kulasekhara.--A sub-division of Satanis, who claim descent from the
Vaishnavite saint Kulasekhara Alvar.

Kulloi.--A sub-division of Gadaba.

Kulodondia.--A title, meaning headman of the caste, used by some
Tiyoros.

Kuluvadi.--A synonym of Kudubi.

Kumda (red gourd: Cucurbita maxima).--A sept of Omanaito.

Kummara, Kumbara, Kumbaro.--"The potters of the Madras Presidency,"
Mr. H. A. Stuart writes, [35] "outside the Tamil country and Malabar,
are called Kummara in Telugu, Kumbaro in Uriya, and Kumbara in
Canarese, all these names being corrupted forms of the Sanskrit
word Kumbhakara, pot-maker (ku, earth). In social position they are
considered to be a superior class of Sudras. The Telugu Kummaras
were cooks under the ancient kings, and many of them still work in
that capacity in Sudra houses. The Kumbaros are purely Vaishnavites
and employ Boishnob priests, while the Kummaras and Kumbaras call
in Brahmans. Widow remarriage is allowed among the Uriya section
alone. All of them eat flesh." Concerning the potter classes,
Mr. Stuart writes further [36] that "Kummaras or Kusavans (q.v.) are
the potters of the country, and were probably at one time a single
caste, but are now divided into Telugus, Northern Tamilians and
Southern Tamilians, who have similar customs, but will not intermarry
or eat together. The northern and southern potters differ in that
the former use a wheel of earthenware, and the latter one made of
wood. The Telugu potters are usually followers of Vishnu and the
Tamilians of Siva, some being also Lingayats, and therefore burying
their dead. All the potters claim an impure Brahmanical descent,
telling the following story regarding their origin. A learned Brahman,
after long study, discovered the day and hour in which he might
beget a mighty offspring. For this auspicious time he waited long,
and at its approach started for the house of his selected bride,
but floods detained him, and, when he should have been with her,
he was stopping in a potter's house. He was, however, resolved not
to lose the opportunity, and by the daughter of his host he had a
son, the celebrated Salivahana. This hero in his infancy developed
a genius for pottery, and used to amuse himself by making earthen
figures of mounted warriors, which he stored in large numbers in a
particular place. After a time Vikramarka invaded Southern India, and
ordered the people to supply him with pots for his army. They applied
to Salivahana, who miraculously infused life into his clay figures,
and led them to battle against the enemy, whom he defeated, and the
country (Mysore) fell into his hands. Eventually he was left as its
ruler, and became the ancestor of the early Mysore Rajas. Such is
the story current among the potters, who generally believe that they
are his progeny. They all live in a state of poverty and ignorance,
and are considered of a low rank among other Sudras."

At the village of Karigeri in the North Arcot district, there is
carried on by some of the local potters an interesting industry in
the manufacture of ornamental pottery, for which a medal was awarded
at the Delhi Darbar Exhibition. "The soft pottery," Surgeon-General
G. Bidie writes, "receives a pretty green glaze, and is made into
vases and other receptacles, some of which are imitations of Delft
ware and other European manufactures of the fifteenth and sixteenth
centuries; patterns having been introduced by Collectors. [37]
Some of the water-bottles are double, the outer shell being pierced
so as to allow air to circulate around the inner." The history of
this little industry is, I gather, as follows. [38] "Mr. Robinson, a
Collector in the sixties of the last century, started the manufacture
of tea-pots, milk jugs, and sugar bowls with a dark green glaze,
but his dream of supplying all India with chota hazri (early tea)
sets was not realised. Then came Mr. Whiteside, and the small Grecian
vases and the like are due to his and Mrs. Barlow's influence. He had
accurate wooden models made by his well-known wood-carvers. He further
altered the by no means pretty green glaze, and reddish browns and
yellows were produced. Then came Mr. Stuart, who pushed the sale at
exhibitions and railway stations. He also gave the potters models of
fancy flower-pots for in-door use. The pottery is exceedingly fragile,
and unsuitable for rough usage. Unglazed water and butter coolers
were the earliest and best articles the potters produced."

Concerning the Kumbaras of South Canara, Mr. Stuart writes, [39] that
they "seem to be a branch of the Telugu and Canarese potter castes,
but many of them have Tulu for their home speech, and follow the
aliyasantana rule of inheritance (in the female line). Some of them
officiate as pujaris (priests) in the temples of the local deities
or demons, and are employed to perform funeral rites. Unlike the
Tamil potters, the Kumbaras do not wear the sacred thread. Infant
and widow marriages are very common. On the birth of a child, the
family observe pollution for fifteen days, and on the sixteenth
day the village barber and dhobi (washerman) get holy water from
the village temple, and purify the family by sprinkling it on their
head. There are two endogamous sub-divisions, the Kannada and Tulu
Kumbara, and each of these is divided into exogamous balis. Their
ordinary title is Handa, which is also sometimes used as the name
of the caste. In Uppinangadi a superior kind of pottery is made
(by the Kannada Kumbaras). It is made of clay powdered, mixed with
water, and strained. It is then poured into a pit specially prepared
for the purpose, where it is allowed to remain for about a month,
by which time it becomes quite dry. It is then removed, powdered,
moistened, and made into balls, which are one by one placed upon a
wheel and fashioned into various kinds of vessels, including vases,
goglets, tea-pots, cups and saucers. The vessels are dried in the
shade for about eight days, after which they are baked for two days,
when they are ready for sale. They have a glazed appearance, and are
sometimes beautifully ornamented."

In the Census Report, 1901, Vodari, Bandi, and Mulya are returned as
sub-castes of the Canarese potters.

The Kumbaras of the Mysore Province are, Mr. T. Ananda Row informs us,
[40] "potters and tile-makers. There are two great divisions among
them mutually exclusive, the Kannada and Telugu, the former claiming
superiority over the latter. The Telugu Kumbaras trace their descent
to Salivahana, and wear the sacred thread. They abstain from eating
meat. There are both Saivites and Vaishnavites among Kumbaras. The
former acknowledge the Smartha Brahman's sway. Polygamy is permitted,
and divorce can only be for adultery. Widows are not permitted to
remarry. This caste also includes dyers known as Nilagara (nil,
indigo). It is curious that these two trades, quite distinct from
one another, are followed by persons of the same family according
to inclination. The Kumbaras worship all the Hindu deities, but pay
special reverence to their kiln. They are recognised members of the
village hierarchy." Of the Mysore Kumbaras, Mr. L. Rice writes [41]
that the "pot-makers were not stationed in every village, one or two
being generally sufficient for a hobli or taraf. He furnished pots
for all the ryats (agriculturists) of his taraf, and was entitled to
ayam in an equal proportion as the other Ayagar (hereditary village
officers). For liberty of exposing his wares for sale to travellers
in the markets, he paid chakra-kanke to the Sirkar (Government)." At
Channapatna, in Mysore, I purchased for three annas a large collection
of articles of pottery made out of black and brown clay. They are
said to be made at a village near Channapatna, and consist of rudely
ornamented miniature lamps of various patterns, models of native
kitchen-ranges, pots, tobacco-pipes, dishes, etc. At the Mysore census,
1891, some potters described themselves as Gundu (round) Brahmans.

The Oriya Kumbaro (kumbho, a pot) are said to practice both infant and
adult marriage, and to permit the remarriage of widows. A sub-caste,
named Bhande, derives its name from the Sanskrit bhanda, a pot. The
Madras Museum possesses a quaint series of painted clay figures,
made by a potter at Venkatarayapalle in Ganjam, which are set up in
shrines on the seashore, and worshipped by fishermen. They include
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.

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.

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

Further details relating to the South Indian potters will be found
under the heading Kusavan.

Kumbi (potter).--A sub-division of Savara.

Kummidichatti.--Recorded, in the North Arcot Manual, as a sub-division
of Vellalas, who carried the chatty, or pot of fire, at Vellala
funerals. In Tamil, the name kumbidu chatti is applied to a pot, in
which fire is always kept burning. Such a pot is used for obtaining
fire for domestic purposes, and by old people, to keep themselves
warm in cold weather.

Kumpani.--Returned by some Kurubas at the Census, 1901. The name
refers to the East India Company, which was known as Kumpani Jahan
(or John Company).

Kunapilli.--A synonym of Padigarajulu, a class of mendicants, who
beg from Padma Sales.

Kunbi.--Recorded, at times of Census, as a Bombay cultivating
caste. (See Bombay Gazetteer, XVIII, Part I, 284.) It is also a
sub-division of Marathis, generally agriculturists, in the Sandur
State.

Kuncheti.--A sub-division of Kapu.

Kunchigar.--The Kunchigars, Kunchitigas, or Kunchiliyans, are a
class of cultivators in the Salem district, who speak Canarese,
and have migrated southward to the Tamil country. Their tradition
concerning their origin is that "a certain Nawab, who lived north
of the Tungabadra river, sent a peon (orderly) to search for ghi
(clarified butter), twelve years old. In his travels south of
the river, the peon met a lovely maid drawing water, who supplied
his want. Struck by her beauty, he watched her bathing place, and
stole one hair which fell from her head in bathing, which he took
to the Nawab. The latter conceived the idea of marrying the girl,
and sent an embassy, which was so far successful that the girl and
her family came to his residence, and erected a marriage pandal
(booth). Subsequently they repented, and, thinking that the marriage
would be a mésalliance (the Nawab was probably a Muhammadan), fled
in the night, leaving a dog in the pandal. In their flight they came
to the Tungabadra, which was in full flood, and, eager to escape,
they consented to marry the maiden to a Kurumban who ferried them
across the river. The Kunchigars are the descendants of this girl
and the Kurumban. When running away they, in their haste, forgot a
little girl, and left her behind them. She was seized by the Nawab,
who thirsted for vengeance, and thrown into the air so as to fall on
knives placed so as to transfix her. Some miracle interposed to save
her, and the Are Kunchigars of Mysore are her descendants." [42]

Kunchu (a tassel or bunch).--A sub-division of Okkiliyans, and of
Koravas who make brushes used by weavers. Kuncham, meaning either a
measure used in measuring grain or a tassel, occurs as an exogamous
sept of Madiga and Mala.

Kundanakkaran.--An occupational Tamil name for those who cut, enchase,
and set precious stones.

Kundaton.--A name for chunam (lime) workers in Malabar.

Kundu (nest).--A sub-division of the Irulas of South Arcot.

Kungiliyan.--A title of some Kallans.

Kunjamma.--A name for Elayad females.

Kunnuvan.--The Kunnuvans are described, in the Gazetteer of
the Madura district, as "the principal cultivating caste on the
Palni hills. They speak Tamil. Their own traditions say that their
ancestors were Vellalans from the Dharapuram and Kangayam country in
Coimbatore, who went up the Palnis some four or five centuries ago
because the low country was so disturbed by war (other accounts say
devastated by famine), and they call themselves Kunnuva Vellalas,
and state that the name Kunnuva is derived from Kunnur village in
Coimbatore. Other traditions add that the Virupakshi and Ayyakudi
poligars (feudal chieftains) helped them to settle on their land
in the hills, which up to then had only been cultivated by indolent
Pulaiyans. The Kunnuvans ousted these latter, and eventually turned
them into predial serfs--a position from which they have hardly yet
freed themselves. In every village is a headman, called the Mannadi,
who has the usual powers. The caste is divided into three endogamous
sections, called Vaguppus, namely, Periya (big) Kunnuvar, Kunnuvar,
and Chinna (little) Kunnuvar. They will eat together. The dress of the
women is characteristic. They wear rough metal necklets, brass bangles
and anklets, silver bangles on their upper arms, and rings in their
noses; and they knot their upper cloths in front across the breasts,
and bind them round their waists in a sort of bandage. White cloths
used to be forbidden them, but are common enough nowadays. [It was
noted by Mr. M. J. Walhouse, in 1881, [43] in connection with the
Kuneivar on the lower slopes of the Palnis, that women were never
allowed to wear white clothes. None could tell why, but it was said
that, within memory, women offending against the rule had been cast
from a high rock.] The claim of a man to his paternal aunt's daughter
is rigidly maintained, and the evasions of the rule allowed by other
castes when the ages of the parties are disproportionate are not
permitted. Consequently, a boy sometimes marries more than one of
these cousins of his, and, until he reaches manhood, those of them
who are much older than he is live with other men of the caste, the
boy being the nominal father of any children which may be born. A boy
of nine or ten may thus be the putative father of a child of two or
three. [In this connection, Mr. J. H. Nelson writes [44] that Madura
Collectors have sometimes been puzzled not a little by evidence adduced
to show that a child of three or four years was the son or daughter of
a child of ten or twelve.] When a man has no children except a girl,
and his family is in danger of coming to an end, a curious practice,
called keeping up the house, is followed. The girl cannot be claimed
by her maternal uncle's son as usual, but may be married to one of
the door-posts of the house. A silver bangle is put on her right wrist
instead of a tali (marriage badge) round her neck; she is allowed to
consort with any man of her caste; her earnings go to her parents;
she becomes their heir, and, if she has a son, the boy inherits their
property through her. The custom is a close parallel to the system of
making girls Basavis, which is so common in the western part of Bellary
and the neighbouring parts of Dharwar and Mysore. Divorce is readily
obtained, on the petitioner paying the amount of the bride-price, but
the children all go to the father. Divorcées and widows may remarry,
and they do so with a frequency which has made the caste a byword
among its neighbours. The Kunnuvans worship the usual deities of the
plains. They generally burn their dead."

It is recorded, in the Manual of the Madura district, that the
Kunnuvans of the western parts of the Palni hills differ in many
of their customs from those of the eastern. With both divisions,
incompatibility of temper is a sufficient ground for divorce, and
a husband can at any time get rid of his wife by taking her to her
parents together with a pair of oxen if he be an eastern Kunnuvan,
and a vatti or round metal dish if he be a western. On the other hand,
if the wife dislikes her partner, she may leave him upon giving up
her golden jewels--the silver she retains--and may, according to
her pleasure, either go back to her father's house, or marry another
man. In the west, however, she takes with her only such property as
she may have possessed at the time of her marriage. Her children must
all be made over to the deserted husband; and, if she be pregnant
when she goes away, and a child be born while she is living with
her second husband, it must nevertheless be given up to the first,
upon payment of the expense of rearing it if in the east, upon mere
demand in the west. In this way a woman may legally marry any number
of men in succession, though she may not have two husbands at one and
the same time. She may, however, bestow favours on paramours without
hindrance, provided they be of equal caste with her. On the other
hand, a man may indulge in polygamy to any extent he pleases, and
the wealthier Kunnuvans keep several wives as servants, especially
for agricultural purposes. The religion of the Kunnuvans appear to
be the Saiva, but they worship their mountain god Valapan with far
more devotedness than any other.

The name Kunnuvan is derived by Mr. Nelson from kunru, a hill.

Kunta.--A division of Kuravas of Travancore, who derive their name
from their first ancestor having appeared from a sacrificial altar
(homakunta).

Kunte (pond).--A gotra of Kurni.

Kurakula (vegetable class).--An occupational title, returned at times
of census, by Oriya and Telugu cultivators in Ganjam and Vizagapatam.

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

There are more than 50,000 Kuravas in Travancore, of whom the
largest numbers live in the taluks of Kunnatur, Chirayinkil, and
Kottarakkara. They were originally divided into four branches, called
Kunta Kuravan, Pum Kuravan, Kakka Kuravan, and Pandi Kuravan. Almost
all the Kuravas of this country belong to the first of these
sections. The Pum Kuravas are believed to have become a different
caste, called Velan. Similarly, the Kakka Kuravans have crystallised
into a distinct caste named Kakkalan. Pandi Kuravas speak Tamil,
and are chiefly found in Nanchinad, being there known as Nanchi
Kuravas. The Kunta Kuravas attribute the origin of their name to
the appearance of their first ancestor from a sacrificial altar
(homakunta). They are known in some places, such as Nedumangad,
by the name of Muli Kuravas, probably because they emit a drawling
noise when called. It has been suggested that the Kuravas are one of
the early tribes of Southern India, and one with the Kurumbas of the
Tamil country, and closely allied to the Vedans. Such of them as still
preserve their old practices, and do not mingle with the low-country
people, are known as Malan Kuravas. They form one of the sixteen
hill-tribes mentioned in the Keralolpatti. About three centuries
ago, Nanchinad in Travancore was governed by a line of Kurava kings,
called Nanchi Kuravans.

The Kuravas are prædial slaves, who were liable in olden days to
be bought and sold along with the land they occupied. They are not
regarded as so faithful as the Pulayas. Their homes are, like those
of the Pulayas, low thatched sheds. They eat meat, and drink toddy
and arrack. Their women tie their hair in the centre of the head,
and not behind like the Pulayas. Tattooing is very largely resorted to.

Though Hindu deities are worshipped, the Chavars, or spirits of the
dead, receive the most particular attention. The days considered
to be of religious importance are Onam in the month of Chingam, the
Ailiyam and Makam stars in Kanni, the 28th of Makaram, the Bharani
star in Kumbham and Minam, and the first day of Audi. The special
deities of the Kuravas are called Katiyatikal or mountain gods,
whom they worship on these days with an offering. On the 30th of
each month, and on days of festivity, all the Kuravas take beaten
rice and toddy, and offer them with a view to propitiating their
ancestors. Small sheds are dedicated to Chavars, where the priest,
called Piniyali or sorcerer, is the only important person. The Kuravas
have among themselves a special class of exorcisers, whom they call
Rarakkar (literally Vicharakkar), or those who make enquiries about
the occurrence of diseases. The Rarakkaran first becomes possessed,
and cries out the names of all the mountain deities in the vicinity,
violently shaking every limb of his body as he does so. Some of
these deities are Chavar, Ayiravalli, Chattan, Pakavati, Matan, Murti,
Taivam, Pakavan, Appuppan, and Maruta. He then takes a handful of paddy
(unhusked rice) from a quantity placed in front of him, and, after
counting, decides, upon the chance of one or two grains remaining in
the end after each of them is removed, whether some one in the house
is not attacked by, or liable to the attack of some evil spirit. The
same process is repeated, in order to find out the proper remedy for
appeasing them. The Rarakkaran at the end proceeds out of the house
in a northerly direction. The Urali, or headman of Peruvirutti Mala
in Kunnattur, becomes possessed on the evening of the third Monday of
Minam, and foretells coming events for such Kuravas as are assembled.

The headmen of the Kuravas are called Urali and Panikkan, and they
must be paid a fee of not less than ten chuckrams on all religious
occasions. The priest is known as Kaikkaran.

The Kuravas observe two forms of marriage ceremonial, viz., the
tali-kettu before puberty, and sambandham. At the former, an elderly
Kuratti (Kurava woman) ties the minnu or wedding ornament round the
neck of the girl. When a Kurava wishes to marry a girl, he must pay
twelve fanams to her maternal uncle. Widows remarry, and divorce,
though void without the consent of the headmen, is easily effected. The
form of inheritance is marumakkathayam (in the female line).

The dead are buried, and death pollution is observed for twelve days.

The Kuravas are obliged to stand, according to some at forty-eight,
and according to others at sixty-four paces from a high-caste
Hindu. They regard themselves as higher in the social scale than
Pulaiyas and Paraiyans.

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

Kureshi.--Recorded, in the Madras Census Report, 1901, as a territorial
name returned by Muhammadans, Kureshi being a village in Arabia;
also one of the sub-divisions of the Navayat tribe.

Kuricchan.--The Kuricchans, or Kuricchiyans, are described by
Mr. H. A. Stuart [45] as "the hunting caste of Malabar. Some derive the
word from kurikke, to mark or assign, as they say that this caste fixed
the hunting days. This must be the production of a highly imaginative
person. Dr. Gundert thinks it is derived from, or allied to, Canarese
Koracha (Korava). I would rather say it is allied to that word,
and that both are derivatives of kuru, a hill (cf. Tamil kurinchi),
kurunilam, etc., and Malayalam kurissi, a suffix in names of hilly
localities. With the exception of 2,240 persons in Kottayam, and 373
in Kurumbranad, both bordering on Wynaad, all the Kuricchans are found
in Wynaad. They are excellent bowmen, and played an important part
in the Pyche Raja's rebellion at the beginning of the (nineteenth)
century. The Kuricchans affect a great contempt for Brahmans. When
a Brahman has been in a Kuricchan's house, the moment he leaves it,
the place where he was seated is besmeared with cowdung to remove the
pollution! They follow inheritance in the male line in some places,
and in the female line in others. Their god is called Muttappan,
which literally means grandfather. They now subsist mostly by punam
(shifting) cultivation."

In the Gazetteer of Malabar, the Kuricchiyans (kuricchi, hill country)
are described as "a jungle tribe of punam cultivators, found in the
Wynaad and the slopes of the ghats, north of Calicut. They consider
themselves polluted by the approach of other hill tribes and by the
touch of Tiyans and Kammalans; and their women require water sanctified
by a Brahman to purify them. They perform the tali kettu ceremony
before puberty, and say that they follow the marumakkathayam family
system (of inheritance in the female line), though the wife usually
goes to live with her husband in a new hut, and the husband has to pay
a price for his bride. They act as oracles during the great festival
at Kottiyur. The performer becomes inspired after sitting for some time
gazing into a vessel containing gingelly oil, and holding in his hand a
curious-shaped wand of gold about a foot and a half long, and hollow."

It is recorded by Mr. Logan, [46] in connection with a disturbance in
Malabar early in the last century, that "the first overt act occurred
at Panamaram in Wynad. Some five days previous to 11th October 1802,
one of the proscribed rebel leaders, Edachenna Kungan, chanced to
be present at the house of a Kurchiyan, when a belted peon came up,
and demanded some paddy (rice) from the Kurchiyan. Edachenna Kungan
replied by killing the peon, and the Kurchiyans (a jungle tribe) in
that neighbourhood, considering themselves thus compromised with the
authorities, joined Edachenna Kungan. This band, numbering about 150,
joined by Edachenna Kungan and his two brothers, then laid their plans
for attacking the military post at Panamaram, held by a detachment of
70 men of the 1st Battalion of the 4th Bombay Infantry under Captain
Dickenson and Lieutenant Maxwell. They first seized sentry's musket,
and killed him with arrows. Captain Dickenson killed and wounded
with his pistols, bayonet, and sword, 15 of the Kurchiyars, 5 of whom
died. The whole of the detachment was massacred."

In a note on an inspection of a Kuriccha settlement, Mr. F. Fawcett
recorded that the houses were close to some rice-fields cultivated by
the Kuricchas. The Mappillas, however, took the crop as interest on
an outstanding debt. One house was noted as having walls of wattle
and mud, a thatched roof, and verandah. In the eastern verandah
were a bow and arrows, a fresh head of paddy (unhusked rice), some
withered grain, etc., dedicated to the god Muttappan. A man requested
Mr. Fawcett not to approach a hut, in which a meal was being cooked,
as he would pollute it. A child, a few months old, with a ring in each
ear, and a ring of shell or bone on a string to avert the evil eye,
was lying in a cradle suspended from the roof. Both by Mr. Fawcett and
others, the Kuricchas are given the character of remarkably innocent,
truthful, and trustworthy people.

For the following note, I am indebted to Mr. E. Fernandez. The
Kuricchas usually live by cultivation, but it is considered a great
stroke of good luck to obtain a post as postal runner or amsham
peon. When on a hunting expedition, they are armed with bows and
arrows, or occasionally with guns, and surround a hill. Some of
them then enter the jungle with dogs, and drive the game, which is
killed by the dogs, or shot with arrows or bullets. The flesh of the
spoil is divided up between the sylvan deity, the jenmi (landlord),
the dogs, the man who put the first arrow or bullet into the animal,
and the other Kuricchas. In some places, the Kuricchas use arrows for
shooting fresh-water fish. The principle is described by Mr. Fawcett
as being the same as in the Greenlander's spear, and the dart used
with a blow-pipe on the west coast for catching sharks.

From Malabar I have received two forms of blowpipe, used for killing
fish, birds, and small game. In one, the tube consists of a piece
of straight slender bamboo about 4' 6'' in length; the other,
which is about 7' in length, is made from the stem of the areca
palm. In the latter, two pieces of the stem are placed face to face,
so that a complete tube is made. Round the exterior, thin cloth or
tree-bark, steeped in gum, is tightly wrapped, so that the two halves
are kept together. Sometimes the blow-pipe is decorated with painted
designs. The arrow consists of a reed shaft and iron arrow-head, which,
by means of a socket, fits loosely on the conical end of the shaft. A
piece of string, several feet long, is tied round the arrow-head,
and wound closely round the shaft. When the arrow is discharged from
the tube, and enters, for example, the body of a fish, the string is
uncoiled from the shaft, which floats on the surface of the water,
and points out the position of the fish, which is hauled up.

A Paniyan, Adiyan, Kurumba, or Pulayan, approaching within a
recognised distance of a Kuriccha, conveys pollution, which must
be removed by a bath, holy water, and the recitation of mantrams
(consecrated formulæ). The Kuricchas address Brahmans as Tambrakal,
and Nayars as Tamburan. They are themselves addressed by Paniyans
and Adiyans as Acchan and Pappan, by Jen Kurumbas as Muttappan,
and by Pulayans as Perumannom.

In addition to Muttappan, the Kuricchas worship various other deities,
such as Karimbil Bhagavathi, Malakurathi, and Athirallan. No animal
sacrifices are performed, but each family celebrates annually
a ceremony called Kollu Kodukal, for which the Pittan (head of
the family) fixes an auspicious day. The temple is cleaned, and
smeared with cow-dung, and holy water is sprinkled, to remove all
pollution. Those who attend at the ceremony bathe before proceeding to
the temple, which is lighted with oil-lamps. Cocoanuts, sugar-candy,
plantains, beaten rice, a measure (edangali) full of rice, and another
full of paddy, are placed before the lamps, and offered to the deity
by the Pittan. One of the community becomes possessed, and gives
forth oracular utterances. Finally he falls down, and the deity is
supposed to have left him. The offerings are distributed among those
who have assembled.

The management of tribal affairs is vested in the Pittans of the
different families, and the final appellate authority is the Kottayath
Raja, who authorises certain Nayars to hear appeals on his behalf.

The Kuricchas celebrate the tali-kettu kalyanam. Marriages are arranged
by the Pittans. The wedding is a very simple affair. The bridegroom
brings a pair of cloths and rings made of white metal or brass as a
present for the bride, and a feast is held.

Kurivi (sparrow).--A gotra of Kurni.

Kurma (tortoise).--A gotra of Nagaralu. The equivalent Kurum is
recorded as a sept of Pentiya.

Kurmapu.--The Kurmapuvallu are women, in the Vizagapatam district,
who have not entered into matrimony, but earn money by prostitution,
and acting as dancers at feasts. They are so called from the fact
that they were originally dancing-girls attached to the temple of
Sri Kurmam, a place of pilgrimage in Vizagapatam. [47]

Kurni.--The name Kurni is, according to the Census Report, 1901,
"a corruption of kuri (sheep) and vanni (wool), the caste having been
originally weavers of wool. They now weave cotton and silk, and also
cultivate. They have two main sub-divisions, Hire (big) and Chikka
(small). The Hires are all Lingayats, and are said to have sixty-six
totemistic septs or gotras. They employ Jangams as priests, and also
men of their own caste, who are called Chittikaras. They will mess with
the non-Lingayat section, and with Lingayats of other castes. They
do not eat meat, or smoke or drink alcohol, but the Chikkas do all
three. Marriage before puberty is the rule in the caste. Divorces
are permitted. Widows may marry again, but have to spend two nights
alone at two different temples. Their wedding ceremonies are carried
out by widows only, and the woman is not afterwards allowed to take
part in religious or family observances." A synonym of both Kurnis
and Devangas is Jada or Jandra, meaning great men. A further synonym
of the Kurnis is said to be Kunigiri. The term Nese, meaning weaver,
is applied to several of the weaving castes, including the Kurnis.

The following extract is taken from an appeal for subscriptions in
aid of the publication of the Bhavishyottara Purana by the Kurnis in
a village in the Bellary district. "Greetings from all the Kuruhine
Setti Virasaivas residing in Hirihala village of Bellary taluk. The
wish of the writers is that all, old and young, should rejoice in the
sixty-six gotras, sixty-six rudras, and sixty-six rishis. He who reads
the order of these sixty-six gotras of the Kuruhina Settis will enter
Sivaloka. His twenty-one generations will attain to the position of
ganas (attendants) of Sivaloka. Such was the order of Iswara. This is
the end of the chapter in the Nilakantha Mallikarjuna Bhavishyat purana
acquired by Shanmukha from the Iswara shruti of the Haravatula." The
gotras are described as being of the Brahman, Kshatriya, and Vaisya
sub-divisions of the caste, and of Shanmukha's Sudra caste:--


Gotras.


    Anasu, ferrule.
    Anchu, edge or border.
    Arashina, turmeric.
    Are, Bauhinia racemosa.
    Arya, venerable.
    Banaju, trade or painted wooden toys.
    Bandi, cart.
    Banni, Prosopis spicigera.
    Basari, fig tree.
    Benne, butter.
    Bile, white.
    Dharma, conduct.
    Durga, fort.
    Gaduge, throne.
    Gauda, headman.
    Gikkili, rattle.
    Gorige, Cyamopsis psoralioides.
    Gullu, Solanum ferox.
    Gundu, cannon-ball.
    Halige, plank.
    Halu, milk.
    Heggu, nape of the neck.
    Hemme, vanity.
    Hittu, flour.
    Hon, gold.
    Hullu, grass.
    Ime, eyelid.
    In, sweet.
    Inichi, squirrel.
    Irani, earthen vessel used at marriages.
    Jali, Acacia arabica.
    Jirige, cummin seed.
    Jiva, life.
    Junju, cock's comb.
    Kadi, blade of grass.
    Katige, collyrium.
    Kadle (Bengal gram, Cicer arietinum).
    Kadu, wild.
    Kakke, Cassia Fistula.
    Kamadi, tortoise.
    Kanni, rope.
    Katte, embankment.
    Ken, red.
    Kenja, red ant.
    Kere, tank.
    Kesari, lion.
    Kinkila, Indian cuckoo, Eudynamis honorata.
    Koti, dagger.
    Kudure, horse.
    Kunte, pond.
    Kurivi, sparrow.
    Mallige, jasmine.
    Maralu, sand.
    Menasu, pepper or chillies.
    Midichi, locust.
    Mini, leather rope.
    Muchchu, broken rice.
    Muddu, kiss or love.
    Mullu, thorn.
    Naga, snake.
    Nellu, unhusked rice.
    Parama, highest.
    Raksha, protecting.
    Rama, lovely.
    Rikki, feather ?
    Salige, wire.
    Sampige, Michelia Champaca.
    Samsara, family.
    Sara, string.
    Sindhu, sea or flag ?
    Swarabha, sound.
    Tikke, gem.
    Uttama, best.
    Vanki, armlet.
    Vatte, camel.


Some of the above names also occur as exogamous septs, or sub-divisions
of other Canarese or Telugu classes, e.g.--


    Arashina, turmeric. Agasa, Kuruba, Odde.

    Bandi, cart. Kapu, Kavarai, Kuruba, Kuravan, Mala, Odde, Yanadi.

    Halu, milk. Holeya, Kuruba, Vakkaliga.

    Hon, gold. Kuruba, Odde.

    Jirige, cummin. Kuruba.

    Kudure, horse. Vakkaliga.

    Mallige, Malli, or Mallela, jasmine. Holeya, Kamma, Kuruba,
    Kuravan, Madiga, Mala, Odde, Tsakala.

    Menasu, pepper or chillies.  Kuruba.

    Sampigi or Sampangi, Michelia Champaca. Odde.


Kuruba.--Though plucky in hunting bears and leopards, the Kurubas at
Hospet were exceedingly fearful of myself and my methods, and were
only partially ingratiated by an offer of a money prize at one of the
wrestling combats, in which they delight, and of which I had a private
exhibition. The wrestlers, some of whom were splendid specimens of
muscularity, had, I noticed, the moustache clipped short, and hair
clean shaved at the back of the head, so that there was none for the
adversary to grip. One man, at the entreaties of an angry spouse,
was made to offer up the silver coin, presented by me in return for
the loan of his body for measurement, as bad money at the shrine of
Udachallama, together with two annas of his own as a peace-offering
to the goddess. The wives of two men (brothers), who came to me for
measurement, were left sobbing in the village. One, at the last moment,
refused to undergo the operation, on the principle that one should
be taken, and the other left. A man was heard, at question time, to
mutter "Why, when we are hardworking and poor, do we keep our hair,
while this rich and lazy Sahib has gone bald?" Another (I believe,
the tame village lunatic) was more complimentary, and exclaimed "We
natives are the betel leaf and nut. You, Sir, are the chunam (lime),
which makes them perfect."

Many of the Kurubas wear charms in the form of a string of black
sheep's wool, or thread tied round the arm or neck, sometimes with
sacred ashes wrapped inside, as a vow to some minor deity, or a four
anna piece to a superior deity. A priest wore a necklet of rudraksha
(Elæocarpus Ganitrus) beads, and a silver box, containing the material
for making the sacred marks on the forehead, pendent from a loin
string. His child wore a similar necklet, a copper ornament engraved
with cabalistic devices, and silver plate bearing a figure of Hanuman,
as all his other children had died, and a piece of pierced pottery
from the burial-ground, to ward off whooping-cough, suspended round
the neck. In colour-scale the Kurubas vary enormously, from very dark
to light brown. The possessor of the fairest skin, and the greatest
development of adipose tissue, was a sub-magistrate. At Hospet,
many had bushy mutton-chop whiskers. Their garments consisted of a
tight fitting pair of short drawers, white turban, and black kambli
(blanket), which does duty as overcoat, umbrella, and sack for bringing
in grass from the outlying country.

Some of the Kurubas are petty land-owners, and raise crops of cholam
(Andropogon Sorghum), rice, Hibiscus cannabinus, etc. Others are
owners of sheep, shepherds, weavers, cultivators, and stone-masons. The
manufacture of coarse blankets for wearing apparel is, to a very large
extent, carried on by the Kurubas. In connection with this industry,
I may quote the following extracts from my "Monograph on the woollen
fabric industry of the Madras Presidency" (1898).

Bellary.--In the Bellary Manual (1872), it is stated that "cumblies are
the great article of export, and the rugs made in the Kudligi taluk
are in great demand, and are sent to all parts of the country. They
are manufactured of various qualities, from the coarse elastic cumbly
used in packing raw cotton, price about six annas, to a fine kind
of blanket, price Rs. 6 to 8. In former times, a much finer fabric
was manufactured from the wool of the lamb when six months old,
and cumblies of this kind sold for Rs. 50 or Rs. 60. These are no
longer made." Coarse blankets are at present made in 193 villages,
the weavers being mostly Kurubas, who obtain the wool locally,
sun-dry it, and spin it into thread, which is treated with a watery
paste of tamarind seeds. The weaving is carried out as in the case of
an ordinary cotton cloth, the shuttle being a piece of wood hollowed
out on one side. Inside the ruined Maratha fort at Sandur dwells a
colony of Kurubas, whose profession is blanket-weaving. The preliminary
operations are performed by the women, and the weaving is carried out
by the men, who sit, each in his own pit, while they pass the shuttle
through the warp with repeated applications of tamarind paste from
a pot at their side.

Kurnool.--Blankets are manufactured in 39 villages. Sheep's wool is
beaten and cleaned, and spun into yarn with hand spindles. In the
case of the mutaka, or coarse cumblies used by the poorer classes, the
thread used for the warp is well rubbed with a gruel made of tamarind
seeds before being fitted up in the loom, which is generally in the
open air. In the case of jadi, or cumblies of superior quality used
as carpets, no gruel is used before weaving. But, when they are taken
off the loom, the weavers spread them out tight on a country cot,
pour boiling water over them, and rub them well with their hands,
until the texture becomes thick and smooth.

Kistna.--Both carpets and blankets are made at Masulipatam,
and blankets only, to a considerable extent, in the Gudivada
taluk. The Tahsildar of Nuzvid, in several villages of which taluk
the blanket-weaving industry is carried on, gives me the following
note. The sheep, of which it is intended to shear the wool, are first
bathed before shearing. If the wool is not all of the same colour, the
several colours are picked out, and piled up separately. This being
done, each separate pile is beaten, not as a whole, but bit by bit,
with a light stick of finger thickness. Then the cleaning process is
carried out, almost in the way adopted by cotton-spinners, but with a
smaller bow. Then the wool is spun into yarn with the help of a thin
short piece of stick, near the bottom of which a small flat, circular
or square weight of wood or pot-stone (steatite) is attached, so as
to match the force of the whirling given to the stick on the man's
thigh. After a quantity of yarn has been prepared, a paste is smeared
over it, to stiffen it, so that it can be easily passed through the
loom. The paste is prepared with kajagaddalu, or tamarind seeds, when
the former is not available. Kajagaddalu is a weed with a bulbous root,
sometimes as large as a water-melon. The root is boiled in water, and
the thin coating which covers it removed while it is still hot. The
root is then reduced to a pulp by beating in a mortar with frequent
sprinkling of water. The pulp is mixed with water, to make it sticky,
and applied to the yarn. Tamarind seeds are split in two, and soaked
in water for several hours. The outer coating then becomes detached,
and is removed. The seeds are beaten into a fine flour, and boiled
until this acquires the necessary consistency. They are then made
into a paste with water, and applied to the yarn.

Madura.--Coarse blankets are manufactured to a small extent by Kuruba
women in twenty-two villages of the Melur, Dindigul, and Palni taluks.

In the province of Mysore, parts of Chitaldrug and the town of Kolar
are noted for the manufacture of a superior kind of blanket, of fine
texture like homespun, by Kurubas. The wool is spun by the women.

By one section of the Kurubas, called Sunnata or Vasa (new) only
white blankets are said to be made.

The personal names of Kurubas are derived from their gods, Basappa,
Lingappa, Narasimha, Huliga, etc., with Ayya, Appa, or Anna as
affixes. An educational officer tells me that, when conducting a
primary examination, he came across a boy named Mondrolappa after
Sir Thomas Munro, who still lives in the affections of the people.

"It has," Mr. H. A. Stuart writes, [48] "been suggested that the name
Kuruba is a derivative of the Canarese root kuru, sheep (cf. Tamil
kori); but it has been objected to this that the Kurumbas were not
originally a purely shepherd tribe, and it is contended that the
particular kind of sheep called kori is so called because it is
the sheep of the Kurumbas. Again, the ancient lexicographer of the
Tamil language, Pingala Muni, defines Kurumban as Kurunila Mannar,
or petty chieftains. But the most common derivation is from the Tamil
kurumbu, wickedness, so that Kurumban means a wicked man. With this
may be compared the derivation of Kallan from kalavu, theft, and the
Kallans are now generally believed to have been closely connected
with, if not identical with the original Kurumbas. On the other hand,
the true derivation may be in the other direction, as in the case of
the Sclavs. The language of the Kurumbas is a dialect of Canarese,
and not of Tamil, as stated by Bishop Caldwell. It resembles the old
Canarese." Concerning the affinities of the Kurubas, Mr. Stuart states
that "they are the modern representatives of the ancient Pallavas,
who were once so powerful in Southern India. In the seventh century,
the power of the Pallava kings seems to have been at its zenith,
though very little trace of their greatness now remains; but, soon
after this, the Kongu, Chola, and Chalukya chiefs succeeded in winning
several victories over them, and the final overthrow of the Kurumba
sovereignty was effected by the Chola King Adondai about the eighth
century A.D., and the Kurumbas were scattered far and wide. Many
fled to the hills, and, in the Nilgiris and Wynad, in Coorg and
Mysore, representatives of this ancient race are now found as wild
and uncivilised tribes." Let me call anthropometric evidence, and
compare the Kurubas of Mysore and Bellary with the jungle Kurumbas
of the Nilgiris and the allied Kadirs and Mala Vedars, by means of
the two important physical characters, stature and nasal index.


            Stature.                       Nasal index.
            Average. Maximum. Minimum.   Average. Maximum. Minimum.
                 cm.      cm.      cm.

Kurubas,       163.9    176.4      155      73.2     85.9    62.3
Mysore
Kurubas,       162.7    175.4    153.4      74.9     92.2    63.3
Bellary
Kurumbas,      157.5    163.6    149.6      88.8    111.1    79.1
Nilgiris
Kadirs         157.7    169.4    148.6      89.8    115.4    72.9
Mala           154.2    163.8    140.8      84.9    102.6    71.1
Vedars


In this table, the wide gap which separates the domesticated Kurubas
of the Mysore Province and the adjacent Bellary district from the
conspicuously platyrhine and short-statured Kurumbas and other jungle
tribes, stands out prominently before any one who is accustomed to deal
on a large scale with bodies and noses. And I confess that I like to
regard the Kurumbas, Mala Vedars, Kadirs, Paniyans, and other allied
tribes of short stature with broad noses as the most archaic existing
inhabitants of the south of the Indian peninsula, and as having
dwelt in the jungles, unclothed, and living on roots, long before
the seventh century. The question of the connection between Kurubas
and Kurumbas is further discussed in the note on the latter tribe.

The popular tradition as to the origin of the caste is as
follows. Originally the Kurubas were Kapus. Their ancestors were Masi
Reddi and Nilamma, who lived on the eastern ghats by selling firewood,
and had six sons. Taking pity on their poverty, Siva came begging to
their house in the disguise of a Jangam, and gave Nilamma some sacred
ashes, while promising prosperity through the birth of another son,
who was called Undala Padmanna. The family became prosperous through
agriculture. But, unlike his six brothers, Undala Padmanna never went
out to work in the fields. They accordingly contrived to get rid of him
by asking him to set fire to some brushwood concealing a white-ant
hill, in the hope that the snake within it would kill him. But,
instead of a snake, an innumerable host of sheep appeared. Frightened
at the sight of these strange black beasts, Undala Padmanna took to
his heels. But Siva appeared, and told him that they were created
for his livelihood, and that he should rear them, and live by their
milk. He taught him how to milk the sheep and boil the milk, and sent
him to a distant town, which was occupied by Rakshasas, to fetch
fire. There the giants were keeping in bondage a Brahman girl, who
fell in love with Undala Padmanna. They managed to escape from the
clutches of the Rakshasas by arranging their beds over deep pits,
which were dug for their destruction. To save her lover, the girl
transformed him into a lizard. She then went with him to the place
where his flock was, and Undala Padmanna married a girl of his own
caste, and had male offspring by her as well as the Brahman. At the
marriage of these sons, a thread kankanam (bracelet) was tied to the
wrist of the caste woman's offspring, and a woollen kankanam to that
of the Brahman girl's sons. The sons of the former were, therefore,
called Atti (cotton) Kankanadavaru, and those of the latter Unni
(woollen) Kankanadavaru. The latter are considered inferior, as they
are of hybrid origin. A third sub-division is that of the Ande Kurubas,
named after the small vessel (ande) used in milking goats. In a note
on the Kurubas of Alur, Thikka, meaning a simpleton, is given as
the name of an important division. It is noted in the Mysore Census
Report, 1901, that the Kurubas have not taken kindly to education,
and are by nature so simple that Kuruba has, in some places, become
a byword for a simpleton. The Kurubas are also known as Halu Mata,
or milk caste, as they believe that they were created out of milk
by Revana Siddeswara. In Hindustani they are called Dhangars, or
rich people. Some, in spite of their poor dress and appearance,
are well-to-do. At the Madras census, 1901, Kavadiga, Kumpani,
and Rayarvamsam (Raja's clan) were returned by some members of the
community. In Mysore, the Kurubas are said [49] to be divided into
Hande Kurubas and Kurubas proper, who have no intercourse with one
another. The latter worship Bire Devaru, and are Saivites. According
to another account, the Halu Kurubas of Mysore have sub-divisions
according to the day of the week, on which they offer puja to their
god, e.g., Aditya Varada (Sunday), Brihaspati Varada (Thursday),
Soma Varada (Monday).

"The Kurubas," Mr. H. A. Stuart writes, "are again sub-divided into
clans or gumpus, each having a headman or guru called a gaudu, who
gives his name to the clan. And the clans are again sub-divided
into gotras or septs, which are mostly of totemistic origin, and
retain their totemistic character to this day. The Arisana gotram is
particularly worthy of notice. The name means saffron (turmeric),
and this was originally taboo; but, as this caused inconvenience,
the korra grain has been substituted, although the old name of the
sept was retained."


    Exogamous septs.

    Agni, fire.
    Alige, drum.
    Andara, booth.
    Ane, elephant.
    Arashina or Arisana, turmeric.
    Arathi, wave offering.
    Ari, ebony.
    Ariya, noble.
    Avu, snake.
    Bandi, cart.
    Banni (Prosopis spicigera).
    Basale (Basella rubra).
    Batlu, cup.
    Belata (Feronia elephantum).
    Belli, silver.
    Belu (Ægle Marmelos).
    Bende (Hibiscus esculentus).
    Benise, flint.
    Bevu or Bevina (Melia Azadirachta).
    Binu, roll of woollen thread.
    Bola, bangle.
    Chandra, moon.
    Chelu, scorpion.
    Chilla (Strychnos potatorum).
    Chinna or Sinnata, gold.
    Deva, a tree.
    Emme, buffalo.
    Gali, devil.
    Gauda, headman.
    Gulimi, pick-axe.
    Halu, milk.
    Hatti, hut.
    Honnungara, gold ring.
    Ibabire, tortoise.
    Irula, darkness.
    Iruvu, black ant.
    Jelakuppa, a fish.
    Jirige, cummin.
    Jivala, an insect.
    Kalle, bengal gram.
    Kanchu, bell-metal.
    Kavada, coloured border of a cloth.
    Kombu, stick.
    Kori, blanket.
    Mana, measure.
    Malli, jasmine.
    Menusu, pepper.
    Minchu, metal toe-ring.
    Mise, moustache.
    Mugga, loom.
    Muttu, pearl.
    Nali, bamboo tube.
    Nayi, dog.
    Othu, goat.
    Putta, ant-hill; snake hole.
    Ratna, precious stones.
    Samanti or Savanti (Chrysanthemum).
    Same (millet: Panicum miliare).
    Samudra, ocean.
    Sankhu, conch-shell.
    Sarige, lace.
    Surya, sun.
    Thuppa, clarified butter.
    Turaka, Muhammadan.
    Ungara, ring.
    Uppiri, earth-salt.


The titles of members of the caste are Gauda or Heggade, and
the more prosperous go by the name of Kaudikiaru, a corruption
of Gaudikiaru. Many, at the present day, have adopted the title
Nayakkan. Some are called Gorava Vandlu.

According to Mr. Stuart, "each community of Kurubas, residing in a
group of villages, has a headman or Gaudu. He acts the part of pujari
or priest in all their ceremonies, presides over their tribal meetings,
and settles disputes. He is paid four annas, or, as they call it,
one ruka per house per annum. He is a strict vegetarian, and will not
eat with other Kurubas." The headman or guru of the caste in Bellary
goes by the name of Revana Siddeswara, and he wears the lingam, and
follows the Lingayat creed. Sometimes he dines with his people, and,
on these occasions, new cooking pots must be used. He exercises the
power of inflicting fines, excommunicating those who have had illicit
intercourse with Boyas, Muhammadans, and others, etc. The Kurubas
in Bellary and Anantapur are said to pay three pies to their guru
for every blanket which they sell. The name of the tribal headman at
Alur is Kattaiyintivadu, i.e., shed with a pial or raised verandah
in front of it. Among both Kurubas and Bedars, a special building,
built by public subscription, and called the katta-illu or chavadi, is
set apart for council meetings, at which tribal affairs are discussed
and decided.

When a girl reaches puberty, she is kept in a corner of the house for
eight days. On the ninth day she bathes, and food is taken to her by
an old woman of the house. Kuruba women are invited to be present in
the evening. The girl, covered with a blanket, is seated on a raised
place. Those assembled throw rice over her feet, knees, shoulders,
and head, and into her lap. Coloured turmeric and lime water is then
waved three or five times round her, and ravikes (body-cloths) are
presented to her.

The following account of the marriage ceremonial was recorded in
Western Bellary. When a marriage has been settled between the parents
of the young people, visits are exchanged by the two families. On
a fixed day, the contracting couple sit on a blanket at the bride's
house, and five women throw rice over five parts of the body as at
the menstrual ceremony. Betel leaves and areca-nuts are placed before
them, of which the first portion is set apart for the god Birappa,
the second for the Gauda, another for the house god, and so on up
to the tenth. A general distribution then takes place The ceremony,
which is called sakshi vilya or witness betel-leaf, is brought to a
conclusion by waving in front of the couple a brass vessel, over the
mouth of which five betel leaves and a ball of ashes are placed. They
then prostrate themselves before the guru. For the marriage ceremony,
the services of the guru, a Jangam, or a Brahman priest, are called
into requisition. Early on the wedding morning, the bridal couple are
anointed and washed. A space, called the irani square, is marked out
by placing at the four corners a pot filled with water. Round each pot
a cotton thread is wound five times. Similar thread is also tied to
the milk-post of the marriage pandal (booth), which is made of pipal
(Ficus religiosa) wood. Within the square a pestle, painted with
red and white stripes, is placed, on which the bride and bridegroom,
with two young girls, seat themselves. Rice is thrown over them, and
they are anointed and washed. To each a new cloth is given, in which
they dress themselves, and the wrist-thread (kankanam) is tied on all
four. Presents are given by relations, and arathi (red water) is waved
round them. The bridegroom is decorated with a bashingam (chaplet
of flowers), and taken on a bull to a Hanuman shrine along with his
best man. Cocoanuts, camphor, and betel are given to the priest as
an offering to the god. According to another account, both bride and
bridegroom go to the shrine, where a matron ties on their foreheads
chaplets of flowers, pearls, etc. At the marriage house a dais has
been erected close to the milk-post, and covered with a blanket, on
which a mill-stone and basket filled with cholum (Andropogon Sorghum)
are placed. The bridegroom, standing with a foot on the stone and
the bride with a foot on the basket, the gold tali, after it has been
touched by five married women, is tied round the bride's neck by the
officiating priest, while those assembled throw rice over the happy
pair, and bless them. According to another version, a bed-sheet is
interposed as a screen, so that the bride and bridegroom cannot see
each other. On the three following days, the newly-married couple sit
on the blanket, and rice is thrown over them. In Western Bellary, the
bridegroom, on the third day, carries the bride on his waist to Hanuman
temple, where married women throw rice over them. On the fifth morning,
they are once more anointed and washed within the irani square, and,
towards evening, the bride's father hands her over to her husband,
saying "She was till this time a member of my sept and house. Now I
hand her over to your sept and house." On the night of the sixth day,
a ceremony called booma idothu (food placing) is performed. A large
metal vessel (gangalam) is filled with rice, ghi (clarified butter),
curds, and sugar. Round this some of the relations of the bride and
bridegroom sit, and finish off the food. The number of those, who
partake thereof must be an odd one, and they must eat the food as
quickly as possible. If anything goes wrong with them, while eating
or afterwards, it is regarded as an omen of impending misfortune. Some
even consider it as an indication of the bad character of the bride.

Concerning the marriage ceremony of the Kurubas of North Arcot,
Mr. Stuart writes as follows. "As a preliminary to the marriage,
the bridegroom's father observes certain marks or curls on the
head of the proposed bride. Some of these are believed to forebode
prosperity, and others only misery to the family, into which the girl
enters. They are, therefore, very cautious in selecting only such
girls as possess curls (suli) of good fortune. This curious custom,
obtaining among this primitive tribe, is observed by others only in
the case of the purchase of cows, bulls, and horses. One of the good
curls is the bashingam found on the forehead; and the bad ones are the
peyanakallu at the back of the head, and the edirsuli near the right
temple. But widowers seeking for wives are not generally particular
in this respect. [As bad curls are supposed to cause the death of
the man who is their possessor, she is, I am informed, married to a
widower.] The marriage is celebrated in the bridegroom's house, and,
if the bride belongs to a different village, she is escorted to that
of the bridegroom, and is made to wait in a particular spot outside
it, selected for the occasion. On the first day of the marriage,
purna kumbam, a small decorated vessel containing milk or ghi, with
a two-anna piece and a cocoanut placed on the betel leaf spread over
the mouth of it, is taken by the bridegroom's relations to meet the
bride's party. Therethe distribution of pan supari takes place,
and both parties return to the village. Meanwhile, the marriage
booth is erected, and twelve twigs of naval (Eugenia Jambolana)
are tied to the twelve pillars, the central or milk post, under
which the bridal pair sit, being smeared with turmeric, and a yellow
thread being tied thereto. At an auspicious hour of the third day,
the couple are made to sit in the booth, the bridegroom facing the
east, and the bride facing west. On a blanket spread near the kumbam,
2 1/2 measures of rice, a tali or bottu, one cocoanut, betel leaf and
camphor are placed. The Gaudu places a ball of vibhuti (sacred ashes)
thereon, breaks a cocoanut, and worships the kumbam, while camphor
is burnt. The Gaudu next takes the tali, blesses it, and gives it to
the bridegroom, who ties it round the bride's neck. The Gaudu then,
throwing rice on the heads of the pair, recites a song, in which
the names of various people are mentioned, and concluding 'Oh! happy
girl; Oh! prosperous girl; Basava has come; remove your veil.' The
girl then removes her veil, and the men and women assembled throw
rice on the heads of the bridal pair. The ends of their garments are
then tied together, and two girls and three boys are made to eat out
of the plates placed before the married couple. A feast to all their
relations completes the ceremony. The Gaudu receives 2 1/2 measures
of rice, five handfuls of nuts and betel leaf, and twelve saffrons
(pieces of turmeric) as his fee. Even though the girl has attained
puberty, the nuptial ceremony is not coincident with the wedding, but
is celebrated a few months later." In like manner, among the Kammas,
Gangimakkulu, and other classes, consummation does not take place
until three months after the marriage ceremony, as it is considered
unlucky to have three heads of a family in a household during the
first year of marriage. By the delay, the birth of a child should
take place only in the second year, so that, during the first year,
there will be only two heads, husband and wife. At a marriage among
the Kurubas of the Madura district, a chicken is waved in front of
the contracting couple, to avert the evil eye. The maternal uncle's
consent to a marriage is necessary, and, at the wedding, he leads the
bride to the pandal. A Kuruba may, I am informed, marry two sisters,
either on the death of one of them, or if his first wife has no issue,
or suffers from an incurable disease. Some twenty years ago, when
an unmarried Kuruba girl was taken to a temple, to be initiated as
a Basavi (dedicated prostitute), the caste men prosecuted the father
as a protest against the practice.

In the North Arcot district, according to Mr. Stuart, "the mother
and child remain in a separate hut for the first ten days after
delivery. On the eleventh day, all the Kuruba females of the village
bring each a pot of hot water, and bathe the mother and child. Betel
and nuts are distributed, and all the people of the village eat in
the mother's house. On the next market-day, her husband, with some of
his male friends, goes to a neighbouring market, and consults with
a Korava or Yerukala what name is to be given to the child, and the
name he mentions is then given to it." In a case which came before
the police in the Bellary district in 1907, a woman complained that
her infant child had been taken away, and concealed in the house of
another woman, who was pregnant. The explanation of the abduction was
that there is a belief that, if a pregnant woman keeps a baby in her
bed, she will have no difficulty at the time of delivery.

Remarriage of widows is permitted. The ceremony is performed in
a temple or dark room, and the tali is tied by a widow, a woman
dedicated to the deity, or a Dasayya (mendicant) of their own
caste. According to another account, a widow is not allowed to wear a
tali, but is presented with a cloth. Hence widow marriage is called
Sire Udiki. Children of widows are married into families in which
no widow remarriage has taken place, and are treated like ordinary
members of the community.

In Western Bellary I gathered that the dead are buried, those
who have been married with the face upwards, others with the face
downwards. The grave is dug north and south, and the head is placed
to the south. Earth is thrown into the grave by relations before it
is filled in. A mound is raised over it, and three stones are set up,
over the head, navel, and feet. The eldest son of the deceased places
on his left shoulder a pot filled with water, in the bottom of which
three small holes are made, through which the water escapes. Proceeding
from the spot beneath which the head rests, he walks round the grave,
and then drops the pot so that it falls on the mound, and goes home
without looking back. This ceremony is a very important one with both
Kurubas and Bedars. In the absence of a direct heir, he who carries the
pot claims the property of the deceased, and is considered to be the
inheritor thereof. For the propitiation of ancestors, cooked rice and
sweetmeats, with a new turban and cloth or petticoat, according to the
sex of the deceased, are offered up. Ancestors who died childless,
unless they left property, do not receive homage. It is noted,
in the Bellary Gazetteer, that "an unusual rite is in some cases
observed after deaths, a pot of water being worshipped in the house
on the eleventh day after the funeral, and taken the next morning and
emptied in some lonely place. The ceremony is named the calling back
of the dead, but its real significance is not clear."

Of the death ceremonies in the North Arcot district, Mr. Stuart
writes that "the son, or, in his absence, a near relative goes round
the grave three times, carrying a pot of water, in which he makes
a hole at each round. On the third round he throws down the pot,
and returns home straight, without turning his face towards the
direction of the grave. For three days, the four carriers of the bier
are not admitted into their houses, but they are fed at the cost of
the deceased's heir. On the the third day, cooked rice, a fowl and
water are taken to the burial-ground, and placed near the grave, to
be eaten by the spirit of the dead. The son, and all his relations,
return home, beating on their mouths. Pollution is observed for ten
days, and, on the eleventh day, sheep and fowls are killed, and a
grand feast is given to the Kurumbas of the village. Before the feast
commences, a leaf containing food is placed in a corner of the house,
and worshipped. This is removed on the next morning, and placed over
the roof, to be eaten by crows. If the deceased be a male, the glass
bangles worn by his wife on her right arm are broken on the same day."

The patron saint of the Kurubas is Birappa or Biradevaru, and they
will not ride on horses or ponies, as these are the vehicles of the
god. But they worship, in addition, various minor deities, e.g.,
Uligamma, Mallappa, Anthargattamma, Kencharaya, and have their house
gods, who are worshipped either by a house or by an entire exogamous
sept. In some places, Mariamma and Sunkulamma are worshipped on Tuesday
and Friday, and the sheep and other offerings are the perquisite of
Boyas, Malas, and Madigas. Some families of Kuruba Dasaris reverence
a goddess called Hombalamma, who is worshipped secretly by a pujari
(priest) at dead of night. Everything used in connection with the rite
is buried or otherwise disposed of before morning. The Kurubas show
reverence for the jammi tree (Prosopis spicigera) and ashwatham (Ficus
religiosa) by not cutting them. It was noticed by Mr. F. Fawcett that,
at the temples of the village goddesses Wannathamma and Durgamma in the
Bellary district, an old Kuruba woman performs the daily worship. In
the mantapam of the temple at Lepakshi, in the Anantapur district,
"is the sculptured figure of a man leaning his chin upon his hands,
which is said to represent a Kuruba who once acted as mediator between
the builder of the temple and his workmen in a dispute about wages. The
image is still bathed in oil, and worshipped by the local Kurubas,
who are proud of the important part played by their caste-man." [50]
In Mysore, the Kurubas are said to worship a box, which they believe
contains the wearing apparel of Krishna under the name of Junjappa. One
of the goddesses worshipped by the Kurubas is named Kelu Devaru or Mane
Hennu Devaru, the pot or household deity. She is worshipped annually
at the Dasara festival, and, on occasions of marriage, just before
the tali is tied. The pot is made by a Kumbara (potter), who is well
paid for his work. During its manufacture, he has to take only one
meal daily, and to avoid pollution of all kinds. The clay should be
kneaded with the hands, and wetted with milk, milk of tender cocoanuts,
and water. When at work on it, the potter should close his mouth with
a bandage, so that his breath may not defile the pot. The Kurubas who
are settled in the Madura district reverence Vira Lakkamma (Lakshmi)
as their family deity, and an interesting feature in connection with
the worship of their goddess is that cocoanuts are broken on the head
of a special Kuruba, who becomes possessed by the deity.

The Kurubas are ancestor worshippers, and many of them have in their
possession golden discs called hitharadha tali, with the figures of one
or more human beings stamped on them. The discs are made by Akasales
(goldsmiths), who stamp them from steel dies. They are either kept
in the house, or worn round the neck by women. If the deceased was
a celebrity in the community, a large plate is substituted for a disc.

Concerning the religion of the Kurubas, Mr. Francis writes as
follows. "The most striking point about the caste is its strong
leaning towards the Lingayat faith. Almost everywhere, Jangams are
called in as priests, and allegiance to the Lingayat maths (religious
institutions) is acknowledged, and in places (Kamalapuram for example),
the ceremonies at weddings and funerals have been greatly modified
in the direction of the Lingayat pattern." [51] "In the North Arcot
district, the Gaudu is entrusted with the custody of a golden image
representing the hero of the clan, and keeps it carefully in a small
box filled with turmeric powder. There are also some images set up in
temples built for the purpose. Once a year, several neighbouring clans
assemble at one of their bigger temples, which is lighted with ghi,
and, placing their images in a row, offer to them flowers, cocoanuts,
milk, etc., but they do not slay any victim. On the last day of
their festival, the Kurumbas take a bath, worship a bull, and break
cocoanuts upon the heads of pujaris who have an hereditary right to
this distinction, and upon the head of the sacred bull. Some Kurumbas
do not adopt this apparently inhuman practice. A pujari or priest,
supposed to have some supernatural power, officiates, and begins by
breaking a few nuts on the heads of those nearest to him, and then the
rest go on, the fragments belonging by right to those whose skulls have
cracked them, and who value the pieces as sacred morsels of food. For
a month before this ceremony, all the people have taken no meat, and
for three days the pujaris have lived on fruits and milk alone. At
the feast, therefore, all indulge in rather immoderate eating, but
drink no liquor, calling excitedly upon their particular god to grant
them a prosperous year. The temples of this caste are usually rather
extensive, but rude, low structures, resembling an enclosed mantapam
supported upon rough stone pillars, with a small inner shrine, where
the idols are placed during festival time. A wall of stone encloses
a considerable space round the temple, and this is covered with
small structures formed of four flat stones, three being the walls,
and the fourth the roof. The stone facing the open side has a figure
sculptured upon it, representing the deceased Gaudu, or pujari, to
whom it is dedicated. For each person of rank one of these monuments
is constructed, and here periodically, and always during the annual
feasts, puja is made not only to the spirits of the deceased chiefs,
but also to those of all who have died in the clan. It seems impossible
not to connect this with those strange structures called by the natives
Pandava's temples. They are numerous where the Kurumbas are now found,
and are known to have been raised over the dead. Though the Kurumbas
bury, they do not now raise their monuments over the resting place of
the corpse. Nor can they build them upon anything approaching to the
gigantic scale of the ancient kistvaen or dolmen." [52] It was noted
by a correspondent of the Indian Antiquary [53] that, in the Kaladgi
'district,' he "came across the tomb of a Kuruba only four years
old. It was a complete miniature dolmen about eighteen inches every
way, composed of four stones, one at each side, one at the rear, and
a cap-stone. The interior was occupied by two round stones about the
size of a man's fist, painted red, the deceased resting in his mother
earth below." In the open country near Kadur in Mysore, is a shrine
of Biradevaru, which consists of four stone pillars several feet
in height surmounted by flat slabs as a cap-stone, within which the
deity is represented by round stones, and stones with snakes carved
on them are deposited. Within the Kuruba quarter of the town, the
shrine of Anthargattamma is a regular dolmen beneath a margosa (Melia
Azadirachta) tree, in which the goddess is represented by rounded
stones imbedded in a mound of earth. Just outside the same town,
close to a pipal tree (Ficus religiosa) are two smaller dolmen-like
structures containing stones representing two Kuruba Dasaris, one a
centenarian, who are buried there.

"The village of Maliar, in the Hadagalli taluk of the Bellary district,
contains a Siva temple, which is famous throughout the district
for an annual festival held there in the month of February. This
festival has now dwindled more or less into a cattle fair. But the
fame of the temple continues as regards the karanika, which is a
cryptic sentence uttered by a priest, containing a prophecy of the
prospect of the agricultural season of the ensuing year. The pujari
of the temple is a Kuruba. The feast in the temple lasts for ten
days. On the last day of the feast, the god Siva is represented as
returning victorious from the battlefield after having slain Malla
with a huge bow. He is met half-way from the field of battle by the
goddess. The huge wooden bow is brought, and placed on end before
the god. The Kuruba priest climbs up the bow as it is held up by
two assistants, and then gets on the shoulders of these men. In
this posture he stands rapt in silence for a few minutes, looking
in several directions. He then begins to quake and quiver from head
to foot. This is the sign of the spirit of the Siva god possessing
him--the sign of the divine afflatus upon him. A solemn silence
holds the assembly, for the time of the karanika has approached. The
shivering Kuruba utters a cryptic sentence, such as Akasakke sidlu
bodiyuttu, or thunder struck the sky. This is at once copied down,
and interpreted as a prophecy that there will be much rain in the year
to come. Thus every year, in the month of February, the karanika of
Mailar is uttered and copied, and kept by all in the district as a
prophecy. This karanika prognostication is also pronounced now at the
Mallari temple in the Dharwar district, at Nerakini in the Alur taluk,
and at Mailar Lingappa in the Harapanahalli taluk." [54]

The rule of inheritance among the Kurubas is said [55] to differ
very little from that current among Hindus, but the daughters, if
the deceased has no son, share equally with the agnates. They belong
to the right-hand faction, and have the privilege of passing through
the main bazars in processions. Some Mudalis and 'Naidus' are said
to have no objection to eat, drink, and smoke with Kurubas. Gollas
and some inferior flesh-eating Kapus will also do so.

Kuruhina Setti Viraisaivar.--A synonym of Kurni. Kuruhina means
literally a sign, mark, or token. Kuruvina Banajiga occurs as a
synonym of Bilimagga.

Kurukkal.--See Gurukkal (Brahman).

Kurukula Vamsam.--The name, derived from Kuru, the ancestor of the
Kauravas, assumed by some Pattanavans.

Kurumba or Kuruman.--As bearing on the disputed question of the
connection between the Kurumbas who dwell in the jungle, and the
Kurubas (shepherds and weavers) who live in the plains and open
country, I may quote the evidence of various witnesses:--

Madras Census Report, 1891.--"The Kurumbas or Kurrubas are the modern
representatives of the ancient Kurumbas or Pallavas, who were once
so powerful throughout Southern India, but very little trace of their
greatness now remains. In the seventh century, the power of the Pallava
kings seems to have been at its zenith; but, shortly after this,
the Kongu, Chola, and Chalukya chiefs succeeded in winning several
victories over them. The final overthrow of the Kurumba sovereignty
was effected by the Chola king Adondai about the seventh or eighth
century A.D., and the Kurumbas were scattered far and wide. Many
fled to the hills, and in the Nilgiris and the Wynad, in Coorg and
Mysore, representatives of this ancient race are now found as wild
and uncivilised tribes. Elsewhere the Kurumbas are more advanced,
and are usually shepherds, and weavers of coarse woollen blankets."

"Kuruman.--This caste is found in the Nilgiris and the Wynad, with a
slight sprinkling in the Nilambur and Attapadi hills in Malabar. Their
principal occupations are wood-cutting, and the collection of forest
produce. The name is merely another form of Kurumban, but, as they
differ from the ordinary Kurumbas, it seemed better to show them
separately. I think, however, that they were originally identical with
the shepherd Kurumbans, and their present separation is merely the
result of their isolation in the fastnesses of the Western Ghats,
to which their ancestors fled, or gradually retreated after the
downfall of the Kurumba dynasty. The name Kurumbranad, a sub-division
of Malabar, still bears testimony to their once powerful position."

Madras Census Report, 1901--"Kuruba; Kurumban.--These two have always
been treated as the same caste. Mr. Thurston (Madras Mus. Bull. II,
i) thinks they are distinct. I have no new information, which will
clearly decide the matter, but the fact seems to be that Kurumban is
the Tamil form of the Telugu or Canarese Kuruba, and that the two
terms are applied to the same caste according to the language in
which it is referred to. There was no confusion in the abstraction
offices between the two names, and it will be seen that Kuruba is
returned where Canarese and Telugu are spoken, and Kurumban where
the vernacular is Tamil. There are two sharply defined bodies of
Kurumbans--those who live on the Nilgiri plateau, speak the Kurumba
dialect, and are wild junglemen; and those who live on the plains,
speak Canarese, and are civilised."

Mysore Census Report, 1891--Kadu Kuruba or Kurumba.--"The tribal name
of Kuruba has been traced to the primeval occupation of the race,
viz., the tending of sheep, perhaps when pre-historic man rose to
the pastoral stage. The Uru or civilised Kurubas, who are genuine
tillers of the soil, and who are dotted over the country in populous
and thriving communities, and many of whom have, under the present
'Pax Britannica,' further developed into enterprising tradesmen and
withal lettered Government officials, are the very antipodes of the
Kadu or wild Kurubas or Kurumbas. The latter, like the Iruligas and
Soligas, are the denizens of the backwoods of the country, and have
been correctly classed under the aboriginal population. The Tamilised
name of Kurumba is applied to certain clans dwelling on the heights
of the Nilgiris, who are doubtless the offshoots of the aboriginal
Kadu Kuruba stock found in Mysore."

W. R. King. Aboriginal Tribes of the Nilgiri Hills--"Kurumbas.--This
tribe is of another race from the shepherd Kurumbas. The Nilgiri tribe
have neither cattle nor sheep, and in language, dress, and customs,
have no affinity whatever with their namesakes."

G. Oppert. Original Inhabitants of India--"Kurubas or
Kurumbas.--However separated from each other, and scattered among the
Dravidian clans with whom they have dwelt, and however distant from
one another they still live, there is hardly a province in the whole
of Bharatavarasha which cannot produce, if not some living remnants
of this race, at least some remains of past times which prove their
presence. Indeed, the Kurumbas must be regarded as very old inhabitants
of this land, who can contest with their Dravidian kinsmen the priority
of occupation of the Indian soil. The terms Kuruba and Kurumba are
originally identical, though the one form is, in different places,
employed for the other, and has thus occasionally assumed a special
local meaning. Mr. H. B. Grigg appears to contradict himself when,
while speaking of the Kurumbas, he says that 'in the low country they
are called Kurubas or Curubaru, and are divided into such families
as Ane or elephant, Naya or dog, Male or hill Kurumbas.' [56] Such
a distinction between mountain Kurumbas and plain Kurumbas cannot be
established. The Rev. G. Richter will find it difficult to prove that
the Kurubas of Mysore are only called so as shepherds, and that no
connection exists between these Kurubas and the Kurumbas. Mr. Lewis
Rice calls the wild tribes as well as the shepherds Kurubas, but
seems to overlook the fact that both terms are identical, and refer
to only the ethnological distinction."

The above extracts will suffice for the purpose of showing that
the distinction between the jungle Kurumbas and the more civilised
Kurubas, and their relationship towards each other, call for a
'permanent settlement.' And I may briefly place on record the results
of anthropometric observations on the jungle Kurumbas of the Nilgiris,
and the domesticated Kurubas of Mysore and the Bellary district,
whose stature and nasal index (two factors of primary importance)
are compared with those of the jungle Paniyans of Malabar and Kadirs
of the Anaimalai mountains--


    ===================+==========+===============+=============
                       | Stature. |  Nasal index. | Nasal index.
           ====        | Average. |    Average.   |   Maximum.
    ===================+==========+===============+=============
                       |    cm.   |               |
    Kurubas, Bellary   |   162.7  |      74.9     |     92
    Kurubas, Mysore    |   163.9  |      73.2     |     86
    Kurumbas, Nilgiris |   157.5  |      88.8     |    111
    Paniyans           |   157.4  |      95.1     |    108
    Kadirs             |   151.7  |      89       |    115
    ===================+==========+===============+=============


A glance at the above table at once shows that there is a closer
affinity between the three dark-skinned, short, platyrhine jungle
tribes, than between the jungle Kurumbas and the lighter-skinned,
taller, and more leptorhine Kurubas.

The domesticated Kurubas are dealt with separately, and, in the
remarks which follow, I am dealing solely with the jungle Kurumbas.

The Kadu, or wild Kurumbas of Mysore are divided into "(a) Betta
or hill Kurumbas, with sub-divisions called Ane (elephant), Bevina
(nim tree: Melia Azadirachta), and Kolli (fire-brand)--a small
and active race, capable of great fatigue, who are expert woodmen;
(b) Jenu or honey Kurumbas, said to be a darker and inferior race,
who employ themselves in collecting honey and bees-wax." [57]

For the following note on the Kadu Kurumbas I am indebted to the Mysore
Census Report, 1891. "There are two clans among them, viz., Bettada
and Jenu. The former worship the forest deities Narali and Mastamma;
eat flesh and "drink liquor, a favourite beverage being prepared from
ragi (Eleusine Coracana) flour. Some of their habits and customs are
worth mentioning, as indicating their plane of civilization. They have
two forms of marriage. One is similar to the elaborate ceremony among
the Vakkaligas, while the other is the simple one of a formal exchange
of betel leaves and areca nuts, which concludes the nuptials. The
Kadu Kurubas can only eat meals prepared by members of the higher
castes. During their periodical illnesses, the females live outside
the limits of the Hadi (group of rude huts) for three days. And, in
cases of childbirth, none but the wet nurse or other attendant enters
the room of the confined woman for ten days. In cases of sickness, no
medical treatment is resorted to; on the other hand, exorcisms, charms,
incantations, and animal sacrifices are more generally in vogue. The
male's dress consists of either a bit of cloth to cover their nudity,
or a piece of coarse cloth tied round the waist, and reaching to the
knees. They wear ornaments of gold, silver, or brass. They are their
own barbers, and use broken glass for razors. The females wear coarse
cloth four yards long, and have their foreheads tattooed in dots of
two or three horizontal lines, and wear ear-rings, glass bangles,
and necklaces of black beads. Strangers are not allowed to enter
their hadis or hamlets with shoes or slippers on. In case of death,
children are buried, whilst adults are burned. On the occurrence of
any untoward event, the whole site is abandoned, and a new hadi set
up in the vicinity. The Kadu Kurubas are very active, and capable of
enduring great fatigue. It is said that they are revengeful, but,
if treated kindly, they will do willing service. The Jenu Kurubas
live in small detached huts in the interior of thick jungles, far
away from inhabited places. Their habits are no less wild. The male
dress consists of either a woollen kambli or coarse cloth, and a skull
cap. The female's sadi is white coarse cloth, their wonted ornaments
being a pair of brass ear-rings, strings of black beads tied round
the neck, and glass bangles on the wrist. These people do not allow
to outcasts and Musalmans access to their premises, or permit shoes
being brought into their houses or streets. They eat flesh, and take
meals from Vakkaligas, Lingayats, and other superior castes. They
subsist on wild bamboo seed, edible roots, etc., found in the jungle,
often mixed with honey. They are said not unfrequently to make a
dessert out of bees in preference to milk, ghi (clarified butter),
etc. They are engaged chiefly in felling timber in the forests, and
other similar rude pursuits, but they never own or cultivate land for
themselves, or keep live-stock of their own. They are very expert in
tracking wild animals, and very skilfully elude accidental pursuits
thereby. Their children, more than two years old, move about freely
in the jungle. They are said to be hospitable to travellers visiting
their place at any unusual hour. They are Saivites, and Jangams are
their gurus. The ceremonial pollution on account of death lasts for
ten days, as with the Brahmans. Children are buried, while adults,
male or female, are cremated. A curious trait of this primitive race
is that the unmarried females of the village or hadi generally sleep
in a hut or chavadi set apart for them, whilst the adult bachelors
and children have a separate building, both under the eye of the head
tribesman. The hut for the latter is called pundugar chavadi, meaning
literally the abode of vagabonds." The Jenu Kurumbas are said to eat,
and the Betta Kurumbas to abstain from eating the flesh of the 'bison'
(Bos gaurus).

In a note on the Jenu and Betta Kurumbas of Mysore,
Mr. M. Venkatanarnappa writes as follows. "The Betta are better clothed
and fed than the Jen Kurumbas. Their occupation is kumri (burning and
shifting) cultivation. Their women are clever at basket-making. They
can be distinguished by the method of dress which their women have
adopted, and the way in which the men wear their hair. A Betta woman
covers her body below the shoulders by tying a long cloth round
the arm-pits, leaving shoulders and arms bare, whereas a Jen woman
in good circumstances dresses up like the village females, and, if
poor, ties a piece of cloth round her loins, and wears another to
partially conceal the upper part of her body. Among males, a Betta
Kurumba leaves his hair uncut, and gathers it from fore and aft into
a knot tied on the crown of the head. A Jen Kurumba shaves like the
ryots, leaving a tuft behind, or clips or crops it, with a curly or
bushy growth to protect the head from heat and cold. The Betta and
Jen Kurumbas never intermarry." The Betta Kurumbas are, I am told,
excellent elephant mahauts (drivers), and very useful at keddah
(elephant-catching) operations.

Of the Kadu and Betta Kurumbas, as they were at the beginning of the
nineteenth century, the following account is given by Buchanan. [58]
"The Cad Curubaru are a rude tribe, who are exceedingly poor and
wretched. In the fields near the villages, they build miserable low
huts, have a few rags only for clothing, and the hair of both sexes
stands out matted like a mop, and swarms with vermin. Some of them
hire themselves out as labouring servants to the farmers, and receive
monthly wages. Others, in crop seasons, watch the fields at night,
to keep off elephants and wild hogs. In the intervals between crops,
they work as daily labourers, or go into the woods, and collect the
roots of wild yams (Dioscorea), part of which they eat, and part
exchange with the farmers for grain. Their manner of driving away
the elephant is by running against him with a burning torch made of
bamboos. The animal sometimes turns, waits till the Curubaru comes
close up; but these poor people, taught by experience, push boldly
on, dash their torches against the elephant's head, who never fails
to take to immediate flight. Should their courage fail, and should
they attempt to run away, the elephant would immediately pursue, and
put them to death. The Curubaru have no means of killing so large
an animal, and, on meeting with one in the day-time, are as much
alarmed as any other of the inhabitants. During the Sultan's reign
they caught a few in pitfalls. [I have heard of a clever Kurumba,
who caught an elephant by growing pumpkins and vegetable marrow,
for which elephants have a partiality, over a pit on the outskirts
of his field.--E.T.] The wild hogs are driven out of the fields
by slings, but they are too fierce for the Curubaru to kill. These
people frequently suffer from tigers, against which their wretched
huts are a poor defence; and, when this wild beast is urged by hunger,
he is regardless of their burning torches. These Curubaru have dogs,
with which they catch deer, antelopes, and hares; and they have the
art of taking in snares, peacocks, and other esculent birds. They
believe that good men, after death, will become benevolent Devas,
and bad men destructive Devas. They are of such known honesty that
on all occasions they are entrusted with provisions by the farmers,
who are persuaded that the Curubaru would rather starve than take one
grain of what was given to them in charge. The spirits of the dead
are believed to appear in dreams to their old people, and to direct
them to make offerings to a female deity named Bettada Chicama,
that is, the mother of the hill. Unless these offerings are made,
this goddess occasions sickness. In cases of adultery, the husband
flogs his wife severely, and, if he is able, beats her paramour. If
he be not able, he applies to the gaudo (headman), who does it for
him." The Betta Curubaru, Buchanan continues, "live in poor huts near
the villages, and the chief employment of the men is the cutting of
timber, and making of baskets. With a sharp stick they also dig up
spots of ground in the skirts of the forest, and sow them with ragi
(Eleusine Coracana). The men watch at night the fields of the farmers,
but they are not so dexterous at this as the Cad Curubaru. In this
class, the Cutigas are women that prefer another man to their husband,
or widows, who do not wish to relinquish carnal enjoyment. Their
children are not considered as illegitimate."

Of the casual system of clearing the jungle in vogue among the
Kurumbas, I may quote the following description. [59] "In their search
for food, this wild tribe naturally prefers a forest cleared of all
undergrowth, in which to move about, and the ingenuity with which
they attain this end, and outwit the vigilant forest subordinates,
is worthy of a better object. I have heard of a Kurumba walking miles
from his hadi or hamlet, with a ball of dry smouldering elephant
dung concealed in his waist-cloth. This he carried to the heart of
the forest reserve, and, selecting a suitable spot, he placed the
smouldering dung, with a plentiful supply of dry inflammable grass
over it, in such a position as to allow the wind to play upon it,
and fan it into a flame with the pleasing certainty that the smoke
from the fire would not be detected by the watchers on the distant
fire-lines until the forest was well alight, the flames beyond all
control, and the Kurumba himself safe at home in his hadi, awaiting
the arrival of the forest subordinate to summon the settlement to
assist in the hopeless task of extinguishing the fire."

Of the Kurumbas who are found in the Wynad, Calicut, and Ernad taluks
of Malabar, the following account is given in the Gazetteer of that
district. "They are sub-divided into Mullu (bamboo) Kurumbans, Jen or
Ten (honey) Kurumbans, also called Kadu or Shola Nayakkans (or Jenu
Koyyo Shola Nayakas, i.e., honey-cutting lords of the woods), and
Urali or Bet Kurumbans; of which the first-named class, who consider
themselves superior to the others, are cultivators and hunters; the
second wood-cutters and collectors of honey; and the third make baskets
and implements of agriculture. The Mullu and Ten Kurumbans have headmen
with titles of Muppan and Mudali respectively conferred by their janmis
(landlords). The Kurumbans, like many of the other hill-tribes, use
bows and arrows, with which they are expert. The caste deity of the
Ten Kurumbans is called Masti. It is perhaps worth remarking that
the Urali Kurumbans of the Wynaad differ from the other two classes
in having no headmen, observing a shorter period of pollution after
a birth than any other Malabar tribe and none at all after a death,
and in not worshipping any of the Malabar animistic deities."

The chief sub-divisions of the Kurumbas on the Nilgiris, and in
the Wynad, are said, in the Madras Census Report, 1891, to be "Mullu
(thorn), Betta or Vetta (hill), Urali (Ur, a village), Ten (honey), and
Tac'chanadan Muppan (carpenter headman). Of these, the first and last
speak Malayalam, and wear a lock in front of their head in the Malabar
fashion. The rest speak Canarese. Urali Kurumbas work in metals."

The villages of the Kurumbas on the Nilgiri hills are, Mr. Grigg
writes, [60] called mottas. They consist generally of only four or
five huts, made of mud and wattle, with thatched roofs. The front of
the house is sometimes whitewashed, and ornamented with rude drawings
of men and animals in red earth or charcoal. They store their grain
in large oval baskets, and for bottles they use gourds. They clear a
patch round about the village, and sow the ground with ragi (Eleusine
Coracana), tenne (Setaria italica), or kiri (Amarantus). They dig up
roots (called gasu) for food, and collect the jungle produce, honey,
resin, gall-nuts, etc., which they barter with low-country traders,
and they are clever in catching game in nets, and dispose of the flesh
in a surprisingly short time. Kurumbas occasionally take work on coffee
plantations, and some earn a livelihood by officiating as priests to
the Badagas. They are also employed as musicians at wedding feasts
and funerals of the other tribes, where they play on clarionets,
drums, and tambourines, as well as the buguri. They make baskets of
rattan and milk vessels out of a joint of bamboo, as well as nets
of a thread called oilhatti. Their women confine themselves to the
limited work of their households, fetching water, cooking, etc. The
following extract embraces all that can be said of the religion of
the Kurumbas. "Some profess to worship Siva, and occasionally women
mark their foreheads with the Siva spot. Others, living near Barliar,
worship Kuribattraya (lord of many sheep) and the wife of Siva under
the name of Musni. They worship also a rough stone under the name of
Hiriadeva, setting it up either in a cave, or in a circle of stones
like the so-called Kurumba kovil of the Badagas, which the latter
would seem to have borrowed from the Kurumbas. To this they make
puja, and offer cooked rice at the sowing time. They also profess to
sacrifice to Hiriadeva a goat, which they kill at their own houses,
after sprinkling water, and eat, giving a portion of flesh to the
pujari (priest). Others say that they have no pujari: among such a
scattered tribe customs probably vary in each motta"--(Breeks). It
is recorded by Dr. Rivers, in connection with the Toda legendary
stories of Kwoten, that "one day Kwoten went with Erten of Keadr,
who was spoken of as his servant to Poni, in the direction of Polkat
(Calicut). At Poni there is a stream called Palpa, the commencement of
which may be seen on the Kundahs. Kwoten and Erten went to drink water
out of the stream at a place where a goddess (teu) named Terkosh had
been bathing.... Finally, they came to Terkosh, who said to Kwoten,
"Do not come near me, I am a teu." Kwoten paid no heed to this, but
said "You are a beautiful woman," and went and lay with her. Then
Terkosh went away to her hill at Poni, where she is now, and to this
day the Kurumbas go there once a year and offer plantains to her,
and light lamps in her honour."

It is further recorded by Dr. Rivers that "two ceremonial objects are
obtained by the Todas from the Kurumbas. One is the tall pole called
tadrsi or tadri, which is used in the dance at the second funeral
ceremonies, and afterwards burnt. Poles of the proper length are said
to grow only on the Malabar side of the Nilgiris, and are probably
most easily obtained from the Kurumbas. The other is the teiks,
or funeral post at which the buffalo is killed." Besides supplying
the Badagas with the elephant-pole required at their funerals, the
Kurumbas have to sow the first handful of grain for the Badagas every
season. The ceremony is thus described by Harkness. [61] "A family
of the Burghers (Badagas) had assembled, which was about to commence
ploughing. With them were two or three Kurumbas, one of whom had set
up a stone in the centre of the spot on which we were standing, and,
decorating it with wild flowers, prostrated himself to it, offered
incense, and sacrificed a goat, which had been brought there by the
Burghers. He then took the guidance of the plough, and, having ploughed
some ten or twelve paces, gave it over, possessed himself of the head
of the sacrificed animal, and left the Burghers to prosecute their
labours.... The Kurumba, sowing the first handful, leaves the Burgher
to go on with the remainder, and, reaping the first sheaf, delivers it
with the sickle to him, to accomplish the remainder of the task. At
harvest time, or when the whole of the grain has been gathered in,
the Kurumba receives his dues, or proportion of the produce." The
relations of the Kurumbas with the Badagas at the present day, and
the share which the former take in the ceremonies of the latter,
are dealt with in the account of the Badagas.

I am informed that, among the Kurumbas of the Nilgiris, it is the
custom for several brothers to take one wife in common (adelphogamy),
and that they do not object to their women being open to others
also. There is said to be no marriage rite. A man and woman will mate
together, and live as husband and wife. And, if it happens that, in
a family, there has been a succession of such wives for one or two
generations, it becomes an event, and is celebrated as such. The pair
sit together, and pour water over each other from pots. They then put
on new cloths, and a feast is partaken of. Among the Shola Nayakkars,
a feature of the marriage ceremony is said to be for the bride to roll
a cheroot of tobacco leaves, which both parties must smoke in turn.

Writing concerning the Irulas and Kurumbas, Mr. Walhouse says [62]
that "after every death among them, they bring a long water-worn stone
(devva kotta kallu), and put it into one of the old cromlechs sprinkled
over the Nilgiri plateau. Some of the larger of these have been found
piled up to the cap-stone with such pebbles, which must have been the
work of generations. Occasionally, too, the tribes mentioned make small
cromlechs for burial purposes, and place the long water-worn pebbles
in them. Mr. Breeks reports that the Kurumbas in the neighbourhood
of the Rangasvami peak and Barliar burn their dead, and place a
bone and a small round stone in the savu-mane (death-house)--an old
cromlech." The conjecture is hazarded by Fergusson [63] that the
Kurumbas are the remnant of a great and widely spread race, who may
have erected dolmens. As bearing on the connection between Kurumbas
and Kurubas, it is worthy of note that the latter, in some places,
erect dolmens as a resting-place for the dead. (See Kuruba.)

It is noted, in the Gazetteer of the Nilgiris, that the Kurumbas
"trade largely on the extraordinary dread of their supposed magical
powers which possesses the Todas and the Badagas--the latter
especially. Stories are told of how they can summon wild elephants
at will, and reduce rocks to powder merely by scattering mystic herbs
upon them."

"The Kurumbas," Harkness writes, "have a knowledge of herbs and
medicinal roots, and the Burghers (Badagas) say that they limit their
knowledge thereof to those which are noxious only, and believe that,
with the assistance of their magic, they are able to convey them into
the stomachs of those to whom they have any dislike. The violent
antipathy existing between the Burghers and the Kurumbas, and the
dread and horror which the former entertain of the preternatural
powers of the latter, are, perhaps, not easily accounted for; but
neither sickness, death, nor misfortune of any kind, ever visit
the former, without the latter having the credit of producing it. A
few years before, a Burgher had been hanged by the sentence of the
provincial court for the murder of a Kurumba. The act of the former
was not without what was considered great provocation. Disease had
attacked the inhabitants of the hamlet, a murrain their cattle. The
former had carried off a great part of the family of the murderer,
and he himself had but narrowly escaped its effects. No one in
the neighbourhood doubted that the Kurumba in question had, by his
necromancy, caused all this misfortune, and, after several fruitless
attempts, a party of them succeeded in surrounding him in open day,
and effecting their purpose." In 1835 no less than forty-eight
Kurumbas were murdered, and a smaller number in 1875 and 1882. In
1900 a whole family of Kurumbas was murdered, of which the head,
who had a reputation as a medicine-man, was believed to have brought
disease and death into a Badaga village. The sympathies of the whole
country-side were so strongly with the murderers that detection was
made very difficult, and the persons charged were acquitted. [64] In
this case several Todas were implicated. "It is," Mr. Grigg writes,
"a curious fact that neither Kota, Irula, or Badaga will slay a Kurumba
until a Toda has struck the first blow, but, as soon as his sanctity
has been violated by a blow, they hasten to complete the murderous
work, which the sacred hand of the Toda has begun." The Badaga's
dread of the Kurumba is said to be so great that a simple threat of
vengeance has proved fatal. My Toda guide--a stalwart representative
of his tribe--expressed fear of walking from Ootacamund to Kotagiri,
a distance of eighteen miles along a highroad, lest he should come
to grief at the hands of Kurumbas; but this was really a frivolous
excuse to get out of accompanying me to a distance from his domestic
hearth. In like manner, Dr. Rivers records that, when he went to
Kotagiri, a Toda who was to accompany him made a stipulation that
he should be provided with a companion, as the Kurambas were very
numerous in that part. In connection with the Toda legend of Ön, who
created the buffaloes and the Todas, Dr. Rivers writes that "when Ön
saw that his son was in Amnodr (the world of the dead), he did not like
to leave him there alone, and decided to go away to the same place. So
he called together all the people, and the buffaloes and the trees,
to come and bid him farewell. All the people came except a man of
Kwodrdoni named Arsankutan. He and his family did not come. All the
buffaloes came except the Arsaiir, the buffaloes of the Kwodroni ti
(sacred dairy). Some trees also failed to come. Ön blessed all the
people, buffaloes and trees present, but said that, because Arsankutan
had not come, he and his people should die by sorcery at the hands
of the Kurumbas, and that, because the Arsaiir had not come, they
should be killed by tigers, and that the trees which had not come
should bear bitter fruit. Since that time the Todas have feared the
Kurumbas, and buffaloes have been killed by tigers."

On the Nilgiri hills, honey-combs are collected by Jen Kurumbas
and Sholagas. The supply of honey varies according to the nature
of the season, and is said to be especially plentiful and of good
quality when Strobilanthes flowers. [65] The Kurumbas are said to
have incredibly keen eye-sight, gained from constantly watching
the bee to his hive. When they find a hive not quite ready to take,
they place a couple of sticks in a certain position. This sign will
prevent any other Kurumba from taking the honey, and no Badaga or
other hillman would meddle with it on any account, for fear of being
killed by sorcery.

Fortified by a liberal allowance of alcohol and tobacco, the Kurumbas,
armed with bamboo torches, will follow up at night the tracks of
a wounded 'bison' (Bos gaurus), and bring back the head and meat to
camp. A European sportsman recounts that he has often seen his Kurumba
shikari (tracker) stop, and, with the one word "honey," point to the
top of an adjacent tree. "How do you know?" he asked, "Oh! I saw
a bee" was the answer given with the greatest nonchalance. On one
occasion he found himself close to a swarm of bees. The Kurumba,
seeing him hesitate, thrust his stick clean through the swarm,
and, with the bare remark "No honey," marched on. The District
Forest Officer, when out shooting, had an easy shot at a stag, and
missed it. "There," said the Kurumba, pointing to a distant tree,
"is your bullet." His trained sense of hearing no doubt enabled him
to locate the sound of the bullet striking the tree, and his eyes,
following the sound, instantly detected the slight blaze made by the
bullet on the bark. The visual acuity of a number of tribes and castes
inhabiting the mountains, jungles, and plains, has been determined
by Dr. W. H. R. Rivers and myself, by means of the Cohn letter E
method. And, though the jungle man, who has to search for his food
and mark the tracks or traces of wild beasts, undoubtedly possesses
a specially trained keenness of vision for the exigencies of his
primitive life, our figures show that, as regards ordinary visual
acuity, he has no advantage over the more highly civilised classes.

"The Kurumbas of the Mysore forests," Mr. Theobald writes, "make fire
by friction. They follow the same method as the Todas, as described
by Mr. Thurston, but never use the powdered charcoal in the cavity
of the horizontal piece of wood which is held down by their feet,
or by a companion. The fine brown powder, formed during the rotation
of the longer vertical piece, gives sufficient tinder, which soon
ignites, and is then placed on a small piece of cotton rag, rolled
loosely, and gently blown until it is ignited. The vertical stick
is held between the palms, and has a reciprocal motion, by the palms
being moved in opposite directions, at the same time using a strong
downward pressure, which naturally brings the palms to the bottom,
when they are at once raised to their original position, and the
operation continued till the naturally formed tinder ignites."

In his report on Forest Administration in Coorg, 1902-1903,
Mr. C. D'A. McCarthy writes as follows concerning the Kurumbas, who
work for the Forest department. "We experienced in connection with the
Kurumbas one of those apparent aberrations of sense and intellect,
the occurrence of which amongst this peculiar race was foreshadowed
in the last report. The Chief Commissioner is aware that, in the
interests of the Kurubas themselves, we substitute for a single cash
payment distributions to the same value of food-grains, clothes and
cash, in equal proportions of each. Now, seventy years ago, before
the annexation of Coorg, the Kurubas and similar castes were prædial
slaves of the dominant Coorgs, receiving no other remuneration for
service than food and clothing. In fact, this institution, nothing less
than real slavery, was not entirely broken up until the great demand
for local labour created by the opening up of the country for coffee
cultivation so late as 1860-1870, so that the existing generation are
still cognisant of the old state of affairs. Last year, during the
distribution of rewards for the successful protection of the reserves
that season from fire, it seems that the idea was put into the heads
of these people that our system of remuneration, which includes the
distribution of food and clothing, was an attempt to create again
at their expense a system of, as it were, forest slavery; with the
result that for a time nothing would induce many of them to accept
any form of remuneration for the work already performed, much less
to undertake the same duties for the approaching season. It was some
time, and after no little trouble, that the wherefore of this strange
conduct was discovered, and the suspicions aroused put at rest." In
his report, 1904-1905, Mr. McCarthy states that "the local system
of fire protection, consisting of the utilisation of the Kuruba
jungle population for the clearing of fire lines and patrolling,
and the payment of rewards according to results, may now be said to
be completely established in Coorg. The Kurubas appear to have gained
complete confidence in the working of the system, and, provided the
superior officers personally see to the payment of the rewards, are
evidently quite satisfied that the deductions for failures are just
and fair."

The Kurumbas are said to have been very useful in the mining operations
during the short life of the Wynad gold-mines. A few years ago, I
received the skulls of two Kurumbas, who went after a porcupine into
a deserted tunnel on the Glenrock Gold-mining Company's land in the
Wynad. The roof fell in on them, and they were buried alive.

In a note on the 'Ethnogénie des Dravidiens', [66] Mr. Louis Lapicque
writes as follows. "Les populations caractéristiques du Wainaad sont
les Panyer, les négroides les plus accusés et les plus homogenes que
j'ai vus, et probablement qui existent dans toute l'Inde. D'autre
part, les tribus vivant de leur côté sur leurs propres cultures,
fortement négroides encore, mais plus mélangées. Tels sont les Naiker
et les Kouroumbas."


        ===================+==========+=============+========
               ====        |  Indice  |   Indice    |
                           |  nasal.  | céphalique. | Taille.
        ===================+==========+=============+========
        54 Panyer          |    84    |     74      |   154
        28 Kouroumbas      |    81    |     75      |   157
        12 Naiker          |    80    |     76.9    |   157
        ===================+==========+=============+========


Concerning Nayakas or Naikers and Kurumbas, Mr. F. W. F. Fletcher
writes to me as follows from Nellakotta, Nilgiris. "It may be that
in some parts of Wynaad there are people known indifferently as
Kurumbas and Shola Nayakas; but I have no hesitation in saying that
the Nayakas in my employ are entirely distinct from the Kurumbas. The
two classes do not intermarry; they do not live together; they will not
eat together. Even their prejudices with regard to food are different,
for a Kurumba will eat bison flesh, and a Nayaka will not. The latter
stoutly maintains that he is entirely distinct from, and far superior
to, the Kurumba, and would be grievously offended if he were classed
as a Kurumba. The religious ceremonies of the two tribes are also
different. The Nayakas have separate temples, and worship separate
gods. The chief Kurumba temple in this part of the country is close to
Pandalur, and here, especially at the Bishu feast, the Kurumbas gather
in numbers. My Nayakas do not recognise this temple, but have their
place of worship in the heart of the jungle, where they make their puja
(worship) under the direction of their own priest. The Nayakas will
not attend the funeral of a Kurumba; nor will they invite Kurumbas to
the funeral of one of their own tribe. There is a marked variation in
their modes of life. The Kurumba of this part lives in comparatively
open country, in the belt of deciduous forest lying between the ghats
proper and the foot of the Nilgiri plateau. Here he has been brought
into contact with European Planters, and is, comparatively speaking,
civilised. The Nayaka has his habitat in the dense jungle of the ghats,
and is essentially a forest nomad, living on honey, jungle fruits, and
the tuberous roots of certain jungle creepers. By constant association
with myself, my Nayaka men have lost the fear of the white man, which
they entertained when I first came into the district; but even now,
if I visit the village of a colony who reside in the primæval forest,
the women and children will hide themselves in the jungle at sight of
me. The superstitions of the two tribes are different. Some Nayakas
are credited with the power of changing themselves at will into a
tiger, and of wreaking vengeance on their enemies in that guise. And
the Kurumba holds the Nayaka in as much awe as other castes hold
the Kurumba. Lower down, on the flat below the ghats I am opening a
rubber estate, and here I have another Nayaka colony, who differ in
many respects from their congeners above, although the two colonies
are within five miles as the crow flies. The low-country Nayaka does
his hair in a knot on one side of his head, Malayalam fashion, and his
speech is a patois of Malayalam. The Nayaka on the hills above has
a mop of curly hair, and speaks a dialect of his own quite distinct
from the Kurumba language, though both are derived from Kanarese. But
that the low-country people are merely a sept of the Nayaka tribe
is evident from the fact that intermarriage is common amongst the
two colonies, and that they meet at the same temple for their annual
puja. The priest of the hill colony is the pujari for both divisions
of the Nayakas, and the arbiter in all their disputes."

Kurumo.--The Kurumos are a caste of Oriya agriculturists, found mainly
in the Russellkonda taluk of Ganjam. They are called Kurumo by Oriyas,
and Kudumo by Telugus. There is a tradition that their name is derived
from Srikurmam in the Vizagapatam district, where they officiated as
priests in the Siva temple, and whence they were driven northward. The
Kurumos say that, at the present day, some members of the caste are
priests at Saivite temples in Ganjam, bear the title Ravulo, and wear
the sacred thread. It is noted in the Madras Census Report, 1901,
that "some of them wear the sacred thread, and follow Chaitanya,
and Oriya Brahmans will accept drinking-water at their hands. They
will eat in Brahmans' houses, and will accept drinking-water from
Gaudos, Bhondaris, and Ravulos." Bhondaris wash the feet of Kurumos
on ceremonial occasions, and, in return for their services, receive
twice the number of cakes given to other guests at feasts.

In addition to the Kurumos proper, there is a section called Kuji
Kurumo, which is regarded as lower in the social status. The caste
titles are Bissoyi, Behara, Dudi, Majhi, Nayako, Podhano, Ravulo,
Ravuto, Senapati, and Udhdhandra. Those who bear the title Dudi are
priests at the temples of the village deities. The title Udhdhandra
was conferred by a zamindar, and is at present borne by a number of
families, intermarriage among members of which is forbidden. Every
village has a headman entitled Adhikari, who is under the control of
a chief headman called Behara. Both these appointments are hereditary.

Among other deities, the Kurumos worship various Takuranis
(village deities), such as Bodo Ravulo, Bagha Devi, Kumbeswari, and
Sathabhavuni. In some places, there are certain marriage restrictions
based on the house-gods. For example, a family whose house-god is
Bodo Ravulo may not intermarry with another family which worships the
same deity. Every family of Kurumos apparently keeps the house-god
within the house, and it is worshipped on all important occasions. The
god is usually represented by five areca nuts, which are kept in a
box. These nuts must be filled with pieces of gold, silver, iron,
copper, and lead, which are introduced through a hole drilled in the
base of the nut, which is plugged with silver.

Infant marriage is the rule, and, if a girl does not secure a husband
before she reaches maturity, she has to go through the mock-marriage
rite, called dharma bibha, with her grandfather or other elder. On
the evening of the day previous to that of the real marriage, called
gondo sona, the paternal aunt of the bridegroom goes to a tank (pond),
carrying thither a brass vessel. This is placed on the tank bund
(embankment), and worshipped. Some cowry (Cypræa arabica) shells
are then thrown into the tank, and the vessel is filled with water,
and taken to the house. At the entrance thereto, a Sullokhondia
Gaudo stands, holding a vessel of water, from which a little water
is poured into the vessel brought from the tank. The bride's aunt
then goes to three or five houses of members of her own caste, and
receives water therefrom in her vessel, which is placed near the
house-gods, and eventually kept on the marriage dais throughout the
wedding ceremonies. Over the marriage dais (bedi) at the bridegroom's
house, four brass vessels, and four clay lamps fed with ghi (clarified
butter), are placed at the four corners. Round the four posts thereof
seven turns of thread are made by a Brahman purohit. The bridegroom,
wearing mokkuto (forehead chaplet) and sacred thread, after going
seven times round the dais, breaks the thread, and takes his seat
thereon. After Zizyphus Jujuba leaves and rice have been thrown
over him, he is taken in procession to a temple. On his return home,
he is met by five or seven young girls and women at the entrance to
the house, and Zizyphus leaves are again thrown over him. A Bhondari
woman sprinkles water from mango leaves over him, and he proceeds
in a palanquin to the home of the bride. At the marriage ceremony,
the bride throws rice on the head of the bridegroom over a screen
which is interposed between them. After their hands have been tied
together, a grinding-stone and roller are placed between them, and
they face each other while their fingers are linked together above the
stone. On the seventh day, the newly married couple worship seven posts
at the bride's house. The various articles used in connection with
the marriage ceremonies, except one pot, are thrown into a tank. On
his return thence, the bridegroom breaks the pot, after he has been
sprinkled with the water contained in it by a Bhondari. At times of
marriage, and on other auspicious occasions, the Kurumos, when they
receive their guests, must take hold of their sticks or umbrellas,
and it is regarded as an insult if this is not done.

On the fifth and eighth days after the birth of a child, a new cloth
is spread on the floor, on which the infant is placed, with a book
(bagavatham) close to its head, and an iron rod, such as is used
by Oriya castes for branding the skin of the abdomen of newly-born
babies, at its side. The relations and friends assemble to take part
in the ceremonial, and a Brahman purohit reads a puranam. Betel leaves
and areca nuts are then distributed. On the twenty-first day, the
ceremonial is repeated, and the purohit is asked to name the child. He
ascertains the constellation under which it was born, and announces
that a name commencing with a certain letter should be given to it.

Like other Oriya castes, the Kurumos are particular with regard to
the observation of various vratams (fasts). One, called sudasa vratam,
is observed on a Thursday falling on the tenth day after new moon in
the month of Karthika (November-December). The most elderly matron
of the house does puja (worship), and a puranam is read. Seven cubits
of a thread dyed with turmeric are measured on the forearm of a girl
seven years old, and cut off. The deity is worshipped, and seven knots
are made in the piece of thread, which is tied on to the left upper
arm of the matron. This vratam is generally observed by Oriya castes.

Kurup.--In a note on the artisan classes of Malabar, it is recorded
[67] that "the Kolla-Kurups combine two professions which at first
sight seem strangely incongruous, shampooing or massage, and the
construction of the characteristic leather shields of Malabar. But
the two arts are intimately connected with the system of combined
physical training, as we should now call it, and exercise in arms,
which formed the curriculum of the kalari (gymnasium), and the title
kurup is proper to castes connected with that institution. A similar
combination is found in the Vil-Kurups (bow-Kurups), whose traditional
profession was to make bows and arrows, and train the youth to use
them, and who now shampoo, make umbrellas, and provide bows and arrows
for some Nayar ceremonies. Other classes closely connected are the
Kollans or Kurups distinguished by the prefixes Chaya (colour), Palissa
(shield), and Tol (leather), who are at present engaged in work in
lacquer, wood, and leather." Kurup also occurs as a title of Nayars,
in reference to the profession of arms, and many of the families
bearing this title are said [68] to still maintain their kalari.

Kuruvikkaran.--The Kuruvikkarans are a class of Marathi-speaking
bird-catchers and beggars, who hunt jackals, make bags out of the
skin, and eat the flesh thereof. By Telugu people they are called
Nakkalavandlu (jackal people), and by Tamilians Kuruvikkaran
(bird-catchers). They are also called Jangal Jati and Kattu
Mahrati. Among themselves they are known as Vagiri or Vagirivala. They
are further known as Yeddu Marige Vetagandlu, or hunters who hide
behind a bullock. In decoying birds, they conceal themselves behind a
bullock, and imitate the cries of birds in a most perfect manner. They
are said to be called in Hindustani Paradhi and Mir Shikari.

As regards their origin, there is a legend that there were once
upon a time three brothers, one of whom ran away to the mountains,
and, mixing with Kanna Kuruvans, became degraded. His descendants
are now represented by the Dommaras. The descendants of the second
brother are the Lambadis, and those of the third Kuruvikkarans. The
lowly position of these three classes is attributed to the fact
that the three brothers, when wandering about, came across Sita,
the wife of Rama, about whose personal charms they made remarks,
and laughed. This made Sita angry, and she uttered the following
curse:--"Malitho shikar, naitho bhikar," i.e., if (birds) are found,
huntsmen; if not, beggars. According to a variant of the legend,
[69] many years ago in Rajputana there lived two brothers, the elder
of whom was dull, and the younger smart. One day they happened to
be driving a bullock along a path by the side of a pool of water,
when they surprised Sita bathing. The younger brother hid behind his
bullock, but the elder was too stupid to conceal himself, and so both
were observed by the goddess, who was much annoyed, and banished
them to Southern India. The elder she ordered to live by carrying
goods about the country on pack-bullocks, and the younger to catch
birds by means of two snares, which she obligingly formed from hair
plucked from under her arm. Consequently the Vagirivalas never shave
that portion of the body.

The Kuruvikkarans are nomadic, and keep pack-bullocks, which convey
their huts and domestic utensils from place to place. Some earn their
living by collecting firewood, and others by acting as watchmen in
fields and gardens. Women and children go about the streets begging,
and singing songs, which are very popular, and imitated by Hindu
women. They further earn a livelihood by hawking needles and glass
beads, which they may be seen in the evening purchasing from Kayalans
(Muhammadan merchants) in the Madras bazar.

One of the occupations of the Kuruvikkarans is the manufacture and sale
of spurious jackal horns, known as narikompu. To catch the jackals,
they make an enclosure of a net, inside which a man seats himself,
armed with a big stick. He then proceeds to execute a perfect imitation
of the jackal's cry, on hearing which the jackals come running to
see what is the matter, and are beaten down. A Kuruvikkaran, whom
the Rev. E. Löventhal interviewed, howled like a jackal, to show his
skill as a mimic. The cry was quite perfect, and no jackal would have
doubted that he belonged to their class. Sometimes the entire jackal's
head is sold, skin and all. The process of manufacture of the horn is
as follows. After the brain has been removed, the skin is stripped off
a limited area of the skull, and the bone at the place of junction of
the sagittal and lambdoid sutures above the occipital foramen is filed
away, so that only a point, like a bony outgrowth, is left. The skin
is then brought back, and pressed over the little horn, which pierces
it. The horn is also said to be made out of the molar tooth of a dog or
jackal, introduced through a small hole in a piece of jackal's skin,
round which a little blood or turmeric paste is smeared, to make it
look more natural. In most cases only the horn, with a small piece
of skull and skin, is sold. Sometimes, instead of the skin from the
part where the horn is made, a piece of skin is taken from the snout,
where the long black hairs are. The horn then appears surrounded by
long black bushy hairs. The Kuruvikkarans explain that, when they see
a jackal with such long hairs on the top of its head, they know that
it possesses a horn. A horn-vendor, whom I interviewed, assured me
that the possessor of a horn is a small jackal, which comes out of
its hiding-place on full-moon nights to drink the dew. According to
another version, the horn is only possessed by the leader of a pack of
jackals. The Sinhalese and Tamils alike regard the horn "as a talisman,
and believe that its fortunate possessor can command the realisation of
every wish. Those who have jewels to conceal rest in perfect security
if, along with them, they can deposit a narricomboo." [70] The ayah
(nurse) of a friend who possessed such a talisman remarked "Master
going into any law-court, sure to win the case." This, as has been
pointed out, does not show much faith in the British administration of
justice, if a so-called jackal's horn can turn the scale. Two spurious
horns, which I possessed, were promptly stolen from my study table,
to bring luck to some Tamil member of my establishment.

Some Kuruvikkarans carry suspended from their turban or body-cloth a
small whistle, with which they imitate the song of birds, and attract
them. Young boys often have with them a bundle of small sticks strung
together, and with a horse-hair noose attached to them. The sticks are
driven into the ground, and grain is strewn around to entice birds,
which get caught in the noose.

The women wear a petticoat and an ill-fitting bodice. Among other
classes "Wearing the bodice like a Kuruvikkaran woman" is used as
a taunt. The petticoat may never be taken off till it is tattered
and torn, and replaced by a new one; and, when a woman bathes, she
has to do so with the garment on. Anything which has come in contact
with the petticoat, or rice husked with a woman's feet, is polluted,
and may not be used by men. Women adorn themselves with necklaces of
beads and cowry shells, or sometimes, like the Lambadis, wear shell
bracelets. Both men and women stain their teeth with a preparation
of myrabolams, Acacia arabica pods, and sulphates of copper and
iron. Females may not blacken their teeth, or wear a necklace of
black beads before marriage.

A young married woman, wherever she may be during the daytime,
must rejoin her husband at night. If she fails to do so, she has
to go through the ordeal of grasping a red-hot iron bar or sickle,
and carrying it sixteen paces without dropping it. Another form
of ordeal is dipping the hands in a pot containing boiling cowdung
water, and picking out therefrom a quarter-anna piece. If the woman
is innocent, she is able to husk a small quantity of paddy (rice)
by rubbing it between her hands immediately after the immersion in
the liquid. If a man has to submit to trial by ordeal, seven arka
(Calotropis gigantea) leaves are tied to his palm, and a piece of
red-hot iron placed thereon. His innocence is established if he is
able to carry it while he takes seven long strides.

The Kuruvikkarans have exogamous septs, of which Ranaratod seems to
be an important one, taking a high place in the social scale. Males
usually add the title Sing as a suffix to their names.

Marriage is always between adults, and the celebration, including
the betrothal ceremony, extends over five days, during which meat is
avoided, and the bride keeps her face concealed by throwing her cloth
over it. Sometimes she continues to thus veil herself for a short time
after marriage. On the first day, after the exchange of betel, the
father of the bride says "Are you ready to receive my daughter as your
daughter-in-law into your house? I am giving her to your son. Take care
of her. Do not beat her when she is ill. If she cannot carry water,
you should help her. If you beat her, or ill-treat her in any way,
she will come back to us." The future father-in-law having promised
that the girl will be kindly treated, the bridegroom says "I am true,
and have not touched any other woman. I have not smiled at any girl
whom I have seen. Your daughter should not smile at any man whom she
sees. If she does so, I shall drive her back to your house." In the
course of the marriage ceremonies, the bride is taken to the home of
her mother-in-law, to whom she makes a present of a new cloth. The
Nyavya (headman) hands a string of black beads to the mother-in-law,
who ties it round the bride's neck, while the assembled women sing. At
a marriage of the first daughter of a member of the Ranaratod sept,
a Brahman purohit is invited to be present, and give his blessing,
as it is believed that a Gujarati Brahman was originally employed
for the marriage celebration.

The principal tribal deity of the Kuruvikkarans is Kali or Durga,
and each sept possesses a small plate with a figure of the goddess
engraved on it, which is usually kept in the custody of the headman. It
is, however, frequently pledged, and money-lenders give considerable
sums on the security of the idol, as the Kuruvikkarans would on no
account fail to redeem it. When the time for the annual festival of
the goddess draws nigh, the headman or an elder piles up Vigna Catiang
seeds in five small heaps. He then decides in his mind whether there is
an odd or even number of seeds in the majority of heaps. If, when the
seeds are counted, the result agrees with his forecast, it is taken
as a sign of the approval of the goddess, and arrangements are made
for the festival. Otherwise it is abandoned for the year. On the day
of the festival, nine goats and a buffalo are sacrificed. While some
cakes are being cooked in oil, a member of the tribe prays that the
goddess will descend on him, and, taking some of the cakes out of the
boiling liquid, with his palm rubs the oil on his head. He is then
questioned by those assembled, to whom he gives oracular replies,
after sucking the blood from the cut throat of a goat. It is noted
in the North Arcot Manual that the Vagirivalas assemble two or three
times in the year at Varadareddipalli for worship. The objects of
this are three saktis called Mahan Kali, Chamundi, and Mahammayi,
represented by small silver figures, which are mortgaged to a Reddi
of the village, and lent by him during the few days of the festival.

Kusa.--A sub-division of Holeyas in South Canara, who also call
themselves Uppara. Some of them say that they are the same as Upparas
of Mysore, whose hereditary occupation was the manufacture of salt
from salt-earth (ku, earth). Kusa further occurs as a synonym of the
Otattu, or tile-making section of the Nayars, and Kusa Maran as a class
of potters in Travancore. Kusa is also an exogamous sept of the Boyas.

Kusavan.--The Kusavans are the Tamil potters. "The name,"
Mr. H. A. Stuart writes, [71] "is said to be derived from the Sanskrit
word ku signifying earth, the material in which they work, and avan,
a personal termination. They wear the sacred thread, and profess
both Saivism and Vaishnavism. Their ceremonials are somewhat like
those of the Vellalas. The eating of flesh is permitted, but not
widow marriage. Some have priests of their own caste, while others
employ Brahmans. Kusavans sometimes officiate as pujaris in Pidari
temples. Their titles are Udayan and Velan. Their stupidity and
ignorance are proverbial." At times of census, Kulalan has been
returned as a synonym of Kusavan, and Kusavan as an occupational
division of Paraiyans. The Kusavans are divided into the territorial
sections Chola, Chera, and Pandya, and say that "these are descended
from the three sons of their original ancestor Kulalan, who was the
son of Brahma. He prayed to Brahma to be allowed, like him, to create
and destroy things daily; so Brahma made him a potter." [72]

In ancient days, the potters made the large pyriform sepulchral urns,
which have, in recent times, been excavated in Tinnevelly, Madura,
Malabar, and elsewhere. Dr. G. U. Pope shows [73] that these urns
are mentioned in connection with the burial of heroes and kings as
late as the eighth century A.D., and renders one of the Tamil songs
bearing on the subject as follows:--


    "Oh! potter chief ... what toil hath befallen thee!
    The descendant of the Cora kings....
    Hath gained the world of gods. And so
    'Tis thine to shape an urn so vast
    That it shall cover the remains of such an one."


The legend concerning the origin of the potter classes is narrated
in the article on Kummaras. "It is," Mr. E. Holder writes, [74]
"supposed by themselves that they are descended from a Brahmin father
and Sudra mother, for the sacrificial earthen vessels, which are now
made by them, were, according to the Vedas, intended to be made by the
priests themselves. Some of the potters still wear the sacred thread,
like the Kammalars or artisan class. They are generally illiterate,
though some of their class have earned distinction as sound scholars,
especially of late years. The women assist the men in their work,
chiefly where delicacy of execution is needed. On the whole, the
potters are a poor class compared with the Kammalar class, which
includes jewellers, metal-workers and wood-workers. Their occupation
is, on that account, somewhat despised by others."

The potter's apparatus is described by Monier Williams [75] as "a
simple circular horizontal well-balanced fly-wheel, generally two
or three feet in diameter, which can be made to rotate for two or
three minutes by a slight impulse. This the potter loads with clay,
and then, with a few easy sweeps and turns of his hands, he moulds his
material into beautiful curves and symmetrical shapes, and leaves the
products of his skill to bake in the sun." By Mr. Holder the apparatus
is described as follows. "The potter's implements are few, and his
mode of working is very simple. The wheel, a clumsily constructed and
defective apparatus, is composed of several thin pliable pieces of
wood or bamboo, bent and tied together in the form of a wheel about
3 1/2 feet in diameter. This is covered over thickly with clay mixed
with goat's hair or any fibrous substance. The four spokes and the
centre on which the vessel rests are of wood. The pivot is of hard
wood or steel. The support for the wheel consists of a rounded mass
of clay and goat's hair, in which is imbedded a piece of hard wood
or stone, with one or two slight depressions for the axle or pivot to
move in. The wheel is set into motion first by the hand, and then spun
rapidly by the aid of a long piece of bamboo, one end of which fits
into a slight depression in the wheel. The defects in the apparatus
are--firstly its size, which requires the potter to stoop over it in
an uneasy attitude; secondly, the irregularity of its speed, with a
tendency to come to a standstill, and to wave or wobble in its motion;
and thirdly, the time and labour expended in spinning the wheel afresh
every time its speed begins to slacken. Notwithstanding, however,
the rudeness of this machine, the potters are expert at throwing, and
some of their small wares are thin and delicate. The usual manner in
which most of the Madras potters bake their wares is as follows. A
circular space, about ten feet in diameter, is marked out on the
ground in any convenient open spot. Small pieces of wood and dried
sticks are spread over this space to a depth of about six inches, and
a layer of brattis (dried cow-dung cakes) laid over the sticks. The
vessels are then carefully piled on top of this platform of fuel to a
height of about five or six feet, and the whole heap is covered over
with straw, and plastered over with clay, a few small openings being
left here and there to allow the smoke to escape. These arrangements
being completed, the fuel at the bottom is fired, and in the course
of a few hours the process of baking is completed."

When travelling in India, Dr. Jagor noticed that the potters of Salem
communicated to their ware a kind of polish, exactly like that seen
on some of the specimens of antique pottery found in cromlechs. It
was ascertained that the Salem potters use a seed for producing the
polish, which was determined by Surgeon-General G. Bidie to be the
seed of Gyrocarpus Jacquini, which is also used for making rosaries
and necklaces. Another method employed for producing a polish is to
rub the surface of the baked vessel with the mucilaginous juice of
tuthi (Abutilon indicum), and then fire the vessel again.

It is stated, in the Coimbatore Manual, that "the potter never
begins his day's work at the wheel without forming into a lingam
and saluting the revolving lump of clay, which, with the wheel,
bears a strong resemblance to the usual sculptured conjunction"
(of lingam and yoni). An old potter woman, whom I examined on this
point, explained that the lump represents Ganesa. In like manner,
the pan coolies at the salt factories never scrape salt from the pans
without first making a Pillayar (Ganesa) of a small heap of salt,
on the top of which the salt is sometimes piled up.

Painted hollow clay images are made by special families of Kusavans
known as pujari, who, for the privilege of making them, have to
pay an annual fee to the headman, who spends it on a festival at
the caste temple. When a married couple are anxious to have female
offspring, they take a vow to offer figures of the seven virgins,
who are represented all seated in a row. If a male or female recovers
from cholera, small-pox, or other severe illness, a figure of the
corresponding sex is offered. A childless woman makes a vow to offer
up the figure of a baby, if she brings forth offspring. Figures of
animals--cattle, sheep, horses, etc.--are offered at the temple when
they recover from sickness, or are recovered after they have been
stolen. The pupils of the eyes of the figures are not painted in
till they are taken to the temple, where offerings of fruit, rice,
etc., are first made. Even the pupils of a series of these images,
which were specially made for me, were not painted at the potter's
house, but in the verandah of the traveller's bungalow where I was
staying. Horses made of clay, hollow and painted red and other colours,
are set up in the fields to drive away demons, or as a thank-offering
for recovery from sickness or any piece of good luck. The villagers
erect these horses in honour of the popular deity Ayanar, the guardian
deity of the fields, who is a renowned huntsman, and is believed, when,
with his two wives Purna and Pushkala, he visits the village at night,
to mount the horses, and ride down the demons. Ayanar is said to be
"the special deity of the caste. Kusavans are generally the pujaris
in his temples, and they make the earthenware (and brick and mortar)
horses and images, which are placed before these buildings." [76]

For the following note on a ceremony, in which the potters take part,
I am indebted to an essay submitted in connection with the M.A. degree
of the Madras University. "Brahmans of Vedic times ate dogs, horses,
bulls, and goats. The fondness for mutton even in a raw state finds
its modern counterpart in the bloody hecatombs that disfigure some
of their annual sacrifices. In these ceremonies called Pasubandha,
Agnishtoma, Vajapeya, Garudachayana, etc., a goat is tied to a
post, and, after the usual mantrams (prayers) and the service of
frankincense, etc., is ablutioned in water mixed with turmeric and
taken to the slaughter-room. And the method of slaughtering is most
appalling. Two men appointed for the purpose, invariably men belonging
to the pot-making community, rush into the apartment. One catches
hold of the fore-quarter of the animal and keeps it from struggling,
while the other squeezes the scrotum with so much violence that the
animal succumbs in a few minutes, after writhing in the most painful
fashion. The man in charge of the fore-quarter puts a handful of salt
into the animal's mouth, and holds it tight, lest the animal should
bleat, and make the ceremony unsanctimonious. The carcase is now
brought to the mailing shed, where, with crude knives and untrained
hands, the Brahmans peel off the skin most savagely. Then they cut
open the chest, and it is a common sight to see these Brahmans,
uninitiated in the art of butchery, getting their hands severely
poked or lacerated by the cut sharp ends of the ribs. Then portions of
flesh are cut off from various portions of the carcase, such as the
buccal region, the cardiac region, the scapular region, the renal,
the scrotal, the gluteal and gastroenemial regions. The amount of
flesh thus chopped comes to not less than three big potfuls, and they
are cooked in water over the slow fire of a primitively constructed
oven. No salt is put to season the meat, but the Brahmans bolt it
without any condiment in an awful fashion."

The services of the potter are required in connection with the
marriage ceremonial of many castes. At some Brahman marriages, for
example, the tali is tied on the bride's neck in the presence of
33 crores (330 millions) of gods, who are represented by a number
of variously coloured pots, large and small. At a Lingayat wedding,
new pots are brought with much shouting, and deposited in the room
in which the household god is kept. An enclosure is made round the
bride and bridegroom with cotton thread passed round four pots placed
at the four corners of the marriage pandal. Among the Patnulkarans,
on the occasion of a wedding, a number of small pots are set up in
a room, and worshipped daily throughout the marriage ceremonies. The
ceremonial of breaking a pot containing water at the graveside prevails
among many classes, e.g., Oddes, Toreyas, and Paraiyans.

At the time of the Aruvaththimuvar festival, or festival of the
sixty-three saints, at Mylapore in the city of Madras, crowds may be
seen returning homeward after attending it, each carrying a new pot
(chatty), which they purchase so as not to go home empty-handed. At
the festival of Tiruvottiyur, stalks of Amarantus gangeticus are in
like manner purchased.

It is noted, in the Gazetteer of the Madura district, that "a Kusavan
can claim the hand of his paternal aunt's daughter. Marriage occurs
before puberty. The tali is tied by the bridegroom's sister, and the
usual bride-price is paid. The ceremonies last three days. One of them
consists in the bridegroom's sister sowing seeds in a pot, and, on the
last day of the wedding, the seedlings which have sprouted are taken
with music to a river or tank (pond), and thrown into it. When the
bride attains maturity, a ceremony is conducted by the caste priest,
and consummation follows on the next auspicious day."

Among the Kusavans, divorce and remarriage are permissible on mutual
agreement, on one party paying to the other the expenses of the
latter's original marriage (parisam). A case came before the High Court
of Madras, [77] in which a Kusavan woman in the Tinnevelly district,
on the ground of ill-treatment, repaid her husband the parisam,
thereby dissolving the marriage, and married another man.

The potters are considered to be adepts in the treatment of cases of
fracture. And it is still narrated how one of them successfully set in
splints the broken arm of Lord Elphinstone, when Governor of Madras,
after the English doctors had given up the job as hopeless. [78]
"In our village," it is recorded, [79] "cases of dislocations
of bones and fractures, whether simple, compound, comminuted or
complicated, are taken in hand by the bone-setters, who are no other
than our potters. The village barber and the village potter are our
surgeons. While the barber treats cases of boils, wounds, and tumours,
the potter confines himself to cases of fracture and dislocations
of bones." The amateur treatment by the unqualified potter sometimes
gives rise to what is known as potter's gangrene.

For the notes of the following case I am indebted to Captain
F. F. Elwes, I.M.S. A bricklayer, about a month and a half or two
months prior to admission into hospital, fell from a height, and
injured his left arm. He went to a potter, who placed the arm and
forearm in a splint, the former in a line with the latter, i.e.,
fully extended. He kept the splint on for about a month and, when
it was removed, found that he was unable to bend the arm at the
elbow-joint. When he was examined at the hospital, practically
no movement, either active or passive, could be obtained at the
elbow-joint. The lower end of the humerus could be felt to be decidedly
thickened both anteriorly and posteriorly. There had apparently been
a fracture of the lower end of the humerus. Röntgen ray photographs
showed an immense mass of callus extending over the anterior surface of
the elbow-joint from about two and a half inches above the lower end
of the humerus to about an inch below the elbow-joint. There was also
some callus on the posterior surface of the lower end of the humerus.

Concerning potter's gangrene, Captain W. J. Niblock, I.M.S., writes
as follows. [80] "Cases of gangrene, the result of treatment of
fractures by the village potters, used to be frequently met with
in the General Hospital, Madras. These were usually brought when
the only possible treatment consisted in amputation well above the
disease. Two of these cases are indelibly impressed on my mind. Both
were cases of gangrene of the leg, the result of tight splinting by
potters. The first patient was a boy of thirteen. Whilst a student
was removing the dressings on his admission, the foot came off in his
hands, leaving two inches of the lower ends of the tibia and fibula
exposed, and absolutely devoid of all the soft tissues, not even the
periosteum being left. The second case was that of a Hindu man, aged
46. He was taken to the operation theatre at once. Whilst engaged
in disinfecting my hands, I heard a dull thud on the floor of the
operation theatre, turned round, and found that the gangrenous leg,
as the result of a struggle whilst chloroform was being administered,
had become separated at the knee-joint, and had fallen on floor; or,
to put it tersely, the man had kicked his leg off."

In connection with the Tamil proverb "This is the law of my caste,
and this is the law of my belly," the Rev. H. Jensen notes [81]
that "potters are never Vaishnavas; but potters at Srirangam were
compelled by the Vaishnava Brahmans to put the Vaishnava mark on their
foreheads; otherwise the Brahmans would not buy their pots for the
temple. One clever potter, having considered the difficulty, after
making the Saivite symbol on his forehead, put a big Vaishnava mark
on his stomach. When rebuked for so doing by a Brahman, he replied as
above." The proverb "Does the dog that breaks the pots understand how
difficult it is to pile them up?" is said by Jensen to have reference
to the pots which are piled up at the potter's house. A variant is
"What is many days' work for the potter is but a few moment's work
for him who breaks the pots."

In the Madura district, the Kusavans have Velan as a title.

The insigne of the Kusavans, recorded at Conjeeveram, is a potter's
wheel. [82]

Kutikkar.--A name for Dasis in Travancore.

Kutraki (wild goat).--An exogamous sept of Jatapu.

Kuttadi.--Described, in the Census Report, 1901, as an occupational
name, meaning a rope-dancer, applied to Dommaras, Paraiyans,
or Koravas. Arya Kuttadi is a Tamil synonym for Maratha (Are)
Dommaras. Kuttadi also occurs as the name of a class of mendicants
attached to Kaikolans.

Kuttan.--A division of Toda.

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

Kuttiya.--A sub-division of Kond.

Kuzhal.--The name of the flute used by shepherds and snake-charmers. It
occurs as an exogamous sept of Toreyas, the members of which must
not hear the sound of this musical instrument when at meals.

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

Kuzhiyan.--A synonym derived from kuzhi a pit, for Thanda Pulayans,
in reference to the legend that they were found emerging in a state
of nudity from a pit.



L


Labbai.--The Labbais are summed up, in the Madras Census Report, 1901,
as being "a Musalman caste of partly Tamil origin, the members of
which are traders and betel vine (Piper Betle) growers. They seem to
be distinct from the Marakkayars, as they do not intermarry with them,
and their Tamil contains a much smaller admixture of Arabic than that
used by the Marakkayars. In the Tanjore district, the Labbais are
largely betel vine cultivators, and are called Kodikkalkaran (betel
vine people)." In the Census Report, 1881, the Labbais are said to be
"found chiefly in Tanjore and Madura. They are the Mappilas of the
Coromandel coast, that is to say, converted Dravidians, or Hindus,
with a slight admixture of Arab blood. They are thrifty, industrious,
and enterprising; plucky mariners, and expert traders. They emigrate to
the Straits Settlements and Burma without restriction." In the Census
Report, 1891, they are described as "a mixed class of Muhammadans,
consisting partly of compulsory converts to Islam made by the early
Muhammadan invaders and Tippu Sultan." As regards their origin, Colonel
Wilks, the historian of Mysore, writes as follows. [83] "About the end
of the first century of the Hejirah, or the early part of the eighth
century A.D., Hijaj Ben Gusaff, Governor of Irak, a monster abhorred
for his cruelties even among Musalmans, drove some persons of the
house of Hashem to the desperate resolution of abandoning for ever
their native country. Some of them landed on that part of the western
coast of India called the Concan, the others to the eastward of Cape
Comorin. The descendants of the former are Navaiyats, of the latter
the Labbai, a name probably given to them by the natives from that
Arabic particle (a modification of labbick) corresponding with the
English 'Here I am,' indicating attention on being spoken to [i.e.,
the response of the servant to the call of his master. A further
explanation of the name is that the Labbais were originally few in
number, and were often oppressed by other Muhammadans and Hindus,
to whom they cried labbek, or we are your servants]. Another account
says they are the descendants of the Arabs, who, in the eleventh
and and twelfth centuries, came to India for trade. These Arabs were
persecuted by the Moghals, and they then returned to their country,
leaving behind their children born of Indian women. The word Labbai
seems to be of recent origin, for, in the Tamil lexicons, this caste
is usually known as Sonagan, i.e., a native of Sonagam (Arabia),
and this name is common at the present day. Most of the Labbais are
traders; some are engaged in weaving corah (sedge) mats; and others in
diving at the pearl and chank fisheries of the Gulf of Manaar. Tamil
is their home-speech, and they have furnished some fair Tamil poets. In
religion they are orthodox Musalmans. Their marriage ceremony, however,
closely resembles that of the lower Hindu castes, the only difference
being that the former cite passages from the Koran, and their females
do not appear in public even during marriages. Girls are not married
before puberty. Their titles are Marakkayan (Marakalar, boatmen), and
Ravuttan (a horse soldier). Their first colony appears to have been
Kayalpatnam in the Tinnevelly district." In the Manual of the Madura
district, the Labbais are described as "a fine, strong, active race,
who generally contrive to keep themselves in easy circumstances. Many
of them live by traffic. Many are smiths, and do excellent work as
such. Others are fishermen, boatmen, and the like. They are to be found
in great numbers in the Zamindaris, particularly near the sea-coast."

Concerning the use of a Malay blow-gun (glorified pea-shooter)
by the Labbais of the Madura district, Dr. N. Annandale writes as
follows. [84] "While visiting the sub-division of Ramnad in the
coast of the Madura district in 1905, I heard that there were, among
the Muhammadan people known locally as Lubbais or Labbis, certain
men who made a livelihood by shooting pigeons with blow-guns. At
Kilakarai, a port on the Gulf of Manaar, I was able to obtain a
specimen, as well as particulars. According to my Labbi informants,
the 'guns' are purchased by them in Singapore from Bugis traders,
and brought to India. There is still a considerable trade, although
diminished, between Kilakarai and the ports of Burma and the Straits
Settlements. It is carried on entirely by Muhammadans in native sailing
vessels, and a large proportion of the Musalmans of Kilakarai have
visited Penang and Singapore. It is not difficult to find among them
men who can speak Straits Malay. The local name for the blow-gun is
senguttan, and is derived in popular etymology from the Tamil sen
(above) and kutu (to stab). I have little doubt that it is really a
corruption of the Malay name of the weapon--sumpitan. The blow-gun
which I obtained measures 189.6 cm. in length: its external diameter
at the breech is 30mm., and at the other extremity 24 mm. The diameter
of the bore, however, is practically the same throughout, viz., 12
mm. Both ends are overlaid with tin, and the breech consists of a
solid piece of tin turned on a lathe and pierced, the diameter of the
aperture being the same as that of the bore. The solid tin measures
35 mm. in length, and is continuous with the foil which covers the
base of the wooden tube. The tube itself is of very hard, heavy, dark
wood, apparently that of a palm. It is smooth, polished and regular
on its outer surface, and the bore is extremely true and even. At a
distance of 126 mm. from the distal extremity, at the end of the foil
which protects the tip of the weapon, a lump of mud is fixed on the
tube as a 'sight.' The ornamentation of the weapon is characteristic,
and shows that it must have been made in North Borneo. It consists of
rings, leaf-shaped designs with an open centre, and longitudinal bars,
all inlaid with tin. The missiles used at Kilakarai were not darts,
but little pellets of soft clay worked with the fingers immediately
before use. The use of pellets instead of darts is probably an Indian
makeshift. Although a 'sight' is used in some Bornean blow-guns, I
was told, probably correctly, that the lump of mud on the Kilakarai
specimen had been added in India. I was told that it was the custom
at Kilakarai to lengthen the tin breech of the 'gun' in accordance
with the capacity of the owner's lungs. He first tried the tube by
blowing a pellet through it, and, if he felt he could blow through a
longer tube, he added another piece of tin at the proximal end. The
pellet is placed in the mouth, into which the butt of the tube
is also introduced. The pellet is then worked into the tube with
the tongue, and is propelled by a violent effort of the lungs. No
wadding is used. Aim is rendered inaccurate, in the first place by
the heaviness of the tube, and secondly by the unsuitable nature of
the missile." A toy blow-gun is also figured by Dr. Annandale, such
as is used as a plaything by Labbai boys, and consisting of a hollow
cane with a piece of tinned iron twisted round the butt, and fastened
by soldering the two ends together. I have received from the Madura
district a blowpipe consisting of a long black-japanned tin tube,
like a billiard-cue case, with brass fittings and terminals.

In connection with the dugong (Halicore dugong), which is caught
in the Gulf of Manaar, Dr. Annandale writes as follows. [85] "The
presence of large glands in connection with the eye afforded some
justification for the Malay's belief that the Dugong weeps when
captured. They regard the tears of the ikandugong ('Dugong fish')
as a powerful love-charm. Muhammadan fishermen on the Gulf of Manaar
appeared to be ignorant of this usage, but told me that a 'doctor'
once went out with them to collect the tears of a Dugong, should they
capture one. Though they do not call the animal a fish, they are less
particular about eating its flesh than are the Patani Malays and the
Trang Samsams, who will not do so unless the 'fish's' throat has been
cut in the manner orthodox for warm-blooded animals. The common Tamil
name for the Dugong is kadalpudru ('sea-pig'); but the fishermen at
Kilakarai (Lubbais) call it avilliah."

Concerning the Labbais of the South Arcot district, Mr. W. Francis
writes as follows. [86] "The Labbais are often growers of betel,
especially round about Nellikuppam, and they also conduct the
skin trade of the district, are petty shop-keepers, and engage in
commerce at the ports. Their women are clever at weaving mats from
the screw-pine (Pandanus fascicularis), which grows so abundantly
along the sandy shore of the Bay of Bengal. The Labbais very
generally wear a high hat of plaited coloured grass, and a tartan
(kambayam) waist-cloth, and so are not always readily distinguishable
in appearance from the Marakkayars, but some of them use the Hindu
turban and waist-cloth, and let their womankind dress almost exactly
like Hindu women. In the same way, some Labbais insist on the use of
Hindustani in their houses, while others speak Tamil. There seems to
be a growing dislike to the introduction of Hindu rites into domestic
ceremonies, and the processions and music, which were once common
at marriages, are slowly giving place to a simpler ritual more in
resemblance with the nikka ceremony of the Musalman faith."

In a note on the Labbais of the North Arcot district, [87]
Mr. H. A. Stuart describes them as being "very particular Muhammadans,
and many belong to the Wahabi section. Adhering to the rule of the
Koran, most of them refuse to lend money at interest, but get over the
difficulty by taking a share in the profits derived by others in their
loans. They are, as a rule, well-to-do, and excellently housed. The
first thing a Labbai does is to build himself a commodious tiled
building, and the next to provide himself with gay attire. They seem
to have a prejudice against repairing houses, and prefer letting them
go to ruin, and building new ones. The ordinary Musalmans appear to
entertain similar ideas on this point."

Some Kodikkalkaran Labbais have adopted Hindu customs in their
marriage ceremonies. Thus a bamboo is set up as a milk-post, and a
tali is tied round the neck of the bride while the Nikkadiva is being
read. In other respects, they practice Muhammadan rites.

Concerning the Labbais who have settled in the Mysore province, I
gather [88] that they are "an enterprising class of traders, settled in
nearly all the large towns. They are vendors of hardware and general
merchants, collectors of hides, and large traders in coffee produce,
and generally take up any kind of lucrative business. It is noteworthy,
as denoting the perseverance and pushing character of the race that,
in the large village of Gargesvari in Tirumakudlu, Narsipur taluk,
the Labbes have acquired by purchase or otherwise large extents of
river-irrigated lands, and have secured to themselves the leadership
among the villagers within a comparatively recent period."

For the purpose of the education of Labbai and Marakkayar children,
the Koran and other books have been published in the Tamil language,
but with Arabic characters. Concerning these Arab-Tamil books I gather
that "when a book thus written is read, it is hardly possible to say
that it is Tamil--it sounds like Arabic, and the guttural sounds of
certain words have softened down into Arabic sounds. Certain words,
mostly of religious connection, have been introduced, and even words of
familiar daily use. For instance, a Labbai would not use the familiar
word Annai for brother, Tagappan for father, or Chithammai for aunt,
but would call such relatives Bhai, Bava, and Khula. Since the books
are written in Arabic characters, they bear a religious aspect. The
Labbai considers it a sacred and meritorious duty to publish them,
and distribute them gratis among the school-going children. A book
so written or printed is called a kitab, rather than its Tamil
equivalent pustagam, and is considered sacred. It commands almost
the same respect as the Koran itself, in regard to which it has been
commanded 'Touch not with unclean hands.' A book of a religious nature,
written or printed in Tamil characters, may be left on the ground,
but a kitab of even secular character will always be placed on a
rihal or seat, and, when it falls to the ground, it is kissed and
raised to the forehead. The origin of this literature may be traced
to Kayalpatnam, Melapalayam, and other important Labbai towns in the
Tinnevelly district." The following rendering of the second Kalima
will serve as an example of Arab-Tamil.

Ladaf.--Recorded, at the census, 1901, as a synonym of Dudekula. A
corruption of nad-daf (a cotton-dresser).

Ladar.--It is noted, in the Mysore Census Report, 1901, that "the
Ladars are a class of general merchants, found chiefly in the cities,
where they supply all kinds of stores, glass-ware, etc." I gather [89]
that the "Lad or Suryavaunshi Vanis say that they are the children
of Surya, the sun. They are said to have come from Benares to Maisur
under pressure of famine about 700 years ago. But their caste name
seems to show that their former settlement was not in Benares, but
in South Gujarat or Lat Desh. They are a branch of the Lad community
of Maisur, with whom they have social intercourse. They teach their
boys to read and write Kanarese, and succeed as traders in grain,
cloth, and groceries."

Lala.--The names of some Bondilis, or immigrants from Bandelkand,
who have settled in the North Arcot district and other localities,
terminate with Lala. Lala also occurs as a synonym for Kayasth,
the writer caste of Bengal, immigrants from Northern India, who
have settled in Madras, where there are a number of families. "In
Madras," Mr. S. M. Natesa Sastri informs us, [90] "the Mahrattas and
Lalas--mostly non-Brahman--observe the Holi feast with all sorts of
hideousness. The youngsters of the Lala sect make, in each house or
in common for a whole street, an image of Holika, sing obscene songs
before it, offer sweetmeats, fruits and other things in mock worship
of the image, exchange horseplay compliments by syringing coloured
water on each other's clothes, and spend the whole period of the
feast singing, chatting, and abusing. Indecent language is allowed
to be indulged in during the continuance of this jolly occasion. At
about 1 A.M. on the full moon day, the image of Holika is burnt,
and children sit round the embers, and beat their mouths, making a
mock mourning sound. Tender children are swung over the fire for a
second by the fond mothers, and this is believed to remove all kinds
of danger from the babies."

Laligonda.--Recorded, in the Madras Census Report, 1901, as Lingayats,
consisting of Canarese-speaking Kapus or Vakkaligas.

Lambadi.--The Lambadis are also called Lambani, Brinjari or Banjari,
Boipari, Sugali or Sukali. By some Sugali is said to be a corruption of
supari (betel nut), because they formerly traded largely therein. [91]
"The Banjaras," Mr. G. A. Grierson writes, [92] "are the well-known
tribe of carriers who are found all over Western and Southern
India. [93] One of their principal sub-castes is known under the name
of Labhani, and this name (or some related one) is often applied to
the whole tribe. The two names appear each under many variations,
such as Banjari, Vanjari, Brinjari, Labhani, Labani, Labana, Lambadi,
and Lambani. The name Banjara and its congeners is probably derived
from the Sanskrit Vanijyakarakas, a merchant, through the Prakrit
Vanijjaarao, a trader. The derivation of Labhani or Labani, etc.,
is obscure. It has been suggested that it means salt carrier from
the Sanskrit lavanah, salt, because the tribe carried salt, but
this explanation goes against several phonetic rules, and does not
account for the forms of the word like Labhani or Lambani. Banjari
falls into two main dialects--that of the Panjab and Gujarat, and
that of elsewhere (of which we may take the Labhani of Berar as
the standard). All these different dialects are ultimately to be
referred to the language of Western Rajputana. The Labhani of Berar
possesses the characteristics of an old form of speech, which has
been preserved unchanged for some centuries. It may be said to be
based partly on Marwari and partly on Northern Gujarati." It is noted
by Mr. Grierson that the Banjari dialect of Southern India is mixed
with the surrounding Dravidian languages. In the Census Report, 1901,
Tanda (the name of the Lambadi settlements or camps), and Vali Sugriva
are given as synonyms for the tribal name. Vali and Sugriva were
two monkey chiefs mentioned in the Ramayana, from whom the Lambadis
claim to be descended. The legend, as given by Mr. F. S. Mullaly,
[94] is that "there were two brothers, Mota and Mola, descendants of
Sugriva. Mola had no issue, so, being an adept in gymnastic feats,
he went with his wife Radha, and exhibited his skill at 'Rathanatch'
before three rajahs. They were so taken with Mola's skill, and the
grace and beauty of Radha, and of her playing of the nagara or drum,
that they asked what they could do for them. Mola asked each of the
rajahs for a boy, that he might adopt him as his son. This request was
accorded, and Mola adopted three boys. Their names were Chavia, Lohia
Panchar, and Ratade. These three boys, in course of time, grew up and
married. From Bheekya, the eldest son of Ratade, started the clan known
as the Bhutyas, and from this clan three minor sub-divisions known as
the Maigavuth, Kurumtoths, and Kholas. The Bhutyas form the principal
class among the Lambadis." According to another legend, [95] "one
Chada left five sons, Mula, Mota, Nathad, Jogda, and Bhimda. Chavan
(Chauhan), one of the three sons of Mula, had six sons, each of whom
originated a clan. In the remote past, a Brahman from Ajmir, and a
Marata from Jotpur in the north of India, formed alliances with,
and settled among these people, the Marata living with Rathol,
a brother of Chavan. The Brahman married a girl of the latter's
family, and his offspring added a branch to the six distinct clans
of Chavan. These clans still retain the names of their respective
ancestors, and, by reason of cousinship, intermarriage between some
of them is still prohibited. They do, however, intermarry with the
Brahman offshoot, which was distinguished by the name of Vadtya,
from Chavan's family. Those belonging to the Vadtya clan still wear
the sacred thread. The Marata, who joined the Rathol family, likewise
founded an additional branch under the name of Khamdat to the six
clans of the latter, who intermarry with none but the former. It is
said that from the Khamdat clan are recruited most of the Lambadi
dacoits. The clan descended from Mota, the second son of Chada,
is not found in the Mysore country. The descendants of Nathad, the
third son, live by catching wild birds, and are known as Mirasikat,
Paradi, or Vagri (see Kuruvikkaran). The Jogdas are people of the
Jogi caste. Those belonging to the Bhimda family are the peripatetic
blacksmiths, called Bailu Kammara. The Lambani outcastes compose a
sub-division called Thalya, who, like the Holayas, are drum-beaters,
and live in detached habitations."

As pointing to a distinction between Sukalis and Banjaris, it is
noted by the Rev. J. Cain [96] that "the Sukalilu do not travel in
such large companies as the Banjarilu, nor are their women dressed as
gaudily as the Banjari women. There is but little friendship between
these two classes, and the Sukali would regard it as anything but
an honour to be called a Banjari, and the Banjari is not flattered
when called a Sukali." It is, however, noted, in the Madras Census
Report, 1891, that enquiries show that Lambadis and Sugalis are
practically the same. And Mr. H. A. Stuart, writing concerning the
inhabitants of the North Arcot district, states that the names Sugali,
Lambadi and Brinjari "seem to be applied to one and the same class
of people, though a distinction is made. The Sugalis are those who
have permanently settled in the district; the Lambadis are those who
commonly pass through from the coast to Mysore; and the Brinjaris
appear to be those who come down from Hyderabad or the Central
Provinces." It is noted by Mr. W. Francis [97] that, in the Bellary
district, the Lambadis do not recognise the name Sugali.

Orme mentions the Lambadis as having supplied the Comte de Bussy
with store, cattle and grain, when besieged by the Nizam's army at
Hyderabad. In an account of the Brinjaris towards the close of the
eighteenth century, Moor [98] writes that they "associate chiefly
together, seldom or never mixing with other tribes. They seem to have
no home, nor character, but that of merchants, in which capacity
they travel great distances to whatever parts are most in want of
merchandise, which is the greatest part corn. In times of war they
attend, and are of great assistance to armies, and, being neutral,
it is a matter of indifference to them who purchase their goods. They
marched and formed their own encampments apart, relying on their
own courage for protection; for which purpose the men are all armed
with swords or matchlocks. The women drive the cattle, and are the
most robust we ever saw in India, undergoing a great deal of labour
with apparent ease. Their dress is peculiar, and their ornaments are
so singularly chosen that we have, we are confident, seen women who
(not to mention a child at their backs) have had eight or ten pounds
weight in metal or ivory round their arms and legs. The favourite
ornaments appear to be rings of ivory from the wrist to the shoulder,
regularly increasing in size, so that the ring near the shoulder will
be immoderately large, sixteen or eighteen inches, or more perhaps
in circumference. These rings are sometimes dyed red. Silver, lead,
copper, or brass, in ponderous bars, encircle their shins, sometimes
round, others in the form of festoons, and truly we have seen some
so circumstanced that a criminal in irons would not have much more
to incommode him than these damsels deem ornamental and agreeable
trappings on a long march, for they are never dispensed with in the
hottest weather. A kind of stomacher, with holes for the arms, and
tied behind at the bottom, covers their breast, and has some strings
of cowries, [99] depending behind, dangling at their backs. The
stomacher is curiously studded with cowries, and their hair is also
bedecked with them. They wear likewise ear-rings, necklaces, rings
on the fingers and toes, and, we think, the nut or nose jewel. They
pay little attention to cleanliness; their hair, once plaited, is
not combed or opened perhaps for a month; their bodies or cloths are
seldom washed; their arms are indeed so encased with ivory that it
would be no easy matter to clean them. They are chaste and affable;
any indecorum offered to a woman would be resented by the men, who have
a high sense of honour on that head. Some are men of great property;
it is said that droves of loaded bullocks, to the number of fifty or
sixty thousand, have at different times followed the Bhow's army."

The Lambadis of Bellary "have a tradition among them of having first
come to the Deccan from the north with Moghul camps as commissariat
carriers. Captain J. Briggs, in writing about them in 1813, states
that, as the Deccan is devoid of a single navigable river, and has
no roads that admit of wheeled traffic, the whole of the extensive
intercourse is carried on by laden bullocks, the property of the
Banjaris." [100] Concerning the Lambadis of the same district,
Mr. Francis writes that "they used to live by pack-bullock trade, and
they still remember the names of some of the generals who employed
their forebears. When peace and the railways came and did away with
these callings, they fell back for a time upon crime as a livelihood,
but they have now mostly taken to agriculture and grazing." Some
Lambadis are, at the present time (1908), working in the Mysore
manganese mines.

Writing in 1825, Bishop Heber noted [101] that "we passed a number
of Brinjarees, who were carrying salt. They all had bows, arrows,
sword and shield. Even the children had, many of them, bows and arrows
suited to their strength, and I saw one young woman equipped in the
same manner."

Of the Lambadis in time of war, the Abbé Dubois inform us [102]
that "they attach themselves to the army where discipline is least
strict. They come swarming in from all parts, hoping, in the general
disorder and confusion, to be able to thieve with impunity. They make
themselves very useful by keeping the market well supplied with the
provisions that they have stolen on the march. They hire themselves
and their large herds of cattle to whichever contending party will
pay them best, acting as carriers of the supplies and baggage of the
army. They were thus employed, to the number of several thousands, by
the English in their last war with the Sultan of Mysore. The English,
however, had occasion to regret having taken these untrustworthy
and ill-disciplined people into their service, when they saw them
ravaging the country through which they passed, and causing more
annoyance than the whole of the enemy's army."

It is noted by Wilks [103] that the travelling grain merchants,
who furnished the English army under Cornwallis with grain during
the Mysore war, were Brinjaris, and, he adds, "they strenuously
objected, first, that no capital execution should take place without
the sanction of the regular judicial authority; second, that they
should be punishable for murder. The executions to which they demanded
assent, or the murders for which they were called to account, had
their invariable origin in witchcraft, or the power of communication
with evil spirits. If a child sickened, or a wife was inconstant,
the sorcerer was to be discovered and punished." It is recorded by
the Rev. J. Cain that many of the Lambadis "confessed that, in former
days, it was the custom among them before starting out on a journey to
procure a little child, and bury it in the ground up to the shoulders,
and then drive their loaded bullocks over the unfortunate victim,
and, in proportion to their thoroughly trampling the child to death,
so their belief in a successful journey increased. A Lambadi was seen
repeating a number of mantrams (magical formulæ) over his patients,
and touching their heads at the same time with a book, which was a
small edition of the Telugu translation of St. John's gospel. Neither
the physician nor patient could read, and had no idea of the contents
of the book." At the time when human (meriah) sacrifices prevailed in
the Vizagapatam Agency tracts, it was the regular duty of Lambadis
to kidnap or purchase human beings in the plains, and sell them to
the hill tribes for extravagant prices. A person, in order to be a
fitting meriah, had to be purchased for a price.

It is recorded [104] that not long after the accession of Vinayaka
Deo to the throne of Jeypore, in the fifteenth century, some of his
subjects rose against him, but he recovered his position with the help
of a leader of Brinjaris. Ever since then, in grateful recognition,
his descendants have appended to their signatures a wavy line (called
valatradu), which represents the rope with which Brinjaris tether
their cattle.

The common occupation of the Lambadis of Mysore is said [105] to be
"the transport, especially in the hill and forest tracts difficult
of access, of grain and other produce on pack bullocks, of which
they keep large herds. They live in detached clusters of rude huts,
called thandas, at some distance from established villages. Though
some of them have taken of late to agriculture, they have as yet
been only partially reclaimed from criminal habits." The thandas
are said to be mostly pitched on high ground affording coigns of
vantage for reconnoissance in predatory excursions. It is common
for the Lambadis of the Vizagapatam Agency, during their trade
peregrinations, to clear a level piece of land, and camp for
night, with fires lighted all round them. Mr. C. Hayavadana Rao
informs me that "they regard themselves as immune from the attacks
of tigers, if they take certain precautions. Most of them have to
pass through places infested with these beasts, and their favourite
method of keeping them off is as follows. As soon as they encamp
at a place, they level a square bit of ground, and light fires in
the middle of it, round which they pass the night. It is their firm
belief that the tiger will not enter the square, from fear lest it
should become blind, and eventually be shot. I was once travelling
towards Malkangiri from Jeypore, when I fell in with a party of
these people encamped in the manner described. At that time, several
villages about Malkangiri were being ravaged by a notorious man-eater
(tiger). In the Madras Census Reports the Lambadis are described as
a class of traders, herdsmen, cattle-breeders, and cattle-lifters,
found largely in the Deccan districts, in parts of which they have
settled down as agriculturists. In the Cuddapah district they are said
[106] to be found in most of the jungly tracts, living chiefly by
collecting firewood and jungle produce. In the Vizagapatam district,
Mr. G. F. Paddison informs me, the bullocks of the Lambadis are
ornamented with peacock's feathers and cowry shells, and generally a
small mirror on the forehead. The bullocks of the Brinjaris (Boiparis)
are described by the Rev. G. Gloyer [107] as having their horns,
foreheads, and necks decorated with richly embroidered cloth, and
carrying on their horns, plumes of peacock's feathers and tinkling
bells. When on the march, the men always have their mouths covered,
to avoid the awful dust which the hundreds of cattle kick up. Their
huts are very temporary structures made of wattle. The whole village
is moved about a furlong or so every two or three years--as early
a stage of the change from nomadic to a settled life as can be
found." The Lambadi tents, or pals, are said by Mr. Mullaly to be
"made of stout coarse cloth fastened with ropes. In moving camp,
these habitations are carried with their goods and chattels on
pack bullocks." Concerning the Lambadis of the Bellary district
Mr. S. P. Rice writes to me as follows. "They are wood-cutters,
carriers, and coolies, but some of them settle down and become
cultivators. A Lambadi hut generally consists of only one small
room, with no aperture except the doorway. Here are huddled together
the men, women, and children, the same room doing duty as kitchen,
dining and bedroom. The cattle are generally tied up outside in any
available spot of the village site, so that the whole village is a
sort of cattle pen interspersed with huts, in whatsoever places may
have seemed convenient to the particular individual. Dotted here and
there are a few shrines of a modest description, where I was told that
fires are lighted every night in honour of the deity. The roofs are
generally sloping and made of thatch, unlike the majority of houses
in the Deccan, which are almost always terraced or flat roofed. I have
been into one or two houses rather larger than those described, where
I found a buffalo or two, after the usual Canarese fashion. There is
an air of encampment about the village, which suggests a gipsy life."

The present day costume and personal adornments of the Lambadi
females have been variously described by different writers. By one,
the women are said to remind one of the Zingari of Wallachia and
the Gitani of Spain. "Married women," Mr. H. A. Stuart writes, [108]
"are distinguished from the unmarried in that they wear their bangles
between the elbow and shoulder, while the unmarried have them between
the elbow and wrist. Unmarried girls may wear black bead necklets,
which are taken off at marriage, at which time they first assume
the ravikkai or jacket. Matrons also use an earring called guriki
to distinguish them from widows or unmarried girls." In the Mysore
Census Report, 1901, it is noted that "the women wear a peculiar
dress, consisting of a lunga or gown of stout coarse print, a tartan
petticoat, and a mantle often elaborately embroidered, which also
covers the head and upper part of the body. The hair is worn in
ringlets or plaits hanging down each side of the face, and decorated
with shells, and terminating in tassels. The arms are profusely
covered with trinkets and rings made of bones, brass and other rude
materials. The men's dress consists of a white or red turband, and
a pair of white breeches or knicker-bockers, reaching a little below
the knee, with a string of red silk tassels hanging by the right side
from the waistband." "The men," Mr. F. S. Mullaly writes, "are fine
muscular fellows, capable of enduring long and fatiguing marches. Their
ordinary dress is the dhoty with short trousers, and frequently gaudy
turbans and caps, in which they indulge on festive occasions. They also
affect a considerable amount of jewellery. The women are, as a rule,
comely, and above the average height of women of the country. Their
costume is the laigna (langa) or gown of Karwar cloth, red or green,
with a quantity of embroidery. The chola (choli) or bodice, with
embroidery in the front and on the shoulders, covers the bosom, and
is tied by variegated cords at the back, the ends of the cords being
ornamented with cowries and beads. A covering cloth of Karwar cloth,
with embroidery, is fastened in at the waist, and hangs at the side
with a quantity of tassels and strings of cowries. Their jewels are
very numerous, and include strings of beads of ten or twenty rows
with a cowry as a pendant, called the cheed, threaded on horse-hair,
and a silver hasali (necklace), a sign of marriage equivalent to the
tali. Brass or horn bracelets, ten to twelve in number, extending to
the elbow on either arm, with a guzera or piece of embroidered silk,
one inch wide, tied to the right wrist. Anklets of ivory (or bone)
or horn are only worn by married women. They are removed on the death
of the husband. Pachala or silk embroidery adorned with tassels and
cowries is also worn as an anklet by women. Their other jewels are
mukaram or nose ornament, a silver kania or pendant from the upper part
of the ear attached to a silver chain which hangs to the shoulder,
and a profusion of silver, brass, and lead rings. Their hair is,
in the case of unmarried women, unadorned, brought up and tied in
a knot at the top of the head. With married women it is fastened,
in like manner, with a cowry or a brass button, and heavy pendants or
gujuris are fastened at the temples. This latter is an essential sign
of marriage, and its absence is a sign of widowhood. Lambadi women,
when carrying water, are fastidious in the adornment of the pad, called
gala, which is placed on their heads. They cover it with cowries,
and attach to it an embroidered cloth, called phulia, ornamented with
tassels and cowries." I gather that Lambadi women of the Lavidia and
Kimavath septs do not wear bracelets (chudo), because the man who went
to bring them for the marriage of a remote ancestor died. In describing
the dress of the Lambadi women, the Rev. G. N. Thomssen writes that
"the sari is thrown over the head as a hood, with a frontlet of coins
dangling over the forehead. This frontlet is removed in the case of
widows. At the ends of the tufts of hair at the ears, heavy ornaments
are tied or braided. Married women have a gold and silver coin at
the ends of these tufts, while widows remove them. But the dearest
possession of the women are large broad bracelets, made, some of wood,
and the large number of bone or ivory. Almost the whole arm is covered
with these ornaments. In case of the husband's death, the bracelets
on the upper arm are removed. They are kept in place by a cotton
bracelet, gorgeously made, the strings of which are ornamented with
the inevitable cowries. On the wrist broad heavy brass bracelets with
bells are worn, these being presents from the mother to her daughter."

Each thanda, Mr. Natesa Sastri writes, has "a headman
called the Nayaka, whose word is law, and whose office is
hereditary. Each settlement has also a priest, whose office is
likewise hereditary." According to Mr. H. A. Stuart, the thanda is
named after the headman, and he adds, "the head of the gang appears
to be regarded with great reverence, and credited with supernatural
powers. He is believed to rule the gang most rigorously, and to have
the power of life and death over its members."

Concerning the marriage ceremonies of the Sugalis of North Arcot,
Mr. Stuart informs us that these "last for three days. On the first
an intoxicating beverage compounded of bhang (Cannabis indica) leaves,
jaggery (crude sugar), and other things, is mixed and drunk. When all
are merry, the bridegroom's parents bring Rs. 35 and four bullocks
to those of the bride, and, after presenting them, the bridegroom
is allowed to tie a square silver bottu or tali (marriage badge)
to the bride's neck, and the marriage is complete; but the next two
days must be spent in drinking and feasting. At the conclusion of the
third day, the bride is arrayed in gay new clothes, and goes to the
bridegroom's house, driving a bullock before her. Upon the birth of
the first male child, a second silver bottu is tied to the mother's
neck, and a third when a second son is born. When a third is added
to the family, the three bottus are welded together, after which no
additions are made." Of the Lambadi marriage ceremony in the Bellary
district, the following detailed account is given by Mr. Francis. "As
acted before me by a number of both sexes of the caste, it runs as
follows. The bridegroom arrives at night at the bride's house with a
cloth covering his head, and an elaborately embroidered bag containing
betel and nut slung from his shoulder. Outside the house, at the four
corners of a square, are arranged four piles of earthen pots--five
pots in each. Within this square two grain-pounding pestles are stuck
upright in the ground. The bride is decked with the cloth peculiar to
married women, and taken outside the house to meet the bridegroom. Both
stand within the square of pots, and round their shoulders is tied a
cloth, in which the officiating Brahman knots a rupee. This Brahman,
it may be at once noted, has little more to do with the ceremony
beyond ejaculating at intervals 'Shobhana! Shobhana!' or 'May it
prosper!' Then the right hands of the couple are joined, and they
walk seven times round each of the upright pestles, while the women
chant the following song, one line being sung for each journey round
the pestle:


    To yourself and myself marriage has taken place.
    Together we will walk round the marriage pole.
    Walk the third time; marriage has taken place.
    You are mine by marriage.
    Walk the fifth time; marriage has taken place.
    Walk the sixth time; marriage has taken place.
    Walk the seventh time; marriage has taken place.
    We have walked seven times; I am yours.
    Walk the seventh time; you are mine.


"The couple then sit on a blanket on the ground near one of the
pestles, and are completely covered with a cloth. The bride gives the
groom seven little balls compounded of rice, ghee (clarified butter)
and sugar, which he eats. He then gives her seven others, which she in
turn eats. The process is repeated near the other pestle. The women
keep on chanting all the while. Then the pair go into the house,
and the cloth into which the rupee was knotted is untied, and the
ceremonies for that night are over. Next day the couple are bathed
separately, and feasting takes place. That evening the girl's mother
or near female relations tie to the locks on each side of her temples
the curious badges, called gugri, which distinguish a married from an
unmarried woman, fasten a bunch of tassels to her back hair, and girdle
her with a tasselled waistband, from which is suspended a little bag,
into which the bridegroom puts five rupees. These last two are donned
thereafter on great occasions, but are not worn every day. The next
day the girl is taken home by her new husband." It is noted in the
Mysore Census Report, 1891, that "one unique custom, distinguishing
the Lambani marriage ceremonial, is that the officiating Brahman priest
is the only individual of the masculine persuasion who is permitted to
be present. Immediately after the betrothal, the females surround and
pinch the priest on all sides, repeating all the time songs in their
mixed Kutni dialect. The vicarious punishment to which the solitary
male Brahman is thus subjected is said to be apt retribution for
the cruel conduct, according to a mythological legend, of a Brahman
parent who heartlessly abandoned his two daughters in the jungle,
as they had attained puberty before marriage. The pinching episode is
notoriously a painful reality. It is said, however, that the Brahman,
willingly undergoes the operation in consideration of the fees paid for
the rite." The treatment of the Brahman as acted before me by Lambadi
women at Nandyal, included an attempt to strip him stark naked. In
the Census Report, it is stated that, at Lambadi weddings, the women
"weep and cry aloud, and the bride and bridegroom pour milk into an
ant-hill, and offer the snake which lives therein cocoanuts, flowers,
and so on. Brahmans are sometimes engaged to celebrate weddings,
and, failing a Brahman, a youth of the tribe will put on the thread,
and perform the ceremony."

The following variant of the marriage ceremonies was acted before me
at Kadur in Mysore. A pandal (booth) is erected, and beneath it two
pestles or rice-pounders are set up. At the four corners, a row of
five pots is placed, and the pots are covered with leafy twigs of
Calotropis procera, which are tied with Calotropis fibre or cotton
thread. Sometimes a pestle is set up near each row of pots. The bridal
couple seat themselves near the pestles, and the ends of their cloths,
with a silver coin in them, are tied together. They are then smeared
with turmeric, and, after a wave-offering to ward off the evil eye,
they go seven times round the pestles, while the women sing:--


    Oh! girl, walk along, walk.
    You boasted that you would not marry.
    Now you are married.
    Walk, girl, walk on.
    There is no good in your boasting.
    You have eaten the pudding.
    Walk, girl, walk.
    Leave off boasting.
    You sat on the plank with the bridegroom's thigh on yours.


The bride and bridegroom take their seats on a plank, and the former
throws a string round the neck of the latter, and ties seven knots
in it. The bridegroom then does the same to the bride. The knots are
untied. Cloths are then placed over the backs of the couple, and a
swastika mark ([swastika]) is drawn on them with turmeric paste. A
Brahman purohit is then brought to the pandal, and seats himself on
a plank. A clean white cloth is placed on his head, and fastened
tightly with string. Into this improvised turban, leafy twigs of
mango and Cassia auriculata are stuck. Some of the Lambadi women
present, while chanting a tune, throw sticks of Ficus glomerata,
Artocarpus integrifolia, and mango in front of the Brahman, pour
gingelly (Sesamum) oil over them, and set them on fire. The Brahman
is made a bridegroom, and he must give out the name of his bride. He
is then slapped on the cheeks by the women, thrown down, and his
clothing stripped off. The Brahman ceremonial concluded, a woman
puts the badges of marriage on the bride. On the following day, she
is dressed up, and made to stand on a bullock, and keep on crooning
a mournful song, which makes her cry eventually. As she repeats the
song, she waves her arms, and folds them over her head. The words of
the song, the reproduction of which in my phonograph invariably made
the women weep, are somewhat as follows:--


    Oh! father, you brought me up so carefully by spending much money.
    All this was to no purpose.
    Oh! mother, the time has come when I have to leave you.
    Is it to send me away that you nourished me?
    Oh! how can I live away from you,
    My brothers and sisters?


Among the Lambadis of Mysore, widow remarriage and polygamy are said
[109] to freely prevail, "and it is customary for divorced women to
marry again during the lifetime of the husband under the sire udike
(tying of a new cloth) form of remarriage, which also obtains among the
Vakkaligas and others. In such cases, the second husband, under the
award of the caste arbitration, is made to pay a certain sum (tera)
as amends to the first husband, accompanied by a caste dinner. The
woman is then readmitted into society. But certain disabilities are
attached to widow remarriage. Widows remarried are forbidden entry
into a regular marriage party, whilst their offspring are disabled
from legal marriage for three generations, although allowed to take
wives from families similarly circumstanced." According to Mr. Stuart,
the Sugalis of the North Arcot district "do not allow the marriage of
widows, but on payment of Rs. 15 and three buffaloes to her family,
who take charge of her children, a widow may be taken by any man as a
concubine, and her children are considered legitimate. Even during her
husband's life, a woman may desert him for any one else, the latter
paying the husband the cost of the original marriage ceremony. The
Sugalis burn the married, but bury all others, and have no ceremonies
after death for the rest of the soul of the deceased." If the head
of a burning corpse falls off the pyre, the Lambadis pluck some grass
or leaves, which they put in their mouths "like goats," and run home.

A custom called Valli Sukkeri is recorded by the Rev. G. N. Thomssen,
according to which "if an elder brother marries and dies without
offspring, the younger brother must marry the widow, and raise up
children, such children being regarded as those of the deceased elder
brother. If, however, the elder brother dies leaving offspring, and
the younger brother wishes to marry the widow, he must give fifteen
rupees and three oxen to his brother's children. Then he may marry the
widow." The custom here referred to is said to be practiced because
the Lambadi's ancestor Sugriva married his elder brother Vali's widow.

I am informed by Mr. F. A. Hamilton that, among the Lambadis of
Kollegal in the Coimbatore district, "if a widower remarries, he may
go through the ordinary marriage ceremony, or the kuttuvali rite,
in which all that is necessary is to declare his selection of a
bride to four or five castemen, whom he feeds. A widow may remarry
according to the same rite, her new husband paying the expenses of the
feast. Married people are burnt. Unmarried, and those who have been
married by the kuttuvali rite, are buried. When cremation is resorted
to, the eldest son sets fire to the funeral pyre. On the third day
he makes a heap of the ashes, on which he sprinkles milk. He and
his relations then return home, and hold a feast. When a corpse is
buried, no such ceremonies are performed. Both males and females are
addicted to heavy drinking. Arrack is their favourite beverage, and a
Lambadi's boast is that he spent so much on drink on such and such an
occasion. The women dance and sing songs in eulogy of their goddess. At
bed-time they strip off all their clothes, and use them as a pillow."

The Lambadis are said to purchase children from other castes, and
bring them up as their own. Such children are not allowed to marry
into the superior Lambadi section called Thanda. The adopted children
are classified as Koris, and a Kori may only marry a Lambadi after
several generations.

Concerning the religion of the Lambadis, it is noted in the Mysore
Census Report, 1891, that they are "Vishnuvaits, and their principal
object of worship is Krishna. Bana Sankari, the goddess of forests,
is also worshipped, and they pay homage to Basava on grounds dissimilar
to those professed by the Lingayets. Basava is revered by the Lambadis
because Krishna had tended cattle in his incarnation. The writer
interviewed the chief Lambani priests domiciled in the Holalkere
taluk. The priests belong to the same race, but are much less
disreputable than the generality of their compatriots. It is said that
they periodically offer sacrificial oblations in the agni or fire,
at which a mantram is repeated, which may be paraphrased thus:--


    I adore Bharma (Bramha) in the roots;
    Vishnu who is the trunk;
    Rudra (Mahadev) pervading the branches;
    And the Devas in every leaf.


"The likening of the Creator's omnipotence to a tree among a people
so far impervious to the traditions of Sanskrit lore may not appear
very strange to those who will call to mind the Scandinavian tree of
Igdrasil so graphically described by Carlyle, and the all-pervading
Asvat'tha (pipal) tree of the Bhagavatgita." It is added in the Mysore
Census Report, 1901, that "the Lambanis own the Gosayis (Goswami) as
their priests or gurus. These are the genealogists of the Lambanis,
as the Helavas are of the Sivachars." Of the Sugalis of Punganur
and Palmaner in the North Arcot district Mr. Stuart writes that
"all worship the Tirupati Swami, and also two Saktis called Kosa
Sakti and Mani Sakti. Some three hundred years ago, they say that
there was a feud between the Bukia and Mudu Sugalis, and in a combat
many were killed on both sides; but the widows of only two of the
men who died were willing to perform sati, in consequence of which
they have been deified, and are now worshipped as saktis by all
the divisions." It is said [110] that, near Rolla in the Anantapur
district, there is a small community of priests to the Lambadis who
call themselves Muhammadans, but cannot intermarry with others of the
faith, and that in the south-west of Madakasira taluk there is another
sub-division, called the Mondu Tulukar (who are usually stone-cutters
and live in hamlets by themselves), who similarly cannot marry with
other Musalmans. It is noted by the Rev. J. Cain [111] that in some
places the Lambadis "fasten small rags torn from some old garment
to a bush in honour of Kampalamma (kampa, a thicket). On the side
of one of the roads from Bastar are several large heaps of stones,
which they have piled up in honour of the goddess Guttalamma. Every
Lambadi who passes the heaps is bound to place one stone on the heap,
and to make a salaam to it." The goddess of the Lambadis of Kollegal
is, according to Mr. Hamilton, Satthi. A silver image of a female,
seated tailor-fashion, is kept by the head of the family, and is an
heirloom. At times of festival it is set up and worshipped. Cooked food
is placed before it, and a feast, with much arrack drinking, singing,
beating of tom-tom, and dancing through the small hours of the night,
is held. Examples of the Lambadi songs relating to incidents in the
Ramayana, in honour of the goddesses Durga and Bhavani, etc., have
been published by Mr. F. Fawcett. [112]

The Brinjaris are described by the Rev. G. Gloyer as carrying their
principal goddess "Bonjairini Mata," on the horns of their cattle
(leitochsen).

It is noted by the Rev. G. N. Thomssen that the Lambadis "worship the
Supreme Being in a very pathetic manner. A stake, either a carved
stick, or a peg, or a knife, is planted on the ground, and men and
women form a circle round this, and a wild, weird chant is sung, while
all bend very low to the earth. They all keep on circling about the
stake, swinging their arms in despair, clasping them in prayer, and
at last raising them in the air. Their whole cry is symbolic of the
child crying in the night, the child crying for the light. If there
are very many gathered together for worship, the men form one circle,
and the women another. Another peculiar custom is their sacrifice of
a goat or a chicken in case of removal from one part of the jungle
to another, when sickness has come. They hope to escape death by
leaving one camping ground for another. Half-way between the old
and new grounds, a chicken or goat is buried alive, the head being
allowed to be above ground. Then all the cattle are driven over the
buried creature, and the whole camp walk over the buried victim." In
former days, the Lambadis are reputed to have offered up human
sacrifices. "When," the Abbé Dubois writes, "they wish to perform
this horrible act, it is said, they secretly carry off the first
person they meet. Having conducted the victim to some lonely spot,
they dig a hole, in which they bury him up to the neck. While he is
still alive, they make a sort of lump of dough made of flour, which
they place on his head. This they fill with oil, and light four wicks
in it. Having done this, the men and women join hands, and, forming a
circle, dance round their victim, singing and making a great noise,
till he expires." The interesting fact is recorded by Mr. Mullaly
"that, before the Lambadis proceed on a predatory excursion, a token,
usually a leaf, is secreted in some hidden place before proceeding to
invoke Durga. The Durgamma pujari (priest), one of their own class,
who wears the sacred thread, and is invested with his sacred office
by reason of his powers of divination, lights a fire, and, calling on
the goddess for aid, treads the fire out, and names the token hidden
by the party. His word is considered an oracle, and the pujari points
out the direction the party is to take."

From a further note on the religion of the Lambadis, I gather that
they worship the following:--


    (1) Balaji, whose temple is at Tirupati. Offerings of money are
    made to this deity for the bestowal of children, etc. When their
    prayers are answered, the Lambadis walk all the way to Tirupati,
    and will not travel thither by railway.
    (2) Hanuman, the monkey god.
    (3) Poleramma. To ward off devils and evil spirits.
    (4) Mallalamma. To confer freedom to their cattle from attacks
    of tigers and other wild beasts.
    (5) Ankalamma. To protect them from epidemic disease.
    (6) Peddamma.
    (7) Maremma.


The Lambadis observe the Holi festival, for the celebration of which
money is collected in towns and villages. On the Holi day, the headman
and his wife fast, and worship two images of mud, representing Kama
(the Indian cupid) and his wife Rati. On the following morning,
cooked food is offered to the images, which are then burnt. Men and
women sing and dance, in separate groups, round the burning fire. On
the third day, they again sing and dance, and dress themselves in gala
attire. The men snatch the food which has been prepared by the women,
and run away amid protests from the women, who sometimes chastise them.

It is narrated by Moor [113] that "he passed a tree, on which were
hanging several hundred bells. This was a superstitious sacrifice by
the Bandjanahs, who, passing this tree, are in the habit of hanging
a bell or bells upon it, which they take from the necks of their sick
cattle, expecting to leave behind them the complaint also. Our servants
particularly cautioned us against touching these diabolical bells; but,
as a few were taken for our own cattle, several accidents that happened
were imputed to the anger of the deity, to whom these offerings were
made, who, they say, inflicts the same disorder on the unhappy bullock
who carries a bell from this tree as he relieved the donor from."

There is a legend in connection with the matsya gundam (fish pool)
close under the Yendrika hill in the Vizagapatam district. The
fish therein are very tame, and are protected by the Madgole
Zamindars. "Once, goes the story, a Brinjari caught one and turned
it into curry, whereon the king of the fish solemnly cursed him,
and he and all his pack-bullocks were turned into rocks, which may
be seen there to this day." [114]

Lambadi women often have elaborate tattooed patterns on the backs
of the hands, and a tattooed dot on the left side of the nose may be
accepted as a distinguishing character of the tribe in some parts. My
assistant once pointed out that, in a group of Lambadis, some of the
girls did not look like members of the tribe. This roused the anger
of an old woman, who said "You can see the tattoo marks on the nose,
so they must be Lambadis."

Lambadi women will not drink water from running streams or big tanks.

In the Mysore Province, there is a class of people called Thamburi,
who dress like Lambadis, but do not intermarry with them. They are
Muhammadans, and their children are circumcised. Their marriages are
carried out according to the Muhammadan nikka rite, but they also go
through the Lambadi form of marriage, except that marriage pots are
not placed in the pandal (wedding booth). The Lambadis apparently pay
some respect to them, and give them money at marriages or on other
occasions. They seem to be bards and panegyrists of the Lambadis,
in the same way that other classes have their Nokkans, Viramushtis,
Bhatrazus, etc. It is noted by Mr. Stuart [115] that the Lambadis
have priests called Bhats, to whom it is probable that the Thamburis
correspond in Mysore.

The methods of the criminal Lambadis are dealt with at length by
Mr. Mullaly. And it must suffice for the present purpose to note that
they commit dacoities and have their receivers of stolen property,
and that the Naik or headman of the gang takes an active share in
the commission of crime.

Lampata.--A name, signifying a gallant, returned by some Sanis at
times of census.

Landa.--A synonym of Mondi.

Lanka (island).--An exogamous sept of Boya and Kamma.

Lattikar.--Recorded, at the census, 1901, as a sub-division of
Vakkaliga (Okkiliyan) in the Salem district. Latti means a reckless
woman, and latvi, an unchaste woman, and the name possibly refers to
Vakkaligas who are not true-bred.

Lekavali.--A division of Marathas in the Sandur State. Many of them
are servants in the Raja's palace. They are stated, in the Gazetteer
of the Bellary district, to be the offspring of irregular unions
among other Marathas.

Lekkala (accounts).--An exogamous sept of Kamma.

Linga Balija.--The Linga Balijas (traders) are summed up, in the
Madras Census Report, 1901, as a Lingayat sub-caste of Balija. In a
note on Lingayats, Mr. R. C. C. Carr records that the Linga Banjigs
or Banajigas are essentially traders, though many are now cultivators,
and that Telugu Lingayats often call themselves Linga Balijas.

The following legendary account of the origin of the "Linga
Bhojunnalawaru" is given in the Baramahal Records. [116] "Para
Brahma or the great god Brahma created the god Pralayakala Rudra or
the terrific at the day of destruction, a character of the god Siva,
and he created the Chatur Acharyulu or four sages named Panditaraju,
Yekcoramalu, Murralaradulu, and Somaluradulu, and taught them mantras
or prayers, and made them his deputies. On a time, the Asuras and
Devatas, or the giants and the gods, made war on each other, and
the god Pralayakala Rudra produced from his nose a being whom he
named Muchari Rudra, and he had five sons, with whom he went to the
assistance of the devatas or gods, and enabled them to defeat the
giants, and for his service the gods conferred upon him and his sons
the following honorary distinctions:--


    A flag with the figure of an alligator (crocodile) portrayed on it.
    A flag with the figure of a fish portrayed on it.
    A flag with the figure of a bullock.
    A flag with the figure of an eagle.
    A flag with the figure of a bell.
    A bell.
    A modee ganta, or iron for marking cattle.
    The use of burning lamps and flambeaus in their public processions
    during the day.
    The use of tents.


"On a time, when the god Pralayakala Rudra and Mochari Rudra and
his five sons, with other celestial attendants, were assembled on
the Kailasa parvata or mountain of Paradise, the god directed the
latter to descend into the Bhuloka or earthly world, and increase
and multiply these species. They humbly prayed to know how they were
again to reach the divine presence. He answered 'I shall manifest
myself in the Bhuloka under the form of the Lingam or Priapus; do
you worship me under that form, and you will again be permitted to
approach me.' They accordingly descended into the earthly regions,
and from them the present castes of Baljawaras deduce their origin."

In a note on the Linga Balijas of the North Arcot district,
Mr. H. A. Stuart writes [117] that "Linga Balija appears rather to
be the name of the followers of a religious faith than of a distinct
caste, for the Linga Balijas state that their caste contains eleven
sub-divisions, each with a separate occupation, viz., Jangam (priests),
Reddi (cultivators), Gandla (oil-mongers), and the like. Almost all the
Linga Balijas of North Arcot are traders, who speak Canarese and are
immigrants from Mysore, in which their gurus (religious preceptors)
live, and whither they still refer their caste disputes. At one
time they enjoyed much importance in this district, particularly in
its large trading towns. Headmen among them, styled Chettis, were
by the Arcot Nawabs assigned districts, in which they possessed
both magisterial and civil authority, and levied taxes from other
merchants for their own personal use. They carried on very extensive
trade with Mysore and the Ceded districts, and are said to have had
enormous warehouses, which they enclosed and fortified. Breaches
of the peace are also described as not infrequent, resulting from
the interference of one Linga Balija Chetti with matters relating to
the district of another. Their authority has long since disappeared,
and is only a matter of tradition. Every Linga Balija wears a Siva
lingam, usually encased in a silver casket (or gold casket set with
precious stones), and suspended from the neck, but the very poor
place theirs in a cloth, and sometimes tie it to their arm. It is a
strict rule that one should be tied to a child's neck on the tenth
day of its birth, otherwise it is not entitled to be classed as a
Linga Balija. The Siva lingam worn by these people differs from the
Buta or Preta lingams used by Pandarams, Kaikolans, or others who
profess the Lingayat faith. They acknowledge two puranams, called
respectively the Siva and Basava puranams, and differ in very many
respects from other Hindus. They bury and do not burn their dead,
and do not recognise the five kinds of pollution resulting from a
birth, death, spittle, etc., and they do not therefore bathe in order
to remove such pollution. Widow remarriage is allowed even where the
widow has children, but these are handed over to the relatives of her
first husband. To widow remarriages no women who are not widows are
admitted, and, similarly, when a maiden is married, all widows are
excluded. Unlike most Hindus, Linga Balijas shave off the whole of the
hair of their heads, without leaving the usual lock at the back. They
deny metempsychosis, and believe that after death the soul is united
with the divine spirit. They are particular in some of their customs,
disallowing liquor and flesh-eating, and invariably eating privately,
where none can see them. They decline even to eat in the house of
a Brahman."

A Linga Banajiga (Canarese trader), whom I interviewed at Sandur, was
smeared with white marks on the forehead, upper extremities, chest,
and abdomen in imitation of a Hubli priest. Some orthodox Lingayat
traders remove their lingam during the transaction of the day's work,
on the ground, as given to me, that it is necessary to tell little
falsehoods in the course of business.

Lingadari.--A general term, meaning one who wears a lingam, for
Lingayat.

Lingakatti.--A name applied to Lingayat Badagas of the Nilgiri hills.

Lingam.--A title of Jangams and Silavants.

Lingayat.--For the following note I am mainly indebted to
Mr. R. C. C. Carr, who took great interest in its preparation when he
was Collector of Bellary. Some additional information was supplied
by Mr. R. E. Enthoven, Superintendent of the Ethnographic Survey,
Bombay. The word Lingayat is the anglicised form of Lingavant, which is
the vernacular term commonly used for any member of the community. The
Lingayats have been aptly described as a peaceable race of Hindu
Puritans. Their religion is a simple one. They acknowledge only one
God, Siva, and reject the other two persons of the Hindu Triad, They
reverence the Vedas, but disregard the later commentaries on which the
Brahmans rely. Their faith purports to be the primitive Hindu faith,
cleared of all priestly mysticism. They deny the supremacy of Brahmans,
and pretend to be free from caste distinctions, though at the present
day caste is in fact observed amongst them. They declare that there is
no need for sacrifices, penances, pilgrimages or fasts. The cardinal
principle of the faith is an unquestioning belief in the efficacy of
the lingam, the image which has always been regarded as symbolical
of the God Siva. This image, which is called the jangama lingam or
moveable lingam, to distinguish it from the sthavara or fixed lingam of
Hindu temples, is always carried on some part of the body, usually the
neck or the left arm, and is placed in the left hand of the deceased
when the body is committed to the grave Men and women, old and young,
rich and poor, all alike wear this symbol of their faith, and its
loss is regarded as spiritual death, though in practice the loser can
after a few ceremonies, be invested with a new one. They are strict
disciplinarians in the matter of food and drink, and no true Lingayat
is permitted to touch meat in any form, or to partake of any kind
of liquor. This Puritan simplicity raises them in the social scale,
and has resulted in producing a steady law-abiding race, who are
conservative of the customs of their forefathers and have hitherto
opposed a fairly unbroken front to the advancing tide of foreign
ideas. To this tendency is due the very slow spread of modern education
amongst them, while, on the other hand, their isolation from outside
influence has without doubt assisted largely in preserving intact
their beautiful, highly polished, and powerful language, Canarese.

It is matter of debate whether the Lingayat religion is an innovation
or a revival of the most ancient Saivaite faith, but the story of
the so-called founder of the sect, Basava, may with some limitations
be accepted as history. The events therein narrated occurred in the
latter half of the twelfth century at Kalyan, a city which was then
the capital of the Western Chalukyas, and is now included in the
province of Bidar in the Nizam's Dominions. It lies about a hundred
miles to the west of Hyderabad. The Chalukyas came originally from
the north of India, but appeared to the south of the Nerbudda as
early as the fourth century. They separated into two branches during
the seventh century, and the western line was still represented
at Kalyan 500 years later. The southern portion of Hindustan had
for centuries been split up between rival kingdoms, and had been
the theatre of the long struggle between the Buddhists, the Jains,
and the Hindus. At the time of Basava's appearance, a Jain king,
Bijjala by name, was in power at Kalyan. He was a representative of
the Kalachuryas, a race which had been conquered by the Chalukyas,
and occupied the position of feudatories. Bijjala appears to have
been the Commander-in-chief of the Chalukyan forces, and to have
usurped the throne, ousting his royal master, Taila III. The date
of the usurpation was 1156 A.D., though, according to some accounts,
Bijjala did not assume the full titles till some years later. He was
succeeded by his sons, but the Chalukyan claimant recovered his throne
in 1182, only to lose it again some seven years afterwards, when the
kingdom itself was divided between the neighbouring powers. The final
downfall of the Chalukyan Deccani kingdom was probably due to the
rise of the Lingayat religion. The Hindus ousted the Jains, but the
tenets inculcated by Basava had caused a serious split in the ranks
of the former. The house divided against itself could not stand,
and the Chalukyas were absorbed into the kingdoms of their younger
neighbours, the Hoysala Ballalas from Mysore in the south, and the
Yadavas from Devagiri (now identified with Daulatabad) in the north.

At about this time there appears to have been a great revival of the
worship of Siva in the Deccan and in Southern India. A large number
of important Saivaite temples are known to have been built during
the eleventh and twelfth centuries, and inscriptions speak of many
learned and holy men who were devoted to this worship. The movement
was probably accentuated by the opposition of the Jains, who seem
to have been very powerful in the Western Deccan, and in Mysore. An
inscription which will be more fully noticed later on tells of the
God Siva specially creating a man in order to "put a stop to the
hostile observances of the Jains and Buddhists." This was written
about the year 1200 A.D., and it may be gathered that Buddhism was
still recognised in the Deccan as a religious power. Mr. Rice tells
us that the labours of the Saivaite Brahman, Sankaracharya, had in
the eighth century dealt a deathblow to Buddhism, and raised the Saiva
faith to the first place. [118] Its position was, however, challenged
by the Jains, and, even as late as the twelfth century, it was still
battling with them. The Vaishnavaite reformer, Ramanujacharya, appeared
at about this time, and, according to Mr. Rice, was mainly instrumental
in ousting Jainism; but the followers of Vishnu built many of their
big temples in the thirteenth century, two hundred years later than
their Saivaite brethren, so it may be presumed that the latter faith
was in the ascendancy prior to that time. Chaitanya, the Vaishnavaite
counterpart of Basava, appeared at a much later date (1485 A.D.). It
is interesting to note that the thirteenth century is regarded as the
culminating period of the middle ages in Italy, when religious fervour
also displayed itself in the building of great cathedrals. [119]

The actual date of Basava's birth is uncertain, but is given by
some authorities as 1106 A.D. The story of his career is told in
the sacred writings of the Lingayats, of which the principal books
are known as the Basava Purana and the Channabasava Purana. The
former was apparently finished during the fourteenth century, and
the latter was not written till 1585. The accounts are, therefore,
entirely traditionary, and, as might have been expected, are full
of miraculous occurrences, which mar their historical value. The
Jain version of the story is given in the Bijjalarayacharitra, and
differs in many particulars. The main facts accepted by Lingayat
tradition are given by Dr. Fleet in the Epigraphia Indica [Vol. V,
p. 239] from which the following account is extracted. To a certain
Madiraja and his wife Madalambika, pious Saivas of the Brahman caste,
and residents of a place called Bagevadi, which is usually supposed
to be the sub-divisional town of that name in the Bijapur district,
there was born a son who, being an incarnation of Siva's bull,
Nandi, sent to earth to revive the declining Saiva rites, was named
Basava. This word is the Canarese equivalent for a bull, an animal
sacred to Siva. When the usual time of investiture arrived, Basava,
then eight years of age, having meanwhile acquired much knowledge of
the Siva scriptures, refused to be invested with the sacred Brahmanical
thread, declaring himself a special worshipper of Siva, and stating
that he had come to destroy the distinctions of caste. This refusal,
coupled with his singular wisdom and piety, attracted the notice of
his uncle Baladeva, prime minister of the Kalachurya king Bijjala,
who had come to be present at the ceremony; and Baladeva gave him
his daughter, Gangadevi or Gangamba, in marriage. The Brahmans,
however, began to persecute Basava on account of the novel practices
propounded by him, and he consequently left his native town and went
to a village named Kappadi, where he spent his early years, receiving
instruction from the God Siva. Meanwhile his uncle Baladeva died,
and Bijjala resolved to secure the services of Basava, whose ability
and virtues had now become publicly known. After some demur Basava
accepted the post, in the hope that the influence attached to it
would help him in propagating his peculiar tenets. And, accompanied by
his elder sister, Nagalambika, he proceeded to Kalyana, where he was
welcomed with deference by the king and installed as prime minister,
commander-in-chief and treasurer, second in power to the king himself;
and the king, in order to bind him as closely as possible to himself,
gave him his younger sister Nilalochana to wife. Somewhere about this
time, from Basava's unmarried sister Nagalambika there was born,
by the working of the spirit of Siva, a son who was an incarnation
of Siva's son Shanmukha, the god of war. The story says that Basava
was worshipping in the holy mountain and was praying for some gift,
when he saw an ant emerge from the ground with a small seed in its
mouth. Basava took this seed home, and his sister without Basava's
knowledge swallowed it, and became pregnant. The child was called
Channabasava, or the beautiful Basava, and assisted his uncle in
spreading the new doctrines. Indeed, he is depicted as playing a more
important part than even Basava himself.

The two Puranas are occupied for the most part with doctrinal
expositions, recitals of mythology, praises of previous Siva saints,
and accounts of miracles worked by Basava. They assert, however,
that uncle and nephew were very energetic promoters of the faith,
and that they preached the persecution and extermination of all
persons (especially the Jains), whose creed differed from that of the
Lingayats. Coupled with the lavish expenditure incurred by Basava
from the public coffers in support of Jangams or Lingayat priests,
these proceedings aroused in Bijjala, himself a Jain, feelings of
distrust, which were fanned by a rival minister, Manchanna, although
the latter was himself a Vira Saiva, and at length an event occurred
which ended in the assassination of Bijjala and the death of Basava.

At Kalyana there were two specially pious Lingayats, whom Bijjala in
mere wantonness caused to be blinded. Thereupon Basava left Kalyana,
and deputed one of his followers Jagaddeva to slay the king. Jagaddeva,
with two others, succeeded in forcing his way into the palace, where he
stabbed the king in the midst of his court. Basava meanwhile reached
Kudali-Sangameshvara, and was there absorbed into the lingam, while
Channabasava fled to Ulvi in North Canara, where he found refuge in
a cave.

The above story is taken mainly from the Basava Purana. The account
given in the Channabasava Purana differs in various details,
and declares that Bijjala was assassinated under the orders of
Channabasava, who had succeeded his uncle in office. The Jain account
states that Basava's influence with the king was due to Basava's
sister, whom Bijjala took as a concubine. The death of Bijjala was
caused by poisoned fruit sent by Basava, who, to escape the vengeance
of Bijjala's son, threw himself into a well and died. The version
of Basava's story, which is found in most books of reference, makes
him appear at Kalyan as a youth flying from the persecution of his
father. His uncle, Baladeva, sheltered him and eventually gave him his
daughter; and, when Baladeva died, Basava succeeded to his office. This
seems to have been copied from the account given by Mr. C. P. Brown,
but later translations of the Purana show that it is erroneous. When
Basava came to Kalyan, Bijjala was in power, and his arrival must
therefore have been subsequent to 1156 A. D. If the date of birth
be accepted as 1106, Basava would have been a man of fifty years of
age or more when summoned to office by Bijjala. The latter resigned
in favour of his son in 1167, and may have been assassinated shortly
afterwards. On the other hand, Baladeva could not have been Bijjala's
minister when he came to Basava's upanayanam ceremony, for this
event occurred in 1114, long before the commencement of Bijjala's
reign. There is no reason, however, for crediting the Purana with
any great historical accuracy, and, in fact, the evidence now coming
to light from inscriptions, which the industry of archæologists is
giving to the world, throws great doubt upon the traditional narrative.

An inscription on stone tablets which have now been built into the wall
of a modern temple at Managoli, a village in the Bijapur district of
the Bombay Presidency about eleven miles to the north-west of Bagevadi,
the supposed birth place of Basava, contains a record of the time of
the Kalachuri king, Bijjala. Two dates are given in the inscription,
and from one of them it is calculated with certainty that Bijjala's
reign began in 1156 A.D. The record gives a certain date as "the
sixth of the years of the glorious Kalachurya Bijjaladeva, an emperor
by the strength of his arm, the sole hero of the three worlds." The
corresponding English date is Tuesday, 12th September, 1161 A.D., so
that Bijjala must have come into power, by the strength of his arm, in
1156. But a still more important piece of information is furnished by
the mention of a certain Basava or Basavarasayya as the builder of the
temple, in which the inscription was first placed, and of one Madiraja,
who held the post of Mahaprabhu of the village when the grants in
support of the temple were made. The record runs as follows. [120]
"Among the five hundred of Manigavalli there sprang up a certain
Govardhana, the moon of the ocean that was the Kasyappa gotra, an
excellent member of the race of the Vajins. His son was Revadasa. The
latter had four sons.... The youngest of these became the greatest,
and, under the name of Chandramas, made his reputation reach even as
far as the Himalaya mountains. To that lord there was born a son,
Basava. There were none who were like him in devotion to the feet
of (the God) Maheshvara (Siva); and this Basava attained the fame
of being esteemed the sun that caused to bloom the water-lily that
was the affection of the five hundred Brahmans of Manigavalli. This
Basavarasayya came to be considered the father of the world, since
the whole world, putting their hands to their foreheads, saluted him
with the words 'our virtuous father'; and thus he brought greatness
to the famous Manigavalli, manifesting the height of graciousness in
saying this is the abode of the essence of the three Vedas; this is
the accomplishment of that which has no end and no beginning; this
is the lustrous divine linga."

Dr. Fleet suggests that we have at last met with an epigraphic mention
of the Lingayat founder, Basava. This is eminently satisfactory, but
is somewhat upsetting, for the inscription makes Basava a member of
the Kasyapa gotra, while Madiraja is placed in an entirely different
family. As regards the latter, the record says; (l. 20) "in the
lineage of that lord (Taila II, the leader of the Chalukyas) there
was a certain Madhava, the Prabhu of the town of Manigavalli, the very
Vishnu of the renowned Harita gotra;" and later on the same person is
spoken of as the Mahaprabhu Madiraja. If Basava and Madiraja, herein
mentioned, are really the heroes of the Lingayats, it is clear that
they were not father and son, as stated in the Lingayat writings. But
it must be borne in mind that this is the only inscription yet
deciphered which contains any allusion whatever to Basava, and
the statement that "he caused to bloom the water-lily that was the
affection of the five hundred Brahmans of Manigavalli," is directly
opposed to the theory that he broke away from the Brahman fold, and
set up a religion, of which one of the main features is a disregard
of Brahman supremacy. The fact that the inscription was found so near
to Basava's birthplace is, however, strong evidence in favour of the
presumption that it refers to the Basava of Lingayat tradition, and the
wording itself is very suggestive of the same idea. The record gives
a long pedigree to introduce the Basava whom it proceeds to extol,
and puts into his mouth the noteworthy utterance, which ascribes godly
qualities to the "lustrous divine linga." The date of this record is
contemporary with the events and persons named therein, and it must
therefore be far more reliable than the traditionary stories given in
the Puranas, which, as already indicated, are not at all in accordance
with each other. Dr. Fleet is of opinion that the Purana versions are
little better than legends. This is perhaps going too far, but there
can be no doubt that later research will in this, as in the case of
all traditionary history, bring to knowledge facts which will require
a considerable rearrangement of the long accepted picture.

Another inscription, discovered at Ablur in the Dharwar district of
the Bombay Presidency, is of great importance in this connection. It
is dated about A.D. 1200, and mentions the Western Chalukya king
Somesvara IV, and his predecessor the Kalachurya prince Bijjala. It
narrates the doings of a certain Ekantada Ramayya, so called because
he was an ardent and exclusive worshipper of Siva. This individual got
into controversy with the Jains, who were apparently very powerful
at Ablur, and the latter agreed to destroy their Jina and to set
up Siva instead, if Ramayya would cut off his own head before his
god, and have it restored to his body after seven days without a
scar. Ramayya appears to have won his wager, but the Jains refused
to perform their part of the contract. The dispute was then referred
to king Bijjala, himself a Jain, and Ramayya was given a jayapatra,
or certificate of success. This king and his Chalukyan successor also
presented Ramayya with lands in support of certain Siva temples. It
is noteworthy that the story is told also in the Channabasava Purana,
but the controversy is narrated as having occurred at Kalyan, where
Ramayya had gone to see king Bijjala. The same passage makes Ramayya
quote an instance of a previous saint, Mahalaka, having performed
the same feat at a village named Jambar, which may conceivably be
the Ablur of the inscription. But the interest and importance of the
inscription centre in the fact that it discloses the name of another
devout and exclusive worshipper of Siva, who, it is said, caused this
man to be born into the world with the express object of "putting a
stop to the hostile observances of the Jains and the Buddhists who
had become furious" or aggressive. Dr. Fleet considers that, making
allowance for the supernatural agency introduced into the story, the
narrative is reasonable and plain, and has the ring of truth in it;
and, in his opinion, it shows us the real person to whom the revival
of the ancient Saivaite faith was due. The exploits of Ramayya are
placed shortly before A.D. 1162, in which year Bijjala is said to
have completed his usurpation of the sovereignty by assuming the
paramount titles. Ramayya was thus a contemporary of Basava, but the
Ablur inscription makes no mention of the latter.

This fresh evidence does not appear to run counter to the commonly
accepted story of the origin of the Lingayats. It confirms the theory
that the religion of Siva received a great impetus at this period,
but there is nothing in the inscription ascribing to Ramayya the
position of a reformer of Saivaite doctrines. He appears as the
champion of Siva against the rival creeds, not as the Saivaite Luther
who is attacking the priestly mysticism of the Saivaite divines; and,
as Dr. Fleet points out, there is nothing improbable in the mention
of several persons as helping on the same movement. Both Ramayya and
Basava are, however, represented in these inscriptions as being the
chief of Saivaite Brahmans, and there is no mention of any schism
such as the Protestant revolt which is associated with the name of
Luther. It is possible, therefore, that the establishment of the
Lingayat sect may have been brought about by the followers of these
two great men--a fact that is hinted at in Lingayat tradition by the
very name of Channabasava, which means Basava the beautiful, because,
according to the Channabasava Purana, he was more beautiful in many
respects than Basava, who is represented as receiving instruction from
his superior nephew in important points connected with their faith. The
two inscriptions and numerous others, which have been deciphered by
the same authority, are of the greatest value from a historical point
of view, and paint in bold colours the chief actors in the drama. The
closing years of the Western Chalukyan kingdom are given to us by the
hand of an actor who was on the same stage, and, if the birth of the
Lingayat creed is still obscured in the mist of the past, the figures
of those who witnessed it stand out with surprising clearness.

It has been already stated that one of the principles of the
religion is a disregard of caste distinctions. The prevailing
races were Dravidian, and it is an accepted fact that the theory
of caste as propounded by Manu is altogether foreign to Dravidian
ideas. Historians cannot tell us how long the process of grafting the
caste system on to the Dravidian tree lasted, but it is clear that,
when Basava appeared, the united growth was well established. Brahmans
were acknowledged as the leaders in religious matters, and, as the
secular is closely interwoven with the religious in all eastern
countries, the priestly class was gradually usurping to itself a
position of general control. But, as was the case in Europe during the
sixteenth century, a movement was on foot to replace the authority
of the priests by something more in accordance with the growing
intelligence of the laity. And, as in Europe, the reformers were
found amongst the priests themselves. Luther and Erasmus were monks,
who had been trained to support the very system of priestcraft, which
they afterwards demolished. Basava and Ramayya, as already stated, were
Saivaite Brahmans, from whom has sprung a race of free thinkers, who
affect the disregard of caste and many of the ceremonial observances
created by the Brahman priesthood. The comparison may even be carried
further. Luther was an iconoclast, who worked upon men's passions,
while Erasmus was a philosopher, who addressed himself to their
intellects. Basava, according to the traditionary account, was the
counterpart of Luther. Ramayya may be fairly called the Indian Erasmus.

This freedom from the narrowing influence of caste was doubtless a
great incentive to the spread of the reformed religion. The lingam
was to be regarded as the universal leveller, rendering all its
wearers equal in the eye of the Deity. High and low were to be brought
together by its influence, and all caste distinctions were to be swept
away. According to Basava's teaching, all men are holy in proportion
as they are temples of the great spirit; by birth all are equal;
men are not superior to women, and the gentle sex must be treated
with all respect and delicacy; marriage in childhood is wrong, and
the contracting parties are to be allowed a voice in the matter of
their union; and widows are to be allowed to remarry. All the iron
fetters of Brahmanical tyranny are, in fact, torn asunder, and the
Lingayat is to be allowed that freedom of individual action, which is
found amongst the more advanced Christian communities. Even the lowest
castes are to be raised to the level of all others by the investiture
of the lingam, and all Lingadharis, or wearers of the divine symbol,
are to eat together, to intermarry, and to live at unity.

But social distinctions inevitably asserted themselves later. As the
Lingayats, or Panchamsalis as they styled themselves, increased in
importance, number and wealth, elaborate forms of worship and ceremony
were introduced, rules of conduct were framed, and a religious system
was devised, on which the influence of the rival Brahman aristocracy
can be freely traced. Thus, in course of time, the Panchamsalis became
a closed caste, new converts were placed on a lower social footing,
the priests alone continuing as a privileged class to dine freely
with them. This development is alleged to have occurred about the
close of the seventeenth century.

Among the many ceremonies introduced in the course of the changes
just described, one known as the ashtavarna or eight-fold protection
is of special importance.

These rites consist of--


    1. Guru.
    2. Linga.
    3. Vibhuti.
    4. Rudraksha.
    5. Mantra.
    6. Jangam.
    7. tirtha.
    8. Prasada.


Among the greater number of Lingayats, after the birth of a child,
the parents send for the guru or spiritual adviser of the family,
who is the representative of one of the five Acharyas from whom the
father claims descent, or in his absence of his local agent. The
guru binds the linga on the child, besmears it with vibhuti (ashes),
places a garland of rudraksha (fruits of Elæocarpus Ganitrus) round
its neck, and teaches it the mystic mantra of "Namah Shivaya." The
child being incapable of acquiring the knowledge of the sacred text
at this early stage of its existence, the mantra is merely recited in
its ear by the guru. The child has then to be presented to the god
Siva in the person of a Jangam, or Lingayat priest, who is summoned
for the purpose; on his arrival, the parents wash his feet. The water
in which the feet are washed is described as the tirtha or charana
tirtha of Siva. This tirtha is next poured over the linga attached
to the infant. The Jangam is fed, and a portion of the cooked food
from the dish is placed in the child's mouth. This final ceremony is
known as prasada. (I am informed that it would be considered by Tamil
Lingayats sacrilege to wash the lingam with the tirtha.) Occasionally
the double character of guru and Jangam are combined in one person.

According to some accounts, the rites described above form the basis
of the present social organization of the Lingayat community. They
are divided into those entitled to ashtavarna, and those who are
not. The first of these divisions is again sub-divided into several
groups, which may for convenience be designated Panchamsalis who
are descendants of the original converts, and non-Panchamsalis or
later converts.

This explanation will throw some light on the scheme of classification
adopted in the Bombay Gazetteer (see volumes Bijapur and Dharwar)
where the smaller groups are shown as--


    1. Pure Lingayats.
    2. Affiliated Lingayats.
    3. Half Lingayats.


These divisions, of which the full significance is not clearly
conveyed by the titles, may perhaps be expanded with advantage by
the addition to each of the alternatives already explained, viz.,
Panchamsalis, non-Panchamsalis with ashtavarna rites, and others,
including the unclean castes attached to the Lingayat community by
reason of performing its menial services, e.g., Dhors, Chalvadis,
etc. It is the modern practice to deny to these low castes the right
to style themselves Lingayats at all. It must be further explained that
there are seven divisions of Panchamsalis, and that these stand to each
other in the relation of hypergamous groups, that is to say, members of
the higher orders may wed the daughters of those beneath them, which
suggests the probable former existence of free intermarriage. Members
of the lower orders among these Panchamsalis may rise to the higher
by performing certain religious ceremonies, constituting a form of
initiation. In the second and third divisions, i.e., non-Panchamsalis
and "others," the sub-castes are functional groups and are endogamous,
i.e., intermarriage is prohibited. It seems probable that the members
of these divisions became converts to Lingayatism some time after the
initiation of the reforms, to which it gave birth, when the crusade
against caste distinctions had lost much of its pristine vigour,
and ceased to be a living part of the fundamental doctrine of the sect.

At the present day, marriage is both infant and adult, and the
parties to the contract have practically no choice. Widows are indeed
allowed to remarry, but such marriages are regarded with disfavour
by the stricter members of the sect. A Pariah or a Mala cannot be
invested with the lingam, and, if he pretends to be a Lingayat,
the Jangam does not acknowledge him. The strict rules regarding
meat and drink are maintained, and Lingayats are still free from
many of the ceremonies and religious performances required of other
Hindus. But the tendency of to-day is to follow the lead of the
Brahman; and, while no Lingayat will admit the superiority of that
caste, they practically acknowledge it by imitating many Brahmanical
practices. Much of the good effected by the founder has thus been
counteracted, and the Lingayat is gradually becoming more and more
like his orthodox Hindu brother. In proof of this tendency it may be
noted that, at the time of the census of 1891, there were numerous
representations from Lingayats claiming the right to be described
as Virasaiva Brahmans. Further, on the occasion of the census of
1901, a complete scheme was supplied to the census authorities
professing to show all Lingayat sub-divisions in four groups, viz.,
Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Sudra. It is noted, in the Mysore
Census Report, 1891, that the Lingayats interviewed the Maharaja,
and begged that their registration as Virasaiva Brahmans might be
directed. "The crisis was removed by His Highness the Maharaja's
Government passing orders to the effect that the Lingayats should not
be classed as Sadras any more than any other non-Brahmans, but should
be separately designated by their own name, and that, while they were
at liberty to call themselves Virasaiva Brahmans, they should specify
the name of the particular and well-known sub-division to which each
censused unit belonged. It is noteworthy that, as soon as the clamour
of the Lingayats was set at rest, some of their leaders seem to have
become ashamed of their own previous vehemence, while the movement
seemed to have lost the spring imparted by sincerity. Their feelings
were brought to the test when the question of permitting the wonted
periodical procession of their religious flagstaff, the nandi-dhvaja,
came on for consideration by the Police department. The Lingayats'
application for a license was opposed by the other castes on the ground
that, since they had become Brahmans, and had ceased to belong to the
right-hand faction, they had no right to parade the nandi-dhvaja. The
Lingayats then showed themselves glad to regain their status quo ante."

In connection with the name Virasaiva, it may be noted en passant
that the first session of the Shreemat Veerashaiva Mahasabha [121]
was held at Dharwar in the Bombay Presidency in 1904. Thereat various
suggestions were made concerning religious instruction, education,
marriage, the settlement of disputes by arbitration, and other matters
affecting the material welfare of the Lingayat community as a whole.

It is worthy of note that, according to some writers, Basava
is supposed to have come within the influence of the Syrian
Christians. The idea was started by Mr. C. P. Brown, whose essay on
the Jangams [122] is the classic on this subject. Mr. A. C. Burnell
quotes the remarkable fact from Cosmos that, in the sixth century,
there was a Persian Bishop at Kalliana near Udupi. And it is presumed
by Surgeon-Major W. R. Cornish, the writer of the Madras Census Report,
1871, that Kalliana is identical with Kalyan, where Basava was prime
minister six centuries later. This is clearly wrong, for Udupi is
on the west coast 30 miles north of Mangalore, whereas Kalyan, the
Chalukyan capital, is in the heart of the Deccan, 350 miles away
over the western ghauts. There was another Calyaun or Kaliana close
to Udupi on the coast, as shown by some of the older maps. But it
is well known that Western India was at this time tenanted by large
settlements of Persians or Manichæans, and recent discoveries tend
to show that these people were Christians. It seems, therefore, to be
quite possible that the discussions, which preceded Basava's revolt,
were tinged with some Christian colouring, derived from the followers
of the Syrian school. Mr. Burnell even thinks that all the modern
philosophical schools of India owe much to the same source.

The Lingayat faith appears to have spread very rapidly after Basava's
death, which may be placed in the year 1168, and Rice says that,
according to tradition, within sixty years of the founder's death it
was embraced from Ulavi near Goa to Sholapur, and from Balehalli to
Sivaganga. The disappearance of the Chalukyan dynasty is in itself
evidence of the rising power of the Lingayats. But no real estimate
can be made of its progress at first. More than a hundred years
later, the Muhammadan invaders took possession of the Deccan, and
other religions were driven southwards. The Empire of Vijayanagar,
which is said to have covered the whole country from the Kistna to
Cape Comorin, rose out of the ruins of the Hindu kingdoms, and as
Mr. Sewell says, [123] the fighting Kings of Vijayanagar became the
saviours of the south for two and a half centuries. The early members
of this dynasty were Saivaites in faith, but there is no record of
the workings of the reformed religion, which had spread southwards
before Vijayanagar became a power.

The followers of this religion are easily distinguished from other
Hindus by the fact that the lingam is worn on a conspicuous part of
the body. The bulk of the cultivators enclose it in a red silk scarf
tied round their necks, with a knot in front. This scarf is tied
on the left arm above the elbow when the wearer is at work, and is
sometimes placed round the head when bathing. Some of the traders,
who are the richer class, carry it in a small silver box hung round
the neck with a thread called sivadhara, or in a gold box studded
with precious stones. The women do not wear it outside the dress,
and generally keep it on a neck-string. No one is allowed to put
it down even for a moment. Recently a Lingayat merchant in Madras
removed his silver lingam casket from his neck, wrapped it up in
a cloth, put it under his head, and went to sleep on a street pial
(platform). While he was slumbering, the casket was stolen by a cart
driver. The lingam itself, which is regarded as the home of the deity,
is generally made of grey soapstone brought from Parvatgiri (Srisaila)
in the Kurnool district. It is brought by a class of people called
Kambi Jangams, because, besides the linga stone, they bring on a
kavadi or shoulder-bamboo the holy water of the Patalganga, a pool
on Parvatgiri, whose water Lingayats hold as sacred as Brahmans the
water of the Ganges.

The following description of the lingam is taken from the Bombay
Gazetteer for Bijapur. "It consists of two discs, the lower one
circular about one-eighth of an inch thick, the upper slightly
elongated. Each disc is about three-quarters of an inch in
diameter, and is separated by a deep groove about an eighth of an
inch broad. From the centre of the upper disc, which is slightly
rounded, rises a pea-like knob about a quarter of an inch long and
three-quarters of an inch round, giving the stone lingam a total height
of nearly three-quarters of an inch. This knob is called the ban or
arrow. The upper disc is called jalhari, that is the water carrier,
because this part of a full-sized lingam is grooved to carry off the
water which is poured over the central knob. It is also called pita,
that is the seat, and pithak the little seat. Over the lingam, to keep
it from harm, is plastered a black mixture of clay, cowdung ashes,
and marking-nut juice. This coating, which is called kauthi or the
cover, entirely hides the shape of the enclosed lingam. It forms a
smooth black slightly truncated cone, not unlike a dark betel nut,
about three-quarters of an inch high, and narrowing from three-quarters
of an inch at the base to half an inch across the top."

The Jangam cannot as a rule be distinguished from other Lingayats. All
male members of the community have a clean-shaved head, without the
top-knot common to the Brahmans. All, male as well as female, daub
their foreheads with vibhuti or sacred ashes every morning. There
is thus no distinctive mark for the Jangam. But certain ascetics
of the priestly class sometimes put on a red robe peculiar to them,
and others cover themselves with vibhuti and many quaint ornaments. [A
Jangam whom I interviewed at a village in Mysore, was named Virabhadra
Kayaka, and was also known as Kasi Lingada Vira. He was going about
the village, shouting, dancing, and repeating the Virabhadra khadga
or praise of Virabhadra, Siva's son. On his bead he had a lingam stuck
in his head-cloth, with a five-headed snake forming a canopy over it,
and the sacred bull Basava in front. Tied to the forehead, and passing
round the head, was a string holding thirty-two lingams. At the back
of the head was a mane of white false hair. His face was painted
bright red. Round the neck he had four garlands of rudraksha beads,
and suspended from the neck, and resting on the chest, was a silver
casket containing a lingam. Round the waist was a waist-band made of
brass squares ornamented with a variety of figures, among which were
the heads of Daksha Brahma and Virabhadra. Suspended from the neck was
a breast-plate, with a representation of Virabhadra and the figures
of Daksha Brahma and his wife engraved in copper. From the waist a
piece of tiger skin was suspended, to which were attached two heads
of Daksha Brahma with a lion's head between. Hanging lower down was a
figure of Basava. Tied to the ankles were hollow brass cylinders with
loose bits of brass inside. Strings of round brass bells were tied
to the knees. In his right hand he carried a long sword, and tied
to the left forearm was a gauntlet-handled scimitar. To the handle
were attached pieces of brass, which made a noise when the arm was
shaken. Finally, round the forearm were tied pieces of bear-skin.]

No account of the Lingayat community as it exists at the present
day would be complete without some reference to the grounds on which
the modern representatives of Lingayatism claim for their religion
an origin as ancient as that of Brahministic Hinduism, and a social
structure similar to that which is described in the Code of Manu.

Mr. Karibasava Shastri, Professor of Sanskrit and Canarese in the
State College of Mysore, writes that the Shaiv sect of Hindus has
always been divided into two groups, the one comprising the wearers
of the linga, and the other those who do not wear it. The former
he designates Virshaiv, and declares that the Virshaivs consist of
Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaishya, Sudra. Quoting from the 17th chapter
of the Parameshvar Agma, he declares that the Virshaiv Brahmans are
also known as Shudha Virshaivs, Virshaiv Kings are Marga Virshaiv,
Virshaiv Vaishya are Mishra Virshaiva, and the Sudras of the community
are Anter Virshaiv. In his opinion the duties and penances imposed
on the first of these classes are--


    (1) The ashtavarna.
    (2) Penances and bodily emaciation.
    (3) The worship of Siva without sacrifice.
    (4) The recital of the Vedas.


The Professor asserts that the Hindu ashrams of Brahmacharya, Grahasta
and Sanyasi are binding on Virshaivs, and quotes from various Sanskrit
works texts in support of this view. He also furnishes a mythical
account of the origin of the Lingayats at the time of the creation
of the world.

A committee of gentlemen appointed in the Belgaum district
to consider the question of the origin of the Lingayats base
their opinion on a Sanskrit work, the Paramarahasya, and give the
following account:--"When the God Shiva wished to people the earth,
he created from his mouth five acharyas, namely, Marula Radhyacharya,
Ekoranadhyacharya, Revanaradhyacharya, Panditaradhyacharya and
Vishvaradhyacharya. These five acharyas propagated the Lingayat
portion of mankind. Each of them founded a gotra, namely, Bhringi,
Vira, Vrisha, Skanda and Handi, and their five seats are Shrishaila,
Kollipaki, Ujjaini, Kashi and Balihalli."

A third account prepared specially in connection with the census of
1901 begins by controverting the common opinion that Basava founded
the Lingayat religion, that it was in origin anti-Brahmanical,
and that it abolished caste distinctions. The account continues as
follows. "A little enquiry will clearly show that it was not Basava
who founded the religion, but that he only revived the previously
existing and ancient religion; that it is not anti-Brahmanical,
but that it protests against the efficacy of animal sacrifices, and
that the religion itself is founded on the authority of the Vedas,
treating of animal sacrifices just as the Shri Vaishnav and Madhva
religions have rejected certain portions and adopted certain others
of the Vedas. Consequently it is incorrect to say that the Virshaivs
reject the authority of the Vedas." The writer maintains that caste
distinctions are not foreign to the nature of Lingayatism, and asserts
that they have always existed. According to him, the orthodox theory
is that, when Brahma was ordered to create the world, he requested
Siva to teach him how to, whereupon Siva created aprakruts. Brahma
created the world from the five elements of nature, and produced the
prakruts. The Lingayats are the aprakruts, and the Brahmanistic Hindus
prakruts. Here follow many quotations from Sanskrit Agmas in support
of the facts alleged. It is unnecessary to weary the reader with the
texts and their translations. The object in referring to these latter
day accounts of the origin of the Lingayats is to show the modern
tendency of tradition to bring Lingayatism into line with Brahmanistic
Hinduism. The works referred to by the learned authors appear to
be Sanskrit writings of not more than 500 years ago, and cannot be
taken as proof that the Lingayat religion is of greater antiquity
than the 12th century, or that it has always been observant of caste
distinctions. The persistence with which these points are advanced at
the present day is, however, worthy of careful notice. If Lingayatism
was an island thrown up within the "boundless sea of Hinduism," it
would appear that the waters of the ocean are doing their utmost to
undermine its solid foundations. The Lingayats in Bombay, Madras and
Mysore number about two millions. Mysore and the Southern Mahratta
country are the principal homes of the creed, and the Bellary district,
which is wedged in between the above territories, must be classed with
them. Mr. Rice tells us that it was the State religion of the Wodeyars
of Mysore from 1399 to 1610, and of the Nayaks of Keladi, Ikkeri or
Bednur from 1550 to 1763. At the present day the ruling family in
Mysore employ none but Lingayats as cooks and watermen. The Lingayats
of Madras numbered 138,518 at the census of 1901. These figures,
however, are of doubtful accuracy, as many were entered under caste
names, and the probable strength of the community must be largely in
excess of the figures. They were chiefly found in the Bellary district.

The following are the main sub-divisions of the community in the
Madras Presidency :--


    1. Jangam. The priestly class.

    2. Banajiga or Banjig, divided into Banajigas proper and Jain
    Banajigas.

    These are essentially traders, but many are now cultivators. The
    equivalent in the Telugu country is Linga Balija. Jangams
    occasionally take Banajiga girls in marriage. The girl has to
    undergo certain ceremonies before her marriage, and after that
    she should not be treated as a daughter or sister of the family,
    but should be considered as a Jangam's wife, and respect paid
    to her. Jangam girls are not given to Banajigas as wives. Jain
    Banajigas are considered as inferior to Banajigas proper, and
    girls of the former are not married into families of the latter.

    3. Sadaru, divided into Kumbala Kudi Sadaru and Chadaru Sadaru. The
    great majority are cultivators.

    4. Laligonda, divided into Hera (elder) and Chikka (younger)
    Laligonda.

    5. Kapu, Reddi, and Vakkaliga, cultivators.


The Aradhya Brahman is termed a Lingayat. This caste is not included
in the present note. The members of it wear the sacred thread, as well
as the lingam. They are strict Saivite Brahmans, and have nothing to
do with the Lingayats proper.

The three religious divisions of the community are styled:--


    1. Nirabara Vira Saiva. Sanyasis or ascetics, wearing only the
    kaupinam or loin-cloth

    2. Vishesha Vira Saiva. The priestly class, generally called
    Jangams.

    3. Samanya Vira Saiva. This includes all Lingayats, who are not
    Sanyasis or Jangams. The whole Lingayat community is dealt with
    by Mr. C. P. Brown under the name Jangam, and his essay speaks of
    Vishesha and Samanya Jangams. This is incorrect, for no Samanya
    Vira Saiva can be a Jangam, and all Jangams are Vishesha Vira
    Saivas.


The Jangams are mostly literate, and the members of the Banjig or
trader class are frequently literate. The other classes of men,
and the women of all classes are practically illiterate. Canarese is
the common language of Lingayats, and it is usually preserved as a
house language where Canarese is not the language of the locality. In
Bellary the teachers in several of the board schools (primary standard)
are Jangams. Very few Lingayats have as yet competed for University
honours, and the number of Lingayat graduates is small.

The common termination for males is Appa, and for females Amma or Akka,
or Avva. In the case of Jangams the male termination is Ayya. The
names commonly in use are as follows:--


    Basappa or Basamma, after Basava, the founder of the religion.

    Chennappa or Chennava, after Chennabasava, nephew of Basava.

    Sugurappa or Suguravva, after Sugur, where there is a temple
    of Virabhadra.

    Revanna or Revamma, after Revana Sideswara, the founder of the
    Balehalli mutt.

    Mallappa or Mallava, a localised name of Siva.

    Nagappa or Naganna, after a snake.

    Bussappa or Bussavva, after the hiss of a snake.


Basappa is the most common name of all, and it is said that in Kottur,
a town of 7,000 inhabitants, not far from Ujjini, one half of the
male Lingayats are styled Kottur Basappa.

Tinduga or Tindodi is a nickname given to a daughter's son born and
bred up in his maternal grandfather's house. The name signifies
that the boy will some day quit the house and join his father's
family, tindu meaning eating, and wodi, running away. If the child
happens to be a female she is called Tindavva or Tindodi. Kuldappa,
or Kuldavva, is a nickname for one who fails to see a thing at once
when he looks for it. Kulda is a corruption of kuruda, which means
a blind man. Superstition has something to do with the naming of
children. Children whose predecessors died successively in their
infancy are named as Sudugappa or Sudugadavva after sudugadu,
burial-ground, Gundappa or Gundavva after gundu, a rock, Tippiah or
Tippavva after tippa, a rubbish heap, Tirakappa after tirakambonu,
begging. These names signify humility, and are given in the belief
that God will pity the parents and give the children a long lease
of life. Two names are not given to a child, but pet names are used
instead.

The recognised head-quarters of the Lingayats in the Bellary district
is Ujjini, a village in the south of the Kudligi taluk on the borders
of Mysore. There are five head-quarters of the community in different
parts of India. In each there is what is called a Simhasanadhipati. In
the first period of creation, Iswara or Siva is supposed to have
appeared in five different forms, emanating from his five faces, and
the five Lingayat centres are representative of these five forms. The
places are Ujjini, Srisaila, Kollepaka, Balehalli, and Benares.

It is said that the Mutt at Kollepaka no longer exists, and has
been replaced by one at Bukkasagar in the Hospet taluk of Bellary
district. The shape and materials of their dwellings are not in any
way different from those of other Hindus. In the Bellary district,
houses of the better classes are built of stone; poorer persons can
only afford mud houses. All adopt the flat roof peculiar to the Deccan.

It is recorded, in the Mysore Census Report, 1901, that "the orthodox
theory among the Lingayats is that their religion was founded by
a number of Acharyas, the most famous of whom were Renuka, Daraka,
Gajakarna, Ghantakarna and Viswakarna, who are the Gotrakartas of
the Lingayat Dwijas, having received their mandate direct from Siva
to establish his true religion on earth, or rather to restore it to
its purity. As belonging to the Apprakrita Srishti, the Virasaivas
are enjoined not to follow that portion of the Vedas which treats of
Yagnas or animal sacrifices. Their contention is that karma, or the
performance of ceremonies, is of two kinds, namely, one relating to the
attainment of worldly desires, and the other relating to the attainment
of wisdom or gnana. The idea of salvation in Brahmanical religions
generally is the attainment of desires, going to Swarga or Heaven,
where one would enjoy eternal bliss. But salvation, as understood
by the Virasaiva religion, is something different, and goes one step
further, meaning absorption into and attainment of oneness with the
deity. Consequently, they are prohibited from performing all those
ceremonies which relate to the attainment of Swarga, but are bound
to perform those which relate to gnana or wisdom, and to salvation
as understood by them. The five great Gotrakartas established five
great religious centres in different parts of India, viz., Ekorama
at Ketara in the Himalayas, Viswacharya at Benares, Marutacharya
at Ujjain, Pandithacharya at Srisaila in Cuddapah district, and
Renukacharya at Balehalli or Balehonnur in Koppa taluk (of Mysore),
at all of which places the mutts still exist. The heads of these mutts
have geographically divided the Lingayats into five great divisions,
and each head exercises spiritual control within his own legitimate
sphere, though all of them have a general jurisdiction over all the
Lingayats generally. Each of these mutts, called simhasanas (thrones),
has sub-mutts in important popular centres under the management of
Pattadaswamis. Each sub-mutt has a number of branch mutts, called
Gurusthala mutts, under it, and these latter are established wherever
a community of Lingayats exists. The rights and duties of the Swamis
of these mutts are to preside on all ceremonial occasions, to receive
their dues, to impart religious instructions, to settle religious
disputes, and to exercise a general control over all matters affecting
the interests of the community at large. But one particular feature
of this sect is the existence of another order of priests, called
Viraktas, also known as Nirabharis or Jangamas, who hold the highest
position in the ecclesiastical order, and therefore command the highest
respect from laymen as well as from the above mentioned clergy. Each
Virakta mutt is directly subject to the Murgi mutt at Chitaldrug,
which has absolute jurisdiction over all the Viraktas. Most Lingayat
towns have a Virakta mutt built outside the town, where the Swami or
the Jangama leads a solitary, simple and spiritual life. Unlike the
other priests, the Virakta is prohibited from presiding on ceremonial
occasions, and from receiving unnecessary alms unless for the purpose
of immediately distributing the same to others. He should devote
his whole life partly to spiritual meditation, and partly to the
spreading of spiritual knowledge among his disciples, so that he
would be the fountain head, to whom all laymen and all clergy must
turn for spiritual wisdom. His position, in short, should be that of
a pure Sanyasi of the most exalted order. But here, as in the case
of most other Indian ecclesiastical orders, the modern representative
of the ancient prototype is far different from the ideal."

Sacrifices are contrary to the tenets of the faith, but the practices
of other Hindus are to some extent copied. When laying the foundations
of a house, a cocoanut is broken, incense offered and camphor
burnt. When setting up the main door frame, a ceremony called Dwara
Pratishta is performed. On that day, or a subsequent day, an iron
nail is driven into the frame, to prevent devils or evil spirits
from entering the house. After the house is completed, the ceremony
of Graha Pravesam takes place. With all Lingayat ceremonies the most
important feature is the worship of the jangam, and in this instance
the house is sprinkled with water, in which the Jangam's feet have
been washed. Jangam's friends and relatives are then entertained and
fed in the house.

Theoretically, any one may become a Lingayat by virtue of investiture
with the lingam. But in practice very few outsiders are admitted. The
priests do not proselytise. The elders of the community sometimes
persuade a relative or friend to join the fold. In the Bellary
district, it is believed that the religion is not spreading. The
contrary seems to be the case in the Bombay Presidency. The Bijapur
Gazetteer states that the wearing of the lingam, and the desertion
of Brahmans for Jangams as priests, are still spreading among the
Brahmanical castes of Bijapur, and adds "In Mr. Cumine's opinion
few castes have remained beyond the influence of the new sect, and
between Lingayatism and Islam, Brahmanism will in a few centuries be
almost extinct." According to Mr. C. P. Brown, the Jangams insist upon
any candidate for admission undergoing a probation of ten or twelve
years. The authorities at Ujjini state that there is a recognised
scale of probation ranging from three years for the Brahman to
twelve years for the Sudra, but the Jangams admit that no Brahmans
are ever converted now, and the probation period is probably not
enforced. The castes from which outsiders occasionally come are the
various sub-divisions of the Kapu or Reddi caste. It is not uncommon
to find all the Neredi Kapus in one village wearing the lingam,
while the people of the same caste in a neighbouring village are
not Lingayats. The Pakanati Kapus illustrate the same rule. Lingayat
and non-Lingayat Kapus who are relatives eat together, and in some
cases intermarry.

Lingayatism has recently made converts from other castes. In the
last century, many weavers of Tuminkatti in the Dharwar district
of Bombay were converted by a Jangam from Ujjini, and are now known
as Kurvinavaru. They have abandoned all social intercourse with the
parent caste.

According to Basava's teaching, even the lowest castes could join
the community, and obtain equality with other Lingayats. The Abbé
Dubois wrote that, "even if a Pariah joins the sect, he is considered
in no way inferior to a Brahman. Wherever the lingam is found, there
they say is the throne of the deity, without distinction of class or
rank. The Pariah's humble hut containing the sacred emblem is far above
the most magnificent palace where it is not." These were undoubtedly
the views of the founder, but his orders are not followed at the
present day. The authorities at Ujjini deny that any Mala or Madiga
can become a Lingayat, and say that, even if he wears a lingam, it
has not been given him by a Jangam. There is a class of Malas called
Chalavadis, whose duty it is to accompany Lingayat processions,
and ring a bell. These Chalavadis wear the lingam. It is, however,
the accepted rule amongst Lingayats of the present day that a Mala
or Madiga cannot wear lingam.

In a note on the relations between Lingayats and Brahmans, [124]
Mr. T. V. Subramanyam refers to the long-standing differences
between them in the Bellary district. "The quarrel," he writes,
"has reference to the paraphernalia the former may carry in their
religious processions, and has its origin in a legend. The story runs
that Vedavyasa, the author of the Mahabharata and a fervent devotee
of Vishnu, once went to Benares with the object of establishing
the superiority of his favourite deity in that stronghold of
Saivism. Within the precincts of the temple, he raised his hands aloft,
proclaiming that Vishnu was the supreme God, when, to the consternation
of the assembled worshippers, Nandi, the trusted servant and vehicle
of Siva, whose sculptured image is found in every temple sacred to
his master, rose up in indignation, and cut off the right hand of
the blasphemous sage. The principal insignia claimed to be used in
Lingayat processions are makaratoranam, pagaladivitti, svetachhatram,
nandidhvajam, and vyasahastam. No objection is raised by the Brahmans
to the use of the first three of these, which are respectively a
banner with the representation of a tortoise embroidered thereon,
torches carried during the day, and a white umbrella. The nandidhvajam
consists of a long pole, at the upper end of which floats a flag with
a representation of Nandi, and to which is affixed an image of Basava,
the founder of the sect. The vyasahastam is a similar pole, from which
a wooden arm is suspended. The assertion of the prowess of Nandi, and
the perpetuation of the punishment alleged by the Lingayats to have
been inflicted on Vyasa for daring to declare the supremacy of Vishnu,
as symbolised by these emblems, are equally offensive to all classes
of Brahmans, as the sage is reverenced equally by Vaishnavas, Madhvas,
and Smartas. Besides these emblems, the Lingayats claim that, during
their processions, they are entitled to ring a bell, which is usually
suspended from the flat end of a large ladle-like object. The Brahmans
object to this, however, as the bells are carried by low-caste persons,
who ring them with their feet, to the accompaniment of chants intended
to insult the Brahmans and their religious creeds. They contend also
that the hollow of the ladle is designed in mockery of the Brahmakapala
(or skull of Brahma), which is very sacred in their eyes.... In the
year 1811, a dispute arose regarding the display of the nandidhavajam
and the vyasahastam, an enquiry into which was held by the Judge of
Bellary, who issued a proclamation for general information throughout
the district, prohibiting the procession altogether, and declaring that
no person should attempt it, on pain of being put in irons, and sent
to take his trial before the Court of Circuit.... When the Sringeri
Swami, known as Jagadguru or spiritual head of the universe, visited
Bellary in 1888, certain Lingayats petitioned the District Magistrate,
praying that, if he was to be allowed to enter the town displaying
his usual paraphernalia, their gurus must also be allowed a similar
privilege during their processions. The petitioners were directed to
meet the agent of the Sringeri Swami, and they agreed with him, to
quote from the Collector's order, in a spirit of mutual consideration
that the processions of the gurus of the Smarta Brahmans and of the
Lingayats should be peaceably conducted, and that, in the latter,
neither the nandidhvajam nor the vyasahastam should be used. In 1899,
it was decided in a Civil Court that the bells used in the processions
of the Lingayats should be rung with the hands and not with the
feet, and that the Chalavadis, or bell-ringers, should not utter
any cries or chants offensive to the feelings of the Brahmans. In
1901, the Collector negotiated a compromise between the Lingayats
and the Brahmans of Rayadrug, by which the display of all insignia,
except the vyasahastam, was permitted to the former. Apparently, the
Brahmans have not been satisfied with the terms of this compromise,
as, subsequent to 1901, they have started civil litigation, in which it
is contended that the use of nandidhvajam is itself objectionable. At
the present moment, therefore, the Brahman Lingayat controversy is
exactly where it was a hundred years ago."

Non-Lingayats, wishing to join the faith, have to undergo a three
days' purification ceremony. On the first day they get their face and
head shaved, and take a bath in cow's urine and ordure. Except these
articles, they are under a prohibition to drink or eat anything else
that day. On the second day they bathe themselves in dhulodaka, i.e.,
water with which a Jangam's feet have been washed, and eat sugar and
drink cow's milk. On the third or last day, they take a panchamrutham
bath, i.e., they apply to the head and body a paste made of plantains,
cow's milk, ghi (clarified butter), curds and honey, and wash it
off with water; they drink the water (thirtham) in which a Jangam's
feet have been washed; the lingam is tied on by the Jangam, and the
convert eats with other Lingayats. Women also undergo this ceremony,
but in their case shaving is omitted.

Disputes are settled by a panchayat (council) headed by one of
the community called Yejaman or Setti, assisted by the Reddi or
headman called Banakara. Where there is no Setti, the Reddi takes
his place. The Setti is appointed by the community, after the office
itself has been created by the Simhasanadhipati of the mutt. The
other members of the panchayat are not permanent, but are selected
for the occasion. The panchayat also tries offences against caste
rules, and imposes fine on the culprit. The money, when collected,
is given to some mutt or temple. Failure to pay is punished by
excommunication. Any one may be appointed Setti, but the post is
hereditary. It is an honorary post carrying no remuneration, and the
enquiries of the panchayat entail no expense, except in the cost of
supplying pansupari (betel leaves and areca nuts). The panchayat is
not limited in numbers, all the leading members of the community being
invited to attend. Appeals from the decisions of the panchayat lie to
the mutt to which the village is subordinate. In Bellary appeals go
to Ujjini. The orders of the mutt are final. The Ujjini authorities
say that the only punishment that can be inflicted is to interdict
the offender from all social intercourse. He is practically "put into
Coventry"; but is released on payment of a fine to the guru, so the
punishment is in fact a fine. The appointment of a new Setti is a
solemn function, resembling the instalment of a church dignitary. The
priests and Settis of neighbouring villages assemble, and instal the
new man. The following is the order of precedence amongst them:--


    (1) Matadaya.
    (2) Matapati.
    (3) Ganachari.
    (4) Sthavaria or Gunari.
    (5) Setti.
    (6) Patna Setti.
    (7) Kori Setti.
    (8) Wali Setti.


A ceremony called Diksha is said by some to be compulsory with Jangams,
male and female, in their eighth year, and the same is also said to
be required for lay Lingayats. The ceremony is performed in order to
impart to the recipient the sacred mantram called Panchakshari. This is
whispered in the ear by the guru. The rite is evidently in imitation
of the Brahman practice of imparting the Gayatri mantram at the
time of the Upanayanam or thread-tying ceremony. The term Diksha is
sometimes used to express the conversion ceremony used in the case of
a new-comer. It is an essential of the faith that the sacred spell
should be whispered in the ear by the guru, and this explains the
three word motto or "guru, linga and Jangam." But, in the case of lay
Lingayats and of women, it does not appear that Diksha is universal,
and the sacred spell is whispered in the ear when the lingam is tied.

Pollution periods are not observed. The indifference displayed by
Lingayats to the purification ceremonies prescribed by Hindu custom
is noticed by the Abbé Dubois, who quotes the Hindu proverb which says
"There is no river for a Lingayat."

A simple ceremony is performed when a girl comes to maturity. This
lasts only one day. The girl takes an oil bath, and puts on clean
clothes and ornaments. Married women come and place in her lap two
cocoanuts, two dates, five limes, five areca nuts, five betel leaves,
and some rice. They sing some bright song, and then pass round her
head three times the wave offering (arati) of a light. They then
depart, after being presented with food and betel. This ceremony is
evidently copied from other castes, and with well-to-do Lingayats
is sometimes prolonged for several days. Holy water (thirtham) is
sprinkled over the head of the girl. No ceremonies are observed at
subsequent menstrual periods, as no pollution is attached to them.

No special diet or customs are observed during pregnancy by husband or
wife. The woman in her confinement is attended by her female relatives
and the village midwife. At the birth of a child, all the female
members of the family, and other women who attend the confinement,
bathe and give a bath to the mother and child. On the second and
third day, from five to ten women are invited. They bring boiled
water and turmeric paste to apply to the body of the mother. On
the third day a ceremony called Viralu is performed. Viralu means
the worship of the afterbirth. The midwife buries it at the outer
door, throws over the grave a piece of thread, dipped in turmeric
water, and some rice, turmeric powder, kunkuma (red powder) and nim
(Melia Azadirachta) leaves. She offers to it kitchade, a mess made
of broken cholam (millet: Sorghum) and a dish of greens, and breaks a
cocoanut. The mother, who wears on the right wrist a piece of thread
with a piece of sweet flag (Acorus Calamus) tied to it, worships
the grave with joined hands. The women who have brought boiled water
also wear similar threads on the right wrists, and eat the cholam and
the greens. The midwife takes away the offering made to the grave,
and gets also her money perquisites. The Viralu ceremony is observed
in the belief that the mother's breasts will thereby be fruitful of
milk. The mother for the first time, on the day after the ceremony is
over, suckles the child. Both of them receive dhulodaka (water from
a Jangam's feet). The child also receives from the Jangam the lingam,
which is to be his personal property for life and for eternity.

The name is given to a child on the sixteenth day after birth. Five
married women go to a well or river, where they worship Gangamma, and
return with a new pot filled with water. The mother receives it at the
entrance, and places it on some cholam under the cradle. After this,
the child is put into the cradle, and is given a name. The child's
maternal uncle or aunt gives the name, and at once all the women
present assault the namer with their fists. After this the Jangam
and guests are fed, and guggeri (fried grain) is distributed.

Marriage is both infant and adult. There is no difference in this
respect between Jangams and other Lingayats. Sexual license before
marriage is neither recognised nor tolerated. Open prostitution is
not permitted. On the other hand, it is condemned as a moral sin and
a social offence, and the party is punished by excommunication. There
are Basavis (dedicated prostitutes) amongst Lingayats. Polygamy is
permitted. Polyandry is strictly prohibited. Among the Lingayats,
marriage between brothers' children is strictly prohibited. Similarly,
sisters' children cannot marry. Marriage between some classes of
second cousins is also prohibited, i.e., a man's children may not
marry the children of his paternal uncle or of his maternal aunt. A
man may marry his sister's daughter, but, in the case of children of
the younger sister, such marriages are looked on with disfavour. The
parties to a marriage have no freedom of choice. It is arranged for
them by their parents or by the elders of their family, who come to
an agreement as to the amount of teravu that should be paid to the
bride's family. This marriage price usually amounts to 12 pagodas or
42 rupees, but is often more. In the case of a second marriage, the
amount is double. The presents to the bridegroom generally consist
of a pair of cloths, a turban, and a gold ring. These gifts are not
compulsory, and their amount and value depend upon the circumstances
of the bride's family.

For a betrothal, the bridegroom's family come to the bride's house on
an auspicious day in company with a Jangam. They bring a sire (woman's
cloth), a kuppasa (jacket), two cocoanuts, five pieces of turmeric,
five limes, betel leaf and areca nut. They also bring flowers for
the susaka (a cap of flowers made for the bride), gold and silver
ornaments, and sugar and areca nut for distribution to guests. The
bride puts on the new cloths with the ornaments and flowers, and
sits on a folded kumbli (blanket), on which fantastic devices have
been made with rice. Some married women fill her lap with cocoanuts
and other things brought by the bridegroom's party. Music is played,
and the women sing. Five of them pick up the rice on the kumbli, and
gently drop it on to the bride's knees, shoulders and head. They do
this three times with both hands. Sugar and betel are then distributed,
and one of the bride's family proclaims the fact that the bride has
been given to the bridegroom. One of the bridegroom's family then
states that the bride is accepted. That night the bride's family feed
the visitors on sweet things; dishes made of hot or pungent things
are strictly prohibited.

The marriage ceremony, which often takes place some years later,
occupies from one to four days according to circumstances. In the
case of a four-day marriage, the first day is spent in worshipping
ancestors. On a second day, rice and oil are sent to the local
mutt, and oil alone to the relatives. New pots are brought with much
shouting, and deposited in the god's room. A pandal (booth) is erected,
and the bridegroom sits under it side by side with a married female
relative, and goes through a performance which is called Surige. An
enclosure is made round them with cotton thread passed ten times
round four earthen pitchers placed at the four corners. Five married
women come with boiled water, and wash off the oil and turmeric,
with which the bride and the bridegroom and his companion have been
anointed. The matrons then clothe them with the new cloths offered
to the ancestors on the first day. After some ceremonial, the thread
forming the enclosure is removed, and given to a Jangam. The Surige
being now over, the bridegroom and his relatives are taken back to the
god's room. The bride and her relatives are now taken to the pandal,
and another Surige is gone through. When this is over, the bride is
taken to her room, and is decorated with flowers. At the same time,
the bridegroom is decorated in the god's room, and, mounting on a
bullock, goes to the village temple, where he offers a cocoanut. A
chaplet of flowers called bashingam is tied to his forehead, and he
returns to the house. In the god's room a panchakalasam, consisting
of five metal vases with betel and vibhuti (sacred ashes) has been
arranged, one vase being placed at each corner of a square, and one on
the middle. By each kalasam is a cocoanut, a date fruit, a betel leaf
and areca nut, and one pice (a copper coin) tied in a handkerchief. A
cotton thread is passed round the square, and round the centre kalasam
another thread, one end of which is held by the family guru, and the
other by the bridegroom who sits opposite to him. The guru wears a
ring made of kusa grass on the big toe of his right foot. The bride
sits on the left hand side of the bridegroom, and the guru ties their
right and left hands respectively with kusa grass. Hastapuja then
follows. The joined hands of the bride and bridegroom are washed, and
bilva (Ægle Marmelos) leaves and flowers are offered. The officiating
priest then consecrates the tali and the kankanam (wrist-thread),
ties the latter on the wrists of the joined hands, and gives the tali
to the bridegroom, who ties it round the bride's neck, repeating some
words after the priest. The tying of the tali is the binding portion
of the ceremony. Before the tali is given to the bridegroom, it is
passed round the assembly to be touched by all and blessed. As soon
as the bridegroom ties it on the bride, all those present throw over
the pair a shower of rice. The bridegroom places some cummin seed
and jaggery (crude sugar) on the bride's head, and the bride does
the same to the bridegroom. Small quantities of these articles are
tied in a corner of the cloth of each, and the cloths are then knotted
together. The bride worships the bridegroom's feet, and he throws rice
on her head. The newly married couple offer fruits to five Jangams,
and present them with five pice. The relatives worship the bride and
bridegroom, wash their feet and offer presents, and the proceedings
of the day terminate. On the third day, friends and relatives are fed,
and on the fourth day bride and bridegroom ride in procession through
the village, on the same bullock, the bride in front. On return to
the house they throw scented powder (bukkittu) at each other, and the
guests join in the fun. Then follows the wedding breakfast, to which
only the near relatives are admitted. The married couple worship
Jangams and the elders, and take off the kankanam or consecration
thread from their wrists, and tie it at the doorway. The five matrons
who have assisted are given presents and dismissed, and the marriage
is now complete. In a one-day marriage, the above ceremonies are
crowded into the short time allotted. The remarriage of widows was
one of the points on which Basava insisted, and was probably one of
the biggest bones of contention with the Brahmans. Widow remarriage
is allowed at the present day, but the authorities at Ujjini see
fit to disregard it. They say that amongst Jangams it is prohibited,
and that amongst the other classes of Lingayats it is growth of custom.

The practice of widow remarriage is widely followed even among Jangams,
but amongst the stricter classes, who are probably under the influence
of their Brahman friends, it is discountenanced. The parties to such
a marriage are not allowed to take part in the marriage ceremonies of
others. A great deal can, however, be done when money is forthcoming,
and in one case a girl has recently been remarried according to
the form in use for original marriages. Every Jangam probably has
his price.

A widow cannot marry her deceased husband's brother or cousin. The
marriage goes by the name of Udiki, and corresponds to some extent
to the Gandarva form of the Hindus. The ceremony is a very simple
one; there is no music and no guests are invited. The parties go to
the temple in company with the Matapati or headman, and the bangle
seller. The latter puts glass bangles on the bride's wrists, and the
Matapati ties the tali. This last act ratifies the marriage contract,
and makes it indissoluble. In some cases the ceremony takes place
at night, as though the parties wished the darkness to cover them,
but this practice does not seem to be universal. A widower generally
takes a widow as his second bride; a bachelor will not as a rule
marry a widow. In connection with a case concerning the Lingayat
'Goundans' of the Wynad, it is noted, in the Indian Law Reports,
[125] that "there is an immemorial custom by which Lingait widows
are remarried. Such marriage is styled, not kalianam, but odaveli or
kudaveli. It is not accompanied with the same ceremonies as a kalianam
marriage, but a feast is given, the bride and bridegroom sit on a mat
in the presence of the guests and chew betel, their cloths are tied
together, and the marriage is consummated the same night. Widows
married in this form are freely admitted into society. They cease
to belong to the family of their first husband, and the children of
the second family inherit the property of their own father." Divorce
is permitted on proof of misconduct. The husband can exercise his
right to divorce his wife by proving before a panchayet the alleged
misconduct. The wife can only claim to divorce her husband when he
has been outcasted. Wives who have been divorced cannot remarry. The
above answers are given on the authority of the Ujjini mutt. There
appears to be considerable divergence of opinion in other quarters. By
some it is positively asserted that divorce is not permitted under
any circumstances; that the husband and wife may separate on the
ground of incompatibility of temper or for misconduct; and that
in these circumstances the husband is at liberty to marry again,
while the wife is not. Others say that divorce is permitted, and
that both parties are at liberty to remarry. In connection with the
Lingayats of South Canara, it is recorded, in the Indian Law Reports,
[126] that "second marriage of a wife forsaken by the first husband
is allowed. Such marriage is known as serai udiki (giving a cloth);
as distinguished from lagna or dhara, the first marriage."

All castes included in Lingayat community follow the Hindu law of
inheritance, and succession is governed by the same.

As a rule Lingayats worship Basaveswara and Virabhadra, the former
being the founder of their sect, and the latter a son of Siva. They
worship also the other sons of Siva, Shanmukha and Vinayaka, and
Parvati, wife of Siva. The other deities of the Hindu pantheon
are not reverenced. Some later saints are sometimes regarded with
reverence, but there does not appear to be any great uniformity in this
matter, and the Ujjini authorities declare that no god except Siva
is worshipped. This is clearly the correct view of the religion, and
it is evident that the worship of minor deities was not countenanced
by the founder.

It is a peculiarity amongst the Lingayats that they esteem the Jangam
or priest as superior even to the deity. They pay homage to the Jangam
first, and to Siva afterwards. The Jangam is regarded as an incarnation
of the deity. They allow him to bathe his lingam in water with which
his feet have been washed, and which for this reason is regarded as
holy water. With the same water they bathe their own lingams, and drink
the remainder. The motto of the creed quoted by Mr. C. P. Brown is
"Guru, linga, Jangam." These three words express the Lingayat faith,
but in practice the Jangam is placed first, and, as stated above, is
worshipped as god upon earth. This practice of bathing the lingams in
holy water is universal, and precedes each meal. The Jangam blesses
the food in the name of Basava, and eats before the others can begin.

Monday in every week is the Lingayat Sunday, and is sacred to
Siva. This day is observed everywhere, and no Lingayat will cultivate
his field, or otherwise work his cattle on a Monday. This fact was
noted by the Abbé Dubois. The following account of the various
festivals recognised by Lingayats was furnished by the Dewan of
the Sandur State, but, as he himself admits, very few people really
observe the rules:--

The month Chaitra.--First day of the bright fortnight being Ugadi or
new year's day, all take an oil bath and feast, the first dish to be
eaten being a porridge made of margosa (Melia Azadirachta) flowers,
sugar candy or jaggery, dried grapes, almonds, Bengal gram flour,
poppy seeds, and cocoanut kernel. Those who can afford it put on new
clothing. The eating of margosa flowers on Ugadi is not, however,
peculiar to the Lingayat. On the full-moon day, called Davanadahunname
(from davana, a scented plant), they enjoy dainty dishes in honour
of Hampe Pompapathiswami's car festival.

The month Vaisakha.--On the full-moon day called Hagihunname (from
hage, a young plant) cultivators make nursery beds, and enjoy a
good repast.

The month Jyesta.--The full-moon day called Karuhunname (from kare,
a festoon). Bullocks are washed, painted, and taken out in procession,
when a festoon made of leaves, etc., and tied high across the main
street, is broken. On the new-moon day called Mannueththina-amavasya,
they make bulls with earth, worship them, and eat a good meal.

The month Ashadha.--On the full-moon day called Kadlakadavena hunname,
they make a mixture of cholam or other flour with a single grain
of unbroken Bengal gram inside, boil it and eat. Women strike one
another with these cakes, which are either round or oblong, and are
tough. Before being eaten, they are cut into pieces with a knife.

The month Sravana.--The fifth day of the bright fortnight, called
Nagarapanchame. The image of a serpent, made of mud taken from a
snake's hole, is worshipped with offerings of milk, soaked Bengal
gram, rice, balls made of jaggery and fried gingelly (Sesamum)
called chigali, balls made of rice flour and jaggery called tanittoo,
cocoanuts, plantains and flowers. On each Monday of this month, all
the gods are worshipped with offerings of dainty dishes, and Jangams
are fed. This is the most important month in the year. Those who can
afford it have the Basava or other Puranams read and explained.

The month Bhadrapada.--The fourth day of the bright fortnight. The
image of Ganesha, made of earth and painted, is worshipped with
an offering consisting of 21 harnakadubu, 21 chigali, 21 tanittoo,
a cocoanut, flowers and incense. It is taken out in procession on
the 3rd, 5th or 9th day, and deposited in a well or stream after
the necessary worship. The new-moon day called Malada-amavasya (from
Mahalaya, a period comprising 15 days from full- to new-moon), during
which offerings are made to the manes of departed ancestors.

The month Aswija.--The first day of the bright fortnight. Male children
bathe, put on holiday clothes, and go to the village school. They
do so till the 10th or Dasami day. With them their master makes
house-to-house visits for annual presents. They sing and play with
the kolatam, a pair of painted round sticks about one foot in length
with a diameter of 1 1/4 inches. On the Dasami day, books, accounts,
scales and weights, measures and weapons are worshipped with jambi
(Prosopis spicigera), rich food, flowers and incense. All, including
Jangams, enjoy a good meal. In the evening they visit temples,
and offer cocoanuts to the idols. They pay reverence to elders by
giving them jambi, and falling at their feet. On the same day, girls
collect earth from ant-hills, and place it in a heap in the village
temple. Every evening they go to the said temple with aratis (wave
offerings), singing on the way, and worship the heap. They continue
this till the full-moon day called Seegahunname. On the following day,
i.e., on the first day of the dark fortnight, they worship in the
same temple an image of Siva and his consort Parvati seated on the
sacred bull made of earth and painted. They worship with offerings
of cakes and other dainties, and cocoanuts, flowers and incense,
and give arati. The Matapati who has installed the idol takes these
offerings, and gives each girl two idols of Kontamma, made out of
the heaped earth previously worshipped by them. They take them home
in their arati platters. Within the next three days, they go from
house to house playing on kolu or kolatam and singing, and receive
money presents. These earnings they spend on the worship of Kontamma
by making sajja and gingelly cakes called konte roti, and offering
them. This worship is performed on the top of the roof of a house. The
girls eat up the cakes, and take Kontamma in procession to a stream or
well, and gently let her into the water, singing songs all the while.

On the new-moon day, a religious observance called nope or nomulu in
honour of Gauri (another name of Parvati) is kept up. The observance
consists in offering to the goddess 21 karjikayi, 21 whole areca nuts,
21 betel nuts, 21 bits of turmeric, 21 chendu flowers, 21 tumbe huvvu,
a silk string with 21 threads and 21 knots, a cocoanut kernel, a date
fruit, kunkuma, a cocoanut, bukkittu and incense, in a winnowing
fan specially made with 21 fastenings. The fan is passed round the
goddess 21 times. A face worked in silver, a new earthen pitcher or
a metal pot with a twig of the banian tree in it, well decorated,
represents the goddess. The silk string is allowed to remain before
her that night. Next morning, offerings of food, etc., are made to
her, and the pujari (priest) ties a silk string on the left arm if a
female, or the right arm if a male. That day being the Balipadyam day,
men, women and children take an oil bath very early in the morning,
eat something, and put on new clothing. Just before daybreak, women
make two sets of cow-dung Panchapandavas, and keep one set on either
side of the outer threshold, and, sprinkling on them milk, butter and
ghi, worship them. At the usual breakfast time, all the members of the
family enjoy a hearty meal with the newly married son-in-law, to whom
they make presents of cloths and gold according to circumstances. All
that day children let off crackers.

The month Kartika.--On the fourteenth day of the bright fortnight,
girls bring ant-hill earth, and, depositing it in a temple, follow
the procedure observed from the tenth day of the bright fortnight of
Aswija up to the day on which the Kontamma was left in a stream or
well. They go through the various details in three days.

The month Pushya.--The Sankranti (the day on which the sun's progress
to the north of the equator begins) festival is observed. On the
Bhogi day, i.e., the day previous to Sankranti, cakes made of sajja
and gingelly, dishes made of pumpkin, brinjals, sweet potatoes,
red radish, raw chillies and chitrana (coloured rice) are eaten. On
the Sankranti day, more rich food, including holigas (cakes made of
jaggery, dhal and wheat), is eaten in company with Jangams, who are
dismissed with money presents and betel and nut.

The month Magha.--The full-moon day called Baratahunname. This is a
feasting day on which no ceremony is performed, but the people enjoy
themselves by eating good things. The fourteenth day of the dark
fortnight is the Sivarathri day, i.e., the day sacred to Siva. This
should be a fasting and sleepless day, the fast being broken early
next morning, but very few observe these rules strictly.

The month Phalguna.--The full-moon day is the day on which the Holi
festival takes place. It is not marked by any religious observance
beyond eating good things. The same is the case with the new-moon day.

Brahmans are not employed as a general rule. The Jangam is the priest
of the Lingayat, and is called in for all ceremonies. Brahmans are
sometimes consulted in fixing auspicious days, and in some cases are
even allowed to officiate at marriages. This is the rule in Sandur,
and shows the tendency of modern times. The Ujjini mutt is, however,
still bigoted in its rejection of all Brahman interference, though,
with strange inconsistency, the elders of the community themselves
claim to be Brahmans. Jangams are now studying Vedic Shastras, and
may often be heard repeating Vedic hymns.

The dead are buried in a sitting posture facing towards the north,
but an exception is made in the case of unmarried people, who are
buried in a reclining position. Before the patient dies, the ceremony
called Vibhutidharane or Vibhuti achchodu is performed. He is given
a bath, and is made to drink holy water in which the Jangam's feet
have been washed. He is made to give the Jangam a handkerchief
with vibhuti (ashes), rudraksha, dakshina (coin) and tambula (betel
leaf). This is followed by a meal, of which all the Jangams present,
and the relatives and friends of the patient partake. It appears
to be immaterial whether the patient is still alive or not. It is
stated that, if the invalid survives this ceremony, he must take to
the jungles and disappear, but in practice this is not observed. The
death party resembles in some respects an Irish 'wake,' though the
latter does not commence until the deceased is well on his way to the
next world. After death, the corpse is placed in a sitting posture,
and the Jangam, who has received the offering before death, places his
left foot on the right thigh of the body. The people present worship
the corpse, and the usual distribution of coins and betel to Jangams
follows. The body is then carried in a vimanam or bamboo chair to the
burial-ground. The grave should be a cube of nine feet dimensions,
with a niche on one side, in which the corpse is to sit. The lingam
is untied, and placed in the left hand; bilva leaves (Ægle Marmelos)
and vibhuti are placed at the side; the body is wrapped in an orange
coloured cloth; and the grave is filled in. A Jangam stands on the
grave, and, after receiving the usual douceur, shouts out the name
of the deceased and says that he has gone to Kailasa or heaven.

Memorial ceremonies are contrary to Lingayat tenets, but in this, as in
other matters, the influence of the Brahmans appears, and amongst some
sections an annual ceremony is performed. The performance of Sradh,
or the memorial ceremonial common to other Hindus, is unknown. The
Abbé Dubois tells us that a Lingayat is no sooner buried than he is
forgotten. He says, "The point in the creed of the Saivaites which
appears to me to be most remarkable is their entire rejection of
that fundamental principle of the Hindu religion 'marujanma' or
metempsychosis. From this it would follow that they do not believe
in ghosts. But there is a generally accepted idea that evil spirits
sometimes take possession of females. This may be a rude way of
expressing the fact that the gentle sex is uncertain, coy and hard
to please."

Though Sradh is unknown, once in a year on the new-moon day of the
month Bhadrapada or in Aswija, they offer clothes and food to ancestors
in general, childless ancestors, and men who have died a violent death.

The special object of worship is a bull, the animal sacred to Siva. A
bull is supposed to be used by Siva for riding. It is also painted
on Siva's flag.

Tattooing is confined to females. Children are tattooed in their
fifth year. A round mark, the size of a pea, is pricked between the
eyebrows, on the right cheek, and on the chin. Other marks are made on
the forehead. These marks are also made on the forearms and hands. The
pigment is of a green colour, but the recipe is not known. The skin
is pricked with babul (Acacia arabica) thorns.

Females wear a sadi about 8 yards long and 1¼ yards broad. It is
invariably a coloured one, with silk or cotton borders at the edges
and across at both the ends. One of the cross borders is much broader
than the other, and is showy. The sadi is of different patterns. It
is tied below the waist with folds in front, the end with the cross
border passing round the trunk from left to right, and covering the
head. They wear also a kuppasa, which covers half the body from the
neck, and is fastened in the front by a knot.

In some families infants are branded with a hot needle on the stomach,
under the idea that disease is thereby warded off. Children who suffer
from fits are branded with a twig of margosa or with a glass bangle.

As Lingayats were originally recruited from all castes, the community
must have included persons of nearly every trade. At the present day
the majority may be grouped under priests, traders and agriculturists.

It is the idea of some Lingayats that Jangams are forbidden to trade,
and strictly speaking this objection is valid. But it is even admitted
at Ujjini that there is no such objection in practice. Many wealthy
traders may be found amongst the above class, and in the town of Kampli
there is a Lingayat guru who is held in great esteem, and yet is the
owner of two shops, the business of which he personally conducts. It
is even whispered that the head of the Ujjini Mutt is not averse
to increasing his income by a little discreet usury. The majority
of Lingayats in Bellary are tenant-farmers, or self-cultivating
pattadars. It is said to be uncommon to find a Lingayat daily
labourer in the Bombay Presidency--they are mostly landholders and
cultivators or petty traders. They are prohibited from doing such
work as is required of a butcher, a toddy drawer or seller, sweeper
or scavenger. Anything connected with the use of leather is an object
of special abhorrence to a Lingayat. Even the use of a leather bucket
for irrigation purposes is by some of the stricter members considered
degrading. It is even supposed to be wrong to touch one's shoe or
sandals in the presence of others, and beating with a shoe is a
special insult. This last objection is probably common to all castes.

There are few artisans, but a special sub-section called
the Hirekurnis are weavers. Oil-sellers are styled Ganigas and
Sajjanaganigas. Flower-sellers are called Jiru; those engaged in making
dairy produce, Gaulis ; those who do tailoring, Chippigas. Members of
the above trades under the above names are not exclusively Lingayats.

Ploughing is never commenced in Pushya, as it is considered an
inauspicious month, but what was begun in the previous Margasira
could be continued through it. Those who did not begin in Margasira
do so in Magha, the month succeeding Pushya. Tuesdays and Fridays
are auspicious days for the commencement of this operation. They are
also the appropriate days for sowing. There is no restriction as to
month, that being entirely dependent on the season. Before ploughing
commences, the team of bullocks is worshipped. The horns of the animals
are washed with water, and covered with sacred ashes. A cocoanut is
broken on the yoke. Before sowing, puja (worship) is offered to the
drill-plough. The hollow bamboos, through which the seed drops, is
daubed with chunam (lime), and the other parts with red earth. Bunches
of leaves of the sacred pipal, and bits of turmeric are stuck in
three or four places. To the drill, a string, containing marking-nut,
sweet flag, and pieces of palmyra leaf, is tied. Kunkuma is applied,
and to the whole apparatus food specially prepared is offered. This
takes place at home. The drill-plough is then carried to the field,
where, after the bullocks have been attached, a cocoanut is broken on
the cross beam. Reaping commences with the sprinkling of milk and ghi
on the crop. At the threshing floor, a ceremony called Saraga is gone
through. A conical-shaped image made of cow-dung is set at the foot
of the grain heap. On its top are placed the tail hair of bullocks,
a single cholam ear-head, a flower of the avari (bean) creeper, and
tummi flower (Leucas aspera). Before it are spread the mess of cholam
and other food brought from home, and a cocoanut is broken. Some of
the mess is dissolved in buttermilk, and thrown round the threshing
floor. The man who throws it lays the pot which contained it before
the image, and salutes the heap with joined hands. The residue of
the cholam mess and other food is eaten by a Jangam, the cultivator,
the guests, servants and coolies. The grain in the heap is next
winnowed and made into a heap. It is measured just before sunset,
neither sooner nor later, after breaking the cocoanut which was
secreted in the original heap. The measurers sit with their faces
towards the north. While the measurement is proceeding, no one in the
threshing floor may speak; nor is any one allowed to enter it at the
time. The belief is that, if either of these happens, the grain in
the heap will diminish. This mysterious disappearance is called wulusu.

Rain in Rohini Karte (one of the twenty-seven asterisms in
which rain falls) is good for sowing, and that in Mrugasira and
Ardra appropriate. These three asterisms are suited for sowing
cholam. Showers in Punarvasu, Pushya, and Aslesha are suitable for
sowing korra, saju and savi. Rain in Pubba and Wuttara is favourable to
cotton, korra and horse gram, and that in Hasta and Chitta to wheat,
cholam, Bengal gram and kusumulu (oil-seed). Flashes of lightning
occurring at the exit of Ardra, augur good showers. The saying
is that, if it flashes in Ardra, six showers will fall. In Magha,
weeding, either by the hand or by bullocks, should not be done. Wind
should not blow in Wuttara. If it does, the grain in the ear-heads
will be hollow. There should be no lightning flashes in Swati. If
there are, a pest called benkihula will appear, and grain will not
be formed in each socket. Rain in Visakha destroys worms, and is
good for pulses. Rain in Anuradha spoils them. A scare-crow in the
shape of a human being is set up in fields where there are crops, to
scare birds and animals. It is made much in the same way as elsewhere,
with crossed sticks and a painted chatty (pot). The sticks are covered
with rags of cotton or a kambli (blanket). A cocoanut is broken before
digging for a well commences.

The Lingayats are strict vegetarians, and abstain from all forms
of liquor. The staple foods in Bellary are cholam, cumbu, ragi
and korra. Lingayats will not eat, drink or smoke with any one of
another religion. This is the strict rule, but, as already stated,
Kapu Lingayats will sometimes eat with a non-Lingayat relative or
friend. (See also Jangam.)

Liyari.--See Kevuto.

Lohana.--Immigrant traders from the Bombay Presidency. "They state
that they take their name from the port of Loha in Sindh, but Burton
says that they came from Lohanpur near Multan, and that they were
driven south by the Muhammadans. They reverence the Daria Pir, or
the Indus spirit." [127]

Lohara.--The Loharas, Luharas, or Luharos, are an Oriya caste of
iron-workers, whose name is derived from loha, iron. Luhara also
occurs as an occupational name of a sub-division of Savaras.

Loliya.--A synonym for Jalari.

Lombo-lanjia (long tail).--A sub-division of Savaras, which is so
called because its members leave, at the buttocks, one end of the
long piece of cloth, which they wear round the waist.

Loriya.--Recorded, in the Madras Census Report, 1901, as a small class
of hill cultivators in the Vizagapatam district. They are said to be
a sub-division of Gaudo.



M


Machi.--Recorded as a synonym of Myasa Bedar.

Madaka (plough).--An exogamous sept of Togata.

Madari (pride or arrogance).--A Tamil name for Chakkiliyan.

Maddi.--Maddi or Madderu, indicating those who use the root of the
Indian mulberry (maddi: Morinda citrifolia) as a dye, has been recorded
as a sub-division of Besthas and Kabberas.

Maddila (drum).--Maddila or Maddili has been recorded as an exogamous
sept of Kapu and Mala.

Madhave (marriage).--An exogamous sept of Badagas of the Nilgiri hills.

Madhurapuria.--A name frequently given by members of the Bhatta
sub-division of Gaudo.

Madhya.--Madhya or Madhaya is a sub-division of Bottada and Sondi.

Madiga.--The Madigas are the great leather-working caste of the Telugu
country, and correspond to the Chakkiliyans of the Tamil area. They
were first studied by me at Hospet in the Bellary district, and at once
formed a strong opposition party, in the belief that I was going to
select and carry off the strong men, lest they should become kings,
and upset the British Raj. So frightened were they, that they went
in a body to live in the Muhammadan quarter of the town.

At the Hospet weekly market I witnessed a mendicant youth lying naked
in a thorny bed of babul (Acacia arabica) stems. A loathsome spectacle
was afforded by a shrivelled old woman with mouth distended by a mass
of mud the size of a cricket-ball, both eyes bunged up with mud, and
beating her bare breasts with her hands. The market was infested by
religious mendicants, some from Benares and Ramesvaram, others from
across the Hyderabad frontier, who cadged persistently for tobacco
leaves, an onion or brinjal (Solanum Melongena), a few chillies, a
handful of grain, or a pinch of salt, and helped to deplete the slender
stock of the market-sellers. One holy man from Sholapur was profusely
decorated with beads, ashes, brass snakes, and deities. Holding out for
four pies worth of betel leaves, while the stall-keeper only offered
one pie worth, he, after making a circle in the ground with his staff
round his sandals thickly studded with blunt nails, stood thereon, and
abused the vendor in language which was not nice. A Native Magistrate
thereon summoned a constable, who, hastily donning his official belt,
took the holy man in custody for an offence under the Act.

A conspicuous feature of Hospet are the block-wheel carts with wooden
wheels, solid or made of several pieces, with no spokes. Dragged by
sturdy buffaloes, they are excellent for carrying timber or other
loads on rough roads or hill-tracks, where ordinary carts cannot
travel. During the breezy and showery season of the south-west monsoon,
kite-flying is the joy of the Hospet youths, the kites being decorated
with devices of scorpions and Hindu gods, among which a representation
of Hanuman, one of the genii loci, soared highest every evening.

It is fairly easy to distinguish a Madiga from a Bedar, but difficult
to put the distinction in words. The Madigas have more prominent
cheek-bones, a more vinous eye, and are more unkempt. The Bedar, it is
said, gets drunk on arrack (alcohol obtained by distillation), whereas
the Madiga contents himself with the cheaper toddy (fermented palm
juice). The Bedars resort freely to the Madiga quarters (Madiga keri),
situated on the outskirts of the town, and fenced in by milk-hedge
(Euphorbia Tirucalli) bushes. My Brahman assistant, hunting in the
Madiga quarters for subjects for measurement, unfortunately asked some
Bedars if they were Madigas. To which, resenting the mistake, one of
them replied "We call you the Madiga," and the Brahman stood crushed.

The Hospet Madigas had their hair cropped short, moustache, and trimmed
beard. They wore the customary threads or charm cylinders to ward off
devils, and steel tweezers for removing the thorns of the babul, which
is largely used as a fence for the fields of cholam and sugar. One
man had suspended round his neck, as a hereditary talisman, a big
silver Venkataramana bottu with the namam in the centre on an altar,
and the chank and chakram stamped on it.

As bearing on the social status of the Malas and Madigas, which
is a subject of dispute between the two classes, it may be noted
that all the billets in cotton factories which require any skill,
such as engine-drivers, valve-men, moulders, turners, etc., are
held by Malas. The Madigas are generally only three-anna wage men,
and do such work as turning a winch, moving bales, and other trivial
jobs. At a factory, whereat I stayed, at Adoni, there were three wells,
viz.:--for Malas, for Madigas, and for the rest of the workers, except
Brahmans. And the well-water for the Malas was better than that for
the Madigas. A Madiga chindu, or sword-dance, was prohibited in 1859
and 1874. But a petition, referring to its obscene nature, and its
being the cause of frequent collision between the Malas and Madigas,
was submitted to the Collector of Kurnool in 1887, by a missionary. The
dance was performed at festivals, held annually or triennially, in
honour of the village goddess, and during the time of threshing corn,
building a new house, or the opening of a newly-dug well. The dance,
accompanied by a song containing grossly indecent reflections against
the Malas, was also performed, under the excitement of strong drinks,
in the presence of the goddess, on the occasion of marriages. One
verse ran as follows: "I shall cut with my saw the Malas of the four
houses at Nandyal, and, having caused them to be cut up, shall remove
their skins, and fix them to drums."

"The right hand party," it is stated, [128] "resent the use by the
left of palanquins at their marriages, and so the Malas are very
jealous of the Chucklers (Madigas) carrying the bride and bridegroom
through the streets, using tinkling ornaments, etc. Riots sometimes
occur when a strong feeling of opposition is raised, to resent what
they consider innovations."

" The Madigas," Mr. N. G. Chetty writes, [129] "belong to the
left-hand caste, and often quarrel with the Malas (right-hand). In
1871 a Madiga, having contrived to obtain a red cloth as a reward
from the Police Superintendent, wore it on his head, and went in
procession on horseback by the main bazaar street. This resulted in a
disturbance, in which a European Inspector was severely hurt by a Mala,
who had mistaken him for the Superintendent. The two factions fixed,
by mutual understanding, the streets by which each was to proceed,
and no quarrels have since occurred." During the celebration of village
festivals, an unmarried Madiga woman, called for the occasion Matangi
(a favourite deity), abuses and spits upon the people assembled,
and they do not take this as an insult, because they think that her
spittle removes the pollution. The woman is, indeed, regarded as
the incarnation of the goddess herself. Similarly, the Malas use
very obscene language, when the god is taken in procession to the
streets of the caste people. [130] Concerning the Matangi I gather
[131] that she is an "unmarried woman of the Madiga class, chosen
after a most trying ordeal, unless she happens to be descended from
a previous Matangi, to represent the goddess. She must vindicate
her fitness by suitable prophetic utterances, and her nomination is
not confirmed till she has obtained divine approval at the temple of
a certain village near Kumbam in Kurnool. When she has been finally
confirmed in her honours, she enjoys the privilege of adorning her face
with a profusion of turmeric and red powder, and of carrying margosa
(Melia Azadirachta) leaves about her. She is unmarried, but without
being bound by a vow of celibacy. Her business is to preside at the
purificatory ceremonies that precede all festivities. When Malakshmi,
or Poleramma, or Ankamma, or any other of the village deities is to
have her festival, the nearest Matangi is applied to. Her necklace of
cowry (Cypræa moneta) shells is deposited in a well for three days,
before she is allowed to put it on for the ceremony. She dons the
necklace, and marches behind the master of the ceremonies, who carries
a knife, wooden shoes and trident, which have been similarly placed
for a time at the bottom of a well. The master of the ceremonies,
his male and female relations, then stand in a line, and the Matangi
runs round and round them, uttering what appear to be meaningless
exclamations, spitting upon all of them, and touching them with her
stick. Her touch and saliva are believed to purge all uncleanliness
of body and soul, and are invited by men who would ordinarily scorn
to approach her, and it passes one's comprehension how she should
be honoured with the task of purifying the soul and body of high
class Reddis and purse-proud Komatis. It must be said that only very
few Brahman families keep up this mysterious ceremony of homage to
the Matangi. She is allowed to come into the house, that is to pass
the outer gate. There she besmears a certain spot with cowdung, and
places upon it a basket. It is at once filled with cooked food. A
layer of rice powder covers the surface of the food, and on it is
placed a small lamp, which is lighted. She then holds out a little
earthenware pot, and asks for toddy to fill it with. But the Brahman
says that she must be content with water. With the pot in her hand,
and wild exultant songs in her mouth, recounting her humiliation
of Brahman and Kshatriya, of saint and sovereign, she moves quickly
round the assembled men and women, scattering with a free hand upon
them the water from the pot. The women doff their petticoats, and
make a present of them to the Matangi, and the mistress of the house
gives her the cloth she is wearing. The men, however, with strange
inconsistency, doff their sacred threads, and replace them by new ones
after a bath. The origin of the supremacy of the Matangi is obscure,
and shrouded in legends. According to one of them, the head of Renuka,
the wife of the sage Bhrigu, who was beheaded by her lord's orders,
fell in a Madiga house, and grew into a Madiga woman. According to
another legend, a certain king prayed to be blessed with a daughter,
and in answer the gods sent him a golden parrot, which soon after
perched on an ant-hill, and disappeared into it. The disappointed
father got the ant-hill excavated, and was rewarded for his pains by
finding his daughter rise, a maid of divine beauty, and she came to be
worshipped as the Matangi. It is interesting to note that Matangas were
an ancient line of kings 'somewhere in the south,' and the Madigas
call themselves Matangi Makkalu or children of Matangi or Durga,
who is their goddess."

The system of making Basavis (see Deva-dasi), which prevails among
the Madigas of the Ceded districts, is apparently not in vogue among
those of the Telugu country, where, however, there are, in some
places, a class of prostitutes called Matangi, Matamma, or Matha,
who are held in much respect. In connection with the Basavi system,
it is recorded, in the Madras Law Report, 1892, that "upon the whole,
the evidence seems to be to establish that, among the Madigas, there
is a widespread custom of performing in the temple at Uchangidurgam,
a marriage ceremony, the result of which is that the girl is married
without possibility of widowhood or divorce; that she is at liberty
to have intercourse with men at pleasure; that her children are
heirs to her father, and keep up his family; and that Basavis'
nieces, being made Basavis, become their heirs. The Basavis seem
in some cases to become prostitutes, but the language used by the
witnesses generally points only to free intercourse with men, and
not necessarily to receipt of payment for use of their bodies. In
fact, they acquire the right of intercourse with men, without more
discredit than accrues to the men of their caste for intercourse with
women who are not their wives."

The ceremony of initiation into Matangihood is fully described
by Emma Rosenbusch (Mrs. Clough). [132] In the Canarese country,
e.g., at Tumkur in Mysore, the ceremony of initiation is performed
by a Vakkaliga priest. A portion of the front courtyard of the
house is cleaned, and smeared with cow-dung. On the space thus
prepared, a pattern (muggu) of a lotus is drawn with red, yellow,
and white powders. The outline is first drawn with rice or ragi
(Eleusine Coracana) flour deftly dropped from between the thumb and
index finger. The interspaces are then filled in with turmeric and
kunkuma powder. Five small pots are arranged, one in the centre,
and one at each corner of the pattern. By the side of the pots are
placed a ball of sacred ashes, a new cloth, a piece of turmeric,
camphor, and plantain fruits. Plantain stems are set up at the
corners of the pattern. A string is passed seven times round the
four corner pots, and tied to the central pot. The woman who is
about to become a Matangi should live on fruits and milk for five
days previous to the ceremony. She is dressed in a white sari,
and seats herself on the muggu close to the central pot. A bamboo
basket, containing a pot bearing the device of two foot-prints
(of Ellamma), an earthen or wooden receptacle, an iron lamp, and a
cane, is placed on her head. The Asadi sings songs about Ellamma,
and the Vakkaliga priest throws rice over the novice's head, feet,
knees, and shoulders, and ties two bottus (marriage badges), called
respectively Ellamma's and Parasurama's bottu, on her neck. The new
and old Matangis bawl out Ekkalde Jogavva. The ceremony closes with
the drinking of toddy by the Matangis and Asadis. The basket (adlige)
containing the various articles enumerated is the badge of a Matangi,
who carries it with its contents, and a few leafy twigs of the margosa
tree (Melia Azadirachta). The basket is wrapped up in a red or brown
cloth, and may not be placed on the ground. At the Matangi's house,
it is hung up by means of a rope, or placed in a niche in the wall. It
may be noted that the Madigas call the intoxicant toddy palu (milk).

For the following interesting note on the Matangi institution, I am
indebted to an article by Mr. A. Madhaviah. [133] "About ten miles
to the south-west of Cumbum, in the Kurnool district, and within a
mile of the village of Tudimilla, there is a narrow pass between two
hillocks known as Surabeswara Kona. Besides the more common presences,
we find here the following shrines:--


(a) Sapthamathas (seven mothers).

(b) A curious temple, in which are found the idols of Jamadhagni
Bagawan--the father of Parasurama and the local rishi--his wife Renuka
Devi, and the Surabi.

(c) Opposite to this temple is the curious shrine, not very much bigger
than a railway pointsman's box, dedicated to Mathangi. In this temple
are found no less than five idols arranged in the following order:--(1)
a three-headed snake; (2) another three-headed snake; (3) a female
body, with the palms joined reverentially in the worshipping posture
in front, with the lower half of the body snaky in form, and with a
canopy of snaky hoods above; (4) Mathangi proper--a female figure
of about 15 inches in height, made of stone--with a short skirt,
below which the feet are visible, but no upper garment, and wearing
a garland round the neck. The right hand holds a snake-headed stick,
while the left has an adlika, a kind of sieve; (5) another similar
figure, but without even the skirt.


"We shall now proceed to enquire who this Mathangi was, and how
she came to be worshipped there. Jamadhagni Maharishi, known also as
Bagawan on account of his godly power and virtues, married Renuka, the
daughter of Renu, and had five sons by her, the youngest of whom was
the famous Parasurama, an incarnation of Vishnu. 'Once upon a time,'
says the Bhagavatapurana, 'Renuka having gone to the Ganga, saw the
king of the Ghandarvas wearing garlands of lotus, to play with the
Apsaras. Having gone to the river to fetch water, she, whose heart
was somewhat attracted by Chitaratha (the king of the Gandharvas)
who was playing, forgot the time of Yajna (sacrifice). Coming to
feel the delay, and afraid of the curse of the Muni, she returned to
the hermitage, and placed the pitcher before the Muni, and remained
standing with folded palms. The Muni (Jamadhagni), coming to know of
the unchasteness of his wife, got enraged, and said 'O my sons! kill
this sinner.' Although thus directed, they did not do so. The said
(Parasu) Rama, who was well aware of the power of the Muni in respect
of meditations and asceticism, killed, being directed by his father,
his mother along with his brothers. The son of Satyavati (Jamadhagni)
was pleased, and requested Rama to pray for any favour. Rama desired
the reanimation of those killed, and their forgetfulness of the fact
of their having been killed. Immediately did they get up, as though
after a deep sleep. Rama, who was conscious of the powers of his
father in regard to asceticism, took the life of his dear ones.'

"The version locally prevalent is somewhat different. Jamadhagni
Bagawan's hermitage was near this Kona, and he was worshipping the
god Surabeswara, and doing tapas (penance) there. One day, his wife
Renuka Devi went, very early in the morning, to the river Gundlacama
to bathe, and fetch water for her husband's sacrificial rites. She
was accompanied, as was her wont on such occasions, by a female slave
of the chuckler (leather-worker) caste, as a sort of bodyguard and
attendant. While she was bathing, the great warrior Karthaviriyarjuna
with a thousand arms happened to fly across the sky on some business
of his own, and Renuka saw his form reflected in the water, and was
pleased with it in her mind. It must be mentioned that she never
used to take any vessel with her to fetch water, for her chastity
was such that she had power to roll water into a pot-like shape, as
if it were wax, and thus bring it home. On this day, however, she
failed to effect this, try what she might, and she was obliged to
return home empty-handed. In the meanwhile, the sage, her husband,
finding that his wife did not return as usual, learnt through his
'wisdom sight' what had happened, and ordered his son Parasurama to
slay his sinful mother. Parasurama went towards the river accordingly,
and, seeing his mother returning, aimed an arrow at her, which severed
her head from her body, and also similarly severed, with its unspent
force, the head of the chuckler woman who was coming immediately
behind his mother. Parasurama returned to his father without even
noticing this accident, and when his father, pleased with his prompt
obedience, offered him any boon, he prayed for the re-animation of his
mother. Jamadhagni then gave him some holy water out of his vessel, and
told him to put together the dismembered parts, and sprinkle some water
over them. Parasurama went off in great delight and haste, and, as it
was still dark and early in the morning, he wrongly put his mother's
head on the chuckler woman's trunk, and sprinkled water on them. Then,
seeing another head and another body lying close by, he thought that
they belonged to the female slave whom he had unwittingly killed,
and he put them also together, and re-animated them. He was extremely
vexed when he found out the mistakes he had committed, but, as there
was no rectifying them without another double murder, he produced
the two women before his father, and begged to be forgiven. The sage
finally accepted the person with his late consort's head as his wife,
and granted to the other woman the status of an inferior deity, in
response to her prayers, and owing to her having his wife's body. This
was the origin of Mathangi.

"There are some permanent inam (rent-free) lands belonging to this
shrine, and there is always a Madiga 'vestal virgin' known as Mathangi,
who is the high priestess, or rather the embodied representative
of the Brahman-chuckler goddess, and who enjoys the fruits of the
inams. Mathangi is prohibited from marrying, and, when a Mathangi
dies, her successor is chosen in the following manner. All the
chuckler girls of the village, between the ages of eight and ten,
who have not attained puberty, are assembled before the shrine, and
the invoking hymns are chanted amid a flourish of trumpets, drums, and
other accessories. The girl who becomes possessed--on whom the goddess
descends--is the chosen vessel, and she is invested with the insignia
of her office, a round sieve, a bunch of margosa (Melia Azadirachta)
leaves, a snake-headed bamboo stick, a piece of cotton thread rope with
some cowries (Cypræa moneta shells) strung on it, and a small vessel
of kunkuma (coloured aniline powder). A vow of lifelong celibacy is
also administered to her. Curiously enough, this shrine is venerated
by all castes, from the Brahman downwards. We were informed that,
at the time of worship, the chuckler priestess dances about in wild
frenzy, and she is given toddy to drink, which she not infrequently
spits on her devotees, and even Brahmans regard this as auspicious,
and not in the least polluting. We had the pleasure of witnessing
a 'possessed dance' by the reigning Mathangi, with her drummer in
attendance. She is a chuckler woman, about thirty years of age, and,
but for the insignia of her office, not in any way differing from
the rest of her class. Though unmarried she had several children,
but this was apparently no disqualification. We were standing before
the shrine of the seven mothers when the drummer invoked the goddess
by chanting a Telugu hymn, keeping time on his drum. The meaning of
the hymn was to this effect, as far as we could make out:--

Sathya Surabesa Kona! Gowthama's Kamadhenu! the headless trunk in
Sathya Surabesa Kona! your father Giri Razu Kamadeva Jamadhagni Mamuni
beheaded the trunk; silently Jamadhagni cut off the arms; did you, the
headless trunk in Kamadhenuvanam, the headless trunk of Jamadhagni,
your father's golden sword, did you ask to be born a virgin in the
snake pit?

"While chanting the above, the drummer was dancing round and round
the woman, and beating wildly on his drum. The woman began to tremble
all over, and soon it was visible that the goddess had descended on
her. Then the drummer, wilder and more frantic than ever, began to
praise the goddess in these words:--

Are you wearing bells to your ankles, O mother? Are you wearing
cowries, O mother? Dancing and singing, O mother! We pray to thee,
O mother! Possessed and falling on the ground, I implore thee,
O mother! O mother, who went to Delhi and Oruganti with a sieve in
the right-hand, with a wand in the left; with bells tinkling at her
ankles, the mother went to Oruganti town, the mother went away.

"During this chant, the woman vies with the drummer, and dances
fiercely round and round, always facing him. Then comes the appeasing
chant, which the drummer drawls out in a quivering and solemn tone,
and without dancing about:--

By the feet of the thirty-three crores, by the feet of the sixty
crores, by the feet of the Devas, peace !

"The woman then stands with closed eyes, panting for breath, and
quite exhausted.

"On ordinary days, the Mathangi goes about the villages, collecting
the offerings of her devotees, and, we take it, she is never in much
want. There are also local Mathangis in other villages, but they are
all said to be subordinate to the Tudimilla woman, who is the high
Pontiff of the institution. We were informed that there was an old
palmyra-leaf manuscript in existence, describing the institution and
the ceremonies (mostly tantric and phallic) in detail."

Among the Madigas of Tumkur in Mysore, the Matangis must apparently
belong to one of two septs, Belliyoru or Malloru.

The Madiga Asadis, who are males, have to go through an initiation
ceremony very similar to that of the Matangi. But a necklet of
pebbles is substituted for the bottu, and the Vakkaliga priest
touches the novice's shoulders with flowers, turmeric powder, and
kunkumam. The Asadis are musicians who sing songs and recite stories
about Ellamma. They play on a musical instrument called chaudike, which
is a combination of a drum and stringed instrument. The Matangis and
Asadis, both being dedicated to Ellamma, are eminently qualified to
remove pollution for many castes who are Ellamma Vokkalu or followers
of Ellamma. A lotus device, or figures of Pothu Raja and Matangi, are
drawn on the ground, after it has been cleansed with cow-dung. The
Matangi, with her insignia, sits in the centre of the device, and
the Asadis, sitting close by, sing the praises of Ellamma to the
accompaniment of the chaudike. The Matangis and Asadi then drink toddy,
and go about the house, wherein the former sprinkle toddy with the
margosa twig. Sometimes they pour some of the toddy into their mouths,
and spit it out all over the house. The pot, in which the toddy is
placed, is, in some places, called pallakki (palanquin).

The Asadis' version of the story of Ellamma is as follows. She is the
goddess for all, and is present in the tongues of all except dumb
people, because they have to pronounce the syllable elli (where)
whenever they ask a question containing the word where. She is a
mysterious being, who often exhibits herself in the form of light
or flames. She is the cause of universe, and the one Sakthi in
existence thereon. She is supposed to be the daughter of Giriraja
Muni and Javanikadevi, and the wife of Jamadhagni Rishi. Her son is
Parasurama, carrying a plough. The town where she lives has three
names, Jambupuri, Isampuri, and Vijayanagara, has eighty-seven gates,
and is fortified by seven walls. She is believed to have for her
dress all kinds of snakes. Several groves of margosa trees are said
to flourish in her vicinity. She is worshipped under many names,
and has become Lakshmi, Gauramma, and Saraswati in Brahman houses, or
Akkumari in Vakkaliga houses. To the Idigas she is Gatabaghya Lakshmi,
to the Kurubas Ganga Mari, to the Oddes Peddamma and Chinnamma, and
so on. She is said to have proceeded on a certain day to the town of
Oragallu, accompanied by Jana Matangi. On the way thither, the soles
of Matangi's feet blistered, and she sat down with Ellamma beneath
a margosa tree. After resting a short time Matangi asked Ellamma's
permission to go to a neighbouring Idiga (Telugu toddy-drawer), and
get some toddy to drink. Ellamma objected, as the Idiga Gauda was a
Lingayat, and Matangi would be compelled to wear the lingam. When
Matangi persisted, Ellamma transformed herself into an ant-hill,
and Matangi, in the guise of a young woman, went to the Idiga Gauda
with her cane (Jogi kolu) and basket, and asked for toddy. The Gauda
became angry, and, tying her to a date-palm (Phoenix sylvestris),
beat her, and gave her cane and basket to his groom. Matangi was
further ill-treated by the Gauda and his wives, but escaped, and went
to the Gauda's brother, who treated her kindly, and offered her toddy,
of which he had sixty loads on bullocks. All this he poured into the
shell of a margosa fruit which Matangi held in her hand, and yet it
was not filled. Eventually the toddy extracted from a few palms was
brought, and the shell became full. So pleased was Matangi with the
Idiga's treatment of her, that she blessed him, and instructed him to
leave three date-palms untapped as Basavi trees in every grove. She
then returned to Ellamma, and it was resolved to afflict the Gauda
who had treated her badly with all kinds of diseases. Still disguised
as a young woman, she went to him with sweet-smelling powders, which
he purchased for a large sum of money. But, when he used them, he
became afflicted with manifold diseases, including small-pox, measles,
cancer, asthma, gout, rheumatism, abscesses, and bed-sores. Matangi
then appeared before him as an old fortune-teller woman, whom the Idiga
consulted, and doing as he was told by her, was cured. Subsequently,
learning that all his misfortunes were due to his want of respect to
Matangi, he became one of Ellamma's Vokkalu.

"The Madigas," Mr. H. A. Stuart informs us, [134] "will not take food
or water from Pariahs, nor the latter from the former, a prejudice
which is taken advantage of in the Kalahasti Raja's stables to prevent
theft of gram by the Pariah horse-keepers, the raw gram being sprinkled
with water by Madigas in the sight of the Pariahs."

There are Telugu proverbs to the effect that "under the magili system
of cultivation, even a Madiga will grow good crops," and "not even
a Madiga will sow before Malapunnama."

Writing concerning the Madigas, [135] the Rev. H. Huizinga states that
"they live in hamlets at a respectable distance from the villages of
the caste people, by whom they are greatly despised. Their habits
are squalid in the extreme, and the odour of a Madiga hamlet is
revolting. They perform all the lowest kinds of service for the caste
people, especially bearing burdens and working in leather. They take
charge of the ox or buffalo as soon as it dies. They remove the skin
and tan it, and eat the loathsome carcase, which makes them specially
despised, and renders their touch polluting. Some of the skins are
used for covering the rude drums that are so largely used in Hindu
festivals, and beaten in honour of the village deities. The caste men
impress the Madigas into their service, not only to make the drums,
but also to beat them at their feasts. It may be mentioned that nearly
ten per cent. of the Madigas are nominal Christians, and, in some parts
of the Nellore district, the Christians form over half of the Madiga
population. This changes their habits of life and also their social
position. Eating of carrion is now forbidden, as well as beating of
drums at Hindu festivals, and their refusal in this particular often
leads to bitter persecution at the hands of the caste people. The
main duty of the Madigas is the curing and tanning of hides, and the
manufacture of rude leather articles, especially sandals, trappings
for bullocks, and large well-buckets used for irrigation. The process
of tanning with lime and tangedu (Cassia auriculata) bark is rough
and simple. [Tangedu is said [136] to be cut only by the Madigas, as
other classes think it beneath their dignity to do it.] As did their
forefathers, so the Madigas do to-day. The quality of the skins they
turn out is fair, and the state of the development of the native
leather trade compares very favourably with that of other trades
such as blacksmithy and carpentry. The Madiga's sandals are strong,
comfortable, and sometimes highly ornamental. His manner of working,
and his tools are as simple as his life. He often gets paid in kind,
a little fodder for his buffalo, so many measures of some cheap grain,
perhaps a few vegetables, etc. In the northern districts, the Madigas
are attached to one or more families of ryots, and are entitled to
the dead animals of their houses. Like the Vettiyan in the south,
the Madiga is paid in kind, and he has to supply sandals for the
ryots, belts for the bulls, and all the necessaries of agriculture;
and for these he has to find the requisite leather himself; but for
the larger articles, such as water-buckets, the master must find the
leather. Of late years there is a tendency observable among Madigas
to poach on each other's monopoly of certain houses, and among the
ryots themselves to dispense with the services of family Madigas,
and resort to the open market for their necessaries. In such cases,
the ryots demand payment from the Madigas for the skins of their
dead animals. The hides and skins, which remain after local demands
have been satisfied, are sold to merchants from the Tamil districts,
and there is generally a central agent, to whom the various sub-agents
send their collections, and by him they are dried and salted and sent
to Madras for tanning. In the Kistna district, children have little
leather strings hanging from the left shoulder, like the sacred cord
of the Brahman, from which is suspended a bag containing something
put in it by a Madiga, to charm away all forms of disease from the
infant wearer."

In some places bones are collected by the Madigas for the Labbais
(Muhammadans), by whom they are exported to Bombay.

The god of the temple at Tirupati appears annually to four persons in
different directions, east, west, north and south, and informs them
that he requires a shoe from each of them. They whitewash their houses,
worship the god, and spread rice-flour thickly on the floor of a room,
which is locked for the night. Next morning the mark of a huge foot is
found on the floor, and for this a shoe has to be made to fit. When
ready, it is taken in procession through the streets of the village,
and conveyed to Tirupati, where it is presented at the temple. Though
the makers of the shoes have worked in ignorance of each other's work,
the shoes brought from the north and south, and those from the east
and west, are believed to match, and make a pair. Though the worship
of these shoes is chiefly meant for the Pariahs, who are prohibited
from ascending the Tirupati hill, as a matter of fact all, without
distinction of caste, worship them. The shoes are placed in front
of the image of the god near the foot of the hill, and are said to
gradually wear out by the end of the year.

At a pseudo-hook-swinging ceremony in the Bellary district, as carried
out at the present day, a Bedar is suspended by a cloth passed under
his arms. The Madigas always swing him, and have to provide the hide
ropes, which are used. [137]

In an exceedingly interesting account of the festival of the village
goddess Uramma, at Kudligi in the Bellary district, Mr. F. Fawcett
writes as follows. "The Madiga Basivis (dedicated prostitutes) are
given alms, and join in the procession. A quantity of rice and ragi
flour is poured into a basket, over which one of the village servants
cuts the throat of a small black ram. The carcase is laid on the bloody
flour, and the whole covered with old cloths, and placed on the head
of a Madiga, who stands for some time in front of the goddess. The
goddess is then carried a few yards, the Madiga walking in front,
while a hole is dug close to her, and the basket of bloody flour
and the ram's carcase are buried. After some dancing by the Madiga
Basivis to the music of the tom-tom, the Madigas bring five new pots,
and worship them. A buffalo, devoted to the goddess after the last
festival, is then driven or dragged through the village with shouting
and tom-toming, walked round the temple, and beheaded by the Madiga
in front of the goddess. The head is placed in front of her with the
right foreleg in the mouth, and a lamp, lighted eight days previously,
is placed on top. All then start in procession round the village,
a Madiga, naked but for a few margosa (Melia Azadirachta) leaves,
and held by two others, leading the way. Behind him are all the other
Madigas, carrying six hundred seers of cholum (Sorghum: millet),
which they scatter; and, following them, all the other villagers. It
is daybreak, and the Madiga who led the way, the pujari (priest),
and the women who followed him, who have been fasting for more than
twenty-four hours, now eat. The Madiga is fed. This Madiga is said
to be in mortal terror while leading the procession, for the spirit
or influence of the goddess comes over him. He swoons before the
procession is completed. At noon the people collect again at Uramma's
temple, where a purchased buffalo is sacrificed. The head is placed
in front of the goddess as before, and removed at once for food. Then
those of the lower Sudra castes, and Madigas who are under vows, come
dressed in margosa leaves, with lamps on their heads, and sacrifice
buffaloes, sheep and goats to the goddess." A further account of
the festival of the village goddess Udisalamma, at Bandri in the
Bellary district, is given by Mr. Fawcett. "A Madiga," he writes,
"naked but for a few leaves round his waist, leads the procession,
and, following him, are Madigas with baskets. Fear of the goddess
comes on the Madiga. He swoons, and is carried to the temple, and
flung on the ground in front of the goddess. After a while he is
revived, bathed, and given new clothing. This man is one of a family,
in which this curious office is hereditary. He must be the son of a
married woman, not of a Basivi, and he must not be married. He fasts
from the beginning of the festival till he has done what is required
of him. A young ram--the sacrifice sheep--is taken up by one of the
Poturazus, as if it were a child, its hind legs at either side of his
waist and its forelegs over his shoulders, and he bites its throat
open and shows his bloody mouth to the people. He throws it down,
and the Madigas remove it."

In an account of a festival, during times of epidemic, at Masulipatam,
Bishop Whitehead writes as follows. [138] "On the last day, a male
buffalo, called Devara potu (he who is devoted to the goddess), is
brought before the image, and its head cut off by the head Madiga
of the town. The blood is caught in a vessel, and sprinkled over
some boiled rice, and then the head, with the right foreleg in the
mouth, is placed before the shrine on a flat wicker basket, with
the rice and blood on another basket just below it. A lighted lamp
is placed on the head, and then another Madiga carries it on his
own head round the village, with a new cloth dipped in the blood of
the victim tied round its neck. This is regarded here and elsewhere
as a very inauspicious and dangerous office, and the headman of the
village has to offer considerable inducements to persuade a Madiga
to undertake it. Ropes are tied round his body and arms, and held
fast by men walking behind him, to prevent his being carried off by
evil spirits, and limes are cut in half and thrown into the air,
so that the demons may catch at them instead of at the man. It is
believed that gigantic demons sit on the tops of tall trees ready
to swoop down and carry him away, in order to get the rice and the
buffalo's head. The idea of carrying the head and rice round a village,
so the people said, is to draw a kind of cordon on every side of it,
and prevent the entrance of the evil spirits. Should any one in the
town refuse to subscribe for the festival, his house is omitted from
the procession, and left to the tender mercies of the devils. This
procession is called Bali-haranam, and in this (Kistna) district inams
(lands rent free) are held from Government by certain families of
Madigas for performing it. Besides the buffalo, large numbers of sheep
and goats, and fowls are sacrificed, each householder giving at least
one animal. The head Madiga, who kills the animals, takes the carcase,
and distributes the flesh among the members of his family. Often cases
come into the Courts to decide who has the right to kill them. As the
sacrifice cannot wait for the tedious processes of the law, the elders
of the village settle the question at once, pending an appeal to the
Court. But, in the town of Masulipatam, a Madiga is specially licensed
by the Municipality for the purpose, and all disputes are avoided."

In some localities, during epidemics of small-pox or cholera, the
Madigas celebrate a festival in honour of Mariamma, for the expenses
of which a general subscription is raised, to which all castes
contribute. A booth is erected in a grove, or beneath a margosa or
Strychnos Nux-vomica tree, within which a decorated pot (karagam) is
placed on a platform. The pot is usually filled with water, and its
mouth closed by a cocoanut. In front of the pot a screen is set up,
and covered with a white cloth, on which rice, plantains, and cakes are
placed, with a mass of flour, in which a cavity is scooped out to hold
a lighted wick fed with ghi (clarified butter), or gingelly oil. A
goat is sacrificed, and its head, with a flour-light on it, placed
close to the pot. The food, which has been offered to the goddess,
is distributed, On the last day of the festival, the pot is carried
in procession through the village, and goats are sacrificed at the
four cardinal points of the compass. The pot is deposited at a spot
where three roads meet, and a goat, pumpkins, limes, flowers, etc.,
are offered to it. Everything,except the pot, is left on the spot.

The Madigas sometimes call themselves Jambavas, and claim to be
descended from Jambu or Adi Jambuvadu, who is perhaps the Jambuvan of
the Ramayana. Some Madigas, called Sindhuvallu, go about acting scenes
from the Mahabaratha and Ramayana, or the story of Ankalamma. They
also assert that they fell to their present low position as the result
of a curse, and tell the following story. Kamadhenu, the sacred cow
of the Puranas, was yielding plenty of milk, which the Devas alone
used. Vellamanu, a Madiga boy, was anxious to taste the milk, but was
advised by Adi Jambuvadu to abstain from it. He, however, secured some
by stealth, and thought that the flesh would be sweeter still. Learning
this, Kamadhenu died. The Devas cut its carcase into four parts, of
which they gave one to Adi Jambuvadu. But they wanted the cow brought
back to life, and each brought his share of it for the purpose of
reconstruction. But Vellamanu had cut a bit of the flesh, boiled it,
and breathed on it, so that, when the animal was recalled to life,
its chin sank, as the flesh thereof had been defiled. This led to the
sinking of the Madigas in the social scale. The following variant of
this legend is given in the Mysore Census Report, 1891. "At a remote
period, Jambava Rishi, a sage, was one day questioned by Isvara (Siva)
why the former was habitually late at the Divine Court. The rishi
replied that he had personally to attend to the wants of his children
every day, which consequently made his attendance late: whereupon
Isvara, pitying the children, gave the rishi a cow (Kamadhenu), which
instantaneously supplied their every want. Once upon a time, while
Jambava was absent at Isvara's Court, another rishi, named Sankya,
visited Jambava's hermitage, where he was hospitably entertained by
his son Yugamuni. While taking his meals, the cream that had been
served was so savoury that the guest tried to induce Jambava's son
Yugamuni, to kill the cow and eat her flesh; and, in spite of the
latter's refusal, Sankya killed the animal, and prevailed upon the
others to partake of the meat. On his return from Isvara's Court,
Jambava found the inmates of his hermitage eating the sacred cow's
beef; and took both Sankya and Yugamuni over to Isvara's Court for
judgment. Instead of entering, the two offenders remained outside,
Sankya rishi standing on the right side and Yugamuni on the left of
the doorway. Isvara seems to have cursed them to become Chandalas or
outcasts. Hence, Sankya's descendants are, from his having stood on
the right side, designated right-hand caste or Holayas; whilst those
who sprang from Yugamuni and his wife Matangi are called left-hand
caste or Madigas." The occupation of the latter is said also to be
founded on the belief that, by making shoes for people, the sin their
ancestors had committed by cow-killing would be expiated. This mode
of vicariously atoning for deliberate sin has passed into a facetious
proverb, 'So and so has killed the cow in order to make shoes from
the skin,' indicating the utter worthlessness and insufficiency of
the reparation.

The Madigas claim to be the children of Matangi. "There was,"
Mr. H. A. Stuart writes, [139] "formerly a Matanga dynasty in
the Canarese country, and the Madigas are believed by some to be
descendants of people who were once a ruling race. Matangi is a
Sanskrit name for Kali, and it is possible that the Madigas once
played an important part in the worship of the god. The employment
of Chakkiliyans and Madiga women in Shakti worship gives some colour
to this supposition." According to Fleet [140] "the Matangas and
the Katachchuris are mentioned in connection with Mangalisa, who
was the younger brother and successor of Kirttivarma I, and whose
reign commenced in Saka 489 (A.D. 567-8), and terminated in Saka 532
(A.D. 610-11). Of the Matangas nothing is known, except the mention
of them. But Matanga means 'a Chandala, a man of the lowest caste,
an outcast, a kirata mountaineer, a barbarian'; and the Madigas,
i.e., the Mahangs of this part of the country, usually call
themselves Matangimakkalu, i.e., the children of Matangi or Durga,
who is their goddess. It is probable, therefore, that the Matangas
of this inscription were some aboriginal family of but little
power, and not of sufficient importance to have left any record
of themselves." There are allusions to Matangas in the Ramayana,
and in Kadambari, a Sanskrit work, the chieftain of the Cabaras
is styled Matanga. The tutelary deity of the Madigas is Mathamma or
Matangi, who is said to be worshipped by the Komatis under the name of
Kanyakaparameswari. The relations between the Madigas and Komatis are
dealt with in the note on the latter caste. There is a legend to the
effect that Matangi was defeated by Parasu Rama, and concealed herself
from him under the tanning-pot in a Madiga's house. At the feast of
Pongal, the Madigas worship their tanning pots, as representing the
goddess, with offerings of fowls and liquor. In addition to Matangi,
the Madigas worship Kattamma, Kattappa, Dandumari, Muneswara, and
other deities. Some of their children are named after these deities,
while others receive Muhammadan names in fulfilment of vows made to
Masthan and other Pirs.

When asked concerning their caste, the Madigas always reply "Memu pedda
inti vallamu," i.e., we are of the big house. The following legend is
current in the Cuddapah district concerning a pool in the Rayachoti
taluk called Akkadevatalakolam, or the pool of the holy sisters. "A
thousand years ago, there lived near the pool a king, who ruled over
all this part of the country. The king had as his commander-in-chief
a Madiga. This Madiga made himself powerful and independent, and built
himself a residence on a hill still called Madiga Vanidoorgam. At last
he revolted, and defeated the king. On entering the king's palace,
he found seven beautiful virgins, the king's daughters, to all of whom
he at once made overtures of marriage. They declined the honour, and,
when the Madiga wished to use force, they all jumped into this pool,
and delivered their lives to the universal lord." [141]

The following are some of the more important endogamous sub-divisions
among the Madigas:--


    Gampa dhompti, basket offering.
    Ginna or thel dhompti, tray or cup offering.
    Bhumi dhompti, earth offering.
    Chatla dhompti, winnowing basket offering.
    Sibbi dhompti, brass vessel offering.
    Chadarapa dhompti, square space on the ground offering.


These sub-divisions are based on the way in which the members thereof
offer food, etc., to their gods during marriages, e.g., a Gampa dhompti
places it in a basket, a Bhumi dhompti on the floor. Each sub-division
possesses many exogamous septs, of which the following are examples:--


    Belli, silver.
    Chinthala, tamarind.
    Chatla, winnowing basket.
    Darala, thread.
    Emme, buffalo.
    Gavala, cowry shells.
    Golkonda, a town.
    Jalam, slowness.
    Kambha, post.
    Kappala, frog.
    Kalahasti, a town.
    Kaththe, donkey.
    Kaththi, knife.
    Kudumala, cake.
    Kuncham, tassel.
    Midathala, locust.
    Mallela, or malli, jasmine.
    Nannuru, four hundred.
    Pothula, buffalo.
    Pasula, cow.
    Ragi, Eleusine Coracana.
    Sikili, broom.
    Thela, scorpion.


There seems to be some connection between the Madigas, the Mutrachas,
and Gollas. For, at times of marriage, the Madiga sets aside one
thambulam (betel leaf and areca nut) for the Mutracha, and, in
some places, extends the honour to the Golla also. At the marriage
ceremonies of the Puni Gollas, an elaborate and costly form of Ganga
worship is performed, in connection with which it is the Madiga
musicians, called Madiga Pambala vandlu, who draw the designs in
colour-powders on the floor.

The Madigas observe the panchayat or tribal council system for the
adjustment of disputes, and settlement of various questions at issue
among members of the community. The headman is called Pedda (big)
Madiga, whose office is hereditary; and he is assisted by two elected
officers called Dharmakartha and Kulambantrothu.

Widow remarriage (udike) is freely permitted, and the woman and her
children are received in Madiga society. But care is taken that
no one but the contracting parties and widows shall witness the
marriage ceremony, and no one but a widower is allowed to avail
himself of the form. [142] A man may get a divorce from his wife
by payment to her of a few rupees. But no money is given to her,
if she has been guilty of adultery. The bride's price varies in
amount, being higher if she has to cross a river. The elaborate
marriage ceremonial conforms to the Telugu type, but some of the
details may be recorded. On the muhurtham (wedding) day, a ceremony
called pradhanam (chief thing) is performed. A sheep is sacrificed
to the marriage (araveni) pots. The sacrificer dips his hands in the
blood of the animal, and impresses the blood on his palms on the wall
near the door leading to the room in which the pots are kept. The
bridegroom's party bring betel nuts, limes, a golden bead, a bonthu
(unbleached cotton thread), rice, and turmeric paste. The maternal
uncle of the bride gives five betel leaves and areca nuts to the
Pedda Madiga, and, putting the bonthu round the bride's neck, ties
the golden bead thereon. The ceremony concludes with the distribution
of pan-supari in the following order: ancestors, Mutrachas, Gollas,
Madigas, the Pedda Madiga, and the assembled guests. The Pedda Madiga
has to lift, at one try, a tray containing cocoanuts and betel with
his right hand. In his hand he holds a knife, of which the blade is
passed over the forefinger, beneath the middle and fourth fingers,
and over the little finger. This ceremony is called thonuku thambulam,
or betel and nuts likely to be spilt on the floor. The bridegroom,
after a bath, proceeds to the temple, where cloths, the bashingam,
bottu (marriage badge), etc., are placed in front of the god, and then
taken to a jammi tree (Prosopis spicigera), which is worshipped. The
bottu is usually a disc of gold, but, if the family is hard-up,
or in cases of widow remarriage, a bit of turmeric or folded mango
leaf serves as a substitute for it. On the third day, the wrist
threads (kankanam) are removed, and dhomptis, or offerings of food
to the gods, are made, with variations according to the dhompti to
which the celebrants belong. An illustration may be taken from the
Gampa dhompti. The contracting parties procure a quantity of rice,
jaggery (crude sugar), and ghi (clarified butter), which are cooked,
and moulded into an elongated mass, and placed in a new bamboo basket
(gampa). In the middle of the mass, which is determined with a string,
a twig, with a wick at one end, is set up, and two similar twigs are
stuck into the ends of the mass. Puja (worship) is performed, and
the mass is distributed among the daughters of the house and other
near relations, but not among members of other dhomptis. The bride
and bridegroom take a small portion from the mass, which is called
dhonga muddha, or the mass that is stolen. The bottu is said [143]
to be "usually tied by the Madiga priest known as the Thavatiga, or
drummer. This office is hereditary, but each successor to it has to
be regularly ordained by a Kuruba guru at the local Madiga shrine,
the chief item in the ceremony being tying round the neck of the
candidate a thread bearing a representation of the goddess, and on
either side of this five white beads. Henceforth the Thavatiga is
on no account to engage in the caste profession of leather-work, but
lives on fees collected at weddings, and by begging. He goes round to
the houses of the caste with a little drum slung over his shoulder,
and collects contributions."

The Madiga marriages are said to be conducted with much brawling
and noise, owing to the quantity of liquor consumed on such
occasions. Among the Madigas, as among the Kammas, Gangimakkulu, and
Malas, marriage is said not to be consummated until three months after
its celebration. This is apparently because it is considered unlucky
to have three heads of a household within a year of marriage. By the
delay, the birth of the child should take place only in the second
year, so that, during the first year, there will be only two heads,
husband and wife.

At the first menstrual period a girl is under pollution for ten days,
when she bathes. Betel leaves and nuts, and a rupee are placed in
front of the Pedda Madiga, who takes a portion thereof for himself,
and distributes what remains among those who have assembled. Sometimes,
just before the return of the girl to the house, a sheep is killed
in front of the door, and a mark made on her face with the blood.

The Madigas dispose of their dead both by burial and cremation. The
body is said to be "buried naked, except for a few leaves. Children are
interred face downwards. Pregnant women are burnt. The bier is usually
made of the milk-hedge (Euphorbia Tirucalli) plant." [144] The grave
is dug by a Mala Vettivadu. The chinnadhinam ceremony is performed
on the third day. On the grave a mass of mud is shaped into the form
of an idol, to which are offered rice, cocoanuts, and jaggery (crude
sugar) placed on leaves, one of which is set apart for the crows. Three
stones are arranged in the form of a triangle, and on them is set a pot
filled with water, which trickles out of holes made in the bottom of
the pot. The peddadhinam is performed, from preference on a Wednesday
or Sunday, towards the close of the third week after death. The son,
or other celebrant of the rites, sets three stones on the grave,
and offers food thereto. Food is also offered to the crows by the
relations of the deceased, and thrown into a river or tank (pond),
if the crows do not eat it. They all go to a tank, and make on the
bank thereof an effigy, if the dead person was a female. To married
women, winnows and glass bangles are offered. The bangles of a widow,
and waist-thread of a widower, are removed within an enclosure on the
bank. At night stories of Ankamma and Matangi are recited by Bainedus
or Pambalas, and if a Matangi is available, homage is done to her.

In some places, Madigas have their own washermen and barbers. But,
in the northern districts, the caste washerman does their washing,
the cloths being steeped in water, and left for the washerman to
take. "The Madigas," Mr. Francis writes, [145] "may not use the wells
of the better classes, though, when water is scarce, they get over this
last prohibition by employing some one in the higher ranks to draw
water for them from such wells, and pour it into their chatties. In
other districts they have to act as their own barbers and washermen,
but in Anantapur this disability is somewhat relaxed, as the barbers
make no objection to let them (and other low castes such as the Malas)
use their razors for a consideration, and the dhobis will wash their
clothes, as long as they themselves first unroll them, and dip them
into the water. This act is held to remove the pollution, which would
otherwise attach to them."

Like many castes, the Madigas have beggar classes attached to their
community, who are called Dakkali and Mastiga. The Dakkalis may not
enter the Madiga settlement. They sing songs in praise of the Madigas,
who willingly remunerate them, as their curses are believed to be
very effective. The Mastigas may enter the settlement, but not the
huts. It is said to be a good omen to a Lingayat, if he sees a Madiga
coming in front.

Gosangi is often used as a synonym for Madiga. Another synonym is
Puravabatta, which is said to mean people older than the world by
six months. At the Madras census, 1901, Chakara, Chundi, and Pavini
or Vayani were returned as sub-castes, and Mayikkan was taken as the
Malabar equivalent for Madiga.

Concerning the Madigas of Mysore, Mr. T. Ananda Row writes as
follows. [146] "The Madigas are by religion Vaishnavites, Saivites,
and Sakteyas, and have five different gurus belonging to mutts at
Kadave, Kodihalli, Kongarli, Nelamangala, and Konkallu. The tribe is
sometimes called Jambava or Matanga. It is divided into two independent
sub-divisions, the Desabhaga and the others, between whom there is
no intermarriage. The former, though under the above named mutts,
acknowledge Srivaishnava Brahmins as their gurus, to whom they
pay homage on all ceremonial occasions. The Desabhaga division has
six sub-classes, viz.: Billoru (bowmen); Malloru (mallu = fight?);
Amaravatiyavaru (after a town); Munigalu (Muni or rishi); Yenamaloru
(buffalo); Morabuvvadavaru (those who place food in a winnow). The
Madigas are mostly field labourers, but some of them till land,
either leased or their own. In urban localities, on account of
the value in the rise of skins, they have attained to considerable
affluence, both on account of the hides supplied by them, and their
work as tanners, shoe-makers, etc. Only 355 persons returned gotras,
such as Matangi, Mareecha, and Jambava-rishi." At the Mysore census,
1891, some Madigas actually returned themselves as Matanga Brahmans,
producing for the occasion a certain so-called Purana as their charter.

Madivala.--See Agasa.

Madukkaran.--See Gangeddu.

Madurai.--The name of a sub-division of Shanan, apparently meaning
sweet liquor, and not the town of Madura.

Magadha Kani.--Recorded, at times of census, as a sub-division of
Bhatrazu.

Maggam.--Maggam, Magga, and Maggada, meaning loom, have been recorded
as exogamous septs of Kurubas, Malas, and Holeyas, some of whom
are weavers.

Maghadulu.--A sub-division of Bhatrazu, named after one Maghade,
who is said to have been herald at the marriage of Siva.

Magili (Pandanus fascicularis).--A gotra of Tsakalas and Panta
Reddis, by whom the products of the tree may not be touched. The
Panta Reddi women of this gotra will not, like those of other castes,
use the flower-bracts for the purpose of adorning themselves. There
is a belief, in Southern India, that the fragrant male inflorescence
harbours a tiny snake, which is more deadly than the cobra, and that
incautious smelling thereof may lead to death.

Magura.--Recorded, in the Madras Census Report, 1901, as a small caste
of Oriya leaf-plate makers and shikaris (huntsmen). The name is said to
be derived from magora, meaning one who traces foot-paths and tracks.

Mahadev.--A synonym of Daira Muhammadan.

Mahankudo.--A title of Gaudo and Gudiya. The headman of the latter
caste goes by this name.

Mahant.--The Mahant is the secular head and trustee of the temple at
Tirumala (Upper Tirupati) in the North Arcot district, and looks after
the worldly affairs of the swami (god). "Tirupati," Mr. H. A. Stuart
writes, [147] "unlike most other temples, has no dancing-girls
attached to it, and not to be strictly continent upon the sacred hill
is a deadly sin. Of late years, however, even celibate Bairagis and
priests take their paramours up with them, and the pilgrims follow
suit. Everything is held to betoken the approaching downfall of
the temple's greatness. The irregular life of the Mahant Balaram
Das sixty years ago caused a great ferment, though similar conduct
now would probably hardly attract notice. He was ejected from his
office by the unanimous voice of his disciples, and one Govardhan
Das, whose life was consistent with the holy office, was elected,
and installed in the math (monastery) near the temple. Balaram Das,
however, collected a body of disbanded peons from the palaiyams,
and, arming them, made an attack upon the building. The walls were
scaled, and the new Mahant with his disciples shut themselves up in
an inner apartment. In an attempt at rescue, one man was killed, and
three were seriously wounded. A police force was sent to co-operate
with the Tirupati poligars (feudal chiefs), but could effect nothing
till the insurgent peons were threatened with the loss of all their
lands. This broke up the band, and Balaram Das' followers deserted
him. When the gates were broken open, it was found that he and a few
staunch followers had committed suicide. But perhaps the greatest
scandal which has occurred in the history of the math was that
which ended in the conviction of the present Mahant's predecessor,
Bhagavan Das. He was charged with having misappropriated a number of
gold coins of considerable value, which were supposed to have been
buried beneath the great flagstaff. A search warrant was granted,
and it was discovered that the buried vessels only contained copper
coins. The Mahant was convicted of the misappropriation of the gold,
and was sentenced to two years' rigorous imprisonment, but this was
reduced to one year by the High Court. On being released from jail,
he made an effort to oust his successor, and acquire possession of
the math by force. For this he was again sent to jail, for six months,
and required to furnish security to be of good behaviour."

It is recorded by Sir M. E. Grant Duff, [148] formerly Governor
of Madras, that "while the municipal address was being read to me,
a huge elephant, belonging to the Zemindar of Kalahastri, a great
temporal chief, charged a smaller elephant belonging to the Mahant
or High Priest of Tripaty, thus disestablishing the church much more
rapidly, alas! than we did in Ireland."

Mahanti.--Mahanti is, in the Madras Census Report, 1901, defined as "a
caste akin to the Koronos or Karnams (writers and accountants). The
name is sometimes taken by persons excommunicated from other
castes." The word means great, or prestige. According to a note
submitted to me, the Mahantis gradually became Karnams, with the
title of Patnaik, but there is no intermarriage between them and
the higher classes of Karnams. The Mahantis of Orissa are said to
still maintain their respectability, whereas in Ganjam they have as
a class degenerated, so much so that the term Mahanti is now held up
to ridicule.

Mahapatro.--Said to be a title sold by the caste council to
Khoduras. Also a title of Badhoyis, and other Oriya castes.

Maharana.--A title of Badhoyi.

Maheswara (Siva).--A synonym of Jangams (priests of the Lingayats). The
Jangams of the Silavants, for example, are known by this name.

Mailari.--The Mailaris are a class of beggars, who are said [149] to
"call themselves a sub-division of the Balijas, and beg from Komatis
only. Their ancestors were servants of Kannyakammavaru (or Kannika
Amma, the virgin goddess of the Komatis), who burnt herself to avoid
falling into the hands of Raja Vishnu Vardhana. On this account, they
have the privilege of collecting certain fees from all the Komatis. The
fee, in the Kurnool district, is eight annas per house. When he demands
the fee, a Mailari appears in full dress (kasi), which consists of
brass human heads tied to his loins, and brass cups to his head;
a looking-glass on the abdomen; a bell ringing from his girdle; a
bangle on his forearm ; and wooden shoes on his feet. In this dress
he walks, holding an umbrella, through the streets, and demands his
fee. If the fee is not paid, he again appears, in a more frightful
form called Bhuthakasi. He shaves his whiskers, and, almost naked,
proceeds to the burning-ground, where he makes rati, or different kinds
of coloured rice, and, going to the Komatis, extorts his fee." I am
informed that the Mailaris travel about with an image of Kannyakamma,
which they exhibit, while they sing in Telugu the story of her life.

The Mailaris are stated, in the Madras Census Report, 1901, to be
also called Bala Jangam. Mailari (washerman) is also an exogamous
sept of the Malas.

Majji.--Recorded as a title of Bagatas, Doluvas, and Kurumos, and as a
sept of Nagaralus. In the Madras Census Report, 1901, it is described
as a title given to the head peons of Bissoyis in the Maliahs.

Majjiga (butter-milk).--An exogamous sept of Boya.

Majjula.--A sub-division of Korono.

Majjulu.--Recorded, in the Madras Census Report, 1901, as "cultivators
in Vizagapatam, and shikaris (hunters) and fishermen in Ganjam. They
have two endogamous divisions, the Majjulus and the Racha Majjulus,
the members of the latter of which wear the sacred thread, and will
not eat with the former. In their customs they closely resemble the
Kapus, of which caste they are perhaps a sub-division. For their
ceremonies they employ Oriya Brahmans, and Telugu Nambis. Widow
marriage is allowed. They burn their dead, and are said to perform
sraddhas (memorial services). They worship all the village gods and
goddesses, and eat meat. They have no titles."

Makado (monkey).--An exogamous sept of Bottada.

Makkathayam.--The name, in the Malayalam country, for the law of
inheritance from father to son. The Canarese equivalent thereof is
makkalsanthanam.

Mala.--"The Malas," Mr. H. A. Stuart writes, [150] "are the Pariahs of
the Telugu country. Dr. Oppert derives the word from a Dravidian root
meaning a mountain, which is represented by the Tamil malai, Telugu
mala, etc., so that Mala is the equivalent of Paraiyan, and also
of Mar or Mhar and the Mal of Western and Central Bengal. I cannot
say whether there is sufficient ground for the assumption that the
vowel of a Dravidian root can be lengthened in this way. I know of
no other derivation of Mala. [In C. P. Brown's Telugu Dictionary it
is derived from maila, dirty.] The Malas are almost equally inferior
in position to the Madigas. They eat beef and drink heavily, and are
debarred entrance to the temples and the use of the ordinary village
wells, and have to serve as their own barbers and washermen. They
are the musicians of the community, and many of them (for example in
the villages near Jammalamadugu in the Cuddapah district) weave the
coarse white cotton fabrics usually worn by men."

The Malas will not take water from the same well as the Madigas,
whom they despise for eating carrion, though they eat beef themselves.

Both Malas and Tamil Paraiyans belong to the right-hand section. In
the Bellary district the Malas are considered to be the servants of
the Banajigas (traders), for whom they do certain services, and act
as caste messengers (chalavathi) on the occasion of marriages and
funerals. At marriages, six Malas selected from certain families, lead
the procession, carrying flags, etc., and sit in the pial (verandah)
of the marriage house. At funerals, a Mala carries the brass ladle
bearing the insignia of the right-hand section, which is the emblem
of the authority of the Desai or headman of the section.

The Malas have their own dancing girls (Basavis), barbers, and
musicians (Bainedus), Dasaris or priests, and beggars and bards called
Mastigas and Pambalas (drum people), who earn their living by reciting
stories of Ankamma, etc., during the funeral ceremonies of some Telugu
castes, acting as musicians at marriages and festivals to the deities,
begging, and telling fortunes. Other beggars are called Nityula
(Nitiyadasu, immortal). In some places, Tsakalas (washerman caste)
will wash for the Malas, but the clothes must be steeped in water,
and left till the Tsakala comes for them. The Malas will not eat
food prepared or touched by Kamsalas, Medaras, Madigas, Beri Chettis,
Boyas, or Bhatrazus. The condition of the Malas has, in recent times,
been ameliorated by their reception into mission schools.

In a case, which came before the High Court of Madras on appeal a few
years ago, a Mala, who was a convert to Christianity, was sentenced
to confinement in the stocks for using abusive language. The Judge,
in summing up, stated that "the test seems to be not what is the
offender's creed, whether Muhammadan, Christian, or Hindu, but what is
his caste. If he belongs to one of the lower castes, a change of creed
would not of itself, in my judgment, make any difference, provided he
continues to belong to the caste. If he continues to accept the rules
of the caste in social and moral matters, acknowledges the authority of
the headmen, takes part in caste meetings and ceremonies, and, in fact,
generally continues to belong to the castes, then, in my judgment, he
would be within the purview of the regulation. If, on the other hand,
he adopts the moral standards of Christianity instead of those in his
caste, if he accepts the authority of his pastors and teachers in place
of that of the headman of the caste, if he no longer takes part in
the distinctive meetings and ceremonies of the caste ... then he can
no longer be said to belong to one of the lower castes of the people,
and his punishment by confinement in the stocks is no longer legal."

Between the Malas and Madigas there is no love lost, and the latter
never allow the former, on the occasion of a festival, to go in
palanquins or ride on horseback. Quite recently, in the Nellore
district, a horse was being led at the head of a Madiga marriage
procession, and the Malas followed, to see whether the bridegroom
would mount it. To the disgust of the Madigas, the young man refused
to get on it, from fear lest he should fall off.

The Malas will not touch leather shoes, and, if they are slippered
with them, a fine is inflicted, and the money spent on drink.

Of the share which the Malas take in a village festival in the Cuddapah
district, an excellent account is given by Bishop Whitehead. [151]
"The village officials and leading ryots," he writes, "collect money
for the festival, and buy, among other things, a barren sheep and
two lambs. Peddamma and Chinnamma are represented by clay images of
female form made for the occasion, and placed in a temporary shrine
of cloth stretched over four poles. On the appointed evening, rice is
brought, and poured out in front of the idol by the potter, and rice,
ghi (clarified butter), and curds are poured on the top of it. The
victims are then brought, and their heads cut off by a washerman. The
heads are placed on the ground before the idol. The people then pour
water on the heads, and say 'speak' (paluku). If the mouth opens,
it is regarded as a sign that the goddess is propitious. Next, a
large pot of boiled cholam (millet) is brought, and poured in a heap
before the image, a little further away than the rice. Two buffaloes
are then brought by the Malas and Madigas. One of the Malas, called
the Asadi, chants the praises of the goddess during the ceremony. The
animals are killed by a Madiga, by cutting their throats with a knife,
one being offered to Peddamma, and the other to Chinnamma. Some of
the cholam is then taken in baskets, and put under the throat of the
buffaloes till it is soaked with blood, and then put aside. A Madiga
then cuts off the heads of the buffaloes with a sword, and places
them before the idol. He also cuts off one of the forelegs of each,
and puts it crosswise in the mouth. Some of the cholam is then put
on the two heads, and two small earthen saucers are put upon it. The
abdomens are then cut open, and some of the fat taken out, melted,
and put in each saucer with a lighted wick. A layer of fat is spread
over the eyes and mouths of the two heads, some of the refuse of the
stomach is mixed with the cholam soaked in blood, and a quantity of
margosa (Melia Azadirachta) leaves put over the cholam. The Asadi then
takes some of this mixture, and sprinkles it round the shrine, saying
'Ko, bali,' i.e., accept the sacrifice. Then the basket is given to
another Mala, who asks permission from the village officials and ryots
to sprinkle the cholam. He also asks that a lamb may be killed. The
lamb is killed by a washerman, and the blood allowed to flow into the
cholam in the basket. The bowels of the lamb are taken out, and tied
round the wrist of the Mala who holds the basket, and puts it round his
neck. He then goes and sprinkles the cholam mixed with blood, etc., in
some cases round the village, and in others before each house, shouting
'Ko, bali' as he goes. The people go in procession with him, carrying
swords and clubs to drive away evil spirits. During the procession,
limes are cut in half, and thrown into the air to propitiate evil
spirits. Other lambs are killed at intervals during the course of
the procession. In the afternoon, the carcases of the two buffaloes
offered the night before are taken away by the Malas and Madigas. One
is cut open, and some of the flesh cooked near the shrine. Part of it,
with some of the cholam offered before the images, is given to five
Mala children, called Siddhulu, i.e., holy or sinless, who, in some
cases, are covered with a cloth during the meal. The rest is eaten by
Malas. The remainder of the carcases is divided among the Malas and
Madigas, who take it to their own homes for a feast. The carcases of
the lambs belong to the Malas and washermen. The carcase of the barren
sheep is the perquisite of the village officials, though the Kurnam,
being a Brahmin, gives his portion away."

At a festival to the village goddess which is held at Dowlaishweram
in the Godavari district once every three years, a buffalo is
sacrificed. "Votive offerings of pots of buttermilk are presented
to the goddess, who is taken outside the village, and the pots are
emptied there. The head of the buffalo and a pot of its blood are
carried round the village by a Mala, and a pig is sacrificed in an
unusual and cruel manner. It is buried up to its neck, and cattle
are driven over it until it is trampled to death. This is supposed
to ensure the health of men and cattle in the ensuing year." [152]

In connection with a village festival in the Godavari district,
Bishop Whitehead writes as follows. [153] "At Ellore, which is a town
of considerable size and importance, I was told that in the annual
festival of Mahalakshmi about ten thousand animals are killed in one
day, rich people sending as many as twenty or thirty. The blood then
flows down into the fields behind the place of sacrifice in a regular
flood, and carts full of sand are brought to cover up what remains on
the spot. The heads are piled up in a heap about fifteen feet high in
front of the shrine, and a large earthen basin, about 1 1/2 feet in
diameter, is then filled with gingelly oil and put on the top of the
heap, a thick cotton wick being placed in the basin and lighted. The
animals are all worshipped with the usual namaskaram (folded hands
raised to the forehead) before they are killed. This slaughter of
victims goes on all day, and at midnight about twenty or twenty-five
buffaloes are sacrificed, their heads being cut off by a Madiga pujari
(priest), and, together with the carcases, thrown upon the large heaps
of rice, which have been presented to the goddess, till the rice is
soaked with blood. The rice is collected in about ten or fifteen large
baskets, and is carried on a large cart drawn by buffaloes or bullocks,
with the Madiga pujari seated on it. Madigas sprinkle the rice along
the streets and on the walls of the houses, as the cart goes along,
shouting poli, poli (food). A large body of men of different castes,
Pariahs and Sudras, go with the procession, but only the Madigas
and Malas (the two sections of the Pariahs) shout poli, the rest
following in silence. They have only two or three torches to show
them the way, and no tom-toms or music. Apparently the idea is that,
if they make a noise or display a blaze of lights, they will attract
the evil spirits, who will swoop down on them and do them some injury,
though in other villages it is supposed that a great deal of noise
and flourishing of sticks will keep the evil spirits at bay. Before
the procession starts, the heads of the buffaloes are put in front
of the shrine, with the right forelegs in their mouths, and the fat
from the entrails smeared about half an inch thick over the whole
face, and a large earthen lamp on the top of each head. The Pambalas
play tom-toms, and chant a long story about Gangamma till daybreak,
and about 8 A.M. they put the buffalo heads into separate baskets
with the lighted lamps upon them, and these are carried in procession
through the town to the sound of tom-toms. All castes follow, shouting
and singing. In former times, I was told, there was a good deal of
fighting and disturbance during this procession, but now the police
maintain order. When the procession arrives at the municipal limits,
the heads are thrown over the boundary, and left there. The people
then all bathe in the canal, and return home. On the last day of the
festival, which, I may remark, lasts for about three months, a small
cart is made of margosa wood, and a stake fixed at each of the four
corners, and a pig and a fowl are tied to each stake, while a fruit,
called dubakaya, is impaled on it instead of the animal. A yellow
cloth, sprinkled with the blood of the buffaloes, is tied round the
sides of the cart, and some margosa leaves are tied round the cloth. A
Pambala sits on the cart, to which are fastened two large ropes, each
about 200 yards long. Then men of all castes, without distinction,
lay hold of the ropes, and drag the cart round the town to the sound
of tom-toms and music. Finally it is brought outside the municipal
limits and left there, the Pariahs taking away the animals and fruits."

The following detailed account of the Peddamma or Sunkulamma jatra
(festival) in the Kurnool district, is given in the Manual. "This is
a ceremony strictly local, in which the entire community of a village
takes part, and which all outsiders are excluded from participating
in. It is performed whenever a series of crops successively fail or
cattle die in large numbers of murrain, and is peculiarly adapted,
by the horrible nature of the attendant rites and the midnight hour
chosen for the exhibition of its most ghastly scenes, to impress
the minds of an ignorant people with a belief in its efficacy. When
the celebration of the jatra is resolved on, a dark Tuesday night is
selected for it, and subscriptions are collected and deposited with
the Reddi (headman) or some respectable man in the village. Messengers
are sent off to give intimation of the day fixed for the jatra to
the Bynenivadu, Bhutabaligadu, and Poturaju, three of the principal
actors in the ceremony. At the same time a buffalo is purchased, and,
after having its horns painted with saffron (turmeric) and adorned
with margosa leaves, is taken round the village in procession with
tom-toms beating, and specially devoted to the sacrifice of the
goddess Peddamma or Sunkulamma on the morning of the Tuesday on which
the ceremony is to take place. The village potter and carpenter are
sent for, and ordered to have ready by that evening two images of
the goddess, one of clay and the other of juvi wood, and a new cloth
and a quantity of rice and dholl (peas: Cajanus indicus) are given
to each of them. When the images are made, they are dressed with
the new cloths, and the rice and dholl are cooked and offered as
naivedyam to the images. In some villages only one image, of clay,
is made. Meanwhile the villagers are busy erecting a pandal (booth)
in front of the village chavidi (caste meeting-house), underneath
which a small temple is erected of cholam straw. The Bynenivadu takes
a handful of earth, and places it inside this little temple, and the
village washerman builds a small pyal (dais) with it, and decorates
it with rati (streaks of different coloured powders). New pots are
distributed by the potter to the villagers, who, according to their
respective capabilities, have a large or small quantity of rice cooked
in them, to be offered as kumbham at the proper time. After dark, when
these preparations are over, the entire village community, including
the twelve classes of village servants, turn out in a body, and,
preceded by the Bynenivadu and Asadivandlu, proceed in procession
with music playing to the house of the village potter. There the
image of the goddess is duly worshipped, and a quantity of raw rice
is tied round it with a cloth. A ram is sacrificed on the spot, and
several limes are cut and thrown away. Borne on the shoulders of the
potter, the image is then taken through the streets of the village,
Bynenivadu and Asadivandlu dancing and capering all the way, and the
streets being drenched with the blood of several rams sacrificed at
every turning of the road, and strewed with hundreds of limes cut and
thrown away. The image is then finally deposited in the temple of straw
already referred to, and another sheep is sacrificed as soon as this is
done. The wooden image, made by the carpenter, is also brought in with
the same formalities, and placed by the side of the image of clay. A
pot of toddy is similarly brought in from the house of the Idigavadu
(toddy-drawer), and set before the images. Now the devarapotu, or
buffalo specially devoted to the sacrifice of the goddess, is led
in from the Reddi's house in procession, together with a sheep and a
large pot of cooked rice. The rice in the pot is emptied in front of
the images and formed into a heap, which is called the kumbham, and
to it are added the contents of many new pots, which the villagers
have ready filled with cooked rice. The sheep is then sacrificed,
and its blood shed on the heap. Next comes the turn of the devarapotu,
the blood of which also, after it has been killed, is poured over the
rice heap. This is followed by the slaughter of many more buffaloes
and sheep by individuals of the community, who might have taken vows to
offer sacrifices to the goddess on this occasion. While the carnage is
going on, a strict watch is kept on all sides, to see that no outsider
enters the village, or steals away any portion of the blood of the
slaughtered animals, as it is believed that all the benefit which
the villagers hope to reap from the performance of the jatra will be
lost to them if an outsider should succeed in taking away a little
of the blood to his village. The sacrifice being over, the head and
leg of one of the slaughtered buffaloes are severed from its body,
and placed before the goddess with the leg inserted into the mouth
of the head. Over this head is placed a lighted lamp, which is fed
with oil and buffalo's fat. Now starts a fresh procession to go round
the village streets. A portion of the kumbham or blood-stained rice
heaped up before the image is gathered into two or three baskets, and
carried with the procession by washermen or Madigas. The Bhutabaligadu
now steps forward in a state of perfect nudity, with his body clean
shaven from top to toe, and smeared all over with gore, and, taking
up handfuls of rice (called poli) from the baskets, scatters them
broadcast over the streets. As the procession passes on, bhutams or
supernatural beings are supposed to become visible at short distances
to the carriers of the rice baskets, who pretend to fall into trances,
and, complaining of thirst, call for more blood to quench it. Every
time this happens, a fresh sheep is sacrificed, and sometimes limes are
cut and thrown in their way. The main streets being thus sprinkled over
with poli or blood-stained rice, the lanes or gulleys are attended
to by the washermen of the village, who give them their share of
the poli. By this time generally the day dawns, and the goddess is
brought back to her straw temple, where she again receives offerings
of cooked rice from all classes of people in the village, Brahmins
downwards. All the while, the Asadivandlu keep singing and dancing
before the goddess. As the day advances, a pig is half buried at the
entrance of the village, and all the village cattle are driven over
it. The cattle are sprinkled over with poli as they pass over the
pig. The Poturaju then bathes and purifies himself, and goes to the
temple of Lingamayya or Siva with tom-toms and music, and sacrifices
a sheep there. The jatra ends with another grand procession, in which
the images of the goddess, borne on the heads of the village potter
and carpenter, are carried to the outskirts of the village, where
they are left. As the villagers return home, they pull to pieces the
straw temple constructed in front of the chavidi, and each man takes
home a straw, which he preserves as a sacred relic. From the day the
ceremony is commenced in the village till its close, no man would
go to a neighbouring village, or, if he does on pressing business,
he would return to sleep in his own village. It is believed that the
performance of this jatra will ensure prosperity and health to the
villagers and their cattle.

"The origin of this Sunkulamma jatra is based on the following legend,
which is sung by the Byneni and Asadivandlu when they dance before the
images. Sunkulamma was the only daughter of a learned Brahmin pandit,
who occasionally took pupils, and instructed them in the Hindu shastras
gratuitously. One day, a handsome youth of sixteen years came to the
pandit, and, announcing himself as the son of a Brahmin of Benares
come in quest of knowledge, requested that he might be enlisted as
a pupil of the pandit. The pandit, not doubting the statement of the
youth that he was a Brahmin, took him as a pupil, and lodged him in
his own house. The lad soon displayed marks of intelligence, and,
by close application to his studies, made such rapid progress that he
became the principal favourite of his master, who was so much pleased
with him that, at the close of his studies, he married him to his
daughter Sunkulamma. The unknown youth stayed with his father-in-law
till he became father of some children, when he requested permission
to return to his native place with his wife and children, which was
granted, and he accordingly started on his homeward journey. On the
way he met a party of Mala people, who, recognising him at once as
a man of their own caste and a relation, accosted him, and began
to talk to him familiarly. Finding it impossible to conceal the
truth from his wife any longer, the husband of Sunkulamma confessed
to her that he was a Mala by caste, and, being moved by a strong
desire to learn the Hindu shastras, which he was forbidden to read,
he disguised himself as a Brahmin youth, and introduced himself to
her father and compassed his object; and, as what had been done in
respect to her could not be undone, the best thing she could do was
to stay with him with her children. Sunkulamma, however, was not to
be so persuaded. Indignant at the treachery practiced on her and her
parent, she spurned both her husband and children, and returning to
her village, sent for her parent, whose house she would not pollute
by going in, and asked him what he would do with a pot denied by
the touch of a dog. The father replied that he would commit it to
the flames to purify it. Taking the hint, she caused a funeral pile
to be erected, and committed suicide by throwing herself into the
flames. But, before doing so, she cursed the treacherous Mala who bad
polluted her that he might become a buffalo, and his children turn
into sheep, and vowed she would revive as an evil spirit, and have
him and his children sacrificed to her, and get his leg put into his
mouth, and a light placed on his head fed with his own fat."

The following additional information in connection with the jatra
may be recorded. In some places, on a Tuesday fifteen days before
the festival, some Malas go in procession through the main streets
of the village without any noise or music. This is called mugi
chatu (dumb announcement). On the following Tuesday, the Malas go
through the streets, beating tom-toms, and proclaiming the forthcoming
ceremony. This is called chatu (announcement). In some villages, metal
idols are used. The image is usually in the custody of a Tsakala
(washerman). On the jatra day, he brings it fully decorated, and
sets it up on the Gangamma mitta (Gangamma's dais). In some places,
this is a permanent structure, and in others put up for the jatra at a
fixed spot. Asadis, Pambalas, and Bainedus, and Madiga Kommula vandlu
(horn-blowers) dance and sing until the goddess is lifted up from
the dais, when a number of burning torches are collected together,
and some resinous material is thrown into the flames. At the same
time, a cock is killed, and waved in front of the goddess by the
Tsakala. A mark is made with the blood on the forehead of the idol,
which is removed to a hut constructed by Malas with twigs of margosa
(Melia Azadirachta), Eugenia Jambolana and Vitex Negundo. In some
villages, when the goddess is brought in procession to the outskirts
of the village, a stick is thrown down in front of her. The Asadis
then sing songs, firstly of a most obscene character, and afterwards
in praise of the goddess.

The following account of "the only Mala ascetic in Bharatavarsha"
(India) is given by Mr. M. N. Vincent. [154] The ascetic was living
on a hill in Bezwada, at the foot of which lay the hamlets of the
Malas. The man, Govindoo by name, "was a groom in the employ of
a Muhammadan Inspector of Police, and he was commissioned on one
occasion to take a horse to a certain town. He was executing his
commission, when, on the way, and not far from his destination, the
animal shied and fell into the Krishna river, and was swept along
the current, and poor Govindoo could not help it. But, knowing the
choleric temper of his employer, and in order to avoid a scolding,
he roamed at large, and eventually fell in with a company of Sadhus,
one of whose disciples he became, and practiced austerities, though
not for the full term, and settled eventually on the hill where we
saw him occupying the old cave dwelling of a former Sadhu. It appears
that there was something earthly in the man, Sadhu though he was,
as was evidenced from his relations with a woman votary or disciple,
and it was probably because of this phase of his character that some
people regarded him as a cheat and a rogue. But this unfavourable
impression was soon removed, and, since the time he slept on a bed of
sharp thorns, as it were in vindication of his character, faulty though
it had been, he has been honoured. A good trait in the man should be
mentioned, namely, that he wrote to his parents to give his wife in
marriage to some one else, as he had renounced his worldly ties."

At Vanavolu, in the Hindupur taluk of the Anantapur district,
there is a temple to Rangaswami, at which the pujari (priest) is a
Mala. People of the upper castes frequent it, but do their own puja,
the Mala standing aside for the time. [155]

It is noted, in the Madras Census Report, 1891, that the chief object
of worship by the Balijas is Gauri, their caste deity. "It is said
that the Malas are the hereditary custodians of the idol of Gauri
and her jewels, which the Balijas get from them whenever they want
to worship her. The following story is told to account for this. The
Kapus and the Balijas, molested by the Muhammadan invaders on the
north of the river Pennar, migrated to the south when the Pennar was
in full flood. Being unable to cross the river, they invoked their
deity to make a passage for them, for which it demanded the sacrifice
of a first-born child. While they stood at a loss what to do, the
Malas, who followed them, boldly offered one of their children to the
goddess. Immediately the river divided before them, and the Kapus
and the Balijas crossed it, and were saved from the tyranny of the
Muhammadans. Ever since that time, the Malas have been respected by
the Kapus and Balijas, and the latter even deposited the images of
Gauri, the bull and Ganesa, which they worshipped in the house of
a Mala. I am credibly informed that the practice of leaving these
images in the custody of Malas is even now observed in some parts of
Cuddapah district and elsewhere."

An expert Mala medicine-man has been known to prescribe for a Brahman
tahsildar (revenue officer), though the consultation was conducted
at a most respectful distance on the part of the honoured physician.

Mala weavers are known as Netpanivandlu (Nethapani, weaving
work). According to the Census Report, 1891, the sub-divisions
of the Malas, which are numerically strongest, are Arava, Kanta,
Murikinadu, Pakanati, and Reddi Bhumi. To these may be added Sarindla,
Savu, Saindla, and Daindla. Concerning some of these divisions,
the following legend is current. A Mala married eighteen wives, one
from each kulam or tribal division. The god Poleramma, objecting to
the sacrifice of sheep and goats, wanted him to offer up a woman
and child in substitution for the animals, and the Mala broke the
news to his wives, one of whom eloped with a Reddi, and gave origin
to the Reddi Bhumis (bhumi, earth). Another ran away, and gave
rise to the Pakanatis (eastern country). A third hid herself, and
escaped by hiding. Hence her descendants are called Daindla vandlu,
concerning whom there is a proverb "Dagipoyina vandlu Daindla vandlu"
or "Those who escaped by hiding are Daindlas." One of the wives,
who fled to the forest, found her way out by clearing the jungle,
and her descendants are called Sarindla (straight). The wife who
consented to be sacrificed with her child was restored to life by
Poleramma, and gave rise to the Savu (death) or Saindla (belonging to
a death house) section. The Daindlas are said to be Tamil Paraiyans,
who settled down in the Telugu country, and adopted the manners and
customs of the Malas. Some call themselves Arava (Tamil) Malas. They
are employed as servants in European houses, horse-keepers, etc.

In connection with the origin of the Malas, the Rev. S. Nicholson
writes as follows. "Originally the Malas belonged to the kudi paita
section of the community, i.e., their women wore the cloth over
the right shoulder, but now there are both right and left paita
sections, and this must be taken as the principal division. The
right-hand (right paita) section is again divided into (a) Reddi
Bhumalavaru, (b) Pokunativaru. The left-hand (left paita) section
are Murikinativaru. The following legend professes to account for the
existence of the three divisions. When Virabahuvu went to the rescue
of Harischandra, he promised Kali that, if she granted him success, he
would sacrifice to her his wives, of whom he had three. Accordingly,
after his conquest of Vishvamithrudu, he returned, and called his
wives that he might take them to the temple in order to fulfil his
vow. The wives got some inkling of what was in store for them, and
one of them took refuge in the house of a Reddi Bhumala, another
ran away to the eastern country (Pokunati), while the third, though
recently confined, and still in her dirty (muriki) cloth, determined
to abide by the wish of her lord. She was, therefore, sacrificed to
Kali, but the goddess, seeing her devotion, restored her to life,
and promised to remain for ever her helper. The reason given for
the change in the method of wearing the cloth is that, after the
incident described above took place, the women of the Murikinati
section, in order to express their disapproval of the two unfaithful
wives, began to wear their cloths on the opposite, viz., the left,
shoulder. In marriages, however, whatever the paita of the bride,
she must wear the cloth over the right shoulder.

"The Reddi Bhumalu and Pokunativaru say that the reason they wear
the cloth over the right shoulder is that they are descendants of the
gods. According to a legend, the goddess Parvati, whilst on a journey
with her lord Parameshvarudu, discarded one of her unclean (maila)
cloths, from which was born a little boy. This boy was engaged as a
cattle-herd in the house of Parameshvarudu. Parvati received strict
injunctions from her lord that she should on no account allow the
little Mala to taste cream. One day, however, the boy discovered some
cream which had been scraped from the inside of the pot sticking to a
wall. He tasted it, and found it good. Indeed, so good was it that he
came to the conclusion that the udder from which it came must be even
better still. So one day, in order to test his theory, he killed the
cow. Then came Parameshvarudu in great anger, and asked him what he
had done, and, to his credit be it said, the boy told the truth. Then
Parameshvarudu cursed the lad and all his descendants, and said that
from henceforth cattle should be the meat of the Malas--the unclean."

The Malas have, in their various sub-divisions, many exogamous septs,
of which the following are examples:--


(a) Reddi Bhumi.

    Avuka, marsh.
    Bandi, cart.
    Bommala, dolls.
    Bejjam, holes.
    Dakku, fear.
    Dhidla, platform or back-door.
    Dhoma, gnat or mosquito.
    Gera, street.
    Kaila, measuring grain in threshing-floor.
    Katika, collyrium.
    Naththalu, snails.
    Paida, money or gold.
    Pilli, cat.
    Rayi, stone.
    Samudrala, ocean.
    Silam, good conduct.
    Thanda, bottom of a ship.


(b) Pokunati.

    Allam, ginger.
    Dara, stream of water.
    Gadi, cart.
    Gone, sack.
    Gurram, horse.
    Maggam, loom.
    Mailari, washerman.
    Parvatha, mountain.
    Pindi, flour-powder.
    Pasala, cow.
    Thummala, sneezing.


(c) Sarindla.

    Boori, a kind of cake.
    Ballem, spear.
    Bomidi, a fish.
    Challa, butter milk.
    Chinthala, tamarind.
    Duddu, money.
    Gali, wind.
    Karna, ear.
    Kaki, crow.
    Mudi, knot.
    Maddili, drum.
    Malle, jasmine.
    Putta, ant-hill.
    Pamula, snake.
    Pidigi, handful.
    Semmati, hammer.
    Uyyala, see-saw.


(d) Daindla.

    Dasari, priest.
    Doddi, court or backyard.
    Gonji, Glycosmis pentaphylla.
    Kommala, horn.
    Marri, Ficus bengalensis.
    Pala, milk.
    Powaku, tobacco.
    Thumma, Acacia arabica.


Concerning the home of the Malas, Mr. Nicholson writes that "the
houses (with mud or stone walls, roofed with thatch or palmyra palm
leaves) are almost invariably placed quite apart from the village
proper. Gradually, as the caste system and fear of defilement become
less, so gradually the distance of their houses from the village is
becoming less. In the Ceded Districts, where from early times every
village was surrounded by a wall and moat, the aloofness of the houses
is very apparent. Gradually, however, the walls are decaying, and the
moats are being filled, and the physical separation of the outcaste
classes is becoming less apparent."

Mr. Nicholson writes further that "according to their own traditions,
as told still by the old people and the religious mendicants, in former
times the Malas were a tribe of free lances, who, 'like the tiger,
slept during the day, and worked at night.' They were evidently the
paid mercenaries of the Poligars (feudal chiefs), and carried out
raids and committed robberies for the lord under whose protection they
were. That this tradition has some foundation may be gathered from the
fact that many of the house-names of the Malas refer to weapons of war,
e.g., spear, drum, etc. If reports are true, the old instinct is not
quite dead, and even to-day a cattle-stealing expedition comes not
amiss to some. The Malas belong to the subjugated race, and have been
made into the servants of the community. Very probably, in former days,
their services had to be rendered for nothing, but later certain inam
(rent-free) lands were granted, the produce of which was counted as
remuneration for service rendered. Originally, these lands were held
quite free of taxation, but, since the advent of the British Raj,
the village servants have all been paid a certain sum per month,
and, whilst still allowed the enjoyment of their inam lands, they
have now been assessed, and half the actual tax has to be paid to
Government. The services rendered by the Malas are temple service,
jatra or festival service, and village service. The village service
consists of sweeping, scavenging, carrying burdens, and grave-digging,
the last having been their perquisite for long ages. According to
them, the right was granted to them by King Harischandra himself. The
burial-grounds are supposed to belong to the Malas, and the site of a
grave must be paid for, the price varying according to the position and
wealth of the deceased, but I hear that, in our part of the country,
the price does not often exceed two pence. Though the Brahmans do
not bury, yet they must pay a fee of one rupee for the privilege of
burning, besides the fee for carrying the body to the ghat. There is
very little respect shown by the Malas at the burning-ghat, and the
fuel is thrown on with jokes and laughter. The Malas dig graves for
all castes which bury, except Muhammadans, Oddes, and Madigas. Not
only on the day of burial, but afterwards on the two occasions of
the ceremonies for the dead, the grave-diggers must be given food
and drink. The Malas are also used as death messengers to relatives
by all the Sudra castes. When on this work, the messenger must not
on any account go to the houses of his relatives though they live in
the village to which he has been sent.

"The chief occupations of the Malas are weaving, and working as
farm labourers for Sudras; a few cultivate their own land. Though
formerly their inam lands were extensive, they have been, in the
majority of cases, mortgaged away. The Malas of the western part
of the Telugu country are of a superior type to those of the east,
and they have largely retained their lands, and, in some cases, are
well-to-do cultivators. In the east, weaving is the staple industry,
and it is still carried on with the most primitive instruments. In
one corner of a room stands the loom, with a hole in the mud floor
to receive the treadles, and a little window in the wall, level with
the floor, lights the web. The loom itself is slung from the rafters,
and the whole can be folded up and put away in a corner. As a rule,
weaving lasts for eight months of the year, the remainder of the
year being occupied in reaping and stacking crops, etc. Each weaver
has his own customers, and very often one family of Malas will have
weaved for one family of Sudras for generations. Before starting to
weave, the weaver worships his loom, and rubs his shuttle on his nose,
which is supposed to make it smooth. Those who cannot weave subsist
by day labour. As a rule, they stick to one master, and are engaged
in cultivation all the year round. Many, having borrowed money from
some Sudra, are bound to work for him for a mere pittance, and that
in grain, not cash."

In a note on a visit to Jammalamadugu in the Cuddapah district, Bishop
Whitehead writes as follows. [156] "Lately Mr. Macnair has made an
effort to improve the methods of weaving, and he showed us some looms
that he had set up in his compound to teach the people the use of a
cheap kind of fly-shuttle to take the place of the hand-shuttle which
is universally used by the people. The difficulties he has met with
are characteristic of many attempts to improve on the customs and
methods of India. At present the thread used for the hand-shuttle
is spun by the Mala women from the ordinary cotton produced in the
district. The Mala weavers do not provide their own cotton for the
clothes they weave, but the Kapus give them the cotton from their
own fields, pay the women a few annas for spinning it, and then pay
the men a regular wage for weaving it into cloth. But the cotton spun
in the district is not strong enough for the fly-shuttle, which can
only be profitably worked with mill-made thread. The result is that,
if the fly-shuttle were generally adopted, it would leave no market
for the native cotton, throw the women out of work, upset the whole
system on which the weavers work, and, in fact, produce widespread
misery and confusion!"

The following detailed account of the ceremonies in connection with
marriage, many of which are copied from the higher Telugu castes, is
given by Mr. Nicholson. "Chinna Tambulam (little betel) is the name
given to the earliest arrangements for a future wedding. The parents
of the boy about to be married enquire of a Brahman to which quarter
they should go in search of a bride. He, after receiving his pay,
consults the boy's horoscope, and then tells them that in a certain
quarter there is loss, in another quarter there is death, but that
in another quarter there is gain or good. If in the quarter which
the Brahman has intimated as good there are relations, so much the
better; the bride will be sought amongst them. If not, the parents
of the youth, along with an elder of the caste, set out in search
of a bride amongst new people. On reaching the village, they do not
make their object known, but let it appear that they are on ordinary
business. Having discovered a house in which there is a marriageable
girl, after the ordinary salutations, they, in a round-about way,
make enquiries as to whether the warasa or marriage line is right or
not. If it is all right, and if at that particular time the girl's
people are in a prosperous condition, the object of the search is
made known. If, on the other hand, the girl's people are in distress
or grief, the young man's party go away without making their intention
known. Everything being satisfactory, betel nut and leaves are offered,
and, if the girl's people are willing to contract, they accept it;
if not, and they refuse, the search has to be resumed. We will take
it for granted that the betel is accepted. The girl's parents then say
'If it is God's will, so let it be; return in eight or nine days, and
we will give you our answer.' If, within that time, there should be
death or trouble of any sort in either of the houses, all arrangements
are abandoned. If, when going to pay the second visit, on the journey
any of the party should drop on the way either staff or bundle of food,
it is regarded as a bad omen, and further progress is stopped for that
day. After reaching the house of the prospective bride on the second
occasion, the party wait outside. Should the parents of the girl bring
out water for them to drink and to wash their faces, it is a sign
that matters may be proceeded with. Betel is again distributed. In
the evening, the four parents and the elders talk matters over, and,
if all is so far satisfactory, they promise to come to the house of
the future bridegroom on a certain date. The boy's parents, after again
distributing betel, this time to every house of the caste, take their
departure. When the party of the bride arrive at the boy's village,
they are treated to toddy and a good feed, after which they give their
final promise. Then, having made arrangements for the Pedda Tambulam
(big betel), they take their departure. This ends the first part of
the negotiations. Chinna Tambulam is not binding. The second part
of the negociations, which is called Pedda Tambulam, takes place at
the home of the future bride. Before departing for the ceremony, the
party of the bridegroom, which must be an odd number but not seven,
and some of the elders of the village, take part in a feast. The
members of the party put on their religious marks, daub their
necks and faces with sandal paste and akshinthulu (coloured rice),
and are sent off with the good wishes of the villagers. After the
party has gone some few miles, it is customary for them to fortify
themselves with toddy, and to distribute betel. The father of the
groom takes with him as a present for the bride a bodice, fried dal
(pea: Cajanus indicus), cocoanut, rice, jaggery, turmeric, dates,
ghi, etc. On arrival at the house, the party wait outside, until
water is brought for their faces and feet. After the stains of travel
have been washed off, the presents are given, and the whole assembly
proceeds to the toddy shop. On their return, the Chalavadhi (caste
servant) tells them to which households betel must be presented,
after which the real business commences. The party of the bridegroom,
the people of the bride, the elders of the caste, and one person from
each house in the caste quarter, are present. A blanket is spread
on the floor, and grains of rice are arranged on it according to a
certain pattern. This is the bridal throne. After bathing, the girl
is arrayed in an old cloth, and seated on a weaver's beam placed upon
the blanket, with her face towards the east. Before seating herself,
however, she must worship towards the setting sun. In her open hands
betel is placed, along with the dowry (usually about sixteen rupees)
brought by her future father-in-law. As the bride sits thus upon
the throne, the respective parents question one another, the bride's
parents as to the groom, what work he does, what jewels he will give,
etc. Whatever other jewels are given or not, the groom is supposed to
give a necklace of silver and beads, and a gold nose jewel. As these
things are being talked over, some one winds 101 strands of thread,
without twisting it, into a circle about the size of a necklace, and
then ties on it a peculiar knot. After smearing with turmeric, it is
given into the hands of the girl's maternal uncle, who, while holding
his hands full of betel, asks first the girl's parents, and then the
whole community if there is any objection to the match. If all agree,
he must then worship the bridal throne, and, without letting any of
the betel in his hands fall, place the necklace round the bride's
neck. Should any of the betel fall, it is looked upon as a very bad
omen, and the man is fined. After this part of the performance is
over, and after teasing the bride, the uncle raises her to her feet,
and, taking from her hands the dowry, etc., sends her off. After
distributing betel to every one in the village, even unborn babies
being counted, the ceremony ends, and, after the usual feast has been
partaken of, the people all depart to their various homes.

"The wedding, contrary to the previous ceremonies, takes place at the
home of the bridegroom. A Brahman is asked to tell a day on which the
omens are favourable, for which telling he receives a small fee. A
few days before the date foretold, the house is cleaned, the floor
cow-dunged, and the walls are whitewashed. In order that the evil
eye may be warded off, two marks are made, one on each side of the
door, with oil and charcoal mixed. Then the clothes of the bride and
bridegroom are made ready. These, as a rule, are yellow and white,
but on no account must there be any indigo in them, as that would be a
sign of death. The grain and betel required for the feast, a toe-ring
for the bridegroom, and a tali (marriage badge) for the bride, are then
purchased. The toe-ring is worn on the second toe of the right foot,
and the tali, which is usually about the size of a sixpence, is worn
round the woman's neck. The goldsmith is paid for these not only in
coin, but also in grain and betel, after receiving which he blesses
the jewels he has made, and presents them to the people. Meanwhile,
messengers have been sent, with the usual presents, to the bride's
people and friends, to inform them that the auspicious day has been
fixed, and bidding them to the ceremony. In all probability, before
the preparations mentioned above are complete, all the money the
bridegroom's people have saved will be expended. But there is seldom
any difficulty in obtaining a loan. It is considered an act of great
merit to advance money for a wedding, and people of other and richer
castes are quite ready to lend the amount required. In former days,
it was customary to give these loans free of interest, but it is not so
now. The next item is the preparation of the pandal or bower. This is
generally erected a day or two before the actual marriage in front of
the house. It consists of four posts, one at each corner, and the roof
is thatched with the straw of large millet. All round are hung garlands
of mango leaves, and cocoanut leaves are tied to the four posts. On
the left side of the house door is planted a branch of a tree (Nerium
odorum), to which is attached the kankanam made in the following
way. A woollen thread and a cotton thread are twisted together,
and to them are tied a copper finger-ring, a piece of turmeric root,
and a betel leaf. The tree mentioned is watered every day, until the
whole of the marriage ceremonies are completed. As a rule, the whole
of the work in connection with the erection of the pandal is carried
out by the elders, who receive in payment food and toddy. At this time,
also, the fire-places for the cooking of the extra amount of food are
prepared. These are simply trenches dug in the mud floor of the house,
usually three in number. Before they are dug, a cocoanut is broken,
and offered over the spot. A journey is now made to the potter's for
the pots required in the cooking of the marriage feast. This in itself
is quite a ceremony. A canopy is formed of an ordinary wearing cloth
supported at its four corners by four men, whilst a boy with a long
stick pushes it into a tent shape in the middle. Beneath the canopy
is one of the women of the bridegroom's family, who carries on a
tray two sacred lamps, an eight-anna piece, some saffron (turmeric),
akshinthulu, betel, frankincense, cocoanut, etc. On arriving at the
potter's house, the required pots are placed in a row outside, and a
cocoanut, which has been held in the smoke of the incense, is broken
into two equal parts, the two halves being placed on the ground about
a yard apart. To these all the people do puja (worship), and then
take up the pots, and go home. The eight-anna piece is given to the
potter, and the betel to the Chalavadhi. On the way to the potter's,
and on the return thence, the procession is accompanied with music,
and the women sing songs. Meanwhile, the groom, and those who have
remained at home, have been worshipping the goddess Sunkalamma. The
method of making this goddess, and its worship, are as follows. Rice
and green gram are cooked together, and with this cooked food a cone
is made minus the point. A little hollow is made on the top, and this
is filled with ghi (clarified butter), onions, and dal. Four wicks are
put into it, so forming a lamp. A nose jewel is stuck somewhere on the
outside of the lump, two garlands are placed round it, and the whole
is decorated with religious marks. This goddess is always placed in
the north-east corner of the house, called the god's corner, which has
been previously cleaned, and an image of Hanuman, or some other deity,
is drawn with rice-powder on the floor. Upon this drawing the image of
Sunkalamma is placed. Before her are put several little balls of rice,
with which ghi has been mixed. The worship consists in making offerings
of frankincense and camphor, and a cocoanut, which is broken in half,
the halves being put in front of the goddess. A ram or a he-goat
is now brought, nim (Melia Azadirachta) leaves are tied round the
horns, religious marks are made on the forehead, water is placed in
its mouth, and it is then sacrificed. After the sacrifice has been
made, those assembled prostrate themselves before the image for some
time in silence, after which they go outside for a minute or two,
and then, returning, divide the goddess, and eat it. The groom now
has his head shaved, and the priest cuts his finger and toe nails,
eyelashes, etc. The cuttings are placed, along with a quarter of a
rupee which he has kept in his mouth during the process, in an old
winnowing tray, with a little lamp made of rice, betel and grain. The
priest, facing west and with the bridegroom in front of him, makes
three passes with the tray from the head to the foot. This is supposed
to take away the evil eye. The priest then takes the tray away, all the
people getting out of the way lest the blight should come on them. He
throws away what is useless, but keeps the rest, especially the quarter
of a rupee. After this little ceremony, the future husband takes a
bath, but still keeps on his old clothes. He is given a knife, with
which to keep away devils, and is garlanded with the garlands which
were round the goddess. His toe-ring is put on, and the next ceremony,
the propitiation of the dead, is proceeded with. The sacrificed animal
is dismembered, and the bones, flesh, and intestines are put into
separate pots, and cooked. Rice also is prepared, and placed in a heap,
to which the usual offerings are made. Then rice, and some of the flesh
from each pot, is placed upon two leaf plates. These are left before
the heap of rice, with two lamps burning. The people all salute the
rice, and proceed to eat it. The rice on the two plates is reserved
for members of the family. By this time, the bride has most likely
arrived in the village, but, up to this stage, will have remained in
a separate house. She does not come to the feast mentioned above, but
has a portion of food sent to her by the bridegroom's people. After
the feast, bride and bridegroom are each anointed in their separate
houses with nalugu (uncooked rice and turmeric). When the anointing
of the bride takes place, the groom sends to her a cloth, a bodice,
cocoanut, pepper and garlic. The bride leaves her parents' house,
dressed in old clothes. Her people provide only a pair of sandals,
and two small toe-rings. She also carries a fair quantity of rice in
the front fold of her cloth. Again a procession is formed as before for
the cooking-pots, and another visit is paid to the potter's house, but,
on this occasion, in place of eight annas grain is taken. The potter
presents them with two wide-mouthed pots, and four small-mouthed pots,
two of which are decorated in four colours. As before, these are placed
in a row outside, and again the party, after worshipping them, takes
them to the bridegroom's house. These pots are supposed to represent
Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, and, as they are being carried to
the house, no pregnant woman or mother with small children should
meet them, or they will have trouble. On arriving at the house, and
before entering, a cock is sacrificed, and a cocoanut offered. [In some
places, a goat is killed in front of the room in which the marriage
pots are kept, and marks are made with the palms of the hands covered
with the blood on the side-walls of the entrance.] Water is sprinkled
on the door step, and the pots are taken inside. During the whole of
the above performance, the pots are held in the hands, and must not
be put down. After entering the house, grain is spread on the floor
in the north-east corner, and upon this are placed the pots, one upon
the other, in two or four rows. The topmost pot is covered with a lid,
and on the lid is placed a lighted lamp. From the beams exactly above
the lamps are suspended, to which are fastened small bundles containing
dates, cocoanut, jaggery, sugar, and saffron. Round each pot is tied
a kankanam (wrist-thread). These pots are worshipped every day as
long as the wedding ceremonies last, which is usually three days. Not
only so, but the lamps are kept continually burning, and there is
betel arranged in a brass pot in the form of a lotus ever before
them. Beneath the pandal is now arranged a throne exactly similar to
the one which was used on the occasion of the Pedda Tambulam. Until
now the bride has kept to her separate house, but she now dresses
in her new clothes. Putting on the sandals she brought from her own
home, she proceeds to the house of the bridegroom. There she waits
in the pandal for her future husband, who comes out dressed in his
wedding garments, wearing his sandals, and carrying a blanket, gochi,
[157] shoulder-cloth, and knife. Both bride and bridegroom now have
fastened on to their foreheads a kind of philactery or nuptial crown
called bhasingalu. They are also garlanded with flowers, in addition to
which the bridegroom has tied on to his wrists the kankanam. In order
that the two most intimately concerned persons may not see one another
(and up to this point they have not done so), a screen is erected,
the bride standing on one side, and the bridegroom on the other. As
a rule, they each of them keep their heads bent during the whole
of the proceedings, and look as miserable as possible. Indeed, it
would be a breach of etiquette for either of them to appear as though
they were enjoying the ceremony. Except for the screen, the two are
now face to face, the groom looking towards the east, and the bride
towards the west. Upon the bridal throne there is now placed for the
bride to stand upon a basket filled with grain, and for the groom
the beam of a loom. The screen is now taken away, and the priest,
a Dasari, asks whether the elders, the Mala people generally, and
the village as a whole, are in favour of the marriage. This he asks
three times. Probably, in former times, it was possible to stop a
marriage at this point, but now it is never done, and the marriage is
practically binding after Pedda Tambulam has been gone through. Indeed,
in hard times, if the bride is of marriageable age, the couple will
live together as man and wife, putting off the final ceremony until
times are better. The groom now salutes the priest, the bride places
her foot on the weaving beam, and the groom places his foot upon that
of the woman as a token of his present and continued lordship. After
this, the bride also is invested with the kankanam. After the groom
has worshipped the four quarters of heaven, the priest, who holds in
his hands a brass vessel of milk, hands the golden marriage token to
the groom, who ties it round the bride's neck. This is the first time
during the ceremony that either of them has looked on the other. Before
the groom ties the knot, he must ask permission from the priest and
people three times. The priest now dips a twig of the jivi tree
(Ficus Tsiela) into the milk, and hands it to the husband, who,
crossing his hands over his wife's head, allows some of the drops
to fall upon her. The wife then does the same to the husband. After
this, the rice which the bride brought with her in her lap is used
in a similar blessing. The priest, holding in his hand a gold jewel,
now takes the hands of the two in his, and repeats several passages
(charms). Whoever wishes may now shower the pair with rice, and,
after that is done, the priest publicly announces them to be man and
wife. But the ceremonies are not yet ended. The newly-married pair,
and all the assembled party, now proceed to the village shrine to
worship the god. Before doing so, the cloths of the newly-wed pair
are tied together by the priest. This knot is called the Brahma
knot, and is a sign that God had ordained the two to be man and wife
even in a previous birth. After the god has been worshipped, and an
offering of betel made to the four quarters, the party return to the
house accompanied by weird music and much tom-tom. The women, as a
rule, sing wedding songs, and the husband and wife are shaded by a
canopy. Arrived at the threshold of the house, the fear of the evil
eye is made the reason for another ceremony. Before either crosses
the threshold, passes are made from their head to their feet with
black and red water. On the threshold is placed a brass bowl full of
grain, upon which is a gold nose jewel. The man and woman must each
touch this with the right foot, after which they may enter the house
without fear. After entering the house, the evil eye is again removed,
this time with a cocoanut, which is afterwards thrown away. Those
who have unlucky twists of hair must at this time, besides the above
ceremony, sacrifice a goat. After entering the house, the whole party
worship Lakshmi. Long ago, the tradition runs, this goddess was very
gracious to the Malas, and, in consequence, they were wealthy and
prosperous. One day, however, Lakshmi went up to one of the chief
men, who at that time was very busy at work upon a web of cloth,
and began to make love to him. At any other time this would have been
very acceptable, but just then, being very busy, he asked the goddess
to go away. She, however, took no notice, and only bothered him the
more. Whereupon, losing his temper, he hit her over the head with
the heavy sizing brush which he was using. This hurt the feelings
of Lakshmi to such an extent that she left the Malas, withdrew her
favour, and transferred it to the Komatis. Since then, the Malas
have been poor. The husband next dips his hands into a plate of milk
three times, each time placing his wet hand on the wall. After him,
the bride does the same. The two then, sitting down, eat rice and
milk off one plate. This is the first and only time that husband
and wife eat together. The bashingams are now taken off, and the
wife is relieved from the burden of rice she has thus far carried in
her lap. The next ceremony is called the Bhumalu, and is a feast for
the husband, his wife, and blood relations only. Not more than ten,
and not less than six must partake, and these must all be husbands
or wives, i.e., the party must consist of either three or five
couples. The feast consists of the most expensive food the people can
afford, and is eaten on two consecutive days. A blanket is spread on
the floor, and on this raw rice is placed in a cloth, with betel leaves
arranged in the form of a lotus at the four corners. Here and there are
placed red rice, sandal, and turmeric, and a new lamp is lit. Three
children are brought in, and are made to stand before the rice. The
parties who are to partake now come in couples, and one of the children
ties upon their wrists the kankanam, another daubs them with sandal
paste, and another with red rice. The food is placed on two plates,
one for the women and one for the males. All the women sit round the
one, and the men round the other. Whilst eating, they must not drop a
single grain. Should they do so, it is not only unlucky, but is also
the cause of serious quarrels, and the fault is punishable with a
heavy fine. After the feast is over, the heap of rice is worshipped,
and the children are sent off with a little present each. The pair
are again anointed with nalugu. This is done twice every day for
three days, but no widow is allowed to do it. Before anointing, the
people about to do it must present a cocoanut and jaggery. When the
cocoanut and jaggery are given, they must be in strips, and put into
the bride's mouth partly projecting. The groom must take hold of the
projecting part with his teeth, and eat it. The same performance is
gone through with betel leaf. A doll is now made with cloths, having
arms, legs, etc. The newly-married couple are made to play with it,
being much teased the while by the onlookers, who sing lullabys. The
two now have their hands and feet anointed with turmeric, and are
bathed. This is done on three consecutive days. On the third day is
the nagavalli. The bride and her husband are escorted under a canopy
to some ant heap outside the village. The man digs a basketful of
earth with his knife, which was given to him, and which he has never
relinquished, and the wife carries it to the house. There the earth
is made into four heaps, one near each post. A hollow is left at the
top of each heap, which is filled with water. During the time they
have been fetching the earth, the people who remained at home have
been worshipping aireni pots representing Lakshmi, but they now come
outside to the pandal. The pair are escorted all round the village,
accompanied with music. They must not walk, but must be either carried
or driven. After their return to the pandal, they are seated on the
nagavalli simhasanam. Four small pots are placed in the form of a
square, and round these is wound a fence of thread, which must not
be broken in the process. On the pots are placed bread and meal. The
bridal pair again put on their bridal crowns, and the man, taking
his knife, digs a few furrows in the ground, which his wife fills
with grain. The husband then covers up the grain with his knife,
after which his wife sprinkles water over the whole, and then gives
her husband some gruel. The bread and meal, which were placed on
the pots, are eaten by the relatives of the husband publicly in the
pandal. After this ceremony is over, the pair are again anointed,
during which process there must be music and singing. The next day,
the whole of the party set off for the bride's house, where the
marala pendli, or second marriage, is performed. Before setting out,
the husband and wife bow down at the feet of the elders, and receive
their blessing. The husband must provide an abundance of toddy for
all. They stay in the house of the bride's people for three days,
and then another feast is made. On the fourth day, all, except the
relations of the bride, return to their villages, but, before their
departure, the bride again pays homage to the departing elders, who
bless her, and give her a small present of money. On their return,
they are met outside the village, and are escorted to the husband's
house with music. The married pair usually remain in the house of the
bride's mother for a month, and during that time they never change
their wedding garments, or take off the garlands of flowers. The
parents of the bridegroom present their daughter-in-law with new
clothes, but these must not have any indigo in them. If the bride is
past puberty, at the end of the month the father and mother-in-law
will return with the married couple to the husband's village. If the
girl has not reached puberty, she will only spend a short time in her
husband's house, and will afterwards be continually going backwards
and forwards between the two houses. At the time of puberty, the
matter is made known to all parties concerned. The Chalavadhi must be
the bearer of the news, and he is treated to as much food and drink
as he can take, and is also given presents. When the messenger goes,
he must carry with him dal, jaggery, sugar-candy, etc. The neighbours
come out to see how much he has brought, and, if the amount is small,
they make a fuss. During the ceremonies which ensue, the girl is made
to sit down, and is blessed by the women sprinkling her with nalugu,
and is also given sweetmeats to eat. The time is made merry by song
and music. After bathing, the girl is made to take food out of a dish
along with three married women. She is then made to touch a thorn tree
three times, and also plucks the leaves. Upon returning to the house,
she is made to touch the cooking instruments and pots. At this time,
if anyone has lent her beads or ornaments, they are taken, and, after
being threaded on new strings, are returned to the lenders. If the day
on which a girl reaches puberty is an unlucky day, it is considered
a bad sign for the husband. On the second occasion the husband comes
for his wife, and there is much rejoicing. After being detained for
four or five days, they go to their permanent home, the house of the
husband's father, and there is at that time much weeping. The mother
tells the girl to be obedient to her husband and parents-in-law,
and says that it will be better for her to throw herself into a well
and die than to return home disgraced.

"There are slight differences in the ceremonies described above
according to the district and sect of the people. In the eastern Telugu
country, during the marriage ceremonies, there is a sort of bridesmaid,
who accompanies the bride on the day of the wedding. In the western
country, largely under the influence of the Canarese, the bridesmaid
is scarcely distinguishable from the real bride, but she is not, as
at home, an unmarried girl, but must be a mature woman following the
functions of a married life. There is another slight difference between
the two sections concerning the Bhumala ceremony. The Vaishnavites,
after the arranged people have partaken of the feast, distribute the
remainder of the food; the Saivites, on the other hand, if any food
is left, bury it somewhere inside the house.

"Malas may be married many times, and indeed it is not considered
respectable to remain a widower. A widower is unable to make
arrangements for the marriage of others, to take part in any of
the ceremonies connected therewith, except in the capacity of a
spectator. It is not the correct thing for a man to have two wives at
one time unless the first one is barren, or unless there is other good
cause. A woman must on no account marry again. She need not, according
to Telugu morals, be ashamed of living, after she is widowed, with
another man as his concubine, but, at the very mention of marriage,
she covers her face with shame. If such people become Christians, it
is a most difficult thing to overcome their prejudice, and persuade
them to become legally man and wife. Almost the only way to do so
is by refusing to marry their children. In the Canarese country,
there is a kind of half marriage (chira kattinchinaru, they have
tied her cloth), which may be attained by widows. It is not reckoned
as a proper marriage, nor is the woman considered a concubine. The
ceremony for this is not performed at the great length of an ordinary
marriage, but it must receive the sanction of the elders. In spite
of their sanction, the man must pay a fine imposed by the caste
guru. The woman is permitted to wear the tali or marriage token,
but not bangles or other jewels usually worn by a married woman. The
children are part inheritors, and are not entirely without rights,
as the children of concubines are. A man's second wife must wear two
talis--that of the first wife as well as her own."

The following variants of the Pedda Tambulam ceremony, which is
performed during the marriage rites, may be noted. As soon as all
are assembled in the front yard of the bride's house, a blanket is
spread on the floor, and covered with a cloth. About ten seers of
cholam (millet: Sorghum) are heaped up, and a brass vessel (kalasam)
is placed thereon. By its side, a lamp is kept burning. A Dasari,
or a Mala priest, stands on one side of it, and a married woman on
the other. The names of the gods are mentioned, one after the other,
and the woman throws two betel leaves and a nut on the kalasam for
each name uttered. The bride is then brought from within the house,
and the leaves and nuts are tied up in a cloth. This, with the kalasam,
is put in the bride's cloth, and she is led inside. In some places, the
ceremony is more elaborate. For the betrothal ceremony some leading men
of the village, and the headmen of the bride and bridegroom's villages,
are required to be present. The Chalavati (caste servant) hands over
a bag containing betel leaves, areca nuts, pieces of turmeric, and
Rs. 4-6, to the headman of the bride's village. All these articles are
displayed on a new bamboo sieve, or on the lid of a bamboo box. The
two headmen discuss the proposed match, and exchange betel and nut
thrice. After this, the bride-elect (chinnapapa) is brought from
the house, and seated on a plank or on a cloth roller (dhone). Three
handfuls of betel leaves and areca nuts are placed in her lap. Her
maternal uncle then puts on her neck a string of unwoven unbleached
cotton thread dyed with turmeric. The bride's headman asks the assembly
if he may proceed with the thonuku ceremony. With their permission,
he takes from a sieve betel leaves, nuts, and a cocoanut with his right
hand, using only the thumb, first, and ring fingers. While doing this,
he is expected to stand on one leg, and to take up the various things,
without letting even a single leaf or nut fall. In some places, the
headman has the privilege of doing this seated near the sieve. In
other places, he is said to hold a knife in his hand, with a blade
passed below the middle finger, and over the first ring finger.

In connection with birth ceremonies, Mr. Nicholson writes as
follows. "During labour, a sickle and some nim (Melia Azadirachta)
leaves are always kept upon the cot, to ward off evil spirits,
which will not approach iron. Difficulty during labour is considered
to be the effect of kharma, and the method employed for easing it
is simple. Some mother, who has had an 'easy time,' is called in,
and presents the labouring woman with betel, etc. Should this not be
effective, a line of persons is drawn up from the well to the house,
and water is passed from hand to hand until it reaches the 'easy
time' woman, who gives the water to the sufferer. This last resort
is only sought in extreme cases, but, when it is appealed to, even
the caste people will join in the line and help. After the placenta
has come away, the child is placed on a winnowing basket, which has
been previously filled with grain, and covered with a cloth. The
umbilical cord is cut, and the child is washed, and branded with a
hot needle in all places, over twenty in all, which are considered
vital. When the umbilical cord is cut, some coin is placed over the
navel for luck. This, with the grain in the basket, is the midwife's
perquisite. Should the child present with the cord round its neck,
a cocoanut is immediately offered. If the child survives, a cock is
offered to the gods on the day the mother takes her first bath. The
placenta is put in a pot, in which are nim leaves, and the whole is
buried in some convenient place, generally in the backyard. The reason
for this is said to be that, unless the afterbirth was buried, dogs or
other animals might carry it off, and ever after the child would be of
a wandering disposition. The first bath of the mother takes place on
the third, fifth, seventh, or ninth day after delivery. Every house
in the particular quarter sends a potful of hot water. All the pots
are placed near the spot where the afterbirth was buried. The mother
then comes from the house supported by two women, carrying in her
hand the sickle and nim leaves. After worshipping the four mud gods
which have been placed on the spot, she takes her seat on the cot
on which she was confined, and, after having her body covered with
turmeric, and her head anointed with a mixture of rice, chunam (lime)
and turmeric, she is bathed by the women in attendance. After the bath,
both the mother and child are garlanded with a root strung on strings,
and worn round the neck and wrists. One of these is eaten every day by
the mother. The mother rises and enters the house, but, before doing
so, she worships the four quarters on the threshold. The women who
assisted in the bathing operation go to their homes, and bathe their
own children, afterwards returning to take part in a feast provided
by the parents of the newly-born child. On this day also a name is
given to the child. If all previous children have died, the child
is rolled in leaf plates and rice, after which the nose and ears
are pierced. The rice is given to the dogs, and the child is named
Pulligadu (used up leaf plates) or Pullamma according to sex. Should
the parents consider that they have a sufficiently large family,
they name the child Salayya or Salakka (enough). There are several
superstitions about teething. If the teeth come quickly, people say
that the afterbirth has not been buried deeply enough. Should the
top teeth come first, it is supposed to imply danger to the maternal
uncle, who generally gives his daughter in marriage to his nephew. He
is called, and brings with him a cocoanut, the inner shell of which
he crushes on the child's head. This must be done without looking
on the child. In order that girls may not grow hair on their faces,
their lips and chins are rubbed with the afterbirth. The dried navel
is highly prized as a remedy for sterility.

In connection with death ceremonies, Mr. Nicholson writes as
follows. "There is a difference in the ceremonies performed by the
Vishnuvite and Saivite sects. The former allow their people to die in
the house; the latter, fearing pollution, remove the person outside
the door, as soon as it is recognised that death is at hand. The
following description relates chiefly to the Vishnuvites or Namdaris,
but, wherever possible, the difference of ceremony between the two
sects is noticed. As soon as it is recognized that a person is at
the point of death, the wife and children, or near relations, gather
round the rough string cot, and ask what the dying person's last
wishes are. However bad a life may have been led, the dying words are
considered imperatively binding. If at all possible, the son or brother
of the dying person will give a little food and a drink of water; and,
if there is no one to perform this office--the rite which entitles the
dying to heaven--great is the grief. 'May you have no one to give you
water to drink' is a most bitter curse. As soon as life has departed,
those who are standing by will close the eyes and mouth, and stop the
nostrils and ears. The two great toes are tied together, whilst the
wife and sons burn incense at the head of the corpse. A lamp is lit,
and left in the house. Before this, the near relations have heard
that things were serious, and have come to render assistance. They now
bring water for the bathing, and some go to the bazar for sweetmeats,
etc., required in the subsequent ceremonies. Some of the elders go
to call the Dasari, or priest, and, by the time he arrives, rice will
have been prepared, and the blood of a fowl sprinkled over the place
where the death occurred. It should be mentioned that the head of
the dying is always placed to the south. Yamudu, the god of death and
lord of Hades, is god of the south. Consequently, if the dead arose,
if facing south he would go to the evil place. By lying on the back
with the head to the south, they rise facing north, and so escape an
evil fate. When the food is prepared, the corpse is removed outside,
bathed, and wrapped in a new cloth. Betel nut and leaf are ground
and put into the mouth, whilst the priest puts the namam (the mark of
Vishnu) upon both the forehead of the corpse and of the bearers. After
the bathing of the corpse, and before it is wrapped in the new cloth,
a small square piece is torn out of the cloth, and presented to
the Nambi of the temple. The corpse being prepared, the priest and
the wife and relations of the deceased, along with the bearers, eat
a small portion of the food which has been got ready. Immediately
upon rising after having eaten, the corpse is lifted, and placed
upon a rough bier, wrapped in a cloth, and the party proceed to the
burying ground. The priest goes first singing a funeral hymn, and at
the end of each verse all the people cry Govinda (one of the names
of Vishnu). Following the priest comes the Chalavadhi, carrying his
belt and insignia of office. At every other step the bell is rung by
coming in contact with his leg. After the Chalavadhi comes the corpse
carried by men who are, according to Telugu relationship, brothers
(actual brothers, or sons of father's brother or mother's sister). In
the case of a married woman, the bearers must be either husband or
brothers. Following the corpse comes the wife or son, bearing water and
fire. Shortly before reaching the burial-ground, a halt is made. The
son sprinkles a little water on the ground, and the bier is placed
upon the spot with the fire at the head. The face is then uncovered,
and all look upon the dead features for the last time. The reason
given for the halt is that upon one occasion, according to tradition,
the bearers became exhausted, and, when they rested the bier upon the
ground, the corpse arose alive. In carrying a dead body, it is always
carried feet first. The grave, which has been prepared beforehand,
and which is usually not more than three feet deep, is reached, and
the body is placed therein with the head towards the south. In the
case of a male, after being placed in the grave, the waist-cord and
toe-rings are removed, and left in the grave. In the case of a woman,
the glass bracelets, bell-metal toe-rings, and bead necklace are
left, but no jewels of value or the marriage token are left. After
this is over, the body is covered with leaves of the tangedu tree
(Cassia auriculata). As a rule, Vishnuvites, before covering the
body with leaves, take off the cloth in which it is wrapped, leaving
it naked. This is supposed to be emblematic of the nakedness with
which we enter upon life. The corpse is buried face upwards, and it
is considered a means of future happiness to the deceased if those
assembled throw earth into the grave. The nearer the relationship
of those doing so, the greater is the happiness conferred. Hence
it is always desired that a son should be present. After the grave
has been filled up half way with earth, three stones are placed,
one at the head, one in the middle, and one at the feet. Only the
Vishnuvites do this. Upon the middle of these stones stands the
priest, while the relatives of the deceased wash his feet, and put
upon them the namam or sign of Vishnu. Whilst standing thus, they
bargain and haggle as to what fee is to be paid. After this is over,
the grave is completely filled in, and great care is taken that the
corpse is so covered that it may not be disturbed by jackals and other
animals, at any rate before the fifth day. If it should be disturbed,
heaven will not be reached. So the Telugu curse 'May the jackals eat
your tongue' is a curse of damnation. The Saivites bury their dead
in the cloth, face downwards. After the grave has been filled in,
the fire carried by the son is placed at the head of the grave, and
incense is burnt. Then the water carried from the house is sprinkled
over the grave, and the procession departs homeward. On their way,
they stop at some wayside well, and wash away their defilement,
afterwards sitting on the edge of the well to chew betel and eat
sweetmeats. They may also pay a visit to the temple, where they
again sit and gossip, but perform no worship. If the deceased be
a woman leaving a husband, the talk will be about arrangements for
the marriage which will shortly take place. Immediately the body is
taken from the house for burial, the lamp which was first lighted is
extinguished, and another lighted in its place. Then those who stay
at home (the women do not usually attend a funeral) clean sweep the
house, plastering it with cow-dung. After this, they wait outside the
house for the return of the burial party. The blood relations who have
attended the burial come, and, without entering the house, glance at
the newly-lighted lamp, afterwards going to their own homes, where,
before entering, and without touching any of the pots, they must bathe
in hot water. Toddy flows freely at the close of a funeral. Indeed,
this is one of the occasions when excess is most common. From now
until the fifth day, when the Divasalu ceremony takes place, fire
and a lamp are lighted at the grave each evening at sunset.

"The Divasalu ceremony, which is observed by all castes which follow
the Ramanuja matham or Satani cult, is generally performed at the dead
of night, and with as much ceremony as possible. All the Namdaris in
the village are invited, each being separately called by the Kondigadu,
who is a kind of messenger belonging to the Dasari or Mala priest. In
former days, many of the Sudras used to attend this ceremony, but
of late, either through Malas more openly eating the flesh of cows,
or for some other reason, they rarely attend, and, if they do so, it
is with great secrecy. The Nambi, however, who is a Satani, should
attend. Indeed, it is he who is the performer of the ceremony. The
flesh required for the sacrifice is found by slaughtering a sheep
or a goat. Before killing it, holy water is poured into its mouth,
and incense is burnt before it. When the animal has been dismembered,
the head, guts, and blood are cooked in one pot, the bones in another,
the flesh in a third, whilst in a fourth pot bread is baked. Toddy
and arrack (native spirit) are also placed in readiness. After these
preparations, the Nambi draws upon the floor, on the spot where the
death occurred, the ashtakshari (eight-cornered) mantram, repeating the
while magical words. The mantram is usually drawn with treble lines,
one black, one yellow, and one white. At each corner are placed a
cocoanut, betel, dates, and a lump of molasses, whilst a rupee is
placed in the middle at one side. The words repeated are in Tamil,
and, roughly translated, are as follows: 'This is the mantram of Manar
Nambi. This is the holy water of the sacred feet of ... Nambi. This is
the secret of holiness of the 108 sacred places. These are the means
for obtaining heaven. They are for the saving of the sinner. This
drawing is the seal of the saints. Countless sins have I committed;
yet by thought on the saints is sin cleansed.' After the completion
of the drawing, the officiating priest puts the holy mark of Vishnu on
the foreheads of those who bring the vessels of cooked food. Then, to
the east side of the drawing, he makes two little piles of millet. He
then asks (in Tamil) for the pot containing the head, and for the
toddy. The two bearers bring the pots, keeping exactly together, and,
as they reach the Nambi, each must exchange places with the other. The
priest then inscribes on one pot the wheel (chakra), and on the other
the conch shell, these being the sacred symbols of Vishnu. Before
doing so, he wets the leaves of the tulasi plant (Ocimum sanctum)
in a rice plate, and places them in a brass vessel containing holy
water by his side. Then, with the conch shell which he carries, he
pours some of the holy water into each pot, afterwards placing the
pots upon the heaps of millet. Next, a leaf plate is placed in the
middle of the drawing. Upon it is placed some of each variety of food
cooked, along with milk and ghi. Over all, another plate is placed
as a cover. During this time, so that no one may see the ceremony,
a sheet or blanket is held up before the Nambi as a screen. He then
takes two little sticks with cotton-wool in a notch at the end, and
puts them to steep in castor-oil. Whilst they are steeping, he takes
a cocoanut, and, after breaking it, pours the milk into the vessel
containing holy water, and places the two pieces by the side of the
heaps of grain upon which are the two pots. Then, taking up the two
sticks, and having made passes with them over the whole drawing, he
lights them and holds them aloft above the screen, so that the people
on the other side may see them. All then bow down, and worship the two
lights. Then the bearers of the corpse are invested with the namam,
after which the whole of those assembled drink of the holy water in
the brass vessel. A little holy water, betel, etc., are now put into
the rice plate, which is afterwards covered with soil upon the top
of the grave. The party then eat the small portion of food which may
be left, and, after trimming the lamp, proceed to their homes. The
Nambi who officiates is supposed to be particularly holy. If he is
wicked and unclean, and yet draws and sits upon the magic diagrams,
he will bring loss and sorrow upon his own head.

"There is no other ceremony until the night of the twelfth day. On
this day, not only is the floor plastered with cow-dung, but the
whole house is cleaned outside and in. All the inmates of the house
bathe, shave, and put on clean clothes. Then, as on the fifth day,
an animal is killed, and the flesh is cooked exactly as before. In
the north-east or god's corner, the panchakshari (five cornered)
diagram is inscribed, and a handful of rice is put in the middle. As
before, cocoanuts, etc., are placed at the five corners, and before
the drawing are placed five copper images. The Dasari who performs the
ceremony places two leaf plates before these images, and, breaking
a couple of cocoanuts, sacrifices to them. After this, the Nambi,
Dasaris, Kondigadu, corpse-bearers, and bearers of the pots, each
drink two measures of toddy, and eat some of the flesh cooked in
the second pot. The party, consisting entirely of males, now take
as much food as will be required for the forthcoming ceremony, and
proceed towards the grave, which has been previous to this plastered
and decorated, and a little shrine erected at the head. On their
arrival, a diagram, called panchakshari is drawn on the grave in
black, yellow, and white. At the five corners are placed cocoanut,
lime, etc. In the middle is placed a leaf plate with food on it, and
a cocoanut is offered, the two halves being placed one on each side
of the plate. A lamp is now lighted, and placed in the little shrine
at the head of the grave, which the Nambi worships. It may be noted
that the ashtakshari diagram is the sign of Vishnu or Narayanamurti,
and the panchakshari is the sign of Siva. The reason for both being
used is that Vishnu is the preserver, and Siva the destroyer. If Siva
alone is worshipped, he will only cease from destroying; if Vishnu
alone is worshipped, he cannot keep from destruction. Hence there is a
sort of compromise, so that the benefits rendered by each god may be
reaped. The Nambi now invests all the males present with the namam,
and, if there is a widow, she is made to put on the bottu or small
circular mark, the symbol most often being associated with Siva. The
widow is made to sit in the middle of the house, with a leaf plate
set before her. There she is stripped of all the jewels she wore
as a married woman. Afterwards she is taken inside by some widows,
and, after bathing, dons a cloth which has been brought for her by
her brothers. Her own cloth is left outside, and must be sent from
there to the washerman. It afterwards becomes a perquisite of the
Dasari. If the deceased was a married woman, the widower would be
deprived of his toe-ring, bathed, and clothed in a new cloth.

"On the occasion of Divasalu, blood relatives are all supposed to
be present, and the ceremony is an expensive one, poor people often
spending on this occasion alone as much as they can earn in a couple
of months. The first ceremony is not so expensive, and will only cost
about five rupees. All the male relatives of the dead man, or the
brothers-in-law of a dead woman, must bring a little rice and some
sticks of incense. If they are quite unable to attend the ceremony,
they will clean their own houses, and will then perform some ceremony
to the deceased. The relatives of the wife who come to the ceremony
will not proceed to the house, or even to the caste quarters, but
will go to the toddy shop, whence they send word of their arrival. As
soon as the head of the house hears of this, he also proceeds to
the toddy shop, and each one treats the other to drink. If they
do not wish to drink, the one will pour a little liquor into the
palm of the other. This ceremony is called chedupaputa (the taking
away of bitterness), and without it they cannot visit one another's
houses. These relatives must only partake of food on the night of
their arrival and next day, but on no account must they linger till
the light is lit on the thirteenth day.

"The above ceremony is that performed by the Namdaris or Vishnuvites,
who are not afraid of pollution, but who must do all things according
to a prescribed ritual. We will now consider the ceremonies of
the Mondis or Saivites, who think little of ceremony, but much of
defilement. These take the dying person outside, and, as soon as it
is realised that the end is near, all arrangements are made as to
who is to cook, carry the corpse, etc. Before the breath has left
the body, some go to the bazaar to purchase a new cloth. The women
smear themselves with turmeric as at a wedding, and put a circular
red mark (bottu) on the forehead, whilst the men smear ashes on
their foreheads. As soon as the food is cooked, the dead body is
washed, and placed upon a bier. Most of the Vishnuvites do not use a
bier. The corpse is carried to the grave, accompanied with fire and
water as in the Vishnuvite ceremony. Shortly before the grave-yard
is reached, a halt is made. The cloth which has been placed over the
face is torn, and a cooking pot is broken, after which the body is
taken to the grave, and buried without covering, lying prone on the
face. After the earth has been filled in, the son of the deceased
takes an earthen water-pot full of water, and bores a hole in it,
so that the water may escape. He then makes three circuits of the
grave, allowing the water to flow on the ground. After each circuit,
he makes a fresh hole in the pot. He then goes away without looking
back on the grave. When the funeral party, which consists only of men,
reaches the house, they find that some of the old women have made a
heap of cow-dung, at the top of which is a little hollow filled with
water. Those who have returned from the grave dip their great toes
in this water, and then linger on the threshold to worship the lamp
which is inside. After this, the lamp is taken, and thrown outside
the village, and, on their return, they bathe in hot water. The
Saivites perform the first ceremony for the dead on the third day,
and they have neither Nambi nor priest, but perform the whole ceremony
themselves. Like the Vishnuvites, they thoroughly cleanse and plaster
the house. There is no animal sacrifice, but food is prepared with
vegetables. A tray is plaited from the twigs of the tamarind tree
(Tamarindus indica), and in this is placed a leaf plate containing
food, frankincense, betel, etc. This food offering is carried to
the grave along with fire and water at about eight o'clock in the
morning. The man who carries the food must wear only a torn cloth,
and yet with this he must manage to cover his head. On reaching the
grave, they worship. The tray is left at the head of the grave, and
the people retire a short distance, and there wait until a crow or
a kite comes, and takes food from the tray. The more quickly this
occurs, the greater the merit obtained by the deceased. They never
go away until either the one or the other of these birds comes. They
afterwards proceed to the well, and bathe fully. On the twelfth day,
another ceremony is performed. In the morning, all those taking part
in the ceremony proceed to some place outside the village where they
shave, and put on clean clothes which have come direct to that place
from the washerman. They then go to some temple, and there obtain a
little holy water, with which they afterwards sprinkle themselves,
the widow, and the house of the deceased. The widow is then arrayed
in all her clothes and jewels, and is taken weeping to the 'widow's
harbour.' There a stone image is set up, and worshipped. Then the
woman's jewels are taken off, and her bracelets broken. Sweet food is
cooked and partaken of, all bathe, and return to their homes. After
this ceremony, poor people will stay in their houses for three days,
and rich people for a much longer period. For several years, on the
anniversary of the death, some little ceremony is usually performed."

In connection with Mala Dasaris, to whom reference has already been
made, Mr. Nicholson writes as follows. "There is a considerable
number of individuals who obtained their living through religious
mendicancy. They are known as Dasaris. There is usually a Nambi
or Dasari for every three or four villages. Some few Dasaris have
inam (rent-free) lands, but the majority live on the charity of the
people. They do not ask alms, but sing hymns in honour of Chennudu or
Pedda Muni. They also officiate as a sort of priest, and their services
are requisitioned at the time of death, marriage, hair-cutting, and
the creation of Basavis and Dasaris. The Dasari who officiates at a
wedding ceremony cannot act in a case of death. There is, in the west
Telugu country, a class called Varapu Dasari, who act as pujaris for
the Sudras, and in all places the Dasari receives certain emoluments
from Sudras for singing at weddings and funerals. They receive alms
from all classes. Occasionally disturbances take place on account of
the Saivites objecting to the Dasaris coming into their streets, and
it is at such times as these that pavadamu is said to take place. It
is firmly believed that, if a Dasari is offended, he will revenge
himself in smaller offences by piercing his cheeks or side, for a
serious offence by killing himself, generally by severing the head
from the body. If one kills himself in this way, the news is said to
be immediately and miraculously communicated to every Dasari and Nambi
in the country. They all come to the place where the body lies. Until
their arrival, this has been kept covered with a new cloth, and
water is constantly sprinkled over it, to keep the wounds from drying
up. When the Gurus, Dasaris, and others are collected, they show their
magic power by frying fish, which come to life again on being placed
in water, and by cutting limes in two and making them join together,
while the remainder sing hymns to Chennudu, and call on the name of
Govinda. The Gurus then dig a hole, and in it light the sacred fire
of sandal-wood, which must be kindled by the friction of two pieces
of wood. All assemble before this sacred fire, and join in singing
or reciting the Dandakamu, after which the Dasaris dance a dance
called the request dance. A lotus flower is simulated by arranging
betel leaves in a small chembu (metal vessel), and this is placed in
a plate along with the severed head. The tray is then carried three
times round the corpse by the wife of the deceased if he was married;
if not, by his mother; and, if he had no kin, by a Basavi. The head
is then taken by the Guru, and fixed properly to the trunk, the
junction being plentifully daubed with sacred earth (tirumani). A new
cloth is then spread over the corpse, and a network of flowers over
all. The Dasaris again walk round the corpse, calling on Tembaru
Manara, repeating at the same time a mantram. Then Kurumayya, the
caste Guru, strokes the corpse from head to foot three times with
his staff, after which he places his foot on the head of the corpse,
and calls on the body to rise. The ability of the Dasaris to perform
this marvel is implicitly believed in. Some I have asked have seen it
attempted, but on one occasion it failed because the wife was unwell
(under menstrual pollution). On another occasion, the ceremony was
not carried out with fitting reverence, and failed in consequence.

"The chief people among the Dasaris are Guru, Annalayya, Godugulayya
(umbrella men), and Tuttulayya (horn-blowers). The Dasaris have got
certain badges of office, which are supposed to have been given by
Chennudu on the conquest of Vijayanagar. [According to tradition,
between the 8th and 11th centuries A.D. there was great rivalry
between the Saivite and Vishnuvite sects, and it is supposed that
Kurumayya, fighting on the side of the Vishnuvites, by the aid of
the god Chennudu was able to suppress and overcome the followers of
Siva. He thus became the Guru of the Malas.] The Dasari's insignia
consist of an iron staff, copper pot, tiger skin, antelope skin,
etc. Besides these, some of the chief Dasaris are said to possess
copper inscriptions given to them by the kings of Vijayanagar, but
these they refuse to allow any one to see."

Concerning the practice of making Basavis (dedicated prostitutes),
Mr. Nicholson writes as follows. "The origin of the Basavis is said
to be thus. In former times, the Asadhis had the duty and privilege
of dancing and singing before the God, but this office was always
performed by a male. On one occasion, there was no male to take up
the duties, and, as there was no prospect of further children, one of
the daughters was appointed to the work, so that the livelihood would
not be lost. Then no one came forward to marry the girl, and she found
it impossible to live a good life. The fact, however, that she was a
servant of the God kept her from disgrace, and from that time it has
been customary to dedicate these girls to the God's service. Nowadays,
the girl goes through a ceremony with a knife, which is placed in
front of the God, and, as at ordinary weddings, there are all the
various ceremonies performed, and feasts eaten. If at the time of the
wedding, any man wishes to have a sort of proprietary right, he may
obtain the same by paying a sort of dowry. The elders of the village
must give their consent to the dedication, and usually signify this by
eating out of the same plate as the bride. In the west Telugu country,
parents who have good looking daughters, no matter what their class,
give them as Basavis. But, in the east Telugu country, only the Asadhi,
Beineni, and Pambala people do so. A Basavi can never be widowed,
and people say they are consecrated to the God. Consequently, their
life, though a life of sin, is not considered so by the Gods. Yet by
a strange inconsistency, men consorting with Basavis are immediately
branded as loose men. The first few years of a Basavi's life are full
of profit, and it is probably for this reason that parents are willing
thus to sacrifice their daughters. Afterwards, when the charms of youth
are passed, the Basavi resorts to begging, or, with two or three more,
obtains a precarious livelihood by music and dancing. Their children
have a share in the maternal father's property.

"The above account of a Basavi's dedication applies to the Asadhis
or singing beggars. The following is a more detailed description of
the ceremony as performed by the Dasaris. The girl to be dedicated
is dressed in a white ravike and cloth, after which she is conducted
to the priest who is to officiate. He burns the signs of a chank and
chakram on the girl's shoulders, presenting to her at the same time
holy water. After this, the priest receives the guruvu kanika, which
consists not only of five rupees, but also five seers of rice, five
cocoanuts, five garlics, and a quarter of a seer of betel nuts. The
person giving the girl away now receives permission from the people
and Guruvu, and attaches the marriage symbol to the girl's neck. Before
the tali is tied, the girl is made to sit on a blanket, upon which has
been drawn the 'throne,' with her hands which clasp the Garuda stambha
tied together with a wreath of flowers. Before the hands are unbound,
in place of the usual dowry of about twenty rupees, five duddu (copper
coins) are given into the hand of the priest. All assembled now worship
the beggar's staff, and, on proceeding to the place of lodging, food is
given to the Dasaris. Usually the ceremonies are performed before the
village shrine, but, at times of festival, they are performed before
the God, in honour of whom the festival is being held. On returning
to the village, the girl is obliged, for five consecutive Saturdays,
to go round the village accompanied by a Dasari, to whose food and
comfort she has to attend. This is, no doubt, a public announcement of
the profession the girl has had put upon her. When puberty is arrived
at, a feast is given, and thenceforward the girl is her own mistress."

The Malas worship a variety of deities, including Gurappa, Subbarayadu,
Gunnathadu, Sunkalamma, Poleramma, Gangamma, and Gontiyalamma. In
connection with the worship of the goddess Gontiyalamma,
Mr. F. R. Hemingway writes, in a note on the Malas of the Godavari
district, that "the special caste deity is Gontiyalamma, the mother
of the five Pandava brethren. They say that Bhima threatened to kill
his mother, who took refuge under an avireni pot (painted pot used
at weddings) in a Mala's house. For this she was solemnly cursed by
her sons, who said that she should remain a Mala woman for ever. In
commemoration of this story, a handful of growing paddy (rice) is
pulled up every year at the Dasara festival, and, eight days later,
the earth adhering to its roots is mixed with turmeric and milk, made
into an image of the goddess, and hidden under the avireni pot. For
the next six months this image is worshipped every Sunday by all the
villagers in turn, and, on the Sivaratri night, it is taken round the
village, accompanied by all the Malas bearing pots of rice and other
food carried in a kavadi, and is finally thrown with much ceremony
into a river or tank (pond or lake). This rite is supposed to mean that
the goddess is the daughter of the caste, that she has lived with them
six months, and that they are now sending her back with suitable gifts
(the rice, etc.) to her husband. A common form of religious vow among
Malas is to promise to send a cloth and a cow with the goddess on the
last day of the rite, the gifts being afterwards presented to a married
daughter." It is noted by Mr. Hemingway that both Malas and Madigas
hold a feast in honour of their ancestors at Pongal--an uncommon rite.

In the Godavari district scarcity of rain is dealt with in various
ways. "It is considered very efficacious if the Brahmans take in
procession round the village an image of Varuna (the god of rain)
made of mud from the tank of a river or tank. Another method is to
pour 1,000 pots of water over the lingam in the Siva temple. Malas
tie a live frog to a mortar, and put on the top of the latter a
mud figure representing Gontiyalamma. They then take these objects
in procession, singing 'Mother frog, playing in water, pour rain by
pots full.' The villagers of other castes then come and pour water
over the Malas." [158] Mr. Nicholson writes that, to produce rain
in the Telugu country, "two boys capture a frog, and put it into a
basket with some nim (Melia Azadirachta) leaves. They tie the basket
to the middle of a stick, which they support on their shoulders. In
this manner they make a circuit of the village, visiting every house,
singing the praises of the god of rain. The greater the noise the
captive animal makes, the better the omen, and the more gain for the
boys, for, at every house, they receive something in recognition of
their endeavour to bring rain upon the village fields."

Mala Arayan.--The Mala Arayans are described, in the Travancore
Census Report, 1901, as "a class of hill tribes, who are a little
more civilized than the Mannans, and have fixed abodes on the slopes
of high mountain ranges. Their villages are fine-looking, with trees
and palms all round. They are superior in appearance to most other
hill tribes, but are generally short in stature. Some of the Arayans
are rich, and own large plots of cultivated grounds. They seldom work
for hire, or carry loads. A curious custom with them is that every
man in the family has his own room separate from the rest, which only
he and his wife are permitted to enter. They are very good hunters
and have a partiality for monkey flesh. As wizards they stand very
high, and all the low-country people cherish a peculiar dread for
them. Makkathayam is the prevailing form of inheritance (from father
to son), but among a few families marumakkathayam (inheritance through
the female line) obtains as an exception. Their language is a corrupt
form of Malayalam. Their marriage ceremony is simple. The bridegroom
and bride sit and eat on the same plantain leaf, after which the tali
(marriage badge) is tied. The bride then seizes any ornament or cooking
vessel in the house, saying that it is her father's. The bridegroom
snatches it from her, and the marriage rite is concluded. Birth
pollution is of considerable importance. It lasts for a whole month
for the father, and for seven days for the mother. The Arayans bury
their dead. Drinking is a very common failing."

It is recorded by Mr. M. J. Walhouse [159] that "on the higher ranges
in Travancore there are three of Parasurama's cairns, where the Mala
Arraiyans still keep lamps burning. They make miniature cromlechs
of small slabs of stone, and place within them a long pebble to
represent the deceased. Dr. Livingstone noticed a similar custom in
Africa. 'In various villages we observed miniature huts about two
feet high, very neatly thatched and plastered. Here we noticed them in
dozens. On inquiry we were told that, when a child or relative dies,
one is made, and, when any pleasant food is cooked or beer brewed,
a little is placed in the tiny hut for the departed soul, which is
believed to enjoy it.' So the Mala Arraiyans offer arak (liquor)
and sweetmeats to the departed spirit believed to be hovering near
the miniature cromlech."

In a detailed account of the Mala Arayans, the Rev. S. Mateer writes
as follows. [160] "The Arayans bury their dead; consequently there
are many ancient tumuli in these hills, evidently graves of chiefs,
showing just the same fragments of pottery, brass figures, iron
weapons, etc., as are found in other similar places. These tumuli are
often surrounded with long splintered pieces of granite, from eight
to twelve or fifteen feet in length, set up on end, with sacrificial
altars and other remains, evidently centuries old. Numerous vaults,
too, called Pandi Kuri, are seen in all their hills. They stand north
and south, the circular opening being to the south; a round stone
is fitted to this aperture, with another acting as a long lever, to
prevent its falling out; the sides, as also the stones of the top and
bottom, are single slabs. To this day the Arayans make similar little
cells of pieces of stone, the whole forming a box a few inches square;
and, on the death of a member of any family, the spirit is supposed
to pass, as the body is being buried, into a brass or silver image,
which is shut into this vault; if the parties are very poor, an oblong
smooth stone suffices. A few offerings of milk, rice, toddy, and ghee
(clarified butter) are made, a torch is lighted and extinguished, the
figure placed inside the cell, and the covering hastily put on; then
all leave. On the anniversary, similar offerings being made, the stone
is lifted off, and again hastily closed. The spirit is thus supposed
to be enclosed; no one ventures to touch the cell at any other time.

"The objects of Arayan worship are the spirits of their ancestors, or
certain local demons supposed to reside in rocks or peaks, and having
influence only over particular villages or families. The religious
services rendered to these are intended to deprecate anger rather than
to seek benefits; but in no case is lust to be gratified, or wickedness
practiced, as pleasing to these deities. One of their ancestors is
represented by a brass image about three inches in height, the back of
the head hollow, the hands holding a club and a gun. This represents a
demonized man of wicked character, who lived about a century ago. He is
said to have beaten his wife to death with a club; wherefore the people
joined to break his skull, and he became a malignant demon. Another
image carried an umbrella and staff, and had a milder countenance--this
was a good demon. One such image is kept in each family, in which
the spirit is supposed actually to reside. They were also put into
the little square chambers described above. The Rev. W. J. Richards,
of Cottayam, has favoured me with the following history, which throws
much light upon this curious superstition. 'Talanani was a priest or
oracle-revealer of the hunting deity, Ayappan, whose chief shrine is in
Savarimala, a hill among the Travancore ghats. The duty of Talanani
was to deck himself out in his sword, bangles, beads, etc., and,
highly frenzied with excitement and strong drink, dance in a horrid
convulsive fashion before his idols, and reveal in unearthly shrieks
what the god had decreed on any particular matter. He belonged to
the Hill Arayan village of Eruma-para (the rock of the she-buffalo),
some eight miles from Melkavu, and was most devoted to his idolatry,
and rather remarkable in his peculiar way of showing his zeal. When the
pilgrims from his village used to go to Savarimala--a pilgrimage which
is always, for fear of the tigers and other wild beasts, performed
in companies of forty or fifty--our hero would give out that he was
not going, and yet, when they reached the shrine of their devotions,
there before them was the sorcerer, so that he was both famous among
his fellows and favoured of the gods. Now, while things were in this
way, Talanani was killed by the neighbouring Chogans during one of
his drunken bouts, and the murderers, burying his body in the depths
of the jungle, thought that their crime would never be found out; but
the tigers--Ayappan's dogs--in respect to so true a friend of their
master, scratched open the grave, and removing the corpse, laid it
on the ground. The wild elephants found the body, and reverently took
it where friends might discover it, and, a plague of small-pox having
attacked the Chogans, another oracle declared it was sent by Sastavu
(the Travancore hill boundary god, called also Chattan or Sattan) in
anger at the crime that had been committed; and that the evil would
not abate until the murderers made an image of the dead priest, and
worshipped it. This they did, placing it in a grave, and in a little
temple no bigger than a small dog kennel. The image itself is about
four inches high, of bronze. The heir of Talanani became priest and
beneficiary of the new shrine, which was rich in offerings of arrack,
parched rice, and meat vowed by the Arayans when they sallied out on
hunting expeditions. All the descendants of Talanani are Christians,
the result of the Rev. Henry Baker's work. The last heir who was in
possession of the idol, sword, bangle, beads, and wand of the sorcerer,
handed them over to the Rev. W. J. Richards in 1881.'

"Lamps to the memory of their ancestors were kept burning in
little huts, and at stones used to represent the spirits of their
ancestors. At one spot, where the genii were supposed to reside, there
was a fragment of granite well oiled, and surrounded by a great number
of extinguished torches. A most fearful demon was said to reside in a
hollow tree, which had been worshipped by thousands of families. They
did not know the precise hole in which the symbol was to be found;
when discovered, it looked like the hilt of an old sword. One deity
was said by the priest of a certain hill to have placed three curious
looking rocks as resting-places for himself on his journey to the
peak. Cocoanuts are offered to famous demons, residing in certain
hills. It has been observed that, in cases of sickness, sometimes
Arayans will make offerings to a Hindu god, and that they attend the
great feasts occasionally; but in no case do they believe that they
are under any obligation to do so, their own spirits being considered
fully equal to the Hindu gods. Each village has its priest, who,
when required, calls on the 'hill' (mala), which means the demon
resident there, or the pretham, ghost. If he gets the afflatus,
he acts in the usual way, yelling and screaming out the answers
sought. The devil-dancer wears the kudumi, and has a belt, bangles,
and other implements; and invokes the demons in case of sickness.

"They have some sacred groves, where they will not fire a gun, or
speak above a breath; they have certain signs also to be observed
when fixing on land for cultivation or the site of a house, but no
other elaborate religious rites. In choosing a piece of ground for
cultivation, before cutting the jungle they take five strips of bark
of equal length, and knot all the ends together, holding them in the
left hand by the middle. If all, when tied, form a perfect circle,
the omen is lucky, and the position in which the cord falls on the
ground is carefully noted by the bystanders."

Mala Nayakkan.--A name returned by Tamil Malaiyalis at times of census.

Mala Vedan.--See Vedan.

Malai-kanda.--A sub-division of Vellala.

Malaiman.--See Udaiyan.

Malaiyadi (foot of the hills).--A sub-division of Konga Vellala.

Malakkar.--It is recorded, in the Gazetteer of Malabar, that
"the Malakkars, also called Malamuttanmar and Malapanikkar, are a
comparatively superior tribe of jungle cultivators and hunters found
in the Calicut and Ernad hills. They follow the marumakkathayam system
(of inheritance in the female line), and observe pollution for twelve
days. They call their huts illams, and, if they leave them to go down
to the plains, must bathe before returning. They consider themselves
polluted by all castes below Nayars. The name Muttan is properly a
title, meaning elder, confirmed on their headman by their janmis
(landlords). Their chief god is Maladevan. They are good forest
watchers and elephant catchers."

Malara (a bundle of glass bangles, as carried about for sale).--An
exogamous sept of Gauda.

Malasar.--The Malasars or Malsars are found in the Coimbatore district,
and in the Cochin State. The following account of them was given by
Buchanan a century ago. [161] "The forests here are divided into
Puddies, each of which has its boundary ascertained, and contains
one or more families of a rude tribe, called Malasir. Both the Puddy
and its inhabitants are considered as the property of some landlord,
who farms out the labour of these poor people, with all they collect,
to some trader (Chitty or Manadi). Having sent for some of these
poor Malasirs, they informed me that they live in small villages of
five or six huts, situated in the skirts of the woods on the hills
of Daraporam, Ani-malaya, and Pali-ghat. They speak a mixture of the
Tamul and Malayala languages. They are a better looking people than
the slaves, but are ill-clothed, nasty, and apparently ill-fed. They
collect drugs for the trader, to whom they are let, and receive from
him a subsistence, when they can procure for him anything of value. He
has the exclusive right of purchasing all that they have for sale,
and of supplying them with salt and other necessaries. A great part
of their food consists of wild yams (Dioscorea), which they dig when
they have nothing to give to the trader for rice. They cultivate some
small spots in the woods after the cotu-cadu fashion, both on their
own account and on that of the neighbouring farmers, who receive
the produce, and give the Malasirs hire. The articles cultivated in
this manner are ragi (Eleusine Coracana), avaray (Dolichos Lablab),
and tonda (Ricinus communis). They are also hired to cut timber and
firewood. The god of their tribe is called Mallung, who is represented
by a stone that is encircled by a wall, which serves for a temple. Once
a year, in April, a sacrifice of goats, and offerings of rice, honey,
and the like, are made by the Malasir to this rude idol. If this be
neglected, the god sends elephants and tigers to destroy both them
and their houses."

The Malasars are described, in the Madras Census Report, 1901, as "a
forest tribe living by hill cultivation and day labour. They are good
at game-tracking, and very handy with their axes, with the help of
which they will construct a bamboo house for the wandering sportsman
in a few hours. They reside in hamlets known as pathis, each of which
has a headman, called Vendari, who exercises the usual authority,
with the assistance of a panchayat (council). One of the punishments
inflicted by panchayats is to make the culprit carry a heavy load of
sand for some distance, and then stand with it on his head and beg for
forgiveness. They worship Kali and Mariamman, the small-pox goddess,
but their special deity is Manakadatta, to whom they sacrifice fowls
and sheep in the Masi. A man of the tribe acts as priest on these
occasions, and keeps the heads of the offerings as his perquisite. An
unusual item in their wedding ceremonies is the tying of an iron ring
to the bridegroom's wrist. They will eat and drink almost anything,
except vermin and cobras. The Kadans regard themselves as superior to
the Malasars." It is noted, in the Manual of the Coimbatore district,
that "the Malasars live at a much lower elevation than the Kadars. They
are found almost down on the plains, and along the slopes near the
foot of the hills. They are somewhat sturdier in general build, but
have not the characteristic features of regular hillmen. They are not
to be depended on in any way, but will desert en masse on the smallest
excuse. They commit dacoities whenever they see an opportunity, and,
in fact, even to this day, the roads near the foot of the hills are
rarely traversed by low-country natives except in small bands, from
fear of the Malasars. On the other hand, the Malasars are useful
as being excellent axemen; and as baggage coolies they can hardly
be dispensed with. They carry for the most part on their heads like
low-country coolies, but unlike the Kadars and Puliyars, who, when
they can be induced to carry at all, carry loads on their backs."

There may be said to be three grades of Malasars, viz., the Malai
(hill) Malasars, who live on the hills (e.g., at Mount Stuart
on Anaimalais), and the Malasars who live on the slopes and the
plains. It is said that Kadirs and Eravalars are admitted into
the Malasar caste. The Kadirs abstain from eating the flesh of the
'bison' and cow, whereas the Malasars will eat the carrion of these
animals. The settlements of the Malasars are called padhis or pathis,
and their streets salais. These are Tamil names, denoting villages and
rows. The padhis are named after the owners of the land on which they
are built, e.g., Sircar (Government) padhi, Karuppa Goundan padhi. On
the hills, the dwelling huts are made of bamboo matting thatched with
grass and teak leaves, whereas on the plains the walls are made of mud,
and are roofed with grass and bamboo. Like the Yanadis and Chenchus,
the Malasars seem to have an objection to well-built houses, and a
Malasar forester prefers his own rude hut to Government quarters.

Some Malasars work as coolies, while others are employed as
agricultural labourers, or in collecting honey. A landlord keeps
under him a number of Malasars, to whom he gives land free of rent,
on which they raise their food-crops. In return, they are expected to
work in the fields, and do other services for their landlord (Mannadi),
who exercises absolute control over them. Sometimes, if a landholder
has a grievance against another, it is not difficult to induce his
Malasars to damage the crops of his enemy. The operations connected
with the catching and taming of wild elephants are carried out by
Malasars. They are proverbially lazy, and will take a week's wages
in advance, and spend a good portion thereof on drink on the same
day. With the remainder provisions are purchased, and they may only
put in three or four days' work in the week. Like other hill tribes,
they dig up yams when food is scarce.

Marriage is generally adult, though infant marriage is not
prohibited. The Malasars of the plains perform the marriage ceremonies
at the home of the bride. Monday is considered an auspicious day for
their celebration. On the previous day, the contracting couple stand
on a pestle, and are anointed, and bathe. Two balls of cooked rice,
coloured red and black, are placed in a tray, and lighted wicks are
stuck into them. The flames from the two wicks should be of the same
height, or the omens would be considered unfavourable. The lights
are waved in front of the bride and bridegroom, to ward off the evil
eye. After bathing, the couple are seated on a dais within the marriage
pandal (booth), and the bridegroom ties the tali (marriage badge)
on the neck of the bride, and their hands are joined by the Muppan
(headman). The tali consists of a brass disc, tied to a string dyed
with turmeric. The couple eat from the same leaf or plate, and the
ceremony is at an end.

The Malai Malasars bring the bride to the home of the bridegroom for
the marriage ceremonies. The bridegroom goes on a Wednesday to the
bride's house and takes her to his home on the following day. A pandal,
made of Sorghum and bamboo stems, is erected. Towards evening, the tali
is tied, and the fingers of the contracting couple are linked together
(kaidharam). They eat together from the same plate. The bridegroom
should feed his relations and friends at his own house, as well as
at that of the bride. He generally presents his mother-in-law with
a female cloth, with an eight anna bit tied in the skirt thereof.

Ancestor worship is important among the Malayans. Before commencing
their ceremonies, cooked rice and the flesh of the fowl are offered
to the ancestors on seven leaves. On the occasion of a marriage,
a little of the food is eaten by the bridegroom on a Wednesday,
before he proceeds to the home of the bride.

When a girl reaches maturity, she occupies a separate hut for seven
days. On the seventh day, she bathes and goes to the dwelling hut. A
measure and a lamp are placed before the hut, and the girl has to
go over them with her right foot foremost. She then steps backwards,
and again goes over them before entering the hut.

The dead are usually buried, face upward. If the dead person was
an elder, his personal effects, such as pillows, walking-stick, and
clothes, are buried with him, or his corpse is cremated. Sometimes,
the dead are buried in a sitting posture, in a niche excavated on
one side of the grave. In the case of the Malasars of the plains,
the widow chews betel leaf and areca nuts, and spits the betel over
the eyes and neck of the corpse. On the third day after death, cooked
rice and meat are offered to the soul of the deceased on seven arka
(Calotropis gigantea) leaves. The male members of the family then
eat from the same leaf.

The Malasars who live in the plains consider the Ficus glomerata tree
sacred, and worship it once a year. At least one branch thereof should
be used in the construction of the marriage pandal, and the menstrual
hut should be made of it. The Malasars of the plains also avoid the use
of the Pongamia glabra tree for any purpose. The hill Malasars worship,
among other deities, Ponnalamman (Mariamma), Pullarappachi (Ganesa),
and Kaliamman. To Ponnalamman, pigs and buffaloes are sacrificed once
a year. The deity worshipped by the Malasars of the plains is Mariayi
(Mariamma), at whose festival a stake is fixed in the ground, and
eventually shaken by the Malasars, and removed by Paraiyans. The
Malasar women of the plains wear glass bangles only on the left
wrist. If a woman puts such bangles on both wrists, the Paraiyans
are said to break them, and report the matter to the Muppan, who is
expected to fine the woman. As Paraiyan women, like the Malasars, only
wear glass bangles on one wrist, they take the wearing of bangles on
both wrists by Malasar women, who are only their equals, as an insult.

The following graphic account of a Kama Mystery Play, in which Malasars
are represented, has been given by Mr. S. G. Roberts. [162] "The play,
as the writer saw it in a little village on the banks of the Amravati
river, was at once a mystery or miracle play, a mime, a tragedy
that strangely recalled the Greek choral tragedies, and a satyric
drama. These various ingredients gave it a quaint nebulous character,
the play now crystallising into mere drama, and again dissolving into
a religious rite. Just as an understanding of the Greek mythology is
necessary for the full grasping of the meaning of a Greek tragedy,
so it is necessary to portray the legend which is the basis of this
mystery, all the more as the characters are Hindu gods. Kama, then, is
the Hindu Cupid, not a tiny little child like the Roman god of love,
but more like Eros. He has beautiful attributes. His bow is of the
sugar-cane; his arrows are tipped with flowers; and his bow-string
is a chain of bees--a pretty touch that recalls the swallow song of
the Homeric bowstring. For all that, the genius of the country has
modified the local idea of Eros. He has long ago found his Psyche:
in point of fact, this Hindu Eros is a married man. His wife, Rathi,
is the other speaking character, and she certainly displays a beautiful
eloquence not unfitting her position. Moreover, like every married
man, Kama has a father-in-law, and here the tragedy begins to loom
out of the playful surroundings of a god of love of whatever nation or
clime. Siva, the destroyer, he of the bright blue neck, the dweller,
as Kama tauntingly says, among graves and dead men's ashes; Siva,
mighty in penance, is father of Rathi. In the play itself, he is not
even a muta persona; he does not appear at all. What he does is only
adumbrated by the action or song of the other characters. The legend
strikingly illustrates the Hindu view of penance. Briefly stated,
it is that anyone who performs any penance for a sufficiently long
time acquires such a store of power and virtue, that the very gods
themselves cannot stand against it. Hindu mythology affords many
examples of this belief. Siva himself, in one of his incarnations,
saved the whole Indian Olympus and the universe at large from a
demi-god, who, by years of penance, had become charged, as it were,
with power, like a religious electric 'accumulator.' The early sages
and heroes of Indian story had greater facilities for the acquisition
of this reserve of power, in that their lives lasted for centuries
or even æons. It may be imagined that three centuries of penance
increased the performer's strength to a degree not expressible in
modern figures! In this case, the gods had viewed with alarm a penance
which Siva had begun, and which threatened to make him master of all
creation. In spite of a few grotesque attributes, the mythology lends
to Siva a character at once terrific and awe-inspiring. When his third
eye was closed on one occasion, the universe was involved in darkness,
and the legend under discussion presents a solemn picture of the
god, sitting with his rosary in sackcloth and ashes, immersed in his
unending penance. Kama was deputed to break the spell. Accompanied by
his nymphs, he sported before the recluse, taking all shapes that could
'shake the saintship of an anchorite,' till this oriental St. Anthony,
but too thoroughly aroused, opened his tremendous frontal eye, and,
with a flashing glance of rage, consumed the rash intruder on his
solitude. Such is the legend which supplies the closing scene of the
life of Kama, a life that is celebrated, as March begins, with several
days' rejoicing in every town and village of Southern India. The writer
had seen the heap of bricks that support the Kama pillar in a village
which he visited a few months after first landing in India. As March
came round, he saw them in whatever village his work brought him,
and the legend was impressed on his memory by a case in court, in
which the momentous word 'Kamadakshinasivalingamedai' (or the high
place of the emblem of Siva who consumed Kama) was pronounced by
the various witnesses. It was not, however, till the spring of 1900
that an opportunity presented itself for witnessing the performance
of the Kama mystery. The time of representation was the night, the
playtime for old and young in India. It has this special advantage,
from a theatrical point of view, that everything in a village street
takes on an adventitious beauty. The heaps of dust, the ragged huts,
lose their prominence, the palm trees become beautiful, and the tower
of the temple grows in majesty. Everything that is ugly or incongruous
seems to disappear, till the façade of a wealthy Hindu's house wears
the dignity of the old Grecian palace proscenium. The rag torches
give a soft strong light, that adds effect to the spangled and laced
robes of the actors, and leaves the auditory in semi-darkness, quite
in accordance with Wagnerian stage tradition. Kama was represented
in full dress, with a towering, crocketed, gilded mitre or helmet,
such as is worn by the images of South Indian gods. He is not like
the unadorned Eros of the Greeks, and he shows his Indian blood by
the green which paints the upper half of his face. Kama had the bow
of sugar-cane, and Rathi, otherwise dressed like a wealthy Hindu
bride, also bore a smaller bow of the same. The buffoon must not
be omitted. He figures in every Indian play, and here, besides the
distinction of a girdle of massive cow bells gracefully supporting
his paunch, he showed his connection with this love drama by a small
bow of sugar-cane fastened upright, by one tip, to the peak of a high
dunce's cap. The play began by Kama boastfully, and at great length,
announcing his intention of disturbing Siva's penance. Rathi did her
best to dissuade him, but every argument she could use only stirred
up his pride, and made him more determined on the adventure. The
dialogue was sometimes sustained by the characters themselves;
sometimes they sang with dreadful harshness; sometimes they but
swayed to and fro, as if in a Roman mimus, while the best voice in
the company sang their songs for them. Now and then, the musicians
would break into a chorus, which strikingly recalled, but for the
absence of dancing, the Greek tragic chorus, especially in their idea
of inevitable destiny, and in their lamentations over the disastrous
end of the undertaking. Meanwhile, the buffoon played his part with
more or less success, and backed up the astonishingly skilful and
witty acting of the players, who provided the comic relief. In most
Tamil dramas the action of the play is now and again suspended,
while one or more comedians stroll on to the stage, and amuse the
audience by a vesham, i.e., an impersonation of different well-known
street characters representing men (and women) not only of different
castes, but of different nations. Needless to say, the parts they
play have little or nothing to do with the subject of the drama, but
they afford great scope for delineation of character. There is not,
of course, in Southern India, the uniformity in dress that we notice
in England of the present day. A man's trade, profession, religion,
and sect are expressed by his dress and ornament--or lack of both. To
mention three of the different veshangal shown on this occasion,
there were a Mahrattah tattooing-woman, a north country fakir, and
a man and woman of the Malsar caste, each of the parts being dressed
to perfection, and admirably sustained. The Malsars are a low caste,
and employed in certain parts as bearers of announcements of death
(written on palm leaves) from the family of the deceased to relatives
at a distance. As they hobbled about, bending over their short crooked
crutch sticks, with turbans of twisted straw and bark, and girt with
scanty and dirty sackcloth kilts, they would have made a mummy laugh;
and they were equally mirth-provoking when they broke into a rough
song and dance peculiar to chucklers (leather-workers) when more than
usually intoxicated. When Kama had finally declared his unalterable
determination to engage in his contest with Siva--a point which was
only reached after discussion almost as interminable as a dialogue of
Euripides--the performers, and part of the audience, moved off in a
procession, which slowly perambulated the town, and halted for prayer
before the village temple. The 'stage wait' was filled up by some
simple playing and singing by a few local amateurs. This brought on
the climax of the tragedy. The Kama stake, to give it an appropriate
English name, was now ready. This was a slight stake or pole, a little
above a man's height, planted among a few bricks, and made inflammable
by a thatching or coating of cholum straw bound round it. The top of
this straw pillar was composed of a separate sheaf. When all was ready,
and the chorus had sung a strain expressive of grief at Kama's doom,
a rocket, representing Siva's fiery glance, shot along a string,
and (with some external assistance) lighted the Kama stake, thus
closely following the procedure in an Italian church festival. The
player who represented Kama now retired into the background, as he
was supposed to be dead, and the rest, hopping and dancing, circled
slowly round the fire wailing for his fate. It seemed to be a matter
of special import to the audience that the stake should be completely
consumed. This was an omen of prosperity in the coming year. The
funeral dance round the fire continued for a long while, and, when it
was but a short time to sunrise, the mummers were still beating their
breasts round the smouldering ashes. It seemed that, though some of
the songs were composed for the occasion, a great part of the play was
traditional, and the audience knew what to expect at any given period
in the performance. At one stage it was whispered that now the giant
would come in, and lift up a sheep with his teeth. In a few moments
he made his appearance, and proved to be a highly comic monster. His
arms, legs, and body were tightly swathed in neatly twisted straw
ropes, leaving only his feet and hands bare. His head was covered
by a huge canvas mask, flat on front and back, so that the actor had
the appearance of having introduced his head into the empty shell of
some gigantic crab. On the flat front of this mask-dial was painted a
terrible giant's face with portentous tusks. Thus equipped, the giant
skipped round the various characters, to the terror of the buffoon,
brandishing a quarter-staff, and executing vigorous moulinets. An
unwilling sheep was pushed into the ring, and the giant, after much
struggling, tossed the animal bodily over his head with a dexterous
fling that convinced most of the onlookers that he had really performed
the feat with his teeth."

Malava.--The Malavas or Mala Bhovis are a small cultivating caste
in South Canara, "the members of which were formerly hunters and
fishermen. They profess Vaishnavism, and employ Shivalli Brahmans
as their priests. Hanuman is their favourite deity. Like the Bants
and other castes of Tuluva, they are divided into exogamous septs
called balis, and they have the dhare form of marriage. They speak
Canarese." [163] They are said to be really Mogers, who have separated
from the fishing community. The term Bhovi is used to denote Mogers
who carry palanquins, etc.

Malavarayan.--A title of Ambalakkaran.

Malayali.--The Malayalis or Malaialis, whom I examined in the Salem
district, dwell on the summits and slopes of the Shevaroy hills,
and earn their living by cultivating grain, and working on coffee
estates. Suspicious and superstitious to a degree, they openly
expressed their fear that I was the dreaded settlement officer,
and had come to take possession of their lands in the name of the
Government, and transport them to the Andaman islands (the Indian
penal settlement). When I was engaged in the innocent occupation of
photographing a village, the camera was mistaken for a surveying
instrument, and a protest raised. Many of them, while willing to
part with their ornaments of the baser metals, were loth to sell or
let me see their gold and silver jewelry, from fear lest I should
use it officially as evidence of their too prosperous condition. One
man told me to my face that he would rather have his throat cut than
submit to my measuring operations, and fled precipitately. The women
stolidly refused to entrust themselves in my hands. Nor would they
bring their children (unwashed specimens of brown humanity) to me,
lest they should fall sick under the influence of my evil eye.

In the account which follows I am largely indebted to Mr. H. LeFanu's
admirable, and at times amusing, Manual of the Salem district.

The word Malaiali denotes inhabitant of the hills (malai = hill or
mountain). The Malaialis have not, however, like the Todas of the
Nilgiris, any claim to be considered as an ancient hill tribe, but are
a Tamil-speaking people, who migrated from the plains to the hills in
comparatively recent times. As a shrewd, but unscientific observer put
it concisely to me, they are Tamils of the plains with the addition of
a kambli or blanket; which kambli is a luxury denied to the females,
but does duty for males, young and old, in the triple capacity of great
coat, waterproof, and blanket. According to tradition, the Malaialis
originally belonged to the Vellala caste of cultivators, and emigrated
from the sacred city of Kanchipuram (Conjeeveram) to the hills about
ten generations ago, when Muhammadan rule was dominant in Southern
India. When they left Kanchi, they took with them, according to their
story, three brothers, of whom the eldest came to the Shevaroy hills,
the second to the Kollaimalais, and the youngest to the Pachaimalais
(green hills). The Malaialis of the Shevaroys are called the Peria
(big) Malaialis, those of the Kollaimalais the Chinna (little)
Malaialis. According to another version "the Malaiali deity Kariraman,
finding himself uncomfortable at Kanchi, took up a new abode. Three of
his followers, named Periyanan, Naduvanan, and Chinnanan (the eldest,
the middle-man, and the youngest) started with their families to
follow him from Kanchi, and came to the Salem district, where they
took different routes, Periyanan going to the Shevaroys, Naduvanan
to the Pachaimalais and Anjur hills, and Chinnanan to Manjavadi."

A further version of the legendary origin of the Malaialis of the
Trichinopoly district is given by Mr. F. R. Hemingway, who writes
as follows. "Their traditions are embodied in a collection of songs
(nattukattu). The story goes that they are descended from a priest of
Conjeeveram, who was the brother of the king, and, having quarrelled
with the latter, left the place, and entered this country with his
three sons and daughters. The country was then ruled by Vedans and
Vellalans, who resisted the new-comers. But 'the conch-shell blew
and the quoit cut,' and the invaders won the day. They then spread
themselves about the hills, the eldest son (Periyanan), whose name
was Sadaya Kavundan, selecting the Shevaroys in Salem, the second son
(Naduvanan, the middle brother) the Pachaimalais, and the youngest
(Chinnanan) the Kollaimalais. They married women of the country,
Periyanan taking a Kaikolan, Naduvanan a Vedan, and Chinnanan a 'Deva
Indra' Pallan. They gave their sister in marriage to a Tottiyan
stranger, in exchange for some food supplied by him after their
battle with the men of the country. Some curious customs survive,
which are pointed to in support of this story. Thus, the women
of the Pachaimalai Malaiyalis put aside a portion of each meal in
honour of their Vedan ancestors before serving their husbands, and,
at their marriages, they wear a comb, which is said to have been a
characteristic ornament of the Vedans. Bridegrooms place a sword and
an arrow in the marriage booth, to typify the hunting habits of the
Vedans, and their own conquest of the country. The Malaiyalis of
the Kollaimalais are addressed by Pallan women as brother-in-law
(macchan), though the Malaiyalis do not relish this. It is also
said that Tottiyan men regard Malaiyalis as their brothers-in-law,
and always treat them kindly, and that the Tottiyan women regard
the Malaiyalis as their brothers, but treat them very coldly, in
remembrance of their having sold their sister 'for a mess of pottage.'"

The account, which the Malaialis of the Javadi hills in North
Arcot give of their origin, is as follows. [164] "In S.S. 1055 (1132
A.D.) some of the Vedars of Kangundi asked that wives should be given
them by the Karaikkat Vellalas of Conjeeveram. They were scornfully
refused, and in anger kidnapped seven young Vellala maidens, whom they
carried away to Kangundi. To recover them, seven Vellala men set out
with seven dogs, leaving instructions with their wives that, if the
dogs returned alone, they should consider that they had perished, and
should cause the funeral ceremonies to be performed. Arriving at the
Palar, they found the river in flood, and crossed it with difficulty ;
but their dogs, after swimming half way, turned back and returned to
Conjeeveram. The men, however, continued their journey, and killed
the Vedars who had taken away their maidens, after which they went
back to their homes, but found that they had been given up as lost,
their wives had become widows, their funeral ceremonies performed,
and they were in consequence outcastes. Under these circumstances,
they contracted marriages with some Vedar women, and retired to the
Javadis, where they took to cultivation, and became the ancestors of
the Malaiali caste. This account has been preserved by the Malaialis
in a small palm-leaf book." There is, Mr. Francis writes, [165] a
tradition in the South Arcot district that "the hills were inhabited by
Vedans, and that the Malaialis killed the men, and wedded the women;
and at marriages a gun is still fired in the air to represent the
death of the Vedan husband." The Malaialis returned themselves, at the
last census, as Karaikkat Vellalas. The Malaialis of South Arcot call
themselves Kongu Vellalas. All the branches of the community agree
in saying that they are Vellalans, who emigrated from Kanchipuram,
bringing with them their god Kariraman, and, at the weddings of the
Kalrayans in South Arcot, the presiding priest sings a kind of chant
just before the tali is tied, which begins with the words Kanchi,
the (sacred) place, and Kariraman in front. Copper sasanams show
that the migration occurred at least as early as the beginning of
the sixteenth century.

The Malaialis of the Shevaroys call themselves Kanchimandalam. Many, at
the last census, returned themselves as Vellala and Karalan. Malakkaran
and Mala Nayakkan are also used as synonyms for Malaiali. All have
Goundan as their second name, which is universally used in hailing
them. The first name is sometimes derived from a Hindu god, and my
notes record Mr. Green, Mr. Black, Mr. Little, Mr. Short, Mr. Large,
and Mr. Big nose.

As regards the conditions under which the Malaialis of the Salem
district hold land, I learn from the Manual that, in 1866, the
Collector fixed an area around each village for the cultivation of
the Malaialis exclusively, and, in view to prevent aggression on
the part of the planters, had the boundaries of these areas surveyed
and demarcated. This area is known as the "village green." With this
survey the old system of charging the Malaialis on ploughs and hoes
appears to have been discontinued, and they are now charged at one
rupee per acre on the extent of their holdings. The lands within
the green are given under the ordinary darakhast [166] rules to the
Malaialis, but outside it they are sold under the special waste land
rules of 1863. In 1870 the Board of Revenue decided that, where the
lands within the green are all occupied, and the Malaialis require
more land for cultivation, land outside the limits of the green may
be given them under the ordinary darakhast rules. In 1871 it was
discovered that the planters tried to get lands outside the green
by making the Malaialis first apply for it, thereby evading the
waste land rules. The Board then ordered that, if there was reason
to suspect that a Malaiali was applying for lands outside the green
on account of the planters, the patta (deed of lease) might be refused.

Subscribing vaguely to the Hindu religion, the Malaialis, who
believe that their progenitors wore the sacred thread, give a
nominal allegiance to both Siva and Vishnu, as well as to a number of
minor deities, and believe in the efficacy of a thread to ward off
sickness and attacks by devils or evil spirits. "In the year 1852,"
Mr. LeFanu writes, "a searching enquiry into the traditions, customs,
and origin of these Malaialis was made. They then stated that smearing
the face with ashes indicates the religion of Siva, and putting
namam that of Vishnu, but that there is no difference between the two
religions; that, though Sivaratri sacred to Siva, and Sriramanavami and
Gokulashtami sacred to Vishnu, appear outwardly to denote a difference,
there is really none. Though they observe the Saturdays of the month
Peratasi sacred to Vishnu, still worship is performed without reference
to Vishnu or Siva. They have, indeed, certain observances, which would
seem to point to a division into Vaishnavas and Saivas, the existence
of which they deny; as for instance, some, out of respect to Siva,
abstain from sexual intercourse on Sundays and Mondays; and others,
for the sake of Vishnu, do the same on Fridays and Saturdays. So,
too, offerings are made to Vishnu on Fridays and Saturdays, and to
Siva on Sundays and Mondays; but they denied the existence of sects
among them."

"On the Kalrayans," Mr. Francis writes, [167] "are very many
shrines to the lesser gods. The Malaialis themselves do the puja
(worship). The deities include Mariamma, Draupadi, and many other
village goddesses. In some of the temples are placed the prehistoric
celts and other stone implements which are found on these hills. The
people do not understand what these are, and reverence them
accordingly. The practice of taking oaths before these shrines to
settle disputes is common. The party makes a solemn affidavit of the
truth of his case in the presence of the god, holding some burning
camphor in his hand. Having made his statement, he blows out the
flame to signify that, if he is lying, the god is welcome to snuff
him out in the same sudden manner."

In April 1896, I paid a visit to the picturesquely situated village
of Kiliur, not far distant from the town of Yercaud, on the occasion
of a religious festival. The villagers were discovered, early in the
morning, painting pseudo-sect-marks on their foreheads with blue and
pink coal-tar dyes, with the assistance of hand looking-glasses of
European manufacture purchased at the weekly market, and decorating
their turbans and ears with the leafy stems of Artemisia austriaca,
var. orientalis, and hedge-roses. The scene of the ceremonial was in a
neighbouring sacred grove of lofty forest trees, wherein were two hut
temples, of which one contained images of the goddess Draupadi and
eight minor deities, the other images of Perumal and his wife. All
the gods and goddesses were represented by human figures of brass
and clay. Two processional cars were gaily decorated with plantain
leaves and flags, some made in Germany. As the villagers arrived,
they prostrated themselves before the temples, and whiled away the
time, till the serious business of the day began, in gossiping with
their friends, and partaking of light refreshment purchased from
the fruit and sweetmeat sellers, who were doing a brisk trade. At
10 A.M. the proceedings were enlivened by a band of music, which
played at intervals throughout the performance, and the gods were
decorated with flowers and jewelry. An hour later, puja was done to
the stone image of the god Vigneswara, within a small shrine built of
slabs of rock. Before this idol cooked rice was offered, and camphor
burnt. The plantain stems, with leaves, were tied to a tree in the
vicinity of the temples, and cooked rice and cocoanuts placed beneath
the tree. A man holding a sword, issued forth, and, in unison with
the collected assemblage, screamed out "Govinda, Govinda" (the name
of their god). The plantain stems were next removed from the tree,
carried in procession with musical honours, and placed before the
threshold of one of the temples. Then some men appeared on the scene
to the cry of "Govinda," bearing in one hand a light, and ringing a
bell held in the other. Holy water was sprinkled over the plantain
stems, and puja done to the god Perumal by offering samai (grain)
and burning camphor. Outside one of the temples a cloth was spread
on the ground, and the images of Draupadi and other deities placed
therein. From the other temple Perumal and his wife were brought forth
in state, and placed on two cars. A yellow powder was distributed
among the crowd, and smeared over the face. A cocoanut was broken,
and camphor burnt before Perumal. Then all the gods, followed by the
spectators, were carried in procession round the grove, and a man,
becoming inspired and seized with a fine religious frenzy, waved
a sword wildly around him, but with due respect for his own bodily
safety, and pointed it in a threatening manner at the crowd. Asked,
as an oracle, whether the omens were propitious to the village, he
gave vent to the oracular (and true) response that for three years
there would be a scarcity of rain, and that there would be famine
in the land, and consequent suffering. This performance concluded,
a bamboo pole was erected, bearing a pulley at the top, with which
cocoanuts and plantains were connected by a string. By means of
this string, the fruits were alternately raised and lowered, and
men, armed with sticks, tried to hit them, while turmeric water was
dashed in their faces just as they were on the point of striking. The
fruits, being at last successfully hit, were received as a prize by
the winner. The gods were then taken back to their temple, and three
men, overcome by a mock convulsive seizure, were brought to their
senses by stripes on the back administered with a rope by the pujari
(officiating priest). A sheep being produced, mantrams (prayers)
were recited over it. The pujari, going to a pool close by, bathed,
and smeared turmeric powder over his face. A pretence was made to cut
the sheep's throat, and blood drawn with a knife. The pujari, after
sucking the blood, returned to the pool, and indulged in a ceremonial
ablution, while the unhappy sheep was escorted to the village, and
eventually eaten at a banquet by the villagers and their guests.

An annual festival, in honour of the god Servarayan, is held at
the shrine on the summit of the Shevarayan hill, past which a stream
flows. At this festival, in 1904, "on one side of the temple, two long
rows of fruit, flower, and grain stalls were erected. Supported on
two posts was a merry-go-round with wooden seats instead of boats, the
cost of a ride thereon being a quarter of an anna. Women carried their
children to a pool of water beside the temple, known as the wishing
well, and, after sprinkling some of the holy fluid on themselves and
their offspring, spoke their wishes aloud, fully believing that they
would be granted. Suddenly there was a beating of drums, and blowing
of trumpets, and horns, which announced the time when the god was
to be brought out, and shown to the people, who made a rush to the
temple, to obtain a good view. The god was carried by two priests
robed in white, with garlands of jasmine round their necks. Then
followed two other priests, clothed in the same manner, who bore the
goddess on their shoulders. Another carried the holy water and fire
in silver vessels from the temple, sprinkling the former in front of
the deities, and the latter they passed before them. These services
being completed, each deity was placed on a wooden horse with gay
trappings, and carried to the top of the hill, where they were met
with shouts from the people. The deities were placed in a palanquin,
and carried to the four points of the hill, and, at each point, the men
put their burden down, and cocoanuts were broken in front of them, and
fruit, grain, and even copper coins were scattered. Those who wished
to take the vow to be faithful to their god had to receive fifteen
lashes on their bare backs with a stout leather thong, administered
by the chief priest. When questioned about the pain, they answered,
'Oh, it is nothing. It is just like being scratched by an ant.' The
god and goddess were then carried back into the temple." [168]

Of this festival, as celebrated in May, 1908, the following account
has been given. [169] "The annual Malayali festival was held on the
top of Shevarayan. It was the occasion of the marriage anniversary
of the god Servarayan, after whom the Shevaroy Hills have been named,
to a goddess, the presiding deity of the Cauvery river. This hill is
believed by the Malayalis to be the place where their god Servarayan
lived, died, and was buried. On one side of the hill, the temple of
the god nestles in the midst of a sacred grove of trees. Some say that
there is a secret tunnel leading from the shrine to another part of
the hill, and a second one opening lower down into Bear's Cave. It was
an interesting sight to watch visitors and devotees as they came from
the four quarters of the Shevaroys. A few hill-men danced a serpentine
dance, stepping to the music supplied by village drums, and occasional
shrill blasts from the horns. Huge cauldrons were sending up blue
wreaths of smoke into the sky, which, it was explained to us, contained
food to be dispensed as charity to the poor. The temple yard was hung
with flowers and leaves, with which also the rude structure known
as the temple gate was decorated. On the summit of the hill, wares
of all sorts and conditions were displayed to tempt purchasers. The
articles for sale consisted of fruits, palm sugar, cocoanuts, monkey
nuts, and other nuts, mirrors which proved very popular among the
fair sex, fancy boxes, coloured powder for caste marks, cloth bags,
strings of sweet-scented flowers, rattles for children, etc.... We
were startled by hearing the noise of loud drums and shrill trumpets,
and were told that the god was about to be brought forth. This was
accompanied by shouting, clapping, and the beating of drums. The god
and goddess were placed in two chariots, bedecked with flowers, jewels
and tapestries, and umbrellas and fans also figured prominently. The
procession passed up to the left of the temple, the deities being
supported on the shoulders of sturdy Malayalis. As the people met it,
they threw fruit, nuts, and cocoanut water after the cars. The god
was next placed by the temple pujari (priest) in the triumphal car,
and was led with the goddess to that part of the hill from which
the Cauvery can best be seen. Here the procession halted while the
priest recited some incantations. Then it marched down the hill,
sometimes resting the god on cairns specially built for the purpose,
from where a view of the outlying villages is obtained. The belief
is that, as the god glances at these villages, he invokes blessings
on them, and the villagers will always live in prosperity."

To Mr. W. Mahon Daly, I am indebted for the following account of a
Malaiali bull dance, at which he was present as an eye-witness. "It is
the custom on the Shevaroy hills, as well as the plains, to have a bull
dance after the Pongal festival, and I had the pleasure of witnessing
one in a Malaiali village. It was held in an open enclosure called
the manthay, adjoining the village. It faces the Mariamma shrine,
and is the place of resort on festive occasions. The village councils,
marriages, and other ceremonies are held here. On our arrival, we were
courteously invited to sit under a wide spreading fig-tree. The bull
dance would literally mean a bull dancing, but I give the translation
of the Tamil 'yerothu-attum,' the word attum meaning dance. This is a
sport which is much in vogue among the Malaialis, and is celebrated
with much éclat immediately after Pongal, this being the principal
festival observed by them. No doubt they have received the custom from
those in the plains. A shooting excursion follows as the next sport,
and, if they be so fortunate as to hunt down a wild boar or deer,
or any big game, a second bull dance is got up. We were just in time
to see the tamasha (spectacle). The manthay was becoming crowded,
a regular influx of spectators, mostly women arrayed in their best
cloths, coming in from the neighbouring villages. These were marshalled
in a circle round the manthay, all standing. I was told that they were
not invited, but that it was customary for them to pour in of their
own accord when any sports or ceremonial took place in a village; and
the inhabitants of the particular village were prepared to expect a
large company, whom they fed on such occasions. After the company had
collected, drums were beaten, and the long brass bugles were blown;
and, just at this juncture, we saw an elderly Malaiali bring from his
hut a coil of rope made of leather, and hand it over to the pujari or
priest in charge of the temple. The latter placed it in front of the
shrine, worshipped it thrice, some of the villagers following suit,
and, after offering incense, delivered it to a few respectable village
men, who in turn made it over to a lot of Malaiali men, whose business
it was to attach it to the bulls. This rope the oldest inhabitant
of the village had the right to keep. The bulls had been previously
selected, and penned alongside of the manthay, from which they were
brought one by one, and tied with the rope, leaving an equal length
on either side. The rope being fixed on, the bull was brought to
the manthay, held on both sides by any number who were willing,
or as many as the rope would permit. More than fifteen on either
side held on to a bull, which was far too many, for the animal had
not the slightest chance of making a dart or plunge at the man in
front, who was trying to provoke it by using a long bamboo with a
skin attached to the end. When the bull was timid, and avoided his
persecutors, he was hissed and hooted by those behind, and, if these
modes of provocation failed to rouse his anger, he was simply dragged
to and fro by main force, and let loose when his strength was almost
exhausted. A dozen or more bulls are taken up and down the manthay,
and the tamasha is over. When the manthay happens to have a slope,
the Malaialis have very little control over the bull, and, in some
instances, I have seen them actually dragged headlong to the ground
at the expense of a few damaged heads. The spectators, and all the
estate coolies who were present, were fed that night, and slept in
the village. If a death occurs in the village a few days before the
festival, I am told that the dance is postponed for a week. This
certainly, as far as I know, is not the custom in the plains."

The man of highest rank is the guru, who is invited to settle
disputes in villages, to which he comes, on pony-back or on foot,
with an umbrella over him, and accompanied by music. The office of
guru is hereditary, and, when he dies, his son succeeds him, unless
he is a minor, in which case the brother of the deceased man steps
into his shoes. If, in sweeping the hut, the broom touches any one,
or when a Malaiali has been kicked by a European or released from
prison, he must be received back into his caste. For this purpose
he goes to the guru, who takes him to the temple, where a screen is
put up between the guru and the applicant for restoration of caste
privileges. Holy water is dedicated to the swami(god), by the guru,
and a portion thereof drunk by the man, who prostrates himself before
the guru, and subsequently gives a feast of pork, mutton, and other
delicacies. The Malaialis, it may be noted, will eat sheep, pigs,
fowls, various birds, and black monkeys.

Each village on the Shevaroys has its own headman, an honorary
appointment, carrying with it the privilege of an extra share of the
good things, when a feast is being held. A Kangani is appointed to
do duty under the headman, and receives annually from every hut two
ballams of grain. When disputes occur, e.g., between two brothers
regarding a woman or partition of property, the headman summons a
panchayat (village council), which has the power to inflict fines in
money, sheep, etc., according to the gravity of the offence. For every
group of ten villages there is a Pattakaran (head of a division), who
is expected to attend on the occasion of marriages and car festivals. A
bridegroom has to give him eight days before his marriage a rupee,
a packet of betel leaves, and half a measure of nuts. Serving under
the Pattakaran is the Maniakaran, whose duty it is to give notice of
a marriage to the ten villages, and to summon the villagers thereto.

In April 1898, on receipt of news of a wedding at a distant village,
I proceeded thither through coffee estates rich with white flowers
bursting into flower under the grateful influence of a thunderstorm. En
route, a view was obtained of the Golden Horn, an overhanging rock
with a drop of a thousand feet, down which the Malaialis swing
themselves in search for honey. On the track through the jungle a
rock, known from the fancied resemblance of the holes produced by
weathering to hoof-marks as the kudre panji (horse's footprints),
was passed. Concerning this rock, the legend runs that a horse jumped
on to it at one leap from the top of the Shevarayan hill, and at the
next leap reached the plains at the foot of the hills. The village,
which was the scene of the festivities, was, like other Malaiali
villages, made up of detached bee-hive huts of bamboo, thatched with
palm-leaves and grass, and containing a central room surrounded
by a verandah--the home of pigs, goats, and fowls. Other huts, of
similar bee-hive shape, but smaller, were used as storehouses for
the grain collected at the harvest-season. These grain-stores have
no entrance, and the thatched roof has to be removed, to take out the
grain for use. Tiled roofs, such as are common in the Badaga villages
on the Nilgiris, are forbidden, as their use would be an innovation,
which would excite the anger of the Malaiali gods. The Malaialis
have religious scruples against planing or smoothing with an adze
the trees which they fell. The area of lands used to be ascertained
by guesswork, not measurement, and much opposition was made to an
attempt to introduce chain measurements, the Malaialis expressing
themselves willing to pay any rent imposed, if their lands were
not measured. Huts built on piles contain the flocks, which, during
the day, are herded in pens which are removable, and, by moving the
pens, the villagers manage to get the different parts of their fields
manured. Round the village a low wall usually runs, and, close by, are
the coffee, tobacco, and other cultivated crops. Outside the village,
beneath a lofty tree, was a small stone shrine, capped with a stone
slab, wherein were stacked a number of neolithic celts, which the
Malaialis reverence as thunderbolts from heaven. I was introduced to
the youthful and anxious bridegroom, clad in his wedding finery, who
stripped before the assembled crowd, in order that I might record his
jewelry and garments. On the first day, the bridegroom, accompanied by
his relations, takes the modest dowry of grain and money (usually five
rupees) to the bride's village, and arranges for the performance of
the nalangu ceremony on the following day. If the bride and bridegroom
belong to the same village, this ceremony is performed by the pair
seated on a cot. Otherwise it is performed by each separately. The
elders of the village take a few drops of castor-oil, and rub it into
the heads of the bride and bridegroom; afterwards washing the oil off
with punac (Bassia oil-cake) and alum water. One of the elders then
dips betel-leaves and arugum-pillu (Cynodon Dactylon) in milk, and with
them describes a circle round the heads of the young couple, who do
obeisance by bowing their heads. The proceedings wind up with a feast
of pork and other luxuries. On the following day, the ceremony of tying
the tali (marriage emblem) round the bride's neck is performed. The
bride, escorted by her party, comes to the bridegroom's village, and
remains outside it, while the bridegroom brings a light, a new mat,
and three bundles of betel leaves and half a measure of areca nuts,
which are distributed among the crowd. The happy pair then enter the
village, accompanied by music. Beneath a pandal (booth) there is a
stone representing the god, marked with the namam, and decorated with
burning lamps and painted earthen pots. Before this stone the bride and
bridegroom seat themselves in the presence of the guru, who is seated
on a raised dais. Flowers are distributed among the wedding guests,
and the tali, made of gold, is tied round the bride's neck. This
done, the feet of both bride and bridegroom are washed with alum
water, and presents of small coin received. The contracting parties
then walk three times round the stone, before which they prostrate
themselves, and receive the blessing of the assembled elders. The
ceremony concluded, they go round the village, riding on the same
pony. The proceedings again terminate with a feast. I gather that
the bride lives apart from her husband for eleven or fifteen days,
during which time he is permitted to visit her at meal times, with the
object, as my interpreter expressed it, of "finding out if the bride
loves her husband or not. If she does not love him, she is advised
by the guru and headman to do so, because there are many cases in
which the girls, after marriage, if they are matured, go away with
other Malaialis. If this matter comes to the notice of the guru,
she says that she does not like to live with him. After enquiry,
the husband is permitted to marry another girl."

A curious custom prevailing among the Malaialis, which illustrates
the Hindu love of offspring, is thus referred to by Mr. Le Fanu. "The
sons, when mere children, are married to mature females, and the
father-in-law of the bride assumes the performance of the procreative
function, thus assuming for himself and his son a descendant to take
them out of Put. When the putative father comes of age, and, in their
turn, his wife's male offspring are married, he performs for them
the same office which his father did for him. Thus, not only is the
religious idea involved in the words Putra and Kumaran carried out,
but also the premature strain on the generative faculties, which this
tradition entails, is avoided. The accommodation is reciprocal, and
there is something on physiological grounds to recommend it." Putra
means literally one who saves from Put, a hell into which those who
have not produced a son fall. Hindus believe that a son can, by the
performance of certain rites, save the souls of his ancestors from this
place of torture. Hence the anxiety of every Hindu to get married,
and beget male offspring. Kumaran is the second stage in the life of
an individual, which is divided into infancy, childhood, manhood,
and old age. Writing to me recently, a Native official assures me
that "the custom of linking a boy in marriage to a mature female,
though still existing, has, with the advance of the times, undergone a
slight yet decent change. The father-in-law of the bride has relieved
himself of the awkward predicament into which the custom drove him,
and now leaves the performance of the procreative function to others
accepted by the bride."

Widow remarriage among the Peria Malaialis is, I am informed,
forbidden, though widows are permitted to contract irregular
alliances. But, writing concerning the Malaialis of the Dharmapuri
taluk of the Salem district, Mr. Le Fanu states that "it is almost
imperative on a widow to marry again. Even at eighty years of age,
a widow is not exempted from this rule, which nothing but the most
persistent obstinacy on her part can evade. It is said that, in case
a widow be not remarried at once, the Pattakar sends for her to his
own house, to avoid which the women consent to re-enter the state of
bondage." Of the marriage customs of the Malaialis of the Javadi hills
the same author writes that "these hills are inhabited by Malaialis,
who style themselves Vellalars and Pachai Vellalars, the latter being
distinguished by the fact that their females are not allowed to tattoo
themselves, or tie their hair in the knot called 'kondai.' The two
classes do not intermarry. In their marriage ceremonies they dispense
with the service of a Brahman. Monday is the day chosen for the
commencement of the ceremony, and the tali is tied on the following
Friday, the only essential being that the Monday and Friday concerned
must not follow new-moon days. They are indifferent about choosing a
'lakkinam' (muhurtham or auspicious day) for the commencement of the
marriage, or for tying the tali. Widows are allowed to remarry. When
a virgin or a widow has to be married, the selection of a husband is
not left to the woman concerned, or to her parents. It is the duty
of the Urgoundan to inquire what marriageable women there may be in
the village, and then to summon the Pattan, or headman of the caste,
to the spot. The latter, on his arrival, convenes a panchayat of
the residents, and, with their assistance, selects a bridegroom. The
parents of the happy couple then fix the wedding day, and the ceremony
is performed accordingly. The marriage of a virgin is called 'kalianam'
or 'marriage proper'; that of a widow being styled 'kattigiradu'
or 'tying' (cf. Anglice noose, nuptial knot). Adultery is regarded
with different degrees of disfavour according to the social position
of the co-respondents. If a married woman, virgin or widow, commits
adultery with a man of another caste, or if a male Vellalan commits
adultery with a woman of another caste, the penalty is expulsion from
caste. Where, however, the paramour belongs to the Vellala caste,
a caste panchayat is held, and the woman is fined Rs. 3-8-9, and
the man Rs. 7. After the imposition of the fine, Brahman supremacy
is recognised, the guru having the privilege of administering the
tirtam, or holy water, to the culprits for their purification. For
the performance of this rite his fee varies from 4 annas to 12
rupees. The tirtam may either be administered by the guru in person,
or may be sent by him to the Nattan for the purpose. The fine imposed
on the offenders is payable by their relatives, however distant;
and, if there be no relatives, then the offenders are transported
from their village to a distant place. Where the adulteress is a
married woman, she is permitted to return to her husband, taking any
issue she may have had by her paramour. In special cases a widow is
permitted to marry her deceased husband's brother. Should a widow
remarry, her issue by her former husband belong to his relatives,
and are not transferable to the second husband. The same rule holds
good in successive remarriages. Where there may be no relatives of
the deceased husband forthcoming to take charge of the children,
the duty of caring for them devolves on the Urgoundan, who is bound
to receive and protect them. The Vellalars generally bury their dead,
except in cases where a woman quick with child, or a man afflicted with
leprosy has died, the bodies in these cases being burnt. No ceremony
is performed at child-birth; but the little stranger receives a name
on the fifteenth day. When a girl attains puberty, she is relegated
to a hut outside the village, where her food is brought to her,
and she is forbidden to leave the hut either day or night. The same
menstrual and death customs are observed by the Peria Malaialis,
who bury their dead in the equivalent of a cemetery, and mark the
site by a mound of earth and stones. At the time of the funeral,
guns are discharged by a firing party, and, at the grave, handfuls of
earth are, as at a Christian burial service, thrown over the corpse."

If a woman among the Malaialis of the Javadi hills commits adultery,
the young men of the tribe are said to be let loose on her, to
work their wicked way, after which she is put in a pit filled with
cow-dung and other filth. An old man naively remarked that adultery
was very rare.

At a wedding among the Malaialis of the South Arcot district, "after
the tali is tied, the happy couple crook their little fingers together,
and a two-anna bit is placed between the fingers, and water is poured
over their hands. The priest offers betel and nut to Kari Raman,
and then a gun is fired into the air." [170]

The father of a would-be bridegroom among the Malaialis of the
Yelagiris, when he hears of the existence of a suitable bride,
repairs to her village, with some of his relations, and seeks out the
Urgoundan or headman, between whom and the visitors mutual embraces are
exchanged. The object of the visit is explained, and the father says
that he will abide by the voice of four in the matter. If the match is
fixed up, he gives a feast in honour of the event. When the visitors
enter the future bride's house, the eldest daughter-in-law of the
house appears on the threshold, and takes charge of the walking-stick
of each person who goes in. She then, with some specially prepared
sandal-paste, makes a circular mark on the foreheads of the guests,
and retires. The feast then takes place, and she again appears before
the party retire, and returns the walking-sticks. [171]

At a marriage among the Malai Vellalas of the Coimbatore district,
the bride has to cry during the whole ceremony, which lasts three
days. Otherwise she is considered an "ill woman." When she can no
longer produce genuine tears, she must bawl out. If she does not do
this, the bridegroom will not marry her. In the North Arcot district,
Mr. H. A. Stuart writes, [172] "a Malaiali bride is sometimes carried
off by force, but this custom is viewed with much disfavour, and
the bridegroom who resorts to it must paint his face with black and
white dots, and carry an old basket filled with broken pots and other
rubbish, holding a torn sieve over him as an umbrella, before the
celebration of the marriage. At the wedding, the bridegroom gives the
girl's father a present of money, and a pile of firewood sufficient
for the two days' feast. On the first day the food consists of rice
and dhal (Cajanus indicus), and on the second day pork curry is
consumed. At sunrise on the third day the bridegroom produces the
tali. A sword is then laid on the laps of the bridal pair, and the
Nattan (headman), or an elderly man blesses the tali, and gives it to
the bridegroom, who ties it round the bride's neck. Before marriage,
a man has to serve for at least a year in the house of the bride,
in order to receive the consent of her parents."

"The North Arcot Malaialis," Mr. Stuart writes, "occupy eighteen
nadus or districts. The Nattan (headman) of Kanamalai nadu is
called the Periya (big) Nadan, and is the headman of the caste. He
has the power to nominate Nattans for other nadus, to call caste
panchayats, to preside over any such meetings, and to impose fines,
and excommunicate any Malaiali. He can inflict corporal punishment,
such as whipping with a tamarind switch, on those persons who violate
their tribal customs. This power is sometimes delegated by him to
the other Nattans. Of the fines collected, the Periya Nattan takes
two shares, and the rest is distributed equally among the Urans
(village heads). The village precincts are considered sacred, and
even Brahmans are desired to walk barefoot along their alleys. They
are both Saivites and Vaishnavites, and worship Kali and Perumal,
wearing the namam and sacred ashes alike. Their worship is somewhat
peculiar, and kept more or less a mystery. Its chief object is Kali, in
whose honour they celebrate a feast once a year, lasting for fifteen
days. During this time no people of the plains venture near them,
believing that no intruder will ever leave the spot alive. Even the
Malaiali women are studiously debarred from witnessing the rites, and
those who take part in them are not permitted to speak to a woman,
even should she be his wife. The ceremonies take place in the open
air, at a particular spot on the hills, where the goddess is to be
adored in the shape of a stone called Vellandiswami. The nature of
the rites it is difficult to learn. In the village they worship,
also excluding women, small images of Venkateswara of Tirupati,
which are carefully concealed in caskets, and not allowed to be seen
by people of other castes. A few bundles of tobacco are buried with
the dead. When any one falls ill, the Malaialis do not administer
medicine, but send for a pujari, and ask him which god or goddess the
patient had offended. The assessment paid to Government by them is
a fixed charge for each plough or hoe possessed, without reference
to the extent of land cultivated. They collect jungle produce,
particularly the glandular hairs of the fruits of a certain flower
(Mallotus philippinensis), which is used by the Rangaris for dyeing
silk a rich orange, and the roots of a plant called shenalinsedi,
supposed to possess wonderful medicinal virtues, curing, among other
things, snake-bite." The Malaialis of the Javadi hills in the North
Arcot district also earn a living by felling bamboos and sandal trees.

The Malaialis snare with nets, and shoot big game--deer, tigers,
leopards, bears, and pigs--with guns of European manufacture. Mr. Le
Fanu narrates that, during the Pongal feast, all the Malaialis of
the Kalrayans go hunting, or, as they term it, for parvettai. Should
the Palaiagar fail to bring something down, usage requires that the
pujari should deprive him of his kudumi or top-knot. He generally
begs himself off the personal degradation, and a servant undergoes
the operation in his stead. A few years ago, a party of Malaialis of
the Shevaroys went out shooting with blunderbusses and other quaint
weapons, and bagged a leopard, which they carried on a frame-work, with
jaws wide open and tail erect, round Yercaud, preceded by tom-toms,
and with men dancing around.

The Malaiali men on the Shevaroys wear a turban and brown kumbli
(blanket), which does duty as great coat, mackintosh, and umbrella. A
bag contains their supply of betel and tobacco, and they carry a
bill-hook and gourd water-vessel, and a coffee walking-stick. As
ornaments they wear bangles, rings on the fingers and toes, and in
the nose and ears. The women are tattooed by Korava women who come
round on circuit, on the forehead, outside the orbits, cheeks, arms,
and hands. Golden ornaments adorn their ears and nose, and they also
wear armlets, toe-rings, and bangles, which are sometimes supplemented
by a tooth-pick and ear-scoop pendent from a string round the neck. For
dress, a sari made of florid imported cotton fabric is worn. I have
seen women smoking cheroots, made from tobacco locally cultivated,
wrapped up in a leaf of Gmelina arborea. Tattooing is said to be
forbidden among the Malaialis of the Javadi hills in North Arcot.

Concerning the Malaialis of the Trichinopoly district,
Mr. F. R. Hemingway writes as follows. "As far as this district
is concerned, they are inhabitants of the Pachaimalais and
Kollaimalais. The Malaialis of the two ranges will not intermarry,
but have no objection to dining together. For purposes of the
caste discipline, the villages of both sub-divisions are grouped
into nadus. Each nadu contains some twenty or thirty villages. Each
village has a headman called on the Pachaimalais Muppan, and on the
Kollaimalais Ur-Kavundan or Kutti-Maniyam. Again, on the Pachaimalais,
every five or ten villages make up a sittambalam, over which is
a Kavundan, and each nadu is ruled by a Periya Kavundan. In the
Kollaimalais there are no sittambalams, but the nadu there is also
presided over by a Periya Kavundan, who is sometimes called a Sadi
Kavundan. Again, on the Kollaimalais, the first four nadus are grouped
into one pattam under the Pattakaran of Valappur, and the other three
into another under the Pattakaran of Sakkiratti. The nadu headmen on
the Pachaimalais also do duty as Pattakarans. All these appointments
are hereditary. The permission of the Pattakaran has to be obtained
before a marriage can take place, but, on the Kollaimalais, he deputes
this power to the Sadi Kavundan. The Pattakarans of both ranges have
recognised privileges, such as the right to ride on horseback, and
use umbrellas, which are denied to the common folk.

"The Malaiyalis recognise the sanctity of the large Vishnu temple
at Srirangam, and of the Siva temple at Anaplesvaran Kovil on the
Kollaimalais. To the festival of the latter in Adi (July-August)
the Malaiyalis of all three divisions flock. In every village is a
temple or image of Perumal. Kali is also commonly worshipped, but
the Malaiyalis do not connect her with Siva. Almost every village
further contains temples to Mariyayi, the goddess of cholera, and to
the village goddess Pidari. On the Kollaimalais, Kali is also looked
upon as a village goddess, but she has no attendant Karuppans, nor is
she worshipped by shedding blood. Pidari is often called Manu Pidari
on the Pachaimalais, and is represented by a heap of mud. At midnight,
a sheep and some cooked rice are taken to this, a man cleaning the
pathway to the temple by dragging a bunch of leaves. The sheep is
killed, and its lungs are inflated and placed on the heap. On the
Kollaimalais two other goddesses, Nachi and Kongalayi, are commonly
worshipped. At the worship of the former, perfect silence must be
observed, and women are not allowed to be in the village at the
time. It is supposed that, if anyone speaks during the ceremony, he
will be stung by bees or other insects. The goddess has no image,
but is supposed to appear from the surface of the ground, and to
glitter like the comb of a cock. Kongalayi has an image, and her
worship is accompanied by music. All these goddesses are worshipped
every year before the ground is cultivated. The Malaiyalis, like the
people of the plains, worship Pattavans. But, on the Kollaimalais,
instead of thinking that these are people who have died a violent
death, they say they are virtuous men and good sportsmen, who have
lived to a ripe old age. The test of the apotheosis of such a one
is that his castemen should have a successful day's sport on some
day that they have set aside in his honour. They sometimes offer
regular sacrifices to the Pattavans, but more usually offer the head
of any game they shoot. Sometimes a man will dream of some evil spirit
turning Pattavan, and then he is taken to a Strychnos Nux-vomica tree,
and his hair nailed to the trunk and cut. This is supposed to free
the caste from further molestation. The same practice is observed
on the Pachaimalais, if the ghost appears in a dream accompanied
by a Panchama. On the Kollaimalais, holy bulls, dedicated to the
Srirangam temple, are taken round with drums on their backs by men
with feathers stuck in their hair, and alms are collected. When
these animals die, they are buried, and an alari tree is planted
over the grave. This practice is, however, confined to Vaishnavites,
and to a few families. Saivites set free bulls called poli yerudu in
honour of the Anaplesvaram god. These bulls are of good class, and,
like the tamatams, are honoured at their death.

"The Malaiyali houses are built of tattis (mats) of split bamboo,
and roofed with jungle grass. The use of tiles or bricks is believed
to excite the anger of the gods. The Kollaimalai houses seem always
to have a loft inside, approached by a ladder. The eaves project
greatly, so as almost to touch the ground. In the pial (platform at the
entrance) a hole is made to pen fowls in. On the tops of the houses,
tufts of jungle grass and rags are placed, to keep off owls, the
ill-omened kottan birds. The villages are surrounded with a fence,
to keep the village pigs from destroying the crops outside. The
Pachaimalai women wear the kusavam fold in their cloth on the right
side, but do not cover the breasts. The Kollaimalai women do not
wear any kusavam, but carefully cover their breasts, especially
when at work outside the village site, for fear of displeasing the
gods. The Pachaimalai people tattoo, but this custom is anathema
on the Kollaimalais, where the Malaiyalis will not allow a tattooed
person into their houses for fear of offending their gods.

"All the Malaiyalis are keen sportsmen, and complain that sport is
spoilt by the forest rules. The Kollaimalai people have a great beat
on the first of Ani (June-July), and another on the day of the first
sowing of the year. The date of the latter is settled by the headman
of each village, and he alone is allowed to sow seeds on that day,
everyone else being debarred on pain of punishment from doing any
manner of work, and going out to hunt instead. On the Kollaimalais,
bull-baiting is practiced at the time of the Mariyayi festival in Masi
(February-March). A number of bulls are taken in front of the goddess,
one after the other, and, while some of the crowd hold the animals with
ropes, a man in front, and another behind, urge it on to unavailing
efforts to get free. When one bull is tired out, another is brought
up to take its place.

"The Malaiyalis have a good many superstitions of their own, which
are apparently different from those of the plains. If they want rain,
they pelt each other with balls of cow-dung, an image of Pillaiyar
(Ganesa) is buried in a manure pit, and a pig is killed with a kind of
spear. When the rain comes, the Pillaiyar is dug up. If a man suffers
from hemicrania, he sets free a red cock in honour of the sun on a
Tuesday. A man who grinds his teeth in his sleep may be broken off
the habit by eating some of the food offered to the village goddess,
brought by stealth from her altar. People suffering from small-pox are
taken down to the plains, and left in some village. Cholera patients
are abandoned, and left to die. Lepers are driven out without the
slightest mercy, to shift for themselves.

"With regard to marriage, the Malaiyalis of the Trichinopoly district
recognise the desirability of a boy's marrying his maternal aunt's
daughter. This sometimes results in a young boy marrying a grown-up
woman, but the Malaiyalis in this district declare that the boy's
father does not then take over the duties of a husband. On the
Kollaimalais, a wife may leave her husband for a paramour within the
caste, but her husband has a right to the children of such intercourse,
and they generally go to him in the end. You may ask a man, without
giving offence, if he has lent his wife to anyone. Both sections
practice polygamy. A betrothal on the Pachaimalais is effected by
the boy's taking an oil bath, followed by a bath in hot water at
the bride's house, and watching whether there is any ill omen during
the process. On the Kollaimalais, the matter is settled by a simple
interview. On both hill ranges, the wedding ceremonies last only one
day, and on the Pachaimalais a Thursday is generally selected. The
marriage on the latter range consists in all the relatives present
dropping castor-oil on to the heads of the pair with a wisp of grass,
and then pronouncing a blessing on them. The terms of the blessing are
the same as those used by the Konga Vellalas. The bridegroom ties the
tali. On the Kollaimalais, the girl is formally invited to come and be
married by the other party's taking her a sheep and some rice. On the
appointed day, offerings of a cock and a hen are made to the gods in
the houses of both. The girl then comes to the other house, and she
and the bridegroom are garlanded by the leading persons present. The
bridegroom ties the tali, and the couple are then made to walk seven
steps, and are blessed. The garlands are then thrown into a well,
and, if they float together, it is an omen that the two will love
each other.

"Both sections bury their dead. On the Kollaimalais, a gun is fired
when the corpse is taken out for burial, and tobacco, cigars, betel
and nut, etc., are buried with the body.

"Two curious customs in connection with labour are recognised on both
ranges. If a man has a press of work, he can compel the whole village
to come and help him, by the simple method of inviting them all to a
feast. He need not pay them for their services. A different custom is
that, when there is threshing to be done, any labourer of the caste
who offers himself has to be taken, whether there is work for him or
not, and paid as if he had done a good day's work. This is a very hard
rule in times of scarcity, and it is said that sometimes the employer
will have not only to pay out the whole of the harvest, but will also
have to get something extra from home to satisfy the labourers."

It is noted by Mr. Garstin [173] that "in his time (1878) the Malaialis
of the South Arcot district kept the accounts of their payments of
revenue by tying knots in a bit of string, and that some of them once
lodged a complaint against their village headman for collecting more
from them than was due, basing their case on the fact that there
were more knots in the current year's string than in that of the
year preceding. The poligars, he adds, used to intimate the amount
of revenue due by sending each of the cultivators a leaf bearing on
it as many thumb-nail marks as there were rupees to be paid."

Malayali.--A territorial name, denoting an inhabitant of the Malayalam
country. It is noted, in the Mysore Census Report, 1901, that this
name came in very handy to class several of the Malabar tribes, who
have immigrated to the province, and whose names were unfamiliar to
census officials. There is, in the city of Madras, a Malayali club
for inhabitants of the Malayalam country, who are there employed in
Government services, as lawyers, or in other vocations. I read that,
in 1906, the Malabar Onam festival was celebrated at the Victoria
Public Hall under the auspices of this club, and a dramatised version
of the Malayalam novel Indulekha was performed.

Malayan.--Concerning the Malayans, Mr. A. R. Loftus-Tottenham writes as
follows. "The Malayans are a makkathayam caste, observing twelve days'
pollution, found in North Malabar. Their name, signifying hill-men,
points to their having been at one time a jungle tribe, but they have
by no means the dark complexion and debased physiognomy characteristic
of the classes which still occupy that position. They are divided into
nine exogamous illams, five of which have the names Kotukudi, Velupa,
Cheni, Palankudi, and Kalliath. The men do not shave their heads,
but allow the hair to grow long, and either part it in the middle,
or tie it into a knot behind, like the castes of the east coast,
or tie it in a knot in front in the genuine Malayali fashion. The
principal occupation of the caste is exorcism, which they perform by
various methods.

"If any one is considered to be possessed by demons, it is usual,
after consulting the astrologer in order to ascertain what murti
(form, i.e., demon) is causing the trouble, to call in the Malayan,
who performs a ceremony known as tiyattam, in which they wear masks,
and, so disguised, sing, dance, tom-tom, and play on a rude and
strident pipe. Another ceremony, known as ucchaveli, has several forms,
all of which seem to be either survivals, or at least imitations of
human sacrifice. One of these consists of a mock living burial of the
principal performer, who is placed in a pit, which is covered with
planks, on the top of which a sacrifice is performed, with a fire
kindled with jack wood (Artocarpus integrifolia) and a plant called
erinna. In another variety, the Malayan cuts his left forearm, and
smears his face with the blood thus drawn. Malayans also take part
with Peruvannans (big barbers) in various ceremonies at Badrakali
and other temples, in which the performer impersonates, in suitable
costume, some of the minor deities or demons, fowls are sacrificed,
and a Velicchapad pronounces oracular statements."

As the profession of exorcists does not keep the Malayans fully
occupied, they go about begging during the harvest season, in various
disguises, of which that of a hobby-horse is a very common one. They
further add to their income by singing songs, at which they are very
expert. Like the Nalkes and Paravas of South Canara, the Malayans
exorcise various kinds of devils, with appropriate disguises. For
Nenaveli (bloody sacrifice), the performer smears the upper part of his
body and face with a paste made of rice-flour reddened with turmeric
powder and chunam (lime) to indicate a bloody sacrifice. Before
the paste dries, parched paddy (unhusked rice) grains, representing
small-pox pustules, are sprinkled over it. Strips of young cocoanut
leaves, strung together so as to form a petticoat, are tied round the
waist, a ball of sacred ashes (vibhuthi) is fixed on the tip of the
nose, and two strips of palmyra palm leaf are stuck in the mouth to
represent fangs. If it is thought that a human sacrifice is necessary
to propitiate the devil, the man representing Nenaveli puts round his
neck a kind of framework made of plantain leaf sheaths; and, after
he has danced with it on, it is removed, and placed on the ground in
front of him. A number of lighted wicks are stuck in the middle of
the framework, which is sprinkled with the blood of a fowl, and then
beaten and crushed. Sometimes this is not regarded as sufficient,
and the performer is made to lie down in a pit, which is covered
over by a plank, and a fire kindled. A Malayan, who acted the part
of Nenaveli before me at Tellicherry, danced and gesticulated wildly,
while a small boy, concealed behind him, sang songs in praise of the
demon whom he represented, to the accompaniment of a drum. At the
end of the performance, he feigned extreme exhaustion, and laid on
the ground in a state of apparent collapse, while he was drenched
with water brought in pots from a neighbouring well.

The disguise of Uchchaveli is also assumed for the propitiation of the
demon, when a human sacrifice is considered necessary. The Malayan who
is to take the part puts on a cap made of strips of cocoanut leaf,
and strips of the same leaves tied to a bent bamboo stick round his
waist. His face and chest are daubed with yellow paint, and designs
are drawn thereon in red or black. Strings are tied tightly round the
left arm near the elbow and wrist, and the swollen area is pierced
with a knife. The blood spouts out, and the performer waves the arm,
so that his face is covered with the blood. A fowl is waved before him,
and decapitated. He puts the neck in his mouth, and sucks the blood.

The disguises are generally assumed at night. The exorcism consists
in drawing complicated designs of squares, circles, and triangles,
on the ground with white, black, and yellow flour. While the man who
has assumed the disguise dances about to the accompaniment of drums,
songs are sung by Malayan men and women.

Malayan.--A division of Panikkans in the Tamil country, whose exogamous
septs are known by the Malayalam name illam (house).

Maldivi.--A territorial name, meaning a native of the Maldive islands,
returned by twenty-two persons in Tanjore at the Census, 1901.

Male Kudiya.--A synonym of Kudiya, denoting those who live in the
hills.

Maleru.--It is noted, in the Mysore Census Report, 1901, that "in some
temples of the Malnad there exists a set of females, who, though not
belonging to the Natuva class, are yet temple servants like them, and
are known by the name of Maleru. Any woman who eats the sacrificial
rice strewn on the balipitam (sacrificial altar) at once loses caste,
and becomes a public woman, or Maleru." The children of Malerus by
Brahmans are termed Golakas. Any Maleru woman cohabiting with one of
a lower caste than her own is degraded into a Gaudi. In the Madras
Census Report, 1901, Male or Malera is returned as a sub-caste of
Stanika. They are said, however, not to be equal to Stanikas. They
are attached to temples, and their ranks are swelled by outcaste
Brahman and Konkani women.

Maleyava.--Recorded, in the Madras Census Report, 1901, as a small
Canarese-speaking caste of beggars. In the South Canara Manual, it
is stated that they are "classed as mendicants, as there is a small
body of Malayalam gypsies of that name. But there may have been some
confusion with Malava and Male Kudiya."

Mali.--"The Malis," Mr. H. A. Stuart writes, [174] "are now mostly
cultivators, but their traditional occupation (from which the
caste name is derived) is making garlands, and providing flowers
for the service of Hindu temples. They are especially clever in
growing vegetables. Their vernacular is Uriya." It is noted, in
the Census Report, 1901, that the temple servants wear the sacred
thread, and employ Brahmans as priests. It is further recorded, in
the Census Report, 1871, that "the Malis are, as their name denotes,
gardeners. They chose for their settlements sites where they were able
to turn a stream to irrigate a bit of land near their dwellings. Here
they raise fine crops of vegetables, which they carry to the numerous
markets throughout the country. Their rights to the lands acquired
from the Parjas (Porojas) are of a substantial nature, and the only
evidence to show their possessions were formerly Parja bhumi (Poroja
lands) is perhaps a row of upright stones erected by the older race
to the memory of their village chiefs."

For the following note, I am indebted to Mr. C. Hayavadana Rao. The
Malis say that their ancestors lived originally at Kasi (Benares),
whence they emigrated to serve under the Raja of Jeypore. They are
divided into the following sub-divisions:--Bodo, Pondra, Kosalya,
Pannara, Sonkuva, and Dongrudiya. The name Pondra is said to be
derived from podoro, a dry field. I am informed that, if a Pondra is
so prosperous as to possess a garden which requires the employment
of a picottah, he is bound to entertain as many men of his caste
as choose to go to his house. A man without a picottah may refuse
to receive such visits. A picottah is the old-fashioned form of a
machine still used for raising water, and consists of a long lever
or yard pivotted on an upright post, weighted on the short arm,
and bearing a line and bucket on the long arm.

Among the Bodo Malis, a man can claim his paternal aunt's daughter in
marriage, which takes place before the girl reaches puberty. A jholla
tonka (bride-price) of forty rupees is paid, and the girl is conducted
to the house of the bridegroom, in front of which a pandal (booth)
has been erected, with nine pots, one above the other, placed at the
four corners and in the centre. In the middle of the pandal a mattress
is spread, and to the pandal a cloth, with a myrabolam (Terminalia
fruit), rice, and money tied up in it, is attached. The contracting
couple sit together, and a sacred thread is given to the bridegroom
by the officiating priest. The bride is presented with necklaces,
nose-screws, and other ornaments by the bridegroom's party. They
then repair to the bridegroom's house. The ceremonies are repeated
during the next three days, and on the fifth day the pair are bathed
with turmeric water, and repair to a stream, in which they bathe. On
their return home, the bridegroom is presented with some cheap jewelry.

Among the Pondra Malis, if a girl is not provided with a husband
before she reaches puberty, a mock marriage is performed. A pandal
(booth) is erected in front of her house, and she enters it, carrying
a fan in her right hand, and sits on a mattress. A pot, containing
water and mango leaves, is set in front of her, and the females throw
turmeric-rice over her. They then mix turmeric powder with castor-oil,
and pour it over her from mango leaves. She next goes to the village
stream, and bathes. A caste feast follows after this ceremonial has
been performed. The girl is permitted to marry in the ordinary way. A
Bodo Mali girl, who does not secure a husband before she reaches
puberty, is said to be turned out of the caste.

In the regular marriage ceremony among the Pondra Malis, the
bridegroom, accompanied by his party, proceeds to the bride's village,
where they stay in a house other than that of the bride. They send
five rupees, a new cloth for the bride's mother, rice, and other
things necessary for a meal, as jholla tonka (present) to the bride's
house. Pandals, made of four poles, are erected in front of the
houses of the bride and bridegroom. Towards evening, the bridegroom
proceeds to the house of the bride, and the couple are blessed by
the assembled relations within the pandal. On the following day, the
bridegroom conducts the bride to her pandal. They take their seat
therein, separated by a screen, with the ends of their cloths tied
together. Ornaments, called maguta, corresponding to the bashinga,
are tied on their foreheads. At the auspicious moment fixed by the
presiding Desari, the bride stretches out her right hand, and the
bridegroom places his thereon. On it some rice and myrabolam fruit are
laid, and tied up with rolls of cotton thread by the Desari. On the
third day, the couple repair to a stream, and bathe. They then bury
the magutas. After a feast, the bride accompanies the bridegroom to his
village, but, if she has not reached puberty, returns to her parents.

Widow remarriage is permitted, and a younger brother usually marries
the widow of his elder brother.

The dead are burnt, and death pollution lasts for ten days, during
which those who are polluted refrain from their usual employment. On
the ninth day, a hole is dug in the house of the deceased, and a lamp
placed in it. The son, or some other close relative, eats a meal by the
side of the hole, and, when it is finished, places the platter and the
remains of the food in the hole, and buries them with the lamp. On the
tenth day, an Oriya Brahman purifies the house by raising the sacred
fire (homam). He is, in return for his services, presented with the
utensils of the deceased, half a rupee, rice, and other things.

Mali further occurs as the name of an exogamous sept of Holeya. (See
also Ravulo.)

Maliah (hill).--A sub-division of Savaras who inhabit the hill-country.

Malighai Chetti.--A synonym of Acharapakam Chettis. In the city of
Madras, the Malighai Chettis cannot, like other Beri Chettis, vote
or receive votes at elections or meetings of the Kandasami temple.

Malik.--A sect of Muhammadans, who are the followers of the Imam Abu
'Abdi 'llah Malik ibn Anas, the founder of one of the four orthodox
sects of Sunnis, who was born at Madinah, A.H. 94 (A.D. 716).

Malle.--Malle, Malli, Mallela, or Mallige, meaning jasmine, has been
recorded as an exogamous sept of Bestha, Holeya, Kamma, Korava, Kurni,
Kuruba, Madiga, Mala, Odde, and Tsakala. The Tsakalas, I am informed,
will not use jasmine flowers, or go near the plant. In like manner,
Besthas of the Malle gotra may not touch it.

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

Mamidla (mango).--An exogamous sept of Padma Sale.

Mana (a measure).--An exogamous sept of Kuruba.

Manavalan (bridegroom).--A sub-division of Nayar.

Manayammamar.--The name for Mussad females. Mana means a Brahman's
house.

Mancha.--Recorded, in the Madras Census Report, 1901, as a Musalman
tribe in the Laccadive islands.

Manchala (cots).--An exogamous sept of Odde. The equivalent mancham
occurs as a sept of Panta Reddis, the members of which avoid sleeping
on cots.

Manchi (good).--An exogamous sept of Padma Sale and Yanadi.

Mandadan Chetti.--There are at Gudalur near the boundary between the
Nilgiri district and Malabar, and in the Wynad, two classes called
respectively Mandadan Chettis and Wynad Chettis (q.v.).

The following account of the Mandadan Chettis is given in the Gazetteer
of the Nilgiris. "They speak a corrupt Canarese, follow the makkatayam
law of inheritance (from father to son), and seem always to have
been natives of the Wynaad. Mandadan is supposed to be a corruption
of Mahavalinadu, the traditional name still applied to the country
between Nellakottai and Tippakadu, in which these Chettis principally
reside. These Chettis recognise as many as eight different headmen, who
each have names and a definite order of precedence, the latter being
accurately marked by the varying lengths of the periods of pollution
observed when they die. They are supposed to be the descendants
in the nearest direct line of the original ancestors of the caste,
and they are shown special respect on public occasions, and settle
domestic and caste disputes. Marriages take place after puberty,
and are arranged through go-betweens called Madhyastas. When matters
have been set in train, the contracting parties meet, and the boy's
parents measure out a certain quantity of paddy (unhusked rice),
and present it to the bride's people, while the Madhyastas formally
solicit the approval to the match of all the nearest relatives. The
bride is bathed and dressed in a new cloth, and the couple are
then seated under a pandal (booth). The priest of the Nambalakod
temple comes with flowers, blesses the tali, and hands it to the
bridegroom, who ties it round the bride's neck. Sometimes the young
man is made to work for the girl as Jacob did for Rachael, serving
her father for a period (generally of from one to four years), the
length of which is settled by a panchayat (council). In such cases,
the father-in-law pays the expenses of the wedding, and sets up
the young couple with a house and some land. Married women are not
prohibited from conferring favours on their husbands' brothers, but
adultery outside the caste is severely dealt with. Adoption seems to
be unknown. A widow may remarry. If she weds her deceased husband's
brother, the only ceremony is a dinner, after which the happy pair are
formally seated on the same mat; but, if she marries any one else,
a pandal and tali are provided. Divorce is allowed to both parties,
and divorcées may remarry. In their cases, however, the wedding rites
are much curtailed. The dead are usually burnt, but those who have
been killed by accidents or epidemics are buried. When any one is
at death's door, he or she is made to swallow a little water from a
vessel in which some rice and a gold coin have been placed. The body is
bathed and dressed in a new cloth, sometimes music is played and a gun
fired, and in all cases the deceased's family walk three times round
the pyre before it is fired by the chief mourner. When the period of
pollution is over, holy water is fetched from the Nambalakod temple,
and sprinkled all about the house. These Chettis are Saivites, and
worship Betarayasvami of Nambalakod, the Airu Billi of the Kurumbas,
and one or two other minor gods, and certain deified ancestors. These
minor gods have no regular shrines, but huts provided with platforms
for them to sit upon, in which lamps are lit in the evenings, are
built for them in the fields and jungles. Chetti women are often
handsome. In the house they wear only a waist-cloth, but they put on
an upper cloth when they venture abroad. They distend the lobes of
their ears, and for the first few years after marriage wear in them
circular gold ornaments somewhat resembling those affected by the
Nayar ladies. After that period they substitute a strip of rolled-up
palm leaf. They have an odd custom of wearing a big chignon made up
of plaits of their own hair cut off at intervals in their girlhood."

Mandadi.--A title of Golla.

Mandai.--An exogamous section of Kallan named after Mandai Karuppan,
the god of the village common (Mandai).

Mandha.--Mandha or Mandhala, meaning a village common, or herd of
cattle collected thereon, has been recorded as an exogamous sept of
Bedar, Karna Sale, and Madiga.

Mandi (cow).--A sept of Poroja.

Mandiri.--A sub-division of Domb.

Mandula.--The Mandulas (medicine men) are a wandering class, the
members of which go about from village to village in the Telugu
country, selling drugs (mandu, medicine) and medicinal powders. Some
of their women act as midwives. Of these people an interesting account
is given by Bishop Whitehead, [175] who writes as follows. "We found
an encampment of five or six dirty-looking huts made of matting, each
about five feet high, eight feet long and six feet wide, belonging to
a body of Mandalavaru, whose head-quarters are at Masulipatam. They
are medicine men by profession, and thieves and beggars by choice. The
headman showed us his stock of medicines in a bag, and a quaint stock
it was, consisting of a miscellaneous collection of stones and pieces
of wood, and the fruits of trees. The stones are ground to powder,
and mixed up as a medicine with various ingredients. He had a piece
of mica, a stone containing iron, and another which contained some
other metal. There was also a peculiar wood used as an antidote
against snake-bite, a piece being torn off and eaten by the person
bitten. One common treatment for children is to give them tiles, ground
to powder, to eat. In the headman's hut was a picturesque-looking
woman sitting up with an infant three days old. It had an anklet,
made of its mother's hair, tied round the right ankle, to keep off the
evil eye. The mother, too, had a similar anklet round her own left
ankle, which she put on before her confinement. She asked for some
castor-oil to smear over the child. They had a good many donkeys,
pigs, and fowls with them, and made, they said, about a rupee a day
by begging. Some time ago, they all got drunk, and had a free fight,
in which a woman got her head cut open. The police went to enquire
into the matter, but the woman declared that she only fell against a
bamboo by accident. The whole tribe meet once a year, at Masulipatam,
at the Sivaratri festival, and then sacrifice pigs and goats to their
various deities. The goddess is represented by a plain uncarved stone,
about four-and-a-half or five feet high, daubed with turmeric and
kunkuma (red powder). The animals are killed in front of the stone,
and the blood is allowed to flow on the ground. They believe that
the goddess drinks it. They cook rice on the spot, and present some
of it to the goddess. They then have a great feast of the rest of
the rice and the flesh of the victims, get very drunk with arrack,
and end up with a free fight. We noted that one of the men had on
an anklet of hair, like the woman's. He said he had been bitten by
a snake some time ago, and had put on the anklet as a charm."

The Mandula is a very imposing person, as he sits in a conspicuous
place, surrounded by paper packets piled up all round him. His method
of advertising his medicines is to take the packets one by one, and,
after opening them and folding them up, to make a fresh pile. As he
does so, he may be heard repeating very rapidly, in a sing-song tone,
"Medicine for rheumatism," etc. Mandulas are sometimes to be seen
close to the Moore Market in the city of Madras, with their heaps of
packets containing powders of various colours.

Mangala.--"The Mangalas and Ambattans," Mr. H. A. Stuart writes, [176]
"are the barber castes, and are probably of identical origin, but,
like the potters, they have, by difference of locality, separated into
Telugus and Tamilians, who do not intermarry. Both are said to be the
offspring of a Brahman by a Vaisya woman. The Telugu name is referred
to the word mangalam, which means happiness and also cleansing, and is
applied to barbers, because they take part in marriage ceremonies, and
add to the happiness on the occasion by the melodious sounds of their
flutes (nagasaram), while they also contribute to the cleanliness of
the people by shaving their bodies. The Telugus are divided into the
Reddibhumi, Murikinadu, and Kurichinadu sub-divisions, and are mostly
Vaishnavites. They consider the Tamilians as lower than themselves,
because they consent to shave the whole body, while the Telugus only
shave the upper portions. Besides their ordinary occupation, the
members of this caste pretend to some knowledge of surgery and of the
properties of herbs and drugs. Their females practice midwifery in a
barbarous fashion, not scrupling also to indulge largely in criminal
acts connected with their profession. Flesh-eating is allowed, but
not widow marriage."

"Mangalas," Mr. Stuart writes further, [177] "are also called Bajantri
(in reference to their being musicians), Kalyanakulam (marriage
people), and Angarakudu. The word angaramu means fire, charcoal, a live
coal, and angarakudu is the planet Mars. Tuesday is Mars day, and one
name for it is Angarakavaramu, but the other and more common name is
Mangalavaramu. Now mangala is a Sanskrit word, meaning happiness, and
mangala, with the soft l, is the Telugu for a barber. Mangalavaramu
and Angarakavaramu being synonymous, it is natural that the barbers
should have seized upon this, and given themselves importance by
claiming to be the caste of the planet Mars. As a matter of fact,
this planet is considered to be a star of ill omen, and Tuesday is
regarded as an inauspicious day. Barbers are also considered to be of
ill omen owing to their connection with deaths, when their services
are required to shave the heads of the mourners. On an auspicious
occasion, a barber would never be called a Mangala, but a Bajantri,
or musician. Their titles are Anna and Gadu." Anna means brother,
and Gadu is a common suffix to the names of Telugus, e.g., Ramigadu,
Subbigadu. A further title is Ayya (father).

For the following note on the Mangalas, I am indebted to
Mr. C. Hayavadana Rao. The caste is divided into two endogamous
divisions, Telaga and Kapu, the ancestors of which were half brothers,
by different mothers. They will eat together, but will not intermarry,
as they regard themselves as cousins. The primary occupation of the
caste is shaving the heads of people belonging to the non-polluting
castes, and, for a small consideration, razors are lent to Madigas and
Malas. A Mangala, in the Vizagapatam district, carries no pollution
with him, when he is not actually engaged in his professional
duties, and may often be found as storekeeper in Hindu households,
and occupying the same position as the Bhondari, or Oriya barber,
does in the Oriya country. Unlike the Tamil Ambattan, the Mangala has
no objection to shaving Europeans. He is one of the village officials,
whose duties are to render assistance to travellers, and massage their
limbs, and, in many villages, he is rewarded for his services with a
grant of land. He is further the village musician, and an expert at
playing on the flute. Boys are taught the art of shaving when they are
about eight years old. An old chatty (earthen pot) is turned upside
down, and smeared with damp earth. When this is dry, the lad has to
scrape it off under the direction of an experienced barber.

Mangala Pujari.--The title of the caste priest of the Mogers.

Mangalyam.--A sub-division of Marans, who, at the tali-kettu
ceremony of the Nayars, carry the ashtamangalyam or eight auspicious
things. These are rice, paddy (unhusked rice), tender leaves of the
cocoanut, a mimic arrow, a metal looking-glass, a well-washed cloth,
burning fire, and a small round wooden box called cheppu. Mangalyam
occurs as the name for Marans in old Travancore records.

Mangalakkal.--This and Manigramam are recorded, in the Travancore
Census Report, 1901, as sub-divisions of Nayar.

Manikala (a measure).--An exogamous sept of Yanadi.

Manikattal.--A synonym of Deva-dasi applied to dancing-girls in the
Tamil country.

Maniyakkaran.--Maniyakkaran or Maniyagaran, meaning an overseer,
occurs as a title or synonym of Parivaram and Sembadavan. As a name
of a sub-division of the Idaiyan shepherds, the word is said to be
derived from mani, a bell, such as is tied round the necks of cattle,
sheep, and goats. Maniyakkaran has been corrupted into monegar,
the title of the headman of a village in the Tamil country.

Manjaputtur.--A sub-division of Chettis, who are said to have emigrated
to the Madura district from Cuddalore (Manjakuppam).

Manla (trees).--An exogamous sept of Chenchu.

Mannadi.--A title of Kunnavans of the Palni hills, often given as
the caste name. Also a title of Pallans and Muttans.

Mannadiyar.--A trading sub-division of Nayar.

Mannan.--The Mannans are a hill tribe of Travancore, and are said to
have been originally dependents of the kings of Madura, whom they, like
the Uralis and Muduvans, accompanied to Neriyamangalam. "Later on, they
settled in a portion of the Cardamom Hills called Makara-alum. One of
the chiefs of Poonyat nominated three of these Mannans as his agents at
three different centres in his dominions, one to live at Tollairamalai
with a silver sword as badge and with the title of Varayilkizh Mannan,
a second to live at Mannankantam with a bracelet and the title of
Gopura Mannan, and a third at Utumpanchola with a silver cane and the
title of Talamala Mannan. For these headmen, the other Mannans are
expected to do a lot of miscellaneous services. It is only with the
consent of the headmen that marriages may be contracted. Persons of
both sexes dress themselves like Maravans. Silver and brass ear-rings
are worn by the men. Necklets of white and red beads are worn on
the neck, and brass bracelets on the wrist. Mannans put up the best
huts among the hill-men. Menstrual and puerperal impurity is not so
repelling as in the case of the Uralis. About a year after a child
is born, the eldest member of the family ties a necklet of beads
round its neck, and gives it a name. The Mannans bury their dead. The
coffin is made of bamboo and reeds, and the corpse is taken to the
grave with music and the beating of drums. The personal ornaments,
if any, are not removed. Before filling in the grave, a quantity
of rice is put into the mouth of the deceased. A shed is erected
over the site of burial. After a year has passed, an offering of
food and drink is made to the dead. The language of the Mannans is
Tamil. They have neither washermen nor barbers, but wash clothes and
shave for one another. The Mannans stand ahead of the other hill-men
from their knowledge of medicine, though they resort more to Chattu
than to herbs. Drinking is a very common vice. Marumakkathayam is
the prevailing form of inheritance (in the female line); but it is
customary to give a portion to the sons also. Marriage takes the form
of tali-tying. The tali (marriage badge) is removed on the death of
the husband. Women generally wait for two years to marry a second
husband, after the death of the first. A Mannan claims the hand of
his maternal uncle's daughter. The Sasta of Sabarimala and Periyar is
devoutly worshipped. The Mannans are experts in collecting honey. They
eat the flesh of the monkey, but not that of the crocodile, snake,
buffalo or cow. They are fast decreasing in numbers, like the other
denizens of the hills." [178]

Concerning the Mannans, Mr. O. H. Bensley writes as follows. [179]
"I enjoy many pleasant reminiscences of my intercourse with these
people. Their cheery and sociable disposition, and enjoyment of
camp life, make it quite a pleasure to be thrown into contact with
them. Short, sturdy, and hairless, the Mannans have all the appearances
of an 'aboriginal' race. The Mannan country extends southward from the
limit occupied by the Muduvans on the Cardamom Hills to a point south
of the territory now submerged by the Periyar works. [180] They have,
moreover, to keep to the east of the Periyar river. Smallpox ravages
their villages, and fever lives in the air they breathe. Within
the present generation, three of their settlements were at the
point of extinction, but were recruited from other more fortunate
bands. Very few attain to old age, but there were until lately three
old patriarchs among them, who were the headmen of three of the most
important sections of the tribe. The Muduvans and Mannans pursue
the same destructive method of cultivation, but, as the latter are
much fewer in numbers, their depredations are not so serious. None
of the tribes east of the Periyar pay any tax to the Government,
but are expected, in return for their holdings, to perform certain
services in the way of building huts and clearing paths, for which
they receive fixed payment. They have also to collect forest produce,
and for this, too, they obtain fixed rates, so that their treatment
by the Government is in reality of the most liberal kind. Mannans do
not always look at things in quite the light one would expect. For
example, the heir to an English Earldom, after a pleasant shooting
trip in Travancore, bestowed upon a Mannan who had been with him
a handsome knife as a memento. Next day, the knife was seen in the
possession of a cooly on a coffee estate, and it transpired that the
Mannan had sold it to him for three rupees, instead of keeping it as
an heirloom. A remarkable trait in the character of the Mannans is
the readiness with which they fraternise with Europeans. Most of the
other tribes approach with reluctance, which requires considerable
diplomacy to overcome. Not so the Mannan. He willingly initiates a
tyro and a stranger into the mysteries of the chase. Though their
language is Tamil, and the only communication they hold with the
low country is on the Madura side, they have this custom in common
with the Malayalis, that the chieftainship of their villages goes to
the nephew, and not to the son. One does not expect to find heroic
actions among these simple people. But how else could one describe
the following incident? A Mannan, walking with his son, a lad about
twelve years old, came suddenly upon a rogue elephant. His first act
was to place his son in a position of safety by lifting him up till
he could reach the branch of a tree, and only then he began to think
of himself. But it was too late. The elephant charged down upon him,
and in a few seconds he was a shapeless mass."

Mannan (Washerman caste).--See Vannan and Velan.

Mannedora (lord of the hills).--A title assumed by Konda Doras. Manne
Sultan is a title of the Maharaja of Travancore and the Raja of
Vizianagram. The Konda Doras also style themselves Mannelu, or those
of the hills.

Mannepu-vandlu.--Said [181] to be the name, derived from mannemu,
highland, for Malas in parts of the Godavari district.

Mannu (earth).--A sub-division of Oddes, who are earth-workers. Manti,
which has also been returned by them at times of census, has a similar
significance (earthen). Man Udaiyan occurs as a synonym of Kusavan,
and Manal (sand) as an exogamous sept of Kappiliyan. Man Kavarai is
recorded in the Salem Manual as the name of a class of salt makers
from salt-earth.

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

Mappilla.--The Mappillas, or Moplahs, are defined in the Census Report,
1871, as the hybrid Mahomedan race of the western coast, whose numbers
are constantly being added to by conversion of the slave castes of
Malabar. In 1881, the Census Superintendent wrote that "among some of
them there may be a strain of Arab blood from some early generation,
but the mothers throughout have been Dravidian, and the class has been
maintained in number by wholesale adult conversion." Concerning the
origin of the Mappillas, Mr. Lewis Moore states [182] that "originally
the descendants of Arab traders by the women of the country, they
now form a powerful community. There appears to have been a large
influx of Arab settlers into Malabar in the ninth century A.D. and the
numbers have been constantly increased by proselytism. The Mappillas
came prominently forward at the time of the Portuguese invasion
at the end of the fifteenth century A.D." "The Muhammadan Arabs,"
Dr. Burnell writes, [183] "appear to have settled first in Malabar
about the beginning of the ninth century; there were heathen Arabs
there long before that in consequence of the immense trade conducted by
the Sabeans with India." "There are," Mr. B. Govinda Nambiar writes,
[184] "many accounts extant in Malabar concerning the introduction of
the faith of Islam into this district. Tradition says that, in the
ninth century of the Christian era, a party of Moslem pilgrims, on
their way to a sacred shrine in Ceylon, chanced to visit the capital
of the Perumal or king of Malabar, that they were most hospitably
entertained by that prince, and that he, becoming a convert to their
faith, subsequently accompanied them to Arabia (where he died). It
is further stated that the Perumal, becoming anxious of establishing
his new faith in Malabar, with suitable places of worship, sent his
followers with letters to all the chieftains whom he had appointed
in his stead, requiring them to give land for mosques, and to endow
them. The Perumal's instructions were carried out, and nine mosques
were founded and endowed in various parts of Malabar. Whatever truth
there may be in these accounts, it is certain that, at a very early
period, the Arabs had settled for commercial purposes on the Malabar
coast, had contracted alliances with the women of the country,
and that the mixed race thus formed had begun to be known as the
Mappillas. These Mappillas had, in the days of the Zamorin, played
an important part in the political history of Malabar, and had in
consequence obtained many valuable privileges. When Vasco da Gama
visited Calicut during the closing years of the fifteenth century,
we find their influence at court so powerful that the Portuguese
could not obtain a commercial footing there. The numerical strength
of the Mappillas was greatly increased by forcible conversions
during the period when Tippu Sultan held sway over Malabar." [At
the installation of the Zamorin, some Mappilla families at Calicut
have certain privileges; and a Mappilla woman, belonging to a certain
family, presents the Zamorin with betel nuts near the Kallai bridge,
on his return from a procession through the town.] According to one
version of the story of the Perumal, Cheraman Perumal dreamt that the
full moon appeared at Mecca on the night of the new moon, and that,
when on the meridian, it split into two, one half remaining in the
air, and the other half descending to the foot of a hill called Abu
Kubais, where the two halves joined together. Shortly afterwards,
a party of pilgrims, on their way to the foot-print shrine at Adam's
peak in Ceylon, landed in Cheraman Perumal's capital at Kodungallur,
and reported that by the same miracle, Muhammad had converted a number
of unbelievers to his religion.

The cephalic index of the Mappillas is lower than that of the other
Muhammadan classes in South India which I have examined, and this
may probably be explained by their admixture with dolichocephalic
Dravidians. The figures are as follows:--


                             Number examined.   Cephalic index.

         Mappilla                          40              72.8
         Sheik Muhammadan                  40              75.6
         Saiyad Muhammadan                 40              75.6
         Daira Muhammadan                  50              75.6
         Pathan Muhammadan                 40              76.2


From the measurement of a very few Mappillas, members of the
Hyderabad Contingent, and Marathas, who went to England for the
Coronation in 1902, Mr. J. Gray arrived at the conclusion that
"the people on the west coast and in the centre of the Deccan,
namely the Moplas, Maharattas, and Hyderabad Contingent, differ
considerably from the Tamils of the east coast. Their heads are
considerably shorter. This points to admixture of the Dravidians
with some Mongolian element. There is a tradition that the Moplas
are descended from Arab traders, but the measurements indicate that
the immigrants were Turkish, or of some other Mongolian element,
probably from Persia or Baluchistan." [185]

The cephalic indices, as recorded by Mr. Gray, were:--


                              Number examined.   Cephalic index.

       Tamils                                6              75.4
       Moplas                                6              77.5
       Hyderabad Contingent                  6                75
       Maharattas                            7                79


The number of individuals examined is, however, too small for the
purpose of generalisation.

In the Census Report, 1891, it is noted that some Mappillas have
returned "Putiya Islam," meaning new converts to Islam. These are
mostly converts from the Mukkuvan or fisherman caste, and this process
of conversion is still going on. Most of the fishermen of Tanur, where
there is an important fish-curing yard, are Mukkuvan converts. They are
sleek and well-nourished, and, to judge from the swarm of children who
followed me during my inspection of the yard, eminently fertile. One
of them, indeed, was polygynous to the extent of seven wives, each
of whom had presented him with seven sons, not to mention a large
consignment of daughters. On the east coast the occurrence of twins
is attributed by the fishermen to the stimulating properties of fish
diet. In Malabar, great virtue is attributed to the sardine or nalla
mathi (good fish, Clupea longiceps), as an article of dietary.

"Conversion to Muhammadanism," Mr. Logan writes, [186] "has had a
marked effect in freeing the slave caste in Malabar from their former
burthens. By conversion a Cheruman obtains a distinct rise in the
social scale, and, if he is in consequence bullied or beaten, the
influence of the whole Muhammadan community comes to his aid." The
same applies to the Nayadis, of whom some have escaped from their
degraded position by conversion to Islam. In the scale of pollution,
the Nayadi holds the lowest place, and consequently labours under the
greatest disadvantage, which is removed with his change of religion.

As regards the origin and significance of the word Mappilla, according
to Mr. Lewis Moore, it means, "(1) a bridegroom or son-in-law; (2) the
name given to Muhammadan, Christian, or Jewish colonists in Malabar,
who have intermarried with the natives of the country. The name is
now confined to Muhammadans." It is noted by Mr. Nelson [187] that
"the Kallans alone of all the castes of Madura call the Muhammadans
Mappilleis, or bridegrooms." In criticising this statement, Yule and
Burnell [188] state that "Nelson interprets the word as bridegroom. It
should, however, rather be son-in-law. The husband of the existing
Princess of Tanjore is habitually styled by the natives Mappillai
Sahib, as the son-in-law of the late Raja." "Some," Mr. Padmanabha
Menon writes, [189] "think that the word Mappila is a contracted form
of maha (great) and pilla (child), an honorary title as among Nairs
in Travancore (pilla or pillay). Mr. Logan surmises that maha pilla
was probably a title of honour conferred on the early Muhammadans, or
possibly on the still earlier Christian immigrants, who are also down
to the present day called Mappilas. The Muhammadans generally go by
the name of Jonaga Mappilas. Jonaka is believed to stand for Yavanaka,
i.e., Greek!" [190] [In the Gazetteer of the Tanjore district, Yavana
is recorded as meaning Ionia.] It is, indeed, remarkable that in the
Payyanorepat, perhaps the earliest Malayalam poem extant, some of the
sailors mentioned in it are called Chonavans. (The Jews are known as
Juda Mappila.) Dr. Day derives the word Mapilla from Ma (mother) and
pilla (child). [Wilson gives Mapilla, mother's son, as being sprung
from the intercourse of foreign colonists, who were persons unknown,
with Malabar women.] Duncan says that a Qazi derived the name from Ma
(mother) and pilla a (puppy) as a term of reproach! Maclean, in the
Asiatic Researches, considered that the word came from maha or mohai
(mocha) and pilla (child), and therefore translated it into children
or natives (perhaps outcasts) of Mohai or Mocha. A more likely, and
perhaps more correct derivation is given by Mr. Percy Badger in a note
to his edition of the Varthema. "I am inclined to think," he says,
"that the name is either a corruption of the Arabic muflih (from the
root fallah, to till the soil), meaning prosperous or victorious,
in which sense it would apply to the successful establishment of
those foreign Mussalmans on the western coast of India; or that it
is a similar corruption of maflih (the active participial form of the
same verb), an agriculturist--a still more appropriate designation of
Moplahs, who, according to Buchanan, are both traders and farmers. In
the latter sense, the term, though not usually so applied among
the Arabs, would be identical with fella'h." By Mr. C. P. Brown the
conviction was expressed that Mappilla is a Tamil mispronunciation
of the Arabic mu'abbar, from over the water.

"The chief characteristic of the Mappillas," Mr. Govinda Nambiar
writes, "as of all Mussalmans, is enthusiasm for religious
practices. They are either Sunnis or Shiahs. The Sunnis are the
followers of the Ponnani Tangal, the chief priest of the orthodox
party, while the Shiahs acknowledge the Kondotti Tangal as their
religious head. There are always religious disputes between these
sects, and the criminal courts are not seldom called in to settle
them." In an account of the Mappillas, [191] Mr. P. Kunjain, a Mappilla
Government official (the first Mappilla Deputy Collector), states that
"there are a few Moplahs in the Ernad and Waluwanad taluks who are
the followers of the Kondotti Tangal, and are, therefore, believed
to be heretics (Shias). The number of these is dwindling. The reason
why they are believed to be heretics, and as such outcasted, is
that they are enjoined by their preceptor (the Tangal) to prostrate
before him. Prostration (sujud), according to strict doctrines, is
due to God alone." At Mulliakurichi in the Walluwanad taluk there
are two mosques. One, the Pazhaya Palli, or old mosque, belongs to,
or is regarded as belonging to the Kondotti sect of Mappillas. The
other is called Puthan Palli, or new mosque. This mosque is asserted
by the Ponnani sect of Mappillas to have been erected for their
exclusive use. The Kondotti sect, on the other hand, claim that
it was erected by them, as the old mosque was not large enough
for the growing congregation. They do not claim exclusive use of
the new mosque, but a right to worship there, just like any other
Muhammadan. The Ponnani sect, however, claim a right to exclude
the Kondotti people from the new mosque altogether. In September,
1901, there was a riot at the mosque between members of the rival
sects. The Mappillas have a college at Ponnani, the chief seat of
their religious organisation, where men are trained in religious
offices. This institution, called the Jammat mosque, was, it is said,
founded in the twelfth or thirteenth century A.D. by an Arab divine
for the purpose of imparting religious instruction to youths of the
Muhammadan community. The head of the institution selects the ablest
and most diligent from among the students, and confers on him the
title of Musaliar. He is then appointed to preach in mosques, and to
explain the meaning of the Koran and other sacred writings. There are
other religious offices, as those of the Kazi, Katib, and Mulla. The
highest personages of divinity among them are known as Tangals. In
the middle of the last century there was a very influential Tangal
(Mambram Tangal), who was suspected of fomenting outbreaks, and who
conferred his blessing on the murderous projects of his disciples. Of
him it is stated that he was regarded as imbued with a portion of
divinity, and that the Mappillas swore by his foot as their most
solemn oath. Earth on which he had spat or walked was treasured up,
and his blessing was supremely prized. Even among the higher class
of Mappillas, his wish was regarded as a command.

Mr. A. R. Loftus-Tottenham informs me that "it is quite common
now for Mappillas to invoke Mambram Tangal when in difficulties. I
have heard a little Mappilla, who was frightened at my appearance,
and ran away across a field, calling out 'Mambram Tangal, Mambram
Tangal.' The Tangal, who had to be induced to leave Malabar, went
off to Constantinople, and gained great influence with the Sultan."

In 1822 it was recorded [192] by Mr. Baber, in a circuit report,
that the Tarramal and Condotty Tangals "pretend to an extraordinary
sanctity, and such is the character they have established, that the
people believe it is in their power to carry them harmless through
the most hazardous undertakings, and even to absolve them of the
most atrocious crimes. To propitiate them, their votaries are lavish
in their presents, and there are no description of delinquents who
do not find an asylum in the mosques wherein these Tangals take up
their abode, whether pursued by the Police, or by their own evil
consciences." There is a legend current on the Kavarathi island of
the Laccadives that a Tangal of that island once cursed the crows for
dropping their excrement on his person, and now there is not a crow
on the island. On another occasion, hearing the cries of a woman in
labour, the Tangal prayed to God that the women of the island might
suffer from no such pains in future. So strong is the belief in
the immunity from the pangs of child-birth which was thus obtained,
that the women of the neighbouring islands go over to Kavarathi for
delivery, in order to have an easy confinement. [193]

In connection with Mappilla superstition, Mr. Tottenham writes as
follows. "A beggar died (probably of starvation) by the roadside in
Walluvanad taluk. When alive, no one worried about him. But, after
he died, it was said that celestial voices had been heard uttering
the call to prayer at the spot. The Mappillas decided that he was a
very holy man, whom they had not fed during his life, and who should
be canonised after death. A little tomb was erected, and a light may
be seen burning there at night. Small banners are deposited by the
faithful, who go in numbers to the place, and there is, I think,
a money-box to receive their contributions." Mr. Tottenham writes
further that "the holy place at Malappuram is the tomb of the Sayyids
(saints or martyrs) who were killed in a battle by a local military
chieftain. These Sayyids are invoked. At Kondotti there is a very
pretentious, and rather picturesque tomb--a square building of gneiss
surmounted by a cupola--to one of the Tangals. Near it is a small
tank full of more or less tame fish. It is one of the sights of the
place to see them fed. At the great festival called neercha (vow),
the Mappillas go in procession, headed by banners, elephants (if they
possess them), and music, and carrying offerings to the head-quarters
(Malappuram and Kondotti are the principal ones) of some Tangal, where
they deposit the banners, I think at the tomb of the local saint,
and present the offerings to the Tangal. At Malappuram, an enormous
crowd of ten to twenty thousand assembles, and there is a great tamasha
(popular excitement). You will sometimes see a man with his hair uncut,
i.e., he does not cut it till he has fulfilled the vow."

There is a tradition that, some centuries ago, one Sheik Mahomed Tangal
died. One night, some Mappillas dreamt that his grave, which was near
the reefs, was in danger of being washed away, and that they should
remove the body to a safe place. They accordingly opened the grave, and
found the body quite fresh, with no sign of decomposition. The remains
were piously re-interred in another place, and a mosque, known as
Sheikkinde Palli, built. The Mappillas of Calicut celebrate annually,
on the 15th day of Rajub, the anniversary of the death of Sheik Mahomed
Tangal, the date of which was made known through inspiration by an
ancestor of the Mambram Tangal. The ancestor also presented the Mullah
of the mosque with a head-dress, which is still worn by successive
Mullahs on the occasion of the anniversary festival. "The festival goes
by the name of Appani (trade in bread). A feature of the celebration is
that every Moplah household prepares a supply of rice cakes, which are
sent to the mosque to be distributed among the thousands of beggars
who gather for the occasion. A very brisk trade is also carried on
in these rice cakes, which are largely bought by the charitable for
distribution among the poor. On the day of the anniversary, as well
as on the day following, prayers are offered up to the souls of the
departed. According to a legend, the pious Sheik, during his travels
in foreign lands, arrived at Achin disguised as a fakir. One day, some
servants of the local Sultan came to him, recognising in him a holy
man, and begged his help in a serious difficulty. Their Sultan, they
said, had a favourite parrot which used to be kept in a golden cage,
and, the door of this cage having been inadvertently left open, the
parrot had escaped. On hearing of the loss of his favourite bird, the
Sultan had threatened his ministers and servants with dire punishment,
if they failed to recover the bird. Sheik Mahomed Koya directed the
servants to place the cage in the branches of a neighbouring tree,
assuring them that the parrot would come and enter his cage. Saying
this, the holy man departed. The servants did as he had bidden them,
and had the gratification of seeing the bird fly into the cage, and
of recovering and conveying it to their master. The Sultan asked the
bird why it went away when it had a beautiful golden cage to live in,
and a never failing supply of dainty food to subsist upon. The parrot
replied that the beautiful cage and the dainty food were not to be
compared with the delights of a free and unfettered life spent under
the foliage of feathery bamboos, swayed by gentle breezes. The Sultan
then asked the bird why it had come back, and the bird made answer
that, while it was disporting itself with others of its species in
a clump of bamboos, a stifling heat arose, which it feared would
burn its wings, but, as it noticed that on one side of the clump
the atmosphere was cool, it flew to that spot to take shelter on a
tree. Seeing the cage amidst the branches, it entered, and was thus
recaptured and brought back. The Sultan afterwards discovered that it
was the fakir who had thus miraculously brought about the recovery of
his bird, and further that the fakir was none other than the saintly
Sheik Mahomed Koya Tangal. When the news of the Tangal's death was
subsequently received, the Sultan ordered that the anniversary of the
day should be celebrated in his dominions, and the Moplahs of Calicut
believe that the faithful in Achin join with them every year in doing
honour to the memory of their departed worthy." [194]

It is recorded, in the Annual Report of the Basel Medical Mission,
Calicut, 1907, that "cholera and smallpox were raging terribly
in the months of August and September. It is regrettable that the
people, during such epidemics, do not resort to hospital medicines,
but ascribe them to the devil's scourge. Especially the ignorant
and superstitious Moplahs believe that cholera is due to demoniac
possession, and can only be cured by exorcism. An account of
how this is done may be interesting. A Thangal (Moplah priest)
is brought in procession, with much shouting and drumming, to the
house to drive out the cholera devil. The Thangal enters the house,
where three cholera patients are lying; two of these already in a
collapsed condition. The wonder-working priest refuses to do anything
with these advanced cases, as they seem to be hopeless. The other
patient, who is in the early stage of the disease, is addressed as
follows. 'Who are you?'--'I am the cholera devil'. 'Where do you come
from?'--'From such and such a place'. 'Will you clear out at once or
not?'--'No, I won't'. 'Why?'--'Because I want something to quench my
thirst'. 'You want blood?'--'Yes'. Then the Thangal asks his followers
and relatives to give him what he asks. A young bull is brought into
the room and killed on the spot, and the patient is made to drink
the warm blood. Then the Thangal commands him to leave the place at
once. The patient, weak and exhausted, gathers up all his strength, and
runs out of the house, aided by a cane which is freely applied to his
back. He runs as far as he can, and drops exhausted on the road. Then
he is carried back, and, marvellous to say, he makes a good recovery."

"The most important institution," Mr. A. S. Vaidyanatha Aiyar writes,
[195] "among the Mappilas of Malabar is the office of the Mahadun
(Makhdum) at Ponnani, which dates its origin about four centuries
ago, the present Mahadun being the twenty-fifth of his line. [The
line of the original Makhdum ended with the eighteenth, and the
present Makhdum and his six immediate predecessors belong to a
different line.] In the Mahadun there was a sect of religious head
for the Mappilas from Kodangalur to Mangalore. His office was, and
is still held in the greatest veneration. His decrees were believed
to be infallible. (His decrees are accepted as final.) The Zamorins
recognised the Mahadunship, as is seen from the presentation of the
office dress at every succession. In the famous Jamath mosque they
(the Mahaduns) have been giving instruction in Koran ever since they
established themselves at Ponnani. Students come here from different
parts of the country. After a certain standard of efficiency, the
degree of Musaliar is conferred upon the deserving Mullas (their name
in their undergraduate course). This ceremony consists simply in the
sanction given by the Mahadun to read at the big lamp in the mosque,
where he sometimes gives the instruction personally. The ceremony is
known as vilakkath irikka (to sit by the lamp). When the degree of
Musaliar is conferred, this sacred lamp is lit, and the Mahadun is
present with a number of Musaliars. These Musaliars are distributed
through the length and breadth of the land. They act as interpreters
of the Koran, and are often appointed in charge of the mosques. When I
visited the Jamath, there were about three hundred students. There is
no regular staff of teachers. Students are told off into sections under
the management of some senior students. The students are confined to
the mosque for their lodgings, while most of them enjoy free boarding
from some generous Mappilla or other."

I am informed by Mr. Kunjain that "Mulla ordinarily means a man who
follows the profession of teaching the Koran to children, reading
it, and performing petty religious ceremonies for others, and lives
on the scanty perquisites derived therefrom. The man in charge of a
mosque, and who performs all petty offices therein, is also called
a Mulla. [196] This name is, however, peculiar to South Malabar. At
Quilandi and around it the teacher of the Koran is called Muallimy,
at Badagara Moiliar (Musaliar), at Kottayam Seedi, at Cannanore Kalfa,
and north of it Mukri. The man in charge of a mosque is also called
Mukir in North Malabar, while in South Malabar Mukir is applied to the
man who digs graves, lights lamps, and supplies water to the mosque."

The mosques of the Mappillas are quite unlike those of any
other Muhammadans. "Here," Mr. Fawcett writes, [197] "one sees
no minarets. The temple architecture of Malabar was noticed by
Mr. Fergusson to be like that of Nepal: nothing like it exists between
the two places. And the Mappilla mosque is much in the style of the
Hindu temple, even to the adoption of the turret-like edifice which,
among Hindus, is here peculiar to the temples of Siva. The general
use nowadays of German mission-made tiles is bringing about, alas! a
metamorphosis in the architecture of Hindu temples and Mappilla
mosques, the picturesqueness disappearing altogether, and in a few
years it may be difficult to find one of the old style. The mosque,
though it may be little better than a hovel, is always as grand as
the community can make it, and once built it can never be removed,
for the site is sacred ever afterwards. Every Mappilla would shed his
blood, rather than suffer any indignity to a mosque." The mosques
often consist of "several stories, having two or more roofs, one
or more of the upper stories being usually built of wood, the sides
sloping inwards at the bottom. The roof is pent and tiled. There is
a gable end at one (the eastern) extremity, the timber on this being
often elaborately carved."

One section of Mappillas at Calicut is known as "Clap the hand"
(Keikottakar) in contradistinction to another section, which may not
clap hands (Keikottattakar). On the occasion of wedding and other
ceremonies, the former enjoy the privilege of clapping their hands as
an accompaniment to the processional music, while the latter are not
permitted to do so. [198] It is said that at one time the differences
of opinion between the two sections ran so high that the question
was referred for decision to the highest ecclesiastical authorities
at Mecca.

The Mappillas observe the Ramazan, Bakrid, and Haj. "They only observe
the ninth and tenth days of Muharam, and keep them as a fast; they
do not make taboots. [199] A common religious observance is the
celebration of what is called a mavulad or maulad. A maulad is a
tract or short treatise in Arabic celebrating the birth, life, works
and sayings of the prophet, or some saint such as Shaik Mohiuddin,
eleventh descendant of the prophet, expounder of the Koran, and worker
of miracles, or the Mambram Tangal, father of Sayid Fasl. For the
ceremony a Mulla is called in to read the book, parts of which are in
verse, and the congregation is required to make responses, and join in
the singing. The ceremony, which usually takes place in the evening,
concludes with, or is preceded by a feast, to which the friends
and relations are invited. Those who can afford it should perform a
maulad in honour of Shaik Mohiuddin on the eleventh of every month,
and one in honour of the prophet on the twelfth. A maulad should
also be performed on the third day after death. It is also a common
practice to celebrate a maulad before any important undertaking on
which it is desired to invoke a blessing, or in fulfilment of some
vows; hence the custom of maulads preceding outbreaks." [200]

For a detailed account of the fanatical [201] outbreaks in the
Mappilla community, which have long disturbed the peace of Malabar
from time to time, I must refer the reader to the District Manual and
Gazetteer. From these sources, and from the class handbook (Mappillas)
for the Indian Army, [202] the following note relating to some of
the more serious of the numerous outbreaks has been compiled. [203]

Towards the end of the seventeenth century, the Mappillas massacred
the chief of Anjengo, and all the English gentlemen belonging to the
settlement, when on a public visit to the Queen of Altinga. [204]
In 1841, seven or eight Mappillas killed two Hindus, and took post
in a mosque, setting the police at defiance. They, and some of their
co-religionists who had joined them, were shot down by a party of
sepoys. In the same month, some two thousand Mappillas set at defiance
a police guard posted over the spot where the above criminals had
been buried, and forcibly carried off their bodies, to inter them
with honours in a mosque.

An outbreak, which occurred in 1843, was celebrated in a stirring
ballad. [205] A series of Mappilla war-songs have been published
by Mr. Fawcett. [206] In October, 1843, a peon (orderly) was found
with his head and hand all but cut off, and the perpetrators were
supposed to have been Mappilla fanatics of the sect known as Hal
Ilakkam (frenzy raising), concerning which the following account was
given in an official report, 1843. "In the month of Metam last year,
one Alathamkuliyil Moidin went out into the fields before daybreak
to water the crops, and there he saw a certain person, who advised
him to give up all his work, and devote his time to prayer at the
mosque. Moidin objected to this, urging that he would have nothing to
live upon. Whereupon, the above-mentioned person told him that a palm
tree, which grew in his (Moidin's) compound, would yield sufficient
toddy, which he could convert into jaggery (crude sugar), and thus
maintain himself. After saying this, the person disappeared. Moidin
thought that the person he saw was God himself, and felt frantic
(hal). He then went to Taramal Tangal, and performed dikkar and
niskaram (cries and prayers). After two or three days, he complained
to the Tangal that Kafirs (a term applied by Muhammadans to people of
other religions) were making fun of him. The Tangal told him that the
course adopted by him was the right one, and, saying 'Let it be as I
have said,' gave him a spear to be borne as an emblem, and assured him
that nobody would mock him in future. Subsequently several Mappillas,
affecting hal ilakkam, played all sorts of pranks, and wandered about
with canes in their hands, without going to their homes or attending
to their work. After several days, some of them, who had no means of
maintaining themselves unless they attended to their work, returned to
their former course of life, while others, with canes and Ernad knives
(war knives) in their hands, wandered about in companies of five, six,
eight, or ten men, and, congregating in places not much frequented
by Hindus, carried on their dikkar and niskaram. The Mappillas in
general look upon this as a religious vow, and provide these people
with food. I hear of the Mappillas talking among themselves that
one or two of the ancestors of Taramal Tangal died fighting, that,
the present man being advanced in age, it is time for him to follow
the same course, and that the above-mentioned men affected with hal
ilakkam, when their number swells to four hundred, will engage in a
fight with Kafirs, and die in company with the Tangal. One of these men
(who are known as Halar), by name Avarumayan, two months ago collected
a number of his countrymen, and sacrificed a bull, and, for preparing
meals for these men, placed a copper vessel with water on the hearth,
and said that rice would appear of itself in the vessel. He waited
for some time. There was no rice to be seen. Those who had assembled
there ate beef alone, and dispersed. Some people made fun of Avarumayan
for this. He felt ashamed, and went to Taramal Tangal, with whom he
stayed two or three days. He then went to the mosque at Mambram, and,
on attempting to fly through the air into the mosque on the southern
side of the river at Tirurangadi, fell down through the opening of
the door, and became lame of one leg, in which state he is reported
to be still lying. While the Halar of Munniyur desam were performing
niskaram one day at the tomb of Chemban Pokar Muppan, a rebel,
they declared that in the course of a week a mosque would spring
up at night, and that there would be complete darkness for two full
days. Mappillas waited in anxious expectation of the phenomenon for
seven or eight days and nights. There was, however, neither darkness
nor mosque to be seen. Again, in the month of Karkigadam last, some
of the influential Mappillas led their ignorant Hindu neighbours to
believe that a ship would arrive with the necessary arms, provisions,
and money for forty thousand men; and that, if that number could
be secured meanwhile, they could conquer the country, and that the
Hindus would then totally vanish. It appears that it was about this
time that some Tiyyar (toddy-drawers) and others became converts. None
of the predictions having been realised, Mappillas, as well as others,
have begun to make fun of the Halar, who, having taken offence at this,
are bent upon putting an end to themselves by engaging in a fight."

Since the outbreak near Manjeri in 1849, when two companies of sepoys
were routed after firing a few shots, European troops have always been
engaged against the Mappillas. On the occasion of that outbreak, one
of the Mappillas had his thigh broken in the engagement. He remained in
all the agony of a wound unattended to for seven days, and was further
tortured by being carried in a rough litter from the Manjeri to the
Angadipuram temple. Yet, at the time of a further fight, he was hopping
to the encounter on his sound leg, and only anxious to get a fair blow
at the infidels before he died. It is recorded that, on one occasion,
when a detachment of sepoys was thrown into disorder by a fierce rush
of death-devoted Mappillas, the drummer of the company distinguished
himself by bonneting an assailant with his drum, thereby putting the
Mappilla's head into a kind of straight jacket, and saving his own
life. [207] In 1852 Mr. Strange was appointed Special Commissioner to
enquire into the causes of, and suggest remedies for, the Mappilla
disturbances. In his report he stated, inter alia, that "a feature
that has been manifestly common to the whole of these affairs is that
they have been, one and all, marked by the most decided fanaticism,
and this, there can be no doubt, has furnished the true incentive to
them. The Mappillas of the interior were always lawless, even in the
time of Tippu, were steeped in ignorance, and were, on these accounts,
more than ordinarily susceptible to the teaching of ambitious and
fanatical priests using the recognised precepts of the Koran as
handles for the sanction to rise and slay Kafirs, who opposed the
faithful, chiefly in the pursuit of agriculture. The Hindus, in the
parts where outbreaks have been most frequent, stand in such fear of
the Mappillas as mostly not to dare to press for their rights against
them, and there is many a Mappilla tenant who does not pay his rent,
and cannot, so imminent are the risks, be evicted." Mr. Strange stated
further that "the most perverted ideas on the doctrine of martyrdom,
according to the Koran, universally prevail, and are fostered among
the lower classes of the Mappillas. The late enquiries have shown that
there is a notion prevalent among the lower orders that, according to
the Mussalman religion, the fact of a janmi or landlord having in due
course of law ejected from his lands a mortgagee or other substantial
tenant, is a sufficient pretext to murder him, become sahid (saint),
and so ensure the pleasures of the Muhammadan paradise. It is well
known that the favourite text of the banished Arab priest or Tangal,
in his Friday orations at the mosque in Tirurangadi, was 'It is no
sin, but a merit, to kill a janmi who evicts.'" Mr. Strange proposed
the organisation of a special police force exclusively composed
of Hindus, and that restrictions should be put on the erection of
mosques. Neither of these proposals was approved by Government. But
a policy of repression set in with the passing of Acts XXII and XXIV
of 1854. The former authorised the local authorities to escheat the
property of those guilty of fanatical rising, to fine the locality
where outrages had occurred, and to deport suspicious persons out
of the country. The latter rendered illegal the possession of the
Mappilla war-knife. Mr. Conolly, the District Magistrate, proceeded,
in December, 1854, on a tour, to collect the war-knives through the
heart of the Mappilla country. In the following year, when he was
sitting in his verandah, a body of fanatics, who had recently escaped
from the Calicut jail, rushed in, and hacked him to pieces in his
wife's presence. He had quite recently received a letter from Lord
Dalhousie, congratulating him on his appointment as a member of the
Governor's Council at Madras. His widow was granted the net proceeds
of the Mappilla fines, amounting to more than thirty thousand rupees.

In an account of an outbreak in 1851, it is noted that one of the
fanatics was a mere child. And it was noticed, in connection with
a more recent outbreak, that there were "several boys who were
barely fourteen years old. One was twelve; some were seventeen or
eighteen. Some observers have said that the reason why boys turn
fanatics is because they may thus avoid the discomfort, which the
Ramzan entails. A dispensation from fasting is claimable when on the
war-path. There are high hopes of feasts of cocoanuts and jaggery,
beef and boiled rice. At the end of it all there is Paradise with
its black-eyed girls." [208]

In 1859, Act No. XX for the suppression of outrages in the district
of Malabar was passed.

In 1884, Government appointed Mr. Logan, the Head Magistrate of
Malabar, to enquire into the general question of the tenure of land and
tenant right, and the question of sites for mosques and burial-grounds
in the district. Mr. Logan expressed his opinion that the Mappilla
outrages were designed "to counteract the overwhelming influence,
when backed by the British courts, of the janmis in the exercise
of the novel powers of ouster, and of rent-raising conferred upon
them. A janmi who, through the courts, evicted, whether fraudulently
or otherwise, a substantial tenant, was deemed to have merited death,
and it was considered a religious virtue, not a fault, to have killed
such a man, and to have afterwards died in arms, fighting against an
infidel Government." Mr. MacGregor, formerly Collector of Malabar, had,
some years before, expressed himself as "perfectly satisfied that the
Mappilla outrages are agrarian. Fanaticism is merely the instrument,
through which the terrorism of the landed classes is aimed at."

In 1884 an outbreak occurred near Malappuram, and it was
decided by Government to disarm the taluks of Ernad, Calicut, and
Walluvanad. Notwithstanding the excited state of the Mappillas at
the time, the delicate operation was successfully carried out by
the district officers, and 17,295 arms, including 7,503 fire-arms of
various kinds, were collected. In the following year, the disarming
of the Ponnani taluk was accomplished. Of these confiscated arms,
the Madras Museum possesses a small collection, selected from a mass
of them which were hoarded in the Collector's office, and were about
to be buried in the deep sea.

In 1896 a serious outbreak occurred at Manjeri, and two or three
notoriously objectionable landlords were done away with. The
fanatics then took up a position, and awaited the arrival of the
British troops. They took no cover, and, when advancing to attack,
were mostly shot down at a distance of 700 to 800 yards, every man
wounded having his throat cut by his nearest friend. In the outbreak
of 1894, a Mappilla youth was wounded, but not killed. The tidings
was conveyed to his mother, who merely said, with the stern majesty
of the Spartan matron of old, 'If I were a man, I would not come back
wounded.' [209] "Those who die fighting for the faith are reverenced
as martyrs and saints, who can work miracles from the Paradise to
which they have attained. A Mappilla woman was once benighted in a
strange place. An infidel passed by, and, noticing her sorry plight,
tried to take advantage of it to destroy her virtue. She immediately
invoked the aid of one of the martyrs of Malappuram. A deadly serpent
rushed out of a neighbouring thicket, and flew at the villain,
who had dared to sully the chastity of a chosen daughter. Once,
during a rising, a Mappilla, who preferred to remain on the side
of order and Government, stood afar off, and watched with sorrow
the dreadful sight of his co-religionists being cut down by the
European soldiery. Suddenly his emotions underwent a transformation,
for there, through his blinding tears and the dust and smoke of the
battle, he saw a wondrous vision. Lovely houris bent tenderly over
fallen martyrs, bathed their wounds, and gave them to drink delicious
sherbet and milk, and, with smiles that outshone the brightness of
the sun, bore away the fallen bodies of the brave men to the realms
beyond. The watcher dashed through the crowd, and cast in his lot
with the happy men who were fighting such a noble fight. And, after
he was slain, these things were revealed to his wife in a vision,
and she was proud thereat. These, and similar stories, are believed
as implicitly as the Koran is believed." [210]

It is noted by Mr. Logan [211] that the custom of the Nayars, in
accordance with which they sacrificed their lives for the honour of
the king, "was readily adopted by the Mappillas, who also at times--as
at the great Mahamakham twelfth year feast at Tirunavayi--devoted
themselves to death in the company of Nayars for the honour of the
Valluvanad Raja. And probably the frantic fanatical rush of the
Mappillas on British bayonets is the latest development of this
ancient custom of the Nayars."

The fanatical outbreaks of recent times have been exclusively limited
to the Ernad and Walluvanad taluks. There are quartered at the present
time at Malappuram in the Ernad taluk a special Assistant Collector, a
company of British troops, and a special native police force. In 1905,
Government threw open 220 scholarships, on the results of the second
and third standard examinations, to Mappilla pupils of promise in the
two taluks mentioned above, to enable them to prosecute their studies
for the next higher standard in a recognised school connected with the
Madras Educational Department. Twenty scholarships were further offered
to Mappillas in the special class attached to the Government School
of Commerce, Calicut, where instruction in commercial arithmetic,
book-keeping, commercial practice, etc., is imparted in the Malayalam
language. In 1904, a Mappilla Sanskrit school was founded at Puttur,
some of the pupils at which belong to the families of hereditary
physicians, who were formerly good Sanskrit scholars.

At a Loyalty meeting of Mappillas held at Ponnani in 1908 under
the auspices of the Mannath-ul-Islam Sabha, the President spoke as
follows. "When the Moplahs are ranged on the side of order, the peace
of the country is assured. But the Moplah is viewed with suspicion by
the Government. He has got a bad name as a disturber of the peace. He
is liable to fits, and no one knows when he may run amock. From this
public platform I can assure the Government as well as the public
that the proper remedy has at last been applied, and the Moplah fits
have ceased, never to return. What the remedy was, and who discovered
it, must be briefly explained. Every Moplah outbreak was connected
with the relapse of a convert. In the heat of a family quarrel, in a
moment of despair, a Hindu thought to revenge himself upon his family
by becoming a convert to Islam. In a few days, repentance followed,
and he went back to his relatives. An ignorant Mullah made this
a text for a sermon. A still more ignorant villager found in it an
opportunity to obtain admission into the highest Paradise. An outbreak
results. The apostate's throat is cut. The Moplah is shot. Deportation
and Punitive Police follow. The only rational way to put a final stop
to this chronic malady was discovered by a Hindu gentleman. The hasty
conversions must be stopped. Those who seek conversion must be given
plenty of time to consider the irrevocable nature of the step they
were going to take. The Mullahs must be properly instructed. Their
interpretation of the Koran was wrong. There is absolutely nothing
in our scriptures to justify murders of this kind, or opposition to
the ruling power. The ignorant people had to be taught. There was no
place in Paradise for murderers and cut-throats. Their place was lower
down. Three things had to be done. Conversion had to be regulated;
the Mullahs had to be instructed; the ignorance of the people had
to be removed. Ponani is the religious head-quarters of the Moplahs
of the West Coast, including Malabar, South Canara, and the Native
States of Cochin and Travancore. The Jarathingal Thangal at Ponani is
the High Priest of all the Moplahs; the Mahadoom Thangal of Ponani
is the highest authority in all religious matters. It is he that
sanctifies the Musaliars. The Mannath-ul-Islam Sabha at Ponani was
started under the auspices of the Jarathingal Thangal and the Mahadoom
Thangal. Two schools were opened for the education of new converts,
one for boys and the other for girls. Strict enquiries were made as
to the state of mind and antecedents of all who seek conversion. They
are kept under observation long enough, and are admitted only on the
distinct understanding that it is a deliberate voluntary act, and they
have to make up their minds to remain. Some six thousand converts
have passed through our schools since the Sabha was started. The
Musaliars are never sanctified until they are thoroughly grounded in
the correct principles of our religion, and an assurance is obtained
from them that they will never preach rebellion. No Musaliar will
break a promise given to the Thangal. The loyalty of the Musaliars
and Mullahs is thus assured. Where there is no Musaliar to bless them,
there is no Moplah to die as a martyr. The Mullahs are also taught to
explain to all villagers that our scriptures condemn opposition to
the ruling power, and that loyalty to the Sovereign is a religious
duty. We are also trying to spread education among the ignorant
villagers. In order further to enlist the sympathies of the people,
extensive charities have been organised. Sixteen branches of the Sabha
have been opened all over South Malabar and the States of Travancore
and Cochin. A very large number of domestic quarrels--divorce cases,
partition cases, etc.--have been settled by arbitration through these
branch associations. It is an immense power for good."

The Mappillas have been summed up, as regards their occupations, as
being traders on the coast, and cultivators in the interior, in both of
which callings they are very successful and prosperous. "In the realm
of industry," it has been said, "the Moplah occupies a position, which
undoubtedly does him credit. Poverty is confined almost exclusively
to certain wild, yet picturesque tracts in the east of Malabar, where
the race constitutes the preponderating element of the population,
and the field and farm furnish the only means of support to the
people. And it is just in those areas that one may see at their best
the grit, laboriousness, and enterprise of the Moplah. He reclaims
dense forest patches, and turns them into cultivated plots under the
most unfavourable conditions, and, in the course of a few years, by
hard toil and perseverance, he transforms into profitable homesteads
regions that were erstwhile virgin forest or scrubby jungle. Or he
lays himself out to reclaim and plant up marshy lands lying alongside
rivers and lagoons, and insures them from destruction by throwing
up rough but serviceable dykes and dams. In these tracts he is also
sometimes a timber merchant, and gets on famously by taking out permits
to fell large trees, which he rafts down the rivers to the coast. The
great bulk of the Moplahs in these wild regions belong purely to the
labouring classes, and it is among these classes that the pinch of
poverty is most keenly felt, particularly in the dull monsoon days,
when all industry has to be suspended. In the towns and coast ports,
the Moplahs are largely represented in most branches of industry and
toil. A good many of them are merchants, and get on exceedingly well,
being bolder and more speculative than the Hindus of the district. The
bulk of petty traders and shop-keepers in Malabar are also Moplahs,
and, in these callings, they may be found at great distances from
home, in Rangoon, Ceylon, the Straits and elsewhere, and generally
prospering. Almost everywhere in their own district they go near
monopolising the grocery, hardware, haberdashery, and such other
trades; and as petty bazar men they drive a profitable business on
the good old principle of small profits and quick returns. No native
hawker caters more readily to Mr. Thomas Atkins (the British soldier)
than the Moplah, and, in the military stations in Malabar, 'Poker'
(a Moplah name) waxes fat and grows rich by undertaking to supply
Tommy with tea, coffee, lemonade, tobacco, oilman stores, and other
little luxuries."

"Some Mappillas," Mr. A. Chatterton writes, [212] "have taken to
leather-working, and they are considered to be specialists in the
making of ceruppus or leather shoes. In Malabar the trade in raw hides
and skins is chiefly in the hands of Mappillas. Weekly fairs are held
at several places, and all the available hides and skins are put up for
sale, and are purchased by Muhammadans." Some Mappillas bind books,
and others are good smiths. "The small skull caps, which are the
universal head-gear of Mappilla men and boys, are made in different
parts of Malabar, but the best are the work of Mappilla women at
Cannanore. They are made of fine canvas beautifully embroidered by
hand, and fetch in the market between Rs. 2 and Rs. 3." [213]

The Mappillas take an active share in the fish-curing operations along
the west coast, and the Mukkuvans, who are the hereditary fishermen of
Malabar, are inclined to be jealous of them. A veteran Mukkuvan, at the
time of my inspection of the Badagara fish-curing yard in 1900, put the
real grievance of his brethren in a nutshell. In old days, he stated,
they used salt-earth for curing fishes. When the fish-curing yards
were started, and Government salt was issued, the Mukkuvans thought
that they were going to be heavily taxed. They did not understand
exactly what was going to happen, and were suspicious. The result was
that they would have nothing to do with the curing-yards. The use
of salt-earth was stopped on the establishment of Government salt,
and some of the fishermen were convicted for illegal use thereof. They
thought that, if they held out, they would be allowed to use salt-earth
as formerly. Meanwhile, the Mappillas, being more wide-awake than the
Mukkuvans, took advantage of the opportunity (in 1884), and erected
yards, whereof they are still in possession. A deputation of Mukkuvans
waited on me. Their main grievance was that they are hereditary
fishermen, and formerly the Mappillas were only the purchasers of
fish. A few years ago, the Mappillas started as fishermen on their
own account, with small boats and thattuvala (tapping nets), in using
which the nets, with strips of cocoanut leaves tied on to the ropes,
are spread, and the sides of the boats beaten with sticks and staves,
to drive the fish into the net. The noise made extends to a great
distance, and consequently the shoals go out to sea, too far for the
fishermen to follow in pursuit. In a petition, which was submitted to
me by the Mukkuvan fish-curers at Badagara, they asked to have the
site of the yard changed, as they feared that their women would be
'unchastised' at the hands of the Mappillas.

"Small isolated attempts," Major Holland-Pryor writes, "to recruit
Mappillas were made by various regiments quartered in Malabar some
years ago, but without success. This was probably owing to the fact
that the trial was made on too small a scale, and that the system
of mixed companies interfered with their clannish propensities. The
district officers also predicted certain failure, on the ground
that Mappillas would not serve away from their own country. Their
predictions, however, have proved to be false, and men now come
forward in fair numbers for enlistment." In 1896, the experiment of
recruiting Mappillas for the 25th Madras Infantry was started, and
the responsible task of working up the raw material was entrusted
to Colonel Burton, with whose permission I took measurements of his
youthful warriors. As was inevitable in a community recruited by
converts from various classes, the sepoys afforded an interesting
study in varied colouration, stature and nasal configuration. One
very dark-skinned and platyrhine individual, indeed, had a nasal
index of 92. Later on, the sanction of the Secretary of State was
obtained for the adoption of a scheme for converting the 17th and
25th regiments of the Madras Infantry into Mappilla corps, which were
subsequently named the 77th and 78th Moplah Rifles. "These regiments,"
Major Holland-Pryor continues, "at present draw their men principally
from Ernad and Valuvanad. Labourers from these parts are much sought
after by planters and agents from the Kolar gold-fields, on account of
their hardiness and fine physique. Some, however, prefer to enlist. The
men are generally smaller than the Coast Mappillas, and do not show
much trace of Arab blood, but they are hardy and courageous, and,
with their superior stamina, make excellent fighting material." In
1905 the 78th Moplah Rifles were transferred to Dera Ismail Khan in
the Punjab, and took part in the military manoeuvres before H.R.H. the
Prince of Wales at Rawalpindi. It has been observed that "the Moplahs,
in dark green and scarlet, the only regiment in India which wears the
tarbush, are notable examples of the policy of taming the pugnacious
races by making soldiers of them, which began with the enlistment of
the Highlanders in the Black Watch, and continued to the disciplining
of the Kachins in Burma. In the general overhauling of the Indian
Army, the fighting value of the Moplahs has come into question, and
the 78th Regiment is now at Dera Ismail Khan being measured against
the crack regiments of the north." In 1907, the colours of the 17th
Madras Infantry, which was formed at Fort St. George in 1777, and
had had its name changed to 77th Moplah Rifles, were, on the regiment
being mustered out, deposited in St. Mark's Church, Bangalore.

It has been said of the Mappillas [214] that "their heads are true
cocoanuts; their high foreheads and pointed crowns are specially
noticeable for being kept shaven, and, when covered, provided with
only a small gaily embroidered skull-cap."

The dress of the Mappillas is thus described in the Gazetteer of
Malabar. "The ordinary dress of the men is a mundu or cloth, generally
white with a purple border, but sometimes orange or green, or plain
white. It is tied on the left (Hindus tie it on the right), and kept in
position by a nul or waist string, to which are attached one or more
elassus (small cylinders) of gold, silver, or baser metal, containing
texts from the Koran or magic yantrams. A small knife is usually worn
at the waist. Persons of importance wear in addition a long flowing
garment of fine cotton (a kind of burnoos), and over this again may
be worn a short waistcoat like jacket, though this is uncommon in
South Malabar, and (in the case of Tangals, etc.) a cloak of some
rich coloured silk. The European shirt and short coat are also coming
into fashion in the towns. A small cap of white or white and black is
very commonly worn, and round this an ordinary turban, or some bright
coloured scarf may be tied. Mappillas shave their heads clean. Beards
are frequently worn, especially by old people and Tangals. Hajis, or
men who have made their pilgrimage to Mecca, and other holy men, often
dye the beard red. Women wear a mundu of some coloured cloth (dark
blue is most usual), and a white loose bodice more or less embroidered,
and a veil or scarf on the head. In the case of the wealthy, the mundu
may be of silk of some light colour. Women of the higher classes are
kept secluded, and hide their faces when they go abroad. The lower
classes are not particular in this respect. Men wear no jewellery,
except the elassus already mentioned, and in some cases rings on the
fingers, but these should not be of pure gold. Women's jewellery is
of considerable variety, and is sometimes very costly. It takes the
form of necklaces, ear-rings, zones, bracelets, and anklets. As among
Tiyans and Mukkuvans, a great number of ear-rings are worn. The rim
of the ear is bored into as many as ten or a dozen holes, in addition
to the one in the lobe. Nose-rings are not worn.

"Incredibly large sums of money," Mr. P. Kunjain writes, [215] "are
spent on female ornaments. For the neck there are five or six sorts,
for the waist five or six sorts, and there are besides long rows
of armlets, bracelets, and bangles, and anklets and ear ornaments,
all made of gold. As many as ten or fourteen holes are bored in each
ear, one being in the labia (lobe) and the remainder in the ala
(helix). The former is artificially widened, and a long string of
ornaments of beautiful manufacture suspended to it. As strict Sunnis
of the Shafi school, the boring of the nose is prohibited."

I have in my possession five charm cylinders, which were worn round
the waist by a notorious Mappilla dacoit, who was shot by the police,
and whom his co-religionists tried to turn into a saint. It is noted,
in the Gazetteer of Malabar, that, though magic is condemned by the
Koran, the Mappilla is very superstitious, and witchcraft is not by
any means unknown. Many Tangals pretend to cure diseases by writing
selections from the Koran on a plate with ink or on a coating of ashes,
and then giving the ink or ashes mixed with water to the patient
to swallow. They also dispense scrolls for elassus, and small flags
inscribed with sacred verses, which are set up to avert pestilence
or misfortune. The Mappilla jins and shaitans correspond to the
Hindu demons, and are propitiated in much the same way. One of their
methods of witchcraft is to make a wooden figure to represent the
enemy, drive nails into all the vital parts, and throw it into sea,
after curses in due form. A belief in love philtres and talismans is
very common, and precautions against the evil eye are universal.

In 1903, a life-size nude female human figure, with feet everted
and turned backwards, carved out of the wood of Alstonia scholaris,
was washed ashore at Calicut. Long nails had been driven in all over
the head, body and limbs, and a large square hole cut out above the
navel. Inscriptions in Arabic characters were scrawled over it. By
a coincidence, the corpse of a man was washed ashore close to the
figure. Quite recently, another interesting example of sympathetic
magic, in the shape of a wooden representation of a human being, was
washed ashore at Calicut. The figure is eleven inches in height. The
arms are bent on the chest, and the palms of the hands are placed
together as in the act of saluting. A square cavity, closed by
a wooden lid, has been cut out of the middle of the abdomen, and
contains apparently tobacco, ganja (Indian hemp), and hair. An iron
bar has been driven from the back of the head through the body, and
terminates in the abdominal cavity. A sharp cutting instrument has
been driven into the chest and back in twelve places.

"The Mappillas of North Malabar," Mr. Lewis Moore writes, [216] "follow
the marumakkathayam system of inheritance, while the Mappillas of South
Malabar, with some few exceptions, follow the ordinary Muhammadan
law. Among those who profess to follow the marumakkathayam law, the
practice frequently prevails of treating the self-acquisitions of a
man as descendible to his wife and children under Muhammadan law. Among
those who follow the ordinary Muhammadan law, it is not unusual for a
father and sons to have community of property, and for the property
to be managed by the father, and, after his death, by the eldest
son. Mr. Logan [217] alludes to the adoption of the marumakkathayam
law of inheritance by the Nambudris of Payyanur in North Malabar, and
then writes 'And it is noteworthy that the Muhammadans settled there
(Mappillas) have done the same thing.' Mr. Logan here assumes that the
Mappillas of North Malabar were Muhammadans in religion before they
adopted the marumakkathayam law of inheritance. There can, however,
be but little doubt that a considerable portion, at all events, of
these so-called Mappillas were followers of marumakkathayam rules and
customs long before they embraced the faith of Islam." "In the case of
the Mappillas," Mr. Vaidyanatha writes, "it is more than probable that
there were more numerous conversions from marumakkathayam families
in the north than in the south. The number of makkathayam adherents
has always been small in the north. According to marumakkathayam, the
wife is not a member of the husband's family, but usually resides in
her family house. The makkathayam Mappillas, curiously enough, seldom
take their wives home. In some parts, such as Calicut, a husband is
only a visitor for the night. The Mappillas, like the Nayars, call
themselves by the names of their houses (or parambas)." It is noted by
Mr. P. Kunjain [218] that the present generation of Moplahs following
marumakkathayam is not inclined to favour the perpetuation of this
flagrant transgression of the divine law, which enjoins makkathayam
on true believers in unequivocal terms. With the view of defeating
the operation of the law, the present generation settled their
self-acquisition on their children during their lifetime. A proposal
to alter the law to accord with the divine law will be hailed with
supreme pleasure. This is the current of public opinion among Moplahs.

It is recorded in the Gazetteer of Malabar that "in North Malabar,
Mappillas as a rule follow the marumakkathayam system of inheritance,
though it is opposed to the precepts of the Koran; but a man's
self-acquisitions usually descend to his wife and family in accordance
with the Muhammadan law of property. The combination of the two
systems of law often leads to great complications. In the south,
the makkatayam system is usually followed, but it is remarkable that
succession to religious stanams, such as that of the Valiya Tangal of
Ponnani, usually goes according to the marumakkathayam system. There
seems to be a growing discontent with the marumakkathayam system; but,
on the other hand, there is no doubt that the minute sub-division of
property between a man's heirs, which the Koran prescribes, tends to
foster poverty, especially amongst petty cultivators, such as those
of Ernad and Walavanad."

It is unnecessary to linger over the naming, tonsure, circumcision, and
ear-boring ceremonies, which the Mappilla infant has to go through. But
the marriage and death customs are worthy of some notice. [219] "Boys
are married at the age of 18 or 20 as a rule in North Malabar, and
girls at 14 or 15. In South Malabar, early marriages are more common,
boys being married between 14 and 18, and girls between 8 and 12. In
exceptional cases, girls have been known to be married at the age of
2 1/2, but this only happens when the girl's father is in extremis,
since an orphan must remain unmarried till puberty. The first thing
is the betrothal or settlement of the dowry, which is arranged by
the parents, or in North Malabar by the Karnavans. Large dowries are
expected, especially in North Malabar, where, in spite of polygamy,
husbands are at a premium, and a father with many daughters needs to
be a rich man. The only religious ceremony necessary is the nikka,
which consists in the formal conclusion of the contract before two
witnesses and the Kazi, who then registers it. The nikka may be
performed either on the day of the nuptials or before it, sometimes
months or years before. In the latter case, the fathers of the bride
and bridegroom go to the bride's family mosque and repeat the necessary
formula, which consists in the recital of the Kalima, and a formal
acceptance of the conditions of the match, thrice repeated. In the
former case, the Kazi, as a rule, comes to the bride's house where
the ceremony is performed, or else the parties go to the Kazi's
house. In North Malabar, the former is the rule; but in Calicut
the Kazi will only go to the houses of four specially privileged
families. After the performance of the nikka, there is a feast in the
bride's house. Then the bridegroom and his attendants are shown to a
room specially prepared, with a curtain over the door. The bridegroom
is left there alone, and the bride is introduced into the room by her
mother or sister. In North Malabar, she brings her dowry with her,
wrapped in a cloth. She is left with the bridegroom for a few minutes,
and then comes out, and the bridegroom takes his departure. In some
cases, the bride and bridegroom are allowed to spend the whole night
together. In some parts of South Malabar, it is the bride who is first
conducted to the nuptial chamber, where she is made to lie down on a
sofa, and the bridegroom is then introduced, and left with her for a
few minutes. In North Malabar and Calicut, the bride lives in her own
house with her mother and sisters, unless her husband is rich enough
to build her a house of her own. In South Malabar, the wife is taken
to the husband's house as soon as she is old enough for cohabitation,
and lives there. Polygamy is the rule, and it is estimated that in
South Malabar 80 per cent. of the husbands have two wives or more,
and 20 per cent. three or four. In North Malabar, it is not usual
for a man to have more than two wives. The early age at which girls
are married in South Malabar no doubt encourages polygamy. It also
encourages divorce, which in South Malabar is common, while in the
north it is comparatively rare, and looked upon with disfavour. All
that is required is for the husband to say, in the presence of the
wife's relations, or before her Kazi, that he has 'untied the tie,
and does not want the wife any more,' and to give back the stridhanam
or dowry. Divorce by the wife is rare, and can be had only for definite
reasons, such as that the husband is incapable of maintaining her, or
is incurably diseased or impotent. Widows may remarry without limit,
but the dearth of husbands makes it difficult for them to do so.

"When a man dies, his body is undressed, and arranged so that the
legs point to Mecca. The two big toes are tied together, and the hands
crossed on the chest, the right over the left; the arms are also tied
with a cloth. Mullas are called in to read the Koran over the corpse,
and this has to be continued until it is removed to the cemetery. When
the relatives have arrived, the body is washed and laid on the floor
on mats, over which a cloth has been spread. Cotton wool is placed in
the ears, and between the lips, the fingers, and the toes, and the
body is shrouded in white cloths. It is then placed on a bier which
is brought from the mosque, and borne thither. At the mosque the bier
is placed near the western wall; the mourners arrange themselves in
lines, and offer prayers (niskaram) standing. The bier is then taken
to the grave, which is dug north and south; the body is lowered,
the winding sheets loosened, and the body turned so as to lie on
its right side facing Mecca. A handful of earth is placed below the
right cheek. The grave is then covered with laterite stones, over
which each of the mourners throws a handful of earth, reciting the
Kalima and passages from the Koran. Laterite stones are placed at the
head and foot of the grave, and some mailanji (henna: Lawsonia alba)
is planted at the side. A Mulla then seats himself at the head of the
grave, and reads certain passages of the Koran, intended to instruct
the dead man how to answer the questions about his faith, which it is
supposed that the angels are then asking him. The funeral concludes
with distribution of money and rice to the poor. For three days, a
week, or forty days, according to the circumstances of the deceased,
Mullas should read the Koran over the grave without ceasing day and
night. The Koran must also be read at home for at least three days. On
the third day, a visit is made to the tomb, after which a maulad is
performed, the Mullas are paid, alms are distributed, and a feast
is given to the relations, including the deceased's relations by
marriage, who should come to his house that day. A similar ceremony
is performed on the fortieth day, which concludes the mourning; and
by the rich on anniversaries. Widows should keep secluded in their
own houses for three months and ten days, without seeing any of the
male sex. After that period, they are at liberty to remarry."

Concerning the Mappillas of the Laccadives, Mr. H. A. Stuart writes
as follows. [220] "The customs of the Mappillas of the Laccadive
islands are peculiar. The people are not called Mappilas, but
(1) Koya, (2) Malumi, (3) Urukkaran, (4) Takru, (5) Milikhan,
and (6) Melac'cheri. No. 1 is the land and boat owning class,
and is superior to the rest. Nos. 2 to 5 are pilots and sailors,
and, where they are cultivators, cultivate under No. 1. No. 6 were
the slaves of the first division; now they cultivate the Koyas'
lands, take the produce of those lands in boats to the mainland,
and pay 20 per cent. of the sale-proceeds to the Koya owners. The
islanders generally dress like ordinary Mappilas. The Melac'cheris,
however, may use only a coarser kind of cloth, and they are not
allowed intermarriage with the other classes. If any such marriage
takes place, the offender is put out of caste, but the marriage is
deemed a valid one. The current tradition is that these Laccadive
Mappilas were originally the inhabitants of Malabar--Nambudiris,
Nayars, Tiyyas, etc.--who went in search of Cheraman Perumal when the
latter left for Mecca, and were wrecked on these islands. The story
goes that these remained Hindus for a long time, that Obeidulla,
the disciple of Caliph Abu Bakr, having received instructions from
the prophet in a dream to go and convert the unbelievers on these
islands, left for the place and landed on Ameni island, that he was
ill-treated by the people, who were all Brahmans, but that, having
worked some miracles, he converted them. He then visited the other
islands, and all the islanders embraced the Moslem faith. His remains
are said to be interred in the island of Androth. Among this section
of the Mappilas, succession is generally--in fact almost entirely--in
the female line. Girls are married when they are six or seven years
old. No dowry is given. They are educated equally with the boys, and,
on marriage, they are not taken away from school, but continue there
until they finish the course. In the island of Minicoy, the largest
of the islands, the women appear in public, and take part in public
affairs. The women generally are much more educated than the ordinary
Mappila males of the mainland. The Koyas are said to be descendants
of Nambudiris, Melach'cheris of Tiyyans and Mukkuvans, and the rest
of Nayars. Whatever the present occupation of Koyas on these islands,
the tradition that Koyas were originally Brahmans also confirms the
opinion that they belong to the priestly class."

In a note on the Laccadives and Minicoy, [221] Mr. C. W. E. Cotton
writes that "while it would appear that the Maldives and Minicoy were
long ago peopled by the same wave of Aryan immigration which overran
Ceylon, tradition ascribes the first settlements in the northern
group to an expedition shipwrecked on one of the Atolls so late as
825 A.D. This expedition is said to have set out from Kodungallur
(Cranganore) in search of the last of the Perumal Viceroys of Malabar,
a convert either to Buddhism or Islam, and included some Nambudris,
commonly employed, as Duarte Barbosa tells us, on account of their
persons being considered sacrosanct, as envoys and messengers in times
of war, and perhaps also for dangerous embassies across the seas. Some
support may be found for this tradition in the perpetuation of the
name illam for some of the principal houses in Kalpeni, and in the
existence of strongly marked caste divisions, especially remarkable
among communities professing Mahomedanism, corresponding to the
aristocrats, the mariners, and the dependants, of which such an
expeditionary force would have been composed. The Tarwad islands,
Ameni, Kalpeni, Androth, and Kavarathi, were probably peopled first,
and their inhabitants can claim high-caste Hindu ancestry. There has
been no doubt everywhere considerable voluntary immigration from the
coast, and some infusion of pure Arab blood; but the strain of Negro
introduced into the Maldives by Zanzibar slaves is nowhere traceable
in Minicoy or the northern Archipelago."

In a further note, Mr. Cotton writes as follows. [222] "The inhabitants
of Androth, Kalpeni, Kavaratti and Agatti, are Mappillas, almost
undistinguishable, except in the matter of physical development,
from those on the mainland. The admixture of Arab blood seems to
be confined to a few of the principal families in the two 'tarwad'
islands, Kalpeni and Androth. The islanders, though Muhammadans,
perpetuate the old caste distinctions which they observed before
their conversion to Islam. The highest caste is called Koya, in its
origin merely a religious title. The Koyas represent the aristocracy
of the original colonists, and in them vests the proprietorship of
most of the cocoanut trees and the odams (ships), which constitute
the chief outward and visible signs of wealth on the islands. They
supply each Amin with a majority of his council of hereditary
elders (Karanavans). The lowest and largest class is that of the
Melacheris (lit. high climbers), also called Thandels in Kavaratti,
the villeins in the quasi-feudal system of the islands, who do the
tree-tapping, cocoanut plucking, and menial labour. They hold trees
on kudiyan service, which involves the shipping of produce on their
overlord's boat or odam, the thatching of his house and boat-shed,
and an obligation to sail on the odam to the mainland whenever called
upon. Intermediately come the Malumis (pilots), also called Urakars,
who represent the skilled navigating class, to which many of the
Karnavans in Kavaratti belong. Intermarriage between them and the less
prosperous Koyis is now permitted. Monogamy is almost the universal
rule, but divorces can be so easily obtained that the marriage tie
can scarcely be regarded as more binding than the sambandham among
the Hindus on the coast. The women go about freely with their heads
uncovered. They continue to live after marriage in their family or
tarwad houses, where they are visited by their husbands, and the system
of inheritance in vogue is marumakkathayam as regards family property,
and makkatayam as regards self-acquisitions. These are distinguished
on the islands under the terms Velliyaricha (Friday) and Tingalaricha
(Monday) property. The family house is invariably called pura in
contradistinction to Vidu--the wife's house. Intermarriage between the
inhabitants of different islands is not uncommon. The islanders are
very superstitious, and believe in ghosts and hobgoblins, about the
visible manifestations of which many stories are current; and there
is an old mamul (established) rule on all the islands forbidding any
one to go out after nightfall. Phantom steamers and sailing ships
are sometimes seen in the lagoons or rowed out to on the open sea;
and in the prayers by the graves of his ancestors, which each sailor
makes before setting out on a voyage, we find something akin to the
Roman worship of the Manes. The Moidin mosque at Kalpeni, and the big
West Pandaram at Androth are believed to be haunted. There are Jarams
(shrines) in Cheriyam and Cheriyakara, to which pilgrimages are made
and where vows are taken, and it is usual to chant the fateah [223]
on sighting the Jamath mosque in Androth, beneath the shadow of which
is the tomb of Mumba Mulyaka, the Arab apostle to the Laccadives."

In his inspection report of the Laccadives, 1902, Mr. G. H. B. Jackson
notes that "the caste barrier, on the island of Androth, between the
Koya and the Malumi class and the Melacheris is as rigid as ever. It
divides capital from labour, and has given the upper classes much of
the appearance of an effete aristocracy." In a more recent inspection
report (1905), Mr. C. W. E. Cotton writes as follows. "Muhammadans,
owing to their inordinate love of dress, are apt to give an exaggerated
impression of wealth, but I should think that, despite the laziness of
all but the Melacheris, the majority of the inhabitants (of Androth)
are well-to-do, and, in this respect, compare very favourably with
those of the other islands. The Qazi and several other Karnavars, who
have a smattering of the Koran, go to the mainland, and, in centres of
superstition, earn considerable sums by their profession of extreme
learning and piety. The long satin coats (a canary yellow is the
fashionable tint) procured in Bombay or Mangalore are evidence of the
financial success of their pilgrimages. It is perhaps fortunate that
the Koyas have discovered this additional source of income, for, though
they continue to own nearly all the cargo-carrying odams (boats),
their position as jenmis (landlords) has been seriously jeopardised
owing to the repudiation of their obligations as Kudians by many of
the enterprising Melacheri community. The Melacheris are now alive to
the fact that, as their tenure is not evidenced by documents and rests
upon oral assertions, they have a very reasonable chance of freeing
themselves of their overlords altogether. The Mukhyastars are quite
a representative lot. Sheikindevittil Muthu Koya is a fine specimen
of the sea-faring Moplah, and the Qazi, twenty-fourth in descent
from Mumby Moolyaka, the Arab who converted the islanders to Islam,
struck me as a man of very considerable attainments. In his report
on the dispensary at Androth (1905), Mr. K. Ibrahim Khan, hospital
assistant, states that "the quacks are said to be clever enough to
treat cases both by their drugs and by their charms. They actually
prevent other poor classes seeking medical and surgical treatment in
the dispensary, and mislead them by their cunning words. Most of the
quacks come to the dispensary, and take medicines such as santonine
powders, quinine pills, purgatives, etc. They make use of these for
their own cases, and thus earn their livelihood. The quacks are among
the Koya class. The Koyas are jenmis, and the Malims and Melacheris
are their tenants. The latter, being low classes, always believe them,
and depend upon their landlords, who are also their physicians, to
treat them when they fall sick. The islanders, as a rule, have no
faith in English medical treatment. The rich folks who can afford
it go to Malabar for native treatment; only the poorer classes,
who have neither means to pay the quacks here nor to go to Malabar,
attend the dispensary with half inclination."

Marakallu.--Marakallu or Marakadu, meaning fishermen, has been
recorded as a sub-division of Pallis engaged as fishermen in the
Telugu country. The equivalent of Mukku Marakkaleru is a title or
synonym of Moger and Marakkan of Mukkuvan. Marakkayar is a title of
Labbai boatmen.



NOTES


[1] Madras Census Report, 1891.

[2] Original Inhabitants of Bharatavarsa, 1893.

[3] Account of the Primitive Tribes and Monuments of the Nilgiris,
1873.

[4] Ind. Ant., II, 1873.

[5] Aboriginal Tribes of the Nilgiri hills, 1870.

[6] Tribes inhabiting the Neilgherry hills. By a German Missionary.

[7] The Todas, 1906.

[8] A Singular Aboriginal Race of the Nilagiris.

[9] Tribes of the Neilgherries, 1868.

[10] At Kotamale there are three temples, two dedicated to Kamataraya
and one to Kalikai.

[11] Goa and the Blue Mountains, 1851.

[12] Tribes inhabiting the Neilgherry hills. By a German Missionary.

[13] Reise nach Süd-Indien, 1894.

[14] Mysore Census Report, 1891.

[15] Madras Census Report, 1901.

[16] Ind. Ant., III, 1874.

[17] Cf. Pendukkumekki and Valasu sub-divisions of the Idaiyan caste.

[18] The present note is mainly based on the articles by the
Rev. J. Cain in the Indian Antiquary V, 1876, and VIII, 1879; and
the Madras Christian College Magazine, V, 1887-8, and VI, 1888-9.

[19] Madras Census Report, 1891.

[20] Calcutta Christian Observer, May and June, 1853, Second Edition,
by the Rev. J. M. Descombes and J. A. Grierson, Calcutta, 1900.

[21] Gazetteer of the Godavari district.

[22] Gazetteer of the Godavari district.

[23] Notes for a Lecture on the Tribes and Castes of Bombay, 1907.

[24] Manual of the Godavari district.

[25] Rev. W. Taylor. iii. 1862.

[26] This account is taken from a note by Mr. N. Subramani Aiyar.

[27] Ethnog. Survey of Cochin. Monograph No. II, Kshatriyas, 1906.

[28] Gazetteer of the Vizagapatam district.

[29] Monograph, Ethnog. Survey of Cochin, Kootan, 1905.

[30] Manual of the South Canara district.

[31] Indian Forester, XXXII, 1906.

[32] This account is taken from a note by Mr. N. Subramani Aiyar.

[33] Madras Mail, 1907.

[34] Ind. Ant., IV, 1875.

[35] Madras Census Report, 1891.

[36] Manual of the North Arcot district.

[37] Not collectors of art pottery, but Collectors or District
Magistrates.

[38] Madras Mail, 1903.

[39] Manual of the South Canara district.

[40] Mysore Census Report, 1901.

[41] Mysore and Coorg Gazetteer.

[42] Manual of the Salem district.

[43] Ind. Ant., X, 1881.

[44] Manual of the Madura district.

[45] Madras Census Report, 1891.

[46] Manual of Malabar.

[47] Madras Census Report, 1901.

[48] Manual of the North Arcot district.

[49] Mysore Census Report, 1901.

[50] Gazetteer of the Anantapur district.

[51] Gazetteer of the Bellary district.

[52] Manual of the North Arcot district.

[53] W.F.S. Ind. Ant., VI, 1877.

[54] Madras Mail, November 1905.

[55] Manual of the North Arcot district.

[56] Manual of the Nilgiri district.

[57] Mysore Census Report, 1901.

[58] Journey through Mysore, Canara, and Malabar, 1807.

[59] Asian, 1902.

[60] Manual of the Nilgiri district.

[61] Aboriginal Race of the Neilgherry hills, 1832.

[62] Ind. Ant., VI, 1877.

[63] Rude Stone Monuments.

[64] Police Admn. Report, 1900.

[65] Agricult. Ledger Series, No. 47, 1904.

[66] Comptes rendus des Séances de la Société de Biologie, T. LVIII,
1019.

[67] Gazetteer of the Malabar district.

[68] Op. cit.

[69] Manual of the North Arcot district.

[70] Tennent, Ceylon.

[71] Madras Census Report, 1891.

[72] Gazetteer of the Madura district.

[73] Journ. Roy. Asiat. Soc., 1899, 267-8.

[74] Madras Pottery. Journ. Ind. Arts, VII, 1897.

[75] Brahmanism and Hinduism.

[76] Gazetteer of the Madura district.

[77] Ind. Law Reports, Madras Series, XVII, 1894.

[78] A Native. Pen and ink sketches of Native life in S. India.

[79] Madras Mail.

[80] Trans. S. Ind. branch, Brit. Med. Association, XIV, 1906.

[81] Classified Collection of Tamil Proverbs, 1897.

[82] J. S. F. Mackenzie. Ind. Ant., IV, 1875.

[83] Historical Sketches of the South of India, Mysore, 1810-17.

[84] Mem. Asiat. Soc., Bengal, Miscellanea Ethnographica, I, 1906.

[85] Journ. and Proc. Asiatic Society of Bengal, I, No. 9, 1905.

[86] Gazetteer of the South Arcot district.

[87] Manual of the North Arcot district.

[88] Mysore Census Report, 1891, 1901.

[89] Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency, XV, Part I, 1883.

[90] Hindu Feasts, Fasts and Ceremonies, 1903.

[91] Manual of the North Arcot district.

[92] Linguistic Survey of India, IX, 1907.

[93] From Kashmir to the Madras Presidency.

[94] Notes on Criminal Classes of the Madras Presidency.

[95] Mysore Census Report, 1891.

[96] Ind. Ant. VIII, 1879.

[97] Gazetteer of the Bellary district.

[98] Narrative of the Operations of Little's Detachment against Tippoo
Sultan, 1794.

[99] Shells of Cypræa moneta.

[100] S. M. Natesa Sastri, Calcutta Review, 1905.

[101] Narrative of a Journey through the Upper Provinces of India,
1844.

[102] Hindu Manners, Customs, and Ceremonies.

[103] Historical Sketches of the South of India: Mysore.

[104] Gazetteer of the Vizagapatam district.

[105] Report on Public Instruction, Mysore, 1901-02; and Mysore Census
Report, 1891.

[106] Manual of the Cuddapah district.

[107] Jeypur, Breklum, 1901.

[108] Manual of the North Arcot district.

[109] Mysore Census Report, 1901.

[110] Gazetteer of the Anantapur district.

[111] Ind. Ant., VIII., 1879.

[112] Ind. Ant., XXX., 1901.

[113] Narrative of Little's Detachment, 1784.

[114] Gazetteer of the Vizagapatam district.

[115] Madras Census Report, 1891.

[116] Section III, Inhabitants, Madras Government Press, 1907.

[117] Manual of the North Arcot district.

[118] Manual of Mysore and Coorg.

[119] Lilly, Renaissance Types.

[120] J. F. Fleet, Epigraphia Indica. V, 1898-99.

[121] The Proceedings, partly in Canarese and partly in English,
were published at the Star Press, Mysore, in 1905.

[122] Madras Journal of Literature and Science, XI, 1840.

[123] R. Sewell. A Forgotten Empire, Vijayanagar, 1900.

[124] Indian Review, May, 1907.

[125] Madras Series, VII, 1884.

[126] Madras Series, VIII, 1885.

[127] Bombay Gazetteer.

[128] Manual of the Nellore district.

[129] Manual of the Kurnool district, 1886.

[130] Madras Census Report, 1891.

[131] Madras Mail, 1902.

[132] While Wearing Sandals, or Tales of a Telugu Pariah Tribe.

[133] Madras Christ. Coll. Mag., XXIII (New Series V), 1906.

[134] Manual of the North Arcot district.

[135] A. Chatterton, Monograph of tanning and working in Leather,
Madras, 1904.

[136] Manual of the Kurnool district.

[137] Manual of the Bellary district.

[138] Madras Museum Bull. V. 3, 1907.

[139] Madras Census Report, 1891.

[140] Dynasties of the Kanarese Districts of the Bombay Presidency,
1882.

[141] Manual of the Cuddapah district.

[142] Manual of the Bellary district.

[143] Manual of the Bellary district.

[144] Manual of the Bellary district.

[145] Gazetteer of the Anantapur district.

[146] Mysore Census Report, 1901.

[147] Manual of the North Arcot district.

[148] Notes from a Diary, 1881-1886.

[149] Manual of the Kurnool district.

[150] Madras Census Report, 1891.

[151] Madras Diocesan Record, 1905.

[152] Gazetteer of the Godavari district.

[153] Madras Museum Bull. V. 3, 1907.

[154] East and West, 6th May 1907.

[155] Gazetteer of the Anantapur district.

[156] Madras and Tinnevelly Dioces. Mag., June, 1908.

[157] Gochi, a clout, a truss or flap; a waist-cloth. C. P. Brown,
Telugu Dictionary.

[158] Gazetteer of the Godavari district.

[159] Ind. Ant., III, 1874; VI, 1877.

[160] Native Life in Travancore, 1883.

[161] Journey from Madras through the countries of Mysore, Canara,
and Malabar, 1807.

[162] Calcutta Review, 1902.

[163] Manual of the South Canara district.

[164] Manual of the North Arcot district.

[165] Gazetteer of the South Arcot district.

[166] Darakhast: application for land for purposes of cultivation;
or bid at an auction.

[167] Gazetteer of the South Arcot district.

[168] Madras Mail, 1904.

[169] Madras Mail, 1908.

[170] Gazetteer of the South Arcot district.

[171] C. Hayavadana Rao, MS.

[172] Manual of the North Arcot district.

[173] Manual of the South Arcot district.

[174] Madras Census Report, 1891.

[175] Madras Diocesan Magazine, 1906.

[176] Manual of the North Arcot district.

[177] Madras Census Report, 1891.

[178] Travancore Census Report, 1901.

[179] Lecture delivered at Trivandrum.

[180] See A. T. Mackenzie. History of the Periyar Project. Madras,
1899.

[181] Rev. J. Cain. Ind. Ant., VIII, 1879.

[182] Malabar Law and Custom. 3rd ed., 1905.

[183] Elements of South Indian Palæography.

[184] Madras Review, 1896.

[185] Man, 1903.

[186] Manual of Malabar.

[187] Manual of the Madura district.

[188] Hobson-Jobson.

[189] Ind. Ant., XXXI, 1902.

[190] Cf. Javan, Genesis X, 2; Isaiah, LXVI, 19; Ezekiel, XXVII,
13, 19.

[191] Malabar Quart. Review, 1903.

[192] Vide Correspondence on Moplah Outrages, 1849-53.

[193] Madras Census Report, 1891.

[194] Madras Mail, 1908.

[195] Malabar Quart. Review, 1906.

[196] When not officially attached to a mosque, the Mulla is said to
be called Nattu (country) Mulla.

[197] Ind. Ant., XXX, 1901.

[198] P. V. Ramunni, loc. cit.

[199] The taboot is "a kind of shrine, or model of a Mahomedan
mausoleum, of flimsy material, intended to represent the tomb of Husain
at Kerbela, which is carried in procession during the Mohurram." Yule
and Burnell, Hobson-Jobson.

[200] Gazetteer of the Malabar district.

[201] Fanatical (fanum, a temple). Possessed by a deity or devil,
frantic, mad, furious. Murray. New English Dictionary.

[202] Major Holland-Pryor, 1904.

[203] See also Government Orders, Judicial Department, Nos. 1267,
24th May, 1894; 2186, 8th September, 1894; 1567, 30th September,
1896; and 819, 25th May, 1898.

[204] Forbes' Oriental Memoirs.

[205] Manual of Malabar, 1887, p. 102.

[206] Ind. Ant., XXX, 1901.

[207] General Burton. An Indian Olio.

[208] Calcutta Review, 1897.

[209] Calcutta Review, 1897.

[210] Ibid.

[211] Manual of Malabar.

[212] Monograph on Tanning and Working in Leather, 1904.

[213] Gazetteer of Malabar.

[214] General Burton. Op. cit.

[215] Loc. cit.

[216] Op. cit.

[217] Manual of Malabar.

[218] Loc. cit.

[219] Gazetteer of the Malabar district.

[220] Madras Census Report, 1891.

[221] Malabar Quarterly Review, Vol. 3, 1906.

[222] Gazetteer of the Malabar district.

[223] The recital of the first chapter of the Koran.





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large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
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+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



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