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crescent ; spot on chin ; double row of dots on each
upper arm over deltoid ; and devices and double row of
dots on right forearm. Gold ornament in left nostril.
Necklets of glass beads and silver links with four-anna


piece pendent. Silver armlet above right elbow. Four
copper armlets above left elbow. Four silver and seven
composition bangles on left forearm. Two silver rings
on right ring-finger ; two steel rings on left ring-finger.

2. Tattooed on forehead; quadruple row of dots
over right deltoid ; star on right forearm.

3. Tattooed like the preceding on forehead and
upper arm. Spot on chin ; elaborate device on right
forearm ; rayed star or sun on back of hand.

4. Tattooed like the preceding on forehead and
arm. Triple row of dots on back and front of left wrist,
and double row of dots, with circle surrounded by dots,
across chest.

Toreya women are only allowed to wear bangles on
the wrist.

The tattoo marks on the foreheads of Udayar women
consist of a crescent and dot, and they have a straight
line tattooed at the outer corners of the eyes. Women
of the other sub-divisions have on the forehead two circles
with two vertical dashes between them, and a horizontal
or crescentic dash below. The circles are made by
pricking in the pigment over an impression made with a
finger ring, or over a black mark made by means of such
a ring. The operation is performed either by a Badaga
or Korava woman. The former uses as needles the
spines of Carissa spinarum, and a mixture of finely
powdered charcoal or lamp-black mixed with rice gruel
The marks on the forehead are made when a girl is
about eight or nine years old, and do not, as stated by
Mr. Natesa Sastri, proclaim to the whole Badaga world
that a girl is of marriageable age.

In colour the Badagas are lighter than the other hill
tribes, and the comparative pallor of the skin is specially
noticeable in the females, whom, with very few excep-


tions, I was only able to study by surreptitious examina-
tion, when we met on the roads. In physique, the
typical Badaga man is below middle height, smooth-
skinned, of slender build, with narrow chest and shoulders.

Badaga men have cicatrices on the shoulder and
forearm as the result of branding with a fire-stick when
they are lads, with the object, it is said, of giving strength,
and preventing pain when milking or churning. In like
manner, the Todas have raised cicatrices (keloids) on
the shoulder produced by branding with a fire-stick.
They believe that the branding enables them to milk the
buffaloes with perfect ease.

The Badagas have a very extensive repertoire of
hora hesaru, or nicknames, of which the following are
examples :

One who eats in bed during the

Bald head.
Thin and bony.
Big head.
One who returned alive from

the burning ground.
Ripe fruit.
Big calves.

Fond of pot-herbs



Buffalo grazer.

Saliva dribbling.









One who was slow in learning

to walk.


Weak, like partially baked pots.
Strong, like portland cement.


Among the Badagas, Konga is used as a term
of abuse. Those who made mistakes in matching
Holmgren's wools, with which I tested them, were,
always called Konga by the onlookers.

When two Badagas meet each other, the elder touches
the head of the younger with his right hand. This form
of salutation is known as giving the head. A person of
the Badaga section gives the head, as it is called, to an
Udaiyar, in token of the superiority of the latter. When
people belong to the same sept, they say " Ba, anna,
appa, thamma, amma, akka " (come, father, brother,
mother, sister, etc.). But, if they are of different septs,
they will say " Ba, mama, mami, bava " (come, uncle,
aunt, brother-in-law, etc.). " Whenever," Dr. Rivers
writes,* " a Toda meets a Badaga monegar (headman),
or an old Badaga with whom he is acquainted, a saluta-
tion passes between the two. The Toda stands before
the Badaga, inclines his head slightly, and says ' Madtin
pudia.' (Madtin, you have come). The Badaga replies
'Buthuk! buthuk!' (blessing, blessing), and rests his
hand on the top of the Toda's head. This greeting only
takes place between Todas and the more important
of the Badaga community. It would seem that every
Badaga headman may be greeted in this way, but a Toda
will only greet 'other Badaga elders, if he is already
acquainted with them. The salutation is made to
members of all the various castes of the Badagas, except
the Toreyas. It has been held to imply that the Todas
regard the Badagas as their superiors, but it is doubtful
how far this is the case. The Todas themselves say
they follow the custom because the Badagas help to
support them. It seems to be a mark of respect paid

* The Todas, 1906,


by the Todas to the elders of a tribe with which they
have very close relations, and it is perhaps significant
that no similar sign of respect is shown to Toda elders
by the Badagas."

Every Badaga family has its Muttu Kota, from
whom it gets the agricultural implements, pots, hoes,
etc. In return, the Kotas receive an annual present of
food-grains, mustard and potatoes. For a Kota funeral,
the Badagas have to give five rupees or a quantity of
rice, and a buffalo. The pots obtained from the Kotas
are not used immediately, but kept for three days in the
jungle, or in a bush in some open spot. They are then
taken to the outer apartment of the house, and kept
there for three days, when they are smeared with the
bark of Meliosma pungens (the tud tree of the Todas)
and culms of Andropogon Schcenanthus (bzambe hullu).
Thus purified, the pots are used for boiling water in for
three days, and may then be used for any purpose. The
Badagas are said to give a present of grain annually to
the Todas. Every Toda mand (or mad) seems to have
its own group of Badaga families, who pay them this
gudu, as it is called. " There are," Dr. Rivers writes,
" several regulations concerning the food of the palol
(dairy-man of a Toda sacred dairy). Any grain he eats
must be that provided by the Badagas. At the present
time more rice is eaten than was formerly the case.
This is not grown by the Badagas, but nevertheless the
rice for the palol must be obtained through them. The
palol wears garments of a dark grey material made in
the Coimbatore district. They are brought to the palol
by the Badaga called tikelfmav. The earthenware
vessels of the inner room (of the ti dairy) are not obtained
from the Kotas, like the ordinary vessels, but are made
by Hindus, and are procured through the Badagas."


The Badagas live in dread of the Kurumbas, and the
Kurumba constantly comes under reference in their
folk-stories. The Kurumba is the necromancer of the
hills, and believed to be possessed of the power of out-
raging women, removing their livers, and so causing
their death, while the wound heals by magic, so that no
trace of the operation is left. He is supposed, too, to
have the power of opening the bolts of doors by magic t
and effecting an entrance into a house at night for some
nefarious purpose. The Toda or Badaga requires the
services of the Kurumba, when he fancies that any
member of his family is possessed of the devil, or when
he wants to remove the evil eye, to which he imagines
that his children have been subjected. The Kurumba
does his best to remove the malady by repeating various
mantrams (magical formulae). If he fails, and if any
suspicion is aroused in the mind of the Toda or Badaga
that he is allowing the devil to play his pranks instead of
loosing his hold on the supposed victim, woe betide him.
The wrath of the entire village, or even the whole tribe,
is raised against the unhappy Kurumba. His hut is
surrounded at night, and the entire household massacred
in cold blood, and their huts set on fire. This is very
cleverly carried out, and the isolated position of the
Kurumba settlements allows of very little clue for iden-
tification. In 1835 no less than fifty-eight Kurumbas
were thus murdered, and a smaller number in 1875 and
1882. In 1891 the live inmates of a single hut were
murdered, and their hut burnt to ashes, because, it was
said, one of them who had been treating a sick Badaga
child failed to cure it. The crime was traced to some
Kotas in conjunction with Badagas, but the District
Judge disbelieved the evidence, and all who were charged
were acquitted. Every Badaga family pays an annual


tax of four annas to the Kurumbas, and, if a Kurumba
comes to a Badaga hatti (village), a subscription is
raised as an inducement to him to take his departure.
The Kurumba receives a fee for every Badaga funeral,
and for the pregnancy ceremony (kannikattu).

It is noted by Dr. Rivers that " the Toda sorcerers
are not only feared by their fellow Todas, but also by
the Badagas, and it is probably largely owing to fear of
Toda sorcery that the Badagas continue to pay their
tribute of grain. The Badagas may also consult the
Toda diviners, and it is probable that the belief of the
Badagas in the magical powers of the Todas is turned
to good account by the latter. In some cases, Todas,
have been killed by Badagas owing to this belief."

Among the Todas, the duties of milking the
buffaloes and dairy-work are entrusted to special
individuals, whereas any Badaga male may, after initia-
tion, milk the cows and buffaloes, provided that he is
free from pollution. Every Badaga boy, when he is
about seven or nine years old, is made to milk a cow on
an auspicious day, or on new year's day. The ceremony
is thus described by Mr. Natesa Sastri. " Early in the
morning of the day appointed for this ceremony, the boy
is bathed, and appears in his holiday dress. A she-
buffalo, with her calf, stands before his house, waiting to
be milked. The parents, or other elder relations of the
boy, and those who have been invited to be present on
the occasion, or whose duty it is to be present, then
conduct the boy to the spot. The father, or some one of
the agnatic kindred, gives into the hands of the boy a
bamboo vessel called hone, which is already very nearly
full of fresh-drawn milk. The boy receives the vessel
with both his hands, and is conducted to the buffalo.
The elder relations show him the process, and the boy,


sitting down, milks a small quantity into the hone. This
is his first initiation into the duty of milking, and it is that
he may not commit mistakes on the very first day of his
milking that the hone is previously filled almost to the
brim. The boy takes the vessel filled with milk into his
house, and pours some of the sacred fluid into all his
household eating vessels a sign that from that day he
has taken up on himself the responsibility of supplying
the family with milk. He also throws some milk in the
faces of his parents and relatives. They receive it very
kindly, and bless him, and request him to continue thus
to milk the buffaloes, and bring plenty and prosperity to
the house. After this, the boy enters the milk-house
(hag5ttu), and places milk in his hone there. From
this moment, and all through his life, he may enter
into that room, and this is therefore considered a very
important ceremony."

A cow or buffalo, which has calved for the first time,
has to be treated in a special manner. For three or five
days it is not milked. A boy is then selected to milk it.
He must not sleep on a mat, or wear a turban, and,
instead of tying his cloth round his waist, must wear
it loosely over his body. Meat is forbidden, and he
must avoid, and not speak to polluting classes, such as
Irulas and Kotas, and menstruating women. On the
day appointed for milking the animal, the boy bathes,
and proceeds to milk it into a new hone purified by
smearing a paste of Meliosma (tud) leaves and bark
over it, and heating it over a fire. The milk is taken to
a stream, where three cups are made of Argyreia (mlnige)
leaves, into which a small quantity of the milk is placed.
The cups are then put in the water. The remainder
of the milk in the hone is also poured into the stream.
In some places, especially where a Madeswara temple is


close at hand, the milk is taken to the temple, and given
to the pujari. With a portion of the milk some plantain
fruits are made into a pulp, and given to an Udaya, who
throws them into a stream. The boy is treated with
some respect by his family during the period when he
milks the animal, and is given food first. This he must
eat off a plate made of Argvreia, or plantain leaves.

Besides the hagottu within the house, the Badagas
have, at certain places, separate dairy-houses near a
temple dedicated to Heththeswami, of which the one at
Bairaganni (or Berganni) appears to be the most im-
portant. The dairy pujari is here, like the Toda palol,
a celibate. In 1905, he was a young lad, whom my
Brahman assistant set forth to photograph. He was,
however, met at a distance from the village by a head-
man, who assured him that he could not take the photo-
graph without the sanction of fifteen villages. The
pujari is not allowed to wander freely about the village,
or talk to grown-up women. He cooks his own food
within the temple grounds, and wears his cloth thrown
loosely over his body. Once a year, on the occasion of
a festival, he is presented with new cloths and turban,
which alone he may wear. He must be a strict vege-
tarian. A desire to marry and abandon the priesthood
is believed to be conveyed in dreams, or through one
inspired. Before leaving the temple service, he must
train his successor in the duties, and retires with the
gains acquired by the sale of the products of the herd
and temple offerings. The village of Bairaganni is
regarded as sacred, and possesses no holagudi (menstrual

Bishop Whitehead adds that "buffaloes are given as
offerings to the temple at Bairaganni, and become the
property of the pujari, who milks them, and uses the


milk for his food. All the villagers give him rice every
day. He may only eat once a day, at about 3 P.M. He
cooks the meal himself, and empties the rice from the
cooking-pot by turning it over once. If the rice does
not come out the first time, he cannot take it at all.
When he wants to get married, another boy is appointed
in his place. The buffaloes are handed over to his
successor." The following legend in connection with
Bairaganni is also recorded by Bishop Whitehead.
" There is a village in the Mekanad division of the
Nllgiris called Nundala. A man had a daughter. He
wanted to marry her to a man in the Paranganad division
about a hundred years ago. She did not wish to marry
him. The father insisted, but she refused again and
again. At last she wished to die, and came near a tank,
on the bank of which was a tree. She sat under the
tree and washed, and then threw herself into the tank.
One of the men of Bairaganni in the Paranganad division
saw the woman in a dream. She told him that she was
not a human being but a goddess, an incarnation of
Parvati. The people of Nundala built a strong bund
(embankment) round the tank, and allow no woman to go
on it. Only the pQjari, and Badagas who have prepared
themselves by fasting and ablution, are allowed to go on
the bund to offer puja, which is done by breaking
cocoanuts, and offering rice, flowers, and fruits. The
woman told the man in his dream to build a temple
at Bairaganni, which is now the chief temple of Heth-

Concerning the initiation of a Lingayat Badaga into
his religion, which takes place at about his thirteenth
birthday, Mr. Natesa Sastri writes as follows. "The
priest conducts this ceremony, and the elder relations of
the family have only to arrange for the performance


of it. The priests belong to the Udaya sect. They live
in their own villages, and are specially sent for, and
come to the boy's village for the occasion. The cere-
mony is generally done to several boys of about the v
same age on the same day. On the day appointed,
all the people in the Badaga village, where this ceremony
is to take place, observe a strict fast. The cows and
buffaloes are all milked very early in the morning,
and not a drop of the milk thus collected is given
out, or taken by even the tenderest children of the
village, who may require it very badly. The Udaya
priest arrives near the village between 10 A.M. and noon
on the day appointed. He never goes into the village,
but stops near some rivulet adjacent to it. The relations
of the boy approach him with a new basket, containing
five measures of uncooked rice, pulse, ghl, etc., and a
quarter of a rupee one fanam, as it is generally desig-
nated. The priest sits near the water-course, and lights
a fire on the bank. Perfumes are thrown profusely into
it, and this is almost the only ceremony before the fire.
The boys, whose turn it is to receive the linga that day,
are all directed to bathe in the river. A plantain leaf,
cut into one foot square, is placed in front of the fire
towards the east of it. The lingas, kept in readiness by
the parents of the boys, are now received by the priest,
and placed on the leaves. The boys are asked to wash
them each one the linga meant for his wearing in
water and milk. Then comes the time for the expendi-
ture of all the collected milk of the morning. Profusely
the white fluid is poured, till the whole rivulet is nothing
but a stream of milk. After the lingas are thus washed,
the boys give them to the priest, who places them in his
left palm, and, covering them with his right, utters, with
all the solemnity due to the occasion, the following


incantation, while the boys and the whole village assem-
bled there listen to it with the most profound respect and
veneration ' Oh ! Siva, Kara, Rasava, the Lord of all
the six thousand and three thousand names and glories,
the Lord of one lakh and ninety-six thousand ganas
(body-guards of Siva), the donor of water, the daily-to-be
worshipped, the husband of Parvati. Oh ! Lord, O !
Siva Linga, thy feet alone are our resort. Oh ! Siva,
Siva, Siva, Siva.' While pronouncing this prayer, the
priest now and then removes his right palm, and pours
water and milk round the sacred fire, and over the lingas
resting in his left palm. He then places each of the
lingas in a cloth of one cubit square, rolls it up, and
requests the boys to hold out their right palms. The
young Badaga receives it, repeats the prayer given about
five times, and, during each repetition, the palm holding
the linga tied up in the cloth is carried nearer and nearer
to his neck. When that is reached (on the fifth utterance
of the incantation), the priest ties the ends of the rolled
up cloth containing the Siva emblem loosely round the
boy's neck, while the latter is all the while kneeling
down, holding with both his hands the feet of the priest.
After the linga has been tied, the priest blesses him
thus : ' May one become one thousand to you. May you
ever preserve in you the Siva Linga. If you do so, you
will have plenty of milk and food, and you will prosper
for one thousand years in name and fame, kine and coin.'
If more than one have to receive the linga on the same
day, each of them has to undergo this ceremony. After
the ceremony is over, the priest returns to his village
with the rice, etc., and fees. Every house, in which
a boy has received the linga, has to give a grand feast
on that day. Even the poorest Badaga must feed at
least five other Badagas."


The foregoing account of the investiture with the
lingam apparently applies to the Mekanad Udayas. The
following note is based on information supplied by the
Udayas of Paranginad. The ceremony of investiture is
performed either on new year's day or Sivarathri by
an Udaya priest in the house of a respected member
of the community (doddamane), which is vacated for the
occasion. The houses of the boys and girls who are to
receive lingams are cleaned, and festoons of tud and
mango leaves, lime fruits, and flowers of Leucas aspera
(thumbe) are tied across the doorways, and in front of
the house where the ceremony is to be performed.
Until the conclusion thereof, all the people of the village
fast. The candidates, with their parents, and the offici-
ating priest repair to the doddamane. The lingams are
handed over to the priest, who, taking them up one
by one, does puja to them, and gives them to the
children. They in turn do puja, and the lingams,
wrapped in pink silk or cotton cloths, are tied round
their necks. The pOja consists of washing the lingams
in cow's urine and milk, smearing them with sandal and
turmeric paste, throwing flowers on them, and waving
incense and burning camphor before them. After the
investiture, the novices are taught a prayer, which is not
a stereotyped formula, but varies with the priest and

Like other Lingayats, the Udayas respect the Jan-
gam, but do not employ the Jangama thirtham (water
used for washing the Jangam's feet) for bathing their
lingams. In Udaya villages there is no special menstrual
hut (holagudi). Milk is not regarded by them as a
sacred product, so there is no hagottu in their houses.
Nor do they observe the Manavalai festival in honour of
ancestors. Other ceremonies are celebrated by them, as


by other Badagas, but they do not employ the services
of a Kurumba.

Important agricultural ceremonies are performed by
the Badagas at the time of sowing and harvest. The
seed-sowing ceremony takes place in March, and, in
some places, e.g., the Mekanad and Paranginad, a
Kurumba plays an important part in it. On an auspici-
ous day a Tuesday before the crescent moon a pujari
of the Devve temple sets out several hours before dawn
with five or seven kinds of grain in a basket and sickle,
accompanied by a Kurumba, and leading a pair of
bullocks with a plough. On reaching the field selected,
the pujari pours the grain into the cloth of the Kurumba,
and, yoking the animals to the plough, makes three
furrows in the soil. The Kurumba, stopping the
bullocks, kneels on the ground between the furrows
facing east. Removing his turban, he places it on
the ground, and, closing his ears with his palms, bawls
out " Dho, Dho," thrice. He then rises, and scatters
the grain thrice on the soil. The pujari and Kurumba
then return to the village, and the former deposits what
remains of the grain in the store-room (attu). A new
pot, lull 01 water, is placed in the milk-house, and
the pujari dips his right hand therein, saying " Nerathu-
bitta " (it is full). This ceremony is an important one
for the Badagas, as, until it has been performed, sowing
may not commence. It is a day of feasting, and, in
addition to rice, Dolichos Lablab is cooked.

The other agricultural ceremony is called Devve
habba or tenai (Setaria italica), and is usually celebrated
in June or July, always on a Monday. It is apparently
performed in honour of the two gods Mahalingaswami
and Hiriya Udaya, to whom a group of villages will
have temples dedicated. For example, the Badagas in

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the neighbourhood of Kotagiri have their Hiriya Udaya
temple at Tandanad, and Mahal ingaswami temple at
Kannermukku. This Devve festival, which should on
no account be pronounced duvve, which means burning-
ground, is celebrated at one place, whither the Badagas
from other villages proceed, to take part in it. About
midday, some Badagas and the temple pujari go from
the temple of Hiriya Udaya to that of Mahal ingaswami.
The procession is usually headed by a Kurumba, who
scatters fragments of tud bark and wood as he goes
on his way. The pujari takes with him the materials
necessary for doing puja, and, after worshipping Maha-
lingaswami, the party return to the Hiriya Udaya temple,
where milk and cooked rice are offered to the various
gods within the temple precincts. On the following
day, all assemble at the temple, and a Kurumba brings
a few sheaves of Setaria italica, and ties them to a stone
set up at the main entrance. After this, puja is done,
and the people offer cocoanuts to the god. Later on,
all the women of the Madhave sept, who have given
birth to a first-born child, come, dressed up in holiday
attire, with their babies, to the temple. On this day

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