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on the dais at the home of the latter, and the officiating
priest ties the bashingams on their foreheads. Nine
men and seven women stand near the dais, and a
thread is passed round them seven times. This thread
is cut up by the priest, and used for the kankanams
(wrist threads) of the bride and bridegroom. These are


removed, at the close of the marriage festivities, on the
fifth day.

When a girl attains maturity, she is under pollution
for nine days, at the conclusion of which the Bichadi
receives a small present of money from her parents.
Her husband, and his agnates (people of his sept) also
have to observe pollution, and, on the ninth day, the
cooking pots which they have used are thrown away,
and they proceed to the Bichadi, to whom they make a
present of money, as they have probably broken the
tribal rule that smoking is forbidden when under pollu-
tion. On the ninth day, the girl and her husband throw
water over each other, and the marriage is consummated.

The dead are usually buried, lying on the left side.
On the second day, food is offered to crows and
Brahmani kites. On the eleventh day, a mat is spread
on the floor of the hut, and covered with a clean sheet,
on which balls of food are placed. The dead person
is invoked by name, as the various people deposit the
food offering. The food is finally put into a winnowing
basket, and taken to the bank of a tank (pond). A
small hut is made there, and the food is placed therein
on two leaves, one of which represents the Yama Dutas
(servants of the god of death), the other the deceased.

Boori (cake). An exogamous sept of Mala.

Bosantiya. The Bosantiyas are summed up, in the
Madras Census Report, 1901, as " Oriya cultivators
found in the northern taluks of Ganjam. They are said
by some to have been originally dyers." I am informed
that the caste name has reference to the fact that the
occupation thereof was the collection of the fruits of
Mallotus philippinensis, and trade in the dye (bosonto
gundi) obtained therefrom. The dye, commonly known
as kamela, or kamala, is the powdery substance obtained


as a glandular pubescence from the exterior of the fruits.
The following note on the dye was published in the
Indian Forester, 1892. "Among the many rich natural
products of Ganjam, probably the most esteemed in
commerce is the red kamela dye, the valuable product
of the Mallotus pkilippinensis. This tree, with its lovely
scarlet berries and vivid emerald green foliage, is a
marked feature of forest scenery in Ganjam. The
berries are coated with a beautiful red powder, which
constitutes the dye. This powder is collected by being
brushed off into baskets made for the purpose, but the
method of collection is reckless and wasteful in the
extreme, the trees being often felled in order to reach
the berries more easily. The industry is a monopoly of
the Hill Khonds, who, however, turn it to little advan-
tage. They are ignorant of the great commercial value
of the dye, and part with the powder to the low-country
dealers settled among them for a few measures of rice
or a yard or two of cloth. The industry is capable of
great development, and a large fortune awaits the firm
or individual with sufficient enterprise to enter into
rivalry with the low-country native dealers settled among
the Khonds, who at present enjoy a monopoly of the
trade. It is notorious that these men are accumulating
vast profits in respect of this dye. The tree is cultivated
largely by the Khonds in their forest villages."

The Bosantiyas seem to have no sub-divisions, but
exogamous gotras, e.g., nagasira (cobra) and kochimo
(tortoise) exist among them. Socially they are on a par
with the Bhondaris, and above Pachchilia Gaudos and
Samantiyas. They have a headman called Bissoyi,
who is assisted by a Bhollobaya, and they have further
a caste messenger called Jati Naiko. The caste titles
are Bissoyi and Nahako.


Most of the Bosantiyas are Saivites, but a few follow
the Paramaribo form of Vaishnavism. They also
worship various Takuranis (village deities), such as
Kotaru and Chondi.

In the Vizagapatam Manual (1869), Bosuntea is
described as a caste of Paiks or fighting men in the
Vizagapatam district (Jeypore).

Bottada. The Bottadas are, Mr. H. A. Stuart
writes,* " a Class of Uriya cultivators and labourers,
speaking Muria or Lucia, otherwise known as Basturia,
a dialect of Uriya. Mr. Taylor says the caste is the
same as Muria, which is shown separately in the tables,
and in Mr. H. G. Turner's notes in the Census Report
of 1871. But, whether identical or distinct, it seems
clear that both are sub-divisions of the great Gond

For the following note, I am indebted to Mr.
C. Hayavadana Rao. There is a current tradition that
the caste originally dwelt at Barthagada, and emigrated
to Vizagapatam long ago. It is vaguely mentioned that
Barthagada was situated towards and beyond Bastar,
near which place there are still to be found people ol
this caste, with whom those living in the Vizagapatam
Agency intermarry. The caste is divided into three
endogamous divisions, viz. :

(1) Bodo, or genuine Bottadas ;

(2) Madhya, descendants of Bottada men and
non- Bottada women ;

(3) Sanno, descendants of Madhya men and non-
Madhya women. The Bodos will not interdine with
the other two sections, but males of these will eat with

* Madras Census Report, 1891.


The following notes refer to the Bodo section, in
which various exogamous septs, or bamsa, exist, of
which the following are examples :

Kochchimo, tortoise.
Bhag, tiger.
Goyi, lizard ( Varanus).
Nag, cobra.

Kukkuro, dog.
Makado, monkey.
Cheli, goat.

Girls are married either before or after puberty. A man
can claim his paternal aunt's daughter in marriage.
When a marriage is under contemplation, the prospective
bridegroom's parents take maddho (liquor) and chada
(beaten rice) to the girl's house, where they are accepted
or refused, according as her parents agree to, or dis-
approve of the match. After a stated period, further
presents of liquor, rice, black gram, dhal, salt, chillies,
and jaggery (crude sugar) are brought, and betel leaves
and areca nuts given in exchange. Two days later the
girl's parents pay a return visit to those of the young
man. After another interval, the marriage takes place.
Nine days before its celebration, paddy (unhusked
rice) and Rs. 2 are taken to the bride's house as jholla
tonka, and a feast is held. At the bridegroom's house, a
pandal, made of nine sorghi or sal (S/iorea robusta) posts,
is erected, with a pot of turmeric water tied to the central
post. The bride is conducted thither. At the marriage
rites the Desari officiates. The ends of the cloths of
the contracting couple are tied together, and their little
fingers are linked together, while they go, with pieces of
turmeric and rice in their hands, seven times round the
pandal. The sacred fire, or homam, is raised, and into
it seven or nine different kinds of wood, ghl (clarified
butter), milk, rice and jaggery are thrown. Turmeric-
rice dots are put on the foreheads of the bride and
bridegroom by the Desari, parents, and relations. They


are anointed with castor-oil, and bathed with the water
contained in the pot tied to the post. New cloths are
presented to them, and a caste feast is held.

Widow remarriage is permitted, and a younger brother
often marries the widow of his elder brother. If, how-
ever, she marries any one else, her new husband has to
pay rand tonka, consisting of liquor, a sheep or goat, and
rice, as a fine to the caste, or he may compound for
payment of five rupees. Divorce is permitted, and, if a
man divorces his wife, he usually gives her some paddy,
a new cloth, and a rupee. If the woman divorces herself
from her husband, and contracts an alliance with another
man, the latter has to pay a fine of twenty rupees to the
first husband, a portion of which is spent on a feast, at
which the two husbands and the woman are present.

The dead are burned, and death pollution is observed
for ten days, during which no agricultural work is done,
and no food is cooked in the bamsa of the deceased,
which is fed by some related bamsa. On the day follow-
ing cremation, a new pot with water, and some sand are
carried to the spot where the corpse was burnt. A bed
of sand is made, in which a banyan (Ficus bengalensis)
or plpal (Ficus religiosa] is planted. A hole is made in
the pot, and the plant watered. On the tenth day, on
which a bath is taken, some fried rice and a new pot are
carried to the burning-ground, and left there.

The Bottadas have the reputation of being the best
cultivators in the Jeypore Agency, and they take a high
position in social rank. Many of them wear the sacred
thread, at the time of marriage and subsequently, and it
is said that the right to wear it was acquired by purchase
from former Rajas of Jeypore.

Bottu Kattoru (those who tie the bottu). A sub-
division of Kappiliyans, who are Canarese cultivators


settled in the Tamil district of Madura. The bottu
(marriage badge) is the equivalent of the Tamil tali.

Bovi. The name of the palanquin-bearing section
of the Mogers of South Canara. Some Besthas from
Mysore, who have settled in this district, are also called
Bovi, which is a form of Boyi (bearer).

Boya (see Bedar). Boya has also been recorded*
as a sub-division of Mala, a name for Ekari.

Boyan. A title of Odde.

Boyi (see Bestha). It is also the title of one of
the chief men among the Savaras.

Brahman. The Brahmans of Southern India are
divided into a number of sections, differing in language,
manners and customs. As regards their origin, the
current belief is that they sprang from the mouth of
Brahma. In support thereof, the following verse from
the Purusha Suktha (hymn of the primaeval male) of the
Rig Veda is quoted : From the face of Prajapathi
(Viratpurusha) came the Brahmans ; from the arms arose
the Kshatriyas ; from the thighs sprang the Vaisyas ;
and from the feet the Sudras. Mention of the fourfold
division of the Hindu castes is also made in other Vedas,
and in Ithihasas and Puranas.

The Brahmans fall into three groups, following the
three Vedas or Sakas, Rig, Yajus, and Samam. This
threefold division is, however, recognised only for
ceremonial purposes. For marriage and social purposes,
the divisions based on language and locality are prac-
tically more operative. In the matter of the more
important religious rites, the Brahmans of Southern India,
as elsewhere, closely follow their own Vedas. Every
Brahman belongs to one or other of the numerous gotras

Manual of the North Arcot district.


mentioned in Pravara and Gotra Kandams. All the
religious rites are performed according to the Grihya
Sutras (ritual books) pertaining to their Saka or Veda.
Of these, there are eight kinds now in vogue, viz. :

1. Asvalayana Sutra of the Rig Veda.

2. Apasthamba

3. Bharadwaja

4. Bhodayana V Sutras of the black Yajus.

5. Sathyashada

6. Vaikkanasa

7. Kathyayana Sutra of the white Yajus.

8. Drahyayana Sutra of Sama Veda.

All Brahmans claim descent from one or more of the
following seven Rishis : Atri, Bhrigu, Kutsa, Vashista,
Gautama, Kasyapa, Angiras. According to some, the
Rishis are Agasthya, Angiras, Atri, Bhrigu, Kasyapa,
Vashista, and Gautama. Under these Rishis are included
eighteen ganams, and under each ganam there are a
number of gotras, amounting in all to about 230. Every
Brahman is expected to salute his superiors by repeating
the Abhivadhanam (salutation) which contains his lineage.
As an example, the following may be given : " I,
Krishna by name, of Srivathsa gotra, with the pravara
(lineage) of the five Rishis, Bhargava, Chyavana,
Apnuvana, Aruva, and Jamadagni, following the Apas-
thamba sutra of the Yajus Saka, am now saluting you."
Daily, at the close of the Sandhya prayers, this Abhiva-
dhanam formula should be repeated by every Brahman.

Taking the Brahmans as a whole, it is customary to
group them in two main divisions, the Pancha Dravidas
and Pancha Gaudas. The Pancha Dravidas are pure
vegetarians, whereas the Pancha Gaudas need not abstain
from meat and fish, though some, who live amidst the
Pancha Dravidas, do so. Other differences will be noted
in connection with Oriya Brahmans, who belong to the


Pancha Gauda section. In South India, all Brahmans,
except those who speak the Oriya and Konkani lan-
guages, are Pancha Dravidas, who are divided into five
sections, viz. :

1. Tamil, or Uravida proper.

2. Telugu or Andhra.

3. Canarese, or Carnataka.

4. Marathi or Desastha.

5. Guzarati.

The Tulu-speaking Shivalli Brahmans are included
among the Carnatakas ; the Pattar and Nambutiri Brah-
mans (see Nambutiri) among the Dravidas proper.

From a religious point of view, the Brahmans are
either Salvltes or Vaishnavites. The Saivites are either
Saivites proper, or Smarthas. The Smarthas believe
that the soul of man is only a portion of the infinite
spirit (atman), and that it is capable of becoming absorbed
into the atman. They recognise the Trimurtis, Brahma,
Vishnu, and Siva as separate gods, but only as equal
manifestations of the supreme spirit, and that, in the end,
these are to be absorbed into the infinite spirit, and so
disappear. Saivas, on the other hand, do not recognise
the Trimurtis, and believe only in one god, Siva, who
is self-existent, and not liable to lose his personality.
Of Vaishnavites there are three kinds, viz., those who
are the followers of Chaitanya, Ramanuja, and Madhva-
charya. Like the Smarthas, the Vaishnavites recognise
Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva, but Vishnu is supposed to be
the chief god, to whom the others are subordinate.

" Vaishnavas," Monier Williams writes,* "are be-
lievers in the one personal god Vishnu, not only as the
preserver, but as above every other god, including Siva.

* Religious Thought and Life in India.


It should be noted, too, that both Saivites and Vaishnavas
agree in attributing an essential form of qualities to the
Supreme Being. Their one god, in fact, exists in an
eternal body, which is antecedent to his earthly incarna-
tions, and survives all such incarnations." He adds that
" it cannot be doubted that one great conservative element
of Hinduism is the many sidedness of Vaishnavism.
For Vaishnavism is, like Buddhism, the most tolerant
of systems. It is always ready to accommodate itself
to other creeds, and delights in appropriating to itself
the religious idea of all the nations of the world. It
admits of every form of internal development. It has
no organised hierarchy under one supreme head, but it
may have any number of separate associations under
separate leaders, who are ever banding themselves
together for the extension of spiritual supremacy over
ever increasing masses of population."

The Oriya Brahmans, who follow the creed of
Chaitanya, are called Paramarthos, and are confined to
the Ganjam district. There is no objection to inter-
marriage between Smartha and Paramartho Oriya

Sri Vaishnavas (who put on the namam as a sectarian
mark) and Madhvas are exclusive as regards inter-
marriage, but the Madhvas have no objection to taking
meals with, and at the houses of Smarthas, whereas Sri
Vaishnavas object to doing so.

According to the Sutras, a Brahman has to go through
the following samskaras (rites) :

1. Garbhadana.

2. Pumsavanam.

3. Simantam.

4. Jatakarmam.

5. Namakaranam.

6. Annaprasanam.

7. Chaulam.

8. Upanayanam.

9. Vivaham.


These rites are supposed to purify the body and spirit
from the taint transmitted through the womb of the
mother, but all of them are not at the present day per
formed at the proper time, and in regular order.

The Garbhadhana, or impregnation ceremony, should,
according to the Grihya Sutras, be performed on the
fourth day of the marriage ceremonies. But, as the
bride is a young girl, it is omitted, or Vedic texts are
repeated. The Garbhadhana ceremony is performed,
after the girl has attained puberty. At the time of
consummation or Ritu Santhi, the following verse,
is rejgeated : " Let all pervading Vishnu prepare her
womb ; let the Creator shape its forms ; let Praja-
pathi be the impregnator ; let the Creator give the

Pumsavanam and Simantam are two ceremonies,
which are performed together during the seventh or
ninth month of the first pregnancy, though, according to
the Grihya Sutras,the former should be performed in the
third month. At the Pumsavanam, or male producing
Ceremony, the pregnant woman fasts, and her husband
squeezes into her right nostril a little juice from the fruit
and twig of the alam tree (Ficus bengalensis), saying
" T^hou art a male child." The twig selected should be
one pointing, east or north ; with two fruits looking like
testicles. The twig is placed on a grinding-stone, and
a girl, who has not attained puberty, is asked to pound
it. The pulp is wrapped in a new silk cloth, and squeezed
to express the juice. On the conclusion of the Pumsa-
vanam, the Simantam, or parting the pregnant woman's
hair, is gone through. After oblations in the sacred fire
(homam), the woman's husband takes a porcupine quill,
to which three blades of dharbha grass, and a twig with
fruits of the aththi tree (Ficus glomerata) are attached,


and passes it over the woman's head from before back-
wards, parting the hair.

The Jatakarmam, Namakaranam, Annaprasanam, and
Chaulam rites are ordinarily celebrated, one after the
other, on the Upanayanam day. Jatakarmam consists
in smearing some ghi (clarified butter) and honey on
the tongue of the baby, and repeating the following
verses from the Rig Veda : " Oh ! long lived one, mayst
thou live a hundred years in this world, protected by
the gods. Become firm as a rock, firm as an axe, pure
as gold. Thou art the Veda called a son ; live thou a
hundred years. May Indra bestow on thee his best
treasures. May Savitri, may Sarasvati, may the Asvins
grant thee wisdom."

At the Namakaranam, or naming ceremony, the
parents of the child pronounce its name close to its ear,
and repeat the Vedic prayer to Indra and Agni " May
Indra give you lustre, and Indra semen, wisdom, and

The Annaprasanam, or food-giving ceremony, should
be performed during the sixth month after birth. A little
solid food is put into the child's mouth, and the following
Vedic verses are repeated : " Agni who lives on plants,
Soma who lives on soma juice, Brahmans who live on the
Vedas, and Devatas who live on amartam (ambrosia),
may they bless you. As the earth gives food to plants
and water, so I give you this food. May these waters
and plants give you prosperity and health."

At the Chaulam, or tonsure ceremony, the child is
seated in his mother's lap. The father, taking a few
blades of dharbha grass in his hand, sprinkles water
over the child's head. Seven times he inserts blades
of dharbha in the hair of the head (three blades each
time), saying " Oh ! divine grass, protect him." He


then cuts off the tips of the blades, and throws them
away. The father is expected, according to the Grihya
Sutras, to shave or cut the child's hair. At the
present day, however, the barber is called in, and shaves
the head, leaving one lock or more according to local

The Upanayana, or leading a boy to his guru or
spiritual teacher, is essentially a ceremony of initiation.
From an orthodox point of view, this ceremony should
be performed before the age of eight years, but in practice
it is deferred even up to the age of seventeen. It usually
commences with the arrangement of seed-pans containing
nine kinds of grain, and tying a thread or pratisaram on
the boy's wrist. After this, the Abyudayam, or invocation
of ancestors, is gone through. The boy sits in front of
the sacred fire, and his father, or some other person, sits
by his side, to help him in the ceremonial and act the
part of guru. He places over the boy's head blades of
dharbha grass so that the tips are towards the east, south,
west, and north. The tips are cut off, and the following
Vedic verses are repeated : " Please permit me to shave
the head of this boy with the knife used by the sun for
shaving Soma. He is to be shaved, because it will
bring him long life and old age. May the boy become
great, and not die a premature death. May he outshine
all in glory." The boy is then shaved by a barber, and
more Vedic verses are repeated, which run as follows :
" You are shaving with a sharp razor, so that this
shaving may enable him to live long. Brihaspathi,
Surya, and Agni shaved the hair of the head of Varuna,
and placed the hairs in the middle regions of the sky,
earth, and in swarga. I shall place the hairs removed
by me at the foot of the audambara tree (Ficus glome-
rata), or in the clumps of dharbha grass." The boy then


bathes, and comes near the sacred fire. After ghl has
been poured thereon, a bundle of palasa (Butea frondosa)
sticks is given to him, and he puts it on the fire after
repeating certain Vedic riks. A grinding-stone is placed
on one side of the fire, and the boy treads on it, while
the following verse is repeated: "Tread on this stone,
and may you be as firm as it is. May you subdue thy
enemies." A new cloth is given to him, which he puts on.
The following verses are then repeated : " Oh ! cloth,
Revathi and others have spun, woven, spread out, and
put skirts on both sides of you. May these goddesses
clothe the boy with long life. Blessed with life, put on
this cloth. Dress the boy with this cloth. By wearing
it, let him attain a hundred years of age. May his life
be extended. Such a garment as this was given to
Soma by Brihaspathi to wear. Mayst thou reach old
age. Put on this cloth. Be a protector to all people.
May you live a hundred years with full vigour. May
you have plenty of wealth." After the boy has put on
the cloth, the following is repeated : " You have put
on this cloth for the sake of blessing. You have become
the protector of your friends. Live a hundred years.
A noble man, blessed with life, mayst thou obtain
wealth." A girdle (minji) spun from grass is wound
thrice round the boy's body, and tied with a knot oppo-
site the navel, or to the left of it. The following verses
are repeated: "This blessed girdle, the friend of the
gods, has come to us to remove our sins, to purify and
protect us, bring strength to us by the power of exha-
lation and inhalation. Protect, Oh ! girdle, our wealth
and meditation. Destroy our enemies, and guard us on
all the four sides." A small piece of deer-skin is next
tied on to the sacred thread, which has been put on the
boy soon after the shaving rite. The following verses


are repeated : " Oh ! skin which is full of lustre because
Mitra sees you, full of glory and one that is not fit for
wicked people, I am now putting you on. May Aditi
tuck up thy garment. Thou mayst read Vedas, and
grow wise. Thou mayst not forget what you have read.
Mayst thou become holy and glorious." The boy seats
himself next to the guru, and close to the sacred fire,
and repeats the following : " I have come near the
spiritual teacher, my Acharya. May the teacher and
myself become prosperous. May I also complete my
Vedic studies properly, and let me be blessed with a
married life after the study." The guru sprinkles water
over the boy three times, and, taking hold of his hand,
says: "Agni, Soman, Savitha, Sarasvati, Pusha, Arya-
man, Amsuhu, Bagadevata, and Mitra have seized thy
hand. They have taken you over to them, and you
have become friends." Then he hands over the boy to
the gods by repeating : " We give you to Agni, Soman,
Savitha, Sarasvati, Mrityu, Yaman, Gadhan, Andhakan,
Abhaya, Oshadhi, Prithvi, and Vaisvanara. With the
permission of Surya, I am allowing you to approach me.
Oh ! boy, may you have children full of lustre, and capa-
ble of becoming heroes." The boy then repeats the
following : " I am come to be a student. You that
have obtained permission from the Surya, please take me."
The teacher asks, " Who are you ? What is your name ?
The boy gives out his name, and the teacher enquires of
him what kind of Brahmachari he is. The boy replies
that he is a Brahmachari for Atman, and repeats the
following : " Oh ! sun, the lord of all ways, through
your grace I am about to begin my studies, which will do
good to me." The teacher and the boy take their seats

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