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days when there was no survey or settlement, if the
barber neglected his duties, he was threatened with
confiscation of his lands. At the present day, however,
he can sell, mortgage, or make a gift thereof. As the
Ambattans became divided up into a number of families,
their duties in the village were parcelled out among them,
so that each barber family became attached to certain
families of other castes, and was entitled to certain
rights from them. Among other claims, each barber
family became entitled to three or four marakkals of
paddy (unhusked rice), which is the perquisite of the
married members thereof. It may be noted that, in village
communities, lands were granted not only to the barber,
but also to village officials such as the blacksmith, car-
penter, washerman, astrologer, priest, dancing-girl, etc.

In his capacity of barber, the Ambattan is called
Nasivan (unholy man), or, according to the Census Re-
ports, Nasuvan (sprung from the nose), or Navidan,
He is also known as Panditan or Pariyari (doctor), and


Kudimaghan (son of the ryot). The last of these names
is applied to him especially on occasions of marriage,
when to call him Nasivan would be inauspicious. The
recognised insigne of his calling is the small looking-
glass, which he carries with him, together with the
razor, and sometimes tweezers and ear-pick. He must
salute his superiors by prostrating himself on his stomach,
folding his arms, and standing at a respectful distance.
He may not attend at Brahman houses on new or full-
moon days, Tuesday, Saturday, and special days such as
Ekadasi and Dwadasi. The most proper days are Sunday
and Monday. The quality of the shave varies with the
skill of the individual, and there is a Tamil proverb " Go
to an old barber and a new washerman." Stories are
extant of barbers shaving kings while they were asleep
without waking them, and it is said that the last Raja of
Tanjore used to be thus entertained with exhibitions of
their skill. The old legend of the barber who, in return
for shaving a Raja without awakening him, requested
that he might be made a Brahman, and how the Court
jester Tennali Raman got the Raja to cancel his agree-
ment, has recently been re-told in rhyme.* It is there
described how the barber lathered the head " with water
alone, for soap he had none." The modern barber, how-
ever, uses soap, either a cheap quality purchased in the
bazar, or a more expensive brand supplied by his client.
By a curious corruption, Hamilton's bridge, which
connects the Triplicane and Mylapore divisions of the
city of Madras, has become converted into Ambattan, or
barber's bridge. And the barber, as he shaves you, will
tell how, in days before the bridge was built, the channel
became unfordable during a north-east monsoon flood.

* A. P. Smith, Madras Review, 1902.


A barber, who lived on the Triplicane side, had to shave
an engineer, whose house was on the Mylapore side.
With difficulty he swam across, and shaved the sahib
while he was asleep without waking him, and, in return,
asked that, in the public interests, a bridge should be
built over the channel.

Ambattans of Travancore. For the following
note I am indebted to Mr. N. Subramani Aiyer. The
barbers of Travancore are called by various designa-
tions, those in Central and South Travancore preferring
to be known by the name of Kshaurakan or Kshaurak-
karan, a corruption of the Sanskrit kshuraka, while
Ambattan seems to find general favour in the south. A
curious name given to the caste throughout Travancore
is Pranopakari, or one who helps the souls, indicating
their priestly functions in the ceremonials of various
castes. A contraction of this name found in the early
settlement records is Pranu. The members of those
families from which kings and noblemen have at any
time selected their barbers are called Vilakkittalavan, or
more properly Vilakkuttalayan, meaning literally those
who shave heads. In North Travancore many families
are in possession of royal edicts conferring upon them
the title of Panikkar, and along with it the heaclmanship
of the barber families of the village in which they reside.
Others have the title of Vaidyan or doctor, from the
secondary occupation of the caste.

Endless endogamous septs occur among the bar-
bers, and, at Trivandrum, there are said to be four
varieties called Chala Vazhi, Pandi Vazhi, Attungal
Vazhi, and Peruntanni Vazhi. But it is possible to
divide all the Kshaurakans of Travancore into three
classes, viz., Malayalam-speaking Ambattans, who follow
the makkathayam law of inheritance ; (2) Malayalam-


speaking Ambattans who follow the marumakkathayam
law of inheritance ; (3) Tamil-speaking barbers, who
have in many localities adopted Malayalam as their
mother-tongue, and indicate their recent conversion in
this direction by preserving unchanged the dress and
ornaments of their womenkind. In Pattanapuram, for
example, there is a class of Malayalam-speaking barbers
known as Pulans who immigrated into that taluk from
the Tamil country about two hundred years ago, and
reveal their kinship with the Tamil-speaking barbers in
various ways. In Kottayam and some other North
Travancore taluks, a large number of barbers may be
described as recent converts of this character. In theory
at least, the makkathayam and marumakkathayam
Ambattans may be said to form two distinct endoga-
mous groups, of which the former regard themselves as
far superior to the latter in social position. Sometimes
the makkathayam Ambattans give their girls in marriage
to the marumakkathayam Ambattans, though the con-
verse can never hold good. But, in these cases, the
girl is not permitted to re-enter the paternal home, and
associate with the people therein.

A local tradition describes the Travancore Kshaura-
kans as pursuing their present occupation owing to the
curse of Surabhi, the divine calf. Whatever their origin,
they have faithfully followed their traditional occupation,
and, in addition, many study medicine in their youth,
and attend to the ailments of the villagers, while the
women act as midwives. When a high-caste Hindu dies,
the duty of supplying the fuel for the funeral pyre, and
watching the burning ground, devolves on the barber.

In their dress and ornaments the Travancore barbers
closely resemble the Nayars, but some wear round gold
beads and a conch-shaped marriage jewel round the


neck, to distinguish their women from those of the
Nayars. This, however, does not hold good in South
Travancore, where the women have entirely adopted
the Nayar type of jewelry. Tattooing prevails to a
greater extent among the barbers than among other
classes, but has begun to lose its popularity.

The barbers not only worship the ordinary Hindu
deities, but also adore such divinities as Murti, Maden,
and Yakshi. The corpses of those who die as the result
of accident or contagious disease, are buried, not burnt.
A sorcerer is called on to raise the dead from the grave,
and, at his instance, a kuryala or small thatched shed is
erected, to provide a sanctum for the resurrected spirit.
Every year, in the month of Makaram (January- Febru-
ary), the day on which the Utradam star falls is taken as
the occasion for making offerings to these spirits.

In every village certain families had bestowed on
them by the chieftains of Kerala the right of deciding all
questions affecting the caste. All social offences are
tried by them, and the decision takes the form of an
order to celebrate iananguttu or feast of the equals, at
which the first article served on the leaf placed before
the assembled guests is not food, but a sum of money.

The tali-kettu and sambandham ceremonies are
celebrated, the former before, and the latter after the girl
has reached puberty. The preliminary rites of betro-
thal and kapu-kettu (tying the string round the wrist)
over, the bridegroom enters the marriage hall in pro-
cession. There are no Vedic rites ; nor is there any
definite priest for the marriage ceremony. The conch-
shell is blown at odd intervals, this being considered
indispensable. The festivities last for four days. A
niece and nephew are regarded as the most legitimate
spouses of a son and daughter respectively.


After the cremation or burial of a corpse, a rope is
held by two of the relations between the dead person's
remains and the karta (chief mourner), and cut in two, as
if to indicate that all connection between the karta and
the deceased has ceased. This is called bandham
aruppu, or severing of connection. Pollution lasts for
sixteen days among all sections of the barbers, except
the Tamils, who regain their purity after a death in the
family on the eleventh day.

Ambiga. A synonym of Kabbera.

Ambojala (lotus : Nelumbium). A house-name of

Amma (mother). A sub-division of Pallan and
Paraiyan. It is also the title of the various goddesses,
or mothers, such as Ellamma, Mariamma, etc., which are
worshipped as Grama Devatas (village deities) at the
temples known as Amman-koil.

Ammukkuvan. A sub-division of Katalarayan.*
(See Valan.)

Anapa (Dolichos Lablab). A gotra of Komati.

Anasa (ferrule). A gotra of Kurni.

Anchu (edge or border). A gotra of Kurni.

Andara (pandal or booth). A sept of Kuruba.

Ande.- Ande (a pot) as a division of the Kurubas
refers to the small bamboo or wooden vessel used when
milking goats. It further denotes a division of the
Koragas, who used to wear a pot suspended from their
necks, into which they were compelled to spit, so as not
to defile the highway.

Anderaut. Recorded, in the Census Report, 1901,
as a sub-division of Kurumba. Probably a form of Ande

* Cochin Census Report, 1901.


Kuruba. Raut is frequently a title of headmen among

Andi. In a note on Andis in the Madras Census
Report, 1901, Mr. W. Francis writes that "for a Brah-
man or an ascetic, mendicancy was always considered
an honourable profession, to which no sort of shame
attached. Manu says ' a Brahman should constantly
shun worldly honour, as he would shun poison, and rather
constantly seek disrespect as he would seek nectar';
and every Brahman youth was required to spend part of
his life as a beggar. The Jains and Buddhists held the
same views. The Hindu Chattrams * and Uttupuras,
the Jain Pallis, and the Buddhist Viharas owe their origin
to this attitude, they being originally intended for the
support of the mendicant members of these religions.
But persons of other than the priestly and religious
classes were expected to work for their living, and were
not entitled to relief in these institutions. Begging
among such people unless, as in the case of the Pan-
darams and Andis, a religious flavour attaches to it is
still considered disreputable. The percentage of beg-
gars in the Tamil districts to the total population is '97,
or more than twice what it is in the Telugu country,
while in Malabar it is as low as '09. The Telugus are
certainly not richer as a class than the Tamils, and the
explanation of these differences is perhaps to be found
in the fact that the south is more religiously inclined
than the north, and has more temples and their connec-
ted charities (religion and charity go hand in hand in
India), and so offers more temptation to follow begging
as a profession. Andis are Tamil beggars. They are
really inferior to Pandarams, but the two terms are in

Houses where pilgrims and travellers are entertained, and fed gratuitously.


practice often indiscriminately applied to the same class
of people. Pandarams are usually Vellalas by caste, but
Andis are recruited from all classes of Sudras, and they
consequently have various sub-divisions, which are named
after the caste to which the members of each originally
belonged, such as the Jangam Andis, meaning beggars of
the Jangam caste, and the Jogi Andis, that is, Andis of
the Jogi caste. They also have occupational and other
divisions, such as the Kovil Andis, meaning those who do
service in temples, and the Mudavandis orthe lame beggars.
Audi is in fact almost a generic term. All Andis are
not beggars however ; some are bricklayers, others
are cultivators, and others are occupied in the temples.
They employed Brahman priests at their ceremonies,
but all of them eat meat and drink alcohol. Widows and
divorcees may marry again. Among the Tinnevelly
Andis, the sister of the bridegroom ties the tali (marriage
badge) round the bride's neck, whch is not usual."

In the Madras Census Report, 1891, the Andis are
summed up as " beggars who profess the Saiva faith.
They may be found in all the Tamil districts, begging
from door to door, beating a small gong with a stick.
The Andis differ from most other castes, in that a per-
son of any caste may join their community. Some of
them officiate as priests in village temples, especially
when large sacrifices of goats, buffaloes, and pigs are
made. They usually bury the dead. They have re-
turned 105 sub-divisions, of which the most important
are the following : Jangam, Komanandi, Lingadari,
Mudavandi, and Uppandi. Komanam is the small loin
cloth, and a Komanandi goes naked, except for this
slight concession to decency. Mudam means lame, and
the Mudavandis (q-v.) are allowed to claim any
deformed child belonging to the Konga Vellala caste.

47 ANE

The etymology of Uppandi is difficult, but it is improb-
able that it has any connection with uppu, salt.

In the Tanjore Manual, it is noted that " in its ordi-
nary acceptation the word Andi means houseless beg-
gars, and is applied to those who profess the Saiva faith.
They go out every morning, begging for alms of un-
cooked rice, singing ballads or hymns. They play on a
small gong called semakkalam with a stick, and often
carry a conch shell, which they blow. They are given
to drinking."

It is recorded* that "South Indian beggars are
divided into two classes, Panjathandi and Paramparaiandi.
The former are famine-made beggars, and the latter are
beggars from generation to generation. The former, a
common saying goes, would rob from the person of a
child at a convenient opportunity, while the latter would
jump into a well, and pick up a child which had fallen
into it by an accident, and make it over to its parents."

Andi (a god) occurs as an cxogamous section of
Sirukudi Kalians.

Andinia. Recorded by Mr. F. Fawcett as an
inferior sub-division of Dombs, who eat frogs.

Anduran.^A sub-division of Nayar potters, who
manufacture earthenware articles for use in temples.
The name is derived from AndOr, a place which was
once a fief under the Zamorin of Calicut.

Ane (elephant). An exogamous sept of Holeya,
Kappiliyan, Kuruba, Kadu Kurumba, Moger, and Gan-
gadikara Vakkaliga. Yenigala or Yenuga (elephant)
is further an exogamous sept of Kapus, who will not
touch ivory. Anai-kombu (elephant tusk) occurs as a
sub-division of Idaiyan.

* C. Hayavadana Rao. Tales of Komati Wit and Wisdom, 1907.


Angarakudu (the planet Mars). A synonym of

Anja. In the Madras Census Report, 1891, Ajna is
returned as a sub-division of Pallan. This, however,
seems to be a mistake for Anja (father), by which name
these Pallans address their fathers.

Anju Nal (five days). Recorded in the Salem
Manual, as a name given to Pallis who perform the
death ceremony on the fifth day after death.

Anjuttan (men of the five hundred). Recorded at
times of census, as a sub-division of Panan, and a syno-
nym of Velan. In the Gazetteer of Malabar, it appears
as a sub-division of Mannans, who are closely akin to
the Velans. The equivalent Anjuttilkar occurs as a
synonym for Tenkanchi Vellalas in Travancore.

Anna (brother). The title of numerous classes, e.g.,
Dasari, Gavara, Golla, Konda Dora, Koppala Velama,
Mangala, Mila, Paidi, and Segidi.

Annam (cooked rice). An exogamous sept of
Gamalla and Togata.

Annavi. A title of Savalakkarans, who play on the
nagasaram (reed instrument) in temples.

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

Antarala. A synonym of Ambalavasi, denoting
those who occupy an intermediate position between
Brahmans and Sudras.

Antarjanam (inside person). A term applied to
Nambutiri Brahman females, who live in seclusion.*

Anuloma. One of the two classes of Sodras, viz.,
Anuloma and Veloma. The term Anuloma is applied to
those born of a higher-caste male and a lower-caste

* Wigram, Malabar Law and Custom.


female, e.g., barbers are said to be the offspring of a
Brahman and a Vaisya woman.

Anumala (seeds of Dolichos Lablab). An exoga-
mous sept of Dgvanga. The equivalent Anumolla
occurs as an exogamous sept of Kamma.

Anuppan. The Anuppans are described, in the
Madras Census Report, 1891, as "a small caste of
Canarese farmers, found chiefly in the districts of Madura,
Tinnevelly, and Coimbatore. Their original home
appears to have been Mysore or South Canara, probably
the former. Their language is a corrupt form of
Canarese. The most important sub-division is Allikulam
(lily clan). Some of them are Saivites, and others
Vaishnavites. Brahmans are employed as priests by
the Vaishnavites, but not by the Saivites. Remarriage
of widows is practised, but a woman divorced for adul-
tery cannot remarry during the life-time of her husband."

In the Gazetteer of the Madura district, it is stated
that "the Anuppans are commonest in the Kambam
valley. They have a tradition regarding their migration
thither, which closely resembles that current among the
Kappiliyans and Tottiyans (q.v.}. Local tradition at
Kambam says that the Anuppans were in great strength
here in olden days, and that quarrels arose, in the course
of which the chief of the Kappiliyans, Ramachcha
Kavandan, was killed. With his dying breath he cursed
the Anuppans, and thenceforth they never prospered, and
now not one of them is left in the town. Their title is
Kavandan. They are divided into six territorial groups
called Medus, which are named after three villages
in this district, and three in Tinnevelly. Over each of
these is a headman called the Periyadanakkaran, and
the three former are also subject to a Guru who lives at
Sirupalai near Madura. These three are divided again


into eighteen kilais or branches, each of which inter-
marries only with certain of the others. Caste pancha-
yats (councils) are held on a blanket, on which (compare
the Tottiyan custom) is placed a pot of water containing
margosa (Melia Azadirachta) leaves, to symbolise the
sacred nature of the meeting. Women who go astray
with men of other castes are expelled, and various cere-
monies, including (it is said) the burying alive of a goat,
are enacted to show that they are dead to the community.
The right of a man to his paternal aunt's daughter is as
vigorously maintained as among the Kappiliyans and
Tottiyans, and leads to the same curious state of affairs
(i.e., a woman, whose husband is too young to fulfil the
duties of his position, is allowed to consort with his near
relations, and the children so begotten are treated as
his). No tali (marriage badge) is tied at weddings, and
the binding part of the ceremonies is the linking, on
seven separate occasions, of the little fingers of the
couple. Like the Kappiliyans, the Anuppans have
many caste and family deities, a number of whom are
women who committed sati." (See Kappiliyan).

Apoto.- Apoto, or Oppoto, is a sub-division of
Gaudos, the occupation of which is palanquin-bearing.

Appa (father). A title of members of various
Telugu and Canarese castes, e.g., Tdiga, Kannadiyan,
Linga Balija, and Tambala.

Arab. A Muhammadan territorial name, returned at
times of census. In the Mysore Census Report, 1901, the
Arabs are described as itinerant tradesmen, whose chief
business is horse-dealing, though some deal in cloths.

Aradhya. For the following note I am indebted to
Mr. C. Hayavadana Rao. The Aradhyas are a sect of
Brahmans found mainly in the four northern districts of
the Madras Presidency, and to a smaller extent in the


Cuddapah and Kurnool districts. A few are also found
in the Mysore State. They differ in almost every
important respect from other Brahmans. Basava, the
founder of the Lingayat religion, was born in a family of
Brahmans, who, with others round about them, were
apparently the first converts to his religion. According
to Mr. C. P. Brown,* they were " in all probability his
personal friends ; he persuaded them to lay aside their
name, and call themselves Aradhya or Reverend.'
They revere the four Aradhyas, visionary personages of
the Lingayat creed, of whom very little is known. At
all social and religious functions, birth, marriage, initia-
tion and funerals, four vases of water are solemnly placed
in their name, and then invoked to preside over them.
Their names are Re"van5radhya, Marularadhya, Eko-
ramaradhya, and Panditaradhya. In four ages, it is said,
these four successively appeared as precursors of the
divine Basava, and were, like Basava, Brahmans. A
Purana, known as the Panditaradhya Charitra, is named
after the last of these. Versions thereof are found both
in Canarese and Telugu. A Sanskrit poem, called Sid-
dhanta Sikhamani, represents Rgvanaradhya as a human
manifestation of one of the ministers of Siva.

As might be expected, the members of this sect are
staunch Saivites. They wear both the Brahminical
sacred thread, and the linga suspended from another
thread. They revere in particular Ganapathi. The lingam
which they wear they usually call the prana lingam, or life
lingam. The moment a child, male or female, is born, it
is invested with the lingam ; otherwise it is not considered
to have pranam or life. The popular belief is that, if by
some accident the lingam is lost, a man must either fast

* Madras Juurn. Lit. and Science, XI, 176, 1840.


until he recovers it, or not survive so dire a calamity.
This is a fixed dogma with them. A man who loses his
prana linga stands up to his neck in water, and repeats
mantrams (sacred formulae) for days together ; and, on
the last day, the lost lingam comes back to him miracu-
lously, if he has been really orthodox in his life. If he
does not succeed in recovering it, he must starve and
die. The theory is that the lingam is the life of the man
who wears it, and, when it is lost beyond recovery, he
loses his own life. Incredible stories of miraculous re-
coveries of the lingam are told. In one case, it is said to
have returned to its owner, making a loud noise in water;
and in another it was found in a box under lock and key.
In this connection, the following story is narrated by
Colonel Wilks.* " Poornia, the present minister of
Mysore, relates an incident of a LingSyat friend of his,
who had unhappily lost his portable God, and came to
take a last farewell. The Indians, like more enlightened
nations, readily laugh at the absurdities of every sect but
their own, and Poornia gave him better counsel. It is a
part of the ceremonial preceding the sacrifice of the in-
dividual that the principal persons of the sect should
assemble on the bank of some holy stream, and, placing
in a basket the lingam images of the whole assembly,
purify them in the sacred waters. The destined victim
in conformity to the advice of his friend, suddenly seized
the basket, and overturned its contents into the rapid
Caveri. Now, my friends, said he, we are on equal
terms ; let us prepare to die together. The discussion
terminated according to expectation. The whole party
took an oath of inviolable secrecy, and each privately
provided himself with a new image of the lingam."

* Historical Sketches of the South of India.



Aradhyas, as has been indicated, differ from other
Brahmans in general in some of their customs. Before
they partake of food, they make an offering of it to the
lingam which they are wearing. As they cannot eat
without making this offering, they have the entire meal
served up at the commencement thereof. They offer the
whole to the lingam, and then begin to eat. They do
not accept offerings distributed in temples as other
Brahmans do, because they have already been offered to
the God, and cannot therefore be offered again to the
lingam. Unlike other Lingayats, Aradhyas believe in
the Vedas, to which they give allegorical interpretations.
They are fond of reading Sanskrit, and a few have been
well-known Telugu poets. Thus, PalapQri Somanatha,

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