Imatges de pàgina

is ephemeral, will it be of use, but also to the European resident, whose ignorance in connection with all matters relating to Native life is proverbial. “Probably,” as Mr. Padfield remarks with great truth,“ few of the Europeans domiciled in India could give any intelligent account of the reason why the Hindu shaves his head, leaving a top-knot most carefully preserved; why he paints those marks on his forehead, or smears his body with those grey, ash-coloured marks; or again, for such social customs as perpetual widowhood, or the so great desire for a son, that one must be adopted, if nature denies the precious boon.” To the majority of Europeans the wearing of a thread is probably accepted as a sign that the wearer is a Brahman, and I confess that it is not very long since I discovered that the artisan classes of Madras (Kammālans), the weavers, the Haruva sect of the Badagas of the Nilgiris, and others, don the outward symbol of the second spiritual birth.

In connection with the census, 1891, the greatest difficulty was, we are told by Mr. H. A. Stuart, the Census Commissioner, ex. perienced in classifying the large number of entries found in the schedules, owing to the great dearth of published information regarding the castes of the Madras Presidency. "The district manuals," he says, are particularly defective in this particular, and present a marked contrast to the Gazetteers of the sister Presi. dency of Bombay. An exception must, however, he made in favour of Mr. Nelson's Madura, Mr. Cox's North Arcot, and Mr. Grigg's Nilgiris. Of the rest, some contain notices of a few castes, and others give lists of varying degrees of accuracy; but, in the majority, the subject of caste is treated in the most meagre manner, or is omitted altogether.” Books there are dealing with the Native inhabitants of Southern India, such as Breeks' Primitive Tribes of the Nilgiris,' the Rev. S. Mateer's ‘Native Life in Travancore,' 'the Tribes of the Nilgiris by the Missionary Metz, Colonel Marshall's amusing · Anthropologist among the Todas, Colonel Ross King's Aboriginal Tribes of the Nilgiris,' and Mullaly's Criminal Classes of the Madras Presidency of these six books no less than four relate to the tribes inhabiting the Nilgiris, of whom the Todas have always attracted most attention. What opinion, I wonder, would the Todas have of European literature, did they know that a Toda mand has recently appeared as “an ancient type of dwellings discovered in the Himalayas”?

For the purpose of travellers in foreign lands a cheap, compact, and portable traveller's anthropometer is now manufactured by Aston and Mander, 25, Old Compton Street, London. Equipped with this apparatus, with a little book entitled Notes and Queries on Anthropology, and with a photographic camera, the Missionary who has the confidence of the Native community could do much to advance the cause of anthropology in its relation to the inhabitants of Southern India. There are, in every district, races, tribes, and castes, concerning whose institutions, history, tradition, religion, etc., a wide field for enquiry lies open. Such an enquiry, if combined with a record of anthropometric data, would be of invaluable assistance in the cause of the anthropological survey, and I would give a hearty greeting, and such advice as my experiences may render possible, to fellow-workers in a line of research, which is to me full of attractions.



September 8, 1895.

AUTHORS Preface.

The whole of these sketches and it must be borne in mind that they only profess to be sketches—have appeared, with the exception of two or three chapters, from time to time in the pages

of the Madras Christian College Magazine. It is as far back as 1885 that the first paper was written and often for long periods the whole subject has been laid aside. However great the desire for side studies may be in India, the pressure of daily work in an exhausting climate more often than not frustrates the best intentions. I have often been advised by kind friends to collect these papers and bring them out in a more permanent form than that of Magazine articles, and when I was in England in 1887-8 Sir Monier Williams and Dr. Robert Cust were both good enough to read some of the earlier chapters and favour their being thus collected. Though thus encouraged, however, it is only recently that circumstances have combined to favour the carrying into effect of this design. I am aware that there are standard works which contain a good deal of the information here given, but there are also many things here described which I trust will be found interesting of which there is no mention in any

books to which I have had access. Furthermore, I am not without a hope that the popular style in which I have endeavoured to

present the subject may serve to attract the ordinary reader.

A few words may be necessary with reference to the Sanscrit quotations, of which there are a good number in these pages. I must first of all hasten to disclaim for myself any pretence to Sanscrit learning. The quotations have been provided for me, from time to time, by learned pandit friends, and we have worked out the translations largely through the medium of Telugu. In giving the English there is no attempt at a metrical translation, but it is put in the form in which it will be found so as to give the original and the translation as nearly as possible in corresponding lines. I was strongly advised to put the original as well as the translation, seeing that many of the quotations are not to be found in any published books, as far as I know, but are taken from the private palm-leaf manuscripts of Purõhitas who hand down their gathered lore as a legacy to their successors. Besides, however, the possible readers in Europe who may have a knowledge of Sanscrit and hence find the quotations interesting and per. haps useful, I am not without hope that this book may be read by educated Hindus in India itself. This is an additional reason for my action in this respect, seeing that Hindu Scholars would naturally prefer to have the original.

I trust that my efforts to present in an Eng. lish dress the various songs I have quoted, will meet with that indulgence which is craved for them. It was a question of giving the songs in a crude form which although there might be a more exact renderings of the original would not be so likely to interest the ordinary reader, or

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