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Group of Todas

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In the “hill country” of India live many curious brown peoples whose languages are different from the Aryan tongue of the Hindus. These peoples, called Dravidians, are considered the earliest occupiers of India. Among them no tribe is more curious than the Todas. In some ways they are like the Ainu. Though brown, they are probably really white or Caucasic. They have the features, strong beards, and hairy bodies of whites, and in these respects are like the Ainu.

The Todas live on a tableland whose surface is covered with hills and rolling prairies. The hills are clad with coarse grass, and in some of the valleys are deep forests. The sunshine is bright and warm, and the dry season is long.

The Todas think only of their cattle. They 108do not hunt—in fact, they have no weapons; they do not cultivate any fields, getting what plant food they use from the Badagas and other neighboring tribes. But they do raise cattle—buffalo. Their villages are located in the midst of pasture land. No village is occupied for a whole year, but the people have always at least two villages and live first in one, then in the other. This is to have fresh pasture for their cattle and to be secure in the wet season.

Author
Strange Peoples
by Frederick Starr
Published in 1901
Available as a free download from gutenberg.org
Keywords
India
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