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 TODA TRIBES

 History 

Toda Tribe is the most ancient and unusual tribe of Nilgiri Hills of Tamil nadu. The todas have their own language. They have their own secretive customs and regulations. Todas worship nature like hill gods, Lord Amodr (the realm of the dead) & Goddess Teikirzi. Toda community is well known for its embroidery garments. This is made usually by women using red and black threads on a white background giving a rich effect. Todas mostly have large herd of buffaloes. Their livelihood is mainly by producing milk products. And they are also experts in silver-smith works.

 Origin 

In olden days, the Todas had a tradition. Their belief was they were the descendants of the Pandavas. True to that belief, they followed polyandry. Alike Draupadi, one woman gets married to all the male members of the family, and they would all be her husbands. Toda Tribe has a rich art heritage that is highly collectible. Some claims say that they are the direct descendants of the remnants, of Alexander the Great's Macedonian army, which invaded India in about 327 B.C.

 Culture 

Toda Tribe dress consists of a single piece of cloth, worn like the plaid of a Scottish highlander over a dhoti for men and skirt for women. Todas practice fraternal polyandry, a practice in which a woman marries all the brothers of a family. They worship their dairy-buffaloes, and a group of other gods. Todas Kona Shasta, is the annual sacrifice of a male buffalo calf, constitutes pure religious ceremony. This tribe called their villages as munds, which consist of five buildings or huts, out of which they use three as dwellings, one as a dairy and the other as shelter for the calves at night. The todas cremate the dead bodies. In ancient times they used to kill number of buffalos in the belief that the spirit of the buffalo would accompany the person who dies and he could live as the same way as he was on the earth but it was stopped by the Government in 1964.

Today Toda is male is cremated and the fire is lit by wood of kedz tree stick and a female’s pyre is ignited with an ordinary stick. According to the Todas community, the Goddess Teikirshy with her brother first created the sacred buffalo and then the first Toda man. The first Toda woman is created from the right rib of the first Toda man. The toda tribe in their religion also forbids women from walking across bridges, rivers must be crossed on foot, or swimming.The temples are constructed in a circular pit lined with stones and are quite similar in appearance and construction to Toda huts.

 Occupation 

Cattle-herding and dairy-work constitute their sole occupation.

Place /Location (then and now)
Tamil Nadu
Population
The Todas numbered 807 in 1901, and their current population stands at around 1,100.
Languages spoken
Toda Language
Religion/God
Lord Amodr(the realm of the dead) & Goddess Teikirzi
Food
Rice, Dairy products and vegetables

People

Toda reside in reserved forest land. They are great poets and singers. The only musical instrument which they play is flute which is called as Pooheeri played without finger stops and made up of hollow bamboo. They live in caseless and caste less society where everyone is equal.

 Food 

Toda tribes are vegetarians. People do not eat meat, eggs which can hatch (fertilised eggs) and fish but some villagers eat fish. They make Buffalo milk into butter, butter milk, yogurt, cheese and drink it plain. Rice is main food which is eaten with dairy and curries.

 Language 

These tribes speak Toda language. The community even gained flueny in other languages like Kannada, Telugu, and Malayalam etc.


 


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