Meet the Toda Community (Ooty)

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January 16th 2018
Published: January 16th 2018
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"It's never too late to meet and understand the lifestyle of a diversified community in India!"

So, this journey began during our recent Ooty Tour, when we heard that there live around 36 Tribal Communities in Ooty-Conoor Villages who speak atleast 4-5 different languages.... Amusing isn't it?

Gearing up with more enthusiasm to know their lifestyle and to interact with them, we researched about them in Google! And yes, as usual, Google always turns up with the most interesting information about those tribes, which made us think that "Abhi toh milna banta he!"....

Ooty or Udhagamandalam Taluk and Coonoor Taluk in South India houses some diversified tribes from among the 36 Tribal Communities. Indian Government identifies six communities such as : Todas, Kotas, Kurumbas, Irulas, Paniyas and Kattunayakans as Primitive Tribal Groups (PTG's). This six PTG's are not evenly distributed across areas but they are the most scheduled tribes of Nilgiri District.

Finally, time came when we had to pack our back packs and visit them. So, we decided to visit Toda Village in Tamilangana area of Udhagamandalam (Ooty) Taluk and interact with them.

Please Note: You can take along with you the Local Auto Rickshaw from Ooty who will help you interact with the Toda Community people if you don't
Male TodaMale TodaMale Toda

Male Toda in his traditional wear
know the Tamil or Telugu Language.

Some interesting facts about Toda Village and Community:

• They live in settlements called Mund, consisting of 3-7 small thatched houses, constructed in the shape of half-barrels called as Toda Dogles: They still follow the ancient architecture to construct half-barrel shaped houses.
• Their primary occupation is pastoral, where they keep domestic buffaloes and trade the dairy products prepared from buffalo milk to Nilgiri Markets
• They have extended their occupation to farming of different vegetables and fruits on the acre of land which they have owned.
• There exists 2 temples of Toda Community: Male Temple and Female Temple.
• Outsiders are not allowed inside both the temple.
• Talking and Touching the Priest of the temple is strictly prohibited
• Talking with local Toda Community people is still allowed.
• They currently house approx 40-60 Toda people in Ooty District
• Their staple food was previously said to be Bamboo Rice but currently have started to increase their diet limits to everything that is available in the market
• Basically Todas are vegetarians and do not eat meat, fish or eggs (although some of the villagers do eat fish nowadays)
• Their clothing includes a Shyla Wrap: A Single piece
Toda Male and Male TempleToda Male and Male TempleToda Male and Male Temple

Two temples exist in Toda Community: Male Temple and Female Temple... having their own importance and characteristics.... No Outsider allowed inside both the temples. No Talking with and Touching the Priest of the temple
of cloth (embroidered nowadays) which they prefer to wrap around.
• They practice(d) Polyandry Marriage System.

As it is said "Time Well Spent". Nowadays we are too busy in our fast moving forward life that we tend to forget how our ancestors and their lifestyle was!

Just let's go and explore the Tribes of India! 😊

P.S: The Toda Community people are friendly and can understand little bit of English as their main language is Toda and Tamil!

Additional photos below
Photos: 13, Displayed: 13


Toda Mund..Toda Mund..
Toda Mund..

Toda Mund or the settlements which houses 3-7 small thatched houses called Toda Dogles in the shape of half-barrels
Toda Dogle PrototypeToda Dogle Prototype
Toda Dogle Prototype

House shaped into a Half-barrel : An ancient way of constructing the houses of Toda Community
Toda Dogle Prototype Part 2Toda Dogle Prototype Part 2
Toda Dogle Prototype Part 2

House shaped into a Half-barrel : An ancient way of constructing the houses of Toda Community

Buffalo pastoring is the primary occupation of Toda Community
Buffalo ShedBuffalo Shed
Buffalo Shed

Place where buffaloes are put to rest!
Toda Land - Village and FarmToda Land - Village and Farm
Toda Land - Village and Farm

Toda Village primarily performed pastoral occupation and traded buffalo milk and dairy products in Nilgiri Markets. Nowadays they perform farming occupation as well
Photograph of Toda's way of dressingPhotograph of Toda's way of dressing
Photograph of Toda's way of dressing

Shyla Wrap: An ancient tradition to wrap a single piece of cloth (embroidered or designed) around them. This is used both by Male and Female
Toda Shyla Wrap - MaleToda Shyla Wrap - Male
Toda Shyla Wrap - Male

Shyla Wrap used by a Male Toda
Shyla WrapShyla Wrap
Shyla Wrap

The ancient and highly important single piece of cloth wrapped by Toda Male and Female
Slate Board of Toda ChildrenSlate Board of Toda Children
Slate Board of Toda Children

Isn't it something interesting to use a piece of wall as a slate board by Toda Children

8th May 2018

Excellent and thoughtful end to your blogging I followed your blog with great interest. Thanks for all of the information and entertainment!
13th May 2018

Thanks for following me...!!
Stay tuned for more such articles 😊

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