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Published: January 16th 2018
"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 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 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!
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