In news : On International Women’s Prime Minister of India mention women of Toda tribes and their artistic works
A brief note on Toda Tribes
- Location: They are pastoral tribe of the Nīlgiri Hills of southern India, mainly concentrated in Tamil Nadu
- Language: They speak Toda language which is Dravidian but is the most aberrant of that linguistic stock.They also speak in other languages like Kannada, Telugu, and Malayalam etc.
- House/Settlements: They live in settlements of from three to seven small thatched houses scattered over the pasture slopes; built on a wooden framework, the typical house has an arched roof in the shape of a half barrel.
- They call 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
- Trading: These tribes traditionally trade dairy products, as well as cane and bamboo articles, with the other Nīlgiri peoples, receiving Baḍaga grain and cloth and Kota tools and pottery in exchange
- Religion: Their religion centres on the all-important Buffalo. They also worship nature like hill gods, Lord Amodr (the realm of the dead) & Goddess Teikirzi
- Unique practices:
- As per the tradition, ritual must be performed for almost every dairy activity, from milking and giving the herds salt to churning butter and shifting pastures seasonally
- There are ceremonies for the ordination of dairymen-priests, for rebuilding dairies, and for rethatching funerary temples.
- These rites and the complex funeral rituals are the major occasions of social intercourse, when intricate poetic songs alluding to the buffalo cult are composed and chanted.
- Polyandry: It is fairly common; several men, usually brothers, may share one wife. When a Toda woman becomes pregnant one of her husbands ceremonially presents her with a toy bow and arrow, thus proclaiming himself the social father of her children.
- PVTG: Toda tribe is Listed as Particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG)