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Full text of "The people of India"

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CORNELL 

UNIVERSITY 

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Cornell University Library 
DS 421.R59 1915 



The people of India 




3 1924 024 114 773 




Cornell University 
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THE PEOPLE OF INDIA 




=2!^.^ Z'^JiiS- 



,SIH HERBERT ll(i 

K= CoIoB a , ( 



'E MISLEX, 



THE 

PEOPLE OF INDIA 



w 
SIR HERBERT RISLEY, K.C.I.E., C.S.I. 

DIRECTOR OF ETHNOGRAPHY FOR INDIA, OFFICIER d'aCADEMIE, FRANCE, 

CORRESPONDING MEMBER OF THE ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETIES OF ROME AND BERLIN, 

AND OF THE ANTHROPOLOGICAL INSTITUTE OF 

GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND 



SECOND EDITION, EDITED BY 

W. CROOKE, B.A. 

LATE OF THE INDIAN CIVIL SERVICE 



"/« ^ood sooth, 7tiy masters, this is Ho door. Yet is it a little 
window, that looketh upon a great world" 



WITH 36 ILLUSTRATIONS AND AN ETHNOLOGICAL 
MAP OF INDIA 



UN31NDABL? 



Calcutta & Simla: THACKER, SPINK & CO. 
London: W, THACKER & CO., 2, Creed Lane, E.C. 

191S 



PRINTED BY 

WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, LIMITED, 

LONDON AND BECCLES. 



e 7/ /a£ 



gw 



TO 

SIR WILLIAM TURNER, K.C.B. 

CHIEF AMONG ENGLISH CRANIOLOGISTS 

THIS SLIGHT SKETCH OF A 
LARGE SUBJECT 

IS WITH HIS PERMISSION 

RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED 



PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION 

In an article on "Magic and Religion" published in the 
Quarterly Review of last July, Mr. Edward Clodd complains that 
certain observations of mine on the subject of " the impersonal 
stage of religion " are hidden away under the " prosaic title " of 
the Report on the Census of India, 1901. The charge is just, 
and the offence is aggravated by the fact that the Report in 
question weighs seven pounds and is cumbered with many 
statistics. Mr. Clodd's grievance may, however, perhaps be 
thought to justify me in venturing to reprint, in a more handy 
form, the less dreary portions of my own contributions to the 
Report, with such revision and expansion as seemed to be 
called for. Two new chapters have been added. One of these, 
Caste in Proverbs and Popular Sayings, is an attempt to give a 
much-described people the chance of describing themselves in 
their own direct and homely fashion. It is, in fact, a ^^i^^'-ie^^efe 
proverbs, selected from the ample material which will be found 
in Appendix I, and fitted together into a connected whole with 
the minimun^f comment and explanation. In the chapter on 
Caste and Nationality I have endeavoured to analyse the causes 
and to forecast the prospects of the Indian nationalist movement 
of recent years. Being anxious above all things to avoid giving 
offence, I submitted the proofs to Mr. Nagendra Nath Ghose, 
Fellow of the Calcutta University, and Editor of the Indian 
Nation, a sober thinker, who holds that the people of India 
"should conceive national unity as their chief aim, and the 
realisation of it as their chief duty." * Mr. Ghose gives me the 
comforting assurance — " I have discovered no sentiment with 
which I am not in agreement." 

For the same reason the chapter on Caste and Religion, 
which contains a certain amount of new matter, was laid 
before my friend Mr. Justice Mookerjee, Vice-Chancellor of 
the Calcutta University, one of the most learned, and not the 
least orthodox, of living Hindus. Dr. Mookerjee has been 
good enough to write to me : " I have very carefully read over 
the proof which you so kindly sent me. I have never read 

* Hindustan Revieiii, Nov. and Dec. 1904.' 



viii PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION 

anything so illuminating on the subject, and I have not come 
across any statement to which exception may justly be taken." 
I trust, therefore, that it may be recognised, even by those who 
dissent from my views, that these delicate subjects have been 
approached in a spirit which escapes Darmesteter's telling 
criticism " Mais a ces maitres honnfetes manque le don supreme, 
le seul qui fasse pardonner les superiorites ecrasantes : la 
sympathie." 

I am indebted to Rai Bahadur Lala Baij Nath, Judge 
of Ghazipur, for the following criticism of my definition of 
Hinduism, as it appeared in the Census Report : — "The Census 
Commissioner's [definition] would have approached nearest to 
the mark, so far as modern Hindu society is concerned, if he 
had omitted the word ' two ' both from the sets of ideas and 
the conceptions of the world and of life." * The amendment 
suggested is gratefully accepted and has been duly carried out. 

My thanks are also due to Mr. Justice Sarada Charan- 
Mitra, of the Calcutta High Court, for revising the translation 
of a notable speech of his quoted in the chapter on Caste and 
Marriage, and to Mr, B. A. Gupte, F.Z.S., Assistant Director of 
Ethnogr a phY. fo r much assistance in the collection of material 
"and the revisioiSa^roofs. 

The illustrationsVequire a word of explanation. With the 
exception of the frontispiece, which was presented to me some 
years ago by one of the persons there depicted, all of them are 
taken from the Ethnology of Bengal, by the late Colonel E. T. 
Dalton, formerly Commissioner of Chutia Nagpur. The book 
is now a rare one, and I am informed that the entire stock was 
destroyed by an unfortunate accident some years ago. The 
lithographs which it contains represent only two out of the 
seven main types traceable in India, and thus fail to cover the 
whole of the subject dealt with in the present work. It seemed, 
however, to my publishers worth while, and to myself as a 
lover of Chutia Nagpur and its people a pious duty, to preserve 
from oblivion these fine pictures, one of which, the study of 
Juang female attire by my friend the late Mr. Tosco Peppe, is, 
I believe, absolutely unique. I trust that Sir Benjamin Simpson, 
the sole survivor of the artists who assisted Colonel Dalton, 
will recognise the excellence of our intentions and will pardon 
the shortcomings of the process employed. 

H. H. RISLEY. 

* Hinduism: Ancient and Modern. New Edition, 1905, p. 6. 



PREFACE TO THE NEW EDITION 

Soon after the death of her husband, Lady Risley entrusted to 
me a large collection of papers connected with Anthropology, 
which he had brought with him from India. He intended to 
prepare new editions of the present work and of his Tribes 
and Castes of Bengal, and to write an account of the people of 
Eastern Bengal. But his health failed soon after his retirement 
from the Indian Civil Service, and he was unable to do any 
work in connection with these projects. It was therefore 
decided to issue a memorial edition of The People of India, 
the preparation of which was entrusted to me. On examining 
his papers nothing in the shape of notes for this revised edition 
could be discovered. Under these circumstances it wasjiai aded» 
to reprint the text as it stood in the first jeditlon, which was 
issued in limited numbers and had fallen out of print soon after 
publication. Accordingly, no attempt has been made to revise 
the text, except by bringing the statistics up to date, securing 
uniformity in the transliteration of vernacular terms, and adding, 
in square brackets, some notes and references mainly collected 
from the Reports of the Census of India and its Provinces which 
was carried out in 191 1 by Mr. E. A. Gait, C.S.I., CLE. The 
publication of this edition has therefore been postponed until 
the arrival in England of a full set of the Census Reports. 

I have also added an Introduction containing a short 
memoir of Sir H. Risley, confined to his official life and his 
work in Anthropology, with some remarks on questions 
connected with this book which have been raised since its 
publication, and a bibliography of his Anthropological writings, 
so far as I have been able to trace them. 

The illustrations of the original edition consisted of repro- 
ductions from the late Colonel E. T. Dalton's Descriptive 
Ethnology of Bengal. These were confined to the tribes of 
Bengal and Assam. In order to render the book more 
interesting and useful to Anthropologists, in the present 
edition these have been supplemented by a collection of 



X PREFACE TO THE NEW EDITION 

photographs, some of which were procured by the publishers 
in India, and a few others for which I am indebted to Messrs. 
E. Thurston, E. H. Mann, Major Nicolas, B. A. Gupte, and 
Pandit Giraj Kishor Dutt, Rai Bahadur. 

In preparing this edition I beg to acknowledge assistance 
from Messrs. J. Kennedy and V. A. Smith, late of the Indian 
Civil Service. The memoir of Sir H. Risley is to a great 
extent based on that contributed to Man (vol. xii) by 
Mr. J. D. Anderson, supplemented by notes from Mr. Keith 
Jopp, the Warden of New College, and the Headmaster of 
Winchester College. Mr. B. A. Gupte, who acted as Personal 
Assistant to Sir H. Risley while he was Director of Ethno- 
graphy for India, has kindly aided in the preparation of the 
bibliography of his writings. Miss Ethel E. Risley has 
contributed the photograph from which the frontispiece is 
taken, and has read the memoir of her brother in proof. 

W. CROOKE. 



INTRODUCTION 

Herbert Hope Risley, only son of Rev. John Holford Risley, 
Rector of Akeley, Bucks, and Fanny Elton, his wife, daughter 
of John Hope, late of the Bengal Medical Service, was born on 
4th January, 1851. He belonged to one of the " Founder's Kin " 
families of Winchester. Most of his family, including his 
father, were, during the last two or three centuries, educated at 
Winchester, which he entered in 1864. He had a distinguished 
school career, winning the Goddard Scholarship and the Moore 
Stevens Divinity Prize in 1868, and the King's Gold Medal for 
the Latin Essay in 1869. 

On 15th October, 1869, he entered New College, Oxford; 
took a Second Class in the School of Law and Modern History, 
Michaelmas Term, 1872, and received his B.A. degree in January, 
1873. He had been selected for an appointment in the Civil 
Service of India in April, 1871. As the Warden, Rev. W. A. 
Spooner, D.D., writes : " This early selection to the Indian Civil 
Service partly explains and partly accounts for his comparative 
failure in the Schools. His great friends in College were 
Mr. Keith Jopp, who also entered the Indian Civil Service, and 
Dr. G. B. Longstaff. All three of them, if my memory does not 
play me false, were very keen members of the University 
Volunteer Corps." Mr. Keith Jopp confirms the accuracy of 
the Warden's recollections, and adds that "even then he had 
charming manners and great powers of writing." 

On reaching India in 1873 Risley had the good fortune to 
start his service in the district of Midnapur, part of which 
fringes on the plateau of Chota Nagpur, a land of hills and 
forests, situated to the south of the Ganges valley, the home of 
several interesting tribes whose culture was of a very primitive 
type. Here he gained his first opportunity for work in 
Anthropology. His interest in the forest tribes continued 
during his life, and it was due to his initiative that the late 



xii INTRODUCTION 

Rev. P. Dehon, S.J., compiled his valuable monograph on the 
Oraons.* 

In 1869 Sir W. W. Hunter had commenced the Statistical 
Survey of India, the results of which were embodied in the 
first edition of the Imperial Gazetteer published in 1881. 
The survey of the Province of Bengal was undertaken by 
Hunter himself, and the interest displayed by Risley in the 
anthropology, linguistics, and sociology of India led to his 
appointment on the staff of the Survey, as Assistant Director 
of Statistics, early in 1875. The volume on the hill districts 
of Hazaribagh and Lohardaga was compiled by Risley. His 
wide knowledge of rural life and the lucidity of his literary 
style displayed in this book marked him out for further 
promotion. After little more than three years' service he 
began to act as Assistant Secretary to the Government of 
Bengal, and in 1879 he officiated as Under Secretary in the 
Home Department of the Government of India. " It was at 
this period of his career," writes Mr. Anderson, " that he met 
and married the accomplished German lady, whose linguistic 
attainments aided him in his wide reading on anthropology and 
statistical subjects in foreign languages." In 1880 he once more 
returned to district work among his old friends the jungle 
folk of Chota Nagpur ; and after an intervial again spent in the 
Bengal Secretariat, he was placed in charge of an enquiry 
into the Ghatwali and other primitive forms of land tenure 
in the district of Manbhum. 

In 1885 Sir Rivers Thompson, then Lieutenant-Governor 
of Bengal, decided that it was advisable to collect detailed 
information on the castes, tribes, and sociology of that Province. 
Risley was naturally selected as the officer best qualified to 
undertake the work. At the beginning of this investigation, 
which extended over some years, he had the good fortune to 
meet Dr. James Wise, then retired from the Indian Medical 
Service, who during ten years' occupancy of the post of Civil 
Surgeon of Dacca, had collected much valuable information on 
the people of Eastern Bengal. A summary of this was published 
privately by him in 1883 under the title of Notes on the Races, 
Castes, and Trades of Eastern Bengal. On the sudden death 
of Dr. Wise in 1886, his widow made over his papers to Risley 
" on the understanding that after testing the data contained in 



* " Religion and Customs of the Uraons," Memoirs Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1906, 
p. 121 et seq. 



INTRODUCTION xiii 

them as far as possible in the manner contemplated by Dr. Wise 
himself, I should incorporate the results in the ethnographic 
volumes of the present work, and by dedicating these volumes 
to Dr. Wise, should endeavour to preserve some record, 
however imperfect, of the admirable work done by him during 
his service in India." * 

To complete this work Risley was placed on special duty. 
For the description of the jungle tribes of Chota Nagpur and 
Assam the materials collected by Colonel E. T. Dalton and 
published in 1872 under the title of The Descriptive Ethnology 
of Bengal were available. The papers of Dr. Wise were used 
for the accounts of the people of Eastern Bengal, and for the 
remaining parts of the Province a large staff of correspondents, 
including Government officials, missionaries, planters, and 
native gentlemen, supplied ample information. The results 
of the Ethnographic Survey of Bengal were published in 
a preliminary edition in 1891 under the title of The Tribes 
and Castes of Bengal, consisting of two volumes of the 
" Ethnographical Glossary," and two of " Anthropometric Data," 
the latter prepared under the advice of Sir W. H. Flower, 
Director of the Natural History Museum, South Kensington, 
and Sir W. Turner, the eminent Edinburgh anthropologist. 
The Introductory Essay prefixed to this work was the first 
attempt to apply, in a systematic way, the methods of 
anthropometry to the analysis of the people of an Indian 
Province. The most important result of the inquiry was that 
there appears to be, from the physical point of view, no difference 
between the so-called " Dravidian " and " Kolarian " races 
occupying the hill country to the south of Bengal. The newer 
learning has now identified the Austro -Asiatic group of 
languages, with Munda as one of its sub-branches. With this 
new position Risley was not spared to deal. 

Among other anthropological work done during this period 
was the Introduction to the Gazetteer of Sikkim published in 
1894, and a monograph on "Widow and Infant Marriage," 
which formed the basis of the views expressed on these subjects 
in the following pages. 

About this time financial difficulties, the result of a 
succession of disastrous famines, impeded the prosecution of 
the Ethnological Survey of the Indian Empire, and it was not 
till the Viceroyalty of Lord Curzon that Risley was appointed 



* The Tribes and Castes of Bengal, vol. i., Introductory Essay, p. xv. 



xiv INTRODUCTION 

Honorary Director of the Survey, the general principles of 
which were described in his paper entitled "The Study of 
Ethnology in India."* "What he thought of the administra- 
tive and political value of ethnological enquiries," writes Mr. 
Anderson, "may be gathered from a charming discourse on 
' India and Anthropology' delivered to the boys at Winchester 
in 1910 [vide Man, vol. x., p. 163 ei seq.^, in which he paid a 
kindly tribute to his friend Dr. Jackson. He quoted, too, the 
words of another old friend, Sir Bamfylde Fuller, that ' nothing 
wins the regard of an Indian so easily as a knowledge of facts 
connected with his religion, his prejudices, or his habits. We 
do but little to secure that our officers are equipped with these 
passports to popular regard.' Thus, in one of the last of his 
public utterances. Sir Herbert Risley stated his deliberate 
conviction that it is only right 'to teach the anthropology of 
India to men of the Indian services.' " This question was again 
raised in 1913 by Sir R. Temple in his Presidential Address 
delivered before the Anthropological Section at the Birmingham 
meeting of the British Association, which attracted much 
attention among all those who are interested in the training 
of candidates for the Indian Civil Service. An appeal, widely 
supported by British anthropologists, has recently been 
submitted to the Government, pleading for the encouragement 
of anthropological studies in the older Universities, which have 
already established flourishing Schools, and for the extension 
of these in the more modern Universities and Colleges. 

In 1890 Risley served as member and secretary of a 
Commission appointed to enquire into the working of the 
Indian police. After a brief reversion to district duty he 
resumed work in the Secretariats of Bengal and of the Imperial 
Governments. The decennial Census of the Empire was fixed 
to be carried out in 1901, and in 1899 he was appointed Census 
Commissioner. His administrative ability was proved in the 
difficult task of organising a competent staff, in consulting with 
the Provincial Governments, and in formulating an elaborate 
code of regulations which formed the basis on which the 
Census of 1901 and that of 191 1 were conducted. The results 
of the Census carried out under his charge were reviewed in 
an exceptionally interesting report prepared by him with the 
assistance of his friend, Mr. E. A. Gait, in which he developed 
his views on the origin and classification of the Indian races 

* jfourna! Royal Anthropulogical Institute, vol. xx., i8gi, p. 235 etseq. 



INTRODUCTION xv 

largely on the basis of anthropometry. Portions of this report, 
with some additions and revision, were republished in 1908 
under the title of The People of India. 

After the completion of this work he was appointed Home 
Secretary in Lord Curzon's administration, and in 1909 he 
became a temporary member of the Council of the Governor- 
General. When, in the viceroyalty of Lord Minto, the arduous 
and delicate task of reforming and extending the Provincial 
Councils, in order to satisfy the aspirations of the more advanced 
section of the people, was undertaken, the heaviest portion of 
the work was entrusted to Risley, and the strain of these duties 
on a constitution which at no time was robust doubtless laid 
the seeds of the fatal disease which was soon to end his life. 
In these, the final years of his service in India, besides his 
official duties, he took his share in various activities. He was 
Director of the Ethnological Survey, President on three 
occasions of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, a Trustee of the 
Indian Museum, Secretary of the Queen Victoria Memorial 
Committee, and a member of the Committee of Lady DufFerin's 
Fund for providing medical and surgical aid for native women. 
His work on Constitutional Reform was so important that his 
service was extended for two years on the expiry of thirty-five 
years, the maximum term of office prescribed for members of 
the Indian Civil Service. 

At a farewell dinner given in his honour at Calcutta on 
7th February, 1910, by Lord and Lady Minto, the Viceroy 
remarked that "he did not know what he should have done 
without his assistance in the Reforms scheme," and he paid the 
highest tribute to his literary abilities, his foresight and industry, 
which had all been of invaluable assistance to the Government 
of India. The country could ill afford to spare so able a servant, 
and he wished him all success in the future. 

In February, 1910, he resigned the service. Soon after his 
arrival in England he was appointed to succeed Sir C. J. Lyall 
as Permanent Secretary in the India Office. He was able 
to do little more than take charge of his new duties when 
his health finally broke down, and he fell the victim to a 
fatal and painful disease, borne with unflinching courage 
and with characteristic and touching consideration for those 
who strove to alleviate his sufferings. He died at Wimbledon 
on 30th September, 191 1, leaving a widow, a son, now an 
officer in the Indian army, and a daughter to mourn his 
loss. 



xvi INTRODUCTION 

In the course of a long Indian career he worthily maintained 
the traditions of the service to which he belonged. He proved 
that the study of the native races may be conducted side by 
side with the most engrossing public work, and forms one of 
the best means of relaxation amidst its labours and anxieties. 
He showed a wide sympathy with all classes of the people, and 
it was his privilege at the close of his official career to be 
associated with measures calculated to improve the relations 
of its subjects with the British Government. Some of the 
native journals, in their sympathetic comments on his career, 
did not fail to recall that one of the services to the people with 
which his name was associated was a scheme for the sale 
through the agency of the Post Office of cheap packets of 
quinine among the malaria-stricken people of the Ganges Delta. 

His services as an administrator and an anthropologist were 
recognised by the bestowal of the Order of Companion of the 
Star of India in 1904 and the Knighthood of the Order of the 
Indian Empire in 1907. He was elected Ofificier d'Academie 
Frangaise and corresponding member of the Anthropological 
Societies of Berlin and Rome. One of his last literary tasks 
was to prepare the Annual Address as President of the Royal 
Anthropological Institute, which illness prevented him from 
delivering in person. 

The value of Risley's work on the ethnology of India has 
been so widely recognised that it is unnecessary to discuss it in 
detail. He was a pioneer in the application of scientific methods 
to the classification of the races of India; and, like all pioneer 
work, some of his conclusions are open to criticism in the light 
of later researches. The words of Sir J. G. Frazer in reference 
to the study of comparative religion may well apply to Indian 
ethnology : " In this as in other branches of study it is the fate 
of theories to be washed away like children's castles of sand 
by the rising tide of knowledge."* The problems of Indian 
ethnology are still so obscure and in many directions our 
knowledge is so imperfect, that in the following pages no 
attempt will be made to express a dogmatic opinion upon 
them. All that it is proposed to do is to indicate some of the 
questions treated in this work which have formed the subject 
of controversy since the first edition was issued. 

First, one of the main assumptions underlying his attempt 
to classify the races of India on the basis of anthropometry is 

* The Golden Bough, 3rd ed., Part vii,, vol. i., Preface, p. xi. 



INTRODUCTION xvii 

that "nowhere else in the world do we find the population of a 
large continent broken up into an infinite number of mutually 
exclusive aggregates, the members of which are forbidden by an 
inexorable social law to marry outside the group to which they 
belong. ... In this respect India presents a remarkable contrast 
to most other parts of the world, where anthropometry has to 
confess itself hindered, if not baffled, by the constant inter- 
mixture of types obscuring and confusing the data ascertained 
by measurements." * 

In reply to this it has been urged that Risley has exaggerated 
the isolation of the present grouping of the people ; that caste, 
in its modern, rigid form, is of comparatively recent origin. 
The older custom, for instance, recognised the possibility of a 
Kshatriya becoming a Brahman, or vice versd; and although 
a man was supposed to take his first wife from his own class, 
there was no binding rule to this effect, while in any case he 
was free to take a second wife from a lower class.f Similar 
laxities of practice prevail at the present time among certain 
communities in the Himalayan districts of the Panjab. | The 
long periods of anarchy through which most parts of India 
have passed, some notorious facts of modern peasant life — the 
pressure of hypergamy which produces a scarcity of brides in 
the higher groups and leads to the purchase of low-born girls, 
the weakness of moral control among certain classes § — produce 
miscegenation. Caste, again, has been habitually modified by 
the action of the Rajas, who claimed the right of promoting and 
degrading members of the various castes. The process of 
amalgamation of caste and tribal groups is specially observable 
in the case of the forest tribes when they come in contact with 
Hinduism. Each of them shows a ragged fringe in which the more 
primitive type is found intermingled with the more civilised 
race. In the case of certain areas, like Burma, Kashmir, Gujarat, 
the existing population represents a mixture of various races 
which have amalgamated within the historical period. || 



* Infra, p. 25 el seg. 

t E. A. Gait, in Hastings' Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, vol. iii., 1910, p. 234. 

% H. A. Rose, Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North- West Frontier 
Province, vol. ii., 191 1, pp. 130, 256 et seg., 460 note : Census Report, Punjab, igii, Vol. i., 
p. 270. 

§ Census Report, Punjab, 191 1, vol. i., p. 293, United Provinces, 191 1, vol. i., p. 327 

et seq. 

II General Indefinite Characteristics of the Tribes of Burma, 1906, p. vi. ; Census Report, 
Kashmir, 1911, vol. i., p. 204; Sir G. Grierson, Linguistic Survey of India, vol. ix., 
part ii., 1908, p. 324, 

R, PI b 



xviii INTRODUCTION 

It is impossible here to discuss at length the wide and 
difficult question of the value of anthropometry as a test of 
race, on which controversy is still active. " Of late years," says 
Mr. O'Malley, "anthropometry as a test of race has begun to 
fall out of favour." * Perhaps it may be safer to say that 
measurements collected in a haphazard fashion among the 
larger composite groups, like Brahmans, Rajputs, Nayars, or 
Vellalas, which include all sorts and conditions of men, must 
remain of doubtful value, unless it is certain that the individuals 
who have been examined belong to sub-castes or families which 
have not been contaminated by union with outsiders. Mr. Gait, 
discussing the variability of caste to which reference has been 
made, writes : " It is desirable to point out the practical bearing 
on the point at issue of the facts which have been adduced in 
the preceding paragraphs regarding caste changes. Those 
which I have described as discontinuous, whereby a whole 
community raises its social rank, though disturbing the correla- 
tion between caste and status which Risley alleged to exist, 
have in themselves no effect on the racial composition of the 
community, unless in time the upstarts succeed in intermarrying 
with some other social group. But the changes arising from 
the transfer of individuals or groups from one caste to another 
would clearly disturb the homogeneity of the castes receiving 
them. This would be the case, for instance, when the men are 
in the habit of taking wives from other castes of lower status. 
Still more would it be the case amongst the functional castes. 
If it be conceded that such castes have received successive 
accretions of groups from outside, it follows that the main 
caste is seldom a homogeneous body, and that measurements 
taken, as they have almost invariably been, without regard to 
the sub-caste, cannot be expected to give uniform results. The 
individual sub-castes are more likely to consist of persons 
having a common origin, but this also is by no means an 
invariable rule. The processes of fission and fusion have no 
doubt been in operation from the earliest times ; and the 
sub-castes of to-day, though more uniform in type than the 
castes of which they form part, were probably in their time 
formed out of different groups, which in course of time have 
become so closely intermingled that all traces of the original 
distinctions have disappeared." f 



♦ Census Report, Bengal, 191 1, vol. i., p. 517. 

t Census Report, India, igii, vol. i., p. 381 ; cf. Man, xiv., 1914, p. 207. 



INTRODUCTION xix 

Secondly, it has been urged that Risley devoted too little 
attention to the influence of environment in modifying bodily 
structure. The views of Professor Franz Boas, who claims to 
have proved that the head-forms of immigrants to the United 
States rapidly become modified in their environment, have not 
been universally accepted. * But the stress laid on these 
influences by Professor W. Ridgeway deserve more attention 
than they have hitherto received in India.f It can hardly, it 
is urged, be possible that the differences of climate, soil, and 
food supplies throughout the Indian Peninsula fail to exert 
their influence 'on the physical characteristics of the population. 
The contrast between the deltas of the great rivers and regions 
like the Panjab, the Deccan, or the forest and hill tractSj 
is obvious. Differences in the food supply equally deserve 
investigation, when we compare the races of Bengal or Madras, 
who mainly subsist on rice, with the people of the Deccan 
whose staple food is . millet, the Panjabi who eats wheat or 
barley, the jungle-dwellers who largely use the wild products 
of the forest. 

Thirdly, since this book was written, the problem of the 
Aryan and the Dravidian has assumed new forms. It has been 
urged that it is difficult to maintain Risley's theory of a move- 
ment of Aryan tribes into the Panjab who retained their 
original Indo-Aryan type, in spite of the fact that this province 
has been the scene of continuous foreign immigration — Iranian, 
Scythian, Hun, Mongol, Persian. Again, writers of the South 
Indian school maintain the predominance of the Dravidian 
element in the present population, and regard the distinction 
between the Aryan and their Dasyu predecessors as one of 
cult and not of race, t 

Fourthly, as regards the Dravidian type, the researches of 
Mr. E. Thurston show that it is far from uniform ; § and 
Risley's extension of this term to include not only the hill 
tribes of Central India but much of the menial population of 
the northern plains, is disputed in view of recent work in 
linguistics which proves that the Mon- Khmer form of speech 
stretches right across the centre of continental India, and at 
one time covered the greater part of Further India and the 

* The American Anthropologist, N.S., vol. xiv., No. 3, July-September, 1912, p. naetseq. ; 
Man, xiv., 1914, p. 206 et seq. 

t Report, British Association, igoj, p. 832 et seq. 

% P. T. Srinivas Iyengar, Life in Ancient India in the Age of the Mantras, 1912, p. 9 et seq. 

§ The Castes and Tribes of Southern India, 1909, vol. i., Introduction, p. xxxvi. et seq. 



XX INTRODUCTION 

present Province of Assam.* This widespread extension of 
Mon-Khmer speech may be assumed to imply a westward 
movement of these races. This, and not a Dravidian element, 
survives in the menial population of the northern plains. 

Fifthly, the views expressed 'in this work on the origin of 
the Rajputs, Jats, and Marathas have met with vigorous criti- 
cism. Accepting the fact that the people of Central Asia are 
of an uniform brachycephalic type, Risley argued that it was 
impossible to suppose that the long-headed Rajputs and Jats 
could be descended from races entering India from that region. 
It is now believed by many scholars that the term Scythian or 
Hun does not represent homogeneous ethnical types; that as 
the Greeks and Romans confounded Gauls with Germans — and 
to most Greeks a Scythian was any barbarian from the east of 
Europe,— so it is held to be possible that the Hindus termed 
any savage enemy who crossed the Himalaya a Saka or a 
Huna, migrants from a region which displays many different 
physical types.f It is now generally admitted that these Hun 
princes rapidly became Hinduised, and that from one of their 
clans, the Gurjara, the present Rajputs were largely, if not 
wholly, derived. | 

As regards the Marathas, Risley suggested that they origi- 
nated in bodies of Scythians, driven from the grazing-grounds 
of the Western Panjab towards the south, where they inter- 
mingled with the Dravidian type. There seems to be, however, 
no historical, or even traditional, evidence of a Scythian 
migration into the Deccan. The IMarathas are closely con- 
nected with a mixed race of cultivators, extending over a wide 
area from the Deccan to the valley of the Ganges, and known 
as Kunbi or Kurmi. The Maratha group has now succeeded in 
asserting its superiority over its humbler kinsfolk, with whom 
they practise hypergamy, that is to say, they take brides from 
the latter, while the higher Maratha families refuse to give 
their daughters to Kunbi husbands. § In some places these 
higher-class Marathas have succeeded in acquiring the right 
of connubium with certain Rajput septs; but the fact that their 

* Census Report, India, 1901, vol. i., p. 257 et seg. ; 191 1, vol. i., p. 322 et seq. 

t E. H. Minns, Scythians and Greeks, 1913, p. 35 ; T. A. Joyce, jfournal Royal Anthropo- 
logical Institute, vol. xlii, 1912, p. 450 et seq. 

% v. A. Smith, Early History of India, 3rd edit., 1914, pp. 322, 407 et seq. ; Journal 
Royal Asiatic Society, January-April, 1909 ; D. R. Bhandarkar, Journal Asiatic Society, 
Bengal, 1909, p. 167 et seq, 

§ Census Report, Central Provinces, 191 1, vol. i., p. 135 ; Ethnographic Survey, Central 
Provinces, vol. ix., 191 1, p. 123 et seq. 



INTRODUCTION xxi 

tribal organisation retains the totemistic form connects them 
with the pre-Aryan people. The JDrachycephalic form of skull 
which is said to prevail in parts of the Deccan was the basis 
of Risley's theory. But this is probably not the result of 
Scythian migration, but of some early tribal movement, 
perhaps by sea or along the coast route.* 

Had Risley lived to revise this work he would certainly 
have considered these and other criticisms. It cannot be too 
clearly stated that on many or most of these problems no 
complete certainty has yet been attained. Much further in- 
vestigation, more extended and more careful collection of 
anthropometric data, will be needed before the study of the 
ethnology of India can be placed on a scientific basis. The 
great value of Risley's work lies in the fact that he opened out 
fresh fields of enquiry, and gave a new impulse to the study of 
man in India. 

* W. Crooke, " Rajputs and Mahrattas," Journal Royal Anthropological Institute, 
vol. xi., 1910, p. 46 et seq. 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER I 



THE PHYSICAL TYPES 



Ethnic isolation of India 

External factors 

Internal factors . 

The race basis of Indian society 

The data of Ethnology 

Language and race 

Indefinite physical characters 

Definite physical characters 

The data now available 

Method of treatment adopted 

Craniometry and Anthropometry 

Anthropometry in India 

General classification of mankind 

Their application to India 

Conditions favourable to anthropometry 

Shape of the head ... 

Its value as a test of race 

Shape of the head in India . 

Shape of the nose : the nasal index 

Correspondence with social groupings 

Shape of face : orbitonasal index 

Stature in Europe and India 

The seven physical types 

Limitations of the scheme 

Turko-Iranian type 

Indo-Aryan type 

Scytho-Dravidian type 

Aryo-Dravidian type . 

Mongolo-Dra vidian type 

Mongoloid type . 

Dravidian type . 

Origins of types . 

Dravidian . 

The Indo-Aryan type : its non-Indian origin 



the three primary types 



PAGE 

I 

3 
4 
S 
6 

7 

13 
i6 

17 
i8 

19 

20 
22 

25 

25 
26 
26 
27 
28 
28 
30 
31 
■32 

34 
35 
37 
38 
39 
40 
42 
44 
47 
48 
48 



XXIV 



CONTENTS 



The mode of its entry into India . 

The Aryo-Dravidians : Dr. Hoernle's theory 

The Mongolo-Dravidians 

The Scytho-Dravidian type : its history 

Its possible origin .... 



PAGE 

5° 
SS 
56 
57 
S8 



CHAPTER II 
SOCIAL TYPES 



Social divisions : the tribe . 
Types of tribes .... 
The Dravidian tribe 
The Mongoloid tribe . 
The Turko-Iranian tribes : the Afghan type 
The Baloch and Brahui type 
Marriage in Baluchistan 
TKe word " caste " 
^Definition of caste 
M. Senart's description 
An English parallel 
Conversion of tribes into castes 
Types of Caste .... 
(i) Tribal castes 
(ii) Functional castes 
(iii) Sectarian castes . 
(iv) Castes formed by crossing 
(v) National castes . 
(vi) Castes formed by migration 
(vii) Castes formed by changes of customs 
Totemisni . . . . 

% In Chutia Nagpur 
In Orissa 
In Bombay 
In Central India 
In the Central Provinces 
In Madras 
In Assam 
In Burma 
Sir J. G. Frazer's theory of totemism 
Totemism and Exogamy 
Classification of castes . 
Method adopted in Census of 1901 
Its practical working , 
Its general results 

Social precedence of Hindus in Bengal 
Social precedence among Muhanimadans 



62 
62 

63 
64 
64 
64 
67 
67 
68 
68 
69 
72 
75 
75 
76 
78 
82 
86 
88 
92 

95 
96 
98 
100 
loi 
102 
102 
103 
103 

105 
107 
109 
III 
"3 
"4 
114 
121 



CONTENTS 



XXV 



PAGE 

Case of Baluchistan .... .... . 123 

Distribution of social groups .... .... 125 

Diffused groups , . . 125 

Localised groups ............ 126 

Muhammadan groups ........ .. 126 



CHAPTER III 



CASTE IN PROVERBS AND POPULAR SAYINGS 

Proverbs in general : various definitions 
Classified as general and particular 
Indian proverbs of caste 
A village portrait gallery 
The Brahman 
The Baniya 
The Kayasth 
Thejat . 
The Kunbi or Kurmi . 
The Barber 
The Goldsmith . 
The Potter 
The Blacksmith 
The Carpenter . 
The Oil-presser and dealer in oil 
The Tailor 
The Washerman 
The Fisherman . 
The Weaver 

The Tanner and Shoemaker 
TheDom . 
The Mahar and Dhed 
The Pariah 
The Bhil . 
Comparative Proverbs 
The Parsi . 
The Ascetics 
•-/The Muhammadans 

In Baluchistan and North- West Frontier Province 

In Sind and Gujarat . 

In the Punjab 

In the United Provinces 

In Behar . 

In Madras . 

Provincial and local Proverbs 

General Proverbs 

Bibliography of Indian Proverbs 



128, 

129 

130 

130 

130 

131 
132 
132 
133 
133 
134 
134 
134 
135 
135 
13s 
I3S 
136 
13b 
137 
138 
,139 
139 
139 
140 
142 

143 
144 
144 
146 
146 
147 
147 
147 
148 
149 

>S2 



XXVI 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER IV 



of sacramental doctrine 



marriage 



CASTE AND MARRIAGE 



Contrasts between India and Europe 
Endogamy ..... 
Exogamy ..... 
Hypergamy .... 

Influence of hypergamy 
Female infanticide and exogamy . 
Female infanticide and hypergamy 
Origin of hypergamy . 
Widow and infant marriage . 
Prohibition of widow marriage unknown in Vedic times 
Causes of its revival 

Considerations of property, of spiritual benefit, 
Influence of hypergamy 
Practice of lower castes 

Feeling of the people as to extension of widow 
Prevalence of infant marriage 
Origin of infant marriage 
Mr. Nesfield's theory .... 
Antiquity of the custom : its possible causes 
The case for infant marriage. 
The physiological side of the question 
/Abuses in Bengal 

Reform in Rajputana . 

Rules of the Walterkrit Sabha 

As to expenses . 

As to betrothal . 

As to age . 

Legislation : Mr. Ghose's scheme 

The Mysore Act 

The Baroda Act 

Its practical working 

Sardar Arjun Singh's Scheme 

Indian views of it 

Prospects of reform 

Difficulties of legislation 

The two forms of polyandry 

Matriarchal polyandry . 
-''rhe ceremonial husband 
"' The actual husband 

Fraternal polyandry in Tibet and Sikkim 

Origin of polyandry 

Statistics of marriage . 

Among Hindus . 

Among Muhammadans 



PAGE 

154 
156 
161 
163 
165 
171 

173 
178 
182 
i8z 
183 
183 
184 
184 
18S 
186 
187 
188 
189 
192 

193 
194 

195 
196 
196 
197 
198 
199 
200 
201 
202 
203 
204 
205 
206 
207 
207 
209 
209 
210 
212 
212 
213 
213 



CONTENTS 



XXVll 



CHAPTER V 

CASTE AND RELIGION 



Stratification of caste .... 

Hinduism and Islam .... 

Railways and religion . 

Fetishism ... . . 

Shamanism ..... 

Animism ...... 

The best term available 

Ideas underlying Animism . 

Impersonal elemental forces 

Origin of unwoishipped Supreme Beings 

Beginnings of religion 

The ghost theory 

Growth of ancestor-worship 

Animism in India ... 

Relation between Animism and popular Hinduism 

Illustration of Animistic ideas 

The- Sri Panchami and Animism . 

Sources of Animistic usages 

Pantheism . 

Transmigration and Karma 

Lucian on Karma 

Ancient Paganism and modern Hinduism 

Adaptiveness of Paganism .... 

Weaker than Hinduism in metaphysics and ethics 

Stronger in national sentiment 

Statistics of religion ..... 

Increase of Muhammadan^ .... 

Influence of conversion .... 

Influence of Christianity on the low castes 
Causes of its failure with the high castes 
Nationalism and the Arya Samaj . 
The Sainaj and the Khatris .... 

The future of Hinduism • . . . 



PAGE 

216 
217 
218 
219 
220 
222 
222 
223 
225 
226 
227 
228 
228 
231 
232 
233 
235 
236 

237 
238 
239 
242 

243 
244 

245 
246 
246 
247 
249 
250 

2S3 

254 

2SS 



CHAPTER VI 

THE ORIGIN OF CASTE 

The origin of caste ...•■••••■•■ 57 

The Indian theory ^S^ 

Its historic elements ....■••••■■■ ^59 

Its probable origin . . . . . • • • ■ • ' . 20 1 

The Indian and Iranian classes 262 



XXVIU 



CONTENTS 



PAGE 

Sir Denzil Ibbetson's theory . . . ' z63 

Mr. Nesfield's theory 265 

M. Senart's theory z67 

Caste not merely occupation. The guilds of Mediseval Europe .... 269 

Caste under the Roman Empire . . . . . . 27° 

Castes not merely developed tribes . . . .... 272 

The genesis of caste : the basis of fact . . 273 

The genesis of caste : the influence of fiction 275 

Summary .... .... . . . 276 



CHAPTER VII 



CASTE AND NATIONALITY 



European idea that caste is breaking up 


278 


Founded on misconceptions of facts . .... 


279 


Not shared by Sir Henry Cotton 


282 


Whose views are confirmed by statistics and by the best Indian opinion 


283 


Apparent antagonism of caste and nationality ..... 


284 


Caste and monarchy . ...... 


28s 


Caste and democracy ........•■ 


286 


Caste and nationality . . . . ... 


286 


The factors of nationality ... . . . . • 


287 


Community of origin . . . ■ • 


288 


Language ....... ..... 


289 


Political history ... ........ 


290 


Religion ... 


291 


Intermarriage . . . . ....•• 


292 


The basis of Indian nationality ..... • • 


293 


Has it any parallel in history ?.....■•• 


294 


The example of Gaul . . • ...... 


29s 


The example of Japan . . . .... 


296 


The future of Indian Nationalism .... .... 


299 



APPENDIXES 



I. Proverbs relating to Caste 

II. Maps of Castes . 

III. Anthropometric Data 

IV. Infant Marriage Laws 

V. Modern Theories of Caste 

VI. KuLiN Polygamy . 

VII. The Santal and Munda Tribes 



305 
334 
344 
403 
407 

423 
441 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

PLATE 

Photogravure Portrait of Sir H. H. Risley, K.C.I.E., C.S.I. 

Frontispiece. 
" Mens Agitat Molem." 

Ai end of volume. 
I. Khamti Female. 

II. Chulikata Woman. 

III. I 

JMale and Female of the Tain or Digaru Mishmi Tribe. 

IV. j 

V. BOR Abor Girl. 

VI. A Chulikata Mishmi Chief in Full Dress. 

VII. ) 

>Male and Female of the Lower Naga Group. 
VIII. j 

IX. I 

JLePCHAS (SlKKlM). 

X. j 

XI. I 

}LiMBU, Male and Female. 

xir. ) 

XIII. A "Ho" or Kol of Singhbhum. 

XIV. 1 
XV. 

XVI. A Group of Korwas. 



Mundas of Chutia Nagpur, Male and Female. 



XVII. ) 

[Oraons. 
XVIII. I 

XIX. I 

HUANG Tribe, Male and Female. 
XX. ) 

XXI. I 

JBendkar Tribe, Male and Female, 
XXII. ) 



XXX LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

PLATE 

XXIII. Andamanese at Government House, Port Blair; Negrito type. 

XXIV. Subahdar-Major Sher Bahadur Khan, Kaisrani Baloch : Turko- 

Iranian type. 

XXV. Pandit Duli Chand, Vidyapati Brahman, Agra : Indo-Iranian type. 

XXVI. Group of Sutars, carpenters, Bengal : Mongolo-Dravidian type. 

XXVII. Group of Mochis, shoemakers, Bengal: Mongolo-Dravidian type. 

XXVIII. Group of Kamars, blacksmiths, Bihar: Mongolo-Dravidian type. 

XXIX. A KUMBU FROM Nepal: Mongoloid type. 

XXX. A Lama Woman from the Tibetan Frontier: Mongoloid type. 

XXXI. A Lepcha from Sikkim : Mongoloid type. 

XXXII. The Maharani of Nepal, with Attendants: mixed Indo-Aryan and 
Mongoloid types. 

XXXIII. A Sholaga from the Nilgiri Hills, Madras : pure Dravidian type. 

XXXIV. A Kadir, with Clipped Teeth, from the Anaimalai Hills, Madras : 

PURE Dravidian type. 

XXXV. A Group of Dom Basket -makers from Bihar : mixed Dravidian type. 
Map of India showing Divisions of Races. 



BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE ANTHROPOLOGICAL 
WRITINGS OF SIR H. H. RISLEY 

I. — The Statistical Account of Bengal, edited by W. W. Hunter, vol. xvi. : 
Districts of Hazaribagh and Lohardaga. London, 1877. 

2. — Sikkim and Tibet, "Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine," May, 1890. 

3. — The Race Basis of Indian Political Movements, " Contemporary 
Review," May, 1890. 

4. — Hindu Infant Marriage, " Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine," 
December, 1890. 

5. — The Study of Ethnology in India, " Journal Anthropological Institute," 
vol. XX., pp. 235 et seq. London, 1890. 

6. — The Tribes and Castes of Bengal, 4 vols.: vol. i., ii., "Ethnographic 
Glossary" ; iii., iv., "Anthropometric Data." Calcutta, 1891. 

7. — Anthropometric Instructions, " Journal Asiatic Society of Bengal," vol, 
Ixii., pt. iii., pp. 95 et seq. Calcutta, 1893. 

8. — Measurements of Cingalese Moormen and Tamils taken in Ceylon, in 
November, 1892, ibid., vol. Ixii., pt. iii., pp. 33 et seq. Calcutta, 1893. 

9. — The Gazetteer of Sikkim, Introduction. Calcutta, 1894. 

10. — Widow and Infant Marriage. Calcutta, 1894. 

II. — Notes on Nepaul, Introduction. Calcutta, 1896. 

12. — Presidential Anniversary Address, "Asiatic Society of Bengal, Proceed- 
ings," pp. 18 et seq. Calcutta, 1899. 

13. — Presidential Anniversary Address, "Asiatic Society of Bengal, Proceed- 
ings," pp. 21 et seq. Calcutta, 1900. 

14. — Note on some Indian Tatu-Marks, Man, Article No. 74, pp. 97 et seq.. 
Anthropological Institute. London, 1902. 

15. — Extracts from Correspondence relating to the Ori^n of the Gipsies, 
ibid.. Article No. 126, pp. 180 et seq.. Anthropological Institute. London, 
1902. 

16. — Manual of Ethfiography for India. Calcutta, 1903. 

17.^ — Report Census of India, 1901, vol. i. in collaboration with E. A. Gait ; 
vol. ii., Ethnographic Appendixes. Calcutta, 1903. 

18. — Presidential Annual Address, "Asiatic. Society of Bengal, Proceed- 
ings," pp. 22 et seq. Calcutta, 1904. 



xxxii BIBLIOGRAPHY 

1 9. — F. B. Bradley-Birt, The Story of an Indian Upland, Introduction. 
London, 1905. 

20. — Anthropotnetric Data from Bombay, Burma, Baluchistan, North- 
West Borderland. Calcutta, 1906-09. 

21. — The People of India. Calcutta, 1908. 

22. — The Indian Councils at Work, "Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine," 
November, igoo. 

23. — Mamial of Anthropometry. Calcutta, 1909. 

24. — Presidential Address, " The Methods of Ethnography," " Journal 
Royal Anthropological Institute," vol. xli., pp. 8 et seg. London, 1911. 



PEOPLE OF INDIA 

CHAPTER I 

THE PHYSICAL TYPES 

o^p^a. re ffKtrfevTa ddKafftrd re -^-xji^ffffo. 

II. 1. 156-7. 

In respect of those decisive physical features which determine 

the course of the national movements of 

mankind, India may be described as an Ethnic isolation 

, ' . , -^ , , , of India, 

irregularly triangular or pear-shaped fort- 
ress, protected on two sides by the sea and guarded on the 
third by the great bulwark of mountain ranges of which the 
Himalaya forms the central and most impregnable portion.* 
As these ranges curve westward and southward towards the 
Arabian Sea, they are pierced by a number of passes, practi- 
cable enough for the march of unopposed armies, but offering 
small encouragement to the halting advance of family or tribal 
migration. On the east, though the conformation of the barrier 
is different, its secluding influence is equally strong. The 
ridges which take off from the eastern end of the Himalaya 
run for the most part north and south, and tend to direct the 
main stream of Mongolian colonization towards the river 

* Professor Huxley's comparison of the shape of India to "the diamond on a pack of 
cards, having a north angle at Ladakh, a south angle at Cape Comorin, a west angle near 
the mouth of the Indus, and an east angle near that of the Ganges," is possibly more 
accurate than that adopted in the text. It brings out the great projections of the Punjab 
and Kashmir towards the north and the long straight line of frontier which forms the north- 
western side of the diamond. On the whole, however, the triangular aspect seems to catch 
the eye more as one looks at a map and is thus better suited for descriptive purposes. 
Huxley's description is to. be found in the first volume of the Journal of the Ethnological 
Society of London. His simile is curiously analogous to the " rhomboid " of Eratosthenes 
and other Greek geographers. 

R, PI I 



2 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

basins of Indo-China rather than towards India itself. On 
either frontier, where the mountains become less formidable, 
other obstacles intervene to bar the way. On the western or 
Iranian march the gap between the Suleiman range and the 
Arabian Sea is closed by the arid plateaux and thirsty deserts 
of Makran ; to the east, the hills of the Turanian border rise 
in a succession of waves from a sea of trackless forest. On 
either side, again, at any rate within historic times, the belt of 
debatable land which veiled a dubious and shifting frontier 
has been occupied by races of masterless men knowing, in the 
west, no law save that of plunder and vendetta, and in the east, 
owning no obligation but the primitive rule that a man must 
prove his manhood by taking the stranger's head. Along the 
coast line conditions of a different character tended equally to 
preclude immigration on a large scale. The succession of 
militant traders who landed on the narrow strip of fertile but 
malarious country which fringes Western India, found them- 
selves cut off from the interior by the forest-clad barrier of the 
Western Ghats ; while on the eastern side of the peninsula, the 
low coast, harbourless from Cape Comorin to Balasore, is 
guarded by dangerous shallows backed by a line of pitiless 
surf.* 

The country thus isolated by physical and historical 
causes comprises three main regions, the Himalaya or abode 
of snow ; the Middle Land, or Madhyadesa, as the river plains 
of Northern India are called in popular speech; and the 
southern table-land of the Deccan with its irregular hill ranges 
rising out of undulating plains. Each region possesses ah 
ethnic character of its own, and has contributed a distinct 
element to the making of the Indian people. The Deccan, 
itself one of the most ancient geological formations in the 
world, has, since the dawn of history, been the home of the 
Dravidians, the oldest of the Indian races. The most recent 
of the three regions, the alluvial plains of the north, formed 
in pre-historic times the highvi^ay of the Aryan advance into 
India, and a large section of its inhabitants still cherishes 
the tradition of remote Aryan descent. The influence of the 

[* The geographical isolation of India has probably been overestimated (V. A. Smith, 
History of Fine Art in India and Ceylon, 191 1, p. 377). Commercial intercourse with the 
Ti^ris-Kuphrates valley vifas active during the period 700-300 B.C. (J. Kennedy, " The 
Early Commerce of Babylon with India," Journal Royal Asiatic Society, 1908, pp. 241-88). 
At the close of the ist century A.D., white slaves were imported into Western India, and 
the trade in Abyssinian slaves has left evidence of negro blood among some castes in the 
same region (Periplus Maris Erythraei, ch. 49 ; Bombay Gazetteer, xi., 1883, p. 433 n.).] 



PHYSICAL TYPES 3 

Himalaya has been mainly negative. It has served as a barrier 
against incursions from the north, but all along the line of the 
hills, even among people whose speech is of Rajput origin, 
distinct traces may be observed of an intermixture of Mongo- 
lian blood. 

The Empire of to-day has outgrown its ancient limits, and 
now embraces the Indo-Iranian region of Baluchistan and the 
Indo-Chinese region of Burma. If we speak of India as a 
fortress, these are the outworks which guard its flanks. Nor 
is it pressing metaphor too far to describe Baluchistan as 
a great natural glacis stretching westward from the crest of 
the ramparts of India till it loses itself in the plains of 
Kandahar. Its surface is a medley of rocky peaks, narrow 
passes, intricate ravines and broken ranges of barren hills, 
which bristle at every point with defensive positions. The 
people show no trace of Indian culture, and are as rugged as 
the land in which they dwell. Arab or Afghan by tradition, 
Scythian or Turki by type, but probably a blend of several 
stocks, they are fitting guardians of the inhospitable wastes 
which separate India from Iran. 

The Eastern outpost, Burma, presents the sharpest of con- 
trasts to Baluchistan. Broad stretches of alluvial rice-land 
fringe the coast strip and run up into the interior, gradually 
thinning out as they approach the highlands of earlier forma- 
tion through which the great rivers have forced their way. 
Cut off from India by a series of forest-clad ranges, which 
restricted the interchange of population by land, Burma lay 
open on the north, east and south to the inroads of a succession 
of Mongolian races who bore rule in turn and combined to 
fornTThe'type^whrch we know as Burmese. In the hands of 
a maritime power Burma commands the eastern gate of the 
Empire, and the growing Indian element in the population 
owes its existence to the English control of the sea. 

These are the external factors of the problem of Indian 
ethnology. The main results of their in- 

„ °-' , . 1 A u 1 External Factors. 

fluence are obvious enough. An unbroken 
chain of snow-clad peaks and of passes only practicable at 
certain seasons opposes an effectual obstacle to the fusion 
of contrasting types. Ranges of lower elevation, intersected 
by frequent valleys, form no bar to hostile incursions and yield 
but scanty protection to a weaker race. Long stretches of 
fertile plains, traversed by navigable rivers and lying open 
to the march of armies, lend themselves to that crushing out 



4 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

of racial distinctions which conquest brings in its train. 
Isolated hill ranges and lofty plateaux, guarded by fever- 
haunted forests and offering no prospect of profit or plunder, 
furnish an abiding refuge for tribes which are compact enough 
to emigrate en masse. Lastly, a coast line almost devoid of 
sheltering harbours, while it may invite a daring invader, fails 
to foster the maritime skill and enterprise which alone can 
repulse his landing. 

For the internal factors — the races which lived and struggled 

T . , -r, ^ within the environment roughly sketched 

Internal Factors. , , , 

above — we must depend to a great extent 

upon speculative data. Living organisms are more complex 
and less stable than their material surroundings. The hills 
may not be everlasting, as poets have imagined, but they out- 
live countless generations of men, and the changes that time 
works in their structure do impress on them some record, 
however imperfect, of processes which it has taken ages to 
complete. Man alone passes and leaves nothing behind. India 
in particular is conspicuous fOT the absence of the pre-historic 
evidence of which ethnologists in Europe have made such 
admirable use. There are no cave deposits, no sepulchral 
mounds or barrows, no kitchen middens, no lake dwellings, 
no ancient fortified towns such as modern research is now 
unearthing in Greece,* and no sculptured bones or weapons 
portraying the vicissitudes of the life of primitive man. The 
climate and the insects have obliterated all perishable vestiges 
of the past, and what nature may have spared a people devoid 
of the historic sense has made no effort to preserve. To fill 
the blank we are thrown back mainly on conjecture. Yet in 
India conjecture starts from a more solid basis than in the 
progressive countries of the Western world. For here we have 
before our eyes a society in many respects still primitive, 
which preserves, like a palimpsest manuscript, survivals of 
immemorial antiquity. In a land where all things always are 
the same we are justified in concluding that what is happening 
now must have happened, very much in the same way, through- 
out the earlier stages of human society in India. Observation 
of the present is our best guide to the reconstruction of 
the past. 



* In an instructive paper recently published Professor Kabbadias, Director of Antiquities 
in Greece, shows that in pre-historic times fortified towns occupied the place taken in other 
countries by pile-dwellings, Man, Deer., 1904, No. 112. 



PHYSICAL TYPES 5 

On a stone panel forming part of one of the grandest 
Buddhist monuments in India, the great 
tope at Sanchi, a carving in low relief of'indi"rn°Bootety. 
depicts a strange religious ceremony.* 
Under trees with conventional foliage and fruits, three women, 
attired in tight clothing without skirts, kneel in prayer before 
a small shrine or altar. In the foreground, the leader of a 
procession of monkeys bears in both hands a bowl of liquid 
and stoops to offer it at the shrine. His solemn countenance 
and the grotesquely adoring gestures of his comrades seem 
intended to express reverence, devotion, and humility. In 
the background four stately figures, two men and two women 
of tall stature and regular features, clothed in flowing robes 
and wearing elaborate turbans, look on with folded hands in 
apparent approval of this remarkable act of worship. Anti- 
quarian speculation has for the most part passed the panel by 
unnoticed, or has sought to associate it with some pious legend 
of the life of Buddha. A larger interest, however, attaches to 
the scene, if it is regarded as the sculptured expression of the 
race sentiment of the Aryans towards the Dravidians, which 
runs through the whole course of Indian tradition and survives 
in scarcely abated strength to the present day. In this view 
the carving would belong to the same order of ideas as the 
story in the Ramayana of the army of apes who assisted Rama 
in the invasion of Ceylon. It shows us the higher race on 
friendly terms with the lower, but keenly conscious of the 
essential difference of type and taking no active part in the 
ceremony at which they appear as sympathetic but patronizing 
spectators. An attempt is made in the following pages to 
show that the race sentiment which inspired this curious 
sculpture, rests upon a foundation of facts which can be 
verified by scientific methods; that it supplied the motive 
principle of caste; that it continues, in the form of fiction or 
tradition, to shape the most modern developments of the 
system ; and, finally, that its influence has tended to preserve 
in comparative purity the types which it favours. 

It is a familiar experience that the ordinary untravelled 
European, on first arriving in India, finds much difficulty in 
distinguishing one native of the country from another. To 
his untrained eye all Indians are black; all have the same 

[* For an illustration of this relief see F. C. Maisey, Sanchi and its Remains, 1892, 
Plate ix, Fig. I. The value of this relief, from the point of view of anthropology, has 
been disputed {Census Report, Punjab, 191 1, vol. i., p. 400).] 



6 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

cast of countenance ; and all, except the " decently naked " 
labouring classes, wear loose garments which revive dim 
memories of the attire of the Greeks and Romans. An 
observant man soon shakes off these illusions and realizes the 
extraordinary diversity of the types which are met with 
everywhere in India. The first step in his education is to 
learn to tell a Hindu from a Muhammadan. A further stage 
is reached when it dawns upon him that the upper classes 
of Hindus are much fairer than the lower and that their features 
are moulded on finer lines. Later on, if opportunity favours 
him, he comes to recognize at a glance the essential differences 
between the Punjabi and the Bengali, the Pathan and the 
Gurkha, the Rajput and the "Jungly" tea coolie: he will no 
longer take a Maratha Brahman for a Madrasi, or an Oriya 
for a native of Kashmir. He learns, in short, to distinguish 
what may be called the provincial types of the people of India, 
the local, racial, or linguistic aggregates which at first sight 
seem to correspond to the nations of Europe. But the general 
impressions thus formed, though accurate enough so far as 
they go, are wanting in scientific precision. They cannot be 
recorded or analyzed; no description can convey their 
effect ; they melt away in the attempt to fix them, and leave 
nothing behind. 

The modern science of ethnology endeavours to define and 
to classify the various physical types, with 

'^EthmScT °^ reference to their distinctive characteristics, 
in the hope that when sufficient data have 
been accumulated it may be possible in some measure to 
account for the types themselves, to determine the elements 
of which they are composed, and thus to establish their con- 
nexion with one or other of the great families of mankind. In 
India, where historical evidence can hardly be said to exist, 
the data ordinarily available are of three kinds — physical 
characters, linguistic characters, and religious and social usages. 
Of these the first are by far the most trustworthy. Most 
anthropologists, indeed, are now inclined to adopt without 
much question the opinion of the late Sir William Flower, 
who wrote to me some years ago that " physical characters 
are the best, in fact the only true tests of race, that is, of real 
affinity ; language, customs, etc., may help or give indications, 
but they are often misleading." 

The claims of language to share in the settlement of questions 
of race cannot, however, be dismissed in a single sentence. 



PHYSICAL TYPES ; 

Nearly twenty years ago, when the ethnographic survey of 

Bengal was in progresSi the late Professor ^ , _, 

,,,,„ , , Language and Kace. 

Max Muller sent me a long letter, since 

published in his collected works, in which he protested against 

" the unholy alliance " of the twb sciences of ethnology and 

comparative philology. At first sight it is hard to understand 

why two lines of research, dealing with different subjects and 

working towards different ends, should be charged with 

nefarious collusion for the purpose of perverting the truth. 

A clue to the grounds of the accusation is, however, furnished 

by Sir Henry Maine's remark that the study of the sacred 

languages of India has given to the world " the modern science 

of Philology and the modern theory of Race." The study 

of Sanskrit received its first impetus from the publication by 

Sir William Jones of translations of Kalidasa's Sakuntala in 

1789 and of the Institutes of Manu in 1794.* The discovery 

was announced and its importance emphasised in Friedrich vOn 

Schlegel's treatise on the Language and Wisdom of the Hindus ; 

but even with this assistance the fresh ideas took more than 

a generation to spread beyond the narrow circle of Orientalists 

and to impress themselves upon the main current of European 

thought. The birth of a new science, based upon an ancient 

language of which most people then heard for the first time, 

was inaugurated by Friedrich Bopp's Comparative Grammar 

of the Indo-European languages. The editions of this work 

extend over the period 1833— 1852, so that the beginnings of 

Comparative Philology coincide in point of time with the 

popular upheaval which found expression in the revolutionairy 

movements of 1848. The belief that linguistic affinities prove 

community of descent was one which commended itself alike 

to populations struggling for freedom and to rulers in search 

of excuses for removing a neighbour's landmark. The old 

idea of tribal sovereignty seemed almost to have revived 

when Napoleon III. assumed the title of Emperor of the 

French and justified his annexation of Savoy by the plea that 

territory where French was spoken ought to belong to France. 

As the principle gained strength and was invoked on a larger 

[* Professor A. A. Macdonell points out that "the first impulse to the study of Sanskrit 
was given by the practical administrative needs of our Indian possessions. Warren 
Hastings, at that time Governor-General, clearly seeing the advantage of ruling the Hindus 
as far as possible according to their own laws and customs, caused a number of Brahihahs 
to prepare a digest based on the best ancient legal authorities. An English version of this 
Sanskrit compilation, made through the medium of a Persian translation, was published 
in 1776." {A History of Sanskrit Literature, 1900, p. 2.)] 



8 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

scale it gave rise to the political aspirations implied in the 
terms Pan-Teutonism, Pan-Hellenism, Pan-Slavism ; it helped 
the cause of German unity ; it was appealed to in the name 
of united Italy ; and, if carried to its logical conclusion, it 
may some day contribute to the disruption of the Austrian 
Empire. 

Thus we find Comparative Philology, in the hands of ardent 
patriots and astute diplomatists, trespassing on the domain of 
ethnology and confusing for political purposes the two distinct 
conceptions of race and nationality. But the ethnologists 
themselves were not free from blame. So far from resisting 
the encroachment on their territory they lent their authority 
to the prevailing tendency and based their classification of 
races mainly upon linguistic characters. For this they may 
well be held to have had some substantial excuses. In the 
first place linguistic data are far easier to collect on a large 
scale, and far easier to examine when collected, than the physical 
observations which form the main basis of ethnological con- 
clusions. The vast array of languages and dialects which fill 
the sixteen volumes of Dr. Grierson's Linguistic Survey of 
India was brought together from the most distant corners of 
the Empire by the simple device of circulating for translation 
the parable of the Prodigal Son (the fatted calf, in deference 
to Hindu sentiment, being discreetly transformed into a goat), 
together with a small number of common words and phrases. 
But to have recorded the physical characters of the people 
on a similar scale would have cost an immense sum ; the 
operations would have extended over many years ; and the 
results would probably have been vitiated by the personal 
divergencies of the numerous observers whom it would have 
been necessary to employ. 

Secondly, languages lend themselves far more readily to 
precise classification than the minute variations of form and 
feature which go to make up an ethnic type. Thirdly, — and 
this is perhaps the most important point of all — while there 
are practically no mixed languages, there are hardly any pure 
races. Judged by the only sound test, that of grammatical 
structure as distinguished from mere vocabulary, all languages 
may be regarded as true genera and species from which no 
hybrid progeny can arise. Words may be borrowed on a 
larger or smaller scale, but the essential structure of the 
language remains unchanged, the foreign elements being forced 
into an indigenous mould. Thus French people who have 



PHYSICAL TYPES 9 

taken to afternoon tea have evolved the verb "five dcloquer" ; 
a Bengali clerk who is late for office will say ami miss-train 
kariyachhi, converting a mangled English phrase into a 
characteristic verbal noun ; and a Berlin tram-conductor, who 
was explaining to me how his working hours had come to be 
reduced, summed up the position with the words " wir haben 
namlich streikirt." In each case a foreign phrase has been 
taken to express an imported idea; but this phrase has been 
absorbed and dealt with in accordance with the genius of the 
language, and there is no approach to structural hybridism. 
Races, on the other hand, mix freely ; they produce endless 
varieties ; and it can hardly be said even now that any 
satisfactory agreement has been arrived at as to the system 
on which such varieties should be classified. 

These considerations go some way towards accounting for 
the " unholy alliance " which politics and the spirit of classifica- 
tion have combined to bring about between two distinct 
sciences. They fail, however, to give us much assistance in 
the solution of the main question — what are the true relations 
between Ethnology and Philology? Within what limits can 
we argue from correspondences of language to community of 
race or from differences of language to diversity of race ? Are 
we to hold with Schwiker and Hale that language is the only 
. true test of racial affinities ; or should we follow Sayce's 
opinion that "identity or relationship of language can prove 
nothing more than social contact " ? The mere fact that speech 
is a physiological function, depending in the last resort on the 
structure of the larynx, suggests that the latter view may be 
too absolutely expressed. That some races produce sounds 
which other races can only imitate imperfectly is a matter of 
common observation, and may reasonably be ascribed to 
differences of vocal machinery. The clicks of the Bushman 
and Hottentot, the gutturals of Arabic and the dental and 
cerebral consonants of the Indian vernaculars present varying 
degrees of difficulty to the average European. Similar differ- 
ences of phonetic capacity may be observed among the Indian 
races. Bengalis, as Dr. Grierson has pointed out, "cannot 
pronounce a clear s but make it sh " ; the natives of Western 
India tend to turn v into w ; and nearly all Orientals find a 
difficulty ift starting a word like Smith without prefixing 
a vowel and turning it into " I-Smith." Even within the range 
of a single language, dialectic variations occur which may be 
due to physical causes. The gobbling speech of the people of 



lo PEOPLE OF INDIA 

Chittagong and Eastern Bengal, and their inability to negotiate 
certain consonants, seem to suggest that their original tongue 
belonged to the Tibeto-Burman family, and that their vocal 
apparatus must differ materially from that of their Western 
neighbours.* Whether it will ever be possible to define these 
variations, and to correlate them with racial characteristics, is 
a question for students of the physiological side of the modern 
science of phonetics. 

The truth as to the relation between race and language 
probably lies somewhere between the extreme views noticed 
above, but it can only be reached by an examination of the 
facts. There are four possible cases : — 

(i) where both language and physical type have been 
changed by contact with other races or communities, 
as have happened with the Bengali-speaking KtDchh, 
who have lost their tribal language while their 
original Mongoloid type, still clearly discernible 
among their congeners in Assam, has been modified 
by intermixture with a Dravidian element ; 

(2) where the language has changed but the racial type has 

remained the same, as with the Gauls, Normans, and 
Lombards in Europe, the Negroes in America, and 
the Ahoms, Bhumij and many others in India ; 

(3) where the original language has been retained but the 

racial type has changed, as with the Basques and 
Magyars in Europe, the Khas in Nepal, and a large 
proportion of the Rajputs all over India ; 

(4) where both language and physical type are unchanged, 

as with the Andamanese, the Santals, the Mundas, the 

Manipuris and many others. 
In the first two cases an appeal to language would clearly 
be ineffectual unless historical evidence were forthcoming to 
show what the original language had been. In India the 
genius loci has not turned to history, and almost the only 
instance in which ancient records throw light upon the origin 
of a tribe is that of the Ahoms, a Shan people who entered 
Assam early in the thirteenth century and within the next 
three hundred years conquered and gave their name to the 
country. Towards the end of the seventeenth century they 

[* " So full of consonants are Tibetan words that most of them could be articulated with 
almost semi-closed mouth, evidently from the enforced necessity to keep the lips closed as 
far as possible against the cutting cold when speaking" (L. A. Waddell, Lhasa and its 
Mysteries, 3rd ed., 1906, p. 144).] 



PHYSICAL TYPES ii 

embraced Hinduism, lost their original language, and "became, 
like Brahmans, powerful in talk alone." Their chronicles 
{huranji or " store of instructions for the ignorant ") were kept 
up by their priests in Ahom, "an old form of the language 
which ultimately became Shan," and are the chief authority for 
the early history of Assam. 

To the remaining two cases we may apply a canon which I 
suggested to Dr. Grierson some two years ago, and which he 
has embodied in his chapter on Language in the Census 
Report of 1901. I would now state it somewhat more fully 
thus : — 

(i) In areas where several languages are spoken, one or 
more of them will usually be found to be gaining 
ground, while others are stationary or declining : the 
condition of stable equilibrium is comparatively rare. 
The former may be described in relation to any given 
area as dominant, the latter as decadent or subordinate 
languages. What languages belong to either class is, 
in each case, a matter of observation. 

(2) The fact that a particular tribe or people uses a dominant 

language does not of itself suggest any inference as to 
their origin. 

(3) The fact that such a group speaks a decadent language 

may supply evidence of their origin, the value of 
which will vary with circumstances. 
It must be admitted, however, that these propositions do 
not carry us very far, and that in their application to particular 
cases they tend to break down just at the point where the 
enquiry begins to be interesting. Of course it is obvious 
enough that the fact that the Rajbansi-Kochh and the Bhumij 
both speak Bengali does not prove them to be oif Indo-Aryah 
descent. On this point their physical type would be con- 
clusive, even if we had not independent evidence that a few 
generations ago they spoke tribal languages of their own. 
Similarly, when one finds two small and isolated communities 
in Bengal, the Siyalgirs of Midnapur and the Kichaks of Dacca, 
speaking Bhil dialects of Gujarati, one is naturally disposed to 
infer that these people must have come from Gujarat, and are 
probably related in some way to the Bhils. But here again 
there is room for doubt. Although both Kichaks and Siyalgirs 
are now of settled habits, the traditions of the former, and the 
usages and occupations of both, suggest that at no very distant 
date they formed part of that misfcellaneous multitude of gipsy 



12 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

folk whose origin is no less of a mystery in India than in other 
parts of the world. To people of their habits— the Kichaks 
say that their ancestors were dacoits, and the Siyalgirs are 
credited with thievish proclivities — the possession of a special 
argot would be an obvious convenience, and it seems simpler 
to suppose that this circumstance led to the wide diffusion of 
the dialect than to argue that the small groups which make use 
of it in Bengal must be fragments of a distant and compact 
tribe like the Bhils. Thieves' patters have a family likeness 
all the world over, but no one has yet attempted to trace the 
speakers to a common ancestor. 

Other minor instances deserve passing mention. The Vaidu 
herbalists of Poona, who speak Marathi to their neighbours, 
explain the fact that they use Kanarese among themselves by 
the tradition that they were brought from the Kanara country 
by one of the Peshwas and settled in Kirki. The Kasar copper- 
smiths of Nasik speak Gujarati at home and Marathi out of 
doors. The men dress like Marathas, but the women still wear 
the characteristic petticoat (ghagra) of Gujarat instead of the 
Maratha sari. In both these cases linguistic evidence points to 
a migration ; but the value of the deduction is small. For we 
know historically that the migration must have been a recent 
one and it could probably be established on independent 
grounds. Nor do linguistic considerations throw any light upon 
the curious question how it is that the Mundas and Oraons, 
two distinct tribes of identical physical type, speak languages 
which differ widely in respect of structure and vocabulary. 

But perhaps the most notable illustration of the weakness 
of the argument from affinity of language to affinity of race is 
afforded by Brahui. One of the maps in Dr. Grierson's chapter 
on language in the Census Report for India in 1901, shows the 
distribution of the Dravidian languages. Most of the Dravidian- 
speaking areas are massed in the south of India, while a few 
outlying patches represent Gond in the Central Provinces and 
Kandh, Kurnkh, and Malto in Bengal. Otherwise the map is 
blank save for Brahui, a tiny island of Dravidian speech far 
away in Baluchistan where it is surrounded on all sides by 
Indo-Aryan languages. As to the Dravidian affinities of the 
Brahui language, I understand that there is practical agreement 
among linguistic authorities. Concerning the conclusions to 
be drawn from -this fact opinions differ widely. One school 
founds upon it the hypothesis that the Dravidians entered 
India from beyond the north-west frontier, while another 



PHYSICAL TYPES 13 

regards the Brahui as an outpost of the main body of 
Dravidians in Southern India. Both assume identity of race, 
and both ignore the essential fact that, as is shown at length 
below, few types of humanity can present more marked 
physical differences than the Brahui and the Dravidian. How 
then can we explain the resemblances of language? Surely 
only by assuming that at some remote period the two races 
must have been in contact and that the speech of one influenced 
that of the other. Thus what seems at first sight to be a crucial 
instance serves merely to bring out the uncertainty that besets 
any attempt to argue from language to race. Here, if any- 
where, is a decadent and isolated language ; here, if anywhere, 
it ought to tell a plain tale ; and here, when confronted with 
other evidence, it conspicuously fails us. Thus we end very 
much where we began, with the rather impotent conclusion that 
in questions of racial affinity, while the testimony of language 
should certainly be considered, the chances are against its 
telling us anything that we did not know already from other 
and less dubious sources. 

For ethnological purposes physical characters may be 
said to be of two kinds — indefinite characters 
which can only be described in more or less "^ eharactem^"* 
appropriate language, and definite characters 
which admit of being measured and reduced to numerical 
expression. The former class, usually called descriptive or 
secondary characters, includes such points as the colour and 
texture of the skin ; the colour, form, and position of the eyes ; 
the colour and character of the hair; and the form of the face 
and features. Conspicuous as these traits are, the difficulty of 
observing, defining, and recording them is extreme. Colour, 
the most striking of them all, is perhaps the most evasive, and 
deserves fuller discussion as presenting a typical instance of 
the shortcomings of the descriptive method. Some forty years 
ago the French anthropologist Broca devised a chromatic scale 
consisting of twenty shades, regularly graduated and numbered, 
for registering the colour of the eyes, and thirty-four for the 
skin. The idea was that the observer would consult the scale 
and note the numbers of the shades which he found to corre- 
spond most closely with the colouring of his subjects. Experience, 
however, has shown that with a scale so elaborate as Broca's 
the process of matching colooirs is not so easy as it looks ; 
that different people are apt to arrive at widely different con- 
clusions ; and that even when the numbers have been correctly 



14 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

registered no one can translate the result of the observations 
into intelligible language. For these reasons Broca's successor 
Topinard reverted to the method of simple description, unaided 
by any scale of pattern colours. He describes, for example, 
the mud-coloured hair so common among the peasants of 
Central Europe as having the colour of a dusty chestnut. In 
the latest edition of the Anthropological Notes and Queries 
published under the auspices of the British Association, an 
attempt is made to combine the two systems. A greatly 
simplified colour scale is given, and each colour is also briefly 
described. I doubt, however, whether it is possible to do more 
than to indicate in very general terms the impression which 
a particular colour makes upon the observer. In point of fact 
the colour of the skin is rather what may be called an artistic 
expression, dependent partly upon the action of light, partly on 
the texture and transparency of the skin itself, and partly again 
on the great variety of shades which occur in every part of its 
surface. It is hopeless to expect that this complex of characters 
can be adequately represented by a patch of opaque paint which 
is necessarily uniform throughout and devoid of any suggestion 
of light and shade. 

The difficulty which besets all attempts to classify colour is 
enhanced in India by the fact that, for the bulk of the popula- 
tion, the range of variation, especially in the case of the eyes 
and hair, is exceedingly small. The skin, no doubt, exhibits 
extreme divergencies of colouring which any one can detect at 
a glance. At one end of the scale we have the dead black of 
the Andamanese, the colour of a blackleaded stove before it 
has been polished, and the somewhat brighter black of the 
Dravidians of Southern India, which has been aptly compared 
to the colour of strong coffee unmixed with milk. Of the 
Irulas of the Nilgiri jungles, some South Indian humourist is 
reported to have said that charcoal leaves a white mark upon 
them. At the other end one may place the flushed ivory skin 
of the typical Kashmiri beauty and the very light transparent 
brown — " wheat-coloured " is the common vernacular descrip- 
tion — of the higher castes of Upper India, which Emil Schmidt 
compares to milk just tinged with coffee and describes as 
hardly darker than is found in members of the swarthier races 
of Southern Europe. Between these extremes we find count- 
less shades of brown, darker or lighter, transparent or opaque, 
frequently tending towards yellow, more rarely 'approaching 
a reddish tint, and occasionally degenerating into a sort of 



PHYSICAL TYPES iS 

greyish black which seems to depend on the character of the 
surface of the skin. It would be a hopeless task to attempt 
to register and to classify these variations. Nor, if it were 
done, should we be in a position to evolve order out of thp 
chaos of tints. For even in the individual minute gradations 
of colour are comparatively unstable, and are liable to be 
affected not only by exposure to sun and wind, but also by 
differences of temperature and humidity. Natives of Bengal 
have assured me that people of their race, one of the darkest 
in India, become appreciably fairer when domiciled in Hindu- 
stan or the Punjab ; and the converse process may be observed 
not only in natives of Upper India living in the damp heat of 
the Ganges delta, but in Indians returning from a prolonged 
stay in Europe, who undergo a perceptible change of colour 
during the voyage to the East. The fair complexion of the 
women of the shell-cutting Sankari caste in Dacca is mainly 
due to their seclusion in dark rooms, and the Lingayats of 
Southern India who wear a box containing a tiny phallus tied 
in a silk cloth round the upper arm, show, when they take 
it off, a pale band of skin contrasting sharply with the colour 
of the rest of the body. 

Still less variety is traceable in the character of the eyes 
and hair. From one end of India to the other, the hair of the 
great mass of the population is black or dark brown, while 
among the higher castes the latter colour is occasionally, shot 
through by something approaching a tawny shade. Straight 
haii" seems, on the whole, to predominate, but hair of a wavy 
or curly character appears in much the same proportion as 
among the faces of Europe. The Andamanese have woolly or 
frizzy hair, oval in section and curling on itself so tightly that 
it seems to grow in separate spiral tufts, while in fact it is 
quite evenly distributed over the scalp. Although the terms 
woolly and frizzy have been loosely applied to the wavy hair 
not uncommon among the Dravidians, no good observer has 
as yet found among any of the Indian races a head of hair 
that could be correctly described as woolly. Throughout 
India the eyes are almost invariably dark brown. Occasional 
instances of grey eyes are found among the Konkanasth Brahmans 
of Bombay, and the combination of blue eyes, auburn hair, 
and reddish blonde complexion is met with on the north- 
western frontier. On the Malabar coast in the south, Mr. 
Thurston had noticed several instances of pale blue and grey 
eyes combined with a dark complexion and has even seen 



i6 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

a Syrian Christian baby of undoubted native parentage with 
bright carroty hair. The Syrian Christians of South Travancore 
say, indeed, that they differ from Northerners in having a red 
tinge to the moustache. 

When we turn to the definite or anthropometric characters 
we find ourselves upon firmer ground. The 

^ characters!*'* ^^^^ °^ applying instruments of precision to 
the measurement of the human body was 
familiar to the Egyptians and the Greeks, both of whom appear 
to have made extensive experiments with the object of arriving 
at a " canon " or ideal type, showing the proportions which 
various parts of the body should bear to the entire figure and 
to each other. Such canons were usually expressed either in 
terms of a particular member of which the rest were supposed 
to be multiples, or in fractional parts of the entire stature. 
Thus, according to Lepsius, the Egyptian canon is based on 
the length of the middle finger and this measure is supposed 
to be contained nineteen times in the full stature, three times 
in the head and neck, eight times in the arm, and so forth. 
The Greek canon, on the other hand, as restored by Quetelet, 
expresses the limbs and other dimensions in thousandth parts 
of the entire stature. Concerning this canon a curious story 
is told by Topinard, not without interest in its bearings upon 
the relations of Egyptian and Greek art. In 1866, the eminent 
French anthropologist Broca was asked on behalf of an artist 
who was engaged in the attempt to reconstruct the Greek 
standard, to provide a skeleton corresponding in its propor- 
tions to certain measurements derived from an examination 
of the Belvedere Apollo. After some search Broca found in 
the Museum of the Anthropological Society at Paris a skeleton 
of the type required. It was that of a Soudanese negro named 
Abdullah, and from this Broca concluded that the famous 
statue of Apollo had been modelled on the Egyptian canon, 
which in his opinion had been derived by Egyptian sculptors 
from the study of the Nubian negroes whom they employed 
as models. 

The Roman canon handed down in the treatise De Archi- 
tectura of Vitruvius was taken up and developed in the early 
days of the Renaissance by Leo Battista Alberti, himself, like 
Vitruvius, an architect, and a curious enquirer into the secret 
ways of nature and of the human frame. Forty years later 
Leonardo da Vinci, in his Trattato delta pittura, expressed the 
general opinion that the proportions of the body should be 



PHYSICAL TYPES 17 

studied in children and adults of both sexes, and refuted the 
opinion of Vitruvius that the navel should be deemed the centre 
of the body. Following Leonardo's suggestions, Albrecht 
Diirer addressed himself to the task of working out the pro- 
portions of the body for different ages and sexes, for persons 
of different heights, and for different types of figure. In his 
"Four books on the proportions of the human figure," published 
at Nurnberg in 1528, the year of his death, Diirer discussed 
the difficult question of the so-called "orientation" or adjust- 
ment of the head in an upright position, and he is believed 
by the authors of the Crania ethnica to have also anticipated 
Camper's invention of the facial angle. Jean Cousin, a French 
contemporary of Dilrer's, took the nose as his unit of length 
and represented the ideal head as measuring four noses, and 
the ideal stature as equivalent to eight heads or thirty-two 
noses. Cousin's system, slightly modified by Charles Blanc, 
holds its own at the present day as the canon des ateliers of 
French artists, preference, however, being given in ordinary 
parlance to the head rather than the nose as the unit of 
length. 

All these canons, it will be observed, approach the subject 
purely from the artistic point of view ; and so far from taking 
account of the distinctive characters of particular races, incline 
to sink these in the attempt to frame a general canon of the 
proportions of the body which should hold good for the whole 
of mankind. Such an endeavour would be foreign to the 
purpose of anthropology, which fixes its attention on points 
of difference rather than of resemblance, and seeks by exami- 
nation and analysis of such differences to form hypotheses 
concerning the genesis of the distinct race stocks now in 
existence. It would perhaps be fanciful to trace the germs of 
anthropometric research in the statement of Herodotus that 
the skulls of the Persian soldiers slain at the battle of Plataea 
were thin, and those of the Egyptians were thick, or to cite 
his explanation, that the former lived an indoor life and always 
wore hats, while the latter shave their heads from infancy and 
exposed them to sun without covering, as 
the earliest instance of the modern scientific '^'^avaUabie."^ 
doctrine of the influence of external con- 
'ditions. But when Ctesias speaks of the small stature, black 
complexion, and snub noses of the inhabitants of India, we 
feel that the description is precise enough to enable us to 
identify them with the Dasyus and Nishadas of early Sanskrit 
R, PI 2 



i8 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

literature, and we are almost tempted to wonder whether the 
Greek physician, who was doubtless acquainted with the canon 
of Polycletus, may not have devised some accurate methodof 
recording the racial characteristics of which he was so close 
an observer. Curiously enough the famous potter, Bernard 
de Palissy, was the first to throw out, in a humorous dialogue 
published in 1563, the idea of measuring the skull for purposes 
other than artistic. The passage quoted by Topinard is too 
quaint to be omitted here : — " Quoy voyant il me print envie 
de mesurer la teste d'un homme pour sgavoir directement ses 
mesures, et me semble que la sauterelle, la regie, et le compas 
me seroient fort propres pour cest affaire, mais, quoy qu'il 
en soit, je n'y sceu jamais trouver une mesure osseuse, parce 
que les folies qui estaient en ladite teste luy faisaient changer 
ses mesures." 

Palissy, however, cannot be seriously put forward as the 

founder of scientific craniometry, and that 
^mln°/adopted!" title perhaps most properly belongs to the 

Swedish naturalist, Anders Retzius, who 
in 1842 hit upon the device of expressing one of the chief 
characters of the skull by the relation of its maximum breadth 
to its maximum length, the latter being taken to be one 
thousand. In this way he distinguished two forms of skull — the 
dolicho-cephalic, or long-headed type, in which the length 
exceeds the breadth by about one-fourth, and the brachy-cepha- 
lic, or short-headed type, in which the length exceeds the 
breadth by a proportion varying from one-fifth to one-eighth. 
Thus according to Retzius the Swedes are long-headed in the 
proportion 773 : 1000, and the Lapps short-headed in the pro- 
portion 865 : 1000. He also distinguished two types of face — 
the orthognathic, in which the jaws and teeth project either 
not at all, or very little beyond a line drawn from the forehead, 
and the prognathic, in which this projection is very marked. 
His classification of races was based upon these characteristics. 
In 1 861 Broca improved Retzius' system by expressing it in 
hundredths instead of thousandths, by introducing an inter- 
mediate group, called mesati-cephalic or medium-headed and 
ranging from 777 to 80 per cent, and by giving the name 
of cephalic index to the relation between the two diameters. 
Numerous other measurements, which are described in the- 
literature of the subject, have since been introduced. 

In the earlier days of anthropology, it was natural that 
the attention of students should have been directed mainly to 



PHYSICAL TYPES 19 

the examination of skulls. Craniometry seemed to offer a 
solution of the problems regarding the 
origin and antiquity of the human race which Anthropometey. 
then divided the scientific world. Its precise 
method promised to clear up the mystery of the prehistoric 
skulls discovered in the quaternary strata of Europe, and to 
connect them on the one side with a possible Simian ancestor 
of mankind and on the other with the races of the present day. 
The latter line of research led on to the measurements of 
living subjects, which have since been undertaken by a number 
of enquirers on a very large scale. Anthropometry which 
deals with living people, while craniometry is concerned 
exclusively with skulls, possesses certain advantages over the 
elder science. For reasons too technical to enter upon here, 
its procedure is in some respects less precise and its results 
less minute and exhaustive than those of craniometry. These 
minor shortcomings are, however, amply made up for by its 
incomparably wider range. The number of subjepts available 
is practically unlimited ; measurements can be undertaken on 
a scale large enough to eliminate, not merely the personal 
equation of the measurer, but also the occasional variations of 
type arising from intermixture of blood ; and the investigation 
is not restricted to the characters of the head, but extends 
to the stature and the proportions of the limbs. A further 
advantage arises from the fact that no doubts can be cast upon 
the identity of the individuals measured. In working with 
skulls, whether prehistoric or modern, this last point has to be 
reckoned with. The same place of sepulture may have been 
used in succession by two different races, and the skulls of 
conquering chiefs may be mixed with those of alien slaves 
or of prisoners slain to escort their captors to the world of 
the dead. The savage practice of head-hunting may equally 
bring about a deplorable confusion of cranial types ; famine 
skulls may belong to people who have wandered from no one 
knows where; and even hospital specimens may lose their 
identity in the process of cleaning. In the second of his 
elaborate monographs on the craniology of the people of India 
Sir William Turner observes * that among the Oriya skulls 
belonging to the Indian Museum, which were lent to him for 
examination, some crania partake "of Dravidian, others of 
Aryan characters," while in others again there is " a trace of 



* Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Vol. XL. Pars I. (No. 6). 



20 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

Mongolian or other brachy-cephalic intermixture." He sur- 
mises, therefore, that " no proper history of the dead had been 
obtained, and that in consequence the skulls had not been 
accurately identified." As a matter of fact most of these skulls 
were acquired during the Orissa famine of 1866, and the only 
description they bear is " Oriya " or " Orissa," the word 
" Hindu " being occasionally added. To any one who is 
acquainted with the conditions which prevailed in Orissa at 
that time it is obvious that a given skull may have belonged 
to a broad-nosed Dravidian from the hill tracts, to a high caste 
Hindu of the coast strip, or to a Mongoloid pilgrim from Nepal 
who died of starvation or cholera while seeking salvation at 
Jagannath. The characters of the skulls themselves render it 
probable that all of these indefinite groups are represented in 
the collection. 

Scientific anthropometry was introduced into India on a 
large scale twenty years ago in connexion 

^ in ineu^ ^ w'*^h the ethnographic survey of Bengal 
then in progress. The survey itself was a 
first attempt to apply to Indian ethnography the methods of 
systematic research sanctioned by the authority of European 
anthropologists. Among these the measurement of physical 
characters occupies a prominent place, and it seemed that the 
restrictions on intermarriage, which are peculiar to the Indian 
social system, would favour this method of observation, and 
would enable it to yield peculiarly clear and instructive results. 
A further reason for resorting to anthropometry was the fact 
that the wholesale borrowing of customs and ceremonies which 
goes on among the various social groups in India makes it 
practically impossible to arrive at any certain conclusions by 
examining these practices. Finally, the necessity of employing 
more precise methods was accentuated by Mr. Nesfield's * 
uncompromising denial of the truth of " the modern doctrine 
which divides the population of India into Aryan and abori- 
ginal," and his assertion of the essential unity of the Indian 
race, enforced as it was by the specific statements that "the 
great majority of Brahmans are not of lighter complexion or of 
finer and better bred features than any other caste," and that 
a stranger walking through the class rooms of the Sanskrit 
College at Benares "would never dream of supposing" that 
the high caste students of that exclusive institution "were 

♦ t^gsfield's Brie/ View of the Caste System of the North- West Provinces and Oudh. 



PHYSICAL TYPES ii 

distinct in race and blood from tiie scavengers who swept 
the roads." A theory which departed so widely from literary 
tradition, from the current beliefs of the people, and from the 
opinians of most independent observers called for the search- 
ing test which anthropometry promised to furnish, and the 
case was crucial enough to put the method itself on its trial. 
The experiment has been justified by its results. 

In 1890 I published in the Journal of the Anthropological 
Institute,* under the title "The Study of Ethnology in India," 
a summary of the measurements of eighty-nine characteristic 
tribes and castes of Bengal, the United Provinces of Agra and 
Oudh, and the Punjab. These measurements were taken in 
accordance with a scheme approved by the late Sir William 
Flower of the British Museum and Professor Topinard of 
Paris. Topinard's instruments were used, and his instructions 
were closely followed throughout. Analysis of the data 
rendered it possible to distinguish in the area covered by 
the experiment three main types, which were named pro- 
visionally Aryan, Dravidian, and Mongoloid, The charac- 
teristics of these Fypes will be discussed fully below. Here it 
is sufficient to remark that the classification was accepted at 
the time by Flower, Beddoe, and Haddon in England, by 
Topinard in France, and by Virchow, Schmidt, and Kollmann 
in Germany. It has recently been confirmed by the high 
authority of Sir William Turner, who has been led by the 
examination of a large number of skulls to the same con- 
clusions that were suggested to me by measurements taken on 
living subjects, and has been good enough to quote and adopt 
my descriptions of the leading types in his monographs f on 
the subject. Similar confirmation is furnished in the case of 
the Punjab by the craniometric researches of Lieutenant- 
Colonel Sir Havelock Charles.| Great additions have since 
been made to the number of measurements on living subjects 
by the exertions of Mr. Edgar Thurston, Superintendent of 
Ethnography for Southern India, under the comprehensive 
scheme of research sanctioned by Lord Curzon ; by Sir T. H. 
Holland, Director of the Geological Survey of India, who has 
contributed important data for the Coorgs and Yeruvas of 

* J. A. I., XX, 235. 

t " Contributions to the Craniology of the People of the Empire of India." Trans- 
actions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Vol. XXXIX., Part III. (No. 28) ; Vol. XL., 
Part I. (No. 6). 

% y ournal of Anatomy and Physiology, Vol. XXVII., p. 20. 



22 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

Southern India and the Kanets of Kulu and Lahoul ; * by my 
anthropometric assistants, Rai Sahib Kumud Behari Saraanta 
and Mr. B. A. Gupte, who' have carried out under my instruc- 
tions an extensive series of measurements in Baluchistan, 
Rajputana, Bombay, Orissa, and Burma ; and by Lieutenant- 
Colonel Waddell, c.b., c.i.e,, of the Indian Medical Service, who 
has published some valuable data for Assam, and parts of 
Bengal in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal.t 

It is clearly impossible, within the compass of this sketch, 
to enter upon a full analysis of all the measurements which 
have been collected. I have therefore selected three characters, 
the proportions of the head, the proportions of the nose, and 
the stature, and have included them in the tables appended to 
this volume. For two groups I have also taken the orbito- 
nasal index, which affords a very precise test of the comparative 
flatness of face, determined mainly by the prominence or 
depression of the root of the nose in relation to the bones of 
the orbit and cheek, which is a distinctive characteristic of the 
Mongolian races. The measurements are arranged under the 
seven types, into which I now propose to divide the popula- 
tion ; in every case the average and the maximum and minimum 
indices or dimensions are shown ; and for each type diagrams 
are given, showing the sedation of the data for the tribes or 
castes selected as characteristic of the type. It need hardly be 
added that the conclusions which I have ventured to put 
forward are necessarily provisional, and will be of use mainly 
as a guide to research, and as an indication of the progress 
made up to date in this line of enquiry. During the next few 
years the data will be greatly added to by the ethnographic 
survey, and we may then hope to be in a position to make 
some approach to a final classification of the people of India on 
the basis of their physical characters. 

Meanwhile, it may be of service to point out that no natural 
classification of the varieties of the human species has as yet 

General elassiflca- ^^^^ arrived at. Certain extreme types can, 
tion of mankind: the of course, be readily distinguished. No one 
three primary types. ^^^ f^j^ ^^ recognize the enormous struc- 
tural differences between an Andamanese and a Chinaman, 
an Englishman, and a Negro, or a Patagonian and a Hottentot. 



t* yournal Asiatic Society, Bengal, Vol. LXV., Part III., 1901, p. 59 et seq. Journal 
Anthropological htstitute. Vol. XXXII., 1902, p. 96 et seq.'\ 
t J. A. S. B., Vol. LXIX., Part III., 1900. 



PHYSICAL TYPES 23 

But owing to the tendency of individuals to vary, and to the 
intermixture of races, which has gone on more or less at all 
times, and is continually increasing with modern improvements 
in communications, the apparently impassable gulf between the 
extreme types is bridged over by a number of intermediate or 
transitional forms, which shade into each other by almost 
imperceptible degrees. It is therefore practically impossible 
to divide mankind into a number of definite groups in one or 
other of which every individual will find a place. Even as 
regards the primary groups there has been great diversity of 
opinion, and the number suggested by different writers ranges 
from two to more than sixty. In the main, however, as Flower 
has pointed out, there has always been a tendency to revert to 
the four primitive types sketched out by Linnaeus — the Euro- 
pean, Asiatic, African, and American, reduced by Cuvier to 
three by the omission of the American type. Flower himself 
is of opinion " that the primitive man, whatever he may have 
been, has, in the course of ages, divaricated into three extreme 
types, represented by the Caucasian of Europe, the Mongolian 
of Asia, and the Ethiopian of Africa," and " that all existing 
individuals of the species can be ranged around these types, or 
somewhere or other between them." He therefore adopts as 
the basis of his classification the following three types : — 

I. The Ethiopian, Negroid, or black type with dark or 

nearly black complexion ; frizzly black hair, a head 

almost invariably long (dolicho-cephalic) ; a very 

broad and flat nose ; moderate or scanty development 

of beard ; thick, everted lips ; large teeth ;■ and a 

long forearm. 

The Negroid type is again sub-divided into four groups, 

with only one of which we are concerned here. This is the 

Negrito, represented within the Indian Empire by the Anda- 

manese enumerated for the first time in the Census of 1901 and 

possibly by the Semangs of the jungles of Malacca, some of 

whom may have wandered up into the Mergui district of 

Burma.* In respect of colour and hair, the Andamanese 

closely resemble the Negro, but they have broad heads, their 

facial characters are different, and they form a very distinct 

group which has not been affected by intermixture with other 

races. 

II. The Mongolian, Xanthous, or yellow type, with yellow 

[* For the physical characteristics of the Semang, see W. W. Skeat, C. O. Blagden, 
The Pagan Races of the Malay Peninsula, 1906, Vol. I., p. 19 it set/.] 



24 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

or brownish complexion. These races have coarse 
straight hair without any tendency to curl ; they are 
usually beardless or nearly so ; they are mostly 
broad-headed ; the face is broad and flat with pro- 
jecting cheek-bones ; the nose small, and conspicuously 
depressed at the root ; the eyes sunken and the eye- 
lids peculiarly formed so as to give the eye itself the 
appearance of slanting downwards; the teeth of 
moderate size. 
The Northern or Mongolo-Altaic group of Mongolians 
includes the nomadic races of Central Asia whose influence 
on the population of India will be discussed later on. The 
Tibetans and Burmese are members of the Southern Mongo- 
lian group. 

III. The Caucasian, or white type, has usually a fair skin; 
hair fair or dark,- soft, straight or wavy; beard fully 
developed ; the head-form is long or medium ; the 
face narrow; the nose narrow and prominent; the 
teeth small and the forearm short. 
Following Huxley, Flower divides the Caucasians into two 
groups : — 

(a) The Xanthochroi or blonde type, with fair hair, light 

eyes and fair complexion. They " chiefly inhabit 
Northern Europe, but, much mixed with the next 
type, they extend as far as Northern Africa and 
Afghanistan." 

(b) Melanochroi, " with black hair and eyes, and skin of 

almost all shades from white to black." Flower 
includes in this group not only the great majority of 
the inhabitants of Southern Europe, Northern Africa, 
and South- West Asia, consisting mainly of the Aryan, 
Semitic, and Hamitic families, but also the Dravidians 
of India, and the Veddahs of Ceylon. 
Here we are confronted at once with the drawbacks which 
attend all attempts at systematic arrangement. It is difficult 
not to distrust a classification which brings together in the 
same category people of such widely diff'erent appearance, 
history, and traditions as the modern Greeks and Italians, and 
the black, broad-nosed Dravidians of Central and Southern 
India. Peschel's arrangement seems to be in closer accord- 
ance with the facts established by recent observations. He 
divides the Caucasian type into (a) Indo-Germans, (b) Semites, 
(c) Hamites or Berbers, and includes the " Hindus " (non- 



PHYSICAL TYPES 25 

Dravidian Indians) in the first of these groups. The Dravidians 
are classed with Sinhalese and Veddahs as people of uncertain 
origin. Huxley treats them as Australoid. 

In respect of classification the general position in India 
is closely parallel to that described above. It ^^^^.^ application 
is easy enough to distinguish certain well- to India, 

marked types. Our difficulties begin when 
we attempt to carry the process of classification further and to 
differentiate the minor types or subtypes which have been 
formed by varying degrees of intermixture between the main 
types. The extremes of the series are sharply defined, but the 
intermediate types melt into each other, and it is hard to say 
where the dividing line should be drawn. Here measurements 
are of great assistance, especially if they are arranged in a 
series so as to bring out the relative preponderance of certain 
characters in a large number of the members of particular 
groups. This is well illustrated by the diagrams in Appen- 
dix III., and will be more fully dwelt upon below. We are 
further assisted by the remarkable correspondence that may be 
observed at the present day in all parts of India, except the 
Punjab, between variations of physical type and differences of 
grouping and social position. This, of course, is due to the 
operation of the caste system, which in its most highly 
developed form, the only form which admits conditions 

of precise definition, is, I believe, entirely favourable to 
confined to India. Nowhere else in the ^^ ropome ry. 
world do we find the population of a large continent broken up 
into an infinite number of mutually exclusive aggregates, the 
members of which are forbidden by an inexorable social law to 
marry outside of the group to which they themselves belong. 
Whatever may have been the origin and the earlier develop- 
ments of caste, this absolute prohibition of mixed marriages 
stands forth now as its essential and most prominent character- 
istic, and the feeling against such unions is so deeply engrained 
in the people that even the theistic and reforming sect of the 
Brahmo Samaj has found a difficulty in freeing itself from 
the ancient prejudices, while the Lingayats of Western and 
Southern India have transformed themselves from a sect into 
a caste within recent times. In a society thus organized, a 
society putting an extravagant value on pride of blood and the 
idea of ceremonial purity, differences of physical type, however 
produced in the first instance, may be expected to manifest 
a high degree of persistence, while methods which seek to 



26 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

trace and express such differences find a peculiarly favourable 
field for their operations. In this respect India presents a 
remarkable contrast to most other parts of the world, where 
anthropometry has to confess itself hindered, if not baffled, 
by the constant intermixture of types obscuring and confusing 
the data ascertained by measurements. Thus in Europe, as 
Topinard observes, there is nothing to prevent the union " of 
the blonde Kymri with the dark-haired dweller on the Medi- 
terranean, of the broad-headed Celt with the long-headed 
Scandinavian, of the tiny Laplander with the tall Swede." In 
fact, all the recognized nations of Europe are the result of a 
process of unrestricted crossing which has fused a number of 
distinct tribal types into a more or less definable national type. 
In India the process of fusion has long ago been arrested, and 
the degree of progress which it had made up to the point 
at which it ceased to operate is expressed in the physical 
characteristics of the groups which have been formed. There 
is consequently no national type and no nation or even nation- 
ality in the ordinary sense of these words. 

The measurements themselves require a few words of 

„^, ^ , explanation, which will be given in as 
Shape of the head. , , ^, ^ r ^u u 

popular language as the nature oi the sub- 
ject permits. The form of the head is ascertained by measuring 
in a horizontal plane the greatest length from a definite point 
on the forehead (the glabella) to the back of the head, and the 
greatest breadth a little above the ears. The proportion of the 
breadth to the length is then expressed as a percentage, called 
the cephalic index, the length being taken as loo. Heads with 
a breadth of 80 per cent, and over are classed as broad or 
brachy-cephalic ; those with an index under 80, but not under 
75, are called medium heads (meso- or mesati-cephalic) ; long 
or dolicho-cephalic heads are those in which the ratio of breadth 
to length is below 75 per cent. 

It is not contended that these groupings correspond to the 

primary divisions of mankind. Long, broad 
° ^ ofraoe.* ^^ ^^^ medium heads are met with in varying 

degrees of preponderance among the white, 
black, and yellow races. But within these primary divisions 
the proportions of the head serve to mark off important groups. 
Topinard shows how the form expressed by the index separates 
the long-headed Scandinavian people from the broad-headed 
Celts and Slavs; while the Esquimaux are distinguished on 
similar grounds from the Asiatic Mongols, and the Australians 



PHYSICAL TYPES 27 

from the Negritos. All authorities agree in regarding the 
form of the head as an extremely constant and persistent 
character, which resists the influence of climate and physical 
surroundings, and (having nothing to do with the personal 
appearance of the individual) is not liable to be modified by 
the action of artificial selection. Men choose their wives 
mainly for their faces and figures, and a long-headed woman 
offers no greater attractions of external form and colouring 
than her short-headed sister. The intermixture of races with 
different head-forms will, of course, affect the index, but even 
here there is a tendency to revert to the original type when 
the influence of crossing is withdrawn. On the whole, there- 
fore, the form of the head, especially when combined with 
other characters, is a good test of racial affinity. It may be 
added that neither the shape nor the size of the head seems to 
bear any direct relation to intellectual capacity. People with 
long heads cannot be said to be cleverer or more advanced 
in culture than people with short heads. 

In relation to the rest of Asia, India may be described 
as an area of mainly long-headed people 
separated by the Himalaya and its off- ^^^^nfndil^"*'^ 
shoots from the Mongolian country, where 
the broad-headed types are more numerous and more pro- 
nounced than anywhere else in the world. At either end of 
the mountain barrier, broad heads are strongly represented in 
Assam and Burma on the east, and in Baluchistan on the west, 
and the same character occurs in varying degrees in the Lower 
Himalayas and in a belt of country on the west of India 
extending from Gujarat through the Deccan to Coorg, the 
limits of which cannot at present be defined precisely. In the 
Punjab, Rajputana, and the United Provinces, long heads 
predominate, but the type gradually changes as we travel 
eastwards. In Bihar medium heads prevail on the whole, 
while in certain of the Bengal groups a distinct tendency 
towards brachy-cephaly may be observed, which shows itself 
in the Muhammadans and Chandals of Eastern Bengal, is more 
distinctly marked in the Kayasths, and reaches its maximum 
development among the Bengal Brahmans. In Peninsular 
India south of the Vindhya ranges, the prevalent type seems to 
be mainly long-headed or medium-headed, short heads appear- 
ing only in the western zone of country referred to above. 
But the population of the coast has been much affected by 
foreign influence, Malayan or Indo-Chinese on the east, Arab, 



28 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

Persian, African, European and Jewish on the west, and the 

mixed types thus produced cannot be brought under any 

general formula. 

The proportions of the nose are determined on the same 

principle as those of the skull.. The length 

the nasal fndex^ ^"^ breadth are measured from certain 

specified points, and the latter dimension is 

expressed as a percentage of the former.- The nasal index, 

therefore, is simply the relation of the breadth of the nose to 

its length. If a man's nose is as broad as it is long — no 

infrequent case among the Dravidians — his index is loo. The 

results thus obtained are grouped in three classes — narrow or 

fine noses (leptorrhine) in which the width is less than 70 per 

cent, of the length; broad noses (platyrrhine) in which the 

proportion rises to 85 per cent, and over, and medium noses 

(mesorrhine) with an index of from 70 to 85. The index, as 

Topinard points out, expresses with great accuracy the extent 

to which the nostrils have been expanded and flattened out or 

contracted and refined, the height in the two cases varying 

inversely. It thus represents very distinctly the personal 

impressions which a particular type conveys to the observer. 

The broad nose of the Negro or of the typical Dravidian is his 

most striking feature, and the index records its proportions 

with unimpeachable accuracy. Where races with different 

nasal proportions have intermixed, the index marks the degree 

of crossing that has taken place; it records a large range of 

variations ; and it enables us to group types in a serial order 

corresponding to that suggested by other characters. For 

these reasons the nasal index is accepted by all anthropologists 

as one of the best tests of racial affinity. 

Speaking generally, it may be said that the broad type of nose 

„ ^ is most common in Madras, the Central Pro- 

Correspondence , ^, . -, 1 , c 

with social vmces and Chutia Nagpur ; that nne noses in 

groupings. ^^le Strict sense of the term are confined to the 

Punjab and Baluchistan, and that the population of the rest of 

India tends to fall within the medium class. But the range of the 

index is very great. It varies in individual cases from 122 to 53, 

and the mean indices of diff"erent groups differ considerably in 

the same part of the country. The average nasal proportions 

of the Mai Paharia tribe of Bengal are expressed by the figure 

94-5, while the pastoral Gujars of the Punjab have an index of 

66-9, the Sikhs of 68-8 and the Bengal Brahmans and Kayasths 

of 70-4- In other words, the typical Dravidian, as represented 



PHYSICAL TYPES 29 

by the Mai Paharia, has a nose as broad in proportion to its 
length as the Negro, while this feature in the Indo-Aryan 
group can fairly bear comparison with the noses of sixty-eight 
Parisians, measured by Topinard, which gave an average of 
69"4. Even more striking is the curiously close correspondence 
between the gradations of racial type indicated by the nasal 
index and certain of the social data ascertained by independent 
enquiry. If we take a series of castes in Bengal, Bihar, the 
United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, or Madras, and arrange 
them in the order of the average nasal index, so that the caste 
with the finest nose shall be at the top, and that with the 
coarsest at the bottom of the list, it will be found that this 
order substantially corresponds with the accepted order of 
social precedence. Thus in Bihar or the United Provinces the 
casteless tribes, Kols, Korwas, Mundas and the like, who have 
not yet entered the Brahmanical system, occupy the lowest 
place in both series. Then come the vermin-eating Musahars 
and the leather-dressing Chamars. The fisher castes, Baud, 
Bind, and Kewat, are a trifle higher in the scale ; the pastoral 
Goala, the cultivating Kurmi, and a group of cognate castes 
from whose hands a Brahman may take water, follow in due' 
order, and from them we pass to the trading Khatris, the 
landholding Babhans and the upper crust of Hindu society. 
Thus, for those parts of India where there is an appreciable 
strain of Dravidian blood it is scarcely a paradox to lay down, 
as a law of the caste organization, that the social status of the 
members of a particular group varies in inverse ratio to the 
mean relative width of their noses. Nor is this the only point 
in which the two sets of observations — the social and the 
physical — bear out and illustrate each other. The character 
of the curious matrimonial groupings for which the late 
Mr. J. F. McLennan devised the useful term exogamous, also 
varies in a definite relation to the gradations of physical type. 
Within a certain range of nasal proportions, these sub-divisions 
are based almost exclusively on the totem. Along with a 
somewhat finer form of nose, groups called after villages and 
larger territorial areas, or bearing the name of certain tribal 
or communal officials, begin to appear, and above these again 
we reach the eponymous saints and heroes who in India, as 
in Greece and Rome, are associated with a certain stage of 
Aryan progress. 

The comparative flatness of the Mongolian face is a peculi- 
arity which cannot M\ to strike the mpst casual observer. On 



30 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

closer examination this characteristic will be seen to be inti- 
mately connected with the formation of the 
orMtonL°"L°dex. ^heek-bones, the margins of the bony sockets 
of the eyes, and the root of the nose. No 
precise measurements can be made of the cheek-bones on the 
living subject, for it is impossible to fix any definite points 
from which the dimensions can be taken. Some years ago, 
however, Mr. Oldfield Thomas devised a method of measuring 
the relative projection of the root of the nose above the level 
of the eye-sockets, which expresses very accurately the degree 
of flatness of face met with in different types. It was used 
by him for skulls, but it has the great advantage of being 
equally applicable to living persons, and at Sir William 
Flower's suggestion it has been extensively used in India, 
especially among hill tribes and wherever there was reason 
to suspect an intermixture of Mongolian blood. The principle 
on which it proceeds can be described without resorting to 
technical language. Any one who looks at a Gurkha in profile 
will readily observe that the root of the nose rises much less 
above the level of the eye-sockets than is the case with 
■ Europeans or natives of Upper India. The object is to deter- 
mine the comparative elevation of the lowest point on the root 
of the nose above the plane of the eye-sockets. This is done 
by marking a point on the front surface of the outer edge of 
each orbit and a third point on the centre of the root of the 
nose where it is lowest. The distance between the two orbital 
dots is then measured in a direct line and also the distance from 
each of these to the dot on the bridge of the nose. The former 
dimension represents the base of a triangle, and the latter its 
two sides. The index is formed by calculating, the percentage 
of the latter dimension on the former. If, as is sometimes the 
case, the bridge of the nose is let down so low that it does not 
project at all beyond the level of the orbits, the two dimensions 
will obviously be of equal length and the index will be loo. 
If, on the other hand, the elevation of the bridge of the nose 
is marked, the index may be as high as 127 or 130. In the 
paper already referred to, which dealt only with skulls, Mr. 
Thomas proposed the division of the index into three 
classes : — 

Platyopic ... ..■ ... ... ... ... below I07'5. 

Mesopic ... ... ... ... ... ... io7'5 to iio'o. 

Pio-opic ... ... ... ... ... ... above iio'o 

The experience gained in India, which extends to a large 



PHYSICAL TYPES 31 

number of castes and tribes in all parts of the country, has led 
me to adopt the following grouping for the living subject : — • 

Platyopic ... ... ... ... ... ... below no. 

Mesopic ... ... ... ... ... ... iiotoii2"9. 

Pro-opic ... ... ... ... ... ... 113 and over. 

This brings the Mongoloid people of Assam and the 
Eastern Himalayas within the platyopic group, and effectually 
differentiates them from the broad-headed races of Baluchistan, 
Bombay and Coorg. It also separates the Indo-Aryans from 
the Aryo-Dravidians. 

Topinard's classification of stature, which is generally 

accepted, comprises four groups : — stature in Europe 

and India. 

Tall statures, 170 cm. (5' 7") and over 

Above the average, 165 cm. (5' 5") and under 170 cm. (5' 7") 

Below the average, 160 cm. (5' 3") and under 165 c m. (5' 5") 

Small statures, under 160 cm. (5' 3") 

Much has been written on the subject of the causes which 
affect the stature. The general conclusion seems to be that in 
Europe the question is a very complicated one, and that the 
influence of race is to a great extent obscured by other factors, 
such as climate, soil, elevation, food supply, habits of life, 
occupation, and natural or artificial selection. Most of these 
causes also come into play in India, but not necessarily to the 
same extent as in Europe. The influence of city life, which in 
civilized countries as a rule tends to reduce the stature and to 
produce physical degeneracy, is comparatively small in India, 
where from fifty to eighty-four per cent, of the population are 
engaged in agriculture and live an outdoor life. Nor are the 
conditions of factory industries in India so trying or so likely 
to affect growth as in Europe. The operatives do not attend 
so regularly nor do they work so hard, and many of them 
live in the country for a great part of the year, coming 
into the mills only when there is nothing to be done in the 
fields. Some of the indigenous hand-loom weavers, how- 
ever, show the lowest mean stature yet recorded — a fact 
which is probably due to the unwholesome surround- 
ings in which they live. In India, as in Europe, the 
dwellers in the hills are generally shorter than the people of 
the plains, and within the hill region it may in either case 
be observed, that the stature is often greater at high than at 
moderate altitudes— a fact which has been ascribed to the 



32 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

influence of a rigorous climate in killing off all but vigorous 
individuals. In India the prevalence of malaria in the lower 
levels and the less healthy conditions of life would probably 
tend to bring about the same result. On the whole, however, 
the distribution of stature in India seems to suggest that race 
differences play a larger part here than they do in Europe. 
The tallest statures are massed in Baluchistan, the Punjab, and 
Rajputana; and a progressive decline may be traced down the 
valley of the Ganges until the lowest limits are reached among 
the Mongoloid people of the hills bordering on Assam. In the 
south of India the stature is generally lower than in the plains 
of the north. The minimum is found among the Negritos of 
the Andaman Islands, whose mean stature is given by Deniker 
as 1485 mm. or 4 feet loj inches. 

These physical data enable us to divide the people of the 
Indian Empire into seven main physical 
"^^^ '7^6?''"'°"'^ types, the distribution of which is shown 
in the coloured map at the end of this 
volume.' If we include the Andamanese, the number of types 
is eight, but for our present purpose this tiny group of Negritos 
may be disregarded. Curious and interesting as they are from 
the point of view of general anthropology, the Andamanese 
have had no share in the making of the Indian people. They 
survive — a primitive outlier— on the extreme confines of the 
Empire to which they belong merely by virtue of the accident 
that their habitat has been selected as a convenient location for 
a penal settlement. I have, however, thought it worth while 
to take this opportunity of publishing the measurements of 
200 Andamanese, 100 males and 100 females, which were taken 
some years ago by Major Molesworth, i.m.s., then Surgeon at 
Port Blair, in the hope that they may be of service to any one 
who has the leisure to undertake a monograph on the subject. 
The conclusions suggested by Major Molesworth's measure- 
ments of living subjects seem to coincide with those arrived 
at by the late Sir William Flower from an examination of a 
series of forty-eight skulls, and confirmed by Sir William 
Turner in the monograph referred to above. These observers 
agree in describing the Andamanese as short-headed, and 
broad-nosed, with a low cranial capacity. Their heads differ 
in essential particulars from those of the Dravidians, and Sir 
William Turner considers that no direct evidence of either a 
past or a present Negrito population in India has yet been 
obtained. 



PHYSICAL TYPES 33 

Counting from the western frontier of India, we may deter- 
mine the following distinctive types : — 

I. The Turko-Iranian type, represented by the Baloch, 
Brahui, and Afghans of the Baluchistan Agency and the North- 
West Frontier Province; probably formed by a fusion of 
Turki and Persian elements in which the former predominate. 
Stature above mean; complexion fair; eyes mostly dark, but 
occasionally grey ; hair on face plentiful ; head broad ; nose 
moderately narrow, prominent, and very long. 

II.' The Indo-Aryan type, occupying the Punjab, Rajputana, 
and Kashmir, and having as its characteristic members the Raj- 
puts, Khatris, and Jats. This type approaches most closely to that 
ascribed to the traditional Aryan colonists of India. The stature 
is mostly tall ; complexion fair ; eyes dark ; hair on face plentiful ; 
head long ; hose narrow and prominent, but not specially long. 

III. The Scytho-Dravidian type of Western India, com- 
prising the Maratha Brahmans, the Kunbis, and the Coorgs ; 
probably formed by a mixture of Scythian and Dravidian 
elements, the former predominating in the higher groups, the 
latter in the lower. The head is broad ; complexion fair ; hair 
on face rather scanty ; stature medium ; nose moderately fine 
and not conspicuously long. 

IV. The Aryo-Dravidian type found in the United Provinces 
of Agra and Oudh, in parts of Rajputana, in Bihar and Ceylon, 
and represented in its upper strata by the Hindustani Brahman 
and in. its lower by the Chamar. Probably the result of the 
intermixture, in varying proportions, of the Indo-Aryan and 
Dravidian types, the former element predominating in the 
lower groups and the latter in the higher. The head-form is 
long with a tendency to medium ; the complexion varies from 
lightish brown to black; the nose ranges from medium to 
broad, being always broader than among the Indo-Aryans ; 
the stature is lower than in the latter group, and is usually 
below the average by the scale given above. 

V. The Mongolo- Dravidian type of Lower Bengal and 
Orissa, comprising the Bengal Brahmans and Kayasths the 
Muhammadans of Eastern Bengal, and other groups peculiar 
to this part of India. Probably a blend of Dravidian and 
Mongoloid elements with a strain of Indo-Aryan blood in the 
higher groups. The head is broad ; complexion dark ; hair 
on face usually plentiful ; stature medium ; nose medium with 
a tendency to broad. 

VI. The Mongoloid type of the Himalayas, Nepal, Assam, 
R, PI 3 



34 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

and Burma, represented by the Kanets of Lahoul and Kulu, 
the Lepchas of Darjeeling, the Limbus, Murmis and Gurungs 
of Nepal, the Bodo of Assam, and the Burmese. The head is 
broad ; complexion dark with a yellowish tinge ; hair on face 
scanty; stature small or below average; nose fine to broad; 
face characteristically flat ; eyelids often oblique. 

VII. The Dravidian type extending from Ceylon to the 
valley of the Ganges and pervading the whole of Madras, 
Hyderabad, the Central Provinces, most of Central India, and 
Chutia Nagpur. Its most characteristic representatives are the 
Paniyans of the South Indian hills and the Santals of Chutia 
Nagpur. Probably the original type of the population of India, 
now modified to a varying extent by the admixture of Aryan, 
Scythian, and Mongoloid elements. In typical specimens the 
stature is short or below mean ; the complexion very dark, 
approaching black ; hair plentiful with an occasional tendency to 
curl; eyes dark; head long; nose very broad, sometimes depressed 
at the root, but not so as to make the face appear flat. 

Before proceeding to describe the types in further detail, 
a few words of preliminary explanation are essential. In the 
first place, it must be clearly understood that the areas occupied 
by the various types do not admit of being defined as sharply 
as they are shown on the map. They melt into each other 
insensibly, and although at the close of a day's journey from 
one ethnic tract to another, an observer whose attention had 
been directed to the subject would realise clearly enough that 
the physical characteristics of the people had undergone an 
appreciable change, he would certainly be unable ,to say at 
what particular stage in his progress the transformation had 
taken place. Allowance, therefore, must be made for the 
necessary conditions of map-making, and it must not be sup- 
posed that a given type comes to an end as abruptly as the 
patch of colour which indicates the area of its maximum 
prevalence. Secondly, let no one imagine that any type is 
alleged to be in exclusive possession of the locality to which 
it is assigned. When, for example, Madras is described as a 
Dravidian and Bengal as a Mongolo-Dravidian tract, that does 
not mean that all the people of Madras and Bengal must of 
necessity belong to the predominant type. From time im- 
memorial in India a stream of movement has 
the scheme. '^^^'^ setting from west to east and from north 

to south — a tendency impelling the higher 
types towards the territories occupied by the lower. In the 



PHYSICAL TYPES 35 

course of this movement representatives of the Indo-Aryan 
type have spread themselves all over India as conquerors, 
traders, landowners, or priests, preserving the original charac- 
teristics in varying degrees, and receiving a measure of social 
recognition dependent in the main on the supposed purity of 
their descent from the original immigrants.* Family and caste 
traditions record countless instances of such incursions, and 
in many cases the tradition is confirmed by the concurrent 
testimony of historical documents and physical characteristics. 
Even in the provinces farthest removed from the Indo-Aryan 
settlements in North-Western India, members of the upper 
castes are still readily distinguishable by their features and 
complexion from the mass of the population, and their claims 
to represent a different race are thrown into relief by the 
definition now for the first time attempted of the types which 
predominate in different parts of India. Until the existence of a 
lower type has been established, no special distinction is involved 
in belonging to a higher one. Thirdly, it may be said that the 
names assigned to the types beg the highly speculative question 
of the elements which have contributed to their formation. 
The criticism is unanswerable. One can but admit its truth, 
and plead by way of justification that we must have some 
distinctive names for our types, that names based solely on 
physical characters are no better than bundles of formulae, and 
that if hypotheses of origin are worth constructing at all, one 
should not shrink from expressing them in their most telling 
form. 

The Turko-Iranian type is in practically exclusive possession 

of Baluchistan and the North- West Frontier ^ , ^ 

_ . Til- • ■ TurKO-lraman 

Province. Its leadmg characteristics are type. 

- the following : — 

(i) The head is broad, the mean indices rdtnging from 80 in 

the Baloch of the Western Punjab to 85 in the Hazara of 

Afghanistan. I put aside as doubtful cases the Hunzas, 

Nagars, and Kafirs and the Pathans of the North- Western 

Punjab. For the first three the data are scanty, and it is 

possible that further enquiry might lead to their inclusion in 

the Indo-Aryan type. In the case of the last the individual 

indices vary from 69 to 87, and although broad heads 



* An effective parallel might be drawn between the predatory invasions of the Rajputs 
and the settlements effected by the Normans in Sicily, Southern Italy and Greece. Both 
sets of movements arose from similar impulses, both have left unmistakable traces behind, 
and both ended in the comparative absorption of the conquering race. 



36 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

preponderate on the whole, there is a sufficient proportion 
of long heads to warrant the suspicion of some mixture of 
blood. 

(ii) The proportions of the nose (nasal index) are fine or 
medium, the average indices running from 67 "8 in the Tarin to 
8o'5 in the Hazara. Some of the individual indices are high 
and one Hazara attains the remarkable figure of iii. These 
abnormalities may probably be accounted for by the importa- 
tion of Abyssinian slaves. The proportions of the nose, how- 
ever, are less distinctive of the type than its great absolute 
length, which varies in individual cases from 56 mm. amang 
the Hazaras to 65 among the.Brahui. The one feature indeed 
that strikes one in these people is the portentous length of 
their noses, and it is probably this peculiarity that has given 
rise to the tradition of the Jewish origin of the Afghans. Some 
of the Scythian coins exhibit it in a marked degree. As 
M. Ujfalvy* has pointed out, the lineaments of Kadphises II 
survive in the Dards of to-day, and the remark holds good of 
most of the people whom I have ventured to include in the 
Turko-Iranian type. 

(iii) The mean orbito-nasal index, which measures the 
relative flatness of the face, ranges with the Turko-Iranians 
from III in the Hazara to 118 in the Baloch, Brahui, and 
Dehwar. The highest individual index (131) occurs among the 
Pathans of the North-Western Punjab and the lowest (118) 
among the Kafirs. The type as a whole is conspicuously pro- 
opic, and there are no signs of that depression of the root of 
the nose and corresponding flatness of the cheek bones to 
which the appearance popularly described as Chinese or 
Mongolian is due. In respect of this character the Hazaras 
seem to be an exception. In them the individual indices form ' 
a continuous curve of striking regularity from 103 to 120, and 
it is a question whether the tribe ought not to be included 
in the Mongoloid type. I prefer, however, to show them as 
Turko-Iranian, for it seems possible that they partake of the 
elements of both types and represent the points of contact 
between the two. 

(iv) The average stature varies from 162 in the Baloch of 
Makran to 172 to the Achakzai Pathan of Northern Baluchistan. 
The figure for the Hazara is 168, which makes for their 
inclusion in the Turko-Iranian rather than in the Mongoloid 
group; but the subjects measured belonged to one of the 

* L'Anthropologie, IX., 407. Mlmoire sur les Huns blancs. 



PHYSICAL TYPES 37 

regiments at Quetta and were probably rather above the 
average stature of the tribe. 

The Indo-Atyan type predominates in Rajputana, the Pun- 
jab, and the Kashmir valley, though in parts i^do-Aryan type, 
of these areas it is associated to a varying 
extent with .other elements. It is readily distinguishable from 
the Turko-Iranian. Its most marked characteristics may be 
summarised as follows : — 

(i) The head-form is invariably long, the average index 
ranging from 72-4 in the Rajput to 74-4 in the Awan. The 
highest individual index (86) is found among the Khatris and 
the lowest (64) among the Rajputs. The seriations bring out 
very clearly the enormous preponderance of the long-headed 
type and present the sharpest contrast with those given for 
the Turko-Iranians. 

(ii) In respect of the proportions of the nose there is very 
little difference between the two types. The Indo-Aryan 
index ranges from 66-9 in the Gujar to 75 '2 in the Chuhra, 
and there are fewer high individual indices ; but between the 
seriations there is not much to choose. On the other hand 
the Indo-Aryans, notwithstanding their greater stature, have 
noticeably shorter noses than the Turko-Iranians. 

(iii) Concerning the orbito-nasal index there is little to be 
said. All the members of the Indo-Aryan type are placed by 
their average indices within the pro-opic group ; their faces are 
free from any suggestion of flatness, and the figures expressing 
this character run in a very regular series. The highest index 
(ii7'9) occurs among the Rajputs and the lowest (ii3'i) 
amongst the Khatris. 

(iv) The Indo-Aryans have the highest stature recorded in 
India, ranging from i74"8 in the Rajput to 165 '8 in the Arora. 
Individual measurements of Rajputs rise to i92'4 and of Jats 
(Sikhs) to i90'S. Stature alone, therefore, were other indica- 
tions wanting, would serve to differentiate the Indo-Aryan 
from the Aryo-Dravidian type of the United Provinces and 
Bihar. 

The most important points to observe in the Indo-Aryan 
series of measurements are the great uniformity of type and 
the very slight differences between the higher and the lower 
groups. Socially, no gulf can be wider than that which divides 
the Rajputs of Udaipur and Milrwar from the scavenging Chuhra 
of the Punjab. Physically, the one is cast in much the same 
mould as the other; and the difference in mean height which 



38 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

the seriations disclose is no greater than might easily be 
accounted for by the fact that in respect of food, occupation, 
and habits of life, the Rajput has for many generations enjoyed 
advantages, telling directly on the development of stature, which 
circumstances have denied to the Chuhra. Stature we know 
to be peculiarly sensitive to external influences of this kind. 
Other and more subtle influences re-act upon environment and 
tend to modify the type. Sikhism has transformed the despised 
Chuhra into the soldierly Mazhabi. Who shall say that military 
service might not have the same eff'ect on groups belonging to 
the lower social strata of the Punjab, whose physical endow- 
ment is hardly inferior to that observed at the top of the scale ? 
The Scytho-Dravidian type occurs in a belt of country 

on the west of India extending from Gujarat 
Seytho-Dravidian ./^ ti- iji. i. 

type. to Coorg. It is represented at one extreme 

of this belt by the Nagar Brahmans of Gujarat 
and at the other by the remarkable people who have given 
their name to the little province of Coorg. Excluding the 
Katkaris, who really belong to the Dravidian type, the leading 
characteristics of the Scytho-Dravidians are the following : — 

(i) The head-form ranges from 76*9 in the Deshasth Brah- 
mans to 797 in the Nagar Brahmans and 79*9 in the Prabhus 
and the Coorgs, while the maximum individual indices rise as 
high as 92 with the Maratha Kunbis and the Shenvi Brahmans. 
In the case of the three type specimens — the Nagar Brahmans, 
the Prabhus, and the Coorgs— the mean index is virtually 80, and 
the predominance of the broad-headed type is unmistakable. 
The seriations show that the gradation of the type is fairly 
regular, and a comparison with the diagrams of the Indo- 
Aryans brings out marked diff'erences of head-form, where the 
features and complexion taken by themselves would appear to 
point to an identical origin. Both indices and maxima are 
noticeably lower than among the Turko-Iranians. 

(ii) In the proportions of the nose there is nothing much to 
remark. The mean indices vary from 72 "o in the Coorg to 819 
in the Mahar, the Nagar Brahman giving 73 'i and the Prabhu 
75 iS. The length of the nose, whether we look to the averages 
or the maxima, is distinctly less than among the Turko-Iranians, 
the type most closely allied to the Scytho-Dravidian. 

(iii) The mean orbito-nasal index varies from ii3'i in the 
Son-Koli to the very high figure of 120 in the Coorg. It 
deserves notice, however, that the minimum indices run very 
low, and that the range between the highest maximum (132) 



PHYSICAL TYPES 39 

and the lowest minimum (103) is considerable and points to 
some mixture of blood. 

(iv) The mean stature varies from 160 in the case of the 
Kunbis in 1687 in the Coorgs, and an examination of the figures 
will show that it is, on the whole, lower than among the Turko- 
Iranians. 

The type is clearly distinguished from the Turko-Iranian 
by a lower stature, a greater length of head, a higher nasal 
index, a shorter nose and a lower orbito-nasal index. All of 
these characters, except perhaps the last, may be due to a 
varying degree of intermixture with the Dravidians. In the 
higher types the amount of crossing seems to have been 
slight; in the lower the Dravidian elements are more pro- 
nounced, while in the Katkari the long head and wide nose are 
conspicuous. 

The Aryo-Dravidian or Hindustani type extends from the 
eastern frontier of the Punjab to the southern extremity of 
Bihar, from which point onwards it melts into the Mongolo- 
Dravidian type of Bengal Proper. It occupies the valleys of 
the Ganges and Jurhna, and runs up into the 
lower levels of the Himalayas on the north '^'^°type^^ 

and the slopes of the Central Indian plateau 
on the south. Its higher representatives approach the Indo- 
Aryan type, while the lower members of the group are 
in many respects not very far removed from the Dravidians. 
The type is essentially a mixed one, yet its characteristics are 
readily definable, and no one would take even an upper class 
Hindustani for a pure Indo-Aryan, or a Chamar for a genuine 
Dravidian. Turning now to details, we find the following 
results :— 

(i) The head-form is long, with a tendency towards medium. 
The average index varies from 72'i in the Kachhi and Koiri of 
Hindustan to 76-8 in the Dosadh of Bihar and 767 in the 
Babhan. The highest individual index (90) occurs among the 
Babhans of Bihar, and the lowest (62) among the Bhars of 
Hindustan. But the head-form throws little light upon the 
origin and affinities of the type, and would of itself barely 
serve to distinguish the Aryo-Dravidian from the Indo-Aryan. 
Nor, indeed, would one expect it to do so, for the pure Dra- 
vidians are themselves a long-headed race, and the Hindustani 
people might well have derived this character from the Dra- 
vidian element in their parentage. 

(ii) The distinctive feature of the type, the character which 



40 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

gives the real clue to its origin, and stamps the Aryo-Dravidian 
as racially different from the Indo-Aryan, is to be found in 
the proportions of the nose. The average index runs in an 
unbroken series from 73-0 in the Bhuinhar or Babhan of Hindu- 
stan and 73-2 in the Brahman of Bihar to 86 in the Hindustani 
Chamar and 887 in the Musahar of Bihar. The order thus 
established corresponds substantially with the scale of social 
precedence independently ascertained. At the top of the list 
are the Bhuinhars, who rank high among the territorial 
aristocracy of Hindustan and Bihar ; then come the Brahmans, 
followed at a slight but yet appreciable interval by the clerkly 
Kayasths with an index of 74*8 ; while down at the bottom the 
lower strata of Hindu society are represented by the Chamar, 
who tans hides and is credibly charged with poisoning cattle, 
and the foul-feeding Musahar who eats pigs, snakes, and 
jackals, and whose name is popularly derived from his penchant 
for field-rats. The seriations tell the same tale as the averages, 
and mark the essential distinction between the Aryo-Dravidian 
and Indo-Aryan types. The Hindustani Brahmans, with a 
slightly lower mean index than the Chuhras of the Punjab, 
have a far larger proportion of the broad noses, which point to 
an admixture of Dravidian blood. 

(iii) The statistics of height lead to a similar conclusion. 
The mean stature of the Aryo-Dravidians ranges from 166 
centimetres in the Brahmans and Bhuinhars to 159 in the 
Musahar, the corresponding figures in the Indo-Aryan 
being I74"8 and 165 'S. The one begins where the other 
leaves off. 

The Mongolo-Dravidian or Bengali type occupies the delta 

of the Ganges and its tributaries from the 

Mongolo-Dravidian ^^^^^^^ ^f gj^ar to the Bay of Bengal. It is 

one of the most distinctive types in India, 
and its members may be recognized at a glance throughout the 
wide area where their remarkable aptitude for clerical pursuits 
and their keen sense of family obligations have procured them 
employment. Within its own habitat the type extends to the 
Himalayas on the north and Assam on the east, and probably 
includes the bulk of the population of Orissa. The western 
limit coincides approximately with the hilly country of Chutia 
Nagpur and Western Bengal. 

(i) The broad head of the Bengali, of which the mean index 
varies from 79^0 in the Brahman to 83 "o in the Rajbail'si Magh, 
effectually differentiates the type from the Indo-Aryans or 



PHYSICAL TYPES 41 

Aryo-Dravidians. The seriation of the cephalic index for the 
Brahmans of East Bengal is very regular in its gradations, and 
presents a striking contrast with the corresponding diagrams 
for the Hindustani Brahmans and the Rajput. Here, as else- 
where, the inferences as to racial affinity suggested by the 
measurements are in entire accord with the evidence afforded 
by features and general appearance. For example, it is a 
matter of common knowledge that the Rajbansi Magh of 
Chittagong, who is in great demand as a cook in European 
households in India and usually prospers exceedingly, re- 
sembles the upper class Bengali of Eastern Bengal so closely 
that it takes an acute observer to tell the difference between 
the two. 

(ii) The mean proportions of the nose range from 70"3 in 
the Brahmans and-Kayasths to 847 in the Mais of Western 
Bengal and 80 in the Kochh. The number of high individual 
indices brings out the contrast with the Indd-Aryans, and 
points to the infusion of Dravidian blood. In the Brahman 
seriation the finer forms predominate, and it is open to any one 
to argue that, notwithstanding the uncompromising breadth of 
the head, the nose-form may, in their case, be due to the remote 
strain of Indo-Aryan ancestry to which their traditions bear 
witness. 

(iii) The stature varies from 167 in the Brahmans of Western 
Bengal to 159 in the Kochh of the Sub-Himalayan region. 

The seriations of the Kochh deserve special notice for the 
indications which they give of the two elements that have 
combined to form the Mongolo-Dravidian type. In writing 
about them fifteen years ago I ventured, on the evidence then 
available, to describe them as a people of Dravidian stock who, 
being driven by pressure from the west into the swamps and 
forests of Northern and North-Eastern Bengal, were there 
brought into contact wit^h the Mongoloid races of the Lower 
Himalayas and the Assam border, with the result that their 
type was affected in a varying degree by intermixture with 
these races. On the whole, however, I thought that Dravidian 
characteristics predominated among them over Mongolian. 
My conclusions, which coincided in the main with those of 
Colonel Dalton and other observers, have been questioned by 
Lieutenant-Colonel Waddell, c.b., c.i.e., in.a paper on the Tribes 
of the Brahmaputra Valley* Colonel Waddell, who has observed 

* J. A. S. B., Vol. LXIX., Part III., 190. [Major A. Playfair, The Garos, 1909, 
pp. 1^ et seg.l 



43 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

and measured the Kochh both in North-Eastern Bengal and in 
Assam, denies their Dravidian origin, and describes them as 
" distinctly Mongoloid though somewhat heterogeneous." For 
purposes of comparison I have included both his imeasurements 
and my own in the same diagram. As regards the head-form 
and the stature, the two sets of observations are practically 
identical. In the case of the nose. Colonel Waddell's data 
show a far higher proportion of broad noses than mine, and 
clearly point to a strong Dravidian element. On the other 
hand, the orbito-nasal index exhibits, though in a less degree, 
some distinctive Mongoloid characteristics. One can ask for 
no better illustration of the efficacy of the method of anthro- 
pometry in its application to a mixed or transitional type than 
the fact that, while two independent observers have formed 
different opinions as to the relative preponderance of its com- 
ponent elements, the data obtained by them from two distinct 
series of individuals correspond to the remarkable extent 
indicated by the Kochh diagram. There is, of course, no real 
conflict of opinion between Colonel Waddell and myself The 
whole question turns upon the point of view of the observer. 
Take the Kochh in Dinajpur and Rangpur, and they strike you 
as in the main Dravidian ; travel further east, and include in 
your survey the cognate Kachari of Assam, and there is no 
mistaking the fact that Mongoloid characteristics predominate. 
The same may be said of the Bengali type as a whole. In 
Western Bengal the Dravidian element is prominent ; in Dacca 
and Mymensingh the type has undergone a change, which 
scientific methods enable us to assign to the effect of inter- 
course with a Mongolian race. 

On its northern and eastern frontier India marches with the 

Mongoloid type. S'"^^^ Mongolian region of the earth. The 
effect of this contact with an almost exclu- 
sively broad-headed population is indicated in yellow on the 
map, and a glance will show Kow the area within which this 
particular foreign influence has impressed itself upon India 
widens gradually from west to east. The Punjab and Hindu- 
stan are left virtually untouched ; the Bengalis exhibit a type 
sensibly modified in the direction of Mongolian characters ; 
the Assamese are unmistakably Mongoloid, and in Burma the 
only non-Mongolian elements are the result of recent immigra- 
tion from India. This condition of things is of course mainly 
due to the intervention of the great physical barrier of the 
Himalayas, "the human equator of the earth," as an American 



PHYSICAL TYPES 43 

anthropologist* has called it, which throughout its length 
offers an impassable obstacle to the southward extension of 
the Mongolian races. But other causes also enter in. No one 
who is acquainted with the population of the Lower Himalayas 
can have failed to observe that in the west there has been a 
substantial intermixture of Indo-Aryan elements, while in the 
east the prevailing type down to the verge of the plains is 
exclusively Mongoloid. The reason seems to be that the war- 
like races of the Punjab and Hindustan invaded the pleasant 
places of the hills and conquered for themselves the little 
kingdoms which once extended from the Kashmir valley to 
the eastern border of Nepal. The Dogras or Hill Rajputs of 
Kangra, and the Khas of Nepal form the living record of these 
forgotten enterprises. Further east the conditions were re- 
versed, -neither Bengalis nor Assamese have any stomach for 
fighting ; they submitted tamely to the periodical raids of the 
hill people, and the only check upon the incursions of the 
latter was their inability to stand the heat of the plains. They 
occupied, however, the whole of the lower ranges and held the 
Duars or " gates " of Bhutan until dispossessed by us. Thus 
in the Eastern Himalayas none of the plains people made good 
a footing within the hills, which remain to this day in the 
exclusive possession of races of the Mongoloid type. 

The summaries of measurements given in the appendix 
relate to a fairly large number of subjects and the type is 
distinct. 

(i) The prevalent head-form is broad, but the mean indices 
show some remarkable departures from this type. The Jaintia 
index is 72-9, thus falling within the long-headed category, and 
several tribes have indices between 75 and 80. These low 
indices are, however, based upon a comparatively small number 
ol subjects, and it seems not unlikely that a larger series of 
measurements may sensibly modify the average. In any case 
a great deal of work will have to be done before we are in a 
position to determine the probable affinities of the numerous 
Mongoloid tribes who inhabit the hiHy region between India 
and China. 

(ii) The nose-form appears at first sight to show a great 
range of variations, but on closer examination it will be seen 
that the higher indices are for the most part confined to tribes 
for which the data are scanty. In the larger groups the mean 
index ranges from 67-2 for the Lepchas to 84-5 for the Chakmas 

* Ripley. The Races of Europe, p. 45. 



44 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

and 86-3 for the Khasias; the Tibetans (73-9) and the Murmis 
(75 "2) falling between these extremes. The highest mean index 
(95 '0 occurs among the Mande or Garo, in one of whom, 
according to Lieutenant-Colonel Waddell, the width of the 
nose exceeds its height to an extent indicated by the surprising 
ratio of 117. But only 34 Garos have been measured, and 
looking to the possibilities of crossing one can scarcely regard 
the figures as conclusive. On the measurements given in the 
table there may be some question whether the Mande should 
not be classed as Mongolo-Dravidian, and this view may be 
thought to derive some support from Buchanan's description 
of them as a wild section of the Kochh.* 

(iii) Under the head of stature there is nothing much to 
remark. The Gurungs (169-8) are the tallest and the Miris 
(156-4) the shortest of the tribes included in the table. The 
106 Tibetans show an average of 163-3, which may be regarded 
as fairly typical. The tallest individuals (176) are found among 
the Tibetans and Murmis ; the shortest (141) are the Khambus 
and the Khasias. 

(iv) The characteristic orbito-nasal index, which measures 
the relative flatness or prominence of the root of the nose and 
the adjacent features, yields singularly uniform results. The 
average varies in the large groups, which alone are worth con- 
sidering, from io6'4 in the Chakma to 109-1 in the Tibetan. 
For the Lepchas Lieutenant-Colonel Waddell's observations 
yield a mean index of 105-8, with a maximum of 119 and a 
minimum of 92, against my average of ioi-8 ranging from 133 
to 103. As my figures relate to a larger number of subjects 
(57 against 36), I have selected them in preference to his for 
inclusion in the diagram showing seriation. A glance at the 
diagrams given for the Lepchas of Darjeeling and the Chakmas 
of the Hill Tracts of Chittagong will show how regularly the 
gradations of the indices are distributed, and will bring out 
better than any description the correspondences and diver- 
gences of type. 

The Dravidian race, the most primitive of the Indian 
peoples, occupies the oldest geological for- 
Dravidiantype. nation in India, the medley of forest-clad 
ranges, terraced plateaux, and undulating plains which stretches, 
roughly speaking, from the Vindhyas to Cape Comorin. On 
the east and west of the peninsular area the domain of the 
Dravidian is conterminous with the Ghats ; while farther north 

[* In M. Martin, Eastern India, iii., 1838, p. 538, et seq.l 



PHYSICAL TYPES 45 

it reaches on one side to the Aravallis and on the other to the 
Rajmahal hills. Where the original characteristics have been 
unchanged by contact with Indo-Aryan or Mongoloid people 
the type is remarkably uniform and distinctive. Labour is the 
birthright of the pure Dravidian, and as a coolie he is in great 
demand wherever one meets him. Whether hoeing tea in 
Assam, the Duars and Ceylon, planting sugar-cane in far 
Fiji, cutting rice in the swamps of Eastern Bengal, or doing 
scavenger's work in the streets of Calcutta, Rangoon, and 
Singapore, he is recognizable at a glance by his black skin, his 
squat figure and the negro-like proportions of his nose. In the 
upper strata of the vast social deposit which is here treated as 
Dravidian these typical characteristics tend to thin out and 
disappear, but even among them traces of the original stock 
survive in varying degrees. We must look to the researches 
of Mr. Thurston,* who is conducting the ethnographic survey 
of Southern India, to define and classify the numerous sub- 
types thus established and to determine the causes which have 
given rise to them. 

Turning now to the actual measurements we find the 
following specific characters :— 

(i) The head-form is usually medium .with a tendency in 
the direction of length. The mean indices range in Southern 
India from 717 in the Badaga of the Nilgiris and 72-9 in 
the Kadir of the Anamalai Hills to 76'6 in the Shanans of 
Tinnevelly. The Tiyans (73), Nayars (73-2), Cheruman (73-4), 
Palli (73), Parayan or Pariah (73-6), Irula (73-1) and^ several 
others also fall well within the long-headed group. In Chutia 
Nagpur, on the other hand, the type is uniformly medium. 
Among the large groups the Chik (73-8), the Mufida (74-5), the 
Male (74-8), the Kharia (74-5), and the Korwa (74-4) are just 
included in the long-headed division ; while for all the others 
the mean index ranges about 75 and ^6. In this part of India 
the physical conformation of the country, the vast stretches of 
fever-haunted jungle, the absence of roads, and the compact 
tribal organization and independent spirit of the Dravidian 
races have tended to preserve them singularly free from the 
intrusion of foreign influence, and for these reasons I believe 
that their measurements may be taken as fairly typical. The 
sedation given for the Santals shows how regularly the indivi- 
dual indices are graduated. 

(ii) In Southern India the mean proportions of the nose 

[* Castes and Tribes of Southern India, 1909, vol. i., Intro., p. xxxvii, et seq.'\ 



46 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

vary from 6g'i in the Lambadis of Mysore, and 73"! in the 
Vellalas of Madras to 95* i in the Paniyans of Malabar. In 
Chutia Nagpur and Western Bengal the range of variation is 
less marked, and the mean indices run from 82 "6 in the Kurmi 
of Manbhum in a gradually ascending series to 94^5 in the Male 
of the Santal Parganas. The Asur figure of 95*9 may be left 
out of account as it relates only to two subjects. In both 
regions the mean proportions of the nose correspond in the 
main to the gradations of social precedence, and such diver- 
gencies as occur admit of being plausibly accounted for. At 
the head of the physical series in Southern India stand the 
Lambadi with a mean index of 69'!. They do not employ the 
local Brahmans as priests, and their touch is held to convey 
ceremonial pollution. But there is reason to believe that they 
are a nomadic people from Upper India, and that their social 
rank is low merely because they have not been absorbed in the 
social system of the South. Next come the Vellalas, the great 
cultivating caste of the Tamil country, with a mean index of 
73'i. They are classed as Sai or pure Sudras ; the Brahmans 
who serve them as priests will take curds and butter from 
their hands and will cook in any part of their houses. The 
Tamil Brahmans themselves belong, indeed, to a lower physical 
type; but their mean index of 767 has probably been affected 
by the inclusion in the group of some tribal priests, who 
obtained recognition as Brahmans when their votaries in- 
sensibly became Hindus. Then follow the Palli (77"9), a large 
group mainly employed in agriculture, who claim twice-born 
rank and "frequently describe themselves as Agnikula or fire- 
born Kshatriyas. Low down in the social as in the physical 
scale are the Paraiyan or Pariah, with an index of 80, whose 
mere vicinity pollutes, but whose traditions point to the 
probability that their status was not always so degraded as 
we find it at the present day. This conjecture derives some 
support from the fact that the Kadir, Mukkuvan and Paniyan 
with substantially broader noses yet take higher social rank. 

(iii) Among the Dravidians of Southern India the mean 
stature ranges from 170 in the Shanan of Tinnevelly to 153 in 
the Pulaiyan of Travancore ; and individual measurements vary 
from i82'8 in the former group to 143-4 in the latter. Mr. 
Thurston has drawn my attention to the well-marked correla- 
tion between stature and the proportions of the nose which is 
brought out by the following statement : — 



PHYSICAL TYPES . 47 

Mean stature. Mean nasal index. 



Agamudaiyan 


165-8 


74-2 


Badaga 


164-1 


75-6 


Tiyaii 


163-7 


75 


Tamil Brahman 


162-5 


76-7 


Palli 


162-5 


77"3 


Tamil Parayan 


162-1 


80 


Irula 


159-9 


80-4 


Kadir 


" 1577 


89-8 


Paniyan 


IS7 


9S-I 



In Chutia Nagpur and Western Bengal the stature is more 
uniform, varying from 1627 in the Oraon of Ranchi to 1577 in 
the Mai Paharia and Male of the Santal Parganas, and the 
correlation with the proportions of the nose, though traceable, 
is less distinct. 

The origins of these types are hidden in the mist which 
veils the remote era of the Aryan advance 
into India. Within that dim region evidence ^"^'""^ of types, 
is sought for in vain. Our only guides are tradition and con- 
jecture, aided by the assumption, which the history of the East 
warrants us in making, that in those distant ages types were 
formed by much the same processes as those that we find in 
operation to-day. Such are our materials for a study of the 
evolution of the Indian people. At the best the picture can 
present but shadowy outlines. All that can be demanded of 
it is that it should accord in the main with the scanty data 
furnished by what passes for history in India, and at the same 
time should offer a consistent and plausible explanation of the 
ethnic conditions which prevail at the present time. 

The oldest of the seven types is probably the Dravidian. 
Their low stature, black skin, long heads, broad noses, and 
relatively long fore-arm distinguish them from the rest of 
the population, and appear at first sight to confirm Huxley's 
surmise that they may be related to the aborigines of Australia. 
Linguistic affinities, especially the resemblance between the 
numerals in Mundari and in certain Australian dialects, and 
the survival of some abortive forms of the boomerang in 
Southern India, have been cited in support of this view, and 
an appeal has also been made to Sclater's hypothesis of a 
submerged continent of Lemuria, extending from Madagascar 
to the Malay Archipelago, and linking India with Africa on the 
one side and Australia on the other. But Sir William Turner's 
comparative study of the characters of Australian and Dravidian 
crania has not led him to the conclusion that these data can be 
adduced in support of the theory of the unity of the two peoples. 



48 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

The facts which cast doubt on the Australian affinities of the 
Dravidians finally refute the hasty opinion which seeks to 
associate them with the tiny, broad-headed, and woolly-haired 
Negritos of the Andamans and the Philippines. This is the 
last word of scientific authority, and here we might leave the 
Dravidian subject, were it not that another theory of 

the origin of the Dravidians was adopted by 
Sir William Hunter in the account of the non-Aryan races of 
India given by him in The Indian Empire. According to this view 
there are two branches of the Dravidians — the Kolarians speak- 
ing dialects allied to Mundari, and the Dravidians proper whose 
languages belong to the Tamil family. The former entered 
India from the north-east and occupied the northern portion of 
the Vindhya table-land. There they were conquered and split 
into fragments by the main body of Dravidians, who found 
their way into the Punjab through the north-western passes 
and pressed forward towards the south of India. The basis of 
this theory is obscure. Its account of the Dravidians seems to 
rest upon a supposed affinity between the Brahui dialect of 
Baluchistan and the languages of Southern India ; while the 
hypothesis of the north-eastern origin of the Kolarians depends 
on the fancied recognition of Mongolian characteristics among 
the people of Chutia Nagpur. But in the first place the dis- 
tinction between Kolarians and Dravidians is purely linguistic 
and does not correspond to any differences of physical type. 
Secondly, it is extremely improbable that a large body of very 
black and conspicuously long-headed types should have come 
from the one region of the earth which is peopled exclusively 
by races with broad heads and yellow complexions. With this 
we may dismiss the theory which assigns a trans-Himalayan 
origin to the Dravidians. Taking them as we find them now 
it may safely be said that their present geographical distribu- 
tion, the marked uniformity of physical characters among the 
more primitive members of the group, their animistic religion, 
their distinctive languages, their stone monuments and their 
retention of a primitive system of totemism justify us in regard- 
ing them as the earliest inhabitants of India of whom we have 
any knowledge. 

Upon the interminable discussions known as the Aryan 
The indo-Aryan controversy there is no need to enter here, 
type. Its non- Whether anything that can properly be de- 
Indian origin, scribed as an Aryan race ever existed ; 
whether the heads of its members were long, according to 



PHYSICAL TYPES 49 

Penka, or short according to Sergi ; whether its original habitat 
was Scandinavia, the Lithuanian steppe, South-Eastern Russia, 
Central Asia, or India itself, as various authorities have held ; 
or again whether the term Aryan is anything more than a 
philological expression denoting the heterogeneous group of 
peoples whose languages belong to the Aryan family of speech 
— these are questions which may for our present purpose be 
left unanswered. We are concerned merely with the fact that 
there exists in the Punjab and Rajputana at the present day, a 
definite physical type, represented by the Jats and Rajputs, 
which is marked by a relatively long (dolicho-cephalic) head ; 
a straight, finely cut (leptorrhine) nose ; a long, symmetrically 
narrow face ; a well-developed forehead, regular features, and 
a high facial angle. The stature is high and the general build 
of the figure is well proportioned, being relatively massive in 
the Jats and relatively slender in the Rajputs. Throughout 
the group the predominant colour of the skin is a very light 
transparent brown, with a tendency towards darker shades in 
the lower social strata. Except among the Meos and Minas of 
Rajputana, where a strain of Bhil blood may perhaps be dis- 
cerned, the type shows no signs of having been modified by 
contact with the Dravidians ; its physical characteristics are 
remarkably uniform; and the geographical conditions of its 
habitat tend to exclude the possibility of intermixture with the 
black races of the south. In respect of their social characters 
the Indo-Aryans, as I have ventured to call them, are equally 
distinct from the bulk of the Indian people. They have not 
wholly escaped the contagion of caste ; but its bonds are less 
rigid among them than with the other Indian races ; and the 
social system retains features which recall the more fluid 
brganization of the tribe. Marriage in_ particular is not re- 
stricted by the hard and fast limits which caste tends to impose, 
but is regulated within large groups by the principle of hyper- 
gamy or ' marrying up ' which was supposed to govern the 
connubial relations of the four original classes (varna) in the 
system described by Manu. Even now Rajputs and Jats 
occasionally intermarry, the Rajputs taking wives from the 
Jats, but refusing to give their own maidens in return. What 
is the exception to-day is said to have been the rule in earlier 
times. In short, both social and physical characters are those 
of a comparatively homogeneous community which has been 
but little affected by crossing with alien races. 

The uniformity of the Indo-Aryan type can be accounted 

R, PI 4 



so PEOPLE OF INDIA 

for only by one of two hypotheses, (i) that its members were 
The mode of its indigenous to the Punjab, (2) that they 
entry into India. entered India in a compact body or in a 
continuous stream of families from beyond 
the north-west frontier. It is clear that they could not have come 
by sea, and equally clear that they could not have found their 
way into India round the Eastern end of the Himalayas. The 
theory that the Punjab was the cradle of the Aryan race was 
propounded by a writer in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic 
Society* about fifty years ago, on the basis of some rather 
crude linguistic speculations ; but it met with no acceptance, 
and the opinion of European scholars from Von Schlegel down 
to the present time is unanimous in favour of the foreign origin 
of the Indo-Aryans. The arguments appealed to are mainly 
philological. Vedic literature, indeed, as Zimmer t admits, 
throws but scanty light upon the subject, for no great weight 
can be laid upon the identification of the River Rasa with the 
Araxes, the name by which the Jaxartes was known to Hero- 
dotus. Following authority, however, we may assume for our 
present purpose that the ancestors of the Indo-Aryans came 
into India from the north-west, and that at the time of their 
arrival the peninsula, as far as the valley of the Ganges and 
Jumna, was in the possession of the Dravidians. The only 
indication of the latter people having extended further to the 
west, is to be found (as has been mentioned already) in the 
survival of Brahui, an island of supposed Dravidian speech, 
among the Iranian languages of Baluchistan. But the present 
speakers of Brahui are certainly not Dravidians by race ; and 
we find no traces of Dravidian blood among the Indo-Aryans 
of to-day. It seems probable, therefore, that when the Indo- 
Aryans entered the Punjab they brought their own women 
with them, and were not reduced to the necessity of capturing 
Dravidian brides. On no other supposition can we explain the 
comparative purity of their type. 

Now, if the physical and social conditions of the Indian 
Borderland had been the same in those remote ages as we find 
them at the present day, it is difficult to see how the slow 
advance of family or tribal migration could have proceeded on 
a scale large enough to result in an effective occupation of the 
Punjab. The frontier strip itself, a mere tangle of barren hills 
and narrow valleys, is ill-adapted to serve as an officina gentium ; 

* y. R. A. S., XVI., 172-200. 

t Zimmer, AlHndisches Lebeii, pp. 15 and loi. 



PHYSICAL TYPES Si 

while a pastoral people, moving by clans or families from 
more favoured regions further west, would have found their 
way barred by obstacles which only the strongest members of 
the community could have surmounted. The women and 
children must have been left behind or they would have 
perished by the way. Again, given the present rainfall and 
climate of the countries adjacent to India, where should we 
find to-day, within a measurable distance of the frontier, the 
favoured region that would give off the swarm of emigrants 
required to people the Punjab? Surely not in south-eastern 
Persia, with its inhospitable deserts of shifting sand ; nor on 
the dreary Central Asian steppes where only a scanty nomadic 
population finds a meagre subsistence. But is it certain that 
during the three or four thousand years that may have elapsed 
since the Aryans began to press forward into India the climate 
of the countries through which they passed may not have 
undergone a material change ? There is an appreciable amount 
of evidence, the value of which I am anxious not to overrate, 
in favour of this supposition. The late Mr. W. T. Blanford, 
writing in 1873,* thought it probable that the rainfall both in 
Central Asia and Persia had fallen off greatly in modern times, 
and that owing mainly to this cause, and in a less degree to the 
destruction of trees and bushes, the climate had become per- 
ceptibly drier, cultivation had fallen off and the population had 
greatly declined in numbers. Nearly thirty years later, we 
find Mr. Blanford's views confirmed and developed by Mr. E. 
Vredenburg in his geological sketch of the Baluchistan Desert 
and part of Eastern Persia.! Mr. Vredenburg applies to the 
problem the known principles of physical geography and 
shows how, given a dwindling rainfall in a tract situated like 
Eastern Persia and Baluchistan, evaporation is bound to pro- 
duce the present condition of perennial drought. As the rain- 
fall declines fertile plains relapse into deserts ; lakes are trans- 
formed into hideous salt marshes; the springs in the hills dry 
up and an era of desolation sets in. No human agency, how- 
ever corrupt, no mere misgovernment, however colossal, could 
bring about such widespread disaster. The village communi- 
ties, give them but earth and water, would outlast the con- 
queror and the marauder, as they have done in India. The 
forces of nature alone could defeat their patient industry. It is 
the great merit of Mr. Vredenburg's paper that it indicates the 

* Quart. Jour. Geol. Soc, XXIX. (1873). 
t Mem. Geol. Survey of India, XXXI., Pt. 2. 



52 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

true cause of the facts observed and exposes the fallacy of the 
belief, countenanced by a long series of travellers, that oriental 
inertia and corruption are solely or chiefly answerable for the 
present condition of Baluchistan. In illustration of the state 
of things which must have existed in some former age, he tells 
us how in the desolate valleys of the State of Kharan there 
exist hundreds of stone walls, known locally as gorbands or 
"dams of the infidels," which mark the edges of ancient 
terraced fields, and retain even now remnants of soil which 
once was cultivated. A legend still survives that the builders 
of these walls carried the earth in bags on their backs from the 
alluvial desert on the south, a form of labour which the indolent 
Baloch would regard as degrading to the dignity of a man. 
Toil of this sort, whether the soil was transported by beasts of 
burden or by men, can only have been undertaken in the certain 
hope of a substantial return. No one would construct fields in 
a rainless wilderness of ravines, or build walls which have 
lasted for centuries to retain water where water there was 
none. Nor is it likely that the cultivation was confined to the 
hills. Arguing from what one sees in India, it seems far more 
likely that these terraced fields represent the overflow of a 
flourishing agricultural community driven up into the hills by 
the pressure of population in the plains. Gradually as the 
climate changed, the level alluvial tracts, deprived of rainfall, 
lapsed into desert ; the bulk of the population drifted on into 
the Punjab, while those who remained behind turned their 
ploughshares into swords and eked out by pillage the meagre 
livelihood to be won from patches of soil in the hills. Last of 
all, the springs on which this scanty cultivation depended 
shrank and disappeared, till nothing was left but the stone 
walls to recall the labours of the forgotten people who built 
them. 

The picture which these observations enable us to construct 
of a country of great lakes and fertile plains extending from 
the centre of Persia to the western confines of India, or let us 
say from the Dasht-i-Kavir in western Khorasan to the deserts 
of Registan and Kharan, may help to throw light upon the 
problem of the Indo-Aryan advance into the Punjab. The 
population of such a tract, as they began to press on their own 
means of subsistence or were pushed forward by incursions 
from the west, would naturally have moved on by tribes and 
families, without any disturbance of their social order, and 
would have occupied the valley of the Indus. Arriving there 



PHYSICAL TYPES S3 

as an organized society, like the children of Israel when they 
entered Palestine, they would have had no need and no 
temptation to take to themselves any Dravidian daughters of 
Heth, and they would have preserved their type as distinct 
as we find it in the Punjab to-day. The movement must, of 
course, have been gradual and must have extended over many 
centuries, during which time the climate continued to dry up 
and the possibilities of agriculture to decline. When the new 
conditions had become fully established the north-western 
frontier of India was closed to the slow advance of family or 
tribal migration and remained open only to bands of fighting 
men or adventurous nomads, who could force their way 
through long zones of waterless deserts ending in a maze 
of robber-haunted hills. Armed invasion took the place of 
peaceful colonization. But the invaders, however great their 
strength, could in any case bring relatively few women in their 
train. This indeed is the determining factor both of the 
ethnology and of the history of India. As each wave of 
conquerors, Greek, Scythian, Arab, Moghal, that entered the 
country by land became more or less absorbed in the in- 
digenous population, their physique degenerated, their indi- 
viduality vanished, their energy was sapped, and dominion 
passed from their hands into those of more vigorous successors. 
Ex Occidente Imperium; the genius of Empire in India has come 
to her from the West ; and can be maintained only by constant 
infusions of fresh blood from the same source. 

The scanty glimpses that are obtained of the history of this 
region in the distant past bear out the conclusions of the 
scientific observer. Three hundred years before the Christian 
era, Alexander's lieutenant Krateros conducted half of the army 
which had invaded India, consisting of some fifty thousand 
men encumbered with elephants, invalids and heavy baggage, 
from Quetta to Kandahar and thence by the Helmund Valley 
to Narmashir in Seistan. The route which he followed crossed 
the southern end of the Dasht-i-Lut or Desert of Desolation, 
and traversed nearly two hundred miles of what is now an 
absolute waste "either waterless or supplied with the most 
brackish wells." * Arrian's account of the march makes no 
mention of disaster, and Krateros appears to have joined 
Alexander without any material loss either of elephants or 
invalids. Strabo again, who described Kirman about 20 b.c. in 

* Explorations in Turkestan, with an Accotmt of the Basin of Eastern Persia and 
Seistan. Expedition of 1903, under the direction of Raphael Pumpelly ; Washington, 1901;- 



54 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

a treatise on geography for the use of Roman administrators, 
speaks of it as a fertile and well-wooded country watered by 
rivers and producing everything. 

Yet when Major Sykes passed through a part of the same 
tract in 1893-94 he found it covered with ancient ruins and had 
difficulty in procuring forage for the camels of his small party 
numbering only about twenty men. Clearly the whole face of 
the country must have been transformed in the interval. Was 
this the work of nature or of man? Has the disappearance of 
the population been brought about by physical causes, such as 
diminished rainfall, the shifting of river courses, the inroads 
of wind-driven sand, and the shrinking of the crust of the 
earth ? Or need we look no further than the familiar incidents 
of Oriental misgovernment — incessant wars, general lawless- 
ness, official corruption and neglect of natural resources ? To 
these questions an answer is supplied by Mr. Ellsworth 
Huntington's paper on the Basin of Eastern Seistan and 
Persia, which forms part of the report of the explorations 
conducted in Turkestan and Persia in 1903 with the support 
of the Carnegie Institution of Washington.* Here it is shown 
that the main cause of the desolation now prevailing is the 
aridity of the climate due to the high mountains which "on 
every side shut out the moisture of the sea and shut in the 
people." Ever since the end of the Tertiary era the geological 
history of the country has been marked by a series of epochs 
of "prolonged rivers and expanded lakes," alternating with 
epochs when the rivers were curtailed and the lakes con- 
tracted ; while throughout the period earth-movements have 
taken place tending to elevate the barren hills and extend their 
area and to reduce both the size and the productive capabilities 
of the habitable basins which they enclose. By the side of 
these overwhelming physical forces the influence of mere 
human agencies, such as foreign invasions and native mis- 
government, sinks into insignificance. The argument is 

[* See his "The Pulse of Asia," 1907, chap, xvi., p. 315, et seq. In a lecture 
delivered by Professor J. W. Gregory to the Royal Geographical Society on December 8, 
1913 (The Times, December 9, 1913), after a survey of the conditions in Africa, Asia, and 
America, he observed that, owing to the varied nature of the evidence to be considered, the 
extensive and scattered literature whence much of that evidence had to be gleaned, and the 
contradictory opinions expressed by high authorities, the problem whether the earth was 
drying up was hedged about with difficulties. Archseological and historical evidence showed 
that Central Asia and even the coasts of Persia and Baluchistan had a very arid climate in 
the earliest times of which we had human record. Though it must be admitted that, while 
there was a strong balance of opinion in favour of the view that aridity was being still 
increased, there were weighty authorities on the other side.] 



PHYSICAL TYPES SS 

clinched by the effective comparison which Mr. Huntington 
draws between the four provinces of Khorasan, Azerbaijan, 
Kirman and Seistan, all of which are equally badly governed. 
The two former have been devastated by repeated invasions 
of the most savage character, but they enjoy a relatively 
abundant rainfall; the two latter have suffered less severely 
from war, but are afflicted by more or less permanent drought. 
Khorasan and Azerbaijan are the most populous and flourish- 
ing provinces of Persia; Seistan and Kirman have been de- 
populated almost beyond hope of recovery. In Persia, as in 
India, nature is stronger than man. 

For the origin of the Aryo-Dravidian type we need not 
travel beyond the ingenious hypothesis put ,j^^ Aryo-Dravi- 
forward by Dr. Hoernle twenty-six years ago dians : Dr.Hoernie's 
and confirmed by the recent researches of * ®°^' 

Dr. Grierson's Linguistic Survey. This theory supposes that 
after the first swarm of Indo-Aryans had occupied the Punjab, 
a second wave of Aryan-speaking people, the remote ancestors 
of the Aryo-Dravidians of to-day, impelled by some ethnic 
upheaval, or driven forward by the change of climate in Central 
Asia to which we have referred above, made their way into 
India through Gilgit and Chitral and established themselves in 
the plains of the Ganges and Jumna, the sacred Middle-land 
{Madhyadesa) of Vedic tradition. Here they came in contact 
with the Dravidians ; here by the stress of that- contact, caste 
was evolved; here the Vedas were composed, and the whole 
fantastic structure of orthodox ritual and usage was built up. 
For the linguistic evidence in favour of this view I must refer 
the reader to Dr. Grierson's chapter on language in the Report 
on the Census of India, 1901. For my present purpose it is 
sufficient to note that the record of physical characters bears 
out the conclusions suggested by philology. The type of the 
people now dwelling in the Middle-land is precisely what 
might have been expected to result from the incursion of a fair 
long-headed race, travelling by a route which prevented women 
from accompanying them, into a land inhabited by dark-skinned 
Dravidians. The men of the stronger race took to themselves 
the women of the weaker, and from these unions was evolved 
the mixed type which we find in Hindustan and Bihar. The 
degree of intermixture varied to the extent indicated in the 
tables of measurements ; at one end of the scale the type 
approaches the Indo-Aryan, at the other it almost merges in 
the Dravidian. 



56 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

It may be said that the theory of a second wave of Aryans, 
resting as it does on the somewhat uncertain data of philology, 
is not really required for the purpose of explaining the facts. 
Why should we not content ourselves by assuming that the 
original Indo-Aryans outgrew their settlements on the Indus 
and threw off swarms of emigrants who passed down the 
Ganges valley, modifying their type as they went by alliances 
with the Dravidian inhabitants? But on this view of the 
problem it is difficult to account for the marked divergence of 
type that distinguishes the people of the Eastern Punjab from 
the people of Western Hindustan. If there had been no second 
and distinct incursion coming in like a wedge behind the 
original colonists, no such sharp contrast would now be dis- 
cernible. One type would melt into the other by imperceptible 
gradations, and scientific observation and popular impressions 
would riot concur, as they do, in affirming that a marked change 
takes place somewhere about the longitude of Sirhind — a name 
which itself preserves the tradition of an ethnic frontier. Nor 
is this the only point in favour of Dr. Hoernle's hypothesis. 
That theory further explains how it is that the Vedic hymns 
contain no reference to the route by which the Aryans entered 
India or to their earlier settlements on the Indus ; and it 
accounts for the antagonism between the eastern and western 
sections and for the fact that the latter were regarded as com- 
parative barbarians by the more cultured inhabitants of the 
Middle-land. 

When we leave Bihar and pass on eastward into the steamy- 
rice-fields of Bengal, the Indo-Aryan element 
"^ra^mfns"' t^ins out rapidly and appears only in a 
sporadic form. The bulk of the population 
is Dravidian, modified by a strain of Mongoloid blood which is 
relatively strong in the east and appreciably weaker in the 
west. Even in Bengal, however, where the Indo-Aryan factor 
is so small as to be hardly traceable, certain exceptions may 
be noticed. The tradition cherished by the Brahmans and 
Kayasths of Bengal that their ancestors came from Kanauj at 
the invitation of King Adisur to introduce Vedic ritual into an 
unhallowed region is borne out to a substantial degree by the 
measurements of these castes, though even among them indica- 
tions are not wanting of occasional intermixture with Dravi- 
dians.* If, however, the type is regarded as a whole the racial 

* Mr. Romesh Chandra Dutt, c.i.E., pointed out long ago that "aboriginal blood 
enters largely in [sic] the existing Brahman community of Bengal." Calcutta Review, 
LXXV., p. 238. 



PHYSICAL TYPES 57 

features are seen to be comparatively distinct. The physical 
degeneration which has taken place may be due to the influ- 
ence of a relaxing climate and an enfeebling diet, and still more 
perhaps to the practice of marrying immature children, the 
great blot on the social system of the upper classes of Bengal. 

Of the foreign elements that have contributed to the making 
of the Indian people two have now been passed in review. 
We have seen the Indo-Aryan type maintaining a high degree 
of purity in the Punjab and Rajputana, transformed by an 
increasing admixture of Dravidian blood in Hindustan and 
Bihar, and vanishing beyond recognition in the swamps of 
Lower Bengal. We have found the Mongoloid races predomi- 
nant on the eastern and northern frontiers, ,pj^g soytho- 
confined to the hills where the people of the Dravidian type : 
plains were strong, but further east, where ^*® history, 

they came in contact with feebler folk, mixing with the Dravi- 
dian element to form the type characteristic of the mass of the 
population of Bengal and Assam. A third foreign element 
still remains to be accounted for. It has long been known, 
mainly from Chinese sources supplemented by the evidence of 
coins and the uncertain testimony of Indian tradition, that long 
after the settlement of the Indo-Aryans in the Punjab succes- 
sive swarms of nomadic people, vaguely designated Sakas or 
Scythians, forced a way into India from the west, and estab- 
lished their dominion over portion's of the Punjab, Sind, 
Gujarat, Rajputana, and Central India. The impulse which 
started them on their wanderings may be traced in some 
instances to tribal upheavals in far distant China, while in 
other cases hordes already on the move were pushed forward 
from Central Asia. All these people came from regions which, 
so far as we know, have from time immemorial been occupied 
by broadheaded races. 

In the time of the Achaemenian kings of Persia the 
Scythians, who were known to the Chinese as Sse, occupied 
the regions lying between the lower course of the Sillis or 
Jaxartes and Lake Balkash. We learn from Herodotus that 
according to the opinion of classical antiquity these Scythians 
were riding people who wore breeches and used bows of a 
fashion of their own. It may be gathered from other sources 
that their empire extended up to the plains of Eastern Turke- 
stan. In the sixth century b.c. the Scythians, who were then 
renowned for their valour and their riches, came within the 
scope of the ambitious policy of Cyrus. Their king Amorges 



58 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

was made prisoner, but Sparethra, his wife, rallied the remains 
of the army, repulsed the Persians, and compelled them to 
surrender her husband in exchange for the prisoners she had 
taken. Notwithstanding this temporary success, the Scythians 
were nevertheless recognised as tributaries of the Persians, 
and the portion of Turkestan which they occupied formed the 
twentieth Satrapy of the Persian Empire. Later on they 
seem to have regained their independence, for at the battle 
of Arbela we find them fighting on the Persian side no longer 
as subjects but allies. The fragments of early Scythian history 
which may be collected from classical writers are supplemented 
by the Chinese annals, which tell us how the Sse, originally 
. . located in Southern China, occupied Sog- 
e origm. (jjg^jj^ ^^^ Transoxiana at the time of the 

establishment of the Graeco-Bactrian monarchy about the year 
165 B.C. Dislodged from these regions by the Yuechi, who had 
themselves been put to flight by the Huns, the Sse invaded 
Bactriana, an enterprise in which they were frequently allied 
with the Parthians. To this circumstance, says Ujfalvy, may 
be due the resemblance which exists between the Scythian 
coins of India and those of the Parthian kings. At a later 
period the Yuechi made a further advance and drove the 
Scythians or Sakas out of Bactriana, whereupon the latter 
crossed the Paropanisus and took possession of the country 
called after them Sakastan, comprising Segistan, Arachosia, 
and Drangiana. But they were left in possession only for a 
hundred years, for in the year 25 b.c. the Yuechi disturbed 
them afresh. A body of Scythians then emigrated eastward 
and founded a kingdom in the western portion of the Punjab. 
The route they followed in their advance upon India is un- 
certain, but to a people of their habits who were already 
located in Sakastan it would seem that the march through 
Baluchistan and Kachhi would have presented no serious 
difficulty. Among the sculptured figures on the rock of 
Behistun there is one which bears the name of Sakuka, the 
Scythian. Khanikoff, writing in 1866, professed to recognise 
in this figure the features of a Kirghiz of the present day. 
Ujfalvy, however, regards the statement as doubtful. He says 
that he has never seen a Kirghiz with such a luxuriant beard, 
and the physiognomy of the figure in question appears to him 
to be Turko-Tartar presenting a mixture of Mongolian and 
Aryan lineaments. 

The Indo-Scythian Yuechi, afterwards known as the 



PHYSICAL TYPES 59 

Tokhari, while settled in Eastern Turkestan to the south of 
the Tian Shan range were defeated by the Hiung-nu or Huns 
in 201-265 B.C. They fled towards the west, crossed the moun- 
tains and took possession of the part of Bactriana inhabited by 
the Tajiks. A portion of them remained in Eastern Turkestan 
in the mountainous country to the south-west of Khotan. The 
Chinese called these people the Siao or Little Yuechi, in order 
to distinguish them from the others, whom they designated 
the Ta or Great Yuechi. The Yuechi occupied Central Asia 
and the north-west of India for more than five centuries 
from 136 B.C. to 425 A.D. The Hindus called them Sakas and 
Turushkas, but their kings seem to have known of no other 
dynastic title than that of Kushan. The Chinese annals tell 
us how Kitolo, Chief of the Great Kushans, whose name is 
identified with the Kidara of the coins, giving way before the 
incursions of the Ephthalites, crossed the Paropanisus and 
founded in the year 425 of our era the kingdom of Gandhara, 
of which in the time of his son Peshawar became the capital. 
Fifty years later the Ephthalites took possession of Gandhara 
and forced the Kushans to retreat into Chitral, Gilgit, and 
Kashmir. 

Just at the time when the Kushans were establishing 
themselves in Gandhara, the Ephthalites or Hoa of the Chinese 
annals, who were then settled on the north of the Great Wall 
of China, being driven out of their territory by the Juan- 
Juan, started westward and overran in succession Sogdiana, 
Khwarizm, Bactriana, and finally the north-west portion of 
India. Their invading movements reached India in the reign 
of Skanda Gupta, 452 — 480, and brought about the disruption 
of the Gupta Empire. The Ephthalites were known in India 
as Huns. The leader of the invasion of India, who succeeded 
in snatching Gandhara from the Kushans, and established his 
capital at Sakala, is called by the Chinese Laelih, and the 
inscriptions enable us to identify him with the original Lakhan 
Udayaditya of the coins. His son Toramana (490—510) took 
possession of Gujarat, Rajputana and a portion of the Ganges 
valley, and in this way the Huns came into possession of the 
ancient Gupta Kingdom. Toramana's successor Mihirakula 
(510 — S40) added at the beginning of his reign Kashmir to his 
kingdom, but eventually succumbed to the combined attack of 
a confederation of the Hindu princes of Malwa and Magadha.* 

[* The account in the text of the Scythians and Huns needs to be correcled. The facts 
have been carefully collected by V. A. Smith, Early History of India, 3rd ed., 1914, 



6o PEOPLE OF INDIA 

These are the historical data. Scanty as they are, they 
serve to establish the fact that during a long period of time 
swarms of nomadic people, whose outlandish names are con- 
veniently summed up in the generic term Scythian, poured 
into India, conquered and governed. Their coins are now the 
sole memorial of their rule, but their inroads probably began 
many centuries before coins were struck or annals compiled. 
Of the people themselves all traces seem to have vanished, 
and the student who enquires what has become of them finds 
nothing more tangible than the modern conjecture that they 
are represented by the Jats and Rajputs. But the grounds for 
this opinion are of the flimsiest description and consist mainly 
of the questionable assumption that the people who are called 
Jats at the present day must have something to do with the 
people who were known to Herodotus as Getae. Now apart 
from the fact that resemblances of names are mostly misleading 
— witness the Roman identification of these very Getae with 
the Goths — we have good historical reasons for believing that 
the Scythian invaders of India came from a region occupied 
exclusively by broad-headed races and must themselves have 
belonged to that type. They were, by all accounts, nations or 
hordes of horsemen, with broad faces and high cheek-bones, 
short and sturdy of stature, and skilled in the use of the bow. 
In their original homes on the Central Asian steppes their 
manner of life was that of pastoral nomads; and their instincts 
were of the predatory order. It seems therefore prima facie 
unlikely that their descendants are to be looked for among 
tribes who are essentially of the long-headed type, tall, heavy 
men without any natural aptitude for horsemanship, settled 
agriculturists with no traditions of a nomadic and marauding 
past. Still less probable is it that waves of foreign conquerors, 

p. 248 et seq. ; and for the Scythians, by E. W. Minns, Scythians and Greeks, 1913, 
Encyclopedia Britannica, ilthed., 191 1, vol. xxiv. p. 526 et seq. For the Huns, see Sir 
C. Eliot, Ency. Brit., vol. xiii. p. 932 et seq. Mr. V. A. Smith, who has kindly read the 
account in the text, remarks that there is no evidence that the Sakas came from regions 
exclusively occupied by broad-headed races ; that the Chinese did not designate a//Scythians 
as Sse, this title being apparently confined to the tribes on the Jaxartes ; that Sillis, unless 
it represents a form of Syr-darya, has not been traced as a name for the Jaxartes ; that the 
account by Herodotus cannot be extended to the Saka ; that the Indians, not the Saka, 
were included in the twentieth Satrapy of the Persian Empire ; that there is no authority for 
including Arachosia and Drangiana in Sakastan ; the date and course of the invasion of the 
Panjab are uncertain ; the evidence of the Behistun figures does not settle the ethnological 
problem ; Kushan was not a dynastic title ; Kitolo was chief of the Little, not the Great 
ICushans ; Peshawar was the capital of Gandhara ages before the Saka invasion ; there is no 
evidence that the Kushans retreated before the Ephthalites into Chitral or Gilgit ; the reign 
of Skanda Gupta extended from about 455 to 480 A.n. ; there is no ground for identifying 
Laelih with Lakhan Udayaditya, nor was Toramana son of the latter.] 



PHYSICAL TYPES 6i 

entering India at a date when the Indo-Aryans had long been 
an organized community, should have been absorbed by them 
so completely as to take rank among their most typical repre- 
sentatives, while the form of their heads, the most persistent of 
racial distinctions, was transformed from the extreme of one 
type to the extreme of another without leaving any trace of 
the transitional forms involved in the process. Such are the 
contradictions which beset the attempt to identify the Scythians 
with the Jats and Rajputs. The only escape from them seems 
to lie in an alternative hypothesis which is suggested by the 
measurements summarised in the Scytho-Dravidian table. 
These data show that a zone of broad-headed people may still 
be traced southwards from the region of the Western Punjab, 
in which we lose sight of the Scythians, right through the 
Deccan till it attains its furthest extension among the Coorgs. 
Is it not conceivable that this may mark the track of the 
Scythians who first occupied the great grazing country of the 
Western Punjab and then, pressed upon by later invaders and 
finding their progress eastward blocked by the Indo-Aryans, 
turned towards the south, mingled with the Dravidian popula- 
tion and became the ancestors of the Marathas ? The physical 
type of the people of the Deccan accords fairly well with this 
theory, while the arguments derived from language and religion 
do not seem to conflict with it. For, after entering India the 
Scythians readily adopted an Aryan language written in the 
Kharosthi character and accepted Buddhism as their religion. 
These they would have carried with them to the south. Their 
Prakrit speech would have developed into Marathi, while their 
Buddhistic doctrines would have been absorbed in that fusion 
of magic and metaphysics which has resulted in popular 
Hinduism. Nor is it wholly fanciful to discover some aspects 
of Maratha history which lend it incidental support. On this 
view the wide-ranging forays of the Marathas ; their guerrilla 
methods of warfare ; their unscrupulous dealings with friend 
and foe ; their genius for intrigue, and their consequent failure 
to build up an enduring dominion ; and finally the individuality 
of character and tenacity of purpose which distinguish them at 
the present day — all these may be regarded as part of the 
inheritance which has come to them from their Scythian 
ancestors. 



CHAPTER II 
SOCIAL TYPES 

Kpiv ttvSpas Kara <f>vXa, koto. (fipT^rpas, 'Ayd/ieyu.i/oi', 
(US <^prjTpi] <l>prjTpri<l>w dprf^rj, cj>v\a Sk ^uXois. 

//. 11. 362-3. 

Up to this point I have been dealing with the racial divisions 
of the people of India, with ethnology 
^°the\ribe ^''"^ ■ Properly so called. I turn now to their 
social divisions, to the ethnographic data as 
distinguished from the ethnological. These divisions are either 
tribes or castes, which in their turn are further subdivided 
with reference usually to matrimonial considerations. A tribe 
as we find it in India is a collection of families or groups of 
families bearing a common name which as a rule does not denote 
any specific occupation ; generally claiming common descent 
from a mythical or historical ancestor, and occasionally from an 
animal, but in some parts of the country held together rather 
by the obligations of blood feud than by the tradition of kin- 
ship ; usually speaking the same language and occupying, pro- 
fessing, or claiming to occupy a definite tract of country. A 
tribe is not necessarily endogamous ; that is to say, it is not an 
invariable rule that a man of a particular tribe must marry a 
woman of that tribe and cannot marry a woman of a different 
tribe. 

We may distinguish several kinds of tribes in various parts 
of India, and although it cannot be said that 
each of the seven racial types has its own 
distinctive form of tribe, nevertheless the correspondence 
between the two sets of groupings is sufficiently close to 
warrant the conjecture, that each type was originally 
organized on a characteristic tribal basis and that, where tribes 
have disappeared, their disappearance has been effected by 
caste insensibly absorbing and transforming the tribal divisions 
which it found in possession of particular localities. In 



SOCIAL types' 63 

describing the varieties of tribes I shall therefore follow the 

ethnic types already determined by physical characters. 

The Dravidian tribe exists in its most compact and vigorous 

form among the people ot Chutia Nagpur. „, „ .,. ^ ., 
T^ ..^ r ■ , ■ The Dravidian tribe. 

Descriptions 01 two typical instances are 

given in the Appendix under the heads of Munda and Santal. 
Such a tribe is generally divided into a number of exogamous 
groups, each of which bears the name of an animal or plant 
common in the locality. Usually also there is a distinct village 
organization comprising in its most developed forms a head- 
man with his assistant and a priest with various acolytes whose 
business it is to propitiate the various undefined powers from 
whom physical ills are to be apprehended. Another remark- 
able instance of the tribal organization of the Dravidians is to 
be found among the Kandhs or Kondhs of the Orissa Kandh 
Mais, once infamous for the human sacrifices which they offered 
to the earth goddess with the object of ensuring good crops and 
immunity from disease and accidents. A grim memorial of 
these forgotton horrors is to be seen in the Madras Museum in 
the form of a rude representation in wood of the head and 
trunk of an elephant pivoted on a stout post. To this the 
victim was bound head downwards and the machine was slowly 
turned round in the centre of a crowd of worshippers who 
hacked and tore away scraps of flesh to bury in their fields, 
chanting the while a ghastly hymn, an extract from which 
illustrates very clearly the theory of sympathetic magic under- 
lying the ritual — 

As the tears stream from thine eyes, 

So may the rain pour down in August ; 

As the mucus trickles from thy nostrils, 

So may it drizzle at intervals ; 

As thy blood gushes forth, 

So may the vegetation sprout ; 

As thy gore falls in drops, 

So may the grains of rice form. 

A number of these wooden elephants, which had been used 
at sacrifices, were found and burnt by the British officers who 
put down human sacrifice in the Kandh country. The worm- 
eaten specimen at Madras is probably unique.* The Kandhs 
are divided into 50 gochis or exogamous sects, each of which 
bears the name of a niuta or village, believes all its members to 
be descended from a common ancestor, and as a rule dwells as 

,[* For a photograph of the Meriah sacrifice post in the Madras Museum, see E. 
Thurston, Tribes and Castes of Southern India, igog, vol. iii. p. 377 : for details of this rite. 
Sir J. G. Kraser, The Golden Bough, 3rd ed. pt. v., 1912, p. 245 et scq.'\ 



64 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

a body of blood-relations in the commune or group of villages 
after which it is called. The Kandh ^ocA? appears, therefore, to 
represent the nearest approach that has yet been discovered to 
the local exogamous tribe believed by Mr. McLennan to be the 
primitive unit of human society. 

The Mongoloid type of tribe as found in the Naga Hills is 

divided somewhat on the same pattern as the 
^ tribef ° °^ Kandhs into a number of khels, each of which 

is in theory an exogamous group of blood 
relations dwelling apart in its own territory and more or less 
at war with the rest of the world. Each khel fortifies the locality 
which it inhabits with a stockade, a deep ditch full of bamboo 
caltrops, and a craftily devised ladder, and raids are constantly 
made by one upon the other for the purpose of capturing wives. 
So far as our present researches have gone no very clear traces 
have been found of totemism among the Mongoloid races of 
India,* but the Mongoloid people of the Eastern Himalayas and 
the Chittagong Hills have a singular system of exogamous 
groups based upon their real or mythical ancestors. Instances 
of this grotesque variant of eponymy are the Chakma clans 
Ichdpochd, " the man who ate rotten shrimps," Ptrd bhdngd, 
" the fat man who broke the stool," Aruyd, " the skeleton," 

The Turko-Iranian and SO forth.f 

tribes : the Afghan Among the Turko-Iramaiis there seem 

type. ^Q jjg ^^Q distinct types of tribe : — 

{a) Tribes based upon kinship like the Afghan group of 

tribes, otherwise known as Pathans or 

'^Bi-rhuftyp^'^ speakers of the Pashtu language, who trace 

their lineage to one Qais Abdul Rashid who 

lived in the country immediately to the west of the Takht-i- 

Sulaiman and was thirty-seventh in descent from Malik Talut 

(King Saul). In theory, says Mr. Hughes-BuUer in his 

admirable account of the tribal system of Baluchistan, % " an 

Afghan tribe is constituted from the number of kindred groups 

of agnates ; that is to say, descent is through the father, and 

the son inherits the blood of his father. Affiliated with a good 

many tribes, however, are to be found a certain number of 

alien groups known as Mindun or Hamsayah. The latter 

[* Instances of totemism among the tribes of Assam are recorded by Major A. Playfair, 
The Garos, igog, p. 64 et seq., and by S. Endle, The Kacharis, 191 1. p. 24 et seq. 
Among the Khasis the evidence is doubtful, Major P. R. Gurdon, The Khasis, 1907, p. 66. 
Also in Sir J. G. Frazer, Totemism and Exogamy, 1910, vol. ii. p. jlSetseq. ; iv. p. 2g^et seq.] 

[t Risley, Triies and Castes of Bengal, vol. ii. App. i. p. 31 et seqJ] 

[I Census Report, Baluchistan, 1901, vol. i. p. 119 et «y.] 



SOCIAL TYPES 65 

term means 'living in the same shade.' These groups are 
admittedly not united to the tribe by kinship." They do not, 
indeed, even claim descent from the common ancestor, and the 
nature of the tie that binds them to the tribe is best expressed 
in the picturesque phrase which describes them as Neki aur 
badimen sharik, " partners for better or worse " ; in other words, 
active participators in any blood-feud that the tribe may 
have on their hands. Yet such is the influence of the idea 
of kinship upon which the tribe is based that the alien origin 
of the Hamsayah is admitted with reluctance, and although 
for matrimonial purposes they are looked upon as inferior, the 
tendency is continually to merge the fact of common vendetta in 
the fiction of common blood. These are the two leading prin- 
ciples which go to the making of an Afghan tribe. There are also 
— Mr. Hughes-BuUer explains — "two other ties which unite the 
smaller groups : common pasture, or, more important still, 
common land and water, and common inheritance. The area 
occupied by each section can be pretty easily localized, and a 
group which separates itself permanently from the parent stock 
and makes its way to a remote locality, where it either sets up 
for itself or joins some other tribe, ceases to have any part 
or portion with the parent stock. Here the test question is : 
' Has the individual or group on separating from the parent 
stock, departed only temporarily or permanently ? ' For, 
among a population largely composed of graziers, there must 
be constant fission, groups leaving the locality of the majority 
for other places as pasture or water are required for the flocks. 
Where the change is only temporary, groups retain as a 
matter of course their union with the group to which they 
belong. There are others, however, who wish to sever their 
connection with the parent group permanently, and, once 
this has been done, the idea of participation in the common 
good and ill of the parent stock disappears. Common 
inheritance can, in the nature of things, only be shared by 
the more minute groups, and this, in the absence of blood- 
feud, is the bond of unity in the family or Kahol. And this 
leads me to explain that all the four principles which I have 
mentioned do not affect every group equally. Thus, the 
smaller groups or Kahols, which in most cases correspond 
with the family, are united by kinship and common inheritance, 
but within the family group there can be no blood-feud. 
For blood-feud can only be carried on when help is given 
from outside, and no one will help the murderer within the 

R PI. 5 



66 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

family. Leaving the lowest group, we find that common good 
and ill, merging in the fiction of kinship, is the influence 
affecting all the groups, even the largest unit, of the tribe. 
Common land and water are only shared by comparatively 
minute groups, i.e., by the Khel or Zdl, but the groups united 
by common locality, and possibly by common grazing, are 
both numerous and large." 

{b) The second type of Turko-Iranian tribe is based, 
primarily, not upon agnatic kinship, but upon common good 
and ill ; in other words, it is cemented together by the 
obligations arising from the blood-feud. There is no epony- 
mous ancestor, and the tribe itself does not profess to be 
composed of homogeneous elements. In the case of the Marri 
tribe of Baloch Mr. Hughes-Buller has shown that " Brahuis, 
Baloch from the Punjab, Baloch from other parts of Afghani- 
stan, Khetrans, Afghans, Jats, all gained easy admission to 
the tribe. As soon as a man joined the tribe permanently 
he became a participator in good and ill. Then, having shown 
his worth, he was given a vested interest in the tribal welfare 
by acquiring a portion of the tribal lands at the decennial 
division, and his admission was sealed with blood by women 
from the tribe being given to him or his sons in marriage. 
Starting, therefore, with the principle of participation in 
common good and common ill, participation in the tribal 
land came to be the essence of tribesmanship among the 
Marris. The process is easy to follow : Admission to 
participation in common blood-feud ; then admission to 
participation in tribal land ; and lastly admission to kinship 
with the tribe. It was not until after a man or group had 
been given a share of tribal land at the decennial distribution 
that women were given to him or them in marriage." The 
same principles hold good in the case of the Brahui, who, 
like the Baloch, appear both by their history and by their 
physique to be of Central Asian or Scythian origin, though 
their numbers have been recruited from among Afghans, 
Kurds, Jagdals, Baloch, and other elements, all probably 
belonging to the same ethnic stock. 

Both Baloch and Brahui possess an elaborate organization for 
offensive and defensive purposes, based in each case on the 
principle that the clan or section must provide for the service 
of the tribe a number of armed men proportioned to the 
share of the tribal land which it holds. The Brahui system, 
introduced by Nasir Khan about the end of the seventeenth 



SOCIAL TYPES 67 

century, is somewhat the more complete of the two, and binds 

together all the Brahui tribes in a regular confederacy which is 

now, according to Mr. Hughes-Buller, beginning to regard the 

British Government as its effective suzerain. A full account of 

the Brahui taken from Mr. Hughes-Buller's report on the first 

census of Baluchistan will be found in the ethnographic volume 

of the Imperial Census Report for 1901. 

None of the numerous tribes comprised in the names 

Afghan, Brahui, Baloch are strictly endoga- 

mous, and stalwart aliens, whose services Marriage in Baiu- 

... 1 , • , ■ , chistan. 

are considered worth having, are admitted 

into the tribe by the gift of a wife, or perhaps one should 
rather say the loan, for, in the absence of stipulations to the 
contrary, a woman so given goes back to her own family on the 
death of her husband. Among the Baloch and Brahui, however, 
a distinct tendency towards endogamy results from the practice 
of marrying a woman of the same group, a near kinswoman, 
or, if possible, a first cousin. This seems to be due partly to 
the feeling that a woman's marriage to an outsider deprives the 
tribe of the accession of strength that may accrue to it from 
her offspring; and partly also to the belief that "while among 
animals heredity follows the father, among human beings it 
follows the mother. It is argued, therefore, that there is more 
hope of the stock remaining pure if a man marries a woman 
who is nearly related to him." In marked contrast to the Baloch 
and Brahui, the business instincts of the Afghan lead him to 
regard women as a marketable commodity, and under the 
system of walwar or payment for wives " girls are sold to the 
highest bidder, no matter what his social status." It is possible, 
however, that in a tribe of comparatively homogeneous descent 
the sentiment in favour of purity of blood may operate less 
strongly than in a tribe of admittedly composite structure. 

We shall see in a later chapter how the 'word fetish, which 
has had a great vogue in the history of ^he word " caste." 
religion, owes its origin to the Portuguese 
navigators who were brought into contact with the strange 
religious observances of the natives of West Africa. In the 
same way caste, which has obtained an equally wide currency 
in the literature of sociology, comes from the Portuguese 
adventurers who followed Vasco de Gama to the west coast of 
India. The word itself is derived from the Latin castus and 
implies purity of breed. In his article on caste in " Hobson- 
Jobson," Sir Henry Yule quotes a decree of the sacred council 



68 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

of Goa dated 1567, which recites how in some parts of that 

province " the Gentoos divide themselves into distinct races or 

castes {castas) of greater or less dignity, holding the Christians 

as of lower degree, and keep these so superstitiously that no 

one of a higher caste can eat or drink with those of a lower." 

From that time to this it has been assumed without much 

critical examination that the essential principle of caste is 

mainly concerned with. matters of eating and drinking. It need 

not surprise us to find foreign observers laying stress upon the 

superficial aspects of a social system which they understood 

but imperfectly, and overlooking the material fact that the 

regulations affecting food and drink are comparatively fluid and 

transitory, while those relating to marriage are remarkably 

stable and absolute. 

A caste may be defined as a collection of families or groups 

of families bearing a common name ; claim- 
Definition of caste. J ,. r iU- 1 
ing common descent from a mythical 

ancestor, human or divine ; professing to follow the same 

hereditary calling ; and regarded by those who are competent 

to give an opinion as forming a single homogeneous community. 

The name generally denotes or is associated with a specific 

occupation. A caste is almost invariably endogamous in the sense 

that a member of the large circle denoted by the common name 

may not marry outside that circle, but within the circle there 

are usually a number of smaller circles each of which is also 

endogamous. Thus it is not enough to say that a Brahman at 

the present day cannot marry any woman who is not a 

Brahman; his wife must not only be a Brahman, she must also 

belong to the same endogamous division of the Brahman caste. 

By the side of this rigid definition I may place the general 

description of caste which is given by M. 
M. Senart's deserip- gj^jj^ Senart in his fascinating study of the 

caste system of India. After reminding his 
readers that no statement that can be made on the subject of 
caste can be considered as absolutely true, that the apparent 
relations of the facts admit of numerous shades of distinction, 
and that only the most general characteristics cover the whole of 
the subject, M. Senart goes on to describe a caste as a close 
corporation, in theory at any rate rigorously hereditary ; 
equipped with a certain traditional and independent organization, 
including a chief and a council ; meeting on occasion in 
assemblies of more or less plenary authority, and joining in the 
celebration of certain festivals ; bound together by a common 



SOCIAL TYPES 69 

occupation; observing certain common usages which relate 

more particularly to marriage, to food and to questions of 

ceremonial pollution; and ruling its members by the exercise 

of a jurisdiction the extent of which varies, but which 

succeeds, by the sanction of certain penalties and above all by 

the power of final or revocable exclusion from the group, in 

making the authority of the community effectively felt. 

These, in the view of one of the most distinguished of 

French scholars, are the leading features of . x. t i, n i 
y ,. '„ ° . , An English parallel. 

Indian caste. I'or my own part 1 have 
always been much impressed by the difficulty of conveying to 
European readers who have no experience of India even an 
approximate idea of the extraordinary complexity of the social 
system which is involved in the word "caste." At the risk of 
being charged with frivolity I shall, therefore, venture on an 
illustration, based on one which I published in Blackwood's 
Magazine a good many years ago, of a caste expressed in terms 
of an English social group. Let us take an instance, and, in 
order to avoid the fumes of bewilderment that are thrown off 
by uncouth names, let us frame it on English lines. Let us 
imagine the great tribe of Smith, the " noun of multitude," as a 
famous headmaster used to call it, to be transformed by art 
magic into a caste organized on the Indian model, in which all the 
subtle nuances of social merit and demerit which Punch and 
the society papers love to chronicle should have been set and 
hardened into positive regulations affecting the intermarriage 
of families. The caste thus formed would trace its origin back 
to a mythical eponymous ancestor, the first Smith who 
converted the rough stone hatchet into the bronze battleaxe 
and took his name from the "smooth"* weapons that he 
wrought for his tribe. Bound together by this tie of common 
descent, they would recognize as the cardinal doctrine of their 
community the rule that a Smith must always marry a Smith, 
and could by no possibility marry a Brown, a Jones, or a Robin- 
son. But overand above this general canon threeother modes or 
principles of grouping within the caste would be conspicuous. 
First of all, the entire caste of Smith would be split up into an 
indefinite number of "in-marrying" clans based upon all sorts 
of trivial distinctions. Brewing Smiths and baking Smiths, 
hunting Smiths and shooting Smiths, temperance Smiths and 

* SktaX, Etymological Dictionary, s.v. "Smith." ["The relations of the stem are doubtful. 
The original stem was apj>. craftsman, skilled worker, in metal, wood, or other material, and 
this general sense remains in Icelandic," New English Diciionnry, s.v.'\ 



70 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

licensed-victualler Smiths, Smiths with double-barrelled names 
and hyphens, Smiths with double-barrelled names without 
hyphens, Conservative Smiths, Radical Smiths, tinker Smiths, 
tailor Smiths, Smiths of Mercia, Smithsof Wessex — all these and 
all other imaginable varieties of the tribe Smith would be as it 
were crystallized by an inexorable law forbidding the members 
of any of these groups to marry beyond the circle marked out 
by the clan-name. Thus the Unionist Mr. Smith could only 
marry a Unionist Miss Smith, and might not think of a Home 
Rule damsel ; the free-trade Smiths would have nothing to say 
to the tariff reformers ; a hyphen-Smith could only marry a 
hyphen-Smith, and so on. Secondly, within each class enquiry 
would disclose a number of "out-marrying" groups, bearing 
distinctive names, and governed by the rule that a man of one 
group could in no circumstances marry a girl of the same group. 
In theory each group would be regarded as a circle of blood- 
kindred and would trace its descent from a mythical or historical 
ancestor like the Wayland-Smith of the Berkshire hills, the 
Captain Smith who married Pocahontas, or the Mr. W. H. Smith 
of the railway bookstalls. The name of each would usually 
suggest its origin, and marriages within the limits defined 
by the group-name would be deemed incestuous, however 
remote the actual relationship between the parties concerned. 
A Wayland could not marry a Wayland, though the two might 
come from opposite ends of the kingdom and be in no way 
related, but must seek his bride in the Pocahontas or bookstall 
circle, and so on. Thus the system, the converse o{ that just 
described, would effect in a cumbrous and imperfect fashion 
what is done for ourselves by the table of prohibited degrees 
at the end of the Prayer-book — cumbrous because it would 
forbid marriage between people who are in no sense relations, 
and imperfect because the group-name would descend in the 
male line and would of itself present no obstacle to a man 
marrying his grandmother. Thirdly, running through the 
entire series of clans we should find yet another principle at 
work breaking up each in-marrying clan into three or four 
smaller groups which would form a sort of ascending scale of 
social distinction. Thus the clan of hyphen-Smiths, which we 
take to be the cream of the caste — the Smiths who have attained 
to the crowning glory of double names securely welded 
together by hyphens — would be again divided into, let us say, 
Anglican, Dissenting, and Salvationist hyphen-Smiths, taking 
regular rank in that order. Now the rule of this series of 



SOCIAL TYPES 71 

groups would be that a man of the highest or Anglican group 
might marry a girl of his own group or of the two lower 
groups, that a man of the second or Dissenting group might 
take a Dissenting or Salvationist wife, while a Salvationist man 
would be restricted to his own group. A woman, it will be 
observed, could under no circumstances marry down into a 
group below her, and it would be thought eminently desirable 
for her to marry into a higher group. Other things being equal, 
it is clear that two-thirds of the Anglican girls would get no 
husbands, and two-thirds of the Salvationist men no wives. 
These are some of the restrictions which would control the 
process of match-making among the Smiths if they were 
organized in a caste of the Indian type. There would also be 
restrictions as to food. The different in-marrying clans would 
be precluded from dining together, and their possibilities of 
reciprocal entertainment would be limited to those products 
of the confectioner's shop into the composition of which water, 
the most fatal and effective vehicle of ceremonial impurity, had 
not entered. Water pollutes wholesale, but its power as a 
conductor of malign influence admits of being neutralized by a 
sufficient admixture of milk, curds, whey, or clarified butter — 
in fact, of anything that comes from the sacred cow. It would 
follow from this that the members of our imaginary caste could 
eat chocolates and other forms of sweetmeats together, but 
could not drink tea or coffee, and could only partake of ices if 
they were made with cream and were served on metal, not 
porcelain, plates. I am sensible of having trenched on the 
limits of literary and scientific propriety in attempting to 
describe an ancient and famous institution in unduly 
vivacious language, but the parallel is as accurate as 
any parallel drawn from the other end of the world can 
well be, and it has the advantage of being presented in 
terms familiar to European readers. The illustration, indeed, 
may be carried a step further. If we suppose the various 
aggregates of persons bearing the two or three thousand 
commonest English surnames to be formed into separate 
castes and organized on the lines described above, so that no 
one could marry outside the caste-name and could only marry 
within that limit subject to the restrictions imposed by 
differences' of residence, occupation, religion, custom, social 
status, and the like— the mental picture thus formed will give 
a fairly adequate idea of the bewildering complexity of the 
Indian caste system. 



72 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

All over India at the present moment tribes are gradually 
and insensibly being transformed into castes. 
°°''lnto castef '''^' The stages of this operation are in them- 
selves difficult to trace. The main agency 
at work is fiction, which in this instance takes the form of the 
pretence that whatever usage prevails to-day did not come into 
existence yesterday, but has been so from the beginning of time. 
It may be hoped that the Ethnographic Survey now in pro- 
gress will throw some light upon the singular course of evolu- 
tion by which large masses of people surrender a condition of 
comparative freedom and take in exchange a condition which 
becomes more burdensome in proportion as its status is higher. 
So far as my own observation goes, several distinct processes 
are involved in the movement, and these proceed independently 
in different places and at different times. 

(i) The leading men of an aboriginal tribe, having somehow 
got on in the world and become independent landed proprietors, 
manage to enrol themselves in one of the more distinguished 
castes. They usually set up as Rajputs, their first step being 
to start a Brahman priest, who invents for them a mythical 
ancestor, supplies them with a family miracle connected with 
the locality where the tribe is settled, and discovers that they 
belong to some hitherto unheard-of clan of the great Rajput 
community. In the earlier stages of their advancement they 
generally find great difficulty in getting their daughters 
married, as they will not take husbands from their original 
tribe and Rajputs of their adopted caste will, of course, not 
condescend to alliances with them. But after a generation or 
two their persistency obtains its reward and they intermarry, 
if not with pure Rajputs, at least with a superior order of 
manufactured Rajputs whose promotion into Brahmanical 
society dates far enough back for the steps by which it was 
gained to have been forgotten. Thus a real change of blood 
may take place, as indeed one is on occasion in a position to 
observe, while in any case the tribal name is completely lost 
and with it all possibility of correctly separating this class of 
people from the Hindus of purer blood and of tracing them to 
any particular Dravidian or Mongoloid tribe. They have been 
absorbed in the fullest sense of the word, and henceforth pass 
and are locally accepted as high-class Hindus. All stages of 
the process, family miracle and all, can be illustrated by actual 
instances taken from the leading families in various parts of 
India. The most picturesque instance of the class of legend to 



SOCIAL TYPES 73 

which I refer is that associated with the family of the Maharajas 
of Chutia Nagpur, who call themselves Nagbansi Rajputs, and 
on the strength of their mythical pedigree have probably 
succeeded in occasionally procuring wives of reputed Rajput 
blood. The story itself- is a variant of the well-known 
Lohengrin legend. It tells how a king of the Nagas or snakes, 
the strange prehistoric race which figures so largely in Indian 
mythology, took upon himself human form and married a 
beautiful Brahman girl of Benares. His incarnation, however, 
was in two respects incomplete, for he could not get rid of his 
forked tongue and his evil-smelling breath. Consequently, as 
the story goes, in order to conceal these disagreeable peculi- 
arities he always slept with his back to his wife. His pre- 
cautions, however, were unsuccessful, for she discovered what 
he sought to conceal, and her curiosity was greatly inflamed. 
But the snake king, being bound by the same condition as his 
Teutonic prototype, could only disclose his origin at the cost of 
separation from his wife. Accordingly, by a device familiar to 
Indian husbands, he diverted her attention by proposing to 
take her on a pilgrimage to the shrine of Jagannath at Puri in 
Orissa. The couple started by the direct route through the 
hills and forests of Chutia Nagpur, and when they reached the 
neighbourhood of the present station of Ranchi the wife was 
seized by the pains of childbirth. Her curiosity revived, and 
she began to ask questions. By folklore etiquette questions 
asked on such an occasion must be answered, and her husband 
was compelled to explain that he was really the Takshak Raja, 
the king of the snakes. Having divulged this fatal secret he did 
not, like Lohengrin, make a dignified exit to the strains of slow 
music. He straightway turned into a gigantic cobra, where- 
upon his wife was delivered of a male child and died. The 
poor snake made the best of the trying position in which he 
found himself; he spread his hood and sheltered the infant 
from the rays of the midday sun. While he was thus occupied, 
some wood-cutters of the Munda tribe appeared upon the 
scene, and decided that a child discovered in such remarkable 
circumstances must be destined to a great future and should 
at once be adopted as their chief That is the family legend of 
the Nagbansi Rajas of Chutia Nagpur.* It was received with 
derisive merriment by a number of genuine Rajputs who 
attended a conference which I held at Mount Abu in 1900 for 
the purpose of organizing the census of Rajputana. They 

* [E, T. Dalton, Descnptive Ethnology of Bengal, 1872, p. 165 et seq^ 



74 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

had never heard of such a thing as a Nagbansi Rajput, but they 
entirely appreciated the point of the story. Similar tales, 
associated sometimes with a peacock, sometimes with a cow, 
sometimes with other animals or trees, are told of various land- 
owning families which have attained brevet rank as local Rajputs. 
Any one who has the curiosity to inquire into the distribution 
of tenures on the estates of these manufactured Rajputs will 
usually find that a number of the best villages lying round the 
residence of the Chief are held on peppercorn rents by the 
descendants of the Brahmans who helped him to his miraculous 
pedigree. 

(2) A number of aborigines, as we may conveniently call 
them, though the term begs an insoluble question, embrace the 
tenets of a Hindu religious sect, losing thereby their tribal 
name and becoming Vaishnavas, Lingayats," Ramayats, or the 
like. Whether there is any mixture of blood or not will depend 
upon local circumstances and the rules of the sect regarding 
intermarriage. Anyhow, the identity of the converts as 
aborigines is usually, though not invariably, lost, and this also 
may, therefore, be regarded as a case of true absorption. 

(3) A whole tribe of aborigines, or a large section of a tribe, 
enrol themselves in the ranks of Hinduism under the style of a 
new caste, which, though claiming an origin of remote antiquity, 
is readily distinguishable by its name from any of the standard 
and recognized castes. Thus the great majority of the Kochh 
inhabitants of Jalpaiguri, Rangpur, and part of Dinajpur now 
invariably describe themselves as Rajbansis or Bhanga Ksha- 
triyas — a designation which enables them to represent them- 
selves as an outlying branch of the Kshatriyas of Hindu 
tradition who fled to north-eastern Bengal in order to escape 
from the wrath of Parasu-Rama. They claim descent from 
Raja Dasaratha, the father of Rama, they keep Brahmans, 
imitate the orthodox ritual in their marriage ceremony, and 
have begun to adopt the Brahmanical system of gotras. In 
respect of this last point they are now in a curious state of 
transition, as they have all hit upon the same gotra (Kasyapa) 
and thus habitually transgress the primary rule of the 
Brahmanical system, which absolutely prohibits marriage 
within the gotra. But for this defect in their connubial 
arrangements — a defect which will probably be corrected in 
course of time as they and their priests rise in intelligence — 
there would be nothing in their customs to distinguish them 
from Indo-Aryan Hindus ; although there has been no mixture 



SOCIAL TYPES 75 

of blood and they remain thoroughly Kochh under the name of 
Rajbansi. It is right to add that, however baseless the tradition 
must be in the case of the tribe as a whole, it does not follow 
that it may not enshrine a grain of fact as applied to their 
Chief The Rajputs in India, like the Normans in Europe, 
travelled far afield in their conquering excursions. In a 
country where history masquerades in the garb of legend 
there is nothing prima facie improbable in the conjecture 
that the story of the Bhanga-Kshatriyas may be really a 
mythological version of the true origin of the reigning family 
of Cooch Bihar. A Chief of the higher race ruling a people of 
the lower is a phenomenon too common to require explanation. 

(4) A whole tribe of aborigines, or a section of a tribe, 
become gradually converted to Hinduism without, like the 
Rajbansis, abandoning their tribal designation. This is what 
has happened among the Bhumij of Western Bengal. Here a 
pure Dravidian race have lost their original language and now 
speak only Bengali ; they worship Hindu gods in addition to 
their own (the tendency being to relegate the tribal gods to the 
women) and the more advanced among them employ Brahmans 
as family priests. They still retain a set of totemistic exogam- 
ous sub-divisions closely resembling those of the Mundas and 
the Santals. But they are beginning to forget the totems 
which the names of the sub-divisions denote, and the names 
themselves will probably soon be abandoned in favour of more 
aristocratic designations. The tribe will then have become a 
caste in the full sense of the word, and will go on stripping 
itself of all customs likely to betray its true descent. The 
physical characteristics of its members will alone survive. 
With their transformation into a caste the Bhumij will be more 
strictly endogamous than they were as a tribe, and even less 
likely to modify their physical type by intermarriage with 
other races. 

By such processes as these, and by a variety of complex 
social influences whose working cannot be f c t 

precisely traced, a number of types or 
varieties of caste have been formed which admit of being 
grouped as follows : — 

(?) The tribal type, where a tribe like the Bhumij referred to 
above has insensibly been converted into ... „ .^ , 
a caste,- preserving its original name and 
many of its characteristic customs, but modifying its animistic 
practices more and more in the direction of orthodox Hinduism 



76 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

and ordering its manner of life in accordance with the same 
model. Numerous instances of this process are to be found 
all over India ; it has been at work for centuries and it has 
even been supposed that the Sudras of Indo-Aryan tradition 
were originally a Dravidian tribe which was thus incorporated 
into the social system of the conquering race. Considerations 
of space preclude me from attempting an exhaustive enumera- 
tion of the castes which may plausibly be described as tribes 
absorbed into Hinduism, but I may mention as illustrations of 
the transformation that has taken place, the Ahir, Dom, and 
Dosadh of the United Provinces and Bihar; the Gujar, Jat, 
Meo, and Rajput of Rajputana and the Punjab ; the Koli, 
Mahar, and Maratha of Bombay; the Bagdi, Bauri, Chandal 
(Namasudra), Kaibartta, Pod, and Rajbansi-Kochh of Bengal ; 
and in Madras the Mai, Nayar, Vellala, and Paraiyan or 
Pariah, of whom the last retain traditions of a time when 
they possessed an independent organization of their own 
and had not been relegated to a low place in the Hindu social 
system. 

(m) The functional or occupational type of caste is so numerous 
and so widely diifused and its characteristics are 
^ee^tes"'^*^ ^° prominent that community of function is ordi- 
narily regarded as the chief factor in the evolu- 
tion of caste. Whatever the original impulse may have been, it 
is a matter of observation at the present day not only that almost 
every caste professes to have a traditional occupation, though 
many of its members have abandoned it, but that the adoption 
of new occupations or of changes in the original occupation 
may give rise to sub-divisions of the caste which ultimately 
develop into entirely distinct castes. Thus among the large 
castes shown in the maps at the end of this volume the Ahirs 
are by tradition herdsmen ; the Brahmans priests ; the 
Chamars and Mochis workers in leather ; the Chuhras, Bhangis, 
and Doms scavengers ; the Dosadhs village watchmen and 
messengers ; the Goalas milkmen ; the Kaibarttas and Kewats 
fishermen and cultivators ; the Kayasths writers ; the Koiri 
and Kachhi market gardeners ; the Kumhars potters ; the Pods 
lishermen ; and the Teli and Tili oil-pressers and traders. But 
the proportion of a caste that actually follows the traditional 
occupation may vary greatly. It is shown in the Bengal Census 
Report * that 80 per cent, of the AhIrs in Bihar are engaged in 
agriculture; that of the Bengal Brahmans only 17 percent, and 

* [Census Report, Bengal, 1901, vol i. p. 486.] 



SOCIAL TYPES n 

of the Bihar Brahmans only 8 per cent, are engaged in religious 
functions ; that not more than 8 per cent, of the Chamars in 
Bihar live by working in leather, the remainder being culti- 
vators or general labourers ; that two-thirds of the Kayasths in 
Bengal are agriculturists, and that only thirty-five per cent, of 
the Telis follow their traditional profession. A remarkable 
instance of the formation of a caste on the basis of distinctive 
occupation is supplied by the Garpagari or hail-averter in the 
Maratha districts of the Central Provinces, a village servant 
whose duty it is to control the elements and protect the crops 
from the destructive hail-storms which are frequent in that part 
of India. For this, says Mr. Russell, " he receives a contribution 
from the cultivators ; but in recent years an unavoidable 
scepticism as to his efficiency has tended to reduce his earnings. 
Mr. Fuller told me that on one occasion when he was hastening 
through the Chanda District on tour and pressed for time, the 
weather at one of his halting places looked threatening, and he 
feared that it would rain and delay the march. Among the 
villagers who came to see him was the local Garpagari, and not 
wishing to neglect any chance he ordered him to take up his 
position outside the camp and keep off the rain. This the 
Garpagari did, and watched through the night. In the event the 
rain held off, the camp moved, and that Garpagari's reputation 
was established for life." * Changes of occupation in their turn, 
more especially among the lower castes, tend to bring about the 
formation of separate castes. The Sadgops of Bengal have 
within recent times taken to agriculture and broken away from 
the pastoral caste to which they originally belonged ; the 
educated Kaibarttas and Pods are in course of separating 
themselves from their brethren who have not learnt English ; 
the Madhunapit are barbers who became confectioners ; the 
Chasadhobas washermen who took to agriculture. But perhaps 
the best illustration of the contagious influence of the fiction 
that differences of occupation imply a difference of' blood is to 
be found in the list of Musalman castes enumerated by Mr. 
Gait in the Bengal Census Report of igoi.t This motley 
company includes the Abdal of Northern and Eastern Bengal, 
who circumcise Muhammadan boys and castrate animals, while 
their women act as mid-wives ; the Bhatiyara or inn-keepers of 
Bihar; the butchers (Chik and Kasai); the drummers (Nagarchi 
and Dafali), of whom the latter exorcise evil spirits and avert 

* Census Report of the Central Provinces, 1901, vol. i. p. 178. 
t [Vol. i. p. 443 ^^ seq.'\ 



7^ PEOPLE OF INDIA 

the evil eye by beating a drum (daf) and also officiates as 
priests at the marriages and funerals of people who are too 
poor to pay the regular Qazi ; the cotton-carders (Dhunia or 
Nadaf) numbering 200,000 in Bengal ; the barbers (Hajjam or 
Turk-Naia); the Jolaha weavers, cultivators, bookbinders, 
tailors, and dyers numbering nearly a quarter of a million in 
Bengal and nearly three millions in India; the oil-pressers 
(Kalu) ; the greengrocers (Kunjra) ; the embroiderers (Patwa), 
and a number of minor groups. All of these bodies are castes 
of the standard Hindu type with governing committees 
{panchdyats or matbars) of their own who organize strikes and 
see that no member of the caste engages in a degrading occupa- 
tion, works for lower wages than his brethren, eats forbidden 
food, or marries a woman of another caste. Breaches of these 
and various other unwritten ordinances are visited in the last 
resort by the extreme penalty of excommunication. This 
means that no. one will eat or smoke with the offender, visit at 
his house, or marry his daughter, while in extreme cases he is 
deprived of the services of the barber and the washerman. 

{Hi) The sectarian type comprises a small number of castes which 
commenced life as religious sects founded by 
castet?*"^ philanthropic enthusiasts who, having evolved 
some metaphysical formula offering a speedier 
release from the tcedium vitce which oppresses theEast, had further 
persuaded themselves that all men were equal, or at any rate 
that all believers in their teaching ought to be equal. As time 
went on the practical difficulties of realizing this ideal forced 
themselves upon the members of the sect ; they found their 
company becoming unduly mixed ; and they proceeded to 
reorganize themselves on the lines of an ordinary caste. A 
notable instance of this tendency to revert to the normal type 
of Hindu society is to be found in the present condition of the 
Lingayat or Virshaiv caste of Bombay and Southern India, 
which numbers 2,900,000 adherents. Founded as a sect in the 
twelfth century by a reformer who proclaimed the doctrine of 
the equality of all who received the eightfold sacrament ordained 
by him and wore on their persons the mystic /A«//ws emblematic 
of the god Siva, the Lingayat community had begun by the 
close of the seventeenth century to develop endogamous sub- 
castes based upon the social distinctions which their founder had 
expressly abjured. At the recent Census the process of trans- 
forming the sect into a caste had advanced still further. In a 
petition presented to the Government of India the members of 



SOCIAL TYPES 79 

the Lingayat community protested against the " most offensive 
and mischievous order " that all of them should be entered in the 
Census papers as belonging to the same caste, and asked that 
they might be recorded as Virshaiv Brahmans, Kshatriyas, 
Vaisyas, or Sudras, as the case might be. It would be difficult 
to find a better illustration of the essentially particularist instinct 
of the Indian people, of the aversion with which they regard 
the doctrine that all men are equal, and of the growing attraction 
exercised by the aristocratic scheme of society which their 
ancient traditions enshrine. The legend of the four original 
castes may have no historical foundation, but there can be no 
question as to the spread of its influence or the strength of the 
sentiment which it inspires. 

A somewhat similar case is that of the Saraks of western 
Bengal, Chutia Nagpur, and Orissa, who seem to be a Hinduized 
remnant of the early Jain people to whom local legends ascribe 
the ruined temples, the defaced images, and even the abandoned 
copper mines of that part of Bengal. Their name is a variant of 
Sravaka (Sanskrit "hearer"), the designation of the Jain laity; 
they are strict vegetarians, never eating flesh, and on no account 
taking life, and if in preparing their food any mention is made 
of the word " cutting,*' the omen is deemed so disastrous that 
everything must be thrown away. In Orissa they call them- 
selves Buddhists and assemble once a year at the famous cave 
temples of Khandagiri near Cuttack to make offerings to the 
Buddhist images there and to confer on religious matters. But 
these survivals of their ancient faith have not saved them from 
the all-pervading influence of caste. They have split up into 
endogamous groups based partly on locality and partly on the 
fact that some of them have taken to the degraded occupation 
of weaving, and they now form a Hindu caste of the ordinary 
type. The same fate has befallen the Gharbari Atiths, the 
Sannyasi, the Jugis, the Jati-Baishtams of Bengal, the Banhra 
of Nepal— Newars, who were originally Buddhist priests but 
abandoned celibacy and crystallized into a caste— and the 
Bishnois and Sadhs of the United Provinces. The Bishnois of 
Rohilkhand, says Mr. Burn,* are divided into nine endogamous 
groups of sub-castes " called after the castes from which they 
were recruited. New converts take their place in the appro- 
priate sub-castes." In the case of the Sadhs "recruits are no 
longer admitted, and it is peculiar that no endogamous or 
exogamous divisions exist, the only restriction on marriage 

* Census Report of the United Provinces, 1901, vol. i. p. 214. 



8o PEOPLE OF INDIA 

being that intermarriage is forbidden between two families as 
long as the recollection of a former marriage connexion between 
them remains. The instance is of special interest as the quality 
maintained by the tenets of the sect; which has developed into a 
caste, has not yet been destroyed, as is usual in such cases." 
A still more remarkable, because a more modern, case is 
mentioned by Sir Henry Cotton, who states that "the more self- 
assertive portion of the Brahmo community " appears to be " in 
the course of forming" a new caste. All these curious develop- 
ments serve to illustrate the comparatively insignificant part that 
religion has played in the shaping of the caste system, and the 
strength of the tendency to morcellement, to splitting up into 
fractional groups, that is characteristic of Hindu society. So 
long as the sectarian instinct confines itself to expressing a mere 
predilection for one god rather than another, or simply develops 
a new cult, however fantastic, which permits men to indulge in 
the luxury of religious eccentricity without quitting the narrow 
circle of their social environment, its operations are undisturbed 
and the sects which it forms may flourish and endure. But 
directly it invades the social sphere and seeks to unify and 
amalgamate groups of theoretically different origin it comes in 
contact with a force too strong for it and has to give way. Race 
dominates religion ; sect is weaker than caste. 

Even Christianity has not altogether escaped the subtle 
contagion of caste. Almost everywhere in India a tendency 
has been observed on the part of converts from Hinduism to 
group themselves according to the castes to which they 
originally belonged. This sometimes assumes the form of a 
division into two groups, the higher restricted to those who 
were members of the ' clean ' castes from whom Brahmans can 
take water, while the lower comprises all those of inferior 
rank. On the west coast the retention of caste distinctions 
was deliberately recognized by the Portuguese missionaries, 
and the results of this policy have survived down to the present 
day. The Indian Roman Catholic Christians of the Konkan, 
the low-lying strip of coast between the Western Ghats and 
the sea, are divided into Bambans or Bammans (Brahmans), 
Charodas or Chardos (Kshatriyas or Chhatris), Sudirs (Sudras), 
Renders (drawers of palm-juice), Gavids or Gavdas (salt- 
makers), Modvals (washermen), Kumbars (potters), and Kaphris 
or Sidis (labourers), whose thick lips, slanting foreheads and 
curly beards suggest an infusion of Somali blood. Inter- 
marriages among these groups, while not absolutely forbidden, 



SOCIAL TYPES 8i 

are said to be rare, though in South Kanara such unions "are 
gradually becoming more frequent in cases in which members 
of castes other than the Bammans have succeeded in obtaining 
a good position in the official, legal, or commercial community." * 
Infant marriage is forbidden among the Konkani Christians, 
but girls are married as soon as they are twelve years old, and 
sometimes even before that age under a special dispensation 
from the Bishop. Widow marriage, though not forbidden, " is 
as much condemned as among the pagans." Many of them, 
especially the women, cannot bear the idea of eating beef, and 
they observe the characteristic Hindu prohibition against a 
wife addressing or speaking of her husband by his name. The 
marriage ceremony is performed in Church according to 
Christian rites, but it is preceded and followed by observances 
which are palpable survivals from the Hindu customs of 
betrothal and marriage. These include the formal bathing of 
the betrothed couple, the giving of a dinner to the poor for the 
benefit of the deceased ancestors of the family, the tying of a 
tali or lucky necklace (which sometimes has a cross or a figure 
of the infant Jesus as a pendant) round the bride's neck, the 
exchange of presents, and the formal transfer of the bride to 
her husband's family. 

Further south in the little State of Cochin on the Malabar 
coast, where Christianity has been established for many 
centuries and is believed by some authorities to date from 
apostolic times, a different principle has asserted itself In the 
course of ages, disputes as to theological doctrine, ecclesiastical 
ritual, or spiritual supremacy have led to the formation among 
the non-Protestant Christians in Cochin of a number of sects — 
the Roman Catholics of the Latin rite, who use the Liturgy 
of the Romish Church in Latin, and are further subdivided 
into the Three Hundred, the Five Hundred, and the Seven 
Hundred, obscure schisms possibly derived merely from the 
number of families that were converted by the Portuguese 
missionaries on successive occasions ; the Roman Catholics of 
the Syrian rite, who used the Romish Liturgy in ancient 
Syriac; the Chaldean Syrians, who are under the Patriarch 

* Manual of South Kanara. J. Sturrock, l.c.s., 1894. Vide aho Bombay Gazetteer, 
vol. XV., pan i., 1883, p. 382 ; and Indian Caste, by Mr. J. A. Saldanha, 1904. [" Broadly 
speaking, it may be said that the Catholic Church tolerates, the Protestant Church condemns, 
this idea of caste. The practical outcome of the matter is that among high caste people the 
Roman Catholic Church alone has made appreciable progress." Some missionaries of that 
Church, however, dispute these conclusions, Madras Census Report, 191 1, vol. i. p. 60 
et seq.'\ 

R, PI. 6 



82 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

of Babylon, and differ in several minute points of ritual from 
the Romo-Syrians ; the Jacobite Syrians, who are under the 
Patriarch of Antioch ; and the Reformed or St. Thomas Syrians, 
an offshoot of the Jacobites who recognize the supremacy 
neither of the Pope nor of the Patriarch of Antioch and obey a 
Bishop of their own. These last have come to some extent 
under Protestant influence, and they insist upon the title of St. 
Thomas Syrians as marking their close adherence to the teach- 
ing and ritual of the apostolic age. They deny that the Bible 
should be interpreted by the traditions of the Church ; they 
reject confession, absolution, fasting, the invocation of Saints, 
and the veneration of relics ; they object to masses for the dead 
and dispute the doctrine of baptismal regeneration. Of these 
seven sects the first five appear to have crystallized into regular 
castes between the members of which no intermarriage is 
possible. The two branches of the Jacobite Syrians still 
intermarry, subject to a further distinction between residents 
of the northern and southern divisions of the State, the former 
of whom claim to be superior to the latter on the ground of 
their descent from the first colonists from Syria.* 

(iv) Castes forn^ed by crossing. — Modern criticism has been 

especially active in its attacks on that por- 
^'""by erotsing."'^* tion of the traditional theory which derives 

the multitude of mixed or inferior castes from 
an intricate series of crosses between members of the original 
four. No one can examine the long lists which purport to 
illustrate the working of this process without being struck by 
much that is absurd and inconsistent. But in India it does not 
necessarily follow that, because the individual applications of a 
principle are ridiculous, the principle itself can have no founda- 
tion in fact. The last thing that would occur to the literary 
theorists of those times, or to their successors \he pandits oi \.o- 
day, would be to go back upon actual facts, and to seek by 
analysis and comparison to work out the true stages of evolution. 
They found, as I infer from plentiful experience of my own, 
the a priori method simpler and more congenial. That at least 
did not compel them to pollute their souls' by the study ot 
plebeian usage. Having once got hold of a formula, they 
insisted, like Thales and his contemporaries, on making it 
account for the entire order of things. Thus, castes which were 
compact tribes, castes which had been developed out of corpora- 
tions like the mediaeval trade guilds, and castes which expressed 

* [C. Achyuta Menon, The Cochin State Manual, 1911, p. 217 et seq.'l 



SOCIAL TYPES 83 

the distinction between fishing and hunting, agriculture and 
handicrafts, were all supposed to have been evolved by inter- 
breeding. 

But the initial principle, though it could not be stretched to 
explain everything, nevertheless rests upon a residuum of 
historical fact. It happens that we can still observe its workings 
among a number of Dravidian tribes, which, though not yet 
drawn into the vortex of Brahmanism, have been in some 
degree affected by the example of Hindu organization. As 
regards inter-tribal marriages, they seem to be in a stage of 
development through which the Hindus themselves may have 
passed. A man may marry a woman of another tribe, but the 
offspring of such unions do not become members of either the 
paternal or maternal groups, but belong to a distinct endoga- 
mous aggregate, the name of which often denotes the precise 
cross by which it was started. Among the large tribe of 
Mundas we find, for instance, nine such groups — Khangar- 
Munda, Kharia-Munda, Konkpat-Munda, Karanga-Munda, 
Mahili-Munda, Nagbansi-Munda, Oraon-Munda, Sad-Munda, 
Savar-Munda — descended from intermarriages between Munda 
men and women of other tribes.* The Mahilis again have five 
sub-tribes of this kind, and themselves trace their descent to 
the union of a Munda with a Santal woman. Illustrations of 
this sort might be multiplied almost indefinitely. The point to 
be observed is that the sub-tribes formed by inter-tribal crossing 
are from an early stage complete endogamous units, and that 
they tend continually to sever their slender connexion with the 
parent group, and stand forth as independent tribes. As soon 
as this comes to pass, and a functional or territorial name 
disguises their mixed descent, the process by which they have 
been formed is seen to resemble closely that by which the 
standard Indian tradition seeks to explain the appearance of 
other castes alongside of the classical four. 

Within the limits of the regular caste system Mr. Gait 
mentions the Shagirdpeshas of Bengal as the only true caste in 
this Province " which takes its origin from miscegenation, and 
which is still adding to its numbers in the same way. Amongst 
the members of the higher castes of Orissa who do not allow 
widow remarriage, and also amongst the Kayasth immigrants 
from Bengal, it is a common practice to take as maid-servants 
and concubines women belonging to the lower clean castes, 
such as Chasa and Bhandari. The offspring of these 

* [See Sarat Chandra Roy, The Mundas and their Country, 1912, p. 400 et seq.\ 



84 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

maid-servants are known as Shagirdpesha. They form a regular 
caste of the usual type and are divided into endogamous groups 
with reference to the caste of the male parent. Kayasth 
Shagirdpeshas will not intermarry with Karan Shagirdpeshas, 
nor Rajput Shagirdpeshas (their number is very small) with 
those of Kayasth origin, but intermarriage between the Shagird- 
peshas of Karan and of Khandait descent sometimes takes 
place, just as such marriages sometimes occur between 
persons belonging to the castes to which they owe their 
origin. The caste of the mother makes no difference in 
the rank of the children, but those who can count several 
generations from their original progenitor rank higher than 
those in whose case the stigma of illegitimacy is more 
recent. 

" The word Shagirdpesha, which is commonly pronounced 
Sagarpesha, means servant, and is applied with reference to 
the traditional occupation, which is domestic service. It is 
said that the word should properly be confined to the offspring 
of Bengali Kayasths, and that the illegitimate children of Karans 
and other castes of Orissa should be called Krishnapakshi, or 
Antarpua, or, again, Antarkaran, Antarkhandait, etc. ' This 
distinction, however, is not observed in practice. The relation- 
ship between the legitimate children of a man of good caste and 
their bastard brothers and sisters is recognized, but the latter 
cannot eat with the former, hence they are called bhdtdntar, or 
separated by rice. They are entitled to maintenance, but 
cannot inherit their father's property so long as there are any 
legitimate heirs. They usually serve in their father's house 
until they grow up and marry ; male children are then usually 
given a house and a few bighas of land for their support. The 
Shagirdpeshas are also sometimes known as Goldm (slave)— a 
term which is also applied to the Sudras of Eastern Bengal, 
who appear in several respects to be an analogous caste. 
Another appellation is Kothd po (own son), as distinguished 
from Prajd po (tenant son), which formerly denoted a purchased 
slave. Their family name is usually Singh or Das. Some of 
them have taken to cultivation, but they will not themselves 
handle the plough. They usually live in great poverty. It is 
said to be impossible for a Shagirdpesha under any circum- 
stances to obtain admission to his father's caste. If a man of 
that caste were to marry a Shagirdpesha woman he would be 
outcasted and his children would become Shagirdpesha. 
Persons of higher rank (usually outcasts) are admitted to the 



SOCIAL TYPES 85 

caste. A feast is given by the applicant for admission, and he 
is then formally acknowledged as a caste-follow. 

" In their social observances the Shagirdpeshas follow the 
practices of the higher castes. They forbid the remarriage of 
widows and do not allow divorce. Polygamy is only permitted 
vi^hen good cause is shown, e.g., if the first wife is barren or 
diseased. They belong to the Vaishnava sect, worship the 
ordinary Hindu gods, and employ good Brahmans. The bind- 
ing portion of the marriage ceremony is the joining of the 
hands of bride and bridegroom by the officiating priest. 
Shagirdpeshas of the first generation, being illegitimate, cannot 
perform their father's sradh. They usually cremate their dead. 
In spite of their number (about 47,000) the caste is said to be 
of quite recent origin, and it is asserted that it did not exist a 
century and-a-half ago." * 

An older and more instructive illustration, dating possibly 
from before the Christian era, of the forrtiation of a caste by 
crossing, is furnished by the Khas of Nepal, who are the off- 
spring of mixed marriages between Rajputs or Brahman 
immigrants and the Mongolian women of the country. " The 
females," t says Hodgson, "wouldindeed welcome the polished 
Brahmans to their embraces, but their offspring must not be 
stigmatized as the infamous progeny of a Brahman and a 
Mlechha — must, on the contrary, be raised to eminence in the 
new order of things proposed to be introduced by their fathers. 
To this progeny also, then, the Brahmans, in still greater 
defiance of their creed, communicated the rank of the second 
order of Hinduism ; and from these two roots, mainly, sprung 
the now numerous, predominant, and extensively ramified tribe 
of the Khas, originally the name of a small clan of creedless 
barbarians, now the proud title of the Kshatriyas, or military 
order of the kingdom of Nepal. The offspring of original Khas 
females and of Brahmans, with the honours and rank of the 
second order of Hinduism, got the patronymic titles of the first 
order, and hence the key to the anomalous nomenclature of so 
many stirpes of the military tribes of Nepal is to be sought in 
the nomenclature of the sacred order. It may be added, as 
remarkably illustrative of the lofty spirit of the Parbattias, that 
in spite of the yearly increasing sway of Hinduism in Nepal, 
and of the various attempts of the Brahmans in high office to 

* Census Refort , Bengal, 1901, vol. i., p. 433, et seq. 

t Essay on the Origin and Classification of the Military Tribes of Nepal, J. A. S. B , 
1833, p. 217. 



86 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

procure the abolition of a custom so radically opposed to the 
creed both parties now profess, the Khas still insist that the 
fruit of commerce (marriage is out of the question) between 
their females and males of the sacred order shall be ranked as 
Kshatriyas, wear the thread, and assume the patronymic title." 
The Khas now call themselves Chhattris or Kshatriyas — a 
practice which, according to Colonel Vansittart,* dates from 
Sir Jang Bahadur's visit to England in 1850. Allied to the 
Khas are the Ektharia and the Thakurs, both of Rajput 
parentage on the male side, the Thakur ranking higher because 
their ancestors are supposed to have been rulers of various 
petty States in Nepal. The Matwala Khas, again, are the 
progeny of Khas men and Magar women, and the Uchai 
Thakurs are of the same lineage on the female side. 

The Sudra caste of Eastern Bengal, the Rajbansi Baruas of 
Chittagong, believed to be the offspring of Burmese fathers 
and Bengali mothers, the Vidurs of the Central Provinces, who 
claim Brahman parentage on the male side and, though now 
marrying among themselves, still receive into their community 
the children of mixed unions between Brahmans and women 
of other castes, are minor instances of the same process. The 
Boria caste of Assam is said by Mr. Allen f to comprise the 
offspring of Brahman and Ganak widows And their descendants, 
and the children of Brahmans who attained puberty before 
marriage, and so had to be married to men of lower caste. 
The name Boria is popularly derived from ban, a widow, but 
the members of the caste prefer to call themselves Sut or Suta, 
the Shastric designation of the children of a Brahman woman 
by a Kshatriya, or Vaisya father. Borias are more numerous 
in Nowgong than in any other district of Assam, though the 
number of Brahmans there is comparatively small. On point- 
ing this out to an educated Brahman of Nowgong, Mr. Allen 
received the singular explanation that "the Gosains and 
Mohants of that district had put pressure upon householders 
to give away young Brahman widows in marriage to men of 
lower castes to prevent the society from becoming demoralized." 

(v) Castes of the national type. — Where there is neither nation 

nor national sentiment, it may seem para- 

(v) a lona cas es. jQ^ical to talk about a national type of 

caste. There exist, however, certain groups, usually regarded 

as castes at the present day, which cherish traditions of bygone 

* Notes on Nepal, 1896, p. 89. 

t Census Report of Assam, 1901, vol. i., p. 124, et seq. 



SOCIAL TYPES 87 

sovereignty and seem to preserve traces of an organization 
considerably more elaborate than that of an ordinary tribe. 
The Newars, a mixed people of Mongoloid origin, who were 
the predominant race in Nepal proper until the country was 
conquered and annexed by the- Gurkha Prithi Narayan in 1768, 
may be taken as an illustration of such a survival. The group 
comprises both Hindus and Buddhists. The latter are at 
present slightly more numerous, but the former are said to be 
gaining ground by more frequent conversions. The two com- 
munities are quite distinct, and each is divided into an elaborate 
series of castes. Thus, among the Hindu Newars, we find at 
the top of the social scale the Devabhaja, who are Brahmans 
and spiritual teachers ; the Surjyabansi Mai, members of the old 
royal family ; the Sreshta, consisting of ministers and other 
officials ; and the Japu, who are cultivators. Then comes an inter- 
mediate group including, among others, the Awa, masons ; the 
Kawmi, carpenters and sweetmeat-makers, an odd combination 
of trades ; the Chhipi, dyers of cloth ; the Kau, blacksmiths ; and 
the Nau, barbers. Lowest of all are the Pasi, washermen ; the 
Jugi, tailors and musicians ; the Po, sweepers, burners of dead 
bodies, and executioners ; and the Kulu, drummakers and 
curriers. 

If the Marathas can be described as a caste, their history 
and traditions certainly stamp them as a caste of the national 
type. They number five millions at the present census, 
3,279,000 in Bombay, 1,538,000 in Hyderabad, 79,000 in Madras, 
45,000 in Mysore, 93,000 in the Central Provinces and Berar, 
28,000 in Central India. According to Mr. Enthoven,* the 
Bombay Marathas "may be classified as a tribe with two 
divisions, Maratha and Maratha Kunbi, of which the former 
are hypergamous to the latter, but were not originally 
distinct. It remains to be explained that the Kunbis also 
consist of two divisions, Desh Kunbis numbering 1,900,000, 
and Konkani Kunbis, of which there are 350,000 recorded. 
Intermarriage between these divisions is not usual. The 
barrier, however, seems to be purely geographical. It may 
not withstand the altered conditions due to improvements in 
communications, and it is not apparently based on any religious 
prohibition of intermarriages. The fact that the Kunbis consist 
of two branches muat, however, be borne in mind in attempting 
to arrive at a correct description of the tribal configuration." 
The highest class of Marathas is supposed to consist of 

* Census Report of Bombay, 1901, vol. i., p. 183, et seq. 



88 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

ninety-six families, who profess to be of Rajput descent and to 
represent the Kshatriyas of the traditional system. They wear 
the sacred thread, marry their daughters before puberty, and 
forbid widows to marry again. But their claim to kinship with 
the Rajput is effectually refuted by the anthropometric data 
now published, and by the survival among them of kuldevaks 
or totems, such as the sun-flower, the kadamba tree {Nauclea 
Kadamba), the mango, the conch-shell, the peacock's feather, 
and turmeric, which are worshipped at marriages and at the 
ceremony of dedicating a new house, while their close con- 
nexion with the Kunbis is attested by the fact that they take 
Kunbi girls as wives, though they do not give their own 
daughters to Kunbi men. A wealthy Kunbi, however, 
occasionally gains promotion to and marries into the higher 
grade and claims brevet rank as a Kshatriya. The fact seems 
to be that the ninety-six superior families represent Kunbis who 
came to the front during the decline 'of the Moghal Empire, 
won for themselves princedoms or estates, claimed the rank 
of landed gentry, and asserted their dignity by refusing their 
daughters to their less distinguished brethren. 

(vi) Castes formed by migration. — If members of a caste leave 
(vi) Castes formed their original habitat and settle permanently 

by migration. jn another part of India, the tendency is for 
them to be separated from the parent group and to develop into 
a distinct caste. The stages of the process are readily traced. 
In the first instance it is assumed that people who go and live 
in foreign parts must of necessity eat forbidden food, worship 
alien gods, and enter into relations with strange women. 
Consequently, when they wish to take wives from among their 
own people, they find that their social status has been lowered, 
and that they have to pay for the privilege of marrying within 
the parent group. This luxury grows more and more expen- 
sive, and in course of time the emigrants marry only among them- 
selves and thus become a sub-caste usually distinguished by a 
territorial name, such as Jaunpuria, Tirhutia, Barendra, and the 
like. Mr. Gait has pointed out that "the prolonged residence of 
persons of Bihar castes in Bengal generally results in their 
being placed under a ban as regards marriage," * and I had 
observed some years earlier that up-country barbers who settle 
in Bengal are called khotta and practically form a separate sub- 
caste, as Bengali barbers will not intermarry with them, while 
they are regarded as impure by the barbers of Upper India and 

* yCensus Report, Bengal, igoi.vol. i., p. 355 note?^ 



SOCIAL TYPES 89 

Bihar by reason of their having taken up their residence in 
Bengal. If the process of differentiation is carried a step further 
(as indeed usually happened before the potept influence of 
railways had made itself felt), and the settlers assume a dis- 
tinctive caste-name, all traces of their original affinities dis- 
appear and there remains only a dim tradition of their migration 
" from the West," the quarter whence, in Bengal at any rate, 
promotion is believed to come. Owing to this loss of identity 
the number of instances in which we can point with certainty 
to the formation of castes by migration is comparatively small. 
Mr. Russell, writing of the Central Provinces, tells us how a 
native gentleman said to him, in speaking of his people, that 
" when a few families of Khedawal Brahmans from Gujarat first 
settled in Damoh, they had the greatest difficulty in arranging 
their marriages. They could not marry with their caste-fellows 
in Gujarat, because their sons and daughters could not 'estab- 
lish themselves,' that is, could not prove their identity as 
Khedawal Brahmans ; but since the railway has been opened, 
intermarriages take place freely with other Khedawals in 
Gujarat and Benares." * So the geographical isolation of 
Chhattisgarh, the country of the " thirty-six forts " of the 
Haihaibansi dynasty of Ratanpur, has led to the social 
isolation of the inhabitants. "The Chhattisgarhi Brahmans," 
says Mr. Russell, " form a class apart, and up - country 
Brahmans will have nothing to do with them." The contempt 
in which the people of this tract are held by their neighbours, 
finds expression in the following depreciatory verses : 

JVah hai Chhattisgarhi desk, 
Jahdn Gond hai naresh. 
Niche burst upar khdt, 
Lagd hai chongi kd thdt, 
Pahile jutd pichhe bat. 
Tab dwe Chhattisgarhi hat. 

Which may be rendered thus : — 

" This is Clihattisgarh, where the Gond is king of the jungle, 
Under his bed is a fire, for he cannot pay for a blanket ; 
Nor for a hookah indeed, — a leaf-pipe holds his tobacco. 
Kick him soundly first and then he will do what you tell him." + 

The verses reflect the intolerant and domineering attitude of the 
Indo-Aryan towards the Dravidian, of the high-caste man 
towards the low, that has been characteristic of Indian society 
from the earliest times down to the present day. 

* {^Census Report, Central Provinces, 1901, vol. i., p. 156.] 
t [Ibid., p. 147.] 



90 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

A good illustration of the formation of a caste by migration 
is to be found in the traditions of the Nambudri or Namputiri 
Brahmans of Malabar. These Brahmans claim to have come 
to the west coast from various sacred localities in Kathiawar 
and the northern Deccan ; Mr. Fawcett describes them as "the 
truest Aryans in Southern India ;"* and their complexion and 
features seem to lend some support to the tradition which 
assigns to them a foreign origin. Whatever their original 
stock may have been, they are now an entirely separate caste 
differing from the Brahmans of other parts of India by their 
systematic practice of polygamy ; by their rejection of infant 
marriage ; by their restriction of marriage to the eldest son, 
the other brothers entering into polyandrous relations with 
Nayar women; and by the curious custom of ceremonial fishing 
which forms part of their marriage ritual. Another instance of 
the same process is furnished by the Rarhi Brahmans of Bengal. 
The current legend is that early in the eleventh century a.d., 
Adisura or Adisvara, Raja of Bengal, finding the Brahmans then 
settled in his dominions too ignorant to perform for him certain 
Vedic ceremonies, applied to the Raja of Kanauj for priests 
conversant with the sacred ritual of the Aryans. In answer to 
his request there were sent to him five Brahmans of Kanauj, 
one of them a son of the Raja, who brought with them their 
wives, their sacred fire, and their sacrificial implements. It is 
said that Adisura was at first disposed to treat them with 
scanty respect, but he was soon compelled to acknowledge his 
mistake and to make terms with people who had a monopoly o 
the magical powers associated with the correct performance 
of ancient ritual. He then made over to them five populous 
villages, the number of which was subsequently increased to 
fifty-six. The tradition seems to chronicle an early brahmottar 
grant, the first perhaps of the long series of similar transactions 
that has played so important a part in the history of land 
tenures, in the development of caste influence and custom, 
and in promoting the spread of orthodox Hinduism throughout 
Bengal. Adisura did what the Rajas of outlying and un- 
orthodox tracts of country (such as Bengal was in the eleventh 
century) have constantly done since and are doing still. A 
local chief, far removed from the great centres of Brahmanical 
lore, somehow becomes aware of his ceremonial shortcomings. 
In many cases, as indeed is narrated of Adisura himself, a 
wandering priest brings home to him that his outlandish ritual 

* [Bulletin Aladras Government Museum., vol. iii. part i., p. 33.] 



SOCIAL TYPES 91 

is not up to the orthodox standard. He sends for Brahmans, 
gives them grants of land near his own residence, and proceeds 
at their dictation to reform his ways on the model of the 
devout kings whom Brahmanical literature holds up as the ideal 
for a Raja to follow. The Brahmans find for him a pedigree of 
respectable antiquity and provide him with a family legend, 
and in course of time, by dint of money and diplomacy, he 
succeeds in getting himself recognized as a member of the 
local Rajput community. But that does not mean that the real 
Rajputs will acknowledge his pretensions ; nor will Brahmans 
who have attached themselves to his fortunes retain their 
status among the community from which they have broken off. 
It will be said of them, as is said of the Brahman immigrants 
into Bengal, that they have married local women, eaten for- 
bidden food, adopted strange customs, and forgotten the endless 
details of the elaborate ritual which they set forth to teach- 
As priests in partibus infidelium they will be regarded with 
suspicion by the Brahmans of their original stock ; they will 
have to pay high for brides from among their own people, and 
eventually will be cut off altogether from the jus connubii. 
When that stage has been reached they will have become to all 
intents and purposes a separate caste retaining the generic 
name of Brahman, but forming a new species and presenting a 
distinctive type. And this great change will have been brought 
about by the simple fact of their abandoning the habitat of their 
original community. 

Occasionally it may happen that social promotion, rather 
than degradation, results from a change of residence. In 
Chanda, a remote district of the Central Provinces, a number of 
persons returned themselves as Barwaiks and the designation, 
being unknown in the Census office, was referred to the district 
officer for explanation. It was stated in reply that the Barwaiks 
were a clan of Rajputs from Orissa who had come to Nagpur 
in the train of the Bhonsla Rajas and had taken military service 
under them. Now in Chutia Nagpur the Baraiks or Chik- 
Baraiks are a sub-caste of the Pans — the helot weavers and 
basketmakers who perform a variety of servile functions for the 
organized Dravidian tribes and used to live in a kind of Ghetto 
in the villages of the Kandhs (Khonds) for whom they purveyed 
children destined for human sacrifice and, when they had failed 
to steal other people's children, sold their own for this ghastly 
purpose. Mr. Russell observes that " though it is possible that 
the coincidence may be accidental, still there seems good reason 



92 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

to fear that it is from these humble beginnings that the Barwaik 
sept of Rajputs in Chanda must trace its extraction. And it is 
clear that before the days of railways and the half-anna post an 
imposture of this sort must have been practically impossible of 
detection."* The conjecture seems a plausible one, and the 
fact that Baraik is a title actually in use among the Jadubansi 
Rajputs may have helped the Pans to establish their fictitious 
rank. 

{vii) Castes formed by changes of custom. — The formation of 

(vii) Castes formed "^^ ^^^^^^ ^^ ^ Consequence of the neglect 
by changes of of established usage or the adoption of new 
customs. ceremonial practices or secular occupations 

has been a familiar incident of the caste system from the earliest 
times. We are told in Manut bowmen of the three tAvice-born 
castes, who have not received the sacrament of initiation at the 
proper time, or who follow forbidden occupations, become 
Vratyas or outcasts, intercourse with whom is punished with a 
double fine, and whose descendants are graded as distinct 
castes. Living as a Vratya is a condition involving of itself 
exclusion from the original caste, and a Brahman who performs 
sacrifices for such persons has to do penance. The idea of such 
changes of status is inherent in the system, and illustrations of 
its application are plentiful. Sometimes it figures in the tradi- 
tions of a caste under the form of a claim to a more distinguished 
origin than is admitted by current opinion. The Skanda 
Purana, for example, recounts an episode in Parasu Rama's 
raid upon the Kshatriyas, the object of which is to show that the 
Kayasths are by birth Kshatriyas of full blood, who by reason 
of their observing the ceremonies of the Sudras are called 
Vratya or incomplete Kshatriyas. The Babhans or Bhuinhars 
of the United Provinces and Bihar are supposed, according to 
some legends, to be Brahmans who lost status by taking to 
agriculture, and the Mongoloid Kochh of Northern Bengal 
describe themselves as Rajbansis, or as Vratya or Bhanga 
(broken) Kshatriyas — a designation which enables them to pose 
as an outlying branch of that exalted community who fled to 
these remote districts before the wrath of Parasu Rama, and 
there allowed their characteristic observances to fall into disuse. 
At the present day the most potent influence in bringing about 
elevations or depressions of social status which may result 
ultimately in the formation of new castes is the practice of 

* [Census Report, Central Provinces, 1901, vol. i., p. I57-] 
t \Laws, ii. 39, x. 20, xi. 63.] 



SOCIAL TYPES 93 

widow marriage. With the advance of orthodox ideas that may 
plausibly be ascribed to the extension of railways and the 
diffusion of primary education it dawns upon some members of 
a particular caste that the custom of marrying widows is highly 
reprehensible, and with the assistance of their Brahmans they 
set to work to discourage it. The first step is to abstain from 
intermarriage with people who practise the forbidden thing, 
and thus to form a sub-caste which adopts a high-sounding 
name derived from some famous locality like Ajodhya or 
Kanauj, or describes itself as Biydhut or Behutd, " the married 
ones," by way of emphasizing the orthodox character of their 
matrimonial arrangements.' Thus the Awadhia or Ayodhya 
Kurmis of Bihar and the Kanaujia Kurmis of the United Pro- 
vinces pride themselves on prohibiting the remarriage of 
widows and are endeavouring to establish a shadowy title to be 
recognized as some variety of Kshatriya, in pursuance of which, 
with singular ignorance of the humble origin of the great Maratha 
houses, they claim kinship with Sivaji, Sindhia and the Bhonsla 
family of Nagpur. In Bihar they have succeeded in attaining a 
higher rank than ordinary Kurmis. Brahmans take water from 
their hands ; the funeral ceremony is performed on the twelfth 
day after death, according to the custom of the higher castes ; 
and kachchi food prepared by them is eaten by Kahars, Bhats, 
and other castes who would refuse to accept food of this kind 
from Sudras. They have abandoned domestic service, and the 
wealthier members of the group exchange presents with the 
higher castes and are invited by them to ceremonial functions. 
But although the Awadhias have achieved complete practical 
separation from the main body of Kurmis no one accepts them 
as Kshatriyas or Rajputs, nor are they recognized by Hindu 
public opinion as forming a distinct caste. In the Punjab Sir 
Denzil Ibbetson* wrote in 1881 that the Gaurwa Rajputs of 
Gurgaon and Delhi, though retaining the title of Rajput in 
deference to the strength of caste-feeling and because the 
change in their customs was then too recent for the name to 
have fallen into disuse, yet had, for all purposes of equality, 
communion, or intermarriage, ceased to be Rajputs since they 
took to karewa or widow marriage. And the distinction 
between the Jats and Rajputs, both sprung from a common 
Indo-Aryan stock, is marked by the fact that the former 
practise and the latter abstain from a usage which more than 
any other is regarded as a crucial test of relative social position. 

* \Census Report, 1881, para. 446.] 



94 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

In allusion to this fact one of the rhyming proverbs of the 
Punjab makes a Jat father say^ — " Come, m}' daughter, and be 
married; if this husband dies there are plenty more." The 
same test applies in the Kangra Hills, the most exclusive Hindu 
portion of the Punjab, where Musalman domination was never 
fully established, and the Brahman and Kshatriya occupy posi- 
tions most nearly resembling those assigned to them by Manu. 
Here the line between the Thakkar and Rathi castes, both 
belonging to the lower classes of Hill Rajputs, is said to consist 
in the fact that Rathis do and Thakkars do not ordinarily 
practise widow marriage. 

In Southern India movements of the same sort may be 
observed. Among the begging castes which form nearly one 
per cent, of the population of the Tamil country in Madras, the 
Pandarams rank highest in virtue of their abstention from meat 
and alcohol and more especially of their prohibition of widow 
marriage. The Pancharamkatti division of the Idaiyan 
shepherd caste allow widow marriage but connect it with the 
peculiar neck ornament which their women wear, and say that 
" Krishna used to place a similar ornament round the necks of 
the Idaiyan widows of whom he was enamoured, to transform 
them from widows into married women to whom pleasure was 
not forbidden." * The story seems to be an expostfacto apology 
for the practice. The Jatapu again, a branch of the Kandh 
(Kondh) tribe which has developed into a separate caste, are 
beginning to discourage widow marriage by way of emphasizing 
the distinction between themselves and their less civilized 
brethren.! In Baroda, according to Mr. Dalal,| widow marriage 
is allowed by some degraded sub-castes of Brahmans, Tapo- 
dhan, Vyas Sarasvat, Rajgor, Bhojak, Tragalaand Koligor, which 
are virtually distinct castes, and also by the Kathis, Marathas, 
Rajputs, Taghers, and Vadhels. "The higher families, among 
castes allowing remarriage of widows, do not, as a rule, have 
recourse to it, as such a marriage is considered undignified for 
grown-up women. It is this sense of honour and a desire to 
pass for superior people which has put a stop to widow re- 
marriage among an influential section of the Lewa Kunbis and 
Sonis." 

An account is given in the chapter on marriage and caste 
of what may be called the internal structure of tribes and caste 



* [Census Report, Madras, 1901, vol. i., p. 155.] 

t [Ibid; vol. i., p. 157.] 

X [Census Report, Baroda, 1901, vol. i., p, 491.] 



SOCIAL TYPES 



95 



Totemism. 



in India — the various endogamous, exogamous, and hyper- 
gamous divisions whicii restrict and regulate matrimony and 
form the minor wheels of the vast and intricate machinery by 
which Hindu society is controlled. From the point of view of 
general ethnology considerable interest attaches to one par- 
ticular kind of division, to those exogamous groups which are 
based upon totems. The existence of tote- 
mism in India on a large scale has been 
brought to notice only in recent years : the enquiries instituted 
in connexion with the census have added materially to our 
knowledge of the subject; and special attention is being given 
to it in the ethnographic survey now being conducted in all 
British provinces and the more important Native States. No 
apology therefore is needed for mentioning it at length here, 
since it throws an important sidelight on the development of 
castes from tribes. At the bottom of the social system, as 
understood by the average Hindu, we find in the Dravidian 
region of India a large body of tribes and castes each of which 
is broken up into a number of totemistic septs. Each sept 
bears the name of an animal, a tree, a plant, or of some material 
object, natural or artificial, which the members of that sept are 
prohibited from killing, eating, cutting, burning, carrying, using, 
etc. Well-defined groups of this type are found among the 
Dravidian Santals and Oraons, both of whom still retain their 
original language, worship non-Aryan gods, and have a fairly 
compact tribal organization. The following are specimens 
selected from among the seventy-three Oraon and the ninety- 
one Santal septs : — 



Oraon. 



Santal. 



Name of sept. 


Totem. 


Name of sept. 


TotemT' 


Tirki. 


Young mice. 


Ergo. 


Rat. 


Ekka. 


Tortoise. 


Murmu. 


Nilgai. 


Kispotta. 


Pig's entrails. 


Hansda. 


Wild goose. 


Lakra. 


Hyena. 


Marudi. 


A kind of grass. 


Bagh. 


Tiger. 


Besra. 


Hawk. 


Kujrar. 


Oil from Kujrar 


Hemron. 


Betel palm. 




tree. 


Saren 


The constellation 


Cede. 


Duck. 




Pleiades. 


Khoepa. 


Wild dog. 


Sankh. 


Conch-shell. 


Minji. 


Eel. 


Gua. 


Areca nut. 


Chirra. 


Squirrel. 


Kara. 


Buffalo. 



The Hos of Singhbhum and the Mundas of the Chutia 
Nagpur plateau have also exogamous septs of the same type 
as the Oraons and Santals, with similar rules as to the totem 
being taboo to the members of the group. The lists given in 



96 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

The Tribes and Castes oy Bengal contain the names of 323 Munda 
septs and 46 Ho septs. Six of the latter are found also among 
the Santals. The other Ho septs appear to be mostly of the 
local or communal type, such as are in use among the Kandhs,* 
but this is not quite certain, and the point needs looking into 
by some one well acquainted with the Ho dialect, who would 
probably find little difficulty in identifying the names, as 
the tribe is known to be in the habit of giving 
n u la agpur. ^.^ places descriptive names having reference 
to their natural characteristics. Nearly all the Munda sept 
names are of the totem type, and the characteristic taboos 
appear to be recognized. The Tarwar or Talwar sept, for 
example, may not touch a sword, the Udbaru may not use the 
oil of a particular tree, the Sindur may not use vermilion, the 
Baghela may not kill or eat a quail, and, strangest of all, rice is 
taboo to the Dhan sept, the members of which, though rice is 
grown all round them, must supply its place with gondii or 
millet. It is difficult not to be sceptical as to the rigid obser- 
vance of this last prohibition. 

A step higher in the social scale, according to Hindu esti- 
mation, the Bhumij of Manbhum mark an early stage in the 
course of development by which a non-Aryan tribe transforms 
itself into a full-blown caste, claiming a definite rank in the 
Brahmanical system. With the exception of a few residents of 
outlying villages bordering on the Munda country of the 
Chutia Nagpur plateau, the Bhumij have lost their original 
language (Mundari), and now speak only Bengali. They 
worship Hindu gods in addition to the fetishistic deities more 
or less common to them and other Dravidians, but the tendency 
is to keep the latter rather in the background and to relegate 
the less formidable among them to the women and children to 
be worshipped in a hole-and-corner kind of way, with the 
assistanceof a tribal hedge-priest (Lqya), who is supposed to be 
specially acquainted with their ways. Some of the leading men 
of the tribe, who call themselves Bhuinhars, and hold large 
landed tenures on terms of police service, have set up as 
Rajputs, and keep a low class of Brahmans as their family 
priests. They have, as a rule, borrowed the Rajput class titles, 
but cannot conform with the Rajput rules of intermarriage, and 
marry within a narrow circle of pseudo-Rajputs like themselves. 
The rest of the tribe, numbering at the census of 1901, 370,239, are 

* [For Kandh totemism, see J. E. Friend-Pareira, Toiemism among the Khonds, Journal 
Asiatic Society, Bengal, vol. Ixxiii., part iii., 1905, p. 40 et seg.] 



SOCIAL TYPES 



97 



divided into a number of exogamous groups, of which the follow- 
ing are examples. It is curious to observe in a tribe still in a 
state of transition, that one of the Brahmanical ^o^r«s, Sandilya, 
has been borrowed from the higher castes, and in the process of 
borrowing has been transformed from a Vedic saint into a 
bird : — 

Bhumi;. 



Name of sept. 


Totem. 


Salrisi. 


Sal fish. 


Hansda. 


Wild goose. 


Leng. 


Mushroom. 


Sandilya. 


A bird. 


Hemron. 


Betel palm. 


Tumarung. 


Pumpkin. 


Nag. 


Snake. 



At a further stage in the same process of evolution, and on 
a slightly superior social level, we find the Mahilis, Koras, and 
Kurmis, all of whom claim to be members of the Hindu com- 
munity. They have totemistic exogamous sections, of which 
the following are fairly representative : — 



Mahili. 



KOEA. 



Name of 

section. 

Dungri. 

Turu. 

Kanti. 

Hansda. 
Murmu. 



Totem, 

Dumur fig. 
Ttiru grass. 
Ear of any 

animal. 
Wild goose. 
Nilgai. 



Name of 
section. 
Kasyab. 
Saula. 
Kasibak. 
Hansda. 
Butku. 
Sampu. 



Totem, 

Tortoise. 
Sal fish. 
Heron. 
Wild goose. 

Pig- 
Bull. 



KURMI. 



Name of section. 

Kesaria, 

Tarar. 

Dumuria. 

Chonchmukruar. 

Hastowar. 

Jalbanuar. 

Sankhowar. 

Baghbanuar. 

Katiar. 



Totem, 
Kesar grass. 
Buffalo. 
Dumur fig. 
Spider. 
Tortoise. 
Net. 

Shell ornaments. 
Tiger. 
Silk cloth. 



Of these three castes the Mahilis appear to have broken off 
most recently from the tribe. They still worship some of the 
Santal gods in addition to the standard Hindu deities ; they 
will eat food cooked by a Santal ; their caste organization is 
supervised, like that of the Santals, by an official bearing the 
title of Parganait; they permit the marriage of adults and 

R, PI 7 



98 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

tolerate sexual intercourse before marriage within the limits of 
the caste ; and they have not yet attained to the dignity of 
employing Brahmans for ceremonial purposes. If I may 
hazard a conjecture on so obscure a question, I should be 
inclined to class them as Santals who took to the degraded 
occupation of basket-making, and thus lost the jus connubii 
within the tribe. In the case of the Koras there is no clue 
to warrant their affiliation to any particular tribe, but their 
traditions say that they came from the Chutia Nagpur plateau, 
while their name suggests a Dravidian origin, and it seems 
possible that they may be an offshoot of the Mundas, who some- 
how sank from the status of independent cultivators to their 
present position of earth-cutting and tank-digging labourers. 
They allow adult marriage, their standard of feminine chastity is 
low, and they have not yet fitted themselves out with Brahmans. 
In the customary rules of inheritance which \.\i€vc panchdyat or 
caste council administers, it is curious to find the usage known 
in the Punjab as chundavand, by which the sons, however few, 
of one wife take a share equal to that of the sons, however 
many, of another. The Kurmis may perhaps be a Hinduized 
branch of the Santals. The latter, who are more particular 
about food, or rather about whom they eat with, than is 
commonly supposed, will eat cooked rice with the Kurmis, and 
according to one tradition regard them as elder brothers of 
their own. However this may be, the totemism of the Kurmis 
of Western Bengal stamps them as of Dravidian descent, and 
clearly distinguishes them from the Kurmis of Bihar and the 
United Provinces. They show signs of a leaning towards 
orthodox Hinduism, and employ Brahmans for the worship of 
Hindu gods, but not in the propitiation of rural and family 
deities or in their marriage ceremonies. 

One more instance of totemism in Bengal deserves special 
notice here, as it shows the usage maintain- 
n rissa. -^^^ j^^ ground among people of far higher 

social standing than any of the castes already mentioned. The 
Kumhars of Orissa take rank immediately below the Karan or 
writer caste, and thus have only two or three large castes above 
them. They are divided into two endogamous sub-castes — 
Jagannathi or Oriya Kumhars, who work standing and make 
large earthen pots, and Khattya Kumhars, who turn the wheel 
sitting and make small earthen pots, cups, toys, etc. The 
latter are immigrants from Upper India, whose number is 
comparatively insignificant. For matrimonial purposes the 



SOCIAL TYPES 99 

Jagannathi Kumhars are subdivided into the following exoga- 
mous sections : — 

Jagannathi Kumhar. 



Name of section. 


Totem. 


Kaundinya. 


Tiger. 


Sarpa. 


Snake. 


Neul. 


Weasel, 


Goru. 


Cow. 


Mudir. 


Frog. 


Bhadbhadria, 


Sparrow. 


Kurma. 


Tortoise. 



The members of each section express their respect for the 
animal whose name the section bears by refraining from killing 
or injuring it, and by bowing when they meet it. The entire 
caste also abstain from eating, and even go so far as to worship 
the sal fish, because the rings on its scales resemble the wheel 
which is the symbol of the potter's art. The Khattya Kumhars 
have only one section (Kasyapa), and thus, like the Rajbansis 
of Rangpur, are really endogamous in spite of themselves. 
The reason, no doubt, is that there are too few of them in 
Orissa to fit up a proper exogamous system, and they content 
themselves with the pretence of one. Both sub-castes appear 
to be conscious that the names of their sections are open to 
misconception, and explain that they are really the names of 
certain saints who, being present at Daksha's horse sacrifice, 
transformed themselves into animals to escape the wrath of 
Siva, whom Daksha, like Peleus in the Greek myth, had 
neglected to invite.* It may well be that we owe the 
preservation of these interesting totemistic groups to the 
ingenuity of the person who devised this respectable means of 
accounting for a series of names so likely to compromise the 
reputation of the caste. In the case of "the Khattya Kumhars, 
the fact that their single section bears the name of Kasyapa, 
while they venerate the tortoise (kachhap), and tell an odd 
story by way of apology for the practice, may perhaps lend 
weight to the conjecture, in itself a fairly plausible one, that 
many of the lower castes in Bengal who are beginning to set 
up as pure Hindus have taken advantage of the resemblance in 
sound between Kachhap and Kasyap {chh and s both become sh 
in colloquial Bengali) to convert a totemistic title into an 
eponymous one, and have gone on to borrow such other 
Brahmanical gotras as seemed to them desirable. If, for 
example, we analyze the matrimonial arrangements of the 

* Muir, Original Sanskrit Texts, IV. p. 872. 



100 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

Bhars of Manbhum, many of whom are the hereditary personal 

servants of the pseudo: Rajput Raja of Pachete, we find the 

foregoing conjecture borne out by the fact that two out of 

the seven sections which they recognize are called after the 

peacock and the bel fruit, while the rest are eponymous. But 

this is an exceptionally clear case of survival, and I fear it is 

hardly possible to simplify the diagnosis of non-Aryan castes 

by laying down a general rule, that all castes with a section 

bearing the name Kasyapa who have not demonstrably 

borrowed that appellation from the Brahmans, are probably 

offshoots from some non-Aryan tribe. 

In the Bombay Presidency the Katkaris of the Konkan will 

not kill a red-faced monkey,* the Vaidus, or herbalists of Poona 

will not kill a rabbit, and the Vadars whose name is derived 

from the Vad {Ficus Indicd), will not fell the Indian fig tree. 

The totemistic character of the septs which regulate marriage 

is, however, most pronounced in the Kanara district which 

borders on the Dravidian tract of the South. The rice-growing 

caste of Halvakki Vakkal t in Kanara have a number of 

exogamous septs or bali (lit. a creeper) which include the 

tortoise, the sambhar, the monkey, the hog-deer, two sorts of 

fish, saffron, the acacia and several other trees, and the axe 

used for felling them. As we find them now, these groups are 

^ ^ , plainly totemistic. Thus the members of 

In Bombay. , ■' .,,..,,., , 

the screw-pine oah will neither cut the tree 

nor pluck its flowers, and those of the Bargal bali will not kill 
or eat the barga or mouse-deer. The followers of the Shirin 
ball, named after the shirkal tree {Acacia speciosa), will not sit in 
the shade of the tree, and refrain from injuring it in any way. 
But in Kanara, as in Orissa, there is a tendency to disguise or 
get rid of these compromising designations as the people who 
own them rise in the social scale. The Halepaik,t once free- 
booters and now peaceful tappers of toddy trees, are divided 
into two endogamous groups, one dwelling on the coast and 
taking its name (Tengina) from the cocoanut tree, and the other 
living in the hills and calling itself Bainu after the sago-palm. 
Each of these again contains a number of exogamous balis. 
The Tengina have the wolf, the pig, the porcupine, the root of 
the pepper plant, turmeric, and the river ; to which the Baintt 



[* Etimographic Stiivey, Bombay, No. 134, 1909, pp. i, 12 ; Census Report, Bombay, 
1911, vol. i, p. 269.] 

[t Bombay Census Report, 191 1, vol. i., p. 263.] 

[t Ethnographic Survey, Bombay, No. 12, 1904, p. 2 et seq.'\ 



SOCIAL TYPES loi 

add the snake, the sambhar deer, and gold. The members of 
the Ndgchampa group will not wear the flower of that name in 
their hair, nor will the Kadave bait kill a sambhar. Two of the 
baits are called after the low castes Mahar and Hole, and it is 
curious to find that the other groups, though they will take 
girls from these baits, will not give them their own daughters 
to wife. Among the Halepaiks, unlike most of the Kanara 
castes, the bait descends through the female line, that is to say, 
the children belong to the bait of the mother, not of the father. 
Similar groups are found among the Suppalig (musicians), the 
Ager (salt workers and makers of palm-leaf umbrellas), the 
Ahir (cowherds), and the Mukur (labourers and makers of 
shell-lime). Several of these have the elephant for a totem and 
may not wear ornaments of ivory. 

Among the Bhils of the Satpura hills, who may be taken to 
represent the furthest extension westward of the Dravidian 
type, Major Luard * has discovered forty-one septs, all of 
which are exogamous. Where two distinct septs have the 
same totem intermarriage is prohibited. All the septs revere 
and refrain from injuring or using their totems, and make a 
formal obeisance when meeting or passing them, while the 
women veil their faces. Among the totems are moths {ava), 
snakes, tigers, bamboos, plpal and other trees, and a kind of 
creeper called gaola on which the members may not tread, and 
if they do so accidentally must apologize by making a salaam. 
The Maoli sept have as their totem a sort of basket (kiliya) for 
carrying grain which they are forbidden to use. The basket 
resembles in shape the shrine of the goddess of a certain hill 
where women may not worship. The Mori or peacock sept 
may not knowingly tread on the tracks of a peacock, and if a 
woman sees a peacock she must veil her face or look away. 
The cult of the totem consists in seeking for the footprint of a 
peacock in the jungle and making a salaam , „ ^ , , ■,. 

'^ . „, •' ° , . , , , In Central India. 

to it. The ground is then made smooth 
round the footprint, a svdstika is inscribed in the dust, and 
offerings of grain are deposited on a piece of red cloth. The 
Sanyar sept worship the cat, but consider it unlucky for their 
totem to enter their houses and usually keep a dog tied up at 
the door to frighten it away. The Khangar caste of Bundel- 
khand, which is cited by Major Luard as an illustration of the 
conversion of a tribe into a caste, have among their totems 
horses, iguanas, snakes, cows, elephants, alligators, rice, 

[♦ Census Report, Central India, 1901, p. lCi%etseq.\ 



102 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

turmeric, various trees and shrubs, and bricks. The members 
of the Int or brick sept may not use bricks in their houses and 
their domestic architecture is restricted to wattle and mud. 
The report on the census of Central India also contains a 
curious instance of the apparent degradation of a caste into a 
tribe accompanied by the adoption oftotems. The Sondhias 
or Sundhias of Malwa are said to be descended from the 
survivors of a Rajput army who were defeated by Shah Jahan 
and were ashamed to return to their homes. They therefore 
stayed in Malwa, married Sondhia women, borrowed some of 
the Sondhia totems and the Sondhia gods, and in course of 
time allowed widows to marry again. Ten of the twenty-four 
septs into which the tribe is divided still cherish traditions of 
their Rajput origin and, while taking wives from the other 
septs, refuse to give their daughters in return. 

For the Central Provinces Mr. Russell * gives a long list of 
totems found among sixteen castes and 

In the Central tribes, including not only the' primitive 
Provinces. ° j r 

Gonds, Korkus, and Oraons, and the leather- 
working Chamars, but also the pastoral Ahirs, the respect- 
able carpenter caste (Barhai) and the Dhlmars, from all of 
whom Brahmans can take water, while the last named are 
commonly employed by them as personal servants. The list 
comprises elephants, lions, tigers, bears, wolves, jackals, 
buffaloes, goats, monkeys, peacocks, parrots, crocodiles, lizards, 
tortoises, porcupines, scorpions, snakes, also salt, rice, Indian 
corn, pumpkins, mangoes, cucumbers, lotus leaves, vermilion 
and a variety of trees. All of these are regarded with reverence, 
and members of the sept abstain from killing, using or naming 
them. 

In Madras the Boya shikari tx\\>^ of the Deccan is divided into 
loi totemistic septs, among them chimaht, 
ants ; eddulu, bulls ; jenneru, sweet-scented 
oleander ; j'errabuiula, centipedes; yenumalu, buffaloes; and kusa, 
grass. The Jatapu, the civilized division of the Kandhs or 
Khonds, have among their totems koaloka, arrows ; kondacorri, 
hill sheep ; kutraki, wild goats ; and vinka, white ants. The 
large agricultural caste of Kapu, numbering nearly three 
millions, have among their exogamous sections the cock 
{kodt), the sheep {mekala), and a shrub known as tangedu 
{Cassia auriculata). Of the 102 sections of the trading Komatis 
six are totemistic, the totems including the tamarind, the tulsi 

[* Census Report, Central Provinces, 1901, vol. i. jj. 189 et seq.'] 



SOCIAL TYPES 103 

{Ocymum Sanctum), and the betel vine. The weaving Kurnis 
count among their totems saffron, gold, cummin, gram, pepper, 
buffaloes, and certain trees.* 

In Assam the Garos have monkeys, horses, bears, mice, 
lizards, frogs, crows, pumpkins, and a number of trees among 
their totems ; the Kacharis recognize as totems the tree snail, 
the muga insect, the sesamum plant, the kumra or giant gourd, 
and the tiger. Members of the tiger sept 

In. A ssfi. Tyi 

have to throw away their earthenware 
utensils by way of atonement when a tiger is killed. The 
louse and the buffalo are the only animal totems on record 
among the Khasi ; the Kuki have the dog ; the Lalung eggs, 
fish, and pumpkins ; the Mikir totems appear to be mainly 
vegetable. Our information, however, on totemism in Assam 
is extremely scanty, and the subject requires further investiga- 
tion, t 

For Burma the facts, so far as they go, are thus stated by 
Mr. Lowis : — 

"The question of endogamy naturally leads to that of 
totemism. Sir George Scott says in the Upper Burma Gazetteer: 
' All the Indo-Chinese races have a predilection for totemistic 
birth stories. Some claim to have sprung from eggs, some 
from dogs, some from reptiles.' The Was, like a tribe in 
North- West America cited by Mr. Andrew Lang in his Custom 
and Myth, state that their primaeval ancestors were tadpoles. 
The Palaungs trace their beginnings back to a Naga princess 
who laid three eggs, out of the first of which their early 
ancestor was hatched. An egg-laying Naga princess figures in 
the early legendary history of the Mons or 
Takings and points to an affinity between irma. 

the Palaungs and the Talaings which the most recent linguistic 
research has done much to strengthen. Up to the present 

* [Much further information on totemism in Madras will be found in E. Thurston's, 
Castes and Tribes of Southern India, vyi<), passim : L. K. Anantha Krishna Iyer, Cochin 
Tribes and Cfljto,|vols. i., ii. 1909-12.] 

t [See note p. 64 supra. Mr. J. McSwiney has not been able to discover any trace of 
totemistic exogamous clans, in the proper sense, in Assam ; i.e., though such sections may 
have the names of animate or material objects, there does not seem to be any reverence felt 
for the supposed ancestor. A possible exception is the Jyrwa Nongsiet clan in the west of 
the Khasi Hills, which believes that its ancestors sprang from a bamboo plant, and in 
deference to this belief, the members refuse to eat the small green shoots of the bamboo 
which are the common food of the neighbouring clans {Census Report, Assam, 1911, vol. i. 
p. 72). Elsewhere the evidence for the existence of totemism seems to be lacking or doubt- 
ful, E. Stack, The Mikirs, 1908, p. 15 et seq. : T. C. Hodson, The Meitheis, 1908, p. 55 
et seq., 118 : Id. The Naga Tribes of Manipur, 191 1, p. 71 etseq. : Lieut.-Col. J. Shakespear, 
The Lushei Kttki Clans, 1912, p. 42).] 



104 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

time all attempts to ascertain the original of the Kachin family 
names have failed. The totem of the Kachins should, if any- 
thing, be a pumpkin, for legend has it that the whole race is 
descended from a being who was made out of a pumpkin. So 
far as I can discover, however, their belief in this singular 
genesis does not deter Kachins from eating the vegetable to 
which they owe their origin. They do not even appear to be 
precluded from gathering it under certain circumstances or at 
a particular period of the year, as is the case with some of the 
Western Australian tribes." The Southern Chins, on the other 
hand, are forbidden to kill or eat the King-Crow which hatched 
" the orginal Chin egg." The bird is regarded in the light of a 
parent, but, as it is not used as a crest by the Chins, Mr. 
Houghton is of opinion that it cannot be looked upon as, pro- 
perly speaking, a totem. The rising sun of the Red Karens is 
something of the nature of a totemistic badge. Mr. Smeaton 
refers to it as follows in his Loyal Karens of Burma : — 

" Every Red Karen has a rising sun — the crest of his nobility — tattooed on his back. In 
challenging to combat he does not slap his left folded arm with his right palm, as the rest of 
the Karens and the Burmans do, but, coiling his right arm round his left side, strikes the 
tattoo on his back. This action is supposed by him to rouse the magic power of the 
symbol." 

Sir George Scott, however, seems to detect no totemistic 
inwardness in this tattoo mark, for he sums up the matter under 
consideration in the following words : — 

" Totemism also shows itself in the prescribed form of names for Shan and Kachin children 
and in the changing or concealing of personal names, but, so far as is yet known, there is no 
tribe which habitually takes its family name or has crests and badges taken from some 
natural object, plant, or animal, though the limiting of marriages between the inhabitants of 
certain villages only practised both by tribes of Karens and Kachins is no doubt the out- 
growth of this totem idea." 

Enough has been said to show that totemistic exogamy 
prevails in India on a fairly large scale, that it is still in active 
operation, and that it presents features which deserve further 
investigation in their bearing on the problems of general 
ethnology. On these grounds I venture to add a few comments 
on the striking explanation of the origin of totemism which 
was put forward by Sir J. G. Frazer in the Fortnightly Review 
in 1899.* The subject is one of special interest in India 
because the Indian evidence seems not only to point to con- 
clusions different from those arrived at by Sir J. G. Frazer on the 
basis of the Australian data published by Messrs. Spencer and 

* Fortnightly Review, N. S., LXV, pp. 647-665, 835-852 ; [Totemism and Exogamy, 1910, 
vol. i, p. 91 et seq."]. 



SOCIAL TYPES 105 

Gillen,* but to suggest a new canon for determining the historical 
value of ethnographic evidence in general. 

" A totem," says Sir J. G. Frazer, " is a class of natural pheno- 
mena or material object — most commonly a sir J. O-. Trazer's 
species of animals or plants— between which theory of totemism. 
and himself the savage believes that a certain intimate relation 
exists. The exact nature of the relation is not easy to ascertain ; 
various explanations of it have been suggested, but none has as 
yet won general acceptance. Whatever it may be, it generally 
leads the savage to abstain from killing or eating his totem, if 
his totem happens to be a species of animals or plants. 
Further, the group of persons who are knit to any particular 
totem by this mysterious tie commonly bear the name of the 
totem, believe themselves to be of one blood, and strictly refuse 
to sanction the marriage or cohabitation of members of the 
group with each other. This prohibition to marry within the 
group is now generally called by the name of exogamy. Thus 
totemism has commonly been treated as a primitive system 
both of religion and of society. As a system of religion it 
embraces the mystic union of the savage with his totem ; as a 
system of society it comprises the relations in which men and 
women of the same totem stand to each other and to the 
members of other totemic groups. And corresponding to these 
two sides of the system are two rough and ready tests or 
canons of totemism : first, the rule that a man may not kill or 
eat his totem animal or plant ; and second, the rule that he may 
not marry or cohabit with a woman of the same totem. 
Whether the two sides — the religious and social — have always 
co-existed or are essentially independent, is a question which 
has been variously answered. Some writers — for example, 
Sir John Lubbock and Mr. Herbert Spencer — have held that 
totemism began as a system of society only, and that the 
superstitious regard for the totem developed later, through 
a simple process of misunderstanding. Others, including J. F. 
McLennan and Robertson Smith, were of opinion that the 
religious reverence for the totem is original, and must, at least, 
have preceded the introduction of exogamy." 

The system of totems prevailing in Central Australia is so 
far parallel to that known in India that it includes, not only 
animals and plants, but also a number of objects, animate and 
inanimate. Thus while the Australians have " totems of the 
wind, the sun, the evening star, fire, water, cloud, and so on," 

• Spencer and Gillen, Native Tribes of Central Australia, 1899. 



io6 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

we find among our Dravidians in India the month of June, 
Wednesday in every week, the moon, the rainbow, and the 
constellation Pleiades figuring as totems among a number of 
names which include pretty well the entire flora and fauna of 
the country where the tribe is settled. But while among the 
Australians the religious aspect of the totem is relatively more 
prominent than the social, in India the position is reversed ; the 
social side of the system is very much alive while the religious 
side has fallen into disuse. It is the religious side on which Sir 
J. G. Frazer lays stress, and he explains totemism as " primarily 
an organized and co-operative system of magic designed to 
secure for the members of the community, on the one hand, a 
plentiful supply of all the commodities of which they stand in 
need, and, on the other hand, immunity from all the perils and 
dangers to which man is exposed in his struggle with nature." 
In other words, totemism is a primitive Commissariat and 
General Providence Department which at a later stage took 
over the business of regulating marriage. The evidence for 
this proposition is derived from the magical ceremonies called 
intichiuma in which the members of each totem solemnly mimic 
the animals and plants after which they are called, and eat a small 
portion of them with the object of ensuring a plentiful supply of 
the species. Thus the men of the totem called after the Witchetty 
grub, a succulent caterpillar of some kind which is esteemed a 
great luxury, paint their bodies in imitation of the grub, crawl 
through a structure of boughs supposed to represent its 
chrysalis, chant a song inviting the insect to go and lay eggs, 
and butt each other in the stomach with the remark " You have 
eaten much food." The Emu men dress themselves up to 
resemble Emus and imitate the movements and aimless gazing 
about of the birds ; the Kangaroo men and the men of the 
Nakea flower totem go through similar mummeries. An 
admirable collection of the totemistic symbols of the Arunta, 
together with photographs of the ritual observed in the 
invocation of the totems themselves, may be seen in the Ethno- 
logical department of the Museum at Melbourne. 

Now in the first place the doubt occurs to one whether 
small and moribund tribes, such as the Australians, can fairly 
be taken to be typical of primitive man. If they could, then 
man would be primitive still, and we should none of us have 
got to the point of vexing our souls about the origin of 
anything. The one distinctive feature of the Australian natives 
is their incapacity for any sort of progressive evolution. 



SOCIAL TYPES 107 

Surely an atrophied or, it may be, degenerative man of that 
type is not the sort of ancestor we want to discover; for it is 
difficult to see what we can learn from him. In Europe, on the 
other hand, primitive man, so far as we can judge from the 
traces he has left behind, seems to have been an animal of an 
entirely different type. He had, indeed, his weaknesses — does 
not his vatessacer, Mr. Andrew Lang, impute to him a diet of 
oysters and foes — but he fought a good fight with his environ- 
ment and, as events show, he came out a winner. It seems 
then that the quest of primitive man ready made and only 
waiting to be observed and analyzed may be nothing better 
than a tempting short cut leading to delusion, and that what 
we must look to is not so much primitive man as primitive 
usage regarded in its bearing on evolution. 

It is from this point of view that I wish to put in a plea for 
the consideration of the Indian data. Primitive usages may, I 
would suggest, be divided, as Mr. Bagehot divided political 
institutions, into the effective and the ineffective, in other words, 
into those which affect evolution and those which do not. In 
the case of totemism we can distinguish these two pretty 
clearly. The magical ritual of the Arunta tribe obviously 
belongs to the ineffective class. No one outside the Arunta 
— and even among them one would think there must be augurs — 
supposes that by performing the most elaborate parody of the 
demeanour of certain animals a man can really cause them to 
increase and multiply. In India, on the other hand, our 
totemistic people have got rid of all such antics, if, indeed, 
they ever practised them, and retain only the unquestionably 
effective factor in the system, the rule that a man may not 
marry a woman of his own totem. They 
have, it is true, also the rule that people may "^ El^glmy.""^ 
not eat, injure or make use of their totems, 
but this prohibition is relatively weak, and in some cases the 
totems are articles such as rice and salt, which the members of 
the totem-kin could hardly do without. 

Given then a state of things such as this, that tribes which 
are in no way moribund or degenerate, but on the contrary 
extremely full of life, retain the effective part of an archaic 
usage along with the traces of its ineffective parts, may we 
not reasonably conclude that this effective part, which has 
stood the wear and tear of ages and contributed to the 
evolution of the tribe, furnishes the clue to the real origin of 
the usage itself? Assume this to be so and totemism at once 



io8 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

wheels into line and takes the place, which it appears clearly to 
occupy in India, of a form of- exogamy. The particular form 
presents no great difficulty. Primitive men are like children : 
they are constantly saying to themselves " Let's pretend," and a 
favourite- and wide-spread form of the game is to pretend to be 
animals. Only they play it in earnest, and very grim earnest 
it sometimes is, as anyone will discover who has to administer 
a district where people believe that men can transform them- 
selves into animals at will, or can be so transformed by the 
agency of witchcraft. 

It will be asked, what then is the origin of exogamy ? 
Here again I. think the Indian evidence suggests an answer. 
Just as the special phenomenon of totemism may be explained 
by reference to the general law of exogamy, so exogamy itself 
may be traced to the still more general law of natural selection. 
Nor need we strain the law. We know that there is a 
tendency in individuals or groups of individuals to vary their 
habits ; and that useful variations tend to be preserved and 
ultimately transmitted. Now suppose that in a primitive 
community, such as the Naga khel or the Kandh gochi, the men 
happened to vary in the direction of taking their wives from 
some other community and that this infusion of fresh blood 
proved advantageous to the group. The original instinct 
would then be stimulated by heredity, and the element of 
sexual selection would, in course of time, come into play. For 
an exogamous group would have a larger choice of women 
than an endogamous one, and would thus get finer women, who 
again, in the course of the primitive struggle for wives, would 
be appropriated by the strongest and most warlike men. The 
exogamous groups so strengthened would tend, as time went 
on, to " eat up," in the expressive Zulu phrase, their endogamous 
neighbours, or at any rate to deprive them of the pick of their 
marriageable girls ; and the custom of exogamy would spread, 
partly by imitation, and partly by the extinction of the groups 
which did not practise it. 

The fact that we cannot say how people came to vary in 
this particular fashion is not necessarily fatal to the hypothesis 
put forward. In the case of animals other than man we do not 
call in question the doctrine of natural selection because we 
cannot trace the precise cause which gave rise to some 
beneficial variation. It is enough that variations do occur, and 
that the beneficial ones tend to be transmitted. If, however, an 
attempt must be made to pierce the veil which shuts off from 



SOCIAL TYPES 109 

our view the ages of pre-historic evolution, it does not seem 
unreasonable to suppose that here and there some half- 
accidental circumstance, such as the transmission of a physical 
defect or an hereditary disease, may have given primitive man 
a sort of warning, and thus have induced the particular kind of 
variation which his circumstances required. Conquest again 
may have produced the same effect by bringing about a beneficial 
mixture of stocks, though it is a little difficult to see, as Mr. 
Lang pointed out long ago, why the possession of foreign 
women should have disinclined people to marry the women of 
their own group. At the same time it is conceivable that the 
impulse may have been set going by some tribe from which all 
its marriageable women had been raided and which was thus 
driven by necessity to start raiding on its own account. 
I have elsewhere given instances, drawn from the Kandhs and 
Nagas, which lend themselves to this view ; but I am not sure 
that we need travel beyond the tendency to accidental variation 
which appears in all living organisms and may be assumed to 
have shaped the development of primitive man. 

In a country where the accident of birth determines 
irrevocably the whole course of a man's social and domestic 
relations, and he must throughout life eat, drink, dress, marry, 
and give in marriage in accordance with the usages of the 
community into which he was born, one is tempted at first 
sight to assume that the one thing that he may be expected to 
know with certainty, and to disclose without much reluctance, 
is the name of the caste, tribe, or race to which he belongs. As 
a matter of fact no column in the Census schedule displays a 
more bewildering variety of entries, or gives so much trouble 
to the enumerating and testing staff and to the central offices 
which compile the results. If the person enumerated gives the 
name of a well-known tribe, such as Bhil or Santal, or of a 
standard caste like Brahman or Kayasth, all is well. But he 
may belong to an obscure caste from the other end of India; 
he may give the name of a religious sect, of a sub-caste, of an 
exogamous sept or section, of a hypergamous group ; he may 
mention some titular designation which sounds finer than the 
name of his caste ; he may describe himself 
by his occupation or by the province or ^^^^^^^^^^°'' °^ 
tract of country from which he comes. 
These various alternatives, which are far from exhausting the 
possibilities of the situation, undergo a series of transforma- 
tions at the hands of the more or less illiterate enumerator 



no PEOPLE OF INDIA 

who writes them down in his own vernacular, and of the 
abstractor in the central office who transliterates them into 
English. Then begins a laborious and most difficult process 
of sorting, referencing, cross-referencing, and corresponding 
with local authorities, which ultimately results in the compila- 
tion of a table showing the distribution of the inhabitants of 
India by Caste, Tribe, Race, or Nationality. The arrangement 
of this table is alphabetical and it consists of two parts. The 
first is a general list of all the groups returned, with their 
distribution by religion ; while the second shows the distribu- 
tion by provinces and states of all groups with an aggregate 
strength of 10,000. An analysis of ^ the table shows that it 
includes 2,378 main castes and tribes and 43 races or 
nationalities. With the latter we are not concerned here ; 
as to the former, the question at once arises — on what 
principle should they be arranged ? An alphabetical system is 
useful for reference, and essential for the purely statistical 
purposes of a census table. But it does not help us in the 
least towards presenting an intelligible picture of the social 
grouping of that large proportion of the people of India which 
is organized, admittedly or tacitly, on the basis of caste. In 
this matter a new departure was taken at the Census of 1901. 
The classification followed in 1891 was then described as 
"based on considerations partly ethnological, partly historical, 
and partly, again, functional. The second predominate, for 
instance, in the first caste group, and the last throughout the 
middle of the return ; but wherever practicable, as it is in the 
latter portion of the scheme, ethnological distinctions have 
been maintained. Then, again, it must be mentioned that the 
functional grouping is based less on the occupation that 
prevails in each case in the present day than on that which 
is traditional with it, or which gave rise to its differentiation 
from the rest of the community." The main heads of the 
scheme embodying the application of these principles are given 
at page 188 of the Report on the Census of India for 1891, and 
its detailed application is shown in Imperial Table XVII. 

Judged by its results this scheme is open to criticism in 
several respects. It accords neither with native tradition and 
practice, nor with any theory of caste that has ever been 
propounded by students of the subject. In different parts 
it proceeds on different principles, with the result that on the 
one hand it separates groups which are really allied, and on the 
other includes in the same category groups of widely different 



SOCIAL TYPES m 

origin and status. It is in fact a patch-woric classification in 

which occupation predominates, varied here and there by 

considerations of caste, history, tradition, ethnical affinity, and 

geographical position. Illustrations of these defects might be 

multiplied almost indefinitely, but it is sufficient to mention 

that the Dravidian Khandaits of Orissa are classed with 

Rajputs and Babhans, Jats, Marathas, and Nayars ; that 

Brahman priests, Mirasi musicians, and Bahurupia buffoons 

fall within the same general category ; that the Mongoloid 

Koch, Kachari, Tharu, and Mech are widely separated ; and 

that more than half of the Musalmans, including the converted 

aborigines of Eastern Bengal and Assam, are shown as 

" Musalman Foreign Races," the rest being merged among 

a number of occupational groups purporting to be endogamous. 

In organizing the Census of 1901 I suggested to my 

colleagues that an attempt should be made to arrange the 

various groups that had to be dealt with on some system 

which would command general acceptance, at any rate, within 

the limits of the province to which it was applied. I did not 

expect that the same system would suit all 

provinces or even all divisions of the same Method adopted in 
'^ . , T , ^ , Census of 1001. 

province ; and 1 was quite prepared to find 
the preparation of a combined table for the whole of India a 
task of insuperable difficulty. But I was confident that the 
provincial results would throw light upon a variety of social 
movements which at present escape notice ; that they would 
add greatly to the interest of the reports ; and that they would 
provide a sound statistical ground-work for the ethnographic 
survey of India which is now in progress. 

The principle suggested as a basis was that of classification 
by social precedence as recognized by native public opinion 
at the present day, and manifesting itself in the facts that 
particular castes are supposed to be the modern representa- 
tives of one or other of the castes of the theoretical Hindu 
system ; that Brahmans will take water from certain castes ; 
that Brahmans of high standing will serve particular castes ; 
that certain castes though not served by the best Brahmans, 
have nevertheless got Brahmans of their own, whose rank 
varies according to circumstances ; that certain castes are not 
served by Brahmans at all, but have priests of their own ; that 
the status of certain castes has been raised by their taking to 
infant-marriage or abandoning the remarriage of widows ; that 
the status of some castes has been lowered by their living in a 



112 • PEOPLE OF INDIA 

particular locality ; that the status of others has been modified 
by their pursuing some occupation in a special or peculiar 
way ; that some can claim the services of the village barber, 
the village palanquin-bearer, the village midwife, etc., while 
others cannot ; that some castes may not enter the courtyards 
of certain temples ; that some castes are subject to special 
taboos, such as that they must not use the village well, or 
may draw water only with their own vessels, that they must 
live outside the village or in a separate quarter, that they 
must leave the road on the approach of a high-caste man, or 
must call out to give warning of their approach. In the case of 
the Animistic tribes it was mentioned that the prevalence of 
totemism and the degree of adoption of Hindu usage would 
serve as ready tests. All Superintendents, except three who 
were either defeated by the complexity of the facts or were 
afraid of hurting people's feelings, readily grasped the main 
idea of the scheme, and their patient industry, supplemented 
by the intelligent assistance readily given by the highest 
native authorities, has added very greatly to our knowledge 
of an obscure and intricate subject. 

The best evidence of the general success of the experiment, 
and incidentally of the remarkable vitality of caste at the present 
day, is to be found in the great number of petitions and memorials 
to which it gave rise, the bulk of which were submitted in 
English and emanated from the educated classes who are 
sometimes alleged to be anxious to free themselves from the 
trammels of the caste system. If the principle on which the 
classification was based had not appealed to the usages and 
traditions of the great mass of Hindus, it is inconceivable that 
so many people should have taken much trouble and incurred 
substantial expenditure with the object of securing its applica- 
tion in a particular way. Of these memorials the most elabo- 
rate was that received from the Khatris of the Punjab and the 
United Provinces who felt themselves aggrieved by the Superin- 
tendent of Census in the latter Province having provisionally 
classified them as Vaisyas, whereas in the specimen table 
circulated by me they had been placed in the same group as 
the Rajputs. A meeting of protest was held at Bareilly, and a 
great array of authorities was marshalled to prove that the 
Khatris are lineally descended from the Kshatriyas of Hindu 
mythology, much as if the modern Greeks were to claim direct 
descent from Achilles and were to cite the Catalogue of the 
Ships in the second book of the Iliad in support of their 



SOCIAL TYPES 113 

pretensions. In passing orders on their memorial I pointed out 
that they were mistaken in supposing that 
this was the first census in which any "^working*^ 

attempt had been made to classify castes on 
a definite principle, or that the selection of social precedence 
as a basis was an entirely new departure. As a matter of fact 
the scheme of classification adopted in 1891 purported to 
arrange the groups more or . less in accordance with the 
position generally assigned to each in the social scale, as has 
been suggested by Sir Denzil Ibbetson in his Report on the 
Punjab Census of 1881. The result, in the case of the Khatris, 
was to include them as number 13 in " Group XV — Traders" 
immediately after the Aroras of the Punjab, ten places lower 
than the Agarwals, and several places below the Kandus and 
Kasarwanis of the United Provinces and the Subarnabaniks of 
Bengal. The Rajputs, on the other hand, ranked first in the 
entire scheme as number 1 of " Group I — Military and Domi- 
nant." In the Bengal Census Report of 1891 the Rajputs were 
placed among " the patrician class," while the Khatris were 
grouped with the Baniyas between the Baidyas and Kayasthas 
in a group described as " the Vaisyas Proper or Plebeian Middle 
Class." It was obviously improbable that the Khatris desired 
this classification to be maintained, and the evidence laid before 
me not only brought out the conspicuous part played by them 
in the authentic history of the Punjab in modern times, but 
seemed to make it clear that in British India at any rate they 
are generally believed to be the modern representatives of the 
Kshatriyas of Hindu tradition. For census purposes the fact 
that most people do hold this belief was sufficient in itself, and 
it would have been irrelevant to enquire into the grounds upon 
which the opinion was based. Superintendents of census were 
accordingly instructed to include the Khatris under the heading 
Kshatriya in their classification of castes. The decision gave 
general satisfaction and served to illustrate the practical 
working of the principle that the sole test of social precedence 
prescribed was Indian public opinion, and that this test was to 
be applied with due consideration for the susceptibilities of the 
persons concerned. The other memorials were disposed of by 
the Provincial Superintendents on similar lines. 

As no stereotyped scheme of classification was drawn up, 
but every Province was left to adopt its own system in consul- 
tation with its own experts and representative men, it was 
clearly impossible to draw up any general scheme for the 

R, PI 8 



114 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

whole of India. One might as well have tried to construct a 
table of social precedence for Europe, which should bring 
together on the same list Spanish grandees, Swiss hotel- 
keepers, Turkish Pashas, and Stock Exchange millionaires, 
and should indicate the precise degree of relative distinction 
attaching to each. The problem, in fact, is essentially a local 
one. Every man has honour in his own country, and India is 
no more one country than Europe — indeed very much less. 
The Provincial schemes of classification are summarized in 
the Census Report of India, 1901, vol. i, p. 560 et seq* 
Although they cannot be reduced to common terms, they 
exhibit points of resemblance and difference which deserve 
some further examination. The first thing to observe is the 
predominance throughout India of the influence of the tradi- 
tional system of four original castes. In every scheme of 
grouping the Brahman heads the list. Then come the castes 
whom popular opinion accepts as the modern representatives 
of the Kshatriyas, and these are followed by 
s genera resu ts. ^.j^^ mercantile groups, supposed to be akin 
to the Vaisyas. When we leave the higher circles of the twice- 
born, the difficulty of finding a uniform basis of classification 
becomes apparent. The ancient designation Sudra finds no 
great favour in modern times, and we can point to no group 
that is generally recognized as representing it. The term is 
used in Bombay, Madras, and Bengal, to denote a considerable 
number of castes of moderate respectability, the higher of 
whom are considered " clean " Sudras, while the precise status 
of the lower is a question which lends itself to endless con- 
troversy. At this stage of the grouping a sharp distinction 
may be noticed between Upper India and Bombay and Madras. 
In Rajputana, the Punjab, the United Provinces, the Central 
Provinces, Bengal, and Assam the grade next below twice-born 
rank is occupied by a number of castes from whose hands 
Brahmans and members of the higher castes will take water 
and certain kinds of sweetmeats. Below these again is a rather 
indeterminate group from whom water is taken by some of the 
higher castes but not by others. Further down, where the test 

* [The details of this grouping, which appeared in the first edition of this book, have 
not been reproduced. Particularly in Bengal, the publication of this so-called " warrant of 
precedence " led to much agitation' and produced a legacy of trouble. It was the signal for an 
attempt by certain ambitious castes to assert a claim to a rank higher than they deserved, and 
these claims were supported by various novel expedients. Hence, at the last census the 
project was abandoned (Census Reports, Bengal, 191 1, vol. i., p. 440, et seq. : Cochin, 191 1, 
vol. i., p. 67 : Travancore, 1911, vol. i., p. 233 t Assam, 1911, vol. i., p. 116).] 



SOCIAL TYPES iiS 

of water no longer applies, the status of a caste depends on the 
nature of its occupation and its habits in respect of diet. There 
are castes whose touch defiles the twice-born, but who refrain 
from the crowning enormity of eating beef; while below these 
again, in the social system of Upper India, are people like 
Chamars and Doms who eat beef and various sorts of miscel- 
laneous vermin. In Western and Southern India the idea that 
the social status of a caste depends on whether Brahmans will 
take water and sweetmeats from its members is unknown, for 
the higher castes will, as a rule, take water only from persons 
of their own caste and sub-caste. In Madras especially the 
idea of ceremonial pollution by the proximity of a member of 
an unclean caste has been developed with much elaboration. 
Thus the table of social precedence attached to the Cochin 
report * shows that while a Nayar can pollute a man of a higher 
caste only by touching him, people of the Kammalan group, 
including masons, blacksmiths, carpenters, and workers in 
leather, pollute at a distance of twenty-four feet, toddy-drawers 
(Iluvan or Tiyan) at thirty-six feet, Pulayan or Cheruman culti- 
vators at forty-eight feet, while in the case of the Paraiyan 
(Pariahs) who eat beef, the range of pollution is stated to be no 
less than sixty-four feet. Where these fantastic notions prevail 
and the authority of the Brahman is unquestioned, it follows as 
a necessary consequence that the unhappy people who diffuse 
an atmosphere of impurity wherever they go are forbidden to 
enter the high caste quarter of the village, and are compelled 
either to leave the road when they see a Brahman coming or to 
announce their own approach by a special cry like the lepers 
of Europe in the Middle Ages. Such is the logic of intolerance 
in parts of Southern India. 

The subject of classification is examined fully in some of the 
Provincial Census Reports, to which the reader is referred for 
further particulars. No attempt was made to grade every 
caste. Large classes were formed, and the various groups 
included in these were arranged in alphabetical order, so as to 
escape the necessity of settling the more delicate questions of 
precedence. As an illustration of the method of procedure I 
may refer to the table of precedence for Bengal Proper, which 
was compiled by me some years ago and has been adopted by 
Mr. Gait for the purpose of the Bengal Census Report t after 

* [Census Report, Cochin, 1901, vol. i., p. 181, ei sei.] 
t [1901, vol. i., p. 369, et Jf?.] 



ii6 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

careful examination by local committees of Indian gentlemen 
appointed for the purpose. 

The entire Hindu popiulation of this tract, numbering twenty 
millions, has been divided into seven classes. The first class 
is reserved for the Brahmans, of whom there are more than a 
million, forming six per cent, of the Hindus of Bengal. As 
every one knows, there are Brahmans and Brahmans, of status 
varying from the Rarhi, who claim to have been imported by 
Adisura from Kanauj, to the Barna Brahmans who serve the 
lower castes and from whose hands pure Brahmans will not take 
water. No attempt has been made to deal with these multi- 
farious distinctions in the table. It would be a thankless task 
to try to determine the precise degree of social merit or demerit 
that attaches to the Pirali Brahmans, who 
Soeiai precedence of ^j.g supposed to have been forced, some four 

Hindus m Bengal. '^'^ ' 

centuries ago, to smell or, as some say, to 

eat the beefsteaks that had been 'cooked for the renegade 
Brahman Pir AH, the dewan of the Muhammadan ruler of 
Jessore ; to the Vyasokta Brahmans who serve the Chasi 
Kaibartta caste and rank so low that even their own clients will 
not touch food in their houses ; to the Agradani who preside at 
funeral ceremonies and take the offerings of the dead ; to the 
Acharji fortune-teller, palmist, and maker of horoscopes ; and 
to the Bhat Brahman, a tawdry parody of the bard and genea- 
logist of heroic times, whose rapacity and shamelessness are 
proverbial. 

Next in order, at the top of the second class, come the 
Rajputs, who disown any connexion with Bengal, and base 
their claims to precedence on their supposed descent from the 
pure Rajputs of the distant Indo-Aryan tract. Their number 
(113,405) must include a large number of families belonging to 
local castes who acquired land and assumed the title of Rajput 
on the strength of their territorial position. Then follow the 
Baidyas, by tradition physicians, and the writer caste of 
Kayasth. The former pose as the modern representatives of 
the Ambastha of Manu and assert their superiority to the 
Kayasthas on the ground that the latter have been pronounced 
by the High Court of Calcutta to be Sudras, a Kayasth judge 
concurring, and that their funeral usages confirm this finding ; 
that the Sanskrit College, when first opened, admitted only 
Brahmans and Baidyas as students ; that the Kayasths were 
originally the domestic servants of the two higher castes, and 
when poor take service still; and that native social usage 



SOCIAL TYPES 117 

concedes higher rank to the Baidyas at certain ceremonies to 
which members of the respectable castes are invited. The 
Kayasths, on the other hand, claim to be Kshatriyas, who toolc 
to clerical work; deny the identity of the Baidyas with the 
Ambasthas ; and describe them as a local caste, unknown in the 
great centres of Hinduism, who were Sudras till about a century 
ago, when they took to wearing the sacred thread, and bribed 
the Brahmans to acquiesce in their pretensions. The alpha- 
betical arrangement observed in the table leaves the question 
an open one. 

The third class, numbering three millions, comprises the 
functional castes originally known as Navasakha, the nine 
"branches" or "arrows," and other clean Sudras, from whose 
hands the higher castes take water, and who are served by 
high-class Brahmans. Confectioners, perfume vendors, betel 
growers, pressers and sellers of oil, gardeners, potters, and 
barbers figure in this group, the constitution of which appears 
to have been largely determined by consideration of practical 
convenience. The preparation of a Hindu meal is a very elabo- 
rate performance, involving lengthy ablutions and a variety ot 
ritualistic observances which cannot be performed on a journey, 
and it is essential to the comfort of the orthodox traveller that 
he should be able to procure sweetmeats of various kinds with- 
out being troubled by misgivings as to the ceremonial cleanli- 
ness of the people from whom he buys them. In matters of 
food and drink caste rules are wisely elastic. It has, I believe, 
been held that neither ice nor soda-water count as water for 
the purpose of conveying pollution ; there are special exemp- 
tions in favour of biscuits and patent medicines, for the last of 
which the Bengali has an insatiable appetite ; and in an outlying 
district where the only palanquin-bearers available were 
Dravidian Bhuiyas, I have known them to be given brevet rank 
as a water-giving {jaldcharaniyd) caste in order that the twice- 
born traveller might be able to get a drink without quitting his 
palanquin. 

The fourth class includes only two castes — the Chasi Kaibartta 
and the Goala — from whom water is taken by the high castes, but 
whose Brahmans are held to be degraded. About the former 
group 1 wrote in 1891 : " It seems likely, as time goes on, that 
this sub-caste will rise in social estimation, and will altogether 
sink the Kaibartta, so that eventually it is possible that they 
may succeed in securing a place with the Navasakha." The 
forecast has to this extent been fulfilled that at the recent Census 



ii8 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

the Chasi Kaibartta called themselves Mahishya, the name of the 
offspring of a legendary cross between Kshatriyas and Vaisya, 
and posed as a separate caste. In Nadia, according to Mr. 
Gait, " the new idea gained such ground that many Chasi 
Kaibarttas in dorriestic service under other castes threw up their 
work, saying it was beneath their dignity. .Finding, however, 
that no other means of livelihood were available they were soon 
fain to return and beg their employers' forgiveness." * The 
higher castes, moreover, expressed their disapproval of a 
movement which upset their domestic arrangements by a 
concerted refusal to take water from the hands of a Chasi. 
Notwithstanding these discouragements I have little doubt 
that by the next Census the Mahishya will have succeeded in 
establishing their claim.f Their case is of interest for the hght 
that it throws on the evolution of a caste. 

The fifth class contains a rather miscellaneous assortment 
of castes, including the Baishtam, the Sunri, and the Sunbarna- 
banik, from whom the higher castes do not usually take water. 
Their precedence is also defined by the fact that although the 
village barber will shave them he will not cut their toe-nails nor 
will he take part in their marriage ceremonies. Here again 
quaint problems of status arise. The Baishtams are a group 
formed by the conversion to Vaishnavism of members of many 
different castes, who have embraced the tenets of different 
Vaishnava sects. In theory inter-marriage between these sects 
is prohibited, but if a man of one sect wishes to marry a woman 
of another, he has only to convert her by a simple ritual to 
his own sect and the obstacles to their union are removed. 
The social standing of the caste is necessarily low, as it is 
recruited from among all classes of society, and large numbers 
of prostitutes and people who have got into trouble in con- 
sequence of sexual irregularities are found among its ranks. 



* ICemus Report, Bengal, 1901, vol. i., p. 380 note^ 

t [" The caseiof these castes who discard the name borne by their ancestors and arrogate a 
new designation is different. In their case the new name is recognised by the census author- 
ities, if it is generally applied to them by the Hindu community at large and is not used 
by any other castes. In this way the Chandals have been allowed to be returned as Nama- 
.Sudras, that term being recognised by the Hindus generally and applying exclusively to them. 
Similarly, the Chasi Kaibarttas are allowed to return themselves as Mahishya, but though 
that name has been adopted by the Chasi Kaibarttas in recent times, it has won general 
recognition and is exclusively applied to the Chasi Kaibarttas. Ten years ago this innovation 
was resented by conservative Hindus in some places — in Nadia the higher castes went so 
far as to refuse to take water from the Chasi Kaibarttas — but it is now generally tolerated. " 
Census Report, Bengal, VjW, vol. i., p. 443, et seql] 



SOCIAL TYPES 119 

Within the caste, however, many of them retain their old social 
distinctions, and a Baishtam of Kayasth origin would not 
ordinarily take water from the hands of one whose ancestors 
were Chandals. Outsiders also recognize these differences and 
take water from Baishtams who are known to have belonged to 
one of the clean castes. Where the origin of a Baishtam is 
unknown, water which he has touched can only be used for 
washing. 

The Subarnabaniks are a mercantile caste peculiar to 
Bengal Proper, who claim to be the modern representatives of 
the ancient Vaisya. In spite of their wealth and influence, 
their high-bred appearance, and the notorious beauty of the 
women of the caste, their claim to this distinguished ancestry 
has failed to obtain general recognition. They are excluded 
from the ranks of the Navasakha, or nine clean Sudra castes, 
and none but Vaidik Brahmans will take water from their 
hands. To account for the comparatively low status assigned 
to them, the Subarnabaniks cite a variety of traditions, some 
of which, however unsupported by historical evidence, deserve 
to be briefly mentioned here as illustrations of the kind of 
stories which tend to grow up wherever the business talents 
and practical ability of a particular community have advanced 
it in the eyes of the world conspicuously beyond its rank in 
the theoretical order of castes. These people, for example, 
say that their ancestors came to Bengal from Oudh during the 
reign of Adisura, who was struck by their financial ability and 
conferred on them the title of Subarnabanik, or trader in gold, 
as a mark of his favour. They then wore the Brahmanical 
thread, studied the Vedas and were generally recognized as 
Vaisyas of high rank. The stories of their degradation all 
centre round the name of Ballal Sen, who was Raja of Eastern 
Bengal in 1070 a.d. His intrigue with a beautiful Patni girl is 
said to have been ridiculed on the stage by some young 
Subarnabaniks, while the entire body refused to be present 
at the penance whereby the king affected to purify himself 
from the sin of intercourse with a maiden of low caste. 
Another cause of offence is said to have been the refusal of a 
leading Subarnabanik to lend Ballal large sums of money to 
carry on war with Manipur. Authorities differ concerning the 
method by which the Raja obtained his revenge. Some say 
that in the course of the penance already referred to, a number 
of small golden calves had been distributed to the attendant 
Brahmans. One of these Brahmans was suborned by Ballal 



120 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

Sen to fill the hollow inside of a calf with lac-dye, and to take 
the figure to a Subarnabanik for sale. In testing the gold the 
Subarnabanik let out the lac-dye, which was at once pronounced 
to be blood. Having thus fastened upon the caste the 
inexpiable guilt of killing a cow, Ballal Sen publicly declared 
them and their Brahmans to be degraded, deprived them of 
the right to wear the sacred thread, and threatened with 
similar degradation any one who should eat or associate 
with them. 

In default of independent testimony to the accuracy of this 
tradition we can hardly accept it as a narrative of historical 
events. It is no doubt conceivable that a despotic monarch 
might order the social degradation of a particular class of his 
subjects provided that it were not too numerous or too 
influential ; and it is generally believed that Ballal Sen did effect 
some changes of this kind in the relative status of certain families 
of Brahmans. Notwithstanding this, the story of the depression 
of an entire caste from a very high to a comparatively low rank 
in the social system makes a large demand on our belief, and 
inclines one to suspect that it may have been evolved in recent 
times to account for the position actually occupied by the caste 
being lower than that to which their riches and ability would 
entitle them to lay claim. From this point of view, the conjecture 
that the Subarnabaniks are Hindustani Baniyas, who lost 
status by residing in Bengal and marrying Bengali women, 
seems to deserve some consideration. 

The sixth class includes a long list of castes, numbering 
nearly eight millions, who abstain from eating beef, pork, and 
fowls, but from whom the higher castes will not take water. 
They are served by degraded Brahmans ; the regular barbers 
refuse to shave them ; and some of them have special barbers 
of their own. Most of them, however, can get their clothes 
washed by the village washerman. The typical members of 
the group, according to the census of 191 1, are the Bagdi, 
(1,041,892), Dravidian cultivators and labourers, the Jaliya or 
fishing Kaibartta (375,936), the Namasudraor Chandal (2,087,162), 
the Pod (536,591), fishermen and cultivators, and the Rajbansi- 
Koch (2,049,454), nearly all of whom are small cultivators. 

The seventh class represents the lowest grade of the 
Bengal system, castes who eat all manner of unclean food, 
whose touch pollutes, whom no Brahman, however degraded, 
will serve, and for whom neither barber nor washerman will 
work. It comprises the scavenging Doms and Haris, the 



SOCIAL TYPES 121 

leather-working Chamars and Mochis, and the Bauris who eat 
rats and revere the dog as their totem because, as they told 
Colonel Dalton, it is the right thing to have a sacred animal of 
some kind, and dogs are useful while alive and not very nice 
to eat when dead.* 

Islam, whether regarded as a religious system or as a 
theory of things, is in every respect the antithesis of Hinduism. 
Its ideal is strenuous action rather than hypnotic contemplation ; 
it allots to man a single life and bids him live it and make the 
best of it ; its practical spirit knows nothing of a series of lives, 
of transmigration, of karma, oi the weariness of existence which 
weighs upon the Indian mind. For the dream of absorption 
into an impersonal Weltgeist it substitutes a very personal 
Paradise made up of joys such as all „ . , 
Orientals understand. On its social side the among Muham- 
religion of Muhammad is equally opposed madans. 

to the Hindu scheme of a hierarchy of castes, an elaborate 
stratification of society based upon subtle distinctions of food, 
drink, dress, marriage, and ceremonial usage. In the sight of 
God and of His Prophet all followers of Islam are equal. In 
India, however, caste is in the air ; its contagion has spread 
even to the Muhammadans ; and we find its evolution proceed- 
ing on characteristically Hindu lines. In both communities 
foreign descent forms the highest claim to social distinction ; 
in both, promotion cometh from the West. As the twice-born 
Aryan is to the mass of Hindus, so is the Muhammadan of 
alleged Arab, Persian, Afghan or Moghal origin to the rank and 
file of his co-religionists. And just as in the traditional Hindu 
system men of the higher groups could marry women of the 
lower while the converse process was vigorously condemned, 
so within the higher ranks of the Muhammadans a Saiyad will 
marry a Shekh's daughter but will not give his daughter in 
return, and inter-marriage between the upper circle of soi-disant 
foreigners and the main body of Indian Muhammadans is 
generally reprobated, except in parts of the country where the 
aristocratic element is small and must arrange its marriages as 
best it can. Even there, however, it is only under the stress of 
great poverty that a member of the Ashrdf or " noble " class will 
give his daughter to one ofthe Ajldf or "low people," as converts 
of indigenous origin are called in Bengal. Of course, the limits 
of the various groups are not defined as sharply as they are with 
the Hindus. The well-known proverb, which occurs in various 

* [Descriptive Ethnology of Bengal, 1872, p. 327.] 



122 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

forms in different parts of Northern India — " Last year I was a 
Jolaha ; now I am a Shekh ; next year if prices rise, I shall 
become a Saiyad "—marks the difference, though analogous 
changes of status are not unknown among Hindus, and, as Mr. 
Gait observes, " promotion is not so rapid in reality as it is in 
the proverb." But speaking generally, it may be said that the 
social cadre of the higher ranks of Muhammadans is based on 
hypergamy with a tendency in the direction of endogamy, 
while the lower functional groups are strictly endogamous, 
and are organized on the model of regular castes with councils 
and officers who enforce the observance of caste rules by the 
time-honoured sanction of boycotting. 

According to Mr. Gait the Bengal Muhammadans 
"recognize two main social divisions: (i) Ashraf or Sharif 
and (2) Ajlaf, which in Bengali has been corrupted to Atrap. 
The first, which means ' noble ' or ' persons of high extraction,' 
includes all undoubted descendants of foreigners and converts 
from the higher castes of Hindus.* All other Muhammadans, 
including the functional groups to be presently mentioned, 
and all converts of lower rank are collectively known by 
the contemptuous term Ajlaf, ' wretches ' or ' mean people ' ; 
they are also called Kamlna or Itar, ' base ' or ' Razll,' a 
corruption of Rizal, 'worthless.' This category includes the 
various classes of converts who are known as Nao Muslim 
in Bihar and Nasya in North Bengal, but who in East Bengal, 
where their numbers are greatest, have usually succeeded 
in establishing their claim to be called Shekh. It also 
includes various functional groups such as that of the Jolaha 
or weaver, Dhunia or cotton-carder, Kulu or oil-presser, 
Kunjra or vegetable-seller, Hajjam or barber, Darzi or tailor, 
and the like. Of these divisions, the Ashraf takes ho count. 
To him all alike are Ajlaf This distinction, which is primarily 
one between the Muhammadans of foreign birth and those 
of local origin, corresponds very closely to the Hindu 
division of the community into Dwijas or castes of twice-born 
rank, comprising the various classes of the Aryan invaders, 
and the Sudras or aborigines whom they subdued. Like the 
higher Hindu castes, the Ashraf consider it degrading to 
accept menial service or to handle the plough. The traditional 
occupation of the Saiyads is the priesthood, while the 
Moghals and Pathans correspond to the Kshatriyas of the 
Hindu regime. 

* In some places many of the Moghals and Pathans are regarded as Ajlaf. 



SOCIAL TYPES 123 

" In some places a third class, called Arzal or ' lowest of all,' 
is added. It consists of the very lowest castes, such as the 
Halalkhor, Lalbegi, Abdal, and Bediya, with whom no other 
Muhammadan would associate, and who are forbidden to enter 
the mosque or to use the public burial ground." * 

I have described the Bengal scheme of social precedence at 
some length, because of the curious beliefs and traditions 
which it embodies and by reason of the testimony which it 
bears to the remarkable stability of the caste instinct in spite 
of the many modern influences which seem at first sight to 
be sapping its foundations. The scheme deals, moreover, 
with conditions with which I am to some extent familiar, and 
it represents an advanced stage of a process which appears 
to me to be going on with varying degrees of rapidity in all 
parts of India where Hindu sentiment and tradition are the 
dominant factors of social development. The extension of 
railways which indirectly diffuses Brahmanical influence and 
at the same time weakens trivial caste restrictions ; the 
tendency to revive the authority of the Hindu scriptures and 
to find in them the solution of modern problems ; the advance 
of vernacular education which increases the demands for 
popular versions of, and extracts from, these writings, and the 
spread of English education which encourages sceptical 
tendencies ; — these are among the causes which, in my opinion, 
are tending on the one hand to bring about among the 
population regarded as a whole a more rigid observance of 
the essential incidents of caste, especially of those connected 
with marriage, and on the other to introduce greater laxity 
in respect of the minor injunctions which are concerned with 
food and drink. 

On the outskirts of the Empire there are two regions where 
Hindu standards of social precedence and Hindu notions t)f 
caste are neither recognized nor known. In Baluchistan, until 
less than a generation ago, Hindus were 

,,,, , i-11 c -1 Case of Baluchistan- 

tolerated only as a useful class 01 menials 

who carried on the petty trade which the fighting races 

deemed below their dignity. They adopted the device, not 

unknown in mediaeval Europe, of putting themselves under 

the protection of their more powerful neighbours, and Mr. 

Hughes-Buller tells us that even now a Hindu when asked 

to what caste he belongs " will often describe himself by the 

name of the tribal group to whom he holds himself attached. 

* \_Census Report, Bengal, 1901, vol. i., p. 439.] 



124 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

Their position generally was extremely degraded, and may 
best be gauged by the fact that among Baloch, Brahui, and 
Afghans there was an unwritten rule that in the course of 
raids and counter raids women, children aqd Hindus were 
to be spared." * Among the non-Hindu people of Baluchistan 
the question of social precedence is intricate and obscure and 
its details must be studied in Mr. Hughes-Buller's excellent 
report. Of the three chief races the Afghans rank highest 
in virtue of their former sovereignty ; then comes the Baloch 
who also once bore rule, and last the Brahui who were in 
power at the time of the British occupation. The relative 
position of the two latter tribes is indicated by various 
proverbs, by the attempts of the Brahui to trace their descent 
to the Baloch, and by the fact that " no self-respecting Baloch 
will give his daughter to a Brahui." The test of marriage, 
however, appears not to apply , to the Afghan, who regards 
the question as a matter of business and will sell his daughter 
to any man who can pay her price. Below these races come 
the Jats, a term which seems to be loosely used to denote 
all sorts of menial classes, including professional musicians 
(Langahs), blacksmiths (Loris), and leather-workers (Mochis). 
But even here there is no hard and fast prohibition of inter- 
marriage, and both Baloch and Brahui will take wives from 
among the Jats. Within the circle of each tribe a condition 
of theoretical equality appears to prevail, tempered by personal 
considerations arising from capacity to lead, religious sanctity, 
age and kinship with a ruling family. 

In Burma caste is so little known that the Burmese language 
possesses no word for it, while one of the difficulties of con- 
ducting the Census of the numerous Indian immigrants is the 
impossibility of making the average Burman enumerator under- 
stand the meaning of the Indian term zat or jdt Differences of 
religion he can grasp in a vague sort of way, he has a notion 
of what is meant by race, but caste remains to him an insoluble 
mystery — a thing with which his democratic spirit, regardless 
of social distinctions, has no sympathy whatever. Mr. Lowis 
assures us that there are not and never have been any true 
castes in Burma, though a class of landed proprietors in Minbu 
known as the Thugaungs appear to be endogamous, and thirty- 
six professional groups with hereditary occupations are said to 
have existed among the Chins.t 

* \_Census Report, 1901. Part I, p. 134.] 

t \_Census Report, 1901, vol. i., p. 109; cf. Report, 191 1, vol. i., p. 240.] 



SOCIAL TYPES 125 

No attempt can be made here to analyse and explain the 
distribution of the 2,300 castes and tribes 
which have been enumerated in the Census. Distribution of . 
The mere bulk of the undertaking would in 
any case ensure its failure ; the mass of detail would be tedious 
and bewildering; while the causes which have determined the 
settlement and diffusion of particular groups belong more 
properly to local history and are, in any case, largely a matter 
of conjecture. In order, however, to give some idea of the 
facts and to provide a statistical basis for further researches, I 
have selected thirty-six of the principal tribes and castes and 
have shown their distribution by Provinces and States in the 
series of small maps annexed to this volume. The maps are 
constructed on the principle of graphic representation recom- 
mended by M. Bertillon. The strength of the caste to which a 
map relates is depicted in each province by a rectangle, of 
which the base indicates the total population of the province, 
while the height denotes the proportion which the numbers of 
the caste bear to the total population; thus the area of the 
rectangle gives the actual strength of the caste. Most of the 
names have also been entered in the large map showing the 
physical types. 

A glance at the maps will show that some castes are diffused 
over the whole of India, while others are „ 

. J . . , . 4. ,. r Diffused groups, 

localized in particular provinces or tracts of 

country. The typical instance of a widely diffused caste is 
furnished by the Brahmans, who number nearly fifteen millions, 
and represent a proportion of the total population ranging from 
ten per cent, in the United Provinces, Central India, and 
Rajputana to three per cent, in Madras, the Central Provinces 
and Bengal, and two per cent, in Assam and Chutia Nagpur. 
The distribution accords fairly well with the history and 
traditions of the caste. They are strongest in their original 
centre, numbering nearly five millions in the United Provinces, 
and weakest in the outlying tracts, peopled mainly by non- 
Aryan races, which their influence has even now only im- 
perfectly reached. There can, however, be little doubt that 
many of the Brahmans of the more remote tracts have been 
manufactured on the spot by the simple process of conferring 
the title of Brahman on the tribal priests of the local deities. 
The so-called Barna Brahmans who serve the lower castes of 
Bengal probably obtained sacerdotal rank in this fashion. That 
the priestly caste is not of altogether unmixed descent is 



ui '(giz'S6g) qBfunj aqj ui uijoj A9,qj qoiqAV SJiooiq pnos aqi puB 

'{\B UI suoi{{iui 33jq; ^|jb3u jaquinu sJSABaM 

^qipf aqx •lUE^si JO p^aads aqi uodn mp'BxnTOBiinM 

Avojqi As-qi ^Bqj jqSq aq^ joj ^saja^ui jo aan 

— pByCiBg puB UEqjBj 'BqBjof — sdBui UEpEuiiUBqnj\[ 33jq; aqx 

•luauidopAap jo aSn^s [Bqu^ aq^ jo saoBj; aiuos uiE^aj puE ajBp 
juaoaj A{3ApEJBdraoD b ib sa^sBo o;ui pauiaojsuBj; uaaq 3ABq 
qaiqM saquj juasajtdsj qDO>i-isuEqfB^ puB '(sqBUBj) sub^Cibjej 

'sqiM 'SJB^B|y[ 'spOJ (SJBpUBq3) SBjpnSBUIB^^' 'SBUJEqiB^J 

'sjBf 'sjBfnQ 'sqpBSOQ 'siuoQ aqjL -uiaisA^s jbidos npui^ 3qi 

apisjno iiy^s 3je puB yfjoSa^EO siq^ uiq^iM 

atuoo lEiuEg puB ']\oy[ 'puoQ '{iqg aqx 

•saqui A'jpajiiuipE 3je joqtunu aSjE] e sdnojS paziiEoo^ aq; JQ 

•Ajiuapuadapui paApAa uaaq X|qEqojd aABq 
qaiqAv sajSEo puijsip 'asjnoa jo 'uijoj sdnojS qans aouiAoad 
qoBa uj 'sdEUi aqi ui pa^iqiqxa A'paajjaduii si uopnqij^sip 
asoqAv sdnojS lEuoipunj pasnjjip AppiM q;oq (qiJL puE 'ipjj 
uauqio aqj puB (jEquin^) sjajiod aqi jo piBS aq X!bui auiBS aqj_ 
•dBUi aqi ui jo junoaoE uajjE^ ajB qoiqM jo jaq^iau '(^^2'^^9) 
uEiCiEpj puE (isz'SSg) ^lOQ sauiEU aqj aapun Eipuj jo qinog aqi 
ui sjEaddE saauiAOjj pajiuQ aq; jo uopEpdod aq; jo luaa jad 
iqSia Suiuijoj puB Eipuj jaddj^ ui suoqjiui ua; A^^JEau Suuaquinu 
(eieoq puE Jiqv) dnojS pjo;sBd aSjE^ aqj^ "asaq; apnpui 
jou saop dEUi aq; ;nq 'SBjpE]/\[ jo (giS'SS/) BSipB]/\[ puE {f22'9S^) 
UBifijiJii[Eq3 aq; q;iM puodsajjoa 'saauiAOJj pa;iu]^ aq; jo 
uopB^ndod aq; jo •;uaD aad aA{aM; SuiuiJOj puB suoq^iui uaAap 
jaAO Suuaquinu 'Eipuj jaddfi jo (iq3n]/\[ puE aEuiBq3) sja>[JOM 
jaq;Ea{ aq; snqj^ -Bipuj jo a{oqM aq; o; uoi;Bpj ui s;dbj 
a;a{dui03 aq; ;no Suuq o; jibj sdBui aq; aSEnSuBj jo saauajajjip 
o; SuiAVQ -saDuiAoad ;uaaaj}ip ui A{[Eua;Bui sauBA A^qBqojd 
uoi;isodiuoo ppBj Jiaq; puE 'uoisnj^tp apiM spjEMo; si ^auapua; 
aq; sdnoaS ]Buoi;aunj jaiqo aq; ui os suBUiqBjg aq; q;iM sy 

; 9ii3M3q UEui 3SIM 3q) 13^; 

J3AU aqi JO pjoj aq; ;v 

; JiBj aq «ui-Bq3 3vp iQ 

'3[DEjq aq UEUiq^ig sqi jj 

•uvif 3iCuvftt mi yfm sytij 

'.iviiivy^ vmS 'uvmyvuff vuvjf 

— qai;sip uMouj[-{pM aq; uioaj 
uAVEjp aq sdEqjad Abui uoisnpuoD jejiuiis y -puBq ;b ajaM 
;Eq; siBua;Bm ^ue jo ;no uoisbdoo aq; joj dn uiaq; aj(Bui o; 
paSi^qo ajaAV puE ;no unj A^ddns aq; punoj 'ja;jEnb e puE qj^Bj 
E iffpnsn 'suEuiqBjg jo jaquinu pa;B;s b paaj o; q;EO qsEj b 
ujoMS SuiAEq 'oqM 'seCe-jj jo spuaSa^ snojamnu aq; K(\ pa;sa;;B 

VIQNI JO 31d03d . 9^1 



SOCIAL TYPES ' 127 

the United Provinces (923,042), and in Bengal (1,242,049), seem 
to mark the area in which the lower classes of the community 
were converted en masse to a faith which seemed to hold out 
to them the prospect of a social status unattainable under the 
rigid system of caste. The Pathan map denotes a different 
order of phenomena, and may be taken to indicate roughly the 
degree of diffusion of the main body of the foreign Musalman 
element and their descendants. It shows us the sturdy, 
pugnacious, enterprising Pathan pushing forward from the 
frontier and establishing himself among the feebler folk of 
India wherever there was fighting to be done or money to be 
made. The Saiyad map on the other hand seems to give some 
clue to the distribution of the upper classes of the immigrant 
Musalmans. 



CHAPTER III 

CASTE IN PROVERBS AND POPULAR SAYINGS 

Voliio vivu' per or a viru7n. 

Ennius. 

In all ages and countries the study of proverbs and popular 
sayings has appealed by its human interest 
vaXs drflSns; to many sorts of minds. Plato, Aristotle 
and Theophrastus are believed to have col- 
lected the proverbs of their day, and many of Lucian's wittiest 
sayings are pointed from the same armoury. In the later 
middle age both Erasmus * and Scaliger made collections 
of proverbs, unfortunately only of classical proverbs, and the 
former defined a proverb as " Celebre dictum scita quadam 
novitate insigne." This earliest definition seems to overlook 
some of the essential features of the best proverbs— their 
brevity, their bearing on the practical conduct of every-day 
life, and their origin in the speech of the people. What makes 
a proverb, as M. Dejardin t excellently puts it, " c'est sa vogue 
populaire." Erasmus fails to bring out this point and thus does 
not distinguish the proverb from the apophthegm, the brilliant 
expression of the concentrated thought of the learned, and 
from the aphorism which aims at scientific precision and 
corresponds, in the domain of ethics, to the axiom of mathe- 
matical reasoning. Voltaire illustrates the distinction admirably 
when he says of Boileau's poetry that one finds in it some 
expressions which have passed into proverbs and others 
which deserve to rank as maxims. " Maxims," he goes on to 
say, " are elevated, wise and useful ; they are made for the 
witty and appeal to cultivated taste. Proverbs on the other 
hand are for the vulgar, for the common man, whom," he 
observes characteristically, "one meets in all ranks of society." 

* Desiderii Erasmi Roierodami ^ Praverbiorum Epitome retractata ab M. lo. Christ, 
Messerschmid, Lipsiae, 1758. 

t Dictionnaire des Spots oil Proverbes Wallons, Li^ge, 1863. 



CASTE IN PROVERBS AND POPULAR SAYINGS 129 

Other writers have dwelt upon other points of the genuine 
proverb. The grammarian Donatus insists that it must be 
accommodatum rebus temporibus, must fit the facts and the 
period : the philologist Festus, looking to the etymology of the 
word, lays stress on its quality as ad agendum apta, a guide in 
the business of life. A modern writer who is impressed both 
by the brevity and by the selfish and heartless tone of many 
proverbs describes them as "the algebra of materialism." 
The epigram is ingenious and hits off the tendency of the 
proverb to get condensed into a paradoxical formula such as 
Festina lente, but the reference to materialism seems hardly 
appropriate. To describe proverbs as the algebra oi popular 
pessimism would in some respects be nearer to the truth. 

As might be expected, the most exhaustive and careful 
definition, albeit a trifle ponderous, has been made in Germany. 
According to Borchart * a proverb is a saying current among 
the people which sets forth in thoroughly popular language, 
and with studied brevity, a truth acknowledged by all. By the 
side of this we may place Rivarol's opinion that proverbs 
represent the fruits of popular experience and, as it were, the 
common-sense of all ages compressed into a formula. And we 
may conclude the series with the admirable phrase commonly 
attributed to Lord John Russell, but probably suggested to 
him by a variety of sayings of the same type which are current 
in many countries, "The wisdom of many and the wit of one." 
Of this it may fairly be said that to define a proverb by a 
proverb is a triumph of definition. 

There are, however, proverbs and proverbs. Some contain 
1 truth of general application which holds 
-ood for all time and stands its ground in the ^^and^partfcuia^^^ 
'ace of social change and political or eco- 
lomic revolution. Such proverbs are based on universal experi- 
ence and embody the common-sense of mankind. Their form, 
ndeed, may differ widely, but the underlying idea is everywhere 
he same and everywhere has given rise spontaneously to 
iome telling phrase. Our own proverb " Coals to Newcastle " 
igures in the delicate irony of the Greeks as "Owls to 
\thens." Other proverbs again have a more limited range. 
They express a truth rooted in experience, but the experience 
s that of a particular people or of a particular country, and the 
iayings in which it is summed up are coloured by the spirit 

• Die Sprichw'drtlichen Redensarten iiit Deutschen Volksmuna nach Sinn und Ursprung 
Haiitert ; Leipzig, 1888. 

R, PI 9 



I30 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

of the time when they were coined and of the nation which 
produced them. They hold good for their birth-place, but not 
for all the world. 

It need hardly be said that the proverbs and sayings 

relating to caste which are brought together 
^''*' of castr""^^ i" Appendix I and are commented on in this 

chapter belong for the most part to the 
second of the two classes noticed above. In respect both of 
their subject-matter and of their form they are local and 
particular rather than universal and general. Yet now and 
then one finds a truth of universal experience rendered in 
terms of caste relations, and the fact is instructive in so far as 
it bears witness to the supremacy of the caste sentiment in 
India and to the prominent place that it occupies in the daily 
life of the people. 

No one indeed can fail to be struck by the intensely popular 
character of Indian proverbial philosophy and by its freedom 
from the note of pedantry which is so conspicuous in Indian 
literature. These quaint sayings have dropped fresh from the 

lips of the Indian rustic ; they convey a vivid 
■^ ""'" alie^.''*''*" impression of the anxieties, the troubles, the 

annoyances, and the humours of his daily 
life ; and any sympathetic observer who has felt the fascination 
of an oriental village would have little difficulty in constructing 
from these materials a fairly accurate picture of rural society 
in India. The mise en scene is not altogether a cheerful one. 
It shows us the average peasant dependent upon the vicissitudes 
of the season and the vagaries of the monsoon, and watching 
from day to day to see what the year may bring forth. Should 
rain fall at the critical moment his wife will get golden earrings, 
but one short fortnight of drought may spell calamity when 
"God takes all at once." Then the forestalling Baniya 
flourishes by selling rotten grain, and the Jat cultivator is 
ruined. First die the improvident Musalman weavers 
(Jolaha), then the oil-pressers for whose wares there is no 
demand ; the carts lie idle, for the bullocks are dead, and the 
bride goes to her husband without the accustomed rites. But 
be the season good or bad, the pious Hindu's life is ever 

overshadowed by the exactions of the 
The Brahman. Brahman— "a thing with a string round its 
neck " (a profane hit at the sacred thread), a priest by appear- 
ance, a butcher at heart, the chief of a trio of tormentors 
gibbeted in the rhyming proverb : — 



CASTE IN PROVERBS AND POPULAR SAYINGS 131 



Is dunyd men tin kas'ai, 
Pisu, khatmal, Brahman bhal. 

Which may be rendered — 

" Blood-suckers three on earth there be, 
The bug, the Brahman and the flea." 

Before the Brahman starves the King's larder will be empty ; 
cakes must be given to him while the children of the house 
may lick the grindstone for a meal ; his stomach is a bottomless 
pit ; he eats so immoderately that he dies from wind. He will 
beg with a lakh of rupees in his pocket, and a silver begging- 
bowl in his hand. In his greed for funeral fees he spies out 
corpses like a vulture, and rejoices in the misfortune of his 
clients. A village with a Brahffian in it is like a tank full of 
crabs ; to have him as a neighbour is worse than leprosy : if 
a snake has to be killed the Brahman Should be set to do it, for 
no one will miss him. If circumstances compel you to perjure 
yourself, why swear on the head of yOur son, when there is 
a Brahman handy ? Should he die (as is the popular belief) 
the world will be none the poorer. Like the devil in English 
proverbial philosophy, the Brahman can cite scripture for his 
purpose ; he demands worship himself but does not scruple to 
kick his low-caste brethren ; he washes his sacred thread but 
does not cleanse his inner man ; and so gfeat is his avarice that 
a man of another caste is supposed to pray " O God, let me not 
be reborn as a Brahman priest, who is always begging and is 
never satisfied." He defrauds even the gods ; Vishnu gets the 
barren prayers while the Brahman devours the offerings. So 
Pan complains in one of Lucian's dialogues that he is done out 
of the good things which men offer at his shrine. 

The next most prominent figure in our gallery of popular 

portraits is that of the Baniya, money-lender, . 

• 1 i J i- "i u J • .. The Baniya. 

gram-dealer and monopolist, who dominates 

the material world as the Brahman does the spiritual. His 

heart, we are told, is no bigger than a coriander seed ; he has 

the jaws of an alligator and a stomach of wax ; he is less to be 

trusted than a tiger, a scorpion, or a snake; he goes in like 

a needle and comes out like a sword; as a neighbour he 

is as bad as a boil in the armpit. If a Baniya is on the other 

side of a river you should leave your bundle on this side, 

for fear he should steal it. When four Baniyas meet they rob 

the whole world. If a Baniya is drowning you should not give 

him a hand : he is sure to have some base motive for drifting 



132 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

down stream. He uses light weights and swears that the 
scales tip themselves ; he Iteeps his accounts in a character 
that no one but God can read ; if you borrow from him, your 
debt mounts up like a refuse heap or gallops like a horse ; if 
he talks to a customer he " draws a line " and debits the con- 
versation; when his own credit is shaky he writes up his 
transactions on the wall so that they can easily be rubbed out. 
He is so stingy that the dogs starve at his feast, and he scolds 
his wife if she spends a farthing on betel-nut. A Jain Baniya 
drinks dirty water and shrinks from killing ants and flies, but 
will not stick at murder in pursuit of gain. As a druggist the 
Baniya is in league with' the doctor; he buys weeds at a 
nominal price and sells them very dear. Finally, he is always 
a shocking coward : eighty-four Khatris will run away from 
four thieves. 

Nor does the clerical caste fare better at the hands of 
the popular epigrammatist. Where three 
e ayas . Kayasths are gathered together a thunder- 
bolt is sure to fall ; when honest men fall out the Kayasth gets 
his chance. When a Kayasth takes to money-lending he is a 
merciless creditor. He is a man of figures ; he lives by the 
point of his pen ; in his house even the cat learns two letters 
and a half. He is a versatile creature, and where there are 
no tigers he will become a shikari; but he is no more to be 
trusted than a crow or a snake without a tail. One of the 
failings sometimes imputed to the educated Indian is 
attacked in the saying, " Drinking comes to a Kayasth with his 
mother's milk." 

Considering the enormous strength of the agricultural 
population of India, one would have expected to find' more 
proverbs directed against the great cultivating castes. Possibly 
the reason may be that they made most of the proverbs, and 
people can hardly be expected to sHarpen their wit on their 
own shortcomings. In two Provinces, however, the rural 
Pasquin has let out very freely at the morals and manners 
of the Jat, the typical peasant of the Eastern 
^ * ■ Punjab and the western districts of the 

United Provinces. You may as well, we are told, look for good 
in a Jat as for weevils in a stone. He is your friend only so long 
as you have a stick in your hand. If he cannot harm you 
he will leave a bad smell as he goes by. To be civil to 
him is like giving treacle to a donkey. If he runs amuck it 
takes God to hold him. A Jat's laugh would break an ordinary 



CASTE IN PROVERBS AND POPULAR SAYINGS 133 

man's ribs. When he learns manners, he blows his nose with 
a mat, and there is a great run on the garlic. His baby 
has a plough-tail for a plaything. The Jat stood on his own 
corn-heap and called out to the King's elephant-drivers, "Hi 
there, what will you take for those little donkeys?" He is 
credited with practising fraternal polyandry, like the Venetian 
nobility of the early eighteenth century, as a measure of 
domestic economy, and a whole family are said to have one 
wife between them. 

The Kunbi is not so roughly handled as the Jat, but some 
unpleasant things are said about him. You 
will as soon grow a creeper on a rock as ^^kSSl^ °^ 
make him into a true friend. He is as 
crooked as a sickle, but you can beat him straight. If he gets 
a stye on his eyelid he is as savage as a bull. He is so obsti- 
nate that he plants thorns across the path. If it rains in the 
Hathiya asterism (end of September), and there is a bumper 
crop, he gives his wife gold ear-rings. You may know her by 
the basket on her head and the baby on either hip. 

In the peculiar ways of the artisans and of the castes who 
are engaged in personal service the makers of „,^ .„ ^ 

1 , r , , , • , ^ The Barber, 

proverbs have found abundant material for 

vituperative sarcasm. Of the village barber, who is also a 

marriage broker, a surgeon, a chiropodist, and a quack, it is 

said, "Among men most deceitful is the barber, among birds the 

crow, among things of the water the tortoise " — a sentiment 

reminding one how on a celebrated occasion Br'er Tarrypin 

outwitted Br'er Rabbit. Barbers, doctors, pleaders, prostitutes 

— -all must have cash down. A barber learns by shaving fools, 

for which reason you should stick to your barber but change 

your washerman, since a new Dhobi washes clean. You 

may hammer a barber on the head with a shoe, but you will 

not make him hold his tongue. A barber found a purse, and 

all the world knew it. Of the inquisitive barber the wise say, 

" Throw a dog a morsel to stop his mouth," which, if applied 

to the modern representative of pertinacious curiosity, might 

read, "Choke off a reporter with a scrap of stale news." A 

barber out of work bleeds the wall or shaves a cat to keep his 

hand in. A barber's penny, all profit and no risk. A burglary 

at a barber's : stolen, three pots of combings ! If you go back 

four generations you will find that your uncle was a barber, 

the suggestion being that the barber is ^sometimes unduly 

intimate with the inmates of the zenana. 



134 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

Trust not the goldsmith; he is no man's friend, and his 
word is worthless. If you have never seen 

The Goldsmith. , t_ i i i. i. t u 

a tiger, look at a cat ; ii you have never seen 

a thief, look at a Sonar. The goldsmith, the tailor and the 

weaver are too sharp for the angel of death ; God alone knows 

where to have them. A Sonar will rob his mother and sister ; 

he will filch gold even from his wife's nose-ring ; if he cannot 

steal his belly will burst with longing. He will ruin your 

ornament by substituting base metal for the gold you gave 

him, and will clamour for wages into the bargain. A pair of 

rogues: the goldsmith and the man who sifts his ashes for 

scraps. 

The potter gets off cheaper than the rest ; his honesty is 

not impeached, though his intelligence is 

The Potter. , ,, ^^ -j- i j ^u • ■ e 

held up to ridicule, and there is a vein oi 

philosophy in some of the sayings about him. He is always 

thinking of his pots, and if.he falls out with his wife he finds a 

solace in pulling his donkey's ears. But when the clay is on 

the wheel the potter may shape it as he will, though the clay 

rejoins, " Now you trample on me, one day I shall trample on 

you." Turned on the wheel yet no better for it; praise not 

the pot till it has been fired; are general proverbs of life to 

which there are numerous parallels. If you are civil to a 

potter he will neither respect you nor will he sell you his pots. 

The frequency of petty thefts in India is illustrated by the 

saying, " The potter can sleep sound ; no one will steal his 

clay." He lives penuriously, and his own domestic crockery 

consists of broken pots. He is a stupid fellow— in a deserted 

village even a potter is a scribe — and his wife is a meddlesome 

fool, who is depicted as burning herself, like a Hindu wife, on 

the carcase of the Dhobi's donkey {Dhobl ke gadhe par Kumlidriii 

sail hut). 

A blacksmith's single stroke is worth a goldsmith's hundred ; 

but a Lobar is a bad friend ; he will either 

The Blacksmith. , -..t n i-n -i-u i 

burn you with fire or stifle you with smoke. 

His shop is always in an untidy mess ; it is like the place 

where donkeys roll. Sparks are the lot of the blacksmith's 

legs. Such is his good nature that a monkey begged of him a 

pair of anklets. But you should not buy his pet maina, even if 

you can get it for a farthing, for the bird will drive you mad by 

mimicking the noise of the hammer. " To sell a needle in the 

Lobars' quarter," is one of the Indian analogues of our '" Coals 

to Newcastle.'" " Before the smith can make a screw he must 



CASTE IN PROVERBS AND POPULAR SAYINGS 135 

learn to make a nail " is a proverbial truism apparently of 
comparatively modern origin. 

The carpenter thinks of nothing but wood, and his wife 
walks and talks in time to the noise of the ^^^^ carpenter, 
plane. When out of work he keeps his hand 
in by planing his friends' buttocks. " The carpenter's face " is 
cited as a type of unpunctuality, since it is never to be seen at 
the time when he promised to come. " A whore's oath and a 
Sutar's chip " are examples of worthlessness. A fool of a Barhai 
has neither chisel nor adze and wants to be the village carpenter ! 

The oil-presser is no man's friend ; he earns a rupee and 
calls it eight annas. He sits at ease while 
his mill goes round, and beguiles his hours anddeaierTnoii. 
of leisure by inventing improper stories, so 
that when two Telis meet their talk is unfit for publication. 
His unfortunate bullock is always blindfold, and walks miles 
and miles without getting any further. Once upon a time the 
bullock was lost, and the Teli is still looking for the peg to 
which it was tied. On another occasion his bullock took to 
fighting and the owner was sued before the Kazi for damages. 
The Kazi's finding ran thus: "What made the beast fight? 
The oil-cake you fed it on ; so give me the ox and pay damages 
into the bargain." His wife saves a little oil by giving short 
measure to her customers, but " God takes all at once " when 
the jar breaks and the thick dust sucks up its contents. His 
daughter, on the other hand, is represented as giving herself 
airs and wondering what oil-cake can be. 

The tailor, the goldsmith and the weaver, these three are 
too sharp for the angel of death ; God alone ^^^ Tailor 

knows where to have them. The tailor's 
" this evening " and the shoemaker's " next morning " never 
come. However sharp his sight, a Darzi sees nothing, because 
he cannot take his eyes off his work. The influence of Hindu 
caste on Muhammadans is illustrated by the saying, " A Darzi's 
son is a Darzi and must sew as long as he lives." A Darzi 
steals your cloth and makes you pay for sewing it. When a 
tailor is out of work he sews up his son's mouth. The estima- 
tion in whicTa he is held by his neighbours may be gauged by 
the saying, " A snake in a tailor's house : who wants to kill it?" 

All the world have their clothes washed, but the Dhobi is 
always unclean (ceremonially), and to see The -Washerman, 
him the first thing in the morning is sure to 
bring bad luck. His finery is never his own, but no one has so 



136 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

many changes of linen as a Dhobi. He will not hesitate to 

use the king's scarf as a loin cloth ; at his wedding the clothes 

of his customers are spread as carpets for the guests ; and his 

son is the dandy of the village on a whistle and a bang, that is 

to say, by wearing other people's clothes which his father 

washes by giving them a bang on a stone and whistling. As 

for soap, none is used unless there are enough Dhobis to set 

up competition. When there is a robbery in the Dhobi's house 

the neighbours lose their clothes. He tears people's clothes 

and says it was the wind, but he is careful not to damage his 

father's things. You should change your Dhobi as you change 

your linen, for a new Dhobi washes clean. In a Koiri village 

the Dhobi is the accountant, for he is the only man who can 

add two and two together. He knows when the village is 

poor just as the orderly knows when his master has been 

degraded. The Dhobi's donkey is habitually overworked, and 

must carry huge bundles of linen while " its life oozes out of 

its eyes." 

The occupation of fishing ranks rather low as it involves 

the taking of life, but most Indians are great 
The risherman. n t. i. j ui. ^ji. 

fish-eaters and one would have expected to 

find more proverbs dealing with the subject. The few that I 

have collected seem to suggest that the manners of fishing 

folk are much the same everywhere. "A fisherman's tongue" 

corresponds to our " Billingsgate " ; a Machhi woman will 

scold even when she is dead ; three clouts from an oilwoman 

are better than three kisses from a fishwife. There is a touch 

of local colour in the Sind saying, " Sometimes the float is 

uppermost, sometimes the fisherman," a reference to the 

practice of fishing balanced face downwards on an earthen 

pot which is liable to break or capsize. 

In all parts of India the stupidity of the weaver, especially 

of the Muhammadan weaver (Jolaha), is the 

eaver. staple subject of proverbial philosophy. His 

loom being sunk in the ground, he is said to dig a pit and 

fall into it himself If he has a pot of grain he thinks himself 

a Raja. He goes out to cut grass when even the crows are 

flying home to roost. He finds the hind peg of a plough, and 

proposes to start farming on the strength of it. If there are 

eight Jolahas and nine huqqas, they fight for the odd one. The 

Jolaha goes to see a ram fight and gets butted himself. Being 

one of a company of twelve who had safely forded a river, 

he can only find eleven, as he forgets to count himself, and 



CASTE IN PROVERBS AND POPULAR SAYINGS 137 

straightway goes off to bury himself in the belief that, as he 
is missing, he must be dead. Some Jolahas walking across 
country come to a field" of linseed looking blue in the moon- 
light; they wonder how deep the water is and hope that all 
of them can swim. A Jolaha gets into his boat and forgets 
to weigh the anchor; after rowing all night he finds himself 
at home and rejoices in the thought that the village has 
followed him out of pure affection. A crow snatches a piece 
of bread from a Jolaha's child and flies with it to the roof; the 
prudent father takes away the ladder before he gives the child 
any more. A Jolaha hears the Koran being read and bursts 
into tears ; on being asked what passage moves him so, he 
explains that the wagging beard of the Mulla reminded him 
of a favourite goat that he had lost. When his dogs bark at 
a tiger he proceeds to whip his child. He has no sense of 
propriety ; he will crack indecent jokes with his mother and 
sister, and his wife will pull her father's beard. As a workman 
he is dilatory and untrustworthy. He will steal a reel of 
thread when he gets the chance ; he has his own standard of 
time; he lies like a Chamar; and even if you see him brushing 
the newly woven cloth, you. must not believe him when he 
says that it is ready. 

Below these more or less respectable members of rural 
society, we find a number of outcast groups, village menials, or 
broken tribes some of whom pollute the high-caste man even 
at a distance, while others are guilty of the crowning enormity 

of eating beef. Among these the Chamar, 

. 1 , ,,1 J lii The Tanner and 

tanner, shoemaker, cobbler, and cattle- shoemaker, 

poisoner, is the subject of a number of in- 
jurious reflexions. Though he is as wily as a jackal, he is also 
so stupid that he sits on his awl and beats himself for stealing 
it. He laments that he cannot tan his own skin. He knows 
nothing beyond his last, and the shortest way to deal with 
him is to beat him with a shoe of his own making, a 
practical axiom which is expressed in the saying that "old 
shoes should be offered to the shoemaker's god." " Stitch, 
stitch "is the note of the cobblers' quarter; "stink, stink" of 
the street where the tanners live. The Chamar's wife goes 
barefoot, but his daughter, when she has just attained puberty, 
is as graceful as an ear of millet. The functions of the 
Chamarin as the Mrs. Gamp of the village are rather inele- 
gantl3r referred to in the saying, "There is no hiding the belly 
from the midwife." The hides and bones of dead cattle are the 



138 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

perquisite of tlie Chamar, and in some of the great grazing 
districts he is credibly suspected of assisting nature by means 
of a bolus of arsenic, craftily wrapped in a leaf or a petal of the 
mahua flower, and dropped where the cattle are feeding. A 
humorous allusion to this practice, which is exceedingly 
difficult to detect, may be traced in the proverb which repre- 
sents the Chamar as enquiring after the health of the village 
headman's buffalo. In these latter days Chamars are no longer 
forbidden to drink Ganges water, and this perversion of the 
old order of things is said to have caused "the righteous to 
die while the wicked live." 

The Doms, among whom we find scavengers, vermin-eaters, 
executioners, basket-makers, musicians, and 
^ °^' professional burglars, probably represent 

the remnants of a Dravidian tribe crushed out of recognition by 
the invading Aryans and condemned to menial and degrading 
occupations. Sir G. Grierson has thrown out the picturesque 
suggestion that they are the ancestors of the European gipsies, 
and that Rom or Romany is nothing more than a variant of 
Dom. In the ironical language of the proverbs the Dom 
figures as " the lord of death " because he provides the wood 
for the Hindu funeral pyre. He is ranked with Brahmans and 
goats as a creature useless in time of need. A common and 
peculiarly offensive form of abuse is to tell a man that he has 
eaten a Dom's leavings. A series of proverbs represents him 
as making friends with members of various castes and faring 
ill or well in the process. Thus the Kanjar steals his dog, and 
the Gujar loots his house ; on the other hand the barber shaves 
him for nothing, and the silly Jolaha makes him a suit of 
clothes. His traditions associate him with donkeys, and it is 
said that if these animals could excrete sugar Doms would no 
longer be beggars. "A Dom in a palanquin and a Brahman 
on foot " is a type of society turned upside down. Neverthe- 
less, outcast as he is, the Dom occupies a place of his own in 
the fabric of Indian society. At funerals he provides the wood 
and gets the corpse-clothes as his perquisite; he makes the 
discordant music that accompanies a marriage procession ; and 
baskets, winnowing-fans, and wicker articles in general are the 
work of his hands. 

In the west of India Mahars and Dheds hold much the same 
place as the Dom. In the walled villages of the Maratha 
country the Mahar is the scavenger, watchman and gate-keeper. 
His presence pollutes ; he is not allowed to live in the village ; 



CASTE IN PROVERBS AND POPULAR SAYINGS 139 

and his miserable shanty is huddled up against the wall outside. 
But he challenges the stranger who comes 
to the gate, and for this and other services "^^^ ^^f ^""^ 
he is allowed various perquisites, among 
them that of begging for broken victuals from house to house. 
He offers old blankets to his god, and his child's playthings are 
bones. The Dhed's status is equally low. If he looks at a 
water jar he pollutes its contents ; if you run up against him 
by accident, you must go off and bathe. If you annoy a Dhed 
he sweeps up the dust in your face. When he dies, the world 
is so much the cleaner. If you go to the Dheds' quarter you 
find there nothing but a heap of bones. 

This relegation of the low castes to a sort of Ghetto is 
carried to great lengths in the south of India 
where the intolerance of the Brahman is ThePanah. 

very conspicuous. In the typical Madras village the Pariahs — 
" dwellers in the quarter " (para) as this broken tribe is now 
called * — live in an irregular cluster of conical hovels of palm 
leaves known as the pdrchery, the squalor and untidiness of 
which present the sharpest contrast to the trim street of tiled 
masonry houses where the Brahmans congregate. " Every 
village," says the proverb, " has its Pariah hamlet " — a place of 
pollution the census of which is even now taken with difficulty 
owing to the reluctance of the high-caste enumerator to enter 
its unclean precincts. " A palm-tree," says another, " casts no 
shade; a Pariah has no caste and rules." The popular estimate 
of the morals of the Pariah comes out in the saying, " He that 
breaks his word is a Pariah at heart " ; while the note of irony 
predominates in the pious question, " If a Pariah offers boiled 
rice will not the god take it ? " the implication being that the 
Brahman priests who take the offerings to idols are too greedy 
to inquire by whom they are presented. 

The organized animistic tribes, who are Wholly outside the 
bounds of Hinduism, seem for the most part to have escaped 
the attention of the makers of proverbs, probably because they 
have no specific place in the communal life of the village. The 
Bhil alone, hunter, blackmailer, and high- 

, , , . J u- • The Bhil. 

way robber, has impressed his curious per^ 

sonality upon the people of the jungle country of Western India 

and Rajputana. He is, we are told, the king of the jungle ; his 

* [Bishop Caldwell [Dravidian Grammar, 2nd edit., 1875, P- 549) derives it from Tajnil 
parei, " a drum " ; but this has been questioned. E. Thurston, Castes and Tribes of 
Southern India, 1909, vol.^'vi., p. 77 et seq?\ 



140 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

arrow flies straight. He is always ready for a fight, but he is 
also a man of his word, and with a Bhil for escort your life 
is safe. If you manage to please him he is a Bhil ; if you rub 
him the wrong way up he is the son of a dog. He has a large 
number of children, and in his household there is no dawdling 
as the family is always on the move. 

From the wilds of Assam comes the quaint saying, "The 
Naga's wife gets a baby; the Naga himself takes the medicine." 
This sounds rather like a reminiscence of the couvade, but it 
may be nothing more than a reflexion on the inteUigence of the 
Nagas. 

Of the proverbs discussed in the foregoing paragraphs each 

has for its subject a particular caste and con- 
Vvavevhs!^ tains no reference to any other. I now turn to 

a class of proverbs which it will be convenient 
to group separately, since each of them deals with several 
castes and seizes upon their points of difference or resemblance. 
These comparative proverbs are curious in themselves, and 
throw a good deal of light on the relative estimation accorded 
to different castes by popular opinion. Here again the Brahman 
bulks large and figures in queer company. A black Brahman, 
a fair Sudra, an under-sized Musalman, a ghar-jamai (a son-in- 
law who lives with and on his father-in-law), an adopted son 
are all birds of a feather. Trust not a black Brahman or a fair 
Pariah. A dark Brahman, a fair Chuhra, a woman with a beard 
— these three are contrary to nature. The Kunbi died from 
seeing a ghost ; the Brahman from wind in the stomach ; the 
goldsmith from bile. The first is superstitious; the second 
over-eats himself; the third sits too long over his fire. A 
Brahman met a barber; "God be with you" said the one, 
but the other held up his looking-gl^ss, thus countering the- 
Brahman's demand for a fee for his professional blessing by 
asserting his own claim to be paid for shaving people. 
Brahmans are made to eat, Bhavaiyas to play and sing, Kolis to 
commit robbery, and widows to mourn. The Mulla, the Bhat, 
the Brahman, and the Dom, these four were not born on giving 
day. A Brahman for a minister, a Bhat for favourite, and the 
Raja's fate is sealed. A Dom, a Brahman, and a goat are of no 
use in time of need. If you cannot ruin yourself by keeping a 
Brahman servant, taking money from a Kasai, or begetting too 
many daughters, you will do it by going to law with bigger 
men. The Brahman is lord of the water ; the Rajput lord of the 
land ; the Kayasth lord of the pen ; and the Khatri lord of the 



CASTE IN PROVERBS AND POPULAR SAYINGS 141 

back, ie., a coward. A Khatri woman brings forth sons always ; 
a Brahman woman only now and then — a rather cryptic utter- 
ance which may perhaps be a hit at the practice of female 
infanticide imputed to the Khatris. 

Kayasths, Khatris, and cocks support their kin ; Brahmans, 
Doms and Nais destroy theirs. Bribe a Kayasth ; feed a Brah- 
man; water paddy and betel; but kick a low-caste man. A 
Turk wants toddy ; a bullock wants grain ; a Brahman wants 
mangoes ; and a Kayasth wants an appointment. A Dhobi is 
better than a Kayasth ; a Sonar is better than a cheat ; a dog is 
better than a deity ; and a jackal better than a Pandit. Kazis, 
Kasbis, Kasais, and Kayasths — the four bad K's. There be 
three that dance in other people's houses and profit by their 
misfortunes — the Kayasth, the Baidya, and the Dalai or tout 
who promotes litigation. You may know a good Kayasth by 
his pen ; a good Rajput by his moustache ; and a good Baidya 
by his searching medicine. From the last sentiment it would 
appear that the messorum dura ilia are much the same all over 
the world and that the Indian cultivator, like the English 
villager, wants his physic nasty and wants it strong. 

When the tax collector is a Jat, the money-lender a Brah- 
man, and the ruler of the land' a Baniya, these are signs of 
God's wrath. Jats, Bhats, caterpillars and widows — all these 
should be kept hungry ; if they eat their fill they are sure to 
do harm. When a buffalo is full she refuses oil cake ; when a 
Baniya is well off he gives time to his debtors; when a Jat 
is flourishing he starts a quarrel; when your banker is in a 
bad way he fastens upon you. When the Jat prospers he 
shuts up the path (by ploughing over it) ; when the Karar 
(money-lender) prospers he shuts up the Jat. 

Loot the Baniya if you meet him, but let the Pathan go 
on his way. Better have no friends at all than take up with an 
Afghan, a Kamboh, or a rascally Kashmiri. The crow, the 
Kamboh, and the Kalal cherish their kin ; the Jat, the buffalo, 
and the crocodile devour their kin. All castes are God's 
creatures, but three castes are ruthless, the Ahir, the Baniya, 
the Kasbi ; when they get a chance they have no shame. 

There are three careless knaves, the washerman, the barber, 
and the tailor. "The goldsmith's acid and the tailor's tag." 
This highly-condensed saying requires explanation ; it is a 
proverb of delay, the suggestion being that the Sonar tells you 
that your ornament is ready, all but the final cleaning with 
acid ; while the Darzi says that your coat is ready and only the 



142 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

tags for fastening it have to be sewn on. The Teli knows all 
about oil-seeds ; the Shimpi (Kanarese tailor) all about lies ; 
the village watchman all about thieves ; the Lingayat all about 
everything. The washerman knows who is poor in the 
village; the goldsmith knows whose ornaments are of pure 
gold. 

Babhans, dogs, and Bhats are always at war with their kin. 
Seven Chamars aire not as mean as one Babhan, and seven 
Babhans are not as mean as one Nuniyar Baniya. In no man's 
land one makes friends with Gujars and Gaddis. The Gareri 
got drunk when he saw the Ahir in liquor. The Kachhi is not 
a good caste ; there is no virtue in a Mali ; and the Lodha is 
a poor creature who ploughs with tears in his eyes. 

We may pass from these genre pictures of the standard 
types of Indian village life to groups defined by religion rather 
than by caste, but which nevertheless are regarded as castes 
by popular usage. Conspicuous among these are the Parsis, 
concerning whom many proverbs are current 
arsi. jj^ Gujarat, the country where they first ap- 

peared after leaving Persia. Considering how much the Parsis 
have done for Bombay, both by their spirit of enterprise and 
by their munificent donations to public purposes, it is a little 
surprising to find them so savagely attacked in the proverbs of 
their earliest home in India. The Parsi, it is said, loses no 
time in breaking his word; a Parsi youth never tells the truth ; 
a bankrupt Parsi starts a liquor shop, and celebrates the day 
of Zoroaster by drinking brandy. Domestic scandal is hinted 
at in the punning proverb, "All is dark (andhyara) in a house 
where you find an andhydru or Parsi priest." " Oh, Dasturji," 
says a supposed penitent, " how shall my sins be forgiven ? " 
" First present a gold cat and a silver necklace, and then we 
will see." The proverb, " If a Parsi grows rich he takes a 
second wife," has ceased to be applicable since the reproach of 
polygamy has been removed by the Parsi Marriage Act, a self- 
denying ordinance passed at the instance of the Parsis them- 
selves. The influence of their Indian environment on the 
Parsis is illustrated by the saying, " The Parsi woman off"ers 
a cocoanut at the Holi," and by the curious fact that the mitre- 
shaped hat worn by old-fashioned Parsis is merely a paste- 
board copy of a Gujarati pagri or turban. It is interesting 
and characteristic to find the Parsis asserting their own 
superiority in retaliatory proverbs. " Crows your uncles and 
Parsis your fathers" is their rejoinder, in the suggestive style 



CASTE IN PROVERBS AND POPULAR SAYINGS 143 

of Oriental innuendo, to the Hindus who call them crows on 
account of their custom of exposing their dead. " The Hindu 
worships stones," say the Parsis, " the Musalman bows down 
to saints; the Parsi religion is as pure as the water of the 
Ganges." Finally, we have the quaint saying, " A Parsi's stroke, 
like a cannon ball," which one would like to trace to the hard- 
hitting achievements of Parsi cricketers. 

In India, as in mediaeval Europe, the hypocrisy, the immo- 
rality and the shameless rapacity of ascetics 
and religious mendicants move the indigna- 
tion of the proverbial philosopher. Mendicancy is the veil 
that covers the lion. An ascetic's friendship spells ruin to his 
friends. Money will buy the most pious of saints. When a 
man cannot get a wife he turns ascetic. When his crop has 
been burnt the Jat becomes a fakir. When fish are in season 
the Jogi loses his head. One widow has more virtue than 
a hundred Dandis. The Jogi and the profligate pass sleepless 
nights. " She went to the fakir to learn morals ; the holy man 
stripped off her trousers." A sect mark on his forehead and 
ten rosaries round his neck— in appearance a saint, but at heart 
in love with a prostitute. Promise a Brahman nothing, but 
promise a mendicant less. The local Jogi gets no alms. 
" Reverend father, what a crowd of disciples ! " " They will 
vanish, my son, as soon as they are hungry." "What has a 
saint to do with dainties ? " " If there is no butter-milk I can 
manage with curds." "Oh, mother, give me some sweets; 
they are very good for the eyes." " My son, if you have a 
taste for milk and cream you should turn Nanakshahi." "As 
soon as the ducks lay eggs the devotees eat them up." 

In examining the proverbs relating to village life, no attempt 
has been made to group the material by provinces. The atmo- 
sphere of rural society is very much the same all over India, 
and the sayings which' emanate from it breathe everywhere 
much the same spirit and partake of the same general character. 
Except in Sind, Baluchistan and the North-West Frontier Pro- 
vince, where the "Hindus form an insignificant minority, the 
proverbial philosophy of the village takes its cue from Hindu- 
ism, and everywhere vents its spleen on the familiar figures 
of the extortionate priest, the greedy mendicant, the grasping 
money-lender, the garrulous barber, the pilfering goldsmith, 
the knavish washerman, the foolish weaver — all of them Hindus 
or Muhammadans grouped in occupational castes of the Hindu 
type. 



144 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

But in dealing with the specific proverbs which depict the 
„^ „ , foibles of Muhammadans it will be convenient 

The Muhamma- 4. j ^ • • , rr^i 

dans. to adopt a provincial arrangement. The 

bulk of the material is considerable, and it 
can hardly be grouped on any other principle; and the geo- 
graphical distribution of Muhammadans happens to corre- 
spond pretty closely with the vital distinction noticed in an 
earlier chapter, between the Muhammadan who claims dis- 
tinguished foreign descent and the native Indian converts who, 
in Bengal at any rate, vi^ere recruited from the dregs of the 
Hindu community, and embraced Islam as a short cut to 
social promotion. 

The proverbs of Baluchistan and the North-West border 
In Baluchistan furnish plentiful illustrations of the ameni- 
and North-West ties current in a primitive tribal society, the 
rrontier Province, j^gj^bers of which are endowed with a 
pretty sense of allusive humour and addicted to the vigorous 
prosecution of all conceivable forms of vendetta. The Afghan 
is faithless {Afghan be Iman). A Pashtun's self-will will bring 
him to hell. A saint one moment, a devil the next, that is the 
Pathan. A Pathan's enmity is like a dung fire. The Pathans 
took the village and the Behnas (cotton carders) got swollen 
heads. A Pathan's mouth waters the moment his hands are 
dry, i.e. he is hungry directly he has washed his hands after 
a meal. The weak antithesis of my rendering is a poor sub- 
stitute for the crisp rhyme of the original. Hath sukha Pathan 
bhiikha. "Be a thief, be a thief!" say the Afrldi parents to 
their child as they pass it from one to the other through a hole 
in a wall, and thus baptize it in burglary. An Achakzai is 
a thief who will steal an empty flour bag. Here comes the 
Kakar besmeared with filth; when you meet him hit him with 
a stick ; kick him out of the mosque and you will save trouble 
all round. A Masezai has no hope of God, and God has no 
hope of a Masezai. Though a Kasi become a saint, he will still 
have a strain of the devil in him. A Khatak can ride, but he is 
a man of but one charge ; so say the enemies of the Khataks, 
the Marwats. The Khataks retaliate with the pleasant saying, 
" Keep a Marwat to look after asses, his stomach well filled 
and his feet well worn." "A hundred Bhitanni ate a hundred 
sheep, so thriftless were they." Hold up a rupee and you may 
see any Mohmand, whether man or woman. 

" Blood for blood " is the watch-word of the Baloch, a tribe 
recruited from all sorts of masterless men, and held together 



CASTE IN PROVERBS AND POPULAR SAYINGS 14S 

mainly by the bond of the blood-feud. Of themselves they say 
in poetical strain : " The hills are the fortress of the Baloch ; 
for a steed he has white sandals ; for a brother his sharp 
sword"; and of the chief of Las Bela, "Though the Jam be the 
Jam, yet is he by descent a Jadgal (converted Jat) and therefore 
not the equal of the princely race of Baloch." To these 
vapourings their neighbours have the vulgar retort, " There 
goes a Baloch with his trousers full of wind," a reflexion at 
once on the boastfulness and on the expansive nether garments 
of the average Baloch tribesman. The democratic spirit of the 
Baloch is illustrated by the saying, "One Sanni and seven 
chiefs." To common honesty they are strangers. "The Baloch 
who steals gains paradise for his ancestors even unto seven 
generations." Wisdom begged in vain for mercy from the 
Rinds (the conquering tribe of Balochistan) and decency from 
the Meds (the seafaring people of the Makran Coast). The 
black-faced Meds are like tamarisk sparks, without any glow of 
courage. The Med sailor lives by the wind and by the wind 
he dies. The Med is wrapped up in his voyage, and his wife 
is wrapped up with her lover. 

No one seems to have a good word for the Brahui. He is 
no man's friend ; he is the striped snake that bit the Prophet ; 
he is always coveting other people's property ; he will quarrel 
over an inheritance even with his mother, against whom he 
enforces the tribal custom by which Brahui women are excluded 
from succession. If you have never seen an ignorant lump 
come and look at a Brahui ; he is the tail of a dog and his good 
is evil. (The word sharr which means " good " in Arabic 
means "evil" in Brahui.) The Jhalawans of Khuzdar are 
without honour ; the Kalatis have ever been faithless ; the 
army of the Kurds vanishes like the spark of a burning juniper ; 
the Muhammad Shahi are blood-suckers ; the Raisani usurers ; 
if you ask a jackass whether he has any relations, he will tell 
you that the Sassoli boast of being his cousins. The Mengals 
eat half-cooked meat, and " a Mengal's roast " is a proverbial 
synonym for an immature scheme. The Lahri alone escape 
general condemnation ; their honesty is rated so high that in 
a country where promises are ratified by shaking hands "a 
Lahri's two fingers " ranks as a typical guarantee of faithful 
performance. 

In Sind and Gujarat the pretentious poverty and the domestic 
squabbles of the Miyan or petty Musalman landholder are a 
favourite subject of ridicule. The Miyan is passing rich on a 
R, PI 10 



146 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

mat alid a tooth-brush ; the pole of his carriage is spliced with 
string, and he stops at every grog-shop on 
Gv^arat^ ^he road. The Miyan's mare could only carry 

him to the end of the village. Look at the 
Miyan's new fashion : his coat is tied up in three places ! The 
Miyan swaggers abroad but is meek as a mouse at home; 
when he comes back from tinning pots and pans, Bibl, his wife, 
combs his beard; he is only a ser and she is a ser and a quarter. 
A cheerful couple, Miyan and Bibi ! when he broke his stick on 
her she smashed the water-jar. The Bibl cries for sweets and 
the Miyan licks the lamps in the mosque. The Miyan cannot 
get it and the Bib! does not like it (sour grapes). The Miyan 
has no shoes to beat his wife with. The Miyan's beard on fire, 
and Bibl thinks he is warming himself. Miyan a fop and Bibi 
sweeping the house. The Miyan killed a crow and swore that 
he had shot a tiger. A Miyan's talk, like a kick from a fly. 
The Miyan is ripe for the grave and the Bibi is ripe for the 
bridal bed. (January and May.) "Why weeping, Miyan?" 
" My wife died to-day." " Why laughing, Miyan ? " "I marry 
a new one to-day." God is straight, but the Miyan is crooked : 
if he is going north he says he is going south. " Time to get 
up, Miyan ! " "All right, give me a hand." When Miyan goes 
to Mecca, Bibi goes to Malwa. A Miyan's cat ; a Miyan's cow 
buffalo. (Both half-starved.) 

The Jat Musalman cultivator of Sind is a person of dirty 
habits ; two blankets and a half last him a lifetime. If you are 
civil to him he will knock you down. He is a merciless and 
importunate creditor — " the Jat's farthing will break the skin 
while the Baniya's hundred rupees will not hurt you." If you 
rely on the word of a Jat you. will come to grief, yet sometimes 
he meets his match : his wife soaked the yarn to make it heavy, 
but the Baniya weighed it with false weights. Educate a Jat 
and he becomes a nuisance to gods and men. 

Throughout Northern India the Mulla (priest) and the Kazi 
In the Punjab (marriage registrar and judge) fare badly at 
the hands of the popular oracle. The face of 
a Mulla conceals the heart of a butcher. The Kazi will drink if 
he gets the liquor for nothing. The Mulla was drowned 
because he had never given anything to anybody, and could 
not bear to give his hand even to save his life. 

A Kazi's verandah is a place to sit in after meals, when you 
do not mind waiting for a decision long delayed, and " a Kazi's 
judgment " is a synonym for injustice. Yet during his life all 



CASTE IN PROVERBS AND POPULAR SAYINGS 147 

men honour the Kazi ; his bitch may give pups where she 
pleases, and when she dies the whole town is at the funeral. 
But when the Kazi himself dies, not a soul follows his coffin to 
the grave. So every one strokes the Mulla's cow until the 
Mulla dies from a surfeit of milk and parched rice. Your love, 
it is said, is like that of the Mulla who feeds fowls in order to 
eat them. A Mulla's outing takes him as far as the mosque 
where he looks for alms. The horse kifcked him off, but the 
Mulla boasted of his ride. The Mulla is a thief and the Banga 
who calls to prayer is his witness. Half a doctor is a danger 
to life ; half a Mulla is a danger to faith. 

In the United Provinces they say, " A Musalman, a wasp and 
a parrot are no man's friends ; in time of 
trouble they will turn on you and sting or ^rovinoes!*^ 
bite." When rich, a Mir ; when poor, a 
Fakir ; when dead, a Pir. Sesamum, molasses, and the love of 
a Musalman are sweet at first but afterwards turn to bitterness. 
Here and in the ironical question, " Since when has the Bibi 
become a Brahmani," the allusion is to the facilities for divorce 
among Muhammadans. Where there are Musalmans there is 
population ; but their love is the friendship of a snake ; even 
two families of them cannot agree. A Musalman takes back the 
gift he has given, a reference to the practice of resuming a 
married daughter's dowry at her death. The true Musalmans 
lie buried in their graves, and their faith lies buried in their 
books. A Musalman convert cries " Allah ! Allah ! " all day 
long. Mirsahib is indeed of high family with his smooth cheeks 
and his empty stomach. " Mirsahib ! ' Times are hard ; you 
must hold on your turban with both hands." 

From Behar we get the following : A real Miyan is a Miyan 
indeed but some Miyans are Pinjaras (cotton ^^ Behar 

teasers). When the Miyan (family tutor) is 
at the door it is a bad look-out for the dog. A farthing's worth 
of soap makes the Miyan a Babu. 

The south of India also treats the subject from the Hindu 
point of view. The country that has no crows has no Musal- 
mans. What does a beef-eater know of j.^ Madras 
decent language? If girls are sold for a 
farthing a-piece, don't buy a Musalmani. A Musalman 
ascetic's butter-milk is toddy. 

A curious series of proverbs is occupied with the delineation, 
in none too polished language, of provincial and local 
characteristics. " Never make friends with a Deccani," say the 



148 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

Gujaratis, " he is as false as a latrine is foul ; put not your faith 

in a three-cornered pagri (turban)." The 

local Proverbs. Marathas' retort courteous is : " The fool of 

a Gujarati, kick him first and then he may 

understand what you want." "A Dravidian's nose-scratching" 

is another Maratha proverb aimed at the devious and 

insincere ways of the Dravidian Brahman who is represented 

as scratching his nose by putting his hand round the back of 

his neck. 

As has been mentioned in an earlier chapter, the strong 
sense of family and racial obligations, and the remarkable 
capacity for adapting themselves to modern conditions of life 
which distinguish the Bengalis have led to their diffusion all 
over Northern India, where they exercise considerable influence 
in certain circles. But these domestic and public virtues, while 
they have gained for Bengalis a share in all grades of salaried 
employment proportionate to their industry and ability, have 
somehow, possibly for this very reason, failed to endear them 
to the other Indian races ; and the supposed characteristics of 
this type, the most marked and the most provincial in India, 
are glanced at in a series of needlessly spiteful proverbs. Their 
dark complexion and the habit imputed to them of chewing 
betel incessantly are referred to in the guise of a traveller's 
observation : — " I have seen the land of Bengal, where teeth are 
red, and faces black." There is nothing to show that Bengalis 
chew betel more assiduously than other Indians. But both 
betel and areca nut grow well in Bengal ; the province is very 
rich and very lightly taxed, and the people are able to indulge 
in small luxuries. "Bengal is the home of magic and the 
women are full of witchery," and " If a Bengali is a man what is 
a devil " serve to illustrate the suspicion which attaches to 
people who live in a distant country far away from the great 
centres of religious orthodoxy and social propriety, and may 
perhaps be a specific allusion to the debased forms of Tantric 
worship alleged to be current in Bengal. " A hungry Bengali 
cries ' Rice, rice ' "—is the gibe of the fighting races at a diet 
associated in their minds with effeminacy and cowardice. 
" Twelve Bengalis cannot cut off a goat's ear " imputes feeble- 
ness and timidity in more direct terms. "An Eastern donkey 
with a Western bray " is a hit at the Bengali Babus who affect 
European manners and dress. The Assamese, a type closely 
akin to the Bengali, are attacked for their vanity and social pre- 
tensions. "A pagri on his head and nakedness below, the 



CASTE IN PROVERBS AND POPULAR SAYINGS 149 

Assamese wishes to lead the way." These ill-natured witti- 
cisms savour of the malice of the unsuccessful competitor, the 
idle apprentice who in a well-regulated world would be 
debarred from manufacturing proverbs for general consumption. 
While making general accusations of cowardice they take no 
account of the proficiency of the educated Bengalis of the 
present day in football and hockey, games not unaccompanied 
with hard knocks. They forget that, in the Eastern districts of 
Bengal, the monotony of rural existence is relieved by Homeric 
battles in which the favourite weapon is a heavy fish spear made 
by splitting a bamboo into a cluster of branches, each of which is 
armed with formidable steel barbs. People who fight half-naked 
with these appalling implements can afford to disregard the 
charge of personal timidity. Worse still, the proverbs ignore 
such instances of conspicuous gallantry on the part of Bengalis 
as was furnished a few months ago by a Calcutta undergraduate, 
Nafar Chandra Kundu, who let himself down into a sewer 
reeking with poisonous gas in the almost hopeless attempt to 
rescue three municipal coolies who were lying there insensible 
and whose fate he himself shared. Courage of this order is rare 
anywhere in the world. 

The swagger of the ubiquitous Marwari money-lender, who 
pretends that he is a Raja in his own country, is thus ridiculed : 
"For houses hurdles of madar; for hedges heaps of withered 
thorn; millet for bread, horse-peas for pulse; this is thy kingdom. 
Raja of Marwar ! " Another proverb alludes to the shape of 
their pagris and their capacity for getting on in the world. 
"The three-tufted ones (Marwaris), the red-faced ones 
(Europeans), and the cactus plant cannot five without in- 
creasing." 

Throughout this chapter the endeavour has been to arrange 
the material on inductive lines, so that the reader of what to 
many people will be strange sayings from an 
unknown world shall be led by easy stages Proverbs, 

from the particular to the general, from the 
concrete to the abstract, from reflexions on the vices and foibles 
of individual castes to the largercriticism of Indian life, as viewed 
through the medium of caste ideas and prepossessions, which 
is put forth in some of the more philosophical proverbs. 
Commencing, therefore, with a gallery of village portraits, we 
proceeded to examine the proverbs which combine and com- 
pare the various types, passing on to those which deal with 
the larger groupings of sect and religion and the wider field of 



ISO PEOPLE OF INDIA 

local and provincial characteristics. The series may now be 
closed with some instances of the most general type of Indian 
proverbs, those which are concerned with the caste system as 
a whole and illustrate the extent of its influence. Proverbs of 
this kind are not numerous, and one would gladly have more 
of them, for they breathe a tolerant spirit which contrasts 
pleasantly with the spiteful malevolence of some of the rural 
portraits. 

The authority of caste is of course uncompromisingly 
asserted. " When plates are interchanged," that is to say, when 
members of different castes intermarry, is a proverb of the 
impossible. " The high-born man mourns the loss of his caste 
as he would the loss of his nose," and " The caste killeth and the 
caste maketh alive," seem to refer to the vital issues involved 
in the decisions of caste tribunals which may make or mar the 
lives of those who come before them. In view of these grave 
possibilities, the discreet advice is given, " Having drunk water 
from his hands, it is foolish to ask about his caste." To take 
water from low-caste people is to incur ceremonial pollution, 
entailing expulsion from caste pending submission to a dis- 
agreeable purificatory ritual and the payment of a heavy fine ; 
the least said, therefore, the soonest mended. " A low-caste 
man is hke a musk-rat, if you smell him you remember it." 
" As the ore is like the mine, so a child is like its caste." " The 
speech fits the caste as the peg fits the whole ; " the idea being 
that you can tell a high-caste man by his refined language and 
accent. " I have sold my limbs not my caste," says a servant to 
his master when he is asked to do something derogatory to his 
caste. 

Along with these sayings affirming the supremacy of the 
modern doctrine of the necessity and inviolability of caste, 
we find others which seem to recall an earlier order of ideas 
when castes were not so rigidly separated, when members of 
different castes could intermarry, and when, within certain 
limits, caste itself was regarded as a matter of personal merit 
rather than of mere heredity. " Love laughs at caste distinctions." 
" Caste springs from actions not from birth." " Castes may 
differ; virtue is everywhere the same." "The Vaisyas and 
Sudras must have come first, and it was from them that 
Brahmans and Kshatriyas were made." "Though your caste 
is low, your crime is none the less." " Every uncle says that 
his caste is the best." In others again we hear the croaking 
tone of the laudator temports acti to whom all change is a 



CASTE IN PROVERBS AND POPULAR SAYINGS 151 

stumbling-block and a reproach. " The Hindu gods have fled 
to Dwarka ; the Musalman saints to Mecca ; under British 
rule the Dheds shove you about." The Dheds, as has been 
explained above, are one of the scavenger castes of Bombay, 
whose mere touch is pollution. " Nowadays money is caste." 
" In old times men looked to caste when they married their 
children, now they look only to money." "The Pandit reads 
his Scriptures and the Mulla his Quran ; men make a thousand 
shows yet find not God." " To the Hindu Ram is dear, to the 
Musalman Rahim ; they hate with a deadly hatred but know 
not the reason why." 

No useful purpose would be served by attempting a com- 
parative study of the Indian proverbs relating to caste and 
the European proverbs regarding trades and professions. 
Where the environment and the point of view differ so widely, 
there is really little opening for comparison between the two 
series of sayings. The Indian proverbs here collected stand 
by themselves ; they centre round caste ; and caste, as elabo- 
rated in India, is a unique phenomenon. It would be possible 
to pick out frorii the mass of material a few parallels between 
the shortcomings of tailors, barbers and shoemakers in Europe 
and in India; but neither the contrasts nor the correspondences 
are specially interesting, and two trades which figure largely 
in European proverbial literature — those of the miller and the 
baker — are conspicuous for their absence from the Indian 
group of portraits. In the East people grind their own corn 
and bake their own bread, and have no occasion to sharpen 
their wit on the rascals who steal the one and adulterate the 
other. 

It is more instructive to note the difference between the 
popular conception of the Brahman as illustrated by the pro- 
verbs and the ideal picture of him presented in the Institutes 
of Manu — the moral text-book of the orthodox Hindu. Here 
we read how the Brahman is by right the lord of the whole 
creation, since through his mouth the gods continually con- 
sume the sacrificial viands and the manes receive the offerings 
made for the benefit of the dead. Other mortals subsist 
through his benevolence ; he can create new worlds and new 
guardians of the world, and can deprive the gods of their 
divine station. Though Brahmans employ themselves in all 
sorts of mean occupations, they must be honoured in every 
way; for each of them is a very great deity. To slay a 
Brahman is mortal sin ; whoever threatens him with physical 



IS2 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

violence will wander for a hundred years in hell; the man 
who seizes his property will feed in another world on the 
leavings of vultures. Even the cardinal duty of veracity is 
dispensed with in the interest of the Brahman. In the chapter 
on witnesses the obligation to tell the truth is strongly insisted 
on and is enforced by the most terrible penalties. " Naked 
and shorn, tormented with hunger and thirst and deprived of 
sight, shall the man who gives false evidence go with a pots- 
herd to beg food at the door of his enemy." Yet it is also 
written : " No crime, causing loss of caste, is committed by 
swearing falsely to women the objects of one's desire, at 
marriages, for the sake of fodder for a cow, or of fuel, and in 
order to show favour to a Brahman." * 

BIBLIOGRAPHY OF INDIAN PROVERBS. 

Adams, Lieut.-Col. A. The Western Rajputana States, 2nd ed. London, 
1900. 

Chelakesavaraya Mudaliar, T. Parallel Proverbs, Tamil and English. 
Madras, 1903. 

Christian, J. Bihar Proverbs. London, 189 1. 

Crooke, W. a Rural and Agricultural Glossary for the North-West 
Provinces and Oudh. Calcutta, 1880. 

Crooke, W. Tribes and Castes of the North-West Provinces and Oudh. 
Calcutta, 1896. 

Elliot, Sir H. M. Memoirs on the History, Folklore, and Distribution of the 
Races of North-West India, ed. J. Beames, London, 1869. 

Fallon, S. W. Hindustani English Dictionary. Benares, 1879. 

Fallon, S. W. Dictionary of Hindustani Proverbs, ed. Sir R. Temple. 
Benares, 1886. 

Ganesh Narayan Deshpande. a Dictionary of Marathi Proverbs- 
Poona, 1900. 

Ganga Datt Upreti Pandit. Proverbs and Folklore of Ktanaun and 
Garhwal. Lodiana, 1894. 

Gangadhar Govind Sapkar. Marathi Proverbs. Poona, 1872. 

Gray, J. Ancient Proverbs from the Burmese. London, 1886. 

Grierson, G. A. Bihar Peasant Life. Calcutta, 1885. 

Gurdon, Capt. p. R. Some Assamese Proverbs. Shillong, 1896. 

Ibeetson, D. C. J. Pimjab Ethnography. Calcutta, 1883. 

Ishuree Dass. Doinestic Manners and Customs of the Hindus of Northern 
India. Benares, 1866. 

Jamjetjee Petit. Collection of Gujarati Proverbs. Bombay. 

Jensen, Rev. H. A Classified Collection of Tamil Proverbs. Madras, 
1897. 

Lal BiHARl Day. Bengal Peasant Life. London, 1878. 

Lawrence, Sir W. R. The Valley of Kashmir. London, 1895. 

Long, Rev. J. Eastern Proverbs and Emblems. London, 188 1. 

* The Laws of Mann translated by G. Biihler, I, 93, 95, loi ; IV., 165 ; VIII., 93, 112 ; 
IX., 23s, 315, 319; XL, 26. 



CASTE IN PROVERBS AND POPULAR SAYINGS 153 

Lyall, J. B. Report on the Land Revenue Settlement of the Kangra District, 
Ptmjab. Lahore, 1865-72. 

Maconachie, J. R. Agricultural Proverbs of the Panjab. Lahore, 1890. 

Manwaring, Rev. A. Marathi Proverbs, collected and translated. Oxford, 
l899._ _ 

Narayan Damodar Chhatre. Marathi Practical Proverbs. Poona, 1871. 

Natesa Sastri, Pandit. Familiar Tamil Proverbs. 

Nesfield, J. C. A Brief View of the Caste System of the North-West 
Provinces and Oudh. Allahabad, 1885. 

Percival, p. Tamil Proverbs, with their English Translation, 3rd ed. 
Madras, 1874. 

Prabodh Prakas Sen Gupta. Dictionary of Proverbs. Calcutta, 1899. 

Purser, W. E. and Fanshawb, H. C. Settlement Report of the District of 
Rohtak. Lahore, 1880. 

Ravipati Guruvaya Guru. A Collection of Telugu Proverbs, translated by 
Capt. M. W. Carr. Madras, 1868. 

ROCHIRAM Gajumal. Handbook of Sindhi Proverbs. Karachi, 1895. 
Tamil Sayings and Proverbs on Agriculture. Madras. 

Upendro Krishna Bonerjea. Handbook of Proverbs, English and Bengali. 
Calcutta, 1 89 1. 

Wilson, J, Grammar of Westerti Panjabi. Lahore, 1898. 



CHAPTER IV 

CASTE AND MARRIAGE 

Das Ewig-Weibliche 
Zieht uns hinan. 

Goethe. Faus( II. 

Nous ne ddpendons point des constitutions ni des chartes, mais des instincts 
et des mceurs. 

Anatole France. 

Among the various causes which contribute to the growth of 
a race or the making of a nation by far the most effective and 
persistent is the/ws conniihii — the body of rules and conventions 
governing intermarriage. The influence of these rules penetrates 
every family; it abides from generation to generation, and gathers 
force as time goes on. The more eccentric the system, the 
more marked are the consequences which it tends to produce. 
With men, as with animals, artificial selection is more potent 
and works more rapidly than natural selection. In no depart- 
ment of life is the contrast sharper between the East and 
Contrasts between ^^e West, the Stationary and the progressive 
India and societies, the races of India and the nations 

Europe. ^j- gyj-Qpe. The first point which strikes an 

observer is the almost universal prevalence of the married 
state. In Europe sentiment and prudence hold divided sway, 
and the tendency on the whole is rather towards a decline in 
the number of marriages. In India neither of these motives 
comes prominently into play. Religion on the other hand, 
which in the West makes in the main for celibacy, throws its 
weight in India almost wholly into the other scale. A Hindu 
man must marry and beget children to perform his funeral 
rites, lest his spirit wander uneasily in the waste places of the 
earth. If a high-class Hindu maiden is unmarried at puberty, 
her condition brings social obloquy on her family, and on a 
strict reading of certain texts entails retrospective damnation 
on three generations of ancestors. But the general obligation 



CASTE AND MARRIAGE iss 

to marry is hampered by numerous conditions. In the West 
the field from which a man can choose his wife is practically 
unlimited. The restrictions based on consanguinity are few, 
and all but an insignificant number of marriages are determined 
by the free choice of persons who have attained physical 
maturity, and believe that they know their own minds. In 
India, throughout the ever widening area dominated by Hindu 
tradition or influence, one set of rules contracts the circle 
within which a man must marry; another set artificially 
expands the circle within which he may not marry; a third 
series of conventions imposes special disabilities on the 
marriage of women. A fourth injunction, not as yet universal 
but constantly gaining ground, forbids a widow to marry 
again. Under the regime of infant marriage, wedded life too 
often commences before physical maturity has set in, and the 
children thus united make their first acquaintance when they 
are already husband and wife. Polygamy tempered by poverty, 
and two forms of polyandry, both tending to disappear under 
the influence of popular disapproval, complete the series of 
contrasts between Indian and European marriage customs. 
We shall consider later on how far the dry figures of the 
census bear witness to the far-reaching consequences of these 
restrictions on the natural tendencies of the human race. But 
before examining the statistics it will be of interest to describe 
more fully the customs alluded to above. Two of these, 
endogamy and exogamy, are common to all primitive societies. 
Polyandry and polygamy are found in several societies which 
are not primitive. Infant marriage, and the prohibition of 
widow remarriage are, I believe, peculiar to India.* Hyper- 
gamy, though it is met with in other countries, is probably 
more fully developed in India than anywhere else in the 
world. In describing these rules it is impossible to avoid 
constant reference to the social groups — tribes, castes and the 
like — by which their operation is determined. Marriage is the 
most prominent factor in the caste system, and the customs 
which regulate marriage can only be described in terms of 
caste or of some tribal unit which closely resembles a caste or 
represents a stage in the process by which caste has been 
evolved. The only people to whom this remark does not 
apply are the Burmese and other races of further India. The 

* [The custom of infant marriage and the prohibition of remarriage of widows prevail in 
other countries besides India (E. Westermarclc, The History of Human Marriage, 1891, 
p. 213 et seq., 127.)] 



iS6 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

Muhammadans in most parts of India have been aiTected in 
various degrees by the example of Hindu marriage usage ; 
and Indian Christians have not always escaped the same 
pervading influence. 

The terms endogamy and exogamy— passablemeni barbares 
^ as M. Senart has called them— were intro- 

duced more than forty years ago by the late 
Mr. J. F. McLennan in his well-known essay on Primitive 
Marriage. The laws governing marriage which these terms 
denote were then unnamed. Mr. McLennan was, I believe, 
the first to draw attention to them, and the names devised 
by him have been adopted by all who have since written on 
the subject. Endogamy, or " marrying in," is the custom which 
forbids the members of a particular social group to marry any 
one who is not a member of the group. An endogamous divi- 
sion, therefore, is a group within which its members must 
marry. The following types of endogamous divisions may be 
distinguished. The enumeration is probably not exhaustive, 
but it will serve to illustrate the lines on which the principle of 
endogamy works in India : — 

I. Ethnic groups consisting of compact tribes like the 
Indo-Aryan Rajputs of Rajputana and the Dravidian 
Mundas, Oraons and Santals of Chutia Nagpur, and 
also including tribes, like the Bhumij, who have 
adopted Hinduism and transformed themselves into 
a caste. In the case of the latter, the assumption of a 
common origin is borne out by what is known of the 
history and affinities of the tribe, but after having 
become a caste, its members set to work to strip 
themselves of all customs likely to betray their true 
descent. At the same time the substantial landholders, 
if there are any among the tribe, usually break oif 
from the rest and set up as Rajputs, a designation 
which outside of Rajputana proper does not neces- 
sarily imply any race distinction, and frequently means 
nothing more than that the people using it have or 
claim to have proprietary rights in land. The local 
Raja of the Bhumij country pretends to be some kind 
of Rajput, and the smaller landholders of the tribe 
tend to follow his example. The change of style does 
not take long to effect, and it is no one's business 
to challenge its validity. I have known a man who 
habitually posed as a Surajbansi Rajput file in court 



CASTE AND MARRIAGE iS7 

and Jay immense stress upon a document in which 
his grandfather wrote himself down a Bhumij. His 
composure was not materially disturbed when the 
anomaly was pointed out to him. 

II. Linguistic or Provincial groups, such as Tamil, Telugu, 

Bengali, Oriya, and Paschima or Bihari Brahmans. 
These classes are very large, and include whole castes 
which in their turn are broken up into endogamous 
sub-castes. Such groups arise partly from the fiction 
which assumes that men who live in a different part of 
the country and speak a different language must be of 
a different race, and probably also in some measure 
from the inclusion of different stocks under a single 
caste-name. It can hardly be doubted, for example, 
that the large and miscellaneous groups included 
under the name Brahman have been recruited to 
some extent from the local priests of tribes which 
adopted Hinduism. 

III. Territorial or Local groups not corresponding to any 

distinction of language, such as the Rarhi and 
Barendra Brahmans, the Uttariya and Dakshini (north 
and south of the Ganges) Doms of Bihar, the Tamaria 
and Sikharbhumi Bhumij of Manbhum, and numerous 
others. It is curious to observe that in some cases 
these groups are called after ancient territorial 
divisions, such as Rarh, Barendra, Sikharbhum, etc., 
which appear on no map, and the names of which 
may possibly throw some light upon the early history 
of India.* 

IV. Functional or Occupational groups, such as the Mecho and 

Halia or Helo sub-castes of Kaibartta, of whom the 
former sell fish, while the latter, who have now given 
themselves brevet rank as .Mahishyas, confine them- 
selves to cultivation ; and the Dulia, Machhua, and 
Matial sub-castes of Bagdis who are distinguished 
respectively by carrying palanquins, fishing, and 
labouring as tank-diggers and earth-workers. Writing 
about the Halia sub-caste of Kaibartta in 1891, I ven- 
tured on the conjecture that " this sub-caste will rise 
in social estimation and will altogether sink the 

* The position of most of these ancient territorial divisions is now fairly well known. 
Amongst recent writers on the subject may be mentioned Mr. Pargiter, late of the Indian 
Civil Service, and Maharoahopadhyaya Hara Prasad Sastri, 



158 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

Kaibartta." The forecast has come true. They now 
call themselves Mahishyas, a name unheard of ten 
years ago, and pose as a distinct caste. The claim 
has not yet been fully recognized, but that is merely 
a question of time and importunity.* 
V. Sectarian groups' like the Bishnois of Northern India, 
and the Lingayats of Bombay. These were originally 
religious sects which have now closed their ranks to 
outsiders and marry only among themselves. As a 
rule, however, groups based upon religious differences 
within the range of Hinduism do not tend to become 
endogamous, and the evolution of a caste from a sect 
is a comparatively rare phenomenon. 
VI. Social groups marked off by abstaining from or practising 
some particular social or ceremonial usage. Thus the 
Sagahut sub-caste of Sunris (traders and liquor sellers) 
in Bihar allow their widows to re-marry by the maimed 
rite of sagdi, while another sub-caste of Sunris forbid 
widow marriage, and designate themselves biydhut, 
" the married one," from biydh, the full-blown wedding 
ceremony which no woman can go through twice. 
In theory all the members of each of the numerous groups 
included in these classes are regarded as forming a body of 
kindred, though in any particular instance their pedigree may 
be extremely obscure. In the first or ethnic class, the racial tie 
which binds the members together and distinguishes them 
from other tribes forming part of the same class is palpable 
and acknowledged, and various legends are current which 
purport to account for it. In the other classes the tendency 
towards sub-division, which is inherent in Indian society, seems 
to have been set in motion by the fiction that men who speak 
a different language, who dwell in a different district, who 
worship different gods, who observe different social customs, 
who follow a different profession, or practice the same profes- 
sion in a slightly different way, must be of a fundamentally 
different race. Usually, and in the case of sub-castes invariably, 
the fact is that there is no appreciable difference of blood 
between the newly-formed group and the larger aggregate from 
which it has broken off. 

For reasons which need not be entered upon here, complete 
statistics of these countless divisions are never likely to be 

♦ See p. Il8, supra, 



CASTE AND MARRIAGE 159 

available. But many of them are known to be exceedingly 
small, and even the larger ones, when distributed over a large 
area of country, may be so scantily represented in a given 
locality that the number of possible marriages open to their 
members must be inconveniently restricted. 

The disintegrating influence of the constant creation of 
separate connubial groups has not escaped the notice of Indian 
social reformers. In an able paper on the fusion of sub-castes 
in India Lala Baijnath Lai, Judge of the Court of Small Causes 
in Agra, has pointed out the harm which they do " physically 
by narrowing the circle of selection in marriage, intellectually 
by cramping the energies, and morally by destroying mutual 
self-confidence and habits of co-operation." The writer goes 
on to propose that social reformers should use their influence 
" to make those sub-sections of a caste which inter-dine (sic) 
also intermarry." The suggestion is sound in itself and is put 
forward with conspicuous moderation. Its author wisely 
refrains from advocating intermarriage between members of 
different castes, and lays stress on the expediency of proceeding 
gradually and commencing with the smallest groups. But 
clearly his plan will only meet those cases where the Jus convivii 
is wider than the jus connubii. Ordinarily, no doubt, when 
people will not eat together, still less will they intermarry. 
But this is not always the case. Among the Agarwals, for 
instance, members of different religious sects intermarry but 
do not eat together. At marriage the wife is formally admitted 
into her husband's sect, and must in future have her food 
cooked separately when she stays with her own people. A 
well-known proverb says of the Kanaujia Brahmans of the 
United Provinces — Tin Kanaujia terah chulhd, "Three Kanaujias 
want thirteen kitchens," implying that their notions on the 
subject of ceremonial purity are so extreme that they will 
hardly eat even with their nearest relations. Of these people 
Lala Baijnath remarks that " the smallness of their various 
clans causes the greatest difficulty in obtaining husbands for 
girls except on payment of extortionate sums of money." Mr. 
Burn, however, informs me that, although their usages are not 
sufficiently defined to be capable of clear description, the 
groups which cannot eat together are much smaller than those 
which cannot intermarry. In both cases, therefore, the change 
suggested would aggravate the very evil which it is intended 
to cure. Both serve to illustrate the diversity and intricacy of 
social usage in Pndia and the dangers which beset the path of 



i6o PEOPLE OF INDIA 

any one who seeks to introduce what at first sight may seem to 
be a most obvious reform. 

An interesting case has recently been published by Mr. 
Burn, tending to show how the most modern and enlightened 
movements, so far from promoting the consolidation of social 
groups, merely encourage the instinct of separation which is 
the governing principle of the caste system. Among the 
mercantile castes of the United Provinces are two large groups 
known as Barahseni and Chauseni, the, members of which 
do not intermarry. The former are shop-keepers and con- 
fectioners, and pride themselves on not allowing widows to 
marry again. The Chauseni are usually regarded as an ille- 
gitimate or outcast branch of the Barahseni, but they are 
endeavouring to improve their status and, as a means to that 
end, an important section of them " has refused to recognize 
widow marriage, and even the rest of the group look on the 
practice with growing disfavour." Some members of the 
Barahseni community have recently joined the modern re- 
formers of the Arya Samaj, " and a marriage was lately cele- 
brated between a Barahseni man and a widow of the same 
group. When the project was announced, the orthodox Hindus 
held a meeting and endeavoured to stop further proceedings, 
but without success. Two days - after the marriage another 
meeting was held, and the married couple and those who aided 
them were solemnly excommunicated. A printed notice has 
been widely circulated directing all Barahsenis to avoid dining, 
marrying, drinking, or holding any communication with those 
outcasted. A large feast was subsequently held, at which 
about 4,000 orthodox Barahsenis were present, but to which 
none of the guilty members were invited. The feeling has 
gone so far that some men whose sons had previously married 
into families now outcasted have recalled their daughters-in- 
law, and refuse to let them visit their parents. Others have 
turned their own daughters out of their houses as they are 
married to outcasts." * 

These proceedings give rise to the awkward question, what 
is to become of all the people thus expelled from their own 
society. The Chausenis will not receive them, because they 
have offended against a rule which the Chausenis themselves 
are beginning to observe. Nor would the outcasts consent 
to enter the lower group, since they insist on the entire legality 
of the marriages which have been contracted. The result is 

* y. A. S. B., Vol. I., No. 10, 1905. 



CASTE AND MARRIAGE i6i 

that at present they belong to no caste at all, and, arguing from 
analogy, it seems probable that they may be driven to set up a 
new caste of their own. 

Exogamy, or " marrying out," is the custom which forbids 
the members of a particular social group, usually supposed to 
be descended from a common ancestor, or to be associated with 
a certain locality, to marry any one who is a member of the 
same group. An exogamous division, therefore, is a group 
outside of which its members must marry. 

The following classes of exogamous divi- „ 

r J • T J- Exogamy. 

sions are found m India : — 

I. Totemistic, being the names of animals, plants, etc., such 
as Hansda, wild goose, Hemron, betel palm. A man 
of the Hansda division may not marry a woman of 
that division, and so on. These totemistic divisions 
are confined for the most part to tribes and castes of 
Dravidian descent. 
II. Eponymous, the ancestor who gives his name to the 
group being either a Vedic saint (as with the Brah- 
mans and the castes who imitate them), or a chief of 
comparatively modern date, as with the Rajputs and 
others. 

III. Territorial, referring either to some very early settle- 

ment of a section or to the birthplace of its founder ; 
prevalent among the Rajputs and the trading castes 
supposed to be allied with them, and found also 
among the Kandhs of Orissa and the Nagas of 
Assam in a very primitive form, the sept there 
residing in the local area whose name it bears.* 

IV. Local, communal, or family sections of small size and 

comparatively recent origin. 
V. Titular, or nickname groups referring to some personal 
peculiarity or adventure of the founder of the sept, 
or to some office which he is supposed to have held. 
Besides these we also find castes which have no sections of 
any kind, or, which comes to the same thing, have only one 
section and habitually marry within it, and simply reckon pro- 
hibited degrees in much the same way as we do ourselves. 

We have seen that endogamy restricts intermarriage in one 
direction by creating a number of artificially small groups 
within which people must marry. Exogamy brings about the 
same result by artificially enlarging the circle within which 

[* T. C. Hodson, The Naga Tribes of Manipur, 1911, p. 71.] 
R, PI II 



i62 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

they may not marry. Here again no complete statistics are 
available. But in certain proceedings held in Madras in con- 
nection with the classification of the Kamalakar caste of immi- 
grants into Tanjore from the Deccan, who call themselves 
Saurashtra Brahmans, it was stated that each of their exo- 
gamous divisions contained about 2,000 persons. A somewhat 
similar result may be arrived at by calculation for the sub- 
castes of Brahmans in Bombay. Compare these figures with 
the largest number of persons that can be imagined to be 
excluded by our own table of prohibited degrees and the 
contrast is sufficiently striking. The calculation, however, 
understates the case. As has often been pointed out, exogamy 
is one-sided in its operation. In no case may a man marry 
into his own group, but the name of the group goes by the 
male side, and consequently, so far as the rule of exogamy is con- 
cerned, there is nothing to prevent him from marrying his 
sister's daughter, his maternal aunt, or even his maternal grand- 
mother.* Alliances of this kind are barred by a separate set 
of rules, which usually overlap the exogamous rule to some 
extent. Marriage with any person descended in a direct line 
from the same parents is universally forbidden. In order to 
simplify the calculation of collateral relationship — a compli- 
cated business which severely taxes the rural intellect— the 
following formula is in use throughout Biha.r -.-—Chachera, 
mameru, phuphera, musera, ye char ndtd bachdke shadi hoti hai, 
"the line of paternal uncle, maternal uncle, paternal aunt, 
maternal aunt, these four relationships are to be avoided in 
marriage." Here the first point to notice is that in the first 
generation the whole of the paternal uncle's descendants, both 
male and female, are excluded by the rule prohibiting marriage 
within the section. In the second and subsequent generations 
agnates are barred, but descendants through females are not. 
For the paternal uncle's daughters must have married out of 
the section, so that their children must belong to some other 
section, and thus second cousins are able to marry. Another 

[* In Southern India cousin marriage is common (W. H. R. Rivers, "The Marriage of cousins 
in India," journal Royal Asiatic Society, July, 1907, p. 611 et seq.). "It is a prevalent 
custom throughout Southern India that a girl's father's sister's son has the first right to her 
hand in marriage. The Malayalam word for son-in-law (maru makan) means nephew. If a 
stranger should marry a girl, he is also called nephew. But the unmarried nephew, having 
the first admitted right to the girl, must be paid eight annas, or two fanams, before he will 
allow her to be taken away" (E. Thurston, Castes and Tribes of Soutkerji India, 1909, 
vol. vii., p. 60 ; cf. J. G. Frazer, Totemism and Exogamy, 1910, vol. ii., p. 331 et seq.; 
Census Report, Central Provinces, ign, vol. i., p. 134). For cross-cousin marriage among 
Muhammadans in Northern India, see Census Report, Kashmir, 1911, vol. i., p. 139.] 



CASTE AND MARRIAGE 163 

point is tiiat the formula does not state the number of genera- 
tions to which the prohibition extends, and that different castes 
supply this omission in different ways. The Dravidian races 
generally incline to laxity. The Santals, for example, in the 
Santal Parganas, are said to make up for their sweeping pro- 
hibition on the father's side by allowing very near alliances on 
the mother's side — a fact well illustrated in their proverb " No 
man heeds a cow-track, or regards his mother's sept." Many 
castes, again, exclude a smaller number of generations on the 
female side, while others profess to prohibit intermarriage 
so long as any relationship, however remote, can be traced 
between the parties. 

Hypergamy, or " marrying up," * is the custom which 

forbids a woman of a particular group to ^ 

^ or Hypergamy. 

marry a man of a group lower than her own 
in social standing, and compels her to marry in a group equal 
or superior in rank. A hypergamous division, therefore, is a 
group forming part of a series governed by the foregoing rule. 
The men of the division can marry in it or below it ; the women 
can marry in it or above it. 

The following are instances of hypergamous divisions : — 
(a) The four original classes (varnas) as depicted in the 
somewhat contradictory utterances of the law books, 
which seem to deal with a period of transition when 
caste was being gradually evolved out of a series of 
hypergamous classes. Thus one set of passages in 
Manu, Baudhayana, Vishnu and Narada allows a 
Brahman to marry in succession a woman of each of 
the four castes; while other texts from the same 
authorities forbid him to marry a Sudra woman. 
According to Baudhayana, Gautama, and Usanas 
marriages in which the wife was only one grade 
below the husband are freely admissible and the 
children take the rank of the father, so that the son of 
a Vaisya by a Sudra woman was counted a Vaisya.t 
On the other hand, all authorities agree in repro- 
bating marriages between men of lower classes and 
women of higher. 



* This is what the term was intended by its inventor to mean. He alone is responsible for 
the etymology. [Sir D. Ibbetson, Census Report, Punjab, 1881, vol. i., p. 356.] 

[t Manu, Laws, iii., 12-13, i". 85-87, with the references quoted by G. Biihler, Sacred 
Book 0/ the East, xxv,, 1886, pp. 77, 342. A. A. Macdonell, A. H. Keith, Vedic Index 
of Names and Subjects, 1913, i. 476.] 



i64 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

(b) The groups Kulin, Siddha-Srotriya, Sadhya-Srotriya, 

and Kashta-Srotriya among the Rarhi Brahmans of 
Bengal as organized by Ballal Sen. The rule was 
that a man of the Kulin class could marry a woman 
of his own class or of the two higher Srotriya 
classes ; a Siddha-Srotriya could marry in his own 
group or in the Sadhya group ; but the Sadhya and 
Kashta-Srotriyas might take wives only within the 
limits of their own classes. Conversely, women of 
the Sadhya-Srotriya class could marry in their own 
class or the two classes above them ; Siddha-Srotriya 
women in their own class or in the Kulin class ; 
while Kulin women at one end of the scale and 
Kashta women at the other were restricted in their 
choice of husbands to the Kulin and Kashta groups. 

(c) Among the Marathas families belonging to groups 

such as Kadam, Bande, Bhosle, Powar, Nimbalkar, 
etc., whose ancestors rose to power during the 
Maratha ascendancy, will not give their daughters in 
marriage to Marathas of lower social position.* In 
some cases intermarriage has been entirely broken 
off; and the group is converting itself into a caste 
which claims descent from the traditional Kshatriyas. 
(d) A curious development of hypergamy has taken place of 
recent years among the Pods, a cultivating and fishing 
caste very numerous in the districts near Calcutta. 
Those Pods who have taken to English education and 
become clerks, pleaders, doctors, and the like, refuse 
to give their daughters in marriage to their agri- 
cultural and fishing-caste fellows though they still 
condescend to take brides from the latter. The case 
is closely parallel to that of the Mahisya Kaibarttas 
mentioned above, and is of interest as exhibiting an 
earlier stage in the process of caste-making. The 
educated Pods, it will be observed, have not com- 
pletely separated from the main body of their caste ; 
they have merely set up for themselves a special 
JUS connubii, the right of taking girls without giving 
them in return, like the three higher classes in the 
traditional Indian system. Their number being com- 
paratively small, they probably have not women 



[* This restriction is now being relaxed, Ethnological Survey, Central Provinces, Part IX., 
i9H, p. 127] 



CASTE AND MARRIAGE 165 

enough to meet their own needs. But this will right 

itself in course of time, and they will then follow the 

classical precedent of the twice-born classes and will 

marry only within their own group. Later on they 

will start a distinctive name, probably a pretentious 

Sanskrit derivative, and will disclaim all connexion 

with the Pods. They will then have become a caste 

in the ordinary acceptation of the word, and in a 

generation or two their humble origin will be 

forgotten. 

The examples given above show the custom of hypergamy 

to be of great antiquity, and to prevail in India over a very 

wide area at the present day. Its theoretical working is 

perhaps best illustrated by the following diagram. Let X 

'a a represent a caste divided into the three 

^, ""■"------ hypergamous groups. A, B, and C. 

^-III._" Within each group, the capital letters 

c Zc stand for the marriageable men, and 

the small letters for the marriageable women of the group. 
The horizontal and diagonal lines connecting the capitals with 
the small letters show what classes of men and women can 
intermarry. It will be seen that a man of the A group can 
marry a woman of his own or of the two lower groups; a man 
of B can marry into B or C, while a man of C is confined to 
his own class, and cannot marry a woman from either of the 
classes above him. Conversely, a woman of the C class can 
get a husband from A, B, or C, and a woman of the B class 
from A or B ; but a woman of the A class 
cannot find a husband outside of her own hypergamy. 

group. Excluding polygamy and polyandry, 
and supposing the women of each group to be evenly dis- 
tributed among the groups they are entitled to marry into, the 
result of the first series of marriages would be to leave two. 
thirds of the women in the A group without husbands, and 
two-thirds of the men in the C group without wives. Of 
course in practice the system does not work in this mechanical 
fashion. Husbands are at a premium in the upper groups and 
become the object of vigorous competition ; the bride-price of 
early usage disappears, and is replaced by the bridegroom- 
price now paid among most of the higher castes in India. 
The rich get their daughters married above their proper rank ; 
poorer people are driven to reckless borrowing or, in the last 
resort, to other means, if they would avoid the disgrace of 



i66 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

letting their daughters grow up unmarried. There are, 
unhappily, several ways of redressing the unequal propor- 
tions of the sexes and putting artificially straight what has 
been artificially made crooked. One approved way is for the 
parents to kill, or to make no attempt to keep alive, all female 
infants except those for whom they can make sure of finding 
husbands. This is what the Rajputs of Northern India used 
to do until a law was passed making things unpleasant for 
any village which could not show a respectable proportion of 
girls. The practice seems to be as old as the Yajur Veda, 
which speaks of female infants being exposed when born ; 
while the remark in the Athafva Veda, that the birth of a 
daughter is a calamity, may perhaps imply that then, as 
now, infanticide was connected with the difficulty of getting 
daughters suitably married.* 

Another method is that of wholesale polygamy, such as 
was practised by the Kulin Brahmans of Bengal a couple of 
generations ago. Several middle-aged Kulins are known to 
have had more than a hundred wives, and to have spent their 
lives on a round of visits to their mothers-in-law. For each 
wife they had received a handsome bridegroom-price, diminish- 
ing in amount with the number of wives they had at the time 
of the marriage; they made what "they could out of each 
periodical visit ; and they asked no questions about the 
children. Nearly forty years ago Babu Abhaya Chandra Das 
described this scandalous state of things in a paper read 
before the Dacca Institute. He said : " I know of two Kulins, 
one of whom married about 60 wives, and the other had 
upwards of 100 ; each of these men had a book in which he 
entered the names of villages where he married as well as the 
names of the fathers of the wives married. At the commence- 
ment of the cold weather, each would start on his connubial 
tour, if I may so express it, with his memo-book, and after 
collecting money from each wife visited according to her 
father's pecuniary circumstances, return home at the beginning 

[* A. A. Macdonell, A History of Sanskrit Literature, 1900, p. 163. An interestin'^ 
attempt by the poorer classes in Western India to obviate the difficulty, under the system of 
hypergamy, of finding husbands for their daughters, is reported among the Kunbis. Groups 
of villages have been formed, the residents of which refuse to marry their girls to the wealthier 
residents in towns. (Census Reports, Baroda, 1911, vol. i., p. 136 et seq. ; Bombay, igii, 
vol. i., pp. 118 et seq., 200 et seq., 280.) A similar revolt against hypergamy is reported 
among the Khalris and the Brahmans, who serve them, in the Panjab (H. A. Rose, Glossary 
of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North-Western Province, 1911, vol. ii., pp 126, 
5I4).] 



CASTE AND MARRIAGE 167 

of the summer to spend the rest of the year in his village. It 
is not infrequently the case that fathers and sons and husbands 
and wives meet as. perfect strangers to one another, and 
become overwhelmed with shame when their mutual relations 
are known. I heard also of one case in which a Kulin, by 
mistaking the name, visited the daughter of a certain Bangsaj, 
who was glad to receive his supposed son-in-law, but a few 
days afterwards, the real son-in-law paid his visit, and the 
mistake was then found out to the utter amazement of 
the father" — and, one would think, to the consternation of 
the daughter. 

The system, I am informed, has even now not wholly died 
out, but it prevails on a less outrageous scale; a connubial 
touring season is not so much in evidence ; and educated 
opinion condemns it forcibly. According to a recent writer,* 
however, "it is still in full force in East Bengal, where such 
an abominable practice of having many wives still exists." 
And an actual case was mentioned to me recently of a Kulin 
Brahman living in the neighbourhood of Calcutta who has 
more than fifty wives, duly entered in a register, whom he 
visits, for a consideration, during the cold weather. The same 
writer gives an interesting account of a modern development 
of the principle of hypergamy which has arisen- from the 
demand for graduate husbands in the marriage market of 
Bengal. 

" Education instead of stifling or mitigating the baneful 
effects of Kulinism has gone in a horrible degree to strengthen 
them In fact, the University standard has become a more 
powerful engine of oppression for the girl's father than the 
so-called Ballali Kulinism. A Bachelor of Arts, if he is also 
a bachelor in life, even if he is a homeless pauper living upon 
his friends' bounty, and be he a Kulin or a Maulik or Achal, 
must have, besides ' a wingless nymph,' as goes the Bengali 
adage, for his spouse adorned with jewelry and gold ornaments 
from head to foot, a cash demand of at least Rs. 4000, besides 
the personal dower for the bridegroom's embellishment called 
barahharan, from a girl's father of ordinary means, say a 
Deputy Magistrate or a Sub-Judge. If the father has the 
misfortune to possess a girl of somewhat dark complexion 

* The Brahmans and Kayasthas of Bengal, by Babu Girindranath Dutt, B.A., m.r.a.s., 
M.S.A., Madras, 1906 [for recent instances of Kulin polygamy see Census Report, Bengal, 
191 1, vol. i., p. 327]. 



i68 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

or in any way ugly or deformed, the demand may run up to 
Rs. 15,000. Add to this the numerous other items of expendi- 
ture to be incurred by the bride's father on, before, and after 
the marriage, and the result is simply ruinous to him, to say the 
least. We have personal knowledge of an incident where 
the bridegroom's party, composed of educated men and headed 
by an M.A., a renowned professor of a Governmept College, 
had demanded after the marriage from the bride's father, who 
had already paid double the demand contracted, a blackmail 
which he agreeably termed baraydtramaryada (honorarium to 
bridegroom's party) for each member, whether Kulins or 
Mauliks, composing the bridegroom's party, for partaking food 
in the bride's house. The most ridiculous feature in the whole 
affair was that the names of the bridegroom, his brother and 
his father, who had already received a handsome honorarium 
for his position as the boy's father, were also enlisted in this 
general list of bridegroom's party to exact double honorarium. 
The bride's father having refused to comply with this unjust 
demand as an insult, innovation and contrary to family custom, 
he was asked to remit this demand immediately by telegraphic 
money-order on pain of having his little girl detained in a 
forlorn and far-off country in case of default. In the majority 
of cases, the bridegroom's party now demands the whole 
amount in cash in advance, and many even stoop to the mean- 
ness of demanding a registered document binding the bride's 
father in a contract so that he may not defraud hereafter. 
The least causes of dissatisfaction, however frivolous (and 
these could be easily picked up), subject the poor little girl- 
wife to all sorts of ill-treatment in her strange father-in-law's 
house, so long as she does not grow old enough to assert her 
independence there. Threats to remarry the bridegroom at 
once if the bride's party would not soon suitably make amends 
for such frivolous omissions and commissions are also in some 
cases realized to wreak vengeance. The miserable position 
of a girl's father is very well depicted in the Bengali adages 
which say that ' he has hanging over his head a chain of shoes 
to strike him at every turn,' and that 'bride's father is soil 
and bridegroom's father is peg' {meyer bap mdti chheler bap 
khunti). In view of the increasing difficulties in daughters' 
marriages which are being occasioned in consequence of the 
daily rising and multiplicity of the items of demand, thought- 
ful men have already rightly apprehended, that if matters 
go on in this stride, there would soon be a time when girls' 



CASTE AND MARRIAGE 169 

fathers would be compelled to have recourse to secret 
infanticide."* 

Mr. Dutt's view of the matter is confirmed by a remarkable 
speech delivered in Bengali by the Hon'ble Mr. Justice Mittra 
of the Calcutta High Court and published in the Kayasth 
Patrika. 

" Look at the present situation. I have heard that in Raj- 
putana daughters used to be killed as soon as they were born, 
because bridegrooms could not be had easily. In these 
disastrous days of ours, in our country also, in order to rid 
ourselves of the troubles of a daughter's marriage, we might 
also be tempted to do the same at her birth. Now, as it is, 
the faces of the parents grow lean as soon as a girl is born to 
them. The birth of a daughter is considered to be the penalty 
of sins committed in a former state of existence. It is need- 
less to dwell on the present state of Hindu society, as it is too 
well known. Led by avarice or vanity, though many shut 
their eyes and raise the plea that there is nothing wrong in 
' committing highway robbery on a thief,' they fully under- 
stand what a disaster has been the effect. Hundreds of girls' 
fathers have to sell or mortgage their residential houses ; 
thousands of girl-wives have to suffer in patience maltreatment 
like prisoners under their fathers-in-laws' roofs in consequence 
of their fathers' inability to meet unjust demands. Placed in a 
strange house for the first time, the poor girl-wives sorely feel 
the absence of their fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters ; 
they are constantly tormented by the abusive epithets heaped 
on their parents and they are themselves subjected to intoler- 
able personal ill-usage. These circumstances drive us to the 
conclusion that it would be far better to kill girls as soon as 
they are born or to keep them in life-long maidenhood regard- 
less of religion and morality. «****»» A boy's father, who 
has not even a house of his own and lives in a hired lodging 
where he has brought up his son, now aspires to become the 
possessor of a two-storied house and Govt. Promissory paper 
on his son's marriage. Perhaps he is over head and ears in 
debt and he intends to liquidate that by his son's marriage. 
He wants to send his son to England to become a Civilian, 

[* ' ' Educational qualifications put up the price of a bridegroom, not so much because of 
any belief in education as an advantage per se, but because the bridegroom is more likely 
to get remunerative employment. The possession of a degree may even change the whole 
situation and cause a bridegroom-price to be paid instead of a bride-price." Instances are 
given of the inonstrous demands made by the parents of sons thus qualified. (Census Report, 
Bengal, 191 1, vol. i., p. 316.)] 



170 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

he has no money, so he must get it by his son's marriage. 
« « ♦ » * Punishments for theft and robbery are provided 
in the Indian Penal Code, but there is no provision in it for 
punishing such a father, although his offence is just as bad, and 
because there is no such provision, he can ruin the girl's father 
with absolute impunity." 

These bitter complaints relate to the state of things among 
the Dakhin-Rarhi sub caste of Kayasths in Bengal. But they 
are not confined to that sub-caste. A case has been brought 
to my notice which shows that the Uttar-Rarhi Kayasths are 
involved in similar difficulties arising out of the rule of hyper- 
gamy. A gentleman belonging to the Kulin sub-division of 
this sub-caste had two daughters. For the elder he was 
unable to find a Kulin husband, so he married her to a Maulik, 
an offence for which the community made him pay a heavy 
fine. Shortly before his death, he managed, after much haggling, 
to arrange a marriage for the second girl with a Kulin boy of 
suitable pedigree, for whom he had to pay a bridegroom price 
of Rs. looo, which was deposited with one of the boy's relatives 
under an agreement that it should be spent on his education. 
The girl was married when she was nine years old, her 
husband being then fourteen, but she remained with her own 
family until she had completed her twelfth year, the statutory 
age for cohabitation. Soon after she joined her husband it 
came out that his people had made away with the Rs. looo, 
and they demanded from the girl's brother, a clerk on a small 
salary, a regular payment of Rs. lo a month for the education 
of her husband, who had just passed the Matriculation exami- 
nation of the Calcutta University. When the brother protested 
his inability to meet this unreasonable demand, the mother-in- 
law, following the example of Mr. Wackford Squeers, repeatedly 
beat the helpless child-wife so severely that she fainted from 
pain. Fortunately the girl had been taught to write and she 
managed to post a letter describing her sufferings, whereupon 
a stalwart relative intervened and took her away by force. 
She is now with her own people, and I understand that they 
intend to keep her until she is big enough to bid defiance to 
her mother-in-law. 

It seems at first sight surprising that two highly cultivated 
representatives of the chief literate caste in the most advanced 
province in India should gravely refer to female infanticide as a 
solution of matrimonial difficulties arising from a demand for 
English education which is itself hardly two generations old. 



CASTE AND MARRIAGE 171 

Nor is it less remarkable to find the primitive belief that a girl 
unmarried at puberty is a disgrace to her family, and an offence 
against religion, surviving in undiminished force side by side 
with vigorous competition for the modern luxury of a graduate 
bridegroom. But so long as these conditions prevail, the 
danger of a reversion to barbarous usages, such as the writers 
quoted above apprehend, cannot be wholly excluded. The truth 
of course is — and the sooner it is realized the better — that the 
development of the literate classes in modern India has pro- 
ceeded on irregular and one-sided lines. Intellectual and 
political ideals have assumed undue prominence, while the 
social and moral reforms without which no wholesome national 
life is possible have been thrust into the background. History 
affords no warrant for the belief that the enthusiasm of 
nationality can be kindled in sordid and degenerate surround- 
ings. Wherever that sentiment has displayed any real vitality, 
it has been fostered and stimulated by the influence of the women 
of the race. A society which accepts intellectual inanition and 
moral stagnation as the natural condition of its womankind can- 
not hope to develop the higher qualities of courage, devotion, 
and self-sacrifice which go to the making of nations. 

The voluminous literature relating to female infanticide in 
India contains many indications that where the practice is not 
merely sporadic, resulting from the pressure of starvation, but 
has hardened into a recognized usage, it may be traced to the 
operation of two distinct causes. In certain stages of tribal 
society, the practice of killing females seems to be connected 
with the rule of exogamy. The late Mr. J. F. McLennan ob- 
served long ago that the two usages often existed side by 
side. In the theory of exogamy put forward in his essay on 

Primitive Marriage, he argued that female 

■ r .• ■ 1 i-ju j'iuj remale infanticide 

inianticide as practised by savages disturbed ^^^^ exogamy. 

the balance of the sexes and drove men to 
capture their wives from other tribes — a custom which in course 
of time resolved itself into the systematic observance of exogamy. 
This view was open to the obvious rejoinder that if all tribes 
killed their female infants at an equal rate, there would soon be 
no women to capture, and the race would die out. Even with- 
out pressing this point, it was difficult to see why primitive 
man should prefer the dangerous and inconvenient process of 
capturing a wife from a hostile tribe to the simpler method of 
marrying a girl belonging to his own local community. Given, 
however, an adequate cause inducing people to practise 



172 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

exogamy — a cause as effective as the influence of natural 
selection would unquestionably be— and it becomes easy to 
understand that in certain states of society a tendency to female 
infanticide would be a natural consequence, not as McLennan 
supposed a cause, of the custom of exogamy. For if men were 
restrained by inexorable usage from marrying the girls born in 
the sept or local group of blood kindred, the temptation to kill 
these bouches inutiles would probably be very strong. Not only 
would girls be useless to the men of the tribe as wives, but the 
more of them there were, the more would the tribe be preyed 
upon by neighbours in quest of wives. As a matter of fact, this 
was very much the view that the Khonds took of the question. 
In 1842 they told Major Macpherson in so many words that it 
was better to destroy girls in their infancy than to allow them 
to grow up and become causes of strife afterwards.* I am in- 
debted to the late Sir John Edgar, k.c.i.e., c.s.i., for a parallel 
instance from the Nagas with whom, as with the Khonds, the 
local exogaraous clan is the unit of tribal society. It seems that 
on a tour through the Naga country, Colonel McCuUoch, 
Political Agent for Manipur, came across a village which struck 
him as remarkably destitute of female children. On making 
inquiries he found that there was not a single girl in the place, 
for the simple reason that the people killed all that were born 
in order to save themselves from the annoyance of being harried 
by wife-hunting parties from -a stronger clan. Colonel 
McCuUoch got hold of the mothers, and managed to induce 
them to spare their girls in future, on the understanding that 
their neighbours should stop raiding and adopt a more peace- 
able method of wooing. By a judicious mixture of threats and 
persuasion, the other clan was led to agree to the arrangement, 
and many years after, while staying in Manipur, Sir John 
Edgar was present, when a troop of Naga girls from the 
weaker group paid a visit of ceremony to Colonel McCuUoch, 
bearing an offering of cloth of their own weaving in token of 
their gratitude to the man who had saved their lives.t 



[* S. C. Macpherson, Memorials of Service in India,, 1865, p. 132 et seq. The super- 
stition reported from Bengal, that one of the causes of female infanticide among the Khonds 
was the belief that the souls of girl children killed in this way would not be born again, and 
hence that the number of female children would decrease, does not seem to prevail among 
the tribe in the Central Provinces or Bengal. (Census Report, Central Provinces, 1911, 
vol. i., p. 160 ; Id. Bengal, 191 1, vol. i., p. 330.)] 

[t T. C. Hodson i^Naga Tribes of Manipur, 191 1, p. 98, note) discredits the existence of 
female infanticide among Nagas at the present day. It certainly prevailed in comparatively 
recent times. (Census Report, Assam, 1891, p. 120, note.)] 



CASTE AND MARRIAGE 173 

Instances ot this sort, vouched for by competent observers 
and drawn from tribes dwelling so far apart and belonging to 
such widely different stocks as the Dravidian Khonds of Orissa 
and the Mongoloid Nagas of Assam, maybe regarded as crucial 
in their bearing on the question of the relation of female 
infanticide to the custom of exogamy. They seem to show that 
the practice of killing female infants is a consequence, not a 
cause, and assuredly not the cause, of the rule that a man may 
not marry a woman of his own tribe. This consequence, more- 
over, ensues only so long as society is in a savage state ; and 
tends to die out, as it has died out among both Khonds and 
Nagas, directly a regime of violence is succeeded by a regime of 
law. As soon as this change has been effected, the value of 
women tends to rise. They become a saleable commodity, 
which neighbouring tribes will buy with a price, and the in- 
ducement to kill them in infancy ceases to exist. In short, savage 
infanticide is an incident of the primitive struggle for bare 
existence which disappears when the severity of the struggle is 
mitigated by peace. 

There is, however, another form of infanticide, which is 

connected not with exogamy but with hyper- 

j , . , • 4.„ u„ f ,11 Female infanticide 

gamy, and which requires to be carefully and hypergamy. 

distinguished from the savage type. Given a 
tribe like the Rajputs of Northern India, divided into a number 
of exogamous septs, and strongly impressed with the idea of 
purity of blood and the importance of correct ceremonial obser- 
vances, it follows of necessity that in course of time some groups 
will drop behind the others and will come to be regarded as 
socially inferior to the rest. To these septs the superior groups 
refuse to give their daughters in marriage and there arises the 
state of things illustrated by the diagram onpage 165. The balance 
of the sexes is disturbed ; the superior groups find themselves 
embarrassed with a surplus of girls ; and the bridegroom-price 
tends to rise until it presses severely on the means of families 
unfortunate enough to have several daughters to marry. Family 
pride, religious prescription, and the necessity of avoiding 
scandals, render it impossible to let girls grow up with the 
prospect of remaining old maids ; convents and sisterhoods are 
unknown ; and the only way out of the difficulty, as it presents 
itself to the Rajput father, is to permit no more girls to arrive 
at maturity than can certainly be provided with husbands. The 
ultimate result no doubt is much the same as among savage 
people like Nagas and Khonds, but it is arrived at in a different 



174 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

way and springs from a different principle. The Naga kills his 
daughter lest a stronger man than he should desire her, and in 
effecting her capture should take her father's head as an 
incidental trophy. The Rajput makes away with his daughter 
in the belief that no one will be anxious to marry her, and that 
the family will be disgraced if she grows up an old maid. In 
the one case husbands are too scarce ; in the other they are 
obtrusively plentiful. It may be added that this refined form 
of infanticide is far more difficult to suppress than the savage 
form. The one dies out of itself as the forcible capture of wives 
falls into disuse, and life generally becomes easier ; the other 
tends to spread with the growth of family pride and personal 
luxury, and may even offer substantial resistance to the attempt 
to stamp it out by penal legislation. 

It may be asserted with confidence that the savage form of 
infanticide no longer exists in India. For many years past tribal 
raids in quest of wives or of heads have been very effectually 
discouraged, and the usage has died out with the removal of the 
cause. Whether the refined or sumptuary form,' where a 
daughter's life is sacrificed to save the dot demanded by family 
pride, has entirely disappeared is a question on which there is 
room for difference of opinion. That it prevailed on a large 
scale up to comparatiyely recent times there is only too much 
reason to believe, and it seems to have been most persistent 
where one would least expect to find it — side by side with the 
otherwise chivalrous traditions of the warlike Indo-Aryan races 
of Upper India. 

In 1881 Mr. Coldstream, Deputy Commissioner of Hoshyar- 
pur in the Punjab, wrote on the subject as follows : — 

"Forty years ago probably many hundreds of female 
children were annually buried in this district immediately after 
birth. When several female children were born in succession, 
the destruction of the last born was carried out with the 
following observance —a piece of gur (molasses) was placed in 
the mouth of the child, a skein of cotton was laid on her breast, 
and the following incantation recited two or three times : — 

" Eat gur, spin your thread, 
We don't want you, but a brother instead." 

The infants were usually put into gharras or waterpots and 
buried in the ground. . . . Illustrating the subject of the 
small proportional number of females, I will quote some 
remarks by a highly educated native officer, a Hindu. He 
writes as follows : — 



CASTE AND MARRIAGE 175 

" Infanticide has not quite disappeared. I am quite sure that in certain old families, 
those who by custom must spend much money on the marriage of daughters, and are poor, it 
is still practised. They either suffocate them or give the juice of the «,4 plant (Calairopis 
giganiea) in \\ie giirihi, the first nourishment given to a newborn child." 

More recondite methods were also sometimes adopted. A 
Panjabi friend of mine, a member of a tribe which followed the 
custom of hypergamy, with whom I was discussing the subject 
of female infanticide, told me that when he was eight years old 
he was summoned to his mother's bedside to sanction and 
assist at the murder of a newborn girl. His father being away 
from home, he was called upon to exercise the patria potestas as 
the eldest male member of the household then present. The 
child was given him to hold, and the midwife poured over her 
head two large jars of water, chilled almost to freezing by being 
put out on the roof during a December night. Her face 
instantly turned black and she died in the arms of her terrified 
brother. All the girls that were born met with a similar fate. 
The mother complied reluctantly with the barbarous usage of 
the family, but the horror of the thing was with her through life, 
and when she was dying her remorse conjured up a ghastly vision 
of the spirits of her murdered children, standing at her bed- 
side armed with iron hooks and crying vindictively to the soul 
still lingering in her body, " Come out, come out that we may 
tear you in pieces." This, however, happened nearly fifty years 
ago, and my friend assures me that in his tribe at any rate 
systematic infanticide has disappeared under the influence of 
popular education, and that twenty girls may now be seen 
where in his boyhood hardly one could be found. 

Official opinion seems to incline, on the whole, to the 
comfortable belief that these crude manifestations of paternal 
authority have of late years fallen into disuse. No one has 
the least desire to unveil the mysteries of high caste households, 
and there is something to be said for the cynical view that it 
is better to wink at the secret murder of an uncertain number 
of babies than to face the certain odium of repressive legislation 
enforced by the domiciliary visits of an Asiatic police. Hardly 
any one, however, is prepared to go the length of asserting 
that infanticide is now nothing more than a dim tradition of 
the dreadful past. On the contrary the practice is definitely 
stated to continue, though in a modified, more subtle, and, 
as some may think, less merciful form. According to the 
writers of the last three Census Reports, all of whom seem 
to have taken much trouble to arrive at the truth, the mental 



176 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

attitude of the average Panjabi parent towards superfluous 
daughters may be summed up in Clough's couplet : 

" Thou shalt not kill, but need'st not strive 
Officiously to keep alive." 

Writing in 1883 Sir Denzil Ibbetson quotes Mr. Coldstream's 
remark that "there is, I think, some indication given in the 
statistics of the existence of a certain popular depreciation of 
female child life," and goes on to say, "this last sentence 
appears to me exactly to express the existing state of affairs. 
That infanticide is practised at all generally I do not believe ; 
that it is habitual with any class, I doubt ; and if with any, 
it is, I think, only with some exceedingly limited sections of the 
community, such as perhaps the Bedi families of Gurdaspur, 
and even there takes the form of intentional neglect rather 
than actual murder. But there is not the slightest doubt that 
the life of a girl is less valued and worse cared for than that 
of a boy ; chiefly indeed, among the hypergamous classes who 
cannot find husbands for them, the higher castes of the Eastern 
Punjab who will not sell their daughters, and the Hindus who 
spend much money on their marriage and account it shameful 
to leave them unmarried ; but also in a less degree and as a 
relic of the old fighting days, and perhaps from the contagion 
of Hindu ideas, among all other classes of the Punjab people 
without distinction of race, religion, or locality." 

Ten years later we find Mr. Maclagan, who conducted the 
Census of 1891, stating his conclusions as follows : — 

" It is notorious that in this country female life is less 
cared for at all ages, and more especially in infancy, than that 
of males. Whether the neglect of female life in early youth 
is intentional or not, and whether infant girls are actually 
killed, are questions to which our statistics can scarcely give 
more than a very slight clue. The general impression, doubt- 
less, is that in the province at large there is a certain amount 
of customary neglect which can scarcely be called intentional; 
but that in certain areas and among certain classes the evil 
assumes a more serious form. And the statistical returns may 
be found of some slight value in indicating the localities and 
the castes which are most open to suspicion on this account." * 

Mr. Rose, the Superintendent of the Census taken in 1901, 
writes thus : 

[* Census Report, 1891, vol. i., p, 217. Census Report, India, 191 1, vol, i., 
p. 215.] 



CASTE AND MARRIAGE 177 

" On the whole, 1 should be inclined to think that deliberate 
female infanticide is rare, and that when perpetrated, it is due 
to a combination of causes. If it was felt that the child was 
likely to cause misfortune, and that her marriage would be 
difficult, it may be that she would be killed. But such cases 
cannot be numerous. To this the Jats, Hindu and Sikh, are 
a possible exception, and the only solution of the problem in 
their case is that infanticide is a barbarous form of Malthusian 
practices. This idea was suggested many years ago by Major 
Goldney, as Deputy-Commissioner of Ludhiana, the district 
in which the data are the most inexplicable. Even less easy 
is it to account for the mortality amongst girl-children after 
the age of infancy. No one who has seen the peasantry, 
especially the Jat peasantry, in their villages, at fairs and the 
like, could for a moment suggest that women and girls in this 
province are treated, generally, with cruelty or intentional 
neglect. Sikhs, especially, treat women well. One can only 
say that ignorance and an unconscious ill-treatment of females 
at all ages may result from the low estimation in which savage 
and backward races hold women. Of all the data obtained the 
most significant is the mortality among female infants in years 
of famine." * 

The statistics of the subject certainly present some 
remarkable features. It is difficult to offer any plausible 
explanation of the fact that the proportion of girls to boys 
among children under five ranges in British territory from 
96 per cent, among Muhammadans, and 92 per cent, among 
Hindus, to 76 per cent, among Sikhs, while the Sikh figure in 
one district is no more than 70, and in a particular tribe falls 
as low as 62 per cent. The idea has been thrown out that the 
practice of killing female infants, if persevered in for many 
generations, might induce among the surviving women a 
hereditary tendency to bear more boys than girls. Darwin's 
authority has been cited in support of this conjecture, which 
was first put forward by Colonel Marshall in explanation of 
the preponderance of males among the Todas of the Nilgiri 
hills.f There is obviously no means of testing the speculation. 



[* Census Report, 1901, vol. i., p. 216. Pandit Harikishan Kaul, while recognizing 
that female infanticide now prevails only among certain families or groups of families 
points out that female infants suffer largely from neglect (Censtis Report, 191 r, vol. i. 
p. 230 et seq., 243 et seg.).^ 

[t C. Darwin, The Descent oj Man, and ed., 1889, p. 255 et seq. W. E. Marshall, 
A Phrenologist among the Todas, 1873, p. in. W. H. R. Rivers, the latest and best 
authority on the tribe, shows that while infanticide at one time prevailed widely, it has 

R, PI 12 ' 



178 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

but in 1891 Mr. Maclagan observed that "castes, such as the 
Gakkhars and semi-Rajput tribes, such as the Dhunds and 
Rathis, which used to practise or to be suspected of practising 
infanticide have now a larger proportion of women than the 
average ; and this fact so far tends to damage the theory that 
female infanticide leads to a hereditary incapacity to produce 
female children." In an earlier paragraph of the same report 
Mr. Maclagan writes : " It has been suggested to me that the 
methods of dressing young children (when they are dressed 
at all) may have something to do with the different rates of 
death among girls and boys. In the centre of the province 
it is customary to find young girls dressed in petticoats only, 
and young boys in jackets only; and as the latter is undoubtedly 
the sounder method from a sanitary point of view, the boys 
have a better assurance of life than the girls." He does not 
himself accept this explanation, which is open to the obvious 
criticism, first, that in other parts of India where the custom 
in the matter of children's dress is the same, no such marked 
disproportion between the sexes is observed ; and, secondly, 
that when children are under five, even this exiguous raiment 
is deemed superfluous, and both sexes run about impartially 
naked. Seeing then, that neither natural selection nor fashion 
can be appealed to in explanation of the Punjab statistics, 
we can but take refuge in the sage and comprehensive remark 
of the latest continental writer on the problem of sex that 
the question is " involved in the profoundest obscurity." Only 
one thing is certain — if legislation cannot compel a man to 
love his neighbour like himself, still less can it compel him 
to love his daughter as much as his son. The people them- 
selves must cure the evil, if evil there be. The tradition of 
ages which leads to the neglect of female children will only 
give way to a general rise in the standard of domestic ethics. 
That no doubt will come in time as the spread of education, 
especially of female education, brings about a higher con- 
ception of the position and influence of women in the Eastern 
world. 

The origin of the custom of hypergamy is obscure. We find 

. it in full force at the time of the law-books, the 

"^gamy.''^^'' earliest of which are believed by Buhler to 

be somewhat anterior to the fourth and fifth 

centuries b.c, and it has been shown to be quite alive and 

now greatly diminished, and at the present day exists chiefly, owing to thdir conservatism, 
among the priestly classes. (The Todas, 1906, pp. 478, 691.)] 



CASTE AND MARRIAGE 179 

continually assuming new forms at the present day. It is 
curious that a practice which extends over so long a period, 
and is so intimately connected with the evolution of caste, 
should have escaped the notice of all modern writers on the 
early history of marriage. The authors of the law-books give 
no account of the causes which produced it, nor would one 
expect them to do so. They merely say that marriages between 
men of a higher class and women of a lower class are accord- 
ing to the order of nature {anuloma "with the hair"), while 
marriages of the converse type are pratiloma, " against the 
hair " or unnatural. The usage seems to be one which might 
arise wherever an invading race, bringing with it comparatively 
few women, took captives from among the people whose terri- 
tory they occupied. Captured women would become the wives 
or concubines of their captors ; male captives, if not slain off- 
hand, would be kept as slaves, and would in no case be accepted 
as husbands for the daughters of the conquering race. One 
may say, indeed, that wherever slavery has prevailed, or 
wherever one race has established a marked political ascen- 
dency over another, there hypergamy has necessarily estab- 
lished itself The mixed or coloured races of America, 
Mulattoes, Quadroons, Mestizos, and the like were, in the first 
instance at any rate, the offspring of hypergamous unions, 
corresponding to the anuloma marriages of the Indian law- 
books. The fathers were Spaniards or Englishmen, the rtiothers 
Indians or Negresses. In Rajputana, on the other hand, hyper- 
gamy appears to be associated with territorial sovereignty and 
the possession of landed property. In theory all Rajputs are 
equal within the tribe, but ruling chiefs will only give thfeir 
daughters to men of their own class, and a land-owning Rajput, 
deeming himself no doubt a chieftain in a small way, will not 
accept a landless man as his son-in-law. A curious story, which 
seems to belong to the same order of ideas, is told in the 
Punjab to account for the hypergamous status of one of the 
Jat clans. One day, it is said, as the Emperor Akbar was out 
hunting, he came suddenly upon a Jat woman who was stand- 
ing by a well with a heavy jar of water on her head and a full- 
grown buffalo and its calf on either side of her. The Emperor's 
cavalcade frightened the animals and they prepared to break 
away. But the sturdy Jatni was equal to the emergency. 
With one hand she seized the buffalo and held it by a horn, 
with the other she steadied the jar of water on her head, while 
she secured the calf by putting her foot on its tethering rope. 



i8o PEOPLE OF INDIA 

Seeing this display of strength and presence of mind the 
Emperor exclaimed, " A woman like that should be the mother 
of heroes," and shortly afterwards took her to wife in due form. 
Her people had places of honour given them in the Imperial 
Darbar, and the clan has been known ever afterwards as Akbari 
or Darbari Jats, ranking at the top of the hypergamous system 
of the tribe, taking wives from other clans, but giving their 
daughters to none.* 

A singularly complete parallel to the Indian usage of hyper- 
gamy occurs in Madagascar, where the Antimerina or patrician 
caste is divided into six classes, each of which claims descent 
from a royal ancestor and regards itself as a group of blood 
relations. According to M. Arnold Van Gennep,t the latest 
authority on the subject, these groups are endogamous in 
theory, but a man of a higher class may marry a woman of a 
lower class. On the other hand, a woman of higher rank is 
prohibited by strict taboo from marrying beneath her ; and if 
she should so far demean herself as to marry a commoner, she 
loses her title of nobility and is disowned by her family. 

Here one is tempted to hazard the conjecture that the matri- 
monial relations between patricians and plebeians in Rome 
before the Lex Canuleia (b.c. 445), may have been regulated by 
the custom of hypergamy, patricians taking wives from among 
the plebeians but not giving their daughters in return. This 
seems to be in accordance with the traditional origin of the 
plebeians. Had the two groups been as absolutely separate 
as the imaginary debate reported in the fourth book of Livy 
seems to imply, it is difficult to understand how the jus con- 
nubii could have been granted as readily as is alleged to have 
been the case, or why the plebs should have been so anxious to 
obtain the concession. When distinct castes have once been 
formed, the sentiment of the lower groups as well as of the 
higher is usually opposed to amalgamation. I surmise, there- 
fore, that at the time of the passing of the Lex Canuleia, the 
plebs and the patriciate had not actually hardened into castes,t 
and that marriages between patrician men and plebeian women 
did actually take place, possibly by an inferior grade of ritual. 
What the plebs wanted and what the law gave them, it is 

[* Akbar certainly did not marry a Jat girl ; the tale is told by more than one Jat sept. 
(H. A. Rose, Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and N. W. Frontier Province, 
vol. ii., 191 1, pp. 220 note, 236, 377.)] 

t Tabou et Totemisme h. Madagascar, Arnold Van Gennep, Paris, 1904. 

X Ortolan speaks of them as "two radically distinct castes between the members of 
which a Roman marriage could never take place." {History of Roman Law, p. 585.) 



CASTE AND MARRIAGE 



181 



suggested, was the right for, plebeian men to marry patrician 
women. This conjecture seems to derive some support from 
Livy's account of the transaction. He says in one place that 
the denial of connubium to the plebs dated only from the time 
of the decemvirs ; while in another passage he puts into the 
mouth of the advocate of the plebeian cause an argument which 
is only intelligible on the assumption that marriages between 
patricians and plebeians were not wholly unknown. The 
patrician orator argues that the change will introduce confusion 
into the system of clans ; that no one will know to what gens he 
belongs ; and that the religious observances {sacra gentilicid) 
incumbent on these family groups will come to be neglected. 
To this the plebeian replies that the status of the father will 
determine that of the child {patrem sequuntur liberi), and that 
the appeal to religion is a mere attempt to prejudice the case. 
Now if the plebs and patriciate had been distinct castes in the 
strict Indian sense of the term, no intermarriage would have 
been possible, and the question of the offspring of mixed 
marriages belonging to their father's group could not have 
arisen. The argument patrem sequuntur liberi would have 
appealed to no one had it not been a statement of fact with 
which the audience were familiar. And it cannot have meant 
that if a plebeian man married a patrician woman the children 
ranked as plebeians, for if that had been so, there would have 
been full connubium and no legislation would have been re- 
quired. It seems to follow that the statement expressed the 
fact that when a patrician man married a plebeian woman, the 
children were reckoned as patricians and belonged to the gens 
of the father — that the relations between the two groups were 
what we call hypergamous. 

Whatever may have been the origin of the custom, whether 
slavery, conquest, racial superiority, political or plutocratic 
domination, or territorial supremacy gave it the first impulse, 
it is clear that, in any locality where it got started, the principle 
would be likely to extend itself, by the operation of imitative 
fiction, to the connubial relations of all classes not absolutely 
equal in rank. This is what seems to have happened in several 
parts of India, where the influence of hypergamy may be traced 
in the disturbance of the balance of the sexes, and the preva- 
lence of polygamy or female infanticide. 

Of all the peculiar usages which are associated with marriage 
in India none have impressed themselves so distinctly on the 
census statistics as the custom which prohibits the second 



i82 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

marriage of a widow, and the convention enjoining the mar- 
riage of a daughter before she attains physical 
'^''^mlSe!'^^''* maturity. In the case of the higher castes 
both of these usages may claim a respectable 
antiquity. In the lower strata of society, on the other hand, 
they appear to have been developed, in the form which they 
now assume, at a comparatively recent date under the pressure 
of peculiar social conditions. Both, again, are looked upon by 
the people who observe them as badges of social distinction, 
and to the fact that they are regarded in this light is mainly 
due their rapid extension within the last two or three genera- 
tions. No excuse therefore is needed for examining their 
prevalence and its causes in some detail. 

For the ultimate origin of the prohibition of widow marriage 
among the higher castes we must look back, 
widow marri^e un- ^^^ beyond the comparative civilization of 
known in Vedio the Vedas, to the really primitive belief that 
^'^^^" the dead chief or head of the family will need 

human companionship and service in that other world which 
savage fancy pictures as a shadowy copy of this. To this 
belief is due the practice of burning the widow on the funeral 
pile of her dead husband, which is referred to as an " ancient 
custom " (purdnd dharma) in the Atharva Veda.* The direc- 
tions given in the Rig Veda for placing the widow on the pile 
with her husband's corpse, and then calling her back to the 
world of life, appear, as Tylor t has pointed out, to represent 
" a reform and a reaction against a yet more ancient savage rite 
of widow sacrifice, which they prohibited in fact, but yet kept 
up in symbol." The bow of the warrior and the sacrificial 
instruments of the priest were thrown back upon the pile to be 
consumed ; the wife, after passing through the mere form of 
sacrifice, was held to have fulfilled her duties to her husband 
and was free to marry again. A passage in the Rig Veda 
quoted by Zimmer J shows that in some cases, at any rate, the 
widow married her husband's younger brother (devar) ; and it 
is not unreasonable to suppose that her obligations in this 
respect were very much what we now find among the castes 
which permit widow marriage. 

* Atharva Veda, l8, 3, 1, quoted by Zimmer, Altittdisches Leben, p. 331. 

t Primitive Culture, i., 466. 

% Altindisches Leben, p. 329. See also Oldenberg, Die Religion des Veda, 575, and 
Macdonell, History of Sanskrit Literature, 126. Jolly, Kecht und Sitie, 59, seems to take 
a different view. 



CASTE AND MARRIAGE 183 

At this point the historical record, such as it is, breaks off, 

and conjecture alone can divine the precise „ ^-^ ■ i 

„,. ,•,., ,, T^, r Causes ofits revival, 

motives which induced the Brahmans of a 

later age to revive that custom of primitive savagery which 
their ancestors had expressly condemned. Closer contact 
with more barbarous races ; the growth of the sacerdotal 
spirit ; the desire, as Sir Henry Maine has suggested, to get 
rid of the inconvenient lien which the widow held over her 
husband's property ; — all these motives may have contributed 
to the result. But when widow-sacrifice had been thus re- 
introduced, it is primd facie unlikely that it should have been 
enforced with that rigid consistency which distinguishes the 
true savage ; and, in fact, the texts prescribe for the widow the 
milder alternative of a life of ascetic self-denial and patient 
waiting to join the husband who has gone before. According 
to some authorities, they also recognize, though as a less 
excellent path than the two former, the alternative of re- 
marriage. 

I will not attempt to enter upon the controversy as to the 
precise meaning of the passage in Parasara's considerations of 
Institutes, on which the modern advocates of property.ofspirituai 

widow marriage rely, still less to discuss its T^enefit, of sacra- 

,.,.,. , .. , , , mental doctrine, 

applicability to the present age of the world. 

It seems more profitable to state the causes which, irrespective 
of isolated texts, would in any case have favoured the growth 
of the modern custom which forbids the widows of the highest 
castes to marry again, and which shows signs of extending 
itself far beyond its present limits and finally of suppressing 
widow marriage throughout the entire Hindu community. 
Some, at any rate, of these causes are not far to seek. In the 
first place, the anxiety of the early Hindu law-givers to cir- 
cumscribe a woman's rights to property would unquestionably 
tend to forbid her to join her lot to a man whose interest it 
would be to assert and extend those rights as against the 
members of her husband's family. At the same time the 
growth of the doctrine of spiritual benefit would require her to 
devote her life to the annual performance of her husband's 
srdddh,* Technical obstacles to her re-marriage also arise from 
the Brahmanical theory of marriage itself That ceremony 
being regarded as a sacrament ordained for the purification of 
women, and its essential portion being the gift of the woman 
by her father to her husband, the effect of the gift is to transfer 

• Tagore Law Lsciures, 1879, pp. 187, 188. 



i84 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

her from her own gotra or exogamous group into that of her 
husband. The bearing of this transfer on the question of her 
re-marriage is thus stated by an orthodox Hindu at pages 
276-277 of the Papers relating to Infant Marriage and Enforced 
Widowhood, published by the Government of India : — 

" Her father being thus out of the question, it may be said that she may give herself in 
marriage. But this she cannot do, because she never had anything like disposal of herself. 
When young, she was given away, so the ownership over her (if I may be permitted to use 
the phrase) vested then in the father, was transferred by a solemn religious act to the 
husband, and he being no more, there is no one to give her away : and .since Hindu 
marriage must take the form of religious gift, her marriage becomes impossible." 

The argument seems academic, but in the atmosphere of 
pedantry which pervades Indian society an academic argument 
is as good as any other. 

Some influence must also have been exerted in the same direc- 
tion by the competition for husbands result- 
iypergaLy^ ing from the action of hypergamy. Widows 

certainly would be the first to be excluded 
from the marriage market, for in their case the interests of the 
individual families would be identical with those of the group. 
The family would already have paid a bridegroom-price to get 
their daughter or sister married, and would naturally be indis- 
posed to pay a second, and probably higher price to get her 
married again. The group, in its turn, would be equally 
adverse to an arrangement which tended to increase the number 
of marriageable women. Members of the higher castes, indeed, 
have frequently told me that these reasons of themselves were 
sufficient to make them regard with disfavour the modern 
movement in favour of widow marriage. For, said one of them, 
we find it hard enough already to get our daughters married 
into families of our own rank, and things will be worse still if 
widows enter the competition with all the advantages they 
derive from having got over their first shyness, and acquired 
some experience of the ways of men. The sentiments of Mr. 
Weller sounded strange in the mouth of a Kulin Brahman, but 
the argument was used in entire good faith, and was backed up 
by much lamentation over the speaker's ill-luck in being the 
father of four daughters, all unmarried. 

The considerations stated above are entitled to whatever 

support they may derive from the fact that 

"^^^ castes. °^^^ ^^^ Muhammadans, and those Hindu castes 

which permit widows to remarry, know 

nothing of the custom of hypergamy, and as a rule pay for brides. 



CASTE AND MARRIAGE 185 

not for bridegrooms. Among these groups the normal propor- 
tion of the sexes, whatever that may be at the age of marriage, 
has not been affected by any artificial divisions, and there is every 
reason to believe that widows who are in other respects eligible 
have no particular difficulty in finding husbands. Polygamy 
prevails on a limited scale, and a certain proportion of the men 
have two wives, the second wife being often a young widow 
chosen by the man himself for her personal attractions, after 
the first wife, whom his parents selected for him, has lost her 
looks and become little more than a household drudge. Another 
point is that the lower castes seem to have a greater capacity 
than the higher for throwing off sub-castes. Deviations from 
caste usage, trivial changes of occupation, settlement outside 
the traditional habitat of the caste, and a variety of similar 
causes, which in the higher castes would, as a rule, merely 
affect the standing of certain families in the scale of hypergamy, 
tend in the lower castes to form endogamous groups, the 
members of which intermarry only among themselves. The 
difference is important, as the latter process does not disturb 
the balance of the sexes, and the former does. 

The present attitude of the Hindu community towards 
proposals to recognize and extend the prac- Reeling of the 
tice of widow marriage may, I think, be people as to exten- 
briefly stated somewhat to the following s!°^ °^ widow mar- 
effect : — The most advanced class of educated 
men sympathize in a general way with the movement, but their 
sympathy is clouded by the apprehension that any considerable 
addition to the number of marriageable women would add to 
the existing difficulty and expense of getting their daughters 
married. Below these we find a very numerous class who 
are educated enough to appreciate the prohibition of widow 
marriage supposed to be contained in certain texts, and who 
have no desire to go behind that or any similar injunction in 
support of which tolerably ancient authority can be quoted. 
Then come the great mass of the uneducated working classes, 
with rather vague notions as to the scriptures, but strong in 
their reverence for Brahmans, and keen to appreciate points of 
social precedence. To them widow marriage is a badge of 
social degradation, a link which connects those who practise 
it with Doms, Bunas, Bagdis and "low people" of various 
kinds. Lastly, at the bottom of society, as understood by the 
average Hindu, we find a large group of castes and tribes of 
which the lower section is represented by pure non-Aryan 



i86 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

tribes practising adult marriage and widow re-marriage, while 
the upper section consists of castes of doubtful origin, most 
of whom, retaining widow marriage, have taken to infant 
marriage, while some have got so far as to throw off sub-castes 
distinguished by their abstention from widow marriage.* 

It is not suggested that the groups indicated above can be 
marked off with absolute accuracy. But without insisting 
upon this, it is clear that the tendency of the lower strata of 
Hindu society is continually towards closer and closer con- 
formity with the usages of the higher castes. These alone 
present a definite pattern which admits up to a certain point 
of ready imitation, and the whole Brahmanical system works 
in this direction. Of late years, moreover, the strength of 
the Hinduising movement has been greatly augmented by 
the improvement of communications. People travel more, 
pilgrimages can be more easily made, and the influence of the 
orthodox section of society is thus much more widely diffused. 
Railways in particular, which are sometimes represented as a 
solvent of caste prejudices, have in fact enormously extended 
the area within which those prejudices reign supreme. 

The practice of infant marriage has spread much further 

and taken root more deeply among the lower castes than its 

social complement, the prohibition of widow marriage. Both 

customs, the positive as well as the negative, have been 

borrowed from the higher castes, and are now regarded as 

paths leading towards social distinction. But the one is much 

easier to follow than the other. A man must get his daughter 

married at latest when she is fourteen or fifteen years old. 

To marry her five or six years earlier causes him no particular 

inconvenience, and confers on him whatever consideration may 

attach to religious orthodoxy and social propriety. On the 

other hand, to stop the re-marriage of widows, in castes where 

the balance of the sexes has not been disturbed by hypergamy, 

must at starting cause some practical inconvenience. Among 

the lower castes women are much more of a 
Prevalence oMnfant ^^^^^ ^^^^ ^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^^^ . ^^^^ 

assert themselves freely on a variety of 
public occasions, and in many cases they have secured for them- 
selves the right to initiate proceedings for divorce. One can 

[* In Haroda the attitude of the people towards widow marriage is described as "passive 
sympathy on the part of the educated and blind opposition on tlie part of the ignorant." A 
recent Act permits a girl widow under sixteen to re-marry with the consent of her guardian ; 
if she is above sixteen she can marry again if she pleases (Census Report, 1911, vol. i., 
p. l<i% et seq.).^ 



CASTE AND MARRIAGE 187 

hardly doubt that their influence would be exercised in favour of 
widow marriage, and that it would tend on the whole towards 
keeping that institution alive. Some allowance must also be 
made for the fact that the lower castes do not keep their 
women in seclusion. A good-looking widow shut up in the 
family zenana can be more easily sacrificed to notions of social 
propriety than a woman who goes out and meets possible 
suitors every day of her life. To whatever cause the difference 
may be due, it is certain that of two customs, both adopted 
under pressure of the same motives, the one — infant marriage 
— is almost universal, while the other — the prohibition of 
widow marriage-^has at present only a comparatively limited 
currency. Infant marriage in fact is now so widely diffused 
as to have almost entirely displaced adult marriage within the 
limits of the caste system proper. The Dravidian races of 
Chutia Nagpur, the Central Provinces and the Madras hills, 
the Mongoloid tribes of the Himalayan region, Assam and 
Burma, still maintain a system of courtship and marriage 
between full-grown youths and maidens which has been 
minutely described by several sympathetic observers. Directly 
we leave these tolerably compact tribes and pass on to the less 
definite groups which form a debatable land between the tribe 
and the caste, we find either infant marriage in undisputed 
possession or a mixed system prevailing, which tolerates adult 
marriage as a resource open to those who cannot afford to do 
anything better for their children, but at the same time enjoins 
the more respectable custom of infant marriage for all parents 
whose circumstances admit of it. 

In the case of the lower castes there is little room for doubt 
that the custom of infant marriage has been 
consciously borrowed from the higher castes "marria^.*^ 

in obedience to that tendency to imitation 
which we may almost describe as an ultimate law of the caste 
system, But how did the higher castes come by a custom which 
is without a parallel, at any rate on so large a scale, elsewhere 
in the world, and which cannot be referred to any of those 
primitive instincts which have usually determined the relations 
of the sexes ? Neither sexual passion nor the desire for 
companionship and service can be called in to account for a 
man marrying a girl at an age when she is physically incapable 
of fulfilling any of the duties of a wife. Primitive man knows 
nothing of infant marriage, nor is it easy to conceive how such 
an institution could have arisen in the struggle for existence 



i88 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

out of which society has been evolved. The modern savage 
woos in a summary and not over delicate fashion a sturdy 
young woman who can cook his food, carry baggage, collect 
edible grubs, and make herself generally useful. To his 
untutored mind the Hindu child-bride would seem about as 
suitable a helpma.te as a modern professional beauty. If, then, 
infant marriage is in no way a normal product of social evolu- 
tion, and in fact is met with only in India, to what causes shall 
we look for its origin ? The standard Brahmanical explanation 
is palpably inadequate. It represents marriage as a sort of 
sacrament, of which every maiden must partake in order that 
she may cleanse her own being from the taint of original sin, 
that she may accomplish the salvation of, her father and his 
ancestors, and that she may bring forth a son to carry on the 
domestic worship {sacra privatd) of her husband's family. So 
far as marriage itself goes,- all this is intelligible enough as a 
highly specialized development of certain well-known ancient 
ideas. But it does not touch the. question of age. Granted 
that the begetting of a son is essential for the continuance of 
the sacra privata, as Greek and Roman examples teach us, why 
should the householder on whom this solemn duty devolves 
go out of his way to defer its fulfilment by marrying a girl 
who has not yet attained the age of child-bearing? The 
Brahman will reply that the earlier in a girl's life she accom- 
plishes her mystical functions the better. But this clearly 
belongs to the large class of ex post facto explanations of which 
sacerdotal and legal literature is in all ages and countries so 
full. The priests and lawyers who compile the text-books find 
certain customs in force, and feel bound to invent reasons for 
their existence. Being unfettered by the historical sense, and 
disposed to give free play to their inner consciousness, it is 
hardly surprising that their reasons should be as often false 
as true. 

An explanation of a more scientific character, put forward 

by Mr. Nesfieldin 1885, seeks to connect the 
"""■^Ssory^^"^'^ custom with communal marriage and the 

practice of capturing wives. On this theory 
infant marriage was consciously introduced with the object of 
protecting the child-wife from the stain of communism within 
the tribe and from the danger of being forcibly abducted by a 
member of an alien tribe. It was, in fact, a revolt against 
primitive usages which the moral sense of a more civilized 
generation had begun to condemn. The argument is ingenious, 



CASTE AND MARRIAGE 189 

but it does not fit the facts we have to deal with. The society 
depicted in the Rig and Atharva Vedas must have got far 
beyond the stage of communal marriage and forceful abduction 
of wives. Courtship of a very modern tpye was fully recog- 
nized, and the consent of the girl's father or brother was sought ^ 
only after the young people had themselves come to an under- 
standing. As an additional and conclusive indication that the 
kind of marriage contemplated by the Vedas was the individual 
marriage of comparatively advanced civilization, I may refer to 
a remarkable custom, traces of which have survived in modern 
Italy — the lustration of the bride's night-dress after the 
wedding night.* Such a custom is clearly incompatible with 
communal marriage, and could only have arisen in a society 
which set a high value on female chastity and had left primitive 
communism (if, indeed, such a condition ever existed) ages 
behind. 

The change from this Arcadian state of things to a regime of 
infant marriage seems to have taken place at Antiquity of the 
a very early date. According to Baudhayana custom; its possible 
a girl who is unmarried when she reaches causes, 

maturity is degraded to the rank of a Sudra, and her father 
is held to have committed a grave sin by having neglected 
to get her married. This rule is common to all the law- 
books, and many of them go further still and fix a definite age 
for the marriage of girls. The later the treatise, the earlier is 
the age which it prescribes. According to Manu,t a man of 
thirty should marry a girl of twelve, and a man of twenty-four 
a girl of eight. Later writers fix the higher limit of age in 
such cases at ten years or eight years, and reduce the lower 
limit to seven, six, and even four years. What induced people 
already practising a rational system of adult marriage to 
abandon it in favour of a rigid and complicated system of Infant 
marriage ? In the nature of things no confident answer can be 
given ; the whole question belongs to the domain of conjecture. 
One can only surmise that the growth of the patriarchal power 
of the head of the family must have been adverse to any asser- 
tion of independence on the part of its female members, and 



* Zimmer, Altindisches Leben, p. 314, Gubernatis, Usi Nuziali, p. 432. [Marriage in the 
early Vedic texts appears essentially as the union of two persons of full development. 
Child-wives first occur regularly in the Sutra period, though it is still uncertain to what 
extent the rule of marriage before puberty then obtained. (A. A. Macdonell, A. B. Keith, 
Vtdk Index of Names and Subjects, 1913, i, 475 et seq.)'\ 

[t Laws, IX. 94.] 



I90 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

more especially to their exercising the right of choosing their 
husbands for themselves. Where family interests were involved, 
it may well have seemed simpler to get a girl married before 
she had developed a will of her own, than to court domestic 
difficulties by allowing her to grow up and fall in love oii her 
own account.* The gradual lowering of the position of women 
from the ideal standard of Vedic times, and the distrust of their 
vir'tue induced by the example of pre-matrimonial license set by 
the Dravidian races must also have had its effect, and, as is not 
obscurely hinted in the literature of the subject, a girl would be 
married as a child in order to avert the possibility of her 
causing scandal later on. 

Apart from these general causes, a powerful influence must 
also have been exerted by the custom of hypergamy, which, as 
has been explained above, limits the number of possible hus- 
bands for the girls of the higher classes and thus compels the 
parents to endeavour to secure appropriate bridegrooms as 
soon as possible. That this motive operates strongly at the 
present day is plainly stated by one of the writers in the 
official publication already referred to,t who says : — 

" Under these circumstances, when, in the case of » daughter, parents see that, unless 
they marry her at once, the one or two bridegrooms that there are open for their selection 
would be availed of by others, and that they would be disabled from marrying her before the 
eleventh year, and that they would thereby incur a religious sin and social degradation as 
regards the caste, they would seize that opportunity to marry their daughter, quite dis- 
regardful of the evil effects of infant marriages." 

Again, when the custom of infant marriage had once been 
started, under pressure of social necessity, by the families of 
the highest group, who had the largest surplus of marriageable 
daughters, a sort of fashion would have been set and would be 
blindly followed through all the grades. Two forces are thus at 
work in the same direction, both tending to disturb the balance 
of the sexes and to produce abnormal matrimonial relations 
between the members of different social groups. Enforced 
competition for husbands on the part of the higher groups, and 
the desire to imitate their superiors which animates the lower 
groups combine to run up the price of husbands in the upper 
classes ; while the demand for wives by the men of the lowest 
class, which ought by rights to produce equilibrium, is arti- 
ficially restricted in its operation by the rule that they can in 

[* A further extension of the practice is shown in the custom of betrothing unborn children 
which is reported among the Kunbis of Western India, and the Uppara salt-makers of 
Madras {Census Report, Baroda, 1911, vol. i., p. 148; Central Provmces, 191 1, vol. i., p. 137).] 

+ Papers relating to Infant Marriage and Enforced Widowhood in India, p. 178. 



CASTE AND MARRIAGE 191 

no circumstances marry a woman of the classes above their 
own. These men, therefore, are left very much out in the cold, 
and often do not get wives until late in life. An unmarried 
son does not disgrace the family, but there is no greater 
reproach than to have a daughter unmarried at the age of 
puberty. Husbands are bought for the girls, and the family 
gets its money's worth in social estimation. Bargains, how- 
ever, must be taken when they are to be had; and no father 
dares run the risk of waiting till his daughter is physically 
mature. He is bound to be on the safe side, and therefore he 
gets her married, child as she may be, whenever a good match 
offers.* 

Many hard things have been said of infant marriage, and 
the modern tendency is to assume that a population which 
countenances such a practice must be in a fair way towards 
extreme moral degradation, if not to ultimate extinction. An 
Indian apologist might reply that much of the criticism is 
greatly exaggerated, and is founded on considerable ignorance 
of the present conditions and future possibilities of oriental 
life. He might point out that, in fact, excluding the poetical 
view that marriages are made in heaven, two working theories 
of the institution are at present in existence — one which leaves 
marriages to make themselves by the process of unrestricted 
courtship, and another which requires them to be made by 
the parents or guardians of the persons who are to be married. 
The first, which may perhaps be called the method of natural 
selection, is accepted and more or less acted up to by all 
Western nations, except those who follow the French custom 
of manages de convenance. The second, a system of avowedly 
artificial selection, is in force, with few exceptions, throughout 

[* In the Central Provinces " infant marriage is not, so far as can be inferred from 
the present practices, an indigenous custom among the tribes, but has sometimes been 
adopted by those of them who have been brought into contact with Hindu ideas, and 
are attempting by adopting Hindu customs, to raise their status. ... It would seem 
to have had its origin in the increasing demand for women's labour as life changed from 
nomadic to more settled conditions, together with ;the growing sense of individual property, 
and the altered view of the position of woman which accompanied the development of the 
patriarchal system" (Census Report, Central Provinces, 191 1, vol. i., p. 137 ^? seq.). Mr. 
Gait regards the theory that infant marriage was borrowed from Hinduism as untenable : 
" Like others of the same kind, it ignores the important part played by the aborigines in the 
development of Indian religious ideas and social practices" (Census Report, India, 191 1, 
vol. i., p. 264). In parts of Bengal, Behar and Darbhanga the prevalence of infant 
marriage is attributed to the teaching and influence of the Maithil Brahmans, to whom the 
celebration of the marriage ceremony is a source of profit (Census Report, Bengal, 191 1, 
vol. i., p. 339).] 



192 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

the East, and assumes its most rigid form in the usages of 
Hindu society. He might further observe that in entering 
upon this subject we must dismiss from our minds all those 
ideas of love and courtship with which, for most Europeans, the • 
institution of marriage is associated. Whether such ideas will 

ever gain a footing in India is a question on 
^^^ marriage!^^*'^* which it would be rash to hazard an opinion. 

To fancy it possible to introduce them on a 
large scale now would argue an ignorance of the elementary 
conditions of Eastern life rivalling that of the famous under- 
graduate who told the examiner that John the Baptist was 
beheaded because he would dance with Herodias' daughter. 
The dream of an Indian Hermann and Dorothea wandering 
hand in hand through the ripening rice-fields, and plighting 
their troth in the odorous stillness of the palm-grove, would 
be an equally grotesque misapplication of Western ideas to 
Eastern surroundings. Here and there, amongst the Hinduised 
Unitarians of the Brahmo-Samaj, or in the group of Anglicised 
Indians who, having finished their education in England and 
adopted more or less completely European clothes and 
European manners, seem now to be on the high-road to form 
a new caste, it may be that marriage will be preceded by 
courtship of the European type. But even within these 
narrow circles such cases will for a long time to come be 
rare, and will be confined to those families which are afflicted 
with a surplus of daughters and find a difficulty in getting 
them married under normal conditions. For all Hindus, 
except the relatively small number who are influenced by 
European ideas on the subject of marriage, the bare idea that 
a girl can have any voice in the selection of her husband is 
excluded by the operation of three inexorable sanctions— by 
the ordinances of the Hindu religion, by the internal structure 
of the caste system, and by the general tone and conditions 
of social life in India. Religion prescribes that, like the Roman 
bride of early days, a Hindu girl shall be given {tradita in 
manum) by her father into the power of her husband; caste 
complications demand that the ceremonial portion of the 
transfer shall be effected while she is still a child ; while the 
character of society, the moral tone of the men, the seclusion 
of the women, the immemorial taboos and conventions of 
family etiquette, render it impossible that she should be wooed 
and won like her European sister. To persons of a romantic 
turn of mind the suggestion that infant marriage in some shape 



CASTE AND MARRIAGE 193 

must be accepted as an ultimate fact of the Hindu social system 
will sound like a final abandonment of all hope of reform. 
But an orthodox Hindu may justly reply that there is more 
to be said for the custom than appears at first sight. He may 
fairly argue that if any sort of controlling authority is to 
make people's marriages for them, the earlier it commences 
and completes its operations the better. Where the choice 
of a husband must in any case be undertaken by the parents, 
it is clearly tempting Providence for them to defer it until 
their daughter has grown up, and may have formed an em- 
barrassing attachment on her own account. As for love, that 
may come — and, from all that one hears and reads of Hindu 
unions, usually does come — as readily after marriage as before, 
provided that opportunities for falling in love with the wrong 
man are judiciously withheld. 

When we have shown that a custom is ancient and that it 
is deeply rooted in the constitution of Indian society, it may 
seem that there is not much more to be said. But the physio- 
logical side of the question cannot be left wholly out of account. 
Looked at from this point of view, what does infant marriage 
really mean and what are its ultimate tendencies ? Now, the 
first point to realize is, that in different parts 
of India infant marriage prevails in two .f^e^fCueSn. 
widely different forms, one of which is at 
least free from physiological objections, while the other deserves, 
from every point of view, the strongest condemnation. The 
former usage, which is current in the Punjab, is thus described 
by Sir Denzil Ibbetson, a high authority on the usages and 
domestic life of that part of India : — 

"Whferever infant marriage is the custom, the bride and bridegroom do not come 
together till a second ceremony called muklawa has been performed, till when the bride 
lives as a virgin in her father's house. This second ceremony is separated from the actual 
wedding by an interval of three, five, seven, nine, or eleven years, and the girl's parents fix 
the time for it. Thus it often happens that the earlier in life the marriage takes place, the 
later cohabitation begins. For instance, in the eastern districts, Jats generally marry at from 
five to seven years of age, and Rajputs at fifteen or sixteen, or even older ; but the Rajput 
couple begins at once to cohabit, whereas the parents of the Jat girl often find her so useful 
at home as she grows up that some pressure has to be put upon them to give her up to her 
husband, and the result is that, for practical purposes, she begins married life later than the 
Rajput bride." 

No one who has seen a Punjabi regiment march past, or has 
watched the sturdy Jat women lift their heavy water-jars at 
the village well, is -likely to have any misgivings as to the 
effect of their marriage system on the physique of the race. 
Among the Rajputs both sexes are of slighter build than the 

R, PI 13 



194 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

Jats, but here again there are no signs of degeneration. The 
type is different, but that is all. 

As we leave the great recruiting ground of the Indian army, 
and travel south-eastward along the plains of the Ganges, the 
healthy sense which bids the warrior races keep their girls at 
home until they are fit to bear the burden of maternity seems 
to have been cast out by the demon of corrupt ceremonialism, 
ever ready to sacrifice helpless women and children to the 
tradition of a fancied orthodoxy. Already in the United 
Provinces we find the three highest castes — the Brahman,. the 
Rajput, and the Kayasth — permitting the bride, whether apta 
viro or not, to be sent to her husband's house immediately after 
the wedding ; although it is thought better, and is more usual, 
to wait for a second ceremony called gauna, which may take 
place one, three, five or seven years after the first, and is fixed 
with reference to the physical development of the bride. 

What is the exception in the United Provinces tends 

unhappily to become the rule in Bengal. Here the influence 

of woman's tradition (strt-dchdr) has overlaid the canonical 

rites of Hindu marriage with a mass of senseless hocus-pocus 

(performed for the most part in the women's apartments at the 

back of the courtyard, which in India, as in ancient Greece, 

. ^ , forms the centre of the family domicile), and 
Abuses m Bengal. j j -.^i , , , r 

has succeeded, without a shadow of textual 

authority, in bringing about the monstrous abuse that the girls 

of the upper classes commence married life at the age of nine 

years, and become mothers at the very earliest time that it is 

physically possible for them to do so. How long this practice 

has been in force no one can say for certain. Nearly a century 

ago, when. Dr. Francis Buchanan made his well-known survey 

of Bengal, embracing, under the first Lord Minto's orders, 

" the progress and most remarkable customs of each different 

sect or tribe of which the population consists,'' he wrote as 

follows of one of the districts in Bihar, the borderland between 

Bengal and the United Provinces :— 

" Premature marriages among some tribes are, in Shahabad, on the same footing as in 
Bengal, that is, consummation talces place before the age of puberty. This custom, however, 
has not extended far, and the people are generally strong and tall. The Pamar Rajputs, 
among whom the custom of early consummation is adopted, form a striking proof of the 
evils of this custom ; for among them I did not observe one good-looking man, except the 
Raja Jaya Prakas, and most of them have the appearance of wanting vigour both of body 
and mind. This custom, so far as it extends, and the great number of widows condemned 
by rank to live single, no doubt prove some check upon population." * 

[* M. Martin, Eastern India, 1838, vol. i., p. 472.] 



CASTE AND MARRIAGE 195 

In another place Dr. Buchanan says that in respect of 
marriage customs, Patna— 

"is nearly on a footing with Bhagalpur, but here (in Bihar) the custom of premature 
marriage is not so prevalent : and it must be observed that in these districts this custom is by 
no means such a check on population as in Bengal, for there the girl usually is married when 
she is ten years of age, but in this district the girl remains at her father's house until the age 
of puberty, and of course her children are stronger and she is less liable to sterility.* 

At the beginning of this century, then, we find the premature 
inception of conjugal relations described by a peculiarly compe- 
tent observer as an established usage in Bengal, which was 
beginning to extend itself among the high castes in Bihar. 
Concerning the state of things at the present day, a highly 
educated Hindu gentleman, one of the ablest and most energetic 
of our native officials in Bengal, wrote to me some years ago as 
follows : — 

" It is the general practice — as indefensible as reprehensible under the Hindu scriptures — 
for husband and wife to establish cohabitation immediately after marriage. Parents 
unconsciously encourage the practice and make it almost unavoidable. . . . On the second 
day after marriage is the flower-bed ceremony ; the husband and wife — a boy and girl, or 
generally, nowadays, a young man and a girl — must lie together in the nuptial bed. . . . 
Within eight days of her marriage the girl must go back to her father's house and return to 
her father-in-law's, or else she is forbidden to cross "her husband's threshold for a year. In 
a, few families the bride is not brought in for a year ; but in the majority of cases this is 
considered more inconvenient than the necessities of the case would require, and the eight 
days' rule is kept, so as not to bar intercourse for a year. It would cost nothing worth the 
reckoning, and the good would be immense, if the one-year rule were strictly enforced in all 
cases ; or better, if the interval were increased from one to two years, and the subsidiary 
eight days' rule expunged from the social code. . . . The evil effects of the pernicious 
custom, which not only tolerates, but directly encourages unnatural indulgence, need no 
demonstration. Among other things, it forces a premature puberty, and is thus the main 
root of many of the evils of early marriage, which may be avoided without any affront to 
religion." 

This opinion — the opinion of an orthodox Hindu of high caste, 
who has not permitted his English education to denationalize 
him— marks the social and physiological side of infant marriage 
in Bengal. 

The matter is one to be handled with discretion. No one 
wQuld wish to kindle afresh the ashes of an extinct agitation. 
Happily there is reason to believe that the leaders of Indian 
society are fully alive to the disastrous consequences, both 
to the individual and the race, which arise from premature 
cohabitation and are anxious to use their influence to defer the 
commencement of conjugal life until the wife Reform in Rajpu- 
has attained the full measure of physical tana,. 

maturity requisite to fit her for child-bearing. Here the great 

[* Hid., vol. i., p. 112 e( set/.] 



196 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

clans of Rajputana have set an example which deserves to be 
followed throughout India. Themselves among the purest 
representatives of the Indo-Aryan type, they have revived the 
best traditions of the Vedic age and have established for them- 
selves the ordinance that no girl shall be married before she is 
fourteen years old and that the marriage expenses shall in no 
case exceed a certain proportion of the father's yearly income. 
That, I venture to think, is the aim which those who would 
reform society should, for the present, set before themselves 
If they succeed in doing for India what Colonel Walter did for 
Rajputana, they will achieve more than any Indian reformer 
has yet accomplished. To bring back the Vedas is no unworthy 
ideal. 

The Rajputana movement is so remarkable in itself and 
contains the germs of such high promise that it calls for fuller 
notice. Nearly twenty years ago, at the suggestion of Colonel 
Walter, then Agent to the Governor-General in Rajputana, all 
the Sardars of the various States of Rajputana assembled at 
Ajmer for the purpose of discussing arrangements for regu- 
lating the expenses incurred on the occasion of marriages, 
deaths, etc., among Rajputs of all ranks 
^""^krit s^bhl^"^'"" except the ruling chiefs. By the unanimous 
decision of these leaders of Rajput society, 
a series of observances were prescribed which, revised from 
time to time, have now assumed the form of definite rules 
enforced by the influence of a society known, in grateful com- 
memoration of its founder, as the Walterkrit Rajputra Hita- 
karini Sabha. The chief Political Officer in Rajputana is the 
President of the Society, and in every State a committee is 
appointed, consisting of a Sardar, an official and members of 
the Charan and Rao castes, to make arrangements for carrying 
out the regulations regarding marriages and deaths and other 
instructions embodied in the rules. 

Under the head of marriage expenses, if the marriage is that 
of a Thakur himself or of an eldest son, sister or daughter, the 
limit of expenditure is fixed on the following scale : When the 
value of the State is below Rs. i,ooo, not more than two-thirds 
of the annual income may be spent at the marriage; for values 
between Rs. i,ooo and Rs. 10,000 the proportion is reduced to 
half; for incomes between Rs. 10,000 and 20,000, to one-third, 
. ^ ^ and for incomes above Rs. 20,000 to one- 

As to Expenses, r , t , r- ■ .. 

fourth. In the case of marriages of sons other 

than the eldest, or nephews and nieces and brothers of the 



CASTE AND MARRIAGE 197 

Thakur who are dependent for support upon him, the expendi- 
ture may not exceed one-tenth of that admissible in the cases 
stated above. The abuses attendant on the extravagant largess 
which used to be distributed among bards and musicians on the 
occasion of marriages have been got rid of by limiting this 
expenditure to a percentage of Rs. 6-12-0 on the annual income 
of the State, and by further restrictions limiting the number of 
those who may claim such presents to the residents of the 
territory in which the marriage takes place. Only the father 
of the bridegroom is liable to make such payments ; the father 
of the bride cannot be charged. 

In the old days in Rajputana the ceremony of tikd or 
betrothal was performed with great pomp and show, and the 
presents made to the bridegroom's father included elephants, 
horses, and camels. It was on this ceremony that the reputa- 
tion of the bride's father more especially depended, and the 
fortunes lavished upon it not only reduced a t b t th 1 
a number of Rajputs to poverty but were 
also, as the Sabha are careful to point out, " detrimental to the 
future happiness of the marrying couple." The expenditure on 
tikd represented in fact the price of an eligible bridegroom, 
and the various social considerations affecting the market 
value of husbands gave rise to unseemly haggling between the 
parties to the bargain. The Committee have therefore decided 
that the sending of ttka or betrothal presents should be alto- 
gether stopped. The customary presents of opium, betel 
leaves and other articles of trifling value are allowed to 
continue, but the betrothal is to be arranged by letter only. 
The rules lay down that " the usual mark or tikd shall be made 
on the intended bridegroom's forehead, and betel leaves and 
cocoanut together with cash not exceeding one gold mohur and 
not less than one rupee shall be placed in his hand; presents of 
such fruits as are usual shall be placed on his lap ; the people 
present on the occasion shall also receive opium and sweet- 
meats or fruits." Servants and others who have hitherto been 
entitled to receive presents are to be paid according to rates 
varying from Rs. S for a State worth less than Rs. 1,000, to 
Rs. 100 for States worth more than Rs. 50,000. But even this 
is not obligatory, and it is expressly stated that anybody may 
spend less if he likes. 

As has been pointed out above, the expense involved in 
getting a daughter married has everywhere been the main 
factor in bringing about the evils which have grown up, and 



198 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

this explains the prominence given in the rules to the question 

of expenditure. The Society, however, did not stop there. 

They plainly stated their opinion that, " as a rule, boys and 

girls are married at an early age, notwithstanding that the 

evils of such a custom are well known to all and need no 

description." They then proceeded to lay down that boys and 

... girls should not be married before the ages 

As to Age. =>. , . , , . , ° 

of i8 and 14 respectively, and in order to 

guard against evasions of this rule, they provided that a half- 
yearly register of births, deaths and marriages should be kept up 
and submitted to 'the special committees at the capitals of the 
different States through the district officials or Nizamats. A 
further rule prescribes that " whereas in this country marriage 
contracts are not made by the girl's choice, her guardians being 
entrusted with that dut};-, it is advisable that girls be not kept 
unmarried above the age of twenty years." With the object of 
discouraging polygamy, it has been ruled that no second 
marriage should take place during the life-time of the first wife 
unless she is afflicted with an incurable disease or has no 
offspring. As regards widowers, it is laid down that when a 
widower has attained the age of 45 years and has a son living, 
he should not contract another marriage ; but if he is healthy 
and strong, he can marry a second wife, provided that the bride 
is above the age prescribed by the rules. Where, however, a 
widower of 45 years has an infant child by his deceased wife 
and it is difficult for him to bring up the child as well as to look 
after the household affairs, the State Committee can make a 
special exception to the rule after satisfying itself that it is 
proper to do so. 

Marriage expenses are controlled by the rule that the 
number of persons accompanying a wedding party may not 
exceed twenty, except in the case of marriages on a large scale 
when it is to be determined at the rate of two men for every 
hundred rupees that may be spent by the girl's father. The 
marriage procession is to arrive at the house of the bride's 
father on the day fixed for the marriage, stay there for two days 
and take leave on the fourth or on the fifth day at the latest, if 
the fourth day is considered inauspicious for departure. 

The poverty of some classes of Rajputs has led to their 
obtaining the necessary funds for their daughter's marriage from 
the bridegroom's father. This the Society condemns as " a 
most objectionable practice, and one that is opposed to the 
Dharma Shastras." In the case, however, of those Rajputs who 



CASTE AND MARRIAGE 199 

have neither land nor maintenance and only earn their liveli- 
hood as cultivators, it is permissible to take a bride-price of not 
more than Rs. 100 from the bridegroom's father and to spend 
that sum upon the marriage. 

The reports submitted by the Society during the last 
eighteen years show a progressive improvement in respect of 
compliance with the rules. The scale on which their beneficent 
influence is now being exercised may be gathered from the fact 
that out of 5,038 marriages performed among Rajputs in 1903, 
the rules regarding age were complied with in 4,928 cases and 
were violated only in no, of which 55 occurred in the State of 
Udaipur, where the tendency to stand upon the ancient ways is 
probably more marked than in other parts of Rajputana. Out 
of this large number of marriages the rules were infringed in 
25 cases in respect of expenditure, in 17 cases in respect of 
presents, to bards and musicians, and in 65 cases in respect of 
the numbers of the marriage-party. When it is borne in mind 
that the operations of the Society have the sanction of no 
criminal law and that their success depends solely upon the 
influence that can be exercised by the State Committees, 
most people, I venture to think, will hold that the Walterkrit 
Sabha has not only attained most remarkable results within its 
own sphere of activity, but has set to the rest of India a 
striking example of what can be done by patriotic combination 
to promote the cause of social reform.* 

Attempts have also been made to attain the same end by 
legislative action. More than fourteen years 
ago Mr. Manmohan Ghose, a Bengali bar- ^fose^s'scheme^' 
rister in large criminal practice, put forward 
a proposal that a general law should be passed for British India 
"declaring that no marriage shall be valid if either of the 
contracting parties at the time of celebrating their marriage is 
below a certain minimum age," which he proposed to fix for 
the present at twelve years. He admitted that such a measure 
involved interference with the supposed marriage laws of the 
Hindus, and was certain to be opposed by a great many ortho- 
dox people on that ground. But he pointed out that some 
doubt existed as to what was the true Hindu law on the subject, 
and he observed that so eminent a Sanskrit scholar as Dr. 

[* " Polygamy is said to be on the decrease in Karauli; this is ascribed partly to the 
increased cost of living, and partly to the influence of the Walterkrit Hitakarini Sabha . . . 
The principles underlying the rules of this Society are said to be slowly leavening some of the 
other castes in Rajputana " (Census Report, 191 1, vol. i., p. 184).] 



200 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

Bhandarkar had held that there was really nothing in law or in 
the Hindu scriptures to make it obligatory upon a Hindu to 
marry his daughter before she is twelve. He added that if 
Dr. Bhandarkar were right, the prevailing idea in Bengal and 
elsewhere that a girl must be married before a certain period 
in her life irrespective of her age was erroneous, while the fact 
that the highest class of Brahmans (Kulins) frequently do not 
marry their girls before they are past the age of twent3'^-one 
pointed to a similar conclusion. Mr. Manmohan Ghose 
considered that such a measure would have the effect of 
putting down the pernicious custom of child-marriage with its 
concomitant evils ; that it would meet with no serious opposi- 
tion in the advanced province of Bengal ; and that it need not 
be extended to backward provinces until in the opinion of the 
Local Government they were ripe for such a measure. His 
views found no support among his countrymen in Bengal. 

Three years after the publication of Mr. Manmohan Ghose's 
The M sore Aet proposal, the Mysore State introduced a 
regulation to prevent infant marriages 
among the Hindus in the territory of Mysore. The 
scope of this enactment falls far short both of the Rajpu- 
tana practice and of Mr. Manmohan Ghose's restricted 
suggestion, for it defines an infant girl as a girl who has not 
completed eight years of age. Any person who causes 
the marriage of an infant girl or aids or abets such a 
marriage, and any man over eighteen years of age who 
marries an infant girl, is liable on a prosecution sanctioned 
by the Government to be punished with simple imprisonment 
up to six months. It is obvious, however, that so far as the 
great majority of marriages are concerned, the Mysore law only 
touches the fringe of the evil, since a boy under eighteen can, if 
his people choose to run the risk of a prosecution, be married 
to a girl under eight, and no restriction at all is placed upon 
infant marriages between the ages of eight and fourteen. The 
law, indeed, seems to be mainly aimed at the practice of aged 
widowers marrying child-wives. Here it enacts that any man 
who having completed fifty years of age marries a girl who has 
not completed fourteen years of age, shall be punished with 
imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend 
to two years or with fine or with both. Seeing that at the age 
of fourteen most girls are already married, it follows that a 
man over fifty can have very little chance of securing a wife. 

The Mysore Government .points to the increase of aged 



CASTE AND MARRIAGE 201 

widowers in the recent census as illustrating the effect of its 
legislation. This, however, seems to be its sole effect. For 
the census figures show that the proportion of married girls 
under ten to 1,000 of the female population had varied between 
1891 and 1901 only from 8 to 3, while on the other hand the 
proportion of girls unmarried at that age had declined in the 
same period from 281 to 275. The utmost that can be said, 
therefore, is that the law passed in 1894 may have reduced 
the proportion of girls married under ten by about five per 
thousand.* 

The Early Marriage Prevention Act passed by the State of 
Baroda in July, 1904, is designed, as appears ^^^ Baroda Act. 
from the preamble, " to draw the increased 
attention of the public towards physical training, whereby the 
future progeny may be healthy and long-lived." It defines a 
minor girl as one who has not completed her twelfth year, and 
a minor boy as one who has not completed his sixteenth year. 
If the guardians of a minor girl, whose age is above nine, desire 
to get her married, they must apply to a tribunal consisting of 
the local sub-judge and three assessors of the petitioners' caste. 
If the tribunal is satisfied that in the event of the marriage not 
taking place on the date proposed, it will probably not take 
place at all or not within one year of the bride attaining her 
majority, or that the parents and guardians of the girl are not 
likely, owing to old age and infirmity, to survive until she 
comes of age, and that she has no other guardian, or that 
inevitable difficulties of a similar nature are likely to occur, 
they may grant permission for the marriage to take place. If 
the sub-judge disagrees with the assessors, the case is referred 
to the district judge, whose decision appears to be final. The 
following comments on the working of the Act appear in the 
Baroda Administration Report for 1904-5 : — 

" People living outside the limits of this State have an 
inadequate conception of the degree to which public opinion 
influences legislation in Baroda. The utmost consideration is 
shown to such opinion ; and His Highness the Maharaja con- 
sented to reduce the limit of age for the marriage of girls from 
14 to 12 in deference to the popular wish. Other modifications 

[* During the past sixteen years (1895-6 — 1910-1) the total number of cases prosecuted 
under the Regulation was 202, of which 175 resulted in the conviction of 475 persons. 
"The present piece of legislation in Baroda is much more advanced than in Mysore, and 
much further ahead of current notions and practices among the people at large. It has 
already been pointed out that, as regards early marriage, the recent Census figures are more 
favourable to Mysore than to Baroda " (Census Report, Mysore, 1911, vol. i., p. 97.)] 



202 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

were also made in the original Bill, so as to make it less 
obnoxious to orthodox communities. 

'^Results of the Early Marriage Prevention Ad. — It is now 
over a year since the Act for the Prevention of Early Marriages 
came into operation, and it would not be without interest to 
take stock of the results achieved during this first year of its 
operation. That freedom to contract marriages within the 
prohibited limits of age, with the permission 
working.* of the Civil Courts, has been freely availed 

of, would appear from the fact that no less 
than 695 applications were presented for such license ; and the 
circumstance that such permission was accorded to 68 per 
cent, of such petitions, shows a liberal and sympathetic solici- 
tude on the part of the Courts for the religious and social 
susceptibilities of the people. Some leniency was desirable in 
the first year of the execution of this law, to which the people 
had not been accustomed. At the same time it was necessary 
to enforce the new law, so that it might not be regarded as 
a dead letter; and 718 offenders were punished with fines, in 
sums ranging from one rupee to twenty-five rupees, during 
the year in the whole State. Seventy-eight per cent, of the 
fines inflicted under this Act fell below five rupees, and only 
four per cent, exceeded ten rupees. No better proof can be 
afforded of the indulgence with which offences against this 
special enactment have been dealt with. 

" The Act has already had a wholesome educative effect on 
the higher classes of the Hindu society ; for we find that the 
percentage of convictions among the three higher castes did 
not exceed five. The largest number of oiTenders belonged to 
the Dhed and Bhangi classes, which had no less than 39 per 
cent, of convictions against them. The Kunbis or the culti- 
vating classes had only 11 per cent, while the artisan classes 
had also an equal number. The percentage among Brahmans 
and Banias was less than two, and that among Mahomedans 
was about four — a circumstance which clearly proves that it is 
only custom, and no religious behest or scriptural text, which 
supports the practice of early marriages. And when once the 
force of usage is broken, the progress of the desired reform is 
smoothed and accelerated even beyond our most sanguine 
expectations."* 

[* The results of this Act during the last decade in Baroda have proved unsatisfactory. 
The slight decrease in the number of infant marriages " may be attributed to the progress of 
education and enlightened ideas." Numerous applications for exemption from its provisions 



CASTE AND MARRIAGE 203 

The latest scheme for reforming the marriage usages of 
India by means of legislation is that put 
forward by Sardar Arjun Singh of Kapur- sSrstSeme. 
thala at a meeting of the East India Asso- 
ciation held in London on the 31st July, 1905, and published in 
the Asiatic Quarterly Review for October, 1905. The Sardar 
sums up his proposals in the following words : — 

"Allowing that the Government interference is not desirable, 
has not the Government got other means to eradicate, or at 
least to mitigate, the custom of early marriages, and thus save 
the female children, or, at least a proportion of them, from 
improper widowhood? 

" Let the Government pass an Act, the operative part of 
which may be somewhat in the following form ': — 

" I. This Act shall apply («) to those persons only who 
belong to such caste, out-caste, religion, or community, which, 
after holding public meetings, p^ass a resolution to come under 
the protection of this Act ; {b) to those districts only in which 
such meetings shall have been held for such purpose. 

" 2. Under this Act, no marriage shall have the legal force, 
unless at the date of marriage the husband has completed his 
twelfth and the wife her tenth year. 

"Let the Government also exert its influence on different 
castes and communities in every district to hold meetings and 
come to a definite conclusion. 

" By such an action on the part of the Government we may 
be sure that almost every caste, every religion, and every com- 
munity in the whole of India, by the influence of the Govern- 
ment and under the leadership of educated people, will, with 
great pleasure, place itself under this Act. 

" The Government will do immense good to the well-being 

were made, and the result of them proves that "the Courts are very indulgent in their treat- 
ment of applications for exemption, which may be said to be practically given for the asking." 
On the introduction of the Act " there was unusual activity in hurrying up marriage before the 
expected restraint was imposed . . . Probably it is yet too premature to judge of the salu- 
tary effects of this beneficent enactment" (Census Report, Baroda, 191 1, vol. i., p. 154 
et seq.). To this may be added the remarkable custom of the Kadva Kunbis of Gujarat, 
who, in order to reduce marriage expenses, celebrate the marriages of the whole caste on a 
single day {Census Reports, Baroda, 191 1, vol. i., pp. 173, 290, 307 ; Bombay, 1911, vol. i., 
p. 242), A similar custom prevails among the Nambutiri Brahmans of South India, who 
marry two or three girls to a single man so as to avoid payment of the heavy bridegroom- 
price, and some KonkanI Brahmans now invest the dowry in the name of the bride, and 
thus prevent waste at the marriage celebration (L. K. Anantha Krishna Iyer, Cochin Tribes 
and Castes, vol. ii., 1912, pp. 210, 354; E. Thurston, Castes and Tribes of Southern India, 
1909, vol. ii., p. 93).] 



204 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

of the whole country, save 115,285 girls from child-widowhood 
every ten years, and shall win the hearts of the people." 

This projet de hi met with a rather chilling reception from 
the Indian speakers at the meeting. One Hindu gentleman 
"thought it was high time the Government interfered. If the 
matter was to be left at the option of the people, it would 
require centuries before .the position of the Indian woman 
would be uplifted and the custom of early marriages obliterated. 
It would be a pity to wait so long when the 
^'"^'of il'^''^ same thing could be done by Government in 
a shorter time." A Muhammadan followed 
with the pertinent observation that "every one who had 
received English education agreed that the custom was 
pernicious ; every one would like to see it abolished ; but 
many friends of his, who had studied at the Universities, 
when they went back to India, were entirely unable to stem 
the tide of public opinion. Why was that ? It was because 
the ladies of the house did not agree with them, and they did 
not carry female opinion with them." This led him to the 
conclusion that " it would be far better to have no legislation 
on the subject, but to work out their own ideas, and to feel 
that they had been the authors of their own salvation." It 
was now the turn of a Hindu to point out that the Arya 
Samajists were even more advanced in this matter than the 
Brahmos and had " declared that any marriage of a boy under 
twenty-five and a girl under sixteen was unauthorized by law, 
was against religion, and was to a certain extent immoral ; " 
while the authorities of the Central Hindu College at Benares 
"had ruled that no married boy would be admitted to their 
school." The speaker expressed himself as opposed to 
legislation, and was supported in this by a Muhammadan who 
took the opportunity of protesting against the lecturer's 
conjecture that infant marriage was devised by the Hindus 
to secure their young women from the outrages of invaders 
from Central Asia. Finally, the Chairman, Sir Lepel Griffin, 
summed up the debate in a speech of admirable discretion, 
in the course of which he admitted that it was news to him 
to hear that the Mysore and Baroda States had legislated on 
the subject, and intimated a doubt whether the lecturer's 
proposal to fix the minimum age at twelve for boys and ten 
for girls would not be " almost a retrogade step." 

It is perhaps a little surprising that a meeting of this kind, 
with a distinguished ex-political officer in the chair, should 



CASTE AND MARRIAGE 205 

not have been aware that the very problem which they were 
engaged in discussing had been successfully approached in 
Rajputana nearly twenty years ago. In the face of that 
illustration of what people can do for themselves we may be 
absolved from discussing in detail the scheme for permissive 
legislation propounded by Sardar Arjun Singh. Few persons 
will share its author's belief, so characteristic of the modern 
Indian, in the efficacy of a public meeting as an instrument 
of social reform ; while no one can fail to be struck by the 
pathetic admission of one of his critics that 
young men brought up on English history ■^'"reftTrm. °^ 

and literature, and more or less imbued with 
European ideas of domestic morality, find their worst foes in 
the ladies of their own households. The fact, of course, is 
that in matters of this kind the Anglicised middle classes are 
hardly in a position to give a decisive lead. Their social 
standing is not such as to command universal respect, and 
their orthodoxy is often open to suspicion. The people who 
can exercise a real influence and set an example that will be 
followed are, in the first place, the ancient aristocracy of 
India, the men who in Rajputana have created and carried 
on the Walterkrit Sabha. Below them, as the working agents 
who will transmit to the masses the impulsive proceeding 
from their natural leaders, come the panchayats or caste 
councils, the caste and clan Brahmans, the genealogists and 
astrologers, the village barbers, and the professional match 
makers, male and female, who conduct- the elaborate process 
of haggling by which Hindu marriages are put on the market. 
The influence of the ghataks or marriage brokers is very great. 
Five hundred years ago a famous ghatak remodelled for 
matrimonial purposes the highest sub-caste of Bengal Brahmans, 
and his classification holds good to the present day. The 
caste councils, which bear a sort of resemblance to a club 
committee, are equally powerful, and perhaps more accessible 
than the ghataks to liberal ideas. Both have the utmost 
respect for the Hindu scriptures coupled with the scantiest 
knowledge of their contents, and reforms on the Rajputana 
lines might with equal regard for truth and expediency be 
presented to their minds as a revival of pristine usage making 
for ceremonial righteousness.* 

[* " A society, called the Hindu Marriage Reform League, has been started by Hindu gentle- 
men in Calcutta with the object of raising the age, at which girls can be given in marriage, 
to 16 years. Till recently such attempts have been made only by the higher castes, but the 



206 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

In favour of legislation, some people will doubtless urge 
that in the East where so many things are, according to 
Western ideas, upside down, the relations between positive 
law and positive morality are also reversed. In Europe, one 
is told, morality must always be in advance of law. It took 
generations of quibbles and all the efforts of Bentham and 
Romilly to lift the English criminal law to a level approaching 
that of the conventional ethics of the day. In India, it will 
be said, if law is to wait until popular morality is ready, 
things will remain as they are until the end 
legislation? ^^ time. To this it may be replied first, that 

in Rajputana the end in view is being attained 
without the intervention of the State ; secondly, that the 
Mysore and Baroda laws hardly rise above the level of popular 
usage, and may well have the effect of impeding reform by 
stereotyping the very conditions which it is desirable to 
improve ; thirdly, that there is very little to show that these 
enactments are not a dead letter; fourthly, that any law 
dealing with this subject cannot, in the nature of things, be 
restricted to a particular class. Its operation must be general, 
and it would be liable to be defeated by the ancient and familiar 
device of boycotting the advocates of premature reform. 
Exclusive dealing in husbands cannot -be put down by law. 
It may or may not be possible to compel a Tipperary grocer 
to sell sugar to a man who has taken a boycotted tenement ; 
it would certainly be impossible to compel an Indian father 
to give his son to a girl whose parents had forgotten to get 
her married at the proper time. 

Two forms of polyandry are recognized in the literature 
of the subject : the fraternal, where a woman becomes the 
joint wife of several brothers ; and the matriarchal, where she 
has a number of husbands who are not necessarily related to 
each other. The essential feature is that the woman lives 
with several men at the same time. If her husbands are not 
synchronous but successive, if she lives with one husband 
for a year or so and then takes another, the arrangement may 



movement is spreading downwards. A general conference of the Namasudras held in igo8, 
resolved that any one marrying a son under 20 or a daughter under 10 years of age should 
be excommunicated. This resolution has had some effect, for it is reported in the Narail 
sub-division of Jessore, the age of a bride varies from 8 to 11, and that of a bridegroom from 
16 to 20. In this sub-division it has further been determined that no Namasudra parent 
shall take more than Rs. 30 for a daughter, and, if he is in affluent circumstances, nothing 
at all" [Census Report, Bengal, 191 1, vol. i., p. 319).] 



CASTE AND MARRIAGE 207 

be morally reprehensible, but it is not what is meant by poly- 
andry. Under both systems there is neces- 
sarily extreme uncertainty as to the parent- '^^po^and^.^ °^ 
age of the joint wife's children. Where the 
matriarchal form of polyandry prevails, this uncertainty affects 
the law of succession to property, since it is impossible to 
prove that a man living in a polyandrous group has ever had 
any children of his own. Consequently inheritance is traced 
through females, and a man's ordinary heir-at-law is his sister's 
son. Where fraternal polyandry is in fashion, the problem 
of paternity is equally obscure, and it is impossible to say 
for certain which of the brothers is the father of a particular 
child. But for working purposes it is assumed that one of 
them must be, and therefore the children belong to the same 
exogamous group as their fathers and inheritance to the joint 
property is reckoned in the male line. 

There is abundant evidence to prove that . matriarchal 
polyandry was at one time an established custom among the 
Nayars of the Malabar coast. Thus Caesar Fredericke, who 
travelled in those parts in the year 1563, writes of them : 

"These men go naked from the girdle upwards, with a 
clothe rolled about their thighs, going barefooted, and having 
their haire very long and rolled up together on the toppe of 
their heads, and alwayes they carrie their Bucklers or Targets 
with them and their swordes naked, these Nairi have their 
wives common amongst themselves, and when any of them 
goe into the house of any of these women, he leaveth his 
sworde and target at the doore, and the time 
that he is there, there dare not be any so ^oiyLndry.* 

hardie as to come into that house. The 
King's children shall not inherite the kingdom after their father, 
because they hold this opinion, that perchance they were not 
begotten of the King their father, but of some ■ other m&n, 
therefore they accept for their King one of the sonnes of the 
King's sisters, or of some other woman of the blood roiall, 
for that they be sure that they are of the blood roiall." * 

The Portuguese traveller, Fernao Lopes de Castanheda, 
says much the same:t "By the laws of this country these 
Nayars cannot marry, so that no one has any certain or 

* The voyage and travell of M. Csesar Fredericke, Marchant of Venice, into the East 
India and beyond the Indies : translated out of Italian by Mr. Thomas Hickocke. Hakluyt, 
Voyages, V., 394. 

t Historia de descobrimento e conquista da India pelos Portuguezes, 1551-1561. 



2o8 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

acknowledged son or father ; all their children being born of 
mistresses, with each of which three or four Nayars cohabit by 
agreement among themselves. Each one of this confraternity 
dwells a day in his turn with the joint mistress, counting from 
noon of one day to the same time of the next, after which he 
departs, and another comes for the like time. They thus spend 
their lives without the care or trouble of wives and children, 
yet maintain their mistresses well, according to their rank. 
Any one may forsake his mistress at his pleasure, and in the 
like manner the mistress may refuse admittance to any one of 
her lovers when she pleases. These mistresses are all gentle- 
women of the Nayar caste, and the Nayars, besides being 
prohibited from marrying, must not attach themselves to any 
woman of a different rank. Considering that there are always 
several men attached to one woman, the Nayars never look 
upon any of the children born of their mistresses as belonging 
to them, however strong a resemblance may subsist, and all 
inheritances among the Nayars go to their brothers or the 
sons of their sisters born of the same mothers, all relationship 
being counted only by female consanguinity and descent. This 
strange law prohibiting marriage was established that they 
might have neither wives nor children on whom to fix their love 
and attachment and that, being free from all family cares, they 
might the more willingly devote themselves to warlike service." 

A series of observers, among whom may be mentioned 
Alexander Hamilton (1744), Jonathan Duncan (1792), Francis 
Buchanan (1807), James Forbes (1813), and the Lutheran Mis- 
sionary Graul (1849-1853), confirm the accounts given by the 
travellers of the sixteenth century. During the last fifty years, 
however, polyandry in the strict sense of the term seems to 
have fallen into disuse. Mr. Fawcett, of the Madras police, 
writing in 1901, says that he has "not known any admitted 
instance of polyandry amongst the Nayars of Malabar at the 
present day," * and twenty years earlier Mr. Wigram wrote in 
his treatise on " Malabar Law and Custom" as follows :— ; 

" Polyandry may now be said to be dead, and although the 
issue of a Nayar marriage are still children of their mother 
rather than of their father, marriage may be defined as a con- 
tract based on mutual consent, and dissoluble at will. It has 
been well said (by Mr. Logan) that nowhere is the marriage 
tie, albeit informal, more rigidly observed or respected than it 

[* BtMeiin Madras Government Museum, vol. iii., No. 3, p. 241.] 



CASTE AND MARRIAGE 209 

is in Malabar : nowhere is it more jealously guarded, or its 
neglect more savagely avenged." 

It is a peculiar and characteristic feature of Nayar matri- 
monial usage that every woman goes through two forms of 
marriage. The first, tali kettu or tying of the tali, is purely 
ceremonial, and must take place before a girl attains puberty. 
Its essential incident consists in the nominal husband tying 
round her neck a tiny plate of gold shaped like the leaf of the 
Indian fig tree. The accompanying ritual is costly, and to 
neglect it entails social ostracism. Consequently, for eco- 
nomical reasons, one man is often engaged to tie the tali on 
a number of girls of all ages from three months to twelve years. 
Having played his part in the ritual and received the customary 
fee, the ceremonial husband goes his way and 
is never heard of again. His functions are husband™*^ 

purely formal, and he has no conjugal rights 
over any of the girls whom he has technically married. 
Opinions differ as to the origin of the tali kettu marriage, and 
some observers regard it as a Brahman innovation of com- 
paratively recent date. A different explanation is suggested 
by Capt. Hamilton's statement that " when the Zamorin marries, 
he must not cohabit with his bride till the Nambourie, or chief 
priest, has enjoyed her, and, if he pleases, may have three 
nights of her company, because the first fruits of her nuptials 
must be an holy oblation to the god she worships. And some 
of the nobles are so complaisant as to allow the clergy the 
same tribute, but the common people cannot have that com- 
pliment paid them, but are forced to supply the priests' places 
themselves."* It seems possible that the ceremony may be 
a survival of a primitive taboo on virginity which has in course 
of time become purely formal and has been overlaid by obser- 
vances borrowed from Hindu sources. This view derives some 
support from the fact that the ritual resembles in certain 
respects that which is used for the consecration of a Deva-Ddsi 
or temple prostitute. 

On attaining physical maturity a Nayar girl contracts a 
second marriage variously known as Sambandhain (association) ; 
guna dosham (for better for worse) ; pudavamnri (the giving of 
a cloth) ; kitakoram (the marriage of the bed). 
The ceremony is of the simplest kind and ^h^usband^^ 

consists mainly in the bridegroom present- 
ing betelnut, clothes, and money to the bride at night in the 

[* Ed. 1744, vol. i., p. 310.] 
R, PI 14 



2IO PEOPLE OF INDIA 

bridal chamber before her female relatives. As to the negotia- 
tions which precede it opinions seem to differ. One authority 
describes it as " generally effected with mutual consent," while 
another says that "in most cases the bride and bridegroom 
are utter strangers to each other until this night." All agree 
that Sambandham is followed by consummation, and that it is 
terminable at the will of either party. Frivolous divorces, 
however, are said to be rare and to be discouraged by public 
opinion and by the influence of the karnavan, the autocratic 
head of the Malabar tarwdd, a joint family tracing its descent in 
the female line from a common ancestress. Where the husband 
can afford it, his wife lives with him ; in other cases she lives 
with her tarwdd and he visits her there — a plain survival of the 
earlier conditions described above. The children are usually 
educated by the tarwdd. 

Taking the evidence as a whole, it seems to point to the 
conclusion that within the last two or three generations the 
refining influence of higher education has induced the Nayars 
to abandon the practice of polyandry and to attach to the Sam- 
bandham connexion the full sanctity of a monogamous union. 
Their marriage ritual and their law of inheritance still retain 
unmistakable traces of polyandrous usage, but the tendency is 
to relegate these to the background. A series of judicial 
decisions have given to any member of a Malabar joint family 
the absolute disposal during his lifetime of property acquired 
by himself, and recent legislation has enabled him to bequeath 
such property by will to his children by his Sambandham wife. 

In the Himalayan region where fraternal polyandry is in 

Fraternal poly- vogue, there are no indications of any moral 

andry in Titoet and revolt against the system, unless indeed the 

^™' germs of such a feeling may be traced in the 

slight shyness which people are apt to display when questioned 

on the subject, and in their manifest preference for discussing 

the connubial arrangements of some family other than their 

own. In Western Tibet even these faint signs of grace are 

wanting, and the account given by the latest observer points 

to the prevalence of considerable sexual depravity. 

"Each household contains for all practical purposes three 
or four families,* and one can imagine the atmosphere in which 
the children are brought up with polyandry all round them, 
and when the time comes for a girl to enter another similar 
household, and be the bride of numerous brothers, it may truly 

* Charles A. Sherring, Western Tibet and t/te British Borderland, 1906, p. igo. 



CASTE AND MARRIAGE 211 

be said that there is no modesty left in her. Merchants and 
officials from Lhasa can anywhere get women throughout 
Western Tibet to live with them temporarily for the mere 
asking, even of the best local families." 

At the time of the last Census polyandry as practised in 
Sikkim and Eastern Tibet was enquired into by Mr. Earle, 
then Deputy-Commissioner of Darjeeling, on the basis of a 
set of questions drawn up by me in 1891. The information 
collected was carefully verified and may be regarded as sub- 
stantially correct. 

" If the eldest of a group of brothers marries a woman, she 
is regarded as the common wife of all the brothers. It does 
not, however, necessarily follow that she will cohabit with all 
the younger brothers. She exercises much liberty in this 
respect, and it will depend upon her pleasure as to whether 
she will cohabit with any particular younger brother. If the 
eldest brother {i.e., the real husband) dies, the wife passes to 
one of the younger brothers according to her own selection. 
Should her choice fall on the next brother, she will still be the 
common wife of the younger brothers. Should, however, she 
select any of the younger brothers, she will be the common 
wife only of those younger than him, and, if he be the youngest, 
she will be his wife only. If the eldest brother of a group of 
brothers does not marry, but the second or third brother does 
so, then the wife will be the common wife of such second or 
third brother and his younger brothers only. Elder brothers, 
in such cases, will separate and leave the family, having no 
claim on the wives of the younger brothers. Cousins, both 
on the father's and mother's side, and half-brothers may be 
admitted as members of the group of brothers only if the 
husband agrees and has no brothers of his own. Several 
cousins cannot take a wife between them except in the instance 
just quoted. There are instances in the Darjeeling district, 
but apparently not in Sikkim or Tibet, of a number of men, 
not brothers or near relations, taking a wife between them, but 
this appears to be a novel practice introduced for purposes 
of economy. There appears to be no tradition of any such 
custom in Sikkim and Tibet in former times." Property 
descends in the male line, and there are no traces of .inheritance 
through a sister's son. The eldest brother counts as the father 
of the joint wife's children and the other brothers are spoken 
of as their uncles. 

When asked about the origin of the custom, people usually 



212 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

give sumptuary reasons recalling those which have given rise 

to the suspicion that fraternal polyandry was 
polyandry. "ot unknown among the Venetian nobility of 

the sixteenth century. One is told that a man 
who is too particular to share a wife with his brethren must 
pay for the luxury of a household of his own in the form of 
a separate assessment to revenue; that polyandry keeps the 
family property together, that it promotes harmony among 
the brothers, and so forth. I have never heard it assigned to 
a scarcity of women, and there is no reason to believe that the 
proportion of the sexes in Sikkim and Tibet is not fairly 
equal.* Religious zeal, however, encourages professed celibacy 
especially among the men, and according to Mr. Earle "super- 
fluous women become nuns or prostitutes or remain single." t 

We may conclude this chapter with a brief glance at the 
statistics of the subject which are alive with human interest. 
From the point of view of the European old maid India seems 
at first sight a sort of connubial paradise, where the selfishness 

of male celibacy is condemned by religion 
marriage. ^^^ discouraged by fashion, and every girl 

who is not physically disqualified for mar- 
riage may count with certainty upon finding a husband. Of 
the entire female population between the ages of fifteen and 
twenty, four out of every five are married, while in the more 
critical period from twenty to thirty only one woman out of 
seven remains single. The Eden so easily won is, however, 
quickly lost ; even in India males marry later than females, and 
the disparity of ages finds expression in the figures, which show- 
that among women of all ages more than one in six is a widow, 
while in the case of men the corresponding proportion is only 

[* Ladakh Proper, and the other Mongoloid races in Kashmir show the highest pro- 
portion of women in the State [Census Report, 1911, vol. i., p. 125).] 

[t Comparing the Bahimi of Central Africa with the Todas of India, Sir J. Frazer 
(Tofemism and Exogamy, 1910, vol. ii., p. 539 et sej.) suggests that "there is something 
in the pastoral life which favours the growth of abnormal relations between the sexes. . . . 
The superstition which debars these people from a vegetable diet not only impoverishes 
them, and retards economic progress by presenting a serious obstacle to the adoption of 
agriculture ; it affects society in another and curious way by fostering a type of marriage 
which effectually checks the growth of population, and which can hardly fail to be injurious 
to the women and thereby to their offspring." On the other hand, E. S. Hartland [Primitive 
Paternity, vol. ii., 1910, p. 162 et seq.) denies that polyandry results from economic causes, 
' ' in face of the evidence from all parts of the world of indifference to what the civilized 
peoples of Europe generally regard as womanly virtue." He believes that it results from the 
general absence of marital jealousy among backward races, and he suggests that women 
exercise >■- powerful influence in support of the customs. For further discussion of the 
question see Census PeJ>ort, India, 191 1, vol. i., p. 238 et seq.'\ 



CASTE AND MARRIAGE 213 

one in eighteen. In England, where from three-fifths to two- 
thirds of both sexes are single and not more than a third are 
married, the proportion of the widowed is only one in thirty 
for males and one in thirteen for females. The actual number 
of widows in India in 1901 was nearly twenty-six millions, while 
the widowers numbered only eighteen millions. Between the 
ages of forty and sixty every other woman is a widow, and 
even at the earlier period of from thirty to forty, one woman 
in five finds herself in the same unfortunate condition. 

These general characteristics — the universality of marriage, 
the prevalence of early marriage, and the frequency of pre- 
mature widowhood — are in the case of Hindus accentuated by 
the influence of religion or inviolable usage. Both sexes marry 

earlier than is the case with the population , „. , 

. , . ."^ "^ , Among Hindus, 

at large, and of the unmarried girls only one 

in every fourteen has turned her fifteenth year. Nearly half of 
the girls between the ages of ten and fifteen are married, while 
of those between fifteen and twenty only one-fifth have failed 
to find husbands. This vision of domestic felicity is clouded 
by the fact that one in every five Hindu women is a widow. 
Many of them are condemned to a life of penance and humilia- 
tion at a comparatively early age, while some are mere infants 
who have never known their husbands and have had no chance 
of bearing a child. 

Judged by a European standard, the matrimonial relations 
of the Muhammadans are less abnormal than those of the 
Hindus. Marriage is a civil function ; its cost is not swollen 
by the demands of a swarm of greedy priests ; the field of 
selection is larger and is less affected by artificial restrictions 
relating to social status ; and there is no bar to widows marry- 
ing again. The males marry later in life, and the pitiful 
spectacle of a struggling student hampered by a wife and 
children while he is still cramming for University examinations 
is less frequent than among Hindus. In 
the case of females the contrast is still more Mtihammadans. 
marked. Among Muhammadan girls be- 
tween the ages of five and ten only seven per cent, are married 
compared with twelve per cent, among Hindus; while between 
ten and fifteen the proportion of child-wives is thirty-nine for 
Muhammadans and forty-seven for Hindus. The marriage 
expenses are on a less extravagant scale ; bridegrooms are not 
bought and sold for fantastic prices ; and the balance of the 
sexes is not disturbed by the pernicious custom of hypergamy. 



214 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

In respect of widowhood the Muhammadans are also more 
favourably situated. It is true that the descendants of Hindu 
converts, and especially the Jolaha weavers and Dhuniya wool- 
carders, are not free^from the Hindu prejudice against the re- 
marriage of widows. But this feeling finds no support from the 
religion and traditions of Islam and is rebuked by the example 
of the Prophet himself. It is therefore weaker and less general 
than among Hindus, and unions between widowers and widows 
are recognized as legitimate and even appropriate. These 
influences are reflected in the statistics, which show only ten per 
cent, of widows among women between fifteen and forty, while 
in the case of Hindus the proportion is as high as fourteen. 



P.S. — Since this chapter was in type public attention has 
been drawn to the subject of Kulin polygamy by an animated 
correspondence in the columns of the Times. Those who are 
curious in these matters will find in Appendix VIII some 
extracts from letters by Sir Henry Cotton, Sir George Bird- 
wood, Sir G. Grierson, Mr. John Christian, and Mr. Bernard 
Shaw, together with the report of the Committee appointed in 
1867 by the Bengal Government to inquire into the subject 
with reference to a proposal for legislation which was made by 
the Maharaja of Burdwan and the well-known Hindu reformer, 
Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar. 

Without following Mr, Bernard Shaw in his rather advanced 
suggestions for the breeding of the Super-Man, any one who 
approaches the question from a scientific point of view may be 
permitted to join with him and Sir George Birdwood in con- 
demning as insular and inappropriate the tone of virtuous in- 
dignation that appears in some of the letters in the Times. 
The merest glance at the vast literature which is occupied with 
the origin of human marriage ought to convince most reason- 
able people that all sorts of connubial permutations and com- 
binations have been in vogue in different times and places, and 
that these have resulted, not from any innate depravity on the 
part of those who practised them, but from the action of some 
overmastering social force which disturbed the balance of the 
sexes and brought about matrimonial connexions which we 
now regard as more or less abnormal. If, then, Kulin polygamy 
is nothing more than an unhappy but inevitable consequence 
of exaggerated hypergamy, is it quite rational to denounce the 
unfortunate victims of a perverted system for preferring a 
fractional share in an itinerant husband to the reproach of 



CASTE AND MARRIAGE 215 

having no husband at all and to the painful repression of the 
craving for maternity which is nowhere stronger than in India? 
To treat the symptom does not necessarily cure the disease, 
although it may induce new symptoms. Supposing Kulin 
polygamy to be effectively abolished by repressive legislation 
or social disapproval, the surplus of marriageable girls result- 
ing from hypergamy would still remain. What is to become 
of them ? European experience suggests that enforced celibacy 
on a large scale is not invariably an ideal condition. If, there- 
fore, a fresh set of evils is to be avoided, the reformers would 
do wisely to follow Mr. Girindra Nath Dutt's advice and strike 
boldly at hypergamy, whatever form it may assume. This 
they can only deal with themselves, since legislation on the 
subject would plainly be futile. Indigenous complaints demand 
indigenous remedies. 

Whatever may be the case in Bengal, the following extract 
from the recently published District Gazetteer seems to be con- 
clusive as to the existence of polygamy among the Brahmans 
of MuzafFarpur, a district forming part of the ancient tract of 
Mithila, whence, according to Mr. Girindra Nath Dutt, the 
system of Kulinism was borrowed some centuries ago by the 
Brahmans of Bengal. Most of the MuzafFarpur Brahmans 
belong to the Maithil or Tirhutiya sub-caste, which is divided 
into five hypergamous groups — Srotriya or Sote, Jog, Panji- 
baddh, Nagar and Jaiwar. The men of each group may take 
wives from the groups ranking below it in this scale of social 
precedence, but the women can only marry in their own or in 
a higher group. 

" Polygamy," says Mr. O'Malley, the author of this interest- 
ing volume, "is practised among these Brahmans by the 
Bikauwa or 'Vendor' — a class of Maithil Brahmans who derive 
their name from the practice of selling themselves, or more 
rarely their minor sons, to the daughters of the lower groups 
of the series given above. Some have as many as forty or 
fifty wives, who live with their own parents and are visited at 
intervals by their husbands. Bikauwa Brahmans who have 
married into the lower classes are not received on equal terms 
by the members of their own class, but the women whom they 
marry consider themselves raised by the alliance. The price 
paid for a Bikauwa varies according to the class to which he 
belongs and the means of the family of the girl whom he is to 
marry. It may be as little as Rs. 20 : it has been known to rise 
as high as Rs. 6,000." * 

[* On polygamy in Bengal see Census Report, 1911, vol. i., p. 326 et sef.'] 



CHAPTER V 

CASTE AND RELIGION 

Notre vie est du vent tissu. 

JOUBERT. 

Alles Vergangliche 
1st nur ein Gleichniss. 

Goethe. 

In India, as in the greater part of the East, religion is still a 
power for good or for evil, and has over the minds of men an 
empire which in modern Europe has long passed out of its 
hands. Assisted by the kindred agency of fiction, it exercises 
a subtle influence on family ritual and domestic usage, and 
through these tends insensibly to modify and transform the 
internal structure of Indian society. At the risk of driving 

patient analogy too hard, we may perhaps 
^*of cMte*^°'^ venture to compare the social gradations of 

the Indian caste system to a series of geo- 
logical deposits. The successive strata in each series occupy 
a definite position, determined by the manner of their formation, 
and the varying customs in the one may be said to represent 
the fossils in the other. The lowest castes preserve the most 
primitive usages, just as the oldest geological formations 
contain the simplest forms of organic life. Thus the totems or 
animal-names by which the animistic races regulate their 
matrimonial arrangements, give place, as we travel upwards in 
the social scale, to group-names based upon local and territorial 
distinctions, while in the highest castes kinship is reckoned by 
descent from personages closely resembling the eponymous 
heroes of early Greek tradition. Even the destructive agencies, 
to which the imperfection of the geological record is attributed, 
have their parallel in the transforming influences by which the 
two great religions of modern India, Hinduism and Islam, have 
modified the social order. A curious contrast may be discerned 



CASTE AND RELIGION 217 

in their methods of working and in the results which they 
produce. 

Islam is a force of the volcanic sort, a burning and inte- 
grating force, which, under favourable con- Hinduism and 
ditions, may even make a nation. It melts islam, 

and fuses together a whole series of tribes, and reduces their 
internal structure to one uniform pattern, in which no survivals 
of pre-existing usages can be detected. The separate strata 
disappear ; their characteristic fossils are crushed out of recog- 
nition ; and a solid mass of law and tradition occupies their 
place. Hinduism, transfused as it is by mysticism and ecstatic 
devotion, and resting ultimately on the esoteric teachings of 
transcendental philosophy, knows nothing of open proselytism 
or forcible conversion, and attains its ends in a different and 
more subtle fashion, for which no precise analogue can be 
found in the physical world. It leaves existing aggregates 
very much as they were, and so far from welding them together, 
after the manner of Islam, into larger cohesive aggregates, 
tends rather to create an indefinite number of fresh groups ; 
but every tribe that passes within the charmed circle of Hin- 
duism inclines sooner or later to abandon its more primitive 
usages or to clothe them in some Brahmanical disguise. The 
strata, indeed, remain, or are multiplied ; their relative positions 
are, on the whole, unaltered ; only their fossils are metamor- 
phosed into more advanced forms. One by one the ancient 
totems drop off, or are converted by a variety of ingenious 
devices into respectable personages of the standard mythology ; 
the fetish gets a new name, and is promoted to the Hindu 
Pantheon in the guise of a special incarnation of one of the 
greater gods; the tribal chief sets up a family priest, starts 
a more or less romantic family legend, and in course of time 
blossoms forth as a new variety of Rajput. His people follow 
his lead, and make haste to sacrifice their women at the shrine 
of social distinction. Infant-marriage with all its attendant 
horrors is introduced ; widows are forbidden to marry again ; 
and divorce, which plays a great, and on the whole, a useful 
part in tribal society, is summarily abolished. Throughout all 
these changes, which strike deep into the domestic life of the 
people, the fiction is maintained that no real change has taken 
place, and every one believes, or affects to believe, that things 
are with them as they have been since the beginning of time. 

It is curious to observe that the operation of these ten- 
dencies has been quickened, and the sphere of their action 



218 ■ PEOPLE OF INDIA 

enlarged, by the great extension of railways which has taken 
place in India during the last few years. 

^^reuglon^*"^ Both Benares and Manchester have been 
brought nearer to their customers, and have 
profited by the increased demand for their characteristic wares. 
Siva and Krishna drive out the tribal gods as surely as grey 
shirtings displace the less elegant but more durable hand-woven 
cloth. Pilgrimages become more pleasant and more popular, 
and the touts, who sally forth from the great religious centres 
to promote these pious excursions, find their task easier and 
their clients more open to persuasion than was the case even 
twenty years ago. A trip to Jagannath or Gaya is no longer 
the formidable and costly undertaking that it was. The Hindu 
peasant who is pressed to kiss the footprints of Vishnu, or to 
taste the hallowed rice that has been offered to the Lord of the 
World, may now reckon the journey by days instead of months. 
He need no longer sacrifice the savings of a lifetime to his 
pious object, and he has a reasonable prospect of returning 
home none the worse for a week's indulgence in religious 
enthusiasm. Even the distant Mecca has been brought, by 
means of competing lines of steamers, within the reach of the 
faithful in India; and the influence of Muhammadan mission- 
aries and returned pilgrims has made itself felt in a quiet but 
steady revival of orthodox usage all over the country. 

Rapidly as these levelling and centralizing forces do their 
work, a considerable residue of really primitive usage still 
resists their transforming influence. The oldest of the religions 
recorded in the last Census, if indeed it can.be called a religion 
at all, is the medley of heterogeneous and uncomfortable 
superstitions now known by the. not entirely appropriate name 
of Animism. The difficulty of defining this mixed assortment 
of primitive ideas is illustrated by the fact that there is no 
name for it in any of the Indian languages. For Census pur- 
poses, therefore, recourse must be had to the clumsy device of 
instructing the enumerators that in the case of tribes who are 
neither Hindus nor Muhammadans, but have no word for their 
religious beliefs, the name of the tribe itself must be entered in 
the column for religion. Thus one and the same religion 
figures in the original returns of the Census under as many 
different designations as there are tribes professing it. On 
turning to the European literature of the subject we find 
that even among scientific observers the curiously indetermi- 
nate character of the beliefs in question has' given rise to 



CASTE AND RELIGION 219 

considerable diversity of nomenclature. Three different names, 
each dwelling on a different aspect of the subject, have obtained 
general acceptance, and an attempt has been made to introduce 
a fourth which seeks to accentuate characteristics overlooked 
by the rest. 

The earliest and best-known name, Fetishism, was first 
brought into prominence by Charles de Brosses, President of 
the Parliament of Burgundy, who published in 1760 a book 
called Du Culte des Dieux FMiches, ou Parallele de I'ancienne 
Religion de I'Egypte avec la Religion actuelle de la Nigritie. 
De Brosses was a man of very various learning. He ranked 
high in his day among the historians of the Roman Republic ; 
he wrote a scientific treatise on the origin of language ; he is 
recognized as one of the founders of the modern school of 
anthropological mythology ; and he is believed to have invented 
the names Australia and Polynesia. He did not, however, 
invent, nor was he even the first to use, the word fetish, which 
is a variant of the Portuguese /e^^^'fo or /etoso, . , . 

an amulet or talisman, derived from the 
hatm faditius, "artificial," "unnatural," and hence "magical." 
It was employed, naturally enough, by the Portuguese navi- 
gators of the sixteenth century to describe the worship of 
stocks and stones, charms, and a variety of queer and unsavoury 
objects, which struck them as the chief feature of the religion 
of the negroes of the Gold Coast. Nor did de Brosses travel 
so far on the path of generalization as some of his followers. 
He assumed indeed that Fetishism was the beginning of all 
religion, since no lower form could be conceived ; but he did 
not extend its domain like Bastholm, who in 1805 claimed as 
fetishes " everything produced by nature or art which receives 
divine honour, including sun, moon, earth, air, fire, water, 
mountains, rivers, trees, stones, images, and animals if con- 
sidered as objects of divine worship." 

For some five and twenty years after Bastholm wrote, the 
term Fetishism lay buried in the special literature of anthro- 
pology, whence it seems to have been unearthed by Auguste 
Comte, who used it, in connexion with his famous loi des trois 
etats, as a general name for all the forms of primitive religion 
which precede and insensibly pass into polytheism. Comte 
described the mental attitude of early man towards religion as 
" pure fetishism, constantly characterized by the free and direct 
exercise of our primitive tendency to conceive all external 
bodies whatsoever, natural or artificial, as animated by a life 



220 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

essentially analogous to our own, with mere differences of 
intensity."* His authority, combined with the natural attrac- 
tions of a cleanly cut definition, gave wide currency to this 
extended sense of the word, and it is only of late years that it 
has been confined to the particular class of superstitions to 
which the Portuguese explorers originally applied it. In the 
light of our present knowledge. Fetishism may be defined as 
the worship of tangible inanimate objects believed to possess 
in themselves some kind of mysterious power. Thus restricted, 
the term marks out a phase of primitive superstition for which 
it is convenient to have a distinctive name. 

We have seen how Fetishism came to us from the west 

„, . coast of Africa. For the origin of Shamanism 

Shamanism. . ° . 

we must look to Siberia. Shaman is the 
title of the sorcerer-priest of the Tunguz tribe of Eastern 
Siberia, between the Yenisei and Lena rivers. The word has 
been supposed to be a variant of the Sanskrit Sramana, Pali 
Samana, which appears in the Chinese sha-man or shi-man in 
its original sense of a Buddhist ascetic, and may have passed 
into the Tunguz language through the Manchu form Saman. 
Ethnologists seem to have been introduced to it by the writings 
of the German explorer and naturalist, Peter Simon Pallas, 
who travelled through the Tunguz country up to the borders 
of China in 1772, and wrote a lengthy account of his wander- 
ings.! The essence of Shamanism is the recognition of the 



* Conite, Philosophic Positive, vol. v., p. 30, quoted by Tylor, Primitive Culture, 
vol. ii., 2nd ed., 1873, p. 144. 

t Pallas uses the words Schaman and Schamanin (Zauberer and Zauberin) in his curious 
book, Samlungen historischer Nachrichten iiber die Mongolischen Volkerschaften, printed at 
St. Petersburg in 1776 by the Imperial Academy of Science. Chapter VII. of the second 
volume (1801) entitled, "Von den Gaukeleyen des Schamanischen Aberglaubens, Zaubereyen 
und Weissagerey unter den Mongolischen Vblkern," deals with the survivals of Shamanism 
which Pallas found among the Kalmucks and Mongols "daubed over" as he says (iibertiincht), 
" with a coat of the later Buddhistic doctrine." But he does not profess to treat of Shamanism 
at length, and remarks that this would be superfluous as full particulars are to be found in 
the Siberian Travels of the elder Gmelin and in Georg's Bescription of the Nations of the 
Russian Empire. The "Elder Gmelin" was Johann Georg, born 1709, who travelled in 
Siberia from 1743 to 1773 and published his Reisen durch Siberien in four octavo volumes at 
Gottingen in 1751-52. He became Professor of Botany at Tubingen in 1749, six years 
before his death. He was also the author of the Flora Siberia, two volumes of which were 
published during his life, while the remaining two were edited by his nephew, Samuel 
Gotlob Gmelin, who travelled with Pallas in Siberia. After leaving Pallas, Samuel went 
to the Crimea, where he was captured by the Khan, and died in prison at the age of thirty- 
one. I mention these particulars, for which I am indebted to my friend Lt.-Col. Prain, 
C.I.E., F.R.S., because it seems possible that the word " Shaman " may have been introduced 
not by Pallas, but by Johann Gebrg Gmelin. The Gmelins were a notable family, and no 
less than seven of them wrote books on botany at dates ranging from 1699 to 1866. None 



CASTE AND RELIGION 221 

Shaman, medicine man, wizard, or magician, as the authorized 
agent by whom unseen powers can be moved to cure disease, 
to reveal the future, to influence the weather, to avenge a man 
on his enemy, and generally to intervene for good or evil 
in the affairs of the visible world. The conception of the 
character of the powers invoked varies with the culture of the 
people themselves. They may be gods or demons, spirits or 
ancestral ghosts, or their nature may be wholly obscure and 
shadowy. In order to place himself en rapport with them, the 
Shaman lives a life apart, practises or pretends to practise 
various austerities, wears mysterious and symbolical garments, 
and performs noisy incantations in which a sacred drum or 
enchanted rattle takes a leading part. On occasion he should 
be able to foam at the mouth and go into a trance or fit, during 
which his soul is supposed to quit his body and wander away 
into space. By several observers these seizures have been 
ascribed to epilepsy, and authorities quoted by Peschel go so 
far as to say that the successful Shaman selects the pupils 
whom he trains to succeed him from youths with an epileptic 
tendency. It seems possible, however, that the phenomena 
supposed to be epileptic may really be hypnotic. In this and 
other respects there is a general resemblance between the 
Shaman and the spiritualist medium of the present day. Both 
deal in much the same wares, and spiritualism is little 
more than modernized Shamanism. Nevertheless, though 
the principle of Shamanism is proved, by these and other 
instances, to be widely diffused and highly persistent, it does 
not cover the entire field of primitive superstition, and it is mis- 
leading to use the name of a part for the purpose of defining the 
whole. Still less can we follow Lubbock in treating Shamanism 
as a necessary stage in the progress of rehgious development, 
or Peschel in extending the term to the priesthoods of organized 
religions like Buddhism, Brahmanism, and Islam. Traces of 
Shamanism may have survived in all of them, as in the witch- 
craft occasionally met with in modern Europe ; but to call their 

of their books are to be had in Calcutta, so I am unable to verify the conjecture thrown 
out above. 

The copy of Pallas's Sanilungen in the library of the Asiatic Society of Bengal appears 
from a note on the title page, to have been presented by the Czar of Russia in 1846. The 
second volume was published twenty-five years after the first, and bears the imprimatur of 
the St. Petersburg Censor which is wanting in the earlier volume. [Banzaroff derives 
Shaman from a Manchu root, and asserts that it is met with in Chinese writings of the 
seventh century, when North Mongolia was dominated by the Yuan-yuan, a people of 
Tungus-Manchu origin (J. Hastings, Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, vol. iii., 
1910, p. 15.)] 



222 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

hierarchy Shamanistic is to ignore historical development and 
to confuse the Yogi with the Brahman, and the Fakir with the 
Mulla. 

The word Animism was first used to denote the meta- 
physical system of Georg Ernst Stahl, the originator of the 
chemical hypothesis of Phlogiston, who revived in scientific 
form the ancient doctrine of the identity of the vital principle 
and the soul. In his Theoria medica vera published at Halle in 
1707, Stahl endeavoured, in opposition to Hoffman's theory of 
purely mechanical causation, to trace all organic functions to 
the action of an inherent immaterial substance or aniiua. In 
. . . his great work on Primitive Culture Sir 

A Til Tn 1 R Tn ^ 

E. B. Tylor, transferred the term from meta- 
physics, where it had had its day, to ethnology, where it has 
taken root and flourished, and made the idea which it con- 
veys the basis of his exposition of the principles underlying 
primitive religion. " It is habitually found," he writes, " that 
the theory of Animism divides into two great dogmas forming 
parts of one consistent doctrine ; first, concerning souls of indi- 
vidual creatures, capable of continued existence after the death 
or destruction of the body; second, concerning other spirits, 
upward to the rank of powerful deities. Spiritual beings are 
held to affect or control the events of the material world, and 
man's life here and hereafter; and it being considered that they 
hold intercourse with men, and receive pleasure or displeasure 
from human actions, the belief in their existence leads naturally, 
and it might also be said inevitably, sooner or later to active 
reverence and propitiation. Thus Animism, in its full develop- 
ment, includes the belief in souls and in a future state, in 
controlling deities and subordinate spirits, these doctrines 
practically resulting in some kind of active worship." * 

Here for the first time we are presented with a name de- 
rived from careful comparison and analysis 
"^^avaUaWe!"^ of a large body of facts, and purporting 
to express the central and dominant idea 
underlying primitive religion. The advance on the earlier 
terminology is immense. We have passed from the superficial 
to the essential, from the casual impressions of traders and 
travellers to the mature conclusions of a skilled observer. 
Although the term has not escaped criticism, it covers, if not 
the whole field, at any rate a large and conspicuous part of it ; 
it has gained universal currency and is unlikely to be displaced. 

* Tylor, Primitive Culture, i. 426, 



CASTE AND RELIGION 323 

It is indeed almost inconceivable that any name should be 
devised which would embody a precise conception of the 
confused bundle of notions wrapped up in savage religion ; 
and most reasonable people will feel that haggling over termi- 
nology is a thankless and futile form of intellectual exercise. 

While I entirely accept Animism, as the best name that we 
are likely to get, some objections to which 
it is liable may perhaps be mentioned. In ^Animismf^"^ 

the first place, it connotes, or seems to con- 
note, the idea that gods are merely the ghosts or shadows of 
men, projected in superhuman proportions, like the spectre of 
the Brocken, on the misty background of the unknown, but 
still in their inception nothing but common ghosts. Defi- 
nitions, of course, cannot be judged merely by etymology, but 
a name which appears to beg a controverted question is pro 
tanto not a good name. Moreover, this particular name, failing 
the explanations necessary to bring out its limitations, seems 
to have done some real dis-service to science, and that in 
a branch of investigation where a name counts for a great deal. 
One may almost say of Animism that it has given rise to a new 
bias, the anthropological bias. The theological or missionary 
bias we know, and are prepared to discount. It leads those 
who are possessed by it to regard all alien gods, in one case as 
devils, and in another as degenerate survivals of an original 
revelation or intuition. But the tutored anthropologist is 
worse than the untutored missionary. He knows the game 
only too well ; he sees what his theory of origins allows him to 
see, and he unconsciously shapes the evidence in the collecting 
so as to fit the theory with which Mr. Tylor has set him up. 
Secondly, it admits of being confused with the idea, common to 
savages and children, that all things are animated, a notion not 
easy to reconcile with the ghost theory of religion, which is 
based on the assumption that primitive man was profoundly 
impressed by the difference between the dead and the living 
and evolved therefrom the conception of spirit. Thirdly, the 
name leaves out of account, or at any rate inadequately 
expresses, what may be called the impersonal element in early 
religion, an element which seems to me to have been rather 
overlooked. In touching on this point I am reluctant to add 
yet another conjecture to a literature already so prolific in 
more or less ingenious guesses. But I have had the good 
fortune, while settling a series of burning disputes about land, 
to have been brought into very intimate relations with some 



224 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

of the strongest and most typical Animistic races in India, and 
thus to have enjoyed some special opportunities of studying 
Animism in those forest solitudes which are its natural home. 
More especially in Chutia Nagpur, where this religion still 
survives in its pristine vigour, my endeavours to find out what 
the jungle people really do belieye have led me to the negative 
conclusion that in most cases the indefinite something which 
they fear and attempt to propitiate is not a person at all in any 
sense of the word. If one must state the case in positive 
terms, I should say that the idea which lies at the root of their 
religion is that oi power, or rather of many powers. What the 
Animist worships, and seeks in strange ways to influence and 
conciliate, is the shifting and shadowy company of unknown 
powers or tendencies making for evil rather than for good, 
which reside in the primeval forest, in the crumbling hills, in 
the rushing river, in the spreading tree, which gives its spring 
to the tiger, its venom to the snake, which generates jungle 
fever, and walks abroad in the terrible guise of cholera, 
small-pox, or murrain. Closer than this he does not seek to 
define the object to which he offers his victim, or whose symbol 
he daubs with vermilion at the appointed season. Some sort 
of power is there, and that is enough for him. Whether it is 
associated with a spirit or an ancestral ghost, whether it pro- 
ceeds from the mysterious thing itself, whether it is one power 
or many, he does not stop to enquire. I remember a huge Sal 
tree {Shorea robusta) in a village not far from my head- quarters, 
which was the abode of a nameless something of which the 
people were mightily afraid. My business took me frequently 
to the village, and I made many endeavours to ascertain what 
the something was. There was no reluctance to talk about it, 
but I could never get it defined as a god, a demon, or a ghost. 
Eventually an Anglicised Hindu pleader from another district 
took a speculative lease of the village, and proceeded to enhance 
the rents and exploit it generally. One of the first things he 
did was to assert himself by cutting down the haunted tree. 
Strange as it may seem, no one was in the least alarmed at this 
sacrilegious act. The Hindu, they said, was a foreigner, so 
nothing could happen to him, while the villagers were blame- 
less, for they had not touched the tree. What was supposed 
to have become of its mysterious occupant I never could ascer- 
tain. The instance is typical of the Animistic point of view, 
and has numberless parallels. All over Chutia Nagpur there 
are many jungle-clad hills, the favourite haunts of bears, which 



CASTE AND RELIGION 225 

beaters of the Animistic races steadfastly refuse to approach 
until the mysterious power which pervades them has been 
conciliated by the sacrifice of a fowl. Everywhere we find 
sacred groves, the abode of equally indeterminate beings, who 
are represented by no symbols and of whose form and functions 
no one can give an intelligible account. They have not yet 
been clothed with individual attributes ; they linger on as 
survivals of the impersonal stage of early religion. 

If we assume for the moment the possibility that some 
such conception, essentially impersonal in 
its character and less definite than the idea ^mfntai for/es^.' 
of a spirit, may have formed the germ of 
primitive religion, one can see how easily it may have escaped 
observation. The languages of wild people are usually ill- 
equipped with abstract terms, and even if they had a name for 
so vague and inchoate a notion, it would certainly have to be 
translated into the religious vocabulary of their anthropo- 
morphic neighbours. A Santal could only explain Marang 
Buru, " the great mountain," by saying that it was a sort of Deo 
or god. A Mech or Dhimal could give no other account of the 
reverence with which he regards the Tista river, a frame of 
mind amply justified by the destructive vagaries of its snow-fed 
current. On the same principle a writer* of the 17th century 
says of the West African natives that "when they talk to 
whites, they call their idolatry Fitisiken, I believe because the 
Portuguese called sorcery fitiso." In Melanesia, according to 
Dr. Codrington, " plenty devil " is the standard formula for 
describing a sacred place, and the Fiji word for devil has 
become the common appellation of the native ghosts or spirits. 
So it is with the Animistic races of India. If they are 
questioned about their religion, they can only reply in terms 
of another religion, in Sanskrit derivatives which belong to 
a wholly different order of ideas. And when we find in 
Melanesia the very people who put off the inquisitive foreigner 
with the comprehensive word devil, still retaining the belief 
in incorporeal beings with neither name nor shape, round 
whom no myths have gathered, who are not and never have 
been human, who control rain and sunshine and are kindly 
disposed towards men, one is tempted to conjecture that the 
same sort of belief would be found in India by any one who could 
adequately probe the inner consciousness of the Animistic races. 

* W. J. Miiller, Die Africanische Landschaft Felu, Nuremberg, 1675, quoted by Max 
Muller, Anthropological Religion, p. 120. 

R, PI IS 



326 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

The hypothesis that the earliest beginnings of savage 
^ . . „ religion are to be sought in the recognition 

Origm of unwor- => ° >■ u ■ ^u c *■ 

shipped supreme 01 elemental forces to which, in the tirst 
^®i^ss. instance, no personal qualities are ascribed, 

may perhaps afford an explanation of a problem which has 
exercised several enquirers of late — the origin of the faineant 
unworshipped Supreme Beings who figure in savage mythology 
almost all over the world. The existence of such personages 
does not fit in with some current theories of the origin of re- 
ligion, nor are the facts readily explained away. Sir E. B. Tylor 
believes these beings to have been borrowed from missionary 
teaching; Mr. Andrew Lang holds that they "came, in some 
way only to be guessed at," first in order of evolution, and 
mentions, as "not the most unsatisfactory" solution of the 
problem, the hypothesis of St. Paul (Rom. i. 19). " Because 
that which may be known of God is manifest in them, for God 
hath showed it unto them." We find distinct traces of them in 
Indian Animism, but in India no one has been at the trouble of 
speculating about their origin. Now, if man began merely by 
believing in undefined powers which he attempted to control by 
means of magic, is it not conceivable that the powers whose 
activity was uniformly beneficial should, as time went on, 
receive less attention than those which on occasion were cap- 
able of doing mischief? When natural conservatism has to 
some extent spent its force, magicians and their clients must by 
degrees perceive, or must by accident discover, that the rising 
of the sun is in no way dependent upon the imitative magical rites 
designed to secure its recurrence, and these functions accord- 
ingly fall into disuse. When the monsoon current is fairly 
regular, the powers of the air tend to share the same fate, though 
the women of the tribe still preserve and occasionally practise 
the magic art of rain-making, stripping themselves naked at 
night and dragging a plough through the parched fields, as the 
Kochh women do this day in Rangpur. But he would be a bold 
man who would venture to neglect the destructive powers of 
nature, the diseases which strike without warning, and' the 
various chances of sudden and accidental death. When the 
era of anthropomorphism sets in, and personal gods come into 
fashion, the active and passive powers of the earlier system are 
clothed in appropriate attributes. The former become depart- 
mental spirits or gods, with shrines and temples of their own 
and incessant offerings from apprehensive votaries. The latter 
receive sparing and infrequent worship, but are recognized, en 



CASTE AND RELIGION 227 

revanche, as beings of a higher type, fathers and well-wishers of 
mankind, patrons of primitive ethics, maker of things who have 
done their work and earned their repose. The Santal Marang 
Buru represents the one ; the Bongas or godlings of disease are 
examples of the other. With the transformation of impersonal 
powers into personal gods, magic too changes its character. 
The materialistic processes which consist of imitating the out- 
ward and visible effects of natural forces give place to spells, 
incantations, and penances which are supposed to compel the 
ggds to obey the commands of the magician. In course of time 
magic itself is ousted by religion, and banished to those holes 
and corners of popular superstition where it still survives in 
varying degrees of strength.* 

The theory carries us still further. It endeavours to 
account, by the operation of known pro- 
cesses of thought, not merely for what Mr. RSiSonf^ ° 
Lang calls "the high gods of low races," 
but also for the entire congeries of notions from which the 
beginnings of religion have gradually emerged. It supposes 
that early man's first contact with his surroundings gave him 
the idea of a number of influences, powers, tendencies, forces, 
outside and other than himself, which affected him in various 
ways. His dealings with these were at first determined by the 
rudimentary principle of association, common to men and other 
animals, that like causes like. In that early stage of his mental 
development the primitive philosopher did not impute personal 
attributes of any kind to the something not himself which made 
for his comfort or the reverse ; nor did he suppose that the 
effects which the various somethings produced were brought 
about by the action of any individual even remotely resembling 
himself. Had he entertained any such idea, it is difficult to see 
how magic could ever have come into existence, still less how 
it could have preceded the development of what we call religion. 
For the essence of magic is compulsion. Flectere si nequeo 
Superos, Acheronta movebo. If certain operations are accurately 
gone though, certain results are bound to follow, as a mere 
sequence of effect and cause. The earliest type of such 
processes is what is called imitative magic, because it imitates 
the phenomena which it seeks to produce. Or, to put the case 
in another way, it attempts to set a cause in motion by 
mimicking its consequences. Fires are lighted to make the sun 

[* For a discussion of this type of belief, now designated Pre-Animism or Teratism, see 
R. R, Marett, The Threshold of Religion, 1914, chap, i.] 



228 PEOPLE, OF INDIA 

shine in season ; water is sprinkled in a shower of drops with 
the object of inducing rain. In either case the operation is of a 
quasi-scientific character, and the operator endeavours to con- 
trol a natural force by imitating its manifestations on a small 
scale. His mental attitude is sp far removed from our own 
that it would be futile to attempt to analyse it, but it seems to 
involve the same kind of instinctive or semi-conscious 
association of ideas, of which instances may be observed among 
intelligent animals such as monkeys and dogs. 

On the other hand, if " in the beginning at least," as Mr. 
„^ T. , ^, Grant Allen * affirms, " every god was 

The ghost theory. ..■ n r i j 

nothing but an exceptionally powerful and 

friendly ghost — a ghost able to help, and from whose help 

great things may reasonably be expected," one can only wonder 

how people who desired to enlist his sympathy could have 

ventured to approach him in ways so inappropriate and 

disrespectful as those associated with magic. The greater the 

ghost, the more striking is the incongruity of the ritual. Take 

the case of a strong chief like the Zulu Chaka, who exercised 

the most absolute power in the most arbitrary fashion, and 

loomed so large in the consciousness of the tribe that he 

seemed to them none other than a god — how could they 

imagine that he who in life was so strong and so relentless 

should after death be at the beck and call of any medicine man 

who could mumble a formula correctly ? Surely, apotheosis 

can never have involved degradation. If there is any force in 

this line of argument, it leads us to the following dilemma: 

Either we must abandon the view that magic has everywhere 

preceded religion^ or we must throw over the theory that every 

god commenced life as a magnified ghost. But there is much in 

modern research that tends to confirm the former opinion, and 

it is hardly necessary to travel beyond the Vedas for proof of 

its validity. Vedic ritual is full of imitative or sympathetic 

magic, which almost everywhere appears as a palpable survival 

from older modes of worship. 

The ancestral theory, on the other hand, or at any rate that 

extreme form of it with which we are now 
'^'°''wo°sMp!'''°" concerned, is less firmly established. No 

one of course disputes the existence of 
ancestor-worship, or denies that every Pantheon has been 
largely recruited from men, not always of the most respectable 

[* The Evolution of the Idea of God, 1897, p. 71.] 



CASTE AND RELIGION 229 

antecedents, who have fascinated the popular imagination by 
their doings in life or by the tragic or pathetic fashion of their 
death. India can show a motley crowd of such divinities. 
Priests and princesses, pious ascetics and successful dacoits, 
Indian soldiers of fortune and British men of action, bride- 
grooms who met their death on their wedding day, and virgins 
who died unwed, jostle each other in a fantastic Walpurgis 
dance where new performers are constantly joining in and old 
ones seldom go out. How niodern some of these personages 
are may be seen from a few illustrations. In 1884 Keshab 
Chandra Sen, the leader of one of the numerous divisions of the 
Brahmo Samaj, narrowly escaped something closely resembling 
deification at the hands of a section of his disciples. A revela- 
tion was said to have been received enjoining that the chair 
used by him during his life should be set apart and kept sacred, 
and the Legal Member of the Viceroy's Council was invited to 
arbitrate in the matter. Sir Courtenay Ilbert discreetly refused 
" to deal with testimony of a kind inadmissible in a Court of 
Justice;" the parties to the dispute arrived at a compromise 
among themselves; and the apotheosis of the famous preacher 
remained incomplete. In Bombay a personage of a very 
different type has been promoted to divine honours. Sivaji, the 
founder of the Maratha Confederacy, has a temple and image in 
one of the bastions of the fort at Malvan in the Ratnagiri 
district and is worshipped by the Gauda caste of fishermen. 
This seems to be a local cult, rather imperfectly developed, as 
there are no priests and no regular ritual. But within the last 
generation smaller men have attained even wider recognition. 
By the aid of railways and printing, the fame of a modern deity 
may travel a long way. Portraits of Yashvantrao, a subordinate 
revenue officer in Khandesh, who ruined himself by promiscuous 
almsgiving, and sacrificed his official position to his reluctance to 
refuse the most impossible requests, are worshipped at the 
present day in thousands of devout households. Far down in 
the south of India, I have come across cheap lithographs of a 
nameless Bombay ascetic, the Swami of Akalkot in Sholapur, 
who died about twenty years ago. In life the Swami seems to 
have been an irritable saint, for he is said to have pelted with 
stones any ill-advised person who asked questions about his 
name and antecedents. As he was reputed to be a Mutiny 
refugee, he may have had substantial reasons for guarding his 
incognito. He is now revered from the Deccan to Cape 
Comorin as Dattatreya, a sort of composite incarnation of 



230 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva, and has a temple and monastery of 
his own. 

Facts such as these lead one to surmise that some students 
of the modern science of religion have been so impressed by 
the undeniable facility with which historical personages are 
transformed into gods that they have rather overlooked the 
stages by which ancestor-worship has grown up, and have 
assumed that its latest form was also its earliest. Now, in 
India at any rate, we can trace in the funeral ceremonies, both 
of the Hindus and the Animists, survivals of ideas which have 
every appearance of going back to a far older phase of the 
religious instinct than that which leads to the deification of 
famous men. In the Vedic ritual, for example, as given by 
Gobhila, a prominent feature is the banquet offered to the 
souls of the dead — a rite which is met with among primitive 
people all over the world. Here is no suggestion that the 
souls go to heaven ; they abide on or under the earth near 
the dwellings of men, and wait for the living to supply them 
with food and clothes. These pia munera are offered at monthly 
intervals, but the motive which inspires them is plainly dis- 
closed by the symbolical acts which accompany the offering. 
At the close of the ceremony the dead ancestors are bidden to 
depart to their ancient habitations deep under the earth; the 
footprints of the mourners are swept away with a branch lest 
the souls should track the living to their homes ; every man 
shakes out the corners of his garments for fear an importunate 
spirit lurk somewhere in their folds ; a stone or a clod of earth 
is set up to bar the soul's return ; the funeral party step over 
running water which spirits cannot pass, and are careful not to 
look behind them on their way home. For the same reason 
the Mangars of Nepal obstruct the road leading from the grave 
with a barricade of thorns, through which the soul, conceived 
of as a miniature man, very tender and fragile, is unable to 
force its way. The Kol, the Oraon, and the Bhumij are even 
now in the stage which appears in Vedic ritual as a mere 
survival. They do not worship their ancestors, in any intel- 
ligible sense of the word. That is to say, they do not pray to 
them as the Vedic people did, for male offspring, length of 
days, abundant flocks and herds, and victory over their enemies. 
It is true that they appease them with food, but this they do, 
partly from a kindly regard for their welfare, but mainly to 
deter them from coming back and making themselves un- 
pleasant. None of their gods can be shown to be deified 



CASTE AND RELIGION 231 

ancestors, nor do any of them bear personal names. There is 
another point which deserves notice. Among all these tribes 
memorial stones are set up to mark the spots where the ashes 
of the headmen of the village have been buried. Some of these 
stones are rounded off at the top into the rudimentary sem- 
blance of a head. Yet the stones are not worshipped, nor are 
similar stones erected in honour of the powers .which are 
worshipped. If these powers were once upon a time ancestors 
or chiefs of the tribe, how did they come to lose the stones 
which were their due ? Thus the usages of both Aryans and 
Dravidians point to a conception of the souls of the dead as 
neither immortal nor divine, and as depending for their sub- 
sistence on human ministrations, which are rendered more in 
fear than in affection, and are coloured throughout by the 
desire to deter these unwelcome guests from revisiting the 
abodes of the living. If these are the oldest ideas on the sub- 
ject, as most authorities seem to hold, are we not justified in 
regarding with some suspicion the theory that everywhere and 
among all people the first step in the evolution of religion was 
the transformation of the revenant into a god ? At any rate, the 
beliefs and practices of the most vigorous of the Dravidian 
races, the compact tribes of Santals, Mundas, Oraons, and Hos, 
seerh, so far as they go, to lend some support to the hypothesis 
that the beginnings of religion are to be sought in the recog- 
nition of impersonal forces which men endeavour to coerce by 
magic ; that personal gods, approached by prayer and sacrifice, 
are a later development ; and that the deification of chiefs and 
ancestors is probably the latest stage of all — a stage reached, it 
may be, by means of the ambitious fiction which commenced 
by claiming certain gods as ancestors, and ended by trans- 
forming some ancestors into gods. 

We may now sum up the leading feature of Animism in 

India. It conceives of man as passing 

, ... 1 , , , , ; Animism in India, 

through life surrounded by a ghostly com- 
pany of powers, elements, tendencies, mostly impersonal in 
their character, shapeless phantasms of which no image can be 
made and no definite idea can be formed. Some of these have 
departments or spheres of influence of their own : one presides 
over cholera, another over small-pox, and another over cattle 
disease ; some dwell in rocks, others haunt trees, others again 
are associated with rivers, whirlpools, waterfalls, or- with 
strange pools hidden in the depths of the hills. All of them 
require to be diligently propitiated by reason of the ills which 



232 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

proceed from them, and usually the land of the village provides 
the ways and means for this propitiation. In the Ranchi 
district of Chutia Nagpur there is a tenure called Bhut-Kheta, 
which may be interpreted Devil's Acre, under which certain 
plots of land are set apart for the primitive priest whose duty 
it is to see that offerings are made in due season, and that the 
villagers are protected from the malign influences of the 
shadowy powers who haunt the dark places of their immediate 
environment. The essence of all these practices is magic. If 
certain things are done decently and in order, the powers of 
evil are rendered innocuous in a mechanical but infallible 
fashion. But the rites must be correctly performed, the magic 
formulae must be accurately pronounced, or else the desired 
eff'ect will not be produced. It is, I think, unfortunate, that at 
the time when Sir E. B. Tylor's great book on Primitive Culture 
was written, the essential distinction between magic and religion 
had not been clearly defined. Had this been so, had we then 
known all that Sir J. G. Frazer has since told us, I venture to 
doubt whether the term Animism would ever have come into 
existence. Considerations of ritual and usage, rather than of 
mythologies, traditions, and cosmogonies, would have led Sir 
E. B. Tylor to the conclusion that the governing factor in these 
primitive religions is to be sought not in belief, not in any com- 
pact theory as to dreams, spirits, or souls, but in the magical 
practices which enter into the daily life of semi-civilized men. 
Premising then that when we speak of Animism what we 
Eelation between really mean is that exceedingly crude form 
Animism and popu- of religion in which magic is the predomi- 
lar Hinduism. ^^^^ element, we may go on to consider 

what is the relation between Animism and popular Hinduism. 
Several definitions of Hinduism are contained in the literature 
of the subject. In his report on the Punjab Census of 1881 
(para. 214), Sir Denzil Ibbetson described it as — 

"A hereditary sacerdotalism with Brahmans for its Levites, the vitality of which is 
preserved by the social institution of caste, and which may include all shades and diversities 
of religion native to India, as distinct from the foreign importations of Christianity and 
Islam, and from the later outgrowths of Buddhism, more doubtfully of Sikhism, and still 
more doubtfully of Jainism." 

A few years later Babu Guru Prasad Sen said that Hinduism 
was " what the Hindus, or a major portion of them, in a Hindu 
community do." * Sir Athelstane Baines, who was Census 
Commissioner in 1891, proceeded by the method of exclusion, 

[* Introduction to the Study of Hindnism,'^\%^'^, p. 9.] 



CASTE AND RELIGION 233 

and defined Hinduism as "the large residuum that is not Silch, 
or Jain, or Buddhist, or professedly Animistic, or included in 
one of the foreign religions such as Islam, Mazdaism, Chris- 
tianity, or Hebraism."* More recently, Sir Alfred Lyall, t the 
first living authority on the subject, roughly described it as 
"the religion of all the people who accept the Brahmanic 
Scriptures." He went on to speak of it as "a tangled jungle of 
disorderly superstitions." Finally, he called it " the collection 
of rites, worships, beliefs, traditions, and mythologies that are 
sanctioned by the sacred books and ordinances of the Brahmans 
and are propagated by Brahmanic teaching." The general 
accuracy of this newest definition is beyond dispute, but I 
venture to doubt whether it conveys to any one without Indian 
experience even an approximate idea of the elements out of 
which popular Hinduism has been evolved, and of the con- 
flicting notions which it has absorbed. From this point of 
view Hinduism may fairly be described as Animism more or less 
transformed by philosophy, or, to condense the epigram still 
further, as magic tempered by metaphysics. The fact is that 
within the enormous range of beliefs and practices which are 
included in the term Hinduism, there are comprised entirely 
different sets of ideas, or, one may say, widely different con- 
ceptions of the world and of life. At one end, a,t the lower end 
of the series is Animism, an essentially materialistic theory of 
things which seeks by means of magic to ward off or to fore- 
stall physical disasters, which looks no further than the world 
of sense, and seeks to make that as tolerable as the conditions 
will permit. At the other end is Pantheism combined with 
a system of transcendental metaphysics. 

I will give two simple illustrations of the lower set of ideas. 

In a small sub-divisional court, where I 

J . J • 1 , , r Illustration of 

used once to dispense what passed for Animistic ideas. 

justice in the surrounding jungles, there 

was tied to the railings which fenced off" the presiding officer 

from the multitude a fragment of a tiger's skin. When 

members of certain tribes, of whom the Santals were a type, 

came into court to give evidence, they were required to take a 

peculiar but most impressive oath the use of which was, I 

believe, entirely illegal. Holding the tiger's skin in one hand, 

the witness began by invoking the power of the sun and moon, 

and, after asseverating his intention to speak the truth, he 

* Census Report, India, 1891, p. 158.] 
[t Asiatic Studies, 1899, vol. ii., p. 288.] 



234 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

.ended up by devoting himself to be devoured by the power of 
the tiger in case he should tell a lie. Some of the tribes who 
used to swear this weird oath have now been caught up in the 
wide-spread net of Hinduism, and have already parted with 
their tribal identity. Others again, like the Santals, are made 
of sterner stuff, and still preserve an independent existence 
as compact and vigorous tribes. But the oath deserves 
remembrance as a vivid presentment of the order of ideas 
that prevails on the very outskirts of Hinduism. The reality 
of these ideas and the effectiveness of the sanction which they 
invoke, were sufiGciently attested by the manifest reluctance of 
a mendacious witness to touch the magic skin, and by the zeal 
with which the court usher insisted upon his taking a firm 
grasp of it. The people who swore thus in fear and trembling, 
and having sworn usually told the truth according to their 
lights., were not in the least afraid of the mere physical tiger. 
On the contrary, they slew him without the smallest com- 
punction, and carried off his corpse in triumph to claim the 
Government reward. Their most effective weapon was a very 
powerful bamboo bow, trained on the tiger's customary path, 
and carrying a poisoned arrow which was discharged by a 
string crossing- the track. This string was called the Kdl dori 
or "thread of death." At a short distance on either side of it 
were two other strings, known as dharm dori or " threads of 
mercy." If these were touched, they twitched the arrow off its 
rest, and rendered the bow innocuous. They were set at such 
a height that a tiger would walk under them, while a man or a 
cow would be bound to run against them. If one asked how 
goats escaped, one was told that they were protected by 
certain magical spells. The point which this digression seeks 
to establish is that the oath sworn in court derived its sanction 
not from any reverence for the tiger in the flesh, nor from the 
fear of being eaten by him, but from the vague dread of a 
mysterious tiger-power or tiger-demon, the essence and arche- 
type of all tigers, whose vengeance no man who swore falsely 
could hope to escape. 

If we move a few grades further up in the social scale, 
we find the worship of various kinds of Fetishes which the 
Portuguese seamen observed in West Africa in the middle of 
the isth century, still holding its own almost from' the top 
to the bottom of Hindu society. Here, again, it is ritual 
rather than the theories of the books that gives the clue to 
the actual beliefs of the people. How tenacious these beliefs 



CASTE AND RELIGION 235 

are, and in what curiously modern forms they frequently 
express themselves, may be gathered from the following 
instance, which, I believe, is now recorded for the first time. 
Every year when the Government of India moves from Simla 
to Calcutta, there go with it, as orderlies or chaprdsis, a number 
of cultivators from the hills round about Simla, who are 
employed to carry despatch boxes, and to attend upon the 
various grades of officials in that great bureaucracy. At the 
time of the spring equinox there is a festival called Sri 
Panchami, when it is incumbent on every 
religious-minded person to worship the '^^^^1^^!^^°'' 
implements or insignia of the vocation by 
which he lives. The soldier worships his sword ; the cultivator 
his plough; the money-lender his ledger; the Thags had a 
picturesque ritual for adoring the pickaxe with which they dug 
the graves of their victims; and, to take the most modern 
instance, the operatives in the jute mills near Calcutta bow 
down to the Glasgow-made engines which drive their looms. 
Five years ago I asked one of my orderlies what worship he 
had done on this particular occasion, and he was good enough 
to give me, knowing that I was interested in the subject, a 
minute description of the ritual observed. The ceremony took 
place on the flat roof of the huge pile of buildings which is 
occupied by the secretariats of the Government of India. 
The worshippers, some thirty in number, engaged as their 
priest a Punjabi Brahman, who was employed in the same 
capacity as themselves. They took one of the large packing 
cases which are used to convey office records from Simla to 
Calcutta, and covered its rough woodwork with plantain 
leaves and branches of the sacred plpal tree. On this founda- 
tion they set up an office despatch box which served as a 
sort of altar; in the centre of the altar was placed a common 
English glass ink-pot with a screw top, and round this were 
arranged the various sorts of stationery in common use, pen- 
holders and pen-nibs, red, blue, and black pencils, pen-knives, 
ink erasers, foolscap and letter-paper, envelopes, postage 
stamps, blotting paper, sealing wax, in short, all the clerkly 
paraphernalia by means of which the Government of India 
justifies its existence. The whole was draped with abundant 
festoons of red tape. To the fetish thus installed each of the 
worshippers presented with reverential obeisance grains of 
rice, turmeric, spices, pepper and other fruits of the earth, 
together with the more substantial off"ering of nine copper 



236 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

pice or farthings — " nttmero deus impare gaudet" — the perquisite 
of the officiating priest. The Brahman then recited various 
cabalistic formulae, supposed to be texts from the Vedas, of 
which neither he nor the worshippers understood a single 
word. When the ceremony was over, the worshippers attacked 
a vast mass of sweetmeats which had been purchased by a 
subscription of a rupee a head. The Bf ahman ate as much as 
he could, and they finished the rest. 1 asked my informant, who 
is a small landowner in one of the hill states near Simla, what 
he meant by worshipping an imported ink-pot when he ought 
to have worshipped a country-made plough. He admitted the 
anomaly, but justified it by observing that after all he drew 
pay from the department ; that the ink-pot was the emblem of 
the Government ; and that he had left his plough in the hills. 
These are the lower aspects of Hinduism, survivals of magical 
observances which show no signs of falling into disuse.* 

The Animistic usages of which we find such abundant 
traces in Hinduism appear, indeed, to have 

Sources of Animistic j ■ ^ ^i. ^• • r ^ j-cc 

usages. passed into the religion from two different 

sources. Some are derived from the Vedic 
Aryans themselves, others from the Dravidian races who have 
been absorbed into Hinduism. As to the first, Bergaigne has 
shown in his treatise on Vedic religion that the Vedic sacrifice, 
which is still performed by the more orthodox Hindus in 
various parts of India, is nothing more nor less than an imita- 
tion of certain celestial phenomena.! It is, in other words, 
merely sympathetic magic directed, in the first instance, to 
securing the material benefits of sunshine and rain in their 
appointed seasons. The Vedas themselves, therefore, are one 
source of the manifold Animistic practices which may now be 
traced all through popular Hinduism. They have contributed 
not only the imitative type of sacrifice, but also the belief, no 
less magical in its character, that by the force of penance and 
ascetic abnegation man may shake the distant seat of the gods 

* The practice of worshipping office furniture seems to be older than I had supposed. I 
am indebted to the Honourable Mr. Miller, C.S.I., Member of the Viceroy's Council, for the 
following quotation : "All the working classes offer sacrifices and worship on stated days to 
the implements through which their subsistence is obtained ; Sahukars and merchants to 
their ledgers and hoards of treasure ; and revenue servants to the Diiftar, or public records, 
of their departments." Report on the Territories of the Rajah of Nagpore. By Richard 
Jenkins, Esq., Resident at the Court of the Rajah of Nagpore, 1827, p. 53. [It is described 
by H. H. Wilson, Essays and Lectures chiefly on the Religion of the Hindus, 1862, vol. ii., 
p. 187 ; W. Crooke, Popular Religion and Folk-lore of Northern India, 2nd ed., 1896, 
vol. ii., p. 185 et seg.'] 

t La Religion VMique, i, 125. See also Oldenberg, Die Religion Des Veda, 



CASTE AND RELIGION 237 

and compel them to submit themselves to his will. It would 

be fruitless to attempt to distinguish the two streams of 

magical usage — the Vedic and the Animistic. They are of 

mixed parentage like the people who observe them, partly 

Indo-Aryan and partly Dravidian. 

At the other end of the scale, in the higher regions of 

Hinduism, the dominant idea is " what is _ 

I, I T\ f • -1 • Pantneism. 

called rantheism, that is, the doctrine that 

all the countless deities, and all the great forces and operations 

of nature, such as the wind, the rivers, the earthquakes, the 

pestilences, are merely direct manifestations of the all-pervading 

divine energy which shows itself in numberless forms and 

manners." * Of this doctrine the most eloquent and effective 

description is that given in the Sixth book of the ^neid (724-729) 

— a passage so transfused with Indian thought that it is hardly 

possible to doubt" that its leading ideas are of Indian descent, 

though Virgil may have derived them from Ennius, and he 

again from the Pythagoreans of Magna Graecia. 

Principio cxium ac terras camposque liquentis 
Lucentemque globum Lunae Titaniaque astra 
Spiritus intas alit, totamque infusa per artus 
Mens agitat molem et magno se corpora miscet. 
Inde hominum pecudumque genus vitseque volantum 
Et quae marmoreo fert monstra sub oequore pontus. 

Here we seem at first sight to have travelled very far from 
the chaos of impersonal terrors that forms the stuff of which 
primitive religion is made. Yet it is easier to trace Pantheism 
to the gradual consolidation of the multifarious forces of 
Animism into one philosophic abstraction than to divine how 
a host of personal gods could have been stripped of their 
individual attributes and merged in a sexless and characterless 
world-soul. In a word. Animism seems to lead naturally to 
Pantheism ; while the logical outcome of Polytheism is Mono- 
theism. The former process has completed itself in India; 
the latter may be yet to come. 

Between these extremes of practical magic at the one end 
and transcendental metaphysics at the other, there is room for 
every form of belief and practice that it is possible for the 
human imagination to conceive. Worship of elements, of 
natural features and forces, of deified men, ascetics, animals, 
powers of life, organs of sex, weapons, primitive implements, 
modern machinery ; sects which enjoin the sternest forms of 

* Sir Alfred Lyall, Hinduism ; Religious Systems of the World, p. 113. 



238 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

asceticism ; sects which revel in promiscuous debauchery ; 
sects which devote themselves to hypnotic meditation; sects 
which practise the most revolting form of cannibalism— all of 
these are included in Hinduism and each finds some order of 
intellect or sentiment to which it appeals. And .through all 
this bewildering variety of creeds there is traceable the 
influence of a pervading pessimism, of the conviction that 
life, and more especially the prospect of a series of lives, is 
the heaviest of all burdens that can be laid upon man. The 
one ideal is to obtain release from the ever-turning wheel of 
conscious existence, and to sink individuality in the impersonal 
spirit of the world. 

Pantheism in India is everywhere intimately associated with 

the doctrine of metempsychosis. The origin 

ransm^raj.on an ^^ ^.j^j^ belief, deeply engrained as it is in all 

ranks of Indian society, is wholly uncertain. 
Professor Macdonell * tells us that "the Rig Veda contains no 
traces of it beyond the couple of passages in the last book 
which speak of the soul of a dead man as going to the waters 
or spirits," and he surmises that the Aryan settlers may have 
received the first impulse in this direction from the aboriginal 
inhabitants of India. To any Indian official who has served in 
a district where the belief in witchcraft is prevalent, the con- 
jecture appears a peculiarly happy one, for in the course of 
exercising his ordinary magisterial functions, he will have 
come across abundant evidence of the widespread conviction 
among savage people,^ not only that the souls of the dead 
may pass into animals and trees, but that living people may 
undergo a similar temporary transformation. But if they 
borrowed transmigration from the Dravidian inhabitants of 
India, the Indo-Aryans lent to it a moral significance of which 
no trace is to be found among the Animists. They supple- 
mented the idea of transmigration by the theory of self-acting 
retribution which is known as Karma. According to this 
doctrine every action, good or evil, that a man does in the 
course of his life, is forthwith automatically recorded for or 
against him, as the case may be. There is no repentance, no 
forgiveness of sins, no absolution. That which is done carries 
with it its inevitable consequences through the long succession 
of lives which awaits the individual soul before it can attain 
the Pantheistic form of salvation, and become absorbed in the 
world-essence from which it originally emanated. As the 

[* History of Sanskrit Literature, 1900, p. 115.] 



CASTE AND RELIGION 239 

wheel of existence goes on turning and man, who is bound 
to it, passes from one life to another, at the close of each a 
balance is struck which determines his condition in the life 
that follows. If the balance is against him, he descends to a 
lower grade; if it is in his favour, he moves up higher and 
ultimately, when the system of self-working retribution has 
run its course, he may attain to the final goal of the absolute 
extinction of individual existence. As Virgil puts it, in a 
phrase which has puzzled most of his commentators, " Quisque 
suos patimur manes." In the light of Indian speculation the 
meaning of the passage becomes clear. It embodies one of 
the leading ideas of Karma, that man through his actions is 
master of his fate. But the context discloses no trace of the 
characteristic Indian development that destiny is worked out 
by means of countless transmigrations. That doctrine seems 
at first sight to possess a fine moral flavour, and to harmonize 
with the teaching of the Greek dramatist Spa<ravTi Tra^stv. Un- 
fortunately for the ethical aspects of Karma, consciousness 
does not continue through the whole series of lives; at the 
close of each life a curtain of oblivion descends, and the 
Brahman whose sins have degraded him to the position of an 
over-tasked animal has no remembrance of the high estate 
from which he has fallen. The philosophic sinner, therefore, 
may eat his oysters in comfort, and console himself with the 
thought that, although undoubtedly a reckoning awaits him, 
he will have become somebody else by the time the bill is 
presented. 

Lucian, with his characteristic sense of the practical applica- 
tion of theological dogmas, has given a dramatic illustration 
of the problem touched upon above in the concluding episode 
of one of his most telling dialogues— The Shades at the Ferry 
or the Tyrant The scene opens with Charon waiting on the 
shore of Acheron for the daily consignment of souls which 
Hermes ought to have delivered. He complains to Clotho that 

he has not taken a penny all day, though ^ . 

... '^ , , . °.^ Lucian on Karma, 

the boat might have made three journeys if 

the passengers had only been up to time. At last Hermes 

appears puffing and blowing, drenched in sweat, and all over 

dust. He apologizes for being late, and explains how he took 

over from Atropos 1004 souls; but when ^Eacus came to check 

them with the invoice he found one short, and made unpleasant 

remarks about Hermes' thievish propensities and his talent -for 

practical jokes. It was then discovered that one Megapenthes, 



240 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

the tyrant of a small Greek city, whom his courtiers had 
poisoned, had managed to slip away, and Hermes, aided by the 
shade of a sturdy philosopher armed with a club, had a sharp 
race to catch him just as he was regaining the light of day. 
Even when recaptured and dragged down to the boat, Mega- 
penthes still struggles for a respite. He offers Clotho ten 
thousand talents and two golden mixing bowls, for which he 
had murdered his friend Kleokritus, as a bribe to let him live 
till he can complete his half-finished palace, or can at least tell 
his wife where his great treasure is buried. When this is 
refused, he makes what he calls the modest request to live 
long enough to conquer the Persians, to exact tribute from the 
Lydians, and to build himself a colossal monument. Eventually 
he is hustled into the boat, and the cobbler Micyllus is deputed 
to sit on his head and keep him quiet. 

While crossing the ferry, Charon collects the fares from 
every one except the philosopher and the cobbler, neither of 
whom has an obolus to his name. On landing, the ghostly 
company are brought before Rhadamanthus ; each one is 
stripped to show the brands which his past sins have stamped 
upon his soul (surely an artistic echo of the doctrine oi Karma), 
and the cases proceed. The philosopher Cyniscus, who helped 
to catch Megapenthes, appears as his prosecutor; Hermes 
calls on the case. The tyrant pleads guilty to a variety of 
murders, but denies certain other counts in the indictment. 
The dialogue continues :— 

" Cy. — I can bring witnesses to these points too, Rhadaman- 
thus. 

Rhad. — Witnesses, eh? 

Cy. — Hermes, kindly summon his Lamp and Bed. They 
will appear in evidence, and state what they know of his 
conduct. 

Her. — Lamp and Bed of Megapenthes, come into court. 
Good, they respond to the summons. 

Rhad.— 'Now, tell us all you know about Megapenthes. 
Bed, you speak first. 

Bed.— All that Cyniscus said is true. But really, Mr. Rhada- 
manthus, I don't quite like to speak about it; such strange 
things used to happen overhead. 

Rhad. — Why, your unwillingness to speak is the most 
telling evidence of all ! Lamp, now let us have yours. 

Lamp. — What went on in the daytime I never saw, not 
being there. As for his doings at night, the less said the 



CASTE AND RELIGION 241 

better. I saw some very queer things, though, monstrous 
queer. Many is the time I have stopped taking oil on purpose, 
and tried to go out. But then he used to bring me close up. 
It was enough to give any lamp a bad character. 

Rhad. — Enough of verbal evidence. Now, just divest your- 
self of that purple, and we will see what you have in the way 
of brands. Goodness gracious, the man's a positive network ! 
Black and blue with them ! Now, what punishment can we 
give him? A bath in Pyriphlegethon? The tender mercies 
of Cerberus, perhaps ? 

Cy. — No, no. Allow me, — I have a novel idea; something 
that will just suit him. 

Rhad. — Yes ? I shall be obliged to you for a suggestion. 
Cy.—l fancy it is usual for departed spirits to take a draught 
of the water of Lethe ? 
Rhad. — Just so. 

Cy. — Let him be the sole exception. 
Rhad. — What is the idea in that ? 

Cy. — His earthly pomp and power for ever in his mind ; 
his fingers ever busy * on the tale of blissful items ; — 'tis a 
heavy sentence ! 

Rhad. — True. Be this the tyrant's doom. Place him in 
fetters at Tantalus' side, — never to forget the things of earth." f 
One is tempted to wonder whether Lucian, himself an 
Asiatic and a singularly detached observer of the religious ideas 
of his day, can have realized the dilemma which his dialogue 
suggests, that immortality marred by old memories would be 
at best but a sorry boon, while, if purged of its memories, it 
would not be immortality at all. Achilles, as we see him in 
the Odyssey striding across the mead of asphodel, is haunted 
by heroic discontent ; had he drunk the waters of Lethe, he 
would have purchased harmony with his surroundings at the 
price of his unique personality. Arguing from the experiences 
duly recorded by Homer and other classical authorities, it 
would seem that in order to find even Elysium a tolerable 
abode, the shade of a departed hero ought to be furnished with 
a discreetly eclectic memory, which would reject all things 
disagreeable, and would recall only the pleasant incidents of 
the vista of the past. Failing this alternative, which would 
have savoured too frankly of the miraculous to commend itself 

* avairiiJ.irtii6ii.evos, " Counting over to himself on his fingers." 

t The Works of the Lucian of Samosata. Translated by H. W. and F. G. Fowler. 
Clarendon Press, 1906. Vol. i., pp. 244-46. 

R, PI 16 



242 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

to his critical temperament, one can imagine Lucian accepting, 
as a comiortahle pts-aller, the Hindu solution or evasion of the 
problem by which the fatal gift of eternal reminiscence is 
bestowed only on those who have been so wise and virtuous 
as to have neither faults nor follies to forget. 

Comparisons have frequently been drawn between various 
aspects of life under the later Roman Empire and correspond- 
ing phases of Indian society under British rule. In the domain 
of religion the resemblances and contrasts between the two 
sets of phenomena are close and striking. In both our atten- 

. . ^-n . tion is at once engaged by the bewildering 
Ancient Paganism .,..°°,,. ., 

and modern Hindu- multitude of deities embodying in human or 

^s™- animal form the visible powers of nature 

and the great operative principles that underlie them, birth and 
decay, death and regeneration, the cycle of conscious existence 
with its infinite variety, the lusts of the flesh, the pride of life, 
and the more subtle pride of ascetic renunciation. The motley 
crowd comprises gods who once were men, gods borrowed 
from strange people whose origin is a mystery, gods of hills 
and woods, rivers and streams, guardians of the collective life 
of the village, patrons of the family life that centres round the 
domestic hearth, kindly ancestors who watch over the destinies 
of their descendants, spiteful and malicious ghosts of those 
who came to a bad end, or were denied the appointed rites 
of sepulture. Of all these types of divinity there were count- 
less instances in the Roman Empire of St. Augustine's time 
as in the India of to-day. In Rome too, as in India, the higher 
minds had risen under the influence of philosophy to the con- 
ception of one great central power, the unknown and perhaps 
unknowable reality hidden behind the crowd of symbolical 
gods and goddesses and the manifold fantastic illusions of the 
world of sense. In both countries the refining instincts of 
philosophy manifest themselves in the efforts made to explain 
away myths which are felt to be wanting in the quality of 
edification. To the Roman with a turn for metaphysical specu- 
lation "Saturn devouring his children is intelligence returning 
upon itself" * For the Hindu of similar tendencies the legend 
which recounts how Krishna in his riotous youth stole the 
clothes of certain milkmaids while they were bathing, retired 
with them up a tree, and made the unfortunate girls sue in 
person for the restitution of their garments, illustrates, in the 

* Sir S. Dill, Roman Society in the Last Century of the Western Empire, 2nd ed., 1899, 
p. 104. 



CASTE AND RELIGION 243 

form of a gross popular tale, the struggles of the human spirit 
to attain to the beatific vision of absolute truth, naked and 
unadorned, stripped of the material raiment that conceals her 
from, mortal eyes. The lingam, a phallic emblem of the vis 
genetrix natures believed by some to have been derived from 
Dravidian sources, is idealized as "the symbol of the great 
Pillar of Fire, which is the most characteristic manifestation 
of Mahadeva, the destroying element which consumes all dross 
but only purifies the gold." The churning of the sea of milk 
with the mountain Mandara and the serpent Vasuki is an 
allegory expressing the modern theory of the genesis of the 
chemical elements. 

Like Hinduism again, classicaL Paganism was surprisingly 
flexible and adaptive, and opened its doors with impartial 
hospitality to any god whose acquaintance the legionaries 
might have made in the course of travel or conquest. Even 
Julius Csesar, whom one would credit with some critical 
faculty, discovers Mercury, Apollo, Mars, Jupiter, and Minerva 
among the deities of Gaul ; * and in the vision of Lucius, 
described by Apuleius, Isis is made to reveal herself as one 
shape with many names worshipped in 
Phrygia as Cybele the mother of the gods ; p^glnism^ ° 

in Athens as Minerva ; in Cyprus as the 
Paphian Venus; in Crete as Diana; in Sicily as Proserpina; 
and at Eleusis as Ceres. The Indian system of avatars could 
hardly evolve a more comprehensive personality. Indeed, in 
this matter of borrowing other people's gods Hinduism appears 
to me hardly to have gone so far as Paganism. The latter, of 
course, had a far greater choice of religions to borrow from as 
the boundaries of the Empire were gradually extended, and it 
may well be that the narrow formalism of the early Roman 
religion predisposed its votaries to embrace the more emotional 
beliefs of the East. Sir S. Dill finds an illustration of this in 
the popularity of the worship of Mithra, a solar cult adopted 
about 70 B.C. from certain Cilician pirates conquered by 
Pompey. Mithraism seems to have appealed to the Roman 
world by the mystical character of its ritual, by its secret 
ceremonies of initiation into a close guild of devotees com- 
prising many degrees of holiness, and by its promise of purifi- 
cation from sin which culminated in the Taurobolium or baptism 
to righteousness in the blood of a slaughtered bull. Nothing 
could well be more foreign to the ideas of the elder generation 

* De Bell. Gall., vi. 17. 



244 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

of Romans, who looked upon religious observances as a sort of 
legal obligation towards the gods and discouraged as superstitio 
any excessive manifestation of devotion. Yet nothing brings 
out more clearly the innate adaptiveness of the Roman form of 
Paganism, which in this respect closely resembles Hinduism. 
It may be that Hinduism has borrowed more extensively than 
we know, but the foreign material has been so completely 
absorbed that its source can no longer be traced. This process 
must have been facilitated by the fact that, unlike some of the 
races conquered by Rome, the Dravidians themselves were 
anxious to adopt Hinduism, and were merged along with their 
tribal deities in a system which makes ample provision for both 
social and religious obligations. 

On its metaphysical side Roman Paganism seems to have 
been hardly so well equipped as Hinduism. Apart from the 
Weaker thanHin- breams of a few mystics, it had behind it no 
duism in metaphy- definite philosophical system, no compact 
Bios and ethics. theory of life and destiny, such as Hinduism 

possesses in its doctrines of the world-soul whence all things 
arise and have their being, of the illusiveness of sensory 
phenomena, and of the cycle of retributive and purifying 
transmigration through which the human soul attains ultimate 
release by absorption into the primal essence. These ideas 
are not the monopoly of the learned : they are shared in great 
measure by the man in the street. If you talk to a fairly 
intelligent Hindu peasant about the paramdtma, karma, mayd, 
mukti, and so forth, you will find, as soon as he has got over 
his surprise at your interest in such matters, that the terms are 
familiar to him, and that he has formed a rough working theory 
of their bearing upon his own future. The religious life of the 
bulk of the Roman people was passed on a lower plane. 
Involved in a dreary maze of trivial beliefs, petty superstitions, 
and minute observances, they were condemned, in the words of 
their own poet, " Errare afque viani palanies qucerere vitce," 
without the metaphysical clue to the riddle of existence which 
guides the thoughtful Hindu. The road which the latter must 
travel may not to our eyes offer an exhilarating prospect, but 
at least his path is clear. 

In the department of ethics Paganism was equally weak. 
It had no dogmatic system to regulate personal conduct, and 
it lacked the moral tone and discipline which Christianity 
introduced into the world and infused with a spirit of enthu- 
siasm and self-sacrifice. The Emperor Julian was keenly 



CASTE AND RELIGION 245 

sensible of "these defects. A prominent feature of his abortive 
revival of Paganism was his attempt to reform the priesthood 
itself and to regenerate the ancient worship " by borrowing 
a dogmatic theology from Alexandria, an ecstatic devotion 
from Persia, a moral ideal from Galilee."* Hinduism cannot 
be charged with indifference to moral ideals. Its sacred litera- 
ture teems with pious reflexions on the vanity of human life, 
the glory of renunciation, the necessity of good works, the 
duty of sympathy with all living things, the beauty of for- 
bearance, the hatefulness of revenge, and the power of man to 
determine his own fate by right conduct. It appeals both to 
the intellect and to the emotions, and it derives a certain 
measure of support from the social penalties imposed by the 
caste system. 

In one direction only does Paganism seem to have the 
better of Hinduism as a national religion. Its intimate con- 
nexion with the corporate life of the community and its capacity 
for personifying abstract ideas enabled it to 
embody in the form of Roma Dea the con- *'^°"^^timent.^°^* 
quering and organizing genius of the Latin 
race, the centuries of struggle and victory by which Rome had 
won the mastery of the world. Devotion to the goddess of the 
Imperial City was one of the strongest obstacles to the triumph 
of the Christian Church. Hinduism has never given rise to 
that sentiment of patriotism which in the last .days of Rome 
still clung to the old gods as the symbols of the earlier regime, 
of the city that had lost its liberties, of the republic that had 
long been dead, of the Empire that was crumbling to pieces 
before the inroads of the barbarians. We may search in vain 
among the myriads of Hindu divinities for a Palladian Athena 
or a Capitoline Jupiter ; the germs of a national cult are entirely 
wanting ; there are no gods of cities or states ; there is no 
nucleus of religion round which patriotic enthusiasm might 
rally and gather force. 

It has been shown above that no sharp line of demarcation 
can be drawn between Hinduism and Animism. The one 
shades away insensibly into the other, and the most obvious 
test— the employment of priests who claim to be Brahmans — 
is liable in practice to be defeated by the doubt whether these 
Brahmans themselves are anything more than animistic sooth- 
sayers writ large. Taking the adherents of the two cults 
together, they number close on 216 millions, and comprise 

* Dill, loc cit,, p. 100. 



246 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

nearly three-fourths (73-3 per cent.) of the population of India. 
Islam comes next with 62^ millions or 21 per cent. ; Buddhism 
counts nearly 9J millions or three per cent. ; Christianity has a 
little under 3 millions or i per cent. During the ten years 
preceding the Census of 1901, the Muhammadans increased by 
9 per cent, and the Christians by nearly 28 per cent.* In the 
case of the other two religions, the facts are obscured by 

statistics of religion, uncertainty as to the figures The general 
position, however, is clear. Hinduism is the 
dominant religion of India ; in all its developments it is 
intimately associated with caste, and the two sets of factors, the 
social and the religious, can hardly be considered apart. The 
two rival creeds, Christianity and Islam— for Buddhism may 
be left out of account — avowedly reject the principle of 
caste, and have been affected by its influence solely through 
their contact with Hinduism. So long as Hinduism shows no 
decline from its present strength, caste will preserve its ancient 
reign, and nothing short of a great accession of strength to 
either Islam or Christianity can materially modify the social 
and religious future of India. Are there anj' signs of a 
tendency in this direction ? Can the figures of the Census of 1901 
be regarded as in any sense the forerunners of an Islamic or 
Christian revival which will threaten the citadel of Hinduism ? 
Or will Hinduism hold its own in the future as it has done 
through the long ages of the past ? 

The statistics of the Census of 1901 show that during a decade 
of famine the Muhammadans in India increased by 9 per cent, 
while the population as a whole rose by only 3 per cent. No 
doubt these proportions were affected by the fact that the 
famines were most severe in those parts of the country where 
Muhammadans are relatively least numerous, but in the fertile 
and wealthy region of Eastern Bengal, which has never been 
touched by real famine, though people on 
inerea^e^of Muham- ^^^^^ ^^^^ incomes suffer from high prices, 

their rate of increase was 12*3 per cent, or 
nearly double that of the Hindus. The figures illustrating the 
proportion of children tell a similar tale, and indicate that in 
that part of India the Muhammadans are not only "more enter- 

[* At the Census of 1911 Hindus, including Animists, numbered 227 millions (62 per 
cent, of the whole population) ; Muhammadans 66J millions (2I'2 per cent.) ; Buddhists lof 
millions (3-4 per cent.) ; Christians 3^ millions (i '2 per cent.). The percentages of increase 
since igoi were for Hindus 5 per cent. ; Muhammadans 7 per cent, j Buddhists 13 per cent. ; 
Christians 32 per cent. {Census of India Report, 1911, vol. i., p. 119 et seq.).'\ 



CASTE AND RELIGION 247 

prising and therefore better off than their Hindu neighbours," 
but also more prolific and more careful of their offspring. The 
reasons are not far to seek. The diet of the Muhammadans is 
more nourishing and more varied ; they are free from the 
damnosa hereditas of infant marriage enforced by social 
ostracism ; they are under no temptation to practise female 
infanticide ; they marry their girls at a more reasonable age, 
and fewer females become widows while still capable of bearing 
children. The influence of the itinerant preachers of Islam in 
its original purity is fast eradicating any tendency to imitate 
the Hindu prohibition of widow marriage, and Muhammadan 
widows escape the trials and temptations which beset the 
Hindu woman who is so unfortunate as to lose her husband 
while she is still young and attractive. As is pointed out in the 
Census Report of 1901, "in the case of the intrigues in which 
widows so often indulge, the Hindu female who thus becomes 
enceinte resorts to abortion, while the Musalmani welcomes the 
prospect of a child as means of bringing pressure upon her 
paramour and inducing him to marry her." 

Conversions from Hinduism to Islam must also contribute 
in some degree to the relatively more rapid growth of the 
Muhammadan population. Here no appeal to statistics is 
possible, but a number of specific instances of such changes of 
religion were extracted by Mr. Gait, c.i.e., 
from the reports of Hindu and Muhammadan HiAuenc^e o^ conver- 
gentlemen in twenty-four districts and pub- 
lished as Appendix II. to the Bengal Census Report of 1901. 
The motives assigned in various cases — names and particulars 
are usually given — may be grouped somewhat as follows : — 

(i) Genuine religious conviction of the purity and simplicity 
of Islam, derived from study of the Muhammadan scriptures or 
from the preaching of the Maulavis who go round the villages. 
The conversion of high-caste Hindus, Brahmans, Rajputs, 
Kayasths and the like is commonly ascribed to this cause. We 
hear, for example, from a Hindu source, of a wealthy Kayasth 
landholder of Eastern Bengal, who was suspected of holding 
unorthodox views, and consequently found difficulties in getting 
his daughter married. Indignant at what he deemed persecu- 
tion, he openly embraced Islam, assumed a Muhammadan 
name, and testified to his zeal by sacrificing cows "in the 
precincts of the very building where his father had worshipped 
the Hindu gods." Muhammadan society gave him a cordial 
welcome, and his daughter married into a high-class family. 



248 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

His wife, however, refused to change her religion and went 
back to her own people. 

(2) The growing desire on the part of the lower Hindu 
castes to improve their social position leads individuals among 
them to embrace a creed which seems to offer them a fair 
chance in life. Malis, Kahars, Goalas, Napits, Kans, Beldars and 
other castes of similar status furnish numerous illustrations of 
this tendency. 

(3) The proverb " Love laughs at caste " accounts for a 
large number of conversions. Hindus of all ranks of society 
succumb to the charms of good-looking Musalmani girls, and 
Muhammadans show themselves equally susceptible to the 
attractions of Hindu maidens. Hindu widows seek a refuge 
from their dreary lot in marriage with Muhammadans, while 
Hindu men who have been caught out in liaisons with girls of 
lower caste — an affair with a pretty gipsy is one of the instances 
cited — and find themselves socially stranded, prefer the respecta- 
bility of Islam to the mixed company of some dubious Vaishnava 
sect. In all such cases Islam gains and Hinduism loses, for 
caste rules are rigid and no individual can become a Hindu. 
These irregular attachments sometimes give rise to embarrass- 
ing situations. A Hindu gentleman of Eastern Bengal relates 
how a high-caste Hindu physician saw in the course of his 
practice a very handsome Muhammadan girl and fell so hope- 
lessly in love that he wanted to marry her. Her father insisted 
that he must turn Muhammadan, but after he had done so 
refused to give him the girl. Meanwhile he had of course been 
cast off by his own people and had become a social derelict. 

(4) Causes connected with taboos on food and drink and 
with various caste misdemeanours have also to be taken into 
account. Hindus in sickness or distress are tended by 
Muhammadans and take food and water from their hands ; the 
caste excommunicates them and they join the ranks of a more 
merciful faith. 

It is needless to observe that none of these causes, nor all 
of them taken together, exercise an influence wide or potent 
enough to bring about a great Islamic revival in India. The 
day of conversions en masse has passed, and there are no signs 
of its return. Nevertheless certain tendencies are discernible 
which may add materially to the number of individual con- 
versions. On the one hand, the Muhammadans may raise their 
standard of education, they may organize and consolidate their 
influence, they may establish their claim to larger representa- 



CASTE AND RELIGION 249 

tion in the Legislative Councils and in Government service, 
and they may thus come to play in Indian public life a part 
more worthy of the history and traditions of their faith. On 
the other hand, the spread of English education among the 
middle and lower ranks of Hindus may lead to a revolt against 
the intolerance of the higher castes, and in particular against 
their virtual monopoly of place and power. In Southern India 
whole castes have been known to become Muhammadans 
because the Brahmans would not allow them to enter Hindu 
temples and compelled them to worship outside. It is con- 
ceivable that other castes in other parts of India will some day 
realize that for the low-born Hindu the shortest road to success 
in life, whether at the bar or in the public service, may lie through 
the portals of Islam. 

Faithful to its earliest traditions, Christianity in India has 
from the first devoted itself to the poor and lowl}', and its most 
conspicuous successes have been attained among the Animists 
and the depressed castes on the margin of Hinduism. To the 
Animist haunted by a crowd of greedy and malevolent demons 
ever thirsting for blood, like the ghosts that influence of Chris- 
flocked round Ulysses, Christianity opens a tianity on the low- 
new world of love and hope. To the Pariah, °*^*^^- 
the Mahar, the Dher and a host of other helots it promises 
release from the most searching and relentless form of social 
tyranny — the tyranny of caste; it offers them independence, 
self-respect, education, advancement, a new life in an organized 
and progressive society. " These people," says Mr. Francis,* 
writing of the Pariahs of the South, " have little to lose by 
forsaking the creed of their forefathers. As long as they 
remain Hindus they are daily and hourly made to feel that 
they are of commoner clay than their neighbours. Any 
attempts which they may make to educate themselves or their 
children are actively discouraged by the classes above them : 
caste restrictions prevent them from quitting the toilsome, 
uncertain and undignified means of subsistence to which 
custom has condemned them, and taking to a handicraft or a 
trade : they are snubbed and repressed on all public occasions : 
are refused admission even to the temples of their gods ; and 
can hope for no more helpful partner of their joys and sorrows 
than the unkempt and unhandy maiden of the pdrdcheri] with 
her very primitive notions of comfort and cleanliness. 

[* Census Report, Madras, 1901, vol. i., p. 41 et seg.l 

t The ghetto of the typical South Indian village where the Pariahs herd together in 
irregular clusters of squalid palm-leaf huts. 



2SO PEOPLE OF INDIA 

" But once a youth from among these people becomes 
Christian his whole horizon changes. He is as carefully 
educated as if he was a Brahman ; he is put in the way of 
learning a trade or obtaining an appointment as a clerk ; he is 
treated with kindness and even familiarity by missionaries who 
belong to the ruling race ; he takes an equal part with his 
elders and betters in the services of the church ; and in due 
time he can choose from among the neat-handed girls of the 
Mission a vAie skilled in domestic matters and even endowed 
with some little learning. Nowadays active persecution of 
converts to Christianity is rare. So those who hearken to its 
teaching have no martyr's crown to wear, and sheltered, as they 
often are, in a compound round the missionary's bungalow, it 
matters little to its adherents if their neighbours look askance 
upon them. The remarkable growth in the numbers of the 
Native Christians thus largely proceeds from the natural and 
laudable discontent with their lot which possesses the lower 
classes of the Hindus, and so well do the converts, as a class, 
use their opportunities that the community is earning for itself 
a constantly improving position in the public estimation." 

In the face of this testimony can any one say that Christian 
Missions have been a failure in India ? To me at any rate it 
seems beyond question that the Missions which have devoted 
themselves to the Animists and the Helots chose their field 
wisely and worked it well. The fruit, no doubt, has not yet 
been brought to perfection, but if due allowance is made for 
the inherited tendencies of the converts, and the conditions in 
which they live, those who are responsible for this branch of 
missionary effort in India have no reason to be ashamed of 
their labours. They have been guided by the spirit of the 
apostolic age ; they have achieved much and they may yet 
accomplish more. There are, however, other missions which 
have worked on more ambitious lines and have set before 
themselves the ideal of converting the higher castes among the 
Hindus, in the hope that Christianity would filter downwards 
through the masses in the same way as Brahmanism, and thus 

would ultimately bring about the fulfilment 
S?het£ cas'e^ of M. Saint Hilaire's anticipation, " que Vlnde 

fimra par itre Chrihenne tout enttere." It is 
to these missions that my friend the Bishop of Madras refers 
when he says in a recent number of The Nineteenth Century that 
the Missionary "attacks which have been made for the last 
fifty years upon positions of almost impregnable strength , . . 



CASTE AND RELIGION 251 

undoubtedly have failed so far as the main purpose of Christian 
missions is concerned, viz. the winning of converts to faith in 
Christ and the building up of the Christian Church." The 
Bishop ascribes this failure to the operation of two causes. 
" The advance of higher education," he says, " has perceptibly 
increased the friction and antagonism between Europeans and 
Indians, and this has necessarily reacted strongly upon the 
attitude of educated Indians towards Christianity." The second 
cause is the influence of caste. The Bishop says — " The great 
obstacle to the conversion of the upper ranks of society is the 
impenetrable barrier of caste. The social system inflicts such 
tremendous penalties on conversion to Christianity that a 
convert from the higher castes is truly a miracle." 

All this is unquestionably true, but I am not sure that it is 
the whole truth. The antagonism to Europeans as such is a 
tendency of comparatively recent growth, and I should prefer 
to attribute it to the shortcomings of educational methods in 
India rather than to regard it as a necessary consequence of 
higher education itself May we not hope that this phase will 
pass away and that wider culture and freer social intercourse 
will bring with them a larger faith and will lead at any rate to 
wise tolerance of the small body of European fellow-workers 
in a common cause to whose honest if sometimes unsympathetic 
eff'orts the educated classes in India owe the position that they 
now occupy and the privileges that they enjoy ? Intellectual 
self-consciousness on the one side and racial aloofness on the 
other are defects which time and mutual forbearance may be 
expected to cure. The old order of things is visibly passing 
away ; much will depend upon the tact and discretion 
of the leaders of both races by whom the new order is 
introduced. 

The Bishop rightly dwells on the essential antagonism 
between the spirit of caste and the spirit of Christian teaching. 
The enthusiasm of humanity can make no terms with the 
principle of hereditary taboo. Not only are there no signs of 
any rapprochement between the two sets of ideas, but the 
inducement to seek in Christianity a refuge from the tyranny 
of caste has of late years been sensibly weakened by the 
modern tendency to relax those minor restrictions relating to 
food, drink, and travel which weighed heavily upon the educated 
classes. Within certain wide limits an advanced Indian can 
now do pretty much what he pleases in respect of such 
matters, and the probability of his turning Christian in order 



252 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

to escape vexatious social penalties has thereby become 
appreciably more remote. 

While admitting the validity of the reasons assigned by 
the Bishop for the failure of Christianity to attract the upper 
classes of India, I may perhaps be permitted to suggest that 
other and less obvious causes have contributed to the result. 
Caste, after all, is a fluid and variable institution which is ready 
enough to adapt itself to circumstances when called upon to 
surrender in sufficiently imperative terms. Had Christianity 
been presented in a form more congenial to the mystical Indian 
temperament, with the Logos as a humanized version of the 
paramdtma, one can imagine that it might have stood a better 
chance of success. Caste certainly would not have permanently 
blocked its path, any more than it succeeded in arresting the 
progress of Islam. Why then has Hinduism, hampered as it 
is, at any rate to outward view, by an unedifying mythology, 
a grotesque Pantheon, a burdensome ritual, a corrupt priest- 
hood, and above all by the taint of palpable idolatry, retained 
its sway over the higher minds to whom a simpler and purer 
faith might have been expected to offer irresistible attractions ? 
The main reason seems to be that to the educated Hindu 
religion is largely a matter of the intellect. He demands from 
it not merely spiritual comfort but philosophical conviction. 
A religion which rests upon no metaphysical basis, and which 
in his view does not even attempt to solve the great problems 
of life, cannot expect to command his acceptance. With all its 
shortcomings of precept and practice, Hinduism at least has 
behind it a philosophy which, in spite or perhaps because of 
its indolent pessimism, satisfies the Eastern mind and has 
fascinated some of the leading intellects of the West. To 
despair with Goethe and Schopenhauer is to despair in good 
company. In the domain of religion mere temperament counts 
for a good deal, and the Indian whose critical sense rejects as 
incredible the evidences of the Christian revelation finds no 
difficulty in accepting by intuition the Pantheistic dream which 
underlies his own philosophy. Nor does the strength of 
Hinduism lie only in its metaphy.sics. There are those who 
hold that the idea of karma, the theory that on each sin as it is 
committed there is passed a judgment from which there is no 
appeal, stands on a higher plane and exercises a greater moral 
influence than the Christian doctrines of repentance and the 
forgiveness of sins. The belief in a spiritual backstairs does 
not necessarily make for righteousness. 



CASTE AND RELIGION 253 

These seem to be among the leading motives that tend 
to deter the educated Hindu from seeking in Christianity a 
solution of the problems with which his speculative tempera- 
ment has for centuries been occupied. Of late years their 

strength has been greatly enhanced by the 

., c ,.u -J r T J- i.- Ti Nationalism and 

growth 01 the idea of an Indian nationality. the Arya Samaj. 

Indefinite and rudimentary as this idea is, it 

nevertheless inspires the small body of men who are possessed 

by it with the strongest antipathy to anything of foreign origin 

that is not absolutely indispensable, whether it be a particular 

religion or a particular form of textile manufactures. It is a 

notable fact that the Hindu sectarian movement which appeals 

most strongly to the educated classes is bitterly opposed to 

Christianity, and lays itself out not merely to counteract the 

efforts of missionaries, but to reconvert to Hinduism high-caste 

men who have become Christians. 

The Arya Samaj, founded about 1875 by Dayananda Saras wati 
on the basis of the infallibility of the four Vedas, stands out at 
the present time as the most conspicuous movement within the 
vast miscellany of beliefs and superstitions which go to make 
up the religion of the Hindus. It may, indeed, almost be 
described as a nationalist development of Hinduism. Taking 
their stand upon the Vedas,_as the divinely inspired scriptures 
of the Indo-Aryan race, the Aryas discover in them, by a liberal 
method of symbolical interpretation, not merely an ample store 
of moral and spiritual guidance, but " the germ of all modern 
knowledge including physical science." * They seek to revive 
Vedic practice in the matter of marriage, and hold that a girl 
should on no account be married before thirteen, and would do 
better to wait till she is fourteen or even sixteen. Young men 
ought not to marry before eighteen at the earliest. Widows 
are allowed to marry again, and several such marriages have 
taken place in high-caste Arya families. One of the primary 
duties of the sect is to " diffuse knowledge and dispel ignorance," 
and in pursuance of this precept they have already founded a 
number of educational institutions, the most important of which 
is the Dayanand Anglo-Vedic College at Lahore. 

The Arya movement has undoubtedly derived a great 
accession of force from its intimate association with the 
Khatris, whom Sir George Campbell described more than 
forty years agp as "one of the most acute, energetic, and 

* Report on the Census of the N,-W. P. and Qudh, igoi, by R. Burn, l.c.s., vol, i., p. 91. 



254 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

. remarkable races in India," and as being in the Punjab " all 
that Maratha Brahmans are in the Maratha country, besides 
engrossing the trade which the Maratha Brahmans have not. 
They are not usually military in their character, but are quite 
capable of using the sword when necessary." It is hardly an 
exaggeration to discover in the Khatris an epitome of the three 
twice-born castes of the traditional Hindu system. By founding 
the Sikh religion, and by continuing to furnish its priests, they 
have exercised within a sphere of some importance an influence 
elsewhere confined to the Brahmans. Their record of admini- 
strative and military success as ministers to the Mughal 
Emperors, as governors of Multan, Peshawar, and Badakhshan, 
and as generals in the Sikh army, is appealed to in support of 

their claim to be the modern representatives 
Khatria ^ of the ancient Kshatriyas; while by their 

activity in trade and their prominence in the 
ranks of the legal profession they have more than absorbed 
the functions of the ancient Vaisyas. A movement of this type, 
promoted by such influential supporters, seems to be of high 
promi^se, and may even contain the germ of a national religion. 
The Aryas start with a definite creed resting upon scriptures 
of great antiquity and high reputation ; their teaching is of a 
bold and masculine type and is free from the limp eclecticism 
which has proved fatal to the Brahmo Samaj ; they have had 
the courage to face the vital question of marriage reform ; and 
finally, they recognize the necessity of proselytism and do not 
hesitate to say "those who are not with us are against us." 
These are elements of strength, and the movement seems likely 
to gather to itself many adherents among the educated classes. 
Whether it will spread beyond the relatively small circle of 
literates seems to depend upon the reception that it meets with 
from the Brahmans who cater for the spiritual needs of the 
masses of the people.* Seeing that the Aryas condemn offer- 
ings to idols, pilgrimages, and bathing in sacred rivers, it 
seems doubtful whether the priests who live by promoting 

[* In Bengal, "unlike the United Provinces, where the Samaj is largely recruited from 
the educated classes, the Aryas of Patna are mostly members of the lower castes, such as 
Kurmis, Kahars, etc. ; its doctrines have found favour with only a limited number of Hindus 
and Musalmans of the higher classes. The explanation is that the theory of the submergence 
of caste in the Arya community appeals most to the lower classes, who regard the new system 
as improving their position and bringing them on a level with the upper classes. Moreover, 
the custom of widow marriage was already an established custom with many of them, and 
the sanction given to this practice by the new faith was no small attraction " {Census Report, 
Bengal, 1911, vol. i., p. 211).] 



CASTE AND RELIGION 255 

these modes of propitiating the gods will regard the new 
movement with favour. No signs of such a tendency are at 
present visible. But within its own sphere of influence the 
movement has achieved remarkable success. It offers to the 
educated Hindu a comprehensive body of doctrine purporting 
to be derived from Indian documents and traditions, and 
embodying schemes of social and educational advancement 
without which no real national progress is possible. In this 
revival of Hinduism, touched by reforming zeal and animated 
by patriotic enthusiasm, Christianity is likely to find a formidable 
obstacle to its spread among the educated classes. 

If follows from what has been already said that the 
supremacy of Hinduism as the characteristic religion of India 
is not as yet seriously threatened. The Animistic hem of the 
garment may, indeed, be rent off, and its fragments parted 
among rival faiths. But the garment itself, woven of many 
threads and. glowing with various colours, will remain intact 
and will continue to satisfy the craving for spiritual raiment of 
a loose and elastic texture which possesses the Indian mind. 
It has often been said that the advance of 
English education, and fnore especially of mndu^sm° 

the teaching of physical science, will make 
short work of the Hindu religion, and that the rising generation 
of Hindus is doomed to wander without guidance in the 
wilderness of agnosticism. This opinion seems to lose sight 
of some material considerations. Science, no doubt, is a 
powerful solvent of mythology and tradition, and the " seas of 
treacle and seas of butter " over which Macaulay made merry 
in his famous Minute are not likely to resist its destructive 
influence. But the human mind is hospitable and the Indian 
intellect has always revelled in the subtleties of a logic which 
undertakes to reconcile the most manifestly contradictory 
propositions. Men whose social and family relations compel 
them to lead a double life, will find little difficulty in keeping 
their religious beliefs and their scientific convictions in separate 
mental compartments. Putting aside, however, casuistry of 
this kind, an inevitable feature of a period of transition, it may 
fairly be said, in justice to the adaptability of Hinduism, that 
a religion which has succeeded in absorbing Animism is not 
likely to strain at swallowing science; The doctrine oi Karma, 
which in one of its aspects may be regarded as a sort of moral 
totalisator infallibly recording the good and bad actions of men, 
admits of being represented, in another aspect, as an ethical 



2S6 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

anticipation of the modern determinist doctrine that character 
and circumstance are the lords of life ; that the one is a matter 
of heredity and the other a matter of accident, and that the idea 
of man being master of his fate is no better than a pleasing 
fiction conjured up by human fantasy to flatter human egotism. 
Nor is this the last refuge of Hinduism. If it appeals to the 
intellect by its metaphysical teaching, it also touches the 
emotions by the beatific vision which it ofi'ers to the heart and 
the imagination. Sir G. Grierson * may or may not be right in 
holding that the doctrine of bhakti or ecstatic devotion, which 
has played so large a part in the later developments of 
Hinduism, was borrowed by Chaitanya from Christian sources. 
To some minds the evidence in support of this view may 
appear rather conjectural. But whatever may have been its 
origin, the idea has now taken its place among the characteristic 
teachings of Hinduism ; it has been absorbed in the fullest 
sense of the word. And a religion which rests both on 
philosophy and on sentiment is likely to hold its ground 
until the Indian temperament itself undergoes some essential 
change. 

[*,See Art. Bhakti-mdrga, in J. Hastings' Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, vol. ii. 
1909. P- 539 It ^f?-] 



CHAPTER VI 

THE ORIGIN OF CASTE 

Les dieux jaloux ont enfoui quelque part les tdmoignages de la descendance des 
choses. — De Guirin. 

No one can have studied the literature of social origins 
which has been so prolific of late years without feeling the 
force of Sir Henry Maine's remark that theories of primitive 
society are apt to land the enquirer in a region of " mud banks 
and fog." More especially is this the case in India, where the 
palaeological data available in Europe hardly exist at all, while 
the historical value of the literary evidence is impaired by the 
uncertainty of its dates, by the sacerdotal predilections of its 
authors, by their passion for wire-drawn distinctions and 
symmetrical classifications, and by their manifest inability to 
draw any clear line between fact and fancy, between things as 
they are and things as they might be, or as a Brahman would 
desire them to be. All these points are obvious at a glance ; 
they merely reflect the idiosyncrasies of the Indian intellect, 
its phenomenal memory, its feeble grasp of questions of fact, 
its subtle manipulation of impalpable theories, its scanty 
development of the critical faculty. Its strength lies in other 
lines of mental activity, in a region of transcendental specula- 
tion which does not lead to the making of history. 

These general grounds, which any enquirer can verify for 
himself at the shortest notice, might be 

^, I ^ i • <.-r ■ ..<.■ -J The origin of caste. 

thought to justify us in putting aside, as an 
insoluble and unprofitable conundrum, the much-discussed 
question of the origin of caste. But the Indian tradition as to 
the origin of caste is so inextricably mixed up with the most 
modern developments of the system ; its influence is so widely 
diffused ; and it forms so large a part of the working conscious- 
ness of the Hindu population of India that it can hardly be left 
out of account merely because it has no foundation in fact. It 

R, PI 17 



258 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

is indeed a fact in itself, a belief which has played, and continues 

to play, a large part in the shaping of Indian society, and whose 

curious vitality throws an instructive light on the inner workings 

of the Indian mind. To endeavour to understand the people of 

India, to enter into their point of view, and realize how things 

strike them, is the first condition of successful administration. 

As the work of Government becomes more complex and touches 

the life of the people at a greater number of points, as new 

interests spring up and old interests assume novel forms, the 

stronger is the obligation to know as much as possible of the 

society which our rule is insensibly but steadily modifying. 

The study of the facts is therefore essential, and we must take 

the theories, whether Indian or European, along with them. 

The search for origins, like the quest of the Sangreal, possesses 

endless fascination, and if it does not yield any very tangible 

results, it at least has the merit of encouraging research. 

Several theories of the origin of caste are to be found in the 

literature of the subject. The oldest and most famous is 

accepted as an article of faith by all orthodox Hindus, and its 

attraction extends, as each successive Census shows, through 

an ever-widening circle of aspirants to social distinction. It 

„, ^ ,. , appears in its most elaborate form in the 

The Indian theory. . . , i. ,. r -.i. i. • • i i r 

tenth chapter of that curious jumble of 
magic, religion, law, custom, ritual, and metaphysics, which is 
commonly called the Institutes of Manu. Here we read how 
the Anima Mundi, the supreme soul which "contains all created 
beings and is inconceivable," produced by a thought a golden egg, 
in which " he himself was born as Brahman, the progenitor of 
the whole world." Then "for the sake of the prosperity of the 
worlds, he caused the Brahmana, the Kshatriya, the Vaisya, 
and the Sudra to proceed from his mouth, his arms, his thighs, 
and his feet," and allotted to each of these their distinctive 
duties. The Brahman was enjoined to study, teach, sacrifice, 
and receive alms ; the Kshatriya to protect the people and 
abstain from sensual pleasures ; the Vaisya to tend cattle, to 
trade, to lend money, and to cultivate land; while for the 
Sudra was prescribed the comprehensive avocation of meekly 
serving the other three groups. Starting from this basis, the 
standard Indian tradition proceeds to trace the evolution of the 
caste system from a series of complicated crosses, first between 
members of the four original groups and then between the 
descendants of these initial unions. The men of the three 
higher groups might marry women of any of the groups below 



THE ORIGIN OF CASTE 

them, and if the wife belonged to the group next in ofd^ of 
precedence the children took her rank, and no new,^ste was 
formed. If, howevf?»^e mother came frojj^.a'gfTkfp lower down 
in the scale, her ^hildrHn belefftgsd-neifher to her group nor to 
their father's^ bi:;t formed a distinct caste called by a different 
name. Thus the son of a Brahman by a Vaisya woman is an 
Ambastha, to whom belongs the art of healing ; while if the 
mother is a Sudra, the son is a Nishada and must live by killing 
fish. The son of a Kshatriya father and a Sudra mother is " a 
being called Ugra, resembling both a Kshatriya and a Sudra, 
ferocious in his manners and delighting in cruelty." In all of 
these the father is of higher rank than the mother, and the 
marriages are held to have taken place in the right ord§r 
(anuloma, or " with the hair "). Unions of the converse type, in 
which the woman belongs to a superior group, are condemned 
as pratiloma, or "against the hair.'' The extreme instance of the 
fruit oipratiloma relations is the Chandal, the son of a Sudra by 
a Brahman woman, who is described as "that lowest of mortals," 
and is condemned to live outside the village, to clothe himself 
in the garments of the dead, to eat from broken dishes, to 
execute criminals, and to carry out the corpses of friendless 
men. But the Ayogavas, with a Sudra father and a Kshatriya 
mother, are not much better off, for the accident of their birth 
is sufificient to brand them as wicked people who eat repre- 
hensible food. Alliances between the descendants of these 
first crosses produce among others the Sairandhra, who is 
" skilled in adorning his master " and pursues as an alternative 
occupation the art of snaring animals ; and " the sweet-voiced 
Maitreyaka, who, ringing a bell at the appearance of dawn, 
continually praises great men." Finally, a fresh series of 
connubial complications is introduced by the Vratya, the twice- 
born men who have neglected their sacred duties and have 
among their direct descendants the Malla, the Licchivi, the 
Nata, the Karana, the Khasa, and the Dravida, while each of these 
in its turn gives rise to further mazes of hypothetical parentage. 
It is small wonder that European critics should have been 

so impressed by the unreal character of this ^^ ^. ^ . , 

*^ , ■' r -1 1 X- ^1 ^ Its historic elements, 

grotesque scheme of social evolution, that 

some of them have put it aside without further examination as 

a mere figment of' the systematizing intellect of the ingenious 

Brahman. Yet, fantastic as it is, it opens indirectly and 

unconsciously an instructive glimpse of pre-historic society 

in India. It shows us that at the time when Manu's treatise 



26o PEOPLE OF INDIA 

was cdmpiled, probably about the second century A.D., there 
must hav^~ existed an elaborate and highly developed social 
system, includttig~trib,al or national groups like the Magadha, 
Vaideha, Malla, Licchivi;--4Cl}asar, sDravida, S|ka, Kirata, and 
Chandal ; and functional groups sutly as the 'Anibastha, who 
were physicians, the Suta, who were concerned with horses 
and chariots, the Nishada, and the Margavas, Dasas, orKaivartas 
who were fishermen, the Ayogava, carpenters, the Karavara 
and Dhigvansa, workers in leather, and the Vena, musicians and 
players on the drum.* It is equally clear that the occupations 
of Brahmans were as diverse as they are at the present day, 
and that their position in this respect was just as far removed 
from that assigned to them by the traditional theory. In the 
list of Brahmans whom a pious householder should not enter- 
tain at a srdddha t we find physicians ; temple-priests ; sellers 
of meat ; shopkeepers ; usurers ; cowherds ; actors ; singers ; 
oilmen; keepers of gambling houses ; sellers of spices ; makers 
of bows and arrows ; trainers of elephants, oxen, horses or 
camels ; astrologers ; bird-fanciers ; fencing-masters ; archi- 
tects ; breeders of sporting dogs ; falconers ; cultivators ; 
shepherds ; and even carriers of dead bodies. The conclusions 
suggested by the passages cited from Manu are confirmed by 
Dr. Richard Pick's instructive study X of the structure of society 
in Bihar and the eastern districts of the United Provinces at the 
time of Buddha. Dr. Fick's work is based mainly upon the 
Jatakas or " birth-stories " of the southern Buddhists, and from 
these essentially popular sources, free from any suggestion of 
Brahmanical influence, he succeeds in showing that, at the 
period depicted, the social organization in the part of India 
with which his authorities were familiar did not differ very 
materially from that which prevails at the present day. Then, 
as now, the traditional hierarchy of four castes had no distinct 
and determinate existence ; still less had the so-called mixed 
castes supposed to be derived from them ; while of the Sudras 
in particular no trace at all was to be found. Then, as now, 
Indian society was made up of a medley of diverse and hetero- 
geneous groups, apparently not so strictly and uniformly 
endogamous as the castes of to-day, but containing within 



* Laws of Manu, G. Biihler, X, 22, 34, 36, 44. 

t Laws of Manu, III, 151 — 166. 

\ Die Sociale Gliederung im NordoslHchen Indian zu Buddha's Zeit. Von Dr. Richard 
Pick, Kiel, 1897. [T. W. Rhys Davids, Buddhist India, 1903, p. 32 et seq. ; Journal 
Royal Asiatic Society, 1901, p. 868.] 



• THE ORIGIN 0:E>CASTE 261 

themselves -tfee'gernTs oiir"or~Which the modern system has 

developed by natural and insensible stages. That development 

has been furthered by a Variety of influences which will be 

discussed below. 

Assuming that the writers of the law-books had before their 

eyes the same kind of social chaos that , 

. . ,.1. r: i ^- ii i ^ Its probable origin, 

exists now, the first question that occurs to 

one is : — From what source did they derive the theory of the 
four castes ? Manu, of course, as Sir Henry Maine has pointed 
out, is a relatively modern work; but the traditional scheme 
of castes figures in earlier law-books, such as Baudhayana and 
Apastamba, and it seems probable that for them it was not 
so much a generalization from observed facts as a traditional 
theory, derived from still older authorities, which they 
attempted to stretch so as to explain the facts. The Indian 
pandit does not take kindly to inductive methods, nor is it easy 
to see how he could have arrived by this road at a hypothesis 
which breaks down directly it is brought into contact with the 
realities of life. But it is possible that the Brahmanical theory 
of castes may be nothing more than a modified version of the 
division of society into four classes — priests, warriors, culti- 
vators, and artisans — which appears in the sacerdotal litera- 
ture of ancient Persia.* It is true, no doubt, that the Iranian 
groups, with the exception of the Athravans or priests, appear 
not to have been endogamous, and to have observed none of 
the restrictions on marriage which are so prominent in the 
Indian system. But we know very little about them, and it is 
possible that their matrimonial relations may have been 
governed by the practice of hypergamy which is apt to arise 
under a regime of classes as distinguished from castes. Let 
me make my meaning clear. It is not suggested that the 
Iranian legend of four classes formed part of the stock of tradi- 
tion that the Aryans brought with them into India. Had this 
been so, the myth relating to their origin would have figured 
prominently in the Vedas, and would not have appeared solely 
in the Purusha Sukta, which most critics agree in regarding as 
a modern interpolation. The conjecture is that the relatively 
modern compilers of the law-books, having become acquainted 
with the Iranian, legend, were fascinated by its assertion of 
priestly supremacy, and made use of it as the basis of the 
theory by which they attempted to explain the manifold 

* Spiegel, Eranische Alterthumskunde, III, 547 — 670, 



N 



262 PEC^LE OF INDIA 

complexities of the caste syst(^m.' TKe procedure is character- 
istic of Brahmanical literary methods, and is in itself no more 
absurd than the recent attempt on the part of the Arya Samaj 
to discover in the Rig Veda an anticipation of the discoveries 
of modern science, and to interpret the horse sacrifice in 
Sukta 162 as an allegorical exposition of the properties of heat 
or electricity.* 

The resemblance between the two schemes is striking 

enough to suggest that it can hardly be the 
Man 'classes. result of a mere accidental coincidence, 

but that the Indian theory must have been 
modelled on the Iranian, t The differences in the categories 
are trifling, and admit of being accounted for by the fact that 
India has, what Persia had not, a large aboriginal population 
differing from the Indo-Aryans in respect of religion, usages, 
and physical type, and more especially in the conspicuous 
attribute of colour. These people had somehow to be brought 
within the limits of the scheme; and this was done by the 
simple process of lumping them together in the servile class of 
Sudras, which is sharply distinguished from the twice-born 
groups and has a far lower status than is assigned to the 
artizans in the Iranian system. Thus the four varnas, or 
colours, of the Indian myth seem to occupy an intermediate 
position between the purely occupational classes of ancient 
Persia and Egypt and the rigidly defined castes of modern 
India. In the Persian system only the highest group of 
Athravans or priests was endogamous, while between the 
other three groups, as between all the groups of the Egyptian 
system (excluding the swineherds if we follow Herodotus), no 
restrictions on intermarriage appear to have been recognized. 
Moreover, as is implied by the distinction between the twice- 
born classes and the Sudras, and by the prominence given to the 
element of colour {varna), the Indian system rests upon a basis 
of racial antagonism of which there is no trace in Persia and 
Egypt. Yet in the stage of development portrayed in the law- 
books the system has not hardened into the rigid mechanism 

* R. Burn, Cetisus Report of the United Provinces, 1901, vol. i., p. 91. 

[f " There is no probability in the view of Senart or Risley {Imperial Gazetteer of India, 
I> 336 — 348), that the names of the old classes were later super-imposed artificially on a 
system of castes that were different from them in origin. We cannot say that the castes 
existed before the classes, and that the classes were borrowed by India from Iran, as Risley 
maintains, ignoring the early Brahmana evidence for the four Varnas, and treating the 
transfer as late." A. A. Macdonald, A. B. Keith, A Vedic Index of Names and Subjects, 
1912,11, 270.] 



THE ORIGIN OF CASTE 263 

of the present day. It is still more or less fluid ; it admits of 
intermarriage under the limitations imposed by the rule of 
hypergamy ; it represents caste in the making, not caste as it 
has since been made. This process of caste-making has indeed 
by no means come to an end. Fresh castes are constantly 
being formed, and wherever we can trace the stages of their 
evolution they seem to proceed on the lines followed in the 
traditional scheme. The first stage is for a number of families, 
who discover in themselves some quality of social distinction, 
to refuse to give their women in marriage to other members of 
the caste, from whom nevertheless they continue to take wives. 
After a time, when their numbers have increased, and they 
have bred women enough to supply material for a jus connubii 
of their own, they close their ranks, marry only among them- 
selves, and pose as a superior sub-caste of the main caste to 
which they belong. Last of all, they break off all connexion 
with the parent stock, assume a new name which ignores or 
disguises their original affinities, and claim general recognition 
as a distinct caste. The educated Pods of Bengal are an illus- 
tration of the first stage ; the Chasi Kaibartta of the second ; 
the Mahisya of the third. 

We may now pass from the pious fictions of Manu and the 
Ramayana to those modern critical theories 
which, whether they carry conviction or ibbe1;s'o?rtheory. 
not, at least start from and give full weight 
to the facts, and make an honest attempt to work out a scien- 
tific solution of the problem. Among these Sir Denzil Ibbet- 
son's description* of caste in the Punjab contains the most 
vivid presentment of the system in its everyday working, of 
the various elements which have contributed to its making, and 
of the surprising diversity of the results which have been pro- 
duced. The picture is an admirable piece of open-air work; 
it has been drawn on the spot ; it is full of local colour ; and it 
breathes throughout the quaint humour of the peasantry of the 
Punjab, the manliest and most attractive of all the Indian races. 
From this wealth of material it is not altogether easy to dis- 
entangle the outlines of a cut-and-dried theory, and it may well 
have been the intention of the writer to leave the question 
more or less open, and to refrain from the futile endeavour to 
compress such infinite variety within the limits of any formula. 
The following passage sums up the leading features of the 

* Report on the Census oj the Punjab, 1881, pp. 172 — 341. 



264 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

hypothesis, but the exposition of its working requires to be 
studied as a whole, and I have, therefore, reproduced in 
Appendix V the greater part of the section dealing with the 
evolution of caste. The report which I quote has long been 
out of print, and foreign ethnologists enquire for copies 
in vain. 

" Thus, if my theory be correct, we have the following steps 
in the process by which caste has been evolved in the Punjab : — 
(i) the tribal divisions common to all primitive societies; (2) 
the guilds based upon hereditary occupation common to the 
middle life of all communities ; (3) the exaltation of the priestly 
office to a degree unexampled in other countries; (4) the 
exaltation of the Levitical blood by a special insistence upon 
the necessarily hereditary nature of occupation ; (s) the preser- 
vation and support of this principle by the elaboration from 
the theories of the Hindu creed or cosmogony of a purely 
artificial set of rules, regulating marriage and intermarriage, 
declaring certain occupations and foods to be impure and 
polluting, and prescribing the conditions and degree of social 
intercourse permitted between the several castes. Add to 
these the pride of social rank and the pride of blood which are 
natural to man, and which alone could reconcile a nation to 
restrictions at once irksome from a domestic and burdensome 
from a material point of view ; and it is hardly to be wondered 
at that caste should have assumed the rigidity which dis- 
tinguishes it in India." 

M. Senart's criticism* of this theory is directed to two 
points. He demurs, in the first place, to the share which he 
supposes it to assign to Brahmanical influence, and challenges 
the supposition that a strict code of rules, exercising so abso- 
lute a dominion over the consciences of men, could be merely a 
modern invention, artificial in its character and self-regarding 
in its aims. Secondly, he takes exception to the dispropor- 
tionate importance which he conceives Sir Denzil Ibbetson to 
attach to community of occupation, and points out that, if this 
were really the original binding principle of caste, the ten- 
dency towards incessant fission and dislocation would be much 
less marked : the force that in the beginning united the various 
scattered atoms would continue to hold them together to the 
end. Both criticisms appear to miss an essential feature in the 
scheme, the influence of the idea of kinship, which is certainly 

* Les Castes dans VInde, p. 191. 



THE ORIGIN OF CASTE 



365 



the oldest and probably the most enduring factor in the caste 
system, and which seems to have supplied the framework and 
the motive principle of the more modern restrictions based 
upon ceremonial usage and community of occupation. 

Mr. Nesfield* is a theorist of quite a different type. He 
feels no doubts and is troubled by no misgivings. Inspired by 
the systematic philosophy of Comte, he maps out the whole 
confused region of Indian caste into a graduated series of 
groups and explains exactly how each has come by the place 
that it occupies in the scheme. He assumes as the basis of his 
theory the essential unity of the Indian race, and appeals to 
" physiological resemblance " to prove that " for the last three 
thousand years at least no real difference of 
blood between Aryan and aboriginal " has Mr.Nesfleid'stheory. 
existed " except perhaps in a few isolated tracts." In his opinion 
the conquering Aryan race was absorbed by the indigenous 
population as completely as the Portuguese of India have 
already become absorbed into Indians, so that no observer 
could now distinguish members of the higher castes from the 
scavengers who sweep the roads. The homogeneous people 
thus formed are divided by Mr. Nesfield, in the area to which 
his researches relate, the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, 
into the following seven groups, among which he distributes 
the 121 castes enumerated in the census of 188 1 :— 



I. Casteless tribes. 
II. Castes connected with land — 

A. Allied to hunting state. 

B. Allied to fishing state. 

C. Allied to pastoral state. 

D. Agricultural. 

E. Landlords and warriors. 



III. Artisan castes — 

A. Preceding metallurgy. 

B. Coeval with metallurgy. 

IV. Trading castes. 
V. Serving castes. 

VI. Priestly castes. 
VII. Religious orders. 



The classification, it will be observed, is based solely upon 
occupation, and it expresses Mr. Nesfield's conviction that "func- 
tion, and function only, as I think, was the foundation upon 
which the whole caste system of India was built up." The order 
of the groups is determined by the principle that " each caste 
or group of castes represents one or other of those progressive 
stages of culture which have marked the industrial development 
of mankind not only in India, but in every other country in the 
world wherein some advance has been made from primeval 
savagery to the arts and industries of civilized life. The rank 



* Brief Vieiv of tht Caste System of the North-Western Provinces and Oudh, pp. 3,4, 75, 
, 129 — 132. 



266 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

of any caste as high or low depends upon whether the industry 
represented by the caste belongs to an advanced or backward 
stage of culture ; and thus the natural history of human indus- 
tries affords the chief clue to the gradations as well as to the 
formation of Indian castes." At the bottom of the scale are the 
more or less primitive tribes — Tharus, Kanjars, Doms, and 
Nats — " the last remains and sole surviving representatives of 
the aboriginal Indian savage, who was once the only inhabitant 
of the Indian continent, and from whose stock the entire caste 
system, from the sweeper to the priest, was fashioned by the 
slow growth of centuries." Then come the hunting Baheliyas, 
the Mallahs, and Dhlmars (boatmen and fishermen), the pastoral 
Ahirs and Gadariyas, and the great mass of agriculturists, while 
above these Mr. Nesfield finds in the Chattri or Rajput the sole 
representative of the landlord and warrior caste. The artisan 
castes are subdivided with reference to the supposed priority 
of the evolution of their crafts. The basket-making Bansphors, 
the weavers (Kori and Jolaha), the potters (Kumhar), and the 
oilmen (Teli) fall within the more primitive group antecedent 
to metallurgy, while blacksmiths, goldsmiths, tailors, and con- 
fectioners are placed in the group coeval with the use of metals. 
Above them again come the trading and the serving castes, 
among whom we find in rather odd collocation the scavenging 
Bhangi, the barber (Napit or Nai), the bard and genealogist 
(Bhat), and the Kayasths, who are described as estate managers 
and writers. The Brahmans and the religious orders complete 
the scheme. But the mere classification obviously offers no 
solution of the real problem. How did these groups, which 
occur in one form or another all over the world, become 
hardened into castes? Why is it that in India alone their 
members are absolutely forbidden to intermarry ? Mr. Nesfield 
replies without hesitation that the whole series of matrimonial 
taboos which constitute the caste system are due to the initia- 
tive of the Brahmans. According to him, they introduced for 
their own purposes, and in order to secure the dignity and 
privileges of their own caste, the rule that a Brahman could 
only marry a Brahman, and all the other classes, who up to 
that time had intermarried freely, followed their example " partly 
in imitation and partly in self-defence." The proposition 
recalls the short way that writers of the eighteenth century 
were apt to take with historical problems, and reminds one of 
Bolingbroke's easy assertion that the sacred literature of Egypt 
was invented by the priests. Detailed criticism would be out 



THE ORIGIN OF CASTE 267 

of place here : the main object of this chapter is to lay stress 
on precisely those factors of evolution which Mr. Nesfield 
ignores ; but I may observe that a theory which includes in the 
same categories the Dom and the Teli, the Banjara and the 
Khatri, the Bhangi and the Kayasth must, in the race for accept- 
ance, lose a good deal of ground at the start. 

After examining the views propounded by Sir Denzil 
Ibbetson and Mr. Nesfield, and by myself 
in The Tribes and Castes of Bengal, M. Senart ' ^^^^ ^ °°^^' 
passes on to formulate his own theory of the origin of caste. 
In his view caste is the normal development of ancient Aryan 
institutions, which assumed this form in the struggle to adapt 
themselves to the conditions with which they came into contact 
in India. In developing this proposition he relies greatly upon 
the general parallelism that may be traced between the social 
organization of the Hindus and that of the Greeks and Romans 
in the earlier stages of their national development. He points 
out the close correspondence that exists between the three 
series of groups — gens, curia, tribe at Rome ; family, fparpia, ^vXi? 
in Greece ; and family, gotra, caste in India.* Pursuing the 
subject into fuller detail, he seeks to show from the records of 
classical antiquity that the leading principles which underlie 
the caste system form part of a stock of usage and tradition 
common to all branches of the Aryan people. In the depart- 
ment of marriage, for example, the Athenian jivog and the 
Roman gens present striking resemblances to the Indian gotra. 
We learn from Plutarch that the Romans never married a 
woman of their own kin, and among the matrons who figure in 
classical literature none bears the same gentile name as her 
husband. Nor was endogamy unknown. At Athens in the 
time of Demosthenes membership of a fparpia was confined to 
the offspring of the families belonging to the group. In Rome, 
the long struggle of the plebeians to obtain the jus connubii with 
patrician women belongs to the same class of facts ; and the 
patricians, according to M. Senart, were guarding the endog- 
amous rights of their order — or should we not rather say the 
hypergamous rights, for in Rome, as in Athens, the primary duty 
of marrying a woman of equal rank did not exclude the possi- 
bility of union with women of humbler origin, foreigners or 
liberated slaves. Their children, like those of a Sudra in the 

[* "To assume, with Senart, that the family system was the basis of caste is difficult in face 
of the late appearance of words for family and of stress on family." A. A. Macdonell, A. 
B. Keith, Vedk Index of Names and Subjects, 1912, I, 2S1 et seg.] 



268 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

Indian system, were condemned to a lower status by reason of 
the gulf of religion that separated their parents. We read in 
Manu how the gods disdain the oblations offered by a Sudra : 
at Rome they were equally offended by the presence of a 
stranger at the sacrifice of the gens. Marriage itself is a sacrifice 
at which husband and wife officiate as priests, and their equality 
of status is attested by their solemnly eating together. The 
Roman confarreatio has its parallel in the got kandla or " tribal 
trencher " of the Punjab, the connubial meal by partaking of 
which the wife is transferred from her own exogamous group 
to that of her husband. 

As with marriage so with food. The prohibition, which 
strikes us as so strange, on eating with members of another 
caste or partaking of food prepared by a man of lower caste, 
recalls the religious significance which the Aryans attached to 
the common meal of the household. Cooked at the sacred fire, 
it symbolized the unity of the family, its life in the present, its 
ties with the past. In Rome as in India, daily libations were 
offered to ancestors, and the funeral feasts of the Greeks and 
Romans (jrspi^uTrvov and silicerniiim) correspond to the sraddha 
of Hindu usage which, in M. Senart's view, represents an ideal 
prolongation of the family meal. He seems even to find in the 
communal meals of the Persians, and in the Roman charistia, 
from which were excluded not only strangers but any members 
of the family whose conduct had been unworthy, the analogue 
of the communal feast at which a social offender in India is 
received back to caste. The exclusion from religious and social 
intercourse symbolized by the Roman interdict aqua et igni 
corresponds to the ancient Indian ritual for expulsion from 
caste, where a slave fills the offender's vessel with water and 
solemnly pours it out on the ground, and to the familiar formula 
hukka pdni band karna, in which the modern luxury of tobacco 
takes the place of the sacred fire of the Roman excommunica- 
tion. Even the caste panchayat that wields these formidable 
sanctions has its parallel in the family councils which in Greece, 
Rome, and ancient Germany assisted at the exercise of the 
patria poiestas, and in the chief of the gens who, like the mdtabar 
of a caste, decided disputes between its members and gave 
decisions which were recognized by the State. 

How was it that out of this common stock of usage there 
were developed institutions so antagonistic in their nature as 
the castes of India and the nations of Europe ? To what causes 
is it due that among the Aryans of the West all the minor 



THE ORIGIN OP CASTE 269 

groups have been absorbed in the wider circle of national unity, 
while the Indian Aryans have nothing to show in the way of 
social organization but a bewildering multitude of castes and 
sub-castes ? M. Senart suggests a cause, but makes no attempt 
to follow out or to illustrate its workings. He says, "L'Inde 
ne s'est elevee ni a I'idee de I'fitat ni a I'idee de la Patrie. Au 
lieu de s'etendre, le cadre s'y resserre. Au sein des republiques 
antiques la notion des classes tend a se resoudre dans I'idee 
plus large de la cite ; dans I'lnde elle s'accuse, elle tend a se 
circonscrire dans les cloisons etroites de la caste. N'oublions 
pas qu'ici les immigrants se repandaient sur une aire immense ; 
les groupements trop vastes etaient condamnes a se disperser. 
Dans cettecirconstance les inclinations particularistes puiserent 
un supplement de force." 

Distribution over a wide area, tending to multiply groups ; 
contact with the aborigines, encouraging pride of blood ; the 
idea of ceremonial purity, leading to the employment of the 
indigenous races in occupations involving manual labour, while 
the higher pursuits were reserved for the Aryans ; the influence 
of the doctrine of metempsychosis, which assigns to every man 
a definite status determined by the inexorable law of karma ; 
the absence of any political power to draw the scattered groups 
together ; and the authority which the Brahmanical system 
gradually acquired — these seem to be the main factors of 
M. Senart's theory of caste. It may be urged in favour of his 
view of the subject that evolution, especially social evolution, 
is a gradual and complex process, that many causes work 
together to produce the final result, and that the attempt to 
reduce them to a single formula carries with it its own 
refutation. On the other hand, as Dr. Fick * has pointed out, 
if caste were a normal extension of the ancient Aryan family 
system, the absence of any traces of this tendency in the Vedas 
' is hardly accounted for by the statement that development 
proceeded so slowly, and was based on such primitive and 
instinctive impulses, that we could hardly expect to find any 
tangible indication of it in a literature like that of the hymns. 

Before proceeding further we may dispose of the popular 

notion that community of occupation is the „ 

... ^ ^, ^ , Ti-i-u- Caste not merely 

sole basis of the caste system. It this were occupation. The 

so, as M. Sajiart has effectively pointed guilds of mediaeval 

out, the institution "aurait montre moins de '°^°^^- 

tendance a se morceler, a se disloquer ; I'agent qui I'aurait 

* Loc. cit., p. 3. 



270 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

unifiee d'abord en aurait maintenu la cohesion." To put it in 
another way, if the current idea were correct, all cultivators, 
all traders, all weavers, oUght to belong to the same caste, at 
any rate within the same area ; but every one knows that this 
is not the case ; that the same occupation embraces a whole 
crowd of castes, each of which is a close corporation, though 
the members of each carry on in exactly the same way the 
avocation that is common to them all. Several writers have 
laid stress on the analogy between Indian caste and the trade 
guilds of mediaeval Europe. The comparison is misleading. 
In the first place, the guild was never endogamous in the sense 
that a caste is : there was nothing to prevent a man of one 
guild from marrying a girl of another guild. Secondly, there 
was no bar to the admission of outsiders who had learned the 
business : the guild recruited smart apprentices, just as the 
Baloch and Brahiii open their ranks to a fighting-mati who has 
proved his worth. The common occupation was a real tie, a 
source of strength in the long struggle against nobles and 
kings, not a symbol of disunion and weakness like caste in 
India. If the guild had been a caste, bound by rigid rules as 
to food, marriage, and social intercourse, and split up into a 
dozen divisions which could not eat together or intermarry, 
the wandering apprentice who was bound to travel for a year 
from town to town to learn the secrets of his art, and who 
survives, a belated but romantic figure, even at the present day, 
could hardly have managed to exist ; still less could he have 
discharged, like Quintin Matsys and a host of less famous 
craftsmen, the traditional duty of marrying his master's 
daughter. It seems, indeed, possible that the decadence and 
sterility of Indian art at the present day may be due in some 
measure to the trammels by which the caste system has 
checked its natural growth. A guild may expand and develop ; 
it gives free play to artistic inspiration ; and it was the union 
of the guilds that gave birth to the Free Cities of the Middle 
Age. A caste is an organism of a lower type ; it grows by 
fission ; and each step in its growth detracts from its power 
to advance or even to preserve the art which it professes to 
practise. 

A curious illustration of the inadequacy of occupation alone 
to generate and maintain rtie instinct of 

Caste under the ^^^^^ ^g ^g g^g j^ ^j. ^^^.j^ jjj j^^jj^ jg 

Koman Smpire. 

furnished by certain ordinances of the 

Theodosian Code. In the early part of the fifth century, when 



THE ORIGIN OF CASTE 271 

the Western Roman Empire was fast falling to pieces and the 
finances had become disorganized, an attempt was made, from 
purely fiscal motives, to determine the status and fix the 
obligations of all classes of officials. In his fascinating 
account of the constitution of society in those days Sir S. Dill 
tells us how " an almost Oriental system of caste " had made all 
public functions hereditary, "from the senator to the waterman 
on the Tiber or the sentinel at a frontier post." * The Navicu- 
larii who maintained vessels for transport by sea, the Pistores 
who provided bread for the people of Italy, the Pecuarii and 
Suarii who kept up the supply of butcher's meat, were all 
organized on a system as rigid and tyrannical as that which 
prevails in India at the present day. Each caste was bound 
down to its characteristic occupation, and its matrimonial 
arrangements were governed by the curious rule that a man 
must marry within the caste, while if a woman married outside 
of it, her husband thereby acquired her status and had to take 
on the public duties that went with it. This surprising 
arrangement was not a spontaneous growth, like caste in India, 
but owed its existence to a law enforced by executive action. 

" One of the hardest tasks of the Government," says Sir S. 
Dill, "was to prevent the members of these guilds from 
deserting or evading their hereditary obligations. It is well 
known that the tendency of the later Empire was to stereotype 
society, by compelling men to follow the occupation of their 
fathers, and preventing a free circulation among different 
callings and grades of life. The man who brought the grain 
of Africa to the public stores at Ostia, the baker who made 
it into loaves for distribution, the butchers who brought pigs 
from Samnium, Lucania, or Bruttium, the purveyors of wine 
and oil, the men who fed the furnaces of the public baths, 
were bound to their callings from one generation to another. 
It was the principle of rural serfdom applied to social functions. 
Every avenue of escape was closed. A man was bound to his 
calling not only by his father's but by his mother's condition.f 
Men were not permitted to marry out of their guild. If the 
daughter of one of the baker caste married a man not belonging 
to it, her husband was bound to her father's calling. Not even 
a dispensation obtained by some means from the imperial 



♦ Roman Society in the last Century of the Western Empire, Book iii, Chap, i, 1899, 
p. 228. 

t C. Th. xiv, 4, 8, " ad munus pristinura revocentur, tarn qui paterno quam materno 
genere inveniuntur obnoxii" ; \pill, of. cit., p., 233.] 



2/2 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

chancery, not even the power of the Church, could avail to 
break the chain of servitude." There was even a caste of 
curiales or, as we should say in India, municipal commissioners, . 
of whom we read that at a certain time all of them were ordered 
back to their native cities, and were forbidden to evade their 
hereditary obligations by entering any branch of the govern- 
ment service. As the Empire broke up, the caste system 
vanished with it. Men hastened to shake oiT all artificial re- 
strictions and to choose wives and professions for themselves. 
But on the current theory, that community of function is the 
sole causative principle of caste, that is the last thing that they 
ought to have done. They should have hugged their chains 
and proceeded to manufacture new castes or sub-castes to fit 
every new occupation that sprung up. If the principle had 
been worth anything, it should have operated in Europe as 
effectually as it does in India. No one can say that the 
Theodosian Code had not given it a good start. 

But, it will be asked, if the origin of caste is not to be 
found in the trade guild, may we not seek 
d^velopedSs^ it m the more primitive institution of the 
tribe ? Early society, as far back as we can 
trace it, is made up of a network of tribes, and in India it is 
easy to observe the process of the conversion of a tribe into a 
caste. The conjecture seems at first sight plausible ; but a 
glance at the facts will show that the transformation in question 
is confined to those tribes which have been brought into contact 
with the regular caste system, and have adopted its charac- 
teristic usages from religious or social motives. The Manipuris, 
for example, were converted- from Nagas into Hindus only a 
century or two ago ; and I am informed that the family archives 
of the Raja contain an account of the process by which the 
change was effected. The Bhiimij, again, were a tribe at a 
still more recent date, and retain plentiful traces of their origin. 
On the other hand, the races of Baluchistan, where Hindu 
influence is practically non-existent, show no inclination to 
follow the example of the Indian Muhammadans and organize 
themselves on the model of caste. The primitive tribe, in fact, 
wherever we find it, is not usually endogamous, and, so far from 
having any distaste for alien marriages, makes a regular business 
of capturing wives. This practice has given rise to one of the 
forms of infanticide and may well have been the cause of the 
extinction of whole tribes in the early struggle for existence. 
In short, when tribes are left to themselves, they exhibit no 



THE ORIGIN OF CASTE 273 

inborn tendency to crystallize into castes. In Europe, indeed, 
the movement has been all in the opposite direction. The 
tribes consolidated into nations ; they did not sink into the 
political impotence of caste. 

As I have said above, speculation concerning the origin of 
things is mostly vanity. Sooner or later in 
the course of our researches into the past "^ the basis^of fact ^ ' 
we run up against the dead wall of the 
unknown, which is often also the unknowable. In the case of 
a complex phenomenon such as caste, to the formation of which 
a number of subtle tendencies must have contributed, all that 
we can hope to do is to disentangle one or two leading ideas 
and to show how their operation may have produced the state 
of things that actually exists. Following out this line of 
thought, it seems possible to distinguish two elements in the 
growth of caste sentiment : a basis of fact and a superstructure 
of fiction. The former is widespread if not universal ; the latter 
is peculiar to India. Whenever in the history of the world one 
people has subdued another, whether by active invasion or 
by gradual occupation of their territory, the conquerors have 
taken the women of the country as concubines or wives, but 
have given their own daughters in marriage only among them- 
selves. Where the two peoples are of the same race, or at any 
rate of the same colour, this initial stage of what we have called 
hypergamy soon passes away, and complete amalgamation takes 
place. Where, on the other hand, marked distinctions of race 
and colour intervene, and especially if the dominant people are 
continually recruited by men of their own blood, the course of 
evolution runs on different lines. The tendency then is towards 
the formation of a class of half-breeds, the result of irregular 
unions between men of the higher race and women of the lower, 
who marry only among themselves and are to all intents and 
purposes a caste. In this literal or physiological sense caste is 
not confined to India. It occurs in a pronounced form in the 
Southern States of the American Commonwealth, where negroes 
intermarry with negroes, and the various mixed races, mulattoes, 
quadroons, and octoroons, each have a sharply restricted jus 
connubii of their own and are absolutely cut off from legal 
unions with white races. Similar phenomena may be observed 
among the half-breeds of Canada, Mexico, and South America, 
and among the Eurasians of India, who do not intermarry with 
natives and only occasionally with pure-bred Europeans. In 
each of these cases the facts are well-known. The men of the 
R, PI 18 



274 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

dominant race took to themselves women of the subject race, 
and the offspring of these marriages intermarried for the most 
part only among themselves. The Eurasians of Ceylon, who 
are known locally as " Burghers," are a notable example of the 
formation of a caste in the manner here described. During the 
Dutch occupation of Ceylon (1656 — 1795) very few Dutch 
women settled in the island. This fact, combined with the 
tremendous penalties imposed by the puritanical Dutch laws 
on the sin of fornication, induced many of the colonists to 
marry Cingalese women of the higher castes. The descendants 
of these marriages ranked as Dutch citizens, and very soon 
crystallized into a caste, disdaining further alliances with the 
natives and marrying only among themselves. Conscious of 
their legitimate parentage and proud of a title which recalls 
their Dutch ancestry, the Burghers of Ceylon now form a 
distinct and independent class, standing apart from both 
Europeans and natives, and holding a position far superior to 
that of the Eurasians in India. Illustrations of the same process 
may be observed in the Himalayas, where, if anywhere in India, 
the practices recorded with exaggerated precision in the Indian 
law books still survive. The Dogras of the Kangra Hills 
and the Khas of Nepal are believed to be the offspring of 
alliances between conquering Rajputs and women of more or 
less Mongoloid descent. In the case of Nepal, Hodgson has 
described at length the conditions of these unions, which 
correspond in principle with those of the traditional system of 
Manu. Working from this analogy it is not difficult to construct 
the rough outlines of the process which must have taken place 
when the second wave of Indo- Aryans first made their way into 
India through Gilgit and Chitral. At starting they formed a 
homogeneous community, scantily supplied with women, 
which speedily outgrew its original habitat. A company of the 
more adventurous spirits set out to conquer for themselves 
new domains among the neighbouring Dravidians. They went 
forth as fighting men, taking with them few women or none at 
all. They subdued the inferior race, established themselves as 
conquerors, and captured women according to their needs. 
Then they found themselves cut off from their original stock, 
partly by the distance and partly by the alliances they had con- 
tracted. By marrying the captured women they had, to some 
extent, modified their original type ; but a certain pride of blood 
remained to them, and when they had bred females enough to 
serve their purposes and to establish a distinct/Ms connubii, they 



THE ORIGIN OF CASTE 275 

closed their ranks to all further intermixture of blood. When 
they did this, they became a caste like the castes of the present 
day. As their numbers grew, their cadets again sailed forth in 
the same way, and became the founders of the Rajput and 
pseudo-Rajput houses all over India. In each case complete 
amalgamation with the inferior race was averted by the fact 
that the invaders only took women and did not give them. 
They behaved, in fact, towards the Dravidians whom they 
conquered in exactly the same way as some planters in America 
behaved to the African slaves whom they imported. This is a 
rough statement of what may be taken to be the ultimate basis 
of caste, a basis of fact common to India and to certain stages 
of society all over the world. The principle upon which the 
system rests is the sense of distinctions of race indicated by 
differences of colour : a sense which, while too weak to 
preclude the men of the dominant race from intercourse with 
the women whom they have captured, is still strong enough to 
make it out of the question that they should admit the men 
whom they have conquered to equal rights in the matter of 
marriage. 

Once started in India, the principle was strengthened, 
perpetuated, and extended to all ranks of ^^^ genesis of 
society by the fiction that people who speak caste: the influence 
a different language, dwell in a different offictioii- 
district, worship different gods, eat different food, observe 
different social customs, follow a different profession, or practise 
the same profession in a slightly different way must be so 
unmistakably aliens by blood that intermarriage with them is a 
thing not to be thought of Illustrations of the working of 
this fiction have been given above in the description of the 
various types of caste and might be multiplied indefinitely. Its 
precise origin is necessarily uncertain. AH that can be said is 
that fictions of various kinds have contributed largely to the 
development of early societies in all parts of the world, and 
that their appearance is probably due to that tendency to vary, 
and to perpetuate beneficial variations, which seems to be a 
law of social no less than of physical development. However 
this may be, it is clear that the growth of the caste instinct 
must have been greatly promoted and stimulated by certain 
characteristic peculiarities of the Indian intellect — its lax hold 
of facts, its indifference to action, its absorption in dreams, 
its exaggerated reverence for tradition, its passion for endless 
division and sub-division, its acute sense of minute technical 



276 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

distinctions, its pedantic tendency to press a principle to its 
furthest logical conclusion, and its remarkable capacity for 
imitating and adapting social ideas and usages of whatever 
origin. It is through this imitative faculty that the myth of 
the four castes — evolved in the first instance by some specula- 
tive Brahman, and reproduced in the popular versions of the 
epics which the educated Hindu villager studies as diligently 
as the English rustic used to read his Bible — has attained its 
wide currency as the model to which Hindu society ought to 
conform. -That it bears no relation to the actual facts of life is, 
in the view of its adherents, an irrelevant detail. It descends 
from remote antiquity ; it has the sanction of the Brahmans ; it 
is an article of faith ; and every one seeks to bring his own 
caste within one or other of the traditional classes. Finally, 
as M. Senart has pointed out, the whole caste system, with its 
scale of social merit and demerit and its endless gradations of 
status, is in remarkable accord with the philosophic doctrine 
of transmigration and karma. Every Hindu believes that his 
spiritual status at any given time is determined by the sum 
total of his past lives : he is born to an immutable karma, what 
is more natural than that he should be born into an equally 
immutable caste? 

-The ethnological conclusions which the 
loregomg chapters seek to establish may 
now be summed up. They are these : — 

(i) There are seven main physical types in India, of which 
the Dravidian alone is, or may be, indigenous. The Indo- 
Aryan, the Mongoloid, and the Turko-Iranian, types are in the 
main of foreign origin. The Aryo-Dravidian, the Mongolo- 
Dravidian, and the Scytho-Dravidian are composite types 
formed by crossing with the Dravidians. 

(2) The dominant influence in the formation of these types 
was the physical seclusion of India, involving the consequence 
that the various invaders brought few women with them and 
took the women of the country to wife. 

(3) To this rule the first wave of Indo-Aryans formed the 
sole exception, for the reasons given on pages 49—55. 

(4) The social grouping of the Indian people comprises both 
tribes and castes. We may distinguish three types of tribe 
and seven types of caste. 

(5) Both tribes and castes are sub-divided into endogamous, 
exogamous, and hypergamous groups. 

(6) Of the exogamous groups a large number are totemistic. 



THE ORIGIN OF CASTE 277 

It is suggested that both totemism and exogamy are traceable 
to the general law of natural selection. 

(7) Castes can be classified only on the basis of social 
precedence, but no scheme of classification can be framed for 
the whole of India. 

(8) The Indian theory of caste was perhaps derived from 
Persia. It has no foundation in fact, but is universally accepted 
in India. 

(9) The origin of caste is from the nature of the case an 
insoluble problem. We can only frame more or less plausible 
conjectures, derived from the analogy of observed facts. The 
particular conjecture now put forward is based — firstly, upon 
the correspondence that can be traced between certain caste 
gradations and certain variations of physical type ; secondly, 
on the development of mixed races from stocks of difi"erent 
colour ; and thirdly, on the influence of fiction. 



CHAPTER VII 

CASTE AND NATIONALITY 

Rien n'est b8te que de bouder I'avenir. 

Anatole France. 

So sindsie Particularisten von Natur : das nationale Bewusstsein erscheintbei 
ihnen erst als Erzeugniss der fortschreitenden Bildung. 

Von Sybel, 1890. 

It will be seen from the picture imperfectly outlined in the 
preceding chapters that caste in India is something more than 
what is called a social system, something beyond a mere mode 
of grouping the loose atoms of humanity which the wheel of 
circumstance has created and a turn of the same wheel may 
destroy or transform. We should rather conceive of it as a 
congenital instinct, an all-pervading principle of attraction and 
repulsion entering into and shaping every relation of life. For 
Hindus caste is bound up with their religion, and its observance 
is enforced by the authority of the priests ; its influence is 
conspicuous in the social usages of most Indian Muhammadans ; 
and it extends even to the relatively small communities of 
Christians. Thus it forms the cement that holds together the 
myriad units of Indian society. In the words of Sir K. 
Sheshadri Iyer, the great Dewan of Mysore, 
SKeilTngup. " the Whole social fabric of India rests upon 
caste." Were its cohesive power with- 
drawn or its essential ties relaxed, it is difficult to form any 
idea of the probable consequences. Such a change would be 
more than a revolution ; it would resemble the withdrawal of 
some elemental force like gravitation or molecular attraction. 
Order would vanish and chaos would supervene. Yet we are 
told from time to time, in tones of settled conviction, that the 
bonds of caste are being burst asunder by the disruptive force 
of modern ideas and that the Indian spirit is now about to be 
liberated from this prison-house of the past Such facile 



CASTE AND NATIONALITY 279 

assurances proceed for the most part from philanthropic 
Englishmen who have seen little of India beyond the Presidency 
towns, who know none of the vernacular languages, and who 
derive their impressions from the small body of Anglicized 
Indians whom Sir Henry Cotton describes, with rather needless 
acidity, in one place as "a disorganised class within the 
community," and in another as "an artificial and exotic 
product." * 

Let it be admitted, however, that there is some excuse for 
those who, in their just and natural admiration for the edu- 
cated Indian, leave out of view the people of India and the 
governing principle of Indian society — caste. Any one who has 
the curiosity to glance at the second chapter of this book 
will see that from the sixteenth century onwards almost all 
observers have been struck by the prohibitions on food and 
drink, and the rules about personal contact which caste entails, 
and have hardly noticed its restrictions upon marriage. Both 
sets of rules are, of course, inherent in the system. But they 
do not stand upon the same footing, and the penalties attached 
to their violation differ widely. A marriage, or even a liaison, 
with a member of another caste ipso facto 
involves final and irremediable excommuni- ^"XtionroffaeT' 
cation. A slip in the matter of food can 
within limits be expiated by penance. Moreover, the rules 
about diet and contact with other castes rest upon a meta- 
physical theory of ceremonial pollution which admits of many 
exceptions. Ever since the time of Manu it has been recog- 
nized that the devout traveller, when in danger of starvation, 
must pocket his caste scruples and satisfy his hunger as best 
he can. In modern times, and especially since the introduction 
of railways, this comfortable doctrine has been developed and 
elaborated by Brahmanical casuistry. It has long been held, 
for example, that sweetmeats, a generic and elastic term which 
includes all the promiscuous messes sold on the railway plat- 
forms, may be taken from almost anybody. Nice enquiries 
about the caste of itinerant vendors of sweetstuflf cannot be 
prosecuted from the window of a third-class carriage during a 
short stoppage, and a modern proverb sums up the position in 
the practical query — " You have eaten the food he gave you, 
why ask about his caste?" On the same principle the wise 
man finds it convenient to forget that ice was once water, that 

* New India, p. 260. 



28o PEOPLE OF INDIA 

soda water, before it found its way into a cunningly contrived 
bottle, owned the same humble origin and did not necessarily 
come straight from the Ganges; that certain essences and 
extracts used for medical purposes bear an ascertainable rela- 
tion to beef, and that imported biscuits must have passed in 
their making through the hands of all sorts of casteless folk. 
Nor is he so indiscreet as to enquire at how many paces'flis- 
tance his neighbour can convey pollution, when he must in any 
case rub shoulders with him in a railway carriage for twelve 
hours on end. 

The every-day occurrences which an observant tourist may 
notice in the course of his cold-weather progress through India 
manifestly conflict with his preconceived notion of caste as a 
rigid system of unalterable prohibitions. To people who do 
not understand all that is implied in the cry of Pdni Pdnre, 
which one hears at each halt of a train in Northern India, the 
apparent difference between the theory of the guide-book and 
the practice of the people may well seem marked enough to 
warrant the belief that English education, modern civilization, 
the growth of industries, the march of progress, and all the 
rest of it are making short work of an ancient and famous 
institution for which the Indian world has no longer any use. 
Yet what the tourist sees from his railway carriage comprises 
only the accidents of caste, which may change from year to 
year as convenience or fashion may dictate. The substance of 
the system lies hidden from the eye of the globe-trotter (and 
scarcely perceptible even to those who are not globe-trotters) 
in the hard and fast rules which regulate marriage. In this 
department of life, where the fact or fiction of community of 
blood has continually to be reckoned with, there are no signs 
of compromise or concession. People must marry within the 
caste or sub-caste in which they were born, or must take the 
consequences. Even the most advanced of modern Indians 
have had occasion to discover that exclusive dealing in hus- 
bands is a formidable weapon to use against a family man, and 
that the frivolous foreigner who defined caste as "a turnpike to 
matrimony " had, at any rate, hit off an aspect of it which comes 
home to the father of marriageable daughters. As for the mass 
of the people, all that they know or care to know is that who- 
ever kicks over the connubial traces is promptly turned out of 
his caste, and must either become a Muhammadan or must join 
some dubious sect which offers a sympathetic welcome to 
persons caught out in sexual delinquencies. The idea that any 



CASTE AND NATIONALITY 281 

properly constituted Hindu should wish to marry outside his 
caste would seem to them too preposterous to be worth dis- 
cussing. As long as the people think thus, so long will caste 
endure, whatever philanthropists may say. 

Quite apart, moreover, from caste developments many 
things are happening in the India of to-day which tend to 
bev#lder an observer recently arrived from Europe, and unable 
to command a wider outlook than is afforded by his own imme- 
diate surroundings. It is hardly possible to imagine a more 
startling series of contrasts than is disclosed directly one pene- 
trates below the mere surface of Indian society. One sees 
-there a sort of disordered kaleidoscope in which the oldest and 
the newest ideas of the human spirit whirl round together in 
the most bewildering fashion. Science and religion, expedi- 
ency and prescription, contract and status, the Western enthu- 
siasm of humanity, the Eastern carelessness of human life — 
all these mighty opposites are mixed and jumbled up together 
in a fantastic medley out of which a benevolent despotism, 
controlled in the last resort by a distant but not unwise 
democracy, is constantly attempting to evolve an order oi 
things which, while satisfying the comparatively simple wants 
of oriental life, shall not fall too conspicuously short of Euro- 
pean ideals of progress and prosperity. An illustration or two 
will show at a glance how great a gulf is fixed between the 
educated minority and the great body of the Indian people, and 
what savage impulses throb behind the deceptive veil of appa- 
rent culture. Not very long ago, while a talented Bengali 
professor, well known to the scientific world of London, was 
lecturing to crowded audiences on the transcendental proper- 
ties of metals under the influence of electricity, widows were 
being burnt alive in Bihar, incidents curiously suggestive of 
human sacrifice were occurring in Orissa, and in Calcutta, the 
soi-disant centre of light and leading, a large section of the 
population, shrewd enough in the business of daily life, were 
deterred from going out after dark by their dread of a mys- 
terious personage who was believed to be hunting for heads to 
cement the foundations of the Victoria Memorial Hall. In the 
face of such vigorous survivals of ideas far more primitive than 
caste itself, we may be excused for receiving with some scepti- 
cism the argument that because a few archaic taboos on food, 
drink, and personal contact have been relaxed, therefore the 
entire fabric of caste, undermined by European science, must 
be tottering to its fall. 



282 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

Sir Henry Cotton takes a more just view of the general 
situation when he writes : — 

" The country recoils from such a social revolution as our Western civilisation has thrust 
upon it. It still needs the hierarchical leadership of caste. The tendency to reduce the 
power of the dominant classes and to destroy, if possible, all distinction between the different 
strata of society is much in vogue among headstrong administrators, who are too apt to 
transplant the radical associations of our democracy into a country altogether unsuited to 
their growth. But there is no more patrician milieu in the world than that which has for 
centuries flourished in India and is still vigorous, in spite of attacks upon it." 

" Those reformers who are in the habit of describing caste as the root of all evils in 
TCT . , , , „. Hindu society overlook the impossibility of uprooting an 
Not shared by Sir .,.;.. . • . , ,, ■ c l u \x. i 

Henrv Cotton institution which has taken such a firm hold on the popular 

mind. They forget that the attempt to abolish caste, if suc- 
cessful, would be attended with the most dangerous consequences, unless some powerful 
religious influence were brought to bear upon the people in its place. They forget also that" 
caste is still stronger as a social than as a religious institution, and that many a man who has 
entirely lost his belief in his religion, is zealous and tenacious of his position as a high-caste 
man, and scrupulously performs all customary rites and ceremonies. Caste is now the frame- 
work which knits together Hindu society ; it is the link which maintains the existing religious 
system of Hinduism in its present order. The problem of the future is not to destroy caste, 
but to modify it, to preserve its distinctive conceptions, and to gradually place them upon a 
social instead of a supernatural basis." * 

The late Babu Guru Prasad Sen, a native of Eastern Bengal, 
who practised as a pleader in Patna, and wrote an instructive 
little book on Hindu social life, lays equal stress on the neces- 
sity of retaining caste unless Indian society is to fall utterly to 
pieces. He dwells upon its value as the guardian of a proper 
espnt de corps among the groups to which it gives rise, and 
notices the wholesome influence which it exercises by maintain- 
ing unbroken the traditions of remote ancestry ; by preserving 
the distinct existence of the Hindu people ; and by enforcing 
the due subordination of the various parts of society to the 
whole. 

The opinion held by Sir Henry Cotton and Babu ,Guru 
Prasad Sen that caste, so far from being moribund, still main- 
tains its ancient place in the Indian social system, receives 
striking confirmation from the returns of the last Census. It 
may be said with confidence that the tendency to rebel against 
the prescriptions of caste has not spread beyond the relatively 
small circle of those who, in Mr. Gokhale's words, " have come 
under the influence of some kind of English education." t Out- 
side those limits caste, with all its restrictions, is regarded as 
the natural law governing human society. Now the male 
adults who described themselves in the Census of 1901 as being 

* New India, pp. 225 and 252. 

t Presidential address to National Indian Congress, 1905. 



CASTE AND NATIONALITY 283 

able to read and write English— a test not necessarily represent- 
ing a high standard of English education— numbered in the 
whole of India just 707,000, or less than one per cent, of the 
male adult population.* Even if the whole of this company of 
literati, scattered over all the provinces and _, . „„ „„„ 

' "^ Whose vi&wa are 

states of India, were banded together to confirmed by statis- 

beleaguer the citadel of caste, many genera- tics and by the best 

i. ^. c .1 ■ ,.. 1 ij Indian opinion, 

tions must pass before their attack could 

effect a practicable breach. The walls of immemorial usage 
will not crumble at the first blast of the trumpet of reform. 
But how many even of the advanced members of the literate 
class seriously contemplate the disruption of the social regime 
under which they live ? So far as can be gathered from the 
various sources of information available, the number of such 
iconoclasts is extremely small, while their ranks are mainly 
recruited from among those who, for one reason or another, 
have become alienated from their own people and have lost 
touch with Indian society. Nor does English education of 
itself, at any rate in its present state of de,velopment, necessarily 
incline an Indian patriot to enter upon the uncongenial task of 
demolishing indigenous institutions and reconstructing them 
on a foreign model. On the contrary, with the growth of 
national or provincial self-consciousness which has manifested 
itself within the last few years, the opposite tendency may be 
observed, and Indian religion, philosophy, usage, and family 
life are extolled as intrinsically superior to anything that the 
Western World has succeeded in producing. 

If then the regime of cast, with all that it implies, is likely 
to survive for an indefinite period in India, what influence may 
it be expected to have over the growth of the modern, idea of 
an Indian nationality ? At first sight the two things appear to 
be antagonistic and incompatible : the principle of separation 
conflicts with the principle of consolidation. This, indeed, 
seems to be the deliberate opinion of two competent Indian 
critics. The disordered state of things arising from particular- 
ism in India was vividly described a few months ago by an 
advanced Bengali politician in a letter to a Calcutta newspaper : 
" We must not forget that India is not yet a nation ; we must 
not forget that it is a congeries of races, which are not always 
friendly to each other : we must not forget the ancient hate, the 

[* In the whole of India in 191 1, 17 million persons were found to be literate in English. 
Of every ten thousand persons of each sex, ninety-five males and ten females possessed this 
knowledge (Census of India Report, 191 1, vol. i., p. 299).] 



284 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

ancient prejudice, the ancient clashing of castes and creeds 
which still hold India under their vice-like grip." * A serious 
student of social problems in India, who stands aloof from 
politics, and approaches the subject of reform from the firmer 
Apparent antago- ground of religion and philosophy, writes 
nism of Caste and in an equally despondent tone. After refer- 
Nationality. ^.^^^ ^^ ^^^ j^j^j^ j^^^jg ^f p^^^jj^, ^^^ private 

life that prevailed in ancient India, he goes on to say : — " Truth 
(satya) and duty (dharma), the good old rule of not doing to 
others what was disagreeable to one's own self, was held up as 
the ideal by the sages of those times, and many tried to live it. 
And it is because we have lost that ideal, that we present the 
spectacle of a people rent asunder by mutual dissensions, 
divided into thousands of castes and sub-castes, sects and sub- 
sects, with all spirit of nationality crushed out, weak in body 
and mind and slaves of circumstances." t Yet clearly Sir Henry 
Cotton and Babu Guru Prasad Sen do not regard the matter in 
the same light as the most recent observers on the spot. For 
both of them look forward with enthusiasm to the birth of 
an Indian nation ; and the latter, while asserting with some 
emphasis that " there was no Indian nation at the date of 
Vikramaditya, or at any period of past Indian history," goes 
on to quote with approval Comte's reference to caste as "a 
necessary preparation " for the wider sentiment of patriotism. 
Sir Henry Cotton t dips even further into the future, and does 
not hesitate to sketch, in terms which recall the seventh book 
of the Mahabharata, the main outlines of the political organiza- 
tion in which the national spirit will find its appropriate 
embodiment and expression. "What is required," he says, "in 
the absence of an emasculating foreign army, is an organization 
of small States, each with a prince at its head, and a small body 
of patrician aristocracy interposing between him and the lower 
orders of working-men. For such an arrangement the country 
appears to be eminently adapted; the United States of India 
should be bound together by means of some political organiza- 
tion other than the colonial supremacy of England. The basis 
of internal order is to be found in the recognition of a patriciate 
accustomed by hereditary associations to control and lead," — 
in other words a Council of Nobles. 

* Hon. Babu Bhupendra Nath Basu of the Bengal Legislative Council. — Statesman, 28th 
May, 1907. 

t Hinduism : Ancient and Modern, by Rai Bahadur Lala Baij Nath, b.a., District and 
Sessions Judge, Ghazipur. New edition, 1905, p. 104, 

X New India, p. 227. 



CASTE AND NATIONALITY 285 

In an interesting essay in the Empire Review for September, 
1907, Mr. A. M. T. Jackson has shown how the theory of the 
traditional Hindu Kingship — the political ideal which the genius 
of the warrior Sivaji sought to revive and which the intriguing 
spirit of the Brahman Peshwas effectually shattered — was rooted 
in caste. At the head of it stands the King, the one absolute 
and responsible ruler, uniting in his own person all legislative, 
judicial, and executive functions, but assisted in their exercise 
by a purely advisory Council consisting of members appointed 
by himself in certain proportions from among the leading 
castes. Subject to the orders of the King, 

, t ^ ■. ■ . r ,1 1 r .1 Caste and Monarchy, 

whose duty it is to enforce the rules of the 

various castes, "each of the functions required in a civilised 
community is discharged by a separate section of the people. 
The worship of the gods is the business of one caste, banking 
of another, shoe-making of another, and so on. By analogy the 
business of government is also assigned to one particular 
section, instead of being the common business of all as it is 
usually held to be in Europe. In India, this arrangement 
reacted upon the body politic in two ways. Firstly, the exclu- 
sion of most of the castes from politics left little room for the 
growth of feelings of common interest and public spirit ; 
secondly, the efficiency of the governing section became of 
immense importance. Only if this section were strong could 
it perform its function of keeping each caste to its proper 
duties, and thereby combine the parts into an organic whole ; 
while if it were weak, society would fall apart into disconnected 
atoms. Anarchy is the peculiar peril of a society that is 
organized on the basis of caste, and the dread of anarchy leads 
to monarchy as the strongest defence against it. Indian thinkers 
were well aware of the weakness of divided counsels, holding 
that one person should be appointed to one task, and not two 
or three. ' It is always seen that several persons, if set to one 
task, disagree with one another.' "* 

Under the rule of the model King depicted in the Mahabha- 
rata, of whom it is written that " he should always have the rod 
of chastisement uplifted in his hands," the forces of caste were 
kept under proper control, and the system was prevented from 
degenerating into an organized tyranny. Monarchy seems to 
have guarded against this danger ; would a democracy of the 
modern type be able to do the same? In considering how 

* M(thcibMrata VII., p. 258. 



286 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

such a democracy would work in India, it must not be for- 
gotten that caste would provide the party in 

Caste and demoeraoy. ,, , .1 , i i -i , t- • 1 

power, the party that had spoils to divide, 

with what Americans call a "machine " surpassing in efficiency 

the wildest dream of the most ingenious wire-puller. It already 

possesses a ready-made system of standing caucuses each 

under the control of a " boss " or a committee of " bosses." 

Once organized for political purposes, it could whip up voters 

en masse and could secure the adoption of any conceivable 

ticket. Men would be compelled to vote solid by penalties 

compared with which the Papal interdict that drove an 

Emperor barefoot to Canossa was a clumsy and ineffectual 

instrument. In a society where every, one is peculiarly 

dependent on his neighbours, the recalcitrant voter would 

speedily find himself cut off not merely from the amenities, but 

also from the barest necessaries of life. No one would eat 

with him, drink with him, smoke with him, or sell him food ; 

the barber would not shave him ; the washerman would decline 

to wash his clothes ; the Brahman would deny him the offices 

of religion; no man would marry his daughter; and the 

attendants of the dead would refuse him the accustomed 

funeral rites. These are some of the blessings which popular 

government, controlled and directed by caste organization, 

would confer upon the subjects committed to its charge. 

Whatever future centuries may have in store for the people of 

India it may be hoped that they will be spared the misfortune 

of government by social ostracism. 

The discussion of speculative constitutions is a futile 

pursuit. But the relation between caste and nationality, 

between the idea of a rigidly exclusive matrimonial group and 

the idea, whether realized or not, of a wider community 

embracing many such groups — has taken rudimentary shape in 

India before now and may yet make itself felt on a larger scale. 

If what might have been the germ of a nation can shrink into a 

caste, as we have seen in the case of the Marathas and the 

Newars, may not the converse process be 
Caste andnationality. .,, , , ^ , "^ . , 

possible and a number of castes, without 

sacrificing their individual characteristics, draw together into 

that larger aggregate which we call a nationality? For the 

answer to this question no antecedent experience can be 

appealed to, since the institution of caste is peculiar to India, 

and the historical causes by which certain Teutonic tribes 

(which under different conditions might have hardened into 



CASTE AND NATIONALITY 287 

castes) were converted into nations can hardly be expected to 
repeat themselves here at the present day. It seems of interest, 
however, to attempt to determine to what extent the con- 
tinuance of caste is in itself favourable or adverse to the growth 
of a consciousness of common nationality among the people of 
India. 

In the first place, let us endeavour to make clear what is 
meant by nationality. This abstract term, originally denoting 
the fact of belonging to a particular nation (as we speak of the 
" nationality " of a ship), has within the last fifty years acquired 
a concrete meaning implied rather than expressed in such 
phrases as " oppressed nationalities." The standard literature 
of the subject approaches the question from the European 
standpoint, and the development of the idea of nationality in 
Asia has as yet received no exhaustive treatment. As the 
word is ordinarily used, it seems to imply that the persons 
composing a nationality are keenly conscious, and may even be 
passionately convinced, that they are closely bound together 
by the tie of common interests and ideals, that in a special and 
intimate way they belong to one another, and that the moral 
force and enthusiasm by which their senti- The factors of 
ment of unity is inspired render it indepen- nationality, 

dent of the government or governments under which they may 
happen to live. This feeling of self-consciousness gives to a 
body of men a sort of personality, so that they become "a moral 
unity with a common thought." The idea is not necessarily 
associated with democratic tendencies ; it may equally arise 
from loyalty to a dynasty. Nor is it invariably directed 
towards consolidation ; it can be seen at work as a disintegrat- 
ing force which fastens upon a particular racial, linguistic or 
geographical group and seeks to detach it from the political 
system of which it forms part. When a homogeneous multi- 
tude of men, animated by this complex sentiment, are united 
under a single government expressing their common aspira- 
tions and carried on by themselves, they are no longer 
described as a nationality, but are recognized as a nation. 
Thus we speak of the Polish, Finnish and Bohemian nation- 
alities, and of the Greek, German, and Italian nations. The 
factors which go to the making of a national consciousness are 
of somewhat indefinite character and have been variously 
described. The most precise enumeration of them is perhaps 
that given by Sidgwick in The Elements of Politics. He notices 
the following : — The belief in a common origin ; the possession 



288 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

of a common language and literature ; the pride that is felt in 
common historic traditions, in the memories of a common 
political history, and of common struggles against foreign foes ; 
community of religion ; community of social customs. The 
last factor is in India so closely associated with religion that it 
need not be specially considered. 

Belief in a common origin, frequently traced back to a 
mythical ancestry, figures largely in the inherited traditions of 
most European nations. Into the foundations of such beliefs it 
would be unkind to enquire too narrowly : in the nebulous 
domain of national sentiment a picturesque legend carries 
higher value than the most authentic historical documents. If 
people can succeed in persuading themselves that they come of 
Community of the same stock, they will not thank any one 
origin. for showing that their descent is extremely 

mixed, and that pure races exist only in theory. It may 
perhaps be argued that in these respects the general position 
in India is not altogether dissimilar to that in Europe, and that 
the diffusion of patriotic fiction may in either case be expected 
to bring about much the same result. But in India we have to 
reckon with the existence of a number of distinct physical 
types, the contrasts between which strike the most superficial 
observer; and these types not only occupy widely different 
stages of intellectual advancement and general culture, but are 
organized in a social system which tends to stereotype and 
perpetuate their hereditary or acquired characteristics. Can 
we look forward to a time when these antagonistic masses will 
be animated by the conviction of their common origin, and will 
sink their natural antipathies in the idea of a united nationality? 
Can we suppose, for example, that the Muhammadans will 
readily surrender their cherished tradition of descent from 
Arab and Moghul conquerors, that the Rajputs will claim kin- 
ship with the Bengalis, or that the millions of Dravidian and 
Mongoloid people will be recognized as owning the same 
parentage as the Brahmans of Benares and Ajodhya? No 
student of ethnology will ignore the influence that has been 
exercised by fiction in forging imaginary affinities between 
people of very different origin, but in India this influence has 
hitherto been directed towards separation rather than con- 
solidation, and even when that tendency has been reversed, an 
immense amount of leeway will still have to be made up. 

There are at present ho indications that the factor of 
language, which has done so much to promote national move- 



CASTE AND NATIONALITY 289 

ments in Europe, is likely to play the same part in India. At 
the last Census of the Empire no less than 
147 distinct languages were recorded, 22 of 
which were spoken by more than a million people.* The 
situation, therefore, so far as language is concerned, is even 
more complex and chaotic than it is in the Austrian dominions, 
where the Parliamentary oath may have to be administered in 
eight different languages. . It is perhaps conceivable that one 
of the many dialects of Hindustani might in course of time 
become established as the vernacular of the whole of Northern 
India, though the linguistic jealousies of Hindus and Muham- 
madans as to the script and vocabulary of the language will not 
readily be appeased. But to suppose that the Dravidians of 
Southern India will ever abandon Tamil and Telugu in favour 
of some form of Indo-Aryan speech, or that the peasantry of 
Bengal and Orissa, Maharashtra and Gujarat will change their 
characteristic languages and alphabets, requires almost as large 
an effort of the imagination as the dream that English itself 
may in the remote future become the lingua franca of the three 
hundred millions who inhabit the Indian Empire. Speculations 
of this kind pay but a sorry tribute to the vitality of the Indian 
vernaculars and the attractions of the valuable literature which 
they possess — a literature which appeals to the rnost intimate 
feelings of the people and is closely bound up with their 
religious beliefs and their social obligations. The day is far 
distant when the Ramayana of Tulsi Das will lose its hold 
over the peasantry of Upper India; and when the hymns of 
Tukaram will cease to be household words in the Maratha 
country. Nor do the classical languages of India supply a 
bond of union which may form the basis of a common nation- 
ality. The tendencies of Sanskrit writings are hierarchical 
rather than national, while their contemplative and meta- 
physical tendencies are absolutely at variance with the actively 
militant spirit of the Arabic and Persian classics on which 
Indian Muhammadans are brought up. It is difficult to imagine 
any form of symbolical interpretation or intellectual com- 
promise by which the quietist philosophy characteristic of the 
Hindu scriptures could be reconciled with the fiery dogmatism 
of the Koran, or to conceive how two races looking back to 
such widely different literatures could be brought to regard 
them as the common heritage of one united nationality. We 

[* In 191 1 220 languages (including 38 minor dialects) spoken by 313 millions, were 
recorded (Cefisiis of India Report, 1911, vol. i., p. 321).] 

R, PI 19 



290 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

can only conclude therefore that in India, so far as can be at 
present foreseen, the development of the national idea is not 
likely to derive much support from popular speech or learned 
tradition. 

It is possible indeed— distant as the prospect now appears 
— that English may after all stand the best chance of becoming 
the national language of India. Its adoption would at any 
rate avoid the antipathies and antagonisms with which any 
Indian vernacular would have to contend. English is already 
the medium of communication for the upper classes, at any 
rate on certain subjects, all over India. As the men of the 
elder generation, who prefer the vernacular, die off, and 
English comes to be the language of the family as well as 
the language of public life, it may spread in Northern India 
as it has spread in the south and may extend to classes which 
are not now touched by it. This process would be greatly 
expedited, and at the same time the development of nationality 
promoted, if the modern " direct " method of teaching were 
introduced and colloquial English were taught to British 
Indian children as thoroughly as colloquial French is taught 
in Pondicherry and Chandernagore. There would then be 
less temptation to mix the two languages, taking the structure 
of the sentence from one and the vocabulary from the other. 
This, I believe, is more common in Upper India than in 
Madras. When such expressions as " dpndr theatricals bcro 
tedious hbbe^' can be heard in the best Indian society, one feels' 
that those who use them are hardly on the right road to a real 
command of either language. 

We may look back in vain through India's stormy past for 

memories of a common political history and common struggles 

against foreign foes. Wave after wave of conquest or armed 

occupation has swept over the face of the country, but at no 

time were the invaders confronted with resistance organized 

on a national basis or inspired by patriotic enthusiasm. If here 

and there a local chieftain fought for independence, as Porus 

opposed Alexander and Prithiraj resisted Muhammad Ghori, 

his nearest rivals hastened to offer their swords to the foreign 

enemy. Tribal jealousies, dynastic intrigues, internal disunion 

. , , . ^ combined to create a political vacuum which 

Political history. .1 r- . , , , ■ . , 

the nrst comer who knew his own mind 

was irresistibly impelled to fill. Even the Maratha confederacy, 

which to some may have seemed stable enough to form the 

nucleus of a national dominion, was broken up by the personal 



CASTE AND NATIONALITY 291 

disputes which arose among its leaders. The Sikh league, held 
together for a time by the masterful personality of Ranjit 
Singh, began to fall to pieces at his death. Illustrations might 
be multiplied without limit, but it is an unwelcome task to 
dwell upon a picture of general discord and confusion. The 
facts are beyond dispute, and they point to the inevitable 
conclusion that national sentiment in India can derive no 
encouragement from the study of Indian history. 

In the series of lectures published under the title, " The 
Expansion of England," the late Sir John Seeley speaks of 
religion as "the strongest and most important of the elements 
which go to constitute nationality," and throws out the idea 
that Hinduism may prove to be the germ from which that 
sentiment may be developed in India. He then draws attention 
to the failure of the Hindus to organize a national resistance 
to the advance of the Muhammadan invaders, and of the 
Maratha confederacy, which he describes as " an organization 
of plunder," to inspire Hinduism with the spirit of active 
patriotism. There he leaves the subject, after a passing glance 
at the "facile comprehensiveness of Hindu- -ay- 

ism " which in his judgment " has enfeebled 
it as a uniting principle," and rendered it incapable of generating 
true national feeling. It may be admitted that the flame of 
patriotic enthusiasm will not readily arise from the cold grey 
ashes of philosophic compromise, and that before Hinduism 
can inspire an active sentiment of nationality, it will have to 
undergo a good deal of stiffening and consolidation. Th^e Arya 
Samaj seems to be striking out a path which may lead in this 
direction, but the tangled jungle of Hinduism bristles with 
obstacles, and the way is long. Meanwhile, it is curious to 
observe that Sir John Seeley's forecast leaves Islam entirely 
out of account, though in an earlier lecture he dwells on the 
fact that the population of India is "divided between Brahman- 
ism and Muhammadanism." His general proposition as to 
the influence of religion upon nationality seems, moreover, to 
lose sight of the historical fact that while community of 
religion strengthens and consolidates national sentiment, reli- 
gious differences create distinct types within a nation and 
tend to perpetuate separate and antagonistic interests. This 
difficulty has not escaped the observation of Sir Henry Cotton, 
who rightly points out that " it is impossible to be blind to the 
general character of the relations between Hindus and Muham- 
madans ; to the jealousy which exists and manifests itself so 



292 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

frequently, even under British rule, in local outbursts of 
popular fanaticism; to the kine-killing riots and to the religious 
friction which occasionally accompanies the celebration of the 
Ram Lila or the Bakr Id or the Muharram." * Sir Theodore 
Morisont approaches the question from a different point of 
view. Writing of the educated Muhammadans, he says : — " The 
possibility of fusion with the Hindus, and the creation by this 
fusion of an Indian nationality, does not commend itself to 
Muhammadan sentiment. The idea has been brought forward 
only to be flouted ; the pride of Muhammadans revolts at such 
a sacrifice of their individuality." But in the same article he 
seems to admit the possibility of the conception of territorial 
nationality, irrespective of race or creed, taking hold of the 
Indian Muhammadans and bringing them into the same political 
fold with the Hindus. In the case of the most advanced 
Muhammadans such a rapprochement is perhaps conceivable. 

' But even with them it will take a long time to effect, and great 
changes of religious feeling and practice will have to take 
place before they can induce the main body of their co- 
religionists to follow their lead. The problem is a difficult 
one. As long as Muhammadans are accustomed to kill for 
food or sacrifice the animal deemed sacred by the Hindus, 
occasions for deadly strife are bound to arise when the passion 
of religious animosity will overpower the weaker sentiment 
of common nationality. 

It will be observed that the right of free intermarriage, the 

jus connubii which played so large a part in the growth and 

progress of the Roman Empire, finds no place in Sidgwick's 

catalogue of the essential characteristics of nationality. No one 

writing in Europe would imagine that people who were 

capable of conceiving the idea of national unity had not long 

ago passed the stage at which restrictions on intermarriage 

could form part of their code of social custom. Yet this, which 

may be called the physiological aspect of 

Intermarriage. , . . /^ir.° -^^i^ 

the question, is one of the first points that 

strike an observer in India. It was referred to, as long ago as 

1889, by Sir Comer Petheram, Chief Justice of Bengal, in an 

address delivered by him as Vice-Chancellor of the Calcutta 

University : — 

" Above all," lie said, " it should be borne in mind by those who aspire to lead the people 
of this country into the untried regions of political life, that all the recognized nations 
of the world have been produced by the freest possible intermingling and fusing of the 

* New India, p. 228. t Quarterly Review:, April 1906. 



CASTE AND NATIONALITY 293 

different race stocks inhabiting a common territory. The liorde, the tribe, the caste, the 
clan, all the smaller separate and often warring groups characteristic of the earlier stages of 
civilization, must, it would seem, be welded together by a process of unrestricted crossing 
before a nation can be produced. Can we suppose that Germany woufd ever have arrived 
at her present greatness, or would indeed have come to be a nation at all, if the numerous 
tribes mentioned by Tacitus, or the three hundred petty princedoms of last century, had been 
stereotyped and their social fusion rendered impossible by a system forbidding intermarri^e 
between the members of different tribes or the inhabitants of different jurisdictions ? If the 
tribe in Germany had, as in India, developed into the caste, would German unity ever have 
been heard of ? Everywhere in history we see the same contest going forward between the 
earlier, the more barbarous instinct of separation, and the modern civilizing tendency towards 
unity, but we can point to no instance where the former principle, the principle of disunion 
and isolation, has succeeded in producing anything resembling a nation. History, it may be 
said, abounds in surprises, but I do not believe that what has happened nowhei-e else is 
likely to happen in India in the present generation." 

The view there stated is borne out by Rivier's * observa- 
tion. 

" Ou nepeut gu^re douter que ce ne soit engrande partie aux melanges infinis qui, durant 
des Slides, ont petri et triture les Europeens d'aujourd'hui, qu'est du la suprematie mondiale 
actuelle de noire continent." 

So long as a regime of caste persists, it is diiftcult to see 
how the sentiment of unity and solidarity can penetrate and 
inspire all classes of the community, from the highest to the 
lowest, in the manner that it has done in Japan where, if true 
caste ever existed, restrictions on intermarriage have long ago 
disappeared. It may be said on the other hand that the caste 
system itself, with its singularly perfect communal organiza- 
tion, is a machinery admirably fitted for the diffusion of new 
ideas ; that castes may in course of time group themselves into 
classes representing the different strata of society ; and that 
India may thus attain, by the agency of these indigenous 
corporations, the results which have been arrived at elsewhere 
through the fusion of individual types. The problem is a novel 
one, but so are the conditions which give rise to it, and the 
ferment of new ideas acting upon ancient institutions may 
bring about a solution the nature of which cannot now be 
foreseen. 

. We have seen that the factors which in other countries are 
regarded as essential to the growth of 
national sentiment either do not exist at all '^^^1111^^^'°' 
in India, or tend to produce separation 
rather than cohesion. We have also observed that the in- 
fluence of caste seems at first sight to favour particularist 
rather than nationalist tendencies. Are we then to conclude 



Rivier : Principes du Droit des Gens. 



294 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

that the conception of an Indian nationality rests upon no sub- 
stantial or even intelligible basis, and may be brushed aside as 
a figment of the prolific oriental imagination stimulated by its 
recent contact with Western thought? Such a conclusion 
would, I think, be premature. Indian national sentiment is, 
indeed, at present in rather a fluid condition, but its existence 
within a certain section of the community can hardly be denied, 
and the causes which have led to its development are plainly 
discernible. They may be said to be two in number : — 

(i) The consciousness of a certain community of intellectual 
pursuits and aspirations, derived from the common study of 
the history and literature of England, and from the common 
use, for certain special purposes, of the English language in 
addition to a provincial vernacular. 

(2) The consciousness of being united and drawn together 
by living under a single government, by taking part in the 
administration of a common system of laws, and by sharing in 
the material benefits of a common civilization. 

Here one naturally looks for some instance in history of a 
genuine nationality arising from the partial adoption of a 
foreign language and the partial assimilation of a few foreign 
institutions. Within the modern period the search for such a 
parallel would be fruitless. The modern theory of nationality 
figured prominently among the original doctrines of the French 
Revolution, but in the hands of Napoleon it speedily became 
an instrument of territorial aggrandisement, and it can hardly 
be said to have attained general recognition in Europe before 
about 1830. Long before that time all the peoples affected by 
it had formed their own languages, had 
^*^n Usto^yT"^^ made their own history, and had developed 
characteristic institutions to which they were 
passionately attached. Even the oppressed nationalities, whom 
other powers were trying to absorb, cherished these feelings in 
unabated strength. Going back some centuries earlier it may 
perhaps be thought that the common use of Latin by the 
learned classes of Europe as a medium of communication on 
political and literary subjects offers a resemblance to the 
common use of English by the educated class in India. But 
the survival of Latin as the language of diplomacy, science and 
scholarship down to the middle of the i8th century did no more 
towards developing any consciousness of common nationality 
among Europeans as such than the remotely analogous fact 
that under the rule of the Moghuls in India Hindu officials 



CASTE AND NATIONALITY 295 

were in the habit of addressing their conquerors and of trans- 
acting public business in Persian. In neither case did the 
practice of the learned give rise to any community of political 
sentiment either among them or among the people at large. 

If we travel still further back in the history of Europe an 
approach to a precedent of the kind we are in 
search of seems at first sight to be furnished "^^ ©aS^^^ 
by the intellectual and social development of 
Gaul under Roman rule. In b.c. 38 when Julius Caesar, yield- 
ing to the entreaties of the Gauls for aid against the Helvetii, 
entered upon the shortest of Roman wars,* he found the country 
between the Rhine and the Pyrenees in the possession of about 
eighty independent political communities {Civitates). These 
were united by no federal tie; they recognized no superior 
authority ; they had not risen to the idea of a common country 
or a national life ; and their local patriotism was bounded by 
their own little territories, and inspired by hatred of their 
immediate neighbours. Most of them were in form aristocratic 
republics governed by Senates in which the educated classes 
had a decided preponderance. But they were torn by internal 
factions ever ready to call in a foreign ally, and were in con- 
stant danger of being overthrown by any ambitious chief who 
was rich enough to gather round himself a small army of 
rudely equipped retainers Independent Gaul was a chaos of 
disorderly local jealousies aggravated by perpetual war. When 
the Romans appeared on the scene, some of the States 
hastened to make terms ; others offered a fitful and ineffectual 
resistance under leaders whose real object was to set up 
tyrannies of their own. With an army consisting mainly of 
Gallic levies, drilled and disciplined on the Roman system and 
stiffened by a few Italian legions, Caesar subdued the country 
in five campaigns, and substituted a single Roman supremacy 
for a confused medley of local supremacies. On the establish- 
ment of the pax Romana an era of civilization commenced 
which resulted in the development of political and religious 
unity. 

The influence of language was the chief factor in the change. 
From the first century onwards all the inscriptions that have 
been discovered, whether dedications to the gods, family 
epitaphs, or municipal decrees are without exception in Latin. 

* Si cuncta bella recenseas nullum breviore spatio quara adversns Gallos confectuin. 
Tac. Ann XJ, 24. 



296 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

Among the common people the ancient Celtic dialect seems 
to have survived down to the middle of the third century and 
then to have died out so completely that in the fifth century, 
when Gaul was converted to Christianity by Latin-speaking 
missionaries, no trace of the original language remained.* As 
Coulanges observes, when two peoples are in contact, it is not 
always the less numerous that gives up its language ; it is 
rather the one that has the most need of the other. Here the 
need was all on the side of the Gauls. Their own language 
was poor and was unable to express the new ideas that came 
in with advancing civilization. They had no literature and no 
art of their own. They borrowed both from Roman sources 
and they founded schools all over Gaul to teach poetry, rhetoric, 
mathematics, the entire harmony of studies which the Latins 
called humanity. Religion, law, social usage followed in the 
same path, and in all departments of life Gallic culture perished 
and Latin culture took its place. Yet the result of this process 
of assimilation was not to produce an independent Gallic 
nationality, but to merge the people of Gaul in the Roman 
nation. The Gauls ceased to be Gauls in any but a geo- 
graphical sense and became Romans with a Gallic tinge. The 
process is a remarkable one, and many of its incidents seem 
almost to have repeated themselves in the history of India. 
But it throws no direct light on the problems connected with 
the idea of an Indian nationality. 

It is in no way surprising that the imagination of the Indian 

nationalists should have been deeply touched 
"^^^ jlpTn.^^ °^ by the rise of Japan, or even that some of 

the more ardent spirits among them should 
have formed the opinion that if forty years of contact with 
European thought could make a nation of the Japanese, more 
than a century of similar experience ought to have done the 
same for the people of India. Here there seems to be some 
misconception of the facts. Japan has many lessons for the 
Indians of to-day, but when they begin to study her history 
they will assuredly not learn from it that Japanese nationalism 
was the work of two generations, or that it owed anything at 
all to foreign culture or influence. Centuries before Com- 
modore Perry landed in Yokohama the various race elements 
out of which the Japanese people have been formed, had been 

* Here I follow Coulanges, La Gaule Romaine. Mommsen, in The Provinces of the 
Roman Empire, takes a different view of the scanty evidence available. 



CASTE AND NATIONALITY 297 

crushed together and consolidated by the sternest discipline 
that any nation has ever undergone. In all the stages of this 
process religion was the dominant influence. Shinto or "The 
way of the gods," a form of Animism coloured and idealized by 
the belief that the dead are ever present with the living and 
take an unseen but active share in the fortunes of their 
descendants, lent itself to a social regime of extraordinary 
stringency. Under the rule of the dead no man could call his 
soul his own. His actions, his words, his demeanour, his 
thoughts, his emotions were perpetually watched by a ghostly 
company of ancestors, who were grieved at any wrong conduct 
and visited it on the family at large. Thus the rights of the 
dead came to be enforced by the living, and formed the basis 
of a domestic despotism of the most searching kind. Even the 
quality of a smile was defined by inviolable convention, and to 
smile at a superior so broadly as to show the back teeth was 
reckoned as a mortal offence. 

The minute regulations promulgated in 681 a.d. by the 
Emperor Temmu, and expanded, a thousand years later, by 
the great Shogun lyeyasu, afford many illustrations of the 
coercion employed. " Every member of a Kumi," * says one of 
these, " must carefully watch the conduct of his fellow members. 
If any one violates these regulations without due excuse, he is 
to be punished; and his Kumi will also be held responsible." 
Behind the Kumi was the clan, then came the community, 
then the tribe — a hierarchy of groups, ruled by the " Heavenly 
Sovereign," the divinely incarnate Mikado, and all working 
together to suppress independent personality and to produce 
a uniform type of character for the service of the nation. The 
ordinances cover every incident of life from marriage to the 
material or cut of a dress, or the value of a birthday present to 
a child. They lay infinite stress on obedience to parents and 
superiors, respect for elders, faithful service to masters, and 
friendly feelings towards all members of the community. 
Intrigue, party spirit, the formation of cliques, competition for 
leadership, appeals to the passions of the ignorant— in short, 
all forms of political selfishness are condemned in scathing 
terms. The patriot must put aside personal vanity and may 
not play for his own hand. Breaches of the rules were 
punished by social ostracism, by flogging, by torture, and in 

* A Kumi was a group of five or more households under a Kumi-gashira or group-chief 
who was responsible for the conduct of the Kumi and of each of its members. 



298 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

the last resort by banishment for life or for a term of years. 
In old Japan the banished man was dead to human society. 
Even the outcast classes would not receive him; without 
permission he could not become a Buddhist monk ; and the last 
resource of selling himself as a slave was withdrawn from him 
by the later Shoguns. The religion of loyalty could make no 
terms with the rebel or the renegade. It demanded absolute 
submission as the first condition of national unity. 

The centuries of coercion which the Japanese passed through 
produced in them a superb heredity, moulded by discipline and 
instinct with loyalty. When the new era opened and the 
Mikado resumed his temporal power, he found ready to his 
hand a nation that moved like one man, and was inspired 
through all its ranks with the single sentiment of devotion to 
the country and to the ever-present ancestors of the race. 
The world is still wondering at the achievements of the last 
fifty years. But these were rendered possible by the training 
of the ages that had gone before. Japanese nationalism did 
not originate in the theoretical sentiment of a literate class 
which may or may not work down to the lower strata of 
society. It is rooted in the popular religion and bound up 
with the life of the race. To my mind the most striking 
among the many evidences of the diffusion of the spirit of 
unity in Japan is to be found in the extraordinary secrecy 
maintained during the war with Russia. The correspondents 
of foreign papers, ready to pay any price for news, saw one 
Division after another vanish into space, but no foreigner 
could find out where the troops embarked, where they would 
land, or what was their ultimate destination. At a time when 
the issue of the contest hung upon the command of the sea two 
great battleships were lost by misadventure, and the disaster 
was concealed until its disclosure could no longer imperil the 
national existence. These things were known to thousands, 
but the secret was safe, because all classes were inspired by 
the passionate enthusiasm and self-devotion which the Shinto 
religion has developed into an instinct, so that the low-born 
coolie is as fine a patriot as the Samurai of ancient descent. 
When India can rise to these heights of discipline and self- 
control, India may rival Japan. But those who cherish that 
lofty ideal must bear in mind that in the region of evolution 
there is no such thing as a short cut. 

Having brought the enquiry to this point and having 
attempted to show what factors have and what have not 



CASTE AND. NATIONALITY 299 

contributed to the growth of national sentiment in India, one is 
left with the uncomfortable feeling that one 
has by no means got to the root of the matter. i^di^anS^nalm. 
Analysis has its limits and a people, like an 
individual, is something more than a bundle of tendencies. The 
mysterious thing called personality, the equally mysterious 
thing called National character, has in either case to be reckoned 
with. Beneath the manifold diversity of physical and social 
type, language, custom and religion which strikes the observer 
in India, there can still be discerned, as Mr. Yusuf Ali has 
pointed out, a certain " underlying uniformity of life from the 
Himalayas to Cape Comorin." There is in fact an Indian cha- 
racter, a general Indian personality, which we cannot resolve 
into its component elements. How is this character to be 
inspired and transfused by that consciousness of common 
interests and ideals which is the predominant feature of the 
sentiment of nationality? The question admits of being 
answered either on idealist or on evolutionary lines — in the 
light of Indian theory or of European or Japanese experience. 
It may be said on the one hand that the idea of nationality is in 
itself nothing more than an impalpable mental attitude, a sub- 
jective conviction which may subsist independently of any 
objective reality, a fine flower of sentiment, springing from an 
unknown germ and nourished on Maya or illusion. But once 
planted on Indian soil it may spread far and wide as its seeds 
are blown hither and thither by the breath of popular imagina- 
tion. We have seen how the legend of the four original castes, 
evolved in the active brain of some systematizing pandit, has 
filtered downwards, has taken hold of the mind of the people, 
and has become almost an article of faith with the general body 
of Hindus. No one cares to enquire whether it rests on any 
basis of fact, yet it holds its ground, it gains constantly wider 
currency, and it undoubtedly does in a way influence practice 
in matters of social usage. It is conceivable that the idea of 
nationality may run a similar course, that it may possess the 
mind of the upper classes and may be diffused thence through 
wider circles until it reaches the rank and file of the Indian 
people. The process will take time, and even when it is com- 
pleted, the result will be wanting in substance and vitality. If 
on the other hand we look to the history of Europe, and more 
especially to the history of Japan, we shall see that wherever 
genuine nationalities have arisen, they have been the product 
of character and circumstances — common character and common 



300 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

experience acting and reacting on each other through a long 
period of time. There is no doubt that the common character 
exists in India, if only in the rather shadowy and unde- 
veloped form in which Mr. Yusuf Ali depicts it. It has still 
to undergo the common experience necessary to mould it into 
national character. This apprenticeship, if it is to be of any 
real effect, must be based upon facts, not upon fancies, and 
must extend to the masses of the people. A mere top-dressing 
of idealism will not make a nationality. How then are the 
people to be reached? Japan supplies the answer — by the 
development of indigenous beliefs and institutions. The vast 
majority of the people of India are as yet untouched by the 
idea of nationality. This cannot be impressed upon them 
through their own vernaculars, the influence of which would 
make for separatism rather than for unity. Nor can they be 
reached through English, at least not for many generations. 
But they might be drawn together by the common interests 
which would be created by a genuine form of popular self- 
government. This should be built up from the bottom on the 
basis of two indigenous institutions — the village community 
and the village council — the common property of the Aryan 
people both in Europe and in India. Reconstruction on these 
lines offers the best prospect of realizing the national ideal, 
and of controlling the separatist tendencies of caste. It may 
be that in the first instance the process will produce not an 
Indian nationality, but a number of provincial nationalities. 
But history shows this to be the natural course of evolution. 
Everywhere particularism has come first, just as crystallisa- 
tion takes place by centres, and nationalities have been formed 
by the agglomeration of the particularist units into a larger 
whole. 

Let us now try to draw together the threads of this discus- 
sion. The standard elements of nationality either do not exist 
in India or make for diversity rather than uniformity. Caste 
in particular, an institution peculiar to India, seems at first 
sight to be absolutely incompatible with the idea of nationality, 
but the history of the Marathas suggests that a caste or a 
group of castes might harden into a nation, and that the caste 
organization itself might be employed with effect to bring 
about such a consummation. The factors of nationality in 
India are two — the common use of the English language for 
certain purposes and the common employment of Indians in 
English administration. At present these factors affect only a 



CASTE AND NATIONALITY 301 

limited group of persons, among whom the Muhammadans 
have hitherto stood rather aloof. The masses have not been 
affected at all. They cannot be reached through language, but 
they might be reached through the agency of self-governing 
institutions. The orderly development of the indigenous 
germs of such institutions ought to be the immediate object of 
the Indian nationalists. In this direction and, I believe, in this 
direction alone, is it possible to advance towards real political 
representation. Progress will in any case be slow, but nothing 
will retard it more certainly than the " impatient idealism " 
which insists upon beginning at the wrong end. 



APPENDIXES 



APPENDIX I 



CASTE IN PROVERBS AND POPULAR SAYINGS 

BRAHMAN. 

(Priest.) 

Before the Brahman is in want the king's larder will be empty. Like the cat in 
a Brahman's house (No risk of being killed). The Brahman's house smells sweet 
(He burns sandal wood in the sacred fire). Only he is a true Brahman who com- 
forts those who come to him for help. Like priest, like people. The riches of 
the Brahman are in the Veda ; help him who teaches it (A Brahman's advice). 
Will the new moon wait till the Brahman comes ? The Brahman is in a hurry, 
the temple must be decorated. Like killing a cow and making shoes for a 
Brahman of her hide ! (An unsuitable present.) . He feeds Brahmans, but his 
own mother starves. Even an Aiyangar (title of Brahmans) can give you a con- 
tagious disease. A Brahman's Tamil and a Vellala's Sanskrit are equally bad. 
When the Brahman was at the point of death, his wife wept for his scalp lock. 
Leading an ass and feeding a fire. (The allusion is to the tale of a certain king 
whose barber could shave him while he slept without waking him. To reward his 
skill the king made his priests turn the barber into a Brahman, which was done by 
leading him round a sacrificial fire. Next day the king saw his Vizier busily 
engaged in leading a donkey round a fire and asked what he was doing. The 
Vizier replied that as the priests had made a Brahman out of a barber he was 
making a horse out of an ass.) The {iriest will, after all, be obliged to eat the 
gram cakes. (Here the Brahman is supposed to be angry with his wife for giving 
him gram instead of wheat : at first he refuses his food, but hunger drives him to 
eat what is put before him.) What signifies the knowledge of the shastras to him 
who fails to practise virtue ? If I say this, it is as bad as killing a Brahman ; if I 
say that, it is as bad as killing a cow. Betel nut in the hand of a priest. A girl 
must be married at ten even if to a Pariah (A gibe at infant marriage among 
Brahmans). A Nagar will always lie ; if he speaks the truth his guru (spiritual 
teacher) must have been a fool. You will not get the better of a Nagar ; if you do, 
he must be a Hajjam. To get a Nagar wife you must pay a jar full of money. 
(The Nagar bride-price is high.) You may see a Nagar bride naked. (She will 
bear inspection.) 

What is a Brahman ? A thing with a string round its neck. Does the thread 
make the Brahman ? A saint, a cook, a water carrier, and an ass ? (Aimed at the 
multifarious occupations of the modern Brahmans.) A priest by appearance, a 
butcher at heart. There are three blood-suckers (butchers) in this world — the 
bug, the flea, and the Brahman. The Brahman and the vulture look out for corpses. 
Flaunting a rosary and hiding a knife, you chant the Divine Song, O Brahman, 
exhorting others but sinning yourself. A Chaube set out to become a Chhabbe, 
R, PI 20 



3o6 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

but returned a Dube. (Chaube and Dube are Brahman titles denoting in theory 
that the holders know four Vedas or two Vedas respectively. The irony of the 
saying is directed at the ignorant Brahman who wants to know six Vedas when 
there are only four.) What is in the Brahman's book is on the Brahman's tongue. 
Bathe in the Ganges and lend to a Brahman. (If you are drowned or lose your 
money you get salvation as a set-off.) A Brahman need only prophesy ; a bullock 
must plough his furrow. Every Brahman has his own moral code. A Brahman 
is damned by his own teaching. Follow a Brahman's precepts, not his practice. 
A learned Brahman dies of hunger. A Brahman's wisdom — after the event. One 
old woman is worth a hundred Joshis. (Brahman astrologer.) The gods are 
false and the Brahmans impure. A Brahman washes his sacred thread, but does 
not cleanse his inner man. A Brahman with hair to his waist. (To show his 
piety.) Though the Brahman prostrate himself (in penance) he will not be saved. 
Be the Brahman never so vile, he still rules the three worlds. (A gibe at priestly 
infallibility and popular credulity.) Whatever a Brahman pours out is holy water. 
Trace not the source of a river, nor the parentage of a Brahman : the one is mud, the 
other dirt. When a Chaube dies he becomes a monkey ; when a monkey dies he 
becomes a Chaube. Who is fairer than the faithless Kashmiri Brahman : the leper. 
When the Brahman drowns he drags his clients down. A Bagar, a south-east 
Panjabi, brings famine ; a Brahman brings bad luck. The absent-minded Brah- 
man ate beef and said, " By God, never again ! " Three Kanaujias and thirteen 
fireplaces. (A skit on the. fuss that the Kanaujia Brahmans make about cere- 
monial observances, especially in the matter of cooking.) 

To invite a Brahman is to open your door to an enemy. Strain water before 
you drink it and test a Brahman before you make him your family priest. When 
we are by ourselves he is my family priest. (He is too disreputable to associate 
with in public.) Waste not your breath on a Brahman, nor converse with an 
ascetic. Better have leprosy than a Brahman for a neighbour. A Brahman and 
a goat are a nuisance to their neighbours. The Brahman next door brews a 
quarrel and settles it (for a consideration). A village with a Brahman is like a 
tank full of crabs. Keep clear of a Brahman as you would of a horse's hind legs. 
A Srimali or West Indian Brahman is best asleep ; he carries a plague in his 
pocket. One Nagar Brahman, nine hundred devils ; two, God knows what is 
coming ; three, certain disaster ; four, sudden death. Trust a Pariah in ten things, 
a Brahman in none. When the gods give, beware of the Brahman. A Brahman 
has no pity, not even if his brother dies in his house. A Brahman, a dog, and a 
barber growl at their own kith and kin. A hungry Brahman will sell his gods. 
God knows right from wrong ; the Brahman only knows dai (pulse) from rice. 
Walk among snakes but steer clear of Vaishnava Brahmans. Kill a cat, kill a 
Brahman. Set a Brahman to kill a snake. (If he is bitten no one will miss him.) 
If a Brahman is at hand, why swear by your child ? (The person on whom a false 
oath is taken is supposed to die.) May you be cursed with a Brahman servant. 
Guruji (priest) is always to the fore, except when there is a river to be crossed. 
(Post of danger.) Twelve Brahmans have the strength of a goat. A Brahman's 
wife will speak you fair. Why do you look like a Brahman to whom a daughter 
has been born ? Give a Brahman's daughter money, and she will say the Muham- 
madan creed. (Will stick at nothing.) A Brahman has no sense ; he will sell his 
cow buffalo (which gives milk) and buy a mare (which he cannot ride). A Brah- 
man out of work will worship his Paila (the stool on which he keeps his sacrificial 
implements). Client sorry. Brahman merry. (He will be paid to propitiate the 
powers that bring the misfortune.) " Brahman, why don't you marry ? " " Thanks, 
my village perquisites satisfy me " (Droits de seigneur?). Is that stump a stalk 
for me, and the cocoanut for the Nambutri Brahman? (The Nambutris in 
Malabar get the pick of the Nayar girls.) I was just combing my beard when he 



APPENDIX I 307 

brought me here and called me a Brahman. (An Assam proverb, apparently 
alluding to the manufacture of Brahmans from Bengali Muhammadans.) He 
posed as a Brahman, but his name was Piroz Khan. The Ahlr's (herdsman's) 
belly is deep ; but the Brahman's is a bottomless pit. The Brahmans' bellies are 
full ; they lie about like gorged bufifaloes. A Brahman has faith only after a meal- 
A Brahman risks everything for a dinner. A scanty loin-cloth and an empty 
stomach ; by these you may know the Brahman. Rice on his plate and-his sacred 
thread in his hand. When the Brahman's stomach is over-full a dish of curds sets 
it aching. Life is dear to us Brahmans ; we have eaten our fill ; give us money to 
take us home. Other people's flour and butter, what do they cost the Brahmans ? 
The Brahman gets cake to eat ; the children of the house may lick the mill-stone . 
The pony grows fat in Asarh (June-July, when it is too hot to ride), the Brahman 
in Bhadra (July-August, when ancestors are worshipped and Brahmans fed). 
The Brahman wanted both Hindu sweets and Muhammadan loaves, and got 
neither. You will repent, Brahman, and eat the same pulse after all. A hungry 
Brahman is like a tiger. Vishnu gets the empty litany ; the Brahman takes the 
sacred food. (The offerings to Hindu idols are eaten by the priests.) " Brahman, 
Brahman, here is uncooked food for your dinner." " That will do to take home, 
but first give me a dinner here." After dinner a Brahman rubs his belly and a 
Jogi (ascetic) his head. The vegetables are rotten, give them to the Brahman. 
A degraded Brahman, give him a dead cow. The Brahman wore flowers and the 
gardens were stripped bare. A Brahman's cow eats little, but gives much milk. 
O God, let me not be born a Brahman, who is always begging and is never 
satisfied. A Brahman will beg with a lakh (Rs. 100,000) in his pocket. A one- 
eyed cow for the Brahman (Give him what is useless). A black cow for the 
Brahman (Give him of your best, as the scriptures enjoin). Vultures and Brah- 
mans spy out corpses. What is written in the Brahman's book (the duty of alms- 
giving) is tied up in his wife's shawl. The Brahman asks, the Baniya pays. The 
Brahman's son lives by begging. To a clerk a bribe, to a Brahman a gift. A cat 
that will not lap milk, and a Brahman who refuses a bribe. A Brahman's hand 
and an elephant's trunk are never at rest. A Brahman will wriggle and twist till 
he has done you out of both interest and principal. Give the Brahman a corner of 
your veranda and he will soon have the whole house. Is the ridge-pole of the 
Brahman's house made of bamboo ? (Proverb of the improbable.) The trader 
has lost his capital : the Brahman claims his percentage of the profits. (Baniyas 
in western India set apart a pice in the rupee of their profits to give to Brahmans.) 
The Patel (village headman) and his wife may die, but the Brahman must have 
his fee. The son of the house cannot afford a wife, but his father must pay for the 
wedding of the Brahman's son. 

Ask a Brahman for alms. (Blood from a stone.) If you dine with a Brahman, 
you go away hungry. A Brahman's servant is worked like an oil-presser's bullock, 
and gets nothing but stale bread. A Brahman out of work lives on pulse. Give a 
Brahman waste flour or bran, and he will make bread with it. When four 
Brahmans meet, they dine off sweets or starve (Caste scruples and ceremonial 
observances). It is poison to a Brahman to dine at home. A Brahman's guest ; 
a prostitute's wedding. If a sheep comes into a Brahman village each one will 
get a hair. The pulse is in the market (not yet bought), but the Brahman beats 
his wife and asks " will you make it thick or thin ? " The Siidra prostrated himself : 
the Brahman dimned him for his father's debt. 



308 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

BHAT. 

(Bard and Genealogist.) 

What is the use talking to a Bhat : he smacks his lips like a camel. A hungry 
Bhat will set the village on fire. A Bhat, a Charan, and a dog will sit at the 
door ; they will not go away when you have fed them and they will feel no shame. 
(Alludes to the practice of sitting dharna at a man's door to recover a debt.) A 
Bhat went into business and made his hundred into thirty. Bhats, Bhatiyaras and 
harlots are a bad lot : when you come in they are civil : when you leave they don't 
care. 

RAJPUT. 

(Warrior and Landholder.) 

The Rajput is in the front of the fight. The wall may give way ; the Rajput 
will stand fast. It is ill dealing with a Rajput ; sometimes you get double value, 
sometimes nothing at all. Let him alone when he is full : do not meddle with him, 
when he is empty : a Rangar (Muhammadan Rajput) is only bearable in his own 
house or in his grave. The Rangar and Giijar are two ; the cat and dog are two ; 
but for these four one might sleep with open doors. A Rangar is best in a wine 
shop, or in prison, or on horseback (as a trooper), or at the bottom of a deep hole. 
The Rangar and the devil are enemies of religion ; they sin themselves and tempt 
others to sin. The Baniya lives on air, the Hora swings himself, the Rajput 
drinks kusambha (a decoction of opium), and a woman plays tricks. , Rajput and 
Miyan — braggarts both. Gossip for the Baniya, for the Rajput a song, sweets for 
a Brahman and music for a ghost. A Rajput is bred in poverty. At a Rajput 
wedding there is nothing to eat and you must sleep in the open. A Rajput 
wedding is like a fire of maize stalks ; there is plenty of drumming and very little 
dinner. Grudge not the ghi; the horse will be useful in battle. (Rajput's answer 
to his wife when she demurred to his wasting ghi on his horse, while antelopes did 
very well on grass.) He ought to be grateful-to me: I married his female 
relations. (Allusion to the difficulties of Rajputs in finding husbands for their 
girls.) He starves himself but keeps a Bhat to sing his exploits at his door. 
(Rajput pride.) 

You can no more make an ascetic out of a Rajput than a bow out of a pestle. 
The Rajput says, " I have been suckled at the breast of a Rajputni." There is no 
end to the clans of Rajputs and the varieties of rice. The Baghel and the Gohel 
(clans of Rajputs) are fierce as steel. When asleep a Rajput, when awake a fool. 
Rajputs live on dried-up crusts ; they have to grind corn, and when they beg for 
butter-milk they hide the cup. The Rajput is your friend only so long as it pays 
him. The marriages of Rajputs are full of pomp and splendour, but meals are to 
be had only from heaven. 

MEO. 

(Cultivator and Freebooter.) 
When a Meo gives his daughter in marriage he gets from the bridegroom a 
mortar full of silver. (Referring to the high bride-price paid by the Meos.) The 
Meo's son will nurse his revenge for twelve years. 

BAIDYA. 

(Physician.) 
Let no man fix his abode where there is no wealth, no divine teacher, no 
magistrate, no river, and no physician. Sect marks on his forehead, and " Govind, 
Govind " on his lips, he pretends to be a physician. He cannot even find the pulse. 



APPENDIX I 309 

yet he doctors every one ; what is it to the Baidya if his helpless patient dies? 
The disease has eaten the Bej's (quack-doctor's) nose. Rising and falling is the 
Baidya's lot, provided the original stock remains sound. (The allusion is to the 
complicated rules of inter-marriage among the Baidyas of Bengal, under which 
the social status of a family is determined by the marriages of the daughters.) 

KAYASTH. 

(Clerk.) 

A Kayasth is a man of figures (A theorist). Trust not a Kayasth, a crow, or a 
snake without a tail. A young Kayasth is as cunning as an old gipsy. Whoso 
thinks he can jockey a Kayasth is a great fool. . The pen is the Kayasth's weapon. 
A Kayasth's son should be either learned or dead : an ignorant Kayasth is as an 
oil-presser's bullock. The youngest amongst Kayasths. (The fag of the family.) 
The son of a Kayasth lives by the point of his pen. In a Kayasth's house even 
the cat learns two letters and a half. The strings of a sieve, a bit without a bridle, 
and a Kayasth servant are three useless things. Half a loaf is enough ; I am a 
Kayasth, not a beast. Drinking comes to a Kayasth with his mother's milk. 
Beware of the Kayasth who wears a gold necklace. (The suggestion is that a 
Kayasth money-lender is a merciless creditor.) They will die if you touch them, 
but still they crawl and bite — where have these two creatures, bugs and Kayasths, 
come from ? A Kayasth who can pay cash is the devil ; he is an angel when deep 
in debt. Wherever three Kayasths are gathered together a thunderbolt is sure to 
fall. When honest men fall out the Kayasth gets his chance. Kayasths, crows, 
and roras (loose ponies) are much of a muchness. Where there are no tigers the 
Kayasth will become a shikari. The Kayasth was eleven months in his mother's 
womb, yet he did not bite her : why ? he had no teeth. 

JAT. 
(Punjab Cultivator.) 

No kindness in a Jat, no weevil in a stone. A Jat is your friend as long as you 
have a stick in your hand. Bind up a wound, tie up a Jat. To be civil to a Jat is 
like giving treacle to a donkey. Kill the Jat ; let the snake go. When a Jat runs 
wild it takes God to hold him. A Jat's laugh would break an ordinary man's ribs. 

What does a Jat know about dainties ? he might as well be eating toad-stools. 
When a Jat becomes refined there is a great run on the garlic : when a Jat learns 
manners he blows his nose with a door-mat. If a Hindki cannot harm you he will 
leave a bad smell as he goes by. Wheedle a Pathan, but heave a clod at a Hindki. 
(Pathans calls the Jats Hindki.) 

The Jat's damri (half a pie) draws blood : the Baniya's hundred does not break 
the skin. (If you borrow half a pie from a Jat he will dun you for it as much as a 
Baniya would for Rs. 100.) If a Jat gives you butter-milk he will put a rope round 
your neck. The Jatni wetted her thread : the Karar put a stone in the scale. A 
good sort is the Jatni ; hoe in hand she weeds the fields with her husband. When 
it is sowing time with the Jat (and help is needed) every one is his aunt or his 
sister-in-law ; when the crop is ripe he does not know his own sister. The Jat's 
baby has a plough-handle to play with. The Jat stood on his corn-heap and 
called out to the King's elephant-drivers, " Hi, there, what will you take for those 
little donkeys ? " 

Doubt the solvency of a Jat who wears white clothes and eats chicken. If a 
Jat stops ploughing in Sravan, one of the months in the rainy season, he ruins 
himself ; if an old man marries, he puts his beard in the fire. There is little to 
choose between a Jat and a pig ; but the Jat weighs more, and grubs up a whole 



3IO PEOPLE OF INDIA 

acre while the pig is grubbing a hole. Says the Jat, " Come, my daughter, join 
hands and circle the marriage fire ; if this husband dies, there are plenty more." 
(Jats allow widows to marry.) Put not your trust in ghi kept in an earthen pot, in 
a Hindu's beard, in a father of many daughters, or in a debt due from a Jat. (The 
ghi will taste of the pot ; the Hindu may shave his beard ; the father's means will 
be exhausted in getting his daughters married ; and the Jat will repudiate his 
debt.) In a company of Jats there is ceaseless chatter. A scythe has no sheath, 
a Jat has no learning. Saith the Jat, " Listen, wife, we have got to live in this 
village ; if the folks say a cat walked off with a camel we must chime in." 
A whole family and one wife between them. (Allusion to the fraternal 
polyandry believed to prevail sub rosa among the Jats.) O Jat, abandon your 
neighbour's couch. You may fathom the acrobat's art, but not the wit of a Jat. 
(The reference is to a Rabelaisian tale of how a king had sworn a rash oath to 
make over his kingdom to a female acrobat (Natni) if no one could defeat her. 
Whereupon a Jat climbed the Natni's pole, sat on the top and besprinkled the 
spectators after the manner of Gulliver in Lilliput. The Natni could not compete 
with this, and so the kingdom was saved.) 

KTJNBI OB, KURMI. 

(Cultivator.) 

No month without a day ; no village without a Kunbi. Better a solvent Kurmi 
than a bankrupt millionaire. The Kunbi is always planting, whether his crop 
lives or dies. Rain in Hathiya gladdens the Kunbin's heart. (An asterism in 
which rain is specially beneficial to the autumn crops.) Rain in September brings 
the Kurmin golden earrings. A basket on her head and a child on each hip — by 
this you may know the Kunbin. Kunbis and flour improve with pounding. You 
will as soon grow a creeper on a rock as make a Kurmi your friend. A Kunbi has 
no sense ; he forgets whatever he learns. A Kunbi with a stye on his eyelid is as 
savage as a bull. A Kunbi is as crooked as a sickle, but you can beat him 
straight. The Kunbi is so obstinate that he plants thorns across the path. The 
Kunbi went cowherding and earned an earthen pot. A Kunbi does not know an 
upright from a cross. The master sits at home and the field is full of thorns. A 
Konkani ghost pounds rice. (A gibe at the cowardice of the Kunbi of the Konkan, 
the rice-growing country between the western Ghats and the sea.) The Kunbi's 
son has nothing but a loin-cloth, but is great at giving alms. A Kunbi's bounty 
— you must beat him first. 

AKAIN. 

(Market Gardener.) 

A cow is a good beast, and an Arain is a good cultivator. If you trust in God, 
put no trust in an Arain. Kill the Arain and the Chandar bird : the one will slander 
you, the other will eat your grapes. 

GIRTH. 

(Punjab Cultivator.) 

When the rice is bending with its own weight the Girth looks round and 
swaggers. You cannot make a saint of a Girth or teach a buffalo modesty. You 
cannot make a widow of a Girthni or change a bull-buffalo into a barren cow. 
(Girths allow widows to marry, and the women are credited with making free use 
of the privilege.) 



APPENDIX I 311 

REDDI. 

(Madras Cultivator.) 

The Reddi fed his dog like a horse and barked himself. The Reddi who had 
never been on a horse sat with his face to the tail. When the clumsy Reddi got 
into (i palankin it swung from side to side. The envious Reddi ruined the village 
while he lived and was a curse to it when he died. 

AHOM AND BHUIYA. 

(Assam Landholders.) 

For the Ahom the chalang, for the Hindu the beij I am in your hands, do with 
me what you will. (The chalang is the Ahom form of marriage ; ^£zthe Hindu 
form. The proverb purports to express the feelings of a newly-married bride.) 

Be it lorn, be it crumpled, it is still a silk scarf : be he young, be he old, he is 
still a Bhuiya's son. (Social position of landholders.) 

VELLALA. 

(Madras Cultivator.) 
The agriculture of the Vellala of to-day is no agriculture. The Vellala was 
ruined by adornment, the harlot by finery. 

BANIYA. 

(Trader and Money-lender.) 

A Baniya's heart is no bigger than a coriander seed. A friendly Baniya, a 
chaste courtesan. (Proverb of the impossible.) The faith of a Komati. {Punica 
fides. The Komati is the trader of the Telugu country.) 

The grain merchant turns pice into lakhs or lakhs into pice. Shah first, 
Badshah afterwards. (The Baniya's progress.) A timid Baniya loses both 
principal and interest. A Baniya has credit, a thief has none. A well-known 
Baniya prospers ; a well-known thief gets hanged. A Baniya robs his friend, a 
thief his acquaintance. First beat the Baniya, then the thief Four thieves 
robbed eighty-four Baniyas. (Cowardice and disunion.) In a full boat the Baniya 
is a dead-weight. Trust neither the Baniya nor the ferryman. If a Sud (Amritsar 
Baniya) is on the other side of the river, leave your bundle on this side. The 
Chetti (Madras Baniya) and the goldsmith. {Arcades ambo.') No one knows 
what a Chetti is worth till he is dead. The outside of his turban is white, 
but inside it is all rags. Profit may be made by a rise of rates, but not by using 
false weights. The Gandhi (grocer or druggist) buys a basketful for a rupee 
and sells it for a rupee per tola. Gandhis and doctors are close friends. You 
cannot set up as a Gandhi with one bit of ginger. A petty ginger-seller and 
wants news of the steamer ! (As if he expected a large consignment.) Hira 
Dalai, with a pice worth of nuts, calls himself a merchant (his name means 
" diamond "). To-day a Baniya, to-morrow a Potdar (coin-tester). The mouse 
found a rag and set up as a cloth merchant. The grocer steals his own sugar. 
(To keep his hand in.) Spilt salt is doubled. (By picking up dust.) A Baniya's 
five-J^r weight ! (Typical illustration of fraud.) What can the poor Baniya do ? 
the scales tip themselves ! The simple Baniya weighed in some pice with the 
cloves. (And thus gave short weight.) The Jat's wife soaked her yarn (to make 
it heavy), but the Baniya's weights were light. The Chetti cut the price ; the 
weaver cut the width. A frightened Baniya gives full weight. To recover five the 
Baniya spends fifty. (Litigation for bad debts.) A Baniya short of a job will weigh 
his own weights or shift rice from one barn to another. A Baniya will start an 



312 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

auction in a desert. An insolvent Baniya keeps his accounts on the wall. (Where 
he can rub them out.) A bankrupt Baniya sets up as a broker ; a bankrupt Parsi 
as a liquor-seller. When a Baniya talks of old times you may know that he is in 
a bad way. When a buffalo is full she refuses oil cake ; when a Baniya is well off 
he gives time to his debtors ; when a Jat prospers he starts a quarrel ; when your 
banker is in a bad way he fastens upon you. When the Jat does well he shuts up 
the path (by ploughing it) ; when the Kirar (money-lender) does well, he shuts up 
the Jat. A bankrupt Baniya puts on the robe of the mendicant and begs from 
door to door. Even when insolvent a Chetti is a Chetti ; silk is silk though never 
so torn. Your debt to a Baniya grows like a rubbish heap. A Baniya's account, 
a horse's gallop. The Baniya has him by the scalp-lock. A Baniya is no one's 
friend : if he takes a walk it is only for gain. If a Baniya's son tumbles down he 
is sure to pick something up. Trust not a drowning Baniya ; he is not going down 
stream for nothing ; let him sink or swim. Only a madman is wiser than a 
Baniya ; only a leper is whiter than an Englishman. If four Baniyas meet they 
rob the whole world. When the merchant started adorning himself the whole town 
was plundered. The Baniya has taken the field and the village is full of relations. 
(Poverty and obligations.) A Baniya for neighbour is like a boil in the armpit. I 
tilled the field ; the Baniya fiiUed his granary. The Baniya nets the wise ; the 
Thag strangles the fool. The Dom borrowed ten from the Baniya and repaid a 
hundred. You can't pass a false coin on a Baniya. A Baniya's terms are in- 
definite ; he says one thing at night and another in the morning. Trust a tiger, a 
scorpion, a snake, but a Baniya's word you can never take. (Cradle song in 
Gujarat.) The Baniya's urine breeds scorpions. He has the jaws of an alligator 
and a stomach of wax. A Baniya and a drum are made to be beaten. The 
Baniya's greeting is a message from the devil. There are three shameless ones — 
the Baniya, the Ahir and the whore. A crow, a Kirar (shopkeeper) and a dog ; 
trust them not even when asleep. Father a Baniya, son a Nawab. Better a 
leprous forehead than a Modh Baniya for your neighbour. There is no stopping 
a child or a Saukar. (The idea is that a money-lender demands payment as per- 
sistently as a child clamours for something which it wants.) He won't lend money 
and he won't advance grain : what does he mean by calling himself a Sah (village 
money-lender and shopkeeper) ? What the Baniya writes God alone can read. 
(In most parts of India the trading castes keep their accounts in a special 
character which is very difficult to read.) 

The dogs starve at a Baniya's feast. Will a Baniya eat ghi and khichri 
every day : not he, he eats his own treacle in fear and trembling. A Baniya's 
wedding is run on the cheap. He chooses the bride for her skill in cooking, but 
every one stares at her when she goes to the well. (For her good looks and her 
ornaments.) The Baniya's wife spent a farthing on betel-nut : quoth he, " We 
shall soon be ruined." Call a Baniya father and he will give you treacle. One 
Bhuinhar is meaner than seven Chamars ; one Nuniar (Baniya) is meaner than 
seven Bhuinhars. The Mahesri buys sugar; if the price falls he will sell his wife. 
The Saraogi cooks rice, but gives parched gram to his friends. Scales with a long 
beam and short strings, and a ser that weighs only three-quarters : by these you 
may know the true-born Baniya. The Agarwal swaggers ; his mother a Bhatiyari 
(cook), his father a Kalal (distiller). The Baniya does not trouble to curl his 
moustache. Here comes the grain-dealer with a basket in his hand and a rosary 
round his neck. (Affected piety.) 

The Baniya bought up rotten grain and sold it dear : the beam of his scales 
broke and his weights were worn thin : he flourished and the Jat perished : first 
died the weavers (Jolaha), then the oilmen (Teli) : a rupee was worth only eight 
annas : millet sold at the price of pistachio nuts, and wheat at the price of raisins : 



APPENDIX I 313 

the carts lay idle, for the bullocks were dead ; and the bride went to her husband 
without the accustomed rites. (A picture of famine.) Wheat jumped from sixteen 
sers, the rupee to thirty-two : " Oh, wheat, how hast thou dealt with me," cries the 
dealer, beating his breast in the shop ; " as sure as I am a Khatri, no more wheat 
for me. Oh ! that I had had my money made up into necklaces and beads." 
(A picture of plenty.) 

A Komati's evidence. (The story is that a Komati, being called in to identify a 
horse about which a Hindu and a Musalman were quarrelling, said that the front 
part of it looked like the Musalman's horse and the hind part like the Hindu's.) 
A monkey's death, a Komati's adultery. (Both secret.) The Mudaliar's pride 
wastes lamp-oil. The MudaUar has only a pound of rice ; but his pot is big 
enough for a bushel. (Ostentation.) 

A bamboo cannot fruit, a Khatri cannot plough. (When a bamboo flowers it 
dies, if a trader takes to agriculture he is ruined.) When frost has killed the sugar- 
cane, the money-lender pretends to be bankrupt : the Jat goes to borrow (to pay 
his land revenue), the Khatri puts him off. A hundred goldsmiths make one Thag, 
a hundred Thags make one brass-worker (Thathera), a hundred Thatheras make 
one Khatri. Says the Khatri : " The thieves were four and we eighty-four ; the 
thieves came on and we ran away." Minced Khatri makes Khoja. A Khoja is 
poison hidden in honey ; he goes in like a needle and comes out like a sword. 
From that sort of itch may the Lord deliver us. (Play on the word khujli, the 
itch, and Khoja.) A mouthful in the morning is better than ten in the evening ; 
one Khoja without experience is better than ten Kirars with it. 

A crow, a Kirar, and a dog, trust them not even when asleep. You can no 
more make a friend of a Kirar than a sati of a courtesan. A Kirar sleeps only to 
steal. The nine Kirars felt all alone when they met the Rathi with a hoe in his 
hand. The Jatni wetted the thread ; the Kirar put a stone in the scale. 

BABHAN. 

(Bihar Landholder.) 

Rice and the Babhan share the same lot. (Both should be pounded, and of 
both there are many varieties.) If Hararias, Kodarias, and Bhusbharats 
(sections of the Babhan caste) would die, Tirhut would be purged of its sin. Trust 
not a Babhan, not even if he stand in the Ganges and swear by the ammonite, by 
the life of Krishna, and by his own son. 

NAPIT OR HAJJAM. 

(Barber.) 

The crow among birds, the barber among men. Among men most deceitful is 
the barber, among birds the crow, among creatures of the water the tortoise. 
The Hajjam shaves all, but none shaves the Hajjam. Barbers, doctors, pleaders, 
prostitutes, all must have cash down. The barber, the washerman, the tailor — 
all three rogues. Stick to your barber, change your washerman. The bridegroom . 
gets a wife and the barber burns his fingers. (The barber lights the lamps 
at the wedding.) Here comes the barber with his razor ; not a hair will be 
spared. (A reference to the custom of shaving a man completely when he performs 
penance for a breach of caste rules.) The razor is sharp, mother, what are you 
crying about ? (Addressed to a newly-made widow about to have Ker head 
shaved, the disfiguring custom of western India.) The Brahman blessed the 
barber, and the barber showed his glass. (Diamond cut diamond, both castes 
living by fees.) Vain as a barber. A barber by birth, with a Parsi name. 
Arrogant as a barber, affected as a washerman. A man to carry the barber's bag ! 



314 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

A slave under a slave and under him a barber. At a barber's wedding all are 
lords. (In Bihar the barber is ironically called Thakur.) A clumsy barber wants 
many razors. (A bad workman quarrels with his tools.) To shave like a hill 
barber. A barber learns by shaving fools. A barber out of work bleeds the wall, 
shaves a footstool, a buffalo, a cat, his shaving pot, etc. As the idol so the burner 
of incense ; as the barber so the strop. The barber's rubbish heap does not lack 
hair. What cares the barber if he cuts the child's head ? If the washerman's son 
dies the barber cares not a hair. Beat a barber on the head with a shoe, you will 
not make him hold his tongue. Touching barbers and their gossip, the wise say, 
" Throw a dog a morsel to stop his mouth.'' (Choke off a reporter with a scrap 
of news.) A Hajjam found a purse and all the world knew it. The riches of a 
Hajjam ! An elephant in a Hajjam's house ! (Proverbs of the impossible.) A 
burglary at a Hajjam's ; stolen, three pots of combings ! The tailor's to-morrow 
never comes, but the barber must be up to time. The barber and the washerman 
never come in time. The tailor steals your cloth, and the goldsmith your gold ; 
the barber can steal nothing but your hair. The barber is so rich that he asks for 
a virgin bride ! The barber's son-in-law has his moustache shaved at his wedding. 
If you go back four generations you will find that your uncle was a barber. 
(Suggests that the barber is unduly intimate with the women of the household.) 
In a Palle village the barber is the schoolmaster. (Palle, a low fishing caste in 
Madras.) A barber, a dog, and a hawk are no good when full ; a bullock, a 
Baniya and a king are no good when empty. Three useless things — a king with 
no subjects, a he-goat with no flock, a barber with no customers. What can a 
bald man owe to the barber's mother ? A Dom made friends with a barber and 
got shaved for nothing. A barber's penny. (All profit and no risk.) A barber 
with bamboo nail-scissors. (Inexperience.) The barber's son learns to shave, 
the wayfarer gets cut. Nails grow at the sight of the barber. A barber's wit has 
sixteen sides. When a girl talks cleverly you may know she is a barber's 
daughter. 

SONAK. 

(Goldsmith.) 
The goldsmith, the tailor, the weaver are too sharp for the angel of death : 
God alone knows where to have them. Trust not the goldsmith ; he is no man's 
friend, and his word is worthless. If you have never seen a tiger, look at a cat ; 
if you have never seen a thief, look at a Sonar. The goldsmith's ear-boring does 
not hurt. Break up old ornaments, order new ones, and the Sonar is happy. No 
thief like the goldsmith ; no bumper crop but in irrigated land. The wearer has 
the bracelet, the Sonar has the gold. The Sonar will ruin your ornaments (by 
mixing base metal with the gold supplied to him) and will clamour for wages 
besides. A Sonar will rob his mother and sister ; he steals gold even from his 
wife's nose-ring ; if he does not steal, his belly will burst with longing. A little 
goes in hammering, a little goes in melting, and there is no gold left. (A Sonar's 
methods.) One goldsrriith and one who sifts his ashes. (Two rogues.) The 
Sonar works in gold and his wife dies of hunger. Buying or selling, the goldsmith 
is always content. (He makes a profit whether he buys old ornaments or sells 
new ones.) If a Sonar comes to the other bank of the river, keep an eye on your 
bundle o.n this side. In an out-of-the-way village the goldsmith's wedding party 
will stay for seven days. (Shameless sponging.) The fool who made friends with 
the goldsmith. Only a goldsmith knows a goldsmith's tricks. Is the goldsmith's 
dog afraid of the sound of the hammer ? 



APPENDIX I 31S 

KUMHAB. 

(Potter.) 

A potter is always thinking of his pots. The clay is on the wheel ; the potter 
may shape it as he will. Thd clay said to the potter, " Now you trample on 
me ; one day I shall -trample on you." (When you are dead.) Turned on the 
wheel, yet no better for it. (Persistent ill luck.) Praise not the pot till it has been 
fired. You bought the pot ; do you think the potter will change it ? A wife is no 
earthen pot that you can change at will. (What can't be cured must be endured.) 
If all the pots that are made lasted and all the children that are born lived, there 
would be no room left on the earth. The potter eats from broken pots. As the 
potter so the pot ; like father like son. The potter will not ride his ass if you tell 
him to. The potter's wives fell out, and the donkey's ears were twisted. A 
Kumhar in a temper with his wife pulls his donkey's ears. The wrath of the 
potter's wife falls on her ass. The Kumhar's ass runs after any one with muddy 
breeches. Sooner or later the potter's daughter-in-law must come to the refuse 
heap. (Kumhars burn refuse in their kilns and cannot afford to seclude their 
women.) The Kumharin has become sati for the death of the Teli's ox. (Proverb 
of the meddlesome.) To the potter a year, to the cudgel a minute. (The making 
and breaking of pots.) The Kumhar can sleep sound ; no one will steal his clay. 

If you are civil to a potter he will neither respect you nor sell you pots. The 
potter's bride must come to the kiln. Like selling pots in potters' street. A 
dearth of pots in a potter's house. (Proverb of the impossible.) The proof of the 
kiln is in the firing of the pots. In a deserted village even a potter is a scribe. 
(Kumhars are supposed to be very stupid.) 

CHURIHAK. 

(Bangle-Maker.) 
If the bangle-maker drops his load he wants a basket to pick up the bits. 
(The bangles are of glass.) The bangle-maker can squeeze a girl's arm under her 
husband's nose. (Bangles must be fitted, even in the zanana.) 

LOHAE, KAMAR, ETC. 

(Blacksmith.) 

One stroke of a blacksmith is worth a goldsmith's hundred. Seven strokes by 
a carpenter equal one by a Lobar. The Lobar is a bad friend ; he will either 
burn you with fire or stifle you with smoke. Sparks are the lot of a blacksmith's 
legs. Do not sit near a carpenter or near a blacksmith's forge. (For fear of chips 
from the one and sparks from the other.) If you live with a blacksmith your 
clothes will be burned. To sell a needle in the Lohar's quarter (Coals to New- 
castle). If the bull must be branded let the Lobar do it. A blacksmith's shop — 
like the place where donkeys roll. A monkey saw the good nature of the Kalian 
and asked him to make it a pair of anklets. Don't buy the smith's pet maina even 
if you can get it for a pice._ (The bird will mimic the noise of his hammer.) 
When a child is born to a Kalian, sugar is distributed in the street of the dancing- 
girls.* To keep house like a Kammalan (Said of slovenly management). If you 
buy a cow from a Kammalan cut its ears first. The Kammalan's cloth — so thin 
that the hair on his legs shows through, and so dirty that it will not burn. They 
met the Kamaron the road and wanted him to make them a dao. (When he had 
no tools with him.) Before the smith can make a screw he must learn how to 
make a nail. 



3i6 PEOPLE OF INDIA 



BARHAI, SUTAR. 

(Carpenter.) 

When the work is done who remembers the carpenter ? For long things a 
Sutar, for short ones a Lobar. (The former cuts up planks, the latter hammers 
out bits of iron and makes them longer.) The carpenter's face ! (Not to be seen 
when he promised to come.) The Sutar cuts the wood but saves the chips. (For 
fuel.) Do not sit near the Sutar. (His chips fly.) A whore's oath and a Sutar's 
chip. The Sutar's adze is as sharp as the gibe of the first wife at the second. 
The Sutar thinks of nothing but wood, and his wife walks and talks in time to the 
plane. A carpenter out of work planes his friends' buttocks. The fool of a Barhai 
has neither chisel nor adze and wants to be the village carpenter. 

Lifelong drudgery, like the carpenter, who can never stop making spoons of 
cocoanut shell. A carpenter knows all sorts of wood, but cannot cut down a tree. 
Will you find curds in the house of the carpenter or boiled rice in the house of the 
niggard? The carpenter wants his wood too long, and the blacksmith wants his 
iron too short. 

BHARBHUNJA. 

(Grain-parcher.) 

A Bharbhunja's (grain-parcher's) daughter, and saffron on her forehead ! 
(Proverb of presumption.) 

BHATIARA. 

(Inn-keeper.) 

Will the children of a Bhatiara die of hunger. The mother a cook, the son a 
fop. The Bhatiara's platter is licked clean. The cook is dead ; the constable 
weeps. 

HALWAI. 

(Confectioner.) 
A confectioner's daughter and a butcher's mistress. 

MALI. 

(Gardener.) 

The Mali may water the trees, but the season brings the flowers. The jackals 
quarrel over the Mali's Indian corn. In famine the Mali ; in plenty the weaver. 
(Food comes before clothes.) Mother an oilwoman, father a Mali ; their son 
a Muhammadan and calls himself Sujan Ali. (Reflexion on liaisons between 
members of different castes.) Offend a Mali ; he will take your flowers but not 
your life. 

PAM"SARI. 

(Druggist.) 
A mouse found a bit of turmeric and set up as a Pansari. 

TELI. 

(Oilman.) 

What will an oilman do if you set him to weave ? Two Teli^ and foul talk. 
Whose friend is the Teli ; he earns a rupee and calls it eight annas. An oilman 
sits at ease while his mill goes round. The Ghanchi's bullock walks miles and gets 



APPENDIX I 317 

no further. (He goes round and round in the mill.) A Ghanchi's bullock crushed 
in the oil-mill. (Over-work.) Don't be a Brahman's servant or an oil-presser's 
bullock. The oil-presser lost his bullock and is still looking for the peg to vi^hich 
it was tied. The Teli's bullock is always blind. What does an oilman know 
about the savour of musk ? An oilman's daughter, and she climbs up a siras tree 
and sits on the top branch ! A Ghanchi's daughter and has never heard of oil- 
cake ! The mother a day labourer, the father an oilman, and the son a " bunch 
of flowers." (Parvenu's swagger.) The Telin saves a little oil whenever she 
serves, but God takes all at once. (She gives short measure, but loses all when 
the jar breaks.) A woman who quarrels with her Telin must sit in the dark. 
A woman who marries a Teli need never wash her hands with water. The Red- 
book (Qazi) up and spoke, " What made the ox fight ? The oil-cake you fed it 
on ; so give me the ox and pay a fine into the bargain." 

AHIR, GOLA, ETC. 

(Cowherd.) 

You will get good out of an Ahir when you get butter out of sand. Can a 
crust be dainty, can an Ahir teach religion .' An Ahir's wealth ; an earthen pot. 
The churner is worth more than the pail. 

Koshi (the head of the Ahirs) has fifty brick houses and several thousand 
swaggerers. An Ahir, however clever, can sing nothing but his Lorik song. (A 
tribal ballad of the origin of the Ahlrs.) 

Better be kicked by a Rajput, or stumble uphill, than hope for anything from 
a jackal, from spear-grass, or from an Ahir. The Ahir's business has been 
done and he won't stand us even a draught of butter-milk. See the perversity 
of the Ahir's wife : she takes out the grain and serves the husks. The barber's 
son learns to shave on the Ahir's head. (A clown for a shaving-block.) As long 
as a Musahar (a gipsy-like menial) lives, the Ahir will get no good out of his cows. 
A Gola, a drum beater and a procurer are nobody's friends. A Gola's heart is 
as hollow as a bamboo. Never be civil to a Gola ; he is full of vices ; his mother 
is a bad lot aiid he counts his fathers by the dozen. The cow is in league with 
the milkman and lets him milk water into the pail. A Gola's quarrel. (Drunk 
at night and friends in the morning.) For a Gola the court is always next door. 
(Litigiousness.) The Gola and his wife fall out and their donkey gets his ears 
cropped. The Gola was guilty, but the Ghanchi lost his bullock. A donkey has 
more sense than a Gola. Calls himself a Gola but eats kanji. (Rice gruel made 
with water.) If I have to pay for my curds, what do I gain by flirting with the 
milkmaid ? A milkman would not give pure milk even to his father.' 

GUJAE. 

(Cultivator.) 
When you see a Gujar hammer him. You cannot tame a hare, or make a 
friend of a Gujar. Dogs, monkeys and Giijars change their minds at every step. 
When all other castes are dead make friends with a Gujar. A house in ruins is 
better than a village full of Giijars. It will remain waste unless a Gujar takes it. 
(Said of poor land.) The Rangar and Gujar are two, the cat and dog are two ; 
but "for these four you might sleep with open doors. A Giijar's daughter is a 
box of gold. (The bride-price is high among Gujars.) A Dom made friends with 
a Gujar ; the Gujar looted his house. We have caught the Gujar's wife ; fetch 
a large basin to hold the ransom. Sense for a Gujar ; a sheath for a harrow. 
(Two impossibles-) In nQ fn^n's land one makes friends with Gaddis and 
Gujars. 



3i8 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

GARERI, BHARWAD. 

(Shepherd.) 

However good a shepherd he is still a bit of a fool. The shepherd looks for 
his sheep while he has it on his shoulders. The shepherd who trusted a bear ! 
The shepherd said that the sheep would bite him and hid himself in a pot. For 
one thing she is a Garerin ; for another she stinks of garlic. The Gareri got 
drunk when he saw the Ahir in liquor. If you have never seen a ghost (J>hut), 
look at a Bharwad. A squint-eyed Bharwad has seven hundred friends. (Every 
one knows him by his squint.) 

BANJARA. 

(Carrier and Nomad.) 
The Barijaras are honest and never steal. The Banjara's mother watches the 
seasons (for her son's return from his periodical journeys). Watch for the home- 
coming of a servant, a thief, a Thag and a Banjara. Strip off her shell, O Banjara, 
and put it on some one more worthy. (Refers to the shell bracelets worn by married 
women, and to the reputation of the Banjaris.) 

GADHVI. 

(Nomad and Cattle Dealer.) 
However far the Gadhvi goes he is always at home. "Whither bound, 
Gadhvi ? " " The beast that goes furthest will carry me." The Gaddi is a good- 
natured sort of fool ; ask him for a cap and he will give you a coat. 

DARZI. 

(Tailor.) 

Tailors, goldsmiths, and weavers are too sharp for the angel of death : God 
only knows where to have them. The tailor's " this evening" and the shoe-maker's 
" next morning " never come. A tailor's finishing, a goldsmith's polishing take 
many days. However sharp his sight a Darzi is blind. (He sees nothing but 
his work.) A Darzi's son is a Darzi and must sew as long as he lives. A Darzi 
steals your cloth and makes you pay for sewing it. When four tailors meet they 
talk about want of work. When a tailor is out of work he sews up the mouth of 
his son. Sai, Merai, and Darzi, these be three ; " with our yards, scissors and 
thread," say they, " we be six." A tailor's needle, now in embroidery and now 
in canvas. What is it to a tailor whether he march or halt ? (He has only needle 
and thread to carry.) A snake in a tailor's house ; who wants to kill it ? 

DHOBI. 

(Washerman.) 

Every one has his clothes washed, but the Dhobi is always unclean (cere- 
monially). Change your Dhobi as you change your clothes. The washerman 
cries for his wages ; the master for his clothes. A Dhobi's dog ; neither at home 
nor at the washing-place (A rolling stone). As many changes of linen as a Dhobi. 
The king's scarf is used as the Dhobi's loin-cloth. At a. Dhobi's wedding they 
all walk on cloth. (The customers' clothes are used as a carpet.) The Dhobi's 
son is the swell of the village. The Dhobi's son is always smart on a whistle 
and a bang. (The Dhobi whistles at his work and bangs the clothes on a stone 
to drive the water through them. He then gives them to his son to wear.) A 



APPENDIX I 319 

washerman's finery is never his own. The Dhobi's house is robbed, and the 
neighbours lose their clothes. The Dhobi's stone is his brother. Had you been 
born a stone you might have been of use to a ; Dhobi. (Proverb of a worthless 
fellow, good only to beat clothes on.) No soap is used unless many Dhobis live 
together. (Effect of competition.) The Dhobi takes care not to tear his father's 
clothes. A donkey has but one master and a washerman has but one steed. 
Steal the Dhobi's donkey and give it to the Dom. (Rob Peter to pay Paul.) At 
the Dhobi's wedding the donkeys have a holiday. The mother a laundress and 
the son a draper. In a Koiri village the Dhobi is the accountant. (He is the 
only man who can count.) To see a Dhobi the first thing in the morning brings 
bad luck. The washerman knows when the village is poor ; the orderly knows 
when his master has been degraded. Though a washerman were dying of thirst 
rain would kill him straight off. A washerman who has learnt his letters throws away 
his washing-board. A new washerman washes with care. The washerman had 
a drum beaten when he started washing. (Directed at the arrogance of washer- 
men.) If a washerman is sick he gets well at the washing- stone. (He cannot 
stop work.) What cares the washerman for one who wears no clothes ? The 
desire of the washerman is for the washerwoman ; the desire of the washerwoman 
is for her donkey. A washerman's donkey. (Proverb of overwork.) Though 
its life is oozing out of its eyes the washerman's donkey must carry the linen home. 
Will ploughing with an ass make a farmer of the washerman ? Was it the wind 
or the washerman that spoiled the cloth ? 

KAI.AI.. 

(Distiller and Liquor Seller.) 
Oil and bribes soften most things, but not a kupa, a Kalal, or a Musalman. 
(A kiipa is a large leather bottle used for carrying ^^?.) If you have never seen a 
Thag take a look at a Kalal. Death may budge, but a Kalal won't. The Kalal's 
daughter went to drown herself, and the people said "she is drunk." The 
drunkard's evidence is in favour of the Kalal. If you want to climb trees you 
must be born a Shanar. (A South Indian caste who tap palm trees for toddy.) 

JOLAHA. 

(Musalman Weaver.) 
If he has a pot full of grain, a Jolaha thinks himself a Raja. A Jolaha's 
daughter and calls her sisters " Bubu." (In imitation of high caste people.) How 
should a weaver be able to reap barley ? The fool of a Jolaha went out to cut 
grass when even the crows were going home. Kodo and marua are not real food 
grains ; the Jolaha and Dhuniya are not real cultivators. The silly Jolaha has 
found the hind peg of a plough and wants to start farming on the strength of it. 
Last year I was a Jolaha ; this year I am a Shekh ; next year if prices rise I shall 
be a Saiyad. A weaver by caste and his name is Fateh Khan. (Lord of Victory.) 
Grod save us ! The Jolaha going a-hunting ! Pathans the slaves of Jolahas ! 
(Proverb of the impossible.) The weaver steals a reel at a time, but God 
destroys whole bales. If a Jolaha leaves his loom and takes to travelling he 
is sure to be knocked about. The Jolaha went out to see the rams fight and 
got butted himself. If there are eight Jolahas and nine huqqas they fight for 
the odd one. (None of them can count.) The Jolaha was one of twelve, he could 
only find eleven and went off to bury himself. (He had omitted to count himself 
and concluded that he must be dead.) A Jolaha will crack indecent jokes with 
his mother and sister. The Jolaha's wife will pull her own father's beard. 

A Jolaha reckons time by his own standard. The ass eats the crop and the 



320 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

Jolaha gets hammered. The Jolaha went to the mosque to get off his fasting, 
and was told to say prayers as well. Id without a Jolaha ! (Impossible.) The 
Jolahas came to a field of linseed by moonlight ; the leader said, " How blue the 
water is ; I hope you all can swim." The Jolaha got into his boat, but forgot to 
pull up the anchor ; after rowing all night he found himself where he was and 
wept at the thought that his native village could not bear to lose him and had 
followed him on his journey. A crow snatched a piece of bread from the 
Jolaha's child and flew with it to the roof : before he gave the child any more 
the Jolaha took away the ladder. The Jolaha listened to the priest reading the 
Quran and delighted the reader by bursting into tears : on being asked what 
part affected him most, he explained that the old MuUa's wagging beard reminded 
him of the death of his pet goat. Even if you see the Jolaha brushing the newly 
woven cloth, do not believe him if he says it is ready : he is as big a liar as the 
Chamar. When his dogs barked at the tiger the weaver whipped his child. The 
weaver's wife was fool enough to wrestle with a camel. The Moghal and the 
Pathan have had their day ; now even the Tanti learns Persian. The Tanti 
ruined himself by buying a pair of bullocks. (By taking to agriculture ) A 
weaver in a small way of business took to weaving tasar silk. The thief was 
seized with colic, and the weaver sat down on a wasp. (Proverb of sudden 
misfortune.) The weaver digs a pit and falls into it himself. (His loom is sunk 
in the ground.) There is neither yarn nor cotton, yet the Kori (Sind weaver) 
beats his apprentice for not weaving cloth. What has a weaver to do with a 
sword ? (Reputed cowardice.) The weaver weaves what he has in his mind. 

DHUNIYA. 

(Cotton Carder.) 

No one meddles with the tailor and carpenter ; all comers beat the cotton 
carder. 

MARIYA or THATHERA. 

(Brazier.) 

No one knows the mind of women, crows, parrots and Mariyas. When the 
Mariya meets his wife he beats her. One brazier swopping goods with another. 
(Greek meets Greek.) Two Thatheras cannot make a deal. 

NUNIYA. 

(Earth- Worker.) 

A Nuniya's daughter gets no rest, neither in her father's house nor in her 
husband's. 

KASAI. 

(Butcher.) 

A Kasai never tells the truth ; if he did he would not be a Kasai. Butchers 
have no human feelings. If you have not seen a tiger, you must have seen a cat ; 
if you have not seen a Thag, you must have seen a Kasai. To give a cow to a 
butcher. (Putting sheep in charge of the wolf) A bad cow is best with the butcher. 
The righteous man is in trouble and the butcher prospers. Pen-butchers (clerks) 
are worse than cow-butchers. How can a Ramdasi (Hindu ascetic) live in a 
village of Kasais ? The butcher hunted for his knife when he had it in his mouth. 



APPENDIX I 321 

RANGARI RANGSAZ. 

(Dyer.) 
A dyer wants to paint the town red ! (The point of the original is in the play 
on the Marathi word Ranga, meaning both pleasure and colour.) 

SAIiAT or SILAVAT. 

(Stone Carver.) 
A Salat out of work will cut stones. 

NAIKIN or DEVADASI. 

(Dancing Girl.) 
The dancing girl who could not dance said the room was too small. Does a 
dancing girl's daughter need to be taught dancing t 

ATTAR. 

(Perfumer.) 
An Attar's scent bottle is a juggler's bag of triclcs. (He will call his one scent 
whatever the purchaser demands.) 

MACHHI, KOLI, ETC. 

(Fisherman.) 
Better three clouts from an oil woman than three kisses from a fishwife. (The 
latter stinks offish.) A fisherman's tongue (Billingsgate). The fisherman wears a 
rag, the Pantari (fishmonger) has gold in his ears. What does a fisherman know 
about precious stones ? If the fishmonger saw what the net sees he would die of 
joy. The Muhano (Sind fisherman) has a stomach-ache and his donkey is branded. 
Sometimes the float is uppermost, sometimes the fisherman. (Fishermen float 
face downwards on earthen pots which occasionally capsize.) A Machhi woman 
will go on talking even after she has been buried. A fishwife dead is better than an 
oil woman living. The buffalo and the Machhi woman both lose flesh in Phalgun. 
(When the grass is dried up, and the stocks of grain have run short so that the 
services of the Machhini as a professional grain parcher are not much in demand.) 
A cow to a fisherman, a boat to a herdsman. (Square peg in round hole.) A 
hungry Brahman will set fire to a village ; a hungry hill Koli will loot a house. The 
hill Koli digs a hole at night (in the mud wall of the house which he is robbing). 

CHAMAR, MOCHI, ETC. 
(Tanner and Leather Worker.) 

The Chamar and the jackal — both wily. The Chamar and the Dhed (birds of 
a feather). Slippery as a Chamar. The Chamar knows about his last : his 
curiosity goes no further. (JSfe sutor ultra crepidatn.) The Chamar always looks 
at your shoes (to see if they want mending). The shoemaker's wife goes barefoot. 
The shoemaker gets a smack in the face with a shoe of his own making. Offer old 
shoes to the shoemaker's god. (The shortest way with a Chamar is to beat him 
with a shoe.) The shoemaker sits on his awl and beats himself for stealing it. 
Stitch, stitch, in the shoemakers' quarter ; stink, stink, in the tanners' quarter. The 
cobbler's dirt, the barber's wound are both hard to bear. The cobbler's shoe 
pinches ; the barber's razor cuts. What profits a wayfarer by the best of food in a 
Chamar's house ? (The caste is unclean.) Too many tanners spoil the hide. The 
R, PI 21 



322 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

Chamars quarrel and the Raja's saddle is torn. The Mochi's knife does not ask 
where the leather comes from (i.e., whether it is clean or unclean). May you die 
at a Mochi's door! (So that he may tan your skin.) The Mochi grieves at the 
sight of his own skin. (Because he can make no use of it.) The Mochi's wife runs 
away, but the Mochi goes on sewing. The good-looking Chamarin prides herself on 
her complexion. A Chamar's daughter and her name is Raja Rani ! The Chamar's 
daughter does deg-ar (compulsory unpaid labour) even in heaven. The Mochi's 
aunt has smart clothes given to her, but his wife and mother go bare. (A reflexion 
on the morals of the aunt.) If sandal-wood fell into the hands of a Chamar and 
he used it to pound leather, what could the poor sandal-wood do ? (Unwilling 
association with low people.) The Chamar said to the village headman : " How is 
that buffalo of yours ? " (The skins of dead cattle are the perquisite of the village 
Chamar, who is supposed to resort to poison to secure his rights.) Even a Chakkali 
girl and the ear of the millet are beautiful when ripe (i.e., when the girl has 
attained puberty). The spoiled child of the shoemaker made her dinner off shoes : 
though she did not digest them they did her no harm. To buy leather from a 
shoemaker. (Proverb of the inappropriate, as the shoemaker keeps leather to 
make up into shoes.) A shoemaker's wife and a blacksmith's mare are always 
the worst shod. She is a shoemaker's wife, but her feet burn for want of shoes. 
My affairs are like Nandan's kingdom. (Nandan was a Chamar, who became a 
king for three hours, and issued leather coin.) Now that Chamars may drink from 
the Ganges the righteous die and the wicked live. (Formerly Chamars were 
not allowed to touch the Ganges.) There is no hiding the belly from the midwife. 
(Said of people who make a mystery of what is well known.) ' 

DOM. 

(Scavenger.) 

The Dom is the lord of death. (He provides the wood for cremating a 
corpse.) Doms, Brahmans, goats — no good in time of need. Carts, boats and 
Doms — all three run crooked. A Dom is a bad servant and a fiddle-bow a bad 
weapon. A Dom met a barber ; one beat his drum, the other held up his mirror. 
(Demanding their fees.) A Dom made friends with a barber and got shaved for 
nothing. A Dom made friends with a weaver and got clothed for nothing. A 
Dom made friends with a Baniya ; he borrowed ten and repaid a hundred. A 
Dom sang for a Jat and got as much milk as he could drink. A Dom made 
friends with a Ranghar and found no worse thief than he. A Dom made friends 
with a Gujar ; the Gujar looted his house. A Dom made friends with a Kanjar ; 
the Kanjar stole his dog. (Kanjars are gipsies and professional thieves and are 
said to be fond of dogs.) A Dom his father and a Dom his grandfather, yet he 
boasts of his noble birth. (After conversion to Islam.) Behind your back, the 
Dom is a king. Encourage a Domni and she will bring her whole family and sing 
out of tune. If donkeys could excrete sugar, Doms would not be beggars. A 
Dom in a palanquin and a Brahman on foot. (Society upside down.) If a Dom 
strips himself naked, what can you do to him ? (Shamelessness.) The fool of a 
Domni put the antimony on her nose (Instead of on her eyelids.) A Domni's 
slave. (Expression of contempt.) The fisherman Dom has seven wives and 
never a bed for one. The Domni lifted the load without polluting it. The absent- 
minded Domni took a net for a basket and called her husband kakai (elder 
brother) in the dark. At the Dom's wedding the Dom may call the tune. The 
Domni's son betrays his caste by drinking from an earthen pot. The Chandal 
licks the platter, he leaves neither hair nor flies. 



APPENDIX I 323 



BHIIi. 

The Bhil is the king of the jungle ; his arrow flies straight. The Bhil is 
always ready for the prey. With a Bhil for escort your life is safe. If you please 
him he is a Bhil ; if not, he is the son of a dog. Bhils are very shifty ; one 
buttock bare, the other clothed. BhIls and Berads have no lack of children. 
What is an aunt to a Mang or a niece to a Bhil. (Reflexion on their morality.) 
As noisy as a company of Bhils. There is no dawdling in a Bhll's house. 
(Referring to their wandering habits.) 

DHED. 

(Scavenger.) 

Dheds are friends only with Dheds. When a Dhed dies the world is the 
cleaner. Riches in the hands of a Dhed. (Put to a bad use.) To eat like a 
Dhed. (To eat unlawful food.) A Dhed's tamarind, be it sweet or sour ! (It is 
anyhow untouchable.) A Dhed looked at the water jar and thus polluted it. A 
Dhedni's foster son. (A low fellow.) The Havaldar (steward) sent for a Dhedni 
and she polluted the whole village. If a Dhed runs up against you, you must go 
off and bathe. Even a Dhedni's feet are red for four days. (Until the henna 
applied at her marriage has worn off.) Who will marry a Dhed's daughter? 
Who would father a Dhed's children ? Annoy a Dhed and he throws up dust. 
(In sweeping the road.) He went to the Dhed's quarter and found only a heap of 
bones. 

PARIAH. 

Every village has its hamlet of Pariahs (outside its limits). The work of a 
Pariah is only half done. If you teach a Pariah, will he unlearn his brogue ? A 
palm tree casts no shade, a Pariah has no caste rules. The flower of a bottle 
gourd stinks, a Pariah's song is unsavoury. If an ox grows fat, it will not stay in 
the stall ; if a Pariah grows rice he will not sit on a mat. Not even a Pariah will 
plough on a full moon day. If a Pariah offers boiled rice, will not the god accept 
it ? He that breaks his word is a Pariah at heart. 

MAHAB. 

(Village Menial.) 

The Mahar is dead ; he no longer defiles. The Mahar only meddles with you 
at the village gate. (He is the gate-keeper of the walled villages in the Maratha 
country.) Why is the Mahar's wife so stuck up ? She has got a cow's horn full 
of grain. Why is the Mahar so stuck up ? He is holding the headman's horse. 
Be it crooked or straight, the bread comes from the village. (The Mahar is said 
to have fifty-two perquisites. One of them is the right to collect bread from house 
to house.) To the Mahar's god the offering is an old blanket. The Mahar's child 
has bones for playthings. (Animals that die in the village are the perquisite of the 
Mahar.) Let the Chamar run away with the Mahar's mother. 

MANG. 

Trust not a Mang ; he will say anything. Mangs watch the forest-paths as 
cobras watch treasure. (It is believed that each site of hidden treasure has its 
keeper reborn in the form of a cobra.) What is an aunt to a Mang or a niece to 
a Bhil ? (Neither has any morals.) 



324 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

PABSI. 

A Parsi ! He loses no time in breaking his word. Parsis are educated and 
yet they sell oil. (Considered rather a low occupation.) A Parsi out of work goes 
to Pardhi. {Crceculus esuriens in ccelum jusseris tbit.) Why follow after Bezon 
Surti ? (A notable Parsi swindler and hypocrite.) A Parsi's son ; the urine of an 
ass. A Parsi youth never tells the truth. {Parsi bachcka, kabhi na bole sachcha.) 
Grasias are not dirty, and Parsis are not o_utcasts. A bankrupt Baniya turns 
broker ; a bankrupt Parsi starts a liquor shop. The day of Zoroaster ; open the 
box and get out the brandy. If a Parsi gets rich, he takes a second wife, or buys 
his neighbour's house. (Dating from before the Parsi Marriage Act by which at 
the instance of the Parsis themselves the reproach of polygamy was removed from 
their community.) Spectacles to the blind, sweets to the sick, a Parsi at a Hindu's 
table. (Orthodox Hindus cannot eat with Parsis.) The Mali waters the jasmine, 
the Bhisti looks for a well, the Andhyaru (Parsi priest) peers for a rich man's 
death. (In quest of fees.) All dark in a house where you find an Andhyaru. 
(Suggestion of scandal; notice the pun.) If a Dastur (priest) speaks, he will 
dishonour his beard. 

" Oh, Dasturji, how shall my sins be forgiven ? " " Present a gold cat, and a 
silver necklace, and then we will see." The Parsi woman offers a cocoanut at the 
Hindu Holi. Crows your uncles and Parsis your fathers. (Parsi repartee, in the 
usual style of Oriental innuendo, to those who call them crows because they expose 
their dead to be eaten by crows and vultures.) A Parsi's stroke^ike a cannon 
ball. (A Parsi saying which one would like to trace to the achievements of Parsi 
cricketers.) The Hindu worships stones ; the Musalman saints ; the religion of 
the Parsi is as pure (from idolatry) as the water of the Ganges. 

ASCETICS & DEVOTEES. 

Who can identify a drug that has been powdered and an ascetic whose head 
has been shorn? (Jogis do not say, and often do not know, what caste they 
originally belonged to.) Who cares what was a Jogi's caste. Money will buy the 
most pious of saints. In old days the Bhakats used to wash their firewood before 
cooking ; now they do not even wash their feet. Penance alone does not make a 
saint. You may put on saintly garb, O Jogi, but the ashes will cover no evil deeds. 
A sect mark on his forehead and ten rosaries round his neck, in appearance a 
saint, but at heart in love with a prostitute. An ascetic of yesterday, and matted 
hair down to his knees. A naked woman will tempt a saint. When fish are in 
season the Jogi loses his head. She went to the Fakir to learn morals ; the holy 
man tore off her trousers. Follow your preceptor's precepts, not his practice. 
One Sannyasi is as good as a hundred Brahmans. One widow has more virtue 
than a hundred Dandis (Saivite ascetics who carry clubs). When a man cannot 
get a wife he turns ascetic. When his crop has been burnt up, the Jat turns Fakir. 
As soon as the ducks lay eggs the Bhakats eat them up. Is the pestle of the 
dhenki heavier than the demands of the Bhakat ? 

An ascetic's friendship spells ruin to his friends. A king, a Jogi, fire, and 
water are not to be trusted. Whether the bitch die on the road or by the river, 
the Jogi will say " see how my words have come true." It is a bad sign if a 
Saiyad blows a horn (like a Fakir) or a Brahman wears a dagger. When the 
Fakir goes mad he burns his own hut. Though the mountain may move, the 
Fakir won't. The Fakir is happy in his old blanket. Better the rice of a mendi- 
cant Brahman than the rice of a king riding on an elephant. Promise a Brahman 
nothing, but promise a mendicant less. Even ascetics observe caste and religious 
distinctions. Among shepherds no Saivas, among potters no Vaishnavas. A 
Sannyasi's alms in Musalman street. (Going to the wrong shop.) 



APPENDIX I 32s 

A Fakir's bag contains everything. Who can stop a Fakir's tongue? A 
Fakir's inn is where night overtakes him. To a Fakir a blanket is a shawl. 
A Fakir, a borrower and a child are all devoid of understanding. What has a 
Fakir to do with fighting ? Mendicancy is the veil that covers the lion. (Con- 
cealed rapacity.) The Jogi and the profligate pass sleepless nights. 

" Reverend father, what a crowd of disciples ! " " They will vanish, my son, as 
soon as they are hungry." " What has a saint to do with dainties ? If there is no 
butter-milk I can manage with curds." " Oh, mother, give me some sweets ; they 
are very good for the eyes." " My son, if you have a taste for milk and cream you 
should turn Nanakshahi." The local Jogi gets no alms. Too many ascetics 
spoil the feast of Jagannath. 

The Dhundia is neither Hindu nor Musalman ; neither Jogi nor Jati ; he is a 
stupid fellow. If you follow the Dhundia's religion ill luck will follow you. The 
Dhundia has an ebony walking-stick with a silk tassel, but for all that he is an 
arrant knave. The Ganges is spotless, the Jangam is childless. What has 
a Jangam to do with a sacred thread or a Brahman with trade? Company ruined 
the Jangam ; solitude ruined the Domba (strolling clown). 

MISCELIiAITEOUS. 

The human race is a mixed crowd : some are Bhands and some Bhangis ; but 
Bhands are better than Bhats. A Rand (prostitute), a Bhand and a Bhainsa 
(buffalo) are dangerous if they turn against you. If a Bhand will hold his tongue 
I will give him a buffalo. He cultivated with a Bhand for his partner ; the Bhand 
took all the crop and said he had earned it by his music. What caste has the 
sweeper, what credit the liar ? A Mochi (leather dresser) marries a Bhangi 
(sweeper) and does not stay the night. A big charger and a sweeper riding it. 
God takes care of the Dubla. A Dubla eats what he earns and leaves his funeral 
to God. What will you get by robbing a Dubla? A Dubla will do no work while 
a grain is left in the pot. Dogs and Dublas never lose their way. A Dubla girl 
married to a Desai. (Social promotion.) When Thags are being registered the 
whole village turns ascetic. When a Thag dines with a Thag the dinner consists 
of high words. In the company of artisans, bow-makers, and clothiers you will 
hear plenty of lies ; if you want more try the Mirai. Trustees, devils, Rajputs, 
widows, and Mirasis make an outward show of friendship, but inside are full' of 
deceit. The Naga's wife has a baby ; the Naga takes the medicine. (Is this a 
reminiscence of the couvade f) Do not abuse the boatman until you are over the 
ferry. A broken cart, an old buffalo, and a Pachada for a friend ; avoid these or 
they will devour you. A Bhabha (Bhattiya) is no man's friend. They buried the 
Bhattiya seven yards deep and still he did not die. Have you ever seen a dead 
monkey or a dead Kuravan ? Beat not a barking dog, nor tempt the mouth of a 
Tigala woman. (The Tigalas, market gardeners of Mysore, are notoriously 
quarrelsome.) Two Mahatam huts and calls itself Luckville (Khairpur). Does 
the son of an Irulan starve when field rats are scarce ? An acrobat's son is always 
turning somersaults. The Tartar who lives in a city feels himself in prison. 
Make a Waghia a Pagia (Captain), he will still cry Elkot. (The story goes that 
a Waghia who had been dedicated as a child at the temple of Khandoba near 
Poona rose to command a squadron of Maratha cavalry. One day his horse 
shied and threw him, forcing from him the cry of " Elkot " with which the Waghias 
demand alms.) He killed his own buffalo to save it from the Waghri. When a 
bafis near death, it flies to the Waghri's house. 

MUHAMMADANS. 

The country that has no crows has no Musalmans. In a village where there 
are no Musalmans the cotton cleaner calls himself Saiyad Miyan. (An impossible 



326 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

name made up of two distinguished titles.) What does a beef-eater know of 
decent language? If girls are sold for a pie a piece don't take a Musalmani. 
Can a Musalman become a Davari by going to Tirupati ? (A famous Hindu 
temple in the Madras Presidency.) A Musalman ascetic's buttermilk is toddy. 
Even a Qazi (Muhammadan judge) will drink spirits if he gets it for nothing. 

The Afghan is faithless. Be a thief, be a thief. (Injunction of Afrldi parents 
to a child while passing him backwards and forwards through a hole in a wall — 
the ordinary method of burglarious entry in India.) Blood for blood. (The 
sanctity of the vendetta.) The Baloch who steals gains Paradise for his ancestors 
even unto seven generations. Who marries not an Ishaqi girl deserves an ass for 
a bride. (The Ishaqi clan of the Bannuchi is noted for the beauty of its women.) 
You may know the Chishti by his squint. (A sign of rascality.) 

The MuUa preferred to be drowned rather than give his hand. (Proverb of 
avarice.) The Niazi love a quarrel. A Pathan's enmity is like a dung-fire. A 
saint one moment ; a devil the next ; that is the Pathan. The Pathan boy and his 
brother took a short cut and fell over the cliff. (Impatience.) Hold up a rupee 
and you may look at any Mohmand whether man or woman. (Venality.) The 
Pathans conquer the city and the Jolahas get the benefit. (By serving them.) 
The Shekh came out with a shoe in his hand ; the Pathan ran into his house. 
The Pathan is hungry as soon as his hands are dry. (When he has washed his 
hands after eating. The brevity of the original — hath sukha Pathan bhilkhS, — 
disappears in translation.) 

A Khatak is like a hen ; if you seize him slowly he sits down ; if suddenly he 
clucks. Make friends with any one but a Khatak — may the devil take him 1 
Though the Khatak is a good horseman yet he is a man of but one charge. 
(Proverb of the Marwats, the enemies of the Khataks.) Keep a Marwat to look 
after asses ; his stomach well filled and his feet well worn. (Proverb of the 
Khataks.) 

The drum was beating in the plains and the Bitanni were dancing in the hills. 
(Stupidity.) A hundred Bitanni ate a hundred sheep. (Thriftlessness.) A dead 
Kundi is better than a live one. By caste a cotton carder (Behna), by name 
Nawab. The Pathans took the village and the Behnas got swollen head. A 
swaggering Behna loaded a hen with his drum. 

A Musalman takes back the alms he has given. (Allusion to the practice of 
resuming the dowry when a married daughter dies.) Even two families of Musal- 
mans cannot agree. A Musalman convert cries " Allah ! Allah ! " all day long. A 
Dom his father; a Dom his grandfather; yet he talks of his noble birth. The 
mother a Panhari, the father a Kanjar, and the son Mirza Sangar. 

When Mir comes the Plrs retire. When rich, a Mir ; when poor, a Fakir ; 
when dead, a Pir. Mirsahib is indeed of high family with his smooth cheeks and 
his empty stomach. Mirsahib ! Times are hard, you must hold on your turban 
with both hands. 

When two hearts agree what can the Qazi do? The Red-book (Qazi) up 
and spoke, " Oilman, what made the ox fight ? The oil cake you gave him, 
so I must have the ox and a fine into the bargain." The Hindu who is hauled 
up before a Qazi does not find it a feast. A Qazi's judgment (Proverb of 
injustice). " Qazi, why so thin?" " The city's cares wear me within." The fowl 
killed by the Qazi is lawful meat. The Qazi's bitch may give pups anywhere. 
When the Qazi's beard is on fi.re he must put it out himself. When the Qazi's 
bitch died the whole town was at the funeral ; when the Qazi himself died 
not a soul followed his coffin. Though a Qazi become a saint he will still 
have a strain of the devil. To trust a Qazi is to court misfortune. The will 
of God but the act of a Qazi. You get nothing from a Qazi save by force or 
fraud. 



APPENDIX I 327 

If you are well off you are a Shekh ; if not you are a Jolaha. Don't put a peg 
into a sack or a Shekh into a regiment. (Low-caste converts make bad soldiers.) 
A Shekh can deceive even a crow. 

A Turk, a parrot, and a hare ; these three are never grateful. Do not 
provoke a hungry Turk ; he will hunt you to death. The sons of a slave-girl are a 
faithless brood. 

The true Musalmans lie buried in their graves and their faith lies buried in 
their books. Where there are Musalmans there is population. There should be 
no reserve among Musalmans. (Addressed to one who declines an invitation to a 
meal.) The love of Musalmans is the friendship of a snake. A Musalraan, a 
wasp, and a parrot are no man's friends ; in time of difficulty they will turn and 
sting or bite. Sesamiim, molasses and the love of a Musalman are sweet at first 
and afterwards bitter. (Allusion to ease of divorce among Musalmans.) 

Half a doctor and a danger to life : half a MuUa and a danger to faith. You 
love like the MuUa, who feeds fowls to eat them. A real Miyan is a Miyan indeed, 
but some Miyans are Pinjaras (cotton teasers). When the Miyanji (family tutor) 
is at the door it is a bad look-out for the dog. A Miyanji's walk is only as far as 
the mosque. (He is always begging, either at people's houses or at the mosque.) 
A farthing's worth of soap makes the Miyan a Babu. Since when has the Bibi 
become a Brahmani ? (Allusion to the looseness of the marriage tie among 
Muhammadans.) 

Calls himself a Saiyad and will steal even a nose-stud. A Bohra is never 
straight ; he will cringe to you when he wants something and cut you when he has 
got it. 

When salt loses its savour then will the Mopla cease to cheat. 

A Pashtun will go to hell through his own self-will. To see a MuUa is to see 
misfortune. 

The camel calf of uncle Achak. (The reference is to certain Achakzais who 
mistook the remains of a Hindu who had been cremated outside the city gates 
for a camel calf roasted by some robbers and made a hearty meal of it. The 
proverb is aimed at their ignorance and stupidity and may be regarded as the 
Baloch analogue of the story of the Thames bargees who ate the puppy pie under 
Marlow bridge.) The Achakzai is a fellow who will steal an empty flour-bag. A 
■wicked son of Achak — if you see him, fly from him. If the father makes friends 
with Achak, the son should not follow suit. The Kakar besmeared with filth — if 
you see him hit him with a stick : expel him from the mosque and you will save 
trouble. A Masezai has no hope of God ; and God has no hope of a Masezai. 

The hills are the forts of the Baloch : better are they than double-storied 
houses with wind-sails : his steed is a pair of white sandals : his brother is his 
sharp sword. The beauty of the night is in the stars : and that of the desert in the 
Baloch. Though a Jam be a Jam, yet he is Jadgal by descent ; and therefore not 
the equal of the princely race of Baloch. A Baloch with his trousers full of wind. 
(Referring to his boastfulness and the wide trousers that he. wears.) All the 
sandal-wearing Baloch are brothers. (Illustrating their democratic spirit.) Whose 
friend is the black snake of a Gichki ? his words are sweet, but his heart is poison. 
When all is said and done a Gichki is a Hindu at bottom. (Gichkis are supposed 
to be Hindu immigrants from India.) One Sanni and seven chiefs. On this side 
sixty and on that side fifty : all shared the fate of the chameleon. (The story is 
that a boy of the Burfat tribe chased a chameleon in the house of a Kalmati 
and killed it there. The wife of the Kalmati complained to her husband that 
the sacred right of sanctuary had been violated and he killed three Burfat boys in 
revenge. Thus arose a blood feud, lasting a hundred years, in the course of which 
sixty Kalmatis and fifty Burfats were killed ) The precipice of the Kalmati. 
(Foolish pride. On his way from Pasni to Kech a Kalmati asked the road from a 



328 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

stranger who pointed out the track. The Kalmati, however, insisted on going 
straight on into the hills, with the result that his camel broke its neck. Thereupon 
he and the stranger fought to the death and were both slain.) 

The Kulanchi's sheep and the Med's cauldron. (Habit of exaggeration. A 
Kulanchi told a Med of a huge mountain sheep which he had seen standing on a 
high hill and grazing in a distant valley. The Med retorted by describing a 
cauldron being made in Bombay on which forty thousand coppersmiths were 
employed, and when asked by the Kulanchi how such a thing was possible, replied : 
In what other utensil could your sheep be cooked ?) Wisdom has begged in vain 
for mercy from the Rinds : and for decency from the Meds. The black-faced Meds 
are like tamarisk sparks without even a glow of courage. (Tamarisk embers soon 
die down.) The Med's livelihood depends upon the wind : and his death comes 
from the wind. The Med busy on his voyage : and his wife busy with her lover. 
(The Meds are engaged in sea-faring.) The Mir of the Rinds and the throne of 
Delhi. (Democratic spirit. According to Baloch traditions, vijhen Mir Chakar, the 
Rind, took Delhi in the 15th century and sat upon the throne, his brethren, jealous 
of his position, sat all round, on the arms and elsewhere, and one of them not to be 
outdone, climbed upon the canopy, when the whole fell down and he was impaled by 
the spike on the top.) 

Whose friend is the misguided Kurgal? he is the striped snake who bit the 
Prophet : he is always coveting other people's property : he even quarrels for it 
with his mother. {Kurgal is a term used among the Jats of the plains for the 
Brahuis. It is possibly a corruption of Kurd-gal, i.e. Kurd folk. The last line 
refers to the tribal custom by which Brahui women are excluded from inheritance.) 
If you have never seen ignorant hobgoblins and mountain-imps, come and look at 
the Brahui. What people are these? 'Ca^xx good is evil. (A play upon the Brahui 
word Sharr, which means good in Brahui but evil in Arabic.) The Brahuis and 
self-will. The Brahuis are the tail of a dog. 

A Mengal's roast. (The Mengals eat half-cooked meat and this expression is 
used of any immature plan.) 

Man, are you a Nichari ? You may not win, but you will not lose. (Slimness.) 

One asked a jackass : " Have you any relations .' " It replied : " The Sassoli 
boasts of being my cousin.'' (Ignorance.) 

Talk of loans in Zahri : and the dead will rise. You a Zarakzai, and I a 
Zarakzai : who will light the fire ? 

A Meman will be faithless though he read seventy Qurans. (Meman is the 
local name of the Khojas.) 

When the Lori gets up, he says : " O God, give me a funeral or wedding 
to-day." (The Loris perform duties connected with these ceremonies.) 

The face of a MuUa but heart of a butcher. The Miyan's (Mahomedan 
zamindar) whole stock of wealth is a mat and a tooth brush. Even if the 
Meman (Mahomedan shopkeeper) goes to Mecca for pilgrimage he will steal 
a pair of scales and weights. When the Meman becomes a lunatic, he throws 
his clothes on his own relations. The Miyan is fit for the grave and the bibi, his 
wife, is fit for the bridal bed. The Khatija enjoys the earnings, her daughter bears 
the blows. (Sale of girls among Mahomedans.) The Jat's (Mahomedan culti- 
vator's) age is 2^ kamlis or blankets. (Measured by the time it takes him to 
change his blanket — dirty habits.) If the Jat peasant is educated, heaven will be 
in a fix. 

The Fakir pockets the alms and the monkey gets but blows. The degenerate 
Moghul beats the ladies of his harem. When the Moghuls come the Persian 
language is forgotten. (The local people do not speak Persian in their presence 
because they cannot speak it pure.) 

A Musalman takes time to bathe and a Hindu takes time to eat his dinner. 



APPENDIX I 329 

A Meman and a fish go against the stream. Miyan and Mahadeo will never 
agree. 

If Miyan and Bibi are willing what can the Qazi do ? When the Miyan broke 
his stick, the Bibi broke the jar of water. (When beaten she broke the pot out of 
revenge.) A Miyan's carriage ! the yoke tied up with palm fibre : he will stop at 
the nearest grog-shop. A Miyan's friendship will last till he reaches your gate ! 
Miyan returns from work and his Bibi combs his beard ! Miyan dies, and the Mas- 
jid is lit up. Miyan licks the floor of the Masjid and the Plr wants goats. Miyan 
licks the lamps in the Masjid and his wife wants dainties. Although Miyan falls 
his legs are up. A Miyan was not well and drank bhang (hemp). (Confusion worse 
confounded.) Miyan goes on striking and cuts down the corn. (Recklessness.) 
Miyan a pigmy, and his beard a foot long. Miyan a seer, but Bibi a seer and a 
quarter. (The gray mare the better horse.) A Miyan has killed a crow, and 
coming to the town he shouts out that he killed a tiger. The Miyan's mind after a 
prostitute and the Blbi's mind after the cooking pots. If the Miyan has to go to 
the north, he will say he goes to the south. Think him mad who tries to be wiser 
than the Miyan. The Miyan can beat his Bibi (wife) with shoes if he only has 
them on his feet. (Poverty and pride.) 

The Miyan's mare went only as far as the boundary of the village. The Miyan's 
beard on fire, and the Bibi thinks he is warming himself. A Miyan's cat. (A 
poor and meek person.) The Miyan cannot get it, and the Bibi does not like it. 
(Sour grapes.) " What are you doing, oh Miyan ? " "I have not a minute's 
leisure and yet I do not earn even a/zV." " Why do you cry, Miyan ?" " My wife 
died to-day." " Why do you laugh, Miyan ? " "I got another wife to-day." "Get 
up, Miyan ! " He will say, " Give me your hand (to raise me)." Miyan goes to 
Mecca, Bibi goes to Malwa. Miyan a fop and Bibi does the dusting. A Miyan 
will live anyhow, but how will the Bibi live ? 

Every one strokes the MuUa's cow. The horse kicked him off, but the MuUa 
boasted of his riding. 

PROVINCIAL CHARACTERISTICS. 

Never make friends with a Deccani ; he is as false as a latrine is filthy. Put 
not your faith in a three-cornered pagri (turban). (Gujarat proverbs of the 
Marathas.) 

A Dravidian's nose-holding. (Circumlocution. A Dravidian is said to hold his 
nose for ceremonial purposes by putting his hand round the back of his neck.) A 
prosperous Telugu is no good to any one. 

The fool of a Gujarati, kick him first and then he may understand you {cf. the 
similar saying about the Chattisgarhi cited above). 

For houses hurdles of maddrj for hedges heaps of withered thorn ; millet for 
bread, horse peas for pulse ; this is thy kingdom. Raja of Marwar. (Aimed at 
Marwari money-lenders who pretend to be great people in their own country.) 

I have seen the land of Bengal where teeth are red and faces black. (Referring 
to the dark complexion of Bengalis and their supposed fondness for chewing betel.) 
If a Bengali is a man what is a devil? The Dacca Bengalis have not so much as 
an earthen pot between them. Bengal is the home of magic and the women are 
full of witchery. An Eastern donkey with a Western bray. (Aimed at the Babus 
who affect European manners.) A hungry Bengali cries " Rice, rice ! " Twelve 
Bengahs cannot cut off a goat's ear. (Gujarat proverb of the weakness and 
cowardice of Bengalis.) 

A pagri (turban) on his head and nakedness below, the Assamese wishes to 
lead the way. (The vanity of a pauper.) The worthless has three wives, the 
worthy one. (Undeserved luxury.) 



330 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

COMPARISONS BETWEEliT CASTES. 

The MuUa, the Bhat, the Brahman, the Dom; these four were not born on 
giving day. When a Jat is well off he kicks up a row ; when a buffalo is gorged 
he refuses to plough ; when a Khatri gets rich he still cringes ; when a Brahman 
has money he quarrels. A Jat, a son-in-law, a nephew, a shepherd, and a goldsmith 
are always ungrateful. A Khatri woman brings forth sons always ; a Brahman 
woman only sometimes. (Possibly aimed at the practice of female infanticide 
imputed to the Khatris). Brahmans are mad? to eat, Bbavaiyas to play and sing, 
Kolis to commit robbery, and widows to mourn. A meddlesome Brahman gives 
advice ; a guileless Baniya gives short weight. Brahman and Jati ; mother-in-law 
and daughter-in-law ; wheat and the mill ; a modest woman and a prostitute — 
none of these agree. You can rob a Brahman but beware of a Grasia. (He will 
show fight.) The field belongs to the Miyan, not to a Brahman widow. The 
hungry Brahman sets the village on fire ; the hungry Koli (his accomplice) plunders 
the houses. The Kunbi died from seeing a ghost, the Brahman from wind in the 
stomach, the goldsmith from bile. (The first is superstitious : the second over- 
eats himself; the third sits too long over his fire.) A Brahman begs, a Kunbi 
ploughs ; after all old things are best. Maharudra (Siva in his terrible aspect) 
trembles at the sight of a black Brahman and a fair Sudra. A black Brahman, a 
fair Siidra, an undersized Musalman, a ghar-jamai, an adopted son — all birds 
of a feather. (A ghar-jamai is a son-in-law who lives with his father-in-law and is 
supported by him.) A dark Brahman, a fair Chiihra, a woman with a beard 
— these three are contrary to nature. Do not cross a river with a black Brahman 
or a fair Chamar. Trust not a black Brahman, nor a fair Holeya. (One of the 
lowest castes in Southern India supposed, like the Chandals in Bengal, to be 
descended from Siidra fathers and Brahman mothers.) The Brahman works for 
fhepijida (rice cake offered to the dead), the Holeya works for drink. 

A Brahman met a barber ; " God be with you " said the one, but the other 
showed his looking-glass. (Each expecting a fee for services rendered.) Laughing 
Brahmans, coughing thieves, and illiterate Kayasths are the destroyers of their 
race. There are three careless ones — the washerman, the barber, and the tailor. 
Pipe, tobacco, courtesans, the Gujar and the Jat, all are one as in the race from 
Father Jagannath. (At the festival of Jagannath there is no distinction of castes.) 
There is no escape from a Baniya's guile and a Jogi's curse. A Brahman for 
minister, a Bhat for favourite, and the Raja's fate is sealed. Baniyas improve 
their property ; Jats ruin theirs ; Doms, poets and Bhats live by flattery. The 
Gujar finds joy in the steppe ; the mendicant in the Dhak tree ; the Brahman in 
rice and milk. (The Gujars are herdsmen ; the Dhdk is a sacred tree ; and 
Brahmans are proverbially greedy.) Better a barren field than a Gujar ; a desert 
than a Mina. The Brahman is lord of the water ; the Rajput lord of the land ; 
the Kayasth lord of the pen ; and the Khatri lord of the back, i.e., a coward. The 
youngest among Brahmans, the eldest among Mukuvans (fishermen), are the 
drudges of the family. 

The Chasa (cultivator) goes to plough ; the Brahman goes to sleep. Loot the 
Baniya if you meet him, but let the Pathan go on his way (or you will catch a 
Tartar). Beware of these three— a goldsmith, a tailor, and a village clerk. The 
goldsmith steals gold and the tailor cloth ; the poor carpenter has only a log to 
shape, and can steal nothing. The goldsmith's acid and the tailor's tag. (Proverb 
of delay ; the one tells you that the ornament is ready, all but the cleaning with 
acid ; the other that the clothes have been made, but the tags have to be sewn on.) 
The goldsmith, the tailor, the Baniya will cheat even their own father. The Teli 
knows all about oil seeds ; the Shimpi (tailor) all about lies ; the village watchman 
all about thieves ; the Lingayat all about everything. 



APPENDIX I 331 

Vellala chief among cultivators ; Kallar chief among thieves. Trust not a 
black Brahman nor a fair Pariah. Like a Pariah and a Brahman (oil and vinegar). 
The tricks of a goldsmith and a weaver are nothing to those of a washerman. 
The washerman knows who is poor in the village ; the goldsmith knows whose 
ornaments are of pure gold. The goldsmith and the Chetty. (Both rascals.) 
Only an albino is fairer than a Khatri ; only an adulterer is sharper than a Kayasth. 
Qazis, Kasbis, Kasais, and Kayasths — the four bad K's. Kayasths, Khatris and 
cocks support their kin ; Brahmans, Doms, and Nais destroy theirs. Qazis, 
crows, and Kayasths stand by their kindred. Ahirs, Gareris (shepherds) and 
Pasis (fowlers) — a poisonous crew. A Dhobi's stone and a potter's donkey ; both 
get plenty of beating. The Rajput and the Jat are like bows made of pestles ; 
they will break but never bend. If a Tamboli (betel-seller) does the oilman's work 
he will set the house on fire. The oilman's cheeks are smooth and shining ; the 
grain parcher's burnt brown. Babhans, dogs, and Bhats are always at war with 
their kin. Seven Chamars are not as mean as one Babhan, and seven Babhans 
are not as mean as one Noniyar Baniya. Only the Naus (barbers) and the Kewats 
help their own caste ; the others merely pretend. Oh King sneeze ! let go the 
Brahman and keep the Jati ; and should you meet a Baniya never let him off. A 
Dhobi is better than a Kayasth ; a Sonar is better than a cheat ; a dog is better 
than a deity ; and a jackal better than a Pandit. 

The Gareri got drunk when he sarw the Ahir in liquor. Ahir, Dafali, Dhobi, 
Dom — these are the four castes that sing. A prodigal Baniya, a weak King, a 
Baidya with an ignorant son, a silent Bhat, an unclean harlot, these, saith Ghag, 
will come to no good. There be three that dance in other people's houses — the 
Kayasth, the Baidya, and the dalal. (Profit by the misfortunes of others. The 
dalal is the lawyer's tout who promotes litigation and flourishes exceedingly in 
modern India.) The Baniya can trade; others can only imitate. The oilman 
trades without capital ; the grain parcher's stock is a broken pot. When the salt 
dealer's salt is upset he gains ; when the oilman spills his oil he loses. (The salt 
picks up sand, the oil soaks into the ground.) The Baniya's speech is polished, 
the Kumhar's is rough, the Sikligar (cutler) is honest and the Chamar a rogue. 
Dine with a Brahman and Jogi and let a Karar make the fourth. (The two former 
have a reputation as gourmets, the latter is said to be good company.) A Dom, a 
Brahman, and a goat are of no use in time of need. A Mali wants clouds, a Dhobi 
sun, a slanderer will talk, and a thief will hold his tongue. In no man's land one 
makes friends with Gujars and Gaddis. 

Provoke not the Meo at his ferry or the Karar in his shop ; if you beard the 
Jat in his field he will break your head. When a buffalo is full she refuses oil-cake ; 
when a Baniya is well off he gives time to his debtors ; when a Jat is prosperous he 
begins to quarrel ; when your banker is in a bad way he fastens upon you. 

Better have no friends at all than take up with an Afghan, a Kamboh or a 
rascally Kashmiri. The crow, the Kamboh and the Kalal cherish their kin ; the 
Jat, the buffalo and the crocodile devour their kin. Kayasths, birds, and pandits 
(Deccanis) befriend their kin ; Baniyas, dogs and Brahmans are hostile to 
their kin. 

When the Jat prospers he shuts up the path (by ploughing over it) ; when the 
Karar (money- lender) prospers, he shuts up the Jat. Jats, Bhats, caterpillars and 
widows — all these should be kept hungry ; if they eat their fill they do harm. 
Hope, dice, a courtesan, Thag, Thakar, Sonar, monkey, Turk and Kalal — these 
nine are no good. Give me an Arain for work, and give the Khatik a cow. A 
cucumber is not a vegetable ; a king (one-stringed guitar) is not a musical instru- 
ment ; a Labana is not a Hindu, and a Meo cannot be a friend. 

Bribe a Kayasth, feed a Brahman, water paddy and betel, but kick a low caste 
man. You may know a good Kayasth by his pen ; a good Rajput by his moustache ; 



332 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

and a good Baidya by his searching medicine. A Turk wants toddy, a bullock 
wants grain, a Brahman wants mangoes, and a Kayasth wants an appointment. 
If you cannot ruin yourself by keeping a Brahman servant, taking money from 
a Kasai, or begetting too many daughters, you will do it by going to law with 
bigger men. 

The Jat, the GQjar, the Ahir and the Gola ; these four are much of a muchness. 
All castes are God's creatures, but three castes are ruthless — the Ahir, the Baniya, 
the whore ; when they get a chance they have no shame. 

When the tax collector is a Jat, the money-lender a Brahman, and the ruler of 
the land a Baniya, these are signs of God's wrath. A barber, a dog, and a hawk 
are useless when full ; a money-lender, a bullock, and a king are useless when 
empty. To the wine merchant early ; to the butcher late. (In the former case 
you get fresh toddy, in the latter you avoid yesterday's remnants which the 
butcher mixes up with his first sales on the next day.) The Mali waters the 
jasmine ; the waterman looks for a well ; and the Parsi priest peers round to see 
if a rich man is dead. Kachhi is not a good caste, there is no virtue in a Mali, and 
the Lodha is a poor creature who ploughs with tears in his eyes. The Lodha is 
very hasty, the Kunbi a good farmer, the Brahman a great liar who begs his bread 
from door to door. Four Lodhas and silly talk ; four Kachhis and sensible talk. 
The three tufted ones (Marwaris), the red-faced ones (Europeans), and the cactus 
plant cannot live without increasing. Marwaris, crows, and Parsi liquor shops you 
see wherever you go. 

CASTE IN aENEBAL. 

A highborn man mourns the loss of his caste as he would the loss of his nose. 
The caste killeth and the caste maketh alive. (Referring to the effect of the deci- 
sions of caste tribunals.) When plates are interchanged. (When different castes 
intermarry ; proverb of the impossible.) Caste springs from actions not from birth. 
The Vaisyas and Sudras must have come first and it was from them that Brahmans 
and Kshatriyas were made. 

Love laughs at caste distinctions. Let your love be as a Hindu wife ; with you 
in life and with you in death. 

Having drunk water from his hands, it is foolish to ask about his caste. (Water 
is the most potent vehicle of ceremonial pollution. Moral — the least said the 
soonest mended.) When on a journey you should act like a Sudra and take food 
from any one. 

A low-caste man is like a musk rat ; if you smell him you remember it. His 
father pounded parched rice ; his grandfather coriander seed. In old days men 
looked to caste, now they look to money. (Aimed at modern Indian match- 
making.) 

As the ore is like the mine, so a child is like its caste. Scholars adorn a caste. 
As caste hates caste, so does one agnate hate another. A slipper in the mouth of 
caste cost money to all. (One man's offence dishonours the whole caste.) The 
speech fits the caste as the peg fits the hole. (Refined language is a sign of good 
caste.) Castes may differ, virtue is everywhere the same. Every uncle says that 
his caste is the best. 

Though your caste is low, your crime is none the less. Nowadays money is 
caste. Half-castes are the scum of the earth. 

" I have sold my limbs, not my caste." (Supposed to be said by a servant whose 
master has asked him to do something injurious to his caste.) 

The Hindu gods have fled to Dwarka ; the Musalman saints to Mecca ; under 
British rule the Dheds shove you about. (The Dheds are a low caste of Bombay 
whose touch is pollution.) Rakhals and Chasas handle the ammonite. (This and 



APPENDIX I 333 

the preceding proverb refer to the decline of religion in modern times.) The Pandit 
reads his scriptures and the MuUa his Quran ; men make a thousand shows, yet 
find not God. Spectacles for the blind, sweets for the sick, a Parsi at a Hindu's 
table. (A Hindu cannot entertain a Parsi.) Musalmans go mad at tabuts (the 
miniature tombs carried in procession atthe Muharram festival), women at marriages, 
Hindus at the Holi. To the Hindu Ram is dear, to the Musalman Rahim ; they 
hate with a deadly hatred, but know not the reason why. The Hindu bows down to 
stones (idols), the Musalman worships saints ; but the Parsi's religion is pure as 
Ganges water. (Parsi proverb of the freedom of their religion from the stain of 
idolatry.) A superstitious Parsi woman offers a cocoanut at the Holi. (Illustrating 
the common tendency to observe othef people's festivals.) An ass is unclean ; a 
chotliwala is no friend. (Parsi proverb: chotli\% the Gujarati name for the scalp- 
lock worn by Hindus.) A Musalman takes time to bathe ; a Hindu takes time to 
eat (Muhammadan saying). 



APPENDIX II 



MAPS OF CASTES 

Note, — In these Maps the four Sub-Provinces of Bengal have been shown separately, and 
Sind has been dealt with apart from the rest of the Bombay Presidency. 

[These Maps have not been prepared for the Census of 191 1. They have been reprinted 
in the present edition, as, with some minor differences, they represent the caste 
distribution as it prevails at present.] 



APPENDIX II 



335 






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PORTION WHICH THE 
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■5 P.O. 
■3 „ „ 
■1 ., „ 
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336 



PEOPLE OF INDIA 




THE AREA OF EACH RECTANGLE 
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APPENDIX II 



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APPENDIX II 



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APPENDIX 11 



341 




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APPENDIX II 



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s 


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n 
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APPENDIX III 



3S3 




I 

i 

















■a 
a 
a 



Ul ■ 
O 



a 
Sg 
5r r*. 



T3 

C 
3 



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s 


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H 




? 


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ri 


a 


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n 


in 

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fe 








o 








H 








O 




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n 




m ^ 




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o 2 

Ph 









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APPENDIX III 



3S5 



i 




kl 







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356 



PEOPLE OF INDIA 







p 
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APPENDIX III 



357 






to 
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358 



PEOPLE OF INDIA 



Co 



lU 2 
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z 

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6 

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APPENDIX III 



359 



X 
I 

















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36o 



PEOPLE OF INDIA 







APPENDIX III 



361 



i 



I 









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0} <U 0} 

c a a 
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u ^ '^ 

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362 



PEOPLE OF INDIA 






a 

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APPENDIX III 



i^i 



i 




CM 

i 




I 









lit 





I 

I 




m o »^ 


■ 




brt 


t^CO 00 


a> 




IH 


tH trt M 








(U (U OJ 


OJ t^ 






Xf TJ T3 


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t^ 1=^ 


C C C 


C i> 




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S a E3 






n3 13 XI 


13 t3 


w 




a c: c 


C C 




w rt 


aJ rt Rj 


(a « 


o 




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too 


iz; 


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r^ t^oo 
















b 








o 








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o 




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s.s 


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c^ 




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364 



PEOPLE OF INDIA 







APPENDIX III 



36s 



CO 

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w 1^ O in r^ t^ 









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a a a 


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366 



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APPENDIX 111 



367 












i 





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368 



PEOPLE OF INDIA 






• w 00 00 p 

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APPENDIX III 



369 



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370 



PEOPLE OF INDIA 



§ 

g 

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APPENDIX III 



3;i 



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372 



PEOPLE OF INDIA 





o 


o 


o 






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3 
Q. 

Z 



^ 


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o 


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APPENDIX III 



373 



i 




i 




i 




00 

i 








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lO 




1^ 












. 






8 












00 








iri 


a 


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o 


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IH 




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^ 




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a 






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■rt 


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13 


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nd 


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s 


s 






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c 


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3 


s 


3 




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s 


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1-1 


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73 


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n 


















B 


c 


C 




C 


c 


rt 


w 


ffl 




lo 




d 




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rt 


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rt 


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n 


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s 
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374 



PEOPLE OF INDIA 



u ^ 



ON 





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u 




NM 


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c« 


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APPENDIX III 



375 



i 



i 











N CO ^ m o 



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5 )h rt t, 






3< a I. u 
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w 

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Tl 




TI 


Tl 


C 


o 




C 




C 


a 


S 


3 




3 




3 


o 


•a 


■O 




•a 




-n 


T3 


<= 


loO 


.nO 


rt 


c 


<n C 




t^ « 


XI 




m 




(rlts 




o 




-■i' 




o 


u-i 






-§ 






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a o o-g 

y <. U t. 



< M , C 

cq 5i 



p 



a; -rJ* J^w Of^ Oin 

*- (_ lo m«o "^ r>. 

*; 1— ' M fH iH 



u 



o 

a 
in 



CQ 



376 



PEOPLE OF INDIA 







I 






u 






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b 






0. 




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JB 




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APPENDIX III 



377 



CO 

i 



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i 































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o 




















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r^ 




• 




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kd 










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T1 


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T) 


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>■ 






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Bin 




> 




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c: 


B 


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c 


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o 




P 3 


a 


P 


s 


3 






XI 






M 


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•rt.l 


^3^ 


B 




t3 '« 


■s 


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g-"' 


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d 




rt rt 


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378 



PEOPLE OF INDIA 







S 






u 






B 






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m 
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APPENDIX III 



379 



i 



C4 

i 







I 

I 




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i 




i 




« 




NH 


" 


u^ 




ON 


CI 




en 


NO 






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0^ 


00 






























m 

























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m 


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lo 












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TJ 


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na 


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C 


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^^ 1 


o 


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VO 


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3 


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73 


m 


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38o 



PEOPLE OF INDIA 






a 
> 

Zu 
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> 
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Oi 

Q 

6 
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e 

tn 
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Pi 







2 -S .5 M 

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o 
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zo 



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Phil^ I 

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en 

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13 O 



1 ^t 



■3 « 



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w m 00 



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3 ^ 



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r/1 


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in 


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APPENDIX III 



381 



i 














o 



3 



c/) H 



13 
C 

a 



o.S 



as 



O 1^ 

M 



■•a 
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'A ^° 

o "S „ 

^ d2 
o 

O 

o 



9 ~ 



o 



C OJ 



3 



IH l-l 



O.S 

92 

CM 



•5 T3 ^ 



CSS 
& 
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vnmu-iO »ouitoO wi 



O 



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?-, 




< 


u 


u 


S 


S 


% 


M 







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H 


n 


cq 


<! 



< 



382 



PEOPLE OF INDIA 



M 





u 


s 




a 


tfl 




> 






H 


tf) 


^ 




a 


^ 


Z 

< 


Ol 

o 


s 


o 


e 


(n 


> 


E 


5 


< 


2 


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Q 


CO 


^ 


O 


P! 


^ 


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o 





o 
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o 



a 

u 
a 
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Pi 
H 



S S (2 




Q 








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h 


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t3 






la 


o 


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I 






ei 


u 






o 








Ph 








o 








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Ph 






Fi 






IH, 








1# 


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•B 



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m 


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m 






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00 


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SJ 






7. 




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a 


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cS 


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s .,:t 



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w ■ -S 

olS- 

< M O 

OM 
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pq 



APPENDIX III 



383 



II 












N « 



O 



a 
3 



c 

O o 
Z CL, 
































VO 


VO 





u^ 










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00 


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fc^ 










u to 






v 










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l* 








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=* 1 


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3 


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i" 






d 


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w 


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m 


r^ 


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3 ^1 



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m w^ 0^0 xn^n 



<: 
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384 



PEOPLE OF INDIA 







APPENDIX III 






IN 




CO 




o 


ro 


ON 




VO 


■^ 








n 




i/^ 


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m 




8 






r*. 




00 




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a 


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c 
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< 
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25 



386 



PEOPLE OF INDIA 



s 


o 


O 


o 


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r^ 


a. 


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u-t 


\o 


Tt- 


M 


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a 
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s 

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a 



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phal 


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APPENDIX 111 



387 



I I 

n 



I 



I 

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i 











13 

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s 






r/) 


^ ^ 







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CA 




w --^ 








S 




»= a.^ 




H u h 




zd 



o __^ 
BlS- 




in o 
in vo 



OJ "^ OJ %_ 

O C f S- 



m s 3 V' 

h *^ fi •"• c = 
u M g H 3 « 



in o 



a V- a = _ 

V P, . M M M M 



o 

M 



s 

pq 



< 

s 

O 
e 



388 



PEOPLE OF INDIA 



% 
g 

5 
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a 
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O 

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B 
V 

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o 



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APPENDIX III 



389 




«i«;«j s c fe !- 



13 T( T3 

c c g 



a a 

3 3 



o 

iz; 



■X3 -O -O 
C C B 
c4 n n 



S g B s 

« « 14 g 

ir^ O to O 

00 0» 0^ •-• 



o 

o 



b ^ ^ 
u 1} V 

■B -g-o 

9 S c 
333 

T3 T!t3 
B C s 
rt 0! S 



3 
T3 

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f- 


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w 



6 -_ 



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a. 3 

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SE 


aS 






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m 


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vo 






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10 




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to 


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M 


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1 


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1- 


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ca ro 


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5 V, 


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H 






& 


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CA 






q 


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P5 


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390 



PEOPLE OF INDIA 






a. 

> 

H 

O 

H 

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u 

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U5 

w 

I— I 
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e 
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w 
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w u s 2- :r 

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lb 






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w 
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I s 
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APPENDIX III 



391 




O •* -^^inwvo^^ »n 



O 
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T3 
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o 

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OS 
u 

00 



S.S 

a ° 

«a 



c 

O 
CTv 



ttJ 

■a 
a 



en 'S 

o cu 



o 
o 



5 



Ed 
Oi 

H 



Tf 




ir 






•a' 



V 


ro 


y 


1 


13 
S 





H 

of 
O 
M 



392 



PEOPLE OF INDIA 






> 
H 

O 

H 

o 
u 

z 



U3 

w 
c J 

(9 

E 

■a 

B 



3 
O 



H 

® 

O 
< 



s 


^ 




o 


s 








^ S 



E 00 



O 

en ■§ S 
O -5 

S >? 

P< £. 

O 

cu 
O 
ci 



<J S S 



Q 








<; 








M 








W 


^ 










o 




o 


Is 


00 


o 

a. 


•z 








O 


S 














H 








Pi 


u 






O 








P^ 








o 








Pi 








Ph 






fi 






0) 


s 








6 








K 






> 








< 


s 




^ fl 3 ^ C p * 
t^ 00 CO 00 CO 



s Pi 




en 

C rt 0) 

■< 1-. o 

O W 
ai *— ' 



APPENDIX III 



393 





i-t c^ t^ 



O 00 00 N 00 W 



o 

z 



Ifll 



B 
O o 



o c 



O - 
Z 

a ■ 

CO 



a 
Pi 

< 
H 
en 



U 



0^l-l-l; 
u b4 hi M h >-• r^ 

^§*§J §f§J §T 

c m o in o *n 
^ m -^ ^ m "^ 



o 
X 



APPt 



SUMMARY OF 

TURKO-IR^ 
WESTERN PUNJAB, NORTH-WESTERN FRONTIER PR 











DIMENSIONS OF HEAD. 


PI 
TI( 

I 


1 


Length (Glabel- 


Breadth 


C 


1 








LO-OCCIPITAI.). 


(Extreme). 


1 




Name of Tribe 


Language or 


Locality. 








o 


OR Caste. 


Dialect. 
















•i 










S 


s 




a g 




9 








1- 


1 




i3 


.1 ' f 












< 




'3 


< 


l;l 


< 


















WESTERN PUr 


7 


Nagar 


Burusharki . 


Nagar 


190-7 


198 


180 


143-8 


151 


142 


75-4 


8o 


Pathan 


Western Pun- 
jabi 


North- Western 
Punjab 


185-2 


203 


165 


141-7 


152 


133 


76-5 


6 


Kafir . 


Ashkun 


Kafirstan . 


194-6 


199 


191 


149-6 


160 


143 


76-9 


9 


Hunza 


Burusharki . 


HuNza 


192-8 


200 


181 


152-0 


165 


144 


78-8 


6o 


Baloch (mixed) 


Western Pun- 
jabi 


Western Punjab . 


179-2 


197 


155 


143-5 


152 


133 


8o-o 


200 


Hazara 


Persian 


Afghanistan 


179-6 


202 


160 


152-8 


i68 


140 


85-0 


58* 


Lori . 


Brahui and 
Gypsy (Mo- 
kaki) 


Quetla and Saruna 


177-6 


192 


158 


139-5 


152 


130 


78-5 


100* 


Makhiani (Pathan) 


Pashto 


Harnai, Thai Cho- 
■tiali 


i8i-o 


200 


163 


142-1 


159 


130 


78-5 


59* 


Wanechi (Pathan) 


Do. . 


Babihan, Thai 
Chotiali 


178-1 


195 


161 


141-2 


155 


126 


79-2 


76* 


Dehwar 


Dehwari 


Mastung 


179-4 


200 


165 


142-2 


155 


130 


79-2 


100* 


Jat . . . 


Jadgali 


Sibi . 


177-8 


196 


160 


141-9 


155 


130 


79-8 


100 


Pani (Pathan) 


Pashto 


Do. . 


183-9 


198 


168 


147-4 


158 


139 


8o-i 


271 


Baloch 


Balochi 


Marri and Bugti 
Hills and Kacchi 


181-8 


205 


161 


146-2 


159 


131 


80-4 


24* 


Dehwar 


Dehwari 


Kalat. 


178-5 


183 


168 


144-4 


160 


133 


80-8 


100 


Achakzai (Pathan) 


Pashto 


Chaman, Quetta 
Pishin 


187-7 


210 


175 


152-4 


171 


140 


8i-i 


48* 


Mir Jats 


Jatki . 


Sibi . 


i8o-i 


200 


162 


146-4 


158 


135 


81-2 


198 


BrahCi 


Brahui. 


Sarawan Country 


182-0 


197 


166 


148-4 


165 


135 


8l-5 


200 


Dehwar 


Dehwari 


Mastung 


179-4 


198 


165 


.^146-6 


159 


131 


81-7 


112 


Kakar (Pathan) . 


Pashto 


Quetta and Zhob 


184-7 


202 


170 


15^-4 


169 


140 


8i-g 


79* 


Med . 


Makrani Ba- 
lochi 


Pasni, Gwadur, 
Chabar and 
Ormara 


181-4 


200 


170 


148-9 


160 


136 


82-0 


77* 


Mengal (Brahui) . 


Brahui 


Saruna 


179-5 


190 


161 


148-7 


162 


130 


82-f 


100 


Tarin (Pathan) . 


Pashto 


Pishin 


182-1 


199 


165 


150-9 


170 


138 


82-t 


13 


Ghulam (Slaves) . 


Balochi 


Baluchistan . 


179-0 


188 


170 


150-2 


159 


141 


83-c 


33* 


Chhutta 


Jadgali 


Hinidan Levy 

Tracts 
Kila do. 


1 76- 1 


190 


162 


150-2 


162 


140 


85-2 


35* 


Bandija 


Do. . 


174-6 


190 


162 


152-0 


162 


144 


87-c 



* Mr. B. 1 



NDIX III 



395 



ME A S UREMEN TS. 

MAN TYPE. 

)VINCE AND BALUCHISTAN. (In order of Cephalic Index.) 



OPOR- 
NS OF 
BAD. 


DIMENSIONS OF 


trOSE. 


PROPOR- 
TIONS OF 
NOSE. 


QTiTirni? 




RELATIVE PROMINENCE 
OF ROOT OF NOSE. 


FHALIC 
DEX. 


Height. 


Breadth. 


Nasai Index. 








Average 
Dimensions. 


Orbito-Nasal 
Index. 


B 
a 

e 

"y. 


a 
1 


> 


S 

3 

a 

1 


1 

ii 1 

1 1 

1 


i 
s 


s 

'5 

i 


i 

< 


1 
1 


e 
.1 

B 

is 


1 

> 

< 




i 

a 


Ill 

ca M 2 


g^ 


1 
< 


i 
1 


a 

1 
•3 
S 


lAB & N.-W. F. PROVINCE. 


























79 
87 


72 
69 


58-4 
50-0 


64 
59 


52 
45 


37"0 
34-2 


40 
40 


35 
30 


63-3 
68-4 


69 
80 


55 
56 


1648 
1687 


1690 
1866 


1606 
1562 


103-0 
115-9 


116-8 
135-9 


II3-3 
II7-1 


124 
131 


108 
108 


82 
84 
95 


73 
76 
72 


54-1 
53'2 
49-4 


58 
62 

58 


52 
50 
45 


37"3 
38-5 
34" 3 


39 
40 
40 


36 
37 
30 


68-9 

72-3 
69-4 


7? 
78 

■87 


64 
65 
57 


1671 
1708 
1662 


1738 
1800 
1803 


1560 
1648 
1524 


I07-O 
109-0 
113-8 


124-3 
123-7 

134-2 


116-1 

113-4 
117-9 


Il8 
119 
129 


"3 
109 
110 


99 


74 


46-3 


56 


37 


37'3 


45 


31 


8o-5 


III 


63 


1684 


1806 


1525 


1 14-0 


126-8 


111-2 


120 


103 


&LUCHISTAN. 




























90 


71 


56-4 


66 


44 


35-1 


44 


26 


62-2 


85 


48 






• • 


98-7 


119-5 


I2I-0 


133 


105 


87 


65 


57-4 


64 


46 


34-0 


43 


29 


59-2 


78 


48 








99"3 


124-0 


124-8 


134 


113 


89 


70 


56-9 


66 


48 


33-7 


45 


28 


59-2 


87 


47 


•• 






99-2 


I2i-8 


122-7 


133 


114 


88 
92 
90 
90 


68 
70 

75 
70 


54'9 
56-1 
50-9 
52-4 


68 

% 

61 


45 
44 
43 
45 


34" I 
35-4 
37-2 
38-0 


40 
46 

43 
46 


28 
25 
32 
32 


62-1 
63-1 
73"o 
72-5 


80 
84 
90 
94 


47 
42 
55 
57 


1677 
1678 


1852 
1850 


1560 
1506 


98-3 

98-0 

II2-0 

II2-8 


119-2 
122-5 
132-0 
133-6 


121-2 
125-0 
117-8 
118-4 


133 
143 
126 
128 


107 
104 
111 
111 


88 
91 


73 
74 


59-5 
55-3 


70 
63 


53 
48 


34-7 
37-8 


40 

47 


30 
31 


58-3 
68-3 


67 
90 


48 
55 


1722 


1862 


1602 


1 00-0 
116-4 


122-2 
136-4 


122-2 
117-1 


133 
125 


"3 
111 


96 
92 

91 
90 
92 


73 
72 
72 

74 

72 


57'3 
5i'3 
48-4 
53-4 
55-9 


86 
65 
59 
61 

68 


48 

41 
42 
.46 
44 


35-4 
36-4 
36-0 

37"2 
38-1 


45 
45 
45 
44 
46 


30 
30 
30 
32 
30 


6i-7 
70-9 

74' 3 
69-6 
68-1 


98 
88 
92 


40 

55 
60 
60 
53 


1659 
1642 
1683 


1794 
1808 
1882 


1526 
1488 
1570 


99-6 
1 10-9 
107-6 
II4-9 

ii7'3 


124-2 

130-9 
127-0 
134-0 
149-4 


124-6 
118-0 

ii8-o 
116-6 
127-3 


137 
128 
130 
124 
140 


111 
110 
109 
107 
"3 


93 
93 

88 

95 


70 
74 


57-8 
54-1 

51-2 

6o-o 


68 
62 
56 
70 


41 
45 
46 

50 


34'4 
36-7 

39-3 
35-2 


43 
49 
46 

40 


30 
30 
35 
30 


59-5 
67-8 
76-7 
58-6 


83 
86 
92 
71 


50 
54 
66 

50 


1683 
1642 


1928 
1706 


1533 
1526 


io8-o 
114-7 
109-3 

111-2 


130-3 
133-6 

126-6 
138-3 


120-6 

116-4 
115-8 
124-3 


135 
127 
123 
134 


103 
III 
no 
III 


94 


81 


59-4 


70 


54 


35-0 


42 


28 


58-9 


71 


47 


■• 




• • 


II5-I 


141-2 


122-6 


139 


no 



Gupte, F.z.s. 



396 



APPEN 



SUMMARY OF i 

INDO-ARY 

PUNJAB AND RAJPUTANA. 



j2 


Name of Tribe 
OK Caste. 


Language or 
Dialect. 


Locality. 


DIMENSIONS OF HEAD. 


PRO 

TIo^ 

HF 


1 


Length (Glabel- 
Lo- occipital). 


Breadth 

(Extreme). * 


Cep 
Ik 


O 
















1 
1 








s 

< 


S 

a 
% 


s 

1 


S 

> 

< 


1 

% 


a 
1 

c 
S 


1 
< 


19 


Machhi 


Punjabi . 


Punjab . 


i88-4 


196 


182 


136-3 


147 


-J27 


72-3 


120 


Rajput 


Rajasthani 


Rajpulana 


192-5 


213 


180 


139-4 


151 


127 


72-4 


13 


Gujar 


Punjabi . 


Punjab . 


192-6 


205 


185 


139-6 


148 


133 


72-4 


27 


Arora 


Ditto . 


Ditto . 


190-7 


206 


177 


138-6 


149 


130 


72-6 


8o 


Sikh(Jat) . 


Ditto . 


Ditto . 


190-2 


203 


172 


138-4 


152 


127 


72-7 


100 


Meo . 


Rajasthani 


Rajputana 


189-5 


204 


178 


138-4 


147 


126 


73-0 


100 


Mina Zamindar . 


Ditto . 


Ditto . 


192-4 


207 


174 


140-6 


155 


132 


73-0 


IOC 


MinaChaukidar . 


Ditto . 


Ditto . 


189-9 


207 


176 


I39-I 


150 


130 


73-2 


8o 


Chuhra 


Punjabi . 


Punjab . 


186-7 


200 


171 


137-1 


152 


127 


73-4 


60 


Khatri 


Ditto . 


Ditto . 


185-7 


200 


172 


137-5 


150 


128 


74-0 


33 


Awai> 


Ditto . 


Ditto . 


188-8 


201 


■175 


140-5 


147 


130 


74-4 



IPIX III 



itIEASUREMENTS. 

fl\N TYPE. 

. (Jn order of Cephalic Index.) 



IPOR- 
« OF 


DIMENSIONS OF 


NOSE. 


PROPOR- 
TIONS OF 
NOSE. 


STATURE. 


RELATIVE PROMINENCE 
OF ROOT OF NOSE. 


fSALIC 


Height. , 


Breadth. 


Nasal Index. 













Orbito-Nasal 
Index. 


1 
1 


a 


0^ 
CQ 

> 

< 


1 


S 

E 

S 


i 


1 


1 


1 

> 

< 


'i 




1 
< 


1 


a 

a 
■a 
s 






< 


a 
a 

X 


a 

a 
a 


76 


68 


49-8 


53 


46 


34-9 


41 


31 


70*0 


82 


62 


1699 


1828 


1600 


II2-I 


131-0 


II6-8 


125 


no 


81 


64 


51-2 


61 


43 


36-7 


44 


31 


71-6 


91 


53 


1748 


1924 


1654 


108-5 


128-0 


117-9 


129 


107 


78 


68 


50-3 


55 


47 


33-7 


39 


31 


66-9 


78 


60 


1703 


1778 


1650 


II2'7 


130-6 


II5-8 


123 


III 


81 


67 


49-7 


54 


47 


35-4 


42 


30 


71-2 


81 


60 


1658 


1803 


1574 


III-5 


129-5 


II6-I 


121 


no 


81 


66 


50-1 


61 


45 


34-5 


41 


30 


68-8 


85 


56 


I716 


1905 


1625 


II3-6 


132-5 


II6-6 


125 


no 


81 


67 


50-4 


60 


43 


38-1 


46 


32 


75-5 


92 


59 


1690 


1852 


1536 


io6'4 


121-2 


113-9 


123 


107 


83 


67 


51-2 


59 


41 


38-1 


44 


32 


74"4 


91 


61 


1713 


1850 


1606 


io8-o 


124-4 


II5-I 


123 


107 


81 


61 


5I-0 


59 


44 


37-8 


44 


32 


74-2 


96 


61 


1703 


1820 


1570 


108-5 


125-4 


115-5 


125 


107 


82 


68 


48-0 


56 


45 


36-1 


45 


31 


75-2 


94 


60 


1666 


1803 


1524 


112-2 


129-4 


115-3 


123 


108 


86 


66 


48-8 


58 


44 


35-7 


42 


30 


73-1 


95 


59 


1662 


1803 


1574 


111-9 


126-6 


113-1 


122 


106 


80 


70 


50-7 


57 


44 


34'9 


39 


30 


68-8 


79 


55 


1706 


1828 


1600 


113-0 


131-3 


1 10- 1 


125 


no 



APP 



SUMMARY OF 

SCYTHO-D 
BOMBAY AND COORC 



& 








DIMENSIONS OF HEAD. 




t 


Length (Glabel- 


Breadth 




1 








LO- occipital). 


(Extreme). 




o 


Name of Tribe 
OR Caste. 


Language or 
Dialect. 


Locality. 








8 
















2; 








bo 

1 


a 

1 

% 


s 
a 

% ■ 
170 


i 

1 


a 
1 

1 


s 

1 




100 


Deshasth Brahman 


Maralhi . 


Poena, Satara, 


185-4 


198 


142-7 


157 


131 


7 








Ahmednagar 
















100 


Mahar 


Marathi . 


Poona 


i8i-6 


195 


165 


140-0 


152 


129 


7 


100 


Kokanasth Brah- 
man (Chitpavan) 


Marathi , 


Bombay and 
Poona 


186-4 


202 


170 


144-2 


155 


122 


7 


100 


Kunbi 


Marathi . 


Poona 


I So- 1 


197 


165 


139-4 


156 


130 


7 


lOO 


Koli(Son) . 


Koli Dialect . 


Thana . 


185-0 


201 


171 


143-5 


159 


134 


"i 


I GO 


Maratha 


Marathi . 


Poona 


181-3 


195 


166 


I42-I 


158 


127 


t 


lOO 


Shenvi Brahman . 


Marathi . 


Bombay city . 


186-2 


201 


170 


I47-I 


160 


132 


f 


127 


Vania . 


Gujerati . 


Ahmedabad 


183-0 


202 


170 


145-2 


156 


135 




lOO 


Nagar Brahman . 


Gujerati . 


Ahmedabad 


184-4 


202 


151 


I47-I 


166 


132 




100 


Prabhu 


Marathi . 


Satara, Poona, 
Bombay (city), 
Thana 


184-2 


198 


170 


147-2 


158 


131 




32 


Coorg * 


Kodagu . 


Coorg 


184-0 


195 


168 


147-0 


154 


138 














Dravidian For 




Katkari 


Katkari . 


Thana . 


178-8 


199 160 133-0 143 126 ', 



* T. H. He 



^DIX III 



397 



"iEA SUREMENTS. 

WIDIAN TYPE. 

(In order of Cephalic Index.) 



OPOR- 

OHS OF 
JEAD. . 


DIMENSIONS OF 


NOSE. 


PROPOR- 
TIONS OF 
NOSE. 


STATURE. 


RELATIVE PROMINENCE 
OF ROOT OF NOSE. 


PHALIC 
MDEX. 


Height. 


Breadth. 


Nasal Index. 








II 
SB 


1 
1 


Orbito-Nasal 
Index. 






























1 


a 


•> 
be 

2 

> 


B 
3 
S 


s 

1 

s 
s 


2 
% 
< 


a 

1 
•a 

1 


1 


< 


a 
a 


3 

s 
■a 


i 
< 


a 


a 
3 
a 


HO 


If 

(B«. 


ffl 

< 


a 
3 

.1 

•A 

s 


e 
3 
a 
5 


88 


68 


48-9 


56 


42 


38-8 


44 


34 


79-3 


98 


69 


1642 


1750 


i486 


II6-6 


135-6 


1 16-2 


127 


105 


88 


69 


47-2 


53 


41 


38-7 


46 


33 


81-9 


96 


70 


1634 


1792 


1490 


113-9 


130-6 


1 1 4-6 


125 


108 


85 


70 


49-3 


57 


41 


37-8 


43 


31 


76-6 


93 


60 


1655 


1813 


1512 


Ii6'0 


134-2 


H5-6 


124 


103 


92 


69 


47-9 


54 


40 


37-9 


42 


33 


79-2 


93 


67 


1600 


1776 


1420 


113-2 


129-5 


114-5 


124 


104 


185 


71 


49-6 


57 


42 


37*9 


47 


31 


76-4 


93 


62 


1601 


1760 


1482 


114-5 


129-5 


113-1 


122 


104 


89 


69 


47-8 


57 


38 


38-3 


48 


33 


8o'i 


108 


66 


1632 


1770 


1476 


114-9 


133-1 


115-8 


132 


107 


92 


71 


50-3 


59 


42 


37-6 


43 


33 


74-7 


95 


63 


1648 


1774 


1481 


112-9 


129-5 


114-7 


124 


104 


88 


70 


49'9 


59 


35 


37-8 


49 


31 


75" 7 


10 


61 


1612 


1732 


1489 


II3-I 


131-5 


1 16-2 


128 


108 


90 


71 


50-7 


61 


44 


37-1 


44 


31 


73' I 


90 


57 


1643 


1788 


1513 


114-1 


133-2 


116-7 


124 


108 


89 


70 


50-1 


58 


44 


38-0 


45 


32 


75-8 


93 


60 


1627 


1814 


1504 


113-0 


128-2 


"3"4 


121 


106 


89 


74 


5^-h 


57 


46 


37-0 


40 


32 


72-0 


86 


61 


1687 


1820 


1580 


iio-o 


132-0 


120-0 


130 


108 


Nomads in S< 


jytho-D) 


'avi 


dia 


n Tract. 


















82 68 44-0 52 


37 38-7 


45 


31 


88-0 III 70 


1584 


1690 


1438 


107-8 


I2I-2 


112-4 


121 


104 



', A.R.C.S., F.G.S. 



39S 



APP 



SUMMARY OF 
SCYTHO-DR 
MADRAS (DECCAN). 

[E. Thui 



Vi 












DIMENSIONS OF 


.1 

9 




Length (Glabel- 
lo-occipital). 




tM 


Name of Tribe or 
Caste. 


Language or Dialect. 


Locality, 






O 










1 
1 








be 

< 


a 
1 


1 
% 


i 

< 


40 


Madiga 


Telugn . 


Bellary 






183 


200 


172 


14c 


25 


Brahman (Deshasth) . 


Canarese . 


Bellary 






187 


202 


180 


144 


30 


Mala 


Telugii . 


Bellary 






184 


198 


168 


142 


25 


Sadaru Lingayat 


Canarese . 


Bellary 






182 


200 


170 


141 


25 


Komaii 


Canarese . 


Bellary 






182 


194 


170 


143 


40 


Bidir 


Telugu 


Bellary 






184 


200 


168 


143 


30 


Liiiga Banjigaru 


Canare.se 


Bellary 






182 


194 


166 


142 


30 


Padina Sale 


Telugu 


Bellary 






178 


190 


165 


141 


50 


Kuriiba 


Canarese . 


Bellary 






181 


196 


170 


142 


30 


Jangani (Lingayal) 


Canarese . 


Bellary 






181 


196 


166 


143 


30 


Rangari . 


Maralhi . 


Bellary ' 






181 


198 


168 


145 


30 


Togata 


Telugu . 


Bellary 






177 


190 


162 


142 


20 


Ganiga 


Canarese . 


Bellary 






180 


191 


1 66 


144 


20 


Devanga . 


Canarese . 


Bellary 






180 


196 


170 


145 


30 


Suka Sale 


Maralhi . 


Bellary . 






177 


188 


1 66 


145 


30 


Sukun Sale 


Marathi . 


Bellary . 






176 


190 


160 


144 



DIX III 



lASUREMENTS. 

IDIAN TYPE. 

order of Cephalic Index.) 

.1, ESQUIRE.l 



AD. 


PROPORTIONS OF 
HEAD. 


DIMENSIONS OF 


NOSE. 


PROPORTIONS OF 
NOSE. 


STATURE 




UDTB 

heme). 


Cephalic In 


DEX. 


Height. 


Breadth. 


Nasal Index. 


i 
< 


a 

<A 

s 




a 

1 

14 
d 

t 


is 


f 

< 


a 

a 

s 


1 
5 
i 


i 

1 


i 

■a 


d 

B 
'3 


i 

< 




a 
■a 
iS 


1 


a 

1 
s 

S 


i 

•3 
s 


a 
is 


54 


130 


76"5 


83-3 


68-0 


46 


51 


40 


35 


39 


32 


77-5 


9I-I 


667 


1629 


1734 


1522 


52 


132 


77-0 


83-4 


7i'o 


48 


54 


44 


36 


42 


32 


75-8 


87*2 


66-0 


1634 


1750 


1514 


t8 


134 


77-1 


85-9 


70-3 


48 


52 


44 


36 


41 


34 


76-2 


93-2 


667 


1639 


1750 


1538 


1)2 


134 


77-7 


87-0 


65-0 


48 


53 


42 


35 


40 


32 


73-4 


88-9 


60-4 


1658 


1745 


1522 


1)2 


133 


77-9 


88-2 


72-2 


47 


53 


43 


36 


43 


32 


77-8 


1 00-0 


65-3 


1610 


1683 


1532 


52 


132 


78-1 


85-3 


70-8 


46 


48 


43 


36 


40 


34 


79-4 


91 -0 


65-2 


1654 


1766 


1560 


50 


134 


78-3 


87-9 


73-7 


47 


52 


43 


35 


38 


31 


74-6 


86-4 


61-5 


1656 


1730 


1578 


51 


132 


787 


86-2 


72-8 


47 


53 


41 


35 


38 


32 


73-2 


837 


61-5 


1599 


I7I4 


1538 


54 


134 


78-9 


88-4 


72-9 


47 


52 


41 


35 


42 


30 


74'9 


92-2 


63-3 


1627 


1754 


1474 


52 


132 


79-1 


86-8 


70-4 


47 


52 


42 


35 


38 


31 


74-5 


88-1 


647 


1651 


1736 


1576 


54 


138 


79-8 


92-2 


70-7 


49 


52 


46 


36 


41 


33 


73-6 


84-1 


63-5 


1613 


1684 


1544 


|8, 


136 


8o-o 


88-1 


737 


47 


50 


42 


36 


46 


33 


77"5 


93-9 


68-8 


1605 


1689 


1514 


52 


140 


8o-5 


86-7 


74-5 


48 


53 


44 


35 


38 


32 


73-7 


84-4 


627 


1643 


1724 


1550 


55 


136 


8o-8 


87-1 


74' 7 


47 


52 


43 


35 


38 


32 


74-6 


80-9 


65-3 


1618 


1686 


1546 


50 


134 


8i-8 


88-2 


76- 1 


47 


51 


43 


35 


40 


32 


74-8 


86-1 


62-3 


1611 


1700 


1478 


54 


136 


8z-2 


90-0 


73-9 


47 


52 


41 


35 


38 


31 


74-8 


84-4 


6i-5 


1603 


1676 


1525 



APPENDIX III 



399 



SUMMARY OF MEASUREMENTS. 

DRAVIDIAN TYPE. 
MADRAS, CHOTA NAGPUR, MEWAR AND CEYLON. (In order of Nasal Index.) 



Tribe or Caste. 



Language or Dialect. 



40 


Lambadi 




Kannadiyan (Linga- 




yat) 


so 


Syrian Christians, 




Southern 


40 


Syrian Christians, 




Northern 


40 


Muhammadan : 




Shekh 


40 


Muhammadan: 




Palhan 


40 


Vellala . 


40 


JIuhammadan: 




Saiyad 


40 


Agamudaiyan 


40 


Tiyan . 


40 


Mappila (Moplah) . 



40 Badaga . 
25 j Brahman : Deshastha 
25 ! Brahman: Pattar . 
40 ] Brahman : Tamil 
! (poorer classes) . 
1 75 Nayar . 
60 Cheruman 
25 Kota 
40 Palli 
50 ' Jlalaiali 
40 Palli 

Chakkiliyan 
100 Shanan Karuku- 
pattayar 
25 Pulaiyan 
30 Shanan Nattati 
40 . Parayan (Pariah) . 
40 Irula 
40 Mukkuvan 
25 '• Kanikar 
25 Irula 
25 Mala Vedar 
23 Malasar 
22 Yeruva . 
25 Kadia . 
25 Paniyan 



Jloormen 



\ Gujerathi 
. Canarese 

Malayalam 

Malayalam 

I Hindustani : 

Hindustani : 

I 

Tamil . 
' Hindustani : 

j Tamil . 
i Malayalam 

Hindustani : 
i yalam 
1 Canarese 
' Canarese 

Malayalam 

Tamil . 

Malayalam 
Malayalam 
Canarese 
Tamil . 
Tamil . 
Tamil . 



\ Tamil . 

Malayalam 
i Tamil . 
Tamil . 
Tamil . 
Malayalam 
Malayalam 
Tamil . 
Malayalam 
Tamil . 
Canarese 
Tamil . 
Malayalam 



200 Bhil 



20 

100 

20 

9 

2 

29 

100 

100 

73 

4 

8 

78 
100 
100 
100 
100 

21 

100 

100 

2 



Dom 
Kurmi . 
Bauri 
Tanti 
Birhor . 
CWk . 
Oraon . 
Bhumij . 
Lobar . 
Chero . 
Binjhia . 
Kharia . 
Bhuiya . 
Santal . 
Kharwar 
Manda . 
Korwa . 
Mai Paharia 
Male 
Asur 



Bengali 



Bhil 



Bihari . 
Karmali ; 
Bengali . 
Bihari . 
Kharia . 
Bihari . 
Kurukh 

Bhumij : Bengali 
Bihari . 
Bihari . 
Bihari . 
Kharia . 
Bihari . 
Santali . 
Bihari . 
Mundari 
Korwari 
Bengali . 
Malto . 
Asur or Agaria 



Locality. 



Tamil 
Tamil 

Tamil 
Mala- 



Mysore . 
Chingleput 

i 

j Travancore 

! Travancore 

Madras City 

Madras Cily 

Madras City 
Madras City 

Chingleput 

Malabar 

Malabar 

Nilgiri Hills 
Bellary . 
Malabar 
Madras City 

Malabar 

Malabar 
' Nilgiri Hills 

Chingleput 
I Shevaroy Hills 
i Madras City 



Tinnevelly 

Travancore 

Tinnevelly 

Madras City 

Chingleput 

Malabar 

Travancore 

Coimbatore 

Travancore 

Coimbatore 

Coorg . 

Anaimalai Hills 

Malabar 



Ceylon and Southern 
India 



Mewar (Rajputana) 



Lohardaga 

Manbhum 

Western Bengal 

Lohardaga 

Ranchi . 

Lohardaga 

Lohardaga 

Manbhum 

Lohardaga 

Lohardaga 

Lohardaga 

Lohardaga 

Lohardaga 

Santal Parganas 

Lohardaga 

Lohardaga 

Lohardaga 

Santal Parganas 

Santal Parganas 

Lohardaga 



DIMENSIONS OF HE.AD. 



Length (Glabfl- 
lo-occipital). 



Bkkadth 

(Extreme). 



n I -2 I > 
S I S I < 



PROPORTIONS 
or HEAD. 



Cephalic Index. 






Dl.MENSIONS OF NOSE. 



lltlGIIT. 



PROPORTIONS 
OF NOSE. 



STATURE. 



Nasal I.n'dex. 



2 I 



1S4 197 ^ 16O 1 139 I 148 
184 200 it>6 : 140 : 156 



128 
128 



189 202 179 141 \ 150 130 



187 200 l; 



143 i 152 



183 200 1O7 138 I 145 



185 196 172 

180 196 177 

185 190 172 

188 200 1 78 

189 203 178 
189 200 r8o 

189 202 180 

1S7 202 180 

188 203 172 

186 199 173 ' 



142 152 

138 i 146 
140 150 



130 



133 

131 
131 



75'4 '>^y':> 
76-5 90-4 



o.s-7 
(_»9'(J 



74-8 81 -8 09-3 



49 
47 



49 



76-3 82-8 72-(j ; 49 



139 j I4<> 12 
137 149 126 
137 140 130 

130 145 128 

^44 152 132 

140 151 131 
142 152 127 



192 
184 
192 
186 
183 
186 
186 
189 

i«3 
189 
180 
184 
190 

i«5 
180 

185 
182 
182 
184 
183 



206 170 

.iI9 171 

202 183 

204 174 j 

193 170 ' 

196 174 

198 170 

198 170 



19.5 
198 

197 
196 
204 

194 
191 
196 
192 

193 
194 

193 



170 
1 78 
170 
170 
176 
178 i 
170 t 

174 i 

173 

164 

172 

175 



141 
135 
142 
138 
137 
I3(> 
139 
145 

139 
144 

137 
135 
142 

1.36 
137 
136 
135 
134 
134 
130 



155 
144 

151 
144 
144 
140 

152 
154 



129 
123 
134 
126 

130 
121 

130 
134 



150' 130 
156 i 137 
145 130 
144 128 

152 134 

142 I 130 

143 131 
146 ; 130 

144 ; 124 

140 125 
138 ! 125 
149 130 



75-6 8i-G 7 1 -.5 

76-2 83-1 7I-I 

74-1 Si-i 07-9 

75-6 84-9 o8-2 



74-0 80-9 067 

73-0 7X7 08-5 

72-8 7,^3 (,8-o 

717 77-5 (,(,•! 

77-" 83-4 71-0 

74-5 81-4 (,9-1 

76-3 84-0 119-0 






53 



34 



48 oi 



47 
48 

48 
47 
4« 



51 
5<J 

53 
52 
bi 



4<J 51 

4« 54 

47 51 

47 55 



73-2 
73-4 
74-1 
74-2 

74-4 
73-0 
747 
70-0 

76-3 
76-8 
73-6 
73-1 
75-1 
73-4 
75-8 
73-4 
74-5 
73-6 
72-9 
74-0 



80-4 
81-9 
79-1 
78-6 
82-8 
8o-o 
80-9 
85-4 

83-0 , 
83-2 
78-3 
78-6 

83-5 
78-9 
80-9 
80-9 
8o-o 
82-0 
8o-o , 
8i-i ' 



05-0 
077 
69-9 
69-1 
6i-o 
04-4 
70-4 
70-4 



47 
45 
45 

4b 
40 
46 
40 
47 



30 
51 
50 
50 
52 
51 
52 
52 



72-3 


44 


50 


70-8 


40 


52 


64-8 


45 


51 


08-4 


45 


50 


68-6 


47 


51 


09-1 


44 


47 


70-8 


44 


48 


09-8 


43 


47 


70-0 


43 


48 


67-0 


45 


51 


69-1 


43 


48 


68-4 


43 


4« 



43 
40 

42 

43 

44 



42 

43 

43 
42 
42 

41 
44 
42 
41 

4« 
4" 
41 
41 
39 

41 

40 

41 

4" 
41 
41 
4 'J 
42 
39 
41 
38 
4" 
37 
38 



34 
34 

35 

Sb 

35 

35 

34 

?^b 

35 
3'' 

34 
30 
3'J 
.I'J 

3'' 
35 
35 
35 
35 
3t> 
36 
37 

35 
37 
3'J 

38 
37 
37 
3'-> 
38 
4^ 
39 
38 



182 193 169 



M4_ 



Ceylon and Southern India. 

79'i 90-0 70-0 48 52 



Rajputana. 



42 39 

I 



39 
38 

4" 
4" 
40 



43 
42 

43 
40 
40 

39 
42 

41 
39 

44 
40 
4 
41 
41 
41 
41 
43 

40 
40 
45 
41 
44 
43 
43 
40 
42 
45 
45 
42 



42 



29 

Hi 



09-1 



837 
88-9 



59-2 
6o-o 



1645 
1631 



31J 71-6 88-9 6o-o 1648 



31 
i'i 
3" 
30 

30 
31 

32 
3" 

29 
29 

31 

}.! 
30 
31 
32 
ii 

3'^ 

31 

},- 
},i 
34 

34 
37 
},i 
i^ 



72-3 87-0 62-3 1653 

72-4 87-0 (jo-o 1646 

73-0 SS-i 577 1644 

731 91-3 60-8 1624 

74-0 91-3 6l-2 1644 

74-2 S8'9 6o-o 1658 

750 857 61-5 1641 

75-1 88-1 64-0 1648 



75-8 
l^-b 
707 



7O7 
77-2 

77-2 
77-3 
77-8 
77"9 
78-2 

79-3 

79-3 
79-8 
8o-o 
80-9 
Si-o 
84-6 
84-9 
84-9 
87-2 
89-6 
89-8 
95-1 



88-4 
87-2 
95-3 
95-1 

102-3 
88-9 
92-9 

90-5 
loo-o 

95-1 



627 
66-0 I 
647 
6o-o 

56-9 

64-0 , 

68-3 
63-8 I 
6o-8 



97'6 I 64-0 
104-9 ' 68-0 



92-7 
93-0 
91-8 

905 
104-8 
105-0 
1000 
102-6 
102-4 
103-0 

115-4 
108-6 



68-0 
70-8 
66-0 
70-0 
62-5 
72-3 
72-3 
7I-I 

75-4 
8i-o 

72-9 
72-9 



1641 
1634 
1643 
1625 

163 1 
1566 
1619 
1625 
'639 
1625 
1622 
1701 

1530 
1 701 
1621 

1599 
1631 

1552 
1598 
1542 
1612 
1587 
1577 
1574 



768 
724 

724 
780 

748 

776 

728 
853 



1520 
1504 

1560 

1540 
1538 



1532 
1538 



756 1536 
716 1552 
744 , 1450 

802 ; 1540 
750 I 1514 
750 I 1534 
746 I 1530 



808 
674 I 
742 
716! 

732 i 
694 j 

745 ! 
828 I 



1511 

1458 

1555 
1498 
1532 
1510 
1503 
1586 



626 1434 
808 1622 



714 

668 

778 
703 
680 
638 

705 
680 
694 
716 



31 I 80-7 95-0 62-0 : 1625 1752 



181-3 198 106 138-7 ; 149I 130 I 76-5 84 



1494 
1502 
1508 
1502 
1520 
1408 
1528 
1300 
1486 
1520 



1510 



dS 44-8 52 37 I 37-7 45 ' 30 .S4-1 



Chota Nagpur and Western Bengal. 



184-7 
185-6 
185-0 
184-3 
185-5 
187-6 
184-6 
185-9 

i86-i 
190-7 

i 182-7 
184-4 

I 183-0 
184-8 
1857 

185-9 
185-2 

183-4 
183-6 
187-0 



194 


173 


202 


167 


195 


174 


190 


180 


186 


185 


197 


179 


198 


165 


203 


162 


202 


173 


195 


186 


186 


174 


198 


170 


197 


I67 


201 


171 


200 


173 


200 


169 


194 


172 


200 


169 


198 


166 


193 


181 






140-5 
138-9 

140-6 
142-0 

138-5 
139-3 
139-6 

140-3 
138-2 

137-3 
137-4 
139-1 
140-7 

140-2 

138-6 

I37-8 
139-1 
137-5 
138-5 



151 
144 
146 
148 
148 
158 
150 
151 
143 
140 
150 
148 

153; 
150! 
150 
145! 

147! 
149 
141 



130 
128 
129 

134 
136 
131 
131 
130 

131 

136 
130 
130 
128 

131 
130 
130 
130 
129 
127 
136 



76-0 


84 


75-7 


83 


75-0 


81 


76-2 


81 


76-5 


80 


73-8 


80 


75-4 


87 


75-0 


84 


75-3 


84 


72-4 


l'^ 


75-1 


81 


74-5 


86 


76-0 


85 


76-1 


88 


75-5 


^7 


74-.5 


81 


74-4 


8i 


7.5-8 


82 


74-8 


82 


74-0 


75 



69 

66 
71 
73 
74 
69 
67 
67 
70 
70 
70 
69 
67 
69 
68 
69 
69 
71 
69 
73 



48-9 
47-2 
46-1 
45-5 
47-5 
46-2 
46-2 
46-7 
45-9 
43-5 
43-3 
45-3 
44-6 

45-7 
45-0 

44-7 
44-0 
44-1 
43-9 
42-5 



55 
53 
51 
48 
49 
51 
53 
53 
55 
50 
45 
51 
51 
53 
52 
50 
48 
55 



43 
38 
40 



40 
39 
39 
40 

33 
37 
40 

39 
36 
41 
36 
38 
38 



/38-7 


4t 


1 
i 

36 ! 


' 39-0 


4/ 


35 ! 


38-8 


44 


31 


38-8 


44 


3«' 


40-5 


41 


40 


39-7 


46 


3b 


.39-8 


47 


34 


40-4 


47 


35 


39-8 


49 


33 


38-0 


39 


37 


38-2 


42 


35 


40-1 


45 


35 


39-6 


45 


35 


40-6 


48 


35 


40-4 


47 


31 


40-2 


50 


33 


40-7 


48 


3«> 


41-0 


48 


35 


41-5 


49 


35 


40-5 


42 


39 



1 79-1 
82-6 
84-1 

85-2 
85-2 
85-9 

86-1 
S6-5 
86-7 

87-3 
88-2 
88-5 
88-7 
88-8 
89-7 
89-9 
92-5 
92-9 

94-5 
95-9 



63 i 1629 1764 1476 



1540 
1500 
1500 
1490 
1606 
1460 
1480 
1460 
1488 
1500 
1510 
1480 
1470 
1510 
1466 
1446 
1480 

1450 
1470 
1604 



91 


72 


1626 


17201 


98 


69 


1608 1720 


q8 


66 


1603 171b 


94 


78 


1562 1670 i 


87 


84 


1643 


1680 


I 103 


78 


1589 


1734 


113 


70 


1621 


1744 


113 


72 


1592 


1782 


113 


64 


1621 


1730 


95 


76 


1.584 


1680 


98 


80 


1594 


1646 


118 


77 


1 601 


1700 


113 


69 


1577 


1700 


no 


74 


1614 


1770 


113 


69 


1605 


1700 


112 


74 


1589 


1718 


109 


79 


1595 


1680 


no 


71 


1577 


1726 


113 


V 
89 


1577 


1708 


103 


1630 


1656 



400 



APPE 



SUMMARY OF 
ARYO.DRA> 
UNITED PROVINCES, BEHAR AN 













PROPC 










DIMENSIONS OF HEAD. 


TIONS 


A 










HEAl 


"o 




< 




■s 








Length (Glabello- 


Breadth 


Cepha 


s 








occifital). 


(Extreme). 


Inde) 




Name of Tribe 
OR Caste. 


Language or 
Dialect. 


Locality. 








I-) 


















% 










E 


E 




6 


g 




i 


§. 










E 
.3 


1 




e 


3 


60 
1 


J 










< 


S 


S 


< 


s 


s 


< 


S 


26 


Bhuinhar 


Eastern Hindi 


United Provinces 


187-2 


198 


178 


I37"4 


144 


128 


73-3 


77 


67 


Brahman 


Bihari . 


Behar 


187-8 


202 


171 


140-8 


156 


130 


74-9 


84 


59 


Babhan 


Do. . 


Do. . 


187-8 


201 


176 


144-1 


l6i 


130 


76-7 


90 


100 


Brahman 


Eastern Hindi 


United Provinces 


187-5 


202 


170 


137-2 


152 


127 


73-1 


84 


100 


Kayasth 


Western Hindi 


Do. 


186-4 


200 


174 


135-4 


154 


124 


72-6 


8c 


100 


Goala . 


Bihari . 


Behar 


185-4 


202 


171 


141-4 


160 


128 


76-2 


87 


100 


Chhatri 


Eastern Hindi 


United Provinces 


188-3 


203 


172 


137-6 


152 


123 


73-0 


84 


103 


Kanjar 


Western Hindi 


Do. 


I81-8 


195 


165 


135 '9 


149 


120 


74-7 


82 


13 


Khatri . 


Eastern Hindi 


Do. 


188-0 


195 


175 


035-2 


141 


130 


71-9 


7S 


71 


Kurmi . 


■ Bihari . 


Behar 


186-9 


202 


167 


141-5 


152 


133 


75-7 


83 


100 


Kurmi . 


Eastern Hindi 


United Provinces 


184-0 


200 


170 


134-9 


147 


125 


73-3 


81 


65 


Thayu . 


Do. 


Do. 


184-0 


205 


166 


136-0 


145 


128 


73-9 


83 


80 


Bania . 


Do. 


Do. 


187-2 


200 


175 


133-5 


150 


124 


71-3 


84 


36 


Kahar . 


Bihari . 


Behar 


1 86-1 


203 


173 


141-7 


154 


132 


76-1 


83 


33 


Barhi . 


Western Hindi 


United Provinces 


J85-4 


197 


175 


133'3 


140 


125 


71-8 


78 


100 


Goala . 


Eastern Hindi 


Do. 


185-2 


202 


170 


135-2 


145 


125 


73-° 


85 


100 


Kewat . 


Do. 


Do. 


^84-3 


198 


170 


134-0 


145 


124 


72-7 


80 


100 


Bhar . 


Do. 


Do. 


185-5 


197 


170 


136-4 


147 


120 


73-5 


81 


100 


Maghya Dom 


Bihari . 


Behar 


186-3 


203 


171 


142-1 


154 


132 


76-2 


87 


13 


Bind . 


Do. 


Uo. 


184-6 


192 


176 


136-7 


146 


125 


74-0 


81 


32 


Kol . 


Eastern Hindi 


United Provinces 


183-1 


195 


170 


132-6 


140 


120 


72-4 


81 


100 


Dosadh 


Bihari . 


Behar 


184-8 


201 


168 


141-8 


155 


130 


76-8 


85 


45 


Lohar . 


Western Hindi 


United Provinces 


184-9 


200 


170 


134-7 


145 


120 


72-8 


82 


100 


Guria . 


Eastern Hindi 


Do. 


184-7 


207 


169 


133-8 


147 


123 


72-4 


80 


56 


Sinhalese 


Sinhalese 


Ceylon 


183-4 


202 


171 


143-9 


155 


133 


78-4 


87 


02 


Chamar 


Bihari . 


Behar 


184-4 


198 


168 


140-3 


154 


128 


76-0 


88 


100 


Kachhi 


Western Hindi 


United Provinces 


184-6 


198 


172 


133--2 


149 


122 


72'I 


81 


100 


Dom . 


Eastern Hindi 


Do. 


182-7 


204 


170 


136-8 


148 


124 


74-8 


84 


100 


Lodha . 


Western Hindi 


Do. 


185-2 


201 


170 


334-5 


145 


123 


72-6 


sl 


100 


Koiri . 


Do. 


Do. 


185-2 


197 


170 


133-6 


145 


120 


72-1 


81 


100 


Pasi . 


Eastern Hindi 


Do. 


185-0 


206 


169 


134-4 


146 


126 


72-6 


80 


100 


Chamar 


Do. 


Do. 


185-1 


196 


166 


134-9 


147 


123 


72-8 


81 


18 
77 


Musahar 
Musahar 


Do. 
Bihari . 


Do. 
Behar 


181-7 
183-0 


197 
200 


170 
171 


134-8 
138-6 


145 
150 


130 
130 


74-1 
75-7 


79 
84 



EASUREMENTS. 

IAN TYPE. 

;EYL0N. (In order of Nasal Index.) 







PROPOR 


n 






RELATIVE PROMINENCE OF 




DIMENSIONS OF NOSE. 


TIONS OF 


STATURE. 1 


ROOT OF NOSE. 








NOSE. 














Height. 


Breadth. 


Nasal Index. 




1 




S 


Orbito-Nasal 
Index. 
















1 


3I 


■« 




























; 
I 


i 


e 
s 


6 
.1 


i 


3 


S 

3 
S 

"S 


8i 


E 
3 

.§ 


s 
J 


2 

> 


3 
.3 


E 

3 

1 


11 


s 

SIT 
■2| 


I 


3 

E 


E 
3 
6 
S 


i 


< 


% 


S 


< 


S 

41 


S 


< 


s 


^ 


< 


S 


s 


mS 


P5 w 


< 


s 


g 


*;, 


47-2 


52 


40 


34-5 


31 


73-0 


91 


61 


1660 


1727 


1574 










5 


49-3 


56 


40 


36-1 


43 


3i 


73-2 


93 


63 


i66r 


1790 


1544 






... 






50-5 


58 


42 


37-4 


43 


33 


74-0 


90 


62 


1662 


1760 


1540 












(6' 


46-5 


53 


35 


347 


41 


28 


74-6 


100 


60 


1659 


1879 


1422 












I, 


46-6 


52 


32 


34-9 


44 


30 


74-8 


102 


5f 


1648 


1792 


1498 












fe 


48-5 


56 


41 


37-2 


45 


29 


767 


100 


58 


1642 


1780 


1502 












^ 


45-8 


53 


38 


35-6 


43 


29 


777 


97 


58 


1661 


1803 


1498 












^1 


437 


54 


32 


34-1 


40 


28 


78-0 


1 06 


59 


X636 


1778 


1498 












% 


45*7 


53 


40 


357 


39 


33 


78-1 


93 


64 


1623 


1727 


1524 












!9 


47-6 


56 


40 


37-4 


42 


30 


78-5 


98 


60 


1630 


1764 


J520 












ii 


43'9 


52 


39 


34-8 


41 


30 


79-2 


98 


60 


1642 


1966 


1349 












(f 


45'4 


59 


40 


36-1 


46 


31 


79-5 


102 


61 


1614 


1752 


1524 


114-0 


130-0 


114-0 


119-0 


log-o 


ft 


447 


54 


35 


35-6 


41 


30 


79-6 


106 


65 


1642 


1816 


1473 




... 








!• 


48-0 


56 


40 


38-3 


45 


30 


797 


103 


63 


1624 


1760 


1510 












ft 


42-9 


48 


37 


347 


42 


31 


8o-8 


105 


67 


1637 


1727 


1574 












'i 


43'i 


52 


35 


34"9 


42 


29 


80-9 


108 


60 


1628 


J 752 


1447 












h 


43'2 


52 


32 


35'2 


42 


29 


81-4 


[00 


62 


1626 


1752 


1498 












fc 


44 '4 


55 


33 


36"4 


46 


30 


81-9 


109 


60 


1612 


1790 


1473 












?' 


48-0 


55 


40 


39'5 


48 


32 


82-2 


98 


62 


1648 


1770 


1496 


II2-6 


128-7 


114-2 


125-0 


103-0 


« 


45'° 


52 


38 


37'o 


40 


35 


82-2 


100 


71 


1612 


1686 


1534 


iii-g 


125-9 


112-5 


II2-0 


107-0 


i! 


44-0 


49 


41 


36-2 


40 


30 


82-2 


93 


64 


1650 


1779 


1549 












i' 


46-8 


56 


40 


38-6 


44 


33 


82-4 


100 


64 


1620 


1728 


1494 


134-5 


I32-I 


1 15-3 


126-0 


105-0 


fi 


43 '4 


52 


35 


35-8 


43 


29 


82-4 


114 


60 


1636 


1826 


1498 






... 






'i 


42-1 


52 


33 


34-8 


41 


28 


82-6 


103 


60 


1627 


1752 1 1473 


... 






■■„■ 




((■ 


477 


52 


41 


39-2 


46 


34 


82-6 


100 


68 


1625 


1730 i 1499 


99-3 


1 12-3 


112-8 


II8-O 


106-0 


(S 


46-0 


52 


39 


38-1 


44 


32 


82-8 


95 


65 


1612 


1840 1480 












it 


417 


50 


33 


34"6 


42 


29 


82-9 


117 


60 


1642 


182I 1485 












') 


45"4 


55 


37 


377 


45 


32 


83-0 


122 


62 


1655 


1778 1524 






... 




... 


'J 


41-6 


49 


34 


347 


42 


30 


83-4 


109 


65 


1628 


1778 ; 1536 










... 


il 


427 


51 


35 


357 


43 


30 


83-6 


III 


60 


1628 


1752 


1511 












ll 


41-2 


52 


33 


35'2 


42 


27 


85-4 


"5 


66 


1639 


1778 


1524 












ti 


4I-0 


50 


34 


35'3 


41 


30 


86-0 


109 


64 


1630 


1765 


1524 












i| 


42-5 


47 


37 


36-6 


43 


32 


86-1 


103 


73 


1598 


1701 


1498 












H 


45-5 


52 


38 


40-4 


49 


34 


887 


"3 


72 


1591 


1696 j 1500 


lo8-3 


I2I-8 


112-4 


121-0 


105-0 



APP] 



SUMMARY OF 

MONCiOLO. 
BENGAL AND ORISS/ 













PE 


i 








DIMENSIONS OF HEAD. 


TI( 
\ 










Lekgtm (Glabello- 


Breadth 


Ce 


w 








occipital). 


(Extreme). 


I 


'o 


Name of Tribe 


Language or 


Locality. 








1 


OR Caste. 


Dialect. 


















J3 

a 
1 








t 


a 
1 


a 
g 


S 


a 
a 


s 












< 




s 


> 

< 




i 


> 

< 


lOO 


Kochh (Rajbansi) 


Rajbansi . 


N.-E. Bengal 


186-2 


202 


166 


140-2 


153 


127 


75-2 


88* 


Kochh (Rajbansi) 


Do. 


Do. . 


l8l-o 


202 


165 


139-0 


152 


131 


76-7 


99 


Bagdi 


Bengali . 


Bengal . 


182-7 


201 


172 


139'5 


153 


130 


76-3 


12 


Mai.. 


Do. . 


Western Bengal 


183-0 


191 


166 


I4i"3 


J46 


135 


77 -2 


41 


Goala 


Do. . 


Eastern Bengal 


183-8 


198 


170 


1/12-1 


153 


131 


77-3 


lOO 


Kaibarta . 


Do. . 


Do. 


182-3 


198 


166 


141-1 


152 


129 


77-3 


48 


Sadgop 


Do. . 


Bengal, 24-Parganas 


182-6 


190 


168 


142-1 


150 


132 


77-6 


27 


Muchi 


Do. . 


Eastern Bengal 


182-9 


198 


170 


142-0 


151 


133 


77-6 


100 


Pod . 


Do. . 


Bengal, 24-Parganas 


183-2 


198 


172 


142-4 


155 


130 


77"7 


185 


Muhammadan 


Do. . 


Eastern Bengal 


182-8 


199 


168 


142-7 


156 


131 


78-0 


67 


Chandal 


Do. . 


Do. . 


183-2 


201 


166 


I43'i 


151 


131 


78-1 


100 


Kayastha . 


Do. . 


Bengal . 


182-4 


195 


169 


142-8 


155 


129 


78-2 


32 


Brahman . 


Do. . 


Western Bengal 


182-2 


195 


171 


142-6 


151 


135 


78-2 


68 


Brahman . 


Do. . 


Eastern Bengal 


181-5 


195 


170 


I43H 


151 


134 


79-0 


20 


Rajbansi Magh . 


Magh . 


Chittagong 


178-6 


192 


166 


148-4 


157 


140 


83-0 


43 


Karan 


Oriya 


Puri . 


186-I 


197 


174 


142-0 


152 


130 


76-2 


26 


Niari 


Do. 


Cullack 


185-0 


193 


170 


141'5 


151 


131 


76-4 


45 


Teli . 


Do. 


Puri . 


184-0 


196 


166 


140-8 


150 


129 


75-6 


59 


Chasa 


Do. 


Cuttack 


183-9 


196 


169 


141-9 


151 


129 


77-1 


55 


Shashan Brahman 


Do. 


Puri . 


182-9 


195 


171 


141-2 


155 


128 


77-1 


38 


Kewat 


Do. 


i Cuttack 


183-4 


198 


173 


141-9 


157 


131 


77-3 


40 


Khandait . 


Do. 


Do. . 


183-6 


197 


171 


142-0 


153 


133 


77-3 


40 


Bauri 


Do. 


Do. . 


180-4 


193 


165 


139-6 


149 


130 


77-3 


40 


Mastan Brahman 


Do. 


Pari . 


183-8 


197 


169 


142-7 


154 


132 


77-6 


40 


Pan . 


Do. 


Cuttack 


182-2 


193 


161 


I4i"5 


154 


130 


77-6 


41 


Gaura 


Do. 


Do. . 


182-8 


198 


166 


142-1 


151 


130 


77'7 


41 


Panda Brahman . 


Do. 


Puri . 


183-3 


195 


171 


142-7 


152 


132 


77-8 


41 


Kandra 


Do. 


Cuttack 


182-6 


198 


168 


143-3 


157 


133 


78-4 


40 


Guria . . | 


Do. 


Puri . 


182-9 


204 


163 


143-5 167 


135 


78-4 



Lt.- 



DIX III 



401 



fEA S U RE ME NTS. 

BAVIDIAN TYPE. 

On order of Cephalic Index.) 






DIMENSIONS OF NOSE. 



Height. 



!i is 



i Bengal, 

48-9 

45-0 
467 
47-2 
49-0 
48-0 
49-6 
49-1 
49-1 

49-4 
49-6 
50-2 
48-5 
49-9 
51-0 



68 

71 
68 

71 
71 
70 

72 
72 

70 
70 

70 
70 
72 
70 
-74 



Orissa. 



68 
70 

71 
70 
67 

71 
69 
70 
69 
68 
70 
70 
69 
69 



47-7 
46-8 
47-1 

47-5 
48-4 
47-0 
48-0 

45 '5 
67-9 
46-6 
48-4 
47"9 
47-6 
47-0 



55 


39 


5.S 


39 


56 


39 


53 


41 


57 


41 


59 


40 


55 


40 


56 


3S 


55 


40 


54 


39 


55 


42 


55 


41 


54 


40 


55 


41 



Breadth. 



37-5 
36-0 

37'6 
40-0 

36-4 
36-6 

367 
36-8 

37'4 
38-3 
367 
35'3 
34"9 
35-1 
38-2 



38-8 
377 
36-5 
377 
37-2 
.387 
37-8 
38-3 
38-0 

38-3 
37-2 
37-1 
37'9 
37-3 



PROPOR- 
TIONS OF 
NOSE. 



Nasal Imjsex. 





3 








B 




M 




^ 


< 


s 


76-6 


92 


8o-o 


109 


80-5 


100 


847 


100 


74-2 


87 


76-2 


103 


73-9 


98 


74-9 


88 


7b-i 


91 


77-5 


96 


73 '9 


89 


70-3 


89 


71-9 


100 


70-3 


8.1 


74-9 


88 


8x-3 


100 


8o-,5 


100 


77-4 


95 


79-3 


95 


76-8 


93 


82-^ 


98 


787 


98 


85-1 


"3 


79-3 


100 


82-1 


100 


76-8 


96 


77-4 


1 00 


79-b 


100 


79-3 


93 



STATURE. 



1,607 

I.59I 
1,603 
1,622 
1,646 
1,629 

1.633 
1,641 
1,625 
1,634 
1,619 
1,636 
1,670 
1,653 
1,645 



1,638 
1,611 
1,619 
1,615 

1,635 
1,611 

1,645 
1.585 
1,642 
1,607 
1,627 
1,642 
1,625 
1,606 



1,746 
1,695 
1,722 

1,730 
1,746 
1,770 
1,780 

1,742 
1,850 
1,760 

1,734 
1,810 

1,734 
1,792 

1,750 



1,792 
1,756 
1,794 
1,752 
1,748 
1,716 
1,728 
1,686 

1,755 
1,748 
1,748 
1,750 
1,722 

1,724 



1,440 
1,502 

1,434 
1,520 
1,500 
1,490 
1,510 
1,536 
1,490 
1,500 

^,472 
1,544 
1,550 
i>474 
1,542 



1,486 
1,469 
1,500 
1,450 
1,498 
1,500 
1,529 
1,476 
1,468 
1,462 
1,510 
1,558 
1,506 
1,476 



RELATIVE PROMINENCE OF 
ROOT OF NOSE. 



o S 














(C 




A 












a 




S 


a 














> 


« 





Orbito- Nasal 
Index. 



1037 


115-0 


lOO-O 


iio-o 


I06-O 


II9-0 


99-6 


III-I 


113-2 


128-6 


112-3 


128-1 


106-6 


1x8-3 


109-8 


127-7 


107-9 


122-8 


107-8 


124-8 


I08-2 


123-5 


109-2 


127-4 


108-3 


123-7 


109-5 


126-9 


110-3 


124-2 


II0-6 


129-5 


iio-o 


124-1 


1 10-3 


126-0 


109-5 


126-9 


111-7 


127-8 


108-9 


125-6 



2 
> 

< 


S 

s 
•s. 


110-8 


121 


IIO-O 


121 


1 12-2 


118 


I1I-5 


118 


II3-6 


121 


114-0 


121 


1 10-9 


115 


II6-3 


126 


11 3-8 


120 


1157 


123 


111-4 


121 


ri6-6 


123 


114-2 


121 


115-8 


123 


112-6 


117 


171-0 


120 


112-8 


119 


114-2 


122 


115-8 


124 


114-4 


121 


115-3 


122 



104 

93 
106 



104 
106 
106 



105 



107 
108 
109 
no 
109 
108 
104 
112 
107 
108 
107 
110 
107 



il, VVaddell. 



402 



SUMMARY OF 

MONQOI 
EASTERN HIMALAYA, CHITTAQONQ HILL TRACT 













PE 


M* 








DIME> 
Length (Glai 


ISIONS OF HEAD. 


TK 




ELLO- 


Breadth 


Cl 


^ 








occipital). 


(Extreme). 


I 


"o 


TV > »f 1^ i^ Q T* n T n t « 


Language 
or Dialect. 


Ixtcality. 










INAHt, QV IRIBL. 

OR Caste. 


















s 








Is 


(d 


a 

i 

'S 


tu> 


e 

E 
1 


i 

.9 


i 










<: 


g 


% 


< 


S 


s 


< 


17 


Kuki . 


Rangkhol 


Rangamati 


187-2 


200 


179 


142-8 


156 


136 


76-2 


II 


Kuki* 


Rangkhol 


Rangamati 


187-0 


195 


176 


143-0 


151 


137 


76-4 


100 


Chakma 


Tipiira . 


Rangamati 


177-9 


195 


162 


150-0 


161 


134 


84-3 


8 


Chakma ' . 


Tipura 


Chittagong 


i8i-o 


186 


177 


144-0 


156 


135 


79-5 


17 


Ao* . 


Ao 


Naga Hills . 


179-0 


187 


170 


144-0 


153 


137 


80-4 


50 


Limbii 


Limbu . 


Nepal . 


1 81 -4 


193 


170 


I53-I 


167 


140 


84-3 


80 


Magh 


Magh . 


Rangamati 


182-1 


198 


170 


148-5 


161 


136 


81-5 


32 


Khambu 


Kiranti 
(Khambu) 


Nepal . 


182-4 


194 


169 


147-8 


160 


130 


8i-o 


II 


Kiranti - . 


Kiranti . 


Ham (E. Nepal) . 


176-0 


182 


171 


145-0 


153 


138 


82-3 


7 


Khamti (Tai) * . 


Khamti 


Dibrugah (Assam) 
Bor-khamli 


187-0 


196 


180 


148-0 


151 


144 


79-1 


58 


Tipra 


Tipura . 


Rangamati 


181-4 


193 


167 


146-1 


160 


136 


8o-5 


18 


Ar-leng (Mikir) * 


Mikir . 


Kamrup (Assam) . 


181-0 


193 


172 


141-0 


151 


138 


77-9 


57 


Lepcha 


Lepcha . 


Sikkim . 


185-0 


195 


174 


146-7 


161 


136 


79-9 


36 


Lepcha (Rong) * . 


Rangor 
Lepcha 


Sikkim . 


i8o-o 


193 


167 


145-0 


157 


133 


8o-5 


81 


Kasia ' 


Kasi . 


Kasia Hills (Assam) 


183-0 


193 


171 


144-0 


151 


133 


78-6 


5 


Murung 


Mrung 
Tipura 


Chittagong 


185-4 


189 


182 


142-0 


152 


135 


76-5 


35 


Mangor 


Magar . 


Nepal . • . 


183-6 


201 


163 


145-2 


156 


136 


79-0 


7 


Dafla * 


Dafla . 


N. Lakhimpur (As- 


183-0 


189 


178 


141-0 


146 


138 


77-0 


65 


Murnii 


Murnii . 


Nepal and Darjee- 

ling 
Pato (E. Himalaya) 


188-0 


196 


169 


149-6 


161 


134 


79-5 


9 


Bhotanese * 


Bhotia . 


183-0 


188 


176 


147-0 


157 


140 


80-3 


108 


Tibetans . 


Bhotia . 


Eastern Himalaya . 


186-9 


207 


172 


151-4 


168 


141 


8i-o 


8 


Tibetans* . 


Bhotia . 


Kong-bu (E. Hima- 
laya) 
Goalpara (Assam) . 


182-0 


189 


173 


148-0 


161 


143 


81-3 


10 


Mech 


Mech . 


185-0 


203 


171 


147-0 


153 


143 


79-0 


33 


Bodo (Kachari) * 


Bodo . 


Kamrup (Assam) . 


181-0 


195 


171 


142-0 


152 


135 


78-4 


28 


Gurung 


Gurung . 


Darjeeling and Nepal 


181-3 


202 


169 


148-1 


168 


141 


81-6 


7 


Abor . 


Abor . 


Dihong valley 


184-0 


192 


172 


142-0 


147 


135 


77-1 


13 


Nevvar 


Newar . 


Nepal . 


181-9 


193 


169 


148-3 


156 


142 




25 


Mi-shing (Miri) * 


Miri . 


Sibsagar (Assam) . 


178-0 


199 


169 


144-0 


153 


139 


80-8 


27 


Sin-teng (Jaintia)* 


Khasi . 


Jantia Hills . 


192-0 


199 


176 


140-0 


149 


134 


72-9 


13 


Ching-po (Sing- 

pho) * 
Ahom * 


Singpho 


Bisha (Assam) 


185-0 


192 


173 


140-0 


146 


137 


75-6 


19 


Ahom . 


Sibsagar (Assam) . 


176-0 


185 


161 


145-0 


154 


137 


82-3 


12 


Rabha (Datiyal 

Kachari) * 
Mande (Garo) * . 


Kachari 


Kamrup (Assam) . 


182-0 


197 


170 


142-0 


149 


135 


78-0 


34 


Mande . 


Garo Hills (Assam) 


183-0 


193 


174 


139-0 


150 


134 


75-9 


3 


Chutiya * 1 


Chutiya 


Sibsagar (Assam) . 


182-0 


183 


182 


143-0 


145 


142 


78-5 


30 


Kanett . 


Lahauli . 


Lahoul . 


189-0 


199 


179 


147-0 


155 


138 


77-5 


16 


Anga-mi * . 


Angami 


Ta-bo-pi-si-mi 


183-0 


194 


170 


144-0 


152 


135 


78-6 


4 


Kyon-Tsu("Lho- 

ta" "Naga")* 


Lhota . 


Woka (Assam) 


187-0 


200 


178 


144-0 


154 


141- 


77-0 


60 


Kanet + 


Kulu . 


Kulu . 


192-0 


204 


181 


143-0 


154 


132 


74-3 


6 


Kolita * . 


Kachari 


Gauhati (Assam) . 


i8i-o 


187 


170 


139-0 


148 


134 


76-7 



Lt.-Col. Waddell, c.i.e. 



mx III 



^ASUREMENTS. 

Olli TYPE. 

USD ASSAM. (In order of Orbito-Nasal Index— Risley.) 



POI- 
S(F 
41, 


DIMENSIONS OF 


NOSE. 


PROPOR- 
TIONS OF 
NOSE. 


STATURE. 


RELATIVE PROMINENCE 
OF ROOT OF NOSE. 


m. 

Dll 


Height. 


Breadth. 


Nasal Index. 










a 


Orbiio-Nasai 
Index. 
















•5^ 


rt 






2 

< 


a 
1 


1 


1 

t 
< 


S 

P 

a 

ffl 


s 

a 
5 
s 


ii, 
2 
% 
< 


a 
a 


E 
.1 

s 


si 

< 


a 
a 

■A 

s 


a 

a 

, *a 

ii 


.5s 

Si V 


I2 

» > 

d3^ 


i 
< 


nl 

B 


a 

6 

s 

s 


1171 


467 


52 


43 


39-7 


43 


34 


85-0 


93 


74 


1566 


1650 


1506 


99'5 


105-7 


106-2 


110 


102 


8274 


45 


49 


41 


41 


45 


38 


9I-I 


100 


84 


1587 


1670 


1508 


iio-o 


121-0 


IIO-O 


"3 


105 


9677 


47-2 


53 


41 


39-9 


46 


30 


84-5 


105 


70 


1595 


1696 


1490 


I0I-3 


107-8 


106-4 


112 


102 


"J 


44 


49 


39 


40 


45 


38 


90-9 


1 02 


80 


1597 


1639 


1546 


103-0 


117-0 


"3'5 


121 


107 


«5 76 


44 


49 


37 


36 


41 


31 


8i-8 


100 


70 


1566 


1648 


1504 


104-0 


III-O 


106-7 


112 


lOI 


9476 


502 


57 


37 


37-2 


43 


33 


74-1 


HI 


64 


1603 


1734 


1450 


log-i 


116-7 


106-9 


Ii3 


104 


95 73 


47-5 


55 


38 


39-4 


48 


34 


82-9 


102 


68 


1599 


1710 


1522 


loi-o 


108-0 


106-9 


"3 


1 02 


93 75 


50-0 


57 


45 


38-3 


42 


33 


76-6 


91 


63 


1571 


1656 


1416 


107-2 


115-0 


107-1 


113 


103 


8S77 


42 


44 


39 


36 


40 


35 


857 


98 


82 


1586 


1606 


1512 




... 








8375 


47 


51 


44 


38 


41 


36 


8o-8 


91 


75 


1641 


1695 


1575 


105-0 


113-0 


107-6 


110 


10^ 


9274 


47-1 


59 


40 


39-9 


45 


35 


847 


105 


68 


l6li 


1712 


i486 


loo-o 


107-6 


107-6 


112 


103 


8274 


47 


58 


42 


40 


47 


34 


85-1 


102 


67 


1633 


1703 


1558 


103-0 


III-O 


107-7 


114 


104 


9073 


51-6 


60 


42 


347 


41 


33 


67-2 


83 


59 


1570 


1690 


1490 


106-4 


II5-I 


108-1 


"3 


103 


8873 


46 


51 


40 


36 


42 


32 


78-2 


91 


67 


1584 


1684 


1449 


102-0 


108-0 


105-8 


119 


92 


8(72 


44 


52 


36 


38 


45 


33 


86-3 


108 


73 


1569 


1700 


1417 


106-0 


115-0 


108-4 


119 


lOI 


8273 


49-0 


51 


47 


37-6 


40 


36 


76T 


81 


73 


1582 


1636 


1536 


100-2 


108-8 


108-5 


115 


103 


9172 


49-5 


56 


40 


38-0 


44 


34 


76-6 


98 


61 


1587 


1680 


1508 


106-4 


"57 


108-7 


116 


103 


!i73 


44 


48 


40 


37 


42 


33 


84-0 


93 


78 


i6o6 


1708 


1532 


103-0 


112-0 


108-7 


114 


104 


i9i73 


497 


57 


41 


37-4 


43 


32 


75-2 


100 


63 


1669 


1760 


1490 


111-5 


121-5 


108-9 


"3 


105 


7 75 


48 


54 


41 


37 


41 


36 


77-0 


88 


73 


1672 


1747 


1611 


II 0-0 


120-0 


109-0 


"5 


105 


3 73 


51-8 


59 


38 


38-3 


47 


31 


73-9 


103 


58 


1633 


1760 


1520 


119-8 


130-8 


109-1 


120 


103 


678 


45 


49 


42 


37 


41 


36 


82-2 


91 


76 


1634 


1748 


1570 


I06-0 


112-0 


105-6 


109 


102 


4 71 


43 


45 


42 


39 


43 


38 


90-6 


100 


84 


1643 


1722 


1852 


104-0 


1 14-0 


109-6 


114 


104 


(73 


42 


50 


35 


37 


49 


33 


88-0 


118 


72 


1608 


1734 


1483 


103-0 


113-0 


109-7 


116 


103 


173 


48-9 


58 


38 


38-4 


43 


34 


78-5 


102 


65 


1698 


1746 


1476 


1 1 7-0 


128-6 


109-9 


H4 


105 


«75 


43 


49 


41 


39 


41 


36 


8i-6 


100 


80 


1579 


1628 


1490 


108-0 


1 19-0 


IIO-I 


115 


107 


976 


507 


57 


44 


37-2 


42 


34 


73-3 


81 


64 


1614 


1706 


1470 


108-6 


119-7 


110-2 


116 


104 


J 73 


44 


51 


40 


37 


41 


34 


84-0 


100 


75 


1564 


1700 


1518 


105-0 


II6-0 


110-4 


119 


103 


069 


45 


52 


39 


37 


42 


32 


82-2 


100 


68 


1612 


1713 


1505 


107-0 


1 1 9-0 


III-2 


119 


102 


17+ 


47 


56 


40 


38 


42 


29 


8o-8 


95 


60 


1605 


1695 


1528 


104-0 


116-0 


iii-5 


128 


104 


175 


44 


49 


38 


36 


41 


33 


8i-8 


90 


73 


1589 


1720 


1490 


103-0 


115-0 


1II-6 


124 


104 


74 


43 


49 


37 


39 


44 


36 


90-6 


105 


73 


1605 


1695 


1528 


102-0 


1 14-0 


111-7 


128 


104 


71 


41 


47 


36 


39 


43 


35 


95-1 


117 


83 


1588 


1679 


1512 


102-0 


1 1 4-0 


111-7 


119 


102 


78 


44 


48 


38 


36 


38 


35 


8i-8 


95 


76 


1591 


1607 


1582 


1 1 0-0 


124-0 


112-7 


119 


106 


72 


53 


59 


47 


35 


39 


32 


66-4 


76 


57 


1618 


1750 


1450 


99-0 


112-0 


112-9 


123 


105 


71 


45 


52 


42 


37 


40 


36 


82-2 


91 


73 


1639 


1693 


1539 


103-0 


117-0 


113-5 


120 


105 


75 


43 


47 


38 


34 


38 


34 


79-0 


100 


72 


1620 


1690 


1580 


103-0 


118-0 


ii4"5 


117 


108 


68 


51 


59 


45 


37 


44 


30 


74-1 


96 


56 


1654 


1760 


1560 


lOI-O 


1 1 7-0 


II5-5 


129 


107 


74 


43 


47 


38 


36 


40 


31 


837 


97 


66 


1628 


1666 


1568 


lOI-O 


118-0 


116-8 


124 


"3 



t T. H. Holland, Esq., a.r.c.s.,-f.g.s. 



APPENDIX IV 

INFANT MARRIAGE LAWS, MYSORE AND BARODA 

EEGULATIOK" No. X OF 1894. 

(Passed on the sth day of October, 1894.) 

A Regulation to prevent Infant Marriages in the Territories of Mysore. 

Whereas it is expedient to prevent Infant Marriages in the Territories of Mysore : 

His Highness the Maharajah is pleased to enact as 

follows :— Preamble. 

1. This Regulation may be called " The Mysore Infant 

Marriages Prevention Regulation." ^bari title. 

(2) It shall extend to the whole of the territories of Mysore, but it shall apply 
only to marriages among the Hindus. It shall come into 
operation at the expiration of six months from the date Extent and 

of its publication in the official Gazette. commencement. 

2. For the purposes of this Regulation, an" Infant Girl" 

means a girl who has not completed eight years of age. x»enmtion. 

3. Any person who causes the marriage of an infant girl, or who knowingly 
aids and abets within the meaning of the Indian Penal 

Code such a marriage, and any man who having completed Punishment for 

eighteen years of age marries an infant girl, shall be pausing or abetting 

punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may *^ marriages, 
extend to six months, or with fine, or with both. 

4. Any man who having completed fifty years of Punishment for a 
age marries a girl who has not completed fourteen years nian more than fifty 
of age, shall be punished with imprisonment of either years of age marry- 
description for a term which may extend to two years, ing a girl under four- 
or with fine, or with both. *een years of age. 

5. Any person who causes the marriage of a girl who has not completed 
fourteen years of age, with a man who has completed fifty Punishment f o r 
years of age, and any person who knowingly aids and abetment of offence 
abets, within the meaning of the Indian Penal Code, such provided against in 
a marriage, shall be punished with simple imprisonment section 4. 

for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, or with both. 

6. No offence punishable under this Regulation shall Ofiences under the 
be tried by any Court inferior to that of a Magistrate of Kegiilationbywh.om 
the District. triable. 

Validity of mar- 

7. No marriage which has actually taken place, shall riages notwith- 
be deemed to be invalid, on the ground of the penalties standing the penal- 
provided by this Regulation. ties provided by the 

Begulation. 



404 PEOPLE OF INDIA 

No prosecution to 8. No prosecution under this Regulation shall be 

be instituted with- instituted without the previous written sanction of the 

out the previous Government accorded after such enquiry as the Govern- 

ment!°'' °^ *^°"^^''''" '"^"^ '"^y ^^^'"^ ^^ *° "'^^^• 



ABSTRACT TRANSLATION OF 
ACT No. VII OP SAMVAO? 1960. 

Passed by the Baroda Durbar. 

{Received the assent of His Highness the Maharajah Sahib on Ashad Sudi 
2nd, i.e., the it,th of July, 1904.) 



THE EARLY MARRIAGE PREVENTION ACT. 

Whereas it is expedient to draw the increased attention of the public towards 
physical training, whereby the future progeny may be 
Preamble. healthy and long-lived, His Highness the Gaekwar has 

been pleased to rule as under : — 

1. This Act shall be called " The Early Marriage 
Title. Prevention Act." 

2. This Act shall come into force on Ashad Sudi 9th 
Commencement. gamvat i960, i.e., the 21st July, 1904. 

3. In this Code, the following words have the following 
Definitions. _ • . 

meanmgs : — 

(1) " Minor " means— 

(a) In case of a girl, one who has not completed her 12th year of age. 
{b) In case of a boy, one who has not completed his i6th year. 

(2) " Early marriage" means the marriage of a minor girl or of a minor boy. 
The word "marriage" does not include a "Baybar" marriage or a 

marriage with a ball of flowers, or such other nominal marriages. 

(3) " Nyayadhish " means Nyayadhish of a Mahal, or who may be from time 

to time invested with the powers (of that officer). 

(4) The term "