Page images

goes to every village where any regular families of Goalas are established, and from each levies the tax which they pay to government for liberty to pasture their flocks on its property. In this neighbourhood, every family, whether it consists of many persons or of few, or whether it be rich or poor, pays the same tax; which is indeed a mere trifle, being only six Fanams, or about 4s. a year. For this small sum they are exempted from any tax or rent for grass, and may feed their cattle in whatever woods they please. In some villages there is often only one family of privileged Goalas, in others there are two. If a family change its place of abode, it must always pay its tax, and also certain dues owing to the temples, at its original village. The same happens to the individuals of a family, which sometimes may occupy ten houses; the whole of them, wherever settled, must send their share of the tax to the head of the family. The head man of the family is generally the eldest son of the last man who held the office; but in case of his being incapable, from stupidity, of transacting business, the Beny Chavadi appoints an acting chief, or Ijyamána. There are some Goalas, who are not privileged, nor under the authority of the Beny Chavadi, who in proportion to the extent of their flocks pay a rent for the grass to the Gydda Cavila, or keeper of the forest. This also is very moderate; 100 cows paying annually five Fanams, or 38. 4d. The Ijvamánas, or hereditary chiefs of Goala families, settle all disputes; but the Beny Chavadi punishes all transgressions against the rules of cast. When the flocks of any family have perished, either by war or pes.

tilence, the sufferers go and solicit a new stock from the other persons of the cast, each of whom will give a beast or two for that purpose. Should they be so unreasonable as to refuse this bounty, the Beny Chavadi will compel them to assist their distressed neighbours.

There are a great many different races of Goalas, with whom the Cadu Goalas neither eat nor intermarry. These last are a tribe of Karnáta; and persons, who consider themselves as of any rank, marry into such families only, with the purity of whose origin they are well acquainted; for in this tribe there is a very numerous race of Cutigás, or bastards. Widows who prefer disgrace to celibacy, and women who commit adultery, connect themselves with the bastard race, who also keep Hadras, or concubines; a practice that is not permitted to Goalas of a pure descent. These, however, inay keep as many wives as they please. A woman who is incontinent with a man of any other cast, is inevitably excommunicated. If the adultery has been committed with a Goala, she will be received as a Cutiga; and both the man who seduced her, and her husband, are fined in twelve Fanams, or about 8s. The Goalas are not permitted to drink spirituous liquors, nor to eat fish, or hogs: but they may eat sheep, goats, deer, and fowls. They bury the dead, and have no knowledge of a future life, except believing that those who die unmarried will become Virigas, whom they worship in the usual manner. The gods peculiar to their cast are, Jinjuppa and Ranuppa. The Bráhmans say, that the former is the same with Lechmana, the younger brother of Ráma; but of this the 3P 3



Goalas are ignorant. These poor people have a small temple, containing two shapeless stones; one of which they call Jinjuppa, and the other Ramuppa. The Pujari, or priest, is a Goala, whose office is hereditary; but who intermarries with the laity. Sacrifices are not offered to these idols; they are worshipped by offerings of fruit, flowers, and the like. There is a forest called Gyddada Mutraya, to which the Goalas repair, and sacrifice animals to Mutraya, who is represented by the first stone which the votaries find in a convenient place. On this occasion there is a great feast; and any Dáséri (religious mendicant) that attends obtains the head of the sacrifice, and some bread. They sacrifice also to the goddess Marima. Some of the Cadu Goalas take the vow of Dáséri; but none of them can either read or write. Their Guru is a Sri Vaishnavam Bráhman; but they neither know his name nor. where he lives. He comes once in two or three years, admonishes them to wear the mark of Vishnu, and gives them holy water. Each person presents him with a Fanam; and, if he happens to be present at a marriage, he gets a measure of rice. Although these people call their Guru a Brahman, it is more probable that he is a Vaishnavani or Satanana; for the Panchanga, or astrologer of the village, does not act as Purohitra at any of their ceremonies, and they are not a tribe that can claim to be of Súdra origin. The race of oxen in this country may be readily distinguished from the European species, by the same marks that distinguish all the cattle of India; namely, by a hump on the back between the shoulders, by a

deep undulated dewlap, and by the remarkable declivity of the os sacrum. But the cattle of the south are easily distinguished from those of Bengal by the position of the horns. In those of Bengal the horns project forward, and form a considerable angle with the forehead; whereas in those of the south the horns are placed nearly in the same line with the os frontis. In this breed also, the prepuce is remarkably large; and vestiges of this organ are often visible in females; but this is not a constant mark.

Of this southern species there are several breeds of very different qualities. Above the Ghats, however, two breeds are most prevalent. The one is a small, gentle, brown, or black animal: the females are kept in the villages for giving milk, and the oxen are those chiefly employed in the plough; their short thick make enabling them to labour easily in the small rice-plots, which are often but a few yards in length. This breed seems to owe its degeneracy to a want of proper bulls. As each person in the village keeps only two or three cows for supplying his own family with milk, it is not an object with any one to keep a proper bull; and as the males are not emasculated until three years old, and are not kept separate from the cows, these are impregnated without any attention to improvement, or even to prevent degeneracy. Wealthy farmers, however, who are anxious to improve their stock, send some cows to be kept in the folds of the large kind, and to breed from good bulls. The cows sprung from these always remain at the fold, and in the third generation lose all marks of their parents degeneracy. The males are


brought home for labour, especially in drawing water by the Capily; and about every village may be per ceived all kinds of intermediate mougrels between the two breeds.

In the morning the village cows are milked, and are then collected in a body, on the outside of the wall, with all the buffaloes and 'oxen that are not employed in labour. About eight or nine in the morning the village herdsman, attended by some boys or girls, drives them to the pasture. If the flock exceeds 120, two herdsmen must be kept, and their herds go in different directions. The pastures are such waste lands as are not more than two miles distant from the village, and are in general poor; the tuits of grass are but thinly scattered, and the bare soil occupies the greater space. This grass, however, seems to be of a very nourishing quality, and the most common species is the Andropogon Martini, of Dr. Roxburgh's manuscripts. At noon, and at four o'clock, they are driven to water, to raise which the Capily is often employed. At sun-set they are brought home; and in the rainy season the cow-house is smoked, to keep away the flies. In the back yard of every house stands a large earthen pot, in which the water used for boiling the grain consumed by the family is collected; and to this are added the remains of curdied milk, of puddings, and a little flour, oil-cake, or cotton seed. This water becomes very sour, and is given as a drink to the cows in the evening, when they are again milked. At night, in the rainy season, the cattle get cut grass, which is collected in the woods, and about road sides: this last is the most nutritious, the very

succulent roots being cut up with the leaves, and the situation preventing the harsh stems from growing. In dry weather, the cattle at night have straw. Those who can afford it, chiefly Brálmmans, give their milch-cows cotton-seed and Avaray. The working cattle ought to have Horse-gram. After the milk for the family has been taken, the calves are allowed to suck; and unless they be present, as is usual with all the Indian race of cattle, the cows will give no milk. The cows here go nine months with calf, begin to breed at three years of age, and continue until 15 years old. They breed once a year, but give milk for six months only. A good cow of the village kind gives twice a day from four to six Cucha Seers, or from about 2 to 3 pints, ale measure.

The cattle of the other breed are very fierce to strangers, and nobody can approach the herd with safety, unless he be surrounded by Goalas, to whom they are very tractable; and the whole herd follows, like dogs, the man who conducts it to pasture. The bulls and cows of this breed never enter a house; but at night are shut up in folds, which are strongly fortified with thorny bushes, to defend the cattle from tygers. At 5 years old the oxen are sold, and continue to labour for twelve years. Being very long in the body, and capable of travelling far on little nourishment, the merchants purchase all the best for carriage. To break in one of them requires three months labour, and many of them continue always very unruly. The bulls and cows were so restless, that, even with the assistance of the Goalas, I could not get them measured; but the dimen3 P4


sions of a middle sized ox were as follows: From the nose to the root of the horn, 21 inches. From the ropt of the horn to the highest part of the hump, 30 inches. From the height of the hump to the projecting part of the ossa ischia, 45 inches. From the hump to the ground, 46 inches. From the top of the hipbones to the ground, 51 inches.

The cows of this breed are pure white; but the bulls have generally an admixture of black on the neck and hind-quarters. These cattle are more subject to the disease than the cattle living in villages; and once in three years an epidemic generally prevails among them. It is reckoned severe when one-third of a man's stock perishes, although sometimes the whole is lost; but in general, as all the cows are reserved for breeding, the loss occasioned by one epidemic is made up before another comes.

These cattle are entirely managed by Goalas; and some of these people have a considerable property of this kind: but the greater part of these breeding flocks belong to the rich inhabitants of towns and villages, who hire the Goalas to take care of them; and, for the advautage of better bulls, send to the fold all their spare cows of the village breed. In procuring bulls of a good kind, some expence is incurred for the price given for them is from 10 to 20 pagodas (31. 7s. 1d. ́to 6l. 14s. 2d.), while from 8 to 15 pagodas is the price of an ox of this kind. Care is taken to emaseulate all the young males that are not intended for breeding, before they can injure the flock.

The Goalas live in huts near the small villages, in parts of the country that contain much uncultivated

land, and are surrounded by the folds, in which they always keep as many cattle as will cultivate a little land, and as the pasture near the place will maintain. But as local failures of ran frequently occasion a want of forage year their huts, some of the men drive their flocks to other places where the season has been more favourable, and either take up their abode near the huts of some other Goalas, giving them the dung of their fold for the trouble which they occasion, or live in the midst of woods, in places where the small reservoirs, called cuttays, have been formed to supply their cattle with water. the breeding and young cattle, with all the sheep and goats, are carried on these expeditions; but a few labouring cattle and the buffaloes are left at home in charge of the women, and of the men who can be spared from accompanying the flocks. During the whole time that they are absent the Goalas never sleep in a hut; but, wrapped up in their blankets, and accompanied by their dogs, they lie down among the cattle within the folds, where all night they burn fires to keep away the tigers. This, however, is not always sufficient; and these ferocious animals sometimes break through the fence, and kill or wound the cattle. The men have no fire-arms, the report of which would terrify the cattle; and for driving away the tiger, they trust to the noise which they and their dogs make. They are also much distressed by robbers, who kill or carry away the sheep and goats; but unless it be a numerous rabble that call themselves the army of a Polygar, no thieves can annoy their black cattle; for these are too unruly to be driven by any


persons but their keepers; and the most hardened villain would not dare to slaughter an animal of this sacred species.

Exclusive of the buffaloes, which are managed as I have described at Seringapatam, the cattle of the Goalas have nothing to eat, except what they pick up in the wastes. The cows and sheep eat grass, and the goats the leaves of every kind of tree, bush, or climber, those of the Periploca emetica W: excepted. Each kind of cattle must have a separate fold. From this, when at a distance from home, they are driven out at sun-rise, as then the calves get all the milk, except a little used by the herdsman; but near the village the cows are milked every morning; and this operation, which is performed by the men, takes up two hours. From each about 2 Seers, or 1 pint, only are taken. They are indeed miserably lean, and at twenty yard's distance their ribs may be distinctly counted. The cattle are once a day conducted to the water; and the calves, after they are a month old, follow their mothers to pasture: before that they remain in the fold, under the charge of the man who cooks.

When a rich man sends a flock of a hundred cows under the care of the Goalas, he allows wages for two men, each of whom has annually 60 Fanams, with a blanket and pair of shoes; in all, worth about 21. 5s. 1d.; and when they come on business to their master's house they get their victuals. For grass he pays also five Fanams a year to the keeper of the forest. These (3s. 4d.) with the two men's wages, making iu all 41. 13s. 2d. are the whole of his annual expence. The profits, when no disaster happens, will be:

for Ghee, or boiled butter, 8 Pagodas; for sour curds, butter-milk, &c. 4 Pagodas; for 20 three-yearold bullocks 60 Pagodas; in all 72 Pagodas, or 720 Fanams, or 241. 3s. 6d.: from this deduct the expence, and there will remain 191. 10s. as the gain upon the original stock, which may be estimated at 150 Pagodas for the 100 cows, and 30 Pagodas for the two bulls; in all, 1300 Fauams, or 431, 13s. which is almost 45 per cent. annually on the original value of the stock.

The Goalas keep many Curis, and Maykays, or sheep and goats. These always accompany them in their expeditions; and even those who are servants to the rich men generally carry with them flocks of sheep and goats, or are accompanied by some men possessed of that stock; so that less than four men never go together. The sheep are more subject to the disease than the cows, and the goats still more so than the sheep. A flock of a hundred small cattle requires the attendance of two men, and two dogs; and these have more profit from their own small herd, "than the men who serve the rich to take care of cows. This they acknow ledge themselves; yet they will only allow the profits of the 100 goats to amount to 100 Fanams a year; that is to say, SO Fanams for 30 three-year-old males, and 20 Fanams for boiled butter. They eat the old females, and give the keeper of the forest two males for every hundred, in order to obtain his permission to cut the trees, that the goats may procure leaves.

A Goala, that is reckoned rich, will have 200 cows, 30 female buffaloes, 50 ewes, and 100 she


« EelmineJätka »