Rivers, W. H. R. (William Halse Rivers), 1864-1922. The Todas

Table of Contents

Publication Information

The Todas

Chapter I Introduction


Chapter Ii The Toda People

The Village And The House

The Daily Life Of The Todas

Sketch Of Social Organisation

Chapter Iii Dairies And Buffaloes

The Dairy Organisation

The Dairy

The Toda Buffalo

Dairy Procedure

The Care Of The Ordinary Buffaloes

Chapter Iv The Village Dairy

The Tarvali

The Kudrpali

The Wursuli

The Daily Life Of The Wursol

The Kugvali Of Taradr

The Dairy Of Kanòdrs

The Teivali Dairy

Chapter V The Ti Dairy

The Contents Of The Poh

The Daily Life At The Ti

The Palol

The Kaltmokh

The Mòrol

New Dairy Vessels

The Five Ti

The Nòdrs Ti

The Kars Ti

The Pan Ti

The Kwòdrdoni Ti

The Nidrsi Ti

Chapter Vi Buffalo Migrations

Migrations Of The Village Buffaloes

Migration Of The Ti Buffaloes

Chapter Vii Ordination Ceremonies

The Palikartmokh

The Wursol

The Kugvalikartmokh Of Taradr And The Pohkartpol Of Kanòdrs

The Kaltmokh

The Ordination Of The Palol

The Tesherst Ceremony

The Niroditi Ceremony

Chapter Viii Special Dairy Ceremonies

The Pepkaricha Ceremony

The Irpalvusthi Ceremony

Giving Salt To Buffaloes

The Ponup Ceremony

Chapter Ix The Toda Gods




Teipakh, Or Tirshti




Korateu Or Kuzkarv

Puzi And Kurindo

Kwoten, Teikuteidi, And Elnâkhum

Kwoto Or Meilitars

Other Gods

Chapter X Prayer

The Village Prayer

Prayer Of Kuudr

Prayer Of Kiudr

Prayer Of Kwirg

The Prayer Of The Kanòdrs Dairy

The Ti Prayer

The Anto Prayer

The Prayer Of Makars

Chapter Xi The Dairy Ritual

Comparison Of The Procedure Of Different Dairies

The Sanctity Of Milk

Special Dairy Customs

Purity And Impurity

Women And The Dairy

History Of The Dairy

Chapter Xii Divination And Magic



The Evil Eye

Various Magical Remedies


Chapter Xiii Sacrifice And Offerings

The Erkumptthpimi Ceremony

The Sacrifice At The Ti

The Erkumptthpimi Prayer Of Kuudr

The Kars Prayer

The Teutütusthchi Ceremony


Irnörtiti To The Ti

Irnörtiti, Tuninörtiti And Pilinörtiti

The Irnörtiti Ceremony



Chapter Xiv Birth And Childhood Ceremonies

The Pursütpimi Ceremony


Seclusion After Childbirth

Uncovering The Child's Face

Naming The Child

The Tersamptpimi Ceremony

The Ear-piercing Ceremony

Chapter Xv Funeral Ceremonies

The Puzhutpimi Ceremony

The Tiveri Tûr Ceremony

The Slaughter Of The Buffaloes.

The Cloth-giving Ceremony

The Cremation

Some Special Funeral Ceremonies

The Interval Between The Two Funerals

Chapter Xvi Funeral Ceremonies— Continued

The Marvainolkedr

The Koòtiti Ceremony

The Azaramkedr

Funeral Laments

Purification Ceremonies

The Funerals Of Children

Funeral Contributions


Origin Of Funeral Customs

Chapter Xvii Sacred Days And Numbers

The Madnol And Palinol

The Arpatznol.

Sacred Numbers

Chapter Xviii Sacred Places And Objects

Hills And Other Places.



The Dairy

The Threshold



The Buffalo And Its Milk

Other Animals

Trees And Plants

The Sun, Light, And Fire


Chapter Xix The Toda Religion

The Gods

Influence Of Other Religious Systems

Magic And Religion

Chapter Xx Genealogies And Population

The Value Of The Genealogical Record

The Trustworthiness Of The Genealogies

Buffalo Pedigrees

The Toda Population

Proportion Of The Sexes


The Determination Of Age

Chapter Xxi Kinship

Kinship Taboos

Kinship Salutations

The Duties Of Kin

Chapter Xxii Marriage

The Regulation Of Marriage

Kinship And Marriage

The Marriage Of Matchuni



Exchange Of Brother And Sister

The Custom Of ‘terersthi’


The Mokhthoditi Institution

Sexual Morality

The History Of Pinpurz Kutan

Chapter Xxiii Social Organisation

The Clan

The Kudr

The Pòlm

Laws Of Descent





The Monegar



Debt And Servitude

The Position Of Women

Chapter Xxiv Arts And Amusements


Methods Of Wearing The Hair





The House

Implements And Utensils

The Pounder, Sieve, And Broom


Measures And Numerals


The Calendar

The Week

Astronomical Ideas

The Sun

The Moon


Constellations And Stars



Poetry And Music

Chapter Xxv Language


Sacred Language

Secret Language

Chapter Xxvi Personal Names

Change Of Name

Taboos On Names

Chapter Xxvii Relations With Other Tribes

Todas And Badagas

Todas And Kotas

Todas And Kurumbas

Todas And Irulas

Chapter Xxviii The Clans Of The Todas

The Tarthar Clans











Kidmad And Karsh

The Teivali Clans







Chapter Xxix Teivaliol And Tartharol

Chapter Xxx The Origin And History Of The Todas

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.

Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records

Title: The Todas

Published By: Original publisher London ; New York: Macmillan. 1906. 18, 755 p. [incomplete] ill., map

By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication William Halse Rivers

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: Human Relations Area Files, 2010. Computer File

Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis. Toda (AW60)

Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF Pastoral activities (233); Dairying (234); Comparative evidence (171); Sacred objects and places (778); General character of religion (771); Priesthood (793); Ritual (788); Etiquette (576); Mythology (773); Cultural participation (184); Sociocultural trends (178); Community structure (621); Kinship terminology (601);

Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document This standard ethnological study of the Todas is based on the authors field work among them in 1901-02. Rivers primary emphasis has been placed on the religion and sociology of the people; their personalities and physical characteristics have been the subject of studies published by the author and others elsewhere. Full details are provided in this work on the complex social, economic, ritualistic and ceremonial aspects of the dairy organization. The importance of ritual in the dairy structure provides the basis for Rivers theory that the Todas are a people who possess a religion in process of degeneration --that their religious orientation has been transferred from the formerly highly developed idea of 'god' of 'gods' to a series of almost entirely ritualistic practices and mechanical formulae applied predominantly to the dairy animals, dairymen-priests, buildings, vessels and sacred bells. Among other distinctive features of Toda culture the author lists Toda relationships with neighboring tribes of the Nilgiri hills, polyandry, and female infanticide. The division of Toda society into moieties and the resultant cultural distinctions between the two groups, the organization of the clan communities, and the elaborate funeral customs, are also discussed in detail.

Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents 1

Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits. aw60-001

Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs. Component part(s), monograph

Language: Language that the document is written in English

Note: Includes bibliographical references Omitted from the collection pages 749-755). Page numbers [749] to [788] have been assigned to the unpaginated genealogical charts The glossary on pp. 741-748, indexed for the subject GLOSSARY (104), should be consulted for definitions of native words used extensively in the text. The genealogical charts frequently are indexed for the subject KINSHIP TERMINOLOGY (601).

Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document 1901-1902

Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data Ethnologist-5

Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection. Mary L. Bartlett; 1954

Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date). 1602-1902

Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site) Nilgiri Hills, southern India

LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings Toda (Indic people)


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