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of rich and valuable material and all that is required are labourers willing and able to bring its resources to light.
To the Desiderata above mentioned is appended the form of a Meteorological Register and as it is obviously desirable that as accurate and extensive information as possible, should be obtained in regard to the climate of the different stations of this Presidency, communications in the form exhibited are particularly solicited.
It only remains to state, that with the view of rendering the Madras Journal as valuable and attractive as possible, it is intended to introduce therein, either in their original state or in a condensed form, any articles of a peculiarly interesting nature that may appear in the Journals of the Asiatic Societies of Calcutta, London, and Paris.
It is necessary however to repeat that the success of the “ Madras Journal” is mainly dependant upon the exertions of the community of this Presidency. To that community an appeal is now made for encouragement and support-and it is confidently assumed that that appeal will not be made in vain. The stimulus to exertion is to be found in no light and vain cause, but in objects the most attractive that can influence the human mind to put forth its energies: the investigation of the mysteries of nature, promotion of the researches of science, advancement in the progress of literature and the knowledge of our fellow men. With such aid and encouragement thus contributed there is every reasonable expectation that the Madras Journal of Literature and Science will prosper and flourish and prove alike a credit to the intelligence and assiduity and an ornament to the literary stores of our community.
MADRAS, 25th September, 1833.
LITERATURE AND SCIENCE.
No. 1.–October, 1833.
1.- Extract from the General Memoir of the Survey of Travan
core, by Lieutenant P. E. Conner, being a description of the
Hill Tribes in that country. (Read at a Meeting of the Madras Literary Society and Auxiliary of the
Royal Asiatic Society held on Thursday the 23d of May 1833.) A few wild but inoffensive mountaineers share amongst them the whole of the hilly parts. It is difficult to fix their total,* but they are not numerous. Influenced by all the prejudices of Caste, they are divided into several distinct tribes, who have little intercourse with each other. But their character is similar, or only distinguished by minute shades. It partakes of the rude wildness of their Hills, but is in no instance ferocious. Though living in clans, they have little of that union and attachment that belongs to such an association. Each Society has its little chief, most of them owe general allegiance to the Rajahs of Pundalum and Puniatta, caprice leads them to occasionally transfer their fealty, called Mopen, to the south Kuneecar, whose authority, rather domestic than despotic, is willingly submitted to. Their mode of life too, is every where the same, subsistence being chiefly derived from the spontaneous produce of the wilderness through which they roam. The spoils of the chase (of which they often rob the Chennai) yields a precarious addition, and the collection of the Hill products affords the means of obtaining the few course luxuries suitable to their taste. Wicker work (made from bamboos) in which they are very ingenious, is the only art they practice. They are not exempt from the fever common to the Hills, but are in general hardy, and
It would appear certainly greater than that given in the Statistic Table, so scattered we shall not be surprised at any incorrectness in the enumeration.
endure privation with stoicism, a virtue that the wretchedness of their situation too often calls into action. Of migratory habits they move about in small hordes, necessity alone leads them to the inhabited parts, where no inducement could persuade them permanently to remain. In their rambling tours they carry a staff or pike, a knife stuck in the girdle, and sometimes bows and arrows, for they have no fire arms. A basket, slung at the shoulders, contains some few necessary utensils ; and followed by their dogs and women, the latter loaded with the younger children and other impediments of the family, they wander from one place to another, as caprice or convenience may dictate. Their huts are soon erected, often on rocks, or trees, a security against tigers and elephants, their fellow occupants of the woods, with whom they share or dispute possession. Conversing among themselves, they are unintelligible to those from the inhabited parts, this however only arises from the dissonant sound conveyed by their harsh and abrupt utterance. Each tribe is intimately well acquainted with the tract considered particularly its own, and on whose precincts they do not admit encroachments. They trace, as by instinct, its devious paths, and decide with almost unerring certainty on the number and variety of animals that may have lately traversed them. They are restrained or confine themselves to one wife or mistress, often their neice, a connection aimed at as securing the purity of the race ; the offspring in most cases is considered as belonging to the mother. Their superstitions are said to have a favorable influence on their morality, but the women, subject to every species of hardship and drudgery, can have but little leisure or disposition to be incontinent. Their dress only differs from that of the Nairs, in covering the upper part of the person with an abundance of cloth, but it is an equivocal benefit, cleanliness being in this instance sacrificed to decorum, as they do convenience to ornament, in encumbering the ears with pendants, and loading the neck with countless string's of beads, decorations little adapted to their vagrant mode of life. They are haunted by a variety of superstitions, large tracts of forests sacred to some ideal spirit, however great the temptations their productions might offer, are scrupulously avoided by them; some regard the head with particular veneration, and will not carry any burthen on it. Women under certain circumstances,
parturient, are objects whose approach or contact is dreaded, in the latter case they are removed to a hut (being supposed to pollute it by their presence) some distance from the village, and the event trusted to the unaided operations of nature. Those mountaineers
are small in person, are often of a meagre appearance, but have the usual Hindu lineaments, except the
Cowders—Whose flattened nose, robust make, dark complexion, occasionally curly hair, and large white teeth, filed into the form of a saw, (some other classes of hill people observe a similar practice) give them an African appearance, though their features are by no means so harsh-their hardiness has given rise to the observation amongst their neighbours, that the Cowder and Caad Auney, (wild elephant,) is much the same sort of animal. They inhabit the Kodagerry Hills, bordering the northern parts of Cochin, and engage themselves to the renters (belonging to Coimbatoor) of those forests, whose productions they alone can collect. The Cowders are infinitely better situated than the
Vaishwans--Occupying the Iddiara and Mulliator Hills, a miserable puny race, vitiated by use of opium; they are employed in in the Timber Department, and the profit of their labours dissipated in the purchase of this pernicious drug; they are ever in the extremes of stupid langour or inebriety.
Moodavenmars-Secluded amongst the Chenganad and Neereamungalum Hills, and nominally dependant on the Pagodas bearing those names, the Moodavenmars (or male Addeens) have not been corrupted by an intercourse with the plain. They rank high in point of precedency, were originally Vellaulars, tradition representing them as having accompanied some of the Madura princes to those Hills.—They are somewhat more civilized than the other Hill tribes ; at least the comparative regard they shew their women would induce such a belief.
Arrecamars—The Arreeamars to the south called Vailamars, often male Arrisens (Lords of the Hills) hold the chief place as to caste. They occupy the hilly tracts bordering on the inhabited parts, and are less migratory than the other tribes. The Hills are shared amongst them, each Family having a certain extent as its patrimony. To the spontaneous produce of their wild domain, they add such as they can collect in the more mountainous and distant parts, a rude and lazy culture ekes out a scanty subsistence. Their houses are picturesquely scattered (sometimes in little knots, but usually distant from each other) over the Hills, are sheltered by some projecting crag, and embowered in plantain trees, which intermingled with a few areka and jack are also seen strewn along its vallies. The Hill and in some measure its inhabitants are often the property of a Pagoda or Junmeecars, they are subject to some