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tire success. The money was ter to Nunjeraj ; exaggerating the paid to Hyder according to the disturbed state of the country muster, and to the probable time and the necessity of augmenting of cure reported by the attending the forces; which was accordingly surgeons, at the rate of fourteen authorized from time to time, and rupees per man per month. To assignments on the revenues of the really wounded he gave seven other districts were added for that and of the presents brought for purpose to his other resources. the officers of the army he made Special commissioners were al. a distribution equally skilful, ways deputed to muster the new while each officer was made to levies ; and on one occasion, believe that he was the person Jehan Khan saw exhibited the most particularly favoured by manceuvre which he calls a circuHyder. During these operationslar muster, by which ten thousand Kundè Row was perpetually men were counted and passed as sounding the exploits of his masa eighteen thousand.
MANNERS, CUSTOMS, &c.
NATIONS AND CLASSÉS or PEOPLE.
ACCOUNT OF A SINGULAR Sect placed on a block : the blacksmith AT Mysoor.
places a chisel over the articulation
of the joint, and chops it off at a From Historical Sketches of the single blow. If the girl to be be
South of India, by Lieut. Col. trothed is motherless, and the moMark Wilks.
ther of the boy have not before
been subjected to the operation, it N passing from the town of Sil- is incumbent on her to perform
gut to Deonhully in the month the sacrifice. of August, 1805, I became acci- After satisfying myself with redentally informed of a sect, pecu- gard to the facts of the case, I inliar, as I since understand, to the quired into the origin of so strange north-eastern parts of Mysoor, the a practice, and one of the women women of which universally un- related with great fluency the foldergo the amputation of the first lowing traditionary tale, which has joints of the third and fourth fin- since been repeated to nie with no gers of their right hands. On my material deviation by several others arrival at Deonhully, after ascer
of the sect. taining that the request would not A Rachas (or giant), named give offence, I desired to see some Vrica, and in after times Bus. of these women, and the same maasoor, or the giant of the ashes, afternoon seven of them attended had, by a course of austere devoat my tent.
tion to Mahadeo, obtained from The sect is a subdivision of the him the promise of whatever boon Murresoo wokul, and belongs to he should ask. The Rachas acthe fourth great class of Hindoos, cordingly demanded, that every viz. the Souder. Every woman of person, on whose head he should the sect, previously to piercing the place his right hand, might inears of her eldest daughter, pre- stantly be reduced to ashes; and paratory to her being betrothed in Mahadeo conferred the boon, marriage, must necessarily under- without suspicion of the purpose go this mutilation, which is per- for which it was designed. formed by the blacksmith of the The Rachas no sooner found village for a regulated fee, by a himself possessed of this formidasurgical process sufficiently rude. ble power, than he attempted to The finger to be amputated is use it for the destruction of his benefactor. Mahadeo fled; the ful of the powers of his right Rachas pursued, and followed the hand, performed the Sundia, and fugitive so closely, as to chase him was himself reduced to ashes. into a thick grove, where Maha- Mahadeo now issued from the deo, changing his form and bulk, linga tunda, and after the proper concealed himself in the centre of acknowledgment for his delivera fruit then called tunda pundoo, ance, proceeded to discuss the but since named linga tunda, from guilt of the treacherous husband. the resemblance which its kernel man, and determined on the loss thenceforward assumed to the ling, of the finger with which he had the appropriate emblem of Maha. offended as the proper punishment deo.
of his crime. The Rachas, having lost sight The wife of the husbandman, of Mahadeo, inquired of a hus- who had just arrived at the field bandman who was working in the with food for her husband, hear: adjoining field, whether he had ing this dreadful sentence, threw seen the fugitive, and what direc- herself at the feet of Mahadeo. tion he had taken. The husband- She represented the certain ruin man, who had attentively observed of her family, if her husband should the whole transaction, fearful of be disabled for some months from the future resentment of Maha- performing the labours of the deo, and equally alarmed for the farm, and besought the deity to present vengeance of the giant, accept two of her fingers, instead answered aloud, that he had seen of one from her husband. Ma. no fugitive, but pointed at the hadeo, pleased with so sincere a same time with the little finger of proof of conjugal affection, achis right hand to the place of Ma- cepted the exchange, and orhadeo's concealment.
dained, that her female posterity, In this extremity Vishnou de- in all future generations, should scended in the form of a beautiful sacrifice two fingers at his temple, damsel to the rescue of Mahadeo. as a memorial of the transaction, The Rachas became instantly ena. and of their exclusive devotion to moured: the damsel was a pure the god of the ling. bramin, and might not be ap- The practice isaccordingly conproached by the unclean Rachas. fined to the supposed posterity of By degrees she appeared to relent; this single woman, and is not comand as a previous condition to fur- mon to the whole sect of Murrether advances, enjoined the per-- soo wokul. I ascertained the acformance of his ablutions in a tual number of families who obneighbouring pool. After these served this practice in three sucwere finished, she prescribed as a cessive districts through which I further purification the perform- afterwards passed, and I conjecance of the Sundia, a ceremony ture that within the limits of Myin which the right hand is succes- soor they may amount to about sively applied to the breast, to the two thousand houses. crown of the head, and to other The hill of Seetee, in the talook parts of the body. The Rachas, of Colar where the giant was dethinking only of love, and forget stroyed, is (according to this tra
dition formed of the ashes of Bus. the bramins whom I have conmaasoor : it is held in particular sulted have not been able to trace veneration by this sect, as the chief in any document the incident of seat of their appropriate sacrifice; the husbandman and his wife, nor and the fact of its retaining little the existence of any written auor no moisture, is held to be a mi thority for the sacrifice practised Yaculous proof that the ashes of the by this extraordinary sect. giant continue to absorb the most It is not a little remarkable, that violent and continued rain. This neither the Dewan of Mysoor, is a remarkable example of easy nor any of his suite, nor of the credulity. I have examined the bramins belonging to the resimountain, which is of a sloping dent's office, had ever heard of förm, and composed of coarse this singular practice, or were ac. granite.
quainted with the existence of The name of Seetee is stated this subdivision, of the sect 'of by the bramins of the vicinity to Murresoo wokul. be an abbreviation of Sree.puttee. Shweragerree, or the hill of the husband of Sree and Ishwara.
ON THE NAIRS.
From the same. Siva's adventure with the giant of the ashes is stated by these The Nairs, or military class of bramins to be related in one of the Malabar, are, perhaps, not exPuranas, with some change in the ceeded by any nation on earth in circumstances, which does not a high spirit of independence and seem to improve its merit as a tale. military honour; but, like all perThe flight of Siva is continued sons stimulated by that spirit withthrough the seven lower and seven out the direction of discipline, their upper regions to Vicunta, the pa. efforts are uncertain, capricious, radise of Vishnou, who there ap- and desultory. The military dress pears in the form of a young Bra• of the Nair is a pair of shori drawmin, and with the aid of Maya ers, and his peculiar weapon is an (delusion) persuades the giant that instrument with a thin but very Siva never yet uttered a truth, and broad blade, hooked towards the that the boon was fallacious, as he edge like a bill. houk, or gardener's might easily ascertain by placing knife, and about the length of a his right hand on his own head. Roman sword; which the weapon
Swatadry, or Belacul (the white of the chiefs often exactly resemmountain), à temple near the bles. This hooked instrument, the Booth-eastern frontier of Mysoor, inseparable companion of the Nair claims, in common with many whenever he quits his dwelling on other places, the honour of pos- business, for pleasure, or for war, sessing the ashes of Busmaasoor; has no scabbard, and is usually and I am informed that the grasped by the right hand, as an descent of Vishnou in the form of ornamental appendage in peace, a damsel, as stated by the Mur. and for destruction in war. When resoo wokul, is related in the the Nair employs his musquet, or Sthalla Purana, or local history his bow, the weapon which has of the origin of that temple; but been described is fixed in an in
stand by means of a catch in the was made for the purpose of strik, waist-belt, with the flat part of ing terror, by not allowing a man the blade diagonally across his to escape destruction. The Nairs back; and is disengaged as quickly defended themselves until they whenever he drops his musquet in were tired of the confinement, and the wood, or slings it across his then leaping over the abbatis and shoulders for the purpose of rush- cutting through the three lices ing to close encounter with this with astonishing rapidity, they terrible instrument. The army of gained the woods before the enemy Hyder had not before engaged so had recovered from their surprise, brave or so formidable an enemy: their concealed fire from the woods could neither be returned with ef- ON THE JUNGUM. From the same fect, nor could the troops of Hyder be prevailed on to enter the thick- From conversațion with some ets, and act individually against intelligent Jungum priests, I learn them. In every movement through that they derive the name from * the forests, with which the coun- contraction of the three words, try abounds, bands of Nairs rush- junnana, to be born; gummana, ed by surprise upon the columns of io move ; murrana, to die, The march; and, after making dread- word jungum thus constantly reful havoc, were in a moment again minds them of the most important invisible. On one occasion they dogma of the sect, namely, that were su imprudent as to depart the man who performs his duties from their characteristic warfare, in this world shall be exempted and openly defended the passage from these changes in a future state of one of those rivers with which of existence, and shall immediately the province is everywhere inter- after death be re-united with the sected to discharge the mountain divine spirit from which he origitorrents. Hyder, by passing a nally emanated. This doctrine, column of cavalry at a higher ford, not altogether unknown to the and combining their charge on the braminical code, is pushed by the Aank of the Nairs with a heavy jungum to the extent of denying discharge of grape in front, made the metempsychosis altogether. a dreadful carnage among them. This sect condemns as useless and As he advanced to the southward unmeaning the incessant detail of he secured his communications by external ceremonies, which among a series of block houses ; and the the bramins of every persuasion Nairs, perceiving the object of occupies the largest portion of their these erections, impeded his pro- time, and forms the great business gress by the defence of their own of their lives. The jungum dissmall posts. One of these, which claim the authority of these gods my manuscripts name Tamelpelly, upon earth, as they impiously and was surrounded by Hyder in the familiarly call themselves. The following manner: first, a line of priests of the jungum are all of the regular infantry, and guns with an fourth or servile cast, and habityabbatis ; second, a line of peons ; ally distinguish the bramins by the third, of cavalry. This disposition opprobrious appellation of dager