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Native Life in Travancore along with Commentary by VED from Victoria Institutions

By MATEER, SAMUEL, Rev.

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Book Id: WPLBN0100003201
Format Type: PDF (eBook)
File Size: 4.25 MB.
Reproduction Date: 9/2/2014

Title: Native Life in Travancore along with Commentary by VED from Victoria Institutions  
Author: MATEER, SAMUEL, Rev.
Volume:
Language: English
Subject: Non Fiction, Social Sciences, South Asia
Collections: Authors Community, Sociology
Historic
Publication Date:
2014
Publisher: Victoria Institutions, Aaradhana, DEVERKOVIL 673508
Member Page: VED from VICTORIA INSTITUTIONS

Citation

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Mateer, R. S. (2014). Native Life in Travancore along with Commentary by VED from Victoria Institutions. Retrieved from http://worldlibrary.net/


Description
Commentary The work Designing this old book into a digital book version had its own travails and hard work. I took the text from various online sources. The text needed a lot of corrections, when it was converted into a MS Word file. Moreover, there were lots of pages missing. I think I have been able to get most of the pages intact by cross-referencing the sources, all of which had similar problems, but not in the same locations. I think I commenced the work on this project on the 20th of May 2014. Today it is June 26th 2014. The text of the book is ready and in the form of a digital book. Now I am commencing on my own commentary on this book. This book and other books This is a great book indeed. Even though this book ostensibly speaks of the kingdom of Travancore, the core emotions that have been dealt out can be on various aspects of the geographical area known as the South Asian peninsula, and even of the Asian landmass. In my search for realistic historical writings on the peninsular region, Indian nation and on the antiquity of the land area currently known as Kerala, I had come across a few books of resounding quality. One was the Travancore State Manual, written by a native official (V. Nagam Aiya) of the Travancore kingdom. The second was the Omens and Superstitions of Southern India by Edgar Thurston. The third has been this book. There are others. I had really being intrigued by the fact that no one seems keen to bring these books to the limelight again. There should be a real reason for this silence. On going through these books, I found that there are umpteen reasons for many persons to dislike these books coming back into the limelight from relative oblivion. I will enumerate the reasons after a little while. Generally the writings of the contemporary English or British writers, of the English rule period of the sub-continent, are qualitatively good, compared to the jingoist writings of the native ‘scholars’ of the peninsula. The latter fill their writings with their passionate loyalties to various local powers, claimed antiquities and caste aspirations.

Excerpt
To the present day Pulayars and others are thrust into cages not much better. One which I measured was fifteen feet long by eight feet wide, and five and three-quarters in height, in which twenty-five persons have at times been incarcerated, supplied with stocks all round, and no separation of the sexes. Another was eighteen by eight feet, in which thirty persons have been confined at once; and another was a “black hole” about eight feet square and five and a quarter high, with no opening whatever, for ventilation, not now used “except,” said the peon, “there were a woman, who would be put in there for her comfort!” The Sirkar has long been urged to remedy this serious evil, and has promised amendment, and done something in the larger towns; but much yet remains to be effected throughout the country. In somewhat recent times Shanars also, if they neglected to supply jaggery for public work, were put into cages armed with spikes, and made to eat a quantity of salt with a little rice, or chained to trees like monkeys to their cage-posts. “I once saw,” says Fra Bartolomeo, about A.D. 1780, “five natives suspended from a tree in a forest near Ambalapusha, on account of the supposed crime of killing a cow.” Again he says : “At Quilon, I saw a native of the caste of the Shanars hanging on a gallows for having stolen three cocoanuts in the house of a Nayr. The corpus delicti was suspended from his neck, in order that it might serve as a warning to all passengers.” “For the restoration of peace at that time “(A.D. 1802), says the native historian, Pachu Mutthathu, “punishments were too severe, beyond the law. Krishna Pillai sepoy, and others who rebelled, were tied to the feet of elephants and torn asunder. Blowing from the mouth of a cannon, impaling and hanging, gouging out the eyes, cutting off hands, nose and ears, were inflicted for trifling offences.” Devasagayam Pillai, a convert to Christianity in 1752, was “taken from village to village riding on a buffalo, daily beaten with eighty stripes, pepper rubbed in his wounds and nostrils, exposed to the sun, and had only stagnant water to drink.” Severe fines, pecuniary mulcts, and confiscation were also resorted to. “The rajahs understand how to make the most of the opportunity of making criminals bleed well in their purses; and there is hardly any crime which may not be expiated by money.”

Table of Contents
Commentary PREFACE 1. THE COUNTRY— DESCRIPTIVE 2. THE PEOPLE AND THEIR CLASSIFICATION 3. THE PULAYARS 4. VEDAR 5. KURAVARS 6. THE HILL TRIBES 7. PARIAHS 8. ILAVARS 9. SHANARS 10. POTTERS 11. PANDARAMS 12. MALAYALAM SUDRAS 13. THE ROYAL FAMILY 14. NAMBURI BRAHMANS 15. MUHAMMADANS 16. THE SYRIAN CHRISTIANS 17. NEPOTISM 18. THE KUDUMI, OR HINDU TUFT OF HAIR 19. FEMALE LIFE 20. AGRICULTURE 21. COFFEE CULTIVATION 22. COTTON MANUFACTURE 23. COCOANUT FIBRE AND MANUFACTURES 24. BOATS AND FISHING 25. INDIAN MUSIC 26. MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS 27. DISTILLATION AND EXCISE 28. POLITICAL AND SOCIAL CONDITION IN FORMER TIMES 29. SLAVERY 30. CHRISTIAN WORK AMONG THE SLAVE CASTES 31. SERPENT WORSHIP 32. HINDU CASTE AND POLLUTION 33. RECENT MEASURES OF REFORM 34. FURTHER REFORMS NEEDED 35. HISTORY OF TRAVANCORE 36. EDUCATED NATIVES 37. MISSION WORK 38. APPENDIX - INDIAN TUNES 39. GLOSSARY

 

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