India is a country rich in cultural heritage and multi-ethnicity. In its depths lie mysterious peoples whose history and culture have attracted the attention of scholars from all over the world. One of these peoples is the Toda tribe living in the Nilgiri Mountains in the south of India. Their unusual appearance, special way of life and traditions arouse the interest of researchers.
The history of the Toda tribe begins in the 17th century, when they first became known to Portuguese navigators. In the 19th century, the British rediscovered this people, and since then scientists have been trying to unravel the mysteries of their origin. The appearance of the Todas differs from the typical Indian appearance – they have fair skin and green or brown eyes. Blood tests point to their ancestry.
Scientists offer several versions regarding the origin of the todas. One links them to the ancient Sumerians, who established a “colony” in India. Other assumptions speak of a connection with the Dravidians, Scythians and even the Lemurians, whose continent is said to have sunk to the bottom of the ocean in prehistoric times. The Toda tribe has its own language, Quorja, which has not yet been classified. The spoken language is close to Tamil and Malayalam.
Initially, the Toda lived in isolation and practiced cattle breeding and dairy farming. All members of the tribe were vegetarians. However, interaction with civilization led to changes in their lifestyle. The Toda gradually adopted farming and other occupations, and some abandoned strict vegetarianism.
The traditional settlement of the Toda tribe consists of five houses called mundas. Three houses are used as dwellings, one for livestock and one for dairy farming. A characteristic feature of the Toda huts is their small door, which protects the inhabitants from attacks by wild animals. In the past, the huts were built of bamboo, using rattan palm wood to reinforce the walls and thatch for the roof. Today, most traditional toda houses have disappeared and modern dwellings are built with bricks and cement.
The Toda consider themselves one family, historically polygamy was common in their society. This is due to the unequal ratio of men to women in the tribe. However, in recent years, monogamous marriages have become increasingly popular.
The Toda tribe is a unique phenomenon in Indian culture. Their traditions and customs, preserved for centuries, attract the attention of researchers and travelers. This people, living in the mountainous regions of South India, continue to preserve their uniqueness and uniqueness in the modern world.