Rare Pictures of Dravidians, Tamils and Tamil Nadu from A French Book (Year 1887)

Compiled  by London Swaminathan


Date: 8 November 2016


Time uploaded in London: 6-09 am


Post No.3332


contact; swami_48@yahoo.com


Please see the earlier two parts posted yesterday and day before yesterday.


Devadasi, Temple Dancer

Village women


Temple Dancers (Devadasis)


Dravidian warriors (Bhils)



Low Caste People (Palanquin bearers)

Irulas (Dravidians)


Irulas of Nilgris (according to foreigners, Irulas are Dravidians)

Dravidian Kotas of Tamil Nadu

Dravidian Todas of Nilagris,Tamil Nadu

Tamil Pilgrims


Minas of Rajasthan

to be continued……………………


Part 6 – Comparative Proverbs about Different Castes (Post No.3081)

new tribe 1

Compiled by London swaminathan

Date: 22  August 2016

Time uploaded in London:  10-38 AM

Post No.3081


Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks for the pictures.


Part-6 on caste Proverbs. For proverbs on Brahmins, Banias, Jats, Carpenters, Blacksmiths, Goldsmiths and agricultural castes, please read the first five parts.




Proverbs on Bhils


The Bhils are described as hunters, blackmailers and highway robbers. They are the kings of the jungle. They are always ready for fight. Bhil is also a man of word and with a Bhil for escort your wife is safe.


If you manage to please him he is a Bhil;

If you rub him on the wrong way up he is the son of a dog.


From the wilds of Assam comes the quaint saying

The Naga’s wife gets a baby; the Naga himself takes the medicine.


This sounds rather like a reminiscence of the ‘couvade’, but it may be nothing more than a reflexion on the intelligence of the Nagas.


My comments: –


Meaning of Couvade (French word):

The custom in some cultures in which a man takes to his bed and goes through certain rituals when his child is being born, as though he is physically affected by birth.


It is very strange that such customs exist through out India. In Sanskrit and Tamil we have such proverbs about forest dwellers.


Nishada wife gives birth; Nishada father drinks medicine is in Sanskrit.


Kurva woman gives birth; Kurava man took medicine (Karuvuyirthal Kurathi; Kaayam thindraan Kuravan) – is a tamil saying.


Though it is in several cultures through out the world Indian Proverbial meanings are closer than other proverbs. In other cultures the husbands of the pregnant women undergo various ritual to distact the evil spirits from his wife. In India it is about him taking medicine!


Forest dwelling Nishadas are ardent Hindus and cultures. The story of Nalan and Sabari are very good examples. In Tamil one of the 63 Nayanmars (saivite Saints), Kannappan, was a Nishada. Nalan was the King of Nishada Country and great Charioteer and a cook.


This explodes the foreign invaders’ theory that Nishadas were aborigines or outside the bounds of Hinduism. They lived simultaneously with the city dwellers and had a good rapport with the kings.



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Comparative Proverbs


A black Brahmin, a fair Shudra, an undersized Muslim, a ghar-jamai (son in law who lives with father in law) and an adopted son are not to be trusted


Trust not a black Brahmin and a fair Pariah


A dark Brahmin, a fair Chuhra (sweeper), a woman with a bird are contrary to nature.


The Kunbhi (tiller) died from seeing a ghost;

The Brahmin from wind in the stomach;

The goldsmith from bile.


Brahmins are made to eat;

Bhavaiyas to play and sing;

Kolis to commit robbery;

Widows to mourn.


A Dom (low caste), a Brahmin and a goat are of no use  in time of need.


The Brahmin is Lord of the water;

A Rajput lord of the Land;

The Kayasth, Lord of the Pen

Khatri, Lord of the back ( a coward)



A Khatri woman brings forth sons always

A Brahmin woman only now and then

(may be due to female infanticide)


Kayasths, Khatris and cocks support their kins

Brahmins, Doms and Nais destroy theirs


Bribe a Kayasth; feed a Brahmin; water paddy and betel; but kick a low caste man.

A Turk wants toddy

A bullock wants grain

Brahmin wants mangoes

Kayasth wants an appointment



A Dhobi is better than a Kayasth

A Sonar is better than a cheat

A dog is better than a deity

And a Jackal better than a Pandit


Kazis, Kasbis, Kasais and Kayasths – the four bad ‘K’s.


Know a good Kaysth by his pen

A good Rajput by his moustache

A good Baidya (doctor) by his medicine.


There are hundreds of proverbs like these. The list is not exhaustive. These are only examples.


Source book:–

These were recorded 100 years ago in the book:

The People of India by Sir Herbert Risely, London, 1915.