Origin of Toda Tribe
The origin of the Toda tribal community has got a history behind it. The Toda tribal community has established their settlements and lives cordially with other tribal communities like the Badaga, Kota and Kurumba.
The earliest record about them dates back to about 1117 AD when a ruler of Karnataka came to the Nilgiris and dedicated the highest peak in the area to the Goddess Lakshmi. They were still there in 1602 AD when a Portuguese Roman Catholic priest from Kolkata visited them. Interest in them was revived about 200 years later when the British reached the Nilgiris.
Society of Toda Tribe
The society of Toda tribe is very well knit. Birth, marriage and cremation have separate norms. All these norms are strictly followed by the Toda tribe of the Nilgiris. It is a close-knit society where no discrimination is followed. The Toda tribal community converse with each other in the Toda language. This language has a belonging in the famous Dravidian language family.
The Toda Tribes are seen as a pastoral tribe who herd buffaloes that roam around the Nilgiri hills. Their way of living is simple and with their flowing beards, long hair, fine bodies and tall sticks in hand; they resemble the prophets of the Old Testament. The Toda tribes judge time by the opening of the evening primrose which they call the ‘6 O’clock Flower’.
Religion of Toda Tribe
Like most of the tribal communities of Indian subcontinent, the Toda tribal community has got huge inclination towards religion and spiritualism. This Toda tribal community worships their dairy-buffaloes with lots of veneration. Besides this, the Toda tribal community has a plethora of Gods and Goddesses. ‘Kona Shastra’ is the sole religious occasion, which deals with yearly sacrifice of a male buffalo calf.
Occupation of Toda Tribe
As far as the occupations of this Toda tribal community is concerned, maximum of these Toda tribes have taken up the occupations of cattle rearing and dairy farming. Most of the members have huge herd of buffaloes. This Toda tribal community sustains their livelihood from milk products. Toda tribes have also developed expertise in silver smiting.