Todas

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The Toda are known by several names like Tudas, Tudavans, and Todar. They are found only in Nilgiri district.The Government of India has  identified the Toda as one of the six Primitive Tribal groups of Tamil Nadu.  The name Toda is supposed to be derived from the word 'tud', the sacred tud tree of Todas.  The Linguist Emeneau(1958 : 47 - 50) said that, "Toda dialect is an independent language of the Dravidian family affiliated with Tamil - Malayalam. The uniqueness of the half - barrel shaped houses given speculations regarding their origin ranged from Rome to Sumeria. The Toda village is called a mund,  means a herd or a cattle - pen. It is usually a collection of three or five half barrel shaped   huts each 18 feet by 9 feet by 10 feet high with a small doorway measuring only 32 inches by 18 inches. Besides the huts, the mund has another hut with a smaller doorway, called 'Tirierl'  or dairy temple. In the vicinity of the mund is the cattle - pen. Toda people are white (fair) in colour,  being tall, strong built and well shaped. The striking feature of the women is the arrangement of their hair which is dressed in ringlets and flows waving down to the shoulders. The traditional garment of a Toda is known as  put - kuli, is of thick white cotton cloth with red and blue stripes which is embellished further embroidery by the Toda women, is thrown around the body by the men and women like 'Roman toga'.  Jewelry is worn by both men and women.