Taken at Kandelmund, which it represents, and the Toda Family inhabiting. and the
Artist: Barron, Richard (c.1798-1838)
Medium: Aquatint, coloured
This is plate 5 from Richard Barron's 'View in India, chiefly among the Neelgherry Hills'. It shows some Todas, reputedly the original inhabitants of these hills, in front of their 'Mund', or dwelling. The Toda were, according to Barron, "totally different and more singular than any other people in India". Although not impressed by their costume, he found them "a lively, laughter loving race, and in the sudden transition and free expression of their sentiments, shew strength of feeling and correctness of thought little to be expected under such a garb".
The Munds were usually situated on slopes near the edge of forests. They were thatched oval-pent-shaped huts made of bamboo and dried grass fastened together with rattan, which rendered them wind- and rain-proof. The houses did not have windows and the entrance was so small that access was only possible by crawling. Inside was a single large room with a raised sleeping platform on one side and space for cooking on the other. The walls and floor were plastered with dung.