Male and Female Toda
Artist: Barron, Richard (c.1798-1838)
Medium: Aquatint, coloured
This is plate 7 from Richard Barron's 'Views in India, chiefly among the Neelgherry Hills'. The Todas were considered the original inhabitants of these hills, and have been the subject of various historical and ethnological accounts since the 16th century. Most of these accounts began with a description of their physical traits, and Barron was no exception. He described them as "generally above the common height, athletic and well made" with "bold bearing, and open expressive countenances". Considered a minority among the inhabitants of the hills, the Todas are vegetarian, rearing buffaloes for milk and butter. Their unique dress is known as 'Puthukuli', consisting of a woven coarse white cloth embroidered in red, blue and black draped in the manner of a toga.