A Toda mund, Ooty
Photographer: Nicholas and Company
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the distinctive wagon-shaped huts of a Toda mund (village) at Ootacamund in the Nilgiri hills of Tamil Nadu, taken by Nicholas and Company in ca. 1880. The Toda are a well-known tribal people of South India. Traditionally pastoralists, they maintain their own language and customs. Their culture is rooted in tending herds of buffalo over the Nilgiri grasslands and extensive use of the copses called 'sholas' from which they source their building materials and which provide shade for their buffaloes. Toda temples are dairies and they utilise only the milk of the buffalo which they hold sacred. They have a rich tradition of crafts and are famous for their jewellery and elegantly draped white cloaks and shawls decorated with traditional black and red embroidery.