TWO YEARS IN THE JUNGLE.
By many observers they are thought to be directly descended from one of the tribes of Israela which belief is based on their facial resemblance, their semi-nomadic habits, and their customs regarding marriage and divorce. To my mind, there is something so decidedly Israelitish in their hereditary and violent abhorrence of tilling the soil, horticulture, and all other manual labor, that I am constrained to believe the suspicion is well founded.
The habitation of the Toda is precisely what one would expect A(c)f such an animal. It is of the smallest possible size, close and hot, dark as a dungeon, destitute of furniture, and full of fleas. It is more like a rustic dog-kennel than the habitation of a human being. It looks like an overgrown dog-kennel in every line, and whoever enters it can only do so by going on all-fours. It has no window whatever, no chimney or smoke-hole, and the only opening is a door in one end of the hut.
The typical hut is eight feet square, and about the same in height to the angle of the Gothic roof. The ends are boarded up tightly with rough boards, the cracks being filled with sun-baked clay. There is but one door, a rectangular hole three feet high by two wide, at the middle of one end, next to the ground. There are no side walls, for the roof reaches quite to the ground on either side, and the rafters even run into the earth.
The roof is thatched with lemon-grass lashed to the bamboo rafters with split rattan. The huts built as above are quite substantial, but sometimes one is put up in more flimsy fashion, of smaller size, with angular peak, flat-sided roof, and low side walls. It was a hut of this kind that sheltered us from the rain at Bet-
mund, and almost smothered us, too, until we kicked out one of the ends and secured a supply of fresh air.
In spite of the darkness and fleas I entered one of the huts at Muddimund and examined it carefully. The accompanying diagram will explain the interior better than any description, a being a slightly elevated bed of clay, on which the adults of the family slept, b a vacant space in the middle of the floor where the children dept, c the fireplace, d the stone mortar, and e a place set apart for the culinary utensils, bags of grain, etc. To me, this place was like a veritable Black Hole, and how three adults and
Wc b a
Ground Plan of a Toda Hut.