48 THE NON-ARYANS. ant-hill, or on a tiger's claw, or on a lizard's skin. If a house- father died leaving no sons, his land was parcelled out among the other male heads of the village ; for no woman was allowed to hold land, ner indeed any Kandh who could not with his own arms defend it. Kandh Agriculture. — The Kandh system of tillage repre- sents a stage half way between the migratory cultivation of the ruder non-Aryan tribes and the settled agriculture of the Hindus. The Kandhs do not, like the ruder non-Aryans, merely burn down a patch in the jungle, take a few crops off it, and then move on to fresh clearings. Nor, on the other hand, do they go on cultivating the same fields, like the Hindus, from father to son. When their lands show signs of exhaustion, they desert them ; and it was a rule in some of the Kandh settlements to change their village sites once in fourteen years. Kandh Marriages by » Capture.' — A Kandh wedding consists of forcibly carrying off the bride in the middle of a feast. The boy's father pays a price for the girl, and usually chooses a strong one, several years older than his son. In this way Kandh maidens are married about fourteen, Kandh boys about ten. The bride remains as a servant in her new father- in-law's house till her boy-husband grows old enough to live with her. She generally acquires a great influence over him ; and a Kandh may not marry a second wife during the life of his first one, except with her consent. Serfs of the Kandh Village. — The Kandh engages only in husbandry and war, and despises all other work. But attached to each village is a row of hovels inhabited by a lower race, who are not allowed to hold land, to go forth to battle, or to join in the village worship. These poor people do the dirty work of the hamlet, and supply families of hereditary weavers, blacksmiths, potters, herdsmen, and distillers. They are kindly treated, and a portion of each feast is left for them. But they can never rise in the social scale. No Kandh could engage in their work without degradation, nor eat food prepared by their hands. They are supposed to be the remnants of a ruder race, whom the Kandhs found in possession of the hills, when they
Page:A Brief History of the Indian Peoples.djvu/52
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