Census India 1931: Caste, Tribe, And Race

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This article is an extract from


Report by

J. H. HUTTON, C.I.E., D.Sc., F.A.S.B.,

Corresponding Member of the Anthropologische Gesselschaft of Vienna.

Delhi: Manager of Publications


(Hutton was the Census Commissioner for India)

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Census India 1931: Caste, Tribe, And Race

Enumeration of Caste and Race

Column eight in the general schedule provided for an entry of ' caste tribe or race '. The term ' caste ' needs no definition in India ; ' tribe ' was provided to cover the many communities still organised on that basis in whose case the tribe has not become a caste ; it was likewise determinate enough, and no attempt was made to define the term ' race ', which is generally used so loosely as almost to defy definition. Nor is it intended to do anything so rash as to attempt to define it here, while in the census schedule its very looseness enabled it to cover returns which, though not strictly referable all to the same category, were quite adequate for the purpose intended, which was primarily to obtain a return of Indians to whom the terms ' caste ' and ' tribe' are inapplicable and a means of identifying Anglo-Indians whose birthplace might be an inadequate means of identification.

If an interpretation of the term ' race ' as usea in this chapter is demanded by the reader he must rest content with Sir Flinders Petrie's definition of it as " a group of human beings, whose type has become unified by their rate of assimilation's exceeding the rate of change produced by foreign' erements ". It would have been inexpedient to prescribe this definition as a guide for enumerators. Generally speaking foreigners were asked to give their nationality though this is not necessarily identical with their race, and the term ' British ', if used with reference to nationality, might be correctly held to cover a Cypriot or a Maltese, or even a South American Indian with a birth place in the U. S. A., a quasi-Spanish name. and an infelicitous domicile in what was once the Kingdom of Ireland.

European British Subjects

In the Provincial Census Reports foreigners generally will be found returned in Table VI by the continent of their origin divided under the three heads of British Dominions (including, for convenience, mandated territories) Non-British countries, and Unspecified, while in the India tables they are shown in greater detail. The total number of foreigners censused in India in 1931, including European British subjects and Armenians, only amounted to 168,134 (117,336 males and 50,798 females) or . 05 per cent. of the total population. The European British subjects totalled 155,555 of whom 110,137 were males and 45,418 females. Of these again 7,205 males and 3,422 females were found in Burma, and while in Burma the figures show a total increase of 1,434 males and 1,365 females since 1921, the figures for India proper show a further fall since 1921 and are now little more than 80 per cent. of those recorded in 1911, while males taken alone are fewer than in 1901.

European british.PNG

The figures above show comparisons since 1901. These figures must be taken with some qualification as they certainly represent more than the actual numbers on account of the tendency of Anglo-Indians who are not handicapped by excessive pigmentation to return themselves as Europeans. The total returned as European British subjects in India including Burma was 155,555, but the, total number of those who were returned as born in Great Britain and Ireland was 100,150. To these may be added British subjects born in Gibraltar and Malta giving a total of 100,586. The difference between this total and that of the persons who returned themselves as European British subjects, i.e., 54,969, gives some indication of the number of Anglo-Indians who returned themselves as Europeans. In this connection it is necessary to examine the proportion of India-born to Europe-born in the successive age groups. In the lowest age group only 31 . 6 per cent. of those returned as E. B. subjects were born in Great Britain or Ireland. In group 14 to 16 this percentage rises to 39 . 7 per cent. ; in group 17-23 to 74 per cent., or in the two taken together, i.e., 14-23, to 70'2 per cent. ; in group 24-33, where the percentage of Europe-born is highest, to 77 . 4 per cent.

After that it falls to about 63 per cent. between the ages 34-53, and to 54'4 in the group 54 and over. As no separate figures are available for European British subjects born outside Great Britain and Ireland it is necessary to make some arbitrary adjustment of figures to arrive at an estimate of the number of Anglo-Indians returned as European British subjects more accurate than the mere indication given by the difference in the figures. If something over 5 per cent. be allowed for the Indian, colonial and foreign-born of pure non-domiciled European parentage in the lower agegroups and about half that in the highest, and if an additional 5 per cent. be allowed in the lowest group for children of European British subjects who are taken to Europe at an early age and do not return, we arrive at the figure of 58 per cent. as born in India in the lowest age-group, 25 per cent. in the next group 14-23, and 18 per cent. in group 24-33, rising to 32 in the next two groups and to 43 per cent. in the last group. The figures thus arrived at for persons born and domiciled in India but returned as European British subjects ale 12,841 aged 0-13, 8,286 aged 14-23, 8,987 aged 24-33, 8,019 aged 34-43, 4,656 aged 44-53 and 3,969- aged 54 and over, making a total of approximately 47,000.

The relative proportions are illustrated in the accompanying diagrams, and the figures thus adjusted of the Europeborn and India-born clearly indicate that the latter represents a comparatively normal age series, whereas the former is obviously abnormal and is entirely governed by migration. Probably it is primarily controlled by the ages of British troops, the total number of which in India amounted at the time of the census to 70,034 (there were 72,151 in 1921), but in any case it completely dominates the combined curve after the age of 4 years, as may be seen by comparing the curves of annual ages for Europe-born males and females. The numbers of those born and remaining in India however, excluding as they must do the great majority of Europeans, seem to be much too high to represent only the unmixed domiciled Europeans. and it seems certain that a high proportion of this population is really Anglo- Indian. If, after making an allowance as above indicated for those European, British subjects of non-Indian domicile who may have been born outside Great Britain and Ireland, some 35 per cent. of the remaining India-born in each age group be regarded as enough, as they probably are, to represent the total of domiciled European British Subjects, we may take 30,000 as the number of Anglo-Indians who should be deducted from the total of European British subjects and added to that of those returned as Anglo-Indians.

It has to be borne in mind that cases of marriage between male European British subjects and female Anglo-Indians are probably more frequent than the reverse, and in such cases it is more than likely that the whole family will be returned as European British subjects whereas in fact that description may really apply to one member only. Be that as it may, by this calculation the figure of Europeans in India would be reduced to 125,555—say 125,500, while that of Anglo-Indians is correspondingly raised from 138,395 to 168,400. In the tables, of course, the numbers are given as returned at the census (part ii, Table XIX). The figures for European British subjects, whether in the form returned or thus adjusted, are to be compared with 185,434 persons returned as European British subjects in 1911, the Delhi Durbar year, when the figures were higher than ever before or since, of whom 122,919 were returned as born in the United Kingdom. It is possible of course that to make the adjusted figure for 1931 comparable a similar


adjustment is needed for this 185,434 also. If worked out on. the samt proportion it would reduce the number of European British subjects in 1911 to less than the number who returned a birth-place in the United Kingdom by some 3,000, which is impossible, and would add 19,000 odd to the Anglo-Indian total of that census (155,560: 100,590 : : 185,400: 119,900), and reduce the total of genuine European British subjects to 166,100. In any case the decrease of the latter in 1931 is marked and unequivocal.

Whereas in the Indian Empire the number of European British subjects is decreasing, in Burma taken by herself, on the contrary, the number of European British subjects censused in 1931 has definitely increased since 1921, though the figure at that census-7,828, showed a marked decrease on the number recorded in 1911, which was 11,828. Nor has this total been regained in 1931, for the Burma figure at this census is 10,627 for European British subjects and 19,200 for Anglo- Indians. In Burma again if a similar adjustment be made for the return of Anglo- Indians as Europeans, the adjusted figures become 7,900 for European British subjects in Burma in 1931 and 21,900 for Anglo-Indians. Some of the European British subjects were probably tourists, as the tourist season was not entirely over by the end of February. Precise figures are not available, but as far as can be ascertained the number is not likely to be more than about 1,000 for India and Burma together. - The actual total number of all foreign tourists that passed through Burma between October and March was only 5,287.

One noticeable feature of the 1931 figures for European British subjects is to be found in the increase of females relative to males. While the numbers (unadjusted) of males have decreased by 9,000 since 1921, those of females have decreased by 900 only. In Burma they have not only increased relatively to males but absolutely by 1,365 over the 1921 figure. This increase of females is partly perhaps to be accounted for by an increasing number of Europeans in India, particularly since the war, who marry comparatively young, partly perhaps by more wives and daughters brought out to India since war conditions ceased, and in some small degree perhaps by the number of Indians who go abroad for their education and return with European wives.

Other Foreigners

The total number of Europeans other than British subjects censused in the Indian Empire was 14,353 in 1911 (Armenians included) 10,546 in 1921 just after the war, and 12,579 in 1931. Of these nearly half did not specify the country of their birth, merely returning it as Europe, and of those who did specify the birthplace some 1,500 came from France, 1,000 from Germany, 900 from Italy, 500 each from Belgium and Turkey, and 300 from Switzerland, no other Continental nation contributing as many as 300 persons. Details will be found in part ii of this Volume, Table VI.


Turning to Anglo-Indians we find that in contrast to Europeans the Anglo-Indians. number returned at the census shows an increase of 22 . 4 per cent. over that in 1921 and of 122 . 9 per cent. on the total returned in 1881. In 1921 an Anglo-Indian was described for census purposes as a person of mixed European and Indian descent, but for the 1931 census a slightly different definition was suggested, for use where a definition was asked for, describing an Anglo-Indian for census purposes as a person whose father, grand-father or other progenitor in the male line was an European,' since it was assumed that others would probably prefer to be returned as Indians.

It is possible however that this consideration was inoperative in the case of the progeny of an European or Anglo-Indian woman by an Indian Christian, and the definition adopted may have been at least to that extent unsatisfactory. The actual number returned in 1931 was 138,395 (71,247 males and 67,148 females), of which 61,363 males and 57,832 females were found in India proper and 19,200 (9,884 males and 9,316 females) in Burma, but if to these totals we add the number by which it was calculated that the total of European British subjects had to be reduced, we get a total of 168,400 as the probable real number of Anglo-Indians in the Indian Empire, of whom 22,000 are in Burma. Here again however some allowance must be made in India proper for the return of Indian Christians as Anglo- Indians. It is probable that a number of the descendants of Portuguese dependants, whose practice it was to take their masters' names and who are found in certain districts in Bombayand Bengal where they are known respectively as " East Indians " and " Feringlus," returned themselves at this census, as in previous decades, as Anglo-Indians. The figures show that outside Bombay and Calcutta the number of such returns is very small, but it iis difficult to estimate their number in the Presidency towns. It may fairly be taken, perhaps, as 3,400, so that the total number of Anglo-Indians may be put at 165,000. Attention has already been drawn to their remarkable fecundity.


Indians returned by tribe instead of by caste form rather a heterogeneous category including Muslim tribes of Pathans, Baluchis, Brahuis or Mappillas ; comparatively primitive tribes like the Toda or the Nicobarese who still worship their own tribal deities ; others who have become partly Hinduised like most of the Bhils and Gonds where the tribal name is on the way to become a caste name ; others largely Christianised like the Oraon or the Lushei, and others again wholly Hindu like the Manipuri, but retaining their distinctive language and culture.

In the case of the primitive tribes who are partly Christianised, comparison with the figures of previous decades has been made very difficult by the irritating practice of some missionaries to induce their converts to abandon their tribal name and return themselves nondescriptly as " Indian Christians ", as though they had some cause to be ashamed of their forefathers. As the question of the welfare of primitive tribes in contact with changing conditions and progressive culture is of some importance, at any rate to the tribesmen themselves, the comparative figures of such tribes have as far as possible been collected in Table XVIII for successive decades.

The Return of Caste

As on the occasion of each successive census since 1901, a certain amount of criticism has been directed at the census for taking any note at all of the fact of caste. It has been alleged that the mere act of labelling persons as belonging to a caste tends to perpetuate the system, and on this excuse a campaign against any record of caste was attempted in 1931 by those who objected to any such returns being made.

It is, however, difficult to see why the record of a fact that actually exists should tend to stabilize that existence. It is just as easy to argue and with at least as much truth, that it is impossible to get rid of any institution by ignoring its existence like the proverbial ostrich, and indeed facts themselves demonstrate that in spite of the recognition of caste in previous decades the institution is of itself undergoing considerable modification. Indeed the treatment of caste at the 1931 census may claim to make a definite, if minute, contribution to Indian unity. Thus in the tables for literacy and civil condition by selected castes the arrangement which has hitherto been on a purely provincial basis, has been changed to show collectively corresponding units from different parts of India, while the same principle has been attempted in the tabulation of castes. How far the agitation, which was strongest in the Punjab, for the return of no caste was really due to a bona fide desire to see caste abolished, and how far it may have been due to entirely other considerations of a political nature, we cannot pretend to say. It does seem clear, however, that in some degree political considerations did contribute to an agitation which probably started with a quite disinterested impulse. It is possible also that the desire of certain sects of Hinduism to extend their numbers and influence may have contributed from a sectarian as distinct from the political standpoint.

No total of Hindus who returned themselves as of no caste in India at the last census is available, but 20,993 Hindus appeared in the Punjab census tables as " caste unspecified ", about half of them coming from Bahawalpur State. In 1931, a definite return of nil was accepted for caste as distinct from the individuals who on account of ignorance or accident failed to state any caste at all. These returns of caste nil' totalled 1,883,464 for India, 98 % of which came from Bengal. In addition to it there were 60,715 Hindus for whom no return of caste was obtained. No return of caste was insisted on from Area or Brahmo Hindus or from Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Muslims or Christians unwilling to make one, but where volunteered it was recorded, and has in the case of some Muslim groups been tabulated where such groups present functional or social features obviously derived from the caste system. It is not suggested that caste rules are observed by Muslims as they are by Hindus but, though there is no ban on commensality, inter-group marriage is apt to be restricted in the case of Muslim groups derived from Hindu castes, and is perhaps hardly as free as it is among the corresponding groups of Sikhs.

Indian Christians who did not return their caste, and the majority do not do so, generally appeared on the schedule in this column under the designa tion ' Indian Christian '. Caste, however, as pointed out elsewhere is by no means ignored after conversion. Only last June (1932) a writer in The Guardian (Madras) quoted the case of a Christian pastor in Madras, who, after presiding at a church committee meeting, went for a meal to the catechist's house. As he was an Adi-Dravida he could only be allowed to eat by himself in the veranda and " had to remove his leaf-plate himself ". The same writer laid stress upon the part played by caste in church politics and the greater tolerance with which the institution is regarded by the Roman Church. It is of course the desire to escape from the stigma of an outcaste name that leads Indian Christians generally to return no caste, though curiously enough some Christians in the Central Provinces returned their caste as_Satnami, in itself a religious sect probably schismatic from Hinduism but now little more than an euphemism for Chamar It has already been suggested that facts themselves show that caste is undergoing a change. There are, however, influences at work which sometimes cut both ways. The introduction of railways, 'buses and quick communications has often been credited with a tendency to break down caste and there can be no doubt that this is true with regard to some aspects of caste, e.g., distance pollution.

On the other hand rapid communications seem to have acted to a certain extent as a strengthening bond, since they render possible the practice of continuing to marry within the group in spite of a change of residence to a distant place. There is no doubt whatever that in the past the migration of small groups to the areas in which they have been out of touch with their religion or caste fellows, and perhaps in mediaeval times subject to different sets of caste rules promulgated by rulers with different policies or views, has led to the splitting of castes into a number of endogamous groups which might have retained their original uniformity but for distance and failure of contact. The railwa y and the omnibus operate against such. fission.

There is, however, apparently a tendency towards the consolidation of groups at present separated by caste rules. The best instance of such a tendency to consolidate a number of castes into one group is to be found in the grazier castes which aim at combining under the term " Yadava " Ahirs, Goalas, Gopis, Idaiyans and perhaps some other castes of milkmen, a movement already effective in 1921. This movement is generally speaking, however, poorly co-ordinated as yet and within a given group of castes the tendency some times shows itself in contradictory directions, but we may quote as typical of the movement for consolidation the desire of the artisan castes in many parts of India to appear under a common name ; thus carpenters, smiths, goldsmiths and some others of similar occupations desired in various parts of India to be returned by a common denomination such as Vishwakarma or Jangida, usually desiring to add a descriptive noun implying that they belonged to one of the two highest varnas of Hinduism, either Brahman or Rajput. Of the two, Brahman was usually desired at this census though in some cases a caste which had applied in one province to be called Brahman asked in another to be called Rajput and there are several instances at this census of castes claiming to be Brahman who claimed to be Rajput ten years ago. Of course this movement for consolidation with a new designation Nai .. Thakur .. Brahman. implying a high social origin is partially to be ascribed x) a very proper desire to (Kahan). rise in the social estimation of other people. It is also attributable in some cases to a desire for the backing of a large community in order to count for more in political life.

There is little evidence as yet that intermarriage is being practised within these consolidating groups, but it is a development the possibility of which may not be overlooked, and the Census Superintendent of the Central Provinces quotes " specific instances ...... of marriage between members of different sub-castes of Brahmans, and between members of different sub-castes of Kalars, whose union would formerly have been condemned ". Another point that has been raised at this census is a difficulty of stating a caste in the case of intercaste marriages, which, ftw enough in pro-portion to the population, appear to be increasing in number and rather tend towards the feeling, already in existence as a result of other causes, that the splitting of Hindu society into a number of castes is dangerous to the body as a whole and that divisions corresponding to the four varnas of the Vedas are sufficient in themselves.

There is, however, a very marked repugnance in all the castes w.ho have anything to say about the matter to being designated sudras, though the term seems to have been quite respectable up to a comparatively recent date. On the whole it is fair to conclude that there is a tendency for the limitations of caste to be loosened and for rigid caste distinctions to be broken down, and if that be the case there seems to be little support for the argument that a return of caste at the census operates in the other direction. On the other hand in the present state of society it was not possible to dispense with that return since in a very considerable number of cases it is essential to a knowledge of the position in his environment of the individuals concerned. It is possible that in another ten years it may be feasible to substitute some other criterion and it would certainly be desirable, if it were so feasible, to adopt for census purposes some much larger grouping than that of castes.

The use of varna, however, is quite impossible since practically every Hindu who claims to be a Hindu at all would claim to be either Brahman or Kshattriya. Even castes of Chamars in the United Provinces have dropped their characteristic nomenclature and at this census returned themselves as Sun-or Moon-descended Rajputs. This, of course, does not imply any correspondingly respectful treatment of them by their neighbours. It is obviously impossible for the Census authorities to do anything other than accept the nomenclature of the individuals making the return, since to discriminate and to allot to different groups would involve entering into discusssion on the basis of largely hypothetical data. Experience at this census has shown very clearly the difficulty of getting a correct return of caste and likewise the difficulty of interpreting it for census purposes, The Superintendent of Census Operations for Madras in this connection writes as follows :—

"Sorting for caste is really worthless unless nomenclature is sufficiently fixed to render the resulting totals close and reliable approximations. Had caste terminology the stability of religious returns caste sorting might be worth while. With the fluidity of present appellations it is certainly not 227,000 Ambattans have become 10,000 ...... Navithan, Nai, Nai Brahman, Navutiyan, Pariyari claim about 140,000—all terms unrecorded or untabulated in 1921 ...... Individual fancy apparently has some part in caste nomenclature.

For example, an extremely dark individual pursuing the occupation of waterman on the Coorg border described his caste as Suryavamsa, the family of the sun." Many of the claims made and appellations used recall irresistibly the ruse of that hero of W. S. Gilbert's who " christened himself Darwinian Man ' ", and the difficulty of classifying by occupation is instanced by the fact that cultivation in northern India is a most respectable occupation whereas in certain parts of southern India it is largely associated with the " exterior" castes and is consequently less respectable. Similarly the term ' merchant ' would cover all sorts of different social classes and units from the Gujarati bania to the gipsy Banjara. Moreover, though it is conceded that the position of individuals belonging to exterior castes (that is to castes hitherto described as " depressed ") has been much ameliorated as far as public life is concerned, and that untouchability has in that respect been very appreciably reduced, all available information goes to show that in private intercourse, as in religious observances, the castes whose water cannot be accepted are held at as great a distance as before. In so far as their position has been improved it seems to be less the result of a change of heart towards them than of a concession by caste to caste for its own convenience and not-by caste to outcaste for the benefit of the latter. The present position of the exterior castes is examined in an appendix to this volume.

The Tabulation of Caste

For several reasons therefore the usual treatment of caste at this census has been modified. In the first place provincial Superintendents were informed that it was not necessary generally to tabulate figures of castes for which the Local Government did not regard such tabulation as important, while as the standard of population of castes for tabulation four per mille, instead of two per mille as in 1921, was suggested as a minimum. An exception was made in the case of exterior castes, and primitive tribes, with regard to which the instructions were that all should be tabulated, and the case of a dozen or so selected castes of wide distribution which might serve as specimens so to speak of society for all India purposes in Tables VIII, XI and XIV. In tabulating castes for Table XVII the method of 1901, retained in 1911 and 1921, , has been abandoned in favour of the 1891 method in which they appear grouped roughly by traditional occupation, references being given in different groups to individual castes to enable examples to be found in the three tables of Civil Condition, Occupation and Literacy above mentioned..

In reverting to the 1891 method of tabulating caste for Table XVII, the occupation scheme used has been as far as possible assimilated to the Bertillon scheme, which has long been the basis of the Occupational Table (X). Admittedly this method of tabulating caste is far from being entirely satisfactory, since it can only recognise traditional occupation, which is not always a non-contentious question, and cannot simultaneously recognise more than one of several traditional occupations for the same caste, as, for instance, basket-making, scavenging and music for Doms. It does, however, admit of associating together many castes which are nearly related in function and origin instead of divorcing them entirely on account of an alphabetical chasm between the initial letters of their appellations. It also avoids any semblance of arrangement by order of social precedence. All subsequent census officers in India must have cursed the day when it occurred to Sir Herbert Risley, no doubt in order to test his admirable theory of the relative nasal index, to attempt to draw up a list of castes according to their rank in society.

He failed, but the results of his attempt are almost as troublesome as if he had succeeded, for every census gives rise to a pestiferous deluge of representations, accompanied by highly problematical histories, asking for recognition of some alleged fact or hypothesis of which the census as a department ig not legally competent to judge and of which its recognition, if accorded, would be socially valueless. Moreover, as often as not direct action is requested against the corresponding hypotheses of other castes. For the caste that desires to improve its social position seems to regard the natural attempts of others to go up with it as an infringement of its own prerogative ; its standing is in fact to be attained by standing upon others rather than with them. For these reasons an abandonment of the return of caste would be viewed with relief by census officers. This question is one which it will only be possible to determine when the time comes, but if the exterior castes were to agree to return their religion or their community as " Adi-Hindu " or by some similar adventitious label, it might be possible even to omit the return of caste, while in any case it would afford a collective term which might make it possible to ignore individual castes for the purpose of tabulation and a tentative experiment in this direction has been made in presenting

The Origin of Caste

How far an abandonment of the return of caste would be a really popular move is rather a different question. Caste is still of vital consideration in the structure of Indian society and of intense importance as well as interest to the majority of Hindus. It impinges in innumerable ways on questions not only of race and religion but also of economics, since it still goes far to determine the occupation, society and conjugal life of every individual born into its sphere. Some consideration of its origin cannot therefore be avoided and a number of different explanations have been offered for the existence of what is, as it is found to-dav, a system unique in the world, since there is no other country or nation which possesses anything approaching the elaborate caste system of India, nor i$ there any other country known to have ever possessed one of the same kind.

It has been described on the one hand as leading to " a degree of social disunity to which no parallel can be found in human history*", though on the other it has probably played a very 'important historical role as a great contributor to political and cultural stability, and there is much that is true in the Abbe Dubois' eulogium of the caste system. Roughly speal:ing, there may be said to be five important theories of the origin.of caste, apart from the minor variations and combinations of these five ; there is first the traditional view of the origin of caste typified in the Code of Manu ; there is the occupational explanation, of which Nesfield was the best known exponent.; the tribal and religious explanation of Ibbetson ; the family or gentile explanation offered by Senart, and the racial and hypergamous explanation of Risley. None of these explanations are at all satisfactory by themselves, though all contain a definite appreciation of what should perhaps be rather described as features than causes of the caste system. The nearest approach to a satisfactory explanation is probably to be found in two articles by Stanley Rice which appeared in the Asiatic Review in 1929. Even Mr. Rice, however, hardly seems to appreciate the full implications of the view he adopts*, while credit must also be given to Oldenberg for having seen as early as 1907, that tabus on commensality were pre-Aryan in origin.

Before attempting to suggest the true causes which have led to the growth of caste in India, it will perhaps be necessary to examine briefly the various views mentioned above. The first of these is the traditional view of which the Code of Manu may be taken as the prime exponent. Caste, according to this view, is based on four varnas or " colours " sprung from different parts of the Creator's body and subject to certain prohibitions as to marriage, food and occupation, breach of which has led to loss of position, while the enormous number of existing castes between which inter-marriage and commensality is banned, is accounted for by unions, licit or illicit, between one and another of these castes ; hypergamous marriages having given rise to clean castes, and marriages, which we may perhaps describe as hypogamous, between a male of a lower position and a female of higher, stigmatised as pratiloma that is against the grain *, having given rise to the out-castes who, though Hindu or at least quasi-Hindu by religion, are outside the pale of decent Hindu society. This traditional view is based on a Rigvedic hymn which, if it cannot be said to be spurious, is at least much later in composition than the bulk of the Rigveda. The view is generally discarded by all critics as an artificial systematisation composed centuries after the origin which it professes to explain, and has been clearly shown by Senart to be an attempt to interpret in terms of an Indo-European social system parallel to that of Rome an existing order, which, at any rate at the time of application, the terms cannot be made to fit.

The second view derives caste entirely from occupation. The principal exponent of this view was Nesfield who regarded the present division of Indian society into castes, which are largely occupational, as indicating the origin of the whole system. His position is supported by Dahlmann who likewise sees in a village community practising a particular trade or craft the origin of a caste through the formation of a guild which in course of time has become exclusive both in the matter of commensality and that of marriage. One of the arguments on which this view of the origin of caste is based is drawn from a supposition that the lowest castes in this scale are those which practise a craft in which no metal is used, the higher castes being those which involve the use of metal, the inference being that the non-metal using castes became closed guilds as a result of the arrival of subsequent peoples using metal, and these in their turn became closed guilds which did not intermarry with the former non-metal-using villagers. This theory will hardly stand critical examination. It is true that basketmaking is an occupation of one of the lowest castes ; at the same time the blacksmiths' caste is very far from being more highly esteemed, though it must be considerably later in point of time, than that of the coppersmith or the goldsmith. Moreover, this scheme does not explain at all the varying positions of agriculturalists who are of low castes in certain parts of southern India but generally of respectable if not of high caste in northern India.

It should be, however, mentioned in this connection that it does appear to be a custom in southern India or in parts of southern India to provide a craftsman, that is, a man of the carpenter's or blacksmith's or goldsmith's profession with a grave made of stone slabs in a cist form in place of the simple unlined grave which is given to a cultivator, and this does suggest either a difference in status or in custom between the aborigines and immigrants who brought in tools and crafts, or in the alternative some difference in eschatology between the cultivator and the craftsman. The parallel, however, which is drawn between caste and the guild system of the later Roman Empire, although at first it appears quite close, breaks down on examination. The later Roman Empire attempted to compel every person to follow the profession into which he was born, but this was purely economic in origin

  • This applies also to Dr. Bonnerjea's hypothesis published in the Indian Antiquary in 1931. While

criticising Rice for regarding caste as predating the Aryan invasion he regards the system as introdth ed by the Indo-Europeans, but nevertheless ascribes the institution to primitive superstition and to a belief in magic.

Dr. Guha advanced a similar view in a thesis before Havard University in 1924. I agree in ascribing caste to a belief in magic, though I cannot accept the rest of Dr. Bonnerjea's hypothesis which appears to me to be contradictory.

It may be added that the theory of caste here put forward was arrived at before I had seen either Rice's or Bonnerjea's articles and was independent of their conclusions. and did not involve any ban on commensality between one profession and another, and what might appear to be a ban on intermarriage in that a man was compelled under certain conditions to adopt the profession of his wife's father, was really only an attempt to recruit persons for certain unpopular professions a shortage in which was inconvenient to the State. It is inconceivable that any such purely artificial system as a caste distinction based solely on function could possibly give rise to the vivid and lasting prejudices that accompany caste distinctions in India.

The third explanation of the caste system has been sought in a tribal origin. Ibbetson attributed the development of caste to a combination of tribal origins, functional guilds and a Levitical religion ', and he laid the greater stress in this on the tribe. It is quite clear that tribes are just as much responsible for the origin of certain castes as it is that certain castes are or have been in the past restricted to particular functions. At the same time Ibbetson's explanation of the origin of caste is really only a summary of certain observable features of caste. These features, that is, tribes, guilds and religious monopolies, have certainly contributed to the growth of the caste system, having no doubt done much to consolidate and perpetuate it, but they can in no sense be regarded as causes. They are features which are not unique and are common to many countries, whereas caste is something that is found nowhere else. Given caste, a tribe, a guild or a priestly order may very easily become a caste, but if the essentials of caste are not they to start with it is difficult to see how any of these groups with the possible exception of the priestly order, would be likely to develop into one.

The fourth attempt to explain caste that we have mentioned is Senart's ascription of its origin to the gens and to family worship. Here again we are unable to agree with the explanation put forward. The gens would appear to be essentially other than caste and to correspond to gotra, which so far from being synonymous with caste, definitely runs counter to it. A caste in India seldom if ever claims a common ancestor, though the gotra like the gens insists on common ancestry. Moreover the mere existence of a number of gotras within a caste, but not confined to it, seems to preclude Senart's supposition that the exclusiveness of caste originated in family worship.

The fifth explanation of caste is Risley's derivation from colour and hypergamy. This derivation appears to fail to explain satisfactorily the taboo on food and marriage. In order to base caste on hypergamy, Risley has found it necessary to postulate a fictitious point at which the result of intermarriage provides enough women to enable a society to close its ranks and become a caste, although there still exist outside it more women of the same community from which it has been drawing its wives and with whom it h been in more or less intimate relations. Apart from this consideration the nearest parallel to caste which can be found goes somewhat perhaps to support Risley's theory ; that is, the position of the negroes in the southern states of the U. S. A. Westermarck (History of Human Marriage, 1901, pages 365-7) supports this view ; but although separate carriages, separate restaurants and even separate towns are provided for negroes, no pollution takes place as a result of having negro servants and there is no hard and fast line which is really analogous to a caste division between, say quadroons and octoroons, nor have the many social factors, which have tended in India to produce similar results in regard to foreigners, such as the Moghals or the English, really succeeded in making Muslims or Anglo-Indians into a caste in the Hindu sense, and where Muslims form a real caste it is always one which has been converted from pre-Muslim inhabitants and retained its pre-Islamic organisation. Colonel Sewell points out an additional respect in which the parallel breaks down in that in the Indian case the superior population consisted of invaders presumably anxious to preserve their racial identity and their social superiority, whereas in the American case the negro was in the first instance imported for the purpose of providing labour.

In any case, if we reject Risley's derivation of caste from race, we must nonetheless admit the part that varna has played in crystallising and perpetuating that institution, which could hardly have come down to posterity in its present form without having been subjected to the reagent of racial prejudice and discrimination.

Of recent Indian writers on caste, one, Prof. N. K. Dutt*, while criticising Risley adopts in effect his theory of . origin, though attaching much more value to the code of Manu, and Mr. Hayavadana Rao*, and Dr. Ghuryet likewise regard caste as having arisen largely as a result of racial difference.

The latter emphasises the factor of priestly manipulation by Brahmans attempting to maintain the purity of race of the Aryan invaders. Like the others the latter theory cannot be regarded as adequate in itself, and though it may represent an important contribution to the ultimate establishment of a hard and fast system, it does not appear probable on the face of it that priestly dominance could have effected so much, unless the essential factors of the system were already present and predisposed to be used for such a purpose ; and in this connection it seems necessary to draw attention to an important papers by A. M. T. Jackson (J. A. S. B. III, No. 7 of July 1907) who points out effectively the contributions of political divisions and of the royal prerogative in early India to the formation of sub-castes. The latter author, however, explicitly disclaims any attempt to indicate the origin of the system, and iit is with its ultimate origin rather than the process of its development that we are here concerned. Seeing that light is required on the origin of caste it would seem not unreasonable, as in the case of religion, to examine first those cultures that survive in India least altered from antiquity in case they can illumine origins elsewhere obscured by changes and developments due to growing civilization and to external contacts.

Caste, as it now is, is an institution which has grown and developed through many centuries, but since it is so firmly rooted in India, and since it is found nowhere else, it would appear almost certain, on the face of it, that its first beginnings are to be sought in India and not outside, and we have fortunately in the more inaccessible corners of this vast country still a few tribes whose primitive conditions of life have changed so little in a thousand years as to be witnesses of value. Pliny the Elder, writing in the first century A. D., mentions Abariman, the untamed hills of the eastern Himalayas, whose inhabitants are still spoken of by the Assamese in the precise term used by Pliny—abari mane, and Ptolemy, writing in the second, locates " the Nanga-logae, that is the realm of the naked " precisely where the Naga log are found today, some tribes of them still unclothed, still untouched by contact with the people of the plains, tribes who have never seen a white man nor a horse nor know what is gun-powder, and whose language is still unspoken by any one outside their own community save some of their immediate neighbours.

Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam have never penetrated here, and caste as it 'exists in the plains is unknown and undreamed of, but nevertheless institutions are found which seem to throw a definite light on caste and religion as they have developed in another environment§ Thus in the unadministered area to the east of the Naga Hills, where each village is an independent political unit, there is very often to be seen a distribution by villages of certain occupations. Thus some villages make pots but do not weave cloth ; others weave, and others again are occupied principally with blacksmiths' work, the one village bartering its products with its neighbours, when not prevented by mutual hostilities, in spite of differences of language, customs and sometimes perhaps of race between one village and another. Here we have clearly the occupational aspect of caste origins on which so much emphasis has been laid by Nesfield and Ibbetson, and indeed the remnants of such a condition seem to have survived in northern India until the Buddhistic age, as the Jatakas indicate that certain trades were localised in separate villages, some containing potters, others smiths and so forth, but it is not the only aspect.

It frequently happens that upheavals in village politics end in battle, vendetta and sudden death, and that as a consequence part of a village community, usually an exogamous clan or Sept, is compelled to migrate to some other village. It might be anticipated that a group of weaving families would be welcomed in a pot-making village which only olitained cloth by barter, and vice versa, and up to a point this is indeed the case ; numbers are strength and such immigrants are generally welcomed and allowed to settle and cultivate,—but not to ply their ancestral craft when that differs from the occupation of their hosts. That is tabu, and should the stranger insist on it they must again go elsewhere to some village in which it is permitted. Instances of this have occurred within the writer's personal knowledge, and the underlying feeling seems to be that the practice of the tabued craft will affect the crops and the fruits of the earth generally, perhaps, because it is an offence to the ancestral spirits who are generally regarded as the source of fructification ; or it may be that the particular form of mana or aren which enables the manufacture of the article made by the strangers is liable to neutralise the corresponding magic on which the traditional village industry depends. Here however there is generally speaking no tabu on commensality or on intermarriage, and for the sources of these aspects of caste we must look elsewhere.

For a possible source of the commensal tabu, however, we need not look far from that of the occupational one. The same Naga communities which we have been considering afford abundant instances of tabus on certain foods, of a vivid belief in maw or, as the Ao Naga calls it, area, and of the magical effects of food on the consumer. It has already been pointed out (v. sup., page 414) that certain foods are peculiar to certain exogamous clans, and are in many cases associated with clan ceremonial, and it may be offered as one hypothesis that the presence of strange craftsmen practising their craft is condoned or rather rendered less dangerous by the prohibition of intimate relations with them, reducing thus the inconvenient strictness of one tabu by erecting another which at the start may be less irksome. That this is in accordance with the spirit of the primitive society under consideration is demonstrated by the readiness with which in some tribes the prox; imity of Christian converts is tolerated, even though they cultivate on tabued days, provided they live outside the village fence and therefore form a more or less separate community, though here again commensality is not barred, except indeed in so far as the Christians refuse to eat such flesh as they are taught to regard as " meats offered to idols ".

Another hypothesis, and there is no reason to suppose the suggested explanations to be mutually exclusive, is the theory that the food of strangers is itself dangerous. Senart's citation of the tabu on strangers at the family meal would doubtless lead back to this and Rice's view of the tabu on commensality as derived from a belief in totemism agrees in effect with the hypothesis here put forward, since both depend for their force on the belief in mana and in the resulting tabu on food or other contacts which may be infected with the dangerous soul-matter of strangers ; this soul-matter is particularly perilous if such strangers have new and, what is the same thing, mysterious arts and therefore magical powers. Thus when the writer was touring in previously unvisited Naga territory in 1923-24 he found villages which not only objected to accepting presents or purchase money of any kind from the strangers or to parting with any possession to them for fear of the influence to which they might thus become subject by proxy as it were, but they actually destroyed mats or other property lent to build shelters when the visitors who had used them had gone, and threw away their tainted coins in the jungle.

The differentiation between cooked and uncooked food as a vehicle of pollution so familiar to any observer of caste in India is clearly traceable to this view of the infection, by the act of cooking, of the food cooked with the mana of the cooker. Similarly among the Maori, to quote Eldon Best, " the most souldestroying thing according to native ideas " is tamaoa, deprivation of tape by means of cooked food. A tabu on intermarriage could easily be traced to a similar source if not to the same one (among the Mafulu of New Guinea no girl who is not a near relative of a bachelor may even see him eat), and once accepted would be tremendously strengthened and indefinitely perpetuated by the practice of hypergamy and by the comparative racial exclusiveness as regards marriage of the Indo- European invaders of the 2nd millenium B. C.

The sentiments and beliefs, therefore, on which caste is based presumably go back to the totemistic proto-australoid and to the austroasiatic inhabitants of pre- Dravidian India and we may conceive of their becoming effective on contact with Dravidian-speaking strangers .bringing new crafts from the west. Hence would arise local tabus against certain crafts and persons, tabus tending to become tribal and to erect rigid divisions between communities. Even in early vedic literature different words appear for identical occupations. With culturally superior strangers hypergamy must almost certainly arise, and if there came a foreign priesthood with the ancient sciences of south-west Asia, the belief in their magical powers would make them the most heavily tabued of all. The sea has receded in the Persian Gulf, and Larsa and Lagash, Ur* and Eridu were no great cry from Makranistan and the delta of the Indus, and it is hard to conceive that India was unknown to them before the barbarian invader swept down from the north ; all the requisites for the growth of caste seem to have been present long before that date, and the fact that caste is still far stronger in southern than in northern India, and there is weakest in the Punjab, is of the greatest significance.

It must have remained for the Indo-European invader, with that pride of race which has ever and everywhere characterised him, to have the effect of crystallizing, on the basis of a fixed social scale, the pre-existing tabus arising from magical ideas, ultimately resulting in an attempt to describe in terms of an intrusive Indo- Aryan society a social system really based on the tabus of pre-existing conditions. Hence the formalist fictions of the Code of Manu by which all castes are derived from four varnas and arranged in a scheme of which the practice of hypergamy is the key-stone. Obviously the fixation of the extensive and rigid restrictions typical of caste in its later form would take time to establish, and it is natural therefore to find allusions in the later vedas to the absence of any absolute ban on the taking of food cooked by sudras, and Apastamba's statement (II, 2,3 ; a reference for which lam indebted to Rai Bahadur Ramaprasad Chanda) clearly suggests that for nonceremonial purposes it was not necessary to be so particular. It is therefore argued not that caste in its present form is not a post-Aryan development, but that the essential ingredients which made the growth of caste possible were of pre-Aryan origin and without them the development of caste would not and could not have taken place.

In this connection there is a bye issue worth consideration ; that is the position in Manu's code of the pratilorna castes. The explanation of the degraded position they there hold is generally regarded as a more or less fictitious exposition of the hypergamous ideal, but even from the most diehardly hypergamous point of view it is a little difficult to see why the fruit of an hypogamous union should stand lower in the social scale than castes whose ancestors contained no drop at all of the blood of the patrician invader. Granting that for the sake of schematic balance and of the Aristotelian principle of perversio optimi pessimum the offspring of a Brahman woman by a Sudra should rank below that of a Kshattriya by a Sudra, it might still have been expected that either would be regarded as superior to a mere Sudra of unmixed blood.

It is therefore suggested that Manu's rules of precedence are derived in this respect from social conditions in which the union of a woman of the invading race with one of the indigenous race was necessarily anomalous, Now if the invaders were, like the Indo-Europeans elsewhere, a patrilineal society and if the indigenous race was matrilineal as the original Mediterraneans seem to have been and as the Dravidian-speakers of Malabar still are, the fruit of a male invader and a female indigene would have a recognised position in either society under either the makkathayam or the marumakkathayam principle, and whether the marriage were patrilocal or matrilocal, but the issue of a female invader by an indigenous male would have no place in either. Since he could not claim kinship through his mother with her exogamous patrilineal class, nor through his father with his matrilocal matrilineal family, and having no claim on family property under either system, his position would tend to become degraded, which would account for the low status given in Manu's code promulgated at a date when the precise causes of the low position were no longer clear and called for some sort of formalist explanation. A reflection of this amalgamation of the two cultures is possibly to be seen in the employment by Hindus of the daughter's or sister's son or husband in certain rites as an alternative to the employment of a Brahman (v. Punjab Tribes and Castes, I, 392).

It is hardly necessary to point out that such circumstances, under which patrilineal invaders took wives from matrilineal indigenes, would also operate very strongly towards the erection of a purdah system. The woman under the matrilineal system has a freedom not dissimilar to that of the man under the patrilineal. The woman taken from a matrilineal society and having ties of language, kinship, acquaintance and custom with that society, but expected to live according to strange and probably repugnant domestic and marital rules, could only be effectively restrained to that end by cutting off her freedom of movement in and association with the society to which she belonged. It may appear at first sight that the case of a Nambudri Brahman married to a Nayar wife is a contrary instance, since she does not observe purdah at all, but the fact that in this case the children follow the matrilineal system supports the argument that purdah was necessary to the combination of a patrilineal system with the practice of taking wives from a matrilineal society.

That purdah should exist so strongly in the case of the Nambudri wives of the elder sons must be explained by the necessity for maintaining a barrier against the encroachment of a matrilineal environment and by the probability that the Nambudri already practised purdah when they first arrived in Malabar. That the purdah system was alien to the Rigvedic Aryans when they invaded India, the Rigveda itself is a witness, while there is nothing whatever to associate it with the Mediterranean stock which seems to have followed the matrilineal system in which purdah has no natural place at all. It is perhaps significant in this connection that purdah is weaker in the south of India than in the north, and in Madras at any rate gets weaker from north to south, where, conversely, caste gets stronger. It is conceivable that the same circumstances gave rise to the practice of the pre-puberty marriage of girls as to that of purdah, and, infant marriage again is least prevalent in the extreme south. The view that caste corresponds to race has here been rejected, as it is dear that the two do not coincide. The Brahman of the United Provinces has a long head (c. 73 . ]), he of Bengal a round one (c. i. 79 . 0) ; the cephalic index of the Chamar of the U. P. is 72 . 8, and that of the Bihar Chamar 76, and the same differrences, which correspond, as explained later, to different migrations into India, are to be found likewise in other castes.

At the same time that is not to say that there is no correlation of any kind between caste and race. Though curiously enough the relative position of the corresponding U. P. and Bihar castes in each pair named above is reversed according to that test, Risley's theory of the nasal index has a definite basis on facts. It cannot be denied that there is usually a clear relation between social status and the nasal index and that the latter varies according to the admixture of aboriginal, that is of proto-australoid, blood, though in regard to later immigrant strains caste cannot be similarly correlated to race on any systematic basis. Further in any consideration of caste and race it is impossible to overlook the effect of the famines which have frequently visited India in the past. Famine so severe as to reduce people even to eating their own kind is vouched for by more than one account,* and there can be little doubt but that from time to time such famines must have led to loss of caste on a considerable scale, and though where many have lost it together the result may have been merely the formation of sub-castes, small groups must have often been driven to associating with gime caste lower in status rather than live an isolated existence.

In effect therefore there must be racial elements common to all castes though in very varying degrees, and racial elements have again been imported into caste by the formation of castes from tribes. This process must have been common enough in the past, and indeed may still be seen working. Jats, Gujars, Kolis or Kaibarttas may be cited as examples in which the process is complete, while it is still in duration in the cases of Panikas, Gonds and Oraons; for instance, and it must frequently have happened that the chiefs of a tribe have ultimately been accepted as Rajputs while the rank and file have failed to achieve so high a status. It is similarly a commonplace that castes frequently owe their origin to religious sects which, after recruiting adherents from many sources, close their ranks to external marriage. It has been pointed out that the social estimation accorded to any given caste in northern India depreciates from west to east. That is to say that under the hypergamous system it is much more common to take brides from the east and to give them to the west than the reverse.

This at first sight would perhaps appear to be occasioned by the much greater shortage of women in proportion to men that is found in the north-west than in the east, but it seems far from impossible but that the practice has also been occasioned by the fact that the patrilineal races which have invaded India have come from the north-west and have hypergamously cavilled at giving their daughters to cousins whose blood was less pure, though showing less compunction in taking wives from such a stock. Just so is it commoner to find Europeans with Anglo-Indian wives than the reverse, and it is perhaps an implication of the same question that east coast Brahmans are, taken as a whole, regarded as less orthodox than those of the west coast.


The Census Report of 1901 laid the foundations on which has since been based all work that has been done on the racial composition of India, but the results of such work in the thirty years that have passed since that report was published have so far changed the whole complexion of the problem that a restatement of the position is now required. Risley's work remains, but his data have been supplemented and his conclusions must be revised. Roughly speaking he recognised three main racial types in India, the Dravidian, the Indo-Aryan, and the Turko-Iranian, the latter of which was confined to the North-West Frontier and the two former of which were modified b y two subsidiary elements—the Scythian and the Mongolian, respectively introducing the brachycephalicelements found in western and eastern India. Risley's deductions were coloured by an erroneous belief in the ethnic isolation of India, and an analysis of India's racial ingredients is unfortunately a far more complicated matter than was then realised.

Indeed, a later writer on the subject has likened India to a net collecting in its great peninsula the flotsam and jetsam of all Asia. In any case it is necessary to clear the deck by throwing overboard some of Risley's deductions. The Dravidian, as conceived of by him, has been the first to go, and has been replaced by at least three races where he recognised only one, so that the term Dravidian has acquired in consequence an ambiguity with reference to race which makes it essential to confine its use entirely to linguistics, and (except in, quotations from other writers) it is only in a linguistic sense that it will be found in this volume. The element which Risley regarded as " Scythian " must be re-classified and re-examined. It is very doubtful if any " Scythian " invaders of India were ever numerous enough to make much impression on pre-existing racial types, and secondly what we know of Scythians suggests that they were probaLly at least as much dolicho as brachycephalic. In the east again it is impossible to accept the view that the brachycephaly of the Brahmans of Bengal is due to a Mongolian element. If that were so the degree of brachycephaly should increase inversely with social status, whereas the contrary is the case except where genuinely Mongolian peoples are concerned like the Maghs of Arakan ; also the Brahman, most brachycephalic of Bengalis, lacks the epicanthic fold.

Since 1901 important work has been done on history, such as the first volume of the Cambridge History of India, Pargiter's Ancient Indian Historical Tradition, Slater's Dravidian Elements in Indian Culture, or Chanda's Indo-Aryan Races, to name but four of many ; on language, including the completion of the Linguistic Survey of India by Sir G. Grierson and Professor Sten Konow, the work done by P. Schmidt and more recently by Przyluski and others in Paris, by Morgenstierne on the Dardic languages and by I,angdon on the Mohenjodaro signs ; on archaeology, such as the discovery and exploration of the Indus valley cities by the Archaaological Survey, and the work done by Sir Aurel Stein in Baluchistan and the Malcran, and on physical anthropology like the work of Haddon, Thurston, Dudley Buxton (Peoples of Asia) or Colonel Seymour Sewell's Racial Ethnology of India (VIIth Congress of the Far Eastern Association of Trop. Medicine, 1927) and his and Dr. Guha's Excavations in Baluchistan and their. Chapter XXX of Sir John Marshall's Mohenjodaro, and Sir Arthur Keith's important appendix to Thomas' Arabia Felix. All this and much other such work has of necessity provided an entirely different conception of the early history of the racial composition of the Indian sub-continent. Mention has been made here of the merest fraction of the number of works that have definitely added to our knowledge of relevant facts since Sir Herbert Risley's great report. The material available for the determination of the racial elements and affinities of the Indian peoples may be divided for practical purposes into physical, linguisitic and cultural features, to which a very brief attention is all that can be given here.

The physical features are dealt with at length by Dr. Guha in the volume of appendices, easily the most important contribution to the physical anthropology of India since Risley's survey ; the linguistic have already been referred to in Chapter X, and the cultural in Chapters VI and XI and elsewhere in this volume. It is merely necessary to indicate here the prehistoric cranial material available for a study of race in India. Of such material the important finds are few ; Adichanallur and a few other places in southern India, Sialkot, Bayana near Agra, Nal in Baluchistan, and Mohenjodaro comprise the whole field of pre-historic craniology in India.*

The important literature may be recapitulated as briefly--Lapicque, Note Sommaire, etc., Bull. Mus. d'Histoire Naturelle, pages 283-285 (1905) [quoted by Sewell and Guha], Thurston, Castes and Tribes of S. India, volume I, pages xx - vi-xxvin- (1909), Keith, Journ. Anthropological Society of Bombay, XI No. 6, pages 663-72 (1917) [quoted by Sewell and Guha], Elliot Smith, footnote on 'page 81 of Slater's Dravidian Elements (1924), and Sewell and Guha Report on the Bones excavated at Nal (Mem. Archol. Survey of India No. 35, Appendix V) and Chapter XXX 'Human Remains' in Marshall's Mohenjodaro and the Indus Civilization. The general conclusion is that the Mohenjodaro skulls of the type described as Proto-Australoid are related to skulls of the " massive " type reported on by Buxton from Kish, to the skulls found at Adichanallur in southern India and to those of the modern Veddahs. One of the


Adichanallur skulls was described by Elliot Smith as " indistinguishable from the early Egyptian type " that is, presumably, the Badarian, and the other as " well within the range of variation of that. type ". In his Evolution of Man he refers to these two skulls in somewhat different words : " One of them is clearly and unmistakeably Proto-Australian in type and the second one conforms more nearly to the racial type known as Mediterranean."

The Mohenjodaro skulls of the type described as Mediterranean are related to the Sialkot and the Nal skulls and to the dolichocephalic skulls of Kish, Ur and Anau as well as to the Bayana skull. Mohenjodaro has also yielded one brachycephalic skull of Alpine type in immature condition and one typically Mongolian skull. The physical material for most of India's population seems to have been present in the Indus valley at an early date.


The earliest inhabitants of the Indian Peninsula were probably negroid in type, and the Negrito, rapidly disappearing though he is, still survives in the Andaman Islands. His kinship to less isolated and therefore more hybridized tribes in the Malay Peninsula and in the Indian Archipelago is well established, but he has left few traces on the mainland of India and Burma. In the Radars and Uralis of the forests of the extreme south of India occasional individuals with frizzly hair and low stature and negrolike features are very suggestive of survivals of the Negrito race. The theory of such a negrito survival in southern India, particularly among the Kadar, has several times been advanced, e.g., by K. T. Preuss, Keane Sergi and Haddon.

It has been as frequently denied, most recently by Dudley Buxton and by Eickstedt, but it must be taken as now definitely established by Dr. B. S. Guha, a reference to whose measurements and photographs in part iii of this volume will probably be admitted conclusive. Some survivals of this sort are after all only what would be expected, seeing that there are Negrito tribes still in existence in Indonesia, while Giuffrida-Ruggeri maintains the pre-existence of a coastal race of Negritos between India and the Persian Gulf and their survival Susiana up to historic times*.

Giuffrida-Ruggeri also suggested that the brachycephaly of southern Arabia is due to an ancient negritoid substratum and that this is substantiated by the low stature of southern Arabs and their occasional curly hair. Sir Arthur Keith does not, however, put forward the suggestion of Negrito affinities in his analysis of the head forms of southern Arabia in Appendix I to Bertram Thomas' Arabia Felix (1932), though he confirms Seligman's conclusion that the southern Arab is brachycephalic, coming to the conclusion that despite a certain Armenoid admixture "there exists in South Arabia a brachycephaly which is relatively unique ; a wide short skull of medium height, but with non-Armenoid dimensions (i.e., postauricular length) ".

Dixon (Racial History of Man) suggests that this brachycephalic population of southern Arabia is Alpine in origin and would explain the negroid characters found as due to the importation of slaves from Africa. If Giuffrida- Ruggeri is right in postulating a Negrito strain along the Persian Gulf. it is conceivable that an African origin is thereby indicated for the distribution of Negritos in Indonesia. In the alternative, and the pre-existence of the Negrito in Elam or

  • First Outlines of a Systematic Anthropology of Asia, page 50 (Calcutta, 1921). He quotes Hosing

Volkerschichten in


Sergi and Haddon. It has been as frequently denied, most recently by Dudley Buxton and by Eickstedt, but it must be taken as now definitely established by Dr. B. S. Guha, a reference to whose measurements and photographs in part iii of this volume will probably be admitted conclusive. Some survivals of this sort are after all only what would be expected, seeing that there are Negrito tribes still in existence in Indonesia, while Giuffrida-Ruggeri maintains the pre-existence of a coastal race of Negritos between India and the Persian Gulf and their survival Susiana up to historic times*.

Giuffrida-Ruggeri also suggested that the brachycephaly of southern Arabia is due to an ancient negritoid substratum and that this is substantiated by the low stature of southern Arabs and their occasional curly hair. Sir Arthur Keith does not, however, put forward the suggestion of Negrito affinities in his analysis of the head forms of southern Arabia in Appendix I to Bertram Thomas' Arabia Felix (1932), though he confirms Seligman's conclusion that the southern Arab is brachycephalic, coming to the conclusion that despite a certain Armenoid admixture " there exists in South Arabia a brachycephaly which is relatively unique ; a wide short skull of medium height, but with non-Armenoid dimensions (i.e., postauricular length) ". Dixon (Racial History of Man) suggests that this brachycephalic population of southern Arabia is Alpine in origin and would explain the negroid characters found as due to the importation of slaves from Africa. If Giuffrida- Ruggeri is right in postulating a Negrito strain along the Persian Gulf. it is conceivable that an African origin is thereby indicated for the distribution of Negritos in Indonesia. In the alternative, and the pre-existence of the Negrito in Elam or Arabia can hardly be said to have been established, we can only postulate a very early distribution from Central Asia.

The former origin would perhaps be more in accordance with Keith's view (Human Races Old and New) of three main types having arisen in Europe, Asia and Africa respectively, whereas the latter would be necessary to Hooton's view, which is ably supported by Sewell (Origin of Man and the Population of India), that dolichocephaly has its origin in Africa and brachycephaly in Asia. In the latter event we must perhaps conclude that the negroid characters of Negrito tribes are modifications as a result of an environment similar to that which has acted upon the Negro of Africa. In either case it is generally admitted that the Negrito represents the oldest surviving type of man and it is possible even that he preceded Neanderthal man, by whom, according to Griffith-Taylor, he was displaced and dispersed.

In any case the Negrito seems to have been the first inhabitant of south-eastern Asia. As already indicated traces of his stock are still to be seen in some of the forest tribes of the higher hills of the extreme south of India, and similar traces appear to exist in the inaccessible areas between Assam and Burma, where a dwarfish stature is combined with frizzly hair such as appears to result from recent admixtures of the pure or virtually pure Negrito stock of the Andamans with blood from the mainland of India or Burma. There are also legends among the Kuki and Kachari tribes of Assam of former contact with and of the extermination of a dwarf race armed with bows and spears living in dense forest and of an implacable hostility such as that still displayed by the Jarawas of Great Andaman Island to all their neighbours. What, if anything, in the way of culture the Negrito has bequeathed to his supplanter is a matter for speculation, but since he has existed in the Andamans in a condition of hostile isolation for many centuries it is just possible that the bow is his invention. It is also to be noted that he possesses a cult of the ficus tree which is or has been associated in southern Europe, Africa* and Oceania with fertility and with the souls of the dead, as it still is in India, and that he also possesses his own version of the legend of the Path of the Dead to Paradise guarded by an avenging demon, which is so wide-spread in Indonesia and its neighbourhood.

If he did not evolve these conceptions for himself and bequeath them to others, the fact that he possesses them at any rate points to their distribution at a very early period of human prehistory. If the Negrito was the earliest inhabitant of southern Asia he must have been early displaced or supplanted by the Proto-australoid. This dolichocephalic type appears to have had its origin in the west. The view that the Australian is connected with Neanderthal man, though repeatedly rejected by weighty authorities, seems to die hard, since Hrdlicka apparently regards the Neanderthal as having contributed to existing human types, while Sewell (Origin of Man, etc.) appears to revert to that theory of Australian origins, and in his account of the Mohenjodaro skulls he definitely associates the Indian Proto-australoid type with the Australian aboriginal on the one hand and with the Rhodesian skull on the other. In this view he seems to have since been justified by the discovery near Mt. Carmel in 1932 of palaeanthropus palestinus, whom Keith describes as bridging " the gap between European Neanderthalians and more primitive forms of modern man."

It is however also claimed that homo soloensis recently discovered in Java is the direct ancestor of the Australian aborigines. Nevertheless Colonel Sewell has himself pointed out to this writer the possibility of the derivation of the Proto-australoid type in India from a leptorrhine western type through a series of climatic modifications. What he writes is " a comparison of the Mohenjodaro skulls with those from Kish, Al-Ubaid, Aditanallur and the skulls of the Veddahs indicates that we have a transition-series commencing in. the Kish skulls with a nose that is long and narrow, passing through the Al-Ubaid skulls where the nose is slightly shorter and broader, then through the Aditanallur and Mohenjodaro skulls in which these changes are more marked to the maximum alteration found in the Veddahs ...... Similarly the series presents corresponding relations in the height of the orbit and the degree of prognathism, as well as in the bizygomatic breadth ".

He has added in conversation that the series could be prolonged unbroken from Kish westwards to terminate in an Anglo-Saxon skull, but would probably admit the possibility of modification by hybridization as a possible alternative to modifiation by climate. Meanwhile Elliot Smith has emphasised the ikeness of the Adichanallur skulls to one type of predynastic Egyptian, and similarly pottery found in megalithic tombs in the Deccan has been stated by Balfour to have a close resemblance to that of predynastic Egypt, while lapis lazuli said to be from Afghanistan is found in early predynastic Egyptian graves, though according to Mr. Mackay it is more likely to have been from Persia, which was a prolific source of this stone and probably provided the quantities found at Sumer, whereas there has been comparatively little found at Mohenjodaro.

Peake and Fleure regard this Badarian culture as likely to have introduced the microlithic flint implements of the Final Capsian' culture, and they state that the Hamitic dialects of north Africa are believed to represent the language of the Final Caps ians and appear to have no relation to Dravidian ; the safest hypothesis at present therefore appears to be that the Protoaustraloid type in India is derived from a very early migration from the west and that its special features have been finally determined and permanently characterized in India itself. It is represented in its purest form in the V,c1dahs, Malavedans, Irulas, Sholagas and similar tribes in the hunting stage in Ceylon and southern India (where it often shows a strain of Mediterranean admixture and sometimes occasional traces of a negroid blend, as the kindred Sakai in Malaya), and perhaps in as pure a form as any in the nearly related Paliyans of the Palni hills, whose sole implement is the digging stick. But, apart from its extension into Indonesia to the east and possibly to south Arabia on the west, as a contributory element in the population of India it is to be found from Kashmir to Cape Comorin and from Kalat to the Karenni, particularly of course in the lower castes and much stronger in the south than in the north. It is this type which is primarily responsible for the platyrrhine and dark-skinned elements in India which decrease generally in accordance with the increase in the social position of the subject examined, but which are present to some extent in all castes, though but rarely in the highest castes of northern India.

We have already seen that this type was present in Mohenjodaro, though it is not clear from Sir John Marshall's book that any of the skeletons that have been preserved from that site are of equal antiquity to that of their surroundings and the inferences to be drawn from the accounts given indicate that the human skeletal material is probably of comparatively late date and in any case does not afford a reliable clue to the character of its original inhabitants. What the contribution of the Proto-australoid race to Indian culture has been is not very clear, they probably introduced pottery, and they may have had the beginnings of a neolithic culture, since some of the Badarian celts in Egypt have their side ground to a flatsurface. Badarian pottery is perhaps the oldest known, and Peake and Fleure suggest that the first pottery was made from leathern models in the neighbourhood of the sources of the Tigris and Euphrates or north Syria, while Frankfort considers that the earliest Susa pottery had such an origin. The presence of the boomerang, as also of the blowgun in south India and in a rudimentary or degenerate form in Assam, may possibly be credited to them, and in the domain of religion probably totemism.

Like the Proto-australoid and unlike the Negrito the Melanesian division of the Oceanic Negroes is dolichocephalic, and the frizzly hair which is so typical of the Melanesian possibly indicates a hybrid origin, and it seems likely that the Melanesian represents a stabilised type derived from mixed Negrito and Proto-australoid elements. However that may be, Melanesian elements are apparent in India and Burma, though limited in distribution and doubtful in origin, as there seems to have been at any rate some slight migration from east to west which may have brought back with it certain cultural elements which had their source of distribution from India thus running their foil, so to speak, and greatly complicating analysis.

As a physical type the Melanesian occurs very markedly in the hilly tracts that divide Assam from Burma, and in the Nicobars, in both of which areas it has a mongoloid admixture. It seems to occur also but without the same strong mongoloid element on the Malabar coast, though here it is easy to be misled by directly African elements, indications of which are plentiful enough. Culturally the Melanesian stock in Assam, Burma and in the Nicobars is associated with disposal of the dead by exposure and the separation of the skull, communal houses, head-hunting and a canoe cult. Its connection with the Indian Archipelago is marked by a series of striking cultural parallels between Assam and New Guinea, but as it exists nowhere in India as a separate isolated type with a culture of its own, and as the Indonesian cultures, and therefore presumably those of New Guinea, seem to be generally derived from the mainland, it is impossible to isolate the Melanesian for examination not only from the Austroasiatic and Indonesian groups referred to below, but also from Malay intrusions which are present in Burma, in Assam and probably elsewhere. The term Austroasiatic is a linguistic rather than a racial term and as such has been referred to above in Chapter X, where the questions involved in that of the Munda languages have been briefly discussed.

Linguistic as it is however the term Austroasiatic has certain quite definite cultural association in India, Burma and Indonesia, the most prominent of which have already been mentioned, but to which might tentatively be added the practice of terraced cultivation, which north of the Godavari in India is found roughly corresponding to the distribution of Austric languages, though by no means universally. Thus the Sawara (Sora) of the Madras Agency Tracts have terraced fields which will almost compare with those of the Angami Nagas, while their cousins the Santals (Hor) apparently have not. It is however a practice that might easily be lost in the course of migration, and the Sawara (" Saharia ") of Central India has himself apparently lost it thus, or in the alternative has failed to acquire it.

It has been suggested that the least unsatisfactory theory of the distribution of these languages is that they have migrated eastwards down the Ganges valley to the Bay of Bengal. The suggestion that they are connected with the agglutinative Sumerian language has more than once been put forward (e.g., by Rivet in 1929) and apparently with some degree of plausibility, and in that case it seems likely that we must look still further West for their origin. Handy in his suggested map of Polynesian origins traces two courses of pre-historic migration from west to east, one round the coasts of India the other north of the Himalayas.* It seems reasonable to postulate an alternative route across India and the Bay of Bengal for Elamites and dwellers in Mesopotamia of the Mediterranean race to have reached the Indian Archipelago. For overlaid as it is with Pareoean elements and confused with submerged negroid races, the basic type of the nesiot race is generally regarded as Mediterranean in origin and as having derived even its pre-historic cultures from the mainland of Asia. It seems just possible that the leptorrhine features and fair skins so often to be seen among the Namasudras of Bengal which are so much at variance with their low social position may be due to settlements left behind in the course of this migration.

The possibility of repercussions from the Indonesian area westwards on India has already been mentioned in Chapter X. It seems definitely clear that there has been a movement north-westwards from the coast of Burma to the hills of Assam, and it is not impossible that similar movements have takenplace from the east coast of India, as already suggested in an earlier chapter. It nay be noted for Instance that the Oraons according to a tradition quoted by Gait came from the Carnatict.

It is true that they speak a Dravidian language but their culture is closely allied to that of the Mundas and it is wellknown how easily languages are changed. There are no recorded traces of any Austroasiatic language south of the Godavari, but no systematic examination of tribal dialects has been made there. There is much about Mysore, including a form of the shouldered iron hoe and terraced cultivation that is strongly suggestive of Indonesian culture, and the Paniyans of the Wynad, Coorg, and the Malabar ghats use a typically Indonesian method of making fire ; a typical Indonesian snare of the " scissors " type (Man. XXII, 103) was found by the writer in the hills of Travancore in 1931, and in the Cochin State museum in

  • Terrien de Lacouperie argued for a migration towards the end of the third millenium B. C. from near

the Caspian Sea across Asia to China where he supposes the migrants to have introduced the beginnings of culture and the germs of the Chinese script, and Peake (Bronze Age and the Celtic world, page 74 has suggested a resuscitation of that hypothesis, which might provide a vehicle for Rivet's connection of the Ainu language with the Sumerian and for a culture similar to that associated with Austroasiatic languages to each China though the date of this migration seems too late for that of the Austroasiatic speakers across India.

Yunnan' has clearly much in common with Indonesia, including elaborate terraced cultivation, but the general trend of migration and culture in south-east Asia seems to have been from north to south rather than from the islands to the mainland. Moderately longheaded skulls dated c. 3000 B. C. have been found at Anau (Peake and Fleure, Priests and Ilings, page 189). t It is possible to see in the Hindu tradition of the struggle with a buffalo-headed deity a struggle between the Aryan invader and a matrilineal buffalo-keeping race. The Mahishyas of Bengal might connect with those of Java, if k'bo-Kewat, Kaibartta [vide Dt. Census of Midnapur 1891, Hunter Statist. Acct. of Bengal (Raja of Mayauachoura) and J. R. A. S. 1877 VIII-X, page 16, part 9]. Is it possible to see in the title Mahishi given by the vedas to the chief queen a survival of the same culture ? t The term Carnatic is usually applied to the lowlands between the Eastern Ghats and the Coromandel Coast.

The temptation to derive Oraon from Prang must be shunned as they call themselves Kurukh. Trichur he saw a single specimen of a crescent-shaped mother-of-pearl breast

Pearl shell.PNG

ornament extremely suggestive of Oceania, which was an obsolete ornament formerly used by the Nava'clis„ a wandering jungle tribe . of Malabar. But it is possible that these sty ay parallels are to be connected with the Malabar Coast, which Indonesian voyagers have unquestionably reached at one time or another. It also seems possible that the vague suggestion of the mongoloid, which is so often given by the appearance of the hilimen of Chota Nagpur, of Bastar State in the Central Provinces and of the Madras Agency Tracts, may be due to a strain of Pareoean blood which has come in by sea from the east. One is insistently reminded in these areas of the Assam hill tribes, and both Haddon and Buxton have drawn attention to this strain, which struck the present writer quite independently and contrary to his expectations

and the admitted proto-australoid element in these tribes is no obstacle to

this, since it must have extended at some period throughout what is now the archipelago to the Australian Continent, apart from the probability of its absorption on the mainland. Haddon says (Bares of Man, page 108) " there is something in the facial appearance of many Kolarians which enables an observer to pick out a typical inhabitant of Chota Nagpur from a crowd of southern Dravidians and among some (Munda, etc.) there is often a reminiscence of Mongoloid traits ", and the truth of this is incontestable.

A noticeable feature in the legends of the hill tribes of Assam is the story of a tremendous cataclysm in which the world was overwhelmed by fire followed by darkness and a formidable rise of waters. This tradition seems to be shared by the Mundas, and the Santals have a story of a rain of fire though apparently without a flood, while the Andamanese, the Nicobarese and most of the peoples of the Indian Archipelago have a somewhat similar story of a flood, though the preliminary rain of fire does not seem to appear in the accounts recorded, although a reminiscence of it perhaps appears in the Ongtong Java myth (vide Frazer, Myths of the Origin of Fire, page 53) ,and both in this and in one of the Sumatra myths there is a reference to the depression or submergence of the land below sea level, while the volcanic cataclysm is possibly to be seen in the Madagascar myth of the contest between Fire and Water.

In the case of the eastern Assam hill tribes, however, the stories of the cataclysm occur repeatedly and all agree in indicatin g that the survivors of the rain of fire were driven by great floods up into the hills,


and it is tempting to suppose that they relate to some volcanic upheaval, which overtook what is now the Indian Archipelago and was followed by a subsidence of land below sea level. Peake and Fleure (Priests and Kings, page 184) have made a map of the area reconstucting land at the 100 fathom line. The result of this is to extend the land area of south-east Asia to include Sumatra, Java, Borneo and Bali, leaving only narrow channels of sea between this reconstructed area and the Philippines, the Celebes, Lombok, Flores and Timor, and providing the easiest of short passages from island to island from Borneo and Bali to New Guinea and Australia. Not only does this reconstruction explain the connection between the Protoraustraloids of India, and Indonesia, and the Australians proper, but if it is a correct reconstruction, and to account for the peopling of Australia in pre-historic times it is perhaps a necessary one, it is then clear that its disappearance must have involved either some great cataclysm or a series of smaller ones accounting not only for traditions such as those of the Assam hills but also for a dispersal of part of the population westwards having Austroasian languages and probably strains of Melanesian and of Pareoean or even Malayan blood.

The above speculation has been offered with some diffidence as likely to be condemned as fantastic, and indeed it is tendered in profound ignorance of geology. At the same time it may be permitted to a layman to observe that during the last decade the researches of acknowledged geologists have been somewhat seismic themselves, and the eruptions of Wegener and Kroeber have shaken several previously accepted hypotheses. Molengraaff and Weber have pointed out that the distribution of fresh-water fish in the Islands suggests that they had the elevation indicated in the not very distant past. In any case it may here be added that the theory put forward of an Indonesian cataclysm is anything but essential to an hypothesis of intrusions on the mainland of India and Burma of nesiot speech and culture. Even less is it required to explain the presence of mongoloid elements. If the map of the area occupied by Tibeto-Chinese languages in para.157 be again referred to it will be seen that although it may be said fringe upon the area of Indo-European languages, there is a very considerable overlap in places. In all this overlapping area the Indo-European languages are definitely intrusive and the mongoloid element in the population is strong enough to retain its own languages.

It is further possible that the extension of mongoloid physical elements has gone a good deal further than the present range of their lan guages would suggest. One of the Mohenjodaro skulls has been identified as definitely Mongolian, and from the lowest stratum of the excavations have been recovered terracotta figurines with unmistakable Mongolian features, having the typical 'sloping narrow eyes of caricatures of that type. Some wear a big round fan-shaped head-dress very suggestive of head-dresses still to be seen in the Himalayas. On the other side of India the physical type of the Muslim cultivator in Eastern Bengal is strongly suggestive of a mixed Mongolian- and Proto-australoid strain. Buxton, as we have seen, suggests that the Pareoean element extends to southern India.

Burma, of course, is almost completely mongoloid and though the existence of other strains is undoubted they are no longer easy to isolate. There are protoaustraloid elements probably in some of the hill tribes, and on the Assam side a Melanesian strain is to be expected. The survival of Mon-Khmer languages in the Mon, Palaung and Wa tribes suggests the probable presence of a nesiot strain of blood likewise, and the strain may be taken as certainly present in the Mawken (Selung) tribe ; the Burmese type generally is brachycephalic and platvrrhine, and these features appear to be predominant throughout Burma, and to have imposed themselves on the remnants of the Mons of Pegu, originally alien to them, in which case the Burman seems to have assimilated that race physically as he has culturally, the Mon having before that already assimilated the dolichocephalic leptorrhine element introduced from Telingana by the Talaings, an element still occasionally traceable in Mon families, unless it be that this is only another instance of the survival of the Indonesian type frequently met with at any rate in the hills to the west of the Chindwin. It is possible that the Karen has also some nesiot element, as in culture and appearance the Hill Karen seems to merge into Wa tribes, and the Karen language has so far not been definitely classified and may prove to be nearer to the Austric than to the Chinese-Tai groups.

The bulk of evidence with regard to the Karens points to their having come from the direction of China, hut McMahon quotes Cross as recording a tradition that the Karens once lived to the east of a great body of water, the largest in the world ", which " runs backward to its source ", and as interpreting this as the Bay of Bengal, but in that case it seems highly improbable that this Kaw or Kho would not have been explicitly pointed out as such, since the Karens are still in contact with the shores of that Bay. The Changs of the Naga Hills have a similar story of a great river far to the south that runs downwards till it meets a rock and thence with great force flows upwards, so that navigators are carried away. Handy has pointed out (Polynesian Origins) that from the Bashi Strait between Luzon and Formosa there rushes out " a current so strong that any sailing vessel sucked into it is flung out toward Micronesia ". The Chinese called it " a monster that swallows unwary vessels ", and Handy goes on to quote a Cantonese book of the XIIth century which says " To the east of Java is the great Eastern Ocean-Sea where (the surface of) the water begins to go downward ; there is the kingdom of women. Still further east is the place where the Wei-lu drains the world from which men do not return ". This he regards as a reference to the Bashi Strait, which is however, as he points out, north-east of Java.

It iS tempting to see in that current the river of Karen and Chang tradition, and it may be added that the Changs have other stories very suggestive of Mon-Khmer affinities, identical as they are with legends of the Khasis and Syntengs. Subsequent waves of Mongolian immigration have passed over Burma since, obliterating the traces of former movements and assimilating their stock, and both these processes have been intensified by the policy of massacre and deportation which makes the mediaeval history of Burma so profoundly depressing to read. The race-movement of 'Mongolians southwards still continues among the Kachin tribes, while the Euki-Chin tribes have bprely settled down after reaching the Bay of Bengal and starting to work northwards again on the Assam side of the dividing ranges. The bulk of Burma in any case is primarily mongoloid, and any non-Mongolian streams of migration that may have reached India through Burma have absorbed a vast quantity of Mongolian blood.

In Assam even the Khasis and Syntengs, though they have managei to retain their Austric language, differ little in physique from their Tibeto- Burman speaking neighbours. Elsewhere in India south of the„Himalayas even Mongolian languages have not survived, and there is little trace of their influence except in the mongoloid cast of physical features that crops up unexpectedly with fair frequency in northern India, particularly along the foot of the hills. Their contribution to Indian culture west of Assam has probably been negligible. From the east of India it is now necessary to turn to the west, and we have there to account for the presence of a non-Armenoid Alpine population of a brachycephalic leptorrhine type which appears indeed in Bengal in the east but is much more marked in the west of India, extending as it does from Baluchistan to Coorg, whence perhaps it has penetrated the extreme south-east of the peninsula. Risley explains this type as Turko-Iranian in the north, and as Scytho- Dravidian in the south, but there appears to be no justification, for his distinction, since there seems to be no change in type toward the south which is not explicable by assuming, and with every probability, a proto-australoid admixture increasing inversely to the degree of latitude.

If " Scythian " has any precise meaning it must refer to the Saka, who appear to have been a dolichocephalic people probably nearly allied to the Indo-Aryans and unable to introduce the brachycephalic element even if they entered India in sufficient numbers, which is highly improbable.. The Turki and Tungus invaders on the other hand were of Mongolian affinities .and the type of brachycephaly which we are considering does not appear to belong to that family. In any case Crooke, Haddon, Giuffrida- Ruggeri and Buxton agree in rejecting Risley's diagnosis of the western brachycephaly and Chanda has offered a basis for a much more satisfactory hypothesis. He postulates a Tokharian-speaking branch of limo alpinus occupying the Pamirs which also invaded India only to find the middle of the Gangetic plain occupied by Vedic Aryans and therefore pushed round them to give rise to Grierson's " outer band of Indo-European languages.

The theory of an invasion of Alpines from the Pamirs as the explanation of west Indian brachycephaly may be unreservedly accepted. Indeed there is no other explanation which meets the facts. It is accepted by Haddon that " it is evident that there has been a mixture with a strong brachycephalic stock, which must have belonged to the Eurasiatic group since there is no trace whatever of ' Mongolian ' characters ", though " there is no evidence to suggest when this immigration took place ". Sir Aurel Stein's discovery of this type of Alpine in the region of Lob- Nor dating from the first centuries A. D. supports the hypothesis. It is not however possible to accept Chanda's hypothesis as regards date.

It appears on the face of it that a much simpler and more satisfactory view would be to regard the brachycephalic stock as preceding the Rigvedic Aryans. We may suppose them to have entered the Indus valley duffing or after the Mohenjodaro period and to have extended down the west coast of India as far as Coorg forming the physical basis of several of the brachycephalic or mesaticephalic castes of western India—Prabhus, Marathas, Kunbis, Billavas, etc., and introducing the brachycephalic element into the Brahui. The brachycephals who remained in northern India will have at a later date been pushed outwards by the Vedic Aryans carrying the roundheaded element eastwards to Bengal down the Ganges Valley, where the Bengali element in the delta seems very definitely intrusive, -forming a wedge between Orissa and Assam the inhabitants of which offer many similarities of custom, caste, religion and dialect in contrast to intervening Bengal. In support of the hypothesis that the Eurasiatic Alpine stock antedates the Rigvedic invasion Giuffrida-Ruggeri, who otherwise accepts Chanda's view, may conveniently be quoted. " Evidently ", he says, " the introduction of the brachycephals must go back 'to a pre-historic epoch " . The italics are his. Dixon (Racial History of Man, p. 265) suggests " the second or even the third millenium B. C." for the intrusion of this type into India, and supports the supposition that it preceded the Indo-Aryans.

In another passage he suggests a movement of Alpines from the Iranian plateau as a result of the expansion of the Indo- European Kassites (who were raiding the Babylonian frontier before the end of the 3rd millenium B. C.), though he does not himself associate this movement with the Alpine extension in India. If we assume that these Alpines spoke an Indo-European language, of which there is no direct evidence, their distribution will fit in well enough with Grierson's theory of the " outer band " of Indo-Aryan languages, but it is an assumption which is not necessary to the hypothesis advanced or necessarily relevant to the question of race, though as Chanda has pointed out, Grierson finds traces of Pisacha dialects, of Pamiri origin, as far south as the Konkan, which supports such an assumption .. The Chitrali (Khowar) are brachycephalic and speak an Indo-Aryan (Dardic) language. The Hunza- Nagar seem to be of mixed type* and speak Burushaski, an unclassed language unrelated so far as at present suggested to any recognised group. Khowari has a Burushaski element which Morgenstierne regards as due to contact. Grierson however says (L. S. VIII, ii, 6) " over the whole of Dardistan there is an underlayer of Burushaski words. These words are found far from the present habitat of Burushaski."

We may infer that the Burushaski language is the original indigenous one and that the Pisacha languages are immigrant, possibly acquired by the brachycephalic Alpines through contact with speakers of an Aryan tongue before the pressure of the latter compelled them to migrate southwards, though the Khowari with a Sanskritic tongue appear to be more brachycephalic than their neighbours the Hunza-Nagars with a Burushaski one. The traditions of the pre-Rigvedic wanderings of the Aryans which are recorded in the Avesta, make it probable that the Aryans had come into contact with the Iranian Alpines long before they reached the Punjab (v. infra p. 458, 461). From north-western India their stream pushed on down through Gujarat, where the Pisacha tongue has since been overlaid by the midland Aryan (vide Grierson) and down the west coast, where it survives in Marathi and Konkani.

In Kanara the language turns to a Dravidian one, but the brachycephalic element must have left the coast line for it is to be traced on the Mysore plateau (it is very strong in Coorg) whence it has passed to the Tamilnad, missing the Malabar Coast. It may probably be supposed to have remained in occupation of the more cultivable areas in northwestern India till the Rigvedic invasion, and the association of type and frequently of caste between Gujarat and Bengal may possibly be put down to the dispersal west, south and east caused by the Rigvedic irruption. Associations have been recently traced between the Nagar Brahmans of Gujarat and the Kayasthas of Bengal : similarly there are Bagdes, Vagris and Bagris in Kolhapur, Gujarat and Bengal. Where they have not been disturbed they are peaceable and law-abiding cultivators and fishermen but the branch that got unsettled in the centre has never recovered and Itas ever since been criminally and nomadically inclined.

This of course is h ,e'othesis not history, but the closely connected caste of Bauri (Bawaria, taori, etc.), can be definitely associated across India from Rajputana and Delhi, where it is restless and criminal, to the U. P., where it is less so, to Bihar and Bengal where it is a decent and peaceable caste closely associated with the Bagdi. Crooke says of it in the U. P. that it seems " to fall into two branches- -those in the Upper Duab who still retain some of their original customs and manners " (i.e., the criminal manners familiar further west) " and those to the east who ...... have abandoned their original predatory life ".

We suggest that the peaceable life was the original one and that invasion on invasion, for the western Bauria must have suffered many, has been responsible for their anti-social proclivities. To return to the Alpine immigration one consideration arises of an entirely different nature. Recent researches into the racial distribution of blood groups have shown that the predominance of group B in India is in strong contrast to western Europe, where group B is markedly absent. This group however increases in south-east Europe, a percentage of 18 being found in Silesia, 20 in Warsaw and, by Hoche and Moritsch, even in Vienna. In Russia the percentage of B group bloods rises rapidly, generally exceeding 20 %, reaching 29 in Perm and 32 in Krimtshack, the maximum recorded, and attention may be drawn in passing to the psychological affinity between Russia and India which has often been pointed out (also v. supra Ch. VI, para. 97).

Further south the percentage is 20 in Transylvania, 23 in Macedonia. In the far east the percentage is higher than in Russia, China rising to 35 %, Malays to 29 % and Filipinos to 30 % and in one series even to 44 %. On the other hand the Japanese show percentages of B group ranging consistently from 19 to 23. In Africa percentages of B group go up as high as 29 . 2 but the highest percentages all seem to congregate on the mainland of Asia and the adjoining islands of Indonesia. The percentages in India itself run from 37-2 to 41 . 2, a marked contrast to the percentages noted in England which vary from 7 . 2 to 10-7 rising to 17.4 in Liverpool .where there is probably an appreciable mixture of blood from the crews of foreign vessels*. Lattes' opinion is that it is definitely established , that the distribution of blood groups in a given population is related to its ethno-anthropological constitution. Group A decreases going east and south from western Europe and B increases inversely, while 0 is characteristic of long isolated and marginal communities such as Australian aborigines, Eskimos and Laplanders. If the AB group be also taken into account and the total value of B be taken, the results, according to Lattes. show the value of B to be from 12 to 16 in western Europe, 20 to 28 in the Balkans, 28 to 43 in Russians, 44 in Gipsies and Chinese, 47 in Manchurians and 49 in Indians (" Hindus In Koreans the percentage is 39 ; in Indo-Chinese it falls to 36 and in Malays to 21. In Australian aborigines it is 4 . 5.

Malone and Lahiri in the Indian Journal of Medical Research for April 1929 published some tests taken mostly on Indian troops and also on miscellaneous- castes of the U. P. and on a number of so called " Dravidian " whose castes they do not distinguish and who were apparently low castes and primitive tribes of upper India, to whom the term Dravidian' is of very doubtful application indeed. The military castes they classified in groups according to Risley, and these groups it is better to ignore. The p. q. r. values have therefore been here worked out for the individual castes on Bernstein's formila, and the race-index on Hirszfeld's.

It can hardly be environment, as India and Manchuria have nothing in common, and it has been proved that blood groups are hereditary. The factor can hardly be Mongolian as it is not associated with the necessary physique iin India or in eastern Europe. It is not Armenoid, as the Armenians have a low percentage of group B, and a similar factor in western Europe bars the Mediterranean and Nordic races. By a process of exhaustion the hypothesis is reached that this distribution of blood group B must be sought in the brachycephalic Eurasiatic race that seems to have spread from a centre in or near the Pamirs. The Ainu have been regarded by Haddon as an outlier of the Alpine race, and their likeness to the Russian peasant has frequently been remarked* ; their blood groups show 321 to 38'5 per cent. of B ; and Haddon in any case thus describes the range of homo alpinus :-" Galcha, Tajik, Wakhi, etc., of Persia, the Pamirs and neighbouring areas, and extending in a north-easterly direction to Manchuria ". Add to that the southward extension to the Deccan suggested by Chanda and the distribution of B blood group fits well enough. One more item testifies to the soundness of this view. The Gipsies of Europe show blood groups with 44 per cent. of B, a figure approaching the Indian percentage ; and the Romany -tongue of the Gipsies of Europe, in common that is with Konkani Marathi, " still retains many forms which can best be explained by a Dardic origin " (Grierson, Linguistic Survey, I, 109). The accuracy of the theory can be tested. If it be correct the Telugus and Malayalis should show a lower percentage of B value than the Tamil and a still lower percentage than the Kodagu, the Maratha or the Gujarati.

The Eurasiatic Alpine type, however, is not alone responsible for non-Mongolian brachycephaly in India. The Armenoid type of head, characterised by a very steep and high but flattened occiput and described as " hvpsibrachycephalic" occurs frequently enough in India to be noticeable to a watchful eye. This type is probably a specialised off-shoot from the standard Alpine stock and appears to have arisen in the highlands of south-west Asia in the neighbourhood of which isolated communities such as the Druses and the Maron.ites still retain the old type with marked purity. While typical of Armenia and Anatolia, it is, generally speaking, still to be found sporadically all over S. E. Europe, Asia Minor and Mesopotamia, mingled in varying proportions with the dolichocephalic Mediterranean type. It probably constituted the most important elernatt in the population of Sumer. In a type modified by hybridization, it is common enough in. India, but does not seem to be confined to any particular caste though perhaps more often noticeable among Brahmans and Banias than among others, and is most common in Dravidian-speaking India and in the upland valleys of the east Punjab and the United Provinces.

This race appears to have been at any rate partly responsible for the highly developed civilization of ancient Mesopotamia and Asia Minor and in both areas it has everywhere mingled with the Mediterranean race which it found in occupation. As we have little means' of knowing the proportionate contribution by these two races to the early culture of western Asia, and thence to India, it will be safer to consider the two together as a blend to which the Mediterranean has contributed the most physically, while the Armenoid may have contributed more culturally. He is claimed as the principal contributor to the culture of Sumer and of Babylon, but the evidence does not seem to justify so exclusive a claim. On the other hand it seems to have been a blend of the Armenoid with the Mediterranean which produced the " prospector " type associated in western Europe with the early metallic industries and perhaps with megalithic monuments which seem in the Near East to be the result of " the interplay of Cycladic and Mesopotamian cultures ".

It seems likely that this type reached India either in association with the Mediterranean or in their footsteps, the latter being the more likely. Although at least one has been discovered at Harappa, no Armenoid skulls appear to have yet been discovered at Mohenjodaro, but the skulls found and preserved from this site are probably all of latish date, and do not necessarily represent the early inhabitants, while some of the stone statues are strongly suggestive of the Armenoid type of head. Thurston figures a typically Armenoid skull at p. xlvi of vol. I of Castes and Tribes of Southern India as a Hindu skull and speaks of its character as very familiar among all sorts and conditions in southern India, and the type is well represented in his photograph of a Banajiga.

The Mediterranean race appears to be the one that has contributed most to the physical composition of the peoples of India, and perhaps also to its culture. The centre from which it dispersed appears to have been the eastern Mediterranean, but that it reached India at a very early date is to be inferred from the crania found at Nal in Baluchistan, at Sialkot and at Bayana, which link the inhabitants of northern India to the dolichocephalic skulls of similar type found at Kish and at Anau. On the evidence of the Indian skulls Sewell and Guha conclude that " it would seem probable that the Mediterranean stock had become established in northern India at a period that clearly antedates the civilisation at Nal and along the Indus valley, and the differences that have been shown to exist between the human remains at Anau, Kish and Nal indicate that a sufficient length of time had elapsed for certain local variations to have become evolved and established " (Excavation in Baluchistan, p. 80). We may therefore infer that northern India was occupied by Mediterraneans before the Armenoid stock began to mingle with them, and it is possible that they were connected with the Indonesian race, now submerged, which seems to have left patches of speakers of Austroasiatic languages along both sides of the Ganges valley in the course of its migrations. Civilisation, however, appears to have its origins in the Fertile Crescent ' which skirts the hills north of Mesopotamia from Syria to the Persian Gulf. This area was also occupied at a very early date by people of the same Mediterranean type, whose area of characterisation was on the shores of that sea and whose range in early neolithic times seems to have extended as far as the Indian Archipelago along the southern fringe of the mountains that stretch from Asia Minor to the Himalayas.

They appear to have occupied the earliest sites at Susa and at a later date to have been also among the early occupants of Anau north of those mountains and near the Caspian Sea. Sir Aurel Stein's most recent discoveries in the Zhob valley have yielded stone implements of neolithic type, copper weapons and ornaments and painted pottery closely resembling that from culture strata ascribed to pre-Sumerian times in Mesopotamian sites, under conditions indicating prolonged occupation by a homogeneous culture of the sites excavated. Very close similarity is also found with remains from sites in southern Seistan, and there is marked resemblance to material from Mohenjodaro and Harappa. It seems likely, however, that the ' Fertile Crescent ' contained from a very early period an admixture of racial types, and it was perhaps as a result of this that civilisation arose there, since " Rivers has shown that the establishment of contacts between peoples with different training and equipment produces new ideas and liberates initiative "* and the Sumerians whose civilisation, at any rate in this area if not in the world, is the oldest yet discovered, seem to have been of mixed race and to have included types of both the hypslbrachycephalic Armenoid and the dolichocephalic Mediterranean.

A combination of Armenoid and Mediterranean is found in India, particularly among the Tamils, and that inter-communications took place between the Mohenjodaro civilisation and the ancient civilisation of Mesopotamia has been demonstrated by the discovery of objects of common type in both areas, and Sir John Marshall concludes that there was a " lively intercourse between the Indus alley and Elamite and Mesopotamian sites at the end of the fourth millenium B. C." The Mohenjodaro civilisation occupied according to Marshall the period between 3250 and 2750 B. C. and its connection with Mesopotamia is dated back to its very beginnings. It is assumed by Marshall that it developed in India but failing evidence to that effect it seems a much safer hypothesis that the main features came in from Mesopotamia, to the early civilisations of which it obviously bears a close affinity. Some points of this affinity have already been indicated (e.g., para. 102 supra), and the fish-cults so numerous in India, but particularly in the east and south and on the Malabar Coast, are another case in point, but the question with which we are primarily concerned here is that of the race or races which imported or developed this civilisation.

The worshippers of Indo- Aryan gods do not appear to have begun to encroach on the civilisation of the ' Fertile Crescent ' till towards the end of the third millenium when a period of race movement began, possibly occasioned by climatic changes to the north. The Indo-European languages were, as we have already seen, preceded in India by both Austric and Dravidian languages and have been influenced by both, but while there is nothing to indicate that the speakers of the Austric languages had any advanced culture we find the Dravidian speakers of to-day not only having a culture of very great antiquity, but also one very strongly suggestive of Mesopotamian affinities, while its early megalithic cults surviving all over southern India and sporadically in northern and further India can hardly be considered without reference to the megalithic cultures of the Mediterranean. It is probable that there were direct contacts between southern India and Mesopotamia by sea, but the existence of the Brahui in Baluchistan makes the existence of land contacts equally likely.

The Sumerian civilisation at the head of the Persian Gulf seems to have been largely dependent on the cultivation of the date ; the Sumerians located their Garden of Eden in Dilmun, then also a date-bearing land, where is now Bushire on tile coastal route to Makran, and the date is still the staple crop in the valleys of the Makran coast on the natural route between the ancient parts of Sumeria and the Indus delta, whether the medium of travel be land or sea. Maritime communications were certainly developing during the third millenium B. C. but early voyages must have been primarily coasting voyages. On the other hand a migration by a land route from Mesopotamia was probably at one time a matter of much less difficulty than it was found by Alexander's army, since at one time the whole of that now inhospitable area was undoubtedly fertile country, and apart from the Nal find already mentioned, Sir Aurel Stein's tour in Gedrosia in 1928 has disclosed scores of sites of ancient habitation yielding pottery, which links them with the earliest Susa zone, copper objects* and hundreds of terracotta figurines of the mother goddess (as at Mohenjodaro) and of the humped bull which is the vahana of Shiva. Everywhere in southern Baluchistan there are remains irrigated enormous dams and bands proving that at one time the land was elaborately rrigated and pointing perhaps to the period at which its natural waters began to fail on account of climatic changes involving the undertaking of conservancy on a larger scale, and we are probably justified in picturing Baluchistan, a land of hills and valleys indeed but now barren and sandswept, as five thousand years ago a good land of fountains and depths, drinking water of the rain of heaven.

In either case the presence in Baluchistan of the Brahui, speaking a Dravidian language, living among remnants of a lost civilization, in a country rendered, inhospitable by a change of climate, professing a skin-deep allegiance to Islam but in practice worshipping at pre-Islamic shrines and phallic stones (vide Bray, Census of Baluchistan, 1911, p. 63), and using circles of stones to dance in, and exorcising devils by the dancing of medicine-men like the people of the Malabar Coast, points very suggestively to speakers of Dravidian languages as the ancient inhabitants of Mohenjodaro and perhaps the givers of culture to India, while the fact that they claim Aleppo as their place of origin and Iviry their dead to face westwards, indicates their ancient connection with Mediterranean. Bloch (Bulletin de la Societe de Linguistique de Paris, XXV ; I owe the reference to Dr. Guha) has pointed out a connection between Malto, Kurukh, Kanarese and Brahui as distinct from the Gondi, Tamil and Telugu groups, and has indicated both the influence of the former group on Kashmiri and Syrian Gypsy, and also the very early connection between the Dravidian and Indo-Aryan languages ; he regards the Dravidian languages of the Deccan as having definitely come southwards from northern India.

Evidence is also forthcoming to indicate that Dravidian languages were at one time spoken in Gujarat, while Bloch's tentative suggestion that Brahui might be immigrant from the south-east not only seems unlikely on a priori grounds but is rebutted by I1orgenstierne in his Report on a Linguistic Mission to N. W. India (Oslo, 1932). Rapson remarks that the reason why the Brahui has not been accepted as representing the Dravidian is that the racial character of the Brahui is Iranian and he adds that their tribal system is the antithesis of the caste system, and uses this argument to explain the change of racial character that he believes to have taken place. Haddon, however, says of the Dehwar and the Brahui that " in all essentials they belong to th,., dolichomesocephalic series " and must be regarded as a mixed type, while Bray reports that the Brahui skull is deliberately rounded in infancy, though babes are alleged to be born long-headed. Guha's opinion is that they were originally dolichocephalic but are now mesocephalic verging on brachycephalic as a, result of a heavy admixture of Balochi blood, while artificial deformation possibly contributes to their roundness of head, a roundness which he agrees is accompanied by a long face.* As for their tribal system, it is true that strangers have been incorporated in considerable numbers, but there exists, in spite of their undoubtedly mixed racial type to-day, a very strong preference among the Brahui for endogamy (decidedly suggestive of the caste system, this) and by one authority the Mamashahi and the Nichari clans and the Dehwars are specifically reported to be definitely endogamous, and these are the oldest and aboriginal' groups.

Sir Denis Bray's report of 1911, shows that the traces of a former matrilineal system are clear enough, and the story recorded by Lieut. Carloss of his visit to the cave dwellings of Gondrani in 1838 (J. A. S. B., March 1839), when he was shown the palace of Badul J amaul, the princess married by the stranger " a son of the King of Egypt " who became king of the matrilineal and matrilocal kingdom, is exceedingly suggestive of Mediterranean affinities, while the Shrine of Bibi Nitni near Hinglaj, also in Las Bela, is a place of pilgrimage " celebrated from the Euphrates to the Ganges " and the resort alike of Muslim and Hindu pilgrims. Sir Thomas Holdich says of it " the object of their veneration is probably the same goddess who was known to the Chaldeans under the same old-world name (Nana) a thousand years before the time of Abraham. Nothing testifies so strongly to the unchangeable nature of the geographical link formed by Makran between East and West than (sic) does this remarkable ziarat hidden away in the deep folds of the Malan mountains." t It has already been pointed out (para. 156) that the Dravidian language is now being found to have Mesopotamian and Caucasian affinities, and failing evidence to the contrary it is not unreasonable to conclude that the civilisation of the Indus valley was associated with speakers of Dravidian languages of Mediterranean race with an Armenoid admixture and a developed culture derived from the Near East. Indeed the Brahui themselves regard the Mohenjodaro ruins as the work of their own ancestors,t though it seems.probable that this may be a quasi-tradition acquired from the suggestions of the excavators themselves. Moreover though this culture seems to have disappeared in the Indus valley it seems to have handed on to the later Indo-European invaders the pictographs from which their Brahmi script was derived, and unquestionably a number of elements in their language. How then and where did this take place ?

The cults and customs of Asia Minor are still strong in India, as also the Dravidian tongue, but it is clear that the fusion between the earlier civilisation- and the Rigvedic Aryans did not take place in southern India to which the latter penetrated only in historic times. It did not apparently take place in the Indus valley and it must therefore have occurred in the Ganges basin where the middle kingdom has always been regarded as the true focus of Hindustan and the standard for the rest of Sanskrit India both of language and religion. This is not only what might be expected on a priori grounds but it fits in convincingly both with known facts and with probable hypotheses. Sir John Marshall has pointed out that the latest date for the survival of the Mohenjodaro civilisation is early in the third millenium, and he has taken the jar burials at Harappa as indicative of the arrival of a fresh people with different customs. The practice of fragmented burial in jars appears to have very strong Iranian associations* and the Indus valley is right in the path of the Pisacha migration from the Iranian plateau and the Pamirs to the west coast of India. Here, it seems is the explanation of the break in continuity between the Indus valley civilisation and the arrival of the Rigvedic Aryans. We do not know at what date the Dravidian speakers pushed southwards to occupy the peninsula, but it seems likely that they must have taken a western route and have penetrated south India before the Alpines came in from the Pamirs.

Some of the features of south Indian culture suggest not merely Asia Minor, e.g., the fire walking ceremonies such as are common in south India and formed a feature of the worship of Artemis in Cappadocia, but 'Crete, where there was a cult of snakes t, which indeed were vehicles of the soul throughout Greece, and worship of the mother goddess, and where the vogue of slender waists for males is very suggestive of mediaeval Indian sculpture, while the popular sport among the Kallar and Maravart of jumping onto enraged bulls with sharpened horns to pluck oft a cloth put there for the purpose and prove themselves men in the eyes of their women folk is most reminiscent not only of the bull-baiting of Provence, where a rosette must be snatched from the points of the horns of an infuriated bull, but also of the bull-jumping scenes on Cretan vases, though in southern India the practice does not extend to somersaults nor to the fairer sex. Terracotta figurines of the mother goddess have been excavated in Crete not dissimilar to those from Mohenj odaro, and to others excavated in 1926-27 in Bihar at Buxar from a site 52 feet below the present surface and 13 feet below the Maury-a stratum, indicating the extension of the Indus valley culture to the Ganges Valley and the Madhyadesa. The cult of the bull is common to the early cultures of Crete, of Egypt, of the Near East, of the Indus valley and of Hindu India.

Dr. Guha points out that the brachycephalic admixture extends to the Tamilnad but not to the Andhradesa, a conclusion which is substantiated not only by the appearance of the people but also by their character, the Tamil being far the more pragmatical and more sensible of hard facts and economic values, whereas the Telugu has precisely that volatile, artistic and sensitive temperament that one is accustomed to . associate with the Mediterranean stock. The Telugu, perhaps the purest Mediterranean stock in India, has in historic times been pushing up north-eastwards along the Coromandel Coast, and apparently the thrust of Alpines south-east across the Mysore plateau has failed to follow back north-eastwards just as it failed to penetrate the high ranges and heavy jungle of the Western Ghats which isolated the Malabar Coast from the brachycephalic influence. If the hypothesis that the civilized inhabitants of the Indus valley were Dravidian- speakers be rejected, the only available alternative seems to be that they spoke some language of the Munda family. This is not impossible; and if the language of ancient Sumer was agglutinative as is Dravidian, so also are the Munda languages.

The hypothesis however that the early civilization of India was Dravidian rather than Munda seems much easier to adopt, though it is still possible that it

  • See for instance Sir J. J. Modi on Gaurtappas, Journ. Anthropological Society of Bombay, XIV, No.

t The cult of snakes is also strong in the lower Himalayas, like Armenoid features, it is likewise found there in the significant company of Naina Devi, megalithic monuments, 'and marriage customs not unsuggestive of Babylon, and fertility rites which are spoken of by the Punjab Castes and Tribes as " Paphian " but which are not described. Devi in the hills is often spoken of as Devi Mai or Devi Mata—The Mother Goddess. In the case of the Kallar it is to be noticed that they include a boomerang among their wedding gifts, practise circumcision, and bury their dead and perform . their Karuppan worship with the face to the north, probably indicating migration into India by land. The rite of circumcision is paid for the boy's father's sister, mother of his potential wife. may have been first Munda-speaking and later Dravidian ; any how it may be noted that the Munda themselves speak of Asuras as metal-using foreigners, while the Sanskrit-speakers in their turn used the term asura for a race found by them in India. If both these alternatives be rejected we are forced to suppose that the language spoken by the Indus valley civilization has totally disappeared, a supposition which seems, to say the least of it, highly improbable in view of the undoubted survivals in the field of religion, and it may here be pointed out that Przyluski (Archly Orientalni IV, 2, August 1932, vide Indian Antiquary, January 1933) suggests a non-Indo- European origin for the name of the gcd Vishnu and a Dravidian origin for the god himself.

The early culture of the Mediterraneans and Armenoids in India may perhaps be most conveniently described as pre-Vedic Hinduism. Although this culture disappeared from the Indus valley, it must have survived across the Jamna with sufficient vigour to react to the Rigvedic Aryans whom it probably supplied with a script, and whose religious beliefs it ultimately submerged in its own philosophy. Slater* has aptly pointed out that Krishna himself was of Naga descent and the traditional blue colour in which Hindu art depicts him possibly represents the brunette colouring of the Mediterranean as distinguished on the one hand from the blond Aryans and on the other from the dusky aboriginals. Slater again points out that Sukra the chief priest of the Asuras is stated by the Mahabharata to have become " the spiritual guide of both the Daityas and the Devas ", thus recording the success of the prevedic priestly class in imposing their spiritual authority on the Aryans also, and this same Sukra, or another one, according to the Vishnu Purana said mantras for the success of the Asuras and restored to life the Danavas slain by Indra. His father was the rishi Bhrigu whose sons were Brahmans and priests of the Daityas. Clearly there were Brahmans before the Rigvedic Aryans, and we must look for the origin of that caste in the priests of the presumably Dravidian-speaking civilisation who must have been acquainted with the mathematical and astronomical knowledge of contemporary Babylonia. At the same time it does not seem possible that the prevedic Hindu culture can have remained unaffected by the Iranian immigration from the Pamirs, which probably displaced it in the Indus valley during the 3rd millenium B. C. It seems that while the greater number migrated towards southern India by a western route, enough must have penetrated the Ganges valley- to affect the physical features of a portion at any rate of the population.

It is significant that the degree of brachycephaly in the Bengali castes decreases from Brahman downwards if we except the mongoloid groups like the Maghs.t We have also seen that enough of the prevedic civilisation remained to have a very definite and lasting influence on the religion and culture of the Rigvedic Aryans. The Alpine peoples have generally evinced a disposition for peaceful penetration rather than warlike domination and we may conclude that the irruption of the Pamiri invaders was less violent than that of their successors in the second millenium, and their settlements must have been rural rather than urban, in contrast to the Mediterranean-Armenoid culture. In fact the bulk of the descendants of the Alpine invaders are probably to be found in the great cultivating castes of Kunbis, Kurmis and Kapus representing the Tajiks of Iran (vide Keane, Man Past and Present, 1920, page 542), and it is worth notice that one of the Tajik tribes is spoken of as " Purmuli or Fermuli " ; mutate pf for kw and then k, a philological process familiar enough, and the result is something very near Kurmi '.

The prevedic Mediterraneans probably had a matrilineal system which would have facilitated the amalgamation of the Alpines, but it generally happens that people with such a system tend to substitute a patrilineal one where the two come into contact, and it is likely that the change from a matrilineal to a patrilineal system started to take place in upper India as a result of the Pamiri immigration, while it is not unlikely that the same process tended to substitute the worship of male for female deities. The process of Hinduising the female village deities of southern India by providing them with orthodox male husbands from the official Hindu pantheon is still perhaps in process. In Madura the fisheyed goddess Minakshi is annually so married with great pomp and éclat, but in the villages the goddess is still the real deity and protectress of the people rather than the recognised Hindu gods. So also in Bengal the Dharma-puja-paddhati records that z-Idva, the mother of the gods, was married to Shiva with " traditional ceremonies not enjoined in the Shastras but somehow or other accepted as inviolable by them and known as stri-ichira (lit. female custom) " performed by women before the Brahmans officiated (Sarkar, Folk Element in Hindu Culture, 231), and the same author maintains elsewhere that goddesses have been accorded (in folk-custom presumably) a higher position than the gods. According to the Mahabharata a matrilineal system survived in mediaeval India in the kingdom of Mahishmati about the Narbadd river, where the women had liberty to choose a plurality of husbands, and among the Arattas, somewhere apparently in the Punjab, " whose heirs are their sisters' children not their own ". With the exception of the Nambudris, who follow the Rigveda, Brahmans in southern India, many of whom at any rate follow the Samaveda Yajurveda or Atharvaveda, are accustomed to marry the daughter of their mother's brother.

This, which Dr. Chanda has pointed out to me as opposed to the letter and spirit of the Brahmanic code " is clearly a survival of a matrilineal system ; orthodoxy would appear to enjoin the patrilineal prohibition of such marriages. The Pandyan dynasty seems to have been originally matrilineal as Tamil poems are said to allude to its founder as a woman, and the tradition recorded by Megasthenes is that it was founded by a daughter of Heracles, while Pliny describes the Indian people " gees Pandce, sola Indorum regnata foeminis". The worship of goddesses in whose honour annual fairs are held, is more important in the Himalayas of the Punjab and United Provinces than that of the orthodox gods, and such goddesses, though now regarded as incarnations of Devi, are frequently associated with the worship of snakes, while it seems likely that the Nanagotri Brahmans of Tehri- Garhwal represent families which originally traced their descent through the female line (nana---= mother's brother). It is possible that the Pisacha variety of the Indo- European tongue was introduced at the same time as the Eurasiatic Alpine stock from the Pamirs, and either passed on to the Rigvedic Aryans the peculiarities it retained from the Dravidian it replaced, or never completely displaced its predecessor as the prevailing vernacular. , An alternative hypothesis might be that the Pamiri stock did not cross the Jamna but migrated eastwards down its right bank thus leaving more or less intact the prevedic Hindus east of the Jamna and north of the Ganges until the narrowing of the valley towards the trijunction of the Son, the Ganges and the Gogra urged it across. However that may be, it is clear ,that the penetration of the Alpine element was much more limited in the east than in. the west and that in the former at any rate it did not obliterate the pre-existing culture.

This prevedic Hindu culture, modified somewhat in all probabilit y by contact with the Alpine, must have still been vigorous enough in the Madhyadesa to react to the stimulus of the Rigvedic Aryans, when these invaders, near cousins of the Kassites who about the same time overthrew the rulers of Babylon and established themselves as lords of Mitanni, occupied the Punjab about the middle of the 2nd millenium B. C. Their previous traditions as gleaned from the Avesta are conveniently summarised by Peake and Fleure (Merchant Venturers in Bronze, page 130). Driven from their northern home on account of its becoming ice-bound and uninhabitable they moved south to Sughda (Sogdiana) and Mura (Merv, Bokhara). Locusts and hostile tribes droN,e them to Bakhdi (Balkh) whence they moved to Nisaya. There they divided one part going to Haroyu (Herat) and the other probably to Kabul and thence to the Punjab at a date not later than 1400 B. C. and probably a century or so earlier. Their occupation of the country between the Indus and the Jamna, where the Rigveda seems to have been composed, but not written, must have taken the form of migratory movement and was probably effected without much difficulty.

The description of their enemies as " noseless" suggests conflict with tribes of proto-australoid affinities, and there seems every probability that tribes such as the Bhils and the Chodhras would have continued to occupy hill and forest areas in spite of the Mediterranean and Alpine migrations. If the prevedic civilisation in the Indus valley had really declined, this may have enabled such tribes to re-occupy parts of the open country. The mention however, e.g., in the civth hymn of the first book of the Rigveda, of the cities, castles and great wealth of an enemy whose womenfolk bathed themselves in milk, suggests that the ancient civilisation was far from being extinct, and it is not impossible but that many aborigines were employed as servants and as auxiliary troops or as allies against the invader, a practice which was common enough in mediaeval India. The development of a written literature clearly took place at the second stage of their invasion described by Rapson as a colonising stage in contrast to that of mass migration. It is just at such a stage that amalgamation with the pre-existing inhabitants is most likely, and the influence of the latter can clearly be traced in the change in vedic religion which appears even in the tenth book of the Rigveda, and in the Yajurveda, as well as in the Atharvaveda, for this last consists, principally at any rate, of magic while the pantheistic philosophy later developed in the Upanishads is already apparent in the tenth book of the Rigveda. Pargiter points out that though the name of the compiler of the Rigveda was well known to the later epic and pauranic tradition, the very mention of Vyasa is ignored or suppressed in Vedic literature.

It is possible to infer from this that the immediate post-Rigvedic brahmans may have been the inheritors of the prevedic tradition which was adverse to the Rigveda and supported the indigenous deities by preference. It is possible that the contest between Vasistha and Viswamitra, as a result or which the Kshattriya became a Brahman, may symbolise the amalgamation of the two cultures, and Viswamitra's formal renunciation of Kshattriya ways the final ascendancy of the pre-Aryan religion.

In any case it is more than probable that the post-Rigvedic literature, in which the 10th book of the Rigveda must be included, would contain importations from pre-Rigvedic indigenous tradition, while the cerebral letters acquired by the Indo-Aryan from the indigenous languages " play an increasingly important part in the development of Indo-Aryan in its subsequent phases ", just as the use of rice and the areca nut, equally of pre-Aryan origin, have affected the subsequent developments on the cultural side. The development of the art of writing from the prevedic pictographs must have gone on simultaneously and was, as suggested by Macdonell, no doubt first used for purely secular purposes and was not at first regarded as proper for application to religious hymns and iormulae. This would fit in well with its derivation from the signs on the Mohenjodaro seals which seem to have been primarily used for commerce, as cotton fanric bearing a seal impressed with an Indus valley stamp has been recovered from a prehistoric site in Iraq. It seems unlikely in the extreme that the language, religion and culture of the invaders could have been influenced by the pre-existing civilisation without an admixture of race taking place, and the met that later tradition and literature definitely describes some of the rishis and their descendants as no.n-Ar yan, indicates, that this admixture extended to the priesthood* as it probably did to all otner classes.

Thus the legends of the origin of the Baidhyas of Bengal, a caste not only of acknowledged respectability, and the repository of traditional medical knowledge, but also one which provided a ruling dynasty in the XIth century A. D., have been justly interpreted as indicating a matrilineal origin (v. Risley, Census of India, 1901, I, Ethnographic Appendices page 185), while another version definitely describes their descent as pratiloma in spite of its being ascribed to the Twin Brethren of Vedic mythology. It is tempting to see in the two strains the origin of the two great Rajput houses of the Sun and of the Moon, the latter typical of Mesopotamian cults while the former is more suggestive of the Rigveda. The Agnikula branch was probably added at a later date to include the conquering families of Hun or Saka origin. On the other hand the Brahman in the Rigveda seems to have been second in social importance to the Rajanya and it seems not impossible that traditions of the conflict between the Brahmans and the Kshattriyas and the extermination of the latter by Parasurama, represent a revolt against the Aryan aristocracy led by a priestly class of mixed origin, which would naturally have the support of the people in general. In the United Provinces the population from Brahman downward is piedominantly dolichocephalic, but as the Mediterranean; were no less dolichocephalic than the (?) proto-Nordic Aryan9, the Armenoid admixture being probably sliaht, their fusion with the Aryans would not be traceable in the cephalic index, though it would tend to a substitution of dark hair and eyes for the fairer colouring of the Aryans.

The element of brachycephaly introduced by the Alpines would he again modified in' the direction or dolichocephaly by the new corners, and it is thus that we find in all the castes of Bihar a higher degree of brachycephaly than in the United Provinces where the Rigvedic Aryan element is the stronger. On the other hand the platyrrhine element, indicating the protoaustraloid strain is fairly constant in both races and appears with little respective variation in the two provinces, for instance, in the cultivating Brahmans or the Kurmis, though the cephalic indices differ considerably. Thus in Risley's arrangement by nasal indices (People of India, Appendix III, summary of measurements. Aryo-Dravidian type) the castes of the U. P. and of Bihar appear almost alternately, but if the series be re-arranged by cephalic indices the Bihar castes fall into a separate group of 74 and over. Risley's apophthegm that the nasal index indicates the social precedence of any caste was true enough, but he failed to distinguish between the proto-australoids, the true aborigines of India if it be correct that their characterisation was in India itself, and the Mediterranean, likewise dolichocephalic but leptorrhine not platyrrhine, who seems to have introduced civilisation and. the art of working in metal. Even to-day in the Deccan an artizan who dies too poor to be burned is buried in a stone-lined grave of dohnen pattern while a cultivator is put into a plain earth grave. Risley's classification also failed to diagnose accurately the origin of brachycephaly in western India, and its extension across, India to Bengal interrupted as it is by the dolichocephalic elements• which both preceded and followed it.

As pointed out by Childe, the great gift of the Aryans to India was neither their religion nor their physique but a vastly superior language with its corresponding opportunities for mental and cultural development. It is not suggested that the above views are the final word on race in India, but it is submitted that the hypotheses put forward do offer a scheme into which the fact at present known will fit without distortion, and it will perhaps be convenient at this point briefly to recapitulate. The earliest occupants of India were probably of the Negrito race, but they have left little trace on the mainland of the peninsula. The Protoaustraloids who followed them and whose origin must be sought in Palestine, where up to the present the earliest ancestors of their race have been found*, may claim to be the true aborigines on the ground that their racial type waS ultimately fixed in India. They were followed by an early branch probably of the Mediterranean race, speaking an agglutinative tongue from which the present Austroasiatic languages are derived, which migrated down the Ganges valley mingling no doubt with the Protoaustraloids and in the van at any rate penetrating to the farthest south-east of the Asiatic continent. This early branch of the Mediterranean race may have carried with it the beginnings of culture with a rudimentary knowledge of agriculture. They may also have taken the practice of erecting rude stone monuments and perhaps of primitive navigation.

This migration was followed by a later immigration of civilised Mediterraneans from the Persian Gulf, but ultimately from eastern Europe, who brought with them the knowledge of metals but not of iron and were followed by later waves of immigrants and a generally advanced culture, which maintained a connection with the cities of Mesopotamia and evolved or developed the prehistoric civilisation of the Indus valley and in all probability a similar civilisation in the Ganges valle y. All these immigrants were of the dolichocephalic type, but mixed with this last race, possibly even with the first comers but in any case as later settlers, was a brachycephalic element coming ultimately from the Anatolian plateau in the form of the Armenoid branch of the Alpine race. The civilisation which arose in India under the auspices of these races had developed by the end of the 4th millenium B. C. a high standard of comfort, art and sanitation in city life, and a religion which bears many resemblances to the earlier religions of the eastern Mediterranean. The language in use was probably Dravidian, and there was a pictographic script analogous to those in use in prehistoric Mesopotamia. This civilisation was flooded in the west during the third millenium B. C. by an immigration from the Iranian plateau and the Pamirs of a brachycephalic race speaking perhaps an Indo-European language of the Pisacha or Dardic family, the main course of which migration went down the west of India and across the Mysore plateau to the south, missing the Malabar coast which has thus preserved much of the ancient civilisation of Dravidian-speaking India.

Another branch of these immigrants fewer in number penetrated the Ganges valley but was not strong enough to obliterate the Armenoid-Mediterranean civilisation, though it probably modified it a good deal. Meanwhile in the extreme east of India other movements were going on, as there was a widespread race movement of the southern Mongoloids southwards to the Bay of Bengal and into Indonesia, which had some reflex influence on India from the east. Finally about 1500 B. C. came the Indo-Aryan migration into the Punjab, which first occupied the area between the Indus and the Jamna and later sent colonies across the Jamna into Hindustan. These imposed themselves upon the surviving civilisation there, which so reacted to this powerful stimulant as to produce from the combined material the philosophy, religon, art and letters that were the glory of ancient India, though it yet remains for the descendants of those early races to accomplish the vision of the Bhavishya Purana and unite the peoples of India in the fulness of time to be of one caste, a imited nation.


See also

Census India 1931: Introduction

Census India 1931: Caste, Tribe, And Race

Census India 1931: Religion

Sex Ratio: Census India 1931

Census India 1931: Distribution And Movement of Population

Census India 1931: The Population Problem in Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Census India 1931: The Population Problem in Assam

Census India 1931: The Population Problem in Baluchistan

Census India 1931: The Population Problem in Baroda

Census India 1931: The Population Problem in Bengal

Census India 1931: The Population Problem in Bihar and Orissa

Census India 1931: The Population Problem in Bombay

Census India 1931: The Population Problem in Burma

Census India 1931: The Population Problem in Central Provinces

Census India 1931: The Population Problem in Coorg

Census India 1931: The Population Problem in Delhi

Census India 1931: The Population Problem in Gwalior

Census India 1931: The Population Problem in Jammu and Kashmir

Census India 1931: The Population Problem in Madras

Census India 1931: The Population Problem in North-West Frontier Province

Census India 1931: The Population Problem in Punjab

Census India 1931: The Population Problem in United Provinces of Agra and Oudh

Census India 1931: The Population Problem, The Central India Agency

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