Udagamandalam Local Custom Tips by Canadienne Top 5 Page for this destination
Udagamandalam Local Customs: 12 reviews and 12 photos
Toda Bride & Family
The timing of our Toda village visit was wonderful ~ a neighbouring village was preparing for a wedding and we were all invited to join in for the day.
A Toda wedding does not actually take place until after the bride gets pregnant. Once she has proven that she is capable of becoming a mother, she can then be married to her partner. The bride in this photo is on the right hand side and was definitely several months into her pregnancy.
Buffalo in Toda Village
The Toda have always been closely connected to their herds of buffalo, which move about the countryside according to season. Community rituals revolve around the buffalo ~ from preparing milk products to death (a buffalo is often sacrificed after a funeral; the animal is thought to accompany the deceased in to the afterlife).
Buffalo milk is the basis of a lot of the Toda's vegetarian diet. While we were in the village, we had an opportunity to drink the milk and even to taste it in a more yogurt-like form.
Some of the buffalo that wander around the huts had fairly big horns, but they were all tame enough that the men had no trouble herding them in and milking them.
Getting Ready for the Wedding
The Toda women wear their hair in long ringlets. They spent hours on each other's hair during the preparations for the wedding ~ butter is used to keep the shape and smoothness of the curls.
Preparing for the Wedding
We weren't able to stay for the wedding itself, as our travel plans dictated being in Coimbatore for an overnight stay (a drawback of group travel), but the preparations were in full gear through the day.
A number of the men had already started in on drinking and the women were busy chasing after the kids to keep them in order. About eight of the older women sang and danced in a circle for while ~ younger women would come and join in for a round of song, then return to their work.
Toda Embroidered Shawl
This is a photo of a finished piece of the Toda embriodery ~ the patterns are always done in black, red and blue on a natural background.
A shawl of this size would take approximately a month to complete.
Toda Woman Embroidering
The Toda women spend their time at home cooking, cleaning and working on the traditional embriodery that is worn by the members of their tribe.
The fabric they embroider on is very coarse and the wonmen don't workm off of patterns ~ their stitching seems to be done from memory.
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