The right to have, or a woman from the tribe Toda
• The right to have, or a woman from the tribe Toda
The Nilgiri Mountains in the south of India, in the villages of the tribe Toda common to see such a picture: on the threshold of the house sit and embroider women and men engaged in household chores. The atmosphere is a matriarchy.
In the language Toda there are no such words as "girl", "girl", "woman". Girl from birth called the "young mother", then it becomes a "mature mother", and in old age - "respected mother". For Toda all women - mothers, and men - fathers. And no one dares to condemn mothers who, judging by European standards, are relatively free lifestyle.
Approximately 13 years old girl Toda deprives innocent men of another kind. After that, she enjoys complete sexual freedom, while not pregnant.
A woman waiting for a child is the most enviable bride. If one of whom she became pregnant, she does not like, she chooses a man among other men. Her chosen one does not even arise the question of who is the actual father of the child, which is now owned by his family. And this is important.
The one she chose to send her their bows and arrows. This means that he is ready to become the father of the unborn child and her husband. However, to deny a woman a man does not dare.
- How can we deny the mother ?! - terrified 60-year-old Karas.
Initiative is punishable. Some of the most modern men sometimes try to show determination and call favorite women in marriage, but are most often found resolute refusal.
Wedding is played after a ransom was paid. This money or buffaloes, which are the groom gives the bride's family. The wedding is usually celebrated for three days, the most important of which is the second. It begins with the dance, which is performed after the ceremony. Young fit to the sacred tree of the valley, is given to each of the twig. Who was the first knock on the forehead with his betrothed sprig, he will be the boss. However, it is rather a formality Toda. Women have almost more rights than men. Men Todas perform a variety of work on the farm, including caring for buffaloes - sacred to the tribe: out to pasture, watered, milking, churning butter, milk boil. Women are not allowed even to approach the animal and to the temple and dairy. Near each of the temple is a stone cross that unmarried men and women are strictly prohibited.
Women Todas are not engaged in hard work. While men wash, cook and carry out other economic matters, they are embroidered tablecloths, napkins, shawls. Toda known as skilled embroiderers. Covered with ornaments clothing used not only in homes, but also sold in the markets of the nearest town of Ooty. And the most modern representatives of the tribe photographed in an embroidered dress with tourists. Of course, for the money. And even though women now sometimes still be included in domestic affairs, the main economy rests on the shoulders of men.
Swear in the presence of women or, especially, to lift her arm - a great shame that does not wash off until his death. Therefore, women often act as mediatrix in the men's quarrels and even fights. They believe that even in the heat of anger, none of their fighters not hit or even touches.
Another great feature of family life - polyandry (a form of polygamy in which a woman is at the same time a few marital unions - Ed...). The tribe says two of its kind. In the first case the husbands are not linked by ties of kinship, and the second - elder brother's wife automatically becomes the wife of the younger ones. Before the second type occurs most often, because not every family has the opportunity to pay a few ransoms that each brother had a wife. But now this practice is less common, and in the country increasingly are monogamous marriages.
No one condemns a woman, if she has a lover. On the contrary, the husband submits its decision and does not interfere with another man to perform "marital" duties. And so it was obvious that his wife could not be disturbed, the guest leaves the door a wooden staff. This means that the husband can not enter the house and has to wait for the street maintenance guest. If a woman becomes pregnant from her lover, his children remain in the family legal husband, for whom the main thing is the paternity, and it is not necessary that it actually was.
If the woman does not get to have a baby after marriage, she can choose another wife to her husband. A Statement to find a new partner. For Toda mostly children are married.
Divorce is seen as something normal. Most often it is the initiator is a woman, and the reason is another man to whom she leaves. In this case, the reputation of the woman does not suffer. No one can stop her to go to the next, even her husband. A woman's desire for the law of man. However, tribal council in this case is still going. But not to discuss the incident and to decide how many buffaloes get my husband from a man who went to his wife. Buffaloes - a ransom. The most interesting is that the "lucky", which she has chosen, also can not refuse her.
After marriage, a woman goes to live in the family chosen. Perhaps, in order to avoid inbreeding with such a turbulent life of women, was introduced the custom to marry only among residents of different villages.
Many women therefore do not seek to get married, preferring to remain with their mothers. - Who is going to help my mother, if I leave? - asks a rhetorical question Manabadi, which is the only daughter in the family.
Manabadi 46 years old, she is not married, and this is her conscious decision. A married woman by the rules have to leave their village and are often unable to see his mother. Caring for the mother in Manabadi stronger than the desire to have children.
On the women taking care of the tribe every man. Representatives of the stronger sex are inferior to them the best places do not allow to lift heavy things, and even bear the old women and children, when sent off to the great distances.
Special respect are "respected mother" over 70 years. They just sit solemnly at meetings and handing out blessings. And everyone who passes by, should always pay their respects. The main task of every man Toda tribe - women make life happy.