Page:Madras Journal of Literature and Science, series 1, volume 6 (1837).djvu/25

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On the Language, Manner, &c.


II.—On the Language, Manners, and Rites, of the Khoonds, or Khoi Jati, of the Goomsoor Mountains; from documents furnished by J. A. R. Stevenson, Esq. Commissioner in Goomsoor, and W. G. Maxwell, Esq., m. d.; with Illustrative and connecting Observations. By Reverend W. Taylor, Member of the Madras Literary Society, &c.

Previous to any other observations it may be desirable to settle the true name of the people who have been designated Khoonds. In the title to Mr. Stevenson's paper on their customs they are styled కొడులు Codulu, and in Dr. Maxwell's list Khoi-jati. If the orthography of the first written term be correct, as I presume it may be so considered, it must be a mistake to write the word Khoonds, intimating a transition through the Hindustani. The Telugu alphabet has a letter corresponding with k′h; but as it is not used in Mr. Stevenson's paper, the proper representative according to Sir W. Jones's orthographical system is c.; and as Dr. Maxwell only intends to give the sound, and probably made use of Hindustani as a medium of intercourse, his spelling does not necessarily militate against the same conclusion. The people I presume to be the same with those who have been otherwise termed Goands, usually classed as similar with the B'heels. There is besides a resemblance to the native term for the Coorg mountaineers, which is Codugu; and I am inclined to think, that any one who fully understood the Coorg dialect, could hold intercourse with the Khoonds. The insertion of the obscure nasal sound of n I may observe is no objection: it may be inserted or left out, in many Telugu words, and in some Tamil ones. Codulu is plural in Telugu, and Codur, would be the same in Tamil. If from deference to the usage, which has obtained, I use the term Khoonds, it is still improperly, and from a regard only to perspicuity.

The papers by Mr. Stevenson and Dr. Maxwell, in a loose and unarranged form, may, for order's sake, be classed under two heads, as relating to the language, and to the manners and rites, of this singular people.

On the language the vocabulary transmitted by Mr. Stevenson may be first inserted; because of the precision conveyed by the use of Telugu letters. The orthography by which they are represented is not systematic; but it may suffice. I am guided by the Telugu writing.


Khoond pronunciation in
Teloogoo character.

God (Symbol missingTelugu characters) Mahaprabhoe

goddess (Symbol missingTelugu characters) pennoo

earth (Symbol missingTelugu characters) taunah