Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 6.djvu/133

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MISCELLANY.

ner, makes his cheap butter: To 50 kilogrammes of melted oleo-magarine in a churn he adds about 25 litres (26 quarts) of cow's milk and 25 kilogrammes of water containing the soluble parts of 100 grains of the mammary gland of the cow. The churn is then set in motion, and in fifteen minutes the grease and water become transformed into a thick cream, which in turn is changed into butter. The churning being ended, water is poured in and the butter separates, containing buttermilk, which must be removed. The product is then placed in a sort of kneading-machine composed of two cylindrical crushers, and placed under a stream of water. There it is worked in a way to change it "into well-washed butter of fine and homogeneous appearance."

 

The Todas.—A traveler in Southern India, Colonel Wm. Marshall, in a work recently published, makes the world acquainted with a very singular tribe of men, the Todas, who inhabit the plateau of the Nilghiri Hills. The Todas live in very small village communities of from twenty to thirty persons. Attached to every village is a cattle-pen, and a separate building, which constitutes the dairy and the dairyman's abode. Their life is purely pastoral, and their sole dependence the buffalo. Though the land is fertile and the climate delightful, they do not practise agriculture at all; and though their hills abound in game, they neither hunt nor trap any living thing. Their only domestic animals are the buffalo and the cat. They eat no flesh, living wholly on milk and butter, with rice and other vegetable food obtained in exchange from the surrounding population. Though on all sides they are hemmed in by strong and often quarrelsome tribes, they possess no weapon of offense; they never fight among themselves or with their neighbors. They have no manufactures. Two men in every village are set apart for the dairy-work, leaving all the rest to lead an almost absolutely idle life. The Todas are quiet and dignified in their manners, amiable in disposition, and very good-looking. Their absolute dependence on the buffalo has led them to form a religion in which this animal is the central figure. The dairy is sacred, and no one except the dairyman and his assistant is permitted to enter it. During the term of office these two men have to pass absolutely retired and celibate lives, they and their implements being touched by no human being. They keep in the dairy certain relics—old cow-bells, knives, and axes—which are in the highest degree holy, and these the dairyman-priest salutes every morning with certain ceremonies. The people in general also salute the setting sun, and have some vague notions of a future state.

The Todas number at present only about seven hundred souls. Formerly they practised infanticide, but for some years this has ceased, and the tribe is now increasing in number. The primitive custom was to kill all female children of a family except one or two. The result was of course an excess of males, and hence sprung the custom of one woman having many husbands. This practice still continues. The census tables seem to show that considerably more male than female children are born. It is worthy of note that, although from time immemorial consanguineous marriage has been the rule among the Todas, still not more than one per cent, are malformed.

 

Tea-Adulterations.—One of the usual ways of adulterating tea is by the admixture of leaves other than those of the tea-plant. For the detection of these foreign leaves, but little aid can be given by chemistry, and it is best to study their botanical and microscopical characters. Prof. Alfred H. Allen gives, in the Chemical News, the following method for detecting adulterations of this kind: "Some of the sample to be examined," says he, "is to be put in hot water, and when the leaves have unfolded, they are spread out on a glass plate and held up to the light, when the venation, serration, etc., are readily observed. The primary venation of the tea-leaf forms a series of well-defined loops, which are not met with in most leaves used as adulterants. The serrations are not mere saw-teeth on the margin of the leaf, but actual hooks. The serration stops short, somewhat abruptly, at some distance above the base. The Assam tea-leaf is sometimes bi-serrate. At the apex of the tea-leaf there is a distinct notch, instead of a point. If we ex-