Todas to keep the virus at bay

Work like there is someone working 24 hours a day to take it all away from you.– Mark Cuban


Tying up with Todas to keep the virus at bay

      WHY IN NEWS:

Traditional tribal artisans from the Nilgiris are producing masks with exquisite embroidery



For PRELIMS you have to dive into the features of this Tribe ; religion , belief system , dances , art and crafts and a little background too

For MAINS nothing much here !


More than a hundred women and indigenous Toda artisans from the Nilgiris are producing thousands of stylish, embroidered masks for local residents, police, and sanitary workers.
  • These have been a huge hit, with demand for the masks coming from Coimbatore, Chennai and New Delhi.
  • The masks are produced by Indian Yards in Coonoor and Shalom Ooty, who are partnering with Last Forest.
  • While Indian Yards has been empowering more than 50 local women by training them on how to stitch articles of clothing, Shalom Ooty regularly employs over 150 Toda artisans to embroider indigenous designs on bags, shawls and other items.
  • A Toda artisan, who embroiders the motifs on masks, said she gets anywhere between ₹50-100 for each single piece she produces, and added that because of demand for the masks, she has found work despite the lockdown.



  • Toda, pastoral tribe of the Nīlgiri Hills of southern India.
  • Numbering only about 800 in the early 1960s, they were rapidly increasing in population because of improved health facilities.
  • The Toda language is Dravidian but is the most aberrant of that linguistic stock.


  • Most marriages are monogamous although polyandry was common in the past.
  • Traditional arranged marriages are often broken by elopement.
  • Once a marriage is formalized it is rarely broken in part because a divorce casts great shame and disgraces the family.
  • Toda have traditionally rarely married outsiders.


The household head is custodian of the household’s property: the house itself, domestic equipment, family heirlooms (personal jewelry, and ornaments and bells for buffalo), the buffalo, and, in recent times, a portion of the patrician’s patta lands as well.


  • The Toda have traditionally believed in a world of the dead and the world of the living.
  • In there scheme there is no hell; those who have lived meritorious lives have less trouble reaching the world of the dead.
  • Their pantheon of gods and spirits includes “gods of the mountains” that reside in the Nilgiri Hills.

The most important deity is Tokisy, who rules over the world of the living and created the Toda and their buffalo. 


  • Toda society has traditionally been divided into two subcastes: one that owned the sacred dairy cows and the other which milked the cows and operated the dairies.

Villages generally don’t have a headman.

  • Decisions are made by an all male caste councils.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • “As there are no tourists coming into the district, there is no demand at all for Toda embroidered quilts, shawls or other clothes.
  • But because of the demand for masks, our skills are being put to use and we get a livelihood in return.
  • The masks have already been dispatched for sale in stores in the Nilgiris and people can also order them online from the Last Forest website.
     SOURCES:THE HINDU |  Toda Tribe
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