페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

Coorgs. At last he was shot near the Cached of Nalkanarfu. Since his death his spirit has possessed men, who give themselves to such arts. One Kareha, a near relative of Stephanas, is at present the principal agent of Ajjappa.

Higher even than Ajjappa, in the estimation of all Coorg, stands a certain female devil, at YLutta, called Ku«adamma. Kutta. lies at the borders of the Vainadn. Ku«adamma has no temple. The sanctuary is under a tree in the forest. The Pujari is a young man, the only person left of the family, which has engaged in this worship. I am told, that the offerings, sent thither by people from all parts of Coorg, amount to more than 20,000 rupees per annum. Many vows are paid to Ku«adamma in behalf of sick people or of the dead. For whether a sick person recover or die, the sum vowed for his recovery must be paid; or woe to the living! Much money is also given to the man in charge of KuWadamtna, to engage her services against enemies, who, they say, are distressed or destroyed altogether by the demon, in answer to the prayers of her priest.

The DeVasthanas of Subrabmanya, Beitur, Payavur, and La^sAmaKatirtha have a great share in the faith and superfluous money of the Coorgs.

Thousands visit the shrine of Subrahmanya in December, from the northern part of Coorg. In January Beitur, in Malayafam, attracts numbers from Beppun&do. and Yerfenalkanarfu. In February the people of Parfinalkanarfu and KacTryettinaafu flock to Payavdr, also in Malaya/am. The Irbutirtha (La&sAmaraatirtha, in Kigga«naa?u,) which takes place in the end of February, closes the cycle of the jatr^s (pilgrimages). After this the Bhagavati festivals and the annual worship of the dead follow. Then comes the rainy season wich its labors. Such is the Coorg cyclus of festivals.

STATISTICS OF COORG. 69

This is but a very imperfect sketch of Coorg-superetition. It may serve, however, to show the character of the monstrous beliefs (sit venia verbo), which have sprung up in the darkness of the Coorg-mind. The light of the truth, as it is in Christ, will cause all these rites and imaginations, the offspring of heathen dark-, ness, to vanish, to be forgotten as things of nought. May the sun hasten to rise!

STATISTICS OF COORG.

Being unable to give a precise account of the statistics of the country in reference to the Coorgs separately, I give what I have collected of the general accounts. The Coorgs are the principal land-holders of the country south and west of Mercara. They have from ancient times been lords of the soil, and still enjoy great privileges. They pay five per cent, of the produce of their own (Jamma) lands, while other lands are assessed at ten and sixteen and twenty per cent. Two hundred and some forty individuals are in Government employ, and their principal men hold the chief-offices of Subhedars and Parpatigaras. Only a few Brahmans, comparatively, have obtained situations of responsibility. The strong bond of clanship holds the men in office together in such a manner, that they form a compact body of paramount influence in the affairs of the country, and it has been hitherto the policy of the Government, to treat them with the utmost consideration. They are wealthy and of course contrive to take good care of their own interests. The amount of the salaries paid to Coorg-officials of all ranks is upwards of 20,000 rupees per annum. Besides upwards of 5000 rupees are annually paid for services in the Canarese insurrection of 1837, the largest share of which goes, I am told, to the relatives and friends of the persons high in office at that time. In addition to this, the Enam-lands granted on this and other occasions would yield upwards of eleven thousand rupees annually. There is no province in India, where a race of natives is fiscally as highly favored as the Coorgs in their principality. In former times they had, for their light assessment, to perform bodily service to their Rajahs, as has been stated in another place. These services have ceased with the accession of the Company to the Government of the country, but the great privileges of their ancient feudality have been continued to them. Under these circumstances they have every reason to be satisfied with their present condition, and I believe, they are fully aware, that the restoration, if it was possible, of the former Government would not be for their advantage, though, no doubt, the old men still feel something of the hereditary attachment to their own princes.

Coorg produces an annual rice-harvest of the value of upwards of seven lacs of rupees (7,00,000.) The rent paid for this produce of rice is under 1,20,000 Rupees. The whole net land revenue of the country, I have learned, amounted last year (1853) to a trifle above Rupees 1,26,000. The amount of the whole revenue of the year has been nearly Rupees 1,90,000. About sixty thousand Rupees accrue from the Abkari, the Sandalwood-sales, the Cardamom-tax, and other sources. The Rajahs used to make Rupees 80,000 per annum by the sale of Cardamoms which were considered Government property, like the Sandalwood. There were some Coorg-families, who cultivated Cardamom on their Jamma-lands, but they had to deliver their produce to the Government, which paid them at the rate of Rupees 20 per maund and sold it with the Government-Cardamom to the merchants of the western coast. The market-price of a maund of Cardamom varies from Rupees 25 to Rupees 40. This revenue under the Company's administration has dwindled

CORDAMOM-3EVENUE. GENERAL ACCOUNTS. 71

down to Rupees 8,000. The Coorgs have managed the affair very cleverly. After the Company had established itself in the country, it was found, that the Rajah's mode of collecting the Cardamom by forced labour was not admissible. The labour was paid. Soon it appeared, that the whole business was attended with great trouble, losses were sustained, the produce was not good and fell off. A change of management was considered advisable. Orders were given to put the Cardamom-plantations to auction. Influential men became Cardamom-farmers, and paid about one-tenth of what might have gone into the treasury. They made of course vast profits. The secret oozed out and, after some years, another auction took place. Bidders were most eager. Men bid 300 rupees where only 30 rupees had been paid by the former occupants. Some offered even more. The former men made room for new renters. But the expectants were disappointed. The gardens did not bear what they had done formerly or were reported to have done. Some of them gained nothing, others lost much. Another auction is expected to take plare, and it is yet to be seen, what the result will be. Those, who formerly had to sell their Cardamoms to the Rajah at rupees 20 per annum, have hitherto made the best of the good thing. It was proposed to tax them, but they said, the Cardamoms grew on their Jamma-larids, and they had never been taxed under the Rajahs. Literally true, essentially false, their protest has been allowed hitherto. The above revenue-account shows, why Coorg does not pay what it might. This is a pity.

A heavy item, viz. 85,000 Rs. goes to Benares for the Rajah and his superintendent, I believe. The rest is absorbed by the Government establishment. Nothing remains for the garrison of Mercara. Coorg has not a single road, except the two good high-roads leading from Hoonsoor to Mangalore and to Cannanore, which cut through Coorg, one from Fraserpett to Sampaji, the other from Titmafd to the Stony River. These roads have not been made for Coorg, and do not benefit Coorg very much. A. great road, from Perambatfi in the south to Korflipe«, or better to Manjarabad in the north, is required, to open to the country and connect its traffic with the other great arteries of trade running from east to west. A road from Mercara to Virarajendrapett is now in course of construction. Coorg does not pay. One feels inclined to say: make it pay! Tax the Coorgs higher, as Hyder did the Gaurfas, when he took the Manjarabad district. The people of that part of the Mysore, having no inclination to part with theix money, had frightened KrisAraaraja into concessions. In order to get his dues, the poor Rajah raised exciseimposts upon every thing imaginable, butter and ghee, wood and grass, houses and doors, but the people ceased to pay land-rent. When Hyder seized the country, he abolished at once all the vexatious and troublesome collections of small sums, and doubled the ancient land-tax by a single stroke of the pen, telling the people, he was not inclined, to be a gatherer of small taxes. "In former days," he said "you paid land-rent and had to follow the Rajahs into war. You may stay at home now. I keep the soldiery, you pay double the amount of the old land-tax, and we are both benefitted." Thus the Coorgs might now, for staying quietly at home, pay the common land-rent of Rupees 10, instead of Rs. 5. "That must not be; the Coorgs would not like it." Well, then, make Rs. 80,000 by the Cardamoms, as the Rajahs did. That will not do either. We only get Rs. 8,000 now. If the Government took Rs. 80,000, the Coorgs would not like it." I suppose, they would not. Well, then lay a tax upon Coffee. About half a lac of maunds,

« 이전계속 »