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any one is in need of milk on that day they will let him milk the animal himself, but will take no price for the milk. On a Monday also they will not give fire from their house to any member of a low caste, such as a Mahār.
On the day of Diwāli they worship their cows, tying a bunch of wool to the animal's forehead and putting rice on it; they make a mud image of Govardhan, the mountain held up by Krishna as an umbrella to protect the people from the rain, and then let the cows trample it to pieces with their hoofs. bullock dies with the rope halter through its nose, the owner is put out of caste; this rule also obtains among the Ahirs and Gaulis, and is perhaps responsible for the objection felt in some localities to putting string through the nostrils of plough- and cart-bullocks, though it is the only means of obtaining any control over them.
Formerly the Hatkars burned the corpses only of men who died in battle or the chase or subsequently of their wounds, cremation being reserved for this honourable end. Others were buried sitting cross-legged, and a small piece of gold was placed in the mouth of the corpse. Now they either burn or bury the dead according to their means. Most of them at the time they were soldiers never allowed the hair on their face to be cut.
The Hatkars of Berār are said to be divided into three exogamous clans who apparently marry with each other, their names being Poli, Gurdi and Muski. In the Central Provinces they have a set of exogamous sections with titular names of a somewhat curious nature; among them are Hakkya, said to be so called because their ancestor was absent when his cow gave birth to a calf; Wakmar, one who left the Pangat or caste feast while his fellows were eating; and Polya, one who did not take off his turban at the feast.
Hijra, Khasua.? _The class of eunuchs, who form a separate community, recruited by the admission of persons born with this deformity or reduced to the like condition by amputation. In Saugor it is said that the Khasuas are natural and the Hijras artificial eunuchs, and the Khasuas
1 Partly based on a paper by Munshi Kanhaya Lāl of the Gazetteer Office.
deny that they admit Hijras into their society. They may be either Hindus or Muhammadans by birth, but all become Muhammadans. Children born in the condition of eunuchs are usually made over to the Khasuas by their parents. The caste are beggars, and also sing and dance at weddings and at the births of male children, and obtain presents of grain from the cultivators at seedtime and harvest. They wear female clothes and ornaments and assume the names of women. They are admitted to mosques, but have to stand behind the women, and in Saugor they have their own mosque. They observe Muhammadan rites and festivals generally, and are permitted to smoke from the huqqas of other Muhammadans. They are governed by a caste panchāyat or committee, which imposes fines but does not expel any member from the community. Each Khasua has a beat or locality reserved to him for begging and no other may infringe on it, violations of this rule being punished by the committee. Sometimes a well-to-do Khasua adopts an orphan and celebrates the child's marriage with as much expense and display as he can afford, and the Kāzi officiates at the ceremony.
The Hijras form apparently a separate group, and the following account of them is mainly taken from the Bombay Gazetteer.1 In Gujarāt they are the emasculated male votaries of the goddess Bouchera or Behechra, a sister of Devi. She is the spirit of a martyred Chāran or Bhāt woman. Some Chāran women were travelling from Sulkhunpur in Gujarāt when they were attacked and plundered by Kolis. One of the women, of the name of Bouchera, snatched a sword from a boy who attended her and with it cut off both her breasts. She immediately perished, and was deified and worshipped as a form of Devi in the Chunwāl. The Hijras usually mutilate themselves in the performance of a religious vow, sometimes taken by the mother as a means of obtaining children, and in rare cases by the boy himself to obtain recovery by the favour of the goddess from a dangerous illness.8 Hence it is clear that
2 Råsmāla, ii. p. 90.
1 Muhammadans of Gujarāt, by Khān Bahādur Fazalullah Lutfullah Faridi, pp. 21, 22.
3 Faridi, ibidem.
they worship Boucheraji on the ground that she obtained divine honours by self-mutilation and should enable her votaries to do the same. But the real reason for the Chāran woman cutting off her breasts was no doubt that her ghost might haunt and destroy the Koli robbers, in accordance with the usual practice of the Chārans. further fulfilment of their vow the Hijras pull out the hair of their beards and moustaches, bore their ears and noses for female ornaments, and affect female speech and manners. The meaning of the vow would appear to be that the mother sacrifices her great blessing of a boy child and transforms him after a fashion into a girl, at the same time devoting him to the service of the goddess. Similarly, as a much milder form of the same idea, a mother whose sons have died will sometimes bore the nose of a later-born son and put a small nose-ring in it to make believe he is a girl. But in this case the aim is also partly to cheat the goddess or the evil spirits who cause the death of children, and make them think the boy is a girl and therefore not worth taking.
The rite of mutilation is described by Mr. Faridi as follows: “The initiation takes place at the temple of the goddess Behechra about 60 miles from Ahmadābād, where the neophyte repairs under the guardianship or adoption of some older member of the brotherhood. The lad is called the daughter of the old Hijra his guardian. The emasculation is a secret rite and takes place under the direction of the chief Hijra priest of Behechra. It is said that the operation and initiation are held in a house with closed doors, where all the Hijras meet in holiday dress. A special dish of fried pastry is cooked, and the neophyte is bathed, dressed in red female attire, decked with flowergarlands and seated on a stool in the middle of the room, while the others sing to the accompaniment of a small drum and copper cymbals. Another room is prepared for the operation, soft ashes being spread on the floor and piled in a heap in the centre. When the time for the operation approaches, the neophyte is led to the room and is made to lie on his back on the ash-heap. The operator approaches
1 See article on Bhāt.
chewing betel-leaf. The hands and legs of the neophyte are firmly held by some one of the fraternity, and the operator, carelessly standing near with an unconcerned air, when he finds the attention of his patient otherwise occupied, with great dexterity and with one stroke completely cuts off the genital organs.
He spits betel and areca juice on the wound and staunches the bleeding with a handful of the ashes of the babüll The operation is dangerous and not uncommonly fatal.” Another method is to hold the organs in a cleft bamboo and slice them off. The Hijras are beggars like the Khasuas, and sometimes become very importunate. Soon after the birth of a child in Gujarāt the hated Hijras or eunuchs crowd round the house for gifts. If the demand of one of them is refused the whole rank and file of the local fraternity besiege the house with indecent clamour and gesture. Their claim to alms rests, as with other religious mendicants, in the sacred character which attaches to them. In Bombay there is also a belief that the god Hanumān cries out once in twelve years, and that those men who hear him are transformed into eunuchs.2 Some of them make money by allowing spectators to look at the mutilated part of their body, and also by the practice of pederasty.
Homosexual practices are believed to be distinctly rare among Hindus, and not common among Muhammadans of the Central Provinces. For this the early age of marriage may probably be considered a principal cause. The Hindu sacred books, however, do not attach severe penalties to this offence. According to the Laws of Manu, a twice-born man who commits an unnatural offence with a male, or has intercourse with a female in a cart drawn by oxen, in water or in the daytime, shall bathe, dressed in his clothes; and all these are reckoned as minor offences." 3 In his Origin and Development of the Moral Ideas Dr. Westermarck shows that, apart from the genuine cases of sexual perversion, as to the frequency of which opinions differ, homosexual love frequently arises in three conditions
1 Acacia arabica.
2 The late Mr. A. M. T. Jackson's notes, Ind. Ant., August 1912, p. 56.
3 Laws of Manu, xi. p. 175, quoted in The Origin and Development of the Moral Ideas, ii. p. 476.
of society. These are, when women are actually scarce, as among the Australian aborigines and other primitive races; when the men are frequently engaged in war or in predatory expeditions and are separated from their wives for long periods, a condition which accounts for its prevalence among the Sikhs and Pathāns; and lastly, when women are secluded and uneducated and hence their society affords little intellectual pleasure to men. This was the case in ancient Greece where women received no education and had no place at the public spectacles which were the chief means of culture ;' and the same reason probably accounts for the frequency of the vice among the Persians and modern Egyptians. “So also it seems that the ignorance and dulness of Muhammadan women, which is a result of their total lack of education and their secluded life, is a cause of homosexual practices; Moors are sometimes heard to defend pederasty on the plea that the company of boys, who have always news to tell, is so much more entertaining than the company
of women.” The Christian Church in this as in other respects has set a very high standard of sexual morality. Unnatural crimes were regarded with peculiar horror in the Middle Ages, and the punishments for them in English law were burying and burning alive, though these were probably seldom or never enforced. 3 The attitude of the Church, which was reflected in the civil law, was partly inherited from the Jews of the Old Testament, and reinforced by similar conditions in mediaeval society. In both cases this crime was especially associated with the heathen and heretics, as shown in Dr. Westermarck's interesting account:
According to Genesis, unnatural vice was the sin of a people who were not the Lord's people, and the Levitical legislation represents Canaanitish abominations as the chief reason why the Canaanites were exterminated. Now we know that sodomy entered as an element in their religion. Besides kedēshoth, or female prostitutes, there were kedēshim or male prostitutes, attached to their temples. The word
1 Westermarck, The Origin and Development of the Moral Ideas, ii. p. 470.
2 Ibidem, ii. p. 471.