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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 babill." 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 Gujarat 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.” 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.”” 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
* Acacia arabica. * Laws of Manu, xi. p. 175, quoted * The late Mr. A. M. T. Jackson's in The Origin and Development of the notes, Ind. Ant., August 1912, p. 56. Moral Ideas, ii. p. 476.
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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 Pathâns; 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.” 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 kedashöth, or female prostitutes, there were kedashim or male prostitutes, attached to their temples. The word
* Westermarck, The Origin and * Ibidem, ii. p. 471. Development of the Moral Ideas, ii. * Ibidem, ii. pp. 481, 482. p. 470. * Abidem, ii. pp. 487-489.
kddés/z, translated ‘Sodomite,’ properly denotes a man dedicated to a deity; and it appears that such men were consecrated to the mother of the gods, the famous Dea Syria, whose priests or devotees they were considered to be. The male devotees of this and other goddesses were probably in a position analogous to that occupied by the female devotees of certain gods, who also, as we have seen, have developed into libertines; and the sodomitic acts committed with these temple prostitutes may, like the connections with priestesses, have had in view to transfer blessings to the worshippers. In Morocco supernatural benefits are expected not only from heterosexual, but also from homosexual intercourse with a holy person. The kedés/zim are frequently alluded to in the Old Testament, especially in the period of the monarchy, when rites of foreign origin made their way into both Israel and Judah. And it is natural that the Yahveh worshipper should regard their practices with the utmost horror as forming part of an idolatrous cult.
“The Hebrew conception of homosexual love to some extent affected Muhammadanism, and passed into Christianity. The notion that it is a form of sacrilege was here strengthened by the habits of the Gentiles. St. Paul found the abominations of Sodom prevalent among nations who had ‘changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the creator.’ During the Middle Ages heretics were accused of unnatural vice as a matter of course. Indeed, so closely was sodomy associated with heresy that the same name was applied to both. In La Coutume de T ouraine-Anjou the word
used in the sense of ‘sodomite’; and the French bougre (from the Latin Bulgarus, Bulgarian), as also its English synonym, was originally a name given to a sect of heretics who came from Bulgaria in the eleventh century and was afterwards applied to other heretics, but at the same time it became the regular expression for a person guilty of unnatural intercourse. In mediaeval laws sodomy was also repeatedly mentioned together with heresy, and the punishment was the same for both. It thus remained a religious offence of the first order. It was not only a ‘vitium nefandum et super omnia detestandum,’ but it was one of the four ‘clamantia peccata,’ or crying sins, a ‘crime de Majestie, vers le Roy celestre.’ Very naturally, therefore, it has come to be regarded with somewhat greater leniency by law and public opinion in proportion as they have emancipated themselves from theological doctrines. And the fresh light which the scientific study of the sexual impulse has lately thrown upon the subject of homosexuality must also necessarily influence the moral ideas relating to it, in so far as no scrutinising judge can fail to take into account the pressure which a powerful non-volitional desire exercises upon an agent’s will.”
Ho1ia.1—A low caste of drummers and leather-workers who claim to be degraded Golars or Telugu Ahirs, under which caste most of the Holias seem to have returned themselves in 1901.? The Holias relate the following story of their origin. Once upon a time two brothers, Golar by caste, set out in search of service, having with them a bullock. On the way the elder brother went to worship his tutelary deity Holiari Deva ; but while he was doing so the bullock accidentally died, and the ceremony could not be proceeded with until the carcase was removed. Neither a Chamar nor anybody else could be got to do this, so at length the younger brother was prevailed upon by the elder one to take away the body. When he returned, the elder brother would not touch him, saying that he had lost his caste. The younger brother resigned himself to his fate and called himself Holu, after the god whom he had been worshipping at the time he lost his caste. His descendants were named Holias. But he prayed to the god to avenge him for the treachery of his brother, and from that moment misfortunes commenced to shower upon the Golar until he repented and made what reparation he could; and in memory of this, whenever a Golar dies, the Holias are feasted by the other Golars to the present day. The story indicates a connection between the
1 This article is compiled from a returned as against more than 4000 in paper by Mr. Babu Rao, Deputy In- I89I; but, on the other hand, in 1901 specter of Schools, Seoni District. the number of Golars was double that
2 In this year only 33 Holias were of the previous census.
castes, and it is highly probable that the Holias are a degraded class of Golars who took to the trade of tanning and leatherworking. When a Holia goes to a Golar’s house he must be asked to come in and sit down or the Golar will be put out of caste ; and when a Golar dies the house must be purified by a Holia. The caste is a very numerous one in Madras. Here the Holia is superior only to the Madiga or Chamar.1 In the Central Provinces they are held to be impure and to rank below the Mahars, and they live on the outskirts of the village. Their caste customs resemble generally those of the Golars. They believe their traditional occupation to be the playing of leathern drums, and they still follow this trade, and also make slippers and leather thongs for agricultural purposes. But they must not make or mend shoes on pain of excommunication from caste. They are of middle stature, dark in colour, and very dirty in their person and habits. Like the Golars, the Holias speak a dialect of Canarese, which is known as Golari, Holia or Komtau. Mr. Thurston gives the following interesting particulars about the Holias : 2 “ If a man of another caste enters the house of a Mysore Holia, the owner takes care to tear the intruder’s cloth, and turn him out. This will avert any evil which might have befallen him. It is said that Brahmans consider great luck will wait upon them if they can manage to pass through a Holia village unmolested. Should a Brahman attempt to enter their quarters, the Holias turn him out, and slipper him, in former times it is said to death.”
Injhwir.”-—A caste of agricultural labourers and fishermen found in the Maratha tract of the Wainganga Valley, comprised in the Bhandara and Balaghat Districts. In 1901 they numbered 8500 persons as against 11,000 in 1891. The name Injhwar is simply a Marathi corruption of Binjhwar, as is for bis (twenty) and Ithoba for Bithoba or Vithoba. In his Census Report of 1891 Sir Benjamin Robertson remarked that the name was often entered in the census books as Vinjhwar, and in Marathi B and are practically
1 Ill)/:ore Cen:us Report(I89I), p.
India, p. 2 58.
3 This article is principally based on information collected by Mr, Hira Lil in Bhandira.
1. Origin of the caste.