Fieldwork was carried out between September 1951 and August. 1952, and
during brief visits in 1953, with the aid of a Treasury Studentship in Foreign Languages
The Kōnāns were formerly called Idaiyans (fem. Idaicchi). The title 'Kōnan'
('king') has been adopted in an effort to raise the rank of the caste.
On my first day in the village the Brahmans held a meeting to discuss their
policy toward me. They agreed that I should be provided with a house rent-free,
given all possible facilities for my work and accorded hospitality in Brahman homes,
but that Brahmans should not pollute themselves by drinking coffee in my house.
The house priests (sāstrikals) fulfil this role among Brahmans.
Among Brahmans, excommunication traditionally meant that the offending
family was expelled from the subcaste and might have no further contact with its
members. Among the lower castes it merely involved the expulsion of offenders from
the village and their resettlement in some other village among kinsfolk.
K. R. Subramania Iyer 1928: 31. In the reign of Tu1jāji ( 1763-87),
however, the German missionary Schwartz was instrumental in the dismissal of
Brahman judges and ministers and their replacement by non-Brahmans.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Aspects of Caste in South India, Ceylon, and North-West Pakistan.
Contributors: E. R. Leach - Editor.
Publisher: University Press.
Place of publication: Cambridge.
Publication year: 1962.
Page number: 60.
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