taught, and having no caste prejudices. They require some little
coaxing to get them underground for the first time ; but they soon
acquire confidence. Men, women, and children, all work ; the men
getting about four annas a day, and the women two annas and a half.
They will undertake any kind of labour, and will ultimately prove very
serviceable in reduction works. They will stay some eight or nine
months in the district, and will then want to go home.
The Moplahs belong
to several tribes of the Malabar coast, where they are in a condition
of semi-slavery to the landowners and wealthier men of their villages.
I was informed that they are greatly oppressed, and glad when they can
manage to escape from this state of bondage. There is some hope that
these people will ultimately migrate in a body to the Wynaad. At
present they only stay a few weeks, and are, therefore, seldom taken
on, except in emergencies. They are not better labourers than the
Canarese; but have secured a higher tariff of pay, as they get five
annas a day.*
Two other classes of labourers deserve mention. The Wuddurs, or
earth contractors and stone workers. These men come from the Malabar
side below the Ghats. They will not touch timber, and are never
The gentleman from whom I received these particulars has been a
resident in the Wynaad for many years, and is thoroughly familiar with
the natives who are employed in the district.