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THE ABORIGINES OF CENTRAL INDIA.
AT the close of last year I had the honour to submit to the Society a summary view of the affinities of the sub-Himálayan aborigines. I have now the honour to submit a similar view of the affinities of the aborigines of Central India. The extra copies of the former paper which were sent to me by the Society I forwarded to Colonels Ouseley and Sleeman, to Major Napleton, Mr. Elliot of Madras, and other gentlemen, with a request that they would get the vocabulary filled up from the languages of the several aborigines of their respective neighbourhoods. The three former gentlemen have obligingly attended to my wishes, and I am assured that Mr. Elliot also is busy with the work. Of the seven languages which I now forward the comparative vocabulary of, the three first came from Chyebossa, where Colonel Ouseley's assistant, Captain Haughton, prepared them; the fourth and fifth direct from Colonel Ouseley himself at Chota Nagpur; the sixth from Bhaugalpur, prepared by the Rev. Mr. Hurder; and the seventh from Jabbalpur, where Colonel Sleeman's principal assistant drew it up for me.
The affinities of these tongues are very striking, so much so that the five first may be safely denominated dialects of the great Kól language; and through the U'ráon speech we trace without difficulty the further connection of the language of the Kóles with that of the "hill men" of the Rajmahal and Bhaugalpur ranges. Nor are there wanting obvious links between the several tongues above enumerated-all which we may class under the head Kól-and that of the Gónds of the Vindhia, whose speech again has been lately shown by Mr. Elliot to have much resemblance both in vocables and structure to the cultivated tongues of the Deccan. Thus we are already rapidly approaching to the realisation of the hypothesis put forth in my essay on the Koch, Bódó, and Dhimal, to wit, that all the
Tamulians of India have a common fountain and origin, like all the Arians; and that the innumerable diversities of spoken language characterising the former race are but the more or less superficial effects of their long and utter dispersion and segregation, owing to the savage tyranny of the latter race in days. when the rights of conquest were synonymous with a license to destroy, spoil, and enslave. That the Arian population of India descended into it about 3000 years ago from the northwest as conquerors, and that they completely subdued all the open and cultivated parts of Hindostan, Bengal, and the most adjacent tracts of the Deccan, but failed to extend their effective sway and colonisation further south, are quasi-historical deductions† confirmed daily more and more by the results of ethnological research. And we thus find an easy and natural explanation of the facts that in the Deccan, where the original tenants of the soil have been able to hold together in possession of it, the aboriginal languages exhibit a deal of integrity and refinement, whilst in the north, where the pristine population has been hunted into jungly and malarious recesses, the aboriginal tongues are broken into innumerable rude and shapeless fragments. Nevertheless those fragments may yet be brought together by large and careful induction; for modern ethnology has actually accomplished elsewhere yet more brilliant feats than this, throwing upon the great antehistoric movements of nations a light as splendid as useful. But if I hold forth, beforehand, the probable result of this investigation in the shape of a striking hypothesis in order to stimulate the painstaking accumulator of facts, and even intimate that our present materials already offer the most encouraging earnest of success, I trust that the whole tenor and substance of my essay on the Koch, Bódó, and Dhimál will suffice to assure all candid persons that I am no advocate for sweeping conclusions from insufficient premises, and that I desire to see the ethnology of India conducted upon the most extended scale, with careful weighing of every available item of evidence that is calculated to demonstrate the unity, or otherwise, of the Tamulian race.
• Telingana, Gujerat, and Maharashtra, or the Maratta country.
+ Brachmanes nomen gentis diffusissimæ cujus maxima pars in montibus (Ariana Cabul) degit, reliqui circa Gangem. Cellarius, Geogr.
This unity can, of course, only touch the grander classifications of language, and be analogous to that which aggregates, for example, Sanscrit, Greek, Teutonic, and Celtic.
COMPARATIVE VOCABULARY OF THE ABORIGINAL LANGUAGES OF CENTRAL INDIA.
3. Bhúmij. 4. U'ráon.
I. Sinhbhum Kol.
• A misapplication, probably, of the Hindi word for sleep or sleepy.