The Toda Tribe

The Toda tribe are a small tribe residing in the Nilgiris, hills of South India. Living in munds, the women of this tribe spend all their day time weaving. Trekking through the jungle, in return for beautiful stories and black tea, here’s a glimpse of this dwindling anthropological wonder:

Toda temple habitat
Toda Habitat

The red shawl-wrap is a family heirloom passed on through weddings. Their language is a marriage of South India and France. Women wear their weave with pride.

Red Shawl for Tribal Weddings
Family Heirloom Passed on through Marriage

The Toda dress consists of a single piece of cloth, which is worn like shalya wrap over a dhoti for men and as a skirt for women along with shalya wrap. The symbols from traditional costumes are very old and similar to those worn in ancient India, according to surviving representations.

Weaving constitutes a major part of their day

Group of men laugh off the simplicity of their days, perched atop hills. Little boys chase tyres with plain sticks. Women of all ages share and adopt the tribal skill of weaving.

The Toda Weave
The Toda weave is this woman’s pride

To visit this friendly community, pay attention to ‘No Trespassing’ signs on the hills, lookout for a smiling face that’s walking past the sign and ask if they know how to get to where the Toda tribe live. They’ll be glad to take you and you are guaranteed an adventure.