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These persons of the organization and old men of the settlement form the council which takes decisions. All types of quarrels, problems between husband and wife, between father and mother come before this council. The council after hearing the case imposes a maximum fine of Rs. 5/-. The fine amount thus collected is distributed between mu:pa and concerned cemmi in Paniya Yeravas, and among kañala:i, kun-juka:re, karimi (1), karilni (2) and the concerned commakare only among Panjiri Yeravas. It is said that even in public elections, the kañala:i or mu:pa decides the person to whom the voters of the hamlet should vote.


1.6 Material culture
1.6.1   House

The typical Yerava house, described by Krishna Iyer (1948) as thatched hut, with walls of split bamboos plastered with mud, has vanished with time. Now, the plantations in which the Yeravas work provide them with 'lines', that is, row of low cost one room houses. An Yerava can stay in that house as long as he works in the concerned plantation. The Yeravas who work in forest as labourers under the forest officials are provided with 'Janata' house, which is also an one room house. Both, 'Janata' and 'line' houses have tiled roof. However, the Yeravas in the forest are in the habit of heaping dry paddy grass on the tiled roof. The practice may be due to the fact that they are unable to replace the broken tiles if any. But Yeravas of 'line' houses do not do so. This may be so because the owners of their houses are capable of replacing the broken tiles.

The Paniya Yeravas call their house as pire and Panjiri Yeravas call their house as kuu. A kuu is smaller than a pire. A kuu may be made of only split bamboos without mud plaster or made of only unburnt bricks. But pire is normally made of unburnt bricks. The kuu with only split bamboos is still smaller than the one with bricks.

The investigator had an opportunity to observe the process and materials that go into the construction of a pire at Santapura. A platform of nearly 20 feet length and 15 feet breadth is constructed first with mud, which is nearly of 1 to 1 l/2 feet height. Four hard pillar like wooden poles are erected on the platform, leaving 3-4 feet vacant space in front of the house. After this, with supporting horizontal wooden poles, the ceiling is covered with dry paddy grass (hay), for 3"-4" thickness. The ceiling covers also the open pavement left outside. A wall around the pire for nearly two feet is constructed with hand made unburnt bricks. The hard clay is dug and mixed with water to prepare a brick like element of nearly 10" X 9" X 4" thickness. The same is dried for a week. Since only the family members devote time and labour for the construction of the house, at a time they can prepare only 20-25 bricks. The 2 feet wall around the pire is constructed by placing bricks and above the other, using clay mud as plastering material, the family moves into the house once the construction of the brick walls reaches a height of 2-3 feet As and when the time is found, the bricks are prepared. and slowly the house is completed. Yet nearly one foot of the wall is left unbuilt on the top. One foot space is left between roof and the wall for air and light passage. There are no windows in the pire. Inside the pire a partition wall of 3 feet height is built to separte apart of the house for cooking purpose. The pavement outside the house is used by Yeravas to sit, chat, relax and for sleeping.

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