COLUMBO ROOT, CALUMBA ROOT, is stated by Milburn (1813) to be a staple export from Mozambique, being in great esteem as a remedy for dysentery, &c. It is Jateorhiza palmata, Miers; and the name Kalumb is of E. African origin (Hanbury and Flückiger, 23). [The N.E.D. takes it from Colombo, ‘under a false impression that it was supplied from thence.’] The following quotation is in error as to the name:

c. 1779.—“Radix Colombo … derives its name from the town of Columbo, from whence it is sent with the ships to Europe(?); but it is well known that this root is neither found near Columba, nor upon the whole island of Ceylon. …”—Thunberg, Travels, iv. 185.

1782.—“Any person having a quantity of fresh sound Columbia Root to dispose of, will please direct a line. …”—India Gazette, Aug. 24.

[1809.—“An Account of the Male Plant, which furnishes the Medicine generally called Columbo or Colomba Root.”—Asiat. Res. x. 385 seqq.]

1850.—“Caoutchouc, or India-rubber, is found in abundance … (near Tette) … and calumba- root is plentiful. … The India-rubber is made into balls for a game resembling ‘fives,’ and calumba-root is said to be used as a mordant for certain colours, but not as a dye itself.”—Livingstone, Expedition to the Zambezi, &c., p. 32.

COMAR, n.p. This name (Ar. al-Kumar), which appears often in the old Arab geographers, has been the subject of much confusion among modern commentators, and probably also among the Arabs themselves; some of the former (e.g. the late M. Re inaud) confounding it with C. Comorin, others with Kamrup (or Assam). The various indications, e.g. that it was on the continent, and facing the direction of Arabia, i.e. the west; that it produced most valuable aloes-wood; that it lay a day’s voyage, or three days’ voyage, west of Sanf or Champa (q.v.), and from ten to twenty days’ sa il from Zabaj (or Java), together with the name, identify it with Camboja, or Khmer, as the native name is (see Reinaud, Rel. des Arabes, i. 97, ii. 48, 49; Gildemeister, 156 seqq.; Ibn Batuta, iv. 240; Abulfeda, Cathay and the Way Thither, 519, 569). Even the sagacious De Orta is misled by the Arabs, and confounds alcomari with a product of Cape Comorin (see Colloquios, f. 120v.).

CÓMATY, s. Telug. and Canar. komati, ‘a trader,’ [said to be derived from Skt. go, ‘eye,’ mushti, ‘fist,’ from their vigilant habits]. This is a term used chiefly in the north of the Madras Presidency, and corresponding to Chetty, [which the males assume as an affix].

1627.—“The next Tribe is there termed Committy, and these are generally the Merchants of the Place who by themselves or their servants, travell into the Countrey, gathering up Callicoes from the weavers, and other commodities, which they sell againe in greater parcels.”—Purchas, Pilgrimage, 997.

[1679.—“There came to us the Factory this day a Dworfe an Indian of the Comitte Cast, he was he said 30 years old … we measured him by the rule 46 inches high, all his limbs and his body streight and equall proportioned, of comely face, his speech small equalling his stature. …”—Streynsham Master, in Kistna Man. 142.

[1869.—“Komatis.” See quotation under CHUCKLER.]

COMBACONUM, n.p., written Kumbakonam. Formerly the seat of the Chola dynasty. Col. Branfill gives, as the usual derivation, Skt. Kumbhakona, ‘brim of a water-pot’; [the Madras Gloss. Skt. kumbha, kona, ‘lane’] and this form is given in Williams’s Skt. Dict. as ‘name of a town.’ The fact that an idol in the Saiva temple at Combaconam is called Kumbhesvaram (‘Lord of the water-pot’) may possibly be a justification of this etymology. But see general remarks on S. Indian names in the Introduction.

COMBOY. A sort of skirt or kilt of white calico, worn by Singhalese of both sexes, much in the same way as the Malay Sarong. The derivation which Sir E. Tennent (Ceylon, i. 612, ii. 107) gives of the word is quite inadmissible. He finds that a Chinese author describes the people of Ceylon as wearing a cloth made of koo-pei, i.e. of cotton; and he assumes therefore that those people call their own dress by a Chinese name for cotton! The word, however, is not real Singhalese; and we can have no doubt that it is the proper name Cambay. Paños de Cãbaya are mentioned early as used in Ceylon (Castanheda,

  By PanEris using Melati.

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