COOMKEE, adj., used as sub. This is a derivative from P. kumak, ‘aid,’ and must have been widely diffused in India, for we find it specialised in different senses in the extreme West and East, besides having in both the general sense of ‘auxiliary.’

[(a) In the Moghul army the term is used for auxiliary troops.

[c. 1590.—“Some troops are levied occasionally to strengthen the munsubs, and they are called Kummeky (or auxiliaries).”—Gladwin, Ayeen Akbery, ed. 1800, i. 188; in Blochmann, i. 232, Kumakis.

[1858.—“The great landholders despise them (the ordinary levies) but respect the Komukee corps.…”—Sleeman, Journey through Oudh, i. 30.]
(b) Kumaki, in N. and S. Canara, is applied to a defined portion of forest, from which the proprietor of the village or estate has the privilege of supplying himself with wood for house-building, &c. (except from the reserved kinds of wood), with leaves and twigs for manure, fodder, &c. (See COOMRY). [The system is described by Sturrock, Man. S. Canara, i. 16, 224 seqq.]

(c). Koomkee, in Bengal, is the technical name of the female elephant used as a decoy in capturing a male.

1807.—“When an elephant is in a proper state to be removed from the Keddah, he is conducted either by koomkies (i.e. decoy females) or by tame males.”—Williamson, Oriental Field Sports, folio ed., p. 30.

[1873.—“It was an interesting sight to see the captive led in between two khoonkies or tame elephants.”—Cooper, Mishmee Hills, 88.

[1882.—“Attached to each elephant hunting party there must be a number of tame elephants, or Koonkies, to deal with the wild elephants when captured.”—Sanderson, Thirteen Years, 70.]

COOMRY, s. [Can. kumari, from Mahr. kumbari, ‘a hill slope of poor soil.’] Kumari cultivation is the S. Indian (especially in Canara), [Sturrock, S. Canara Man. i. 17], appellation of that system pursued by hill-people in many parts of India and its frontiers, in which a certain tract of forest is cut down and burnt, and the ground planted with crops for one or two seasons, after which a new site is similarly treated. This system has many names in different regions; in the east of Bengal it it known as jhum (see JHOOM); in Burma as tounggyan; [in parts of the N.W.P. dahya, Skt. daha, ‘burning’; ponam in Malabar; ponacaud in Salem]. We find kumried as a quasi-English participle in a document quoted by the High Court, Bombay, in a judgment dated 27th January, 1879, p. 227.

1883.—“Kumaki (Coomkee) and Kumari privileges stand on a very different platform. The former are perfectly reasonable, and worthy of a civilised country.…As for Kumari privileges, they cannot be defended before the tribunal of reason as being really good for the country, but old custom is old custom, and often commands the respect of a wise government even when it is indefensible.”—Mr. Grant Duff’s Reply to an Address at Mangalore, 15th October.

COONOOR, n.p. A hill-station in the Neilgherries. Kunnur, ‘Hill-Town.’ [The Madras Gloss. gives Can. Kunnuru, Skt. kunna, ‘small,’ Can. uru, ‘village.’]

COORG, n.p. A small hill State on the west of the table-land of Mysore, in which lies the source of the Cauvery, and which was annexed to the British Government, in consequence of cruel misgovernment in 1834. The name is a corruption of Kodagu, of which Gundert says: “perhaps from kodu, ‘steep,’ or Tamil kadaga, ‘west.’ ” [For various other speculations on the derivation, see Oppert, Original Inhabit., 162 seqq. The Madras Gloss. seems to refer it to Skt. krodadesa, ‘hog-land,’ from “the tradition that the inhabitants had nails on hands and feet like a boar.”] Coorg is also used for a native of the country, in which case it stands for Kudaga.

COORSY, s. H.—from Ar.—kursí [which is used for the stand on which the Koran is laid]. It is the word usually employed in Western India for ‘a chair,’ and is in the Bengal Presidency a more dignified term than chauki (see CHOKY). Kursi is the Arabic form, borrowed from the Aramaic, in which the emphatic state is kurseeya. But in Hebrew the word possesses a more original form with ss for rs (kisse, the usual word in the O. T. for ‘a throne’). The original sense appears to be ‘a covered seat.’

1781.—“It happened, at this time, that the Nawaub was seated on his koorsi, or chair, in a garden, beneath a banyan tree.”—Hist. of Hydur Naik, 452.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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