COSSIMBAZAR, n.p. Properly Kasimbazar. A town no longer existing, which closely adjoined the city of Murshidabad, but preceded the latter. It was the site of one of the most important factories of the East India Company in their mercantile days, and was indeed a chief centre of all foreign trade in Bengal during the 17th century. [“In 1658 the Company established a factory at Cossimbazaar, ‘Castle Bazaar.’”—(Birdwood Rep. on Old Rec. 219.)] Fryer (1673) calls it Castle Buzzar (p. 38).

1665.—“That evening I arrived at Casen-Basar, where I was welcom’d by Menheir Arnold van Wachtendonk, Director of all Holland-Factories in Bengal.”—Tavernier, E.T., ii. 56; [ed. Ball, i. 131. Bernier (E.T. p. 141; ed. Constable, 440) has Kassem-Bazar; in the map, p. 454, Kasem-bazar.]

1676.—“Kassembasar, a Village in the Kingdom of Bengala, sends abroad every year two and twenty thousand Bales of Silk; every Bale weighing a hunder’d pound.”—Tavernier, E.T. ii. 126; [Ball, ed. ii. 2].

[1678.—“Cassumbazar.” See quotation under DADNY.]

COSSYA, n.p. More properly Kasia, but now officially Khasi; in the language of the people themselves ki-Kasi, the first syllable being a prefix denoting the plural. The name of a hill people of Mongoloïd character, occupying the mountains immediately north of Silhet in Eastern Bengal. Many circumstances in relation to this people are of high interest, such as their practice, down to our own day, of erecting rude stone monuments of the menhir and dolmen kind , their law of succession in the female line, &c. Shillong, the modern seat of administration of the Province of Assam, and lying midway between the proper valley of Assam and the plain of Silhet, both of which are comprehended in that government, is in the Kasia country, at a height of 4,900 feet above the sea. The Kasias seem to be the people encountered near Silhet by Ibn Batuta as mentioned in the quotation:

c. 1346.—“The people of these mountains resemble Turks (i.e. Tartars), and are very strong labourers, so that a slave of their race is worth several of another nation.”—Ibn Batuta, iv. 216. [See KHASYA.]

1780.—“The first thing that struck my observation on entering the arena was the similarity of the dresses worn by the different tribes of Cusseahs or native Tartars, all dressed and armed agreeable to the custom of the country or mountain from whence they came.”—Hon. R. Lindsay, in Lives of the Lindsays, iii. 182.

1789.—“We understand the Cossyahs who inhabit the hills to the north-westward of Sylhet, have committed some very daring acts of violence.”—In Seton-Karr, ii. 218.

1790.—“Agreed and ordered, that the Trade of Sylhet…be declared entirely free to all the natives…under the following Regulations:—1st. That they shall not supply the Cossyahs or other Hill-people with Arms, Ammunition or other articles of Military store.…”—In Seton-Karr, ii. 31.


COT s. A light bedstead. There is a little difficulty about the true origin of this word. It is universal as a sea-term, and in the South of India. In Northern India its place has been very generally taken by charpoy (q.v.), and cot, though well understood, is not in such prevalent European use as it formerly was, except as applied to barrack furniture, and among soldiers and their families. Words with this last characteristic have very frequently been introduced from the south. There are, however, both in north and south, vernacular words which may have led to the adoption of the term cot in their respective localities. In the north we have H. khat and khatwa, both used in this sense, the latter also in Sanskrit; in the south, Tam. and Malayal. kattil, a form adopted by the Portuguese. The quotations show, however, no Anglo-Indian use of the word in any form but cot.

The question of origin is perhaps further perplexed by the use of quatre as a Spanish term in the West Indies (see Tom Cringle below). A Spanish lady tells us that catre, or catre de tigera (“scissors-cot”) is applied to a bedstead with X-trestles. Catre is also common Portuguese for a wooden bedstead, and is found as such in a dictionary of 1611. These forms, however, we shall hold to be of Indian origin; unless it can be shown that they are older in Spain and Portugal than the 16th century. The form quatre has a curious analogy (probably accidental) to charpai.

1553.—“The Camarij (Zamorin) who was at the end of a house, placed on a bedstead, which they call catle.…”—De Barros, Dec. I. liv. iv. cap. viii.

1557.—“The king commanded his men to furnish a tent on that spot, where the interview was to take place, all carpeted inside with very rich tapestries, and fitted

  By PanEris using Melati.

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