MOTURPHA, s. Hind. from Ar. muhtarafa, but according to C. P. B. mu’tarifa ; [rather Ar. muhtarifa, muhtarif, ‘an artizan’]. A name technically applied to a number of miscellaneous taxes in Madras and Bombay, such as were called sayer (q.v.), in Bengal.

[1813.—“Mohterefa. An artificer. Taxes, personal and professional, on artificers, merchants and others ; also on houses, implements of agriculture, looms, &c., a branch of the sayer.”—Gloss. 5th Report, s.v.

1826.—“…for example, the tax on merchants, manufacturers, &c. (called mohturfa).…”—Grant Duff, H. of the Mahrattas, 3rd ed. 356.]

MOULMEIN, n.p. This is said to be originally a Talaing name Mutmwoa-lem, syllables which mean (or may be made to mean) ‘one-eye-destroyed’ ; and to account for which a cock-and-bull legend is given (probably invented for the purpose) : “Tradition says that the city was founded …by a king with three eyes, having an extra eye in his forehead, but that by the machinations of a woman, the eye in his forehead was destroyed.…” (Mason’s Burmah, 2nd ed. p. 18). The Burmese corrupted the name into Maula-yaing, whence the foreign (probably Malay) form Maulmain. The place so called is on the opposite side of the estuary of the Salwin R. from Marcaban (q.v.), and has entirely superseded that once famous port. Moulmein, a mere site, was chosen as the headquarters of the Tenasserim provinces, when those became British in 1826 after the first Burmese War. It has lost political importance since the annexation of Pegu, 26 years later, but is a thriving city which numbered in 1881, 53, 107 inhabitants ; [in 1891, 55, 785].


MOUSE-DEER, s. The beautiful little creature, Meminna indica (Gray), [Tragulus meminna, the Indian Chevrotain (Blanford, Mammalia, 555),] found in various parts of India, and weighing under 6 lbs., is so called. But the name is also applied to several pigmy species of the genus Tragulus, found in the Malay regions, [where, according to Mr. Skeat, it takes in popular tradition the place of Brer Rabbit, outwitting even the tiger, elephant, and crocodile.] All belong to the family of Musk-deer.

MUCHÁN, s. Hind. machan, Dekh. manchan, Skt. mancha. An elevated platform ; such as the floor of huts among the Indo-Chinese races ; or a stage or scaffolding erected to watch a tiger, to guard a field, or what not.

c. 1662.—“As the soil of the country is very damp, the people do not live on the ground-floor, but on the machán, which is the name for a raised floor.”—Shihábuddín Tálish, by Blochmann, in J.A.S.B. xli. Pt. i. 84.

[1882.—“In a shady green mechan in some fine tree, watching at the cool of evening.…”—Sanderson, Thirteen Years, 3rd ed. 284.]

MUCHWA, s. Mahr. machwa, Hind. machua, machwa. A kind of boat or barge in use about Bombay.

MUCKNA, s. Hind. makhna, [which comes from Skt. matkuna, ‘a bug, a flea, a beardless man, an elephant without tusks’]. A male elephant without tusks or with only rudimentary tusks. These latter are familiar in Bengal, and still more so in Ceylon, where according to Sir S. Baker, “not more than one in 300 has tusks ; they are merely provided with short grubbers, projecting generally about 3 inches from the upper jaw, and about 2 inches in diameter.” (The Rifle and Hound in Ceylon, 11.) Sanderson (13 Years among the Wild Beasts of India, [3rd ed. 66]) says : “On the Continent of India mucknas, or elephants born without tusks, are decidedly rare…Mucknas breed in the herds, and the peculiarity is not hereditary or transmitted.” This author also states that out of 51 male elephants captured by him in Mysore and Bengal only 5 were mucknas. But the definition of a makhna in Bengal is that which we have given, including those animals which possess only feminine or rudimentary tusks, the ‘short grubbers’ of Baker ; and these latter can hardly be called rare among domesticated elephants. This may be partially due to a preference in purchasers.1 The same author derives the term from mukh, ‘face’

  By PanEris using Melati.

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