TALEE, s. Tam. tali. A small trinket of gold which is fastened by a string round the neck of a married woman in S. India. It may be a curious question whether the word may not be an adaptation from the Ar. tahlil, “qui signifie proprement: prononcer la formule lâ ilâha illâ ’llâh.…Cette formule, écrite sur un morceau de papier, servait d’amulette…le tout était renfermé dans un étui auquel on donnait le nom de tahlil” (Dozy & Engelmann, 346). These Mahommedan tahlils were worn by a band, and were the origin of the Span. word tali, ‘a baldrick.’ [But the talee is a Hindu, not a Mahommedan ornament, and there seems no doubt that it takes its name from Skt. tala, ‘the palmyra’ (see TALIPOT), it being the original practice for women to wear this leaf dipped in saffron-water (Mad. Gloss, s.v. Logan, Malabar, i. 134.] The Indian word appears to occur first in Abraham Rogerius, but the custom is alluded to by early writers, e.g. Gouvea, Synodo, f. 43v.

1651.—“So the Bridegroom takes this Tali, and ties it round the neck of his bride.”—Rogerius, 45.

1672.—“Among some of the Christians there is also an evil custom, that they for the greater tightening and fast-making of the marriage bond, allow the Bridegroom to tie a Tali or little band round the Bride’s neck; although in my time this was as much as possible denounced, seeing that it is a custom derived from Heathenism.”—Baldaeus, Zeylon (German), 408.

1674.—“The bridegroom attaches to the neck of the bride a line from which hang three little pieces of gold in honour of the three gods: and this they call Tale; and it is the sign of being a married woman.”—Faria y Sousa, Asia Port., ii. 707.

1704.—“Praeterea, quum moris hujus Regionis sit, ut infantes sex vel septem annorum, interdum etiam in teneriori aetate, ex genitorum consensu, matrimonium indissolubile de praesenti contrahant, per impositionem Talii, seu aureae tesserae nuptialis, uxoris collo pensilis: missionariis mandamus ne hujusmodi irrita matrimonia inter Christianos fieri permittant.”—Decree of Card. Tournon, in Norbert, Mem. Hist. i. 155.

1726.—“And on the betrothal day the Tali, or bride’s betrothal band, is tied round her neck by the Bramin…and this she must not untie in her husband’s life.”—Valentijn, Choro. 51.

[1813.—“…the tali, which is a ribbon with a gold head hanging to it, is held ready; and, being shown to the company, some prayers and blessings are pronounced; after which the bridegroom takes it, and hangs it about the bride’s neck.”—Forbes, Or. Mem. 2nd ed. ii. 312.]

TALIAR, TARRYAR,s. A watchman (S. India). Tam. talaiyari, [from talai, ‘head,’ a chief watchman].

1680.—“The Peons and Tarryars sent in quest of two soldiers who had deserted…returned with answer that they could not light of them, whereupon the Peons were turned out of service, but upon Verona’s intercession were taken in again and fined each one month’s pay, and to repay the money paid them for Battee (see BATTA); also the Pedda Naigu was fined in like manner for his Tarryars.”—Fort St. Geo. Consns., Feb. 10. In Notes and Exts., Madras, 1873, No. III. p. 3.

1693.—“Taliars and Peons appointed to watch the Black Town.…”—In Wheeler, i. 267.

1707.—“Resolving to march 250 soldiers, 200 talliars, and 200 peons.”—Ibid. ii. 74.

[1800.—“In every village a particular officer, called Talliari, keeps watch at night, and is answerable for all that may be stolen.”—Buchanan, Mysore, i. 3.]

TALIPOT, s. The great-leaved fan-palm of S. India and Ceylon, Corypha umbraculifera, L. The name, from Skt. tala-pattra, Hind. talpat, ‘leaf of the tala tree,’ properly applies to the leaf of such a tree, or to the smaller leaf of the palmyra (Borassus flabelliformis), used for many purposes, e.g. for slips to write on, to make fans and umbrellas, &c. See OLLAH, PALMYRA, TALAPOIN. Sometimes we find the word used for an umbrella, but this is not common. The quotation from Jordanus, though using no name, refers to this tree. [Arrian says: “These trees were called in Indian speech tala, and there grew on them, as there grows at the tops of the palm-trees, a fruit resembling balls of wool” (Indika, vii.).]

c. 1328.—“In this India are certain trees which have leaves so big that five or six men can very well stand under the shade of one of them.”—Fr. Jordanus, 29–30.

c. 1430.—“These leaves are used in this country for writing upon instead of paper, and in rainy weather are carried on the head as a covering, to keep off the wet Three or four persons travelling together can be covered by one of these leaves stretched out.” And again: “There is also a tree called tal, the leaves of which are extremely large, and upon which they write.”—N. Conti, in India in the XV. Cent., 7 and 13.

1672.—“Talpets or sunshades.”—Baldaeus, Dutch ed., 102.

1681.—“There are three other trees that must not be omitted. The first is

  By PanEris using Melati.

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