Image from page 57 of “Women of all nations; a record of their characteristics, habits, manners, customs and influence” (1908)
Title: Women of all nations; a record of their characteristics, habits, manners, customs and influence
Year: 1908 (1900s)
Authors: Joyce, Thomas Athol, 1878-1942 Thomas, Northcote Whitridge, 1868-
Subjects: Women Women
Publisher: London, Cassell
Contributing Library: Robarts – University of Toronto
Digitizing Sponsor: University of Toronto
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ve shillings a weekfor a paterfamilias ! Ceylon is a kind of El Dorado to thedense population of the southern part of the.Madras Presidency, whence the coolies (orlabourers) arrive in crowds, often miserably 628 WOMEN OF ALL NATIONS emaciated. They soon fatten in prosperousCeylon, and invariably return to their coast. as they call the continent of India,in better circumstances, and not seldompurchase the coveted bit of land which isthe summit of their ambition. The women of that mysterious Moham-medan race called the Moors of Ceylon are,like their co-religionists all over theEast, kept in strict seclusion. Thepurdah falls for the little girl when she iseight or ten years of age, her chances ofeducation are at an end, and she practicallygoes no more out-of-doors, except, maybe,in a closely shuttered carriage. Thence-forward her life is quite uneventful till hermarriage day. when, amid endless cere-monial and prolonged feasting on the partof the male members of the household, the Moors.
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girl-bride, tottering under the weight of allthe family jewels, is borne, half insensiblewith drugs, to her husbands house. There,she spends her days in much the samemonotony as before, unless she has childrento occupy time and thoughts. If the motherof a son, she will have attained the pinnacleof consequence in her small world, but onlyfor the few brief years of infancy can shefondle and direct him. She can enterscarcely at all into his life as a youth, andhe is afterwards beyond the sphere of herinfluence. When, in course of time, he, too, bringshome his bride, the mother then enters uponher kingdom, and takes care that herdaughter-in-laws character should not bespoiled by injudicious petting. The long days in the harem are sadly lacking in rational occupation, even the feminine solace of needlework ■ and embroidery being absent asa rule.Moor women have a consider-Iable share of good looks for themost part, but the Moslemadmiration for plumpness in-duces unwieldiness of figurewhen
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