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April 1967

Hearing in Todas of South India

Author Affiliations

Vellore, India
From the Department of Otolaryngology, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, India.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1967;85(4):400-406. doi:10.1001/archotol.1967.00760040402011

A SURVEY of the hearing of a hill tribe in India, the Todas of the Nilgiris, was carried out in September 1964. The objectives of this study were (1) to determine the incidence and etiology of hearing loss in this population, and (2) to obtain the threshold of normal hearing in this population and compare them with similar studies elsewhere.

The Nilgiri mountains, ranging from 6,000 to 7,500 ft above sea level, its loftiest hills rising to 8,760 ft, with its steep and jungly sides, have sheltered several primitive tribes from their surrounding neighbors of the plains. In an area of about 500 sq miles live three main tribes, the Badagas, Kotas, and Todas. Of these, the latter, though least in numbers, is perhaps, the most interesting.

The Todas are a pastoral community who live in the Nilgiri plateau, herding buffalo. Anthropologists agree that the Todas are a pure race.

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