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MOCHIS. (423) Although of the very lowest caste of Hindoos, being considered, in fact, Mlechas, or outcasts, Mochis are very useful members of the community at large in all parts of India. They make sandals, shoes, slippers, harness, and do leather work of all kinds. They are also tanners and curers of leather. In the latter capacity they do not use tan-pits, but sew up the green skins of oxen or sheep, or goats, as a sack, which contains bark of the acacia, with some other astringent plants mixed with water; after some days, the skin is opened, and dressed with lime till it is fit for use; the leather thus made is soft and durable, but has a disagreeable smell. It is then dyed scarlet or crimson, and so made up into shoes. The Mochis use lasts for native shoes, and their tools or implements are precisely the same, as well as their manners of stitching, as European workmen. In large cantonments and cities where English live, many of them make shoes and boots after the English pattern very neatly and durably, the only objection to their work being the smell of the leather, which does not readily leave it. They also make excellent shooting gaiters, and in all departments of their craft are ingenious and exact in their work. There are two classes of leather workers, one the Mochis, the other Chumas, who do rough work and are considered to be a higher caste. They do not intermarry, though they are virtually the same. The Chumas, however, skin dead animals, which Mochis refuse to do; they also execute rough work, such as plough gear and ropes of green hide, and they chiefly make sandals, which are sewn with thongs of green leather, instead of thread or dressed leather. Many of the native shoes are prettily embroidered with soft floss silk, and this department of the household business is executed by the women almost exclusively, who are very clever at it. It is part of the Chuma's vocation whenever public execution is necessary, to hang the criminal who is to suffer. Hempen rope is not employed; but a much stronger and more effectual means, is a cord made of the sinews of cattle, which is pliant, and with a noose at the end is at once adapted for the
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