Beliefs about Children
A mirror should not be shown to babies as it is supposed to
make them dumb. A person should not clean his teeth while baby sitting.
When the first tooth of a child falls out
the fallen tooth is carefully placed in a lump of cow -dung,
symbol of fertility, and thrown over roof in the belief that such
action will hasten the re-growth of the child 's teeth.
On suspicion that a person's jealous eye is the cause
of child's illness or some misery in the family, at his next visit
some one in the family follows him, collects a handful of
earth on which that person had set foot and circles it clockwise
around the child's head thrice, to ward off evil and then throws it in
to the oven. If a child has breathing difficulty immediately after birth
its forehead is scorched with a hot needle.
When the fist two children die, the death of the
third child is averted by disfiguring its face, by piercing
the left nostril and putting a gold wire ring through it. These
mutilations are effected to make the child ugly and thus prevent
him/her being the cynosure of this child by giving the
child a humble name like Kuppusamy (Lord of refuse), Kuppammal (lady
of refuse ), Pakri( Fakir) or Pichai (beggar).