mithan

mithan

[mith-uhn]
noun, plural mithan.

Origin:
1835–45; < Assamese methon

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mithan

(Bos frontalis), one of the species of true cattle, belonging to the subfamily Bovinae (order Artiodactyla) and found in northeastern India and Myanmar (Burma). Considered a domestic form of the gaur, the gayal has larger dewlaps and thicker horns that extend outward without curving. Bulls stand 1.5 m (5 feet) at the shoulder and are blackish with white leg markings that look like stockings and a tail tuft, while the slightly shorter cows and the young are more brown than black. Woodland dwellers, they browse rather than graze. The animals roam unattended through the forest by day and return of their own accord to the village of their owner at night. Traditionally, the gayal is never milked but is slaughtered for meat or exchanged in payment of bride-price.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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