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The husband will then take up the juz of water in his hands and slowly pour the water standing with his face towards the Sun and saying, “O Sing Bóngá, I am making this libation of water to thee. May milk flow from her breast like this (water I am pouring). I vow to offer you' milk flower' (") when my desire is fulfilled.” After the Thathi ceremony, which will be described later on, the husband will, with the same rites, offer a libation of cow's milk on the same spot, saying “ I offer this milk in fulfilment of the vow I took while I poured water in the name of (i.e., in place of) milk”.

From the second day after delivery she will have a meal of hot rice and a soup of rahar (Cajanus Indicus) pulse every evening.

On the day of birth,-or on the following morning if the birth has taken place at night, -the men of the tånd, go out with their nets for a hunt with a view to testing the future luck of the new-born babe.


Generally for twenty-one days after birth mother and child are considered impure or, to put it more correctly, remain in the taboo state. In some clans the taboo state continues longer. During this period the new-born babe and its mother are secluded in a corner of the family hut which is partitioned off from the rest of the hut unless, as among the Kāwān clan, a separate leaf hut is erected for the purpose. In most clans, as we have already seen, a new doorway is made for this portion of the but for the use of the parturient womin and the midwife, and long fencings of twigs are put up on both sides of the pathway leading to it. The meals of the parturient woman are brought to her outside this new doorway and she takes them in, and, after having eaten her meals, wash 2s the plate and pats it out to be taken away. The female attendants at birth go out by this new Edoor after the delivery, tike a purifi :atory bath and, in some (particularly Jāghi) țândās, have their persons sprinkled over (") This is an euphemism for cow's milk',

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with water in which copper and leaves of the Tulsi (the sacred basil) plant have been dipped. During the first seven days after a birth, the whole țāņd i is in the taboo state, during which no Pujā or sacrificial feast can be celebrated in the tani at all; bat as for the family of the new-born babe this tab:) against Pujās has to be observed by them for three weeks longer. By way of a threat to evil spirits that may otherwise harm the baby or its mother, the iron instrument, if any, with which the navel-string may have been cut, or a sickle or knife, is placed under the cloth or other thing which serves as their pillow. This instrument is taken away by the midwife on the occasion of the țhathi ceremony on the seventh day after birth, and is replaced by a new knife or sickle. After the days of impurity are over, this instrument is laid out in the open during a lunar eclipse and finally made into an anklet or armlet which is to serve as an amulet to protect the child from the evil eye or evil spirit.


The thathi ceremony held on the seventh day from the date of the birth, is meant for the fius purification of the other members of the țândā and the preliminary purification of the newborn child and its mother and of the other members of the particular family. Until then, as we have seen, there can be no pūjā in the tāndā. On the țhathi day, men of the child's clan living in the tändå have their nails pared, and their beards and the edges of the hair round the head shaved. Last of all, the father or the baby will be similarly shaved. The women of the clan also will have their nails pared, the nails of the mother of the baby being pared last of all. Finally the baby will have its head shaved. This shaved-off hair of the baby is considered unclean (chhūt) and is taken in a leaf-cup to the side of some tank or stream and left there. Then the men, and, after them, the women go out for a purificatory bath. The mother with the midwife, who has in the meanwhile put on the floor of the lying-in room a coating of mud diluted in water and on the new pathway between the fences a coating of cowdung diluted in water, brings up



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The clothes used in the lying-in room are boiled that morning in water mixed with ashes. The palm-leaf mat and the bedstead, if any, used in the lying-in room are taken to a stream, immersed in water for a whole day, anointed with a little oil and pounded turmeric and taken back to the lying-in room for use until the final purification on the twenty-first day or later.

The mother of the baby returns home with water dripping from the hair of her head and squeezes out this water into the mouth of her baby, accompanying her action with a blessing on the child. If it is a male child, she says—“May you never feel thirsty when you go out for a hunt or are engaged in making ropes", and, if it is a female child, she says May you never feel thirsty when you may be gathering leaves and tubers in the jungles”. When all return home after bathing, the babe’s mother washes the legs and feet of her husband, anoints them with oil and turmeric-paste, again washes the legs from below the knees, and then clasping one of his legs with her hands asks him --" What will you give me”? The husband either presents her with a new cloth or promises to give her one. She now bows down to her husband by touching his feet, and from a distance makes obeisance to the elders of the tandā assembled before her hut.

Then the Nāyā, with his face to the east, offers a red fowl to Chowrāsi PāhāParbat (the eighty-four hills and mountains) who are invoked by name and believed to assemble at the invocation, and one black fowl to Mahalı Chāti (who is said to be the mistress of the spirit of Lugu Pāhār). The fowls are held with their faces to the east. While offering these sacrifices the Nāyā says, “1 offer this fowl in the name of the new human being that has come to us. May health attend the baby and good luck in chase attend the people of the țândā. At each of the two spots where the two fowls are sacrificed, the Nāyā, still facing east, drops a little rice-beer from a leaf-cup. It is believed that unless these sacrifices are offered, the birth-taboo will continue and the men of the tända will have bad luck in the chase. The Nāyā gets


the two sacrificed fowls as his remuneration and he roasts them there and then. After the sacrifices have been offered, a pot of oil is passed round amongst the guests. Each guest dips the tips of his fingers in the oil which he rubs over his face, and also into his ears. The assembled guests are then treated to two jars of rice-beer. Before they begin drinking, the eldest member of the clan takes up in his hands a leaf-cup filled with rice-beer and speaks as follows :-"A wind arose in the east; clouds gathered in the west ; rain came down on the ground; the tank (bandh) got filled to the brim. When the tank was full, we wondered whether the tank contained a crocodile, or a fish, or a snake. Then the embankment burst, and we discovered it contained a human child. Now then we shall take it into our Ját. May the child live up to a ripe old age (rel pānru rutā panru). After having done justice to the two jars of rice-beer, the guests return to their respective houses.


Generally on the twenty-first day after birth, but in some clans later, the final purification ceremony is performed. The mother of the baby boils in water and ashes the clothes hitherto used by the mother and babe in the lying-in room, and another woman of the family similarly cleanses the clothes of the other members of the family; and in every family in the tandā some woman similarly cleanses the clothes of the members of her family. The baby's head is shaved, and the mat use:l by the baby and its mother is cast aside. The new door of the lying-in room is then olosed up, the whole house is cleansed with mud or cowdung diluted in water, and all the members of the family take a ceremonial bath. The head of the family offers the sacrifice of a red fowl and a libation of rice-beer to the spirits of bis ancestors and prays for the health and longevity of the baby. The mother with the baby in her arms goes to the thhāns or spirit-seats of her husband's family and then to the thhāns of the other families of the tända and bows to all the ghosts of all the thhāns.


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VIII.-THE' SĀKI OR NAME-GIVING CEREMONY. On the morning following the Chhoțā Thhath hi day, a name is selected for the child in the following manner. A bowl of water is placed on the open space in front of the hut which has been cleaned with mud diluted in water and where the men of the ļānda have assembled. A handful of rice and a blade of tender grass (dub) are placed on the ground as sāki or witnesses to the ceremony. A grain of til (sesamum) seed to represent the baby is first dropped into the water of the bowl, and then a grain of dhān or unhusked rice representing the paternal grand-father (whether dead or alive) of the baby is similarly dropped into the same bowl. If the til seed and the grain of dhan float on till they meet, the baby is named after his paternal grand-father. If they sink down without meeting, the process is repeated with a til-seed representing the baby and grains of dhān to represent other relatives one after another until the grains meet. The name of the relative in whose name the grains meet, is selected for the child. If the relative whose name is selected is alive and present, he anoints the child with oil and presents it with one or two copper coins and a necklet of black beads. This man is called the Sāki of the child. If the sāki is a person who does not belong to the family, he is treated to a hearty dinner that day with plenty of liquor. One jar of rice-beer called the sāki-handi has been specially brewed for the purpose.

On this day, a māti utters some incantations over a few grains of mustard wbich are then tied up in a rag and fastened with raw thread round the neck of the baby. This serves as an amulet to protect the baby from the evil eye and evil spirits and is worn until the ear-piercing ceremony. The Birhof believes that a man always takes after his sâkr. Thus, if one's sāki is a mati, he too will turn out to be a mäti ; if one's såki has married only one wife, he too will have no more than one wife, but if the sāki has married two or three wives he too will do the same. If the name selected is that of a relative (such as her husband's elder brother whose name is taboo to the baby's mother), a second name-sometimes derived from the day of the week on which

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