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and may the couple never quarrel." Then all present drink rice-beer. And two women come out to the angan, one of them taking on her head the ceremonial pitcher (kārsābhāṇḍā) and the other the leaf-bowl in and around which are placed the paddy sheaves left over after selecting those put into the kārsā-bhāṇḍā. And thus along with other women they dance the wedding dance to the accompaniment of music played by the village Gōrait and Oraōns. These preliminary ceremonies are gone through in the houses of the bridegroom as well as of the bride.

(2) The Marriage Procession Generally, the bridegroom and his party start in procession for the bride's village early in the morning. The party includes both male and female relatives. Among the semiHinduised section of the Oraons known as the Bhagats, the party halt under a mango tree on the borders of the village, and the bridegroom together with a woman whose husband is living goes to the tree, ties cotton thread in three folds or turns round its trunk, marking the trunk at each turn with marks of vermilion and of rice-flour moistened with water. The bridegroom ordinarily goes on foot; only in exceptional cases, when his family owns villages or has otherwise grown rich, the bridegroom may be seen riding a pony. In almost all cases, however, the bridegroom carries a sword or knife or sometimes only an iron-shod stick and is attended by musicians playing upon drums and flutes. The party take with them besides jars. of rice-beer and provisions for one meal, as they do not take food at the bride's parents' place until the wedding is over. The bridegroom and bride have to keep fast until the wedding is over.

(3) The Welcome (Parchhana).

On their arrival at the outskirts of the bride's village, the bride's people and their friends and relatives approach them in a body as if to attack or repulse the bridegroom and his party. Men and women on both sides sing indecent and abusive songs accompanied with dances; and young men on both sides, who

carry sticks and clubs, whirl them in a mcck-attack on the other side. Formerly this was something more than a mock-fight; and some thirty years ago one could see now and then a few members of either party actually receiving wounds in seeking to ward off the blows of the opposite side. One man on each side carries a special lighted torch made of a sickle wrapped round at its blade with cloth and placed on a plate containing oil. An old woman of the bride's side now approaches the bridegroom's party carrying on her head, over a pad of unbleached cotton thread, a brass jug filled with water in which is dipped a mango twig with its leaves sticking out at the mouth of the jug. She then takes out the mango twig and with it sprinkles water from the jug, first on the bridegroom and then on the rest of the party. The object of this sprinkling with water is, or at any rate was in origin, probably lustration, though now the original purpose is in many places forgotten and there is a tendency to explain it in the manner of the Hindus as a benedictory and not a lustral rite; although when it is suggested to an Oraon that the object is lustration he readily assents that it must be so. (4) The Bridegroom pressing the Bride's Heels with his Toes (gurkhi tirkhna)

Two or more men of the bride's side now carry the bridegroom on their arms and take him inside the bride's house; one or two relatives of the bridegroom sometimes follow him into the house, and the rest of the bridegroom's party go to the quarters (dera) allotted to them. The bride and bridegroom have their feet washed and are then made to stand on a curry-stone under which are placed three or five bundles of thatching grass and a yoke. The bridegroom stands behind the bride with his great toe and the next toe of his left foot enclosing the bride's left heel as a fork. During this ceremony the couple are screened round on all sides with cloth screens. A few female relatives of the

bride and bridegroom remain inside the screens. One or more male relatives of the bride and bridegroom stand outside the screens with sword in hand, and go on brandishing the sword to ward off evil eye and evil spirits. In some places, the couple

are anointed all over their limbs with pounded turmeric diluted in oil by female relatives. The screens are then taken down and the couple are then bathed in water fetched in two new earthen pitchers from some neighbouring spring or tank by two unmarried girls. While the water is being poured over the heads of the couple a woman of the bride's party rubs the head of the bridegroom with her hands and a woman of the bridegroom's party similarly rubs the head of the bride. The bridegroom then puts a mark of vermilion diluted in oil on the forehead of the bride with the ring finger of his left hand and the bride similarly marks the forehead of the bridegroom. Then two elderly woman take up, on their heads, one the grindstone (silout) and the other the curry-stone (loṛha) ; some other women take up in their hands the bundles of thatching grass and with these they perform a merry wedding dance. When the couple have been bathed, they are given a change of clothes. The bridegroom is then taken to the quarters allotted to his party.

(5) Isum Sindri, or Anointing with Vermilion After a short time the bridegroom is again taken to the bride's house, where a mat is turned upside down three times and spread with its length from north to south. The couple are seated on it, the bride to the left of the bridegroom, both facing east. The female relatives of bride bring a kia or small red wooden receptacle (of the size of a snuff-box) containing vermilion, and so too do the female relatives of the bridegroom; and each party exchanges its vermilion-box (kiasindri) with that of the other party. Then either an elder sister or elder brother's wife of the bride combs the hair of the couple and ties up the bride's hair into a knot and takes up vermilion from the vermilion-box (kia-sindri), dilutes the vermilion in oil and smears the vermilion thus diluted on the forehead and the temples of the bridegroom and on the forehead and parting (sinthi) of the combed hair of the bride. In some places the vermilion marks are made by the bridegroom and bride on each other's forehead and temples, their female relations assisting them by holding and guiding their hands

in putting the sindur marks. During this ceremony one or more men go on playing upon reed-flutes and those who can afford also call Gorait musicians who play upon drums and pipes. Young men and women sing marriage songs. Many of these songs, which relate to conjugal love and happiness and are full of indecent allusions and abuses, are composed in the local Hindi dialect. Such songs in the Oraon language as are sung on this occasion relate mostly to matter-of-fact things of every-day life. Thus, a most common Oraon song sung on this occasion runs as follows:


Khoiondrka kännän,

Hoa bhaiyarē sendrā tōnkā,
Chitrā mākān lãoāge,

Hoa bhaiyare sendrā tōnkā.


The arrow by the son's bride brought,2
Do take it to the hunting-ground!
To kill the striped deer, brother,

Do take it to the hunting-ground!

The isum sindri is now-a-days considered the essential part of a marriage ceremony. It may also be noted that from after this ceremonial tying-up of the bride's hair into a knot she may not take cooked food at the hands of a person not belonging

to her tribe.

Gundari dhukna

The young men of the village bring into the rooman earthen vessel (bhanda) in which they have put some pepper, kitchen-soot, dried dung of pigs, and similar other substances, and, after shutting the doors and other openings of the room, put fire to the contents of the vessel. The pungent smoke issuing out of it make people sneeze, when the bridegroom's people pay the young men a few annas up to a rupee as a sop to make them stop the nuisance.

2 Khoiondrka kännän. This refers to the arrow which the bride's parents hand over to her while sending her to her husband's place.

The females of the bridegroom's party now come with one pot of rice-beer from their quarters to the bride's house and the females of the bride's party also bring out one pot of rice-beer from the house. These are known as isum-sindri jhārā or ceremonial rice-beer for besmearing vermilion. In some places, the Pahan or priest of the bride's village or some elder of the clan pours libations of rice-beer on the ground to the presiding spirit (gaondeoti) of the village and to the ancestor-spirits of the bride. The woman who rubbed oil and turmeric paste on the bridegroom gives him rice-beer to drink in a leaf-cup three times and similarly the woman who smeared the bride with vermilion gives her three leaf-cupfuls of rice-beer to drink. Then some women of the bride's party distribute liquor in leaf-cups to each of the women of the bridegroom's party and the women of the bridegroom's side distribute rice-beer in leaf-cups to the women of the bride's party. Then the bridegroom is taken back to his quarters after the bridegroom and bride together have saluted each guest individually.

(6) Khiri Tengna (Propounding Riddles)

Three or five leaf-cups are now placed before the couple. A woman of the bride's party takes up one leaf-cup after another with two reeds to serve as a pair of tongs, fills each cup with ricebeer, carries the cup first to the lips of the bridegroom, then to the lips of the bride (who are not to drink a drop of the liquor) and finally throws it on to the roof of the hut. In some places each leaf-cup is ceremonially waved three times round and round in front of bride or bridegroom, as the case may be, and other women make the ulu-lu sound with their pouting lips. Each time that this liquor known as Khiri tengnā boṛey (riddle-propounding rice-beer) is presented to the lips of the bridegroom, the woman tells him in jest, "Ona Bābu! Viyā kāloey; abiri khardoey, Kulkıra ammonkā khardoey amm onā." "Drink Boy; when you go to plough, then you will feel tired; if you feel hungry, thirsty or tired, drink water (i.e. rice-beer)" The bride too is similarly addressed while rice-beer is presented to her lips. "Onāе, Māiā amm. Gobbare pesha kirki chundki;

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