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has any issue, the children will be sickly and will otherwise suffer pain or some calamity. On the bride's arrival at her husband's place, some female member of the bridegroom's family will distribute the rice-flour to every Orãon family in the village.

For two or three years after her marriage, the girl now and then pays short visits to her parents' place, particularly on occasions of periodical religious or socio-religious festivals. Should she happen to go to or stay at her father's place on the occasion of the Karma festival during these years, her husband's people generally send her presents of one pot of rice-beer, one new sāri or cloth, two or three seers of parched rice (chura) and three or four seers of arua rice, a seer or a half seer of molasses, be sides one or more cucumbers, in a basket dyed red. (6) Och-othorna or extracting thorns For three or four consecutive years or more after the marriage, the girl's people are every year invited to the girl's husband's place after the Faguã festival. They come and stay for a day or two and are entertained with food and drink. The object of this visit is supposed to be to take out thorns that may have pricked the bridegroom's feet during the annual hunt at the Fägu festival. But this traditional object is now only remembered through the name Och-othorna.

(7) Ceremony at first Pregnancy-Joda-Kamna When an Oraon wife is with child for the first time, a sacrificial ceremony is performed with the object of finally cutting off her connection with the ancestor-spirits of her father and the village deities and spirits of her father's village. The father is invited for the occasion and comes to his son-inlaw's place with a few kinsmen of his own. They are received with the usual formalities. Their feet are washed, and they are seated on a mat in an open space a little away from the house and are offered tobacco and lime to chew. A pig is then brought out and some grains of ārua rice are placed on the ground before it, and while the pig is eating the rice, the elders of the village sprinkle rice on its head, saying, "From this day may Ye, O ancestor-spirits, deotas (deities) and bhuts (spirits) of the

pregnant woman's father have no concern whatsoever with her. Leave her, ye ancestor-spirits, deities and ghosts." The pig is decapitated with an axe. Then the assembled guests go to the house of the husband of the woman and are regaled with ricebeer. When rice and meat have been cooked, they have a hearty meal. After chewing tobacco mixed with lime and after mutual saluations, the pregnant woman's people take leave of her husband's people.

(8) Divorce and Widow Marriage

Ordinarily an Oraon can only take one maiden as his wife. It is only an Oraon having no issue by his first wife, who may be allowed to take even a maiden as his second wife in the regular benja form. A widower may marry again even if he has children. But he can only marry either a widow or a divorced or deserted woman or a woman whose husband has left the country and has not been heard of for years. But in the last case, if the former husband returns later, he may take back his wife or may be bought off with a refund of the bride-price paid by him. In the case of a deserted wife, the husband has to be formally asked, before taking another husband, if he wants to take her back. In the case of a woman who has herself deserted her husband and does not want to go back to him, the brideprice paid by the husband must be returned before she can take another husband. If an Oraon bachelor wants to marry a widow, he has first to go through a mock marriage with a brass jar (lōṭā) or with a flower, which is marked with vermilion by the bridegroom by way of marriage and then marry the widow as a second wife. By the second marriage a widow severs her relationship with the family of her former husband unless the second husband be a younger brother of the former husband. The marriage of a widow or widower can only be celebrated in the sagai form. In this form of marriage the ceremonies are much less elaborate than in the regular marriage of a bachelor to a maiden. A small bride-price of five rupees or so is paid and a cloth presented to the bride by the bridegroom, and bride and bridegroom mark each other on the forehead with

vermilion diluted in oil; the bridegroom also anoints vermilion on the parting of the bride's hair. Neither kānṛsā-bkāṇḍā nor kārsā-tāṭṭi nor Chaumka nor nãchua and mai-sāṛi are taken to the bride's place, nor does any music accompany the bridal party.

The main grounds on which divorce is possible are, (1) that the wife is a lāṇḍi or run-away, that is, she habitually runs away from her husband's place; (2) that she is a kuṛiā or habitual idler and neglects her household duties, or cannot perform them properly, e.g. cannot climb trees to pluck edible leaves, etc. or cannot break clods of earth in the fields or manure the soil; (3) that she is a churni or thief who steals and sells grain, etc. from the bouse; (4) that she possesses the evil eye (najar) or is a witch (dain); (5) that she has been caught in adultery; (6) that she has brought sickness or misfortune and ill-luck to her husband's family; (7) that the wife is barren, or the husband is impotent; (8) that either the husband or the wife is a lunatic and (9) that either the husband or the wife has been converted to Christianity. Confirmed bad temper and frequent quarrels between husband and wife may also justify divorce, No special ceremonies or formalities are required to effect a divorce.

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MISCELLANEOUS

CONTRIBUTIONS

I.-Fragmentary Stone Inscription of

Govindpur

By Binayak Misra

Govindpur is a village in the Nayagarh Feudatory State in Orissa. This village is of much antiquity. It is said by the villagers that a good number of old coins have been discovered in this village at different times during the past forty years. I also learn from a reliable source that recently, probably in 1923, some ancient gold coins were unearthed with some gold ornaments while coolies were engaged in digging the ground for the purpose of constructing a schoolhouse. The State took possession of them and sold them by public auction. Unfortunately no research scholar could examine them.

There stand three temples, side by side, in this village. One temple faces the east and an image of the goddess Kaunri is enshrined in it. The date of the erection of this temple can at the earliest be assigned to be the fifteenth century AD. There is an inscription on the outer body of the southern wall of this temple, touching the floor of the porch surrounding the temple. The measurement of the slab of stone on which the text is inscribed is 18" x 12". It contains four full lines and a half. The characters of the inscription resemble the northern scripts of the tenth century A.D.

The inscription under discussion was formerly covered with plaster. In course of time the plaster was washed away by rain and the inscriptions became visible. In May 1926 I went to the spot solely for the purpose of deciphering it and found that the first line was not the beginning line of a text. Again the last two lines contain imprecatory verses only. It is, therefore, of no historical importance.

There is another temple facing the south. The image of Siva is enshrined in it. When I entered the temple I noticed an inscription containing two lines of the left wall of the gateway. This inscription is at the height of about 6 feet from the floor. Its measurement is 18" x 3". The text runs

thus : "Ranakesari Devasyavijayarajye Samvat 8 II Magha sudi Ekadasi Budha Basare." (Translation). During the victorious reign of Rana Kesari Deva. In the year 811, on Wednesday, the 11th day of bright fortnight of Magha.

I am of opinion that these two inscriptions are fragments of one complete text and they were formerly attached to another temple. Most probably that temple fell down and later on the present temples where the inscriptions are now found were erected with the materials of the former one. Therefore the different stones containing the inscriptions have been placed hither and thither.

Now, however, we find that the inscription discloses the name of a king. But it cannot be said with certainty whether Rana Kesari Deva was the name or title of a king.

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