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the family. Two baskets are placed, one next to another, in the courtyard of the house. The bridegroom walks behind with his toes (as in the both put their feet together
the bride pressing her heels gurkhi-tirkhna ceremony), and first into one basket and then into the other. The baskets are then again placed on their way one behind the other and they again put their feet successively into them as before. And this process is repeated till they reach the doorway of the but when they both step into one basket thus standing on it. The door is now shut against them or rather against the bride by a younger sister of the bridegroom who does not open the door until the bride pays her an anna or so. When the door is opened, the bride enters the room and she may not leave it until the ḍānḍā kāṭṭā or the ceremony of "cutting the evil teeth " has been performed by a māti in the manner described in a previous article.
After the dāṇḍā kāṭṭā ceremony, the bride is bathed in the house with water brought from the village spring or tank or well. Then a female member of the family, or, in some villages, the Goraitin (wife of village musician and messenger) anoints the forehead and the parting of her hair with vermilion. The day's proceedings terminate in a feast to fellow-villagers and relatives.
(3) First Bath and Meal
Very early next morning the couple are conducted to the village ḍāri or spring, where the bride has to put three marks of vermillon diluted in oil at the mouth of the spring or on the wood or stone marking the spring. The leaf in which the vermilion was carried is thrown into the water of the dari. It is said that, in former days, the bridegroom on this occasion would rub a kind of red earth over the head of the bride and cleanse and wash it, and so would the bride cleanse and wash the head of the bridegroom. But this custom has now fallen into disuse. Then the bride and bridegroom each draws a jar of water from the spring and the bridegroom carries the two jars
home in a sikā bāhingā or carrying-pole and nets. arrival of the couple at the house, the elder brothers of the bridegroom put down at the bride's feet an anna or so of copper coin and take up the water-jars and deftly pour some water on her head and she promptly enters the hut as if to avoid them. This signifies that from that day the new bride and her husband's elder brothers are taboo to each other. The bride and bridegroom are then seated apart in the same room. A meal of rice, pulse, etc. is first served to the bridegroom and then to the bride who is also given a portion of rice from the plate from which her husband has eaten. The bride sits quiet and does not touch the food unless and until some money (from four annas upwards) is paid to her.
(4) Era-kirtana and Baharaont
A day or two later, a number of female relatives of the bride come to the bridegroom's house to take back the bride to her parents' place. On their arrival the bridegroom's people give them water to wash their feet. They are then entertained with plenty of rice-beer which is followed up with a hearty meal of boiled rice, pulse-soup, vegetable curry, etc. The bride is then taken back to her parents' place. Generally the bridegroom is also invited and taken to his father-in-law's place along with the bride. Two or three of his relatives accompany the bridegroom on this occasion. In some instances the bridegroom is invited and taken to his father-in-law's place sometime later; but this must be done within the year of marriage. The bridegroom and his companions are entertained for a day or two as best as the means of the father-in-law allows, and then return home with the bride.
(5) Jhara Gunda
When going back to her husband's place, the bride takes with her as a present to her husband's family from her parents a pot of rice-beer (jhārā) and a small basketful of riceflour gunda). These are carried by her female companions. It is believed that unless this present of jhārā gūṇḍā, as it is called, is sent with the girl, she will become barren, or, even if she
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 Oraon 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 (chuṛa) 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) Gch-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 Faguā 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-ōthorna.
(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 arua 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 Orãon can only take one maiden as his wife. It is only an Orion having no issue by his first wife, who may be allowed to take even a maiden as his second wife in the regular benjā 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 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 nachua 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 landi 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 (ḍāin); (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.
1 Res. J