Saturday, April 13, 2024

The People


Bodo's Naming Ceremony

Amongst the Bodos a thread is tied at the base of intestinal canal and then the canal is cut above the knot with a sharp bamboo blade or with a knife or a razor. No widow or widower or a person having no children is allowed to perform this act. Then the baby is washed with tepid water. Nine durba grasses, a branch of tulsi and  a gold ring are tied in a bundle which is dipped into water from a river and sprinkled over the new-born and asked "O baby, what  were you in your previous birth? what ever you were, from this day you have become a Bodo". A cock is offered to the Gods for the welfare of the baby.

There is no other ceremony. The scar from the navel is put in a talisman and hung from the baby's neck. The mother has to entertain the dhai and others who helped her to a feast; not to do so is considered a sin. There is no formal feeding of a Bodo baby. But when a boy is five years old, his maternal uncle comes and shaves off his head. Some times in families where babies often die, a three-month old boy is married to his mother and a three-month-old girl to her father in the hope that it will give them a long lease of life. Again, sometimes a father without luck will put his new-born child into a basket, carry the burden on his head and try to sell it  peddling from house to house; every door he approaches will express inability to 'buy' and direct him to the next door, thus 'unable to sell' he will come back home and make an atonement, by throwing a feast to the villagers, for dealing inhuman merchandise.