Customs and Traditions
Socio-Religious system of any region usually brings the members of different
castes and creeds closer to having interdependent relationships. Common experiences are
shared by them, permitting each other to regulate their ritual practices. The
fundamental structure of the social organisation in Madhya Pradesh is
particularly caste-based. Despite the cultural diversity, the state presents an
interesting account of Adivasi and non-Adivasi customs and traditions.
institution of the Ghotul is for the unmarried boys and girls of the Muria
tribe. As a village dormitory, the Ghotul is traditionally sanctioned by the
tribal customs. The Ghotul is a large hut or a group of huts with a compound
around where the Muria youngsters assemble after sunset. It is a centre of
social and emotional activities which also helps the Muria boys and girls
of Baster to group up in a sort of group discipline. The institution of Ghotul
plays an important part in shaping the life of the Muria Adivasis. It deepens
the sense of social democracy and leads the members above jealousy and
possessiveness. Individualism has no place in Ghotul. The institution serves as
a most preventive measures of crime, for the boys and girls learn in the Ghotul
to share everything and scorn acquisitiveness.
the boy members are known as Chelik and the girl members as Motiari. The
relation between Chelik and Motiari are governed by the type of the Ghotul to
which they belong. In the older classical type of Ghotul, boys and girls pair
off in a more or less permanent relationship which lasts till marriage. In the
modern form of Ghotul, such exclusive associations are forbidden and partners
must constantly be changed.
friendliness, sympathy, and unity are of prime importance. Love finds the right
place as it unifies the members of the tribe and keeps them in good mood without
the slightest tinge of possessiveness.
evening begins with chats and laughter of the boys and girls. One of the
important routines of the Ghotul is saluting one another in a monotonous
rhythmic way known as johar, in which each person greets the other by the name,
individually. Another interesting custom practiced by the Muria Ghotul is the
form of conventional enquiries made by the leading boy. But this is a routine
Any time after
sunset the male members begin to arrive at the Ghotul with their belongings such
as sleeping mats, tobacco-pouches or other such things they might need at
night. Few of the boys gather round the fire or scatter about the compound or
else lie down under the thatched roof of the open huts and puff their chongis,
the country cigarettes. A couple of them get busy with their musical
instruments. Soon the girls follow and the atmosphere of the Ghotul brightens
up. Girls seem more enthusiastic to have the music and dance. A dance song
called Rela gets the favour of the gathering.
After an hour
or two the boys and girls like to squat round the fire and it seems
story-telling becomes a favourite pastime. At this hour the boys and girls join
together freely. At fairly late night, Belosa, the leader of the girls and
Sirdar, the leader of the boys decide how the couples shall be paired. The
decision comes as a romance mixed with duty and charm, get equal chances
in this democracy of romance.
The peasant population of the state wears the dhoti. A white
or a black jacket called bandi or mirzai is still in vogue in Bundelkhand
and Malwa. Safa is worn on the head in the eastern parts of the state
and pagri or paga (turban) is preferred in the western regions.
Among the new generations trousers, socks and shirts have become very
common. Women wear coloured lehnga and choli. A piece of cloth
known as orni or lugra is used to cover the head and the shoulders. In
the central region they prefer red and black colours, while yellow, blue
and green are admired by the Chhathsgarhi women. Kanchali is stitched
out of coloured pieces of cloth. It is a sort of bodice used for
covering the breasts only by tysing it at the back with strings, called
Kasana in the Malwi dialect.