Tuesday, July 7, 2020




Tribal Marriages

The Pazhiyars

Marriage among Pazhiyars is a simple affair. Both parties should declare their consent before the elders and give them a sumptuous feast. With this, the marriage is effected. The only understanding is that the men should collect roots and yams and trap some wild animals, and women should cook and feed the elders.

The Thodas

The Thodas celebrate marriages on any day including the new-moon day. Intimation is sent from one 'mund' to another by an agreed call as message, without deputing  a messenger. All the munds are so informed and the entire community gathers to celebrate every marriage.

On the day prior to the marriage day, a prayer party is held in an open space. The marriage ceremony, itself takes place under a cluster of trees, amidst the glare of light  lit within an artificial hole  created in the middle of the tree. At night the place is cleaned. Two sticks to represent the bride and groom are planted, decorated with black clothes and worshipped as deities. Food cooked by the bride in a new pot  is placed on leaves before the sticks. A lad  related to the bride brings a pot of water and pours some of it over the sticks and over the buffalo which is the symbol of Thoda wealth. Then the groom pours the rest of the water over the bride. Then follows a feast .

The next day, the Thodas meet again in their traditional costumes. The women seek blessings from elderly men. The entire gathering has a drink and moves to the place of marriage, generally a high-level  area on the top of the hills under a cluster trees. A lamp of ghee is hung in the tree. The groom and the bride take part in all the preparations for the marriage even on the marriage day also. They do their share of manual work without any shyness.

The bridal  pair worship the elders with the permission of the groom's father. The bridal necklace is handed to the groom  to be tied the bride  to the accompaniment of songs  sung in chorus by all those present.  After a simple meal, everybody departs and the ceremony is over.

The Kunnavars 

Among the Kunnavars, the engagement ceremony is as important  as the marriage. Prayers are offered for the conclusion  of the marriage planned. Flowers and sandal paste are offered to the Gods and anticipatory thanks giving songs are sung.