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 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
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.
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.