The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India, Volume 3


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Walmart eBooks App. Sold by Kobo. This book is the result of the arrangement made by the Government of India, on the suggestion of the late Sir Herbert Risley, for the preparation of an ethnological account dealing with the inhabitants of each of the principal Provinces of India. The work for the Central Provinces was entrusted to the author, and its preparation, undertaken in addition to ordinary official duties, has been spread over a number of years.

The prescribed plan was that a separate account should be written of each of the principal tribes and castes, according to the method adopted in Sir Herbert Risley's Tribes and Castes of Bengal.

The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India, Volume 3 from Project Gutenberg

This was considered to be desirable as the book is intended primarily as a work of reference for the officers of Government, who may desire to know something of the customs of the people among whom their work lies. It has the disadvantage of involving a large amount of repetition of the same or very similar statements about different castes, and the result is likely therefore to be somewhat distasteful to the ordinary reader. On the other hand, there is no doubt that this method of treatment, if conscientiously followed out, will produce more exhaustive results than a general account.

Similar works for some other Provinces have already appeared, as Mr. Rose has been partly published.


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The articles on Religions and Sects were not in the original scheme of the work, but have been subsequently added as being necessary to render it a complete ethnological account of the population. In several instances the adherents of the religion or sect are found only in very small numbers in the Province, and the articles have been compiled from standard works. About This Item We aim to show you accurate product information.


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Manufacturers, suppliers and others provide what you see here, and we have not verified it. See our disclaimer. Customer Reviews. Write a review. Ask a question. Pricing policy About our prices.

The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India, Volume III of IV - eBook

We're committed to providing low prices every day, on everything. So if you find a current lower price from an online retailer on an identical, in-stock product, tell us and we'll match it. See more details at Online Price Match. Email address. Please enter a valid email address. Walmart Services. Get to Know Us. She then becomes a widow and can marry again, while her parents will get ten or twenty rupees for her. The boy's father makes the proposal for the marriage according to the following curious formula. Taking some fried grain he goes to the house of the father of the bride and addresses him as follows in the presence of the neighbours and the relatives of both parties: Many difficulties may stand in the way, and the flower may wither or get lost; will it be possible for you to steer the flower's boat in the ocean of time, as long as it is destined to be in this world?

There are three recognised scales—Rs. The rupees in question are those of Orissa, and each of them is worth only two-thirds of a Government rupee. In cases of extreme poverty Rs. The price being fixed, the boy's father goes to pay it after an interval; and on this occasion he holds out his cloth, and a cocoanut is placed on it and broken by the girl's father, which confirms the betrothal.

Before the marriage seven married girls go out and dig earth after worshipping the ground, and on their return let it all fall on to the head of the bridegroom's mother, which is protected only by a cloth. On the next day offerings are made to the ancestors, who are invited to attend the ceremony as village gods. The bridegroom is shaved clean and bathed, and the Brahman then ties an iron ring to his wrist, and the barber puts the turban and marriage-crown on his head. The procession then starts, but any barber who meets it on the way may put a fresh marriage-crown on the bridegroom's head and receive eight annas or a rupee for it, so that he sometimes arrives at his destination wearing four or five of them.

The usual ceremonies attend the arrival. At the marriage the couple are blindfolded and seated in the shed, while the Brahman priest repeats mantras or verses, and during this time the parents and the parties must continue placing nuts and pice all over the shed. These are the perquisites of the Brahman. The hands of the couple are then tied together with kusha grass Eragrostis cynosuroides , and water is poured over them.

After the ceremony the couple gamble with seven cowries and seven pieces of turmeric. The boy then presses a cowrie on the ground with his little finger, and the girl has to take it away, which she easily does. The girl in her turn holds a cowrie inside her clenched hand, and the boy has to remove it with his little finger, which he finds it impossible to do.

Thus the boy always loses and has to promise the girl something, either to give her an ornament or to take her on a pilgrimage, or to make her the mistress of his house. On the fifth or last day of the ceremony some curds are placed in a small pot, and the couple are made to churn them; this is probably symbolical of the caste's original occupation of tending cattle.

The bride goes to her husband's house for three days, and then returns home. When she is to be finally brought to her husband's house, his father with some relatives goes to the parents of the girl and asks for her. It is now strict etiquette for her father to refuse to send her on the first occasion, and they usually have to call on him three or four times at intervals of some days, and selecting the days given by the astrologer as auspicious.

Occasionally they have to go as many as ten times; but finally, if the girl's father proves very troublesome, they send an old woman who drags away the girl by force. If the father sends her away willingly he gives her presents of several basket-loads of grain, oil, turmeric, cooking-pots, cloth, and if he is well off a cow and bullocks, the value of the presents amounting to about Rs. The girl's brother takes her to her husband's house, where a repetition of the marriage ceremony on a small scale is performed. Twice again after the consummation of the marriage she visits her parents for periods of one and six months, but after this she never again goes to their house unaccompanied by her husband.

Widow-marriage is allowed, and the widow may marry the younger brother of her late husband or not as she pleases.

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But if she marries another man he must pay a sum of Rs. The children by the first husband are kept either by his relatives or the widow's parents, and do not go to the new husband. When a bachelor marries a widow, he is first married to a flower or sahara tree. A widow who has remarried cannot take part in any worship or marriage ceremony in her house, not even in the marriage of her own sons. Divorce is allowed, and is effected in the presence of the caste panchayat or committee. A divorced woman may marry again. Religious and social customs.

The caste worship the goddess Parmeshwari, the wife of Vishnu, and Jagannath, the Uriya incarnation of Vishnu.

The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India Volume III Part 61 summary

Parmeshwari is worshipped by Brahmans, who offer bread and khir or rice and milk to her; goats are also offered by the Dehri or Mahakul, the caste priest, who receives the heads of the goats as his remuneration. They believe in witches, who they think drink the blood of children, and employ sorcerers to exorcise them. They worship a stick on Dasahra day in remembrance of their old profession of herding cattle, and they worship cows and buffaloes at the full moon of Shrawan July-August. During Kunwar, on the eighth day of each fortnight, two festivals are held.

At the first each girl in the family wears a thread containing eighteen knots twisted three times round her neck. All the girls fast and receive presents of cloths and grain from their brothers. This is called Bhaijiuntia, or the ceremony for the welfare of the brothers.

On the second day the mother of the family does the same, and receives presents from her sons, this being Puajiuntia, or the ceremony for the welfare of sons. The Dumals believe that in the beginning water covered the earth. They think that the sun and moon are the eyes of God, and that the stars are the souls of virtuous men, who enjoy felicity in heaven for the period measured by the sum of their virtuous actions, and when this has expired have to descend again to earth to suffer the agonies of human life. When a shooting star is seen they think it is the soul of one of these descending to be born again on earth.

They both burn and bury their dead according to their means. After a body is buried they make a fire over the grave and place an empty pot on it. Mourning is observed for twelve days in the case of a married and for seven in the case of an unmarried person. Children dying when less than six days old are not mourned at all.

During mourning the persons of the household do not cook for themselves. On the third day after the death three leaf-plates, each containing a little rice, sugar and butter, are offered to the spirit of the deceased. On the fourth day four such plates are offered, and on the fifth day five, and so on up to the ninth day when the Pindas or sacrificial cakes are offered, and nine persons belonging to the caste are invited, food and a new piece of cloth being given to each. Should only one attend, nine plates of food would be served to him, and he would be given nine pieces of cloth.

If two or more persons in a family are killed by a tiger, a Sulia or magician is called in, and he pretends to be the tiger and to bite some one in the family, who is then carried as a corpse to the burial-place, buried for a short time and taken out again. All the ceremonies of mourning are observed for him for one day. This proceeding is believed to secure immunity for the family from further attacks. In return for his services the Sulia gets a share of everything in the house corresponding to what he would receive, supposing he were a member of the family, on a partition.

Thus if the family consisted of only two persons he would get a third part of the whole property. The Dumals eat meat, including wild boar's flesh, but not beef, fowls or tame pigs. They do not drink liquor. They will take food cooked with water from Brahmans and Sudhs, and even the leavings of food from Brahmans. This is probably because they were formerly the household servants of Brahmans, though they have now risen somewhat in position and rank, together with the Koltas and Sudhs, as a good cultivating caste.

Their women and girls can easily be distinguished, the girls because the hair is shaved until they are married, and the women because they wear bangles of glass on one arm and of lac on the other. They never wear nose-rings or the ornament called pairi on the feet, and no ornaments are worn on the arm above the elbow.

They do not wear black clothing. The women are tattooed on the hands, feet and breast. Morality within the caste is lax. A woman going wrong with a man of her own caste is not punished, because the Dumals live generally in Native States, where it is the business of the Raja to find the seducer. But she is permanently excommunicated for a liaison with a man of another caste.

Eating with a very low caste is almost the only offence which entails permanent exclusion for both sexes.

The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India, Volume 3 The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India, Volume 3
The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India, Volume 3 The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India, Volume 3
The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India, Volume 3 The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India, Volume 3
The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India, Volume 3 The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India, Volume 3
The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India, Volume 3 The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India, Volume 3
The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India, Volume 3 The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India, Volume 3
The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India, Volume 3 The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India, Volume 3

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