Marriage & Child Birth-
betrothal takes place before the actual wedding ceremony. Boys and girls are
engaged at quite early ages. Price of the bride is decided with the consent
of the panchayat, which the grooms parents are obliged to give to the brides
father. Marriages are held usually in the rainy season, forbidden to other
Hindus but most naturally convenient to them because in the dry weather they
are usually traveling.
the marriage they pitch a tent in lieu of the marriage shed and on
the ground they place two rice pounding pestles round which the bride and
the bridegroom make seven turns. Other substitute for the pestles, pack
saddle with two bags of grain, in order to symbolise their camp life.
ceremony takes place in the manner usually followed by the Hindus. We observe the influence of
the local customs, on there system of their wedding ceremony, which ever
place they have been settled
: Owing to the
scarcity in the caste, the widow is seldom allowed to go out of the family,
and when her husband dies, she is taken either by his elder brother or
younger brother, it is in opposition to the usual Hindu practice, which
forbids the marriage of a women to her husbads elder brother, on the grounds
that as the successor to headship of the joint Hindu family he stands to her
at least potentially in the light of a father.
If the widow prefers another man and runs away with him, the first husband's
relatives claim compensation and threaten, in event of being refused, to
abduct a girl from his house in exchange of the widow. In event of the
second husband is too poor to pay the monetary compensation, he gives a goat
which is cut into 18 pieces and distributed to the community.
Divorce and Child Marriage :
Divorce is allowed with the sanction of caste panchayat; Child marriage is
not common; widow marriage and polygamy are practiced and polyandry is
uncommon.Mathurias do not permit remarriage of widows. Divorce is
very easy and may be obtained at will, the only condition is that the assent
of the Nayak, for which only one rupee is said to be paid to the Naik as his
fees. If the women subsequently married in kudike form to the paramour, the
latter has to pay the husband the marriage expenses and fine of Rs.15 to 20
to the caste men in addition to the usual bride price of R15 & 3
bullocks. If however she marries one not responsible for the divorce, he
pays only the bride price. It is said, if the women is pregnant at the time
of elopement the child is claimed by the husband and delivered to him.
If an unmarried women is seduced, the Nayak has the power to subject the
seducer to ignominious treatment as shaving his head one side and parading
him in the streets on the back of a donkey. This is out of date, it its
place heavy fine of Rs. 100 is imposed, in addition to the compensation of
Rs.100 to her parents and the girl is married to him in a modified form of
marriage, which consists of the couple walking around the two milk posts
seven times and common meals. but if the man is unwilling to marry the
woman, is within prohibited degree of relationship, she is subjected to pay
a small fine and is taken into caste with the child. She may be married,
afterwards , to anyone else, who takes her along with the child, without
incurring any caste disabilities.
on the part of a woman is not a serious fault, if the husband
is willing to pardon her. It is said, if a man is convicted and is
undergoing imprisonment the women may live with another man of the caste ,
bearing him children and after the release of her husband, she may return to
her husband with children of her paramour. It is said, formerly they were
stricter in such matters.
to outsiders : The
Banjara caste is not closed to outsiders, but the rule is to admit only
women who are married to Banjara men. Women of lower and impure castes are
excluded but for some unknown reasons Patwas and Nonieas are bracketed with
: They burn married
and unmarried dead are buried without any ceremony. Dead children , too are
Birth : The mother is
held impure, forty days after the child birth and the father calls the child
after its favorite name, when the child is old enough to newer him. After
the birth of the child the mother is unclean for five days and lives in a separate
hut. Which is run-up for her use in the kuri or hamlet. On
the sixth day she washes the feet of the children in the kuri feeds
them and returns to her husbands hut. When the child is born in the moving
tanda, the same rule is observed and five days the mother walks all alone
after the camp during the daily march. In Maharashtra on the fifth day after
the birth of the child, they worship the goddess od Satwai and get the
Brahmin to name the child on any lucky day between the twelve days.
Confinement of a women takes place in her husbands house. in fact it was a
custom, when married a women seldom or never returned to her parents house,
but of late they have adopted the practice of bringing the women to her
parents house for her first delivery. During the wifes pregnancy the husband
observes usual abstinence such as not killing an animal and carrying a
the birth the whole family is considered impure for seven days, as soon as
the signs of labour appear the women is removed to a place (shed) outside
the dwelling place. Their own mid-wife attends to the mother on the birth of
a child, if it is a male child, the father has to distribute molasses and
dry coconut to his caste men, the navel cord is cut and tied to a thread
smoked with incense and buried with a piece of three Pie (old
Indian coin) at the foot of mother's bed. The mother and the child are
bathed, once or twice a day.
On the seventh day the pollution is removed. Guests are invited on
the occasion are served good food and entertainment. A Brahmin astrologer is
invited to name the boy, he gives five names out of which any one is
selected or my be chosen.
For three months the newly confined mother is not allowed to touch any of
the domestic vessels or Gods shed or enter the kitchen. For this period she
lives in a separate shed or a generally a cattle shed.
The mother of a male child or boy is given a tali (disk) of silver to be
worn around her neck, on Thursday after her purificatory bath.This is styled
as Devi Tali and has a flower engraved on it, if it is for the first son,
and two flowers if there are two or more sons. But Malot sub division has
many flowers as there are living sons. The birth of the daughter does not
count and no figure to the Tali is added.