Marriage & Child Birth-

  • A 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.

  • For 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.

  • Wedding 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

  • Widow-remarriage : 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.

  • Adultery, 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.

  • Adultery 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.

  • Admission 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 them

  • Death : They burn married and unmarried dead are buried without any ceremony. Dead children , too are buried.

  • Child 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 corpse.

  • On 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.

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