Endless diversity in India in customs and traditions.


Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A(Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V.(P.G) College, Roorkee, India

There is an endless diversity in India  in customs and traditions. India has been variously described as “the Mini World”, the “epitome of the world” and an “ethnological museum”. The diversity in India is unique. Underneath this diversity lies the continuity of Indian civilization and social structure from the very earliest times until the present day.

India ’s culture has been enriched by successive waves of migration, which were absorbed into the Indian way of life.   The successive waves of migration into India started with the Indo-Greeks (2nd Century B.C.), followed by the Kushans (First century A.D.), the incursions from the northwest by Arab, Turkish, Persian and others beginning in the early 8th century A.D. and culminating with the establishment of the Muslim empire by the 13th century, and finally the advent of Europeans — the Portuguese, the Dutch, the English, the Danes and the French.  These interactions over the years led to introduction of newer elements in India ’s  customs and traditions, thus enriching our cultural heritage.

From the very ancient times India not only absorbed the foreign cultures into its composite fold, but it also managed to spread the rich elements of its own unique culture in different parts of the world.

Each state of India has its own customs and traditions.   There are some festivals, which are typical of particular states, cities or towns like the Bonnalu of Andhra Pradesh, Pushkar of Rajasthan, Rajrani of Orissa, Teej of Rajasthan and Bogali Bihu of Assam .  Each region is also identified with its typical folk and tribal dance forms.



Muggulu is one of the most common tradition followed by the Telugu people where a threshold design is done at the entrance of the house with white rice powder. But now rice powder is slowly getting replaced by lime stone powder and on special occasions coloured powder is added and then it is called as rangoli. There is a traditional belief of the Telugu people that the kolam keeps away evil from the house. Ugadi is the Telugu new year and on this day people mix cow dung with water and sprinkle it on the ground in front of their houses and many other customs and rituals are carried out on this day. Also many new ventures are started on this day.



The traditions and the customs of the people of Arunachal Pradesh are much influenced by their tribal life for the major population of the state is tribes comprising of about 20 to 26 types. As a part of their tradition they mainly worship the nature deities and as their tribal custom they make animal sacrifices as offerings to their god. Jhumming or shifting cultivation is some of the traditional and primitive form of cultivation. Other traditional cultivation practiced by the Adis and Apatanis are wet rice cultivation and Apatanis are also famous for their paddy-cum-pisciculture.The people of this state are specialized over centuries in harvesting two crops of fish along with each crop of the paddy.

The Noctes tribes practice elementary form of Vaishnavism. Every event or occasions and feast like marriages and social gathering are not complete without the singing of the Ja-Jin-Ja special song. It is a must among the boys and girls of the Adi group of tribes to become the members of their respective institutions when they attain the age of ten. After which till the time of the boys’ or the girls’ wedding will have to remain in their respective dormitories. But however there is no restriction among the boys to visit the girls in their Rashbengs and during such visits if they start liking each other and with the parents’ approval marriage takes place following their tribal customs and rituals. Even after the wedding the girl lives with her parents till the birth of her first child, so that in the meanwhile the boy would be able to construct a house to live. In the Adi society descent is traced through the father and the property devolves on the male line and the children belong to the fathers clan.Kebang are those who make important decisions of political and social matters and also settles any disputes among the members of the community. The various kebangs are Bane Kebang, Bango Kebang, Bogum Bokang Kebang and Atek Kebang.



Traditions and customs play a significant role in all the societies of a particular group and they form the base for the same. The customs and traditions are more of beliefs which has been followed by earlier generations which are widely accepted and strictly followed. Thus the Assamese also strictly adhere to such customs and traditions generated by their forefathers pertaining to their community. The Assamese weddings, birth, festivals and even death include various customs and traditions which are supposed to be followed. The Assamese are very much attached to the bamboo culture, especially Jaapi which is more commonly known as the sunshade of Assam. This Jaapi or the bamboos are used by the Assamese to welcome special guests. The Jaapi is mainly made of bamboo strips and a kind of dried palm leaves which is locally known as “Tokow Pat”. Jaapi has a number of varities like Halua Jaapi, Pitha Jaapi, Sorudoiya Jaapi, Bordoiya Jaapi, Cap, etc.In olden days the Assamese used these Jaapi’s for the females of noble and rich families as their headwears.Sometims it is also used in the paddy fields by the peasants as umbrell



Biharis with a rich cultural heritage is blended with major epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana and the state is a land to major religions. The Biharis are noted for their traditional Madhubani paintings. The people are also very good at traditional arts and crafts like hand-painted wall hangings, wooden stools, miniatures in paper and leaves, stone pottery, bamboo, leather goods and applique work. The mud walls of some places like Saharsa, Muzaffarpur, Vaishali, Darbhanga, Samastipur, and Bhagalpur are also adorned with Madhubani paintings. The Biharis celebrates the festival of Chaath dedicated to Sun God with major pomp and it usually begins on the fourth day of the month of Kartik Shukhla Paksha which falls either in the month of October or November. The Chaath festival is considered to be very holy among the Biharis and is celebrated for at least four days. Other festivals celebrated by the Biharis are Deepawali, Shravani Mela, Teej, Chitragupta Puja, Makar Sankranti, Saraswati Puja, Holi, Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Adha, Muharram, Kali Puja, Ram Navami, Rakshabandhan, Maha Shivaratri, Durga Puja, Lakshmi Puja, Christmas, Mahavir Jayanti, Buddha Purnima, Guru Purab and Bhai Dooj.



Customs and traditions play a major role in the life of Chhattisgarhi people. The religion of the tribal people is more viewed in the anionic forms of folk-mythical gods and goddesses. The temples here do not have any major architecture but instead are very simple and unadorned where the gods and goddesses are represented by terracotta figurines. These shrines are called as gudi which is mostly built near a stream or in a cave. Danteshwari is one of the most revered goddess of this area, worshipped as the bestower of wishes and protector against evil. The Gonds tribal community of Chhattisgarh has a social institution, Ghotul where the boys and girls of the group are taken into this school to instill the spirit of independence and social responsibility in them. The people of the Gond community consider the Ghotul as their shrine and they believe it to be protected by Lingo Pen, a Gond cult hero. The boys and the girls of this community are called as cheliks and motiaries respectively are taken into a dormitory where they learn the tenets of social, religious and artistic life. The custom followed in a ghotul is co-habitation and marriage. According to this custom once the cheliks and motiaries attain puberty, they are initiated to sex by the older members of the ghotul. After living together and if the couple wish to further decide to get married, then they are required to get married according to their tradition and leave the Ghotul.The people of Chhattisgarh have a traditional custom of hanging strings of neem leaves on their doors to ward of various kinds of diseases during the festival of Hareli.The cultural mosaic of Chhattisgarh is also marked by tribal entertainment like cock fights, tribal dances like Salai, Suwa and Karma. Every occasion here is marked by singing of folk songs by elderly women of a particular tribe. GOA -



The Goan customs and traditions are easily adaptable because of their lifestyle. The flexibility in their customs is mainly due to the fact that the place being reigned by different empires, the customs and traditions have also got a shape according to the beliefs pertaining to that period of time. Thus the people do not really consider the traditional practices too hard. But still there are certain customs and traditions which are very much adhered to like most of the houses built here follow the typical Portugal custom. Not only the old churches but also any new church constructed here follows the typical traditional Portugal style. There are no hard and fast rules to follow a particular religion for they can have the choice of their own but still respect the values of other religions too. This nature of the Goans makes them stand apart from the entire country and so their tradition and customs have truly given a unique identity to the state and made it a role model for others.



Most of the people of Haryana have more or less equal social status. The status factor comes up only with the age which is understood and respected. The elders no matter how poor or rich is given all the due respect in any place whereas the younger as a part of their social custom has to respect the older people even if the junior is very rich or socially placed in a high status. Thus the tradition of the state of Haryana is very socialistic in nature. When it comes to marriage, a boy and a girl of the same gotra are not allowed to marry and the marriage is a must within the same community. A boy and a girl of the same gothra are considered to be brother and sister. If marriages do not take place within the same Jat then it is considered as a great disgrace to the boy or the girl family and is never accepted. Marriage within the same village is also not permitted even if the boy and girl qualify for marriage according to gotra restriction. By following this custom the people are able to maintain racial purity and this factor of limiting within the community helps in promoting good health and prevention of physical degeneration. The people of Haryana do not promote karewa or widow marriage which is a very big obligation among the community




The people of Himachal Pradesh have their customs and traditions pertaining to their communities. The whole village is considered as one single family and the elders of the family are referred by the name Chacha-Tau (uncle), Bhabhi (sister-in-law), Mausi (aunt) or Nani (grandmother) according to their ages. The people value their relationship a lot and treat them with great regards. The Brahmins and the Rajputs very much follow the traditional customs of race, caste, gotra and family and adhere to it. They follow the traditional practice of sending gifts like jewellery and clothes and various other things to the girls’ husband’s house. It is also taboo for the girl’s family members to eat or drink anything in her sasural. They must pay an equivalent sum of money as compensation. This is not practiced in lower caste. The custom of Purdah is strictly followed by the female folk of Himachal Pradesh where they will have to veil their faces in front of all elders. Also once a girl delivers a child she should follow the custom of Pair Bandai where she falls at the feet of elders in the family of her husband and also should place money at their feet. There is also a custom of matchmaking even before a child is born just based on a vague assumption. The polyandrous customs of Kinnaur region also points at the close bond between the brothers. The eldest brother of the family is considered equal to the father. The birth of a girl child is celebrated for they are considered to be as the devi or the goddess of the house and special pujas are offered to the young girls at the time of Navarathri.



There is a special ritual dance named Kud which is performed by all age groups of people in praise of Lok Devatas and this folk dance is ususally performed only during the night times and goes on for the whole night. The background music for this dance uses instruments like Narshingha, chhaina, flute, drums, etc. The Kashmiris living in the area of the Jammu valley celebrate the Lohri festival by performing a traditional theatre form and is known as Heren. Most of the weddings of the Kashmiris are accompanied by a dance known as Fumenie and Jagarana which involves singing and dancing of the female folk depicting the feelings of the girl who is going to leave to her in-laws place. The people belonging to the Gujjar and Bakerwal tribal community perform a traditional singing of songs in chorous and is popularly known as Benthe.




According to the custom of the people of Jharkhand, the ancestors are worshipped asa guardian spirit to the whole community. They follow the practice of placing the bones of the deceased after cremation under the sasandiri which also houses the bones of the ancestors. They are usually put in an earthen pot and kept there from the time of the cremation or burial till the time of the jangtopa ceremony when the actual placing of bones in the sasandiri can take place. Thus once in a year the family members will have to pay a visit to these burial stones to pay homage to their forefathers and ancestors. In earlier days they also had the custom of people belonging to the same community should have the same surname and they all settle down in one common area. But however now this is not followed. Endogamous marriage is normal with the exception of marriage to members of the Santhal, Ho, Kharia and Oraon (Kurukh) communities. When this is not followed they were very badly punished by the community chieftains and also a wedding between a girl and a boy of the same gotra is considered as a crime. But marriage is common between a girl and a boy among the Santhal, Ho and Kharia communities.




The theatre culture is one of the most common traditions among the Kannadigas. The theatre culture is also referred by the name Rangabhoomi. Natakas is also a common tradition among the people of Karnataka where a number of literatures related to epics and puranas are also written in praise of the heroic characters. Another common tradition among the Kannadigas is that in the temples on special occasion or on auspicious days like Dasara and Maha Shivaratri battles, stories, devotions or vratha are sung or narrated by the experts to the public and the devotees. Harikathe also comes as a part of tradition where a person tells a story in an outstanding manner accompanied by music at background and this goes on for the whole night. The Kannadiga weddings are more like the traditional Hindu weddings. The kannadigas very much adhere to the traditions customs and rituals at the time of wedding. There is a traditional practice of worshipping the spirits (generally referred as the Bhootas) mainly by the people of North Karnataka.



The customs and traditions of the people of Madhya Pradesh vary to a great extent from the people of other states.Ghotul is a custom followed by the young boys and girls of the Muria tribe. This custom is mainly followed by the unmarried boys and girls where they all gather in a particular place after sunset. This place has a group of huts where various activities like teaching of moral values, good conduct and discipline takes place. Here education is taught in the form of fun and play way method. This custom of Ghotul has helped the people of Muria tribe to be shaped into a morally good personality. However most commonly the people of Madhya Pradesh follow the traditional customs similar to that of the Hindu rituals whether it matters for marriage, birth or death. Every year there is a fair cum festival known as Bhagoriya conducted, in which people are allowed to choose their spouse. After choosing their spouse and if both the boy and girl are willing to get married then they elope from the house and when they come back, they are accepted as husband and wife.




During Vinayaka Chaturthi the people of Maharashtra follow a number of traditional customs. On the mythical birth anniversary of Lord Ganesha the people create the idols of Ganesha, decorate it and place it on a raised platform. It is a traditional practice to have the idol worshipped for ten days and on the eleventh day the people end the festival by carrying the idol on the streets by singing and dancing and then immerse the statue in the water. The celebration of this festival is an indication of the euphoria of the Maharastrian people. The Mahrashtrians celebrate the festival of Light, Diwali for nearly four days. On these days as a traditional custom the people light lot of diyas with a belief to take away all evil factors from their life.



Kerala fondly known as God’s own country has a wonderful tradition in the history of Malayalis with lot of ethnic values and cultures. Apart from Hinduism, Christianity and Muslims there are also Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and Judaism religions in a very very small proportion. There are some traditional festivals like Onam and Vishu which is followed with great pomp. Apart from these traditional festivals, other festivals like Diwali, Christmas, Milad-e-Sherif, Holi, Easter, Id-ul-Fitr are celebrated with equal enthusiasm. The theatrical shows of Mohiniattam, Kootiyattam and Kathakali reveal their traditional values and also show what great lovers the Malayalis are with art and literature. The people of Kerala very much adhere to their culture and traditional customs and might even go to a great extent to maintain it. They have lot of traditional medicines which is mainly based on herbs and is believed to work wonders. They mostly follow traditional method of homemade remedies in the form of oils, powders and soaps to take care of their bodies.



The people of Manipur mostly live as joint family and they follow the patriarchal pattern of society. The right to inherit the property and the family name is taken by the direct blood relationship. In the patriarchal form of society the father is the head and the mother takes an honorable place. Once the father dies the entire responsibility of the family falls on the eldest son. When it comes to the partition of the property all the sons are entitled to an equal share. The women of the family or the mother sometimes though treated in par with the male cannot stake their claim for a share of paternal property whereas a women after the death of her husband can inherit the husband’s estate. The traditional house of the Bishnupriya Manipuris are called as the Inchau which are mainly constructed on plane lands. Wood and Khapak are mainly used in the construction of the house fenced by a kind of hemp plant. Though there are modern houses coming up but still people beonging to the orthodox Bishnupriyas follow to build their houses with the traditional pattern.





Apart from the religious rituals and ceremonials the people of Bengal or the Bengalis have their own rituals in ceremonies like birth, weddings and even death. The Gaye holud is a part of a custom of the Bengali wedding and it takes place one or two days prior to the occasion. The Gaye holud is also known as the turmeric function during which haldi is applied on the skin of the bride and the groom for it is believed that turmeric cleanses, soften and brighten the skin, giving the bride’s skin the distinctive yellow hue that gives its name to this ceremony. According to Bengalis, the weddings symbolizes purity, sanctity and other good aspects of life. During a wedding ceremony Bengalis do not opt for black colour for it is considered as the colour of evil whereas they prefer hues of red which signifies luck, emotion and fortune. Banana tree is used to decorate the wedding mandaps and the house for banana tree produces huge number of fruits at a time and so also the couple should be blessed with many children. A ritual known as Annaprashan is conducted for the babies when it is five to seven months old. This is just to welcome the baby to eat the normal home-made food after it crosses the stage of eating baby food pattern.



The people of Uttarakhand follow the ancestor spirit worship. They believe that by doing this kind of worship they wake up the Gods and the local deities from their inactive stage to solve their problems and shower their blessings. It is a traditional belief that that by doing this they get divine justice. On such occasions music plays a major role and act as a medium to invoke the Gods. The singer or Jagariya sings a ballad of the gods with allusions to the great epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana and which describes the adventures and exploits of the god being invoked. This is a very common custom prevalent among most of the Hindu people in Uttarakhand. The people are deep rooted in religious faiths and superstitions for any good thing they do, they depend on the astrological forecast of the Brahmins for its auspiciousness. They follow age old customs and traditions for all social functions like new birth, marriage, death, etc. Shiva and Durga are the most important Gods of the people of Uttarakhand and many fairs and festivals are held in regard with the above mentioned Gods. People believe in ghosts, witches, etc., and tantra-mantra are used to cure disease and prevent calamities. Tantra-Mantra plays an important role in some customs which are executed at the places called ‘Shiddhpith’ and on the confluence of two rivers. At such times they sacrifice buffalos, goats and sheep to please the God or Goddess.



The people of Uttar Pradesh follow the ritual or more than that they make it compulsion in one’s life time of taking a dip in the holy water of river Ganga and Yamuna. They believe that by having a bath in this holy water they get purified from all the sins they have committed in their life time. Aarti is another important ritual which is followed in the Ganga ghats. The deities are offered with light from the wicks soaked in purified butter in a very grand manner. Havan is a ritual performed by the people of Hindu community. It involves lightning of holy fire or the Yagna and the belief is that by doing this all evils and ill -wills are thrown apart. It is considered very auspicious among the Hindus to perform a Havan for the prosperity and the good luck before starting of any new work. This puja is conducted by the chief priest and during which lots of mantras are recited. There is also a traditional belief of frog marriages to usher rains in case of delayed monsoons. According to Hindu rituals when the marriage is performed, the Gods are pleased and rainfall takes place within days. They also believe in rolling of children on the grounds so that Indran, God of Rains is pleased and blesses the people with a good shower. They follow the patriarchical system of society or social structure.



Since the people of Tripura belong to a blend of various tribal communities, they follow different customs and traditions. According to the Reang community the marriages are fixed by a matchmaker who is widely known as Andra where he does the initial negotiations between the boy’s and the girl’s family. When the marriage is finalized the guests are served with pork, rice and rice beer. The wedding is performed by the Ochai. Child marriage is not encouraged in this community and also widow marriage can take place only after one year of the death of the husband. The widow and widower are not allowed to participate in any social or religious gathering one year after the death of their spouses. A widow is not allowed to wear any ornaments after the death of her husband. They do not have any dowry system but however the groom has to spend for two years to the father- in -laws’ house before the wedding. At the birth of a child as a matter of thanking the god several pujas are performed for the safe growth of the child and sacrifices are also done to please the god. When a person dies his or her body is first washed with soap and water and then with the water which is got from the cleaning of the raw rice. After which they are dressed up neatly with their traditional attires and in case of a female, a fowl is sacrificed near the feet of the deceased. The body is left the whole night during which the ritual of dance is performed and the mourners are given rice beer to drink. After this the next day morning the body is cremated near a stream. Some of the tribes still cling on to quaint customs like floating colorful parasols in ponds to honour the dead.



Tamilnadu attribute of being a cosmopolitan city, Chennai mirrors confluence of all the diverse cultures nourishing within its boundaries. The residents of the city living in sheer harmony with each other confirm that the varied culture exists, but not at the cost of peace and tranquillity . A number of monuments silently express the glorious history of the city they witnessed, the traditional art forms they preserved and continued to keep it alive. The spirit of  vibrant culture and reminiscent traditions all make the city wonderful and tremendously important as a part of Indian heritage.


People, the power of a nation, come to from all directions making it a major cosmopolitan city in the southern region of India. Having core value system and orthodox beliefs, the residents  are famous for their hospitality and warmth. Their deep rooted beliefs and customs upholding brotherhood, tranquillity and mutual respect drive their daily chores from celebrations to mournful times.

Tamil nadu is home to various religions, each enjoying respect and faith from even the non-followers. From Hindu, Muslims, Christians to Janise, the state has warmly welcomed them all. These people living in harmony increase the magnificence of Chennai manifold. At the end of it, the metropolitan city, Chennai, is a breathing example of perfect confluence of traditional beliefs and modernity in one’s life.

Multiple people, hailing from diverse backgrounds lead to the flow of many languages within the territory of state. Though Tamil enjoys the status of being the prime language iand the mother tongue, popularly articulated by the citizens , however, people belonging to different regions have brought their native languages with them. Other spoken languages here are English, French, Portuguese, Dutch, Telugu, Urdu, Kannada, Bengali, Punjabi and Malayalam



On any religious festival and occasions the monks of the temple cover themselves with masks, ceremonial swords and sparkling jewels dance according to the rhythm of resounding drum and trumpeting of horns. The people of Sikkim who follow the Mahayana form of Buddhism celebrate the festival of Saga Dawa which is supposed to very auspicious. On this particular day the people go the monasteries and worship offering butter lamps. There are also processions arranged by the monks and they go around the town of Gangtok reading and singing the Holy Scriptures. As a matter of offering thanks to Mount Kanchendzonga which is considered to guard the state of Sikkim, the festival of Phang Lhabsol is celebrated with great pomp. Kagyat dance is performed every 28th and 29th day of the Tibetan calendar. The solemn nature of the dances is interspersed with comic relief provided by the jesters. The people of Sikkim especially the Hindu-Nepali celebrate the Dasian festival in the months of September – October which mainly symbolizes the victory of good over evil. Some of the common festivals celebrated by the people living here are Saga Dawa, Losoong, Namsoong, Labab Duchen, Kagyat dance, Yuma- Sam-Manghim, Tendong-lho-Rum- Fat, etc. According to their tradition the festival of lights, Diwali is celebrated on the 10th day after Dasain. The married females of the Bhutia community tie a piece of stripped cloth around their waist called Pangden signifying their marital status.



The customs and traditions followed by the people of Rajasthan are those that pertain to that of the Vedic rites and rituals. The people of Rajasthan very strictly adhere to these traditional customs which is very essential according to every man and woman of Rajasthan. Each and every custom and rituals from birth to death according to the Vedas is followed by the people with just slight variations based on their region and the numerous sub castes. These ceremonies which have to be done as a part of their customs are known as Samskaras which depict the three stages of life namely birth, marriage and death. There are nearly sixteen Samskaras. At the time of a girl’s pregnancy charms are tied around the neck and waist and also to prevent the evil eye falling on her, a knife is put under her pillow every night and is not allowed to go under certain specific tree where the Rajasthani’s believe that spirits reside on those trees. The girl who is pregnant for the first time has to come to her parents well in advance. Festivities start and women assemble to sing songs specially meant for such an occasion, some describing the changing behavior and liking of a pregnant woman.





Blood relationships or the family plays a major role in the customs and traditions of the people of Punjab. Each member of the family has got certain duties or responsibility assigned to them which includes day-to-day life, birth and marriage ceremonies, funerals and other social occasions and they will have to follow it strictly. They mostly live in joint family system. Very rarely a member of the family may live in an adjoining village. But still when it comes to any social or festive occasions, like the initiation and marriage ceremonies or funerals, etc in which they will not miss out their participation. At the time of girls’ wedding a traditional red ivory bangle commonly known as choora is supposed to come as a gift from the maternal uncle and as a custom he has to put the bangles on her forearm. Similarly the maternal grandparents also have to send some gifts to the bride which includes a set of clothes, some jewellery and other household objects. The custom of exchange of gifts is a very traditional practice among the Punjabi’s for they believe this helps to maintain a well knit relationship among friends and family members in the society. This is also a means of patching up with that relationship which has been broken for some reasons. Any social function like the first haircutting, or an initiation ceremony or birth or wedding, it is a more common custom among the relatives to give something in cash or in kind according to his social standing or nearness of relation.



Mostly the people of Odisha including the tribal population follow the traditions pertaining to the Hindus with a small variation depending on the various racial groups they originate from and finally it is displayed as a blend. Mostly all the religious and social ceremonies like wedding, birth and death include singing songs, rural dances along with feasts. The people believe in supernatural beings and they don’t have one standard god or spirit for their belief changes as new ones come their way. These supernatural beings vary from each other by composition, function, character and nature. Some are charitable; some are impartial and some are ill-disposed, to which more importance was given by the people. The main outlook of the tribal people was that of the prediction of the environment for all the ritual activities are based on these natural powers. Any disaster or calamity caused to the people is believed to be due to the curse or malicious act of the Gods or ancestors. At times of religious festivals and fairs, sacrifices of different kinds of livestocks along with rituals are quite common among the people. They believe it is a way to appease the god and spirits. Any decision making is confirmed only after the appeasement of Gods and good omens for the people are extremely superstitious in nature. All their spiritual needs is catered by the functional heads of various communities like in the Saoras community- the priests are divided into three categories namely the Buyya are those who preside over agricultural festivals, offers and sacrifices. The functions of priest, prophet and medicine-man put together are taken care by the Kudan. The sacerdotal head among the Juang is called Nagam or Buita, Pujari or Sisa among the Bondos and Jani among the Kondhs.



The people of Nagaland encourage marriage only outside of a social group. Thus people from the same community do not marry and also in case of any relationship between them then it considered as a social evil. In the Angamis community if a young boy shows a liking towards a girl then he conveys it to his father after which a friend is send to confirm the wishes of the elders. It the parents on the other side also agree then the bridegroom’s father puts the matter further to the test by strangling a fowl and watching the way in which it crosses its legs when dying. If the legs are placed in an inauspicious attitude, the match is immediately broken off. If things go well the marriage is fixed but the girl also has the right to break the marriage even if she has some inauspicious dream.

The people of the Mongsen tribal community follow a strange custom wherein once a boy and girl are engaged they are allowed to go on a trading expedition for twenty days and if it turns out to be profitable then the marriage is fixed whereas if it is a loss then the marriage is broken. Most of the tribal community follow the custom of shaving the girls head until she reaches the marriageable age. The custom to be followed by a boy and a girl before their wedding vary from different communities like in the Angamis community a girl can have a lover before the wedding but they cannot exceed their limit. The people of the Sema community give lot of regard and care for the girls for the only reason that a girl fetches a handsome price at marriage and this price would be substantially reduced if she got involved in a scandal otherwise they end up paying fine.

French scholar Romain Rolland said, “If there is one place on the face of earth where all the dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days when man began the dream of existence, it is India


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.