Gotr in Kamarguda

In Kamarguda, the gotr began in mid-January 1952 and reached its conclusion and culmination a month later, after the full moon in the month of mag (February). The gotr proper, however, began only a week before the dramatic finale. The sponsors of the gotr were two groups in the village, the Kirsani - the chief sponsors - and the Pujari. The buffaloes were tied up in various places marked by horizontal and vertical stone slabs and branches of the simli tree. A shared platform was located inside the village (gotr munda^7), another of the same kind for the Kirsani only, the richer group, in their part of the village (nggom munda13S), and finally a third, likewise shared, outside the village (gotr langbo^; Izikowitz 1969,136f).[1] [2] [3]

Izikowitz describes how the buffaloes were led back and forth between the platforms within the village in the days before the chief festival day and continually mourned and fed by the women. The men performed war dances in front of the buffaloes and drummed day and night. Among the external groups that arrived in the village before the chief day, Izikowitz names the Kirsani’s panjabai. They came from the village of Alangpada and brought boulders to the gotr munda and a head of cattle. In addition, the Kirsani’s moitr came from Deulpada and brought stones to the Kirsani’s platform (nggom munda). Two other groups - from Sonkai and Tikrapada - are not identified in the text; they brought cattle. Based on my knowledge of the villages and their social composition, I can add that they were probably affines of the sponsors.

  • [1] Ungom* means “village.”
  • [2] Langbo* refers to the dry fields, poda in Desia.
  • [3] The platforms are referred to in a wide variety of ways. Alongside the megalithic monuments of different kutum or houses in each neighborhood, the most important distinction is thatbetween the collective platform inside the village and the collective platform outside the village.The internal collective platform was often called ga munda (or ungom munda*) or gotr munda,but the external platform was also referred to as gotr munda (panja munda in Pfeffer 1991,2001a), as well as poda munda (or langbo munda*).
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