Chief Festival Day

In total, twelve buffaloes were given away by the sponsors, three of them in advance of the official main act of the ritual, to whom is unclear. The remaining nine buffaloes were dressed and adorned by the sponsors on the chief festival day and finally led to the gotr langbo outside the village and tied up there, where a large crowd had already assembled from the entire surrounding area. The panjabai set up an additional stone slab there.

External Buffalo-Bringers

Various armed groups with buffaloes in their midst then turned up from other villages and charged into the assembly at the gotr langbo. A group from the previously mentioned Sonkai (presumably affines) initially brought their buffaloes to the house of the Kirsani sponsors. Izikowitz (1969, 139 f) explains, “The custom is that the buffaloes contributed by relatives and friends are to be taken out?side the village on the last day and torn to pieces.” However, they then tried to take to their heels with their buffalo again and were stopped by the sponsors’ Alangpada panjabai, sparking an open fight over the buffalo. Other “troops” arrived, bringing buffaloes to the sponsors; some people immediately took individual buffaloes away with them again in payment of old debts. Other buffaloes that were brought were suddenly attacked by men who knocked them on their backs and slit them open with knives in order to rip out their intestines. Still other people threw themselves on these men and the buffaloes in order to obtain a piece of the intestines for themselves, resulting in chaos. Twelve buffaloes were killed in this way, and according to Izikowitz’s informants, the entrails that individuals obtained would be buried in the fields later: “The men explained that the piece they succeeded in grabbing they would later bury in their fields, thus insuring a good harvest” (141).

The sponsors’ nine buffaloes were still standing tied up at the external platform up to this point and were now distributed to the buffalo-takers, who set out for home with them as fast as they possibly could. The Kirsani’s Alangpada panjabai received five, and their moitr from Lugum received one. The remaining three were taken by the panjabai of the Pujari of Kamarguda, from Gudapada.[1] According to the Gadaba, Izikowitz writes, the deceased were now “finally dead” (141).

  • [1] At present, there is no Pujari kuda group in Kamarguda, which forms a ritual unit with thevillage of Deulpada. The Pujari group of this ritual unit lives in the village of Dudipodor.Currently resident in Kamarguda are members of the Sisa, Kirsani, and Munduli. A tsorubairelationship exists between this last group and the Kirsani of Gudapada. Either the compositionof Kamarguda has changed since Izikowitz’s research, or a kutum group - which perhapsprovided the local pujari - described itself as a Pujari group.
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