Ponosguda: Feeding the Buffaloes

When we arrived in Ponosguda on Friday afternoon, the buffaloes had already been tied up at the Gumal’s internal platform, and the feeding was in full swing. Affinal visitors who were already in the village, women of the sponsors, and the wives of some panjabai (whose husbands came only later) from the neighboring village gave the animals as much as they could eat. The Dombo of the village did not feed the animals cooked rice, but rather hulled rice, since a Gadaba - even in the form of a buffalo - does not accept cooked food from a Dombo. While the women fed and wept over the buffaloes, Komlu introduced them to us one by one: “This is my boroaba (FeB), my ma (M), my puo (S),” etc. While the sponsors appeared somewhat tense, but calm, some of the internal tsorubai (Maji) were already dancing before the buffaloes and striking them on the shoulders. With an eye to the eating buffaloes, Komlu explained, “however much the buffaloes eat [today], the panjabai will eat [tomorrow].”[1] After darkness fell, the buffaloes were untied and led to the individual houses. The organization of the coming days was discussed, and the helpers (bandagoria and kan- dasalia) were designated. Also under discussion was whether extra buffaloes should be given to particular people as credit (udar). The Kirsani had no debts (run) from similar transactions. When such buffaloes are given, they have to be kept secret from the panjabai and “given in hiding” (luchei debar). At the gotr documented by Izikowitz in Kamarguda, three buffaloes were given away before the chief day, plausibly in secret transactions of this kind. However, the Gumal in Ponosguda decided not to give any buffaloes away in secret.

  • [1] Por kaile etki, panjabai kaibe setki.
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