Gotr Day Rau Sacrifice

The buffalo-takers and others danced before the buffaloes in the plaza all night, until a small group, led by the dissari, left the village before dawn to perform another rau puja. Instead of the otherwise customary buffalo, a white ram was ritually killed.167 The method of killing was the usual one, however, since the animal's belly was slit open and its entrails ripped out. The tongue was also cut out, and the animal was cut entirely in half. The two halves were to be given to the groups of buffalo-taklater.

Distribution of the Packets

Immediately following the rau sacrifice, representatives of all the buffalo-taking groups assembled in Komlu’s house to negotiate the distribution of the buffaloes. All the participants suddenly appeared entirely sober, and the discussion was pursued in a quiet tone. The sponsors attempted from the start to avoid a dispute about the buffaloes. Komlu issued the injunction not to separate the two buffaloes for his father, saying that they should be taken together; then he held back and let others speak. In the conversation, the groups of buffalo- takers were again associated with wives. The sanli and moja - the “junior” and “middle” wives, that is, the two tsorubai groups - were each to take three buffaloes, and the borli - the sponsors’ “senior” wife, that is, the panjabai - was to receive seven.

Thirteen small packets (chuti) of rice (chaul) had been lying on a platter in the center of the group to this point and were only now taken out. “The rice blooms and is ripe,” a man commented, possibly in reference to the buffaloes, which could now be “harvested,” or in anticipation of the killing of some buffaloes in the fields, intended to guarantee the earth’s fertility. A young man from the ranks of the sponsors said calmly to the assembly:

I say it very clearly: we have thirteen buffalos, not one more. We have no debts, we give no credit. The [bai] moitr aren’t receiving anything; we’re not hiding anything. [turns to the panjabai] The tsorubai have three buffaloes each, that’s six, you have more than both of them together; isn’t that enough? Take the seven buffaloes and don’t demand anything else, don’t be greedy (dugra dagri). Don’t fight about the buffaloes on the way.

The spokesman for the panjabai replied only, with a provocative allusion to possibly hidden buffaloes, “Would I find no buffaloes, if I looked for them?” The sponsor then turned to each individual group, asking, “Are you agreed or not (raji ki nai)?” In answer, the buffalo-takers took the gourds of beer that had been handed to them, let a few drops fall to the ground, saluted one another around the circle, and drank. The dissari distributed the individual packets to the three groups according to the number of buffaloes each was assigned, and the groups’ spokesmen demonstratively counted them. The men bowed to one another and left the house to sort the buffaloes at the internal platform according to their groups.

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