Announcement of Ojiyele Festival
According to the calendar followed by the Wancho tribe, Ojiyele festival is celebrated generally during the months of March and April every year just after implanting paddy in the Jhum plots. The date of this festival is basically fixed by the village chief with the help of ‘Ngwapa’; the person who intimate any matter to the villagers and who accompany the chief and village elders by counting the digits on waxing and waning moon. The date of celebration of this festival varies from village to village. Once the date the festival is fixed, the Ngwapa announces it to the villagers from the platform or podium situated in the middle of the village. As soon as the date of the Ojiyele festival is fixed, people start preparing for the festival. The festival continues for 5 to 10 days immediately after collection of all the required materials.
Celebration of Ojiyele Festival
The first day of the Ojiyele festival is called ‘Wandak’. The villagers collect bamboo from the jungle. At night the bamboo is fixed in the centre of the bamboo gallows or ‘Rangwan’ made by the village elders. They construct this bamboo scaffold in front of the Chief’s dormitory temporarily for the festival. The village chief and the elders offer prayers. On this first day of the festival, people do not go for cultivation. After completion of the prayer people go back to their homes. Slaughtering of animals is a common practice on this day of the festival.
Second day of the festival is known as ‘Thoten’. On this day, the villagers kill pigs, cows, buffalos, etc. in every house. Grand feast is organized on this day. Young people goes from one house to another to help in slaughtering pigs, cows, buffalos etc. and this day is over with the slaughtering of the animals.
Third day of the festival is called ‘Rangosiea’. On this day, people offer prayers for better harvest. They take meal in the paddy field under the temporary thatched shade made for watching crops.
The fourth day of the Oriya festival is called ‘Bonu’. On this festive day, all the villagers carry one big piece of flesh of every animal slaughtered to the chief's house. People offer prayers and meal is taken and traditional ceremonial dancing begins after that.
The fifth festive day is called ‘Bosa’. On this day, people dance at the dancing ground away from the village. Dancing and singing too are part and parcel of Wancho festivals. Dressed in their best traditional attires, the members of the community both young boys and girls go on singing and dancing especially during this Ojiyele festival. They take the ‘Rangwan’ before sunset to the place away from their village where big trees are there. In this way, the Ojiyele festival of the Wancho tribe comes to an end.
Indian Tribal Festivals