(Last Updated on : 09-01-2018)
Kharia Tribe, inhabiting largely in Ranchi
, East Singhbhum
of the Jharkhand
, are a part of the Proto-Austroloid family group. These tribal
groups segregated into three broad segments, Dudh, Dhelki and Hill. Kharia perform several local festivals
and sacred performances that bear a close relation to the major life-cycle events of the Kharia Tribe
such as birth, marriage
. These sacred rituals
performed by the Kharia tribe reflect the age old tradition and culture
that have been passed down through generations.
Birth Rituals of Kharia Tribe
The Kharias observe several rituals and customs associated with birth and childhood. They are as follows;
Pregnancy: The Kharia practise the ceremony of Dorho-jo-dom i.e. warding off the Dorho or Darha spirit from a woman, when a woman becomes pregnant for the first time. The ceremony is also performed when a woman experiences successive abortions or looses children during infancy.
Labour Pain: In case of difficulty during labour pain, the Kharias open all the closed objects of the house such as door, locks, lids of boxes and corks of bottles believing that it would result in opening of the mouth of the uterus.
Shudhom: The day of Shudhom, also known as purification ceremony, is celebrated on the seventh day after the birth of the child. During this time, the house is thoroughly cleaned and the female members of the family along with the mother and her baby bathe in a tank nearby.
Mundan: The Mundan or the first hair tonsure of the child is performed during the afternoon on the day on which Shudhom is performed. Mundan is performed by the maternal uncle of the baby in the courtyard of the house.
Chhatti and Nimi Raina: This is the name giving ceremony celebrated by the family members usually after a week of the Mundan. The adult members of the family excluding the unmarried men and women keep fast on this day.
Kanbedhi or Luturn Tebki: This ceremony is celebrated within a year after the celebration of Chhatti. The date for the ear boring ceremony is fixed on the morning of the day following either the Bandai or Nawakhani. On the appointed day Paisari Puja is performed by the Kalo in the courtyard for the wellbeing of the family. The ear boring is performed either by the Mitta or mother's father.
Marriage Rituals of Kharia Tribe
Marriage of Kharia Tribe is a sacred ritual associated with a celebration of several rituals and customs. Some of the rituals are mentioned below;
Gojhung Sagodna and Jungjungdae: The selection of a suitable bride signals the celebration of this ceremony where the groom's family members pay a visit to the bride's house for betrothal, marking good and evil omen on the way.
Cham Chhori: This ceremony is celebrated for those who have undergone the Chambandhi ceremony during their childhood. Members of at least three clans need to be present during the ceremony. The child in this case is sold to the Lohar during his childhood days and later obtained back during marriage.
Paisari Puja: Later, the relatives of the groom are cordially welcomed by the family members of the bride. Following the performance of several fascinating rituals, the Paisari puja is performed by the Kalo at the dera of the bride's party. The well adorned bride and groom, sitting side by side, partake in the rituals of the puja.
In case of a widow marriage
, the nuptial ceremony takes place in the bride's house. Upon returning the couple undergoes a ceremonial purification by drinking a sanctifying mixture prepared from a few drops of blood of a white cock sacrificed in the name of the Sun God
, blended with pounded turmeric
Death Rituals of Kharia Tribe
Death rituals of Kharia Tribe are mostly related to adherence and observation of specific customs. For the Kharias, death and disease are not natural phenomena; deemed to be caused by annoyance or malignancy of supernatural beings or spirits. A Deonra (spirit doctor) is usually called upon to execute the death rituals. Jibsong, Pejo-yona, Longoe-di-bharna and Tiljang are some of the important rituals associated with the death rituals.