Saljong is another deity which is more intimately concerned with human affairs. He is basically a Sun God, the source of all gifts to mankind. Saljong is honoured with the Wangala celebrations. Another benign deity is Chorabudi, the protector of crops. The first fruits of the fields are offered to him. He is also honoured with a pig sacrifice whenever sacrifices are offered to Tatara-Rabuga.
Living so close to nature, the early Garo people the world around them with a multitude of spirits called mite, some of them good and some of them capable of harming human beings for any lapses they might commit. Appropriate sacrifices are offered to them as occasions demand. In all religious ceremonies, sacrifices were essential for the propitiation of the spirits. They had to be invoked for births, marriages, deaths, illness, besides for the good crops and welfare of the community and for protection from destructions and dangers. Garos also show reverence to their ancestors by offering food to the departed souls and by erection of memorial stones.
Like other religions, the Songsarek religion ascribes to every human being the possession of a spirit that remains with him throughout his lifetime and leaves the body at death. There appears to be a belief in reincarnation, people being reborn into a lower or higher form of life according to their conduct in their lifetime. The greatest blessing a Garo looks forward to is to be reborn as a human being in his or her original ma'chong or family unit. The Garo normally do use many ornaments. The common ones are string of beads and earring worn both by men and women. The latter ornaments are considered to be very essentials as they serve as guarantees of the safe journey of the soul to the other world, being offered to the spirit Nawang should he try prevent the soul from going to the land of the dead. The Garo prefer simple food. They gradually avoid spiced food, and usually with rice they take boiled meat and vegetables. They boil this curry quite plainly, adding a kind of alkaline Kalchi vegetable "salt" to it just as it comes to the boil. It has been suggested that this practice account for the comparatively low incidence of gastric ailments in these hills.
The common and regular festivities are, of course, those connected with agricultural operations. Greatest among Garo festivals is the Wangala which is more a celebration of thanksgiving after harvest in which Saljong, the God who provides mankind with Nature's bounties and ensures their prosperity, is honoured. There is no fixed date for the celebration; this varying from village to village, but usually, the Wangala is celebrated in October. Preparations take place well before the date; items of food are among the first to be collected. The Nokma of the village takes the responsibility to see that all arrangements are in order. Rituals in his house and in the individual fields precede the feasting at which guests are literally force-fed by the hosts. A large quantity of food and rice-beer must be prepared well ahead. The climax of the celebrations is the colourful Wangala dance in which men and women take part in their best clothes. Lines are formed by males and females separately and to the rhythmic beat of drums and gongs and blowing of horns by the males, both group shuffle forward in parallel lines. Variety is added by the performance of a skilled dancer who ties a large fruit to the end of a string about half a metre in length and by a skilful manipulation of his body sets it swinging round and round behind him. This part of the dance usually wins enthusiastic applause.
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