You must have often witnessed people offering gold, sweets, or money to a deity as a ritual. But in this Indian village near Indore, the bride or groom offers as a sacrifice pig to the tiger as the wedding tradition.
According to Hindustan Times report, in Kutela village, besides the seven rounds around the fire, no marriage is solemnised by Kushram clan of Gond tribe, without offering the sacrifice. The tradition also demands that a man from the groom’s side, acting like a tiger, kills a pig and sucks the animal’s blood.
Gond is the largest tribe of India, concentrated mainly in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh for centuries. Karma Kushram, a member of Kushram community, which depends on forest for livelihood said:
“We believe if a pig is not offered on time to the tiger, there is a likelihood that the couple will be targeted by the animal.”
Doshi, a tribal of Kutela village in Dindori district said:
“Tiger is the kuldeva (God of the community) of Kushram community and everything is linked to this animal in our community.”
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So, how did this tradition come into existence? Hari Marwi, a local Gond historian, said:
“The Gond tribals are worshippers of prakriti (nature) hence each and every custom has evolved from the jungles and nature. There are 750 clans in Gond tribe and each clan has its own saviour from the nature like trees, rivers, various animals. This ensures a balance in the environment as one clan preaches one part of the nature, and sustainable habitat is maintained.”
Although the ritual might appear to be somewhat bizarre to urban folks, the way these tribals respect nature is something no one in the urban world has the capability of understanding.