Oraons: The Stages of a Life (Birth)

Like most of the other tribes living around the world, the people from Oraon Tribes too used to lead a very simple and minimalist lifestyle.
The kind of lifestyle that is being gaining acceptance among our planet’s denizens, more so in the era of alarming global warming and increasingly growing environmental degradation. There is lot of similarity that can be found in a life a living being of our planet be it plants, animals, humans, etc. Right from Birth to the life long journey finally culminating in a certain death; all the living beings share the same ageless destiny.
Like their ancestors, the Oraons celebrate each important stages of our lifecycle with great passion in their own unique tribal ways.

Birth:

The Chathi event is celebrated after about 6 to 8 days after the birth of a child by the family, to welcome new member to the family.
On this day friends, relatives and other near and dear ones are invited to participate in the celebration. The young child’s hair on head is shaved-off (called mundan) and then he/she is given bath and is cleaned properly and purified (called shuddhikaran). Just like her child even the mother undertakes ritualistic bath using turmeric (haldi) and mustard-oil (sarson-tel). Also the house is cleaned properly.
After the completion of the mundan process, the child (if he is a boy) sits with the grandfather (aaja or nana) or the child (if she is a girl) sits with the grandmother (aaji or nani). Then, the name-searching process (called namakaran)of the child starts with the donaa (saucer made up of leaves) being filled with water, doob ghaas (grass), haldi (turmeric), coin, etc. and the donaa being kept at the centre of the room along with the rice. Then the naming process of the child starts with a prayer by all the family members and others who are present in the Chathi ceremony. After the elaborate naming process is over, the community feast start. The black thread is fastened on the waist of the child. Similarly the child is made to wear beraa (bangle for male child) and pairee (anklet for female child) to keep the evils far away from them.

3 Comments

  1. I will just add the way the name of the child is kept. A bowl made of bronze is kept filled with water. The eldest member of the family normally Grandfather puts a rice grain in the centre of the bowl. All people present suggests name which some ancestors or forefathers or relatives. Each time a name is suggested a rice grain is put on the side of the side of the water (not on centre). If the rice grain is sinked, another name is suggested and another rice grain is put on the bowl. If the rice grain at centre which represents the newly born is touched by the rice grain put with a suggested name, the process is over and thus name is decided. In my case my name was after the husband of my grandmother's sister.

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