Badagas of the Blue Mountains…..their unique history, origin, culture, customs, rituals, language and lifestyle !!
Weblog of Wing Commander Bellie Jayaprakash [email@example.com]
The best part is the wedding is celebrated by the complete village and the villagers help out in every aspect of the customs and rituals
The greatest plus points of a Badaga marriage are that there is NO DOWRY, the wedding always takes place in the boy's (bride groom's) house [or the place of his choice in case of a Kalyana Mandapam /Hotel] and all the wedding expenses including the customary feast [Maduve Hittu] of only vegetarian dishes, are borne by the groom's family.
Incidentally, divorce and remarriges are not uncommon and a widow is not condemned for ever like in most of the Hindu communities and in many cases the widow can marry again even she has children from her earlier marriage.
Two important factors that are taken into consideration are the 'MORAY' and the age of the girl. Moray is an unique concept of defining the relationship among Badagas, a concept that has very good scientific reasons and helped in propagation of the community in which marriages do not take place between very close relatives. In a village all are considered as brothers and sisters and hence a marriage cannot take place between a boy and a girl from the same village.
Also, the Badaga Villages [hattis] are grouped into communes apart from the four SEEMEs. In a commune which consists of say Six Villages [called AARU OORU] or Nineteen Villages [Hathombattu Ooru] again every one is a brother or a sister, though the villages may not be physically located close by. For example, Jakkada, Karekorai, Bearhatti, Mel Bikkatti, Keeya Bikkatti, Manjida are part of AARU OORU and hence no marriage can take place among them.
A typical Badaga wedding is explained with pictures !
This feature contains the photos [taken by Wing Commander Bellie Jayaprakash] on the occasion of SENTHIL, son of Mr.Bogga [Maathi] Ari Gowder and Mrs.Maadhi Ammal at Hubbathalai on 28 May 2007, getting married to SHOBANA of Bearhatty. Ari Gowder, Ari Anna to me, is a very good friend of mine, though he is many years senior to me. He is an excellent painter [Belle Husuva] and has got some special regards for me. Due to an accident of a lorry running over his feet, Ari Gowder is confined to his home these days. He was very particular that I attend his son's wedding and I am glad I could not only attend the happy function but also could record the occasion with these photos.
Preparations are on in the groom's house on the pre wedding night, where close relatives converge.
'Heru' [ a bagful of rice] from the bride's side is being brought to the groom's house. The bride is ceremoniously brought to the groom's house with 'Hey AH OH' hathikkodhu
The bride at the groom's house entrance - 'BAAYILU"
Bride being welcomed by her future mother in law.Mother in law tying the chain - 'ungara mani' [chain with a ring]
After the first meal the bride throwing away the leftover [echelu neeru].The plate is washed
bride is being taken to the 'halla' [water source & At the halla, the bride cleans the water pot - 'KODA'
The groom who was NOT allowed to see his bride all this time, is getting ready to come to his house from a neighbour's house and being brought to his house