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each gets up and sits down nine times, whoever accomplishes this first being considered to have won. The bridegroom then takes the bride's little finger in his hand and they walk nine times round the platform. He afterwards falls at the girl's feet, and standing up carries her inside the house, where they eat together out of one dish. After three days the party proceeds to the bridegroom's house, where the same ceremonies are gone through. Here the family barbers of the bride and bridegroom take the couple up in their arms and dance, holding them, and all the party dance too. The remarriage of widows is permitted, a sum of Rs. 25 being usually paid to the parents of the woman by her second husband. Divorce may be effected at the option of either party, and documents are usually drawn up on both sides. The Golars worship Mahādeo and have a special deity, Hularia, who protects their cattle from disease and wild beasts. A clay image of Hularia is erected outside the village every five or ten years and goats are offered to it. Each head of a family is supposed to offer on the first occasion two goats, and on the second and subsequent ones, five, seven, nine and twelve goats respectively. But when a man dies his son starts afresh with an offering of two. The flesh of the animals offered is consumed by the caste-fellows. The name Hularia Deo has some connection with the Holias, a low Telugu caste of leather-workers to whom the Golars appear to be related, as they have the same family names. When a Golar dies a plate of cooked rice is laid on his body and then carried to the burning-ghāt. The Holias belonging to the same section go with it, and before arrival the plate of rice is laid on the ground and the Holias eat it. The Golars have various superstitions, and on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays they will not give salt, fire, milk or water to any one.

They usually burn the dead, the corpse being laid with the head to the south, though in some localities the Hindu custom of placing the head to the north has been adopted. They employ Brāhmans for religious and ceremonial purposes.

The occupation of the caste is to breed and tend buffaloes and cattle, and they also deal in live-stock, and sell milk, curds and ghi. They were formerly addicted to dacoity and cattle-theft. They have a caste

panchāyat, the head of which is designated as Mokāsi. Formerly the Mokāsi received Rs. 15 on the marriage of a widow, and Rs. 5 when a person temporarily outcasted was readmitted to social intercourse, but these payments are now only occasionally made. The caste drink liquor and eat flesh, including pigs and fowls, but not beef. They employ Brāhmans for ceremonial purposes, but their social status is low and they are practically on a level with the Dravidian tribes. The dialect of Canarese spoken by the Golars is known as Golari, Holia or Komtau, and is closely related to the form which that language assumes in Bijāpur ;? but to outsiders they now speak Hindī.

1 Linguistic Survey of India, vol. iv. Dravidian Language, p. 386.


[Bibliography.—The most important account of the Gond tribe is that contained in the Rev. Stephen Hislop's Papers on the Aboriginal Tribes of the Central Provinces, published after his death by Sir R. Temple in 1866. Mr. Hislop recorded the legend of Lingo, of which an abstract has been reproduced. Other notices of the Gonds are contained in the ninth volume of General Cunningham's Archaeological Survey Reports, Sir C. Grant's Central Provinces Gazetteer of 1871 (Introduction), Colonel Ward's Mandla Settlement Report (1868), Colonel Lucie Smith's Chānda Settlement Report (1870), and Mr. C. W. Montgomerie's Chhindwara Settlement Report (1900). An excellent monograph on the Bastar Gonds was contributed by Rai Bahādur Panda Baijnāth, Superintendent of the State, and other monographs by Mr. A. E. Nelson, C.S., Mandla ; Mr. Ganga Prasād Khatri, Forest Divisional Officer, Betül; Mr. J. Langhorne, Manager, Ahiri zamindāri, Chānda ; Mr. R. S. Thākur, tahsildār, Bālāghāt; and Mr. Din Dayāl, Deputy Inspector of Schools, Nāndgaon State. Papers were also furnished by the Rev. A. Wood of Chānda ; the Rev. H. J. Molony, Mandla; and Major W. D. Sutherland, I.M.S., Saugor. Notes were also collected by the writer in Mandla. Owing to the inclusion of many small details from the different papers it has not been possible to acknowledge them separately.]


(a) ORIGIN AND HISTORY 1. Numbers and distribution. 7. Creation of the Gonds and their 2. Gondwāna.

imprisonment by Mahādeo. 3. Derivation of name and origin 8. The birth and history of Lingo. of the Gonds.

9. Death and resurrection of 4. History of the Gonds.

Lingo. 5. Mythical traditions. Story of 10. He releases the Gonds shut up Lingo.

in the cave and constitutes 6. Legend of the creation.

the tribe.

(6) TRIBAL SUBDIVISIONS 11. Subcastes.

14. Connection of totemism with 12. Exogamy.

the gods. 13. Totemism.

(c) MARRIAGE CUSTOMS 15. Prohibitions on intermarriage, 17. Marriage. Arrangement of and unions of relations.

matches. 16. Irregular marriages.

18. The marriage ceremony.

(c) MARRIAGE CUSTOMScontinued 19. Wedding expenditure.

23. Serving for a wife. 20. Special customs.

24. Widow remarriage. 21. Taking omens.

25. Divorce. 22. Marriage by capture. Weep 26. Polygamy. ing and hiding.

(d) BIRTH AND PREGNANCY 27. Menstruation.

29. Procedure at a birth. 28. Superstitions about pregnancy and childbirth.

31. Superstitions about children.

30. Names.

(e) FUNERAL RITES 32. Disposal of the dead.

36. House abandoned after a death. 33. Funeral ceremony.

37. Bringing back the soul. 34. Mourning and offerings to the 38. The dead absorbed in Bura dead.

Deo. 35. Memorial stones to the dead. 39. Belief in a future life.

(f) RELIGION 40. Nature of the Gond religion. 48. Agricultural superstitions. The gods.

49. Magical or religious observ41. Tribal gods, and their place of ances in fishing and hunting. residence.

50. Witchcraft. 42. Household gods.

51. Human sacrifice. 43. Nāg Deo.

52. Cannibalism. 44. Nārāyan Deo.

53. Festivals.

The new crops. 45. Bura Deo.

54. The Holi Festival. 46. Charms and magic.

55. The Meghnāth swinging rite. 56. The Karma and other rites.

47. Omens.


70. Admission of outsiders and 58. Character.

sexual morality. 59. Shyness and ignorance.

71. Common sleeping-houses. 60. Villages and houses.

72. Methods of greeting and ob61. Clothes and ornaments.

servances between relatives. 62. Ear-piercing.

73. The caste panchāyat and social 63. Hair.

offences. 64. Bathing and washing clothes. 74. Caste penalty feasts. 65. Tattooing

75. Special purification ceremony. 66. Special system of tattooing. 76. Dancing 67. Branding

77. Songs. 68. Food.

78. Language. 69. Liquor.

(h) OCCUPATION 79. Cultivation,

81. Hunting. Traps for animals. 80. Patch cultivation.





(a) ORIGIN AND HISTORY Gond.—The principal tribe of the Dravidian family, and 1. Numperhaps the most important of the non-Aryan or forest tribes distribuin India. In 1911 the Gonds were three million strong, tion. and they are increasing rapidly. The Kolis of western India count half a million persons more than the Gonds, and if the four related tribes Kol, Munda, Ho, and Santāl were taken together, they would be stronger by about the same amount. But if historical importance be considered as well as numbers, the first place should be awarded to the Gonds. Of the whole caste the Central Provinces contain 2,300,000 persons, Central India, and Bihār and Orissa about 235,000 persons each, and they are returned in small numbers from Assam, Madras and Hyderābād. The 50,000 Gonds in Assam are no doubt immigrant labourers on the tea-gardens.

In the Central Provinces the Gonds occupy two main 2. Gondtracts. The first is the wide belt of broken hill and forest country in the centre of the Province, which forms the Satpūra plateau, and is mainly comprised in the Chhindwārā, Betūl, Seoni and Mandla Districts, with portions of several others adjoining them. And the second is the still wider and more inaccessible mass of hill ranges extending south of the Chhattisgarh plain, and south - west down to the Godāvari, which includes portions of the three Chhattisgarh Districts, the Bastar and Kanker States, and a great part of Chānda. In Mandla the Gonds form nearly half the population, and in Bastar about two-thirds. There is, however, no District or State of the Province which does not contain some Gonds, and it is both on account of their numbers and the fact that Gond dynasties possessed a great part of its area that the territory of the Central Provinces was formerly known as Gondwāna, or the country of the Gonds. The existing importance of the Central Provinces dates from recent years, for so late as 1853 it was stated before the Royal Asiatic Society that “at present the Gondwāna high

Nerbudda valley to the south and

1 The country of Gondwāna properly included the Satpūra plateau and à section of the Nāgpur plain and


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