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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 Mahfideo 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-g/uit. 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 Brahmans 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 g/n‘. They were formerly addicted to dacoity and cattle-theft. They have a caste pan:/zdyat, the head of which is designated as M0kdsz'. Formerly the Mo/edsz' received Rs. I 5 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 Brahmans 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 Bijitpur;I but to outsiders they now speak Hindi.

1 L-inguistic Survey of India, vol. iv. Dravidian Language, p. 386.


[Bibliograj2hy.—The most important account of the Gond tribe is that contained in the Rev. Stephen Hislop’s Papers on the Aboriginal T ribes of the Central Pro11inces, 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 Province: Gazetteer of 1871 (Introduction), Colonel VVard’s lllandla Settlement Report (1868), Colonel Lucie Smith’s Chdnda Settlement Report (1870), and Mr. C. W. Montgomerie’s Chhindwzira Settlement Report (1900). An excellent monograph on the Bastar Gonds was contributed by Rai Bahidur Panda Baijnith, Superintendent of the State, and other monographs by Mr. A. E. Nelson, C.S., Mandla ; Mr. Ganga Prasird Khatri, Forest Divisional Officer, Betiil; Mr. J. Langhome, Manager, Ahiri zamindari, Chanda; Mr. R. S. Thikur, tahsildar, Bilighftt; and Mr. Din Dayal, Deputy Inspector of Schools, Nindgaon State. Papers were also furnished by the Rev. A. Wood of Chanda; 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.]



1. Numbers and a/istrz'butz'on. 7. Creation of the Gonds and their 2. Gonzlu/ana. ' imprisonment by Mahadeo. 3. Derivation of name and origin 8. The birth and histor_-y of Lingo. of the Gonds. 9. Death and resurrection of 4. Hzktory of the Gonds. Lingo. 5. Mythz'cal traa’itions. Story of IO. He releases the Gonds shut up Lingo. in the cave and constitutes 6. Legend of the creation. the tribe. (6) TRIBAL SUBDIVISIONS I I. Subcastes. I4. Connection of totemism with I2. Exogamy. the gods.

1 3. T otemism.


I 5. Prohibitions on intermarriage, I 7. lllarriage. Arrangement of and unions of relations. matches. I6. Irregular marriages. 18. The marriage ceremon_y.

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4O. 4 I.

42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47.



Mature of the Gond religion.
The gods.

Tribal gods, and their place of
residence. 5.o.
Household gods. 5 I.
Mag Deo. 52.
Mārāyan Deo. 53.
Aura Deo. 54.
Charms and magic. 55.
Omens. 56.

Agricultural superstitions.

Magical or religious observances in fishing and hunting.


Human sacrifice.


Festivals. The new crops.

The Holt Festiza/.

The Meghnath swinging rite.

The Karma and other rites.


. Physical type. . Character.


. Patch cultivation.

Admission of outsiders and sexual morality.

. Shyness and ignorance. 7 I. Common sleeping-houses. . Villages and houses. 72. Methods of greeting and ob. Clothes and ornaments. servances between relatives. . Ear-piercing. 73. The caste panchâyat and social . Aair. offences. . Bathing and washing clothes. 74. Caste penalty feasts. . Tattooing. 75. Special purification ceremony. . Special system of tattooing. 76. Dancing. . Branding. 77. Songs. . Food. 78. Language. . Liquor.

(h) OccuPATION . Cultivation, 8 I.

Hunting. Traps for animals.



GOIld.—The principal tribe of the Dravidian family, and perhaps the most important of the non-Aryan or forest tribes in India. In 1911 the Gonds were three million strong, 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 Santal 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 Bihar and Orissa about 235,000 persons each, and they are returned in small numbers from Assam, Madras and Hyderabad. The 50,000 Gonds in Assam are no doubt immigrant labourers on the tea-gardens.

In the Central Provinces the Gonds occupy two main tracts. The first is the wide belt of broken hill and forest country in the centre of the Province, which forms the Satpfira plateau, and is mainly comprised in the Chhindwara, Betfil, 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 Godavari, which includes portions of the three Chhattisgarh Districts, the Bastar and Kanker States, and a great part of Chanda. 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 Gondwana, or the country of the Gonds.1 The existing importance of the Central Provinces dates from recent years, for so late as 185 3 it was stated before the Royal Asiatic Society that “ at present the Gondwana high

Nerbudda valley to the south and west.

1 The country of Gondwana properly included the Satpfira plateau and a section of the Nigpur plain and

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