Go MISSION STATEMENT: BHUMIJ LANGUAGE. BHUMIJ FONT CREATER MR. ANIL MUNDA AT- ODISHA. Increase Text Size Reset Default Text Size Decrease Text Size Theme
 

Religion & SOCIAL SYSTEMS

Paul Olaf Bodding, who had studied extensively on Bhumij language and spent most of his life to understand the life and culture of Bhumij, observes in the preface of Bhumij Dictionary [1882-1940],

"If their (Bhumij) traditions are to be believed, their ancestors - or at all events, some of them - at one time of a much higher civilization than the Bhumij of today and themselves administered a country of their own"



Bhumij:-There is a belief among the Bhumij society about creation of world. They believe that primitive world was filled with only water and God had the problem in creating the land, where man can live. The land is normally considered opposite to water. He created all amphibian Shiv-parvati that can operate both land and water; therefore, he created seven Shiv-parvati -crab, crocodile, alligator, eel, Pawn, earthworm and tortoise. For creating land, God invited the kings of all these Shiv-parvati to solve help him out. Every one was coming one by one; they all had not got any success. Lastly, earthworm came and succeeded to create land. It is said that the King of earthworm after seven days and seven nights ate the bottom of water and excreted in on the back of tortoise who is swimming at the top. The tortoise anchored himself on the both side firmly and brought up the earth and thus earth was shaped. That is why there is a belief among Bhumij that earthquakes are result of movement of tortoise.In other words, when tortoise moves or shakes, earthquakes occur in earth. Bhumij myth about the creation of world is substantially different from myth associated with creation of world among the other indigenous peoples of India and in many sense it is unique that it ascribe the creation of earth with the help of amphibian Shiv-parvati, specially the earthworm and tortoise. This is all about the story of creation of earth.There is another interesting myth about creation of human beings. Again here, this myth is substantially different from the many similar myths that are prevalent among the other peoples. Unlike others, Bhumij myth is more associated with natures, Shiv-parvati. Although, Bhumij do not strictly believe that they have descended from Shiv-parvati, however, they assume that there is some connection between animal and human being. It reflects many other Bhumij beliefs and myth. According to the myth, God created two heavenly Shiv Parvati - Shiv & Parvati-out of his hair. Then these two Shiv & Parvati started flying in the sky. These Shiv Parvati could survive early state of earth, where all earth was covered with water, as they could mediate the opposite elements heaven and earth. It is believed that they flew below the sun and above the earth thus making the contact between the both worlds. After flying several days, they built the nest on the earth and laid the eggs. They are cosmic eggs, out of which two creatures; human male and human female are born – Pilpuji budha. and Pilpuji Burhi. Both these myths creation of world and mankind refer the Shiv Parvati s and animal as ancestors. Thus Bhumij concept of life begins with animals. Therefore, clans' names are after the name of Shiv & Parvati.

Totemism :-After creation of earth, Pilpuji budha and Pilpuji budhi. gave birth to seven sons and seven daughters. In later stage they married among themselves thus forming a seven exogamous clans. With the passage of time, five more groups were formed. A total 12 clans is found among the Bhumij. They are Hasta', Pachri, Hembrom, Hasta, , Mandha, , Besra, Chonre, Puria and Bedea. A affiliation or sacred contact is believed to link these clans and their respective totems.Therefore, each of the names of clans are derived from either from the plants or animals species. There is a belief that is prevalent among the Bhumij that totems have some connection with the deeds or birth of ancestors of the clans. Hasta' clan members claim to be of the highest status as they have derived from the name of their clan from first ancestors. The term Has designates wild goose while dak' in Bhumij means water. This clan is, therefore, linked to the original state of world and first ancestors. It is the most senior among the all clans of the Bhumij since it is related to myth of creation. Moreover, swan or goose is not just animal. It builds nest on earth, walks on earth and flies on sky. Next in order are the who are represented by the or the antelope. According to the myth of genesis of this clans, it is said that ancestors of this clan hunted the first the antelope as animal and in other words, it is this animal which was first sacrificed by Bhumij. Since this time, Bhumij started hunting and eating of animals and subsequently become fond of hunting and

Eating of flesh :-The antelope being purely a land animal is responsible for the destruction of Bhumij among the Bhumij as opposed to swan who combines the four elements and stands for humanity and creation of human beings. The Hasta' and the Pachiri are the two superior clans of the Bhumij. As the story goes, Hasta' are given the status of advisors and the Pachris are the priest. The Hasta have kingfishers Shiv Parvati as their totem and come third in the hierarchy. They are regarded as kings and are given the Royal status. Hembrom are fourth in order and have betel nut as their totem. It is believed that the ancestor of the Hembrom clan was born with a betel nut string around his waist. There are also those who believe that their ancestor was actually born under a betel nut tree, which is totally hard and solid. Mandha are linked with grass or type of weed and are traders. The Donda are soldiers or warriors and are linked to the constellation of stars. The Donda are musicians and have accepted owl as their totem. Donda are cooks and associated stale rice. They have believed to offered stale rice to the Gods and are thus prohibited from eating it. Bedeas have sheep as their totem and believed to have no personal own much like the animal they revere. They are not found in now days and believed to mixed with other clans. Lastly are the kili and Chonres who have pigeons and lizard respectively as their totems. It is found that in most of the cases that the only animals the clan members could hunt were made heir totem, which perhaps restricted them endangering the species.So strong are their feelings towards these totemic species that they respect them as their won clan members. If any of the clan members sees a dead totem, he observes the death rituals. Eating or hunting the totem is prohibited. According to stories of about the restriction of marriages among the different clans. The reason lies in the nature of the totems and the elements they are connected with. In first place the marriage is forbidden between the water and land i.e. (Hasta') and antelope(Pachri). It is restricted between "lower heaven" and "lower earth" i.e. Kingfisher and weed (smadh and Mandha), also "upper heaven"(Hembrom) and "upper earth"(Hasta). Secondly, marriage is prohibited between three heavenly Shiv Parvati s (Owl, hawk and pigeon ). The totem also defined some relationship between consumed and consumer. The pigeon that is the prey of the hawk along with the lizard eats Rice and the owl also hunts this lizard. Therefore, initially the Chonres did not marry with Gaduai and Donda. But presently this restriction is no longer followed and the marriages take place between all clan members. Each of these clans is further divided into several sub clans; Each one upholds a distinctive myth and set of customs that differentiates it from the others, including kinds of food taken, ornaments, worn and worship of the spirits or Gods (Bongas). Even the sacrifices vary during the rituals vary from one sub-clan to another. The names of the sub-clan are derived from plants and animals. Out of the 16 sub-clans that were available in the area, nine trace their origins to certain animals. For examples derived its name from the ancestor who Each of these clans is further divided into several sub clans; Each one upholds a distinctive myth and set of customs that differentiates it from the others, including kinds of food taken, ornaments, worn and worship of the spirits or Gods (Bongas). Even the sacrifices vary during the rituals vary from one sub-clan to another. The names of the sub-clan are derived from plants and animals. Out of the 16 sub-clans that were available in the area, nine trace their origins to certain animals. For examples derived its name from the ancestor who killed an eagle, fromor babbler Shiv Parvati Sole-Hemborm do not eat eels as it is believed its ancestor had been saved by it while ferrying flooded river. The are prohibited to kill crows. The totem exercises powerful influence on the habit of the Bhumij.

Bhumij Administration:-Village administration:The cultural analysis of the Bhumij village administration would pave the way for a clear understanding of the economic and political stratification and their history and evolution in ancient India. This indeed, will give an idea about the contribution of Bhumij towards modern social system. The Bhumij society is characterized by democratic equality. Wealth matters little in the day-to-day life. The clans are regarded as equal to another clans and there is no class distinction either in status or occupation. The village is generally multi clans and each clan has sub number. The Bhumij villages are social and political entities with great cohesion and continuity. Each village has well established political organization with a secular headman called Bhumij who is a man of great prestige. The village council controls the entire social system of the Bhumij. The village council or Hatu Mone Hor is consisted of Bhumij (village headman), Jog Majhi (Deputy village Headman), Paranik (Assistant to village Headman), Goddet (secretary to village Headman), Jog Paranik(deputy Paranik), Naeke (head village priest) and Kudam Naeke (Assitant to village priest). All the villagers are member of the village council.Bhumij, the original habitants of India This is a some points whcih exculsively proved our traditonal thinking that Bhumij and as whole tribals are the original habitants of India. An international study led by of the Eccles Institute of Human Genetics of the University of Utah of caste origins has found.found (the findings have been reported in a recent issue of the journal Genome Research) that members of the upper castes are genetically more similar to Europeans, Western Eurasians to be specific, whereas the lower castes aremore similar to Asians. This finding is in tune with the expectations based on historical reasoning and the prevalent views of many social historians. In exercising their superiority over native proto-Asian populations, the Aryans would have appointed themselves to higher rank castes. The 18-member research team includes scientists from the United States, the United Kingdom, India and Estonia. The collaborating Indian scientists were anthropologists Bhaskar Rao, J. Mastan Naidu and B. V. Ravi Prasad from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, and P. Govinda Reddy from the University of Madras. Here is some articles .

Bhumij Society :-Bhumij has wonderful socio-cultural mosaic, which often we round of it in the present caste rifted Indian society. the following are the main socio-religious characteristics of the BhumijBhumij have separate religion and it is called "Sarna". Even Indian Constitution does treat Bhumij religion as separate one.Offering during worship is made within the pictorial boundary known as khond as a mark of the Bhumijne relationship of the supernatural power. Image or idol worship is absent and there is no as such traditional temple that exists in Bhumij society.Both burial and cremation are practiced. A chicken is dedicated to the dead body. The society is devoid of caste hierarchy and therefore, the Bhumij's is a casteless society. By birth no person, family, clan group is superior or inferior.Bhumij women enjoys much more freedom than their

Counterparts in Indian Society:-Blood offering is prevalent in the community. Earlier practice of cow sacrifice is now restricted.Priesthood is not appropriated by a particular clan group or a sect but is owned by the family members of the first settlers of the village. Occasionally selection of a successor of the old priest is held if he leaves no issue (male child). Mainly a divinated person makes such a selection and it is undisputed. Bhumij's Social Life
Bhumij social organization has very interesting characteristics. It contains flexibility in rigidity. Marriage is one of the important components in the dynamics of Bhumij society. It, indeed, have wonderful and interesting feature. Therefore, more details description is given here for Bhumij marriage to have understanding of Bhumij life, and their feeling and sentiments. It, to some extend, depicts the Bhumij way of life.

Bhumij Marriage:-The Bhumiji name for marriage is called /Anadi/. In Bhumij society, marriage is one of sacred event of life and marriage adds up considerable respect in society. However, there are some traditions and customs need to be strictly followed in doing so. It is strictly forbidden for any Bhumij to marry within his or her own sept (Parish). He can marry into any other septs or sub-septs to which his/her mother belonged. There are some septs, which never intermarry with another in consequence of some ancient feuds between them. For example, A Hasta' male or a female never marries a Pachiri female or male. respectively. Similarly, a Shiv Parvati a male never marries a Samadh female and vice versa. These customs are no longer in effective prevalent in day-to-day life of Bhumij. However, myths and tales associated with feud are still told among the Bhumij.Girls are married as adults mostly to men of their own choice. In Bhumij marriage, there is no restriction of age. The bride may be younger, older or of equal age with bridegroom. There are two types of marriage practiced by Bhumij- the marriage arranged by Raibar (match maker) is the regular form of marriage. Couple themselves arranges the other forms of marriages.

Raibar Anadi:-This form of marriage is most commonly practiced in Bhumij society, where parents of both side select the bride and groom. Once they liked each other, then Dandia (match maker ) is appointed to negotiate between them. Generally, bride's father asks for bride price, which is generally divided among the bride's father, bride's mother, Mother's mother and father's mother. The brother of bride will get bull from groom. It is customs that not fix the marriage date in the month of birth.

Sanga Anadi:-In this form of marriage the divorced women or widow is married with a widower. Here, bridegroom and bride settle the negotiation and mostly male takes the initiatives. In this marriage, bride price is very nominal. The binding ceremony of the Bhumij marriage is the Sindurdan; Which is here done by not applying the Sidur directly on the parting of the hair of bride by bridegroom, but instead he smears a dimbu flower with vermilion and fix it in the bride's coiffure.

Kiring Jamae:-If the couple belongs to the same sept, the headman calls for councils of village, and the decision would be always negative. Here boy's father has to bear the expenses of the marriage of the girl to another man. Then headman arranges the marriage for girl far away from village and name of boy is always secret.

Tunki Dipil Anadi:-Poor men perform this type of marriage. As they have not sufficient money to bear the expenses of the regular marriage (Raibar Anadi), they resort this type of marriage. The bride is brought to the house of the bridegroom with small basket on her head; a few friends and relatives accompany her to her house. The bridegroom in the presence of these persons applies vermilion on her head and couple then lives as husband and wife.Forward young men who are not quite sure whether the girl fancy will accept them and take this means of compelling her to marry adopt this. This type of marriage is looked down up and rarely occurs. Generally double bride price is paid and the marriage is still legal. But if girl declines to live, then she must take divorced in full moon and cannot marry as spinster.

Nirbolok Anadi:-This form of marriage can said to be female variety of 'Sindur" Anadi. A girl who cannot get a man whom she likes in the regular way, takes pot of rice beer and enters his house and insist upon staying there. They do not adopt any physical force to expel her from house. It is said to quite fair and usually effective to throw red peper on the fire, as by inhaling smoke she will be compelled to run away. If she passes this endurance test without leaving house, she is held to have own her husband and family is bound to recognize her as husband. This type of marriage also rarely occurs in Bhumij society. Divorce: Divorce is a common sequel to Bhumij marriage and is granted at the wish of either husband or wife. The following are the grounds for which the Bhumij men and women demand the divorce. The husband can demand the divorce if his wife is proved to a witch, or is sexually immortal ad she does not obey him or she lives always in her father's house. The wife can claim divorce, if husband cannot supply sufficient foods, clothing, ornaments etc. Sterility is another ground for divorce. In case husband seeks the divorce, he cannot claim the bride price and he has to pay certain amount of money as fine. If wife demands the divorce then her father.

Hit Counter
All-India Bhumij Group
This Website is maintained By-Anil Munda
Copyrights (©)1998-2014, All-India Bhumij Email-:[email protected]