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What in news about NAGOBA JATARA ?

  • The Nagoba jatara is the annual religious event of the Buigoita branch of Mesram clan of the Raj Gond adivasis in Mandal Adilabad district.
  • Hundreds of Mesram families who had come from different places within the district as well as other adivasis participated in the ceremonies performed before the maha puja of the serpent god Nagoba, also called Sri Shek, all along the day.
  • Moreover, It is the second biggest tribal carnival and celebrated by Mesaram clan of Gond tribes for 10 days.

Nagoba Jatara Celebrations:

  • The first event of the day was the ceremonious bringing of the brass idol of Nagoba from Keslapur village, about 500 meters away, to the temple amid traditional music played by Pardhan musicians.
  • After the rituals performed at Keslapur Nagoba Jatara begin in the morning .Moreover, the Mesram elders will place the sacred ‘jhari’, a 1,400-year-old water container before performing it’s puja.
  • The group of Gond and Pradhan elders who had fetched holy water with pots from Hastina Madugu of river Godavari in Jannaram Mandal was given a traditional welcome under the old banyan tree.
  • Before the start of the pujas, the Gonds continue to ‘purify’ the temple with Ganga Jal or water from the Godavari drawn at a spot called ‘Hastina Madugu’ where Nagoba is believed to have quenched his thirst after partaking the ‘naivedyam’.
  • The event also includes a ceremony called ‘bheting’, which incorporates new brides into the clan. The Raj Gond Adivasis of Adilabad follow an elaborate ritual called Bheting, one of their many regalistic ceremonies, through which new daughters in law are formally introduced to the clan. All those who are married into the clan during the last year need to ‘meet’ clan deities through Bheting so that they become eligible to enter the deity’s temple.
  • The women clad in white saris are the Bheti Koriad or daughters in law to be introduced to goddess Jangubai and belong to the eight clans which have Jangubai as the clan deity.
  • The naivedyam carried in the bamboo baskets is made of freshly harvested food grains. The bamboo denotes the connection of the Gonds with the jungles while the naivedyam offering is a matter of thanksgiving for the crop harvested.
  • Adivasi celebrates with music and more than 15 types of dances.
  • The Gusadi Dance performance by dancers from the Gond tribe is a major special attraction of the event.
  • Gonds pilgrims and priests will play traditional folk music at the entrance of the Jangubai cave temple located in the hilly forest of Kota-Parandoli gram panchayat in Kerameri Revenue Mandal.
  • Later Gond women carry on with their daily grind, including grinding grain, with a smile on their face.
  • The women in the given group coming on pilgrimage to Jangubai caves prepare food at the spot, a small shed having been earmarked for the purpose.
  • In the night, the Gonds performed the Mahapuja of Nagoba, also known as Persa Pen or great god, which marks the actual beginning of the annual tribal fair.
  • The Nagoba temple is under construction and hence the maha puja and other rituals like sati puja were performed in makeshift enclosures symbolising the sanctum sanctorum.
  • Unlike other tribes of central India, like Madia, Baiga, Korku and Korwa, who live a close-to-primitive life in the forests, the Gond tribe does not have a uniform cultural or socio-eocnomic identity.


About Gonds:

  • The Gonds, as a community have a much more varied social profile. They live close-to-nature life involving hunting-gathering, agriculture and pastoral activity since 15th century.
  • For almost four centuries, the Gonds ruled almost the entire hilly region of central India, including parts of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Vidarbha in Maharashtra.
  • The dominant culture of the Hindu and Muslim royal families of those times, including inter-marriage, was common. The evolution of a ruling class culture heavily influenced by the Mughals in Delhi and the Rajput clans with whom the Gonds alternately fought and entered into alliances with.
  • They speak Gondi language which is related to the Telugu and the other Dravidian languages. In the northern parts Gonds are often seen speaking the local Hindi.
  • They are divided into four tribes namely – Raj Gonds, Madia Gonds, Dhurve Gonds, Khatulwar Gonds.

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