Human Sacrifice practised by the Kondhs! (Post No3225)


Compiled by London Swaminathan


Date: 7 October 2016


Time uploaded in London: 6-01 AM


Post No.3225


Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.


(Following is a piece from Arthur Mile’s book about the customs of the Kondh Tribes whom he described the DRAVIDIANS!)

The Kondhs live in dread of witchcraft, and are for ever watching for signs of it. In this connection the Madras Police Report records a case in the Vizagapatnam hill districts. The younger of the the three brothers died of fever, and when the body was cremated the upper portion did not burn. The surviving brothers therefore concluded that death had been caused by the witchcraft of a certain Kondh, and they attacked the man and killed him. After cutting their victim’s body into halves, they took the upper part to their village and threw it on the spot where the deceased brothers body had refused to burn. For their crime they were arrested and sentenced to death.


When cholera breaks out in a village, they smear their bodies with pig’s fat which has been liquefied and they continue to do this until the disappearance of the epidemic. It is believed that the cholera Goddess is driven away by the smell of the fat. They also attempt to prevent the approach of the goddess by barricading the paths to the village with ditches, which they fill with thorns and pots stinking oil.



Friendship Oath!

The Kondhs have a friendship oath, which in some way resembles the blood covenant of the Hebrews. Friendship is sworn on sacred rice, which has been consecrated to the god of Jagannath of Puri. Pilgrims visiting Puri get a quantity of this rice, and distribute it to those who ask for it. It is supposed that one cannot utter a lie, or have an evil thought, while holding the rice in the hand. Instances are known of friendship, sworn on the rice, being contracted between towns-men and the poor village peasants; even between a Brahman woman and a Sudra servant. Bound by such friendship, two people allow no festival to pass without an exchange of presents the house of one presents, and no ceremony goes on at the house of one unless the other is invited. If one party dies, the survivor does not consider the bond disconnected but continues to make gifts to the family of the deceased. This friendship is called songatho, and it increases with the barbarity of the division. Among the wilder tribes there are splendid examples of Songatho which have lasted for generations. One hill tribe takes an oath on a leopard’s skin, or while holding a peacock feather in the hand.


Origin of the Kondhs
The legend of the origin of the Kondhs is a story of human sacrifice.

In the beginning, when the ground was all wet, there were only two women living on the earth, and in due course each one was blessed with a son. The two women and their children came from the interior of the earth, bringing with them two plants which were their food. One day, when one of the women was cutting one of the plants, she accidentally cut her finger and the blood dropped on the ground, and instantly the wet earth became dry. The woman cooked the plant and gave it to her son to eat, who asked her why it tasted so much sweeter than usual. She told him that she did not know, but that that night she expected to have a dream and would let him know. The next morning the woman made her son promise to do as she told him if he would prosper in the world. He must forget that she was his mother, and cut flesh from her back and bury it in the ground. This her son did, whereupon the wet soil dried up and became hard, and the animals, trees, and birds came into existence. A partridge then scratched the ground, and millet and rice grew.


The two brothers agreed that, as the sacrifice of the woman brought forth abundance from the ground, they must sacrifice a human being once a year. A god by the name of Boora Panoo, together with his daughters, came to live with the brothers, and, marrying the daughters, the brothers begat children. When the children grew up, there was a dispute as to which one should be sacrificed, and, not being able decide the point, the brothers sacrificed a monkey instead. The goddess of the earth in consequence was very angry, and ordered the proper offering of a human being. The two men sought for ten years for a victim, and finally they found a man with a son five years old. They bought the son from the father, with permission to sacrifice him.


The boy was fettered to prevent his running away, toddy was made from grain, and a post was erected at which a pig was sacrificed. Two days before being offered the boy was tied to the post. On the night before the sacrifice the priest took a stick and poked it into the earth until the earth god answered, and round the hole from whence the goddess had spoken, pieces of wood were arranged lengthways and cross ways and an egg was placed the on the sacrificial day the boy was conducted to the wood, made to lie on it face downward. Pieces of flesh were then removed from his back, and buries at the caste’s place of worship. While other portions were put into the ground near  a drinking well to increase the water. The remainder of the corpse was burnt on the pile of wood. On the next day a buffalo was sacrificed, and a feast given.


The following verse (which was intended to be uttered over human sacrifice) is now recited by the Janni (priest) at the buffalo sacrifice. Come, male slave, come, female slave, what do you say? What do you call out for? You have been brought, ensnared by the Haddi. You have been called, ensnared by the Domba. What can I do, even if you are my child? You are sold for a pot of food





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