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Gond mythology and culture ఫిబ్రవరి 20, 2016

Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in Adilabad, Art, Culture, Deccan, fairs and festivals, Gond, heritage, Hindu, Identity, ST, Telangana.
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Tribes changing their religious practices with time
S. Harpal Singh

The Hindu, Adilabad, February 20, 2016

Tribal people claim that Adivasi culture was derived from Hinduism

The Adivasis seem to be among the most misunderstood and most exploited lot even if the issue relates to the identity of their religion, a subject which incites much passion among the aboriginal tribes of Central India. The debate which was generated in Adilabad district during the recently concluded Keslapur Jatara or Nagoba Jatara, the famous tribal fair, not only focussed on the subject but helped expose the developments of the last few decades which had an impact on the religious practices of the aboriginal tribes.

gond festivals
A scene from Gondi Mahabharat being performed at the recently concluded Keslapur Jatara in Adilabad.–Photo: S. Harpal Singh

Nothing was amiss until anthropologist Christopher von Furer-Haimendorf re-visited the jatara in 1982 and witnessed the changes in the form of worship comparing it with the practice in 1941 when he had first visited it.

In his book ‘Tribes Of India, The Struggle for Survival’, Baron Haimendorf noted the construction of the existing temple in the style of Hindu temple and an attempt to seek connections between the Gond mythology and Hindu scriptures and to interpret the mythology in the light of Hindu ideology.

While the legendary Austrian anthropologist clearly considered the Gonds and other aboriginal tribes to be non-Hindus, the Pardhans or Patadi priests believe in the contrary. “We are Suryavanshi Hindus,” asserted Mesram Dada Rao, the Pardhan elder from Gundala in Narnoor mandal. (మరింత…)

Medaram Jatara ఫిబ్రవరి 20, 2016

Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in Culture, Deccan, fairs and festivals, Gond, heritage, Identity, Koya, Medaram, ST, Telangana, Warangal.
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Sea of humanity descends on Telangana forest for largest tribal fair

IANS, Thursday, February 18, 2016
Warangal (Telangana): Hundreds of thousands of people have reached Medaram in Warangal district for Sammakka Sarakka jatara, India’s largest tribal fair, which began on Wednesday.

Devotees, both tribal and non-tribal, from different parts of Telangana and other states like Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Chattisgarh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka are participating in the four-day fair, also known as Medaram jatra.

Samakka-Sarakka-Jatara
Sammakka Sarakka jatara, India’s largest tribal fair

Medaram and surrounding villages in the forest, about 100 km from district headquarters, have turned into sea of humanity for the tribal festival, organised once in two years. Men and women took a dip in Jampanna stream, which they believe wash away their sins.

Devotees belonging to different states and speaking different languages throng the forests to pay obeisance to tribal goddesses Sammakka and Sarakka.

The unique rituals, which include devotees offering jaggery to the deities, will begin Wednesday night with the customary arrival of Sarakka’s image from Kannepally village which will be placed on a platform. The image idol covered in red cloth was brought in a vessel laden with vermilion and turmeric powder. (మరింత…)

Medaram jatara, Sammakka Sarakka festival జనవరి 29, 2010

Posted by Telangana Utsav in Culture, fairs and festivals, Godavari, Gond, heritage, Identity, Kakatiya, Koya, struggle, Telugu, Warangal.
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Arrival of deities heralds Medaram jatara
Three-day tribal festival begins in Warangal

Gollapudi Srinivasa Rao, The Hindu, 29 January 2010

MEDARAM (WARANGAL DT.): The arrival of most revered tribal deity Samakka is all that hundreds and thousands of devotees waited for.

They all held their breath for that benign moment and it finally came.

As the tribal priests descended the Chilakalgutta hillocks carrying the deity, Superintendent of Police Shah Nawaz Qasim and his men fired bullets into the air heralding the arrival of the deity into Medaram village. Carrying a vermilion casket and a bamboo pole considered as the deity and possessed by magic powers, the priests sprinted towards the altar. The devotees jostled and vied to touch them. (మరింత…)