GET Stock QuotesNews18 APP
News18 English
Powered by cricketnext logo
»
2-min read

Andamans' Onge Tribe Witnesses Rare Weddings After Several Years, Gets Rare Chance at Survival

One of the fastest diminishing tribes of the islands, known to have survived since the Stone Age, the semi-nomadic Onge tribe celebrated two weddings recently.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:March 20, 2018, 10:22 PM IST
facebookTwittergoogleskypewhatsapp
Andamans' Onge Tribe Witnesses Rare Weddings After Several Years, Gets Rare Chance at Survival
An artist's impression of the Onge wedding. Photographing these tribes is prohibited.
Kolkata: When four people got married in one of the remotest corners of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands recently, the sight gave hope to 120 odd members of a dwindling tribe in the region that is on the verge of extinction.

Dugong Creek, in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, witnessed two weddings and a rare chance at life.

One of the fastest diminishing tribes of the islands, known to have survived since the Stone Age, the semi-nomadic Onge tribe celebrated the two weddings with a bamboo dais decked up with wild flowers and a palm leaves shamiana that served as the ceremonial tent.

The tent was decorated with coconut shells and coral showpieces while wild fruits hung neatly and accounted for the necessary festive mood.

Closer to the beach, a few of the Onges prepared biryani to feast. A little distance away, the Onge King called ‘Tai’, personally monitored the preparations to avoid any possible mismanagement.

The auspicious time on March 3 was ushered in by a glittering reflection of the full moon on the ocean surface and the two couples, Rahul-Mona and Krishna-Indu, who had adopted Hindu names, vowed to start a new life.

As the pairs got on with the traditional rituals to solemnize their marriage, officers of the local Tribal Welfare Department gifted them household appliances, food grain and a radio set to each of the couples.

The ceremony kicked off with greeting dances by tribal women, followed by a performance by one of the grooms. Then Krishna and Rahul, were summoned before the palm frond shelter to perform the wedding rituals.

Both grooms were asked to stand on one foot with the other leg folded, touching the knee. True to Onge tradition, Mona and Indu were asked to sit on the folded legs of their respective husbands and embrace them. Rahul and Krishna had to bear the weight of their respective wives for a while and the ritual was complete.

Arun Kumar Jha, Executive Secretary of the Tribal Welfare Department, said, “Marriages within Onge tribe members became difficult due to the non-availability of perfect matches based on their age. We found two perfect couples after a few years and decided to help them get through with their marriage. This will help the tribals to grow in numbers.”

“On behalf of tribal department in Port Blair, we are doing our best to take all central government schemes to the tribal people for their welfare,” he added.

It was learnt that all the 120 surviving members of the endangered Onge tribe of Dugong attended the wedding ceremony and went back home with something to talk about for a long time.

Also Watch

| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
Read full article
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...