Publisher Description

This book tells the Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India. We know that an extensive traffic in children destined for human sacrifice used to go on in the Khond country, the agents who sometimes purchased, but more frequently kidnapped, the children, whom they sold to the Khonds, and were so debased that they occasionally sold their own offspring, though they knew of course the fate that awaited them. Moreover, apart from the demand for sacrificial purposes, the practice of selling men as agricultural labourers was until a few years ago by no means uncommon in the wilder parts of the Chota Nagpur Division, where labour is scarce and cash payments are almost unknown. I not long ago saw a Dhumkuria in a Sargflja village in which the boys and girls all slept every night. " Colonel Dalton considered it uncertain that the practice led to actual immorality, but the fact can hardly be doubted. Sexual intercourse before marriage, Sir H. Risley says, is tacitly recognised, and is so generally practised that in the opinion of the best observers no Oraon girl is a virgin at the time of her marriage. "To call this state of things immoral is to apply a modern conception to primitive habits of life. Within the tribe, indeed, the idea of sexual morality seems hardly to exist, and the unmarried Oraons are not far removed from the condition of modified promiscuity which prevails among many of the Australian tribes. Provided that the exogamous circle defined by the totem is respected, an unmarried woman may bestow her favours on whom she will. If, however, she becomes pregnant, arrangements are made to get her married without delay.

January 1
Public Domain

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