Elwin, Verrier, 1902-1964. The Muria and their ghotul

Table of Contents

Publication Information

Part I The Pattern Of Muria Life

Chapter One Introduction

I. Bastar State

Ii. The Tribal Population Of Bastar

Iii. The Muria

Iv. Physical Characters Of The Muria

V. Muria Migrations

Chapter Two The Muria's Livelihood

I. The Muria Village

Ii. Cultivation

The Field-houses

Permanent Cultivation

Storing The Grain

The New Eating Ceremonies

A Cultivation Song

Iii. The Muria's Year

Iv. Cultivation And The Ghotul

V. The Muria's Food

Vi. Honey

Vii. Oil

Viii. Hunting

Ix. Falconry

X. Fishing

Xi. Liquor

Xii. The Sago-palm


Chapter Three Organization Of The Tribe

I. The Clan System

Ii. The Origin Of The Clans

Iii. Clan Rules

Iv. The Family

V. Summary

Chapter Four The Course Of Muria Life: Childhood

I. Pregnancy And Birth

Ii. Name-giving

Iii. The Life Of Young Children

Iv. Tattooing

V. Menstruation

Chapter Five The Course Of Muria Life: Youth

I. Betrothal

Ii. The Evidence Of The Songs

Iii. Six Kinds Of Marriage

Iv. The Marriage Ceremonies

The Sidhawand Marriage

V. The Nayanar Marriages: A Different Procedure

Vi. The Ghotul's Share In The Ceremony

Vii. The Significance Of The Marriage Ceremony

Chapter Six The Course Of Muria Life: Age

I. Old Age And The Climacteric

Ii. Death And The Ghotul

Iii. The Soul And Its Fate

Iv. The Intervention Of The Departed In Human Affairs

V. Funerary Rites

Vi. Divining The Cause Of Death

Vii. ‘bringing Back The Soul’

Viii. The Bazaar Ceremony

Ix. The Pot Of The Departed

X. Memorials To The Dead

Xi. The Erection Of A Menhir

Xii. General Ideas About The Menhirs

Xiii. The Hanal Pata

Xiv. Substitutes For The Menhir

Xv. Remnants Of Megalithic Culture In Eastern Kondagaon

Xvi. The Danger Of The Abnormal: Death From Wild Animals

Xvii. The Danger Of The Abnormal: The Ondar Muttai

Xviii. Summary

Chapter Seven Muria Religion

I. Introductory

Ii. The Origin Of The Gods

Iii. The Nature Of The Gods

The Supreme Being

Bara Pen

The Earth Mother

The Divine Right Of Kings


Dulha Deo

Bhimul Pen

The Gods Of The Home

The Divine Motiari

Local Gods

Iv. The Clan-god

V. Muria Temples

Vi. The Muria Priesthood

Vii. White And Black Magic

Viii. The Ecstatic Trance

Ix. The Cure Of Disease

X. Muria Festivals

Xi. Purifying The Village

Xii. The Birth Of A God

Xiii. Conclusion

Chapter Eight The Legend Of Lingo Pen

I. The Shrine Of Lingo Pen

Ii. The Lingo Legend In The Central Provinces

Iii. Hislop's Version Of The Legend

Iv. The Betul Version

V. Interpretations

Vi. The Lingo Legend In Bastar

Vii. A Metrical Version Of The Legend

Viii. The Story Of Usarengi Palli

Ix. Lingo And The Ghotul

X. Lingo And Creation

Xi. Lingo And The Sun And Moon

Xii. Lingo And The Discovery Of Fire

Xiii. Lingo And The Discovery Of Liquor

Xiv. The Coming Of Death

Part Ii The Ghotul

Chapter Nine The Origin Of The Ghotul

I. The Village Dormitory Throughout The World

Melanesia And New Guinea

Polynesia And Micronesia

The Far East

The Philippines




Almora And British Garhwal



South India

The Central Provinces

Ii. The Origin Of The Dormitory

Iii. The Muria's Own Theory

Iv. Avoiding The Primal Scene

Chapter Ten The Ghotul Buildings

Chapter Eleven Two Types Of Ghotul







Chapter Twelve Ghotul Membership And Rules






Vi. Relations Between Different Ghotul

Vii. Leaving The Ghotul

Viii. Married Men In The Ghotul

Chapter Thirteen An Evening In The Ghotul

Chapter Fourteen Personal Adornment And Possessions

I. Dress And Fashions

Ii. Hair-dressing

Iii. Combs

Iv. Cleanliness

V. Tobacco

Vi. The Sleeping-mat

Chapter Fifteen Ghotul Discipline










Chapter Sixteen The Muria's Attitude To Sex


Ii. The Anatomy And Mythology Of Sex

Iii. Erotic Attractiveness

Iv. The Approach To Tumescence



Vii. The Sexual Act

Viii. Love-charms

Ix. Impotence

X. Sexual Deviations

Xi. Ceremonial Cross-dressing

Xii. Friendships

Chapter Seventeen The Problem Of Ghotul Infertility

Chapter Eighteen Dreams

Chapter Nineteen Ghotul Expeditions


Ii. The Pus Kolang Expeditions

Iii. The Pen Kolang Expeditions

Iv. The Chait Dandar Expeditions

V.. The Diwali Dances

Vi. The Hulki Dances

Vii. The Chherta Dance

Chapter Twenty Dance And Song


Ii. The Eighteen Instruments

Iii. The Mandri Drum

Iv. Dancing Dress

Vi. The Drum Rhythms

Vii. Religious Dances

Viii. The Har Endanna

Ix. Karsana

Chapter Twenty-one Games


Ii. Games Of Little Children

Iii. Household Games

Iv. Marriage Games

V. Dramatic Games

Vi. Games Of Animals And The Chase

Vii. Games As Exercise

Viii. Round Games

Ix. Miscellaneous Games

X. Cock-fighting

Chapter Twenty-two Other Recreations

I. Muria Humour

Ii. A Test Of Wit

Iii. Riddles

Iv. Folk-tales

Chapter Twenty-three The Ghotul And Marriage


Ii. The Appeal Of The Childhood Friend

Iii. ‘a Marriage Has Been Arranged’

Iv. Marriage By Service

V. Polygyny

Vi. Adultery

Vii. Divorce

Viii. Jealousy

Ix. Quarrels And Their Causes

X. The Vocabulary Of Abuse

Chapter Twenty-four The Ghotul And Religion

I. The Ghotul Festivals

Ii. Ceremonial Axe-cultivation

Iii. The Stilt Festival


Chapter Twenty-five Moral Standards In The Ghotul

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.

Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records

Title: The Muria and their ghotul

Published By: Original publisher Bombay: Oxford University Press. 1947. 29, 730 p. ill., maps

By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication Verrier Elwin

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: Human Relations Area Files, 2010. Computer File

Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis. Gond (AW32)

Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF Adolescent activities (883); Nuptials (585); Literary texts (539); Music (533); Burial practices and funerals (764); Spirits and gods (776); Comparative evidence (171); Sex (830); Dance (535); Games (524); Settlement patterns (361); Linguistic identification (197);

Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document The first part of the book deals with Muria culture generally, as a context in which to set the [n]ghotul[/n].. There are descriptive sections on food-getting, kinship, the life-cycle, religion, legend, etc. The second portion of the book deals with the communal dwelling where the young people of the Gond villages live, the [n]ghotul[/n]. The author describes the buildings, membership, and the activities of the [n]ghotul[/n], including sexual, ceremonial participation, dances, games, and other recreations. There is a short appendix by A. N. Mitchell on the language of the Muria, and four other appendices treating ghotul titles, census data, a list of ghotul villages, and a summary of marriage data presented throughout the work.

Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents 2

Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits. aw32-002

Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs. Monograph

Language: Language that the document is written in English

Note: Includes bibliographical references

Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document 1935-1942

Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data Ethnologist-5

Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection. James Leary; 1958: John Beierle; 2010

Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date). 1935-1942

Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site) Muria Gond, Bastar State, India

LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings Muria (Indic people)//Primitive societies//Adolescence//Dormitories


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