Tuesday, October 14, 2008

9. Baale Birud

Cutting the plantain stumps

On the path leading to the venue of the 'muhurtha' in the wedding house, nine or more (always multiples of three) plantain tree stumps, each measuring approximately a yard in length, are fixed vertically to small wooden stakes driven into the ground.
The guest who is going to perform the 'baale birud' calls out to the gods and prays with the people who may be accompanying him. During the prayers all turbans and headgear are removed as a mark of respect.
After the prayers the guest cuts the three plantain stumps with the 'odi kathi' (knife). Before cutting them he walks around the stumps thrice, gently tapping the the top, with the 'odi kathi'. Then he cuts the stumps one by one, each with a single stroke, and then dances to the beat of the music (huh, hero).

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