S. Harpal Singh
NEREDIGONDA (ADILABAD DT.): The rhythmic reverberation of the tribal `dhol' (drum) in the serene valley at the scenic Kuntala waterfall symbolised close of the agriculture season for tribals and heralding of a fresh season for performing social functions like marriages.
That all their ceremonies are observed closer to nature buttresses the contention that tribals had always been one with nature.
Gond tribals of Neredigonda and Ichoda mandals in Adilabad bade good-bye to the working season by organising traditional two-day festivities at the Kuntala waterfall on January 10 and 11.
These celebrations pertained to the end of the `poos' month corresponding roughly to mid-January.
A few days from now, another new season of festivities will begin with the opening of Nagoba Jatara at Keslapur.
During January, large number of Gonds, Kolams, Naikpods and Thottis assemble at the Kuntala waterfall to perform ceremonial prayers related to suspension of work.
The sacred dieties of Jangubai, Jalli Devudu and Bheemanna are bathed in the Kadam river at the waterfall.
All the tribals make an overnight stay at the place. Meals are a community affair and groups from respective villages organise community kitchens as part of celebrations.
Only vegetarian food comprising rotis made of wheat or jowar and simple curries is partaken.
"It is customary for us to perform religious ceremonies here at the waterfall as the crop season ends. Prayers are conducted not only to thank the gods and goddesses for the good things they gave us in the immediate past but also request them to shower blessings for the time ahead," said Kumra Gangaram, the headman of Gonds from Tarnam.