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Chenchus unite in wedlock

Staff Reporter
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Chenchu couples enter wedlock in remote Peddamanthanala tribal hamlet in the Nallamalla forests in Prakasam district on Thursday.—Photo: Kommuri Srinivas
Chenchu couples enter wedlock in remote Peddamanthanala tribal hamlet in the Nallamalla forests in Prakasam district on Thursday.—Photo: Kommuri Srinivas

The sleepy village in the thick Nallamalla forests was agog with activity.

The special occasion was that three couples of primitive Chenchu tribal group enter into wedlock in the presence of elders, coinciding with the Narasimha Jayanthi, on Thursday.

Over 1,000 Chenchus from 38 gudems came to the village in Dornala mandal to witness the ‘pelli’ of the couples who entered into a social contract with Devachenchus from Dasari clan presiding over the marriages.

The couples marriages were preceded by the celestial wedding of Lakshmi Narasimha swamy. The tribal people refer the mother goddess as “Chenchu Lakshmi”.

Earlier, peddamanushulu (mediators) extolled the virtues of the brides and bridegrooms and brought about an understanding with the couples -- Bhaumani Nagamma and Nagamma, Dasari Gurvaiah and Guruvamma and Dasari Mallanna and Veeramma.

The whole community stood as witness to the marriages as the couples put their hands on the heads of each other and vowed to remain united forever facing the rough and tumble of life.

The maternal uncle of brides performed the all important ‘sampradaan’ ceremony by giving the hand of the brides to the bridegrooms.

A grand feast was organised at the conclusion of the ceremony.

The entire community indulged in merry-making drinking to the hilt “Nallathumachakka” brewed by themselves.

“Despite hardships, both man and wife go together deep into forests for hunting even the latter is pregnant”, points out Septuagenarian physician Ch. Chalamaiah, also secretary of the Indian Red Cross Society in Prakasam district who works closely with tribal people for improving their living condition.

“Chenchu women easily climb trees having their babies on the backpack. They live a simple living”, notes Mr. K.V. Ramakrishna, Special Officer in-charge of NREGS implementation in the tribal areas.

The Markapur-based N. S. Chartible Trust, the Sivaji Spoorthi Kendram from Srisailam and Hotel Sarovar from Ongole made food and other arrangements.

Laddu prasadam from the Bramarambha Samedha Mallikarjun swamy temple was arranged for the couples along with the picture of Srirama Pattabhishekam by the Srisailam temple Devasthanam.


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