Age old marriage rituals of Kammas!! – Part I

Akin to a river bringing in loads of contents from the areas it passes and leaving them
in the flow while adding new ones as it continues its journey, the evolution and advancement
of society brings hordes of changes leaving the old customs behind and adding modified
rituals to the process called life. Marriage, a vital part of life, has several bespoke rituals that
vary from caste to caste. The rituals below described belonged to Kamma community, which
our ancestors have earnestly followed ages ago. brings a record of such rituals
for keeping our readers well-informed. However keeping in view the length of the article we
would be offering this in parts.

Worshipping Ganga:
Though this ritual is not often seen in present-day marriages, it was followed by
Kammas’ progenitors. Before tying the knot a bunch of dholl (pigeon pea) leaves were tied to
the north-eastern post of the wedding closet and Ganga was adulated with reverence. Why
our predecessors revered Ganga? A folktale existed which illustrated the reason behind
Kammas revering Ganga. It states that long back Kammas took flight from Northern India to
elude the antagonism and fury of a specific King, who was not entertained when he tried to
marry a girl from Kamma community. Infuriated the King asked his men to attack the
Kamma community. To elude the King’s ire and antagonism the entire community left their
abode in search of new one. In the process they had to cross the principal river Ganga. As the
Kings army was nearing the group, the women earnestly prayed the river to allow them to
pass it. Heeding to their prayers Ganga creates an ad hoc dry way using which the entire.
troupe passes the river and hides in a garden of pigeon pea (Kandi). In memory of that
Kammas tie a cluster of dholl leaves and were used to worshipping Ganga.
Bridegroom younger than Bride
Kammas settled in Tamilnadu followed a rare tradition. Bridegroom was much
younger than the bride and the history recorded one such incident in which a 22 year old
bride was carrying her husband who was a boy on her hip. Such a custom was seen in Russia.
Though the logic behind this was not readily known, the study team at is endeavouring to bring in more details.
Widow Remarriage was a strict no-no
Kamma community on a whole was not a single sect but has certain divisions. Primary
among them were Goda Chatu Kamma (Those who hid behind the wall) and Gampa Chatu
Kamma (Those who hid under the basket). But in both the sections widow remarriage was
stringently prohibited. In the former i.e. Goda Chatu section the widows used to wear white
while the in the latter sect, widows used to wear coloured clothes. Today we don’t see this
custom as remarriages in both males and females in Kamma community, just like in other
communities, have become common. With the changing demographic, social and economic
attributes, getting divorced has become quite customary in Indian upper class and middle
class followed by remarriages.
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