Age-old rituals of Kamma Marriages – Part II

As quoted in the first part of this article, the advancement in life brought many changes in the process of marriage, which was conducted for 5 days decades back. Current marriages are completed in a day or two excluding engagement.

  • The venerable age-old marriage used to commence with an engagement (betrothal) ceremony that was preceded by worshipping Lord Vinayaka and the native village deities along with female ancestors of those families.
  • A close relative of husband-to-be (future bridegroom) along with a group of relatives goes to the home of wife-to-be (bride).
  • While proceeding to the prospective bride’s house they used to search for premonitions/auguries akin to crossing of birds in a favourable and fortunate direction.
  • As such positive omen is seen the group burns camphor and breaks a coconut. However the significant part of this process is the coconut should be broke with two perfect edges. In case if there is an unequal split, they would try with other coconuts until they achieve the result.
  • As they succeed in breaking the coconut into two equal halves, one half is sent to the prospective bridegroom and the other would be carried to bride’s house.
  • As a customary process when the bridegroom’s group reaches bride’s house, the later asks for the omen (Shakunam) i.e. coconut. Handing over the coconut to the bride, the relatives of bridegroom would fill her lap with an assortment of turmeric plantains, areca nuts, betel leaves, combs, sandal paste, Vermillion Powder (Kumkum) and flowers.
  • Post this, the elders on both sides concedes on wedding date and time of tying the knot (Muhurat). In the present day marriages we see that marriage is conducted at bride’s house or in any venue fixed by bride’s family. But in those older days marriages were generally organized at the place of bridegrooms.
  • Yet in certain exceptional cases the bride’s family used to organize the marriage at their place if it was a ‘Kannikadhanam’, which means offering the girl without any dowry/presents/wedding gifts. ‘Kannikadhanam’ has different connotation and the meaning changes as per the nativity. In this case, we stick to this definition that is more apt.

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