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Installation of the Memorials

by K. L. Kamat

Tenth or twelfth day of the death are usually preferred, the installation may be postponed to allow the family to raise a loan to cover the cost of the memorial and the feast. Most of the tribals bury their dead along with their belongings. However, important leaders are cremated, and their possessions are deposited nearby. These customs can be traced back to medieval period which has helped the historians in determining the dates and the social customs of the period. Unfortunately, they have also attracted the thieves who dig up the graves for their material contents and in the process, destroy important historical information. 

K.L. Kamat/Kamat's Potpourri
A Memorial <b>Gata</b> of  the Bhil Tribe
A Memorial Gata of the Bhil Tribe

The Bhils of western Madhya Pradesh visit a nearby forest and select a mature tree on the first day. On the second day they worship it and on the third, bring it to the village in a ceremonial procession. While the Gata is being carved, the women-folk sing the heroic deeds of the dead. The completed memorial is taken to the village elders to pray for blessings. It is installed after a feast in which drinks are liberally served. Carving is usually done by the tribals themselves or other local artisans under their supervision. The Marias visit a granite quarry to the accompaniment of drum-beating and select a slab [Elvin50a]. It is brought by four people, hung from two bamboos with the help of bark-ropes. While erecting the manorial, the members of the family, relatives and well-wishers offer food, water and coins to the dead. A feast of beef and "salphi" drinks are served to the guests.

Memorials of Madhya Pradesh
Origins | Distribution  | Installation 
Non-illustrated Memorials  | Illustrated | Wooden
Sculpted  & Painted Memorials | Religious


Memorials of Madhya Pradesh
Tribal Memorials

See More Memorials of Central India
A Memorial of Madhya PradeshA heap of wooden memorials at Pachmadi in Central IndiaAn Earthen Memorial of Bastar DistrictA group of grantite pillars, PachmaddiPillar Memorial of Tamiya
The Hero of a Memorial, PachmadiThe Hero and his WifeA Group of Memorials at Barsur in BastarHero of a Stone Memorial in Barsur VillageHero with Shield
A Memorial <b>Gata</b> of  the Bhil Tribe<b>Sati</b> stone belonging to the Bhil tribe, ChindawadaWooden memorials of the Korku tribe, PachmadiCarved Wooden Pillar in the Village of GidamA Painted Slab Memorial, Madhya Pradesh
Depiction of a Hero -- Rock Shelter PaintingA hero in the forestWooden Memorial, MeghnathAbstract Memorials for the DeadWooden Memorials for the Dead
A panel of a wooden memorial  in Central India


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