MALKANGIRI: Festive fervour has gripped the Bonda settlement in Malkangiri with the community members celebrating the annual Jatimara festival, also called Pus Parba, with much enthusiasm. The festival began in Bonda Hill under Khairput block on Friday with the tribal priest sacrificing livestock, birds and propitiating the presiding deities with liquor. This was followed by Jhatimara, a decade-old tradition that Bondas believe ends enmity among people of the community. It is mostly observed by male members of the Bonda tribe.
On Saturday, the ritual began with boys greeting each other and dancing to the frantic beats of drums. Later on, Bonda youths stood in pairs and beat each other with pliant branches of a tree till blood flowed from the wounds.
As per the ritual, the priest then offered traditional cakes to the youths urging them to stop fighting and delivered a lecture on friendship and good behaviour. After the lecture, the youths embraced each other and the Bonda women applied turmeric paste on the wounds of the youths, giving out a message of brotherhood and unity.
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