Idu Mishmi, Rituals

Ceremonies Performed by the Igu

The Birth and the Death ceremony

Key Takeaways

  • Superstitions and beliefs related to the birth of a child
  • Superstitions and beliefs related to death in Idu Mishmi community

Birth Ceremony:
Pregnancies are considered to be a blessing by the Sun Goddess, locally called Inni Maselo Zinu Aya. At the time of birth ceremony two cocks are sacrificed and the blood is offered to the spirits for the welfare and protection of the newborn. The couple has to follow a few dos and don'ts during the pregnancy period, or else it is said that the child will be deformed by birth. They need to stock food and beer two to three months prior to the taboo days. The father goes to the jungle to fetch some elephant grass, Epontoh, Ronthepa a creeper of thorn species, and puts it in front of the entrance after the child’s birth for the protection of the child from evil spirits. The shaman or the priest of the community carries out the rituals after the birth within the 6th and the 9th day of the taboo days. He offers sacrifices to Goddess Inni Maselo or the Sun Goddess, and the maleficent spirits of parent, grandfather and the mother of the child. This ritual is locally known as A-ta-ye.

Ceremonies Performed by the Igu

Death Ceremony:
Death because of old age is considered normal but premature deaths or death by accident are considered to be the outcome of past acts by the deceased. The body of the dead person is buried with movable articles that the deceased owned. The entire village has to observe a five-day period of taboo of all daily activities. A day before the actual burying, the priest performs necessary rituals. needs to follow a few rules for a span of two to three days. The final death ceremony is carried by the priest or Igu of the village.

Tags: Geography

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