Mayurbhanj: Although Indian law does not recognize weddings between people and animals, this rare ritual survives in the tribal dominated Mayurbhanj district of Odisha where marriage takes place between a kid and a dog. Of course, the boy would still be able to marry a human bride in the future without filing for divorce.
One such wedding took place recently in Naupana village under Sukruli block of the district where an infant from Dadu Sahi of the village was made to marry a female dog petted by a family from Gamariapal, a nearby village.
Such marriage is prevalent in the Ho tribe. If the first tooth of an infant grows in the upper gum it is taken as a bad omen and to ward off the evil spirit the marriage is solemnized.
The said tooth is called ‘Kukura Danta’ (Dog tooth). If the infant is a boy, his marriage takes place with a female dog and if it is a girl child, she gets marry to a male dog.
“We performed the marriage because it will overcome any curse that might fall on the child as well on us,” said the kid’s mother.
This tradition is observed in between the Makara Sankranti and Shiva Ratri.
Initially the tribal people worship at a cross road following which the kids’ family and relatives visit the family that pets the dog. They take with them a pot of ‘Handia’. After arrival the people of the bride side wash feet of the guests as a token of respect. The two sides then sit to fix a date for the wedding.
On the marriage day the dog is taken in a procession to the kid’s village. The tribal people dance to the tune of ‘Madal’ during the procession. The dog wears clothes on its marriage day. The wedding takes place as a celebration. Even, the male side provides some money to the female side to carry out the marriage.