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(Continued from Part-2)

History of Gor Culture through monuments

Sir Marshall has written a big treatise on the Indus civilization. The history of Gor culture is hidden in this book and it needs to be carefully found out. The pond measuring 31 x 23 x 8 feet found near Mohenjodaro is not a bathing place but a lake built as a drinking water facility for the oxen laden with goods. The steps are built parallel so that they can easily drink the water. The tribe was engaged in trade with heavy goods laden on the back of the oxen. Once the goods were loaded it was difficult to unpack and repack them number of times. Hence to facilitate the oxen to drink water in the laden position such ponds were built. Another find is about the grain storage found near the pond. It is 150 feet long and 75 feet wide. It was easy to store grain and then distribute again. Hence the grain storages were built near the ponds. A 23 feet wide road was built to facilitate the easy loading and unloading of goods. The ponds and the grain storages were built away from the homes as a necessity of the trade. It means without doubt Gorvamshis had built the ponds and storages. Such types of ponds and grain storages have also been found in Harappa. In the medieval period such ponds were constructed in Afghanistan, Rajasthan and Gujarat. They are known as Banjara Bawadi. Bathing place has a different meaning, instead the ponds, which were not deep, were built for the animals. Banjara men used to especially weave the gunny bags for transporting the goods. Such types of spindles are found in the excavations. The instruments used in fabricating the gunny bags are reported to be manufactured in large numbers. Sir Marshall has given proofs in the regard.

Wheat crop is considered both important and holy in Gor culture. The various food items that are offered to the gods, ancestors and saints etc. are all made from wheat. Two types of wheat might have been harvested in the Indus culture. The culinary items in a typical Gor meal include different items prepared from wheat like chapatti, puri, lapad and patali baati. Patali baati made from quality wheat and chicken curry is still considered the best combination for treating the guests.

In the Teej festival the Gor girls worship the wheat saplings for 9 days. At the time of newborn ritual, Ghughari of wheat is prepared. Sir Marshall has given a list of utensils used in the house. They are still used in the Tandas. They include, handi, ghadia, chipa, ooskya, dhakani, items of clay, axe, knives, jambia etc. While the articles like, musal, mungari, dang, stick for hunting and Badakadi to store wine, which were found in the excavation, are still used in the Tanda. This is one more proof that the Indus and the Gor culture are the same.

A terracotta figure in a dancing posture has been found in Harappa. The woman in the figure is shown wearing a Mungar garland and bangles made from Ivory. A Banjara woman also wears such ornaments. Also a figure is found wearing a horn and a turban on its head. All the primitive tribes in the world traditionally don a horn on their head. This symbol of honour is still donned by the Gor women. Silver ornaments were used in large numbers in the Indus basin. Today Gor Banjara women also use silver ornaments on large scale. The use of Ghaghra and head cloth, which is a symbol of Indus civilization, is in vogue in the Tandas. The houses are facing towards East and there is a square yard in the middle. The fireplace is on the right side of the house. This was the design of houses in the Indus civilization. In nutshell it can be concluded on the basis of minute study of Sir Marshall’s book that Gorvamshiya are the pioneers of the Indus culture.

Conclusion

Ancient live as well as dead references are available to draw the conclusions about Gor tribe. A lot of time passes before history of a civilization and culture is created. If the civilization and culture have the capacity to sustain the onslaught of time then they cannot be destroyed by it. The importance of the culture may undergo upheaval in the changing times but it is important for it to sustain. The Gor culture has withstood the test of the time. For the civilization and culture to prosper the community should be healthy and peace-loving otherwise no art can flourish and no new art created. When we analyze the social, cultural, religious, economical and political situation of the Indus civilization on the basis of the excavations done there, then the history of the monumental progress made by the society is unfurled before us. The Gor culture not only symbolizes the social life of humans but also guides the world on how to live life meaningfully. The basic resources of living the life and its traditional proofs have been preserved in the folk literature of this tribe.

The remnants of civic life found in the excavations of the Indus civilization are all related to the Gor culture. The Anthropologists have divided the human skeletons found there in four ethnicities. They are Australian, Mediterranean, Mongolian and Alpine. Most of the skeletons are of Mediterranean origin. Their analysis or DNA testing proves that they are of Gorvamshiyas. The dead were buried with their head in the North direction and legs towards the South. Gor people still follow this direction while burying the dead.

The place of origin of Gor civilization might have been Afghanistan. The references regarding lifestyle and food habits found right from Kathiawad, Punjab, Sindh, Kandahar, Kabul to Makaran can be found in the Gor Tandas today. The Gor Tandas inhabiting these areas have preserved their ancient tradition and heritage through generations. Especially the effect of Gor culture is found to the extent of 90% in Sumerian culture. Hence it can be said that the Sumerian culture is nothing but the Gor culture.

Sumerian people worship the bull. Also the bull was used as a value measure. In Gor Banjaras till recently the bride was given some bulls as dowry. Proofs regarding use of the bulls for transportation on a large scale in Sumerian and Gor civilization prior to Indus civilization have been found. It means a detailed study on the Gor and Sumerian civilizations may throw light on new facts.

A historian may reach a conclusion based on results drawn on the basis of remnants of a civilization and it is not an eyewitness account. His perception about the facts largely affects the conclusion. The conclusions drawn by historians about the Indus culture based on detailed study almost 90% prove that the civilizations belong to Gorvamshiyas. I am a living witness to the proofs and on the basis of these proofs it can be confirmed that the Gor civilization flourished prior to the Indus civilization.

I was born in Dindala Tanda situated in a mountain region. I lived with the Tanda for almost 20 years. I learned the alphabets in Tanoda Tanda. For my primary schooling I joined Warud Bibi Tanda with my family. Then I went to Umarkhed Tehsil and completed my education up to Matric. I used to commute 4 kilometers up and down from the Tanda to school. In all I was with Warud Bibi Tanda for 12 years. I enjoyed the Banjara life with this Tanda in real sense. The free life style of Banjaras and the dancing, singing, sports, festivals were all embedded on my personality. Dancing and singing are the two essential ingredients of the Tanda. It is the way Gor Banjaras live their life. My whole life was no exception to this. My lively Tanda is still a thriving source for living the life to the fullest.

My mother had a sweet voice. I still remember the songs sung by her while making flour on a stone grinder and myself sitting in her lap.

½þÉ]äõ®úÉä ½þÉ]õÒ±ÉÉä, ¨ÉÉäiÉÖ ½þÉ]õ ¨ÉiÉ VÉÉä ÊEò ´Éb÷iÉÒªÉÉ®úÒ UôÉä®úÒ ®úÉä UôÉäb÷É ±ÉÉMÉÒªÉä EòÒ vÉEòÉä ¨ÉÉ®úÉä, EòÒ ¨ÉÉäiÉÚ ½þÉ]õ ¨ÉiÉ VÉÉä

I grew up with the Tanda. Company of young girls used to add colour to the life. The designs tattooed by the girls lovingly on my hand are still a testimony of those dreamy days. Whenever I look at this tattoo a strange feeling passes through my body. On the occasion of every Holi festival I used to ask to the daughter of my elder aunt:

"¤ÉÉ®ú ´É®úºÉ UôÉä®úÒ EÖÄò´ÉÉ®úÒ EÖò ®äúMÉÒ ªÉä"

Meaning: Why the girl of twelve is still unmarried?

She used to reply through a song:

EòÉÆ<Ç Eò¯û UôÉä®úÉ xɺÉÒ¤É MÉÉÆÊb÷ªÉÉ iÉÉ®äú ±ÉÉ®ú +É>ð VÉÒ´ÉÖ ®äú +ÉÉÉ ®äúMÉÒ ®äú VɱɨÉä®úÒ +ÉÉ ®äúMÉÒ ®äú iÉÉ®äú ±ÉÉ®ú +É>ð

Meaning: What should I do? My luck is not in favour of me. I wish I could marry you and live with you.

The girls used to be married before attaining 12 years of age. This makes it clear that Gor were residents of Malawa province. Hasaki was married in due course. She left the song with me. I still remember her innocent, loving face, singing this song.

The daughter of the Nayak was very active. Her name was Sundal. She never allowed me to befriend with her. Still I used to pursue with her. I was afraid to talk with her. I used to sing this song pointing towards my friends:

{ÉÖUô ±É®ú +ÉäxÉ, ºÉÉlÉ SɱÉä iÉÉä {ÉÖUô ±É®ú +ÉäxÉ ºÉÉlÉ SɱÉä iÉÉä +ÉäxÉ ±ÉÉä´Éb÷Ò nù®úÉnÚù {ÉÖUô ±É®ú +ÉäxÉ... ºÉÉlÉ ±ÉÉä´Éb÷ÒxÉ PÉÖÄPÉ]õÉä ±ÉMÉÉ nÖÄù {ÉÚUô ±É®ú +ÉäxÉ...ºÉÉlÉ...

Meaning: My dear friend, ask her whether she is ready to come with me. If she is ready then I will gift her a beautiful Chunari (head cloth). You just ask her; I will also give her Ghunghat (face cloth) attached to the Chunari. Just ask her once, will she come with me?

Sundal was also married and left the Tanda. Those were the days! No hardships of poverty, no tension or pain. The Tanda used to spring to life during any festival. Playing, going to market, the black and starry nights, rainy days, going to jungle along with the girls, cutting the grass, collecting wild flowers, fetching water from the mountain, working in fields, all these activities are still alive in my mind. All these experiences have become part and parcel of my life. The ills and good wills of the Tanda life are still part of my life. They are providing me the necessary vitality to continue with my life.

The Earth used to be all dressed up in green to welcome the festival of Teej. It was a 10-day extravaganza of dancing and singing with the girls. The unmarried girls would go to the fields, dancing and singing in herds, to bring the black soil for the Teej. Both the boys and girls used to sing on the occasion:

"¤ÉÉä®úb÷Ò®ú ¤ÉÉä®ú, JÉÉ]äõ ¨ÉÒ`äö ¤ÉÉä®ú EÖòxÉ®ú EòÊxɪÉÉ SÉ®ú¨É]õb÷Ò"

The boys did not allow the girls to collect the black soil. The Teej was kept for 10 days. On the 10th day the Teej was immersed in the nearby water source. On the occasion the girls sing this song:

ÊEò¨ÉäiÉÒ +ɪÉÉä ®äú ´Éä®úÒ JÉɳýÒªÉÉ, ¨ÉÉ®úÒ ºÉÉiÉƳäý ±ÉäMÉÉä ®äú, ´Éä®úÒ JÉɳýÒªÉÉ

The Teej was immersed with a heavy heart and the girls used to express their feelings thus:

EòÉäxÉÒ ´½þÒªÉä ªÉä MÉ´É®úÒ ¨ÉxÉ ®äú ½ÖÄþºÉ >ðVÉÒ nùºÉ nùxÉ ®äú VÉÉäxÉÒ

The married girls were coming to the Tanda from their in-laws home for the festival of Nagapanchami. Their other friends were also meeting on this occasion and share the moments of their married life. There was a Neem tree in front of my aunt’s house and I still remember the two swings on it. My mind still swings on the memories of those days.

"ºÉÉiɳýÉä ½þ®úÒ Ê{ɳýÒ Ê{ɳýÉä±Éå®úÒ ´Éä±É ªÉä"

The girls used to enjoy on those swings and the boys used to be mute spectators. The melody of the songs of the girls and the pleasant atmosphere of the time can’t be described but needs to be experienced. The festival of Diwali was also a main occasion for the unmarried girls. These girls visit all households in the evening with a lamp in their hand to take blessings of the elders. The group of boys also followed them throughout the Tanda and take benefit of the darkness, without success. The next day the girls worship the cow and sing:

"JÉä´Éb÷ªÉÉ ¨Éä´Éb÷ªÉÉ +®äú ½Öþ®ú ¤ÉÉÄ...¤ÉÉÄ..¨ªÉÉ ¨ªÉÉ"

We also used to have fun by making the sound of ‘maa, maa.’ All these festivals, songs and events are still very much stored fresh in my mind. After the Diwali, the Tanda looks forward for the Holi, the festival of colours. I enjoyed the Holi in the Tanda from my 5th to 10th Standard. For 3-4 years I was the main ‘Geria’ of the girls on this occasion. Twice I lead the ritual of ‘Dando Kadher.’ The payee songs of Holi, lehengi, faag songs still make me think that I am young. At the time of playing ‘Khuta Wakder’ I used to consider it as an honour to get beaten by the girls. I used to sing the mischievous song of the Holi. The girls used to continuously beat me still my song never stopped. Gone are the days forever but their sweet memories haunt me. The 3-4 days of the Holi festival used to pass like magic. In order to not to hurt anybody due to the love songs the following song was used:

"ªÉÉb÷Ò ¦ÉÉäVÉÉ<Ç ªÉÉä Ê®úºÉ ¨ÉiÉ Eò®úVÉÉå ½þÉä³ýÒ ¤ÉÉä±ÉSÉ ªÉä ¤ÉÉä±É...ªÉÉb÷Ò ¦ÉÉäVÉÉ<Ç ¨ÉÉ{É Eò®úVÉÉä"

Meaning: I think of no evil, please excuse me for my teasing. The songs I sang are not mine. It was the Holi that was singing. Please excuse me.

The ritual of marriage is full of entertainment, play and rejoice. I was small those days. Whenever I used to attend any marriage ceremony the feeling of myself getting married used to become strong. I performed the role as a friend of the groom, Leriya, twice. One of the marriage ceremonies went on for 8 days while the other for 4 days. I learned all the rituals that are performed in the marriage ceremony in these two marriages. I participated whole-heartedly in all the rituals like the arrival of the bride in the Tanda, to up to her farewell. The rituals were called viz., ‘Tandem Layer, Ghotar Haat, Ghota Dholer, Haladi Lagayer, Matho Bandher, Wetadun Pader, Maand Ramer, Dosakya Foder, Wakeldi Dhoker, Chotir Paani Piyar, Kanen Kakara Lagayer, Musaleti Marer, Dorno Chhodr, Chudo Tiper, Kular Karayar, Phera Pharer gaath, Wetadun Baar Kadher, Haveli and Taangadi etc. I studied them all. The self experience led me to become a researcher. We had to accompany the groom all the time during the ceremony. I passed all the tests of respect and limits and honour. Bringing the Taangadi in Tanda was considered equal to winning a girl and bringing her to Tanda.

The times have changed. Now the Tandas have settled into villages. Still my lively Tanda is very much alive in my mind. Thirty years have passed since I am living in a city but I am still connected with the members of Tanda. I have wondered with the Tandas in Delhi, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. I have visited almost all Tandas in Maharashtra. The Tanda, its people and their life promote me to live my life.

We still celebrate Holi for 3 days in our Banjara colony in Aurangabad. All the rituals, worship, songs and dance are performed together. The groups of men and women play and rejoice together and bid farewell to Holi with the Gor ritual. This year I will celebrate Holi with my grand children Nishant Singh Gor and Tejal Gor. My Banjara life has a long way to go!

 

Deepawali, Raja Bhoj Birth Anniversary, 2002.

Prof. Motiraj Rathod

Gor Banjara Colony, Aurangabad-431001. Maharashtra, India

(Continued...)

For Next Part, Please Click Here: Book: Motiraj Rathod-4 

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