Ganganamma Jatara by Polavaram tribals
Srinu Babu Eluru: The picturesque locales in the Agency areas of West Godavari district mesmerise the people, while at the same time, the life...
Srinu Babu Eluru: The picturesque locales in the Agency areas of West Godavari district mesmerise the people, while at the same time, the life style of tribals too is fascinating. They offer the first produce to Goddess before partaking it. The tribals celebrate festivals in a unique manner, and Ganganamma festival was one among them which was celebrated on a grand note.Polavaram Agency in West Godavari district was dotted with a few tribal hamlets in the midst of thick forests and hillocks. They lead a carefree life in the lap of lush green environs by collecting forest produce and hunting the wild animals. They never bother about the past and the future.A With the onset of summer, the tribals will gear up to celebrate Ganganamma festival. On the festival day, one of the youths of village was dressed up in woman's attire. The youth will go round the village along with all the necessary items for worship, including a hen, of Ganganamma; and with the directive of youth, who dressed up in woman's attire, they will hit the bamboo huts of the tribals with the sticks as they believe that by doing so they shoo away evil spirits. Similarly the tribals, who are in the huts, will be offering pujas to Ganganamma to bless them. Finally, the youth would go to the outskirts of the village and leave the hen, which they brought along with them, believing that the evil spirits would vanish along with the hen. The village elders make a makeshift temple with sticks and leaves. Others make preparations for pujas and cooking. Strangely, only men were allowed to cook during this festival. The tribals believe that the women would go into trance as Goddess enters their bodies after completion of puja. Later, the woman who was under trance would forecast the coming events both good and bad. Accordingly, the villagers offer pujas for the wellbeing of the villagers. Ultimately, they consume toddy, eat lunch and dance to their heart's content.