Jammolpur Ceremony

Jammolpur Ceremony

May
Among the tribe known as the Saora in the hills of eastern India, May is the time for the Blessing of the Seeds or Jammolpur ceremony, named for Jammolsum, the god of seed.
Farmers bring some of the seed they will be planting soon to an altar set up for the purpose of blessing the seeds. The altar is placed next to a wall painting a priest has completed that morning. Each element in the painting has a symbolic meaning and power; for example, including birds, deer, and porcupines ensures that these animals will stay away from the young crops. It is common for the Saoras to paint such pictures, which they often do to please a particular god or a deceased ancestor who is giving them trouble. It is also held that the painter is given dreams the night before showing him what to paint.
During the ceremony the priest recites an ancient story and sacrifices a chicken, which is later cooked and eaten. He then pours some wine on the altar and sprinkles some seeds there as well, all the while appealing to the god and ancestors for a good growing season. After the ceremony, the blessed seeds are distributed among the farmers, who take them home and mix them in with the seeds they will sow. At harvest time another ceremony, called Rogonadur, is held.
CONTACTS:
India Tourist Office
1270 Ave. of the Americas, Ste. 1808, 18th Fl.
New York, NY 10020
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www.incredibleindia.org
SOURCES:
CelebNature-1969, p. 113
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