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The tsoru of the Four Brothers

The bridal couple receive the first tsoru in the name of the Four Brothers of the village. Shortly after the sacrifice in front of the house, the bandagoria takes up his task in the sponsors’ house. Before he fills the first dry measure (man) to measure out the rice for the first tsoru, he makes an invocation with incense and rice. The first tsoru is called atri tsoru and is prepared by an unmarried youth (mukla) from the group of the Four Brothers. The youth cooks the rice and the red rooster previously sacrificed by the dissari in front of the house, while the preparations for the feast continue at the same time at the large outside cooking hearth and inside the house.

As at all major festivals, the dissari buries an egg, a wild cashew nut, and a tiny bow in the sponsor’s house, at the cooking hearth, and in the storage hut (kandasal) next to the cooking hearth. This is intended to bar the influence of harmful magic (nosto) aimed at diminishing the quantity of rice so that the food is insufficient for the numerous guests. In addition, the dissari fastens a string with a piece of turmeric to a large clay pot, which he places on the cooking hearth as the first pot, in order to guarantee the auspiciousness (sub) of the cooking process. After that, the metal pots for the rest of the rice are placed on the fire. The head of cattle to be sacrificed is led to the branches planted under the baldachin, consecrated by the dissari with an invocation, and then killed and butchered off to the side of the cooking hearth. Raw portions (batia) of rice, chili, salt, and vegetables are made ready for those groups in the village that do not accept cooked food from the Gadaba.

As soon as the Four Brothers’ atri tsoru is ready, it is distributed on leaf platters, and late in the morning, the bridal couple again take their places on the millstone and plow. A feather from the red rooster is fastened to a cord and tied to the upper part of the girli tree, along with the cooking pot used for the atri tsoru.™ After a drink of liquor, the representatives of the Four Brothers min- [1]

gle their rice with that of the bridal couple - this was what my previously quoted informant was alluding to when he said that the Four Brothers mingle the food - and the couple begins to eat. Affines are also permitted to share in atri tsoru, not just brothers of the groom.

The couple’s two mamu (MB) and the groom’s father-in-law (satra) each receive a platter of raw beef (or goat), and the bandagoria also presents them with rice (one man) and beer or liquor.81 Three huts (balsa) are set up for them, in which they now prepare tsoru separately.

  • [1] The central importance of the girli tree is evident both from the informants’ comments andfrom the ritual actions themselves. Nevertheless, the Gadaba offer no further explanation forthis, other than that it is supposed to be this way according to niam. In view of the use of suchvertical constructions among the Sora, for example, where they forge a connection between the
 
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