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January Festival

Pus porbo falls during the last phase of the harvest in January (pus). This festival lasts three days and is considered by the Gadaba one of the smaller seasonal festivals, like ashad and dosra porbo. Along with the length of the festival, the relatively light financial demands of the rituals also underline this, as does the fact that the inhabitants of Gudapada generally refrain at this festival from hiring the Dombo musicians from the neighboring villages in order to be able to dance demsa properly. The distinguishing element of pus porbo is bolani jatra as a collective mansik ritual, tied to the largely identical ritual of the same name in July (ashad porbo). Ritual begging (sirsera mangbar), a special staff dance (katinat), and the feeding of the cows (gai kuaibar) are other characteristic components of this festival.

Sacrifice for the Village Goddess and on the Road

Together with the old Goudo dissari - who also participates in bolani jatra in chait and ashad porbo - the pujari and randan go to the village goddess’s shrine, the inner and outer doors of which nonetheless remain shut. The pujari performs an invocation with a black chick, but does not kill it, merely breaking open a coconut. Accompanied by the barik and the naik, the three chief actors then go out of the village to the usual site of bolani jatra, on the road leading west. The chick for pat kanda and a he-goat for the bolani deity are sacrificed here. The randari then prepares the tsoru, which all men of the village who have fasted can eat in the afternoon, on site. The raw portions of the rump meat are distributed to all households.

Individual houses perform private mansik rituals for the protection of people and livestock on the morning of the same day, and coconuts are sacrificed on the paths outside the village. There are no mandatory (i.e., necessary according to niam) sacrifices in pus porbo, either at the level of the village or at that of the house, and incense is merely lit at doron deli. The relatively slight importance of the festival and the absence of obligatory sacrificial rituals do not necessarily make it less attractive for the participants, however, and the beer brewed in advance is consumed in correspondingly large quantities.

Sirsera Demands

Already on the day of bolani jatra, the children of the village, including older boys and girls, begin their rounds of begging through the village, known as sir- sera mangbar. Disguised in various ways, they demand sweets, rice, or coins from the individual houses. In the following days, adults also visit the houses of the neighborhood, and in some cases those of the neighboring villages as well, to demand money or rice. In most houses, they are offered beer, and some of these “beggars” end up incapable of making their way back home before sleeping the alcohol off somewhere else. Everyone is free to demand sirsera, but only the village’s clients - the pholoi recipients and manti givers - are permitted to demand the gifts known as piai from all houses, which they visit in turn.

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