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Tripura, the land of History and Legends


 Hamjwk Tubui Kaimani:
In this system of marriage, the negotiation between two families is made by a marriage broker. In finalising or settling up a marriage the guardian of the either side plays the sole role. The bride or the groom has no choice. This type of marriage always takes place in the house of the bridegroom. Here the matrimonial rites and rituals which are mainly observed by the Tripuris of the Sadar South are mentioned.

The parents of the boy accompanied by the 'Raibai' (marriage broker) go to the girls house to choose and select her as the bride. But there are some prejudicial conventions which they abide by in cases of an auspicious matter such as selecting the bride. If they hear any bleat of deer or see any corpse on that day or dream in the previous night any dream of falling down of their hut by cyclone, they do not set out on that day for the girl's house.

It the girl be chosen by the parents of the boy, the guardians of the daughter demand dowry of an amount of money, ornaments etc. Among the Tripuris the bride did not bring any dowry to her father in law's house The bridegroom's father had to give a price to get the daughter for his son. So in the Tripuri society the dowry was other way round things have changed. If the bridegroom party agrees to pay the dowry, then both the party fix the date of 'Koksungma' (Mangalacharan) through the Raibai. On the day of Koksungma the party of the would be groom assemble in the house of the would be bride. The guardians of both the sides sit side by side and two pots of rice beer are kept before them. Two earthen oil lamps are also put beside the two beer pots. A bell-metal plate containing some cotton, durba, copper coin, til, soil etc. is put in front of them to perform the rituals of 'Dangdua'. Each person performs this ritual three times. Thereafter, both the parties take the rice beer. The father of the bride offers some money for meat to be arranged for the feast of that day.

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The 'would be bride' then comes in front of the assembled persons and bow before her parents, to the bride-groom's parents and then to all other senior persons. The elderly persons bless the bride with money, coins etc. which are put in the bell metal plate. After that the bride has to bathe her parents and 'would be parents in law'. The custom also says that the bride has to wash the hands of all the elderly persons after they have finished the feast. These rituals are performed in finalising or settling the marriage and is known as 'Kok Sungma'. After the Kak Sungma the father of the bridegroom along with the Raibai' go on a prefixed day to the bride's house to offer the dowry. Both the parties now sit together and in presence of 'Raibai' fix the date of a triage.

On the day before the marriage, the bridegroom party invites the 'Ayajuk', Aya and two boys for carrying water, by offering a betel, to come and discharge their duties in the marriage ceremony. A few married women of the neighbourhood also assemble there on that day and cut betel leaf and nut in the name of the bride and her groom. This ceremony is called 'Kuaitano'. At the time of cutting the betel leaves and nut in the name of the bride 'ulu' sound is made thrice, while in the case of bridegroom it is done seven times.

Now, some flowers and betel leaves and nuts are put separately in two metal plates made of bell metal. The plates are then wrapped with new cloth and carried by two boys to convey the invitation to every family in the village to make a 'Bedi' (platform) on behalf of the bridegroom's party. These two boys convey the invitation to the Choudhury (village headman) in a different manner. The Choudhury is offered a whole betel leaf and a nut and the plate is now wrapped with banana leaf instead of cloth. The 'Bedi' of this marriage is made in a similar way as that of 'Chamari Kaimani Marriage'.

On the morning of the marriage ceremony the 'Lampra Wathop' deity is worshipped alongwith 'Tuisangramma'. In this system of marriage, the 'Wathop' is worshipped in same manner as the 'Chamuri Kaimani'. The 'Takchamai' puja is totally absent here.

On that day, the two Ayajuks take two Jharis (water pot) and start with palanquin, a musical party etc. for the bride's house to bring her. On the eve of departure for the bride's house, the 'Dangdua' rites arc observed on the two jharis (water pot) and on the ornaments taken for the bride. Two earthen pitchers filled with water and mango twigs in them are placed on two sides of the front door of the bridegroom's house, Two earthen oil lamps are also kept by their side. After performing the 'Dangdua' rituals the bridegroom party starts for the bride's house.

In the bride's house also this 'Dangdua' rite is observed on the bridegroom party's arrival. Two earthen pitchers and oil lamps are similarly placed on two sides of the front door of the bride's house and on their arrival, the 'Dangdua' rite is observed on the musical instruments, the palanquin, two jharis (water pot) etc. Now, after arrival of the bridegroom's party to the house of the bride the ritual of invitation by offering betel leaf to every family in the village and to the Choudhury starts. This ritual is called 'Khum Phunugo'.

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After the formalities and rituals, the bride has to depart for the bridegroom's house. She adorns herself with the ornaments sent from the bridegroom's house and bow down to her parents. She then steps into the palanquin for the bridegroom's house. There is a taboo in vogue that the mother of the bride cannot accompany her daughter and Witness the daughter's marriage. The father and other relatives attend the marriage; the 'Dungdua' ritual is again observed when the bride arrives at bridegroom's house. After he rite, one person takes the bride on his back and carry her into the room specified for the bride.

 Thereafter, water is brought for bath of the bride and bridegroom. The ritual observed at this time is same as Chamari Kaimani'. But in addition to it, something more is observed. During the course of water drawing procession, an unmarried girl is chosen to carry a basket containing a new cooking pot in which some Sukui (bean), raw turmeric, haritaki, vermilion etc. are kept. The cooking pot remains covered with a piece of cloth. The water has to be cut with a sword or chopper, and the articles in the cooking pot in the basket are to be dissipated in the water before cutting the water. Among the Tripuris, this ritual is known as 'Hajlai'.

An earthen lamp is lighted at the place where the bride's bath is arranged. The barber then attend the bride to manicure her. The bride then sits on a wooden seat (Khamplai i.e. Pidi) facing the east. Her head then remains covered with cloth. An 'Ayajuk' now pours water three times on her head each time, before pouring the water, the Ayajuk gives a circle around the bride and 'ulu' sound is made every time while pouring the water. After this rite, the bride takes the bath of her own. The same rite is followed at the time of bridegroom's bath.

Now, the 'Aya' Ayajuk and the party move in and around the village currying the bridegroom in a palanquin. In this procession a barber has also to remain present. He takes some parched paddy in a new earthen pot and sprinkles these on the palanquin. This ritual is known as 'Gojofirogo' among the Tripuri community. Giving a round in the village, the party comes back to the house with the bridegroom.

The 'Khupang Subaio' which is observed at the time of 'Chamari Kaimani' is also observed in this system of marriage before the bride proceeds towards the 'Bedi'. But this 'Khupang Subaio' rite is followed here with and bit of difference. As for instance, when a man carries the bride for observing this rite, a reed made basket which looks like a winnowing fun is held over the bride by an 'Aiajuk'. This basket is tied with a piece of new cloth measuring equal to the diameter of the basket. Small moons, stars etc., made of metal etc., are pasted on the basket. They call it 'Tala'.

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The bride and the bridegroom are brought to the 'Bedi' in the same manner as 'Chamari Kaimani' and the marriage is performed like that. The 'Khiri Bhojan' ritual is also observed in this marriage. After the anti riage the couple and the 'Aya' & 'Ayajuk' take their feast collectively. When the Aya and Ayajuk take their meal one and a half bottle of wine are offered to them on behalf of the bridegroom. When the 'Aya' and 'Ayajuk' finish their meal, the newly wedded couple wash their hands with due obeisance. The feast of the 'Aya' and 'Ayajuk' is completed ceremoniously and it is known as 'Ayajuk-Aya Maichamani'. After dinner the couple gets separated.

Next day the bridegroom brings the bride to his own house. The bride on arriving at the door of the house, washes the feet of her husband three times with the water of the Jhari (pot) und then wipes the feet with her hair, thereafter an obstruction is raised at the door with a bamboo. The husband then lifts her holding at her waist over the bamboo and puts her inside the house. Following the ritual of 'Chamari Kaimani' 'Dangdua' is offered. After the 'Dangdua' the couple how down before all elderly persons and the aged persons bless them with gifts.

Following this ceremony, on the same day, a grand feast is arranged for the marriage. At the time of the feast, the guardians of both the sides take their meal first and the bride and groom have to serve everyone a curry specially prepared with dried fish. As the elderly persons finish their meal, it is customary for the couple to wash their hands. At dawn on the third day after marriage the couple goes out with the crowns and dig the earth (outside the house) and put the crowns under the ground with their feet. The marriage ceremony is practically over on that day with the putting of the crown under the earth. In this system of marriage, one additional ritual is observed-after the marriage ceremony. If the bride's menstruation has not started before her marriage, then a special rite is observed when the menstruation starts after the marriage. On a particular day, the guardians of the bride and bridegroom along with other elderly persons assemble at the bridegroom's house to attend the rituals. The ceremony is arranged on any day within a month from the day of first menstruation,

On the day, a miniature pond is dug in the courtyard in order to play the mud game. Every body participates in the game and rejoices. After the game, they take bath and gather around for the drinks. After the drinks, a cradle is hung inside the hut. A grind stone washed with water is put by its side. A lamp is also lighted and the 'Dangdua' ritual is observed on the grind stone. Now a piece of new cloth is stretched on the cradle and the grind stone is tied in the cloth. At one side of the grind stone a pillow is kept. A piece of cloth is then spread over the grind stone as a cover.

The bride now swings the cradle three times and then the bridegroom follows it. The parents of the bride and bridegroom and also the other elderly attendants swing it serially. As soon as the swinging is over, the father-in-law of the bride takes the grind stone and gives it to the daughter in law's lap. The other attendants then take the grind stone one by one. This ritual is known as 'Harpek Thunga'-(mud game).

The grind stone here symbolises a newborn baby and with it the newly married lady is blessed by all elderly persons, specially the parents of the couple to have a baby. It is already mentioned above that the aforesaid ritual is connected with the bride having her first menstruation only after marriage. Besides this, the ritual is observed mainly by the rural Tripuris of the Sadar South. At present, the ritual is losing popularity.

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Marriage by Exchange: (Nokkaisa Kaimung):
Sometimes marriage is arranged between two families by exchanging a boy and a girl and thus avoiding the payment of dowry or bride price. This type of marriage is, of course, rare among the Tripuris. The rites and rituals observed in such type of marriage are almost similar to the marriage by service (Chamari Kaimani).

Marriage by elopement: (Kharlai Kaijakmani):
'This type of marriage occurs by mutual contact between two individuals when they become fond of each other. A boy and a girl fall in love in the ignorance of their guardians and eventually do not get the approval of their guardians to get married. The boy elopes with the girl to certain place and marries her. In such a case, the boy generally takes the initiative. This form of marriage takes place through the performance of 'Wathop' worship. In performing this worship or puja four fowls are sacrificed and the couple bow down in front of the Wathop deity. After the puja, the sanctified water of Wathop is sprinkled upon the couple. '[lie bridegroom then puts vermilion on the bride's forehead. Sometimes, the bridegroom has to pay a compensation to the village council if he re'settlcs in the village.

Marriage by Purchase: (Fuisai Tubuo):
In this form of marriage the bridegroom or his parents pay certain amount of money in cash to the bride's family as her price. All sorts of matrimonial rituals are observed in this marriage.

Marriage by Capture: (Koklam Kuruini Kaimung):
This form of marriage is not very common among the Tripuris. In rare occasion, a boy captures a girl of his choice on her way to any place or from her home and forcibly marries her. No wedding rites and rituals are observed in such marriage except the Wathop worship. Here also four fowls arc required to be sacrificed in the puja and the couple takes the sanctified water of 'Wathop'.

Marriage by love:(Haimjak lai Kailaimani):
This form of marriage among the Tripuri community is now very common and in the increase. When a boy and a girl fall in love with each other and decide to marry, they bring it to their guardian's knowledge and the marriage takes place with the guardian's initiative. The procedures of rituals performances in such marriage are same as those in normal social marriages. The marriage does not take place if the guardians of both skies do not agree. And in such cases, the boy and girl may not obey their guardian's decision and run away from their house or village and get married.

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Chamari Amar:
This type of marriage is also prevalent in Tripuri society. In this form of marriage the bridegroom leaves his house and settles down in his father-in-law's house for life. He owns some paddy land from his father-in-law and stays with them. All sorts of normal matrimonial rituals are observed here.

Chamari Ompa:
This form of marriage is identical in nature with the marriage of service. Only difference between the two types of marriage is duration to serve. It is noticed in this form of marriage that the bridegroom is to serve in his future father-in-law's house for a short period in comparison with the bridegroom of  'Chamari Kaimani' marriage.

Marriage by insistence: (Burui Hamjagwi Kaijakmani)'
In rare occasions, this form of marriage also occurs. Sometimes a girl stands against the decision of her parent's to marry the boy of their choice and pleads for negotiating with the guardian of a boy whom she likes much or loves. As a result the guardians are left with no. other alternative than to settle the daughter's marriage with the boy she is inclined to.

Child marriage: (Sikla Sogya Sini Kaimung):
This type of marriage was in vogue long ago among the Tripuris. A girl, before she reaches puberty, was generally married to a boy. Now-a- days, this form of marriage is no longer prevalent.

Widow marriage: (Sundul phulma):
Widow marriage is prevalent in the Tripuri society. A widow, widower, divorcee or a deserted woman is allowed to remarry. Though there is no practical inhibition in such cases and the widow marriage is common in the Tripuris, the parents of a girl do not earnestly desire to marry their maiden daughter with a widow or a divorcee. The widower or divorcee person is allowed to remarry with usual observation of the rituals but when a widow or divorcee likes to remarry, she is debarred from observing the rituals which she had once observed in her previous marriage. Moreover, a widower or a divorcee enjoys freedom to choose a maiden girl as his wife where as the widow or the divorcee lady is restricted to select a bachelor for husband. If a divorcee lady or a widow likes to reenter into the conjugal life, she has to do it with a divorced person or a widower only.

This type of marriage is also settled or arranged through 'Raibai'. The guardians of both parties settle the marriage in presence of 'Raibai' and fix the date of marriage. The bridegroom party starts for the bride's house on the marriage day. On that clay, the worship of 'Wathop' deity and 'Tuisangrama' are performed. Ten fowls are sacrificed to the deities. 'Takchamai' deity is not worshipped in this form of marriage. The presence of 'Aya' and 'Ayajuk' are not required in this marriage.

The bridegroom puts on dhuti and shirt and the bride wears sari and different traditional ornaments. The bride and the groom arc then brought in front of the 'Wathop' deity. The Ochai now takes some soil from the deity's side and with this he sprinkles the sanctified water of Wathop deity thrice upon the couple. The couple then pays homage to the deity three times. Thereafter the aged attendants in the ceremony sprinkle the sanctified water upon the bride and the groom.

The couple is now brought into the house. A mat is spread for the couple to sit on. An earthen lamp and a disc with cotton, til, durba, soil etc. in it are put in front of them. The 'Dangdua' rituals is then observed on the bride and the groom for three times.

After 'Dangdua,' the ochai takes a chopper and a stone and strikes the stone three times with the chopper on each of the couples head. While striking the stone he utters few spells as- :'Tuibuluk Tui, Augolagai Tandi, Halangni Auo manwi Tandi'. (As the stream is unending, so be their lives. As the stone is not decayed so also their life be not affected by time).

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The Ochai then blesses the couple. Some tulsi leaves, water of the Ganges, a copper coin etc. are kept in a pot before the couple. In presence of the Ochai, the couple touches these articles and promises to each other to remain for long as true husband and true wife. The Ochai now takes a little vermilion and puts it on the forehead of the bride and bridegroom. The other married women then follow the suit. The bride and the bridegroom then exchange garlands between them. Two pieces of betel leaves are offered then to chew reciprocally. The bridegroom first takes a pan and after a bite, offers it to the bride.

Next, the new couple is offered to take little honey and Ganges water. Taking of this honey and Ganges water by the couple is significant and symbolic. It is believed that if the honey and Ganges water are taken, their conjugal life will ever be as sweet and sacred as the honey and water. The couple has now to bow before their parents and guardians. With this, the formal ceremony comes to an end. A feast is arranged on the occasion and a chicken curry with the chicken scarified to the Wathop deity is compulsorily prepared to be served to every invitee. This specific curry is known as 'Mailaisak'.

This 'Sindoor phoolna' in some areas is observed in different ways. The ceremony takes place at the bride's house instead of the bridegroom. The Wathop deity is worshipped by sacrificing four fowls. When the puja ends, the bridegroom puts vermilion at the lower part of his right leg. A married woman then takes a little sindoor from the bridegroom's leg and smears it on the bride's forehead and on the head. In this form of marriage, the unmarried male and female generally do not take part. The above cited form if marriage is known as 'Sundul phoulma' in South Sadar subdivision whereas the same type of marriage is known in North subdivision us Maicharo'.

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Halokchayani: (Marriage within the relative):
It is not at all a common type of marriage among the Tripuris. A marriage generally does not take place within the relatives unless three generations are over between the bride and bridegroom. Sometimes marriage takes place also between niece and nephew, maternal brother and sister. This type of marriage is not accepted by the society, in this case, both the boy and the girl and their parents appear in front of the village council for justice and acceptance of the marriage. The village council imposes fine on the concerned boy and girl. Both the parties jointly have to offer a grand feast to the villagers who thereafter acknowledge their marriage. But the couples are not allowed to marry performing the rites and rituals of the normal marriage. Even they are not permitted to marry by observing the worship of 'Lampra Wathop'. But this type of marriage is not accepted as quite normal by the society. That is why this type of marriage as a matter of fact, takes place very seldom.

Chamari Kamani: (Marriage by Service by the Groom):
This from of marriage to procure a bride by offering services had been in practice among the Tripuris till recent past. Marriage by service is known to them as 'Chamari Kamani'. The tenure or period of service by the bridegroom at the bride's house is generally fixed by the bride's side and the tenure varies from one to three years or even more. Now-a- days this system is going out of fashion. Even when it does take place (lie period of service is reduced to one to fifteen months or like.

The negotiation between the families is initiated by a marriage broker (Raibai) and the premarital terms and conditions and tentative date of engagements of the boy at the bride's house are settled through the 'Raibai'. On that particular day the 'would be bridegroom' dressed in Tripuri dhuti (duti-borok) and shirt (Kamchului), takes a towel (rituku), a chopper, bedding, a disc (for eating rice), lota, garments, hukha made of coconut shell etc. with him and starts for the 'would he father in law's' house along with a few relatives and friends.

The 'would be bridegroom' with his people is welcomed by the bride's family. Next day, the bridegroom with his companions make a partition by bamboo to be placed in the bride's main house to make a room for him. Inside that room, he makes a platform (sapang) with bamboo to place his bedding and to keep the garments. After arranging his accommodation, the relatives and friends go back home and from that very day the 'would be groom' begins to work at his future father in law's house.

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He does all sorts of work such as fetching of water, fire-woods, jhum cutting, sowing, harvesting and such other work which are required. Such a bridegroom is known as 'Chamari' among the Tripuri. The services of the groom during the period is always watched by the bride's guardian to ascertain his capability diligence etc. are observed. Till the expiry of the and before ceremonial marriage the 'would be bridegroom' and bride are not permitted to sleep together.

On completion of the tenure of service by the bridegroom, both the parties resume formal talk regarding the ceremony of marriage. The bridegroom's party goes to the bride's house to finalise the marriage. Here too some prejudicial beliefs work. If anyone of the bridegroom, bride, either of their parents dream a tortoise, deer etc. on the night before their journey or during the course of the journey if anybody observes a dead body or hears a bleat, they do not proceed for the bride's house and postpone the journey for the day.

For confirmation of the marriage, the bridegroom's party along with the marriage broker (Raibai) arrives at the house of the bride's father. Two pots of rice beer are kept in front of them on behalf of the bride's father. The two pots of rice beer are given in the name of the 'would be bridegroom' and bride. Two earthen lamps are lighted and placed by the side of the two pots of rice beer. Now the marriage confirmation talks begin. The parents of the bride demand some amount of money from the parents of the bridegroom. If the groom's parents agree to give the amount demanded by the bride's party or parents, the talks advance further for finalisation of marriage. It is to be noted that there is no fixed amount of money demanded as dowry by the parents of their daughters. The dowry which the Tripuris call 'Pawn' is demanded according to the condition and capacities of the concerned families. As for instance a father of a bride may demand one hundred and one rupee and six annas along- with a pig as dowry from the parents of the bridegroom. When the groom party agrees to pay the amount of money and other articles as per the demand of the bride's party, then it is confirmed that the marriage will take place. The 'would be bride' bows before every elderly persons of both the parties. At the time, every person blesses the bride. The elderly participants' are bathed by the bride.

On the appointed day, the boy's party again visits the house of the girl's father along with the 'Raibai' for the payment of the bride price. A pot of rice-beer is kept in the house of the bride. An earthen lamp is lighted near the rice beer pot and on a brass plate some soil, cotton, paddy, Durba, Til etc. are kept. In front of both the parties the father of the boy keeps the prefixed bride price on the brass plate. The ceremonial offering of bride price is known as 'Lokmachamani'. On the same day utter the payment of bride price both the parties fix up the wedding date. On the same day the bride party invites the Ochai (village priest) by offering betel leaf and nut to perform the puja on the wedding day. In this connection it is to be noted that the Ochai who performs the puja has o he a married person. Moreover, he most possess the first wife and his marriage must have taken place properly.

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The wedding procession advances from the house of the groom for the village of the bride on the day of the marriage. The procession generally consists of groom's father, relatives and friends. Along with the party the village drummers play the drums and play a flute. During the course of the journey if the procession crosses over any village, then the 'Dangdua' ritual is to be observed at the Choudhury's house of the concerning village. The 'Dangdua' is to be given on behalf of the villagers on the dress, ornaments and other articles taken for the bride. The 'Dangdua' is offered thrice. Every time of giving 'Dangdua' the 'ulu' sound is made three times.

On the day of wedding, four number of bamboos are planted in front of the bride's house. Along with these four bamboos four banana leaves are tied. On the top of the four bamboos eight bamboo splits are tied in length breadth and cross wise. Thereafter on the splits a piece of cloth is fastened. The particular place where the bamboos are planted and tied with banana leaf and cloth is named 'Thalipang Kaimani Jaga'. The same thing is to be done before the door of the groom's house at the bride's residence.

In the spot of 'Thalipang' a banana leaf is laid. When the wedding procession reaches at the bride's house, the dress, ornaments, and oilier articles which are taken for the bride and groom are to be kept on the banana leaf of the 'Thalipang' Kaimani Jaga'. Two earthen lamps are lighted at the foot of the two bamboos which are planted in the front row of the 'Thalipang'. The two 'Ayajuks' now pour water before the place of 'Thalipang', from the jars in their hands. The two 'Ayajuks' pour water seven times on the spot anti clockwise. At the time of pouring water 'ulu' sound is made. Thereafter 'Dangdua' is observed on the presentations kept on the 'thalipang' for the couple.

The 'Lampra Wathop' worship is to be observed at the bride's house on the wedding day. This puja is performed by the Ochai. One helper (barua) remains with the Ochai to help him. Fourteen fowls are sacrificed in connection with this puja. Out of fourteen fowls, ten are given from the groom's house and the rest are given from the bride's house. Two states of Wathops are made and placed properly. Before the 'Wathop' a banana leaf is to be placed. On that leaf eight little pieces of banana leaves are kept. Some rice washed with water are kept on the leaves. A new towel (rituku) is given to the Ochai on behalf of the groom's party. The Ochai now having taken his bath performs the puja. At the time of performing puja he wears the new towel given from the groom's house. This puja is performed for the welfare of the couple. The Ochai now pours blood on the undried rice placed before the 'Wathop' by sacrificing eight fowls. Thereafter, two fowls arc sacrificed and their blood is poured on the undried rice for the goddess 'Tui Sangrama'. During this puja the Ochai spells mantras—'Hangnai dangnai Nachiri Chiri  Adung.' Bala Akhata baba Bikhata tuituibu elakhkhiraja dung balae. Nwsa Kamalapati Nwsa Jaduram, hamaychaei tangnai tuibuk laktwi augalagai tangnani halangni aiugmanay tangthun tangnay.'

The inner meaning of the mantra is as follows:- Let the couple Juduram and Kamlapati be laborious and happy in their married life, Let their life be as long as a river and unaffected by any thing like an undecaying stone.

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The entrails of the sacrificed fowls arc also given on the offerings of the worship by the Ochai after a thorough check up. The Ochai there utter performs a worship in the bride's room just before the door. This puja is performed in the name of 'Longthorai' deity for the welfare of the couples. Two matured cocks are sacrificed before this deity. The Ochai now performs another puja at the corner of the bride's house for the sake of goddess 'Mailuma' Khuluma'. Two fowls are sacrificed to this deity. The worship of Longthorai and Mailuma Khuluma is collectively termed 'Takchamai'.

The Ochai now observes some rites in the bride's room. On behalf ol the bridegroom one bottle of wine is given to the Ochai. And from the bride's party half a bottle is given. Thereafter two pots filled up with Wine and covering them up and down are offered to the priest. The priest drinks it. The person who offers the drink now bow before the priest and ask the result of the aforesaid worship. The Ochai then tells the results.

To perform the marriage properly and to render services for various auspicious deeds related to marriage a man and a woman are to be employed by the groom's party. The bride's party also engages same number of persons. The man and the woman who perform this sort of work are called 'Aya' and 'Ayajuk'. Along with them two boys are to he engaged to bring water in earthen pitchers for the bath of the couple. The 'Ayajuk' wears a new sari and ornaments such as golden necklace called 'ganthi', Baju made  of silver at her arm and silver rings in legs.

The 'Aya' wears new cloth (dhuti) and put on a turban on the head. He also puts, on a garland of flower. The 'Aya' and 'Ayajuk' get the invitation before the marriage to perform their duties in the wedding. At the time of the invitation they are offered betel leaf and nut. On wedding day the 'Aya' and 'Ayajuk' arrive at the bride's house. They are offered wine and irce beer from both the parties. Thereafter sonic banana, khai, sweets etc. are molded together and distributed to all participants of both the parties. This ceremonial eating is known as 'Kolamolachao' Scented oil is provided to rub on the head for all the participants.

Now the procession of ceremonial cutting and bringing of water starts. The procession consists of 'Aya', Ayajuk', two boys for water carrying and a few persons. The 'Ayas' are accustomed to take a chopper wrapped with a new towel in their hands. Each of them takes a silver pot for bringing water. The two boys who bring water by the earthen pitchers wear new clothes. The mouths of the pitchers are also fastened with new cloths. The 'Aya' also takes some wine in three bamboo pipes and a few betel leaves and nuts to the place from where the water is to be brought. An earthen lamp is kept there. An 'Ayajuk' floats two betel leaves and nuts on the water in the name of the couple. Thereafter two 'Ayas' cut water with sword or chopper. The bearer of pitchers take their bath nod fill their pitchers with water. The Ayajuks also fill their pots. At the time of bringing water the 'Aya' and 'Ayajuks' face a hurdle created by a group of people. The motto of resistance is to force them to dance and sing.

When the 'Aya' and Ayajuks' fulfil the demand of the people, the restriction is withdrawn. Among the two water-filled pitchers one is provided to the bride and the other to the groom to take their bath. As soon as the bath is completed the couple is dressed op for the wedding. The groom wears dhuti, shirt and puts a turban on the head. He also wears a ring in a finger and carries a chaddar on his shoulder. The bride wears sari, puts ornaments called 'baju' in tier two hands and puts 'kharu' made of silver in the legs. The bride wears a ring in her finger and also puts a cap made by chaddar on her head.

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When the dressing up is finished, the bride is carried by a mali on his back and is brought before the tree of a flower which is planted in front of the 'Bedi' (wedding platform). From the back of the man the bride breaks a branch of the tree and comes back to the house. This ritual is known among the Tripuri community as 'Khubang Subaio'. Now time groom accompanied by 'Aya' and 'Ayajuk' goes to the wedding platform. At the time of the groom's proceeding towards the platform 'ulu' sound is made three times. The groom remains standing before the western gale of the 'Bedi' directing his head towards the cast. An 'Aya' keeps her right hand on the shoulders of the groom. A piece of new cloth is rounded and placed under the right leg of the groom. An 'Ayajuk' now rounds the thread seven times from the brides toe of the right leg to the fore-finger of the hand of 'Aya' which is already placed on the shoulder of the groom. The 'Aya' and 'Ayajuk' now demand money from the party of the bride and groom. If both the parties agree to fulfil their demand then an 'Ayajuk' cuts the thread. This rite is called 'Khutung Alua-Sasuwo'.

The wedding platform or pavilion is constructed in the courtyard with bamboo and bamboo splits. The size of the pavilion in length and breadth is eight and six cubits approximately. Two openings are kept in the pavilion one on the northern and the other on the western side. '(lie western opening is used for the entrance of the bride and groom and the northern opening is for their exit. In the centre of the pavilion a small altar is made with soil and it is decorated nicely. Four small trees named 'Laisarak' according to Tripuris, are planted in the four corners of the altar. Near the 'Laisarak' trees four bamboos are planted for hanging 'Chandua' made of cloth. The 'Chanduas' are hung one above one. The four 'Laisarak' trees and the four bamboos are decorated with garland of earthen lamps and mango twigs. On the other hand another platform is made by bamboo in time north—west corner of the pavilion for keeping bedding and other presentations which are given as gifts to the bride on this occasion. This sort of platform made by bamboo is called 'Sapang'. As soon us the thread is torn the groom enters inside the 'Bedi' and takes his sent on a platform. Now a man brings the bride carrying her on his back and lets her sit by the side of the groom. A piece of new cloth is kept on the lap of the bride and some flowers are given on the new cloth for her to sprinkle them on the groom. The couple now is brought outside the 'Bedi' and carried on wooden seats.

Now the bride moves round the groom seven times. After each revolution the bride makes obeisance to the groom and sprinkles the flower towards him. At least one of the flowers that fall on the ground from the bride's first sprinkle towards the groom, is to be swallowed by the mother of the groom. The convention behind the swallowing of flower is nothing but to avoid any mischievous deeds done by anyone against the couple. Both ihe groom and bride party try to lift their concerned candidate higher than the opponent. After the rounds the bride and the groom exchange garlands. The exchange of garlands is called 'Khumtrang Swlaio'.

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The bride and groom are then brought again inside the pavilion for performing the gift of the girl by her father or any elderly guardian to the groom. When the performance of the sampradan is finished then the ends of the cloth of the bride and groom are knotted together. Then the bride and the gloom are brought in front of the benevolent deities 'Lampra Wathop' and the couple bow before the deities. Then the Ochai sprinkles some soil that remains under the seat of the 'Lampra Wathop' deities and sprays a little sacred water of the 'Lampra Wathop' puja on the heads of the couple. At the time of spraying water the Ochai blesses the couple to lead a happy conjugal life. After this, the elderly guardians and relatives sprinkle the sacred water on the heads of the couple and bless them. The couple then are brought inside the bride's home accompanied by the 'Aya' and Ayajuk. Inside the home the couple is seated on a new mat. Before the couple an earthen lamp is lighted with mustard oil. Now on a silver dish some soil, durba, stone, cotton, paddy etc. are kept. The Ochai takes these articles and whirl these around the heads of the couple three times and throw them away. The Ochai observes liis rite three times. They call this rite 'Dangdua rio'.

After this, an undried turmeric, a wild bean deed (Sukui), a silver ring, a haritaki etc. are kept in a new earthen pot for playing dice by the bride and the groom. The couple put their right hands in the earthen pot at a time to take these articles. This play is to be performed three times. According to the Tripuris this rite is termed as 'Sukui bakla Seklaio'.

After the performance of this rite the newly wedded couple and the 'Ayas' and Ayajuks eat a sort of cake prepared at home. Along with the cakes the 'Aya and Ayajuks' are offered wine from both the parties. The groom party offers one bottle of wine and half a bottle is offered by the bride party. On the occasion of marriage, the ceremony of cake eating is known among the Tripuris as 'Khirbhojan Khwlaio'.

The groom and bride are brought by the 'Aya and Ayajuk' and they bow before the parents and other elderly guardians. After this the knot of their cloth is freed. Then the couple and other participants of the marriage sit for the feast. At that night the bride and groom are not permitted to sleep together.

On the very next day at dawn a rite is to be observed. The 'Thalipang' which is already cited earlier is to be thrown in the water by the groom. The couple thereafter washes their wedding dress and take their bath, The rite of 'Thalipang' throwing is called Thalipang Khibio'.

Another rite is observed in the morning at the courtyard. Few persons assemble on behalf of the bride and the groom. Before the assembled public two pots of rice beer are kept on behalf of the groom's party. The same number of rice beer pot is also given from the bride's side. The earthen pots of the rice beer are coloured with turmeric juice and the glue of rice. In this connection the rice beer which is offered is named us 'Chukba'. Some restrictions are imposed upon the assembled persons to take this sort of rice beer. Particularly the un-married persons and the persons among the married whose parents are alive are not allowed to drink this rice beer.

Thereafter two bottles of wine each from the bride and the groom are offered. With this wine the Ochai observes the rites of 'Sema'. A person gives wine to the Ochai in two pots covering them with lids. The Ochai drinks the wine. Next time also he is offered wine in the same manner. At the time of offering wine the person who offers it, asks the Ochai about the result of the worship which is mainly related with marriage. Having finished the offered wine, the Ochai expresses his views about the worship performed. If anything goes wrong in the worship, the Ochai performs another puja for the welfare of the newly wedded couple.

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The Tripuris call this puja 'Theka Subaio'. This puja is performed in the name of a benevolent deity called 'Banirog' to overcome any kind of danger. After performing this rite another rite is observed. A curry is prepared with the meat of the fowls offered in the worship of the deities 'Lampra Wathop' and 'Takchamai'. The Ochai now distributes this meat curry among the parents of the bride and groom and other relatives. The observance of this rite is termed 'Semakatar Sungmani.' The parents of the bride and groom are to be bathed by the newly wedded couple. Now some paddy, durba, cotton, til, soil etc. are kept in a brass plate. The couple then bows before the elderly persons, who in return bless them with these articles.

A feast is arranged now. Though in this feast different types of curry are prepared, a 'common' curry prepared with dried fish is of course kept. The newly wedded couple distributes this particular item to all the guests at the feast. The couple also washes the hands of the guests after their meal. Thereafter the 'Suaris' (cooks) take their meal. At the time of taking meal they are offered wine on behalf of the bride and groom party.  

During their meal they uie also offered the particular curry of dry fish by the couple. When the 'Suaris' finish their meal, the couple washes their hand. On the third day after the wedding or on the seventh day the groom brings the bride to his own house. As soon as the bride and bride groom arrive at the house they are given a hearty welcome by the parents, relatives and the villagers. The couple is then taken into a room. Then 11w couple salutes the parents and other elderly guardians and relatives by touching their feet and the elderly persons in return bless the couple with cotton, paddy, til, durba, etc. This time the groom cannot reside at his own house with the bride more than two and a half days. After staying for two and a half days the groom has to return to the bride's house together. This particular period of staying at the groom's house is called 'Ariya by the Tripuris. The major part of the Tripuri marriage ends in this way.

Among the urbanized Tripuris a trend is observed to be popular flown-days. For fixation of marriage they consult the astrologer. After examination of the horoscopes of the bride and groom by the astrologer when they become certain about their adjustment and suitability of their conjugal life, then only they settle a marriage. Long ago, the Brahmin priests were not engaged in the marriage ceremony by the Tripuris. In their traditional marriage they only depended upon their Ochai who performed the 'Lampra' worship and other rites related with marriage. Till now the worship of 'Lampra' is performed by the Ochai as usual of a marriage but a Bengali Brahmin priest is also engaged. At the time of marriage the inclusion of Bengali Brahmin priest might have been introduced by the Maharajas of Tripura. There alter the Tripuri subjects of the king have followed suit to engage the Bengali Brahmin priest during the marriage ceremony. It is evident in the history that the Brahmin priests were brought to the kingdom with the view to perform the religious rites of the royal family. So, gradually the engagement of Bengali Brahmin at the time of marriage ceremony or in any other religious activities might have become prestigious and later common.

Though, during the marriage they have a trend to engage Bengali Brahmin, a section of the Tripuri community, particularly in rural area is content enough to follow their traditional system and to depend fully on the Ochai who regulates the marital rites and rituals solely. Previously marriage among the Tripuris was endogamous in nature. Now-a-days inter caste marriages are taking place within the Tripuri community. The matrimonial relation with other caste has been introduced long ago among the advanced and urban Tripuris. The inter-caste marriage among the Tripuris in remote corners is a common affair now- a-days. Education, urbanization and communication are helping the people to come closer with each other in and outside the community and inter-caste marriage is a resultant of that.

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Child marriage is very rarely found among the Tripuris. When a boy and a girl become mature then they get married. The average marriageable age of the present day Tripuris of interior places varies from 20 to 25 years in case of males and 16 to 20 years for females. At present, in a few cases, marriages at a higher age are also noticed among the Tripuris due to wretched economic condition or some other unavoidable circumstances. In general the age of the groom is higher than the bride. No definite age limit is imposed upon the bride and the groom. Generally the age gap between the groom and bride varies from 5 to 7 years.

In the earlier days, in the interior, the Tripuris in a few cases, instead of rendering physical service at the bride's house the groom used to pay some amount of money to the bride's father as per-prefixed conditions. Now-a-days in most of the cases the groom's party demand cash or kind from the bride's party opposite from what had prevailed earlier. This is found more in town areas. The practice of demanding cash or kind as dowry from the bride's father may be due to neighbouring caste's influence. Though this sort of practice is now in vogue, it has not yet become menancing,

Divorce :-
Divorce known as 'Kaklaimani' is permissible among the Tripuris on various grounds. Both the husband and the wife are allowed to seek divorce. The wife or husband, who seeks divorce, stays away from each other. Thereafter on a prefixed day the guardians of both the sides and the village headman assemble in the house of the husband or in the house of the parents of the wife who seeks divorce. In front of the assembled persons both the husband and the wife are permitted to express their views and grievances in favour of divorce. After hearing the facts and opinion of the husband and wife, the guardians of both sides and the village headman come to the conclusion and pass the judgement.

Between the husband and the wife who seeks divorce, one has to pay back the marriage expenses to his or her counterpart as penalty. Apart from this traditional procedure now-a-days the husband can put his signature on a sheet of paper called 'Kaksen' stating his positive views in favour of divorce.

It is to be mentioned here that after dissolution of their marriage if the husband and the wife agree to lead their conjugal life again they can do it easily. In this case they are to perform the worship of 'Wathop' with the Ochai and take the sanctified water of 'Wathop'. The sheet (Kuksen) is to be torn out.

Some of the main causes of divorce are:-

1) that the wife is barren or the husband is impotent.

2) that either the husband or the wife is incurably diseased.

3) that tile wife possess the witchcraft,

4) that the wife has illicit relation with another man,

5) that flie husband has extra marital relations with another woman.

6) that the husband and the wife quarrel frequently.

7) thai either the husband or the wife is ill tempered.

8) In some eases religion also grants divorce.

9) If the wife or husband is habitually indolent or neglects the household duties or is incapable to perform them properly.

Effects of divorce:-
Divorce has both good and bad effects. The negative effect is that after the separation of the parents the children who remain along with either their mother or father do not get always proper care. Though (lie separation or divorce is permitted among the Tripuirs it is a fact that in If ic community divorce is not a socially respected institution as yet. The positive effect is that divorce is some how able to put a brake on the cases of attempted suicides and corruption which otherwise shall slain the fair name of the society. Of course, divorce relieves the dissatisfied and maladjusted couples and lets them to lead a new life of their own choice. As the divorce is permitted among the Tripuris so also remarriage is allowed. The widow, widower, divorcee and divorced can select their life partner again. Among the Tripuris remarriage is called 'Sundul phulma' which has been stated earlier.

In conclusion it is to be noted that though divorce is permitted among the Tripuris, it is still believed to some extent as a stigma within the Tripuri society. The provision is in vogue, but it is not as yet socially respected. As a result it is not welcome at all.

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