Boy marries dog in India to ward off tiger attacks

BHUBANESWAR, India Wed Feb 18, 2009 8:41pm IST

Related Topics

BHUBANESWAR, India (Reuters) - An infant boy was married off to his neighbors' dog in eastern India by villagers who said it will stop the groom from being killed by wild animals, officials and witnesses said Wednesday.

Around 150 tribespeople performed the ritual recently in a hamlet in the state of Orissa's Jajpur district after the boy, who is under two years old, grew a tooth on his upper gum.

The Munda tribe see such a growth in young children as a bad omen and believe it makes them prone to attacks by tigers and another animals. The tribal god will bless the child and ward off evil spirits after the marriage.

"We performed the marriage because it will overcome any curse that might fall on the child as well on us," the boy's father, Sanarumala Munda, was quoted as saying by a local newspaper.

The groom, Sagula, was carried by his family in procession to the village temple, where a priest solemnized the marriage between Sagula and his bride Jyoti by chanting Sanskrit hymns, a witness said.

The villagers then ate a feast with rich food and alcohol to celebrate.

The dog belongs to the groom's neighbors and was set free to roam around the area after the ceremony. No dowry was exchanged, the witness said, and the boy will still be able to marry a human bride in the future without filing for divorce.

Indian law does not recognize weddings between people and animals, but the ritual survives in rural and tribal areas of the country where millions are illiterate.

(Editing by Matthias Williams)

FILED UNDER:

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Ten Years On

Ten Years On

10 years on, tsunami warning stumbles at the "last mile".  Full Article 

Exit Polls

Exit Polls

BJP unlikely to form Jammu & Kashmir govt - polls.  Full Article 

Forceful Conversions

Forceful Conversions

BJP distances itself from religious conversions.  Full Article 

Hopeful Dhoni

Hopeful Dhoni

India's new vintage nearly ready, says Dhoni.  Full Article 

Photo

Fund Raising

Flipkart raises $700 million in fresh funding.   Full Article 

Reforms Push

Reforms Push

Modi may order insurance, coal reforms if vote delayed - officials.  Full Article 

Ali Hospitalized

Ali Hospitalized

Boxing great Muhammad Ali hospitalized with pneumonia.  Full Article 

Going International

Going International

Bollywood’s Priyanka Chopra sets sights on American TV.  Full Article 

India This Week

India This Week

Some of our best photos from this week.   Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device   Full Coverage