Bunt Wedding Rituals And Customs

The word Bunta in Tulu language implies a powerful man or a soldier.  The community of Bunts (anglicized from Buntas), also referred to as Nadavas, form an important and integral part of the socio economic culture of Tulu nadu, in coastal Karnataka.  They share Tulu nadu with other prominent ethnic groups like the Billavas, Mogeras, Brahmins, Konkanis, Catholics and Jains.
Surnames of Bunt (Bhandary, Rai, Shetty, Adappa,)
Keywords:Nischitartham:  Mehndi: . Mangalasnana:  Murthasaese: Muhurtham or lagnam: Dharemaipuna/dhareyeruna: Homam: Saptapadi: Sanmana oota and Mamiseike: Reception:
Nischitartham: “The Engagement ceremony”
The men folk from the bride’s family proceed to the groom’s house carrying a silver platter laden with betel leaves, betel nuts and flowers to confirm the date and time of the forthcoming wedding
Mehndi: “The Henna Ceremony”This modern day ceremony is held separately in both homes ‘mehendiwallis‘ being invited to weave intricate designs on the hands and feet of the bride and her close female friends and relatives
Mangalasnana: “A Ritual bath”The ‘mangalasnana’ ceremony is held separately in both homes one day before the wedding.
The groom’s cousins and other close family relatives apply turmeric and coconut milk on his face, body and arms before taking bath.A similar ceremony is held at the bride’s home.
Murthasaese:” The bride and groom are blessed by their families and close friends” This ritual is once again conducted separately in both homes and takes place after the ‘tulsi puja’.The bride’s maternal uncle and aunt slip silver toe-rings on her feet. The eldest ‘sumangali’ (married lady) distributes red and green glass bangles to all the women present. The bride has to wear black, red and green bangles. The groom goes through a similar ritual – where his maternal uncle’s wife or his paternal aunt adorns his feet with silver toe-rings.
Muhurtham or lagnam: “Commencement of the wedding ceremonies “According to tradition the elders in the Bunt community usually officiated during the marriage ceremony.
The bride’s aunt performs the traditional ‘aarti’ in his honour and the bride’s mother follows it up by performing the ‘deepa aarti’ (welcome ritual performed with lighted lamps) for him.The ‘pujari’ requests the groom’s sister and her husband or a cousin to hold the hands of the bride and groom and lead them around the ‘diyas’ (lamps) and the ‘mantap’. After this the couple enters the ‘mantap’ and after a ‘puja’ is performed, they exchange garlands.
Dharemaipuna / dhareyeruna: “The wedding ceremony “
The bride’s parents in the presence of her maternal uncle, his wife and elders of her family perform this ceremony. A silver or brass ‘chembu’ (vessel with a spout) filled with holy water is held by the bride’s parents and taken to all the elders of both the families for their blessings.
Homam: “Sacred fire sacrifice” Though not traditional to the Bunt community, this ceremony has now become a practice amongst many families. The ‘pujari’ lights the sacred fire and a ‘homa’ or sacrifice is performed amidst Vedic chants. The bride’s brother puts fistfuls of puffed rice into the hands of his sister and the groom, which they in turn offer into the sacred fire each time they go around it, namely three times.
Saptapadi: “The seven steps around the sacred fire” The groom holds the bride’s hands and together they take seven steps around the fire. With each step the bride has to tip over small heaps of rice with her right foot and repeat the seven marriage vows along with the groom.
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