Story of Nari Mangala in Coorg

Kodava Nari Mangala

“Nari Mangala” (Nari=Tiger) (Mangala=Wedding), a custom unique to Kodavas where the hunter of a tiger is weddeto the soul of the animal.After a successful hunt for a tiger, the natives form a procession and carry the carcass with the band of tomtoms to theMandu or village green. The hero of the day is the man who first shot the beast and he who first touched its tail, a feat which used to be rewarded by the Rajah with the present of a silver bangle.

The carcass is then raised on a wooden frame and according to time honoured Coorg-fashion, the lucky sportsman is tobe wedded to the departed soul of the tiger and may henceforth wear the Gala Mishi or grand moustachio in Rajah`s fashion

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                                                                                                                                                                                       The ceremony will take place with the hunter under a screen, on a wedding chair, his face towards the carcass, sits the

hero of the day, clad in Coorg warrior costume and covered with flower wreaths and gold ornaments. Behind him stands

his armour bearers, in front, the sacred House Lamp on a heap of rice poured into a brass dish.

First each member of his house-men,women and children, then all his friends, one by one steps up to the bridegroom;

strewed a handful of rice from the brass dish, over his head, gives him from a brass vessel a sip of milk to drink and in

making obeisance drops a silver coin on his lap. This money is given to defray the impending expenditure incurred on a

sumptuous dinner, given to the whole company. A Coorg dance around the tiger concludes the whole ritual, and the night

wears away with singing and feasting.