During a marriage among the Telugu Tottiyans, who have settled in the Tamil country, a red ram without blemish is sacrificed. It is first sprinkled with water, and, if it shivers, this is considered a good omen. It is recorded,1 in connection with the legends of the Badagas ofthe Nīlgiris, that “in the heart of the Banagudi shola (grove), not far from the Doddūru group of cromlechs, is an odd little shrine to Karairāya, within which are a tiny cromlech, some sacred water-worn stones, and sundry little pottery images representing a tiger, a mounted man, and some dogs. These keep in memory, it is said, a Badaga who was slain in combat with a tiger; and annually a festival is held, at which new images are placed there, and vows are paid. A Kurumba (jungle tribe) makes fire by friction, and burns incense,throws sanctified water over the numerous goats brought to be sacrificed, to see if they will shiver in the manner always held necessary in sacrificed victims, and then slays, one after the other, those which have shown themselves duly qualified.”

 

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Omens and Superstitions of Southern India Edgar Thurston

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