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Religious Faith

Like many other ethnic groups, Kurukhs worship different symbols of the nature. They however, believe only as the dwellings of the spirit in that symbols, there is a creator of the universe and sun is considered only as symbol of God's glorious power and brightness  ,they reverence the sun, and acknowledge a supreme god, Dharme or Dharmesh, who exists in the sun. Kurukhs believe in different gods having symbolic representation in villages, agricultural assets, forests,  epidemics etc.  

They satisfy these gods through religious festivals similar to those of the  other community. Karma and Sarhul are two main festival of Kurukhs. Karama  is a worship  of trees performed  symbolically with the  Nauclea parvifolia(Kadam)  tree or its branches. Karma festival is celebrated, when the rice is ready for planting out and it is the renewal of vegetation.  Sarhul festival cannot be done till the sal tree gives the flowers for the ceremony. This takes place about the beginning of April on any day when the tree is in flower.Sarhul is associated with praying for the fertility of land and a good paddy harvest.They either bury or burn the dead. As a mark of respect to the deceased they offer flowers and leaves of sacred trees to the dead on the pyres.

The following account of the tribal religion is abridged from Father Dehon's full and interesting description:"The Oraons worship a supreme god who is known as Dharmes; him they invoke in their greatest difficulties when recourse to the village priests and magicians has proved useless. Then they turn to Dharmes and say, 'Now we have tried everything, but we have still you who can help us.' They sacrifice to him a white cock. They think that god is too good to punish them, and that they are not answerable to him in any way for their conduct; they believe that everybody will be treated in the same way in the other world. There is no hell for them or place of punishment, but everybody will go to merkha or heaven. The Red Indians speak of the happy hunting-grounds and the Oraons imagine something like the happy ploughing-grounds, where everybody will have plenty of rice-beer to drink after his labour. They look on god as a big zamindar or landowner, who does nothing himself, but keeps a chaprasi as an agent or debt-collector; and they conceive the latter as having all the defects so common to his profession. Baranda, the chaprasi, exacts tribute from them mercilessly, not exactly out of zeal for the service of his master, but out of greed for his talbana or perquisites. When making a sacrifice to Dharmes they pray: 'O god, from to-day do not send any more your chaprasi to punish us. You see we have paid our respects to you, and we are going to give him his dasturi (tip).

Modern days, The Oraon religion presents a mixture of Sarnaism, naturalism, Hinduism and Christianity. Though, Oroans have their own religion, Some Oroans, particularly who are well settled and reside in cities,  worship Hindu godes and celebrate Hindu festivals too, and a considerable number of Oroans are Christians. Although whole of them give importance of their own culture, language and festivals

 

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