Religion & Rituals


Religion and rituals play a very important role in the life of Chhattisgarhi people. The informal nature of religion in this area is typical of that practiced by many small ethnic groups in India. It is reflected in the anionic forms of folk-mythical gods and goddesses. Danteshwari is one of the most revered goddesses of this area, worshiped as the bestower of wishes and protector against evil. Shrines are usually simple and unadorned, such as the gudi, which is a simple collection of terracotta figurines positioned near a stream or in a cave.


The faith is profound, but simple in manifestation. The ghotul is a social institutions which seeks to instill a spirit of independence and social responsibility in its young Gonds. It takes up the form of a youth dormitory, where young boys called cheliks and young girls called motiaries live together and learn the tenets of social, religious and artistic life. Ghotuls are regarded as shrines, and are said to be protected by Lingo Pen, a Gond cult hero.


They are usually built on a high spot like a hill, on the outskirts of the village. The most important feature of a ghotul is co-habitation and marriage. When the cheliks and motiaries attain puberty, they are initiated to sex by the older members of the ghotul. There is no domination of one gender over the other. Once a couple has lived together and subsequently decided to marry, they are required to leave the ghotul.

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Religion & Rituals

The People