Newly Married Couple Gets A Snake As The Dowry

November 14, 2017

At a very unique wedding took place in Vavuniya newlyweds were presented with a snake as the dowry. This very non-traditional gifting happened in a gypsy clan based in Nochchikulam.

19 years old Masanna's Malkanthi, was recently married to 20 year old Sunil's Vimukthi Aravinda Kumara, in a traditional Telugu wedding. In Telugu the wedding is called 'Penly Sesthaw'. According to old customs, the marriage ceremony takes place on two pestles bathe with grinded white rice water. Elders of the clan greeted the new couple by playing raban. Under a white canopy the couple exchanged silver rings and the groom tied a beaded necklace around the bride's neck.

After the Holy Matrimony the new couple move in to their new hut and the father of the bride present the dowry which is a snake with a snake basket. According to the clan members this is due to their livelihood as snake charmers. Everyone in the village enjoyed a beautiful wedding by playing snake flutes and dancing.

The Nochchikulam village in the Vavuniya South Divisional Secretariat Division is the only village where this clan lives. The clan consist with about 54 families.  According to the elders of the clan their race and mother tongue are Telugu. Some identify themselves as 'Wadiga'.  Traditionally they live in small Palmyra huts. They are now distancing from the traditional occupations such as monkey dancing or palm reading. Now most are occupied as home Gardner, fishermen and venders.

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