The concept of Lota Pani in the Oraon tribal community

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Lota pani is a ceremonial ritual in an Oraon wedding. It is a part of the engagement ceremony. Let’s take a look into how the Oraon community carries out this traditional concept.

Lota pani (“Lota Amm”, in Kurukh) is the second part of the engagement ceremony in Kurukhar (Oraon) community, the first part being the “mugh dekhai”. It usually takes places at bride’s home. The groom’s family is welcomed by washing their feet, known as “ Keddh Nodhna”, the women from the groom’s side, are given flowers or “gajra” to adorn their hair. A new mat, made of dried date palm leaves, is spread. On one end, the bride along with her sakhi– a friend or two friends, stands, whereas the bridegroom with his friends, stands on the other end. The number of bride’s friends as well as groom’s friends are kept equal. The girl carries a kaansa(bronze) pot kept on a kaansa plate, in her hands and the rituals begin. In some Oraon households, the bride washes the feet and hands of the groom. The main custom is the exchange of the lotas between the bride and groom. The bride moves three steps forward and offers the “lota” to the bridegroom, the groom, if agrees, accepts it and moves three steps forward to offer her again, if the girl agrees, she accepts it. Bride’s friends also follow the same pattern of the rituals, and offer their lota to the groom’s respective friend. The official and the most important part of the lota pani ceremony is concluded with bride tying a pretty handkerchief on the groom’s wrist, which is, again, followed by their friends in the same manner.

The additional rituals that follow the main event of exchanging the lotas, are the most amusing ones. The bride’s delegation applies make up on the groom’s delegation in a very hilarious way. The guests dance in their traditional way to celebrate the engagement of the couple.