Marriage.—The Gond of Nimar serve for a wife, but practise forcible abduction of the bride, with a mock fight. They are polygamic.
Duiha Deo is a favourite deity in Bundelkhand and amongst the Gond of Central India. It is the apotheosis of a bridegroom (dulha) who died in the marriage procession, and whose death so affected the people that they paid him divine honours. The worship of Adonis is and also that of Thammuz, whose annual wound in Lebanon allured the Syrian damsels to lament his fate.
The Gond of Mandla have the Lainjina Shadi, in which the betrothed lad serves an apprenticeship for his future wife. A Gond girl, however, may exercise her own will and run off with a man, but it is quite allowable for ber first cousin or the man whom she has deserted to abduct her from the man whom she has chosen. The Shadi Bandhoni is a compulsory marriage. In the Shadi Baitho, a woman goes to a man's house. Widows re-marry either to a younger brother of their deceased husband, or to some other man.
The leaf ordeal, in Bastar, is followed by sewing up the accused in a sack, and letting her down into water waist-deep ; if she manage, in her struggles for life, to raise her head above water she is finally adjudged to be guilty. Then comes the punishment. The extraction of the teeth is
said in Bastar to be effected with the idea of preventing the witch from muttering charms, but in Kamaon the object of the operation is rather to prevent her from doing mischief .under the form of a tiger, which is the Indian equivalent of the loup-garow.
Religion.—The Gond clans are generally spirit worshippers ; all of them bring the spirit back to the house. If a man of the Bygah of Raipur die, three days afterwards his son throws grain before a fowl. If it eat any of the grain, he believes that the spirit of the father has entered the house, and the fowl is sacrificed thereto. Simi larly with the Biujwar of Raipur, on the third day the relatives take a pot of water to the village tank, and bring back the spirit of the deceased to his house, where he is thenceforward wor shipped. The Bunjia bring the dead man's spirit back to the house in a pot of flour.
The Bilaspur Gond worship a raised' earthen mound, under the name Bura Deo. They worship also a branch of the Saj plant, a .species of euphorbia. Pharsapend, the god of the Gond of Chanda, is represented by pieces of iron in an earthen pot, and suspended from a tree remote from the village and from the high road.