Celebrated By :
Bonda Tribe of Koraput
The 'Bondas' of Koraput are an interesting primitive tribe. They live on hilltops and lead a secluded life. Their interaction with other tribes is very rare. Among many festivals of the year, the most important festival for them is known as "Sume-Gelirak".All the year young men and women look forward to the festival as it gives them ample freedom in all respects. The festival starts on a Sunday and continue for ten days.
During the first few days they worship their traditional Godlings and demons as well. The 'Sisa' or the tribal priest does the rituals of sacrificing animals and birds and propitiating the deities with liquor. Then amusement through dancing and singing begins with full
vigour. Young men and women make dancing expeditions to neighbouring villages and during the dance choose their life partners. When all the boys of the village complete this piquant exercise, the
Sisa gives them cakes to stop all quarrels and delivers a little lecture of friendship and good
The following evening this criticism is repeated with young men and even the old. They bow each other with folded hands and start dancing to the frantic beats of the drums and then hitting hard with the branches. Blood flows from their wounds and watching the situation the
Sisa stops them. Then they touch each others feet and clinch hugging and lifting the other in the wind.