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It is necessary here to indicate the relevance of these two musical instruments to the life of Yeravas. The musical instruments are part and parcel of Yerava life and death. Use of these instruments for entertainment is only one aspect.

These two instruments are used mainly on four occasions, with a tune specifically set for each purpose. There are four tunes for four occasions. The occasions are:

  1. the occasion of joy and entertainment as explained above,
  2. the occasion of marriage and connected ceremonies like dancing, and offering of pu:ja by kañaa ka:rati 'bride' at the drinking well,
  3. the occasion when an individual is possessed by a spirit and is given to speaking tongues, and
  4. the occasion when a person dies and all the ceremonies connected with death such as the conveyance of death news so others, carrying of the dead body to the burial ground and death ceremonies performed later.

It was possible for the present investigator to listen and observe the first three tunes and dance. When asked about the fourth tune, the informants said that it was a bad omen to show 'and play when the occasion had not arisen. The three tunes are recorded on tape and are to be analyzed by a musicologist only.

The musical instruments are made by the members of the tribe themselves and not bought from the market. The musical drum is made with the dry skin of the money.


1.7 Life cycle

1.7.1 Birth

The women keep going to work until the 8th month of pregnancy. Also until that time she sleeps with her husband. During the period of pregnancy she does not have the habit of going to the doctor. Only in case of trouble in pregnancy she would go to the hospital.

As the time of delivery approaches, an old experienced lady i:eka:rati in case of Paniya Yeravas and be:tika:rati in case of Panjiri Yeravas is brought home to have the child delivered. On the third day of the child birth it is said that the a:ai. Paniya Yerava priest comes home and holds a cock on the head of the child and sings.

  ippimale  teyya:e
  kuattu  karinga:iya:e
  bi:re  kalluruiya:e  kau
  beccidela  buu
  na:konja  ko:yina
  o:re ku icicu
  anto:cati bua:u
  injuku  eu  na:ili
  kau,  kari  ti:rikinja
  ba:ra  eneyi
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