Sunday, March 13, 2016

Hill Bathing

Hill Bathing

Before the onset of spring, tree and plants sheds their leaves, Autumn is ready to welcome Spring, there is moisture in the weather to support new sprouts in ecosystem; Tribal living in forests and hilly areas perform "Hill Bathing". They offer a coconut to the deity, burn incense sticks and then burn the surface of the hill by fire. It is called Hill Bathing (Dungra Navravava). It may be part of the ritual of a baby born or a marriage event in the family. But every year, it keeps the forest staff in high alerts to check so that the fire doesn't escape and burn the forest and its flora & fauna.

The ancient tradition may have some reasons and logics, i.e.,: replacement of forest with grasslands, to promote biodiversity, for easy hunting when animals come to eat fresh new grass sprouts, to reduce insects, etc, but the present generation perform the act of hill bathing as a traditional ritual. However, with the awareness, education, and check by the forest staff; the incidents are decreasing.

In the Mahua tree forest areas, tribal burn the sheded leaves under the tree so that they can collect the Mahuva fruits easily. But when the fire escapes, it damages the forest.

Not only in India, Hill Bathing is a tradition followed by the tribal in other parts of the world including Native American.

One may agree or not with the Jewish and Christian traditional belief of world beginning from the Temple Mount (Mount Morian, Jerusalem), but may agree that the tradition of hill bath with fire connects the roots of tribal of the world on the hills tops of the forest. 

13 March 2016


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