NEW DELHI, Feb 18 – A group of Indian tribals have married off a toddler to a female dog in eastern India in a bid to prevent his predicted death at the hands of a tiger, a report said on Wednesday.,
The ceremony at a Hindu temple in Orissa state’s Jajpur district was conducted with all the rituals observed at traditional weddings, including a dowry for the bride — the village bitch.
The dog sported two silver rings and a silver chain, the UNI news agency reported.
Parents of the groom, one-and-a-half year old Sangula, were advised to arrange the marriage when they noticed a tooth growing from their infant son’s upper gum — considered a bad omen.
Community elders believed the growth would lead to the boy being killed in a tiger attack — a fate preventable, according to tribal tradition, by marrying a dog.
Sanrumula Munda, Sangula’s father, said the ceremony would not prevent him from marrying properly when he comes of age.
Superstition is still a potent force in tribal and remote communities of India.