Karimnagar, April 18: The villagers of Kondapur in Velgatur mandal obs-erved Gaavu, a strange superstitious ritual involving killing of goats with teeth, to appease the village deity to drive out the “evil spirits” and protect children from various infectious diseases like chickenpox.
Amidst the beating of drums and spine-chilling screams, the priests of Pambala community, who specialise in performing the bizarre ritual of killing animals with their teeth, installed the wooden idol of the village deity on the outskirts of the village in the morning.
Even as the curious onlookers — most of them in inebriated condition —watched the ritual, the performers bite into the necks of the goats. While blood oozed out, they marched ahead carrying the sacrificial animals on their shoulders in blood drenched clothes all around the village in the afternoon. About 15 goats were offered in the ritual before the procession reached its destination — the makeshift Bhoolakshmi temple on the outskirts of the village in the evening followed by a sumptuous dinner to the entire village.
“We offer the sacrificial goats and hens to appease the village deity, who averts keedu (trouble),” remarked K Mallaiah. “As several children in the village suffered from ‘Pochamma and Atathalli’ (Chickenpox) recently, we have decided to organise the ritual to appease the goddess to protect the village from the infectious diseases.”
A gram panchayat member, speaking on condition of anonymity, defended the ritual saying: “We have inherited this from our forefathers and we have to continue the legacy for the sake of our village.”