Photos have emerged of an unlikely wedding ceremony carried out between a one-year-old infant boy and a local dog in the Indian state of Odisha.
This peculiar ritual is reportedly conducted by the regional Santhal tribes whenever a baby is born whose first tooth appears in the upper portion of their gums.
Believing this tooth placement to be highly inauspicious, a hastily arranged wedding ceremony between the child and a dog is believed to be the only way to effectively ward off evil spirits.
The wedding is purely ceremonial, and children who go through with it are supposedly still allowed to form more conventional marital unions later in life.
Animal lover splashes cash on wedding for dog
Loyal dogs 'get married' in human-like wedding ceremony in front of 50 guests
They can later marry without any requirement to formally divorce the dog, it is also reported.
A video captured on February 23 shows the wedding party in Bariyan village was a colourful affair, with plenty of smiling guests in brightly coloured outfits.
Wandering drummers provide an upbeat soundtrack to proceedings and the boy groom, though no doubt bewildered by the attention, looks extremely smart in a blue chequered head dress.
His bride also looks very fetching.
In 2003, a nine-year-old girl was married to a local dog in the same ritual.
Karnamoni Handsa reportedly had a tooth "rooted to her upper gum", which her Santhal tribe in the remote village of Khanyan believed was an omen of evil.
Tribe elders said the marriage would not affect the girl's life, and that she would be free to marry again when she was older without needing to divorce the dog.
"It will not spoil her future. We will marry her off to eligible bachelor when she grows up," Karnamoni's mother told AFP at the time.
"I have no regret in marrying the dog Bacchan. I am fond of the dog who moves around our locality," the girl said.
"Bacchan is a stray dog who survives on leftovers. I will take care of the dog."
Source: Read Full Article