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Asian Man (The) - An International Journal
Year : 2016, Volume : 10, Issue : 2
First page : ( 194) Last page : ( 203)
Print ISSN : 0974-6366. Online ISSN : 0975-6884.
Article DOI : 10.5958/0975-6884.2016.00029.3

Specific Response to Ailments Attributed to Certain Aetiological Factors

Gaikwad John S.

Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune-411007, Maharashtra, India, Email id: dr.john.gaikwad@gmail.com

Online published on 4 January, 2017.


Among the ‘Pawra’ tribal community, aetiological factor ‘daakhan’-[a type of witch-craft believed to be initiated by a woman-designated as a ‘daakhan’ (witch)] generates tremendous social stress. The community is always keen to punish a ‘daakhan’ (witch). In case of the ‘sorcery’-‘maan-mekhtla’ and ‘muth’, the men responsible for activating any of these ‘sorcery’ are not targeted in any manner whatsoever. This paper is based on an ethnographic study among ‘Pawra’ tribal community from ‘Akrani Mahal’ Tahasil (popularly known as ‘Dhadgaon’), in District Nandurbar, in Maharashtra, India. An ailment, if attributed to ‘daakhan’, then one member from each family in the village, and the members of the community organization approach different’ ‘budwaa’ (traditional healers). Each ‘budwu’(traditional healer) performs the process of ‘daanaa-pudi’ in front of the people. Once a woman is declared as a suspected/confirmed ‘daakhan’, then life is not easy for her. Even after driving away/killing a suspected/confirmed ‘daakhan’, it is assumed, ‘there must be one more daakhan’. It is common to come across instances where the suspected/declared ‘daakhan’ has to undergo ordeals without any support from family members. The husband may desert his wife if she is declared as a ‘daakhan’. A confirmed ‘daakhan’ has every danger of being killed. If the husband supports her, then both are likely to be killed. A daakhan's daughters are looked with a biased view and are always treated as ‘daakhans’. Such a biased view renders difficulties for their marriages. This syndrome is based on a complex combination of assumptions channelised to form an integral part of the ‘Pawra’ culture.



Aetiology, Ailments, Daakhan, Maan-mekhtalaa, Muth, Sorcery, Witch-craft.


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