Garo - Religion and Expressive Culture

Religious Beliefs. There are two faiths prevalent among the Garos: native and Christian. People who follow the traditional faith are known as Songsarek. Difference in religion has not brought any split in the population. The traditional world of the Garos includes a number of spirits who behave like human beings but have no shape. They are Saljong, the spirit of the sun and fertility; Gaera, the spirit of strength and the thunderbolt; Susume, the spirit of wealth. Propitiation for each is followed by the sacrifice of an animal and an offering of beer. A Christian Garo is supposed to avoid such practices. Ogres and biting spirits ( mite ) also occur.

Religious Practitioners. A Garo religious practitioner is known as kamal. The word is used to mean "specialist"; thus a midwife may be a kamal. A kamal derives neither special privilege nor prestige from his or her service to the society.

Ceremonies. All traditional annual festivals were connected with the different stages of shifting cultivation: Agalmaka, Maimua, Rongchugala, Ahaia, Wangala, etc. Wangala is considered to be the national festival among the Garos, taking place October-December. When a member of a family becomes Christian, he refuses to participate in Songsarek festivals.

Arts. The Garos used to make the following items: carved wooden shields ( spee ) ; baskets of different types; different varieties of drums— gambil, kram , and nakik ; pipes ( adil ) made of buffalo horn; flutes of bamboo; gonogina (Jew's harp) made of bamboo.

Medicine. They use a variety of herbal medicines for all sorts of ailments, and they claim to have herbal medicine for birth control also.

Death and Afterlife. They believe that after death human beings and animals turn into spirits known as memang ("ghosts"). These memang are considered counterparts of human beings.

Also read article about Garo from Wikipedia

User Contributions:

Lintu Areng
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Sep 22, 2014 @ 7:07 am
It's good to know some of the cultural characteristics of ours but it's quite brief in a sense that could be illustrated and developed by someone who knows well and experienced.
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Mar 14, 2015 @ 9:09 am
Its really interesting and really helpful and it was my social studies assignment. And its good to know about their charecteristics.
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Oct 22, 2015 @ 10:22 pm
Garo has their own identity. They have their own culture and it is a very rich. It is a unique culture where the woman are properly dignified whereas no other nation has, even not in Jesus,s nation in then. You garo must be proud of your culture. They had priest. Now after converted Christianity Priests are ordained and forever for priesthood. so there are some similarities between garo culture and Christianity. It is beauty of culture and linked between culture and religion. so practice your culture with Christianity. I think it will help to retain garo culture. all the best. love your culture.

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