Placating Kin: Rituals and Infertility

Narasimhan, Haripriya (2023) Placating Kin: Rituals and Infertility. Oriental Anthropologist, 23 (1). pp. 71-87. ISSN 0972-558X

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Newlywed couples in Telangana perform various rituals to get blessed with children, which usually take place soon after marriage. In the absence of immediate conception, the couple is advised by the extended family to perform specific rituals to appease fertility gods. This article attempts to document fertility rituals in the Telangana region and the crucial ways in which they help men diagnosed with infertility. It will discuss in detail a commonly performed ritual called Balamma. In addition, the article highlights rituals performed to propitiate snakes, the significance of horoscopes, and consultations with local “healer-astrologer-medicine man/woman”. The article suggests that the efficacy of these rituals should not be seen in whether they result in procreation. Rather, the main objective of the rituals is to placate the extended patrilineal family and shift attention and blame from the couple to angry supernatural beings. The article establishes the crucial role played by these rituals in safeguarding men diagnosed with infertility, as they are more reluctant than women to discuss their diagnosis.

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IITH Creators:
IITH CreatorsORCiD
Narasimhan, HaripriyaUNSPECIFIED
Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: balamma; dosham; fertility astrology; Infertility; ritual efficacy; ritual healing; traditional healing
Subjects: Others > Biological sciences
Social sciences > Asian Studies
Divisions: Department of Liberal Arts
Depositing User: Mr Nigam Prasad Bisoyi
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2023 11:27
Last Modified: 26 Nov 2023 11:27
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