298 COORG FOLKLORE.
his sons to wreak vengeance on his personal enemies, a bequest which occasions calamitous feuds between succeeding generations. (126). The position, the style of building, and the approaches of old Coorg houses strongly remind one of old fortifications, and tradition points back to a time of general feuds when chief fought with chief and clan with clan. (128)
Marriage festivities had a peculiarly communal character. On some great day a family would call together the whole grama (village), that is all the families of one of the rice valleys girt with farmhouses, to a feast. The youths would have their ears pierced by the carpenters for earrings, and the maidens had rice strewed on their heads. This was called the marriage feast. The whole community feasted to- gether, and the young people were now at liberty to go in search of husbands and wives. (132)
The present marriage festivities resemble the common fashion of the Hindus. The young Coorg must first obtain the consent of his father. The Aruva of the house is then taken into the marriage council. He has to speak to the Aruva of the family to whom the desired bride belongs. These Aruvas hold an important office among the Coorgs ; they act as representatives, counsel, &c., on the great occasions of life. A particular friend of a neighbouring Coorg house becomes its Aruva, and a member of this house is natu- rally the Aruva of the other. The answer to the negotiations being favourable, the whole house [of the bride] is carefully swept and a lamp is lit. The two Aruvas with the heads of the respective fami- lies stand before it (the bridegroom's Aruva and father or elder brother on one side, the bride's representatives on the other) and shake hands together in token of an inviolable contract having been concluded in the presence of the divinity or sacred light of the house. (133-134)
When the time approaches, the astrologers' counsel is asked for the choice of a propitious day. On the last day before the wedding, all the families of the villages of the bride and bridegroom are summoned. Each house must send at least one male and one female representative. Now the wedding sheds are finished, pigs are slaughtered and