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Book: Roots of Wisdom, Branches of Devotion

Chapter: 9. Caryota Urens: From Vegetable Manifestation of God to Sacred Tree of the Shamans of Odisha

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.30836


Stefano Beggiora presents his extensive fieldwork among the Lanjia Saoras in the Rayagada district of southern Odisha. In particular, he discusses the ritual use of local palm wine (toddy) extracted primarily from the jaggery palm (Caryota urens L.). The custom of drinking this fermented beverage is a characteristic feature of the tribal culture of this region. Besides its social aspect, toddy is of central importance in a wide range of shamanic rituals and in the worship of ancestors.

Chapter Contributors

  • Stefano Beggiora ( - beggiora) 'Ca’ Foscari University of Venice'