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Honey, You have a Horn on your head!



Asha Parekh and her 'horn' headdress in film 'Mera Gaon Mera Desh' (1971). Can catch it in these songs from this film 'Kuch Kehta Hai Ye Sawan', 'Sona Lai Ja Re' and famous "Maar diya jaaye ya chhod diya jaaye' (but Laxmi Chhaya gives it a pass). Dharmendra may have been enticed by the sight of it on Banjari Asha Parekh's virgin head but here's the interesting thing:


The most distinctive ornament of a Banjāra married woman is, however, a small stick about 6 inches long made of the wood of the khair or catechu. In Nimār this is given to a woman by her husband at marriage, and she wears it afterwards placed upright on the top of the head, the hair being wound round it and the head-cloth draped over it in a graceful fashion. Widows leave it off, but on remarriage adopt it again. The stick is known as chunda by the Banjāras, but outsiders call it singh or horn. In Yeotmāl*, instead of one, the women have two little sticks fixed upright in the hair. The rank of the woman is said to be shown by the angle at which she wears this horn.


-  'The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India' by R.V. Russell,  Vol. II. 1916. [at Gutenberg.org]
* Yavatmal district in the Indian state of Maharashtra.
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  1. Brilliant piece of information. I have been going through all your posts. Thank you for making this blog.

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