It is said that marriages are formed at Heaven. But in modern India marriages are based on money. Money regulates the marriage system in form of dowry or celery of grooms. Actually, we define the wrong definition of marriage. Marriage means understanding, caring, love and lots of mutual connectivity of both persons that are going to share their lives with each other.
But in case of tribal marriage, both partners get equal chances to know each other and have rights to say no. The tribal marriages are, however, mere civil contracts and not religious sacraments as found amongst the advanced societies. Religious rites and rituals are not absolute things in their marriages.
The acculturated tribals are found to approximate the ritualistic performances of the sophisticated societies in the neighbourhood. The ways in which mates can be acquired are indeed varied and they are actually progressive.
When the parents of both the boy and the girl come forward to negotiate their children’s marriage, it is known as negotiation marriage. It is the regular form of marriage in the Hindu, the Muslim and tribal societies of India. In this form of acquiring mates, the bride and the bridegroom have no positive role and even more is that they may not have personal acquaintance with each other before marriage.
In this type of marriage, a young man is allowed to live with his sweetheart in the latter’s house and if their temperament suits each other, then alone marriage will be held. Otherwise, instantaneous dissolution of such relationship will be effective and the man has to pay cash compensation to the girl’s parents.
Marriage by trial
Some tribes including the Bhil of Rajasthan require a young man to prove his power and courage before he can claim the hands of any girl at marriage. In ancient literature, such marriage was held as most honourable one. In Ramayana, Ramchandra got the hands of Sita through such marriage by showing his physical strength in breaking the sacred bow of the great god, Haradeva. In Mahabharata, Arjuna claimed Draupadi in a similar way.
Marriage by purchase
Marriage by purchase is a prevalent form of acquiring the wife in the tribal societies of India. In this form of marriage, the payment which is to be made to the family of the bride is known as the bride-price.
Marriage by service
“Gaining a wife by service” is a widespread custom among the modern primitives. It may be taken as an alternative measure of marriage by bride price. The period of service of the suitor-servant varies from 3 to 5 years.