The snake charmers' community in Chhattisgarh's Korba District observes an ancient bizarre ritual of making the bride carry nine different species of snakes as dowry.
Refusal to do so ends up in a marriage not being solemnized.
It is often the case in the remote tribal hamlets of the state that parents of a girl are desperate to collect nine different snakes to ensure that this dowry ritual takes place without a hitch.
The 25, 000 snake charmers in the state are very particular about carrying out this age-old custom.
Eligible bachelors and betrothed youngsters have to wait for a long time, and even sometimes indefinitely, till their parents are able collect the nine snakes. Some marriages are cancelled in despair.
"In our community, we cannot get married till the time we get the nine snakes of different species," claimed Durjan Sapera, a member of the snake charmers community.
An infant boy was married off to his neighbors' dog in eastern India by villagers who said it will stop the groom from being killed by wild animals, officials and witnesses said.
Around 150 tribes people performed the ritual recently in a hamlet in the state of Orissa's Jajpur district after the boy, who is under two years old, grew a tooth on his upper gum.
The Munda tribe see such a growth in young children as a bad omen and believe it makes them prone to attacks by tigers and another animals. The tribal god will bless the child and ward off evil spirits after the marriage.
"We performed the marriage because it will overcome any curse that might fall on the child as well on us," the boy's father, Sanarumala Munda, was quoted as saying by a local newspaper.
The groom, Sagula, was carried by his family in procession to the village temple, where a priest solemnized the marriage between Sagula and his bride Jyoti by chanting Sanskrit hymns, a witness said.
The villagers then ate a feast with rich food and alcohol to celebrate.
The dog belongs to the groom's neighbors and was set free to roam around the area after the ceremony. No dowry was exchanged, the witness said, and the boy will still be able to marry a human bride in the future without filing for divorce.
Indian law does not recognise weddings between people and animals, but the ritual survives in rural and tribal areas of the country where millions are illiterate.
Villagers in Jharkhand have married off a young girl to a stray dog...
Villagers in Jharkhand have "married" off a young girl to a stray dog to ward off an evil spirit which they believed was threatening the family.
This is all real and very recent.......