I really enjoyed this article posted by CNNGo titled “Opium and Curry: The Indian Tribe That Welcomes You With Drugs”.
A while back I wrote a post about our opium cups and the ancient tradition of drinking opium in India.
I’ve been fascinated by the Bishnoi, but didn’t have a lot of information on this tribe located in Western Rajasthan.
The article talks about how opium, though officially illegal in India, is used by the Bishnoi in traditional ceremonies.
The Bishnoi people have also been known for their strict conservation practices. “In 1730 hundreds of them laid down their lives by hugging tees to stop them being felled. They were beheaded, but when the Maharajah of Jodhpur heard of their sacrifice he commanded the lumberjacks to quit chopping trees, as well as heads, in the area.”
And perhaps most interesting about this tribe is their “supposedly obsolete stud system. As recently as 50 years ago, the best-looking man in the area was encouraged to sleep with as many eligible females as he could for a decade. He was then summarily beheaded, or at the very least, excommunicated for life.”
This practice has been outlawed, but as the author notes – so has the opium.
To see our collection of carved opium cups click here.
Molly McCahan has written a wonderful travel series on Rajasthan for the SF Examiner. To read “Rajashtan Revealed” click here.