fruit, tree, stone…..

Different cultures view marriage in different ways. The Newar people of Nepal marry their young girls to bel-fruits.

A majority of Newars observe the symbolically arranged marriage of their daughters with a bel fruit before they ever marry a man. The bel fruit marriage is done when the girl is seven to nine years old, or before she attains puberty; and since it is the general belief of Hindu and Buddhist Newar communities that a proper marriage with full rites can be held only once in a lifetime, her subsequent marriages, if any, are considered of only secondary importance.

image found here

Punjabi men can have one, two or four wives, but not three. To get around this prohibition, they sometimes would go through a third marriage ceremony with a tree. In Madras, if a younger son wishes to marry but his older sibling has not yet decided upon a wife, the elder son can wed a tree. After the ceremony, a priest cuts the tree down and pronounces it dead. The family all mourn the man’s deceased wife, and then the younger son is free to marry.

image of 1960s icon Penelope Tree found here

The daughter of a courtesan is unable to marry but she may get herself a ritual husband by marrying a house plant which she then cares for in a special way.

image of Robert Plant found here

Two trees may also marry each other. This type of wedding is arranged by a childless couple who are trying to conceive. The trees, usually a mango and a fig are planted close together so their stems entwine. If one of them dies it is considered a very bad omen for the woman.

In Siberia a man sometimes married a stone. There would be no wedding ceremony, the man simply chose an attractive stone, put clothes on it and placed it in his bed. There was even some sexual connotation, since the man would treat the stone as a human, caressing it as if it were a real woman.

image of Sharon Stone found here

Marriages to objects were also known of in Mongolia. A father might sometimes offer his daughter to a guest for the night as a sexual favour. The guest would be asked to leave behind his belt as a token. If a pregnancy resulted from this hospitality, the girl was simply married the belt. On the other hand, if a girl became pregnant to a stranger outside this sexual hospitality arrangement, she would be married to a prayer rug instead.

Published in: on November 24, 2009 at 7:01 am  Comments (39)  
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39 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I think it would be kind of nice to be married to a tree. Do you think that would be bigamy?

    • Not nececelery

      • Oh dear.

      • sorry, it was the best I could come up with

  2. I just want to be friends with my plant. It’s not him, it’s me.

  3. If one were married to a tree, there would be no problem with him getting a woody.

    • Stephen’s surname was Birch

  4. You’ve just reminded me of Apollo/Westicus. When Daphne changed herself into a tree to escape his advances. I guess that wouldn’t have worked in quite a few cultures. You’ve given me another idea!

    • The sculpture Bernini did of Daphne and Apollo is my favourite piece of art

  5. What happens when the Punjambi’s fourth wife dies (or the tree is cut down)?

  6. Marrying a tree. Now that’s putting down some roots.

    • Although if you go barking up the wrong tree, it can be fruiutless when one of you leaves.

  7. Alas, here in Western “Civilisation”, we are expected to marry our jobs.

    I do wonder though, if you marry two or three trees, are you just rooting around?

  8. there would be advantages to marrying a fruit, a tree or a plant… it sure as hell wouldn’t bitch when i don’t shave my legs!

  9. Is a forest or woods know as a harem? If you are married to a rug and then put tiles in your house are you cheating? If you use a tree for a fire to barbeque on, are you a cannibal? What is a bel fruit? Does it ring loud? If you make love on a rug, it it a threesome?
    Some questions that your post raised. Why do I think so much?

    • Because you need more alcohol?

      • That was the answer I was looking for. Bottoms Up and cheers!!

  10. I think this is one of my all time favorites of your written (as opposed to the visuals) posts! Great pictures as well.

    • Watch out delicate flower: you may receive some unexpected proposals.

  11. While I do collect rocks, I’ve just never found the right one with which to settle down. It just sounds so sedimentary and there always seems to be some new little igneous piece that catches my eye.

    Sy Beriaman

    • You’re so shallow Sy ;-)

  12. I don’t know, but some of these trees speak to me more than others!

  13. Would a stone wife be considered hard-hearted?

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving. Turkey Butt

  14. Kind of puts the phrase “tree-hugger” in a whole new light, doesn’t it? Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to make eyes at the Mountain Ash in the front yard…

    • Correct me if I’m wrong Ginny, but didn’t you do a post several months back about having a crush on an arborist?

      • Oh YEAH,I forgot about him. And now I’ve remembered.

        And now I’d like to be alone, for a bit.

      • I bet you would ;-)

  15. Well, it does get lonely in Siberia…

  16. so there’s hope for me being able to marry my blow up sex doll? whew!

  17. I think that I shall never see,
    A woman as lovely as a tree…

    Which doesn’t say much about the poet’s companions.Perhaps he was looking for a special fruit tree.

    • hi magicfingers – do you have a blog?

  18. Meanwhile I am trying to decide whether or not to take my little family of gerania with me to the country when I move next year. I can’t bear the thought of saying goodbye, especially when they are blooming for the summer!

  19. I love the temptress eve picture!

  20. I love how you have too old people (Plant and Stone) sans shirts, this post is so deep.

  21. Plant and Stone old people? Ha. I beg to differ.

    Wonderful post, Nursemyra. Fascinating stuff

  22. Certainly does sound more exciting than spending eternity with a frigid, sexless wife.

  23. A house plant sounds far more interesting than my ex husband ;-)

  24. Love that apple ……. but not in ‘that’ way …… obviously

  25. Some of this gives a bit of a new meaning to the term Tree Hugger.

    What an odd ad at the end of this. I’d love to read the fine print.


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