Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Gotul: Has National Geographic Got It Wrong?

Saw this interesting documentary on National Geographic on the Madia tribe’s Gotul custom. Gotul, as apparent from the documentary is a place where young people older than ten years go and spend the whole night together, drinking palm toddy, smoking tobacco and even having sex – promiscuously or not, the documentary doesn’t mention. All these are governed by tribal customs and rules laid down by elders, who don’t interfere as long as rules are obeyed. They can spend the whole night in the Gotul with other free-thinking young people and only return to their homes in the morning. Good. This allows young people to get acquainted and choose their own partners, eases sexual tension, and consenting young people are enter into matrimony.

If this was true this could have been a pointer of how India was always open in sexual matters and how young people behaved in age-old tribal societies, from which, quite obviously, we have descended. Anthonybhai has this to say, “Imagine man, what, what, those young people might be up to in that Gotul-Votul, whatever. Sure, men, I would have liked to flirt with some Senoritas from my own village in Margao, hehe!”

However, from this article in it appears that that is not true. One Madhukar Ramteke, in a very fractured English, calls it bunkum, and says “Gotul is not sex club, its [sic] home of culture.”

Anthonybhai is all downcast when I tell him. “Whom to believe, men: National Geographic or Madhukar Ramteke?”


ms said...

in this country, the coming of age is celebrated by males by getting jobs and females, by getting married. tribal societies were more socially evolved than the present structured community. we have just become "western", not "modern". before the invasions by mid-east personalities, the natives were living by a code which allowed more personal freedoms within the confines of religious boundaries. some tribes around the world still have these ceremonies.

John said...


I wholly agree. We have become "westernised" but not "modern". How aptly put. Traditional societies were better organised and possessed better knowledge on matters of sex relations than us. Look at Kajuraho and other miniature paintings.

If true Gotuls could be the initiation grounds for youth where they were trained in the ways of tribal-social sexual mores. It's now that we are ignorant of these age-old customs. What a loss!


Madhukar Ramteke said...

This is Madhukar Ramteke
I belongs to that area where Gotul has the saga of billions of Years.
I have written the Gotul and Madia Culture in detail.

Refere this link for more details