The Karo Bull Jumping

The jumping of Bulls is known by the Hamar as Ukuli Bula while it is known by the Karo as Pilla. When preparing himself for the pilla, the Karo initiate (halsh) goes either to the Hamar, the Bana,the Bashada,the Nyangatom ,or the Dassanetch to collect cow. The cow brought from the Dassanetch and Nyangatom are not taken back to their owners but rather remain as gifts for the initiate whereas those cows collected from the Hamar,Bana,and Bashada are returned to the owners after the pilla.

At the same time girls from the clan of the initiate leave for Hamar and Bana to exchange sorghum for milk and butter that are essential for the initiation ritual. The initiate is made to eat porridge mixed with fresh milk and changes his hairstyle.

The bull jumping ceremony is some how similar to that of the Hamar with few differences. When the initiate leaps over the cow, if he falls down from the back of the cow, his failure is attributed to his having had too many sexual relations with girls which is believed to have taken his strength. Women and girls from the clan of the initiate who prepare themselves to be whiped by the Maz tie small bells (tongotonge) on to their waists and hold small calabashes (Gungulo), which is normally used to pour out water and coffee from a pot. But on the day of the initiation the calabash is used to smash the Maz in their foreheads thereby triggering them for the whipping.The Karo pilla is finalized after leaping four times ,however,the number of leaps in the Hamar and Bana is undefined.

The Karo have clan owned Mulda which is quite important in the bull jumping ritual.

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