Ramakanta Biswas

Residents of a non-descript village in Odisha’s Deogarh district have not been using beds and instead sleeping on the floor of their houses since generations.

The belief associated with the peculiar practice at Tipirisingha village is that if they sleep on bed, it would invite the wrath of the presiding deity, Goddess Barihani. 

Apart from making the presiding goddess angry, the residents of the tribal hamlet, under Laimura panchayat under Tileibani block in Deogarh district, also believe that the bed will topple if they sleep on it. Besides, they believe, breaking the tradition will bring ill fortune and poisonous snakes will invade their houses.

The bizarre practice is going on for generations at the village. No family in the village used bed since ages. They sleep on the floor of their house using mats made of date palm leaves, locally known as Pati. 

The presiding deity is being worshiped by the villagers at the forest adjacent to the village. Honouring the traditional belief, the residents sleep on the floor using handmade mats.   

They collect date palm leaves from the forest and dry them and prepare mats. Apart from using the date palm leaf mats, they also sell them in the market to earn money.

“Our ancestors have been sleeping on mats. If we use bed, snakes will enter our houses and the bed will topples. Therefore, we sleep on mats in all weather. We collect date palm leaves from the forest and prepare pati (mat). Whether relatives or government officials, whoever come to our home, we roll out mat for them ” Sulochona Kisan, a woman resident said.

Kandaru Kishan, another resident said, “Bed is not in prevalent at our village. We have faith in our presiding deity and worship her as per our tradition. We bring date palm leaves from the forest and prepare mat. We even do not bring a bed as a gift during marriage. We believe that the goddess will topple the bed if we sleep on it.”

Reported by Sidhartha Guru, OTV