Symbolic Representation of First Head Shave in Spiritual and Cultural Context: A Cognitive Anthropological Perspective

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Anwaar Mohyuddin
Saima Munir


This article deals with the symbolic representation of the shaving birth hair of the male child and ritual associate with it, in cultural context among the tribesmen of Koh-Sulman district Dera Gahzi Khan, Punjab. This article reveals certain behavior, cognitions and norms that are associated with particular ritual that is named as “jahand” that depict that how people attached with the symbol that is the first shaved hair of baby and associate different themes with this symbol. An attempt has been made in this article that show how people perform this ritual at the shrine and consider the saint as an intermediatory between God and themselves and their perception about the ritual and the saint that how it secure the future of their male toddler and shower his blessing on the infant. This research study also shows people’s superstitions that if the ritual is not performed, then evil spirit will put their shadow on their baby and it will prove negative for the infant in the future. The ritual is associated with a male child in that particular area this is because that people of the present local relate their lineage system with male that mean in the future the baby had to deal with society that’s why he need the power and blessing of God through performing the ritual at the local Saint Shrine. The main objective of this paper is that to know the importance of the ritual that how emotionally and socially people are connected with this birth haircut of the male baby and what is it for them that how they perceive it. The second objective of the study is that to describe what type of beliefs is associated with the shaved hair of the infant at the time of birth and the symbol hair depict to them. The data presented in this paper has been collected by using qualitative anthropological research technique.

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