Human sacrifice among the Khonds in India: a victim (meriah) about to be dismembered. Wood engraving by C. Krull after J. Fuchs, 186-.
- Fuchs, J., active 1864-1867
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Set among the Khonds of northern India: the scene is as described in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica as follows: "The Khonds became notorious, on the British occupation of their district about 1835, from the prevalence and cruelty of the human sacrifices they practised. These Meriah sacrifices, as they were called, were intended to further the fertilization of the earth. It was incumbent on the Khonds to purchase their victims. Unless bought with a price they were not deemed acceptable. They seldom sacrificed Khonds, though in hard times Khonds were obliged to sell their children and they could then be purchased as Meriahs. Persons of any race, age or sex, were acceptable if purchased. Numbers were bought and kept and well treated; and Meriah women were encouraged to become mothers. Ten or twelve days before the sacrifice the victims hair was cut off, and the villagers having bathed, went with the priest to the sacred grove to forewarn the goddess. The festival lasted three days, and the wildest orgies were indulged in."