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a portal for Santals
Art & Culture

Some information :

The eminent anthropologist Evans-Pritchard wrote in the Social anthropology(1951) about Adivasi "Tribal have just long a history as our own, and while they are less developed than our own in many respects, they are often developed in others".

Arts & Culture is integral part  of Santal society. It reserves vast & rich cultural heritage. Infact  Santals  are most remembered by  their arts and culture. Here we  will give some links towards by some of the scholarly works and also some description of it.

 First Santali Feature Film. It is land mark for santals. Chandu Lekhon the first full length Santali feature film released last December, 2001. Lakhan Murmu, a famous Santali Jatra artist Cast the lead role as well co-producer. The first of its kind in India. Santali, is the tribal language spoken in Jharkhand, Midnapore,   Bardhaman, Orissa, & Purulia would attract the tribals towards cinema. The man behind such noble thought is Jogin Dey the executive producer of the Santali feature film. This  film  directed by RadhaRani famous Ajit Banerjee; music will be composed by     Bappa Chatterjee, new face and Singrai (tribal musician). The playback singers are Tarun     Hembram and Shefali Hembram. The script is written in Santali alphabets called Olchiki Script.

Santal Musical Instruments:

Tirio: The instrument most favoured by Santals, is bamboo flute with seven holes. It is viewed as a symbols of love and seduction.

Dhodro banam:  is a bowed instrument carved out of a single log of wood of a tree which according to Santal story, grew out of the flesh of a human being. It consits of a belly(lac) covered with an animal skin on which rests the bridge(sadam, lit, horse), an open chest( korom), a short neck(hotok)and a head( bohok) which is often beautifully carved in the shape of a human head, a couple or whole groups of humans or of animals. If the is a head, the tuning peg is inserted in the ear(lutur), and the gut string comes out the mouth.

Phet banam: is a fretless stringed instrument with three or four strings. The waisted belly is completely covered by animal skin.

Tumdak,is also known as madol, is a two faced drum with a body brunt clay. Both heads the left one broader than the right are covered by bullock hide and are beaten by the left and right hand.

Tamak: is a bowl shaped kettle drum. Its body is made of thin metal sheets, covered by bullock hide and beaten by a pair of sticks.

Junko: is an onomatopoeic description of sounds of the ankle bells, which are cast in metal in the shape of buds and tied to the feet of dancers from where they produce rhythmical sounds.

Singa: is a S-shaped wind instrument played in pairs in weddings. Made of brass of copper, it is usually constructed in the three pierces with mouthpiece at the blowing end and a conic opening at the other.

The tribal art of India is widely neglected in Europe and  America. Its meaning is largely  unknown and it is generally overshadowed by Classical Indian art. European artists at the beginning of the century  made us aware of the arts of   Africa and Oceania, and  perhaps now we should learn to  appreciate the formal language of Indian tribal art as well.
Santhal Pats( Kajal SenGupta):It is generally agreed that before the arrival of the Aryans in Bengal   (a large part of Eastern Bihar was in Bengal at that time)proto-Australoid neotithic tribes lived here. Santhals are believed to be descended from them.  They are long-headed (dolicocephalic ),flat-nosed (platyrrhine),stocky will dark brown skin. The present day Santhals still bear these characteristics. They have no religion in our sense, yet they believe in the super
Santhali painters mainly remained entirely na´ve as they hardly came under the influences of the mughals, Rajput or the British. Santhal tribal paintings are drawn by a special community called Jadu Patua or magic painters in the Santhal Paragana district of Bengal/Bihar borders. These paintings depict subjects of santhal community life. Executed on paper with organic materials. Unfortunately the Patua art is handicapped due to the lack of precise dating.
Primal Elements in the Santhal Musical Texts(Onkar Prasad):In traditional vision, man is a replica of the cosmos. He is constituted of five basic elements sky, air, fire, water and earth. His life-cycle, mode of thought and pattern of behaviour are all governed by the cosmic laws. This primal vision of man is found to be fully integrated both in textual and oral traditions. While in the textual tradition it has been very systematically and analytically presented, ........
A Santhal Myth Five Elements(by Kanak Mital): This chapter draws upon the IGNCA thesaurus project under the Loka Parampara programme (Appendix). It is the first in-house project of the life-style study of the Santhals of Santhal Parganas and was taken up in 1988. The two dictionaries, in several volumes, on the Santhals by J. Campbell (1953) and P.O. Bodding (1929), form the base of the thesaurus. The beginning of the thesaurus was made from this point and it is webbed around the elements. .......
Five Elements in Santhal Healing(by N. Patnaik): The Santhals believe that as long as the balance between human beings and nature and supernatural beings is maintained there would be harmony, peace, health and happiness in life. It is their belief that any sinful act, incest and infringement of social customs makes anyone who commits such an offence suffer from illness. Otherwise a human being has a natural right to live up to old age in good health and die a natural death.
E-Group: Wesanthals