Santali Literature

Santali Literature
Language | Culture | Bibliography | Festivals | Santali Writers

The development of Traditional Santali language and literature was started from the very beginning of British Rule (East India Company) since 1870-75 over the region by some literary loving British ruminate among them were L.O.Skerfsurd, P.O.Bodding, Campbell etc in a Roman script .
They contributed to the Santal society by developing Grammer, Literature & Dictionaries etc . It was the first time when Santali Language, Culture and Folktales, Tradition were being brought out to the outside world . Their work on Grammar, Literature & Dictionaries helped the Santali language to be understood by world, at that time there wasn't any written scripture that could actually defines the Santali language, culture .

Development of Literature in 19th century helped in bringing out the Santali life style, folktales and rich culture. Literature also presented the great dedication of Santals towards the nature . Soon when development of Literature started, it was firstly when Santali language and people started getting their identity all over the world as Indigenous People having rich culture and civilized social organization. Santali specially attracted the research scholar, professors and whole world to know Santali and soon many researches done on Santali language and literature. The further invention of distinct modern indict script for the development of traditional modern Santali language, literature and culture was done during the period of development of others modern Indians language, script or culture for the sake of modern literature & culture identity of Santals
Unfortunately that time, It was hard to understand the Santali language and their expression when it comes to the written form because literature and grammar dictionaries was being written in roman script which was unable to pronounce the Santali language and expression . Guru Gomke Raghunath Murmu felt that Santals with their rich cultural heritage and tradition, also need a separate script to preserve and promote their language, the script known as ‘Ol chiki’ script which also helped Santal language to be pronounced correctly. Ol Chiki is alphabetic, and does not share any of the syllabic properties of the other Indic scripts.. One of the interesting feature of the Ol Chiki script is that it makes use of signs and symbols long familiar to the Santals. The very ingenuity in shaping the symbols of the letters and arranging the letters in the script has been greatly helpful in transmission of the script. A large number of words in the Santali language are derived from natural sounds. Letters of Ol Chiki script are also derived from the physical environment and what surrounds the people - hills, rivers, trees, birds, bees, plough, sickle - the list is endless. Towards this goal, Guru Gomke Raghunath Murmu wrote over 150 books covering wide spectrum of subjects such as grammar, novels, drama, poetry, and story in Ol Chiki as a part of his extensive programme for culturally upgrading the Santal community. Darege Dhan, Sidhu-Kanhu, "Bidu Chandan" and "Kherwal Bir" are among the most acclaimed of his works.
Contemporary Santali literature has taken off in a big way since it became an official language of Jharkhand in 2003, but it has not come of age because the government has not added it to the list of official Indian languages . Anyway with confidence of saving Santali language and culture the Santali writers are still struggling to ensure the reach of voice of Santals and its culture , Contemporary Santali literatures now mainly focusing on Santali culture, customs, folklore, poem and nature as well as present condition of Santal people and their forest,land and river . Some are also raising the issue of rights of Santals for their language and literature.
Some organization and small publication have been set up to publish the Santali books, magazines by themselves because of no well organized publication house available which promotes and sell the Santali books, magazine and literatures .
Every year about 50 Santali literature publish but having no support they are lost, their voice of Santals, voice for nature, their dedication and love towards nature , their folklore, their stories, their culture everything is being lost . However Santali writers are still writing, creating and developing literature to bring out their voice and creativity for Santali language, culture and tradition in order to keep their community alive in form of literature
Till now, the extensive work on Santali literature is not well not promoted and supported, this is why literatures are being created but lack of support they are rare to see in global market and for the same reason still Santali language ,literature and culture couldn’t be available and is yet to be known and understood .

Some Santali bibliography and writers name can be seen here please click here to get the complete list of book published . Protection Status