Traditional symbol of Communication | Santal Community

Traditional symbol of Communication in Santal Community

In tribals,  there seem to be no any economical value  in their living . Whether it be their rituals or any social practice they never use any thing which such relates to any economical value. Same thing is also found in Santal Community where there is no presence of any economical things, value, and necessity. They are connected to nature and worship it, and they are following this tradition since ages.Even though they are developed and civilized in there own unique way, they don’t even need to go for any written form of communication to communicate from one village to another for any village meeting or invitation to some programme. When any serious issue arises which require the immediate attention of the villagers the village headman send a sal leaf as an invitation letter to various village. On getting the invitation the villagers of different villages gathers to discuss the matter, after hearing everybodies views on the matter the decision is taken.


                                                             Only one leaf is capable for showing the meaning for gathering, meetings and invitations.  One leaf can even make huge gather for village meeting of different villages situated far away in order to gather and take decision on serious issue.

Sarjom (Sal tree) and Karam (Adina cordiflia) are most venerated by Santals. Sarjom Dar ‘Twig of Sal’ is the symbol of justice to the santals . Sarjom gira was done during the Santal rebellion in 1854-56 .  Santals were informed of the message of assembled through carrying this Sarjom gira from one region to the other. The occasion for Sarjom gira is clearly depicted in famous five act play by Jadunath Tudu .
The village council takes the decision for Sarjom gira with Manjhi haram at its head.

Another occasion of this leaf is ‘Sarjom Dhaura’, Which is done during ‘Bitlaha’(Social Ostracism)  if the guilt by the culprit is not recognized himself and does not beg pardon before the village council. The ‘Bitlaha’
Ostracism takes place by the order of village council and is resorted for women indulging in any physical relationship either with a man of the same sept or with a non- Sanal . And when it is proved then the village council gives the order of outcast. The day after the annual hunting this order is normal carried. 
The date of bitlaha is announced in the market by a man carrying a branch of Sal tree with leaves.  The no. of leaves indicates the number of days, people in the market get to know it when seeing that men.

The ostracized person get placed the Sal twig in the courtyard which shows that the family is debarred from establishing any social relationship with the Santals community.

Karam twig is also used as medium of communication among the Santal community. During karam festival  , In the middle of the village the karam twig is planted on and which is worshipped by the Santals singing and dancing with beating drum which continue the whole night and in the morning the immersion of Karam bogh is solemnized with blessing of God for the everyone in the village .

Karam is also used as the mark of friendship between two persons of the same sex. The ceremony goes with the fixing of small branch of Karam tree in the ground in the village street in presence of village elders. The bud of Karam of tree is fixed by two young people in each other’s hair and afterwards garments are exchanged. After this ceremony, they address each other by saying ‘Karam Phul’ instead of their own names. Being Karam Phul for each other is not meant to being just friends, its more than that, In short they just founded the new relationship of family between each other  and they would have to acknowledge their presence for each other, whether it be marriage ceremony in their houses or any ceremony or occasion, they will have to invite each other.
This way Karam tree is used as a medium of communication of eternal friendship among Santals.

Gira ‘knot’ is the another mode of communication during marriage ceremony in Santals which is called ‘Bapla Gira’ (Bapla means marriage in Santali) this is the method of communicating of date of a marriage. Seven or eight days before the date fixed for the marriage, in case of seven or eight days , knots are tied on a large number of strings, one of which is sent to each family who is invited to be present there at marriage. On each night one knot is loosed which reminds the no. of days left for the marriage and when all have been loosed the time for the marriage has arrived.
                                                                         This is how it tells that Santals don’t need anything in written to calculate and communicate of the date. Their highly civilized culture keeps itself live on just because this all have been following up by them by generation to generation without having anything on written and these shows their philosophy of having faith in Nature, following it in their rituals as a technique or worship , they truly are the caretaker of this Nature  for which they sing and dance. Protection Status