Thursday, 15 March 2018

Santal Salutation


SALUTATION
Salutation is one kind of noble art of showing human behavior like ‘Hand-shake’ or Doing Hats-off. The santali term of salutation is God-Johar. Actual meaning of Johar is fruitful (begging of blessing for success) that is why in santali society Johar is mainly performed to show respect to the superiors or to the God and Goddess to get blessing from them. Santals don’t salute here and there on the road side, they do so when somebody or relative or guest comes to their home. There are several types of salutation s in the society. Only a few of them are narrated below.



CHOH JOHAR

Choh Johar is a kind of greeting shown by the elders towards younger ones. ChohJohar is different for men and women. When a women perform chohjohar she touchs chin of the kid with both her hands and then pull it towards itself with the sound of kiss. This gesture shows that she is taking away all the miseries of the kid.
When a men does Choh Johar he brings his right hand over his younger ones head and then take it back to its own head. This is a way of taking away all his sorrows.


GOD JOHAR
This type of Johar is shown by the juniors to seniors or superior with respect to age and relationship. The way of salutation is quite different from one sex to another. When a boy salutes to his senior or superior, he stands infront of him and then bows down his head with his folded hand, but a girl sits in front of the superior and bows down her head with the touching of feet with her joint palms followed by a pan full of water for washing.


BALA JOHAR

BALA JOHAR is a special type of johar (greeting) done by parents and relatives of bride and bridegroom. Style of doing balajohar by mens is different from that of womens. When it is done by mens they stand facing each other holding each others hand. Right hand is held by left and vice versa. Then they gently collide there chests five times in different angles. When it is done by womens they bend a little and hold each others hand and gently collide there heads five times. This johar is done when the relatives of bride and bridegroom meets.

Behaviour

Men is a social animal and lives in a society. Living in a group or society makes their survival easier. Unlike many societysantal villages are not found besides river banks. Villages are settled mostly at the foothills, because forests provides all the necacities that santal people need for their survival. Santal people extensively depends on nearby forest from firewood to woods for building house. Although they are dependent on forest for everything they do not destroy forests. Sustainable use of resources should be learnt from them. Binty says “once santals were called Kherwal, because they were hunters and living on hunting just like kherwal bird which has a very strong wings.
Santals are shy in nature and mostly stays away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Since all the people have their own lands, farming is their main occupation and prefers staying in villages, but now people are changing and slowly migrating towards cities. In the village santalpeope live in mud houses which is neatly maintained and colored with different colours which is obtained from soil. Although santals were once hunters they treat animals with kindness. Santals have different clans or sept and with every clan one animal or bird is associated and that animal is protected by that particular clan.
Example-
1. Hanshansly (swan) are the totem of Hansda, so hansda people don’t kill hanshansly bird.
2. One type of deer called Murum is a totem of Murmu clan so they neither kill nor take its meat.
Santals are nature worshippers. Their place of worship is called Jaherthan. It is a open area with lots of Sal trees. Santals do not have traditions of confining their god in a room so they worship in open under Sal tree. Behaviour and traditions of Santals are such that they help in preserving nature. They take from nature only what they need which help in maintaining ecological balance.

Jantal Festival

Jantal word combines of two words: Jang+Tol . Jang means for ‘Seed’ and Tol for ‘sow’ ,thus ‘sowing of seed’. The paddy plants grow to give out panicle during the month of ‘September’. The roots of paddy plants suck or extract water from the soil to live and grow its seeds so It requires the adequate water during this time . To overcome the water scarce, rain is must during this month .If required amount of rain fails to fall the growth of seeds are badly affected which results in low harvest. The healthy growth of the seeds depends upon the good rain only. This is why Santal people observes ‘Jantal festival’ to pray and to beg for good rain and healthy crop.


Unlike other festival ‘Jantal’ is observed in quite different way which is rather more of praying or begging than celebrating like rest of the festivals. Santal believes ‘Marangburu’ to be responsible to cause rain. So all the rituals during this are begged and prayed in name of ‘Marangburu’. ‘Dihiri’ the custodian of the hill decides the date with consultation of villagers and further the following day, people gather to perform this, they bring rams, goats, raw rice and other required things  that are to be handed over to the Dihiri so that he could perform his rituals. Dihiri puts sindur on the forehead of the animals and make them eat raw rice which is placed inside the ‘Khond’. Later the animals are sacrificed and their meat is cooked with rice and is served between all villagers.

Hariar Festival

The meaning of ‘Hariar’ in Santali is ‘Green’. This festival is observed when the mother earth is covered with green crops in the cornfield, green grass in the grazing field and green leaves in the hill top, the Santal people observe their 'Hariar Festival'. This is observed on account of paddy plantation. On the festive day, during the worship Santal asks for blessing and healthy successful crop.
This festival falls in the month of Ashar (July).Hariar festival is also known as ‘Ashariya festival’in some part of the Santal.
With the consultation of villagers and village officials Manjhi has to do decide the festive day.On this day Naike worship Jaher Ayo, Lita Gosain Maneka Turuika in the Jaher Garh and offer them the fowls. While offering, the Naike invokes as "Here by small fowl and broken rice that we are offering you on account of Harior festival, should be accepted gladly. There should be good rain so that paddy field will be flooded with water. From one shoot let twelve shoots come out. Harmful insects, scorpion, snakes that live in the field should be driven out. There should be no ache of belly or headache to any individual during the plantation. There should be no danger to cows, caves and oxen while roaming in the forest" . Kudam Naike peforms his Bul Mayam ceremony for Simasaley Bonga. After-the village feast is over, all along with Naike come back to the village. In the evening people worship Hapram Bangaka at their respective home by offering them the rice beer. The rest of the beer is enjoyed by all the members of the family, At night Lagne dance is performed by young boys and girls under the supervision of Jagmanjhi.

Magh Festival

This is the first festival of the year. It falls in the month of Magh ( January to February). There are twelve months in a year such as 1. Magh, 2.Fagun, 3. Chait, 4.Baisakh, 5.Jheth, 6.Asharh, 7. Shan, 8. Bhadar, 9.Dasain, 10. Sahorai, 11. Aghan, 12.Poush
Santali year starts from the month of Magh. The word Magh is a combination of two words i.e. Mag+ liar. which means to make way by cutting down the obstacles. So magh festival is a very important festival when the activities of human being are concerned as it makes way for so many activities.
On the festive day every house of the village is well cleaned by the respective house wife. Naike , Kudam Naike village officials and the villagers take their purificatory bath in the morning and then go to Jaher Garh. Naike takes with him vermilion, raw rice, rice powder, methy, oil, milk etc. in a winnowing fan . Godet supplies him the sacrificial-fowls to be offered to their God and Goddess and rice, salt, turmeric required for the village feast. He collects it from the villagers and villagers offer him very gladly.
In Jaher Garh there is a Jaher than where Jaher Ayo Lita Closain,Maneka Turuiki, the three prime God and Goddess are placed. Besides them, other Simasale bongas Outskirt God and Goddess) are placed in the separate place. Naike worships the three prime God and Goddess and Kudam Naike worships the other. Some of the Simasale bongas require a few drops of human blood for their satisfaction. Naike cannot offer them his blood. If he does, Joher Ayo will not accept any kind of offer from the Naike. So kudam Naike does the job. This is called Bul Mayam ceremony.
Naike follows some work order during the worship of Bongas in Joher. First he cleans the front space of each bonga and covers it with a thin paste of cowdung. Then he sprinkles over the bonga some holy water and milk followed by anointing with oil and methy. This is called the Holy Bath of Bongas. Then Naike makes a khond on the cleaned place.This khond is nothing but a circle made of rice powder which represents the earth.Within the khond a hand full of raw rice is kept. Then he brings a fowl and makes it pure by putting some.

Paata Dance and Song

PAATA is also one of the famous dances in the santal society. It is like a regional meet of santals, because all other dances of society are held inside the village premises under the supervision of village level official like jogmajhi, but this dance is held outside the village under the supervision of Pargana (Regional head).
The PAATA dance is held once in a year in a region and a good number of male and female of different villages take part in the dance.
The word 'PAATA' has been derived from the word pante, means line by line. Both male and female dance hand in hand in line by line as one line is not at all sufficient to accommodate all the participants of a region and so numbers of lines are made one after another for the convenience of dance. In a Akhra minimum four to five such lines are made where each line can accommodate maximum fifty participants. In a field the number of such type of Akhra becomes not less than four . In day time the number becomes less but at night times it becomes many fold.
PAATA SONG:
Kulhi kulhi Jate chhilo.
Jhinga nari pasi lagilogo
Jhinga nari guchate ghuchate
Sisu chhanda hate dharilogo.

Theme:
While walking through the village, I ( young girl) get puzzled in a creeper. While trying to get rid of the puzzle, a young boy reached there and caught hold of me.
Most of the PAATA songs are composed in mixed language i.e santali and Bengali. This shows that the PAATA dance is a recent origin. It has no deep root in the society. So its importance in the society is going down and down. Now a days in most of the regions the PAATA (lance is totally abandoned.

Dantha Dance and Song


The word dantha means “ dan and tha” i.e. jump and fight. So dantha  is one kind of fighting dance. In this day only male can take part. As per the oral history of Santal, this dance is as old as Ramayana. When Raja Ramachandra conquered over King Ravan and brought back devi Sita, all his subjects became mad out of joy. Santal people became too and started dancing. From the way of dance and the material used i.e. bow , arrow and sword during dance any body can guess that this dance is no doubt is a fighting dance and the santal people were the true shoulders of Raja Ramachandra. Dantha dance also follows certain- rule and regulation.

  1. In this dance only male can take part.
  2. Flows, arrows-and swords must be in the hand' and the peacock feather be in the head and this peacock feather is nothing but a sign of conquere .
  3. It is held during the saharai festival only which falls after Bijoy Dashani or Dushahara. Other times it is forbidden.
  4. For this dantha dance, dantha songs are there. These are all about Ramayana. These songs are sung only during dantha dance and other times it is for-bidden.

During Saharai festival, a separate type of songs are sung at home. These are called Saharai songs. Some of the songs are full of pleasure and some are of deep sorrow. So to say. Saharai songs are the cross net of pleasure and pathos, which means that during the Raw Ravan fighting some people got back their own men for which their hearts became full of pleasure and some lost their own man which arose a deep sorrow in their hearts,
 Like dantha dance and song , the Saharai songs are the songs of history which proves that santal people- had helped Raja Ramchandra to conquere over Ravana to get back devi Sita.
DANTHA SONGS.
Dharamero Akharare,
0 koy tumday rui boyha,
0 koy tamak -e rui.?
Dharamero Akhara re
Okoyah lipur sade boyha
Okoyah ghugura sade,?
Dharamero Akharare
Ram tumdah-e-rui boyha
Lakhan tamak-e-rui.
Dharamero Akharare

Ram-a lipur sade boyha
Lakhan-a ghugura sade
Dharamero Akharare
Dharamero Akharare boyha
Ram tumdah-e-rui boyha
Lakhan tamak-e rui
Ram-a Lipur sade boyha
Lakhan-a ghugura sade.

Meaning: - In dharam akhara Who drums on tumdah"? In Dharam Akhara Ram drums on tumdah Laxman drums on Tamak In Dharam akhara Whose tinkling armlet sounds ? Whose jigling bells sound ? in Dharam Akhara Ram's tinkling armlet sounds, Laxman jigling bells sounds.

Rinjha Dance and Song


‘Karam Bonga’ is believed to be the God of wealth in Sanal society. He is worshiped in the month of September i.e. during the period when paddy plants get maturity to give out the ears. During the time of worship, the santals both male and female dance round the God in order to make him pleased so that God will bless every family of the village to be capable enough to give in credit something to somebody. The word Rinja says so . So the dance is known as Rinja dance. This dance is one kind of sacred dance. So,  male and female dance separately in the same platform. While dancing they sing different kinds of praising songs of Karam Bonga. These songs are known as Rinja songs.
Rinja dance and songs are forbidden in other times.


RINJA SONG
Manag dobon er ke-a
iri ar gunduli,
Ina tayambon er ke-a
 hulu ar kada,
Ina tayam bon er ke- a
Janara ar Ghangra,
Ina tayam bon er ke-a
Dahire rambara
Ashar banga muluk en
Badre hulu dareen Bad baihar balge hariar en
Dua rebon bati
 Seba yabon dharam

Theme :-
We ( the santal people ) first sow cereal like Eri and gunduli, then paddy and Millet, then Maize and Barbati and then Black gram in the field. As soon as rain sets in, all the food grains including grown paddy well and the field becomes green. Let us welcome and worship the God of wealth by lighting the each door with light.

Dahar Dance and Song

Dahar dance as its name indicates is a dance form which is performed on the road(dahar). This dance is performed from the month of Magh and ends with baha celebration in the month of fagun.

There is a tale associated with the origin of this dance, which says ‘ There was a time when santal tribes were busy in fighting with other races for their survival. To conduct raids santal fighters were used to be away from villages and during that time security of the villages were in the hands of womens. During day time it was easy to be vigilant but at night it was hard to be vigilant. Sometimes it used to get boring so to pass time and remain awakewomens used to dance and sing songs at the road side. So this way Dahar dance and song came into existence. This dance is performed by women only without any musical instrument.

Dahar song

Otma kurum hurum hale serma barang barang)
2. SarjarnSaha ho Matkamgele,
MulukBonga ho BahaBonga,
Hisid Hoy ho sandhan hoy,
JiwiNawain ho Harmaynawai,
Ant disharn ho HesejSekej,
JiwiHarmo ho legejlegej.

Baha Dace and Song


‘Baha’ in Santali means flower. Baha is one of the main festival of santals. After the harsh winter when the spring season arrives, trees starts getting laden with flowers, bees starts buzzing from one tree to another and the atmosphere is filled with chipirings of birds. To celebrate this beautiful transformation in nature Baha festival is celebrated. This is the time when sal tree also starts bearing flowers. Sal trees are considered sacred by the santal community.
Baha festival is celebrated inside the premises of Jaherthan where men and women dances separately in tunes of ‘Tamak’ and ‘Tundah’. Bahasereng(song) is also sung in the praise of almighty during the festival. Sal flowers are first offered to the almighty and then distributed among the people.

Baha Song

Jai GosainTeherjdoNaikedoy
Num kana do
Jai GosainTehejdoNaikedoy
Nalkah kana ho
Ketetedoynalkah kana
SekejSekejsade kana ho
Ruileyruileyruiley kana
Tokaghatyredoynalkah
TokaGhatyredoynalkah kana ho
Jaigosainsosoghatyredoy
Num kana ho
Jai gosainmeralghatyredoy
Nalkahhosor ho
Sekejsekejsade kana ho
Ruileyruileyruiley kana

MEANING-
This song is about the purificatory bath that the Naike(village priest) takes on the first day of the festival.
Todaynaike is taking his holy bath, he is cleaning his body with milk on the banks of Soso river.
He is cleaning his head with curd in the Meralghat
While taking bath in the water a fine whirling sound is produced on the surface of the water which is then carried along across the ghat with fine breeze.

Dong Dance and Song


The word 'dong' is derived from the word don ie. jump. So dong dance is performed by jumping only. It is a very much laborious dance. It is held only in happy occasions like marriage and birthday where everybody becomes mad out of joy. Even old man and woman dance hand in hand with jumping .During marriage ceremony like duarbapla, the dance becomes so competitive between the bride and bridegroom party that it continues for days together without stop.
Donq dance follows certain rules and regulations
1. It is performed only in happy occasion like marriage and birth day.ln other occasion even festive occasion, it is forbidden.
2. Unmarried young boys and girls can dance hand in hand freely, but with married lady, it is forbidden.
3. Dharam Akhra is not the only place for this dance, it can be held in open space owned by the family concerned.
4. As it is a very laborious and hard dance there is a periodical interval for half an hour or so . During this period, young boys in a group sing the dong song with jumping in front of the young girls standing nearby. The girls also repeat the song in same manner. In the dancing field there are atleast ten groups of young boys and girls are seen singing the songs of different tunes with different kinds of jump, which creates a colorful scene in the field.
5. Dong dance is a dance of masses where not less than hundred (note necessary) male and female take part. The number of drums is also more proportionatly. Minimum one pair of Tumdah ( Madal ), one pair of Chadchadi and one pair of Tamak ( Nagara ) is used in the dance. During the marriage between two big villages, the number of participants becomes not less than five hundred and so also the number of drums. The sound becomes so high and wide that no birds can take rest in the village. The weightage of marriage is measured, in case of Santals from the number of days that birds are unable to take rest.
DONG SONG
Seday tahen Kana jugdo tahen Kana
Gadia Sula leka hariyal
Jharna mundudah leka rilamala
Nahak seter ena Kulikal jug
Newao nipsage sahar en
Hinsa suyage sarel ena

Meaning: - There was a time when era was as green as the grass of the pond as clear as the water of fine spring. Now is a era of Kalijug Quantum of quarel has become many fold and the violence beyond limit.

Langde Dance and Song

Every Santal village has a specific common ground or location  called ‘Akhra’ where villagers,
gather where they dance together and where common social activity like discussion, singing are done
Lagne dance is performed in the akhra. The word 'Lagne means ' Langa Lagay Renang ane’ i.e. Medicine to overcome the tiredness. The Santals are very aborious people irrespective of sex. Generally, agriculture is their main occupation. Both male and female spend most of their day time in the field. So in the evening some amusement is required for them for relaxing the whole day’s tire. And they do it by singing and dancing. Meanwhile they also have their drink ‘Ricebeer’ ‘Handi’ for little hangover.
When there is no specific reason to dance and sing , like other festivals have. Langne is meant for that
So it has no season. It can be performed at any day whenever it is felt to celebrate.
Generally, Lagne dance is performed at night after the dinner . Both male and female take part in the dance. The percentage of young participants is more than the other .
Lagne dance is not at all a laborious dance. So to say., it is a light dance. The movement of legs along with the body rhythmically is the main feature of the dance. So the word " Lagne" is asumed to have been derived from the word legem' means slowly and rhythimically . The pitch of the songs is also very light. In this way, this is how they cheers the tiredness and then get to sleep and next day with new energy they get to work on their daily life.
LAGNE SONG
Noa jibon rasi jobn
Noa joban ado bam nama
Enej jong me sereng jong me
Raska jong me
Noa jiboan ado bam nama

Theme:-
The life is full of pleasure. Once it goes out, cannot come back again. So dance,sing and be happy

Itut Bapla

From ancient, Santal society has belief of considering sindur as Bonga Baha i.e flower of God and Goddess. Marriage rituals in Santal is finished in ‘Sindurdan’ so the use of Sindur is very sacred and important to them. It can be said that using of Sindur is a sacred way to transform an ordinary woman to a Godly woman after which she finds a place in the society as true woman ready to take responsibilities of her family. Sindur on her head is signifies his dignity. Divorcee women and widow don’t get sindur on their head.

So as per the Santals, one gets to get married once in a lifetime, even though under some circumstances second marriage is also allowed but women don’t get sindur on her head. Therefore importance of Sindur is never ignored in Santal society.

Interestingly, If a boy puts sindur on a girl's forehead privately or publicly ,it is also granted as marriage. But it involves the consent from both side. It is a punishable offence in Santal society If a boy is found to put sindur on girl’s head forcefully or against her will. 
When marriage between a couple doesn’t seem to be possible due to reluctance of their parents and even if both girl and boy decide to marry each other and so boy puts Sindur in girl’s head privately or publicly, the Santals accept them as a married couple joyfully. And further, village officials convince their parents to accept them and celebrate their new life long relationship with joy and dance. This whole thing in Santal is known as ‘Itut Marriage’.

Sangha Bapla

Santal believes that widow re-marriage is essential because men and women both are equal to each other in each and every field and most importantly, a woman is as much entitled to happiness as a man is. She also needs a partner who supports her through the ups and downs in life. Staying happy is the birth right of each and every citizen and women are no exception.

As per the Santal, the marriage is nothing but a fusion of two souls to one for all times to come in this world or in after world and once the soul gets fused with other, it become amalgamated and no fusion takes place with other in any condition. The soul of a ‘Ra.ndi’ (widow) is fused one and so no fusion takes place with it. Therefore the marriage of a Ra.ndi is not a marriage in true sense but a formal one which on santali term is known as sangha (support) .

Sangha marriage is a mariage of a widow and it is in the society from the very beginning. -Santali philosophy says, a lady becomes widow not due to her bad character but due to her misfortune only. So she has got a prestige in the family as well as in the society. A teen aged widow without having son or daughter enjoys the full share of her husband till her death in the family. If some body from the same family comes forward to marry her , he can enjoy the share in the family. Under this traditional lore, younger brother of deceased man, generally come forward to marry her in order to give her support in pulling on. Sangha marriage is quite different from other marriage. It ends in Baha saonha, not in Sindurdan. According to this marriage, bridegroom does not smear the sindur on bride's forehead. He first puts the sindur in the Gulachi flower and then put it in her hair above the left ear. The marriage of a divorced girl also ends in Baha Saonha only. This Baha Saonha marriage is an arrangement for a widow or a divorcee to place them in the society as a human being.

Kondel Napam

As a tribal, freedom is the born instinct of Santal, this is how they have made their society a society where male and female are benefitted with equal rights. Even in modern civilization we still talk about equal rights and still in whole world, fight for freedom, fight for expression and issue of equal right is still fought on. Instead, Santal boys and girls have full liberty to experience such things like talking, dancing, gathering in any festive occasion. Beside this liberty, they have responsibility to take care of limits that no boy or girl should molest or tease each other in any manner. They may have fun, but they have to take care of limits and comforts of each other.

If a boy and girl are found missing together for a night from family or group, and next day they are found together, few questions are asked to them about their relationship and being missing . If they accept their love relationship, they may be declared as husband and wife. And later on their marriage is fixed. This type marriage where couples are found missing together or found indulged in physical relationship
Is called ‘Kondel Napam’ which means marriage by ‘Intercourse’.

This is also a kind of love marriage where boys and girls get away from home, for few days they live together. And later when everybody comes to know about it, inspite of the disagree of parents for their relationship the village officials ask boy and girl if they admit their relationship and want to spend their whole life together then they are declared as husband and wife.

‘Kondel Napam’ manages to play an important role in the free society such like Santals. It is kind of moral potential force which safeguard the rights and moral character of girl that no boy can get away from her or leave her after physical relationship.

‘Chhadui’ a kind of ‘divorce’ between unmarried couple, actually when a girl is abonded by her boyfriend.
The word chhadui is derived from the word chhada or chhudai which means to be away from woman folk. This is called 'Ganade ,n:ram' or crossing the thresh hold of the door. This is treated as a major misconduct of female which is equal to divorced woman.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Gardi Jawai : The One where boy stays at bride's house .


“Bity em Beta Nam” is a very  old proverb in the santal society which means if you give daughter you will get son” or in the other sense if you have daughter you have son. So, difference is not so much in between boy and girl in the Santals society. No Santal become so much unhappy having daughter only because he may get easily a young and handsome boy as Gardi jawain for his daughter. The word ghar means distress, Gardi jawain means Ghar din lagit jawain. i.e. jawain for distress day.
This is also a negotiable marriage. The difference of marriage with that of other negotiable marriage is that the negotiation starts from bride side. The Raibarij guides the parents of bridegroom to brides house for Arah duarnel . i.e. to see the landed property and judge the Ere. If both the things are satisfactory, the marriage is settle. On the fixed day bariyats from bride’s house go directly to the bride’s groom’s house and bring the bride groom. The Sindurdan ceremony is held in bride’s house. The bride groom smears the Sindur on forehead of bride. No bride price is required, rather some amount of money are given to the bridegroom’s parent as compensation. All the expenditure of the marriage is borne  by the brides parents.
After the marriage, the boy stays in girl’s house. He, then assits his father in law in all sorts of works includeing cultivation, In case the father in law is too old to work, he himself does all the work. He takes all kinds of responsibilities regarding the management of the house  and ultimately becomes the sole custodian of the family like that of a son. Only one social bar is imposed on him is that he can not perform the last rite of his father and mother in law after their death as the belongs to separate claim or sept. So, the last rite is performed by their agnets and for that some amount of land is to be given to them before the gardi jawain enters in to the house. This provision is nothing but a arrangement for cordial living of new comer with the surrounding i.e agnets.

Tunki Dipil : Type of Santhal Marriage


Tunki means ‘small basket’ while ‘Dipil’ means ‘bearing’, therefore Tunkidipil means- ‘Bearing a small basket on head’ i.e. “A less expensive marriage which is easy to afford”. So this type of marriage is performed in when family wish to take up the marriage in less expensive way and less rituals.
This is also negotiable marriage. Though it is settle stage wise like that of Sange Bariyat and Duar Bapla, The expenditure on each stage is curtailed very much, like number visitors during AhreBahre and Arah Duar nel becomes limited and no feast is arranged for them. There is no concession for bride price and brother due as it is same for all type of marriage. On the following day, five to seven bariyats go to bride’s village. They meet the Majhi and then Majhi along with the two village officials guide the bariyats to bride house where they are welcome and they handed over the ‘Gonom’ to bride’s parent. The bariyats are pleased with good meal. Then they come back with the bride and sindurdan ceremony is performed afterwards. Villagers enjoy the dong dance with pleasure and cheers.

Hadam Bariyat : Type of Santal Marriage


Unlike Sange bariyat marriage, Hadam Bariyat is about the participation of limited numbers of bariyat.  Marriage as one of the most important social institution in Human life which binds two opposite sex with tie of husband and wife which brings an occasion to celebrate and cheers their life long journey that they are going to have, so it becomes
Though in Santals, marriage is not just limited between two families, instead it forms a relation between two villages. To enjoy this grand ceremony, all the villagers participate to be Bariyat. As a result of which the cost of the marriage becomes more. 
                                                                         But what happens in Hadam Bariyat the number of people taking participation in bariyat is reduced to very low. This kind of marriage takes place between two family who can’t afford ‘Sange  Bariyat Marriage’ Since this decision is taken by the ‘Hadam’ or senior family members to maintain the less expenditure on marriage, only a few members of the family take part in bariyat to go to the bride’s village. They begin the journey in such time that they arrive at bride’s village towards evening. So to avoid the lunch as an expenditure on fooding.
The bariyats go straight to Majhi’s residence. Majhi with his officials welcomes them all and enquire about their inconvenience if any, during their journey. If the answer is positive then everybody becomes happy. Then the bariyats are guided to bride’s house by the village officials. Gonom (bride price) is handed over to brides parent. Then the bariyats are pleased with good dinner. At about midnight the bariyats returned back to bridegroom village along with the bride. The next morning when bariyat and bridegroom get back to home ‘Sindurdan’ ceremony is performed. Then dance and music start. All the villagers from young to old participate in the dance.
                                      

Duar Bapla or Dol Bapla: Type of Santhal Marraige


DUAR BAPLA OR DOL BAPLA


Like Sange Bariyat , Duar Bapla is also a topmost, prestigious and costly marriage in the society. So it is seen only in rich family. According to the system of this marriage, bride groom along with the bariyats including male and female go to bride's village with all sorts of drums. There, the villagers receive them with pleasure and place them in a suitable place like mango
groves just outside the village. After while the village officials come to them and enquire about their inconvenience If any, during their journey. If the answer is positive, everybody becomes happy. Then song starts from both the sides and nearby sky becomes full of joy. Young boys and girls of the village with different drums like tumdah. tamak and chad chadi come to the bariyats to welcome them and guide them in to the village. While guiding, drumming and song competition are held on the road. Young boys of both side drum their drumming instruments with different pause and pasture and young girls sing different kind of dong songs to have a win over the other. Within the sphere of competition, the marriage procession proceeds up to the resting room. This is called " daram dah ". Some times daramdah competition becomes so high that the nearby sky and birds become restless. At the dawn, Sindurdan ceremony is performed in front of bride's house. Then the bride and bride groom are taken inside the home and a joint meal is served to them. Morning breakfast and mid day lunch of the bariyats are taken care of by the villagers. But the expenditure is borne by the bride groom parents only.
In this marriage, no Binty or Bariyat sereng heprao is held. Only the dance competition is performed in the afternoon. Both the party dance separately with great pleasure . Young boy’s and girl’s of near by villages come in great number to participate in the dance and women with babies to enjoy the same. Thus in a dance minimum gathering becomes not less than three thousand.
In the evening Gidichumauna ceremony is performed in the courtyard. All the relatives of britie side bless the couple and offer them some gift according to their might. At about midnight the bariyats along with the bride and bridegroom are bid farewell by the villagers.


Ahre Bahre Nel : Santhal Marriage


AHRE BAHRE NEL(Outward Inspection)

This “Ahre Bahre Nel” is a duty of girls party. Before going to deep in to the settlement of marriage, girl’s parents want to have some idea about the status of the family, hereditary disease if any, health and physique of the boy. These are the main factor which the Santal people consider most and are very difficult to know from the man and family concerned. In order to know the above, girl’s father, uncle and other superiors of the family, go the near by haat of the boy’s village with the raibar and while coming back they come through that village and see the boy’s house.
External view of the house is sufficient to guess the status of the family.To have more information regarding their family background, they meet Jog Manjhi, their relatives if any are in that village. Thus they collect information, outwardly regarding their family. This is called Ahre Bahre nel or outward inspection.


Raibar : The Most Important One in Santhal Marriage


RAIBAR AND RAIBARIJ
Marriage is such a thing in the society which has no direct approach, though every parent from his very core of the heart wants his son or daughter to be married sooner or later. So, a medium is required through which one can convey his opinion openly. In santal society ‘Raibar is such medium and one who practice raibar is known as 'Raibarij'. The word Raibarij means a person who can balance the opinion of both the sides . Some times Raibarij is called as Dahar Dhulire Dhonga Laraoij i.e a man who can sail the boat in the dust. So 'Raibarij is a very capable man who can motivate both the parties in such a way that the settlement of marriage becomes easier and successful.
First step of marriage is to select the suitable and efficient man as raibarij. Any parent who want a good girl for his son , express this feeling in front of Raibarij and Raibarij finds the girl of their choice from paata, weekly haat,festive occasion,community dance or through other reliable sources. If the girl is up to their choice, Raibarij with prior intimation to girl’s parent visit with the parents of the boy and their near relatives go with the Raibarij to see the girl. If their choice coincides with that of boy , they convey the message of their choice to girl's parent as well as the Majhi, the village head of that village. Once the village head comes to know that some negotiation is under progress for a particular girl, he never allows others to negotiate for the same girl unless and until the previous one is cancelled. This is called as Baha Chiya i.e. Finding Bride.



Atu Mone Hor | Godet


ATU MONE HOR
It is a assembly of five men . Generally experienced and old man of the village adourn the seat of Mone hor, but they are not the fixed persons. in a meeting any five among the presentee can be taken as a mone hor. Majhi, the village head always takes the opinion of Atu Mone hor before administering the verdict. So it plays a very important role .

GODET
The word Godet is derived from the word ‘Goad’ which means to bow down the head. So godet is person who always carries out the message of Majhi. He acts as the Majhi's messenger. He calls the villagers at his call.  Besides this, he collect sacrificial fowls for bonga and rice, salt turmeric for village feast and helps Jogmajhi in social function like marriage birthday and funeral day.
Godet has also no such remuneration. One bundle of paddy from each family in a year is offered to him as a gift. But the respect shown by the villagers is his true remuneration.



Naike : Village Priest | Santal


NAIKE-

The word Naike means”Nai-e-kamiya okoy” i.e the person who can serve the best. The santals believe that health, wealth, safety,happiness of the village come from the blessing of the Bongas and Naike is the man who parse that blessing from them through his duty. So, Naike is also an important man to the village. So to say, he is a spiritual head of the village.
As Naike is kind of priest, his selection is done by the men but mostly by the bongas themselves. To select the Naike, the villagers gather at Jaher Garh. Three winnowing fans with raw rice are handed over to three persons who have got power to possess the Bonga in trance. Then a villagers invokes Marang Buru, Jaher Ayo, Maneke Turuika and request them to choose their Naike. Each Bonga possesses a man and this is when villager declare him to be Naike.

Naike is responsible for the worshipping of God and Goddess in Jaher Garh. He worships God and Goddess only in festive occasion in the presence of the villagers. Sacrificial fowls, rice for village feast are obtained from the villagers and other materials like , methi, sindur, rice powder, oil are arranged by him.
Naike also live a common life like other villager. He also go to field for crop. When festival’s worshipping are not around he lives like common man, only when his duty is needed he act as Naike and do worshipping. He has also no remuneration. In olden days one or two acres of land were being awarded to him. Now-a-day no lands are awarded. Honor  from the villagers is the only remuneration to him.

Majhi : Village Headman | Santhal



MAJHI-

The world Majhi means “ Manang re jagha anij i.e. the person who is always ahead” . So Majhi is kind of foreman of the villagers. In other sense, he is a head of the village. Usually a person who is well aware and experienced about the customary laws and who is impartial in judgement, honest, kind and noble to the villagers, expert in argument, efficient in motivation, also sound economically can be a Majhi. He is the sole authority of the village administration, welfare and cultural affairs. When a dispute arises or tribal offence is committed, he summons the village meeting and presides over the discussion. He begs the views of Atu Monehor i.e. 5 members from the village and announces its decision. In case of major criminal offence, he must arrest the offender and inform the authorities. If the cause of meeting is a civil dispute such as divorce, forcible marriage etc. both the parties explain their cases, other villagers give their views and the Majhi announces the decision. If anyone is found guilty, is punished. The punishment varies according to the nature and range of offence. If the accused does not honor the decision of the Majhi or disrespect the punishment, then Majjhi puts a branch of Neem tree in front of his residence. This is called Neem Dharua. This signifies the non co-operation of all the villagers with the man concerned.
Majhi is also a custodian of village properties. All the abandoned holdings, waste land are in his charge. The time when the santals were the rulers in their land. Majhi had the power to distribute the cultivable lands to the villagers.. Majhi is not only the custodian of the village properties,he is a custodian of villagers life too.
If any epidemic breakout in the village, he calls for meeting and arrange its medical measure through Guru i.e. village doctors. If necessary he calls the Naike and the Naike finds its prevention through Bongas i.e. God and Godess.

Majhi is really a foreman of the village. He  is the first man to attend the marriage birth day and funeral ceremony of the villagers with his village officials. He employs jog Majhi to arrange necessary persons to help the man concerned in the ceremony. No ceremony in the village can be held without invitation to majhi. If any body does so that is not accepted by the villagers or he can not ask for any kind of help, co-operation from the villagers. Majhi also see that the annual festivals are duly observed. Timely, he calls for the village meeting and fix the suitable date for the festival with consultation of villagers.

Majhi live common life like other villager. He go to field for cultivation. He doesn’t get any special attention or act from villagers.
Majhi has no remuneration. Only the service rendered by him commends his pride. Everyone calls him as “Majhi Baba” i.e father of the village.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Disom Level Administration


DISOM LEVEL ADMINSTRATION

Disom is the top most unit embracing 5 to 10 pirs. Desh Pargana is the head of Disom. He is also elected personnel and elected by the Pir Parganas once in every five years. The cases of disputes which are not decided in Pir level are brought to the notice of desh Pargana and Pargana decides the cases with the consultation of Pir Parganas and Manjhi.
Desh pargana is vested with the power to impose upon the accused both physical and monetary punishment and in case of drastic social offence like bitlaha. (Woman having sexual relationship with other caste. ) the accused is banished from the society. Desh Pargana has got a power to nominate some more parganas who can assist him in maintenance of law and order in the Disom. They are called as Ghat pargana. The word ghat comes from the word ghaty. which means danger place. In the Disom there are some ghats where huge gathering of people takes place every year. In such places , there is a possibility of breach of law and order. The duties of Ghat Parganas are to maintain the law and order in the ghats. Among the Ghats, one is river ghat where immersion of bone flower of deceased take place every year in the month of January and another ghat is the place where Jatra Patta ( dancing festival) takes place for days together. For one ghat there is one pargana . He makes a temporary office in the ghat during the occasion. This office acts as a Mobile Court .
Pargana has got power to punish a man immediately if he is found to be guilty in the occasion. He has also power to debar a person from immersion of bone flower of his kid and kin if his village panchait brings some allegation against him.
Desh pargana has no such remuneration. He gets some percentage of money collected as punishment from the accused and the rest is divided among the pargana and public.

Pir Pargana | Pir Dihiri

Pir Pargana :

When 50-60 villages consists together a ‘Pir’ is formed, it is upper unit of group of village. Pargana is the head of pir. This is why he is called as Pir Pargana. He is a elected personnel of the pir. He is elected by the majhi of the belonging villages , once in every five years.
He is a adminstrative head of the pir. Undecided village level disputes, disputes among the villagers of different villages , Public grievances on drastic social offence , are brought to the notice to the pir pargana and pargana decides the case with the consultation of majhi of other villages. The accused are punished. Pir Pargana is vested with the power to impose only monetary punishment on the accused.
Pargana has no such salary. Sometime he gets some portion of the money collected as punishment from the accused as  to bear few expenses of his and the rest is divided among the manjhi and villager . The  money is very less in comparison to his service. The honor he receives from the public as Pir Pargana is the only pride of his service. He too lives common life like other villagers.


Pir Dihiri :


Dihiri is nominated person of the ‘Pir’. He is responsible for the welfare of the people living in the ‘Pir’. He worships God and Goddess of local hills who seem to be responsible for causing rain and warding off the epidemic.  He has to responsibility to act as priest during Jantal Festival.
Dihiri has no such remuneration. Only in the eve of festive occasions, he and his family members collect rice, salt, oil, vegetable from the villagers as festive food.

Composition of Santal Atu: Village


Every village big or small comprises of following establishment, without which a santal village cannot be imagined of:

JAHER GARH:
Every village has a place of worship called jahergarh. It is actually a small patch of forest mainly consist of sal trees. At the centre of the jaher under the sal tree a shade is made which is known as jaherthan.InJaher than Marang Buru, Jaher Ayo, Maneka and Turika are worshipped. Other then these God and GodessSimasalebonga are also worshiped at separate place inside Jaher. Jaher is believed to be the dwelling place of Gods therefore it is considered sacred. Except during festivals, womens are not allowed inside Jaher premises.

GOSANE
Gosane is a small hut built in front of the residence of the Majhi. It is built the day the village was set up. The word Gosane has come from the word Gosain, this word is used in honour of Majhi. After the death of Majhi a stone is placed inside the hut in his memory. No of stones inside the hut tells us about the age of the village. Gosane is a sacred place so it is kept neat and clean by spouse of the Majhi. Every morning it is polished with cowdung and its roof is changed once in a year during Baha festival by the family members of the Majhi family.

DHARAM AKHRA
It is a open space in the middle of the village where villagers could gather during meeting. All the meetings and important decision are taken in the DharamAkhra after consolting village elders.

MARGHATY
Marghaty is a burial ground of the village. It is located at the outskirt of the village. It is restricted area and villagers avoid this place.


ADMINISTRATION
For better administration a santal area is divided into following units.
Village
Pir
Dishom


Hor Dhorom : How religion to Santal is different


RELIGION (DHOROM)
The name of the religion of santals is SARNA. No Binty or folk lore says about the founder of the religion or the actual time periods of its origin. But the rites, rituals, formalities handed down from ancestor to ancestors over the ages in the name of religion which give some clear indication that the Sarnaism is very  old religion of the world and older than the other religions of India.

CONCEPTION OF RELIGION
When did the conception of religion came to mankind is very difficult to say but some idea about its etiology, we may have, if we analyze the meaning of Dhorom which is Santali term of religion. The word Dhorom originates from the words DOHA and URUM. Doha means”Duh daha reyah har” i.e. the path of self protection and urum means to recognize or understand. So the religion as per the santal is well recognized experimented path through which one can achieve self protection or self purification. If this be the meaning of dharma. One can say that the conception of dharma i.e. religion to mankind is as old as man himself. It is revealed from Darwin theory of evolution of human being either the fact that every creature on this earth has to struggle hard with the other for its existence and so the human.

History says “when man took his origin in this earth there was thick forest around him and in the forest there were different kinds of animals,nmany of whom were far more superior to man in shape, size and strength. But man was able to subdue them all and befitted the condition of his survival. This was possible only when man came to know how to protect himself. In order to do so, man chose the cave, a confined place (now home) as his shelter and se fire in front of the cave by which he was able to save himself from the attack of other animals and then he attacked them according to his convenience. He used the different weapons in different time as the attacking device. First, he used the weapon made of stone, then the weapon made of wood (bow and arrow) and  then weapon made of metal (axe, showed). With these weapon the man was able to attack the animals safely and successfully. Thus the man was able to establish his existence the means of self protection was the first and foremost device.
So, as per the santals Dhorom (religion) is first and foremost essential part of life. So to say it is a part and parcel of life without which no existence of life can be dreamt of. So Sarnaism is no doubt as old as man himself. This is as per the analysis  of the word Dhorom. If we analyse the meaning of Sarna itself, we may also come to the same conclusion. The word Sarna means forest. So the association of man with the forest is as old as man himself.

Santal Pargana : A Turn in Santal Community

After leaving champa gar dishom, the Santals again engaged themselves in search of plain and fertile land and came to  Gangra Beda i.e Gang Gara Beda (ganga river valley). It was also a plain and fertile land, so they settled immediately. But they could not stay for longer time ,because the dikus came again. By that time Dikus had become more powerful than Santals. And as peace loving community did not want to involve itself into war with them.So they did not resist them because of which they had to move further towards the south following the down stream valley of river Ganga and ultimately they reached Chutia Nagar i.e. Chota Nagpur plateau. In this way the Santals were totally driven out from the valley of river Ganga. So no Binty says regarding the establishment of any kind of civilization in the Gang gara Beda, rather it says the condition of santals was very very measurable there, because where ever the santals cleared up the Jungles for their inhabitation and cultivation the dikus came in. So they could not get any chance to settledown properly and permanently.

Therefore their economic condition became very wretched. Binty says “when the Santals reached the chotanagpur plateau, they had no food to eat. Only they had their lives with them (sutuh sumung jiwi).  The chotanagpur plateau was not a plain land. It was full of high hills all around. The santals settled down here and there where ever some what plain and cultivable lands were available in between hills or at the down of the hills. Anyway, by will of their hard labor, they managed to convert the ups and downs of the land into the cultivable plain land and produced different crops. This land is nothing but Santal pargana area of today situated in Jharkhand.

Life of the Santal in Chhotanagpur plateau was quite different from Sasang Beda and Champa Garh Disom.
In Sansang beda and champa garh disom. Most of the people were living in garh. i.e nagar or town. They were ruled by their own king kishu rapaj. But  Chota Nagpur platuea, almost all the people lived the at village. The word ‘atu’ derived from the ‘ot’ which means holding capacity of an area. As the plateau was up and down with high hills all around the people did not get suitable lands at stretch for their habitation and cultivation, as a result of which they were bound to live here and there according to the holding capacity of an area. i.e Cultivable land available . Thus they started living in Atu i.e village, when the holding capacity of an atu became inadequate in comparison to the distance from the other so they lived there. In this way the Santal  made different village in different places. Under the circumstance their way of life and mode of administration took a new turn. Instead of feudalism, they adopted democratic socialism . Every village was taken as an unit and its administration was vested upon Majhi, Parnik, jog Majhi, Naike who were the elected personnel of the village.

Binty says, with the new social setup, the santals lived in Chotanagpur plateau i.e santal pargana very happily for many years, After the British came to India and penetrated in to the plateau to explore the minerals, their peaceful happy life got disturbed . Dikus (outsiders) again got the way to come in. They established themselves as Thika dar, Jagirda and Jamindar under the sadhow of British Government and exploited the santal people very much. Then santal people out of anger revolted against the British Government . Santals untiy led by Baba Tika Majhi in the year 1784 and santal revolution led by SIdo kanhu in the year 1855 were the main . From there revolution , then might British Govt. got to realize the consciousness and power of santals , and in order to suppress them forever seized to fire many santal villages causing the heavy loss of life and wealth .Later on few Santals migrated to different place. In this way the santals people spread from santal pargana area to other parts of the chotonagpur plateau. Now they are seen living hilly region of Bihar Bengal and Orissa M.P within the same range of Chotanagpur Plateau.

Champa Garh

While migrating towards east in search of plain and fertile land, they came across a land which is surrounded by five rivers so they named it Champagarh. Champa in santal means five and Gara means river.

Sansang Beda: The Valley of Santal Civilisation



There is a very common song in Santals that:
Aba manmika santal manmika
Hihiri Pipiri Janam lena
Khoj Kaman reban khoj lenaho
Sasang beda reban jati lena

The meaning of song as follows-
We the people took the birth in Hihiri Pipiri
And grew in Harata forest
We were tought a lesson in khoj Kaman
We were devided in sept(group) in sasang beda.

So, Sasang Beda being a sacred place in the history of Santal is an important historical place to them. The word “Sasnat” which means civilization is derived from the name Sasang, where the Santali civilization had taken place long ago.

Santal people observed a great change themselves while living in Sasang Beda:
To keep the human relationship in track for all times to come they were divided in to twelve groups i.e. Sept or Clan such as 1. Hansda 2. Murmu 3. Hembrom 4.Tudu 5. Soren 6.Baskey 7.Beshra 8. Kisku 9. Mardi 10. Chone 11. Dankar 12. Gandwar

Each group was treated as one family and who ever hailed in that family were treated as brother and sister and the marriage among them was restricted. Thus the human relationship arising out of marriage became systematic and holy one.


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