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Santhal:Largest Tribal Community in India

Largest tribal community in India, found mainly in the states of West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa. Satars or Santhals are one of the most backward ethnic groups of the neighboring country epal. !hey li"e in the districts of Jhapa, #orang and Sunsari. !here is also a significant Santal minority in neighboring Bangladesh. Santhals also call themsel"es $or. !hey prefer to li"e in the peripheries of forests and ri"ers. !hey ha"e their own uni%ue religion and culture. !hey are animist. $unting and fishing are their fa"ourite occupations. !heir ancestral deity is !hakur&iu and their paternal guardian deity is #aranburu. Bow and arrows are their traditional weapons. !heir fa"orite meat is pork. #ost Santals are engaged in farming and labor. !hey belong to the 'ustro('siatic group of human families. !hey ha"e also been called as a subgroup speaking a language belonging to the #unda family )*ahal, BS+,-./,-+0. !heir language is called Santhali. !hey ha"e their own script, which was de"eloped by *r 1aghunath #urmu in .2+-. It is called Olchiki. 1acially the Santhals belong to the protoastraloid racial group, linguistically they belong to the #undari group of 'ustro('siatic linguistic family and economically they may be classified as plain agricultural type. !he Santhals are "ery conscious about their identity and heritage. 'nd this is the reason why they ha"e, most probably consciously, built up a sense of solidarity amongst themsel"es. !heir internal solidarity is often based on their principle of likeness, that is a shared cultural characteristic, which binds them together. !he Santhals li"e in peace and harmony among themsel"es. Population: !he Jhapa district in epal has the highest population of Santhals and #orang district has slightly less. !heir population, according to the census of +,,., is 3+,452. !he Southern part of the Bihar is called as 6Santhal 7raganas6 because of the density of the Santhal tibe in this area. !hey had multiplied from proto 8 'ustraloid origin. It is also belie"ed that they had come from the *istricts of 6Santha6 and that is why they are called as 6Santan6 or men of Santha state. !he #unda(Santal of northeastern India and epal comprise of nine different, but "ery closely related people groups. !hey are distributed politically throughout the states of Bihar, West Bengal, and Orissa, India. #ost of the tribes li"e in the hilly areas of the 9hotanagpur 7lateau, located in southern Bihar. Others prefer li"ing in the plains. Beyond this region, they ha"e spread widely throughout India as agricultural and industrial laborers. !he se"en groups who occupy territory farther north include the Santhal )of India and epal0, the Bhumi&, the :oda, the #ahili, the $o, and the 'gariya. !he two remaining groups, the Juango and the ;adaba, are located in the southern portion of India, nearer to the coast of the Bay of Bengal. Language: !he Santhali language is part of the 'ustro('siatic family, distantly related to <ietnamese and :hmer. !he history of the Santals may be traced to 'frica from where started the human migration. It was found that humans from 'frica started to migrate towards the =astern part of the world or 'sia. !he Santhali script, or Ol 9hiki, is alphabetic, and does not share any of the syllabic properties of the other Indic scripts such as *e"anagari. It uses >, letters and

fi"e basic diacritics. It has 4 basic "owels and three additional "owels, generated using the ;ahla !udag. Santhals did not ha"e a written language until the twentieth century. !herefore the script is a recent de"elopment. ' distinct script was re%uired to accommodate the Santhali language, combining features of both the Indic and 1oman scripts. !he modern Ol 9hiki script was de"ised by 7andit 1aghunath #urmu in .2+-. $e wrote o"er .-, books co"ering a wide spectrum of sub&ects. *arege *han, Sidhu(:anhu, Bidu 9handan and :herwal Bir are among the most acclaimed of his works. 7andit 1aghunath #urmu is popularly known as ;uru ;omke among the Santhals, a title conferred on him by the #ayurbhan& 'dibasi #ahasabh. Judicial system: !he Santhals traditionally had an organi?ed &udicial system for the management and solution of the "arious problems within the community. !hey make e"ery effort to sol"e the social problems arising within their community by themsel"es. !he head of the Santhal community is called #an&hi $adam. $e is the chief of the e@ecuti"e, &udicial and all other functions within society. $e is assisted by other office bearers like 7aranik, Jagman&hi, Jagparanik, aike, ;udit, etc, who work in their respecti"e fields to sol"e "arious kinds of problems. 'fter the birth of a child, the Jagman&hi and following the death of a person the ;udit and others are present. #an&hi $adam undertakes the looking into &udicial cases and the dispensing of &ustice and abo"e him is *isham #an&hi, and abo"e both is *iheri. !he *iheri is the highest &udicial office bearer of Santhals. !he Santhals who generally like to li"e in concentrated settlements of their own near ri"ers and forests are di"ided into .+ thars or groups. 's the groups are in accordance with professional speciali?ation, this appears as a form of social system. !he #urmu are the priests of Santhals and #urdi the businessmen, while :isku are the rulers and $emram &udges. Similarly, the !udu are musicians and Soren soldiers. !he organi?ations of Santhals are "illage council )#an&hibaisi0, 7roganna 9ouncil )7ramatrabaisi0 and the highest council )Labirbaisi0. More about the Santhalies: !he Santhal 1ebellion)httpA//www.indianet? 'rt and culture of )httpA//www.indianet? Santhal !ribe

Beliefs and tales of Santhals )httpA//www.indianet? 9ustoms of the Santhal !ribe)httpA//www.indianet? SourceA httpA//www.indianet? Related Articles C=thnic literature canDt be ignored any moreD )"ancou"erdesi.com0 Jharkhand 8 an adi"asi e@tra"agan?a )newint.org0