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TRIBALZONE Editors Choice
Dimension of Religion, Magic and Festivals of
Indian Tribe : The Munda
New Delhi, Kanishka Pub., 2002, xii, 140 p., ISBN 81-7391-486-9.
||Contents: Preface. 1.
Introduction. 2. Munda religion and pantheon. 3. Religious officers. 4.
Cosmology and eschatology. 5. Totemism and clan myths. 6. Munda life
style. 7. Magical beliefs and practices. 8. Witchcraft and its social
context. 9. Festivals. 10. Modern developments. Glossary. Bibliography.
"The Munda hold a significant position among the Indian tribes. The
socio-cultural and religious aspects of the Munda have been discussed in
the book, keeping in view of the present day researches and academic
interests in the faculty of social science.
"Based on intensive field study, the present volume deals with the
different dimensions of religion, magic and festivals. After S.C. Roy, who
studied the Munda community about half a century ago, author of present
book tries to give an excellent presentation and analysis of changing
scenario and continuity in socio-cultural and religious life of the Munda
beyond doubt that the present contribution of the author is a valuable
addition to the knowledge of tribal studies."
Folklore of Tribal Communities : Oral Literature
of the Santals, Kharias, Oraons and the Mundas of Orissa
Nityananda Patnaik. New
Delhi, Gyan, 2002, x, 200 p., ISBN 81-212-0776-2.
Contents: Preface. 1. Introduction.
2. The Santals. 3. The hill Kharias. 4. The Oraons. 5. The Mundas.
Conclusion. Glossary. Bibliography. Index.
"The Unwritten Literary World of Tribal Communities is nothing but
the Oral Literature or Folklore. It covers stories, legends, myths, songs,
dances, riddles, proverbs, metaphors and such other aspects of their
culture which are in their memory and handed down from generation to
generation. These sources of their literary world speak of their happiness
and their sorrows, their spiritual world and the eco-system. The older
persons are the store house of their oral literature and from these
sources the literary world of theirs is disseminated among the youngsters.
"This book gives the folklore of four tribal communities namely, the
Kharias, the Oraons, the Santals and the Mundas of Orissa. The Kharias are
a hunting and food gathering community, the Oraons are noted for the dance
and music and the Santals are well known as hard working cultivators and
skilled in wall painting, and noted for their sense of beauty. The
cultural patterns of these
tribal communities and their
life-ways and thought-ways are different from one another as revealed in
the analysis of their oral literature. Even though they lead a life full
of wants and difficulties, they are very labourious and joyful by virtue
of which they forget their sorrows and miseries."
Hahn's Oraon Folk-Lore :
In the Original/A Critical Text with Translations and Notes
1997, 177 p.,
Contents: 1. The
simpleton. 2. The lazy boy. 3. The recovered carcanet. 4. The protean oli man.
5. The drumming sportsman. 6. The faithful wife. 7. The three cakes. 8. Locust
the Pandit. 9. The Prince and the barber. 10. Aghnu the potter. 11. The dead man
who turned a murderer. 12. The two critics. 13. The sharpwitted boy. 14.
Vermilion and marriage. 15. A boy and his monkey. 16. Hide and seek. 17. The boy
and the unicorn. 18. Small belts the Pandit. 19. Little Tomo' my thumb. 20.
Three marvellous cures. 21. The enchanted mandoline. 22. The ogre. 23. The
beggar woman's cockerel. 24. The enchanted land. 25. The Jogi's Mandoline. 26. A
comedy of errors. 27. The young hunter. 28. Why Jackals are no farmers. 29.
Curry-roller and broom. 30. The lady doctor. 31. The little girl and the witch.
32. The widow and Prince Saru. 33. The horoscope. 34. The jackal and the
tortoise. 35. The two little seamps. 36. The seven brothers. 37. The
water-carrier and the tiger. 38. The tailles jackal. 39. A cautious fellow. 40.
The man-eater. 41. The dragon. I. Religious Myths: 1. The rain of fire.
2. Karmas and Dharmas. 3. The Lodhas and assurs. II. Tribal Traditions:
1. The oraon King of Rohtas. 2. Evacuation of Rohtas by the oraons. III.
Domestic Events and Tribal Festivals: 1. Oraon marriage customs. 2.
Oremation and burial. 3. Ghosts of ancestors. 4. The Khaddi feast. 5. The Karam
feast. 6. Jatra fairs. Riddles. Poetry. The Banchi mutiny of 1857.
"Mainly inhabiting the
Chhotanagpur area of Bihar, the Oraon people have been in the limelight for some
time now. Firstly, for their long-standing agitation for a separate Jharkhand
state and again because of ongoing investigations into their leaders' alleged
involvement in receiving bribes for supporting the then government at the centre
in New Delhi during a Lok Sabha no confidence motion. There is however much more
to the Oraon people than their political plight and misdemeanours. Their
colourful history is chequered with myth and legend, custom and folklore. The
rich accounts of tribal traditions and festivals appearing in this book though
coming direct from the pen of true-born Oraons, ought to be more readable and
understandable. Hence Girgnard of the Catholic Mission of Chhota Nagpur while
maintaining the authenticity added his translations and notes to Hahn's original
work (published in 1905). Thus a jumbled analogy "interwoven with
afterthoughts and belated additions or restrictions" has with much editing
and perseverance been transformed by Girgnard into these fascinating tales and
stories of the Oraons' now before you."
History and Culture of the Oraon Tribe : Some
Aspects of Their Social Life
Abhik Ghosh. New Delhi,
Mohit Pub., 2003, xii, 237 p., tables, figs., $25. ISBN 81-7445-196-X.
Contents: Preface. 1. Introduction.
2. Theory: the individual in the world of every day. 3. Data collection
and field work methods. 4. A brief, historical background to the
ethnography of Karmadih. 5. The ethnography of the Oraons at Karmadih: a
background to everyday life. 6. Analysis: symbols and the everyday life of
the Oraons of Karmadih. 7. Conclusions: beyond the individual and the
"This work is a comprehensive study of
some aspects of the Oraon life and is one of the major publications after
the scholarly and definitive ethnographies of Oraons by Rai Bahadur Sarat
Chandra Roy in the early 1900s.
"The work explores aspects of symbols
and the philosophy behind the use of particular theoretical approaches.
The symbols used are grounded in everyday life and the daily practices of
the Oraons. Using such a perspective as a key symbol, the ethnography of
the Oraons is then perceived through such a lens with their idea of giving
it a fresh out-look."
A Mundari-English Dictionary
Bhaduri. New Delhi, Gyan Pub., 2002, xii, 232 p., $10.
"Mundari-English Dictionary is a
byproduct of the master-researchers and scintillating scholarship of Sarat
Chandra Roy, whose anthropological work on the Mundas of Chotanagpur and
Santal Parganas remains unsurpassed even till today. His compilation of
about six hundred words of Mundari language in a note book contained the
seed out of which this dictionary has flourished. On the eve of its
compilation about fifty years ago, Mundari language was spoken by over
60,000 Mundas and other akin tribals. The dialects of the Mundari family
of speech, to which Santali, Birhar and other tongues belong, are, besides
Chotanagpur, also spoken in the Santal Parganas which adjoin some of the
Bengal districts. It is on account of this geographical spread-over of the
Mundari family of speech that a large number of words from Bengali, Hindi
and Sanskrit have crept into the fabric of the Mundari language. A lot of
painstaking efforts have gone in coming the English equivalents of the
tribal Mundari language. Despite a lot of transformation in the tribal
world of the Mundas, there appears to be no depreciation in the value and
relevance of his master dictionary for the anthropologists, linguists and
administrators engaged in the onerous task of tribal studies."
Birsa Munda and His Movement 1872-1901 : A Study
of a Millenarian Movement in Chotanagpur
Reprint. Calcutta, Seagull, 2002, xxxii, 324 p., ISBN 81-7046-205-3.
||Contents: Foreword. Preface. 1. The
background of the movement. 2. Birsa’s early years. 3. The making of a
prophet. 4. The beginning of the political movement. 5. The interlude. 6.
The uprising. 7. The end. 8. The religious movement of Birsa and the
Birsaites. 9. Consequences of the movement. 10. Nature and significance of
the movement. Conclusion. Glossary. Bibliography. Appendices.
"This work is a complete account of probably the best known
millenarian movement in tribal India. The movement of the Mundas led by
Birsa was typical of the resistance and revitalization movements in the
latter half of the nineteenth century. A combination of a religious and a
political movement, it represented the struggle and aspirations of his
people, sowing the first stirrings of nationalism among them and featuring
an urge to recreate the old world which had disappeared under the
onslaught of colonialism.
|"Since the second revised
edition of Birsa Munda and His Movement was published in 1983, the
Birsa cult has developed further, and Birsa Munda has emerged as the icon
of the tribal people all over India. His movement Ulgulan (the upheaval)
has been appropriated by all sorts of people, and by all political parties
in Chotanagpur to further their agenda. The legend of the lad from Chalkad
has travelled far and wide; and his portrait hangs in the Central Hall of
Parliament, the only tribal leader to have been so honoured.
"Acclaimed as the first of its kind, this study is based on
anthropological data and archival material. It traces Birsa’s early life
and his transformation into a ‘black Christ’ against the background of
the processes of transformation of the tribal society of Chotanagpur. His
political movement and his religion are closely studied in the context of
their impact on the course of history. The book was translated into
various languages of the country and inspired various forms of creative
adaptation in contemporary folk and regional literature, including
Mahasweta Devi’s major novel Aranyer Adhikar."
Munda : Sub-Stratum of Tibeto-Himalayan
D.D. Sharma. New Delhi, Mittal, 2003, xii,
102 p., $13. ISBN 81-7099-860-3. (Studies in Tibeto-Himalayan Languages—VII).
Preface. 1. Introduction. 2. Phonological affinities. 3. Morphological
affinities. 4. Pronominalization. 5. Modifiers. 6. Counting system. 7.
Verbal system. 8. Temporal & aspectual affinities. References &
select bibliography. Index.
"The present volume seven of the series, ‘Studies in Tibeto-Himalayan
Languages’, presents a detailed account of strikingly conversing
phonological, morphological and syntactic features of Munda and Himalayan
languages belonging to two ethnically and linguistically heterogeneous
groups of people of the Indian sub-continent, presently inhabiting distant
lands, thousands of miles away from one another and intervened by people
of different ethnic and linguistic stocks.
"The linguistic details, with plethora of examples from both the
linguistic groups, presented here, may not only be of special interest to
linguist, but to historians and anthropologists as well, interested in the
study of the people, inhabiting Himalayan regions of Himachal Pradesh and
"As such, it is hoped that these
undisputable linguistic evidences presented here will inspire scholars of
relevant disciplines to undertake the task of unearthing of the
pre-historic mystery of the inhabitation of these Himalayan regions by the
speakers of the Austro-Asiatic languages, who have left an everlasting
deep impact on these Himalayan languages and of the circumstances which
coupled them to leave their this Himalayan home."
Grammar and Exercises
John Baptist Hoffmann. New
Delhi, Gyan, 2001, 387 p., ISBN 81-212-0763-0.
"A pioneering work in the area, by a great
scholar, this is the most authentic, exhaustive comprehensive and tested book of
grammar of the Mundari Languages. Compiling grammar of any language is not an
easy task. It becomes an uphill task, when the chosen language is in feet a
dialect without much sources of information in to support one’s academic
efforts. In such difficult circumstances, a great work like the present one is
really a miracle, It’s a book for all scholars, in any discipline, related to
Mundari language and literature."
Ethnobotany of Santhal Pargana
S.K. Varma, D.K. Sriwastawa and A.K.
Pandey. 1999, viii, 124 p., colour
Contents: Preface. 1. Santhal Pargana. 2. Historical
account. 3. Tribals and their cultural traits. 4. Tribals and forest. 5.
Ethnobotanical spectrum of Santhal Pargana. 6. Resume. Bibliography. Index of
"A large number of ethnic group of diverse culture
inhabits India, a majority of whom could be found in Bihar - especially
Chhotanagpur and Santhal Pargana regions. Santhal Pargana region is inhabited by
Santhal and Paharia tribes. Their lifestyle and livelihood revolves around the
forest they live in, and derive their needs from the trees and plants in the
jungles, the keen knowledge of which has been handed down from father to son
"Besides the ability to use the plants and its by-product
for making agricultural and musical equipments, mats, baskets etc. and food,
their uncanny knowledge of selective plants claimed to treat effectively chronic
diseases like arthritis, cancer, diabetes, tuberculosis as well as common
ailments is something which should be tested scientifically and clinical trials
arranged. These tests and trials should be made NOW before this knowledge is
lost for ever as these tribes face extinction.
"Ethnobotany is a field where relationship between plants
and humans are studied. Ideal for ethnobiologists, conservation ecologists,
anthropologists, herbal drug industry, tribal development boards and NGOs, this
book gives an exhaustive detail on 514 plant species that the tribals use with
special emphasis on the medicinal plants. It follows a path of location,
physiography and climatic description; historical account and review of
literature; tribals and their cultural traits; and their association with the
forest and ethnobotanical spectrum of Santhal Pargana.
"This book has been suitably illustrated with maps,
coloured photographs and exhaustive bibliography and plant index which will be
of tremendous aid to the student of ethnobotany."
The Santhal Women : A Social Profile
Chaturbhuj Sahu. 1996, v, 184 p., tables,
Contents: Preface. Introduction. I. Land and the
people: 1. Historical analysis of the Santhal. 2. The Santhal myth. 3.
Tarajori panchayat under Nuniad estate. 4. Location and demarcation of the area.
5. Population and vital statistics. 6. Loan and other government facility. 7.
Health condition. II. Ethnographic study of the Santhal women : 1. Life
cycle-conception. 2. Birth. 3. Infancy. 4. Initiation ceremony. 5. Adolescence.
6. Marriage and its ritual. 7. Welcome to bride. 8. Position of women in the
in-laws house. 9. Mother-hood. 10. Divorce. 11. Old age death. 11. Women's
position. III. The Santhal women : Their role and responsibility : 1.
Women's contribution in building a house, contribution in family income,
agriculture, administrative structure and the Santhal women. 2. Present status
of the Santhal panchayat system, Santhal laws of inheritance. 3. Festival and
religion. IV. Tribal movements and the Santhal women : 1. Tribal movement
in Santhal pargana and Chotanagpur. 2. Birsa movement. 3. Tebhaga movement. 4.
Jharkhand movement. 5. Movement for language and script. 6. Movement and the
Santhal women. V. Women's liberation movement and the Santhal women : 1.
History of women's liberation movement pre-independence period. 2. Emergence of
freedom movement. 3. Women's issue movement. 4. Feminist movement. 5. Jharkhand
Mahila Sammelan. VI. Awareness among the Santhal: 1. Women through tribal
development tribals during British period. 2. Government approach for tribal
development. 3. Five year plan. 4. Law and legislation. 5. Development status in
Tarajori panchayat. 6. Institute of rural management. 7. Prerna Bharti. 8.
Barriers for women's development in Tarajori panchayat. VII. Summary and
conclusion. Appendices. Selected bibliography.
"The present volume is the outcome of the author's
extensive and intensive field work on the Santhal women. The author has tried to
assess the women's understanding, feelings and attitude towards the changing
situations. An attempt has also been made to assess the development of social
consciousness among ever changing and ever smiling working women in the field,
in the forest, on the road side, in the movement and in the house through this
edited by Nita Mathur. New Delhi, Concept, 2001, xiii, 182 p.,
Contents: Introduction/Nita Mathur. 1.
Nature as culture : the vision of a tradition/Baidyanath Saraswati. 2. Santhal
concept of womb and seed/Nita Mathur. 3. Man and animal relationship/Subhra
Bhattacharyya. 4. Tribal life in association with animals/Ajit Kumar Aditya and
Prasanta Chatterjee. 5. Santhal concept of food/Indrani Bhattacharyya. 6. Sounds
from a Santhal village/Peter Pannke. 7. Santhal approach to sounds/Onkar Prasad.
8. Basic sounds : a study in sound symbolism of Santhals/Khageswar Mahapatra. 9.
Formation of Ol Chiki script and process of its transmission/Shyam Sundar
Mohapatra. 10. Santhal language and culture/Chaitanya Prasad Majhi. 11. Jadupata
in the context of Santhal culture/Nilanjana Das. 12. Living in the kingdom of
Bongas : the contingencies of happy life/Sitakant Mahapatra. 13. Santhal
worldview : mixing of pleasure and pain/P.C. Hembram. 14. Santhal world of
supernatural beings/N. Patnaik. 15. Santhal worldview woven around rice and
banana cultivation/S.K. Chakraborty. 16. Change and continuity in Santhal
"This book deals with culture and lifestyle
of the Santhal which is one of the major tribal groups in the eastern part of
the Indian subcontinent. The sixteen essays collected here explore the Santhal
concepts of body, womb and seed, sound symbolism, formation and transmission of
script, man and animal relationship, food and cooking, healing practices;
religious beliefs and festivals, and the notion of the ‘other’ world in a
distinctive framework of interpretation and analyses. More importantly, it
contains contribution from Santhal intellectuals representing the self-view of
Applied Ethnobotany : A Case
Study Among the Kharias of Central India
E. Varghese. 1996, xx, 307 p., col.
plates, line drawings,
1. Introduction: ethnobotany today. 2. The Kharias and their environment. 3.
Methodology. 4. Ethnobotanically important plants. 5. Discussion. 6. Conclusion.
Appendices: 1. Questionnaire on medicinal plants used by the Kharias. 2.
List of less-known uses. 3. Reliability rating (disease-wise). 4. Reliability
rating (plant-wise). Bibliography. Glossary-cum-index. Index to local names.
"Applied Ethnobotany: A
Case Study among the Kharias of Central India is a detailed and updated
ethnobotanic study among the Kharias. Besides giving a comprehensive inventory
of the useful plants in the Kharia habitat, this book makes a special
contribution by suggesting a formula for quantifying the reliability of remedies
reported by local medicinemen. An attempt is made, also, to bridge the gap
between the work and publications of the scientific fraternity and their actual
use among the practitioners of ethnomedicine, by carefully detailing medicinal
uses of plants with ways of preparation, administration and dosage in most
cases. This book deals with 280 plants of ethnobotanic importance to the Kharias."
Kharia : The Victim of Social Stigma
Chandidas Mukhopadhyay. 1998, xv, 105 p., tables, ISBN 81-7074-203-4.
Contents: 1. Introduction. 2. About the
Kharias. 3. The state of stigma and its consequences. 4. Explaining the stigma.
5. Overcoming - stigma. 6. Summary and conclusion. Appendices. Bibliography.
"The Hill Kharias of Purulia, popularly
known as, Kharias, are possibly the most backward of all tribal communities
settled in West Bengal. On the top of it, they are also categorized as 'born
criminals' by the outgroup communities of the locality. Categorized this way the
Hill Kharias bear a stigma - the stigma of criminality. The study is concerning
this stigma of criminality as brought to bear upon them.
"This stigma has debilitating
consequences for the Kharias. Because of the stigma they are marked as inferior
and undeserving of the considerations that are usually given to the general
people of the village society. They are subjected to unfair persecutions and
discriminations by the outgroup people. In recent years efforts are being made
to help uplift the Kharias. But as yet the stigma is there with all its effects
on their life chances. This study is an attempt to find out the exact state of
stigma, its causes and consequences, and the possibility for the Kharias to
"What exactly is the state of stigma as
brought to bear upon the Hill Kharias? Is it conferred upon them equally? Why at
all are they stigmatised? What are the reasons behind origin of stigma? Does it
have any legitimate basis? What are the consequences of the stigma for the
Kharias in different walks of life? How do the Kharias respond to the stigma?
What efforte do they make to remove it? What is done by the government and
private agencies to deal with the situation? Do all these seem to be adequate?
"The study is primarily grounded on field
work. Other sources include police records, census reports, the repots of tribal
welfare department as well as some local magazines and newspapers, the existing
Kharia-studies as well as the theoretical literature on stigma and prejudice.
The field-data have been collected from ten villages under four police stations
of the district on the basis of participant observation and informal but
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