Thursday, September 21, 2023

The People

The Santhals

The Santhals still preserve two features inherited from an earlier stage of civilization. They excel in clearing forests and show considerable skill in converting jungle and waste lands into fertile rice fields. Their harmonious flutes sound sweeter, their drums find deeper echoes and their bows and arrows utilized effectively.

They are excellent hunters. Their happiest day in the year is the one, on which they have a common hunt, when armed with spears, axes, bows and arrows, clubs, sticks and stones, they beat through the jungle in thousands, killing every beast and birds they come across. There was a time when in their ordinary dealings they displayed a cheerful straight forwardness, open bluntness and simple honesty which were refreshing to those accustomed to the gloomy and secretive inhabitants of the plains.