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.