Folklore of the Santal Parganas | Annotated Tale

COMPLETE! Entered into SurLaLune Database in October 2018 with all known ATU Classifications.


Adwa: Rice husked without having been boiled.

Arta: Red pigment applied to the feet for ornament.

Baha Porob: The flower festival; the spring festival held about February.

Bandi: A receptacle for storing grain, made of straw rope.

Bharia: A bamboo carried on the shoulder with a load slung at each end.

Bhut: A ghost, a harmful spirit, not originally a Santal word.

Bonga: The name for all gods, godlings and supernatural beings. Sing bonga is the sun god; the spirits of ancestors are bongas, there are bongas of the hills, streams and the forest; others are like fairies and take human form. Sacrifices are offered to bongas on all occasions.

Brinjal: The egg plant.

But: Grain, a kind of pulse.

Chamar: A low caste, workers in leather.

Chando: The sun, the supreme god of the Santals.

Champa: A country in which according to their traditions, the Santals once lived.

Charak Puja: The festival at which men are swung by hooks from a pole.

Chatar: A festival at which dancing takes place round an umbrella.

Chowkidar: A watchman.

Churin: The spirit of a woman who has died while pregnant, her feet are turned backwards. Not originally Santal.

Chumaura: A ceremony observed at marriage, and Sohrae festival.

Dain: A witch. Witches are supposed to use their powers to cause sickness and death; women accused of witchcraft are often murdered.

Dehri: The president of the annual hunt; he presides over the Court which during the hunt hears appeals against unjust decisions of paganas.

Dewan: The chief minister of a Raja.

Dhobi: A washerman.

Dhoti: The waistcloth worn by men.

Dom: A low caste, scavengers, basketmakers and drummers.

Gamcha: A small piece of cloth worn round the neck, or when bathing.

Ghât: The approach to a pool or river at which people bathe; the crossing place of a river.

Ghormuha: A horse-headed monster; not a Santal name.

Goâla: A man of the cow keeping caste.

Godet: The village constable, the official messenger of the headman.

Goondli: A small millet.

Gosain: A religious ascetic, usually of the Vishnuite persuasion.

Gupinî: A celestial milkmaid, such as those who danced with Krishna; not a Santal creation.

Gûr: Juice of sugar cane, molasses.

Hadi: A low caste of scavengers.

Jan or Jan guru: A witch finder. When a man is ill the Jan is consulted as to what witch is responsible. The Jan usually divines by gazing at an oiled leaf.

Jahirthan: The group of sacred trees left in each village for the accommodation of the spirits of the forest when the jungle is cleared.

Jai tuk: A bullock given to a woman at her marriage.

Jhalka: A boastful man.

Jogi or Jugi: A religious ascetic, a mendicant.

Lota: A small brass water pot.

Lakh: One hundred thousand.

Mahadeo: The great god, i.e. Siva.

Mahajan: A moneylender.

Mahuli: A tribe akin to the Santals, basket makers by profession.

Malhan: A cultivated leguminous plant.

Manjhithan: The little pavilion in the centre of every Santal village at which the spirits of dead headmen are worshipped and where village councils are held.

Mantra: An incantation, sacred or magic formula.

Marang Burn: The great spirit, the original chief god of the Santals.

Marwari: A trader from Rajputana and the adjoining parts.

Maund: A weight, 40 seers or 82 pounds.

Meral: A small tree. Phyllanthus emblica.

More Turuiko: Lit.: The five or six--certain Santal godlings.

Mowah: A tree, Bassia latifolia, the fleshy flower is eaten and spirit is distilled from it.

Musahar: A semi-aboriginal caste which catches and eats rats.

Nala: A water course with steep banks.

Narta: The namegiving ceremony observed three or five days after birth, by which the child is formally admitted into the tribe.

Ninda Chando: The moon goddess, wife of Singchando the Sun god.

Kat: A dry measure used for grain.

Kisar Bonga: A spirit which takes up its abode in the house, frolicsome and mischievous.

Kisku: One of the twelve exogamous septs of Santals, by tradition it was formerly the royal sept.

Koeri: A cultivating caste of Hindus.

Kora: A youth or young man, the hero of a story is often called so throughout, and I have for convenience adopted it as a proper name.

Kos: A measure of distance, two miles.

Ojha: An exorcist, a charm doctor, one who counteracts the effects of witchcraft.

Pachet: A place in the Manbhum district which the Santals occupied in the course of their immigrations.

Panchayat: A council primarily of five which meets to decide a dispute.

Pagri: A cloth worn round the head, a turban.

Paharia: A hill man; the Saurias or Malé of the Rajmahal hills.

Pai: A wooden or metal measure containing half a seer.

Pan: Betel used for chewing.

Parganna: A Santal chief having jurisdiction over a number of villages.

Paranic: The assistant headman of a village.

Parrab: A festival.

Peepul or pipal: A tree, ficus religiosa.

Pilchu Haram and Pilchu Budhi: The first man and woman.

Rahar: A cultivated crop, a kind of pulse.

Raibar: A marriage go-between, a man employed to arrange a marriage.

Rakas: An ogre. Sanskrit Rakhshya.

Rum: To be possessed, to fall into a cataleptic state.

Sabai: A kind of grass used for making rope.

Sal: A forest tree. Shorea robusta.

Seer: A weight, about two pounds.

Sid atang: To take the final step, to be completely initiated.

Sing bonga: The Sun god.

Sipahi: An armed guard, a soldier, armed messenger.

Sohrai: The great winter festival of the Santals.

Taluq: A revenue division of the country.

Tarop tree: A small tree, Buchanania latifolia.

Thakur: The supreme Being.

Tika: A mark on the forehead, the giving of which corresponds to coronation.

Tola: A hamlet, a detached quarter of a village.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: Glossary
Tale Author/Editor: Bompas, Cecil Henry
Book Title: Folklore of the Santal Parganas
Book Author/Editor: Bompas, Cecil Henry
Publisher: David Nutt
Publication City: London
Year of Publication: 1909
Country of Origin: India
Classification: unclassified

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