Leisure time in a Santal village: A large mural created by village artists to express their cultural identity – West Bengal

Enjoying Palm Juice

At the end of a village three Santal men sit under a Banyan tree and are happily drinking fermented juice of the tal, a commonly seen palm tree.

In the summer, the men climb on the trees to collect the refreshing juice from the tree’s buds in earthen pots. A goat is licking the discarded leaf plate from which the men eat chakhna (snacks) while drinking palm juice.

As an extension of the Santal Museum Sanyasi Lohar has started a unique project. On the outside walls of the mud huts in Bishnubati he has created murals on the life and the seasonal celebrations of the Santals. With his team Sanyasi Lohar has so far completed six large murals. […]

In this booklet we have followed the seasons from the Flower Festival or Spring Festival celebrated around March until the Sohrai or Harvest Festival celebrated in early January. Marriages normally take place in the summer, so we have placed the mural of the Marriage Reception to follow spring. We express our gratitude to the Tribal Cultural Heritage in India Foundation (Amsterdam) for funding this publication as part of our endeavour to preserve and further evolve Santal culture. […]

This booklet is an invitation to all readers to come and visit Bishnubati, walk into the Santal Museum and go around the village to view the murals in their living context.

We welcome you all!

Dr. Boro Baski
President, Bishnubati Adibasi Marshal Sangha

Source: Santals Celebrate the Seasons published by Ashadullapur Gramin Silpa & Sastha Bidhan Kendra and Ghosaldanga Bishnubati Adibasi Trust © 2014

Learn more about this unique project, view the entire series of photographs or download the eBook here: Six Murals by Sanyasi Lohar and his team >

All contents are being published with an understanding that the respective copyright owners have agreed to the license terms explained in the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. This means that no commercial use or modification of such content is permissible without written consent by their respective copyright holders.

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To locate the Museum of Santal Culture in Bishnubati village (near Santiniketan) on the map seen below, open by clicking on the left button:

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