The Dasai Parab festival celebrated by the Santals in October: A large mural created by village artists to express their cultural identity – West Bengal



The Dasai Parab, celebrated in October, goes back to a period in history when the Santals had to defend themselves and hide their identity behind masks.

During the festival not much of this martial spirit is left. The men dance with peacock feathers adorning their turbans. Some even dress up as women or wear sack cloth.

The masks are made of earthen pots or hollowed-out pumpkins. This displays some of the humour in Santal celebrations. Later, the women offer handfuls of grain to the dancers as a mark of appreciation and join in the dance.

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 >

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