Audio & eBook | Folklore of the Santal Parganas by Cecil Henry Bompas – Parganas Librivox recording & Project Gutenberg

This is an intriguing collection of folklore from the Santal Parganas, a district in India located about 150 miles from Calcutta. As its Preface implies, this collection is intended to give an unadulterated view of a culture through its folklore. It contains a variety of stories about different aspects of life, including family and marriage, religion, and work. In this first volume, taken from Part I, each story is centered around a particular human character. These range from the charmingly clever (as in the character, The Oilman, in the story, The Oilman and His Sons) to the tragically comical (as in the character, Jhore, in the story Bajun and Jhore). In later parts, the stories will focus on other subjects, including spirits, animals, and legends from this culture.

This audio is part of the collection: The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection
It also belongs to collections: Audio Books & Poetry; Community Audio

Keywords: children; folk tales; fairy tales; mythology; myth; legend; india;santal; parganas; cecil henry bompas

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Text version: Folklore of the Santal Parganas by Bompas, Cecil Henry on Project Gutenberg >>
Date Visited: 4 March 2021

More Santal resources on the Internet Archive >>

History of District Pakur (Santhal Parganas)

Pakur in its emergence and inception had been a cluster of ponds and orchards surrounded by deep forest and hard rocks under the range of Rajmahal hills. It had previously been Raj in its new dimension under the British rule. The British had also been the centre of revolutionary activities the repercussions of which might be seen in the Santhal hul of 1855. […]

After the battle of Plassy in 1757 AD and the transfer of Diwani of Bengal along with the jungle terry in 1765 the victorious Britishers developed their administrative network to control these area through Birbhoom district of Bengal. […]

The internal set up of the administrative system could not ensure proper justice to the common man and there was a deep underlying discontent among the simple minded Santhals. In addition to this Baniyas and Mahajans use to make heavy executions from the innocent Santhals and there was no check on them. In Damin area where Santhals had settled in large numbers the Naib Sazawals assistants of English Superintendant were very oppressive. The police was equally corrupt. The Santhal was used to ready justice at no cost. Another more disgusting malpractice was the kamiyanti system. The idea behind it was repayment of a debt by physical labour. In practice however the debtors worked in many cases for a generations or two and yet the loan, no matter how small, could not be repaid. All these facts and circumstances led to the Santhal Hul of 1855. The basic reason for this catastrophe was the economic privation of Santhal resulting from the permanent settlement. […]

The Santhals ill equipped with traditional weapons could not face the well equipped British forces. Though the Santhals were beaten but extraordinary courage and resolve exhibited by them during the rebellion left their impression on the British rulers. They realised that the Santhals had to be kept in good humour and their reasonable demands met if the Govt. wanted to rule ever this area. A separate district was created by Act XXXVII of 1855 and it was given the name of Santhal Pargana, perhaps to appease the Santhals. Steps were taken to redress the grievances of the Santhals and to given them a homeland with a sense of security. Later on Santhal Pargans Tenancy Act 1949 was enacted after independence for the safety and special identity of this area. […]

Santhal Pargana has the distinction of having the largest number of Sub-Divisions in old Bihar. They are Dumka Sadar, Deoghar, Jamtara, Godda, Pakur and Rajmahal. After independence in the year 1981 Santhal Pargana divided into the four districts i.e. Dumka,Deoghar, Godda and Sahibganj. Pakur being attached with Sahibganj as a Sub-Division was upgraded as district in the year 1994.

Source: “History District Pakur” by Government of Jharkhand (Last Updated: 9 July 2022)
Date Visited: 15 July 2022

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