|Regions with significant populations|
|Traditional beliefs, Hinduism, Christianity|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Mundas • Hos • Kols|
The Santals (also spelled as Santhal; formerly also Sonthal) are the largest tribal community in India, found mainly in the states of West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Assam, and Orissa. India, officially the Republic of India (भारत गणराज्य inc-Latn Bhārat Gaṇarājya; see also other Indian languages) is a country West Bengal ( Bengali: পশ্চিমবঙ্গ Poshchim Bônggo poʃtʃim bɔŋgo is a state in eastern India. Jharkhand ( Hindi: झारखंड Bengali: ঝাড়খণ্ডdʒʰaːɽkʰəɳɖ is a state in eastern India. Santali is a Language in the Munda subfamily of Austro-Asiatic, related to Ho and Mundari. The Munda are a tribal (Adivasi people of the Jharkhand region which is spread over on five states of India ( Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal Ho people are a tribal / Adivasi people living primarily in the Indian state of Jharkhand, mostly in the old Singhbhum district The Kol people is a generic name for the Munda, Ho, and Oraon tribes (Adivasi of eastern India who live in the states India, officially the Republic of India (भारत गणराज्य inc-Latn Bhārat Gaṇarājya; see also other Indian languages) is a country West Bengal ( Bengali: পশ্চিমবঙ্গ Poshchim Bônggo poʃtʃim bɔŋgo is a state in eastern India. Bihar ( Hindi:बिहार Urdu: بہار bɪhaːr) is a state in eastern India. Jharkhand ( Hindi: झारखंड Bengali: ঝাড়খণ্ডdʒʰaːɽkʰəɳɖ is a state in eastern India. Assam) ( Assamese: অসম Ôxôm) is a northeastern state of India with its capital at Dispur, a suburb of the city Orissa (ଓଡ଼ିଶା is a state located on the east coast of India, by the Bay of Bengal. There is also a significant Santal minority in neighboring Bangladesh. ( Bengali: বাংলাদেশ inc-Latn Bangladesh) officially
The Santali language is part of the Austro-Asiatic family, distantly related to Vietnamese and Khmer. Santali is a Language in the Munda subfamily of Austro-Asiatic, related to Ho and Mundari. The Austro-Asiatic languages are a large Language family of Southeast Asia, and also scattered throughout India and Bangladesh. Vietnamese ( tiếng Việt, or less commonly Việt ngữ) formerly known under French colonization as Annamese ( see Annam) Khmer (ភាសាខ្មែរ or Cambodian, is the language of the Khmer people and the official language of Cambodia. A few of the Indian anthropologists also believe that humans first came to India about 65000-55000 years ago. The earliest of them were Proto-Australoids followed by the Proto-Dravidians. The Proto-Australoids can be identified with some facial characteristics such as low forehead, thick lips, wide jaw and wavy hair. The Proto-Australoids were a hypothetical ancient Hunter-gatherer people descended from the first major wave of modern humans to leave Africa 100000 years ago Historians believe that they were the ancestors of the tribal community residing in the eastern part of India (excluding hilly portions). So the Santals, Kols and Mundas may be the descendants of them.
But in those times their primary way of subsistence were hunting and food gathering. The agrarian way of living was brought by the Aryans who came about in the 1500 B. C. How the Mohenjo- Daro civilization annihilated is a big question whether there was an Aryan invasion or a major environmental change that wiped them out is still under research and every day new theories are coming out. Aryan is an English word derived from the Sanskrit " Ārya " meaning "noble" or "honorable"
Coming back to the history of tribals, the Proto Australoids their earliest ancestors started living in the forest in the eastern part of India .
See Ol Chiki script
The Santali script, or Ol Chiki, is alphabetic, and does not share any of the syllabic properties of the other Indic scripts such as Devanagari. The Ol Chiki script also known as Ol Cemetʼ ("language of writing" Ol Ciki, Ol (and sometimes as the Santali alphabet) was An alphabet is a standardized set of letters basic written symbols each of which roughly represents a Phoneme, a Spoken language, either An abugida ( from Ge‘ez አቡጊዳ ’äbugida or Amharic አቡጊዳ ’abugida is a segmental Writing system which The Brahmic family is a family of syllabaries (writing systems used in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and parts of Central Asia and East Asia, It uses 30 letters and five basic diacritics. A diacritic ( also called a diacritic or diacritical mark, point, or sign, is a small sign added to a letter to alter pronunciation It has 6 basic vowels and three additional vowels, generated using the Gahla Tudag . In Phonetics, a vowel is a Sound in spoken Language, such as English ah! or oh!, pronounced with an open Vocal tract
The Santal script is a relatively recent innovation. Santali did not have a written language until the twentieth century and used Latin/Roman, Devnagri and Bangla writing systems. As none of the existing scripts were sufficient enough to correctly express the Santali language phonetically,a need for the separate script was felt by some visionary Santals,which resulted in the invention of new script called Ol Chiki by Pandit Raghunath Murmu in 1925. Year 1925 ( MCMXXV) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. For his noble deed and contribution of the script Ol Chiki for the Santal society,he is revered among Santals. He wrote over 150 books covering a wide spectrum of subjects such as grammar, novels, drama, poetry, and short stories in Santali using Ol Chiki as part of his extensive programme for uplifting the Santal community. Grammar is the field of Linguistics that covers the Rules governing the use of any given natural language. A novel (from Italian novella, Spanish novela, French nouvelle for "new" "news" or "short story Drama is the specific mode of Fiction represented in Performance. The short story is a literary genre of Fictional Prose Narrative that tends to be more concise and to the point than longer works of fiction such Darege Dhan, Sidhu-Kanhu, Bidu Chandan and Kherwal Bir are among the most acclaimed of his works. Pandit Raghunath Murmu is popularly known as Guru Gomke among the Santals, a title conferred on him by the Mayurbhanj Adibasi Mahasabh.
Beside Pandit Raghunath Murmu, very few Indian linguists worked seriously on the linguistic aspects of the language. One of them was Dr. Byomkes Chakrabarti (1923-1981). Dr Byomkes Chakrabarti (also spelled Byomkesh Chakraborty or Byomkesh Chakrabarty) (1923–1981 was a Bengali He was a Bengali research worker on ethnic languages. He was a renowned educationist and a poet too. His major contribution was in finding out some basic relationship between Santali language and Bengali language. He showed how the Bengali language has got some unique characteristics, which are absent in other Indian languages, under the influence of Santali language(in 'A Comparative Study of Santali and Bengali'). His contribution was fundamental in nature in the origin and development of the Bengali and Santali language and provided scopes of research in newer fields in liguistics.
The Santali culture has attracted many scholars and anthropologists for decades. The first attempt to study the Santali culture was done by the Christian missionaries. The most famous of them was the Norwegian-born Reverend Paul Olaf Bodding. Paul Olaf Bodding (* Gjøvik, Norway on 2nd November 1865 † Odense, Denmark on 25th September 1938 was a Norwegian Missionary, Unlike many other tribal groups of the Indian subcontinent, the Santals are known for preserving their native language despite waves of migrations and invasions from , Mughals, Europeans, and others. This article deals with the geophysical region in Asia For geopolitical treatments see South Asia.
Santali culture is depicted in the paintings and artworks in the walls of their houses. Local mythology includes the stories of the Santal ancestors Pilchu Haram and Pilchu Bhudi.
The Santal people love music and dance. Like other Indian people groups, their culture has been influenced by mainstream Indian culture and by Western culture, but traditional music and dance still remain. Santal music differs from Hindustani classical music in significant ways. The Santal people love music and dance Like other Indian people groups their culture has been influenced by mainstream Indian culture and by Western culture but traditional music and Onkar Prasad has done the most recent work on the music of the Santal but others preceded his work. The Santal traditionally accompany many of their dances with two drums: the Tamak' and the Tundak'. The tamak' is a stick-struck single-headed drum of the Santal people of India. The flute (tiriao) was considered the most important Santal traditional instrument and still evokes feelings of nostalgia for many Santal. Santal dance and music traditionally revolved around Santal religious celebrations. This is still true to a degree although traditional religious beliefs have been significantly altered by Hindu belief and Christian mission work. However, Santal music and dance both retain connections to traditional celebrations. The names of many Santal tunes are derived from the traditional ritual with which they were once associated. Sohrae tunes, for example, were those sung at the Sohrae festival.
The Santal community is devoid of any caste system and there is no distinction made on the basis of birth. They believe in supernatural beings and ancestral spirits. Santali rituals are mainly comprised of sacrificial offerings and invocations to the spirits, or bongas. It is believed by some scholars that Bonga means the same as Bhaga (or Bhagavan).  The Santal system of governance, known as Manjhi–Paragana, may be compared to what is often called Local Self Governance. This body is responsible for making decisions to ameliorate the village's socioeconomic condition.
The insurrection of the Santals was mainly against the corrupt moneylenders, zamindars and their operatives. Before the advents of the British in India they resided peacefully in the hilly districts of Cuttack, Dhalbhum, Manbhum, Barabhum, Chhotanagpur, Palamau, Hazaribagh, Midnapur, Bankura and Birbhum. They started their agrarian way of life by clearing the forest and also engaged themselves in hunting for subsistence. But as the agents of the new colonial rule claimed their rights on the lands of the Santals they peacefully went to reside in the hills of Rajamahal. After a brief period of peace the British operatives with their native counterparts jointly started claiming their rights in this new land as well. The simple and honest Santals were cheated and turned into slaves by the zaminadrs and the money lenders who first appeared to them as business man and allured them first by goods lent to them on loans. These loans however hard a santal tried to repay never ended in fact through corrupt measures of the money lenders it multipled to an amount for which a generation of the santal family had to work as slaves. Furthermore the santali women who worked under labour contractors were disgraced and used . This loss of freedom that once which they enjoyed turned them into rebels and finally they took oath to launch an attack on these axis of evil.
On 30 June 1855, two Santal rebel leaders, Sidhu and Kanhu Murmu, mobilized ten thousand Santals and declared a rebellion against British colonists. Year 1855 ( MDCCCLV) was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Common year The Santals initially gained some success but soon the British found out a new way to tackle these rebels. As the legend goes that the Santals so skilled in archery could throw arrows extremely accurate and with great power. The British soon understood that there was no point fighting them in the forest but to force them come out of the forest So in a conclusive battle which followed the British equipped with modern firearms and war elephants stationed themselves at the foot of the hill. When the battle began the British officer ordered fire without bullet as the santals could not trace this trap set by the much experienced [British] war strategy charged with full potential . This step proved to be disastrous for them since as soon as they neared the foot of the hill the British army attacked with full power and this time using bullet. Thereafter attacking every village of the santals and making sure that the last drop of revolutionary spirit was annihilated. Although the revolution was brutally suppressed, it marked a great change in the colonial rule and policy. The day is still celebrated among the Santal community with great respect and spirit for the thousands of the Santal martyrs who sacrificed their lives along with their two celebrated leaders to win freedom from the rule of the Jamindars and the British operatives.