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decided to shoot her through the hole into which the shaft had been inserted. Two of the brothers Kārā and Gūjā, the best bowmen of the family, were selected to do the deed. To Kārā, the elder, was given the first opportunity, and so accurate was his aim that his arrow entering by the hole in the așgom pierced the breast of the vulture as she sat over her young ones in the nest. She flew out but having received a deadly wound fell to the ground with such force as to cause a huge depression in the earth's surface which, filling with water, became a lake.

Having rid the country of the vulture they turned their steps homewards hunting as they went. A Mürüm deer (Nilgāi) fell to a well-aimed arrow, and a pole was cut on which the deer was slung to be carried home. On reaching the entrance to the village street they deposited their burden on the ground and sat down to rest. A knife was needed to flay and cut up the carcase and a man was sent to bring one.

The eldest of the seven brothers pulled up some khāsi (Saccharum spontaneum) grass and sat on it. The second brother pulled

) several handfuls of Mārnļi (Ischæmum rugosum) grass to sit on. The third brother was ordered to flay the deer, and the fourth to cut it up.

To the next in order of birth was assigned the duty of wrapping pieces of the venison in leaves to roast in ashes. He had just bathed and bad laid his wet loincloth bhāgwā) aside and by mistake he folded it up in leaves instead of a piece of venison and placed it in ashes to be baked. When it was thought the meat would be sufficiently cooked it was rescued from the ashes and the charred leaves stripped off when it was seen that it was a bhāgwa and not flesh. The others said to him, “What have you done? We told you

to wrap venison in leaves and bake it in hot ashes and you have baked your bhāgwā instead.” He replied, “I laid the bhāgwā near the

” meat and thus made the mistake."

It was at this time that several of the tribal divisions had their origin. The one who sat on the khāsi grass (Saccharum svontaneum, Linn.) became Kiskū. He who sat on the Mārndi grass became Mārndi. The slayer of the Mūrūm (Portax piotu) (ver became Mürún Thakur, and he who shot the vulture Chil-biadha (or vulture-piercer). The one who baked his bhāgwā in place of venison became Lat Tūdū, one who ate baskē dākā or stale rice in the morning was named Bāskē, and he who was sent to bring a knife and fire became Sören.

4.- Legend of the confusion of tongues. In the early days of the world all the dwellers on it regarded themselves as belonging to one family and dwelt at peace among themselves. The god Maräng Būrū, for reasons best known to himself, wished to break them up into different castes or tribes, and with that end in view he caused large quantities of certain kinds of food to be prepared and placed on huge leaf-plates, which he caused to be deposited on a large level plain. Having gathered all the males together he pointed out to them the plates of food and ordered them to select whichever they liked best. There was an immediate rush in the direction indicated by Marảng Búrů and the first to arrive chose the plate of beef, and seizing it bore it off in triumph to the jungle. The next in order to arrive chose the plate of goat's flesh, the next who came chose the fish, and the last had perforce to take what all the others had rejected, a dish of milk and rice. The first party, strong in wind and limb, and not lacking in intelligence as their choice of the beef amply attested, became Santāls. Those who followed and took the goat's flesh became Mundās and those who took the fish became Bhúiās. The last of all who had to be content with rice and milk were the ancestors of the Brāhmans.

By Sarat Chandra Roy,M.A.


The few legends that some old Mundās still recount about the mythical adventures of their gods are, like similar legends amongst other savage or barbarous races, characterized by a belief in sorcery and 'shape-shifting' or metamorphosis and generally by a 'confusion of all things in an equality of presumed animation and intelligence.'

I.-Myths regarding the Principal Deities.

The Supreme Deity of the Mundās is known as Singböngā or the Sun-god, and the being who ranks next to him in the Mundā pantheon is Bārndā sometimes identified with Marang-bürü or the Great Mountain. Although in religious symbolism the Sun represents Singböngā who is regarded with religious respect and awe as their only moral and benevolent deity, and some high hill is identified with Barn:12 or Marang-būrū, in the mythical stories about them, they are represented as personal beingspersons in the same state of savagery as the people who invented them. A few of these myths are given below.

1.--Flow Singböngă created Man.

Singböngå first fashioned two clay figures, one meant to represent a man and the other a woman. But before he could endow the figures with life, the horse apprehensive of future trouble from thein trampled them under its hoofs. In those days the horse had wings and could move about much faster than now. When Singböngå found that the horse had destroyed his earthen figures of men, he first created a spider and then fashioned two more clay figures like those destroyed by the horse. He then ordered the spider ['] to guard the figures against the horse. The spider wove its net round the two clay figures in such a way that the horse could

not destroy them again. Then Singbõngā imparted life to the two figures which thus became the first human beings. They were called respectively Lütküm Hārām and Lütkūm Būphi. With the inconsistency characteristic of savage myth, the Mundari legend of the destruction of the Asurs by Singböngā names Lütküm Hārāın and Lütkūm Busiã as the old Mundā couple in whose hut Sing bôngā had accepted service as a field-labourer in the disguise of a scabby boy. [?]

2.- Why Singbôngā wentito live in the sky.

Barndā was the elder of the two brothers, and Singböngā the younger ; and they had also a sister by the name of Näge-Era. The three at first lived together in the same house but subsequently separated. And this is how the separation was brought about. The brothers were great hunters and always carried about with them a fierce hawk, a golden club and a golden basket. One day after they had proceeded some distance from their house with their hawk, they were overtaken on the road by a heavy shower of rain. To protect themselves against the rain, they took shelter under a wide-spreading tamarind tree. In those days tamarind trees had large leaves ; but yet this tree could not afford them complete protection. At this the two brothers were highly chagrined and struck at the tamarind leaves till the leaves were split into numerous minute divisions. Thenceforth tamarind leaves have been so small as we see them now.

Singböngā then ran straight home, but Bārndā sought refuge from the rain in the hut of a Lobār (blacksmith). Now it so happened that a little water dripped down on Bārndā from the


[1] The Bir-börs and tha Asurs of Chotā Nagpur substitute the dog for the spider. The dog would bark at the horse and frighten him away whenever be attempted to approach the clay figures.

(') For the legend of 'Lütkům Hāråm and lūžkům Burhi, vide my book. The Mundās and Their Country,' Appondix II.

blacksmith's bellows which were suspended from the beam supporting the roof of the hut. Horrified at this pollution with water from the bellows of a man of the impure tribe of Lobārs, Bärndā went home in great perplexity and sought the advice of his brother. Sing bông, thereupon told him, “ Brother, since thou hast incurred such a pollution, it will not do for us to live together any longer. Henceforward I shall live in the sky up yonder, and do thou remain here on this earth.” Then Singböngā went to live in the sky above, and Bārndā remained on the earth below. Their sister, Nāge-Erā, chose the waters for her abode. But although they separated in this manner, they did not, as we shall presently see, give up mutual intercourse.

3.- The Witch Wife of Singböngā.


Singbongā had two wives of whom the elder bore him a

and the younger a daughter. In spite of Singböngā’s remonstrances, his two wives would frequently brew rice-beer, get drunk and quarrel amongst themselves.

Now, Singböngā’s son was attacked with a severe illness which all medicinal roots he tried failed to cure. At length Singböngå sent down to the earth his bird-messengers of whom the crow and the sparrow (lipi) were the chief-to call the famous medicine-men Nārāngi-Jhüppi and Osāgi Deönsä otherwise known respectively as Deogan Guru and Mādho Mantri. These two were such powerful sorcerers that they would yoke tigers to their ploughs with snakes for yoke-straps. It did not take them long to find out that Singböngā's younger wife was a witch who caused the sickness that afflicted the boy. When the sorcerers declared the result of their divination, Singbongā sent down his bird-messengers to call Bārndā to him. Bārndā soon arrived, and on being told what had happened, sought to dissuade the younger wife of Singbonga from dealing in witchcraft any more. But she was deaf to all persuasion and refused to forego the secret knowledge and the devilish powers wbi h she valued more than anything else.

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