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as spirits of departed men and women or vague impersonal spirits, about whom no elaborate myths appear to have ever been Invented. Thus, all that the Mundā knows about his mischievous departmental spirits denominated variously as 'Bürü Böngās', 'Gārbā Bōngās', 'Ikir Böngăs', 'Hörā Bóngās ', and so forth, is that they are the spirits of the Asur women whom Singbongā in the shape of a scabby boy flung respectively on rocks, or into rivers or in marshes and springs or on the roads or in other directions, after their husbands had been tricked into death in a burning furnace by him.


2 - Sāt-māris.

The spirits of persons who died by drowning, -and, according to some Mundās, the spirits, too, of fætuses that died in the womb--are believed to haunt pools of water in which they disport in the shape of fishes. These spirits cause sickness to people by pushing at them while they enter the pools for washing, bathing or other purposes. Such spirits are called Bošā-dā or Erā-dā or Sat-māri.

3.-Baghouls. The spirits of persons devoured by tigers are known as Bāghouts or Băghias, and are believed to haunt the spots where they were killed. A Bāghiã is believed to move about in the air from bush to bush at night humming a tune or piping a read-flute. The sudden rustle of a wood is believed to be the sound of a Bāghiā. A Mundā on seeing an ox, cow, goat or sheep returning home from the woods with its tail torn by having been caught in a thicket, will suspect that a Bāghiā tethered the animal to some tree with its tail. A Bāghiã is believed to possess the same powers as an actual tiger. Nay more, it is believed that the tigers of the forest obey the behests of these Bāghiās ; the Mundās say that tigers are to Båghias what dogs are to a hunter. When a man is seized by a tiger, it is said that a Baghout first attacked the man and stupefied him and then a real tiger seized the nonplussed victim. These Bāghouts, which are spirits, should not be cofounded with the were-tigers known as Ulath-bāghas, a belief in which is prevalent throughout the Mundā country. It is believed that some men possess the power of transforming themselves into tigers at will and in that shape satisfy their greed for human flesh and human blood, or, failing that, kill some buffalo or other animal whose flesh is coveted. To acquire this power a man has, after a day's fasting, and propitiation of Bhāgo-Chandito brush his back against certain standing stones known as 'Bagh-paththals' which forthwith transform them temporarily into tigers. After this first transformation, the man can transform himself into a tiger whenever he chooses by brushing his back against any suitable thing he finds handy, such as an ant-hill.

The remains of a person killed by a tiger are burnt with the face of the corpse to the ground, so that it may not cast its 'evil eye' on any body. In sočne villares, sacrifices of a fowl is offered to the Bighiã the very day that a man is killed by a tiger. The Mundas also observe a festival called “Tumāmgě in which a show is made of chasing Bighiās from all directions. People raise a hue-and--ry, pelt stones and hurl their sticks or láthis at imaginary bāghias with shouts of “mârő, māro” (strike, strike)! Băghiās are supposed to be frightened away from the locality by this mimic chase.

4.-Bir-sirājis. A particular class of Bāghiás is known as Bir-sirājis. A Bir-sirāji is said to be occasionally met with in the shape of a human dwarf with matted hair on its head. If a Bir-sirāji spits before a man, it is said to be a bad omen and misfortune is in store for the man ; if, however, the spittle has the appearance of blood, the omen is a good one and the man is destined to be very wealthy.


5.- Muas. The spirits of persons who died by beheading are known as Muàs and are believed to reside at the spot where their heads were

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cut off. At times a Muā is seen in the actual bodily shape of a headless person like the 'Nikandha bhut' or headless ghost of Bengali popular demonology. But oftener a Mundā passing along a spot where a Muã resides hears about him suppressed cries of 'king-king' and believes that the Muā spirit is wheeling abou him. When a person, whether through sickness or excessive grief, temporarily loses the power of speech, the Mundă suspects he has been attacked by a Muā.


More troublesome than Muās are the spirits of pregnant women who died either of illness or at childbirth. Such a spirit is variously called a Churel, a Churin or a Chikin. It is believed that there is hardly a tree in a Mundå village which is not tenanted by a churel. Unlike most other spirits, a churel may even live in a human dwelling. A churel is sometimes seen in the house even at day-time in the shape of a woman suckling her baby or watching her children, or spinning cotton with the spindle or taking out cotton-seeds with the rāhta. At night, however, chure's appear in different shapeseither in the shape of some beast, or in the shape of a yam, or of a piece of burning coal. Sometimes the presence of a churel is perceived by cries like those of a human baby. Sick people sometimes see visions of crurels appearing before them, and cry out "Look! Look ! so-and-so (naming a woman who died during pregnancy or at childbirth) is come to trouble me." Churels also give trouble to women at the time of their delivery. But even other people, particularly drunken people, men as well as women, are chased by a churel when they pass by its haunt, particularly at night. The churel throws pebbles or dust on them, stands before them to obstruct their passage, and throws them down on the ground. To prevent the spirit of a woman dying during pregnancy or at childbirth from saunting her old home, the corpse of such a female is buried near the boundary line (do-siman) of the village, thorns are nailed on its feet so that the spirit may not walk back to the

village, its eyes are sewn up so that it may not be able to see its way home, and various kinds of food, such as parched rice or mustard are scattered on the way by which the corpse was carried to its grave, so that the spirit may be so engrossed in picking up the parched rice and similar other food cast in its way that it may not reach back to its former home. Her spindle and similar other things are also left at the grave in order that the spirit may remain occupied at the grave and not want to go back to its old home. And finally magic spells are recited over the grave to 'confine the spirit to the spot.

7.- Khunts,

The spirits of all the dead men of the village are collectively known as Khunts. As the men of a Mundā village live in organized clans or Khūnts and all the Khunts of the living live in anity, so do these Rhänts of the dead who are believed to have an organization of their own and to live in amity and friendship. As among living persons, some of these spirits are mild and inoffensive and some are powerful and mischievous.

8.-- Ilānkür Böngās anil Ilāpļām.

The spirits of men who died so long ago that their names have been forgotten, are collectively known as Mūnkir Böngās or Purnā-Khữnti ; and the spirits of deul men whose names are still remembered are collectively known as Ilūpļām. Whereas the Hāpņām are propitiated by the head of each family, in the house, by offering to them the first-fruits of particular fruit trees and edible plants, and by offering a few grains of rice before every meal and a few drops of rice-beer out of every pot, the Hānkār Böngäs are propitiated jointly by the men of a sept in the village or by all the villagers together at the akhrā where goats or sheep or buffaloes are sacrified to them. The flesh of the animals offered to the Hānkār Bóngās may not be eaten by the men of the village. The latter leave them with their heads cut off when men of other villages take them away and eat them.

9.-Chaudi and Darhā. I have not yet heard any definite myths connected either with Dārhā who is the most dreaded of all the village bhuts and guards the village like a darwan or door-keeper against bhuts seeking to intrude from outside, or with Chāndi, the goddess particularly of hunting, who is represented by a stone at a sarna sacred to this spirit and is propitiated by naked young men with what we would call indecent rites and foul language. There are different Chāndis conferring different powers. Of these Bhāgo Chàndi is said to confer on the votary the power of transforming himself into a maneating tiger. While the votary of Bhāgo Chandi thus assumes the shape of a tiger and goes out to eat human flesh, his human body is left at home either asleep or sick.

Perhaps by way of protest against the suspicion of cannibalism, it is said that in their metamorphosed condition, they mistake cattle for men and men for cattle.

10.-Beasts, Reptiles, and Weapons, etc. Al the spirits of Mundā demonology manifest themselves under various guises and shapes, particularly in the shapes of tigers and snakes but sometimes also in the shape of other animals and also of buman beings. Tigers, it may be mentioned, appear to have some special connection with the bhuts of the Mundās. And I have found the same belief among their kinsmen the Bir-hörs and the Saniāls. Soine Mundās make offerings to their bows so that with their help they may have success in the chase. Many Mundās, however, shrink from making such offerings, inasmuch as they believe that if they once sacrifice to the bow as to a deity and are afterwards guilty of any remissness in their pujās to its powerful spirit, tigers are sure to attack and kill them when they go out to the jungles for hunting. Sometimes sacrifices are periodically offered by a Mundā to a weapon with which he or his father or other ancestor killed a human being. And the spirit of a man who has been murdered is generally propitiated at stated intervals by the murderer and his descendants after him. Among animals it may be noticed that monkeys are by many Mundās regarded as bhuts or spirits.


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