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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.


The spirits of all the dead men of the village are collectively known as Khunts. As the men of a Munda village live in organized clans or Khunts and all the Khunts of the living live in amity, so do these Khunts 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.-Hänkar Bōngās and Iāpṛōm.

The spirits of men who died so long ago that their names have been forgotten, are collectively known as flūnkār Bōngās or Purna-Khunti ; and the spirits of dead men whose names are still remembered are collectively known as flapṛom. Whereas the Hapṛōm 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 Bōngas are propitiated jointly by the men of a sept in the village or by all the villagers together at the akhra where goats or sheep or buffaloes are sacrified to them. The flesh of the animals offered to the Hankar Bōngās 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.-Chandi 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 Chānḍi, 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 Chandis conferring different powers. Of these Bhago Chandi is said to confer on the votary the power of transforming himself into a maneating tiger. While the votary of Bhago 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.

All the spirits of Munda 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 human 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-hōrs and the Santāls. Some 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.

11. Metamorphosis into stones.

Finally, it may not be out of place to refer to a class of playful, erotic myths by which the Mundis seek to explain the existence in their country of ancient stone sculptures as also of certain rocks imagined to resemble in shape human beings or beasts. To take one instance;-near village Khijri, about six miles from Khunti, there stands a rudely sculptured stone figure of what is supposed to be a female deity locally known as Nakti Rani. Not far from it to the north is a rock known as Bar Pahari at village Dumri ; and about five miles to its south is another hill named Bin-būrū. Now the myth goes that Nakti who was the wife of the spirit of Bar Pāhāri was eloping with the spirit of Bin-būrū, and when the lovers had gone halfway, Bar Pāhāri discovered the elopement and began to shoot his stone arrows at them. The Bin-būru spirit managed to escape to his seat, but Nakti who sought to slink back to her husband got petrified through fear at the spot. A few small stone columns between villages Khunti and Birhů are still pointed out as the stone arrows shot at them.

These erotic myths-which are not numerous- are now repeated by their Hindu neighbours as well, and it may be supposed that myths of this type were suggested by Hindu fancy. But it must be noticed that the belief in the metamorphosis of men and things into stones appears to be quite natural to the Mundā mind. Thus, the existence of stone figures supposed to resemble drums, cymbals, etc., lying on the boundary of village Pānsākōm not far from the Dasom water-falls are explained by the myth that a great musician of the name of Chaila Sandu who could play upon a nagerā, a mandal, and a jhānj, all at the same time, was crossing the stream, with all the three instruments about him, his feet with which he used to play upon the jhānj slipped and he tumbled into the water. The instruments were turned into stones and may still be seen. Similar stone figures at Dülmi

(police station, Tamar) and elsewhere are accounted for bv similar myths of metamorphosis into stones.

the Cure of Ailments.

By Sarat Chandra Mitra,M. A., B.L.

PRIMITIVE man thinks that the ailments, which afflict him and which are caused by some mysterious agency invisible to him, must be the outcome of the action of some malevolent spirit or being. He, therefore, betakes himself to a wise man among his people, who, he believes, can, by his superior knowledge, counteract the disease-demon's baleful influence. These modes of thought and action are prevalent among all races of people now existing in a low plane of culture. A research, therefore, made in the obscure fields of primitive leechcraft, or, as it has been aptly termed by Mr. W. G. Black, folk-medicine, may throw a good deal of light on the mental attitude of primitive man and, thereby, afford much assistance in the study of the evolution of human culture.

I have already published two papers on this subject. In my paper entitled "North Indian Folk-Medicine for Hydrophobia and Scorpion-stings," [1] I have published three charms, which are in vogue in Bihar, for the cure of these ills. In my second paper, I have published a cure-charm for the bite of the Boda-snake.[2] I have already said that the language of these charms or incantations is Bengali, as they have been borrowed from the ojhas or medicine-men of Bengal. But as they are intended for use in Bihar, the instructions for using them are in Hindi. [3]

In this paper, I intend to publish the texts, with translations and remarks, of five charms or incantations which are current in

[1] Vide the Journal and Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Vol. XI (N.S.), pages 217-230.

[2] Vide the Journal of the Anthropological Society of Bombay, Vol. X, pages 393-399.

[] Op. cit., page 393.

Bihar for the cure of certain ailments. The first two of these, which are for curing stomach-complaints, namely, diarrhoea and dysentery, are as follows:


Alisar wo dast band karne ka mantra.

1. Gangā Jumṛnā tirther pāni.

2. Eah kahinī kāhini.

3. Se khailo pani.

4. Aj haite dur hailo (amuker) bāndāyā tulānī.[*]

5. Siddha guru Srī Rāmer ājnāya.


Jo mantra padhai wahi jal paḍhe hue pāni ko piye. Jahān amuk" sabda likha gaya hai, wahānpar rogikā nām lenā

par chahiye.



Incantation for stopping Diarrhea and Dysentery.
1. The water of the sacred rivers Ganges and Jumna.
2. [This is the traditional practice (literally, story)].
3. He drank that water.

4. From this day went off (so-and-so's) ailment.

5. At the bidding of the preceptor Sri Rama who is well versed in sorcery.


He, who recites this incantation, should quaff the charmed water. While reciting it, the reciter should mention the patient's name where the word amuker occurs.

This incantation is a remarkable example of that class of curecharms which are characterized by the London Folklore Society as "the simple narration of an event, with a sequel similar to what the charm-reciter now desires." It bears a striking resemblance to the following charm which is in vogue in Cornwall, and,

[*] The words Bandaya tulani are obscure, and I have not been able to make out the meaning thereof. But the sense thereof appears to be "ailment or disease."

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