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I.-Note on the occurrence of copper celts in Manbhum.
By the Hon'ble and Rev. Dr. A. Campbell, D.D.
To my own knowledge 27 specimens of copper axe-heads have been found in the Manbhum district. I got possession of 24; other three that were brought to me I did not take, as, not knowing these bits of copper were of so great interest, I grudged to pay the price to secure them.
There is a range of low hills running almost due east from Paresnath to Pokhuria in the north of the Dhanbad Subdivision, North of this range of hills is the Barakar river, which is the boundary between Manbhum and the Santal Parganas, and further west the boundary between Manbhum and Hāzāribāgh. The axeheads have so far all been found in the stretch of country between the hills and the Barākar river.
The first, and one of the finest specimens, came into my possession 35 years ago. The Manjhi of the village of Bisuadih, which is close to Pokhuria, informed me that there was something lying in the jungle in his village. No one knew what it was. It had lain there for a long time and no one had the courage to go close to it to examine it. The herd boys were in the habit, when in that part of the jungle, of going as close to it as they dared, throwing stone in it to make it ring and then flying as fast as they could. I was interested and sent a Christian young man to bring it; no non-Christian dared to go near it. I have shown this particular specimen to many, but no one could give me any idea of what it really was. Rai Bahadur Nanda Gopal Banarji of Purulia gave it as his opinion that it had been used as a halo behind the head of an image.
Since then at intervals specimens have been brought to me, one or two at a time. These were found in the beds of nalas, having been evidently washed by the rain out of the soil forming the banks.
About two years ago the great find took place. This consisted of a dozen magnificent specimens, which were dug up by coolies engaged in making the road which goes from the village of Kolber to the boundary of the Hāzāribāgh district. They were found in one lot about a foot below the surface, and brought immediately to me. I acquired the complete find. Those I sent to Ranchi are from this lot. The axe-heads are of various sizes. I have one perfect specimen which weighs only half a seer, and it resembles in shape a modern American axe-head.
The method of manufacturing these axe-heads seems to have been to run the metal into a mould, of the shape of, but thicker and smaller than, the finished article. It was then beaten out to the required thickness. This appears to me to account for the variety in the shape of those that have been found. A little difference in the thickness cast in the mould, or else the metal beaten irregularly, would result in the slight differences in shapes which exist. I possess one of these rough castings.
By Satindra Narayan Roy, M.A., B. L.
POLYTHEISM and the want of a rigid cult have ensured a steady flow of converts into the fold of the Hindu religion. It is wrong to suppose that Hinduism is not a proselytizing religion. It is specially adapted for the slow but sure conversion of the aborigines.
In the north of Balasore there is a small village called Lakhannath. It is situated on the river Suvarnarekha. Some fifteen years ago a few Santal families settled in a portion of this village, which was called after them Santal Sai or the Santal colony. At first they spoke their own language and subsisted mainly by manual labour. They gradually brought a large tract of fallow land under the plough and became independent cultivators and learnt the Oriya language. They originally ate beef, but the influence of their Hindu neighbours led them to give it up. They also learnt habits of cleanliness. When they first came to the village they used to sleep after the toil of the
But gradualSome five years
day, unwashed, with mud on their feet and ankles. ly they learnt to take regular ablutions. ago, they were engaged in digging a tank and so found a large number of stone idols. The proprietor of the tank left the stone idols to their fate. One fine morning the whole Santāl colony was up and doing. After a good deal of carousing they resorted to the spot in a body with pipes and kettle-drums, and cleared the ground and smeared the tallest idol with vermilion. In their forest homes the Santals used to worship rough unhewn stones and to sacrifice fowls before them. Bat influenced by their Hindu environment a lamb was now offered instead of a hen. Next year there was an epidemic of cholera. The Santals
and the Hindu villagers sacrificed two lambs jointly at the altar of this new deity to appease him and to abate the epidemic. The deity was called Kharakhai, which means a deity living upon sunshine. A Brahman who had been ostracised for an amour with a Hari or sweeper woman became the priest of the Santals and the worship of Kharakhāi. His only duty consisted in renewing the vermilion on the tallest idol when it lost its gloss. At the time of an epidemic the Hindus and the Santāls still offer sacrifices to this deity.