English

A GRAND ? JOAR? TO HO/KOL TRIBES

 The  HOs  are originally knows as KOLs , and they also want to be recognized as KOLs .The term HO means  “ man” .Sometimes they are also known ‘’KOLHAN’’. The term ‘’ KOLHAN’’ means child of Kol. In many parts of India they are known as ‘’LARKA’’ . They are aboriginals of the Dravidian race and ,particularly in WEST BENGAL, have now  expanded to many interior parts of WEST MIDNAPUR , BANKURA  and  PURULIA .They are firm and independent by nature , physically and morally superior to other tribes ,and  also have a collective memory.

MYTHICAL  BACKGROUND

According to their mythology , Sin Bonga created MISIYABAREE  - a boy (lukuhadam) and a girl (lukubudi) and levied  them with the task of human creation . But they felt hesitated to copulate as they regarded themselves as brother and sister and the father being Sin Bonga . they once drank DIYANG / HANDIA and copulated in an intoxicated state . Thus the creation of human being began .

                                                                                                    The kols still celebrate this day each year on the month of MAGH known as MAGE POROBE with the special drink DIYANG / HANDIA . Every bride- groom has to drink Hadia on their wedding on the basis of this myth .

                                                                                         In their  mythology ,MOTUAN , SANTALA   and LITA are the three sons of SIN  BONGA (SUN GOD) . Due to foreign invasions , they were  forced to leave their home land and search  for a home land. While migrating they had to cross a river ,without boat .In this tense situation , SANTALA , the second son, left them and concealed himself in a nearby forest to watch their  activities . The two brothers MOTUAN and LITA  invoked  GANGA, the river goddess, for  help. She whispered in their ears to walk straight without looking back .And as they started to do so , the river water  got split apart in two parts like a sheet to give them way to walk .SANTALA came and followed them , but he got drowned  . He then asked GANGA  for help . In return  of which he offered his  to give his bones after his death . So , GANGA allowed him to live near the bank. “AATU” is named after the village where he started living .For this reason , even now, every Santhal  has to give his bones to river Damodar  after his death. The descenders  of MOTUAN are called  MUNDRA ; descenders  of SANTALA  are called  SANTHAL  , and those of LITA  are called KOL.

 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

HO / KOL people secured their independence by winning different wars against the rajas of Mayurbhanj district and of Chota Nagpur plateaus . They also rebelled against British Empire . During 9th and 12th centuries , copper-mining  started in many parts of old Singhbhum , which attracts the Kols of Manbhum and they immigrate to Singhbhum . Again they fought many battles to secure there.

 

RITUALS

SIN BONGA (SUN GOD ) is their main diety . They celebrate MAGE PORAB  when the first moon appears after Amabahsya  in  the month of  “ MAGH “. They celebrate it with a special beer “ DIYANG”  or “ HANDIA” . Singing and dancing are an important part of  their festivals . They  also celebrate  SALVI PUJA , MAKAR SANKRANTI , SOHARI , KARAMA , AKSHAYA  TRITYA etc. They celebrate Hyara Porob ( for showing ) , Baya Porab (for newly grown crops) , and Jamnama Porob (on harvesting ).

 

MARRIAGE

Marriage within the clan is strictly prohibited and the offenders are ousted from the society . Every child is regarded as the child of SIN BONGA  , the father only  helps the mother  in  the  reproduction process. “RAIBAR” (match-maker) plays an important role in the marriage . 

                                                                                                            ‘’RAIBAR ‘’ carries a date – twig and knots with its leaves at every sight of evil and good incidents . The marriage process is divided into many rituals . First the bride side (KONA POKHO) comes to fix the date of marriage and receive the bride price from grooms house – the occasion is termed as ‘’SAGAI’’ , organized in a simple way without much decorum . The  KONA POKHO gets a special respect from BOR POKHO (groom side) , unlike Hindu culture . The   BOR POKHO greets each KONAJATRI by washing their feets with mustard oil and haldi . They serve ‘’bidi’’ and “ HANDIA” for refreshment . This process is called ‘’ SUKULEM ‘’ . The parents bless the new couple through songs known as  ‘’ BALA DURANG’’ . The process of bargaining of the bride-price is known as ‘’ GANANG SIPID ‘’ . The KONA POKHO receives  raw  food from Bor Pokho which they have to cook themselves . It is same even for Bor Pokho  when they go for marriage . The process is known as ‘’ JAMAYAKO NUKAYO ‘’ . ‘’SINDURDAN ‘’ also is a main event of their marriage . The process of marriage ends with Brides farewell is known as ‘’VADAI / HUNDER ‘’ accompanied by song and dance .

OCCUPATION

Agriculture  and cattle-rearing are their main occupations , but now a days many of them are moving towards industrial  sector  and  also towards public sector .

FOOD

Their  usual  food is “ DA MANI” or “ PANTA BHAT “ . “HANDIA” or “DIYANG”  is a special alcoholic drink served in all festivals . It is made of rice  ,  charpatu (root)  and ranu ( a fruit) . They use small containers made of leaves known as “PUUN”. They also eat “HAU”(red ants) , “BURDUL” or “ KALA” ( insects) , “JAL KENCHO”(water worms), snakes etc.

DRESS

The traditional dress of KOL women is  “ LANGA” – a white sari with a red border  , divided into two portions. The traditional dress of men are short length  dhoti known as “ PANCHI”.The KOL women also wear gold and silver ornaments “ AANDU” (anklet) , “PANKATA” ( ear ring) , “ KANASHI” (bangles) , “ PULI” ( nose ring), “ TAKAR HISER” (necklace made of coins).

 

FOLK SONGS AND DANCES

Songs and dances are an important part of all their rituals  and festivals . All matrimonial and casual ceremonies are accompanied by their folk songs  . Specially during various marriage ceremonies , songs are used to simultaneously describe the ongoing event . Their musical instruments are DAMA or NAGADA , DUMANG , RHEATA , RUTU and BANAM .

 

POSITION OF WOMEN

KOL women gets high respect not just in the society but in the family too  . Mothers were treated as the head of the family  in ancient times. In addition to it , they are given the right to choose their own partners.

 

LANGUAGE

They use KOL HO  language . It belomgs to AUSTRO-ASIATIC family , but they used many words of the provisional language. ‘’BARASAHED is belelieved to have invented the Ho inscription –  ‘’ADANGCHITI’’ . Their words are nature based - the word “ JOAR “ means  ‘pranam’ . ‘Jo’  means joint and ‘ar’ means  arm . The father  is termed as   “ AABBA”- one who resides  at the upper surface, as he is traditionally considered just an outsider who contributes just assists in the process of reproduction . The term “ MAA” denotes mother . It comes  from  the word  “maha” meaning superior or great . The term  “ DIKU”  means  defier  of land . “Di” means  land and “ku” meaning  defier. They use this term for Aryans  who invaded and forcefully occupied their territory .   

 

DRAWBACKS

1 . They misuse their store of rice to make “ HADIA” –a special alcoholic drink.

2. They still support child-marriage.

3. They  don’t use medicinal plants of which they have full knowledge and is also available in plenty .

4. They don’t  believe in education as a tool of reformation , and hence still deprive them of education .   

5. They still believe in superstitions regarding marraiges . 

6. According to 2001 survey their Literacy rate is just a meager 39.2%  , which is way below average .      

    

                                                                                     

MYTHICAL  BACKGROUND

According to their mythology , Sin Bonga created MISIYABAREE  - a boy (lukuhadam) and a girl (lukubudi) and levied  them with the task of human creation . But they felt hesitated to copulate as they regarded themselves as brother and sister and the father being Sin Bonga, they once drank DIYANG / HANDIA and copulated in an intoxicated state . Thus the creation of human being began .

                                                                                                    The kols still celebrate this day each year on the month of MAGH known as MAGE POROBE with the special drink DIYANG / HANDIA . Every bride- groom has to drink Hadia on their wedding on the basis of this myth .

                                                                                         In their  mythology ,MOTUAN , SANTALA   and LITA are the three sons of SIN  BONGA (SUN GOD) . Due to foreign invasions , they were  forced to leave their home land and search  for a home land. While migrating they had to cross a river ,without boat .In this tense situation , SANTALA , the second son, left them and concealed himself in a nearby forest to watch their  activities . The two brothers MOTUAN and LITA  invoked  GANGA, the river goddess, for  help. She whispered in their ears to walk straight without looking back .And as they started to do so , the river water  got split apart in two parts like a sheet to give them way to walk .SANTALA came and followed them , but he got drowned  . He then asked GANGA  for help . In return  of which he offered his  to give his bones after his death . So , GANGA allowed him to live near the bank. “AATU” is named after the village where he started living .For this reason , even now, every Santhal  has to give his bones to river Damodar  after his death. The descenders  of MOTUAN are called  MUNDRA ; descenders  of SANTALA  are called  SANTHAL  , and those of LITA  are called KOL.

 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

HO / KOL people secured their independence by winning different wars against the rajas of Mayurbhanj district and of Chota Nagpur plateaus . They also rebelled against British Empire . During 9th and 12th centuries , copper-mining  started in many parts of old Singhbhum , which attracts the Kols of Manbhum and they immigrate to Singhbhum . Again they fought many battles to secure there.

 

RITUALS

SIN BONGA (SUN GOD ) is their main diety . They celebrate MAGE PORAB  when the first moon appears after Amabahsya  in  the month of  “ MAGH “. They celebrate it with a special beer “ DIYANG”  or “ HANDIA” . Singing and dancing are an important part of  their festivals . They  also celebrate  SALVI PUJA , MAKAR SANKRANTI , SOHARI , KARAMA , AKSHAYA  TRITYA etc. They celebrate Hyara Porob ( for showing ) , Baya Porab (for newly grown crops) , and Jamnama Porob (on harvesting ).

 

MARRIAGE

Marriage within the clan is strictly prohibited and the offenders are ousted from the society . Every child is regarded as the child of SIN BONGA  , the father only  helps the mother  in  the  reproduction process. “RAIBAR” (match-maker) plays an important role in the marriage . 

                                                                                                            ‘’RAIBAR ‘’ carries a date – twig and knots with its leaves at every sight of evil and good incidents . The marriage process is divided into many rituals . First the bride side (KONA POKHO) comes to fix the date of marriage and receive the bride price from grooms house – the occasion is termed as ‘’SAGAI’’ , organized in a simple way without much decorum . The  KONA POKHO gets a special respect from BOR POKHO (groom side) , unlike Hindu culture . The   BOR POKHO greets each KONAJATRI by washing their feets with mustard oil and haldi . They serve ‘’bidi’’ and “ HANDIA” for refreshment . This process is called ‘’ SUKULEM ‘’ . The parents bless the new couple through songs known as  ‘’ BALA DURANG’’ . The process of bargaining of the bride-price is known as ‘’ GANANG SIPID ‘’ . The KONA POKHO receives  raw  food from Bor Pokho which they have to cook themselves . It is same even for Bor Pokho  when they go for marriage . The process is known as ‘’ JAMAYAKO NUKAYO ‘’ . ‘’SINDURDAN ‘’ also is a main event of their marriage . The process of marriage ends with Brides farewell is known as ‘’VADAI / HUNDER ‘’ accompanied by song and dance .

OCCUPATION

Agriculture  and cattle-rearing are their main occupations , but now a days many of them are moving towards industrial  sector  and  also towards public sector .

FOOD

Their  usual  food is “ DA MANI” or “ PANTA BHAT “ . “HANDIA” or “DIYANG”  is a special alcoholic drink served in all festivals . It is made of rice  ,  charpatu (root)  and ranu ( a fruit) . They use small containers made of leaves known as “PUUN”. They also eat “HAU”(red ants) , “BURDUL” or “ KALA” ( insects) , “JAL KENCHO”(water worms), snakes etc.

DRESS

The traditional dress of KOL women is  “ LANGA” – a white sari with a red border  , divided into two portions. The traditional dress of men are short length  dhoti known as “ PANCHI”.The KOL women also wear gold and silver ornaments “ AANDU” (anklet) , “PANKATA” ( ear ring) , “ KANASHI” (bangles) , “ PULI” ( nose ring), “ TAKAR HISER” (necklace made of coins).

 

FOLK SONGS AND DANCES

Songs and dances are an important part of all their rituals  and festivals . All matrimonial and casual ceremonies are accompanied by their folk songs  . Specially during various marriage ceremonies , songs are used to simultaneously describe the ongoing event . Their musical instruments are DAMA or NAGADA , DUMANG , RHEATA , RUTU and BANAM .

 

POSITION OF WOMEN

KOL women gets high respect not just in the society but in the family too  . Mothers were treated as the head of the family  in ancient times. In addition to it , they are given the right to choose their own partners.

 

LANGUAGE

They use KOL HO  language . It belomgs to AUSTRO-ASIATIC family , but they used many words of the provisional language. ‘’BARASAHED is belelieved to have invented the Ho inscription –  ‘’ADANGCHITI’’ . Their words are nature based - the word “ JOAR “ means  ‘pranam’ . ‘Jo’  means joint and ‘ar’ means  arm . The father  is termed as   “ AABBA”- one who resides  at the upper surface, as he is traditionally considered just an outsider who contributes just assists in the process of reproduction . The term “ MAA” denotes mother . It comes  from  the word  “maha” meaning superior or great . The term  “ DIKU”  means  defier  of land . “Di” means  land and “ku” meaning  defier. They use this term for Aryans  who invaded and forcefully occupied their territory .   

 

DRAWBACKS

1 . They misuse their store of rice to make “ HADIA” –a special alcoholic drink.

2. They still support child-marriage.

3. They  don’t use medicinal plants of which they have full knowledge and is also available in plenty .

4. They don’t  believe in education as a tool of reformation , and hence still deprive them of education .   

5. They still believe in superstitions regarding marraiges . 

6. According to 2001 survey their Literacy rate is just a meager 39.2%  , which is way below average .      

 

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