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and small eyes. He has little or no beard—he is a youth all his life, and his chin never knows the use of a razor. The savage is also a fop. He is very fond of wearing long hair, of dressing, plaiting, and gathering it up in a knot over the head, and fastening in the ends with a wooden comb. His dandyism has the best apology in the periwig-pated miniature of Johnson, or in the curly-haired portraits of our ex-judges on the walls of the Court-house. The raiment of a Santhal is a mere strip of cloth to hide his nudity, passed not over his waist, but between his legs, and fastened to a hair or cotton string that goes round the loins. The language he speaks is an unintelligible gibberish, quite un-Sanscrit in its element. He has no caste, like the Hindoo, no prejudice against the substantial good things of life, such as meat and drink. He has his buffaloes, his cows, his kids, his swine, his poultry, and his pigeons. All these by turns furnish his board with good cheer. In case of need, he does not refuse to make snakes, frogs, ants, and rats exercise his gastronomic powers. He is merry-hearted by nature, and carouses himself with the Pachui. He has his own balls and suppers, and dances with his wives and comrades the wild hornpipe of his race.
There was one
* A very extensive dance which I witnessed in the hills took place by torch-light, at midnight, during the month of April, at which about five thousand Santhals were present; these dances are performed by night and day; at the present one about four hundred women danced at the same time, A lofty stage is erected in an open plain, upon which a few men seat themselves, they appear to act as guides or masters of the ceremony ; radiating from this stage, which forms the centre of the dance, are numerous strings composed of from
young gallant fellow, whom we saw to lead his youthful wife by the hand on the road, chatting, fondling, and laughing as they proceeded. They stopped to look at our new faces, and we in turn gazed upon
them interesting pair. The Santhal keeps a fine poultry, and has also his brewery. This was a great temptation to our doctor, who was for testing the hospitality of
None of us had tasted any food since morning, and a Santhal fully came within Dr Johnson's definition of man being a cooking animal. In this far-away wild tract, what could have been more desirable than his well-stocked poultry to turn into a good account. It made the doctor take
the cue to exhaust a lecture half an hour long. He had little need of his harangue to impress upon us the necessity for something immediate to turn into chyle and blood, and put the system in its equilibrium. There was, besides, to have been derived the pleasure of a peep at Santhal life-a drinking-bout with the barbarian in his own home. twenty to thirty women, who holding each other by the waistband, their right shoulder, arm, and breast bare, hair highly ornamented with flowers or with bundles of Tusser silk dyed red, dance to the maddest and wildest of music drawn from monkey-skin covered drums, pipes, and flutes; and as they dance, their positions and postures, which are most absurd, are guided and prompted by the male musicians who dance in front of and facing the women ; the musicians throw themselves into indecent and most ludicrous positions, shouting and capering and screaming like mad-men ; and as they have tall peacock feathers tied round their heads and are very drunk, the scene is a most extraordinary one. The women chant as they dance, and keep very good time in their dancing by beating their heels on the ground ; the whole body of dancers take about one hour to complete the circuit of the central stage, as the progressive motion is considerably retarded by a constant retrogressive motion. Relays of fresh women are always at hand to relieve the tired ones.Captain Sherwill.
His Pachui was certainly a new thing under the sun, and was worth a trial as much as Runjeet Sing's famous pearl-powdered potation. But the lawyer, brought up among the technicalities of declarations' and 'replications,' of 'rebutters' and 'surrebutters,' had no time for romancing. He put in his veto to the proposal of the medico, who retired in no good humour, drawing up his face into a doleful pucker.
The Santhalinee, in her youth, is not an uninteresting creature. She has the short womanly stature, and a delicately-moulded form. Her complexion is a shade darker than the brown. She has long black locks, and large soft eyes, which give a pleasing expression to her countenance. She is cheerful in manners, and has sufficient delicacy to make her admired and beloved. Though she lacks many an item to constitute her a beauty in the strict Aryan sense of that term, she has about her a sort of undefinable charm, which the fastidious may not be able to see.
To an enthusiast like Chateaubriand she might serve as the model of an Atalanta. She is a sultana in her own kingdom, and deserves the homage of a sylvan goddess in her native woodlands. The Santhalinee who attracted our notice was apparently of the age of twenty-five. She was inclined to be fat, and had gentle features. In the fashion of a Bengalee woman, she wore a dhooty passed round her waist over to the shoulders. But, like them, she did not cover her head, nor veil her face. She was an unassuming creature who knew only the modesty of nature. The woman's hạir was parted in the forelock, and it
was oiled, plaited, and tied up in a knot over the nape. She had decked her person with many brass chains and necklaces of beads. From her ears hung more than half-a-dozen earrings of brass. On her arms and feet were heavy bell-metal ornaments. Indeed, it was a sight to see the sable beauty in her complete equipment. Her air of simple innocence, her courteous smile, and her artless expression of countenance, gave her an interesting appearance. So long the ice had not been broken, and she silently watched our ways and movements. But when the doctor opened a conversation, she talked freely and familiarly, appearing to feel no inconvenience under the heavy load of her ornaments.* She pointed out her house at a little distance, in which she was willing to entertain our Chaor- Durvesh party. It was a pity that we had not some beads or trinkets with us to make her a present; and failing that, we have taken the pains to do her justice in these pages.
*Formed in benevolence of nature,
Obliging, modest, gay, and mild,
In courtly town and savage wild.'
It puts, however, a man's philosophy to the proof to appreciate the Santhal matrons, who look ‘so withered and so wild in their attire,' that they might stand for the weird sisters of Shakespeare.
* 'I had a quantity of those ornaments weighed, and found that the bracelets fluctuated from two to four pounds; the anklets four pounds each ; and as a fully-equipped belle carries two anklets and twelve bracelets, and a necklace weighing a pound, the total weight of ornaments carried on her person amounts to thirty-four pounds, of bell metal,-a greater weight than one of our drawing-room belles could well lift. Almost every woman, in comfortable circumstances, carries twelve pounds' weight of brass ornaments.'— Captain Sherwill.
The Tamulian Santhal is neither so savage as the bear that climbs to eat the fruit of his mahua tree, nor so degraded as the ape that havocs his plantain garden, as is erroneously supposed by the outside world. In his social life is found much that is pleasing and hopeful. The Santhal is an agriculturist. Before his axe the forest disappears, and is converted into a fertile tract. He is not only industrious, but to some extent even intelligent. He knows how to choose soil, and to study the weather. He understands the rotation of crops. He has invented his own plough and cart, and has learnt to build his own log-hut. He knows how to express oil—has his granary, his dairy, his poultry, and his brewery. He is a grist, who is fond of his wives and children, and lives with his boys and daughters, their wives and husbands, all about him— imparting to his mode of living a patriarchal appearance, which carries one back to the days of that society 'when the patriarch sat in the door of his tent, and called in the passing traveller under his roof.' Indeed, he keeps a zenana of several wives, like a true Oriental, imitating therein his neighbours the wild elephant, the buffalo, and the monkey. But he is not an idle, good-for-nought fellow, to throw the heaviest part of manual labour on the weaker sex. Rather he is chevalier enough to hold womankind in deference, to treat his wife as a “better half.' He woos a maiden with presents, and next marries her by giving a feast