Tribal Religion: Religious Beliefs and Practices Among the Santals

Author:

J. Troisi

Publisher:

MANOHAR PUBLISHERS AND DISTRIBUTORS

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Publisher

MANOHAR PUBLISHERS AND DISTRIBUTORS

Publication Year 2021
ISBN-13

9788173043406

ISBN-10 817304340X
Binding

Hardcover

Edition FIRST
Number of Pages 305 Pages
Language (English)
Dimensions (Cms) 22X14X2
Weight (grms) 486

This is the first full-length systematic study of Santal religion as manifested in its beliefs and practices. Based on empirical data and interpreting the existing literature on the subject, it examines how these beliefs and practices contribute to the maintenance of Santal society and the manner in which religion interacts with other institutions in the Santal social structure. The study was conducted in the heart of the Santal homeland, where the tribals naturally have greater freedom to observe their rituals and ceremonies.
After describing the Santal society, the author studies how the Santal institutions have interacted with the wider regional culture. Religion and magic are both used in their attempt to cope with the mysterious super­natural world. A distinctive feature is the intimate relationship between the Santals and their spirits which is manifested in the rites and festivals of the agricultural cycle and in the individual’s life cycle. Santal religion is such a powerful force that the Santals’ religious and social identity have remained intact in spite of their constant interaction with Hinduism and Christianity.


Though the data were collected in a Santa! village, this study provides valuable insights into the religious norms shared by Santals over a wide geographic spread. As a result, this empirical study is likely to become part of that ‘systematic comparison’ of religions of diverse types and societies which Radcliffe-Brown believed would make it ‘possible to establish a general theory of the nature of religions and their role in social development.

J. Troisi

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