Archer, W. G. (William George), 1907-1979. Tribal law and justice: a report on the Santal

Table of Contents

Publication Information

Volume One Civil Law In Santal Society


Part One

1 The Machinery Of Santal Justice

I The Tribal Councils

Ii Village Officials

Iii Conditions Of Appointment

Iv Methods Of Appointment

V Women Manjhis

Vi Fees Of Office

Vii The Function Of The Village Council

Viii The Council Of Five Manjhis

Ix The Annual Hunt


2 The Village Community

I The Ownership Of Land

Ii Rights In Trees

Iii Rights In Water

Iv The Manjhithan

V The Jaher

Vi The Santal House

Vii Duties To The Village


Part Two The Rights Of Santal Men

3 The Inner And The Greater Family

I Introduction

Ii Fathers And Sons

Iii Partition

Iv The First Heir After Major Sons: Widows

V The Father

Vi Brothers

Vii Mother, Grandfather, Paternal Uncles And Grandmother

Viii Daughters And Sisters

Ix Conclusion

Untitled Section: ...

4 Adoption

I Introduction

Ii Adoption Within The Family

Iii Adoption Of Outsiders

Iv Adoption Without Bonga Tala

V The Adoption Of Girls

Vi Other Conditions

Vii Adoption Of Orphans

Viii Asul Badha

Ix Adoption By Widows

X Cancellation

Xi ‘false’ Adoption


5 The Illegitimate Child

I Introduction

Ii Infanticide

Iii Abortion

Iv Marriage

V The Naming Ceremony

Vi The Unmarried Mother And The Known Father

Vii The Unknown Father

Viii The False Father: The Bought Husband

Ix The Bought Father

X The Multiple Lover

Xi The Married Mother And The Absent Husband

Xii The Bidhua Child

Xiii Conclusion


6 The Stepchild

I Introduction

Ii The Duties Of The Stepfather

Iii Aid By Agnates

Iv Gifts To Stepchildren

V Conclusion

7 Guardians

I The Santal Conception Of Minority

Ii The Order Of Guardianship

Iii Family Adjustments

Iv The Duties Of Guardians

V Village Revision

8 Custodians

I The Causes Of Custodianship

Ii The Order Of Preference

Iii Terms Of Custodianship

Iv Defaults And Their Adjustment

V Resumption

Vi Inheritance

Vii Conclusion

9 Guests And Creditors

I Guests

Ii Creditors

10 Servants

I The Asul Duruc’ Ic’

Ii Servants With Land

Iii Annual Servants

Iv Claims

V Status

11 Owners Of Livestock

12 Hunting And Fishing

I The Santal Attitude To Hunting

Ii Technique

Iii Hunting Rules

Iv Hunting Injuries

V Disputes

Vi Fishing

Part Three The Rights Of Santal Women

13 The Santal View Of Woman




14 Unmarried Daughters

I The Duties Of Unmarried Daughters

Ii Rights In Movables

Iii Rights In Land

Iv Inheritance Of Unmarried Daughter’s Property

V La Jao Marao

15 Married Daughters

I Rights In Movables

Ii Rights In Land

Iii Taben Jom

Iv Heirs

16 Wives

I Status

Ii Celan Gitil

Iii La Jao Marao

Iv Religious Consequences

V Economic

Vi Etiquette

Vii Children

Viii Rights


17 Co-wives

I The Causes Of Plural Marriage

Ii The Claims Of The First Wife

Iii Hirom Cetan Bapla

Iv The Polygamous Household

V The Rights Of A Co-wife


18 Widows

I The Status Of Widows In Santal Society

Ii The Effects Of Remarriage On A Childless Widow

Iii The Effects Of Remarriage On A Widow With Children

Iv The Permanent Widow In A Joint Family

V The Permanent Widow With Sons

Vi The Permanent Widow With Daughters Or No Children


Untitled Section: ...

19 Mothers




20 Sisters






21 Ghardi Jawae

I Introduction

Ii Previous Accounts

Iii The Ghardi Jawae

Iv Preliminaries To Induction

V The Terms Of Service

Vi Breach Of Contract: The Father-in-law

Vii Breach Of Contract: The Ghardi Jawae

Viii The Death Of The Father-in-law

Ix The Death Of The Daughter

X The Death Of The Ghardi Jawae

Xi The Completion Of The Term


22 Ghar Jawae

I Antecedents

Ii Ghar Jawaes In One Family

Iii Inductors

Iv The Approval Of The Village

V Eligibility

Vi Inheritance By A Ghar Jawae Married Daughter

Vii The Effects Of Remarriage Or Divorce

Viii Rights In Children

Ix Religious Consequences

X Funerary Functions

Xi The Rights Of The Ghar Jawae

Xii The Death Of The Girl

Xiii The Re-marriage Of A Ghar Jawae

Xiv Rights Of A Ghar Jawae In His Father’s Family

Xv Conclusion

Part Four The Law Of Marriage And Divorce

23 The Definition Of A Santal Marriage

I The Santal Law Of Marriage

Ii The Definition Of Marriage

24 The Standard Form Of Wedding: Dol Bapla

I Introduction

Ii The Match-maker

Iii The First Inspection

Iv The Betrothal

V The Payment Of The Bride Price

Vi The Wedding

Vii The Customary Gifts

Ix The Wedding Costs

Xi Minor Charges

Xii Bor Horo

Xiii Last Claims


25 Two Methods Of Economy: Golaeti And Tunki Dipil

I Tunki Dipil

Ii Golaeti

26 The Forcible Marriage: Iputut’

I The Effects Of Sindur

Ii Antecedents: Opposition By Parents

Iii Iputut’ On Impulse

Iv Ousting A Rival

V Coercion For Marriage

Vi Revenge

Vii The After Life

Viii Adjustments: Marriage

Ix Adjustments: Separation

X Iputut’ To A Married Girl

Xi The Results Of Iputut’

Xii The Santal Attitude

27 Widows And Divorcees: Sangha

I Introduction

Ii Divorcees

Iii Widows

Iv The Younger Brother Of The Dead Husband

V Baha Saoha

Vi Conclusion

28 Marriage By Intercourse: Kundal Napam

I Introduction

Ii Adjustments

29 Marriage By Capture: Or Ader

I Causes Of Or Ader

Iii Adjustments

30 Marriage By Intrusion: Nir Bolok’

I Causes

Ii Methods

Iii Adjustment


31 Elopement: Apangir

I Causes

Ii The Technique Of Elopement

Iii Adjustment

32 Ghardi Jawae And Ghar Jawae

I Ghardi Jawae

Ii Ghar Jawae

Iii Ghar Jawae In Dol Form

Iv Ghar Jawae By Agu Hatar

V Ghar Jawae By Conversion Of A Ghardi Jawae

Vi Ghar Jawae By Converting A Kundal Napam Marriage

Vii Ghar Jawae By Or Ader

Viii Ghar Jawae By Nir Bolok’

Ix Ghar Jawae By Agu Mit’

33 The Bride-price: Gonon Pon

I The Santal Theory Of The Bride-price

Ii The Basis Of Calculation

Iii The Classification Of Girls

Iv The Classification Of Boys

V Evaluation Of Boys

Vi Evaluation Of Girls

Vii The Balancing Of Status

Viii Owners Of Bride-price

Ix Return Of The Bride-price

X Enhancements

Xi The Santal Attitude To The Bride-price


34 The Brother’s Due Bare Itat

I Definition

Ii The Basis Of Claims

Iii The Process Of Receipt

Iv The Object Of The Bare Itat

V Ownership

Vi Claims And Counter-claims

Vii The Return Of Bare Itat

35 Divorce

I Grounds For Divorce

Ii Factors Leading To Divorce

Iii Pre-marital Lovers

Iv Lovers After Marriage

V Sickness

Vi Domestic Friction

Vii Sexual Maladjustment

Viii Breaches Of Taboos

Ix Witchcraft

X Divorce By Sons

Xi Divorce By Parents

Xii The Ritual Of Divorce

Xiii The Claims Of The Husband

The Double Bride-price And The Expenses Of The Wedding

The Double Bride-price

The Father’s Bride-price

The Single Bride-price And The Costs Of The Wedding

The Bride-price And Chadaodi


The Return Of The Brother’s Due

Other Dues

Xiv The Claims Of The Wife


Hirom Baiha

The Wife’s Property

Bare Itat

Arrear Dues

Xv Children

There Remains, Finally, The Problem Of Children

Xvi Results

What Are The Results Of Divorce?


Part Five The Rites Of Crisis

36 Birth


Ii Pre-natal Costs

Iii Delivery

Iv Nim Dak’ Mandi

V The Costs Of The Ceremony

Vi Claims

37 Naming

I Bahna And Mul Names

Ii The Standard Order Of Preference

Untitled Section: ...

Untitled Section: ...

Iii Twins

Iv Ojhas And Shrines

V Aid At Weddings

Vi Devouring By Leopard Or Tiger

Vii Ghar Jawae

Viii Co-wives

Ix Widows

X Adoption

Xi The Illegitimate Child

38 Sickness

I Preliminary

Ii Taking The Pulse

Iii Sunum Bonga

Iv Catching The Bonga

V The Ojha’s Dues

Vi Further Steps

Vii The Responsibility For Treatment

Viii Claims And Adjustments

Ix Conclusion


39 Death


Ii Cremation

Iii Ag Muk

Iv Termination

V Um Narka Rakap’

Vi The Pot Of The Departed

Vii Burial

Viii Tel Nahan

Ix Eliciting The Cause Of Death

X The Role Of The Jadupatia

Xi The Journey To The River

Xii Bhandan

Xiii The Substitute Bhandan

Xiv Mora Karam

Xv The Funerary Dues

Xvi The Rights Of The Dead


Part Six

40 The Trial Of Santal Suits

I The Santal Civil Courts

Ii The Technique Of Trial

Iii The Village Officials

Iv Paternity

V Succession And Partition

Vi Adoption

Vii Guardians

Viii The Rights Of Women

Ix Marriage And Divorce

Volume Two Bitlaha A Report On Santal Criminal Law



Part One The Setting

41 Criminal Justice In Tribal India


42 The Santals And The Indian Penal Code


Part Two The Santal Law

43 Village Order And Discipline

I Introduction

Ii Order And Discipline

Iii Encroachments

Iv Communal Property

V Mischief

Vi Grazing

Vii Pigs

Viii Reservation By Condka

Ix Theft

X Affrays

Xi Abuse

Xii Discipline


44 Village Welfare And Security

I Introduction

Ii The Bonga World

Iii Bongas

Iv Types Of Bonga

V The Function Of Festivals

Vi The Ritual Of Crisis

Vii The Provocation Of Bongas

Viii Taboos On Women

Ix Taboos On Women And Men

X Conclusion


45 The Menace Of Witchcraft

I Introduction

Ii Initiation

Iii The Ritual Of Meetings

Iv ‘eating’ By Witches

V Action Through Bongas

Vi Diagnosis

Vii Confirmation Of The Diagnosis

Viii Remedial Action

Ix The Cure Of Witches

X Conclusion


46 The Regulation Of Sex

I The Santal Attitude To Sex

Ii Rules Of Language And Behaviour

Iii Conventions Of Meeting

Iv Bahonharea And Ajhnarea

V Landa Sagai

Vi The Act Of Sex

Vii Tribal Integrity And Kin Incest

Viii Class Incest

Ix Other Types Of Forbidden Relations

X The Consequences Of Incest


47 The Significance Of Food


48 The Punishment Of Crime

I Major And Minor Crime

Ii The Punishment Of Minor Offences

Iii Major Crime: The Summoning Of The Village

Iv Trial By A Village Council

V The Five Manjhis

Vi The Annual Hunt

Vii Fine And Outcasting

Viii Flight

Ix Elight And The Culprit’s Family

X Bitlaha

Xi The Sending Of The Dharwak’

Xii The Recall Of The Dharwak’

Xiii The Reception Of The Disom Hor

Xiv Ratification

Xv The Bitlaha Ceremony

Xvi The Significance Of Bitlaha

Xvii The Consequence Of Bitlaha

Xviii The Return To Caste: Jom Jati

Xix The Santal Attitude To Bitlaha


49 The Bitlaha Of Dikus

I Preliminary

Ii The Santal Attitude To Dikus

Iii The Investigation Of Offences

Iv The Option Of Fine

V The Consequences Of Flight

Vi The Custom Of Diku Bitlaha

Vii Offences With Diku Girls

Viii The Attitude Of Dikus

Ix The Santal Attitude To Diku Bitlahas


Part Three The Future

50 The Administration Of Justice

I Santals And The Courts

Ii The Criteria For Santal Justice

Iii Santals And The Police

Iv The Treatment Of Major Crimes

V Minor And Other Crime

Vi Application For Maintenance

Vii The Treatment Of Witchcraft

Viii The Effects Of Imprisonment

Ix Bitlaha

Experiments In Suppression

X Prosecution

Xi Aspects Of Bitlaha

Xii The Control Of Bitlaha


Volume Three Civil Justice In Tribal India With Special Reference To The Santal Parganas

51 Systems Of Tribal Justice

I Introduction

Ii The Naga Hills

Iii The Chittagong Hill Tracts

Iv Bastar State

V The Kolhan

Vi The Madras Agency

Vii The Central Provinces

Viii Chota Nagpur

Notes And References

52 Tribal Law And The Courts

I The Central Provinces

Ii Chota Nagpur

Notes And References

53 Tribal Justice In The Santal Parganas




Iv The Regular Courts


Notes And References

54 The Settlement And Santal Justice





55 The Future Of Santal Justice








Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.

Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records

Title: Tribal law and justice: a report on the Santal

Published By: Original publisher New Delhi: Concept. 1984. 3 v. in 1 (xxxvi, a-k, 741 p.) ill.

By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication W. G. Archer ; with an introduction by K. S. Singh

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: Human Relations Area Files, 1998. Computer File

Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis. Santal (AW42)

Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF Mode of marriage (583); Informal in-group justice (627); Legal norms (671); Sanctions (681); Sex and marital offenses (684); Judicial authority (692); Sorcery (754); Organized ceremonial (796);

Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document Archer, a Deputy Commissioner of Santal Parganas during the period of December 1942-June 1945, presents in this document an analysis of Santal tribal law which he observed in operation during the period of his administration. The work is divided into three major parts. Part I discusses civil law in Santal society, based in large part on the application of customary law to various offenses through the judicial system (i.e., the village courts and the Court of Five MANJHIS). Part II describes various ramifications of the application of BITLAHA sanctions to criminal justice. BITLAHA is the Santal term used to describe a mass punishment for major tribal offenses. Part III of this report deals with the structure of the judicial system in tribal regions (with special reference to the Santal Parganas), showing in effect the erosion of customary law and their supercession by statutory law (p. xvii). This section contains a number of suggestions by the author on how the Santal judicial system could be improved. In addition to the above, this study also contains much information on the right of men and women in the society, marriage and divorce, birth, naming customs, sickness, and death, relevant to the period studies (1942-1945).

Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents 7

Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits. aw42-007

Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs. Monograph

Language: Language that the document is written in English

Note: 'Published under the Authority of the Bitlaha Government' Includes bibliographical references (p. 734-741)

Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document December 1942-June 1945

Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data Government Official-5

Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection. John Beierle ; 1996

Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date). 1942-1945

Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site) Santal Parganas District, Bihar, India

LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings Santal (South Asian people)


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