Santal Pat

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Santal Pat scrolls that deal with the origins of the santals and their views of the life after death. These pats are used extensively in Purulia and in the north-eastern regions of Bankura in west bengal, where the Santals form the leading. Their artists thus tend to draw pictures that narrate the origins of their tribe based on their folk tales; the tale of Korizak is one such story.

The pictures are drawn in five parts. Starting from top to bottom they illustrate: 1. a submerged world; two swans, one male and the other female, flying over water; there is no dry place for them to sit on; 2. an earthworm building a plot of land out of the water; 3. the swans living on land and the female swan laying a couple of eggs; 4. two swans emerging out of the eggs, one male and the other female; 5. the first man and woman (like Adam and Eve) giving birth to the Santal people.

The legends of the Santals and the pictures drawn by their painters almost details. However, the pats only often the outlines of the story. [Yas Vanu Begum]