Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Partha Pal: Santhals


Partha Pal's biography states that his profession is that of a mechanical engineer, technically making him a part-time photographer. Notwithstanding, his photographs were published in Popular Photography, Hindustan Times, Sanctuary Asia, on covers of Penguin books, in Better Photography, Times Journal of Photography amongst others. He has also been recognized by many photographic contests, and awarded a number of prizes.

His website features a number of galleries, and the one I was interested in the most is of the Santhals. According to Wikipedia, the Santhals are the largest tribal community in India, found mainly in the states of Orissa, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Assam. Its community is devoid of any caste system and there is no distinction made on the basis of birth. They believe in supernatural beings and ancestral spirits. Santali rituals are consist mainly of sacrificial offerings and invocations to the spirits, or bongas.

The Santhals appear to be very similar to the adivasi minorities in Chattisgarh and Orissa. For my own gallery of The Adivasis of Chattisgarh, click here.