Creation of Human being according to Santal
This describes the kinship between human being and animals. According to this, God created two birds ‘Has’ and ‘Hasil’- out of his hair when all of Earth was covered with water, before the dry land appeared. The birds, which flew below the sun and above the Earth, were able to connect Heaven to Earth because they could operate in both domains. They built the nest on the earth and laid their egg, they are cosmic eggs, out of which two creatures; human male and human female are born – Pilchu Haram and pilchu Burhi. Both these myths creation of world and mankind refer the birds and animal as ancestors. Thus Santal concept of life begins with animals. The first human couple grew up in ‘Hihiri Pipiri’.
After the creation of Earth, the male and female human being gave birth to seven sons and seven daughters. The children later married among themselves, and each couple became the ancestors of a Santal clan. Later, five more groups formed, for a total of twelve clans. Each of these clans has ‘totem’ a plant or animal with which member of the clan share a sacred link. A total 12 clans is found among the Santals. They are Hansdak’, Murmu, Hembrom, Soren, Kisku, Tudu, Marndi, Baske, Besra, Chonre, Puria and Bedea. An affiliation or sacred contact is believed to link these clans and their respective totems. Therefore, each of the names of clans is derived from either from the plants or animals species.
The Hansdak clan from hans( Hans means goose and dak means water) has highest social status because their name has derived from the name of their clan from first ancestors. It is significant that bird is goose, because geease walk on Earth and build their nests there but they fly in the sky.
Next in order are ‘Murmu’, whose totem is Niglai or antelope. The ancestor of this clan hunted the antelope. The antelope was the first animal to be sacrificed by Santals. Murmu serves as priest. The all remaining clan totems are the kingfisher, betel nuts, grass(traders), a star constellation(soldiers), owl(musicians), stale rice(cooks),pigeon, sheep and lizard. Santals do not hunt or eat the animal of their totem as totem animals & nature are considered members of their clan.