Even before the forefathers of the National Movement sowed the roots of nationalism, the tribals had given a clarion call to end the rule of the East Indian Company. Apart from the Wahabi and Farazi leaders, the tribal leaders were among the first legion of leaders who sacrificed their lives for the cause of the motherland.
The Santhals seem to have settled first, between 1790 and 1810, in the region , which later, by Act 37 of 1855, was given the status of a district and came to be known as the district of Santhal Prgana, . At that time, the area was quite vast, but the boundary line was redrawn in 1857 by Act 10 (Virottam, 2006), due to protests from the Zamindars and the Englishmen engaged in indigo cultivation, Between 1815 and 1830, there appears to have been a further dispersion of the Santhals. They were busy clearing the forests, and by 1836, no less than 427 villages had been established in the ‘Daman-i-Koh’ inhabited by the Santhals and Bhuiyas(O’Malley,1910). The Santhals were originally, according to popular tradition, divided into twelve sects, of which eleven only remained, one disappeared entirely( Bradley-Brit, 1905, p.343). Their myths depict a story of their constant wanderings before they came towards the end of the eighteenth century to their present habitat in the Santhal Parganas The Santhal legend traces their origin to a wild goose, which laid two eggs, out of which sprang Pilchu Haram and Pilchu Burhi, their two ancestors (Singh et.al, 2008).
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