BANAM, MYTH and COSMOLOGY OF SANTHALS
Director: Bappa Ray
Duration: 42 min, 57 Sec
The Santhals live close to nature. As a community they may be seen in the context of their environment, ecology, the supernatural and beyond. Music and dance form an inseparable part of their day-to-day life and one of their most revered articles is the banam, a musical instrument. It reflects the whole man-nature relationship within itself. Although the instrument is always shown in the female shape, it can only be played by a man. The anatomy of the human being is conceived by the Santhals in the various part of the banam. The film looks at different stages in making of the banam, made out of a single wooden log, from the Gulanj Baha or gula cin tree. Small and delicate, it is often planted by the Santhals near their houses, on account of its prettyfragrantflowers, which are used a ornaments. The branches are slender and very fragile and the wood is extremely soft, light and easy to work with.