The Bonga Exorcised
Category: Part V.
Source: Folklore Of The Santal Parganas
A very poor man was once ploughing his field and as he ploughed the
share caught fast in something. At first he thought that it was
a root and tried to divide it with his axe; but as he could not
cut it he looked closer and found that it was a copper chain. He
followed the chain along and at either end he found a brass pot full
of rupees. Delighted with his luck he wrapped the pots in his cloth
and hurried home. Then he and his wife counted the money and buried
it under the floor of their house.
From that time the man began to prosper; his crops were always good;
and his cattle increased and multiplied; he had many children and
they grew up strong and healthy and were married and had children of
But after many years luck changed. The family was constantly ill and
every year a child died. The jan guru who was consulted declared
that a Kisar bonga was responsible for their misfortunes. He told
the sons how their father had found the money in the ground and said
that the bonga to whom the money belonged was responsible for their
misfortunes and was named Mainomati.
He told them how to get rid of the bonga. They were to dig up
the buried money and place it in bags; and load it on the back of a
young heifer; and take five brass nails and four copper nails, and
two rams. If the bonga was willing to leave the house the heifer
would walk away to another village directly the bags were placed on
its back; but if the bonga would not go the heifer would not move.
So they did as the Janguru advised and when the bags were placed
on the heifer it walked away to a large peepul tree growing on the
banks of a stream in another village and there it stopped. Then they
sacrificed the rams and uttering vows over the nails drove them into
the peepul tree and went home, turning the heifer loose. From that
time their troubles ceased.
But that evening a man driving his cattle home saw a young woman
nailed to the peepul tree; and not knowing that she was a bonga
he released her and took her home and married her.
Next: The Beginning Of Things
Previous: The Boundary Bonga