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The Sarsagun Maiden

Category: Part IV

Source: Folklore Of The Santal Parganas

There was once a Sarsagun girl who was going to be married; and a
large party of her girl friends went to the jungle to pick leaves
for the wedding. The Sarsagun girl persisted in going with them as
usual though they begged her not to do so. As they picked the leaves
they sang songs and choruses; so they worked and sang till they came
to a tree covered with beautiful flowers; they all longed to adorn
their hair with the flowers but the difficulty was that they had no
comb or looking glass; at last one girl said that a bonga Kora
lived close by who could supply them; thereupon there was a great
dispute as to who should go to the bonga Kora and ask for a mirror
and comb; each wanted the other to go; and in the end they made the
Sarsagun girl go. She went to the bonga Kora and called "Bonga Kora
give a me mirror and comb that we may adorn our hair with Mirjin
flowers." The Bonga Kora pointed them out to her lying on a shelf
and she took them away.

Then they had a gay time adorning their hair; but when they had
finished not one of the girls would consent to take back the mirror
and comb. The Sarsagun maiden urged that as she had brought them it
was only fair that someone else should take them back; but they would
not listen, so in the end she had to take them. The Bonga Kora pointed
to a shelf for her to place them on but when she went to do so and
was well inside his house he closed the door and shut her in. Her
companions waited for her return till they were tired and then went
home and told her mother what had happened. Then her father and brother
went in search of her and coming to the Bonga Kora's home they sang:

"Daughter, you combed yourself with a one row comb
Daughter, you put mirjin flowers in your hair
Daughter, come hither to us."

But she only answered from within--

"He has shut me in with a stone, father
He has closed the door upon me, father
Do you and my mother go home again."

Then her eldest brother came and sang the same song and received the
same answer; her mothers's brother and father's sister then came and
sang, also in vain; so they all went home.

Just then the intended bridegroom with his party arrived at the village
and were welcomed with refreshments and invited to camp under a tree;
but while the bridegroom's party were taking their ease, the bride's
relations were in a great to-do because the bride was missing; and
when the matchmaker came and asked them to get the marriage ceremony
over at once that the bridegroom might return, they had to take
him into the house and tell him what had happened. The matchmaker
went and told the bridegroom, who at once called his men to him and
mounted his horse and rode off in a rage. Now it happened that the
drummers attached to the procession had stopped just in front of the
home of the Bonga Kora and were drumming away there; so when the
bridegroom rode up to them his horse passed over the door of the Bonga
Kora's home and stamped on it so hard that it flew open; standing just
inside was the Sarsagun girl; at once the bridegroom pulled her out,
placed her on his horse and rode off with her to his home.

Next: The Schoolboy And The Bonga

Previous: The House Bonga

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