Santali Musical Intruments | Santali Tradition

Santali Musical Instruments

Johar visitors, today in this blog post we are going to discuss the topic of Santali Musical Instruments.

We all know that there are so many religion in our country and each religion has its own Tradition and culture. And in Santhali tradition also There is singing and dancing. It is a major part of Santali culture.

Santhali people love singing and dancing and most of their festivals consist of song and dance.
Basically, we can say that without this Santali tradition and living cannot be imagined. The Life of Santhali people is very connected with their music and dance practice.

In Santhali community cultural and social events are always celebrated with lots of joys and these events are always include dancing.

We going to give you a broad overview of the musical instruments that are being used by the Santhali people.


Santali Musical Instruments tamak
Image Attribution: Santhaledisom
ᱴᱟᱢᱟᱠ Tamak is just like a round dish-shaped drum. Its entire body is made of a thin material of wood and upper part covered by bulls hide and it is beaten by a pair of sticks in order to do music. It has one supporting rope which is used to lift it.

Types of Tamak

Tamaks can be categorized into two types based on their use. These are made of different sizes according to the use. Some Tamaks are used during group hunting or Sendra.

And other than this tamaks are used in the festive dancing occasion like Langre, dong, Baha and many more where men lift on their shoulders.

Some are so heavy that they are carried using carts. The deep sound produced by the drums are so loud that it can be heard up to a very good distance.


Santali Musical Instruments tumdah
Image Attribution: Kherwal Santhal
ᱴᱩᱢᱫᱟᱜ Tumdah is also sometimes referred to as madol, it is a two-sided faced drum covered with burnt hard clay and it's entire body is covered with some small strips of Bull hide.

 Its shape is just like one side broader and another side a little thinner shaped cylinder. The left head one is broader than the right and on the left side, it is also covered by bulls hid and another end is covered by the skin of a goat and these are beaten sidewise by the left and right hand.

It is used mostly with the tamaks. So, basically for a good music and tone, both tumdah and tamaks are required. These are not so heavy, it is a single man instrument and it also consists of supporting ropes to lift it on your shoulders.

Both Tumdah and tamaks are one of the main symbols of Santhali Culture.  These are being used from a very old past and now it is mentioned as one of the identities of the Santhal Community.


Santali Musical Instruments sakwa
Image Attribution: Kherwal Santhal
ᱥᱟᱠᱣᱟ It is a trumpet type instrument and it is made of buffalo's horn or the antelope's horn with some amount of clay.

This is used mostly during Baha And Mag festival (both are very important religious festivals ) and these are also sometimes used at Sendra (mass hunting). These are used during the worshipping and offering to the Gods and goddess.


Santali Musical Instruments singa
Image Credit: Flickr
ᱥᱤᱱᱜᱟ It just looks like a half S-shaped music instrument played during the wedding's events occurred in the Santhali Community.

It is made up of some brass and copper, it usually consists of a mouthpiece at one blowing end and the other end have a conic section opening.


Santali Musical Instruments dhak
Image Attribution: Santhaledisom
ᱰᱷᱟᱠ It looks just as same as Tamaks but these are quite long in size and these are beaten with pairs of stick to bring out different kind of tone compare to Tamaks which are tapered with hands.


Santali Musical Instruments Banam
Image Attribution: Santali Wiki
ᱵᱟᱱᱟᱢ Banam can be made with the help of a wooden block and it only requires the proper joining of different parts. A wooden Banam has a side broader and another side narrower.

The narrower side is basically used as a handle. And it also consists of a string or we can say threads which is made up of the hairs of Horse and these threads are used to join the ends tightly. The broader side of the banam is hollowed and is covered with a thin leather.

In order to play it, a stick is used which also include a thread made of Horse hairs and during playing it is held in the right hand.

The wooden part of the Banam is held on the left hand and the stick consists of a string is used to play the Banam. This instruments can be carried anywhere as it is not so heavy and it is suited for all kinds of songs.

Story of Banam

There is a strange history of the making of the making of Banam. According to this history, once there used to be seven brother and one sister and due to some reason, the brothers thought of killing their sister and eat her.

So, they killed her and each brother shared some flesh of their sister. But the youngest brother felt so guilty after that act that he buried his portion of flesh into an anthill and after some time a beautiful tree grew from that spot.

And one day a man was passing through the tree, and then he hears a beautiful music emerging from the tree. Then the man cuts one branch of the tree and he made the first Banam which was basically a part of the tree.

Types of Banam

  • Dhodro Banam
  • Phet Banam


ᱴᱤᱨᱤᱭᱟᱣ I think you know how its look. It just same as flute and This is made up of a thin hollow bamboo. A Tiriyo has five circular holes on the surface and there is one for blowing air and the other four situated closely for bringing out different tones by controlling the air coming out.
It is the most favored instrument in Santhali Community. In some case, tiriyo can have seven holes just in case for large varieties of tones and music. It is mostly referred to as a symbol of love and care.


So, that was all I have on the list of Most used or you can say Top Santali Musical Instruments that are being used in Santhal Community. If you liked it then let me know by commenting.

And if you have any suggestion regarding this list then please let me know. Thank you for your visit.ᱡᱚᱦᱟᱨ

Also read: Santali Bibliography: Collection of Santali literature
Also read: Ale Ato Santali Music Album
Also read: Santali Langauge Learn Ol Chiki

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