A. Oral:

1. Tradition

  1. Individual: Kharia is one of the chief tribes in the state of Jharkhand. Kharias have their own personality among the society. They are very calm and polite by nature. They talk very politely and carefully with their neighbors or with anybody, which is one of their personal identities. They don’t hate to any body.
  2. Group: Like the other societies, Kharia too has a distinct identity of its own. They have their own tradition to stay within their locality and society. They like to stay within their community only and they do not like to mingle with others excessively. The Kharia community prefers to live/stay more in the forests or hilly areas of the mountains. They live in one place making a house in that place. They have the tradition to stay together in the human society/civilization whether in suffering or enjoyment. They have the quality to maintain and preserve the equality and peace among the different groups of society or religion. They celebrate all the festivals and ceremonies together in their families and communities. It is their duty to help/cooperate others during the marriage ceremony. It is one of their duties to help a family if it needs help due to heavy workload, and for this they do not charge any money except a meal, which is called “Madait”. To work altogether for a couple of hours is termed as “Pancha”.

2. Types of Folk Songs:

  1. Ballads (Simple Song): The Kharia people sing songs in their own language. There are different music/Raagas/tones for different seasons. The music is carried out according to the song and there are different steps of dancing in accordance with the music. There are solo songs. Some of the songs can be sung while walking or by simply sitting.
  2. Lyrics: These kinds of songs are sung while people are passing alone through the hills, forests. They express their feelings through question-answer type of songs in the hills.
  3. Hymns (Song to praise God): Different kinds of prayers and songs are there in the Kharia society to express their gratitude to the Gods and Goddesses. They prepare the prayers in accordance with their songs/lyrics.
  4. Rituals Song: Ritual songs are sung during the naming ceremony of a child and at the marriage functions. One can make out which function/ceremony is being celebrated from the types of ritual songs.
  5. Festival Songs: During the different festivals in the Kharia society, different songs/lyrics are sung with different tones/Raagas in accordance with the monsoons/seasons. Phagua is sung during the festival of Colors or Holi. Jankor song is sung during the Sarhula. Bandai is celebrated after the cutting of the corps. This is the biggest festival among the Kharia people, which is celebrated during the fool moon day in the month of Kaartika.
  6. Mourning Song: The Christians recite the mourning song while burying the dead body. In the Kharia society, Kamaan is being done on the tenth day after the death of a person and during this time people express their well wishes for the dead with the mourning song.
  7. Natak: There are no Nataks in the Kharia society.
  8. Lullabies: Lullabies is an admixture or combining form a both prose and poetry. Mother uses to sing lullabies to make their children sleep.

All these kinds of songs are performed orally and these are not available in the written form. So, all these can be counted under the Oral literature of the Kharia society/civilization.

B. Written Literature:

  1. History: It would be more appropriate to look upon the Kharia literature from the point of view of two periods, such as
  1. Kharia literature before the independence and
  2. Kharia literature after the independence.

a) Kharia literature before the independence: There was a very little work done in the Kharia literature before the independence. The non-Kharia people did the first or primary work. In the year 1880, B. Bal had published some literatures on the Hill Kharias. Rashly categorized this Kharia language into the Dravidian language family while considering the publication of B. Bal in the year 1891. In this manner, some kinds of small and petty literatures, comments, and discussions on the Kharia society were published in the “Asiatic Society of Bengal” and “Ranchi Gazetteer”. In 1894, G. C. Banarjee published a book named “Introduction to Kharia Language”. He studied the sounds, alphabets, words, and sentences from the grammatical point of view. He focused on the specialty of the language while pointing to the ‘glottal check’. Greisen’s “Linguistic Survey of India” was published in 1912 in which the Kharia language was kept in the Dravidian language family. After this, Biligiri, Norman zied, etc. categorized it into the Aagneya branch.

In the field of literature, W. B. Archer had published “Kharia Alod” in the year 1942 along with Manmasiha Tete, Jaturu Kharia, and Daud Dung dung. There are 1528 folk songs and 446 puzzles in this publication. The songs are arranged/kept according to the monsoons and the tones/Raagas.

The famous Anthropologist S.C.Ray has studied the anthropological significance of the Kharia community and has classified it into two volumes, named “The Kharias”. This book that was published in 1937 contains the folk literature of the Kharia society. The folk songs, folk talks, additional black magic and sports of Kharia society have been included in this book.

In the eastern part of India where the Kharia laborers and workers were maintaining numbers of tea gardens, the owners of these tea gardens had to communicate with these Kharia people. Father Lphore published the “The Dictionary of Kharia Language” in two volumes in 1939 for the “Tea District Labor Association”. These volumes contain the daily used words and sentences of the Kharias along with their English translation.

The script that has been used in the published book of Archer is Devanagari and the others are in the Roman script. Kharia Alod was published by the Bapist Church in Golaghat (Assam).G. E. L. Church published the Christian songs in the “Kharia Along”.

Religious Books: The Landlords and Zamindars were exploiting this region of Jharkhand. During the end of the 19th century, the Christian missionaries made their entry to this part of Jharkhand. To prevent themselves from the exploitations, the Kharia people accepted Christianity. After the First World War when the German missionaries were ordered to leave India, they freed the G. E. L. Church and gave autonomy to it. J. Poster in “Kharia Alod” in Golaghat, Assam first published the songs of Christianity in 1935. These are in Bengali script. Nuas Kerketta published the second phase books named “Prabhuva Patar” and “Konon Katekism” in 1948 and 1949 respectively. In 1951, Priest Samuel Bage has translated Yohan’s “Susamachar” in the name “Johan Likha Sukho Kayom”. At that time, a collection of religious songs were published in the name of “Kharia Alod”. Priest HAbil Dungdung and Priest Nathniel Dungdung published the stories of Bible in Kharia as “Kelom Beankhadi” which have their own historical value.

b) Kharia literature after the independence: After 1947 three major steps were taken for the improvement of the human society such as, introduction of Anthropology as a subject at the University level, establishment and broadcasting of the All India Radio (Akash Vani), and the Publications of different Magazines. Apart from this, Swayansebi Institutions like “Bharatiya Adima Jati Sevak Sangh” has done remarkable work. Kharia society and language along with Toda, Jaunsar, and Babbar community were taken into publication in a magazine named “Vanya Jati” which was well-defined from the point of working areas.

Many research works were taken place at Pune, Mysore, and Hyderabad Universities in the field of “Languages of Human Civilizations” and “Anthropological Linguistics” at the level of Linguistics. In this connection, in 1965, H.S. Biligiri prepared a Sodha Grantha of Kharia Phonology Grammar and Vocabulary. Free word formation and sentence formation has been elaborately described in this book. In the list of special books, the number/order of this book comes in the second position after the book by G.C. Benergee. In 1967, in the order of language, D.L. Stump and Norman Jaid prepared a comparative study of Kharia – Juang in the name “The Position of Kharia Juang in the Munda Family”. The nearness among both these languages have been shown in this book. It has to be noted that “Kiitung” (Sky) in Juang has been accepted as “Kiitung” (Heaven) in Kharia by Nuas Kerketta. Bina Bahal has published a part of her Shodh of Linguistics in “The Passing Scene in Chotanagpur”. In this article, different new modifications have been indicated in comparison with the study of S.C. Roy. She has given the detail list of all the works/research, which has been completed in Kharia. However, Orissa Review, H.K. Mahatab, and Madhya Pradesh Gazetteer have not been included in this list.

Dr. Lalit Prasad Vidyarthi has recalculated/reviewed the Kharia society/nation in “The Kharia Now and Then”. Apart from this, Kashi Hindu University, Anugraha Narayan Samaj Adhyayan Shodha Institution, Patna, Janajatiya Shodha Institution, Ranchi use to publish and inform about the research and study and sodha of the Kharia language. Unknown/Not mentioned of Jawaharlal Nehru University has worked in details on the Kharia language while doing the linguistics research on the Munda language family.

2. Genres

  1. Fiction: There is no fiction in Kharia language till now.
  2. Short Stories: A number of short stories have been published in Kharia language. “Bertha Biha” and “Lodro Somdhi” are the collections of stories in which “Jawani”, Sukaru Jaa Kormo”, “Sanikao Sango”, “Konselduo Kite Sanghrana”, etc. are some of the famous stories of Lovely Kerketta.
    The stories written by Dr. Rose Kerketta are given below:
    	•	pagaha jorī - joriīre dʰat̥o
    	•	kolie led̥god̥kI, bud̥um
    	•	bɔgʰɔraj, kormo, konon kimin, bahī
    	•	kɔnd̥eir kɔnd̥eir ɔbu kamem 
  3. Light Essay: Many Kharia essays have been written in Kharia language from the beginning and the process is still going on. These essays are published in many different magazines and different writers from the beginning till the present day are involved in this process. Some of the names to be cited are –
    		•	Dr. Kerketta – kʰɔr̥ia nibɔndʰɔ sɔngrɔhɔ
    		•	Mangaldas Kullu – meromɔd̥ɔ pödɔ bunijadī kɔhanī
    		•	Stanislas Soreng – jambɔhar ɔ	ur kʰɔr̥ia d̥oklö

    Juliyas Baa has written a short description on the history of Kharia in the magazine “Johar”. “De Kolkodtanid” in “Tardi” is an informative writing/article by Father Johan Kerketta. Gloria Sored, Rose Kerketta, Julius Baa are some of the famous writers/authors who have written many more essays in different magazines and many others are emerging as the essayists in Kharia language.

  4. Play: Some of the plays, which have been written by lovely Kerketta, are given below:
    	•	ujʰir d̥and̥
    	•	bed̥o musid̥ɔki
    	•	bad̥ī te
    	•	tɔbɔkɔr sumböte.
  5. Poetry: A few number of poetry have been published in Kharia such as given below.
	Name of the Poetry				Writer
	hepɔd̥ ɔvɔkɔd̥iɲ ber					Nuas Kerketta
	senel						Nuas Kerketta
	lɔd̥aijǝ ped̥ed̥					Nuas Kerketta
	lǝmlǝm						Lovely Kerketta
	kojo d̥ǝǝ						Lovely Kerketta
	monǝǝ kajom ond̥orepe				Lovely Kerketta
	kud̥ʰing ǝur ǝnuśäsǝn					SaRose Kerketta
	hei̥ re gangǝpur rajī					Patras Sored

Till today, these many poetries/poems have been published in different magazines and few of them have been broadcasted in All India Radio.

3. Poetess and Literary Criticism: In Kharia language some of the poems and literature have been discussed such as – Paulus Kullu has discussed about “Prem Chandaa Ludkoya” of Rose Kerketta in his “Sevartham” in Hindi language. Rose Kerketta has annotated (written a note) Julius Baa’s “Kharia Dad” in “Shalapatra”.

4. Rebel Literature
        a) Dalit Literature – Short Story – Bhanwar also translated in Telugu (Vipula – April 2004.
        b) Feminist Literature Resources – Rose Kerketta “Property Right and Women”

5. Awards/Awardees
        a) Literary - Pyara Kerketta
                          Rose Kerketta
        b) Government
        c) Institutional - “Prabhat Khabar” published claender 2005 one of item R. Kerketta
        d) Individual

6. Agencies
        a) Government
        b) Non-government
        c) Individual – Registered Organization “Pyara Kerketta Foundation”, Chair Person – Christopher Kerketta.


Copyright CIIL-India Mysore