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or Juanga

women, villages, hair, wear, dance, string, ornament and feet

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JUANGA, or Patuah, or Patra Saori, a forest race inhabiting the tributary mahals to the south of Singbhum in Cuttack, scattered in the mahals or killahs of Keonjur. Pal Lehra, 30 villages ; Dhenkanal, 6 villages; and Hindole, 6 villages. The stature of the men does not exceed 5 feet 2 inches, and of the women 4 feet 3 inches or 4 feet 4 inches. Their forms are slight, with little muscular development, and physique weak. Their face is shorter and broader than that of the Uriya ; the nose is flat, and nostril wide. Their colour is not darker than the Uriya peasant. The men are not handsome, but the women are repulsively ugly. The men dress like the peasantry of the neigh bourhood, but, until 1871, all the covering of the women consisted of two bunches of twigs, with their leaves attached, one before and one behind, which were changed daily, and kept in their posi tion by a strip of bark or a string of glazed earthenware beads, passed twenty or thirty times round the waist and over the stems of the twigs ; hence the name of the tribe, Patuah,—literally people of the leaf ; but they call themselves Juanga and Pudhan. The women also wear necklaces of the same kind of beads, and their hair is gathered together in a knot at the back of the head, fastened by a string with a silver or brass button at each end of it. The women wear no blanket or covering at night, but sleep between two fires. Their traditions are to the effect that they were formerly vain of fine dress, and were wont to lay aside their good clothes to prevent their being soiled, and wore such leaves when attending to the cleaning of the cow-houses or other duty, when one day a thakuiani, or, according to some, Sita, appeared, and comm ded them as a punishment for their vanity always wear such leaves. They believed that if they vviolated these commands they would be devoured by tigers. Their villages are in the clearings or openings in the forest ; are small, with about six or eight families in poor and mean thatched huts of wattli and daub, each family in its own dwelling. They have no lands, but sometimes assist in the culti vation of the neighbourhood. Their avocations are chiefly those of the chase, using the bow and arrow, and dogs ; they kill deer, hogs, and not unfrequently snakes, of the flesh of which, especi ally that of the Python molurus, they are very fond. Except the cow, they are omnivorous. Their usual food is insipid and nauseous roots (tugs, kurba, and panialu), and the seeds of the jungle grasses. They have no system of caste. They deny that they worship any deity or have any image, but they pay homage to nameless spirits who inhabit the woods and mountains, and make offerings of a fowl, a goat, or rice, or spirits, to the genus loci. In the month Baisakh, they

offer libations to the manes of their deceased ancestors. They bury their dead. Marriages are arranged by the parents, and are scenes of revelling and drunkenness. They adhere to one wife, unless she prove unfruitful. Like many of the Hindu races, they will not pronounce their wives' names. Their language is not similar to Uriya, and it shows that they are connected with the Munda of Chutia Nagpur, and that their nearest kinsmen are the Kheriah. But in their present position they are isolated from all other branches of the Kolarian family, and they have no suspicion that they are connected with them. The Juanga women are fond of ornaments, which they wear in the nose, ears, and hair. That for the nose is the ordinary nhut, or nose-ring of other Indian tribes. In the cars are worn two or three rings, and one larger ornament worn in the upper part of that organ ; this latter ornament is bell-shaped, and not untasteful. The hair of the women is gathered into a knot at the back of the head, and fastened by a string, each end of which terminates in a brass or silver button. Some times, too, a bell-shaped ornament is worn in the hair, and has not a bad appearance. The effect of the Juanga costume on a person who beholds one of these women for the first time is ludicrous enough, but it is in the dance that such appears pre-eminently ridiculous. They dance in a circle to the noise of a large drum, beaten by the men, which marks the time, moving round and round in the same measured step, occasionally advancing towards the musicians, then receding from them, in the performance of which the Juanga ladies evince a strong disposition to attitudinize and make display. In the dance, they bend grace fully forward at an angle of about 45 degrees, the left hand slightly holding the extremity of the long strings of beads, the right hand hanging down towards the knee. In such an attitude, it must be evident that the stiff bundle of twigs in front will press inconveniently against the legs of the dancer as she bends forward; she therefore pushes it between them towards the rear, which neces sarily forces up the rear bundle, and as the materials of the sylvan crinoline are about as flexible as a birch broom, the effect of a dozen such tails bobbing up and down together in the dance is ludicrous to European eyes, though the Juanga themselves do not seem to consider the sight at all promotive of laughter.

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