Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Sonthals (SANTAL), a large Kolarian nation of East Central India in Baghalpur, north-west of Murshedabad, reaching from the Daman-i-Koh (Rajmahal) Hills on right bank of the Ganges southwards to about 24° N. lat. north-west of Calcutta. Chief tribal divisions: Saran, Murmu, Marli, Kisku, Basera, Karwar, Chorai. Many of the Sonthals engage themselves as coolies in the British colonies, and large numbers have become Protestants. Their language, reduced to written form by the missionaries, and spoken by over 1,000,000, is the best known, the most highly inflected, and by far the most important of all the Kolarian languages; but the type seems more Dravidian than Kolarian, almost round face, large mouth, tumid lips, flat forehead, moderately prominent cheek-bones, coarse, black, lank hair, short stature, robust constitution, showing a remarkable immunity from fever in malarious districts: This characteristic enables the Sonthals to work on plantations where the climate would be fatal to almost any other race. (Hunter, Annals of Rural Bengal; Dalton, Ethnology of Bengal.)