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YASHPEH
International Folktales Collection

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Story No. 669


The Dead

Book Name:

Folklore of the Santal Parganas

Tradition: India

Santals are very much afraid of burial grounds; for dead men become bongas and bongas eat men. If a man meet such a bonga in a burial ground it is of little use to fight for the bonga keeps on changing his shape. He may first appear as a man and then change into a leopard or a bear or a pig or a cat: very few escape when attacked by such a being.

It is said that the spirits of young children become bhuts and those of grown-up people bongas and those of pregnant women churins.

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