Culture Of Angika Region:Banka, Bhagalpur, Munger, Jamui, Lakhisarai, and Shekhpura

Anga Region includes the present districts of Banka, Bhagalpur, Munger, Jamui, Lakhisarai, and Shekhpura.
The language prevalent in the area is the Maithili dialect . It varies from more or less pure Hindi, with a vocabulary of Prakrit-sounding words now only to be heard among the "Purohits (family-priests)", to the much altered Bihari dialects of Maithili and Magahi, which constitute the ordinary speech of the people. With few exceptions, they use the latter among themselves, though even the most rustic can usually understand the more correct Hindi spoken by the educated classes.
Rice wheat, barley, maize, pulses and vegetables are the common food of the region. Rice and wheat are the staple food of the higher incomer group. The people of lower income group live on barley, maize, other cereals, pulses and sattu (a flour prepared from one or other of the various grains). Vegetables also form a main part of the food. The poorer class and the middle class families take more of vegetables and pulses with their main diet rice or chapattis. Fish, meat, milk and eggs are relished but the price keeps them away from the tables of the common man to a very great extent. Fruits do not form a common item of the dietary of the average middle class or even of the richer section. Fruits like mango and lichi are taken during the season provided they are cheap. But cheaper fruits like plantain and guava are not commonly taken. Sweet potato and litti, a cake formed of sattu and wheat flour with ingredients inside forms a favourite menu of village common man. Milk and its various preparations such as curd, ghee, butter, and chhena are more for the rich. Milk of both cow and buffalo is taken. Among the vegetables potato, parwal, lady's finger, pumpkin, brinjal, cauliflower, cabbage, bean, radish, bitters and various kinds of spinach are usually taken according to taste and price. Onion and garlic are commonly used.

Vegetarian food has also a number of special varieties. Various kinds of sweet-milk preparations are much relished. Various kinds of sweetmeat, puri, kachauri, dried fruits, pickles, snacks like papar, tilauri or sukhauti change the monotony of the ordinary vegetarian food. The culinary condiments generally used are turmeric, cumin seeds, pepper, ginger, cardamoms, cloves, coriander seeds, cinnamons, nutmeg, mace, cassia, cubed, mustard, saffron, asafetida, onion and garlic. The cooking medium is usually some kind of oil like mustard, hydrogenated oil (vegetable ghee) and ghee. There are various kinds of meat preparations current in the area. Most of them are of Moghlai types like biriani, polao, kabab, kurma, murg-moshallam, etc. The restaurants are popularizing meat preparations like cutlet, chop, roast, etc.


There is nothing particularly different in dress and ornaments among the people in this district from those in the Bhojpuri region .The old costumes like kurta, dhoti, pajama, coarse sari, jhula, etc., are still there in the villages but are being replaced with better type of dhoti, coat, shirt, trousers, bush shirt, salwar, chaddar, dopatta, etc. Use of shoes and sandals is normal for the town dwellers. Villagers are also taking more to the use of better type of shoes and chamarua shoes made of un-tanned hide are slowly disappearing.

The better class of Hindus ordinarily wear dhoti fastened round the loins and falling to the knee; and over this a long robe fastened on the right shoulder. On the head is placed a light skull-cap, and the feet are encased in loose country made shoes, with the toes curled upwards; sometimes, also a white scarf is thrown over the shoulders. The material of the dress differs with the weather. In the hot weather, the robe and cap will be of muslin or some light cloth; but in the cold season, stouter cloth is used for the robe, and the cap is made of velvet or some other warm material.

On State occasions, Hindus and Muslims dress alike. The headdress now consists of flat turban pugri or of one twisted round the head muretha. Loose drawers take the place of the dhoti; and outside, a little above the waist, is twisted a long piece of cloth kamarband. Shoes of English shape often take the place of the country slipper. The kamarband is frequently dispensed with; and in that case a loose open robe choga, reaching nearly to the feet, is worn or sometimes a shorter but tighter coat, called an 'eba'. A Hindu shopkeeper will wear a short jacket mirzai instead of chapkan, but in other respects his dress, though of cheaper materials, will resemble the one just described.

Sari is the chief dress of ladies. The old suthna (ladies pajama) for Muslim ladies is becoming obsolete. Burka is still in use among the higher and the middle class Muslim ladies who want to observe purdah. However, educated Muslim ladies are slowly discarding it. The ladies in the urban areas who wear sari use an under-wear known as petticoat. Blouse or a loose upper-wear known as jhula and some sort of brassieres are also used. Orthodox middle class ladies when going out usually use a chadar.

There are special dresses for the occasion of marriage. A Hindu bridegroom goes either in dhoti, kurta & chadar or in jama & jora or achkan & churidar pajama. However, these are also slowly being replaced with Coat-Pant. Muslim bridegroom invariably uses jama and jora.

A Hindu bride has to wear from the day of lagan (few days before marriage) to the date of marriage only one piece of un-bordered cloth (of the size of sari) coloured in turmeric. On the marriage day the garments brought by the bridegroom are given to her to wear.

A Muslim bride during the period of manja (a few days before marriage) puts on an un-bordered sari coloured in pink or yellow. On the marriage day she changes the sari and puts on a shahana (a combination of pajama, kurta and orhni) brought by the bridegroom.

At the time of mourning a Hindu uses an un-bordered dhoti, chadar and an uttari (a piece of cloth round the neck) from the date of agni-sanskar to the date of Shraddh, that is, from the date of cremation to the tenth day of cremation. The ornaments usually worn by ladies in rural and urban areas are for the hair of the head, ears, neck, arms, wrists, waist and the feet. The usual ornaments used by poor villager are karas, bangles, lor, hansuli, necklace or munga, baghrakha, karanz, kathula, bajar and batoo. Rich women of urban are also use similar ornaments but of precious metals.
Religious Beliefs
The religious beliefs of the Hindus and Muslims, the two principal communities in the region are almost the same as those existing elsewhere in the State. However, Bhagalpur in this region is especially famous for Behula Puja. There is a place at Champanagar known as Behula Asthan where snakes are worshipped on Bisahari Day or Mansa Puja. This puja takes place in the month of July every year attended by thousands of persons. An important fair called Behula mela is held on this occasion in Champanagar and Bhagalpur town. Loke Puja is also a particular feature of the Bhagalpur district. This Loke puja is a kind of community worship (Sammilit Puja), which is held in different villages by turn every year and the popular belief is that this will check epidemics at least for a year. This Loke Puja is celebrated in 8 or 9 different ways and each has separate hymns. The devotees of each group assemble together and sing.

Apart from these pujas and worships different types of pujas are prevalent in different tribes, castes, etc. The Santhals worship Jogini Goddess, Lila Mahadev, Burha-Burhi, etc. The offerings are generally rice, sweets, betel and betel nuts, etc. The Paharias worship Kalimai, Durgamai and their Guru. Their Guru is known as Rangadhari Gosain in a thatched house or on a raised platform with vermilion smeared on it. The offerings are rice, liquor, sweets, fowl, etc. Among Chamars- Rabidas, Lal Maharaj, Namdeb Bhagat and Bisahari are generally worshipped. Chamars, Dosadhs, Dhanuks and even Dhunias and sometimes Brahmans also worship Shitalamai (Goddess of small-pox). Musahars observe one Puja known as Nath Puja.

One important Samskar is the marriage rite, which is performed with some pomp. The Hindu Dharma Shastra has classified eight types of marriages. An astrologer who predicts whether the stars of both are in harmony generally settles marriage after examination of horoscopes of both the bridegroom and the bride. But this practice is slowly falling into disuse among the enlightened people. Cases of love marriage are becoming common. Inter-caste or even inter-racial marriages are becoming common. Civil marriages by registration have not yet become popular.
The guardians of the parties usually settle marriage but the consent of the bridegroom or the bride is not ignored. An auspicious day according to the Hindu calendar is fixed for performing marriage. On the stipulated day the bridegroom with a party consisting of relatives and friends visit the house of the father of the bride. At the auspicious time a priest performs the marriage rite and hymns are uttered to solemnize the marriage. "Saptapadigaman" or going round the sacred fire is held to be essential. After the performance of some rites, the ritual of Kanyadan or giving away of the bride is done by the guardian of the bride, which is followed by Kanya-panigrahana or accepting of the bride by the bridegroom on the utterance of solemn pledges. The rite of marriage usually comes to a close after applying vermilion or "Sindurdan" by the bridegroom on the forehead of the bride.


Songs and music have a great fascination for the rural people. Bhajans and Kirtans, devotional songs with music have not lost their popularity. Apart from them there is a craze for particular types of songs with particular season like Holi, etc.
Domestic Arts  crafts Cottage Industries in the Anga Region
Kharagpur:Here a special type of fish is made of silver. This is used for decorative purposes and for presentation on the occasion of marriages.
Jamui  Chakai: Basket making
Chakai Lakhimpur: Rope and Mat-making
Chakai: Fireworks
Jhajha & Kharagpur:Sabai-grass rope making
Bhagalpur (Nathnagar): Silk yarn and tassar-cloth making

No comments:

Post a Comment