'Sarjom Dare' (in Santhali, Ho language) , which is scientifically called as Shorea robusta , is commonly known as Sal tree. It has played a significant role in the daily lives of people since old times. From a small plant , to tall trees , they never fail to be of good use. The stems are used as 'daatun' , teeth cleaning twig. Since it provides durable wood , it is used in construction of mud houses. Moreover , they were used in making plates and bowls , which is called 'patada' and 'phuduk' in Santhali respectively.
There are different types of Sal leaves bowls. Let us look at some of them :
- This is Bonga Phuduk , used in religious ceremonies. It is used to serve Handi , i.e. liquor made out of rice ( also known as rice beer ) , to Bonga (God). The Santhal community believes in ancestor worship , the custom of venerating deceased ancestors who are considered still as a part of the family. And this phuduk is made up of a single leaf.2. This is very similar to the first one. But the first one is only for serving purpose , and this one is used for offerings. For example , you can use the first one to pour the Handi into this one. And you can offer this to Bongas. It is also made up of one leaf , but here we can see the 'bhatua' (petiole).3. Now , this phuduk is used is used on a daily basis to eat various dishes. And it is made up of two leaves. If you guests , go for this pentagon-shaped one.4. This phuduk is used to hold materials required in worship , or other religious rituals. 'Tel Nahan' is a ceremony performed on the day after cremation of the deceased one. It is performed in order to purify the family members of the deceased. And this 'phuduk' is used to hold oil , soil , etc. It has 2 'bhatua' , which is considered as auspicious. 5. Again , this phuduk is same as the above one. We can call it a variation of the fourth one. In regions like West Bengal , it can be seen more.6. This phuduk is made up of a single leaf , and hence it is small in size. It has a smooth plain surface in between. It is used to carry sindur , haldi , chandan , rice , etc. 7. Here , this phuduk is also made up of one leaf , but this is used to hold holy offerings to the Bonga. This is supposed to be placed on the place of worship as an offering , which is later received by the members of the family performing the worship.8. Also , this phuduk is called as 'khalaa' . This one is made out of 2 leaves , but it can be also made with 4 to 5 leaves. It is very spacious compared to other bowls. Women used to go to the jungles to fetch fruits , flowers , etc. Sal leaves were easily available , and hence they used to prepare khaala .Let me know more about it .