This blog is for aboriginal dog enthusiasts. It is part of the INDog Project www.indog.co.in. Only INDogs (Indian Pariah Dog) and INDog-mixes (Indies) are featured here. The two are NOT the same, do please read the text on the right to understand the difference. Our aim: to create awareness about the primitive landrace village dog of the Indian subcontinent. I sometimes feature other landrace breeds too. Also see padsociety.org
Saturday, January 3, 2009
The Santal Hound
The Santals are among the many aboriginal peoples in India who have a very ancient and strong bond with the primitive pariah-type dog. The Santals of the Hazaribagh district of northern Jharkhand traditionally used their dogs for hunting. A lot of research and documentation has been done on these dogs (called Santal Hounds) by cultural conservationist Bulu Imam, director of the Sanskriti Centre and Regional Convenor of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH). The Santal Hound is a perfect example of the Indian pariah dog and displays the "long-term pariah morphotype."
Some excerpts from Mr Imam's notes which he very kindly sent me:
The Santals call the dog seuta and kukur, and sometimes affectionately tuio which means jackal.
A video film was made by National Geographic in 2003 titled In Search of the First Dog in which the Santal Hound featured prominently in its natural environment. The film was produced by Lloyd Fales of Working Dog Productions (NY) for National Geographic, and after being premiered in the USA in 2003 was shown in India on National Geographic Channel in March 2004. It went on to win the Explorer's Club film festival award in New York.
DNA testing was facilitated through the efforts of Janice Koler-Matznick of the Primitive and Aboriginal Dogs Society (PADS, USA). The DNA tests of samples of hair from the Santal Hound collected by the Author were done at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm by Dr.Peter Savolainen in 2000, and confirmed that the Santal Hound is representative of the indigenous Indian dog, has no Nordic/Spitz in it, and that it is similar to the New Guinea Singing Dog and Dingo of Australia, belonging to the so-called Indo-Polynesian Group.
The Breed Standard by the Author with photos and description of the dog appears in Muriel Landers-Cooke’s work Dogs of All Nations, Vol. II “Wild and Semi-Wild Varieties.”
Photo and notes: Bulu Imam