Online Santal Resource Page: the Santals identity, clans, living places, culture,rituals, customs, using of herbal medicine, education, traditions ...etc and present status.

The Santal Resource Page: these are all online published sources

Santal Gãota reaḱ onolko ńam lạgit́ SRP khon thoṛ̣a gõṛ̃o ńamoḱa mente ińaḱ pạtiạu ar kạṭić kurumuṭu...

Friday, May 31, 2013

The Santals of Bangladesh : An Ethnic Minority in Transition

The Santals of Bangladesh : An Ethnic Minority in Transition
Kazi Tobarak Hossain, Professor, Department of Sociology, Rajshahi University, Bangladesh

Present paper is an attempt to discuss some of the important facets of cultural traditions and changes among the Santals ( an ethnic minority ) of Bangladesh. Santals are known as one of oldest tribal populations in Bangladesh, having their own religion (known as sonaton dharma), traditions, and customs. Their social solidarity, religion, and traditions as a distinct culture is at stake today. A large number of this ethnic minority have converted into Christianity, leaving aside their age-old traditional religion. Christianization process has brought tremendous change in their beliefs, traditions and life styles. In addition to that, influence of education, market penetration, and increasing interaction with mainstream population are also working as important forces for the Santals to undergo cultural changes. It is then important to know why they are becoming Christians. After becoming Christians, do they retain any of their traditional cultural traits and traditions? Other than conversion into Christianity, what other changes are taking place among the Santals due to external forces? These questions deserve investigation. Accordingly, in the light of answering these questions, present paper attempts to discuss the changing patterns of culture among the Santals.

In the present paper I have attempted to discuss the changing pattern of culture and traditions among the Santals of Bangladesh. It is observed that the age-old traditions and culture of the Santals are undergoing changes due to the intervention of external forces, such as Christianization, education, market penetration, interaction with mainstream population. This paper discusses how these forces are working for the disintegration and transformation of the distinct archaic ethnic culture of the Santals.
In Bangladesh, we find a number of tribal populations such as, Chakma, Marma, Rakhaine, Murang, Khasi, Garo, Santal, Oraon, Munda, Malpahari. More than 20 tribal groups with their distinct culture and traditions are found in Bangladesh (Dalton 1973, Ali 1998). The major bulk of the tribal populations are concentrated in areas of Chittagong Hill Tracts, Sylhet, Mymensing, Rajshahi, Dinajpur and Rangpur.

Government and non-government organizations recently have undertaken different development programmes (such as education, infrastructural development, rural electrification, health facilities) in most of the tribal inhabited areas of Bangladesh (Shelly 1992). These programmes are aimed at social and economic upliftment of the ethnic minorities of Bangladesh and integrate them socially and economically with the mainstream population of Bangladesh. However, on the flip side of the coin, implications of these development strategies tend to work as forces of disintegration and cultural transition of the ethnic minorities of Bangladesh. With this brief introductory overview of the tribal populations of Bangladesh, I would now limit my discussion on the Santals only.

The Santals are one of the oldest tribal populations in Bangladesh. They are largely concentrated in the districts of Rajshahi, Dinajpur and Rangpur. Rough estimate from different sources reveals that there was approximately 1,50,000 Santal population in Bangladesh in 1984 (Ali 1998:13, Sarkar 1998:147). However, updated information on the number of Santals can not be provided in the absence of tribewise breakdown of national population census report. The Santals were originally inhabitants of Chotonagpur, Santal Pargana of India. During British period they migrated to different areas including Bangladesh in search of employment, such as agricultural laborers, laborers for installing railway tracks, laborers for clearing forest and reclamation of agricultural land (Anwar 1984, Hossain and Sadeque 1984, Siddiquee 1998). Zamindars to their advantages used to employ them as laborers in the agriculture and agriculture related activities.

This ethnic group was originally hunters and gatherers and used to live in hill forests of middle-eastern India. But over time due to increase of population, deforestation and scarcity of wild animals and birds, they had to move out to different areas, mainly plain land areas, for their livelihood. Santals are known as one of the oldest ethnic groups of South Asia. Anthropologists tend to identify the santals in the racial category of Proto-Australoid (Siddiquee 1984, Ali 1998). It is assumed that the ancestors of this stock of people migrated from the mainland of Australia to India some ten thousand years ago (Maloney 1974). Santals skin colors is dark, hair is black and smooth to wavy, they have broad nose with thick lips and they are of medium height (Samad 1984, Hossain and Sadeque 1984). It may be mentioned that studies on Santals of Bangladesh are very few in number. Present study cannot be claimed to be an indepth and comprehensive one, however this exploratory research may pave the way for the enthusiastic researchers and scholars to come forward for further studies on the Santals.

Present study is an outcome of a short fieldwork that I conducted in Jheolmari village under Deopara union* of Rajshahi district. Secondary sources of data were also used while writing this paper. The village Jheolmari was selected purposively where sizeable number of Christian and non-Christian Santals were found. The village is located approximately 13 kilometres westward from Rajshahi centre city area.
Anthropological techniques of observation and intensive interviews of the subjects were adopted for collecting data. The fieldwork for the study was extended for more than a month (from November 20 to December 30, 1999). Secondary sources were used to substantiate the primary database collected through fieldwork. It may * A number of villages constitute a Ward, and a number of wards constitute a Union. be noted that during fieldwork, emphasis was given on collecting qualitative (rather than quantitative) information in order to understand the processes of cultural change. Household census could not be done due to time constraint. Intensive interviews of some randomly selected subjects, reports of the key informants, informal discussions with the Santals and my own observations in the study area are the major sources of primary information collected for the present study. I as well made casual visits to some neighboring villages where the Santals live in order to have a better understanding of their traditions and change. In addition to that I made a casual visit to one periurban locality Tallipara, where almost all the Santals are found to be converted Christians with non-agricultural occupations.

During the period of fieldwork, I made frequent visits to the study area (Jheolmari village) and interviewed both Christian and non-Christian Santals in order to comprehend why they are becoming Christians and also what other external factors are adversely affecting their cultural solidarity and traditions. Informal discussions with the Santals, author’s own observation and reports provided by the key informants were also important sources of information which I needed for understanding the pattern of cultural change among the Santals. In village Jheolmari there are 75 households of which 40 are Santals and the rest 35 are Muslims. Out of these 40 Santal households, 25 are not Christians and 15 are converted Christians. Santals are located contiguously in the same neighborhood of the village.

Changing Cultural Traditions of the Santals

The Santals were originally hunters and gatherers. However, when they migrated to Bangladesh, they were engaged primarily as agricultural laborers. These people are very poor as they do not generally own land for cultivation. As a result they work as laborers in agriculture and agriculture related activities. They are generally employed by the Muslim landowners who represent the dominant culture of Bangladesh. While talking to some respondents of the study area and adjacent villages, I learnt that the Muslims often exploit them by paying relatively low wages. Some of the Santals who had small amount of cultivable land before, leased them out to Muslim landowners for immediate need of cash and eventually lost their land. This happened because they could not repay the money in due time. It is interesting to note that among the Santals, both men and women work for wages in agriculture and related activities in rural areas. In the study area, I have found 39 (out of 40) Santal household heads are engaged as wage laborers in their own village and outside (neighboring villages). Only one household head is found who works as sweeper in the City Corporation office at Rajshahi city. He commutes on working days. Along with the male household heads, their adult female counter parts are also engaged as wage laborers in post-harvest activities, earth work, carrying and grinding bricks required for construction works in the nearby urban areas.

I have learnt from key informants that due to scarcity of employment opportunities in village areas, a good number of Santals (mostly Christians) have migrated from Jheolmari and other villages to urban fringes of Rajshahi city in search of nonagricultural employment opportunities. Karim and Mahbub (2000) observed similar pattern in their recent study on periurban Santal neighborhoods adjacent to Rajshahi city. I learnt that Christian Mission and Catholic Bishop’s Organization for Charity and Development (CARITAS) located at the outskirts of Rajshahi city, generally helped these Santal migrants by offering material help and, sometimes by providing them with jobs. They also provided them with shelters. Their cooperating and helping attitudes motivated the non-Christian Santals to get converted into Christianity later on.

The Santals are generally not literate. They however, have their own language known as Santali language. In Santal inhabited rural areas, as I observed in Jheolmari village, they speak to each other in Santali language. But when they speak to others, they speak in Bengali. Children generally learn both the languages at their early ages. But in the periurban setting of the Santal neighborhoods, picture is quite different as reported by the key informants and my observation also confirm this in the casual visit to one such area namely, Tallipara (located at the outskirts of Rajshahi city). Here, the Santal Christians who are more or less educated and economically reasonably well off, do not speak within themselves in Santali language. They speak in Bengali. Interestingly enough that third/fourth generation converted Christian children usually do not even know the Santali language. It may be mentioned that Tallipara is mostly inhabited by the Santal Christians (about 95%).
Though literacy rate among the Santals is generally very low in rural areas, recently changes are apparent. Christian Missions have established schools in and around the Santal villages that the Santal children get inspiration to go to schools.

I may mention that recently a school (up to primary level) has been established in Jheolmari village by the Christian Mission. This has specially motivated the children of this village and neighboring villages to go to school. Also Christian Missionaries make routine visits to villages for motivating the parents to send their children to schools where they can have free education, free books and other facilities. Samad (1984) and Ali (1998) observed similar situations in their respective studies. However, along with spreading education and advocating for education, they as well try to motivate the Santals to get converted into Christianity saying that if they become converted Christians, they will have better prosperity and socio-economic security.

Kinship and Social Network
Santals are a patrilineal ethnic group where descent is reckoned through male lines. Patronyms are as well inherited through male lines. They are a patrilineal society where father is generally the household head. But females are also given significant importance as they also contribute economically in the household. It is observed in the study area that the females almost equally participate in income earning activities for the household. Household structure is generally joint in nature. With the diffusion of modern values, nuclear households are emerging as well in rural areas. I found 5 nuclear households (out of total 40 Santal housholds) in Jheolmari village.

The Santal tribe is divided into 11 clans. They are (1) Hasda, (2) Murmu, (3) Kisku, (4) Hambrom, (5) Mardi, (6) Sauren, (7) Tudu, (8) Baski, (9) Besra, (10) Chaure, and (11) Pauria. In my study area and adjacent villages, I found these 11 clans. However, Ali (1998: 125) found one more clan, namely Bedea. These clans are totem based. The Santals believe that each clan has its own totem and there exists certain relationship between a clan and its totem. Totems are generally animals (such as Bison, sheep), birds (such as goose, pigeon), plants (such as a grass) (Ali 1998: 45).

It may be mentioned that this clan-based society of Santals are exogamous. Marriage is prohibited within the same clan. Females after marriage adopt the husband’s clanic status and no longer remain in the father’s clan (see as well Hossain and Sadeque 1984:160). It may be noted that Santal Christians who are educated and well off, do not always strictly follow the rigid rule of exogamy. Instead, they prefer to choose spouse of the similar socio-economic status even if he/she is from the same clan. It is interesting that the Santals who are converted Christians, do retain their clan patronyms. I observed this pattern in the study area and adjacent villages.

Major functions of the clans are to regulate marriage, inheritance, succession and affiliation (See Ali 1998). One becomes a clan member by birth or by marriage (applicable for females only). It is believed that these clans are hierarchically ordered on the basis of occupation (e.g. Kiskus were kings, Murmus were priests, Sauren were warriors, Baskies were traders). This kind of occupation related clan patronyms are somewhat like the Hindu caste system. But today, as I observed in the study area, these occupational heirarchies of status do not seem to have any impact on the Santals.

The Santals today are no more confined within their own village. Their mobility and interaction with the mainstream population have tremendously increased due to expansion of market mechanism and employment opportunities outside their own villages. For employment, they often go outside their own areas, for buying necessary goods they go to different nearby market places as well as distant urban market places. Females also do the same for buying their necessary items. I found a few converted Christian Santal students (both male and female) of the neighboring villages of the study area who go to colleges located in the Rajshahi City area. All these tend to indicate that they are having greater interaction with the mainstream population and having wider networks.
Christianization and Cultural Disintegration of the Santals
Religion is a very important element of culture for any group of people. Like many tribal groups, the Santals believe in various impersonal spirits and forces which control human life. They believe in a number of deities of which Bongas are very powerful and can do harm to mankind (Ali 1998: 207, Hossain and Sadeque 1984). The Santals worship the supernatural powers. They call their religion as Sonaton Dharma. The rites and rituals, belief in a number of deities, etc., tend to be quite close to Hinduism (Sarkar 1998). Dancing, music, and drinking alcohol are embedded in their important religious rites and rituals. Enjoyment and pleasure are most important charactristics of their rituals and festivals (Culshaw 1949, Hossain and Sedeque 1984). This distinct religious and cultural ethnic heritage of the Santals are undergoing rapid changes, particularly through the unending process of Christianization. This animist tribal people are generally adopting Christianity under the influence of Christian Missions (Samad 1984, Anwar 1984). This process of conversion of the Santals into Christianity started during British period and is still continuing unabated. It is observed that the Santals who are converted were more attracted by the prospect of social advancement and political protection (generally promised and/or offered by the Christian Missions) than by the promise of spiritual salvation (Anwar 1984: 366).
Expansion of Christian Missions and educational institutions run by them in the Santal inhabited areas of Rajshahi, Dinajpur and Rangpur districts tend to have increasing impact for accelerating the process of converting the Santals. The Santals who are converted Christians and who are not converted often confront conflicting social and cultural values, resulting disintegration of their cultural solidarity as an ethnic minority. In my study area of Jheolmari village, I observed that those who are not converted, feel isolated and ignored by those who are converted Christians. A few of the Santals (who are not yet converted) told me that the situation is as such that eventually they will have no option other than becoming Christians and cope with the current. In this village out of total 75 households, 25 are converted Santals, 15 are Santals (non converted) and the rest 35 are Muslim households. While talking to them I learnt that out of total 25 converted Christian households, 15 were converted three generations ago, 5 of them two generations ago and 5 are first generation converts. It is generally observed that when the household head becomes converted, other members also become converted Christians. Interviewing some converted Santals of the study area and some adjacent areas, and information collected from key informants, some major causes of their conversion into Christianity are identified. They are as follows:

1. Spreading of education through Christian Missions is an important cause. In the Christian Mission run schools, Santals get free education and sometimes other fringe benefits such as, books, hostel accommodation etc. It is reported that behavior and attitude of the Missionaries toward the Santal children in these schools are very loving and convincing. In other words, it is an indirect way of motivating the students.
2. It is already said that the Santals are generally very poor. If they come across some kind of economic crisis (such as house repair, money needed for treatment) Missions often help them in kind or with cash. Also during severe winter, they distribute blankets among the poor Santals. These humanitarian activities often influence the Santals to get motivated for conversion.
3. It is reported that the Christian Missionaries make routine visits to different Santal inhabited villages and inquire about their problems and advise accordingly. The missionaries in such routine visits often profess the social and economic benefits they would usually get after being converted.
4. Christian Missions in collaboration with voluntary Christian organizations such as CARITAS sometimes provide them with jobs in their organization, help them with cash in times of need, and also in kind such as, materials for
repairing house, giving shelter who have migrated from other areas in search of employment.
5. Communal tension (often riots) between Hindus and Muslims, particularly during 1940’s, was also a cause for some of the Santals to become Christians during that period in Bangladesh. The religion and rituals of the Santals are close to that of the Hindus. As a result before and after Partition of India in 1947 whenever communal tension and riot took place, they felt insecured and were vulnerable for being considered as a part of the Hindu community by the Muslims. In order to get rid of this insecurity, some of them preferred to get converted into Christianity and become safe and secured. I learnt this while talking to some long ago converted Christians in the study area.
6. It is interesting to note that the Santals are not becoming converted Muslims though they are surrounded by the Muslim majority culture. One of the important reasons for this is that, no Islamization programmes are found to be in operation among the Santals. Mosques do not perform such duties and strategies among the ethnic minorities as done by the Christian Missions. As reported by the key informants and my observation confirm that the Muslim landlords often exploited the Santals. This tend to have developed negative attitude of the Santals towards the Muslims.

These are some of the major causes that could be identified for Christianization among the Santals. It may be noted that the converted Santals call themselves Santal Christians. However, I observed that converted Santals do retain some of the cultural traditions and traits of the non-converted Santals. They do not forgo their clan patronyms and often retain the previous names as well after becoming converted Christians. But even when they change the names, they retain the Clan patronyms. For example, in village Jheolmari a male Santal whose name was Horen Tudu, after becoming Christian changed his name to Samuel Tudu. Similarly a female Santal whose name was Mungli Hambrom, after becoming Christian changed her name to Maria Hambrom. The Christian Santals and non-Christian Santals speak within themselves in Santali language in rural areas as I observed in village Jheolmari. However in periurban Santal localities like Tallipara, I observed that the more or less educated and well to do families do not speak within themselves in Santali language. They speak in Bengali. In different yearly festivals of the Santals, Christian Santals participate mostly as observers. It may be mentioned that due to poverty, glamour of their festivals is gradually decaying. Under these circumstances they are limiting the profuseness and elaboration of their rites and rituals.

Santals migrated to Bangladesh in search of employment and livelihood. But Christianization among the Santals brought tremendous change in their traditions and beliefs. Their traditional religion of sonatan dharma is at stake today. The information and discussion provided in the present paper tend to indicate that the social solidarity and homogeneity of the ethnic minority of Santals are weakening and disintegrating. In effect, culturally they are in a transitional state of situation. If this process of cultural disintegration and transformation continues under the intervention of external forces, time may come when they will have a new social and cultural formation, leaving behind their distinct cultural traditions and traits.

Ali, A. Santals of Bangladesh. Mindnapur (India): Institute of Social 1998 Research and Applied Anthropology.
Anwar, A. 1984 “The Question of Tribal Identity and Integration in Bangladesh,” in Qureshi (ed.) Tribal Cultures in Bangladesh. Rajshahi: Institute of Bangladesh Studies (IBS).
Culshaw, W.J. Tribal Heritage. London: Lutterworth Press.
Dalton, E.T. Descriptive Ethnology of Bengal. Calcutta: Council of the Asiatic 1973 Society of Bengal/Indian Studies.
Hossain, K.T. and “The Santals of Rajshahi: A Study in Social and Cultural Change,” Sedeque, S.Z in Qureshi (ed.) Tribal Cultures in Bangladesh.
Karim, A.H.M.Zehadul and Mahbub, S. “The Occupational Diversities of the Santals and Their Socio-2000 cultural Adaptability in Periurban Environmental Situation of Rajshahi in Bangladesh: An Anthropological Exploration”, Paper Presented in the Annual Conference of the Indian Anthropological Society, held at Santiniketan (India) during February 18-20. Maloney, C.T. Peoples of South Asia. New York: Holt Rinehart and Winston.
Samad, A.G. “Notes on our Tribal Population”, in Qureshi (ed.) Tribal Cultures 1984 in Bangladesh.
Sarkar, P.C. “Borendra Anchaler Adibasi Sanskriti”(in Bengali), in Borendra 1998 Ancholer Itihas. Rajshahi.
Shelly, M.R. (edited) The Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh. Dhaka: Centre for
1992 Development Research.
Siddiquee, A.R. “Ethnicity and Intelligence: A Cross Cultural Study”, in 1984 Qureshi (ed.) Tribal Cultures in Bangladesh.
Siddiquee, A.R. “Borendra Bhumir Chirayato Basinda: Nritattik Anusandhan” (in 1998 Bengali) Barendra Ancholer Itihas. Rajshahi.
Paper Presented at the Sixth Workshop of the European Network of Bangladesh Studies (ENBS) held at Oslo, During 14- 16 May, 2000


Thursday, May 30, 2013


A. Name, Identity, Origin and History
Name of the community, other name, name referred by other communities, meaning
associated with the name. The name  of community is  Santals or Shantals . According to Sreferud (1968) is a
corruption of  Saontar.
This was adopted by the Santals when they lived in the area around  Saont  in Midnapur district of West Bengal
The word Santal is an English word adopted  fromHindi which corresponds with  Saontar used by Bengali speaking people.
Ordinarily  they call themselves as  hor (man). There is another similar term as  hor  which stand for the  way or means. A  hor  (man) is in search of  hor
(way or means) and effort continues till he  finds a satisfactory result.
They also call themselves as hor hopon which means child or  children of human beings.


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212 Existence, knowability & attributes of God
213 Creation
214 Theodicy
215 Science & religion
216 [Unassigned]
217 [Unassigned]
218 Humankind
219 [Unassigned]
220 Bible
221 Old Testament (Tanakh)
222 Historical books of Old Testament
223 Poetic books of Old Testament
224 Prophetic books of Old Testament
225 New Testament
226 Gospels & Acts
227 Epistles
228 Revelation (Apocalypse)
229 Apocrypha & pseudepigrapha
230 Christianity & Christian theology
231 God
232 Jesus Christ & his family
233 Humankind
234 Salvation & grace
235 Spiritual beings
236 Eschatology
237 [Unassigned]
238 Creeds & catechisms
239 Apologetics & polemics
240 Christian moral & devotional theology
241 Christian ethics
242 Devotional literature
243 Evangelistic writings for individuals
244 [Unassigned]
245 [Unassigned]
246 Use of art in Christianity
247 Church furnishings & articles
248 Christian experience, practice & life
249 Christian observances in family life
250 Christian orders & local church
251 Preaching
252 Texts of sermons
253 Pastoral office & work
254 Parish administration
255 Religious congregations & orders
256 [Unassigned]
257 [Unassigned]
258 [Unassigned]
259 Pastoral care of families & kinds of persons
260 Social & ecclesiastical theology
261 Social theology
262 Ecclesiology
263 Days, times & places of observance
264 Public worship
265 Sacraments, other rites & acts
266 Missions
267 Associations for religious work
268 Religious education
269 Spiritual renewal
270 History of Christianity & Christian church
271 Religious orders in church history
272 Persecutions in church history
273 Doctrinal controversies & heresies
274 History of Christianity in Europe
275 History of Christianity in Asia
276 History of Christianity in Africa
277 History of Christianity in North America
278 History of Christianity in South America
279 History of Christianity in other areas
280 Christian denominations & sects
281 Early church & Eastern churches
282 Roman Catholic Church
283 Anglican churches
284 Protestants of Continental origin
285 Presbyterian, Reformed & Congregational
286 Baptist, Disciples of Christ & Adventist
287 Methodist & related churches
288 [Unassigned]
289 Other denominations & sects
290 Other religions
291 [Unassigned]
292 Greek & Roman religion
293 Germanic religion
294 Religions of Indic origin
295 Zoroastrianism
296 Judaism
297 Islam, Babism & Bahai Faith
298 (Optional number)
299 Religions not provided for elsewhere

300 Social sciences:- sociology, politics, economics, law, public administration, education

300 Social sciences
301 Sociology & anthropology
302 Social interaction
303 Social processes
304 Factors affecting social behavior
305 Social groups
306 Culture & institutions
307 Communities
308 [Unassigned]
309 [Unassigned]
310 Collections of general statistics
311 [Unassigned]
312 [Unassigned]
313 [Unassigned]
314 General statistics of Europe
315 General statistics of Asia
316 General statistics of Africa
317 General statistics of North America
318 General statistics of South America
319 General statistics of other areas
320 Political science
321 Systems of governments & states
322 Relation of state to organized groups
323 Civil & political rights
324 The political process
325 International migration & colonization
326 Slavery & emancipation
327 International relations
328 The legislative process
329 [Unassigned]
330 Economics
331 Labor economics
332 Financial economics
333 Economics of land & energy
334 Cooperatives
335 Socialism & related systems
336 Public finance
337 International economics
338 Production
339 Macroeconomics & related topics
340 Law
341 Law of nations
342 Constitutional & administrative law
343 Military, tax, trade & industrial law
344 Labor, social, education & cultural law
345 Criminal law
346 Private law
347 Civil procedure & courts
348 Laws, regulations & cases
349 Law of specific jurisdictions & areas
350 Public administration & military science
351 Public administration
352 General considerations of public administration
353 Specific fields of public administration
354 Administration of economy & environment
355 Military science
356 Infantry forces & warfare
357 Mounted forces & warfare
358 Air & other specialized forces
359 Sea forces & warfare
360 Social problems & services; associations
361 Social problems & social welfare in general
362 Social welfare problems & services
363 Other social problems & services
364 Criminology
365 Penal & related institutions
366 Associations
367 General clubs
368 Insurance
369 Miscellaneous kinds of associations
370 Education
371 Schools & their activities; special education
372 Elementary education
373 Secondary education
374 Adult education
375 Curricula
376 [Unassigned]
377 [Unassigned]
378 Higher education
379 Public policy issues in education
380 Commerce, communications & transportation
381 Commerce
382 International commerce
383 Postal communication
384 Communications; telecommunication
385 Railroad transportation
386 Inland waterway & ferry transportation
387 Water, air & space transportation
388 Transportation; ground transportation
389 Metrology & standardization
390 Customs, etiquette & folklore
391 Costume & personal appearance
392 Customs of life cycle & domestic life
393 Death customs
394 General customs
395 Etiquette (Manners)
396 [Unassigned]
397 [Unassigned]
398 Folklore
399 Customs of war & diplomacy

400 Language:- linguistics, language learning, specific languages
400 Language
401 Philosophy & theory
402 Miscellany
403 Dictionaries & encyclopedias
404 Special topics
405 Serial publications
406 Organizations & management
407 Education, research & related topics
408 Kinds of persons treatment
409 Geographic & persons treatment
410 Linguistics
411 Writing systems
412 Etymology
413 Dictionaries
414 Phonology & phonetics
415 Grammar
416 [Unassigned]
417 Dialectology & historical linguistics
418 Standard usage & applied linguistics
419 Sign languages
420 English & Old English
421 English writing system & phonology
422 English etymology
423 English dictionaries
424 [Unassigned]
425 English grammar
426 [Unassigned]
427 English language variations
428 Standard English usage
429 Old English (Anglo-Saxon)
430 Germanic languages; German
431 German writing systems & phonology
432 German etymology
433 German dictionaries
434 [Unassigned]
435 German grammar
436 [Unassigned]
437 German language variations
438 Standard German usage
439 Other Germanic languages
440 Romance languages; French
441 French writing systems & phonology
442 French etymology
443 French dictionaries
444 [Unassigned]
445 French grammar
446 [Unassigned]
447 French language variations
448 Standard French usage
449 Occitan & Catalan
450 Italian, Romanian & related languages
451 Italian writing systems & phonology
452 Italian etymology
453 Italian dictionaries
454 [Unassigned]
455 Italian grammar
456 [Unassigned]
457 Italian language variations
458 Standard Italian usage
459 Romanian & related languages
460 Spanish & Portuguese languages
461 Spanish writing systems & phonology
462 Spanish etymology
463 Spanish dictionaries
464 [Unassigned]
465 Spanish grammar
466 [Unassigned]
467 Spanish language variations
468 Standard Spanish usage
469 Portuguese
470 Italic languages; Latin
471 Classical Latin writing & phonology
472 Classical Latin etymology
473 Classical Latin dictionaries
474 [Unassigned]
475 Classical Latin grammar
476 [Unassigned]
477 Old, postclassical & Vulgar Latin
478 Classical Latin usage
479 Other Italic languages
480 Hellenic languages; classical Greek
481 Classical Greek writing & phonology
482 Classical Greek etymology
483 Classical Greek dictionaries
484 [Unassigned]
485 Classical Greek grammar
486 [Unassigned]
487 Preclassical & postclassical Greek
488 Classical Greek usage
489 Other Hellenic languages
490 Other languages
491 East Indo-European & Celtic languages
492 Afro-Asiatic languages; Semitic languages
493 Non-Semitic Afro-Asiatic languages
494 Altaic, Uralic, Hyperborean & Dravidian
495 Languages of East & Southeast Asia
496 African languages
497 North American native languages
498 South American native languages
499 Austronesian & other languages

500 Science and mathematics:- physics, chemistry, earth sciences, biology, zoology
500 Natural Sciences and Mathemetics
501 Philosophy & theory
502 Miscellany
503 Dictionaries & encyclopedias
504 [Unassigned]
505 Serial publications
506 Organizations & management
507 Education, research & related topics
508 Natural history
509 Historical, geographic & persons treatment
510 Mathematics
511 General principles of mathematics
512 Algebra
513 Arithmetic
514 Topology
515 Analysis
516 Geometry
517 [Unassigned]
518 Numerical analysis
519 Probabilities & applied mathematics
520 Astronomy & allied sciences
521 Celestial mechanics
522 Techniques, equipment & materials
523 Specific celestial bodies & phenomena
524 [Unassigned]
525 Earth (Astronomical geography)
526 Mathematical geography
527 Celestial navigation
528 Ephemerides
529 Chronology
530 Physics
531 Classical mechanics; solid mechanics
532 Fluid mechanics; liquid mechanics
533 Gas mechanics
534 Sound & related vibrations
535 Light & infrared & ultraviolet phenomena
536 Heat
537 Electricity & electronics
538 Magnetism
539 Modern physics
540 Chemistry & allied sciences
541 Physical chemistry
542 Techniques, equipment & materials
543 Analytical chemistry
544 [Unassigned]
545 [Unassigned]
546 Inorganic chemistry
547 Organic chemistry
548 Crystallography
549 Mineralogy
550 Earth sciences
551 Geology, hydrology & meteorology
552 Petrology
553 Economic geology
554 Earth sciences of Europe
555 Earth sciences of Asia
556 Earth sciences of Africa
557 Earth sciences of North America
558 Earth sciences of South America
559 Earth sciences of other areas
560 Paleontology; paleozoology
561 Paleobotany; fossil microorganisms
562 Fossil invertebrates
563 Fossil marine & seashore invertebrates
564 Fossil mollusks & molluscoids
565 Fossil arthropods
566 Fossil chordates
567 Fossil cold-blooded vertebrates; fossil fishes
568 Fossil birds
569 Fossil mammals
570 Life sciences; biology
571 Physiology & related subjects
572 Biochemistry
573 Specific physiological systems in animals
574 [Unassigned]
575 Specific parts of & systems in plants
576 Genetics & evolution
577 Ecology
578 Natural history of organisms
579 Microorganisms, fungi & algae
580 Plants (Botany)
581 Specific topics in natural history
582 Plants noted for characteristics & flowers
583 Dicotyledons
584 Monocotyledons
585 Gymnosperms; conifers
586 Seedless plants
587 Vascular seedless plants
588 Bryophytes
589 [Unassigned]
590 Animals (Zoology)
591 Specific topics in natural history
592 Invertebrates
593 Marine & seashore invertebrates
594 Mollusks & molluscoids
595 Arthropods
596 Chordates
597 Cold-blooded vertebrates; fishes
598 Birds
599 Mammals

600 Technology:- medicine, engineering, agriculture, management
600 Technology
601 Philosophy & theory
602 Miscellany
603 Dictionaries & encyclopedias
604 Special topics
605 Serial publications
606 Organizations
607 Education, research & related topics
608 Inventions & patents
609 Historical, geographic & persons treatment
610 Medicine & health
611 Human anatomy, cytology & histology
612 Human physiology
613 Personal health & safety
614 Incidence & prevention of disease
615 Pharmacology & therapeutics
616 Diseases
617 Surgery & related medical specialties
618 Gynecology, obstetrics, pediatrics & geriatrics
619 [Unassigned]
620 Engineering & allied operations
621 Applied physics
622 Mining & related operations
623 Military & nautical engineering
624 Civil engineering
625 Engineering of railroads & roads
626 [Unassigned]
627 Hydraulic engineering
628 Sanitary & municipal engineering
629 Other branches of engineering
630 Agriculture & related technologies
631 Techniques, equipment & materials
632 Plant injuries, diseases & pests
633 Field & plantation crops
634 Orchards, fruits & forestry
635 Garden crops (Horticulture)
636 Animal husbandry
637 Processing dairy & related products
638 Insect culture
639 Hunting, fishing & conservation
640 Home & family management
641 Food & drink
642 Meals & table service
643 Housing & household equipment
644 Household utilities
645 Household furnishings
646 Sewing, clothing & personal living
647 Management of public households
648 Housekeeping
649 Child rearing & home care of persons
650 Management & auxiliary services
651 Office services
652 Processes of written communication
653 Shorthand
654 [Unassigned]
655 [Unassigned]
656 [Unassigned]
657 Accounting
658 General management
659 Advertising & public relations
660 Chemical engineering
661 Industrial chemicals
662 Explosives, fuels & related products
663 Beverage technology
664 Food technology
665 Industrial oils, fats, waxes & gases
666 Ceramic & allied technologies
667 Cleaning, color & coating technologies
668 Technology of other organic products
669 Metallurgy
670 Manufacturing
671 Metalworking & primary metal products
672 Iron, steel & other iron alloys
673 Nonferrous metals
674 Lumber processing, wood products & cork
675 Leather & fur processing
676 Pulp & paper technology
677 Textiles
678 Elastomers & elastomer products
679 Other products of specific materials
680 Manufacture for specific uses
681 Precision instruments & other devices
682 Small forge work (Blacksmithing)
683 Hardware & household appliances
684 Furnishings & home workshops
685 Leather, fur goods & related products
686 Printing & related activities
687 Clothing & accessories
688 Other final products & packaging
689 [Unassigned]
690 Buildings
691 Building materials
692 Auxiliary construction practices
693 Specific materials & purposes
694 Wood construction & carpentry
695 Roof covering
696 Utilities
697 Heating, ventilating & air-conditioning
698 Detail finishing
699 [Unassigned]

700 The arts:- art, planning, architecture, music, sport
700 The arts; fine & decorative arts
701 Philosophy of fine & decorative arts
702 Miscellany of fine & decorative arts
703 Dictionaries of fine & decorative arts
704 Special topics in fine & decorative arts
705 Serial publications of fine & decorative arts
706 Organizations & management
707 Education, research & related topics
708 Galleries, museums & private collections
709 Historical, geographic & persons treatment
710 Civic & landscape art
711 Area planning
712 Landscape architecture
713 Landscape architecture of trafficways
714 Water features
715 Woody plants
716 Herbaceous plants
717 Structures in landscape architecture
718 Landscape design of cemeteries
719 Natural landscapes
720 Architecture
721 Architectural structure
722 Architecture to ca. 300
723 Architecture from ca. 300 to 1399
724 Architecture from 1400
725 Public structures
726 Buildings for religious purposes
727 Buildings for education & research
728 Residential & related buildings
729 Design & decoration
730 Plastic arts; sculpture
731 Processes, forms & subjects of sculpture
732 Sculpture to ca. 500
733 Greek, Etruscan & Roman sculpture
734 Sculpture from ca. 500 to 1399
735 Sculpture from 1400
736 Carving & carvings
737 Numismatics & sigillography
738 Ceramic arts
739 Art metalwork
740 Drawing & decorative arts
741 Drawing & drawings
742 Perspective
743 Drawing & drawings by subject
744 [Unassigned]
745 Decorative arts
746 Textile arts
747 Interior decoration
748 Glass
749 Furniture & accessories
750 Painting & paintings
751 Techniques, equipment, materials & forms
752 Color
753 Symbolism, allegory, mythology & legend
754 Genre paintings
755 Religion
756 [Unassigned]
757 Human figures
758 Other subjects
759 Historical, geographic & persons treatment
760 Graphic arts; printmaking & prints
761 Relief processes (Block printing)
762 [Unassigned]
763 Lithographic processes
764 Chromolithography & serigraphy
765 Metal engraving
766 Mezzotinting, aquatinting & related processes
767 Etching & drypoint
768 [Unassigned]
769 Prints
770 Photography, photographs & computer art
771 Techniques, equipment & materials
772 Metallic salt processes
773 Pigment processes of printing
774 Holography
775 Digital photography
776 Computer art (Digital art)
777 [Unassigned]
778 Fields & kinds of photography
779 Photographs
780 Music
781 General principles & musical forms
782 Vocal music
783 Music for single voices; the voice
784 Instruments & instrumental ensembles
785 Ensembles with one instrument per part
786 Keyboard & other instruments
787 Stringed instruments
788 Wind instruments
789 (Optional number)
790 Recreational & performing arts
791 Public performances
792 Stage presentations
793 Indoor games & amusements
794 Indoor games of skill
795 Games of chance
796 Athletic & outdoor sports & games
797 Aquatic & air sports
798 Equestrian sports & animal racing
799 Fishing, hunting & shooting

800 Literature and rhetoric:-literature of specific languages
800 Literature & rhetoric
801 Philosophy & theory
802 Miscellany
803 Dictionaries & encyclopedias
804 [Unassigned]
805 Serial publications
806 Organizations & management
807 Education, research & related topics
808 Rhetoric & collections of literature
809 History, description & criticism
810 American literature in English
811 American poetry in English
812 American drama in English
813 American fiction in English
814 American essays in English
815 American speeches in English
816 American letters in English
817 American humor & satire in English
818 American miscellaneous writings
819 (Optional number)
820 English & Old English literatures
821 English poetry
822 English drama
823 English fiction
824 English essays
825 English speeches
826 English letters
827 English humor & satire
828 English miscellaneous writings
829 Old English (Anglo-Saxon)
830 Literatures of Germanic languages
831 German poetry
832 German drama
833 German fiction
834 German essays
835 German speeches
836 German letters
837 German humor & satire
838 German miscellaneous writings
839 Other Germanic literatures
840 Literatures of Romance languages
841 French poetry
842 French drama
843 French fiction
844 French essays
845 French speeches
846 French letters
847 French humor & satire
848 French miscellaneous writings
849 Occitan & Catalan literatures
850 Italian, Romanian & related literatures
851 Italian poetry
852 Italian drama
853 Italian fiction
854 Italian essays
855 Italian speeches
856 Italian letters
857 Italian humor & satire
858 Italian miscellaneous writings
859 Romanian & related literatures
860 Spanish & Portuguese literatures
861 Spanish poetry
862 Spanish drama
863 Spanish fiction
864 Spanish essays
865 Spanish speeches
866 Spanish letters
867 Spanish humor & satire
868 Spanish miscellaneous writings
869 Portuguese literature
870 Italic literatures; Latin literature
871 Latin poetry
872 Latin dramatic poetry & drama
873 Latin epic poetry & fiction
874 Latin lyric poetry
875 Latin speeches
876 Latin letters
877 Latin humor & satire
878 Latin miscellaneous writings
879 Literatures of other Italic languages
880 Hellenic literatures; classical Greek
881 Classical Greek poetry
882 Classical Greek dramatic poetry & drama
883 Classical Greek epic poetry & fiction
884 Classical Greek lyric poetry
885 Classical Greek speeches
886 Classical Greek letters
887 Classical Greek humor & satire
888 Classical Greek miscellaneous writings
889 Modern Greek literature
890 Literatures of other languages
891 East Indo-European & Celtic literatures
892 Afro-Asiatic literatures; Semitic literatures
893 Non-Semitic Afro-Asiatic literatures
894 Altaic, Uralic, Hyperborean & Dravidian
895 Literatures of East & Southeast Asia
896 African literatures
897 North American native literatures
898 South American native literatures
899 Austronesian & other literatures

900 Geography and history :- travel, genealogy, archaeology
900 History & geography
901 Philosophy & theory
902 Miscellany
903 Dictionaries & encyclopedias
904 Collected accounts of events
905 Serial publications
906 Organizations & management
907 Education, research & related topics
908 Kinds of persons treatment
909 World history
910 Geography & travel
911 Historical geography
912 Atlases, maps, charts & plans
913 Geography of & travel in ancient world
914 Geography of & travel in Europe
915 Geography of & travel in Asia
916 Geography of & travel in Africa
917 Geography of & travel in North America
918 Geography of & travel in South America
919 Geography of & travel in other areas
920 Biography, genealogy & insignia
921 (Optional number)
922 (Optional number)
923 (Optional number)
924 (Optional number)
925 (Optional number)
926 (Optional number)
927 (Optional number)
928 (Optional number)
929 Genealogy, names & insignia
930 History of ancient world to ca. 499
931 China to 420
932 Egypt to 640
933 Palestine to 70
934 India to 647
935 Mesopotamia & Iranian Plateau to 637
936 Europe north & west of Italy to ca. 499
937 Italy & adjacent territories to 476
938 Greece to 323
939 Other parts of ancient world to ca. 640
940 History of Europe
941 British Isles
942 England & Wales
943 Central Europe; Germany
944 France & Monaco
945 Italian Peninsula & adjacent islands
946 Iberian Peninsula & adjacent islands
947 Eastern Europe; Russia
948 Scandinavia
949 Other parts of Europe
950 History of Asia; Far East
951 China & adjacent areas
952 Japan
953 Arabian Peninsula & adjacent areas
954 South Asia; India
955 Iran
956 Middle East (Near East)
957 Siberia (Asiatic Russia)
958 Central Asia
959 Southeast Asia
960 History of Africa
961 Tunisia & Libya
962 Egypt & Sudan
963 Ethiopia & Eritrea
964 Northwest African coast & offshore islands
965 Algeria
966 West Africa & offshore islands
967 Central Africa & offshore islands
968 Southern Africa; Republic of South Africa
969 South Indian Ocean islands
970 History of North America
971 Canada
972 Middle America; Mexico
973 United States
974 Northeastern United States
975 Southeastern United States
976 South central United States
977 North central United States
978 Western United States
979 Great Basin & Pacific Slope region
980 History of South America
981 Brazil
982 Argentina
983 Chile
984 Bolivia
985 Peru
986 Colombia & Ecuador
987 Venezuela
988 Guiana
989 Paraguay & Uruguay
990 History of other areas
991 [Unassigned]
992 [Unassigned]
993 New Zealand
994 Australia
995 Melanesia; New Guinea
996 Other parts of Pacific; Polynesia
997 Atlantic Ocean islands
998 Arctic islands & Antarctica
999 Extraterrestrial worlds

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