The jadupatua scrolls are a very old tradition among the aboriginal Santhal people of Bihar and West Bengal. The Santhal people, one account tells us, speak their own pre-Dravidian language of Santali, worship their own Santal bongas or spirits, regulate their village life in a democratic manner and celebrate their own santal festivals with dancing and feasting. The scrolls are painted by itinerant minstrel/healers known as jadupatuas, or 'magic painters'. They earn their living by wandering from village to village showing scrolls and chanting the traditional tribal stories of creation, death and life in the underworld. The scrolls consist of twenty or more indivdual story panels arranged vertically, which are unrolled and rerolled as the story is sung. Older scrolls were painted on fabric. Those shown here, dating from the last sixty years, are painted in natural paints on paper - generally a series of individual sheets sewn together.