Ho language

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𑢹𑣉𑣉 𑣎𑣋𑣜 Ho jagar
Pronunciation /hoː ʤɐgɐr/
Native to India
Ethnicity Ho people
Native speakers
1,421,418 (2011 census)[1]
Warang Citi (Official, Primary)

Devanagari, Latin script, Oriya script, Telugu script (Secondary) [2]

Eastern Nagari script (rare)
Official status
Official language in
 India (Jharkhand)
Language codes
ISO 639-3 hoc
Glottolog hooo1248[3]
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For a guide to IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Ho (𑢹𑣉𑣉 𑣎𑣋𑣜, IPA: /hoː ʤʌgʌr/) is a Munda language of the Austroasiatic language family spoken primarily in India by about 1.04 million people (0.103% of India's population) per the 2001 census. Ho is a very old tribal language.[4] It is spoken by the Ho people,Munda,Kolha and Kol tribal communities of Odisha[5], Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhatisgarh, West Bengal, Assam and is written with the Warang Citi script. Devanagari, Latin script, Oriya script, Telugu script, and Eastern Nagari script are sometimes used,[6] although native speakers are said to prefer a Ho script.[7]

The name "Ho" is derived from the native word "𑣙𑣉𑣉" (IPA: /hoː/) which means "Human being".[8]


The largest concentrations of Ho speakers are in the West Singhbhum, Jamshedpur and East Singhbhum district of southern Jharkhand and in the Mayurbhanj district and Keonjhar district, Jajpur district, Sundergarh district, Balasore District, Dhenkanal district, Sambalpur district, Cuttack district, Angul District, Debagarh district, Jharsuguda district, Bhadrak district of Odisha. Ho is closer to the Mayurbhanj dialect of Mundari than the language spoken in Jharkhand. Ho and Mundari are ethnically and linguistically close but the regional identity of the speakers is distinct.Some researchers and scholars said that Ho and Mundari are two sister languages.[8][9]

Stages of Development

The lexicon of the language reflects close association with nature and living proximity with birds and beasts.,[10][11]

The Roman, Devanagari and Warang Citi scripts have been used in the field of teaching and learning. In 1953, the department of Education, Government of Bihar set out instructions to all the Divisional Inspectors of schools.[12] The government maintained that ‘the pupil-teachers whose mother tongue is other than Hindi should be given the option of maintaining their records in their mother tongue. In every junior Training School besides Hindi, a second mother-tongue as accepted in Government resolution no.645ER of the 10th August, 1953 should be invariably taught.’ The plan has been to provide education in their mother tongue at the primary level.

Since 1976, the Ho language is being imparted at intermediate and graduate courses in different colleges under the Ranchi University. The university opened a separate department named Tribal and Regional Languages in 1981.[13]

In erstwhile Bihar, the Information and Mass Communication department regularly published Ho articles, folk stories, songs in devanagari script in a weekly named Adivasi Saptahik. The Tribal Research Institute conducted a Study of Ho Dialect.[citation needed]

c) Other: There are significant initiatives inculcated in development of Ho language. A pioneering work was started at Ete Turtung Akhara, Jhinkapani to study and develop the Ho language under the leadership of late Lako Bodra with the help of Adi Sanskriti evam Vigyan Sansthan. The institute published a book in 1963 entitled Ho Hayam Paham Puti in the Barang Chiti lipi script and introduced the letters of Barang Chiti, Kakahara.[14]

Sindhu Surin reworked and propagated Owar Ankawa- a reformed script of barang chiti. This has been popularized and disseminated by the institution called Sindhu Jumur.[citation needed]

A.Pathak and N.K. Verma tried to compare the Warang Chiti lipi with the script of Indus valley in their book the Echoes of Indus valley.[15] Sudhanshu Kumar Ray in his ‘Indus Script’ described that the script Barang Chiti resembles the script of Indus that was discovered by Ashok Pagal and Bulu Imam in the caves of Aswara hill near Baraka village.[16]

Xavier Ho Publication, Lupungutu has been publishing a series of books in Devanagri script. Fr. John Deeney wrote Ho Grammar and Vocabulary in 1975.[17]

4. Change of Status/Course due to important event like linguistic states reorganization: In post-independence era by state reorganization, Ho speaking region bifurcated and demography scattered into Bihar, Orissa and West Bengal. Post independence state reorganization, therefore, was of little help in the development of Ho language.[18]

A new state Jharkhand came into existence in November 2000. In its effort the state government has recently recommended Ho language to be included in the eighth schedule of the Constitution. There is hope in the initiative taken by the government as regard to the development of the Ho language in future.[19]

Rising significance of Ho Language & UGC-NET

The University Grants Commission of India has already recognized Ho as a language and literature.Now, UGC is conducting National Eligibility Test examination in Ho language under the "'subject code 70"' in Tribal and Regional Language/Literature group.[20] In Orissa and Jharkhand, Education in Ho at the primary level was introduced in 20 and 449 schools respectively and about 44,502 tribal students are pursuing their studies in the language.[4][21]

Besides education, Ho has also got its due recognition in the world of mass media. For the last few years, All India Radio (AIR) has been airing songs in Ho from the AIR centres in Keonjhar, Rourkela and Cuttack besides Baripada in Mayurbhanj district. Regular programs in Ho are broadcast from Chaibasa and Jamshedpur AIR centres in Jharkhand. Similarly, from Ranchi AIR centre in Jharkhand, regional news bulletins are broadcast two days a week Friday and Sunday.[4]

Institutes & universities for Ho language


  • Ranchi University, Ranchi, Jharkhand[22]
  • Kolhan University, Chaibasa, Jharkhand



  • Ho Language Education Council, Thakurmunda, Mayurbhanj, Orissa[24]
  • Ho Language +2 Junior College, Thakurmunda, Mayurbhanj, Orissa[25]

Institutes and schools

  • Kolguru Lako Bodra Ho Language High school, Birbasa, Bhubaneswar, Odisha[25]
  • Banajyoti Bahubhasi Vidya Mandir, Purunapai, At/Po- purunapani via-Barkote, Deogorh, Odisha[25]
  • Veer Birsa Warangchity Mondo, Rairangpur, Mayurbhanj, Odisha[25]
  • Birsa Munda Ho Language High school, Jamunalia, At- Jamunalia, P.O- Godikansha, via-Kaliaota(telkoi), keonjhar, Odisha[25]
  • Padmashree Tulasi Munda Ho Language High School, Machhgorh, At/Po- Machhgorgh, keonjhar, Odisha[25]
  • Kol guru Lako Bodra Ho Language High School, Dobati, At- Dobati- P.O- tikirapal, via-Mitrapur, Balasore, Odisha[25]
  • Birsa Munda Ho Language High School, Nuagaon, At/Po- Nuagaon, Via- raisuan, Mayurbhanj, Odisha, Pin-758013[25]
  • Warangchity Marshal Mondo, Radhanagar, At/Po- Radhanagar, via- Bissoi, Mayurbhanj, Odisha
  • Atteh Turtung Rumtulay mondo, singda, At/Po- singda, Via- Karanjia, Mayurbhanj, Odisha, PIN-757037[25]
  • Bankipirh Marshal Mondo, Bankidihi, At- Bankidihi, P.O- Asana, via- Bissoi, Mayurbhanj, Odisha[25]
  • Similipal Baa bagan mondo, Thakurmapatna, At- Thakurmapatna, P.O-Barhakamuda, Via- karanjia, Mayurbhanj, Odisha, Pin-757037[25]
  • Kolguru Lako Bodra Ho Language High School, Gokul Chandra pur, At- G.c. pur, P.O- saradiha, Via- Sarat, Mayurbhanj, Odisha, Pin-757079[25]
  • Birsa Munda Ho Language High School, Hadagutu, At- Hadagutu, P.O- labanyadeipur, via- sarat, Mayurbhanj, Odisha, Pin-75707[25]
  • Kolhan High School, Satakosia, At/p.o- satakosia, via- Thakurmunda, Mayurbhanj, Odisha, Pin-757038[25]
  • Guru Lako Bodra Ho Language High School, ThakurmundaAt/ Po-Thakurmunda, Mayurbhanj, Odisha, Pin - 757038[25]

Ho folk literature

  • Ho folk literature’s collection of folk songs by Sharatchandra Rai, Dr. D.N. Majumdar, B. Sukumar, Haldhaar, Kanhuram Devgum etc. (1915–26).
  • Tuturd, Sayan Marsal by Dr. S.K. Tiyu.
  • The Affairs of a Tribe by Dr. D.N. Majumdaar.
  • Aandi and Sarjom Ba Dumba by Jaidev Das.
  • Ho Durandh by W.G. Archer.
  • Folklore of Kolhaan by C.H. Bompaas.
  • Sengail (Poems), Satish Rumul (Poems), Ho Chapakarh Kahin, Satish Chandra Sanhita, and Chaas Raiy Takh by Satish Kumar Koda.
  • Dishum Rumul Mage Durudh by Shivcharan Birua.
  • Adivasi Sivil Durah, Adivasi Deyoan, Adivasi Muni and Urri Keda Kova Red-Ranu by Durga Purti.
  • Bongra Buru Ko (Ho Religion), Horoh Hoan Ko, Maradh Bonga, and Gosain-Devgum Mage Poraab (on Maage Parv) by Pradhaan Gaagrai.
  • Baradchiti (on Ho Lipi), Pompo, Shaaher Hora (Play), Raghuvansh (Play), Hora-Bara, Ho Hayam (Ho Vyakaran), Haladh-Halpudh, Jiboan * * Gumpai Duradh, and Bonga Singirai (Novel) by Lako Bodra.
  • Ho Kudih (Novel) by Dumbi Ho.
  • Ho Kudih (Novel) and Adhunik Ho Shishth Kawya by Prof. Janum Singh Soy.
  • Jaira Jeebon Dastur, Durrn Dudugar, and Ho Bhasha Shastra Ayun Vyakaran by Prof. Balram Paat Pingua.
  • Ho Dishum Ho Hoon Ko by Dhanusingh Purti.
  • Eitaa Bataa Nalaa Basaa, Joaur, Parem Sanadh (Poems), Sarjom Ba Taral, etc. By Kamal Lochan Kohaar.
  • Ho Lokkatha by Dr. Aditya Prasad Sinha.
  • Magazines like Johar, Turturd, Ottoroad, and Sarnaphool also have Ho language articles.[26]

Further reading

  • Grammar of the Kol by Ray A. Nariroat.
  • Encyclopaedia Mundarica by John Hoffman has section on Ho Dictionary.
  • Ho Grammar and Vocabulary, Ho English Dictionary, and Ho Sahitya Sarjan by Father John J. Deeney S.J.
  • Deeney, J. J. (1991). Introduction to the Ho language: [learn Ho quickly and well]. Chaibasa: Xavier Ho Publications.
  • Burrows, L. (1915). Ho grammar: with vocabulary.
  • Deeney, J. J. (1975). Ho grammar and vocabulary. Chaibasa: Xavier Ho Publications.
  • Deogam, Chandrabhusan, "Larka Ho", by Chandrabhusan Deogam.
  • Uxbond, F.A., "Munda-Magyar-Maori". by F.A.Uxbond.london lUZAC & CO. 46, GREAT RUSSELL STREET.(1928).
  • Deeney, J. J. (1978). Ho-English Dictionary. Chaibassa: Xavier Ho Publications.
  • Anderson, Gregory D. S., Toshiki Osada and K. David Harrison. "Ho and the other Kherwarian Languages" In Gregory Anderson (ed.) Munda Languages. (2008). Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-32890-6

See also


  1. ^ "Statement 1: Abstract of speakers' strength of languages and mother tongues - 2011". www.censusindia.gov.in. Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 2018-07-07.
  2. ^ http://scriptsource.org/cms/scripts/page.php?item_id=language_detail&key=hoc Scripts of Ho
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Ho". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  4. ^ a b c http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhubaneswar/High-hopes-for-Ho/articleshow/9275704.cms
  5. ^ http://www.orissapost.com/tribals-seek-official-tag-for-ho-language/
  6. ^ "The Warang Chiti Alphabet". Swarthmore.edu. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  7. ^ Harrison, Anderson, David, Gregory. "Review of Proposal for Encoding Warang Chiti (Hoorthography) in Unicode" (PDF). Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  8. ^ a b "Ho Web Sketch: Ho writing" (PDF). Livingtongues.org. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  9. ^ Anderson, edited by Gregory S. (2008). The Munda languages (1. publ. ed.). London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-32890-X.
  10. ^ Purty, Dhanursingh, "Ho-Dishum Ho Honko" seven volumes.(1982) Xavier Ho Publications
  11. ^ http://www.swarthmore.edu/SocSci/langhotspots/Ho/ The Ho language webpage by K. David Harrison, Swarthmore College
  12. ^ Department of Education, Government of Bihar,1953
  13. ^ University Department Of Tribal And Regional Language, Ranchi University, Jharkhand
  14. ^ Ete Turtung Akhara, Jhinkapani
  15. ^ Echoes of Indus valley by A.Pathak and N.K. Verma
  16. ^ Indus Script by Sudhanshu Kumar Ray
  17. ^ Xavier Ho Publication, Lupungutu,1975
  18. ^ Anderson, Gregory D. S., Toshiki Osada and K. David Harrison. "Ho and the other Kherwarian Languages" In Gregory Anderson (ed.) Munda Languages. (2008). Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-32890-6
  19. ^ Study of Ho Dialect by Tribal Research Institute, Jharkhand
  20. ^ http://www.ugcnetexam.co.in/ugc-net-tribal-regional-language-literature-syllabus.html
  21. ^ http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/jharkhand-school-books-to-go-local/
  22. ^ http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/ranchi-universitys-trl-to-have-nine-departments-for-tribal-languages/1/313487
  23. ^ https://www.kolhanuniversity.ac.in/gallery/category/3-trl-book-release-and-hon-ble-governors-interaction-with-students
  24. ^ http://holanguageodishaedu.in
  25. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o http://holanguageodishaedu.in/school_college.html
  26. ^ https://tribalstuff.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/ho-the-language-of-ho-tribe/%7Cdate=August 2017

External links

  • The Ho language webpage by K. David Harrison, Swarthmore College
  • http://projekt.ht.lu.se/rwaai RWAAI (Repository and Workspace for Austroasiatic Intangible Heritage)
  • http://hdl.handle.net/10050/[email protected] Ho language in RWAAI Digital Archive
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