Some Historical Notes regarding
Missionary Ferdinand Hahn
It was encouraging and humbling to find the recognition of Hahn's significant contribution in preserving Adivasi (tribal) language, culture, and identity. With the Jharkhand movement and the creation of the state in 2000 there is a growing awareness and interest in the unique history. While visiting several colleges and Universities in Ranchi of extensive efforts to promote tribal languages. The Central government had just passed a law permitting students to take exams in their mother tongue.
Two of the missionaries recognized among Adivasis for their work in preserving language are my anscestors. In addition to Ferdinand Hahn's work among the Oraon (language Kurukh), Alfred Nottrott worked among the Munda. He is a great great uncle. His brother Ludwig Nottrott, my great great grandfather, also did some writing from Germany on the history of the Adivasi in this region.
Along with my father and cousin everywhere we went we were received with overwhelming hospitality. The fact that the descendents of these important figures in Adivasi history had come to visit was a great honor. Mutually we shared a common interest in the contributions of these anscestors. Together we share a rich heritage that these anscestors passed on to this generation.
Despite the fact that I am not researching this heritage as an academition I was greatly honored that they asked me to Give a lecture on Ferdinand Hahn at the First Public Lecture on Adivasi culture and language.