BODDING, Paul Olaf. Gjøvik 2.11.1865 — Odense 25.9.1938. Rev. Norwegian Missionary and Munda Scholar in India, lived long time among the Santals. Son of bookseller Edvard Olsen B. & Betzy Emilie Wennevold. Deciding to become a missionary he studied from 1883 theology at Kristiania, in 1889 theol.cand. and ordination, in 1890 to Santalistan (Santal Parganas), where he worked mainly at Mohulpahari station, from 1910 as head of the Mission. Retired 1933 and worked in Oslo on his great dictionary. Married in 1891 with Clara Braathen (1867-92), in 1897 with Ingeborg Bahr Børresen (1863-, eloped with an Indian Muslim) and again 1922 with Christine Larsen (1883–1940) – no children. POB created the written Santali and its characters and wrote the first grammar. His collections are deposited in Etnografisk museum, Oslo.
Publications: a number of articles on Santali folklore in JASB.
– Santalernas religion. Kristiania 1920; A chapter of Santal Folklore. 78 p. Oslo 1924.
– Materials for a Santal grammar. 1922, Dumka 1930; A Santali Grammar for Beginners. 104 p. Benagaria 1929.
– Santal Folk Tales. 1-3. 369+411+403 p. Oslo 1925-27-29.
– Studies in Santal medicine and connected folklore. 502 p. M.A.S.B. 10. Calcutta 1925-40.
– A Santal Dictionary. 7 parts in 5 vols. Oslo 1929-36.
– Christian writings in and parts of the Bible translated to Santali.
Sources: A. Fleischer & Sten Konow, Norsk Biogr. Lex. 2, 1925, 55f.; G. M[orgenstierne], Aschehougs konversasjons lexikon 2, 68; Wikipedia (with photo, with more details in Norwegian); *E. Dørdal. Paul Olaf Bodding : his call and his service : a documentary essay. Oslo 1998; *O. Hodne, Oppreisning, misjonæren og vitenskapsmannen Paul Olaf Bodding 1865-1938. Luther forlag 2006.
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