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This paper reports on sociolinguistic research conducted among speakers of five Austro- Asiatic language varieties in northwest Bangladesh: Koda, Kol, Mahali, Mundari, and Santali. These are collectively referred to as the Santali Cluster because Santali is the most populous and developed language among these five varieties. Linguistic variation within and across these varieties, long-term viability of each variety, and attitudes of speakers towards their own and other language varieties were investigated. The degree of intelligibility in Santali by speakers of the other varieties and the bilingual ability in Bangla of speakers from each variety were also studied. This research was carried out from November 2004 through January 2005 through the use of word lists, questionnaires, a Bangla Sentence Repetition Test, and stories recorded in Santali, Mundari, and Mahali.