The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India - Volume II
by R. V. Russell
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6. Occupation and social customs.

The Dhobas act as priests of the Gonds and are also cultivators. Their social position is distinctly higher than that of the Gonds and some of them have begun to employ Brahmans for their ceremonies. They will eat the flesh of most animals, except those of the cow-tribe, and also field-mice, and most of them drink liquor, though the more prominent members have begun to abstain. The origin of the caste is very obscure, but it would appear that they must be an offshoot of one of the Dravidian tribes. In this connection it is interesting to note that Chhattisgarh contains a large number of Dhobis, though the people of this tract have until recently worn little in the way of clothing, and usually wash it themselves when this operation is judged necessary. Many of the Dhobis of Chhattisgarh are cultivators, and it seems possible that a proportion of them may also really belong to this Dhoba caste.


List of Paragraphs

1. Character and structure of the caste. 2. Marriage customs. 3. Other social customs. 4. Religion. 5. Occupation: washing clothes. 6. Social position. 7. Proverbs about the Dhobi. 8. Wearing and lending the clothes of customers.

1. Character and structure of the caste.

Dhobi, Warthi, Baretha, Chakla, Rajak, Parit.—The professional caste of washermen. The name is derived from the Hindi dhona, and the Sanskrit dhav, to wash. Warthi is the Maratha name for the caste, and Bareth or Baretha is an honorific or complimentary term of address. Rajak and Parit are synonyms, the latter being used in the Maratha Districts. The Chakla caste of Madras are leather-workers, but in Chanda a community of persons is found who are known as Chakla and are professional washermen. In 1911 the Dhobis numbered 165,000 persons in the Central Provinces and Berar, or one to every hundred inhabitants. They are numerous in the Districts with large towns and also in Chhattisgarh, where, like the Dhobas of Bengal, they have to a considerable extent abandoned their hereditary profession and taken to cultivation and other callings. No account worth reproduction has been obtained of the origin of the caste. In the Central Provinces it is purely functional, as is shown by its subdivisions; these are generally of a territorial nature, and indicate that the Dhobis like the other professional castes have come here from all parts of the country. Instances of the subcastes are: Baonia and Beraria from Berar; Malwi, Bundelkhandi, Nimaria, Kanaujia, Udaipuria from Udaipur; Madrasi, Dharampuria from Dharampur, and so on. A separate subcaste is formed of Muhammadan Dhobis. The exogamous groups known as khero are of the usual low-caste type, taking their names from villages or titular or professional terms.

2. Marriage customs.

Marriage within the khero is prohibited and also the union of first cousins. It is considered disgraceful to accept a price for a bride, and it is said that this is not done even by the parents of poor girls, but the caste will in such cases raise a subscription to defray the expenses of her marriage. In the northern Districts the marriages of Dhobis are characterised by continuous singing and dancing at the houses of the bridegroom and bride, these performances being known as sajnai and birha. Some man also puts on a long coat, tight down to the waist and loose round the hips, to have the appearance of a dancing-girl, and dances before the party, while two or three other men play. Mr. Crooke considers that this ritual, which is found also among other low castes, resembles the European custom of the False Bride and is intended to divert the evil eye from the real bride. He writes: [550] "Now there are numerous customs which have been grouped in Europe under the name of the False Bride. Thus among the Esthonians the false bride is enacted by the bride's brother dressed in woman's clothes; in Polonia by a bearded man called the Wilde Braut; in Poland by an old woman veiled in white and lame; again among the Esthonians by an old woman with a brickwork crown; in Brittany, where the substitutes are first a little girl, then the mistress of the house, and lastly the grandmother.

"The supposition may then be hazarded in the light of the Indian examples that some one assumes on this occasion the part of the bride in order to divert on himself from her the envious glance of the evil eye." Any further information on this interesting custom would be welcome.

The remarriage of widows is allowed, and in Betul the bridegroom goes to the widow's house on a dark night wrapped up in a black blanket, and presents the widow with new clothes and bangles, and spangles and red lead for the forehead. Divorce is permitted with the approval of the caste headman by the execution of a deed on stamped paper.

3. Other social customs.

After a birth the mother is allowed no food for some days except country sugar and dates. The child is given some honey and castor-oil for the first two days and is then allowed to suckle the mother. A pit is dug inside the lying-in room, and in this are deposited water and the first cuttings of the nails and hair of the child. It is filled up and on her recovery the mother bows before it, praying for similar safe deliveries in future and for the immunity of the child from physical ailments. After the birth of a male child the mother is impure for seven days and for five days after that of a female.

4. Religion.

The principal deity of the Dhobis is Ghatoia, the god of the ghat or landing-place on the river to which they go to wash their clothes. Libations of liquor are made to him in the month of Asarh (June), when the rains break and the rivers begin to be flooded. Before entering the water to wash the clothes they bow to the stone on which these are beaten out, asking that their work may be quickly finished; and they also pray to the river deity to protect them from snakes and crocodiles. They worship the stone on the Dasahra festival, making an offering to it of flowers, turmeric and cooked food. The Dhobi's washing-stone is believed to be haunted by the ghosts of departed Dhobis when revisiting the glimpses of the moon, and is held to have magical powers. If a man requires a love-charm he should steal a supari or areca-nut from the bazar at night or on the occasion of an eclipse. The same night he goes to the Dhobi's stone and sets the nut upon it. He breaks an egg and a cocoanut over the stone and burns incense before it. Then he takes the nut away and gives it to the woman of his fancy, wrapped up in betel-leaf, and she will love him. Their chief festivals are the Holi and Diwali, at which they drink a great deal. The dead are buried or burnt as may be convenient, and mourning is observed for three days only, the family being purified on the Sunday or Wednesday following the death. They have a caste committee whose president is known as Mehtar, while other officials are the Chaudhri or vice-president, and the Badkur, who appoints dates for the penal feasts and issues the summons to the caste-fellows. These posts are hereditary and their holders receive presents of a rupee and a cloth when members of the caste have to give expiatory feasts.

5. Occupation: washing clothes.

Before washing his clothes the Dhobi steams them, [551] hanging them in a bundle for a time over a cauldron of boiling water. After this he takes them to a stream or pond and washes them roughly with fuller's earth. The washerman steps nearly knee-deep into the water, and taking a quantity of clothes by one end in his two hands he raises them aloft in the air and brings them down heavily upon a huge stone slab, grooved, at his feet. This threshing operation he repeats until his clothes are perfectly clean. In Saugor the clothes are rubbed with wood-ashes at night and beaten out in water with a stick in the morning. Silk clothes are washed with the nut of the ritha tree (Sapindus emarginatus) which gives a lather like soap. Sir H. Risley writes of the Dacca washermen: [552] "For washing muslins and other coloured garments well or spring water is alone used; but if the articles are the property of a poor man or are commonplace, the water of the nearest tank or river is accounted sufficiently good. Indigo is in as general use as in England for removing the yellowish tinge and whitening the material. The water of the wells and springs bordering on the red laterite formation on the north of the city has been for centuries celebrated, and the old bleaching fields of the European factories were all situated in this neighbourhood. Various plants are used by the Dhobis to clarify water such as the nirmali (Strychnos potatorum), the piu (Basella), the nagphani (Cactus indicus) and several plants of the mallow family. Alum, though not much valued, is sometimes used." In most Districts of the Central Provinces the Dhobi is employed as a village servant and is paid by annual contributions of grain from the cultivators. For ordinary washing he gets half as much as the blacksmith or carpenter, or 13 to 20 lbs. of grain annually from each householder, with about another 10 lbs. at seedtime or harvest. When he brings the clothes home he also receives a meal or a chapati, and well-to-do persons give him their old clothes as a present. In return for this he washes all the clothes of the family two or three times a month, except the loin-cloths and women's bodices which they themselves wash daily. The Dhobi is also employed on the occasion of a birth or a death. These events cause impurity and hence all the clothes of all the members of the family must be washed when the impurity ceases. In Saugor when a man dies the Dhobi receives eight annas and for a woman four annas, and similar rates in the case of the birth of a male or female child. When the first son is born in a family the Dhobi and barber place a brass vessel on the top of a pole and tie a flag to it as a cloth and take it round to all the friends and relations of the family, announcing the event. They receive presents of grain and money which they expend on a drinking-bout.

6. Social position.

The Dhobi is considered to be impure, and he is not allowed to come into the houses of the better castes nor to touch their water-vessels. In Saugor he may come as far as the veranda but not into the house. His status would in any case be low as a village menial, but he is specially degraded, Mr. Crooke states, by his task of washing the clothes of women after child-birth and his consequent association with puerperal blood, which is particularly abhorred. Formerly a Brahman did not let the Dhobi wash his clothes, or, if he did, they were again steeped in water in the house as a means of purification. Now he contents himself with sprinkling the clean clothes with water in which a piece of gold has been dipped. The Dhobi is not so impure as the Chamar and Basor, and if a member of the higher castes touches him inadvertently it is considered sufficient to wash the face and hands only and not the clothes.

Colonel Tod writes [553] that in Rajputana the washermen's wells dug at the sides of streams are deemed the most impure of all receptacles. And one of the most binding oaths is that a man as he swears should drop a pebble into one of these wells, saying, "If I break this oath may all the good deeds of my forefathers fall into the washerman's well like this pebble." Nevertheless the Dhobi refuses to wash the clothes of some of the lowest castes as the Mang, Mahar and Chamar. Like the Teli the Dhobi is unlucky, and it is a bad omen to see him when starting on a journey or going out in the morning. But among some of the higher castes on the occasion of a marriage the elder members of the bridegroom's family go with the bride to the Dhobi's house. His wife presents the bride with betel-leaf and in return is given clothes with a rupee. This ceremony is called sohag or good fortune, and the present from the Dhobin is supposed to be lucky. In Berar the Dhobi is also a Balutedar or village servant. Mr. Kitts writes of him: [554] "At a wedding he is called upon to spread the clothes on which the bridegroom and his party alight on coming to the bride's house; he also provides the cloth on which the bride and bridegroom are to sit and fastens the kankan (bracelet) on the girl's hand. In the Yeotmal District the barber and the washerman sometimes take the place of the maternal uncle in the jhenda dance; and when the bridegroom, assisted by five married women, has thrown the necklace of black beads round the bride's neck and has tied it with five knots, the barber and the washerman advance, and lifting the young couple on their thighs dance to the music of the wajantri, while the bystanders besprinkle them with red powder."

In Chhattisgarh the Dhobis appear to have partly abandoned their hereditary profession and taken to agriculture and other callings. Sir Benjamin Robertson writes of them: [555] "The caste largely preponderates in Chhattisgarh, a part of the country where, at least to the superficial observer, it would hardly seem as if its services were much availed of; the number of Dhobis in Raipur and Bilaspur is nearly 40,000. In both Districts the washerman is one of the recognised village servants, but as a rule he gets no fixed payment, and the great body of cultivators dispense with his services altogether. According to the Raipur Settlement Report (Mr. Hewett), he is employed by the ryots only to wash the clothes of the dead, and he is never found among a population of Satnamis. It may therefore be assumed that in Chhattisgarh the Bareth caste has largely taken to cultivation." In Bengal Sir H. Risley states [556] that "the Dhobi often gives up his caste trade and follows the profession of a writer, messenger or collector of rent (tahsildar), and it is an old native tradition that a Bengali Dhobi was the first interpreter the English factory at Calcutta had, while it is further stated that our early commercial transactions were carried on solely through the agency of low-caste natives. The Dhobi, however, will never engage himself as an indoor servant in the house of a European."

7. Proverbs about the Dhobi.

Like the other castes who supply the primary needs of the people, the Dhobi is not regarded with much favour by his customers, and they revenge themselves in various sarcasms at his expense for the injury caused to their clothes by his drastic measures. The following are mentioned by Sir G. Grierson: [557] 'Dhobi par Dhobi base, tab kapre par sabun pare', or 'When many Dhobis compete, then some soap gets to the clothes,' and 'It is only the clothes of the Dhobi's father that never get torn.' The Dhobi's donkey is a familiar sight as one meets him on the road still toiling as in the time of Issachar between two bundles of clothes each larger than himself, and he has also become proverbial, 'Dhobi ka gadha neh ghar ka neh ghat ka,' 'The Dhobi's donkey is always on the move'; and 'The ass has only one master (a washerman), and the washerman has only one steed (an ass).' The resentment felt for the Dhobi by his customers is not confined to his Indian clients, as may be seen from Eha's excellent description of the Dhobi in Behind the Bungalow; and it may perhaps be permissible to introduce here the following short excerpt, though it necessarily loses in force by being detached from the context: "Day after day he has stood before that great black stone and wreaked his rage upon shirt and trouser and coat, and coat and trouser and shirt. Then he has wrung them as if he were wringing the necks of poultry, and fixed them on his drying line with thorns and spikes, and finally he has taken the battered garments to his torture chamber and ploughed them with his iron, longwise and crosswise and slantwise, and dropped glowing cinders on their tenderest places. Son has followed father through countless generations in cultivating this passion for destruction, until it has become the monstrous growth which we see and shudder at in the Dhobi."

8. Wearing and lending the clothes of customers.

It is also currently believed that the Dhobi wears the clothes of his customers himself. Thus, 'The Dhobi looks smart in other people's clothes'; and 'Rajache shiri, Paritache tiri,' or 'The king's headscarf is the washerman's loin-cloth.' On this point Mr. Thurston writes of the Madras washerman: "It is an unpleasant reflection that the Vannans or washermen add to their income by hiring out the clothes of their customers for funeral parties, who lay them on the path before the pall-bearers, so that they may not step upon the ground. On one occasion a party of Europeans, when out shooting near the village of a hill tribe, met a funeral procession on its way to the burial-ground. The bier was draped in many folds of clean cloth, which one of the party recognised by the initials as one of his bed-sheets. Another identified as his sheet the cloth on which the corpse was lying. He cut off the corner with the initial, and a few days later the sheet was returned by the Dhobi, who pretended ignorance of the mutilation, and gave as an explanation that it must have been done in his absence by one of his assistants." [558] And Eha describes the same custom in the following amusing manner: "Did you ever open your handkerchief with the suspicion that you had got a duster into your pocket by mistake, till the name of De Souza blazoned on the corner showed you that you were wearing some one else's property? An accident of this kind reveals a beneficent branch of the Dhobi's business, one in which he comes to the relief of needy respectability. Suppose yourself (if you can) to be Mr. Lobo, enjoying the position of first violinist in a string band which performs at Parsi weddings and on other festive occasions. Noblesse oblige; you cannot evade the necessity for clean shirt-fronts, ill able as your precarious income may be to meet it. In these circumstances a Dhobi with good connections is what you require. He finds you in shirts of the best quality at so much an evening, and you are saved all risk and outlay of capital; you need keep no clothes except a greenish-black surtout and pants and an effective necktie. In this way the wealth of the rich helps the want of the poor without their feeling it or knowing it—an excellent arrangement. Sometimes, unfortunately, Mr. Lobo has a few clothes of his own, and then, as I have hinted, the Dhobi may exchange them by mistake, for he is uneducated and has much to remember; but if you occasionally suffer in this way you gain in another, for Mr. Lobo's family are skilful with the needle, and I have sent a torn garment to the wash which returned carefully repaired." [559]


1. Origin and Subdivisions.

Dhuri. [560]—A caste belonging exclusively to Chhattisgarh, which numbered 3000 persons in 1911. Dhuri is an honorific abbreviation from Dhuriya as Bani from Bania. The special occupation of the caste is rice-parching, and they are an offshoot from Kahars, though in Chhattisgarh the Dhuris now consider the Kahars as a subcaste of their own. In Bengal the Dhuriyas are a subcaste of the Kandus or Bharbhunjas. Sir H. Risley states that "the Dhurias rank lowest of all the subcastes of Kandus, owing either to their having taken up the comparatively menial profession of palanquin-bearing, or to their being a branch of the Kahar caste who went in for grain-parching and thus came to be associated with the Kandus." [561] The caste have immigrated to Chhattisgarh from the United Provinces. In Kawardha they believe that the Raja of that State brought them back with him on his return from a pilgrimage. In Bilaspur and Raipur they say they came from Badhar, a pargana in the Mirzapur District, adjoining Rewah. Badhar is mentioned in one of the Rajim inscriptions, and is a place remembered by other castes of Chhattisgarh as their ancestral home. The Dhuris of Chhattisgarh relate their origin as follows: Mahadeo went once to the jungle and the damp earth stuck to his feet. He scraped it off and made it into a man, and asked him what caste he would like to belong to. The man said he would leave it to Mahadeo, who decided that he should be called Dhuri from dhur, dust. The man then asked Mahadeo to assign him an occupation, and Mahadeo said that as he was made from dust, which is pounded earth, his work should be to prepare cheora or pounded rice, and added as a special distinction that all castes including Brahmans should eat the pounded rice prepared by him. All castes do eat cheora because it is not boiled with water. The Dhuris have two subcastes, a higher and a lower, but they are known by different names in different tracts. In Kawardha they are called Raj Dhuri and Cheorakuta, the Raj Dhuris being the descendants of personal servants in the Raja's family and ranking above the Cheorakutas or rice-pounders. In Bilaspur they are called Badharia and Khawas, and in Raipur Badharia and Desha. The Khawas and Desha subcastes do menial household service and rank below the Badharias, who are perhaps later immigrants and refuse to engage in this occupation. The names of their exogamous sections are nearly all territorial, as Naugahia from Naogaon in Bilaspur District, Agoria from Agori, a pargana in Mirzapur District, Kashi or Benares, and a number of other names derived from villages in Bilaspur. But the caste do not strictly enforce the rule forbidding marriage within the gotra or section, and are content with avoiding three generations both on the father's and mother's side. They have probably been driven to modify the rule on account of the paucity of their numbers and the difficulty of arranging marriages. For the same reason perhaps they look with indulgence on the practice, as a rule strictly prohibited, of marriage with a woman of another caste of lower social rank, and will admit the children of such a marriage into the caste, though not the woman herself.

2. Marriage.

Infant-marriage is in vogue, and polygamy is permitted only if the first wife be barren. The betrothal is cemented by an exchange of betel-leaves and areca-nuts between the fathers of the engaged couple. A bride-price of from ten to twenty rupees is usually paid. Some rice, a pice coin, 21 cowries and 21 pieces of turmeric are placed in the hole in which the marriage post is erected. When the wedding procession arrives at the girl's house the bridegroom goes to the marriage-shed and pulls out the festoons of mango leaves, the bride's family trying to prevent him by offering him a winnowing-fan. He then approaches the door of the house, behind which his future mother-in-law is standing, and slips a piece of cloth through the door for her. She takes this and retires without being seen. The wedding consists of the bhanwar ceremony or walking round the sacred pole. During the proceedings the women tie a new thread round the bridegroom's neck to avert the evil eye. After the wedding the bride and bridegroom, in opposition to the usual custom, must return to the latter's house on foot. In explanation of this they tell a story to the effect that the married couple were formerly carried in a palanquin. But on one occasion when a wedding procession came to a river, everybody began to catch fish, leaving the bride deserted, and the palanquin-bearers, seeing this, carried her off. To prevent the recurrence of such a mischance the couple now have to walk. Widow-marriage is permitted, and the widow usually marries her late husband's younger brother. Divorce is only permitted for misconduct on the part of the wife.

3. Religious beliefs.

The Dhuris principally worship the goddess Devi. Nearly all members of the caste belong to the Kabirpanthi sect. They believe that the sun on setting goes through the earth, and that the milky way is the path by which the elephant of the heavens passes from south to north to feed on the young bamboo shoots, of which he is very fond. They think that the constellation of the Great Bear is a cot with three thieves tied to it. The thieves came to steal the cot, which belonged to an old woman, but God caught them and tied them down there for ever. Orion is the plough left by one of the Pandava brothers after he had finished tilling the heavens. The dead are burnt. They observe mourning during nine or ten days for an adult and make libations to the dead at the usual period in the month of Kunwar (September-October).

4. Occupation and social status.

The proper occupation of the caste is to parch rice. The rice is husked and then parched in an earthen pan, and subsequently bruised with a mallet in a wooden mortar. When prepared in this manner it is called cheora. The Dhuris also act as khidmatgars or household servants, but the members of the Badharia subcaste refuse to do this work. Some members of the caste are fishermen, and others grow melons and sweet potatoes. Considering that they live in Chhattisgarh, the caste are somewhat scrupulous in the matter of food, neither eating fowls nor drinking liquor. The Kawardha Dhuris, however, who are later immigrants than the others, do not observe these restrictions, the reason for which may be that the Dhuris think it necessary to be strict in the matter of food, so that no one may object to take parched rice from them. Rawats and Gonds take food from their hands in some places, and their social status in Chhattisgarh is about equivalent to that of the Rawats or Ahirs. A man of the caste who kills a cow or gets vermin in a wound must go to Amarkantak to bathe in the Nerbudda.


1. Origin and traditions.

Dumal. [562]—An agricultural caste found in the Uriya country and principally in the Sonpur State, recently transferred to Bihar and Orissa. In 1901, 41,000 Dumals were enumerated in the Central Provinces, but only a few persons now remain. The caste originally came from Orissa. They themselves say that they were formerly a branch of the Gaurs, with whom they now have no special connection. They derive their name from a village called Dumba Hadap in the Athmalik State, where they say that they lived. Another story is that Dumal is derived from Duma, the name of a gateway in Baud town, near which they dwelt. Sir H. Risley says: "The Dumals or Jadupuria Gaura seem to be a group of local formation. They cherish the tradition that their ancestors came to Orissa from Jadupur, but this appears to be nothing more than the name of the Jadavas or Yadavas, the mythical progenitors of the Goala caste transformed into the name of an imaginary town."

2. Subdivisions.

The Dumals have no subcastes, but they have a complicated system of exogamy. This includes three kinds of divisions or sections, the got or sept, the barga or family title and the mitti or earth from which they sprang, that is, the name of the original village of the clan. Marriage is prohibited only between persons who have the same got, barga and mitti; if any one of these is different it is allowed. Thus a man of the Nag got, Padhan barga and Hindolsai mitti may marry a girl of the Nag got, Padhan barga and Kandhpada mitti; or one of the Nag got, Karmi barga and Hindolsai mitti; or one of the Bud got, Padhan barga and Hindolsai mitti. The bargas are very numerous, but the gots and mittis are few and common to many bargas; and many people have forgotten the name of their mitti altogether. Marriage therefore usually depends on the bargas being different. The following table shows the got, barga and mitti of a few families:

Got. Barga. Mitti.

Nag (cobra) Padhan (chief) Hindolsai Nag Karmi (manager) Unda (a village in Athmalik) Nag Behra (Palki-bearer) Kandhpada (a village in Athmalik) Nag Mahakul (great family) Do. do. Nag Mesua (shepherd) Dalpur (a village in Baud) Nag Karan (writer) Kandhpada (a village in Athmalik) Nag or Nagesh Mahakul (great family) Bamanda (a village in Baud) Bud (a fish) Kolta (caste) Kandhpada (a village in Athmalik) Bud (a fish) Baghar (buffalo) Do. do. Bichhu (scorpion) Mahakul (great family) Bamada (a village in Baud)

The only other gots besides those given above are Kachhap (tortoise), Uluk (owl) and Limb (nim-tree). The gots are thus totemistic, and the animal or plant giving its name to the got is venerated and worshipped. The names of bargas are diverse. Some are titles indicating the position of the founder of the family in life, as Naik (leader), Padhan (chief), Karmi (manager), Mahakul (great family) and so on. Others are derived from functions performed in sacrifices, as Amayat (one who kills the animal in the sacrifice), Gurandi (one who makes a preparation of sugar for it), Dehri (priest), Barik (one who carries the god's umbrella), Kamp (one who is in charge of the baskets containing the sacred articles of the temple). Another set of bargas are names signifying the performance of menial functions in household service, as Gejo (kitchen-cleaner), Chaulia (rice-cleaner), Gadua (lota-bearer), Dang (spoon-bearer), Ghusri (cleaner of the dining-place with cowdung). Other names of bargas are derived from the caste's traditional occupation of grazing cattle, as Mesua or Mendli (shepherd), Gaigariya (milkman), Chhand (one who ties a rope to the legs of a cow when milking her). These names are interesting as showing that the Dumals before taking to their present occupation of agriculture were temple servants, household menials and cattle-herds, thus fulfilling the functions now performed by the Rawat or Gaur caste of graziers in Sambalpur. The names of the mittis or villages show that their original home was in the Orissa Tributary Mahals, while the totemistic names of gots indicate their Dravidian origin. The marriage of first cousins is prohibited.

3. Marriage.

Girls must be married before adolescence, and in the event of the parents failing to accomplish this, the following heavy penalty is imposed on the girl herself. She is taken to the forest and tied to a tree with thread, this proceeding signifying her permanent exclusion from the caste. Any one belonging to another caste can then take her away and marry her if he chooses to do so. In practice, however, this penalty is very rarely imposed, as the parents can get out of it by marrying her to an old man, whether he is already married or not, the parents bearing all the expenses, while the husband gives two to four annas as a nominal contribution. After the marriage the old man can either keep the girl as his wife or divorce her for a further nominal payment of eight annas to a rupee. She then becomes a widow and can marry again, while her parents will get ten or twenty rupees for her.

The boy's father makes the proposal for the marriage according to the following curious formula. Taking some fried grain he goes to the house of the father of the bride and addresses him as follows in the presence of the neighbours and the relatives of both parties: "I hear that the tree has budded and a blossom has come out; I intend to pluck it." To which the girl's father replies: "The flower is delicate; it is in the midst of an ocean and very difficult to approach: how will you pluck it?" To which the reply is: 'I shall bring ships and dongas (boats) and ply them in the ocean and fetch the flower.' And again: "If you do pluck it, can you support it? Many difficulties may stand in the way, and the flower may wither or get lost; will it be possible for you to steer the flower's boat in the ocean of time, as long as it is destined to be in this world?" To which the answer is: 'Yes, I shall, and it is with that intention that I have come to you.' On which the girl's father finally says: 'Very well then, I have given you the flower.' The question of the bride's price is then discussed. There are three recognised scales—Rs. 7 and 7 pieces of cloth, Rs. 9 and 9 pieces of cloth, and Rs. 18 and 18 pieces of cloth. The rupees in question are those of Orissa, and each of them is worth only two-thirds of a Government rupee. In cases of extreme poverty Rs. 2 and 2 pieces of cloth are accepted. The price being fixed, the boy's father goes to pay it after an interval; and on this occasion he holds out his cloth, and a cocoanut is placed on it and broken by the girl's father, which confirms the betrothal. Before the marriage seven married girls go out and dig earth after worshipping the ground, and on their return let it all fall on to the head of the bridegroom's mother, which is protected only by a cloth. On the next day offerings are made to the ancestors, who are invited to attend the ceremony as village gods. The bridegroom is shaved clean and bathed, and the Brahman then ties an iron ring to his wrist, and the barber puts the turban and marriage-crown on his head. The procession then starts, but any barber who meets it on the way may put a fresh marriage-crown on the bridegroom's head and receive eight annas or a rupee for it, so that he sometimes arrives at his destination wearing four or five of them. The usual ceremonies attend the arrival. At the marriage the couple are blindfolded and seated in the shed, while the Brahman priest repeats mantras or verses, and during this time the parents and the parties must continue placing nuts and pice all over the shed. These are the perquisites of the Brahman. The hands of the couple are then tied together with kusha grass (Eragrostis cynosuroides), and water is poured over them. After the ceremony the couple gamble with seven cowries and seven pieces of turmeric. The boy then presses a cowrie on the ground with his little finger, and the girl has to take it away, which she easily does. The girl in her turn holds a cowrie inside her clenched hand, and the boy has to remove it with his little finger, which he finds it impossible to do. Thus the boy always loses and has to promise the girl something, either to give her an ornament or to take her on a pilgrimage, or to make her the mistress of his house. On the fifth or last day of the ceremony some curds are placed in a small pot, and the couple are made to churn them; this is probably symbolical of the caste's original occupation of tending cattle. The bride goes to her husband's house for three days, and then returns home. When she is to be finally brought to her husband's house, his father with some relatives goes to the parents of the girl and asks for her. It is now strict etiquette for her father to refuse to send her on the first occasion, and they usually have to call on him three or four times at intervals of some days, and selecting the days given by the astrologer as auspicious. Occasionally they have to go as many as ten times; but finally, if the girl's father proves very troublesome, they send an old woman who drags away the girl by force. If the father sends her away willingly he gives her presents of several basket-loads of grain, oil, turmeric, cooking-pots, cloth, and if he is well off a cow and bullocks, the value of the presents amounting to about Rs. 50. The girl's brother takes her to her husband's house, where a repetition of the marriage ceremony on a small scale is performed. Twice again after the consummation of the marriage she visits her parents for periods of one and six months, but after this she never again goes to their house unaccompanied by her husband. Widow-marriage is allowed, and the widow may marry the younger brother of her late husband or not as she pleases. But if she marries another man he must pay a sum of Rs. 10 to Rs. 20 for her, of which Rs. 5 go to the Panua or headman of the caste, and Rs. 2 to their tutelary goddess Parmeshwari. The children by the first husband are kept either by his relatives or the widow's parents, and do not go to the new husband. When a bachelor marries a widow, he is first married to a flower or sahara tree. A widow who has remarried cannot take part in any worship or marriage ceremony in her house, not even in the marriage of her own sons. Divorce is allowed, and is effected in the presence of the caste panchayat or committee. A divorced woman may marry again.

4. Religious and social customs.

The caste worship the goddess Parmeshwari, the wife of Vishnu, and Jagannath, the Uriya incarnation of Vishnu. Parmeshwari is worshipped by Brahmans, who offer bread and khir or rice and milk to her; goats are also offered by the Dehri or Mahakul, the caste priest, who receives the heads of the goats as his remuneration. They believe in witches, who they think drink the blood of children, and employ sorcerers to exorcise them. They worship a stick on Dasahra day in remembrance of their old profession of herding cattle, and they worship cows and buffaloes at the full moon of Shrawan (July-August). During Kunwar, on the eighth day of each fortnight, two festivals are held. At the first each girl in the family wears a thread containing eighteen knots twisted three times round her neck. All the girls fast and receive presents of cloths and grain from their brothers. This is called Bhaijiuntia, or the ceremony for the welfare of the brothers. On the second day the mother of the family does the same, and receives presents from her sons, this being Puajiuntia, or the ceremony for the welfare of sons. The Dumals believe that in the beginning water covered the earth. They think that the sun and moon are the eyes of God, and that the stars are the souls of virtuous men, who enjoy felicity in heaven for the period measured by the sum of their virtuous actions, and when this has expired have to descend again to earth to suffer the agonies of human life. When a shooting star is seen they think it is the soul of one of these descending to be born again on earth. They both burn and bury their dead according to their means. After a body is buried they make a fire over the grave and place an empty pot on it. Mourning is observed for twelve days in the case of a married and for seven in the case of an unmarried person. Children dying when less than six days old are not mourned at all. During mourning the persons of the household do not cook for themselves. On the third day after the death three leaf-plates, each containing a little rice, sugar and butter, are offered to the spirit of the deceased. On the fourth day four such plates are offered, and on the fifth day five, and so on up to the ninth day when the Pindas or sacrificial cakes are offered, and nine persons belonging to the caste are invited, food and a new piece of cloth being given to each. Should only one attend, nine plates of food would be served to him, and he would be given nine pieces of cloth. If two or more persons in a family are killed by a tiger, a Sulia or magician is called in, and he pretends to be the tiger and to bite some one in the family, who is then carried as a corpse to the burial-place, buried for a short time and taken out again. All the ceremonies of mourning are observed for him for one day. This proceeding is believed to secure immunity for the family from further attacks. In return for his services the Sulia gets a share of everything in the house corresponding to what he would receive, supposing he were a member of the family, on a partition. Thus if the family consisted of only two persons he would get a third part of the whole property.

The Dumals eat meat, including wild boar's flesh, but not beef, fowls or tame pigs. They do not drink liquor. They will take food cooked with water from Brahmans and Sudhs, and even the leavings of food from Brahmans. This is probably because they were formerly the household servants of Brahmans, though they have now risen somewhat in position and rank, together with the Koltas and Sudhs, as a good cultivating caste. Their women and girls can easily be distinguished, the girls because the hair is shaved until they are married, and the women because they wear bangles of glass on one arm and of lac on the other. They never wear nose-rings or the ornament called pairi on the feet, and no ornaments are worn on the arm above the elbow. They do not wear black clothing. The women are tattooed on the hands, feet and breast. Morality within the caste is lax. A woman going wrong with a man of her own caste is not punished, because the Dumals live generally in Native States, where it is the business of the Raja to find the seducer. But she is permanently excommunicated for a liaison with a man of another caste. Eating with a very low caste is almost the only offence which entails permanent exclusion for both sexes. The Dumals have a bad reputation for fidelity, according to a saying: 'You cannot call the jungle a plain, and you should not call the Dumal a brother,' that is, do not trust a Dumal. Like the Ahirs they are somewhat stupid, and when enquiry was being made from them as to what crops they did not grow, one of them replied that they did not sow salt. They are good cultivators, and will grow anything except hemp and turmeric. In some places they still follow their traditional occupation of grazing cattle.


1. General notice.

Fakir. [563]—The class of Muhammadan beggars. In the Central Provinces the name is practically confined to Muhammadans, but in Upper India Hindus also use it. Nearly 9000 Fakirs were returned in 1911, being residents mainly of Districts with large towns, as Jubbulpore, Nagpur and Amraoti. Nearly two-fifths of the Muhammadans of the Central Provinces live in towns, and Muhammadan beggars would naturally congregate there also. The name is derived from the Arabic fakr, poverty. The Fakirs are often known as Shah, Lord, or Sain, a corruption of the Sanskrit Swami, master. Muhammad did not recognise religious ascetism, and expressly discouraged it. But even during his lifetime his companions Abu Bakr and Ali established religious orders with Zikrs or special exercises, and all Muhammadan Fakirs trace their origin to Abu Bakr or Ali subsequently the first and fourth Caliphs. [564] The Fakirs are divided into two classes, the Ba Shara or those who live according to the rules of Islam and marry; and the Be Shara or those without the law. These latter have no wives or homes; they drink intoxicating liquor, and neither fast, pray nor rule their passions. But several of the orders contain both married and celibate groups.

2. Principal orders.

The principal classes of Fakirs in the Central Provinces are the Madari, Gurujwale or Rafai, Jalali, Mewati, Sada Sohagal and Nakshbandia. All of these except the Nakshbandia are nominally at least Be Shara, or without the law, and celibate.

The Madari are the followers of one Madar Shah, a converted Jew of Aleppo, whose tomb is supposed to be at Makhanpur in the United Provinces. Their characteristic badge is a pair of pincers. Some, in order to force people to give them alms, go about dragging a chain or lashing their legs with a whip. Others are monkey- and bear-trainers and rope-dancers. The Madaris are said to be proof against snakes and scorpions, and to have power to cure their bites. They will leap into a fire and trample it down, crying out, 'Aam Madar, Aam Madar.' [565]

The Gurujwale or Rafai have as their badge a spiked iron club with small chains attached to the end. The Fakir rattles the chains of his club to announce his presence, and if the people will not give him alms strikes at his own cheek or eye with the sharp point of his club, making the blood flow. They make prayers to their club once a year, so that it may not cause them serious injury when they strike themselves with it.

The Jalalias are named after their founder, Jalal-ud-din of Bokhara, and have a horse-whip as their badge, with which they sometimes strike themselves on the hands and feet. They are said to consume large quantities of bhang, and to eat snakes and scorpions; they shave all the hair on the head and face, including the eyebrows, except a small scalp-lock on the right side.

The Mewati appear to be a thieving order. They are also known as Kulchor or thieves of the family, and appear to have been originally a branch of the Madari, who were perhaps expelled on account of their thieving habits. Their distinguishing mark is a double bag like a pack-saddle, which they hang over their shoulders. The Sada or Musa Sohag are an order who dress like women, put on glass bangles, have their ears and noses pierced for ornaments, and wear long hair, but retain their beards and moustaches. They regard themselves as brides of God or of Hussan, and beg in this guise.

The Nakshbandia are the disciples of Khwaja Mir Muhammad, who was called Nakshband or brocade-maker. They beg at night-time, carrying an open brass lamp with a short wick. Children are fond of the Nakshband, and go out in numbers to give him money. In return he marks them on the brow with oil from his lamp. They are quiet and well behaved, belonging to the Ba Shara class of Fakirs, and having homes and families.

The Kalandaria or wandering dervishes, who are occasionally met with, were founded by Kalandar Yusuf-ul-Andalusi, a native of Spain. Having been dismissed from another order, he founded this as a new one, with the obligation of perpetual travelling. The Kalandar is a well-known figure in Eastern stories. [566]

The Maulawiyah are the well-known dancing dervishes of Constantinople and Cairo, but do not belong to India.

The different orders of Fakirs are not strictly endogamous, and marriages can take place between their members, though the Madaris prefer to confine marriage to their own order. Fakirs as a body are believed to marry among themselves, and hence to form something in the nature of a caste, but they freely admit outsiders, whether Muhammadans or proselytised Hindus.

3. Rules and customs.

Every Fakir must have a Murshid or preceptor, and be initiated by him. This applies also to boys born in the order, and a father cannot initiate his son. The rite is usually simple, the novice having to drink sherbet from the same cup as his preceptor and make him a present of Rs. 1-4; but some orders insist that the whole body of a novice should be shaved clean of hair before he is initiated. The principal religious exercise of Fakirs is known as Zikr, and consists in the continual repetition of the names of God by various methods, it being supposed that they can draw the name from different parts of the body. The exercise is so exhausting that they frequently faint under it, and is varied by repetition of certain chapters of the Koran. The Fakir has a tasbih or rosary, often consisting of ninety-nine beads, on which he repeats the ninety-nine names of God. The Fakirs beg both from Hindus and Muhammadans, and are sometimes troublesome and importunate, inflicting wounds on themselves as a means of extorting alms. One beggar in Saugor said that he would give every one who gave him alms five strokes with his whip, and attracted considerable custom by this novel expedient. Some of them are in charge of Muhammadan cemeteries and receive fees for a burial, while others live at the tombs of saints. They keep the tomb in good repair, cover it with a green cloth and keep a lighted lamp on it, and appropriate the offerings made by visitors. Owing to their solitude and continuous repetition of prayers many Fakirs fall into a distraught condition, when they are known as mast, and are believed to be possessed of a spirit. At such a time the people attach the greatest importance to any utterances which fall from the Fakir's lips, believing that he has the gift of prophecy, and follow him about with presents to induce him to make some utterance.

End of vol. II


[1] This article is compiled from papers by Mr. Mir Padshah, Tahsildar of Bilaspur, and Kanhya Lal, clerk in the Gazetteer office.

[2] Basi or rice boiled in water the previous day.

[3] A measure containing about 2 1/2 lbs. of grain.

[4] This article is mainly compiled from papers by the late Mr. Baikunth Nath Pujari, Extra Assistant Commissioner, Sambalpur; Sitaram, Head Master of the Raigarh English School, and Kanhya Lal, clerk in the Gazetteer office.

[5] Now transferred to Bengal.

[6] Dalton's Ethnology of Bengal, p. 322.

[7] This article is mainly based on a paper on Aghoris and Aghorpanthis, by Mr. H. W. Barrow, in the Journal Anthr. Soc. Bombay, iii. p. 197.

[8] Bhattacharya, Hindu Castes and Sects, p. 392.

[9] Aghoris and Aghorpanthis, pp. 224, 226.

[10] Page 208.

[11] The Tribune (Lahore), November 29, 1898, quoted in Oman's Mystics, Ascetics and Saints of India, pp. 164, 165.

[12] Studies of Indian Life and Sentiment, p. 44.

[13] The information about birth customs in this article is from a paper by Mr. Kalika Prasad, Tahsildar, Raj-Nandgaon State.

[14] Go, gau or gai, an ox or cow, and pal or palak, guardian.

[15] Ind. Ant. (Jan. 1911), 'Foreign Elements in the Hindu Population,' by Mr. D. R. Bhandarkar.

[16] Elliot, Supplemental Glossary, s.v. Ahir.

[17] Early History of India, 3rd ed. p. 286.

[18] Elliot, ibidem.

[19] Bombay Monograph on Ahir.

[20] Elliot, ibidem.

[21] Central Provinces Gazetteer (1871), Introduction.

[22] Linguistic Survey of India, vol. ix. part ii. p. 50.

[23] Bombay Ethnographic Survey.

[24] Quoted in Tribes and Castes of Bengal, art. Goala.

[25] Rajasthan, ii. p. 639.

[26] Gokul was the place where Krishna was brought up, and the Gokulastha Gosains are his special devotees.

[27] Behind the Bungalow.

[28] Eastern India, ii. p. 467.

[29] Buchanan, Eastern India, ii. pp. 924, 943.

[30] This article is mainly based on a paper by Mr. W. S. Slaney, E.A.C., Akola.

[31] Berar Census Report (1881).

[32] Tribes and Castes, art. Arakh.

[33] Cajanus indicus.

[34] Berar Census Report (1881), p. 157.

[35] Based on papers by Mr. Bijai Bahadur Royzada, Naib-Tahsildar Hinganghat, and Munshi Kanhya Lal of the Gazetteer office.

[36] A preparation of raisins and other fruits and rice.

[37] The ordinary tola is a rupee weight or two-fifths of an ounce.

[38] Jasminum zambac.

[39] Michelia champaca.

[40] Phyllanthus emblica.

[41] Report on the Badhak or Bagri Dacoits and the Measures adopted by the Government of India for their Suppression, printed in 1849.

[42] Sleeman, p. 10.

[43] Sleeman, p. 10.

[44] Sleeman, p. 57.

[45] Sleeman, p. 95.

[46] Sleeman, p. 231.

[47] Sleeman, p. 217.

[48] Sleeman, p. 20.

[49] Sleeman, p. 21.

[50] Sleeman, p. 81.

[51] Sleeman, p. 82.

[52] Sleeman, p. 152.

[53] Sleeman, p. 127. This passage is from a letter written by a magistrate, Mr. Ramsay.

[54] Sleeman, p. 129.

[55] Sleeman, p. 112.

[56] Sleeman, p. 124.

[57] Sleeman, p. 125.

[58] Sleeman, p. 147.

[59] Sleeman, p. 104.

[60] Sleeman, p. 110.

[61] Sleeman, p. 131.

[62] Sleeman, p. 205.

[63] Sleeman, p. 106.

[64] Malcolm's Memoir of Central India, ii. p. 479.

[65] Crooke's Tribes and Castes, art. Bawaria.

[66] Sirsa Settlement Report.

[67] It would appear that the Gujarat Vaghris are a distinct class from the criminal section of the tribe.

[68] Bombay Gazetteer, Gujarat Hindus, p. 514.

[69] Art. Bawaria, quoting from North Indian Notes and Queries, i. 51.

[70] Bombay Gazetteer, Hindus of Gujarat, p. 574.

[71] Gunthorpe's Criminal Tribes.

[72] Criminal Classes in the Bombay Presidency, p. 151.

[73] Gunthorpe's Criminal Tribes, art. Badhak.

[74] C. P. Police Lectures, art. Badhak.

[75] Art. Bawaria, para. 12.

[76] Criminal Classes in the Bombay Presidency, p. 179.

[77] Kennedy, loc. cit. p. 208.

[78] Kennedy, loc. cit. p. 185.

[79] This article is partly based on a paper by Munshi Kanhya Lal of the Gazetteer office.

[80] Sir B. Robertson's C.P. Census Report (1891), p. 203.

[81] Punjab Census Report (1881), paras. 646, 647.

[82] Nasik Gazetteer, pp. 84, 85.

[83] Crooke's Tribes and Castes, art. Bahna.

[84] The word Achera is merely a jingle put in to make the rhyme complete. Kachera is a maker of glass bangles.

[85] This article is based largely on a monograph by the Rev. J. Lampard, missionary, Baihar, and also on papers by Muhammad Hanif Siddiqi, forest ranger, Bilaspur, and Mr. Muhammad Ali Haqqani, B.A., Tahsildar, Dindori. Some extracts have been made from Colonel Ward's Mandla Settlement Report (1869), and from Colonel Bloomfield's Notes on the Baigas.

[86] In Bengal the Bhumia or Bhumij are an important tribe.

[87] Colonel Ward's Mandla Settlement Report (1868-69), p. 153.

[88] Shorea robusta.

[89] Jarrett's Ain-i-Akbari, vol. ii. p. 196.

[90] Colonel Ward gives the bride's house as among the Gonds. But inquiry in Mandla shows that if this custom formerly existed it has been abandoned.

[91] Forsyth's Highlands of Central India, p. 377.

[92] The Great God. The Gonds also worship Bura Deo, resident in a saj tree.

[93] Opened in 1905.

[94] Mandla Settlement Report (1868-69), p. 153.

[95] Notes on the Baigas, p. 4.

[96] Mr. Lampard's monograph.

[97] Farthings.

[98] This article contains material from Sir E. Maclagan's Punjab Census Report (1891), and Dr. J. N. Bhattacharya's Hindu Castes and Sects (Thacker, Spink & Co., Calcutta).

[99] Dictionary, s.v.

[100] Sir E. Maclagan's Punjab Census Report (1891), p. 122.

[101] Memoir of Mathura.

[102] Hindu Castes and Sects, p. 449.

[103] Lit. the birth on the eighth day, as Krishna was born on the 8th of dark Bhadon.

[104] Mr. Crooke's Tribes and Castes, art. Vallabhacharya.

[105] Hindu Castes and Sects, p. 457.

[106] From laskkar, an army.

[107] This paragraph is taken from Professor Wilson's Account of Hindu Sects in the Asiatic Researches.

[108] This article is based on papers by Mr. Habib Ullah, Pleader, Burhanpur, Mr. W. Bagley, Subdivisional Officer, and Munsh Kanhya Lal, of the Gazetteer office.

[109] This legend is probably a vague reminiscence of the historical fact that a Malwa army was misled by a Gond guide in the Nimar forests and cut up by the local Muhammadan ruler. The well-known Raja Man of Jodhpur was, it is believed, never in Nimar.

[110] The ghat or river-bank for the disposal of corpses.

[111] Madras Census Report (1891), p. 277.

[112] Ibidem (1891), p. 226.

[113] Ethnographic Notes in Southern India, p. 16.

[114] Madras Census Report (1891), p. 277.

[115] See para. 19 below.

[116] See commencement of article.

[117] C.P. Census Report (1911), Occupation Chapter, Subsidiary Table I. p. 234.

[118] For examples, the subordinate articles on Agarwal, Oswal, Maheshri, Khandelwal, Lad, Agrahari, Ajudhiabasi, and Srimali may be consulted. The census lists contain numerous other territorial names.

[119] Rajasthan, i. pp. 76, 109.

[120] That is Marwar. But perhaps the term here is used in the wider sense of Rajputana.

[121] Rajasthan, ii. p. 145.

[122] Punjab Census Report (1881), p. 293.

[123] Supplemental Glossary, p. 110.

[124] Rasmala, i. pp. 240, 243.

[125] Rajasthan, ii. p. 360.

[126] Ibid. ii. p. 240.

[127] The Parwars probably belonged originally to Rajputana; see subordinate article.

[128] Rajasthan, i. p. 491.

[129] Bombay Gazetteer, Hindus of Gujarat, p. 80.

[130] The common brass drinking-vessel.

[131] Sir H. H. Risley's Peoples of India, p. 127, and Appendix I. p. 8.

[132] Punjab Census Report (1881), p. 291.

[133] Nagpur Settlement Report (1900), para. 54.

[134] Nagpur Settlement Report (1900), para. 54.

[135] Tribes and Castes of Bengal, art. Agarwala.

[136] Tribes and Castes of Bengal, art. Agarwala.

[137] The information on this subcaste is taken from Mr. Crooke's article on it in his Tribes and Castes.

[138] Mr. Crooke's Tribes and Castes, art. Audhia.

[139] Kennedy's Criminal Classes of the Bombay Presidency, art. Audhia.

[140] Kennedy, ibidem.

[141] Mr. Crooke's Tribes and Castes, art. Audhia.

[142] United Provinces Census Report (1901), p. 220.

[143] Atkinson, Himalayan Gazetteer, ii. p. 473, quoted in Mr. Crooke's article Dhusar.

[144] Sherring, Hindu Castes, i. p. 293.

[145] This account is based on a paper furnished by Mr. Jeorakhan Lal, Deputy Inspector of Schools, Bilaspur.

[146] Kashyap was a Brahman saint, but the name is perhaps derived from Kachhap, a tortoise.

[147] This article is mainly based on a paper by Mr. Pancham Lal, Naib-Tahsildar Sihora.

[148] Mr. Crooke's Tribes and Castes, art. Gahoi.

[149] Tribes and Castes, art. Golahre.

[150] The above notice is partly based on a paper by Mr. Sant Prasad, schoolmaster, Nandgaon.

[151] Tribes and Castes, art. Kasaundhan.

[152] Mr. Crooke's Tribes and Castes, art. Khandelwal.

[153] Hindu Castes and Sects, p. 209.

[154] See article Bairagi for some notice of the sect.

[155] See separate article on Jangam.

[156] Bombay Gazetteer, Hindus of Gujarat, p. 70.

[157] A town near Jhalor in Marwar, now called Bhinmal.

[158] Bombay Gazetteer, Hindus of Gujarat, p. 97.

[159] Rajasthan, ii. p. 210, footnote.

[160] Hindus of Gujarat, loc. cit., and Bombay Gazetteer, xvi. 45.

[161] Tribes and Castes, art. Oswal.

[162] Bombay Gazetteer, vol. xvii. p. 51.

[163] Ibidem.

[164] Bhattacharya, Hindu Castes and Sects, p. 207.

[165] This article is based on papers by Mr. Pancham Lal, Naib-Tahsildar Sihora, and Munshi Kanhya Lal, of the Gazetteer office.

[166] See also notice of Benaikias in article on Vidur.

[167] Bombay Gazetteer, vol. xvii. p. 81.

[168] Bombay Gazetteer, Hindus of Gujarat, p. 99.

[169] Ibidem.

[170] Ibidem. p. 98.

[171] Merinda citrifolia, see art. Alia.

[172] See article.

[173] This article is based principally on a Monograph on the Banjara Clan, by Mr. N. F. Cumberlege of the Berar Police, believed to have been first written in 1869 and reprinted in 1882; notes on the Banjaras written by Colonel Mackenzie and printed in the Berar Census Report (1881) and the Pioneer newspaper (communicated by Mrs. Horsburgh); Major Gunthorpe's Criminal Tribes; papers by Mr. M. E. Khare, Extra-Assistant Commissioner, Chanda; Mr. Narayan Rao, Tahr., Betul; Mr. Mukund Rao, Manager, Pachmarhi Estate; and information on the caste collected in Yeotmal and Nimar.

[174] Mr. Crooke's Tribes and Castes, art. Banjara, para. 1.

[175] Berar Census Report (1881), p. 150.

[176] Ibidem, para. 2, quoting Dowson's Elliot, v. 100.

[177] Khan Bahadur Fazalullah Lutfullah Faridi in the Bombay Gazetteer (Muhammadans of Gujarat, p. 86) quoting from General Briggs (Transactions Bombay Literary Society, vol. i. 183) says that "as carriers of grain for Muhammadan armies the Banjaras have figured in history from the days of Muhammad Tughlak (A.D. 1340) to those of Aurangzeb."

[178] Sir H. M. Elliot's Supplemental Glossary.

[179] Monograph on the Banjara Clan, p. 8.

[180] Hindus of Gujarat, p. 214 et seq.

[181] Rajasthan, i. 602.

[182] Ibidem, ii. 570, 573.

[183] This custom does not necessarily indicate a special connection between the Banjaras and Charans, as it is common to several castes in Rajputana; but it indicates that the Banjaras came from Rajputana. Banjara men also frequently wear the hair long, down to the neck, which is another custom of Rajputana.

[184] Jungle Life in India, p. 517.

[185] Berar Census Report (1881), p. 152.

[186] Bombay Gazetteer, Hindus of Gujarat.

[187] Letter on the Marathas (1798), p. 67, India Office Tracts.

[188] Army of the Indian Mughals, p. 192.

[189] Monograph, p. 14, and Berar Census Report (1881) (Kitts), p. 151.

[190] These are held to have been descendants of the Bhika Rathor referred to by Colonel Mackenzie above.

[191] See note 3, p. 168.

[192] General Briggs quoted by Mr. Faridi in Bombay Gazetteer, Muhammadans of Gujarat, p. 86.

[193] A. Wellesley (1800), quoted in Mr. Crooke's edition of Hobson-Jobson, art. Brinjarry.

[194] Cumberlege, loc. cit.

[195] Cumberlege, pp. 28, 29.

[196] Elliot's Races, quoted by Mr. Crooke, ibidem.

[197] Cumberlege, pp. 4, 5.

[198] Cumberlege, l.c.

[199] This custom is noticed in the article on Khairwar.

[200] Cumberlege, p. 18.

[201] Mr. Hira Lal suggests that this custom may have something to do with the phrase Athara jat ke gayi, or 'She has gone to the eighteen castes,' used of a woman who has been turned out of the community. This phrase seems, however, to be a euphemism, eighteen castes being a term of indefinite multitude for any or no caste. The number eighteen may be selected from the same unknown association which causes the goat to be cut into eighteen pieces.

[202] Ethnographic Notes in Southern India, p. 344, quoting from Moor's Narrative of Little's Detachment.

[203] Cumberlege, p. 35.

[204] Berar Census Report, 1881.

[205] Cumberlege, p. 21.

[206] The following instance is taken from Mr. Balfour's article, 'Migratory Tribes of Central India,' in J. A. S. B., new series, vol. xiii., quoted in Mr. Crooke's Tribes and Castes.

[207] From the Sanskrit Hatya-adhya, meaning 'That which it is most sinful to slay' (Balfour).

[208] Monograph, p. 12.

[209] Asiatic Studies, i. p. 118 (ed. 1899).

[210] Cumberlege, p. 23 et seq. The description of witchcraft is wholly reproduced from his Monograph.

[211] His motive being the fine inflicted on the witch's family.

[212] The fruit of Buchanania latifolia.

[213] Ethnographic Notes in Southern India, p. 507, quoting from the Rev. J. Cain, Ind. Ant. viii. (1879).

[214] Hindu Manners, Customs and Ceremonies, p. 70.

[215] Monograph, p. 19.

[216] The Patwas are weavers of silk thread and the Nunias are masons and navvies.

[217] An impure caste of weavers, ranking with the Mahars.

[218] Semecarpus Anacardium.

[219] Malcolm, Memoir of Central India, ii. p. 296.

[220] Cumberlege, p. 16.

[221] Small double shells which are still used to a slight extent as a currency in backward tracts. This would seem an impossibly cumbrous method of carrying money about nowadays, but I have been informed by a comparatively young official that in his father's time, change for a rupee could not be had in Chhattisgarh outside the two principal towns. As the cowries were a form of currency they were probably held sacred, and hence sewn on to clothes as a charm, just as gold and silver are used for ornaments.

[222] Jungle Life in India, p. 516.

[223] Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable contains the following notice of horns as an article of dress: "Mr. Buckingham says of a Tyrian lady, 'She wore on her head a hollow silver horn rearing itself up obliquely from the forehead. It was some four inches in diameter at the root and pointed at the extremity. This peculiarity reminded me forcibly of the expression of the Psalmist: "Lift not up your horn on high; speak not with a stiff neck. All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off, but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted" (Ps. lxxv. 5, 10).' Bruce found in Abyssinia the silver horns of warriors and distinguished men. In the reign of Henry V. the horned headgear was introduced into England and from the effigy of Beatrice, Countess of Arundel, at Arundel Church, who is represented with the horns outspread to a great extent, we may infer that the length of the head-horn, like the length of the shoe-point in the reign of Henry VI., etc., marked the degree of rank. To cut off such horns would be to degrade; and to exalt and extend such horns would be to add honour and dignity to the wearer." Webb (Heritage of Dress, p. 117) writes: "Mr. Elworthy in a paper to the British Association at Ipswich in 1865 considered the crown to be a development from horns of honour. He maintained that the symbols found in the head of the god Serapis were the elements from which were formed the composite head-dress called the crown into which horns entered to a very great extent." This seems a doubtful speculation, but still it may be quite possible that the idea of distinguishing by a crown the leader of the tribe was originally taken from the antlers of the leader of the herd. The helmets of the Vikings were also, I believe, decorated with horns.

[224] Monograph, p. 40.

[225] Melia indica.

[226] Author of the Nimar Settlement Report.

[227] Sesamum.

[228] Hindu Manners, Customs and Ceremonies, p. 21.

[229] Report on the Badhak or Bagri Dacoits, p. 310.

[230] Colonel Mackenzie's notes.

[231] Mr. W. F. Sinclair, C.S., in Ind. Ant. iii. p. 184 (1874).

[232] Notes on Criminal Tribes frequenting Bombay, Berar and the Central Provinces (Bombay, 1882).

[233] Berar Census Report (1881), p. 151.

[234] This notice is compiled principally from a good paper by Mr. M. C. Chatterji, retired Extra Assistant Commissioner, Jubbulpore, and from papers by Professor Sada Shiva Jai Ram, M.A., Government College, Jubbulpore, and Mr. Bhaskar Baji Rao Deshmukh, Deputy Inspector of Schools, Nagpur.

[235] Sherring, Hindu Tribes and Castes, i. p. 330. Nesfield, Brief View, p. 15. N.W.P. Census Report (1891), p 317.

[236] The name of a superior revenue office; under the Marathas, now borne as a courtesy title by certain families.

[237] Tribes and Castes of Bengal, art. Agarwal.

[238] Tribes and Castes of Bengal, art. Barui.

[239] Blochmann, Ain-i-Akbari, i. p. 72, quoted in Crooke's Tribes and Castes, art. Tamboli.

[240] Rajasthan, ii. p. 210.

[241] Ficus glomerata.

[242] Hindu Castes, i. p. 316.

[243] Tribes and Castes of Bengal, art. Bari.

[244] Vishnu.

[245] Sherring, Tribes and Castes, i. pp. 403, 404.

[246] This article is compiled from papers by Mr. W. N. Maw, Deputy Commissioner, Damoh, and Murlidhar, Munsiff of Khurai in Saugor.

[247] Bombay Gazetteer, xvii. p. 108.

[248] About 100 lbs.

[249] Compiled from papers by Mr. Ram Lal, B. A., Deputy Inspector of Schools, Saugor; Mr. Vishnu Gangadhar Gadgil, Tahsildar, Narsinghpur; Mr. Devi Dayal, Tahsildar, Hatta; Mr. Kanhya Lal, B. A., Deputy Inspector of Schools, Betul; Mr. Keshava Rao, Headmaster, Middle School, Seoni; and Bapu Gulab Singh, Superintendent, Land Records, Betul.

[250] Chapter x. 37, and Shudra Kamlakar, p. 284.

[251] A Vaideha was the child of a Vaishya father and a Brahman mother.

[252] Based on a paper by Rao Sahib Dhonduji, retired Inspector of Police, Akola, and information collected by Mr. Aduram Chaudhri of the Gazetteer office.

[253] Mr. Marten's C. P. Census Report (1911), p. 212.

[254] This article is based on papers by Mr. A. K. Smith, C.S., Mr. Khande Rao, Superintendent of Land Records, Raipur, and Munshi Kanhiya Lal, of the Gazetteer office.

[255] Tribes and Castes of Bengal, art. Beldar.

[256] The Castes and Tribes of Southern India, art. Odde.

[257] Akola District Gazetteer (Mr. C. Brown), pp. 132, 133.

[258] Amraoti District Gazetteer (Messrs. Nelson and Fitzgerald), p. 146.

[259] See article on Badhak.

[260] Kennedy, p. 247.

[261] Crooke, art. Beria.

[262] The following particulars are taken from a note by Mr. K. N. Date, Deputy Superintendent, Reformatory School, Jubbulpore.

[263] This article is based principally on a paper by Panna Lal, Revenue Inspector, Bilaspur, and also on papers by Mr. Syed Sher Ali, Naib-Tahsildar, Mr. Hira Lal and Mr. Aduram Chaudhri of the Gazetteer office.

[264] For the meaning of the term Baiga and its application to the tribe, see also article on Bhuiya.

[265] It is or was, of course, a common practice for a husband to cut off his wife's nose if he suspected her of being unfaithful to him. But whether the application of the epithet to the goddess should be taken to imply anything against her moral character is not known.

[266] This article is mainly compiled from a paper by Pyare Lal Misra, Ethnographic Clerk.

[267] Bombay Gazetteer (Campbell), xviii. p. 464.

[268] The following particulars are taken from Colonel Portman's Report on the Bhamtas of the Deccan (Bombay, 1887).

[269] Portman, loc. cit.

[270] Bombay Gazetteer (Campbell), xviii. p. 465.

[271] This article contains some information from a paper by Mr. Gopal Parmanand, Deputy Inspector of Schools, Saugor.

[272] Memoirs of the Races of the N.W.P. vol. i. p. 35.

[273] Tribes and Castes, art. Bharbhunja.

[274] See article on Kurmi. The remainder of this section is taken from Mr. Gopal Parmanand's notes.

[275] Ibidem.

[276] Tribes and Castes of Bengal, art. Kandu.

[277] This article is compiled from notes taken by Mr. Hira Lal, Assistant Gazetteer Superintendent in Jubbulpore, and from a paper by Ram Lal Sharma, schoolmaster, Bilaspur.

[278] Tribes and Castes of the N.W.P., art. Bhar.

[279] C.P. Census Report, 1881, p. 188.

[280] Dhaya means the system of shifting cultivation, which until prohibited was so injurious to the forests.

[281] Tribes and Castes of Bengal, art. Brahman.

[282] Art. Bhat.

[283] Malcolm, Central India, ii. p. 132.

[284] Rajasthan, ii. p. 406.

[285] Malcolm, ii. p. 135.

[286] Rajasthan, ii. pp. 133, 134.

[287] Great King, the ordinary method of address to Brahmans.

[288] Rajasthan, ii. p. 175.

[289] Rasmala, ii. pp. 261, 262.

[290] See later in this article.

[291] This present of a lakh of rupees is known as Lakh Pasaru, and it is not usually given in cash but in kind. It is made up of grain, land, carriages, jewellery, horses, camels and elephants, and varies in value from Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 70,000. A living bard, Mahamahopadhyaya Murar Das, has received three Lakh Pasarus from the Rajas of Jodhpur and has refused one from the Rana of Udaipur in view of the fact that he was made ayachaka by the Jodhpur Raja. Ayachaka means literally 'not a beggar,' and when a bard has once been made ayachaka he cannot accept gifts from any person other than his own patron. An ayachaka was formerly known as polpat, as it became his bounden duty to sing the praises of his patron constantly from the gate (pol) of the donor's fort or castle. (Mr. Hira Lal.)

[292] Rajasthan, ii. p. 548.

[293] Viserva, lit. poison.

[294] From dhol, a drum.

[295] Rajasthan, ii. p. 184.

[296] Lit. putli or doll.

[297] Tribes and Castes, art. Bhat.

[298] Ibidem. Veiling the face is a sign of modesty.

[299] Postans. Cutch, p. 172.

[300] Vol. ii. pp. 392-394.

[301] Rasmala, ii. pp. 143, 144.

[302] Bombay Gazetteer, Hindus of Gujarat, Mr. Bhimbhai Kirparam, pp. 217, 219.

[303] In Broach.

[304] Westermarck, Origin and Development of the Moral Ideas, ii. p. 242.

[305] Westermarck, ibidem, p. 246.

[306] Westermarck, ibidem, p. 248.

[307] The above account of Dharna is taken from Colonel Tone's Letter on the Marathas (India Office Tracts).

[308] This article is compiled from papers drawn up by Rai Bahadur Panda Baijnath, Superintendent, Bastar State; Mr. Ravi Shankar, Settlement Officer, Bastar; and Mr. Gopal Krishna, Assistant Superintendent, Bastar.

[309] Bassia latifolia.

[310] The principal authorities on the Bhils are: An Account of the Mewar Bhils, by Major P. H. Hendley, J.A.S.B. vol. xliv., 1875, pp. 347-385; the Bombay Gazetteer, vol. ix., Hindus of Gujarat; and notices in Colonel Tod's Rajasthan, Mr. A. L. Forbes's Rasmala, and The Khandesh Bhil Corps, by Mr. A. H. A. Simcox, C.S.

[311] The old name of the Sesodia clan, Gahlot, is held to be derived from this Goha. See the article Rajput Sesodia for a notice of the real origin of the clan.

[312] Rajasthan, i. p. 184.

[313] Ibidem, p. 186.

[314] Reference may be made to The Golden Bough for the full explanation and illustration of this superstition.

[315] Rajasthan, ii. pp. 320, 321.

[316] History of the Marathas, i. p. 28.

[317] See article.

[318] Rajasthan, ii. p. 466.

[319] Malcolm, Memoir of Central India, i. p. 518.

[320] An Account of the Bhils, J.A.S.B. (1875), p. 369.

[321] Hyderabad Census Report (1891), p. 218.

[322] The Khandesh Bhil Corps, by Mr A. H. A. Simcox.

[323] Forbes, Rasmala, i. p. 104.

[324] Memoir of Central India, i. pp. 525, 526.

[325] Ibidem, i. p. 550.

[326] Hobson-Jobson, art. Bhil.

[327] An Account of the Bhils, p. 369.

[328] The Khandesh Bhil Corps, p. 71.

[329] Ibidem, p. 275.

[330] Eugenia jambolana.

[331] Soymida febrifuga.

[332] Phyllanthus emblica.

[333] Terminalia belerica.

[334] Bombay Gazetteer, Hindus of Gujarat, p. 309.

[335] See article Kunbi.

[336] Sorghum vulgare.

[337] Loc. cit. p. 347.

[338] Western India.

[339] Asiatic Studies, 1st series, p. 174.

[340] Asiatic Studies, 1st series, p. 352.

[341] Bombay Gazetteer, Hindus of Gujarat, p. 302.

[342] Bombay Gazetteer, vol. xii. p. 87.

[343] An Account of the Bhils, pp. 362, 363.

[344] Account of the Mewar Bhils, pp. 357, 358.

[345] Forbes, Rasmala, i. p. 113.

[346] Nimar Settlement Report, pp. 246, 247.

[347] Sir G. Grierson, Linguistic Survey of India, vol. ix. part iii. pp. 6-9.

[348] This article is based mainly on Captain Forsyth's Nimar Settlement Report, and a paper by Mr. T. T. Korke, Pleader, Khandwa.

[349] Eugenia jambolana.

[350] Bauhinia racemosa.

[351] Settlement Report (1869), para. 411.

[352] Mr. Montgomerie's Nimar Settlement Report.

[353] Memoir of Central India, ii. p. 156.

[354] Crooke's Tribes and Castes, art. Bhishti.

[355] Elliott's Memoirs of the North-Western Provinces, i. p. 191.

[356] Crooke's Tribes and Castes, ii. p. 100.

[357] Rudyard Kipling, Barrack-Room Ballads, 'Gunga Din.'

[358] Thacker and Co., London.

[359] This article is mainly compiled from papers by Mr. Pandurang Lakshman Bakre, pleader, Betul, and Munshi Pyare Lal, ethnographic clerk.

[360] This article is compiled partly from Colonel Dalton's Ethnology of Bengal and Sir H. Risley's Tribes and Castes of Bengal; a monograph has also been furnished by Mr. B. C. Mazumdar, pleader, Sambalpur, and papers by Mr. A. B. Napier, Deputy Commissioner, Raipur, and Mr. Hira Lal.

[361] Ethnology of Bengal, p. 140.

[362] Linguistic Survey, vol. xiv. Munda and Dravidian Languages, p. 217.

[363] Page 142.

[364] Ibidem, p. 141.

[365] In the article on Binjhwar, it was supposed that the Baigas migrated east from the Satpura hills into Chhattisgarh. But the evidence adduced above appears to show that this view is incorrect.

[366] Tribes and Castes, art. Binjhia.

[367] Crooke, Tribes and Castes, art. Bhuiya, para. 4.

[368] Ibidem, para. 3.

[369] Ibidem, art. Bhuiyar, para. 1.

[370] Ibidem, para. 16.

[371] Dalton, p. 147.

[372] Page 142.

[373] The question of the relation of the Baiga tribe to Mr. Crooke's Bhuiyars was first raised by Mr. E. A. H. Blunt, Census Superintendent, United Provinces.

[374] Mr. Mazumdar's monograph.

[375] From Mr. Mazumdar's monograph.

[376] This article is compiled from a paper taken by Mr. Hira Lal at Sonpur.

[377] This article is based on papers by Mr. Hira Lal, Mr. Gokul Prasad, Tahsildar, Dhamtari, Mr. Pyare Lal Misra of the Gazetteer office, and Munshi Ganpati Giri, Superintendent, Bindranawagarh estate.

[378] From the Index of Languages and Dialects, furnished by Sir G. Grierson for the census.

[379] Tribes and Castes of Bengal, art. Binjhia.

[380] Early History of Mankind, p. 341.

[381] This article is based on a paper by Mr. Mian Bhai Abdul Hussain, Extra Assistant Commissioner, Sambalpur.

[382] Bassia latifolia.

[383] This article is compiled from Mr. Wilson's account of the Bishnois as reproduced in Mr. Crooke's Tribes and Castes, and from notes taken by Mr. Aduram Chaudhri in the Hoshangabad District.

[384] The total number of precepts as given above is only twenty-five, but can be raised to twenty-nine by counting the prohibition of opium, tobacco, bhang, blue clothing, spirits and flesh separately.

[385] Jhuria may be Jharia, jungly; Sain is a term applied to beggars; the Ahir or herdsman sept may be descended from a man of this caste who became a Bishnoi.

[386] The day when the sun passes from one zodiacal sign into another.

[387] The New Moon day or the day before.

[388] This article is largely based on Mr. F. L. Faridi's full description of the sect in the Bombay Gazetteer, Muhammadans of Gujarat, and on a paper by Mr. Habib Ullah, pleader, Burhanpur.

[389] Bombay Gazetteer, Muhammadans of Gujarat, p. 30. Sir H. T. Colebrooke and Mr. Conolly thought that the Bohras were true Shias and not Ismailias.

[390] Ibidem, pp. 30-32.

[391] J.A.S.B. vol. vi. (1837), part ii. p. 847.

[392] Berar Census Report (1818), p. 70.

[393] Castes and Tribes of Southern India, art. Bohra.

[394] Crooke's edition of Hobson-Jobson, art. Bohra.

[395] Moor's Hindu Infanticide, p. 168.

[396] Memoir of Central India, ii. p. 111.

[397] This article is mainly compiled from a full and excellent account of the caste by Mr. Gopal Datta Joshi, Civil Judge, Saugor, C.P., to whom the writer is much indebted. Extracts have also been taken from Mr. W. Crooke's and Sir H. Risley's articles on the caste in their works on the Tribes and Castes of the United Provinces and Bengal respectively; from Mr. J. N. Bhattacharya's Hindu Castes and Sects (Thacker, Spink & Co., Calcutta, 1896), and from the Rev. W. Ward's View of the History, Literature and Religion of the Hindus (London, 1817).

[398] Crooke's Tribes and Castes, art. Brahman, quoting Professor Eggeling in Encyclopaedia Britannica, s.v. Brahmanism.

[399] Tribes and Castes of Bengal, art. Brahman.

[400] Hindu Manners, Customs, and Ceremonies, 3rd ed. p. 172.

[401] Muir, Ancient Sanskrit Texts, i. 282 sq.

[402] Quoted in Mr. Crooke's Tribes and Castes, art. Brahman.

[403] Quoted by Mr. Crooke.

[404] Tribes and Castes of the Punjab, by Mr. H. A. Rose, vol. ii. p. 123.

[405] See also article Rajput-Gaur.

[406] See subordinate articles.

[407] A section of the Kanaujia. See above.

[408] Tribes and Castes, art. Brahman.

[409] Chap. ix. v. 173.

[410] Ward's Hindus, vol. ii. p. 97.

[411] Ibidem, pp. 98, 100.

[412] Hindu Manners, Customs and Ceremonies, by the Abbe Dubois, 3rd ed. p. 499.

[413] Ibidem, p. 500.

[414] London, Heinemann (1897), pp. 84-91.

[415] This is the famous Gayatri.

[416] It is not known how a slip-knot and a garland are connected with any incarnation of Vishnu. For the incarnations see articles Vaishnava sect.

[417] In the Central Provinces Ganpati is represented by a round red stone, Surya by a rock crystal or the Swastik sign, Devi by an image in brass or by a stone brought from her famous temple at Mahur, and Vishnu by the round black stone or Saligram. Besides these every Brahman will have a special family god, who may be one of the above or another deity, as Rama or Krishna.

[418] Bipracharanamrita.

[419] Hindu Castes and Sects, pp. 19-21.

[420] Rajasthan, i. p. 487.

[421] Rajasthan, i. p. 698.

[422] At that time L12,500 or more, now about L8000.

[423] Tribes and Castes of the North-West Provinces and Oudh, s.v.

[424] Early History of India, 3rd ed. p. 376.

[425] Ibidem, p. 385.

[426] Tribes and Castes, art. Kanaujia.

[427] Bombay Gazetteer, Hindus of Gujarat, p. 11.

[428] Bombay Gazetteer, Satara, p. 54.

[429] Bhattacharya, Hindu Castes and Sects, p. 47.

[430] Ibidem, p. 48.

[431] From Mr. Gopal Datta Joshi's paper.

[432] Rasmala, ii. p. 233.

[433] Rasmala, ii. p. 259.

[434] Tribes and Castes, art. Sanadhya.

[435] Crooke, ibidem, paras. 3 and 6.

[436] Eastern India, ii. 472, quoted in Mr. Crooke's art. Sarwaria.

[437] Stirling's description of Orissa in As. Res. vol. xv. p. 199, quoted in Hindu Castes and Sects.

[438] Hindu Castes and Sects, p. 63.

[439] This article is compiled from papers by Mr. Wali Muhammad, Tahsildar of Khurai, and Kanhya Lal, clerk in the Gazetteer office.

[440] This article is based on the Rev. E. M. Gordon's Indian Folk-Tales (London, Elliott & Stock, 1908), and the Central Provinces Monograph on the Leather Industry, by Mr. C. G. Chenevix Trench, C.S.; with extracts from Sir H. H. Risley's and Mr. Crooke's descriptions of the caste, and from the Berar Census Report (1881); on information collected for the District Gazetteers; and papers by Messrs. Durga Prasad Pande, Tahsildar, Raipur; Ram Lal, Deputy Inspector of Schools, Saugor; Govind Vithal Kane, Naib-Tahsildar, Wardha; Balkrishna Ramchandra Bakhle, Tahsildar, Mandla; Sitaram, schoolmaster, Balaghat; and Kanhya Lal of the Gazetteer office. Some of the material found in Mr. Gordon's book was obtained independently by the writer in Bilaspur before its publication and is therefore not specially acknowledged.

[441] There are other genealogies showing the Chamar as the offspring of various mixed unions.

[442] Bombay Gazetteer, vol. xv. Kanara, p. 355.

[443] The Hindus say that there are five classes of women, Padmini, Hastini, Chitrani and Shunkhini being the first four, and of these Padmini is the most perfect. No details of the other classes are given. Rasmala, i. p. 160.

[444] Punjab Census Report (1881), p. 320.

[445] Tribes and Castes of Bengal, art. Chamar.

[446] Loc. cit.

[447] From Mr. Gordon's paper.

[448] Monograph on Leather Industries, p. 9.

[449] Ibidem.

[450] See articles on these castes.

[451] Monograph on Leather Industries, p. 3.

[452] Berar Census Report (1881), p. 149.

[453] From mangna, to beg.

[454] Tribes and Castes, art. Chamar.

[455] Indian Folk-Tales.

[456] Indian Folk-Tales, pp. 49, 50.

[457] Shells which were formerly used as money.

[458] Indian Folk-Tales, pp. 49, 50.

[459] Monograph, p. 3.

[460] Monograph on Leather Industries, p. 5.

[461] Zizyphus xylopera.

[462] Butea frondosa.

[463] Anogeissus latifolia.

[464] The above is an abridgment of the description in Mr. Trench's Monograph, to which reference may be made for further details.

[465] Monograph on the Leather Industries, pp. 10, 11.

[466] Melia indica.

[467] Berar Census Report (1881), p. 149.

[468] Rasmala, i. 395, quoting from the Ain-i-Akbari.

[469] From papers by Mr. Parmeshwar Misra, Settlement Superintendent, Rairakhol, and Mr. Rasanand, Sireshtedar, Bamra.

[470] Tribes and Castes of Bengal, art. Chasa.

[471] This article is based principally on notes taken by Mr. Hira Lal at Bhatgaon.

[472] Bombay Gazetteer, Hindus of Gujarat, p. 178.

[473] A corruption for Viswakarma, the divine artificer and architect.

[474] The story, however, really belongs to northern India. Usha is the goddess of dawn.

[475] Krishna's mother.

[476] Little white flowers like jasmine. This simile would be unlikely to occur to the ordinary observer who sees a Hindu child crying.

[477] Tori balayan leun. For explanation see above.

[478] Commencement of the agricultural year.

[479] This article is partly based on a paper by Mr. Bijai Bahadur, Naib-Tahsildar, Balaghat.

[480] Bombay Ethnographic Survey, draft article on Chitrakathi.

[481] May-June. The Akhatij is the beginning of the agricultural year.

[482] Berar Census Report (1881), paragraph 206. The passage is slightly altered and abridged in reproduction.

[483] Vol. ix. part. ii. Muhammadans of Gujarat, p. 57.

[484] Rajasthan, ii. p. 292.

[485] Bombay Gazetteer, l.c.

[486] In recording this point Mr. Faridi gives the following note: "In 1847 a case occurred which shows how firmly the Memans cling to their original tribal customs. The widow of Haji Nur Muhammad of the Lakariya family demanded a share of her deceased husband's property according to Muhammadan law. The jama-at or community decided that a widow had no claim to share her husband's estates under the Hindu law. Before the High Court, in spite of the ridicule of other Sunnis, the elders of the Cutchi Memans declared that their caste rules denied the widow's claim. The matter caused and is still (1896) causing agitation, as the doctors of the Sunni law at Mecca have decided that as the law of inheritance is laid down by the holy Koran, a wilful departure from it is little short of apostasy. The Memans are contemplating a change, but so far they have not found themselves able to depart from their tribal practices."

[487] This article is based on papers by Mr. Vithal Rao, Naib-Tahsildar, Bilaspur, and Messrs. Kanhya Lal and Pyare Lal Misra of the Gazetteer office.

[488] Crooke, Tribes and Castes, art. Kol.

[489] Aegle Marmelos.

[490] Butea frondosa.

[491] Nag, a cobra.

[492] Kept woman, a term applied to a widow.

[493] Moor's Hindu Infanticide, p. 133.

[494] James Forbes, Oriental Memoirs, i. p. 313.

[495] Rajendra Lal Mitra, Indo-Aryans, i. p. 263.

[496] Journal of Indian Art and Industry, xvi., April 1912, p. 3.

[497] Dr. Jevons, Introduction to the History of Religion, p. 60.

[498] Private Life of an Eastern King, p. 294.

[499] Hobson-Jobson, s.v. 'Roundel.'

[500] Old English manuscript quoted by Sir R. Temple in Ind. Ant. (December 1904), p. 316.

[501] Hobson-Jobson, s.v. 'Kittysol.'

[502] Hobson-Jobson, s.v. 'Roundel.'

[503] Hobson-Jobson, ibidem.

[504] W. W. Skeat, The Past at our Doors.

[505] Skeat, ibidem, p. 95.

[506] This article is compiled from papers by Mr. Bahmanji Muncherji, Extra Assistant Commissioner; Mr. Jeorakhan Lal, Deputy Inspector of Schools, and Pandit Pyare Lal Misra, ethnographic clerk. The historical notice is mainly supplied by Mr. Hira Lal.

[507] Tod's Rajasthan, i. p. 128.

[508] This article is based on notes taken by Pandit Pyare Lal Misra in Wardha, and Mr. Hira Lal in Bhandara.

[509] Proper Names of the Punjabis, p. 74.

[510] Punjab Census Report (1881), para. 645.

[511] Crooke's Tribes and Castes, art. Darzi.

[512] Buchanan's Eastern India, Martin's edition, ii. pp. 417, 699.

[513] Ibidem, p. 977.

[514] Vol. i. pp. 178-184.

[515] Webb's Heritage of Dress, p. 33.

[516] Bombay Gazetteer, Hindus of Gujarat, p. 180, quoting from Ovington, Voyage to Surat, p. 280.

[517] Bombay Gazetteer, Hindus of Gujarat, p. 180.

[518] Bombay Gazetteer, Nasik, p. 50.

[519] According to another account Namdeo belonged to Marwar. Mr. Maclagan's Punjab Census Report (1891), p. 144.

[520] Berar Census Report (1881), para. 231.

[521] This article is partly based on a note by Mr. Gokul Prasad, Tahsildar, Dhamtari.

[522] This article is based entirely on a paper by Rai Bahadur Panda Baijnath, Superintendent, Bastar State.

[523] Compiled mainly from a paper by Kanhya Lal, clerk in the Gazetteer office.

[524] Cf. the two meanings of the word 'stock' in English.

[525] Tribes and Castes of Bengal, art. Dhanuk.

[526] Eastern India, i. 166, as quoted in Crooke's Tribes and Castes.

[527] Cf. the two perfectly distinct groups of Paiks or foot-soldiers found in Jubbulpore and the Uriya country.

[528] Tribes and Castes of the N. W. P. and Oudh, art. Basor.

[529] The following particulars are from a paper by Kanhya Lal, a clerk in the Gazetteer office belonging to the Educational Department.

[530] This article is based almost entirely on a monograph by Mr. Jeorakhan Lal, Deputy Inspector of Schools, Bilaspur.

[531] Grewia vestita.

[532] The term brother's brother-in-law is abusive in the same sense as brother-in-law (sala) said by a man.

[533] See commencement of this article.

[534] Cynodon dactylon.

[535] Shorea robusta.

[536] This article is based partly on papers by Mr. Govind Moreshwar, Head Clerk, Mandla, and Mr. Pancham Lal, Naib-Tahsildar, Sihora. Much of the interesting information about the occupations of the caste was given to the writer by Babu Kali Prasanna Mukerji, Pleader, Saugor.

[537] As a rule a husband and wife never address each other by name.

[538] Among Hindus it is customary to give a little more than the proper sum on ceremonial occasions in order to show that there is no stint. Thus Rs. 1-4 is paid instead of a rupee.

[539] Berar Census Report (1881), p. 133.

[540] Ibidem, l.c.

[541] Ibidem, l.c.

[542] Anthocephalus kadamba.

[543] From ghat, a steep hillside or slope; hence a river-crossing because of the banks sloping down to it.

[544] Trapa bispinosa.

[545] Jungle Life in India, p. 137.

[546] Berar Census Report (1881), p. 132.

[547] The following notice of caste offences is from Mr. Govind Moreshwar's paper.

[548] Not probably on account of the commission of a crime, but because being sentenced to imprisonment involves the eating of ceremonially impure food. These rules are common to most Hindu castes, and the Dhimars are taken only as a typical example. They seem to have little or no connection with ordinary morality. But in Jhansi Mr. Crooke remarks that a Kahar is put out of caste for theft in his master's house. This again, however, might be considered as an offence against the community, tending to lower their corporate character in their business, and as such deserving of social punishment.

[549] This article is partly based on an account of the caste furnished by Mr. H. F. E. Bell and drawn up by Mr. F. R. R. Rudman in the Mandla District Gazetteer.

[550] Folklore of Northern India, vol. ii. p. 8.

[551] Sherring's Hindu Castes, i. 342-3.

[552] Tribes and Castes, art. Dhobi.

[553] Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan.

[554] Berar Census Report (1881), p. 155.

[555] Central Provinces Census Report (1891), p. 202.

[556] Loc. cit.

[557] Bihar Peasant Life, s.v. Dhobi.

[558] Ethnographic Notes in Southern India, p. 226.

[559] Behind the Bungalow.

[560] This article is mainly compiled from papers by Mr. Gokul Prasad, Naib-Tahsildar, Dhamtari, and Pyare Lal Misra, a clerk in the Gazetteer office.

[561] Tribes and Castes of Bengal, art. Kandu.

[562] This article is taken almost entirely from a paper drawn up by Mr. Hira Lal, Extra Assistant Commissioner.

[563] This article is mainly compiled from Sir E. D. Maclagan's Punjab Census Report (1891), pp. 192-196, the article on Fakir in the Rev. T. P. Hughes' Dictionary of Islam, and the volume on Muhammadans of Gujarat in the Bombay Gazetteer, pp. 20-24.

[564] Hughes, p. 116.

[565] Punjab Census Report (1891), p. 196.

[566] Hughes' Dictionary of Islam, art. Fakir.


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