Division & Sub Castes-
It may be
suggested that Banjaras are derived from Charan or Bhat caste of Rajputana.
Mr.Cumberledge whose monograph is the best authority on the castes in Berar
states that the four divisions existing there Charans are the most numerous and
by far the most interesting class.
are divided into five clans : Rathod, Pawar, Chauhan, Puri, Jadon or Bhurtia,
all of these being the names of leading Rajput clans and as the Charans
Bards were themselves Rajput, the Charans who were descendants from them may
claim the same lineage. Each sect is divided into number of sub-sects,
member of the same clan, may not intermarry. It may be supposed therefore,
the divisions in the sub-sects took place when it became too difficult and
inconvenient to prohibit marriages thourgh out the body of sect, as has been
happened in other cases.
Second division is the Mathuria Banjara and tey appeared to be
Brahmanas. They were the sacred thread, know the Gayatri mantras and
abstain from flesh and liquor, subsisting entirely on grains and vegetables.
Mathurias are sometimes known as Athiwasis and may be connected with the
Ahiwasis of Hindusthani districts , who also drive the pack-bullocks; call
third division of
Labhanas may be derive their name from lavan salt and devoted themselves
more especially this carriage of this staple. They are Rajputs and may be
desscended from Mota and Mola the cowherds of Krishna.
fourth division is
the Dharis or Bards of the caste who rank below the others they are both
musicians and mendicants, they sing in the praise of their own and Cháran
ancestors and the old kings of Delhi, at certain season visit Cháran
hamlets when each family gives them a young bullock or a few rupees. Dharis
are supposed to be off springs of Banjaras or Charans.
the above four
divisons there are a number of other castes being now a mixture of a very
mixed nature. Two principal Mohameddan groups Turkia and Mukeri, are
as given by Sir. Elliot; some with Rajput names and otherwise territorial or
titular. They seem mixed groups of hindus, who may have embraced Islam as
the religion of their employers.
In Sambalpur again a class of Turia Banjaras are found, other groups are Gaur
Banjaras, Gugria Banajara, Bahrup Banjara.
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