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. 

  • Charans 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 themselves Brahmanas.

  • The 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.

  • The 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.

  • Besides 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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