Occupations-

  • Tanda, the place as its name implies was originally an encampment of Banjaras, of grain carriers who still form the chief inhabitants. They purchased the unhusked rice in the Kumaun Hills or Terai and carried it to Tanda on ponies. There it was husked by the women and taken to Murarabad by the railway station. (Tanda, United Provinces, Oudh Tanda is situated on the banks of River Gogra, 12 miles by road from Akbarpur).

  • Banjaras is a mobile tribe now settled down to agriculture, Banjaras were engaged in transporting merchandise from place to place, when roads did not exist and communications were more difficult. They had a large number of pack bullocks and readily hired themselves to transport grains and other supplies for the armies in the field serving impartially whichever paid them more. Even now they recollect with pride certain instances of their ancestors carrying out such contract on a large scale for the British army and earning large rewards. The business is now dwindled down to almost nothing and they have now taken to agricultural pursuits. --Col. Todd.

  • Banjaras, by profession, wandering grain and salt merchants in this capacity, they have rendered considerable service to the country. They visit the most secluded regions and lone hamlets collecting the small quantities of grain, cotton, wool and commodities obtainable and bring them to the large markets. their value as carriers and collecting merchants in the times of scarcity is invaluable for; no other means could bring in small stores, of the outlying hamlets.
    With the rapid expansion of rail and developing metal roads, these industrious traders are fast disappearing from the traffic.
    In Telugu Desh of His Highness Dominions, many of them have become settled in villages. Banjaras have taken to cultivation and breeding, rearing fine animals to take them to different markets for sale and turn them into pack animals. (C&T of S.I S.S. Pro Hasan)
    The operation of husking is usually done by Banjaras, Lodhs, who commonly recive chaffs and 3/8th of the grains, the straw being pre-requisite of the Banjara ponies. They still follow their ancestral calling, as carrier and are largely engaged in rice trade.

  • Pilbhit - United Provinces Gazetteer : The Banjaras of the North west provinces came annually into the Jamuna districts and eastern states in the cold weather with the letter of credt on the local merchants and buy up a large number of cattle, which they take back again for sale as the summer approaches and it principally these men and Banjara carrirs from Rajputana to whom the figures for Hindu Banjaras refer. Mussalman Banjaras almost all are peddlers. The railway is fast destroying the carrying trade of these people except in the mountain tracts.

  • Labhanas correspond to the Banjaras of Hindustan, carrying on an extensive trade by means of herds of laden bullocks. Laterally they have taken to agriculture but as an additional means of livelihood and not as a substitute for trade. ("Punjab Castes" by Ibetson)
    Most of them have lost their time honored occupation and they have mostly settled as agriculturists. Vanjaries once have wandered about with Lakhs of oxen over vast areas. Thier business was to bring bullocks from Malva, load them with wheat and go from place to place to sell it. They went down to Ghats even to the Konkan districts. Once they used to carry their wares to Surat, Navsariand Kalyan in the west and Namad, Nagpur and Jabalpur in the North east, with their bullocks packed and in bands or armies of thousands, but with growth of transport facilities like railways and metalled roads, nearly killed their trade.
    Many of them work as labourer on daily wages, on coffee fields, the building work and on the farms.
    During the troublesome time before the middle of the nineteenth century, they figure largely as robbers and bandits and the peaceful inhabitants of villages were more afraid of pillage of these petty robbers.

 

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