Derivation of the term-
are also known as Vanjaries in
various parts of the country. A Vanjari or a trader seems to be occupational
description, is etymologically identical with Vanijya which means
trade or commerce. These tribes were in the past engaged in carrying grains
and supplies for armies, before the time of cart-roads and railways. The
term Laman also seems to be derived from "Laman (salt), the Tribe being
the chief carrier of salt in the past.
term Banjara,derived from "Banij" meaning trader or
perhaps from "Baniji" , meaning pedlar's pack is used in the west
of Punjab, as a generic term for pedlar. Indeed it is to be feared that in
that part of province persons have been shown as Banjara in consequence of
their occupation only.
name Banjara is supposed to be derived from the Persian word "Berinj
Arind", means "dealers in rice" (Shakespear's
Dictionary). Vanjari or Vanjara is the corrupt form of "Vanaskara"
i.e. moving about in forest. Caran or Cháran also comes from the same root.
Vanjara means burners or the inhabitants of woods, while yet others say that
the word means an arrow. It may, with equal plausibility, be referred to
Vanachara (Sanskrit meaning wanderer in the forest), on account of the
nomadic character of the tribe. The true derivation is perhaps from the
Sanskrit term "Vanja" (trader, merchant) which is also responsible
for the term Bania and Banijiga (meaning trader).
of the term :
Banjara a synomym for Vanjari. Brinajari a synomym for Lambadi. Banjara,
Brinjari, Lambadi, Lamane, Vanjara, Gohar, Herkeri (Carnatic), grain and
salt carriers, cattlebreeders and cattle dealers, found all over the country
but especially over the districts of Warangal and Adilabad, which abound in
rich pastures (A.P), Lamadi/ from Lamban - length- which has perhaps
probable reference to the long line or train in which their bullocks move.
The tribal name is Gohar - a man. Banjaras are a caste of carriers
and drivers of pack-bullocks. They are also called Charous or Lambanis. The
common name, and the one, by which they prefer to be known is Banjaras. They
say the term, "Lambani" applied to them; by others, is a mistake
and it denotes an allied division of their tribe.
They are also called by some as
Sukalies, but they resent the appelation. of the term Sukali various
meanings, such as "men of good colour,or language or northern
country," are suggested, but these appears , to be all of doubtfull
accuracy. It is said by some that it means Areca nut, being the corrupt form
of Supari, it is also referred to, as a name of Lingayat (Sukali
Setti) whose trade of fire wood selling was very prosperous and was taken by
Banjaras when they came to Southern India. From this they became known as
men of Sukali Setti's trade or Sukali's.
Banjaras take their
name from trading in Gugur - a kind of gum.